Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., has been widely acknowledged as America's leading specialist on the design and fabrication of homicidal gas chambers and other equipment used in execution of convicted criminals. His expertise has been acknowledged by state governments and in periodicals such as The Atlantic (Feb. 1990), The New York Times (Oct. 13, 1990) and The New York Times Book Review (Nov. 22, 1992), as well as on the "Phil Donahue Show," where he appeared as a guest. After receiving his Bachelor's degree from Boston University in 1964, he did postgraduate work at the Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Leuchter holds patents for numerous highly sophisticated technical devices, including sextants, surveying instruments and optical encoding equipment.
Leuchter spoke at length about his investigation at Auschwitz and other camp sites in sworn courtroom testimony, April 20-21, 1988, in the Toronto "Holocaust" trial of German-Canadian publisher Ernst Zündel. Leuchter's detailed Report on his investigation and findings has been published in numerous editions in all major languages.
Leuchter is perhaps best known as the author of four controversial forensic reports on alleged German wartime extermination gas chambers. The Leuchter Report came about when he was commissioned by Canadian Revisionist Ernst Zündel during his 1988 trial in Canada for doubting the holocaust. Fred Leuchter was Zündel's twenty-first witness. He testified on Wednesday, April 20 and Thursday, April 21, 1988. Leuchter was tendered as an expert in gas chamber execution technology. Lead defence attorney Doug Christie informed the court that Leuchter had been commissioned by Ernst Zündel to conduct an investigation of the alleged execution gas chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek in Poland with a view to determining the capability of these installations to perform the functions attributed to them in Holocaust literature.
Leuchter had travelled to Poland and from 25 February to 3 March 1988 had inspected the alleged gas chambers, taken photographs, drawn plans, and removed samples which had been subsequently chemically analysed. He had prepared a report containing his opinion on whether the alleged gas chambers in the three camps were capable of being used for multiple executions by hydrogen cyanide gas and whether the crematories at the same camps were capable of disposing of the numbers allegedly burned there during the war.
The Leuchter Reports have been distributed all over the world as well as translated into many other languages including german. All of his reports are online and also available via mail order.
Inside the Auschwitz 'Gas Chambers': The whole story of Fred Leuchter's trip to Auschwitz, the tests he preformed and his findings.
Is there life after persecution? The botched execution of Fred Leuchter - Terrorism against Fred Leuchter
Fred Leuchter's statement to the press over his Engineers license
Leuchter's 1991 arrest in Germany
In1991, Fred Leuchter, gave a lecture on his findings regarding the alleged gas chamber installations at the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Majdanek to the National Democratic Party headed by Günter Deckert.
Deckert, bilingual in both German and English, interpreted the lecture to attendees at the meeting and subsequently sold videos of the lecture in Germany.
Deckert was later charged with inciting racial hatred by propagating Holocaust revisionism. He was tried, found by one judge to be of good, sound character and merely engaged in defending his German people against Holocaust promoters.
The Judge was promptly put on "Sick Leave." The media unleashed a storm of rage against him.
An appeal was lodged. Deckert won!
He was re-tried. He lost!
Meanwhile, in October of 1993, ten minutes before Leuchter was to appear as an invited guest on one of Germany's most popular TV talk show programmes, he was arrested at the television studios on charges of contravening the Auschwitz law and agitating the people.
The police making the arrest told the show's shocked producer that "the decision to arrest Leuchter was political because his appearance on television would have damaged Germany's image."
As though Germany's image is a function of the Holocaust - instead of the other way around!
In March of 1994, Germany's Federal Court of Justice overturned Deckert's conviction, holding that denying the Holocaust did not in itself constitute incitement to racial hatred. However, the court ordered a new trial for Deckert to determine whether Deckert sympathized with Nazi beliefs.
In April of 1994, the Supreme Court of Germany gave a contradictory ruling in another case, stating that Holocaust revisionism fell within the purview of the law. Deckert was tried again by a three judge panel who held that he was, in fact, a "Nazi sympathizer".
However, the panel sentenced Deckert to only a suspended one-year jail sentence and a small fine - on the grounds that he had only expressed an opinion that came from his heart. He was a good family man. He was only trying to strengthen German resistance to incessant Jewish demands.
The Deckert case created a storm of controversy in the media which even created a new word in the German vocabulary - "Richterschelte" - which meant "admonishing judges" or, better, "scolding judges" - in other words, intimidating judges for politically incorrect decisions.
Prior to the Deckert case, such media conduct was extremely unusual and even illegal because German judges were supposed to be aloof from public criticism - just as they are supposed to be aloof in Canada!
Two of the judges sitting on the Deckert case were immediately relieved of their duties because of "long-term illness" - the only ground upon which the German government could immediately remove them.
One judge, Ortelett, went public and said that he was not sick and did not ask for sick leave - which caused another uproar!
On appeal , the Federal Court of Justice quickly overturned the sentence and ordered another trial for Deckert.
In 1994, in response to the Deckert case and the pressure exerted by the Federation of Jewish Communities, Germany passed a new law making Holocaust revisionism in and of itself a criminal offence.
A spokesman for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Germany, Michael Friedman, explained the reason for the law: it was a highly symbolic move in the ". . . democratic Germany that was established under the condition that it would accept responsibility for the history of the Third Reich and the Holocaust."
Friedman expressed additional fury that Holocaust revisionism was not illegal in Canada., thus allowing Zündel to send revisionist information into Germany. (Globe & Mail, May 21, 1994)
International human rights groups such as "Human Rights Watch" have protested the anti-Holocaust revisionist laws in Germany.
The distinguished legal authority on human rights, Ronald Dworkin, wrote an article entitled "The unbearable cost of liberty," published in the Index on Censorship in 1995 dealing with the Leuchter and Deckert cases:
"The German Constitution guarantees freedom of speech. What justifies this exception? It is implausible that allowing fanatics to deny the Holocaust would substantially increase the risk of fascist violence in Germany. Savage anti-Semitic crimes are indeed committed there, along with equally savage crimes against immigrants, and right-wing groups are undoubtedly responsible for much of this. But these groups do not need to deny that Hitler slaughtered Jews in order to encourage Hitler worshippers to attack Jews themselves. Neo-Nazis have found hundreds of lies and distortions with which to inflame Germans who are angry, resentful and prejudiced. Why should this one be picked out for special censorship, and punished so severely?"
Dworkin warned that:
"We must not endorse the principle that opinion may be banned when those in power are persuaded that it is false and that some group would be deeply and understandably wounded by its publication . . . The Muslim fundamentalists who banned Salman Rushdie were convinced that he was wrong, and they, too, acted to protect people who had suffered deeply from what they took to be outrageous insult . . . Beware principles you can trust only in the hands of people who think as you do."
Human Rights Watch/Helsinki dealt with the German anti-Holocaust revisionist laws in its 1995 publication "Germany for Germans: Xenophobia and Racist Violence in Germany." After reviewing Germany's laws and recent cases such as Deckert and Althans, a well-known youth leader who had expressed doubt about the Holocaust in a documentary film inside the "gas chambers in Auschwitz", and who was himself sentenced to four years in prison, it stated:
"Human Rights Watch/Helsinki acknowledges that the tragedy of the Holocaust is the historical context in which such laws were adopted. We also recognize that, by more rigorously enforcing these laws, the German government has underscored the seriousness with which it views the danger posed by right-wing extremists.
"Nevertheless, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki believes that such measures seriously restrict the protected right to freedom of expression, association and assembly. We are mindful of the fact that international human rights law provides different and conflicting standards in this area and base our position on a strong commitment to freedom of expression as a core principle of human rights. (...)
"Certainly those whose expressive activities constitute a direct and immediate incitement to violence can and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But sweeping restrictions that affect entire parties, organizations or philosophies inevitably cast too broad a net; they can be used to suppress dissenting political movements of all sorts and often encourage gratuitous restrictions beyond those initially foreseen. (...)
Our own research has shown that such restrictions are often misused by majoritarian governments against minorities. It is our view that it is inherently dangerous for governments to have the power to determine which political philosophies are 'threatening'; power that invites abuse against political foes." (pp. 70-77)
(end of Human Rights Watch document)