The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz//images/kremaIV-1.txt

Source: Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present; Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan Van Pelt; W.W. Norton & Co., 1996 [unless
otherwise specified, text is taken from the glossy insert between pgs. 320 and 321]. 

"Crematorium IV (plate 18), by contrast with crematorium II, was designed after Himmler's second visit to Auschwitz in July
1942.  Birkenau had become a site for mass murder.  All pretense of civility and civilian rules had been shed.  The heimat style
of Auschwitz I was replaced by the functional vernacular of Birkenau.  The architects no longer bothered to draw in autopsy
rooms.  The space was used for gas chambers." 

Plate 18: Final design for crematorium IV, by Walther Dejaco, January 1943.  Original blueprint, Auschwitz-Birkenau State
Museum, box BW (B) 30b; redrawn for publication by Mikolaj Kadlubowski.  Authors.  In the plan, the north is the top of the
page but, contrary to convention, the elevation shows the north and not the south facade.  Therefore the incineration room,
which in the plan is located to the right, is to the left in the elevation, and the gas chambers, which in the plan are located to the
left, are to the right in the elevation.  The functional arrangement is simple and straightforward.  The entrance on the north side
gives access to a corridor (left, on the drawing) that opens to two gas chambers equipped with stoves to preheat the room
during winter.  Between the vestibule and the incineration room is a large morgue, which in the winter was also used as an
undressing room.  The center of the incineration room is occupied by a double-four-muffle furnace connected to two chimneys. 
The section through the lower part of the building shows one of the two gas chambers, the chimney of the stove of the other gas
chamber, and the corridor.  The section through the higher part of the building shows the furnace room. 


Crematorium IV, summer 1943.  Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, neg. 20995/509.  The gas chambers are located in the
lower wing (left) of the building.(pg.320)

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