Scrapbookpages Blog

August 4, 2011

The “so-called lethal gas chamber” at Natzweiler

I previously blogged here about the Nazi gas chambers which are still in existence.  I neglected to mention the “so-called lethal gas chamber” at the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp, which was located on top of a mountain in the Vosges range in Alsace which is now in France. When the camp was built, Alsace was in the Greater German Reich. The camp was set up near a quarry as a labor camp for convicted German criminals and captured Anti-Fascist resistance fighters who had been fighting as illegal combatants.  Natzweiler was the main camp for French Resistance fighters.

The photo below shows a building, which is located about a mile from the camp.  Josef Kramer, the former Commandant of Natzweiler confessed to the British, after he was arrested at Bergen-Belsen, that he had personally gassed Jews in this building near the Natzweiler camp, but this is NOT the “so-called lethal gas chamber” in the title of my blog post.

Gas chamber building at Natzweiler-Struthof

The Natzweiler camp was abandoned by the Nazis in September 1944 and all the prisoners were transferred by train to Dachau. The Natzweiler camp was discovered by both French and American troops, but only after it had been abandoned.

On December 9, 1944, Col. Paul Kirk and Lt. Col. Edward J. Gully of the US 6th Army made an inspection of the Natzweiler camp. According to Robert H. Abzug, the author of Inside the Vicious Heart, the two men “qualified just about every observation that had to do with instruments of death and torture” in their report.  They did not mention the building shown in the photo at the top of my post; apparently they never found this building which is set back from the road up to the camp and not at all conspicuous. (more…)

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