The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/chelmno/gas-wagons/just-to-rauff.maintenance

Date: Mon, 6 May 1996 11:26:07 -0700
From: Marty Kelley 
Newgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Gas Vans 

As an addendum to this comprehensive discussion of the gassing vans, I'd 
also note the following document which was included in the film _Shoah_ 
and reproduced in the text of the film (Note in particular the thin 
attempts at euphemism for the operations of the vans and for the "loads" 
they carried):

Geheime Reichssache (Secret Reich Business)
Berlin, June 5, 1942
Changes for special vehicles now in service at Kulmhof (Chelmno) and for 
those now being built.

Since December 1941, ninety-seven thousand have been processed (_verarbeit_ 
in German) by the three vehicles in service, with no major incidents.  In 
the light of observations made so far, however, the following technical 
changes are needed:

The vans' normal load is usually nine per square yard.  In Saurer 
vehicles, which are very spacious, maximum use of space is impossible, 
not because of any possible overload, but because loading to full 
capacity would affect the vehicle's stability.  So reduction of the load 
space seems necessary. It must absolutely be reduced by a yard, instead 
of trying to solve the problem, as hitherto, by redudcing the number of 
pieces loaded.  Besides, this extends the operating time, as the empty 
void must be filled with carbon monoxide.  On the other hand, if the load 
space is reduced, and the vehicle is packed solid, the operating time can 
be considerably shortened.  The manufacturers told us during a discussion 
that reducing the size of the van's rear would throw it badly off 
balance.  The front axle, they claim, would be overloaded.  In fact, the 
balance is automatically restored, because the merchandise aboard 
displays during the operation a natural tendency to rush to the rear 
doors, an is mainly found lying there at the end of the operation.  So 
the front axle is not overloaded.

2. The lighting must be better protected than now.  The lamps must be 
enclosed in a steel grid to prevent their being damaged.  Lights could be 
eliminated, since they apparently are never used. However, it has been 
observed that when the doors are shut, the load always presses hard 
against them [the doors] as soon as darkness sets in.  This is because 
the load naturally rushes toward the light when darkness sets in, which 
makes closing the doors difficult.  Also, because of the alarming nature of 
darkness, screaming always occurs when the doors are closed.  It would 
therefore be useful to light the lamp before and during the first moments 
of the operation.

3. For easy cleaning of the vehicle, there must be a sealed drain in the 
middle of the floor. The drainage hole's cover, eight to twelve inches in 
diameter, would be equipped with a slanting trap, so that fluid liquids 
can drain off during the operation.  During cleaning, the drain can be 
used to evacuate large pieces of dirt.

The aforementioned technical changes are to be made to vehicles in 
service only when they come in for repairs.  As for the ten vehicles 
ordered from Saurer, they must be equipped with all innovations and 
changes shown by use and experience to be necessary.

Submitted for decision to Gruppenleiter II D, SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer 
Walter Rauff.

Signed: Just

in Claude Lanzmann, _Shoah: The Complete Text of the Film_. New york: 
Pantheon, 1985. pp. 103-105.

Marty Kelley  (mkelley@U.Arizona.EDU)

"We are now living in an era where the wall between news and 
entertainment has been eaten away like the cartilage 
in David Crosby's septum."
	--Al Franken, in _Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot_

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