CHAPTER III:
Stutthof as an "Extermination Camp"
:
Critical Investigation of the Sources

1. Preliminary Remarks

Polish historians having directed their attention to Stutthof-even more so than Polish Majdanek specialists, for example-have been influenced by the crude propaganda of the immediate post-war period. They make inexhaustible use of the most dubious eyewitnesses who are, for the most part, refuted by the available documents. This practice is reflected, in particular, in the claim that the reason for building the Stutthof camp was to bring about the "direct" or "indirect" extermination of the inmates. So-called "indirect extermination" is alleged to have consisted of creating intolerable living conditions in the camp,[103] while "direct extermination" is said to have consisted of murdering the inmates. In this regard, D. Drywa remarks as follows in the official camp history:[104]

" In addition to indirect extermination, the concentration camps, not excepting Stutthof, also performed direct extermination, the purpose of which was to kill as many people as possible in a short time. The methods used for this purpose were: shooting, hanging, killing by phenol injection or in the gas chamber."

We will now examine the basis of these claims.

2. "Indirect Extermination:" Mistreatment, Torture, and the Deliberate Propagation of Disease

Although the camp regulations prohibited the mistreatment of inmates, there is no doubt that the inmates in Stutthof, as in other concentration camps, suffered not only from hard work, malnutrition, intolerable hygienic conditions, and epidemics spread by these intolerable hygienic conditions, but from torture and torment by the Kapos and guards.

The Merkblätter für den Unterricht. An die SS Führer im K.L. Dienst stated unequivocally:[105]

"Guards are prohibited from incurring corporal punishment upon inmates unless authorized."

Stutthof camp commandant P.W. Hoppe issued Kommandanturbefehl (headquarters order) no. 46 on July 11, 1944, stating:[106]

"Subordinates and men must again be continuously instructed that they, insofar as they are assigned as commando leaders or chain of sentry posts, are responsible for seeing that sufficient work is performed by the inmate commandos. It is a matter of course that the inmates must not be beaten, pushed, or touched in so doing. Reprimands may only be given verbally. It does not matter whether the guard gives his instructions in German or in a foreign language, as long as the inmate knows what he is supposed to do."

It would, of course, be naïve to assume that no mistreatment took place in practice, since regulations often exist only on paper. The Polish official version of history, however, goes to the other extreme, and inundates the reader with 'eyewitness testimony' which quite obviously falls into the category of atrocity propaganda; the following are a few examples.

In discussing the eyewitness account by an Ester Szlamowitz, D. Drywa writes:[107]

"One day the commander of the women's camp came and explained to the block elder that they wanted 150 corpses on a certain day. Since it was difficult to cause so many deaths on the first call, the soup kettles for us inmates were emptied out into the latrine. The starved inmates began to scoop up the remains of food from the latrine; this immediately helped: the Germans reached their quota easily."

A certain Teodor Kluka tells of the block elder Josef Pabst:[108]

"[...] Pabst, who was characterized by particular cruelty to the inmates, killed an inmate for waking him up every night as the inmate went by his bunk to the latrine, and there were days on which he killed approximately ten men."

According to Father K. Dunin-Wąsowicz-himself a former Stutthof inmate-Pabst, who according to the witness Kluka is supposed to have killed approximately 10 men on some days, was publicly executed by the Germans at Stutthof at the end of 1944 for one murder-breaking the ribs of a Pole and then strangling him-after confirmation of the death sentence by Berlin.[109]

E. Grot goes one better based on the testimony of Olga M. Pickholz:[110]

"In the summer of 1944, when the camp could no longer house all inmates in the barracks, the camp administration stopped the water supply to the Jewish section. The women were forced to drink their own urine."

It is hard to believe, but this historian's gullibility even goes so far as to repeat the old atrocity story of soap from human fat:[111]

"In 1944, the Institute for Hygiene and pathological anatomy in Danzig, administered by Prof. Rudolf Spanner, undertook the experiment of manufacturing soap from human fat. The bodies were collected chiefly from Stutthof, as well as the camps in Königsberg and Elbing. The first trial experiment in the manufacture of soap was carried out in February 1944. Until the end of the war, soap production did not extend beyond mere experimentation. The institute was visited, among others, by [Reichsstatthalter of Danzig-West Prussia] Albert Forster, the Minister for Education Bernhard Rust, and Reich Health Minister Leonardo Conti. This enhanced the institute's official character. In the statement of the Commission, which investigated the laboratory on May 4, 1945, it was stated that 'in Danzig, German scientists committed the crime of soap production from the human fat of inmates and prisoners of war, chiefly of Polish and Russian origin, as well as the crime of preparing human skin for utilitarian purposes' [...]. In the light of the indictment of the State Prosecutor of the USSR in Nuremberg and the Decision of the Reich Court of March 7, 1912, any disposition of the human body after death was impermissible and punishable from a legal point of view."

It is well known that official Western historiography has long since abandoned the fairy tale of soap from human fat. As remarked by Raul Hilberg:[112]

"Even the soap rumor appears to have stubbornly clung to life. According to Friedmann,[[113]] soap was actually boycotted by the Polish population because they assumed that human body parts were used in the manufacture. A document from Prof. Spanner, the Director of the Anatomical Institute of the Medical Academy of Danzig, dated February 15, 1944 (USSR-196), contains a recipe for the manufacture of soap from fat residues, with recommendations for the removal of unpleasant odors. The document does not, however, specifically mention human fat [...] The rumor of soap manufacture even survived the war. Pieces of soap allegedly made from the fat of murdered Jews were stored in Israel and in the YIVO Institute in New York."

Just like the silly human soap story, the claim is made by Drywa that the terrible typhus epidemic which struck Stutthof starting in the fall of 1944, was "very probably" caused by the camp administration.[114] Perhaps the German camp administration had a manic death wish? Even their own people suffered during the first epidemic, which broke out in spring of 1942:[115]

"The first cases of sickness from abdominal typhus appeared in the spring of 1942. On 24 April Dr. Stefan Mirau, inmate doctor since 1939, died in the infirmary from typhus; a few SS men also fell ill, one of them died."

D. Drywa then refutes his own statement by informing the reader at this point:[116]

"Before the washroom and delousing installations were finished in the camp, the inmates were taken to Danzig for this purpose. The camp clothing was disinfested upon mass outbreaks of contagious illness."

3. "Direct Extermination" by Means Other than Gassing

a) Euthanasia by Injection

As is also claimed about other camps, the claim is made that, in Stutthof, many inmates were killed by SS doctors or health auxiliaries by means of injections. "Heart failure" and the like are then alleged to have been entered onto the records as the cause of death. The Polish historian Maria Elżbieta Jezierska cites several cases of "lethal injection" ("spilowanie"). Thus, for example, according to the testimony of three witnesses, Taissa Lyssenko, a Russian woman who, in a fit of mental derangement, threw herself naked onto the barbed wire and suffered such frightful injuries that she was killed by deadly injection. The relevant personal file (no. 22967) is said to have indicated "heart failure-general physical exhaustion. Serious psychosis".[117] Jezierska considers three cases of euthanasia as proven with certainty, and eight others as probably "similar to the first".[118]

Although such killings are not documented, we do not doubt that they happened. The number of such cases may have amounted to a few dozen. A special case of euthanasia will be discussed later.

b) The Infirmary as "Extermination Factory"

What cannot be taken seriously-in contrast to the data on individual examples of euthanasia-is the claim of Polish historians that the camp infirmary was a sinister murder factory. D. Drywa writes:[119]

"One of the locations where the inmates of Stutthof concentration camp were deliberately and systematically exterminated was the camp infirmary."

In the same tone, J. Grabowska writes:[120]

"Inmates who lay sick too long in the infirmary were killed by the SS doctors by phenol injections or in the gas chamber. All these actions caused the inmates to consider the infirmary an extermination factory".

J. Grabowska takes these statements to the reductio ad absurdum by informing us as follows in her own book:[121]

"The fundamental sources for investigation of the governmental structure consisted of the record books, transport lists, and the indication of releases from the camp infirmary (18,000) and the inmate personal files." (Emphasis added.)

It is easy to see that Stutthof inmates, when they fell ill, had no reason to be overly afraid of this "extermination factory"!

The value of the claim that sick inmates were "deliberately and systematically exterminated" is apparent from the fact that, before completion of the camp infirmary, seriously ill inmates were treated in a civilian hospital. E. Grot remarks:[122]

"The other patients (i.e., those not treated on the spot), were transported to the infirmary at Neufahrwasser; especially serious cases (for example, amputations of the extremities) were treated in Danzig State Hospital (the Stutthof inmates were confined to a barrack guarded by the police [...] After April (1940), amputations of the legs or hands were performed in the camp infirmary."

Why did the Germans need to perform amputations if the unfit were to be immediately liquidated?

Despite its sinister context, the story of the three murderous health care workers is involuntarily comical. This story runs as follows:[123]

"The transport with ten inmate health care workers which arrived from Dachau concentration camp on April 22, 1942 had another intention [other than the transfer of inmates on labor-technical grounds]. They had been especially trained to kill the inmates in the camp infirmary with intravenous injections of phenol [...] Another ten health care workers were transferred from Dachau concentration camp in September 1944 to kill Jewish women with injections of phenol."

In another article, the same author states:[124]

"On August 23, 1944 [correct date: September 23, 1944[125]] another 10 trained health care workers (including the Frenchmen Alphonse Kienzler and Paul Weil), arrived at Stutthof from Dachau in connection with implementation of action on the 'Final Solution of the Jewish Question' underway at Stutthof at that time."

The two "murderous health care workers" from France, Alphonse Kienzler and Paul Weil, are supposed to be star eyewitnesses to the reported mass crimes in Stutthof, and are referred to as such in the official history of the camp![125] The claim by D. Drywa appears even more distorted in view of the fact that at least one of the two health care workers alleged to have been transferred from Alsace to West Prussia for the purpose of participation in the mass murder of Jews by injection, P. Weil was himself Jewish. Polish historians are so hypnotized by the preconceived notion that everything that happened at Stutthof was intended to bring about the extermination of human beings that they can simply no longer conceive of the idea that health care workers could ever be sent anywhere to heal human beings. At the same time, these same historians inform us that, in April 1942-when the first contingent of health care workers arrived from Dachau- typhus had just broken out at Stutthof![122] The second group of health care workers was therefore almost certainly sent to Stutthof in connection with an epidemic, since, according to E. Grot:[126]

"The next epidemic- typhus this time-broke out at the end of the summer of 1944, when there were approximately 33,000 inmates in the main camp."

The indication of the point in time-"the end of the summer"-coincides perfectly with the date of the transfer of the second group of health care workers-September 23!

c) Executions

As in other concentration camps, there were considerable numbers of executions at Stutthof. M. E. Jezierska has conducted an extensive investigation in this regard.[127] It is based partly on eyewitness reports, partly on German documents, and, in both cases, on physical evidence (exhumations). We are solely interested in the documents and physical evidence.

According to M.E. Jezierska, two shootings of groups of inmates can be proven for the first period of the camp's existence (until January 1942, when Stutthof was assigned the status of concentration camp). Twenty-two persons were shot for resistance activities against the occupying power on 20 January 23, 1940, while 67 other persons were shot for the same reason on March 22 of the same year. The shootings were described by witnesses, and confirmed by an exhumation conducted in 1946; the corpses were buried in the forest between Stegna and Stutthof.[128]

According to M.E. Jezierska's research based on camp documents (delivery books and personal files), 263 executions can be proven for the second period of the camp's existence (January 1942 to 1945); in these cases, the majority of death sentences were handed down for politically motivated acts (partisan activity, aiding and abetting in armed resistance, Communist propaganda, sabotage, etc., and, in several cases, mere attempted escape from the camp); a minority of these executions were for ordinary criminal offences (murder, rape, theft, and, in one case, even cruelty to animals).

The persons executed during this period consisted of 126 Soviet citizens, 122 Poles, 12 Jews, 2 Germans, and one Latvian; 19 of the persons executed were women. The death sentences were carried out by hanging in 50 cases and shooting in 36 cases; in the remaining 177 cases, only the execution is mentioned in the records-not the method of execution.[129]

d) Estimated Total Number of Victims

There is no doubt that life in Stutthof was extremely hard, and that camp discipline was very rigid. But this in no way implies a policy of extermination. Death sentences were passed for absurdly minor offences-such as attempted escape-but they always involved an individual punitive procedure, and had to be confirmed by Berlin.[130] Cases of euthanasia were restricted to a small number of seriously ill and seriously injured persons, while the legends of the murderous functions of the camp infirmary are refuted simply by the 18,000 inmates who received medical treatment there and left the building alive.

That efforts were made in Berlin to ensure improved living conditions in the camp is shown by the following statement by E. Grot:[131]

"The lack of food, in addition to the physically exhausting hard work, became one of the factors of indirect extermination. Himmler's circular directive of 5 December 1941 on the introduction of additional food rations and clothing had no influence on the improved living conditions in Stutthof. Himmler's regulation of October 29, 1942 on the admission of food packages into the camps, as well as Pohl's order of mid-May 1943 on the recognition of cash bonuses for hard-working inmates, were both carried out, and gave the inmates a chance to receive additional rations in addition to the official rations."

The above must certainly be considered evidence against a policy of extermination.

4. The Gassing of Human Beings

a) The Stutthof Gas Chamber: Structure and Method of Functioning

Before examining the question of the mass gassing of human beings, the structure and functioning of the reported killing installation must first be examined.

There are no surviving documents relating to the Stutthof gas chamber, located approximately 10 meters north of the crematorium. According to the official historiography, it was built in 1943 for disinfestation purposes. The following description is based on a personal inspection by the author during his visit to Stutthof in the early summer of 1997.

The gas chamber (photo 1) is a small, rectangular structure 8.5 meters in length, 3.5 meters in width, and 2.55 meters in height (exterior measurements). The walls are of ordinary brick masonry; the ceiling is of reinforced concrete. The chamber had two gas-tight steel doors, located opposite each other. The steel doors were removed before the arrival of the Soviet troops, probably upon instructions from the camp authorities, as can be seen from a Soviet photograph taken in 1945 (photograph 2). The doors in existence today, of light sheet steel (photos 3 and 4), were installed after the liberation. To the left of the south door, on the exterior wall, is a small brick oven (photos 5 and 6); the front side of the oven contains two small metal doors.

The upper door is the fire door; the lower one is the ash door. The first was used to seal the coke-fired combustion chamber, containing a grid of diagonal rods. An opening pierced in the rear wall links the combustion chamber to a cast iron pipe (photo 7) inside the gas chamber. The oven doors bear the inscription "Patent Bzrajber".

The interior volume of the chamber is 8 m × 3 m × 2.50 m. The floor is of perforated brick;[132] the holes are filled with cement. The walls are whitewashed; the ceiling is of rough cement. At oven height, the above mentioned cast iron pipe, approximately 25 cm in diameter, runs along the west wall;[133] the pipe then bends at a right angle, rises perpendicularly up the north wall (photo 8) and leads out of the roof of the chamber into a brick chimney (photo 9). Today, this pipe is almost enclosed by a wall, forming a solid section 65-cm high and 50 cm wide. It is only uncovered in short sections visible in photo 7. As may be seen in a Soviet photograph taken after the liberation of the camp,[134] the first half of the pipe was originally surrounded by a wall of perforated brick, of the type used in construction of the floor; the other half was uncovered.

A circular opening 15 cm in diameter was pierced in the middle of the ceiling (photo 10). Above is a metal shaft with a lid (photo 11). Directly beneath the opening in the floor mentioned above is a small drain (photo 12) formerly equipped with a protective grate. Enormous migrating stains of iron cyanide (Prussian blue) are visible on all four inside walls of the chamber, clearly proving the use of hydrocyanic acid gas in this building (photo 13). Blue pigmentation has also formed around the circular opening in the ceiling. Finally, enormous blue stains are visible on the exterior walls of the chamber, particularly on the east (photos 14 and 15) and west walls (photos 16 and 17), and, to a lesser extent, near the doors on the north and south walls as well (photos 5 and 9).

This gas chamber may appear to have been rather crudely constructed in comparison with the Degesch circulation air installations for disinfestation with Zyklon B, but it was quite capable of functioning effectively. The relatively low temperature required for the rapid evaporation of hydrocyanic acid out of the granular carrier was ensured by the combustion products of the oven; the combustion products heated the cast iron pipe, as well as the walls of perforated brickwork partially surrounding the pipe, and then rose through the chimney into the open air. The small shaft in the ceiling made it possible to shake out the Zyklon B even with the door closed, after covering the opening of the drain in the floor with paper.

Simultaneously opening the two doors along the north-southwest axis achieved rather rapid and efficient ventilation. This was accelerated by the heat which continued to radiate all along the pipe; if the fire was kept burning during ventilation as well, the result was an air flow inside the chamber which would have been sufficient to ensure an almost complete air exchange in a short time.

Contrary to J.-C. Pressac's impression, the opening in the ceiling was quite necessary to the functioning of the installation. Simply sprinkling Zyklon B granulate on the floor would have been prevented by the metal rack upon which the articles of clothing were to be hung and then disinfested, occupying the entire surface area of the gas chamber right up to the doors.[135] That this opening was installed on the murderous instructions of Rudolf Höß, was simply invented by Pressac.

Nevertheless, in our view, use of these delousing chambers in their original condition for the killing of human beings would have been possible in a purely technical sense. The time periods mentioned in the Soviet Expert Commission, as well as the method of procedure described in the report, lie within the realm of the possible, at least theoretically.[136] We must now examine whether or not the chamber was actually used for this purpose. The following, therefore, is intended to attack the question from the historical point of view.

b) The Crematorium

First, of course, a few remarks on the camp crematorium are in order. The crematorium, of course, plays quite a secondary role in connection with the reported extermination of human beings, but the data of eyewitnesses with relation to its function and capacity are a solid criterion for an evaluation of their general credibility.

In Stutthof, two of the coke-fueled ovens were installed by the H. Kori concern (photo 18); the same firm also installed one oil-fired oven. These three ovens are exhibited in the crematorium reconstructed by the Poles after the war.

There are no surviving documents relating to the crematorium. All statements contained in the technical literature on this installation are based on eyewitness testimonies. The most detailed information is found in Ewa Ferenc; we quote:[137]

"The plans of the camp crematorium were fulfilled with the plans of the new camp. The camp was to have had eight double ovens and one morgue, to be linked to the ovens by a lift. A gold workshop with a safe and 4 rooms measuring 20 m2 in surface area were to be connected to the crematorium. On the plan, the rooms were designated with the letters z.b.V. (zur besonderen Verfügung) [for special duty]. The ovens were to cremate approximately 100 corpses in one hour. According to the plans, the whole crematorium was to be surrounded by a high wall. The plan, however, was not put into effect."

As a source, the Polish historian refers to the testimony of the former inmate Wacław Lewandowski. The latter, however, provided a distorted description of the original crematorium project. A document from the Central Building Administration of Auschwitz offers a background explanation: on June 15, 1942, the Bauleitung of Stutthof concentration camp requested the Central Building Administration of Auschwitz for information on the installation of a crematorium. The head of the Central Building Administration, SS Hauptsturmführer Karl Bischoff, replied on July 10, enclosing the plans for the future Crematorium II of Birkenau, providing for the construction of "5 three-muffle crematory ovens". Bischoff also reported that, according to the oven manufacturer, Topf, the period of time required for the cremation of one corpse amounted to one half hour.[138] This information was not however in accordance with reality, but was rather the reflection of wishful thinking. In actual fact, the average cremation time for a corpse amounted to one hour.[139]

The witness Lewandowski, therefore, not only got the number of ovens wrong, but mentioned the wrong model as well ("eight double ovens" instead of five three-muffle ovens); he also exaggerated the crematory capacity by three-fold (six corpses instead of two), in comparison to the capacity reported by Topf.

E. Ferenc continues:[140]

"In the summer of 1942, an oil-fueled crematory oven was delivered. It was installed on the east side of the infirmary, with a wooden roof built over it; the terrain of the crematorium was set apart from the camp. The oven was in operation approximately one half year. It burnt 5-6 corpses in 45 minutes, using approximately 5 liters of oil to do so. The first cremation took place on September 1, 1942 [...]

At the end of 1942, the Kori Corporation in Berlin built two walled crematory ovens and one chimney 18 meters long. An oven burnt 7-8 corpses in 45 minutes. Over the oven, a barrack of wood was constructed; this burnt down in the night of December 3-4. For this reason, the wooden barrack was replaced by a stone barrack, with a room for the heater, toilets, and two small rooms 'z.b.V.' [for special duty] After reconstruction, the crematorium began to 'work' again on December 26, 1944. Until then, the corpses of inmates were burnt in a field crematorium."

This information, again exclusively based on eyewitness reports, is on a weak footing as well, both historically and technically.

As regards the historical aspects, the only known original plan of the camp, which dates back to January 25, 1943, contains no designation of a crematorium-which means that it was not even begun at the time. The story of the burnt barrack therefore presumably relates to the oil-fueled oven. That this was put out of operation after only six months of use-even before the stationary ovens were built-is highly improbable. That not one single oven was in operation for fully three years-until December 26, 1944-is refuted by several documents, first of all the death registry, the section of which relating to the time period between January and April 1944 has survived, and which contains an indication of cremation dates.[141]

Technically speaking, it is impossible to burn five to six corpses in 45 minutes in an oil-fueled Kori oven. Our book on Majdanek discusses a German report attributing a capacity of 50 corpses in 12 hours to this type of oven. Our hypothesis at that time-that such a high capacity was actually within the realm possibility under ordinary circumstances[142]-is refuted by the documentation relating to the oil-fueled ovens of the crematorium at Theresienstadt, which was still unknown to us at that time. These ovens were very much bigger than the Kori ovens, but could only cremate two corpses per hour.[143] The capacity of the oil-fueled Kori ovens could under no circumstances have been higher.

The claim that seven to eight corpses could be cremated in one oil-fueled Kori oven in 45 minutes is quite absurd; the documentation on the coke-fueled Kori ovens at the Dutch Westerbork transit camp proves that a cremation took an average of 50 minutes.[144]

All this shows that the official Polish historiography, as well as the Soviet expert report quoted in the second chapter relating to the capacity of the crematory ovens at Stutthof, is devoid of all scientific basis. In particular, the statement contained in the Soviet report that 12 corpses could normally be introduced into one combustion chamber, and that they could be cremated in only 50 minutes, is pure nonsense:

Let us now turn from the above discussion of the crematorium to the allegations of mass gassings in KL Stutthof.

 

c) The Time and Number of Victims of the Alleged Mass Gassings According to Various Sources

In the previous chapter, we reproduced the reports alleging the murder of human beings in the gas chamber of Stutthof. These statements, for the most part, are very vague as regards the decisive question of the date and number of victims of the gassings, and to some extent they contradict each other. The following table makes this point very clear:

Reported Mass Gassings in Stutthof (1944)

Author

Month(s)

Łukaszkiewicz 1947

D.-Wąsowicz 1970

G. Komisja 1979

D.-Wąsowicz 1983

D. Drywa 1988

June

     

22.6.: 100

 

July

     

26.7.: 12 ?,

70, 300

24.7.: ?

August

 

70, 300, 100

 

300

22.8.: 77

September

 

300

 

600 ?

 

October

 

600 ?

     

November

 

200-250

 

250

 

June and later

   

4,000

   

pre-August

1,000

       

Aug.-Dec.

3,000

       

The above table gives the following overall picture of reported homicidal mass gassings:

Adding up the above figures, we arrive at a total of 1,739, which is less than half the official figure of 4,000. With regards to eight gassings, with a total of 1,550 victims, only the month is indicated. In one case, of course, the exact date is given, but not the number of victims; in another case, we are left in the dark as to the date, as well as the number of victims.

The vagueness of these data is explained by the fact that there are no documents on the alleged homicidal mass gassings.

d) Sources for Alleged Homicidal Mass Gassings

I) The Gas Chamber

With relation to the sources, J. Grabowska remarks:[147]

"The gas chamber was used several times between June and October 1944 to kill Polish political prisoners and resistance fighters. For example, a group of Polish partisans from the region of Bialystok were killed in this manner (in June 1944), as well as a group of men delivered after the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto (September/October 1944). The date and the number of the last mentioned executions, as well as the number of executed persons cannot be established with exactitude, since the related documents have not survived (if they were ever prepared). The reports of former inmates are inexact; for the most part, they repeat that both these groups were warned of the fate awaiting them on their way to the gas chamber; they are said to have attempted to escape inside the camp. The SS men began to shoot, and killed a few inmates; the others were recaptured and gassed." (Emphasis added.)

D. Drywa also admits that just when the gas chamber "was used for the killing of human beings" could "only be established with difficulty". In connection with the "gassing of two groups of Poles," it speaks of "difficulties" and "discrepancies in relation to the date and procedure of the action" in the eyewitness reports. This is anything but of minor importance when one considers that it is precisely these eyewitness reports which are the only sources for the alleged mass gassings; these reports are furthermore extremely scarce.

The most important purveyors of these reports are the former Polish Stutthof inmate Zbignew Krawczyk-mentioned only in the Soviet expert report-and, in particular, the Italian, Aldo Coradello, a former camp inmate and star witness to the gas chamber at Stutthof.

First, with regards to Krawczyk. The Soviet expert report permits one to conclude that this person described the mass gassing procedure, but without any exact reference to the date or the number of victims. On these grounds alone, the testimony is much is too indefinite to possess any value as an historical source.

As soon as Krawczyk goes into any detail, he becomes totally incredible, as in the following:

"Thank to the testimony of Krawczyk, it was possible to determine that the ovens were in operation day and night. The service crews worked in shifts. Up to 30 corpses were introduced into two ovens at the same time. The cremation process lasted two hours. Coke was used as fuel."

The simultaneous cremation of 15 corpses in one coke-fueled Kori oven, and in two hours to boot, is quite simply a technical absurdity; please see our above remarks on the topic.

In 1946, A. Coradello prepared a longer report for the Criminal Court in Danzig, expounding at length upon the homicidal mass gassings (the linguistic unclarity is due to the fact that German was a foreign language to Coradello):[148]

"By far the greatest number of death victims were due to the gas chambers in Stutthof-as in the other concentration camps. It is hard to say, to indicate, an exact number of these victims. But one is not far off when one reports that there were many thousands. Over the years, the SS elevated this type of butchery into a pure science.

There were several different types of these infamous gas chambers, which were constructed according to the taste of the SS, in which extra technicians must have worked. From simple dark chambers, without any comfort, only the inscription 'Caution. Lethal Danger. Close doors well during use', up to well-built railway cars accompanied by all kinds of chicanery and supplied by the German railways, and even built especially for the narrow gauge Danzig-Stutthof railway.

Those exterminated in the gas chamber at Stutthof were mostly Jews, Poles, and Russian patriots. In addition to the other described case of the gassing of 50-60 Russian disabled prisoners of war in August 1944, a few more details are known to me. This took place in the fall of 1944.

After the evacuation of the eastern territory, the Germans transported a large number of Jews of all nationalities to Stutthof from the camps from Estonia, Riga, Kaiserwald, and the ghetto of Kaunas. In particular, I remember, for example, the Jew Lulie and his sons Asjas from Riga.

These Jews were in the worst imaginable physical and moral condition; after they had hardly spent a month in Stutthof, they had lost weight until they were starved skeletons. They were the only survivors of the extermination policy of the Germans in this camp. [...]

In the fall of 1944, the butchers raged unmercifully, especially in women's camp no. 3 in S[tutthof]. Of the women lodged there, approximately 14,000 were no longer able to work due to general physical exhaustion and malnutrition. They were even indicated as such in the daily reports of the work service.

A few thousand more women were only fit to work in a restricted capacity. The number of the unfit increased by the day. Due to the injustice of camp life and insufficient food, the women lost more and more weight and got sicker every day.

The appropriate methods were devised in Stutthof, since no one doubted that the proposed numbers were approved in Berlin. Up to 3 prisoners had worked in the crematorium until now. One more prisoner was therefore detailed there. The commando was further strengthened by a night shift of 3 inmates, and the brutal SS overseer Peters, who was said to have been a former beer truck driver from the Fischer brewery in Danzig, and the right man for this job. [...]

Berlin immediately recognized the possibility of doing something to save German food by provisionally approving the gassing of 4,000 women as the first contingent. Work began immediately. Foth, the SS women's guards and the 'B.Ver.' block elders, sometimes also supported by SS Doctor Heidl, now sought out the victims."

The "separately described case of the gassing of 50-60 Russian disabled prisoners of war in August 1944," is described by Coradello as follows:[149]

"In Stutthof mostly Jews, Poles and Russians were murdered in the gas chamber. Apart from the gassing of 50-60 disabled Russian prisoners of war in August 1944, several other murders are known to me, which were committed in the fall of 1944 [...]

In order to get rid of the Jews, who were dying too slowly, they were selected every day by the block elders; above all, those who felt especially weak or simply wanted to sleep. After the evening meal, groups of 30 inmates were chased out in front of the canteen, where they were loaded onto simple wooden wagons. It often happened that a father stood by and could not rescue his son, or a man could not rescue his brother. The victims being loaded onto the wagons were mostly so weak they let themselves be taken away without protest. In case of refusal, however, they laid him low with a blow by one of the professional criminals, and threw him on the wagon. Everyone in the camp then knew that there would be a gassing that evening. On the same day, the Jews cleared out of my block at the role call reported as 'ordered away'. The Kapo of the Crematorium, the 'professional criminal' (B.Ver.) Willy Patsch, told me that they were gassed. [...]

In the fall of 1944 the SS raged especially in the women's camp no. 2. 14,000 of the women there were separated as completely unable to work due to general weakness. They were thus characterized in the reports of the labor service. Many others could only work in a restricted capacity. The number of 'unfit' increased by the day. In Stutthof, they thought up a corresponding solution. In order to get rid of these 'useless eaters', they sent a proposal to Berlin. A fourth inmate was detailed in addition to the three inmates working in the crematorium. An additional reinforcement of this commando took place through a nightshift under the command of SS Scharführer Peters, who was previously active in the Fischer brewery in Danzig. He did not complain about this work, since, as he himself said, by searching carefully, it was possible to steal many gold teeth before the cremation. That was enough for brandy and a little savings.

In Berlin, it was quickly recognized that they could save food for the 'heroes at the Front': 4,000 women were designated for the first gassing. They immediately set to work. The victims were selected by the SS man Foth, the overseer and the block elder, sometimes by the SS doctor Dr. Heidl. Then a first group of 60 to 70 women left the camp. These were extremely weak, starved beings, for whom death no longer had any meaning. They were ready to die at any time. None of the women had the strength to protest, even if they knew that they were going to be gassed. The SS men, however, made yet another theatre piece out of a human tragedy; that's how it was this time too. They told the women that they had succeeded in obtaining a free school building in order to set up a sanatorium for the Stutthof inmates. Nobody believed it, but the poor women wished in their hearts that it might be true. Strengthened by this illusory hope, they went voluntarily out of the interior part of the camp. They were unscrupulously packed into the gas chamber.

Often the quantity of gas was too small, that meant longer sufferings-but the result was the same.

Sometimes it happened that the criminals had too little time, because they wanted to participate in yet another evening feast. In order not to arrive too late, they rushed; so it happened that, apart from the dead women, women who were merely unconscious were taken out of the gas chamber and dragged into [sic] the ovens. The political inmate Erich Rössler told me that the German 'professional criminals', when they were drunk, smashed in the skulls of the only half dead victims with an axe. Then they returned to the block all smeared with blood, because they had no time to wash. They received the brandy from their 'protector' Chemnitz.

The gassing action in mid-November 1944 lasted four days and required the deaths of over 400 women. Then they were suddenly stopped. Among the inmates the rumor went around that the higher authorities in Berlin had interrupted the action [...]

On August 26 [1944] I was transferred to Stutthof once again. [...] Then I saw a group of 50-60 disabled Russian prisoners of war on the square in front of the delousing installation. Most of them had had a leg amputated, and could only move with the greatest effort with the help of crutches. Others were missing an arm or were blind. In one thing, they were all the same: they were starved to the highest degree and in rags. None had shoes; their heel bones were swollen and full of wounds. They were so weak that they look like skeletons of death, even worse than the so-called camp-'Cripples'. The long-time inmates, who were busy with the delousing and in the 'reception' of the arrivals, told me that most of these invalids came from the prisoner of war camp at Hammerstein. They had already spent three days under the open sky, without any food, on the road. The only thing they could get was some water and food given to them by other inmates. The camp commandant had come to the conclusion that these unfit disabled persons were no longer worth the food.

We newly arrived inmates had to wait for our acceptance formalities for 10 to 18 hours in a burning sun. The camp commandant Hoppe, the protective custody leader Meyer, and Reporter Leader Obersturmbannführer Chemnitz walked around us in circles. From their conversation, I was able to understand that they were concerned with the problem of the Russian invalids. Chemnitz thought that this 'Russian scum' should be gotten rid of; at the same time, he looked at the crematorium. [...] In the afternoon, Chemnitz and Lüdtke went to the war invalids and told them that they were to be sent to a sanatorium for invalids, where they would certainly feel better. I saw how the wretches showed their joy at finally being treated humanely, as they were entitled to be as prisoners of war and invalids to boot. In the rest of the water that was left over, they attempted to wash to look more decent. I will never forget how one prisoner made an effort to shave another who had no hands, using a piece of glass. They had neither soap nor brushes or razor blades. In painful excitement, I watched how they hurried in order to be ready for the transfer to the sanatorium. They were really transferred, not through the main gate, but through a side gate to the right of the SS shoe making shop, through which the bodies were taken out of the camp and the infirmary to the crematorium. For us experienced inmates, it was clear that the transferees would be cruelly murdered in a few hours.

On the evening, all the formalities for our transport were completed. The barber had cut off our hair to the skin. Everyone received his number that he had to sew onto the left breast pocket and on the trousers. [...]

When we met our comrades, suddenly the inmates Wilhelm Patsch and Franz Knitter appeared, both German 'professional criminals' with a green triangle. They had had high functions in Stutthof. Patsch was a Kapo in the crematorium and Knitter was his right hand. On this evening, they were both drunk. From one of them, I learned that the Russian invalids had been murdered around 6 o'clock in the gas chamber. In order to avoid any possible resistance, the SS men had organized a special event. Next to the crematorium ran the Danzig-Stutthof narrow gauge railway. On this day, two additional third carriages stood in the vicinity of the crematorium. The Soviet invalids had to take their places in it. They were convinced that the Germans had good intentions in their regard. After a half hour came Chemnitz, Lüdtke and Meyer, who were swearing at the locomotive driver for being late. Then they told the invalids that the locomotive would only be there in an hour, so they would have time for an evening meal. They all got out and went into the 'waiting room'. As soon as they were all inside the room indicated by Chemnitz, the steel doors shut behind them, and gas streamed into the room from the opening in the ceiling. The entire camp head office was present at the gassing. After a good hour, the doors were opened, the bodies were dragged out, and laid down by the crematorium. Every body was stripped naked; the clothing was piled up for further use. Every dead person was searched for jewels and gold teeth. The gold teeth were removed, together with the jaws, using a special device, and the bodies were labeled: 'Checked by a dentist'.[...]

Patsch and Knitter reported that the cremation of the bodies of the Soviet invalids proceeded very quickly, because it was desired to hide the murders. They had poured oil and benzene over the bodies. The ovens normally held 13 bodies, and the cremation lasted 80 to 100 minutes. The bodies of the invalids were especially emaciated, and they could load 15 bodies in the ovens. Around midnight, the ovens were filled with the last bodies. Even in the next days, newly arrived inmates were walking around in the clothing of the gassed Soviet war invalids; they had no notion of the martyrdom of the prior owners of these articles of clothing." (Emphasis added.)

Let us now test this report for its credibility. First, one must stress the obvious fact that Coradello was not an eyewitness, since everything he relates about the homicidal gassings is second-hand. This fact alone decisively diminishes the value of this testimony. His testimony is furthermore imprecise in the extreme, except in the case of the Russian invalids, which will be discussed separately.

As for the date of the gassing of the Jewish women, Coradello is unable even to specify the month, and is content to say that it happened in the "fall of 1944"!

On the number of the gassed Jewish women, Coradello first writes that it is difficult to provide "an exact number", but then establishes the number of Jewish victims at 4,000, which is not even based on eyewitness testimony-much less a document-i.e., he did not even hear this figure from someone else.

In addition, he states that the camp authorities at Stutthof had implemented a policy of exterminating the "useless eaters". On orders from Berlin, or at least with Berlin's approval, according to him, only 4,000 of the 14,000 unfit were murdered. We fail to see why 10,000 more "useless eaters" should have been spared.

The best that Coradello can offer as to the preparations for the extermination of the "useless eaters" can only arouse laughter: the number of inmates assigned to operate the crematorium was increased from three to four!

Coradello describes the doomed Jewish women as "extremely weak, starved beings", and adds that none of them had the strength to protest, "even if they knew that they were to be gassed"; he nevertheless considers it necessary for the SS men to trick them by luring them into the gas chamber by acting out the farce of a "sanitarium".

The allegation of the "insufficient quantities of gas",[150] as well as that of the women burnt alive in the ovens, belongs to the standard arsenal of atrocity propaganda which always ascribes every conceivable type of crime to the SS.

In his description of the case of the Disabled Soviet prisoners of war, Coradello provides all manner of detail with great exactitude, but, upon closer examination of his testimony, the fact remains that Coradello saw these poor wretches alive: everything he says about the gassing and cremation is based on hearsay: "From one of them, I learned that the Russian invalids had been murdered in the gas chamber at about 6 o'clock in the evening". The "one" from whom Coradello heard this can only have been one of the German professional criminals-Patsch and Knitter-who worked in the crematorium, and must have participated in the cremation if not the gassing; yet the description of the procedures involved contains the following impossibilities:

I stress that I was not successful in finding all the personal cards of the Russians on this transport, and we do not know how many of the others were also disabled."

M. E. Jezierska's discovery is important, and should under no circumstances be underestimated. It raises essential questions such as:

We will now attempt to answer these four questions.

Let us consider the first point, i.e., that, without exception, 77 of the persons delivered one week previously (on August 15, 1944) all died on the same day (August 22, 1944); their deaths were registered in alphabetical order and almost exactly in the same order as their inmate numbers,[166] and this at a time when there were no epidemics raging in the camp-it is possible to conclude with a high degree of probability that they were killed. The only possibly imaginable alternative would be the following:

These prisoners, who had all been very seriously injured, all died within a week, but their deaths were all registered on the same day. That this actually happened can be proven from the heading "Deaths": for example, the report of November 29, 1944 mentions five inmates having died between November 21 and 24.[167]

A similar case can be proven for a transport having arrived at Auschwitz from Buchenwald; the transport included 163 inmates, who were properly registered. When the camp doctor made a medical examination of the new arrivals on December 4, he noted that 18 had died in the meantime.[168]

Although the date of death of the Soviet prisoners of war is not apparent from the death certificates, but rather from the delivery book as well as from the "Inmate Personal Cards", the hypothesis of deliberate killing appears considerably more probable. The following remarks are based upon this assumption at all times.

We now come to the second of the four questions raised above:

If the invalids were killed as we assume, then what was the reason for it? M.E. Jezierska's explanation ("because they were not suitable for the labor service") cannot be correct because, as the author herself admits, at least 41 other Soviet invalids arrived on the same transport and were not killed; some of them were later transferred to Natzweiler. That these 41 were not killed is sufficient in itself to prove that there was no order from the Reich government to liquidate all the unfit. As for the specific case of prisoners of war, there is even a contrary directive, as proven by the existence of a "Soviet Russian disabled prisoner of war hospital" at Majdanek camp.[169] In Auschwitz as well, the "disabled" were regularly listed under the heading "Inmates unfit to work and inmates able to work" of the "Labor Service" daily reports drawn up by section IIIa. For example, there were 135 invalids in Sector BII/d of the men's camp at Birkenau on August 7, 1944.[170]

The picture is completed by the fact there was even a "cripple's company" at Stutthof, which[171]

"consisted of men who were so emaciated that they were no longer fit to work. If someone voluntarily reported from this company, then he was assigned to a job. The barracks could hold 50 to 60 persons, perhaps even more. Those who still wanted to do something were busied with fetching water, cleaning up, and collecting twigs. These were easy jobs. Anyone who could not work was allowed to lie around. The cripples were not bothered."

Finally, it should be mentioned that two transports, carrying 298 and 172 weak or disabled inmates, departed for Dachau on November 14 and 20, 1942 respectively.[172]

So the only reason for killing these men would have been euthanasia: in contrast to the other invalids who remained alive, these 77 invalids must have been in such an obvious state of hopeless misery it was decided to grant them a 'merciful death'. By whom was it decided? In view of the above, the answer to the third question is also obvious. The decision for the killing must have been made by the camp authorities.

There still remains the question as to the method of killing. As may be seen, the statement that the invalids were gassed is based solely upon the testimony of A. Coradello, who was, however, merely repeating hearsay, and moreover made quite nonsensical statements about cremation which ruin his credibility. In addition, a mass killing in the gas chamber, due to the fear of death which would have been experienced by the victims during their last moments, would have been barbaric and incompatible with the notion of 'merciful death'-quite apart from the fact that their cries could have been heard in the old camp, which was in close proximity, so that the news would have been all over the camp in an instant, triggering a panic, which was certainly not in the interests of the camp authorities.

The most probable hypothesis appears to us that the Soviet invalids were killed by injection in the camp infirmary. D. Drywa bases the gassing hypothesis on the following[173]

"The date (in the delivery book) indicates neither the number of the death certificate from the death registry, nor the letter 'E', which would have indicated an execution."

First, as regards the missing "E": this letter, in the view of Polish historians-which is probably correct-stood for "exekutiert" (executed), "erschossen" (shot), or "erhängt" (hanged). If it is missing on the death certificates of the Soviet invalids, this simply means that the killings were not an execution, because they did not involve a punishment, which required prior trial and sentence in all cases.

More important than the missing "E", however, is the first of the two points mentioned by D. Drywa, i.e., the missing death certificate numbers in the delivery book, since this is also interpreted as proof of the gassing of the Jewish women. In relation to the latter, D. Drywa writes:[174]

"The date was marked in the evidence books with the date stamp, and the numbers are missing from the death book, as with the Soviet prisoners of war. The death of the first larger group of female inmates was noted on July 24, 1944, while the other mortalities were registered throughout August, September, and October."

Thus the hypothesis of the gassing of the Soviet prisoners of war becomes the proof of the gassing of thousands of Jewish women! Let us examine this argument more closely.

First, the absence of the number of the death certificate in the delivery book does not prove that the deceased inmates were not entered in the death registry. From the moment of their arrival at the camp, the inmates acquired a bureaucratic status that could not dissolve into nothingness. The documents on an individual inmate might occasionally contain falsified information, but such documents could under no circumstances be destroyed, so that, in the event of death, a notation had to be made in the death books, even if a false death date and/or fictitious cause of death may have been entered under certain circumstances. The case of the 77 war invalids is clear proof of this.

That the missing death certificate number is without particular significance is shown by the fact that this was not recorded in many cases where there is no suspicion whatever. The official camp history, for example, reproduces a page from the delivery book from the year 1943, indicating the death of two Poles having died on March 3 or 7, 1943 (inmate numbers 19381 and 19385), without any indication of the number of the death certificate. Two other deaths, on the same page, however, are accompanied by the number (two Poles having died on April 21 and March 15, with inmate numbers 19381 and 19387 respectively).[175] Quite obviously, in the first case, the responsible camp official simply forgot to make the entry.

Also, in regards to the figures, the absence of the number of the death certificate in no way proves the claim of a mass gassing of human beings. M.E. Jezierska was unable to find any trace of mass extermination in the documents, or even another case comparable to that of the 77 disabled Soviet prisoners or war, although she made a detailed study of the delivery books for the period from July 19 to October 1, 1944, containing approximately 17,000 names of inmates, including 14,400 Jewish inmates, and combed them for proofs of mass killing. So the 77 invalids remain quite obviously an isolated case.

All the above considerations lead us to form the following hypothesis as to the origins of the story of mass gassings at Stutthof: it is difficult to go wrong in the assumption that the rumors of mass gassings were first spread by Jews having just arrived from Auschwitz, since such rumors had been busily stirred up in that camp by the resistance movement for years. That there was a gas chamber at Stutthof, which was, in addition, easily visible from the old camp, must have given wings to inmate fantasies.

The gas chamber was located immediately opposite the crematorium that received the corpses of the Soviet invalids. This must have necessarily been interpreted by the prisoners-who were only imperfectly informed as to events in the camp-as confirmation of the gassing rumors. Thus, in inmate fantasies, Jewish women transferred to outer camps, or other camps, became gassing victims as well.

5. The Death Rate in Stutthof from 1939 to 1945

a) The Total Number of Inmates Who Died at Stutthof Camp

The available documentation on the death rate of Stutthof inmates is nearly complete, and permits a calculation of the total number of victims with great exactitude. The following statistics do not, of course, include the victims of the evacuation by land and sea that began on January 25, 1945, since there are no documents in existence in this regard.

Our calculations are based, first of all, on the death books; these contain pre-printed death certificates similar to those used at Auschwitz (see document 4).

For a better understanding of the following statements, we would first like to present the available sources in chronological order.

1) Death Register (Second book)[176] covers the period from January 18, 1939 to August 17, 1940, and contains 584 death certificates, broken down as follows:

This death book also contains a few deaths of inhabitants of the village of Stutthof. This explains why it begins with January 18, 1939, and not September 2, the date of arrival of the first inmates.

There is also a Death Register-First book,[177] which covers part of the period covered by the second book-i.e., the period from April 12 to May 23, 1940-and which contains 200 death certificates.

2) Death Register (Second book)[178] covers the period from January 2 to December 31, 1941, and contains 268 death certificates, numbered from 1 to 268.

3) Death Register (Third book)[179] covers the period from January 6 to July 7, 1942, and contains 430 death certificates, numbered from 1 to 430.

4) Death Register (Second book)[180] covers the period from July 7 to September 9, 1942, and contains 538 death certificates, numbered from 431 to 968.

5) Death Register (Second book)[181] covers the period from October 7 to November 19, 1942, and contains 558 death certificates, numbered from 1,325 to 1,882.

Thus, it is clear that the lost death register mentioned above must have covered the period from September 10 to October 6, 1942, and contained 356 death certificates, numbered from 969 to 1,324.

6) Death register[182] covers the period from November 19 to December 31, 1942, and contains 394 death certificates, numbered from 1,883 to 2,276.

7) Death Register Volume 1[183] covers the period from January 2 to February 17, 1943, and contains 383 death certificates numbered from 1 to 383.

A comparison with death register volume 3 shows that volume 2, which has not survived, covered the period from January 18 to March 29, 1943, and contained 798 death certificates, numbered from 384 to 1,181.

8) Death register volume 3[184] covers the period from March 30 to May 1, 1943, and contains 819 death certificates, numbered from 1,182 to 2,000.

9) Death register volume 4[185] covers the period from May 7 to June 1, 1943, and contains 376 death certificates, numbered from 2,001 to 2,376.

10) Death register volume 6[186] covers the period from August 20 to November 22, 1943. From the beginning of June 1943, the system of numbering the deaths in the death registers was altered. Whereas they had previously been numbered consecutively, from the beginning of the year onwards throughout, all deaths were now registered in sections of 185 death certificates each, each section being designated with Roman numerals.

Volume 6 contains 555 death certificates, broken down as follows:

This allows the inference that volume 5 must have covered the period from June 2 to August 19, and contained 740 death certificates, broken down as follows:

11) Death register volume 7[187] covers the period from November 22 to December 31, 1943, and contains 309 death certificates, broken down as follows:

12) Death register[188] covers the period from January 25 to December 16, 1943, and contains 54 death certificates-not of camp inmates, but of residents of Stutthof village.

13) Death register[189] covers the period from January 5 to April 7, 1944, and contains 987 death certificates, broken down as follows:

With regards to the 37 deaths registered on the missing pages covering the period from January 1 to 4, this register shows a number of 987 deaths for the period from January 1 to April 7, 1944.

14) Daily reports on "mortalities" for the year 1944, as well as a few months in the year 1945.[190] These reports have only survived in part, except for the month of May. The following table reproduces the data contained in these reports:

15) List of deceased in Stutthof camp corresponding to documents found for the period from January to April 1945.[191] This is a register drawn up by the Soviets, based on German documents, very probably daily manpower reports. The register covers the period from January 30 to April 23, 1945 and covers 6,550 deaths, broken down as follows:

  • January 30/31: 389

  • March: 1,789
  • February: 3,804
  • April: 568
  • In view of the above, the following is an attempt to establish the number of deaths for each individual year.

    1939: 47 deaths (last figure mentioned up to December 31, 1939 in the death register mentioned under point 1)

    1940: approximately 860 deaths: the Death Register/Second Book for 1939/1940 covers the period up to August 17, 1940. Based on the average death rate for these seven and a half months, we arrive at approximately (537:7.5×12=) 860 deaths.

    1941: 268 deaths (last figure mentioned in the death register mentioned under point 2)

    1942: 2,276 deaths (last figure mentioned in the death register mentioned under point 2)

    1943: 3,980 deaths. This results from the addition of the individual figures mentioned under points 7 through 13.

    • volume 1-4: 2,376

  • volume 6: 555
  • volume 5: 740
  • volume 7: 309
  • We have not included the 54 deaths in the death book mentioned under point 12, because these refer to civilians rather than concentration camp inmates.

    1944: Approximately 7,500 deaths

    The exact figures relating to deaths are available for the first five months only:

    • January: 296

  • April: 213 [192]
  • March: 363
  • May: 180
  • February: 292
  •  

    For the other months, our conclusions are based upon the figures in the death registers, which almost always appear in the delivery books under the heading "Deceased", and are consistent with those contained in the death registers. The number of deaths can therefore be established with exactitude as follows:[193]

    June:

    ca. 135

    (45 deaths in 10 days = 45 divided by 10 × 30 = 135)

    July:

    ca. 120

    (the number 95 was entered on 24.7; 11 deaths from 25 to 28.7, and then 106 in 28 days = approximately 120 in 31 days)

    August:

    ca. 150

    (the number 135 was entered on 29.8 = approximately 150 in 31 days)

    September:

    ca. 250

    (the number 219 was entered on 26.9, i.e., approximately 250 in 30 days)

    October:

    ca. 380

    (the number 365 was entered on 30.10, i.e., approximately 380 in 31 days).

    November:

    ca. 1,450

    (the number 1,444 was registered on 30.11)

    December:

    ca. 3,560

    (the number 3,553 was registered on 31.12)

    1945: approximately 11,200

    For January, we have only the following incomplete documentation taken from the heading "Deaths":

    For this month, Polish historians assume 5,000 deaths.[194] This figure does not appear exaggerated when one considers that 4,489 inmates died between January 30 and February 28, i.e., at a rate of 160 per day. This enormously high mortality rate was mainly due to typhus, which was raging in the camp at that time.

    According to the Soviet list, 6,161 deaths were registered between February 1 and April 23. If one accepts the figure of approximately 5,000 deaths for January cited by Polish historians-as we do-the result for the year 1945 is a figure of approximately 11,161 or, rounded off, 11,200 deaths.

    The above-established figures result in a total of approximately 26,100 deaths; the following is an overview of the individual years:

    Total: approx. 26,100

    b) The Number of Jews Who Died at Stutthof Between July 1944 and January 1945

    According to the estimates of K. Dunin-Wąsowicz, approximately 1,500 Jews were deported to Stutthof by the beginning of 1944.[195] The deportations involved took place, in his view, from Danzig (1939 and 1940), Pomerania (1940), Warsaw (May 22, 1940), Germany, and Bohemia-Moravia, as well as the eastern regions of Poland and, in particular, Bialystok.[195] Dunin-Wąsowicz, however, provides no figures for these deportations of Jews except in one case-a transport of 150 Jews from Bialystok at the end of November 1943. On December 17, 1943 and January 12, two transports left for Auschwitz with a total of 661 inmates, including almost all of the Jews in Stutthof at that time. [196]

    According to the Korherr Report, only 31 Jews had been sent to Stutthof by the end of 1942, 18 of who died in the camp.[197] Presumably, therefore, the estimate arrived at by Dunin-Wąsowicz is too high: the number of Jews who arrived at Stutthof before 1944 should not have exceeded a few hundred. The following statistics must not have included the few Jews presumably remaining in the camp prior to the arrival of the large transports.

    As mentioned in chapter I.3, a total of 48,609 mostly female Jewish inmates were deported to Stutthof between June 29 and October 28, 1944. 28,673 Jews (2,898 men and 25,775 women) were still in Stutthof on January 24, 1945.[66] 12,548 Jewish inmates from Stutthof were transferred to other camps between July 21 and December 12, 1944.[198] Consequently (48,609 - 12,548 - 28,673 =) 7,388 Jews died in Stutthof between June 29, 1944 and January 24, 1945.

    The following is a summary of the overall mortality at Stutthof for the same period of time:

    July to December 1944: approximately 5,900; January 1 to 23, 1945: approximately 3,700 (assuming a daily figure of 161 deaths); a total therefore of approximately 9,600.

    The percentage of Jews among the victims during this period is approximately (7,388 divided by 9,600 × 100 = 77%).

    c) The Official Image of Stutthof in View of the Mortality Statistics

    The statistics set forth above give us a reliable historical criterion for an evaluation of the claim that Stutthof was an extermination camp, even if only a makeshift one. At the same time, it must be borne in mind that no claim is made that inmates were exterminated without being registered; this is in contrast to other camps, such as, for example, Auschwitz.

    The mortality statistics give the following picture for the period during which inmates regularly accepted and registered in the camp are supposed to have been exterminated, i.e., from July to the beginning of November 1944:

    Total: ca. 1,080

    These mortality statistics include all inmates, both Jewish and non-Jewish. As established above, the proportion of Jews among the total number of victims during this period amounts to approximately 77%. This means a number of approximately (1,080×0.77 =) 830 Jewish inmate deaths for the period in question.

    In Chapter III, Section 4.c, we reproduced the official statistics relating to alleged gassing victims. To test the historical basis for these statistics, we now need only compare these statistics with the mortality figures proven on the basis of documents for the period from August 1 to November 8 (July has not been taken into account due to the small number of alleged gassing victims):

    Month

    Alleged Gassing Victims

    Deaths

    August:

    477[200]

    150

    September:

    300 Jewish women

    250

    October:

    600 Jewish women[201]

    380

    November 1 to 8

    250 "women"

    180

    Total:

    1,627

    960

    Thus, the number of alleged gassing victims far exceeds the number of Jews who actually died in the camp! In view of the above-in particular, the fact that all Jews deported to Stutthof were already under the control of the WVHA and, as registered inmates, could not, therefore, simply disappear[202]-this amounts to conclusive proof that the claims of mass gassings at Stutthof concentration camp contained in the official camp history are merely a legend.

    We stress once again that these 960 deaths also include non-Jews; assuming the percentage of 77% Jewish victims as established above, this means that approximately 740 Jews died during the relevant time period. The number of allegedly gassed Jews, therefore, exceeds the number of Jews who actually died!

    The coup de grace is given by the following fact: during the time period of the alleged extermination of Jews, the number of Jews who actually died in the camp was quite low; but as soon as the extermination program allegedly stopped, the death rate rose dramatically, with approximately 950 deaths, including 740 Jews, in the 131 days between the beginning of July and November 8. In other words, the average death rate during the period of the alleged mass gassings was (740 divided by 131 =) 5 to 6 Jewish deaths per day, compared to approximately (8,400 - 830 =) 7,570 Jewish deaths for the period after the alleged extermination was stopped, i.e., the 75 days between November 9, 1944 and January 23, 1945, with almost 100 Jewish deaths per day (7,540 divided by 75), chiefly from the typhus epidemic!

    The claim made by the official Polish historiography that the Jews in Stutthof formed a group "which was doomed to die, with a few exceptions, from direct extermination within the framework of special treatment", is, therefore, in crass contradiction to the above statistics, which stand on a solidly proven documentary basis: the Jews who died during the period of alleged extermination represented only (740 divided by 48,609 =) 1.7% of all the Jews who allegedly arrived at the camp for the purposes of extermination! In the case of Stutthof, we need not concern ourselves with those who were 'exterminated without registration,' since, as stated above, the official historiography does not claim the killing of unregistered inmates.

    In view of the above, it is entirely clear that the deportation of Jews to Stutthof in 1944 had absolutely nothing to do with the so-called "Final Solution of the Jewish question", which is understood by the official historiography to mean a systematic extermination of Jews.


    Notes

    [103]Compare in this regard the chapter "Indirekte Extermination", written by E. Grot, in: Stutthof: Das Konzentrationslager, op. cit. (note 2), p. 167-199.
    [104]D. Drywa, "Direkte Extermination", in: ibid., p. 234.
    [105]AMS, I-IIB-6.
    [106]MS, I-IB-3. See document 3.
    [107]D. Drywa, "Direkte Extermination", op. cit. (note 104) p. 250f.
    [108]Ibid., p. 239.
    [109]K. Dunin-Wąsowicz, Obóz koncentracyjny Stutthof, Warsaw 1970, p. 90.
    [110]E. Grot, "Indirekte Extermination", op. cit. (note 49), p. 182.
    [111]Ibid., p. 189.
    [112]Raul Hilberg, Die Vernichtung der europäischen Juden, op. cit. (note 6), vol. II, p. 1,034.
    [113]This is a reference to Filip Friedman, author of the book quoted many times by Hilberg, This Was Oswiecim, London 1946. The passage mentioned by Hilberg appears on p. 64.
    [114]D. Drywa, "Direkte Extermination", op. cit. (note 104), p. 253.
    [115]E. Grot, "Indirekte Extermination", op. cit. (note 49), p. 188.
    [116]Ibid., p. 177.
    [117].E. Jezierska, "Straceni w Obozie Stutthof", in: SZM, no. 7, 1987, p. 151.
    [118]Ibid., p. 151f.
    [119]D. Drywa, "Direkte Extermination", op. cit. (note 104), p. 248.
    [120]J. Grabowska, Stutthof. Informator historyczny, op. cit. (note 96), p. 24.
    [121]J. Grabowska, "Die Häftlinge", op. cit. (note 38), p. 142.
    [122]E. Grot, "Indirekte Extermination", op. cit. (note 49), p. 191.
    [123]D. Drywa, "Direkte Extermination", op. cit. (note 104), p. 162, 165.
    [124]D. Drywa, "Ruch transportów...", op. cit. (note 21), p. 19. The date of this transfer was 23 September 1944; this harmonizes with the inmate numbers assigned to the two health care workers; compare the table of transports on p. 30 of the article.
    [125]J. Grabowska, "Die Häftlinge", op. cit. (note 38), p. 155. The most important excerpt from the eyewitness statements of Kienzler and Weil will be given later (compare Chapter III, Section 4, d) ii.).
    [126]E. Grot, "Indirekte Extermination", op. cit. (note 49), p. 188.
    [127]M. E. Jezierska, "Straceni w Obozie Stutthof", op. cit. (note 117).
    [128]Ibid., p. 114f.
    [129]Ibid., p. 127-142. Based upon the records, it is impossible to establish the criteria according to which the decisions as to the methods of execution-shooting or hanging-were made. Both methods of execution were employed against resistance fighters and common criminals.
    [130]Ibid., p. 112ff.
    [131]E. Grot, "Indirekte Extermination", op. cit. (note 49), p. 182f.
    [132]Brick with three round perforations.
    [133]It is 78 cm in circumference.
    [134]We possess a photocopy of this photo with archive number.
    [135]This rack is similar to the one illustrated by Pressac on p. 83ff. of his book Technique..., op. cit. (note 94).
    [136]It is, of course, improbable that 40 minutes would have sufficed to fill the chamber with victims, as reported in the expert report.
    [137]Ewa Ferenc, "Bau und Erweiterung...", op. cit. (note 13), p. 105f.
    [138]TCIDK, 502-1-272, p. 168.
    [139]The question of the cremation time is discussed in detail in Carlo Mattogno's forthcoming work, The Crematory Ovens of Auschwitz. That book reproduces the document mentioned in the above commentary. For a summary of said article, cf. C. Mattogno, F. Deana, "The Crematoria Ovens of Auschwitz and Birkenau," in: Ernst Gauss (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust, 2nd ed., Theses and Dissertations Press, Chicago, IL, 2003, pp. 373-412.
    [140]Ewa Ferenc, "Bau und Erweiterung...", op. cit. (note 13), p. 106.
    [141]See Chapter III, section 5.a).
    [142]J. Graf and C. Mattogno, KL Majdanek, op. cit. (note 9), p. 114f.
    [143]This is due to the peculiar structure of these ovens, as described in more detail by C. Mattogno in his book on the crematoria (see note 139), now in preparation.
    [144]The above mentioned data relates to the cremation of adult corpses. This point has also been discussed by C. Mattogno in his forthcoming book on the crematoria.
    [145]The combustion of the coke in the gas generator of a coke oven is directly dependent upon the suction draft of the chimney, which must be sufficiently large to overcome the resistance of the layer of coke against the passage of combustion air through the layer of coke. Cramming the combustion chamber with 12 corpses would have blocked the connection opening between the gas generator and the combustion chamber as well as the combustion gas outlet, which was located behind the introduction door on the vault of the combustion chamber. For this reason, the cremation process would have immediately come to a full stop!
    [146]See, in this regard, Carlo Mattogno's remarks in J. Graf and C. Mattogno, KL Majdanek, op. cit. (note 9), p. 112f. The matter is discussed in more detail in Mattogno's forthcoming book (see note 139).
    [147]Hermann Kuhn (ed.), Stutthof. Ein Konzentrationslager..., op. cit. (note 35), p. 62.
    [148]"Ausschnitt aus dem Zeugenbericht des früheren Mitglieds des Kgl. Ital. Generalkonsulates Aldo Coradello in Danzig, vom Sonderstrafgericht Danzig angefertigt". ROD, 250I, doos 32a.
    [149]Report by Aldo Coradello "written in 1946 as testimony in the Stutthof Trials instead of oral testimony", in: H. Kuhn (ed.), Stutthof. Ein Konzentrationslager..., op. cit. (note 35), p. 124-128.
    [150]We note that the Soviets found at least 368 unopened cans of Zyklon B (AMS, 2-V-24, p. 46g, Soviet "Protokoll der Sicherstellung von Giftstoffen im KL Stutthof" dated July 11, 1945).
    [151]Undated statement of Paul Wiechern, with the title Einzelheiten aus KL Stutthof-Danzig. ROD, 250v, doos 32a.
    [152]"Bericht über das KL Lager Stutthof bei Danzig vom ehemaligen politischen Gefangenen Lehmann," ROD, 250v, doos 32 1.
    [153]AMD, Berichte und Erinnerungen, vol. I, p. 147ff. (no reference number).
    [154]Alphonse Kienzler, Paul Weil, Stutthof, Stutthof. Document sur le Service Sanitaire d'un Camp d'Extermination, Témoignages Strassbourgeois, Paris 1947, p. 336.
    [155]D. Drywa, "Häftlingstransporte nach und aus dem KZ Stutthof", in Stutthof. Das Konzentrationslager, op. cit. (note 2), p. 167; AMS, I-IB-3, p. 150.
    [156]AMS, I-IB-3, p. 197.
    [157]AMS, I-IB-3, p. 150.
    [158]See diagram of camp, document 2.
    [159]The concept "Selektion" was invented after the war. The term used at the time was "Auswahl", as shown by all the documents quoted here.
    [160]AMS, I-IB-3, p. 196f.
    [161]"Funketelegramm" (radio telegram).
    [162]MS, I-IB-3, p. 234.
    [163]"Straceni w obozie Stutthof", in SZN No. 7, 1987, p. 79-167.
    [164]Ibid., p. 146-149.
    [165]According to M.E. Jezierska "E" stands for "exekutiert", "erschossen" (shot), or "erhängt" (hanged). But she admits that "E" in many cases could also mean "entlassen" (released), ibid.
    [166]In this regard, see the list of Soviet inmates published by M.E. Jezierska on p. 189-199 of her article.
    [167]This document is reproduced in the appendix to Obozy Hitlerowskie..., op. cit. (note 12) (without page number).
    [168]TCIDK, 502-1-65, S. 100-103.
    [169]J. Graf and C. Mattogno, KL Maidanek..., op. cit. (note 9), pp. 40, 203.
    [170]Auschwitz II/ Arbeitseinsatz für 7 August 1944, APMO, D-AuII/3a16, p. 46.
    [171]M. Orski, "Die Arbeit", in Stutthof: Das Konzentrationslager, op. cit. (note 34), p. 214.
    [172]D. Drywa, "Ruch transportów..." op. cit. (note 21), p. 21f.
    [173]D. Drywa, "Direkte Extermination", op. cit. (note 104), p. 251.
    [174]Ibid., p. 252.
    [175]Stutthof: Das Konzentrationslager, Document 28 (without page number).
    [176]AMS, Z-V-2.
    [177]AMS,-V-3.
    [178]AMS,-V-4.
    [179]AMS,-V-5.
    [180]AMS,-V-6.
    [181]AMS,-V-7.
    [182]AMS,-V-8.
    [183]AMS, Z-V-10.
    [184]AMS, Z-V-12.
    [185]AMS, Z-V-14.
    [186]AMS, Z-V-15.
    [187]AMS, Z-V-16.
    [188]MS, Z-V-11.
    [189]AMS, 1-2C-9.
    [190]AMS, I-VB-7.
    [191]GARF, 7021-106, p. 3f. see document 5.
    [192]72 up to April 7, according to the death register, 141 from April 8 to 30, according to the heading "Deaths" in the daily reports.
    [193]The data is based upon an analysis of the names of 1,850 inmates who arrived between July 19 and August 15 1944. AMS, I-II-II.
    [194]Janina Grabowska, "Die Häftlinge", op. cit. (note 38), p. 136.
    [195]K. Dunin-Wąsowicz, "Żydowscy Więźniowie...", op. cit. (note 3), p. 9.
    [196]Ibid.; D. Drywa, "Ruch transportów...", op. cit. (note 21), p. 29.
    [197]NO-5194.
    [198]See Chapter IV, section 1.
    [199]According to Dunin-Wąsowicz, the gassing was stopped "at the beginning of November" (Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen..., op. cit. (note 4), p. 266, see chapter II). We have begun with Nov. 8, since that is the first day of that month for which reliable data is available.
    [200]These are supposed to have included 300 Jewish women, 77 Soviet prisoners of war, and 100 "men".
    [201]Plus "a few dozen men".
    [202]With regards to Stutthof, and unlike the claims made for Auschwitz-Birkenau, no claim is made that Jews were sent there and killed without being registered; see Chapter I.3. and p. 78.

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