Wolken, Otto

Otto Wolken
Otto Wolken

Otto Wolken (27 April 1903 – 1 Feb. 1975), was an Austrian Jew and physician deported to Auschwitz on 20 June 1943. From October 1943, he was deployed as an inmate physician and later also as main clerk in the outpatient clinic of the Birkenau quarantine camp. In that function, he furtively transcribed various German documents and created some of his own (the best-known is the so-called “Quarantine List”).

At war’s end, he was interrogated twice by Polish investigative judge Jan Sehn in preparation for the trials against former camp commandant Rudolf Höss and against members of the Auschwitz Camp’s staff. During those interrogations, Wolken handed over his transcribed lists and other documents he had prepared while at Auschwitz. His testimony and his documents were considered so important by the Polish judiciary that they fill an entire dedicated binder of the trial material (Volume 6 of the Höss Trial). Next to Höss, Wolken is one of the key witnesses on which Polish historian Danuta Czech relied when writing her “definitive” orthodox chronology of the Auschwitz Camp.

Two sets of Wolken’s documents are of importance: His “Daily Reports”, and the already mentioned “Quarantine List.” The “Daily Reports” are records Wolken kept in his own notebooks of inmates coming and leaving the quarantine camp. However, his numbers are largely inconsistent, but more importantly, each time a substantial number of inmates was transferred from the quarantine camp elsewhere, Wolken insists that they were killed in gas chambers. He had no first-hand knowledge of it, though, since his perspective from the quarantine camp was necessarily limited to what was going on in his sector, which was only a very small part of the entire Birkenau Camp.

The “Quarantine List” is even more interesting and revealing, because we have two versions of it: Wolken’s original handwritten list, and a list typed by the Polish judiciary. In this list, Wolken entered the number of inmates admitted to the Birkenau quarantine camp (Camp Sector BIIa) from 24 October 1943 to 3 November 1944. While on the first several pages of his handwritten original list, the Block No. is listed where those admitted inmates were lodged, that column was replaced in the typewritten version with one saying “gassed.” In other words: when Wolken wrote those lists during the war, he evidently knew nothing about gassings, but when he worked together with the Polish authorities to put his documents to good use against his former captures, they all colluded to manipulate his original material into something it does not say. It’s a clear-cut case of document forgery.

Furthermore, while Wolken could have known how many deportees were admitted to his sector, he could not know the total number of deportees, and thus just as little the number of deportees not admitted to the camp, hence allegedly gassed according to the current orthodox narrative. He claims to have found out about the total number of deportees from members of those transports who ended up in his sector. But how could they have known this?

Wolken’s mendacity also shows through in his testimony, which has the following peculiar claims:

  • He claimed to have been sent to the gas chamber on arrival at Auschwitz with all the rest of his transport, but that he was saved because the morgue (aka gas chamber) happened to have been full of bodies.
  • True to the false cliché, Wolken claimed that selections were usually made by Dr. Mengele.
  • He claimed that 700,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz, of whom 600,000 were gassed. However, only a little more than 400,000 Jews were deported from Hungary, and air photos show that the claimed mass-extermination of Jews deported from Hungary simply did not happen.
  • Around the same time of the deportation of Hungarian Jews, 350,000 Jews from various ghettos were allegedly also deported to Auschwitz, 300,000 of whom were supposedly gassed. However, even if we follow the orthodox narrative, the only major deportation to Auschwitz of Jews from ghettos in that time frame came in July and August 1944 from the Lodz Ghetto and comprised only a maximum of 70,000 Jews.
  • Wolken claimed that Sonderkommandos repeatedly refused to do their work, as a result of which the entire unit was gassed and burned. However, the orthodox narrative knows nothing of repeated mutinies, and rejects the claim that these units were repeatedly killed.
  • Wolken dated the one Sonderkommando mutiny that is document to have occurred to 21 September 1944, but it actually happened on 7 October 1944.
  • He admitted knowing of gassings only from hearsay, but considers it to be true because he himself saw cans of Zyklon B – after the delousing of inmate huts!
  • Wolken claimed that on the day Himmler visited Auschwitz, on 17 July 1942, no inmate was allowed to be seen dead, so none died, which proves that the SS had the dying under their deliberate control. First, Wolken wasn’t in the camp at that time, so could not have known. Furthermore, this claim isn’t even true, as the typhus epidemic raging in the camp did not listen to orders issued by the SS. In July 1942, 4,403 deceased inmates were registered, most of them victims of the typhus epidemic, hence 142 on average every day.
  • Just as with most everything else, he knew of killings with phenol injections also only from hearsay.
  • Wolken’s testimony is full of claims, all from hearsay, about alleged experiments with female private parts, but he insisted to know first-hand that women never received any underwear in the camp and had to walk around almost naked. Even orthodox historians agree that the latter claim is preposterous nonsense. That man had some serious sexual deprivation issues.
  • Wolken insisted that the Soviet claim of four million Auschwitz victims was only marginally off the mark, because his figures allegedly demonstrate that “only” 3.5 million plus a few others died at Auschwitz. Contrast this to today’s orthodox death-toll figure of roughly one million.
  • And here is Wolken’s most-absurd claim, made in a statement for the 1947 Warsaw trial against former Auschwitz camp commandant Rudolf Höss:

    “Ditches were dug and covered with canvas, serving as provisional gas chambers.”

Wolken’s testimony is a hodgepodge of hearsay, rumors and clichés, mixed with Polish and Soviet propaganda that he was more than eager to integrate and confirm with his statements. The documents he produced are very questionable historical sources, in particular when it comes to claims about allegedly gassed inmates, of whose existence, let alone fate, he could not have had any reliable knowledge.

(For more details, see Mattogno 2023b, p. 20; 2022b, pp. 35-40.)

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