The Holocaust Historiography Project
Auschwitz, by J.-C. Pressac
PHOTO 1 shows some of the staff of the Auschwitz Zentralbauleitung on the steps of their main office building (located a few hundred meters northeast of the main camp, on the banks of the Sola) in winter 1941 42 or 1942 43. Those in the photograph are SS Captain Karl Bischoff, Head of the Bauleitung (in the center, with the edge of a paper showing above his left cuff); eight of his Second Lieutenants and a probable future Second Lieutenant; three civilian workers and, lastly, seven NCOs and men. It is practically impossible to identify the NCOs and men (out of 90 known) or the civilian workers (out of 20 known).The young Acting Corporal or Corporal on Bischoff's right is not there by chance, but, as his attitude shows, he must be in Bischoff's good books and, probably the holder of a diploma in “Bauwesen”, he is destined to be rapidly promoted to SS Second Lieutenant (Specialist) [SS Untersturmführer [S] for “Sonderführer” (Nov. 41 June 42) or after [F] for “Fachführer”.] This type of military career was followed by seven of the fifteen known Second Lieutenants in the Bauleitung: called up in the Waffen SS, these young men with a building or civil engineering qualification were recruited as privates, then posted as Acting Corporals or Corporals to some SS Bauleitung, where, depending on their work and achievements, they were likely to be promoted Second Lieutenant (Specialist). It would seem that the Second Lieutenant] on Bischoff's left is Dejaco, the head of the Drawing Office. At the beginning of 1943 there were seventeen people employed in this Office: its Head, Dejaco; a Sergeant, Ulmer, who drew the first drawings of the future Krematorium II; two civilian workers: two privates working on technical drawings of a certain complexity; and, lastly, ten prisoners working on drawings of the POW camp and making prints. The fifteen known Auschwitz Bauleitung SS Second Lieutenants are:
Dejaco, Eggeling, Ertl, Janisch, Jothann, Kastner, Kirschneck, Peetz, Pollok, Schenk, Semena [?], Töfferl, Urbanczyk (first Head of the Auschwitz Bauleitung before Bischoff arrived on 1st October 1941), Wallerang and Wolter.
Those whose names are underlined participated in various ways in the construction of the four Birkenau Krematorien, but the others were all perfectly well aware of their “abnormal” purpose (in a list showing the allocation of work covering the whole camp among the members of the Bauleitung, there appears in brackets under the heading of section II “Bauleitung des Kreigsgefangenenlagers” the explanation “(Durchführung der Sonderbehandlung / Implementation of special treatment” [Photo 2]. This list was circulated to everybody.

Photo 1 Photo 1:
[PMO neg. no. 422]

Photo 2: Photo 2

Photo 2:
Fifth page of a six page document listed the allocation of work at the main camp and Birkenau between the members of the Bauleitung. Undated, but probably drawn up in March or April 1942. From the October Revolution Central State archives in Moscow.