Documents pertaining to KL Auschwitz

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Documents pertaining to KL Auschwitz

Post by David Thompson » 23 Nov 2004 02:38

Document NO-021, in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 5: United States v. Oswald Pohl, et. al. (Case 4: 'Pohl Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 384-387.
TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-021

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 357

LETTER BY POHL TO HIMMLER, 5 APRIL 1944, CONCERNING SECURITY MEASURES IN AUSCHWITZ; HIMMLER'S ANSWER, 9 MAY 1944

The Chief of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office
D II/1 Az.: 27/2 Ma./F.
Journal No. 236/44 secret

Top Secret!
2 copies -- 1st copy

Berlin, 5 April 1944
Lichterfelde-West
Unter den Eichen 126-135
Telephone: local 765261
long distance 765101

To the
Reich Leader SS
Berlin SW 11
Prinz Albrechtstr. 8

Subject: Security measures in Auschwitz.
Reference: Your letter of 24 March 1944
Diary No. 38/32/44 secret Bra/H.
Enclosures: 2 plans [Id.]

Reich Leader!

The extent and the high number of inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp induced me already last October to suggest a three way division of the camp. After your approval, it has been carried out as of 10 November 1943. Therefore there are now 3 concentration camps in
Auschwitz.

As to the security measures taken for case A, I report as follows:

1. Camp I includes the compact camp for men with a present strength of approximately 16,000 inmates.

It is surrounded with a fence and by barbed wire which, as in all concentration camps, is electrically charged. Besides there are watch towers mounted with machine guns.

Camp II is situated about 3 km. from camp I. It accommodates 15000 male and 21,000 female inmates. Of a total of 36,000 inmates approximately 15,000 are unable to work. Camp II is also surrounded by an electrically charged wire fence; there are also watch towers.

Camp III includes all subsidiary camps attached to industrial establishments in Upper Silesia which, however, are located at considerable distances from each other. At present it consists of 14 subsidiary camps with a total number of approximately 15,000 male inmates. These labor camps are surrounded by the usual wire fence and also have watch towers. The largest of these labor camps is in Auschwitz attached to the I.G. Farbenindustrie AG It has at present 7,000 inmates.

The other subsidiary camps have a considerably smaller strength.

The following is a summary of the situation:

Auschwitz I 16,000 men

Auschwitz II 15,000 men, 21,000 women

Auschwitz III 15,000 men

[subtotal] 46,000 men, 21,000 women

Total 67,000

Camp II has the largest number of inmates whereby, however, it must be considered that of the total of 36,000 inmates, 21,000 are women.

2. Of the total number of 67,000 inmates those in the subsidiary camps and those hospitalized have to be deducted if the question of a threatening revolt or escapes in Upper Silesia is to be considered.

Of the total number, 67,000 inmates; 15,000 are to be deducted, those in subsidiary camps (camp III), and the number of the hospitalized and disabled, 18,000; so that practically 34,000 inmates have to be reckoned with. In case A this would mean danger to Auschwitz if security measures were insufficient.

3. 2,300 SS men are available to guard the inmates of camp I and II, including the staff of camp headquarters who are to be detailed in case A. In addition there are 650 guards available for the subsidiary camps of camp III.

SS Obergruppenfuehrer Schmauser keeps a company of police of about 130 men, in readiness by the middle of this month. This company shall, if necessary, be used for additional security of camp II. It will therefore be billeted in the close vicinity of this camp.

4. Apart from the direct security of camp I and II by manned watch towers and electrically chargeable wire fences, a line of bunkers has been constructed as an inner ring which will be manned by SS men. On the enclosed map, this line of bunkers is marked in red.

In case A, as a further security measure, the outer ring will be formed to be manned by the Wehrmacht. On the enclosed map, this outer ring can be seen on the map indicating the field Positions with the parts of the Wehrmacht earmarked for the operation. Inside the outer ring is also the labor camp at the I.G Farbenindustrie AG, with at present 7,000 inmates and the entire factory of the I.G. Farbenindustrie AG [Case of United States vs. Carl Krauch, et al., vols. VII and VIII.]. in which in addition to our inmates, approximately 15,000 people are employed. The deployment [Einsatz] of the Wehrmacht was decided upon a few weeks ago in Auschwitz by SS Obergruppenfuehrer Schmauser and the commanding general of the VIII army corps, Lt. General [Cav] von Koch-Erbach.

I further enclose an alert plan according to which the SS post commander in Auschwitz is able to alert directly all stations concerned by telephone, wireless, or teletype in the shortest possible time.

Further, it has been taken care that a large scale search be carried out under the direction of the Criminal Police Office Katowice in case of mass escapes.

The Luftwaffe units stationed in Auschwitz in the strength of 1,000 men are available provided the alert does not coincide with an air raid. These Luftwaffe units can however not absolutely be counted upon. In drafting the plan of operation [Einsatzplan] this has been taken into consideration.

Very soon exercises will be carried out with all agencies concerned.

I believe, Reich Leader, that these preparations and security measures will be sufficient in case A.

Heil Hitler!
[Signed] POHL
SS Obergruppenfuehrer and Lt. General of the Waffen SS

**********************************

The Reich Leader SS
Personal Staff
Diary No. 1924/44
- H-

Field Command Post, 9 May 1944

To SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl
Berlin

Subject: Security measures in Auschwitz

Your reference: Your letter of 5 April 1944, D II/1 Az./27/2
Ma/F. Journal No. 236/44 secret.

Dear Obergruppenfuehrer!

The Reich Leader SS approves of the security measures in Auschwitz, indicated in your letter of 5 April 1944.

Heil Hitler!
[Initial] Yours R.B. [Rudolf Brandt* ]
SS Standartenfuehrer

* Defendant in case of United States vs. Karl Brandt, et al., vols. I and II.

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