The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/maidanek//commission-05

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism,soc.history
Subject: Maidanek: Asphyxiation by Gas  (5 of 7)
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project
Keywords: Lublin,Maidanek

     One of the most widespread methods of exterminating people resorted to in
   the Majdanck Camp was asphyxiation by gas.
           The Committee of Technical and Chemical Experts under the
   Chairmanship of Kelles-Krause, Engineer-Architect of the City of Lublin,
   and consisting of Engineer Major
   ------------------------------------------------------------pg 14--
   Telaner, Docent; Grigoriev, B.M.E.; and Pelkis, B.M.E., found that the
   chambers erected within the precincts of tbe camp were mainly utilized for
   the purpose of the wholesale extermination of people. There were six such
   chambers in all. Some of them were adapted to the purpose of putting people
   to death by means of carbon monoxide; the others were adapted to the
   purpose of putting people to death with the aid of a poisonous chemical
   substance known as "Cyklon."
           Within the precincts of the camp were found five hundred and
   thirty-five canisters containing the substance "Cyklon B," and several
   containers with carbon monoxide. The chemical analysis revealed the
           "The contents of the canisters were tested for the presence of
   prussic acid by the reaction of the formation of Prussian blue with the aid
   of benzidino-acinate indicator paper and picric sodium. Samples were taken
   from eighteen canisters and forty-eight-separate reactions were produced.
   All the tests gave positive results showing the presence of prussic acid
   with the aforesaid reagents. . . . Thus, the contents of the canisters that
   were examined consist of the substance 'Cyklon B' which is a specially
   prepared kieselghur in the form of granules up to one cm., impregnated with
   liquid stabilized prussic acid. The contents of the canisters found in
   large numbers in the camp bearing the label 'Cyklon' are identical with
   'Cyklon-B'. . . . Samples of the gas taken from the containers were tested
   for carbon monoxide with the aid of reactions to iodinc pentoxide and
   palladious chloride indicator paper. In all, sixteen tests were made with
   iodine pentoxide and ten were made with palladious chloride indicator
   paper. All the tests made with the aforesaid reagents gave positive
   reactions to carbon monoxide."
           On the basis of a precise calculation of a technical examination of
   the gas chambers, a chemical analysis of the carbon monoxide and the
   substance known as "Cyklon" the Committee of Experts found the following:
           "The technical and sanitary-chemical inspection of the
   ------------------------------------------------------------pg 15--
   gas chambers at the Majdanek Concentration Camp wholly confirmed the fact
   that all these chambers, particularly I, II, III and IV, were intended and
   utilized for the purpose of the wholesale and systematic extermination of
   people by poisoning with the aid of poisonous gases such as: prussic acid
   (the substancc known as 'Cyklon'), and carbon monoxide."
           By utilizing all tbe chambers adapted for the purpose of poisoning
   simultaneously, it was possible to put to death one thousund nine hundred
   and fourteen persons at a time. It has been established that in these gas
   chambers were put to death all the prisoners who were exhausted by
   starvation and enfeebled by exhausting labour and the severity of the camp
   regime, all those unfit for physical work, all those who fell sick with
   typhus, and all others whom the Germans deemed it necessary to put to
           During the course of investigation numerous cases of the wholesale
   poisoning of prisoners in the gas chamhers of Majdanek were established.
           The witness Stanislawski informed the Commission of the following:
           "In March 1943, three hundred Poles were put to death in the gas
   chamber. On June 20, 1943, three hundred and fifty persons were stripped
   naked in field No. 1 and taken to the bathhouse. From there they were taken
   into the gas chamber, where they were asphyxiated. On October 14, 1943, two
   hundred and seventy persons were put to death in this way."
           The witness Zelent quoted the case of the asphyxiation by means of
   gas of eighty-seven Poles on March 15, 1944.
           Another witness, Jan Wolski, a Pole, formerly a prisoner at the
   camp, testified to the wholesale asphyxiation of people with gas.
           "In October 1942," he stated, "a large number of women and children
   were brought to the camp. The healthy ones were picked out for work, while
   the feeble ones, the sick and the children were asphyxiated in the gas
   ------------------------------------------------------------pg 16--
   In March l943, another two hundred and fifty women and children were
   exterminated in the same chamber, and several days later another three
   hundred persons of different nationalities were exterminated in this same
   way. On May 16, or 17, 1943, one hundred and fifty-eight children of ages
   ranging from two to ten were brought to the camp in motor trucks. These
   children were put to death in the gas chanber. In June 1943, the camp
   administration collected all the sick prisoners of war and civilian
   prisoners to the number of about six hundred and put them all to death the
   gas chamber."
           Evidence concerning the wholesale asphyxiation of people by means
   of gases was given at the meeting of the Commission by German SS men who
   had served in the camp.
           Rottenfuhrer SS Hensche stated that on September 15, 1942, three
   hundred and fifty persons including women  and children, were put to death
   in the gas chambers.

           Oberscharfuehrer SS Terner informed the Commission of the case which   
   occurred on October 16, 1943, of the asphyxiation in gas chambers of five 
   hundred persons, including many women and children.
           The selection of people to be put to death by asphyxiation was
   systematically made by the German camp doctors Blanke and Rindfleisch.
           The aforesaid Ternes stated:
           "In the evening of October 21, 1943, camp doctor Untersturmfuehrer
   SS Rindfleisch told me that that day three hundred children of ages ranging
   from three to ten were asphyxiated in the gas chamber with the substance
           The corpses were systematically removed from the gas chamber to be
   incinerated in the crematorium, or on bonfires. The corpses were
   transported on special lorries hauled by tractors. This is testified to by
   numerous eyewitnesses.
           German prisoner of war, Rottensfuehrer SS Theodor Schollen, who
   served in the camp, stated:
           "I often saw this machine with trailers going to and fro
   ------------------------------------------------------------pg 17--
   between the gas chambers and the crematorium. It came from the gas chamber
   loaded with corpses and went back empty."
           The Polish-Soviet Extraordinary Commission has established that in
   addition to the gas chambers, the Germans in Lublin utilized special
   automobiles known as "murder vans" for the purpose of putting people to
           The witnesses-Stetdiener, an ex-soldier of the Polish army, and
   Atrokhov, a Soviet prisoner of war, gave a detailed description of the
   machine in which the German fiends asphyxiated their victims with the aid
   of the exhaust gas from the engine.
           The discovery within the precincts of the camp of a number of
   corpses bearing the characteristic symptoms of poisoning by carbon monoxide
   confirms the fact that the Germans utilized carbon monoxide for the purpose
   of putting prisoners to death.
           The aforementioned Committee of Medical Experts expressed the
   opinion that:
           "The extermination of prisoners in the concentration camp was
   accomplished by different methods. In the initial period of the camp's
   existence the Hitlerites mainly resorted to wholesale shooting. Later, they
   also resorted to the wholesale poisoning of people in specially built gas
   chambers by means of powerful poisonous substances such as prussic acid
   (the substance known as 'Cyklon') and carbon monoxide."
           Thus, the evidence of numerous eyewitnesses, the findings of the
   Committee of Medical Experts and the Committee of Technical and Chemical
   Experts prove that for nearly three years the Hitler butchers in the
   Majdanek Camp Systematically carried out the wholesale asphyxiation with
   the aid of gases of hundreds of thousands of totally innocent people,
   including aged people, women and children.

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