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Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz//kremer-diary

Below are excerpts from the diary of SS Doctor Johann Kremer,
concerning his time at Auschwitz.

See _The Good Old Days_, by Ernst Klee, W. Dressen, and V. Riess,
The Free Press, New York, 1988, p. 256.

   2 September 1942
   Attended my first Sonderaktion, outside, at 3:00 AM.  Dante's
   Inferno seems to me almost a comedy compared to this.  They don't
   call Auschwitz the extermination camp for nothing!

[Note 1:  "Sonderaktion," literally "special action," refers to
a mass gassing operation.

Note 2:  some editions of the diary omit the word "outside," and some
Holocaust-deniers, led by Faurisson, make much of this.  They claim
that because Kremer was outside, that therefore "Sonderaktion" must not
refer to a gassing operation, but rather to some other special action
(they don't suggest what that might be).  As Greg Raven writes: 
"Clearly, mass homicidal gassings are not outdoor events."

This reasoning might possibly make sense if the gassings were performed
at one of the Krematoria, which housed gas chambers inside larger
buildings.  In that case, observers might be stationed inside the
building, in a different room.  However, we know that this gassing took
place in one of the two Auschwitz "provisional bunkers," because the
first Krematorium was taken out of use in July 1942, and the next was
not ready until March 1943.  Also, Kremer refers to the bunker on
October 12th (see below).

These bunkers were simply cottages with minor changes:  bricked-up
windows and so on.  At these makeshift installations, the Nazis stood
outside the building, and inserted the poison through wall vents. The
only people inside were those being killed by gas.  Dr. Kremer's reason
for being present was to watch for and treat any accidental poisoning of
the SS personnel.  So in this case, the mass gassing was indeed an
outdoor event -- except for the victims, of course.

And it would be naive to think that Faurisson, Raven, and other
"revisionists" are not aware of this.

Note 3:  "Extermination camp" is in German "das Lager der Vernichtung."
Literally it would be "the camp of annihilation."]

   5 September 1942
   In the morning attended a Sonderaktion from the women's
   concentration camp (Muslims);  the most dreadful of horrors.
   Hschf. Thilo -- army doctor -- was right when he said to me this is
   the "anus mundi."  In the evening towards 8:00, attended another
   Sonderaktion from Holland.

[Note 4:  "Muslims" does not mean "practicing Islam";  this is the way
the SS and inmates referred to people so emaciated, sick, and despairing
as to be "walking dead."  Nobody knows the origin of the term.

Note 5:  "anus mundi" is Latin, literally "anus of the world."]

   10 October 1942
   Extracted and fixed fresh live material from liver, spleen and
   11 October 1942
   Today, Sunday, there was roast hare for lunch -- a real fat leg --
   with dumplings and red cabbage for 1.25 RM.
   12 October 1942
   Second inoculation against typhus, later on in the evening severe
   generalized reaction (fever).  Despite this in the night attended a
   further Sonderaktion from Holland (1,600 persons).  Ghastly scenes
   in front of the last bunker!  That was the 10th Sonderaktion.
   13 November 1942
   Extracted fresh live material (liver, spleen and pancreas) from a
   previously photographed, severely atrophied Jewish prisoner aged
   eighteen.  Fixed as always, liver and spleen in Carnoy and pancreas
   in Zenker (Prisoner No. 68,030).

Below is an excerpt from Kremer's testimony regarding his diary.
See Klee et al., op. cit., p. 258.

   I remember I once took part in the gassing of one of these groups of
   women [from the women's camp in Auschwitz].  I cannot say how big
   the group was.  When I got close to the bunker I saw them sitting on
   the ground.  They were still clothed.  As they were wearing worn-out
   camp clothing they were not left in the undressing hut but made to
   undress in the open air.  I concluded from the behavior of these
   women that they had no doubt what fate awaited them, as they begged
   and sobbed to the SS men to spare them their lives.  However, they
   were herded into the gas chambers and gassed.  As an anatomist I
   have seen a lot of terrible things:  I had had a lot of experience
   with dead bodies, and yet what I saw that day was like nothing I had
   ever seen before.  Still completely shocked by what I had seen I
   wrote on my diary on 5 September 1942:  "The most dreadful of
   horrors. Hauptscharfuehrer Thilo was right when he said to me today
   that this is the 'anus mundi,' the anal orifice of the world".  I
   used this image because I could not imagine anything more disgusting
   and horrific.

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