copies of the this report were written in German and
the third, abridged, directly in "a chaotic French" (25, p. 236) which was however, comprehensible. There was also
a note in English. |
At the beginning of the month of May, Gerstein met
two officers, one American and the other English, to whom he related his
journey to Poland and his visit to Belzec and to Treblinka. He gave them the
note in English and his account in French, as well as a certain number of bills
which he had in his possession concerning the delivery of important quantities
of "Zyklon B" to the SS.
Shortly thereafter he was transferred by the
French from Rottweil to Paris and incarcerated in the prison of Cherche Midi,
where he hanged himself.
Upon leaving Rottweil, Gerstein was to leave a
copy of his report in the German language to the proprietress of the Hotel
Mohren, who was to send it to his wife (25, p. 238), whereas the other was to be found later at the
hotel and published with a few cuts through the good offices of Professor H.
Rothfelds in the German historical periodical, "Vierteljahreshefte für
Zeitgeschichte" (1953, number 2, p. 185) under the title "Augenzeugenbericht zu
den Massenvergasungen" (45).
The report in French as well as the bills
for "Zyklon B" were to be discovered in the archives of the American delegation
on January 30, 1946, by the French prosecutor, M. Charles Dubost, at the time
of the first major trial at Nuremberg. The report in German was to be used in
1947, at the time of the trial of the Nazi doctors in Nuremberg, and in January
1949 at Frankfurt during the trial of the directors of the I.G.
Farbenindustrie, which produced "Zyklon B.' It is thus that the "Gerstein
report" became public. It is impossible to read the report without being
profoundly upset, for the description of the scenes witnessed by Gerstein is
eloquent..., and atrocious. Naturally, the international press gave it abundant
2. Proofs that the Gerstein testimony is a "forgery"
Rassinier endeavoured to demonstrate that this report was a
forgery. His first attempt, which appeared in 1961 in his book "Ulysses
Betrayed by His Own People," on pages 30 and 112 in identical terms, follows a
passage declaring that the writings of David Rousset, of Eugene Kogon and of
"Hungarian Communist Niyzli Miklos" are
historical forgeries" fabricated in"work shops" where Russians "correct history
all day long." It must, in addition, be recognized that they are improving,
especially if one takes into account that in January 1946 they had succeeded in
having accepted as authentic by the Tribunal of Nuremberg judging the doctors
the document PS-1553 R.F. 350 (39, pp. 30,
112) according to which the Jews were asphyxiated "by groups of 750 to 800" in
gas chambers which measured "25 meters at the base and were 1.80 meters high."
This flood of insults and sarcasms typical of the manner of
Rassinier was, however, manifestly insufficient to discredit the "report," and
the problem was taken up again a year later in the new work, "The Real