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October 18, 2011

The gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau…

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:22 am

The two gas chambers (Crematorium 2 and Crematorium 3) at the end of the main camp road at Auschwitz-Birkenau are famous because many of the Auschwitz survivors mention them in their memoirs. Less well known are Crematorium 4 and Crematorium 5.  Filip Müller wrote about Crematorium 5 in his book Eyewitness Auschwitz, Three Years in the Gas Chambers.  Müller worked for awhile as a Sonderkommando in Crematorium 5, which was built outside the barbed wire enclosure of the barracks and across an interior camp road from Crematorium 4.

Ruins of Crematorium 5 at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Crematorium 5 was located on the right side of the road that begins at the SS administration building that is now a Catholic Church. On the left side of this road was Crematorium 4, which was blown up in a prisoner’s revolt in October 1944. Crematorium 5 was blown up by the Nazis on Jan. 26, 1945, only the day before the 60th Army of the First Ukrainian Front arrived to liberate the remaining prisoners.

Ruins of Crematorium V, blown up by the Germans

On pages 80 and 81 of his book Eyewitness Auschwitz, Three Years in the Gas Chambers, Filip Müller describes the scene when a transport of Jews from Greece was brought to Auschwitz-Birkenau to be gassed in the three gas chambers in Crematorium 5.

Regarding the gassing of the Greek Jews, Müller wrote:

What rational grounds were there for transporting more than 1,000 people from Salonika to Birkenau only to murder them? Surely it would have been simpler to do away with them in Greece.  And besides, it was, after all, wartime and the Germans had urgent need for each and every railway engine and truck in order to transport their war materials to the wastes of Russia.

The above quote sounds like something that a Holocaust denier would write.  But never fear: Filip Müller is one of the foremost Holocaust survivors who proved the Holocaust through his eye-witness testimony.  Müller worked for three years, as a Sonderkommando, both at the Auschwitz main camp and at Birkenau, dragging dead bodies from the gas chambers to the incineration ovens for burning.

Filip Müller’s gas chamber testimony was, by no means, unique.  According to the book entitled Nazi Death Camp, there were around 100 members of the Sonderkommando, who worked in the gas chamber buildings at Birkenau, and they were among the 60,000 prisoners who were marched out of the camp, under SS escort, on January 18, 1945. Apparently, the Nazis didn’t anticipate that some of these Sonderkommando workers would survive and testify against them in war crimes trials after the war.

Henryk Tauber, Szlama Dragon and Alter Feinsilber (aka Stanislaw Jankowski) were Sonderkommandos who testified about the gassing of the Jews at the trial of Rudolf Höss in Poland after the war. Three other members of the Sonderkommando, who were murdered after a few months on the job, had managed to hide their diaries, containing accounts of the gassing of prisoners at Birkenau, in containers which they buried in the ground to be discovered later by survivors.

Gassing in Crematorium 5 began in the summer of 1943. Before that, “the little red house” was used as a gas chamber at Birkenau, beginning in March 1942. The gas chambers in Crematorium 5 were disguised as shower rooms, just like the gas chambers in Crematorium 4.

The one and only shower room at Birkenau was this room in the Sauna building which had 50 shower heads

There was only one shower room for the prisoners at the Birkenau camp; it was in the Central Sauna building, which was across the road from Crematorium 4.

A display board near the water treatment plant at Birkenau says that there were 90,000 prisoners at Birkenau. With only one shower room for 90,000 people, the prisoners had to wait for weeks for a shower.  The German people are noted for being obsessively clean, but they couldn’t provide more than one shower room for 90,000 prisoners?  How cruel was that?

In his book, Filip Müller wrote on page 81 that the Greek Jews, who were brought all the way from Greece to Auschwitz-Birkenau to be killed, were given soap and towels before they entered the three gas chambers in Crematorium 5. After bringing them all the way from Greece to Auschwitz, the Nazis didn’t have the decency to tell these Jews that they were going to be gassed and burned.  No, they wasted a thousand towels and bars of soap to make the Greek Jews think they were going to take a shower.

In his description of Crematorium 5, Müller wrote on page 81 of his book that “two SS men took the so-called disinfectants, several canisters of Zyklon B and poured their contents into the openings above the gas chamber.”  The deathcamps.org website says that Crematorium 4 and Crematorium 5 were identical and that the gas was put into the gas chambers through openings on the wall:   “None of the gas chambers had windows, there were only openings through which the gas was poured. These openings, about 30 x 40 cm, were high in the wall so that the responsible “SS disinfector” had to climb up on a chair or ladder to pour the gas into the rooms.”

The deathcamps.org website also says that there were four gas chambers in Crematorium 4 and Crematorium 5:  “On the right the first of four gas chambers (all in all 236 m2) was located. Two gas chambers were rather large, nearly 100 m2 each, while the two other gas chambers were much smaller.”  How could Müller have made a mistake in the number of gas chambers in Crematorium 5?

On page 147, Müller wrote that he lived in “the changing room” of Crematorium 4, which was identical to Crematorium 5, so he certainly should have known how many gas chambers were in the building.

Holocaust deniers, please take note: the gassing of the Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau was proved at the Nuremberg IMT.

The following is a quote from the Judgment handed down at the Nuremberg IMT:

German missions were sent to such satellite countries as Hungary and Bulgaria, to arrange for the shipment of Jews to extermination camps and it is known that by the end of 1944, 400,000 Jews from Hungary had been murdered at Auschwitz. Evidence has also been given of the evacuation of 110,000 Jews from part of Romania for “liquidation.” Adolf Eichmann, who had been put in charge of this programme by Hitler, has estimated that the policy pursued resulted in the killing of 6,000,000 Jews, of which 4,000,000 were killed in the extermination institutions.

Adolf Eichmann did not testify at the Nuremberg IMT. The Judgment at Nuremberg, with regard to the killing of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, was mostly based on hearsay testimony given in an affidavit, dated 26 November 1945, by former SS officer Wilhelm Höttl. Höttl stated that Adolf Eichmann, the head of the Jewish section of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), had told him in August 1944 that four million Jews had been killed in the extermination camps, and another two million had been killed by the Einsatzgruppen on the Eastern front. After the German surrender in May 1945, Höttl had been recruited to work with American intelligence.

Rudolf Höss, the Commandant of Auschwitz, testified at the Nuremberg IMT as a defense witness for Ernst Kaltenbrunner, and this “opened the door” for cross-examination by the prosecution.  Rudolf Höss mentioned in his sworn affidavit, entered into the proceedings at Nuremberg, that he had personally received an order from Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the SS general in charge of all the concentration camps, to exterminate the Jews who were deported to Auschwitz.

Höss wrote in his autobiography that Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler ordered the extermination of all the Jews in the summer of 1941, six months before the Final Solution was planned at the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942.

The following quote is from the autobiography of Höss:

The sub-section (of RSHA) concerned with the Jews, controlled by Eichmann and Gunther, had no doubts about its objective. In accordance with the orders given by the Reichsführer SS in the summer of 1941, all Jews were to be exterminated. The Reich Security Head Office raised the strongest objections when the Reichsführer SS, on (Oswald) Pohl’s suggestion, directed that the able-bodied Jews were to be sorted out from the rest.

Rudolf Höss testified at his trial in 1947 before the Supreme National Tribunal in Warsaw that Adolf Eichmann had told him a number of times that 400,000 Hungarian Jews were exterminated at Auschwitz. Based on the testimony of members of the Sonderkommando who had removed the bodies from the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Tribunal found him guilty of the murder of 300,000 non-Jews who were registered and at least 2.5 million Jews who were brought to the camp for immediate extermination and were never registered.

So why is the Auschwitz Museum telling tourists that only 1.1 million Jews were killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau when Rudolf Höss himself testified that 2.5 million Jews were killed there?

Photo of the confession of Rudolf Höss hangs in US Holocaust Memorial Museum

October 17, 2011

Eyewitness Auschwitz, Three Years in the Gas Chambers by Filip Müller

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:42 am

The paperback edition of Filip Müller’s book Eye Witness Auschwitz was “published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum” in 1999, twenty years after the book was first published in 1979.  His description of the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau matches many of the details in the description given by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli who published his book Auschwitz, A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account in 1960.

Müller was a prisoner at Auschwitz from April 1942 until January 18, 1945 when he left the camp on a “death march.”  Dr. Nyiszli arrived at the Auschwitz II camp, aka Birkenau, on a transport with other Hungarian Jews in May 1944, and left on the same “death march” out of the camp.  Both ended up at the Mauthausen camp in Austria, where they both stayed for a few days before being sent to the Melk sub-camp of Mauthausen.  Could they have met at Melk and compared notes on their work at Auschwitz-Birkenau?

Both Müller and Dr. Nyiszli were members of the Sonderkommando squads that worked, and lived, inside the gas chamber buildings at Birkenau. Dr. Nyiszli was a doctor who did autopsies at Birkenau, while Müller was a lowly prisoner who carried the victims out of the gas chamber, first at the main Auschwitz camp and later at the Birkenau camp.

Dr. Nyiszli wrote his book first, so if either of them copied from the other, it was Müller who copied from Dr. Nyiszli.  Yet it was Müller who had 3 years of first-hand experience in the gruesome task of entering the gas chamber and carrying the bodies to the incinerator ovens.  Dr. Nyiszli was at Birkenau for only 8 months and there was no reason why he would have been required to enter a gas chamber.

Did Dr. Miklos Nyiszli get his information about the gas chambers from Filip Müller?  In 1945 when both were rescued by American troops from a sub-camp of Mauthausen, Müller was a naive, uneducated 23-year-old while Dr. Nyiszli was a much more sophisticated 44-year-old doctor.  Did Dr. Nyiszli steal the gas chamber story from Müller and profit from the gas chamber experience of Müller?

On page 13 of his book, Müller mentioned that he ate some cheese and poppyseed cake that he found in the luggage in the gas chamber.  Dr. Nyiszli was a medical doctor and he would have known that this was impossible, so he didn’t include this detail in his book.

On page 60 of his book, Müller mentions that there was a morgue in one of the Birkeanau gas chamber buildings. Elsewhere in his book, he also mentions a morgue room that was separate from the gas chamber room and the undressing room.  On page 60, he wrote:  “When we entered the morgue, we found lying in a heap some 200 emaciated corpses, all of whom had obviously died of hunger, disease or exhaustion. They had been thrown down the concrete shute from the yard into the mortuary basement.”

The ruins of the crematoria at Birkenau do not show that there were three rooms: a gas chamber, an undressing room and a third room for storing the bodies of the prisoners who had died from disease.  Müller published his book in 1979, by which time he was 57 years old; apparently he was already losing his memory and he consulted the plans for the Krema III gas chamber building which originally called for a “corpse slide” but a concrete shute was never built.  Dr. Nyiszli did not make this mistake in his book.

Filip Müller and Dr. Miklos Nyiszli are to Holocaust history what Fred Leuchter and Germar Rudolf are to Holocaust revisionism.  Both Leuchter and Rudolf climbed down into the ruins of the Krema II gas chamber at Birkenau and both gave a description which did not match what Müller and Dr. Nyiszli described.  Neither Leuchter nor Rudolf found evidence of the holes through which the Zyklon-B pellets were allegedly poured, and neither of them found any evidence of the “hollow pillars of sheet metal” which kept the pellets from being scattered on the floor of the gas chamber.  Both Müller and Dr. Nyiszli mentioned the hollow pillars in their accounts of the gas chambers at Birkenau.

On page 60, Müller also wrote this:  “Mounted on the ceiling was a large number of dummy shower heads made of metal.”  He was describing Krema II, the same gas chamber into the ruins of which both Leuchter and Rudolf descended and found no showerheads.

On page 65, Müller wrote: “The hair was cut after the women had been gassed.”  Remember that he was writing this in 1979 after the Auschwitz Museum had already been set up with exhibits including a large glass case of human hair.  Hair does not deteriorate.  In the Victorian era, women used to make framed pictures out of hair cut from their heads.  In a Museum in Scotland, I saw a lock of hair from Bonnie Prince Charlie which had not deteriorated over the years.  However, the hair in the Auschwitz Museum is badly deteriorated; it has obviously been subjected to Zyklon-B to kill any lice because it was intended to be sent to Germany to be used in making cloth.  After the women were gassed at Auschwitz, the hair would have been filled with excrement and it would have been hard to clean.  The German people are noted for being efficient; I think they would have cut the hair off before sending the women into the gas chamber.

On page 81, Müller wrote: “Thus, a towel slung over their arm and clutching a cake of soap, they entered, all unsuspecting, the three gas chambers of crematorium 5.”  Where have I heard the soap and towels story before?  Now I remember: it was at Dachau that the American liberators found soap and towels in the undressing room for the gas chamber.  Did Müller borrow this detail from the Dachau story?  Or were there three shower rooms in Crematorium 5 at Birkenau?

The first Jews who were sent to Auschwitz were from Slovakia, the state that had broken off from Czechslovakia, and was allied with Germany during World War II.

In the forward to Müller’s book, Professor Yehuda Bauer of Yad Vashem wrote this:

Why did Müller not publish his memoir before?  He did in a way.  He returned to his Czechoslovak home after the war.  A summary of his testimony was included in a book in 1946 (published in English in 1966 as The Death Factory by O. Kraus and E. Kulka).

So now the truth comes out:  Müller was the first to write a description of the gas chambers in 1946.  Dr. Nyiszli wrote his book in 1947.

It is my personal opinion that Dr. Nyiszli never saw the inside of any gas chamber and he got his information from Filip Müller, who entered the gas chambers at Auschwitz and Birkenau many times over a period of three years and even lived, for a time, in the undressing room of crematorium 4, as he wrote on page 147 of his book.  On the same page, he wrote: “some of us (Sonderkommandos) made their quarters in the lofts of crematorium 2 and 3.”  Dr. Nyiszli claimed that he lived in crematorium 1, but he obviously meant crematorium 3 because he mentioned that it was near the soccer field.  Crematorium 1 was in the main Auschwitz camp.

There are some revisionists who don’t believe that Dr. Nyiszli was ever at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  I find it strange that both Dr. Nyiszli and Filip Müller were sent to Mauthausen and then to the Melk sub-camp.  What are the chances of that?  Dr. Nyiszli could have faked his whole book, based on the experience of Filip Müller.

September 25, 2010

“Lying about Auschwitz?” Southern Poverty Law Center article

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:16 am

As a Catholic, I learned when I was a child that there are two ways to lie:  You can tell an outright “bald-faced lie,” but if you withhold the truth, that is also a lie, which is a sin.

A couple of days ago, I came across an article on the Southern Poverty Law Center web site, which you can read here.  The article is about a very brave woman who wrote about what the tour guides at Auschwitz don’t tell you.  I’ve been to Auschwitz twice, once with a guide, and once just wandering around by myself.  So I know that there are many things the guides don’t tell you. This has become more important in recent years since, during certain times of the day, visitors to Auschwitz must be with a tour group.

Here is a quote from the Southern Poverty Law Center article about what the tour guides at Auschwitz tell you, as opposed to what this woman is saying:

As this author can attest after two lengthy tours of Auschwitz and its adjoining Birkenau camp since 1988, the guides will tell you none of this.

Perhaps that’s because it’s all false. Long-time Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Hoess, in the autobiography he wrote shortly before his execution, described how Heinrich Himmler in 1941 “himself gave me the order to prepare installations at Auschwitz where mass exterminations could take place,” and then detailed the entire horrifying process, including gassings he personally witnessed. Filip Müller, a prisoner who worked for more than a year in the crematoria but survived, described unbelievably brutal exterminations. And so did thousands of others.

The Southern Poverty Law Center article makes a good point: Maybe the guides don’t tell you certain things because what this lady is saying is false.  However, the person who wrote this article makes a big mistake in taking the word of Rudolf Hoess and Filip Müller,.  Both made many mistakes about Auschwitz in their books and their testimony is not considered reliable today.

So who is the pinhead and who is the patriot here? as Bill O’Reilly would say. You decide.

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