The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz//gassing-descriptions

From: (Mark Van Alstine)
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Pellets, shower, porous pillars...
Date: Thu, 07 Nov 1996 12:40:09 -0700
Organization: rbi software systems
Lines: 311
References:  <55r90b$>
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In article <55r90b$>, (Ceacaa) wrote:


> "Irreproachably correct"  SS, bath directors handing out 
> towels, girls in blue skirts playing sweet music.
> THAT is the Holocaust story.  I admit your story
> makes far more sense but how do you reconcile your description which
> emphasizes FORCE with the above actual survivor 
> eyewitness accounts which clearly state that the victims were tricked into
> the gaschamber?  

Mr. Allen, perhaps a few more examples might help dispell your "confusion"
in regards to how the homicidal gassings were carried out? To whit:

SS Unterscarfu"hrer Broad, Political Section (Gestapo) at KL Auschwitz:

"...There at the ramp the cattle vans were being unloaded and the people
who had arrived in them, were slowly march8ing towards their unknown
destination. All of them had large, yellow Jewish stars on their miserable
clothes. Their worn faces showed that they had suffered many a hardship.
The majority were elderly people. From their conversation one could gather
that up to their unexpected transportation hither they had been employed
in factories, that they were willing to go on working and to be useful as
much as they could. A few guards without guns, but with pistols well
hidden in their pockets, escorted the procession to the crematorium. The
SS men promised the people, who were begining to feel more hopeful, that
they would be employed at suitable work, according to their occupations.
Explicit instructions as to thier behaviour were given the SS men by
Ho"ssler. Up till then the guards treated the new arrivals very roughly,
trying to 'keep them at arm's length' with blows, but their were no
uncivil words at that moment. The more fiendish the whole plan! Both
leaves of the big entrance gate to the crematorium were wide open.
Suspecting nothing the column marched in, in lines of five persons, and
stood in the yard. Somewhat nerviously the SS guard at the entrance waited
for the last man to enter the yard. Quickly he shut the gate and bolted
it. Grabner and Ho"ssler were standing on the rof of the crematorium.
Grabner spoke to the Jews who unsuspectingly awaited their fate.

"'You will now bathe and be disinfeted, we don't wan't any epidemics in
the camp. Then you will be brought to your barracks, and get some hot
soup. You wil be employed in accordance with your professional
qualifications. Now undress and put your clothes in front of yoiu on the

"They willingy followed those instructions, given them in a friendly,
warm-hearted voice. Some looked forward to the soup, others were glad that
that their nerve-wracking uncertainty as to their immediate future was
over and that their worst expectations were not realized. All felt
relieved after theiur days full of anxiety. Grabner and Ho"ssler continued
from the roof to give freindly advice which had a calming effect upon the
people. 'Put your shoes close to your clothes bundle, so that you can find
them after the bath'. - "Is the water warm? Of course, warm showers. -
What is your trade? A shoemaker? We need them urgently, report to me
immediately after!'  - Such words dispelled last doubts or lingering
suspicions. The first lines entered the morturary thrugh the hall.
Everything was extremely tidy. But the specific smell made some of them
uneasy. They looked in vain for showers or water pipes fixed to the
ceiling. The hall meanwhile was getting packed. Several SS men had entered
with them, full of jokes and small talk. They inobtrusuvely kept their
eyes on the entrance. As soon as the last person had entered, they
dissapeared without much ado. Suddenly the door was closed. It had been
made tight with rubber and secured with iron fittings. Those inside heard
the heavy bolts being secured. They were screwed with screws, making the
door airtight. A deadly, paralysing terror spread aong the victims. They
started to beat upon the door, in helpless rage and despair they hammered
with their fists upon it. Derisive laughter was the only reply. Somebody
shouted through the door, 'Don't get burn't, while you tke your bath!' -
Several victims noticed that the covers had been removed from the six
holes in the ceiling. They uttered a loud cry of terror when they saw a
head in a gas-mask in one opening. The 'disinfectors' were at work. One of
them was SS _Unterscarfu"hrer_ Teur, decorted with the Cross of War Merit.
With a chisel and a hammer they opened a few inncously looking tins which
bore the inscription 'Cyclon, to be used against vermin. Attention,
poison! To be opened by trained personnel only!' The tins were filled to
the brim with blue granules the size of peas. Immediately after opening
the tins, their contents was thrown into the holes which were then quickly
covered...." (Czech, _KL Auschwitz_, pp.175-176.) 

SS Obersturmbannfu"hrer Ho"ss, 1st Kommandant of KL Auschwitz:

"In the spring of 1942 [January] the first transports of Jews arrived from
Upper Silesia. All of them were to be exterminated. They were led from the
ramp across the meadow, later named section B-II of Birkenau, to the
farmhouse called Bunker I. [Camp Commander] Aumeier, Palitzch, and a few
other block leaders led them and spoke to them as one would in casual
conversation, asking them about their occupations and their schooling in
order to fool them. After arriving at the farm house they were told to
undress. AT first they went very quietly into the rooms where they were
suposed to be disinfected. At that point some of them became suspicious
and started talking about suffocation and extermination. Immediately a
panic started. Those stil standing outside were quickly driven into the
chambers, and the doors were bolted shut. In the next transport those who
were nervous or upset were identifed and watched closely at all times. As
soon as unrest was noticed these troublemakers were inconspiciously led
behind the farmhouse and killed with a small-caliber pistol, which could
not be heard by the others. The presence of the Sonderkommando and their
soothing behavior also helped calm the restless and suspicious. Some of
the SOnderkommando even went with them into the rooms and stayed until the
last moment to keep them calm while an SS soldier stood in the doorway.
The most important thing, of course, was to maintain as mucg peace and
quitr as possible during the process of arriving and undressing. If some
did not want to undress, some of those already undressed as well as the
Sonderkommando had to help them undress. 

"With quite talk and persuasion even those who resisted were soothed and
udressed. The Sonderkommando, which was composed of prisoners, took great
pains that the process of undressing took place very quickly so that the
victims had no time to think about what was happening. Actually the eager
assistance of the Sonderkommando during the undressing and the processin
into the gas chambers was very peculiar. Never did I see or hear even a
syllable breathed to those who were going to be gassed as to what their
fate was. On the contrary, they tried everything to fool them. Most of
all, they tried to calm those who seeed to guess what was ahead/ Even
though they might not believe the SS soldiers, they would have complete
trust in those of their own race. For this reon the SOnderkommando was
always composed of Jews from the same country as those who were being sent
to the gas chambers." (Ho"ss, _Death Dealer_, pp. 157-158.) 

Prisoner Doctor, and Auschwitz survivor, Miklos Nyiszli : 

"...Five abreast the group entered the courtyard; it was the moment about
which the outside world knew nothing, for anyone who might have known
something about it, after having treaveled the path of his destiny- the
300 yards seperating that spot from the ramp -had never returned to tell
the tale. It was one of the crematoriums which awaited those who had been
selected for the left-hand column. And not, as the German lie had made the
right-hand column suppose in order to allay their anxiety, a camp for the
sick and children, where the infirm cared for the little ones. 

"They advanced with slow weary steps. The children's eyes were heavy with
sleep and they clung to their mothers' clothes. For the most part the
babies were carried in their fathers' arms, or else wheeled in their
carriages. The SS guards remained before the crematorium doors, where a
poster announced: 'Entrance is Strictly Forbidden to All Who Have No
Business Here, Inclusing SS.'

"The deportees were quick to notice the water faucets, used for sprinkling
the grass, that were arranged about the courtyard. They began to take pots
and pans from their luggage, and broke ranks, pushing and shoving in an
effort to get near the faucets and fill their containers. That they were
impatient was not astonishing: for the past five days they had had nothing
to drink. If ever they had found a little water, it had been stagnant and
had not quenched their thirst. The SS guards who recieved the convoys were
used to the scene. They waited patiently till each had quenched his thirst
and filled his container. IN any case, the guards knew that as long as
they not drunk their would be no getting them back in line. Slowly they
began to re-form their ranks. Then they advanced for about 100 yards along
a cinder path edged with green grass to an iron ramp, from which 10 or 12
concrete steps led underground to an enourmus room dominated by a large
sign in German, French, Greek and Hungarian: 'Bath and Disinfecting Room.'
The sign was reassuring, and allayed the misgivings of fears of even the
most suspicious among them. They went down the stairs almost gaily. 

"The room in which the convoy proceeeded was about 200 yards long: its
walls were whitewashed and it was brightly lit. In the middle of the room,
rows of columns. Around the columns, as well as along the walls, benches.
Above the benches, numbered coat hangers. Numerous signs in several
languages drew everyoe's attention to the necessity of tying his clothes
and shoes together. Especially that he not forget the number of his coat
hanger, in order to avoid all the useless confusion upon his return from
the bath.

"'That's really a German order,' commented those who had long been
inclined to admire the Germans. 

"They were rihgt. As a matter of fact, it _was_ for the sake of order that
these measures had been taken, so that thousands of pairs of good shoes
sorely needed by the THird Reich would not get mixed up. The same fotr the
clothes, so that the population f bombed cities could easily make use of

"There were 3,000 people in the room: men, women and children. SOme of the
soldiers arrived and announced that everyone must be completely undressed
within ten minutes. The aged, grandfathers and grandmothers, the children,
wives and husbands and girls looked at each other questioningly. Perhaps
they had not exactly understood the German words. They did not have long
to think about it, however, for the order resounded again, this time in a
louder, more menacing tone. They were uneasy; their dignity rebelled; but,
with resignation peculiar to their race, having learnt that anything went
as far as they were concerned, they slowly began to undress. The aged, the
paralyzed, the mad were helped by a Sonderkommando squad sent for that
purpose. In ten minutes all were completely naked, their clothes hung on
the pegs, their shoes attached together by their laces. As for the number
of each clothes hanger, it had been carefully noted.

"Making his way through the crowd, an SS opend the swig-doors of the large
oaken gate at the end of the room. The crowd flowed through into another
equally well-lighted room. The second room ws the same size as the first,
but neither benches nor pegs were to be seen. In the center of the room,
at thirty-yard intervals, columns rose from the concrete floor to the
ceiling. They were not supporting columns, but square sheet-iron pipes the
sides which contained numerous perforations, like a wire lattice. 

"Everuone was inside. A horse comand rang out: 'SS and Sonderkommando
leave the room." They obeyed and counted off. The door swung shut and
fromn without the lights were switched off.... (Nyiszli, _Auschwitz_,

Filip Mu"ller, Sonderkommando and Auschwitz survivor:

"Before each gassing operation the SS took stern precuations. The
crematorium was ringed with SS men. Many SS men patrolled the court with
dogs and machine guns. To the right were the steps that led underground to
the 'undressing room." In Birkenau there were four crematoriums,
Crematoriums 2, 3, and 4 and 5. Crematorium 2 was similar to 3. In 2 and 3
the 'undressing room' and the gas chamber were underground. A large
'undressing room' of about three thousand square feet, and a large gas
chamber where one could gas up to three thousand people at a time.
Crematoriums 4 and 5 were of a different types in that they weren't
located underground. Everyhting was at ground level. IN 4 and 5 there were
three gas chabers, with a total capacity of at most eighteen hundred to
two thousand people  at a time.

As people rached the crematoriums, they saw everything- this horribly
violent scene. The whole area was ringed with SS. Dogs barked. Machine
guns. They all, mainly POlish Jews, had misgivings. They knew something
was seriously amiss, but none of them had the faintest of notions that in
three to four hours they'd be reduced to ashes.

"When they reached the 'undressing room,' they saw that it looked like an
Internatinal Information Center! On the walls were hooks, and each hook
had a number. Beneath the hooks were wooden bences. Sp people could
undress 'more comfortably,' it said. And on the numerous pillars that held
up this undrground 'undressing room,' there were signs with slogans in
several languages" 'Cleam is good!' 'Lice ca kill!' 'Wash yourself!' 'To
the disinfection area.' All those signs were only there to lure people
into the gas chambers already undressed. And to the left, at a right
angle, was the gas chamber with its massive door. 

"In Crematoriums 2 and 3, Zyklon gas crystals were poured in by a
so-called SS disinfection squad through the ceiling, and in Crematoriums 4
and 5 through side openings. With five or six cannisters of gas they could
kill around two thousand people. This so-called disinfection squad arrived
in a truck marked with a red cross and escorted people along to make them
believe they were being led to take a bath. But the red cross was only a
mask to hide the cnnisters of Zyklon gas and the hammers to open them. The
gas took about ten to fifteen minutes to kill. The most horrible thing was
when the doors of the gas chambers were opened- th unbearable sight:
people were packed together like basalt, like blocks of stone. How they
tumbled out of the gas chamber! I saw that several times. That was the
toughest thing to take. You could never get used to that. It was

"...It was pointless to tell the truth to anyone who crossed the threshold
of the crematorium. You couldn't save anyone there It was impossible to
save people. One day in 1943 when I was already in Crematorium 5, a train
from Bialystok arrived. A prisoner on the 'special detail' saw a women in
the 'undressing room' who was the wife of a friend of his. He came right
out and told her: 'You are going to be exterminated. In three hours you'll
be ashes.' The women believed him because she knew him. She ran all over
and warned the other women. 'We're going to be killed. We're going to be
gassed.' Mothers carrying their children on their shoulders didn't want to
hear that. They decided the womam was crazy. They chased her away. So she
went to the men . TO no avail. Not that they didn't believe her; they
heard rumors in the Bialystok ghetto, or in Grodno, and elsewhere. But who
wanted to hear that! Whe she saw that no one would listen, she scratched
her whole face. Out of despair. In shock. And she started to scream. 

"So what happened? Everyone was gassed. The woman was held back. We had to
line up in front of the ovens. First they tortured her horribly because
she wouldn't btray him. IN the end she pointed to him. He was taken out of
line and thrown aive into the oven. We were told: 'Whoever tells anything
will end like that.'

"We in the special detail kept trying to figure out if there was a way we
could tell people, to inform them. But out experiance in several instances
where we were able to tell people, showed that it was no use, that it made
their last moments even harder to bear. At most, we thought it might help
Jews from Poland, or Jews from Theresienstadt (the Czech family camp),
who'd already spent six months in Birkenau. We thought it might have been
of use in such cases to tell such people. But imagine what it was like in
other cases: Jes from Greece, from Hungary, from Corfu, who'd been
traveling for ten ot twelve days, starving, without water for days, dying
of thirst, they were half crazed whe tey arrived. Tey were dealt with
differently. They were only told: 'Get undressed, you'll soon get a mug of
tea.' These peole were in such a state, because they'd been traveling so
long, that their only though was to quench their thirst. And the SS 
executiners knew that very well. It was all preprogrammed, a calculated
part of the extermination process, that if people were so weak, and
weren't given somethiung to drink, they'd rush into the gas chambers. But
in fact, these people were already being exterminated before reaching the
gas chambers. Think of the children. They begged their mothers, screaming:
'Mother, please, water, water!' The adults too, who'd spent days without
water, had the same obsession. Informing those people was quite pointless.
(Lanzmann, _Shoah_, pp.113-117.) 

> My point is that if the Germans did rely on deception 
> to lure people people to their death (as eyewitness 
> testimony clearly states) then the layout of the so-called
> gaschamber doesn't make sense. 

A specious "point," Mr. Allen. You're begging the question. German
deceptions were irrelevent to the design of the L.Kellers. Such deceptions
were practiced at _all_ the homicidal gassing installations at Auschwitz. 

[Mr. Allen's specious and irrelevant "creative writing" snipped]


"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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