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January 13, 2011

the ruins of the undressing rooms at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 4:44 am

Ruins of the undressing room in Krema II

I’ve been reading about the ruins of Krema II and Krema III at Auschwitz-Birkenau on the blog of little grey rabbit here.  The crematoria buildings were blown up, allegedly by the Germans, before the Soviet soldiers arrived on January 27, 1945.  Or were they actually blown up much later?

When I visited Birkenau in 2005, I took lots of photos of the ruins.  When I got home and started processing my photos, I thought the ruins of the undressing rooms for the gas chambers in Krema II and Krema III looked a bit strange.  I noticed that neither of the entrances to the undressing rooms faced the main camp road and there were no paths leading to the entrances.  Were these actually undressing rooms?  Or were they morgues?  Where were the bodies of the typhus victims stored before they were burned?

Ruins of undressing room in Krema III

Ruins of Krema II with undressing room in the background

Notice in the photo directly above that the part of the building which was above ground was completely blown up, while only the roof of the undressing room, which was five feet underground, was blown up.  Why not blow up the entire undressing room, not just the roof?

Ruins of undressing room in Krema III

The brick walls of the undressing room in Krema III are in pristine condition.  Could the ruins of this undressing room be a reconstruction?

Ruins of Krema IV are a reconstruction

A sign at the ruins of Krema IV tells visitors that this is a reconstruction.  Krema IV was blown up during a prisoners’ revolt in October 1944.

Ruins of Krema V

Both Krema IV and Krema V were completely above ground; the gas chambers were disguised as shower rooms.