< iSurvived.org >

Birkenau-Auschwitz and Dachau Holocaust Survivor

1      2      3      4      5      6      7      8      9      10      11      12      13      14      15      16




Vergassung (1) [Gassing (1)]

Vergassung (2) [Gassing (2)]

Vernichtung durch Arbeit (Extermination Through Work) 








Nazism was not confined to merely turning murder into a profession but aspired to perfect it to such an extent as to turn it into an art, into a science. The aim was established with brazen cynicism: to exterminate as many as possible, in the shortest possible time, by profitable means and, if possible, without leaving any traces. The Nazi also established the ideal place for their experiments: concentration camps.

In the beginning, they made progress quite slowly: poison injections instead of shooting, as an injection was far cheaper than a bullet.

Another tiny step forward: phenol injections, first intravenous then in the heart; death was caused more rapidly.

But it was not enough; by using injections they could kill thousands perhaps even tens of thousands of people, but not hundred of thousands and not millions.

Consequently, a new method had to be found to make Verbesserung, improvement palpable. There was no time to lose. Over 21,000,000 Jews had to be exterminated in the first place. Thy were to be followed, according to the plan, by a first group of 20,000,000 Slavs.

And they did find the new method: asphyxiation with noxious gas, in short, gassing.

In the beginning the victims were crowded into some vans and asphyxiated with exhaust gas. The procedure had many disadvantages. The drivers who heard the victim's struggle could not press constantly the accelerator pedal. Besides, the screams and struggle of the victims had undesirable effects on the morale of the SS teams waiting to unload the van and throw the corpses into common pits.

Quite relevant in this respect is the report submitted by SS Untersturmführer Becker to his chiefs on May 16, 1942:

"… I gave instructions to the effect that the servicing personnel be kept as far as possible from the car during gassing, lest the gas leaks should affect their health. On this occasion I would like to draw attention to the following fact: some units order their men to unload the vans after the gas poisoning. I pointed out to the commander of the respective Sonderkommandos that later on, if not even at present, this type of work can cause serious moral and physical injuries. The people complained that each time after unloading the vans they suffered of headaches. Nevertheless, no change was made in the regulation, for fear that in case detainees were employed for doing this job, they might take advantage of some favorable moment and attempt an escape. In order to protect the people from such harmful consequences, I would like to ask you to act accordingly.

Gas poisoning is not always carried out properly. In order to finish the operation as quickly as possible, the drivers press the accelerator to the extreme; and for that reason the persons executed are stifled instead of being put to sleep, as instructions stipulate. In consequence of my orders death was speeded up due to the correct setting of the accelerator and the detainees fall to quiet sleep. Contorted face and excrements were no longer remarked, as previously".

The method was updated at Treblinka. Gas chambers were built and equipped with pipes for collecting the exhaust gas from lorries or old tanks.

However, in summer 1942 when Rudolf Höss, the commander of Birkenau-Auschwitz was sent to Treblinka to study extermination by gassing, he was deeply disappointed by the primitive methods he was acquainted with. According to his testimony at the trial, the rooms were small and the engines went out of orders quite often, so plans were never fulfilled and the rate of extermination was too slow; only 80.000 people in six months!

Back to Birkenau-Auschwitz he set to work. With the assistance of specialists -- doctors, engineers, builders, in fact all professional killers -- he built efficient gas chambers. "He (the commander of Treblinka) -- Rudolf Höss declared -- used monoxide in his gas chambers but his methods seemed quite inefficient to me. So that when we built the extermination camp of Auschwitz we resorted to Zyklon B, a crystallized prussic acid, which we introduced into, the death chamber through a small orifice. Depending on the weather conditions people died in tree to 15 minutes. We knew they were dead as soon as we no longer heard these screams. Usually we waited for about half an hour before opening the doors to remove the corpses. Once the bodies were out, our special detachments took off the rings and pulled out their golden teeth. Eine andere Verbesserung, another improvement of the Treblinka model consisted in the building of gas chambers that could take in 2.000 people at a time, as compared to 200, the capacity of each of the ten gas chambers in Treblinka".

Now, a whole transport stepped into death. The necessary poison ours gas was delivered by the largest chemical plant in Germany, in nice boxes with a simple label: Giftgas. Death was brought about in less than ten minutes. Usually, in five. That meant that an average of seven people died in a second.

However, the problem of burning the corpses was still unsettled. There was no question of burying millions of people, as there was not enough land around the camp. I again quote Rudolf Höss: "Initially, the corpses were burnt in pits. One hundred corpses into a pit. Among them, logs. Over them rags soaked in paraffin. The fat collected at the bottom of the pit was set on fire, to keep the burning when it rained… The bones were put on a cement floor and broken with heavy wooden hammers. The bone meal and the ashes were carried in lorries and thrown into the river Weichsel…" That was at the beginning. Later on, near each gas chamber an imposing crematorium was erected.

At Birkenau-Auschwitz a verbessert, an improved system for "producing corpses" and burning them was put into practice according to "scientific methods", put in the service of the "art to kill". Here is the synthesis of the results that system produced according to a table in museum of Auschwitz:

At the Auschwitz museum (which first visited 13 years after heaving been freed) I saw a shattering panel; the fire crematoria were listed one under the after. Four from Birkenau, one from Auschwitz. Next to each one there were; the functioning period, the monthly cremation capacity and the number of people turned into smoke and ashes.

There is no language in this world to comment upon the data in this table. You can only read it and shudder. And when you know that the figure written for crematory No. 2 or 2 also includes your parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends and your first love, you wonder how can your heart keep beating.




Vergasung (1)


The SS resorted to all imaginable and unimaginable methods to exterminate the internees from the concentration camp. The favorite and prevailing method was Vergasung, gassing.

After a timid start, in cells, hardly fit for three or four people, and then in vans specially equipped for the asphyxiation of 40-50 Häftlings at a time with exhaust gas, the method was developed so that in 1941 the first gas chambers, with a capacity of about 200 people were built. But these were considered merely tentative approaches; only afterwards the mass extermination durch Vergasung, by gassing was organized "properly".

The modern gassing installations at Birkenau were built as part of the imposing crematoria. They considered of two huge 25 sq. m rooms: the former serving as the vestry looked quite hospital, with its benches placed around the concrete walls, with its numbered pegs and its posters reading, in four languages: "Keep order and cleanness!", "Keep silence!"

Drawing near the building of the crematorium, the column of mothers and children, old and sick started to upset. A sinister foreboding made the people give a start and children burst out crying. But on entering the vestry they calmed down. The pleasant room made them believe the words of the SS-men who were explaining politely that after such a long and tiresome journey a hot shower would be refreshing. But while they took off their clothes and were guided to the second room, the SS-men and the Kapos lost their patience and even turned harsh. Women who hesitated to undress in front on men were scolded and urged to make nasty. Unable to understand the reason of the change in tone and attitude, the people were again pray to their initial apprehensions, although the second room looked indeed like a huge bathroom and the ceiling was full of showers.

The heavy doors of the gas chamber closed with a deafening sound. Two thousand naked people crowded into an area of 225-sq. m stood petrified with fear, staring at the orifices in the ceiling, waiting for the water drops as for manna. The seconds seemed endless and suddenly, in the middle of the room, Zyklon B crystals, the crystals of the killing gas started to drop from the four tubes of perforated tin. People suspected nothing, although they realized that it was not water that was flowing from the tubes, the more so as the sound resembled the rolling of some beads. In contact with the air the crystals sublimated and gave off a killing gas, which poisoned the atmosphere from the floor to the ceiling.

The first to perceive it were the children. Mothers did not understand why their children were crying and panting for breath. They took them into their arms and mad with disappear they helplessly saw them growing blue. As they also started to feel the effects of the asphyxiating gas, they tried to raise their infants up over their heads where there still was air to breathe. The little children clang to their mothers' bodies, begging to be taken up, too. The grown ups, the old and the sick also began to scream, trampling over one another fighting and trying to get over the others, for a breath of air.

The clamor and the struggle lasted bur a few minutes. Then the door opened and in front of the SS-men there lay a heap of corpses, all standing erect, only some tens of children lying on the cement, under the mass of bodies clinging to one another. Only the heads could be distinguished, with unnaturally long tongue hanging down, still dripping with saliva and blood.

 Die Vergasung, the gassing was over. There followed a "boring and troublesome" work, as the SS-men supervising the Häftlings in the Sonderkommando characterized it. Dressed in high rubber boots, the members of the Sonderkommando surrounded the mass of corpses and washed down, with water forcefully flowing through flexible pipes the excrements, which are normally evacuated in case of death by asphyxiation. Then the bodies had to be broken loose, the rings and earrings taken from their fingers and ears, the golden teeth pulled out and then the bodies were carried to the ovens.

To service their burning was the duty of another detachment.

While the room ventilated and all traces removed, a mew column headed for the crematorium people doomed to extermination durch Vergasung, by gassing, the chief extermination method at Birkenau-Auschwitz.

An accurate description of the new way Vergasung, gassing was performed is difficult to make as no account made by a survivor of the gas chambers came down to us. Nobody came out alive. So we are compelled to resort to the testimonies of those SS-men who due to their ranks could "witness" a gassing, looking through the eyelets in the doors or the walls of the gas chambers. We reproduce excerpts from Gruppenführer-SS Globocnik's account presented at the Nüremberg trial: "On the following day I left for Betzek. In the heat of that August day the stink was suffocating and swarms of flies had invaded the area.

Then, on the next morning, I saw the first train coming from Lwow. Forty-five wagons with 6,700 people, outs of which 1.450 were already dead.

Livid and terrified faces of children showed behind the latticed windows. I saw fear of death in their eyes. Behind them there were men, women…

The train stopped. Some two hundred people rushed to unlock the doors and drove the people out, urging them with lash strokes. They used some leather lashes. Through a large loudspeaker the newcomers were given orders: to take off all their clothes, they're glassed and plates. To carefully tie their shoes to each other with the shoe lace… because otherwise nobody could ever match the shoes in that huge pile some 25 meters' high. The camp, hairdresser cut the girls and women's hair with two or three movements and then made it disappear into cloth bags.

Then the whole convoy of detainees started to move. In the first line there was a very beautiful girl. Formed into a column they move along the alley, all naked, men, women, children, old people without plates, mothers holding their children, their infants who were also naked in their arms. Most of them what would happen to them, the stink was telling. The detainees hesitated, but then they entered the room of death, pushed from behind or herded with whip strokes by the SS-men. Most of them didn't utter a word. A Jewish woman about forty, with eyes sparkling with harder cursed the murderers: the blood shed here should stain the killers. Five or six whip strokes over her face dealt by Captain Wirth himself made her disappear into the gas chamber. Many people prayed.

The rooms were full of people. They had to be completely full -- Captain Wirth had ordered so. People almost trampled on each other's feet. Seven-eight hundred people in a 25 as. M room, in 45 cubic meters! The SS-men pressed them in, as many as possible. The doors were closed. My chronometer recorded everything. Fifty seconds, 70 seconds -- the Diesel engine wouldn't start. People waited helplessly in the gas chambers. I heard them crying, sobbing. Captain Wirth lashed Unterscharführer Heckenholt's the Ukrainian, assistant at the Diesel engine over the face twelve -- thirteen times. After 49 minutes -- the chronometer recorded everything precisely -- the engine was finally put into operation. Up to this moment people lived in those four rooms, 750 people taken four times breathing in those 45 cubic meters taken four times. Other 25 minutes elapse. Indeed, by now many of them were dead. This could be seen through the eyelet, as electric light got into the room for a moment. After other 28 minutes only several were alive. At least, after other 32 minutes all of thens were dead.

On the opposite side, people from the work detachments who were Jews themselves -- open the doors. The dead looking like straight basalt columns --- were closely stuck to one another. In fact, there wouldn't have been room for them to fall down or to bend. You could recognize the families: they stepped into the realm beyond holding their hands. It was only with difficulty that people could be detached from one another to make room for the next group. The bodies of the dead, dripping with perspiration and urine, smeared with mud and menstrual blood still tickling down on their legs were thrown out. They flew light as feathers through the air. There was no time. The riding whips stroke the people inn the labor detachments over their backs. Some twenty dentists pulled out the golden teeth and golden crowns with pincers and hammers. Several workers check the genital organs and the anus to see if the Jews had hidden gold, jewels or other valuables. Writhe calls me: "Look at this tin full of golden teeth. It's only what we gathered yesterday and the day before yesterday! You cannot imagine how much gold and how many jewels we find everyday!"





Vergasung (2)


In 1978, thirty-five years after, new crematoria with modern gas chambers were put into operation, elevating to its height the technique and the rhythm of most extermination, a former French Nazi, Louis Darquier de Pellepoix, former commissary for Jewish matters in the quisling French government of Vichy who escaped from France and was sheltered by Franco while he was sentenced to death in his absence -- serenely declared in an interview published in L'Express that everything that had been said and was being said about extermination durk Vergasung, by gassing is "sheer propaganda". The gas chambers, he declared without batting an eye are nothing but a Jewish invention, "that's how they like to cut a figure".

Yes, these are exactly the words he said, pretending he did not remember the 75.000 French Jews -- men, women, children -- whom he personally sent to the gas chambers of the Nazi concentration camps.

I take the liberty of showing him some excerpts from genuine Nazi documents, which I know he trusts and which cannot be suspected of "Jewish propaganda".

Let me begin with an evidence related to the initial stage of gassing, the stage when it was carried out with primitive equipment, in vans, by means of exhaust gas, It's the declaration of a former SS-general and I presume that neo-Nazis fully trust him.

 Gruppenführer-SS Otto Ohlendorf: "In spring 1942 the chief of the SP and SA in Berlin sent us some closed vans, specially built for gassing. Ha the been put at our disposal by Amt II or the RSHA. A certain Becker was in charge of the vans assigned to my fight group. We had received orders to use the vans to liquidate the woman and children. Whenever a unit gathered a sufficiently large number of victims, such a van was sent to liquidate them. The vans were parked in the close vicinity of the transit camps, were the victims were brought to. They were said they were going to be taken to another place that's why transport by vans was necessary. One it got on, the back doors were sloshed and when the engine was started the exhaust gas was evacuated inside. The victims died in 10-15 minutes. Then the vans made for the common pits, the corpses were thrown out of the van and buried".

Later on, the building of some 'modern" gas chambers was initiated. The highest level was attainted at Birkenau, but the method was undoubtedly practiced in other camps as well, at Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück, Mauthausen, Trebllnka, Belzek, etc.

 Standartenführer-SS Anton Kaindl, the former commander of Sansenhausen, declared at the trial: "I considered the building of the gas chambers useful ... All in all, 42.000 people were exterminated under my command..."

The chief surgeon of the SS troops in Weimar reported on May 25, 1944 to Berlkin: "... As concerns the above-mentioned letter inform you that in Buchenwald concentration camp ten gassing installation are operating, making use of prussic acid in closed circuits, and having a capacity of 10 cubic meters each".

 Schwartzhuber, the former deputy commander of Ravensbrüch declared at the trial in Hamburg: "In late February, Dr. Trammer and myself were summoned to Suhren, the commander of the camp. Suhren told us that he had received instructions from Reichführer Himmler to the effect that all women who were ill unable or to walk had to be put to death. Before that he asked us how many ill women in the camp. I told the commander of the camp that I was happy I had left Auschwitz and that I had no intention of starting it all over again. At that he replied that Sturmführer Sauer had been entrusted with carrying through the orders. Sauer was a camp deputy commander. During the ensuing days, Dr. Trammer selected 2.3000 women from various barracks. In the beginning the women were shot. The executions were carried out by Hauptscharführer Moll1, assisted by eight internees. But the camp commander considered the method too slow. He declared in my presence: "The trade is slack, we shall have to use other methods". It was then that Sauer ordered the building of a gas chamber.

I attended a "gassing". One hundred and fifty women were forcefully taken to the gas chamber. Moll ordered them to undress for delousing. At that moment they were locked in. A detainee wearing a gas mask climbed up the roof and dropped in a capsule (?) with gas through a window that he hurried to close. I heard moans and death rattles coming from the room. Two or three hours later, there was silence. I had no idea whether the women had died or had fainted. I was not present when the room was evacuated. Moll told me that the bodies were taken straight to the crematorium-oven".

 Standartenführer-SS Ziereis, the commander of the Mauthausen concentration camp, admitted in his deposition at his trial: "At Hauptsturmführer-SS Dr. Kresbach's order a gassing installation was built in the camp of Mauthausen. In that room, disguised as a bathroom, the detainees were gassed. Besides, between Mauthausen and Gusen there run a special van in which the detainee were gassed during transportation".

"The undersigned, Hans Michael Altfuldisch, born on November 11, 1911, declare the following: I am of German nationality. In September 1933 I joined the Algemeine SS. In 1933 I enlisted as a volunteer in the ´Death's headª unit of Dachau, and I had served in various camp ever since.

Mauthausen was a third rank camp. This meant that the detainees had the worst living and working conditions. The chances to survive were extremely small. For the quick extermination of the detainees there was a gas chamber. I remember that I conducted the killing by gassing of 250 men and women of Russian, Czech and Magyar nationality. The executions by gassing were ordered by commander Zieres, sometime by Captain Zoller or Captain Zutter and in the case of certain ill people by Captain Dr. Wolter. The detainees were firstly examined by Niedermayer, who took their personal belongings; then both men and women were ordered to take off their clothes in the presence of the SS-men and enter the gas chamber. In order to speed up the operation, those who had golden teeth were marked with a cross of the chest".

"The undersigned Josef Niedermayer, born on April 11, 1920, resident in Linz, declare the following: on April 4, 1938 I voluntary joined the Waffen SS. In April 1942 I was transferred with the rank of corporal to the camp of Mauthausen where I served till arrival of the American troops in May 1945.

In the camp there also was a gas chamber. About 4.000 detainees were liquidated there. Captain Bachmayer informed whenever a transport for gassing arrived.

Those to be gassed were taken to the Bunker were I, together with my deputies, Corporal Rommel and Staff Sergeant Proksch made the list of their names and took their valuables and clothes away, which we handed over to Lieutenant Eisenhofer. Then we took the detainees into the gas chamber, were Staff Sergeant Roth and Lieutenant Gerber took them in their charge.

After the execution, the dentist, Captain Henkel and Franz Jutmann pulled out their golden teeth.

Over March-April 1945 1,400 sick people selected by the chief surgeon, Dr. Wolter, were gassed…

I would like to emphasize the fact that the orders for executions, for gassing were given by all the commander of various services".

The young and daredevil Bavarian Andreas Trum joined the SS when he was 20. After three years he was promoted the chief of the Labor service at Mauthausen. Let me quote from his testimony at the trial: "Between 1943 and 1945 on various occasions I saw citizens of Russian, Polish and other nationalities to the gas chamber, in Niedermayer's stead, when the detainees were locked in the gas chamber chemist Erich Wasicky gave the gas pot to warrant officer Roth. In late spring 1944 I saw chemist Gerber doing the same thing".

 Standartenführer-SS Rudolf Höss, the most reputed expert in the mass gassing and burning of Häftlings, declared: "I was in charge with the command of camp from Auschwitz till December 1, 1943 and I estimate that at least 2,500,000 people were executed and put to death by gassing there".

As far as I am concerned, I would like to ask that Mr. Louis Darquier de Pellepoix and all those who share his views and whose numbers is, unfortunately, on the increase:

"Where are the people deported during the Horthyst occupation from the town of Cluj? I entered the camp of Birkenau-Auschwitz together with my parents and grandparents, with seven uncles and aunts on my mother's side and five on my father's, all with their families &emdash; almost forty cousins, with all my school mates and from those whose survived deportation we could not make up a group of ten men to mourn the ones who did not come back2.

Were are the 6.000.000 Jews who upon the ascent of fascism to power in Germany lived and had places of residence in the towns and villages of Europe and who were rounded up by the Gestapo in sight of everybody and taken to camps, not to return after the war, and no trace, not even their corpses to be found? In all armed clashes, beside dead and wounded, missing people always happen to exit by hundreds, by thousands, even by tens of thousands. But how can several million people actually vanish? Millions of people cannot simply disappear into thin air!

But I do not ask Mr. Louis Darquier of Pellepoix and all those who deny the existence of gas chambers to a certain what happened to the millions of Jews who were present at the Appell of Birkenau but were absent at roll call on the first day of liberation. I ask him to do an apparently simpler thing: to prove that one single under13 from the tens of thousands of children deported to Birkenau from northern Transylvania under Horthyst occupation survived to live the first day of liberation.

And, last but not least, I would also like to ask these gentlemen: How can they account for the fact that a whole generation of children born after Auschwitz was deprived of the comfort of having grandparents? The fact that a whole generation of a people had no grandparents cannot be accounted for by "sheer propaganda", but by the terrible truth: the millions of Jews -- who till the ascent of fascism had lived in the tows and villages of Europe -- disappeared without trace because they were exterminated durch Vergasung, by gassing, and burnt in the modern crematoria devised by the Nazi technological and scientific thinking.

The former chief of crematoria and ovens of Birkenau.
2 According to Jewish tradition, a group of at least ten men (over ten years old) is necessary to commemorate the dead.





Vernichtung durch Arbeit


Nazism pushed the humiliation and degradation of everything that is human so far that it turned even the most characteristic attribute of man -- work -- into a means of extermination.

While on the gate of the largest concentration camp -- Birkenau-Auschwitz -- one could read written in huge, wrought iron letters "Arbeit macht frei" -- Work makes one free, inside all camps the key-words were "Vernichtung durch Arbeit", extermination through work.

Initially, the concentration camps were built with the purpose of providing hidden places where, behind the barbed-wire fences, the Nazi could settle their accounts at will with the adversaries of fascism, which meant to kill all those who had not pure Arian blood running through their veins.

When the Blitzkrieg showed the first sings of slackening and mobilization for the front took up the greatest part of manpower, the SS decided that the able-bodied detainees should be put to work being exterminated.

After several months during which the arrangements were made, in April 1942 the Central Service of the SS Economic Administration was set up and all concentration camps were subordinated to it. General Oswald Pohl was appointed the commander of the new establishment.

On April 23 and 24, 1942, Pohl summoned all camp inspectors and commanders and all leaders of industrial societies belonging to the SS. He presented to them the new economic goals specifying the "work time should have no limits' and that "All factors that might diminish the work time should be out down to a minimum".

Although everything seemed clear, according to Standartenführer-SS Rudolf Höss, the commander of the Birkenau-Auschwitz camp serious discussion cropped up between RSHA, the Central office of the Reich Security on the hand, and WVHA1, the Central Service of Economic Administration, as RSHA argued for the immediate and complete extermination of Jews, as soon as they arrived at the camp. It also maintained that by sending groups of Jews into labor camps the danger of their survival arouse which many have kept up the Jewish hope that the "final solution" will not be carried through completely. On the other side, WVHA considered important to ensure the necessary manpower even if this meant to include in labor units able-bodied Jews selected from the convoys supposed to be exterminated. At long last even Eichmann subscribed to this proposal and explained to Dieter Wisliceny, his deputy: "The Jews will be destroyed physically, by all possible methods in the extermination camps, they will be killed in the gas chambers and their bodies burnt in crematoria. But before that the detainees able to work will be used to the utmost and we shall force them by all means to work as efficiently as possible!"

Hunger for profit tipped the scales in favor of the WVHA and in all concentration camp, slave work was started irrespective of the internment reason, an exhausting, hard work that had to bring substantial profit to the SS2 and at the same time to ensure the extermination of Jews at the desired rate.

Consequently, life, death and work were programmed with typically Nazi meticulousness. The average rate of survival in camps was planed not to exceed nine months. But the zeal of the SS-men made a mass out of all plans. Mortality grew rapidly, as the Häftlings did not resist more than three or four months. It seems paradoxical, but the truth is that the WVHA had to issue a circular to all concentration camp commander drawing their attention to the fact that because the great rate of mortality "the number of detainees will never attain the level desired by the Reichsführer."

As the grownig rate of mortality ran counter the tendency to increase the number of Häftlings in the concentration camps, Reichsführer Himmler's wish seemed impossible to fulfil. The concentration was solved only in the spring and summer of 1944 when the transports of deportees from all over Europe increased to such an extent as to counterbalance the rate of mortality. Birkenau-Auschwitz, which received two or three transports of deportees daily, managed to "provide" "fresh forces" for all the other camps in the Reich.

I myself came into such a camp, Landsberg, together with o whole transport of Häftlings to make up for the losses in a transport of detainees, Jews from Lithuania and Northern Transylvania that had arrived there only a couple of months before to replace a transport of Czech detainees who had been decimated in less than six minutes, and who had been brought in their turn to take the place of a transport of Lithuanian Häftlings. In the camp there also were some tens of French and Greek internees, the only survivors of two transports meant to keep the labor force at the level decided by Himmler and offset the mortality rate that starting 1944 exceeded all limits. Masses of people died at their work places, exhausted with the inhuman conditions they had to bear, they died of hunger and cold, ravaged by diseases, fell from scaffolding or collapses under the weight of the huge stones they carried in their arms, they died of starvation, beaten up to death because they moved too slowly or dropped their tools or were unable to raise the cement bags or the railway tracks or the iron bars to their shoulders. They died on the way back to the camp, simply falling flat to the ground, unable to get back to their feet and shot, as was everyone who could no longer march with the column.

 Standartenführer-SS Rudolf Höss himself had to admit that "The work Kommandos had become means deliberately used for exterminating huge masses of people. Tens of thousands of people were sent from Auschwitz… Had they been sent straight to the gas chamber of Auschwitz, they would have been spared many sufferings".

Although there are no statistics of those assassinated -- the SS kept clear accounts only of the spoils they had taken but not also of the people they killed -- it is indubitable that in the blood-curdling arsenal of mass extermination means Vernichtung durch Arbeit extermination through work follows right after Vergasun, gassing, in a macabre hierarchy of crime.

The matchless anti-Semite Dr. Robert Ley, the reputed organizer and leader of German Labor Front, and of forced labor as well realized during his solitary confinement in his cell waiting for the opening of the Nürmberg trial, That forced labor in concentration camps was in fact a huge crime. He lost control. One evening he was fretfully walking to an for in his cell: the American guardian came to the eyelet and asked him:

"Why don't you sleep?

"To sleep? Ley numbed looking at the guardian with blood-shot eyes. They won't let me… Millions of strangers taken to forced labor camps… Oh, Lord… millions of Jews… all killed… all murdered… How could I sleep…?"

After the guardian left him, the matchless anti-Semite the reputed organizer and leader of the German Labor Front, of the forced labor in concentration camps as well went to the toiled of the cell and hanged himself with the zipper of his military blouse.

Wirtschaft Verwaltungs Haupt Amt.
2 The trust paid 6 marks for the working day of a detainee while the camp spent about 30 phoning for his subsistence.



To Oliver Lustig's Biographical Sketch

1      2      3      4      5      6      7      8      9      10      11      12      13      14      15      16