Scrapbookpages Blog

June 23, 2013

Which way for the gas, Ladies and Gentlemen?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:52 pm

When I started blogging, way back on February 5, 2010, my first blog post was about Tadeusz Borowski who wrote a series of short stories which were published in a book entitled This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen.  Now I am back to square one, asking which way was the way to the gas: to the left or to the right?

Two women were sent to the right by the SS man doing the selections at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Two women are sent to the left by the SS man doing the selections for the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

A woman and her baby are sent to the left by an SS officer at Auschwit-Birkenau

A woman and her baby are sent to the right by an SS officer at Auschwitz-Birkenau

This website shows a series of photos, including the photo of the woman and her baby, shown above.

This quote is from the website which shows the photo above with this caption:

From \”The Auschwitz Album\”, the only photographic documentation of the entire extermination process at Auschwitz. An SS has just sent the woman with the infant to join those being sent to the crematoria; her hair is covered in the tradition of the Orthodox Jewish wife. A man is standing between the columns missing his pants and one shoe; this was a common occurrence in the overcrowded boxcars. On the left stand inmates in striped camp clothing. The main gate to Birkenau camp under which the trains pass is ar (sic) the rear left of the photograph.

Almost all survivors of the Holocaust say that those, who were selected to be gassed, were sent to the LEFT. The first photo above shows two women, who are capable of working, being sent to the LEFT.  A woman and her baby, who are not capable of working, are being sent to the RIGHT.

So which way was it?  To the left for the gas chamber, or to the right.  Actually, it could have been either way.  The photo below shows Krema II on the left and Krema III on the right; both had underground gas chambers, where morgues would normally have been.

Krema II on the left in the backround, and Krema III on the right

Krema II on the left in the background, and Krema III on the right

Jews arriving on a train inside the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

Jews arriving on a train inside the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

(Click on the photo to enlarge.)

The photo above shows Jews getting off a train that has just arrived on the tracks that were extended inside the camp in May 1944.  On the left side of the photo, out of camera range, were the women’s barracks and the disinfection chambers, which used Zyklon-B gas to disinfect the prisoner’s clothing. In the background, on the left side of the train tracks, you can see the high chimney of Krema II, one of the crematoria at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Krema III is on the other side of the train, but out of camera range.

The road, that runs along the left side of the tracks, leads to an intersection where prisoners could go to the right and walk to the Sauna to take a shower.  Or the prisoners, who got off the train, could go to the left toward the disinfection chambers, where there were also showers.  So, either direction, the prisoners could go to the showers.

But which way was it to the gas, Ladies and Gentlemen?  What gas?  You mean: which way was it to the underground morgues in the crematoria, where bodies were stored until they could be cremated in the ovens of Krema II and Krema III?  Either direction.  Krema II was on the left side of the tracks and Krema III was on the right side of the tracks.