The Red Cross and Auschwitz

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
Posts: 321
Joined: 19 Dec 2003 07:34
Location: Hamilton, Canada

The Red Cross and Auschwitz

Post by Konig_pilsner » 23 Mar 2004 02:23

Did the Red Cross, which i know visited Axis camps during the war, inspect Auschwitz during the Holocaust years? And if they so what did they report was going on there? Thanx in adavance.

Posts: 603
Joined: 27 Feb 2004 20:17
Location: Canada/Former Berliner

Post by Apocalypse_Now » 23 Mar 2004 03:40

An IRC delegate to Auschwitz in September 1944 reported that inmates were allowed to receive packages, and that the existance of gas chambers could not be verified. However, IRC offcials were forbidden access to Auschwitz Krema, where the gas chambers and cremation faclilties were situated. Confered by the following testimony:

Testimony of Dr. Hans W. Muench
[Trials of War Criminals, Vol. VIII. p. 313-321]

Q. What was your first impression of Auschwitz when you arrived?

A. I had already heard about extermination camps, and particularly
extermination camps for Jews, through reports over the Swiss radio
that I listened to regularly in the preceding years, but since I
considered this news to be propaganda, I did not believe it at the
time, because the facts that were being described seemed too
terribly outrageous to me. When I arrived in Auschwitz, and had to
convince myself personally that these reports were not exaggerated,
I was very much shaken emotionally.

Q. Mr. witness, you were informed about the fact that human beings were
gassed at Auschwitz?

A. Yes.

Q. Mr. witness, for what reason did you not spread the fact that human
beings were being gassed and exterminated?

A. I was asked this very often and also before the Supreme Court of
Cracow, and I can say in answer to it that that would have been a
completely useless undertaking which would have very shortly caused
me and my family to be liquidated very quickly, because the Gestapo
was so well organized and the threats for nonobservance of the
secrecy that surrounded the Auschwitz exterminations were so clearly
worded for members of the SS that everybody avoided telling even his
closest friend about it, because experience taught us that anybody
who talked about it in any way was very quickly found because the
Gestapo sniffed out every rumor very consistently that spread about

Q. Mr. witness, what would you say if someone visited a plant in
Auschwitz twice or three times a year for a period of one or two
days? Would he then have to gain knowledge about these things?

A. I repeatedly witnessed guided tours of civilians and also of
commissions of the Red Cross and other parties within the camp,
and I was able to ascertain that the camp leadership arranged it
masterfully to conduct these guided tours in such a way that the
people being guided around did not see anything about inhuman
treatment. The main camp was shown only and in this main camp there
were so-called show blocks, particularly block 13, that were
especially prepared for such guided tours and that were equipped
like a normal soldier's barracks with beds that had sheets on them,
and well-functioning washrooms.

Q. Mr. witness, did you personally ever witness the gassing of human

A. Yes, I saw one gassing at one time.

Q. Mr. witness, you testified a little earlier that those who were sick
in the camps, like in concentration camp Monowitz, would be sent to
Auschwitz-Birkenau, but I wasn't quite clear as to why they were
sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. I'd like to put just a question or two
to you on that. Mr. witness, those people who were in the hospital
at Monowitz and were shipped to Auschwitz-Birkenau because of an
edema or phlegmon, for what purpose were they shipped to Birkenau?

A. As far as these people were Jews, I must state that most of them
were gassed.

Q. And, Mr. witness, if they were sent from the hospital in Monowitz to
Auschwitz-Birkenau, and they were Jews; and they were sent because
of weakness and collapse, why were they sent to Birkenau?

A. Also to be gassed.

Posts: 321
Joined: 19 Dec 2003 07:34
Location: Hamilton, Canada

Post by Konig_pilsner » 23 Mar 2004 04:31

thanx heinz.

is there any testimony from actual Red Cross workers to collaborate this testimony? It is interesting to note that Dr. Muench said that he would be "liquidated" for even mentioning the gassing by the Gestapo, where as i have read that no German was ever shot for refusing to execute POW's, jews, partisans, etc. Saying i was only following orders has never been an acceptable defence for war crimes. i guess hiding the holocaust was more important to the nazis then actually carrying it out.

User avatar
Christoph Awender
Forum Staff
Posts: 6756
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 17:22
Location: Austria

Post by Christoph Awender » 23 Mar 2004 04:33

Very interesting Heinz. Thanks for posting.


Posts: 603
Joined: 27 Feb 2004 20:17
Location: Canada/Former Berliner

Post by Apocalypse_Now » 23 Mar 2004 05:22

I will try and see if i can dig up testimony from a red cross worker.

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”