Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
little grey rabbit
Member
Posts: 745
Joined: 12 Mar 2010 04:26

Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by little grey rabbit » 08 May 2010 10:03

Wilhelm Bahr was not someone I had heard of before, but was apparently tried by the British Occupation in Hamburg for operating a gas chamber at Neuengamme, not a camp generally associated with gas chambers.

This seems to have been presented in a book by Shelly Shapiro "Truth Prevails: Demolishing Holocaust Denial" but snippets can be found on the web. I provide a couple (links can be found by googling)
From the testimony of SS-Unterscharfuehrer Wilhelm Bahr in his trial at Hamburg

[Quoted in "Truth Prevails", ISBN 1-879437-00-7, p. 99].

Q: Is it correct that you have gassed 200 Russian POW's with Zyklon-B?

A: Yes, on orders.

Q: Where did you do that?

A: In Neuengamme [concentration camp].

Q: On whose order?

A: The local doctor, Dr. Von Bergmann.

Q: With what gas?

A: With Prussic acid [another name for Zyklon-B].

Q: How long did the Russians take to die?

A: I do not know. I only obeyed orders.

Q: How long did it take to gas the Russians?

A: I returned after two hours and they were all dead.

Q: For what purpose did you go away?

A: That was during lunch hour.

Q: You left for your lunch and came back afterwards?

A: Yes.

Q: Were they dead when you came back?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you look at their bodies?

A: Yes, because I had to load them.

Q: Why did you apply the gas to the Russians?

A: I only had orders to pour in the gas and I do not know anything about it.
Another
Perhaps the most thorough description of the gassing process was provided in 1946 by the British
Military Tribunal in Hamburg. A report on gas chamber execution, prepared by ex-medical orderly
and Unterscharfuhrer Wilhelm Bahr, was read there during Bahr’s cross-examination. Bahr had
written:
“. … with an iron rod and hammer they open a couple of harmless looking tin
boxes, the directions read “Cyclon[sic], vermin destroyer. Warning, Poisonous.”
The boxes, are filled with small pellets which look like blue peas. As soon as the
box is opened the contents are shaken out through and aperture in the roof. Then
another box is emptied in the next aperture, and so on. And in each case the cover
is carefully replaced on the aperture… Cyclon works quickly, it consists of a
cyanic acid compound in a modified form. When the pellets are shaken out of the
box they give off prussic acid gas….After about two minutes the shrieks die down
and change to low moaning. Most of the men have already lost consciousness.
After a further two minutes….it is all over. Deadly quiet reigns….The corpses are
piled together, their mouths stretch open….It is difficult to heave the interlaced
corpses out of the chamber as the gas is stiffening all their limbs.” 1
Quite an accurate version of what we understand to happen at Auschwitz. Does anyone know much about a gas chamber at Neuengamme? Real or an improvised facility or just someone forced into false confession? Or anything about Wilhelm Bahr?

Update: I also see that Wilhelm Bahr was a witness in the Bruno Tesch case, so I am not sure if Shelley Shapiro has taken her bits of testimony from there or if there was a trial dedicated to Wilhelm Bahr.

little grey rabbit
Member
Posts: 745
Joined: 12 Mar 2010 04:26

Re: Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by little grey rabbit » 08 May 2010 10:06

Here is a summary of the Tesch case regarding Wilhelm Bahr from David Irving's website
Wilhelm Bahr (pp 220--222): Oberscharführer, at Neuengamme, 1941-3. Medical orderly; took Zyklon course from Dr Tesch at Oranienburg in SS Krankenhaus. Confirmed he had gassed 200 Russian prisoners, on orders of a Dr von Bergmann, at Neuengamme, using Zyklon B; had used 5 or 6 little tins. "How long did the Russians take to die?" "A: I do not know; I obeyed only orders." After further question: "I returned after two hours and they were all dead." (He had left for his lunch break). He had to load the bodies. He only had orders to pour the gas in from the roof -- a brick was put on the entrance -- and does not know any more about it. Asked detailed questions by the defence counsel, Bahr gets confused and says: "I cannot say. I do not remember, I do not know. I cannot say." (sic). The judge advocate helps him: "Did you wear a gas mask when you were pouring in this gas into the chamber?" "Yes, I did." [Bahr was hanged after the Neuengamme case]

User avatar
Sergey Romanov
Member
Posts: 1772
Joined: 28 Dec 2003 01:52
Location: World

Re: Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by Sergey Romanov » 08 May 2010 11:14

for operating a gas chamber at Neuengamme, not a camp generally associated with gas chambers.
A transparent lie (with enough plausible deniability so as to say "but but but an average person doesn't, so it's true!").

Here's from the Muenchen Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte report:

http://ftp.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/orgs/germ ... ifz.report
Neuengamme (southeastern of Hamburg): From fall of 1942 on gassings with Zyklon B were undertaken here in a "Bunker" prepared for that, about 450 victims.
PS: And I know it may be considered a personal attack, but this is relevant to the flow of the forum discussion: "little grey rabbit" is a well-known personage on other forums, who claims that Auschwitz crematoria were bakeries, and who posted here previously as "robota", "Sean Lamb" and probably under other names (also cf. http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... codoh.html ).

little grey rabbit
Member
Posts: 745
Joined: 12 Mar 2010 04:26

Re: Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by little grey rabbit » 08 May 2010 11:51

PS: And I know it may be considered a personal attack, but this is relevant to the flow of the forum discussion: "little grey rabbit" is a well-known personage on other forums, who claims that Auschwitz crematoria were bakeries, and who posted here previously as "robota", "Sean Lamb" and probably under other names (also cf. http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... codoh.html ).
Is this the nefarious who is supposed to have "otago" in their IP address that I see you complaining about in another thread? I can assure you I do not and I am happy for David Thompson to supply my IP address to Mr Romanov to put his mind at rest on this point

However, I thank you for saying I am a well known personage and more than happy to have some exposure given to the concept that the Soviets may have manipulated two bakeries to appear as Krema II and III, an opinion I formed after long exposure to Auschwitz camp documents, aerial photos, the ruins themselves and finally witness testimony where the motif "the buildings on the outside looked like bakeries" kept re-occurring - as in normal circumstance in deference to forum rules I would not raise it myself. Readers interested can read a slightly light-hearted discussion here
http://rodohforum.yuku.com/topic/10416/ ... aims-.html

However, to return to the subject at hand. I was initially perplexed by the Bahr claim until I came across the Tesch connection, but I went ahead with the post anyway.

Suffice to say: is the actual location where the gassing took place known?
The implication seems to be that these were a form of a trial of the method, however, by the time these gassings were underwaying (Fall of 1942) experimental gassings are supposed to have taken place in Auschwitz in September 1941 and from early-mid 1942 regular gassings were allegedly taking place in Birkenau. So it can't really have been experimental in terms of Bruno Tesch's involvement. So what was the motivation? Local initiative? Just an ad-hoc measure to remove 400 or so Russian POWs?

User avatar
Marcus
Member
Posts: 33931
Joined: 08 Mar 2002 22:35
Location: Europe

Re: Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by Marcus » 08 May 2010 12:06

Get back on topic.

/Marcus

Kajtmaz
Member
Posts: 522
Joined: 31 Mar 2010 17:38

Re: Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by Kajtmaz » 08 May 2010 12:07

little grey rabbit wrote:So what was the motivation?
That's beside the point.

PFLB
Member
Posts: 454
Joined: 05 Apr 2010 10:21

Re: Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by PFLB » 08 May 2010 12:18

Yes he was tried and executed, but not in the trial where he gave that testimony.

I believe that in his own trial, he said that there were 2 gassing of this sort in 1942, which were preceded by rudimentary modifications to the building (a barracks or something of that nature, not purpose built).

little grey rabbit
Member
Posts: 745
Joined: 12 Mar 2010 04:26

Re: Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by little grey rabbit » 08 May 2010 13:26

I wonder what his motivation to confess was.

I note that he was a medical orderly, would a medical orderly be the normal person who would receive training in the legitimate use of Zyklon B, ie a delousing agent for control of epidemic causing insects?

PFLB
Member
Posts: 454
Joined: 05 Apr 2010 10:21

Re: Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by PFLB » 08 May 2010 13:50

Who knows, these people had all sorts of reasons. He may have hoped to be acquitted, arguably a vain hope in view of the type of case.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23182
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Re: Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by David Thompson » 08 May 2010 15:29

See the thread "Homicidal gas chamber at KL Neuengamme," at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=59741

steve248
Member
Posts: 1943
Joined: 10 Aug 2003 20:53
Location: St Albans, England

Re: Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by steve248 » 09 May 2010 17:30

In the year 1942, KL Neuengamme purchased 180 kgs of Zyklon B (3 March-18 Dec 1942) for 1,108 RM.
In the year 1943, KL Neuengamme purchased 427 kgs of Zyklon B (21 Jan-31 Dec 1943) for 2,508 RM.
All these purchases were from Tesch und Stabenow, Hamburg, compiled from original T&S documents used at the trial of Tesch, Weinbacher and Drosihn. The first two were convicted and hanged at Hameln; Drosihn was acquitted.

Wilhelm Bahr was prosecuted at another British military court in Hamburg, Jan-March 1946, along with former commandant Pauly and 12 others. I have no information on his conviction or otherwise.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23182
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Re: Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by David Thompson » 09 May 2010 17:52

Bahr, Wilhelm Friedrich (25.4.1907-8.10.1946) -- service, concentration camp (Konzentrationslager - KL) Neuengamme {arrested by British troops; put on trial 18 Mar 1946 by a British military tribunal at Hamburg with 13 other members of the administration and staff of KL Neuengamme ("the Neuengamme trial") on charges of participating in the mistreatment, torture and murder of allied nationals; convicted and sentenced to death by hanging 13 May 1946; executed at Hameln 8 Oct 1946 (Marcus Wendel & Dean Robson, "Third Reich Factbook - Neuengamme Trial", http://www.skalman.nu/third-reich/warcr ... ngamme.htm; "Hameln 1945-49," http://home.c2i.net/sudeten/Seite_1/194 ... 45-49.html).}

Jonathan Harrison
Member
Posts: 173
Joined: 24 Sep 2007 14:29
Location: USA

Re: Trial of Wilhelm Bahr and a gas chamber at Neuengamme

Post by Jonathan Harrison » 16 Mar 2015 11:54

I have just posted an article on this topic at our blog:

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... icide.html

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”