The Holocaust Historiography Project
Auschwitz, by J.-C. Pressac
Document 39 Document 39

Document 39:
[PMO neg. no, 280]
Photo taken clandestinely by a member of the Sonderkommando in August 1944. The photographer was long thought to be David Szmulcwski, now living in Paris, and he was officially designated as such in Polish publications from 1945 to 1968, about which time the record was put straight by the Auschwitz Museum. Study on the site proves that this photograph was taken from the north gas chamber of Krematorium V (a room symmetrical with room 14 of Krematorium IV on drawing 2036) along a southeast — northwest line in the direction of one of the five small cremation pits dug in the north yard of Krematorium V between the gas chambers and fence 35 of the POW camp, visible in the background.

Document 40 Document 40

Document 40
Sketch by David Olère, dating from 1945, showing Hauptscharführer Moll exercising two of his favorite pastimes: pistol shooting and throwing people alive (or half alive) into the flames. Filip Müller desribes the scene perfectly in Sonderbehandlung [Special treatment] (Verlag Steinhausen Gmbh, Munich 1979):
“[Moll] would then rapidly go through the undressing room, like a health inspector, looking for a few young naked women, whom he pushed into the back yard of the crematorium [V] to an incineration pit. When the poor victims saw that spectacle they were so horror stricken that they no longer knew what was happening to them. Lost, glued to the spot. they instinctively turned their eyes from the fearful sight. Mall, who was carefully watching their reactions, seemed to take deep pleasure in their anguish and terror, then he coldly shot them from behind, making them fall into that awful bubbling pit.”
Despise the overly academic pose of the figures, this drawing gives a faithful picture of Krematurium V on a west-east line, apart from the absence of the coke store on its left and the fact that the chimneys WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SMOKING, for the furnace was out of service and the cremation pits had been dug to compensate for this. The screen of trees on the right of the Krematorium is still there today.

Document 41 Document 41

Document 41:
Bauleitung drawing 2036 of 11/1/43

[PMO file BW 30b-30c]23 and neg. nos. 6234 and 20818/10]
Einäscherungsanlage für das KGL / Cremation installation for the POW camp
Deckblatt für die Zeichnung Nr 1678 / Correction sheet for drawing 1678

This drawing shows the future Krematorium IV, of which Krematorium V was a mirror image.