The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz//greenery-01

From: (Mark Van Alstine)
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: They can't see the Forest for the Trees
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 13:54:09 -0700
Organization: rbi software systems
Lines: 276
References: <5jp52v$797$>
X-Newsreader: Yet Another NewsWatcher 2.0.5b5

In article <5jp52v$797$>, wrote:

> In the debate concerning the planting of trees
> near Krema II, the Nizkorians are seeing a
> conspiracy to commit mass murder, and hiding
> the fact from the rest of the camp.  I would like
> 'to note the following, however:
> 1.  The date the trees were planted would be significant.

Not really. Just one more (minor) indication of Nazi guilt of mass murder. 

> The fact is, the date they were planted was November, 1943.

Actually, what we have is letter referencing a conversation between Ho"ss
and Bischoff, that "by the order of Camp Commanadant SS Lieutenant Colonel
Hoess," calls for "a ring of greenery" to be planted around the Kremas "to
constitute a natural seperation from the rest of the camp." This
"greenery" was to be comprised of 200 decidious trees 2-5 m high; 100
deciduous trees 1.5-4 m high; 300 spruce and pine trees 1.5-4 m high; and
1,000 assorted shrubs 1-2.5 m high. This "greenery" was requested to be
made available by the the SS Lt. Ceassr, the head of the Auschwitz
agricultral service, on November 6, 1943. (cf. Pressac, _Technique_,

There is no indication from this letter that the "rings of greenery" were
planted in November 1943. 

Ho"ss offers some comments about this in his memoirs:

The crematories were to be built at the end of the two main roads in the
Birkenau camp. First of all, this was done so as to not increase the area
of the camp and with it all the safety precaution required, and secondly
so that they would not be too far from the camp since there were plans to
use the gas chambers and undressing rooms as bathhouses when the
extermination program was completed.

The buildings were to be screened from view by a wall or hedges, but a
lack of material prevented this from being done. As a temporary measure,
all extermination buildings were hidden under camoflage nets.

The three railway tracks between Sectors [B] I and B [II] in Birkenau were
supposed to be rebuilt as a railroad station with a roof. The railroad was
to be extended to Crematories [IV] [V], so that the unloading process
would also be hidden from the eyes of unauthroized people, Again the
shortage of materials prevented this plan from being completed. 


Source: Ho"ss, _Death Dealer_, p.37-38.

Clearly, the intention when taking into account that the "ramp" was _also_
intended to be covered to hide the detraining of the victims from "the
eyes of unauthroized people" (i.e. the prisoners), was that the "rings of
greenery" around the Kremas were to serve a like purpose.

In light of Ho"ss's above comments about the "rings of greenery" (i.e. the
"greenbelts") being prevented from being constructed due to a "lack of
material," and reconciled with the November 6 order, it should be noted
that the "greenbelts" _were_ constructed. They did not, however, appear to
include any _trees_. This puts Ho"ss comments in a new light in that the
"greenbelts" were never constructed as _origionally_ intended, but built
with the materials at hand. 

That this was so is supported by the testimony of Henryk Tauber, a
Sonderkommando who worked in Kremas I-V, who commented in his deposition
at the Ho" Trial, about the "greenbelts" surrounding the Kremas:

The building [Krema V] was entirely brick-built, with a wooden roof,
covered with abestos sheets and roofing felt. The yards of all the
crematoriums were seperated from the outside world by a thick enclosure of
wicker and a hedge to which straw hurdles were attached.

Furthermore, the whole area [of the Krematorien] was surrounded by
electrified barbed fire and the yards were lit by powerful lamps. In May
19444, the SS ordered us to dig five pits in the yard of Krematorium V,
between the building itself [north wall] and the drainage ditch [<>], five pits which were later used for incinerating the corpses of
gassed people from the Hungarian transports.[...]

Source: Pressac, _Technique_, p.500.

Additionaly, further support for the "makeshift" construction of the
greenbelts can be found in a photo of a portion of Krema V's "greenbelt,"
and who's caption reads:

Document 46:
[PMO neg. no. 860]

Remains of a hedge hiding the south yard of Krematorium V and bordering
the <> of the camp, as found at the liberation.
The hedge has since been removed. It was said to be 3 meters high, but
this figure seems to be exaggerated in view of the position of the camera,
quite close to the ground. In the background are some of the trees hiding
the south side of Krematorium V. 

Source: Pressac, _Technique_, p.501.

As to the further confirmation of the reality of the "greenbelts," USAAF
reconaissance air photos show these "greebelts" around the Kremas. The
first of the USSAF air photos capturing Birkenau, taken on May 31, 1944,
clearly shows the "greenbelt" around Krema II. This "greenbelt" is
incomplete, extending around approxumately 75 percent of Krema II.
(Noteworthy is the fact that the "greenbelt" extends around both
L.Kellers, thus hiding the from view as they entered L.Keller 2.) The
"greenbelt around Krema III is less evident, but is visible of the south
section of the compound. The "greenbelt" of Krema IV is barely to be seen
on the north and northwest portion of the compound. The "greenbelt" of
Krema V is not discernable.

The second air photo, taken on June 26, 1944, appears to show the
"greenbelt" of the Krema II and IV is unchanged. The "greenbelts" on of
Krema II and Krema V (south side) are visible. (the blowups on pp.65 and
70 in Ball's book, however, are extremely blurred).  

The third air photo, taken on August 25, 1944, shows the "greenbelt" to
now encompass 100% of Krema II's perimeter. The entire "greenbelt" of
Krema III is clearly visible. (No photos of Kremas IV and V on August 25
were available in either Ball's or Brugioni's material.) 

The fourth air photo, taken on September 13, 1944, clearly shows the
"grenbelts" surrounding all Kremas II-IV and on the south side of Krema V.

Cf. Ball, _Air Photo Evidence_, pp.39,49,48,56,57,64,65,69,70; Brugioni
and Poirier, _The Holocaust Revisited_, p.8,9,11,12.

> Now, since Hoess was allegedly the man assigned the task
> of exterminating the Jews by Himmler in summer of 1941?, 1942?
> take your would think that the plans to conceal the
> "mass murders by gassing" would include concealment from the
> very inception of the murder program. But this was not the case....   

Given that the Kremas were not operational until the summer of 1943, the
November 6, 1943 order to plant "rings of greenery" appears rather timely.
Furthermore,  it should be noted that prior to Kremas becoming operational
the mass homicidal gassings at Birkenau were carried out in bunkers 1 and
2, which were a distance from the camp and secluded by trees.

Again, according to Ho"ss:


We drove around the Auschwitz area to a suitable place. We thought the
farmhouse at the northwest corner of Birkenau near planned section III
would be suitable. The house had been abandoned, and it was hidden from
view by the surrounding trees and bushes and not too far from the
railroad. The bodies could be buried in long, deep pits in the nearby
meadows. We didn't think of burning them at this time. We calculated that
in the space available in the farmhouse [later called Bunker I],
approximately eight hundred people could be killed using a suitable gas
after the building was made airtight. We later found this to be the actual
capacity. Eichmann was unable to tell me the precide starting time of the
operation because everything was still being planned, and Himmler had not
yet given the order to begin.

Source: Ho"ss, _Death Dealer_, p.29.

Dr. Nyiszli, a prisoner doctor and assistant to Mengele, confirms that
bunker 1 was secluded:

Early one morning I recieved a phone call ordering me to report
immediately to the "pyre" for the purpose of bringing back to number one
cremtorium [Krema II] all the medicines and eyeglasses that had been
collected there. After being sorted and classified they would be shipped
to various parts of Germany.

The pyre was located about five or six hundred yards from number four
crematoium [Krrema V], directly behind the little birch forest of
Birkenau, in a clearing surrounded by pines. It lay outside the KZ's
electric barbed wire fence, between the first and seconf line of

Source: Nyiszli, _Auschwitz: a doctor's eyewitness account_, p.84.

SS Corporal Pery Broad, of the Auschwitz Political Department (Gestapo),
comments on the bunkers: 

At some distance from the Birkenau camp, which was growing at an
incredible rte, there stood admidst a pleasant scenery, two pretty and
tidy looking farmhouses, seperated from one another by a grove. They were
dazzingly whitewashed, were costly thatched and surrounded with
fruit-treess of the kind that usually grew there. Such was my first hasty
impression! Nobody would have thought it credible that in those
insignificant little houses as many people had perished as would have
filled a city.[...]

Source: Bezwinska and Czech, _KL _Auschwitz_, p.177.  

> The case IS that Hoess was relieved of his duties as Commandant of Auschwitz 
> in November 1943.... the same month and year the trees were planted....  

Lebehenschel replaced  Ho"ss, who was promoted to Chief of Concentration
Camp Inspectors, on November 11, 1943. That is _after_ Ho"ss discussed the
"rings of greenery" with Bischoff and _after_ the November 6 order in
regard to said "rings of greenery." (cf. Czech, _Auschwitz Chronicle_,


> 2.  The Crematoria in other areas of the camp had broken 
> down.  Thus the bodies were all being sent to the area of
> Krema II.  

Only Krema IV was disabled. This was due to cracks in the furnace lining
due to improper design, poor materials, and overuse. Krema V was idled
(until Aktion Ho"ss) becuase the gassing and incineration capacity of
Kremas II and III were more than sufficient to dispose of the numbers of
victims being murdered at the time. (cf. Gutman, _Anatomy_, p.234,236.) 

> ...The numbers of the dead were so appallingly
> large that it was necessary to begin burning the corpses
> in open pits.

The huge incineration pits used in 1944 near Krema V and (the reactivated)
gassing bunker 2 were dug specifically for Aktion Ho"ss. Between May 15
and July 9, 1944, some 438,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz.
Approximately 392,000 thousand of them were murdered in the homicidal gas
chambers at Birkenau. Incinerating such a staggering number in so little a
time would have overwhelmed the incineration (but not the gassing)
capacity Kremas II, III, and V. Hence the need for the incineration pits.
(cf. Gutman, _Anatomy_, pp.165,-166,173-174,466.)

As Ho"ss noted: "Even Auschwitz had limits to its destructive
capabilities." (Ho"ss, Death Dealer_, p.39.)  


For those interested in proof of Mr. Bellinger's increasingly irrelevant
Nazi apologia, Holocaust denial, intellectual dishonesty, anti-Semitism,
and outright lies, please peruse DejaNews and visit the Nizkor Project at:


"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"

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.