The Holocaust Historiography Project
Auschwitz, by J.-C. Pressac
Document F1 Document F2
Document F1 Document F2
Documents F1 and F2
Documents F! and F2
thus creating a suite of six rooms whose communicating doors were staggered in order to reduce the blast effect s of a bomb exploding in the vicinity. The suite included an operating table and a double wash basin with mirror (in the laying out room), and two WCs (in the washing room) [Documents J1 and J2]. Entry was through two air locks (one arranged in the vestibule through building a wall between two of the supporting pillars, the other being built at the opposite end of the suite, in the southernmost room).

The second, unused part of the old Krematorium (furnace room and its annexes) was used as a medical store [according to the former prisoner Hermann Langbein].

Krematorium I after the Liberation

The building was found as the SS had abandoned it [Photo 2]. It would appear that the photos of the interior showing the state of the premises were not taken at the beginning of 1945, which is a pity because the restructuring of the building back into a Krematorium began immediately after the liberation. During this work a dance was organized on the roof [Photo 4] of the gas chamber, an event no doubt to be explained by the euphoria be resulting from the end of the war.

The chimney [Photos 8, 9, and others] was rebuilt in the form of the second model. Four openings supposedly for pouring Zyklon-B were made in the roof [Photos 15 and 18] which was covered with roofing felt, thus hiding the traces of the original opening. Four of the five partition five walls of the air raid shelter were demolished. The space obtained [Photos 26 and 27] became the present gas chamber with an area of 94m² (not including the air lock), while the original gas chamber was 78m² gas and did not have any access by the air lock remaining to the south. The communicating door between the morgue and the furnace room was reopened, unfortunately just beside the original location [Photo 26]. The first two furnaces [Photos 22, 23, and 24] were rebuilt from memory and as a function of the metal parts found in the “Bauhof” (open air depot for building materials). The third furnace was not rebuilt [Photo 25]. The entrance door to the medical store [Photos 6 and 10] was converted into a window.
Because of the lack of original documents and the transformations that have been made [see the drawing of the present state of the premises at the end of this chapter], it was not possible before to materially demonstrate the existence of a homicidal gas chamber in the former morgue of Krematorium I, even though the testimonies of former prisoners and SS formally affirm its existence. This is why the revisionist attacks [see the remarks by R. Faurisson on Krematorium I in “Vérité historique ou vérité politique” by S. Thion, La Vielle Taupe, April 1980, pages 314 to 317] have essentially been concerned with this building, which is by far the most visited in the camp. But at the end of February 1988, a certain Fred LEUCHTER, an American engineer specialised in the design and improvement of legal methods of execution in the United States (including gas chambers), having been commissioned by the “revisionists”, went to Poland and, without the authorization of the P.M.O., took seven samples from bricks and cement in the “Leichenhalle” of Krematorium I. The “report” that Leuchter wrote on his return [ AN ENGINEERING REPORT ON THE ALLEGED EXECUTION GAS CHAMBER AT AUSCHWITZ, BIRKENAU AND MAJDANEK POLAND. April 5, 1988] indicates the cyanide levels found in the analysis of each sample, expressed in miligrammes of cyanide per kilogram of sample (mg/kg). Six of them were positive (3.8/1.9, 1.3, 1.4, 1.3, 7.9, 1.1 mg/kg) and one negative (taken from the floor according to the sampling plan). These results, virtually all (6 out of 7) positive, prove the use hydrocyanic acid in the “Leichenhalle” of krematorium I, of hence its use as a homicidal gas chamber. Today, despite its poor reconstitution, the krematorium I must be considered as an authentic symbol of homicidal gassings at Auschwitz, since several thousand people did indeed die there through gassing.

When it turned out that Krematorium I no longer sufficed for cremating the numerous dead in the camp, the SS considered building a “new” Krematorium in the main camp about 20 meters from the first