Bruno Tesch & Karl Weinbacher, merchants of death

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
The Black Rabbit of Inlé
Member
Posts: 133
Joined: 10 Mar 2011 20:12

Re: Bruno Tesch & Karl Weinbacher, merchants of death

Post by The Black Rabbit of Inlé » 29 May 2016 11:28

michael mills wrote:That shows that the Judge Advocate ignored the reality of the relative quantities of Zyklon-B required to carry out the delousing of clothing and buildings, relative to the quantities required to kill humans, possibly because he lacked the relevant knowledge of the lethality of hydrogen cyanide to different life-forms. It is obvious that he believed that the large quantities of Zyklon-B delivered to Auschwitz were far in excess of what was needed for delousing purposes, and hence the suppliers must have realised that the excess amounts were being used homicidally.
The JAG had little excuse for his failure to mention this in his Summing Up. Dr. Stumme [Weinbacher's defence counsel] spent a considerable amount of time in his Closing Address detailing the different quantities needed to poison humans compared to delousing clothing:

STUMME: The killing of prisoners at Auschwitz in the years 1942 to 1944 required a thousand kilogrammes for each year. How I come to those figures I shall now point out. 1000 kgs. cost 8400 RM. Therefore, the commission Weinbacher got on 1000 kgs. was 84 RM a year. It cannot be assumed that Weinbacher would have any financial interest in such a transaction for a profit of 84 RM a year, a business transaction which dealt with a horrible crime. The firm of Tesch & Stabenow made about three times as much money on the gassings they carried out, three times more than they made on the supplies to the army and the concentration camps. Owing to the increasing supplies to Auschwitz, the firm had not enough Zyklon to carry out the gassings which were much more valuable to them. Had the Zyklon been used in the gassings of ships, mills, etc., Weinbacher would have made three times as much money. I should like now to assume the unfavourable and say that perhaps Weinbacher wrote out the same consolidated balance sheets for himself as Zaun wrote out for the court here.

I should like to stress here that in the balance which Zaun prepared, only the years 1942 and 1943 figure, whereas according to the witnesses Broad and Bendel, the year 1944 was the one in which most killings took place. According to the evidence of Bendel and Broad, the following people were killed in Auschwitz: from May to June 1944, 400,000; and from July to September 1944, 800 000.

Since autumn 1943 all orders of the SS were collected at the Main Medical Stores at Berlin and distributed by those stores to the various units of the SS. The committee for the distribution of disinfectants decided where the supplies were to go. The firm of Tesch & Stabenow did not even know to which camps this Zyklon B was going. It is the case therefore that we have no figures for 1944 as to what quantities of Zyklon went to individual camps. First of all, it is of importance that the witness Bendel states that in 1944 it was started to do [sic] delousing not only by Zyklon but also by the use of Lisoform. Clothes uniforms and barracks were only very seldom deloused. If more Zyklon was needed in these camps, it was clear also for the first time for delousing purposes not only Zyklon B but also Lisoform was needed and used. As a witness Dr. Bendel states that in 1944 only infrequently delousing took place, but the firm of Tesche & Stabenow could not and did not know this; neither did Weinbacher. It seems important for the guilt or innocence of Weinbacher to know that a larger amount of Zyklon is needed for the destruction of vermin than for the killing of human beings, because human beings are dead after a very few moments of this influx of gas, whereas vermin have to be gassed sometimes for twenty-four hours.

The witnesses Broad and Bendel told the court that for the killing mostly two tins were used. Both witnesses said that in the crematoria cos. 1 and 2 there wore two big gas chambers available, and in the crematoria Nos. 3 and 4, two smaller chambers and one bunker. Both witnesses, when asked which size of tins were used for this purpose, indicated the 1000gms. tin, that is, a 1 kg. tin, Both witnesses stated that two such tins were needed and used for the bigger chambers and one for each of the smaller ones, and also for the bunker. In the bigger rooms this gas was infiltrated through two holes, and in the smaller gas chambers through a side insertion. The witness Bendel stated that for the bigger chambers in Crematoria Nos. 1 and 2, 2000 people could be gassed at the same time, and in Nos. 3 and 4, and also in the bunker, 1000 people. In all, the five chambers could provide for the gassing of 7000 people simultaneously, if one believes Dr. Bendel's evidence.

Dr. Zippel thinks that Bendel's statement is wrong or exaggerated, but in the interests of my client Weinbacher I have to assume that the witness Dr. Bendel is right in his evidence and is not exaggerating. For the simultaneous killing of 7000 people in these five gas chambers, seven tins were necessary according to the evidence of the witness Dr. Bendel. Seven tins means seven kilos of Zyklon. It is clear that 7 kilo served for 7000 people and 1 kilo for one thousand people. If we follow the argument of Dr. Bendel, who says that in the year 1944 one million people were killed in Auschwitz, that would mean that, if you would kill one thousand people with one kilo of Zyklon, then for one million you needed 1000 kilos of the same material. On the other hand, you must consider the evidence of the Gassing foreman Koch, who said that 500 gms of Zyklon were necessary for a standard gassing chamber of 10 cubic metres, and the effect was that you could delouse 100 sets of clothing at the same time. So that to kill 1000 people you needed 1 kilo of Zyklon, and to clean or delouse 200 sets of clothing you needed the same amount. So that with the amount of 1000 kilos which would kill a million people, only 200,000 uniforms could be disinfected. If this calculation is made for the duration of a whole year, there were about 100,000 inmates in Auschwitz.....

MAJOR DRAPER [prosecutor]: We have had no evidence as to that.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: We have had evidence that it is a large camp.

MAJOR DRAPER: Yes; with respect, there is evidence that it is a large camp, but, if my learned friend is going into detailed figures, then he is drawing on his imagination.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: The picture I got was that of a large number of Jews coming into the camp and being executed, and then others came and took their place. It is obvious there were not four million in there, but I think we are entitled to assume that there is a very large population in Auschwitz. I do not say any particular figure, but I think counsel can submit a fairly large figure.

MAJOR DRAPER: I think that is right, with respect, but detailed figures are not supported by the evidence.

THE JUDGE ADVOCATE: It is correct that we have not any definite figures for Auschwitz.

STUMME: One thousand kgs. would be sufficient to kill one million people or disinfect 200,000 uniforms, and therefore one would not have by far enough to disinfect the clothing at Auschwitz. The figures to which I have just referred, based on the evidence of the witnesses Bendel and Broad, apply to 1944, but they would apply equally to 1942 and 1943, for which years we have the balance sheets.

In order to come to the figure of people killed in 1942 and 1943 we can only look at the evidence of Broad, as Bendel only got to Birkenau in 1944. Broad states that the first time he heard about the gassings in Auschwitz was in May 1942. The first time he saw a gassing was in July or August 1942, when there were perhaps 300, 400 or 500 people being gassed. Later on he knew about the gassings through the concentration of the guards, and that happened about once or twice monthly. Only after March or April 1944 about 10,000 people per day were being killed. Therefore, it is right to say that in accordance with the balance sheets prepared by Zaun for 1942 and 1943, far less people must have been gassed than in 1944, that is, less than one million. If I assume that in the years 1942 and 1943 half a million each year were being killed, then, according to the calculation we have just had, 500 kgs. of Zyklon B would be required each year. With these 500 kgs. of Zyklon only 100,000 sets of uniform could have been disinfected during the whole year.

It can be seen from the figures and from the turnover of Zyklon B, that went to Auschwitz, no [one] outside, including also Weinbacher, could have got any suspicion as to what happened with the Zyklon B in Auschwitz. The quantities of Zyklon B wanted for the killing of humans is much smaller than that required for the killing of insects, as I have shown. The quantities of Zyklon B needed for killing half a million or even a million human beings stands in such small proportion to the quantities needed for the killing of insects that it would not have been noticed at all. Therefore, there was no need for Weinbacher to become suspicion [sic], as he knew that Auschwitz was one of the biggest camps and a sort of transit camp. I do not think, therefore, that it is correct to assume that the large quantity of Zyklon going to Auschwitz is any indication of the fact that human beings were being killed there.

- transcript pp.375-377

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”