above all, a very important amount of information
concerning the camp of Auschwitz. Among the latter, that relating to the gas
chambers interests us essentially. This autobiography contains all of the
essential elements of the previous declarations made on this subject by Hoess
to the English, and those of the account and the declarations of Broad: the
fitting out of the "experimental" gas chambers at Auschwitz I (24, p. 222), the fitting out of the abandoned
farms in Birkenau as "bunkers" (24, pp.
174, 229), the construction of four "modern" and perfected plants at Birkenau
(24, pp. 235, 240, 245), their
characteristics, their functioning on "Zyklon B," the "selections" of the
victims (24, pp. 178, 233, 237), the work
of the "Sonderkommandos," etc. Written entirely from memory, this autobiography
contains certain obvious and inevitable errors; and, of course, there is some
information which is not to be found in the account of Broad and vice versa.
That is a supplementary proof of the absence of all connivence [sic] between
the two men. In fact, the contrary would be highly suspicious, particularly
when one of the men was a simple SS-Unterscharführer responsible for a
single bureau, even such an important one as the "Political Section," and the
other was an SS-Obersturmbannführer, commandant and creator of the largest
Nazi concentrationary complex. |
It remains to be added that it seems
probable that the statements made by Broad in 1945 were equally unknown to the
Supreme Tribunal of Warsaw, and thus to Hoess at the time of his detention in
Poland and his trial. As for the statements of Broad in 1947, they were made
several months after the trial and execution of Hoess.
later, at the time of the trials of Auschwitz, for example, that of Frankfurt
in 1963-65, eight former members of the SS examined as witnesses recognized
having seen with their own eyes the gas chambers at Birkenau in operation.
(These witnesses were R. Böck, G. Hess, K. Höblinger, Dr. K. Morgen,
H. Stroch, F. Hofmann and Dr. G. Wiebeck). None of the defendants denied their
existence, but only his personal participation in their use (29).
But the Neo-Nazi propagandists, from Paul
Rassinier to those of the present day, still repeat one after the other that
the statements of Hoess concerning the gas chambers are false or absurd and
without value. It is claimed that their content was obtained by horrible
tortures to which the unfortunate person would have been subjected. No one ever
mentions Pery Broad, who confirms the statements of Hoess in their entirety,
and whose memoir of 1945 had already been made public in 1947 at the time of
the trial of the German industrialists by the American Military Tribunal, in
1949 at the Assize Court of Frankfurt and in 1963 65 at the time of the trial
of Auschwitz. As to the tortures to which Hoess was submitted, there is no
serious indication concerning them. It is to present that tough old SS, that
"glorious" representative of the elite of the "race of Lords," a man of
unshakable courage, as a cowardly individual who had collapsed under the ordeal
and was ready to betray the regime to which he had sworn eternal fidelity with
neither breach nor compromise.