Scrapbookpages Blog

May 18, 2014

Photos of Krema II at Auschwitz-Birkenau, then and now

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:46 am
1945 photo shows North view of the ruins of Krema II at Auschwitz

Old photo shows North view of the ruins of Krema II at Auschwitz

My 2005 photo of the collapsed roof of Krema II

My 2005 photo of the collapsed roof of Krema II shows the same view

The two photos above show how much the ruins of Krema II at Auschwitz-Birkenau have deteriorated over the years. The photo at the top of the page was borrowed from this website. Notice that there are many more trees in my 2005 photos.

This quote is from the website which shows the old photos on my blog post today:

Crematorium II in Auschwitz-Birkenau was based on a design by Architect Georg Werkmann as modified by Walter Dejaco. The central part of the building contained furnaces with a capacity of 1440 corpses per day. The gas chambers and undressing rooms were underground; the bodies were brought up by elevator. On Saturday, March 13, 1943, 1,492 women, children and elderly people from the Cracow ghetto were gassed and burned here in its inagural run. It was blown up by the Germans as they prepared to evacuate the camp in January 1945. The 4 crematoria in Auschwitz-Birkenau are examples of the application of industrial technology to the problem of mass murder.

Note that the bodies “were brought up by elevator” and that the “gas chamber and undressing rooms were underground.”  Was there a third room underground where the bodies were stored until they could be burned?  Not that I know of.  There were two German architects or engineers,  who worked on the design.  Did they forget to include a morgue in their design?

1945 West view photo of Krema II

1945 West view photo of Krema II

My 2005 photo of the ruins of Krema II

My 2005 photo of the West view of the ruins of Krema II

The two similar views of the Krema II gas chamber building at Auschwitz-Birkeanau, shown above, illustrate how much the ruins have changed and how more trees have been planted.

My 2005 photo shows another view of the ruins of Krema II

My 2005 photo shows another view of the ruins of Krema II

The photo above shows the building that is also shown on the left hand side of the old photo at the top of the page.

This quote is from the website, where I copied the old photos:

When the Germans destroyed crematorium I (sic) in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the walls blew out, leaving the roof to fall onto the foundation. The victims selected for death approached from the east, having walked from their train down a long street known at the lagerstrasse. Although the smell of burning flesh permeated the camp and flames could often be seen rising from the chimneys of the crematoria, the Nazis were usually succesful (sic) in deceiving the victims as to their immediate peril. Crematorium II stood next to Crematorium III, two brick buildings with squat, square chimneys. The victims were told to descend by stairway into the cellar which served as the undressing room. Signs in several languages said “To the Baths and Disinfecting Rooms,” “Cleanliness brings freedom” and “One louse may kill you.” Clothes were put on numbered hooks. The victims were then were sent to small vestibules where someone pointed to to the doors of a white-washed room resembling the one they had just left–in this room the showerheads were fake and several of the pillars were hollow with perforations to let out the gas.

Note that there was a “white-washed room” with “fake showerheads” on the ceiling and there were pillars in the room, “several” of which “were hollow with perforations to let out the gas.”  My 2005 photo of Krema III, which was the same design as Krema II, has what looks like a pillar in the ruins of the undressing room, although it is not “hollow with perforations to let out the gas.”  How did the gas pellets get into the hollow pillars?  There is no mention of holes in the roof, through which the gas pellets could have been poured.

My 2005 photo of Krema III shows columns in the ruins of the undressing room

My 2005 photo of the ruins of Krema III shows columns in the undressing room

The photo above shows the ruins of the undressing room in Krema III, which was a mirror image of Krema II.  The columns appear to be concrete, and not perforated.  The grass in the background is the location of the soccer field, where the prisoners played against a team of SS soldiers, while the victims were being gassed, only a few yards away.

My 2005 photo of the ruins of the Krema III gas chamber

My 2005 photo of the ruins of the Krema III gas chamber shows concrete columns

On the blueprint of Krema III, the gas chamber was called Leichenkeller 1 (Corpse Cellar # 1). In the photo above, one can see the solid concrete columns that once supported the roof of the gas chamber. When the gas chamber was in use, it had holes in the roof through which the Zyklon-B gas pellets were poured into perforated columns.  These performated columns can no longer be seen today.

The photo immediately below is a still photo from the film taken by the Soviets in February 1945. In October 2005, I took the second photo below, which shows the same view as the old photo, except for the addition of more trees.

Old photo from a film taken by the Soviets in February 1945

Old photo from a film taken by the Soviets in February 1945

My 2005 photo of the ruins of Krema II

My 2005 photo of the ruins of Krema II

The photo below, which looks like two photos, side by side, shows the door into the alleged gas chamber in the Auschwitz main camp, on the right hand side.

Soviet photo, taken  in February 1945 shows door into gas chamber in main Auschwitz camp

Photo which shows the alleged gas chamber in main Auschwitz camp

My 2005 photo of the door, into the Auschwitz main camp gas chamber, is shown below. When I visited Auschwitz in 1998, my tour guide told me that this was the original door into the gas chamber in the main camp.  Tourists are now told that this door was constructed when the room was changed into an air raid shelter for the Germans stationed at Auschwitz.

Air raid shelter door into Auschwitz main camp gas chamber

Air raid shelter door into Auschwitz main camp gas chamber

As I was writing this blog post, these words were going through my head:

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”  Sir Walter Scott, 1808