The Holocaust Historiography Project
Auschwitz, by J.-C. Pressac
The civilian firms who participated in the
construction of Krematorien IV and V
1. The shells of the buildings
HUTA of Kattowitz
RIEDEL & SON of Bielitz
It must be pointed out that in the Huta files the Krematorien are sometimes given the “usual” designation and sometimes the official Bauleitung designation, which can lead to confusion and gives rise to some doubt concerning the dates taken from the timesheets of their site foreman Kolbe, who generally used the “usual” designation. It would appear that the “usual” numbering [I, II, III, IV] was prevalent until early 1943 and that the Bauleitung numbering [II, III, IV, V ] was not generally accepted until right at the end of the construction phase. To further complicate the issue, the Bauleitung wanted contractors to use the worksite numbers [BW 30, 30a, 30b and 30c]. Certain differences of one or two days in the dates of starting and finishing and the duration of some jobs are due to the counting of Sundays in weekly and monthly reports as against the daily timesheets.

Huta produced the static calculations and drawings for the four chimneys of the two Krematorien [Photos A, B and C].

The firm began work on Krematorium IV [worksite BW 30b] on 23rd September 1942 [Photo D] and continued, apart from the Christmas holiday period, until 23rd January 1943, when Riedel & Son took over responsibility for this worksite and continued [Photo E] until 18th-20th March. Huta nevertheless continued to do some work on the site from 25th January to 23rd February. Krematorium IV was officially handed over to the camp administration on 22nd March 1943. Huta fitted the window bars between 24th April and 8th May 1943.

Huta started work on Krematorium V on 15th-16th November 1942 [Photo F] and continued, apart from the Christmas holiday period, until 23rd January 1943. Riedel & Son took over this worksite BW 30c, on 7th February and continued working there until 17th April, though Krematorium V was officially handed over to the camp administration on 4th April 1943. Huta finished off the job, fitting the “gas-tight doors” and window bars between 12th and 22nd April 1943 [Photo G].

The Bauleitung orders for materials sent to its materials administration [PMO file BW 30/35, containing the orders from 16th October 1942 to 13th January 1943] confirm the starting date for the construction of Krematorium V and show the number of bricks used .

Order 9626 of 29th October 1942 states that the materials are for the [foundations of] the Krematorium IV chimneys.

Order 9650 of 18th November 1942 is again for the [foundations of] the chimneys of Krematorium IV and V, commenced on 15th-16th of this month.

The walls of Krematorien IV and V were built in mid-december 1942, following orders for bricks placed on 9th December:

Order 9680 for 70,000 bricks for Krematorium IV;
Order 9681 for 120,000 bricks for Krematorium V;
Order 9682 for 100,000 additional bricks for Krematorium IV;

making a total of 290,000 bricks for the two Krematorien.

Photo A Photo A [PMO file BW30/40, page53]

First page of the 12 pages of static calculations for the chimneys of Krematorium IV, here marked III according to the “usual” numbering. The worksite was BW 30b, not 30.