I read on the Fox News website that Chinese Premier Wen Jiaboa visited Poland recently and “paid homage on Friday to the victims of the Nazi Auschwitz death camp, saying lessons drawn from it should help build a safer world.”
This quote is from Fox News:
At the memorial in southern Poland, Wen walked through the former camp’s main gate with the Nazis’ cynical slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” — German for “Work Sets You Free” — and laid yellow and red flowers at the Death Wall where the Germans executed thousands of Polish resistance members during World War II.
This is why I depend on Fox News for the news. Note that Fox reported that the Death Wall (aka the Black Wall) was where Polish resistance fighters were executed. Other news stories of the Chinese Premier’s visit said that he placed flowers at this wall to pay his respects to the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust.
A picture that hangs in the Auschwitz Museum in the main camp shows how prisoners were executed at the Black Wall.
The wall that visitors now see is a reconstruction. The original wall was removed by Arthur Liebehenschel, who replaced Rudolf Hoess as the camp Commandant in November, 1943, and ordered the executions at the wall to stop.
The Black Wall was the location where political prisoners, mostly Polish resistance fighters, who had been convicted by the Gestapo Summary Court, were executed. These prisoners were brought to the Auschwitz I camp, but were not registered as inmates; they were housed in dormitory rooms on the first and second floors of Block 11 (shown in the photo above) while they awaited trial in a courtroom set up in the building.
After they were convicted, the prisoners were taken to a small washroom in Block 11 where they were ordered to strip naked, after which they were marched to the wall in groups of three and were executed with one shot to the neck at close range. Some of the prisoners, who were executed here, were Czech resistance fighters from the Gestapo prison at the Small Fortress in Theresienstadt.
The complete records, compiled by the office of Richard Glücks for all the Nazi concentration camps in the years 1935 to 1944, are now stored on microfilm and kept in the Russian Central Archives in the Central State Archives No. 187603 on Rolls 281 through 286. Richard Glücks was the head of Amt D: Konzentrationslagerwesen of the WVHA; he was the highest-ranking “Inspector of Concentration Camps” in Nazi Germany.
According to the records kept by the Nazis, there were 117 Jews who were executed at the Black Wall. So why is this the place where world leaders are taken to visit when they make a trip to Auschwitz?
The total number of people executed at Auschwitz-Birkenau, according to the Nazi records, was 1,646 including 117 Jews, 1,485 Poles, 19 Russians, 5 Czechs and 20 Gypsies, but according to the Auschwitz Museum, there were 20,000 people murdered at the Black Wall in the Auschwitz I camp.
The executions at the Black Wall were legal because the prisoners were given a trial before execution. Most of the people, who were executed at the wall, were Resistance fighters who were fighting as illegal combatants in World War II. Others were executed for committing acts of sabotage in the factories at Auschwitz.
Deaths in the gas chambers were not recorded as executions; in fact death by gassing was not recorded at all by the Nazis.