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.


  1. Really?. The 2 women are going to the right…. THEIR RIGHT. The woman with the baby is going to the LEFT….. HER LEFT!!! Think of it as if your an employee at Disney and your going to ask the people in the line to go to your left, are you going to insruct them to go to your left or their right? You have to see it in their point of view… their left and their right.

    Comment by Truthery — June 24, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

    • I don’t agree. The SS man who was doing the selection would have pointed to HIS left. He would not have told the gas chamber victims: “Go to YOUR left.” In any case, as I pointed out in my blog post, there were gas chambers right and left, as well as showers right and left.

      Comment by furtherglory — June 24, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

  2. Polish Communist short story writer Tadeusz Borowski’s and Italian Fascist fabulist Curzio Malaparte’s accounts of Nazi atrocities are often cited in Holocaust literature as “eyewitness” reporting. Both authors’ most popular books This Way to the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen and Kaputt are categorized as fiction in American libraries and bookstores yet scholars across the nation never tire of quoting the grisliest passages in them thus sustaining the academic echo chamber that is Holocaust Studies.

    Comment by who dares wings — June 23, 2013 @ 6:02 pm

    • The book is fictional, but based on what Borowski thought was the truth. Here is how Wikipedia describes the book: “a collection of short stories by Tadeusz Borowski, which were inspired by the author’s concentration camp experience.”

      This quote is from Wikipedia:

      “The short stories are linked by the themes as well as the presence of the main character Tadek, who serves the role of the narrator as well as the central character. To a large degree the short stories are autobiographical. Tadek is a condensed version of Tadeusz and there is a high likelihood that Borowski was writing from experience. But the two “characters” themselves are different. Tadek is a survivalist with a hard shell. Borowski, described by others, was a leader and a man who nobly helped others and did not only worry about himself.” End quote.

      Borowski wrote about what he saw in the camp, and about what other prisoners told him. He believed that, while he was playing soccer against a team of SS men, the Jews were marching past the soccer field, into the gas chamber under the Krema III crematorium, which was only a few yards from the soccer field.

      Comment by furtherglory — June 24, 2013 @ 7:02 am

      • “Borowski was arrested on 24 February 1943 and spent two months in the notorious Pawiak prison. From his barred window, he was able to observe the uprising of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto. His fiancee Maria Rundo, the love of his life, was also arrested, just before him. The two of them were taken to Auschwitz at the end of April 1943, separately of course. His tattooed camp number was 119 198 and he survived pneumonia thanks to the help of fellow Poles. They were both fortunate in that a short time before their arrival, gassings of non-Jews (except for gypsies) had ceased.” Does this mean that before he and his girlfriend arrived at Auschwitz everyone was gassed together, or were Jews always gassed separately?

        Comment by who dares wings — June 24, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

        • You quoted an article that was written by Arno Lustiger, a Jewish Holocaust survivor. I was not aware that non-Jews were gassed. Gypsies were kept in a “family camp” at Auschwitz and they were all gassed “in one night,” just like the Czech Jews in the Czech family camp.

          I blogged about the Gypsies at and also at

          I assume that the Jews were always gassed separately. It would have been extremely cruel to gas the Chosen at the same time as the goyim.

          Comment by furtherglory — June 24, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

          • In any case, the goyim had a field time there, with all those german shepherds running around.

            Comment by Rabbi Baruch Dov L. — June 24, 2013 @ 6:44 pm

          • The gipsies were sent to concentration camps for an asocial behavior and the felonies. Theft and prostitution are considered as crimes in the United States? Or, I miss my guess? The vagrancy is not a crime, but constitutes an asocial behavior.

            Comment by Gasan — June 25, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

            • Vagrancy WAS a crime in Nazi Germany. There was a law that everyone had to have a permanent address and a job. This law was aimed at Gypsies, but also at “Bohemians” who traveled around like Gypsies. There were people known as “Luftmenschen” who traveled around, living on air, because they had no job or source of income. They were sent to concentration camps under the new law.

              Comment by furtherglory — June 26, 2013 @ 7:14 am

              • Now in Germany in 2013 you will find a Roma or Sinti gypsy aggressively begging outside every tourist attraction from Dresden’s Frauenkirche to the Brandemburg Gate. Often they appear with mutilated limbs for extra affect. These Sinti folk originally came to Europe from the Punjab in the 14 th century and settled in Romania. They of course claim welfare benefits for their 8 kids at the same time as demanding money from the gullible.

                Comment by peter — June 26, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

                • When I traveled in Germany, I did not wear expensive clothing because I did not want to be a target for Gypsies. It didn’t work. The Gypsies were dressed in better clothing than I was, and they followed me around, begging for money. I finally asked a German man to speak to a Gypsy for me because my command of the German language was not good enough to express what I wanted to say. This man politely refused to help me. I realized then that the German people cannot, or will not, prevent the Gypsies from bothering tourists. In France, the Gypsies were even more aggressive; I was actually attacked by Gypsies when I refused to give them money.

                  Comment by furtherglory — June 27, 2013 @ 7:40 am

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