[The Van Pelt Report]: Electronic Edition, by Robert Jan van Pelt

Table of Contents

VI Blueprints of Genocide

Things of several kinds may admit and require several sorts of proofs, all which may be good in their kind. The Philosopher has long ago told us [Aristotle, Eth. Lib. 1, cap. 3; Metaph. lib.1, cap ult.], that according to the divers nature of things, so must the Evidences for them be; and that 'tis an argument of an undisciplined wit not to acknowledg this. He that is rational and judicious will expect no other kind of Arguments in any case than the subject-matter will bear....All things are not capable of the same kind of Evidence....And as for matters of fact, concerning Times, Places, Persons, Actions, which depend upon story and the relation of others, these things are not capable of being proved by such scientifical Principles as the others are....From whence I infer this, That it is not, ought not to be, any prejudice to the Truth or Certainty of any thing, that its is not to be made out of such kind of proof, of which the nature of that thing is not capable, provided it be capable of satisfactory proofs of another kind. John Wilkins, Of the Principles and Duties of Natural Religion 494
When in late 1944 the Germans closed and dismantled the Auschwitz gas chambers and, shortly thereafter, dynamited the crematoria and burned the camp archives, they did so in order to destroy all immediate material evidence of what the camp had been between 1942 and 1944. And at the same time allied bombers completed the destruction of primary evidence in successfully bombing SS offices in Berlin. As a result, any historian who seeks to reconstruct the development and operation of Auschwitz as an extermination camp had to rely in perhaps a greater measure than he or she would feel comfortable with on what Marc Bloch identified as "intentional evidence"--narrative sources such as testimonies, confessions, memoirs and so on. Following Bloch's definition, all these   accounts are "consciously intended to inform their readers."495 While very important as a historical source, the problem with intentional evidence is that the historian always should assume the possibility that it might have been created to mislead us. As we have seen in Part Two, there is sufficient corroboration between the testimonies of survivors taken during and immediately after the war, the confessions of SS men in 1945-46, and Höss's memoirs of 1946-47 to get a rather good idea of what happened in Auschwitz when. But the general absence of "non-intentional evidence," the "evidence of witnesses despite themselves,"496 is troubling. One would like to have possession of the documents produced by the Kommandantur or the Reich Security Main Office in Berlin that are contemporary to the use of Auschwitz as a killing center and that were produced as part of that operation.497 Of course, it was a limited problem, because trained historians generally do not fall in the fallacy of negative proof, in which they sustain a factual proposition (for example "Auschwitz was not purposefully operated as an extermination camp ...") merely by negative evidence ("... because there are no official German wartime documents that prove that Auschwitz was purposefully conceived and operated as an   extermination camp."). But still, even if every historian knows that most evidence does not survive, and that any reconstruction of any historical event is based on accidentally preserved relics, it would have helped if the archive of the Auschwitz Political Department, which coordinated the arrival of the deportation trains with the Kommandantur, had survived. "It would have helped," but it is not crucial. As Bloch observed, "the variety of historical evidence is infinite." Not only testimony, but everything that people produce can be used as evidence, if it can be made to correspond to allied evidences. Therefore Bloch rightly observed that one should not expect that a particular historical question--for example if Hitler ordered the Holocaust or that there were homicidal gas chambers in Auschwitz--can only be proved by turning up an actual Führer Decree to that effect signed by Hitler or a blueprint showing a building or room designated as "gas chamber."
It would be sheer fantasy to imagine that for each historical problem there is a unique type of document with a specific sort of use. On the contrary, the deeper the research, the more the light of the evidence must converge from sources of many different kinds.498
Indeed: the single-most important Auschwitz archive that did survive the war--that of the Central Construction Office--offers important if not always straightforward evidence that has at least the virtue of freeing us from a complete reliance on the words of witnesses, evidence that can be forced to speak.
The survival of a significant part of the documents the Auschwitz Central Construction Office produced during the war is accidental. When the Germans burned the archives of the camp Kommandantur prior to their evacuation from Auschwitz in January 1945, the archive of the construction office, some three hundred yards away from the Kommandantur, was overlooked and remained intact. The reason that the SS forgot it was simple: the construction office had been closed for some time, and no-one was left in the building, and so no-one warned the men charged with the destruction of the evidence that there was a lot of architectural material that could be incriminating. And so the building archive survived. There is no similarly complete archive from any other   concentration camp, and none of the administratively less complex Operation Reinhard death camps under the control of Odilo Globocnik (Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka) generated such documents.
Building at Auschwitz both in the concentration camp and in the town was subject to normal civilian procedures as well as to the wartime superstructure of special permissions. Multiple copies of many documents survive with the comments and signatures of the individual bureaucrats or businessmen to whom they were sent. The Building Office generated a wide paper trail: plans, budgets, letters, telegrams, contractors' bids, financial negotiations, work site labour reports, requests for material allocations, and the minutes of meetings held in the Building Office among the architects themselves, with camp officials, and with high-ranking dignitaries from Berlin. These papers tell us a great deal. They elucidate the thinking in the Auschwitz Kommandantur and, to some extent, at SS headquarters. Every decision Himmler took with regard to Auschwitz, or Kommandant Höss took about the camp over which he reigned, had implications for the physical site. If prisoners were to be shipped in, barracks were needed; if the deportees' goods were to be claimed for the Reich, storehouses were required. If masses of people were expected to die, incinerators to burn their bodies were essential.
As a source of historical material, the archives of the Central Construction Office are very important. But it is also important to remember that during the war the architects who produced the documents that are part of that of that archive were told to apply self-censorship when writing things down that related to the genocide in the camp. On January 21, 1972, the architect Fritz Ertl, who had been employed at the Auschwitz Construction Office until early 1943, testified in court in Vienna about the genocidal use of the crematoria. The first time that he was informed about the use of Auschwitz in the Final Solution was in the summer of 1942.
Then I talked with an employee of the Political Department who was in private life a judge. He then told me something. Normally one would not have dared to talk while on duty, because one had to fear to be punished for that. I remember that Mrs. Bischoff complained about an officer who had jokingly called Goebbels as "Jupp." This judge has enlightened me. That must have been in the summer of 1942. He came from Hamburg and later fell on the front. Auschwitz, so he told   me, is an extermination camp. Many people were to be executed, that means condemned by court martials. Then he indicated through reference to the Jewish Problem that larger exterminations were to come. He counselled me to find ways to quickly get out. He himself left somewhat later, and fell in Russia. This statement was for me a warning, I was shocked and enraged. This conversation took place at the time that construction began of the crematoria. This I used as an occasion to ask for a transfer. Bischoff yelled at me and told me that he was not prepared to consider this.499
A little later Ertl commented that the new crematoria were necessary "because of the special actions."500 When asked if he knew what the word "special measures" meant, Ertl told the court that he knew the significance.501 Then Ertl commented on the notorious letter that contained the word "Vergasungskeller."  
At this time I was not anymore in Auschwitz. In my personnel dossier it is recorded that I left Auschwitz on January 25, 1943. I did not get a copy of this letter.
The only names it is copied to are "Janisch" and "Kirschneck."
In this letter one talked quite openly, which is clear from the use "gassing basement."
The reference sign is "Bischoff." I can imagine that he has written this himself. I had received the order of Bischoff that I could never write the word "gassing." I always had to circumscribe it.
Concerning the question of the chairman of the court if Bischoff had directly told Ertl that he could not write that, or if this order had come from higher up, the accused Ertl gave the following statement:
I believe that Bischoff pointed out to me, that the word "gassing" should not appear. It is also possible that once such an order has come from higher up. I can't remember that now. However, because this word "gassing" was always circumscribed, with "special action" or "special measure," I am convinced that this was ordered. I am surprised that Bischoff used this word "gassing basement" himself. Because higher up always used the word "special action," I also used it so. I adopted that term.502
  An important document in the archive confirms Ertl's statement. On August 19, 1942 Ertl chaired a meeting in which members of the Central Construction Office discussed with Engineer Kurt Prüfer of Topf and Sons the creation of four crematoria in Birkenau. Item 2 mentioned the construction of two triple-oven incinerators near the "Bathhouses for Special Actions"--"Badeanstalten für Sonderaktionen."503 These were the gas chambers also known as bunkers 1 and 2. On January 21, 1972 Ertl testified in court that, when he wrote down the words "bathhouses for special actions"--"Badeanstalten für Sonderaktionen," he knew exactly what this euphemism meant. "I knew at the time, that this concerned gassing spaces."504
So what can we learn from the archive. First of all, the archive contains some copies of paper-work that was in general circulation among the various departments in the camp, and which more than hint at the possibility that Auschwitz was not a normal concentration camp. One such document is a copy of a pep-talk given by Oswald Pohl, the business administrator of the SS, to senior SS personnel during his visit to Auschwitz on September 23, 1942.
During today's observations I have silently noticed that you have an ideal inner relation to the issue at stake and an ideal attitude towards the tasks at hand. This conclusion is especially necessary in relation with the issues and the special tasks, about which we do not have to speak words--issues that belong however to your responsibilities. I observe that you do your duty from an inner obligation and this is the precondition for results.
There remains a very large field of action ahead, on which we may create furthermore great values. In this respect you have ahead of you a wide and vast terrain.
In the last months I have made many of these inspections, and I am pleased to state here that Auschwitz significantly transcends everything else. I have noted a very good relationship between men, NCO's and officers, and I call upon you to remain conscious of your responsibility in this matter.
I would like to remind you about the importance about the tasks set by the Reichsführer-SS, tasks that will be very important for the time when we will have achieved the final victory. Even when you are not with the fighting troops, your tasks do not demand less from you, tasks the importance of which will only be recognized in the time after the victory. It are those tasks that on the other hand put great pressure on each individual, pressures that are equal to those faced by the fighting troops on the front.505
In what way was Auschwitz vastly different from other concentration camps? In what way could the job of a concentration guard be compared to that of a soldier in the field? It is obvious that Pohl referred to the so-called "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" that, shortly before, had become an official part of the operation of Auschwitz.
The archive contains very few documents like the report of Pohl's speech. Most of the documents concern construction. One approach to them would be to look for what one could call "linguistic slips" like Bischoff's use of the noun "Vergasungskeller" in the letter of January 29, 1943. The basic assumption that guides such an investigation is that the men of the Central Construction Office had been instructed, as Ertl declared in court, not to make any specific references to gas chambers as gas chambers, and so on. One researcher, Jean-Claude Pressac, spent considerable effort in the 1980s trying to find such "slips" or "criminal traces," and he came up with 39 of them --one of each step.506 For a full discussion of these "slips" I refer to Pressac's work. Here I will review only those few of which I have good illustrative material.
Before I present some of these "slips," it is good to note that the documents in which they occur are bound together and numbered consecutively in the original German files. It is obvious from the condition of these files that the archive was not tampered with.
The first "slip" is the occurrence of the word "Vergasungskeller" in Bischoff's letter of January 29, 1943.
The planks from the concrete ceiling of the cellar used as a mortuary could not yet be removed on account of the frost. This is, however, not very important, as the gassing cellar [Vergasungskeller] can be used for that purpose.507
From the context it is clear that the word "Vergasungskeller" refers to a space that is indicated in the blueprints as morgue 1--Leichenkeller 1. It is important to note that in the copy of the letter preserved in the Auschwitz archive the word "Vergasungskeller" is heavily underlined with red pencil. That same pencil was used to write, in the upper margin of the letter, the following: "SS-Ustuf (F) Kirschneck!" It is clear from the shape of       the handwriting and from the very precise designation "SS-Ustuf (F)"508 that this note was written by a member of the Central Building Office, and from this we may conclude that same person underlined the word "Vergasungskeller," marking it for special attention. Obviously, there is an issue that concerns Kirschneck, as behind his name appears an exclamation mark. The issue at stake is, of course, the appearance of the "slip." Kirschneck was what we call today the project architect of the crematoria, and hence he was responsible for all documentation. The mistake had been noticed, and marked to be brought to his attention.
The "slip" in Bischoff's letter is the only one that was picked up at the time, and one can guess why: first of all, as Ertl observed in 1972, it was created by an important man (the chief of the Central Construction Office), writing to an even more important man (the chief of all SS building operations), and was very blunt in mentioning the forbidden reference to gassing. Most other slips were less obvious. They occurred in notes made by civilian builders in timesheets. For example, in the daily timesheets kept by the contractor Riedel and Son from Bielitz (Bielsko-Biala), we find a few slips. On 28 February the foreman fitted gastight windows--"gasdichter Fenster"--in an unspecified space of crematorium 4.509 Two days later he noted that he had "covered the ground with hard fill, tamped [it] down, and concreted the floor in the gas chamber"--"Fußboden Aufschüttungauffühlen, stampfen und Fußboden betonieren im Gaskammer."510 Then, at various occasions, the fitter Messing of the crematoria-oven manufacturer Topf and Sons       mentioned in the timesheets for his work on crematoria 2 and 3 that he had been working in the ventilation system of the "undressing basement"--"Auskleidekeller"--,511 a space obviously located next to the basement used according to Bischoff's letter of January 29, 1943 as a gassing basement--"Vergasungskeller."
All of these "slips" were errors. Certain "slips" could, however, not be avoided. Sometimes the Central Construction Office had to be specific in order to get exactly what they wanted. For example, on February 26, 1943, at 6.20 pm, SS-Untersturmführer Pollok sent a cable, cosigned by SS-Untersturmführer Kirschneck and Jährling, to Topf with the following message: "Send immediately 10 gas detectors as discussed. Send your invoice later"--"Absendet sofort 10 Gasprüfer wie besprochen. Kostenangebot später nachreichen."512 And then there is a letter sent by Bischoff on March 31, 1943 to the German Armament Works.
In the letter mentioned above informs you that you must make three gas-tight doors 513 according to the order of January 1, 1943 for BW 30b and 30c,514 following exactly the size and construction of those already delivered.
At this occasion we remind you of another order of March 6, 1943 for the delivery of a gasdoor 100/192 for morgue 1 of crematorium 3, Bw 30a, which must be equipped exactly in the form and size of the basement door of         crematorium 2, located opposite, to be made with a spy-hole of double 8 mm glass with a rubber seal and metal fitting. This order must be considered as very urgent.515
It is obvious that the contents of this letter square with those of Bischoff's letter of January 29, 1943. Morgue 1 of both crematorium 2 and 3 are both equipped with a gasdoor with spyhole. This morgue is labelled "gassing basement" in the letter from January 29.
Most of these "slips" were already picked up by Dawidowski in 1946, and were referred to in the 1972 Dejaco/Ertl trial in Vienna.516 Pressac brought them all together. When I began work on the history of Auschwitz, using among other sources the archive of the Central Construction Office, I did not set out to discover more "slips." As far as I was concerned, the point had been made. Yet working my way through the material, I did encounter one that had not been noticed before. Before presenting this "slip," it is perhaps useful to present the reaction it generated in negationist circles. In 199 7 the negationist Journal of Historical Review published an article entitled "How a Major Holocaust Historian Manipulates Facts: Gerald Fleming's Distortions." It described the British historian Gerald Fleming as an "internationally prominent Holocaust historian" who, in his Hitler and the Final Solution (1984) "attempted to refute British historian David Irving's provocative contention that no documentary evidence exists to show that Hitler ordered the extermination of Europe's Jews, or even that he knew about any such policy or program." After having observed that "the German-born English-Jewish historian failed     conclusively to refute Irving's thesis," the article went on to describe Fleming's involvement with a 1994 BBC movie.
In 1994 Fleming collaborated with architect Robert Jan van Pelt on a documentary film, "Blueprints of Genocide," which was broadcast in Britain on the BBC "Horizon" program, May 9, 1994, and in the United States on the NPR "Nova" program, February 7, 1995. During a dramatic high point of the broadcast, van Pelt is shown holding a document while stating: "It says very clearly, 'You will be able to kill and you will be able to burn simultaneously in this building [Crematory 2]'." This document, which is not shown to viewers, is actually a simple memorandum of January 29, 1943, not even marked "Secret," about ... electricity supply. It mentions "burning [cremation] with simultaneous special treatment" ("Verbrennung mit gleichzeitiger Sonderbehandlung"). Fleming deceitfully reversed the word order, and rendered "Sonderbehandlung" as "kill."517
Commenting on this misrepresentation, Robert Faurisson has written that "the word 'Sonderbehandlung' could mean, by its place in the phrase, anything except to kill because this 'special treatment' was simultaneous with burning." Moreover, as Faurisson further noted, it is obvious that if Fleming, or anyone, had actually discovered a wartime German document that clearly says what Holocaust historians have been seeking for decades, it would be publicized everywhere as a discovery of the greatest historical importance.(See: R. Faurisson, "A KGB Novelist: Gerald Fleming," Adelaide Institute on-line newsletter [Australia], Dec. 1996, pp.23-25.)518
As the article mentioned, I indeed discussed a letter which I had found after working through many reels of microfilmed documents from the Moscow archives. To   understand the historical context of the letter, I will quote here the way Debrah Dwork and I used it in Chapter Ten of our book Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present. The extract covers the months January to April 1943, a time that the Germans did everything in their power to complete the crematoria. The section referring to the document will be printed in italics.
As construction in the Reich came to a halt, Kammler, Bischoff, Dejaco, and Prüfer did everything in their power to complete the crematoria. Throughout the month of January regular transports arrived from the Bialystock District, the Netherlands, Berlin, and Theresienstadt; the bunkers were hardly able to keep up, and in February Eichmann was forced to divert trains destined for Auschwitz to Sobibor and Treblinka.
Eichmann then designated the proud, 2,000-year-old Sephardic community of 55,000 Jews in Salonika for immediate liquidation. Salonika and the rest of northern Greece was occupied by German forces, but southern Greece was in Italian hands, and by the end of 1942 the Saloniki Jews had discovered that the Italians were not interested in applying the anti-Semitic policies of their Nordic allies. Increasingly large numbers of Saloniki Jews sought refuge in the south, and the Italians refused to extradite them to the Germans. Eichmann realized he had to act quickly. He knew that the killing station in Auschwitz was working at top capacity, but he also saw that the Operation Reinhard camps, which were neither equipped with crematoria nor with a holding pen for those deportees who could not be killed immediately upon arrival, could not handle the long-distance 3,000-person transports he envisioned.
Eichmann telephoned Kammler to ask him when the crematoria would be ready. Informed only by Bischoff, who was loathe to admit that construction had fallen two months behind schedule, Kammler reported the current official prognosis: crematorium 2 would be operational on 31 January, crematorium 4 on 28 February, and crematorium 3 on 31 March.
Unexpected problems in the electricity supply to the buildings caused additional delays. When Bischoff and Dejaco had modified the basement plan of crematoria 2 and 3 to include a gas chamber, they had increased the anticipated electricity consumption of the building. The ventilation system was now   simultaneously to extract the Zyklon-B from the gas chamber and fan the flames of the incinerators. They had contacted AEG, the contractor for the electrical systems, but due to rationing AEG had been unable to get the heavy-duty wiring and circuit brakers the system required. As a result, crematorium II was to be supplied with a temporary electrical system; nothing at all was available for use in crematorium 3. Furthermore, the AEG representative in Kattowitz, Engineer Tomitschek, warned the Auschwitz Building Office, the capacity of the temporary system would not allow for simultaneous 'special treatment' and incineration.
The five triple-muffle furnaces in crematorium 2 were test-run on 4 March with the incineration of fifty corpses of men killed in bunker II. At 45 minutes, the incineration took longer than planned: Prüfer thought the furnaces were not dry enough. They were to be heated for a week without being used. In the meantime, his colleagues completed the gas chamber ventilation system. On Saturday 13 March the machinery was ready for a trial run, and 1,492 women, children, and old people, selected from a transport of 2,000 Jews from the Cracow ghetto, were killed in the new gas chamber and burned in the new incinerators. The murder itself took five minutes, but burning the bodies took two days--the managers operated the incinerators at 50 percent capacity to forestall technical failures.
Erroneously believing all the crematoria to be fully operational, Eichmann dispatched the first transport of 3,000 Saloniki Jews in mid-March. Traversing southeastern Europe via Skopje, Belgrade, Zagreb, Graz, Vienna, and Teschen, the train arrived in Auschwitz on the 20th of that month. Crematoria 3, 4, and 5 were still being built, and crematorium 2 was in the trial stage; it had not yet been handed over by the architects and engineers to the camp authorities. The physicians who conducted the selection that day admitted 417 men and 192 women to the camp, the other 2,191 deportees were designated for immediate liquidation. They would 'pass through' crematorium 2, the camp officials decided. It quickly became clear that the building could not handle such numbers at once. Killing was easy, but as the Germans began to work the ovens at full capacity (officially 1,440 bodies per day, that is 96 per muffle or an average of 4 bodies per muffle per hour), they ignored the advice of the AEG Engineer, Tomitschek, and the electrical system caught fire. Both the forced draft system that fanned the incinerator flames and the ventilation system to extract the Zyklon-B from the   gas chamber were damaged. The Germans carried on. They would not close down the installation for repair. Trains with 2,000 to 3,000 deportees were leaving Salonika according to schedule, and could not be stopped. In anticipation of these transports, the architects signed off on crematorium 4 on 22 March, without having tested the incinerators. They also tried to repair crematorium 2 and, partly successful, they transferred the crippled system to the camp on 31 March.
After two weeks of intensive use in the Salonika Action the double four-muffle furnace of crematorium 4 cracked and, after various attempts at repair, the incinerator was de-commissioned in May. Prüfer realized that the overly-centralized structure of the furnace was to blame for the breakdown, and he modified the incinerator of crematorium 5, which was still under construction. It was officially completed on 4 April. Crematorium 2 initially functioned reasonably well, but after a month the internal lining of the smokestack and the connecting flues to the incinerator began to collapse. It was taken out of commission on 22 May for a month of repair work. One would have hoped that, with all these technical failures, the system would have proved less fatal, but such was not the case. Despite the breakdowns, in just two months the camp personnel liquidated over 30,000 members of the Salonika community, and some 7,000 Yugoslavian, German, and Polish Jews.519
I quoted the context of the AEG document at some length because the document has a specific historical context. When I found the document, I realized as all historians do that as a piece of evidence it is, taken by itself without any context, mute. I had to make it "speak," determine what it could mean because only then could it be considered to be evidence for something. Like any other piece of evidence it had to be placed where it belongs, and this required knowledge of what was going on at the time, at the building site in Birkenau, in the architect's office and, in this case, in Greece. Considering the context, it was obvious that the AEG document came into existence when it became clear there would be a delay in the completion of the crematoria, partly caused by the slow arrival of rationed electrical equipment, and when it also became clear that this delay would be in conflict with Eichmann's schedule of deportations. Our understanding of this   context is based on other evidence--in the case of the problems the Germans had in completing the crematoria this evidence consists of the correspondence between the Auschwitz Central Construction Office and Berlin--an exchange of letters that generated among other things the notorious letter dated January 29, 1943 in which Bischoff reported to the Chief Amtsgruppe C, SS-Brigadeführer and General-Major of the Waffen-SS, Dr. Ing. Kammler, on the progress of construction of crematorium 2. In an earlier letter, Bischoff had promised that the crematorium would be completed on January 31. Now he had to break the news gently to his boss that he had not been able to do so.
The crematorium has been completed--save for minor constructional work --by the use of all the forces available, in spite of unspeakable difficulties, the severe cold, and in 24 hour shifts. The fires were started in the ovens in the presence of Senior Engineer Prüfer, representative of the contractors of the firm of Topf and Sons, Erfurt, and they are working most satisfactorily. The planks from the concrete ceiling of the cellar used as a mortuary could not yet be removed on account of the frost. This is, however, not very important, as the gassing cellar (Vergasungskeller) can be used for that purpose.
The firm of Topf and Sons was not able to start deliveries of the installation in time for aeration and ventilation as had been requested by the Central Building Management because of restrictions in the use of railroad cars. As soon as the installation for aeration and ventilation arrive, the installing will start so that the complete installation may be expected to be ready for use 20 February 1943.520
As Bischoff bought himself three more weeks, his aides desperately tried to resolve all the outstanding difficulties. The same day that Bischoff wrote his letter, SS-Unterscharführer Swoboda met with Engineer Tomitschek, and both drafted and signed the following minute of their meeting, which was countersigned by Bischoff.
re: Electricity Supply and Installation of the KL [Konzentrationslager, or Auschwitz] and KGL [Kriegsgefangenenlager, or Birkenau]
Conference held on 29.1.43 between the Central Construction Office Auschwitz and AEG-Kattowitz, present:
  • Engineer Tomitschek--AEG and
  • SS-Unterscharführer Swoboda--Central Construction Office
AEG informs that it has not yet received valid iron and metal certificates in response to its iron and metal request, which were partly already filed in November 1942. Therefore it was not possible for this firm to begin construction on the ordered parts of the installation. There is a great likelihood that, due to the continued delay in the allotment of these requests, delivery will take much longer.
As a result of this , it is not possible to complete the installation and electricity supply of crematorium 2 in the Prisoner of War Camp [Birkenau] by January 31, 1943. It is only possible to complete the crematorium for operation earliest by February 15, 1943 using materials that are in stock for other building projects. This operation can only involve a limited use of the available machines (whereby is made possible burning with simultaneous Special Treatment), because the main electricity supply to the crematorium is not capable to carry its power consumption. Yet similarly the iron and metal certificates for the overhead line necessary for this have not been issued yet.
Because of this, it is absolutely impossible to supply crematorium 3 with electricity.
Tomitschek. Swoboda
Representative of AEG SS-Unterscharführer Taken note of     Bischoff. 521
Considered within the historical context in which it was created, the meaning of the memorandum is unequivocal. Let us now consider the negationist attempt to destroy its evidential value. First of all, I am accused of "deceitfully" reversing the word order of the document when, during the filming of the BBC documentary, I stated that "it says very clearly, 'You will be able to kill and you will be able to burn simultaneously in this building [Crematory 2]'." I do admit that in paraphrasing the text in front of the camera, I did reverse the word order, yet reject the allegation that I did so "deceitfully" as the change in word order does not make any difference in the interpretation. The adjective "simultaneous" makes clear that the "burning" takes place at the same time as the "Special Treatment,' and that the "Special Treatment" takes place at the same time as the "burning."
More important, however, is the observation that the document is "not even marked 'Secret,'" a common negationist argument to attack the validity of most pieces of   evidence. Their argument is that because the so-called Final Solution of the Jewish Problem occurred "in secret," all documents that relate to it should be marked as "Secret." It suffers from the fallacy of division, which arises when one argues from the properties of a whole (the general secrecy of the "Final Solution") to the properties of the constituent parts of that whole (a discussion about the electricity supply to a crematorium equipped with gas chambers). There is of course no reason to assume that what is true of the whole is true of all the parts, and that evidence for the existence of a largely secret operation may not be derived from parts of that operation that were not secret. In fact, experience shows that the best ways not to attract attention to a secret operation is to not to attract attention to the secrecy, and consequently assign the qualification of "secret' to as few documents as possible--also in the bureaucracy one hides best in a crowd.
The negationist attack on the document continued with the observation that Robert Faurisson has written that "the word 'Sonderbehandlung' could mean, by its place in the phrase, anything except to kill because this 'special treatment' was simultaneous with burning." In other words, Faurisson argues with his usual literal-mindedness that because the adjective "simultaneous" means "at the same time," it is impossible that the noun "Sonderbehandlung" refers to killing as one first kills and then burns the body. The problem with Faurisson's observation is that it ignores the context of the clause "whereby is made possible burning with simultaneous Special Treatment." If it were an instruction for the Sonderkommando how to kill and incinerate the victims, Faurisson would have a point, but it is not. The context is a discussion about the electricity supply to the crematorium. The problem which Tomitschek and Swoboda discussed was rooted in the circumstance that one needed electricity to operate the ventilation system of the gas chambers. Yet, at the same time that this ventilation system was to extract the hydrogen cyanide from the gas chamber, the crematorium needed electricity to operate the forced-air system to heat the incinerators as they are readied to cremate the remains of the people killed in the gas chambers. In other words, there is an overlap in the electricity consumption of the gas chamber and the ovens, the former still using electricity after the killing has occurred, the latter using electricity before the incineration can commence.
Then there is Faurisson's implicit argument: that the context of the letter does not count. I will review the reasons for Faurisson's refusal to consider context below. Here it is   important to note that a basic rule in the interpretation of historical evidence is that any piece of evidence depends upon the context from which it is taken. David Hackett Fisher observed in his Historians' Fallacies, that "no historical statement-in-evidence floats freely outside of time and space. None applies abstractly and universally."522 Faurisson did not choose to consider the context, and hence did not apply historical criticism to the text of the memorandum.
Finally there is Faurisson's last argument: that if "Fleming, or anyone, had actually discovered a wartime German document that clearly says what Holocaust historians have been seeking for decades, it would be publicized everywhere as a discovery of the greatest historical importance." In other words, the fact that I did not choose to publicize my discovery "everywhere," trumpeting it as "a discovery of the greatest historical importance," suggests that this document probably does not exist, because if it did, it would have been "what Holocaust historians have been seeking for decades." When, in 1993 I came upon the Tomitschek/Swoboda memorandum, I was pleased to find another small piece of a large puzzle, but in no way thought it to be "of the greatest historical importance." The reasons for this is that I did not find any reason in the past, nor today, to set my research agenda according to Faurisson's wishes. In 1979 he proposed in a letter to Le Monde that he wished for a public debate on "the problem of the gas chambers." Faurisson rejected that there was a "superabundance of proofs that attest to the existence of 'gas chambers'" and therefore proposed that someone would supply him "with a proof, one single precise proof of the actual existence of one 'gas chamber,' one single 'gas chamber.'" And he concluded his challenge with the exhortation: "Let us examine this proof together, in public."523
As a historian I am prepared to state that no single piece of evidence can "prove" the existence of any historical event. Faurisson's challenge is, from a historian's point of   view, absurd. No piece of evidence is conclusive by itself. Historians reconstruct the past by cross-referencing different pieces of evidence, each of different evidential value. This, however, seems to be unassimilable to negationists like Faurisson and Irving, who continue to throw challenges to academic historians to produce "one single proof." To understand where they come from, it is necessary to consider, for a moment, the context of Faurisson's turn to Holocaust denial: his training as a linguist and his adherence as a linguist to the school of literary interpretation known as "New Criticism," a school that resists a common practice in literary analysis that regard a poem in terms of its author's biography, and proposes instead that critics ought to read the poems as verbal icons, as autonomous verbal structures, and foreclose any appeal to history, biography, or cultural context. Only by concentrating on "the words on the page," which meant erecting a cordon sanitaire around the text, could the criticism acquire precision. Faurisson adopted this ontologically grounded aesthetic isolationism, but abandoned its pragmatic aims to encase it in a particularly dogmatic set of rules. The historical, autobiographical and cultural contexts became totally irrelevant for one's understanding of the text. As Faurisson explained to a Canadian court in the mid 1980s, he refused to establish authorship, or the time it came into being, but instead began with one word, and then proceed to its immediate contexts: the words before and after it, and so on. Faurisson justified this approach because "all of us, we have little brains. We cannot embrace a vast context."524 Of course, his modesty was only a ruse, because the true implication of his refusal to consider any external evidence was that the only access to truth was now to be Faurisson's own technique of textual exegesis. This he called the "Ajax Method" because "it scours as it cleans as it shines," and it centered on the for the analysis of literary texts absurd proposition that while words may have more than one meaning if taken in isolation, they only acquire one specific meaning within a text: "Texts have only one   meaning, or no meaning at all."525
Faurisson's work would have remained a footnote in the history of postmodern literary theory if not for his desire to apply the "Ajax Method" to the study of history. Having no professional training in the field, he could only look with contempt at historians who, as he stated in his expert-testimony during the first Zündel trial, habitually fail to "attack" the documents they are using, and instead try to fit those texts into its various contexts.526 In other words, historians sinned against the ground rule of Faurisson's theory of criticism that nothing should distract from the exegesis of the sacrosanct "word on the page."
Faurisson's attempt to apply his rule of textual exegesis to history is obviously absurd. While the "Ajax Method" may apply to poems--which may be defined as texts in which all that is said or implied is relevant, and everything that is irrelevant has been excluded--it obviously fails when it is applied to practical messages, which are successful if and only if we correctly infer the intention. Hastily written, the Tomitschek/Svoboda memorandum is completely unintelligible as a historical source if one does not know the historical context, which includes the hurry in which the SS tried to complete the crematoria, the difficulty they had in obtaining allocations for building materials, the meaning of the word Sonderbehandlung, the need to fire-up the ovens before they are used, and so on. Faurisson had, however, no qualms to launch his theory of literary criticism into a colonizing drive beyond the boundary of the poetic, and treat historical texts as merely rhetorical, purely discursive operations that have no link to external evidence.
Probably it is difficult for Faurisson, or for negationists in general, to imagine that there are other and more valid ways of interpreting historical evidence. It is difficult for Faurisson to imagine that not all scholars studying the Holocaust are day and night   searching for the "one single proof" that testifies to the existence of the gas chambers without any corroborating evidence. But none is, because history does not need a "single proof" to establish a fact as fact.
Enough about "single proofs" that in the case of Auschwitz seem destined to appear in "slips." The real historical importance of the archives of the Central Construction office is not that they prove independent of other evidence that Auschwitz was an extermination camp. In so far as the issue of "proof" is relevant, the archives are important because they provide additional evidence of a "non-intentional" nature that allows us to interpret and cross-examine the "intentional" evidence given by important and informative witnesses such as Tauber and Höss. While the negationists have tried to abuse these architectural documents to narrow down the amount of admissible evidence--nothing is relevant except the wartime document--, we consider them as a means to increase the amount of evidence. For example, when we consider the blueprints of crematorium 2 and use them to reconstruct this building, it becomes possible to follow Tauber's narrative sentence by sentence. Or when one considers the blueprints of crematorium 4, one can not only study the logical arrangement of the building--with the sequence of three gas chambers (with stoves to pre-heat the rooms during the winter), vestibule and fuel supply for the stoves in the gas chambers, the large morgue, and the cremation part with the sluice, the incineration room with the eight-muffle oven, the coke room and a small office--but also square this with the remaining fragments of the building and eye-witness statements. For example, in the former coke store room of crematorium 1 the Auschwitz museum preserves some of the gas-tight shutters from crematorium 4. The shutters measure 30 cm by 40 cm. In the plan they are indicated as having a size of 30 cm by 40 cm. In an order dated February 13, 1943 they are mentioned "as pieces gas-tight doors of 30/40 cm"--"12 St. Gasdichte Türen cca 30/40 cm." Obviously, the plan, the bill and the relics coincide. As we have seen, David Olère did depict these gas-tight shutters in his drawings of crematorium 5 and bunker 2. And then there are eye-witness statements of the way these gas-tight doors functioned. Let us quote, once more, part of Tauber's recollections of crematorium 4. We begin in a room labelled in the plan as "Vorraum"--vestibule.
Opposite the entrance door in the corridor, there was a door that opened on a       room with a window which was the kitchen for the SS working in the crematorium, a kitchen where the dishes were prepared by members of the Sonderkommando. This room was next to that of the Sonderkommando prisoners....The third door in the corridor led to a corridor with a barred window and a door leading to the crematorium yard.
From this corridor, the door on the right gave access to the first of the gas chambers and that opposite to the smallest of the chambers, communicating by another door with the biggest.
This corridor, and the three following rooms were used as chambers for gassing people. All had gas-tight doors, and also windows that had bars on the inside and were closed by gas-tight shutters on the outside. These small windows, which could be reached by the hand of a man standing outside, were used for throwing the contents of cans of Zyklon-B into the gas chambers full of people. The gas chambers were about two meters high and had an electric lighting installation on the walls but they had no ventilation system, which obliged the Sonderkommando who were removing the bodies to wear gasmasks. The corpses were dragged along the floor into the access corridor, where the barbers cut off the hair and then into the undressing room, which also served, in this kind of crematorium, as a store room for the corpses. It was a big hall where the bodies were put while the gas chambers were being cleaned up. Then they were taken through the narrow corridor between the undressing room and the furnace room, where at each end a dentist tore out the gold teeth. In the furnace room, there was the room of the head of the Kommando and beside it another one for the rest of the SS..527
Thus the blueprints help to corroborate eye-witness evidence. They do not, and should not, take the place of it.
The same applies to, for example, photos of the crematoria. During the construction of the camp, the Central Construction office documented the progress of construction photographically. All these photos were assembled in the so-called Bauleitung   Album, which survived the war. One of the photos shows the back of crematorium 2 shortly before its completion. Projecting outwards from the long side of the building one can see the basement space known in the plans as morgue 1. It is not yet covered with earth, and as a result one can easily see (just right of the smokestack of the locomotive in the foreground, the more or less cubical tops of three of the four wire-mesh Zyklon-B insertion columns made by Kula, drawn by Olère, and described by Tauber. Again, by itself the photograph would not be conclusive evidence, but in combination with eye-witness evidence its proves the existence of these columns beyond reasonable doubt.
Yet sometimes study of the plans and photos help us to reconstruct important elements in the development of Auschwitz as an extermination camp for which there is no eye-witness evidence. For example: all the evidence points to the fact that the Germans changed the purpose of crematorium 2 between its first inception in the fall of 1941 and its final completion in the spring of 1943. At the time of the original design this crematorium was meant to incinerate the corpses of inmates who had died as the result of the "ordinary" violence of concentration camp existence, and the "ordinary" mortality that results from seasonal infectious diseases such as Typhus and Typhoid Fever. By the time it was completed, crematorium 2, and its double crematorium 3, and two other crematoria (4 and 5)were meant to serve the original function and also incinerate the corpses of deportees who had arrived in Auschwitz shortly before to be immediately selected for the gas chambers, and killed. On the basis of ample evidence, we know that by the time of their completion crematoria 2 - 5 were equipped with homicidal gas chambers, and that these were used to kill the vast majority of deportees. Yet how and when did the intended purpose of the buildings change?
The blueprints and the correspondence that goes with them offer evidence that allows us to understand some aspect of the changing purpose of the crematoria. I will concentrate on two variables: the information the blueprints give us about the evolution of the projected incineration and morgue capacity in Auschwitz between the Fall of 1941 and the Spring of 1943. Independently of other evidence, both numbers are important to assess the intended use of Auschwitz. If Auschwitz, as the Holocaust deniers maintain, was a "normal" concentration camp comparable to Dachau and Sachsenhausen--that is a camp not dedicated to systematic extermination of large transports--then one should expect an     incineration and morgue capacity comparable to those "normal" concentration camps. If Auschwitz was more lethal than other concentration camps because of the greater prevalence of infectious diseases, then one should expect perhaps a higher incineration capacity, but certainly a very much higher morgue capacity to provide a buffer between the seasonally fluctuating discrepancy between incineration capacity and mortality. And if it was an extermination camp in which most people were murdered "on command," then one could expect an arrangement that had a high incineration capacity and a low morgue capacity, as the administrators of the killing process ought to have been able to send only as many people to the gas chambers as the crematoria could handle--assuming that the corpses of those killed would be incinerated within the next 24 hours.
In the second week of October 1941, shortly after he had begun work on the design and construction of Birkenau, the chief architect of Auschwitz, Karl Bischoff, realized that the existing crematorium of the concentration camp (later to be known as crematorium 1), would not be able to service the prisoner-of-war camp. It had been designed a year earlier to service an inmate population of 10,000. Bischoff summoned Kurt Prüfer, chief crematorium engineer at the firm Topf and Sons in Erfurt, which had supplied the incinerators of the crematorium in the main camp.528 Prüfer arrived in Auschwitz on October 21 and joined Bischoff in a two-day design charette.529 The engineer suggested to combine three incinerating crucibles in a single furnace. As to the location of the crematorium the men determined that it made sense to build it in the main camp across from the administration building and next to the existing crematorium. As a labour pool for the construction of the city, Birkenau promised to be only a temporary camp, and it would be a waste of money to build a relatively expensive structure such as a crematorium (the whole building Bischoff budgeted for RM   [Reichsmark] 650,000530)on a site that was going to revert to farming a few years later.531 It is likely that Bischoff sketched during this meeting the basic arrangement of the plan. The centre was to be a large incineration hall in which five triplecrucible ovens were to be placed side by side. On one end was to be the supply of cokes, and on the other end the storage of corpses. As the incineration hall was to be hot, and the morgue needed to be cold, Bischoff located two vast morgues underground, outside the so-called "footprint" of the building. An elevator was to connect these underground morgues to the furnace hall and the autopsy rooms which were to occupy the space gained by the transfer of the corpse cellars from above-to below ground.532
Bischoff's new Chief Designer, Walther Dejaco, elaborated the sketches into a preliminary design. Back in Berlin also an architect under contract with the SS, Georg Werkmann, had a go at it, and he showed a greater skill in uniting practical requirements with certain architectural ambition. Kammler obviously preferred Werkmann's design over Dejaco's, approved it in late November, and had it sent to Auschwitz. When it arrived Bischoff, who had arrived on October 1 to head the building of Birkenau, had also become responsible for the construction in the main camp; the Neubauleitung and the Sonderbauleitung KGL had merged into a new organization, officially designated as the Zentralbauleitung der Waffen SS und Polizei, Auschwitz O/S (Central Building Authority of the Waffen-SS and the Police, Auschwitz in Upper Silesia). This office produced from mid-January to the beginning of February 1942 a complete set of blueprints for the new     crematorium based on Werkmann's design of November.533
As the architects were developing the design Prüfer was busy calculating the implications of his suggestion to unite three large crucibles in one incinerator. It proved to be a difficult problem from a thermo-dynamic perspective. Not only did Prüfer have no experience with triplemuffle furnaces, but he had changed two variables by also increasing the size of each crucible. Relatively straightforward, however, were the implications for the forced-draft system, which was determined at a total extractive power of 40,000 cubic meters per hour. Bischoff had also charged Prüfer to design a ventilation system for the incineration room and the two morgues. The furnace room, the dissection rooms and the larger of the two corpse cellars were to receive a system that only extracted the hot, foul air, while the smaller of the mortuaries was also to receive a system to bring in fresh air from the outside.534
It is important to note here that there is no indication that either Bischoff or Prüfer envisioned a homicidal use for the smaller morgue in the new crematorium. But the presence of the powerful ventilation system charged the design from its inception with a genocidal potentiality which would only require small modifications in the design to be actualized. Indeed: it was the presence of such a ventilation system in the crematorium of the main camp which, seven weeks earlier, had inspired Lagerführer Fritsch to use the mortuary of the crematorium as an experimental gas chamber.
Numbers seem to confirm that the new crematorium was not designed to serve the genocidal practices that were to become commonplace in Birkenau a year later. If the purpose of the crematorium had been to serve both as a place for incineration of the inmates and as a execution site and cremation facility for large transports of people brought from outside, then one would expect a cremation capacity that far exceeded the normal oven/inmate ratio prevalent in the other concentration camps which did not serve the Final Solution of the Jewish Question. In 1937 the leaders of the concentration camp   at Dachau thought that a single-muffle furnace would do for a camp of 6,240 inmates. At a price of RM 9,250, it required an initial investment of RM 1.48 per person.535 Within a year the envisioned investment per inmate dropped by 50 percent. In the spring of 1939 the total inmate population in Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen had risen from 24,000 to 60,000 as a result of the arrests that followed the Austrian Anschluss in the spring of 1938, the so-called Reichskristallnacht of November 9, 1938, and the December annexation of the Czech Sudetenland. Dr. Grawitz, the chief SS doctor, feared that the overcrowding in the camps would lead to an epidemic and, as a result, increased mortality.536 Also, the regime in the camps had become harsher. Both the overcrowding and the increased violence within the camps focused attention on the problem of corpse disposal. Topf now offered to supply Dachau with a stripped-down mobile furnace with two oil-fired forced-draft muffles with a capacity of two corpses per hour and a price tag of RM 8,750.537 As by now the assumed capacity of the camp had been doubled (by assigning twice as many inmates to the relatively spacious barracks), the capacity remained one muffle per 6,240 inmates. Yet the investment had dropped from RM 1.48 to RM 0.70 per inmate. For Buchenwald Topf calculated a need of one muffle per 5,000 prisoner and an investment of RM 0.90 per inmate.538 The same figures applied to the double-muffle incinerator that Topf built in Auschwitz in the summer of 1940. But in fact Auschwitz had a larger capacity as its furnace was 50 percent more powerful than the Dachau model of 1939.539 Taking this into account, we can say that it counts as a three-   muffle oven of the old model. Hence I will designate its capacity as that of three "units," that is one unit per 3,333 inmates. When later that year a second double-muffle (three-unit) furnace was added alongside the first the total was now four crucibles (six units) for a camp of 10,000, that is one unit per 1,666 inmates. Total investment for incinerators was now RM 1.67 per inmate.540 The remarkably high ratio must be understood in relation to the fact that the crematorium not only served the camp, but also the Gestapo Summary Court from Kattowitz.
If we compare these numbers with the figures for the Birkenau crematorium it becomes apparent that, assuming that the camp was indeed going to be completed and filled to capacity, one crematorium equipped with five three-muffle furnaces was not an excessive proposition. Topf offered the five furnaces for RM 31,890.541 That is an investment of RM 0.25 per inmate. Also of interest is that Prüfer assumed that one muffle per 8,300 inmates--or 1 unit per 5,555 inmates--would suffice. In other words, neither Bischoff nor Prüfer anticipated in October 1941 the very high mortality rate of the prisoners of war that actually occurred. With a capacity of 15 muffles or 22.5 units for 125,000 inmates, we come to 1 unit per 5,555 inmates, that is less than a third of the capacity of Auschwitz I, and very much in line with Dachau and Buchenwald. At an investment of RM 0.25 per inmate it cost one-sixth of that of the main camp. These figures suggest that the mortality rate for the Soviet prisoners of war was expected to be the same as that for concentration camp inmates in the Reich, and less than that for the Polish inmates in the concentration camp on the other side of the tracks.542 The   conclusion must be that the expected mortality rate of the Soviet Untermenschen was not going to be higher than that of the 'typical' concentration camp inmates. And there was certainly no extra capacity that could be used for genocidal use.
A last point that seems to support this conclusion is that as the mortality rate of the prisoners of war began to rise, the plans of the camp were changed. In December 1941 Bischoff ordered the creation of a new master plan, which was completed in the first week of January 1942. Two of the most striking elements of this plan relate directly to the catastrophic conditions. First, it changed the barracks in Building Section II and Building Section III from the original brick to the prefabricated wooden huts that had been designed as horse stables for the Army. As these could be erected with a minimum of labour it implied a significant reduction in the mortality that had occurred with the construction of the brick barracks. Furthermore, at the western edge of Building Section II and Building Section III a new zone was designated which was to include two auxiliary crematoria and ten corpse cellars. The plan was approved on January 6, 1942, and a few weeks later Prüfer returned to Auschwitz to discuss the incinerators to be used. The engineer proposed to equip each with a simplified version of his triple-muffle furnace. Without a compressed air blower, and using only a small amount of iron, they were to cost RM 7,326 each.543 As these were to be built in addition to the large crematorium to be constructed in the main camp, the investment in incinerating capacity had risen to a total of RM 46,542 or RM 0.37 per inmate. With a capacity of 31.5 units the unit-per-inmate ratio had risen from 1 : 5,555 to 1 : 4,000, or 28 %.
These numbers seem more evolutionary than revolutionary, yet there is another difference from the original plans that gives the whole picture, at least at first inspection, a more sinister aspect: the 10 enormous corpse cellars. In the crematorium already under     design, the total volume of the two major morgues (a small third one, included in the January version of the design, was used only "for administrative purposes") was a little over 50,000 cu. ft. Its capacity was 420 corpses, or roughly 1 corpse per 300 inmates.544 In comparison Sachsenhausen had a morgue capacity of 1 corpse per 50 inmates. The plan of January 6 added another 250,000 cu. ft., to arrive at Sachsenhausen's capacity of 1 corpse per 50 inmates. In short, this sixfold amplification was meant only to bring the morgue capacity of the camp in line with that found in other concentration camps.
If we now fast forward to February 1943--a time that Birkenau was fully committed to play its central role in the Holocaust--we see that the numbers have changed considerably. In February 1943 the projected inmate population of Auschwitz was 30,000, and of Birkenau 140,000, but the total incineration capacity which was by that time supposed to be available was 75 units.545 This brings the unit-per-inmate ratio to 1 : 2267. This means that, in comparison with Dachau or Buchenwald, Auschwitz has double the incineration capacity. The official incineration capacity of Auschwitz after the completion of all the crematoria was 4,756 corpses per day.546 Assuming the camps to be completed and fully occupied, this would mean that, on average, Auschwitz had an excess incineration capacity of more than 2,350 corpses per day--or, in other words, the ovens could accommodate two daily transports of 1,000 people easily.
At the same time morgue capacity had dropped significantly. The ten morgues with a total capacity of 250,000 cu. ft., included in the plan of January 6, 1942, had disappeared from the plan of February 17, 1943, and instead the theoretical morgue capacity in crematoria 1 - 5 was 136,000 cu ft., or 1,150 corpses--that is 1 corpse per 147 inmates, or Auschwitz was to have one third of the normal morgue capacity of a "normal"       concentration camp.547 In fact, the situation was much worse, because in February 1943 all the morgues in crematoria 2 and 3 had been redesigned and were being equipped to function as undressing rooms and gas chambers, while the morgues in crematoria 4 and 5 were to destined as undressing rooms. By the time the crematoria were finished, Auschwitz had virtually no permanently dedicated morgue capacity. This is very important: putting it very crudely, a design for a camp with a low incineration capacity and low morgue capacity indicates the expectation of low mortality; a design for a camp with low incineration capacity and high morgue capacity indicates the expectation of high mortality, most likely due to contingent circumstances (epidemics); a design for a camp with high incineration capacity with low morgue capacity indicates the expectation of high mortality, most likely due to humanly controlled circumstances (murder).
Let me be clear: in the foregoing paragraphs I have not attempted to provide "proof," on the basis of the changing incineration and morgue capacity alone, of the change from "normal" to genocidal purpose of the Auschwitz crematoria--even if these particular statistics support what we know about the evolution of Auschwitz from a "normal" concentration camp into an extermination camp over the period 1941 to 1943. I hope, however, to have shown that the evidence in the archive of the Central Construction Office can be used to answer many historical questions that transcend the forensic question if the camp was, or was not, an extermination camp. These questions of history are important however. One of the reasons that Holocaust deniers were able to get as far as they did was because, for a long time, no comprehensive history of Auschwitz existed that placed the genocidal function of the camp within the context of all its other purposes. In our Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present Debórah Dwork and I wrote a history, using the archives of the Central Construction Office, which shows that an understanding of the complex historical development of the camp resolves apparent contradictions thrown up by the fact that a seemingly "top-secret" extermination facility existed side-by-side a major industrial project. In short, good history and not "slips" answer the deniers.
One genre "non-intentional" evidence that has been the object of some discussion in the last twenty years are the aerial photos taken by British Mosquito reconnaisanze   airplanes and American bombers of Auschwitz on five dates in 1944. These planes flew over the camps on a bombing run to the IG Farben site east of the town of Auschwitz, and shortly before reaching the target area the cameras which were to provide intelligence and record the damage inflicted were turned on. Because of the relative short distance between Birkenau and the IG Farben site, these cameras unintentionally captured the death camp. One photo, taken on June 26, 1944, shows Birkenau (1), Auschwitz 1 located along the Sola river (2), the Vistula river (3), and the IG Farben building site (6) with at its south-eastern corner the concentration camp Auschwitz-Monowitz (no number indicated--but the site is easily identifiable as it is surrounded on most of its southern and all of its eastern side by a very light coloured patch of land).
Magnified, these photos allow for easy identification of the various parts of the camp, inclusive the crematoria. Yet what kind of evidence do they provide of the use of Birkenau as an extermination camp? In 1979, in response to the new interest generated by the TV series Holocaust the Central Intelligence Agency released a 19-page report entitled The Holocaust Revisited: A Retrospective Analysis of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Complex. Written by Dino A. Brugioni and Robert G. Poirier, the report claimed that these aerial photos provide evidence of extermination activities. On the photo taken on August 25, 1944, one could for example see trains in the station of Birkenau with prisoners being marched to crematorium 2 and, in the roof of the gas chamber of that building, "four vents used to insert Zyklon B crystals into the subsurface gas chamber."548 Yet the group of people alleged to be walking towards the crematorium were still at a large distance from the crematorium, and would not have nesessarily ended up there. The photos do not produce conclusive evidence of exterminations nor do they provide evidence against this--despite some inflated claims by Holocaust deniers.549
The original CIA analysis was based on study of analog enlargements. With new digital technologies it has become possible, however, to revisit the issue of the evidentiary value of the photos. In April 1996 I visited Los Angeles to meet with Michael Shermer, the             editor of Skeptic magazine, and Alex Grobman, the director of the Martyrs Memorial and Holocaust Museum. Together we went to NASA's Jet propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena to meet with Dr. Nevin Bryant, Supervisor of Cartographic Applications and Image Processing Applications. One of the world leaders in the analysis of aeaial and satellite images, Dr. Bryant agreed to analyze with his computers the photos, enhancing the date using software programs used by NASA. The most important results were that the four shaded markings on the roofs of morgue 1 of both crematorium 2 and 3 did belong to the original negative, and were not added later on. Furthermore, Dr. Bryant discovered through comparison of various consecutive exposures taken on May 31, 1944 a long line of people moving into the compound of crematorium 5.550 Danuta Czech's Kalendarium records that, on May 31, 1944, two transports arrived from Hungary, and that from the first one 100 Jews were selected for work. "The remaining people are killed in the gas chambers." And of the second transport 2,000 Jews are admitted to the camp. "The remaining people are killed in the gas chambers."551 Why would the Germans have moved a large group of people into the compound of crematorium 5, which was off-limits to inmates, if not to kill them? Yet even here one must remember that, like all the other "non-intentional" evidence, the information derived from the aerial photos should not be considered in isolation.
A last point must be made, before we leave this short review of what Bloch called the "non-intentional" evidence preserved in the archive of the Auschwitz Central Construction Office. Part of this archive is in Moscow, part is in Oswiecim, in Block 24, right next to the entrance that proclaims "Work Makes Free"--"Arbeit Macht Frei." About a hundred yards away is another collection of "non-intentional" evidence, relics from the camp that the Germans did not manage to destroy when the evacuated the camp. In Birkenau the Central Construction Office oversaw the erection of 30 storage barracks, right between crematoria 2 and 3 on the south and crematoria 4 and 5 to the north, and visible on all the aerial photos. This part of the camp, called by the inmates "Canada" because of its wealth     in goods, stored the belongings of the deportees brought from all over Europe--personal possessions left at the tracks or in the undressing rooms of the crematoria. There a special squad of inmates sorted the goods, and prepared them for shipment for deserving families in the Reich. Late in 1944, when the railroad infrastructure collapsed, these shipments ceased, and the barracks of Canada filled up. Just before their departure from Auschwitz, SS men wishing to destroy evidence, set fire to the barracks. Twenty-nine barracks went up in flames. One only partly burned. Some of the things the Russians found upon the liberation of the camp are now stored in Block 5--as I said about a hundred yards from the building archive.
Alain Resnais presented these items of "non-intentional" evidence in his justly celebrated Night and Fog. Here, for the record, some lines from the script.
(Black and White):A mountain of spectacles, combs, dishes and pans, clothing and shoes, scissors, and shaving brushes.
"Everything was saved. Here are the stockpiles of the Nazis at war. Here are their warehouses."
An enormous mountain of gleaming hair rising toward the sky.
"Nothing but women's hair..."
Reams of cloth, its hair surface glistening in the light.
"At fifteen pfennig the kilo, they made cloth from it."552
re: Electricity Supply and Installation of the KL [Konzentrationslager, or Auschwitz] and KGL [Kriegsgefangenenlager, or Birkenau]
Conference held on 29.1.43 between the Central Construction Office Auschwitz and AEG-Kattowitz, present:
  • Engineer Tomitschek--AEG and
  • SS-Unterscharführer Swoboda--Central Construction Office
AEG informs that it has not yet received valid iron and metal certificates in response to its iron and metal request, which were partly already filed in November 1942. Therefore it was not possible for this firm to begin construction on the ordered parts of the installation. There is a great likelihood that, due to the continued delay in the allotment of these requests, delivery will take much longer.
As a result of this , it is not possible to complete the installation and electricity supply of crematorium 2 in the Prisoner of War Camp [Birkenau] by January 31, 1943. It is only possible to complete the crematorium for operation earliest by February 15, 1943 using materials that are in stock for other building projects. This operation can only involve a limited use of the available machines (whereby is made possible burning with simultaneous Special Treatment), because the main electricity supply to the crematorium is not capable to carry its power consumption. Yet similarly the iron and metal certificates for the overhead line necessary for this have not been issued yet.
Because of this, it is absolutely impossible to supply crematorium 3 with electricity.
Tomitschek. Swoboda
Representative of AEG SS-Unterscharführer Taken note of     Bischoff.


494. John Wilkins, Of the Principles and Duties of Natural Religion (London: A. Maxwell, 1675), 22ff.
495. Marc Bloch, The Historian's Craft (New York: Vintage, 1953), 61.
496. Ibid., 61.
497. Of course, it can be disputed that these documents could have been classified as "non-intentional evidence" in the sense that Bloch gave to it. As we know, the SS in Auschwitz were forced to write their documents according to an explicit linguistic code that forbid the inclusion of explicit references to gassing and so on. Furthermore, as we also know, the most important decisions were never put to paper. Eichmann, for example, observed that "only from the sick brain of a stupid person can the idea arise, that the Reichsführer would have issued a written order, according to which the Führer had ordered the physical destruction [of the Jews]. Truth is, that Himmler has never written down a single line on paper about this business. I know that, for example, he also dealt only in conversation with Pohl of the WVHA." [Nur im kranken Gehirn eines Dummkopfes kann die Vorstellung entstehen, daß der Reichsführer schriftlich einen Erlaß herausgegeben hätte, wonach der Führer die physische Vernichtung befohlen hätte. Die Wahrheit ist, daß Himmler niemals eine Zeile schriftlich darüber festgelegt hat. Ich weiß, daß er z.B.Mit Pohl vom WVHA auch immer nur mündlich verhandelte.] Adolf Eichmann, Ich, Adolf Eichmann: Ein historischer Zeugenbericht, Rudolf Aschenauer ed. (Leoni am Starnberger See: Druffel, 1980), 232.
498. Bloch, The Historian's Craft, 67.
499. "Dann habe ich mit einem Angehörigen der politischen Abteilung der im Privatberuf Richter war, gesprochen. Er hat mir dann einiges erzählt. Normalerweise hat man sich im Dienst nich zu sprechen getraut, da man befürchten musste, dafür bestraft zu werden. Ich kann mich erinneren, wie die Frau von Bischoff einem Offizier anzeigt, der Goebbels den Scherznamen "Jupp" gab. Dieser Richter hat mich aufgeklärt. Das muss im Sommer 1942 gewesen sein und ich kann mich erinnern, dass er sich enorm adfällig geäussert hat. Er war aus Hamburg unst ist später gefallen. Auschwitz, so erzählte er, sei ein Vernichtungslager. Viele Leute würden erschossen, also auch vor Standgerichte gestellt werden. Er hatte dann mit der Judenfrage auch angedeutet, dass grössere Vernichtungen kommen würden. Er gab mich den Rat, ich solle schauen, dass ich bald wegkäme. Er selbst ist dann später weggekommen und in Russland gefallen. Diese Aussprache war für mich ein Alarmsignal, ich war entsetzt und empört. Dieses Gespräch fällt in die Zeit in der die Krematorien beantragt wurden. Ich habe das zum Anlass genommen, um meine Versetzung anzusuchen. Bischoff hat mich angeschrien und mir erklärt, dass eine Versetzung nich in Frage kommt." Republic of Austria, Ministry of Justice, Case 20 Vr 3806/64 (Ertl/Dejaco), Landesgericht für Strafsachen, Vienna, file ON 484, proceedings January 21, 1972, 113
500. "Dieser Neubau war notwendig auf Grund der Sonderaktionen.." Ibid., 124.
501. "Das Wort 'Sondermassnahme' war für mich klar. Ich wusste was damit gemeint war." Ibid., 125.
502. "Zu diesem Zeitpunkt war ich nicht mehr in Auschwitz. Im Personalakt steht, daß ich am 25.1.1943 aus Auschwitz weggekommen bin. Ich habe dieses Schreiben nicht mehr bekommen. /Es stehen nur mehr die Namen "Janisch" und "Kirschneck" im Verteiler drauf. /In diesem Schreiben wurde schon sehr offen gesprochen, das geht aus dem Wort "Vergasungskeller" hervor. Das Diktatzeichen is "Bischoff". Ich kann mir vorstellen, dass er das selbst geschrieben hat. Ich habe den Auftrag von Bischoff gehabt, daß ich das Wort "Vergasung" nicht schreiben darf. Ich musste immer umschreiben./ Über Befragen des Vorsitzenden, on Bischoff konkret zum Angeklagten Ertl gesagt hat, daß er das nicht schreiben darf, oder ist dieser Auftrag von hüoherer Stelle gekommen? Gibt der Angekl. Ertl an: /Ich glaube Bischoff hat mich darauf aufmerksam gemacht, daß das Wort "Vergasen" nicht vorkommen darf. Es ist auch möglich, daß von höherer Stelle einmal eine Order gekommen ist. Ich kann mich heute daran nicht mehr erinneren. Nachdem jedoch dieses Wort "Vergasen" eigentlich immer umschrieben ist, mit "Sonderaktion" oder "Sondermaßnahme" bin ich der Überzeugung, daß dies verlangt worden ist. Mich wundert, daß Bischoff dieses Wort "Vergasungskeller" selbst gebraucht hat. Nachdem auch von "oben" imer das Wort "Sonderaktion" verwendet wurde, habe ich das auch so verwendet. Ich habe diesen terminus übernommen." Ibid., 125f.
503. "Aktenvermerk Betr.: Anwesenheit von Obering. Prüfer der Fa. Topf u. Söhne Erfurt, bezüglich Ausbau der Einäscherungsanlagen im K.G.L. Auschwitz," State Museum Auschwitz, BW 30/27, 38f.
504. "...gebe ich an, daß mir damals bekannt war, daß es sich hierbei um Vergasungsäume handelt." testimony Fritz Ertl, January 21, 1972, Republic of Austria, Ministry of Justice, Case 20 Vr 3806/64 (Ertl/Dejaco), Landesgericht für Strafsachen, Vienna, file ON 484, 120.
505. "Ich habe bei meinem heutigen Betrachtunen im stillen festgestellt, dass die inneren Beziehungen zur Sache und die Einstellung zu den Aufgaben eine ideale ist. Gerade diese letztere Feststellung ist notwendig in Verbindung mit Dingen und Sonderaufgaben, über die keine Worte gesprochen werden brauchen, Dinge die aber zu ihren Aufgabengebiet gehören. Ich sehe, dass Sie aus innerer Verpflichtung Ihren Dienst tuen und dieses ist die Voraussetzung für den Erfolg. /Es ist noch ein riesiges Arbeitsgebiet übrig geblieben, auf welchem weiterhin grosse Werte zu schaffen sind. In dieser Beziehung haben Sie ein breite und umfangreiches Gelände vorliegen./ Ich habe in den letzten Monaten manigfache dieser Besichtigungen durchgeführt und es erfüllt mich mit Genugtuung, hier festzustellen, das Auschwitz alle um eine Bedeutendes übertrifft. Ich habe auch ein besonderes gutes Verhältnis festgestellt zwischen Männern, Unterführern und Führern, und ich fordere Sie auf, sich wie bisher der auch Ihnen obligenden Verantwortung bewusst zu bleiben. /Ich möchte heute erneut auf die Wichtigkeit der vom Reichsführer-SS gestellten Aufgaben hinweisen, die sehr bedeutsam sind für den Augenblick, wennd der endgültige Sieg errungen sein wird. Wenn Sie sich auch nicht bei der kämnpfenden Truppe befinden, so erfordern Ihre Aufgaben nich minderen Einsatz,deren Bedeutung unzweifelhaft erst der Zeit erkannt werden wird, die nach dem Siege ist. Es sind diejenigen Aufgaben, die andererseits starke Belastungen an den Einzelnen stellen, und zwar Belastungen, die genau so stark sind, wie sie die kämpfende Truppe an der Front hat." Ms., Osobyi Moscow, 502/1--17; USHRI Washington, RG 11.001M.03--19.
506. Jean Claude Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gaschambers (New York: The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1989), 429ff.
507. Letter Bischoff January 29, 1943, Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, ms. BW 30/34.
508. The designation "SS-Ustuf (F)" refers to a SS-Untersturmführer (Fachman), or a specialist such as an architect or engineer who may be formally an NCO in the SS, but who has been given the equivalent SS rank and renumeration of Second Lieutenant while being assigned professional tasks. Most architects in the Auschwitz Central Construction Office were such specialist officers, and those who were transferred to the front later in the war consequently lost the officer status they had enjoyed in the camp.
509. Timesheet Riedel, February 28, 1943, Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, ms. BW 30/28.
510. Timesheet Riedel, March 2, 1943, Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, ms. BW 30/28.
511. Timesheet Topf, April 13-22, 1943, Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, ms. BW 30/241.
512. Telegram Pollok to Topf, February 26, 1943, Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, ms. BW 30/34.
513. There are two (carbon) copies of the letter. In both the word for doors is misspelled: instead of Türe the writer typed Türme. The word Türme literally means "towers." In one of the two copies, the mistake was noticed, and hand-corrected: "Türm." Negationists have tried to use this typo to deny the obvious meaning of the letter, which is reinforced by the subsequent order in the second paragraph for another "gasdoor"--"Gastür" for morgue 1 of crematorium 3.
514. Building BW--"Bauwerk"--30b refers to crematorium 4, BW 30c to crematorium 5.
515. "So wird auf o.a. Schreiben mitgeteilt, dass drei gasdichte Türme gemäss des Auftrages vom 18.1.43 für das BW 30b und 30c auszuführen sind, genau nach den Ausmaßen und der Art der bisher angelieferten Türme. Bei dieser Gelegenheit wird an einen weiteren Auftrag vom 6.3.43 über Lieferung einer Gastür 100/192 für Leichenkeller I des Krematoriums III, BW 30a, erinnert, die genau nach Art und maß der Kellertür des gegenüberliegenden Krematoriums II mit Guckloch aus doppelt 8 -mm -Glass mit Gummidichtung und Beschlag auszuführen ist. Dieser Auftrag ist also besonders dringend anzusehen." Letter Bischoff March 31, 1943,Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, ms. BW 30/34.
516. Republic of Austria, Ministry of Justice, Case 20 Vr 3806/64 (Ertl/Dejaco), Landesgericht für Strafsachen, Vienna, file ON 484, proceedings January 19,1972, 49, January 20, 56, January 21, 125f.
517. I do not know why Fleming is credited with the reversal, as I was the person who presented the document, and I was the person who had discovered it. Fleming had nothing to do with it.
518. "How a Major Holocaust Historian Manipulates Facts: Gerald Fleming's Distortions," The Journal of Historical Review, vol.16 (November / December 1997), 11.
519. Van Pelt and Dwork, Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present, 328ff.
520. Letter Bischoff January 29, 1943, Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, ms. BW 30/34.
521. "Aktenvermerk Betr.: Stromversorgung und Installation des KL und KGL," / Besprechung am 29.1.43 zwischen Zentralbauleitung Auschwitz und AEG-Kattowitz, / Anwesende: Ing. Tomitschek--AEG und / SS-Uscha. Swoboda--Zentralbauleitung. / Die AEG teilt mit, dass ihr auf ihre Eisen- und Metallanforderung, welche teilweise schon im November 1942 ausgeschrieben wurden, bisher noch keine gültigen Eisen- und Metallscheine zur Verfügung gestellt wurden. Es war dieser Firma aus diesem Grunde bisher nicht möglich, die bestellten Anlagenteile in Arbeit zu nehmen. Es besteht die grosse Gefahr, dass durch weitere Verzögerung in der Kontingierung dieser Aufträge die Liefertermine wesentlich verlängert werden./ Aus diesen Grunde ist es auch nicht möglich, die Installation und Stromversorgung des Krematorium II im KGL bis 31.1.43 fertigzustellen. Das Krematorium kann lediglich aus lagernden, für andere Bauten bestimmten Materialen soweit fertiggestellt werden, dass eine Inbetriebsetzung frühestens am 15.2.43 erfolgen kann. Diese Inbetriebsetzung kann sich jedoch nur auf beschränkten Gebrauch der vorhandenen Maschinen erstrecken (wobei eine Verbrennung mit gleichzeitiger Sonderbehandlung möglich gemacht wird), da die zum Krematorium führende Zuleitung für dessen Leistungsverbrauch zu schwach ist. Für das hierfür erforderliche Freileitungsmaterial sind ebenfalls noch keine Eisen- und Metallscheine zugewiesen worden./ Eine Stromversorgung des Krematorium III ist aus Gründen überhaupt nich möglich. / Tomitschek, Vetreter der AEG/ Swoboda, SS-Unterscharführer/ z..K.g: Bischoff, SS-Haupsturmführer." Ms., Osobyi Moscow, 502/1--26; USHRI Washington, RG 11.001M.03--20.
522. David Hackett Fischer, Historians' Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought (New York and Evanston: Harper Torchbooks, 1970),63.
523. Letter Faurisson to Le Monde, 26 February 1979, as printed in Robert Faurisson, Memoire en Defense contre ceux qui m'accusent de falsifier l'histoire / La question des chambres ä gaz preface by Noam Chomsky (Paris: La Veille Taupe, 1980), 100.
524. Testimony Faurisson, 1st Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1985, 2411f.
525. Robert Faurisson in interview with Nouvelles littéraires (10-17 February 1977), as quoted in Serge Thion. Vérite"historique our vérité politique? La dossier de l'affaire Faurisson. La question des chambres ä gaz (Paris: La Veille Taupe, 1980), 54.
526. Testimony Faurisson, 1st Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1985, 2411f.
527. Deposition of Henry Tauber, as quoted in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gaschambers, 498, 500f.
528. Telegram Bauleitung October 11, 1941, Osobyi Archive Moscow, ms. 502/1--313; Unites States Holocaust Research Institute (USHRI) Washington, microfilm RG 11.001M.03--41.
529. Letter, Topf October 14, 1941, Osobyi Moscow, ms 502/1--313; USHRI Washington, microfilm RG 11.001M.03--41.
530. "Erläuterungsbericht zum Vorentwurf für den Neubau des Kriegsgefangenenlagers der Waffen-SS, Auschwitz O/S," Osobyi Moscow, ms. 502/1--232, 6; USHRI Washington, microfilm RG 11.001M.03--35.
531. Plan of the main camp at Auschwitz, February 19, 1942, Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, blueprint BW 2/2--2/17.
532. Osobyi Moscow, ms. 502/1--313; USHRI Washington, microfilm RG 11.001M.03--41; also Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, BW 30/27 and BW 30/34.
533. Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, blueprints BW 30/1-7.
534. Letter Topf October 31, 1941, Osobyi Moscow, ms. 502/1--312; USHRI Washington, microfilm RG 11.001M.03--41; letter Topf November 4, 1941, Osobyi Moscow, ms. 502/1--327; USHRI Washington, microfilm RG 11.001M.03--42.
535. Archive of the Memorial Place, Dachau, mss. files 943 and 2111..
536. Martin Broszat, "The Concentration Camps 1933-45," in Helmut Krausnick, Hans Buchheim, Martin Broszat, and Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Anatomy of the SS State, transl. Richard Barry, Marian Jackson, and Dorothy Long (New York: Walker, 1968), 458.
537. Letter Topf, November 1, 1940, Federal Archive Koblenz, ms. NS 4--Ma/54
538. Letter Topf June 18, 1938, Federal Archive Koblenz, ms., NS3/18--3
539. Letter Topf July 14, 1941, State Archives Weimar, ms., LK 6451.
540. Letter Topf November 13, 1940, Osobyi Moscow, ms. 502/1--312; USHRI Washington, microfilm RG 11.001M.03--41.
541. Bill Topf, January 27, 1943, Osobyi Moscow, ms. 502/1--327; USHRI Washington, microfilm RG 11.001M.03--42.
542. Figures that would point to a more sinister scenario, such as Pressac's assertion that Prüfer initially calculated that the crematorium would be capable of burning 1,440 bodies in twenty-four hours (and, consequently that it could theoretically incinerate all the remains of all the 125,000 in three or four months), must be either considered in the context of the fact that the furnaces in the main camp were estimated at a total output of 140 bodies in twenty-four hours, that is two and a half months to burn the remains of the officially designated 10,000 inmates, or on an error or at least a disregard for scholarly convention on Pressac's part. In my own research I have encountered only one document that states the number of 1,440: the letter that Bischoff sent to Kammler on June 28, 1943. Letter Bischoff to Kammler, 28 June 1943, Osobyi Moscow, ms. 502/1--314; USHRI Washington, microfilm RG 11.001M.03--41.
543. "Kostenanschlag auf Lieferung von 2 Stück Dreimuffel-Einäscherungs-...fen," Osobyi Moscow, ms. 502/1--313; USHRI Washington, microfilm RG 11.001M.03--41.
544. Plan morgue Sachsenhausen, November 1940, Federal Archive Koblenz, blueprint NS 3--377.
545. Crematorium 1: 6 units; crematorium 2: 15 muffles or 22.5 units; crematorium 3: idem; crematorium 4: 8 muffles or 12 units; crematorium 5: idem. Total: 6 +22.5 +22.5 +12 +12 =75 units.
546. Letter Bischoff to Kammler, 28 June 1943, Osobyi Moscow, ms. 502/1--314; USHRI Washington, microfilm RG 11.001M.03-- 41.
547. Crematorium 1: 6,000 cu. ft.; crematorium 2: 50,000 cu. ft. crematorium 3: 50,000 cu ft.; crematorium 4: 15,000 cu. Ft.; crematorium 5: 15,000 cu. ft.. Total: 136,000 ft.
548. Dino A. Brugioni and Robert G. Poirier,The Holocaust Revisited: A Retrospective Analysis of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Complex (Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency, 1979).
549. See for example John C. Ball, Air Photo Evidence (Delta B.C.: Ball Resource Services Limited, 1992)
550. Information given to me by Michael Shermer.
551. Danuta Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle 1939-1945, 637.
552. Cayrol, "Night and Fog," in Hughes ed., Film: Book 2--Films of Peace and War,253.
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