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From: Michael Newton 
Newsgroups: alt.true-crime
Subject: Re: Confessions of a "tortured" Nazi...
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 16:45:19 +0000
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With regard to Natalia's great concern for the suffering of Franz 
Ziereis, commandant of the Mauthausen death camp, we read the following 
in G. Reitlinger's THE SS: ALIBI OF A NATION (p 425):

	"The Mauthausen case is on the same footing [i.e., as Dachau and 
Buchenwald]. A Red Cross observer, the Swiss M. Haefliger, had been 
finally allowed to stay in the camp. Somewhere between 23 April and 8 
May [1945] M. Haefliger learnt that the camp commandant, Ziereis, 
planned to blow up all the inmates in a subterranean aircraft- 
construction hangar at Gusen. Ziereis never attempted to put the plan 
into action. He disguised himself and hid in the camp, and was shot 
after the liberation while trying to get away."

The affidavit of Mauthausen clerk Hans Marsalek, describing the 
circumstances of Ziereis's shooting and quoting his subsequent 
statement, may be found on pp 394-395 of INSIDE HITLER'S GERMANY: A 
DOCUMENTARY HISTORY OF LIFE IN THE THIRD REICH, edited by Benjamin Sax 
and Dieter Kuntz. Selected portions read as follows:

	"On 22 May 1945, the Commandant of the Concentration Camp Mauthausen, 
Franz Ziereis, was shot while escaping by American soldiers and was 
taken to the branch camp of Gusen. Franz Ziereis was interrogated by me 
in the presence of the Commander of the 11th Armored Division Seibel; 
the former prisoner and physician Dr. Koszeinski; and in the presence of 
another Polish citizen, name unknown, for a period of six to eight 
hours. The interrogation was effected on the night from 22 May to 23 May 
1945. Franz Ziereis was seriously wounded - his body had been penetrated 
by three bullets - and knew that he would die shortly and told me the 
following: ...
	"'I have personally killed about 4,000 prisoners by assigning them to 
the Penal Company. The formation of Penal Companies was done by order of 
Berlin to effect a more rapid extermination of prisoners through hard 
labor. I always took part personally in the executions. ...
	"'The greatest number of murdered prisoners goes to the account of 
Bachmeyer. Chemielskwy and Seidler in Gusen had human skin specially 
tanned on which there were tattoos. From this leather they had books 
bound, and they had lampshades and leather cases made. 
	"'According to an order by Himmler, I was to liquidate all prisoners on 
behalf of SS Lieutenant General Dr. Kaltenbrunner; the prisoners were to 
be led into the tunnels of the factory Bergkristall and only one 
entrance was to be left open. Then this entrance was to be blown up by 
the use of explosives and the death of the prisoners was to be effected 
in this manner....
	"'A gassing plant was built in Concentration Camp Mauthausen by order 
of the former garrison doctor, Dr. Krebsbach, camouflaged as a bathroom. 
Prisoners were gassed in the camouflaged bathroom...."

And so it goes. Not that Natalia cares, of course. Those murdered by the 
thousands were only Jews, after all, and the "heroic" Nazis were doing 
mankind a favor by "trying to get some work out of them" before they 
died. And if she can convince herself that millions of men, women, 
children, and infants were shot, starved, or beaten to death, instead of 
gassed...well, "that's war." To Nat, the *real*tragedy here is the death 
of poor Franz Ziereis, the sadistic psychopath who ran the extermination 
camp. Call me crazy, but I say, "Good riddance."

mn


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