Rudolf Höss (25 Nov. 1901 – 16 April 1947), SS Obersturmbannführer, served at the Dachau Concentration Camp from December 1934 until 1938, then at the Sachsenhausen Camp until May 1940, when he was charged with setting up the new Auschwitz Camp, where he became commandant in October of that year. As head of Office Group DI at the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office (Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungs-Hauptamt), Höss then became deputy inspector of concentration camps in November 1943, but returned to Auschwitz in early May 1944 as “camp eldest” to help organize the deportation and processing of some 400,000 Jews from Hungary deported to various labor camps throughout Germany via the Auschwitz Camp. Höss’s last assignment was to the women’s camp at Ravensbrück.
After he had been discovered by the British in March of 1946, he was severely and uninterruptedly tortured for three straight days, at the end of which he signed a “confession,” the contents of which he stated he did not even know. In this “confession,” in numerous subsequent interrogations, in his autobiographic notes while in Polish custody, and in his testimonies at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal and in Warsaw, he made numerous claims that are impossible, historically wrong, and contradictory. This situation renders his entire testimony worthless from a historiographic point of view. In his detailed monograph on Höss’s various postwar statements, Mattogno has exposed and explained a total of 53 falsehoods, inconsistencies and contradictions (Mattogno 2020b). Here is a brief list of the more striking examples:
- Höss insisted repeatedly that he received the order to turn Auschwitz into an extermination center from Heinrich Himmler in May or June 1941, before the war against the Soviet Union. Höss’s entire timeline of subsequent extermination events depends on that date: the first gassing of September 1941, the use of the Main Camp’s crematorium morgue for gassings in late 1941/early 1942, and the rigging of two former farmhouses (“bunkers”) as makeshift gassing facilities in early and mid-1942. In fact, the timeline of the entire orthodox Auschwitz narrative depends on it. And yet, it cannot have happened. Höss insists that the order came after other extermination camps had already been active for some time. He names Belzec and Treblinka several times, and even claims to have visited Treblinka to see how extermination was done there. However, the Belzec Camp became operational only on 17 March 1942, and the Treblinka Camp on 23 July 1942. Furthermore, mainstream historians insist that a decision to start the Final Solution was made by Hitler in October of 1941 at the earliest, hence four to five months after Höss’s imaginary meeting with Himmler.
- When referring to the extermination centers already in operation when Himmler gave him the order, Höss mentioned a camp near Lublin named “Wolzek” in four statements. Such a camp never existed, and as the former deputy inspector of concentration camps, Höss knew which camps existed in Poland, and what their names were. This was no accident. Having been tortured and constantly facing physical and emotional abuse by his captors, the only plausible explanation is that he injected this fictional camp as a message to the world: “What I am saying here is nonsense.”
- Höss contradicted himself, claiming first that Himmler ordered him to exterminate all Jews without distinction, but then claiming that only those unable to work had to be killed. He flip-flopped between those two mutually exclusive statements numerous times. The documents show, however, that every single Jew deported to Auschwitz was registered there and admitted to the camp until July of 1942, so no extermination order can have existed at all until that date.
- Höss made conflicting and altogether false statements about who headed the other alleged extermination camps.
- Höss claimed that Auschwitz was developed as an extermination center because the other camps had such low and limited capacities, whereas at Treblinka, the orthodoxy claims that some 700,000 were killed within just half a year – a much higher rate than Auschwitz is said to have ever accomplished.
- Höss claims that, when he visited Treblinka in 1941, the Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto uprising were just being processed, and the corpses buried earlier in mass graves were being unearthed again and burned on pyres. However, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising happened in the summer of 1942, and the exhumation of mass graves with subsequent burning of the bodies’ remains is said to have started only in early 1943. Höss creates a mess, chronologically speaking, by mixing all kinds of (alleged) events that don’t belong together into one big stew.
- Höss claims that Adolf Eichmann was looking for a suitable agent to commit the planned gas murder, but according to Höss, his deputy Karl Fritzsch took matters in his own hands by using Zyklon B to kill some Soviet PoWs, thus solving the “problem.” This is the famous first gassing of Auschwitz. Yet in another statement, Höss has Eichmann continue looking for a gas, although it had already been found.
- Höss stated on the one hand that Fritzsch’s “first gassing” took place while he was absent on a business trip, but only a few paragraphs later, he said – probably to impress his readers/listeners – that he vividly experienced that first gassing himself by looking into the gas-chamber door while wearing a gas mask.
- He stated that, already in 1941, Slovakian Jews were killed in gas chambers, but documents clearly show that Slovakian Jews started arriving at Auschwitz only in late March of 1942, and that they were all registered and admitted to the camp.
- Höss claimed that, during his rule of the camp, some three million inmates died or were murdered – a figure reminiscent of the Soviet propaganda number of four million victims in total. In order to make this number appear realistic, he also exaggerated the numbers of Jews living in various European countries by an approximate factor of ten.
- Höss also repeated the fairy tale of collecting human fat during open-air incinerations and pouring it on the flames.
- He stated that, at the Chełmno Camp, Paul Blobel had attempted to get rid of corpses with “explosives, but their destruction had been very incomplete.” But this is irrational; explosives scatter body parts all over the landscape but do not make them disappear.
- Höss insisted that, after a gassing was completed, the doors were opened immediately, and the inmate corpse-removal team started working on this instantly, even eating food items they found. This means they did not wear any gas masks, which would have been swiftly fatal. He even expressly stated on another occasion that gas masks were not worn and not needed.
Höss’s testimony, filled with blatant nonsense, has nonetheless been one of the most influential witness accounts. His appearance even impressed most German defendants at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, who, until then, did not believe their accusers’ mass-murder claims. Only Hermann Göring remained skeptical, sending Höss in his Nuremberg prison cell a few questions (through the prison psychologist) regarding how the claimed mass murder was technically possible.
What Höss really thought about Auschwitz can be gleaned from a speech he gave on 22 May 1943 in Auschwitz. It was a meeting of high SS officials discussing the progress and future plans of the Auschwitz Camp. The main target of this speech was Hans Kammler, head of Office Group C (Budget and Construction) of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office. As such, he was in a key position to make construction decisions. Here is what Höss had to say about the camp’s history and purpose:
“In the year 1940, the Auschwitz Camp came into existence in the estuary triangle between the Vistula and Sola rivers after the evacuation of 7 Polish villages, through the reconstruction of an artillery-barracks site and much construction of extensions, reconstructions and new structures, utilizing large quantities of material from buildings that had been demolished. Originally intended as a quarantine camp, this later became a Reich camp and thereby was destined for a new purpose. As the situation grew ever more critical, its position on the border of the Reich and G.G. [Government General, occupied Poland] proved especially favorable, since the filling of the camp with workers was guaranteed. In addition to that, the solution of the Jewish question was added recently, which required creating the means to accommodate 60,000 prisoners at first, which increases to 100,000 within a short time. The inmates of the camp are predominantly intended for the growing large-scale industries in the vicinity. The camp contains within its sphere of interest various armament firms, for which the workers are regularly provided.”
The “solution of the Jewish question” thus required no extermination or cremation facilities, but instead construction measures to accommodate 100,000 prisoners. The supposed homicidal function of the camp was not only no priority, it was utterly absent from Höss’s speech. (See Mattogno 2016d, pp. 52f., 138.)