The Leuchter FAQ: The high water table made it impossible to burn bodies in ditches

  • Much of the area of Auschwitz has a high water table, therefore corpses could not be burned in ditches.

There are pictures of these ditches with corpses burning in them (See for available photographs) . During the period in which Auschwitz was active, the SS had the area drained; as can be seen today, the drainage, which has not been maintained since 1945, has deteriorated and the water level had risen. Furthermore, the ditches were not used all the time, but only when there were not enough furnaces to cremate the victims or during the extermination of the Hungarian Jews, when so many people were murdered daily that the furnaces could not handle the amount of corpses. The “incineration ditches” are known to have been active in October-November 1942 and the summer of 1944, which do not coincide with the period the snow melts and the water level rises.