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Unfortunately holocaust-history.org is down by now. However you can still check the link via archive.org here:
http://web.archive.org/web/201407082204 ... ngskeller/
In this link there is a scanned image of the letter between Bischoff and Kammler from 1943. In this letter Bischoff literally mentions a "Gassing cellar" ("Vergasungskeller") in Auschwitz under Crematoria 2.
Have you guys ever heard about this letter? What's your interpretation of it? Was that gassing cellar possibly a homicidal gas chamber?
1. Even Jean-Claude Pressac admits in Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers, p. 503:
To affirm, solely on the basis of the letter of January 29, 1943 that the term ‘Vergasungskeller’ designated a homicidal gas chamber installed in Leichenkeller 1/corpse cellar 1 of Krematorium II, was irresponsible, for though ‘gas chamber’ was correct, there was no proof that it was ‘homicidal’,
Pressac is quoted in chapter 1, where he establishes that the Leichenkeller (corpse cellar, morgue basement) mentioned in the letter is Leichenkeller 2 (corpse cellar 2) of Krematorium II, which was allegedly used as an undressing room, and that Vergasungskeller (gassing cellar) is Leichenkeller 1 (corpse cellar 1), the alleged gas chamber.
2. This is the only letter mentioning that term, and its significance can’t be reconstructed directly from documents, because previous letters this one refers to have been “lost”, as have been regular reports by Bischoff.
3. The letter states that it had been impossible to remove planking of the concrete ceiling of a Leichenkeller (“corpse cellar”, Leichenkeller 2, undressing room) because of frost, that the Vergasungskeller (“gassing cellar”, Leichenkeller 1) could be used for that purpose, and that the aeration and de-aeration system couldn’t be delivered until Feb. 20.
So, if the alleged victims couldn’t be gassed because of the missing ventilation system, what would they need to undress for in the relocated undressing room?
The letter explicitly states that the Vergasungskeller can be used for that purpose “hierfür”, i.e. as a Leichenkeller (morgue basement), not as an undressing room.
And (my argument): Why can’t a cellar be used as a undressing room if there still is planking on the ceiling? If it was designated to be used as a morgue and the room was full of corpses, it would be difficult to remove the planking later, so it would make sense to use another room for a short period of time, but if it was used as a mere undressing room for later gassing victims, why would they have to relocate it?
4. The letter was written during a resurgence of the typhus epidemic and Mattogno alleges, Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II was transformed to a temporary emergency disinfestation gas chamber employing hydrogen cyanide, like the Vergasungsraum “gassing room” in BW 5a and 5b. He cites a list from Topf Co., dated April 13, 1943 (see document 4 in TRCFA)
2 Topf disinfestation ovens for Krema II at Auschwitz PoW camp.
and an invoice from VEDAG Co., dated July 28, 1943, which concerns “sealing work done for disinfestation unit” in the “Auschwitz-Krematorium” (see document 5).
Because of the inappropriate ventilation and the minimal residues of hydrogen cyanide in that room, comparable to those found in other barracks, Mattogno disputes that it “was actually used as such” a disinfestation gas chamber. It could have been used only a few times.
5. Jan van Pelt alleges that the mentioning of the Vergasungskeller constitutes a “slip” and that there was a rule to never mention such terms. Because of this, he says, the word was marked with red pencil and the responsible person’s name, SS-Ustuf Kirschneck, was written at the top to tell him about it. A completely ridiculous interpretation from the outset. The letter is a copy of the original (“F.d.R.d.A.”, Für die Richtigkeit der Abschrift = copy certified correct appears on the bottom left) and there also is a copy of the copy where the term appears as well.
6. Mattogno cites the summary of a telephone call from the Auschwitz ZBL to Topf Co. on February 17, 1943, in which the term “Gaskeller” appears in connection with a blower which was destined for use in Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II, which is in accordance with Mattogno’s explanation. So, the term “Gaskeller” is spread to civilians, in discrepancy to an alleged rule of secrecy.
The Morgues of the Crematoria at Birkenau in the Light of Documents
By Carlo Mattogno
3. The "Gassing Cellar" of Crematorium II at Birkenau
Even before Pressac, the official historiography had taken the term "gassing cellar," which appears for the first time on January 29, 1943, in Bischoff's letter to Kammler, as discussed in the preceding section, to be a trace, if not an outright proof, of the existence of a homicidal gas chamber in crematorium II. What is of interest to us here is, above all, the context, in which this expression appears, and the significance of the entire sentence.
Bischoff says here that it had not yet been possible to remove completely the shuttering from the concrete ceiling of the morgue no. 2 because of frost, but that this was of no consequence because "for this" one could use the "gassing cellar." Practically speaking, the "gassing cellar" could take over the function of morgue no. 2. If we do assume that the function of morgue no. 2 was that of an undressing room for the victims and that the "gassing cellar" functioned as a homicidal gas chamber, how could a homicidal gas chamber function as an undressing room at the same time?
One can argue that the homicidal gas chamber could also be used as an undressing room, but then why – if we follow Tauber and Pressac – did the Central Construction Office allegedly build a barrack in front of the crematorium as an undressing room for the victims?
It is essential to stress here that the matter had a strictly temporary character and was of interest only as long as "morgue" 2 was unavailable: the "gassing cellar" could be used "for this," i.e., as a morgue, on January 29, 1943, and the days immediately thereafter. At a time when, as Bischoff tells us in his letter, the Topf company had not yet shipped "the aeration and de-aeration equipment" due to freight restrictions. Therefore the "gassing cellar" could not be operational as a homicidal gas chamber.
The interpretation by the official historiography – the undressing room for the victims is not operational but that does not matter because the homicidal gas chamber can be used instead – is therefore all the more nonsensical: considering that the alleged homicidal gas chamber was unserviceable, for what purpose would the victims undress? And the victims of what, if the homicidal gas chamber did not work? In conclusion, the victims could not undress in "morgue 2" because this room was not available; they could undress in the "gassing cellar," but could be gassed neither in the "morgue 2" nor in the "gassing cellar."
It is thus evident that the explanation of Bischoff's letter is quite different: "morgue 2" could not be used as a morgue or undressing room for the bodies of registered detainees who had died in the camp of "natural" causes, because this room was unavailable, but that was of no consequence, because the corpses could be placed into the "gassing cellar." One last point has to be elucidated: why was "morgue no. 1" called a "gassing cellar"?
The alleged criminal transformations of the basement of crematorium II began at a time, when the typhus epidemic that had broken out at Birkenau in July of 1942 had not yet been brought under control. The death rate among the inmates, though clearly dropping, was still high: some 8,600 deaths in August, some 7,400 in September, some 4,500 in October, some 4,100 in November, some 4,600 in December, and some 4,500 in January 1943. On January 9, 1943, Bischoff wrote a letter to the head of Office Group C of the SS WVHA, SS Brigadeführer Kammler, on the subject of "hygienic installations at CC and PoW camp Auschwitz," in which he listed all installations of disinfestation and disinfection that existed at the time: five installations at CC Auschwitz and four at PoW camp Birkenau. He ended his letter with the following observation:
"As can be seen from the foregoing, the need for hygienic installations has largely been fulfilled; once the screening barrack for civilian workers is operational, it will be possible, at any time, to delouse and disinfest a large number of people."
However, over the following days the hot air unit of block 1 in the main camp (built by Topf & Söhne), the hot air unit "in the men's and women's disinfestation barracks at the PoW camp," i.e. in the delousing barracks 5a and 5b (built by the Hochheim Co.), and finally in the "military disinfestation station" went out of service on account of fires. These failures occurred at a time when the typhus epidemic that had broken out in July of 1942 had not been reined in.
On December 17, 1942, Bischoff wrote to the "Military registration office, department W" at Bielitz:
"Concerning your inquiry of Dec. 8, 1942, Central Construction Office informs that camp quarantine can probably not be lifted over the next three months. While all available means of fighting the epidemic are being put to work, new cases have not yet been completely eradicated."
The same day, Bischoff wrote as follows to the camp commander:
"Pursuant to order of SS garrison physician, the first delousing and/or disinfestation of civilian workers is to be carried out on Saturday, Dec. 19, 1942. On account of this it is necessary that the disinfestation units in CC be made available. The same goes for individual delousings from Dec. 22, 1942, for the civilian workers. Your approval is requested."
In the "garrison order no. 1/43" of January 8, 1943, the Auschwitz commander informed:
"Head of Office D III has informed by radio message that the camp quarantine for CC Auschwitz will remain in force as before."
On January 5, 1943, several cases of typhus were identified at the Myslowitz jail (a town some twenty kilometers north of Auschwitz) and were rapidly spreading among the inmates. The president of provincial civil administration, whose seat was at Kattowitz, proposed to send the patients to Auschwitz. In a letter addressed to the camp commander, he wrote:
"I do recognize furthermore that these prisoners may introduce new cases of infection into the Auschwitz camp. On the other hand, as typhus at the Auschwitz camp is still rampant and considerable sanitation measures have been set up there as a countermeasure, I feel entitled to make such a request. [...]"
On January 13, Rudolf Höß replied that while "some cases of typhus" still occurred at the camp, it was no longer an epidemic ("the typhus epidemic no longer exists"), he refused this proposal, because the arrival of these sick inmates would greatly increase the resurgence of the typhus epidemic ("because in this way the risk of a new outbreak of a typhus epidemic would become very great").
However the Police President at Kattowitz decided that the bodies of inmates who had died of typhus at Myslowitz would be taken to Auschwitz by hearse for cremation, after having been treated with a delousing agent and placed in a coffin ("for incineration the departed will by transferred to Auschwitz by hearse").
Sanitary and hygienic conditions at Auschwitz were not as reassuring as Rudolf Höß had described them. On January 25, in "internal order no. 86," Bischoff announced the following:
"On account of an order emanating from the SS garrison physician of CC Auschwitz, all SS personnel of the Central Construction Office billeted at the Construction Office housing barrack will be subject to a 3 week quarantine."
During the course of January of 1943, a resurgence of the typhus epidemic took place, which culminated in the first ten days of February and prompted SS Brigadeführer Glücks, head of office Group D of the SS WVHA, to order drastic measures, as seen from the letter Bischoff wrote to Kammler on February 12, 1943, on the subject of "increase in typhus cases":
"In view of the rapid increase in cases of typhus among the members of the guard unit, SS Brigadeführer and Major General of the Waffen-SS Glücks, has ordered a total quarantine for CC Auschwitz. In this connection, starting on Feb. 11, 1943, all detainees are being disinfested and are not allowed to leave the camp. As a consequence, the building projects, to which detainees had predominantly been assigned, had to be stopped. Resumption of work will be announced by the Central Construction Office."
Let us return to the "gassing cellar." In the context outlined above, it was most reasonable that at the end of January of 1943, in order to overcome the loss of the disinfestation units that were out of commission due to fire, the SS authorities planned to utilize as temporary gas chamber employing hydrocyanic acid the morgue 1 of crematorium II. The name "gassing cellar" was evidently taken from the gas chamber employing hydrocyanic acid of buildings Bw 5a and 5b, which was also called "gassing room."
The initiative came, most probably, from Office Group C of the SS WVHA, because Bischoff's letter of January 29, 1943, addressed precisely to the head of Office Group C, SS Brigadeführer Kammler, which uses the term "gassing cellar," takes for granted that the addressee knew perfectly well what it was all about. This is confirmed by the fact that at the end of January, Office C/III (Technical questions) of SS WVHA had requested from the Hans Kori Co. of Berlin an estimate for a "hot-air disinfestation unit" for the Auschwitz camp. The Kori Co. answered on February 2 by a letter to the office in question concerning an "delousing unit for Auschwitz conc. camp.," an "Listing of iron requirements for a hot-air delousing unit, Auschwitz concentration camp" for a total of 4,152 kg of metal, and a "cost estimate concerning a hot-air delousing unit for the Auschwitz concentration camp" totaling 4,960.40 RM.
That same day, February 2, 1943, SS Hauptsturmführer Kother, head of Office C/VI of SS WVHA (commercial questions) carried out an "Inspection of disinfestation and sauna units at CC Auschwitz." In the corresponding report by SS Standartenführer Eirenschmalz, head of Office C/VI of SS WVHA, on the subject of "disinfestation units" it is said that the hot-air units had been originally conceived for a disinfestation by means of hydrocyanic acid, which required a temperature of 30°C, but had been used for a hot-air disinfestation, which necessitated a temperature of 95°C and had therefore been "overloaded:"
"The ever increasing arrival of many detainees leads to a corresponding utilization of the equipment, and the wear of the latter under such constant employment can only be countered by the installation of air-heaters based on coke. In order to counteract impending failures of the units, cast-iron hot-air heaters have been envisioned here for the existing disinfestation plants. Having checked with the supplier, these will be made available for supply within three weeks so that the necessary measures against epidemics can be undertaken. The fires having occurred are for the most part attributable to overheating, which makes it imperative to observe the respective directions when such plants are being utilized."
The idea of using the morgue no. 1 of the crematorium II as an emergency disinfestation chamber was then extended also to the other crematoria, and the corresponding documentary traces were later interpreted by Jean-Claude Pressac as "traces" or "slip-ups" referring to homicidal gas chambers. After little more than three months of planning at the Central Construction Office, Kammler changed his program of "Special measures for the improvement of hygienic installations" in the Birkenau camp, and suddenly all projects aiming at the use of the crematorium rooms as emergency disinfestation chambers were thrown out.
At the end of July 1943, disinfestation and disinfection units for 54 000 detainees per day existed or were on order within the complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
But as early as May of 1943, the documents of the Central Construction Office stop making any reference to the use of rooms in the crematoria as emergency disinfestation units, and thus, according to Pressac, to any kind of "trace" or "slip-up" hinting at an alleged criminal activity going on in the crematoria.
Already in 1994 I had underlined that, as far as the crematorium II at Birkenau is concerned, no "criminal trace" has a date later than March 31, 1943, the day of the official hand-over of the crematorium to the camp administration. Therefore, for the more than 20 months of use of this crematorium for alleged extermination activities there is not even one miserable "trace," and that goes for the other crematoria as well. No official historian has ever wondered about the reason for this strange state of affairs, which is certainly not due to a lack of documents: it can be explained only and completely by the fact that the program of improving the normal disinfection and disinfestation units, launched in May of 1943, rendered absolutely needless any kind of plan to install emergency disinfestation units in the crematoria. From this project one moved, in fact, to the plan of installing emergency showers for the detainees in the crematoria, which was given up in turn because the 100 showers of buildings 5a and 5b functioned regularly and because – as we have seen in section I.4. – completion of the central sauna was now close.
http://www.inconvenienthistory.com/arch ... ionism.php
In his 1976 classic The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, Arthur Butz posited that this term referred to a basement where generator gas was produced from coke as fuel for the cremation furnaces. Butz later corrected that error after becoming familiar with the cremation furnaces' design, eventually settling for the hypothesis that this document referred to a basement that served as a "gas [protection] basement" as an auxiliary function (see the latest, 2015 edition of his book).
Except for some minor construction work, Krematorium II was finished by working with all our available forces day and night, despite inexpressible difficulties and freezing weather. The ovens were fired in the presence of the senior engineer Prüfer of the executing firm, Topf and Sons, Erfurt, and they are working faultlessly. The reinforced concrete ceiling of the morgue could not yet be eliminated due to the freezing weather. However, this is not significant, as the gassing cellar can be used for this purpose.
Or in German:
Das Krematorium II wurde unter Einsatz aller verfügbaren Kräfte trotz unsagbarer Schwierigkeiten und Frostwetter bei Tag- und Nachbetrieb [sic] bis auf bauliche Kleinigkeiten fertiggestellt. Die Öfen wurden im Beisein des Herrn Oberingenieur Prüfer der ausführenden Firma, Firma Topf u. Söhne, Erfurt, angefeuert und funtionieren [sic] tadellos. Die Eisenbetondecke des Leichenkellers konnte infolge Frosteinwirkung noch nicht ausgeschalt werden. Die [sic] ist jedoch unbedeutend, da der Vergasungskeller hierfür benützt werden kann.
The supposedly high ranking officer makes too many spelling mistakes for my taste and the text is also not coherent on what this is actually about. What was the "gassing cellar" supposedly used for? Why did he write the letter? Quite strange behavior for a bureaucracy with the reputation of being very efficient. But leave that aside for a while.
That document is far worse for the Holocaustians than they think. They try to insinuate that "Leichenkeller" = "gassing cellar". However it is clearly stated that the Leichenkeller isn't finished yet. The document does by no means confirm the standard narrative in any way.
wyit @Wyatt1116 Mar 27
Another document. This time talking about krema 2. The first purpose designed extermination complex. A word appears in this official document you dont see much in the official documents or even the blueprints! "vergasungskeller". Gas celler
Yet "vergasung" has been used in other occasions, with meanings recognized to be non-homicidal (i.e., fumigation).
SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Bischoff's Letter
A good summary is available in this section from Crowell's "Bomb Shelters in Birkenau":
As we have seen, this word has usually been interpreted as meaning "gas chamber" or "gassing cellar" by traditional historians. Arthur R. Butz has offered a number of explanations over the years to account for this word, of which "gas shelter" is the most recent. The word is unusual and is not found in any other documents. Hence, there is no real way of knowing what it means. In Technique, we tried to construct etymologically a definition of the term that would be consonant with gas protection, or more precisely the treatment of persons injured in a gas attack. However, we are not satisfied with that construction because we have found no trace of such usage in the civil defense literature. We have maintained since late 1997 that the more likely meaning of the word has something to do with disinfection, and will discuss our reasoning below. In the meantime, we have to recognize that this criminal trace, along with the gas detectors for cyanide residue, remain as rather forceful evidence in support of the gas chamber thesis.
So far we have found five examples of "Vergasungs-" type words that are roughly contemporaneous to the above usage and are focused on Auschwitz and the SS.
First, Mattogno found a reference, dated July 13, 1941, in which the delousing spaces of BW 5a and 5b are referred to as a "Vergasungsraum".
Second, a travel order to pick up Zyklon B from a factory in Dessau, dated July 26, 1942, references "Gas zur Vergasung des Lagers, zur Bekämpfung der aufgetretenen Seuche, zu holen." That is, picking up the gas for the fumigation of the camp in the struggle against vermin. Since the order comes at the height of the typhus and typhoid epidemics the meaning is clearly not homicidal.
Third, a widely distributed circular from Commandant Höß, dated August 12, 1942, discusses an accident with Zyklon B during the fumigation of a barracks. (Pressac, ATO, p. 201, Ref: PMO, no reference) The one page special order contains two references to "vergasen" words, in one place referring to all those who took part in the gassing "allen an Vergasungen Beteiligten" and refers to the spaces gassed as "vergasten Räume". A similar order, from Doctor Wirths, dated December 10, 1943, describes a similar incident, but here the words used are "Entwesung" and "entwest", which supports the argument that "vergasen" was used as a synonym not only for "begasen" (fumigate) but also "entwesen" (disinfect). (Source: 502-1-8, p. 25)
Fourth, the diary of Dr. Kremer, for September 1, 1942, contains the following entry: "Nachmittags bei der Vergasung eines Blocks mit Zyklon B gegen die Läuse." That is, "In the afternoon attended the fumigation of a barracks with Zyklon B against lice."
Fifth, a circular from Dr. Mrugowsky from the SS Hygiene Institute, dated May 13, 1943, reads as follows:
"In the future therefore, cyanide gas can only be used for the fumigation of barracks in the concentration camps."
[In Zukunft darf daher Blausäure nur noch zur Vergasung von Baracken in Konzentrationlägern verwendet werden.]
It is obvious that the ordinary meaning of "Vergasung-" type words at Auschwitz, among the SS, and during this time frame, is as a synonym for fumigation or disinfection. Therefore the most likely explanation for the word "Vergasungskeller" is a basement in which fumigation or disinfection is going to take place.
Bomb Shelters in Birkenau: A Reappraisal
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