A gas chamber is an apparatus for killing humans or animals with gas, consisting of a sealed chamber into which a poisonous or asphyxiant gas is introduced. The most commonly used poisonous agent is hydrogen cyanide; carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide have also been used. Gas chambers were used as a method of execution for condemned prisoners in the United States beginning in the 1920s and continues to be a legal execution method in three states. During the Holocaust, large-scale gas chambers designed for mass killing were used by Nazi Germany as part of their genocide program, and also by the Independent State of Croatia at the Jasenovac concentration camp. The use of gas chambers in North Korea has also been reported.
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- The Holocaust—Yes, It Really Happened! -
- Awake! magazine, 1989, 4/8.
- The prisoners [transferred to labor camps] would have been spared a great deal of misery if they had been taken straight into the gas chambers at Auschwitz.
- Rudolf Höss, commandant of Auschwitz.
- Believe me, it wasn’t always a pleasure to see those mountains of corpses and smell the perpetual burning.
- More people kept coming, always more, whom we hadn’t the facilities to kill. . . . The gas chambers couldn’t handle the load.
- Franz Suchomel, SS officer.