Chapter V:
The Crematoria of Majdanek

1. History of the H. Kori Company

The two crematoria installed in the concentration camp Majdanek were equipped with furnaces manufactured by the firm H. Kori,[253] headquartered in Berlin, Potsdam St. 111. This company, established in 1887, soon specialized on the construction of cremation furnaces for the elimination of animal cadavers. It constructed the first facility of this type in autumn of 1892 in the Nuremberg slaughter house.

In November 1901, at a meeting of the Brandenburg Provincial Medical Board, Dr. Th. Weyl suggested cremating the bodies of the victims of the plague epidemic raging there at that time. He consulted the engineer Hans Kori, who had relevant experience. Kori replied that he could set up a cremation oven, valued at 2,750 marks, within 36 hours and put it into operation immediately.[254] We do not know whether such a facility was then actually set up.

By 1905 the firm Kori had installed 55 "animal cadaver cremation ovens", nine years later the figure had already risen to 160.[255] The company's activities gradually expanded to include the construction of facilities to incinerate all kinds of garbage. By 1927 the number of such installations sold by Kori was about 3,500.[256]

Not until relatively late did Kori begin building crematoria. At that time the German market in this area was controlled by four companies. In early 1925, 142 cremation furnaces existed in Germany. Of these, the firm Richard Schneider-Didier, Stettin, had manufactured 64, the firm Gebrüder Beck of Offenbach 42, the firm J. A. Topf & Söhne of Erfurt 21, and the firm Wilhelm Ruppmann of Stuttgart 15.[257] The first two companies were in decline at that time, while Topf was enjoying rapid growth. Kori managed, albeit with difficulty, to secure a share of the market by spending the first five years of its activities as manufacturer of crematoria by also installing many furnaces: two in 1926 in Hagen (Westphalia), one in 1927 in the crematorium of Weissenfels, and another two in 1930 in the crematorium of Schwerin.[258] By the early 1930s Topf had become the leading manufacturer of such furnaces, while Kori was in last place behind the companies Gebrüder Beck, Schneider-Didier and Ruppmann.[259]

Nonetheless the contribution of the company's founding engineer, Hans Kori, to the development of cremation technology in Germany was very significant. The Prussian law of September 14, 1911, permitted only the hot-air cremation method devised by Friedrich Siemens (the so-called "completely indirect process"), in which the body was turned to ash in the recuperator by air heated to 1,000C without the generator's combustion products being allowed to enter the muffle. In February 1924 engineer Hans Kori turned to the Berlin-Schönberg police headquarters with the request to revise the law of September 14, 1911. From his experience with his animal cadaver incinerators, where the cadavers were exposed directly to the generator's combustion products, Kori had found that this method required considerably less fuel than the "completely indirect process".

The engineer explained that the reasons which had prompted the passing of the law in question had not been valid, if only because the body was loaded into the oven together with the coffin; once the coffin had caught fire, it naturally envelops the body in flames. Besides, once the body's moisture content had evaporated, it burned by itself. Another factor was that during the "completely indirect process" the temperature dropped sharply while the body fluids evaporated; this could only be avoided by channeling the generator's combustion products into the combustion chamber.

Therefore, Kori proposed that the "direct process" should also be legally recognized as a legitimate cremation process. The Berlin police headquarters notified the Ministry of the Interior, which showed lively interest. On July 19, 1924, Kori sent them a detailed report on his proposal.[260] The matter was investigated by the Berlin Association for Fuel Conservation, which assessed Kori's proposal positively. The Ministry of the Interior seconded this opinion and passed a decree on October 24, 1924, declaring the "intermittently direct introduction of generator gases into the corpse chamber" to be legally acceptable.[261]

Ironically enough, the most intense resistance to Kori's suggestion came from the Topf company,[262] which was to become Kori's chief competitor in the construction of cremation ovens for the German concentration camps in the early 1940s.

2. Structure and Function of the Coke-Fueled Kori Furnaces for the Concentration Camps

The coke-fueled Kori furnace in the concentration camp Mauthausen which was put into operation on May 4, 1940, was probably the first model of the furnaces designed by Kori for the concentration camps.

The furnace stands on a brick platform, with its right side adjoining the wall of the service room. The standard double door for closing the muffle is at the front.

The muffle is equipped with a grate of three bars made of fire-resistant firebrick. They run crosswise and are joined in the middle by a bar running lengthwise. Underneath the grate is the ash pit, which may be closed off by a small door at the front. The generator is located at the back of the furnace section; the small door through which it is stoked, as well as the firing door beneath it, are located on the left side of the furnace.

The firing grate consists of 14 cast-iron bars and two crossbars for support. The supply shaft for the generator opens onto a sloping grate of broad bars, constructed in such a way that not only coke, but wood as well, can be used as fuel. No auxiliary devices are mounted on the furnace's back wall. The system for drawing off the flue gases includes an opening on the muffle vault in the front part of the oven as well as a horizontal smoke channel that can be shut with a metal damper. The system for loading the corpse consists of the bier, of a device on wheels to support it, as well as of a "firebrick barrier"; the latter is a device for closing off the body in the muffle.

The Kori oven to follow after this prototype was an improved model, which is why it was called the "reform cremation oven". We quote a May 18, 1943, letter from the Kori company to Amt CIII of the SS Economic-Administrative Main Office in which this model is advertised as follows:[263]

    "Re. Cremation Ovens

    Pursuant to our verbal discussion with you regarding the purchase of a single cremation facility, we recommend to you our coal-fueled Reform Cremation Ovens, which have proven themselves very well in practical application to date.-For the construction project planned, we suggest two cremation ovens, but we recommend double-checking to confirm that these two ovens would suffice. The specific arrangement of the ovens must also be decided on, since this determines how the fittings and the anchor frame are set up. If possible, the oven should be located in a closed room and connected to an existing smokestack.-If the location for set-up has already been chosen, we would ask you to send us a plan of the site so that we may provide you with an appropriate layout. From the enclosed diagrams you can see the area required for the ovens with service and stoking areas. Diagram J.-Nr. 8998 shows the layout for two ovens, whereas Diagram J.-Nr. 9122 shows how four ovens were set up for Construction Project Dachau. Another diagram-J.-Nr. 9080-shows your Lublin facility, with five cremation ovens and two fitted furnace chambers.

    Regarding the cost of two crematoria, we are pleased to make you the following offer:

    1) 2 Reform Cremation Ovens of the latest design, with vaulted coffin chamber and horizontal ash pit floor, including all fittings, the insertion, service and maintenance doors, the air valves, heating fixtures for the main furnace unit and the embers grate, the complete anchor frame of strong angle-iron rails and U-iron rails connected via anchor rails, all building materials i.e., high-quality firebrick form and regular bricks, firestone mortar, facing and backing bricks, brick mortar and cement, as well as complete installation by our heating engineer with the support of all technical assistants,

    RM 4,500 each = RM 9,000.

    In the event that the second oven is to be set up adjoining the first, the price for the second oven is reduced [...] to RM 4,050.

    However, this amount does not include the expenses for freight and carriage of the material to the site, traveling expenses for the installer, other traveling expenses, or posting rates. We would bill these expenses separately for your convenience.

    Our cost estimate also excludes: extra construction-related tasks on-site, such as excavation, foundation for the ovens, construction of the room where the ovens are to be set up, as well as the flues from the ovens to the smokestack, and the stack itself.

    As soon as the questions regarding location and set-up of the ovens have been resolved, we will be happy to provide you with a supplementary offer for the manufacture of the flues.

    To facilitate the loading of the bodies into the oven's incineration chamber, we suggest in addition:

  1.  2 cremation carts, trough-shaped, with rollers and handles, RM 160,-- each
    RM 320

  2.  2 castered trestles to support the cremation carts, RM 75,-- each
    RM 150
    RM 470

  3. We fully guarantee the effectiveness of the cremation furnaces to be supplied, as well as their stability, and also the supply of only first-rate materials and the quality of workmanship.

    The cast-iron fittings and anchor hardware as well as the fireclay form bricks can be supplied on short notice if we are provided with a Wehrmacht waybill for this purpose.

    To supply the iron furnace parts we require 1,460 kg [iron] per furnace, i.e., 2,920 kg for two furnaces. Enclosed please find the requisition forms for the iron.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Heil Hitler!

    H. KORI GmbH

    Encl.: 3 diagrams-J.-Nr. 8998, J.-Nr. 9122, J.-Nr. 9080-

    Requisition form for iron."

Today the three diagrams enclosed with this letter are held in the Belgrade archives of the "State Commission for Investigation of the Crimes of the Occupiers as Well as Their Accomplices".

Diagram J.-Nr. 8998 was a project for the crematorium of the SS New Building Administration of the concentration camp Neuengamme, which had two furnaces connected to the chimney via an ordinary flue.

Diagram J.-Nr. 9122 shows the project on the basis of which the four furnaces of the new crematorium ("Barrack X") in Dachau were built. Furnaces 1 and 4 are positioned on either side of the incineration chamber, while furnaces 2 and 3 are located in its center. They are paired, but although they share a common wall, their muffles are not connected. The system for drawing off the combustion gases is designed as follows: in the muffle vault, in the front part of each furnace, there is an opening through which the flue gases can escape; it opens into a flue running through the wall in the upper part of the furnace above the muffle and proceeding first diagonally, then vertically downward, winding around the generator in the interior back brickwork and then continuing downward, beneath the floor of the furnace room, before extending horizontally towards the chimney.

The two furnaces of the crematorium in the concentration camp Stutthof were structured similarly to the two central furnaces of the Dachau crematorium, but without the firebrick damper.

The four furnaces of the crematorium in the concentration camp Sachsenhausen were of the same shape as the five-muffle furnace built later in Majdanek. Together they formed a single unit 12.46 m long and 2.66 m high. The system for drawing off the smoke consisted of a vertical flue turning off at a right angle above the muffle and opening into another, horizontal smoke channel, to which it was in vertical orientation; this second channel passed through the interior of the brickwork in the upper part of the facility. Furnaces 1 through 3 were equipped with a damper of fireproof firebrick, located in front of the junction into this channel; the damper for furnace 4, on the other hand, was located in the lengthwise channel in front of furnace 3. This channel was divided into two sections by a centrally located piece of brickwork: the left section drew off the flue gases from furnaces 1 and 2, while the right part serviced furnaces 3 and 4. Both channels turned off at right angles and opened into two pipes, each of which in turn opened into one of the chimney's two flues.

3. The Crematoria of the Concentration Camp Majdanek

a) Construction of the Crematoria

Even though none appears on any known blueprint from the Central Construction Office, the installation of a crematorium had been planned for Majdanek (then called "prisoner-of-war camp") as early as October 1941. The original project, which, however, was not put into practice until two years later, and then with only one modification, provided for five coke-fueled Kori furnaces which were to form a single unified brick unit. This is apparent from Diagram J.-Nr. 9079 of October 16, 1941.[264] In an October 23, 1941, letter to SS-Sturmbannführer Lenzer, the Kori company described it as follows, with reference to exactly this diagram:[265]

"Our diagram, sheet 2 (J.-Nr. 9079), shows the solution to the space problem for a total of 5 cremation furnaces, of which furnace 5 in the middle is intended as reserve unit. In other words, only furnaces 1 through 4 are meant for ongoing use; they are built in two groups, with a common heating chamber located between two units for better utilization of the flue gases. Each group, consisting of two furnaces and one heating chamber, takes up an area of 4.80 x 3.00 m. The doors through which the bodies are loaded are at the upper front of the furnaces, and the service door for ash removal is located below them. Installed opposite to them, i.e., at the upper back of the furnaces, is the fuel input, which is operated from the common maintenance and stoking area. The floor here is 0.40 m lower than in the anteroom, to which the stone steps to the left and right of the furnaces give access and which also equalize the difference in height. The joint flue for 2 cremations each is located above the furnaces, with a diversion flue that permits channeling the flue gases either directly to the stack or through the heating chamber for purposes of utilizing the [heat from the] flue gases."

The aforementioned diagram shows only the incineration chamber, which measures 11.50 14.50 m. The other locations, including the coke depot, are only sketched in. The following diagram, J.-Nr. 9080, dating from March 31, 1942,[266] shows the definite shape of the furnace. The facility corresponds to that on the earlier plan, with the exception of the system for drawing off the flue gases. This now consists of two flues opening into a single stack equipped with two flue pipes. Each of the two pipes is outfitted with a ventilator located in a room next to the incineration chamber.

We shall return to the structure and function of this installation later. According to the diagram, the crematorium measured 30 10 m. Of that, the incineration chamber took up 10 16.30 m; besides that, there was also a mortuary 10 5.50 m in size, a 3.75 5.50 m room for inmates working in the crematorium, an office of the same size, a hallway measuring 2.50 4.50 m, and a room for the Chief of the crematorium; this room measured 4.50 5 m.

Since the implementation of this project would have required a great deal of time, whereas the increasing number of deaths among the camp's inmates made a crematorium an ever more immediate necessity, the Central Construction Office decided to construct a temporary crematorium with two mobile, oil-fueled Kori furnaces. For this purpose, as we shall see, it adopted the project from the diagram of March 31, 1942, modifying it accordingly.

Only one document regarding the planning and construction of the first crematorium in the concentration camp Majdanek has been preserved. The few references the Polish literature makes to this topic[267] are all based on the August 14, 1947, statements of SS-Oberscharführer Erich Mußfeldt.[268]

Mußfeldt stated that the two furnaces had been brought to Majdanek from the concentration camp Sachsenhausen, and that the crematorium was brought into service in June 1942[269] and remained in operation until late October of that year. As of November-Mußfeldt stated-no more cremations were carried out there because there was a lack of fuel, i.e., oil, and in early 1943 the two furnaces were dismantled and taken over by the Central Construction Office.[270] After the old crematorium was shut down, and before the new one was brought into service, the bodies of those who died in the camp were buried in the woods. He himself, Mußfeldt stated, had been in charge of the unit that performed this work.[271]

Mußfeldt testified that both oil-fueled furnaces had been taken to the labor camp Płaszw near Cracow, but in fact one remained in the camp; today it is kept in the building of the new crematorium. Afterwards, the barrack where the first crematorium had been located was also torn down. Only its concrete floor remained after the camp was liberated. The first crematorium had been located in Intermediate Compound I, in front of the southeast side of the Laundry.[272] On the official plan of the Majdanek Memorial it is erroneously shown at the southeast corner of the Drying facility, a small barrack approximately 15 8 m in size which said plan falsely shows as an inmate barrack of normal size.[273]

In late November 1942 the Central Construction Office of the concentration camp Majdanek decided to restructure the crematorium-or, more precisely, its furnace room; several alternatives were considered. The diagram of December 1, 1942, shows four mobile, oil-fueled furnaces, located in pairs to either side of a central brick chimney and connected to the latter via flues affixed above the furnaces.[274] Considering how scarce oil was at that time, this project seems rather unrealistic. In reply to an inquiry by the Central Construction Office, the Kori company suggested retaining the two old, oil-fueled furnaces and installing two further units of this type, albeit coke-fueled ones this time, which would require the addition of a coal generator in the rear section. The construction system is shown on Diagram J.-Nr. 9239.[275]

The diagram drawn up by Kori on December 10, 1942,[276] shows two possible configurations of the installations in the furnace room. In Sketch 1 they are set up lengthways, and breadthways in Sketch 2. Both options provide for two sets of adjoining furnace pairs, each with a brick stack located between the two units. The stack is rectangular; its exterior dimensions are 1.20 1.40 m, its interior dimensions 0.40 0.50 m. One of two furnace pairs is intended to be coal-fueled, the other is oil-fueled. No doubt the two furnaces already present were connected in this way.

The incineration chamber is 12 10 m in size. The arrangement of the furnaces as per Sketch 1 agrees very well with the Building Administration's plan of November 23, 1942,[277] which shows an incineration chamber 12.15 9.74 m in size, with two chimneys measuring 1.20 1.20 m outside and 0.45 0.45 m inside and aligned along the longitudinal axis of the incineration chamber. As noted above, this plan is nothing other than an adaptation of that of March 31, 1942, whose overall size (30 10 m) and interior divisions were retained. The size of the incineration chamber was reduced to 9.74 12.15 m because the two oil-fueled furnaces were less massive than the five coke-fueled ones that had been planned for originally. The mortuary, on the other hand, was enlarged to 9.46 9.60 m. The sizes of the other subdivisions (inmates' room, office, hallway, and the room for the Chief of the crematorium) remained the same.

Very soon, however, the Central Construction Office dropped its plan to restructure the crematorium's furnace room, and returned to its original project providing for the construction of five coke-fueled furnaces. On January 8, 1943, Kori sent Hauptamt CIII of the Economic-Administrative Main Office a letter in which it enclosed its offer from April 9, 1942; this was based on five coke-fueled furnaces and drew on the diagram from October 16, 1941. The system for drawing off the flue gases had been modified and was set out in a diagram (J.-Nr. 9112) which, while it has been lost, was most likely identical to Diagram J.-Nr. 9080 of March 31, 1942.

In its letter of January 8, 1943, Kori stated that it had provided for two ventilator installations. The flue gases, it said, cooled off in the course of their passage through the heating coils (this mechanism was used to heat the water), and this drop in temperature could adversely affect the strength of the draft during the summer months. (The strength of the draft depends primarily on the temperature difference between the flue gases and the outside air; the warmer the latter, the less the temperature difference, therefore the weaker the draft.)

Kori added that the fittings for the furnaces were almost ready, and that it awaited the Hauptamt CIII's order confirmation so that it could go ahead and order the fireproof materials, which were being supplied by a company in Upper Silesia.[278]

On January 21, 1943, the Chief of the Central Construction Office sent the following telegram to SS-Hauptsturmführer Krone of Amt CIII of the Economic-Administrative Main Office:[279]

"The Central Construction Office Lublin requests that diagrams be forwarded of the water heating installation for the 5 stationary incineration furnaces to be shipped here by Kori, so that preliminary work can be completed."

However, the new crematorium was not built until two months later. The first known diagram of the installation dates from June 24, 1943;[280] a diagram titled "Sketch of the Crematorium for Concentration Camp Lublin",[281] drawn up five days later, on June 29, shows a T-shaped building and gives a view of it from a 'bird's-eye' perspective. The roof section is labeled:

"Notes: bring mortuary to same level as boiler house. Coal shed must have same width as dissection room. Therefore, same elevation of roof ridge, and clean roof shape!"

In August 1944, following an examination of the building, the Polish-Soviet Commission drew up a plan of the crematorium[282] which reveals the following:

Where its exterior dimensions and the arrangement of its subdivisions are concerned, the long section of the crematorium, where the furnaces were located, was constructed as per Diagram J.-Nr. 9080 of March 31, 1942. This section indeed measured 10 30 m,[283] while the sizes of the interior subdivisions had been slightly modified: The mortuary was 9.40 5.70 m in size, the incineration chamber 9.40 16.80 m, the inmates' room 5.46 3.40 m, the office 5.46 3.40 m, the hallway 4.30 3.30 m, and the room for the Chief of the crematorium 4.30 3.40 m.

Two symmetrical annexes of 10 10 m each were added to this section, joining crossways with the mortuary, so that together with the mortuary they formed a T-shape whose upper, lengthways part also measured 30 m. The annex on the side where the furnaces were located consisted of one single section, the coal shed; the annex located opposite, on the side of the chimney, was subdivided into five sections, the purpose of which is only known for three: the dissection room (3.35 5.70 m), the bath (3 2.20 m) and the washroom (3 1.35 m).

The Polish-Soviet Commission christened the remaining rooms "Pre-Dissecting Room" and "Gas Chamber". The latter room measured 6.10 5.62 m and allegedly served as Zyklon B gas chamber for murdering human beings. Of course, even if only from a technical point of view, the use of this room for such a purpose would have been utter madness, as we shall show later.[284] In actual fact it was probably a sort of funeral parlor or urn room.[285] The room which the Polish-Soviet Commission dubbed "Pre-Dissecting Room", to which the main door gave access and which one perforce had to cross to get from the dissecting room to the supposed funeral parlor or urn room, was nothing more than a relatively large anteroom.

b) The Structure of the New Crematorium

The Polish-Soviet Commission provided the following description of the new crematorium as it appeared in July and August 1944:[286]

    "The furnaces for cremating dead bodies are located in the southeastern part of the concentration camp at a distance of 60 m from the internees' living barracks. The building's yard is behind a triple barbed-wire barrier serving primarily to contain the inmates. The yard fencing consists of two rows of barbed wire, 3 m high.[[287]] The yard covers an area of 3,600 m (60 x 60 m). The layout of the entire complex is T-shaped and divided into 12 major rooms; further, a wing had been set up around the chimney to house the ventilators.

    At the time the building was examined, it was found that all wooden parts of the building were burned, and the room formerly used to lay out the corpses /No. 4/ as well as the furnace room /No. 1/ contained numerous charred corpses. Only those facilities and building parts of brick, concrete and reinforced concrete survived the conflagration, including:

a) The incineration furnaces with the upper smoke flue and connector flue;

b) Smokestack with two ventilators;

c) The concrete gas chamber with reinforced concrete overhang and two small windows on the mortuary side;

d) Brick wall separating the bath and the washroom from the pre-dissecting room;

e) Brick wall separating the dissecting room from the pre-dissecting room;

f) Part-brick walls outside the entrance to the bath, and

g) Foundations, brick bases and concrete floors for all 12 rooms mentioned, and the dissecting room table mounted on a stone base.

    The buildings not affected by the fire and adjoining the burned facilities, as well as the aforementioned separate rooms which survived entirely intact, allowed the reconstruction of an outline sketch of all buildings after on-site measurements, an assessment of the purpose of each object, and a schematic representation of the technical function of the incineration furnaces.

    Listing of the rooms:

# of the rooms,
as per layout plans

Description of rooms


Area in m2














Incineration room

Dissection room

Gas chamber


Fuel room

Pre-Dissection room



Ventilation room





16.80 x 9.40

5.70 x 3.45

6.10 x 5.62

9.40 x 5.70

9.70 x 9.40

6.55 x 3.55

3.00 x 2.20

3.00 x 1.35

6.20 x 5.25

5.56 x 3.40

5.46 x 3.30

4.30 x 3.40

4.30 x 3.30














The block of incineration furnaces is set up in the Incineration Room /No. 1/ and consists of 5 chambers for the cremation of corpses and 2 utility chambers for exploiting the heat from the exhaust gases. /The installation of equipment in these utility chambers was not completed./

Dimensions of the incineration furnace block within the brickwork:




Height of furnaces to upper smoke flue

11.60 m

3.00 m

1.90 m

2.64 m

Interior dimensions of the cremation furnaces:

Pre-heating furnace /a

Incineration chamber /b

Ash pit /c

Cross-section of smoke flue /d

Ash box /d

Ash box /d1

Area of grate in incineration chambers








Materials used in the brickwork of the incineration furnaces: pre-heating furnace a), incineration chamber b), ash pit c), and smoke flue d) consist of DIN-brick.

The DIN-grating rails in the incineration chamber are melted and the firebrick is structurally altered.

Some of the components in the upper horizontal channel are deformed, and melting has taken place in the lower part.

The base surface of the pit beneath the grate b) and the brick components of all door frames of the incineration furnaces are of firebrick. The exterior walls of the furnaces are of red brick.

The entire construction of the incineration block is held together at the top and bottom by 4 horizontal and 20 vertical anchor bolts and is reinforced by rods of sectional iron (No. 10).

The heating system and the ash pits of the furnaces are closed off with cast-iron double doors. The furnaces contain a large number of charred bones. In front of each oven there are iron rolling tracks in the form of vertical frames with two rollers. Five metal gurneys are present by the furnaces, four of which have suffered heat deformation due to the fire. Metal rods are next to the furnaces."

4. Structure and Function of the Cremation Furnaces

a) The Coke-Fueled Furnaces

The coke-fueled five-muffle furnaces of the concentration camp Majdanek[288] consist of two pairs of muffles to either side of one central muffle.[289] Two heating chambers are installed between the two pairs to either side. The construction of the individual furnaces reveals additional modifications as compared to the furnaces of Dachau and Sachsenhausen. The standard double door through which the bodies were loaded is located at the front of the furnace; it measures 0.55 0.65 m and exhibits the typical round ports for observing the cremation process and for supplying air to aid this process. The incineration chamber is 0.77 m wide and 0.67 m high. It is delimited at the bottom by a fireproof grate of 9 pairs of crossbeams of standard type. The muffle's utilizable depth is 2.17 m.

Beneath the fireproof grate is the ash pit, whose front section is equipped with an embers grate. The ash pit can be closed off at the front by two doors. The upper one, located directly below the door for loading the corpse, allows the operator to use a scraper to reach pieces of the body which have dropped through the gaps of the fire grate and to drag them onto the afterburn grate, where they burn up completely. The second door, located beneath the first, allows removal of the ashes. On the sides of the upper door there are two air valves which close the vents of the two air channels through which combustion air enters the muffle.

These air channels run horizontally through the furnace brickwork, whence they turn off at right angles upward, and again at a level with and parallel to the muffle, to which they are connected by means of four 8 8 cm openings-two on either side.

The generator is located at the rear of the furnace; the main heating system consists of a level grate 0.68 0.63 = 0.43 m in size. Given a natural draft, approximately 50 kg of coke fuel could be burned on this grate per hour. At the rear of the furnace there is a double door, the so-called generator stoking shaft door, and the firing door.

The firebrick is 12 cm thick. The flue gases are drawn off in a manner very similar to that for the furnaces of the Sachsenhausen camp, with the one difference that the muffle is directly connected, via a vertical pipe, to the horizontal smoke channel in the upper part of the brickwork. Two cleaning hatches are located on either side of the smoke channel.

Six smoke channel dampers of 0.60 0.45 m each are located in this smoke channel. Two heating chambers are installed between furnaces 1/2 and 3/4; each chamber consists of two sections, each of which is equipped with a heating coil with 15 m surface area, for heating water. These heating coils are connected to two horizontal pipes installed outside the furnace; the connections are made by 8 vertical pipes of smaller diameter. An observation hatch is installed beneath the second horizontal pipe. These two pipes were connected to two boilers located above the two heating chambers. If five furnaces were in operation, this provided a heating surface of 30 m, with an hourly output of 300,000 Kcal. In this way enough hot water for 50 showers could be supplied; if these showers were in use 20 hours a day, then given an effective shower time of 5 minutes and five shower cycles per hour, 5,000 to 6,000 people could take a shower each day.[290]

The flue gases from furnaces 1 and 2 (and potentially 5) and from numbers 3 and 4 crossed the heating chamber from top to bottom, giving off their heat to the heating coil, thereby producing hot water. They then entered two underground smoke channels 0.70 0.75 m in diameter, which led to two ventilators. These consisted of a pipe and an elbow, and a horizontal damper to close the system off, as well as a blower and a motor. Each blower was connected to one of the two draft pipes into which the chimney was subdivided.

The system for loading the body consisted of the gurney, the rollers and the castered trestles, whereas the firebrick damper is absent.

In the front, beneath the loading door, the muffles exhibit two doors, one above the other, because the afterburn chambers are equipped with an afterburn grate. The upper door allows an operator to move body parts which have dropped through the muffle grate into the afterburn chamber, onto the afterburn grate; the lower door allows removal of the ashes.

The generators are located at the rear of the furnace, where the generator filling shafts and (directly beneath these) the stoking doors are installed; the latter give access to the firing grates.

The system for drawing off the combustion gases consists of an opening in the muffle vault in the front part of the furnace. This arrangement recalls the design of the furnaces at Dachau, with the difference that the smoke channel is installed inside the brickwork above the furnace and runs along the entire furnace. At the ends of this set-up there are two doors, one to permit observation and one to facilitate cleaning the smoke channel.

The latter is connected via special openings to two heating chambers between Furnaces 1 & 2, and 3 & 4, respectively, which in turn are connected via openings in the bottom to two smoke channels installed in the floor of the furnace room.

The two smoke channels lead into the right and left chimney pipe, respectively. The chimney was about 20 m tall and equipped with two draft pipes whose arrangement is shown on Diagram J.-Nr. 9098.

The new crematorium was not brought into service until January 1944. Nonetheless the five furnaces had technical flaws, which Karl Müller, the Kori company's master installer, listed precisely. On February 4, 1944, Hans Kori sent the command of the Majdanek camp a long letter, explaining the reasons for these flaws and giving instructions on how to remedy them.[291]

b) The Oil-Fueled Furnaces

The structure and function of the mobile oil-fueled Kori cremation furnace are well explained in a diagram which the Institute for Heat and Fuel Technology of the Cracow Mining Academy drew of the furnace at Trzebionka, a satellite camp of Auschwitz, which it no doubt based on original documents from Kori.[292] Furnaces of this type were installed in Sachsenhausen, Stutthof, Groß-Rosen and Ravensbrück, among others. The two furnaces in the first crematorium of Majdanek were of this type.

The furnace,[293] which is shaped like a muffle, is lined with sheet iron on the outside. At the front we find the standard double door for loading the bodies. Beneath is the door to the ash pit, on whose sides two air valves are affixed to admit the air necessary for combustion. The incineration system is the same as that for the coke-fueled furnace.

The nozzle of the main oil burner is in the rear part of the muffle. The muffle grate consists of 20 fireclay rods resting on two rails and joined in the middle. The grate ends 25 cm short of the rear wall.

Underneath the grate is the ash pit, under whose rear wall the nozzle for the auxiliary oil burner is located. Above, at the inside left of the furnace, the blower and electric motor are installed; they supply the two incineration chambers, located towards the back of the furnace, with the needed combustion air via pipes. Beside the blower, in the right-hand part of the furnace, is the oil reservoir, whence the fuel travels to two combustion chambers through a pipe of smaller diameter. At the lower right side of the furnace is an observation port, above which the air valve for the ash pit is located.

The system for drawing off the flue gases consists of an opening on the muffle vault towards the front of the furnace, and a short smoke channel leading from the furnace into a small pipe. The latter is square and of cast-iron; a regular chimney is installed on top of it, in the form of a cast-iron pipe. The bodies were loaded via a castered trestle, just as for the coke-fueled furnaces.

5. Capacity of the Cremation Furnaces

a) Capacity of the Coke-Fueled Furnaces

In August 1944, the Polish-Soviet Commission of engineers, including the engineers Kelles-Krause, Teljaner, and Grigorev, examined the cremation furnaces of Majdanek. They then drew up a technical expert report, concluding as follows:[294]

"a) The temperature in the cremation chambers was 1,500 degrees Celsius;

b) Loading the bodies into the furnaces and cleaning the ash pits took no longer than three minutes;

c) Four 'treated' bodies-i.e., bodies whose arms and legs had been chopped off-could be burned at one time, together with the cut-off extremities;[[295]]

d) The time required for cremating such a load did not exceed 12 minutes;

    Therefore, when the furnaces were operating 24 hours a day, their capacity for this period amounted to ((24 x 60 x 4 x 5) / 15 =) 1,920 bodies."

According to this report, the capacity of the furnaces depended on the following factors:

Since these factors are interdependent, we must examine all of them together.

The experts claimed that the coke-fueled cremation furnaces of Majdanek had a normal operating temperature of 1,500 degrees Celsius, but technically this is incorrect. A recognized authority in this field, engineer Richard Kessler, who carried out a series of test cremations in the crematorium of Dessau, emphasizes:[296]

"Loading temperatures of 1,200 to 1,500 degrees Celsius, though they are frequently mentioned in reports about crematory operations (the publication 'Die Flamme' even mentioned 2,000 degrees) would seem to be incorrectly estimated, not measured temperatures. At temperatures such as these, both the bones and the firebrick material would soften and fuse with each other. The most expedient loading temperatures, as determined in the Dessau tests, are between 850 and 900 degrees Celsius."

Contrary to what the experts appointed by the Polish-Soviet Commission claim, the fireclay brickwork of the muffles is still in good shape even today and shows no trace of any such fusion. This becomes apparent from a comparison with the brickwork of the two generators in the Topf double-muffle furnace of Gusen. Besides, the smoke channel dampers were of fireclay, not cast iron.

The experts arrived at the time required for cremation on the basis of an "Orientation Diagram to Determine the Time for Cremation of Bodies in Various Cremation Furnaces, Depending on Temperature", which they enclosed with their report. This diagram starts with a muffle temperature of 800 degrees Celsius and goes up to 1,500 degrees. The relationship between temperature and incineration time is represented as follows:









120 mins

105 mins

90 mins

75 mins

60 mins

45 mins

30 mins

15 mins

(Klingenstierna furnace)


(Siemens furnace)


(Schneider furnace)




Which sources the experts based this on remains a mystery, but it is a fact that the times given for temperatures over 1,000 degrees are ludicrous.

The diagram mentioned above attributes to the Klingenstierna furnace a cremation time of 120 minutes at a temperature of 800 degrees, to the Siemens furnace a time of 90 minutes at 1,000 degrees, and to the Schneider furnace a time of 60 minutes at 1,200 degrees.

These three furnace types were designed according to the principle of the "indirect process," whereby the body was exposed only to heated air. In this process, air passed through the recuperators or regenerators, which were heated to a temperature of 1,000 degrees, and then, heated to the same temperature, it entered the muffle, where it effected the incineration of the corpse. According to the architect E. Beutinger, cremation in the Siemens furnace of Gotha took 90 minutes at a temperature of 900 degrees Celsius, 60 to 90 minutes at 1,000 degrees in the Klingenstierna furnaces, and 45 to 90 minutes at 1,000 degrees in the Schneider furnaces.[297]

According to a report of the Stuttgart Municipal Planning Department and Building Control Office about 48 cremations carried out between July 20 and September 15, 1909, in a hot-air cremation furnace of the Wilhelm Ruppmann type, the maximum temperature achieved in the incineration chamber was 1,120 degrees C.[298]

In the course of the test cremations carried out by Richard Kessler between November 1, 1926, and January 12, 1927, in the crematorium of Dessau in a furnace manufactured by the firm of Gebrüder Beck (it was an improvement on the Klingenstierna model), a maximum temperature of 1,100 degrees Celsius was attained in the cremation chamber, but only for a short time, namely while the coffin burned up.[299]

Therefore, it is certain that temperatures greater than 1,100 degrees were hardly ever reached in the cremation chambers of the civilian crematoria to which the Soviet experts referred. Temperatures of 1,500 degrees could only have been reached directly above the generator grate.[300]

This means that the figures given in the Soviet diagram for temperatures greater than 1,000 degrees were nothing more than unacceptable extrapolations.

The experts committed another untenable extrapolation in the context of the 'loading' of the furnaces, i.e., the introduction of the corpses into the incineration chamber. Since the simultaneous cremation of two or more bodies in one muffle in civilian crematoria was forbidden (after all, the ashes were to go to the deceased's next-of-kin), the subject literature contains no information about such multiple cremations. Accordingly, the Soviet experts perforce based their diagram on data from the cremation of single bodies and then incorrectly extrapolated these onto the hypothetical cremation of multiple bodies in one and the same muffle. The fact that the results thus obtained are completely wrong is easily proven with reference to the Kori-built furnaces for the cremation of animal cadavers. While such a comparison may seem sacrilegious, we cannot help but draw it, since it does provide reliable information regarding the time that would be required for the cremation of multiple bodies in one muffle.

It should be noted at the start that the furnaces for incinerating animal cadavers were more efficient facilities for cremating organic material than the crematoria were, since the only factor to consider in their design was maximum economy. Kori manufactured eight such incinerators of various sizes. Model 2b, whose incineration chamber measured 1.38m (which approximates that of the Kori crematoria, where the corresponding area was 1.5m), was able to reduce a maximum of 450 kg flesh to ashes in an eight-hour period; the process required 170 kg of coal.[301] This corresponds to the incineration of one kg of flesh in 64 seconds at a consumption of 0.37 kg coal. Accordingly, the cremation of several bodies with the maximum total weight possible-450 kg-would have required approximately 74 minutes and 24.6 kg coal per 70-kg body.

The largest animal cadaver incinerator manufactured by Kori had a capacity of 900 kg flesh in 13.5 hours. The process required 300 kg coal. This corresponds to an incineration time of 54 seconds and a coal consumption of 0.333 kg per kilo of flesh.[301] To simultaneously cremate 13 bodies weighing (90013=) 69.2 kg each, the process in this furnace would have required an average of 62 minutes and 23 kg fuel per body.

Based on this data, we can conclude with certainty:

a) the average minimum time to cremate a body weighing approximately 70 kg was roughly 62 minutes;

b) increasing the load (450 kg for Model 2b, 900 kg for Model 4b) resulted in maximum savings of approximately 12% fuel and 16% time.

Thus, experimental evidence shows that the simultaneous cremation of multiple bodies in one and the same muffle would have increased the capacity of the Majdanek crematoria only by an insignificant degree.

These data are confirmed by the testimony of Erich Mußfeldt, who stated in this context:[302]

"Only one body was inserted into each muffle; cremation took about one hour."

This is also exactly how long it took to cremate a body in the Topf furnaces of the crematoria at Auschwitz-Birkenau.[303]

To summarize: since no cremation furnace achieves temperatures greater than 1,000 degrees Celsius in the cremation chamber, and since the insertion of multiple bodies into one muffle would have increased the cremation time by almost the same factor, the Soviet diagram is devoid of any scientific value.

It should be emphasized that not even the experts appointed by the Polish-Soviet Commission dared suggest an incineration time of less than 60 minutes at the effective cremation temperatures. According to them, cremation took 75 minutes at 1,100 degrees C. Their own diagram shows that at the actual temperature (800 degrees C) a cremation takes no less than two hours!

The reason for the Polish-Soviet experts' grotesque exaggeration of the crematoria's capacity is obvious: if 600,000 bodies had really been incinerated in the new crematorium, as the Polish-Soviet Commission claimed, then the furnaces had to have an incredible capacity! Of course even the fantasy figure of 1,920 bodies (the capacity imputed by the Commission to the crematoria, an exaggeration 19 times greater than the actual fact) would not have sufficed to cremate 600,000 bodies: since the crematorium was not brought into service until January 1944 (we do not know on what day), and was thus operational for only six or at most barely seven months, then even operating at the aforementioned fantasy figure capacity it could hardly have managed more than 300,000 bodies.

Incidentally, to this day the new crematorium of Majdanek sports a plaque on which the capacity of the five furnaces is given as 1,000 per day. The actual figure is approximately one-tenth of that!

b) The Capacity of the Oil-Fueled Furnaces

Regarding the capacity of the two oil-fueled furnaces, SS-Hauptsturmführer Krone, an employee of Amt CIII of the SS Economic-Administrative Main Office, wrote in his January 20, 1943, report, which we have already mentioned in Chapter III:[304]


At this time two oil-fueled cremation furnaces are in operation. Together, these furnaces can dispose of some 100 bodies in a 12-hour period."

This corresponds to a capacity of 4 bodies per hour. J.-C. Pressac comments:[305]

"Comparing this capacity with that of the Topf double-muffle furnaces in Crematorium I of Auschwitz (which were more efficient than the furnaces of Majdanek), one finds that it is exaggerated to twice the actual capacity."

Pressac's comparison is not sound, since oil-fueled furnaces most certainly did have a noticeably greater capacity than coke-fueled ones. The reason for this is that in the former, the flame in the combustion chamber could be regulated independently of the furnace draft. As an aside, Mußfeldt also gave the capacity of each of the two oil-fueled furnaces as being approximately 100 bodies per 24 hours.[306]

The oil-fueled Kori furnace was designed to cremate one body at a time. Further, the fairly small openings in the grate (7.5 24 cm) show that the incineration of the body had to take place more or less completely in the incineration chamber before the small remnants could drop through the mentioned openings and into the ash pit. This means that the cremation process took approximately one hour from start to finish.

The two oil burners did ensure a steady and considerable supply of heat, and further, the temperature could be regulated and adjusted as needed for each stage of the cremation process. If one had aimed for the maximum temperature, and if one had made use of the scraper to push the dried-out and disintegrated body to the back of the muffle where it could drop through the 25 65 cm opening there into the afterburn chamber before the main cremation process was even complete, one could have reduced the time required for this main cremation process to about 30 to 40 minutes. This corresponds to the minimum time required in the main incineration chamber in today's state-of-the-art crematoria.[307] In practice, the normal cremation time could be cut in half since the main cremation process continued in the ash pit, so that this practically assumed the function of a second muffle. Whether or not two bodies could have been cremated at the same time in this way without an increase in the time required depends on the capacity of the two oil burners, which is not known. If these burners were powerful enough, the possibility of simultaneous cremation of two bodies in special cases-for example, given small or very skinny bodies[308]-can not be ruled out.

In such a case, the two bodies would have dried out in the muffle within half an hour, and incineration would then have finished in the ash pit in the same length of time.

6. The Polish-Soviet Commission's Forensic Report on the New Crematorium's Furnaces

In August 1944 the Polish-Soviet Commission appointed a committee of experts to draw up a forensic assessment of the furnaces in the new crematorium, or, more precisely, of the human remains that had been found there. We shall quote the salient points of their report:[309]

"Furnace No. 1

A small quantity of light-colored ash was found in this furnace, as well as some charred human bones, which have retained their structure well but crumble readily to ash when they are squeezed with the fingers. In the space beneath the grate of this furnace there is ash and a large number of gray, charred bones which fill the entire space under the grate, right up to the latter. In the ash pit of this furnace a small quantity of charred human bones was also found, mixed with coke fuel.

Furnace No. 2

Approximately 0.5m of gray ash as well as charred human bones were found in this furnace. Among the bones there is a large number of well-preserved heel bones, metacarpal bones, and individual metatarsal bones. There is also much ash and charred human bones in the space beneath the grate, including forearm, shoulder and finger phalanx bones, which have retained their shape well. The entire space beneath the grate is full of burned bones and ash.

Furnace No. 3

The furnace contains approximately 0.5m of gray ash as well as charred human bones, among them well-preserved shin bones, thigh bones, sacral and individual vertebral bones. The space beneath the grate is half-filled with gray ash and small, burned human bones. In the ash pit there are smaller quantities of ash and splinters of burned human bones.

Furnace No. 4

Approximately 0.5m gray ash and charred human bones were found in the furnace, including charred pieces of large long bones, pelvic bones and individual vertebrae. The space beneath the grate contains ashes and fragments of human bones, filling the space up to the grate. Small quantities of ash and fragments of charred bones are in the ash pit.

Furnace No. 5

A small quantity of gray ash as well as charred fragments of human bones were discovered in this furnace. The furnace also contains a special iron gurney for inserting the corpses. The space beneath the grate contains ashes and parts of charred human bones: thighs, pelvises, shoulders etc.; they fill the entire space below the grate. The entire ash pit is filled with ashes and small parts of bones.

Twelve charred corpses are laid out in the area in front of the furnaces, lined up with their heads towards the furnaces. On many of the bodies the remnants of individual muscles are well-preserved on the torso as well as on the extremities. On all the bodies, the lower extremities have been chopped off at the level of the middle third of the upper thigh; in fact, the preserved bones exhibit cut marks at the same place. Some of the internal organs are preserved in the form of a charred, dry, crumbling mass. On all bodies the skulls are crushed and charred. Judging from the shape of the pelvis, and from the sexual organs which were well preserved in some cases, one may conclude that the 12 bodies were those of 7 males and 5 females.

A small quantity of coke fuel was found in the adjoining area by the opening to the heating system. Four bent iron gurneys, with which bodies were inserted into the furnaces, stand in the same location. Approximately 50 metal urns, most of which are filled with ashes and small fragments of charred human bones, stand in the corner of this area beside the fifth furnace.

A total of 4.5m of ashes and charred human bones was found in the furnaces and the spaces beneath the grates."

It is difficult to imagine that the Chief of the crematorium should have been so negligent as to permit half a cubic meter of bones and ash to pile up in ash pits. There would have been no practical benefit; the ashes could be easily removed by an assistant after the cremation was complete. Two photos published by Constantino Simonov show a muffle from the Majdanek furnace, full of bone fragments; they completely cover the grate.[310] Such a massive accumulation of human remains would perforce have resulted in a drastic retardation of the cremation process. The presence of coke in the ash pit of Furnace 1 is also inexplicable, since the generator's stoking shaft was separate from the ash pit. And finally, the parts of large bones (thigh, pelvic and shoulder bones) could hardly have dropped through the small 18 6 cm openings in the muffle grate. There is only one explanation for these oddities:

After the SS had fled, the ashes and bones were taken out of the ash containers-where the coke slag had evidently also been put-and were placed into the furnaces. This was no doubt an organized stage production by the inmates remaining in the camp after the German retreat and was intended to make the crematorium appear as gruesome as possible. A similar production was staged in the alleged gas chambers in Barrack 41.[311] The "Polish Resistance Committee", which according to Gerald Reitlinger took command after the retreat of the SS and which had handed Majdanek over to the Soviets, was probably the party responsible for these creative embellishments.[312]

Probably the twelve bodies which the Commission found in front of the furnaces were also put there by that same Resistance Committee, as a crowning touch. Whatever the case may be, the photograph[313] published by J. Marszałek shows only a confused jumble of bones. The bodies intended for cremation were probably charred in the fire that gutted the crematorium, and if they were missing the legs then it was because they had burned off in whole or in part.

The Polish-Soviet Commission then proceeded to claim that the Germans had mutilated the dead in order to be able to cremate four bodies at a time in one and the same muffle. It goes without saying that this "finding" by the committee of experts was a lie which served to give the illusion that the crematorium in fact had an immensely great cremation capacity.


[253]"Technisches Büro und Fabrik für Abfallverbrennungsöfen aller Art und vollständige Verbrennungsanlagen. Kesseleinmauerungen-Schornsteinbau. Glüh-, Schmelz-, Muffel- und Wärmeöfen, sowie sämtliche Feuerungsanlagen der Metallindustrie, Einäscherungsöfen für Krematorien."
[254]To the German Reichstag. Petition of February 20, 1902, regarding cremation of the bodies of plague victims. Enclosure II.
[255]"Bau und Betrieb von Krematorien. 1. Neue Wege und Ziele", by engineer H. Kori, Berlin, in: Die Wärmewirtschaft, yr. 1, issue 8, 1924, p. 115.
[256]H. Kori GmbH, Berlin. Verbrennungsöfen für Abfälle aller Art. Advertising brochure from 1927. APMM, VI-9a, v. 1.
[257]Die Wärmewirtschaft, yr. 2, issue 6, 1925, p. 90.
[258]IV. Jahrbuch des Verbandes der Feuerbestattungs-Vereine Deutscher Sprache 1928, Königsberg Pr., 1928, p. 82; Einäscherungsofen System "Kori" im Krematorium der Stadt Hagen/Westf.; Einäscherungsöfen System "Kori" im Krematorium der Hauptstadt Schwerin (advertising brochure from the 1930s). APMM, VI-9a, v. 1.
[259]Friedrich Hellwig, "Vom Bau und Betrieb der Krematorien", in: Gesundheits-Ingenieur, yr. 54, issue 24, 1931, p. 370.
[260]Op. cit. (note 255), pp. 115-119.
[261]"Amtliches. Bau und Betrieb von Krematorien", in: Die Wärmewirtschaft, yr. 2, issue 7, 1925, p. 108.
[262]On December 24, 1924 the Topf company appealed the Ministry of the Interior's decree, but the appeal was rejected. Die Wärmewirtschaft, yr. 2, 1925, pp. 89-91 and 95, 96; issue 7, 1925, pp. 107f.
[263]Letter from the Kori company to engineer Waller of Amt C III of the SS Economic-Administrative Main Office. Archive of the Curatorship for the Concentration Camp Dachau Memorial, 660/41.
[264]See Document 17.
[265]APMM, sygn. VI-9a, v. 1.
[266]See Document 18.
[267]J. Marszałek, op. cit. (note 81), pp. 55, 56; J. Marszałek, op. cit. (note 209), p. 33.
[268]Mußfeldt was promoted to SS-Oberscharführer on June 1, 1943. The relevant note of the Majdanek camp office (GARF, 7021-107-5, p. 283; cf. Document 26) includes the spelling "Mußfeld", which is also used in another German document. The latter originated in 1944 in Auschwitz; it is an undated pay sheet for NCOs and soldiers and begins with the name "Osch. (Oberscharführer) Mußfeld". However, the box marked "Receipt" on the same sheet contains the hand-written signature "Mußfeldt" (GARF, 7021-108-54, p. 96). For this reason we are using this spelling rather than "Mußfeld" or "Muhsfeldt", even though the latter incorrect spelling is consistently used in Polish subject literature.
[269]According to a German document, the Crematorium (Bldg. XV) was 80% complete on July 1, 1942 (WAPL, Central Construction Office, 8, p. 3), but it is conceivable that the Furnace Room was already finished in June, so that Mußfeldt's statement may be correct.
[270]This claim by Mußfeldt contradicts SS-Hauptsturmführer Krone's report of January 20, 1943, according to which the two furnaces were still in operation at that time. We shall discuss the relevant section of the Krone Report later in this chapter.
[271]Anna Zmijewska-Wiśniewska, op. cit. (note 164), p. 140.
[272]See Document 4a and Photographs III, IV.
[273]See Document 7.
[274]See Document 20.
[275]H. Kori GmbH, Anbau einer Kohlenfeuerung am ölbeheizten Krematoriumsofen, Berlin, Dec. 14, 1944. ÖDMM, N 17, no. 6.
[276]See Document 21.
[277]See Document 19.
[278]GARF, 7021-107-9, p. 250. See Document 22.
[279]APMM, sygn. VI-9a, v. 1.
[280]See Document 23.
[281]See Document 24.
[282]See Document 25.
[283]According to the measurements taken by the Commission, the length was 29.89 m.
[284]See Chapter VI.
[285]See the photograph of the urns in T. Mencel's book, op. cit. (note 23); the photograph is on an unnumbered page.
[286]GARF, 7021-107-9, pp. 235-237.
[287]The crematorium was located outside the camp fence, and had its own enclosure.
[288]See Document 18.
[289]See Photograph VI.
[290]Letter from the Kori company to SS-Sturmbannführer Lenzer, October 23, 1941. APMM, sygn. 9a, v. 1, pp. 3f.
[291]APMM, sygn. VI-9a, v. 1, pp. 25f.
[292]Obozowe krematorium w Trzebionce (The camp crematorium of Trzebionka), APMO, nr. Neg. 6671.
[293]See Photograph VII.
[294]GARF, 7021-107-9, pp. 245-249. See Document 27. The numbers mean: 24 hours, 60 minutes, 4 corpses, 5 muffles, 15 minutes (cremation time).
[295]The crematorium staff's alleged habit of cutting the arms and legs off the corpses prior to cremation will be discussed later.
[296]Richard Kessler, "Rationelle Wärmewirtschaft in Krematorien unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Leuchtgasfeuerung", in: V. Jahrbuch des Verbandes der Feuerbestattungsvereine Deutscher Sprache, Königsberg Pr., 1930, p. 136.
[297]E. Beutinger, Handbuch der Feuerbestattung, Leipzig: Carl Scholtze Verlag, 1911, pp. 106, 110, 113, 115.
[298]E. Nagel, Wege und Ziele der modernen Feuerbestattung, Stuttgart: Verlag Wilhelm Ruppmann, 1922, p. 37.
[299]Richard Kessler, "Rationelle Wärmewirtschaft in den Krematorien nach Maßgabe der Versuche im Dessauer Krematorium", in: Die Wärmewirtschaft, yr. 4, issue 9, 1927, p. 155.
[300]Hans Keller, "Versuche an einem Feuerbestattungsofen", special reprint of the periodical Archiv für Wärmewirtschaft und Dampfkesselwesen, yr. 10, issue 6, 1926, p. 3.
[301]Wilhelm Heepke, Die Kadaver-Vernichtungsanlagen, Halle a.S.: Verlag von Carl Marhold, 1905, p. 43.
[302]APMO, ZO, sygn. D-pr-20/61a, p. 76: "Do jedney retorty wkladano tylko jedne zwłoki, spalenie ich trwało około 1 godziny."
[303]Carlo Mattogno, "The Crematoria Ovens of Auschwitz and Birkenau", in: Germar Rudolf (ed.), op. cit. (note 142), pp. 373-412.
[304]APMM, microfilm no. 816, p. 10.
[305]J.-C. Pressac, op. cit. (note 14), p. VII.
[306]Anna Zmijewska-Wiśniewska, op. cit. (note 164), p. 140.
[307]C. Mattogno, op. cit. (note 303), p. 397.
[308]In such a case, the low calorific value of the bodies would be compensated for by the heat supplied by the two oil burners.
[309]GARF, 7021-107-9, pp. 256-259.
[310]C. Simonov, Il campo dello sterminio (The Extermination Camp), Moscow: Edizione in lingue estere, 1944. The photographs are on several pages.
[311]cf. Chapter VII.
[312]Gerald Reitlinger, op. cit. (note 2), p. 512.
[313]Marszałek, op. cit. (note 209). The photographs are on unnumbered pages.

Next Chapter
Previous Chapter
Back to Table of Contents