There were usually 200,000 inmates at one time in the extermination camp of Auschwitz. Over 4 million people from the countries occupied by Germany were killed in Auschwitz, in most cases by gas immediately after their arrival; the remainder were first used for labour or for medical experiments and later killed in various ways (injections, ill treatment etc.). Details relating to the camp and the persons responsible for the crimes.
Record no. 56 of the Soviet War Crimes Commission, second edition. Russian language. Signatures ink. With German translation.
Report of the Special State Commission for the investigation and examination of the misdeeds of the German fascist invaders and their accomplices of the monstrous atrocities and crimes of the German government in Auschwitz (Oswiezim).
Even before the Red Army had liberated Polish territory in Upper Silesia, numerous reports had reached the Special Commission regarding the existence of a gigantic camp which the German government had erected for the extermination of Russian prisoners in the vicinity of the city of Oswiezim (Auschwitz). After the liberation of Polish Silesia by Soviet troops, units of the Red Army found this camp. Upon order of the Special State Commission, a thorough investigation of the crimes committed in Auschwitz by the Germans took place in February and March 1945.
The investigation was carried out by the legal officer of the 1st Ukrainian Front with KUDRYAVTSEV and KUZMIN as representatives of the Special State Commission. Special expert commissions participated in the investigations. These included a forensic medical expert commission from the 1st Ukrainian Front, BRYSHIN F.F., the forensic medical expert of the Army, TSCHURSAVNOW, among others, and a technical commission consisting of the Cracow Professors DAVIDOWSKY ROMAN and DOLINSKY JAROSLAUS, among others. The interrogation and medical examination of 2,819 former inmates of Auschwitz camp who were rescued by the Russian army; a study of the material found in the camp, German documents, the remains of crematoria and gas chambers blown up by the Germans during their retreat; an examination of corpses found on the grounds of the camp, of objects and papers which remained behind on the grounds of the camp and in the barracks, and which had belonged to people who came from various countries of Europe and who were murdered by the Germans, have established the following:
1) the Germans exterminated over four million citizens of the Soviet Union, Poland, France, Belgium, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Roumania, Hungary, and other countries by shooting and monstrous tortures in Auschwitz camp.
2) Germany professors and doctors performed so-called medical experiments on living men. women, and children in the camp. Auschwitz camp by far exceeded all hitherto known death camps in the refinement of its methods -- in technical organization, in the number of victims, and in the cruelty of the means with which the people were killed. Auschwitz camp contained gas chambers and crematoria, and surgical stations and laboratories, all aimed at the extermination of human beings. The Germans called the gas chambers "Baths for Special Purposes". The entrance to the "baths" bore the sign "To the Disinfection"; the exit "entry to the bathhouse". Thus, the people intended for death went unsuspectingly into the room "for disinfection", and undressed; they were then driven into the "Bath for Special Purposes", and killed with "Zyklon" poison. Special hospitals, surgical blocks, laboratories, and other installations were erected in the camp -- not to heal men, but to kill them. German professors and doctors performed mass experiments on completely healthy women and children: sterilization of women and castration of men (mass experiments on artificial excitement (sic) of cancer, typhus and malaria, experiments on the effects of poisons on living people.
SS Reichsfuehrer HIMMLER was the organizer of Auschwitz extermination camp.
Auschwitz camp was built in 1939 (sic), on the order of SS Reichsfuehrer Himmler, for the exclusive purpose of killing the enslaved citizens of occupied European lands. The camp occupied a huge surface area in the vicinity of the city of Auschwitz. It was originally a whole system of camps: Auschwitz, Birkenau, Monocice , Goleschan, Jawiszowiz, Neudachs, Blachamer, etc. The two main camps -- Auschwitz and Birkenau -- covered 467.5 ha. and consisted of more than 620 living barracks and administrative buildings. There were always between 180,0000 and 250,00 prisoners in Auschwitz. All camps were surrounded by ditches full of deep water and thick barbed wire charged with high electrical voltage.
In 1941, the first Auschwitz crematorium was built to burn bodies of murdered persons. In the summer of 1942, SS Reichsfuehrer Himmler visited the Auschwitz camp, ordered its expansion to gigantic proportions, and gave instructions for technical improvements. The German firm Topf & Soehne in Erfurt received the order to build four powerful new crematories and gas chambers in Birkenau. Berlin insisted on faster completion and demanded that all work be finished by the beginning of 1943. The complete correspondence between the camp administration and the firm Topf & Soehne was found in the office files of Auschwitz camp, which files also contained the following letter:
1) "I.A. Topf & Soehne, Erfurt, 12 February 1943. To the Central Building Administration of the SS and Police, Auschwitz (Oswiezim). Regarding: crematoria for the second and third prison camp.
"We politely confirm receipt of your telegram of 10 February with the following content:
"'We once again confirm receipt of your order for five three-part 3-muffle crematory ovens, including two electric lifts for the removal of corpses and a second two-part lift for corpses. A usable installation for the heating with coal and an installation for the removal of the ashes are also included in the order. You are to deliver the complete installation for crematory no 3. We expect that you will do everything to send all machines and accessories immediately. The installation must be ready for operation by 10 April 1943.' (signed I.A.Topf & Soehne.)"
2) "No. 12, 115/42 -- EP-HA Article 2. Regarding: order for two three-part crematory ovens for each of the "baths for special purposes". Engineer Pruefer proposes that these be taken (with) the crematory ovens which are ready for shipment to Mogilew. The leader of the division who was in the SS commissary management of the main division Berlin was immediately notified of this, and was asked for further instructions. (Signed) SS Untersturmfuerher (S). Oswiezim 21 August 1942."
Twelve crematory ovens with 46 retorts were available in four new crematoria. Every retort could take three to five corpses. The cremation procedure took approximately 20 to 30 minutes. The baths for special purposes, that is, the gas chambers for the killing of human beings were located in the cellars of special buildings next to the crematoria. There were also another two separate "baths"; the bodies of people killed here were burnt in separate fires in the open. Dogs helped to drive the men intended for death into the baths. On the way, they were driven with blows from clubs and rifle butts. The doors to the chambers were hermetically sealed, and the people in them were poisoned with Zyklon. Death occurred within 3-5 minutes; after 20-30 minutes, the bodies were removed and taken to the crematory ovens in the crematoria.
Before cremation, cremation dentists removed all gold teeth from the bodies. The "production" of the "baths" and gas chambers by far exceeded the capacity of the crematory ovens; therefore the Germans used gigantic fires in the open to burn the bodies. Ditches 4 - 6 m wide, 25 - 30 m long, and 2 m deep were dug for these fires. Channels ran along the floor of the ditches and were used for air supply. The bodies were brought to the fires by narrow-gauge railway, and placed in layers crossways in the ditches. Oil was poured over them and that is how they were burnt. The ashes were buried in deep ditches or thrown in the Sola and Vistula.
In 1943, they began to grind up the unburnt bones for industrial purposes, and to sell them to the "Strem" company for the manufacture of superphosphates.
Written proof was found in the camp that 112 tons and 600 kg. of bone meal from human bodies were sent to the Strem company. The Germans also used hair cut off the heads of murdered women for industrial purposes. In Auschwitz camp, the Germans killed and burnt between 10,000 and 12,000 human beings daily, of whom 8,000 - 10,000 arrived by railway and were immediately killed, plus 2,000 - 3,000 camp inmates. Two former prisoners who were interrogated as witnesses -- SHYLOMA DRAGON (a resident of the small town of Zitovnin in the province of Warsaw), and GENRICH TAUBER, from the city of Krzanow in Poland), who worked in a special commando servicing the gas chambers and the crematoria -- testified as follows:
"...First, the Germans had two gas chambers two kilometers apart. They were two wooden barracks, each the same. People who arrived by train were taken to the barracks, undressed, and then driven into the gas chambers. SS men with gas masks threw Zyklon through the holes. The gassing lasted 15 - 20 minutes, after which the bodies were removed in little wagons and taken to the ditches and burnt there."
Later, four crematoria were in operation on the grounds of Birkenau camp; every one of them had one gas chamber. Crematoria nos. 2 and 3 were of the same type, and each had 15 crematory ovens while those of crematoria nos. 4 and 5 were of another type -- not as big, and of inferior technical quality, each with 8 crematory ovens. All the crematoria incinerated 10,000 - 12,000 bodies per day.
German fascist professors and doctors as murderers of Auschwitz prisoners
In Auschwitz camp, German fascist professors and doctors performed extensive "medical" experiments with monstrous ingenuity on living people. Former inmate doctors rescued by the Red Army -- STEINBERG, (Paris), GORDON (Vilnius), Prof. GROSSMAN ( Yugoslavia), Dr. of med. WALENTIN ERWIN (Berlin), KEPPICH ANNA (Hungary), DE WIND EDUARD (Netherlands), FLECHNER ALBERT (Paris) -- established they had seen a great number of "medical" experiments with their own eyes, arbitrarily performed by German fascist professors and doctors on prisoners in order to learn surgical techniques. A young German doctor sought out prisoners with ulcerating sores on their limbs, and practised performing amputations on them. The German doctors TILLE and FISCHER gathered great groups of prisoners and then carried out fracturing operations on them.
The leading doctor at the hospital, Dr. ENDERS, performed stomach operations in the absence of the slightest complaint of any stomach trouble; he also practised ulcer operations on them.
Sterilization experiments were performed on women in the camp hospital division of Auschwitz camp. 400 women prisoners were housed in Block 10 of the camp, and simultaneously subjected to sterilization experiments with x-rays, and then by removal of the ovaries; the neck of the uterus was infected with cancer, experiments were performed to induce premature birth artificially and to test contrast substances, as well as to test x-ray exposure of the uterus. In Block 28, doctors tested methods of artificially wounding the skin with kerosine oil, various salts, pastes, and powders. They also used Arichink to study artificially induced jaundice. These experiments were led by the German, Dr. Emil KOSCHUB.
In Block 21, mass experiments were performed in the castration of men and to study the possibility of sterilization with x-rays. Castration was performed some time after treatment with x-rays. These x-ray and castration experiments were led by Prof. SCHUMANN and Dr. DERING. The operations frequently consisted of removing one or both testicles for study after treatment with x-rays.
All these facts are attested to by the testimonies of former inmates, KLEIN JUDITH, AUSSEN KLARA, HORBANN MINNA, SONDERS NONNA, SKURNIKC JAKOB, SURES DAVID, and many others on whom the German doctors performed various experiments.
Upon order of the German doctor Dr. ENDERS, in 1941-1944, prisoners were killed in the hospitals by injection of phenol in the heart. First, the injections were given by Dr. DERING, later by nurses. A German named KLER, a former shoemaker, proved himself especially enthusiastic, killing thousands of victims in this manner. A prisoner named PANSZIK, a Pole, killed 12,000 men with phenol injections (he was later killed by Polish prisoners). A German named STESS killed 10,000 people with these injections.
The fact that inhuman experiments were performed on prisoners is also confirmed by a number of documents found in the camp offices. A report from the surgical division of the camp hospital testified that in three months -- October, November, and December 1943 -- there were 89 removals of the testicles (castration), five sterilizations, five removals of the ovaries among the many operations performed by surgeons of the division. In the telegram no. 2768 of 28 April 1943, the Obersturmfuehrer Colonel SOMMER issues an order to the office of the camp commandant, stating that 128 women are to be included in a list with the designation "prisoners for experiments". A statistical survey of the camp commandant is concerned with the number and distribution of female prisoners to the various categories, and is signed by the representative camp commandant. There is one constant column: prisoners for various experiments. The column is entitled "women for experiments". On 15 May 1944, 440; on 5 June 1944, 413; on 19 June 1944, 348; on 30 July 349, etc.
German doctors played a leading role in the so-called "selection" of prisoners for gassing and incineration. They carried these "selections" out everywhere -- near the crematories, in the hospitals, in the barracks. Exhausted, sick people who were unable to work were sent to the gas chambers.
The following German doctors participated in the selection of prisoners for the purpose of killing: WIRTS, MENGELE, RODE, FISCHER, TILLE, KOENIG, KLEIN, and many others.
Upon order of the leading German doctor of the Auschwitz division, the populations of entire barracks were murdered by poison gas during typhus epidemics.
The forensic medical experts found that German doctors of Auschwitz camp performed the following experiments on living people:
1) removal of tissues from the neck of the uterus or even complete removal of the same;
2) testing of a number of unknown substances for the purpose of x-ray exposure of the uterus and ovaries, These substances were injected under pressure into the uteral region with the help of special installations, and often caused frightful pain to the the victim of the experiment;
3) sterilization of women by x-rays of the pelvic region, followed by the removal of the ovaries. These experiments were performed chiefly on younger women;
4) study of the reactions of various chemical preparations to the order of German firms. According to the eyewitness testimony of a German doctor, Dr. med. Erwin VALENTIN, the representatives of German chemical industry -- GLAUBER, a gynecologist from Koenigshuette, and GEVEL, a chemist -- actually bought 150 women from the camp administration at one time for such experiments.
5) sterilization of men through x-rays;
6) experiments on men using chemical irritant preparations on the skin of one leg for the artificial inducement of ulcers and inflamed tumours;
7) a number of other experiments, such as artificial infection with malaria, artificial insemination, etc..
Very many experiments ended in the rapid, excruciating death of the prisoner involved. When the victims for experimental purposes were no longer useable, they were killed and cremated. In this manner, the Germans attempted to wipe away their inhuman experiments.
Samuel Abramowitsch STERN, a former prisoner from Bucharest, testified:
"...In Auschwitz camp, I worked as the assistant to the doctor. On the orders of Ober-Sergeant Major KOSCHUB, I subjected prisoners to injections with other manipulations. I know very well that kerosene was injected into the leg... Experiments were performed on the irritability of the skin...For these purposes, an 80% solution of alum actinium was used. The entire layer of skin was then removed and sent for examination. Those who had deep-seated skin inflammations had the entire piece of flesh cut out, together with the skin, and this was also sent for examination...
KOSCHUB infected prisoners with artificial jaundice and gave them malarial blood transfusions. WALIGUVA M, a test subject, testified:
"...Several days after my arrival at Birkenau, I believe it was the beginning of December 1942, all younger men between 18 and 30 were sterilized by x-ray exposure of the scrotum. I was also among those sterilized. Eleven months after I was sterilized, that is, on 1 November 1943, I was castrated... together with 200 other men who were sterilized in one day."
The witness, DAVID SURES, from Salonika (Greece), gave the following testimony:
"Approximately in July 1944, I was entered onto a list, together with many other Greeks, and sent to Birkenau. There, we all had to undress, and were all sterilized with x-rays. A month after sterilization, we were all ordered to the camp central division, where we were all castrated."
The former inmate M. HAUSER (Paris, Citemilion 9), testified:
"In Auschwitz, we were housed in Block 10. The reason why we were housed in this block was unknown to us. It contained a hospital division, although we were all entirely healthy women. In Block 10, they took a syringe full of blood from me, I don't know for what purpose. At the end of August 1943, I was taken to the operating room, received an anaesthetic, and an operation was performed on my sexual organs. The operation was performed by a prisoner, Dr. SAMUEL, under the leadership and instruction of the German, Dr. WIRTZ. After the operation, I was sick for 11 months in Block 10. Among those who were subjected to the sterilization operation was a Jewish woman named Bella, from Greece, whose last name I can no longer remember. After she was x-rayed, she was operated on. She received an abdominal incision. After the operation, she got well and her abdomen healed. The German doctor Dr. SCHUMANN came to Block 10 to examine her, and took Bella away to Block 28. There he made a second incision, this time in a sideways direction. I myself saw the criss-cross incision. Within a few days of the second operation, Bella died."
The German butchers murdered citizens from all European nations in Auschwitz.
Investigations have proven that three to five railway trains loaded with human beings intended for extermination arrived at Auschwitz every day -- every train carying 1,500 - 3,000 men. These people, intended for death, came from every country in Europe. The 2,819 liberated prisoners interrogated by the forensic medical commission included citizens of Poland 754; Hungary 542; France 346; Czechoslovakia 315; USSR 180; the Netherlands 159; Yugoslavia 143; Italy 91; Greece 76; Roumania 52; Belgium 41; and other countries.
From every train, the Germans sought out 200 - 300 of the strongest for work in the camp, and sent the rest straight to the gas chamber, as well as to the crematoria of Auschwitz and Birkenau camps. The railway foreman of Oswiezim station, FRANSISZEK STANEK, testified:
"In 1942, 1943, and 1944, trainloads of prisoners came from Czechoslovakia, Belgium, France, Holland, Norway, Greece, Poland, and other countries."
The witness EDWARD DE VIND testified:
"After the occupation of Holland by the Germans, a purge of the state apparatus, the governmental installations, and educational institutions took place in November 1940. Three of us university assistants were expelled. I moved to Amsterdam. A Dutch fascist was found murdered in a residential block. As a reprisal, the Germans arrested 400 hostages, including myself. They grabbed me on the street and sent me to this camp."
The witness JACKOV GORDON from Vilnius testified:
"... I was sent to the Auschwitz camp on 22 January 1943. In all, there were 3,650 people on the train. Of these, 265 men and 80 women were sent into the camp; the rest were sent to the crematorium immediately, where they were gassed and burnt. Among the victims were my wife, Matilda, a nurse by profession, my son, 4 1/2 years old, and my father (73 years old), as well as my mother (64 years old).
The witness EMILIE DESSANTI, an Italian, testified:
"...On 12 September 1944, the Hitlerians deported us from Italy and sent us to Auschwitz camp. In all, they sent 500 Italians to the camp. Of these, 30 remained alive. The rest were brutally tortured to death and killed in the camp."
The witness DAVID SURES testified:
"... I came from Greece on 3 April 1943 with a trainload of Greeks, together with more than 2,500 other persons, including my mother, 53 years old, and my sister and her child. Approximately 300 persons of the 2,500 were sent into the camp, while the remaining, among them my mother, my sister, and her five-year old child, were sent straight from the train to be burnt in the crematorium."
The witness GEORG KITMAN from Roumania testified:
"...In June 1944, I and my parents were sent to Auschwitz, together with other people, old people, women and children, in a railway train. When we got out, all the old people and mothers with small children were separated from the strong ones, sent to the crematorium, and burnt. Among them were my father, 42 years old, and my mother, 48 years old. Of the 3,000 persons, not more than 350 were sent into the camp."
The witness ZISKA testified:
"...I arrived in February 1943 with 1100 other people from France. On the same day, 205 strong people were selected and sent to the barracks and the other 895 -- old people, women, and children -- were sent to the gas chamber, where they were asphyxiated."
The former inmate, ANNA KEPPICH, a Hungarian from the city of Cluj, testified:
"...I arrived in Auschwitz camp in June 1944 with 3,000 Hungarian prisoners. After our arrival in the camp, 500 strong people were selected for work in the camp, while the other 2,500 were sent for extermination in the gas chambers."
Professor BERTHOLD EPSTEIN of the University of Prague reported to the Commission:
"Selected prisoners were sent to the gas chambers for extermination. For several months, we saw long lines of people sent to their death in the crematorium. Specially large groups were killed in May, June, and July 1944. During this time the crematorium worked day and night, as we could see from the flames which shot out of the chimneys. We often smelled the stench of burning flesh, hair, and nails. In this time, we saw two gigantic fires in the open, which blazed brightly during the night, in addition to the flames that shot out of the crematorium chimneys. Shrieks and cries as well as the barking of SS watch dogs could be heard throughout the night. The unfortunate victims, who were sent to death in the open fires in long rows due to the overfilled crematoria, anticipated the fate that awaited them..."
"I knew that my nearest relatives had shared this fate, and that I, too, would not succeed in escaping it. Approximately every two weeks, the camp doctor, MENGELE, selected the people who were to be killed in the crematorium. Thus, approximately 500 children were killed in one day. Heart-breaking scenes occurred when these children were taken away, since everyone knew, where they were going. The SS men and their accessories (sic) showed special brutality in this procedure. When we arrived in Auschwitz, I was separated from my wife and never saw her again. Later I heard that she was never even accepted into the camp. My wife was no doubt killed in the usual manner. In March 1944, SS men murdered my wife's sister with her two children and my niece 38 years old. In July 1944, my sister also died."
Death on a conveyor belt
The investigations showed that, apart from people who were intended for experimental purposes in the camps of Auschwitz, some 200,000 prisoners were kept for purposes of exploitation through the most exhausting forced labour. Every week, German doctors took a "selection", the result of which was that all the sick were killed in the gas chambers. These were replaced by those who arrived in the camp by train. It was an exactly organized system, a horrible conveyor belt of death. The first ones were killed in order to be replaced by others, who were then brought to a point of exhaustion and illness through the most brutal exploitation, and then they were sent to the gas chambers.
Slaves for the I.G. Farben-Industrie
In 1941, the Germans began the construction of a large, chemical armaments plant for the I.G. Farben-Industrie near Auschwitz and with the construction of an armaments factory for artillery and other ignition material. The construction was carried out by Krupp, by "Union" companies, and other companies with tens of thousands of Auschwitz prisoners of all European nationalities -- Russians, Ukrainians, White Russians, Poles, French, Yugoslavia, Greeks, Belgians, Czechs, Dutch, Italians -- who died under the brutal exploitation, working in these structures, as well as in the draining of swamps, in mines, and the building of roads.
The barracks of the concentration camp were located seven or eight kilometres from the worksites. Crews of SS men made the prisoners assemble, then thousands were driven to work under armed guard and surrounded by overseers with clubs and dogs. At work, the prisoners were beaten by the SS men, overseers, and foremen: one blow for straightening up the back, another for not picking up enough earth on the shovel, another for not working fast enough. Others were made to run with earth-laden carts by blows. The foremen said: "The company pays 4 marks for you and therefore you must work like a horse." The worksites were execution grounds at the same time. The killing of prisoners in any manner was permitted by the camp administration. Obersturmbannfuehrer LIEBEHENSCHEL issued an order in which he offered the SS 50 marks for every inmate killed "trying to escape". To receive this reward, the guards murdered without being punished.
Testimony on the killing of prisoners on the worksite was given by a former inmate:
"... In August 1943, I worked on the worksite of the I.G. Farbenindustrie installation. One day, SS men brought 400 prisoners to this worksite, including Yugoslavians, Greeks, Frenchmen, and Belgian, drove them into a ditch, and began to bury them alive. The people doomed to death screamed for help in various languages. The SS men standing around said to us: 'Look out there and work better than before, or the same will happen to you.' Two weeks later, we were transferred so that the terrain could be prepared for a building in one of the Auschwitz camps. SS man LOSSMANN and other SS men selected 30 men from our group, drove them into a ditch, and buried them up to the neck. Then the SS men got on horses, and began to gallop over the land, and killed all 30 men."
The gigantic swamps of Auschwitz became a grave for thousands of men of the most varied nationalities. Over 300 columns from 50 to 1,200 men did heavy work there. As a result of the blows, the murders, and the violence, not one of the ones who worked there lived more than two or three months. They were murdered in the swamps, or when they fell ill, by phenol injections in the heart or killed in the gas chambers.
JAKOB KOENIG, a specialist reclamation engineer, who worked as a common navvy (sic) in the swamps, testified:
"...I belonged to a column of 400 men working in the reclamation of swampland. The overseers, who were recruited from among German criminals, beat the men unconscious with their clubs and spades. In our column, there were men and women of all ages, including academicians, doctors, teachers, professors. Yugoslavia alone was represented by 14 engineers who did nothing there but ordinary work.
A former inmate, SIMON MEISELIER BEGAIN, testified:
"From our column, the bodies of 100 - 200 bodies of people tortured to death were brought back daily for two or three months in 1944, and were replaced by new victims."
The German hangmen were especially brutal with Soviet prisoners, who were as a rule killed immediately upon arrival in the camp. Only the strongest of them were selected from among them. The following order, relating to Soviet citizens, was found in the camp office:
"Oranienburg, 15 November 1941. Confidential. Reichsfuehrer SS. Inspector of concentration camps (Oswiezim 14L14). Regarding: execution of Russian prisoners of war. To the commandants of the concentration camps. Copies to the camp doctors, camp leaders of prisoners under special guard, to the camp management. The Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police has declared himself fundamentally in agreement with extending the execution of those out of the total number of Russian prisoners of war who are sent to the concentration camps for execution (commissars) when their physical condition permits work in the stone quarry. The approval of the Chief of the Security Police and SD Police is necessary for this purpose. I therefore issue the following order: after the arrival in the camp of trains with prisoners of war for execution, physically sound Russians who can work in the stone quarries should be selected by the camp chief (E) and the leading doctor. A list of names of the selected Russians should be sent to us in duplicate.
"The camp doctor must confirm on a list that he raises no objection from this point of view to these people being used for work. After receipt of approval from the Chief of the Security Police and the SD Police, the transfer of the Russians concerned to the stone quarry by order will then be arranged. Signed GLUECKS SS Brigadefuehrer and Generalmajor."
Based on this order, some of the Soviet prisoners were kept alive for the purpose of hard physical work. Their treatment by the SS and the overseer was as cruel and inhumane as can be imagined.
Subordinates are encouraged to use their own initiative
A resident of the city of Auschwitz MARINA GANDLIZK testified:
"In the winter of 1941, Russian prisoners of war were driven daily like cattle from Auschwitz camp to the village of Babive at 35 degrees below zero. Many of them had no headwear, only soldiers' shirts and trousers and torn footwear. Every evening, carts with the bodies of those same Russian prisoners of war came back the village of Babive. On top of the cart sat two or three comrades of the dead Russians exhausted to the utmost, with frozen faces, hands, and feet.
The Hitlerians demanded inceasingly more and more murders from their subordinates. On 24 February 1944, the chief of the Auschwitz garrison, Obersturmbannfuehrer LIEBEHENSCHEL, issued an order stating: "Lengthy personal observations have enabled me to observe that there are too many prisoners working on all worksites, with the exception of the armaments factories -- and their working strength is not being exploited. They loaf around. We are aware that tougher supervision by young SS officers would be necessary to increase the working yield from the prisoners, but we also know that we have no additional contingents available for this purpose, since they are either at the front or are doing service in other important sectors. We must help ourselves. It is obvious that we must act quickly, and I hope that every one will do what is necessary on his own initiative..."
The result of this order was that frightful processions could be seen every evening, drawing along the roads -- from all sides of Auschwitz camp, from the factories, the swamps, from the mines back to the barracks -- surrounded by SS men and overseers with huge packs of dogs;' blood-bespotted, exhausted prisoners carried the corpses of their comrades on wooden stretchers.
At role call, the prisoners were made to stand in long lines; the bodies of those tortured to death were laid out before them, and the overseers reported to their superiors regarding fulfilment of the LIEBEHENSCHEL order. The administration expressed its gratitude to the columns with the greatest number of corpses. Those guilty of misdemeanours were beaten with clubs before the eyes of the prisoners.
These frightful forced labour conditions led to frightful living conditions in the barracks. 1,000 - 1,500 people were housed in buildings erected for 400 - 500 persons. Hunger, epidemics, torture, unhygenic conditions, everything was consciously and deliberately directed at exterminating the prisoners as quickly as possible. Examination of 2,819 Auschwitz prisoners who were rescued by the Red Army and interrogated by the forensic medical commission, proved that, out of 2,189 persons, 91 percent suffered from total exhaustion and 223 persons suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis. The experts also established that the Germans had tortured the prisoners. The persons examined suffered from broken ribs, fractured limbs, fractures of the vertebral column and bones of the face, as well as various wounds, ulcers, and frozen hands and feet, the results of the tortures permitted by the Germans. Very many of the liberated prisoners suffered from severe nervous and psychological disturbances. The forensic medical commission held an examination of the corpses of 536 prisoners found on the grounds of the camp. It was established that in 474 cases (88.3 percent) the cause of death was exhaustion.
Murder of children
In Auschwitz camp, the Hitler criminals murdered hundreds of thousands of children, from infants to sixteen-year olds. As a rule, children were sent to the gas chambers to be killed as soon as they stepped off the train, and only a small number of powerful youths were retained for work in the camp. The investigations have shown that the Germans demanded the same hard labour from children 8 to 16 years old as from adults. Work that exceeded their strength. Tortures and beatings soon reduced them to a condition of complete exhaustion, and then they were murdered. Ex-prisoner DR. JAKOV GORDON from Vilnius testified after his liberation:
"At the beginning of 1943, 164 children were selected from among the inmates of the Birkenau camp, brought to the hospital and there killed through injections of carbolic acid in the heart."
Ex-prisoner BAKASCH WALDTRAUT from Duesseldorf (Germany) testified:
"In the year 1943, as we were working on the construction of a fence around the crematorium no. 5, I myself saw how SS men threw living children in the fire."
Here are the testimonies of a few children who were rescued by the Red Army. S. MUDIANOC, a youth, born in 1930 in the city of Rod, said,
"We children were forced to work and pull carts in groups of 15 - 20. The carts were loaded with a variety of things, but chiefly with the corpses of victims. We took them to a separate block where they were piled up in layers and then taken to the crematorium. We worked from 4 o'clock in the morning until it got dark. At the end of October, the Germans inspected our work and punished us because the block was not clean. One hundred and fifty had to go out in the road by the block, and then we were taken to a bath house and undressed. Cold water was poured over us, after which they drove us along the street to our block. After that, many children got sick."
ANDREAS LERINCIAKOS, a youth of nine years of age from the city of Klez (Hungary) testified:
"After we were driven to Block 22 in the camp, we were beaten, mostly by German women placed over us as guards. They beat us with clubs. During my stay in the camp, Dr. MENGELE often took blood from me. In November 1944, all children were transferred to the A camp, the gypsy camp. During a roll call, it turned out that one child was missing. Then the leader of the women's camp, BRANDER, and her assistant MENDEL, drove us all into the open at 1 o'clock in the morning and made us stand in the cold until noon."
Children who were born in the camp were torn from their mothers and taken to their death. Women who arrived at the camp pregnant were immediately housed in separate barracks and premature birth was induced. Pregnant women who resisted were taken to the gas chambers.
The former prisoner SOFIA LAKONWNA from Cracow testified:
"Many of the women, who arrived at the camp in August 1944 had children aged between 5 and 12 years. All children were sent to the crematorium with their mothers immediately after their arrival. I was 7 months pregnant when I arrived. SS Doctor KOENIG examined me and sent me to barracks V-3 (Birkenau). There I found 65 women in a similar condition. Three days later, I received an injection in the hip to induce a premature birth. I was subjected to these injections for four days. On the fifth day I gave birth to a child, which was taken away from me. During my stay in the barracks, I was a witness to 14 such cases. Newly born or prematurely born babies were taken away. We didn't know where."
Among the liberated Auschwitz prisoners who were medically examined, there were 180 children of whom 52 were under the age of 8, and 128 between 8 and 15. All had arrived at the camp during the second half of 1944, that is, they had spent between 3 and 8 months in the camp. Medical examinations showed that 72 out of 80 children suffered from pulmonary or glandular tuberculosis; 49 suffered from the results of malnutrition (severest condition of exhaustion); 31 had frostbite.
Extermination of intellectuals
In the Auschwitz camp, the Germans brought tens of thousand of outstanding scientists and intellectuals from a great many different countries. ANDRE FOUDRI, a resident of the city of Samot Dupoiet, made the following statements before the commission:
"Of 600 French citizens brought with me to the camp, the majority died a few months after their arrival. Among them was the famous national economist PROFESSOR HENRI LIMOUSIN of the University of Clermont Ferrant testified:
"In 1944, I was transferred to the Auschwitz camp from Dachau as an expert on pathology. There I spent nearly nine months in the quarantine block, where I was forced to clean latrines, scrub floors, and take food to inmates who were locked up."
Among those who were killed in Auschwitz was the well-known Dutch national economist FRIEDA.
These, and many others, were done to death with intolerably hard work or killed in the gas chambers.
The Special State Commission received an appeal to the conscience of the world in three languages, German, Hungarian, and French, signed by 27 former inmates of Auschwitz camp, professors, doctors, engineers, jurists, students, and other intellectuals.
"Before the conscience of the world, we, the undersigned, liberated by the great Red Army from the bloody Hitler domination, accuse the German government under the leadership of Adolf Hitler of the greatest mass murder in the history of humanity, atrocities and kidnapping into German slavery..."
The appeal ends with these words: "We turn to the international conscience with a request to begin research on the fate of the millions of men from all national states who disappeared, and to take all conceivable steps to rescue the millions of prisoners of all nations who still suffer in Hitler Germany. We escaped death by a miracle when the Nazis were withdrawing from the camp.
"Although the Hitlerians withdrew in panicky retreat, they drove 58,000 prisoners with them from Auschwitz camp and its satellite camps. These men, exhausted by hunger, had to march on foot, but the majority of them can hardly have marched more than a few kilometres. We believe that, with the further advance of the front into the interior of Germany, the same fate awaits all those who still remain in the hands of the blood-thirsty Nazis. We, the undersigned, appeal to the conscience of the world, in the belligerent and neutral countries and to their governments, and ask them in the name of humanity, that everything possible be done so that a repetition of Nazi atrocities and crimes be avoided forever, so that the blood of millions of innocent victims not be spilled in vain. Together with the 10,000 rescued persons of all nationalities, we request that the unbelievable misdeeds of the Hitlerians not remain unavenged. The rescued persons owe their lives to the courageous Red Army, and we ask the conscience of the world and all governments to take this into consideration and to thank them in our name."
The Hitler robbers
In Auschwitz camp, the Hitlerians not only proved themselves the blood-thirstiest murderers of defenceless human beings, but also the greediest thieves of their property. The millions of people who were taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp were systematically robbed during the first hour of their existence. All their property, suitcases, clothing, bedding, even underwear and footwear, were taken by the SS to camp warehouses which had been erected precisely for the purpose of storing plundered property, and sent to Germany. People who were able to work and were selected for forced labour received the striped uniform instead of their own clothing.
There were 35 separate warehouses on the grounds of Auschwitz camp, where articles of clothing and other articles were sorted and packed. 29 of them, together with their contents, were burnt down by the Germans, as they retreated before the Red Army.
In the six camp warehouses which remained were found:
1) 348,820 mens' suits;
2) 836,255 women's articles of clothing, coats and dresses;
3) 5,525 pairs of women's shoes;
4) 38,000 pairs of men's shoes;
5) 13,964 carpets.
Furthermore, the camp warehouses also contained great quantities of toothbrushes, shaving brushes, eyeglasses, dentures, and dishes used by the prisoners. Large quantities of children's clothing were also found: shirts, baby shirts, trousers, coats, and caps. With their blood-stained hands, the Hitlerian child murderers carefully counted the clothing which they had taken off the bodies of the slaughtered children and sent it to Germany.
An examination of the contents of the warehouses revealed all the objects had belonged to the peoples of various nationalities who were tortured to death or murdered. Clothing, footwear, and other articles bore the labels of French, Belgian, Hungarian, Dutch, Yugoslavian, Czechoslovakian and other manufacturers. Stickers from various European hotels could still be seen on the suitcases. On the camp railway platform, the commission discovered seven railway wagons loaded with clothing and bedding ready for shipment to Germany:
1) 99,922 children's articles of clothing and underwear;
2) 192,652 women's articles of clothing and underwear;
3) 222,269 mens' articles of clothing and underwear, or a total of 513, 843 of clothing.
On 7 March 1945, in the camp tannery, the commission found 293 bales of women's hair, weighing a total of 7,000 kg. The experts of the commission established that the hair was cut off the heads of 140,000 women.
Over 4,000,000 murdered
Prior to their retreat, the Germans carefully attempted to wipe away traces of their horrible crime in Auschwitz by destroying all the documents through which the whole world might learn the exact number of human beings killed in Auschwitz. But the gigantic installations erected for the extermination of human lives by them in the camp, the testimonies of Auschwitz inmates liberated by the Red Army, the testimonies of 200 witnesses, found documents, and other important evidence, suffice to convict the German butchers of the extermination, gassing, and cremation of millions of men in Auschwitz camp. In the five crematoria alone, with their 52 retorts, the Germans were able to exterminate the following numbers of prisoners since their installation:
In crematorium no. 1, which existed for 24 months, 9,000 bodies could be burnt monthly, which means a total of 216,000 during the entire period of its existence;
The corresponding figures are:
- crematorium no. 2: 19 months, 90,000 bodies per month, total figure 1,710,000 bodies;
- crematorium no. 3, 18 months, 90,000 bodies per month, total figure 1,620,000 bodies;
- crematorium no. 4: 17 months, 45,000 bodies per month, total figure 765,000 bodies;
- crematorium no. 5: 18 months, 45,000 bodies per month.
The total capacity of all five crematoria was 279,000 bodies per month, for a total figure of 5,121,000 for the entire period of its existence.
Since the Germans also burnt a great number of bodies on pyres, the capacity of the installations for the extermination of human beings in Auschwitz must be considered to be much higher in fact than this figure would suggest. But even when one considers that individual crematoria may not have worked to full capacity, or they might have been shut down for repairs part of the time, the technical commission established that the German hangmen killed not less than 4,000,000 citizens of the USSR, Poland, France, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Roumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Holland, Belgium, and other countries during the period of the existence of Auschwitz camp.
The German fascist criminals must be brought to exact account. These fearful crimes were committed under the leadership of the Hitler government, and under the leadership of SS and Polizeireichsfuehrer "Hangman" Himmler. The persons directly guilty for this crime are:
All those, as well as all other Germans who participated in the murder and torture of Auschwitz prisoners, must appear before a tribunal of the nations, and receive deserved severe punishment.
The President of the Special State Commission
The academician J. TRAININ
The Mytropolitos NIKOLAUS
The academician LYSSENKO
The academician N. BURDENKO
This page was created on July 13, 2009