The Holocaust Historiography Project
Auschwitz, by J.-C. Pressac
documentation, his only real asset, that he had been able to take with him or have collected before nationalization (this is confirmed by the very small amount of Topf records found by the industrial authorities of the German Democratic Republic). The few engineers that he was able to employ must have worked on the basis of this data founded on years of experience. However, Topf of Wiesbaden was never to approach the level of activity of Topf of Erfurt.

Over the following twelve years, the firm seems to have continued more or less successfully, though not with the kind of turnover known before the war, and its low level of activity never seems to have been affected by the threat of a trial for participation in the creation of the Birkenau gas chambers, even though the name of Topf was mentioned over and over again in the concentration camp literature. The Wiesbaden firm was finally wound up on 18th March 1963, when Ernst-Wolgang Topf, the managing director, was 59 and his sister Johanna, the sleeping partner, 61. “TOPF & SÖHNE” ceased to exist on this date. According to the law of the Federal Republic of Germany, the firm’s correspondence had to be kept for a further ten years, until 1973, and the contracts for thirty years, until 1993. At the present time the Topf records concerning their business with KL AuschwitzBirkenau have still not been found, and it is more than likely that Prüfer “eliminated” them many years ago.
Document 9
[Weimar State Archives Bestand 21555.]
Document 9
Memorandum from Herr Machemehl

[Upper right: Rubber stamp of the Topf
management secretariat, dated
25th April 1946]

Subject: Kurt Prüfer

Herr Prüfer was imprisoned on the afternoon of 4/3/46 and has not yet returned. For March the salary was paid in full. For April the net salary would be

286.40 RM

Following the recent conversation regarding the payment of an April salary, it is now necessary to fix the amount to be paid on account.

[manuscript] 150.-

[signed] Schiller
[Production manager, Gustav Braun’s
former post]
Document 10
Document 10