MORGUE CELLARS OF BIRKENAU:
GAS SHELTERS OR DISINFESTING CHAMBERS?
by Carlo Mattogno
Edited and Copyrighted © MXMXCIX Russ Granata
Box 2145 PVP CA 90274 USA
e-mail: [email protected]
1.0 The Samuel Crowell hypotheses in the light
of history and technology.
In the December 1997 issue of Vierteljahreshefte
für freie Geschichtsforschung appeared a long article by Samuel Crowell entitled
"Technik und Arbeitsweise deutscher Gasschutzbunker im Zweiten Weltkrieg" pp. 226-243
(Technique and Operation of German Anti-Gas Shelters in the Second World
Referring specifically to Auschwitz, Crowell maintains that
- "jede als Indiz für die Gaskammern angeführte Spur kann genauso als
Beweis für einen deutschen Luftschutzraum oder, genauer gesagt, für die
Ausrüstung eines Gasschutzraumes interpretiert werden" p. 226
(every trace taken as evidence of gas chambers can also be interpreted as evidence
of German bomb shelters or, more precisely their anti-gas warfare equipment).
On the basis of that hypothesis, Crowell interprets the
Pressac 39 alleged "criminal traces"1 by postulating
that there was a planning and
construction of anti-gas attack shelters inside the crematoria of Auschwitz.
Enticing as that hypothesis may seem, it is historically
flawed by resting upon the erroneous presumption that the Auschwitz Zentralbauleitung (Central
Building Administration) ordered the construction of air-raid facilities there at the beginning of
1943 [the time-frame of the Crowell hypotheses] whereas historically, the order to start making
air-raid precautions at Auschwitz was given by Camp Commander
SS-Obersturmbannführer Liebenhenschel on 16 November 1943.2
Furthermore, according to many documents inspected but
not photocopied because as now that hypothesis was thought untenable, the anti air-raid measures
which were taken there consisted essentially in protective shelters dug in the ground in
compliance with standardized procedures. Among the more than 300
building projects which were actually carried out in the Birkenau camps, the only
anti air-raid construction there was that of the old Crematorium in the Stamlager
which was transformed at the end of 1944 into a "Luftschutzbunker für SS-Revier
mit einem Operationsraum" (air-raid shelter for SS area with an operation
During his 16 June 1944 visit to Auschwitz, Pohl approved
24 construction projects among which the only references to anti air-raid measures were the
"Luftschutzmassnahme - 10 Löschteiche von je 400 cbm Inhalt".
"Sicherungslinie für Lager (I) - 15
Stück 1-Mann Splitterschutzbunker"4
(air defense measures - 10 extinguishing ponds each of 400 cbm volume).
(protective line for camp (I) - 15 1-man protection trench shelters),
but it does not appear to us that any of these projects were ever carried out.
The Crowell position that in front of the camp's barracks
there existed "Splittergräben" or Splitterbunker für Häftlinge" (trench shelters
for prisoners) is at least shaky, and while there are hundreds of documents which detail the
construction of the Birkenau Crematoria, not one of those documents indicates the
existence of any Luftschutzräume (air-raid shelters) inside the Crematoria. The
Crowell hypothesis thus appears to be unfounded, and its reasoning also appears
to be methodologically deficient inasmuch as it systematically mistakes things
which are externally similar but differ as to function and aim, and then [the
hypothesis attempts to confront] the lack of documentation with contentious
linguistic interpretations. The Crowell hypotheses generally postulate that the
Leichenkeller for Crematoria II and III in Birkenau "tatsächlich als
Leichenkeller mit einer möglichen Zusatzfunktion als Luftschutzkeller entworfen
und gebaut wurden" p. 240 (actually was designed and constructed as a morgue
with the additional usage as an air-raid shelter). We must object to this
contention since no map of the Crematoria and no document indicates such an
additional function of the Leichenkeller, contrary to what occurs in the case of the
"Ausbau des alten Krematoriums als
Luftschutzbunker für SS-Revier mit einem Operationsraum"
(conversion of the old crematorium into an air-raid shelter with an operations
which is attested by both maps and documents. Since the Crowell hypothesis
postulates that the Zentralbauleitung (Central Building Administration) put a
permanent Luftschutzbunker in the basement of Crematories II and III
corresponding to the technical prescriptions which Crowell found in the then
specialized literature indicating complex articulated installations5 including
Luftschutzräume, Entgiftungsanstalt, Dekontaminationszentrum, usw. (air raid
shelters, decontamination stations, etc.), including special necessary equipment
(devices for air filtering and regeneration, oxygen containers, etc.), it then follows
that there should exist many maps and documents, as well as references to them,
the absence of which cannot be explained merely by possible Soviet
manipulations, because such air filtering and regeneration devices6 should figure
in some way within the Krematoria Übergabeverhandlung (crematorium
surrender negotiations) inventory, certainly being more important and more
expensive than the regularly recorded "Brausen" or "Zapfhähne" (showers or
faucets). Besides, among the many documents, there would at least be reference
to the ventilation system of the Kellergeschoss (basement), as well as to the many
The Crowell hypothesis also appears unfounded from a
technological point of view: First of all, although Leichenkeller 2, as "Auskleideraum"
(disrobing room), was "ein üblicher Bestandteil" (a general part) of the Gasschutzbunker (p.
235), it was not provided with airtight doors; on the contrary, no access door to
the Kellergeschoss was airtight, which is rather surprising were it to be a
Gasschutzbunker. Even more significant is the fact that contrary to the writer's
contention, the ventilation system of Leichenkeller 1 and 2 of Crematorium II and
III, was quite inadequate for a Luftschutzbunker. While Crowell affirms
"zu dem entsprechen die Leistungsdaten der Lüftung denen eines
(corresponding to the ventilation capacity of an air-raid cellar),
he then contrarily bases the number of air changes recommended for the
Luftschutzbunker on the Leichenkeller 1 ventilator capacity indicated by Pressac:
"zwischen [between] 9.000 und 10.000 m3" 7 and even figures the
air requirement (9.450 m3) "bei einem maximaler Kapazität 525 Personen"
(for a maximum capacity of 525 people) (p. 239), all the while neglecting three essential
ventilation factors for a Gasschutzbunker:
(1) Since merely using anti-gas filters resulted in load-loss (Reibungsgefälle)
ranging from 50 to 100 mm of water column, and considering load-loss in the
piping, then the air pressure to be required in the Gasschutzbunker must have
been 100-150 mm of water column or more, depending upon chamber
dimensions.8 But instead, the intake
ventilator in Leichenkeller 1 was
producing a pressure of only 40 mm of water column,9 which means it was even
insufficient to overcome merely filter resistance.
(2) The need to have two distinct ventilation systems: that of "Hauptbeluftung,
die normalerweise während der Besetzung des Bunkers betrieben wird," (the
main ventilation which operates normally during the occupation of the shelter),
and that of "Schutzbeluftung, die während des Gasalarm in Betrieb genommen
wird" (the defense ventilation which operates during a gas alarm).10 These
two systems were matched with two separate conduits supplied with an airtight closing
device, and they had a unique intake, as shown in Document 1.
In this case, the intake conduit divided inside the chamber into two other pipes, both
leading to the ventilator: that of "Schutzbelüftung" through the anti-gas filters, and that of
"Hauptbelüftung" directly. But in Leichenkeller 1 there existed only the
"Hauptbelüftung" installation which also, as indicated above, could not function
as a "Schutzbelüftung" installation due to the inadequate pressure of the intake
(3) The need to install the intake ventilator inside the Gasschutzbunker.
Instead the aerators (both intake and outgo) in Leichenkeller 1 were installed in the
crematorium mansard under the roof 11
the best position for them to be
destroyed by the very first bomb to strike the crematorium.
From a practical standpoint, since Leichenkeller 1 and 2
were still two distinct morgue chambers containing corpses (p. 239) of which there were many
as is known, the Crowell hypothesis would mean that sudden air raids inevitably
resulted in live persons finding themselves together with corpses. It would not
have been an inviting prospect to be enclosed for hours inside a gas-tight chamber
with miasmic or infected corpses!
From a construction system point of view, the probability
that Leichenkeller may have been "entworfen und gebaut" (designed and built) as a
Luftschutzkeller is quite unlikely because of the radically different purposes of those two kinds of
installations, and above all because of the logical consequences that they would in
that case enclose living people together with the dead. Which engineer would
have issued such a gruesome project so contrary to the most elementary hygienic-sanitary
Allow us now to consider some specific contentions.
The Crowell hypotheses includes critiquing the Pressac "criminal evidence" via convoluted
linguistics; the typical example concerns the word "Vergasung." After making
it clear that
"der Begriff Vergasungs[keller] taucht in keinem anderen bisher bekannten
Dokument und in keiner anderen Publikation der damaligen Ära auf"
(the concept Vergasungskeller occurs in no other known document or publication
from that era),
Crowell presents an academic linguistic disquisition on
German prefixes and suffixes, meant to demonstrate that the term "Vergasung" does not refer to
the Schädlingsbekämpfung (pest control), since the correct term for that would
be Begasung, and that Vergasung
"auch einfach auf etwas vergastes, gasförmig gemachtes Bezug
nehmen kann" pp. 233-234
(may also simply refer to something gasified, something made gaseous).
Thus the conclusion that the "Vergasungskeller" in
document NO-4473 was
"einen Keller ... der zur Aufnahme von Gasverletzen gedacht ist" p. 234
(a cellar planned for the reception of those injured by poison gas),
or else, according to the A.R. Butz theory, the term in question might mean
"Gaskeller" and might be a synonym for "Gasschutzkeller" (p. 238). This
interpretation lacks foundation because first of all, the term "Vergasung" appears
in the "Erläuterungsbericht zum Vorentwurf für den Neubau des
Kriegsgefangenenlagers der Waffen-SS, Auschwitz O/S" (Clarifying Report of
Designs of New Construction of POW Camp Auschwitz) dated 30 October 1941,
where "Vergasungsraum" refers to the HCN-Gaskammer (hydrocyanic gas
chamber) in the "Entlausungsbaracke" 1 and 2 (delousing barracks 1 and 2) that
is, BW 5a and 5b in Birkenau.12 Thus, that
term is strongly connected to
Schädlingsbekämpfung (pest control) and to HCN. Secondly, the Crowell
linguistic analyses are too convoluted; the document in which the term
"Vergasungskeller" first appears is in the letter dated 29 January 1943 by
SS-Hauptsturmführer Bischoff, Leiter der Zentralbauleitung Auschwitz to
SS-Brigadeführer Kammler, Chef der Amtgruppe C of the WVHA. Now can we
seriously believe that Bischoff would twist his tongue like that in an official
document by using the term "Vergasungskeller" to designate "etwas vergastes"
or "Gasschutzkeller"? Tarnsprache? (code/disguised/camouflaged language?).
The Crowell hypotheses offers another example of a
problem in an explanation of the terms "Gasskammer" and "Gassdichtenfenster" in relation to
Crematorium IV and V, whereby those two terms are used as synonyms for
"Gasschutzraumdichtenfenster" (gas-shelter gas-tight window) and "Gasschutzkammer" (gas
protection chamber) (p. 237), on the contention that Luftschutzräume (air-raid shelters)
were also placed in these crematoria. Now since those facilities were entirely
surface-buildings with walls of only 25cm thickness13, and had very fragile
roofing ("Bretternagelbinder, doppelte Pappdeckung, Decke mit Heraklithplatten
benagelt"14 (nailed boarding, double felt-paper
roofing, roofing with nailed
Heraklith sheets), then the Crowell theory appears to be technically flawed, because according to
a technical manual of the 1930s,
"medium weight bombs, when falling from a normal bombing height,
have a penetration of 0.40 to 0.50 m into reinforced concrete, and a
penetration of circa 1.20 m into an ordinary full-brick wall and even
deeper into a hollow brick wall."15
"to protect from the effects of a medium bomb explosion you need a
covering of circa 0.80 m thickness."16
It is thus clear that the first bomb would have destroyed
those hypothetical air-raid shelters together with the crematoria, and Pressac in this instance may
be correct in indicating that this appears to be simply a case of erroneous spelling
for "Gaskammer" and "Gasdichtefenster."
Regarding "4 Drahtnetzeinschiebvorrichtungen" (4
wire-meshed inserting devices) and "Holzblenden" (wooden shutters), the Crowell hypothesis
here is also rather surprising. It begins by indicating that the terms "Drahtnetz" and
"Blenden" also appear in the Luftschutzliteratur (air-raid defense literature), and
then notices that
"die Auschwitzer Auftragsnummer-Nr. 353 vom 27. April 1943 enthält
folgende Bestellung: '12 Stücke Fenstergitter 50 x 70 cm', was allgemein
als Drahtnetzgitter für jene 12 gasdichten Fenster (oder Türen)
angesehen wird, die wir oben als identisch mit den Blenden und Holzblenden
festgehalten hatten" (p. 236)
(the Auschwitz work order Nr. 353 for April 27, 1943 contains the following '12
window screening or grating 50 cm by 70 cm' which in general is understood as
wire mesh for the 12 gas-tight windows (or doors), which we have shown above
are identical to Blenden and Holzblenden).
But this postulation does not take into account the
remarkable fact that the terms which are at issue here are in the Übergabeverhandlung
(surrendering negotiations) document on Crematorium II, in reference to Leichenkeller
2.17 Taking that for granted, then where
were the 4 Öffnungen
(vents) located which were furnished with the 4 Holzblenden? They did not exist in either
Leichenkeller 1 or 2.
Therefore "gasdichte Fenster" (gas-tight windows)
concerning Crematoria IV and V has nothing to do with "gasdichte Blenden" concerning
Luftschutzbunker, and that is clear by the very fact that they closed only from the
outside, and we can see that from the photographs showing "gasdichte Fenster"
with Crematorium IV published by Pressac.18
Likewise untenable is the hypothesis that "Fenstergitter" of
Crematorium IV and V were "Drahtnetzgitter", as we can see by reading Auftrag Nr. 127 of 29
March 1943 for Crematorium IV and V regarding the
"Herstellung von Eisengitter für nachstehenden Fenster: 30 Stück
1.00 x 1.500 m, Stück 0.50 x 1.00 m, 4 Stück
0.30 x 0.40 m."19
(fabricating iron grating for the remaining windows: 30 etc. and 4 etc).
It is therefore obvious that "Fenstergitter" were "Eisengitter".
Regarding "Gasprüfer", S. Crowell offers nothing and
limits himself to accepting the explanation of A.R. Butz, which I have held as
untenable,20 and the writer's explanation of other
minor Pressac alleged criminal
indications are instead explained by Crowell with the same methodology.
Recapitulating, the Crowell hypotheses are unfounded
historically, technically, and documentally for the following reasons:
1) Absolutely no anti air-raid protective measures
were undertaken in Auschwitz-Birkenau before the end of 1943;
2.0 The documents related to the hygienic-sanitary installations in the
crematorium of Birkenau.
2) The existence of Gasschutzbunker in Crematoria II
and III would have been unfeasible because:
a) all the accesses to the Kellergeschoss were private gas-proof doors;
3) The existence of Gasschutzräume in Crematoria IV and V is technically
unfeasible because those buildings could not offer protection against bombs.
b) the ventilation system of the Kellergeschoss was entirely inadequate and
could not function with the required antigas filters;
c) the Kellergeschoss ventilators were located in the attic of the crematorium
and would have gone out of service right after the first bomb had reached
d) to use morgue cellars as anti-gas shelters is in any case contrary to all the most
elementary hygienic-sanitary custom.
4) There is not any document that contains a single confirmation of the Crowell
hypotheses, not even in the documents that should contain specific
references to it, for instance in the Übergabeverhandlung of the
Ruling out the Gasschutzräume hypothesis as
untenable while also excluding the groundless hypothesis of homicidal gas-chambers, how do we
now explain the Pressac indicators? Even though a valid answer to this question is
somewhat difficult, there does exist some documentation which helps us to
comprehend the intentions of the Auschwitz Zentralbauleitung and which help us
reconstruct the general situation into which such evidence is historically placed;
above all I am referring to the weighty evidence of certain documents, some of
which have been cited herein.
Now in an "Aufstellung" [in this case a list or itemization]
by the Topf company dated 13 April 1943 concerning requested metals to be used in the
construction of certain machinery for Crematory II at Auschwitz, the following
piece of information appears:
"2 Topf Entwesungsöfen für das Krema II im Kriegsgefangenenlager,
(2 Topf disinfestation heaters for Crematory II in the prisoner of war
On 14 May, Bischoff sent Topf the following "dringendes Telegramm" [urgent]:
"Mitbringt Montag überschlägiges Projekt für Warmwasserbereitung
für ca. 100 Brausen. Einbau von Heizschlagen oder Boiler in den im Bau
begriffenen Müllverbrennungsofen Krem. III oder Fuchs zwecks Ausnutzung der hohen
Abgangstemperaturen. Evtl. Höhermauerung des Ofens zwecks Unterbringung
eines grossen Reservebehälters ist möglich. Es wird gebeten entsprechende
Zeichnung Hernn Prüfer am Montag den 17.5. mitzugeben."22
(On Monday bring the overdue warm water project for approximately 100 showers.
Installation of water heater or boiler in the still under construction trash
incinerator Crematorium III or flue for the purpose of utilizing the high
emission temperature. Contingently higher walling of the oven for the purpose
of accommodating a large reserve container is possible. It is being requested to
send along the appropriate designs with Hernn Prüfer on Monday 17.5.).
On 05 June 1942, Topf sent Drawing D60446 to the
Zentralbauleitung "den Einbau der Boiler in den Müllverbrennings-Ofen betreffend."
(regarding the installation of the boilers in the trash incinerator.) This project also
the installations for Crematorium II.23
In an undated "Fragebogen" (questionnaire) apparently
written in June 1943 regarding the Birkenau crematoria, in answer to the question, "Werden die
Abgase verwertet?" (are the exhaust gases utilized?), the head of the Zentralbauleitung, Bischoff,
responded: "geplant aber nicht ausgeführt" (planned but not carried out), and in response to
the following question: "Wenn ja zu welchem Zweck?" (If yes, to what purpose?), Bischoff
answered: "für Badeanlagen im Krema. II und III."24 (for bath facilities in
Crematorium II and III).
Finally, there is a Rechnung (a bill) from the firm VEDAG
Vereinigte Dachpappen-Fabriken Aktiengesellschaft (United Roofing-Felt Factories,
Incorporated) dated 28 July 1943 with the subject "Auschwitz-Krematorium"
referring to "ausgeführte Abdichtungsarbeiten für die
Entwesungsanlage" [emphasis added] (completed sealing work for the
disinfestation facility) which was carried out between 21 May and 16
Before drawing any conclusions, a few explanations are
required. While both Topf Entwesungsöfen (disinfestation heaters) were then
installed in the Zentralsauna, the document cited above refers them to Crematorium II.
The project for the installation of 100 showers in Crematorium III (and in Crematorium II)
could not have been for the prisoners of the "Sonderkommando" of the crematoria, since only 50
showers were installed in the "Brauseraum" (shower-room) of the Zentralsauna, which had been
designed for the camp;26 therefore it is clear that
the "Badeanlagen im Krema II and III" in the "Fragebogen" quoted above, were for the prisoners
of the entire camp.
Now I think that it is not irrelevant to note here that in this
project the water heating system for the showers was connected to the
Müllverbrennungs-Ofen (trash incinerator) and not to the crematory oven, as for
example in the five-muffle oven of the Lublin KL. In my opinion, the reason for that
decision was the fact that the crematory ovens did not ensure a continuity of use to be able
to provide sufficient hot water throughout the entire day; in other words, the
crematory ovens were not used enough to ensure efficient operation of the water heating
The VEDAG 'Rechnung'
27 refers to the
Entwesungs-Heißluftkammern [hot-air disinfesting chambers] installed in the Zentralsauna.
This definitely proves a VEDAG Einzelrechnung [single bill] which has the same date and the
same contents as the Rechnung noted above, but it refers to the "BW 32 = Entwesungsanlage",
that is to say, precisely in the Zentralsauna. 27a
But for what reason does the Rechnung have as its subject: "Auschwitz-Krematorium"? This
heading has an obvious relationship to the aforesaid Topf "Aufstellung" of 13 April 1943
concerning "2 Topf Entwesungsöfen für das Krema II" which were then installed in
the Zentralsauna. In any case, the two documents establish the correlation
Krematorium-Entwesung and portray the expression of a plan or at least of a Zentralbauleitung
intention to combine cremation and disinfestation within the same edifice. [Note by Russ
Granata: Carlo Mattogno asks me to date this replacement paragraph with its note as of 22 June
It is important to note that the Pressac so-called "criminal
evidence" as I have shown elsewhere,28
coincides with a recurrence of
the typhus epidemic which had broken out at the beginning of July 1942. During the
following months, hygiene and health in the camp were in a very serious situation. At the
end of March 1943 there were cases of typhus even among the civilian workers at the
camp. On 01 April, the SS-Standortarzt wrote a letter to Bischoff which began
with these words:
"Die in letzter Zeit sich häufenden Fleckfieberfälle unter den Zivilarbeitern
machen die Durchführung einer abermaligen gründlichsten Entlausung erforderlich,
damit seitens der zivilen Behörden nicht Massnahmen verlangt werden, die eine Einstellung oder
Erschwerung der Durchführung der kriegswichtigen Aufgaben bedeuten
(The recent breakout of typhus among the civilian workers makes carrying out
of another thorough delousing necessary, although the civilian authorities do not
want measures which could suspend or complicate the carrying out of important
On 07 May a meeting was held at the Auschwitz
Führerheim (the dwelling of the Auschwitz Commandant) chaired by Kammler and attended
by Höss, Möckel, Leiter der SS-Standortverwaltung (head of the SS garrison
administration), Caesar, Leiter der Landwirtschaftsbetriebe (head of the
agricultural operation), SS-Standortartzt Wirths (the SS garrison physician
Wirths), and also by Bischoff and Kirschnek of the Zentralbauleitung (the central
building administration). Two days later, Bishoff drew up an "Aktenvermerk"
(memo) in which among other things, is the following:
"Um eine endgültige Lösung für die Entlausung im KGL zu schaffen,
wurde von Standortarzt angeregt, für jeden Unterabschnitt der Bauabschnitte, das sind 10
neue komplette Entwesungsanlagen, einschliesslich Bademöglichkeit zu schaffen.
Dem gegenüber wurde vom Leiter der ZBL darauf hingewiesen, dass sich die grosse
Entwesungsanlage [Zentralsauna] des KGL im Bau befindet und erst fertiggestellt
(In order to come to a final solution of the delousing of the camp, the garrison
physician suggests the construction of complete disinfestation facilities including
bathing provisions for each section of the building stage, which means 10. The
opposite was recommended by the head of the Zentralbauleitung, that the large
disinfestation facility of the camp [the Centralsauna] which is under construction,
must be completed first.)
On 04 June 1943, replying to a WVHA letter, Bischoff
requested approval for the original Zentralsauna project, giving the following reasons:
"Mit den Bauarbeiten für die Entwesungs- und Desinfektionsanlage nach dem
ursprünglichen Entwurf musste sofort begonnen werden, da wegen der Belegung des noch
im Bau befindlichen Lagers sowohl vom Artz als auch vom Lagerkommandanten sofortige
Massnahmen für eine Entwesungsmöglichkeit gefordert werden. Nachdem im
Zigeunerlager Fleckfieber ausbebrochen ist, wurde die Erstellung einer Desinfektionsanlage derart
dringend notwendig, dass mit den Bauarbeiten im Rahmen der von SS-Brigadeführer und
Generalmajor der Waffen-SS Dr.Ing.Kammler angeordneten Sonderbaumassnahmen zur
Verbesserung des hygienischen Verhältnisse sofort begonnen wurde." 31
(The construction work for the disinfesting and disinfecting facilities had to begin
immediately according to the original plan because the Camp Physician as well
as the Commandant are asking for immediate steps for disinfection feasibility for
the quartering of the camp. After the outbreak of typhus in the gypsy camp, the
installation of disinfection facilities became urgently necessary for the
improvement of hygienic conditions, so that special construction work was started
immediately on the orders of SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor Waffen-SS
From these documents there can be drawn only one conclusion:
The projects involving the crematoria shown above were part of the
"Sonderbaumassnahmen zur Verbesserung des hygienischen Verhältnisse"
(special construction measures for the improvement of hygienic standards) as
provisional emergency measures; therefore, the Jean-Claude Pressac so-called
"criminal evidence" were not part of any attempt to exterminate prisoners, but
rather to save their lives.
1 J.C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and
Operation of the Gas
Chambers. The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, New York, 1989, pp. 429-457.
2 Standortbefehl Nr. 51/43 of 16 November 1943.
Rossiiskoi Federatzii, Moscow, 7021-108-32, p. 73. Leibehenschel named
"ortlicher Luftschutzleiter" to SS-Untersturmführer Jothann, who as of 01
October 1943 was head of the Central Building Administration.
3 The referenced Kostenüberschlag is
dated 02 November 1944.
Chranenija Istoriko-dokumental'nich Kollektsii, Moscow
(henceforth: TCIDK), 502-2-147, pp. 126-127.
4 Aktenvermerk of 17.6.1944.
5 The complexity of a gas-proof air-raid
shelter is evident in
6 Such devices are complex and costly.
Photograph of Document 2 [Fig. 82] shows an Italian manufactured
device of the 1930s.
7 The true capacity was
4,8003 of air per hour.
Also the volume of Leichenkeller 1 indicated by S. Crowell (525 m3) is
erroneous. The site measured m 30x7x2.41=506.1 m3. The effective
volume if we do not include the volume taken up by the 7 reinforced concrete columns
and the reinforced concrete beam supporting the ceiling of that room was 499
8 Captain Doctor Attilio Izzo, Guerra
chimica e difesa antigas.
Hoepli, Milano, 1935, pp. 259-261.
9 "Gebläse zur Förderung von stündl.
4800 cbm Luft gegen 40 mm
WS Gesamtpressung." Topf Rechnung Nr. 171 dated 22.2.43, and Nr. 729 of 27.5.43
regarding "Lieferung von Be- und Entlüftungsanlagen" for Crematories II and III.
TCIDK, 502-I-327, p. 25, and p. 16. The ventilator pressure (Gebläse) of
Leichenkeller 2 was less than that: 35 mm of water column. Ibidem.
10 Dipl. Ing. Hermann Kämper,
Einrichnungen von Luftschutzräumen verschiedener Art, in
"Gesundheits-Ingenieur", 65Jg., 1942, Heft 37/38, p. 296.
11 See J.C. Pressac, Die Krematorien
von Auschwitz. Die Technik des
Massenmordes. Piper, München, Zürich, 1994, documents 13, 14,
12 TCIDK, 502-1-233, pp. 14 and
13 This results from Plan 2036(p) of 11
January 1943. J.P. Pressac,
Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 399.
14 Übergabeverhandlung (surrender
negotiation) of Crematory IV,
Gebäudebeschreibung TCIDK, 502-2-54, p. 26. The wooden roof construction of
Crematories IV and V are shown by Zentralbauleitung design n. 1361 of 14.10.42.
See J.C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p.
15 A. Izzo, Guerra chimica e difesa
antigas, p. 343.
16 Ibidem, p. 344.
17 This refers to the "Verzeichnis der
the Übergabeverhandlung of Crematorium II a square pre-formatted module
which in the left margin in horizontal lines shows the names of the rooms and in
the vertical right column are the references to the objects of furnishings.
Leichenkeller 1 and 2 are shown in the first two lines of the inventory. Pressac,
by looking at Crematory Plan 2197, was reminded that in the vertical column
"Zapfhähne", the figures referring to Leichenkeller 1 are attributed to
Leichenkeller 2 and vice-versa, while not concluding that such an inversion had
also been made in the columns "Drahtnetzeinschiebvorrichtung" and
"Holzblenden," thus attributing these devices to Leichenkeller 1. (Auschwitz:
Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, pp. 429-430). The argument
appears unfounded because in the document, only the figures of this column are
inverted. The figures of the column related to the lamps are, in fact, correctly
18 J.C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique
and Operation of the Gas Chambers, pp. 426-427. In the photograph of the
crematorium the windows of the West wing open towards the outside.
19 Höss trial, Volume 11a, p. 89.
Given that the direction of
the opening of the windows was towards the outside, those Gitter could only be walled
from the inside of the room which would have greatly complicated homicidal gassing!
20 See my Critique of the A.R. Butz
article, "Gas Detectors in
Auschwitz Crematorium II"
Russ Granata, editor.
21 Archiwum Panstwowego Muzeum w
Oswiecimiu (henceforth: APMO),
BW 30/34, p. 47.
22 APMO, BW 30/34, p. 40.
23 TCIDK, 502-1-336 (page number
24 TCIDK, 502-1-312, p. 8.
25 TCIDK, 502-1-316, p. 431,
"Zweitschrift" in 502-1-323, p.
See Document 3.
26 Inventory of the
Übergabeverhandlung of "Disinfektion und
Entwesunsanlage" (Zentralsauna) of 22 January 1944.
TCIDK, 532-1-335, p. 3.
27 TCIDK, 502-1-265, p. 457.
27a TCIDK, 502-1-316, p. 430. This
document was courteously made available to me by Germar Rudolf.
28 See the third paragraph of my article
Die "Gasprüfer" von
Auschwitz, in VffG, Heft 1, März 1998, p. 16.
29 TCIDK, 502-1-332, p. 222.
30 TCIDK, 502-1-233, p. 37.
31 TCIDK, 502-1-336, p. 106.
TCIDK = Moscow Center for the Custody of Historical Document collection
APMO = Archive of the National Museum of Auschwitz
APMM = Archive of the National Museum of Majdanek