michael mills wrote:
Here is an excerpt from the testimony of Rudolf Hoess before the IMT on 15 April 1946, under examination by Dr Kaufmann, defence counsel for Kaltenbrunner. Hoess is talking about the arrival of transports at Auschwitz.
DR KAUFMANN: Were there any signs that might show an outsider who saw these transports arrive, that they would be destroyed or was that possibility so small because there was in Auschwitz an unusually large number of incoming transports, shipments of goods and so forth?
HOESS: Yes, an outsider who did not make special notes for that purpose could obtain no idea about that because to begin with not only transports arrived which were destined to be destroyed but also other transports arrived continuously, containing new internees who were needed in the camp. Furthermore, transports likewise left the camp in sufficiently large numbers with internees fit for work or exchanged prisoners.
The trains themselves were closed, that is to say, the doors of the freight cars were closed so that it was not possible, from the outside, to get a glimpse of the people inside. In addition to that, up to 100 cars of materials, rations, et cetera, were daily rolled into the camp or continually left the workshops of the camp in which war material was being made.
The above is an interesting example of what Hoess said when he was allowed to, and was not being heavied by his interrogators.
Other interesting examples would be the statements about the technical difficulties of the crematoria or the death toll of Auschwitz-Birkenau that Höss made later in his memoirs. Regarding the latter,
John C. Zimmerman wrote:Höss was directly challenging the credibility of his captors. He simply could not have written this under duress. Rather, if he was being forced to write these memoirs the 4 million number would certainly have turned up. Also, this shows that his memoirs were not tampered with by the Polish or Soviet authorities. This could explain the reason - though the author has no information to this effect - the Höss memoirs were not released by the Poles until 1958, more than eleven years after they were written.
Source of quote:
http://www.holocaust-history.org/auschw ... s-memoirs/
michael mills wrote:The distinction Hoess makes between transports "destined to be destroyed" and those containing new internees for the camp.
It would be interesting to know what transports and what period of the camp's existence Höss is referring to. There were transports from Slovakia, and also some from France and Belgium, containing only able-bodied deportees, IIRC.
michael mills wrote:We know from the German documentary record that the Jews sent to Auschwitz from Western and Southeastern Europe were sent for the purpose of forced labour, ie the transports carrying them must have fallen into the category of those bringing new internees, described by Hoess.
This generalizing statements makes one wonder what countries Mills considers as belonging to "Western and Southeastern Europe". Documentary evidence, according to the study Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas
, edited by Kogon/Langbein/Rückerl et all, tells us that
1. 69,025 Jews were taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau from France. 27,220 of them were registered at the camp. What happened to the rest?
2. 25,260 Jews were taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau from Belgium. 8,735 of them were registered at the camp. What happened to the rest?
3. 56,575 Jews were taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau from the Netherlands. 18,270 of them were registered at the camp. What happened to the rest?
4. 55,655 Jews were taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau from Greece. 12,760 of them were registered at the camp. What happened to the rest?
michael mills wrote:What then were the transports "destined to be destroyed"? Hoess may have in mind the transports that arrived in the first half of 1942, bringing Jews from the Schmelt camps of East Upper Silesia who had been selected as no longer able to work, perhaps under Aktion 14f13. He may also have in mind transports that arrived later from the various work and concentration camps, again bringing sick and debilitated Jews.
Plus the transports of Jews from the Lodz ghetto, plus the majority of transports from Western Europe and the Reich, plus the transports from Hungary ...
michael mills wrote:It is also noteworthy that Hoess refers to transports leaving the camp with internees fit for work.
Very noteworthy indeed, given that tens of thousands of such "internees" coming from Hungary passed through Auschwitz-Birkenau en route to other camps in the summer of 1944 (while the majority of Jews from those transports were retained for gassing).
michael mills wrote:The above statement by Hoess must cast doubt on conventional estimates of the numbers killed within Auschwitz itself, based simply on the numbers of transports arriving and the numbers of persons despatched on those transports.
And taking into consideration the number of Jews that evidence shows to have been registered at the camp or to have been transferred from there, as Mills forgets to tell us.
[...]Given then that 1.1 million Jews were deported to Auschwitz, to complete the grim picture the numbers of non-Jews deported to Auschwitz must be accounted for. Dr. Piper estimates that between 140,000 to 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Gypsies, 15,000 Soviet POWs, and 25,000 people of other nationalities were sent to Auschwitz. This would bring the total to about 1.3 million people. (Ibid. p.69-70.) But how many died? This, due to the incomplete camp records (or the fact that in the case of most of the Jews who were murdered, records were not permanently kept at Auschwitz), the only way to establish the death toll is by reconciling the of increases and decreases in the prisoner population from a variety of sources.
According to Dr. Piper the best estimates for the number of prisoners
transferred from Auschwitz between 1940-45 was 212,820; the number
released: 1,500; escaped: 500; and liberated was 8,000. This gives a total
of 222,820 people who left Auschwitz alive (but not necessarily survived
the Holocaust). (Ibid. p.71.) This means that at least 1.1 million
people died at Auschwitz. It was this figure, and the extensive research
by Dr. Piper involved, that in 1990 convinced the Auschwitz-Birkenau
State Museum to officially declare that the death toll at Auschwitz was
1.1 million, 90% of whom were Jewish. (Ibid. p.62.)[...]
Source of quote:
http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/camps/aus ... variant-02
Emphasis is mine.
[...]Franciszek Piper a confirmé en 1998 le bilan qu’il donnait dès 1991. On peut considérer aujourd’hui que les conclusions qu’il a alors données représentent la meilleure approximation du bilan des victimes d’Auschwitz:
« Sur au moins 1 300 000 déportés à Auschwitz, environ 900 000 furent tués immédiatement après leur arrivée. Les 400 000 autres furent enregistrés comme prisonniers du camp de concentration et dotés d’un numéro d’identification. Environ 200 000 sont morts de faim, de maladie, et d’esclavage; parmi les autres, nombreux furent ceux assassinés par injection ou dans les chambres à gaz. Ainsi, au moins 1 100 000 personnes sont mortes dans le camp. 90% d’entre elles étaient juives. Le second groupe le plus nombreux [parmi les victimes] furent les Polonais, suivis par les Tziganes et les prisonniers d’autres nationalités.17 »[...]
Source of quote:
http://phdn.org/histgen/auschwitz/bilan ... tml#note17
Emphasis is mine.
What is the difference between "conventional" and "non-conventional" estimates, by the way?
That the former are based on evidence whereas the latter are based on speculation and wishful thinking, perhaps?