Scrapbookpages Blog

April 3, 2016

British students were hesitant to enter one of the gas chambers at Auschwitz…

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:13 am
My photo of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

My photo of the gas chamber in Auschwitz main camp shows a door into the chamber

The victims did not enter the gas chamber through the door shown in the photo above.  This door was for the SS men to enter the room, which was used for a bomb shelter by the SS men stationed at Auschwitz.

I put this photo on my blog because it is a favorite of some of the readers of my website.

The title of my blog post today comes from a line in a news article which you can read in full here.

This quote from the news article, cited above, is about the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp. The following quote is the words of one of the students, who went on a trip to Auschwitz recently:

Begin quote

I could tell some students were incredibly hesitant to enter one of the gas chambers, a place where thousands of innocent people were killed.

Chillingly, it took the Germans two days to kill the first innocent group due to a lack of knowledge in knowing how much Zyklon B to add to the chamber.

From killing hundreds in days, the Germans tweaked the quantity of Zyklon B pellets used and could now kill thousands in minutes.

We entered, and you felt an incredible sense of what those entering the chamber would’ve felt – though obviously nowhere near as terrifying or shocking.

A concrete bunker it was, just a room with plain concrete walls, a plain concrete ceiling and very claustrophobic.

End quote


My photo above shows the opening into the gas chamber from the oven room where the bodies were burned after the gassing.  According to the Holocaust legend, 2000 Jews were gassed at one time, but this would have taken months to burn the bodies in the few cremation ovens that were in this building.

After the students had seen the gas chamber in the main camp, they toured the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

[Auschwitz] Home to millions of people during World War II, we all know the outcome of the holocaust – the pain it caused, the separation of families, the killing of men, women and children of all ages.

But it’s not until you stand in the footprints of those innocent people who were killed because of their race, belief, or way of life, that you grasp maybe just one per cent of the feeling that prisoners felt when stepping off the train.

The irony of stepping off that train, onto the platform, and inhaling your first drop of fresh air in days.

End quote

Jews getting off a train at Birkenau

Jews getting off a train at Birkenau. Where is the platform?

This quote is also from the news article:

Begin quote

Standing on the platform, I look to my left and see an endless train line – running deep into the woods that helped the Germans disguise the true purpose of Auschwiz [Auschwitz].

I look to my right and see the iconic building that shadows the death camp – looking forwards and backwards just fields, fields as far as the eye can see.

It’s near impossible to describe the day, the place, the feeling of standing in a spot where millions of people were once murdered.

End quote

Railroad tracks into Auschwitz-Birkenau

End of railroad tracks into Auschwitz-Birkenau

Tracks were built inside the Birkenau camp in 1944 to bring the Jews to the gas chambers on either side of the tracks. The tracks ended at the gas chambers.

The news article continues with this quote:

Now a museum, Auschwitz I [the main camp] is something I will never, ever, forget.

Prior to arrival [at the main camp], prisoners were shown images of a ‘swimming pool’ with green grass, flowers and beautiful countryside in the background – a lie which clearly worked.

Little did they know this swimming pool’s only purpose was to extinguish any fires that broke out – and lying directly next to the ‘pool’ was endless amounts of fencing, barbed wire and lookout bases to stop any prisoners escaping.

End quote

Swimming pool in Auschwitz main camp

1996 photo of swimming pool in Auschwitz camp

When I visited Auschwitz, for the first time, back in 1998, I asked to see the swimming pool, but I was told that it was not on the tour.

My tour guide told me that there were two swimming pools at Auschwitz, one for the prisoners and one for the SS men, but she would not show me either pool.

When I returned in 2005, the swimming pool for the prisoners was still not included on the tour, but I found it myself as I wandered around on my own in the early morning.

The swimming pool is now called a water reservoir on a sign board that was erected some time after my visit to Auschwitz in October 2005. The words on the sign board are in Polish, English and Hebrew; the sign reads as follows: “Fire brigade reservoir built in the form of a swimming pool, probably in early 1944.”

Note the clever way that the Nazis disguised the Fire brigade reservoir by putting diving boards there. God forbid that today’s British students should know that Auschwitz prisoners were diving and swimming at a death camp.



September 17, 2013

Holocaust survivor who “got the water, not the gas”

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 7:21 am

The title of my blog post today comes from a news article about the Holocaust on ABC News, which has the headline shown below:

Holocaust Survivor, Daughter Offer Business Advice Tips From Auschwitz

Jill Klein, the daughter of Holocaust survivor, Gene Klein, has written a new book about Auschwitz. You can read the full article, about her book, on the ABC News website here.

This quote is from the news article:

Her book, “We got the Water: Tracing My Family’s Path Through Auschwitz,” takes its title from an entry in a diary kept by Gene Klein’s sister Lilly, who also was interned in the infamous Nazi death camp. Lilly wrote in her diary of being sent to Auschwitz’s showers. In her case, she was sent to a real bathhouse, not to the gas chamber:

“Then we went into the showers, and we were the lucky ones. We got the water. Millions of others got the gas, but we knew nothing about that then.”  […]

She says she and her dad started doing the presentations a year ago and have done about a dozen so far. They speak for free to not-for-profit groups. For-profit clients pay between $6,000 and $10,000. Further information about their presentations can be found at

I haven’t read Jill’s book, but it sounds very misleading to me. Her book implies that some of the prisoners got water and others got gas — from the same source.

Did the shower rooms at Auschwitz have faucets that dispensed water sometimes, and gas other times?  No, the gas chambers in Krema II and Krema III at Auschwitz-Birkenau, did not have shower faucets.

Krema IV and Krema V at Auschwitz-Birkenau had gas chambers that were disguised as showers, so presumably they had shower faucets. However, water and gas could not have come out of the same faucet.  The gas was in the form of pellets; it could not have been put into the gas chambers through shower faucets.

Jill Klein may have gotten the idea for her book from the movie Schindler’s List, which shows Jewish women inside what they think is a gas chamber, but then water comes out of the faucets.  After the women leave the building where they have taken a shower, they look across the road and see Jews descending some stairs into a gas chamber building.  This scene is pure fiction.  The Sauna building at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which had a shower room, was NOT directly across from a gas chamber building that had stairs going down into the undressing room.  If the women in the movie were in a shower room in Krema IV or Krema V, the gas chambers with steps going down into the undressing room were about a mile away, so they could not have seen the steps.

I am guessing that Jill’s Aunt Lilly was sent to either Crematorium IV or Crematorium V, which had ovens to burn the bodies and also shower rooms for the prisoners. She “got the water” because she was NOT sent to Crematorium II or Crematorium III, which did not have shower faucets.

Photo of Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau, taken in 1943

Photo of Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau, taken in 1943

The photograph above, taken in the Summer of 1943, shows Krema IV (Crematorium IV) just after it first became operational.  The gas chamber, disguised as a shower room, was located above ground in the wing of the building which is to the left in the picture. Note that the roof line of the gas chamber is lower than the roof of the main part of the building.  According to official Holocaust history, Zyklon-B poison gas pellets were thrown into a fake shower room through windows on the outside wall of the Krema IV gas chamber. This building was blown up by Jewish inmates in a camp rebellion on October 7, 1944. Krema V was a mirror image of Krema IV.  There is nothing left of these buildings, except the reconstructed ruins.

The Sauna Building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The Sauna Building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Krema IV was across the road from the beautiful red brick building, called “die zentrale Sauna” which was the place where incoming prisoners were processed and the prisoner’s clothing was disinfected.  There was a shower room for the prisoners in the Sauna building.

In the movie Schindler’s List, women prisoners are shown exiting from the shower room in the Sauna building; they see the high brick chimney of Krema IV, which is across the road from the Sauna. The gas chambers in Krema IV and Krema V were above ground, although in Schindler’s List, the prisoners are shown going down steps into an underground undressing room.

The photo below is from the Auschwitz Album, a book of photos taken by an SS man at Birkenau on May 26, 1944. It shows a group of Hungarian Jews waiting at the western end of the camp; the Central Sauna, where the main shower room was located, is across the road from where the Jews are waiting.  Krema IV and Krema V are behind them and to the left.

Prisoners waiting for a shower in the Krema IV building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Hungarian Prisoners waiting for a shower at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The building plans for Krema IV and Krema V show shower rooms, but according to official Holocaust history, these rooms were actually gas chambers. Even the Red Cross inspectors were fooled by these showers; they thought that these were real showers, not gas chambers.

Between April 29, 1944 and July 8, 1944, there was a total of 437,402 Hungarian Jews transported by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau, including Jill Klein’s relatives.  The photo below shows the entrance gate into the Birkenau camp.

Entrance into Birkenau camp was called the Gate of Death by the prisoners

Entrance into Birkenau camp was called the Gate of Death by the prisoners

In May 1944, the train tracks were extended, through the gate house, to the inside of the Birkenau camp.  Just inside the camp, there was a switch which divided the tracks, as shown in the photo below.


Train tracks were extended into the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in the Spring of 1944

Train tracks were extended into the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in the Spring of 1944

The train tracks to Auschwitz were extended inside the camp in May 1944, so that the Hungarian Jews could be brought into the camp, instead of being brought from the trains by truck into the camp. The single track that entered through the “Gate of Death” was divided into two tracks inside the camp.

Prisoners getting off the train inside the Birkenau camp

Prisoners getting off the train inside the Birkenau camp

The photo above shows the tall chimneys of Krema II on the left and Krema III on the right.  Some of the prisoners who got off the train went directly to Krema II or Krema III, according to official Holocaust history.

Some of the Hungarian Jews were allegedly gassed immediately without going through a selection process. The next day, the survivors were told by the other prisoners that their relatives had gone “durch den Kamin,” which means “through the chimney.” This was an expression, used by the prisoners in the camp, which meant that the victims had been immediately gassed upon arrival and then burned in a crematorium at Birkenau.

Jill Klein’s relatives were the lucky ones, who “got the water, not the gas.”

At the end of October 1944, Heinrich Himmler ordered the gassing of the prisoners with Zyklon-B to be stopped, according to a guide book which I purchased at the Auschwitz Memorial Site in 1998; the last “selection” of prisoners was on October 30, 1944. This decision, according to the guidebook, was prompted by the liberation of the Majdanek death camp and the discovery, by soldiers of the Soviet Union, of the incriminating evidence of 500 empty Zyklon-B cans and several remaining gas chambers with blue stains on the walls, left by the gas. His decision was also influenced by the camp uprising when Krema IV was blown up. The prisoners had used dynamite, that had been smuggled in by women inmates, who worked in factories outside the camp.