The Holocaust Historiography Project
Auschwitz, by J.-C. Pressac
Document 69
[PMO file BW 30/25, page 12]
Translation: (the corrections are not translated)
KI/L6 36132/43
Auschwitz, [Monday] 13/9/1943
Summary Record
Subject: Meeting concerning the imputation of the costs incurred in having to replace the
defective lining of the chimney of Krematorium II, POW camp BW 30
On Friday, 10/9/1943, Herr chief engineer Prüfer, as the representative of Messrs Topf & Sons of Erfurt, consulted with this service [Bauleitung] to clarify the situation with regard to the subject stated.

The Zentralbauleitung maintained the position that the damage to the chimney lining was due above all to the incorrect drawings and instructions furnished by Messrs Topf & Sons. Here chief engineer Prüfer was in 1942 the consultant for the whole installation and he declared at the time to SS Second Lieutenants (Specialists) Ertel [Ertl], Dejaco and Jahnisch [Janisch] that the Krematorien should be built according to the drawings provided by Messrs Topf. As for the chimneys, they should be built according to the project drawing for the chimney for Krematorium I in the main camp on the one hand and the measurements and instructions for the individual parts of the chimney appearing on the above mentioned drawings provided by Messes Topf & Sons. One of these drawings shows a lining thickness of 12 cm. The lining itself is shown to a height of 6 m in orange, as is all the other refractory brickwork. The brickwork supporting the lining is shown in red, meaning ordinary bricks. [See drawing 933[ 934](r) in annex, where the lining of the chimney, of a color different from the pink walls, should be orange, which it is very faintly on the original in the PMO archives].

During a subsequent inspection and conversation with the Chief Capo of the Krematorien, it was noted that the collapse of part of the flues was not error or confusion, as [claimed] in the letter of 6/8/1943 counts. reg, no. h.e.s./D IV/Prf, but in fact as stated in the Bauleitung letter of 17/7/1943, whole sections of the roof [of the flues] were caving in and the connections between the hot flues and the chimney were in very bad condition.

On this occasion it was also established that all the draught adjustment dampers had melted due to a fault in construction, but this fault had been eliminated in the light of rear own experience and now

Document 69a
[PMO file BW 30/25, page 12]
Translation: (corrections are not translated)
the system worked perfectly. Here chief engineer Prüfer this time designated the reason for the damage to the lining as being that the brickwork was bonded with lime mortar instead of refractory mortar, and also errors in the static calculations.

In reply to this, in the conversation on the following day [Saturday 12th September] with Herr engineer Koehler, who built this chimney according to the Topf & Sons drawings, stated that the lining was completely built with refractory mortar from the bottom to the top.

It was pointed out to Herr chief engineer Prüfer that with each visit he brought a new explanation for the reasons for the collapse of the chimney lining.

During his last visit but one, in the presence of the Commandant, he gave as the reason the great stresses caused by firing individual furnaces [while leaving the others cold], which was not taken into account in the plans.

In the opinion of the Zentralbauleitung, this was in fact probably the main reason, and would be taken into account in the new Topf & Sons plans, in which the different rates of expansion of different parts of the lining would be allowed for by having openings such that they could slide with respect to one another.

Herr engineer Koehler declared during this conversation that the overloading of the chimney installation was the most important cause of the damage.

Since it had not been possible to completely settle the question of liability, Herr engineer Koehler for Messrs Robert Koehler, Myslowitz and Herr chief engineer Prüfer for Messrs Topf & Sons (subject to consultation with his superior) declared their agreement, in the interests of further good relations, to each assume 1/3 of the total extra cost, provided that for its part the Bauleitung was prepared to assume a similar sum. This total cost was provisionally estimated at 5,000 RM.

With this settlement, the reconstruction of the chimney lining in Krematorium II, POW camp BW 30, is considered to be finally settled.
Read and approved
SS Second Lieutenant (Specialist)
SS Major