Soviet reports about Auschwitz, 1944

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
michael mills
Member
Posts: 8867
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 02 Mar 2006 03:31

With the exception of the van used at Smolensk and Minsk in July 1942, all vans were used against Russians and Belorussians, small numbers of Jewish forced labourers at the Mogilev camp were killed in them, but they played almost no role in the killing of at least 30,000 Jews in the military zone during 1942. All other documented actions involved shootings. The vans were not so easily deployable to off-the-main-road ghettos.
An interesting point.

The development of the mobile gas-chamber, using either bottled CO or the vehicle's own exhaust as the killing agent, is usually presented as a stage in the unfolding of a program of extermination of the Jews.

The common explanation given is that they were invented for the purpose of killing Jewish women and children because the German Police units did not like shooting them.

I myself have thought that the reason for their development was not related to any anti-Jewish camoaign, but rather to the extension of the "euthanasia" of the inmates of mental hospitals in Poland and then the Soviet Union. The use of CO, whether bottled or drawn from vehicle exhaust, would have been modeled on the practice of the T-4 program in Germany.

As I see it, it was only after gas vans were used to empty mental hospitals in occupied Soviet territory (with the assistance of the hospital staff in some cases) that they were then diverted to actions against Jews held in various ghettos, the ongoing action at Chelmno being the prime example.

I find it hard to understand why a gas-van would be sent to Auschwitz of all places. That would be a bit like shipping ice to Antarctica. So far as I know, all other accounts of the use of gas-vans are related to locations where there was no stationary killing installation, eg at Semlin in Yugoslavia.

It may be that in September 1944, Police vehicle 71642 previously assigned to EG B passed through Auschwitz on its way west in the context of the general German retreat in the face of the Soviet advance. As of that date the Soviet Army was just outside Warsaw.

In that regard, the testimony of Goiny-Grabowski at the Hoess Trial is the most reliable, to the extent that he says that a German Police with a number of vehicles came to Auschwitz in the course of its retreat from the advancing Soviet Army, which was approaching Auschwitz. That unit may have had two gas-vans among its vehicles, or that detail may have been invented; the item about the vehicles in question bearing an image showing a human head pinching its nose with one hand sounds particularly far-fetched.

Whatever the case may be, all gas-vans deployed on the Eastern Front must have been withdrawn to the West during or before the general German retreat, since nonewas ever captured by the Soviet Army or by partisans. After their withdrawal, they must have been dismantled since none was ever found in Germany either.

It seems extremely unlikely that the camp staff at Auschwitz or any of the surrounding camps resorted to using the killing capacity of a gas-van when they had a large killing capacity at their disposal on site.

User avatar
Earldor
Member
Posts: 348
Joined: 27 Mar 2003 00:35
Location: Finland

Post by Earldor » 02 Mar 2006 10:18

michael mills wrote: The development of the mobile gas-chamber, using either bottled CO or the vehicle's own exhaust as the killing agent, is usually presented as a stage in the unfolding of a program of extermination of the Jews.

The common explanation given is that they were invented for the purpose of killing Jewish women and children because the German Police units did not like shooting them.
You're not building a straw man, are you, Michael? As I have understood it, the "common explanation" has been that different methods were adapted for the purpose of killing Jews in larger numbers and in better secrecy. The Einsatzgruppen killings involved huge numbers of men and were conducted fairly openly. The mental state of mind of the Nazi killers may have been a factor but was certainly not the only consideration. The Germans let booze, loot and political indoctrination wash their conciousness clean.
As I see it, it was only after gas vans were used to empty mental hospitals in occupied Soviet territory (with the assistance of the hospital staff in some cases) that they were then diverted to actions against Jews held in various ghettos, the ongoing action at Chelmno being the prime example.
Are you forgetting the Lange kommando (later transferred to Chelmno) which was emptying the Warthegau hospitals already in 1939? And of course you knew that the kommando also used to shoot their victims as well. Lange was a member of EG VI.
I find it hard to understand why a gas-van would be sent to Auschwitz of all places. That would be a bit like shipping ice to Antarctica. So far as I know, all other accounts of the use of gas-vans are related to locations where there was no stationary killing installation, eg at Semlin in Yugoslavia.
Maybe a quote from the multi-volume book "Auschwitz" published by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum (in 2000) can shed some light on the subject. This quote is from Volume III "Mass Murder" and is written by Franciszek Piper:
  • "After the 'Death Wall' was taken down in 1944, larger groups of Poles sentenced to death by the police summary court were killed in the gas chambers (note 261) [...] Execution by hanging took place only sporadically." (p. 95 and 97)
Especially note 261 is interesting:
  • "[...] The sources contain several mentions of an execution unit at Auschwitz, known as Sonderkommando Ruryk [After the Varjag/Viking chief that according to the legend founded Novgorod? My addition] and using a truck-mounted gas chamber. This piece of equipment is said to have been used to kill people sentenced by the Summary court. Details are to be found in a resistance movement document of September 21, 1944, which states that "This kommando was formed in Russia in order to liquidate dangerous elements in the zone just behind the front as quick as possible. It has now come from Lithuania to the grounds in Auschwitz and is used to carry out sentences on orders of the Polizei-Standgericht," Dokumenty i materialy, p. 121. The activity of this unit can almost certainly be connected with a passage in Höss' testimony, in which he speaks of relocating executions, for political reasons, outside the camp, from which "whole truckloads of the deceased were brought to Auschwitz." APMAB, Höss trial, vol. 28, p. 95. Kasimir Czyszewsky also testified about the killing in gas chambertrucks, 50 at a time, of people sentenced to death by the Summary Court; APMAB, Höss Trial, vol. 35, p. 162. Former prisoner Grabowski, who was employed at repairing cars and trucks, reported seeing one truck that had been adapted for gassing, with its exhaust pipe routed inside. See APMAB, Höss trial, vol. 26, p. 32. Former prisoner Wrona testified to having seen three such trucks adapted for asphyxiating people with gas; APMAB, Höss trial, vol. 26, p. 8. Former prisoner Stanislaw Dubiel testified that Liebehenschel removed the "Death Wall" and gallows, but replaced them with a gas chamber-truck; APMAB, Höss trial, vol. 25, p. 82. Former prisoner Jan Dziopek testified that people were killed in sealed prison "Black Maria" vans at Birkenau after October, 1944; APMAB, Höss trial, vol. 8, p. 109."

It seems extremely unlikely that the camp staff at Auschwitz or any of the surrounding camps resorted to using the killing capacity of a gas-van when they had a large killing capacity at their disposal on site.
Well, in light of the evidence above, it seems that your speculation is wrong.

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8867
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 03 Mar 2006 00:08

You're not building a straw man, are you, Michael? As I have understood it, the "common explanation" has been that different methods were adapted for the purpose of killing Jews in larger numbers and in better secrecy. The Einsatzgruppen killings involved huge numbers of men and were conducted fairly openly. The mental state of mind of the Nazi killers may have been a factor but was certainly not the only consideration. The Germans let booze, loot and political indoctrination wash their conciousness clean.
Whatever.

The essential point is that the development of the mobile gas-chamber is often explained as a stage in a killing program targeted at Jews. Under that scenario, whether the motivation was to be nastier to the Jews or nicer to one's own men is immaterial.

My contention is that the development was not dictated by an anti-Jewish program but rather by a program of liquidating the inmates of mental hospitals, as an offshoot of the "euthanasia" program in Germany. Once the modified vehicles had been deployed in occupied Soviet territories for that purpose, they were then used against Jews as well.

It may be that the prime factor in the transfer of this particular killing mechanism to an anti-Jewish action was Reichsstatthalter Greiser's application to Himmler and Heydrich for permission to apply Sonderbehandlung to 100,000 Jews of Reichsgau Wartheland (probably in order to make room for the German Jews who were to be deported to the Lodz Ghetto). Koppe, the HSSPF Wartheland, seconded the Sonderkommando Lange from Posen for that purpose. How, when or by whom the decision was made to equip the Sonderkommando Lange with the recently developed mobile gas-chambers using vehicle exhaust as the killing agent is unknown, so far as I know.
Are you forgetting the Lange kommando (later transferred to Chelmno) which was emptying the Warthegau hospitals already in 1939? And of course you knew that the kommando also used to shoot their victims as well. Lange was a member of EG VI.


No. You will note that I wrote in my original message

I myself have thought that the reason for their development was not related to any anti-Jewish camoaign, but rather to the extension of the "euthanasia" of the inmates of mental hospitals in Poland and then the Soviet Union. The use of CO, whether bottled or drawn from vehicle exhaust, would have been modeled on the practice of the T-4 program in Germany.
Well, in light of the evidence above, it seems that your speculation is wrong.
Only if the statements given at the Hoess Trial are entirely true.

User avatar
Earldor
Member
Posts: 348
Joined: 27 Mar 2003 00:35
Location: Finland

Post by Earldor » 03 Mar 2006 14:15

michael mills wrote: Only if the statements given at the Hoess Trial are entirely true.
The only thing going against them has so far been your speculation.

User avatar
Sergey Romanov
Member
Posts: 1984
Joined: 28 Dec 2003 01:52
Location: World

Post by Sergey Romanov » 04 Mar 2006 21:37

MILLS
The essential question is whether there was any period where the Birkenau crematoria co-existed with open-air cremations between 13 March 1943 when the first cremation was carried out in Crematorium II and October of that year when Pet'ko and Pegov are said to have escaped.
not really. As I have already said, misinterpretation by the interrogator is more likely, so this question can hardly be "essential".
The question is also whether any open-air cremations were carried out in the March-October period becausethere were toom any corpses for the creamtoria to deal with.
Wrong - P&P might have mentioned any mass cremations (such as Bunker cremations and Hoessler cremations), and interrogator who typed up the report most probably misidentified them (or, rather, rationale for them) in light of the most recent reports.
No witness testimony makes such a claim, so far as I know.
But then, you have not examined an extensive collection of testimonies in Auschwitz state museum. Neither you knew about gas vans testimonies in Auschwitz, until they have been pointed out to you. So this is a rather weak argument.
But that would not have posed any problems, since in September only 6000 of the 15,800 Jews who arrived were left unregistered and probably killed. It was quite possible to store corpses in the crematoria and work through them progressively until any backlog was disposed of.
Which actually depends on the climate conditions of the period, the state of the ovens (i.e., whether there were any breakdowns/repairs), and the number of the transports who might have been gassed without any registrants. Also, no, it was not necessarily feasible to store bodies in morgues even under good climate conditions, because the morgues had to be used as gas chambers (and in that particular period the bunkers supposedly did not work).

Anyway, what's Mills' point?

As for his point re: the terminology, the term "S-Wagen" is used to describe S-Wagen Pol. 71463 in PS-501, http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/imaged ... 459008.jpg

BTW, Mills is deliberately trying to distort the nature of evidence.

Earldor said:

"Well, in light of the evidence above, it seems that your speculation is wrong."

Mills replied: "Only if the statements given at the Hoess Trial are entirely true."

Wrong. Mills never addressed the Auschwitz resistance report written by Klodzinski in 1944.

I should note that testimonies by themselves, and even the resistance report, were not thought of as decisive evidence by the Auschwitz Museum researchers, who also were suspicious about them on the account of an apparent needlessness of a gas van in Auschwitz. But when I drew their attention to EG B report, head of the archives Dr. Setkiewicz stated that this is crucial evidence which will have to be taken into account in the future. So these 2 pieces of evidence - Auschwitz report and EG B report - are like lock and key - either of them could be reinterpeted, but together they furnish an almost mathematical (71462=71462 ;-)) proof of gas van in Auschwitz. Just one more point to consider when saying that Mills doesn't know about such and such testimonies.

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8867
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 05 Mar 2006 03:16

It was quite common for Soviet authorities and other authorities under Soviet control, such as the courts in post-war Poland, to falsify reports about gas-vans, for example at the Khar'kov Trial in 1943.

From page 480 of Martin Gilbert's "Second World War" (London, Phoenix 1995):
As the Russian forces moved forward, they uncovered more and more German atrocities, and on December 15 [1943], at Kharkov, four SS men were brought to trial, accused of using gas vans to murder Soviet civilians. One of the accused was a twenty-four year old SS lieutenant, Hans Ritz. On first having heard the words 'gas van' mentioned in Kharkov, Ritz told the prosecutor, 'I remembered the vehicle from my stay in Warsaw, when I witnessed the evacuation in it of the unreliable sections of the Warsaw population'. While in Warsaw, Ritz added, 'I got to know that part of the Warsaw population were evacuated by railway and another part were loaded into the "gas vans" and exterminated'.
Ritz's testimony about the use of gas vans to exterminate part of the Warsaw population is patently false, and most probably words put into his mouth by the Soviet prosecutors.

It is an example of a common Soviet practice, that is, to take a truth such as that mobile gas-chambers were used to kill Soviet citizens in certain places, eg Kharkov, and falsely apply it to other situations and locations, such as Warsaw and perhaps Auschwitz.

All that Klodzinski's report of September 1944 shows is that a police vehicle that had previously been assigned to Einsatzgruppe B, and then perhaps to the Sipo headquarters in Minsk, was sighted in the vicinity of Auschwitz. That is not really remarkable, since by September the German forces had retreated from Belorussia, and would have brought all the vehicles they could with them.

As I previously wrote, no mobile gas-chamber ever fell into the hands of Germany's enemies, either during the war or after the German surrender. The most probable reason for that is that all the vehicles that had been converted to mobile gas-chambers were brought back to Germany and reconverted into normal vehicles. That would have been quite a simple process, consisting of removing the connection from the exhaust pipe to the interior of the enclosed container mounted on the rear of the truck.

Quite possibly the vehicle reported on by Klodzinski was passing through or near Auschwitz on its way to Germany for the above purpose. Perhaps it had already been converted back to a normal panel van, who knows.

The fact that the report by Klodzinski claimed that the vehicle had come from Lithuania indicates that its background of assignment to the Sipo in Belorussia was unknown to the Polish Underground in Auschwitz. Quite possibly the Poles had already started making up stories about the vehicle, a process continued in the Hoess Trial, following the Soviet pattern as exemplified in the Khar'kov Trial.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23511
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 05 Mar 2006 04:17

Michael -- You wrote:
Ritz's testimony about the use of gas vans to exterminate part of the Warsaw population is patently false, and most probably words put into his mouth by the Soviet prosecutors.
and
Quite possibly the Poles had already started making up stories about the vehicle, a process continued in the Hoess Trial, following the Soviet pattern as exemplified in the Khar'kov Trial.
Please prove or source these claims for our readers.

User avatar
Sergey Romanov
Member
Posts: 1984
Joined: 28 Dec 2003 01:52
Location: World

Post by Sergey Romanov » 05 Mar 2006 08:39

Mills deliberately tries to divert attention from the fact that Pet'ko and Pegov's report debunks his pet theory that Kremas II and III were not used for gassings, and that there were gas vans in Auschwitz. He writes:
All that Klodzinski's report of September 1944 shows is that a police vehicle that had previously been assigned to Einsatzgruppe B, and then perhaps to the Sipo headquarters in Minsk, was sighted in the vicinity of Auschwitz.
Wrong, of course. It also shows that designation of "Gaswagen" in the German war-time report meant homicidal gas van, and not any other sort of vehicle.

All the nonsense about falsifications does not merit response if only because Mills does not cite any evidence, as usual.

User avatar
Sergey Romanov
Member
Posts: 1984
Joined: 28 Dec 2003 01:52
Location: World

Post by Sergey Romanov » 05 Mar 2006 08:55

I made a quick search, and, as expected, it was not the first time Mills repeated his Ritz mantra. He has been debunked by Roberto at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... c&start=40

(As a side note, look how Mills accepted the bogus claims about Leningrad trial. It just shows how easily he swallows bogus information if it serves his purposes. More about Leningrad trial and Katyn is here http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... c&start=36 )

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8867
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 08 Mar 2006 04:32

I wrote that Ritz's statement in the Khar'kov Trial about the use of mobile gas-chambers to exterminate part of the Warsaw population was patently false.

I came to that conclusion by comparing Ritz's statement with histories of the German occupation of Warsaw from 1939 to 1945, none of which claim that mobile gas-chambers were so used against any part of the Warsaw population, whether Jewish or non-Jewish. The standard histories state that the Jewish population of Warsaw was taken by rail to the extermination camp at Treblinka and killed their in sdtationary gas-chambers.

Since Ritz's testimony is false, but not in such a way as to exonerate himself, then we must conclude that it was put into his mouth by the Soviet prosecution. That in turn shows that Soviet courts, or courts under Soviet influence, did on occasions solicit false testimony about the use or presence of mobile gas-chambers in particular locations. Accordingly, it is wise to have reservations about such testimony in Soviet courts or courts under Soviet influence.

Ritz's statement at the Khar'kov Trial must be considered false until someone comes up with trustworthy evidence that part of the Warsaw population was indeed exterminated in mobile gas-chambers, as Ritz claimed. Perhaps the Forum Staff could look for some.

With regard to the vehicle sighted in the vicinity of Auschwitz and reported on by Klodzinski in September 1944, the Polish Underground obviously did not know anything for certain about it, since they incorrectly claimed that it had come from Lithuania (under EG A), whereas the vehicle concerned had previously been assigned to EG B in Belorussia. It is possible that if that vehicle had been a mobile gas-chamber while assigned to EG B (which became the Sipo in Belorussia), that it was still fitted out as such in September 1944, and at that date was heading back to Germany to be recoverted into a normal truck. Or it may already have been converted into a normal truck.

It needs to be borne in mind that all forms of homicidal gassing, whether by CO or HCN, were regarded by the German Government as a form of "euthanasia", not as a form of punishment. It was a means of eliminating undesirable population groups rather than a means of punishing persons who had actually opposed German rule, eg as members of resitance groups. Where death was inflicted as a penalty, for example by a German court, the method of execution was hanging or shooting, meant as a deterrant. Thus, the use of a mobile gas-chamber for the execution of persons sentenced by a German police court would be contrary to the normal German practice.

User avatar
Sergey Romanov
Member
Posts: 1984
Joined: 28 Dec 2003 01:52
Location: World

Post by Sergey Romanov » 08 Mar 2006 08:20

I came to that conclusion by comparing Ritz's statement with histories of the German occupation of Warsaw from 1939 to 1945, none of which claim that mobile gas-chambers were so used against any part of the Warsaw population, whether Jewish or non-Jewish.
An argument from ignorance in its worst form, and the one, which does not even take into account alternative explanations. As Roberto wrote:
If, as Mills contends, "LC-Koffer" were occasionally mistaken for gas vans, then it is entirely possible (one of Mills’ favourite terms) that Ritz erroneously linked such "LC-Koffer" he had seen at Warsaw to the gas vans he had himself been involved with at Kharkov, even though on the former occasion they had probably been used as a complement to the railway for "evacuation" of the "unreliable segments of the Warsaw population" (e.g. for transporting "unreliable elements" to execution sites like Palmiry) rather than as gassing devices. What special interest should Soviet prosecutors in 1943 have had in what the Germans had done in Warsaw, when they were dealing with German crimes committed on their own territory?
Or, it is entirely possible that a small number were indeed gassed in a gas van (one can think of different reasons to gas, rather than shoot, small groups of people), and most witnesses of these small-scale gassigs except Ritz simply did not live to tell the tale - or refused to tell it (or maybe told it, and their testimonies gather dust in archives, like Petko and Pegov's report).
Since Ritz's testimony is false
All I can say is that Mills has not proven that a) it is false, b) if it is false, it is deliberately false.
Accordingly, it is wise to have reservations about such testimony in Soviet courts or courts under Soviet influence.
Not that there is any relevance to the present discussion. Even if one were somehow suspicious about testimonies in Hoess trial, many statements were made NOT for the trial. That Mills focuses only on trial testimonies, deliberately ignoring that 5 testimonies out of 10 were not made for the trial (plus there is a testimony of Tsirulnitskij in the "Black book..."), shows how weak his argument is. That he focuses on the testimonies, when there is conclusive documentary evidence (EG B report and resistance message) is itself very telling.
Ritz's statement at the Khar'kov Trial must be considered false until someone comes up with trustworthy evidence that part of the Warsaw population was indeed exterminated in mobile gas-chambers, as Ritz claimed.
How about, we do not take it seriously enough without corroboration, but do not dismiss it as false either, for the reasons stated above? Why Mills wants to jump to conclusions, where none are warranted?
With regard to the vehicle sighted in the vicinity of Auschwitz and reported on by Klodzinski in September 1944, the Polish Underground obviously did not know anything for certain about it, since they incorrectly claimed that it had come from Lithuania (under EG A), whereas the vehicle concerned had previously been assigned to EG B in Belorussia.
It could have come from anywhere. We don't know what happened to it after 1942, until it arrived in Auschwitz. Once again, Mills jumps to conclusions when it is unwarranted.

The description of the gas van interior is detailed, that this is indeed Gaswagen is confirmed by EG B report, so there's no controversy.
It needs to be borne in mind that all forms of homicidal gassing, whether by CO or HCN, were regarded by the German Government as a form of "euthanasia", not as a form of punishment.
Whence such a blanket statement?

Sure, this gas van was used for pseudo-euthanasia. Klodzinski's report states that the gas van was also used to execute sentences of the special police court. On this point he is corroborated by several witnesses, who state that the van was used for executions after the Black Wall shootings stopped (Tsirulnitskij, Grohs, Czyzewski).

User avatar
Earldor
Member
Posts: 348
Joined: 27 Mar 2003 00:35
Location: Finland

Post by Earldor » 08 Mar 2006 10:27

Sergey Romanov wrote:
Mills wrote:With regard to the vehicle sighted in the vicinity of Auschwitz and reported on by Klodzinski in September 1944, the Polish Underground obviously did not know anything for certain about it, since they incorrectly claimed that it had come from Lithuania (under EG A), whereas the vehicle concerned had previously been assigned to EG B in Belorussia.
It could have come from anywhere. We don't know what happened to it after 1942, until it arrived in Auschwitz. Once again, Mills jumps to conclusions when it is unwarranted.
Exactly. We know for a fact that the vans were transferred quite often from one EG to another since there were so few of them and the EGs had so much killing to do.

For all we know the van might have been stationed in Lithuania before its transfer to Auschwitz or it could have been shipped from Belorussia through Lithuania to Auschwitz. Why is this detail supposed to raise our suspicions?
Mills wrote:It needs to be borne in mind that all forms of homicidal gassing, whether by CO or HCN, were regarded by the German Government as a form of "euthanasia", not as a form of punishment.
Whence such a blanket statement?
Indeed. Maybe Mills mixes Nazi excuses with the actual truth of the matter.

User avatar
ToKu
Member
Posts: 252
Joined: 25 Jan 2006 10:03
Location: Olsztyn, former Allenstein,Warmia (Ermland), Poland

Post by ToKu » 08 Mar 2006 12:16

Earldor wrote: "Exactly. We know for a fact that the vans were transferred quite often from one EG to another since there were so few of them and the EGs had so much killing to do.

For all we know the van might have been stationed in Lithuania before its transfer to Auschwitz or it could have been shipped from Belorussia through Lithuania to Auschwitz. Why is this detail supposed to raise our suspicions?"

I agree. Especially if You take under consediration that for many Poles during II WW large parts (probably most) of Western Belorussia was Lithuania. My Grandfather lived in Bakszty (central Belorussia today) and when You asked him where was town of Bakszty located, he responded - In Lithuania - all the time.

Reason for that is historic. Before XVIII century partitions, Belorussia was Lithuanian part of Polish - Lithuanian commonwealth. It stayed as Lithuania (at least northern part) in people's minds.

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8867
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 08 Mar 2006 22:40

It could have come from anywhere. We don't know what happened to it after 1942, until it arrived in Auschwitz. Once again, Mills jumps to conclusions when it is unwarranted.
Nick Terry's opinion is that mobile gas-chambers assigned to EG B moved to Minsk where they were under the control of the German Security Police command in Belorussia. That would make sense, since the Sipo in Belorussia was formed from the staff of EG B, once it had ceased to be a mobile unit.

Presumably all the vehicles assigned to EG B came under the control of the Sipo command in Belorussia, and were evacuated to the west when the German forces hastily retreated from Belorussia after their massive defeat in June 1944. That movement would explain why vehicles formerly assigned to EG B were sighted in the vicinity of Auschwitz in September 1944.

And the salient fact is that we simply do not know at what point in time the various vehicles that had been converted into mobile gas-chambers were reconverted into normal transport vehicles. That such a reconversion must have taken place is suggested by the fact that no German vehicle fitted out as a mobile gas-chamber was ever captured by anti-German forces, despite the fact that vast amounts of German equipment fell into Allied hands at various times.

User avatar
Sergey Romanov
Member
Posts: 1984
Joined: 28 Dec 2003 01:52
Location: World

Post by Sergey Romanov » 08 Mar 2006 22:48

I take it as a silent concession on Michael Mills' part.

:D

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”