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June 14, 2011

Closing statement of Sir Hartley Shawcross at the Nuremberg IMT

Filed under: Buchenwald, Dachau, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 12:50 pm

In a trial, there is an opening statement given by both sides, then testimony given by both sides, followed by closing statements given by both the defense and the prosecution.  In the opening statement, the lawyers tell the jury what they are going to prove. In the closing statements, both sides sum up what they have actually proved.  The last thing the jury or judges hear is the closing statements; this is where the lawyers have their best chance to influence the decision in the case.

Sir Hartley Shawcross is famous for his powerful closing statement at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal.  This quote is from his closing statement:

…. on the lowest computation 12 million men, women, and children, are done to death. Not in battle, not in passion, but in the cold, calculated, deliberate attempt to destroy nations and races, to disintegrate the traditions, the institutions, and the very existence of free and ancient states. Twelve million murders. Two-thirds of the Jews in Europe exterminated, more than 6 million of them on the killers’ own figures. Murder conducted like some mass production industry in the gas chambers and the ovens of Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Maidanek, and Oranienburg.

Oranienburg is a reference to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp which is located in the city of Oranienburg, near Berlin.  Maidanek is the German name for the camp that is now better known as Majdanek.   Dachau, Buchenwald and Mauthausen were liberated by American soldiers, while Auschwitz and Oranienburg were liberated by the Soviet Union. Treblinka had been abandoned before the Soviet soldiers found it.

Note that Shawcross implied that the 12 million people who were killed by the Germans were killed in OVENS, as well as in gas chambers.  The Treblinka camp did not have ovens.

Today, every school child in America can rattle off the names of the six “extermination” camps where humans were gassed:  Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, and Chelmno.  Keep in mind that the prosecution’s closing statement, in any trial, represents what was proved during the testimony.  So how did the prosecution at the Nuremburg IMT prove that there were gas chambers at Dachau, Buchenwald, Mauthausen and Sachsenhausen?

With regard to the gas chambers (plural) at Dachau, the evidence presented at Nuremberg included proof of the use of Zyklon-B, as found by the American liberators.  The photo below shows the labels from the cans of Zyklon-B, found at Dachau, that were entered into evidence.

Labels from cans of Zyklon-B found at Dachau

These labels were obviously peeled off of cans of Zyklon-B that were empty, or had never been opened.  If the Americans had opened a full can of Zyklon-B, they would have seen that the poison gas was in the form of pellets the size of peas.  The American prosecutors at the Nuremberg IMT showed an American-made film about the Dachau gas chamber which claimed that the gas came though the shower heads.  The judges did not know that this would have been impossible because they were not told that the Zyklon-B was in pellets.

The defense at Nuremberg was at a loss as to how to prove that there were no homicidal gas chambers at Dachau because they had never heard of this accusation before the trial.  There was no such thing as “discovery” at the Nuremberg IMT. In other words, the prosecution was not required to tell the defense what they were planning to present at the trial. The defense was only permitted to see the documents that  the prosecution was planning to present at the trial.  All the German documents had been confiscated by the Allies; the defense did not have access to all the documents in existence, so they were at a disadvantage in proving their case.

But what about Buchenwald?  Did the Buchenwald concentration camp have a gas chamber?  Some people still believe that it did.  After all, this was proved at Nuremberg, according to the closing statement of Sir Hartley Shawcross.

On June 3, 2009, President Barack Obama said in a speech in Cairo, Egypt:

Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich.

So how did the Allies prove the Buchenwald gas chamber at the Nuremberg IMT?  The French prosecutor submitted an official report which stated:

Everything had been provided for down to the smallest detail.  In 1944, at Buchenwald, they had even lengthened a railway line so that the deportees might be led directly to the gas chamber.  Certain [of the gas chambers] had a floor that tipped and immediately directed the bodies into the room with the crematory oven.

The claim that the Buchenwald gas chamber had a floor that tipped so that the bodies could be directed into the oven room is close to the truth.  The Buchenwald crematorium had a “chute” which was used to drop bodies into the basement morgue room.  However, the ovens were on the ground floor, and the bodies had to be brought up to the ovens on an elevator.

A Catholic priest claimed that he saw prisoners being gassed at Buchenwald. Jean-Paul Renard, a French priest who was an inmate at Buchenwald, wrote a book about his time in the camp, in which he stated this:

I saw thousands and thousands of persons going into the showers.  Instead of liquid, asphyxiating gases poured out over them.

Why did the Nazis allow a Catholic priest to witness the gassing of prisoners, when they must have known that priests are not allowed to lie?  Telling a lie of this magnitude would be a mortal sin for a Catholic.  What was a priest doing at Buchenwald anyway?  Dachau was the designated camp for priests.

In a book published in 1947, Georges Henocque, another French priest, wrote a detailed description of the inside of the gas chamber at Buchenwald, which he claimed that he had visited.  Supposedly, he had visited the gas chamber after the war.  So where is the gas chamber at Buchenwald now?

What about the Sachsenhausen camp at Oranienburg?  This camp was liberated by the Soviet Union, so their prosecutors would have given the evidence of a gas chamber there. The Commandant of Sachsenhausen confessed that he had built a gas chamber — on his own authority!  This contradicts one of the main facts of the Holocaust, which is that the gassing of the Jews was ordered by Adolf Hitler.

A little known fact is that Hitler actually visited the Sachsenhausen camp.  I saw a photo of him, taken at Sachsenhausen, which was on display at Majdanek; this proves that he was there.  Maybe Hitler gave an order to the Sachsenhausen Commandant on his visit, but the Commandant lied and said he did this on his own.

The Soviet prosecutors also gave evidence about Treblinka.  Their claim was that “steam chambers” were used at Treblinka, not “gas chambers.”  Where did they ever get this idea?

Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by the Soviet Union and “steam chambers” were found there in the Sauna building.  This building was closed to tourists until 2005 and for years, no one could see what a steam chamber looks like.  In October 2005, I had a chance to see the steam chambers at Auschwitz.  I doubt that the Germans transported steam chambers to Treblinka.

Steam chamber in Sauna at Birkenau

There were around 870,000 Jews killed at Treblinka.  How many “steam chambers” were used to kill that many people?  It would have taken years to burn the bodies in ovens at Treblinka, as Sir Hartley Shawcross implied in his closing statement.

Sometimes, in a trial in America, the jury is taken to the scene of the crime.  Remember the O.J. case, when the jury was taken to see O.J.’s home?  The judges in the Nuremberg IMT should have been allowed to see Auschwitz.   Auschwitz was in the Greater German Reich, and it is not that far from Nuremberg.  Students in the UK are routinely taken to Auschwitz for a day trip now.  The judges could have gone on a day trip to see what “steam chambers” look like.

The judges could have enjoyed a nice outing at Mauthausen, which is in Austria.  The town of Mauthausen is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.  But no! Instead of seeing the gas chamber themselves, the judges relied on the testimony of witnesses like Lt. Col. Jack Taylor, an American, who claimed that he had been scheduled to die in the Mauthausen gas chamber four times, but he was saved by the inmates who changed the schedule four times.  What kind of a death camp has the inmates in charge of the killing schedule?

Here is another quote from the closing statement of Sir Hartley Shawcross.  This part comes right before the quote I put at the top of this post:

That these defendants participated in and are morally guilty of crimes so frightful that the imagination staggers and reels back at their very contemplation is not in doubt. Let the words of the Defendant Frank, which were repeated to you this morning, be well remembered: “Thousands of years will pass and this guilt of Germany will not be erased.” Total and totalitarian war, waged in defiance of solemn undertakings and in breach of treaties; great cities, from Coventry to Stalingrad, reduced to rubble, the countryside laid waste, and now the inevitable aftermath of war so fought-hunger and disease stalking through the world; millions of people homeless, maimed, bereaved.

And in their graves, crying out, not for vengeance but that this shall not happen again: 10 million who might be living in peace and happiness at this hour, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and civilians killed in battles that ought never to have been.

Nor was that the only or the greatest crime. In all our countries when perhaps in the heat of passion or for other motives which impair restraint some individual is killed, the murder becomes a sensation, our compassion is aroused, nor do we rest until the criminal is punished and the rule of law is vindicated.

Source of the closing statement quotes:

http://tj.facinghistory.org/nuremberg-trials-closing-statement-sir-hartley-shawcross

March 29, 2011

Two German admirals in World War II — one was a war criminal and one was a hero

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:55 am

There were two famous admirals in World War II, both of German heritage:  Admiral Karl Dönitz and Admiral Chester Nimitz.  Admiral Dönitz fought for Germany and he was one of the war criminals in the dock at the Nuremberg IMT.  Admiral Nimitz was an ethnic German from the German-American town of Fredericksburg in Texas, but Nimitz was not a war criminal because he fought for the winning side. (You can read about Fredericksburg, TX here.)

There is an anecdote about Admiral Dönitz that I heard years ago, but I don’t know if it is true or not.  The story is that Admiral Dönitz was told that he could have anyone of his own choosing to defend him in the proceedings of the Nuremberg IMT.  To this offer, Dönitz allegedly replied that he wanted Admiral Nimitz to defend him.  His request was not granted, of course.  (more…)

November 25, 2010

Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, NY

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 1:36 pm

Yesterday, I looked up the text of the opening speech by Robert H. Jackson at the Nuremberg IMT on November 21, 1945 and one of the web sites that I found in my search was the web site of the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, NY.  I was very surprised to find this photo on the home page of the web site:

Boy standing in the ruins of the city of Nuremberg, 1945

(more…)

November 22, 2010

Benjamin B. Ferencz on losing “the spirit of Nuremberg”

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:17 am

Yesterday a Memorium commemorating the Nuremberg “Trials” opened in the courthouse where the “trials” were held 65 years ago.  (Trials is in quotes because these so-called trials were actually military tribunals.)

Deutsche Welle, a German newspaper reported on it and you can read their news article here.

Deutsche Welle reported this:

Benjamin Ferencz, a former US prosecutor in the war crimes trials, and one of the few people participants still alive to have taken part in the trials, returned to Nuremberg at the age of 91 to speak at the opening of the museum on the anniversary of the world’s first war crimes trial.

[…]

Ferencz bore witness to this at the end of the war, and on Sunday used his speech as an opportunity to criticize those countries who, he says, are not giving their full support to the ICC, those whom he believes, have lost the spirit of Nuremberg.

The Ohrdruf labor camp near Gotha, Germany

General Dwight D. Eisenhower is shown in the center of the photo above. The man to the left of General Eisenhower is Benjamin B. Ferencz, who is taking notes. The photo shows the partially burned bodies of prisoners at Ohrdruf.   What is Ferencz writing down?  “Prisoners burned alive at an extermination camp”?  Or is he making a note that these bodies are being burned, instead of buried, to stop the spread of a typhus epidemic?

Ferencz is the soldier on the right with a note pad in his hand

The civilian in the dark suit is a former prisoner in the Ohrdruf camp.  The next day he was killed by a Russian prisoner because he was allegedly a Kapo who was helping the Germans.  The men in the photo are looking at a mass grave that has been opened.  The bodies of prisoners who died at Ohrdruf were buried before they started burning them instead.  Did the Germans get any credit for trying to stop the typhus epidemic?  No, that was not the “spirit of Nuremberg.”

The “spirit of Nuremberg” was to make up ex post facto laws and then present false evidence and make every innocent detail of World War II into a war crime perpetrated by the Germans.  The job assignment of Ferencz was to accompany the American liberators and take notes on the “atrocities” that the Germans would be charged with at Nuremberg.

Here is another quote from Deutsche Welle:

Speaking at the inauguration of the new museum, Ferencz said, “When I left Germany for the first time after World War II and left Nuremberg, my biggest regret was that I never heard from any German saying ‘I’m sorry.’ I would never have believed that I would come back 60 years later and would hear a completely different voice and a different plan in the same country.”

Yes, the Germans have a “different plan” (which was forced on them by the Allied occupation) but they have “taken the high road” and they have “owned” their “guilt.”  They don’t dwell on the fake gas chamber that was shown in a film at the Nuremberg IMT; they accept it.  I read somewhere (I can’t remember the source) that Hermann Goering laughed after seeing the film and said: “We made a few propaganda films ourselves.”

November 21, 2010

Thomas J. Dodd at the Nuremberg IMT

Today is the 65th anniversary of the day that testimony started in the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal.  During the proceedings, Thomas J. Dodd held up a shrunken head in the courtroom; this is a day that will long be remembered.

 It was on December 13, 1945 that Thomas Dodd introduced USA Exhibit #254: the shrunken head, which Ilse Koch, the wife of Commandant Karl Otto Koch of Buchenwald, had allegedly used as a paperweight.

Thomas J. Dodd and the shrunken head

The making of shrunken heads was an atrocity that came under War Crimes, one the four new categories of crimes that were made up by the Allies specifically for the defeated Germans.  The other three categories were Crimes against Peace, Crimes against Humanity and the designation of the National Socialists (Nazi) political party, as well as the SS, as criminal organizations.

Strangely, the Nazis only made two shrunken heads and they were found at the Buchenwald concentration camp when it was liberated by American soldiers.  After shrinking the heads of two Polish prisoners at Buchenwald, the Nazis gave up this fascinating hobby. Did some German doctors go to South America to learn the art of shrinking heads?  Probably.  I wouldn’t put anything past those evil Nazis.

Thomas J. Dodd was also the prosecutor who introduced USA Exhibit #253: pieces of human tattooed skin from concentration camp prisoners which had been preserved by tanning.

Later, Thomas J. Dodd became a U.S. Senator from Connecticut and the father of Senator Christopher Dodd.

Back when Sen. Christopher Dodd decided to run for President, he wrote a book in which he quoted extensively from the letters that his father had written to his mother while the Nuremberg IMT was in progress.  I read the book, Letters from Nuremberg shortly after it was published.

I was struck by the fact that Thomas J. Dodd seemed to believe that the Allies were being very fair to the Germans and had given them a fair trial.  The only criticism he had was that 75% of the lawyers, involved in the trial of the German war criminals were Jewish.  He didn’t seem to understand that these jobs were given to Jews because they could speak German, or at least Yiddish.

Update Nov. 24, 2010:

A reader asked in a comment if there was a forensic report on the shrunken head.  No, there were no forensic reports on anything because this was not necessary.  The Allies made the rules for the IMT and they included this rule:

V. POWERS OF THE TRIBUNAL AND CONDUCT OF THE TRIAL

[….]

Article 21. The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof.

The making of shrunken heads by the Germans was “common knowledge” that did not require proof, so the Allies were not required to furnish proof that the Germans had made the shrunken head that Thomas J. Dodd held up in the courtroom.

The Allies had made up new laws for the IMT and new rules for the proceedings.

The German “war criminals” were being tried on a charge of participating in a “common plan” to commit war crimes, so it didn’t matter whether any of the accused had actually made this shrunken head. Every German on trial was automatically guilty of making shrunken heads.

The same rule applied to the soap, allegedly made from human fat, which was introduced into evidence at the Nuremberg IMT by the Soviet prosecutors.  There was no forensic report done on the soap because it was common knowledge that the Germans had made soap out of the Jews.

Soap entered into evidence at the Nuremberg IMT

November 19, 2010

Proof of the Nazi gas chambers given at the Nuremberg IMT on Nov. 29, 1945

The proceedings against the German war criminals of World War II started on November 20, 1945 in the city of Nürnberg, Germany.  This year, the German people are celebrating the 65th anniversary of “the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal” and a new Museum will be open in the court building.

On the 9th day of testimony given by the Allies against the Germans, the American prosecution team presented the most incriminating evidence of all against the Germans: a film which showed the gas chamber at Dachau.

The film footage of the Dachau gas chamber was just a small part of an hour-long movie that started with the burning of concentration camp prisoners in a barn at Gardelegen and covered all the major Nazi atrocities including the lamp shades made out of human skin at Buchenwald and the emaciated bodies of typhus victims being pushed by a bulldozer into mass graves at Bergen-Belsen.

The film footage entitled Atrocities at Dachau, Story RG-60.0843, Tape 828 was made on May 3, 1945.  The film shows the two black objects between the control wheels in the center of the black and white photo below but the movie camera did not pan down to include the peep hole which can be seen in the photo. The rectangular box, located above the peephole in the black and white photo below, is clearly shown in the film and it appears to be a panel with push buttons.

The film shows the Dachau gas chamber, and the “engineer’s room” behind it, while the narrator explains how the victims were gassed. Large pipes and control wheels, located behind the west wall of the gas chamber, are shown as the narrator says:  “A man at the controls let in the poison gas.”

The photo below, which was taken in 1945 shortly after the Dachau camp was liberated, shows the pipes and control wheels behind the west wall of the gas chamber.

“Engineer’s room” with control wheels and peephole behind west wall of gas chamber Photo Credit: USHMM, courtesy of William and Dorothy McLaughlin Copyright: USHMM

In the center of the photo above is a rectangular panel with push buttons, which is approximately at shoulder level for a man six feet tall.  To the left of the push buttons is a switch box with a handle that can be thrown to let something “Ein” or “Aus” which in English means On or Off.

Just below the push button panel is a small round peephole with its cover lifted up.  Why is the peephole so low on the wall?  Those SS guys were 6 ft. 5 and would have had to bend down to check out the victims in the gas chamber.  The placement of the peep hole suggests that it was not there when the switch box and the push button box were installed, but was added later and the only space available was a spot that was too low.

On the far left and on the right in the photo above are the wheels that an operator allegedly turned, to let the gas flow into the chamber through three pipes above the ceiling. All of the shower heads have been stolen from the Dachau gas chamber, and it can now be seen that the shower heads were not connected to any pipes, either water pipes or gas pipes.

So if the shower room at Dachau could not have been used for showers, nor for gassing, what was the purpose of the room?  The room was completed in May 1943, and apparently not used for any purpose, yet the room was kept, along with an undressing room and a waiting room, so that the American liberators could find evidence that Jews were gassed in the concentration camps.

In the film, a closeup of the panel in the center of the photo above shows that it has four push buttons. The narrator of the film explains that the buttons were used to “control inflow and outtake of gas.” There are four sets of lights in the gas chamber, two sets on the south wall and two sets on the north wall.  The push buttons might actually have been used to turn the lights on and off. However, in the film shown at Nuremberg, which was made by the American Army on May 3, 1945, four of the light fixture boxes are called “top vents” through which the poison gas was vented out of the room.

A display in the undressing room in May 2007 informed visitors that the push buttons were stolen after the camp was liberated. The area behind the west wall of the gas chamber, which is shown in the photo above, is off limits to visitors now.

An empty light fixture box that was called a “top vent” in the film shown at the Nuremberg IMT

One of the “top vents,” which was featured in the film at Nuremberg, is shown in the photo above, taken in May 2003. This empty light fixture box is called a “gas vent” in the film that was shot by Hollywood director George Stevens on May 3, 1945 and shown at the Nuremberg IMT on November 29, 1945.

A light fixture box in the Dachau shower room

The photo above, taken in May 2007, shows one of the remaining light fixtures in the alleged gas chamber. The light fixture box is flush against the ceiling.  Notice the very sloppy construction job.  Who puts a light fixture flush against the ceiling?  Could the ceiling have been lowered from 10 ft. down to the present height after the room was originally constructed?  The two rooms on either side of the alleged gas chamber have 10 ft. ceilings.

In the film that was shown at the Nuremberg IMT on November 29, 1945, a US soldier can be seen opening the heavy steel door that separates the undressing room from the alleged gas chamber. In the film, the first thing we see, on the wall opposite the door, are two “gas vents,” one of which is shown in my color photo above. Then we see a “gas nozzle” which looks like a shower head stuck into the concrete ceiling with no visible pipes.

I took this photo of the last remaining shower head in the Dachau shower room in May 2001

Heating vent near the floor in the southwest corner of the Dachau shower room

The photo above shows a large square vent located just above the floor on the west wall of the Dachau shower room. This vent is shown in the film, as the narrator says that it is a “gas vent.”  Today, tour guides at Dachau tell visitors that this is a heating vent, used to warm up the Zykon-B, which needs to be heated in order to release the poison.

The film also shows an unopened can of Zyklon-B pellets which is called “cyanide powder” by the narrator. The Americans should have opened up that can of Zyklon-B.  They would have seen that the gas was in the form of pellets, not powder, and it could not have gone through the shower heads.  They should have done some research to learn that the Zyklon-B pellets needed to be heated.  They should have mentioned in the film that the heating vent on the west wall was used to heat the Zyklon-B pellets, which is what tourists today are told.

Now the tour guides at Dachau tell visitors that the poison pellets “could have been” put through the two small windows on the east wall of the alleged gas chamber.  Sure, the Zyklon-B  pellets “could have been” thrown into the room through the two little windows if those windows had been there between May 1943 and May 1945.

Two vents on the east wall of the Dachau shower room

The Nuremberg film shows a sign on the wall of the morgue that reads “Reinlichkeit is hier Pflight deshalb Hände waschen nicht vergessen.” In English, this means “Cleanliness is a duty here, therefore don’t forget to wash your hands.” This sign has now been painted over.

The film footage that is available on the USHMM web site is raw footage with no sound, but the transcript of the narration about the gas chamber in the finished movie is quoted below:

This is the Brausebad — the shower bath. Inside the shower bath — the gas vents. On the ceiling — the dummy shower heads. In the engineers room — the intake and outlet pipes. Push buttons to control inflow and outtake of gas. A hand-valve to regulate pressure. Cyanide powder was used to generate the lethal smoke. From the gas chamber, the bodies were removed to the crematory.

A delegation of US Congressmen flew to Paris on April 22, 1945, at General Eisenhower’s request.  Remember that Eisenhower famously said that some day people might believe that it was all propaganda.  So Eisenhower wanted to make sure that there were plenty of witnesses to the Nazi atrocities.

The Congressmen visited the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 24, 1945, two weeks after the camp was liberated on April 11th. The Congressmen arrived in Dachau on May 1, 1945, the same day that newsreels were first released in American theaters, showing the Nazi atrocities at Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen. Dachau had been liberated on April 29, 1945, just two days before the Congressmen arrived.

So what did the Congressmen do on May 1st, their first day at Dachau?  Did they relax in a nice hotel in the town of Dachau?  Or did they go directly to the Dachau camp and look around?  Were the Congressmen anxious to see the alleged gas chamber or did they hang around for two days in the town, before checking out the gas chamber?

Zieglerbrau  Brewery and Inn in the town of Dachau

Photo of the congressmen in the Dachau gas chamber

The old black and white photo above was taken on May 3, 1945.  The photo below, which shows the same view of the Dachau gas chamber, was taken in May 2001.  Notice the sign that says, in 5 languages, that the gas chamber was never used.  That sign was removed in 2003 and visitors are now told that the gas chamber was used, although not for “mass gassing.”

Dachau “gas chamber” May 2001

In the old black and white photo, the second Congressman from the right is pointing towards the northeast corner of the gas chamber, where there is a square vent in the ceiling and one of the “gas vents” shown in the movie of the gas chamber, taken on May 3, 1945.

The Congressman seems to be pointing to the “gas vent” in a light fixture box in the northeast corner, while ignoring the large opening on the wall near the floor.  How could the Congressmen have missed seeing the small windows that are on the wall of the shower room today?  Maybe the Congressmen didn’t see the windows on the east wall because they weren’t there in May 1945!

The northeast corner of the Dachau shower room

In their report, the Congressmen wrote:

“A distinguishing feature of the Dachau Camp was the gas chamber for the execution of prisoners and the somewhat elaborate facilities for execution by shooting. The gas chamber was located in the center of a large room in the crematory building. It was built of concrete. Its dimensions were about 20 by 20 feet, and the ceiling was some 10 feet in height. In two opposite walls of the chamber were airtight doors through which condemned prisoners could be taken into the chamber for execution and removed after execution. The supply of gas into the chamber was controlled by means of two valves on one of the outer walls, and beneath the valves was a small glass-covered peephole through which the operator could watch the victims die. The gas was let into the chamber through pipes terminating in perforated brass fixtures set into the ceiling. The chamber was of a size sufficient to execute probably a hundred men at one time.”

In their report, the Congressmen described the ceiling of the Dachau gas chamber as being 10 feet high and pointed out that “The gas was let into the chamber through pipes terminating in perforated brass fixtures set into the ceiling.” The one remaining shower head, which I saw in 2001, was made of sheet metal. The ceiling of the alleged gas chamber is now much lower.  The empty holes for the shower heads show that the shower heads had not been connected to any pipes.  So where are the “pipes terminating in perforated brass fixtures” which the Congressmen reported?  Are the pipes still hanging from the 10 ft. ceiling that is now hidden by a new ceiling that was constructed by the American liberators in May 1945?

Did the Dachau shower room originally have shower heads hanging from pipes on the ceiling like the pipes shown in the photo below, before some re-construction was done by the American liberators?  The photo was taken at the Mauthausen concentration camp; it shows a real water pipe entering the room through the wall.

A shower head hanging from pipes on the ceiling

Why doesn’t the Congressional Report match the photo of the Congressmen inside the gas chamber on May 3, 1945?  Did the Congressmen go to the alleged gas chamber on May 1st and write their report immediately? The film that was shown at Nuremberg was taken two days later; was there some construction done in the two days before the film was shot?

The peephole in the alleged gas chamber presents a problem.  If the room was actually a shower room, why was a peephole necessary?  The Congressmen, who were filmed inside the alleged gas chamber on May 3, 1945, mentioned the peephole in their report.  However, if they had previously seen the alleged gas chamber on May 1st, before any modification of the shower room was done, would they have seen a peephole?  Yes. It is possible that re-construction on the shower room had started on April 30, 1945.

Peephole and water faucet on the west wall of the Dachau shower room

Notice that the frames around the two openings do not match. This is an indication that the two frames were not installed at the same time.  The tiles around the peephole do not match the rest of the tiles on the wall.

The photo below shows a closeup of the peephole.

Close-up of the peephole in the Dachau shower room

Why is the peephole so large?  On the other side of the wall, the peephole has a tiny, round metal frame.  Did the Americans have trouble making a tiny hole in the tile on the other side of the wall?

The photo below, taken after the camp was liberated, shows that the peep hole is too low on the wall.  On the right side of the photo, you can see several wooden coffins, stacked up.

The only known photo of the Dachau gas chamber in 1945

The Congressmen’s report is entitled Document No. 47 of the 79th Congress, 1st Session, Senate Report (May 15, 1945) of the Committee Requested by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Congress of the U.S. relative to Atrocities and other Conditions in Concentration Camps in Germany. This document was entered into the Nuremberg trial proceedings as IMT Document L-159.

I don’t know if the Congressmen’s report will be in the new Museum at Nuremberg, but it should be.  Another document that should be in the new Museum is the Report of the Atrocities Committed at Dachau Concentration Camp, signed by Col. David Chavez, Jr., JAGD, 7 May 1945.

The Chavez report, which was entered into the Nuremberg IMT, is quoted below:

“The new building had a gas chamber for executions… the gas chamber was labeled “shower room” over the entrance and was a large room with airtight doors and double glassed lights, sealed and gas proof. The ceiling was studded with dummy shower heads. A small observation peephole, double glassed and hermetically sealed was used to observe the conditions of the victims. There were grates in the floor. Hydrogen cyanide was mixed in the room below, and rose into the gas chamber and out the top vents.”

The “grates in the floor” are drains that are connected to the sewer line.  According to the Chavez report, the poison gas rose up through the floor drains and was then vented through the light fixture boxes.  But why was the gas vented through the light fixture boxes when there was a vent on the ceiling in the northeast corner?  (Look at the photo above which shows the northeast corner.)  The Chavez report seems to be suggesting that there was no ceiling vent for the gas.  Was the ceiling vent put there a few days AFTER the American liberators arrived?  Is that why the shower heads are randomly placed on the ceiling instead of being in three identical rows?

An affidavit, given by Dr. Franz Blaha, a prisoner at Dachau, to Col. David Chavez on 3 May 1945, was also entered into the proceedings of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal. Except for the film of the Dachau gas chamber that was shown at Nuremberg on November 29, 1945, Dr. Blaha’s affidavit was the only evidence presented at Nuremberg which proved that prisoners had been gassed at Dachau.

The affidavit by Dr. Franciszek Blaha, a Czech Communist inmate at Dachau, which was introduced at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, is quoted below:

Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 5
THIRTY-SECOND DAY
Friday, 11 January 1946

“12. Many executions by gas or shooting or injections took place right in the camp. The gas chamber was completed in 1944, and I was called by Dr. Rascher to examine the first victims. Of the eight or nine persons in the chamber there were three still alive, and the remainder appeared to be dead. Their eyes were red, and their faces were swollen. Many prisoners were later killed in this way. Afterwards they were removed to the crematorium where I had to examine their teeth for gold. Teeth containing gold were extracted. Many prisoners who were sick were killed by injections while in the hospital. Some prisoners killed in the hospital came through to the autopsy room with no name or number on the tag which was usually tied to their big toe. Instead the tag said ‘Do not dissect’. I performed autopsies on some of these and found that they were perfectly healthy but had died from injections. Sometimes prisoners were killed only because they had dysentery or vomited and gave the nurses too much trouble. Mental patients were liquidated by being led to the gas chamber and injected there or shot. Shooting was a common method of execution. Prisoners could be shot just outside the crematorium and carried in. I have seen people pushed into the ovens while they were still breathing and making sounds, although if they were too much alive they were usually hit on the head first. “

Note that Dr. Blaha said that the gas chamber was completed in 1944.  The building where the alleged gas chamber is located was completed in May 1943. Was the shower room converted into a gas chamber in 1944?  Did the Nazis really allow a Communist prisoner to examine the bodies of prisoners who had been gassed, so that he could testify against them in the event that they lost the war?  Why didn’t the SS men at Dachau keep the gassing a secret and blow up the gas chamber building before they left on April 28th, the day before the camp was liberated?

Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen was a defense witness for the SS at the Nuremberg IMT. The SS had been charged with being a criminal organization.  Dr. Morgen testified that Dr. Blaha, who was a prisoner at Dachau, could not have seen what he claimed to have seen because prisoners were not allowed in all parts of the camp.

Dr. Morgen was a Nazi judge who had been appointed by Heinrich Himmler to inspect the concentration camps to determine if there was any corruption or abuse of the prisoners.  He had 5 of the concentration camp Commandants arrested and two of them were executed.  Yet, Dr. Morgen gave the Dachau camp a good report.

How come Dr. Morgen didn’t find out about the gas chamber at Dachau?  Dr. Morgen DID testify at the Nuremberg IMT that there was a gas chamber at the Auschwitz III camp but the SS was not responsible for it.  He didn’t do anything about the alleged gas chamber at Auschwitz III (Monowitz) because it had allegedly been ordered personally by Hitler.

You can read about the “human soap” evidence presented by the Soviet Union at the Nuremberg IMT here.

What about entering false evidence into the proceedings of a Tribunal?  Is that a crime?

August 15, 2010

Should the judgment at Nuremberg be thrown out?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 12:27 pm

I’m not talking about the movie Judgment at Nuremberg which starred Burt Lancaster; I’m talking about the convictions of the accused German “war criminals” in the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal.

There have been numerous articles in the news lately about the Majdanek concentration camp where around 10,000 old shoes recently burned up.  Almost all of the articles mention that 78,000 or 80,000 prisoners died at Majdanek.

At the Nuremberg IMT, the Soviet Union submitted documents USSR-8 and USSR-29, which told in detail how the Germans killed 4 million prisoners at Auschwitz and 1.5 million at Majdanek.  Now it is accepted by historians that 1.1 million people died at Auschwitz and 78,000 died at Majdanek. Around 900,000 Jews died at Auschwitz and 59,000 Jews died at Majdanek, according to the latest figures.

The Charter of the International Military Tribunal allowed evidence that normally would be inadmissible in a trial.

Article 19 of the Charter read:

“The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence […] and shall admit any evidence which it deems to have probative value.”

Article 21 stipulated:

The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof. It shall also take judicial notice of official governmental documents and reports of the United Nations, including acts and documents of the committees set up in the various allied countries for the investigation of war crimes, and the records and findings of military and other Tribunals of any of the United Nations.

Using these rules, the Nuremberg IMT  allowed a report by American Congressmen as evidence of a homicidal gas chamber at Dachau, along with a documentary film in which it was shown how gas was put into a Dachau shower room through the shower heads.  Now the Dachau Memorial site tells visitors that gas pellets “could have been” put through two bins on the outside wall of the gas chamber building.  This means that, according to the Dachau Memorial site, the congressional report and the film were both false.

There was also a Polish government report, submitted to the Nuremberg IMT by the American prosecutor,  which claimed that prisoners were killed in steam chambers at Treblinka.  Now it is accepted that the Jews who were sent to Treblinka were killed in gas chambers which used Zyklon-B.

The defense attorneys at Nuremberg  protested  that some of  the prosecution documents were fake, and now it is generally acknowledged that some of the most important documents submitted by the prosecution were fraudulent.

The rule that “The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof.” was used to accept the Soviet claim that soap was made from human fat at Buchenwald without the proof of a forensic report.  Today, not even the Yad Vashem museum accepts the human soap story.

The alleged “death bed confession” of  Franz Ziereis, the Mauthausen commandant, is now believed to be a fake.  As I previously wrote in another blog, Ziereis never regained consciousness after he was shot “while attempting to escape” and he made no confession. Nuremberg documents 1515-PS, 3870-PS, and NO-1973, based on the non-existent confession of Ziereis, were entered into the IMT to prove that prisoners were gassed at Mauthausen and Hartheim Castle.

In a trial, the rule is “false in one, false in all.”  If the Germans had been given a trial instead of being accused at a Military Tribunal, all of the so-called evidence would have been thrown out because of the accusation that the Germans had killed thousands of Polish officers in the Katyn forest near Smolensk.   (Nuremberg document USSR-54) A detailed report by a Soviet investigative commission was submitted as proof for this charge which was  made in the joint indictment of the British, French, Soviet and American governments.

The Soviet prosecutor said this at the Nuremberg IMT:

We find, in the Indictment, one of the most important criminal acts for which the major war criminals are responsible was the mass execution of Polish prisoners of war shot in the Katyn forest near Smolensk by the German fascist invaders.

In 1990 the Russian government finally admitted that the Katyn massacre had been committed by the Soviet secret police, not by the Germans.

May 16, 2010

Gas chamber at Auschwitz III, aka Monowitz

In his famous book, entitled Night, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel never once mentioned the gas chambers at Auschwitz.  How could he not have known about the Auschwitz gas chambers?  That’s easy: he was sent to the Auschwitz III labor camp, known as Monowitz, a few weeks after his arrival.  But wait a minute! There was also a gas chamber at Monowitz, according to testimony at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal.

At the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, which began in November 1945, the SS was indicted as a criminal organization. The star witness for the defense, on the charges against the SS, was Sturmbannführer Georg Konrad Morgen, a judge who was authorized by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler to investigate the Nazi concentration camps for corruption and unauthorized murder. Dr. Morgen’s testimony is included in IMT vol. XX, p. 550 – 551.

Dr. Morgen found plenty of corruption at Auschwitz-Birkenau: the SS men were engaged in stealing from the warehouses where the possessions, that had been confiscated from the prisoners, were stored. In the course of his investigation in which he spoke to many of the prisoners, Dr. Morgen also claimed to have learned about the gassing of the Jews, not at the main Auschwitz camp, nor at Birkenau, but at Monowitz, a labor camp where the IG Farben company used Jewish prisoners as workers in  their factories.

In his testimony at Nuremberg, Dr. Morgen claimed that, although gas chambers existed at Monowitz, the SS was not involved in this crime. Dr. Morgen testified that the gas chambers at Monowitz were not under the jurisdiction of the SS and that the order to build these gas chambers had come directly from Adolf Hitler, who had given this order to Christian Wirth of the Kripo (Criminal Police), who was not a member of the SS, according to Dr. Morgen. Wirth had previously been in charge of the T-4 program in which severely disabled and retarded people had been gassed. Wirth later became the first commandant at the Belzec death camp, one of the three Aktion Reinhard camps under the jurisdiction of Odilo Globocnik.

On August 8, 1946, Dr. Morgen testified, as follows, at the Nuremberg IMT regarding the “extermination camp” at Monowitz:

Then the trucks left. They did not go to the Auschwitz concentration camp, but in another direction, to the Monowitz extermination camp, which was some kilometers distant. This extermination camp consisted of a series of crematoria not recognizable as such from the outside. They could be mistaken for large bath installations. Even the detainees knew it. These crematoria were surrounded by barbed wire and were tended on the inside by the Jewish working groups already mentioned.

(….)

The Monowitz extermination camp was set apart from the concentration camp. It was situated in a vast industrial zone and was not recognizable as such. Chimneys smoked all across the horizon. The camp itself was guarded on the outside by a detachment of Balts, Estonians, Lithuanians, and by Ukrainians. The entire procedure was almost entirely in the hands of the detainees themselves, who were supervised only from time to time by a subordinate officer (Unterführer ). The execution itself was carried out by another Unterführer who released the gas into that place.

In a deposition, given to the British shortly after he was captured, Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess confessed that there was a gas chamber at the Buna Works at Monowitz.

The following excerpt is from the deposition originally given to the British by Hoess:

In 1941 the first intakes of Jews came from Slovakia and Upper Silesia. People unfit to work were gassed in a room of the crematorium in accordance with an order which Himmler gave me personally.

I was ordered to see Himmler in Berlin in June 1941 and he told me, approximately, the following:

The Führer ordered the solution of the Jewish question in Europe. A few so called Vernichtungslager are existing in the General Goverment:

Belzec near Rawa Ruska Ost Polen

Treblinka near Malkinia on the River Bug

Wolzek near Lublin (He was probably referring to the Majdenek death camp)

The Buna Works

The Buna Works, which Commandant Rudolf Hoess mentioned, was another name for Auschwitz III, also known as Monowitz.  So, two top SS officials knew about the gas chamber at Monowitz, but what about the prisoners?  Did they also know about the Monowitz gas chamber.  Yes!

Sgt. Charles Coward was a British POW who had been captured in May 1940; he was sent to a POW camp near Monowitz in December 1943. Sgt. Coward testified at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal regarding the gas chamber at Monowitz.

The following excerpt is from Sgt. Coward’s testimony and affidavit as reported on this web site:

Affidavit Copy of Document NI-11696, Prosecution Exhibit 1462

COWARD: I made it a point to get one of the guards to take me to town under the pretense of buying new razor blades and stuff for our boys. For a few cigarettes he pointed out to me the various places where they had the gas chambers and the places where they took them down to be cremated. Everyone to whom I spoke gave the same story – the people in the city of Auschwitz, the SS men, concentration camp inmates, foreign workers – everyone said that thousands of people were being gassed and cremated at Auschwitz, and that the inmates who worked with us and who were unable to continue working because of their physical condition and were suddenly missing, had been sent to the gas chambers. The inmates who were selected to be gassed went through the procedure of preparing for a bath, they stripped their clothes off, and walked into the bathing room. Instead of showers, there was gas. All the camp knew it. All the civilian population knew it. I mixed with the civilian population at Auschwitz. I was at Auschwitz nearly every day…Nobody could live in Auschwitz and work in the plant, or even come down to the plant without knowing what was common knowledge to everybody.

Even while still at Auschwitz we got radio broadcasts from the outside speaking about the gassings and burnings at Auschwitz. I recall one of these broadcasts was by Anthony Eden himself. Also, there were pamphlets dropped in Auschwitz and the surrounding territory, one of which I personally read, which related what was going on in the camp at Auschwitz. These leaflets were scattered all over the countryside and must have been dropped from planes. They were in Polish and German. Under those circumstances, nobody could be at or near Auschwitz without knowing what was going on.

So, it appears that everyone who was at, or anywhere near Auschwitz, knew about the gas chambers.  Everyone except Elie Wiesel, that is.  There is a lot of speculation now that Elie Wiesel is a fraud, and that he wasn’t really a prisoner at Auschwitz.  If he was, in fact, a prisoner there, how come he never knew about the gas chambers?

As I see it, there are two possible conclusions:  Either there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz, or Elie Wiesel was not a prisoner there?  So, which is it?

April 24, 2010

The gas chamber disguised as a shower room in the crematorium at Dachau

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 2:47 pm

There is a room in the crematorium building at the former Dachau concentration camp that has some resemblance to a shower room, but it is usually referred to as a gas chamber, disguised as a shower room. Assuming that the room is a gas chamber, it makes perfect sense that a gas chamber would be located right next to the morgue where bodies were stored before being cremated.  But assuming that this room was not a gas chamber, why was there a shower room in the Dachau crematorium building?  After all, there was a perfectly good shower room in the building which now houses the Museum at the Dachau memorial site.

Baracke X, the crematorium building at Dachau

Gas chamber disguised as a shower room at Dachau

Morgue room next to the Dachau gas chamber, April 1945

Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, a prisoner, who worked as a pathologist in one of the four crematoria at Auschwitz, wrote a book entitled Auschwitz, a Doctor’s Eyewitness Account.

Here is a quote from his book:

“Those who worked with corpses had to wash frequently, so showers were mandatory twice a day, a regulation to which we all gladly submitted.”

The German people are noted for being obsessively clean, so it makes perfect sense that the German staff at Auschwitz and at Dachau would have required the crematory workers to take frequent showers.

When the American liberators arrived at Dachau, they saw a sign in the oven room of the crematorium, which read “Reinlichkeit is hier Pflight deshalb Hände waschen nicht vergessen.” In English, this means “Cleanliness is a duty here, therefore don’t forget to wash your hands.”

The sign, which was formerly on the wall behind the ovens in the crematorium, has been painted over, and can no longer be seen today.

The photo below shows a green door behind the ovens. This door leads into a hallway that runs behind the gas chamber and the oven room. There might be a washroom in the area behind the green door, which is off limits to tourists.  In that case, there would have been no need for a shower room in the crematorium.

Cremation ovens in the Dachau crematorium

The hallway behind the ovens is shown on the left

The 1945 photo above shows the green door behind the ovens in the open position; you can see a glimpse of the hallway which visitors are not allowed to enter today.

The US Seventh Army published a book immediately after the liberation of Dachau, with the title: Dachau Liberated, The Official Report by The U.S. Seventh Army. According to this official report, there was a total of 29,138 Jews brought to Dachau from other camps between June 20, 1944 and November 23, 1944. This report says the Jews were brought to Dachau to be executed and that they were gassed in the gas chamber disguised as a shower room and also in the four smaller gas chambers, which the staff at the Dachau Memorial Site now admits, are delousing chambers.

By November 1945, it was known that the 29,138 Jews brought to Dachau from other camps between June 20, 1944 and November 23, 1944 had been transferred to the eleven Kaufering sub-camps of Dachau to work in munitions factories. It seems that the inmates, who had told the US Army investigators that these prisoners had been gassed, were wrong. These 29,138 Jews were not gassed, but rather were given a shower in the “gas chamber” before being transferred to the 11 Kaufering sub-camps.

Could the Dachau gas chamber/shower room have been a dual purpose room where prisoners could be gassed, but could also take a shower? I don’t think so.  The gas that was allegedly used in all the Nazi gas chambers was Zyklon-B, which was in the form of pellets that could not go through the tiny holes in the shower heads.

Marcus J. Smith wrote a book entitled The Harrowing of Hell in which he said that there was disagreement among the Dachau survivors, regarding the gas chamber. Here is a quote from his book:

“There are conflicting stories as to the use of the gas chamber. An Albanian tells me that it was used only four times since 1942, but a Pole says that it was never used during that time. Another Pole reports that 100 or 150 people were put to death each day in the chamber. A Yugoslav says that thousands were gassed in the last three years. A Frenchman believes that the chamber has never been used. Dr. Franz Blaha, A Czech physician inmate, a member of the IPC, and a valuable source of information about medical conditions in the camp, believes that the gas chamber was used many times.”

Dr. Franz Blaha, a prisoner at Dachau, gave a sworn affidavit to US Army Col. David Chavez on May 3, 1945, the same day that the film footage of the gas chamber, that was shown at the Nuremberg IMT, was made.  Dr. Blaha’s affidavit was entered into the proceedings of the Nuremberg IMT, but he never took the witness stand.

At the Nuremberg IMT, Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen, an SS judge, testified for the defense for two days. Quoted below is his testimony at Nuremberg on 8 August 1946, regarding the Dachau gas chamber:

Q. […]  Then you contradict the testimony of the witness Doctor Blaha, which was made the subject of evidence here. Do you know his testimony?

A. I read the testimony of Doctor Blaha in the Press, and here I had the opportunity to look through the record of the trial. I must say that this testimony amazes me. I am of the opinion that Blaha, from his own knowledge, cannot make such statements. It is not true that prisoners in a concentration camp can move about freely and have access to the different sections and installations.

In November 1945, at the Nuremberg IMT, three members of the American prosecution team provided sworn affidavits, testifying to the existence of lethal gas chambers at the Dachau concentration camp. The affidavits were signed by James B. Donovan, Lt. Col. Calvin A. Behle of the Judge Advocate General’s Department and Lt. Hugh C. Daly of the 42nd Rainbow Division of the US Seventh Army which liberated Dachau. The affidavits were included in Nuremberg Document 2430-PS which was read in court, but Donovan, Behle and Daly were not present and the defense had no opportunity to cross-examine them.

Although there was testimony from eye-witnesses about the gas chamber at Dachau at the Nuremberg IMT, the gas chamber at Dachau was not mentioned in the judgment at Nuremberg.

On May 1, 1945, a group of US Congressmen arrived at Dachau and toured the gas chamber building.

The Congressmen described the Dachau gas chamber in “Document No. 47 of the 79th Congress, 1st Session, Senate Report (May 15, 1945) of the Committee Requested by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Congress of the U.S. relative to Atrocities and other Conditions in Concentration Camps in Germany.” This document was entered into the Nuremberg trial proceedings as IMT Document L-159, but the Congressmen did not testify.

The following quote is from Document No. 47 written by the US Congressmen:

“The gas chamber was located in the center of a large room in the crematory building. It was built of concrete. Its dimensions were about 20 by 20 feet, and the ceiling was some 10 feet in height. In two opposite walls of the chamber were airtight doors through which condemned prisoners could be taken into the chamber for execution and removed after execution. The supply of gas into the chamber was controlled by means of two valves on one of the outer walls, and beneath the valves was a small glass-covered peephole through which the operator could watch the victims die. The gas was let into the chamber through pipes terminating in perforated brass fixtures set into the ceiling. The chamber was of size sufficient to execute probably a hundred men at one time.”

The problem with the Congressmen’s report is that the ceiling of the gas chamber, as seen today, is 7.6 feet high, and no “pipes terminating in perforated brass fixtures”  can be seen. Are the “pipes terminating in perforated brass fixtures” hidden by a new ceiling that was added after May 1, 1945?

The photo below, taken in the Mauthausen gas chamber, shows what pipes, terminating in perforated fixtures would have looked like.

Water pipes terminating in perforated fixtures in the Mauthausen gas chamber

In May 2001, I photographed the one remaining shower head in the Dachau gas chamber, which was made of sheet metal, not brass.  How could the Congressmen have seen things that were not there?  Insanity is defined as seeing things that are not there.  Were these Congressmen all crazy?

The one remaining shower head at Dachau in 2001 was not made of brass

The following is a quote from a 1945 report by the OSS Section, US Seventh Army, entitled Dachau Concentration Camp, with a foreword written by Col. William W. Quinn:

“GAS CHAMBERS: the internees who were brought to Camp Dachau for the sole purpose of being executed were in most cases Jews and Russians. They were brought into the compound, lined up near the gas chambers, and were screened in a similar manner as internees who came to Dachau for imprisonment. Then they were marched to a room and told to undress. Everyone was given a towel and a piece of soap, as though they were about to take a shower. During this whole screening process, no hint was ever given that they were to be executed, for the routine was similar upon the arrival of all internees at the camp. Then they entered the gas chamber. Over the entrance, in large black letters, was written “Brause Bad” (showers). There were about 15 shower faucets suspended from the ceiling from which gas was then released. There was one large chamber, capacity of which was 200, and five smaller gas chambers, capacity of each being 50. It took approximately 10 minutes for the execution. From the gas chamber, the door led to the Krematory to which the bodies were removed by internees who were selected for the job. The dead bodies were then placed in 5 furnaces, two or three bodies at a time.”

Pipe goes through the wall of the undressing room into the Dachau gas chamber

The two rooms on either side of the Dachau gas chamber (undressing room and morgue room) are 10 ft. high. The photo above shows a pipe going through the wall of the undressing room into the gas chamber.  This indicates that the gas chamber room is also 10 ft. high, but has a dropped ceiling, making it 7.6 ft. high.  So what is in the space between the 10 ft. ceiling and the dropped ceiling?  Could there be water pipes and real shower heads for a shower room in this space?

On the west wall of the Dachau gas chamber, there are two openings, one for a peep hole and one for a water pipe.  The two openings are shown in the photo below.  The frames around these openings don’t match, which indicates that they were probably not put there at the same time. The peep hole was probably added after the gas chamber was built.  Why would a shower room need a peephole?

Openings for peep hole and water faucet in Dachau gas chamber

Soon after the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945, a US War Crimes Investigation Team was brought to Dachau and an attempt was made to find some of the bodies of the prisoners who had been gassed. It was the policy to burn the bodies in all the camps, but in the last months of the war, the bodies at Dachau had been buried on a hill called Leitenberg.

One of the mass graves on Leitenberg was opened and Dr. Charles Larson, a leading forensic pathologist, who was with the US Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Department (JAGD), performed autopsies on hundreds of bodies without finding any that showed evidence of poison gas.

So, is there any evidence that there was a gas chamber at Dachau?  Yes, a letter from Dr. Sigmund Rascher to Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, which is quoted here. There is also the film that was shown at the Nuremberg IMT; the film was introduced at the IMT to prove the charges of Crimes against Humanity, which were new laws made up by the Allies AFTER the war.

The transcript of the narration in the film about the gas chamber at Dachau is quoted below:

“This is the Brausebad — the shower bath. Inside the shower bath — the gas vents. On the ceiling — the dummy shower heads. In the engineers room — the intake and outlet pipes. Push buttons to control inflow and outtake of gas. A hand-valve to regulate pressure. Cyanide powder was used to generate the lethal smoke. From the gas chamber, the bodies were removed to the crematory.

The “gas vents” shown in film were empty light fixture boxes

“Engineer’s room” that was shown in film at Nuremberg IMT

There are two openings on the east wall of the Dachau gas chamber, one of which is shown in the photo below.

Opening on the east wall of the Dachau gas chamber

The information about the two wall openings, which was given in the display in the undressing room next to the gas chamber, when I visited the Dachau Memorial Site in 1997, is quoted here:

“Vents – flaps where prussic acid poison pellets could be inserted from the outside.”

Whadda ya mean, “could be”?  Were poison pellets inserted from the outside or not?

The openings for the “poison pellets,” shown in the photograph above, are approximately 16 by 28 inches in size. Behind these grates are two bins on the outside wall, which could have been opened in order to pour the pellets onto the floor of the gas chamber. The grated openings are less than two feet above the floor and two of the 6 floor drains are about 4 feet from the openings. The manufacturer’s guidelines for the use of Zyklon-B cautioned users that the pellets should be put back into the can, after gassing was complete, and returned for recycling, not swept down a drain.

The photo below shows the outside wall where the two openings are located.

Two openings on the east wall of the Dachau gas chamber

In the photo above, it looks like someone tried to make a hole in the wall, but botched the job.  Does this look like German construction to you?

How come no one ever mentioned these openings until long after the Nuremberg IMT?  Is it because these two openings were not there when the American liberators arrived?  If so, who did this construction and why?

I was inspired to do this post by a comment made by Mr. Malanga, a teacher at TechBoston Academy, who was the guide for a group of students on a trip to Dachau. Mr. Malanga thinks that I “need to do a little more research” before I “create these ridiculous posts.”

I think that Mr. Malanga’s students were not adequately prepared for their trip to Dachau. One student who wrote about the Dachau trip was concerned with the feelings of the Jews as they went into the gas chamber and the feelings of the SS men who gassed them, but not about whether or not this was actually a gas chamber.

March 17, 2010

Gordon Hogan, Dachau tour guide

Today, I read an article posted on this website with the headline “Genocide, the stench of death and eating lunch in a gas chamber.”

The article is about an Irishman from Tipperary, named Gordon Hogan, who conducts tours for visitors to the Dachau Memorial Site. According to the article, Gordon “is one of the leading tour guides at the Nazi death camp of Dachau.”

The following quote is from the article:

“Gordon, 29, who lives in Munich, knows everything there is to know about the dark history of the horrific Dachau concentration camp.

“So who better to show the camp to the huge number of visitors who come to see it annually than the Templemore artist?”

Who better?  I think maybe someone who knows about the real history of the Dachau concentration camp would be better. The visitors probably already know the “dark history of the horrific Dachau concentration camp.”  What the visitors need is an unbiased tour guide with a Neutral Point of View (NPV) and a knowledge of history.

A visitor to Dachau who took Gordon Hogan’s tour on June 30, 2008 wrote this on his blog:

“… we got to see the actual crematorium and gas room that prisoners would be taken to to kill and later incinerate.  It was a somber place to be but I am very glad to be given the opportunity to witness this place first hand.  The gas room was a serious site.  To stand in a room where at least, I think, about a 1,000 prisoners were gased (sic) to death was a sad place to see.”

Some time ago, I read another visitor’s blog about her trip to Dachau. She didn’t identify her tour guide by name, but she did identify him by his accent; how many tour guides with an “Irish accent” could there be at Dachau? I’m guessing that there is only one: Gordon Hogan.

Regarding the Dachau gas chamber, the blogger wrote this:

The guide spoke of how they cleverly pumped warm air into the room, waited for the poisonous capsule to change to cyanide and then 20 minute for the people to die. Then they moved the bodies into the next room and removed the gold fillings. Finally onto the ovens.

Dachau gas chamber has heating vent near the floor, May 2001

The photo above shows the west wall of the Dachau gas chamber; notice the square vent in the corner near the floor.  This appears to be a heating vent to warm what looks like a shower room.  A portable sign in the corner informed visitors in 2001 that this room was never used as a gas chamber or never put into operation as a gas chamber; the sign was removed in 2003.

According to tour guide Gordon Hogan, poisonous capsules were poured into the Dachau gas chamber through two vents on the east wall of the room, as shown in the photo below.

Two vents on the east wall of the Dachau gas chamber

Close-up of  vent through which cyanide pellets were poured into the Dachau gas chamber

The vents shown in the photos above are on the opposite side of the room from the heater. Wouldn’t it have been more efficient to put the heater closer to where the pellets were poured in so that they would heat up faster?

There are two serious problems with Gordon Hogan’s version of how poisonous capsules were put into the Dachau gas chamber disguised as a shower room.  The first problem is that the American prosecutors at Nuremberg showed a film of the gas chamber in which it was explained that the gas came through the shower heads and the gas flow was regulated by control wheels behind the west wall of the gas chamber, as shown in the photo below. According to the evidence presented at Nuremberg, the poisonous gas was not in the form of capsules.

Still photo from film shown as evidence at Nuremberg

Notice the peep hole in the photo above.  The person who was operating the control wheels could look inside the gas chamber to see when all the prisoners were dead.  There was no peep hole on the opposite wall where Gordon tells visitors that poisonous capsules were poured onto the floor. Shouldn’t the peep hole be on the side where the gas is being poured in?

In the film that was shown at Nuremberg, the narrator said that poison gas was vented through empty light fixture boxes and that the input of the gas was regulated by push buttons which you can see in the black and white photo above.

Empty light fixture box described as a “gas vent” in Nuremberg film

The photo above shows a light fixture box in the northeast corner of the Dachau gas chamber. Note the wiring for the light fixture that was removed. This box was described as a “gas vent” in the film, made on May 3, 1945, which was shown at the Nuremberg IMT on November 29, 1945.

How come the American liberators didn’t notice the openings on the east wall where Gordon Hogan tells visitors that poisonous capsules were poured into the room?  Why weren’t these openings mentioned at the Nuremberg IMT? Could it be that these openings weren’t there until much later?

The film that was shown at Nuremberg, which includes the gas chamber footage, can be seen on YouTube.

The second problem with Gordon’s version of the gassing procedure is that Dachau had four machines that were supplied by the Degesh company, which manufactured the poisonous pellets, but there was no Degesh machine in the gas chamber disguised as a shower room.  The Degesh machines were installed in the four disinfection chambers where the clothing was deloused with Zyklon-B, the same gas that was used for homicidal gassing. These machines automatically opened a can of Zyklon-B pellets, poured them into a wire basket and then blew warm air over the pellets.  After the clothing had been deloused, the pellets were retrieved from the basket, put back into the can and returned to the Degesh company to have more poison put into the pellets.  In Gordon’s version of the story, the pellets would have gone down the six floor drains in the gas chamber and poisoned the whole camp. There were no floor drains in the disinfection chambers for this very reason.

Machine used for putting gas pellets into Dachau disinfection chambers

To me, the big question is why didn’t the Germans use one of these Degesh machines in the homicidal gas chamber where people were gassed at Dachau?

Here is a quote from “The Official Report by the U.S. Seventh Army, released only days after the camp was liberated”:

“The internees who were brought to Camp Dachau for the sole purpose of being executed were in most cases Jews and Russians. They were brought to the compound, lined up near the gas chambers, and were screened in a similar manner as internees who came to Dachau for imprisonment. Then they were marched to a room and told to undress. Everyone was given a towel and a piece of soap, as though they were about to take a shower. During this whole screening process, no hint was ever given that they were to be executed, for the routine was similar upon arrival of all internees in the camp.”

The official report seems to be saying that either water or gas could come out of the shower heads since “the routine was similar upon arrival of all internees.”  However, the prisoners would not have been fooled; the photo below shows what a real shower room at Dachau looked like. This shower room is in the building that is now the Dachau Museum.  The shower fixtures have been removed.

Shower room in what is now the Dachau Museum

The gas chamber, that was disguised as a shower room at Dachau, apparently did not have shower fixtures that looked like those in the photo above.   When I visited in 2001, the one remaining shower head was just stuck into the ceiling. Sometime after the film was shown at Nuremberg, it was discovered that the shower heads were not connected to any pipes.  But in the film, there were pipes shown behind the west wall of the gas chamber and those pipes entered the gas chamber disguised as a shower room.

If you look through a window behind the gas chamber, you can see that the pipes shown in the Nuremberg film are still there.  The photo below was taken through the window.

Photo taken through a window shows pipes going into gas chamber

If someone were to cut a hole in the 7.6 ft. dropped ceiling of the Dachau gas chamber, would we be able to see water pipes hanging from the real 10 ft. ceiling above? The two rooms on either side of the gas chamber both have 10 ft. ceilings.

After a group of U.S. Congressmen visited Dachau on May 1, 1945, they wrote a report in which they described the ceiling of the gas chamber as being 10 ft. high. On May 3, 1945, when the film that was shown at Nuremberg was made, the ceiling was 7.6 ft. high.

Curiously, no one was ever put on trial for a war crime involving the gas chamber at Dachau.  Autopsies were conducted on hundreds of bodies at Dachau by Dr. Charles Larson, but no evidence of death by gassing was ever found.

The Dachau Memorial Site leaves it up to the individual tour guides to tell visitors whatever they want to about the gas chamber at Dachau.

Holocaust denial is against the law in Germany.  But what about telling Holocaust lies?  Shouldn’t there be a penalty for that also?

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