Auschwitz-Birkenau

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Auschwitz-Birkenau

Post by Wiking » 18 Mar 2002 21:17

This thread is made for all material and documents, concerning the EC Auschwitz-Birkenau. No talking about Revisionism, please do that in a special thread !
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Post by Wiking » 18 Mar 2002 21:22

The Testimony of Rudolf Hoess, IMT Nuremburg 1946

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Rudolf Hoess born in 1900, , joined the SS in 1933, and eventually commanded the massive extermination center of Auschwitz, whose name has come to symbolize humanity's ultimate descent into evil. This is his signed testimony at the Post-War trials of Major War Criminals held at Nuremburg.


1, RUDOLF FRANZ FERDINAND HOESS, being first duly sworn, depose and say as follows:

1. I am forty­six years old, and have been a member of the NSDAPI since 1922; a member of the SS since 1934; a member of the Waffen­SS since 1939. I was a member from 1 December 1934 of the SS Guard Unit, the so­called Deathshead Formation (Totenkopf Verband).

2. I have been constantly associated with the administration of concentration camps since 1934, serving at Dachau until 1938; then as Adjutant in Sachsenhausen from 1938 to 1 May, 1940, when I was appointed Commandant of Auschwitz. l commanded Auschwitz until 1 December,1943, and estimate that at least 2,500,000 victims were executed and exterminated there by gassing and burning, and at least another half million succumbed to starvation and disease, making a total dead of about 3,000,000. This figure represents about 70% or 80% of all persons sent to Auschwitz as prisoners, the remainder having been selected and used for slave labor in the concentration camp industries. Included among the executed and burnt were approximately 20,000 Russian prisoners of war (previously screened out of Prisoner of War cages by the Gestapo) who were delivered at Auschwitz in Wehrmacht transports operated by regular Wehrmacht officers and men. The remainder of the total number of victims included about 100,000 German Jews, and great numbers of citizens (mostly Jewish) from Holland, France, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Greece, or other countries. We executed about 400,000 Hungarian Jews alone at Auschwitz in the summer of 1944.

4. Mass executions by gassing commenced during the summer 1941 and continued until fall 1944.1 personally supervised executions at Auschwitz until the first of December 1943 and know by reason of my continued duties in the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps WVHA2 that these mass executions continued as stated above. All mass executions by gassing took place under the direct order, supervision and responsibility of RSHA.31 received all orders for carrying out these mass executions directly from RSHA.

6. The "final solution" of the Jewish question meant the complete extermination of all Jews in Europe. l was ordered to establish extermination facilities at Auschwitz in June 1941. At that time there were already in the general govemment three other extermination camps; BELZEK, TREBLINKA and WOLZEK. These camps were under the Einsatzkommando of the Security Police and SD. I visited Treblinka to find out how they carried out their exterminations. The Camp Commandant at Treblinka told me that he had liquidated 80,000 in the course of one­half year. He was principally concerned with liquidating all the Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto. He used monoxide gas and I did not think that his methods were very efficient. So when I set up the extermination building at Auschwitz, l used Cyclon B, which was a crystallized Prussic Acid which we dropped into the death chamber from a small opening. It took from 3 to 15 minutes to kill the people in the death chamber depending upon climatic conditions. We knew when the people were dead because their screaming stopped. We usually waited about one­half hour before we opened the doors and removed the bodies. After the bodies were removed our special commandos took off the rings and extracted the gold from the teeth of the corpses.

7. Another improvement we made over Treblinka was that we built our gas chambers to accommodate 2,000 people at one time, whereas at Treblinka their 10 gas chambers only accommodated 200 people each. The way we selected our victims was as follows: we had two SS doctors on duty at Auschwitz to examine the incoming transports of prisoners. The prisoners would be marched by one of the doctors who would make spot decisions as they walked by. Those who were fit for work were sent into the Camp. Others were sent immediately to the extermination plants. Children of tender years were invariably exterminated since by reason of their youth they were unable to work. Still another improvement we made over Treblinka was that at Treblinka the victims almost always knew that they were to be exterminated and at Auschwitz we endeavored to fool the victims into thinking that they were to go through a delousing process. Of course, frequently they realized our true intentions and we sometimes had riots and difficulties due to that fact. Very frequently women would hide their children under the clothes but of course when we found them we would send the children in to be exterminated. We were required to carry out these exterminations in secrecy but of course the foul and nauseating stench from the continuous burning of bodies permeated the entire area and all of the people living in the surrounding communities knew that exterminations were going on at Auschwitz .

8. We received from time to time special prisoners from the local Gestapo office. The SS doctors killed such prisoners by injections of benzine. Doctors had orders to write ordinary death certificates and could put down any reason at all for the cause of death.

9. From time to time we conducted medical experiments on women inmates, including sterilization and experiments relating to cancer. Most of the people who died under these experiments had been already condemned to death by the Gestapo.

10. Rudolf Mildner was the chief of the Gestapo at Kattowicz and as such was head of the political department at Auschwitz which conducted third degree methods of interrogation from approximately March 1941 until September 1943. As such, he frequently sent prisoners to Auschwitz for incarceration or execution. He visited Auschwitz on several occasions. The Gestapo Court, the SS Standgericht, which tried persons accused of various crimes, such as escaping Prisoners of War, etc., frequently met within Auschwitz, and Mildner often attended the trial of such persons, who usually were executed in Auschwitz following their sentence. l showed Mildner throughout the extermination plant at Auschwitz and he was directly interested in it since he had to send the Jews from his territory for execution at Auschwitz.

I understand English as it is written above. The above statements are true; this declaration is made by me voluntarily and without compulsion; after reading over the statement, I have signed and executed the same at Nurnberg, Germany on the fifth day of April 1946.


Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Hoess, "Affidavit, 5 April 1946," in Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Tribunal, Nuremberg, 14 November 1945­1 October 1946 (Nuremberg: Secretariat of the International Military Tribunal, 1949), Doc. 3868­PS, vol. 33, 275­79.
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Post by Wiking » 18 Mar 2002 21:35

Extract from written evidence of Rudolf Hoss, commander of the Auschwitz Extermination Camp

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In the summer of 1941, I cannot remember the exact date, I was suddenly summoned to the Reichsfuhrer SS,* directly by his adjutant's office. Contrary to his usual custom, Himmler received me without his adjutant being present and said in effect:

"The Fuhrer has ordered that the Jewish question be solved once and for all and that we, the SS, are to implement that order.

The existing extermination centers in the East are not in a position to carry out the large Aktionen which are anticipated. I have therefore earmarked Auschwitz for this purpose, both because of its good position as regards communications and because the are can easily be isolated and camouflaged. At first I thought of calling in a senior SS officer for this job, but I changed my mind in order to avoid difficulties concerning the terms of reference. I have now decided to entrust this task to you. It is difficult and onerous and calls for complete devotion notwithstanding the difficulties that may arise. You will learn further details from Sturmbannfuhrer Eichmann of the Reich Security Main Office who will call on you in the immediate future.

The departments concerned will be notified by me in due course. You will treat this order as absolutely secret, even from your superiors. After you talk with Eichmann you will immediately forward to me the plans for the projected installations.

The Jews are the sworn enemies of the German people and must be eradicated. Every Jew that we can lay our hands on is to be destroyed now during the war, without exception. If we cannot now obliterate the biological basis of Jewry, the Jews will one day destroy the German people."

On receiving these grave instructions, I returned forthwith to Auschwitz, without reporting to my superior at Oranienburg.

Shortly afterwards Eichmann came to Auschwitz and disclosed to me the plans for the operations as they affected the various countries concerned. I cannot remember the exact order in which they were to take place. First was to come the eastern part of Upper Silesia and the neighboring parts of Polish territory under German rule, then, depending on the situation, simultaneously Jews from Germany and Czechoslovakia, and finally the Jews from the West: France, Belgium and Holland. He also told me the approximate number of transports that might be expected, but I can no longer remember these.

We discussed the ways and means of effecting the extermination. This could only be done by gassing, since it would have been absolutely impossible to dispose by shooting of the large numbers of people that were expected, and it would have placed too heavy a burden on the SS men who had to carry it out, especially because of the women and children among the victims.

Eichman told me about the method of killing people with exhaust gases in lorries,** which had previously been used in the East. But there was no question of being able to use this for the mass transports that were due to arrive in Auschwitz. Killing with showers of carbon monoxide while bathing, as was done with mental patients in some places in the Reich, would necessitate too many buildings and it was also very doubtful whether the supply of gas for such a vast number of people would be available. We left the matter unresolved. Eichmann decided to try and find a gas which was in ready supply and which would not entail special installations for its use, and to inform me when he had done so. We inspected the area in order to choose a likely spot. We decided that a peasant farmstead situated in the north-west corner of what later became the third building sector at Birkenau would be the most suitable. It was isolated and screened by woods and hedges, and it was also not far from the railway. The bodies could be placed in long, deep pits dug in the nearby meadows. We had not at that time thought of burning the corpses. We calculated that after gas-proofing the premises then available, it would be possible to kill about 800 people simultaneously with a suitable gas. These figures were borne out later in practice.

Eichman could not then give me the starting date for the operation because everything was still in the preliminary stages and the Reichsfuhrer SS had not yet issued the necessary orders.

Eichman returned to Berlin to report our conversation to the Reichsfuhrer SS.

A few days later I sent to the Reichsfuhrer SS by courier a detailed location plan and description of the installation. I have never received an acknowledgement or a decision on my report. Eichmann told me later that the Reichsfuhrer SS was in agreement with my proposals...

R. Hoss, Commandant of Auschwitz The Autobiography of Rudolf Hoss, London, 1961, pp. 206-208.
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Post by Wiking » 18 Mar 2002 21:48

This document was retrieved from Nizkor. Diary of Hans Frank, then Governor General of Occupied Poland. In a cabinet session on Tuesday, 16 December 1941 in the Government Building at Cracow, Frank made a closing address, as follows.

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"As far as the Jews are concerned, I want to tell you quite frankly that they must be done away with in one way or. another. The Führer said once: 'Should united Jewry again succeed in provoking a world-war, the blood of not only the nations which have been forced into the war by them, will be shed, but the Jew will have found his end in Europe'. I know that many of the measures carried out against the Jews in the Reich at present are being criticized. It is being tried intentionally, as is obvious from the reports on the morale, to talk about cruelty, harshness, etc. Before I continue, I want to beg you to agree with me on the following formula: We will principally have pity on the German people only, and nobody else in the whole world. The others, too, had no pity on us. As an old National-Socialist, I must say: This war would only be a partial success if the whole lot of Jewry would survive it, while we would have shed our best blood in order to save Europe. My attitude towards the Jews will, therefore, be based only on the expectation that they must disappear. They must be done away with. I have entered negotiations to have them deported to the East. A great discussion concerning that question will take place in Berlin in January, to which I am going to delegate the State Secretary Dr. Buehler. That discussion is to take place in the Reich Security Main Office with SS-Lt. General Heydrich. A great Jewish migration will begin, in any case.
"But what should be done with the Jews? Do you think they will be settled down in the 'Ostland', in villages? This is what we were told in Berlin: Why all this bother ? We can do nothing with them either in the 'Ostland' nor in the 'Reich kommissariat'. So liquidate them yourself.

"Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourself of all feeling of pity. We must annihilate the Jews, wherever we find them and wherever it is possible, in order to maintain there the structure of the Reich as a whole. This will, naturally, be achieved by other methods than those pointed out by Bureau Chief Dr. Hummel. Nor can the judges of the Special Courts be made responsible for it, because of the limitations of the framework of the legal procedure. Such outdated views cannot be applied to such gigantic and unique events. We must find at any rate a way which leads to the goal, and my thoughts are working in that direction.

"The Jews represent for us-also extraordinarily malignant gluttons. We have now approximately 2,500,000 of them in the General Government, perhaps with the Jewish mixtures and everything that goes with it, 3,500,000 Jews. We cannot shoot or poison those 3,500,000 Jews, but we shall nevertheless be able to take measures, which will lead, somehow, to their annihilation, and this in connection with the gigantic measures to be determined in discussions from the Reich. The General Government must become free of Jews, the same as the Reich. Where and how this is to be achieved is a matter for the offices which we must appoint and create here. Their activities will be brought to your attention in due course."
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Post by Wiking » 18 Mar 2002 21:53

Report entitled "Resettlement of Jews" written by SS-Sturmbannführer Gricksch for SS-Col. von Herff and Reichsführer-SS Himmler, after inspection of Auschwitz camp on 14-16 May 1943.

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Hitler and the Final Solution - G. Fleming, University of California Press, 1984, p. 142-143:

The Auschwitz camp plays a special role in the resolution of the Jewish question. The most advanced methods permit the execution of the Führer-order in the shortest possible time and without arousing much attention. The so-called "resettlement action" runs the following course: The Jews arrive in special trains (freight cars) toward evening and are driven on special tracks to areas of the camp specifically set aside for this purpose. There the Jews are unloaded and examined for their fitness to work by a team of doctors, in the presence of the camp commandant and several SS officers. At this point anyone who can somehow be incorporated into the work program is put in a special camp. The curably ill are sent straight to a medical camp and are restored to health through a special diet. The basic principle behind everything is: conserve all manpower for work. The previous type of "resettlement action" has been thoroughly rejected, since it is too costly to destroy precious work energy on a continual basis.

The unfit go to cellars in a large house which are entered from outside. They go down five or six steps into a fairly long, well-constructed and well-ventilated cellar area, which is lined with benches to the left and right. It is brightly lit, and the benches are numbered. The prisoners are told that they are to be cleansed and disinfected for their new assignments. They must therefore completely undress to be bathed. To avoid panic and to prevent disturbances of any kind, they are instructed to arrange their clothing neatly under their respective numbers, so that they will be able to find their things again after their bath. Everything proceeds in a perfectly orderly fashion. Then they pass through a small corridor and enter a large cellar room which resembles a shower bath. In this room are three large pillars, into which certain materials can be lowered from outside the cellar room. When three- to four-hundred people have been herded into this room, the doors are shut, and containers filled with the substances are dropped down into the pillars. As soon as the containers touch the base of the pillars, they release particular substances that put the people to sleep in one minute. A few minutes later, the door opens on the other side, where the elevator is located. The hair of the corpses is cut off, and their teeth are extracted (gold-filled teeth) by specialists (Jews). It has been discovered that Jews were hiding pieces of Jewelry, gold, platinum etc., in hollow teeth. Then the corpses are loaded into elevators and brought up to the first floor, where ten large crematoria are located. (Because fresh corpses burn particularly well, only 50-100 lbs. of coke are needed for the whole process.) The job itself is performed by Jewish prisoners, who never step outside this camp again.

The results of this "resettlement action" to date: 500,000 Jews. Current capacity of the "resettlement action" ovens: 10,000 in 24 hours.
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Post by Wiking » 18 Mar 2002 21:58

Testimonies of Auschwitz SS-Men
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From the statement of Hans Stark, registrar of new arrivals, Auschwitz.
Quoted in "'The Good Old Days'" - E. Klee, W. Dressen, V. Riess, The Free Press, NY, 1988, p. 255:

At another, later gassing--also in autumn 1941--Grabner* ordered me to pour Zyklon B into the opening because only one medical orderly had shown up. During a gassing Zyklon B had to be poured through both openings of the gas-chamber room at the same time. This gassing was also a transport of 200-250 Jews, once again men, women and children. As the Zyklon B--as already mentioned--was in granular form, it trickled down over the people as it was being poured in. They then started to cry out terribly for they now knew what was happening to them. I did not look through the opening because it had to be closed as soon as the Zyklon B had been poured in. After a few minutes there was silence. After some time had passed, it may have been ten to fifteen minutes, the gas chamber was opened. The dead lay higgledy-piggedly all over the place. It was a dreadful sight.

* Maximillian Grabner, Head of Political Department, Auschwitz

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Testimony of SS private Hoeblinger.
Extracted from "Der Auschwitz Prozess", by Hermann Langbein, Vol. I, quoted in "Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers - J.C Pressac, the Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, NY, 1989, p. 174:

I was detailed to the transport service and I drove the Sanka [abbreviation for Sanitatskraftwagon/medical truck] which was to carry the prisoners....

Then we drove to the gas chambers. The medical orderlies climbed a ladder, they had gas masks up there, and emptied the cans. I was able to observe the prisoners while they were undressing. It always proceeded quitely and without them suspecting anything. It happened very quickly.

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Testimony of SS private Boeck.
Extracted from "Der Auschwitz Prozess", by Hermann Langbein, Vol. I, quoted in "Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers - J.C Pressac, the Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, NY, 1989, p. 181:

Q: were you present at a gassing operation one day?

A: Yes, it was one evening. I accompanied the driver Hoeblinger. A transport had arrived from Holland and the prisoners had to jump from the wagons. They were well-off Jews. There were women with Persian furs. They arrived by express train. The trucks were already there, with wooden steps before them, and the people climbed aboard. Then they all started off. In the place Birkenau once stood, there was only a long farmhouse (Bunker 2) and beside it four or five big huts. Inside, the people were standing on clothes which were building up on the floor. The block leader and the sergeant, carrying a cane, were there. Hoeblinger said to me 'lets go over there now'. There was a sign 'to disinfection'. He said 'you see, they are bringing children now'. They opened the door, threw the children in and closed the door. There was a terrible cry. A member of the SS climbed on the roof. The people went on crying for about ten minutes. Then the prisoners opened the doors. Everything was in disorder and contorted. Heat was given off. The bodies were loaded on a rough wagon and taken to a ditch. The next batch were already undressing in the huts. After that I didn't look at my wife for four weeks.

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Testimony of SS-Unterscharfuehrer Pery Broad, describing gassing in Krema I in Auschwitz.
Quoted in "KL Auschwitz as Seen by the SS", p. 176:

... The "disinfectors" were at work. One of them was SS-Unterscharführer Teuer, decorated with the Cross of War Merit. With a chisel and a hammer they opened a few innocuously looking tins which bore the inscription "Cyclon, to be used against vermin. Attention, poison! to be opened by trained personnel only!". The tins were filled to the brim with blue granules the size of peas. Immediately after opening the tins, their contents was thrown into the holes which were then quickly covered. Meanwhile Grabner gave a sign to the driver of a lorry, which had stopped close to the crematorium. The driver started the motor and its deafening noise was louder than the death cries of the hundreds of people inside, being gassed to death.
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Post by Wiking » 18 Mar 2002 22:01

From a Speech by Frank on the Extermination of the Jews, December 16, 1941

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One way or another - I will tell you that quite openly - we must finish off the Jews. The Fuehrer put it into words once: should united Jewry again succeed in setting off a world war, then the blood sacrifice shall not be made only by the peoples driven into war, but then the Jew of Europe will have met his end. I know that there is criticism of many of the measures now applied to the Jews in the Reich. There are always deliberate attempts to speak again and again of cruelty, harshness, etc.; this emerges from the reports on the popular mood. I appeal to you: before I now continue speaking first agree with me on a formula: we will have pity, on principle, only for the German people, and for nobody else in the world. The others had no pity for us either. As an old National-Socialist I must also say that if the pack of Jews (Judensippschaft) were to survive the war in Europe while we sacrifice the best of our blood for the preservation of Europe, then this war would still be only a partial success. I will therefore, on principle, approach Jewish affairs in the expectation that the Jews will disappear. They must go. I have started negotiations for the purpose of having them pushed off to the East. In January there will be a major conference on this question in Berlin,* to which I shall send State Secretary Dr. Buehler. The conference is to be held in the office of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich at the Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt). A major Jewish migration will certainly begin.

But what should be done with the Jews? Can you believe that they will be accommodated in settlements in the Ostland? In Berlin we were told: why are you making all this trouble? We don't want them either, not in the Ostland nor in the Reichskommissariat; liquidate them yourselves! Gentlemen, I must ask you to steel yourselves against all considerations of compassion. We must destroy the Jews wherever we find them, and wherever it is at all possible, in order to maintain the whole structure of the Reich... The views that were acceptable up to now cannot be applied to such gigantic, unique events. In any case we must find a way that will lead us to our goal, and I have my own ideas on this.

The Jews are also exceptionally harmful feeders for us. In the Government-General we have approximately 2.5 million [Jews], and now perhaps 3.5 million together with persons who have Jewish kin, and so on. We cannot shoot these 3.5 million Jews,** we cannot poison them, but we will be able to take measures that will lead somehow to successful destruction; and this in connection with the large-scale procedures which are to be discussed in the Reich. The Government-General must become as free of Jews as the Reich. Where and how this is to be done is the affair of bodies which we will have to appoint and create, and on whose work I will report to you when the time comes
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