The Holocaust Historiography Project

The Auschwitz myth in pictures54

An improbable extermination

Map of the Auschwitz area

Had the Germans really wished to set up a gigantic extermination center, it is unlikely that they would have chosen to place it at Auschwitz, that is, in a populated industrial zone, on major rail- and waterways. The railroad line (Berlin-Krakow? or Vienna-Krakow?) passes, on the one hand, between the base camp of Auschwitz I, located 1,500 meters to the east, and the auxiliary camp of Auschwitz II or Birkenau, located 1,500 meters to the west; and it was in these two camps, it is said, that thousands of Jews were gassed each day: at Auschwitz I mainly in Krematorium I and at Birkenau mainly in Kremas II, III, IV, and V. It is also said that night and day the chimneys of the Birkenau Kremas threw out great tongues of flame and swirling clouds of smoke that could be seen for a distance of ten kilometers in every direction.

If, on the contrary, the Germans and in particular Himmler had really intended to develop a gigantic industrial center essential for Germany's war machine, it is understandable that they should choose that site in Upper Silesia in order to take advantage, as they did, of the enormous complex of mines, of foundries, of factories (especially of synthetic gas and synthetic rubber, of armaments, electric power plants …) as well as an important number of agricultural concerns and research centers. The nearby concentration camps thus furnished a part of the necessary labor. The work parties left their camps in the morning and went back to them at night; they worked alongside German or Polish civilians, prisoners of war, conscripts of the Compulsory Labor Service. Other internees worked within the camps. Some of them were there serving a provisional sentence. Many of the Birkenau internees were either in transit, in quarantine, in family groups, or hospitalized. Many died because of the conditions of sanitation or nourishment and above all because of terrible epidemics of typhus, of typhoid fever, of dysentery and of malaria. Birkenau in particular had been set up in an unhealthy zone full of pools and ponds. The work of drainage alone had cost many lives. To that must be added the usual conditions in all prisons with disparities in personal situation; the prisoner managers, chosen from among the internees themselves, were in general without mercy. And the deportees had much less contact with the SS guards than with these "capos."

Plan of the Auschwitz base camp (also called: Auschwitz-Zazole, or Auschwitz I or Stammlager or Stalag)

The Polish name of Auschwitz is Oswiecim. We reproduce this overall plan as it appears in the official (Communist) guide of the State Museum at Oswiecim without making any changes in the legends. North is at the top in the direction of the town of Oswiecim. It was on the very outskirts of Auschwitz that the camp was built in 1940. We are told that the first gassing was tried out — in the absence and without the knowledge of the commandant Rudolf Höss! — in the cellars of block 11, in September 1941. This was the block of the camp prison and where criminal interrogations were held. Afterwards, from the fall of 1941 to June of 1943, the gassings were presumably carried out systematically in Krema I (h), in batches of 800 victims most of the time. Use was presumably made of the insecticide Zyklon B, which is hydrocyanic acid in a porous inert base.

It is improbable that the Germans would have decided to perpetrate a crime at once enormous and ultrasecret on the outskirts of a town of 12,000 inhabitants. It is improbable that, within the camp, they would have selected for the exact spot of their crime a building right under the windows of the SS hospital (e) (the patients received outside visitors) and right close to the administrative buildings (f and g). In the case of disinfestation gassings with Zyklon B, security regulations required keeping a watch on buildings close to the building being fumigated for as long as the operation lasted (from 6 to 35 hours for killing the vermin and a minimum of 20 hours for airing), with sentinels posted (doc. NI-9912). Repeated gassing operations would have prevented all activity in the sector.

Blocks 9, 19, 20, 21 and 28 served the wounded, the ill, the convalescent, and for surgical operations. In 1942, at the time of the typhus epidemic, there were about 60 doctors and 300 nurses, make and female, for 2,500 patients. There were dental stations. The theater building (l) served for theatrical presentations or movies. A 25 meter swimming pool, not shown on the plan, was situated near block 6. "Sunday afternoons there were sessions of football, basketball, water polo: very little is needed to take a man's mind off of even the most immediate dangers! The SS administration had authorized regular entertainment for the prisoners, even on weekdays…movies (with) Nazi newsreels and romantic films … a cabaret … a very respectable respectable orchestra … musicians of every nationality, in the majority Jews" (Prof. Marc Klein, Observations et réflexions sur les camps de concentration nazis, Caen, Imprimerie Caron, 1948, p.31). That did not prevent terrible suffering, but was it not astonishing for an "extermination" camp?

Plan of the Birkenau auxiliary camp (also called: Auschwitz II or Auschwitz-Birkenau)

Birkenau was ostensibly the shrine par excellence of the extermination by means of Zyklon B. We reproduce the general plan as it appears in the above-mentioned official guide without making any changes in the legends. It places us presumably in the very heart of an inferno, with cremation pyres in the open air, the smokestacks of 4 crematories belching fire and flames, giving off pestilential odors, all right in the midst of the roaring of the SS, the barking of the guard dogs, incessant gunshots and screams of the victims being gassed. Everything in enormous proportions: the immensity of the crematories, the height of the chimneys, the number of the victims (several tens of thousands a day at certain periods). There above all was supposedly where the notorious selections took place when the trains arrived: in one column, those fit to work, and in the other, the victims assigned to the gas chambers.

The four crematories in question were, on the left, Kremas II and III, which faced each other symmetrically, as in a mirror, and, on the right, also built in mirror image of each other, Kremas IV and V; the designation Krema I was reserved for the "old crematorium" of the base camp (Auschwitz I).

And here again we are astonished at the site chosen for the extermination. Surrounding this location, as shown in the plan, we find: at the top, the Zentralsauna, a vast establishment of showers and disinfestation facilities; directly to the left of Krema IV, a group of 30 huts serving as a depository for personal belongings (Effektenlager and, in camp slang, "Canada") and, not indicated on this plan, a group of 5 other huts for the administrative and maintenance staff; in the area of the 4 Kremas, but not indicated here, important water purification stations; in zone (f), right up against the courtyard of Krema III, a sports field for the prisoners that is not indicated on this plan and, to the right of the sports field, nearly 30 buildings serving as a hospital for the prisoners. There was a camp for families come from Theresienstadt, a quarantine camp, sanitary facilities all over the place, buildings used for disinfesting articles with Zyklon or any other means, a women's orchestra made up largely of Jewish women (see Fania Fénelon, Sursis pour l'orchestre, Stock, 1976), classes in building techniques for the 12-15 year olds, etc. All of which is not incompatible with unspeakable suffering on the part of some prisoners, or with punishments, death, executions. But all of the foregoing is difficult to reconcile with the thesis that Birkenau was an extermination camp.

A view of Monowitz (this labor camp from a certain period onward was the administrative headquarters of a group of 39 labor camps called Auschwitz III)

For the Germans, Auschwitz III was the most important camp of the Auschwitz complex, the camp for industrial and agricultural production. It is the one least talked about in the legend, in which it is overshadowed by Auschwitz I and above all by Auschwitz II, or Birkenau.

Here we have view of only a very small part of the industrial complex. Monowitz was situated six kilometers to the east of the town of Auschwitz. It was closely linked with the base camp and with that of Birkenau. It was probably from Monowitz or from similar camps directly attached to factories that the odors which hung over part of the region could have come, and it was there, from their railway cars, that travelers could see smoke and flames. From December of 1943 on, because of this intense industrial activity, the entire Auschwitz area was to become the object of a constant surveillance by Allied aircraft based in particular at San Severo, near Bari, in Italy. From the 27th of December 1943 to the 14th of January 1945, the western Allies alone carried out 32 air missions over the entire vast Auschwitz region. The reports from missions of this kind prove that the airmen had orders to pay particular attention to fires, to smoke, and to steam in order to estimate the degree of activity of the factories, the movement and frequency of railroad convoys and the degree of effectiveness of the bombings. It would seem in the circumstances that none of the physical necessities entailed by a massive extermination such as are described in the legend could have escaped their vigilance. If the Allies, who on several occasions bombed the area and even the prison camps, did not bomb the crematoria, was it not because they were simply installations for…cremation? The cremation of corpses was in any case all the more necessary as chronic epidemics were ravaging the camps. In Germany and in other modern countries incineration in crematories was already a matter of general usage. At Auschwitz, Germans from among the guards or medical staff, as well as from among members of their families, died of typhus and were incinerated. For example, a chief surgeon, Dr. Popiersch died of typhus as did the wife of Dr. Caesar, who was in charge of agricultural management, and a child of the camp photographer, Walter.

An implausible extermination

Auschwitz I. A street of the camp at the time of its liberation by the Soviets (27 January 1945)

In the suburb of Zazole, the Germans principally made use of the buildings of some cavalry barracks and the buildings of the Tobacco Monopoly. Some of these buildings, which were converted and enlarged by the Germans, are still today, because of the housing shortage, occupied by Polish families. They are called "blocks." Some of the blocks are given over to various exhibits of the State Museum. Certain officials of the Museum live on the premises. It may be said of the Museum Director, Kasimierz Smolen, a former prisoner, that he has, so to speak, never left the place for more than 40 years. Is it conceivable that we are here before or within a former "extermination" camp? The Soviets, as we shall see further on, were obviously thrown into confusion by their discovery of Auschwitz: the place didn't much lend itself to their propaganda based on atrocities planned by the "Hitlerite fascists." A museum was very rapidly organized. The tourists were shown piles of hair or of shoes as proofs of an extermination. But everywhere in Europe during the war, everything that could be salvaged was salvaged. And the clincher is that the hair shown to the tourists at Auschwitz does not come from the camp itself, but from a plush and slipper factory situated at Kietrz and brought there at the suggestion of the examining magistrate charged with preparing the Rudolf Höss brief, Jan Sehn. Even less do the considerable piles of shoes at the museum of the Majdanek camp have the significance given them of having belonged to the people who were gassed, since every camp had its shoemaker's workshop if not a regular factory for making shoes (with salvaged leather, hair for the wedge heels, etc.). Is the extermination thesis believable if it has to rely for material evidence on arguments such as these? (Museum Archives, neg. 878)

Birkenau

Women and children at the time of their liberation from the "extermination" camp. (27 January 1945). As early as the 18th of January, the Germans had evacuated westward chiefly the prisoners liable to be enlisted by the enemy either in the army or for labor. They left on the spot around 8,000 persons considered weak or ill, along with medical and nursing staff (see Josef Garlinski, Volontaire pour Auschwitz, ed. Elsevir, 1976, p. 239). These women and children were filmed when they were leaving Birkenau. Is it plausible that in this camp the Germans sought to exterminate the useless mouths by all possible means? (Museum Archives, neg. 14,254.)

Birkenau

Other persons at the time of their liberation from the "extermination" camp. Same comments as for the preceding photo. (Museum Archives, neg. 564.)

Birkenau

Women on hand for their liberation from the "extermination" camp. They are lending themselves here to a "reenactment" for the sake of a Polish film. We are told that the Germans systematically gassed all the old people. (Museum Archives, neg. 522.)

Birkenau

Children, at their liberation from the "extermination" camp. We are told that the Germans peremptorily gassed the small children when they didn't assassinate them some other way. Yet there was a kindergarten at Birkenau, and still today we can make out, inscribed on the plaster of the walls, many drawings made by the children. In the Auschwitz Anthology (blue) there is a superabundance of proof that many children (Jews, Gypsies and others) were born at Auschwitz and lived there. Among the proofs are studies undertaken after the war on the so-called "ex-children of Auschwitz." In 1984, an association was formed of former Auschwitz, comprising 108 members (Jack Anderson, "The Twins of Auschwitz," Parade Magazine (Colorado Springs), 2 September 1984, pp. 2-7). At the end of the war, many Jewish children were found in the German western concentration camps, Buchenwald or Dachau for example, who had been evacuated from Auschwitz under the frightful conditions of a rout in midwinter (see, for example, Judith Hemmendinger, Les Enfants de Buchenwald, ed. Favre, 1984). Elie Wiesel, who has become a veritable bard of the Holocaust, was one of these children. A phenomenon typical of the bludgeoning of the mind by Holocaust propaganda deserves mention here: the more "survivors" are found to attest to what they went through in an "extermination" camp, from which they themselves escaped only by a "miracle," the more we are led to believe in the existence of the extermination: shouldn't it rather be our skepticism about the reality of the extermination which increases in proportion to the number of "survivors" and "miracles"? Another phenomenon of mass psychology: at the beginning of 1985, the Israelis held a sort of fictitious trial of Dr. Josef Mengele; former Auschwitz twins came to testify about the atrocities of the "accursed doctor" of Auschwitz: they said that the walls of his waiting room were covered with eyes fastened like butterflies (but the eyes would have burst like pockets of water!). That Mengele threw acid in eyes to make them change color! That he sewed twins together back to back, etc.! Western newspapers reported those accusations as authenticated facts; even the newspaper Le Monde solemnly became a mouthpiece for such implausibilities. (Soviet photo: A66-23953.)

An impossible extermination

Auschwitz I

The impossible gas chamber of Krema I (lst photo). Originally this building flanked by earth embankments had been an ammunition dump. Made over by the Germans, it became a rudimentary crematory. Here we see the west facade. The chimney does not emerge from the roof but directly from the ground. If we divide the building through the middle from front to back, in the left half we have the crematory furnace room with a coke storeroom and a storeroom for cinerary urns; and in the right half, a little room leading into a large room christened the gas chamber by the Poles, the two rooms being separated, as we shall later see, by a little door with a glass window in it. On the roof we perceive air vents in staggered rows. The SS hospital (not visible in this photo) is located 20 meters off to the right. In a fair wind, the hydrocyanic gas, when drawn off, would easily have reached the windows of the hospital. (Author's collection.)

Auschwitz I. The impossible gas chamber of Krema I (2nd photo)

Here the gas chamber is seen from east to west. It is in this room that tens of thousands of victims were presumably gassed in groups of 800. Well, one will note the total lack of airtightness. The pane of glass in the little door at the far end would have been easily broken, if not the door itself, and the hydrocyanic gas would have gone out through there. It would also have spread into the furnace room through the communication opening on the right, killing the crematory staff and perhaps causing an explosion, the gas being explosive in certain concentrations. Two questions: what would be the reason for the paint running along the base of the left-hand wall? Do we not see the marks of partitions taken down? The answers will come farther on. (Author's collection.)

Auschwitz I. The impossible gas chamber of Krema I (3rd photo)

Here the gas chamber is seen from west to east. The marks of the partitions that have been taken down are quite clear. The wooden door is not airtight at all. It opens into a little anteroom which has its own exit door (not visible in this photo) on the east wall.

This room could not have been a homicidal gas chamber, that is to say, a room perfectly airtight, without any danger for the gassers, with means of observation provided for those gassers, equipped with an extremely sophisticated system for proceeding, after the execution, to a forced ventilation of a gas known for its adherence to surfaces and even, in certain cases, for its power of penetration.

What then was this room in reality?

Research into the documents of the Auschwitz Museum enables us to answer the question. Two plans, the reproduction of which will be found in the book of Serge Thion (Vérité …, p. 317), prove that the building as a whole took two successive forms and only two during the period of the German occupation:

  1. From November 1940 to June 1943, the supposed gas chamber was a cold storage room for the keeping of cadavers (Leichenhalle), followed, as we proceed towards the west, by a shower room (Waschraum) and a laying-out room (Aufbahrungsraum); to the east there was neither a door, nor an anteroom, nor an exit door; the cold room ended, as is often the case with cold rooms, in a cul-de-sac.
  2. From July 1943 to March 1944, the work of alterations led the Germans to pull down the outside chimney, to demolish the crematory furnaces, to reinforce the wall separating the former furnace room and the former cold room, to create an opening on the east, to set up a small anteroom, to erect the partitions; in short, to make this place into an "air raid shelter for the SS hospital with a room for surgical operations." The partitions, placed in a staggered arrangement to soften the blast of the bombs, served to separate off a few rooms for patients, as well as the shower room and, finally, the operating room.

The Poles, after the war, reconstructed the chimney and two out of three crematory furnaces. And there we have an out-and-out fraud that must have deceived millions of tourists in 40 years. (Author's collection.)

Birkenau. Arriving at the "extermination" camp

A convoy has just arrived. This is 1944. We must take a close look at the 3 different categories of persons: the new arrivals, the prisoners in striped clothing, the German soldiers. Nothing conforms with the Dantesque accounts of the official literature, according to which the arrival ritual was like an hallucination. In the background to the left we see Krema II, which they tell us was located in the most secret zone of the camp and hidden from everyone's view. The "gigantic" (!) chimney extended above the slope of the roof by about 7 meters! Apparently it is not smoking. In principle, a crematory chimney throws out only very little smoke. As for throwing out flames, that would indicate an accidental chimney fire.

This photo is found, as are the 2 following, in a collection of nearly one hundred and ninety photos making up the Auschwitz Album ("From an album discovered by Lili Meier, a concentration camp survivor, text by Peter Hellman, translated from the American English by Guy Casaril, French edition compiled and completed by Anne Freyer and Jean-Claude Pressac, ed.du Seuil, 1983"). This album is in fact the property of a German photographer. Not one of these photos, contrary to what Hermann Langbein ventured to say in his book on the "Auschwitz Trial" well in advance of the publication of the album, shows us any scene whatsoever of gassing. If the photos show anything, it is rather that the gassings could not have existed in such a camp. Women and young children are going to cross the tracks to the left and, passing between Kremas II and III, make their way to the Zentralsauna. Men will take another road to get to the showers and the delousing. The placement of them in two columns was thus in the main a placement by sex and not a selection between persons to be kept for work and persons to be eliminated with gas!

Birkenau. Some women stop on the way

Some women stop on "Main Street" (Hauptstrasse). Prisoners, some in striped clothes, others in ordinary attire, are looking at them. In principle, the striped clothes were worn by those who were employed on the outside for their work shift and had to be easily distinguishable from all other Polish, German, etc. civilians and thus be more closely watched. There were 667 escapes from Auschwitz, 105 of them from Birkenau. It appears that only 270 escapees were caught (Tadeus Iwaszko, "Häftlingsfluchten aus dem KL Auschwitz," Hefte von Auschwitz, 7, 1964, pp. 3-57).

Birkenau. Women and children passing between Kremas II and III [see p. 506]

A group of women and children, on "Main Street," pass between Krema III, in the background, and the yard of Krema II, where the photographer is standing. Once again we note that the Germans did not try to conceal these Kremas out of everyone's sight. If they ordered trees, which we know all about right down to the species, the height, the quantity and the price (for a host of documents were left, including ones on the crematories), it is because it is common practice thus to enclose the space occupied by a building and even at times to embellish it with a garden. It must not be forgotten that the bodies of German soldiers and officers as well as the remains of members of their families were also cremated, sometimes with great ceremony.

Many other photos in the Auschwitz Album show us the complete route of the new arrivals up to their leaving the showers and their enrollment in the different labor camps, in the medical staff, etc.

Birkenau

Museum mock-up showing the gassing process at Krema II. This mock-up is on display at block 4, the "extermination" block.

Theoretically it should constitute the clincher of the thesis that there were homicidal gassings in Auschwitz-Birkenau. We are going to see that in reality it can serve as the clincher in the demonstration of the contrary.

The plans and the photos that were left us of the Kremas of Birkenau allow us to form a relatively precise idea of their architecture. The ruins themselves are not without interest in that regard.

The present mock-up approximately reproduces the architecture of the two largest Kremas: Krema II and Krema III, which were built in mirror image of each other. We deal here with Krema II. On the right there was a long main building section which principally contained the large furnace room. The furnaces were five in number and possessed three openings each. Fifteen cadavers could therefore be cremated in them. The cremation of one cadaver took about an hour and a half. It was necessary, probably once a week, to put out the fires and proceed to the cleaning of the furnaces, which, we know from another source, were subject to breakdowns. The smoke got away through underground conduits running to a small section of the building containing a furnace for the incineration of refuse. The chimney collected the smoke from all these furnaces.

At right angles to the left end of the long main building section there were two rooms below ground level whose ceilings emerged a little above ground. These were the Leichenkeller, a generic term to be translated by "cadaver cellars" or "sunken cold rooms." If they were below ground, it was specifically to protect them from heat. On the right was Leichenkeller 1, which measured 30 m x 7 m, possessed 7 supporting pillars, probably 4 openings in the roof and a double door opening inward; the room ended in a cul-de-sac, and it had the benefit of a rather rudimentary forced ventilation system that evacuated the stale air downwards. (But hydrocyanic gas is less dense than air and rises.) What the interior arrangement of this room was like is not known. On the left was Leichenkeller 2, which measured 50 m x 8 m and possessed 11 supporting pillars; it is likely that originally it also ended in a cul-de-sac at its left end and that later a small access stairway was dug out at that end. We don't know the interior arrangement of that room either. The cadavers were brought in from the outside through a door of the building at ground level, a door that in a way is at the junction of the 2 Leichenkeller. A ramp with steps here and there for the bearers made it possible to take the cadavers down to the point where the 2 Leichenkeller met. There was also at this point a small freight elevator, 2.10 m x 1.35 m in size, which made it possible to raise up to the furnace room the cadavers which had just arrived or those which had been stored in the cold room. It is important to know that there was but very little room at this junction point.

Now let us go back to the mock-up and to the Museum guide.

If the latter are to be believed, the Germans really devised there an installation for gassing groups of 2,000 victims at a time and at a rate of several groups per day. The words Leichenkeller and a few others besides that are visible on the plans are, it is said, merely false words "to be decoded." Thus "Leichenkeller 2" on the left, it seems, actually designates a "dressing room" for undressing the victims; and "Leichenkeller 1" on the right really designates a "homicidal gas chamber."

Thus the mock-up on the right depicts 2,000 people who have just been gassed with Zyklon B; the cadavers are going to be transported to the furnace room in order to make room for a new group of victims. This new group has now finished entering the "disrobing room"; they have been made to believe that they are going to the shower (and besides, the gas chamber, we are told, is disguised as a shower room so that the illusion may be complete to the very end); the people undress without any misgivings, and they are even explicitly told to hang their belongings on numbered hooks whose number they will have to remember. There are directions in several languages. Once they are squeezed into the gas chamber (2,000 people in 210 m2, less the room taken up by the 7 pillars), the victims will die in the following fashion: one or more of the SS will pour granules of Zyklon B through the 4 openings in the ceiling, and from the granules will come the lethal gas, hydrogen peroxide.

Let us listen to the confession his Polish Communist jailers tell us they obtained from Rudolf Höss, the first of 3 successive commandants of Auschwitz, and the only one, it seems, to have spoken of the gas chambers. Höss is supposed to have freely written, in his own hand, the following account:

Half an hour after the gas was thrown in, we opened the door and turned on the ventilation equipment. We began immediately [in German: sofort] to take out the cadavers.

Farther on, he adds:

The work detail [made up of Jews] got busy at once extracting the gold teeth from the cadavers and cutting off the women's hair. Then the bodies were transported to the elevator near the furnaces, which had meanwhile been lighted.

Höss states, furthermore, that the Jews of the special work detail "were eating or smoking while hauling the cadavers" to the crematory furnaces. All that may be read in Auschwitz vu par les SS (State Museum edition, l974, pp. 106, 140, 141).

This account and all others of the same kind are unacceptable. We run right into a considerable number of impossibilities, among them the following:

  1. The door of the gas chamber opening inward would have been blocked by the piled up cadavers;
  2. Supposing that the members of the work detail had been able to enter the room, they would have fallen dead, and the job would not have got done; in effect, if they were eating or sometimes smoking, that means they were not wearing gas masks; they would not have been able to go into an atmosphere full of hydrogen cyanide to move the cadavers which were themselves dangerous to handle because of the molecules of the gas on their skin, in their body fluids, and because pockets of the gas would have formed all over the place; besides, even with gas masks, that much physical effort is impossible in an atmosphere contaminated to that extent by this gas that adheres to surfaces for a long time;
  3. The very design of these places is absurd; as the room is in a cul-de-sac and there is no free space on three sides, the members of the work detail would have got in each other's way on entering the room and taken a considerable length of time to bring out 2,000 cadavers;
  4. But above all, where would they have been able to store the cadavers while awaiting their cremation? There is no place, either in the basement or on the ground floor — that is to say, on the level of the furnace room — to warehouse the 2,000 cadavers that are soon to be followed by 2,000 other cadavers and so on and on. At the end of one and a half hours of cremation, only 15 cadavers will have been incinerated. That leaves 1,985 cadavers. It would take 8 days and 8 nights to get to the end of them, but in that length of time they would decompose, constituting a danger of their own. Besides, there would be no cold room to store the cadavers of persons who died in the camp, persons who might moreover belong to the German authorities and whose bodies one had to be able to come and see in the coffin. In the case of Kremas IV and V, the nonsense is still more evident. The installation, more rudimentary, is all above ground. It includes: (1) a furnace room with two furnaces of 4 openings each; these were probably furnaces for the cremation of cadavers, but some think they were furnaces for the incineration of refuse; (2) a sas55 and a storeroom for tools; (3) a large hall whose intended purpose is not known; (4) an anteroom opening onto the doctor's room and a storeroom for coal; (5) a corridor opening onto two rooms, each with a coal stove: showers, perhaps? Near the furnace room there is also a coking plant, sanitary facilities, a room for the warehousemen.

We are told that the large hall of these Kremas IV and V was at the same time (!) a cold room for storing cadavers and a dressing room for the victims to take off their clothes. Presumably there were 3 gas chambers: the two rooms with coal stoves and…the corridor (!). As for the introduction of the granules of Zyklon B, it seems that was the work of an SS who shifted about with a ladder each time outside the building, to reach the little transom windows of the two rooms and the corridor. All that is seriously set forth for us in No. 107 of the Monde Juif (Review of the Jewish Documents Center of Paris), July/September 1982, pp. 91-131, and in "Symposium of the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (under the direction of François Furet), L'Allemagne nazie et le génocide juif," Gallimard/Le Seuil, 1985, pp. 539-584. The specialist in these happy discoveries, sponsored by Messrs. Georges Wellers and S. Klarsfeld, is Jean-Claude Pressac, the author with S. Klarsfeld, of the altered plan of Birkenau which will be found farther on. (Author's collection.)

Birkenau. Ruins of the supposed gas chamber of Krema II

Such is the surface area occupied by the "gigantic gas chamber" into which, according to the confession of R. Höss, they put 2,000 victims at a time and could have put in 3,000!

It is possible to worm one's way through a hole under the concrete vault and photograph the interior. No trace of showers. No trace of any accusatory element. The place has never been the subject of an archaeological study. No expert's report (which, it must be added, applies to all the buildings in Auschwitz or elsewhere that are represented to tourists as homicidal gas chambers, whether in a state of ruins or in "the original state"). It is to be noted that when official somebodies visit Birkenau, they never stop before the ruins which are nevertheless right on the road to the monument to the dead. Never the slightest notice.

The Soviets, on their arrival at Birkenau, seem to have been perplexed about how to present this "extermination camp" to the readers of Pravda. After a silence of 4 or 5 days, the Pravda issue of the 1st of February 1945 was content with putting the following words in the mouth of a former prisoner:

The Hitlerites used gas to kill the children and the ill, as well as the men and women who were unfit to work. They incinerated the cadavers in special furnaces. There were 12 of these furnaces in the camp.

But on the next day the great official reporter of the paper, Boris Polevoï, revealed that the principal means used by the Germans to exterminate their victims was electricity:

An electric chain whereby hundreds of persons were killed simultaneously; the dead bodies fell onto a belt slowly propelled by a chain and thus moved on towards a blast furnace.

To correct the Pravda of the previous day, it was said that the Germans had brought with them "special mobile equipment for the putting to death of children." As for the stationary gas chambers, they were hardly recognizable because the Germans had "disguised" them by adding turrets and architectural ornaments to them so that they looked like harmless garages." The American newspapers immediately echoed the extermination by electricity story (see Henry Shapiro, Washington News, 2 February 1945, p. 2). It was only in their official report of 6 May 1945 for the TMI of Nuremberg that the Soviets totally eliminated electricity in favor of gas (doc. URSS-008). The whole world has fallen into step with them since that date. (Author's collection.)

Birkenau. Aerial photo taken by the Allies on 25 August 1944

We had to wait until 1979 for the Americans to publish a group of aerial photos of Auschwitz that revisionist author Arthur Butz, as early as 1976, asserted could not fail to exist. These photos were a shock to many people. They totally belied the trumped-up legends about Auschwitz and Birkenau.

This photo is from the 25th of August 1944, that is to say, from a time when the extermination, it seems, was reaching its climax. On not one of these photos do we see human throngs crowding around the crematories or chimneys throwing fire and flames high into the sky.

At the top right we distinguish Krema II with Leichenkeller 2 on the right and Leichenkeller 1 right at the very top; the latter seems to have four ventilating shafts. We note a well laid out lawn, which makes it out of the question for thousands of people to have been contained in the yard of the Krema that began to function on 31 March 1943. The portal has been left open: the place isn't secret.

At the bottom and to the right we distinguish Krema III with its Leichenkeller 2 on the right and, at the very bottom, its Leichenkeller 1; this latter, too, seems to have 4 ventilating shafts, but these are arranged in a staggered pattern, as were the air vents of the Leichenhalle of Krema I at Auschwitz. To the left of the yard we note the south end of the sports field, mention of which is generally avoided on the plans.

We further make out the "Main Street" of the camp, the railway line, a truck and a group of people in motion and preparing to head towards "Main Street."

This photo is part of a collection of aerial photos published by Dino Brugioni and Robert G. Poirier: The Holocaust Revisited: A Retrospective Analysis of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Complex, CIA, Washington, February 1979, 19pp. Distribution in France by: Mikro-Cerid, 9, rue du Dôme, 92100 Boulogne.

A fictitious extermination

Fictitious plan of Birkenau (WRB Report, the two Slovakian Jews; the mythomaniac Dr. Rudolf Vrba

The fundamental source of the Auschwitz myth is the report published in November 1944 in Washington by a hotbed of intrigue close to President Roosevelt, the War Refugee Board. This report is principally made up of the testimony of 2 Slovakian Jews, escapees from Auschwitz-Birkenau: Alfred Wetzler and Walter Rosenberg, alias Rudolf Vrba. The latter, because of his postwar activities, has come into the limelight. Today he is a Canadian citizen. In him we have the man who can boast of having thus been at the beginning of a myth rated as one of the most important of this century.

Having escaped from Birkenau with Alfred Wetzler in April of 1944, he managed to get his testimony to Switzerland as well as to the Vatican and to Washington. We see here the plan he submitted of the Birkenau camp, a camp he claimed to know inside out, to the point even of knowing everything about the extermination procedures and the number of victims gassed. Making use of "special mnemonic methods," he determined that in two years, from April 1942 until his escape in April 1944, the Germans had gassed approximately 1,765,000 Jews, among them 150,000 Jews from France alone. Well, according to the Memorial… of Serge Klarsfeld, the Germans deported about 75,721 Jews from France (French, foreign, and stateless) to all their camps during the entire duration of the war. The number of deaths has not yet been dealt with in research of a scientific nature.

The plan drawn by R. Vrba and his friend cannot have come from eyewitnesses. The 4 crematories are drawn on the same model; but, in point of fact, the model of Kremas II and III (here numbers I and II) was of a very distinctive type with its 2 Leichenkeller at right angles, and, furthermore, the construction of the two in reverse position had to have been noticed. This construction in mirror image was repeated, though in a perceptibly different way, with Kremas IV and V (here numbers III and IV). The location of the Zentralsauna (here: bath) is wrong. Not shown at all is the site of the famous "Canada" with its 35 huts (construction on it ended on 17 December 1943, or more than 3 months before the escape). The huge "men's camp," to the right of the "women's camp," is not mentioned, etc. Only part "II" is accurate, and that was the part R. Vrba was in. In 1985, at the "Zündel trial" in Toronto, when R. Vrba was called upon to explain some of the fabrications he presented as trustworthy facts, he invoked the licentia poetarum.

Fictitious plan of a Birkenau crematory (WRB Report)

It is manifest that here, too, R. Vrba has not seen what he pretends to describe. There were not 9 furnaces arranged like that. In reality there were 5 furnaces with 3 openings each. These were not arranged around the chimney; they were in a row in one room while the chimney was in another section of the building. There was no "large hall." There were no rails for the transport of the cadavers between the alleged gas chamber and the furnace room for the reason that the furnaces were at ground level, and the alleged homicidal gas chamber (in reality: Leichenkeller 1) was in the basement. One of the two Leichenkeller is missing.

The very text of the WRB Report is a tissue of lies. Without a doubt it played a major part in the condemning to death of many Germans. It seemed in fact that every brief of the American attorneys charged with the prosecution of war crimes opened with this report whose first sentence was as follows:

It is an undeniable fact that the Germans deliberately and systematically killed millions of innocent civilians — Jews and Christians alike — throughout all of Europe.

The extermination was to be considered an established fact for which no proof needed to be adduced. Those words were written in November 1944. Although no court of law since that date has sought to adduce that proof, that doesn't keep historians and judges from continuing to say that the courts have long since established the existence of the gas chambers and the reality of the extermination.

In support of the fiction, historians' fakes

Serge Klarsfeld alters the plan of Birkenau

In 1983 Serge Klarsfeld, in collaboration with Jean-Claude Pressac, published the Album d'Auschwitz with the publishing house of du Seuil. Among the alterations, we call attention to one of a plan of Birkenau where the road leading to the shower baths of the Zentralsauna in cut in two places: first a little after Kremas II and III and then a little before the Zentralsauna. The entire argument developed in his commentary on the photos is to the effect that the women and children seen on "Main Street" had to end up at Kremas II and III with their alleged gas chambers, whereas in fact they were making their way to the shower baths.

In order not to have to indicate the existence of a sports field right near Krema III, which is hard to square with the notion that in the Krema itself thousands of victims were being gassed and incinerated every day, the authors filled the space occupied by this sports field with the words "Hospital Sector" that apply to a hospital complex to the right of said sports field.

Finally, no mention is made of the existence of the quarantine camp: in the plan submitted by Klarsfeld and Pressac, this camp is the only one in the sector that bears no name.

Saul Friedländer fabricates a gas chamber montage

This photo is found on a double page of S. Friedländer's book: Kurt Gerstein ou l'ambiguïté du bien, éd. Casterman, 1967. The author places this gas chamber in Belzec (eastern Poland). He has used a photo of the phoney gas chamber of Krema I at Auschwitz I! In the bottom photo we perceive the rear end of a truck and the front end of a Volkswagen as well as the disquieting shadow of a Gestapo-like figure. Some pipes are coming out of the muffler to end up in what is supposed to be the other side of a wall of the gas chamber. We thus have in the same photo a view of the stage (the gas chamber) and a view backstage (the "gestapo-like figure" tending the machinery). The caption of the photo is consistent with the montage.

Saul Friedländer is a French Israeli. He is a professor of contemporary history at the University Institute of Advanced International Studies and also teaches at Tel Aviv.

Gassing victims of fiction: Henri Krasucki and Simon Veil. Two French Jews, among many others gassed at Auschwitz.

Henoch (alias Henri) Krasucki, born 2 September 1924 at Wolonin (suburb of Warsaw), was part of a convoy that left Drancy on 23 June 1943 and arrived at Auschwitz on the 26th of June. Until 1977, according to the official truth established through the good offices of the Communist authorities of the State Museum of Oswiecim in collaboration with the responsible scientists of the Jewish Documents Center of Paris, the entire convoy was gassed (Hefte von Auschwitz, 4, 1961, p. 110).

Simone Jacob, the future Simone Veil, born on 13 July 1927 at Nice, was part of a convoy that left Drancy on 13 April 1944 and arrived at Auschwitz on the 16th of April. Until 1977, according to the same official truth, all the women of that convoy had been gassed (ibid., 7, 1964, p. 88).

In 1978, Serge Klarsfeld published a Mémorial de la Déportation des Juifs de France. It did not concern a list of deaths but lists of the names of deportees convoy by convoy. The author had no alternative but to note that these two deportees had survived the deportation. They had become so well-known in France that it was not possible to conceal the fact. Klarsfeld even added that other persons in those convoys, both men and women, had survived. He noted also that the Oswiecim Museum and the CDJC of Paris had, in error, invented entire convoys of gassed deportees. But, for his part, Klarsfeld continues to count as dead or gassed persons not well-known who may have survived their deportation to Auschwitz. Not to look farther afield, that was the case of the mother of Henri Krasucki, who, counted as dead or gassed in the 1978 edition of the Mémorial, returned to life after a fashion in the Additif to the 1980 memorial. It is true that as early as 1974 the fact had been made public by journalists Harris and Sédouy in their book Voyage à l'intérieur du Parti Communiste Français, in which Henri Krasucki declares:

My mother came back [from deportation] after me and then a few uncles and aunts.

Of his father, who was deported to Auschwitz and died there, Klarsfeld, who seems to have had information rather accurate in other respects, told Harris and Sédouy around 1979: "I don't know how he died, whether gassed or in the hospital …" (Juifs et Français, Grasset, 1979, p. 112). Putting aside that confidence of the moment, he still proclaims his father "assassinated" or counts him among those gassed (see the dedications or contents of 3 of his books: in 1977, Deutsche Dokumente …; in 1980, Additif to the memorial; in 1984, Les Enfants d'Izieu).