Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents - The Extermination of 100,000 Jews

Author: Hans Metzner
Mass Killing Unit of Warthegau

Sonderkommando Lange in German Documents:

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents:
Part III: Body Disposal (Appendix)

Figure 1: Google Earth view on the final train stations (Kolo/Warthbrücken & Powierce), the ruins of Kulmhof Extermination Camp and its Body Disposal Site in Rzuchow Forest

The Deportation of the Unfit Jews

The first trucks of Jews reached the Kulmhof extermination site from Kolo (German Warthbrücken) around 8 December 1941. [1] For ghettos farther away like Lodz (German Litzmannstadt) the victims were first deported to Warthbrücken and then either driven to Kulmhof or sent further to Powiercie (about 8 km apart from Kulmhof) by narrow-gauge railway and picked up by the trucks of Sonderkommando Kulmhof [2] (see train list ghetto Litzmannstadt to Warthbrücken in Document 23, train list Ghetto Litzmannstadt to Przybylów between Powiercie and Kulmhof in Document 24 and the overview map in Figure 1). The photograph in Figure 2 shows the unloading of Jews from the narrow gauge railway in Powiercie. [3]


Figure 2: Powierce (YVA 3331/66)

The Jews deported to Kulmhof were mainly sick, elderly, children, families considered unfit for work, as illustrated by the example of the deportations from the Ghetto Litzmannstadt. The Ghetto with its 163,000 inhabitants as of 31 December 1941 [4] provided the largest part of the victims for the Kulmhof extermination camp.

On 9 December 1941, the so called Forschungsstelle A Litzmannstadt - the local Security Service of Joseph Goebbels - wrote a memo based on the information provided by the Gestapo head Robert Schefe that Arthur Greiser ordered that "the sick of the Ghetto shall be 'brought away'" (Document 21). On 16 January 1942, the Forschungsstelle noted that according to the deputy of the Gestapo Herbert Weygandt 10,000 Jews unfit for work will be "taken out" from the Ghetto (Document 22) and on 22 April 1942 that Litzmannstadt will become a "working Ghetto" after the "evacuation of  the unfit Jews" (Document 25) (see also “The Jews buried in a little wood near Kulmhof”: Documenting Cremation at Chelmno). The Gestapo Litzmannstadt reported on 8 June 1942 that a "a larger number of Jews not fit for work were evacuated from the ghetto and sent to the Sonderkommando" (Document 30) and on 3 October 1942 that "now that the rural districts have become free of Jews by evacuation in August, another resettlement of about 15,700 sick and unfit Jews from the ghetto Litzmannstadt occurred in September" (Document 33).

According to the records of the population changes of the Ghetto, about 70,000 Jews had been deported to Kulmhof in 1942 (Table 1). By order of the Gestapo to the Administration of Ghetto Litzmannstadt, which was uncertain if and how to record the deportation of the unfit Jews, this loss of people was officially camouflaged as "resettled" [5], while actual transfers of Jews inside the Warthegau and to the General Gouvernement and the Altreich were designated as "departed". By 16 October 1942, the Elderly of the Jews reported to the Ghetto Litzmannstadt Administration  that "all unfit workers have left the Ghetto with the latest resettlement, except for a small number that was allowed to stay in agreement with the Gestapo". [6]

TABLE 1: Jews deported from Ghetto Litzmannstadt to Kulmhof ("resettled"). Note that the figure for March 1942 can be also cross checked with the train records of about 27,000 Jews deported to Warthbrücken and Powierce - the trains were charged to Przybylów, apparently the nearest official station - in Documents 23 and 24.

Period People Source Image
January 1942 10,003 APL/221/29187, p. 102

February 1942  7,025 APL/221/29187, p. 97
March 1942 24,687 APL/221/29187, p. 95
April 1942  2,349 APL/221/29187, p. 90
Mai 1942 10,914 APL/221/29187, p. 86
September 1942 15,685 APL/221/29187, p. 59


What happened in Kulmhof to the unfit Jews deported from Litzmannstadt and other Ghettos of the Warthegau?


Excursus: The Intended Extermination of Tuberculosis Sick Poles

On 3 May 1942, the Higher SS and Police Leader of Warthegau Wilhelm Koppe informed the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler via Rudolf Brandt that he seconds the request of the Reich governor Arthur Greiser "for permission to have those Poles who have been shown to be afflicted with open t[u]b[erculosis] sent to the Kommando Lange for Sonderbehandlung" (Document 27).

Sonderbehandlung (special treatment) was the usual designation for extrajudicial killings among the German paramilitary forces (see for instance our blog postings here and here). In the context of the treatment of incurable tuberculosis sick Poles, the term Sonderbehandlung likewise meant killing as borne out by
  • Greiser's suggestion to Himmler of 1 May 1942 to use the "Sonderkommando...to take appropriate draconic steps against this public plague...to have cases of open TB exterminated [ausgemerzt] among the Polish race...whose incurability is proved and certified by public health officer" (Document 26).
  • the opinion of the head of the Security Police and SD on the matter forwarded to Himmler on 9 June 1942 (five days after Reinhardt Heydrich's death) that the "individual measures...will first have to be discussed thoroughly with the Security Police, in order to carry out the task with the least possible attraction of attention" (Document 29, cf. Document 32).
  • and last but not least, the letter of the Deputy Reich Health Leader Kurt Blome to Greiser of 18 November 1942 describing the "'Sonder-Behandlung'" as "most simple and most radical measure", which needs to be carried out with "absolute secrecy", but which is not possible as the "Euthanasia program [of German nationals] taught" and and further "the Führer, having sometime ago stopped the program in tho insane asylums, might at this moment consider a "special treatment" of the incurably sick as unsuitable and irresponsible from a political point of view". Blome also pointed out as alternative to the "Sonder-Behandlung" the "most rigorous isolation of the seriously ill persons" or the "creation of a reservation for all TB patients" and therefore excluding such non- or less-sinister interpretations of the term (Document 34).

The plan to systematically exterminate the incurable tuberculosis sick Poles in the Warthegau was dismissed by Himmler in his letter to Greiser of 3 December 1942 based on Blome's arguments (Document 36). The correspondence shows, however, that the Sonderkommando was considered a mass killing unit for the most delicate tasks, as it had already proved earlier during the Euthanasia in the Warthegau (see Sonderkommando Lange in German Documents: Euthanasia 1940/41).


100,000 Jewish Victims

In his initial request of 1 May 1942 to finish off the incurable tuberculosis sick Poles, Greiser also explained that (Document 26)

"The Sonderbehandlung of about 100,000 Jews in the territory of my district, approved by you in agreement with the Chief of the Reich-Main-Security Office, SS Obergruppenführer Heydrich, can be completed within the next 2-3 months. I ask you for permission to rescue the district immediately after the measure taken against the Jews, from a menace, which is increasing week by week, and use the existing and used to this work Sonderkommando for that purpose."

Accordingly, Greiser had received Himmler's and Heydrich's authorization (and thought to have a free hand given by Hitler anyway, see Document 34) to kill 100,000 Jews of the Warthegau by means of a Sonderkommando (which identity to Lange and Kulmhof is established by Document 27 and Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents - Origin and Foundation, respectively). The operation was ongoing and to be completed soon. The figure of 100,000 victims until Summer 1942 is confirmed by a memo of the RSHA Security Police motor pool member Willy Just of 5 June 1942 (Document 28):

"Since December 1941, 97,000 have been processed for example, using three vans, without any defects showing up in the vehicles. The explosion that we know took place at Kulmhof is to be considered an isolated case".

The homicidal nature of the "special vans" and thus that 97,000 people have been gassed at one place is revealed in the description that the vehicles are "filled with CO [carbon monoxide]". The action has to be assigned to Sonderkommando Kulmhof as it was the only German paramilitary unit, which killed such large number of people with up to three gas vans operating with with engine exhaust in this period (note that the mentioned "explosion" of a gas van in Kulmhof was not considered a technical defect, but caused by "improper operation"). The document also agrees with the start up of the operation of the extermination camp in December 1941 mentioned at the beginning of this posting.

The figure of 100,000 killed Jews in Kulmhof up to summer 1942 can be further corroborated by other evidence:
  • deportation data. [7] 

  • the Korherr report and Himmler's related letter that 145,301 Jews had been subjected to a "special treatment" in the "camps of the Warthegau" until 31 December 1942 (the additional about 45,000 Jewish victims were consequently killed in the second half of 1942).

  • the testimony of the SS Sonderkommando member Fritz Is. that 75,000 to 100,000 corpses had been buried in three mass graves in the forest camp near Chelmno. [8]

  • the testimony of the police Sonderkommando member Jakob Wi. that in Summer 1942 "there had been 100,000 corpses in all mass graves" and the unit was sent to Berlin presumably "to report the completion of the killing of 100,000 Jews". [9]

The extermination of the Jews and use of homicidal gas vans in Kulmhof (covering also the camp's 2nd period in 1944) is likewise supported by non-German contemporary sources...

  • Post-card and letter from Jakob Szulman of 19 and 21 January 1942, respectively [10a]
  • Letter from Grabow to Warsaw Ghetto of 21 January 1942 [10]
  • Post-card of Fela (surname unknown) from Kutno of 26 January 1942 [11]
  • Report of the Polish Armed Resistance of 28 January 1942 [12]
  • Account of the Kulmhof escapee Szlama Winer of 1942 [14], report of Hersz Wasser (Oneg Shabbat) of February/March 1942 mainly based on Szlama Winer [15],  and speech of Szmul Zygielbojm at the Labor Party meeting in London on 2 September 1942 [15b]
  • Account of Uszer Taube of 1942, written in the Warsaw ghetto [16]
  • Testaments of Jewish Sonderkommando prisoners of 2 April 1943 [17], (presumably) early April 1943 [18], 1 December 1944 (Israel Zygelman) [19]  and early January 1945 [20] 
  •  Diary notes of Stanislaw Rubach of 1942 - 1944 [21]

...and the "post-Kulmhof" testimonies of at least
  • 26 members of the SS and police Sonderkommando [22]
  • 12 members of other German police and paramilitary forces [23] and 5 German officials [24]
  • 2 Polish [25] and 3 Jewish prisoners of the Sonderkommando [26]
  • 56 local civilians, including wives of Sonderkommando men, German and Polish residents, forestry, road and garage workshop workers [27].

For example, the following description of the killing procedure was provided by the SS Sonderkommando driver Walter Burmeister: [28]

New arrivals undressed in the hall of the palace and put their belongings in baskets. Their valuables and money were collected by Poles from the work detail. The Poles also wrote down the names, but that was only for form's sake. I often had to be present during these proceedings in the company of Hautpsturmführer Lange, becaue he always wanted to address the Jews himself.

When the Jews had undressed, they were ordered to go down the stairs and into the cellar. This was lit by gas lamps. On the walls of the staircase signs hung bearing the words: "To the Baths." A Polish wort detail accompanied them, not the SS men. Maybe sometimes a couple of police men went with them to make sure that no one got left behind. From the cellar, the naked people continued straight on, leaving the building by a rear door and going up onto a wooden ramp. One of the gas vans, which I have already described, was backed up to the end of the ramp with the doors open. During the construction of the camp the ramp had been erected and installed in such a way that the dimensions were exactly adapted to those of the gas van. The people who came out of the cellar by the rear door did not have any choice but to climb in to the van. As soon as the interior was full, with 35 to 40 people inside, the door was closed.

From the time the people got out of the transport trucks in front of the palace courtyard to the time they were loaded into the gas vans, a little less than a hour, at most one and a half hours, had passed. It depended on how long it took the old people to undress and hand over their valuables. It all happened without undue haste, quite calmly, so as not to arouse suspicion.

As soon as the doors of the gas van were closed, the pipe was connected with the flexible metal hose to the exhaust pipe. This was usually done by the Polish work detail. Then the engine was started and kept running for 15 to 20 min with medium, not to high revolutions. When the first gas reached the van, the people seemed to have knocked, shout or screamed...

In short, German war-time documents show - in agreement with the vast body of evidence from other type of sources - that about 100,000 Jews were killed at the Kulmhof extermination site up to Summer 1942, largely with mobile gas chambers using gasoline engine exhaust.


Footnotes

Archive abbreviations: APL = Archiwum Państwowe w Łodzi; AIPN = Archiwum Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej; AZIH =  Archiwum Zydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego; BArch = Bundesarchiv;  NARA = National Archives and Records Administration; NHStA = Niedersächsisches Hauptstaatsarchiv; YVA = Yad Vashem Archives 

[1] interrogation of Zofja Potyralska of 13 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 102; interrogation of Adam Milewski of 5 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 13; interrogation of Czeslaw Potyralski of 4 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 95 - 96; however, 9 December 1941 according to interrogation of Andrzej Miszczak of 14 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 51, cf. Pawlicka-Nowak (ed.), Chelmno Witnesses Speak, p. 139

[2] interrogation of Henryk Kruszcyski of 9 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 17; interrogation of Wiktoria Adamczyk of 19 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 83-84;  interrogation of Lucyna Balcer of 27 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 46; interrogation of Jozef Czuprynski of 25 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, tom 2, p. 19;  interrogation of Erhard Mi. of 18 April 1962, BArch B162/3249, p. 213f.; interrogation of Jan Oleskiewicz of 14 November 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 5, p. 36; interrogation of Kazimierz Paterkowski 18 June 1945, AIPN, GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 80; interrogation of interrogation of Rozalia Peham of 26 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 63 - 66; interrogation of Michal Sokolnicki of 27 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 47; interrogation of Zygmunt Szkobel of 25 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 11; interrogation of Stefania Wojciechowska of 27 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 36; interrogation of Alexander Wozniak of 16 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 73- 74; interrogation of Marianna Wozniak of 16 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 72; interrogation of Nelly Lö. of 21 March 1962, BArch B162/3249, p. 193; interrogation of Else Se. of 22 March 1962, BArch B162/3249, p. 197; interrogation of Herbert Wa. of 23 March 1962, BArch B162/3249, p. 203

[3] cf. AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 6  

[4] Population changes in month December 1941 of the Ghetto Lodz administration of 1 January 1942, APL 221/29187, p. 106

[5] Memo of Luchterhand of 13 February 1942, APL 221/29187, p. 98

[6] APL 221/29187, p. 61

[7] Montague, Chelmno and the Holocaust, p. 185 ff.  

[8] interrogation of Fritz Is. of 9 November 1960, BArch B162/3246, p. 76  

[9] interrogation of Jakob Wi. of 14 December 1961, BArch B162/3247, p. 181

[10a] Montague, Chelmno and the Holocaust, p. 132-133  

[10] AZIH , ARG I 748 (Ring. I/549) 

[11] Ring. I/573, quoted in Sakowska, Die zweite Etappe ist der Tod, p. 156

[12] Pawlicka-Nowak, Swiadectwa Zaglady, p. 102-103

[13] AZIH , ARG I 720 (Ring. 1/799), Polish translation in Ringelblum Archive volume 9, Tereny wcielone do Rzeszy: Kraj Warty, p. 70 - 74

[14] AZIH , ARG I 1115 (Ring. I/412), English translation in Pawlicka-Nowak, Chelmno witnesses Speak, p. 101 - 118

[15] AZIH , ARG I 1117 (Ring 1/413)

[15b] Pawlicka- Nowak, Swiadectwa Zaglady, p. 527 - 530

[16] AZIH Ring. I/394, Polish transcription in Ringelblum Archive volume 9, Tereny wcielone do Rzeszy: Kraj Warty, p. 57 - 64, English translation in Jürgen Matthäus, Jewish Responses to Persecution: 1941–1942, p. 443 ff.
[17] Pawlicka- Nowak, Swiadectwa Zaglady, p. 267, English translation in Montague, Chelmno and the Holocaust, p. 84  

[18] Pawlicka- Nowak, Chelmno witnesses speak, p. 88, cf. Montague, Chelmno and the Holocaust, p. 83

[19] Pawlicka- Nowak, Swiadectwa Zaglady, p. 271

[20] Pawlicka- Nowak, Chelmno witnesses speak, p. 68 - 80

[21] AIPN, GK 165/271, volume 8, p. 104, cf. Pawlicka-Nowak, Swiadectwa Zaglady, p. 175 - 192

[22] interrogation of Walter Bu. of 23 March 1961, BArch B 162/3248, p. 70f.; interrogation of Ernst Bu. of 1 September 1960, BArch B 162/3248, p. 2ff.; deposition of Hermann Gielow 15 May 1945, BArch B 162/3258, p. 8 ff., cf. YVA O.53/12, p. 9 ff.; interrogation of Bruno Israel of 29 October 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 4, p. 94-99, cf. Pawlicka-Nowak, Chelmno witnesses speak, p. 197 f.; deposition of Walter Piller of 19 May 1945, YVA O.53 12.1, p. 13; interrogation of 20 November 1945, Pawlicka-Nowak, Swiadectwa Zaglady, p. 97 ff.,interrogation of Gustav La. of 30 November 1960, BArch B 162/3246, p. 42 ff.; interrogation of Fritz Is. of 9 November 1960, BArch B 162/3246, p. 71 ff.; interrogation of Josef Os. of 4 July 1960, BArch B 162/3245, p. 42 ff.; interrogation of Erich Ro. of 29 June 1960, BArch B 162/3245, p. 44 ff.; interrogation of Theodor Ma. 27 June 1960, BArch B 162/3245, p. 53 ff.; interrogation of Harri Ma. of 29 July 1960, BArch B 162/3245, p. 73 ff.; interrogation of Rudolf Ot. of 7 July 1960, BArch, B 162/3245, p. 88 f.; interrogation of Kurt Me. of 30 June 1960, BArch B 162/3245, p. 94 ff.; interrogation of Alois Hä. of 7 December 1960, BArch B 162/3246, p. 115 ff.; interrogation of Wilhelm Sc. of 20 December 1961, BArch B 162/3247, p. 139 ff.; interrogation of Jakob Wi. of 14 December 1961, BArch B162/3247, p. 173 ff.; interrogation of Kurt Mö. of 8 November 1961, BArch B 162/3247, p. 195 ff.; interrogation of Georg He. of 30 November 1961, BArch B 162/3247, p. 208 ff.; interrogation of Karl He. of 27 January 1961, BArch B 162/3248, p. 46 ff.; interrogation of Walter Bo. of 20 June 1961, BArch B 162/3248, p. 95 ff.; interrogation of Friedrich Ma. of 20 Juli 1961, BArch B 162/3248, p. 105 ff.; interrogation of Heinz Sc. of 1 February 1962, BArch B 162/3249, p. 121 ff.; interrogation of Josef Is. of 26 February 1962, BArch B 162/3249, p. 147 ff.; interrogation of Franz Sc. of 20 March 1962, BArch B 162/3249, p. 188 ff.; interrogation of Friedrich Hen. of 19 January 1962, BArch B 162/3249, p. 119; interrogation of Erwin Sch. of 1 February 1946, BArch B 162/3254, p. 208 - 212


[23] interrogation of Bruno Fl. of 28 September 1960, BArch B 162/3361, p. 37; manuscript of Rudolf Höß of November 1946, DVD Digitale Bibliothek 101, Der 1. Frankfurter Auschwitz- Prozess, p. 40168; interrogation of Hans Me. of 24 October 1962, NHStA NDS. 721 Hannover Acc. 97/99 Nr.10/29, p. 53; interrogation of Alfred Trenker of 17 May 1962, BArch B 162/5068, p. 634 ff; interrogation of Oskar Kn. of 25 March 1960, BArch B162/3245, p. 101 ff., interrogation of Hermann Kr. of 20 May 1960, BArch B 162/3360, p. 188; interrogation of Ludwig Wi. of 12 July 1961, BArch B 162/1325, p. 87; interview of Adolf Eichmann of 1957, Eichmann trial exhibit T/1432, manuscript of Adolf Eichmann of 6 September 1961; examination of Julius Ba. of 24 Februar 1969, BArch B 162/17921, p. 516; interrogation of Gerhard Ho. of 4 January 1962, BArch 162/3249, p. 71; interrogation of Erich Wes. 2 January 1962, BArch B 162/3249, p. 76; interrogation of Leo Bra. (date unknown), BArch B 162/3251, p. 170 - 171; interrogation of Wilhelm Koppe of 31 January 1960, BArch B 162/3258, p. 79 - 82

[24] manuscript of Heinrich May (forestry official) of February 1945, Pawlicka-Nowak, Chelmno witnesses speak, p. 154 ff,; interrogation of Albert Me. (Lodz city administration) of 20 January 1960, BArch B 162/3243, p. 112 ff.; interrogation of Konrad Sc. (commissioner of district Chelmno) of 27 April 1962, BArch B 162/3249, p. 217 ff.; interrogation of Rudolf Kramp of 1 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 80-81; Nuremberg examination of Baldur von Schirach of 24 May 1946

 [25] summary of interview of Henryk Mania of 27 August 1962, Pawlicka-Nowak, Swiadectwa Zaglady, p. 114 ff.; examination of Henryk Mania of 14 April 1964, Pawlicka-Nowak, Swiadectwa Zaglady, p. 123 ff.; testimony of Henryk Mania of 1967, Montague, Chelmno and the Holocaust, p. 203; testimony of Henryk Maliczak of 1967, Montague, Chelmno and the Holocaust, p. 125, p. 203

 [26] interrogation of Michal Podchlebnik of 9 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 14 - 16, cf. Pawlicka-Nowak, Chelmno witnesses speak, p. 121; interrogation of Szymon Srebrnik of 29 June 1945, AIPN, GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 67 - 70, Pawlicka-Nowak, Chelmno witnesses speak, p. 127; interview of Mordka Zurawski of 17 February 1945, Pawlicka- Nowak, Swiadectwa Zaglady, p. 131 - 151, interrogation of Mordka Zurawski of 31 July 1945, AIPN, GK 165/271, volume 4, p. 42 - 45, cf. Pawlicka-Nowak, Chelmno

 [27]  eyewitnesses: interrogation of Wiktoria Adamczyk of 19 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 83-84; interrogation of Boleslaw Antkiewicz of 9 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 64; interrogation of Lucyna Balcer of 27 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 46; interrogation of Michal Betker of 26 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 29; interrogation of Jozef Budynek of 25 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 17; interrogation of Stanislaw Chmielewski of 1946 (?), AIPN GK 165/271, volume 8, p. 50; interrogation of Jozef Czuprynski of 25 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 19, cf. Pawlicka-Nowak, Swiadectwa Zaglady, p. 245; interrogation of Jozef Dziegielweski of 5 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 9; interrogation of Bronislaw Falborski of 11 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 28, cf. Pawlicka-Nowak, Chelmno Witnesses Speak, p. 149f.; interrogation of Jerzy Fojcik of 6 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 221; interrogation of Kazimierz Gibaszek of 12 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 8; interrogation of Jozef Grabowski of 9 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 62-63, interrogation of 12 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 82-83; interrogation of Juljan Jankowski of 25 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 21; interrogation of Miroslaw Junkiert of 13 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 4, p. 20-21; interrogation of Aleksander Kaminski of 5 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 10; interrogation of Ignacy Kantorowski of 16 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 70-71; interrogation of Jozef Klonowski of 16 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 64-65; interrogation of Helena Krol of 14 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 55-56; interrogation of Jan Krzysinski of 12 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 95; interrogation of Maria Lewandowska of 19 June 1945 (Polish investigators), AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 98; interrogation of Michael Lewandowski of 4 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 93; interrogation of Nelly Lö. of 21 March 1962, BArch B1 62/3249, p. 191 - 193; interrogation of Janina Malolepsza of 19 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 85-86; interrogation of Bronislaw Mankowski of 12 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 30; interrogation of Erhard Mi. of 18 April 1962, BArch B162/3249, p. 210-214; interrogation of Adam Milewski of 5 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 13; interrogation of Anna Mizerkiewicz of 5 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 8; interrogation of Marja Mokrzanowska of 28 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 59-60; interrogation of Stanislawa Nowicka of 6 September 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 4, p. 61; interrogation of Jan Oleskiewicz of 14 November 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 5, p. 36-37; interrogations of Rozalia Peham of 26 & 27 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 63 - 66, cf. Pawlicka-Nowak, Chelmno witnesses speak, p. 163 - 167; interrogation of Jozef Piaskowski of 10 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 20-23; interrogation of Czeslaw Potyralski of 4 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 95-96; interrogation of Jozef Przybylski of 27 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 40; interrogation of Michal Radoszewski of 26 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 24-25; interrogation of Zenon Rossa of 13 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 46-47; interrogation of Kazimierz Rybarczyk of 5 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 12; interrogation of Ida Schlender of 26 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 31; interrogation of Else Se. of 22 March 1962, BArch B 162/3249, p. 195-196; interrogation of Stanislaw Sliwinski 27 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 45; interrogation of Andrzej Sochacki of 6 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 100; interrogation of Adam Swietek of 13 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 45; interrogation of Zygmunt Szkobel of 25 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 11; interrogation of Czeslaw Urbaniak of 5 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 11; interrogation of Herbert Wa. of 23 March 1962, BArch B162/3249, p. 199-204; interrogation of Marta Wedemann of 15 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 60; interrogation of Stefania Wojciechowska of 27 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 36; interrogation of Alexander Wozniak of 16 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 73- 74; interrogation of Marianna Wozniak of 16 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 72; interrogation of Jan Zurowksi of 25 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 9;

hearsay: interrogation of Bala Altschuld of 12 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 4, p. 14; interrogation of Jozef Dyner of 10 July 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 3, p. 68; interrogation of Adele Fr. of 16 April 1962, BArch B162/3249, p. 208; interrogation of Henryk Glesman of 14 November 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 5, p. 26-28; interrogation of Margarete Maderholz of 26 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 2, p. 33; interrogation of Edmund Poley of 13 June 1945, AIPN GK 165/271, volume 1, p. 44; [28] interrogation of Walter Burmeister of 23 March 1961, BArch B 162/3248, p. 70f., with the exception of the last paragraph translation based on Kogon, Nazi Mass Murder, p. 84


Contemporary German Documents


21.) Telex of Forschungsstelle A Litzmannstadt to Forschungsamt 5 A 3 of 9 December 1941:

DOCUMENT
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(YVA O.51/13, p. 220)


22.) Telex of Forschungsstelle A Litzmannstadt to Forschungsamt 5 A 3 of 16 January 1942:

DOCUMENT
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(YVA O.51/13, p. 221)


23.) List of Jewish transports from train station Radegast in Ghetto Litzmannstadt to Kolo between 1 and 15 March 1942:

DOCUMENT
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(APL/221/29665, p. 215)


24.) List of Jewish transports from train station Radegast in Ghetto Litzmannstadt to Przybyłów between 16 March and 2 April 1942:

DOCUMENT
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(APL/221/29665, p. 123)


25.) Telex of Forschungsstelle A Litzmannstadt to Forschungsamt 5 A 3 of 22 April 1942:

DOCUMENT
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(YVA O.51/13, p. 319)


26.) Letter from Arthur Greiser to Heinrich Himmler of 1 May 1942:

DOCUMENT
   
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(NARA/T-175/R-103/434f., cf. NO-246; transcription and translation based on ns-archiv and Nuremberg translation, respectively)


27.) Letter from Wilhelm Koppe to Rudolf Brandt of 3 May 1942:

DOCUMENT
  
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(NARA/T-175/R-103/441f., cf. NO-247, translation based on Nuremberg translation)


28.) Memo from Willy Just of 5 June 1942:

DOCUMENT
        


             
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(Document and translation from THHP, transcription from NS-archiv, cf. Contemporary German Documents on Homicidal Gas Vans)


29.) Letter from Erwin Weinmann (?) to Heinrich Himmler of 9 June 1942:

DOCUMENT
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(NARA/T-175/R-103/449, cf. NO-245; translation based on Nuremberg translation)


30.) Situation report of the Gestapo Litzmannstadt of 9 June 1942:

TRANSCRIPTION
Im Zuge der Bildung des Gaughettos erwies es sich zunächst als notwendig, Raum für die einzusiedelnden Juden zu schaffen. Zu diesem Zweck wurde eine größere Anzahl nicht arbeitsfähiger Juden aus dem Ghetto evakuiert und dem Sonderkommando zugeführt. Von den polnischen Juden wurden seit dem 16.1.1942 insgesamt 44.142 ausgesiedelt. Von den aus dem Altreich, der Ostmark und Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren im Oktober 1941 in das hiesige Ghetto eingewiesenen 19.848 Juden wurden 10.993 evakuiert, so dass nunmehr für cirka 55.000 Juden Platz im Ghetto geschaffen worden ist. Im Anschluß daran wurde nun dazu übergegangen, die Landkreise zu bereinigen. Es wurden zunächst aus dem Kreise Lentschütz rund 9000 Juden evakuiert. Es verblieben nur 1000 in Ozorkow, die dort dringend zur Durchführung von Wehrmachtsaufträgen benötigt werden. Der Kreis Lentschütz ist somit grundsätzlich als judenfrei anzusehen. Im weiteren Verlauf der Bereinigung der Landkreise wurde nunmehr der Landkreis Litzmannstadt in Angriff genommen. In diesem Kreise befanden sich Juden nur noch in Löwenstadt und Strickau. Aus Zweckmäßigkeitsgründen wurden zunächst sämtliche Juden aus Strickau nach Löwenstadt umgesiedelt. Von den nun im Ghetto befindlichen Juden, etwa 6000, wurden rund 3000 als nichtsarbeitsfähige Juden evakuiert, während der Rest, der aus Facharbeitern besteht, ins hiesige Ghetto überführt und bereits zur Arbeit eingesetzt wurde. Als vorläufiger Abschluß der Bereinigung der Landkreise wurde die Stadt Pabianice von Juden gesäubert. Es wurden hier rund 3200 Juden evakuiert, der Rest von 4000 Juden in das hiesige Ghetto überführt.


Da den Juden des Bezirks natürlicherweise die Aussiedlung bekannt geworden war, versuchten sie, durch Verschiebungen von Vermögenswerten, Flucht in das Generalgouvernement und überhaupt weitestgehende Nichtbefolgung der behördlichen Anordnungen die Aussiedlung zu stören. Aus diesem Grunde wurden von hier aus beim RSHA schärfste Maßnahmen gegen die Juden beantragt und vom RF SS mehrfach Exekutionen an Juden angeordnet. So wurden bisher insgesamt 95 Juden öffentlich gehängt. Diese Maßnahmen hatten zur Folge, dass der Jude das hiesige scharfe Durchgreifen erkannte und sich nunmehr im Großen und Ganzen allen Anordnungen ruhig fügte.
TRANSLATION
In the course of the formation of the Gau ghetto, it was initially necessary to create space for the Jews to be settled. For this purpose, a larger number of Jews not fit for work were evacuated from the ghetto and sent to the Sonderkommando. Since 16 January 1942, a total of 44,142 Polish Jews have been resettled. Of the 19,848 Jews, who were sent to the ghetto in October 1941 from the Altreich, the Ostmark, and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, 10,993 Jews were evacuated, so that space for around 55,000 Jews was created in the ghetto. Subsequently, it was started to clean the rural districts. Some 9,000 Jews were evacuated from the district of Lentschütz. Only one thousand Jews remained in Ozorkow, which are needed there for the execution of Wehrmacht orders. The district of Lentschütz can therefore be viewed as free of Jews.

In the further course of the clearing of the counties, it was now the turn of district of Litzmannstadt. In this county, there were Jews only in Löwenstadt and Strickau. For reasons of practicality, all the Jews from Strickau were resettlement to Löwenstadt. From the 6000 Jews who were now in the ghetto, about 3000 were evacuated as non-working Jews, while the rest, which consisted of skilled workers, was transferred to the local ghetto and is already assigned to work. As a tentative finih of the clearing of the counties, the city of Pabianice was cleaned by Jews. Some 3200 Jews were evacuated, the rest of 4000 Jews were transferred to the local ghetto.

Since the Jews of the district knew, of course, about the resettlement, they tried to disturb the resettlement by means of shifts of property, escape to the General Government, and failure to comply with official orders. For this reason, strict measures against the Jews were requested from the RSHA, and several executions of Jews were ordered by the RF SS. So far, a total of 95 Jews have been publicly hanged. The effect of these measures was that the Jew recognized the drastic measures, and now, on the whole, calmly complies to all orders.
(AZIH, 205/70, p. 1, quoted from Faschismus, Getto, Massenmord, p. 285-286)

31.) Note from Herbert Fischer(?) to Rudolf Brandt of 25 June 1942:

DOCUMENT
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(NARA/T-175/R-103/465, cf. NO-252; translation based on Nuremberg translation


32.) Letter from Heinrich Himmler to Arthur Greiser of 27 June 1942:

DOCUMENT
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(NARA/T-175/R-103/438, cf. NO-244, translation based on Nuremberg translation)


33.) Situation report of the Gestapo Litzmannstadt of 3 October 1942:

TRANSCRIPTION
Nachdem nun im August die Landkreise durch Evakuierung judenfrei geworden sind, erfolgte im Monat September abermals eine Aussiedlung von rund 15.700 kranker und arbeitsunfähiger Juden aus dem Getto Litzmannstadt. Ein besonderer Bericht hierüber und über die nunmehr als vorläufig abgeschlossen anzusehende Evakuierung ist am 26.9.42 bereits vorgelegt worden. Durch diese letzte Aussiedlung ist der Bevölkerungsstand im Ghetto Litzmannstadt auf rund 89 500 Juden herabgesunken. Bei diesen Juden handelt es sich durchweg um arbeitsfähige Juden, die fast sämtlich in den Arbeitsprozeß einbezogen worden sind.

TRANSLATION

Now that the rural districts have become free of Jews by evacuation in August, another resettlement of about 15,700 sick and unfit Jews from the ghetto Litzmannstadt occurred in September. A special report on the evacuation, which can be regarded as concluded for the time being, has already been submitted on 26 September 1942. With this last resettlement, the population in the Ghetto Litzmannstadt has been reduced to about 89,500 Jews. These Jews are consistently Jews fit for work, almost all of whom have been been involved in the work process.
(Faschismus, Ghetto, Massenmord, p. 338) 


34.) Letter from Kurt Blome to Arthur Greiser of 18 November 1942:

DOCUMENT
                     
          
                   
TRANSCRIPTION


TRANSLATION

(NARA/T-175/R-103/452-458, cf. NO-250; transcription from ns-archiv; translation based on Nuremberg translation)


35.) Letter from Arthur Greiser to Heinrich Himmler of 21 November 1942:

DOCUMENT
 
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(NARA/T-175/R-103/445f., cf. NO-249; translation based on Nuremberg translation)


36.) Letter from Heinrich Himmler to Arthur Greiser of 3 December 1942:

DOCUMENT
TRANSCRIPTION

TRANSLATION

(NARA/T-175/R-103/461, cf. NO-251; translation based on Nuremberg translation)


______________
update on 6 August 2017: added docs 30 & 33
update on 18 August 2017: added further items to refs 22 and 23

11 comments:

J Kelly said...

Wow, amazing docs, I'll pass these along to Skeptics, I'll tack these on to my Chelmno thread.

arik said...

Absolutely breathtaking. May i just ask, if it is agreed that disel engine is not sutible for murder by mean of gas van, wouldn't it contradict the use of disel engines in death camps such as Treblinka and Sobbibor?
I would appriciate some clarification.
Arik.

Nicholas Terry said...

They weren't used as gassing engines at Belzec/Sobibor/Treblinka, either. Diesels were used at these camps for power generation, colocated alongside gasoline engines identified by all the direct operators, anyone else who spoke of a diesel was not a direct operator.

https://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.co.uk/2006/06/why-diesel-issue-is-irrelevant.html
https://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/belzec-sobibor-treblinka-holocaust_9432.html
https://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/rebuttal-of-alvarez-on-gas-vans-why.html

Dass Prussian said...

Another great article, Hans.

I note that the 'quote marks around a euphemism' situation has resurfaced again in document 24. The term in question here being 'brought away'. This brings to mind the famous Harald Turner letter of 11.04.42 where he also adopted this practice by inserting the term 'delousing van' in between the same style quote marks.

I have yet to see any decent response from the revisionist corner in explaining this blatant use of euphemisms. Mattogno compares it to a situation where the word 'standard gas chamber' is underlined in a letter by the company Tesch & Stabenow, and claims this doesn't mean it had a criminal meaning . Underlining words is slightly different to putting words in between quote marks though, isn't it ?

I note that the same letter Mattogno refers to (see page 182 note 272 of his 'Case for Sanity' book and page 292 of his HC critique - note 648) also had the term 'Ariginal Gassing' both underlined and in quote marks, which surely should have been a better argument for Mattogno to use as an example of non-criminal use of quote marks. But the fact it is both underlined and in quote marks maybe suggests another reason for highlighting the term in such a manner, therefore this cannot be compared to the scenario re Turners letter.

I'll ignore Mattogno's further explanation ( on page 292 of his 'critique' re HC's Local Exterminations section) that delousing vans would have been used to evacuate the deportees therefore it would be reasonable to write this , even in quote marks! On the grounds that it is a pile of dog shit.



arik said...

Thank you for your reply. Always good to learn something new.

Jonathan Harrison said...

Dass Prussian, see also how Mattogno deals with "their no longer existing kinfolk" in note 649.

Dass Prussian said...

Yes Jon, I see he has reverted to 'plan D' for this particular explanation, he has decided to invent his own translation and transformed phrase 'not existing' to 'not being present'. Wow ! imagine the trouble this would cause if all German schools decided to use Mattagnos version when taking the register ! :

" I see young Heinz is 'not existing' again today ! Lets hope he will be existing tomorrow when he gets a prize for 'being the most existent' during the term "

Sergey Romanov said...

I don't see how "Normalgaskammer" is a criminal trace. Pressac was reaching with this one.

Dass Prussian said...

So why do you think the following phrases were underlined in the letter in question ?

1.‘normal gas chamber’
2. most urgently
3. in which direction
4.‘Ariginal gassing.'

I guess 2 and 3 were underlined to stress their importance. I don't understand Mattognos reasoning why 1 and 4 were underlined AND put in quotes. He said this was because :

"the term “Normalgaskammer” was already in use with Tesch
& Stabenow in a letter antedating the one from Boos, from which Jährling
had taken it, and for that very reason he set it out underlined and in
quotations marks, exactly the same way he did for the term “Ariginalvergasung”
which he had taken instead from the letter written by the SS
garrison surgeon to ZBL on May 20, 1944.272 "

I don't exactly follow Mattognos reasoning here. Is he saying that the reason the words were underlined and in quote marks was because they were also in this format in previous correspondence, and Jahrling was just copying the format ? Well if this was the case then why were they in that format in the previous correspondence then ?

Sergey Romanov said...

To answer that one would have to study the documentary and historical context. With Turner's letter the context *together* with the quotes leaves no doubt as to the meaning. Simply pointing to quotes and underlining in this correspondence doesn't really even hint at anything, much less prove it. If one can establish that it couldn't plausibly point at anything but in the direction of the HGCs, sure. But the burden of proof is on those that make the claim.

Andrew Mikhailov said...

Man, it almost seems that you want these claims to be true, so that you can scream about "anti semitism". But okay, I am a person that wants the truth, so I will except this piece of evidence. I will will analyze it objectively.