The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/american/polish-historical-society/press/new-york-city-tribune-1189



From the _New York City Tribune_, Nov. 29, 1989:

"A Polish Student Disputes Historic Record of Auschwitz"

Dear Editor:

	I arrived in the United States about six weeks ago.  Just 
one month earlier I was still studying at the Auschwitz Museum 
Archives.

	While reading the letter to the editor by Edward J. Toner 
on November 16 issue of the _New York City Tribune_ I was struck 
by its unwaranted anti-Semitic timbre and mixture of correct 
facts with exaggeration.

	As a young, 30-year-old Pole I want to asure [sic] you 
that very few inmates were killed by the Germans "on the spot" in 
Auschwitz or Birkenau.  On the other hand many, too many, about 
one hundred thousand died, chiefly from epidemics such as typhus, 
dysentary, TB and malnutrition.

	Along with them about 100 of 1,000 camp staff perished 
from the same causes.  Serving for the SS at Auschwitz-Birkenau 
was far more dangerous than at the Western Front.

	No one on the staff at the Auschwitz Museum believes the 
figure of 4 million victims quoted by our director K. Smolem and 
asigned [sic] in 1949 by the USSR or the figure of 1,700,000 
propagandized recently by professor Y. Bauer from Jerusalem or 
even the 1,500,000 cited by professor R. Hilberg from Vermont.

	However every guide at the Museum talks about it in 
public, in our hard currency starved land, to the endless stream 
of tourists from Israel and Germany alike.  Story telling about 
Auschwitz brings results even on a personal level like a 25 cents 
tip which constitutes a half day salary in Polish zloty for an 
average guide.

	Privately we talk there about the rare, extant, May 15, 
1944 Daily Birkenau Camp 11th status Report which lists about 
7,000 workers unemployed and 4,000 sick and 3,000 permanently 
disabled inmates.

	Incidentally, according to official historians, about 
15,000 healthy, strong and fresh Hungarian Jews were gassed and 
cremated daily in this week, while the invalids lingered.

	We talk about preserved medical records of inmates who 
lingered in the camp hospital for months despite the daily or bi-
weekly selections by the allegedly crazed monster Dr. Mengele.

	We also talk about the furor of the recently translated 
so-called "Leuchter Report" published by a Canadian neo-Nazi.  
This report "discovers" that no Zyklon B was used in the gas 
chambers.  This pretentious, multi-page report discovers what a 
good students in chemistry of an average Polish high school see 
with their naked eyes, namely total lack of deposits of blue 
salts of ferrocyanides in the gas chamber walls.  On the other 
hand everybody is struck by the intensity of the blue 
discoloration of the plaster and even the outside brick work of 
the delousing building where the Byklon [sic] B (hydrocyanic acid) 
reacted with the iron content (the red color) of the brick 
forming the insoluble "prussian blue" pigments for all to see.

	In private conversations at the Museum we also talk about 
the May 1944 aerial photos of Auschwitz discovered by the CIA 
about ten years ago and delivered to the Museum.  For ten years 
now, these exquisite, huge photos have sat in storage and are not 
shown to public because the flaming pyres of the 15,000 cadavers 
of Hungarian Jews, so vividly described by the Reverend Eli [sic] 
Weisel [sic], aren't there.  During our coffee breaks, we bet 
when and if ever they will be shown to public.

	I think that after the generous $800 million loan from 
the United States to Poland goes through, and is no longer will 
be opposed by Mr. Bronfman of the WJC, the aerial photos, the 
chemistry of the gas chamber walls, the hospital records of the 
inmates, the daily prisoner status reports and the total numbers 
of this terrible camp, will be be [sic] shown to the public for 
the first time.

	Incidentally, the nuns at Auschwitz, despite the foreign 
loan, political submission of the Holy Father and Cardinal Glemp, 
decided on their own to stay put, while they were abhored by the 
Nissenbaums whiskey profit offer.

Janusz Patek, M.S.
Manhattan


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