III. The Undressing Room of Crematorium II at Birkenau: Origin and Function

1. Undressing Room - for the Living or for the Dead?

In section I I mentioned the project to install "showers in the undressing room of crematorium III" discussed in Bischoff's report of May 13, 1943. In this section, we will explore the origin and the function of the "undressing room" of the Birkenau crematoria. According to the thesis of Jean-Claude Pressac, which was completely adopted by Robert Jan van Pelt, crematorium II of Birkenau was designed and built as a normal hygienic and sanitary installation, however:[1]

"towards the end of October 1942 one hit upon the idea, quite logical, actually, to move the gassings from Bunkers 1 and 2 into a room in the crematorium, where a mechanical ventilation was available, in the very same manner that had been employed in the morgue of crematorium I [of the main camp] in December of 1941."

The idea, according to Pressac, took on a concrete form when "the SS construction office decided to set up gas chambers in the crematoria."[2]

The first trace of this decision - as we have already seen - is, in Pressac's view, drawing 2003 of December 19, 1942, "relocation of basement entrance to roadside," in which the corpse chute is said to have been removed.

This interpretation, according to which a crematorium, designed and built as a normal hygienic and sanitary installation, would have later been transformed into a mass extermination unit with total abandonment of the possibility to store corpses in its morgues and burn them in its ovens, appears quite unfounded, if we only look at the documents discussed in section II.

What is important in this case, however, is the date: according to Pressac, the decision to carry out the gassings in the crematoria was taken on December 19, 1942, and henceforth put its traces on the projects of the Central Construction Office. As only the morgue no. 1 was equipped with a ventilation system having aeration and de-aeration equipment, it is clear that this room was to become the homicidal gas chamber. And as it was intended to carry out mass exterminations, it is also clear that morgue no. 2 was destined to become the undressing room of the future victims, in keeping with the procedure already tested - according to Pressac - in crematorium I.

Hence, the decision to transform morgue no. 1 into a homicidal gas chamber implied the decision to transform morgue no. 2 into an undressing room, and the two decisions were taken at the same time. It is correct that in certain documents morgue no. 2 of crematorium II is labeled "undressing room" or "undressing cellar," and for Pressac this designation is a "criminal trace" in favor of the thesis about alleged extermination activity of this cremation unit, which appears for the first time in Bischoff's letter to Topf of March 6, 1943, in which he writes, with reference to morgue no. 2:[3]

Dr. Wirths keeps complaining about the lack of appropriate morgues: "Construction of morgues in CC Auschwitz II"; RGVA, 502-1-170, p. 264
Click to enlarge

"Furthermore, request is made for the supply of a supplemental offer regarding the changes in the de-aeration installation for the undressing room."

But did this "undressing room" really designate an undressing room for the victims of the gas chambers?

2. Origin and Function of the Undressing Room in Crematorium II at Birkenau

Two documents unknown to Pressac, concerning the origin of the decision to create an "undressing room" in the basement of crematorium II allow this question to be answered once and for all.

On January 21, 1943, the SS garrison physician wrote the following letter to the camp commander:[4]

"1. SS garrison physician Auschwitz requests the dissecting room, planned for the new construction of the crematorium at Birkenau, to be split into two rooms of equal size by means of a partition and to have 1 or 2 wash basins installed in the first one, because it is to be used as dissecting room proper whereas the second room is needed for anatomical preparations, the storage of files, writing materials, and books, for the preparation of colored tissue slides and for microscope work.

2. Furthermore, it is requested to provide for an undressing room in the basement rooms."

The most highly important conclusions for our topic result from this letter.

  1.  The decision to create an "undressing room" in the crematorium was taken neither by the Kommandantur (Höß) nor by the Central Construction Office (Bischoff), but quite simply by the SS garrison physician.

  2.  The SS garrison physician attributed no particular importance to this matter and presented it as something of an afterthought to the purely hygienic and sanitary request for the dissecting room.

  3.  The crematorium was attached, from the point of view of hygiene and sanitation as well as in respect of medical-legal matters, to the SS garrison physician who, was fully informed about the relevant projects and, when the occasion arose, intervened with the Central Construction Office demanding modifications. The letter quoted proves that the SS garrison physician was completely unaware of the alleged project to transform the morgue no. 2 into an undressing room for the victims of gassing actions: he requests the installation of an "undressing room" somewhere "in the basement rooms" without mentioning specifically morgue no. 2 and without excluding, for this purpose, morgue no. 1. But in view of his position, he could not have been unaware of the decision, supposedly taken two months earlier, to make morgue no. 2 into an "undressing room," because if he did not know about it, such a decision could, in fact, not have been taken. What results from the above document is that the idea of an "undressing room" was conceived by the SS garrison physician in January of 1943 and transmitted to the Auschwitz command on January 21.

On February 15, 1943, SS Untersturmführer Janisch, Head of the Construction Office of the PoW camp (Birkenau) answered the letter of SS garrison physician by a hand-written note which said:[5]

"Re 1.) has been launched

Re 2.) for undressing a horse-stable barrack has been set up in front of the cellar entrance."

What was the purpose for an "undressing room" in the crematorium? And why was a barrack built for such a purpose?

Pressac has noted that a horse-stable barrack in front of crematorium II, at a location announced by Janisch, i.e. "in front of the cellar entrance," does indeed appear on the "Situation map of the PoW camp Auschwitz O/S." of March 20, 1943. Pressac writes in this respect:[6]

"The drawing confirms the erection of a hut of the stable type in the north yard of Krematorium II in March 1943. We know little about this hut, except that after serving as an undressing room for the first batch of Jews to be gassed in this Krematorium, it was quickly dismantled - only a week later according to the Sonderkommando witness Henryk Tauber. The first mention of an access stairway through Leichenkeller 2 found in the PMO archives, BW 30/40, page 68e, is dated 26/2/43 (Document 7a). As soon as this entrance was operational, the undressing hut was no longer required."

Pressac then comes back to this argument but offers a different explanation:[7]

"On Sunday 14th March [1943], Messing continued installing the ventilation of Leichenkeller 2, which he called 'Auskleidekeller II/Undressing cellar II.' In the evening, about 1,500 Jews from the Cracow ghetto were the first victims to be gassed in Krematorium II. They did not undress in Leichenkeller 2, still cluttered with tools and ventilation components, but in a stable-type hut temporarily erected in the north yard of the Krematorium."

Later, he goes back to his first interpretation:[8]

"This Bauleitung source confirms the erection in mid-March 1943 of a hut running south-north in the north yard of Krematorium II, which was used, according to Henryk Tauber, as an undressing room, apparently because the access stairway to the underground undressing room (Leichenkeller 2) was not yet completed."

Pressac refers to the following statement by Henryk Tauber:[9]

"These persons [the assumed victims] were herded into a barrack, which at the time stood perpendicularly to the crematorium building on the entrance side of the yard of crematorium II. The persons entered this barrack through a door located on the side of the entrance and descended [into the basement] by means of steps which were to the right of the Mühlverbrennung [sic], This barrack was used as an undressing room at that time. But it was used for more or less one week and was then dismantled."

Pressac publishes the complete drawing 2216 of March 20, 1943, but with illegible notes.[10] He refers, though, also to another version of this drawing (from another negative of the Auschwitz museum), in which the notes are clearly visible.[11] Here, the barrack in front of the crematorium II is represented by an empty rectangle - a symbol which corresponds neither to a barrack "completed," which is represented by a dark rectangle, nor to a barrack "under construction," which is represented by a rectangle with oblique hatching, but to a barrack "planned." This shows up even more clearly in another detail of the drawing published by Pressac.[12]

There is, by the way, another map of Birkenau, immediately preceding the one referred to by Pressac, in which the barrack in question does not appear at all. That is the "lay-out plan for the construction and enlargement of concentration and PoW camp, drawing no. 2215," dated March 1943.[13] As it is numbered 2215, it precedes the one numbered 2216 and was therefore established on March 20, 1943 or earlier.

It is not clear why this barrack appears only on drawing 2216. It does not appear at all[14] on drawing 1991 of February 17, 1943, which also shows the barracks planned, under construction and completed in the Birkenau camp, in spite of the fact that it had already been set up on February 15. This obviously results from its stop-gap and temporary character. It is unknown when the barrack was set up. What is certain is that this barrack had nothing to do with the alleged homicidal gassings.

Pressac's first explanation that the barrack had been set up because the access to morgue no. 2 was not yet ready, does not make much sense. With respect to crematorium III Pressac actually states:[15]

"On 10th February [1943], work began on piercing the opening for and building the western access stairway to morgue 2 (future undressing room) of Krematorium III, under the supervision of Huta foreman Kolbe. This was done in six days, being completed on 15th (PMO file BW 30/38, pages 25 to 27). It is not known when this operation was carried out for Krematorium II. The only mention of its realization dates from 26th February, or eleven days after that of Krematorium III was completed."

On March 20, 1943, the day on which drawing 2216 of the Birkenau camp was done, SS garrison physician for Auschwitz, SS Hauptsturmführer Wirths, as we have already seen, writes in his letter to the commander:[16]

"For the removal of the corpses from the detainee sick-bay to the crematoria, 2 covered hand carts must be procured, allowing the transportation of 50 corpses each."

In this way, the question becomes definitely clear. The SS garrison physician was worried about the poor conditions of hygiene and sanitation, in which the corpses of the detainees were kept, due to the inadequacy of the existing corpse chambers - simple wood sheds that could not prevent the rats from feasting on the bodies - with the risk of an outbreak of the plague. He states this clearly in his letter of July 20, 1943, which describes a situation that obviously existed already in January. The SS garrison physician therefore wanted to deposit the corpses in a hygienically safer place, and the best place was obviously constituted by the two morgues of crematorium II which, at the time, were in an advanced state of construction. On January 21 he asked to set up an "undressing room" for these corpses "in the basement rooms" of the crematorium. On January 29 Bischoff replied that the corpses could not be kept in morgue no. 2, but that this was of no importance because they could be taken to the "Vergasungskeller" (gasification or gassing cellar, see further down).

On February 15, Janisch informed the SS garrison physician that "a horse-stable barrack in front of the basement entrance" of crematorium II had been set up for the undressing of the corpses of the camp. Hence, this barrack was set up some time between January 21 and February 15, and for that very reason it could not have served any criminal purpose.

This is confirmed by the fact that crematorium II went into service on February 20, 1943. A report by Kirschneck, dated March 29, 1943, states, in fact, the following as regards this crematorium:[17]

"Brickwork completely finished and put into operation on Feb. 20, 1943."

Hence, the crematorium went into operation even before ventilation was installed in the morgue no. 1, and it received corpses even before this room could theoretically have been used as a homicidal gas chamber.

But why was an outside barrack needed at all? The answer is simple: In January of 1943, morgue no. 2 was unserviceable.

In the "Report no. 1" Bischoff sent to Kammler on January 23, 1943, with reference to "Krematorien PoW camp, state of construction" we read with respect to crematorium II:[18]

"Cellar II. Concrete ceiling finished (removal of form-work shuttering dependent on weather conditions)."

In his report dated January 29, 1943, Topf engineer Prüfer confirmed:[19]

"Shuttering cannot yet be removed from ceiling of morgue because of frost."

On the same day, SS Obersturmführer Kirschneck confirms in a note for the file:[20]

"Morgue 2 has been completed except for removal of shuttering from ceiling, which requires temperatures above freezing."

Finally, in the letter addressed to Kammler on January 29, 1943, Bischoff writes:[21]

"Crematorium II has been completed - save for minor constructional work - by the use of all the forces available working day and night shifts, in spite of unspeakable difficulties and freezing temperatures.

The ovens were fired up in the presence of the chief engineer, Mr. Prüfer of Topf & Söhne Co., Erfurt, the contractor, and operate perfectly.

The concrete ceiling of the morgue could not yet be freed from the shuttering because of frost. This is, however, of no consequence, because the gassing cellar can be used for this."

During the first two weeks of February 1943, there were at least 10 days at Birkenau when the morning temperatures were between -1 and -8C, overnight minima were even lower, and maximum afternoon temperatures varied between -3 and +6C,[22] which makes it highly probable that morgue 2 remained unusable because of the impossibility of removing the shuttering from the concrete ceiling of the room.

The only document on the subject of the realization of an outside access to morgue 2 dates from February 26, 1943[23]: the work probably started that day or a few days later and was probably finished within a week, as in the crematorium III. On March 8, 1943, the Topf technician Heinrich Messing began mounting the de-aeration duct in morgue 2, which he regularly calls "undressing cellar" in his weekly reports.[24] The work ended on March 31, 1943 ("de-aeration equipment for undressing cellar installed."[25]

Accordingly, at the latest by March 8 the Central Construction Office, upon the request of the SS garrison physician, had decided to create an "undressing room" in the basement of crematorium II, more specifically in morgue 2. For its part, morgue no. 1 was operational from March 13 ("aeration and de-aeration equipment cellar I went into operation").[26]

On March 20, the day reported to have seen the gassing of 2,191 Greek Jews,[27] the SS garrison physician worried only about the transportation of the corpses of detainees from the camp hospital to crematorium II without even the slightest hint at alleged gassings.

We have thus answered the two questions we asked initially.

  1.  The "undressing room" was used for the corpses of registered detainees who had died at the camp. During the Belsen trial, SS Hauptsturmführer Kramer, commander of the Auschwitz II camp (Birkenau) from May 8, 1944, onwards, declared on this subject:[28]

  2. "Whoever died during the day was put into a special building called the mortuary, and they were carried to the crematorium every evening by lorry. They were loaded on the lorry and off the lorry by prisoners. They were stripped of their clothes by the prisoners in the crematorium before being cremated. The clothes were cleaned and were re-issued where the people had not died through infectious diseases."

  3.  A barrack in front of the crematorium was built initially as an "undressing room" because morgue 2 was not yet serviceable on January 21, 1943, the day the SS garrison physician requested an "undressing room."

3. The "Gassing Cellar" of Crematorium II at Birkenau

Even before Pressac, the official historiography had taken the term "gassing cellar," which appears for the first time on January 29, 1943, in Bischoff's letter to Kammler, as discussed in the preceding section, to be a trace, if not an outright proof, of the existence of a homicidal gas chamber in crematorium II. What is of interest to us here is, above all, the context, in which this expression appears, and the significance of the entire sentence.

Bischoff says here that it had not yet been possible to remove completely the shuttering from the concrete ceiling of the morgue no. 2 because of frost, but that this was of no consequence because "for this" one could use the "gassing cellar." Practically speaking, the "gassing cellar" could take over the function of morgue no. 2. If we do assume that the function of morgue no. 2 was that of an undressing room for the victims and that the "gassing cellar" functioned as a homicidal gas chamber, how could a homicidal gas chamber function as an undressing room at the same time?

One can argue that the homicidal gas chamber could also be used as an undressing room, but then why - if we follow Tauber and Pressac - did the Central Construction Office allegedly build a barrack in front of the crematorium as an undressing room for the victims?

It is essential to stress here that the matter had a strictly temporary character and was of interest only as long as "morgue" 2 was unavailable: the "gassing cellar" could be used "for this," i.e., as a morgue, on January 29, 1943, and the days immediately thereafter. At a time when, as Bischoff tells us in his letter, the Topf company had not yet shipped "the aeration and de-aeration equipment" due to freight restrictions. Therefore the "gassing cellar" could not be operational as a homicidal gas chamber.

The interpretation by the official historiography - the undressing room for the victims is not operational but that does not matter because the homicidal gas chamber can be used instead - is therefore all the more nonsensical: considering that the alleged homicidal gas chamber was unserviceable, for what purpose would the victims undress? And the victims of what, if the homicidal gas chamber did not work? In conclusion, the victims could not undress in "morgue 2" because this room was not available; they could undress in the "gassing cellar," but could be gassed neither in the "morgue 2" nor in the "gassing cellar."

It is thus evident that the explanation of Bischoff's letter is quite different: "morgue 2" could not be used as a morgue or undressing room for the bodies of registered detainees who had died in the camp of "natural" causes, because this room was unavailable, but that was of no consequence, because the corpses could be placed into the "gassing cellar." One last point has to be elucidated: why was "morgue no. 1" called a "gassing cellar"?

The alleged criminal transformations of the basement of crematorium II began at a time, when the typhus epidemic that had broken out at Birkenau in July of 1942 had not yet been brought under control. The death rate among the inmates, though clearly dropping, was still high: some 8,600 deaths in August, some 7,400 in September, some 4,500 in October, some 4,100 in November, some 4,600 in December, and some 4,500[29] in January 1943. On January 9, 1943, Bischoff wrote a letter to the head of Office Group C of the SS WVHA, SS Brigadeführer Kammler, on the subject of "hygienic installations at CC and PoW camp Auschwitz," in which he listed all installations of disinfestation and disinfection that existed at the time: five installations at CC Auschwitz and four at PoW camp Birkenau. He ended his letter with the following observation:[30]

"As can be seen from the foregoing, the need for hygienic installations has largely been fulfilled; once the screening barrack for civilian workers is operational, it will be possible, at any time, to delouse and disinfest a large number of people."

However, over the following days the hot air unit of block 1 in the main camp (built by Topf & Söhne), the hot air unit "in the men's and women's disinfestation barracks at the PoW camp," i.e. in the delousing barracks 5a and 5b (built by the Hochheim Co.), and finally in the "military disinfestation station" went out of service on account of fires.[31] These failures occurred at a time when the typhus epidemic that had broken out in July of 1942 had not been reined in.

On December 17, 1942, Bischoff wrote to the "Military registration office, department W" at Bielitz:[32]

"Concerning your inquiry of Dec. 8, 1942, Central Construction Office informs that camp quarantine can probably not be lifted over the next three months. While all available means of fighting the epidemic are being put to work, new cases have not yet been completely eradicated."

The same day, Bischoff wrote as follows to the camp commander:[33]

"Pursuant to order of SS garrison physician, the first delousing and/or disinfestation of civilian workers is to be carried out on Saturday, Dec. 19, 1942. On account of this it is necessary that the disinfestation units in CC be made available. The same goes for individual delousings from Dec. 22, 1942, for the civilian workers. Your approval is requested."

In the "garrison order no. 1/43" of January 8, 1943, the Auschwitz commander informed:[34]

"Head of Office D III has informed by radio message that the camp quarantine for CC Auschwitz will remain in force as before."

On January 5, 1943, several cases of typhus were identified at the Myslowitz jail (a town some twenty kilometers north of Auschwitz) and were rapidly spreading among the inmates. The president of provincial civil administration, whose seat was at Kattowitz, proposed to send the patients to Auschwitz. In a letter addressed to the camp commander, he wrote:[35]

"I do recognize furthermore that these prisoners may introduce new cases of infection into the Auschwitz camp. On the other hand, as typhus at the Auschwitz camp is still rampant and considerable sanitation measures have been set up there as a countermeasure, I feel entitled to make such a request. [...]"

On January 13, Rudolf Höß replied that while "some cases of typhus" still occurred at the camp, it was no longer an epidemic ("the typhus epidemic no longer exists"), he refused this proposal, because the arrival of these sick inmates would greatly increase the resurgence of the typhus epidemic ("because in this way the risk of a new outbreak of a typhus epidemic would become very great").[36]

However the Police President at Kattowitz decided that the bodies of inmates who had died of typhus at Myslowitz would be taken to Auschwitz by hearse for cremation, after having been treated with a delousing agent and placed in a coffin ("for incineration the departed will by transferred to Auschwitz by hearse").[37]

Sanitary and hygienic conditions at Auschwitz were not as reassuring as Rudolf Höß had described them. On January 25, in "internal order no. 86," Bischoff announced the following:[38]

"On account of an order emanating from the SS garrison physician of CC Auschwitz, all SS personnel of the Central Construction Office billeted at the Construction Office housing barrack will be subject to a 3 week quarantine."

During the course of January of 1943, a resurgence of the typhus epidemic took place, which culminated in the first ten days of February and prompted SS Brigadeführer Glücks, head of office Group D of the SS WVHA, to order drastic measures, as seen from the letter Bischoff wrote to Kammler on February 12, 1943, on the subject of "increase in typhus cases":[39]

"In view of the rapid increase in cases of typhus among the members of the guard unit, SS Brigadeführer and Major General of the Waffen-SS Glücks, has ordered a total quarantine for CC Auschwitz. In this connection, starting on Feb. 11, 1943, all detainees are being disinfested and are not allowed to leave the camp. As a consequence, the building projects, to which detainees had predominantly been assigned, had to be stopped. Resumption of work will be announced by the Central Construction Office."

Let us return to the "gassing cellar." In the context outlined above, it was most reasonable that at the end of January of 1943, in order to overcome the loss of the disinfestation units that were out of commission due to fire, the SS authorities planned to utilize as temporary gas chamber employing hydrocyanic acid the morgue 1 of crematorium II. The name "gassing cellar" was evidently taken from the gas chamber employing hydrocyanic acid of buildings Bw 5a and 5b, which was also called "gassing room."[40]

The initiative came, most probably, from Office Group C of the SS WVHA, because Bischoff's letter of January 29, 1943, addressed precisely to the head of Office Group C, SS Brigadeführer Kammler, which uses the term "gassing cellar," takes for granted that the addressee knew perfectly well what it was all about. This is confirmed by the fact that at the end of January, Office C/III (Technical questions) of SS WVHA had requested from the Hans Kori Co. of Berlin an estimate for a "hot-air disinfestation unit" for the Auschwitz camp. The Kori Co. answered on February 2 by a letter to the office in question concerning an "delousing unit for Auschwitz conc. camp.,"[41] an "Listing of iron requirements for a hot-air delousing unit, Auschwitz concentration camp" for a total of 4,152 kg of metal,[42] and a "cost estimate concerning a hot-air delousing unit for the Auschwitz concentration camp" totaling 4,960.40 RM.[43]

That same day, February 2, 1943, SS Hauptsturmführer Kother, head of Office C/VI of SS WVHA (commercial questions) carried out an "Inspection of disinfestation and sauna units at CC Auschwitz." In the corresponding report by SS Standartenführer Eirenschmalz, head of Office C/VI of SS WVHA, on the subject of "disinfestation units" it is said that the hot-air units had been originally conceived for a disinfestation by means of hydrocyanic acid, which required a temperature of 30C, but had been used for a hot-air disinfestation, which necessitated a temperature of 95C and had therefore been "overloaded:"[44]

"The ever increasing arrival of many detainees leads to a corresponding utilization of the equipment, and the wear of the latter under such constant employment can only be countered by the installation of air-heaters based on coke. In order to counteract impending failures of the units, cast-iron hot-air heaters have been envisioned here for the existing disinfestation plants. Having checked with the supplier, these will be made available for supply within three weeks so that the necessary measures against epidemics can be undertaken. The fires having occurred are for the most part attributable to overheating, which makes it imperative to observe the respective directions when such plants are being utilized."

The idea of using the morgue no. 1 of the crematorium II as an emergency disinfestation chamber was then extended also to the other crematoria, and the corresponding documentary traces were later interpreted by Jean-Claude Pressac as "traces" or "slip-ups" referring to homicidal gas chambers. After little more than three months of planning at the Central Construction Office, Kammler changed his program of "Special measures for the improvement of hygienic installations" in the Birkenau camp, and suddenly all projects aiming at the use of the crematorium rooms as emergency disinfestation chambers were thrown out.

At the end of July 1943, disinfestation and disinfection units for 54 000 detainees per day existed or were on order within the complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau.[45]

But as early as May of 1943, the documents of the Central Construction Office stop making any reference to the use of rooms in the crematoria as emergency disinfestation units, and thus, according to Pressac, to any kind of "trace" or "slip-up" hinting at an alleged criminal activity going on in the crematoria.

Already in 1994 I had underlined that, as far as the crematorium II at Birkenau is concerned, no "criminal trace" has a date later than March 31, 1943, the day of the official hand-over of the crematorium to the camp administration. Therefore, for the more than 20 months of use of this crematorium for alleged extermination activities there is not even one miserable "trace," and that goes for the other crematoria as well.[46] No official historian has ever wondered about the reason for this strange state of affairs, which is certainly not due to a lack of documents: it can be explained only and completely by the fact that the program of improving the normal disinfection and disinfestation units, launched in May of 1943, rendered absolutely needless any kind of plan to install emergency disinfestation units in the crematoria. From this project one moved, in fact, to the plan of installing emergency showers for the detainees in the crematoria, which was given up in turn because the 100 showers of buildings 5a and 5b functioned regularly and because - as we have seen in section 1.4. - completion of the central sauna was now close.


Notes

[1]J-C. Pressac, Die Krematorien von Auschwitz. Die Technik des Massenmordes, , Piper Verlag, München-Zürich 1994, p. 75.
[2]Ibidem, p. 83.
[3]J.-C. Pressac, Technique and operation of the gas chambers, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation. New York 1989, pp. 432-433.
[4]RGVA, 502-1-313, p. 57.
[5]RGVA, 502-1-313, p. 57a. After having written this article, but before it was published in no. 3&4, December 2003, of the Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung (pp. 357- 380), I became aware of a mistake I had made when reading this document. As I had initially come to a wrong conclusion because of this error, I immediately rewrote the paragraph on the origin and the function of the undressing room of crematorium II at Birkenau, but by an unfortunate misunderstanding the new, corrected section was not substituted for the initial text that thus came to be published with the German version of this article. I use this opportunity to rectify the matter and present my excuses to the reader. Carlo Mattogno.
[6]J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz:..., op. cit. (note 3), p. 462.
[7]Ibidem, p. 227.
[8]Ibidem, p. 492.
[9]Deposition by H. Tauber dated 24 May 1945. Höß trial, vol. 11, p. 136.
[10]J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz:..., op. cit. (note 3), p. 226.
[11]Ibidem, p. 462.
[12]Ibidem, p. 256.
[13]RGVA, 502-1-93, p. 1.
[14]Cf. reproduction of the drawing in: J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz:..., op. cit. (note 3), p. 220.
[15]Ibidem, p. 217.
[16]Letter from SS garrison physician to commander KL Auschwitz dated March 20, 1943 concerning "Häftlings-Krankenbau - Kriegsgefangenenlager." RGVA, 502-1-261, p. 112.
[17]"Tätigkeitsbericht (activity report) des SS-Ustuf. (F) Kirschneck, Bauleiter für das Schutzhaftlager und für landwirtschaftliche Bauvorhaben. Zeit 1. Januar 1943 bis 31.März 1943," dated 29 March 1943. RGVA, 502-1-26, p. 59.
[18]RGVA, 502-1-313, p. 54.
[19]APMO, BW 30/40, p. 101.
[20]APMO, BW 30/34, p. 105.
[21]APMO, BW 30/34, p. 100.
[22]"Tagesberichte of W. Riedel & Sohn (Co.), Eisenbeton- und Hochbau, at Bielitz;". APMO, BW 30/28, pp. 96-112.
[23]APMO, BW 30/34, p. 68d.
[24]"Arbeitszeit-Bescheinigung" (work hours sheet) of Topf Co. for the period 8-14 March 1943. APMO, D-ZBau/2540, p. 26.
[25]Ibidem, p. 23.
[26]Ibidem, p. 26.
[27]D. Czech, Kalendarium der Ereignisse im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau 1939-1945. Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbeck bei Hamburg 1989, p. 445.
[28]Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others (The Belsen Trial). William Hodge and Company, Limited. London, Edinburgh, Glasgow 1949, p. 731.
[29]Statistical analysis of Sterbebücher (death books) of Auschwitz.
[30]RGVA, 502-1-332, pp. 46-46a.
[31]Letter from Bischoff "an den Kommandanten des KL Auschwitz - SS-Obersturmbannführer Höß" dated January 18, 1943. RGVA, 502-1-28, pp. 256-258.
[32]RGVA, 502-1-332, p. 113.
[33]RGVA, 502-1-332, p. 47.
[34]Norbert Frei, Thomas Grotum, Jan Parcer, Sybille Steinbacher, Bernd C. Wagner (ed.), Standort- und Kommandanturbefehle des Konzentrationslager Auschwitz 1940-1945, K.G. Saur, Munich 2000, p. 208.
[35]Letter from Regierungspräsident in Kattowitz to commander of KL Auschwitz dated January 9, 1943. APK, RK 2903, p. 10.
[36]Letter from commander of Auschwitz to Polizeipräsident in Kattowitz dated January 13, 1943. APK, RK 2903, p. 20.
[37]Letter from Polizeipräsident in Kattowitz to Regierungspräsident in Kattowitz dated January 21, 1943. APK, RK 2903, p. 22.
[38]RGVA, 502-1-17, p. 98.
[39]RGVA, 502-1-332, p. 108.
[40]"Erläuterungsbericht zum Vorentwurf für den Neubau des Kriegsgefangenenlagers der Waffen-SS, Auschwitz O/S," RGVA, 502-1-233, p. 16.
[41]RGVA, 502-1-332, pp. 15-15a.
[42]RGVA, 502-1-332, p. 18
[43]RGVA, 502-1-332, pp. 20-21.
[44]RGVA, 502-1-332, pp. 37-37a.
[45]"Aufstellung über die im KL. und KGL. Auschwitz eingebauten Entwesungsanlagen, Bäder und Desinfektionsapparate," compiled by civilian employee Jährling on July 30, 1943. RGVA, 502-1-332, pp. 9f.
[46]The latest criminal "trace" dates from April 16, 1943. It concerns the request for "4 gas-tight doors" for crematorium IV.

Source: The Revisionist 2(3) (2004), pp. 283-289.


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