Genesis and Reasons for the Charge
1. Origins of the Homicidal Gassing Story
Having determined that the alleged extermination facilities in Majdanek were not technically suitable for mass destruction of human beings with poison gas, and consequently that such a mass destruction never took place, the question remaining to be answered is: how did this story come about?
To answer this, we must examine the relevant wartime sources.
In his book Il campo della sterminio (The Extermination Camp), which we have already quoted repeatedly, Constantino Simonov wrote:
"There is no doubt that rumors about the existence of the camp as such, as death camp, inevitably circulated among the inhabitants of the surrounding areas, but this did not worry the Germans. They felt quite at home in Poland. To them, the 'General Government Poland' was a region conquered for all time. Those who had remained alive within its boundaries were supposed to regard the Germans with fear, first and foremost, and for this reason the gruesome reports about the Lublin camp that made the rounds throughout Poland were almost welcomed by the Germans. On those days when mass exterminations took place, the stench of corpses spread throughout the environs of the camp; it forced the camp's inhabitants to plug their noses with handkerchiefs, and plunged the area's population into fear and terror. This was supposed to imbue all of Poland with a sense of the power of the German rulers, and of the horrors awaiting anyone who dared offer up resistance. The pillar of smoke rising for weeks, even months from the tall smokestack of the main Crematorium could be seen from afar, but the Germans did not care about this either. Just like the stench from the bodies, this horrible smoke was also used to spread terror. Many thousands of people, seeing all this, marched along the road to Chelm, and once they had passed through the gate to the Lublin camp they never returned; this too must have been an effective demonstration of the German power, which could indulge in anything it wanted without having to account to anyone."
No doubt this lurid propaganda image would necessarily have been accurate if Majdanek had really been an 'extermination camp', especially if homicidal gassings had taken place there.
As we have already pointed out, the entire grounds of the camp were completely open, and the camp itself was surrounded by the towns Dzesiąta, Abramowice, Kosminek and Kalinowka as well as the Lublin-Chełm-Zamość-Lwów road. Any mass murders actually taking place in Majdanek could not have been kept secret, particularly-but not only-because of the steady flow of information leaving the camp on a daily basis and by various means:
- Reports by released inmates (approximately 20,000 of them!). Most of these were Poles who had been arrested and sent to the camp in the course of police raids, on suspicion of being members of the Resistance. Many of these prisoners were released again after a short time.
- Letters and secret messages smuggled out of the camp by the inmates (cf. Chapter III).
- Reports by the free civilian laborers employed in the camp. We have already seen in Chapter I how numerous these were in Majdanek.
- Reports by the food suppliers who came to the camp every day with their wares.
All the information obtained via these channels was collected by the local cells of the secret Polish Resistance Movement and passed on to the "Delegatura". A few words about this:
In September 1939, Poland was overrun by German armed forces in the west and by Soviets in the east, and vanished as an independent national entity. The government went into exile in London.
An underground shadow government, subordinate to the government-in-exile in London, was set up: the Delegatura Rządu (stand-in government). The Delegatura supplied its London contacts with an unbroken flow of news about the situation in Poland. Naturally it worked closely with other illegal organizations, especially with the Armija Krajowa (AK, national army), i.e., with the armed Resistance. Even though tens of thousands of members and helpers of the Resistance were arrested, the Germans never succeeded in completely halting its activities.
It goes without saying that the Delegatura took especial interest in the occupation power's concentration camps from the start, and strove to find out what was going on in them.
The news collected in these ways were summarized by the Delegatura in official reports and published in various press organs, including that of the government-in-exile, the Polish Fortnightly Review, published by the Polish Ministry of Information. This aimed at influencing the Allies' policy in favor of Poland. Naturally, the leitmotif of these reports was the Germans'-factual as well as fictitious-acts of cruelty against the Poles and the Polish Jews in the entire occupied territory and primarily in the concentration camps, about which the Delegatura was very well informed.
The reports issued by the Delegatura have been examined by Krystyna Marczewska and Władysław Waźniewski, who published a lengthy article about the information these reports contained about the Majdanek camp. These reports cover the time from November 30, 1941, to July 7, 1944, but the bulk of them date from 1943. In the introduction to this article, Józef Marszałek comments on the origin of this information:
"The system by which the Polish Resistance Movement gathered information about the Majdanek camp has not yet been adequately studied. The major problem is the lack of accessible sources, namely so-called primary documentation. Most of what we have are reports that were drawn up in the offices of the Delegatura, which based them on various accounts which were then destroyed for conspiratorial reasons [i.e., so as not to endanger the informants]. The published documents mention only indirectly that the regional branch at Lublin included a special cell ('Lublin circle') which dealt with matters relating to the Majdanek camp, among other things. A similar cell existed as part of the AK's Lublin District commando; it was known as Centralna Opieka Podziemna (Central Underground Supply) or 'OPUS'. Special couriers were also sent from Warsaw to scout out the Majdanek camp. Some documents contain a note stating that they were based on the accounts of prisoners released from Majdanek. The memories and recollections of the participants in this endeavor are one concrete option for filling in the gaps in the sources relating to this topic."
Jolanta Gajowniczek has also dealt with the question of what the London-based Polish government-in-exile knew about Majdanek. She has examined the reports about the Lublin camp that were published in two Polish exile newspapers in Great Britain.
Contradicting even the most obvious facts, the author Gajowniczek opens her article with the claim that the existence of the concentration camps was "most painstakingly kept from the sight of unauthorized witnesses". She then describes how news from Poland was conveyed to the government-in-exile in London. Besides the couriers, who could take a message from Warsaw to Paris in only ten days, illegal radio transmitters played an increasingly important role. As of early March 1940, the Resistance regularly broadcast news abroad, and as of December of that same year such news was transmitted directly to England. In other words: anything they knew in Poland, London also knew just a few days later.
The first issue of the newspaper published by the government-in-exile, Dziennik Polski (Polish Daily), appeared in the British capital on July 12, 1940. Parallel to this, another Polish exile paper appeared in Scotland as of June or July that same year: the Dziennik Żołnierza (Soldiers' Daily). On January 1, 1944, the two papers merged to become the Dziennik Polski i Dziennik Żołnierza.
In her study, J. Gajowniczek includes partial or full reprints of the reports about Majdanek which were published in the Dziennik Polski (1941-1943) and the Dziennik Polski i Dziennik Żołnierza (1944). In 1941 and 1942, all of three brief reports about the camp had appeared. In 1943 there were 16 reports, including a few longer ones; and in 1944 there were a further eight.
Let us take a closer look (in chronological order) at the sources mentioned.
The first reference to a gas chamber appears in the following laconic report from the Delegatura. It is dated December 15, 1942:
"Lublin. Work on the camp at Majdanek proceeds at full steam. At present it can hold several tens of thousands of people. Aside from Poles, there are also Jews there (scattered from Lublin), Germans, as well as English and French.[] A gas chamber and a crematorium are in service."
What is remarkable about this first reference to a homicidal gas chamber (and that it is supposed to be a homicidal one follows from the fact that it is mentioned together with the crematorium) is the unusual brevity of the report: if such an instrument for murder had really been brought into play, it would have been fodder for gruesome and deeply shocking news bulletins; consequently, the Polish informants would have been highly motivated to focus on and emphasize such a tragedy, and to give the appropriate attention to a description thereof. Yet the information is given in a downright businesslike tone, as though it were an insignificant detail.
In the months that followed, no mention at all was made of the gas chamber(s). But the situation in which the Jews found themselves was touched on time and again. For example, a report of December 20, 1942, states:
"The camp extends for several kilometers and could hold approximately 80,000 people at present, but is only filled to a small part of its capacity. It cannot be meant for Jews, as the destruction of the Jewish element is almost complete and is being carried out in the camps in Treblinka, Bełżec, Kole[] and Sobibór. For this reason it is assumed in Poland, and especially in Lublin, that the consolidation of the Majdanek camp has something to do with comprehensive anti-Polish plans of the German authorities."
Here, in other words, the possibility of Majdanek being planned as extermination camp is expressly ruled out. As an aside, note that Auschwitz is missing from the list of the alleged extant extermination sites for Jews, even though according to official historiography the mass murders in that camp had already been going on for more than half a year at that time!
On December 31 the arrival of several thousand French Jews in Majdanek is reported. Furthermore, old and infirm Jews were allegedly admitted to the camp. The same report states that according to unconfirmed accounts 5,000 Poles were shot in Majdanek between November 8 and 20.
The authors of these reports repeatedly commented in a decidedly critical tone on the behavior of the Jews in the Lublin camp. On February 6, 1943, for example, a report states with reference to the Czech-Jewish functionary inmates that they were particularly cruel to the prisoners; on February 25, 1943, it is reported that the criminal German inmates and the Jews beat and tortured their fellow inmates on the flimsiest of pretexts, and a report from March 31, 1943, refers to the "camp terror", a "Jewish boy" and "the Commandant's darling" who enjoyed unlimited rights to beat people and who made full use of this privilege. (This was a young Jewish sadist named Bubis, whom many witnesses also mentioned.)
On April 1, 1943, the arrival of a large number of Jews from western Europe is noted. Also, many western Jews arrived from Treblinka and Bełżec. Since official historiography states that Bełżec was already shut down in December 1942, this latter claim is rather odd.
On May 5, 1943, the informant reported that sick people were being murdered en masse in Majdanek, via lethal injections given in the crematorium, whereupon their bodies were immediately burned. Between December 20, 1942, and May 5, 1943, the Delegatura disseminated a total of 25 reports about Majdanek. Not one of them mentioned gassings.
Despite its considerable length, one of these reports-titled "Location and Organization of the Camp, Inmates and Living Conditions, Camp Life, Jews and Poles in the Camp, Inmate Transports"-is reproduced in the following almost in its entirety; we only omit the final section, which adds no further information relevant to Majdanek. The report is undated, but according to its publishers it is from late January or early February 1943:
"The Concentration Camp in Lublin.
Location. The concentration camp in Lublin is located in the suburb of Majdanek, three to four kilometers distant from the old part of the city. It is located along the road leading to Chełm and covers an extensive territory which is occupied by the army and borders immediately on the road. A side road crosses the camp and leads to the village Piaski, which civilians can only reach with a permit. Numerous housing and other barracks (probably storehouse magazines) have been set up to either side of this road, some of them standing alone, others in groups and surrounded by barbed wire barriers. The ground has been leveled over the entire area, and further barracks are being built. The camp is on the left side of the aforementioned village road, close to it and approximately 1.5 km from the road to Chełm, on a tract of land occupied by the army.
Appearance of the Camp: The camp is divided into three separate but adjoining compounds surrounded by a double barbed-wire fence 3 m high. Inside the fence a barbed wire net has been strung up, and the wire is under high voltage-at least that is what the warning signs say. Along the camp fence, especially where it curves, there are numerous wooden towers with crows' nests for guards and machine guns. On the inside, parallel to the fence, each Compound is surrounded by a single wire marking the proximity to the nearby fence. The first two Compounds are built up with two rows of barracks, with 11 barracks per row; the space between the rows is approximately 70 m wide and is used for gatherings.[] Compound 3 has only one row of barracks. The crematorium is located at the edge of Compound 1.[] On each Compound, two (sideline) barracks are used as stations, one for administrative purposes, and one as kitchen; the prisoners are housed in the rest.
Inmates. From the time of the camp's establishment-which was soon after the Germans captured Lublin-the camp served to detain Jews from the vicinity, but also some that were brought in from Warsaw and other places. Later, Poles were also imprisoned there-for a limited time, for example for failing to meet their supply obligations, etc. At that time the camp was run as a penal and labor camp, and the inmates were put to all kinds of work. After the war with the Soviets broke out, Soviet prisoners of war arrived. Some time ago there were only Jews in the camp-about 2,000 of them. In early January  the first transport of Poles arrived in the camp; there were about 3,000, and they had come from the provincial prisons. After January 18, further transports from Warsaw and other cities began to arrive. By the end of January there were approximately 3,000 Jews, 2,000 Jewesses and roughly 5,000 Poles-about 3,000 of them women-in the camp. At full capacity, the camp can hold up to 30,000 people.
Living Conditions. The barracks are mass-produced. They were initially intended as horse stables, and their conversion to accommodations for human beings remains incomplete. In only a few of them, three-story wood-slat constructions have been set up as makeshift plank beds. In most of the barracks the inmates sleep on straw pallets spread out on the wooden floor. The barracks are not very wind-proof; for heating, 4 small iron stoves are installed, but the fuel rations are so small that they suffice for heating three hours a day at most. For that reason, the temperature inside the barracks is somewhat lower than that outside. The straw pallets are padded quite insufficiently, and long-term inmates are given a blanket. So far the Poles have not received blankets; in several barracks ten to twenty spare blankets were available, but they were so louse-infested that no one wanted them. On the other hand, the barracks are fairly well lit; the electric lights are turned out at night.
The barracks are old; before the Poles arrived they were not disinfected, consequently they are incredibly dirty and crawling with lice. The unsanitary conditions are aggravated by the open boxes at the end of the barracks into which the inmates relieve themselves at night when no one is allowed to step outside. The unsanitary conditions are worsened further by the complete lack of water. The few wells on the camp grounds are closed, as they are said to have been contaminated by the typhus epidemic that raged in the camp recently. As a result, there is no water for washing or even for drinking; the one well by the kitchen provides at most one or two buckets of water for more than 400 people, and the dishes must be washed in that first. Due to this lack of water, the inmates-especially the new arrivals who have not yet received anything to eat on their first day in the camp-quench their thirst with snow, which they sometimes melt for that purpose. There can be no talk of washing; some people rub themselves down with snow, while the women use tea to wash themselves. At mealtimes, tin bowls are handed out, one per four or so inmates, because water is not the only thing in short supply-time is too (meals are distributed in a great hurry). Therefore the inmates perforce eat one after another, without washing the bowls in-between or even wiping them out with paper (for there is none of that either). All meals are eaten in the barracks; the soup is brought in air-tight pots so that they do not get cold. The inmates receive neither knives (there is only one knife per barrack) nor spoons, so that they must make do with their fingers, with pieces of wood, etc. All this creates ideal conditions for the spread of all sorts of diseases, particularly when one considers that the camp has no infirmary at all and that the sick inmates share the barracks with the healthy. It must also be noted that between 400 and 500 people live in one barrack.
Camp life. Reveille is at 4:30 a.m., but the inmates may not leave the barracks for fully one hour (until the lights are on in the camp). Roll-call is twice daily, at 6:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; the red lights go on at 7:00 p.m., and from that point on it is forbidden to leave the barracks. Bed times are not precisely fixed; they are determined by the rules in each barrack, which is set by the Barracks Elder. Previously, rations were quite meager but recently they have improved and are of better quality than they were, for example in the POW camps in 1940. At about 6:00 a.m. the inmates receive half a liter of barley soup (peppermint-flavored herb tea two days a week). For lunch at 1:00 p.m. half a liter of fairly nutritious soup is given out which has even been thickened with fat or flour. The evening meal is at 5:00 p.m. and consists of 200 g bread with a spread (jam, cheese or margarine, 300 g sausage twice weekly) and half a liter barley soup or soup made from the flour of unpeeled potatoes. Potatoes are passed out individually, a few per person. There is practically no food trade in the camp, but it is possible to buy a little flour or groats for approximately 400 zloty per kg; some will sell bread for 30 to 50 zloty per 100 g. In principle, smoking is banned in the camp, especially in the barracks and during work, but nonetheless the Germans themselves will sell cigarettes. At first the price per cigarette was 10 zloty; later, 3 zloty for one Machorkowy.[] Bulgarian cigarettes were also offered for sale (at 5 zloty each).
Camp organization is managed by the SS Death's Head Units, which incidentally are not very strong, numerically speaking; they fill the leadership positions and do duty on the guard towers. A division of Ukrainians and former Soviet prisoners-of-war who chose the German side serve as their auxiliary troops. The latter (the former Soviet POWs) are detailed to guard duty outside the fence, and to escort duty for arriving transports-at least for Polish ones-but they do not enter the camp themselves. From the way they handle their weapons and particularly from their behavior one may conclude that they do not have live ammunition. They do their duty indifferently, their behavior towards the Poles is not marked by animosity but they are ruthless towards the Jews. The SS-men in the camp only do roll-calls, spot-checks etc.
The real thugs are the so-called Kapos, of which there are four in Majdanek.[] They are Germans, themselves prisoners, who have been convicted for Communist activities or criminal misdemeanors. They are set apart from their fellow prisoners by their colorful clothing: long boots, red cloth pants (Communists) or green pants (criminals), blue jackets with the letters 'KL' painted in red on the back, a ribbon on one shoulder bearing the word 'Kapo' (black on white), a number on their chest and beneath it a triangle of the same color as their pants; they always carry leather truncheons, impose punishments and keep order in the camps, supervise the work, etc.; they must greet the German soldiers by taking off their caps. The Kapos are assisted by a house-elder, nominated for each barrack, who is dressed like all the other inmates but wears a ribbon on the left (text: St.Al. on a yellow background). Their job is to keep order in the barracks and to supervise the people. They live in the barracks, where they and their helpers have special plank beds, and they are authorized to impose on-the-spot punishments, for which they also use the truncheons or thick sticks.
There is another intermediary rank between the Kapos and the house-elders whose role is not precisely defined. In Majdanek this function is served by a 15-year-old Jewish boy who is dressed like a Kapo but whose ribbon reads 'V' [= Vorarbeiter, foreman]. He seems to be the protege of the camp Commandant, who has created this function just for him. Recently one of the Poles received a similar ribbon. The last group that is different than the rest is the functionary inmates, who are employed in the kitchens, the office etc. They have separate quarters, enjoy better food and housing, and join the house-elders for roll call.
Among the outsiders in Majdanek are the food merchants, who are admitted after showing their passes. They come every day with their carts. They have the opportunity to bring the prisoners the current news, cigarettes and even food.
The Jews in Majdanek are treated brutally and inhumanely. They wear inmates' clothing with white and blue belts as well as caps, and beneath the number on their chest (to date the numbers go up to 16,000) they wear a star. The clothing, made of hemp, offers little protection from the cold, and they have almost no warm underwear. All of them wear shoes with wooden soles. The Jews are used for all kinds of work, and the block wardens and Kapos urge them on with blows and kicks. They must take off their cap to every German, even a Kapo. Their demeanor is strangely passive; they do their work stoically and even bear the blows meekly; they do not try to avoid these, but lie down on the ground and play dead, which usually results in them being badly beaten. The sick who are still able to work are made to do so just like the healthy; in any case, every one must line up for roll call or be carried out for this purpose, even the dead. Mortality among the Jews is enormously high and was especially so during the typhus epidemic that recently raged. On average, 10 to 12 die per day. At present all Jews are quartered in Compounds I and II. Since the Poles who were arrested during the raids in Warsaw have arrived, only Jews serve as working inmates.
The Poles. The first transports of Poles arrived in early January. Prisoners were brought in from a number of provincial prisons (Kielce, Radom, Piotrkow), 800 people altogether, and were quartered in Compound II. They were registered but received no inmate clothing (they sewed their numbers onto their clothing and caps) and were not relieved of their possessions. They were put into barracks; the Block Leader of one is a Jew and that of another is a Pole who recently received his own ribbon with the letters 'SV' [=Sicherheitsverwahrung, Security]. Lately they have been put to work on various tasks in the camp. But they are not treated as cruelly as the Jews; they are not tortured. Just recently, approximately 150 skilled laborers and strong-looking persons were selected from among them and transferred to Compound II, where they were given inmate clothing, allowed to bathe and-apparently-told that they were to become skilled laborers for the camp and receive better rations, but if someone (who?) were to suggest to them that they should travel to Germany to work there, they should refuse, because they were needed in the camp.
Further transports of Poles began to arrive as of January 18. On the 18th and 19th, two transports arrived from Warsaw, with more following; some involved only 10 to 20 people, mostly such as had been arrested during police raids, as well as inmates from provincial prisons. They filled a total of 6 barracks. So far none of them have been registered; they are treated decently and not forced to work. Aside from the roll calls, their only activity involves the gatherings at which the names of the prisoners to be released are read out. Recently even the roll calls, which had used to take an hour, have been cut short and now take even less than half an hour when it is dark. It seems that initially the Germans had intended to register all these transports (an internal list was drawn up, with a detailed sub-listing of all the skilled manual laborers), but gradually they lost all interest in this. The transports to arrive from Warsaw are made up of very different people: they are former inmates of Pawiak,[] inmates who had been held in the detention cells of the criminal police in Koszykowa Street (when they were brought to the camp they were assured that they would be treated like those who had been arrested during the raids), people who were picked off the streets, some who were taken out of their houses, and even tramps and beggars from the night shelters. In principle, the former Pawiak inmates have separate barracks (No. 14, initially also Nos. 10 and 11), but in practice there is no strict segregation and they can also be found in other barracks. Morale among the inmates is good; there is a general, optimistic assumption that they will be released soon, or sent out to work. It is typical that there is no antagonism to be found between the criminals and the political prisoners, just as there is none between the intelligentsia and the common folk. Instead, there are many signs of solidarity.
The women stay on Compound III and live under the same conditions as the men. There are many prostitutes and criminals among them.
Miscellanea. Two Polish barracks (including one for registered inmates) also house some Jews. At first their relationship with the Poles was completely normal, but they are becoming ever more aggressive and beat the Poles (most often during roll call: in Barrack 5, the Jew Feder beat one Polish inmate, knocked out three of his teeth and then beat him bloody with a spade handle[...]. Recently the Germans began setting up an infirmary in a barrack equipped with plank beds.
Releases are done by calling out the names; the inmates in question are led aside and their identity is verified; everyone on the list is double-checked to see if he was really arrested during a raid. The released receive no documents or travel funds, but they are warned not to drop out on the way, especially in Deblin. At first only people who worked in German institutions were released, but lately releases have been granted generously, so that employees from the municipal administration, the RGO [?] and even private companies have benefited.
Conclusions. The lack of interest on the part of the German authorities shows that the situation in the camp Majdanek is temporary. According to rumors originating with the camp commandant, Majdanek is a 'distribution camp': the approximately 70% who were arrested during raids are to be set free, the others-many of them long-term inmates-shall be sent to Germany or the east to work, and anyone who is still left will be transferred to other camps. According to other rumors circulating in the camp, Majdanek is to be expanded further, until it can hold 50,000 people, and will become another Auschwitz. This second version does not seem likely, as no preparations for such an expansion are evident. Rather, the overall picture indicates that originally the Gestapo had actually planned to set up a new Auschwitz, but that a different solution was eventually chosen, which resulted in a certain confusion, even ambivalence, in the organization of the camp."
We would like to correct a few errors in the text: in January 1943 there were already 5 Compounds, not 3; the given number of barracks corresponded to the state of affairs in summer 1942 and by January 1943 had grown to 24 barracks per Compound, in double rows; in January 1943 the women were quartered on Compound 5.
However, such minor points do not change the fact that this article discusses in great detail all the important issues regarding the conditions in the camp, and it is obvious that the text originated with an exceedingly well-informed source.
It is overwhelmingly significant that this long and knowledgeable account of the conditions and events in Majdanek contains not even the slightest suggestion of homicidal gassings. Yet according to official historiography these had already been going on for at least half a year at that time. For reasons already set out, it was impossible to gas people en masse in Majdanek without the outside world learning of it in short order; such murders could not have been kept secret for even two weeks, much less for half a year or more.
The only possible conclusion to be drawn from these facts is that between August 1942 and January 1943 no homicidal gassings took place in Majdanek. And with that, the entire tale of the gas chambers already collapses, for the 'evidence' which is offered for gassings between February and October 1943 is no better than that for gassings between August 1942 and January 1943.
The gas chamber rumors must have been started towards the end of 1942 at the latest; the brief and completely isolated reference to "the gas chamber" in the report of December 15 of that year proves it. The Resistance Movement's propaganda machinery seems to have dropped this again for the time being, probably due to the story's obvious lack of credibility.
Sources quite above suspicion confirm that the Delegatura did not report gassings in Majdanek until it was already impossibly late. In 1967 Ireneusz Caban and Zygmunt Mankowski wrote:
"Documents from the Delegatura show that this organization knew in early 1943 that the camp Majdanek served not only for depriving people of their freedom but also for extermination. As we have noted above, these Delegatura documents remarked on the phenomenon of mass executions as well as on the activity of the crematorium, which was greater than would have been necessary to cremate the bodies of people who died of natural causes-whether they be malnutrition or poor sanitary conditions. But the efforts of the news service went farther than that. It was important to find out how the liquidations were being done, and to ascertain the numbers and personal data of the victims. In May 1943, the documents record the dissolution of the infirmary and, in this context, the cremation of approximately 80 sick inmates per day. In June it was determined that gas chambers were being used to poison Jews and Poles."
The date "in June" is imprecise, since the gas chamber stories already began circulating on May 7, 1943. As of that date, the Delegatura reports make frequent mention of gassings in Majdanek. One report for that date states that inmates were constantly being poisoned in gas chambers on the camp grounds. And a long, undated report which summarizes the events of March-May 1943 (and can therefore not have been written before early June 1943) expressly calls the Jews the main victims of gassing; we quote:
"Suddenly, in late April, groups of 2,000 to 3,000 Jews began to be brought in: women, children and groups. They were Jews from Warsaw. They were housed on the barbed-wire-enclosed Intermediate Compound between Compounds NN 4 and 5, where piles of coal etc. lay. They were usually left sitting there for 10 to 20 hours after their arrival, for example a whole day or a whole night, with no regard to weather, rain etc. Then they were divided into groups and led to the bath. Not all transports returned from this 'bath'. Some of the men really were bathed, freshly dressed (of course everything they had brought with them was taken away from them) and quartered in their own barracks on separate Compounds. The rest vanished as the transport was taken to the bath. If a transport was led to the bath at night, it either did not return at all or came back sharply reduced in number; if it was taken there during the day, it returned in most cases. The barrack into which the people had been led was locked, and some time later naked corpses were thrown out.
The windows of the Polish barracks, from which one could see this barrack, were painted on purpose so that one could not see anything. The corpses were loaded onto trucks, covered with rags, taken to fields three or four km from the camp, and burned. The pyres burned nonstop for days; they could easily be observed from the camp grounds, since they were located lower than the camp.
Screams and whimpers came from the barracks into which the Jews had been led, but these sounds were drowned out by the noise of a tractor engine that ran the entire time. Whenever this engine was heard running in the camp, the inmates knew that Jews were being poisoned. Those who observed the goings-on despite the painted windows described Dantesque scenes. People fell to their knees, kissed the Germans' feet and boots and begged for their lives. They were herded into the barracks forcibly, with kicks and blows. Our informant was told-and she has passed this on with reservation-that some sort of tin cans were on the barrack roof while this was happening. No one knows whether these were used to release gas, or perhaps to seal the barrack. Depending on the concentration of gas used, death occurred after one-and-a-half to seven minutes."
The "tin cans" on the roof may be a first reference to the cans of Zyklon, from which-according to official historiography-lethal granules were poured into the gas chamber. On October 31, 1943, the Delegatura reported that shipments "of some kind of new gas" had arrived in the camp. The authors comment that this referred to Zyklon B, 999 kg of which had been shipped to Majdanek only shortly before.
Except that Zyklon B, which was allegedly used in Majdanek since July 1942, was no longer a "new kind of gas".
On the whole, the reports written after May 7, 1943, which mention gassings do not contain any indication of Zyklon B, and the exact sequence of events constituting the murders is never described.
In this context, a letter smuggled out of the camp on December 14, 1943, by Majdanek inmate Jerzy Henryk Szczęśniewski is significant. The letter states:
"L[ublin] M[ajdanek] December 14, 1943, 3:00 p.m.
Dear Babunia! All my loved ones! Unexpected changes. The lights have been turned off, we must already go to bed at 5:00 p.m., sleep until 5:30 a.m., and even dress in the dark before going to work. We do not get light until 7:30 a.m. Here inside there are no changes, but outside the compounds they're reinforcing the camp-bunkers. During the night, Jewesses were gassed-about 100 -; they were among those who had to work in the old clothes on Compound V."
Note that these gassings of Jewesses allegedly took place at a time when, according to the verdict of the Düsseldorf Majdanek Trial, the murders in gas chambers had already ceased for one and a half months! Significantly enough, the Polish literature does not mention when the last gassings allegedly took place.
* * *
Now to the aforementioned two Polish exile newspapers. On May 28, 1943, the Dziennik Polski reported:
"In the Majdanek camp, which is currently being expanded so that it can hold 80,000 inmates, a large number of prisoners are victims of the mass arrests and street raids which the Germans carried out in the first few months of this year. Recently the Germans officially acknowledged these prisoners as 'prisoners of war who have been imprisoned by the Waffen-SS occupation troops'. This is further evidence that the mass raids and arrests in the large Polish cities, namely Warsaw, Lwów and Cracow, are a preventive measure aimed at arresting and imprisoning in the camps those Poles whom the Germans consider to be the most dangerous and capable of organizing the armed Resistance against the occupation power.
The inmates who are considered prisoners-of-war are given especially harsh treatment in Majdanek. Mortality in the camp is increasing alarmingly as a result of the widespread starvation, rampant diseases and the lack of any sanitary facilities. The prisoners are tormented on the flimsiest of pretexts, and even on-the-spot executions are the order of the day. News from Poland confirms that the general mood in the camp is one of desperation. In letters to their kin, inmates confirm that they do not expect to live much longer, and say their good-byes to their families.
How the so-called prisoners-of-war are treated is shown most clearly by the fact that there is no water in the camp for the inmates, whereas the Germans recently set up baths for the police dogs who are specially trained to guard the prisoners and to kill any who attempt to escape."
What is far more significant than the creative embellishments of the poor conditions in Majdanek, which are of a particularly inspired nature in the last paragraph, is the total absence of any mention of gas chambers-and this fully nine months after the gassing allegedly began.
The first mention of "chambers" used for mass murder comes on July 20, 1943. In Lublin, the relevant article states, large transports arrive every day; approximately 15% of them are sent to Germany, the rest to the infamous camp Majdanek, where massacres were taking place where the Poles were being murdered in "chambers" just as the Jews had been before.
Two days later, on July 22, the paper in question published another report about Majdanek in which no "chambers" were mentioned. But on July 27 it stated that recently more than 3,000 people had been poisoned daily with gas in the course of just a few hours in Majdanek.
One article of interest is a longer one of October 5, 1943, titled "Ponad 100 obozów koncentracyjnych w Polsce" ("More than 100 concentration camps in Poland"). The article distinguishes between eight types of camps: transit camps, ordinary concentration camps, forced labor camps, camps for clergy, women's camps, camps for Jews, camps for "improving the race", and children's camps.
Among the camps for Jews, the article specifies Bełżec, Sobibór and"Treblinka III near Małkinia", a camp which is unknown to modern historiography. There, the article claims, Jews were murdered with poison gas, electrical current and machine guns. The article does not state whether these camps were still operating at the time of publication.
For the category of forced labor camps, the article mentions Treblinka II, the camp which according to 'Holocaust' literature was the largest extermination camp for Jews, second only to Auschwitz. Both "Majdanek II" and Auschwitz are listed as ordinary concentration camps, while "Majdanek I" is ranked as transit camp. "Majdanek I" may possibly refer to the airfield camp, whence inmates were taken to the actual Majdanek camp. We invite the reader to draw his own conclusions from the fact that in October 1943, at a time when gassing had allegedly already been going on for one and a half years, this Polish exile newspaper rates Auschwitz, the greatest "extermination camp" according to 'Holocaust' literature, as one of the "ordinary concentration camps".
Of the articles published about the Lublin camp in the Dziennik Polski i Dziennik Żołnierza in 1944, only one-dated August 31, shortly after the camp's liberation-is of any interest. This article stated that "a crematorium and a gas chamber" had been operating in Majdanek and that mass murders had been taking place there since spring 1943. There is no mention of any earlier gassings, and not so much as one word about the mass execution of November 3, 1943, which after all did allegedly claim 18,000 lives. We read:
"In the first days of March 1944 [...] the local authorities decided that the best solution would be to gradually kill off the inmates. First and foremost the Jews, of course, but then the remaining Poles as well."
According to the current version about Majdanek, there were virtually no Jews left in Majdanek in March 1944, since almost all had been murdered in November of the previous year. So, once again, a contemporaneous account of events in that camp does not in any way agree with the account that has been given modern historiography's retrospective blessing. And again we shall leave it to reader to decide why this is so.
* * *
The reports of Poles who had fled to allied or neutral countries abroad were another source of information. A report published in Geneva on November 1, 1943, by a young Polish doctor deserves mention here. About Majdanek, this report states:
"The camp Majdanek, guarded by the Gestapo and uniformed Ukrainians and Lithuanians, is located in the vicinity of Lublin. Since early 1941, all Jews who were rooted out of the various towns of Lublin District were sent to the Majdanek camp, where the Lithuanians and the Ukrainians learned the hangman's trade on the Jews. The German masters taught their students various methods of hanging, roasting alive, or otherwise torturing people. The technique of extorting 'confessions' with needles shoved under the fingernails-this technique, which later was used throughout Poland, was invented in the Majdanek camp!
Camp Majdanek had its attractions: in the depths of winter the Jews were dressed in paper clothing; then they were soaked in cold water and left to stand outside until they were frozen all over!
Then the character of the Majdanek camp changed, and presently it is a concentration camp for political prisoners, the second after Oświęcim. Of those who are taken there, 100% die.
Lublin was a 'reservoir' for the German, Austrian, Czech etc. Jews. In late 1941[] primarily Jews from Slovakia were there.
Foreign Jews considered themselves superior to the Polish Jews, and even the Germans granted them better quarters and lighter work. Yes, the Germans even knew to exploit the differences between these two kinds of Jews and to place foreign Jews into 'guard' positions over the Polish ones."
As we can see, this report is rife with imaginative accounts of German atrocities-but its author knows nothing of gassings, even though these are said to have already been going on there for more than a year at the time of this article's publication.
In the sources we examined above, the tale of homicidal gassings begins in a random, superficial manner.
The first detailed eyewitness account of gassings was published in 1944 by Abraham Silberschein; he wrote:
"A witness who was arrested by the Germans in 1939 and was sent first to a camp in Berlin reports about the concentration camp Lublin. In February 1941, this witness was taken back to Lublin with 2,500 prisoners and put into a special camp guarded by the SS. He remained in this camp from February 1941 until 1943, i.e., until his escape. He writes that he was a witness to the entire tragedy that played out in Lublin during this time. He witnessed the events in the ghetto as well as the destruction of the ghetto. He also witnessed how the remaining Jews were quartered in Majdan Tatarski and how this ghetto of barracks was liquidated. He guarded the camp on several occasions and came into contact with various people from the service branches and from the camp."
We shall quote the most significant excerpts of the report supplied by this witness; they are immensely revealing where our current subject is concerned:4
The camp was called a K.Z., an abbreviation of 'Konzentrationslager' [concentration camp]. It was more of an extermination camp, for no one who ended up there ever left it again.
The camp is located along the road leading from Lublin to the town of Piaski. It was set up on an open field, at 100 m distance from the main road, in summer 1941. 20,000 Russian prisoners and 800 Jews from the ghetto of Lublin served as construction crew.
The man in charge of the camp was SS-Sturmbannführer Dollf, one of the founding fathers of the National Socialist Party. He was a drunkard, rather short, with a face like an ape, a sadist who had trained his dog to tear anyone to pieces who was said to be a Jew.
Right after the camp was finished, its construction crew all died; for Dollf ordered that they should not receive any food.
The place intended for ten barracks was surrounded by two rows of barbed wire, and a net of especially dense barbed wire was strung between these. Then German military barracks were set up in this area, in five rows. Close to one corner, outside the barbed wire, towers of armored concrete were built, each 12 m tall (see plan).[] SS men were posted on these towers as guards. There were also very bright spotlights that were trained on the barracks, and beside each spotlight were a machine gun and a cannon, aimed at the camp. The soldiers from the towers walked up and down at barrack-level.
10 m distant from the first Compound (Plan Camp 1) a second 'Compound' was built, identical to the first. (See Plan Camp 2.) Half a meter from the second, the third and then the fourth and fifth were built. All these barracks in turn were fenced in with barbed wire. On the street side there was an entrance gate.
Across from the barracks, about 20 m distant, were the various facilities, first of all the Bath. It consisted of an undressing room and a shoe depot. From the shoe depot one entered the Bath, and from the Bath, the clothing distribution center. The clothing depot was between the dressing room and the clothing distribution center. On the same side of the camp there were also the SS stables and the camp workshop. (See Plan.)
In the space between the compounds and these facilities there were posts from which delinquents were hanged.
The Furnace Barrack was located in the 10-m space between the first and second barrack. (See Plan.) From the outside this barrack resembled the others, except that it had two mighty chimneys, in the style of factory smokestacks. This barrack was divided into three parts, each of which was almost separate. The first part was the undressing room (Wardrobe, on the Plan), the second part was closed off and air-tight. That's where the gas experiments were done (Gassing Room, on the Plan). The third part held two enormous furnaces.-This barrack was between Compounds I and II.
Arrival and Admittance.
From the train station, the Jews were taken under SS guard to their 'state'. They were given a pep talk; then they went to the Bath to wash up. In the Bath, their clothing, underwear and any leather objects they may have had were taken from them. The bundles of clothing were sent through the window into another room (Clothing Depot, on the Plan). They were sent into the Bath in groups of a hundred, old men separately, then the sick, and then the women and children.
Those who had money had hidden it in their shoes or in leather pouches. But everything had to be left behind in the foyer before they entered the Bath. The clothing and shoes were then immediately searched by the guards and Gestapo, who simply stole the money and all the valuables.
After the bath the new arrivals were led through another room into a hall where everyone received clothing and shoes. Everyone was given a sort of boiler suit with white and blue stripes. A Star of David was fixed to the chest, with alternating yellow and red triangles. On the back and knees was a number-the inmate number. The prisoners also received wooden shoes. This outfit was worn in summer and winter alike.
Young people with special skills were sent to work the very same day. The old and sick were also dispatched right away-to the barrack that contained the furnaces. In the first room they were instructed to undress; in the second, they died of asphyxiation within two minutes. From the second room they were transported to the furnaces. There was a fire under the ground; the furnace itself did not burn, but it collected hot air of 2,000°. The dead bodies were thrown in, and the enormous heat dried them out completely. In this way, each was reduced to just a few bubbles that were so dry they crackled. Special trucks then drove the remains out of the city to prepared ditches.
Throughout the entire year 1942, thousands of Jews were killed in the gassing chamber every day. New crowds were brought in weekly, and this has been going on to this day.
The children were taken to hospitals for blood transfusions.
Work in the Camp.
Once someone had entered the barrack, they could not leave it again except under guard. The strong and healthy men were assigned to work. At first they considered themselves lucky. No one suspected that the end might be near; for they had been promised food and shelter-provided they did good work. Nevertheless, reasons were found to send thousands of working Jews into the ovens every day. The walk to work was already difficult. Whoever among the Jews did not march neatly in a row was sent between the barbed wire, and from there, into the oven.
Marching was hard; going barefoot was forbidden, and the wooden shoes were very painful. Since all the old and sick were liquidated, no one dared report sick. Every day, those who did not work as desired were culled for the oven.
There was no work on Sundays; but there were gymnastics exercises. If anyone fell, he was not allowed to get up: he was doomed to feed the oven.
Several people died of the hellish pain the wooden shoes caused them; their feet were all bloody. Several Jews got sick from wearing the wooden shoes, which made their feet swell up to the point where they could no longer go to work. [...]
This was the fate of the Central European Jews. Some two million of them went through the camp to their deaths. And the miserable death the Germans gave them, they dreamed up just to conserve their bullets." (Emphasis added)
The account of this witness is illustrated with a sketch of Majdanek that allows us, on the basis of our knowledge of the camp's construction history, to penetrate to the roots of the rumors of the execution gassings.
The sketch shows a fairly accurate depiction of "Bath and Disinfection II", Barrack 42, with "Undressing Room", "Clothing Depot" (Clothing Drop-Off), "Baths" (Showers), and "Distribution of Prison Clothing" (Clothing Distribution).
According to the witness, all the Jews to arrive in the camp, including the old people, the sick, the women and the children, were sent to the showers, where they undressed, showered, and were issued prison clothes; then the young ones were promptly sent off to work, while the old and sick were gassed. We do not quite understand the purpose behind letting those who were judged unfit to work take showers first rather than sending them straight to the "gassing room".
But what is even more surprising is this: even though the report dates from 1943, it makes no mention at all of "Bath and Disinfection I"-that is, Barrack 41, the alleged main murder site, where according to Polish historiography the homicidal gassings had already been taking place since October 1942!
Where the extermination facilities are concerned, the witness has created a sort of collage of elements which did in fact exist, but neither at the same time nor in the same place. The "gassing room" is nothing other than that part of Barrack 28 that was approximately 110 m distant from the furnaces, and the Laundry, located between the barracks and the furnaces. If Barrack 28, which merely contained a drying facility in July 1944, had previously been equipped as a delousing facility, this could not have been done until after the alleged main extermination facility in Barrack 41 had been brought into service but which the witness does not even deem worthy of mention.
The witness description of the cremation furnaces seems odd at first:
"There was a fire under the ground; the furnace itself did not burn, but it collected hot air of 2,000 degrees."
In actual fact, this description is not one of the cremation furnaces at all, but of the air heater. As we have already shown in Chapter VI, these devices were coke-fueled, with the stoking mechanism being installed beneath the floor, so that there actually was "a fire under the ground"; no combustion took place in the upper part ("the furnace itself did not burn"), but air heating did ("it collected hot air"). The temperature cited by the witness-2,000°C-is a gross exaggeration, not only for a hot-air chamber but even for a cremation furnace.
It goes without saying that the victim count touted by the witness (thousands every day, two million by the end of 1943) is nothing more than the crudest kind of atrocity propaganda.
The account by C. Simonov which we have already mentioned in Chapter VI is of overwhelming significance since the author, who visited Majdanek right after its liberation and spent several days there, was able to talk with former inmates, who told him the history of the camp and explained its various facilities to him; accordingly, Simonov's account is based on eyewitness testimony and, from that perspective, represents the 'official' version that circulated among the just-liberated inmates in July and August 1944. This version differs from that examined above in several decisive aspects: it introduces a new extermination facility, knows nothing of the "gassing room" in the old crematorium, and transfers the execution gassings into the delousing facility at Barrack 41, describing a very strange technique indeed:
"The first place where mass exterminations took place was a wooden barrack which had been built between two wire barriers when the camp was set up. This barrack had a long beam across the top, from which eight nooses always hung down-for hanging anyone who showed signs of weakness. [...]
Soon the primitive crematorium, consisting of two furnaces, was set up; we have already mentioned it above. Construction of the gas chamber dragged on; it was still not finished. During this time, the main method for exterminating the sick and exhausted inmates was the following: a room with a very narrow and low entranceway was set up in the crematorium-the entrance was so low that anyone who passed through it had to duck. Two SS-men with heavy, short iron bars stood to either side of the door. As the victim walked through the door with his head ducked down, one of the SS-men aimed a blow at his neck vertebrae with his iron bar. If the one SS-man missed, the other took a crack at the victim. It didn't matter if the victim failed to die right away and just passed out. Anyone who fell was considered dead, and was thrown into the cremation furnace."
Thus it follows that there was no execution gas chamber in the old crematorium. Naturally, the account of this homespun murder method was intended to give a reader extra goosebumps since it suggested that some of the victims were still alive when they were burned.
C. Simonov gives an exact description of the alleged execution gas chambers in the Delousing Facility in Barrack 41, but he knows nothing of Chamber IV, which the inmates obviously did not yet at that time consider a homicidal gas chamber. We have already quoted the beginning of this description in Chapter VI; let us now continue it:
"Where does the window lead to? To answer this question, we open the door and leave the room. Next to it there is another small chamber of concrete; that's where the window leads to. Here there is electric light as well as a power outlet. From here, looking through the window, one can observe anything that happens in the first room. On the floor there are a few round, air-tight, sealed cans labeled 'Zyklon'; 'for special use in the eastern regions' is added in smaller letters. The contents of the cans were introduced through the pipes into the adjoining room when it was full of people.
The naked, tightly crowded people did not take up much room. More than 250 people were packed into the 40m˛ room. They were forced in and then the steel door was closed; the cracks were sealed with clay to make it even more air-tight, and a special unit wearing gas masks introduced the 'Zyklon' from the cans through the pipes from the adjoining room. The 'Zyklon' consisted of small blue crystals that looked perfectly innocent but, once exposed to oxygen, gave off poisonous gases that simultaneously affect all the body's vital functions. The 'Zyklon' was introduced through the pipes; the SS-man leading the operation supervised the asphyxiation process which, according to different eyewitness accounts, took between two and ten minutes. He could safely observe everything through the window; the horrible faces of the dying people and the gradual effect of the gas; the peephole was just at eye level. When the people died the observer did not need to look down; they did not fall down as they died-the gas chamber was so crowded that the dead remained standing.
It must be pointed out that the 'Zyklon' really was a disinfectant and really was used in the neighboring rooms[] to disinfest clothing. Quite properly and as per regulations! The difference was merely to know which dosage of the 'Zyklon' to introduce into the chamber." (Emphasis added)
This tale, which describes a technically utterly impossible murder method, proves that the former inmates of Majdanek had never attended or observed any homicidal gassings at all. None of the witnesses told Simonov that he had seen an SS-man wearing a gas mask or holding a can of Zyklon B on the roof of the alleged execution gas chamber; none told him that in the areas where the pipes are installed, the victims were gassed with bottled CO. As J.-C. Pressac has emphasized, the Zyklon B cans which Simonov observed had been planted in the small room outside Chambers I and III to create the impression that their contents might have been poured into the pipes. This little stage production that was no doubt the doing of the former inmates proves a fortiori that these had never seen people being gassed. There can be no doubt that rumors of homicidal gassings were circulating in the camp, and the ex-inmates tried to make these seem credible by means of the stage production described. But these rumors were devoid of all factual basis.
There were all sorts of other rumors as well. Just as in any other concentration camp, their power of suggestion fired up the prisoners' weakened psyche and prompted the most outlandish speculations on their fate. Dionys Lenard, a former inmate of Majdanek, can tell us a thing or two about it:
"I remember learning from the newspaper that the British had landed in Bologna. We had great expectations of this event. Everyone hoped for a coup. But these hopes were disappointed. Usually we did not believe the rumors. It was impossible to verify all these unrealistic reports, but for many they served as a basis for seemingly even more unrealistic conclusions. The temptation to blend imagination and reality was very great. It helped many get through difficult times.
'Turkey has declared war.' This rumor also did not turn out to be true. Once the story was that the Russians were already in Lvov. It was said that one could already hear the booming of the guns. Another time they said that the German front in the north had collapsed and the Russians were already outside Königsberg. They also said that the Hungarians had laid down their weapons and the Italians had joined them. For a while the Czechs and Serbs were in fashion. It was said that they had staged such a huge uprising that the Germans were forced to deploy 40 divisions against them. The Japanese, on the other hand, had allegedly signed a peace treaty with the United States and Great Britain. Japan was to hold back in China at the line where it was at that time (May 1942). In return, Japan was to surrender Hong Kong to the British and to declare war on Germany [...]."
This sort of rumor was prompted not only by the inmates' hopes and expectations, but also by their fears, which is perfectly understandable. Other rumors in turn were deliberately started and put about for purely political motives; false witness statements and deceptive 'evidence' was used to help the process along. We shall give two particularly revealing examples.
C. Simonov writes:
"Pietro Mikhailovic Denissov, a Russian, and Claudio Elinski, a Pole, two engineers from Lublin who were paid civilian workers involved in the construction of the camp-in constructing the sewer system, among other things-told me that in late April or early May 1943, while in the camp's building materials depot, they ran into a Lublin Jew whom they had already known in peacetime. The inmate was carrying axes into the camp. He spoke to them, pointed at a frail old man who was also carrying axes, and said: 'Do you know who that old man is? That's Léon Blum.' Since they saw that there were no SS-men nearby, the two engineers came closer. The following conversation then took place: 'You are Léon Blum?' Denissov asked.-'Yes, I'm Léon Blum.'-'The Prime Minister of France?'-'Yes, the Prime Minister of France.'-'And how did you come to be here?'-'I arrived with the last group of French prisoners.'-'Why didn't you try to escape in your country? Can it be possible that there was no way for you to save yourself?' Denissov persisted.-'I don't know, maybe I could have,' said Léon Blum, 'but I decided to share my people's fate,' and his eyes filled with tears. At that moment several SS-men appeared on the scene, and Blum, just like the other man, hastily laid a heavy axe of several cm diameter on his shoulder and carried it away. He took a few steps, then stumbled and fell. One of the prisoners standing nearby helped him get up. He stood up, put the axe back on his shoulder, and walked away. A week later Denissov and Elinski again had things to do in this depot. Again they encountered the man who had pointed Léon Blum out to them, and they asked him where Blum was. He replied laconically, 'Where I'll also be soon,' and pointed up at the sky. This is just one event from the history of this death camp. Both witnesses, who are living in Lublin today, confirm each and every detail."
This event, confirmed in "each and every detail" by the two witnesses, is pure fiction: Léon Blum was deported to Buchenwald on March 31, 1943, and later transferred to Dachau, where he was freed on May 4, 1945.
Of course this did not hinder the Soviets from officially sanctioning the rumor of Blum's death in Majdanek. In its issue 26 of August 1944 the French Communist paper Fraternité wrote:
"Radio Moscow reports the death in Majdanek of former President of the Council Léon Blum, a 70-year-old man who like so many of his brethren fell victim to racist barbarism."
The false news of Blum's internment in Majdanek had been put about in May 1943 by the Dziennik Polski, the organ of the Polish government-in-exile.
The second example we shall give specifically concerns one of the Soviets' propaganda techniques. The Norwegian ex-inmate Erling Bauck, who was transferred from Sachsenhausen to Majdanek in 1944 together with 13 compatriots, as skilled laborers, reports:
"In autumn 1944 we read in American and illegal Norwegian newspapers that 14 Norwegians had been executed in Lublin, on orders from Berlin. The fact that we were allegedly 14 Norwegian executees proves that the order must have come at least four months earlier, when there were still 14 of us.[] We were all listed by name and inmate number. In November the priest in Notodden received a letter signed by Ilya Ehrenburg, asking him to notify the father of the Brattli brothers that his sons were among those executed. The papers which the Russians found in the main camp stated that we had been murdered with Zyklon gas and then thrown into an acid bath so that no mortal remains were left to be found."
The "papers which the Russians found" were simply the inmates' personal papers-identification, labor passes, school report cards, etc.-which C. Simonov had already found in a room in the camp office. These also included some papers belonging to Norwegians. Propaganda quickly turned these into evidence that their owners had been murdered, even though these owners were actually still very much alive.
Obviously, fanning the flames of gas chamber rumors belonged to the repertoire of political propaganda: the tremendously detailed Silberschein Report could not possibly have been the report of a credulous witness. Of course this does not mean that all witnesses who spoke of homicidal gassings were liars. In most cases they no doubt simply misinterpreted events they witnessed without intending any deception. In this regard, the Düsseldorf court presiding at the Majdanek Trial stressed:
"The mass selections of people to be killed by gassing was general knowledge in the concentration camp Majdanek at least as of early 1943. This resulted in the fact that screenings carried out under similar conditions as selections but actually intended for other purposes, primarily transfers to other camps, were misunderstood by a number of inmates as being selections for gassing. This goes primarily for the screenings of female inmates for the aforementioned transports, from late June to late August 1943, to the concentration camps Auschwitz and Ravensbrück and to the forced labor camp Skarcysko-Kamienna; these screenings required that the female inmates being considered had to undress for an 'assessment' by one of the camp doctors, in the presence of female SS guards, in the Washing Barrack of the Women's Compound. However, unlike the 'selections for death' which were performed under similar conditions, these screenings were not intended to cull those who were unfit to work, but rather to cull those who appeared 'particularly fit to work'."
In fact, matters were the reverse of what the court assumed: since the selected inmates who were transferred elsewhere did actually disappear from the camp, those who remained behind became convinced that their departed comrades had been murdered. This conviction was strengthened by the fact that before leaving the camp, the selected inmates went through the showers and delousing, i.e., through Barracks 41 and 42 where delousing gas chambers were known to exist. This procedure left the remaining inmates with one powerful impression: their fellow prisoners had been sent to where the gas chambers were; they had not returned; consequently, they had been gassed.
The inmate transfer of July 1943 demonstrated clearly just how easy it was to fall for this misunderstanding. On June 24 of that year, an SS-Untersturmführer from Division IIIa (Labor) of the concentration camp Auschwitz came to Majdanek to negotiate the transfer of 5,500 inmates for the labor camp Monowitz (east of Auschwitz I). On July 6 he drew up the following report:
"Immediately upon my arrival in the concentration camp Lublin on June 24, 1943, I was told that, of the 5,500 male and female inmates available, 1,700 had already been selected for the labor camp in Radom. Therefore only 3,800 were left for us. 1,000 inmates were ready to be transferred; they were said to have been chosen by the garrison physician SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr. Blanck. In a brief inspection together with our camp physician, SS-Obersturmführer Dr. Kitt, we determined that only about 30% were in any condition to work in our labor camps Buna and Neu-Dachs. And the final results confirmed our expectations. The garrison physician, SS-Hstuf. Dr. Blanck, then informed us that it had not been he, but rather the camp physician SS-Untersturmführer Dr. Rindfleisch, who had selected them. However, the latter declared that he had not selected them either. Over the next few days, those of the available male and female inmates were selected that could with a clear conscience be considered fit to work, and that were reasonable and justifiable for our purposes. Of the remaining inmates, some might have been fit for light work. But since there is no more such light work in this camp, and since the inmates had been intended for work in Buna and Neu-Dachs, on orders from Oranienburg, they could not be included. The camp physician, SS-Ustuf. Dr. Rindfleisch, also admitted that the remaining inmates really could not be considered fit to work. In the course of the inspection, I asked why these inmates had even been reported fit to work in the first place, and was told that the local labor office had reported them fit. I could not justify taking the rest of the inmates just to oblige, since a great many of them would have had to be put straight into the recovery block or the infirmary on their arrival. SS-Obersturmführer Dr. Kitt will report on their fitness for work from the medical perspective."
On July 8 a transport of 1,500 inmates could finally be put together for Auschwitz. The very same day SS-Hauptsturmführer Krebsbach, deputy to SS-Hauptsturmführer Eduard Wirths, drew up this report on the inmates' state of health:
"Of the 1,500 inmates (750 men and 750 women) to be transferred from Lublin on July 8, 1943, a very high percentage was not fit to work.
49 of the male inmates had to be admitted to the Inmates' Infirmary or the recovery blocks immediately upon their arrival, for great physical weakness, bacterial tissue inflammation, or severe hernias. Another 277 inmates had to remain in Camp AI for lesser physical weakness, so that only 424 inmates remained available for their actual purpose, namely to work in the labor camp Buna. These too will not be fit for the hard physical labor there until after the mandatory four weeks' quarantine.
Of the female inmates, 5 were already dead on arrival, 2 others were suffering from bullet wounds. 80 other inmates cannot be considered fit to work. These are broken down as follows:
28 inmates physically extremely weak; these include inmates aged 15-17
2 with edema
44 with more or less severe injuries of the lower extremities
5 with ulcers on the lower legs
1 with inflammation of cell tissue.
Beyond that, a high percentage of the female inmates suffers from scabies. In other respects as well, the overall and nutritional state of the inmates is such that they cannot yet be expected to handle the full work load demanded in Auschwitz."
It is clear that sick inmates in the infirmary barracks of Majdanek underwent a selection process. It is no less clear that they also underwent this procedure before being transferred to Auschwitz; and all that the inmates who remained behind recalled of these events is that sick inmates had been sent off in the direction of the gas chambers, from where they had not returned.
For other types of transports, sick inmates were the only ones to be selected; in other cases, only children were chosen. In this context, Zofia Murawska cites a classic example of a misunderstanding on the part of the Majdanek inmates:
"In the fall of 1943 (September or October) trucks arrived on Compound V, and the SS-men began to load the children onto these; they tore them from the arms of their unsuspecting mothers. Even though the SS assured the mothers that the children would be placed in homes under the care of the Polish Red Cross, the mothers became terribly upset, for they thought that the children's destination was really the gas chamber. In fact, the young inmates were sent to the Children's Camp in Lodz."
Under these circumstances it is not surprising that the fears of the prisoners remaining in the camp turned into certainty.
The fact that the rumors about homicidal gassings were unfounded and misleading follows clearly not only from the above account by C. Simonov, but also, and all the more so, from the investigation conducted by the Polish-Soviet Commission. This Commission consisted of engineers who were familiar with the properties and practical application of Zyklon B as well as CO. The Commission questioned ex-inmates, who incidentally were already aware of the conclusions drawn by the former. Regarding the homicidal gassings, the protocol states:
One of the most commonly used methods for exterminating human beings in the Lublin camp was gassing.
According to the findings of the technical expert report, six gas chambers were set up on the grounds of the camp. These chambers are equipped with special facilities: the presence of a gas pipe, the presence of a special room with fixtures for connecting the gas bottles [to the gas pipe] and to introduce the gas into the chamber, etc. People were gassed in these chambers with hydrogen cyanide (substance 'Zyklon') as well as with CO (carbon monoxide).
A considerable quantity of hydrogen cyanide (substance 'Zyklon') in special cans as well as a few bottles of CO were found on the area of the camp (see file about the inspection-l.d.[] 575).
The technical expert report concluded:
'All these chambers, and especially Nos. I, II and IV, were designed and used as sites for the systematic mass extermination of human beings by means of poisoning with poison gases such as hydrocyanic acid (the substance 'Zyklon') and carbon monoxide. If Chambers V and VI were also used for disinfestation purposes, then only for the treatment of the clothing of exterminated victims.' (l.d. 585).
Numerous witnesses who were questioned on this topic reported a considerable number of cases of mass poisoning of human beings in these gas chambers. Men, women and children were asphyxiated here. All the weak inmates, those unfit for physical labor, those suffering from typhus-all those whom the Germans deemed it necessary to kill-were taken here.
The witness Stanisławski reports:
In March 1943, 300 Poles were gassed in the gas chamber; on May 16 or 17, 1943, 157 children of Jewish nationality were murdered in the same chamber. I witnessed these horrors myself, since I was on duty as courier at the gate to the third camp Compound. First, the children were led to the Bath, where they undressed; then they were chased into the gas chamber; any that resisted were gunned down. Obersturmführer THUMANN did it himself. Afterwards, all the shot and gassed children were thrown onto a lorry and taken to the camp crematorium to be burned. Fourteen Russian POWs operated the gas chamber and the bath. They were ordered to go into the gas chamber and to squeeze the children more tightly together. As soon as they had entered, the chamber door closed behind them, and all 14 of them were poisoned together with the children.
On June 20, 1943, 350 Jews were undressed on the first camp Compound and led into the Bath, where they were killed in the gas chamber.
On October 14, 1943, 250 or 270 Jews were gassed in the same place (l.d. 7).
Eyewitness Solowjew reports, 'I myself saw how the bodies of men, women and children of various ages who had been asphyxiated in the gas chamber were laid on lorries and taken to the crematorium to be burned' (l.d. 76).
Prisoner-of-war Dr. Konajko recounts:
'After that I had several opportunities to see for myself that this chamber served to gas people, and I observed that dead bodies were taken from there to the crematorium, by truck and trailer. Particularly in April and May [year is not stated] bodies were taken from this gas chamber, and I later learned that 50 prisoners had been gassed' (l.d. 222a).
OKUPJAK, a resident of the city of Lublin who worked in the camp barracks as water pipe fitter, reports:
'I myself saw how dead people were dragged out of this gas chamber. The bodies were placed on two platforms (?)... When these were loaded with dead bodies, a tractor came to take the bodies to the crematorium, that is, where the bodies were burned.' He continues: 'The vehicles loaded in this way with children drove up to the gas chamber. The next day I saw how people who worked there carried the dead bodies of children out of the gas chamber' (l.d. 301).
The witness SELENT reports on the gassing of 87 Poles on March 15, 1944:
'I already learned of the existence and workings of the gas chamber in the very first days of my stay in the camp. On March 15, I made first-hand acquaintance with it when 87 people from a transport that had arrived together with me were simply led off from our Compound. All of them were Poles who were unable to work due to weakness, physical ailments or occasional illness. All these 87 people were herded together in our Block 15, at seven o'clock in the evening; they had to undress, even take off their shoes, and then they were driven, on cars, to the gas chamber, where they were all exterminated. I myself saw how they were crowded naked onto the car and taken out of the Compound; I knew some of them personally. From people who worked in the camp office, I learned that the following morning these 87 people were deleted from the list of the living and entered into the list of the deceased' (l.d. 358).
The eyewitness and former camp inmate Jan Wolski provided an immensely detailed account of the mass murder of people in the gas chambers:
'In October of 1942 a large number of women and children were brought into the camp. The healthy ones were led off to forced labor, but all the sick, weak and children were taken to the Bath, where they were ordered to undress, and then they were all asphyxiated in the gas chamber. The bodies of the victims were driven to the ovens, where they were burned. One must assume that the gassing victims suffered greatly before they died; the distorted expressions of the dead people's faces and eyes, which I saw myself, showed that.
In March of 1943, another 250 women and children were gassed in the same chamber, and another 300 people of various nationalities just a few days later.
On May 16 or 17, 1943, cars brought 157 children aged 2 to 10 years to the camp; all of them were murdered in the gas chamber. The witnesses to this deed, 14 Russian POWs who operated the chambers and the bath, were killed together with the children.
In June 1943, on Compound I, 300 to 350 inmates were ordered to strip naked, and despite the heavy rain they were then herded naked into the Bath, from where they did not return. After they were murdered in the gas chamber, they were driven in cars to the ovens to be burned.
In July 1943 the camp administration gathered up all the sick POWs and inmates, approximately 600 people altogether, and killed them all in the gas chamber. The bodies were transported to the ovens by various means, and burned.
That same month, another 200 people were exterminated the same way, and cremated in the ovens' (l.d. 199).
The witness and former inmate BENEN recounts:
'Right after my arrival in April 1943, I saw how approximately 200 people were gassed. They were taken from the third Compound to the gas chamber, after they had been told that they would take a bath and get a change of clothing there. They were stripped naked and led into the Bath. A short time later, bodies were carried out of the room and laid on a bus driven right up to the door. I was doing field work near the Bath and saw this with my own eyes' (l.d. 510).
The Germans doing duty in the camp themselves reported about mass murder with gas.
'On September 15, 1942,' says SS-Rottenführer GENSCHE (or Hensche), who was stationed at the camp from July 15, 1942, on, '350 people, including women and children, were killed in the gas chamber. Their bodies were burned. I was informed of this by Obersturmführer GERSCHON [spelling in original; this may be a reference to SS-Rottenführer PERSCHON] personally, who was in charge of the Baths and the gas chambers' (l.d. 471).
SS-man Wilhelm GERSTMEIER [actually: Gerstenmeier] reports abut the homicidal gassings:
'From accounts by the camp orderlies-SS-Rottenführer ENDRESS and SS-Rottenführer PERSCHON-I know that inmates, including many women, old people and children, were systematically killed in the gas chambers with the gas 'Zyklon'. Camp doctors-Hauptsturmführer BLANKE and Obersturmführer RINDFLEISCH-were present when the people were taken to the gas chamber.
Very often, THUMANN also attended these exterminations. The bodies of the asphyxiated victims were burned in the crematorium. Many hundreds of people were murdered in the gas chambers in September and October 1943 alone. Endress and Perschon told me that 150 children 10 to 12 years of age had been asphyxiated in the gas chamber on one single day. While on duty, Endress and Perschon often visited the Bath and the gas chamber, and were present at these exterminations' (l.d. 463).
SS-officer THERNES recounts:
'On October 16, 1943, an inmate transport 5,000 strong arrived from Warsaw. Under the leadership of camp physician Hauptsturmführer BLANKE, all the new arrivals were given a medical exam, and everyone who was unfit to work-there were 500 of them-was separated. This group included many women and children. They were led to the Bath, where they were killed in the gas chambers. That evening I personally saw bodies being transported on large lorries from the gas chamber to the crematorium. My co-workers' reports indicate that the bodies were burned on pyres beside the crematorium...'
'In the evening of October 21, 1943, the camp physician SS-Untersturmführer RINDFLEISCH told me that 300 children 3 to 10 years of age had been killed in the gas chamber with the gas 'Zyklon' today' (l.d. 525).
SS-Rottenführer Theo SCHÖLEN, a member of the Fascist party since 1937, attested with regard to the mass gassings of human beings in the Lublin camp:
'I know that people were systematically murdered with gas in the gas chamber here. Inmates under my charge told me that they had personally witnessed more than 150 children being asphyxiated in the gas chamber. That was in July 1943. I myself saw the bodies of the victims being taken out of the gas chamber the next morning. A truck with a trailer was loaded with the bodies; altogether more than 100 bodies were loaded up. I often saw this truck and trailer driving back and forth between the gas chamber and the crematorium, leaving the gas chamber loaded with corpses and returning again empty' (l.d. 417).
The German STALP also confirms the mass extermination of men, women and children in the gas chambers (l.d. 474).
Later it was found that the Germans made equally extensive use of gas vans[] for killing people. The witness ATROCHOW saw this 'gas van' himself and describes it as follows:
'This gas van was a hermetically sealable bus, earthy gray in color; it could hold 60 people, who were poisoned in it with exhaust gas. The people were poisoned on the drive from the city to the crematorium, and they were always already dead on arrival at the crematorium. Obersturmführer Gotschik has provided me with detailed witness testimony about the gas van' (l.d. 93).
Stetdiner, a soldier in the Polish army who had fallen into German captivity in 1939 and who was questioned on this subject, also gives a detailed description of this gas van. He says:
'More than once, gas vans came and brought fresh corpses. There could be no doubt that these victims had only just been asphyxiated, for the bodies were still warm... There were cases where these gas vans arrived three times daily. Externally, it was a truck with a massive metal box and metal floor; the door could be closed airtight. A hose ran from the engine under the box, connecting the engine with the box floor; there were numerous small openings in the floor, like a grid' (l.d. 438a).
Therefore, the Germans used not only [stationary] gas chambers to asphyxiate people in Lublin, but also mobile gas chambers-gas vans, the so-called 'Duschegubki' [soul-killers] in which people were poisoned with exhaust gases.
Thus, the mass murder of people in gas chambers is substantiated as follows:
First, by the testimonies of a considerable number of eyewitnesses;
Second, by the construction system of the gas chambers and the gas pipes contained therein;
Third, by the hydrogen cyanide gas (substance 'Zyklon') in special cans, found in great numbers at the murder site, and by 'CO' gas in bottles."
In numerical respects alone, this report surprises the reader with its grotesque imbalance of charges and evidence. On the one hand, it cites all of 9 witnesses (13 if one counts the SS-men), even though fully 1,500 inmates had remained in the camp. On the other hand, the report describes gassing as having been one of the most-used methods of extermination, which means that it must have claimed the lives of many hundreds of thousands of inmates if the total victim count of 1.5 million postulated by the Commission were correct. The thirteen witnesses quoted tell of a total of 19 gassings; the victim counts they cite total 4,414 dead (plus a few hundred).
Surely the Commission questioned not only the 13 witnesses mentioned in this report. It is no less certain that it chose the most important witness statements to support its conclusions. This is where the Commission's dishonesty becomes especially clear: it supports its allegation that hundreds of thousands of people were gassed with eyewitness testimony according to which a maximum of just over 5,000 people died in the gas chambers.
From a qualitative perspective, the report suffers from a further, obvious discrepancy. The Polish-Soviet Commission was composed of engineers who were thoroughly familiar with the properties and use of Zyklon B and CO. Accordingly, their conclusions could not agree with the silly imaginings with which the inmates attempted to flesh out the rumors of homicidal gassings. For this reason the report perforce had to dispense with the witnesses quoted by C. Simonov-which results in the strange phenomenon that those inmates who were 'in the know' could not be heard while those who knew nothing became witnesses for the prosecution!
The statements cited in the report reveal the discomfiture of 'witnesses' who knew nothing but had to bring charges anyway: while these ex-inmates do speak of murders in the gas chamber (always in the singular, with one exception), they fail to specify just where exactly this gas chamber was located and how the gassing actually took place, and they never even mention Zyklon B or CO. Their accounts clearly show that they were witnesses to the aforementioned selections and falsely concluded that they had observed the preamble to homicidal gassings. This follows most obviously from the statements of the witness Benen, who has an entire gassing take place right in the Shower (without specifying whether this Shower was in Barrack 41 or 42), and from the statement of the witness Selent, who speaks of 300 to 350 inmates being sent naked into the Bath, "from where they did not return". The prisoners did not know what really took place, and therefore they gave free rein to their imagination. In the process they produced the most flagrant contradictions, such as inmate Stanisławski, who claims to have witnessed the gassing of 157 children at the entrance to Compound III, approximately 350 m distant from Barrack 41, but then proceeds to describe the alleged events as though he had been inside the barrack.
These witnesses also make do with an incredibly vague description of the gassings themselves.
Whenever there is an opportunity to compare the eyewitness testimony with documented facts, the former proves to be false. For example, according to the inmate Wolski, 600 registered prisoners were gassed in July 1943, but this figure exceeds the total of new arrivals to the camp that month. The inmate Selent speaks of the March 15, 1944, gassing of 87 Poles who "were deleted from the list of the living the following morning and entered into the list of the deceased", whereas in fact only 34 deaths were recorded on March 16 of that year, of which only three were Poles; the proportion of Poles among the total casualties also remained relatively low in the days to follow.
The ignorance of these witnesses also becomes apparent with regard to the number of alleged execution gassings and of their victims; as we have already pointed out, the figures they cite stand in glaring contradiction to those the Commission alleges. For example, the witness to give the most details-Jan Wolski-speaks of only seven gassings totaling some 2,000 victims for a period of fully nine months, October 1942 to July 1943.
Time and again the witness statements claim that inmates were not only sent into the Bath but that bodies were also carried out and to the crematorium. If this claim were based on fact, another misunderstanding is no doubt at work here. As we have seen in Chapter VI, Chambers I and III had most likely been converted to temporary morgues in which a CO2 cooling system was installed. If this hypothesis is correct, then clearly the witnesses simply misinterpreted what they saw by taking two real but unrelated events-the movement into Barracks 41 and 42 of inmates to be transferred to other camps, and the removal of dead bodies from the mortuaries of Barrack 41 to the crematorium-and construing them to indicate murder.
Two witnesses, Stetdiner and Atrochow, speak of the use of gas vans in Majdanek. This is news even to official historiography, according to which homicidal gas vans were allegedly used in the Chełmno camp, on the eastern front, and in Serbia, but not in Majdanek. However, here, too, there is a potential explanation. In Chapter VI we pointed out that the Central Construction Office of Majdanek had a working relationship with the Bernhard J. Goedecker company of Munich, which had worked with the Sanitation Institute of the Waffen-SS to design mobile disinfestation facilities. These worked along the lines of a hot air-steam-hot air process; disinfestation took place "in a closed chamber mounted on a vehicle". It is certainly possible that such a facility was sent to the Lublin camp, where an inmate thought it was a mobile gas chamber for killing people.
The four SS-men who were interrogated by the Polish-Soviet Commission and who realized that the noose was pulling tighter and tighter around their necks showed a quite servile willingness to collaborate (for which one can hardly blame them), but their obvious good intentions to 'confess' everything could not hide the fact that they knew nothing of homicidal gassings. SS-Rottenführer Gensche (or Hensche) had spent two years in the camp but could tell of only one gassing operation, with 350 victims-and not even as first-hand witness, since his information had come from SS-Oberscharführer Perschon. SS-Hauptscharführer Gerstenmeier also had only second-hand knowledge of gassings; his sources were SS-Oberscharführer Endress and, again, Perschon. And, in a truly amazing twist, SS-Rottenführer Schölen was actually alerted to the gassing of 150 children by the inmates under his command! Obviously the prisoners were far better informed about the events in the camp than the SS were... Only SS-Rottenführer Thernes seconded the statements of the aforementioned witnesses and reported that on October 16, 1943, a transport of 5,000 new arrivals from Warsaw was screened and that 500 people deemed unfit to work had been selected for the gas chambers. However, the large transports from Warsaw to Majdanek took place between May and August 1943; beyond that, we must note that the percentage of prisoners allegedly fit to work (90%) is too high to be credible. Thernes was also aware of a second gassing, but he had only heard of it from SS-Untersturmführer Rindfleisch.
In light of these plain and unambiguous facts it is hardly necessary to spend more time on the post-war eyewitness testimony about homicidal gassings in Majdanek. It speaks volumes that J. Marszałek, the official historian of the Majdanekcamp, devoted all of two pages to the gassings there, and supports these by quoting, not a former inmate of Majdanek or an SS-man who had been stationed there, but SS-Rottenführer Pery Broad, who had been stationed in Auschwitz. Marszałek writes:
"The technique of killing with the gas is presented below by Perry [sic] Broad, an employee of the Political Division of the Auschwitz camp. A similar technique was applied in Majdanek."
It would be hard to imagine how the total bankruptcy of the official Majdanek historiography could be exposed more drastically!
|||C. Simonov, op. cit. (note 310), pp. 12f.|
|||Elsewhere Simonov contradicts what he writes here, and claims instead:"At night, the tractors roared in the camp; they were being run on purpose to drown out the rattle of the submachine guns and the screams of the people who were shot." (p. 16.)|
|||It must be pointed out that the number of 20,000 released inmates is quite impossible to reconcile with the image of the "extermination camp". Each of these released inmates would have observed mass murders or at least heard about them from fellow prisoners. The news of the massacres would have spread like wildfire throughout Poland, and from there through all of Europe! The very same historians that expect us to believe this also tell us that the National Socialists used code words in their documents to cover up their atrocities. What on earth would have been the point of these amateurish attempts at camouflage in light of the fact that the Germans continually released eyewitnesses to the alleged genocide?|
|||Krystyna Marczewska, Władysław Waźniewski, "Obóz koncentracyjny na Majdanku w świetle akt Delegatury Rządu RP na Kraj," in: ZM, VII, 1973, pp. 164-241.|
|||Jolanta Gajowniczek, "Obóz koncentracyjny na Majdanku w świetle 'Dzennika Polskiego' i 'Dziennika Polskiego i Dziennika Żołnierza' z latach 1940-1944," in: ZM, VII, 1973, pp. 242-261.|
|||Ibid., p. 242.|
|||Since the Polish language does not have an article, the last sentence can also be translated as "the gas chamber and the crematorium are in service".|
|||As the authors comment in a footnote, the presence of English and French inmates in Majdanek at that time is not proven (p. 168).|
|||Krystyna Marczewska, Władysław Waźniewski, op. cit. (note 445), p. 169.|
|||This refers to Chełmno, also called Kulmhof.|
|||Ibid., p. 172.|
|||Ibid., p. 177.|
|||Ibid., p. 179.|
|||Ibid., p. 181.|
|||Ibid., pp. 221-226.|
|||I.e. the roll calls.|
|||Reference to the old crematorium, which was located on Intermediate Compound I.|
|||Probably a brand of cigarettes.|
|||Author's mistake; there were considerably more.|
|||A large prison in Warsaw.|
|||In the original text, a linguistically incomprehensible half-sentence follows here.|
|||Ireneusz Caban, Zygmunt Mankowski, "Informacje o Obozie na Majdanku w aktach Delegatury Rządu RP na Kraj," in: ZM, II, 1967, p. 113.|
|||Krystyna Marczewska, Władysław Waźniewski, op. cit. (note 445), p. 184.|
|||Ibid., pp. 192f.|
|||Ibid., p. 207.|
|||Zbigniew Jerzy Hirsz, "Korespondencja z Majdanka Henryka Jerzego Szczęśniewskiego VIII 1943-IV 1944," in: ZM, II, 1967, p. 216.|
|||District Court Düsseldorf, op. cit. (note 55), v. I, p. 103. According to the Düsseldorf verdict, no more homicidal gassings took place in Majdanek after the (alleged) massacre of November 3, 1943.|
|||Jolanta Gajowniczek, op. cit. (note 446), p. 242.|
|||Ibid., pp. 250f.|
|||Ibid., p. 251.|
|||Ibid., p. 252.|
|||Ibid., pp. 252-254.|
|||Ibid., p. 258.|
|||A. Silberschein, Die Judenausrottung in Polen, fifth series, Geneva, 1944, pp. 17f.|
|||Ibid., "Das K.Z. Lager Lublin," p. 11.|
|||Ibid., pp. 12-17, 20.|
|||See Document 37.|
|||See Carlo Mattogno, op. cit. (note 303), pp. 395.|
|||C. Simonov, op. cit. (note 310), pp. 13f.|
|||In Barrack 42.|
|||Dionys Lenard, "Juden aus der Slowakei," in: Tomasz Kranz, op. cit. (note 138), p. 65.|
|||C. Simonov, op. cit. (note 310), p. 7.|
|||Enzyklopädie des Holocaust, op. cit. (note 7), v. I, p. 223.|
|||Stéphan Courtois, Adam Rayski, Qui savait quoi? L'extermination des juifs 1941-1945, Paris: Editions La Découverte, 1987, p. 225.|
|||Jolanta Gajowniczek, op. cit. (note 446), p. 250.|
|||Erling Bauck (misspelled as Bank) is recorded with registration number 6508 on an undated list of 13 Norwegian inmates sent from Sachsenhausen to the DAW of Lublin. Majdanek, Lublin: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza, 1985, Document 46.|
|||Erling Bauck, op. cit. (note 138), p. 197.|
|||One of the Norwegians had meanwhile died of an inner ear infection. A second, suffering from tuberculosis, had been admitted to the main camp's infirmary, where he survived. A third had been sent back to Sachsenhausen.|
|||District Court Düsseldorf, op. cit. (note 55), v. I, pp. 88f.|
|||N. Blumental (ed.), Dokumenty i Materiały, Lodz, 1946, Tom I, pp. 138f.|
|||Ibid., p. 141.|
|||See Chapter IV.|
|||Zofia Murawska, op. cit. (note 242), p. 146. The Security Police's Polish youth detention camp was located in Przemysłowa Street in Lodz. Obozy hitlerowskie na ziemiach polskich 1939-1945, op. cit. (note 208), p. 297.|
|||GARF, 7021-107-9, pp. 311a-313a.|
|||List doprosa = Interrogation Sheet.|
|||Duschegubka in Russian.|
|||See Chapter IV.|
|||Of 35 inmates to die on the 17th, 7 were Poles, 6 of 46 on the 18th, 19 of 69 on the 19th, and 4 of 31 on the 20th. GARF, 7021-107-9, pp. 177-187.|
|||Walter Dötzer, op. cit. (note 326), p. 29.|
|||See Chapter II.|
|||At that time, according to a May 26, 1944 report (NG-2190) by E. von Thadden, only one-third of the deported Hungarian Jews were fit to work.|
|||J. Marszałek, op. cit. (note 209), p. 141.|
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