The two gas chambers (Crematoria 2 and Crematoria 3) at the end of the main camp road at Birkenau are famous because many of the Auschwitz survivors mention them in their memoirs. Less well known are Crematorium 4 and Crematorium 5. Filip Müller wrote about Crematorium 5 in his book Eyewitness Auschwitz, Three Years in the Gas Chambers. Müller worked for awhile as a Sonderkommando in Crematorium 5, which was built outside the barbed wire enclosure of the barracks and across an interior camp road from Crematorium 4.
Crematorium 5 was located on the right side of the road that begins at the SS administration building that is now a Catholic Church. On the left side of this road was Crematorium 4, which was blown up in a prisoner’s revolt in October 1944. Crematorium 5 was blown up by the Nazis on Jan. 26, 1945, only the day before the 60th Army of the First Ukrainian Front arrived to liberate the remaining prisoners.
On pages 80 and 81 of his book “Eyewitness Auschwitz, Three Years in the Gas Chambers,” Filip Müller describes the scene when a transport of Jews from Greece was brought to Auschwitz-Birkenau to be gassed in the three gas chambers in Crematorium 5.
Regarding the gassing of the Greek Jews, Müller wrote:
What rational grounds were there for transporting more than 1,000 people from Salonika to Birkenau only to murder them? Surely it would have been simpler to do away with them in Greece. And besides, it was, after all, wartime and the Germans had urgent need for each and every railway engine and truck in order to transport their war materials to the wastes of Russia.
The above quote sounds like something that a Holocaust denier would write. But never fear: Filip Müller is one of the foremost Holocaust survivors who proved the Holocaust through his eye-witness testimony. Müller worked for three years, as a Sonderkommando, both at the Auschwitz main camp and at Birkenau, dragging dead bodies from the gas chambers to the incineration ovens for burning. (more…)