The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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4) as well as the procedure of the "selection" of Jewish victims upon arrival of the convoys, the memorable extermination of the Gypsies in the gas chambers and the revolt of the "Sonderkommando" in 1944 (6, pp. 86 91).

The other essential SS witness is of the highest rank.

On March 11, 1946 (ten months after Broad), Rudolf Hoess was arrested in Schleswig-Holstein, in the British zone of occupation, where he had been employed under a false name as an agricultural worker. Hoess, SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant-Colonel), was the founder of the camp of Auschwitz and its first Commandant (May 20, 1940 to November 11, 1943), the inventor in 1941 of the utilization of the insecticide "Zyklon B" as a means of mass extermination, builder of all the gas chambers, temporary or permanent, at Auschwitz I and at Auschwitz II (Birkenau). After his arrest, he was brought to Minden, near Hanover, still in the British zone, where he made a sworn statement on March 14, 1946 (32, p. 152). Then he was transferred to Nuremberg, where the International Tribunal judging Goering and his associates was in session, and he there made a second sworn statement on April 5, 1946 (32, p. 159). While drafting them, Hoess was completely ignorant of the memoir and the declarations of his ex-subordinate Broad which had been written several months earlier. The International Tribunal was equally unaware of them and, in addition, cited the testimony of Hoess in its verdict. It is therefore evident that the two witnesses were independent from each other. However, with regard to the gas chambers at Auschwitz, their testimonies coincide.

Throughout his two statements of 1946, Hoess indeed related the genesis of the camp of Auschwitz and his visit to Treblinka, where the killing was done in gas chambers filled with the exhaust fumes from a Diesel engine. Hoess did not find the latter adequate to the task, which is why he decided to use "Zyklon B." He considered that it had important advantages and enumerated them. This said, he mentioned the temporary premises for gassing at Auschwitz I, the two farms at Birkenau transformed into "Bunkers," then the construction of four big "modern" plants, also at Birkenau, which each consisted of an undressing room, a gas chamber and a crematorium. He gave the description of the functioning of these plants after the "selection" of victims upon arrival of the convoys. In short, his declarations contain all of the elements that the account of Broad dedicated to the operation of the gas chambers: their number, their topographical position, their characteristics, their functioning.

From Nuremberg, Hoess was transferred to Poland at the disposal of the Supreme Tribunal sitting in Warsaw. He was judged between March 11 and April 2, 1947, and condemned to death. He was executed on April 16 on the very territory of the former camp of Auschwitz I. During the proceedings of his trial in Poland, he wrote a copious autobiography. The French translation contains nearly 250 pages (24).

This long account consists of a great quantity of personal information, considerations of all kinds, opinions on a wide variety of subjects and,
    
   

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