The Holocaust Historiography Project
Auschwitz, by J.-C. Pressac

Bauleitung drawing 2136
[PMO Archives, file BW 30a/15, neg. no. 20922/7]

Krematorium III

Ergänzunfsblatt / Supplementary sheet
M./ Scale 1:100

Drawn on 22/2/43 by prisoner 538
and checked on 22/2/43

This drawing, a pale blue violet, is a copy of the original, which is not held by the PMO, but is probably held in the Soviet Union.

According to Annex 20 of Volume 11 of the Hoess trial, containing the deposition of a former prisoner, Krystyna Horczak, made on 18th August 1946 before the Polish Examining Judge, Jan Sehn, the original of this drawing was one of two taken from a file by this witness while she was working for the Bauleitung, from the end of 1943 to early 1945. These originals and two small freehand copies were given, by a very circuitous path, to the Polish judiciary. The stolen drawings are not annexed to Krystyna Horczek’s testimony, but it would appear that 2136 was one of them, but this is not absolutely certain. The only evidence to confirm this suspicion is the rubber stamp in the top right hand corner of [Jan Sehn's] Cracow Regional Commission for research into Hitlerian crimes in Poland [Okregona Komisja Badania Zbrodni Niemieckich w Krakowie], which is found on only two known drawings of the Krematorien: the Topf & Sons drawing d.59042 of Krematorium I designated “Einbau einer Einäscherungsanlage für KL Auschwitz” [Construction of an incineration installation for KL Auschwitz] of 25/9/41 and this drawing 2136 of Krematorium II of 22/2/43.

Translation of inscriptions:
(left to right and top to bottom)

The inscriptions are the same as on drawing 933 (see Sheet 51) except for the following additions:

  • Vorderansicht / Front [south]
  • Erdgeschossgrundriss / Ground floor plan
  • Vorraum / Antechamber
  • Labor / Laboratory
  • Seziertisch / Dissecting table.
  • Kellereingang / Basement entrance
  • Seitenansicht / Side elevation [west]

The south (front) and west (side) elevations of Krematorium III are copies of the north and east elevations of Krematorium II as shown on drawing 936. The proof of this is that the orientation of the shadows of the dormer windows, the annex wing and the chimney still corresponds to that of the original location planned for the new Krematorium in the main camp (Auschwitz Stammlager). Two subsequent changes in orientation have produced the illogical situation where the shadows on the south elevation correspond to an eastern aspect and those of the west elevation to a south aspect!

The elevations of 936 were copied. but taking into account the special features of this building:

  1. On the front elevation: inversion between the main entrance door and the furnace room windows: a metal guardrail for the basement access stairway.
  2. On the side elevation: combination of the east and west elevations of drawing 936, with elimination of the west double window of the laboratory and extension of the south annex wing whose length was increased from l2 meters in Krematorium II to 14 in Krematorium III.

The near ends of the roofs of Leichenkeller 1 and 2 are left out of the south and west elevations. Leichenkeller I appears on the ground floor plan. Despite the fact that they appear on the drawing, the three forced draught fan motors were never installed because of the problems encountered with those in Krematorium II. The furnaces used natural draught from the outset.

The corpse chute was built in Krematorium III and can still be seen in the ruins. As in Krematorium II, it was closed off by a wooden wall (Bauleitung order of 0/4/43, completed by the DAW workshops on 14/4/43). The chute’s being hidden in this way explains why, for example, it is absent from the memory of the former Sonderkommando member David Olère in his sketch of corpses being extracted from the gas chamber [Document 85] and his plan of Krematorium III drawn immediately after his return to France [see Author’s Postface].

Leichenkeller 2 (the undressing room) of Krematorium III was also given a western access stairway for the victims, and two walled off yards with the same functions is those of Krematorium II. These additional changes appear on Bauleitung drawing 4054 of 21/6/44 [see Document 76]. And can also be seen in the ruins.

The laboratory was never used as such, but served as a workshop for the “gold founders”, producing rough discs of gold, 5 cm diameter and weighing 140 grams (according to Dr Miklos Nyiszli and David Olère).

There are no “criminal traces” on this drawing, which simply shows a large capacity, but “normal”, cremation facility.