Page 468 AUSCHWITZ:
                        Technique and Operation
                            of the Gas Chambers ©
 
 
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   Document 16:   
     
  The following extract from The sky my kingdom, by Hanna Reitsch, confirms the very long time that it took for nations outside the Third Reich not so much to know of, as to fully realize what was implied by, the “Final Solution” to the “Jewish Problem” in occupied Europe, and the means by whch it was implemented   

  In October 1944, my old flying comrade Peter Riedel, who was now in the German Embassy in Sweden, called on me at the Flying Club in Berlin. In a state of considerable agitation, he threw a booklet down on the table.   
     
  “If you want to know what's going on in Germany, look at this! This is what we find on our desks at the Embassy!”     
     
  I glanced through the booklet, which concerned the gas chambers. I was beside myself:  
     
  “And you believe this?” I asked, furious. “In the First World War enemy propaganda smeared the German soldier with every imaginable barbarity — now it has come to gas chambers.”   
     
  My emotion strongly impressed my friend.   
     
  “I'll believe that from you,” he said, but he asked me to inform Himmler about it immediately.    
     
  I telephoned Himmler, obtaining permission to visit him at his headquarters in the field. Arrived there, I placed the booklet before him.    
     
  “What do you say to this, Reichsführer?”   
     
  He picked it up and flicked over the pages. Then, without a change of expression, he looked up, eyeing me quietly.   
     
  “And you believe this, Frau Hanna?”   
     
  “No, of course not. But you must do something to counter it. You can't let them shoulder this onto Germany.”    
     
  Himmler laid the booklet on the table, then looked at me once more.    
     
  “You are right,” he said.    

  [In the English version, the chapter ends there, but the French version contains two additional paragraphs:    

  A few days later the information was denied in one of the main German newspapers. l learned from Peter Riedel that the same denial had appeared in a Swedish newspaper.   
     
  It was only after 1945 that I found out, and with what horror, that Himmler had lied to me, and that the awful news was true.]    
 
AUSCHWITZ:
Technique and operation
of the gas chambers

Jean-Claude Pressac
© 1989, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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