Newsgroups: alt.revisionism Followup-To: alt.revisionism Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Chelmno's Gas Wagons (3 of 5) [Translation] Archive/File: camps/chelmno/gas-wagons/sonderdruck.0387 Last-Modified: 1996/03/08 Page nine, p.411 ---------------- On Pradel's order, Wentritt brought this van, so prepared, to the KTI, where gaseous samples were taken in the box- superstructure. The chemist Leiding, collaborator in the KTI, testified: "I once entered that van with a gas-mask. I had the order/task to take air-samples. Those air- samples were hence analyzed in the laboratory." Why these analyses were necessary may be understood from Widmann's deposition on 12th January 1960: "The objective of that analysis was, by the way, to find out how long it took to reach a CO- concentration of 1% in the van. At this CO- contents, deep unconsciousness and then death occur in a short time (3rd stage of CO poisoning). One intended to prevent the first and second stage of CO-poisoning. The first stage is numbness and nausea, the second stage is marked by states of agitation/irritation." Short time late, an experimental gassing took place in the concentration camp Sachsenhausen ( the KTI had there a workshop/atelier). At the gassing, Heess, the two chemists Leiding and Hoffmann, and beyond some SS-officers attended. Widmann wasn't present . Following Krausnick/Wilhelm, he was in Kiew on about X[?]th November . The experimental gassing in Sachsenhausen must have taken place on that date. Regarding the events in Sachsenhausen, Leiding testified: "I understood only later the intended purpose of the van, in which I had taken an air sample. One day, I was summoned to travel to Sachsenhausen ... and there was a van, which was equal or like that, which I had seen in the yard of the _Reichskriminalpolizeiamt_. The number of men, which entered into the van, may have been around/about 30 ... The corpses had, as we chemists found out/observed the typical pink outlook of men, who had died of a CO-poisoning."  Heess reported the success of the experimental gassing not only to Pradel , but he wrote a report together with Widmann, which was supposedly delivered to Heydrich . Hence the prototype of the gas-vans was developed/ready and tested. The remaining vans, ordered at the Gaubschat factory, were as well altered into gas-vans now . Page ten, p.412 --------------- The course of events described here is corroborated by the analogous proceedings/activities in 1942. Since April there were plans/schemes in _Reerat II D 3a_, how to improve the gas-vans, how to expand/augment the killing capacity and how to facilitate their operationing/handling.  The proceeding was analogous to the development of the prototype. The matter was debated first internally, then Rauff gave an order for a van with the planned alterations to the Gaubschat factory. This one should be tested practically and only after that a decision should be taken on the vans to be altered further. When starting with the date of the experimental gassing at Sachsenhausen and considering the time necessary to rebuild the vans to be about 8-14 days  and the time to bring the vans to the locations of operations , we may conclude, that the first gas-vans could be used only in the end of November of beginning December 1941. The first usage of a gas-van may be traced down in the operation area of _Einsatzgruppe C_  with the _Sonderkommando 4a_ in Poltawa. Eye-witnesses report that a gas-van was used there in November 1941 in the killings of the Jews . The van is described as follows: "The gas-van was used in the same place [[i.e. there were also shootings]. Each time about 30 people were carried in them. As far I know, the passengers were killed by exhaust-gases led into it."  The usage of gas-vans by the already known _Sonderkommando Lange_ is testified for the 8th December in Chelmno . Hence, not only in the experimental phase, but as well in the operationing, experienced staff was employed. In Chelmno, two smaller vans were operationing first. Gustav Laabs, the driver of one of the vans, testified: "Later I found out, that the vans were American 3- tons-trucks. ... The interior of their box- container was, as I later saw 4m in length to 2m in width. ... In the gas-van, I drove, ... about 50 people were gassed."  Page eleven, p.413 ------------------ Still before Christmas 1941 two smaller gas-vans were brought from Berlin to Riga . These were the smaller "Daimond"-vans, which were named/mentioned in a letter by _SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer_ Truehe to Rauff on 15th July 1942 . In the operation area of _Einsatzgruppe D_  the presence of a gas-van, which could carry about 50 persons, is testified/assured by testimony for the end of 1941. This date may be certified by the deposition of _SS- Untersturmfuehrer_ Becker. He was transferred to the RSHA in December 1941 after a conference/consultation between Himmler and Brack . Hence, Himmler observed/had in mind/supervised the operations of the gas-vans further. In the RSHA, Ruff ordered him (Becker) to travel to the East to investigate/observe the operationing of the gas-vans. Becker testified about this: "He [[Rauff]] said, that gas-vans were already in place or sent to the different _Einsatzgruppen_." This must have taken place shortly before 14th December, as Becker couldn't begin his travel, intended for that day, because of an accident; so his travel was postponed until in beginning 1942 . The projected date of Becker's inspection travel may have been meaningful only if the gas- vans had been sent to the _Einsatzgruppen_ shortly before it. So it is assured/certain that gas-vans were used beginning with the end of November or beginning December 1941 . The Higher SS- and Police-Leader Jeckeln testified in 1945: "In December 1941, when I reported orally the completion of Himmler's order to execute by shooting the Jews of the Ghetto in Riga to him, Himmler told me that shooting was too complicated an action. In the shootings, one needed troops who were able to shoot, and that it had a bad influence on the men. So, said Himmler further, it would be best to destroy/liquidate/kill the people with gas-vans, which upon his order had been built in Germany." The six gas-vans, described so far, (one with _Einsatzgruppe C_, two in Chelmno, two in Riga, one with _Einsatzgruppe D- ), which were operating until end of 1941, Had two features in common, the exterior appearance and the number of people they could carry . Page twelve, p.414 ------------------ The vans were smaller, 3-tons-trucks, with a superstructure of about 4m in length, in which 30-50 persons could be carried . The same description fits on the vans, in which air-samples were taken in the yard of the KTI, and which were later tested in Sachsenhausen. Leiding and Hoffmann testify unanimously, that the vans were 3-tons transporters in which thirty men were killed . According to Rauff and Wentritt, firstly five or six chassis had been purchased and delivered to the Gaubschat factory . Hence, in 1941, first six vans with 3-tons weight have been prepared/built and were operating starting in November or December. These are the vans of the "first series" with at least two different types of chassis, "Daimond"  and "Opel-Blitz" . That one used vans with different types is related to the difficulties with the purchase of the chassis in the beginning . The sources and testimonies report as well that larger vans, type "Saurer" were rebuilt/altered into gas-vans . These were trucks with 8 tons with a box- superstructure with 5.8m length and 1.7m height, which could carry up to one hundred people . In a note in the files of _Referat II D3a_ on 23th June 1942 is remarked: "According to transaction/proceeding II D3a - 1737/41, an order on 30 special superstructures for chassis delivered was given to Gaubschat company. 20 vehicles are already finished and have been delivered."  Conforming with the high number of vans ordered, the order must have been given late in 1941 . That the whole order was related only to Saurer-vans is certified by a note on 27th April 1942, which relates to the transaction-number 1737 . The sketches/blueprints enjoined show that "proposals for a fast discharge equipment@ were only provided for the Saurer vans.
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