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Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles Gray

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Conclusions to be drawn f... >>

Early reports

7.16 As early as November 1941 reports had begun to emerge of a violent camp at Oswiecim (that is, Auschwitz) and another camp nearby where poison gas was being used on an experimental basis. But for the most part the early reports mentioned Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor rather than Auschwitz. However, in March 1943 a radio message to London from Polish   resistance sources reported the gassing of more than 500,000 at Oswiecim. There were other reports in the course of 1944 to similar effect. But none of them attracted much attention at the time. Other reports mentioned Birkenau but its connection with Auschwitz does not appear to have been appreciated. Cypher reports from Auschwitz (and other camps) to Berlin were being intercepted by British intelligence at Bletchley but (as will be seen) these made no mention of deaths by gassing.
7.17 In mid-1944 two young Slovak Jews, named Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzlar, who had escaped from Auschwitz, gave accounts of the systematic extermination of Jews at Birkenau (ie Auschwitz II), commencing in the summer of 1942 and involving the use of specially-constructed gas chambers and crematoria. This account was circulated to London and Washington. Another corroborative account, from a Polish gentile, Jerzy Tabeau, who had also escaped from the camp, also appeared. In June and July 1944 there was publicity in the New York Times about the mass killing of Jews by gassing at Auschwitz.