The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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that city put at the disposal of the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs for any measures which would be judged useful.
Sincerely yours
(Signature: illegible)
M. Leon Poliakov, Chief of Research, Center of Jewish Contemporary Documentation, Paris."
Memorandum. Kungl. Utrikes Department.
Concerns: the engineer Kurt Gerstein, member of the SS sanitary section, Siesebrechstr.
Probably born in 1907 in Brunswick (?). Address in 1943: Berlin Bülowstrasse 49.
In August 1942, Gerstein established contact with an official of a neutral embassy in Berlin and related to him the following story:
He had just come back from a brief mission to the extermination camp of Belzec near Lublin, and he gave a detailed description of its set up (gas chambers, role of the personnel, the collecting of deposits in gold, etc.) He showed diverse papers, his identification cards and instructions from the commandant of the camp for the supplying of prussic acid.
Gerstein declared that he endeavoured to inform neutral observers of this state of affairs and that he was firmly convinced that as soon as large masses of the German population learnt the fact of this extermination and that it was confirmed to them by unbiassed [sic] foreigners, the German people would not tolerate the Nazis a single day longer. Gerstein declared in addition that he had already spoken with a high-ranking religious authority, the Superintendant [sic] General Dibelius, of this matter (That was later confirmed by Dibelius himself, who vouched for the seriousness and the veracity of Gerstein.) (...) Six months later, Gerstein again paid a visit to this same foreign diplomat of a neutral country and asked if the latter had been able to undertake anything in the meantime.
Following this, no further news of him was had. The sorrow and the shame of Gerstein in regard to the extermination camps appeared to be as real as they were profound; and his desire to inform the outside world of these things, in order to put an end to the atrocities, was no doubt sincere."
Let us add, finally, that after the end of the war, Kurt Gerstein was classified among the criminals; that on August 17, 1950, his case was posthumously reexamined by the denazification Chamber of Wurtemberg-Hohenzollern which classed him as a "minor Nazi," and that this verdict was confirmed on November 16, 1950; that his "report" and his case were evoked at length in March 1949 at the Assizes Court of Frankfurt-on-the-Main, at the time of the trial of the directors of the I.G. Farbenindustrie, the producer of "Zyklon B," which heard numerous witnesses. It is thus that the ministers Niemöller and Ehlers, the bishop Dibelius, the canon Buchholz, the priests Michaiski and Rehrig confirmed that at different periods, but still during the war, Gerstein had told them of his visit to Belzec, as he had told it to Otter, and that Dr. Dibelius had transmitted this information to the Archbishop of Upsala in Sweden.

6. The Gerstein testimony and the insincerity of its detractors

One must therefore be both terribly insincere and possessed of he blind passion of the apologist of Nazism in its most cruel and most cynical aspect to continue to affirm that the "Gerstein report" is not an account of an atrocious experience lived in 1942, but rather a text forged in 1945 under the effects of torture or fear; that it is a "story which is
 
   
   

 
The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
Previous Page  Back Page 128 Forward  Next Page