| THE UNDRESSING HUTS OF BUNKER 2/V
| V/ Testimony of Filip MÜLLER
Extracts from “Trois ans dans une chambre à gaz d'Auschwitz” [Three years in an Auschwitz gas chamber] by Filip Müller, editions Pygmalion/Gerard Watelet, Paris 1980.
“In Bunker 2, now renamed Bunker V an old whitewashed farm separated from the camp by a little wood there was also great activity. Nobody could imagine that in this country house, peaceful and ordinary, thousands of people would be exterminated by gas. Kommandos of prisoners of all trades, electricians, metal workers, road builders, succeeded in less than a year (this must be an error: a month would be more accurate] in getting this installation of death operational.”
“A few days later he had three more cremation pits dug behind Krematorium V. He thus had five pits at his disposal there now. Furthermore, the old farm situated to the west of Krematorien IV and V, which had already been used as an extermination site in 1942, was brought back into service under the designation Bunker V and four cremation pits were dug near the four rooms serving as gas chambers The undressing rooms in which the victims left their clothes before being gassed were transferred to three wooden huts There were no longer any numbered clothes hooks or other camouflage in the form of signs or any other attempt to mislead …”
| I offer this account by F. Müller for what it is worth. Much too late, thirty six years after the event, it is at the limit of credibility. Fillip Müller is an important witness, but in choosing to describe material and precise facts in a book and in 1979 (1st German edition) he has accumulated errors, thus making his account historically dubious, The best approach is to read it as a novel based on true history.
SS man Böck’s testimony
Extract from “Der Auschwitz Prozess” [The Auschwitz Trial] by H. Langbein. Volume 1, page 74:
A comrade of Hölblinger, another member of the SS, accompanied him one day in the vehicle to the … [Bunker]. [His name was Böck].
Deputy Judge Hummerich: “Were you present at a gassing operation one day?”
Bock: “Yes, it was one evening. I accompanied the driver Höblinger. A transport had arrived from Holland and the prisoners had to jump from the wagons. They were well-off Jews. Them were women with Persian furs. They arrived by express train. [They disembarked at the “Jewish ramp” at Auschwitz station, not directly at Birkenau. This account concerns 1942]. The trucks were already there, with wooden steps before them, and the people climbed aboard. Then they all started off In the place where Birkenau once stood, there was only a long farmhouse (Bunker 2), and beside it four or five big huts. Inside, the people were standing on clothes which were building up on the floor. The 'Blockführer / block leader', and the 'Unterscharführer / sergeant' carrying a cane were there. Höblinger said to me: 'Let’s go over there now', There was a sign: 'to disinfection'. He sad 'You see, they're bringing children now', They opened the door, threw the children in and closed the door. There was a terrible cry. A member of the SS climbed on the roof. The people went on crying for about ten minutes. Then the prisoners opened the doors. Everything was in disorder and contorted. Heat was given off The bodies were loaded on a rough wagon and taken to a ditch. The next batch were already undressing in the huts. After that I didn’t look at my wife for four weeks.”
| Comments of Böck’s testimony:
There is only one clue to show that the scene took place at Bunker 2: “a long farmhouse”. In this type of account, this is already a good deal. SS Bock seems to have been a decent enough man. The gassing of children upset him so much that he saw the SS medical orderlies “climb on the roof” (they did not climb so high) and did not look at his wife for four weeks. Not everyone is cut out to be an executioner: Hermann Langbein writes:
“Böck is the only SS witness who demonstrated a sincere aversion before the court.”
| I would just ask one question: “How many gassings did Böck see?” If he saw only the one he described before the court, it is not so surprising that his “aversion” should remain intact. If he had been forced by his duties to see them regularly, his attitude might have been different. It is all too easy to become hardened