The Holocaust Historiography Project
Auschwitz, by J.-C. Pressac
Document 9 Document 9

Document 10 Document 10

Document 11 Document 11

Document 12 Document 12

Remarks on documents 9, 10, 11 and 12
[PMO neg. nos. 893 to 896]
In AMIDST A NIGHTMARE OF CRIME,” (Notes of prisoners of Sonderkommando found at Auschwitz), special issue of the Auschwitz Notebooks. PMO 1973. the unknown author relates on pages 120 and 122
“Today. November 25[1944. Himmler is thought to have ordered the dismantling of the remaining Krematorien on the 26th the demolition of crematorium II was begun, the next to be demolished will be crematorium III. It is interesting that first of all the ventilating motor [den gegen ventilatonischen Motor / the air extraction motor] and pipes [airducts] were dismantled and sent to [other] camps — some to Mauthausen, others to Gross-Rosen. Since they serve to gas people on a larger scale, as there were no mechanical appliances of that kind at all in crematoria IV and V, suspicion is aroused that on the terrain of those camps identical points for the extermination of Jews will be established...”

Actually. the reasons for this dismantling appear to be other than those invoked by the unknown author: a desire to remove all traces of the massacres and the urgent need to recover metals in view of the catastrophic military situation. What is more, the description of the ventilation system given by this witness can apply only to the undressing rooms.

Henryk Tauber says that the dismantling commenced in autumn [end November] 1944 and that the dismantled components were taken to the station and shipped off and that some of the material was abandoned on the Auschwitz I “Bauhof” and found intact in 1945. He recognised “parts of the ventilation system.” These were from of the undressing rooms, since those of the gas chambers in Krematorien II and III were of a different design.

These two witnesses indicate that the SS had the ventilation systems of Leichenkeller 2 of Krematorien II and III dismantled at the end of November 1944. This proves that the systems had indeed been installed.