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Mr Death: The Rise & Fall of Fred A Leuchter Jr.

Mr Death: The Rise & Fall of Fred A Leuchter Jr. quotes

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View Quote ""It seemed that that audience had no place to stand outside Fred. They became trapped in his ego. They took him quite literally. And when the film was over there were people in the room who wondered whether the Holocaust had really happened."
View Quote "As you've probably guessed by now, I am a proponent of capital punishment. I am certainly not a proponent of capital torture. We must always remember and we must never forget, the fact that the person being executed is a human being. One of the things that I've had to deal with is the feelings of the people who are doing the executions. The guards that work with the execution equipment are generally the same guards that have dealt with that inmate for the last five, ten, fifteen, and sometimes twenty years while the man was on death row. . . .Most people think of a hardened criminal and a murderer as someone who is in a cell and going to be executed, but these people are really no different than somebody that we work with every day. The only difference is that the inmate doesn't go home and the guard does. And now at the end of this ten or fifteen year cycle, they now are faced with the task of executing this man with equipment that's defective. With equipment that 's going to cause pain."
View Quote "Because of my expertise in the construction of execution equipment, I was asked to testify by the defense team of Mr. Ernst Zundel, a German national living in Canada, for some 20 odd years, who published a pamphlet, 'Did Six Million Really Die?'."
View Quote "Crematorium II is the most lethal building of Auschwitz. In the 2500 square feet of this one room, more people lost their lives than any other place on this planet. 500,000 people were killed. If you would draw a map of human suffering, if you created a geography of atrocity, this would be the absolute center. Every year, remains of human beings are found. Bones, teeth. The earth doesn't rest."
View Quote "Did Christ have a diploma in Christianity? Did Marx have a diploma in Marxism? Did Adolf Hitler have a diploma in National Socialism? No, they did not. But they knew one hell of a lot about their field."
View Quote "Fred hasn't questioned anything we've asked him to do over the last five days. I haven't lied about anything. I haven't had to; he's too honest and decent a man, I look over all this, and I think he's just misguided. He got mixed up with the wrong group of people. There are people who think he's evil, but he's not. The movie, I think, is becoming a kind of odd danse macabre, with Leuchter as my brand of existential hero, or, if you like, existential antihero: the completely benighted human being who still deserves our sympathy."
View Quote "Fred's story raises lots of interesting questions, such as: What happens if you really need to be loved and the only people who will love you are Nazis? And his version of what he saw in Auschwitz and what happened to him afterward seems to come right out of Nabokov--the clueless narrator, the narrator so far out of touch with what he's saying that it's totally absurd. But how clueless could he possibly be? That's the central mystery. Do we all have these self-invented fables? There's a deep mystery about why Fred's doing what he's doing, and for me it connects with the mystery of the Holocaust: the mystery not of whether it happened but of how it could happen. Is it happenstance that Fred, a person obsessed with death-not unlike me-ended up at Auschwitz? Somehow, he was drawn there, pulled to the center of twentieth-century death. And maybe it's pulling me, too. It's one of my predilections that people do not do evil knowingly. Evil is always construed as some form of doing good. We are always in some kind of delusional state about what our actions mean. I hope this movie becomes more effective if Fred emerges as more a person like you and me. If it's a movie that creates one more Manichaean illustration of good and evil, it becomes less interesting. If he becomes a person who makes us think about how the Holocaust came about, then it's useful."
View Quote "He's been destroyed as a human being; he's had his marriage destroyed, he's had his life destroyed. I frankly am surprised he didn't go and commit suicide, jump under a train. He saw everything that he had built up in his own quiet, humble way, destroyed by these people he had never met, whom he had offended. All he did was take the bucket and the spade and go over to Auschwitz and come back with the samples, and that was an act of criminal simplicity. He had no idea of what he was blundering into. He wasn't putting his name on the line because he had no name. He came from nowhere and he went back to nowhere."
View Quote "He's not the kind of person that would strike you. He is a mouse of a man. He's also a man who is totally honest and totally innocent; innocent in the sense of being a simpleton. He went into this as a glorious adventure. He was taken out of oblivion. He was given this task to perform. He traveled abroad, probably for the first time in his life, to Poland. He came back with these earth-shattering results. The big point: there is no significant residue of cyanide in the brickwork. That's what converted me."
View Quote "Holocaust denial for me is so revolting, and the way for me not to immediately become sick with having to deal with Leuchter, was by saying, OK, I am going to map his journey. I have a job to do and my job, my first job, is to try to understand where this guy was at what time. To take that tape and to record every camera angle, where it was, what piece of wall they were looking at, where he took the samples. It was important to be able to follow that trail very, very precisely. I wanted to see how he had done it."
View Quote "Holocaust denial is a story about vanity. It is a way to get in the limelight, to be noticed -- to be someone -- maybe to be loved. I have a sympathy to Fred, who's lost in Auschwitz, because I think he's lost. But not any more with the Fred who appears in these conferences."
View Quote "I became involved in the manufacture of execution equipment because I was concerned with the deplorable condition of the hardware that's in most of the states' prisons, which generally results in torture prior to death. A number of years ago I was asked by a state to look at their electric chair. I was surprised at the condition of the equipment and I indicated to them what changes should be made to bring the equipment up to the point of doing a humane execution."
View Quote "I don't think the Leuchter results have any meaning. There's nothing in any of our data that says those surfaces were exposed or not. Even after I got off the stand, I didn't know where the samples came from. I didn't know which samples were which. And it was only at lunch that I found out, really, what the case involved. Hindsight being 20/20, the test was not the correct one to have been used for the analysis. He presented us with rock samples anywhere from the size of your thumb up to half the size of your fist. We broke them up with a hammer so that we could get a sub-sample; we placed it in a flask, add concentrated sulfuric acid. It undergoes a reaction that poduces a red-colored solution. It is the intensity of this red color that we can relate with cyanide concentration. You have to look at what happens to cyanide when it reacts with a wall. Where does it go? How far does it go? Cyanide is a surface reaction. It's probably not going to penetrate more than 10 microns. Human hair is 100 microns in diameter. Crush this sample up, I have just diluted that sample 10,000; 100,000 times. If you're going to go look for it, you're going to look on the surface only. There's no reason to go deep, because it's not going to be there. Which was the exposed surface? I didn't even have any idea. That's like analyzing paint on a wall by analyzing the timber that's behind it."
View Quote "I've been drinking coffee for a long time, since I was probably around 4 or 5 years old. It's still true, I love coffee. I think it's running through my veins. Coffee never bothers the ulcer, but I remember, must be 15, 20 years ago when I went to the doctor, he was asking me, how much coffee do you drink a day, and I says, about 40 cups, so he's writing down. He says, how much coffee you drink a day? And I says about 40 cups. He says, how much coffee do you drink a day? and I says about 40 cups. He says, look, I am not kidding. I says, I'm not kidding either. He said, Oh? How much do you smoke a day? I said about six packs. He said, six packs of cigarettes, 40 cups of coffee a day, he says, you should be dead by now. (laughs)"
View Quote "Isn't Fred a sweetie?"