Thursday, 19 June 2014

Tomasz Kranz, the prince, and the fake gas chamber

His Royal Highness Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, superimposed onto a photograph
of the former alleged homicidal gas chamber in Majdanek concentration camp's Barrack 41.

"CHARLES stared at the blue stains on the gas chamber ceiling and his top lip seemed to tremble. Disgust and disbelief welled in him as the guide explained matter-of-factly that the stains were caused by a chemical reaction between human beings and the Zyklon B gas used to exterminate them."

On Thursday, May 20, 1993, the heir to British throne visited the former Nazi "extermination camp" Majdanek on the outskirts of the Polish city of Lublin and was given a tour by a youngish guide named Tomasz Kranz—who is now the Director of the Majdanek State Museum. 

Tomasz Kranz and Prince Charles 

An article on the visit by royal expert Robert Jobson—who was present—states that the prince was perturbed when he looked upon the blue stains on the gas chamber ceiling. And back in 1993, the only of the then-four gas chambers at Majdanek to have pronounced Prussian-blue staining on the ceiling is the room pictured above. 

I explained elsewhere that the Majdanek museum quietly dropped its 63-year-old claim that this room was a homicidal gas chamber at some point between April 2008 and March 2009, but what's interesting about the prince's visit to the ex-alleged homicidal gas chamber is the role of his guide, Tomasz Kranz.

Kranz states in the 2010 edition of his book The Extermination of Jews at Majdanek Concentration Camp (originally published in Polish during 2007), that the claim about this room being a homicidal gas chamber is "disproved", and that the chamber was actually used for disinfecting clothing and an undressing room for prisoners—the adjacent room is a shower room. (pp.43-44)

So in 2010 Kranz knew this room had never been used a homicidal gas chamber despite the fact it was shown as such to the British prince on in May 1993, in a tour conducted by Kranz. Everyone is of course entitled to unapologetically change their mind on a topic when presented with new evidence, but it seems that Kranz may have been aware at the time of the prince's visit that the room was never a homicidal gas chamber.  

David Cole wrote in his 2014 book Republican Party Animal:

"At Majdanek, mattress delousing rooms were misrepresented as being gas chambers for humans (as the museum's director admitted to me in 1994)." (p.34)
"I got Tomasz Kranz, research director of the Majdanek State Museum, to admit that the "gas chambers" shown at the camp were simple clothing and mattress delousing rooms." (p.42) 
And Cole wrote in his mid-90's Forty-Six Important Unanswered Questions Regarding the Nazi Gas Chambers:
"The following four questions are based on personal meetings I had during my last trip to Europe in October of 1994. In Lublin, Poland, I met with Tomasz Kranz, Curator of the Majdanek State Museum. I spoke at length with Mr. Kranz, who has been Curator for ten years, in his office on the Majdanek concentration camp site, [...] Kranz had to admit, after I raised the same questions I've raised in this list, that the biggest Majdanek "gas chamber," chamber #1 [the one pictured above], was not intended or used homicidally. Big revelation. With the doors, window, and everything else that precludes homicidal usage, this is a conclusion even a five year old child would come to. [...] my question is: Why does Curator Tomasz Kranz continue to allow this room to be represented to tourists and the world as a homicidal gas chamber, when he privately acknowledges it never was? If there is agreement that this room was never homicidally used, why continue to promote it as a death chamber?"

According to Cole, the year after Kranz had shown off the pictured room to Prince Charles as being a homicidal gas chamber, he admitted to Cole that it was only a delousing chamber. Perhaps it was in the intervening year that Kranz changed his mind on the alleged gas chamber, or maybe it was Cole that convinced him. Either way it doesn't look good for Kranz. Nor does the fact that his museum continued to claim this room was a homicidal gas chamber for 14 years after he admitted it was no such thing.

The Daily Express, Friday, May 21, 1993, pp.4-5 (enlarged version).

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