The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 18:12:43 -0800
From: (Mark Van Alstine)
To: (Ken McVay OBC)
Subject: First execution shooting in Auschwitz
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Source: "Auschwitz Chronicle, 1939-1945 / Danuta Czech. - 1st American ed.
(ISBN 0-8050-0938-8); pp. 35. (Ref: APMO D-AuI-1/5, 6, 8-9, 10-13, 50-56,
The Execution of November 22, 1940)

November 22 [1940]

The first execution by shooting takes place in the camp. Those executed
are the 40 Poles Himmler selected from the four lists presented by the
local Stapo in retaliation for the alleged violence and assualt on police
officials in Kattowitz. Himmler orders the execution to be carried out
without the public's knowledge. The list of the condemmed is sent with
instructions of the SS Commander in Chief* on November 1 in the form of an
order through the Head of Sipo and SD in Berlin, Heydrich, to the Superior
SS and Police Commander in Breslau, von dem Bach-Zelewski. The latter
gives an additional order to the head of the Gestapo in Kattowitz, Senior
State Councillor Dr. Emmanuel Scha:fer. Because of the order to carry out
the execution in secret, the site of Auschwitz C.C. is selected. The
condemmed are admitted to Auschwitz on November 22 at 11:45 AM from the
Kripo headquarters in Kattowitz. The execution is performed at 12 0'clock;
it takes 20 minutes and is directed by SS First Lieutenant Karl Fritzsch,
the Camp Commander. SS Second Lieutenant Ta"ger is the commander of the
execution squad, consisting of 20 SS Men from the Auschwitz Death's Head
Guard Company. Two SS Men shot each of the condemned individually.



"Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes 
not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties--but
right through every human heart--and all human hearts." 

-- Alexander Solzhenitsyn, "The Gulag Archipelago"

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