Documented History

After the victory over Poland, German officials developed the “Generalplan Ost,” which aimed at Germanizing the territories annexed from Poland. In the summer of 1941, after the initial success in the war with the Soviet Union, Himmler expanded this plan to encompass the large conquered Soviet territories. He drafted ambitious plans for building a network of fortified German settlements throughout the Western Soviet regions connected with roads, and to improve the infrastructure of that region in general, bringing it up to German standards. Hundreds of thousands of workers were slated to work on these projects. Initially, the plan was to use Soviet PoWs for this effort. To this end, Himmler ordered huge PoW camps for more than 100,000 prisoners to be built in Lublin (Majdanek) and near Auschwitz next to the village of Brzezinka/Birke­nau.

The Birkenau PoW Camp was conceived on 26 October 1941, when the Auschwitz camp administration received a call from the SS camp inspectorate in Oranienburg near Berlin, informing them of the plan to create a new PoW camp near Auschwitz for some 60,000 Soviet PoWs, which would become an integral part of the Auschwitz Camp. The first written document of 30 October 1941 has that capacity already increased to 125,000 prisoners, to be housed in 174 barracks. The first known camp drawing for the “PoW camp Auschwitz, Upper Silesia” is dated 7 October 1941, showing exactly 174 barracks. Three months later, another camp plan showed 282 barracks. A plan of 6 June 1942 had 360 barracks, and one dated 16 August showed 513, with the planned occupation given as 200,000 prisoners. (On the Generalplan Ost, its later expansion, and Birkenau’s role in it, see Graf/Kues/Mattogno 2020, pp. 244-251.)

The first Soviet PoWs arrived at Auschwitz in early October 1941, but most of them were in such a very bad physical condition, and they may not have received the treatment they needed to recover, that most of them died in the subsequent months. The expected large number of Soviet PoWs never made it to western camps, hence Himmler’s plans were not realized.

Since Auschwitz had in the meantime become the location of a major industrial project – the BUNA coal-liquefaction plant of the I.G. Farbenindustrie near the town of Monowitz – the Birkenau Camp’s labor-supply focus shifted away from the Generalplan Ost to the local industrial enterprises. With no Soviet PoWs coming any time soon, the new Birkenau Camp was then slated to be filled with Jews deported from various European countries.

Birkenau Map, May1942 Birkenau Map, September 1942 Birkenau Map, Summer 1944
Auschwitz Birkenau in summer 1944 (click to enlarge)
The shaded buildings still exist today, some of them, however, only in the form of ruins or foundations (Crematoria II-V), the rest having been torn down by Polish civilians for building materials and fuel after the war. According to the information brochure of the Auschwitz State Museum, 1991.
BI-III: Construction Sectors I to III; BIa/b: women’s camp; BIIa: quarantine camp; BIIb: family camp; BIIc: Hungarian camp; BIId: men’s camp; BIIe: gypsy camp; BIIf: inmate hospital; KII: Crematorium II with “gas chamber”; KIII: Crematorium III with “gas chamber”; KIV: Crematorium IV with “gas chamber”; KV: Crematorium V with “gas chamber”; S: “Zentralsauna,” hot-air/steam disinfestation; T: pond; 1: Building 5a – Zyklon-B/hot-air disinfestation; 2: Building 5b – Zyklon-B disinfestation; 3: Inmate Barracks no. 13; 4: Inmate Barracks no. 20; 5: Inmate Barracks no. 3
Birkenau, Google Satellite
Former Auschwitz II/Birkenau Camp, satellite image by Google Earth (Dec. 2, 2016; click to enlarge).
1: Zentralsauna; 2: ruins of Crematorium II; 3: ruins of Crematorium III; 4: ruins of Crematorium IV; 5: ruins of Crematorium V
a: fire-fighting pools; b: sewage treatment plants; c: pond next to Crematorium IV; d: kitchen buildings; e: postwar memorial

Since March 1942, when the Birkenau Camp was only in its initial construction phase, it was already filling up with deportees. At that time, only a few lodging barracks had been built in Construction Sector I, but no proper wash and toilet facilities yet, no inmate showers, and no operational delousing facilities at all. Jews “fit for labor” were deported from Slovakia and France, a total of some 16,000 by the end of June 1942. All of these Jews were registered and admitted to the camp. However, due to the deplorable sanitary situation, a typhus epidemic which had been lingering in the Main Camp already for many months, broke out inside the Birkenau Camp as well, and went out of control in July and August 1942, reaching a peak daily mortality of 542 on 19 August. It did not subside completely until well into the year 1943. Hence, during 1942 alone, some 47,000 inmates of the Auschwitz Camp complex (Main Camp, Birkenau and the satellite camps) died in 1942, most of them due to typhus, but also of dysentery and other diseases caused by the terrible sanitary conditions.

The Auschwitz SS reacted by putting the entire camp on lock-down and declaring the entire zone around Birkenau a dangerous, cordoned-off area. They order massive amounts of Zyklon B, and tried killing the millions of fleas and lice that had infested the camp and its inmates by fumigating all camp buildings and the inmates’ clothes. They moreover implemented strict hygienic measures for the inmates themselves. Furthermore, from early July 1942 onward, many Jews deported to Auschwitz were taken off the train already at earlier stations, to be sent to one of the many satellite labor camps rather than to Auschwitz, where the epidemic made it very difficult to handle any new incoming inmates.

Due to the extreme load on the crematorium at the Main Camp caused by the huge demand, the crematorium’s chimney and smoke ducts became damaged already in May 1942, and needed to be replaced. Hence, between June and mid-August 1942, the camp had no operating cremation facilities at all. But even at maximum capacity, the three double-muffle furnaces in this crematorium could cremate only one body per hour, which for a 20-hour workday amounted to a theoretical maximum daily cremation capacity of this facility of some 120 bodies, or 3,600 per month. The monthly mortality rate of the camp was higher than that between June 1942 and March 1943 (at which point the new Birkenau crematoria became successively operational). Hence, some 25,000 deceased inmates could not be cremated between June 1942 and March 1943.

Air photos of 1944 show four mass graves outside the camp perimeter at the northwest, with a potential capacity of some 10,000 to 20,000 bodies. Due to a possible contamination of the region’s drinking-water supply, the bodies were again exhumed and cremated on pyres in open-air incinerations, probably starting in late summer 1942. Any new surplus corpses that the old crematorium could not handle were probably cremated on such fires right away. The atrocious work of burying, then exhuming and burning the corpses was performed by inmates. This is the true, horrific core of the horror tales told about Birkenau. However, those outdoor cremations ceased once the new Birkenau crematoria went into service starting in March 1943.

Plans to replace the old crematorium at the Main Camp with a new facility with five triple-muffle furnaces started in October 1941. At that point, the early planning stages for the Birkenau Camp provisioned that camp only with a small incineration hall with two triple-muffle furnaces. However, in early 1942, this project was cancelled, as it was decided to move the new crematorium to Birkenau, which required several structural changes due to the higher groundwater level and the access road being on the other side of the building. This was later called Crematorium II.

Heinrich Himmler visited Auschwitz on 17 and 18 July 1942, where he ordered the Birkenau’s camp to be expanded to hold 200,000 prisoners. With the escalating typhus epidemic wreaking havoc, and with the prospect of many times more inmates to be housed in the camp, hence potentially even more victims of diseases, it was decided to increase the camp’s cremation capacity. A second crematorium identical (but mirror-symmetrical) to the one planned so far (future Crematorium III), and two cheaper and smaller crematoria were added with one eight-muffle furnace each (the future Crematoria IV and V). For more details on these crematoria, see that entry.

The first inmate showers with Zyklon-B delousing chambers at Birkenau became operational only in late 1942 (Buildings 5a and 5b). A larger facility with 50 inmate showers and a large hot-air disinfestation section, the so-called Zentralsauna (see this entry), together with many other project to drastically improve the camp’s sanitary situation, was planned starting in October 1942. This was after Eduard Wirths, the camp’s new garrison physician since early September 1942, had convinced the Berlin SS authorities that drastic measures needed to be taken to ensure the survival of the inmates and thus the camp’s ability to function as a labor reservoir.

Wirths also successfully set in motion the construction of a huge inmate hospital in Construction Sector III of the Birkenau Camp, with more than 100 barracks to lodge and treat sick inmates, at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars in today’s currency. The construction of this hospital made steady progress throughout 1943 and 1944, but was halted and abandoned in late summer of 1944 due to the deteriorating war situation.

In the context of Dr. Wirths’s attempt to have additional morgues set up in each infirmary, his superiors argued against it, arguing that all corpses by decree had to be brought to the crematoria’s morgues twice a day, which means that those morgues were available 24/7 for the storage of corpses. We need to keep in mind that, according to the orthodox narrative, the morgues of Crematoria II and III were used as undressing rooms and homicidal gas chambers rather than as morgues. However, morgues that were at all times partially filled with corpses of inmates who had died mainly of diseases elsewhere in the camp cannot also have served as homicidal gas chambers. (For more on this, see the entry on morgues.)

Since the Zentralsauna’s construction progress was slow, it was decided to equip all crematoria with inmate showers. Crematoria II & III had several showers built in one of their basement rooms, while Crematoria IV & V had one room in the rear of the building set up as a shower room, and another as a disinfestation gas chamber. It is not clear whether these facilities ever became functional, but if they did, they were probably taken out of service again, once the Zentralsauna became operational in late 1943.

In the same time frame, Birkenau also obtained a mobile microwave delousing facility. In early 1944, DDT was delivered to the camp for the first time. All this finally resulted in the typhus epidemic being brought under control. However, when most of the Jews deported from Hungary were transited through the Birkenau Camp on their way to forced labor camps in Germany, some of them were lodged in the still unfinished barracks of Camp Section III, which had been planned as a hospital camp. This unhygienic lodging situation led to a flare-up of typhus cases, and thus of the mortality rate.

On 22 November 1943, the PoW camp Auschwitz-Birkenau was separated from the Auschwitz Main Camp (now renamed to Auschwitz I) and became an independent concentration camp called Auschwitz II. However, in preparation for dissolving the entire camp complex, the Birkenau Camp lost its independence again on 25 November 1944, and was reintegrated in what was then simply called Auschwitz Concentration Camp. In that same time frame, the camp authorities dismantled and eventually blew up Crematoria II through IV, while Crematorium V was kept in reserve until the final days, when it, too, was dynamited. This was probably done in order to prevent the incoming Soviets from using them as staging grounds for atrocity propaganda, as they had done in late July and August 1944 with the crematorium of the Majdanek Camp.

The Birkenau Camp was the Third Reich’s largest camp, both by surface area and by number of inmates housed in it, and transited through it, but it was also the camp with the largest death toll. Documents show that some 135,500 registered inmates died at the Auschwitz Camp Complex between 1940 and 1945, most of them in Birkenau. Last but not least, Birkenau was also the largest reservoir of witnesses of what transpired in the German camp system. During the years 1944 and 1945 alone, the Auschwitz authorities released or transferred to other camps some 280,500 inmates from the entire Auschwitz Camp Complex, most of them again from Birkenau. They all were ready to testify to the world what had happened there. A few hundred of them spread false atrocity stories, while some 200,000 witnesses remained silent.

(For details on the Birkenau’s documented history, see Mattogno 2016a, 2019, 2023.)

Propaganda History

Note: Propaganda that cannot be allocated with certainty to the Auschwitz Main Camp or any of its satellite camps is addressed in this entry.

Polish Propaganda

Polish Auschwitz propaganda is split into two sections: First, the information gathered, or disinformation invented, and then spread during the war by the Polish underground and the Polish government in British exile. Second, the misrepresentations created after the war by taking documents out of context, manipulating witness accounts, conducting show trials, and then writing a history of the Auschwitz Camp based on this skewed and misrepresented material, a process that continues to this day.

For details on claimed events specific for the Auschwitz Main Camp, see that entry.

Polish Wartime Propaganda

The Polish underground started spreading claims about systematic mass murder at Auschwitz in September 1942. The methods alleged were shootings, gassings, electrocutions and killings with a “pneumatic hammer” (Hammerluft). The latter two, freely invented methods were claimed until April 1943, but then disappeared from the agenda. These Polish reports frequently contain numerical claims about the number of inmates present in the camp, and how many inmates of each ethnic subgroup had been killed in which way. Most of these figures are inaccurate, and some freely invented, as documents about the camp’s occupancy show.

References to gassings were usually without detail, and where details were mentioned, they were usually wrong. For example, a report of August 1942 and another one from that year’s end mention two gas chambers with showers whose showerheads rained down gas instead of water, although that was impossible when using Zyklon B (which was not mentioned). Towels were allegedly issued to the victims before the gassing. However, considering the mess this would have cause, and also because no one takes towels into a shower, this most certainly would not have happened. The victims allegedly died while profusely bleeding from nose and mouth, which is not an effect of hydrogen-cyanide poisoning. Some 300,000 had presumably died this way by late August 1942, although the orthodoxy today insists on only 50,000 (35,130 of which are invented, and the rest misrepresented).

Two reports of October and November 1942 asserted that the first use of gas chambers happened in June 1941, but that the building converted to a gas chamber for this purpose proved too small. However, the orthodoxy insists that the fictitious first gassing occurred only in September 1941, and no building was converted for this event. The report continues that five new gassing facilities were built in Birkenau in April 1942, which were windowless, had a gas supply and ventilation. However, the orthodoxy insists that only one gas-chamber building at Birkenau became operational in March 1942 – the so-called Bunker 1 – which allegedly had two chambers, little shuttered windows (hatches to pour in Zyklon B), and neither a gas supply nor any ventilation.

Two reports call the gas chamber a “Degasungskammer,” which is a misspelled German word correctly spelled Begasungskammer, which means fumigation or disinfestation chamber. Hence, the Polish resistance was clearly getting its inspiration from disinfestation gas chambers, always equipped with ventilation systems, which did indeed exist at Auschwitz, and more were planned, which the camp’s resistance was well aware of. A report of February 1943 even equates gassings with “so-called” delousings.

As soon as the first Birkenau crematorium became operational in March 1943, fantastic cremation capacities of 3,000 bodies per day were spread, while the real figure was about ten percent of that.

A report of April 1943 mentions mass graves dug by gigantic excavators, while another report from that month mentions cranes used to exhume bodies from graves; neither machine has ever been heard of.

Yet another report of that month tells of half-poisoned victims coming back to life inside the cremation furnaces, where they scratched the muffle walls and left bloody stains on them. Of course, no blood would withstand the high temperatures in such a furnace, and no one can possibly come back to life while lying in such a furnace. Any­one inhaling the hot gases inside such a furnace had his lungs burned instantly, leading to instant suffocation.

Auschwitz inmate Withold Pilecki escaped from Auschwitz. He claimed that he let himself get arrested on purpose in 1940 in order to gather intelligence on the camp from the inside. Yet what he told after he escaped from the camp in the spring of 1943, was a mixture of false claims – such as 1.5 million gassing victims by March 1943 alone – and a complete lack of any knowledge about any of the later orthodox tenets on mass gassings at Auschwitz. So, either he lied and did not gather any intelligence at all, or the orthodox narrative is untrue. (See his entry for more details.)

In the summer of 1943, escaped Auschwitz inmate Stanisław Chybiński wrote a report giving the first detailed – and absurdly wrong – description of the alleged gas-chamber setup and operation in Crematoria II & III, claiming that they had a capacity of 22 million bodies per year, ready to exterminate all Poles roaming the planet. (See his entry for more details.)

A report of February 1944 turned the Siemens mobile microwave disinfestation device sent to Auschwitz around that time into an electric furnace extracting fat from human corpses, adding that there was also a bone-glue factory at the camp.

A report of May 1944 described for the first time two peasant cottages turned into gas chambers at Birkenau (later christened “bunkers”), and it even mentions Zyklon B. The ceiling had fake showerheads (not according to the current orthodox narrative, though), victims were given towels (not likely), the murder was instant (which is impossible), but before Zyklon could be used, another powder had to be thrown in first to “absorb the oxygen from the air,” which is utter nonsense. After the deed, ventilators were turned on, but today’s narrative has it that there were none. Transports destined for the gas chambers inside the crematoria allegedly arrived at the “‘death ramp’ at Rajsko,” a small subcamp that had neither any ramp nor any crematoria.

A report of late May 1944 deals with the alleged mass gassing of Jews deported from Hungary, asserting that a total of 1,200,000 of these Jews were to be killed. It claimed that, due to insufficient cremation capacity, corpses were burned outdoors, blanketing the area in dense black smoke, while air photos taken at that time prove this to be invented. Later reports repeated the open-air incineration lie.

In June 1944, a Pole who had escaped from Auschwitz made it to Sweden, where he told a tall story of gassed Jews being transformed into grease for the “Ausch­witz Lubricant Factory.” The victims, equipped with towels and soap, were gassed, then loaded onto carts “which were carried to the grease factory on a mechanical conveyor.” This, too, was freely invented.

(For more details, see Mattogno 2021, pp. 119-217.)

Polish Postwar Propaganda

Polish postwar propaganda about Auschwitz began with a combined Soviet-Polish group of “experts” created after the Soviet conquest of Auschwitz, which created an “expert report” proving with pseudo-technical arguments that the claimed extermination facilities at Auschwitz could (and thus did) exterminate four million people. A short while later, the Polish judiciary took over, with Investigative Judge Jan Sehn and “technical expert” Roman Dawidowski as the main actors. While Sehn interviewed a long list of witnesses with the clear goal of having the 4-million-victim dogma confirmed, he and Dawidowski sifted through SS documents left behind at Auschwitz in search for evidence of mass murder. Since none were found, they took innocuous documents out of context and gave them a criminal meaning they do not have, thus creating out of thin air a long list of “criminal traces” that would be used in decades to come by courts in Poland, Austria and Germany as evidence for the claimed exterminations.

The documental and anecdotal “evidence” created by Sehn, Dawidowski and their colleagues was then used for the Stalinist show trials against Rudolf Höss in Warsaw, and against other former members of the camp staff during another show trial staged in Krakow. The documentation of both trials is the richest source of information both about the Auschwitz Camp and about the way its historiography was distorted by these two trials. These trials shaped the Auschwitz narrative as it prevails to a large extent to this day.

The next stage of Polish Auschwitz propaganda was initiated with the creation of the Auschwitz State Museum, whose official task is the preservation of the orthodox Auschwitz narrative with all means necessary, including lying about the records in their archives, which is required by law in Poland, because Polish penal law expressly threatens any deviation from the orthodox narrative with severe prison terms. Another task of the Auschwitz Museum was influencing German historiography and in particular German judiciary by creating scholarly and pseudo-scholarly German-language material which misrepresents the historical records in order to ensure that German court proceedings involving Auschwitz led to the same conclusions as the two just-mentioned Polish postwar trials.

In order to secure a complete success of this operation, Polish authorities went to extremes during the 1964/65 Frankfurt Auschwitz Show Trial. They screened all the Polish witnesses about to travel to Germany for their political trustworthiness, interrogated them prior to leaving for Germany to make sure they know what to testify about, and then had them accompanied at all times by secret services agents, even inside the courtroom. As we know, this operation was a huge success. With the exception of the total death toll, which was reduced from four million to roughly one million in 1989 (see the entry on Auschwitz, section “Death-Toll Propaganda”), the Soviet-Polish propaganda version of Auschwitz is now required belief in Germany as well, with up to five years imprisonment for anyone voicing disbelief.

(For more details, see Mattogno 2019, pp. 29-32; 2020; 2020b; 2022b; Rudolf 2023, pp. 429f.)

British Propaganda

Between January 1942 and January 1943, the British were able to intercept and decipher radio traffic between German concentration camps and their Oranienburg headquarters (see the entry on British Radio Intercepts). Therefore, they were well informed as to what was unfolding in those camps, how many inmates they housed, how many died, and how many executions took place in them. Hence, when the Polish underground started sending reports about Auschwitz listing vastly exaggerated victim numbers and bizarre killing methods, the Brits knew it was all false. Yet they had to keep it a secret that they had cracked the German code, so they let the Polish account stand.

This situation changed, however, when the Germans discovered the mass graves at Katyn, and used that discovery for a massive, initially successful anti-Soviet propaganda campaign. The British had allied themselves with the Soviet mass murderers in the Soviet attempt to subjugate all of continental Europe, and in order to help Stalin in this endeavor, the British launched a counter-propaganda campaign with Auschwitz as its focus, picking up the Polish underground’s propaganda themes.

For instance, the British distributed posters throughout Poland claiming that the German occupational government had ordered committees of all ethnic groups in Poland to witness how humanely – compared to the Soviet methods – the Germans were implementing the extermination of the entire Polish people at Auschwitz in gas, steam and electrocution chambers, with the local crematorium capable of handling 3,000 bodies each day.

The British Polish-language radio station Sviet broadcast similar invented counter-propaganda with the same claim of the cre­matorium at Auschwitz burning 3,000 people every day, which happens to be the same number of victims the Germans initially proclaimed to have found at Katyn. (For more, see Rudolf 2023, pp. 377f.)

The British became serious about Auschwitz propaganda only after the war, when they extracted “confessions” from many former SS men with bestial torture, and collected mendacious and vengeful “survivor” testimonies in preparation of their show trials against former staff members of the Bergen-Belsen Camp, some of which were also former staff members of the Auschwitz Camp. (For more details, see the entry on the Bergen-Belsen Trials.)

With the “incontestable” results of the first Bergen-Belsen Trial, the British then set out to prosecute the owner and some employees of the Hamburg pest-control company Tesch & Stabenow. This company had delivered large quantities of Zyklon B to the Auschwitz Camp, among other places. The British prosecutors mendaciously “demonstrated” that Tesch must have known that their deliveries were used for mass murder. However, the quantities of Zyklon B delivered to Auschwitz are perfectly explicable with the camp’s enormous size and the various waves of a typhus epidemic devastating the camp between 1942 and 1944. (For more details, see the entry on Tesch & Stabenow.)

Some of the most-important contributions to the current Auschwitz narrative are the various confessions by former Auschwitz camp commandant Rudolf Höss, the first and most important of which he made after having been severely tortured by his British captors. Höss’s testimony during the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal was a pivotal moment of the entire trial. Before that, none of the defendants believed the extermination claims, but Höss’s testimony led to a moral collapse of the German defense, casting a spell of eternal condemnation on them.

(For details on Höss’s torture, his various testimonies, and their bogus nature, see the entry on him, and Mattogno 2020b.)

U.S. Propaganda

U.S. media on occasion reported on claims spread by the Polish government in London exile, but the U.S. government did not get officially involved in Auschwitz propaganda until late 1944, when they published the War Refugee Board Report in late 1944, containing an edited version of the report by Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, plus statements by Jerzy Tabeau and Arnošt Rosin. With this publication, the Auschwitz narrative peddled by these four witnesses became officially recognized by the Allies. (See the entry on the War Refugee Board Report for more details.)

Since the U.S. occupational zone was in South-West Germany with no connection to the Auschwitz Camp, none of the trials conducted by the U.S. in their zone of occupation had any bearing on extermination claims at Auschwitz. The Nuremberg Military Tribunal Case VI, “The Farben Case” (NMT, Vols. 7 and 8), concerned merely slave-labor charges against leading management members of the I.G. Farbenindustrie committed at the Monowitz Forced-Labor Camp, but did not deal with extermination claims regarding Birkenau or the Auschwitz Main Camp.

Soviet Propaganda

For most of the war, the Soviets were preoccupied with German crimes allegedly committed on their own territory. Only in the second half of 1944 did the first Soviet reports on Auschwitz get issued. Two reports issued in August 1944, one of them based on numerous Soviet PoWs who managed to escape from the camp, mention gassings. The second goes into some detail, reflecting the knowledge gained by the plans smuggled out by Stanisław Chybiński and the description given in the VrbaWetzler Report, which was circulated widely at that point. The claimed cremation time for a batch of three to four bodies loaded at once into a muffle – 5 to 10 minutes – exposes the unrealistic, propagandistic nature of this report. The cremation furnaces at Auschwitz were designed for just one body per muffle at a time, and cremation took one hour for just one body. Loading more than two into them would have been physically challenging, if not impossible, and burning such a load would have lasted several hours. (See the entry on crematoria for details.)

When the Soviets captured Auschwitz, caution was cast to the winds. Soviet war corresponded Boris Polevoy wrote a propaganda report on Auschwitz, in which he claimed, among other things, that Auschwitz had a crematorium almost half a kilometer long equipped with shaft furnaces, and that victims were electrocuted, then loaded onto conveyor belts moving to the shaft furnaces. (For more details, see the entry on him.) Polevoy’s lies were dutifully repeated by Pravda in its 2 February 1945 edition.

Another Soviet report of 26 February 1945 claimed that between 4.5 and 5 million people had been exterminated at Auschwitz in execution chambers holding 2,000-3,000 people each, and cremation furnaces of the same daily capacity. The chambers worked by first creating a vacuum, then throwing in hydrogen-cyanide gas bombs.

Of the more than 4,000 inmates the Soviets encountered at Auschwitz, 200 were interrogated, but only three of them claimed to have first-hand knowledge of what transpired in the alleged extermination facilities: Szlama Dragon, Henryk Mandelbaum and Henryk Tauber. As the entries on them amply demonstrate, all three of them bent over backwards to please their Soviet interrogators by confirming the most outrageous lies and exaggerations. Yet their tales became the framework of the orthodoxy’s Auschwitz narrative.

Other witnesses did not want to be relegated to the backstage, so they invented their own stories full of preposterous propaganda, among them an appeal to the international public by four university professors (see the entry on Berthold Epstein for details), and a report by Hungarian Physician Gyula Gál.

Once the Soviets had surveyed the vast documentation the Germans had left behind at the Auschwitz Camp, had investigated its structures, and had interviewed the relevant inmates, a combined Soviet-Polish group of “experts” went to work and created an “expert report” that supposedly proved the vast extermination capacity of the Auschwitz crematoria, rigging their data in such a way that they could “prove” that, during their operational times, all the gas chambers and crematoria together could (and thus did) exterminate four million people.

This “expert report” was the technical basis for a document that was submitted and accepted by the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal as Document 008-USSR (see IMT, Vol. 39, pp. 241-261). Admitting to have heavily relied on the mendacious testimonies of Szlama Dragon and Henryk Tauber (see their entries), this document contains the following peculiar claims, among others:

  • 3 to 5 bodies could fit into each cremation muffle, although the Auschwitz cremation furnaces were designed only for one body at a time, and its small doors would not have allowed for more than two to be inserted at once.
  • Cremating a load of 3-5 bodies took 20-30 minutes, although in reality, the cremation of just one body took an hour.
  • Death in the gas chambers occurred within 3-5 minutes, which would have been technically impossible. Zyklon B gives off its poison only slowly, and it dissipates through a large room only gradually, so any execution in the way described would be much slower than executions in U.S. gas chambers, which took on average ten minutes (see the entry on Zyklon B and on homicidal gas chambers).
  • The Birkenau crematoria’s daily capacity allegedly was 10,000 to 12,000 bodies, while their actual theoretical maximum daily capacity stood at some 920 bodies.
  • The camp’s total death toll amounted to some four million, while the current orthodox narrative insists on roughly one million, with only some 135,000 being documented.

To undergird this absurd death toll, the Soviets even coaxed the Polish railway employee Franciszek Stanek to “confirm” that five million people had been deported in some 2,000 trains to Auschwitz.

(For more details, see Mattogno 2021, pp. 293-305.)

Forensic Findings

Between May 1945 and September 1946, the Polish investigating judge Jan Sehn and the Polish engineer Dr. Roman Dawidowski scoured the former camp’s archives as well as material remains in search of evidence supporting mass-murder claims. They presented simple wooden doors and shutters as evidence for gas-tight doors used to kill humans. However, an objective study of these items demonstrates the opposite: Doors to homicidal gas chambers built to contain hundreds of human beings needed to be not just gastight, but most importantly panic-proof. Hence, they had to be made of massive steel, and had to be anchored solidly in thick, massive walls. Yet no such doors were ever ordered, let along delivered or installed at Auschwitz. (See the entry on gastight doors.)

In their search for evidence, Dawidowski’s and Sehn’s team attempted to get access to Morgue 1 of Crematorium II at Birkenau, which is said to have been a homicidal gas chamber. Since the building had been dynamited, the roof of that basement room had partly collapsed, and the entry area to it was blocked by rubble. Therefore, the Poles cut two openings through the roof to gain access to areas that hadn’t completely collapsed. They removed wall samples, and asked a Polish lab to analyze them for cyanide residues. Such residues would have been deposited inside the wall’s mortar and plaster, if the room had been filled repeatedly with hydrogen-cyanide vapors during gassings with Zyklon B. The resulting chemical compounds called Iron Blue are very stable, long-lasting pigments (see the entry on Iron Blue). However, the analytical report eventually submitted does not even mention those wall samples. Therefore, it stands to reason that the results were negative. The two openings cut through the collapsed roof were later mendaciously presented as Zyklon-B introduction holes, although they had been created only after the war by these Polish researchers.

In 1966, the Auschwitz State Museum had the Polish company Hydrokop take core samples from the soil at the former Birkenau Camp. The results were never published. From a terse footnote in an article by the Museum’s director Franciszek Piper, we learn that, of the 303 core samples taken, 42 “contained traces of human ashes, bones, and hair.” It is not known where these samples were taken, or what the quantity of the traces found was. It stands to reason that the positive samples were taken where four large mass graves can be identified on 1944 air photos, which contained thousands of typhus victims that could not be cremated in the summer of 1942. (See the entries on air photos and mass graves.)

In 1972, during the Vienna Auschwitz trial against Walter Dejaco and Fritz Ertl, the Austrian court asked Austrian accredited engineer Gerhard Dubin to determine, based on wartime construction blueprints of Crematorium II at Birkenau, whether that building’s basement contained homicidal gas chambers, or could be modified to operate as such. In his expert report, Dubin concluded that, modified or unmodified, the rooms in question could not have served homicidal purposes.

In 1988, U.S. expert for execution technology Fred A. Leuchter wrote a report on his forensic findings about Auschwitz, among other things. His conclusion was that the rooms in question in the various crematoria could not have been used as homicidal gas chambers for several technical reasons. Leuchter also took numerous wall samples and had them tested for cyanide residues. Those taken from rooms alleged to have been used for mass murder with Zyklon B came back negative.

Between 1990 and 1992, German accredited chemist Germar Rudolf followed in Leuchter’s footsteps by preparing a thorough expert report investigating many chemical, engineering and architectural aspects of the Auschwitz mass-murder claims. His conclusions were similar to those by Leuchter.

Between 1991 and 1994, in an attempt to refute Leuchter’s and Rudolf’s findings, the Auschwitz State Museum had a team of Polish forensic experts led by Jan Markiewicz take wall samples from various buildings at Auschwitz. Markiewicz’s team chose an analytic method that could not detect long-term stable cyanide residues, hence exactly those that could have survived the 40 years since war’s end. For that reason, all their samples – those taken from alleged homicidal gas chambers and from former fumigation chambers – yielded similar analytic results: close to zero. Markiewicz and colleagues concluded from this that samples from delousing chambers, where Zyklon B was indubitably used to fumigate clothes, showed similar results as samples taken from alleged homicidal gas chambers: close to zero. Therefore, this presumably proves the latter’s exposure to Zyklon-B fumes on a similar level to fumigation chambers. Rudolf has expertly exposed this Polish fraud in all later, updated editions of his expert report.

After some 20 years of thorough archival and technical research, Italian historian Carlo Mattogno and Italian engineer Dr. France Deana published a three-volume historical, technical and forensic study on cremation technology in general, and on the history and technical features of the cremation furnaces installed at the Auschwitz and Birkenau Camps in particular. This study demonstrates the mundane nature of the Auschwitz furnaces. It proves that these furnaces and the fuel they were supplied with were barely able to cremate the number of inmates who died in that camp due to diseases and other non-homicidal reasons (some 135,500). It would not have been possible to cremate in them the additional roughly one million gassing victims claimed by the orthodox narrative.

(For more details, see Leuchter et al. 2017; Rudolf 2020; Mattogno/Deana 2021.)

Current Orthodox Narrative

For the current orthodox extermination narrative on the Birkenau Camp, see the respective (last) section of the entry for the Auschwitz Main Camp, which covers the orthodox narrative for both camps, as their history is intricately interwoven.

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