Gas Chambers at KL Natzweiler

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Post by xcalibur » 26 Jun 2004 03:06

Lucius Felix Silla wrote:Dear Mr. (Dr.) xcalibur,

OK, i was wrong about Dr. August Hirt. No problem to concede this. I'm not perfect. Also my english isn't perfect, exactly as, i suspect, Your latin french, german, italianor spanish. Surely Your knownledge of german crematoria is really poor. Nobody is perfect. But the problem of the gas chamber of Natzweiler is still intact. I don't have yet see any single proof.
And You're wrong when You say that i will deny all evidence. When You or others will provide to my good material i can acknowledged my errors or change my mind. On some aspects (as Einsatzgruppen activity on eastern front) i don't have ever denied the historical truth of these horrible massacres. On other aspects of the Holocaust, i'm skeptic. It's a crime?

Best Regards


Fair enough.

1) Perhaps you think my intention in calling attention to anguage deficits as mean-spirited. I assure you it was not, as you pointed out we all have them when working between and amongst languages not our own. hen quoting a previous post or other material I always attempt to render it "thusly" and thereby ensure accuracy of meaning.

2) Actually, no, my understanding of German crematoria is not "poor". However, having re-read my posts on the subject I will agree that they were rather poor.

3) As to Natzweiler, I have read very little about this particular camp over the years and it seems that the allegations of a gas chamber there are somewhat new to me. Many of the websites suggest that Dr. Hirt killed, or caused to be killed, the subjects of his skeletal collection in a gas chamber at Natzweiler. I have also read many years ago that these subjects were killed by phenol injection to the heart (will try to find the source). To be sure they were indeed killed. By what means, remains, to my mind, to be seen.

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Post by Lucius Felix Silla » 26 Jun 2004 07:09

Dear Mr. xcalibur,

I appreciate spirit and tone of Your reply: You looks an honest and objective person! :)

I believe that proofs on supposed Natzweiler-Struthof gas chamber are very scarces and contradicted by other evidence: see my back post.

Best Regards


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Post by David Thompson » 28 Jun 2004 06:09

Here is what Eugen Kogon, Hermann Langbein and Adalbert Rueckerl (editors) had to say about the gas chamber at KL Natzweiler, in their book Nazi Mass Murder: A Documentary History of the Use of Poison Gas, Yale University Press, New Haven (CT): 1993, pp. 196-202:


Whereas in other concentration camps prisoners were gassed to eliminate quickly and cheaply those "unfit for work" and other "useless lives," poison gas was used for a quite different reason in the Natzweiler concentration camp in Alsace—often called Struthof, from the name of a nearby locality.

SS-Hauptsturmführer August Hirt, professor of medicine and director of the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Strasbourg,* was conducting research on race, a field quite fashionable in Hitler's Third Reich. Because the "Jewish race" was on the point of being exterminated, he wanted—while there

* It had become a German institution when Alsace and Lorraine were occupied and incorporated into Hitler's Greater Germany in 1940. (Editor's note.)

Gassings in Other Concentration Camps 197

was still time—to assemble a "collection of skulls of Jewish Bolshevik commissars." In presenting his research project, Professor Hirt explained how "the material" was to be collected by a "special deputy":

This special deputy, commissioned with the collection of the material, . . . is to take a prescribed series of photographs and anthropological measurements, and is to ascertain, insofar as possible, the origin, date of birth, and other personal data of the prisoner. Following the subsequently induced death of the Jew, whose head must not be damaged, he will separate the head from the torso and forward it to its point of destination in preserving fluid in a well-sealed tin container especially made for this purpose. . . . In accordance with its scope and tasks, the new Reich University of Strasbourg would be the most appropriate place for the collection of and research on the skulls thus acquired. 72

Himmler had already agreed to support Hirt's "research" and entrusted an organization under his orders, known as the "Ahnenerbe," or Ancestral Heritage Society, to assist in carrying it out. On 2 November 1942 a letter was written by SS-Standartenführer Wolfram Sievers, the business manager of this association dedicated to promoting race research, to SS-Obersturmbannführer Rudolf Brandt, of Himmler's personal staff. The letter, stamped "Secret," read:
"Dear Comrade Brandt! The Reichsführer-SS has ordered, as you know, that SSHauptsturmführer Prof. Dr. Hirt should be provided with all necessary material for his research work. I have already reported to the Reichsführer-SS that 150 skeletons of inmates, Jews, are now needed for some anthropological studies, and should be provided by the Auschwitz concentration camp.* It is now only necessary for the Reich Security Main Office to be furnished with an official directive by the Reichsführer-SS; by order of the Reichsführer-SS, however, you could issue it yourself. " 73

Brandt turned immediately to SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, who solved all the problems. On 21 June 1943 Sievers wrote to Eichmann:

You are informed that the co-worker in this office who was charged with executing the above-mentioned special task [in the heading of the letter the subject is defined as "Assembling of a skeleton collection"] SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr. Bruno Beger, ended his work in the Auschwitz concentration camp on 15 June 1943 because of the existing danger of infectious diseases.

* Hirt's original plan had undergone some transformations; he was now interested not only in skulls but also in skeletons. The subjects would no longer be living Jewish Bolshevik commissars captured on the Russian front but prisoners from the Auschwitz camp—in particular, young Jewish women from Greece. (Editor's note.)

198 Gassings in Other Concentration Camps

A total of 115 persons were treated, seventy-nine of whom were Jews, two Poles, four Asiatics, and thirty Jewesses. At present these prisoners are separated according to sex, and each group is accommodated under quarantine in a hospital building of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

For further processing of the selected persons an immediate transfer to the Natzweiler concentration camp is now imperative; this must be accelerated in view of the danger of infectious diseases in Auschwitz. 74

Charlotte Heydel, a secretary who had been employed by the Ahnenerbe organization, recounted:
"The various stages of assembling a collection of skeletons and skulls are still in my memory. . . . It was only during the summer of 1943 that my duties put me personally in touch with that affair. I still remember that I had to write the list of the prisoners selected at the Auschwitz concentration camp." 75

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Natzweiler camp was making all the preparations necessary for carrying out its assigned task. Georg Weydert, a prisoner from Luxemburg who was in the camp at the time, later testified before a French military court in Strasbourg in the summer of 1945:

While I was with the sanitary installations commando at the Natzweiler camp sometime between the spring and summer of 1943, I had to go to the gas chamber on orders from the building directorate, to do some work there with the help of a prisoner of German nationality.

Schondelmaier [an SS man] was already there, and he told me to make a funnel out of sheet metal, which was then attached to the outer wall of the gas chamber, on the corridor side, right next to a peephole for looking into the chamber. The small end of the funnel led into a pipe that passed into the chamber and stopped over a hole made in the concrete floor. A porcelain receptacle with a capacity of one or two liters was placed in this hole.

A tap was fitted into the piece of pipe immediately below the funnel. The purpose of this device was to put a liquid—I have no idea what liquid—into the funnel with the tap turned shut, and then, at a chosen moment, to cause this liquid to flow toward the gas chamber and into the porcelain receptacle, where another liquid would have been placed in advance. The chemical reaction between the two liquids would result in the release of toxic gas, designed to asphyxiate prisoners enclosed in the chamber.

My work was barely finished when Nitsche came along, in the company of a Wehrmacht doctor whose name I never knew.

After Nitsche had checked the work, he ordered me to install a grating, fastening it with care over the porcelain receptacle, so that the prisoners enclosed in the chamber would not be able to move the receptacle. 76

Gassings in Other Concentration Camps 199

On 26 September 1943 the construction department of the Natzweiler camp, managed by the Waffen SS and police, sent the following bill ("Subject: Ahnenerbe special section") to the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Strasbourg: "For delivery of equipment and work to be done on instructions from the administration of the Natzweiler concentration camp for the installation of a gas chamber at the Struthof."

The construction of the chamber, carried out under the supervision of the Waffen SS on 3 and 12 August, cost 236.08 Reichsmarks. 77 It was installed in an outbuilding of the former Struthof hotel, which was about five hundred meters from the entrance to the camp. After the liberation, a group of French experts visited this building and described it. It included several rooms. One of the rooms contained a smaller room, which the experts described in detail: "In one of them . . . there is a room 2.4 by 3.5 meters and 2.6 meters high, . . . closed by a door . . . with a painted metal plate attached to the inside. The joints, which were edged with felt (the nails that attached it can still be seen), made the door airtight. Three bolts, the center one provided with a tightening screw, made it possible to seal this room hermetically."

Then the group of experts described a peephole, an electric switch, the appearance of the inside of the room, and two round holes in the ceiling, covered with gratings. From one of these holes a flue with an elbow joint led to the outside. The report continues: "This flue contains a fan marked `NVM type 4 B 50, 1,400 revolutions per minute.' . . . . The water is carried away by a drain, at the beginning of which is a decantation siphon covered by a grating, which one can see on the floor in the middle of the room." Among the remains the experts found in the siphon were "about twenty hairs . . . , fragments of a glass ampoule, whose pointed, closed end was easily recognizable, some maggots with pupae." 78

The gas chamber had been installed and the prisoners chosen for the skeleton collection; it was now up to the commander of Natzweiler, SS-Hauptsturmführer Josef Kramer, to go into action. In July 1945 he told the investigating judge at the Strasbourg trial what he did:

In the month of August 1943, I received an order from the camp at Oranienburg, or rather from SS Supreme Headquarters in Berlin, . . . to take in approximately 80 prisoners from Auschwitz. In the letter accompanying the order, it was specified that I should immediately get in touch with Professor Hirt of the Faculty of Medicine in Strasbourg.

When I went to the Strasbourg Institute of Anatomy where Hirt was working, he told me that he had been informed of a convoy of Auschwitz prisoners bound for Struthof. He made it clear to me that these people would

200 Gassings in Other Concentration Camps

be killed with gas in the Struthof gas chamber, and that their corpses would be taken to the Institute of Anatomy and put at his disposal.

At the end of this conversation, he gave me a flask containing about a quarter of a liter of salts, which I believe to have been hydrocyanic salts. The professor indicated to me the approximate dose I should use to asphyxiate personally the prisoners coming from Auschwitz, whom I have just mentioned.

So at the beginning of August 1943 I received the eighty prisoners to be killed by means of the gases given to me by Hirt, and I started with a first group of about fifteen women, taken to the gas chamber one evening, at about nine o'clock, in a delivery van. I told these women that they were going into a disinfection room, without letting them know that they were going to be asphyxiated. Assisted by several SS men, I had them take off all their clothes and pushed them into the gas chamber once they were completely naked. As soon as the door was closed, they started to scream.

Once I had closed the door, I placed a fixed quantity of the salts in a funnel attached below and to the right of the peephole. At the same time I poured in a fixed amount of water, which flowed, mixed with the salts, into a pit made inside the gas chamber under the peephole. Then I closed the opening of the funnel by means of a tap, fitted into the bottom of the funnel... .

I illuminated the chamber's interior by means of a switch located near the funnel, and I observed what was happening inside the chamber through the outside peephole. I noted that the women continued to breathe for about half a minute, and then fell to the ground. When I opened the door, after having simultaneously switched on the ventilation inside the air-circulation flue,* I found the women stretched out lifeless in their excrement.

The next morning, at about half past five, I entrusted two SS male nurses with placing the corpses in a delivery van, so that they could be taken to the Institute of Anatomy as Professor Hirt had asked.

A few days later, in the same way, I again brought a number of women to the gas chamber, and they were asphyxiated by the same procedure. A few more days after that, about fifty or fifty-five men were taken on two or three occasions to the gas chamber on my orders, and were killed there by means of the same salts that Hirt had given me. 79

When photographs of the gas chamber were shown to Kramer, he recognized them without hesitation.

* In a later statement, made in Luneburg on 6 December 1945 (file no. 3, exhibit 1806/V2bis), Kramer corrected himself:
"As nothing further could be heard, and nothing was moving, I turned on the fan. During that time I was outside and did not breathe or smell the gas. After a quarter of an hour, I opened the door."
(Editor's note.)

Gassings in Other Concentration Camps 201

When Hirt's secretary at the Institute of Anatomy, Liselotte Seepe, was questioned years later, she remembered:
"We received a large quantity of corpses from the Naztweiler concentration camp. It was said that they were political criminals. I cannot tell you their nationality. It seems there were Jews among them." 80

A Frenchman named Henri Henripierre (or Henrypierre) was employed as a pharmacist at the Strasbourg Institute of Anatomy. A German by the name of Bong had taught him to preserve corpses. In 1946 he told an American military court at Nuremberg:

In July 1943 Professor Hirt had a visit from a high-ranking SS officer. . . . This officer came three times in July. . . . A few days later, Bong told me that we had to prepare vats for 120 corpses. Bong and I prepared six vats. . . . The first delivery that reached us was made up of thirty women. It was due at five o'clock in the morning but arrived only at seven. When we asked him why he was late, the driver said: "If you knew all the trouble these women gave us!" The thirty women were unloaded by the driver and his assistants, helped by Bong and me. The preservation began immediately. When the corpses arrived they were still warm; the eyes were wide open and shining. They were popping out of their sockets, red and congested. In addition, there were traces of blood around the nose and the mouth. . . . I thought they must have been victims who had been poisoned or asphyxiated, because none of the corpses sent earlier for preservation had shown such marks. . . . That is why I copied the prisoner number that was [tattooed] on the left arm. These numbers had five figures. A few days later we received a new shipment, of thirty men. . . . And some time later a third and last shipment, of twenty-six men.

Under cross-questioning, Henripierre stated:
"At the time I received these corpses I didn't know they were Jews. I questioned Mr. Bong, and he told me: `They are all Jews.' " 81

Later there was at least one other case in which prisoners were murdered by gas at Natzweiler. Between the middle of July and early August 1944, medical experiments were done on prisoners of an "inferior" race: Gypsies. They were exposed to phosgene (carbonyl chloride), a colorless gas that had been used as a combat gas in World War I.

A year before, in a first set of experiments, twenty-four prisoners had been given a protective product (urotropine) discovered by one of the directors of the experiments, Professor Bickenback of the University of Strasbourg. They had then been exposed to the gas. All had survived.

After that, to improve the reliability of the results of the experiments, Himmler had asked that protected and unprotected subjects be exposed simul-

202 Gassings in Other Concentration Camps

taneously to the gas while the concentration of phosgene was gradually in-creased. In each of four experiments, two protected and two unprotected prisoners were exposed to the gas. (The latter were given placebos to make them believe they were protected.) Of the unprotected "control subjects," three finally died of lung edema after suffering horribly and spitting blood. 82


72 Nuremb. Doc. 085-NO, Hirt's report on his work, which Sievers handed over to Brandt on 9 Feb. 1942.

73 Nuremb. Doc. 086-NO. Already on 27 Feb. 1942 Brandt informed Sievers that

Notes to Pages 198–207

the Reichsführer-SS would put everything he needed at Sievers' disposal. Nuremb. Doc. 090-NO.

74 Nuremb. Doc. 087-NO. Eichmann had already been informed of the project by Brandt in a letter dated 6 Nov 1942. Nuremb. Doc. 116-NO and 089-NO.

75 StA Frankfurt a/M. AZ: 4 Js 444/59, fol. 7812 (hearing of 6 Feb. 1961).

76 Tribunal militaire permanent de la l0e Region militaire, Strasbourg, Struthof trial, file no. 3, exhibit 1806/V/17.

77 Copy in ZSL Coll., vol. 227, fols. 1ff.

78 Expert opinion in the files of the Struthof trial; see n. 76.

79 See n. 76, exhibit 1806/V/1. See also Nuremb. Doc. 807-NO, fols. 120ff. Of Kramer's statement, only the report in French and the translations made afterward into German exist. Translation into English of depositions made on 26 July 1945 (exhibits 107 and 1806/V/2) and on 6 Dec. 1945 (exhibits 157, 158, and 1806/V/2 bis) have been published in Serge Klarsfeld, The Struthof Album (New York: Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1985), which also contains the reproduction of exhibits 085-NO, 086-NO, 087-NO, 088-NO, 089-NO, 091-NO, of the exhibit mentioned in n. 76, and important photographic documentation. Other SS members testified to the gassings (the head of the work allocation office in Natzweiler, Nitsche, ibid., file no. 4, bundle 12, exhibit 2277). The bodies were taken to Strasbourg, where they underwent a conservation process.

80 StA Frankfurt a/M. AZ: Js 1013/61, fol. 157, hearing of 10 Jan. 1963.

81 U.S. Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Case I ("Physicians' Trial"), report on the proceedings of 18 Dec. 1946.

82 ZSL Coll.: "Natzweiler" file (Metz military tribunal), fols. 3/2798ff., and GStA of the Berlin Supreme Court AZ: 1 AR 123/63-III Mx, vol. 1 (human experiments), fols. 82-187 (ZSL: AZ: 413 AR 178/65, vol. 1, fols. 3ff.).

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Post by steve248 » 11 Jul 2004 09:08

By coincidence I actually drove past the Natzweiler site in the Alsace just a month ago - roadworks and nowhere to stop due to hundreds of other cars taking every possible place. However there is an official road sign pointing to the "Gas Chamber" site.

The "Gas Chamber" site appears to be some distance from the main Camp site, maybe up to a kilometer.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 11 Jul 2004 12:03

"Revisionist" David Cole to Faurisson on Struthof gas chamber:
Now, what evidence does Faurisson give us to "prove" that no homicidal
gassings ever took place at Struthof? He tells us of an "expertise"
that has "disappeared," but, "thanks to another piece of evidence," we
know what it said. He refers us to a "Journal of Historical Review"
article for more info. One would hope to find out in this article just
_what_ that other piece of evidence is that confirms the existence and
conclusions of the "expertise," but sadly Faurisson refuses to
enlighten us. So what do we have? A report that has disappeared and a
revisionist who assures us that _he_ knows what the report said,
without feeling the need to provide us with any further evidence.

How would a _revisionist_ respond if an "exterminationist" acted this
way? Revisionists routinely dismiss documents when the originals have
vanished. We don't accept "hearsay," and we _certainly_ don't take
exterminationists on their word when it comes to the contents of
documents. We are always demending _proof, proof, proof_! Faurisson and
others dismiss the Polish forensic report conducted at Auschwitz
_simply_ because it is not well documented. So what are we to make of
Faurisson's "disappearing" forensic report for Struthof? Why are we so
willing to accept _that_ without any real documentation?

What's more, _if_ the forensic report is genuine, is it relevant? _If_
the report truly found no traces of hydrocyanic acid in the walls of
the chamber, we need to ask _would_ there be any traces after only 3 or
4 gassings? (The coldness of the room, such an important factor
regarding Kremas 2 and 3 at Birkenau, is irrelevant here because it is
not Zyklon B that is said to have been used). If there were no traces
of hydrocyanic acid in the bodies found at the Institute of Anatomy in
1945, we must ask _would_ there still be traces after over two years?
And since we're not sure just _what_ gas was used, did Professor Fabre
_know_ what to look for when he examined the bodies? Plus, I might be
mistaken, but the point of most autopsies is _not_ just to say what
someone _didn't_ die from. Did Professor Fabre conclude what the cause
of death _was_? What did these young, fairly healthy looking corpses
die from? There are many unanswered questions.

But if Faurisson acts like an "exterminationist" in his presentation of
the evidence against gassings at Struthof, he really mimics the
opposition by leaving _out_ any evidence that might call his theory
into question. What Faurisson _doesn't_ tell us is more important that
[sic] what he _does_.

What is the evidence _for_ gassings? Well, to start with, there is a
great deal of documentation about Professor Hirt's "skull collection."
There are letters and requests from Professor Hirt, including a
complete proposal for his skull collection idea (where Hirt makes it
clear that the Jews will be _murdered_ for their skulls, just in case
any revisionists are thinking that maybe the skulls came from victims
who died from "natural causes").

There are letters to and from SS Standartenfuehrer Sievers, SS
Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. Brandt, SS Obersturbannfuehrer [sic] Eichmann,
and SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Berg. These letters cover the idea for the
skull collection, the assembling of the Jews to be sent from Auschwitz
to Struthof, and the attempted destruction of the collection at the
Allies approached Strasbourg. For me, there is no question that
Professor Hirt wanted his skull collection, asked permission which was
granted from Berlin, and that 87 Jews were sent from Auschwitz to
Struthof, which was _not_ a Jewish internment camp, and furthermore
that these 87 Jews (30 women and 57 men) "died" mysteriously all at the
same time (Commandant Kramer's weekly report for the week of August, 14
1943 [sic] shows the death of 30 Jews. The next weekly report, 21
August, shows 57 Jewish deaths). Add that [sic] the bodies of young,
healthy looking Auschwitz inmates were found preserved at the Institute
of Anatomy at Strasbourg and you have something more than one grand
"coincidence." And I'm basing this only on _documents_ (letters,
reports, pictures). There is also ample testimony about these events (I
always prefer building on documents and physical evidence, with
testimony as a last resort).

So if we establish that the Jews were sent to Struthof to be killed,
what evidence exists for gassing? We have two documents. One is a
letter from Professor Hirt to Berlin, dated July 14 1943, regarding the
"constitution of a collection" (Professor Hirt had already received
permission from Berlin for his skull collection). Hirt complains that
the gassing equipment ("das Material zur Vergasung") is not in plpace,

p. 4

asks that the necessary equipment be made available. A daily report of
building progress (signed by the Chief of the Struthof Works
Directorate) from August 3 1943 mentions work in the "Gasraum" and
"Gaskammer," including ten hours of masonry work in the "Gaskammer."
Thus we have a believable timeline: Hirt asks for the gassing
equipment July 14, the work report is dated August 3, and the Jews are
dead as of August 14.

I think there is a high probability that these Jews were gassed. I
think it is a fact that they were murdered in some way. Like other
times when the Nazis committed atrocities, there is ample documentary
evidence, _not_ destroyed or "covered-up," unlike the completely
_un_-documented Auschwitz and Majdanek "gas chambers."

Ironically, Hirt's initial proposal for his collection called for the
Jews to be killed and heads to be severed at the location where the
Jews were detained, the heads then to be sent to Strasbourg. But in
the end the Jews were sent _from_ Auschwitz _to_ Struthof to be killed,
and, if they were gassed, this required the time consuming modification
of the tear gas chamber to serve this purpose.

If Auschwitz had such effective gas chambers, why was it necessary to
alter both Hirt's initial proposal _and_ the tear gas room when it
certainly would have been easier to gas the Jews in the "gas chambers"
of Auschwitz? The danger of disease at Auschwitz is also discussed, as
the speedy transfer of the 87 doomed Jews from Auschwitz is urged
because of the danger of infectious diseases at that camp (letter from
Sievers to Eichmann June 21 1943).

As to the physical state of the Struthof "gas chamber," I believ ethat
the gassing equipment on display now is indeed fraudulent. It would
have been next to impossible to effectively murder people with this
equipment. But if the French fabricated gassing equipment after
liberation, as the Soviets did at Auschwitz, this alone does _not_
preclude the possibility of _real_ gassing equipment having once been
there (just as the Soviet remodeling job at Krema 1 is not by itself
proof there never was a gas chamber in Krema 1).

According to the official story, after the homicidal gassings at
Struthof in August '43, the room returned to its "normal" purpose as a
non-homicidal chamber. Since Hirt now had his beloved skulls, there
would be no need for any more homicidal gassings. It is logical that
the homicidal modifications would have been removed, as they were now
unnecessary _and_ would have interfered with the non-homicidal use of
the room.

I always had questions about the Struthof "gas chamber," but after
seeing it in person and meeting with Jean-Claude Pressac (who does a
very good job in his book _The Struthof Album_ published by the
Klarsfeld Foundation) and seeing many of the original documents, I can
now speak with more certainty; this gas chamber may very well have
been used homicidally. It might turn out that Struthof is the only
Nazi camp to ever have had a homicidal gas chamber...but in any event,
the matter is far from closed, as Faurisson would have us believe. The
Struthof episode also stresses the need to continually question and
revise (if necessary) the work of other revisionists, no matter how
well-respected they might be. ... l-envelope

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Post by Georges JEROME » 05 Dec 2004 16:35


I was at Natzweiler (not as inmate but visitor).
Description fit : a occasional gas chamber to kill in view medical experiments.

Regarding experiments I recommand you warmly the following book written by Dr François Bayle)
Croix gammée contre caducée (les expériences humaines en Allemagne pendant la 2 GM/human experients in Germany during WW II)
Imprimerie Nationale 1950 1521 pages.
This book very technical show numerous pictures of experiments in Strasbourg showing the bodies found in the Anatomy Institute and a number of medical descriptions.


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Post by abacusman » 02 Mar 2007 17:57

Ok this may be a long time after the last post but I have been there, seen the room and the baths and yes it is NOT a freezer, or a shower room. The inscription on the outside says that it was experimental to test different kinds of gas but "only" 78 (if I remember correctly) were killed. The French seem to down play this site and signs are few and far between until you are actually on top of the camp. The camp was mainly a labour camp although political prisoners were held there as well.

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Konzentrations-Hauptlager Natzweiler-Struthof

Post by Georges JEROME » 03 Mar 2007 00:31

I disagree with the qualification of "Labour Camp" became a KL was a special "Labour Camp" made also for extermination of inmates by labour by extremes conditions in a number of sites.
Build up in winter 40/41, the camp became KLN on may 1 1941 mainly for men. Like the KL in germany, inmates were used for "arbeitseinsatz" in 50 aussenkommandos working in Industry (rustungsindustrie) or construction (buildings, airports, roads...) in Neckar, Wurttemberg, Baden and also in Lothringen (Lorraine).
17 000 inmates died in this "Labour Camp" not only of disease.
It appears in the WVHA list as "Konzentrations-Hauptlager"
Between the inmates, a number of political inmates (Resistants) under the decree Nacht und Nebel which were not registred and could be executed.

Question of gas chamber is clear : it's not a gas chamber made for massive killing like in Poland but it remain an homicide gas chamber used between others
- to find an antidote to "Gas Phosgène" : Dr Bickenbach made experiments on animals first then on inmates in 1943 in the Gas Chamber.
- 87 jews from KLA (Auschwitz) were gased on august 43 then bodies sent to SS Hstuf Prof Hirt at the Anatomic Institut of the Un of Strasbourg for his experiments.

In more in this "Labour Camp"
- experiments on Gas Yperite in 42/43 on german penal inmates
- experiments on Typhus on Gypsies from Auschwitz in 43

For the security of this "Labour Camp" a staff of 1644 SS Totenkopfverbande ( on 15.01.1945) and commanders liked Egon Zill, Fritz Hartjenstein, Hans Hüttig, Heinrich Schwarz and Josef Kramer


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Post by iwh » 03 Mar 2007 18:07

This is what Pressac had to say about the camp at Struthoff/Natzweiler:
It concerns again the gassings of the 86 jewish victims at Struthoff. On their arrival at KL Natzweiler, they were actually 87 in number and had come from Auschwitz where they had been selected for their morphological characteristics. All prisoner movement was written in the SS monthly camp reports. The one for the 14th August 1943 shows the leaving of the camp due to death of 30 jews. The one for the 21st August, leaving of 57 Jews also by death. Normally the reason for each death which had to be given, moreover to the Town Hall offices at Natzweiler, was carefully noted, for example, illness, escape attempt, hanging, shooting etc. Even if the reason was not strictly true, it had to figure on the back of the monthly administrative reports. Now in the case of these 30 and 57 (87 in total) Jewish prisoners, no explanation was given on the (word missing) or the reasons for these sudden and massive deaths. Faurisson, embarrassed by this evidence, having noted that the report for the beginning of August showed the entrance of 87 Jews was printed in roman numerals and that the two figures for the exit of the prisoners was in Gothic script, declared coolly that the SS had written on the wrong line and that the Jews had been set free (line above), which explained the error in the writing on the back. Certain reflections have the power to make you see what you want to see. This was the case with Faurisson.

The second alarm signal cam from the “Fabre Report”. Fabre was a professor of toxicology at the Faculty of Chemistry in Paris. Because of his position, he carried out at the request of the military commission research on the possible traces of cyanide found on the bodies remaining at the Institute of Anatomy at Strasburg and in the gas chamber at Struthoff. The results were negative in both cases. Faurisson relied a great deal on this report, which, to all appearances was completely in his favor. No traces of cyanide, therefore no killings by gas. But when we look again at the results of these gassings we notice that the negative conclusion of the Fabre report was highly probable for the gas chamber. The floor: concrete, therefore washable. Wall coverings: white tiles, also washable. Number of gassings: probably 3. Duration of the exposure of Hydrogen Cyanide , 5 to 10 minutes. Gas evacuation: by a ventilator high up in the room, around a quarter of an hour. Fabre had to scrape the ceiling in order to get a sample. But to find cyanides with such a weak exposure and over such a short exposure time is illusory. Unfortunately, the report was not included in the court proceedings and still remains lost. For Faurisson, it was an extra piece of proof that a “major piece of evidence was being hidden away”. For me, who is a chemist by trade, this was the second time that I came to doubt the truth of Faurisson’s arguments.
I have translated this from the original French, but I can't find the web page at the moment of the original.

Pressac concludes that the camp did gas people, but only on an experimental basis and the reason why the Fabre report did not show signs of gassing was because of the infrequency of the gassings there, linked with the material of the chamber.

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