title page

Osteuropa, 52. year, 5/2002, pp. 631-641; E5509E

(Eastern Europe)

Zeitschrift für Gegenwartsfragen des Ostens
(Journal for Current Issues of the East)

52. Jahrgang, Mai 2002, ISSN 0030-6428
(52nd year, May 2002)

Herausgegeben von der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde
(Edited by the German Society for Eastern European Studies)

Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt Stuttgart

Topics of Contemporary History

Fritjof Meyer

The Number of Victims of Auschwitz

New Insights due to new Findings in the Archives

In 1945 the Soviet investigative committee counted four million victims of the National Socialist labour and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau - a product of war propaganda. The commandant of the camp, Höß, spoke of three million victims under pressure and withdrew his statement. How many people indeed fell victim to this unique mass murder could only be estimated up until now. The first Holocaust historian, Gerald Reitlinger reckoned one million, the latest research estimates several hundred thousand less. Two new documents on the capacity of the crematoria now confirm the extant documents on the internments into the camp. With this, the dimensions of this break with civilisation at last move into the realm of the imaginable and thus only now become a convincing portent for future generations.

A key document which gives information about the capacity of the crematoria of Auschwitz-Birkenau has now been found. Simultaneously to the length of time for which these were in use, a statement by Rudolf Höß has come to light. In connection with the extant documents, which have to a large extent been ignored, concerning themselves with those who were interned into this camp, it is now possible to calculate more accurately how many people were murdered in Auschwitz. To indicate it in advance: Half a million fell victim to the genocide.

This breakthrough was made possible by Robert-Jan van Pelt, Professor of Architecture at the University of Waterloo in Canada. He distinguished himself with his outstanding book "Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present"[1] which he co-wrote with Debórah Dwork. In David Irving's London court case against Deborah Lipstadt, who had classified him as an Auschwitz denier, van Pelt appeared as an expert for the defendant. Just recently, van Pelt has published a very important book on the hearing and the preparations for his expert's report (including excerpts from the report)[2]. Irving lost {632} the case, and deservedly so, since the author Irving, who has proven himself to be a successful researcher and who has associated himself with the increasingly weird opinions of his NS conversational friends, also insisted on the silly view-point in front of the court that there were no gas chambers for the purpose of killing humans in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The arguments which he put forward for the unsuitability of the mortuary I of the crematoria I and II were not able to convince. Justice Charles Gray concluded that "no objective, fair-minded historian would have serious doubt that they were operated an a substantial scale to kill hundreds of thousands of Jews".

On the whole, that was a fair judgement. We cannot enter into the details here that the extant written evidence, namely documents about a refit of buildings which were originally not designed for such a purpose into "gas cellars" (e.g. chutes for throwing the gas in and gas TCU), as well as the relevant eye witness statements, rather points towards attempts in March/April 1943 to use the mortuaries for the mass murders, after the crematoria were completed in the early summer of 1943. This obviously failed, because the ventilation was counter-productive,[3] and because the expected mass of victims did not arrive in the following eleven months.[4] The actually perpetrated genocide probably took place mainly in the two converted farm houses outside the camp; the foundations of the first house, the "White House", or "Bunker I", have only recently been unearthed.[5]

It was possible to drive over 400 people into the two rooms of this gas chamber which together had an area of 90 square metres, and from early 1942 this took place daily, generally in the evenings.[6] The "Red House", or "Bunker II", which has an area of 105 square metres for a maximum of 500 victims,[7] was probably operated from December 1942 up until the termination of the murders with gas on 02 November 1944. The Internment {633} Camp Commander (Schutzhaftlagerführer) SS-Sturmbannführer Hans Aumeier testified on 29.10.1945:[8] "In November 1942, 50-80 prisoners were top secretly killed with gas in the mortuary of the crematorium of the main camp. The next day, Höß revealed to him, the head of the Camp Gestapo-Chief Grabner, the Camp Commanding Officer (Lagerführer) Hößler, the Labour Commander (Arbeitseinsatzführer) Schwarz, and the camp physician, under absolute secrecy that he had received orders from Himmler through the RSHA "to gas" all Jewish prisoners who are weak, ill or unfit for work, in order to prevent the further spread of epidemics. Höß reported that he had executed the first exterminations the previous night and that it had become apparent that the improvised gas chambers did not at all meet the requirements. For this reason, gas chambers are to be built as permanent accessories with the construction of the new crematoria of Birkenau. The whole affair is a secret matter of the Reich; indiscretions or careless chatter will be punished with death, which all present, including the military personnel who had been consulted had to confirm in writing.

As far as the capacity is concerned, 350 000 people could have been gassed alone in the "Red House", or "Bunker II", within two years. Of course Irving, and thus also van Pelt, only examined the cellars of the crematoria, even though the rate of murder sank dramatically with their being brought into service, for the period of one year due to an order by Himmler, who terminated the supposed euthanasia action "14 f 13" and with this, also the gas murders in the extermination camps along the German-Soviet demarcation line of 1939: Belzec, Sobibôr and Treblinka.[9]

At the hearing in London on 25 January 2000, the plaintiff greeted the expert witness with a compliment to his book over the history of Auschwitz: "It is one of the few books that I have read from cover to cover and it was a book that I found very difficult to put down." The two then immersed themselves in the question whether the openings for throwing the Zyklon B in, which were later forced into the ceiling of the mortuary during its conversion, were still visible or not (they are, which van Pelt did not yet know at that time).

The second decisive point of contention was the question whether the key document is a forgery: the writing of the SS building site manager Bischoff from 2 June 1943 to the WVHA in Berlin, in which he reports the completion of all four crematoria in Birkenau, of the {634} two big crematoria I and II with 15 muffles (chambers for incinerating a corpse) each as well as the two smaller crematoria III and IV (which are only above ground) in Birkenau with 8 muffles each.[10] In this letter Bischoff assiduously establishes an incinerating performance (which was not at all substantiated through reality) of the crematoria I and II of 1440 people each, and of the crematoria III and IV of 768 people each in an operating time of 24 hours; in total (inclusive of the old crematorium in the main camp of Auschwitz, which was, however, out of service) 4756 corpses daily. Irving was not at all able to substantiate the doubts concerning the authenticity of the document which in this case are indeed permissible; van Pelt's objection was more serious, although it was also not necessarily convincing: The French expert Jean-Claude Pressac had already called this writing "an internal propaganda lie" of the SS seven years previously.[11]

In his report on the trial, van Pelt has now included two pieces of information which are truly sensational: In connection with material that is available, but has so far been hardly observed, these two sources now permit us to calculate the total number of victims of Auschwitz fairly accurately. Van Pelt has almost hidden these two pieces of evidence in his 570 page book, and has hardly evaluated them, and also did not include them in the trial. They contradict his expert's report without, however, confirming Irving. At first, van Pelt quotes a document (for which there is to my knowledge no evidence in the literature) which questions the writing by Bischoff from 28 June 1943, by halving Bischoff's numbers.[12]

According to this, a letter from the chief engineer of the site in Auschwitz, Kurt Prüfer has been found in the archive of the crematoria firm Topf & Söhne (now: Erfurter Malzerei und Speicherbau), folder 241, which is dated 8 September 1943, i.e. nine weeks after Bischoff's writing and after completion of the crematoria, therefore due to the first operating results. According to Prüfer, each of the two crematoria I and II incinerated 800 corpses per day, and each of the smaller crematoria III and IV cremated 400 bodies, in total 2400.

The incineration time was one and a half hours[13] in a muffle which had been designed for the dignified cremation of a corpse for the sole purpose of obtaining its ash. In a hypothetical operation time of 24 hours, 16 could have been incinerated in each muffle, therefore 240 in the 15 muffles of a large crematorium. If Prüfer claimed 800, then he probably assumed that under concentration camp conditions, a muffle can be filled with at least two corpses, and he rounded the capacity of 720 or rather 384 bodies up. In fact, up to three of the usually extremely emaciated victims (with a possible technological slowing down of 30 minutes each) {635} were put into a muffle.[14] Thus 720 corpses could be cremated in I and II each within 24 hours, together 1440, and in III/IV 384 each (Prüfer: 400), together 768. It is precisely these figures which had been given for one crematorium each in the writing of the SS building site manager Bischoff from 28 June 1943, and which had thus been doubled. According to Prüfer's report, however, 2400 bodies could in total be cremated each day in all four crematoria; according to the calculation above 2208.

Of course the crematoria were not in service permanently, but often broke down. The crematorium I which had been taken into service on 15 March 1943 was already damaged after nine days, and the repair work only "neared completion" on 18 July.[15] The repair of 20 oven doors of the two big crematoria was ordered on 3 April 1944 and completed only on 17 October.[16] The chimney of crematorium III, which had been in working order since 22 March, already showed cracks on 3 April and was unusable by mid May.[17] After the war, the commandant of the camp, Rudolf Höß, reported: "After a short while, III totally broke down and was later not at all used. IV [taken into service on 4 April 1943, F. M.] had to be shut down repeatedly as the chimneys or ovens were burnt out after a short time in service of four to six weeks"; this gives a working time of 509 days for I, 462 days for II, only 50 days for III and 309 days for IV,[18] thus 971 days in 15 muffles and 359 days in 8 muffles.[19]

Van Pelt now delivers the second surprising information with a statement by Höß during the cross-examination before the Cracow court in 1947: "After eight or ten hours of operation the crematoria were unfit {636} for further use. It was impossible to operate them continuously."[20] With the average value of this detail, i.e. nine hours daily operating time, we get per muffle with three bodies 18 cremations daily, in I/II thus 270, together 540; in III/IV 144 each, together 288, therefore 828 in total per day. The conclusion is simple: during the 971 days of operation 262 170 bodies in total were able to be cremated in I/II; in III/IV in 359 days 51 696, together 313 866 dead who were cremated in the crematoria of Birkenau. This is not yet all who lost their lives in Auschwitz. According to Höß, 107 000 corpses out of the mass graves were incinerated on pyres up until the end of November 1942.[21] Pressac disputes this figure; he counts 50 000.[22] Since it has so far not been established and not even been recognised as a problem, where the victims of the specially excessive gas murder of the winter of 1942/43 remained up until the crematoria were brought into service, it can be assumed with absolute justification that 57 000 of the 100 000 victims who arrived at Auschwitz between December 1942 and March 1943 without being registered, were burnt outdoors, and that Höß included them in the details he gave.

Without the victims of the Hungary-action (who were incinerated on pyres), but in addition of the estimated 12 000 who were cremated[23] in the old crematorium of the main camp, roughly 433 000 corpses were cremated in total in Auschwitz. This figure corresponds almost exactly to the sum that is obtained from the internments into the camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, minus those handed over to other camps - a grave confirmation.

According to the calendar by Danuta Czech,[24] 735 000 people were brought to the scene of the crime (without the transports from Hungary,[25] which she does not count). Of these, 15 000 {637} were Soviet prisoners of war;[26] of the remaining 720 000, 346 000 were registered according to Czech, i.e. taken into the camp, and 374 000 were not registered. Czech assumed the death of these unregistered prisoners in the gas chamber, even though there is no documentary evidence for this;[27] there were also prisoners without registration numbers living in the camp.[28] Since the total number of registered prisoners was 405 000,[29] 59 000 of the 374 000 who were not at first registered must have been registered later, so that 315 000 were left without a registration number. 225 000 of the 720 000 were handed over to other camps[30] - Czech has only noted a tenth of these. When the camp was dissolved, 58 000 were evacuated and 8500 were left behind,[31] so that 428 500 remain, a figure which, added to the prisoners of war, comports with the 433 000 dead estimated in part from the capacity of the crematoria: They were murdered.[32]


Assuming all 315 000 unregistered prisoners were killed in the gas as "unproductive persons" (where the number of those who died due to other reasons has to be offset against those in the camp who were registered and selected for death in the gas chamber), then it is shown that the two farming houses which were converted to gas chambers would have sufficed. Other instruments of murder only needed to be found once the transports from Hungary arrived in the early summer of 1944, such as crematorium III which had been put out of use, or the gas vans which had already been used by the Einsatzgruppen on the Soviet territory and in the death centre Chelmo in the Wartheland by Gauleiter Greiser, with Himmler's and most certainly also Hitler's permission.[33]

The fate of those deported from Hungary in 1944 requires an own investigation. If we consider only the information of Danuta Czech, then 60 trains reached Birkenau between mid May and the beginning of July.[34] Each transport comprised of 3000 persons, so that accordingly 180 000 would have arrived of which, according to Czech, 29 210 received a registration number. 110 000 were handed over to other camps;[35] according to Czech probably 40 564 people were killed in the gas alone in the month of October 1944.[36]


These considerations here lead to the conclusion, that roughly half a million people were murdered in Auschwitz, of which approximately 356 000 in the gas.[37]

The discussion concerning the number of victims of Auschwitz had many repercussions over the last years, and have until now not led to any result. Thus the research curator of the APMO, Waclaw Dlugoborski stated in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in September 1998 concerning the number of victims:

Shortly after the end of the war, the figure was determined by a Soviet investigating committee as four million, without any further research. Even though there were doubts about the accuracy of the estimates from the very beginning, it became a dogma. Up until 1989 it was prohibited in Eastern Europe to question the figure of the four million killed; at the memorial site of Auschwitz, employees who doubted the correctness of the estimates were threatened with disciplinary measures.[38]

In Nuremberg, the Soviet prosecutor Smirnov presented the four million figure on 19 February 1946.[39] Shortly afterwards, on 11 March 1946, Höß, who had previously been convicted in 1924 for murder by the National Court of Justice, was arrested. He admitted to the accusation of being responsible for the death of approximately two million people.[40] The first interrogation took place after three days of sleep withdrawal,[41] torture, beaten after each answer, naked and partially forcibly inebriated,[42] and presented "compelling proof". Höß himself states: I don't know what it says in the protocol, even though I signed it. But alcohol and the whip were too much for me as well."[43] At 2.30 a.m. he wrote the following sentences with much effort:


In Auschwitz itself, cca [sic] 3 000 000 people lost their lives, according to my estimate. I assume this [sic] roughly 2 500 000 of these were gassed.[44]

If the results of this study are correct, then Höß's information should truthfully have been: Far more than 300 000 people were gassed and in total, 500 000 lost their lives. With two additional zeroes and a 2, his contrary figure approaches the figure given in the Soviet protocol.

During the interrogation on 1/2 April 1946 Höß first mentioned 1.1 million killed, then again 2.5 million.[45] Under threat of being handed over to Poland and being executed,[46] Höß stuck to this figure in front of the Nuremberg military tribunal: three million victims, of which 2.5 million were "gassed and cremated",[47] but corrected this figure in front of the American prison psychologist[48] and later in his record in Cracow ("Had the prosecutor's office not intervened, they would have finished me off"[49]) as "far too high" to 1.13 million who had been sent "to the extermination", in addition to the "smaller operations".[50] With this he is approaching the results of this study, with almost 900 000, but is still in detail highly exaggerated - corresponding precisely to his first protocol: He mentioned about 110 000 victims for France - in total 75 721 were interned. According to Höß, 95 000 came from the Netherlands, but it was only 60 026,[51] for Slovakia he estimated approximately 90 000 although only 26 661 Slovakian Jews were sent to Auschwitz.[52] For Greece he reckoned 65 000 though in fact 53 789 were deported.[53] Höß gives 20 000 for Belgium,[54] 400 000 allegedly from Hungary, 250 000 from Poland (according to Piper 300 000[55]) and 100 000 from Germany - excluding Upper Silesia, which Höß or his interrogator Jan Selm counted to Poland, but including Theresienstadt (in total 69 000 according to Piper).

The unreliability of Höß's million-figures is so serious that Martin Broszat simply omits them at one place in his edition of Höß's papers.[56] The wording of the missing passages is: "The next country on the list was Rumania. Eichmann expected ca. 4 million Jews from Bukarest according to the information of his representative [...]."[57]More than a zero too much: In 1940 only 342 000 Jews lived in Rumania, according to "Enzyklopädie des Holocaust"[58] and the protocol of the Wannsee Conference from 20 January 1942. Höß continues: "Simultaneously, or in the mean time Bulgaria was to follow with an estimated 2 1/2 million Jews." {641} This figure is 50 times too high: There were only 63 403 Jews in Bulgaria in 1943,[59] according to the Wannsee protocol, it was 48 000.

Already in 1953 Gerald Reitlinger estimated the number of human victims in Auschwitz as one million in total, of which up to 750 000 were murdered in the gas, of which 550 000-600 000 were killed directly on arrival.[60] According to Piper, 1 110 000 people died in the camp, of which 202 000 were registered and 880 000 unregistered, from which 95 000 were registered and 865 000 unregistered Jews.[61] However, Piper's figure for those interned from Poland, which he gives as 300 000, is probably far too high. The figure of those surviving from Hungary, also remains unclear in his work.

The results of the most recent research are given by Pressac as 631 000 to 711 000 dead in total, of which 470 000 to 550 000 were unregistered Jews who were murdered in the gas.[62] The result of this study, with an estimated 510 000 dead, of which probably 356 000 were murdered in the gas,[63] does not diverge too strongly from the most recent research. These results do not relativise the barbarity, but verify it: a hardened warning against a new break with civilisation.


Fritjof Meyer (1932), Graduate Political Scientist, Graduate Accountant, Senior Editor of Der Spiegel, Hamburg

Translated by Markus Haverkamp. Original pagination in {curly} braces.

See also the revisionist response to this article:

[1]Robert-Jan van Pelt/Debórah Dwork: Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present. Yale University Press 1997.
[2]Robert-Jan van Pelt: The Case for Auschwitz - Evidence from the Irving Trial. Bloomington/Indianapolis 2002.
[3]The openings for the outlet of air were at floor level whereas the gas Zyklon B rises upwards, where the ventilation shafts were; Jean-Claude Pressac in: Beate Klarsfeld Foundation (ed.): Auschwitz - Technique and operation of the gas chambers. New York, 1989, p. 288 ff.
[4]Internment without registration in June 1943: 5901 unregistered; July - 440; August - 37 627; September - 7269; October - 6968; November - 8411; December - 2885; January 1944 - 4216; February - 5227; March - 2551; April - 5330; in total 80 924 in 334 days, i.e. on average 242 people per day; Danuta Czech: Kalendarium der Ereignisse im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau 1939-1945. Reinbeck 1989, p. 510 ff.
[5]Corriere della Sera, 20.11.2001. - Le Monde, 20.11.2001. - dpa, 19.11.2001; NS-apologists ("Revisionists") doubt that this building ever existed: Jürgen Graf: Auschwitz. Würenlos 1994, p. 236.
[6]Franciszeck Piper in: Waclaw Dlugoborski/Franciszeck Piper (ed.): Auschwitz 1940-1945. Oswiecim 1999, vol. III, p. 159 ff. - Van Pelt, The Case [fn. 2], p. 383 estimates that the space suffices only for 250 people. According to Danuta Czech [fn. 4] the following numbers of people were interned: in May 1942 - 6700 unregistered; June - 4567; July - 2652; August - 30 840; September - 17 911; October - 14 706; November - 20 687; in total 98 083 persons, on average 458 people per day. Throughout this period only Bunker I was in use, with a capacity of over 400 people.
[7]The witness Dragon stated that there was room for 2500, cf. van Pelt, The Case [fn. 2], p. 187, and van Pelt himself, ibid. p. 383, states only 320 people. Both buildings were mentioned in the application for building permission directed at the WVHA in Berlin; US Holocaust Memorial Museum New York (USHMM), RG 11.001 M.03 Reel 42, 502-1-238-10: "Conversion of a house for special measures (draft not available)". Costs: 14 241 Reichsmarks each.
[8]CIA Special Collections, Reference Coll., Box 3: Account by BB-175 on Aumeier's questioning in the prison Akershus, Norway, on 29.10.1945.
[9]Writing from the WVHA dated 27.4.1943 to the commandants of the concentration camps, International Military Tribunal (IMT): The Trial of the Major War Criminals, Nuremberg, 1947, vol. XXIX, p. 173 ff.: "The Reichsführer SS and Head of the German Police has decided by bill that in future only mentally ill prisoners may be discharged by the commission of doctors designated for this, for the action 14 f 13. All other prisoners unfit for work (those sick with tuberculosis, bed-ridden cripples, etc.) are principally to be excluded from this action. Bed-ridden prisoners are to be brought in for appropriate work which can also be done in bed. In future, the order of the Reichsführer SS is to be followed to the letter. Petrol requests (probably for the gas motors, F. M.) for this purpose are therefore no longer necessary." According to Danuta Czech [fn. 4] the following numbers of people were interned: in December 1942 - 14405 unregistered; January 1943 - 43 472; February - 17 703; March - 24 159; April - 20 444; May - 12 454; in all 132 637, on average that was 729 persons per day. During this time both bunkers were in service, together with a capacity of over 900 people. From June 1943 to April 1944 only 242 people per day on average, cf. fn. 4.
[10]USHMM [fn. 7], RG 11.001 M.03-41.
[11]Jean-Claude Pressac: Die Krematorien von Auschwitz. Munich 1994, p. 103.
[12]Van Pelt, The Case [fn. 2], p. 350.
[13]Auschwitz fugitive Alfred Wetzler in WRB-Report from 25.11.1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library New York, p. 12. A version is reproduced in: Sandor Szenes/Frank Baron: Von Ungarn nach Auschwitz. Münster 1994, p. 126. - Tauber in: Pressac, Technique [fn. 3], p. 483. - Cf. the statement of the engineers Prüfer, Schultze and Sander of the firm Topf und Söhne on 5 and 7.3.1946 before Captain Schatunovski and Major Morudshenko of the Smersch-Division of the 8th Army to the question of the hourly capacity (Central Archive KGB of the USSR, file 17/9,19).
[14]Van Pelt, The Case [fn. 2], p. 345; statement of Henryk Tauber in Pressac, Technique [fn. 3], p. 489.
[15]Archive of the National Museum Auschwitz (APMO) BW 30/7/34, p. 54, BW 30/34, p. 1.
[16]APMO Dpr.-Hd/IIa, p. 96.
[17]APMO BW 30/34, p. 41 ff.
[18]Martin Brozsat (ed.): Kommandant in Auschwitz. Munich 1978, p. 165. - Cf. Pery Broad in: KL Auschwitz in den Augen der SS. Katowice 1981, p. 152.
[19]Carlo Mattogno/Franco Deana: Die Krematoriumsöfen von Auschwitz, in the otherwise awful pamphlet by Ernst Gauss (ed.): Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte. Tübingen 1994, p. 310. - Since historical research, due to understandable but impermissible reasons, has not accepted the topic of Auschwitz, propaganda has pushed itself onto this fallow area of research; Soviet propaganda still dominates public opinion, e.g. the figure of four million dead, the murder of over 400 000 people deported from Hungary, or the mass gas murders in the cellars of the crematoria. On the other side, "Revisionists" have industriously gathered details, although they missed the points mentioned in this study. Their findings were able to confuse the respectable philosopher of history Ernst Nolte and also David Irving, but were otherwise ignored by historians as something worth thinking about or even as a challenge. And yet the lawyer Ernst {sic} Stäglich ("Der Auschwitz-Mythos") - hardly a veiled anti-Semite - was the first to point out legitimate doubts at some passages of the record Höß wrote down in prison. Not only history, but also the establishment of truth sometimes has to help itself to unworthy methods. Two thorough but still not quite satisfactory examinations of the "Revisionists" have appeared very late: John C. Zimmerman: Holocaust Denial. Lanham 2000, and Richard J. Evans: Der Geschichtsfälscher. Frankfurt am Main 2001.
[20]Van Pelt, The Case [fn. 2], p. 262, following: APMO, HM-Trial, vol. 26b, p. 168.
[21]Broszat, Kommandant [fn. 17], p. 161.
[22]Pressac, Krematorien [fn. 11], p. 73.
[23]Ibid., p. 195.
[24]Cf. fn. 4; under the proviso of correct additions by the author and the assumption that Czech brings mainly approximations, which in any case give a picture of the dimensions of the genocide. In particular, Czech's estimates concerning the transports from Poland, which were not numbered, can, according to Pressac (Kremmatorien [fn. 4], p. 197), be reduced to 1000 or rather 1500 persons each, which makes a total difference of 33 000. Höß had even claimed that the transports from eastern Upper Silesia (for which Czech had given particularly high estimates) were "never stronger than 1000 people" (Broszat, Kommandant [fn. 17], p. 160). There is a proof for this: On 6.12.1942 a transport arrived from the ghetto in Mlawa, which according to Czech (Kalendarium [fn. 4], p. 352) contained roughly 2500 people, of which 406 were interned in the camp as prisoners, and the remaining "roughly 2094 people" were killed in the gas chambers. Czech does not name a source for the total size of the transport. However, there exists a report from a participant which was buried on the grounds of the camp and found after the liberation, in which the size of the transport is given with 975 persons, of which 450 were declared fit for work (Inmitten des grauenvollen Verbrechens. Oswiecim 1996, p. 123). For the 11.4.1944 Czech (Kalendarium [fn. 4], p. 754) notes 2500 Jews from Greece, and 1500 are mentioned in: National Museum Oswiecim (ed.): Deportation und Vernichtung der griechischen Juden im KL Auschwitz, in: Hefte von Auschwitz, Oswiecim, 11/1970, p. 24; it was probably 4700; Hagen Fleischer: Griechenland, in: Wolfgang Benz (ed.): Dimension des Völkermords. Munich 1991, p. 264. On the other hand, Czech (Kalendarium [fn. 4], p. 496) mentions roughly 4500 from Greece who were interned on 16.5.1943, whereas according to Fleischer (p. 269) it was 1800; furthermore, for the 16.8.1944 Czech speaks of "roughly 2500" from the island of Rhodes, where Fleischer (p. 215) has 1820 victims.
[25]At the time of the arrival of the transports, which she has not estimated, from Hungary the following were interned according to Czech, Kalendarium [fn. 4]: in May 1944 - 4707 unregistered; June - 3543; July - 5488; August - 15 691; September - 9346; October - 19 781; in total 58 556, on average 318 persons per day. The gas murders were stopped on 2.11.1944.
[26]Franciszeck Piper: Die Zahl der Opfer von Auschwitz. Oswiecim 1993, p. 200.
[27]Concerning the regular note in Czech: "The remainder went into the gas chamber", the director of the Auschwitz Museum, MA Jerzy Wroblewski stated in a letter from 17.11.1999 to the author: This expression of Czech "concerns those who were not registered. However, no camp documents have survived concerning the victims who were sent to the extermination immediately after the selection."
[28]Hermann Langbein: Menschen in Auschwitz. Munich 1995, p. 86. On 18 April 1943 a Polish courier reported that he had lived a couple of weeks in Auschwitz until the end of September 1942, where unregistered prisoners and 95 000 registered prisoners had been; Richard Breitmann: Staatsgeheimnisse. Munich 1999, p. 160. - On 5 August 1942 the 17 000 female prisoners who up until then had been accommodated in the main camp, were handed over to the new women's camp in Birkenau, of which 4300 were from France, 2100 from the Netherlands and 640 from Belgium; Irena Strzelecka/Piotr Setkiewicz: Bau, Ausbau und Entwicklung des KL Auschwitz, in: Waclaw Dlugoborski/Franciszeck Piper: Auschwitz 1940-1945. Oswiecim 1999, vol. I, p. 92. According to Kalendarium, a total of 4558 women had been brought to Auschwitz from 24.6.1942 to 5.8.1942 out of France; of these at least 656 were "killed in the gas chamber" (on 23.,29.7. and 5.8.1942) according to Czech, which would mean that at most 3904 could have remained in the camp. But since 4300 were in the camp, at least 396 of those assumed murdered were still alive in the main camp. The same goes for the transports from Belgium and the Netherlands.
[29]Langbein, Menschen [fn. 28], p. 82. - Czech, Kalendarium [fn.4], p. 16, gives 404 222, Nbg.Doc. NOKW - 2824, Piper, Die Zahl [fn. 26], p. 102, has 400 207.
[30]Stanislawa Iwacko: APMO. Bestand Ausarbeitungen, vol. 100. - L. Krysta, ibid.: 182 000. - Ysrael Gutman/Michael Berenbaum: Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp. Bloomington/Indianapolis 1994, p. 76, annotation. 75.
[31]Andrzej Strzelecki: Endphase im KL Auschwitz. Oswiecim 1995, pp. 242, 246.
[32]According to Pressac, Krematorien [fn. 11], pp. 195, 202, who has to rely on estimates for the year 1944, only 126 000 of these were registered, according to Mattogno/Deana, Die Krematoriumsöfen [fn. 18], p. 307, however, 160 000-170 000, according to Piper, Die Zahl [fn. 26], p. 164, 202 000, and according to Langbein, Menschen [fn. 28], p. 82, 261 000 (incidentally, almost exactly the same number cremated in the crematoria I and II). The figure given by Pressac would be roughly correct, if all those handed over and evacuated were registered. In that case, and there is much supporting this, all 315 000 unregistered prisoners were killed - on arrival, in the camp, in the gas or through hunger, disease, torture. Mattogno's figure could only be roughly accurate, if those handed over had all been registered, which would mean that corresponding to the number of evacuated and left behind, 66 500 of the unregistered would have survived. Piper's figure would express that some of the unregistered were brought to other camps. According to Langbein's figure, merely 144 000 registered prisoners were handed over/evacuated, whereas 137 500 unregistered shared their fate and only 177 500 lost their lives (without the victims of Hungary).
[33]Filip Friedman: To jest Oswiecim! Warsaw 1945, p. 70. - The same: Tadeusz Holuj: Oswiecim, mit einem Vorwort von Dr. Waclaw Barcikowski. Warsaw 1945, p. 81. - F. Friedman: This was Oswiecim. London 1946, p. 47 ff., 2nd ed., p. 54: A gas van is said to have been used for smaller groups, namely in a sandpit by a special commando Ruryck (version of 1946: Ryryck), using a Saur lorry which had been in service in Russia, with the registration number Pol 71-462, 4m long, 2,5m wide, chauffeur: Oberwachtmeister Arndt. Friedman based his account on the report of a resistance group in Auschwitz which on 21.9.1943 sent the information to Cracow that "a gas van of the make Saur was stationed with an engine plough, in order to carry out executions with engine fumes on order of the police summary court martial". The Auschwitz inmate Mordechai Zirulnizki reported that shootings at the "Black Wall" in Auschwitz, i.e. in the main camp, had been replaced in 1944 by the "Duschegubka" (Soul-Vendors) as the Russians called the gas vans; Wassili Grossmann/Ilja Ehrenburg/Arno Lustiger: Das Schwarzbuch. Der Genozid an den sowjetischen Juden. Reinbeck 1995, p. 935.
[34]Pressac, Menschen [fn. 11], p. 198 ff., p. 201, only reads 53 Hungarian transports from 2 May to 11 July 1944 = 160 000 people in Czech's book, and rather arbitrarily concludes that there were 240 000 arrivals in total. According to a dubious document 141 trains, in: Christian Gerlach/Götz Aly: Das letzte Kapitel. Munich 2002, pp. 275, 286.
[35]Gerlach/Aly, Das letzte Kapitel [fn. 34], p. 296, with the first thorough portrayal of the labour deployment, ibid., p. 379 ff. - Strzelecki, Endphase [fn. 31], p. 352, annotation **, establishes up to 100 000. The difference in number to the report of the Hungarian police - which is probably exaggerated - (Nbg. Doc. NG-5615), which cannot here be further examined, is possibly explainable with the early termination of the action, with flight and deportation into other German camps.
[36]Colonel Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg reported to his cousin Heinrich Graf York von Wartenburg of an order of the head of the RSHA Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who in 1944 "orders special treatment for 40 000 or 42 000 Hungarian Jews in Auschwitz" (Eberhard Zeller: Geist der Freiheit. Munich 1963, p. 506, annotation 9). For Stauffenberg this was a reason to accelerate the preparations for the assassination of Hitler.
[37]In 1945 the Soviet investigating committee claimed 4 million victims; IMT vol. VII, p. 647, vol. XXXIX, p. 261. This figure was based on an estimate of the capacity of the gas chambers, and goes back to a statement of the inmates' doctors Jakov Gordon from Vilna, Steinberg from Paris and Epstein from Prague on the day of liberation, 27 January 1945, to two Soviet officers and a sergeant: "In the time of the camp's existence 4.5 to 5 million people were exterminated"; Central Archive of the Ministry of Defence (ZAMO, Moscow), stock 417,60, army, list of stock 2675, memorandum 340, following: Lev Besymenski: Was das Sowjetvolk vom Holocaust wußte, in: Leonid Luks (ed.): Der Spätstalinismus und die "jüdische Frage". Cologne/Weimar/Berlin 1998, p. 82.
[38]Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 14.9.1998.
[39]IMT, vol. XIX, p. 261.
[40] "He admitted without a trace of remorse", stated his first interrogator Bernard Clarke, sergeant of the 92nd Field Security Section of the British counter-espionage, in: Rupert Butler: Legions of Death. London 1983, p. 238.
[41]Van Pelt, The Case [fn. 2], p. 276; Butler: "Clarke thrust his service stick under the man's eyelids."
[42]Clarke, in: Butler, Legions of Death [fn. 40], p. 236 ff.: "We had rammed a torch in his mouth"; "the blows and screams were endless". Butler, p. 236 ff.: "Clarke's hand crashed into the face of his prisoner."
[43]Broszat, Kommandant [fn. 17], p. 149.
[44]Nbg. Doc. NO-1210: "In Auschwitz selbst sind meiner Schätzung nach cca [sic] 3 000 000 Menschen ums Leben gekommen. Schätzungsweise nehme ich an das [sic] davon 2 500 000 vergast worden sind."
[45]Zimmerman, Holocaust Denial [fn. 5], p. 337, fn. 49.
[46]As already his wife, Butler [fn. 40], p. 236: "If you don't tell us we'll turn you over to the Russians and they'll put you before a firing squad. Your son will go to Siberia."
[47]IMT vol. XI, p. 458.
[48]Gustave M. Gilbert: Nürnberger Tagebuch, Frankfurt am Main 1962, p. 450.
[49]Broszat, Kommandant [fn. 17], p. 151.
[50]Ibid., p. 167.
[51]Eberhard Jäckel/Peter Longerich/Julius H. Schoeps: Enzyklopädie des Holocaust. Munich 1995, vol. II, p. 1008.
[52]Piper, Die Zahl [fn. 26], p. 196.
[53]Fleischer, Griechenland [fn. 24], p. 269
[54]Piper, Die Zahl [fn. 26], p. 199: 25 000.
[56]Broszat, Kommandant [fn. 6], p. 172, fn. 1.
[57]KL Auschwitz in den Augen der SS [fn. 18], p. 132.
[58]Jäckel/Longerich/Schoeps, Enzyklopädie [fn. 51], vol. III, p. 1254.
[59]Ibid. vol. I, p. 262.
[60]Gerald Reitlinger, Die Endlösung. Berlin 1956, p. 125, 522 ff.
[61]Piper, Die Zahl [fn. 26], p. 202.
[62]Pressac, Krematorien [fn. 11], p. 202.
[63]According to Langbein's figures, in accordance with fn. 32, in addition to the victims from Hungary: 218 000.