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Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/chelmno/gas-wagons/sonderdruck-p5

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Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Chelmno's Gas Wagons (Footnotes)


Archive/File: camps/chelmno/gas-wagons/sonderdruck.0387
Last-Modified: 1996/03/08


Page One, p.403

1. Deposition by Gustav Laabs driver of a gas-van in
Chelmno, dated 29.11.1960, _Staatsanwaltschaft (StA)_
[Attorney bureau] Bonn, _Aktenzeichen (Az)_ [Filen-number] 8
Js 52/60

[[ZSL, Az.203 AR-Z 69/59, Bl.912]]. The designation/word is
used as well in the literature and by witnesses.

Raul Hilberg, {The destruction of the European Jews},
Chicago 1961, p.219, uses "{gas-van}", apparently a
tranlation of the German word.

_SS-Obersturmfuehrer_ Walter Rauff, _Gruppenleiter_
[department-leader] of  Dienststelle_[department of
services] II D (Technical matters) in the RSHA

Main security bureau in the Reich] speaks in his affidavit
dated 19.10.1945 about "{death vans}", International
Military Tribunal,  Trial of the Major War Criminals Before
the International Military
Tribunal, Nuremberg (IMT) Vol.30, Doc.2384-PS. In the
description given in document IMT 501-PS the word
_Vergasungswagen_  [gassing-van] is used.

2. Letter by Rauff to the KTI [Kriminaltechnisches Institut]
dated 26.3.1942. Copy in ZSL, Folder: Verschiedenes Nr.227.

3. Entry/note in file dated 27.4.1942, Copy in ZSL, USA Dok.
Film I, Bl.19-25; Letter by _Firma Gaubschat_
[Company/manufacturer]  to the _Referat_ [sub-department]
IID 3a of the RSHA dated 14.5.1942, ZSL, USA Dok. Film I,

4. Entry/note in file dated 5.6.1942,  Copy ZSL, USA Dok.
Film I, Bl.9-14; facsimile in:
_Nationalsozialistische Massentoetung durch Giftgas.  Eine
Dokumentation, hrsg. von A.Rueckerl/E.Kogon/H.Langbein
u.a._,  Frankfurt a.  M.1983, pp.333-337. [This should be
also available in the English Translation now] Letter by _SS-
Obersturmfuehrer_ Schaefer to Rauff dated 9.6.1942, IMT-Doc.

5. Letter by _SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer_ Truehe to Rauff dated
15.6.1942, IMT-Doc. 501-PS. The "S" is probably an
abbreviation to _spezial_ or _sonder_ [special]. These
adverbs were originally
used with respect to the container-superstructure, which was
specially manufactured. Cf. entry/note in file dated
23.6.1942, Copy ZSL, USA Dok. Film II, B1.14-16, where the
_Spezialaufbauten_ [special superstructure] is used. The
relation to the camouflage word _Sonderbehandlung_ [special
treatment], i.e. killing is apparent, IMT-Doc. 501-PS.

6. Letter by _SS-Gruppenfuehrer_ Harald Turner to  _SS-
Obergruppenfuehrer_ Karl Wolff, head of the personal staff
of the _Reichsfuehrer SS (RFSS)_ [Leader of the SS,
H.Himmler], dated 11.4.1942, StA Muenchen II, Az.10a Js
39/60, bill of indictment/accusation [[ZSL, Az. Sammelakte
137, Bl.164-167].

Page Two, p.404

7. The earliest document is dated 26.3.1942, cf. Note [2].
In the entry dated 5.6.1942 it is noted that since december
1941 97.000 human beings were "processed", i.e. killed with
vans, cf. Note [4].

8. See as well: A.Rueckerl (ed.): _NS-Vernichtungslager im
Spiegel deutscher Strafprozesse. Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka,
Chelmno._ Muenchen 1977; same author: _NS-Prozess nach 25
Jahren Strafverfolgung. Moeglichkeiten, Grenzen, Ergebnisse,
Karlsruhe 1971. _Nationalsozialistische Massentoetung_
Frankfurt a.M. 1983. Here I'd like to thank the ZSL for the
support and the helps, especially Mr Chief-attorney
A.Rueckerl, Mr Chief-attorney A. Streim, Mr attorney
W.Dressen,  Inspector S.Fritschle and last but not least Mrs
H.Doms from the documentation.

9. I.Arndt/W.Scheffler: _Organisierter Massenmord an den
Juden in nationalsozialistischen Vernichtungslagern. Ein
Beitrag zur Richtigstellung apologetischer Literatur_, in:
VfZ 24 (1976),
S.115 Anm.20.

10. See for an excellent example, A.Streim, _Die Behandlung
der Kriegsgefangenen im Fall Barabarossa_, Heidelberg 1981,
S.74 ff. In the following, the different quality of
documents and witness  testimonies is remarked here, by
notifying each quotation from  a depostition.

11. This allows for instance to check the
credibility/consistency  of witnesses. If there exist
consistency between document and  testimony, it is
reasonable to assume that the witness's
 deposition is reliable/trustworthy as well with respect to
facts/ cases which aren't covered by documents.

Page Three , p.405

12. Deposition by H.H.Renfranz, dated 10.10.1962, StA
Hannover, Az. 2 Js 614/62 [ZSL, Az. V 203 AR-???1101/1960,
Bl.2]. See also _Nationalsozialistische Massentoetung_, p.
^62 ff;
E.Klee, "_Euthanasie" im NS-Staat. Die "Vernichtung
lebenswerten Lebens_", Frankfurt a.M. 1983, S.106 ff and
S.190 ff.

13. IMT, Vol. 26, S.169.

14. Deposition by A.Widmann, Head of Abt. V D 2 (Chemistry
and Biology) in the KTI, dated 11.1.1960; StA Duesseldorf,
Az. 8 Js7212/59 [ZSL, Az.202 AR-Z 152/59, Bl.51 f.];
deposition by
A.Becker, 20.6.1961, StA Stuttgart, Az. 13 Js 328/60  [ZSL,
Az.439 AR-Z 18a/60, Bl.1001 ff.]
See also _Nationalsozialistische Massentoetung_, S.46; Klee,
"_Euthanasie_", S.84 f.

15. same sources as note [13]

16. deposition by A.Widmann, 27.1.1959, StA Duesseldorf,
Az.8 Js 7212/59 [ZSL, Az. 439 AR-Z 18a/??, Bl.36 f.]; Klee,
"_Euthanasie_", S.84 f.

17. deposition by A.Becker, 28.1.1960, StA Hannover, Az. 2
Js 299/60 [ZSL, Az.415 AR-Z 220/59, Bl.36 ff.].

18. deposition by Walter Schade, datd 12.2.1959, StA
Hannover, Az. 2 Js 299/60 [ZSL, Az.415, AR-Z 220/59, Bl.110

19. cf. note [12]

Page Four , p.406

20. cf. note [12]

21. Copy ZSL, USA Dok.Bd.II, Bl.6; see also Klee,
"_Euthanasie_", p.191.

22. He testified on 7.3.1962, that before 1941 another
"Gaswagen" was tested in Sachsenhausen and produced there;
StA Hannover,  Az. 2 Js 299/1960 [ZSL, Az. 415 AR-Z 220/59,
Bl.277 ff;
see also Rueckerl, NS-Vernichtungslager, p. 268, note 55.

23. Cf. text p.409 f. [Page Seven f.]

24. deposition by A.Trenkers, dated 17.5. 1962, StA
Hannover,  Az. 2 Js 299/60 [ZSL, Az. 415 AR-Z 220/59,

25. deposition dated 16.5.1961, StA Bonn, Az.8 Js 52/60
[ZSL, Az. 203 AR-Z 69/59, Bl.678 f.].

26. Cf. note [24]

27. Copy of the correspondence in: ZSL, USA Dok.Bd.I, Bl.90
and 98; Bd.II, Bl.801-807. See as well Klee, "_Euthanasie_",
pp.190-193. Characteristically, on the letter there is a
note by Wolff, that he phone with Brack, one of the
responsibles in the "Euthanasie"- program, about the affair.

Page Five, p.407

28. _Diensttagebuch_ [Diary kept on duties during
service/official diary] Bach-Zelewski, Bundesarchiv,
Sign.R20/45b, Copy ZSL, _Findmittelschrank_ Nr.35.
Accordingly, Himmler was in Baranowitschi on 30-7-1941 and
in Baranowitschi and Minsk on 15/16th August 1941.

On 15th August, Bach attended/was drawn [to the visit], so
Himmler's observation of the
shootings is most likely to be dated on that day. Cf.
deposition by the Russian [lady-]doctor N.N.Akimova, who
reports about a visit spent by Himmler to a sanatorium in
August 1941; see A.Ebbinghaus/G.Preissler: _Die Ermordung
psychisch kranker Menschen in der Sowjetunion.
Dokumentation_, in: _Aussonderung und Tod. Die klinische
Hinrichtung der Unbrauchbaren_, Berlin 1985, p.188.

29. About _Einsatzgruppe B_: H.Krausnick/H.-H.Wilhelm, _Die
Truppe des Weltanschaungskrieges. Die Einsatzgruppen der
Sicherheitspolizei und des SD 1938-1942_, Stuttgart 1982,

30. Deposition by Back-Zelewski in: _Aufbau_ (New York),
23.8.46, p.2. Cf. similar deposition by Karl Wolff,
Himmler's adjutant,  who attended there too, StA Muenchen,
Az.10a Js 39/60, _Anklageschrift_ [bill of
indictment/accusation] [ZSL, Az.Sammelakte 137, Bl.140ff]
with further testimonies about the incidence.

31. Ibid. Cf. N.N.Akimova's deposition (note 28).

32. Deposition by Back-Zelewski (note 30 ). Cf. deposition
by the chemist H.Hoffmann, 7-1-59, StA Duesseldorf, 8 Js
7212/59 [ZSL, Az.439 AR-Z 18a/60,Bl.28].

33. Deposition by A.Widmann as of 11-1-1960 (note
14),Bl.45ff; A.Bauer, driver with the KTI, deposition as of
17-3-1960, H.Schmidt, collaborator with the KTI, StA Bremen,
Az.6Js 3/60
[ZSL, Az.202 AR-Z152/59, Bl.135; 201].

34. Deposition by A.Widmann as of 11-1-1960 (note 14),

Page six , p.408

35. Cf. note 28

36. Same as note [14], Bl.50f. Gerald Reitlinger, _Die
Endloesung. Hitlers Versuch der Ausrottung der Juden Europas
1939-1945_, Berln 1951,  mentions on page 1944, that in 1949
negatives were found in Nebe's home, which show this
incident/procedure. According to E.J.Else, superintendent of
transport services of the _K-Staffel_ [squad] in the 1st
Police-Battaillon 3, the van, recognizable on these
pictures, belonged  to his transport park. Deposition on 13-
12-1962, StA Frankfurt a.M., Az 4 Js 1928/60 [ZSL, Az.202 AR-
Z 152/1959, Bl.1127] Thus, he was member of _Einsatzkommando
8_, which participated in the experiment.

37. Ebbinghaus/Preissler, _Ermordung_, p.189. The
plausibility of this date is given by the following
relations:  Bach-Zelewski couldn't attend at the final
conference/meeting because of a Russian air-attack/raid,
which happened on 17-9-1941 according to Bach-Zelewski's
Cf. too Widmann's deposition on 11-1-1960 (note 14).

38. This date may be exactly determined because the
witnesses name the days of the week on which they stayed in
Minsk and Mogilew. When relating these statements with the
exact fixture in time, 18-9,  one gets the period for the

39. Deposition by A.Widmann on 11-1-1960 (note 14); further
testimonies in the same vein: Karl Schulz, Nebe's adjutant,
deposition on 9-3-1959, StA Stuttgart, Az.13 Js 328/60 [ZSL,
Az.439 AR-Z 18a/1960, Bl.48]; deposition by B.Wehners on 26-
1-1960, StA Bremen, Az.6 Js 3/6
[ZSL, Az.202 AR-Z 152/1959, Bl.57f.].

Page seven , p.409

40. Deposition by A.Widmann on 27-1-1959 (note 16), Bl.33f;
deposition by H.Engelmann, Nebe's adjutant, on 9-1-1951,
ibid, Bl.617; deposition by B.Wehner on 26-1-1960 (note 37).

41. Krausnick/Wilhelm, _Truppe_, pp.150ff.

42. Deposition by A.Widmann on 27-1-1959 (note 16) and on 12-
1-1960 (note). These two depositions differ inasmuch, that
different dates are given for the events described. In the
first deposition, he gives as date: shortly after the
beginning campaign in Russia,  in the second: "shortly
before the campaign/onslaught/invasion in Russia".  This
second statement is probably wrong/incorrect, as the psychic
stress of the execution squads and the great distances in
as hindrance for the transport of CO-cylinders are
mentioned. These arguments/reasons may play a role only
after the begin of the campaign in Russia. Further
to follow will corroborate this claim.

43. ibid.

44. Decision by _Landgericht_ [Provincial/regional court]
Hannover on Pradel and Wentritt, Az. 2 Js 299/60 [ZSL Az.415
Ar-Z 220/1959,Bl.419f].

45. StA Hamburg, Az. 147 Js 31/67 [ZSL, Az.II 415 AR-Z
1310/63-E32, Bl.545].

Page eight, p.410

46. Deposition on 2-2-1961, StA Hannover, Az. 2 Js 299/60
[ZSL, Az.415 Ar-Z 220/59, Bl.260b]. Compare the following
statements with the court-decision on Pradel, Bl.418 ff.

47. Deposition by M.Bauer, technician of the Gaubschat
factory, on 21-3-1961, StA Hannover, 2 Js 299/60 [ZSL Az.202
AR-Z 152/59, Bl.275f.].

48. Deposition by H.Wentritt on 2-2-1961 (note 46), Bl.260d

49. Cf. following statements p.412 [Pag ten].

50. IMT-Doc. 2348-PS. The credibility of this testimony is
corroborated by that of H.Wentritt (note 46), Bl.260 e, who
mentions as well a number of five or six vehicles.

51. Deposition by H.Wentritt on 2-2-1961 (note 46), Bl. 260b

Page nine, p.411

52. Deposition on 6-2-1959, StA Stuttgart, Az.13 Js 328/60
[ZSL, Az.439 AR-Z 18a/1960, Bl.39].
This analysis is testified also by Widmann (note 14).

53. Deposition by Widmann on 12-1-1960, ibid.; see also IMT-
Doc.501-PS dated 16.5.42.

54. This is testified unanimously by Leiding, Hoffmann and

55. See, Krausnick/Wilhelm, pp.544f. The testimonies fix the
time for the experiment to early November 1941.

56. Deposition on 6-2-1959 (note 52), Bl.40. Hoffmann
describes the event similarly; deposition on 27-1-1959, StA
Hannover,  Az.2 Js 299/60 [ZSL, Az.415 AR-Z 220/59,

57. See, court-decision on Pradel, Bl.427.

58. Deposition by E.Freiwald, employee at the KTI, on 3-9-
1959 and W.Schade on 12-2-1959, StA Hannover, Az.2 Js 299/60
[ZSL, Az. 415 AR-Z 220/59, Bl.68f and 181].

59. See, note 44.

Page ten, p.412

60. File entry dated 27.4.1942 and 5.6.1942 (note 3).

61. File entry dated 23.6.1942 (note 5).

62. Letter by Rauff to the KTI dated 26-3-1942 (note 2).

63. Cf. the following statements/arguments p.413 [Page

64. Note 41, pp.186 ff.

65. Deposition by a member of this command, Lauer, StA
Darmstadt, Az. Ks 1/67 [ZSL 205 AR-Z 269/60, Bl.2390ff].
P.Blobel, leader of _Einsatzkommando 4a_, testified on 6-5-
1947 in Nuremberg, that a gas-van was used already in
September or October 1941. This statement cannot be correct.
Howeber, his description of the smaller vehicles is
conclusive. Nuremberg Document NO-3824.

66. ibid.

67. L.Bednarz, Extermination Camp at Chelmno, in: German
Crimes  in Poland 1/1946, p.110. Regarding _Sonderkommando
Lange_ cf. Rueckerl, _NS-Vernichtungslager_, pp.243ff .

68. See note 1.

Page eleven, p.413

69. Deposition by the driver K.Gebel on 23-10-1962, StA
Hannover, Az. 2 Js 299/60 [ZSL, Az.415 AR-Z 20/59,

70. IMT-Doc 501-PS.

71. See note 41, pp.195 ff.

72. Court-decision on Drexel and Kehrer, StA Muenchen I,
Az.119c Ks 6 a-b/70, Bl.33-35 [ZSL, Az.Sammelakte 32].

73. Deposition by Becker on 26-40-1960, StA Giessen, Az.3 Js
11/60 [ZSL, Az.2 AR-Z 311/59, Bl.194]

74. ibid., Bl.195; Becker's statements are ascertained by
Ohlendorf, _Einsatzgruppen_-case Per. ??02 VI, Interrogation

75. Consequently, all dates given before this date and
relating to the usage of gas-vans cannot be correct. Cf.
note 65 too.

78. Deposition by Jeckeln on 21-12-1945 (note 41), p.548.

79. See the arguments on p.414 [Page twelve].

Page twelve , p.414

79. That the number of people carried in the van may be
viewed as a sure mark of the vans is ascertained by the
notes in the files on 5.6.1942 (note 4).

80. See notes 54 and 56.

81. See note 50.

82. This formulation/words were used by Becker in his report
on  16.5.1942, IMT-Doc. 501-PS.

83. Deposition by H.Wentritt on 2. 2. 1960 (see note 44),
Bl.260h; letter on 15.6.1942, IMT-Doc 501-PS.

84. Deposition by H.Hoffmanns on 27.1.1959, StA Duesseldorf,
Az. 8 Js 7212/59 [ZSL, Az.439 AR-Z 18a/1960, Bl.28];
deposition by A.Becker on 26-3-1960 (note 71), Bl.195. As
the first series consisted not only of chassis of one type,
Becker couldn't give a more precise designation in his
report on 16.5.1942, as he did with the vans of the second

85. See above p.410 [Page eight].

86. Letter to Gaubschat company on 30.4.1942, Copy ZSL, USA
Dok. Film I Nr.26f.; Letter from Becker to Rauff on
16.5.1942, IMT-Doc. 501-PS; Letter from Schaefer to Rauff on
9.6.1952 (note 4); Truehe to Rauff on 15.6.1942 (note 5).

87. Note in the files on 27.4.1942 (note 3). This number of
people can be calculated from the measures given there.

88. See note 5.

89. See note 44 (Bl.429).

90. See note 3.

Page thirteen, p.415

91. Note in the files on 5.6.1942 (note 4).

92. Cf. note 86.

93. This may be concluded from a letter from Gaubschat
company to Rauff on 14.5.1942 (note 3).

94. Cf. the letters on 9. and 15.6.1942 and Becker's report
on 16.5.1942, IMT-Doc. 501-PS. Regarding the witness-
testimonies see _NS-Massentoetung_, pp.87ff.

95. See note 62.

96. Deposition by A.Becker on 28-1-1960 (note 17), Bl.44.

97. See note 3.

98. Note in the files on 5.6.1942 (note 4).

Page fourteen, p.416

99. See above p.413 [Page eleven]

100. Deposition by Becker on 26-3-1960 (note 73).

101. ibid. Bl.197f.

102. ibid.; cf. his report on 16.5.1942 too.

103. Note in the files on 5.6.1942 (note 4).

104. See note 5; deposition by H.Munk on 3.2.1959, StA
Karlsruhe, Az. Js 2138/58 [ZSL, Az.415 AR-Z 220/59,

105. 16.5.1942 (note 82)

106. Note in the files 5.6.1942 (note 4). Deposition by
A.Widmann on 11.1.1960 (note 14).

107. See note 6.

108. IMT-Doc 501-PS.

109. ibid.

110. Deposition by M.Draheim on 29.8.1961, StA Hannover, Az.
2 Js 299/60 [ZSL, Az. 415 AR-Z 220/1959, Bl.294f] deposition
by W.Schmidt, ibid, Bl.260zf.

111. IMT, Vol.4, deposition on 3.1.1946, p.357.

Page fifteen, p.417

112. Deposition by Becker on 28-4-1960 (note 96), Bl.43.

113. Cf. depositions by the drivers G.Laabs and K.Gebel
(notes 1 and 69).

114. Deposition by A.Truehe on 16-10-1959, ZSL, Az 2 AR-Z
311/59, Bl.43ff.

115. Cf. draft version of a letter from the
official/administrative servant at the ministry for the
occupied territories to the _Reichskommisar_ for the
_Ostland_ on 25.10.1942, Doc. No-365;
deposition by SS- and Police-Leader Warthegau W.Koppe on 2-2-
1960, StA Bonn, Az.18 Js 52/60 [ZSL, Az.220/59, Bl.138f.].

116. Note in the files on 5.6.1942 (note 4). There we read:
"Since December 1941 e.g., 97.000 have been processed with 3
vans employed, without any failure of the vehicles."

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