Reconstruction of the Death Camp (Continued)

"The work on these gas chambers lasted five weeks, which to us seemed like centuries. We had to work from dawn to dusk under the ceaseless threat of beatings from whips and rifle butts. One of the guards, Woronkov, tortured us savagely, killing some of the workers each day. Although our physical suffering surpassed the imagination of normal human beings, our spiritual agonies were far worse. New transports of victims arrived each day. They were immediately ordered to disrobe and were led to the three old gas chambers, passing us on the way. Many of us saw our children, wives and other loved ones among the victims. And when, on the impulse of grief, someone rushed to his loved ones, he would be killed on the spot. It was under these conditions that we constructed death chambers for our brethren and ourselves." (Reference 21)

It is clear that to have been able to witness one's relatives among the throngs forced through the tube one had to be very close and overlooking it, as it was 3 meters high and screened with pine boughs. This leads to the conclusion that the tube must have run very closely alongside the walls being erected for the new facility.

A little reverse engineering is called for in the next step. The task of the SS was to kill thousands of people every day. Interruptions in this process were not permissible, for it would throw a monkey wrench in a complex process involving many bureaucratic functions and much complicated scheduling and coordination. One can formulate the basic requirements that would obtain to the construction process: first, that the new gas chamber should be built without interfering with current operations, and second, that when it became complete, it could become operational with a minimum of fuss or delay. This meant, among other things, that the existing security fencing and screens be adaptable to the new site. One would also expect that the new and old chambers be operable simultaneously. To meet these specifications, the new building would have to be located as near as possible to the tube, and oriented in such a manner that existing fencing could be incorporated into the control system and that the need for new fencing be minimized.

The specifications cited above were used to roughly place the two buildings with respect to the tube identified in
Figure 32 and Figure 33
Here again, Viernik was the source that proved to be reliable in working out the details. He had made a model that is exhibited at the Lohamel LaGetaot Museum in Israel. A photograph of that model, shown in Figure 34
was taken of the part containing the two gas chambers. Of significance, is the fact that in Viernik's model the west wall of the new building formed part of the tube leading to the older gas chamber. He also shows the fencing jogging around the large chambers to reach the smaller building. These factors and the conjectured specifications noted above served to locate the two buildings on the aerial photography, as drawn in on Figure 35. Before the new chambers existed, the tube must have made the near 90 degree turn and run directly to the entrance of the old chambers, as shown in the inset to Figure 35. Immediately before construction ended on the new building, added fencing would have been erected. When the time came to bring the new building on line, the only action required would have been to remove a small section blocking entry to the new section of the tube leading to the finished building.

Previous
Next