The Making of the Auschwitz Myth: British Intercepts, Polish Underground Reports and Postwar Testimonies

HOLOCAUST HANDBOOKS, Volume 41:
Carlo Mattogno:
The Making of the Auschwitz Myth:
Auschwitz in British Intercepts, Polish Underground Reports and Postwar
Testimonies (1941-1947). On the Genesis and Development of the Gas Chamber Lore.
Translated from the Italian by Carlos W. Porter and Germar Rudolf

The latest installment in the Holocaust Handbook series was just recently published, authored by the exceptional and foremost researcher on the jewish holocaust lie Carlo Mottogno.

https://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=41

Introduction

Many studies have been dedicated over the decades to the question of what knowledge the Allies and the neutral countries had during the Second World War of alleged exterminations of jews by the Third Reich in general. What did the Americans know? Or the British? Or the Holy See? What about the International Red Cross?1 On the “terrible secret” of Auschwitz, however, the literature is rather limited. Except for an excursion by Martin Gilbert (Gilbert 1984), Western historians have only dealt with the question of why the railway lines leading to Auschwitz were not bombed by the Anglo-Americans.2 Several Polish historians, on the other hand, especially those of the Auschwitz Museum, have thoroughly expatiated (from a perspective to be explained later) on a topic which is also one of the focal points of the present study: the messages sent out of the camp by the Auschwitz Resistance.3 In this context, the greatest expert is undoubtedly Henryk Świebocki.4

The first resistance groups in Auschwitz were formed in the second half of 1940 and multiplied during subsequent years (see Chapter 2.1). From the outside, they were assisted by the Polish resistance movement, which was fragmented into various competing organizations. In addition to sabotaging the German occupational forces, they helped the camp inmates, providing them with food and medicine. The main organizations operating in the Auschwitz region were the Union of Armed Struggle – National Army (Związek Walki Zbrodnie – Armia Krajowa), the Peasants’ Battalions (Bataliony Chłopskie), the Polish Socialist Party (Polska Partia Socjalistyczna), the Polish Workers’ Party (Polska Partia Robotnicza) and the Relief Committee for Concentration Camp Inmates (Komitet Pomoc Więźniom Obozowów Koncentracyjnych).

These organizations were in contact with Auschwitz detainees through Polish civilian workers who worked in the camp. From the latter, they received messages and information which they forwarded to the Delegatura, which was the clandestine representation, in occupied Poland, of the Polish Government-in Exile in London. The Delegatura was organized into twenty offices; the fifth, called “Department of Information and Press” (Departament Infomacji i Prasy), whose code name was “Iskra, 600 PP,” was in charge of collecting, processing and transmitting information from the camp to London.

These aspects have been thoroughly investigated by Polish historians, but the fundamental problem remains: what did the prisoners really know about the alleged extermination of jews? And what really were their sources?

This study aims to answer these questions. After giving a background on the British intercepting and deciphering of encrypted German radio messages on Auschwitz (Part 1), we will explore and discuss the dubious reports of the camp resistance and of escaped prisoners that they issued until the end of 1944 (Part 2). This allows us to reconstruct the origins and contrasting developments of the story of the Auschwitz gas chambers. The sources, mostly in
Polish, were usually examined in the original text.

This is followed in Part 3 by an examination of testimonies made within roughly the first three years after the Soviets’ arrival at Auschwitz, hence until and including 1947 (with some necessary exceptions), which is the year in which the Warsaw trial against the former Auschwitz commander Rudolf Höss and the Krakow trial against the former Auschwitz camp garrison took place. Both trials molded the final version of the gas chamber lore that is by and large still in vogue today.

In Chapter 3.1, I will briefly illustrate Soviet contributions to the creation of the orthodox Auschwitz narrative shortly after they occupied the camp. In the next five chapters, I will analyze early witness testimonies. They are ordered in five categories of decreasing historiographical importance:

1. Eyewitness testimonies by Sonderkommando members who claim to have
worked inside and around the gas chambers.
2. Testimonies by inmates who worked in the crematoria without being
members of the Sonderkommando.
3. Testimonies of prisoners who claim to have escaped a gassing.
4. Testimonies of prisoners who claim to have witnessed the gas chambers
accidentally.
5. Testimonies of prisoners who claimed to have received information directly from Sonderkommando members.

Chapter 3.7, “Testimonies of Prisoners Reporting Camp Rumors,” deals with the most important testimonies of this kind recorded in the immediate postwar period (1945-1947). These rumors developed among former Auschwitz inmates who found themselves outside the sphere of Soviet-Polish influence.

The immediate postwar years also saw the first attempts at making these stories look like history rather than fantasy, a topic examined in Part 4, while Part 5, “The Connivance of Orthodox Historians: Deceptions to Hide the Lies,” exposes the vain attempts of some orthodox Holocaust historians to justify patently false witness statements at all costs.

The present study offers a very large collection of primary sources which includes a significant number of reports and testimonies unknown to mainstream Holocaust historiography.

Excerpts

It is now a well-known fact that the British, at the beginning of the Second World War, intercepted and deciphered German radio messages at the Government Communications and Cypher School at Bletchley Park. Orthodox Holocaust historians who have dealt with this issue, given that they start from the a priori “fact” that mass murder of jews in gas chambers was carried out in Auschwitz, are mainly interested in how the British interpreted the decrypts, that is what they “knew,” often only to accuse them of complicit silence. Unable to deny, however, that these decrypts contain not the slightest allusion to any homicidal gassings, they are forced to fall back on the black propaganda spread lavishly first of all by the Polish government in exile in London, which these purpose-driven historians claim should have provided them with the interpretative key to the German messages.

It is truly painful to note the childish self-assurance of the vast majority of orthodox Holocaust historians, that the Auschwitz camp authorities, every moment of every day, thought of nothing else but exterminating jews. In the documentation of the Central Construction Office, which contains some 120,000 pages, the documents that, according to J.-C. Pressac and other orthodox historians, contain “criminal traces,” hardly reach 0.0005%. This shows how absurd their claims are to find references to gas chambers and exterminations always and everywhere.

Since the decrypts are mute about mass exterminations, Breitman is forced to resort to Polish black propaganda, thereby disclosing that this was the true origin of the Auschwitz gas-chamber story. One of the most-frequently recurring themes in the intercepted radio messages is that concerning the health situation in Auschwitz, in particular the typhus epidemics which repeatedly ravaged the camp.

Several intercepts deal with the most varied aspects of life in the camp; these intercepts provide information which was previously unknown or which clarifies or supplements aspects already known. My discussion of them here is based upon the topics referred to. Therefore, the British intercepts do not provide the slightest clue in favor of the idea that an extermination by means of gas chambers was being perpetrated at Auschwitz. This idea, as Breitman perfectly understood, came exclusively from Polish black propaganda, which will be the subject of the second part of this study.

Richard Breitman’s claim that “the Polish underground reports were an important complement to, and confirmation of, British signals intelligence” (Breitman 1998, p. 116) is false and pretentious, as I have explained in Part One of the present study. In fact, the British intercepts do not contain the slightest allusion to any extermination of jews, so that the reports of the Polish resistance are neither a “complement” nor a “confirmation” of those intercepts, but are the source of the above-mentioned fantasies and myths.

To sum up, the Auschwitz resistance movement, through its dense network of connections, was closely monitoring all the nerve centers of the camp and had access to all the important documents, including the crematoria’s construction blueprints. The civilian workers, most of them Polish, were another precious source of information, and at the same time a primary link to the outside world. The escaped inmates and those who had been released represented another direct source of information for the Delegatura.

In practice, everybody knew everything at Auschwitz, and it is obvious that the SS’s policy of granting visits to the camp by civilians and of releasing and transferring inmates cannot be reconciled with the story of a mass extermination camp whose “terrible secret” had to be covered up with the utmost secrecy.

From the very outset, the resistance movement was therefore in possession of all the information and had a wide range of opportunities when it came to exposing the “reality” or “true” version of history, including any mass gassings, but instead of doing so, it exclusively fabricated fantasies and myths. This fact confirms that the presumed existence of homicidal gas chambers is not a hidden truth which came to light gradually, a shadow which gradually assumed the distinguishing marks of a projected “reality,” but is a creation of atrocity propaganda334 that gradually transformed itself into “truth” and “reality.”

Unlike other Holocaust-related themes, this story failed to coalesce into a coherent, definitive version in the post-war period, and the version we encounter today is simply the fruit of shameless manipulations by Danuta Czech; in fact, she sets forth a forced and fictitious reconstruction of the presumed event by selecting the very few generic elements common to the testimonies, while ignoring that they contradict each other on all essential points (see Mattogno 2016e).

It is now well-established that the description of Crematoria II and III supplied by Wetzler and Vrba – both in the text and the illustration – are completely invented, as shown by a simple comparison with the original blueprint (Document 8).

According to the Plans of the Crematoria:

1. the furnace room had five furnaces instead of nine;
2. each furnace had three muffles instead of four; therefore, the total number of muffles was 15 rather than 36;              3. the furnaces were arranged in a straight line along the longitudinal axis of the furnace room and not grouped in a semi-circle around the chimney;
4. the room later referred to as the victims’ undressing room (Morgue #2) was located in the basement instead of the ground floor;
5. the room referred to as the gas chamber (Morgue #1) was not located on the ground floor, a little bit lower than the undressing room, but in the basement and on the same level as Morgue #2;
6. the room referred to as the gas chamber was linked to the furnace room by a freight elevator rather than by rails.

According to the Current Orthodox Holocaust Narrative:

7. the gas chamber had four Zyklon-B apertures instead of three;
8. the Zyklon-B openings were mere manholes sealed by cement (or wooden) covers, not hermetically-sealing hatches;
9. the story of the distribution of towels and a piece of soap is a fairy-tale;
10. the cremation capacity of a single muffle is in contradiction to the current orthodox claim: three bodies in an hour and a half as opposed to two bodies in half an hour (Piper 2000, p. 164);

From the Technical Point of View:

11. the cremation capacity of 2,000 bodies in 24 hours for each of Crematorium II and III, and of 1,000 for each of Crematoria IV and V, that is 6,000 in total, greatly exceeds reality;
12. as I have noted earlier, the time required for the gassing victims to die – three minutes538 – is another absurdity which appears with a few variants in almost all the “eyewitness testimonies.”

The Wetzler-Vrba Report is of capital importance in the foundations of  Auschwitz propaganda. Having established that both the description and the plan of Crematoria II/III of the report in question are pure fantasy, it follows that the story of the extermination of the jews in homicidal gas chambers repeated by the Wetzler and Vrba did not originate from the inmates of the socalled “Sonderkommando,” but was cooked up without their contribution. And this is the proof that the whole story, as crude black propaganda, was invented by the camp resistance movement without even talking to the inmates actually working in the crematoria!

The tale told by Wetzler and Vrba, although borrowing a few themes from the phantasmagorical propaganda stories propagated in the preceding Polish reports, constitutes something completely new when compared to any of these early reports, at least with regard to the results, and precisely for this reason it is celebrated as a revelation of the “truth” – which implies that the preceding reports represented revelations of an “un-truth,” or, if one prefers, a lie.

The Report thus revived the fantastic themes of the gas chambers camouflaged as bathing installations (Badeanstalt), with fake showerheads on the walls (!) – originally, real showers were attached to the ceiling, from which the “gas” was emitted – and repeats the ridiculous story that “each person receives a towel and a small piece of soap issued by two men clad in white coats,” which means that over the course of the inaugural gassing of 8,000 jews from Krakow in March 1943,542 each of the two men in white coats distributed 4,000 towels and 4,000 small pieces of soap to 4,000 jews!

Starting in February 1945, various manuscripts were found on the grounds surrounding the Birkenau crematoria, allegedly written by six self-proclaimed members of the “Sonderkommando”: Chaim Herman, Salmen Gradowski, Leib Langfus, Salmen Lewental, an “unknown author” and Marcel Nadsari.

These manuscripts also have a place within the framework of the present study, because it is important to be aware of what these inmates knew of the claimed extermination procedure. This is an essential problem, usually underestimated by orthodox Holocaust historians, who are always merely in search of “proof” for the current version of the historical fairy tale of the gas chambers, yet are unwilling or incapable of an overall objective assessment of the manuscripts.

It should be noted that it is possible that the manuscripts in question do not really date back to pre-January 1945, which is confirmed by telling evidence, as we will see. The fact that the first manuscript was found in February 1945 does not necessarily mean that it was buried at the end of 1944, as is claimed, and this is even more true for all the other manuscripts found in later years. Thus, in the strict meaning of the word, there is no documentary proof of the existence of Salmen Gradowski, Leib Langfus and Salmen Lewental, whose registration numbers are also unknown (let alone the “unknown author”). But that makes the problem too complicated, so in the following analysis, I shall simply assume the basic validity of the orthodox Holocaust claims regarding the manuscripts’ authenticity.

What is most-striking about such manuscripts is the radically false tone appearing in all of them without exception: these documents are supposed to have been written by members of the “Sonderkommando” for posterity in order to inform the world of the horrors of the “death factory” of Birkenau.

Coming from members of the “Sonderkommando” who wished to unveil the “terrible secret” of Auschwitz, one would expect adequate documentation, such as plans of the crematoria and gas chambers, with a description of the structure and functioning of the gas chambers, a description of the structure and functioning of the cremation furnaces, lists of the supplies of coke and wood for the furnaces, numerical lists of the Zyklon-B cans used for the gassings, labels from the cans, lists of the convoys of gassed jews, numerical lists of gassed persons, numerical lists of cremated bodies, lists of names of members of the Sonderkommando with registration numbers, lists of names of SS personnel in the crematoria, lists of names and registration numbers of the “Sonderkommando” members.

None of this appears in any of the manuscripts, however.551 The information on the gas chambers and gassings are so vague and so limited that they not only do not provide any new knowledge in this regard, but, without any knowledge about the current narrative of homicidal gassings, they would be downright incomprehensible. For example, none of the manuscripts even mentions Zyklon B or hydrogen cyanide!

An important aspect of the genesis of the current orthodox narrative of the gas chambers at Auschwitz, which is constantly neglected by orthodox Holocaust historians, is that which appears in the books published in the immediate postwar period in this regard by authors who were not exposed to the current Soviet version or who were only fragmentarily familiar with it. In this chapter, I shall undertake an analysis of five books written in the years 1945 and 1946: one by an ex-inmate, drawn up in the form of a historical chronicle, one by the Polish publicist Stefan Tadeusz Norwid, one by the Polish-Jewish historian Filip Friedman; the remaining two are by ex-inmates from German concentration camps, Eugen Kogon and Benedikt Kautsky, which were also written as historical chronicles.

The history of the gas chambers was born from the distortion of the hygienic sanitary installations of the reception building, which included under one roof the planned presence of 19 fumigation chambers and a shower bath for the inmates, plus two mirror-symmetrical disinfestation facilities called Buildings 5a and 5b, which consisted of a hydrogen-cyanide fumigation chamber labeled “gas chamber” on the blueprints, a washroom and shower bath.

The extermination procedure is a simple parody of reality: the lethal showerheads exuding gas instead of water (with the subsequent evolution of the alleged “gas chambers” into rooms disguised as “shower baths”), and the hair cut off the gassing victims are a misrepresentation of the real showers registered inmates had to take regularly, whose hair had been cut previously for hygienic reasons.

The extraction of any precious-metal fillings or teeth from the corpses of deceased registered inmates before their cremation, on the other hand, was standard procedure at least since 1942.

Zyklon B was in common use in Auschwitz since at least July 1940 (see Mattogno 2015, p. 67). The fact that it does not appear as a “weapon of crime” in the reports of the resistance activists before the end of May 1944 (which is inevitable, since it cannot flow instead of water from showers!) is another clear sign that they simply invented and spread mere fantasies and myths.

The story of the pyres or cremation pits was also a distortion of real events: that is, the open-air cremation of registered inmates – mostly victims of a raging typhus epidemic – whose bodies could not be cremated in the little crematorium at the Main Camp either because of its low cremation capacity, or due to the numerous interruptions caused by the need for repairs. During the second half of 1942, these surplus corpses were temporarily buried in four long mass graves outside the Birkenau Camp north of the future Crematorium V, but they had to be exhumed and cremated later, as they threatened to poison the area’s fresh-water supply. Furthermore, there existed two small burning pits in the area north of Crematorium V in the spring-summer of 1944 (though not concurrently), although it is unknown what was burned there.

These distortions were elaborated in multifarious versions by the various resistance groups at Auschwitz, who in this way invented fantastic stories without ever asking the “Sonderkommando” members for any input. These stories were disseminated inside and outside the camp, and every witness embroidered and enriched them, adding additional fantasies. This explains the simultaneous presence of multiple contradictory versions, the discriminating factor being the transfer of the witness from Auschwitz before the arrival of the Soviets or their presence at the camp in January 1945 and the following months; or alternatively, the ethnic group to which they belonged, as each group with their reciprocal contacts tended to harmonize a version in a certain manner.

The judeo Soviet-Polish narrative became established as the official “truth,” not because it was any more true than the others, but merely because the Soviet and Polish investigators and the witnesses under their Polish influence were able to “calibrate” their narrative based on materials and documents, pruning it of the most-absurd fairy tales along the way; in other words, since the “setting” of this narrative (in a cinematographic sense) was real, the narrative itself was considered true.

There was never any “terrible truth” at Auschwitz.

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