The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/german/farben.ig/farben.007


Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac - I.G. Farben: Testimony At Nuremberg
Summary: I.G. Farben management knew what was being done to the
         prisoners working at I.G. Auschwitz
Reply-To: kmcvay@nizkor.org
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, CANADA
Keywords: Farben

Archive/File: orgs/germany/farben farben.007
Last-modified: 1993/06/07

   "Through former Auschwitz inmates, the prosecution presented a
   graphic picture of conditions at I.G. Auschwitz and Monowitz. Typical
   was the testimony of Robert Elie Waitz, a professor at the University
   of Strasbourg, an inmate who was also a physician with an
   international reputation. He worked in the Monowitz hospital and,
   because of his renown and demeanor, was a forceful witness.

      I found out very soon that Monowitz was an extermination camp. On
      account of the severe living conditions, the prisoners were
      exposed to that slow process of physical and mental dissolution
      which terminated in most cases in the gas chambers. The final aim
      was unmistakable: the dehumanization and eventual extermination of
      the prisoners employed in the I.G. plant at Auschwitz. I heard an
      S.S. officer in Monowitz saying to the prisoners, 'You are all
      condemned to die, but the execution of your sentence will take a
      little while.' Until that time, the S.S. and I.G. in common
      exploited the prisoners beyond what they could bear.'<27>

   From witness Rudolf Vitek, also both a physician and an inmate, came
   the following appraisal:

      The prisoners were pushed in their work by the Capos, foremen,
      and overseers of the I.G. in an inhuman way. No mercy was shown.
      Thrashings, ill-treatment of the worst kind, even direct killings
      were the fashion. The murderous working speed was responsible for
      the fact that while working many prisoners suddenly stretched out
      flat, turned blue, gasped for breath and died like beasts...

      It was no rare occurrence that detachments of 400 to 500 men
      brought back with them in the evening five to twenty corpses. The
      dead were brought to the place of rollcall and counted as being
      present.<28>

   A Czechoslovakian inmate swore that

      The directors of I.G. Farben knew about the selections... The
      employees of I.G. Farben indirectly occasioned the selections...
      The master craftsmen complained to the management...and from there
      the complaints were forwarded to the management, Dr. Duerrfeld,
      and from there to the S.S. Consequently, the Labor Allocation
      Officer in Auschwitz went to Monowitz early in the morning, when
      the squads left for work, posted himself near the gate and picked
      out those people... whom they considered sickly; these people were
      sent to the gas chambers straight away. Those written complaints
      came from I.G. I myself have seen such reports.<29>

   Very dramatic was the appearance for the prosecution of a group of
   British prisoners of war. Their testimony was especially impressive.

      The condition of the concentration camp inmates was deplorable. I
      used to see them being carried back at night, dead from exposure,
      hunger, or exhaustion. The concentration camp inmates did heavy
      manual labor, such as carrying steel girders, pipes, cables,
      bricks, and sacks of cement weighing about 100 lbs. As a rule the
      inmates weighed less than the cement sacks. I have seen the
      inmates shuffle, trying to make it in double time, but unable to
      do it, and I have seen them collapse.

      ...We would see the chaps hanging up in the gate of Lager IV, and
      the prisoners had to walk underneath them. I saw those bodies
      myself; working parties passed under the gate while walking to
      work. <30>

   Cross-examination did not help the defendants' cause.

      Q: 'Did you see personally how prisoners were hanged in camp IV
         [Monowitz]?'

      A: 'I saw three men hanging in the gate of camp IV approximately
         in February 1944.'

      Q: 'Do you know why these prisoners were hanged?'

      A: 'I didn't know there had to be a reason.'<31>

   Another British prisoner of war testified:

      I was at Auschwitz nearly every day. The population at Auschwitz
      was fully aware that people were being gassed and burned. On one
      occasion they complained about the stench of burning bodies. Of
      course, all of the Farben people knew what was going on. Nobody
      could live in Auschwitz and work in the plant, or even come down
      to the plant without knowing what was common knowledge to
      everybody.'<32>

   <27> NI-12373
   <28> NI-4830
   <29> NI-7967
   <30> NI-12388, affidavit of Eric J. Doyle
   <31> TWC, VIII, p.621, testimony of Eric J. Doyle
   <32> NI-11696, affidavit of Charles J. Coward

                            Work Cited

   Borkin, Joseph. The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben. New York: 
   The Free Press, 1978, and London: Macmillan Publishing Company. 


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