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December 9, 2014

Holocaust survivor who was sent to the Mauthausen gas chamber the day before the camp was liberated

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:37 am

You can read about Holocaust survivor Anneliese Nossbaum and her narrow escape from the Mauthausen gas chamber in this article in the PlanoStarCourier newspaper.

The Mauthausen gas chamber had shower heads on the ceiling to fool the victims

The Mauthausen gas chamber had shower heads on the ceiling to fool the victims (Click on photo to enlarge)

This quote is from the news article:

In 1944, 15-year-old [Anneliese] Nossbaum was taken in a railcar along with her mother and many others to Auschwitz. Lying about her age, she was sent to work in an airplane part factory in Freiberg, Germany. Her aunt, a teacher, was sent to the gas chambers because of a hip deformity.

After celebrating her 16th birthday in Freiberg with a few slices of bread her mother was able to collect and save, Nossbaum was sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp. On May 4, 1945 she was sent to the gas chambers. However, due to bombing by Allied forces in the nearby city, there was a shortage of Zyklon B – a pesticide used by the Nazis in the camps. Nossbaum was sent back to the camp, until it was resupplied. It never was. On May 5, Allied forces liberated the camp, she said.

I blogged about the liberation of Mauthausen in this blog post:

Anti-Fascist Resistance fighters greet US liberators, May 5, 1945 Photo Credit: USHMM

Anti-Fascist Resistance fighters at Mauthausen greet US liberators, May 5, 1945
Photo Credit: USHMM

When the US Third Army liberated the infamous Nazi concentration camp at Mauthausen on May 5, 1945, they found the bodies of several fully-clothed dead prisoners in the gas chamber. According to the Museum at Mauthausen, the last gassing of prisoners in the main camp was on April 28, 1945, only a week before the liberation. On April 21, 1945, the Red Cross had begun evacuating prisoners out of the Mauthausen camp, but the gassing of prisoners still continued during the time that Red Cross representative, Louis Haeflig, was staying in the camp.

When I visited the Mauthausen Memorial Site, a sign in the gas chamber said that Ludwig Haider was gassed on April 23, 1945, the same day that a Red Cross truck took selected prisoners out of the camp, with the permission of the Commandant. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, a gas chamber was built at the Mauthausen concentration camp, “probably in 1941.” Disguised as a shower room, the gas chamber was located underground beneath the prison building, which is now the Museum at the Mauthausen Memorial Site.

The following quote is from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

While most inmates were killed by shooting, hanging, beating, starvation, and disease, Mauthausen did have a gas chamber capable of killing about 120 people at a time. The gas chamber was usually used when transports of prisoners arrived. Special demonstration mass killings were organized for the benefit of visiting Nazi dignitaries, such as Heinrich Himmler, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, and Baldur von Schirach, who were able to observe the killings through a small viewing window in the entrance door.

One of the two doors into the gas chamber with water pipe on  the wall

One of the two doors into the gas chamber with water pipe on the wall

Shower heads on the ceiling of the Mauthausen gas chamber

Shower heads on the ceiling of Mauthausen gas chamber

The two photos above illustrate that the Mauthausen gas chamber was a multi-purpose room.  Prisoners could take a shower, or they could be gassed.

Let’s back up for a moment:  Anneliese Nossbaum was sent to Auschwitz at the age of 15, so she was past the age of being selected for the gas chamber.  Yet, according to her story, she had to lie about her age in order to be sent to a camp in Germany, instead of being sent to the gas chamber.

After working in a camp in Germany, she was sent to Mauthausen near the end of the war.  Why was she sent to Mauthausen?  To be gassed, of course.  As luck would have it, she barely escaped being gassed because the camp was out of Zyklon-B.

Why does Anneliese Nossbaum tell these stories?  Because her true story would constitute Holocaust denial.


  1. On May 4, 1945 she was sent to the gas chambers. However, due to bombing by Allied forces in the nearby city, there was a shortage of Zyklon B – a pesticide used by the Nazis in the camps. Nossbaum was sent back to the camp, until it was resupplied.

    So she made the trip to the gas chamber for nothing, when she could have been working, producing munitions. Or airplanes. Those dumb Germans! Why didn’t they check beforehand to make sure there was enough Zyklon-B on hand? I bet someone got a dressing down for that, and a new gassing procedure memo was written post haste. Too bad a copy of that did not survive the war.

    Comment by eah — December 12, 2014 @ 2:20 pm

  2. Annelies Nossbaum’s new testimony is just damage control. In 2010, we were told that: “On May 3, 1945, she (Annelies Nossbaum) and the other women waited in line for hours, only to be sent back to their quarters. Nossbaum later learned they had been lined up to go to a gas chamber, but American forces had cut off the factory’s gas supply.” (

    With her new new testimony, she’s now trying to make people believe that she didn’t talk about homicidal gassings with NATURAL GAS four years ago, when she claimed that “American forces had cut off the factory’s gas supply” just on time ( So we’re now supposed to believe that the Germans were too stupid to know if they still had Zyklon B cans at their disposal or not in their own camps, and that they lined up women to go to a gas chamber when there was no more Zyklon B left there. Laughable.

    Idiotic damage control. New extravagant lies covering other debunked extravagant lies. So Holocaustian… 😉

    Comment by hermie — December 9, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

    • Funnily, in 2011, a year after being caught with her pants down (ridiculous gassings with natural gas), any reference to the gas chamber episode had merely been suppressed from Anneliese Nossbaum’s tale.

      [quote] In April 1945, Nossbaum and her mother were deported to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. On May 5, the U.S. Army liberated them. Afflicted with tuberculosis, her mother died in a hospital that December. [end quote] (

      [quote] In April 1945 her and her mother were deported in open cattle cars to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. The trip took two and a half weeks. On May 5th, the American army liberated them. Her mother, afflicted with tuberculosis since Auschwitz, died in a hospital in December 1945. In 1946 Anneliese moved to Philadelphia as an orphan. [end quote] (

      And now she says: [quote] “I was saved from the gas chambers because they ran out of Cyclone B (the chemical used),” Mrs. Winterberg Nossbaum said. “A few cans made the difference between me being in that chamber and standing before you today.” [end quote] (

      Amazing Chutzpah…

      Comment by hermie — December 9, 2014 @ 6:20 pm

    • Irene Zisblatt, the diamond defecator, had the same problem: all the gas chambers were full when she got there.

      Comment by Sendejo — December 19, 2014 @ 3:38 pm

  3. It’s VERY inconsiderate to go to the gas chambers with B.O. ALL THOSE BODIES packed together like the Tokyo subway! The LEAST you can do is take a shower before being gassed!

    Comment by Jett Rucker — December 9, 2014 @ 11:08 am

    • At Mauthausen, it was possible to take a shower before being gassed. The Zyklon-B did not come through the shower heads. There was a special device behind one wall of the gas chamber, from which the gas came through the wall, although there was no hole in the wall.

      Comment by furtherglory — December 9, 2014 @ 11:27 am

  4. I’ve said before,”I believe the Holocaust happened,but there’s a lot of events I’ve got to question “. I missed this one the first time around. “They celebrated her birthday with a few slices of bread her mother saved”. WTF ! I don’t know,maybe they’re tough as nails. What? Live for today ? I don’t think so. I spent my 19th birthday in Southeast Asia. I spent that praying I wouldn’t step off in a punji pit or have a pissed NVA regular pop up out of a spiders nest and put down. Why didn’t they just throw “Tim” in there from the Dickens novel “A Christmas Carol”and have him give his,”God bless us,everyone” line. Come on. This is starting to sound like one of those stories a grandparent would tell their grandkid about,”being grateful for what you have. Don’t lose track of the simpler things and live everyday to the fullest.”

    Comment by Tim — December 9, 2014 @ 10:58 am

    • That’s right: you don’t know.
      When you think about those punji pits, think about the women and children and elderly and wounded who were burned alive by “willie pete” and napalm at Dresden in February 1945.
      Also, don’t lose track of the fact that many innocent men were tortured and murdered by hanging after the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, a trial that even the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court called a “high-grade lynching party.”

      Comment by Sendejo — December 19, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

  5. Hi! My name is Kaitlin and I’m post coordinating a documentary on Auschwtiz that is interested in licensing some of your photographs, produced by the USC Shoah Foundation–I emailed, but I’m not sure if that’s the right email. Please let me know the best way to contact you so I can give you more information! My email is Thank you!

    Comment by Kaitlin Klose — December 9, 2014 @ 10:49 am

  6. Why should the true story of that surviving lady be a holocaust denial? At her age 85 or 86 this surviving lady can hardly recall all details. The other remark is that gassing went on even as the Red Cross had already visited the Mauthausen Camp. How could this occur?

    Comment by Wolf Murmelstein — December 9, 2014 @ 10:03 am

    • The purpose of sending the prisoners to Mauthausen, from the work camp in Freiberg, Germany was to save them, not to kill them. Bombs were falling on Germany, so she was in danger of being killed by the Allies.

      If the Nazis had wanted to kill the women who had worked in the sub-camp of Freiberg, they would have sent them to some closer camp, which had a gas chamber.

      How did she know that she was to be killed on May 4, 1945? Was she told that she was scheduled to be gassed that day? There were only a small number of American soldiers who arrived on May 5, 1945. The liberation of the camp had to be staged the next day.

      Nossbaum was over the age of 15 when she arrived at Auschwitz. She didn’t have to do anything to be saved from the gas chamber, so why did she mention this?

      Comment by furtherglory — December 9, 2014 @ 11:01 am

      • I suspect that if Germans actually wanted to kill this person (or anyone), they would have simply put a cheap bullet in her head instead of an expensive move to an imaginary gas chamber.

        Comment by BMan — December 10, 2014 @ 4:15 am

      • The Nazis never wanted to save a jewish inmate, rather to exploit its last working force. The shooting – the bullet – would have been noisy, while to send inmates to “take a shower” in the Gas Chamber had been a silent way of extermination. In the USA, you simply do not realize the deep hatred the Nazis had for Jews. In the last day of the Third Reich, some Nazi officials tried to use Jews as exchange money to achieve a deal with Allied Forces while others, like Eichmann, still made every effort to exterminate the last Jewish inmates. Clear?

        Comment by Wolf Murmelstein — December 10, 2014 @ 9:24 am

        • No one has ever produced evidence of a gas chamber used by National Socialist Germany to kill Jews. In 1985, Raul Hilberg admitted under oath there had never been a plan for the extermination of the Jews. He also said that no autopsy report has established that even one inmate was ever killed by poison gas.

          Comment by Sendejo — December 19, 2014 @ 4:06 pm

          • Where and in what circumstances Hilberg made succh a statement?

            Comment by Wolf Murmelstein — December 21, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

            • Wolf M. wrote: “Where and in what circumstances Hilberg made succh a statement?”

              That was at the first Zündel trial in 1985 when asked to produce the 2 extermination orders allegedly given by Hitler (Hilberg had written that Hitler gave 2 orders for the extermination of Europe’s Jews in the early editions of his book). Unable to produce such papers, Hilberg moved to a weird story of Nazi leaders ordering the Holocaust by mind-reading in the subsequent editions of his book. And, at the first Zundel trial again, when Hilberg was asked to produce scientific studies about Nazi gas chambers, he responded that he was “at a loss” and that no such thing existed.

              About autopsy reports, Dr. Charles Larson, one of America’s leading forensic pathologists in the 1940’s, assigned to the US Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Department as part of a US War Crimes Investigation Team, performed autopsies at Dachau and some twenty other German camps, examining on some days more than 100 corpses. About his work during WW2, he stated that “never was a case of poison gas uncovered.”

              Comment by hermie — December 27, 2014 @ 6:39 pm

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