Scrapbookpages Blog

November 8, 2015

Holocaust survivor remembers Auschwitz Commandant Otto Moll, the “killer of Auschwitz”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:41 am

Yes, yes, I know that Otto Moll was not the Commandant of Auschwitz, but stay with me, dear reader, and everything will be revealed to you.

I am writing today about a news article which quotes  a Holocaust survivor named Henry Bawnik:

Begin quote

The Killer of Auschwitz

The next stop for Bawnik was Furstengrube, only 19 miles from Auschwitz, where two lucky breaks again saved him.

When Bawnik and the other prisoners arrived, commandant Otto Moll greeted them. Moll already had a reputation as the “killer of Auschwitz,” running that camp’s crematorium.

Bawnik remembered part of Moll’s speech to the prisoners: “You’ll work hard, we’ll feed you well, but let’s do a little exercise.”

Just then, someone from the kitchen asked whether anyone in the group was a gardener.

“I raised my hand and said yes. I was taken to the garden, and 15 people were beaten to death while doing their exercises.”

End quote

In May 1941, Otto Moll had been transferred from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he was put in charge of digging mass graves. Robert E. Conot, the author of Justice at Nuremberg described Otto Moll as “a drunken, one-eyed, twenty-seven-year-old trumpeter, gardener, and pig farmer.”

Otto Moll

Otto Moll

All the dead bodies of prisoners had to be dug up later and burned on pyres because the corpses were contaminating the ground water at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The mass graves of the prisoners, who had died in the typhus epidemic in the summer of 1942, were in the same location.

Robert Conot wrote that “Moll was placed in charge of 150 inmates set to exhuming and incinerating the bodies on open pyres.” This work took several months to complete, according to Conot, who also wrote that “In June and August of 1942, typhus epidemics devastated Auschwitz.” Moll himself contracted typhus before the excavation was completed.

Otto Moll is considered to be one of the most notorious war criminals, who was put on trial by the American military at Dachau. He was executed on May 28, 1946 after being convicted of participating in a “common design” to violate the Laws and Usages of War by virtue of leading the evacuation of the Kaufering II sub-camp of Dachau to the Dachau main camp in the last days of the war.

Moll had personally led a death march of 450 prisoners, starting from the Kaufering II camp on April 25, 1945 and arriving in the Dachau main camp on April 28, 1945. Moll escaped from Dachau that evening, along with the acting Dachau commandant Martin Weiss and most of the regular guards, but he was captured and arrested in May 1945.

It was not a war crime to evacuate prisoners from a concentration camp, but it was a war crime to prevent the prisoners from escaping from a death march, according to the prosecution at the American Military Tribunal at Dachau.

Albin Gretsch and Johann Schoepp were guards who were also found guilty of preventing prisoners from escaping from transports to Dachau.

Otto Moll had joined the SS in 1936 and had previously served at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where Rudolf Hoess was a staff member, from 1938 to 1941.

In May 1941, Moll was transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he supervised the digging of mass graves near the gas chambers in the two old farmhouses, known as Bunker 1 and Bunker 2, at Birkenau. Moll was later put in charge of digging up the bodies in the mass graves and burning them in pits.

Robert E. Conot, the author of Justice at Nuremberg described Otto Moll as “a drunken, one-eyed, twenty-seven-year-old trumpeter, gardener, and pig farmer.”

Conot wrote that “Moll was placed in charge of 150 inmates set to exhuming and incinerating the bodies on open pyres.” This work took several months to complete, according to Conot, who also wrote that “In June and August of 1942, typhus epidemics devastated Auschwitz.” Moll himself contracted typhus before the excavation was completed.

Several survivors of Auschwitz accused Moll of throwing live babies into the flaming pits.

Alter Feinsilber, a member of the Sonderkommando at Birkenau who worked under Moll’s supervision, mentioned Moll in his testimony for the prosecution in a Krakow court: “It happened that some prisoners offered resistance when about to be shot at the pit or that children would cry and then SS Quartermaster Sergeant Moll would throw them alive into the flames of the pit.”

Moll was not put on trial in Poland, but any and all testimony was allowed in the Allied war crimes trials, whether or not it pertained to the case.

One of the many war crimes committed by Moll, according to Conot’s book, occurred during the shooting of thousands of Jews who were brought to Majdanek from several labor camps that had been closed following the uprisings at Treblinka and Sobibor in 1943. Moll headed a group of SS men who were brought from Auschwitz to do the shooting.

Regarding the massacre at Majdanek, Conot wrote the following in his book Justice at Nuremberg:

“The Jews were herded together and machine-gunned by the tens of thousands. The bodies were burned on huge pyres, the smoke from which darkened the sky day after day and filled the streets of the city with ash as if from a volcanic explosion.”

I wrote about the mass execution at Majdanek on this blog post:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/the-harvest-festival-at-majdanek-on-bloody-wednesday-nov-3-1943/

While Moll was a prisoner at Landsberg, awaiting his execution after being convicted at Dachau, he requested that he be allowed to confront his former boss, Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant of Auschwitz, who was undergoing interrogation for the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, where he was a defense witness for Ernst Kaltenbrunner, one of the men on trial.

The prosecution had finished its case at Nuremberg by this time, so it was too late for Moll to be a prosecution witness who could potentially testify that Hoess was lying.

The following is a quote from the transcript of the joint interrogation of Hoess and Moll on April 16, 1946 at Nuremberg, in which Moll denies being responsible for gassing Jews in the two farmhouses known as Bunker 1 and Bunker 2 at Birkenau:

Questions directed to Rudolf Hoess:

Q. What did this Otto Moll do at Sachsenhausen and later at Auschwitz?
A. In Sachsenhausen he was a gardener and later at Auschwitz he was used as a leader of a work detail and later on he was used as a supervisor during the various actions.
Q. You mean the actions whereby people were executed and later cremated?
A. Yes.
Q. You told us this morning about his first assignment in 1941 when farm buildings were converted into an extermination plant. Will you restate what you said about that?
A. At first he worked on the farm and then I later moved him into the farm house, which was used as a professional extermination plant.

Questions directed to Otto Moll

Q. Otto Moll, is what the witness has just said true?
A. First, I was used in work in connection with the excavation of the mass graves. Hoess must know that. He is in error if he said that I worked in the buildings where the gassing was carried out. At first I was used for the excavation of the mass graves and he must remember that. Hoess, do you remember Swosten, Blank, Omen, Hatford and Garduck? Those are the people who worked in the building at the time when you alleged I worked there and I was working on excavations. Surely Hoess remembers that.

Otto Moll was one of the prisoners who was hanged at Landsberg, where the gallows faced the former prison cell of Adolf Hitler

Otto Moll was one of the prisoners who was hanged at Landsberg, where the gallows faced the former prison cell of Adolf Hitler

The prisoner in the photo above, who is about to be hanged at Landsberg, is another German criminal, not Otto Moll.  There is a video of Otto Moll as he was being hanged, but you will have to google it yourself.

32 Comments »

  1. Looking for more info on Otto Moll, I happened on the unusual foto below — apparently, Otto Moll is marked with a small red ‘X’ — probably someone (more) knowledgeable could identify other men as well.

    Comment by eah — November 10, 2015 @ 4:05 am

    • I have this same photo on my scrapbookpages website with the following caption:

      In the photo above, an accordionist leads a sing along for SS officers at their retreat at Solahutte outside Auschwitz. Pictured in the front row are Karl Hoecker, Otto Moll, Rudolf Hoess, Richard Baer, Josef Kramer, Franz Hoessler and Josef Mengele.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 10, 2015 @ 6:07 am

  2. In the original post, Robert E. Conot – the author of ‘Justice at Nuremburg’ ( now there’s an oxymoron for you!) – tried to smear Otto Moll as a “drunken, one-eyed, twenty-seven-year-old trumpeter, gardener and pig farmer. But I can’t see anything wrong with that description – a musician, a gardener, and a domestic animal farmer are honourable professions in my eyes ( and lets face it, I would certainly like to be 27 again! ). In addition, the man can’t help being one-eyed – and maybe that’s one of the reasons why he turned to the bottle.

    But how did Mr Conot know about the alleged drunkenness in the first place – perhaps he himself was a secret alcoholic imbiber, and recognised in Otto Moll a kindred spirit!

    But the clue to the real Otto Moll is in the descriptions of him as a gardener and a pig farmer. And that is what his role probably was at Auschwitz. Being a country lad before the war, with experience in growing crops and animal husbandry, he was likely one of the overseers of the Auschwitz-Birkenau farm. He probably had inmates working under him, and between them they provided some of the food for the camp. In other words, Mr Moll helped keep the prisoners alive and as nourished as possible. All this other old stuff about him digging pits full of graves, burning bodies, and shoving babies into the flames is only fit to be discussed by people like Mr HCW, who will undoubtedly be able to point to all kinds of online reference material proving it to be absolutely true!

    Otto Moll was also convicted by the Americans of shooting prisoners who tried to escape on one of these mis-named “death marches” to Dachau. But I thought to myself, I wonder what happens in the United States when they are transferring inmates from jail to jail. If the prisoners attempt to escape, do the guards say to them – “That’s OK, off you go, have a good time now”. No, I would guess that the guards would immediately raise their firearms, and start shooting if the inmates didn’t stop.

    In conclusion, I believe that Otto Moll has been falsely convicted of war crimes, and his reputation as a barbaric SS camp guard is totally unwarranted. But alas, that is how the Nuremburg Tribunal system and the later Holohoax industry worked. They turned reality on its head, in order to create a fairy-tale horror narrative in which the world has continued to wallow indulgently for decades.

    Comment by Talbot — November 9, 2015 @ 9:04 am

    • The evidence of Otto Moll’s guilt is overwhelming – you are either a neo-Nazi sympathizer or a complete idiot.

      Comment by Christopher E. Skoog — January 30, 2016 @ 1:03 am

      • Otto Moll was one of the most notorious war criminals on trial at Dachau. He was executed on May 28, 1946 after being convicted of participating in a “common design” to violate the Laws and Usages of War by virtue of leading the evacuation of the Kaufering II sub-camp to the Dachau main camp in the last days of the war. Moll had personally led a death march of 450 prisoners, starting from the Kaufering II camp on April 25, 1945 and arriving in the Dachau main camp on April 28, 1945. Moll escaped from Dachau that evening, along with Martin Weiss and most of the regular guards, but he was captured and arrested in May 1945.

        It was not a war crime to evacuate prisoners from a concentration camp, but it was a war crime to prevent the prisoners from escaping from a death march, according to the prosecution at the American Military Tribunal at Dachau. Albin Gretsch and Johann Schoepp were guards who were also found guilty of preventing prisoners from escaping from transports to Dachau.

        Moll had joined the SS in 1936 and had previously served at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where Rudolf Hoess was a staff member, from 1938 to 1941. In May 1941, Moll was transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he supervised the digging of mass graves near the gas chambers in the two old farmhouses, known as Bunker 1 and Bunker 2, at Birkenau. Moll was later put in charge of digging up the bodies in the mass graves and burning them in pits.

        Robert E. Conot, the author of “Justice at Nuremberg” described Otto Moll as “a drunken, one-eyed, twenty-seven-year-old trumpeter, gardener, and pig farmer.” Conot wrote that “Moll was placed in charge of 150 inmates set to exhuming and incinerating the bodies on open pyres.” This work took several months to complete, according to Conot, who also wrote that “In June and August of 1942, typhus epidemics devastated Auschwitz.” Moll himself contracted typhus before the excavation was completed.

        Comment by furtherglory — January 30, 2016 @ 7:43 am

      • To what “crimes” are you specifically referring? Were these crimes against laws that had been passed before the war or against laws that were passed after the war? [ex-post-facto laws]

        Comment by furtherglory — January 30, 2016 @ 9:32 am

  3. Please feel free to provide any evidence that you have that other SS men were tortured.

    Documented Torture of German POWs Before the Nuremberg Trials

    Baron Paget of Northampton wrote in his book titled “Manstein: His Campaign and His Trial” (published by Collins in 1951) on page 109:

    [The US Simpson Inquiry Commission] reported among other things that of the 139 cases they had investigated, 137 had had their testicles permanently destroyed by kicks received from the American War Crimes Investigating Team.

    —–

    Pennsylvania judge Edward L. Van Roden – member of the commission investigating the accusations by Colonel Everett who reported that Germans did not receive fair trial, wrote in his book titled “American Atrocities in Germany“:

    Our investigators would put a black hood over the accused’s head and then punch him in the face with brass knuckles, kick him, and beat him with rubber hose. Many of the German defendants had teeth knocked out. Some had their jaws broken. All but two of the Germans, in the 139 cases we investigated, had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair.

    Comment by eah — November 9, 2015 @ 7:41 am

    • Thanks for providing this information. I have all of this stuff on my scrapbookpages.com website and I was busy searching for it.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 9, 2015 @ 8:21 am

  4. I like the bit in the original post where it says;- “Moll was not put on trial in Poland, but any and all testimony was allowed in the Allied war crimes trials, whether or not it pertained to the case.”

    Wow! – Mr Moll certainly got a fair trial then. Loads of old liars in Poland could dream up any false accusation they liked, wrote it down and handed it in to the Soviet NKVD (you know – the ones who carried out the Katyn massacre, and blamed others for it). This crap evidence was then solemnly presented at Otto Moll’s trial as verified, sacred truth.

    Comment by Talbot — November 9, 2015 @ 6:53 am

    • I wrote on my website about the trials that were conducted by the American Military Tribunal at Dachau, where 1,672 men and one woman [Ilse Koch] were put on trial and most of them were convicted under the new rules that were made up after the war. http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauTrials/Introduction.html

      The web page, cited above, is quite long, but here is the last sentence: “Today few visitors are aware that the Dachau camp was in existence for 27 years, but for 15 years of that time, it was occupied by German war criminals or German refugees.”

      Comment by furtherglory — November 9, 2015 @ 7:16 am

    • The evidence against Otto Moll was overwhelming as the result of testimony from many sources. I suggest you read the transcripts of the Dachau trial – I have, as well as the testimonies of former prisoners and Nazi officials alike – you are completely ignorant as are all of your “denier” ilk. This is exactly what General Dwight David Eisenhower said would happen when he observed the liberation of the camps in Germany. Record it, or in the future some will claim that it never happened. God you make me sick.

      Comment by Christopher E. Skoog — January 30, 2016 @ 1:14 am

  5. Mr Moll was probably fearful of being beaten up and having his testicles crushed – is that a reasonable explanation why he didn’t deny mass gassings?

    Comment by Talbot — November 9, 2015 @ 4:43 am

  6. Funny though, in the testimony that Moll gives he doesn’t deny mass gassings, he said he worked on excavating the mass graves. Curious………you would think that he would deny the gassings if they didn’t occur.
    Oh well, I’m sure someone will come up with an explanation for poor Otto Moll.

    Comment by HCW — November 8, 2015 @ 1:23 pm

    • The prisoners in the mass graves had died in a typhus epidemic. It was after the typhus epidemic that the Nazis began using Zyklon-B to gas the lice that spread typhus. Then they also built the “Sauna” where the lice was killed in steam chambers. You have to read some revisionist books in order to get the full story.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 9, 2015 @ 6:57 am

      • I have read some “revisionist” books, FG. If you can find me a revisionist who isn’t Anti-Semitic with a political axe to grind I might actually take them seriously.

        Comment by HCW — November 9, 2015 @ 7:46 am

        • I believe that Carlo Mattogno is not “anti-Semitic” and that he is unbiased. You can read some of his writing at

          http://inconvenienthistory.com/columnists/carlo-mattogno.php

          Comment by furtherglory — November 9, 2015 @ 8:00 am

        • HCW: ” If you can find me a revisionist who isn’t Anti-Semitic with a political axe to grind I might actually take them seriously.”

          Being an anti-Semite and/or having a political axe to grind, change nothing to the strength or weakness of an argument. Stop hiding behind that excuse.

          One could as well ask you to find an orthodox/exterminationist historian who isn’t a Zionist or a pro-Zionist guy supporting Israel. Can you provide us with the name of an orthodox Holocaust historian who openly and severely critizes Israel? Or are there good political axes to grind and bad political axes to grind? And what about the very high number of Jews among orthodox Holocaust historians? Anti-Semites lie and Semites don’t, is that what you mean?

          Comment by hermie — November 10, 2015 @ 11:28 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: