THE STRUTHOF ALBUM

STUDY OF THE GASSING AT NATZWEILER-STRUTHOF
by Jean-Claude Pressac  

 
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INTRODUCTION

The reproduction of substantial extracts from the photographic album “CAMP DE CONCENTRATION DU STRUTHOF”, published by the office of Major Jadin, investigative judge with the Military Tribunal at Strasbourg, is due to the initiative of Serge Klarsfeld.

This legal document, drawn up on the spot and almost as the events unfolded, is an authentic report. It visually documents the absurd and tragic outcome of “racial” correspondence exchanged among SS doctors and professors on the subject of constituting a collection of about one hundred skeletons, with selection criteria that remain incomprehensible to this very day (1).

It is traditional to await the demise, whether natural, accidental or by illness, of an individual before being able to dispose of his skeleton. But the SS doctors were in a hurry, and they had no problem in finding a way of improving on this painstaking method. They achieved immediate results by shortening the individual’s life-span. The technique they settled upon had the additional advantage of not damaging the body.They decided on gassing.

Of the 115 individuals “selected” at Auschwitz for their special bone structure, only 87 Jews, 30 women and 57 men, actually made it to the K.L. Natzweiler for their “treatment”.

The executor of this task was the camp commandant, SS Captain Josef Kramer. The way in which he gassed a number of people, as confessed by him on the 26 July 1945 to Major Jadin cannot be considered credible. He would have ended up gassing himself.

He asphyxiated his victims by causing the release of gaseous prussic acid. According to his first testimony of the 26.07.45, he proceeded by mixing a “salt” with water, which is a chemically impossible reaction because the formula “Acid + Base yields Salt + Water” is not reversible.

Because of the absurdity of this modus operandi and his ignorance about the substances involved, some quite legitimate historical suspicion has weighed on the procedure and on the very existence of the gas chamber at Struthof. 
 
   
   

THE STRUTHOF ALBUM

STUDY OF THE GASSING AT NATZWEILER-STRUTHOF
By Jean-Claude Pressac

 
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