Scrapbookpages Blog

May 28, 2015

The horror of death by gassing is revealed in the trial of Nazi perpetrator Oskar Groeing

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:55 am
Oskar Groening as a young man who worked as a bookkeeper at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Oskar Groening as a young man when he worked as a bookkeeper at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

The following quote is from a news article, which you can read in full here:

“Prosecutor Jens Lehmann described in detail in the indictment against [Oskar] Groening how the victims in the gas chamber were wedged so tightly together ‘that they could only be separated by axe blows’.”

I have read many accounts, written by the Sonderkommandos who had to remove the dead prisoners from the gas chambers, about how the bodies were piled up in the gas chambers after they had been gassed, but none of them ever mentioned that they had to separate the bodies with an axe.

This quote is also from the news article:

The trial of [Oskar Groening] a former SS guard has heard how the Nazis used a lethal pesticide [Zyklon-B] to slowly and painfully kill over one million victims of the Holocaust.

Oskar Groening, now 93, a former accountant at Auschwitz, is on trial in Luneburg, Germany, for his involvement in the deaths of 300,000 Hungarian Jews at a Nazi camp in Poland in 1944.

Today an expert delved into the horrendous properties of Zyklon-B gas, the pesticide used in the concentration camp death chambers.

Dr Sven Anders, 44, a coroner from the University Clinic of Hamburg-Eppendorf, told how Zyklon-B which ‘attacks the brain’, causes extreme pain, violent seizures and kills anyone who inhales it from cardiac arrest ‘within seconds’.

Dr Anders told how the gas was originally produced as a pesticide to cleanse large buildings like warehouses and barracks.

Note that the article does not mention that the Zyklon-B gas was also used to disinfect the clothing of the prisoners in an effort to prevent deaths from typhus which is spread by lice.
However, the reporter who wrote this article does get extra points for mentioning that the barracks of the prisoners were fumigated with Zyklon-B to kill the lice. The Nazis could have saved a lot of time and money by NOT fumigating the barracks, allowing the prisoners to die of typhus.
This surprising quote from the news article mentions that the prisoners were allowed to send postcards to their families:
At one previous hearing Max Eisen, a camp survivor who was deported to Auschwitz with his family when he was 15, described how people were given postcards to be sent to relatives saying they were working on a farm and life was good.
I had to do a google search to find out if it is really true that prisoners in the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau were allowed to send postcards. I found this information on my own website.
The following quote is from my scrapbookpages website:

The Czech prisoners from Theresienstadt were housed inside Aushwitz-Birkenau in a special “Family Camp,” surrounded by electrified barbed wire, where men, women and children were allowed to live in separate barracks, but inside the same enclosure. In two successive actions, according to information given by the Auschwitz Museum, the Jews in the Family Camp were gassed on March 3, 1944 and again on July 11 and 12, 1944.According to Ruth Elias, a prisoner in the family camp who wrote a book entitled Triumph of Hope, the prisoners in the Family Camp were instructed to send letters and postcards to friends and family members before they were gassed in the first action on March 3, 1944. These prisoners had arrived at Birkenau six months before they were killed.

So it turns out that the Nazis were not so bad, after all. They had the decency to allow some of the prisoners to send a postcard to their families to let them know that they were alright — before they were gassed to death.