Gas Chamber and Crematorium at KL Dachau

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Post by fknorr » 26 Mar 2004 14:20

Foelkersam wrote:...In the final use of the crematoriums at Dachau...
~David
Were the crematoriums @ Dachau ever used, by anyone?

Let me explain this comment before I am pounced upon. Dachau was not one of the death camps (i.e. camps set up exclusively (mainly) to exterminate all the people that the Third Reich deemed 'deserving'... Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibor, Treblinka, Chelmno, Belzec), where mass executions took place daily...

Dachau had Gas Chambers and several (?) crematoriums, is there any definitive numbers of how many people (wasn't this camp primarily for political prisoners?) actually died there in the Gas chambers and ultimately cremated?

Just incase someone is misunderstanding, I am not DENYING anything, trying to get clarification for myself AND those here who may not know the difference.

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Post by Foelkersam » 26 Mar 2004 15:06

Dachau was a concentrarion camp not a extermination camp.

Here are some info from http://www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de/e ... index.html
The first prisoners were political opponents of the regime: communists, social democrats, members of the trade unions and a few members of the conservative and the liberal parties. Also, the first Jewish prisoners were imprisoned in Dachau because of their political beliefs. In the following years new groups of prisoners were deported to Dachau: Jews, Homosexuals, Gypsies, Jehovahs' Witnesses, Clergymen and others. After the November pogroms in 1938, the so-called "Crystal Night," more than 10,000 Jews were brought to Dachau.

From 1938 on, the prisoners' society in the concentration camp in Dachau reflected the National Socialist aggression. After the annexion of Austria in the spring of 1938, Austrian prisoners were brought to Dachau and subsequently, in the same year, prisoners from the "Sudeten"-area. In March 1939 Czech prisoners were brought to Dachau, and after the beginning of the war prisoners from Poland, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and so on.

Finally, the German prisoners were a minority; the Polish prisoners were the largest national group, followed by the prisoners from the Soviet Union. Altogether, there were more than 200,000 prisoners from more than 30 countries imprisoned in Dachau.
During the war Dachau concentration camp became a place of mass murder. Beginning in October 1941, thousands of Soviet prisoners of war were brought to Dachau and shot. Also, others who the Gestapo, the Secret Police ordered to be executed, were transported to Dachau and killed.

A large number of prisoners were misused by SS doctors for medical experiments. There were high altitude experiments, cooling and freezing experiments, a series of malaria experiments and others. An unknown number of prisoners died excruciating deaths.

So-called invalid transports began in January 1942. More than 3000 prisoners were taken to the former sanatorium at Hartheim castle near Linz, and murdered there with Carbon monoxide.

There were 30,000 registered deaths in the Dachau concentration camp. Additional, thousands who were not registered were murdered in Dachau. The prisoners died of starvation, sickness, exhaustion, degradation, beating, and torture. They were shot, hanged and killed with injections.

In1942 a gas chamber was also built in the Dachau concentration camp, but inexplicably, it was not used. It was located within the new crematorium, a larger building whose construction with four ovens became necessary when the first crematorium, which had only one oven, proved inadequate.
/David

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Post by fknorr » 26 Mar 2004 16:30

Thanks for the information!

Of the 30,000 documented deaths, how many were from being shot, beaten to death, tortured, etc as opposed to being worked to death and/or poor sanitary conditions and diet? It may seem to be a trifling question (they are all still just as dead) but how many were purposely killed (firing squad, etc) as opposed to death by 'not caring'.

How do we know 'additional thousands' were killed there if they were unregistered? How did this source get this particular information ('additional thousands')?

If the new Gas chambers (that were never used) were connected to the new crematorium, would it be safe to say that this was not used either?

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Post by Foelkersam » 26 Mar 2004 16:50

fknorr, i am no expert of the Holocaust so i can't answer your questions. However, their are many other members here at the forum who have a lot of knowledge about the Holocaust.

I suggest that you spend the evening or the weekend to search the forum and Google about this. I think you can find a lot of answers that way.

If the new Gas chambers (that were never used) were connected to the new crematorium, would it be safe to say that this was not used either?
If you read the text carefully you will have your answer.
In1942 a gas chamber was also built in the Dachau concentration camp, but inexplicably, it was not used. It was located within the new crematorium, a larger building whose construction with four ovens became necessary when the first crematorium, which had only one oven, proved inadequate.
The site i quoted from is the official Dachau Memorial site.

Good info hunt/David

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Post by Foelkersam » 26 Mar 2004 19:30

Here are a map of Dachau and of Heilmannstrasse 25, marked with red arrows (yes, i know, they are very nice looking :wink: )


I would like to see some more sources on this subject, since it so a whidespread myth.


/Regards/David
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Post by David Thompson » 29 Jun 2004 08:42

Here is what Eugen Kogon, Hermann Langbein and Adalbert Rueckerl (editors) had to say about the gas chamber at KL Dachau, in their book Nazi Mass Murder: A Documentary History of the Use of Poison Gas, Yale University Press, New Haven (CT): 1993, pp. 202-04:
Building X at Dachau: A Special Case

It has not yet been conclusively proved that killings by poison gas took place at the Dachau concentration camp. But the following facts have been established:

Dr. Sigmund Rascher, an air-force doctor who later joined the SS, carried out medical experiments on human beings at Dachau. On 9 August 1942 he wrote to Heinrich Himmler on the subject:
"As you know, the same facilities have been built at the Dachau concentration camp as at Linz.* Because the convoys of invalids end up, one way or another, in the chambers that are intended for them, I am asking the following question: In these chambers, on people who are destined for them in any case, would it not be possible to test the efficiency of our combat gases? So far, all we have are [the results of] tests made on animals, or reports on accidents that occurred during manufacture. Because of this paragraph, I am sending my letter marked 'Secret.' "83
For a long time the camp administration had planned to replace the crematorium, which was in a little wooden building and had only one oven, with a new crematorium referred to as "building X." In the explanatory memorandum attached to the preliminary plan and dated 17 March 1942, one reads:
"As can be seen on the location plan enclosed, the spot chosen for the construction of building X is inside the grounds of the SS camp at Dachau, in the wooded region between the present crematorium and the building-materials depot. . . . The building is almost completely surrounded by trees; thus it is relatively isolated in the countryside. It will be surrounded by a wall two meters high that will hide it from sight." 84
Very few prisoners had occasion to see the new crematorium, which was built next to the existing one. At first the construction work was done by prisoners—mostly Polish priests. According to the testimony of the foreman, a German prisoner, the prisoner workmen did all they could to slow down completion of the building. In the spring of 1943 the four big ovens it contained were put into operation. From then on, the only prisoners allowed in the part of the camp near the crematorium were those carrying the bodies of fellow-prisoners who had died in the camp, or prisoners who worked with the railroad convoys.

* The writer is referring to the Hartheim "euthanasia" facility near Linz (see chapter 3). (Editor's note.)

Gassings in Other Concentration Camps 203

or members of the work details that cremated the corpses. Occasionally, however, workmen were sent in—electricians or heating specialists who had to make necessary repairs. 85 From the summer of 1944 onward, a disinfestation detail worked in the crematorium's four disinfesting rooms.

As in the other camps, the need to keep secret the construction of the crematoria and gas chambers also posed problems at Dachau. Before the end of the war Dr. Rascher was himself condemned to death, for child substitution.* While awaiting execution, he was imprisoned in the bunker at Dachau, the very camp in which he had formerly worked as a physician.

During his stay in the bunker he told a fellow-prisoner, a British officer named S. Payne-Best, about the difficulties encountered by the SS in camouflaging the gas chamber and concealing the gassings. 86

There is much additional proof of the Dachau gas chamber's existence.

On 3 May 1945, after the liberation of the camp, an American war correspondent took moving pictures in Dachau that show in detail the inside rooms of the crematorium, the room called the morgue, the room with the four crematory ovens, and finally the gas chamber. This last was a windowless room; metal strips pierced with holes had been set into the concrete ceiling; on one of the iron doors was the inscription: "Showers." On the left side of the building were four little disinfestation rooms, also closed with iron doors, which bore the inscription, under a death's-head: "Attention! Gas! Danger of Death. Do Not Open." 87

The American military authorities speedily began a series of proceedings against National Socialist criminals. As early as 15 November 1945, forty SS men accused of having committed crimes at the Dachau camp were brought before a U.S. military court. 88 The investigators had a report from a French military mission, entitled "Chemical Warfare," which had been drawn up in May and included a description of the premises. 89

On its side, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services had prepared, with the collaboration of the surviving prisoners, an overall report on living conditions in the Dachau camp. The gas chamber was described under the heading "Executions."

But during the trial there was only one witness, a Czech physician assigned to care for the prisoners, Dr. Frantisek Blaha, who declared that experimental gassings had taken place in the Dachau gas chamber. He said that Dr. Rascher, for whom he had had to do autopsies, had once taken him to the crematorium sometime in 1944. Inside the gas chamber, which Rascher himself did not want to enter, Dr. Blaha had to examine people who had been the subjects of an experiment. The first time Dr. Blaha testified, on 3 May 1945 at Dachau during

* Dr. Rascher and his wife (also condemned to death) had tried to pass off as biologically their own two children they had merely taken into their home. That this could be made an offense punishable by death is yet another incredible aspect of the Nazi regime. (Editor's note.)

204 Gassings in Other Concentration Camps

the pretrial hearings, he said that he had seen seven people in the gas chamber: two who were dead, two who had lost consciousness, and three who were sitting normally. 90 Then in November, during the trial, he talked about eight or ten people, three of whom were still alive.91 In January 1946, called as a witness before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, he broadened his testimony still further by saying: "Later, many prisoners were killed this way."92

Beyond these indications, there is no documentation about what happened in the gas chamber at Dachau. Visitors to the commemorative monument erected in 1964 and 1965 on the site of the former camp are warned that it has not been proved that the gas chamber was ever used.

* * * * *
Footnotes

83 Letter from Dr. Sigmund Rascher dated 9 Aug. 1942 to Heinrich Himmler, Federal Archives, ref. NS 21/319.

84 Nuremb. Doc. 3862-NO.]

85 Commentary by Gustav Gattinger, Munich, on the book by Paul Berben, Dachau, 1933–1945 (Brussels, 1968), Dachau Archives, no. 4070.

86 S. Payne Best, The Venlo Incident (London, 1950).

87 U.S. Army documentary film, ADC 4468/SPX-G LIB 6572 of 3 May 1945, Army Pictorial Center, Long Island City, N.Y.

88 Proceedings before the U.S. Military Tribunal at Dachau, case no. 000-50-2-US against Martin Gottfied Weiss and others.

89 Mission militaire francaise aupres 6e groupe d'Armees "Guerre chimiques" (chemical warfare), no. 23/Z of 25 May 1945, Service historique de l'Armée, Vincennes, ref. 1K310.

90 Interrogation of the witness Dr. Blaha, Dachau, '3 May 1945, by the investigating officer, Col. David Chavez, Jr., State Archives Nuremberg Rep. 502-IV-PS.

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Post by nny » 24 Jul 2005 03:38

But during the trial there was only one witness, a Czech physician assigned to care for the prisoners, Dr. Frantisek Blaha, who declared that experimental gassings had taken place in the Dachau gas chamber. He said that Dr. Rascher, for whom he had had to do autopsies, had once taken him to the crematorium sometime in 1944. Inside the gas chamber, which Rascher himself did not want to enter, Dr. Blaha had to examine people who had been the subjects of an experiment. The first time Dr. Blaha testified, on 3 May 1945 at Dachau during


90 Interrogation of the witness Dr. Blaha, Dachau, '3 May 1945, by the investigating officer, Col. David Chavez, Jr., State Archives Nuremberg Rep. 502-IV-PS.
David, I was curious if you could post the full testimony of Dr. Blaha on the subject of Dachau or if you could point me in the direction of where I might find his testimonies. I have read that Blaha (A Cechz communist?) testified to the experimental gassings of about 9 people I believe, then he said "Later on many prisoners were executed this way", the site turned out to be a revisionist site and I have been unable to find an unbiased poster of his testimony. I do recall, from the testimony of Konrad Morgan you posted awhile ago that he had this to say about Blaha and his testimony :
MORGEN: I believe that from my investigation from May to July 1944 1 know the Concentration Camp Dachau rather well. I must say that I had the opposite impression. The Concentration Camp Dachau was always considered a very good camp, the prisoners considered it a rest camp, and I actually did get that impression.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did you see the internal arrangements, the hospital, and so forth?
MORGEN: I examined all these facilities carefully, and I must say the hospital was in excellent order. I went through all the wards. There was no noticeable overcrowding, and remarkably enough the number of medical instruments which were at the service of the prisoners was astonishing. Amongst the prisoners themselves were leading medical specialists.
HERR PELCKMANN: Very well. You want to say that conditions were good. But you thereby contradict the testimony of the witness, Dr. Blaha, which was made the subject of evidence here. Do you know his testimony?
MORGEN: I have read the testimony of Dr. Blaha in the press, and here I have had the opportunity to look through the record of the Trial. I must say I am amazed at this testimony. I am of the opinion that Blaha, from his own knowledge, cannot make such statements. It is not true that a prisoner in a concentration camp can move about freely and have access to the different sections and installations.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks he can say that he disagrees with the evidence of Blaha, but not that Blaha was not telling the truth. He disagrees, he said it. We think you might get on. How much more time do you anticipate that you'll take?
HERR PELCKMANN: Five minutes, Your Lordship. You were just about to say, Witness, why you did not agree with the testimony of Blaha?
MORGEN: I said ...
THE PRESIDENT: He has given his own evidence about the matter, and he says he is in contradiction with Blaha. We don't want further details about it.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0653#50653

Any help would be greatly appreciated :)

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Post by Sean_Lamb » 24 Jul 2005 05:50

In the spring of 1943 the four big ovens it contained were put into operation.
My understanding is that it contained 3 ovens with a total five muffles.

There is an old Aboriginal proverb of the Maralinga Tjarutja people.

Roughly translated it goes "Hot air rises"

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Post by Obdicut » 28 Jul 2005 03:45

Mr. Lamb,

For those of us for whom English is not our first language, can you please explain what you mean by "Hot air rises"?

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Post by David Thompson » 31 Jul 2005 15:51

nny -- You asked:
David, I was curious if you could post the full testimony of Dr. Blaha on the subject of Dachau or if you could point me in the direction of where I might find his testimonies. I have read that Blaha (A Cechz communist?) testified to the experimental gassings of about 9 people I believe, then he said "Later on many prisoners were executed this way", the site turned out to be a revisionist site and I have been unable to find an unbiased poster of his testimony.
The quote and accompanying footnote suggests that the allegations appeared in Dr. Blaha's testimony at the Dachau trial. I don't recall having ever seen the testimony, but it should be available from the US National Archives and Records Agency (US-NARA), with the other transcripts of trials conducted by American military tribunals.

The NARA finding guide has this entry for RG (Record Group) 238:

United States v. Martin Gottfried Weiss et al., Nov. 15, 1945 - Dec. 13, 1945. Microfilm Publication M1174 (Dachau Concentration Camp Case). 6 rolls. (DP)

For the finding guide, see: Overview - Captured German Records at US NARA
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=62798

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Blaha's Testimony

Post by jv » 01 Aug 2005 06:52

You will find Blaha's testimony among the Harvard School of Law Nuremberg transcripts which are accessible on-line. jv

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Re: Gas Chamber and Crematorium at KL Dachau

Post by David Thompson » 05 Jun 2008 16:31

Synopsis of Interrogation of Martin Gottfried Weiss 6 Nov 1945
http://library2.lawschool.cornell.edu/d ... _04_01.pdf

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Dachau does Denial, so does Wikipedkia - the AJR Newsletter

Post by murx » 03 Mar 2011 19:12

Wikepedia shows in the Dachau section the statement: "Es kam im Lager, selbst zu Kriegsende, zu keiner Massentötung durch Gas. Dies wird auch von ehemaligen Häftlingen berichtet:...

"In Dachau no mass murder with Gas was carried out, which is also reported by former prisoners"..


http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/KZ_Dachau

Dachau memorial itself does not reports mass gassings.

http://www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de/


However the AJR Journal, Vo.l8, August 1950*, had witness reports that hundreds were gassed every 15 minutes, in summary tens of thousands, and other less known ugly details, like German children spitting at them:

*(Association of Jewish Refugees)
VISIT TO DACHAU
..A Pole, who had bee\in in the camp since 1940, was my guide. I asked him why he had not left this place of horror. He shrugged his shoulders. " It doesn't touch me any more, nothing touches me any more." He pointed at a conspicuous looking building, the gas chambers, untouched and unaltered as they were when tens of thousands filed through their doors. I entered the room where people were undressed for a " shower," as they were told. And then the doors opened and I was in the gas chamber. It was built like a shower bath and there were even some taps on the ceiling, though without pipes, just to keep up the pretence for one more moment. The gas came up from galleys on the ground. Groups of 100 each had passed through here. It took fifteen minutes for the people to suffocate. There was a small observation hole under glass in one of the walls where the executors watched their victims die. I wondered what happened to those observers, how they bore up to these scenes and what career they might have made to-day in the new Germany. Selected camp inmates helped to remove the corpses and to clean the chambers. They were separated from the rest so that they might not betray the deadly secret. In terms of three months they were killed, but not in the gas chambers which they helped to run. As a reward they were hanged in the anti-room. There were four huge stoves where the bodies were cremated. The human ashes, which by a device were kept apart from the ashes of the coal, were sold to the families of the murdered at a high price, but there came a time when those stoves could not keep pace with the rate of slaughter. And the room on the other side of the gas chamber shows footprints, not only on the walls, but up to the ceiling, footprints full of blood and dirt, for here the corpses were stored until they were interred or cremated.

Visitors' Book

It is in this room that to-day a Visitors' Book is displayed. I looked through the pages. Only a few people per day come out here. I saw the name of Dorothy Lamour but not that of a single German. Why are not groups of teachers, youth leaders, civil servants, led through here ? Why has it not been made compulsory for university students and all
those responsible for the Germany of the future to see with their own eyes what had happened here ?

Only five years have passed since the liberation of Dachau—and the place has sunk into obblivion.
The crematorium is situated on a ground saturated with murder. There is the gallows stand on which partisans and saboteurs were hanged. There is another devilish device, a trench where people had to kneel on a wooden grid so that their blood could flow tlirough when they were shot in the neck. This death was reserved for Allied flyers and parachutists. There are some trees full of foliage and green as other trees in summer. Only one is slowly dying, a huge fir caUed " The Hanging Tree." On its branches, hundreds were strangled when the work of the gallows was too slow. It seemed as if nature protested against the inhumanity of man.

I asked the guide if he thought that the people of Dachau knew what was going on here. He laughed bitterly. There were plenty of S.S. men having their girl friends in town and boasting of their ghastly deeds, and when a new transport of prisoners arrived, children came out to spit at them and to throw stones into their faces.
There are mass graves everywhere, some full of ashes, others filled with bones. Over 200,000 have been interred piled up four to five high on a little mountain by the camp, the Leitenberg. Night after night, especially when the typhus raged, corpses were loaded into big trucks and dumped there. Some months ago, a huge Menorah was erected
there opposite a large cross. On my way out, I passed once more the barracks from which the people were driven to death. Children were playing there, shouting and laughing. Back at the railway station I noticed that the name of the street was " Fruehlingstrasse." A beer garden announced dancing at night. .At another pub there was " Stimmungsmusik." Remember how we died here." No one remembers.

http://www.ajr.org.uk/

"Wikidenial" ??

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Re: Dachau does Denial, so does Wikipedkia - the AJR Newslet

Post by David Thompson » 03 Mar 2011 20:01

murx -- You asked:
"Wikidenial" ??

Hardly. "In Dachau no mass murder with Gas was carried out, which is also reported by former prisoners" is the view of mainstream historians. There was no shortage of brutal deaths at KL Dachau, but not from mass homicidal gassing. The AJR journalist's report is just another piece of second-hand, unsourced information, which won't take you very far in this forum or anywhere else. See the pre-existing discussion thread at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=46275, with which your post will be merged tomorrow.

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Re: Dachau does Denial, so does Wikipedkia - the AJR Newslet

Post by murx » 03 Mar 2011 20:42

Agrreed. My main point was to introduce the AJR link as an interesting source.

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