The Holocaust Historiography Project
Auschwitz, by J.-C. Pressac
Translation of inscriptions
(left to right and top to bottom)
Furnace room
· Firsthöhe / ridge height.
· Traufhöhe / gutter height.
· Fenstersturzh / window lintel height.
· Fensterbankh / window sill height.
· Sockelhöhe / base height.
· Sockel Oberschl. Sandstein / base facing sandstone.
· Gewachsener Boden / natural earth.
· Dachdeckung Ziegel / tile roof covering.
· Eisenheton Hohlkörperdecke / ceiling of hollow reinforced concrete blocks.
· Betonboden m. Glattstr. / concrete floor with smooth screed.
· Vorlage 18cm HCH [?] / 18cm hard fill.
· Lehmschlag / clay base
· Erdanschüttung / earth bank
· Entlüftungskanal / air extraction duct.
· Ofen / furnace
· Pfeilerfundamente / pillar base.
· Rauchkanal 0.70 x0.60 / smoke flue 70 × 60 cm.
· Türenhöhe! / door heights!
· Saugzuganlage / suction type forced draught installation.
· Schornsteinfundamente [Nach Boden Belast[un]gsprobel / chimney foundation [after testing soil strength]
· Rauchkanal Schieber / flue damper.
· 3 Züge 0.80 × 1.20 / 3 flues 80 × 120 cm.
· Schornstein / chimney.
· Schornstein Verwahrung / chimney flashing.
· Müllerverbrennungsofen / waste incinerator.
· Betonboden m. Glattste. / concrete floor with smooth screed.
· Vorlage 20cm. HCH [?] / 20cm hard fill.
· Türen und Fensterumrahmungen — Oberschl. Sandstein! / facing of door and window frames sandstone!
Leichenkeller 1:
· Entlüftungskanal / air extraction duet.
· Senkrechte Isolierung / vertical damp proofing.
· Isol[ierung] / damp-proofing
· Belüftung / ventilation.
· Erdanschüttung / earth bank
· Kies / gravel.
· Wasserdichte Abdeckung / water tight covering.
· Betonboden mit Glattstrich 14cm Stk / concrete floor with smooth screed 14cm.
· Pfeilerfundamente / pillar base. 150 × 150, 60 cm deep.
· Erdanschüttung / earth bank
· Gewachsener Boden / natural earth
Leichenkeller 2:
· Abwasswekanal / sewer.
· Senkrechte Isolierung / vertical insulation.
· Erdanschüttung / earth bank
· Kies / gravel.
· Wasserdichte Abdeckung / water tight covering.
· Betonboden mit Glattstrich 14cm Stk / concrete floor with smooth screed 14cm.
· Erdanschüttung / earth bank
As already mentioned, only the section of the main building is original and of 27/1/42, the cross-sections of Leichenkeller 1 and 2 having been designed and added to his drawing in April 1942.

It was long believed that this drawing was material and undeniable proof that Leichenkeller 1 of Krematorium II was a gas chamber. This conviction was based on the difference in ventilation arrangements of the two Leichenkeller Leichenkeller 1 had a fresh air supply and an air extraction system, whereas Leichenkeller 2 had no ventilation whatever, Since the final use of the two rooms was known, Leichenkeller 1 being a gas chamber and 2 an undressing room, it was tempting to seek proof of the criminal intention by simply comparing the two rooms, bearing in mind two elementary facts: the gas chamber absolutely had to have a ventilation system, whereas this was not so vitally necessary in the undressing room. Unfortunately this elegantly simple demonstration is completely demolished by two facts. First, in Leichenkeller 1 the fresh air came in near the ceiling and the air extraction vents were near the floor, which means that the system was designed for a cool morgue, not for a warm gas chamber were the fresh air should come in front below and the foul air be extracted from above. Second, there are several notes and letters, from SS and civilian sources, to say nothing of the traces found in the ruins of Krematorium II, that prove that Leichenkeller 2, the undressing room, also had a ventilation and air extraction system. So the argument based on the ventilation systems, brilliant in its simplicity and perfectly in line with extermination by gassing, collapses completely because it did not take into account all the available documents, and was mistaken because, hypnotized by the terms “Be- und Entlüftung” themselves, the technical reality of their being inappropriately designed for a gas chamber was not even noticed.

Many other details now prove that the room known as Leichenkeller 1, which in the past has been presented as having been specifically designed as a gas chamber, could not have originally been anything other than an underground morgue. Subsequently, however, a number of modifications turned it into a gas chamber using Zyklon-B and used to asphyxiate very large numbers of people with hydrocyanic acid gas.