The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz/documents/pressac/insertion-columns-commentary


Pressac, Jean-Claude.  _Auschwitz:  Technique and operation of the gas
chambers._  The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, New York, 1989.  p. 340:

(PMO neg. no. 20995/494, Kamann series. This photo is also in the
Archives of the Warsaw Central Commission for research into Hitlerian
crimes in Poland, but as it was never identified or communicated to
the Auschwitz Museum, it remained unexploited until it was
rediscovered in the Bauleitung Album.)

South/north view of the greater part of the south side of Krematorium
II and its Leichenkeller I (gas chamber), not yet covered with earth,
taken on the same day as Photos 15 and 16, probably between 9th and
11th February 1943.

[Omitted:  one sentence which concerns the next photo. -Nizkor]

This photo provides the following information:

- The height of the ventilation chimneys of Krematorium II has been
increased above that of Photo 13;

- The furnaces had not yet been working at full capacity because there
are no soot stains on the collective chimney;

- Leichenkeller 1 has only 3 of the 4 openings for pouring Zyclon-B
with which it was finally fitted. Rising about 55 or 60 cm above the
roof, they were later covered to a depth of about 45 cm with gravel
and earth, so that only 10 to 15 cm remained visible. This would
explain why they did not stand out much when the grass grew and why
they are so indistinct on the next Photo, though this seems to be in
contradiction with aeriel photos taken by the Americans in 1944 which
show them to be higher.

(The latest interpretation of these openings by Robert Faurisson
should be mentioned: they are simply ventilation chimneys. In that
case what was wrong with the ventilation and air extraction system
installed in Leichenkeller 1? What is more, he does not take into
account that the SS designated them in writing as "wire mesh
introduction devices" closed by "wooden lids." What ventilation can
there be if they are closed by lids?)

- In the foreground is a narrow-gauge locomotive belonging to Messrs.
Carl Brandt of Magdeburg [that name, inscribed on the engine, is
indistinct in Pressac's reproduction -Nizkor], for which an order for
the repair of a condensation valve has been found in the
correspondence concerning the construction of Krematorien II and III.
This firm worked at Birkenau on the drainage and sewerage ditches and
the laying of narrow-gauge railways to facilitate the transport of the
materials required for enlarging the camp (for example, work on B.A.
III, according to Brandt drawing 6158 of 15.3.43).


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