The Morgues of the Crematoria at Birkenau in the Light of Documents

Published: 2004-08-01

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In the historical expert opinion drawn up for Deborah Lipstadt in the libel trial launched against her by David Irving (January 11 to April 11, 2000), Robert Jan van Pelt, when he was unable to find any proof of the reality of the extermination of Jews in gas chambers at Auschwitz, amassed all the available "traces," most of them already gathered by J.-C. Pressac, raised them falsely to the higher level of "proof," and later invented a "convergence of evidence" essentially based upon a systematic disfiguration of the documents. Also, all documents that did not lend themselves to such an operation of disguise were simply ignored by him. In his report, van Pelt accuses the revisionist historians of not yet having undertaken the task of "revising history" and adds: [1]

"True revisionist history not only destroys an inherited view of the past, but provides an alternative. [...] Up to today holocaust deniers have been unable to produce, in forty years of effort, a counter-narrative to the inherited history of Auschwitz."

As far as I am personally concerned, I have for years been offering a "counter-narrative" in my writings, both in articles and in books, the latest of which – Special Treatment in Auschwitz – Origin and Meaning of a Term[2] – presents a positive and documented story of Auschwitz with respect to "special treatment" and to "special action" based on documents, which van Pelt either ignores or is unaware of. And it is not an accident that van Pelt, be it in his report or in his recent book The Case for Auschwitz. Evidence from the Irving Trial[3] (which is an enlarged version of the report) does not even quote me a single time!

In this study I shall present another positive contribution to the central topic of the Auschwitz historiography: the alleged homicidal gas chambers of the crematoria at Birkenau. It goes without saying that the rich documentation on which my conclusion is based has been systematically ignored by R.J. van Pelt.

I. The Morgues of the Crematoria at Birkenau within the Framework of "special measures for the improvement of hygienic installations" in Birkenau

1. Himmler's visit to Auschwitz on July 17/18, 1942, and the new functions of the PoW camp at Birkenau

On the occasion of his visit to Auschwitz on July 17 and 18, 1942, Himmler decided to enlarge the PoW camp Birkenau for a capacity of 200,000 detainees. The Central Construction Office (central construction office) went into operation immediately and, on 3 August 1942, its head, SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Bischoff, sent to Amt CV (central building inspectorate) of SS WVHA a new lay-out – a modification of lay-out Nr. 1453 of 8 July 1942 – which took into account the enlargement of the camp towards the new capacity. Bischoff's letter of transmittal referred explicitly to Himmler's visit:[4]

"The enlargement of the project has been viewed by the Head of Amt C, SS-Brigadeführer und Major General of the Waffen-SS Dr.-Ing. [doctor of engineering] Kammler on the occasion of the visit by the Reichsführer [i.e. Himmler] on July 17 and 18, 1942 [...]."

On August 15, 1942, the Central Construction Office drew up another "Situation map of the PoW camp Auschwitz O/S," which indeed foresaw a strength of 200,000 detainees.[5] On August 27, Bischoff sent to Office C of the SS Main Office of Economic Administration (Wirtschaftsverwaltungs-Hauptamt, WVHA) a letter with attachment of a "Situation map, M: 1:2000, 2 copies," in which he confirmed:[6]

"The enclosed situation map takes into account the recently decided enlargement of the PoW camp towards a strength of 200,000 men."

In the succeeding months, the strength of PoW camp Birkenau was reset at 130,000 to 140,000 detainees, but the reason for its enlargement remained unchanged.

On September 15, 1942, a meeting was in Berlin held between Reich minister Speer and SS Obergruppenführer Pohl, head of SS WVHA, in which another five officials took part, including SS Brigadeführer Kammler, head of Office C of SS WVHA. The next day, Pohl wrote a detailed report of the meeting for Himmler. The discussion had centered on four main points, the first of which was the "enlargement of barrack camp Auschwitz due to eastern migration." On this topic, Pohl notes:[7]

"Reich minister Speer has fully approved the enlargement of the barrack camp at Auschwitz and has set aside an additional building volume of 13.7 million Reichsmark.

This building volume covers the erection of some 300 barracks together with the corresponding utility and service plants.

The necessary raw materials will be assigned during the 4th quarter of 1942 and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarters of 1943.

Upon completion of this additional project a total of 132,000 men can be housed at Auschwitz"

Pohl then notes that:

"All present were in agreement that the workforce available in the concentration camps should now be used for large-scale armament tasks."

In order to bolster the workforce other plants, Pohl stressed the necessity to withdraw civilian German and foreign personnel from armament works, whose workforce would thus be insufficient. The missing workers, so Pohl, should be replaced with detainees from the concentration camps. Pohl went on to say:

"Reich minister Speer, in this way, wants to assure the supply of an initial number of 50,000 able-bodied Jews in self-contained factories with available housing.

We shall screen out the workforce necessary for this purpose at Auschwitz from the eastern migration, in order to assure that our existing plants will not be adversely affected in their performance and their construction by a permanent change of personnel.

Thus, the able-bodied Jews destined for the eastern migration will have to interrupt their journey and will have to serve in the armament plants."

The "eastern migration" (Ostwanderung) was the deportation of Jews to the east. In this context the last sentence obviously means that those Jews who were unfit for work would not interrupt their eastern migration, but continue their "journey" to the east – and would thus not stop at Auschwitz.

Showers are to be installed in Krematorium III; RGVA, 502-1-83, p. 338 (click to enlarge).

On the day of the meeting, September 15, 1942, Kammler wrote a letter to the Plenipotentiary for the Organization of the Construction Industry concerning "special construction tasks for concentration camp Auschwitz," by which he informed him of the decisions taken on the subject of Auschwitz:[8]

"With reference to the meeting between Reich minister Prof. Speer and SS Obergruppenführer und General of the Waffen-SS Pohl please find below [the description of] the additional building volume for the special program of K.L. Auschwitz:

  1. Summary of the additional buildings required, together with the corresponding volume.
  2. Summary of building materials and barracks required.

The work will, for the most part, be executed by detainees. A duration of 50 weeks has been set out for the whole project. Aside from the detainees an average of 350 professional and auxiliary workers will be needed. This results in 105,000 man-days."

In October of 1942, the construction project "PoW camp Auschwitz" assumed the official name "execution of special treatment," which thus confirmed the new function of the camp. This task consisted of a vast construction program that was to transform it into a source of manpower for the industries, which had already sprung up or were to spring up in the vicinity of Auschwitz.

The aim of this change in the function of the camp – decided on by Himmler when he visited Auschwitz – was very clearly explained by Rudolf Höß in a speech he gave at Auschwitz on May 22, 1943, in the presence of the head of Office Group C of the SS WVHA, Kammler, and other officials, and in which he outlined the history and the development of the institutional tasks of the camp:[9]

"The Auschwitz camp evolved in 1940, in the triangle between the Vistula and the Sola [its tributary] rivers, after the evacuation of 7 Polish villages, by the enlargement of the area of an artillery barracks and through many additional constructions, reconstructions or changes. Much building material resulting from demolitions was reused in the process. Initially, it was to be a quarantine camp, it later became a Reich camp resulting in a new objective.

In view of the general situation which at times became critical, its location at the juncture of the Reich and the Government General proved to be very useful on account of the fact that replenishment of the camp with manpower was thus assured. An additional factor that has recently arisen was the solution of the Jewish question, which necessitated solving the problem of housing for a first load of 60,000 detainees, to grow to 100,000 shortly. The detainees in the camp are, for the most part, destined for the major industrial projects which are taking shape in the vicinity of the camp. Within its territory of interest the camp comprises various armament factories for which manpower must be furnished on a regular basis."

Hence, the "solution of the Jewish question" did not require extermination installations, but rather housing construction projects for 100,000 detainees, and the alleged extermination function was thus not only a minor issue, but was totally absent.

At the end of October, the Central Construction Office drew up the general project for the PoW camp in conformity with the directives given by Speer and Pohl. The corresponding file was entitled:[10]

"Project: PoW camp Auschwitz (carrying out of special treatment). Master of works: Reichsführer SS; SS Main Office of Economic Administration, Office Group C. Berlin-Lichterfelde-West, VIII Up a 2"

The project had an overall budget of 13,760,000 RM and contained among other things a situation plan for Birkenau covering 140,000 detainees.[11]

However, at the beginning of January 1943, the total strength of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp had not even reached 30,000[12] detainees. The reason was essentially the extremely high mortality registered since the summer of 1942, caused by a terrible typhus epidemic, which had broken out in July that year, and by the inadequate hygienic and sanitary conditions at the Birkenau camp. By the end of April 1943, the strength of the camp had gone up to 53,000 detainees[13] but was still far below target.

2. Expanding the Birkenau Cremation Installations

The enlargement of the Birkenau camp, together with the terrible typhus epidemic that ravaged it and the high mortality rate among the detainees resulting from this caused the SS authorities to set out on an adequate enlargement of the cremation plants in the Birkenau camp. It is well known that, in the beginning, a single crematorium (the future crematorium II)[14] had been planned for this camp.

Urgent request for estimate to install 100 showers and water heater in Krematorium III; APMO, BW 30/34, p. 40 (click to enlarge).

In the letter of August 3, 1942, mentioned above, Bischoff said:[15]

"Furthermore, the site for the new crematorium, next to the quarantine camp, was decided on."

Therefore, as late as August 3, 1942, the head of the Auschwitz Central Construction Office knew of only one crematorium.

In a file memo written by SS Untersturmführer Ertl on August 21, 1942, in connection with the visit of Kurt Prüfer (chief engineer of Topf & Söhne, transl.) to Auschwitz on the 19th, one can read:[16]

"Regarding the construction of a 2nd crematorium with 5 triple muffle ovens, the results of the negotiations with the Reich Security Main Office about the assignment of [material] contingents, now under way, must first be ascertained."

Therefore, the decision to build crematorium III had not yet been taken.

The same document informs us that Prüfer's proposal to transfer two ovens with 8 muffles from Mogilev to Auschwitz was accepted on August 19. This proposal (as results from a hand-written note in the margin) was approved by WVHA on August 24. This signifies at least that up until then the number of muffles for the ovens in crematoria IV and V had not yet been decided upon.

August 1942 was the month with the highest mortality rates ever in the history of the Auschwitz camp. Altogether 8,600[17] detainees died during this month alone, nearly twice as many as had been the case in July (some 4,400 detainees). The first trace of the decision to build the other three crematoria appears on August 14 (date on the drawing 1678 of crematorium IV/V).[18] Up to the day before, over 2,500 detainees had already died, the average mortality being 190 deaths per day. Between August 14 and 19 (the day to which the discussion summarized in the file memo of August 21 referred) the mortality was even higher: some 2,400 deaths, about 400 per day on average. The climax occurred on August 19, when more than 500 deaths were registered. On August 1, the strength of the male camp stood at 21,421 detainees. Until the 19th, 4,113 detainees died, an average of 216 each day, with 1,675 dying between August 14 and 19, an average rate of 279 per day. The average strength between August 1 and 19 was about 22,900 detainees.

What would have happened if another typhus epidemic had broken out at a time, when the camp had reached its planned numbers of inmates of 200,000? The reason for the decision to build three more crematoria was, therefore, due solely to worries, more than legitimate, with respect to hygiene and sanitation.

3. The "Special Measures for the improvement of Hygienic installations" in the Birkenau camp.

Questionaire about use of crematory exhaust gases to heat water for showers in Krematorium II and III; RGVA, 502-1-312, p. 8 (click to enlarge).

In early May 1943, the authorities in Berlin and the SS administration at Auschwitz, in their effort to realize the program decided on by Himmler at the end of July 1942, were therefore confronted by two serious interrelated problems: a scarcity of manpower caused by the high mortality among the detainees and the serious situation in the field of hygiene and sanitation that was its cause. It therefore became imperative to improve the hygienic installations of the camp.

On May 7, 1943, SS Brigadeführer Kammler, head of Office Group C, Construction, of the SS WVHA, met with six high camp officials at Auschwitz: SS Obersturmbannführer Höß, commander of the camp, SS Obersturmbannführer Möckel, head of SS garrison administration, SS Sturmbannführer Bischoff, head of Central Construction Office, SS Sturmbannführer Cäsar, head of agricultural units, SS Hauptsturmführer Wirths, SS garrison physician, and SS Untersturmführer Kirschnek, chief civil engineer of the construction office of the Waffen-SS and Police Auschwitz, to which the Auschwitz main camp was attached. Two days later, Bischoff wrote a file memo on the topics discussed. In this document, he summarizes the statements of the SS garrison physician with respect to the installations under his authority in the following way:[19]

"General description by garrison physician, stating that the maintenance of the health of the detainees, destined for the important tasks ahead, appears questionable on account of the poor conditions of latrines, an unsatisfactory sewer system, a lack of sick bays and separate latrines for the patients, together with a lack of possibilities for washing, bathing, and disinfestation.

For an improvement within the PoW camp it is suggested that the latrines be equipped with seats and lids, and that to counter the repeated failures of the sewage systems a number of adjacent pits be installed, which would be emptied from time to time and the contents removed and put at the disposal of the agriculture. Regarding this, the head of the Central Construction Office recommends to install a sluice gate upstream from the sewer network and to counter-flush the latrines by means of pressurized water.

He opposes the system of pits, as the high water table would cause an infection of the ground water, and the necessary separation [from the ground water] by means of basins is difficult and cannot be undertaken at the present time. A gross estimate of the amount of night-soil leads to the conclusion that this material cannot be disposed of at all in the vicinity of the camp. The principal difficulties could only be overcome by a complete conversion of the sewer system to a pipe network complete with pumping station for which, unfortunately, the necessary equipment is unavailable.

The Brigadeführer takes note of the particular urgency of these questions and promises to help in any way whatsoever within the limits of his possibilities in order to improve the situation. He is, however, surprised about favorable reports from the competent medical staff regarding sanitary and hygienic conditions, whereas immediately afterwards, contradicting reports are presented to him. Head of Central Construction Office is ordered to prepare for Head of Office Group C, by May 15, 1943, proposals for the alleviation of the problems, together with a scheme for the proper effluent treatment, leaving aside any present difficulties of supply, which he will handle himself.

The garrison physician qualified as inadequate the [conversion of] stables into sick-bays. He criticizes the absence of lighting and water in the building section of the Swiss barracks. Furthermore, the number of barracks is insufficient so that the installation of further barracks in this sick-bay section must be investigated. The deficiencies observed, on closer inspection, always turn out to be interactions between the difficulties mentioned initially; the necessity of a separation from all other questions of construction and of finding a special solution becomes apparent.

As a permanent solution for the delousing in the PoW camp, the garrison physician suggested to create, for each subsection of the building project (10 altogether), complete disinfestation facilities including the possibility of bathing. On the other hand, the head of Central Construction Office indicated that the large disinfestation unit of the PoW camp is already under construction and should be finished first. Excluding further difficulties with respect to the availability of qualified workers, this should be the case by the end of August. A definite date could not be set by SS-Stubaf Bischoff. As an intermediate measure until that date, Brigadeführer will furnish, by way of a loan, a new short-wave delousing train."

"Special measures for the improvement of hygienic installations in the PoW camp Auschwitz", RGVA, 502-1-83, p. 311 (report on next page; click to enlarge).

On May 8, at 18:05 hours, a telegram addressed to "command of concentration camp Auschwitz" arrived from the concentration camp Groß-Rosen, worded as follows:[20]

"SS Stubaf Bischoff and man in charge to report to SS Brigadeführer and Major Generalof the Waffen-SS Dr.-Ing. Kammler on Monday, May 10, 1943, at 11 hours bringing all documents, plans, material contingents for water supply and drainage PoW camp 200,000 men."

The telegram was signed by SS Hauptsturmführer Wilhelm Gideon, vice-commander of KL Groß-Rosen.

On his return journey back to Berlin, Kammler had passed through Groß-Rosen and had decided there to have Bischoff come to Berlin, ordering Gideon to convey the message to Auschwitz. For greater safety, he had also conveyed the convocation to his Berlin office; thus, at 20:05 hours, the telex service (FS-Dienst) at Auschwitz received another telegram from SS-Oberscharführer Schürmann at the office of the Adjutant of Office C/I of the SS WVHA. The message, addressed to Bischoff personally, said:[21]

"SS Brigadeführer and Major General of the Waffen-SS Dr.-Ing. Kammler has ordered you to appear in Berlin on Monday, May 10, 1943, in the morning, with all plans and calculations for water supply and drainage of PoW camp Auschwitz."

"Report on measures taken for the realization of special program ordered by SS Brigadeführer and Major General of the Waffen-SS Dr.-Ing. Kammler for PoW camp Auschwitz": sewage plant, drainage system, toilets, wash rooms, drink water treatment plant; RGVA, 502-1-83, p. 311 (click to enlarge).

This started a vast program of improvement in the field of sanitation at the PoW camp (the Birkenau camp), labeled variously in the documents as "immediate program," "special measure," "special program," "special construction measure," and "special action."[22]

The corresponding written order was transmitted by Kammler to the Auschwitz commander on May 14.[23]

4. The "Special Measures for the Improvement of Hygienic Installations" and the crematoria of Birkenau

From the beginning of its realization, the crematoria entered into the program of improvement of the Birkenau camp.

On May 13, 1943, Bischoff wrote a "report concerning the division of work for the immediate program at PoW camp Auschwitz," in which each officer, non-com, and civilian employee of the Central Construction Office was charged with specific tasks within the scope of this program. The tasks for the civilian employee Jährling are outlined as follows under item 9 of this report:[24]

"Civilian employee Jährling has to carry out the installation of heaters and boilers in the wash barracks, as well as the showers in the undressing room of crematorium III. Concerning the showers, SS Sturmbannführer Bischoff will consult with camp commander SS-Obersturmführer Höß.

SS WVHA will transmit an OT-drawing [OT = Organisation Todt, German national construction organization] for the disinfestation ovens."

Two days later, on May 15, Bischoff sent the following telegram to the Topf company:[25]

"Urgent telegram!

Address: Topfwerke Erfurt.

Text: Bring along Monday estimated project for hot water supply to 100 showers. Provide for installation of heating coils or boilers in waste incinerator under construction at crem. III or flue-gas duct for exploitation of high exhaust temperatures. Necessary increase of oven level to accommodate large reserve tank would be possible. Please furnish such drawing to Mr. Prüfer by Monday, May 17."

On May 16, Bischoff sent to Kammler a "report on measures taken for the realization of special program ordered by SS Brigadeführer and Major General of the Waffen-SS Dr.-Ing. Kammler for PoW camp Auschwitz," in which we read under item 6:[26]

"6. Disinfestation plant. For the disinfestation of the clothing of detainees, each subsection of BAII will have an OT-disinfestation unit. To ensure a faultless delousing of the detainees themselves, the two existing detainee baths of BAI will be equipped with heaters and boilers to provide hot water for the existing showers. Furthermore, it is planned to install heating coils in the garbage incinerator at crematorium III thereby to provide water for the shower installation to be built in the cellar of crematorium III. Concerning the design of this unit, negotiations have been carried out with Topf & Söhne of Erfurt."

The project of setting up shower facilities in the basement of crematorium III was quickly extended to crematorium II as well. On June 5, the Topf Co. sent the following letter to the Central Construction Office at Auschwitz, with reference to "Krematorium II and III waste incineration furnace":[27]

"Enclosed please find drawing D 60446 concerning the incorporation of boilers into garbage incineration furnaces. Our site-engineer Wilh. Koch has been sent the same drawing. In case you agree with the execution of the unit according to this drawing, please inform Mr. Koch.

Please forward also to us your agreement in this matter, in order to allow us to establish the corresponding change-order."

The extension of the project to crematoria II and III is confirmed by a questionnaire concerning the Birkenau crematoria, undated, drawn up by Bischoff in June of 1943. The head of Central Construction Office replies to the first four questions saying that there were 18 ovens[28] in crematoria II – V with a total of 46 muffles, that they had been built by the Topf company in the years 1942-1943, that they were coke-fired, that all of them were non-mobile, that they had a total of 6 chimneys, 16 m high and that the chimneys were not equipped with forced-draft blowers. To the fifth question, "are the exhaust gases being used?," Bischoff replies "planned but not realized," and to the following question "if yes, state purpose," he answers "for bath installations in crema. II and III."[29]

The project of installing 100 showers in crematorium III (and another set of showers in crematorium II) could not have been aimed at the personnel of the crematoria, because at that time only 54 showers had been planned for the central sauna, the disinfection and disinfestation unit for the entire camp, as Bischoff had written on June 4, 1943, to the head of Office C/I of SS WVHA:[30]

"The shower section for the detainees contains 54 showers, fed by 2 boilers of 3,000 liters each. The unit has been laid out for continuous use."

Actually, the "shower room" of the central sauna was equipped with only 50 showers,[31] but it is thus clear that the "bathing facilities in Krema. II u. III" referred to in the questionnaire mentioned were to serve the detainees of the entire camp.

"Use of exhaust gases of furnaces of Krematorium II through V"; RGVA, 502-1-313, p. 11 (click to enlarge).

On June 24, 1943, crematorium III was handed over by the Central Construction Office to the housing administration of the Kommandantur. In the inventory for the basement, attached to the corresponding transfer statement, 14 showers[32] are mentioned for morgue 1, which have an obvious relationship with the project discussed. No showers are mentioned[33] for the inventory of basement of crematorium II, handed over officially on March 31, 1943, precisely because the shower project was started only in May. Of course, 14 showers may have served for the personnel of the crematorium only. They were probably installed by the camp workshop.

The initial project was left pending for two reasons. Primarily because in each of the two disinfestation units of construction section I (buildings 5a and 5b) 50 showers[34] were installed. Those works began at the end of May, as we can learn from the "construction report concerning special measures at PoW camp," which Bischoff wrote on May 30, 1943:[35]

"Installation of hot water supply was started in 2 delousing barracks (baths for detainees)."

By July 13 the two units were already in operation, as we can gather from the "progress report concerning works for special measures at PoW camp and main camp," which Bischoff compiled on that date:[36]

"Hot water supply in the two delousing barracks (baths for detainees) of construction section I is operational."

In parallel, the construction of the "disinfection and disinfestation facility" (the so-called central sauna) moved ahead diligently, and its termination was scheduled for the beginning of September.[37] Eventually, the unit went into operation – albeit "during the day and for some hours at a time" – in early December,[38] to be handed over to the Auschwitz administration a month and a half later.[39]

Still, the project of showers resurfaces on March 25, 1944. On that day, SS Obersturmführer Werner Jothann, who had succeeded Bischoff as head of Central Construction Office on October 1, 1943, sent a letter to Topf on the subject "PoW camp Auschwitz, Kremat., exploitation of exhaust gases," in which he wrote:[40]

"You are asked to send soonest offer with pictorial representation and calculations plus detailed explanation. Crematoria II and III, possibly also IV and V are being considered."

In a listing of Topf dated April 13, 1943, referring to an unknown letter with the reference "24674/43/Ro-Pru/Pa," it is written:[41]

"2 Topf disinfestation ovens for crematorium II at PoW camp, Auschwitz."

There is also an invoice from the firm Vedag Betriebe Schlesien, dated July 28, 1943, on the subject of "Auschwitz-Krematorium" which concerns "sealing works done on the disinfestation plant."[42] It is known that the "2 Topf disinfestation ovens" had been ordered from Topf on February 11, 1943, (order no. 148) for building 32, i.e., for the central sauna.[43] There is also an "individual invoice" from Vedag with date and text identical to the one already mentioned, in which there is an explicit reference to "BW 32 – disinfestation facility."[44]

These two documents, even if they contain erroneous references, do confirm the general atmosphere with the crematoria being used for sanitary purposes as described in this section.

As J.-C. Pressac has written correctly:[45]

"It is obvious that PoW camp Birkenau cannot have had at one and the same time two opposing functions: health care and extermination."

Since the planning of the sanitary installations in the crematoria at Birkenau is based on irrefutable documentary proof, whereas the existence of installations for mass exterminations, according to J.-C. Pressac's own admission, is founded solely on "traces," it is quite obvious what the real function of the crematoria was.


First published as "Die Leichenkeller der Krematorien von Birkenau im Lichte der Dokumente" in Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung 7(3&4) (2003), S. 357-380. Translated by Thomas Dunskus. For quotes and terms in their original German language see the German version, online at

[1] R.J. van Pelt, The Pelt Report, p. 221. An electronic version of this expert report can be found on the Internet at
[2] Soon to be published by Theses & Dissertations Press; the Italian original appear under the title "Sonderbehandlung" ad Auschwitz. Genesi e significato, published by Edizioni di Ar, Padova 2001.
[3] Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis 2002.
[4] GARF, 7021-108-32, p. 37.
[5] Published by J.-C. Pressac in: Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation. New York 1989, p. 203.
[6] GARF, 7021-108-32, p. 41.
[7] Pohl's report to Himmler dated September 16, 1942, concerning "a) Rüstungsarbeiten. b) Bombenschäden." BAK, NS 19/14, pp. 131-133.
[8] GARF, 7021-108-32, p. 43.
[9] Aktenvermerk dated May 22, 1943. RGVA, 502-1-26, p. 85.
[10] VHA, Fond OT 31(2)/8. The reference "VIII Up a 2" was the "G.B. Bau Kennnummer" (i.e. the ID number of a building project within the list of the building industry of Reich minister Speer) of the construction project PoW camp Auschwitz.
[11] Ibidem, Lageplan des Kriegsgefangenenlagers Auschwitz O/S. Entwässerungsplan. Plan No. 1782 of October 28, 1942.
[12] On January 1, 1943, the total strength was 29,630 detainees, of whom 24,263 were men and 5367 women. AGK, NTN, 134 (Auschwitz trial vol. 52), pp. 279, 282.
[13] On April 30, 1943, the total strength of the camp was 53,436 detainees, of whom 34,777 were men and 18,659 women. AGK, NTN, 134 (Auschwitz trial, vol. 52), pp. 281, 285.
[14] Situation map of PoW camp Auschwitz of June 6, 1942, in : J.-C. Pressac in: Auschwitz:..., op. cit. (note 5), p. 195.
[15] GARF, 7021-108-32, p. 37.
[16] RGVA, 502-1-313, p. 159.
[17] The figures are based on a statistical analysis of the data contained in the Death Books of Auschwitz, cf. Die Sterbebücher von Auschwitz, Saur, Munich 1995.
[18] Plan published by J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz..., op. cit (note 5)., p. 393.
[19] Aktenvermerk by Bischoff dated May 9, 1943. RGVA, 502-1-233, pp. 36-37.
[20] RGVA, 502-1-83, p. 339.
[21] RGVA, 502-1-83, p. 320.
[22] Cf. in this respect my study "Sonderbehandlung"..., op. cit. (note 2), pp. 73-81.
[23] Aktenvermerk von Jothann dated October 5, 1943. RGVA, 502-1-83, p. 77.
[24] RGVA, 502-1-83, p. 338.
[25] APMO, BW 30/34, p. 40.
[26] RGVA, 502-1-83, p. 311.
[27] RGVA, 502-1-336, p. 104.
[28] The furnaces with 8 muffles of crematoria IV and V were considered to consist of 4 furnaces
[29] RGVA, 502-1-312, p. 8.
[30] RGVA, 502-1-336, p. 107.
[31] Inventory of transfer negotiation of "Desinfektions- und Entwesungsanlage" (central sauna) dated January 22, 1944. RGVA, 532-1-335, p. 3.
[32] RGVA, 502-2-54, page number illegible
[33] RGVA, 502-2-54, pp. 77f.
[34] Transfer negotiation of building 5a, delousing facility, inventory. RGVA, 502-2-58, p. 129. Plan Nr. 2948 of delousing facility FL Bw. 5a dated October 6, 1943. RGVA, 502-1-230, p. 174. Cf. also drawing of Central Construction Office 2540 dated July 5, 1943 in: J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz:..., op. cit. (note 5), p. 58.
[35] RGVA, 502-1-83, p. 281.
[36] RGVA, 502-1-83, p. 119.
[37] RGVA, 502-1-332, p. 10.
[38] Letter from SS garrison physician to head of Bauinspektion der Waffen-SS und Polizei "Schlesien" dated December 9, 1943. RGVA, 502-1-336, p. 84.
[39] Transfer negotiation of this plant is dated January 22, 1944. RGVA, 502-1-335, p. 1.
[40] RGVA, 502-1-313, p. 11.
[41] APMO, BW 30/34, p. 47.
[42] RGVA, 502-1-316, p. 431 e 502-1-323, p. 137.
[43] Final invoicing of Central Construction Office for Topf Co. dated October 19, 1943 concerning "Einrichtung einer Entwesungsanlage im K.Z.L. (Massivbau) BW 32 bestehend aus 2 Öfen und 4 Kammern." RGVA, 502-2-27, p. 24
[44] RGVA, 502-1-316, p. 430.
[45] J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz:..., op. cit. (note 5), p. 512.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Carlo Mattogno
Title: The Morgues of the Crematoria at Birkenau in the Light of Documents
Sources: The Revisionist 2(3) (2004), pp. 271-294
Published: 2004-08-01
First posted on CODOH: July 16, 2012, 7 p.m.
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