The Holocaust Historiography Project
Auschwitz, by J.-C. Pressac
IV (cont.)

The filter insert is exhausted if gas enters through the mask. If using filter “J”, first move
around in the open air for approx. 2 minutes so that a certain amount of moisture from the
breath may gather in the filter insert. Under no circumstances should filters be changed
inside gas-filled rooms.
V Personnel

A disinfestation squad consisting of at least 2 members is employed for each disinfestation
project. The fumigation chief is responsible for the fumigation. His particular duties are
inspection, airing, release and safety measures. The fumigation chief is to appoint a deputy
in case he has to leave. The orders of the fumigation chief are to be followed without delay.

Untrained persons or persons who are trained but who do not yet hold a certificate may
not be called in to work on gassing operations, nor must they be taken into gas-filled rooms.
The fumigation chief must also know where to contact his personnel. Every person must at
all times be able to prove that he has official authorization for the use of prussic acid for
[pest] extermination purposes.
VII Equipment

Each member must at all times carry with him:

1. His own gas mask.
2. At least 2 special filter inserts against Zyklon prussic acid.
3. The leaflet “First aid for prussic acid poisoning.”
4. Work order.
5. Authorization certificate.

Each disinfestation squad must at all times carry:

1. At least 3 special inserts as extra stock.
2. 1 gas detector.
3. 1 instrument for injecting Lobelin.
4. Lobelin 0.01 g. ampules
5. Cardiazol, Veriazol tablets.
6. 1 lever or pickhammer for opening the cans of Zyklon.
7. Warning signs as per regulation.
8. Material for sealing.
9. Sheets of paper to serve as [distribution] pads.
10. Flashlight.

All equipment is to be kept clean and in good order at all times.
Damage to equipment is to be repaired at once.
VII Planning fumigations
1. Can the fumigation be carried out at all?

a) Type of building and situation.
b) Condition of roof.
c) Condition of windows.
d) Presence of heating shafts, air shafts, breaks in the walls, etc.
2. Determine the kind of vermin to be exterminated.
3. Calculate the space (do not rely on drawings, but take measurements yourself.
Take only outside measurements, include walls).
4. Prepare personnel.

(Remove domestic animals, plants, food and drink, undeveloped photographic
plates, and gas mask filters.)
5. Find which opening will be particularly difficult to seal.

(Air shafts, drains, large openings which have been boarded up, roofs.)
6. Settle necessary safety measures.

(Guarding, work detachment for sealing.)
7. Fix the date for the fumigation and the time for clearing the building.
8. If necessary, arrange safety measures for the neighborhood in good time.
9. Notify authorities.
VIII Preparation for fumigation
1. Seal.
2. Open all doors, closets, drawers, etc.
3. Pull bedding apart.
4. Remove all liquids (remains of coffee, washing water etc.)
5. Remove all food
6. Remove all plants and domestic animals (aquaria etc.)
7. Remove all undeveloped photographic plates and films.
8. Remove adhesive plaster, all medical supplies, whether open or in paper
bags (particularly [char]coal).
9. Remove all gas mask filters.
10. Prepare for check on results.
11. Clear out personnel.
12. Take over keys (every door key).
IX The strength of the gas and the time required for it to take effect depend on:

The type of vermin
The temperature
The amount of furniture in the rooms
The imperviousness of the building.

For inside temperatures of more than 5 degrees Cent. it is customary to use 8 g prussic
acid per m³.

Time needed to take effect: 16 hours, unless there are special circumstances such as a
closed-in type of building, which requires less time. If the weather is warm it is possible
to reduce this to a minimum of 6 hours. The period is to be extended to at least 32 hours
if the temperature is below 5 deg. Cent.

The strength and time as above are to be applied in the case of::
bugs, lice, fleas, etc., with eggs, larves and chrysalis.

For clothes moths: temperatures above 10 deg. Cent.: 16 g per m³ and 24 hours to take effect.

For flour-moths: same as for bugs .
X Fumigation of a building
1.. Check that everybody has left the building
2. Unpack the boxes of Zyklon. Make the appropriate amount ready for each floor
3. Distribute the cans. One man to go into the building and receive the cans which have
been brought up by the work detachment and to distribute them. (Have them put
next to the pads.)
4. Dismiss the work detachment.
5. Post the guard. Fumigation chief to instruct guard.
6. Check that sealing and clearing have been completed
7. Put on gas masks.
8. Open the cans and pour out their contents. The contents are to be spread thinly so that
the Zyklon can evaporate quickly and the necessary density of the gas can be achieved
as soon as possible. This process is to start on the top floor but the cellar is to be dealt
with before the ground floor, should the cellar have no exit. Rooms which have been
dealt with should as far as possible not be re-entered. The processing is to be done
slowly and calmly. The staircase particularly should only be used slowly. The processing
may only be interrupted in an emergency.
9. The exit door to be locked, sealed and its key handed over to the fumigation chief.
10. On the door fix a warning sign with the legend “Danger — Poison gas. Danger to life,
no admittance”. This warning sign is to be in several languages if necessary, and in
any case it must be marked with at least one death’s head, clearly visible.
11. Gas masks, apparatus for resuscitation and gas detectors are to be kept available at all
times. Every member of the fumigation squad must know where these objects are located.
12. At least one member of the fumigation squad must always remain near the building which
is being fumigated. The guard must be notified of his position.
XI Airing

The airing is connected with the greatest danger for those participating and others.
Therefore it must be carried out particularly carefully and a gas mask should always
be worn. The airing should [take] place according to the following principles: pure air
should always be within reach in the shortest possible time and the gas should flow
out to that side where it cannot endanger people who are not participating. Should
the airing be difficult one trained man should remain in front of the building in order
to watch how the gas is blowing away.
1. Take care to see that no strangers remain in the vicinity of the building
2. Post the guards in such a way that they are not annoyed by the gas as it blows out, but can still watch the entrances to the building
3. Put on a gas mask.
4. Enter building. Close door, but do not lock it.
5. First open the windows on that side of the building where there is no wind. Air floor
by floor. Start on the ground floor and after each floor take at least 10 minutes' rest.
6. The doors leading to the corridor, connecting doors between rooms and windows must be
opened in each room
7. Partitions and other methods used to seal the room which cannot be replaced quickly
should only be removed after most of the gas has blown away.
8. Care should be taken to see that the heating system and water pipes do not freeze should there be frost or danger of it.
9. Rooms with valuable contents, such as clothing stores etc. may be locked again after the
windows have been opened.
10. Windows and doors which have been opened should be fastened in such a way that they
cannot slam.
11. Covers in chimneys may be removed after the provisional release of the building.
12. The airing should continue for at least 20 hours.
13. The guard should remain near the building during the whole of this time.
XII Provisional release A fumigated room may be released provisionally as soon as the paper
strip of the gas detector is of a lighter blue than the centre colour pattern, when the doors
and windows are open. Only work concerned with airing and clearing up may be done in
the rooms which have been provisionally released. Under no Circumstances may anyone
rest or sleep in these rooms. The doors and windows must be left open all the time.