The Holocaust Historiography Project
Auschwitz, by J.-C. Pressac
statements to the author. A group of Dr Mengele's twins, to which Mr Klein and his brother belonged, was ordered by the SS to take cans pf inflammable material and explosives into Krematorium III, then having left the building the twins sought safety in a drainage ditch, from where they watched the explosion) or according to Danuta Czech's Calendar, towards late afternoon.
AFTER THE WAR: RUINS,
MONUMENTS AND EXCAVATIONS
The Soviet troops who liberated Birkenau on 27th January 1945 between 2 and 3 o'clock in the afternoon found three Krematorien in ruins, inaccessible because of the rubble. The Soviet investigation commission does not seem to have touched those of Krematorien II and III, but left immediately. The fact is that the Soviet Commission had seen that while in the case of Krematorien II and III the SS had dynamited almost entirely dismantled carcasses, the situation was different with Kr V, where the SS had blown up the COMPLETE BUILDING one night (between 22 and 26 January, the exact date is not known). As no incineration furnace remained in the camp (those of Krematorien I, II, III and IV having been dismantled earlier), it was hoped that that of Kr V would be found not too badly damaged in the ruins of the building [like the five furnaces built by Messr H Kori at KL Majdanek, which had remained intact despite the fact that the SS had burned the Krematorium in July 1944.]. However, the SS had placed a lot of explosive in the muffles of Kr V, so that when the rubble was cleared, virtually nothing remained of the big 8-muffle furnace but the twisted metal frame. For reasons of safety and for investigation purposes, the ruins of Krematorium II [Documents 93, 94, 95, 96 and 97] were cleared of rubble shortly afterwards in order to give access and so that the Polish Commission (which had taken over from the Soviet Commission) could understand its arrangement and undertake research. The same was done with Krematorium III [Document 72], where the demolition work was less advanced than in the case of Kr II. At this time, and for a period of several months, nobody was allowed to visit the Krematorium areas and the entrance to Birkenau was even guarded by the militia. Certain revisionists have presented this measure as being intended to allow the ruins of the Krematorien to be arranged to make them fit official history. A claim all the more contemptible when one knows the real reason, which was to protect the Krematorium sites from scavengers, to prevent (in actual fact to unsuccessfully try to limit the damage) the local population from digging for “Jewish gold,” which they started to do immediately after the Liberation. This ignoble treasure hunt was crowned with success for some Poles, but had the disastrous consequence of destroying virtually all the manuscripts, letters, photographs and other evidence concerning the criminal activity of the Krematorien that had been buried at such risk by members of the Sonderkommando.

Fortunately for the Polish Commission, the Auschwitz main camp was almost intact, and much material having belonged to the victims of the extermination were found there [readers who have seen the Soviet film on the Liberation of the camp will certainly remember the scene in which the heaps of cylindrical paper sacks of about 20 kg stuffed full of women's hair were presented]. The buildings, even the roof spaces, were chock-a-block with the most varied and surprising

Document 91 Document 91

Document 92 Document 92

Note: The descriptions of Documents 93, 94, 95, 96 and 97 appearing on page 260 of the original book have been transferred to page 261 of this electronic version for ease in reading. The original layout can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnail image at the top of this page.