All of the documents on this Web page were retrieved from the archives of Shamash: The Jewish Internet Consortium. The comments inside the square [ . . . ] brackets were written by Daniel Keren for the Shamash archives.
Testimonies of Auschwitz SS-Men
From the statement of Hans Stark, registrar of new arrivals, Auschwitz.
Quoted in "'The Good Old Days'" - E. Klee, W. Dressen, V. Riess, The Free Press, NY, 1988, p. 255:
At another, later gassing--also in autumn 1941--Grabner* ordered me to pour Zyklon B into the opening because only one medical orderly had shown up. During a gassing Zyklon B had to be poured through both openings of the gas-chamber room at the same time. This gassing was also a transport of 200-250 Jews, once again men, women and children. As the Zyklon B--as already mentioned--was in granular form, it trickled down over the people as it was being poured in. They then started to cry out terribly for they now knew what was happening to them. I did not look through the opening because it had to be closed as soon as the Zyklon B had been poured in. After a few minutes there was silence. After some time had passed, it may have been ten to fifteen minutes, the gas chamber was opened. The dead lay higgledy-piggedly all over the place. It was a dreadful sight.
* Maximillian Grabner, Head of Political Department, Auschwitz
Testimony of SS private Hoeblinger.
Extracted from "Der Auschwitz Prozess", by Hermann Langbein, Vol. I, quoted in "Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers - J.C Pressac, the Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, NY, 1989, p. 174:
I was detailed to the transport service and I drove the Sanka [abbreviation for Sanitatskraftwagon/medical truck] which was to carry the prisoners....
Then we drove to the gas chambers. The medical orderlies climbed a ladder, they had gas masks up there, and emptied the cans. I was able to observe the prisoners while they were undressing. It always proceeded quitely and without them suspecting anything. It happened very quickly.
Testimony of SS private Boeck.
Extracted from "Der Auschwitz Prozess", by Hermann Langbein, Vol. I, quoted in "Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers - J.C Pressac, the Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, NY, 1989, p. 181:
Q: were you present at a gassing operation one day?
A: Yes, it was one evening. I accompanied the driver Hoeblinger. A transport had arrived from Holland and the prisoners had to jump from the wagons. They were well-off Jews. There were women with Persian furs. They arrived by express train. The trucks were already there, with wooden steps before them, and the people climbed aboard. Then they all started off. In the place Birkenau once stood, there was only a long farmhouse (Bunker 2) and beside it four or five big huts. Inside, the people were standing on clothes which were building up on the floor. The block leader and the sergeant, carrying a cane, were there. Hoeblinger said to me 'lets go over there now'. There was a sign 'to disinfection'. He said 'you see, they are bringing children now'. They opened the door, threw the children in and closed the door. There was a terrible cry. A member of the SS climbed on the roof. The people went on crying for about ten minutes. Then the prisoners opened the doors. Everything was in disorder and contorted. Heat was given off. The bodies were loaded on a rough wagon and taken to a ditch. The next batch were already undressing in the huts. After that I didn't look at my wife for four weeks.
Testimony of SS-Unterscharfuehrer Pery Broad, describing gassing in Krema I in Auschwitz.
Quoted in "KL Auschwitz as Seen by the SS", p. 176:
... The "disinfectors" were at work. One of them was SS-Unterscharfhrer Teuer, decorated with the Cross of War Merit. With a chisel and a hammer they opened a few innocuously looking tins which bore the inscription "Cyclon, to be used against vermin. Attention, poison! to be opened by trained personnel only!". The tins were filled to the brim with blue granules the size of peas. Immediately after opening the tins, their contents was thrown into the holes which were then quickly covered. Meanwhile Grabner gave a sign to the driver of a lorry, which had stopped close to the crematorium. The driver started the motor and its deafening noise was louder than the death cries of the hundreds of people inside, being gassed to death.
A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 2005.