Scrapbookpages Blog

June 27, 2011

Where are the ashes of the 1.1 million people killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:11 am

Someone asked me where the ashes of the 1.1 million people who were murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau are located.  I had to look it up because I really don’t know. At Birkenau, there is no huge memorial that holds the ashes, as at Sobibor and Majdanek.

I found an article on this web site which mentions the “Field of Ashes” at Birkenau. So where is the Field of Ashes? A news article in the N.Y. Times on December 13, 1997 mentions “a large swath of land, known as the field of ashes, that stretches behind the gas chambers at the Birkenau camp.”

The “large swath of land” must be where the “little white house” was formerly located; the house was one of the two little houses that were used as gas chambers while Krema II and Krema III were under construction.

Remains of “the little white house” at Birkenau

The photo above shows a “swath of land” which is behind the Birkenau camp.  Note the mound on the right.  Is this the Field of Ashes?  

The remains of the little white house, known as Bunker 2, are just west of the Sauna. Bunker 2 had four small gas chambers, no larger than 8 feet by 8 feet, that had to be put into service again in 1944 for the gassing of the Hungarian Jews, since the four gas chambers at Birkenau could not handle such large numbers of people. I found the remains of Bunker 2 by accident when I continued walking north along the road at the west end of the camp, instead of following the arrow which directs visitors to take a road that goes east to the Sauna building. The road curves back around to the Sauna building after passing the little white house.

When I visited Birkenau in October 1998, my private tour guide did not tell me anything about the Field of Ashes; she claimed that she did not know where “the little white house” had been located.  When I asked about the location of the ashes, she told me that the ashes were thrown into the pond shown in the photo below, which I took on my 2005 trip to Birkenau.

Ash pond behind Krema IV at Birkenau

In the photo above, you can see the ash pond for Krema IV in the foreground and the Central Sauna in the background. On the right in the background, you can see the ruins of Krema IV.  The ruins of Krema V are located to the right on the other side of a road that runs east and west. It has its own ash pond that has now dried up.

I found this on the official web site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum:

On the other side of the road dividing Krematoria IV, and V, was Krematorium IV, with an identical cremation rate as K-V, 768 corpses in a 24-hour period. Both K-IV and V had been built above ground for financial reasons. Each gas chamber was divided into at first three, and later four, rooms with a total capacity of 2,000 victims. The holes for dropping the gas were in the walls. Between it and the Little Wood is a pond, one that was used to dump the ashes of the murdered victims. It sits there today, still, quiet, as is the whole of this part of Birkenau, eerily quiet now. In the distance is The Sauna and between it and the Pond, the ruins of Krematorium IV.

Note that this quote from the official web site is remarkably similar to my description of my photo above.

Behind the International Monument is a road that leads to the ruins of Krema IV and Krema V and the Sauna. Tour groups usually don’t go down this road. After seeing the monument, the tour groups return, along the main camp road, to the gate house at the entrance. I was all alone in this area on two different days in October 2005.

The location of the Krema IV ash pond is near the birch tree grove, where the Hungarian Jews had to wait for their turn in the gas chambers in 1944.

Hungarian Jews waiting for their turn in Krema IV and Krema V gas chambers

The birch tree grove at Birkenau

Each of the four crematoria at Birkenau had its own ash pond. The ash pond for Krema III was completely dried up when I saw it in 2005.

Dried up ash pond for Krema III

Markers for the Krema III ash pond

The black markers in the photo above have information in four languages about the Krema III ash pond.  Notice the water treatment plant in the background.

Krema II and Krema III were the main gas chambers at Birkenau.  Robert Jan van Pelt visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1998 and referred to the ruins at Auschwitz as “the Holy of Holies.”  Van Pelt estimated that 500,000 Jews were gassed in Krema II alone.

The photo below shows the ash pit where the ashes from the crematory ovens in Krema II were thrown. In the background on the left is the ruins of the underground gas chamber in Krema II. On the right is the collapsed roof of the brick building where the bodies were cremated.

Ash pond for Krema II at Birkenau

I recall reading in several books that the ashes from the crematoria at Birkenau were thrown into the Sola river. As the photo below shows, the river is quite shallow and it was used for swimming by the people in the town and by the SS men at the camp.

The Sola river runs through the town of Auschwitz

The nearby Vistula river is bigger and there are claims that the ashes were hauled to that river and dumped.  Heinrich Himmler had a degree in Agriculture so I don’t think he would have allowed that.  The Germans were way ahead of other countries in taking care of the environment so I don’t think they would have dumped ashes into the rivers.

In a book entitled “Secretaries of Death,” a survivor named Irka Anis wrote that one night in the middle of January 1945, she and several other female prisoners were ordered to work for three days removing about 6,000 huge urns containing ashes from a crematorium at Birkenau; the ashes were loaded onto trucks and removed from the camp just before the Nazis fled.

Before the Krema I gas chamber was converted into an air raid shelter in 1944, the crematorium in the building was used to store urns for ashes, according to a book entitled “Anatomy of Auschwitz Death Camp,” edited by Israel Gutman and Michael Berenbaum.

Monument for ashes at Sobibor Photo credit: Alan Collins

At Sobibor there is a pile of ashes in a memorial, which is shown in the photo above. This memorial contains the ashes left from the bodies of 170,000 to 250,000 prisoners.

At Majdanek there is a similar monument with ashes from a compost pile where the ashes of 18,000  prisoners were allegedly  thrown.  I blogged about this here.

The pile of ashes at Majdanek is larger than the pile at Sobibor.  The ashes from the burning of 1.1 million bodies would have been enormous.  The two ash ponds at Birkenau have no visible ashes.  All you can see is water.  These are natural ponds created by the water that was close to the surface at Birkenau.  The Nazis tried to drain the area, but the drainage system was not adequate and there was always mud and standing water there when it was a concentration camp.

There were no bodies buried at Auschwitz-Birkenau, except for the bodies of thousands of prisoners who died in the typhus epidemic, that was out of control by July 3, 1942. The bodies were later exhumed and burned.

Commandant Hoess wrote in his autobiography that “The number of corpses in the mass graves amounted to 107,000.” Otto Moll, the SS man who was in charge of digging the mass graves at Birkenau in 1942, disputed Hoess’ version of the story; on April 16, 1946, Moll told an interrogator at Nuremberg:  “When I was in charge of these excavations, as I told you about before, together with another comrade, which was confirmed by Hoess today, we put between 30,000 and 40,000 people in these mass graves. It was the most terrible work that could be carried out by any human being.”


  1. By the way, another scientific fact that plays a role on basically all fields of the camps is that human remains were often buried a few meters under the surface. Nevertheless every time when the thaw sets in and the ice melts the ground moves and pushes up the remains. This explains why at some time you might encounter different or more or less remains. It does not mean they are not there. In a way nature itself permits you to witness… The ground moves because it’s alive with all sort of organics and grass roots and animals. It lives. Just FYI.

    Comment by arik79 — August 6, 2016 @ 2:11 pm

    • You wrote: “another scientific fact that plays a role on basically all fields of the camps is that human remains were often buried a few meters under the surface.”

      Why were the bodies buried in shallow graves when they had ovens to burn the bodies in all of the camps? If they buried any of the bodies, they were buried in DEEP pits.

      Comment by furtherglory — August 6, 2016 @ 3:46 pm

      • What I’m referring to when I say human remains is anything that’s visible, from intact bodies to bones to ashes and pieces of it. As far as I understand bodies in e.g. Treblinka were after a while dug up anyway and cremated on the grids in the open field. Those remains were buried in mass graves.
        In Birkenau they started using the open air burnings because the crematoria couldn’t handle the amount of bodies. And so they were cremated on piles in the open field at the back of e.g. Crematorium IV and buried there… In fact ash pits are also mass graves…and of course powdered ashes are harder to find back between he soil. Hence you often only see bone splinters, teeth and the like. Disturbing…

        Comment by arik79 — August 7, 2016 @ 1:43 am

  2. I visited Auschwitz II, Birkenau twice in two years and spent 8 hours in total of walking around in every possible nook. What I’ve seen (e.g. at the ash pond near Crematorium III is beyond ANY doubt human remains in the form of countless of bone splinters, ashes and specifically structured whitish pieces that might look like stone, but at closer look clearly is bone and nothing less. Just a few weeks ago I returned from a journey along all major death camps and for example at both Treblinka and Chełmno (the forest camp) I also found many human remains. In the last one I could especially see the method of the destruction as bone pieces sometimes clearly had a greyish color and black edge (cremation)… I am not Jewish, I am just being rational here. My way of “researching” these areas is pretty thorough, sometimes even to the discomfort of guards (in Birkenau), but full of respect and dignity. I saw what I saw and it will stay with me for the rest of my life. To all deniers and others who love to spend their time making up stories, please go and live, do something respectful and useful and respect the people that died in those places of horror.

    Comment by arik79 — August 6, 2016 @ 1:54 pm

  3. Curious why you think cremated human remains would contaminate the river? Human remains are not generally full of toxic chemicals, such as, say, coal ash, which is certainly full of contaminants. In contrast, human fat can be used to make soap – and one way this was discovered was when people would, in fact, wash their clothes in rivers downstream from cemeteries, and the decomposing human remains would actually enable to clothes to be cleaned better than usual. Do you not know this, to latch onto an idea that human ashes would “contaminate” the river and to even claim that the ashes could not have been deposited into a river because the Nazis cared about the environment, and because people washed their clothes in the river downstream?

    Comment by Halli — December 10, 2015 @ 1:27 pm

  4. Thank you for maintaining this website.
    I visited Auschwitz/Birkenau in the 1980’s and specifically looked for signs of human remains in the places where signs claimed
    bones and teeth were thrown. I actually dredged in two of the so-called “Ash Ponds.” Obviously, my search was
    incomplete but I can definitely say that I found no evidence of any human remains.

    The only investigation looking for bodies at Auschwitz is the 1966 Hydrokop Report. Only part of the Report has been release and shows
    some traces of cremated human remains in 2-4 locations- No further excavations have been publicly announced and the full Report has not been released

    In fact, the Germans had a detailed system for dealing with bodies according to evidence presented by Pressac.
    Bodies seemed to be stored for up to five days and then cremated individually. The remains were put into little urns.
    See picture and caption at

    There was a Cinerarium somewhere at Auschwitz where these urns were stored.

    Comment by david499 — July 1, 2015 @ 3:18 pm

    • I actually went to Birkenau not too long ago, i was inside one of building when i saw a piece of a brick laying on the floor. So i picked it up and looked at it and i saw a something looking like a white stone on the surface of the brickpiece. So i cracked of a piece of it and out fell a tooth, a milky tooth. So i was standing there with the tooth of cremated child who was murdered for 70 years ago

      Comment by Magnus — May 21, 2016 @ 6:38 am

    • I Was there 2 weeks ago , crematorium/5 there is a large pitt with bone fragments everywhere, you Could just pick them up , crem/2 the same thing loads of white fragments lay all round the pit, my sons a doctor so he can back the story,welcome a reply joseph

      Comment by Joseph hill — October 30, 2016 @ 11:31 am

  5. Where are you getting the cliaim that, “The Germans were way ahead of other countries in taking care of the environment so I don’t think they would have dumped ashes into the rivers.” Do not give them that much credit. The Nazis claimed to be “friends of nature,” but their conservation law was always being set aside in favor of other priorities, namely war and genocide. I am a professional historian of German history and have written about these matters in Turning to Nature in Germany (Stanford University Press, 2007).

    Comment by John A. Williams — March 9, 2015 @ 10:59 am

    • I looked up your book on this website:
      I saw that your book is not about “taking care of the environment” in Germany.

      On this page of my website I wrote this about Heinrich Himmler:
      Begin quote:
      Himmler had a college degree in Agriculture and was interested in the health movement which began in Germany. He established a large farm just outside the Dachau camp where some of the prisoners worked. According to this news story, experiments were done on the farm to find out why potatoes had become so vulnerable to pests and early decay. Herbs were grown for use as medicine and vitamins were extracted from plants.

      Fermented blackberry and raspberry leaves from the Dachau farm were used to create German tea, reducing dependency on imports. Work was done on growing German pepper and gladioli flowers were grown in great quantities for their vitamin C. The gladioli leaves were dried and pulverized, then combined with a mixture of spices, beef fat and cooking salt to make a food supplement for SS soldiers.

      Himmler was way ahead of his time in his knowledge of plants that could be used as medicine; he planted fields of primroses in a first attempt to extract evening primrose oil for use as medication.

      On the Dachau farm, there were herds of cows in 1,850 acres of pastures, tended by up to 800 inmates, whose task was to gather the dung for testing in the camp gardens. A special compost was devised to speed the growth of healing herbs, and there were also also experiments using worms to improve the soil.
      End quote

      I also wrote about Himmler on this blog post:

      I also wrote about the Nazis and the environment on this blog post:

      Comment by furtherglory — March 9, 2015 @ 11:44 am

  6. How long will this lie be perpetrated? The Auschwitz holocaust “theme park” is a lie that should some day be bulldozed over and used for a decent and honest purpose and not for the Lie that it is used for today.

    Comment by Fred — September 13, 2014 @ 6:55 am

    • If being a thoroughly worthless waste of space hurt, Fred, you would be in constant state of agony.

      Comment by John Long — January 27, 2015 @ 2:05 pm

    • You are a complete wanker Fred. I have just returned from Auschwitz a truly horrendous place. The total civilians murdered at these death camps total more than 11million. By all means send me a reply I will be more than happy to rip your bullshit to pieces.

      Comment by Robinmoss — June 21, 2015 @ 1:22 pm

      • Did you intend to write 1.1 million instead of 11million? The original number of deaths at Auschwitz-Birkenau was 4 million, but that has been reduced to 1.5 million on the plaques there. According to the current head of the Auschwitz Memorial site, the current number of deaths there is 1.1 million.

        Comment by furtherglory — June 21, 2015 @ 1:48 pm

      • You are commenting on an article which is about the 1.1 million people who were killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau, but you have written 11million. I thought that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, plus 5 million non-Jews, making a total of 11 million killed in all the camps.

        Comment by furtherglory — June 21, 2015 @ 2:18 pm

        • I have to admit that I photo-shopped this picture. I bumped the contrast, which made the shirt look whiter than it probably was. Besides that, the blood would have been on the front of the shirt, not the back of the shirt, which is shown in the photo.

          Comment by furtherglory — June 21, 2015 @ 2:21 pm

      • Robin Moss, you bullshitter. There were not even 11 million Jews in those areas controlled by Germany. You can believe any old thing you like but keep your delusions to yourself.

        Comment by zigzzagz — July 31, 2015 @ 11:19 pm

    • well, the soviets had control of the place and good reason to …. well nevermind. the nazis never shrunk heads but it in Wilders film. the real history would be important.

      Comment by mark — November 20, 2016 @ 7:44 pm

  7. […] river. And others claim they were dumped on a field at Birkenau (the "Field of Ashes"). Where are the ashes of the 1.1 million people killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau? | Scrapbookpages Blog Question: Ash field Auschwitz ? The CODOH Revisionist Forum Museum of Contemporary Photography […]

    Pingback by holocaust question - Stormfront — July 4, 2014 @ 4:59 pm

  8. I went there when the wall came down. I read on a gate Arbeit Macht Frei – I always understood the camp system as an industrial genocide machine. Not so true – most of the killing was designed around a slow death. Not shooting or beating, but of working people to death. Can you imagine the kind of person required to march a person day in day out who has not eaten? Watching them starve? Thats a special kind of evil. When I was i Auschwitz in 1991 there was a pond by the crematoria, I walked along the edge of the pond. As I stepped it made a crunching sound. I learned in an anthropology course a simple test to see if a substance was bone. put a piece of the matter to your tongue. Bone will stick / stone will not. That was a very large meadow. The holocaust is a simple fact.

    Comment by Todd — May 30, 2014 @ 2:30 am

    • How is it ‘simple fact?’

      You people are delusional…

      Comment by Bewildered — May 4, 2015 @ 4:08 am

      • Bewildered I see you are another wanker too. Todd is completely correct. I suggest we meet in Poland and I personally be your guide at Aushwitz. Maybe then you will realise the horrendous nature of these Camps of Death.

        Comment by Robinmoss — June 21, 2015 @ 1:25 pm

  9. Look here for more about bone and ashes.

    Comment by — August 18, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

  10. Here is Stuart Nichol’s account of visiting Birkenau in 1993 off the beaten track and what he found.

    Comment by — August 18, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

    • A big Thank You for providing this link. I have read parts of this and looked at some of the photos. I was at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1998, but unfortunately didn’t take any photos. The photos on the website, for which you provided a link, are very valuable. Excellent photos, but they could be improved with PhotoShop, which didn’t exist back then.

      Comment by furtherglory — August 19, 2013 @ 8:47 am

  11. […] I previously blogged about the ashes at Birkenau here. […]

    Pingback by Prize-winning essay written by an Israeli visitor to Auschwitz: “Auschwitzland, fun for the whole family” « Scrapbookpages Blog — February 19, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

  12. Apparently the holohoaxers are making a “ash” of themselves.
    Seriously though, at about The size of a shoe box times the supposed millions, that’s a ton of tons of ashes, where are they?


    Comment by Joe Rizoli — September 27, 2012 @ 12:16 am

    • The ashes are in the Sola river – if you touch the bottom, its covered by fine human bone, which goes down about 10 feet according to excavations. Maybe you need to check your facts a little more clearly to realize IT DID HAPPEN.

      Comment by Laura — August 5, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

      • It’s not like I doubt you, but when you say things like this, it helps to show the evidence, since I can’t find it.

        Comment by Jacob — March 29, 2015 @ 5:15 pm

    • EXACTLY!!!!

      Comment by Bewildered — May 4, 2015 @ 4:09 am

  13. I’d like to correct an error. Vasily Grossman never visited the US. It was members of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee from the Soviet Union who visited America promoting the “Jewish soap” legend.

    “During June and July 1943, two prominent representatives of the Moscow-based “Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee” toured the United States and raised more than two million dollars for the Soviet war effort at a series of mass meetings. At each of these rallies, Soviet Jewish leader Solomon Mikhoels showed the crowd a bar of soap that he said was made from Jewish corpses.”

    Comment by who dares wings — September 25, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

  14. If you look at the air photos taken in 1944 the so called ash pond near krema 4 is dry.On the south side of krema 4 on the air photos can be seen a small pit identical to the ash pits that are the same size as those at krema 2 and 3. That ash pit is still in the same location today next to krema 4

    Comment by cash — August 15, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

  15. The guide said
    the ashes were trown int he POnd”

    Do you really believe her? Arre you really so naive?

    The woman wans’t even around to see it – in a Law COurt, it’d be called “hear-say” and be thrown out of the Court Case.

    Say, why don’t you do tests? And do imperical research, – Clue: check around town, and talk to any older people. Reliable people!

    Don’t keep condeming non-jews, for a made up story from a Camp guide.

    Comment by Bonnie — May 2, 2012 @ 7:06 am

    • I love how the story from the camp guide are “made up” – have YOU been there? Have YOU done tests? Because the tests that have been done say that the Sola river is over 10 feet of ashes at the bottom. Oh, and yes, those who live in Oswiecim do confirm that the smell of human flesh being burnt was unbearable. Get YOUR facts straight.

      Comment by Laura — August 5, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

  16. Before he gets carried away with his own turgid rhetoric and desecrates the pond by wading ankle deep into it Jacob Bronowski tells us, “This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.” My question for this Polish Jewish mathematician is, “What do men do when their rabbis tell them that they ARE god?”

    Comment by who+dares+wings — June 30, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

  17. “Vasily Grossman reports seeing plenty of such remains at Treblinka so I wonder why nobody is making anything of these today.”

    Vasile Grossman toured the US during the war purportedly raising money for Europe’s Jews with a bar of soap he claimed was made from Jewish fat. He and Ilya Ehrenberg set the precedent for Holocaust howlers.

    Comment by who+dares+wings — June 30, 2011 @ 11:49 am

  18. Had you acted like Jacob Bronowski, you might have easily found one of the 120,000,000 teeth flushed in the pond.

    Comment by Bantam — June 28, 2011 @ 10:28 am

    • This is not the Krema IV ash pond, which is the largest one. It is not the Krema II ash pond where the largest number of Jews were gassed. From the background, it looks like this is some very shallow standing water in the area where the barracks were located at Birkenau. This man does not know that the number of 4 million was down-graded to 1.5 million and now down to 1.1 million.

      Comment by furtherglory — June 28, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

      • He was using the official toll from the time. If you google ‘Shapes+Time+Birkenau” you will find a very interesting article.

        “During the 70’s and 80’s the words ‘Holocaust’ and ‘Auschwitz’ grew to attain the iconic status and widespread usage and, indeed sometimes the misuse, that they have today. But, when Bronowski took his steps into the Pond at Auschwitz, public perception and knowledge was quite different.”

        Comment by Ethelred — June 29, 2011 @ 1:27 am

        • I found the article and read what you quoted. The article identifies the pond as the one near Krema IV. However, the video was not taken near the ruins of Krema IV; the background in the video shows that it was taken near where the barracks once stood. The location can be determined by the fence posts in the background and the remains of the barracks.

          The article makes a good point about the Auschwitz story changing over time. The Dachau story has also changed dramatically over time.

          I think that it is amazing that Bronowski was a “scientist” but he thinks that the ashes from the burning of 4 million bodies could be hidden at the bottom of one small shallow pond. At the time that he was there, and in 1998 when I visited Auschwitz for the first time, the story was that this was the only pond where the ashes were thrown.

          Comment by furtherglory — June 29, 2011 @ 6:21 am

          • I agree that it seems ridiculous, I can only think that it may seem less so in the context of the whole programme, which is about people being turned into numbers. Maybe you could justify it as saying that it’s like treating the grave of the ‘Unknown Soldier’ as a symbol for the deaths of all soldiers in the First World War – as is the case in U.K. But I’d agree that poetic licence is a bugbear in this area of history.

            Comment by Ethelred — June 29, 2011 @ 8:00 am

            • The Holocaust survivors always make a big deal about being humiliated when they were turned into numbers. Every prison uses numbers instead of names. In the case of the Jews, many of them had the same last name and even the exact same first name and last name. It was necessary to give them numbers to identify each person. Actually, the numbering system turned the Jews into unique individuals for the first time because no one else had their exact same number. It may be the case that this one pond was made to stand for all the ashes of the millions who were killed at Auschwitz, but a “scientist” should not have taken this literally.

              Comment by furtherglory — June 29, 2011 @ 8:50 am

              • Tell me would you feel like an individual if you were a number? I could have the most generic name ever and it would be preferable to being called a number, since it means that I am human.

                Comment by Jacob — April 17, 2015 @ 5:59 pm

                • In college, I had a student number, which was a unique number. I still remember the number. It was not an insult to the Jews to give them a number in a camp where there were thousands of prisoners, including some with the exact same name as another prisoner. Deaths were recorded with the prisoner’s number

                  Comment by furtherglory — April 18, 2015 @ 8:23 am

              • Except you could keep your name. At the camps the prisoners didn’t have that luxurary. Treating people as numbers only meant that they weren’t considered to be human. Comparing it to your experiences is an apples to oranges comparison.

                Comment by Jacob — April 21, 2015 @ 3:38 pm

                • Um, seriously, you’re comparing a student ID number, that you were given along with your name for your time in which you chose to be in an institution of higher learning, with a number that completely replaced names, was forced on civilians imprisoned for their religion, and was even tattooed or branded onto their skin?? You are a very sick and twisted individual.

                  Comment by Halli — December 10, 2015 @ 1:35 pm

                • What if the Jews in the camps had not been tattooed with a number? How should the Nazis have handled the fact that some of the Jews had exactly the same name as another person?

                  Comment by furtherglory — December 10, 2015 @ 3:59 pm

                • In the camps, the prisoners did not call each other by the numbers on their arm. The prisoners themselves used names when speaking to each other.

                  Comment by furtherglory — December 10, 2015 @ 4:01 pm

    • lol, I was gonna post that clip.

      Rabbi Gross (no pun intended) informs us the ashes fertilized the German’s sauerkraut.

      Comment by Black Rabbit — June 28, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

  19. You make an interesting comment about the rivers as a possible health hazard. As you know Hoess did write about dumping into the Vistula, but if this was not feasible then what was? Storing it in urns? I read an excerpt of Moll’s interrogation, but it didn’t cover ash disposal. What was the protocol for disposing of ash since it was needed normally for typhus victims?

    Looking at the picture of the Sola river you provided makes me wonder a bit because they supposedly they came with trucks to dump the ash. It doesn’t seem very practical to dump huge amounts of ash into that shallow river. You also say people were swimming in it which means there should have been a lot more witnesses to this dumping.

    Shaul Chazan:

    “Every few days or once a week, a few German trucks with prisoners came by and took the ashes to the river to wipe out all the evidence. They say that somebody once asked what they were dumping into the river, and the answer was fish food. At first, we didnt know what theyd do with the bones and they were disposed of in the crematorium compound. A deep pit was dug in the yard and the bones were dumped there until an order was given to remove all the bones from the pit in order to pulverize them. At that stage, we removed the bones from a deep pit in the compound of Crematorium II [III] and what remained of them was hauled away in a truck” (Greif, We Wept Without Tears)

    Someone really going to believe fish food when they come with trucks?

    Another question is just how thorough can they be in pulverizing the remains? What about the teeth? I could understand that the Vistula is big enough that it all gets washed away, but what about the Sola? I think it would be quite plausible to find some bits at the bottom if they looked.

    Comment by Kageki — June 27, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

  20. If the Krema II pond looks gray like then the Krema IV pond should give some hint of it too. What I thought might happen is that the ash would settle to the bottom, but I don’t know. Maybe it stays mixed?

    Take a look at the caption on this site:
    “Into this pond were dumped the ashes of many tens of thousands of people, mostly Jews, who were gassed at Krematorium IV,”

    Tens of thousands still sounds like a lot of ash for that one pond. Maybe the numbers aren’t accurate, but even say hundreds and there should be some ash that is identifiable? Just where is the museum getting this information? All the testimony seems to refer to dumping into rivers in the first place.

    Comment by Kageki — June 27, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

    • The photo in the link that you gave is a photo of the ash pond for Krema IV. It is the same pond that I show on my blog, identified as the Krema IV pond. I recall that, on my 1998 trip, I was walking down the road between Krema IV and Krema V, and I remarked to my guide that the area across the road from the Krema IV pond looked like a “bog garden.” At that time, I had a bog garden in my back yard. It was a section of the garden that was lower than the rest of the land and was hard to drain, so I just made it into a bog garden for plants that love lots of water. I personally think that the ash ponds at Birkenau were areas where the water didn’t drain; I don’t think that they were filled with ashes. That’s not something that the Germans would do; throwing ashes into a low spot filled with water would have been considered a very sloppy way to get rid of ashes. Take a look at photos of Himmler. He looks like a prude and a very meticulous person to me, not the kind of a person that would allow ashes to be thrown into standing water.

      Comment by furtherglory — June 28, 2011 @ 8:01 am

  21. My guidebook to Poland said there was a pond tinted grey by ahses so I visited I spent some of my time searching for this. Perhaps that’s just the ghoul in me. I didn’t identify said pond. I currently don’t have too many doubts about the orthodox’ account, but my biggest question relates to cremated remains. Vasily Grossman reports seeing plenty of such remains at Treblinka so I wonder why nobody is making anything of these today. I have seen a couple of reports of such remains at Auschwitz and I wonder why the authorities aren’t seeking to show this, to silence doubters. It would hardly silence all doubts as it would be difficult to prove numbers and probably impossible to prove the cause of depth but I expect them to try.

    Comment by Ethelred — June 27, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

    • The pond that is tinted gray by ashes is the ash pond for Krema II which I show in the 7th photograph on my blog post. It is not exactly a pond; it is just a small depression in the ground that is filled with water. There are no “cremated remains” that I know of at Auschwitz. The ovens were removed in November before the Germans left the camp in January, so the Soviets did not find any remains in the ovens.

      Comment by furtherglory — June 27, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

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