The deniers openly state that there is nothing more normal than to find 86 corpses in a morgue. If an assassin, running a morgue, put several of his victims there, they would doubtlessly declare him innocent: for that was the exact position of Hirt: he ran the morgue, and many among his assistants were Germans and SS.
In fact, if they know nothing else, these negationists do exactly what Hirt did: when the Daily Mail on 3 January 1945 printed the discoveries at Strasbourg, he was to be found at Tubingen. He replied to the newspaper on 25 January accompanied by Brandt and Sievers, denying any research other than on animals. He admitted that these bodies are the legacy left at the morgue from the period 1870-1918 of "Egyptians, Negroes, Chinese, Japanese, Germans, English, French, etc." and it was his "duty to preserve these skulls and be able to present them in a modern manner." Hirt killed himself at Schonenbach (Schluchsee) on 2 June 1945 with a bullet to the head.
Evidently, they recovered neither the skulls nor the heads of the victims. We were a bit hesitant to show here some of the autopsy photos, out of respect for the dead. Nevertheless, it seemed to us that the worst disrespect towards these dead would be to allow it to be supposed that their presence at the Anatomical Institute would have been "normal" and that they had not been assassinated for racist motives. We also show here several of these photos (unluckily chosen from among the many others available) to show what the racial policies of the Third Reich led to. The heads are visible in some of these snapshots. We cropped them out of respect for these dead.
About these pictures of these unhappy victims, one can note that the tattoos were again rendered unreadable by the removal of the part of the skin where the tattoo was inscribed. One could ask, if these crimes had been legitimate and [a sentence pronounced by some court?], why would it be necessary to make it impossible to identify these cadavers, since according to the deniers these crimes would have been legitimate.
This corpse is in the middle of undergoing an autopsy. The forensic doctor made what one might call "slashes"[?] in making deep incisions in the skin, in order to find latent deep bruises, not visible on the surface of the skin, showing any brutality before death. This image solidly proves that autopsies were performed on the victims of the camp of Struthof.
In several cases, these "slashes" were nearly useless. The snapshot above shows lesions present before death proving that certain victims were forced to enter the chamber with the aid of blunt objects. It probably involved blows from a [rifle butt?]
It is ironic that among the three forensic specialists who performed these autopsies were Prof. Camille Simonin who had been at the Anatomical Institute prior to "Prof." Hirt, and that Prof. Simonin had been interned in the camp of Struthof before managing to leave for North Africa. Two other forensic specialists of which one also had a national reputation, conducted their autopsies and with him gave their joint report.
Before participating in the post-war autopsies, Prof. Simonin saw the arrival of the "N.N." French of August 43 and reported it in these terms:
"We saw famished work teams, these moving skeletons carried stones, beams, boards or [turf of the surrounding heights?] for the construction of their own prison. We heard the hysterical voices of the SS morons [might possibly mean drunkards, omitting "d'alcool"?] who did not cease to push their slaves to always redouble their efforts, inhuman exertions that led inevitably to physical and psychological ruin, to an atrocious death, far from their country, far from their loved ones.
We saw arrive 18 French N.N., dressed in rags with colored stripes. We saw them fall under the weight of their wheelbarrows, get up again, fall again, drenched with torrents of water [does this mean rain or that someone threw a bucket of water on them when they fainted?], prostrate on the ground, their eyes full of fright in the face of this desire to liquidate them in several days in "normal" fashion and by nothing but work. We saw their purulent wounds, the worms in their living flesh [emphasis ours] and the coffins that carried them to the crematorium. We heard the machine guns that killed those who offered significant physical resistance, pushed [to the top of a slope?] by the kicks of a bestial kapo.
We saw these Russians, handcuffed, forearms swollen and bleeding, walking in front of their barracks day and night before giving their lives, hanging [by a rope from the beams?] of the crematorium.
Here, at the left, fifty young women and girls were enclosed behind a second fence of barbed wire. One night they left for the gas chamber of Struthof, to die for "German science," for the research of the Prussian doctors of the "Reich University" of Strasbourg. We heard also the joyous notes of the orchestra playing besides the crematorium [where the coffins of the day's dead passed through? - perhaps better: through which the coffins of the day's dead passed]. I saw the same commandant Kramer high on the platform with his SS acolytes at the side of this power, in front of the convulsing bodies of an unfortunate hanged man, I saw the ignoble grimacing figure who shouted, coldly, with unparalleled hatred, above the heads of the assembled prisoners: "It is nothing to me to hang you one after the other like that!"
Nobody can think that Professor Simonin conducted these autopsies with the detachment necessary to a man of science. For our own part we think that even if he lived so close to the life of the camp of Struthof, and could judge the barbarity of the camp, this forensic doctor who was one of the most famous in France nevertheless surely did not forget the basis of his craft, but on the contrary was not able to judge other than what was possible or not under these conditions, and that his autopsy accounts were nothing but precise.
Simonin was a prisoner at Struthof and examined the corpses of the victims after the war; the "revisionists," they only took part in their taste for Nazism.
In the case of Struthof, the extremely rapid advance of Leclerc's division surprised the Germans (and even, one could say, the Allies), and forced such a hasty retreat that it did not permit them to hide the evidence of their crimes. The Germans counted on two lines of defense: the Vorvogesentstellung and the Vogesenstellung [What are these? Believe second should also be entstellung instead of enstellung - MS]. Leclerc attacked the first on 13 November 44 and breached it on the 19th. Between the 20th and 22nd he opened the second front and liberated Strasbourg on 23 November. This attack is still studied today in war colleges. Four days passed between the moment Leclerc was at Blamont (well to the south of Struthof) and when he was at Strasbourg (of which the least that one can say is that he totally bypassed Struthof to the northeast).
The result is that the Germans collapsed with a speed they never expected (they themselves called the Leclerc Division the BlitzPanzer) and left in place a quantity of items that they would undoubtedly have wanted to destroy.
They left therefore at Struthof a very rich collection of documents and material. Some Germans among the lower ranks were themselves captured, such as Bong.
Attention was obviously soon drawn to the cadavers that had so bizarrely arrived at the Anatomical Institute; the French who worked there testified, and the information services of the rear echelon started an inquest a week later, almost at the same time as the newspapers newly created in liberated France ("The Free Parisian"[etc]). One could find almost daily the inquiries that the information services and the journalists pursued, and which led them to the camp of Natzweiler. The seized items, the Germans, the French testifying on the matter; it is what shows the amazing agreement (since the battle by German forces to retake Strasbourg was still going on) that we refer to in the introduction to this web site. Obviously, there are some errors and uncertainties, due to the uncertainty of the time and a clear spirit of revenge, but nowadays the work of historians allows us to know what happened in the camp.
The proceeding of the Permanent Military Tribunal of Strasbourg and that of Metz, of which the archives are still sealed, but which were often conducted in pubic session, allows one to find in the press of the day what was said.
87 Jews were sent from Auschwitz to the camp of Struthof, at the request of Prof. Hirt who found the cadavers he received from the camp of Mutzig "very poor." They gassed on 11, 13, 17 and 19 August 1943 and quickly sent them to the morgue at Strasbourg; only 16 cadavers of which 3 were women were recovered whole. These victims were gassed by the mixture of salts and water; being probably by the wetting of crystalized cyanic acid and cyanide compounds, perhaps by calcium cyanide.
The Germans sought to put together a collection of "typical Jewish" skeletons (that which might seem bizarre today is "natural" in the racist context and even more the context of the Nazi antisemitism of the day).
The mass of accumulated documents: testimonies of detainees, of villagers; of members of the Institute; various messages seized as much by the Allies as by the Russians; the locations themselves; and clearly the sworn statements of the accused who corroborated everything, does not allow any doubt about the reality of the gassings at the camp of Struthof.
It takes a great deal of brazenness on the part of the deniers to pretend the contrary when nothing is missing: the motive, the place of the crime, the victims, the confessions of the killers, and the testimonies of people close to the matter to deny this matter of fact.