The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

What did the International Red Cross have to report with regard to the "Holocaust" question?

51. What did the International Red Cross have to report with regard to the "Holocaust" question?

The IHR says:

A report on the visit of an IRC delegate to Auschwitz in September, 1944 pointed out that internees were permitted to receive packages and that rumors of gas chambers could not be verified.

Nizkor replies:

Rumors of gas chambers could not be verified because the delegates were expressly forbidden from visiting the Auschwitz Krema, where the gas chambers and cremation facilities were. They were taken only to those parts of the huge complex which housed prisoners who were not to be exterminated. Some Allied POWs were held in Auschwitz, in reasonable conditions, but they knew about the gassings and mentioned them to the IRC delegate.

For example, former SS-Untersturmfuehrer Dr. Hans Münch confirmed this in his testimony at the International Nuremberg Trial (Trial of the Major War Criminals, 1948, Vol. VIII, p. 313-321). He said:

I repeatedly witnessed guided tours of civilians and also of commissions of the Red Cross and other parties within the camp, and I was able to ascertain that the camp leadership arranged it masterfully to conduct these guided tours in such a way that the people being guided around did not see anything about inhuman treatment. The main camp was shown only and in this main camp there were so-called show blocks, particularly block 13, that were especially prepared for such guided tours and that were equipped like a normal soldier's barracks with beds that had sheets on them, and well-functioning washrooms.

Ironically, this policy of not showing extermination-related facilities is also confirmed by the IHR itself, though unwittingly. In the "Lüftl Report," supposed expert Walter Lüftl mentions a memo to the commandants of the concentration camps. According to Lüftl, it reads:

The bordello and the crematories are not to be shown during camp visits. These installations are not to be mentioned to persons visiting the camp...

Lüftl goes on to comment:

Apparently, then, everything else could be shown and mentioned to visitors. Logically, then, a gas chamber, if one existed, could be shown and talked about; otherwise, it would have been included in the prohibition.

Since we cannot assume that the SS ever showed a [homicidal] gas chamber to the inspectors of the International Red Cross, it is permissible to conclude that none existed.

Lüftl, who is supposedly an expert, is not even aware that the term "crematories" refers to the cremation complexes, which also housed not only the ovens but also the gas chambers.

Unwittingly, he has presented evidence against his own case -- for why would it be necessary to hide the cremation complexes from the Red Cross unless something were happening there that the Red Cross should not see?

The "Lüftl Report," is available on-line in a textfile on Nizkor, or as a web page at the IHR's web site. Search on the text "Red Cross".

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