The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Rudolf Höss
Frequently Asked Questions

1. Was the statement which Rudolf Hoess made to the British used to prove that five or six million Jews were gassed?

No. No historian has ever claimed that 6 million were gassed, and Hoess himself never made such a claim.

2. Did Hoess sign the English language statement?

No. Hoess signed the statement in German. It was later translated into English, French and Russian.

3. Did Hoess write the statement to the British himself?

No historian has ever made that claim. It is common in criminal cases for police officials to transcribe statements, based upon their questioning, and then ask for corrections as needed, followed by the witnessed signature.

4. Did the British torture Hoess in order to obtain the statement introduced into evidence at Nuremberg as PS-3868?

No. The statement introduced as PS-3868 was the result of Robert Storey's interrogation of Hoess, and witnessed by American, not British, officers.

5. Did the British torture Hoess to obtain a statement?

Yes. He was beaten and deprived of sleep. The statement given to the British, however, is in agreement with both the statement given to the Americans, and Hoess' own memoirs, written after his conviction.

6. Why did Hoess claim that he had ordered the death of 2.5 million people, when we know it was not true?

In his memoirs, written in his own hand after his Nuremberg conviction, Hoess explains that the figure was provided him by Adolf Eichmann, and he revised the figure downward to 1.1 million.

In his testimony before the tribunal, Hoess stated that he had made no exact notes as the figures of the number of those victims because he was forbidden to make them. He further stated that only Adolf Eichmann recorded the figures, and that Eichmann had told him that more than two million Jews had been destroyed.

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