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|Document 4 |
Deposition made on 2nd February 1961 by Andrzcje Rablin, born 1st January 1914
in Cracow Prisoner number 1410
|"... In these rooms there were wooden frames with hooks on which we
hung the clothes. The windows were sealed by strips of paper along the
joints, as was the ventilator. We received the Zyklon-B from Capo Mau, a
German, who was the only one to have the key of the store. Bezucha,
another prisoner, and I did the gassing. We put on our gas masks and went
in the room naked or wearing underpants. We did that because of the lice.
There were very many lice in the clothes. Sometimes, filling the gas
chamber with clothes took as much as two days. The lice fell on the floor
and formed a layer about 50cm across under the clothes. When we went in to
spread the, the lice jumped on us and the layers disappeared very fast.
The cans were opened with a kind of chisel with a ring of teeth that we
hit with a hammer. It produced a ring of holes in the can. Since we were
afraid of being bitten by the lice, we put the chisel, the hammer and the
can of Zyklon-B ready in advance, opened it quickly and threw the
substance on the floor. Despite the speed of this operation the lice
jumped on our legs and to protect ourselves we spread a little Zyklon-B
around our feet. Immediately, I could feel the lice drop off, dead.
Sometimes at the moment when the gas evaporated, I tried to feel it by
handling the crystals. They felt like velvet and were cool and damp. After
throwing the crystals we went out, closed the door and stuck strips of
paper over the gaps. Twenty-four hours later, we put our gas masks on
again, the extractor fans were switched on and we opened the windows. The
ventilation continued for two hours. The gas was very dangerous for us.
Before we closed the door and sealed it with strips of paper, a little of
the gas would escape into the corridor. Apart from us two who were
protected by gas masks, the rest did not have any and the entire floor was
affected by gas. |
Once I was slightly gassed because the mask I was wearing was not fully gas-tight. I felt nothing at the time but two hours afterwards I had a bad headache, a pain in the meninges and a burning pain in the lungs. At first did not go to the KB [Krankenbau / hospital block] but went out of the block into the birch alley [between Block 3 and the protective wall of the Stammlager] to breath deeply while doing some knee bends. The headache went away fairly quickly, but when I coughed a little blood came up. Doctor Wasilewski diagnosed inflammation and dehydration of the throat. After being hospitalised, I was cured in two months..."
Technique and operation
of the gas chambers
© 1989, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation