Soviet reports about Auschwitz, 1944

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 18 Apr 2006 14:52

The BIG update on Pet'ko and Pegov. For unknown reason their escape has been mis-dated in the report (possibly by NKGB interrogator). They escaped on 27.5.44, together with Rosin, Mordowicz and several others.

They have been transferred to Auschwitz only in April of 1943, from Stalag 318.

So they: a) could not have witnessed the construction of the crematoria; b) could witness the pits near the crematoria.

My current hypothesis about them allegedly witnessing Krema construction is that what they saw was Zentralsauna construction.

Kudos to Nick Terry for research.

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Post by nickterry » 18 Apr 2006 20:52

++ KL AUSCHWITZ NR. 5405 28.5.44 150 = SCHA
1. AN DAS RSHA ROEM 4 C BERLIN -
2. AN DAS RKPA POTSDAM -
3. AN DAS SS-WVHA. AMTSGRUPPE D, ORANIENBURG. -
4. AN ALLE OESTL. STAPO-LEIT- KRIPO-LEIT STELLEN
UND GREKO BESONDERS NUERNBEERG/FUEHRT [SIC]

DRINGEND SOFORT VORLEGEN.

BETR.; FLUCHT DER SCHUTZHAEFTLINGE

1. MORDOWICZ CZESLAUW ISRAEL, GEB. AM 2.9.1911 ZU MIELAU, EINGELIEFERT AM
17.12.42 VOM RSHA.
2. LEYSMAN ABRAM ISRAEL, GEB. A29.2.24 ZU MACKHEIM, EINGELIEFERT AM 10.12.42
VOM RSHA.
3. ROSIN ERNST ISRAEL, GEB. AM 20.3.13 ZU SNINA. - ZULETZT WOHNHAFT GEWESEN:
SNINA/SLOW. - EINGELIEFERT AM 18.4.42 VOM RSHA.
- DES RUSSISCHEN SCHUTZH. -
4. ZEMENKO BORIS, GEB. AM 24.6.07 ZU BOROWIEJTZE, EINGELIEFERT AM 13.5.43
VON DER STAPO NUERNBERG/FUERTH. ZUM AKTZ. NR. 581 KL. G/43 ROEM. 2 A
(62KGF.)
DER RUSSISCHEN KRIEGSGEFANGENEN
5. ASTACHOW, WASILIJ, GEB. AM 3.5.21 ZU OSORKI, EINGELIEFERT AM 1.11.43 VOM
STALAG 358. KENN-NR 28822
6. RADJONOWSKI, DMITRY, GEB AM 15.10.14 ZU NAGADA, EINGELIEFERT AM 7.10.41
VOM STALAG 308. KENN-NR 35008
7. ILJIN, IWAN, GEB. AM 1.5.23 ZU KIEW, EINGELIEFERT AM 12.11.43 VOM OFLAG
58, KENN-NR 9667
8. POPTSCHENO, MICHAEL, GEB. AM 29.4.19 ZU PYCHAU, EINGELIEFERT AM 12.11.43
VOM KR. GEF. L. ZEITHAIN, KENN-NR 4163
9. MASURENKO, WOLODYMYR, GEB. AM 14.11.20 ZU TSCHESNOPIL, EINGELIEFERT AM
8.10.43 VOM STALAG 318, KENN NR 65245
10. PJETKO, ANATOLY, GEB AM 19.4.18 ZU HORBARZOW, EINGELIEFERT AM 16.4.43
VOM STALAG 318, KENN-NR 36074
11. PJEGOW, WLADIMIR, GEB, AM 22.12.19 ZU RAZNIEZJE, EINGELIEFERT AM 14.4.43
VOM STALAG 318. KENN NR 38.- [SIC]

DIE UMSEITIG GENANNTEN SIND AM 27.5.44 VON VERSCHIEDENEN AUSSENKOMMANDOS AUS
DEM KL. AU. ROEM. 2 ENTFLOHEN. DIE SOFORT EINGELEITETE SUCHAKTION BLEIBEN
BISHER OHNE ERFOLG. ES WIRD GEBETEN, VON DORT AUR WEITERE
FAHNDUNGSMASSNAHMEN EINZULEITEN UND IN ERGREIFUNGSFALLE DAS KL. AUSCHWITZ
UMGEHEND ZU BENACHRICHTIGEN. DIE AUSSCHREIBUNG DER 7 KRIEGSGEFANGENEN WURDE
BEI DER ZUSTAENDIGEN KRIMINALPOLIZEI BEANTRAGT.

II/84216/ 28.5.44 SCHU.-BR.- KL .AU. AU. II
GEZ. RKAMER

>From APMO microfilm no. 90/118, 119, published as facsimile in Henryk
Siwebocki (ed),'London Has Been Informed'. Reports By Auschwitz Escapees,
Oswiecim, 2002, pp.50-51
Petko and Pegov escaped the same day as Mordowicz and Rosin, who contributed to the Vrba-Wetzler report. But there were three groups of escapees - M & R; a Jewish prisoner and a Russian Schutzhaeftling; and the Soviet POW group.

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Post by John W » 18 Apr 2006 21:29

Thanks gentlemen, for a very informative thread :)


cheers,

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Post by robota » 19 Apr 2006 07:45

Congratulations Nick, well spotted.

It is fortunate that this is one of the two highly disseminated telegrams of the many that reported escapes from Auschwitz (around 600 escapees but I don't have a source). This telegram was published not only in London has been informed but also in Auschwitz and the Allies I think. So no work in the archives to uncover this correspondance was needed Anyway it is gratifying to see Nick Terry is beginning to discover the pull of Auschwitz like so many before him. And an excellent eye for detail and a habit of combing fairly poorly reproduced documents in photographic plates to boot!

I am always fascinated in the background stories so I wonder if Nick could humor me and describe what led him to search for this particular snippet - or was it just chance favoring the prepared mind?

It reminds me of my work colleague who was describing hiding easter eggs for her children to find by following clues. Likewise does Clio led us along this merry dance with little easter eggs of historical convergence to be found and savored. But lets us never forget to thank Clio for putting the eggs there in the first place.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 19 Apr 2006 10:19

:roll:

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Post by nickterry » 19 Apr 2006 10:35

I'll humour robota. This wasn't 'research', but a chance discovery in the book in question, primed of course by the fact that Petko and Pegov have been extensively discussed here and elsewhere.

Out of habit from when I *have* been to the archives, I scanned the teletype form to see what it said. So the names leapt out, even given the Germanicised transliteration, but then again I'm also used to weird German 1940s spellings of Russian names, places and words.

No big deal.

The book arrived from Krakow with a small order of other books; most specifically I wanted Piper's Die Zahl der Opfer von Auschwitz, but the prices were overall so cheap with the exchange rate between the zloty and the pound sterling, that it made sense to buy a couple more, to balance out the postal charge. So I opted for 'London..' just for the hell of it.

Why did I want Piper? Because it speaks to my existing research interest in transports and demographics. The internal camp stuff is of secondary interest to me.

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Post by robota » 20 Apr 2006 07:14

Thank you Nick for that very full and very satisfying explanation.

You understand that are people out there who are keen at the slightest provocation to start hurling accusations about "lying Judeo-Supremicists" - I am sure you don't need me to mention names which is why I thought an explanation might be useful.

For myself I have no doubt that Sergey's documents are genuine even without that telegram. If contains a number of inaccuracies and inconsistencies that since the camp has come under such scrutiny would be unlikely to be repeated.

For example
During the crematoria's work, the flames appeared out of chimneys, up to 15 m high. Corpse smell spreads across many kilometers around this horrible place.
Had this been a recent forgery there would be sure to have been a comment about a chimney fire - as we now know that is the only way flames could have appeared out of the chimney. 15 meters seems unlikely even for a chimney fire - psychologically, a forger is always trying to makes his forgery absolutely correct, an eyewitness can be prone to exaggeration.
As for the fact of existence of crematoria, this is not a secret for inmates, because one can go near them up to the distance of 10-15 m. We personally saw, going at a near distance, when the doors of crematoria were open, that near the ovens in trolleys there were heaps of corpses.
There is no external door that opened on to the oven room where bodies were buried and a modern fabricator would be well aware of that. Clearly the witnesses were gilding their testimony a little - understandable if they were concerned they would not be believed.
ZLOTIN Mikhail, b. 1916, engineer in flour-grinding industry, junior lieutenant of RKKA, escaped from the camp in October of 1943. We took part in ZLOTIN's escape.
Its difficult to know what to make of this. As not only did the two informants not escape on that date according to Nick's telegram, they didn't escape at the same time as Zlotin.
Again, a forgery would be careful not to make such an elementary mistake.

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Post by nickterry » 20 Apr 2006 10:05

For myself I have no doubt that Sergey's documents are genuine even without that telegram. If contains a number of inaccuracies and inconsistencies that since the camp has come under such scrutiny would be unlikely to be repeated.
Just to comment in reverse order, I interpreted the last remark about Zlotin as referring to helping his earlier escape. 'We took part in his escape' is a very Russian-flavoured saying, and it doesn't mean they all escaped at the same time.
As for the fact of existence of crematoria, this is not a secret for inmates, because one can go near them up to the distance of 10-15 m. We personally saw, going at a near distance, when the doors of crematoria were open, that near the ovens in trolleys there were heaps of corpses.
There is no external door that opened on to the oven room where bodies were buried and a modern fabricator would be well aware of that. Clearly the witnesses were gilding their testimony a little - understandable if they were concerned they would not be believed.
This could equally refer to Bunker 2 which was back in action by the time P&P escaped. We also know they were still present when the crematoria were first becoming overwhelmed with Hungarian Jews.

Also, 'ovens' can easily be a generic phrase for the crematoria as a whole, not for the oven-room in particular. In testimonies such as these, which are based on partially indirect observations, one should expect the critical words to be interchangeable.
During the crematoria's work, the flames appeared out of chimneys, up to 15 m high. Corpse smell spreads across many kilometers around this horrible place.
Had this been a recent forgery there would be sure to have been a comment about a chimney fire - as we now know that is the only way flames could have appeared out of the chimney. 15 meters seems unlikely even for a chimney fire - psychologically, a forger is always trying to makes his forgery absolutely correct, an eyewitness can be prone to exaggeration.
this last point is actually why almost all 'revisionist' interpretations of eyewitness testimony are flawed; they routinely expect absolute accuracy, which is impossible under the best of conditions. The exaggeration here is obvious, i.e. in frequency and height. But the phenomena is often enough mentioned.

I am tempted to introduce the category of 'nose-witness' to deal with Auschwitz-Birkenau. Were I researching this camp I would make a note of every witness in Birkenau who mentioned 'corpse smell' or 'smell of burning flesh'. The camp is big but not that big. When the proverbial wind blows the wrong way, it would indeed be somewhat noticeable.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 20 Apr 2006 17:52

"Robota" once again shows why exactly denial is intellectually bankrupt.

We know that the flames were shooting out of Auschwitz chimneys, so the only thing they got wrong was the maximum height of such a flame, and they did not claim to have seen it themselves.

There were external entrance doors to the furnace rooms - http://www.mazal.org/Pressac/Pressac0419.htm

Finally, that P&P took part in Zlotin's escape does not mean that they escaped with him - that only means they helped him to escape. Just as Antipov took part in their escape, but himself did not escape, and was transferred to Flossenbuerg some time in autumn of 1944.

Now think why "robota" felt the need to make these false assertions.
Last edited by Sergey Romanov on 20 Apr 2006 17:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 20 Apr 2006 17:55

This could equally refer to Bunker 2 which was back in action by the time P&P escaped. We also know they were still present when the crematoria were first becoming overwhelmed with Hungarian Jews.

Also, 'ovens' can easily be a generic phrase for the crematoria as a whole, not for the oven-room in particular. In testimonies such as these, which are based on partially indirect observations, one should expect the critical words to be interchangeable.
Nick, I disagree. They referred to the literal ovens in a literal crematorium (thus, not Bunker 2, which had no ovens and trolleys inside).

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Post by nickterry » 20 Apr 2006 18:39

you're right. I'm parsing too much.

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Post by robota » 21 Apr 2006 04:38

"Robota" once again shows why exactly denial is intellectually bankrupt.

We know that the flames were shooting out of Auschwitz chimneys, so the only thing they got wrong was the maximum height of such a flame, and they did not claim to have seen it themselves.
I do know that some people have attempted to claim that Auschwitz chimney's were in a perpetual state of chimney fire in the upper reaches of the stack and this created the illusion of flames pouring out from the furnaces. However, when requested to back up this assertion with any proof from the large archive of the Bau Abteilung of Auschwitz they fell very quiet.
Is that what you were referring to Mr Romanov?
There were external entrance doors to the furnace rooms - http://www.mazal.org/Pressac/Pressac0419.htm
True but you couldn't get close to these (without entering the enclosure and moving past a band of trees - even from this photo taken within the enclosure its impossible to clearly locate these doors, let alone see inside). These Kremas did not have 5 ovens with 3 muffles and they had no rails on the floor and therefore no trolleys like Krema II and Krema I.

The only Krema that matches the description they give is Krema II (Krema III also had no trolley rails) and that does not have external doors opening onto the oven room.

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Post by robota » 21 Apr 2006 04:58

ZLOTIN Mikhail, b. 1916, engineer in flour-grinding industry, junior lieutenant of RKKA, escaped from the camp in October of 1943. We took part in ZLOTIN's escape.
Just to comment in reverse order, I interpreted the last remark about Zlotin as referring to helping his earlier escape. 'We took part in his escape' is a very Russian-flavoured saying, and it doesn't mean they all escaped at the same time.
I think Nick may be saying very gently that the translation is not so good - I presume he has seen the original russian? As the phrase in English "we took part in his escape" is fairly unequivocal. If the correct translation should have been "we helped him escape" that is an entirely different matter. Though it seems that their interogator made the same assumption of that statement as I did.

I wonder if Sergey Romanov has scanned this account, as he often does, if he got put it on his website. I have a Russian colleague who would be able to read through it to check for any inadvertant mistranslations.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 21 Apr 2006 09:15

Deniers are like zombies. Debunk them to death - they will inevitably rise again, with new silly objections.
I do know that some people have attempted to claim that Auschwitz chimney's were in a perpetual state of chimney fire in the upper reaches of the stack and this created the illusion of flames pouring out from the furnaces. However, when requested to back up this assertion with any proof from the large archive of the Bau Abteilung of Auschwitz they fell very quiet.
Is that what you were referring to Mr Romanov?
Note how "robota" tries to change the topic. We know that the flames regularly appeared out of Auschwitz chimneys because of collected soot. So the only thing P&P got wrong was the maximum height of such a flame, and they did not claim to have seen it themselves. "Continuous flames" and other fantasies of "robota" do not come into play here.
There were external entrance doors to the furnace rooms - http://www.mazal.org/Pressac/Pressac0419.htm
True
So what does that tell us about "robota"'s honesty, when it claimed that there were no such doors?
but you couldn't get close to these
I couldn't, but Pet'ko and Pegov could.
These Kremas did not have 5 ovens with 3 muffles
And neither did P&P say that they counted the ovens there.
and they had no rails on the floor and therefore no trolleys like Krema II and Krema I.
True, but considering the circumstances, carts for transporting the corpses from the gas chambers could have easily been mistaken for trolleys (or, many months later, they simply used the wrong term).
I think Nick may be saying very gently that the translation is not so good - I presume he has seen the original russian? As the phrase in English "we took part in his escape" is fairly unequivocal.
It is indeed fairly unequivocal - it means that they were involved in Zlotin's escape. Now, what this involvement consisted of is open to interpretation, but they surely didn't say that they escaped with him.
If the correct translation should have been "we helped him escape"
The correct and literal translation has been given. "Prinyat' uchastije" is to take part, to be involved, to participate.

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Post by David Thompson » 21 Apr 2006 14:56

A post from kentaurus, containing insulting comments about another poster, was deleted by the moderator pursuant to warnings previously posted at:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 412#752412
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