B: The Gas Chambers at Belzec and
the Declarations of Gerstein|
Birkenau (Auschwitz II) was not the only
camp where there were gas chambers for the extermination of the Jews. The same
installations existed, still in Poland, at Belzec, Treblinka, Sobibor and
Maïdnek as well.
Let us consider the case of Belzec.
declarations of Gerstein gave a good deal of anxiety to Rassinier who spent
himself in mental gymnastics in an attempt to discredit them. His destructive
passion is easily understood: it is a testimony of cardinal importance from an
eye-witness of the gas chambers of Belzec, the functioning of which is
described in detail; and it affords precious indications concerning those of
Treblinka, Sobibor and Maïdanek.
This account is particularly
important due to the fact that its author is not a chance spectator, but rather
an SS officer specialized in the matter who was on official mission to
SS-Gruppenführer Globocnik; and because this author told his staggering
experience to trustworthy third parties as of the month of August 1942, in the
middle of the war, far from the defeat, in complete liberty, spontaneously. It
is this account that he was to set down in black and white in April 1945, still
spontaneously, in conditions that we shall soon see; and it is an account which
was to be authenticated by his confidants of 1942. (10, 45, 25 p. 283-290.)
That is what the "Gerstein
report" is. Here, in a few words, is its history.
1. Kurt Gerstein and
Kurt Gerstein was an SS-Obersturmführer who belonged to
the Medico technical Service of the Central Office of the SS Administration. On
November 9, 1941, he was entrusted with the perfecting and the construction of
establishments of the Waffen SS for disinfection and extermination of lice and
which also included the sections of highly poisonous gases.