The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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talent several moving scenes which took place at different periods in the "undressing room" (Auskleideraum" or "Entkleidungsraum") and in the "Bunker" or the "Gasbunker" or the "Gaskammer" and which reveal the courageous attitudes of the victims confronted with death. These scenes recall certain descriptions which appear in the autobiography of Hoess and in the memoir of Broad in 1945. The author specified, moreover, that the walls of Crematory III (damaged at the time of the revolt of the Sonderkommando on October 7, 1944, G.W.) were knocked down on October 14; that on October 20 the documents, the collections of maps, the death certificates, etc., were taken away in two little taxis and a camp vehicule [sic] to be burnt; that "today," November 25, the dismantlement of Crematory I was begun, followed by that of Crematory II carefully conserving the material used "zum Vergasen von Menschen;" he mentioned the two other crematories and said that he had buried other manuscripts on the grounds of Crematories I and II. He ended by saying that one hundred and seventy last men of his Sonderkommando were to leave their quarters, and he added that "we are sure that they will lead us to death."

Finally, on October 17, 1962, a glass jar was found in the vicinity of Crematorium II of Birkenau. It contained sixty-five sheets of paper covered with writing, a part of which was more or less damaged and thus difficult to read.

The author of this text is a certain Salme Lewental, of Polish origin, who arrived at Auschwitz on December 10, 1942, and was immediately attached to the Sonderkommando taking care of Bunkers I and II and the pits for incineration of the bodies, as that was done before the construction of perfected crematoriums (22). The author spoke numerous times of the "Bunkers," where the men, women and children "vergast wurden" or "kommen im Gas" or "in der Todesbunker führen und si mit Gas ersticken" or "ins Gas kam" or "Alle Menschen aus dem Gasbunker waren herausgeschleppt," "vergasene Menschen," etc.; of the manner in which "Zyklon B" was introduced into the gas chambers, the state of mind of the members of the Sonderkommandos and of the bloody revolt of October 7, 1944. Concerning the latter, he gave the names of his comrades among whom was Salmen Gradowski, the author of the manuscript of which we have spoken above.

After the end of the war, a few rare survivors among the members of the Sonderkommandos testified confirming the written documents known following the excavations. They were Janowski as of April 13, 1945; Bacon, Buki, Filip and Don Paisikovic, Filip Mueller, the brothers Shlomo and Avram Dragon, Rosemblum, Silbergerg, Drs. S. Bentlel, M. Nyiszli and A. Lettich. Each of them gave numerous supplementary and precious details. There probably is not a single account of a former prisoner of Auschwitz which does not speak of the gas chambers of Birkenau, for their existence was notorious.
    
   

 
The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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