The Vrba Wetzler Report

Question:

my name is XXX XXX and i am a student in the 12 grade in Israel. i am doing my History project on the topic- why weren't the gas-chambers in birkenau boomed. i have 3 chapters in this project: 1. why birkenau as a target? 2. verba & wetzler report- the world knew in 1944. 3. the booming in movovitch (sorry for the mistakes ...)- why the factories were boomed and not the gas chambers- America's respond or disrespond.

now for the time being i have most of the material but i can't seem to find about Verba & Wetzler. i am looking for the report itself and the story of their escape. i have looken everywhere. i'm hoping you will help me finding some material about that subject.

Harry W. Mazal OBE answers:

Thank you for your request for information.

I am one of the volunteers at the Holocaust History Project that responds
to questions from our readers.  It is possible that you will receive other
answers from my colleagues.

The Vrba/Wetzler Reports are also known as the "Auschwitz Protocols."
These reports are amply described in Vol. I of:

Encyclopedia of the Holocaust
Israel Gutman, Editor-in-Chief
c. 1990, Macmillan Publishing Co. (New York)
ISBN 0-02-896090-4

The following brief lines are extracted from the above
source:

"Auschwitz Protocols, two detailed reports about mass killings
at Auschwitz that were based on information provided by four
escapees from the camp in the spring of 1944.

"On April 7, 1944, two Slovak Jews, Rudolf Vrba (Walter Rosenberg)
and Alfred Wetzler began the steps that would lead to their escape
from the camp. [...] For three days and two nights Vrba and Wetzler
waietd for the search to end and then fled towards Slovakia.

"Two weeks later they arrived in Zilina. (Oskar Krasnansky) heard (their)
testimony and wrote a thirty-two page report based upon it." Vrba and
Wetzler described the workings of the camp and gave estimated statistics
of Jews who had been killed ... and warned that preparations had been
made for the murder of nearly 800,000 of Hungary and 3,000 Czech
Jew who had been brought from Theresienstadt  six months earlier.

"The papal charge de affairs ... was also given the report , and sent
it to Rome  on May 22, 1944. [...] Elizabeth Wiskemann of the British
Legation in Bern ... dispatched the information to Allen Dulles, the
head of  United States intelligence, who sent it to [...] the Department
of State in Washington  on June 16. [...]

"With the reception of the protocols in the West and the dissemination
of the information contained in them, the true purpose of the Auschwitz
extermination camp became clear to the free world."

You will also find considerable information  about Vrba on the web:

http://www.flamemag.dircon.co.uk/vrba.htm

http://www.jcrc.org/main/vrba.htm

http://www.jewishsf.com/bk970425/sfahelp.htm

http://www.remember.org/wit.res.esc.html

http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/Holocaust/vrba.html

His autobiography  can be found at most major libraries:

I Cannot Forgive
Rudolf Vrba
Autobiography of a Jew who escaped from Auschwitz to warn Jewish
communities what was happening.

Or you can buy the book at Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0962314005/cybraryoftheholoA/107-7141069-4434166

Yours sincerely,

Harry W.  Mazal OBE

Question:

I have been reading many books which talk about the Auschwitz Protocols.

I also through my research found information about Vrba (including many excellent links from your site). However I find no information on what happened to Alfred Wetzler.For example,did he survive the war? And if he did, are there any books (memoirs etc. by him or about him)

Harry W. Mazal OBE answers:

I am one of the persons in the Holocaust History Project that responds to questions from our readers. It is possible that you will receive other responses from my colleagues.

There are two references on the web that might answer part of your question. The first one shows that Wetzler survived the war:

http://motlc.wiesenthal.com/resources/books/annual1/chap07.html After the war, Wetzler returned to Bratislava and became a journalist on one of the local papers. A few months later, he and Vrba produced a short account of their experiences in Auschwitz, which also included the testimony given by Rosin and Mordowicz. After the war, Vrba studied chemistry in Bratislava and at the University of Prague, Rosin entered business in Prague, and Mordowicz became the manager of a factory in Bratislava, emigrating to Israel in 1966.

The second informs us that by 1998, Wetzler was dead:

http://research.haifa.ac.il/~focus/1998-autumn/f06a.html Following is an edited version of Prof. Rudolf Vrba's address at the honorary doctorate ceremony. He began by acknowledging "my friend Alfred Wetzler, with whom I escaped from Auschwitz, [who is] not with us any more, and I wish to remember him on this occasion."

I am not aware of any books or memoirs by or about him. A cursory search in my extensive library did not reveal any further information. Prof. Vrba's book ( I Cannot Forgive) unfortunately lacks an index, but he does refer to Wetzler throughout.the text.

I will continue to search.

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

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