The Holocaust Historiography Project

Partial translation of document 3846-PS

Interrogation of Johann Kanduth, 30 November 1945, at Salzburg, Austria,
Hq WCIT 6836, by Lt. Col. David G. Paston. 0-189428, concerning the
murder of American and British prisoners of war on or about 24 January
1945.

Q. What is your name?

A. Kanduth, Johann.

Q. Where do you live?

A. Linz, Weissenwolfstrasse 7.

Q. Have you an address in Salzburg?

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A. Salzburg, Solleystrasse 13.

Q. Were you at any time an inmate of the concentration camp at
Mauthausen?

A. Yes.

Q. During what period?

A. From the 21st of March 1939 till the 5th of May 1945.

                         **********

Q. Besides your work in the kitchen did you also work in the
crematorium?

A. Yes.

Q. At what date did you begin your work in the crematorium?

A. From the 9th of May.

Q. What did you do there?

A. I worked the heating for the cremation of the bodies.

Q. Describe your work.

A. At first my occupation consisted of removing the bodies, then I
served the heating and had to learn how to put in the corpses, then I
had to stir up and to take out the ashes. This was my occupation during
4 years. Afterwards I had to fill the urns. 1n the first quarter of the
year cremations of single persons took place, afterwards there were only
mass cremations, the ashes were thrown away. When the Americans
advanced, we filled :3,000 urns of Dutch Jews. We had to smash the urns
afterwards and to throw the ashes away, so that every trace was wiped
out.

Q. Do you know how many bodies you cremated?

A. Yes.

     1940 — 1,242
     1941 — 1,676
     1942 — 6,523
     1943 — 2,960
     1944 — 5,479
     1945 — 9,676

We had two categories, the non-Jewish and the Russian prisoners. These
papers I saved. But there were many additional corpses which were not
cremated in the ovens. They were transported to a private crematorium at
Steyr.

Q. Do these figures really represent the cremations you yourself did?

A. Yes.

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Q. Have you ever seen Kaltenbrunner at Mauthausen on a visit at any
time?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember when it was?

A. In 1942 and 1943.

Q. Can you give it more exactly, maybe the month?

A. I do not know the date.

Q. Do you remember only this one visit in the year 1942 or 1943?

A. I remember Kaltenbrunner three times.

Q. What year?

A. Between 1942 and 1943.

Q. Tell us, in short, what did you think about these visits of
Kaltenbrunner which you describe? That is: what did you see, what did
you do, and when did you see that he was or was not present at such
executions?

A. Kaltenbrunner was accompanied by Eigruber, Schulz, Zeireis,
Bachmaier, Streitwieser, and some other people. Kaltenbrunner went
laughing in the gas chamber. Then the people were brought from the
bunker to be executed and then all three kinds of executions: hanging,
shooting in the back of the neck, and gassing were demonstrated. After
the dust had disappeared, we had to take away the bodies.

Q. When did you see the three different kinds of executions? Were these
just demonstrations or regular executions?

A. I do not know if they were regular executions, or just
demonstrations. During these executions, besides Kaltenbrunner, the
bunker-leaders "Hauptscharfuehrer" Seidel and Duessen, were also
present. The last named then led the people downstairs.

Q. Do you know whether these executions were announced for this day or
if they were just demonstrations or if the executions were staged just
for pleasure of the visitors?

A. Yes, these executions were announced for this day.

Q. How do you know they were set for this day? Did somebody tell you
about these announced executions?

A. "Hauptscharfuehrer" Roth, the leader of the crematorium. always had
me called to his room and said to me: "Kaltenbrunner will come today and
we have to prepare everything for the execptions in his presence." Then
we were obliged to heat and to clean the stoves.