EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

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Re: EG B. Breakout of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by stcamp » 12 Jan 2009 15:08

Hello,

It was Reel 10. I am posting the cover page. Documents came for USHMM. See above if you want to cite. The actual document is a 28 page report. I will post the entire report if there is interest. This is a part of it. The entire file, I have, is approx 214 pages.

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Re: EG B. Breakout of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by stcamp » 12 Jan 2009 15:10

continuation
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Re: EG B. Breakout of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by stcamp » 12 Jan 2009 15:16

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Re: EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by stcamp » 13 Jan 2009 01:18

Since David added the link to the entire document, including some translations, I am not going to post the rest. I will add a link to pages (248) that I scanned from the same reel this week for those who are interested.

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Re: EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by stcamp » 13 Jan 2009 16:17

The link to reel 10 documents - approx 20MB

http://thegermanpolice.com/research/eg/ ... reel10.pdf
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Re: EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by Qvist » 05 Apr 2009 21:27

A more pertinent question is why the clerk in EG B who compiled the data on which the report at issue was composed by RSHA staff in Berlin used the word "Gaswagen" rather than the official designations "Spezialwagen", "Sonderwagen" or "S-Wagen", as used for example by Rauff in his technical report.
An even more pertinent question would be what else the term "Gaswagen" might plausibly refer to?
As stated, I am ready to be corrected on this point. If there are other examples of the use of the word "Gaswagen" in official German reports as a designation for vehicles converted to homicidal gas-chambers, then we can be fairly certain that the two vehicles with the registration numbers Pol 71 462 and Pol 71 457 were such. That would mean that at some point the compilers of the reports from the field abandoned the official designations and began using a colloquial term devoid of camouflage, for some unknown reason.
If they did, it would be far from unusual. Speaking as someone who has gone through a good few hundred thousand pages of German documentation, I would say that colloquialism and deviation from official terminology is a fairly constant feature of it. For instance, there is a quite large number of things that could be referred to by reports referring to "Kampfstärke" or "Gefechtsstärke", despite the fact that these were terms that were quite precisely defined. Conversely, reports that in fact provide Kampfstärke might refer to this as "Kampfkraft der Divisione", "Bataillonsstärken", "Infanteriestärken" and a large number of other terms. Eastern volunteer units are variously referred to as "Osteinheiten", "landeseigene Verbände", "Freiwillige" and more.

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Re: EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by stcamp » 06 Apr 2009 00:57

Qvist,

While I have not read that many pages of documentation, I would agree. Just from reading the message traffic sent to RFSS Kommando Stab it becomes apparent that terms, or words, differed based on the units reporting. Some, especially the 300 series PB's stated outright that they executing or liquidating civillians. Other PB's were far more cautious in what they said.

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Re: EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by Sergey Romanov » 09 Sep 2016 18:31

Indeed, as someone posting under pseudonym "michael mills" points out, I posted the original document back in 2006 and was the first to do so.

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... s-gas.html

Contrary to "michael mills", the matter is as clear as day that a homicidal gas van was meant, and I have just posted even more new evidence on that score at http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... cidal.html

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Re: EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by steve248 » 09 Sep 2016 20:38

Sergey

There were rumours that a Gaswagen appeared at Ravensbrück concentration camp in 1945. Some of the prisoners described a similar grey-painted, small box van.

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Re: EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by Sergey Romanov » 09 Sep 2016 21:00

Steve, it's interesting. Could you provide more details?

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Re: EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by michael mills » 10 Sep 2016 02:18

It is unlikely that any mobile gas chambers were still in existence as late as 1945. If they had been, it is probable that at least one them would have fallen into the hands of the rapidly advancing Red Army. But the historical fact is that no German vehicle that was undoubtedly used as a mobile gas chamber was ever found.

The conclusion must be that all vehicles that had been converted to mobile gas chambers (by the installation of a closed, airtight boxlike structure onto normal truck chassis and an attachment to the exhaust pipe to convey the exhaust gas to the interior of the boxlike structure) had been eliminated well before the end of the war. The vehicles may have been destroyed, or converted back to normal trucks by removing the homicidal attachments.

The mobile gas chambers, originally produced for moving from place to place on the Eastern Front, had proved to be rather inefficient tools for ongoing homicidal actions being carried out over a wide area as they were constantly breaking down or developing leaks. As Christopher Browning has pointed out, the so-called "gas vans" were only able to operate efficiently for homicidal operations on a large scale when they were concentrated at a single location as at the Chelmno extermination camp, and did not have to travel over long distances. On the Eastern Front, the mobile gas-chambers were only an auxiliary homicidal device, and shooting remained far and away the major method of carrying out large-scale killing actions.

Given the relative inefficiency of the mobile gas chambers, there would have been an incentive to discontinue their use and to convert them back into normal trucks.

Once knowledge of the existence of vehicles being used as mobile gas chambers began to spread, there was a tendency for local people to suspect any truck with a closed container of being one of the feared "dushegubki", and there can be little doubt that there were cases of normal trucks being wrongly identified as mobile gas chambers. One example of such misidentification is the photograph of a truck with a closed container that appears in many publications as a "gas van".

Thus, accounts of "gas vans" being sighted at various locations as late as 1945 are most probably cases of misidentification.

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Re: EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by steve248 » 10 Sep 2016 07:47

Yet another unfounded speculative post from michael mills who really ought to do some archival research and he could start with these files from the Bundesarchiv Ludwigsburg (the archived files of the Zentrale Stelle):

B162/3460 – AR-Z 94f/59 (1968-2002)
Ermittlungen StA Nürnberg-Fürth 91 Js 13/68 gg. Gebl wg. des Transports von Juden in Gaswagen zu den Exekutionsstätten im Raume Minsk und Baranowitschi in den Jahren 1942/43

B162/4338-4340 – AR-Z 152/59 (1959-1966)
Ermittlungen StA Bremen 6 Js 3/60 gg. K. Schulz, Angehöriger des Stabes der Einsatzgruppe B und Adjutant des Reichskriminaldirektors Nebe, wg. Tötung von Juden und Russen, darunter viele Geisteskranke, in Russland-Mitte im Jahre 1941
Enthält: Ermittlungen StA Stuttgart 19 Js 328/60 gg. Dr. Widmann wg. Gaswagenversuchen in Mogilew

B162/5066-5068 – AR-Z 220/59 (1959-1986)
Beauftragung, Bau und Einsatz von luftdichten Kastenwagen ("Gaswagen") in der Zuständigkeit des Reichssicherheitshauptamtes zu Massentötungen in den Jahren 1941/42
Enthält u.a.:Vermerk StA Hannover 2 Js 299/60 über die Begründung der Außerverfolgungsetzung vom 1.3.1965

B162/4635 – AR-Z 220/59 (1 March 1965)
Anklage StA Hannover 2 Js 299/60 gg. Pradel, Wentritt und Dr. Becker (SA 171)

B162/4776 – AR-Z 311/59 (1959)
Ermittlungen gg. F. Merbach, Verantwortlicher in der Dienststelle des KdS Minsk für den Einsatz von Gaswagen im Jahr 1942

B162/1570-1583 – AR-Z 15/60 (1960-1994)
Tötung von Juden, politischen Funktionären und Geisteskranken, u.a. durch Einsatz von Gaswagen, in Dnjepropetrowsk, Stalino, Rostow, Makejewka, Gorlowka, Schachty u.a.O. durch Angehörige des Einsatzkommandos 6 (Einsatzgruppe C) 1941/1942.
Enthält u.a.: Anklage StA Wuppertal 12 Ks 1/62 gg. Mohr u.A. vom 23.7.1962 (SA 270)
Mehrfertigung StA Darmstadt 2 Js 210/60 gg. Mohr u.A
Ermittlungen nach Dr. Kroeger im Zusammenhang mit dem Strafverfahren StA Wuppertal 12 Js 220/61.
Mehrfertigung StA Wuppertal 12 Js 220/61 gg. Mohr u.A.

B162/5488-5493 – AR 1310/63 (1963-1979)
Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Berlin zu folgenden Sachkomplexen: Beteiligung des RSHA an der "Endlösung"; Einsatzgruppen in der Sowjetunion, Polen sowie den übrigen von Deutschland besetzten Gebieten in Europa und Einsatz von Gaswagen; Ermordung von
Kriegsgefangenen, Zwangsarbeitern, Priestern, Justizhäftlingen oder Angehörigen der "Roten Kapelle". Die Mehrfertigungen der GStA Berlin wurden in Teilvorgänge gegliedert.

B 162/25737 – AR 69/64 (1964)
Ermittlungen ZSt Köln 24 Js 157/64 (Z) gg. E. Bertram, der als Fahrer eines Gaswagens tätig gewesen sein soll

B162/26333 – AR 3300/65 (1965)
Überprüfung der Aussage des B. Kunert, Angehöriger der FK 199, über Judenerschießungen in Gorki sowie über den angeblichen Einsatz von Gaswagen zur Tötung von Partisanen in Roslaw im Jahre 1943

B162/25248 – AR 658/66 (1962-1966)
Ermittlungen ZSt Köln 24 Js 267/63 gg. E. Winchenbach wegen mutmaßlichen Fahrens des Gaswagens nach Auschwitz

B162/25920 – AR 706/66 (1966-1977)
Tötung der im Lager Semlin (Zemun) bei Belgrad festgehaltenen Juden mittels Gaswagen im Frühjahr 1942 sowie anschließende Erschießung eines Beerdigungskommandos auf dem Schießplatz Avelar bei Belgrad
Enthält u.a.: Einstellungsverfg. ZSt Dortmund 45 Js 41/64 gg. Andorfer u.A. vom 23.12.1966

B162/7233 – AR-Z 94/67 (1967-1980)
Tötung von 54 schwerkranken Kindern eines Sanatoriums in Teberda im Bez. Stawropol / Kaukasus (Russland) am 22.11.1942 mittels eines Gaswagens durch Angehörige des Einsatzkommandos 12

B162/27599 – AR-Z 219/59 (1974-2007)
Enthält u.a.: Einstellungsverfg. StA München I 119c Js 12/69 betr. die Tötung tuberkulosekranker Kinder in einem Sanatorium im Gebiet des Teberda-Tals /Kaukasus ab Herbst 1942
Enthält auch: verb. Vg. AR 82/80

B162/7273 – AR-Z 106/67 (1966-1967)
Ermittlungen nach Anzeige der geschiedenen Ehefrau von H.F.J. Lüers, er sei als Fahrer eines Gaswagens eingesetzt gewesen sein

B162/18154-18155 – AR 421/68 (1968)
Materialzusammenstellung über den Einsatz von Gaswagen als Tötungsmethode

B162/17033 – AR 891/68 (1968-1971)
Ermittlungen gg. J. Wendl wg. Teilnahme an Tötungsaktionen als Fahrer eines Gaswagens im Raum Mogilew im Jahre 1942
Enthält u.a.: Urteil LG Wien 20 Vr 1100/65, Hv 27/65-121 vom 9.10.1970

B162/30109 – AR 1495/69 (1969-1971)
Ermittlungen gg. A. Heck u.A. wg. des Verdachts der Tötung von Häftlingen des OT-Arbeitslagers Minsk durch Gaswageneinsatz im Herbst 1942.
Enthält u.a.: Einstellungsverfg. StA München I 117 Js 5-6/71 vom 20.12.1971

B162/29268-29269 – AR 1085/70 (1970-1974

B162/19453 – AR 1085/70 (11 Sept 1973)

B162/14522 – AR 1085/70 (14 June 1974)
Ermittlungen gg. A. Heck u.A. wg. des Verdachts der Tötung von Häftlingen des OT-Arbeitslagers Minsk durch Gaswageneinsatz im Herbst 1942
Enthält u.a.: Einstellungsverfg. StA München I 117 Js 5-6/71 vom 20.12.1971
Enthält u.a.: Abschlussvermerk und Teileinstellungsverfg. vom 15.8.1972
Anklage gg. H. Riedel und J. Meyer vom 11.9.1973
Urteil LG Kiel 2 Ks 2/74 gg. H. Riedel vom 14.6.1974
Urteil BGH 5 StR 21/75 vom 15.4.1975
Anklage StA Kiel 2 Js 477/68 gg. Riedel, Meyer (SA 472)
Urteil LG Kiel 2 Ks 2/74 gg. H. G. G. Riedel (SA 472)
Enthält auch: Urteil BGH 5 StR 21/75 vom 15.4.1975

B162/9378-9379 – AR-Z 23/71 (1964-1971)
Tötung von Juden durch Einsatz von Gaswagen im Lager Kreuzsee bei Reppen, Kreis Weststernberg, 1941 bis 1943.
Bemerkung: Siehe auch AR-Z 22/71. Möglicherweise eine Verwechslung des Lagers Greibensee mit dem Lager Kreuzsee in den Zeugenaussagen.
Bemerkung: Siehe auch AR-Z 22/71.
Möglicherweise eine Verwechslung des Lagers Greibensee mit dem Lager Kreuzsee in den
Zeugenaussagen
Enthält u.a.: Einstellungsverfg. StA Stuttgart 19 Js 4826/76 vom 23.5.1977


In a post above I mentioned rumours about a Gaswagen at FKL Ravensbrück. This comes from a statement by a male prisoner at Ravensbruck (there was a small camp for men at the side of the women's camp), E A Barthel, dated 26 Sept 1968 (B162/448, statements "B", Part 1, unpaginated:
“Gaswagen:
Ich erinnere mich, dass es einen solchen Wagen in [Männer KL] Ravensbrück gab. Es handelte sich hierbei um einen grösseren Lastwagen mit einem grossen geschlossenen Aufbau von etwa 2,50 m Höhe.
Beim Appell wurde die Namen von Häftlingen aufgerufen, die dann anschl. auf diesen Lastwagen verladen wurden. Nach wenigen Tagen kamen die Effekten zurück, wodurch bekannt wurde, dass diese Häftlinge vergast worden waren
Wie diese Vergasung vor sich ging, weiss ich nicht mit Sicherheit. Nach m.E. habe ich von diesem Gaswagen ab Mitte 1942 nichts mehr gehört.”


As regards the use of Gaswagens in the Soviet Union, Einsatzgruppe D operated two Gaswagens in the Caucasus, July to December 1942. They were regularly taken into the countryside, to remote villages to find and gas local Jews. They regularly went to psychiatric hospitals and sanatorium to gas children and adults, not necessarily Jews, mentally or physically handicapped. Over ten thousand people were gassed in this way and more that number shot. One Gaswagen broke down during the retreat from the Caucasus and had to be blown up to stop the Russians knowing what it was.
The other Gaswagen was taken by Einsatzgruppe D in the retreat from the Caucasus back to Lemberg, a thousand miles on Russian roads. Seems some were more robust that others.

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Re: EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by Sergey Romanov » 10 Sep 2016 09:29

Thank you, Steve!

As for the fate of the GVs, as you pointed out, some were destroyed. Some however were used as transport vehicles (e.g. by certain SK1005 units). In fact they had to be modified in order to allow some air for the people (usually Jews) inside so they wouldn't be asphyxiated at night. A Russian lover of Kurt Christmann (EK10a) told in a postwar interview how she had to ride inside a gas van (and about her interactions with the drivers) during the retreat.

I suppose all of these vehicles could have been destroyed, but maybe some were simply kept in a newly modified form as normal vans, without anyone suspecting anything.

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Re: EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by michael mills » 10 Sep 2016 11:35

I suppose all of these vehicles could have been destroyed, but maybe some were simply kept in a newly modified form as normal vans, without anyone suspecting anything.
That is exactly what I wrote.

In the first place, there was probably never a large number of them, eg there were three operating at the Chelmno extermination centre, two in the Caucasus, each EG appears to have had at least one and one was sent temporarily to Belgrade.

In the second place, it was relatively easy to convert gas-vans to normal use by removing the specific homicidal adaptations, eg the hose leading from the exhaust pipe to the interior of the container (Kasten), closing up the hole in the floor of the container through which the exhaust gas was piped in, or perhaps even removing the entire converted container and replacing it with a normal one.

As for the accounts by various people, both German personnel and prisoners, of being transported in "gas vans", it is likely that the vehicles in question were gas vans that had been converted back to normal use, or perhaps had never been used homicidally at all. As I wrote, once the existence of gas vans became known, there was a tendency to suspect any truck with an enclosed container of being a homicidal "dushegubka". Soviet propaganda for example presented the homicidal gas van as being the major German instrument for killing "peaceful Soviet citizens", until the discovery of the extermination camps.

The upshot is that not every German truck that looked like a furniture van was a homicidal instrument. For example, the German armed forces possessed vehicles with a hermetically sealed container for the purpose of transporting infected corpses to a place of disposal; they had a code name, but I have forgotten it. It was in fact containers produced for the transportation of infected corpses that the mechanics of the RSHA vehicle park converted to homicidal instruments by attaching a hose connecting the exhaust pipe to the interior of the container.

As for the gas vans proving inefficient on the Eastern Front, I was basing myself on the extensive article by Christopher Browning, who came t5o that conclusion. He concluded that they became an efficient homicidal instrument when used at a stationary killing centre such as Chelmno, where they did not have to travel long distances. Maly Trostinets could have been another stationary killing centre where gas vans could be used efficiently.

It seems to me that a lot of the misapprehension about the use of gas vans has arisen from the rather prejudicial claim that German personnel were deeply disturbed by the large-scale shooting actions in which they participated, and that homicidal gassing was introduced as a means of avoiding that psychological disturbance. In fact, there is evidence that German personnel on the Eastern Front actually preferred shooting as a means of killing "enemies", since they considered shooting to be more "soldierly", whereas they considered the gas vans to be a dirty and "unsoldierly" killing methodology, and soon stopped using them. Whatever the case, shooting was never replaced as the main method of mass killing on the Eastern Front, which suggests that the psychological effect on the shooters was not as deleterious as claimed, for example by Bach-Zelewski.

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Re: EG B. Breakdown of Vehicles incl. Gaswagons

Post by Sergey Romanov » 10 Sep 2016 12:13

It is true that general population's descriptions should be treated with skepticism; the witnesses I'm talking about, however, were in a position to know that specifically the gas vans were used. They either rode inside the vans and saw the remaining contraptions, later describing them at length, like witness Pilunov, a 1005 forced worker, did in 1944; were in a position to know a gas van from a non-gas van due to their connections to the Nazis, like "Tomka", Christmann's lover, who not only rode inside such a van, interacted with its drivers, but also had seen it in action earlier; or were in a position to know because of who they were (like Hans Sohns, who testified about modification of a gas van by adding ventilation openings so that it could be used as a transport vehicle).

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