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July 31, 2013

Auschwitz survivor claims that German guard refused order to pour Zyklon-B into gas chamber

Now I’ve heard everything!  According to a news article which you can read in full here:  “At Auschwitz, one guard named Georg was a Silesian. Georg refused the order to pour Xyklon B gas into the execution chambers.”

Re-enactment of pouring Zyklon-B gas into gas chamber

Re-enactment of pouring Zyklon-B gas into gas chamber

Silesia is a former German province in what is now Poland. The Auschwitz camp was located in Upper Silesia, which was included in the Greater German Reich when the camp was in operation. During World War II, there were many ethnic Germans in Silesia.

Now we know that the German guards at Auschwitz had a choice: they could pour Zyklon-B gas into the homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, if they were so inclined, but they could also refuse and nothing would happen to them.  This quote is also from the news article:  “Georg was certain they would send him straight to the Russian front for disobeying, but he would not be a party to mass murder.”

If only more of the German guards, at Auschwitz, had refused to pour the Zyklon-B pellets into the holes in the roof of the gas chamber, there would have been no Holocaust.

Holes in roof of Auschwitz gas chamber

Holes in roof of Auschwitz gas chamber were “reconstructed” by the Soviet liberators

This quote is also from the news article:

[Cantor David Wisnia] “had escaped from death on the march from Dachau to Austria in March 1945. Prior to that, he was in Birkenau, the sub-camp to Auschwitz, for nearly three years.”

The photos below show prisoners on a “death march” out of Dachau.

Prisoners on a "death march" out of the Dachau camp

Prisoners on a “death march” out of the Dachau camp

I learned the reason for the “death marches” out of the concentration camps from Professor Harold Marcuse, who teaches the history of the Holocaust at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Professor Marcuse wrote the following in a comment on my blog several years ago:

In any case the death marches in 1945 were a largely futile attempt to keep human evidence of and witnesses to atrocities from falling into Allied hands. That rationale hinged on the illusory notion that the Germans would ultimately defend some territory and in some bizarre way “win” the war. When some responsible German officials realized beyond doubt that the war was lost, they drew the “logical” conclusion and burned the marching prisoners alive, as happened at Ohrdruf, Gardelegen and numerous other places. For them apparently, dead evidence was better than alive evidence.

Burned bodies found at the Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald

Burned bodies found at the Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald

The photograph above, which was taken at the Ohrdruf forced labor camp, is a copy of the one that hangs in front of the elevator door at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. It is the first thing that visitors to the Museum see as they step out of the elevator and enter the first exhibit room. This is what the American soldiers first saw when they liberated Germany from the Nazis.

The photo shows a pyre made of railroad tracks where the bodies of prisoners who had died of typhus at Ohrdruf were burned. Ohrdruf was a small sub-camp of Buchenwald and it did not have a crematorium with ovens to dispose of the bodies.  The prisoners were not burned alive, as taught by a college professor in America.

Acting on Hitler’s orders, the Commandant of Dachau, Wilhelm Eduard Weiter, had made an attempt to evacuate the Dachau main camp before the American liberators arrived. On April 26th, 1945, Weiter left Dachau with a transport of prisoners bound for Schloss Itter, a subcamp of Dachau in Austria. Was this the march that David Wisnia was on?

Strangely, Weiter committed suicide when he reached Schloss Itter.  Or could he have been killed by the Jews on the march, after they were liberated by American soldiers? This website tells about the liberation of Schloss Itter but does not mention Weiter.

Jews and Russian POWs  on a march out of Dachau

Jews and Russian POWs on a “death march” out of Dachau


  1. If the camps were “death camps,” then why would there ever be jews going OUT of them? The answer is: Because they were not death camps. They were work camps and prison camps. There were no death camps.

    Extra absurd are the jews’ claims of being transferred from one camp to another, yet calling those camps “death camps” where the lying jews, obviously, were not put to death.

    Comment by j.t. www laffrey — August 1, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

  2. FG
    It is very unlikely that KZ-inmates would address any guard with their christian names. From childhood onward through to primary and high school, as well as work places as a means of respect one would use the surname, preceded with ‘Herr, Frau or Fräulein’ as the case maybe, this was common courtesy, unless a close friendship or understanding to use your first name was sealed by a handshake.
    The other point I would like to make that Auschwitz was part of Oberschlesian ( Upper Silesia), not Schlesien (Silesia) although populated with ethnic Germans who preferred to speak rather Polish than German, which you could always pick with their faulty grammar and an awful accent, which was generally mentioned as ‘sie sprechen Wasser-Polnisch’ (they are speaking watery Polish)

    Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — July 31, 2013 @ 6:44 pm

    • Thank you very much for this information. I will make a correction on my blog post.

      Comment by furtherglory — August 1, 2013 @ 6:53 am

    • Do you have any information about the alleged suicide of Commandant Weiter? Was he actually murdered by the prisoners or by the liberators?

      Comment by furtherglory — August 1, 2013 @ 7:04 am

      • FG
        Eduard Weiter succeeded Manfred Gottfried Weiss as camp commandant of Dachau September 1943-1945, inmate accounts suggest that he was rarely seen around the camp. He fled together with others before the advancing American Forces to Austria, where he died in mysterious circumstances, possibly being killed by fellow SS-member angry at his lack of ideological conviction.
        As a matter of interest, this type of elimination of fellow POW’s up to 1950, that did not follow the thoughts of a barracks elder (or for his personal reasons) was carried out under the term of ‘The Poltergeist Treatment’, a collective beating. sometimes the victim lived, often he just disappeared. I am not making this up and can give you examples of two incidents, I have witnessed!

        Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — August 1, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

        • You mean Martin Gottfried Weiss. I don’t believe that Weiter committed suicide, which is the explanation that the Dachau Museum gives.

          Comment by furtherglory — August 2, 2013 @ 6:32 am

          • FG.
            No, I stand by what I mentioned before: Eduard Weiter fled (it was in fact an orderly evacuation) to Tyrol together with abut 1000 (plus) SS-Guards and their families. Inmate leaders would later testify that Weiter had spoken to them shortly before leaving Dachau in an attempt to get them to testify to his lack of direct cruelty at any subsequent trial. He was, in my opinion killed by his fellow officers, once they had settled in Austria as he probably did not accept the National Socialistic Ideology. It is perhaps difficult for an outsider to understand, the idealism that prevailed even after the war was lost.
            WEISS was during the Dachau main process on November 15, 1945 with 39 other defendants indicted (case No. 000-50-2 (US vs Martin Gottfried Weiss et al), and sentenced to death by hanging on December 13, 1945. The sentence was carried out on May 29, 1946 in Landsberg prison .
            Some of the families, (women and children only) returned to Dachau and stayed at the Villa Complex north of the actual camp at the Würmühle. The Dachau Museum would tell you what suited them, not necessarily all the facts!

            Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — August 2, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

    • Oberschlesien IS Part Of Schlesien. AuschwItz Was In Austrian Silesia

      Comment by schlageter — August 1, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

      • Schlesien is, or was a ‘Gau’ , Oberschlesien was a Kreis, two distinct entities, true part of the whole. Auschwitz was incorporated into Oberschlesin, but German law was abrogated and a police border established. You are long way away from Austria, that was before WW I

        Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — August 1, 2013 @ 9:20 pm

  3. Georg was allowed to refuse to gas Jews, but he was also allowed to tell Jewish inmates what he had just done for them. So the reluctant SS guards could not only stay at the camp but also talk about the most top secret Nazi operation with Jewish inmates.

    Weird that survivor only gave that guard’s first name. Just Georg. No last name (very convenient if that guy was never imprisoned at Auschwitz, no way to check if that guard really existed). The Jewish inmates called the SS guards by their first names? Waw ! The atmosphere was pretty cool at Auschwitz… 😉

    Comment by hermie — July 31, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

    • You wrote: “So the reluctant SS guards could not only stay at the camp but also talk about the most top secret Nazi operation with Jewish inmates.”

      According to many survivors, the guards and the inmates at Auschwitz were very friendly with each other. They were playing soccer together, sitting together at concerts and drinking together in the barracks. There were one or two cases of a guard marrying an inmate after the war.

      Comment by furtherglory — August 1, 2013 @ 7:02 am

      • The guards were so friendly with the inmates that they could refuse to gas them. But why would the Nazis have allegedly used “euphemisms” /”code words” in their own documents and deceitfully disguised their ‘gas chambers’ as shower rooms if the jew-loving guards who allegedly knew about the gas chambers could freely come and go in the camp and talk to their jewish friends about those ‘gas chambers’? If so, the alleged gassing ‘secret’ would have been known to all the inmates in the camp after a few days only and the ‘secrecy’ measures allegedly used by the Nazis (code words, shower-looking gas chambers, etc.) would have been obsolete and ridiculously unuseful.

        Comment by hermie — August 2, 2013 @ 8:21 am

  4. Taken from the article concerning Cantor Wisnia :

    ‘At Auschwitz, his singing ability gave him a starring role.’

    Really? Starring role in what exactly?

    Comment by DB — July 31, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

    • Perhaps a starring role in the concerts that were held at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which included singing.

      Comment by furtherglory — July 31, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

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