Gabai, Yaakov

Jaacov Gabai
Jaacov Gabai

Yaakov Gabai (or Gabbai, aka Ya’akov, Jaacov, Jacob; born in Athens in 1912) wrote a brief text about his alleged experiences in Auschwitz in 1983, almost four decades after the events, when asked to do so by Erich Kulka. Some ten years later, he was interviewed by Israeli historian Gideon Greif. He arrived at Auschwitz from Greece on 11 April 1944.

Gabai’s testimony given to Greif is riddled with claims and data about events that he, as a simple member of the crematoria stokers, could not possibly know, such as which transport arrived at Auschwitz from where, with how many inmates, how many people were presumably killed in all claimed killing facilities at Auschwitz, and what the overall capacity of these facilities were. Where his claims can be verified by wartime documents, Gabai’s assertions turn out to be false, including:

  • the distance from the railway ramp to the Birkenau Camp (3 km claimed by Gabai, versus 500 m according to maps.);
  • the number of inmates working as stokers (750 claimed by Gabai, 315 according to documents);
  • the number of Hungarian Jews cremated daily in mid-May (24,000 murdered and cremated claimed by Gabai, yet only some 5,000 Jews unfit for work arrived daily according to documents);
  • the start of mass murder of Hungarian Jews (for Gabai the murder started in late April, but Hungarian Jews started arriving at Auschwitz only in mid-May 1944);
  • the end of mass murder of Hungarian Jews (August for Gabai, yet the last train with Hungarian Jews arrived on 11 July);
  • the percentage of inmates deemed “fit for labor” (Gabai claimed this was arbitrary, giving wildly divergent figures, while documents show that these assessments were made thoroughly);
  • the names and ranks of SS men in charge of the crematoria (Gabai gave names and assigned SS ranks that are completely invented);
  • the fate and date of the last transport from Greece (Gabai has it arrive at Auschwitz in late June 1944, with not a single inmate being registered, while the last transport from Greece in fact arrived on 16 August 1944, and the only one in June had more than 600 inmates getting registered);
  • the number of transports arriving in August (almost none according to Gabai, but eight major transports arrived from the Łódź Ghetto);
  • the month of the claimed Gypsy mass murder (June 1944 for Gabai, August for the orthodoxy, but the event is refuted by documentation);
  • the murder of 2,500 Jews arriving on Yom Kippur, 4 October 1944 (there is no record of any such arriving transport);
  • the event and number of victims of an inmate uprising (Gabai has Crema IV detonated and some 850 casualties, while Crema IV was only set on fire, and the orthodoxy claims 451 casualties);
  • the sleeping arrangement for crematorium stokers (Gabai gave them all private rooms in the crematorium’s attic, while blueprints show only one large common dormitory);

Interestingly, just like many other inmates interviewed by Greif (J. Sackar, S. Chasan, L. Cohen, E. Eisenschmidt), Gabai insisted that pits dug at Birkenau to burn the gassing victims by means of open-air incinerations were called “bunkers.” He evidently had no knowledge of the make-shift gassing facility called “Bunker 2” which the orthodoxy claimed was in full operation during Gabai’s time at Auschwitz. He insisted instead – and contrary to the orthodox narrative – that the victims gassed in the crematoria were dragged out into the fields next to the camp to be cremated there in pits.

Gabai moreover paid homage to the lore of human fat serving as fuel that “kept the fire going,” although he added that firewood was used, too, and repeated the widespread but untrue claim that the crematoria spread a “stench of scorched human flesh.” He repeated the standard figure of 2,000 victims fitting into the alleged gas chamber of Crematoria II and III, which at a packing density of almost 10 people per square meter would have required the utmost discipline and cooperation of all inmates in order to make it happen.

According to Gabai, the poison gas was introduced by throwing in “blue cubes” through “four openings in the ceiling of each gas chamber,” which were “glass windows protected with iron bars,” causing “blue vapors” to spread through the chamber. This claimed way of introducing the poison is in stark contrast to the commonly claimed but equally fictitious wire-mesh introduction columns. While Zyklon B gypsum cubes may have a pale turquoise hue, they certainly were not “blue cubes,” their hydrogen-cyanide vapors were not blue but colorless, and they also did not cause “immediate asphyxiation,” as Gabai has it. Absent any means to force a swift evaporation and dissipation of the gas, the process would have taken many minutes, even hours.

For Gabai, the chamber was ventilated by opening the non-existing iron-barred glass windows in the ceiling, while he seems to have been ignorant of the room’s ventilation system with many vents in the side walls. (Although he referred to it in his 1983 text.)

For Gabai, the victims of a gassing were full of blood due to “internal hemorrhages that burst in the gas chambers. The gas made blood vessels break open.” This is utter nonsense, as hydrogen cyanide has no such effect at all. Claiming to have worked in such a gas chamber for eight months, he should know that victims of cyanide poisoning have a pinkish skin color but are otherwise unaltered.

Gabai claimed that four corpses were placed at once in a cremation muffle (designed and sized to hold only one corpse), and that it took only half an hour to cremate them – compared to an hour for each corpse in reality (see the entry on crematoria). Hence, he exaggerated the maximum theoretical capacity by a factor of 8. He also claimed that the triple-muffle furnaces of Crematoria II and III had two introduction doors at the front and one in the rear, although they were all at the front, side by side. He insisted that, when loading the muffles with fresh corpses, it took them three minutes to load 60 corpses, with two corpses being introduced in one batch, two batches per muffle. With 30 batches, this amounts to just 6 second per batch ­– impossible.

Gabai claimed that, during the cremation, they turned over the bodies with pitchforks to get them “near the flames,” but assuming they managed to accomplish the impossible feat to get four bodies into the narrow muffle, there would not have been any space left to turn them over. Furthermore, cremation muffles do not have a “flame” to which the corpses need to be exposed. The entire muffle glows red-hot, giving off heat from all around, and the combusting coke gas streams throughout the muffle. Cremation muffles are not barbecue grills, where the burger needs to get flipped once in a while to make it equally done on all sides!

Gabai insisted that, once the furnaces had been lit, the cremation process required no fuel at all, because “the human fat fueled the flames” – although self-immolating bodies simply do not exist, and it is well-documented that the type of furnace he worked with had a fuel requirement of at least 20 kg of coke per corpse under perfect conditions. Gabai also claimed that the ash-extraction door was located at the furnace’s rear, when in fact it was also located at the front.

Summarizing, it is clear that Gabai either had his real memories almost completely replaced with what he heard and memorized – often incorrectly – from other sources over the decades, or that he never actually had any real memories and made up the whole thing.

Gabai’s earlier statement made in Jerusalem on 20 June 1983 is considerably shorter than his interview with Greif. It contains numerous contradictions to his interview claims, some of them minor, but others quite blatant. For a detailed study of them, and for a deeper analysis of Gabai’s Greif interview, see Mattogno 2022e, pp. 31-55.

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