I have already spoken of the character and quality of the Nazi
concentration camp as a medium to consolidate the dictatorship and to
terrorize the opponent, so as to break him or to bring him round. There
were hundreds of concentration, collection and transit camps in Germany and
the occupied territories. Insofar as the Jews were concerned, all of them
had a single aim: their utter destruction. And even if the Nazis had not
introduced direct extermination methods, it would not have taken long for
the ghetto and labour camp inmates to die of starvation, exhaustion and
disease. But the “Final Solution” was not to be kept waiting and
extermination camps were therefore erected. In the other camps, such as
Mauthausen,, Bergen-Belsen and Dachau, thousands and tens of thousands
also perished as a result of the planned maintenance of a way of life which
was bound to kill. In these camps too – as in Bergen-Belsen – Eichmann had
control over all matters pertaining to Jews, and we shall submit evidence
to prove it. In these opening remarks, however, I wish only to dwell on
those special camps known as extermination camps, which were, from the very
start, constructed to implement the “Final Solution,” and in which millions
of Jews met their deaths.
In Hitler’s book Mein Kampf the idea of exterminating Jews by poison gas is
already mentioned. He wrote that if twelve to fifteen thousand Jews had
been poisoned during the First World War, a million Germans would have been
saved. After the Einsatzgruppen murder operations by shooting had proved
unsatisfactory, the idea was mooted, as I have already mentioned, to use
gases against the Jews. The first experiments were made by Globocnik in
Poland, and Eichmann, who realized the effectiveness, adopted this process
for the implementation of the “Final Solution.” This he confirmed to Dr.
Wetzel of the Ministry for Occupied Territories, who presented a written
report on this matter. Eichmann travelled personally to Globocnik, to
inform him that his experiments would be adopted for use on a general scale
in the area under his authority, as well as in other places, and sent him a
man called Giinther, together with a poison gas expert. Eichmann made a
tour with Rudolf H6ss to select a suitable site for the erection of gas
installations at Auschwitz, and also visited the Treblinka, and Chelmno
extermination camps to examine their effectiveness. He was satisfied with
the system which he considered preferable to shooting. He and his Section
dealt with the obtaining of Blausaure gas, termed Zyklon B, composed of
hydrogen cyanide. This gas was employed in a number of extermination camps.
As late as the beginning of 1945, on the threshold of the end of War,
Eichmann was still planning to wipe out all the Jews still alive at
Theresienstadt in gas installations to be erected there on his initiative,
as the others had then ceased to function.
On Eichmann rests the direct responsibility for the operations of these
fearful camps set up for the implementation of the “Final Solution.” In a
few of them a last effort was made to extort a work and labour force from
the Jews before sending them to their destruction.
The Court will permit me to describe briefly what occurred in these places,
all of which were set up by the SS, while the exterminations were conducted
by the RSHA.
THE MAJDANEK CAMP, near Lublin, was established in 1941. At first,
prisoners of war were detained here, but later Jews began to arrive from
Czechoslovakia, France and Greece, and the camp grew. It contained separate
units, called “fields.” In the spring of 1942, gas extermination
installations were constructed, as well as two ovens to bum the bodies. In
the summer of the same year, Polish Jews began to arrive in large numbers.
In the spring of 1943, the Jewish deportees from Warsaw arrived at Majdanek
and immediately the killings were speeded up, reaching a climax in November
when, in one day, 18,000 Jews were shot.
Conditions in the camps, even without taking into account the installations
for direct execution, were so arranged that the prisoner was bound to
perish, whether from hunger, disease or pure physical exhaustion. The food
provided was about one-third of the necessary minimum. The clothing left
the prisoner exposed to the mercies of the elements; the quarters were
draughty huts each housing five hundred people or more, two to a mattress.
The work in which the prisoners were employed until being killed was in
itself a means of extermination, designed to destroy the body. The same
purpose was pursued by cruelty and beating during work and the employment
of men in labours having no possible utility.
No wonder the garments and mattresses of the prisoners were perpetually
teeming with lice, bugs and insects. Tuberculosis and typhoid abounded. In
Majdanek cure for typhus was execution by shooting.
The sick people would undergo selection: Anyone capable of running before
the selection committee was spared for the time being. Those who stumbled
were removed for immediate killing.
On rainy and stormy days the prisoners were deliberately ordered to cat in
the open. During parades, the sick and the dying were instructed to lie in
the mud and snow.
Jewish prisoners were brought in their tens of thousands to the gas
chambers without even undergoing registration or selection. The women’s
hair was shom; gold teeth extracted. Evidence was later found confirming
that nine crates of gold and valuables were dispatched to the Reich from
Majdanek. The death rate in the camp was frightful – some 180 people a day.
Children died like flies.
The selection procedure at the Majdanek camp was as follows: males to the
right; females to the left; children and old folk to the centre. Mothers
who clung to their children were separated by the lash. You will hear the
evidence of a woman who obstinately refused to let go of her baby. An SS
man approached her, smashed the child’s head on the ground, and handed the
woman the blood-soaked body with the words: “Now take your child.” There
were cases when babies were tom apart by the bare hands before the very
eyes of the mothers, who went out of their minds in horror.
In Majdanek there was only one place where the children were treated
kindly: At the entrance to the gas chambers each one was handed a sweet.
To all intents and purposes, the prisoners were at the mercy of all SS men
in the camp, who could kill or outrage them at will. Every Sunday a “run”
was held. All the prisoners were obliged to run and anyone who lost a
wooden shoe or stumbled was killed on the spot.
According to the estimate of the Polish Government committee, at least
200,000 Jews were destroyed at Majdenek.
THE TREBLINKA CAMP was set up in the Warsaw district in an isolated region
close to a small Polish village; it was in existence during 1942-1943.
Years after the Germans themselves had destroyed the camp in November 1943,
domestic items, clothing and suitcases were still left scattered about the
place. It was still possible to find in the area mounds of sand
intermingled with human ashes and bones.
Here camouflage devices were employed on the threshold of the camp. A sham
railway station was built with signboards indicating an imaginary
restaurant, transit points to other stations, a waiting room, signals and
the like. It was all so arranged that, from the outside, the illusion would
be preserved that Treblinka was just another normal camp. But it was
difficult to cling to this illusion for any length of time. Waiting at the
station stood SS men and Ukrainian police, who would lash out at the
arrivals with whips to get them to alight from the coaches. Dawdlers were
shot on the spot.
In the camp itself, a further attempt at camouflage was made. Sick people,
invalids, old folk and children would be transferred to a hut adorned with
the Red Cross and the sign “Lazarett” (Lazerette – hospital). Inside was a
-waiting room” furnished with upholstered couches, with an exit to another
place. Here a SS man stood, and as the person entered, would shoot him in
the back of the neck and throw
him into the pit. All these “arrangements” were made so that entering the
gas chambers could proceed without undue interruption and without any
interference from the “slower” victims. The bodies of those who had died en
route in the wagons or had been killed on arrival, were all thrown into the
At the station the new arrivals were ordered to hand over all the money and
valuables in their possession. The victims’ effects were sorted, repaired
and sent to Germany. We know of 203 waggon-loads of clothing alone which
were sent in this way.
Before the killing, the women’s hair would be clipped, and the remaining
belongings of the candidates for execution were pillaged. The hair was placed
in sacks and sent to Germany. The males were then ordered to undress and
chased into the gas chambers to the accompaniment of beatings and blows from
rifle butts. Thus they were herded inside naked, their hands above their
heads, so that more people could be squeezed into the chamber. The hatch was
then closed, the engine was switched on and the poison gas killed them. Here,
too, when the chamber doors were opened, the gold teeth were extracted once
the gas fumes had dispersed, and the bodies flung into pits. Later on,
installations were constructed to burn the bodies. There is one case of a man
who was thrown into the death pit while still alive. He succeeded in escaping,
but the farmers of whom he asked shelter handed him over to the camp command.
He was brutally attacked by an SS man, Kurt Franz, who finally killed him by
beating with a stick. This Franz had a big strong dog, who was trained at the
call “Jude,” to pounce on a prisoner and bite him.
There was a case of a transport of Jews from Grodno who resisted entering the
gas chambers. One of them even threw a grenade at the murderers’ Ukrainian
assistants. Immediately, deadly fire was opened and the Jews were chased,
fully clothed into the extermination chambers. It may be stated that at least
7,550 waggon-loads of Jews arrived at Treblinka, bringing to their deaths at
least 750,000 people. It was here that hundreds of thousands of Warsaw Jews
met their end, together with deportees from Radom, Czestochowa, Kielce and
Bialystok, Jews from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Belgium and Greece. Old
people from Theresienstadt were also sent to Treblinka for extermination.
Secret prepa ations r an uprising were made in Treblinka. The ringleader was a
physician, Dr. Chorazycki, on whom the Germans found a sum of money intended
for the mutineers. The doctor knew what to expect and immediately swallowed
poison. The murderers made strenuous efforts to revive him so that they might
torture him to death. Franz forced open his mouth with a knife, poured water
down his throat and began jumping on his stomach in his jackboots. But Dr.
Chorazycki was already dead, and the SS butchers had only his corpse on which
to pour out their venom.
Plans for the uprising nevertheless proceeded in secret. A number of prisoners
joined forces, succeeded somehow in stealing a small amount of arms, and on 2
August 1943, attacked the guards, who included SS men and Ukrainians.
In spite of deadly fire, a number of people succeeded in breaking through a
barbed wire fence and escaping. One of the mutineers was Rudolf Masaryk,
apparently a nephew of the famous Tomd Masaryk, who out of his love for his
Jewish wife, had followed her to the death camp. The mutineers set fire to a
number of the camp installations, and in their flight to the forests they
paused a moment to look back at the great slaughter-house going up in flames.
This incident marked the beginning of the dissolution of the camp, and in
November 1943, its operations ceased entirely. The Germans ploughed over the
area and settled Ukrainians on the site.
CHELMNO, in German Kulmhof, in the vicinity Lodz, was erected from the very
outset solely as an extermination camp. At this place, people were not
employed in any way or utilized for labour – they were slaughtered
immediately. The SS commander would tell the new arrivals that they were being
taken to work and that before their departure they would have to wash~ and
hand over their garments for disinfection. They would be escorted to a bui
ding in which they undressed. On themalls were prominently placed
signs reading: “To The Doctor,” “To The Wash Room.” The Jews would then be
ordered to go out naked, or with nothing but a shirt on their bodies and enter
grey vehicles marked “Sonderwagen,” each one of which held eighty to hundred
people. These, they were told, would take them to the “washplace.” When the
doors were closed, the engine was switched on and the victims killed by
exhaust fumes. Once the screams had died down the vehicle moved off to the
nearby forest where Jewish forced labourers, Waldkommando, would remove the
bodies. After the teeth had been extracted and the rings removed, they would
throw the bodies into prepaired pits. The Waldkommando worked with their legs
in chains. They were put to death from time to time, and new forced labourers
chosen from the transports.
The exterminations at Chelmno began at the end of 1941. Here too, within a few
months, furnaces were built to bum the bodies. The ashes were removed and
after the bones had been ground down, they were buried in pits or thrown into
In April 1943, the extermination camp ceased operating and the furnaces
were demolished. But in 1944 it became apparent that the work was not yet
completed; the camp was re-established and new furnaces installed. Once
again they operated in accordance with the well-worn procedure: death gas
and the burning of the bodies. A number of months later, the business of
slaughter was completed. The killers dismantled the camp, obliterated the
evidence of their murders and set about executing the forced labourers, now
called “Sonderkommando” who had been engaged in burning the bodies. A few
of them resisted and two succeeded in escaping two of the only four
survivors of this camp who were left alive to tell the world of its
According to a conservative estimate, some 340,000 Jews were exterminated
at Chelmno. These were mainly from the Lodz area, Posen and Warsaw, in
addition to Jews from Germany, Austria, France, Luxembourg and Holland who
had passed through the Lodz Ghetto.
Here, too, the effects and clothing were looted. On 9 January 1943, the
“German People’s Winter Aid Campaign” wrote to the German administration of
the Lodz Ghetto complaining that a part of the clothing sent from Chelmno
had not been adequately cleaned, and that the “Jewish Badge” had not been
removed from one of the coats. Since the garments were intended for German
settlers, so the communication stated, such neglect was not to be
tolerated, as it brought discredit to the “Winter Aid Campaign”: “das
Winterhiffiswerk damit in Miskredit komml.”
SOBIBOR was another extermination camp set up at the beginning of 1942 in the
Lublin district. Here, as elsewhere, Polish investigators after the liberation
uncovered mounds of ashes, bones and human fat. Here too, there were gas
chambers and installations for burning the bodies. You will hear evidence of
how the barbarians brutally treated their victims. People who begged for a
drink of water were taken to the public lavatories and smeared with faeces.
Here, too, you will hear of dogs set on people to tear them to pieces, of
punitive parades when the unfortunate victims were ordered to pass between
rows of whip-wielding SS men and Ukrainians.
Sobibor was a terminal for large transports and, according to the estimate of
the Polish authorities, at least a quarter of a million Jews were exterminated
The men and women were stripped naked and led in single file in long rows to
the gas chambers. As in other places, the old people and children were shot
separately, so as not to get in the way of those marching to the gas chambers.
Sobibor was the grave of Jews from Poland, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Austria
and France. Here, too, the familiar process of plundering the belongings,
extracting the teeth and clipping the hair was repeated.
Sobibor was also the scene of an uprising. In October 1943, a few hundred
prisoners escaped to the forests after a number of Jewish workers employed in
the camp mutinied, succeeded in getting hold of arms and killed some of the SS
men. Following the uprising, the camp was dismantled and the Germans planted a
wood over the graves oftheir victims.
The extermination camp BELZEC, on the road between Lublin and Lvov, was set
up in the winter of 1941. By the end of February 1942, the huts and
installations were ready for operation. The Jews transported to this camp
came from Lublin and district and from Eastern and Western Poland. It was
here that Galician Jewry was done to death, in addition to many Jews from
When the trains arrived at Beliec, as at other camps, many of the deportees
had died en route from thirst and exhaustion. Each transport comprised
10-60 railway carriages. I should like to quote a description of one such
transport from Lvov, consisting of 6,700 people. The SS men and the
Ukrainian assistants are already waiting at the station:
“The waggon doors open and the people, to the lashings of whips, are
ordered to get out. The instructions are relayed over loudspeakers;
everyone is ordered to hand over clothes and belongings, crutches and
spectacles as well … All valuables and money are handed over at the
window marked “Valuables.”…The women and girls then go up to a
barber who, with two cuts of the scissors, shears off their hair,
which is placed in potato sacks… After this the march begins. To the
right and left there are barbed wire fences, and at the rear scores of
Ukrainians with rifles … men, women, girls, children, babies,
one-legged people, all of them naked as the day they were bom, march
together. At the comer, before the entrance to the building, stands a
smiling SS man who declares in an ingratiating voice: ‘No harm will
befall you. All you have to do,’he says, ‘is to breathe in deeply.
This strengthens the lungs; inhaling is necessary as a means of
disinfection.’ He is asked what will happen to the women and replies
that the men will, of course, have to work at road and housing
constructions. The women, he says, will not have to work. They may, if
they want, help in the kitchen or do housework … For a number of men
there still flickers a lingering hope, sufficient to make them march
without resistance to the death charnbers. The majority know with
certainty what is to be their fate. The horrible smell that pervades
everywhere reveals the truth. Then they climb some small steps and
behold the reality. Silent mothers hold babies to their breasts,
naked; there are many children of all ages, naked. They hesitate, but
nevertheless proceed towards the death chambers, most of them without
a word, pushed by those behind, chased by the whips of the SS men. A
woman of about 40 curses the chief of the murderers, exclaiming that
the blood of her children will be on his head. Wirth, an SS officer,
himself strikes her in the face with five lashes of the whip and she
disappears into the gas chamber. Many pray … The SS men squeeze
people into the chambers. ‘Fill them up well,’ orders Wirth. The naked
people stand on each others’ toes. About seven to eight hundred people
in an area of some 2 5 square metres. The doors close. The remainder
of the transport stands waiting, naked … In the winter, too, they
stand waiting naked. The diesel engine is not functioning … 50
minutes pass by; 70 minutes. The people in the death chambers remain
standing. Their weeping is heard. Professor Dr. Pfannenstiel, SS
Sturmbannffihrer, lecturer on hygiene at Marburg University, remarks:
‘Like in a synagogue’…Only after two hours and forty minutes does
the diesel finally begin to work. 25 minutes pass by. Many have
already died as can be seen through the small window. Twenty-eight
minutes later a few are still alive. After 32 minutes all of them are
dead … Jewish workers open the doors on the other side … The dead,
having nowhere to fall, stand like pillars of basalt. Even in death,
families may be seen standing pressed together, clutching hands. It is
only with difficulty that the bodies are separated in order to clear
the place for the next load. The blue corpses, covered with sweat and
urine … babies and bodies of children, are thrown out. But there is
no time! Two dozen workers occupy themselves with the mouths of the
dead, opening them with iron pegs: ‘With gold to the left – without
gold to the right.’ Others search in the private parts of the bodies
for gold and diamonds … Wirth displays a full preserves tin and
exclaims, ‘Lift it up, and see how much gold there is’…”
This is how it was done in Bel2ec and in other places. At the entrance to
the gas chambers were inscribed the words: ‘Washing And Inhalation
In 1943 the Germans stopped operations at Bel2ec and here again they began
to cover the tracks of their crime. The bodies were first exhumed and burnt
on bonfires. The Jewish survivors of the workers’ teams employed in
covering the tracks were sent to Sobibor for extermination. The SS staff
was sent to Yugoslavia to fight the partisans. At Beliec, the Nazi Moloch
consumed more than 600,000 Jewish victims.
And now to the largest and most terrible of the extermination camps –
AUSCHWITZ, the death factory for millions which will always be remembered
in the annals of humanity as the symbol of horror and infamy.
Auschwitz, in Polish Owiccim, is a small townlet to the west of Cracow. It is
a small place, impoverished by nature, an area of swamps and sand dunes, mist
and dampness, fever and putrid water. It was here that this camp was
established, with the sure knowledge that it was to be a slaughter house. The
SS guards were told that they must not even rinse their mouths with unboiled
water. This enormous concentration camp contained 39 branches, including
auxiliary camps, (Nebenlager), exterior camps (Aussenlager), work camps
(Arbeitslager) and branch camps (Zweiglager). At the end of 1941, Auschwitz
had a capacity of 18,000 persons; in 1943, there was room for 30,000.
According to the confession of the first commander of the camp, Rudolf Hoess,
about two and a half million people were exterminated and a further half
million died of disease, hunger and torture. Not only Jews were brought here.
There were many others whom the evil regime had resolved to afflict with
forced labour and put to death. There were, for example, some thousands of
Soviet prisoners of war, gypsies or opponents of the regime from other
countries, amounting in all to some tens of thousands. But the Jews were
brought here in their millions.
The camp and its branch, Birkenau, were surrounded by a high-tension
electrified fence, four metres high. Anyone who touched it died. All along the
fence were watchtowers containing SS men armed with machine guns. At night
searchlights illuminated the camp interior.
The transports were of various kinds. Sometimes the Jews were taken directly
to the giant extermination chambers. At other times, they were screened: those
capable of work were placed in the slave camp and the others sent to their
deaths. The workers were employed in the I.G. Farben factory, or manufactured
hand-grenade parts in the Krupp armament works, known here as “Union.” They
worked in other enterprises as well, in mines, in the fields and in the
forests. From those firms in which the workers were consigned for labour, the
camp command used to receive six marks a day, the prisoners’ maintenance
amounting to 30 pfennig. Before death, profit was made out of the sweat of
Jewish toil. But labour promised life; so people tried to appear healthy, to
stand upright, to swell out a lean breast, to raise their heads, to act as if
there was nothing wrong with them. Otherwise, Doctor Mengele would point his
finger to the left during the selection parade. To the left meant death. The
fate of five hundred people was decided in these screenings, in about a
quarter of an hour. Anyone classified as incapable of work was removed to a
special place in expectation of death. If this was late in coming for a day or
two, the guards did not trouble to feed the unfortunate victims.
In the registration cards of the Jewish prisoners which have been discovered,
it was recorded who sent them to Auschwitz: Section IVB4 of the RSHA. And we
shall yet hear evidence that with respect to the Jews in this camp Eichmann
had complete control. The gas was delivered by a number of German firms. A few
accounts have survived and we shall present them to the Court. In appearance
such an account looks like a normal bill of merchandise. Place of delivery:
Auschwitz. Goods: 13 boxes of Zyklon B, containing 195 kilograms of cyanide
gas. Cost: 975 marks. Six kilograms of this material were sufficient to
exterminate 1,500 people. Every bill of this kind meant, therefore, a means of
killing 42,500 persons.
Eichmann was in Auschwitz and saw what was being done there. He directed
the operations and gave instructions which transports were to be sent to
immediate extermination and which were to be kept for extermination later
on; this was generally after the victims had written “soothing” postcards
to Theresienstadt and other places. He also dealt with the tremendous
pillage which continued right up to the gates of this hell. The plunder
attained fantastic proportions. The looted diamonds were sold in
Switzerland and, in Eichmann’s words, influenced the whole of the Swiss
market for precious stones. According to one witness, the looted valuables
alone were valued at a milliard marks. The giant warehouses containing the
effects of those sentenced to death, were given the name “Canada,” perhaps
a corruption of the words “keiner da” (no one here). Hundreds were employed
in them. We shall submit to you a report on the delivery of these effects
to Germany. During 47 days between 1December 1944 and 1January 1945, 99,922
sets of children’s clothing, 192,652 sets of women’s clothing and 22,269
sets of men’s clothing were dispatched. After Auschwitz fell to the Red
Army, there were still hundreds of thousands of sets of clothing, tens of
thousands of pairs of shoes, enormous piles of shaving brushes, artificial
limbs and spectacles.
The killings in Auschwitz were carried out by every method: shooting,
hanging and beating, but mainly in the massive gas chambers. Here, once
again, we are confronted with the sign-boards: ” Wasch-und
Desinfektionsraum” (Washing and Disinfection Room). The “shower” was a flow
of poison gas which the SS introduced with their own hands. The death
factory operated unceasingly. The extermination of 2,000 people lasted
twenty-ive minutes, after which the bodies were taken to one of the five
giant furnaces. When there was no room in the furnaces the bodies were
burned in the open.
Here, too, hair was shorn, teeth extracted and rings removed. About forty
people were employed to handle the teeth alone, and day by day kilograms of
gold were melted down, at times as much as 12 kilograms a day. At first the
victims’ashes were buried in pits, but later they were thrown into the
At Auschwitz, medical experiments were made on human beings as if they were
guinea pigs. Parts of female sex organs were cut out, or limbs were
subjected to X-rays until the unfortunate creatures writhed in pain prior
to their death. Men were castrated; experiments were made on the influence
of paraffin and petrol injections on human skin, and the effects of
chemical substances on mental resistance. Associated with Auschwitz is a
collection of skeletons found in Strasbourg by soldiers of the Allied
Forces when they entered the city in 1944. We shall prove that in response
to Eichmann’s order 150 Auschwitz prisoners were “supplied” for death in
the Natzweiler Camp in Germany, so that their skeletons might be sent for
anthropological research at the SS Institute of Race Research (Ahnenerbe),
which had requested skulls of “Jewish Communist Commissars.” The letters
have been preserved and we shall submit them to the Court.
The prisoners who were brought to the camp and who were not destined for
immediate extermination would go through a quarantine process. Here the
first selection of the prisoners was made – by starvation and torture.
Sometimes they were held in quarantine for days and weeks. Thousands of
people were held in horse stables; frequently there was not sufficient room
in these stables and people were left in the open. When winter came, they
were left in snow and mud. At parades the prisoners were commanded to stand
from evening until noon the following day without moving. They had to sing
at the command of the “Kapos” and to carry out frightful “physical
exercises,” crawling, standing and rolling.
In the work camp the day would begin at 4.30 a.m. To the sound of the camp
band the slaves would go out to work and return in the evening, exhausted,
wounded and carrying their comrades who had been killed by the guards.
The methods of punishment at Auschwitz would not have shamed the most cruel
barbarians in history. Beating on the naked body was a comparatively light
punishment. Water was poured into people’s ears, fingernails extracted and
prisoners starved until they went out of their minds. In the bunker of
those sentenced for punishment by starvation a dead prisoner was found,
bent over whom was a second prisoner, also dead, grasping the liver from
the corpse of the first. He had died while tearing at the liver of a fellow
human being. The Nazi contribution to European culture was the
reintroduction of cannibalism.
Hunger reigned supreme in Auschwitz. The prisoners received only a third of
their minimum food requirements; even after the War hundreds of survivors
died from exhaustion and undernourishment.
The Germans tried to cover up their tracks, to wipe out the memory of the
hell they had created. The burning of the bodies in crematoria began in
1942 under an order transmitted by Eichmann to the Auschwitz commander
through Standartenfdhrer Blobel. Afterwards, as a prelude to the
dismantling of the camp, they changed the names of the places, turned
crematoria into air raid shelters, demolished furnaces, transformed
execution sheds into sham clinics, burned documents and books. In the
confusion of the demolition, in early 1945, a hut was burned down, together
with all the sick prisoners in it. Some of the insta1lations were blown up.
Other prisoners were evacuated in a dreadful route march to the West.
The Nazis believed that their crimes would not be revealed, that their
secret would remain intact. But the secret of these atrocities has been
laid bare, and we must fulfil the dying injunction of an anonymous poetess
who wrote, before being put to death in Auschwitz:
“There is no more hope in the white skull Among the barbed wire, under the
ruins, And our dust is scattered in the dust Out of the broken jars. Our
army will go forth, skullbones and jawbones, And bone to bone, a merciless
line, We, the hunted, the hunters, will cry out to you: The murdered demand
justice at your hands!”