Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 2009, volume 27, pages 41 ^ 57



From Spharen III: Scha ume (Suhrkamp, 2004), pp 89 ^ 126 « « Translated by Eduardo Mendieta, Department of Philosophy, University of New York at Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA

Peter Sloterdijk

Abstract. In this excerpt from the introduction to volume three of Spharen (Spheres), subtitled « Schaume ( foam), Sloterdijk argues that what makes the 20th century uniquely singular and creative « is its invention of what he calls here atmosterrorism, the assault not on the body of the enemy, but on his or her environment. This terrorism of the atmosphere is to be understood as a human-made form of quake that turns the enemy's environment into a weapon against them. Living organisms, among them humans, simply cannot not breathe, and it is this double negative that is at the heart of atmoterrorism. Weaving a fascinating narrative that links the development of insecticides and pesticides to the first use of poisonous gas during World War I, to the development of the gas chamber as the tool of supreme punishment in the United States, to the eventual convergence of putative humane killing and disinfection and delousing into the mobile and stationary gas chambers of extermination used in the Nazi concentration camps. Terrorism, argues Sloterdijk, reveals the essence of war, the will to exterminate the enemy, with the difference that the former expands the extermination of the enemy to the very world that enables the enemy to exist. In the 20th century, atmoterrorism leads to the exterminism of total war.

``Breathless by the tense vigil, Breathless by trepidation in the unbreathable splendor of the night ...'' Hermann Broch Der Tod der Vergil (1976, page 103) 1. Gaswar, or the atmoterrorist model If one wanted to say with one phrase and with the minimum of expressions what the 20th century, together with its incommensurable accomplishment in the arts, contributed as an unmistakable characteristic proper to the history of civilization, answering with three criteria could suffice. Whoever wants to understand the originality of this age will have to take into account: the praxis of terrorism, the conception of product design, and concepts of the environment. Through the first, interactions between enemies were established on postmilitary foundations; through the second, functionalism was able to reintegrate itself in the world of perception; through the third, the phenomena of life and knowledge were entwined to depths hitherto unknown. Taken together, these three criteria indicate the acceleration of explicationöof the revealing inclusion of latencies and background data in manifest operations. Additionally, if the task were to be formulated to determine when the 20th century began, the answer could be given with a higher level of punctual exactitude. With the same date can be illustrated how the three primary characteristics of this epoch were united at the beginning in a common primordial scene. The 20th century erupted spectacularly on 22 April 1915 with the first significant use of chlorine gas as a weapon
À Part of this paper appeared in 2002 in a small book published by Peter Sloterdijk, entitled Luftbeben: Aus den Quellen des Terror (Air tremors: out of the sources of terror) (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main). A full translation of this book is forthcoming with Semiotext(e). This paper, however, is a modification and amplification of those pages. I have translated Luftbeben as `Airquakes' because of the obvious echo that Sloterdijk makes to Erdbeben (earthquakes) and Seebeben (seaquakes) (translator's note).


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by a `gas regiment' (Gasregiment)öcreated expressly for this purposeöof the German Western Front army against the Franco-Canadian infantry positions in the northern arch of the Ypres. In the previous weeks in this sector of the front, German soldiers, unbeknownst to the enemy, had installed in their batteries thousands of concealed canisters of a previously unknown type. At exactly 18:00 hours, pioneers of the new regiment, under the command of Colonel Max Peterson, with a strong wind from the north and northeast, opened 1600 large (40 kg) and 4130 small (20 kg) canisters filled with chlorine. Through this `release' (Abblasen) of the liquefied element, approximately 150 tonnes of chlorine were deployed, becoming a cloud of gas approximately 6 km wide and 600 m to 900 m deep.(1) An aerial picture preserved for all time the development of this first toxic cloud of war over the Ypres war front. The favorable wind pushed the cloud to speeds from 2 m to 3 m per second against the French positions. The concentration of the toxic gas was calculated at approximately 0.5%. Prolonged exposure to the gas produced intense damage to the lungs and respiratory system. The French general Jean-Jules Henry Mordacq (1868 ^ 1943), who then was 5 km from the front, received a telephone call shortly after 18:20 hours from the field in which an officer of the first sharpshooter (tirailleurs) regiment announced the appearance of yellowish clouds of smoke that stretched from the German to the French trenches (Mordacq, 1933, cited in Hanslian, 1935, page 123f). Because of that warning, at first questionable but subsequently confirmed by other calls, Mordacq rode his horse with his adjutants to examine the front in person, and he and his companions quickly exhibited respiratory complications, bronchial irritations, and acute ear-ringing. After the horses refused to continue, Mordacq's team had to approach the gassed area on foot. Soon, they were met by swarms of panicked soldiers, running, with opened tunics, throwing their weapons away, spitting blood, and begging for water. Some rolled on the ground, struggling in vain to breathe. Around 19:00 hours a breach of 6 km opened up in the Franco-Canadian front; then the German troops advanced and occupied Langemarck (cf Martinetz, 1996, page 23f). The attacking units had available only gauze pads soaked in a soda solution and a liquid that captured chlorine, these were worn over the mouth and nose for their own protection. Mordacq survived the attack and published his war memoirs the year that Hitler took power. The military success of the operation was at no point challenged. A few days after Ypres, Kaiser Wilhelm II had a personal audience with the scientific director of the German gas-war program, the chemistry professor Fritz Haber, director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrical Chemistry at Dahlem, promoting him to captain.(2) In any event, the consensus emerged that the German troops were surprised by the efficiency of the new method and had not gripped their victorious triumph of 22 April successfully enough. On the contrary, the data on the number of victims differed significantly, then as now. According to nonofficial French sources, there had been only 625 gas victims, of whom only three had succumbed to poisoning, while according to initial German report there were 15 000 poisoned and 5000 dead to be
figures follow the presentation of Martinetz (1996); slight variations in the identification of place, time, and quantity can be found in Lepick (1998). (2) Haber (1868 ^ 1934) was at the time of the war also the director of a department for `gas war' in the Ministry of War. As a Jew, he was forced to leave Germany in 1933, after he gave the German military command suggestions for the reintroduction of gas weaponry in the summer of the same year. After a stay in England, he died on 29 January 1934 in Basel on his way to Palestine. Some of his associates were executed in Auschwitz. In military science, the Haberian mortality product is derived by multiplying the concentration of poison (c) by exposure time (t) (c6t ˆ product). The awarding of the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1918 to Haber in recognition of his discovery of ammonia synthesis unleashed strong protests in England and France, where his name was linked above all to the organization of chemical warfare.
(1) These



accounted for. These numbers have continually decreased during the period of the research. It is evident that interpretative controversies are manifest in these differences, which exhibit in illuminating ways the different military ^ technical and moral senses of the operation. As a Canadian autopsy report of a gas victim from the hardest hit section of the front says: ``With the removal of the lungs a considerable amount of a foaming light yellowish liquid spilled out ... . The veins on the surface of the brain were severely obstructed; all the small blood vessels had clearly burst'' (cited in Martinetz, 1996, page 24). While the unfortunate 20th century today readies itself to enter into the history books as the `age of extremes', and as the progressive inactuality of its lines of struggle and mobilized conceptsöits scripts for world history are no less yellowed than the proclamations of medieval theologians for the liberation of the holy graveöconsumes it, there manifests with greater clarity one of the technical models of the last century. One could call it the introduction of the environment into the struggle between adversaries. Since there has been artillery, it belongs to the role of defenders and warlords to direct themselves towards the enemy and the enemy's protective shields with direct shots. Whoever intends to eliminate an enemy according to the military rules of the art of killing at a distance has to establish, through artillery cannon, an intentio directa at the enemy's body and to immobilize the object in the line of sight with a sufficiently precise hit. From the late Middle Ages until the beginning of the First World War, the definition of the soldier was constituted by the fact that he would establish and `maintain' this intentionality. During this time, masculinity was codified, among other things, by the capacity and disposition to kill an enemy directly and causally with one's own hand and one's own weapon. To aim at an adversary is, as it were, the continuation of the struggle between two people but with ballistic means. For this reason, the gesture of one man killing another remains closely linked to the prebourgeois idea of personal valor and possible heroism that continues to exercise influence even under conditions of combat at a distance and in anonymous logistical battle, regardless of their anachronism. If the members of the armies of the 20th century could be of the opinion that they still performed a `manly' and, under martial premises, an `honorable' profession then they appealed to the risk of the immediate encounter with death. The manifestation of this idea in technical weaponry is the rifle with a mounted (aufgeflanztem) bayonet: if for some reason the (bourgeois) elimination of the enemy with shots at a distance fails, the rifle always offers the possibility of returning to the (noble and archaic) direct running through of an enemy in proximity. The 20th century will be remembered as the period whose decisive idea consisted in targeting not the body of the enemy, but his environment. This is the fundamental thought of terror in a more explicit and contemporary sense. Shakespeare put its principle prophetically in Shylock's mouth: ``You take my life/When you do take the means whereby I live'' (Merchant of Venice IV, 1). Among those means today, along with the economic, are the ecological and psychosocial conditions of human existence, which have moved to the center of attention. In these new procedures to enable the extraction of the enemy's conditions of survival from the environment or surroundings, there appear the contours of a specifically modern, post-Hegelian concept of horror (see Hegel, 1979, page 355f).(3)
(3) According to Hegel, in terror is realized the ``discrete, absolute hard rigidity and self-willed atomism of actual self-consciousness'' (1979, page 359). ``The sole work and deed of universal freedom is therefore death, a death too which has no inner significance or filling, for what is negated is the empty point of the absolutely free self. It is thus the coldest and meanest of all deaths, with no more significance than cutting off a head of cabbage or swallowing a mouthful of water'' (page 360, italics in original).


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The horror of the 20th century is essentially more than `I-can-because-I-will', with which the Jacobin self-consciousness stepped over the corpses of those who stepped in front of the path of freedom; it also essentially differentiates itself, notwithstanding formal similarities, from the bomb attacks of the anarchist and nihilists of the last third of the 19th century, who attempted a prerevolutionary destabilization of the bourgeois-late-aristocratic social order; among them there flourishes not a few times a comfortable and portly `philosophy of the bomb', which gave expression to fantasies of power of the petty-bourgeois friend of destruction.(4) Additionally, neither methodically nor because of its objectives can the philosophy of the bomb be confused with the phobocratic ( phobokratischen) techniques of permanent or emergent dictatorships in order to make their own populations submissive by means of a calculated mix of ``ceremony and terror'' (see Fest, 2002, page 144). Finally, we have to maintain as distant from its precise concept the innumerable episodes, in which particular desperados, out of vengeful, paranoid, and demonic motives, appropriate modern means of destruction in order to stage punctual Armageddons. The horror of our epoch is a form of appearance of the theoretical-environmental modernized science of extermination, thanks to which the terrorist understands his victims better than they do themselves. When the body of the enemy can no longer be liquidated with direct assault, the possibility presents itself to the attacker of making his existence impossible, by immersing the enemy in an unlivable milieu. From this conclusion emerges modern `chemical war', as an attack on the vital functions of the enemy that depend on the environmentönamely, breathing, centralneural regulations, and the temperature and radiation appropriate for living. In fact, it is here that the transition from classical war to terrorism is accomplished, inasmuch as terrorism has as a presupposition the rejection of the old engagement of arms between adversaries of the same power. Contemporary terror operates beyond the na|« ve exchange of armed strikes between regular troops. It has to do with the substitution of classical forms of struggle with attempts on the environmental conditions of life of the enemy. Such a change is insinuated when two very unequal forces confront each other, as can be seen in the contemporary trend of nonstate wars and the tensions between state armies and nonstate combatants. Yet, the affirmation that terror is the weapon of the weak is completely false. Any look at the history of terror in the 20th century shows that it was states, and among them the strongest, that were the first to have recourse to terrorist methods and means. Seen retrospectively, the historical-military curiosity of the gas war from 1915 to 1918 lies in the fact that, on both sides of the front, forms of environmental terror were officially commanded, and were integrated into the regular execution of war by legally recruited armies, in conscious violation of Article 23a of the Hague War Convention of 1907, which explicitly forbade the use of poison and weapons, of any kind, that increase the suffering of the enemy, and, above all, their deployment against the noncombatant population.(5) It seems that in 1918 the Germans had more than nine gas battalions with approximately 7000 men, and the allies had more than thirteen battalions of `chemical troops' with more than 12 000 men. Not without reason, there were experts who spoke of a `war within the war'. This formulation announces the
(4) See the work German idealist anarchist Johann Most, who first conceived of the letter bomb, as well as Camus (1992, particularly pages 149 ^ 245), with emphasis on the difference between individual terror and state terrorism. (5) Since both sides were conscious of violating the laws of war, they renounced raising protest with the opposing governments against the application of poisonous gas. Haber's false argument that chlorine was not a poisonous gas but only an irritant, and therefore not addressed by the Hague Convention, has received support in recent German nationalist apologetics.



liberation of extermination from the moderation of the violence of war. Numerous testimonies of soldiers from the First World Waröabove all, from the professional officers of the nobilityötestify that they considered that war with gas was a degeneration of the means of carrying out war, dishonoring all the participants. Nonetheless, no case has been preserved in which a member of the army had openly opposed the new `law of war' (cf Friedrich, 1993). The discovery of the `environment' took place in the trenches of the First World War, in which soldiers from both sides had become so unreachable by munitions or explosives that the problem of atmospheric war must have appeared to them acutely. What was later called `gas war' (and, much later, an aerial bombing war), offered itself as a technical solution: its principle lies in surrounding the enemy long enoughöwhich in practice meant at least some minutes öwith a cloud of polluting materials, with a sufficient `tactical concentration', until he would fall victim to his own need to breathe. (The production of psychological clouds of contamination over one's own population depends on the rules of mass media of the warring groups: these transform their imperative to inform into an involuntary complicity with terrorists, since, as an honest gesture, they generalize nationally what are local horrors.) These toxic clouds were never composed practically of gas in a physical sense, but instead of very fine particles of dust that were released with explosive charges. With this there appeared the phenomenon of a second artillery, since it no longer aimed directly at the enemy soldiers and their positions, but rather at the air surrounding the bodies of the enemy. As a consequence, the concept of the `target' was displaced following a blurred logic: what was sufficiently near the object could now count as sufficiently exact and, for that reason, was operationally dominated. In a later period, the highly explosive projectiles of classical artillery were recombined with the projectiles that generated clouds of the new gas artilleries.(6) Feverish research then concerned itself with the question of how to confront the rapid dissolution of toxic clouds over the battlefield: a matter that according to general rules was accomplished through chemical supplements that modified the highly volatile behavior of the dust particles in combat in the desired direction. As a consequences of the events at Ypres, there rapidly emerged a type of military climatology from nothing, about which one does not say too little if one recognizes it as the guiding phenomenon of terrorism. The production of poison clouds is the first science with which the 20th century presents its identity documents. Before 22 April 1915 that affirmation had been pataphysical, later on it would count as the core of an ontology of the present. It makes explicit the phenomenon of unbreathable space, which was traditionally implicit in the concept of miasma. The until today still unclear status of knowledge about poison clouds or the theory of unlivable spaces within climatology only makes clear that the theory of climate has not yet emancipated itself from its scientific-naturalistic stupor. As we will show, it was truly the earliest among the new human sciences that emerged from the science of world war (Weltkriegwissen).(7) The breathtaking development of the respiratory defensive military apparatuses (more popularly, the line of gas masks) revealed the accommodation of the troops to a situation in which human respiration was on the way to assuming a direct role in military events. Fritz Haber was immediately celebrated as the father of the gas mask.
(6) This effect was augured by the massive application of explosive missiles: ``The force of the shells balanced out their lack of precision'' (Ferguson, 2001, page 290). (7) On the rise of a more lighthearted nephrology (or, to use the words of Thomas Mann, a theory of the `higher movements') at the beginning of the 19th century, see Hamblyn (2002). The most important social scientific findings from the phenomenon of war propaganda and its elevation to poisonous mass communication can be found in the mass hysteria theory of Hermann Broch.


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As one can gather from the military-historical literature, between February and June 1916, among the German troops at Verdun alone, the corresponding depot of the rearguard handed out close to five and a half million gas masks, as well as 4300 oxygen tanks (many of them taken from the mining industry) with 2 million litres of oxygen (see Martinetz, 1996, page 93). It becomes clear from these figures to what extent by that stage the `ecologized' war, transferred to an atmospheric environment, had already become a struggle concerning the breathing potentials of warring parties. The struggle then included the weak biological sites of partners to the conflict. The image of the gas mask, which quickly became popular, shows that the attacked attempt to liberate themselves from their dependence on their immediate environment of breathable air, hiding behind an air filter öa first step towards the principle of air conditioning, which is based on the uncoupling of a defined volume of air from the surrounding air. To this corresponds, on the attacking side, an escalation to an attack on the atmosphere through the use of toxic materials that penetrate the protective respiratory devices of the enemy. From the summer of 1917, chemists and German officials began to use the weapon diphenylchlorarsin, also known as `blue cross' or `Clark I', which, in the form of extremely fine particles in suspension, could overcome the protective filters of the enemy. The effect of this led its victims to give it the name `mask-breaker'. At the same time, the German gas artillery introduced the new combat gas, `yellow cross' or `Lost',(8) in the Western front against British troops, which produced severe injuries to the organism especially loss of sight and catastrophic nervous disorders when it came in contact with the skin or membranes of the eyes and respiratory paths. ¨ One of the most recognized Lost or Yperite victims was Private Adolf Hitler, who on the night of 13 ^ 14 October 1918 on a hill near Werwick (La Montagne), to the south of Ypres, was involved in one of the last gas attacks of World War I, carried out by the British. In his memoirs, he related that on the morning of the 14 October his eyes had become something like glowing coals and that, in addition, after the events of the 9 November in Germany, that he survived in the military hospital Pasewalk in Pomeria by word of mouth, literally, since he had suffered a relapse of the loss of vision that he had suffered through Lost; during this stay he made the decision to ``become a politician''. In the spring of 1944 he told [Albert] Speer, in anticipation of the impending defeat, that he feared losing his sight again. The trauma of gas remained with him until the end, as a nervous trace. It would seem that among the technical ^ military determinants of World War II was that fact that Hitler introduced, as a result of his own experiences, an idiosyncratic understanding of gas into his personal conception of war, on the one hand, and of the praxis of genocide, on the other.(9) In its first appearance, the gas war brought together operative criteria of the 20th century: terrorism, design consciousness, and consideration of the environment. The exact concept of terrorism presupposes, as has been shown, an explicit concept for the environment since terrorism represents the displacement of destructive action from the `system' (here, the physically concrete body of the enemy) to its `environment' (in this case, to the atmospheric environment in which the bodies of the enemy move, having to breathe). For this reason, the terrorist act always possesses, right from the start, the characteristic of being an attempt, for the definition of the attempt (in Latin: attentatum, attempt, essaying an assassination) includes not only the unexpected hit of
(8) This was so named by Fritz Haber after the responsible scientists Dr Lommel (Bayer, Leverkusen) and Professor Steinkopf (associate at Haber's Dahlem Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, the `Prussian Military Institute' during the war). This war gas was also called `mustard gas' because of its smell, `Huns' Material', because of its devastating ¨ effects, or `Yperite', after its first place of application. (9) On the nonuse of gas weapons in the Second World War, see Gellermann (1986).



the ambush, but also the malignant exploitation of the life habits of the victims. In the gas war, deep levels of the biological conditions of human beings are implicated in the very attack against them: the inescapable need to breathe is turned against breathers in such a way that they become involuntary accomplices in their own destructionöassuming that the terrorist has been able to corner his victims long enough in the toxic environment so that they, inevitably having to breath, give themselves over to the unbreathable environment. As Jean-Paul Sartre noted, despair is not only an attack of the human against itself, the air attack of the gas terrorist (Gasterroristen) produces in the attacked the despair of being forced to cooperate in the extermination of their own lives, because they cannot not breathe. With the phenomenon of the gas war, we reached a new explanatory level for the climatic and atmospheric premises of human existence. In it, the immersion of living beings in a breathable environment is carried to a formal elaboration. From the outset, the principle of design is included in this explicatory thrust, since the operative manipulation of gassed environments in open territories forces a series of atmospheric innovations. Because of them, the combating of toxic clouds became a task of productive design. The regular soldiers in the gas fronts, as much in the East as in the West, were mobilized combatants confronted with the problem of having to develop routines for the design of regional atmospheres. The artificial installation or production of combat clouds of dust required the efficient coordination of the generative factors of clouds under criteria of concentration, diffusion, sedimentation, coherence, mass, expansion, and movement. Here is announced a dark meteorology, one that is concerned with `precipitations' of a totally unique character. A stronghold of this particular type of knowledge could be found at the Berlin ^ Dahlem Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, one of the most ominous theoretical addresses of the 20th century, which was directed by Fritz Haber. But similar institutes were to be found on both the French and German sides. In most of the cases, the combat materials had to be mixed with stabilizing substances in order to achieve the appropriate concentrations, which would to be effective in open areas. In the face of the definitive, once and for all, principle of aiming poisonous gas clouds over a defined, vaguely determined outdoor terrain, whether the production of poisonous clouds over a specific area depended on the application of gas grenades during a specific duration or whether it depended on the `release' in the direction of the wind of gas pipes was a relatively insignificant technological difference. In a German gas artillery attack with Green-Cross-Difosgen diphosgene at Fleury, on the Maas River, on the night of the 22 to 23 June 1916, the starting point was the consistency of a cloud needed to bring about the same number of deaths in open fields as would be guaranteed by, at least, 50 howitzer shots or 100 canon shots per hectare per minute. Such quantities were not reached at all, as the next morning the French claimed to have suffered `only' 1600 intoxications and 90 dead (see Martinetz, 1996, page 70). It was decisive that, through the use of gas terrorism, technology broke through the horizon of the design of the nonobjective, through which latent themes such as the physical quality of the air, artificial additives for the atmosphere, as well as climatically conditioned factors in human dwellings fell under explicative expression. Through the progressive explication, humanism and terrorism are chained to one another. The Nobel Prize winner Fritz Haber declared himself through his entire life an ardent patriot and humanist. As he affirmed in a tragic letter of departure, directed to his institute on 1 October 1933, he was proud to have worked for his fatherland, in the war, and for humanity, in peace.


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Terrorism dissolves the difference between violence against people and violence against things in the environment; it is violence against those human ^ environmental `things' without which people cannot remain as people. Violence against the breathing air of groups transforms the immediate atmospheric shell of human beings into something whose vulnerability or invulnerability stands open to technical control. Only in reaction to terrorist depravations could air and the atmosphere ö primary means of survival in physical as well as metaphorical senses ö become objects of explicit provision and aerotechnical, medical, juridical, political, aesthetic, and theoretical ^ cultural care. In this sense, the theory of air and the technology of climate are neither mere sediments of war and postwar knowledge, nor, eo ipso first objects of a science of peace that could emerge only in the shadows of the `stress of war' (for this phrase see Muhlmann, 2004); instead, they are above all primary « postterrorist forms of knowledge. To call them this already clarifies why such knowledge has until now been maintained in labile, incoherent, and nonauthoritative contexts; perhaps the idea that there can be something like authentic experts of terror is, as such, hybrid. Professional soldiers and analysts of terror demonstrate a striking ability to ignore its nature to a remarkable degree, a phenomenon for which clear evidence was given by the flood of declarations by experts after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington on September 11, which delivered their elaborated helplessness with clear evidence. The tenor of almost all the declarations about the attack on the prominent symbols of the United States was that of surprise, along with the entire world, with what had taken place, but that confirmed, however, the thesis that there are things against which we cannot be sufficiently protected. The War on Terror campaign on US televisions, which in its language codes stuck closely ¨ to Pentagon communiques, was reoriented, almost without exception, to becoming propaganda; not once was there talk of an elemental notion of how terrorism is not an enemy, but a modus operandi, a method of fighting that as a general rule is shared by both sides in a conflictöwhich is why a `war against terrorism' is a nonsensical formulation.(10) The expression raises an allegory to the condition of a political enemy. But inasmuch as one puts in parentheses the infectious demand to take sides, and one follows instead the principle of the process of peace, it becomes evident that the single terrorist act never constitutes an absolute beginning. There is no terrorist acte gratuit, no originary `it becomes' (Es-werde) of terror. Every terrorist attack understands itself as a counterattack in a series, which in any event is always described as having been initiated by the adversary. Terrorism, thus, conceives itself antiterroristically; this holds as much for the `original scene' in the Ypres front in 1915, not only because this was followed immediately by the customary sequence of attack and counterattacks, but also because on the German side factual claims could be made that the French and British had already used gas ammunitions.(11) The beginning of terror is not the concrete attack carried out by one of the sides, but rather the will and disposition of partners in conflict to operate in an expanded battle zone. Through the broadening of the battle zone, the principle of explication in execution of war becomes perceptible: the enemy is made explicit as an object in the environment, whose removal counts as a condition of survival of the system. Terrorism is the explication of the other from the point of
(10) On the other hand, there is nothing nonsensical about the organization of police or even military measures against definite groups who have dedicated themselves to advancing violence against institutions, persons, and symbols. (11) The use of chlorine gas in Ypres was also not an absolute first for the German side, who had already in January 1915 tried out the T12 gas shells on the Eastern Front and in March used them at Nieuport on the Western Front.



view of his exterminability.(12) If war always meant a particular behavior before an enemy, terrorism first reveals its `essence'. Inasmuch as conflicts are domesticated in accordance with the rights of peoples, a technical relation to the enemy overtakes command, which is nothing other than the will to exterminate the opponent. Technically enabled enmity is called `exterminism'. This explicates why the mature style of war of the 20th century was oriented towards annihilation. The stabilization of a communicable knowledge about terror not only depends, then, on the precise remembering of its practices, it demands the formulation of the principles to which the practice of terror is subject in its technical explicitness and concurring explication since 1915. One can understand terrorism when this is conceived as a form of investigation of the environment from the point of view of its destructibility. It makes use of the fact that the simple inhabitants have a relation to their environment as users and that, at first, they consume it exclusively in a natural way as a mute condition of their existence. Destruction, however, is in this case more analytical than use: punctual terror extracts advantage from the difference in the level of innocuousness between the attack and the defenseless object, whereas systematized terror creates a relentless climate of anguish, in which defense adapts to permanent attacks, without being able to counter them. While things stand like this, terroristically escalated struggle becomes more and more a competition about explicative advantages with respect to weak points of the rival's environment. New terror weapons are those through which the conditions of life are made more explicit; new categories of attempts make evidentöin the mode of a malignant surpriseönew levels of vulnerability. A terrorist is one who can obtain an explicative advantage with respect to the implicit conditions of life of the opponent and uses them to act. This is the reason why, after great terrorist-induced caesuras, one can have the feeling that what has happened can be future oriented. That which brings out what is implicit and reveals vulnerabilities in the zones of struggle has future. According to its principle of execution, all terrorism is thus conceived as atmoterrorism. It has the form of an attempted attack against the environmental conditions of the enemy's life, beginning with the toxic attack on the most immediate resources of the surrounding of a human organism, the air that it breathes.(13) With this it is to be granted that what since 1793 and even more so since 1915 we call terreur or `terror' could be anticipated in any possible way of using violence against the environmental conditions of human existence. Think here of the poisoning of potable water, of which antiquity already provided us with examples, in medieval infectious attacks on defensive forts, as well burning and smoking of cities and refugee caves by besieging troops, or as with the spreading of horrifying rumors or demoralizing news. But such comparisons fail in the essential. The matter rather is to identify terrorism as a child of modernity, given that it could not mature to an exact definition until the principle of the attack on the environment and the immunological defense of an organism or form of life could be made sufficiently explicit. This happened for the first time, as has already been explained, with the events of 2 April 1915, when the cloud of chlorine gas, produced by the release of 5700 gas canisters, was carried by the gentle wind from the German positions to the French trenches between Bixschoote and Langemarck.
(12) Exterminism represents a simplification of the sadism classically described by Sartre: it is no longer a question of appropriating for oneself the freedom of the other, but of freeing one's own environment of the freedom of the other. (13) This is poisoning (Vergiftung), literally as well as figuratively. On 4 August 2002, the late-night edition of the ARD broadcast Themes of the Day presented an interview with a young woman on a Tel Aviv beach who, against the background of a Palestinian suicide bomb attack on an Israeli bus, asked the question, ``Are we supposed to stop breathing?''


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In the late hours of the afternoon of that day, between 18:00 and 19:00 hours, the hands of the epochal clock jumped from the modern vitalist-late-romantic phase to atmoterrorist objectivity. Since then, there never has been a caesura of similar depth. The great disasters of the 20th and beginning of the 21st centuries belong, without exception, as I will show, to the history of the explication that was inaugurated that April afternoon on the Western Front, when surprised Franco-Canadian units retreated, panic stricken, under the impact of the whitish-yellowish cloud of gas that crept from the northeast towards them. The further technical explication of this procedural knowledge of climatological struggle, achieved during the war, took, in a natural manner, no later than November 1918, the circuitous path of its `peaceful use'. With the imminent end of the war, bed bugs, flour moths, ticks, and above all cloth lice enter into the sights of the Berlin chemists. It is evident that the prohibition by the Versailles Treaty against any production of bellicose substances in German territory did not make them lose their professional fascination. Professor Ferdinand Flury, one of Fritz Haber's closest collaborators at the Dahlem Institute, presented in September 1918, in Munich, at a meeting of the German Society for Applied Entomology, a programmatic conference on the theme: ``The activities of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry in Berlin ^ Dahlem at the service of struggle against parasites.'' During the discussion Fritz Haber took the stage to inform about the activities of a `Technical Committee for the Struggle Against Parasites' (Tasch: Technischer Ausschusses fu r Schadlingsbekampfung), which « « « was working on, above all, the introduction of hydrocyanic acid (HCN: hydrogen cyanide) in the protection of German farmers against insects. He remarked with respect to this: ``The principle base idea, after peace has been restored, is to make, in addition to the hydrocyanic acid, other combat substance that the war produced useful for the advancement of farming through the struggle against parasites'' (cited in Kalthoff and Werner, 1998, page 24). Flury offered in his paper for consideration ``that in the effect of gases on insects or mites entirely different circumstances come into question than in the case of the inhalation of gases and vapors through the lungs of mammalians, although there exists a parallelism with the toxicity of higher animal'' (Kalthoff and Werner, 1998, page 25). Already in 1920 a specialized journal of the `German Society for the Struggle Against Parasites' (Degesch: Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Schadlingsbekampfung GmbH), established shortly before the end of the war, « « « revealed that since 1917 around 20 million cubic meters of ``built space, in windmills, boats, barracks, schools, military hospitals, and grain and seed silos'' and similar sites, according to the criteria of the advanced technique of hydrocyanic acidöfollowing the so-called Bottich procedureöhad been gassed. To this it has to be added that since 1920 a gaseous product, was developed by Flury and others, which preserves the advantages of hydrocyanic acid, its extreme toxicity, and without its disadvantages: the dangerous nonperception of the gas through smell, taste, or other senses by the human faculties (with greater precision, by a group of human beings, since it appears that the perception or nonperception capacity for perceiving hydrocyanic acid is determined genetically). The point of the new invention consisted in adding to the toxic effect of hydrocyanic acid 10% of a highly perceptible irritant gas (such as chloroformic acid methylester, Chlorkohlensauremethylester). The new product was « brought out into the market under the name of Zyklon A, and was recommended for the ``disinfection of insect infested living quarters''. What was interesting about Zyklon A was that it was a designer gas, in which a specific task of design could be exemplarily observed: the reintroduction in the perception of the user of the functions of the product that were not perceptible or had been made imperceptible. Since the essential component of the mix, hydrocyanic gas, which evaporates at 27 8C, was not



immediately perceptible to humans, it seemed to the creators of this substance opportune to lace it with a provocative substance, which through its strong aversive effect would announce the presence of the substance (from a philosophical point of view one could speak of the rephenomenalization of the nonappearing).(14) Let us note that the first `disinfection of great spaces' was carried out almost exactly the same day that the Ypres attack had taken place, two years prior, on the occasion of the fumigation of the mill at Heidingsfeld, near Wurburg, on 21 April 1917. Between the death of Goethe and the « introduction of the word GroÞraumentwesung (`disinfection of great space') in the German language only eighty-five years had passed; the expressions `Entmottung' (industrial cleaning) and `Entrattung' (literally getting rid of rats), since then, have enriched the German lexicon. The owner of the mill declared that his establishment remained completely `free of mites' even a long time after the fumigation. The civil production of hydrocyanic acid clouds was reduced almost exclusively to reconstructed enclosed spaces (some of the exceptions were freestanding orchards, which were covered with tents and then gassed). In such cases one could work with concentrations that would allow the providers of such services to assure the complete extermination of the local population of insects, including their eggs and nits önot least because of the properties of hydrocyanic acid, which could slip into every nook and cranny. In the first phase of these practices, the relation between the special air sectionöthat is, the specific volume to be fumigated öand general air, the public

Spharen III page 114. Zyklon can be found in Auschwitz. « a view to the fact that such additives would have been counterproductive for the purposes of human extermination, a variant of Zyklon B without the additive was provided to the hygiene sections of Auschwitz, Oranienburg, and other camps (Kalthoff and Werner, 1998, page 162f ).
(14) With


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atmosphere, was not considered problematic. The consequence was that the final stage of fumigation normally consisted simply in ventilationöthat is to say, in the dilution of the toxic gas in the open air until reaching `harmless values'. No one was concerned that the `ventilation' (Entluftung) of the first spaces would lead to a consequence in the second. It seemed a priori indisputable, and established for all time, the indifference of the internal fumigated spaces in relation to the external nonfumigated air. The specialized bibliography of the field notes, not without pride, in the first years of the 1940s, noted that meanwhile 142 million cubic meters had been `disinfected' (entwest), usingöand, we would add, introducing without protection into the atmosphereöfor the task 1.5 million kg of hydrocyanic acid. With the progressive development of the environmental problem, the sense of the relation between the surrounding air and the special air zone was inverted, since now the artificially establishedöand we would say, meanwhile, acclimatizedözone offered privileged conditions of air, while the environs are loaded with an increasing respiratory risk that may lead to acute unbreathability and chronic inhabitability. During the 1920s a series of disinfecting and pest control companies from the north of Germany offered routine fumigations with Zyklon for boats, storage facilities, motels, train carriages, and similar spaces. Among these, beginning in 1924, was the recently established company Tesch & Stabenow (Testa) of Hamburg, whose principal product, patented in 1926, had reached popularity under the name of Zyklon B (see Kalthoff and Werner, 1998, pages 56f and 241). The fact is that one of the founders of the firm, Dr Bruno Tesch, born 1890, worked from 1915 to 1920 at Fritz Haber's chemical ^ military institute, and had been busy since the beginning of the war developing war gasses; he was condemned to death after having been tried before the British military tribunal in the Curio-Haus in 1946 and executed in the prison at Hameln. This specific case confirms, additionally, the broadly expanded personal and objective continuity of the new antiseptic (Entwesungspraktiken) practices beyond war and peace. The advantage of Zyklon B, invented and developed by Dr Walter Heerdt, was that the hydrocyanic acid, which is very volatile, could be absorbed by transferable substances, dry and porous, such as infusorial earth (Kieselgur), thus decisively improving the conditions both of its transport and storage, compared with those offered by its liquid form. It appeared in the market in cans of 200 g, 500 g, 1 kg, and 5 kg. Already Zyklon B ö which was at first was exclusively produced in Dessau (later also at Kolin), and was commercialized, in cooperation, by the Testa firm and the German Society for the Struggle Against Parasites ö had reached a situation of near-monopoly in the world market for pest control, a position that can only be matched in the field of the fumigation of boats by the competition of an older procedure with sulphur gas (Kalthoff and Werner, 1998, pages 45 ^ 102). At that time the antiseptic practice of delousing, whether stationary or mobile, or of using `disinfection rooms' (Entwesungskammern)öinto which the materials to be treated were placed, such as carpets, uniforms, and textiles of every type, including upholstered furniture, to then be airedöhad already been introduced. After the beginning of the war in autumn 1939 the firm of Testa offered small courses of disinfection in the East for the members of the armed forces and the civilian population. In these courses they also had included demonstrations of the gas room. Again, as before, the delousing of troops as well as prisoners of war constituted a more urgent task for the fighters against vermin. In the shift from 1941 to 1942 the firm Tesch & Stabenow edited for its clientsöamong which stood out, among others, the Eastern German army and the SSöa pamphlet with the title ``The small Testa-primer for Zyklon'' (Die kleine Testa-Fibel uber Zyklon), in which could be found symptomatic « expressions of the militarization of the `procedures of disinfection', perhaps even a



possible reapplication of hydrocyanic acid in human environments. There it is claimed, for example, that disinfection ``corresponds not only to the imperative of prudence, but also represents a necessary act of defense!'' (Kalthoff and Werner, 1998, page 109). In a medical context, this could be interpreted as a reference to the typhus epidemic that had broken out in 1941 in the Eastern German army, this is in which almost 10% of the infected died; this is in contrast with the normal rate of mortality of 30%, and thus a complete triumph of German hygiene, given that the provoking agent of the typhus fever, Rickettsia prowazcki, is transmitted by cloth lice. In light of the posterior events, one can understand how with the juridical terminus technicus `necessary defense' (Notwehr), at a semantic level, the potential reapproximation of the technique of fumigation to the realm of human objects was anticipated. Only a few months later, it became evident that the atmotechnical form of the extermination of organisms would have to discover applications to environments with human dwellers. When in 1941 and 1942 some articles by the firm's own historians of chemistry celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first use of hydrocyanic acid in the struggle against parasites as an event of relevance for the entire cultural world, their authors did not know yet to what an extent their opportunistic hyperbole would have significant results for the diagnostic determination of the civilizational context in general. The year 1924 plays an important role in the drama of atmospheric explication, not only because of the establishment of the firm that produced Zyklon Bönamely, Tesch & Stabenow of Hamburg. It is also the year in which the atmoterrorist motive of exterminating organisms through the destruction of their environment was introduced in the penal code of a democratic state. The state of Nevada in the United States began the use of the first `civil' gas chamber (Gaskammer) for the purpose of supposedly efficient executions of humans on 8 February 1924. This served as an example for other US states, among them California, which became famous because of its octagonal, bicameral gas chamber that resembled a crypt, in the San Quentin penitentiary, and sadly well known because of the possible legal assassination in it of Cheryl Chessman on 2 May 1960. The first person to be executed with this new method was Gee Jon, 29 years old, born in China, who (against the background of the gang wars in California in the early 1920s) had been found guilty of the killing of the Chinese Tom Quong Kee. In the USA's gas chambers, criminals died through the inhalation of hydrocyanic acid vapors, which were produced after the introduction of toxic elements in a container. As the chemical ^ military research had recognized in the laboratory and as was proven in the battlefield, gas prevents the transport of oxygen in the blood, thus producing internal asphyxiation. The international community of experts of toxic gas and the design of atmospherespheres was, since the last years of the First World War, sufficiently permeable so as to be able to react within the minimal span of timeöas much on this side of the Atlantic as transatlanticallyöto the technical innovations as well as to the fluctuations in the moral climate of their application. Since the construction of the Edgewood arsenal near Baltimoreöa gigantic installation dedicated to military research, which after the entry into the war in 1917 was energetically expanded with great meansöthe United States had at its disposal an academic ^ military ^ industrial complex that allowed closer cooperation among the different departments of weapons development than was present in the corresponding European institutions. Edgewood was one of the places of the birth of teamwork; this was in any case superseded by the dream team of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which since 1943, like a meditation camp for exterminism, worked on the atom bomb. As a result of the waning of war conjuncture after 1918, what mattered to the Edgewood teams, made up of scientists, officers, and entrepreneurs, was to find civil forms of survival. The inventor of the gas chamber


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Spharen III page 118. Gas chamber of the Nevada State Prison in Carson City, 1926. «

in the state prison of Nevada, in Carson City, D A Turner, had served during the war as commander of the medical corps of the US army; his contribution consisted in transferring the experiences of the military use of hydrocyanic acid to conditions of civil execution. As opposed to the application of poisonous gas in open air, its use in a chamber offered the advantage of eliminating the problem of unstable deadly concentrations in unconfined sites. With this, before the invention of the gas chamber and apparatus, the production of toxic clouds was relegated to the background. But the fact that the relation between chamber and cloud could become problematic is shown not only in the accidents that took place during the executions by gas chamber in the United States, but also in the different unfolding of the Sarin attacks in the various Tokyo metro lines on 20 March 1995. Both demonstrate that the ideal conditions of the controlled relation between toxic gas and spatial volume are not easy to establish empirically.(15) This holds as much for the authors of the attacks that proceeded with greater professionalism as for those of the Aum Shrinrikyo sect, who deposited their plastic bags with prepared Sarin, wrapped in newspaper, on the floor of the subway cars, and punctured them with the filed metal points of umbrellas, before arriving at the station in which they got off, while the passengers who continued their voyage inhaled the poison that emanated from the bags (see Murakami, 2001).(16) What assures the justice of granting Nevada a place in the history of the explication of the human dependence on the atmosphere is its serene, and yet anticipatory, sensibility for the modern qualities of death by gas. In this field, what promotes the ties of humanity with great efficiency can count as modern öin the given case, the presumed reduction of suffering of the sentenced by the rapid action of the poison. Major Turner had recommended his gas chamber as a milder alternative to the then notorious electric chair, through which strong electric currents could melt the brain of the delinquents under a cap of wetted rubber closely tied to the head. In the idea of execution
(15) The combat gas Sarin (T144) was synthesized in 1938 in the research department of I G Farben, directed by Dr Gerhard Schrader. Its toxicity amounted to more than thirty times that of hydrocyanic acid; at the time of exposition, a gram of Sarin would suffice to kill up to 1000 people. (16) Josef Haslinger has provided an Austro-terrorist variant of these events: in Haslinger (1995), he plays out the notion that a building of the proportions of the Vienna State Opera might be transformed by a group of criminals into a large gas chamber.



by gas is manifested the fact that not only war acts as an explicit marker of things; the same effect follows so frequently from an unapologetic humanism, which since the middle of the 19th century has constituted the spontaneous American philosophy and has become pragmatism in its academic form. In its will to unify the effective with the painless, this way of thinking is not to be misled by execution protocols, which speak of torment for many of the delinquents in gas chambers, descriptions that are so drastic that one is led to think that there has been produced, in the 20th century, in the United States, under humanitarian pretexts, a regression to the tortures of medieval executions. For the official perception of things, death by gas will have to be held until further notice as a procedure that is practical as well as humane; from this point of view, the gas chamber in Nevada was a place of worship of pragmatic humanism. Its installation was dictated by that sentimental law of modernity that prescribes maintaining public space free of acts of manifest cruelty. No one has expressed with such pregnancy as has Elias Canetti the compulsion of the modern to hide the cruel aspects of its own operation: ``The sum total of sensibility in the world of culture has become very large ... today it would be more difficult to sentence a singular human being to public burning than to unleash a world war'' (Canetti, 1981, page 23). The penal technically (straftechnisch) innovative idea of execution in a gas chamber presupposes the complete control over the difference between the lethal internal climate of the chamber and the external climateöa motive that is made concrete in the installation of glass windowed execution cells, through which invited witnesses to the executions could be convinced of the efficacy of the atmospheric conditions in the interior of the chamber. Thus is installed spatially a type of ontological difference: the lethal climate in the interior of the chamber clearly defined, meticulously made hermetic, and the convivial climate of the vital ^ worldly realm of the executioners and observers: to be (Sein) and to-be-able (Seinkonnen) to be outside, to exist « (Seiendes) and not-to-be-able (Nicht-Seinkonnen) to be inside. In this context, to be an « observer means as much as to be an observer of an agony, endowed with the privilege of continuing ö from outside ö the collapse of an `organic' system by the fact that its `environment' has been turned unlivable. The doors of the gas chambers in the German extermination camps were also equipped with glass windows that allowed the executioners to make use of their privilege as observers. If it is a matter of considering the administration of death as a production in a strict sense and, consequently, of making explicit the processes that result from the existing corpses of the dead, the Nevada gas chamber represents one of the military milestones of rational exterminism of the 20th century, although its use and imitation in numerous other states of the United States may have been sporadic (the chamber of Carson City was used 32 times between 1924 and 1979). When Heidegger spoke, in 1927, in Being and Time, with ontological ceremoniousness about the existential characteristic of being-towards-death (Seins-zum-Tode), American prison officers and medical executioners had already put in operation an apparatus that made the breathing-towards-death (Atmen-zum-Tode) an ontically controlled procedure. It is not a matter of `rushing forward' (Vorlaufen) towards one's own death; now it concerns holding the candidate in the lethal air-trap. What matters here is not to reproduce in detail how the coexisting gas chambers in the 1930s are fused to one another on both sides. It is enough to hold on to the stage or processor of this fusion that was a certain SS intelligence, which, on the one hand, received confirmation from the German industry for the antiparasite struggle, and, on the other, could be assured of the order received, coming from the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, to select `unusual methods' (ungewohnlicher Mittel ), especially after the deci« sion made then by Hitler of the `final solution of the Jewish question' (Endlosung der «


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Judenfrage)öa secret decision communicated by word of mouth, which from the summer of 1941 became the order of the day in select SS units. Charged with this task, which left ample margin for their initiative, Hitler's most faithful helpers set out on their homicidal path of their fulfillment of duty. The systematic killing of prisoners of war with the help of motor exhaust gases (in the Belzec, Chelmno, and other camps), as well as the extensive killings of German psychiatric patients with gas showers installed on trucks, acted as a catalyst for the union of the idea of the antiparasite struggle with the execution of human beings by means of hydrocyanic acid gas. The Hitler factor enters into play, as a moment of escalation, at this relatively late point of the explication of the background atmospheric realities of technically supported terrorism. There can be little doubt that the extreme exacerbation of the German exterminist `Jewish politics' was mediated by the metaphorics of parasites ö that had since the first years of the 1920s constituted an essential component of the rhetoric of the National Socialist Party öwhich Hitler had coined and which since 1933 was elevated, so to say, to a category of official idiomatic regulation in the standardized German public sphere. The pseudo-normalizing effect of the way of speaking of `parasites of the people' (Volksschadlingen) (which covered a wide semantic field, « including defeatism, the black market, jokes against the Fuhrer, critics of the system, « and those with internationalist convictions) was coresponsible for the fact that the demagogs of the national movement could if not popularize its idiosyncratic form of excessive anti-Semitism as a specific German creation of supposed hygiene then at least make it bearable or imitable on a broad base. The metaphorics of insects and parasites belonged also, at the same time, to the rhetorical ammunition of Stalinism, which produced the most comprehensive politics of camp terror, without reaching the extremes of the `disinfection' (Entwesung) praxis of the SS. At the center of the production of gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz, and other camps, was unequivocally the real metaphor of the `antiparasite struggle'. The expression of `special treatment' (Sonderbehandlung) meant, above all, the direct application of procedures of extermination of insects to human populations. The practical transformation of this metaphorical operation reached even to the use of the most common means for the `disinfection', Zyklon B, as well as to the use, analogously fanatical, of gas chambers in many places. In the extreme pragmatism of the executors, the psychotic operation of a metaphor and the equanimity of the official execution of measures converged with one another, without any friction. Holocaust research has recognized, with good reason, the fusion of homicidal madness and routine as the brandname of Auschwitz. The fact that Zyklon B, apparently, was brought in most cases to the concentration camps in Red Cross vehicles corresponds, similarly, to the hygienic and medical tendency of the measures, as well as to the need to camouflage the perpetrators. In the specialized journal Der praktische Desinfektor (The practical disinfector) a military doctor spoke in 1941 of Jews as almost the only `carriers of epidemics', which in the broader temporal context presupposed an almost conventional pronouncement but against the background of such a precise moment expressed a barely codified threat. An aphoristic diary entry of Goebbels's ministry of propaganda of the Reich, on 2 November of the same year, confirms the stable association between the entomological and political fields of representation: ``The Jews are the lice of civilized humanity'' (quoted in Aly, 1995, page 374).(17) This entry shows that Goebbels communicated with himself as an agitator before a multitude. Evil, like stupidity, is autohypnosis.
(17) Hate

speech utterances of this sort are only recently being adequately analyzed in linguistic and moral philosophical ways (see Butler, 1997).



In January of 1942, in a remodeled farmhouse (named Bunker I), within the premises of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, two gas chambers were installed and `put to work'. It soon became obvious that their capacity would have to be expanded. New facilities were added in quick succession. On the night of 13 ^ 14 March 1943, 1492 Jews from the Krakow Ghetto who were `incapable of working' (arbeitsunfahige) were gassed « in the mortuary basement I of crematorium II of Auschwitz. A concentration of approximately 20 g of hydrocyanic acid per cubic meter of air was produced by using 6 kg of Zyklon B, as was recommended by Degesch for delousing. During the summer the mortuary basement of crematorium III was outfitted with a gas hermetic door and fourteen simulacra of showers. At the beginning of the summer of 1944 technical advancement made its entry into Auschwitz with the installation of a shortwave electric device developed by Siemens for the delousing of work clothes and uniforms. The Commanding General of the SS, Himmler, in November of that year ordered the cessation of killings by poisonous gas. According to reliable low estimates, up to that moment 750 000 human beings had been sacrificed through these treatments; the real numbers could be higher. During the winter of 1944 ^ 1945, camp troops and prisoners were busy destroying the traces of the gas-terrorist installations, before the arrival of the Allied troops. Within the firms Degesch (Frankfurt), Tesch & Stabenow (Hamburg), and Heerdt-Linger (Frankfurt), which had provided their product to the camps knowing their anticipated use, it was understood that business documents had to be destroyed.
References Aly G, 1995 Endlosung: Volkerverschiebungen und der Mord an der europaischen Juden (Fischer, « « « Frankfurt am Main) Broch H, 1976 Der Tod der Vergil (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt) Butler J, 1997 Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative (Routledge, New York) Camus A, 1992 The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt translated by A Bower (Vintage, New York) Canetti E, 1981 Das Gewissen der Worte (Fischer, Frankfurt am Main) Ferguson N, 1998 The Pity of War: Explaining World War 1 (Allen Lane, London) Ferguson N, 2001 Der falsche Krieg: der Erste Weltkrieg und das 20. Jahrhundert (DTV, Munchen) « Fest J, 2002 Hitler (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York) Friedrich J, 1993 Das Gesetz des Krieges: das deutsche Heer in RuÞland 1941 ^ 1945. Der ProzeÞ gegen das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Piper, Munchen) « ë Gellermann G, 1986 Der Krieg, der nicht stattfand: Moglichkeiten, Uberlegungen und Entscheidungen « der deutschen Obersten Fuhrung zur Verwendung chemischer Kampfstoffe im Zweiten Weltkrieg « (Bernard und Graefe, Koblenz) Hamblyn R, 2002 The Discovery of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies (Picador, New York) Hanslian R (Ed.), 1935 Der chemische Krieg 3rd edition (Mittler und Sohn, Berlin) Haslinger J, 1995 Opernball (Fischer, Frankfurt am Main) Hegel G W F, 1979 Phenomenology of Spirit translated by A V Miller (Oxford University Press, Oxford) Kalthoff J, Werner M, 1998 Die Handler des Zyklon B (VSA, Hamburg) « Lepick O, 1998 La Grande Guerre Chimique: 1914 ^ 1918 (Presses Universitaires de France, Paris) Martinetz D, 1996 Der Gaskrieg 1914 ^ 1918: Entwicklung, Einsatz und Herstellung chemischer Kampfstoffe: das Zusammenwirken von militarischer Fuhrung, Wissenschaft und Industrie « « (Bernard und Graefe, Bonn) è Mordacq J-J H, 1933 Le Drame de l'Yser (Editions des Portiques, Paris) Muhlmann H, 2004 The Nature of Cultures: A Blueprint for a Theory of Culture Genetics translated « by R Payne (Springer, New York) Murakami H, 2001 Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche (Vintage, London) Shakespeare W, 2004 The Merchant of Venice (Signet, New York)

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