More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby BRoI » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:16 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I think you misunderstand my point about the general threat of death: the men had, and expressed the awareness that they had, no chance of survival. They did not believe that they'd get out of their situation alive. This is different to the period of cycles of murders of the squads. It was a certainty to these men that they would not be permitted to survive and that they would be killed at once if they resisted.


Here's my current list of Birkenau SK that were liberated at KL Ebensee by the US Army:

Charles Sigismund Bendel [obvs. not strictly a SK]
Miklos Nyiszli [obvs. not strictly a SK]
David Olère
Dov Paisikovic
Abraham Dragon
Shlomo Venezia
Daniel Bennahmias
David Dario Gabbai
Ya'akov Gabbai
Leon Cohen
Josef Sackar
Morris Kesselman
Nathan-Nisel Lewin
Berl Becker
Aron Leibowicz
Tewel Gisser
Moshe Schellekes
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:50 pm

Good thing those surviving few (out of hundreds) were so little known to others that they could get away with claiming to have been regular prisoners. ;)
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:00 pm

There were 900 workers (members of the Sonderkommando) listed on the 28 July 1944 labor-force report for the crematoria; I don't know the total number of survivors (15 are listed above, but more survived, e.g., among those Daniel Bennahmias was liberated at Ebensee IIRC, the survivors having come through their ordeal in an unforeseen manner, following the Sonderkommando revolt and after the cessation of the mass murder, during the evacuation of the camp).
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:14 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:There were 900 workers (members of the Sonderkommando) listed on the 28 July 1944 labor-force report for the crematoria; I don't know the total number of survivors (15 are listed above, but more survived, e.g., among those Daniel Bennahmias was liberated at Ebensee IIRC, the survivors having come through their ordeal in an unforeseen manner, following the Sonderkommando revolt and after the cessation of the mass murder, during the evacuation of the camp).


IIRC, Grief mentioned over a hundred survivors among the SK...

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:33 am

100 was the number that stuck in my memory from Greif, too, but I am traveling and can't look the figure up. Marcel Nadjari, one of the "scrolls" authors, was another SK member I know survived, but I don't know his post-camp itinerary off-hand.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby BRoI » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:58 am

scrmbldggs wrote:Good thing those surviving few (out of hundreds) were so little known to others that they could get away with claiming to have been regular prisoners. ;)


Sure is, scrmbldggs, but it's also puzzling considering Miklos Nyiszli detailed the deaths of every single member of the Sonderkommando that worked in the four Birkenau crematoriums and Bunker II from May 1944 until the very end. With just two exceptions, himself and Dr. Joseph Kolner/Korner.

According to Nyiszli, 853 of the 860 members of the 12th Sonderkommando of Birkenau were killed on 6 October 1944, and 456 of the 460 members of the 13th Sonderkommando of Birkenau were killed on 17 November 1944. Just the four members of his mortuary team survived both massacres, but he details how two of them died soon after they departed Birkenau together on 18 January 1944.

Pages nos. from the 1993 edition; Nyiszli's Birkenau crematoriums 1-4 altered to the standard II-V.

In May 1994, a week after arriving at Birkenau [70], Nyiszli was assigned to live and work in Krema II [67] to conduct laboratory and anatomical work, and care for the medical needs of the 120 SS personnel and about 860 prisoners assigned to work in Birkenau's four crematoriums [69]. Thus joining the 12th Sonderkommando of Birkenau [76, 115].

He was soon told that 400 members of the 11th Sonderkommando of Birkenau had been gassed in D Quarter's delousing facility immediately after having a bath in a neighbouring room [184-5]. He later saw that 60 SK from Krema III worked the day shift at Bunker II and 60 from Krema V worked the night shift [129].

In the early afternoon [222-3] of 6 October 1944 [217] the SK uprising was forced to happened several hours earlier than planned [221-2] after 100 Hungarians from Krema IV's SK were taken to D Camp for probable liquidation [231]. This forced the remaining SK in Krema IV to begin the revolt [232-3] in which the blew up Krema IV, the explosion triggering the revolt in Krema II at c.13:50 [223, 233]; the SK of Krema V also revolted [236]. The 100 Hungarian Krema IV SK in D Camp were soon taken back and shot [233].

There had been 860 [220] members of the 12th Sonderkommando of Birkenau, 853 were killed that day [236]. At 3pm an SS non-com recording the tattoo numbers of the dead told Nyiszli that all the SK were dead except 12 escapees [230] who were captured, returned to Krema II, and killed within hours [235]; and 7 survivors: the 3 doctors [Nyiszli, Joseph Kolner/Korner, and Denis Gorog], their lab assistant Adolph Fischer, an engineer, Pipel the SS's dogsbody, and the head chauffeur [230]. 30 new SK started worked cremating the last squad of SK [230, 237].

On 7 October 1944 [239] the SK was increased to 460 men [242], beginning the 13th Sonderkommando of Birkenau [276].

On 17 November 1944 [264] at 2pm [268], all 460 members of the 13th SK [all of those from Krema II, III and V] were locked inside Krema III [269]. Nyiszli and his 3 colleagues were also locked inside but Oberschaarführer Steinberg ordered "all doctors outside" so the four of them left [274]. During the night the other 456 men were taken into the forest and killed with flamethrowers [275]. The SS had a list of all the SK tattoos to ensure they were all killed [274].

On 18 November 1944, 30 men were immediately enlisted as crematorium workers to cremate the 456 dead SK [274], but the new team were not SK as they were not quartered in the crematoriums but in the KL and subsequently only came in during the day to burn the dead from the hospital [276]. Nyiszli's 4 man team were the only prisoners remaining in any of the crematoriums [276]. A few days later Mengele told Nyiszli that Krema II and III would be demolished immediately but Krema V was to remain standing temporarily so the dead from the camp hospital could be cremated [277]; Nyiszli's 4 man team moved into Krema V [278].

By 1 January 1945 [280], the 30 crematorium workers were no longer around. So, after shooting 100 men and 100 women—all Polish Christians brought into Krema V to be executed—the SS had to cremate the bodies themselves. They asked Nyiszli to provide them with gloves [281-2].

Around 1am on 18 January 1945, the 4 remaining members of the SK left Birkenau in a group of 3,000 prisoners [283-6]. Sometime around midday [288] lab assistant Adolph Fischer was left lying in the snow at Plesow, his strength completely spent [291]. The mental wreck Dr. Denis Gorog almost certainly died due to exposure on c.24 January 1945 [288] at Mauthausen [292-4], the same day and place Nyiszli last mentions having seen Dr. Kolner/Korner, who was in pretty good shape at the time [292].
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Kleon_I XYZ Contagion » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:47 pm

Marcel Nadjari gave a full account in 1947. It's in Yad Vashem and has been published in a 1991 Greek book along with the 12-pages found in the thermos flask in 1980

I know too for one hundred alive:

Steven Bowman, The agony of Greek Jews 1940-1945, Stanford University Press 2009, σ. 96-99
LINK

Bowman says also:

The Eleventh Sonderkommando functioned from late spring through October 1944. Of the 663 who serviced the five crematoria, at least one-third were Greek Jews. A number of them are known by name, and in fact eleven of them survived not only the revolt but even Auschwitz itself.


As for the labour force reports between 7th and 10th October 1944, see the first document (in German) here in my team's blog:
https://xyzcontagion.wordpress.com/2012 ... s-ebraioi/

It says:

Male labour force reports between 7th and 10th October 1944

(Danuta Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle, σ. 898-903)

7 October 1944

57-B. Cremat. I. Day 84
57-B. Cremat. I. Night 85
58-B. Cremat. II. Night 85
58-B. Cremat. II. Day 84
59-B. Cremat. III. Day 84
59-B. Cremat. III. Night 85
60-B. Cremat. IV. Night 84
60-B. Cremat. IV. Day 72
TOTAL = 663


9 October 1944

57-B. Cremat. I. Day 27
57-B. Cremat. I. Night 26
58-B. Cremat. II. Night 27
58-B. Cremat. II. Day 26
59-B. Cremat. III. Day 27
59-B. Cremat. III. Night 26
60-B. Cremat. IV. Night 27
60-B. Cremat. IV. Day 26
TOTAL = 212

10 October 1944

57-B. Cremat. I. Day 33
57-B. Cremat. I. Night 33
58-B. Cremat. II. Night 33
58-B. Cremat. II. Day 33
60-B. Cremat. IV. Night 33
60-B. Cremat. IV. Day 33
TOTAL = 198

Image
According to experts and scholars, the 10 stages of every genocide are
Classification Symbolization Discrimination Dehumanization Organization Polarization Preparation Persecution Extermination
... and finally the 10th stage:
Denial
http://www.genocidewatch.org/genocide/t ... ocide.html

XYZ Contagion (‘Because the truth is contagious‘), an investigative/research political and historical website, deals also with the Srebrenica Genocide
https://xyzcontagion.wordpress.com/about/#English

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:57 pm

So Nyiszli was mistaken.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Kleon_I XYZ Contagion » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:06 pm

I'm sorry, I forgot to include with my C/P this:

I had a note in Greek, which maybe is useful, so I try to translate:
- Please also note that on October 10th 1944 Crematorium III is completely missing from the counting. Crematorium III was actually Crematorium IV because the numbering was different (the Crematorium 1, 2, 3 are written respectively as Crematorium 2,3,4).
In this crematorium, we know from many testimonies that there were many Greeks. In the report we see zero men force on 10/10/1944 as it was already destroyed.
So, definitely some dead Greeks would exist there too.
According to experts and scholars, the 10 stages of every genocide are
Classification Symbolization Discrimination Dehumanization Organization Polarization Preparation Persecution Extermination
... and finally the 10th stage:
Denial
http://www.genocidewatch.org/genocide/t ... ocide.html

XYZ Contagion (‘Because the truth is contagious‘), an investigative/research political and historical website, deals also with the Srebrenica Genocide
https://xyzcontagion.wordpress.com/about/#English

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:34 pm

Kleon_I XYZ Contagion wrote:Marcel Nadjari gave a full account in 1947. It's in Yad Vashem and has been published in a 1991 Greek book along with the 12-pages found in the thermos flask in 1980

I know too for one hundred alive:

Steven Bowman, The agony of Greek Jews 1940-1945, Stanford University Press 2009, σ. 96-99
LINK

Bowman says also:

The Eleventh Sonderkommando functioned from late spring through October 1944. Of the 663 who serviced the five crematoria, at least one-third were Greek Jews. A number of them are known by name, and in fact eleven of them survived not only the revolt but even Auschwitz itself.


As for the labour force reports between 7th and 10th October 1944, see the first document (in German) here in my team's blog:
https://xyzcontagion.wordpress.com/2012 ... s-ebraioi/

It says:

Male labour force reports between 7th and 10th October 1944

(Danuta Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle, σ. 898-903)

7 October 1944

57-B. Cremat. I. Day 84
57-B. Cremat. I. Night 85
58-B. Cremat. II. Night 85
58-B. Cremat. II. Day 84
59-B. Cremat. III. Day 84
59-B. Cremat. III. Night 85
60-B. Cremat. IV. Night 84
60-B. Cremat. IV. Day 72
TOTAL = 663


9 October 1944

57-B. Cremat. I. Day 27
57-B. Cremat. I. Night 26
58-B. Cremat. II. Night 27
58-B. Cremat. II. Day 26
59-B. Cremat. III. Day 27
59-B. Cremat. III. Night 26
60-B. Cremat. IV. Night 27
60-B. Cremat. IV. Day 26
TOTAL = 212

10 October 1944

57-B. Cremat. I. Day 33
57-B. Cremat. I. Night 33
58-B. Cremat. II. Night 33
58-B. Cremat. II. Day 33
60-B. Cremat. IV. Night 33
60-B. Cremat. IV. Day 33
TOTAL = 198

Image


Well it fits with the math.
It is said that 250 SK died during the uprising, and that an additional 200 were shot later, while the rest was kept alive.
663-450 = 213.

Now if a 100 or so survived the war, that means 50% or so.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:06 pm

50% of what? Those not murdered by late October 1944?

Of the 900 (or 860, depending on the source?) SK members from summer 1944, about 100 survived, or 11%, in a round-about way.
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Kleon_I XYZ Contagion » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:07 pm

Balsamo wrote:Well it fits with the math.
It is said that 250 SK died during the uprising, and that an additional 200 were shot later, while the rest was kept alive.
663-450 = 213.

Now if a 100 or so survived the war, that means 50% or so.


I'm sorry if I'm not remembering the details (and I don't really know what exactly Nyiszli says, because I haven't read his book), but when I was searching on the subject 'how many Greeks SK were killed and how many survived' a couple of years ago, I reached at this conclusion:

451 SK were killed plus another 14 perhaps, because of the reports I checked back then, 14 were missing.

So, I have a note that reads:
451 or 465 dead
212 or 198 alive

I'm not sure (as for everything in my life) but I have the impression these numbers must be correct for the October SK uprising.
According to experts and scholars, the 10 stages of every genocide are
Classification Symbolization Discrimination Dehumanization Organization Polarization Preparation Persecution Extermination
... and finally the 10th stage:
Denial
http://www.genocidewatch.org/genocide/t ... ocide.html

XYZ Contagion (‘Because the truth is contagious‘), an investigative/research political and historical website, deals also with the Srebrenica Genocide
https://xyzcontagion.wordpress.com/about/#English

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:55 pm

Yes they probably are.
Regarding the specific case of the Greeks it is possible that they were working the the "sacrificed" krematoriums, which would explain the low level of "survivors".

As for Nyiszli, indeed he is plain wrong...but i leave that for a more substantial post on the topic, and was thinking about waiting for Statmec to come back from his trip. I really do not want to spoil his vacation... ;)

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:15 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Kleon_I XYZ Contagion wrote:Marcel Nadjari gave a full account in 1947. It's in Yad Vashem and has been published in a 1991 Greek book along with the 12-pages found in the thermos flask in 1980

I know too for one hundred alive:

Steven Bowman, The agony of Greek Jews 1940-1945, Stanford University Press 2009, σ. 96-99
LINK

Bowman says also:

The Eleventh Sonderkommando functioned from late spring through October 1944. Of the 663 who serviced the five crematoria, at least one-third were Greek Jews. A number of them are known by name, and in fact eleven of them survived not only the revolt but even Auschwitz itself.


As for the labour force reports between 7th and 10th October 1944, see the first document (in German) here in my team's blog:
https://xyzcontagion.wordpress.com/2012 ... s-ebraioi/

It says:

Male labour force reports between 7th and 10th October 1944

(Danuta Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle, σ. 898-903)

7 October 1944

57-B. Cremat. I. Day 84
57-B. Cremat. I. Night 85
58-B. Cremat. II. Night 85
58-B. Cremat. II. Day 84
59-B. Cremat. III. Day 84
59-B. Cremat. III. Night 85
60-B. Cremat. IV. Night 84
60-B. Cremat. IV. Day 72
TOTAL = 663


9 October 1944

57-B. Cremat. I. Day 27
57-B. Cremat. I. Night 26
58-B. Cremat. II. Night 27
58-B. Cremat. II. Day 26
59-B. Cremat. III. Day 27
59-B. Cremat. III. Night 26
60-B. Cremat. IV. Night 27
60-B. Cremat. IV. Day 26
TOTAL = 212

10 October 1944

57-B. Cremat. I. Day 33
57-B. Cremat. I. Night 33
58-B. Cremat. II. Night 33
58-B. Cremat. II. Day 33
60-B. Cremat. IV. Night 33
60-B. Cremat. IV. Day 33
TOTAL = 198

Image


Well it fits with the math.
It is said that 250 SK died during the uprising, and that an additional 200 were shot later, while the rest was kept alive.
663-450 = 213.

Now if a 100 or so survived the war, that means 50% or so.

AFAIK, several also were sent to Majdanek for elimination. But that must have been earlier? :scratch:

Carry on. :mrgreen:
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:18 am

Indeed it was...I will check Grief tomorrow who gives a calendar of them...

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:10 am

scrmbldggs wrote:Good thing those surviving few (out of hundreds) were so little known to others that they could get away with claiming to have been regular prisoners. ;)

The flip side of this point is that, according to Strzelecki, The Evacuation, Dismantling and Liberation of KL Auschwitz, the Auschwitz Camp SS made an effort to execute SK members during the disjointed, final period of the camp (“In January 1945 these workers managed to escape from their SS supervisors by mingling in with other prisoners who were being evacuated”) and Camp SS at Mauthausen also tried identifying SK members who'd reached that camp - none of the members reported to a summons for fear they'd be liquidated (pp 112-113).
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby BRoI » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:23 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:The flip side of this point is that, according to Strzelecki, The Evacuation, Dismantling and Liberation of KL Auschwitz, the Auschwitz Camp SS made an effort to execute SK members during the disjointed, final period of the camp (“In January 1945 these workers managed to escape from their SS supervisors by mingling in with other prisoners who were being evacuated”) and Camp SS at Mauthausen also tried identifying SK members who'd reached that camp - none of the members reported to a summons for fear they'd be liquidated (pp 112-113).


I'm sure it couldn't have escaped your notice SM that one of Strzelecki's cited sources for this particular claim is Nyiszel's book! You just must have forgotten to tell us.

Strzelecki's sources are:

1. Nyiszel's book originally published in 1946
2. Feliks Rosenthal's affidavit made in 1959
3. Filip Mueller's 1979 book
4. Gideon Greif's 2005 book; no particular SK testimony cited

HC's Hans has written about Mueller's plagiarism of Nyiszel's book. There's next to nothing in the literature on Feliks Rosenthal [alt. spellings perhaps?], but his testimony was given the same year a new statement by Mueller was published in Erich Kulka & Otto Kraus's Die Todesfabrik, and at the very moment Herbert Langbein and the IAC were desperately searching for Auschwitz survivors to provide testimony [D. Pendas, The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, 1963-1965, p.33], and even asking some [Henryk Bartoszewiczto] to re-write theirs, making it more *useful* to prosecutors seeking to arrest a particular individual [Wihelm Boger; 34-5].

Following is what Strzelecki's sources 1-3 had to say about the SS search for SK's at Mauthausen.

Nyiszel, 1993, pp.296-8 wrote:After arriving at Mauthausen and deceiving an SS man so he could be amongst the first into the baths

At length another group of forty joined us and we started off. The SS guard made us keep in step as we walked, but after marching only 50 yards we reached Barracks 33 of the quarantine camp. [...] I lay on the floor, for there were no beds in the quarantine camp. Nevertheless, I slept soundly until reveille.

We stayed in Barracks 33 for three days, during which we had nothing to do. Our food was not too bad and we were thus more or less able to recuperate from our three-week march. [...]

On the third day of our stay an SS officer, accompanied by a general, visited our barracks and ordered anyone who had formerly worked in the Auschwitz KZ to step forward.

My blood froze in my veins. Methodical race that they are, the Germans no doubt had a muster list containing the names or numbers of those who had worked at Auschwitz. It seemed likely. And yet... thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that this was merely a ruse, an attempt to single out from the mass those capable of revealing the sordid mysteries of the crematoriums. If they had really had a list all they would have had to do was to check our tattoo numbers. No one knew me here. I waited, the blood pounding in my ears; there was complete silence in the barracks as the seconds ticked slowly by. And then they left. I had won again. Once again the wheel of death had spun and passed me by.


Feliks Rosenthal, 176475 wrote:
In October 1944, I took part in the destruction of crematorium no. III [IV] in Birkenau. We burned the beds from what was then our "dormitory," located in what had previously been the undressing room. We all tried to escape—they began shooting at us. Of the 600 prisoners attempting to escape, about 100 remained alive. Immediately after this incident we were transferred to the barracks where we had lived before, that is in sector BIId. Those remaining alive were employed drilling holes in the reinforced concrete of Birkenau crematoria I and II [II and III], which were being prepared for demolition in that way.

In January 1945 we learned that we were to be sent away in an evacuation transport. I knew that, for the Sonderkommando, a "transport" meant liquidation. During one evening roll call, when a transport of prisoners to Mauthausen was being formed, I took advantage of the prevailing confusion and marched together with that transport from Birkenau to the Auschwitz camp, from where I was taken to Mauthausen on January 18, 1945 together with that transport. The evacuation route of the transport led through Jastrzębie. We were put into quarantine in the Mauthausen camp and there, during roll call one day, the prisoners were asked it there was anyone there from the Sonderkommando from Auschwitz. I was convinced that, since they were asking about it, they did not have any records to confirm this. I did not announce myself.

From the Mauthausen quarantine we were transferred to the Gusen II camp, where the Americans liberated us on May 5, 1945.

[1959]

Source: APMA-B, Statements Fond, vol. 9, pp. 1242, 1243.

[- A. Setkiewicz, The Auschwitz Crematoria and Gas Chambers, p. 55]


Filip Mueller wrote:When at long last our arduous transport arrived at the little station of Mauthausen in Lower Austria, we were taken to the concentration camp which was not far away. As we marched through the camp gate no one knew how many had escaped, died or been killed since the evacuation of Auschwitz.

Dressed reasonably warmly with fairly decent shoes I had survived the transport comparatively well. I even had a little bread left from the hoard of food I had organized before we departed.

In the new camp everything proceeded in the usual tedious way. As we were new arrivals we had to go through the whole routine of shower, disinfection, quartering, roll-calls, and all the rest of concentration camp harassment.

On the third day after our arrival we had lined up for roll-call in the late afternoon, when out of the blue one of the SS-Unterführers gave the order: 'All prisoners of the Auschwitz Sonderkommando, fall out!' I felt as though someone had punched me in the pit of the stomach. At first I was quite petrified, my heart thumping wildly in my chest. But soon I recovered my composure. Nothing happened. When the order was repeated, there was again no reaction. No one moved, no one stepped forward. The order was repeated a third time, but once more there was no result.

From the corner of my eye I watched our two Sonderkommando Kapos and the rest of our team. All of them were standing in their ranks, trying to look inconspicuous and not to betray with one bat of an eyelid that the command had been addressed to them. When there had been no reaction whatever to his three orders the SS-Unterführer who, of course, did not know any of us, marched up and down several times, looking searchingly at a few men, no doubt in an attempt to intimidate them. This sudden interest displayed in the survivors of the Sonderkommando was not very welcome to any of us, and it certainly put a damper on my hopes. Roll-call seemed to go on forever. When all attempts to get us to step forward had failed we were dismissed. But the order 'All prisoners of the Auschwitz Sonderkommando, fall out!' still rang in my ears.

- Filip Mueller, Auschwitz Inferno, 1979, pp.166-7.



Grief features the testimony of 8 SK, five of whom were in Mauthausen. Here are all 8 of Greif's SKs on the pertinent issues of escape from Birkenau and avoiding recapture:

Mauthausen:
1. Josef Sackar
2. Abraham Dragon
3. Ya'akov Gabai
4. Shaul Chazan
5. Leon Cohen

Was never at Mauthausen
A. Eliezer Eisenschmid
B. Ya'akov Silberberg
C. Sholmo Dragon


Josef Sackar says nothing about a summons during his "about four days" in Mauthausen, or in his subsequent camps of Melk, or Ebensee.
One evening, when work on evacuating the Birkenau camp began, the Germans gathered the prisoners in the yard and wanted to know which of us belonged to the Sonderkommando. They wanted to kill us, but we intermingled with the rest of the camp prisoners. No one wanted to admit that he belonged to the Sonderkommando. [117-8]



Abraham Dragon doesn't mention the SS looking for SK during his stay at Mauthausen [c.late-Jan. to Mar. 1945], or at Ebensee. He had the follow to say though:
... Ebensee, my last stop before the liberation. I lived in a barracks that was reserved for prisoners who didn’t go out to work. I was scared to death of the Lagerälteste, a Volksdeutscher named Danisch. He was a real bastard. I remembered him from my time in Birkenau, where he’d headed the Strafkommando, the penal detail. Everyone hated him. He remembered me as a Sonderkommando prisoner, and I was afraid that he’d turn me in. I tried to avoid him all that time. [175]

[The Kapo Danisch had known Abraham and Shlomo Dragon were SK as early as December 1942, as Danisch had announced that 200 SK were moving to "another workplace" (Majdanek, to be killed). As Abraham was sick, the SS let him and his brother stay at Auschwitz. p.147]

A few days before the evacuation that took place on January 18, 1945. That day, we were standing there, ready to go out. And then suddenly the order ‘‘Sonderkommando, back to the barracks!’’ was given, which was an ominous sign for us. We realized right away what it meant: we’d be executed that night. We fled the block as the order ‘‘Everyone out. Everyone out of the camp!’’ was heard in the camp, and took the opportunity to leave the camp. At first we walked to Auschwitz. Here the SS man Hössler was still trying to ‘‘hunt’’ us. Later on, the death march began. [174]



Shlomo Dragon let his brother doing the talking about how they escaped, but he did add that 100 SK's managed to walkout of Birkenau [he wasn't the first with that figure]:
I was in Block 13 in Camp BIId until January 1945. After that, we were taken to Block 16, from which we set out on foot on January 25, 1945. Almost all the Sonderkommando men who had survived to that time—about a hundred men—left Auschwitz on this march. They included Shmuel from France, Leibl from Grodno, Lemke Pliszko, David Nencel from Rypin, Moshe and Yankl Weingarten from Poland, Aba from Grodno, Berl Beirach from Luna, Sender from Berlin, Maurice from Greece, Leon Cohen from Salonika, and Shaul Chazan from Salonika. There were others, but I no longer remember their names. [176]



Ya'akov Gabai said nothing about there having been a search for SK during his time at Mauthausen. He arrived on the "February 2 or 3, 1945" and was subsequently taken to Gussen where he worked "from March until April 30, 1945". [211]
Why do you think the Germans didn’t kill you before they evacuated the camp [Birkenau]? It couldn’t have been their intention to leave the Sonderkommando workers alive.

No one really knows why. Evidently it’s because we’d mingled with the rest of the prisoners and no one could tell us apart anymore. Then tremendous chaos broke out and the SS men couldn’t guard us properly. [210]



Shaul Chazan went to Mauthausen and has a different take on Nyiszel's frequently plagiarised tale:
When we reached Mauthausen, two guards from Crematorium I [II] were searching for us and asking everywhere, ‘‘Who worked in the Sonderkommando?’’ In the meantime, we’d lost weight because we’d been marching for several days and had hardly eaten anything. So they couldn’t tell us from the others. What’s more, we wore our caps in a way that no one could recognize us. They searched and searched and didn’t find us. They chased us all the way the Mauthausen! Imagine, to the last moment they searched for us so they could murder us. [281]



Leon Cohen says nothing about the SS hunting for them at Mauthausen, but he says virtually nothing about Mauthausen [308].
"On January 16, 1945, there was a rumor that the Russians were at the gates of Auschwitz. I remember that we were ordered to assemble at an isolated barracks. We realized immediately that the Germans wanted an opportunity to wipe us out before they locked the gates of the camp and left the place behind. We were determined to act quickly to save our lives. The idea was to mingle among the other prisoners who were leaving Birkenau. All the prisoners were ordered to move to Auschwitz. Each one took up as much food as he could. That’s how we marched as the Germans commanded." [307-8]



Eliezer Eisenschmid escaped from an evacuation transport and never left Poland until the war was over. But according to him at least, the SK didn't have to sneak out of Birkenau, nor were they hunted down:
"That night they took us from Birkenau to Auschwitz and put us in barracks. We searched for food there, too, but someone had beaten us to it. Just the same, I found a cardboard box with twenty-four packages of meat. We sat up half the night, the Sonderkommando men, and gorged ourselves. [...] They counted us again in the morning, and then a group of five thousand people set out from the camp. We walked a long, long way." [255]



Ya'akov Silbergberg escaped from a transport from Auschwitz in January 1945, but he still has a version of Nyiszel's Mauthausen tale::
How come the Germans didn’t manage to murder all the Sonderkommando members before the camp was evacuated?

They ran out of time. All the prisoners set out with the transport. Everyone got mixed up. You couldn’t tell who’d been in the Sonderkommando.

After you left Auschwitz, did Germans try to identify the Sonderkommando prisoners?

At a certain point on the way, the Germans asked, ‘‘Who was in the Sonderkommando?’’ None of us answered. [331]



Statistical Mechanic wrote:... Camp SS at Mauthausen also tried identifying SK members who'd reached that camp - none of the members reported to a summons for fear they'd be liquidated.

I checked all ELEVEN of the SK stories cited.

2 never went to Mauthausen
1 never went to Mauthausen but claimed the summons happened on the road, before his escape
3 went to Mauthausen but mentioned nothing about the summons
1 went to Mauthausen but only said Franz Hoessler was looking for them in Auschwitz I
1 went to Mauthausen and claimed two Krema II guards were already there looking for them
3 went to Mauthausen and wrote the about the summons, but 2 of them just plagiarised it from Nyiszel

[edit: typos]
Last edited by BRoI on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:57 pm

BRoI wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:The flip side of this point is that, according to Strzelecki, The Evacuation, Dismantling and Liberation of KL Auschwitz, the Auschwitz Camp SS made an effort to execute SK members during the disjointed, final period of the camp (“In January 1945 these workers managed to escape from their SS supervisors by mingling in with other prisoners who were being evacuated”) and Camp SS at Mauthausen also tried identifying SK members who'd reached that camp - none of the members reported to a summons for fear they'd be liquidated (pp 112-113).


I'm sure it couldn't have escaped your notice SM that one of Strzelecki's cited sources for this particular claim is Nyiszel's book! You just must have forgotten to tell us.

I don't have the book with me, as I am traveling and do not carry all my books and resources with me on trips, and I referred to my earlier post in this forum to add to scrmbldggs' point with a note about the Auschwitz Camp SS's perceived intent in January 1945, so, sure, it did escape my attention. Why do you think otherwise? If I ever checked Strzelecki's sources for this, I could never have recalled them so many months later. But I didn't . . .

BRoI wrote: . . . at the very moment Herbert Langbein

Hermann?

BRoI wrote:Following is what Strzelecki's sources 1-3 had to say about the SS search for SK's at Mauthausen. . . .

Strzelecki's point on Mauthausen was not that the SS tried to kill the men there, but that the men there assumed that to be the case:
The SS at Mauthausen immediately tried to find Sonderkommando members from among the prisoners evacuated from Auschwitz, probably because they still needed their expertise. They were summoned to report to the authorities, but no one ever did: the prisoners feared that they would be killed because of what they had witnessed.

From the sources you quote, it's not clear why Strzelecki assumes that the point of the call for SK members was their expertise (unless he misread one phrase in Nyiszli's text).

BRoI wrote:I checked all ELEVEN of the SK stories cited.

Did Strzelecki cite all 8 from Greif for the "search at Mauthausen." According to the first part of your note, I thought not.

BRoI wrote:1 went to Mauthausen and claimed two Krema II guards were already there looking for them
3 went to Mauthausen and wrote the about the summons, but 2 of them just plagiarised the story from Nyiszel

Given Hans's research, likely Mueller. Do you have more to prove plagiarism by Feliks Rosenthal (I don't find the Langbein-Boger point persuasive, but I don't have any case to make either way)? Do you think Chazan invented the story that SK members were being sought at Mauthausen? After reading the sources you gathered on this follow-on point, I can't say what happened at Mauthausen exactly.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby BRoI » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:24 pm

Strzelecki's point on Mauthausen was not that the SS tried to kill the men there, but that the men there assumed that to be the case:
The SS at Mauthausen immediately tried to find Sonderkommando members from among the prisoners evacuated from Auschwitz, probably because they still needed their expertise. They were summoned to report to the authorities, but no one ever did: the prisoners feared that they would be killed because of what they had witnessed.

Strzelecki's point falls over when his sources are given the once over. His citing of a possible 11 SKs, is quickly whittled down to 3, and soon after, 1. And that one states emphatically that all the other SK were killed in November 1944. The opposite of what Strzelecki's is trying to prove!


Did Strzelecki cite all 8 from Greif for the "search at Mauthausen." According to the first part of your note, I thought not.

He just cites the book, no particular SK and no page nos. given.


Given Hans's research, likely Mueller. Do you have more to prove plagiarism by Feliks Rosenthal (I don't find the Langbein-Boger point persuasive, but I don't have any case to make either way)? Do you think Chazan invented the story that SK members were being sought at Mauthausen? After reading the sources you gathered on this follow-on point, I can't say what happened at Mauthausen exactly.

Rosenthal gets cited in the 5 vol. AB museum study, and fortunately I just happened to have Strzelecki's other book. I don't know of any other studies that mention him.

Pendas details how Langbein was desperately trying to find new witnesses in Nov 1958, even telling West German prosecutors that he'd put ads in Polish papers to find them. If he's writing to a witness telling him to make his testimony more specific about someone, no matter how you dress it up, and Pendas puts a pretty frock and lipstick on it, the IAC weren't interested in compiling accurate witness testimony when Rosenthal made his. They needed testimonies that could be used to bring charges and hopefully convictions against former guards.

The F-A trial judgment was fairly dismissive of witnesses testimony according to Pendas. Mattogno wrote that that the judges were unimpressed with Mueller's performance.


On a related note. I was looking at this earlier to see if I could find any prisoner cards for the SK:

All Titles >>> WWII Captured German Records >>> MauthausenCamp Records >>> Inmate Cards Records

https://www.fold3.com/image/1/301486460

I tried finding "Nyiszel", and then Bendel, as it's not a name I've seen mis-spelt often and mis-spelling of inmates names led to a lot of confusion about the death tolls in the post-war years.
https://rodoh.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2665&hilit=six+million

There's no point using the search function, you have to just go through the pages and look them up alphabetically.

Is there any reason that the SK or other Auschwitzers who went through Mauthausen in 1945 wouldn't have a card here, do you know [or Hans, if you see this]? There seem to be plenty of new arrivals in Jan and Feb 1945?
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Kleon_I XYZ Contagion » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:07 am

If anyone wants to watch, there's this 1999 (IIRC) documentary about the Sonderkommando Salonica family returning to Auschwitz, brothers Shlomo & Morris Venezia and their cousin Dario Gabbai.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn2-E-E0cpU
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby BornAgainDisciple » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:43 pm

Kleon_I XYZ Contagion wrote:If anyone wants to watch, there's this 1999 (IIRC) documentary about the Sonderkommando Salonica family returning to Auschwitz, brothers Shlomo & Morris Venezia and their cousin Dario Gabbai.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn2-E-E0cpU


Does anyone know what happened to Dario's brother Jakob Gabbai who was also Sonderkommando at Auschwitz-Birkenau?

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:23 pm

BornAgainDisciple wrote:
Kleon_I XYZ Contagion wrote:If anyone wants to watch, there's this 1999 (IIRC) documentary about the Sonderkommando Salonica family returning to Auschwitz, brothers Shlomo & Morris Venezia and their cousin Dario Gabbai.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn2-E-E0cpU


Does anyone know what happened to Dario's brother Jakob Gabbai who was also Sonderkommando at Auschwitz-Birkenau?


He is one of those interviewed by Grief in We Wept without Tears, i think he died shortly after the interview.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby BRoI » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:27 am

There have been a number of highly dubious claims from by former Auschwitz inmates about them having served in the SK:

Roman Sompolinsky/Sompolinski, Lüneburg-Belsen trial witness
Roman Sompolinski was obviously a false witness, who was most likely not employed in the Sonderkommando at all.

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/beyond-rumors-testimony-of.html


Jeno Kaufmann/Joshua Kaufman
On 13 May 2016, the court trying Reinhold Hanning was told by Markus Goldbach, a lawyer representing various Auschwitz survivors, that his client Joshua Kaufmann had been a 15-year-old Sonderkommando at Birkenau; Kaufmann also told various reporters that he was a former Sonderkommando.

Kaufman was one of the Hungarian "transit Jews", those who had a brief stay at Birkenau before being transferred west aftering having been selected as capable for work on arrival at Birkenau; they were never registered at Birkenau.

Considering what's generally accepted about the SK based on the post-war testimony of SK survivors and perpetrators, it seems highly implausible that the SS would have plucked a 15-year-old from the transit camp and put him to work as a SK for a few days/weeks and then permitted him to leave on a transport to Dachau.


Yanina Cywinska
In her book Sugar Plum Nut, Cywinska claims to have been a SK working in the Dachau gas chamber, and claimed to have pretended to be a SK at Birkenau [to escape the gas chamber after having lived though a gassing which only knocked her unconscious].
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Hans » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:36 pm

BRoI wrote:On a related note. I was looking at this earlier to see if I could find any prisoner cards for the SK:

All Titles >>> WWII Captured German Records >>> MauthausenCamp Records >>> Inmate Cards Records

https://www.fold3.com/image/1/301486460

I tried finding "Nyiszel", and then Bendel, as it's not a name I've seen mis-spelt often and mis-spelling of inmates names led to a lot of confusion about the death tolls in the post-war years.
https://rodoh.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2665&hilit=six+million

There's no point using the search function, you have to just go through the pages and look them up alphabetically.

Is there any reason that the SK or other Auschwitzers who went through Mauthausen in 1945 wouldn't have a card here, do you know [or Hans, if you see this]? There seem to be plenty of new arrivals in Jan and Feb 1945?


The cards seem pretty incomplete. There are about 10,000 inmate cards on the site. There were like 64.800 prisoners in Mauthausen and its subcamps in early April 1945, so this record covers only a smaller fraction of prisoners.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:47 pm

This is an Auschwitz SK thread but I wanted to add this fellow:

https://trialinternational.org/latest-post/henryk-mania/

Mania was a Pole that the Germans used as an SK at Fort VII. He witnessed some of the first killings by an improvised gas chamber there and some of the earliest gassings by proto gas vehicles. He also later served in this capacity at Chelmno.

This is a continuation of a discussion on this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=39&t=27962&p=568969#p568969

Here is a Pole, not a Jew, who was later convicted of his actions.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Hans » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:04 pm

BRoI wrote:3 went to Mauthausen and wrote the about the summons, but 2 of them just plagiarised it from Nyiszel


Filip Müller already mentioned the episode during his examination at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, which is his most reliable testimony and for which there is no evidence he drew any inspiration from Nyiszli:

""A pak uz prichází 18. leden 1945, kdy odcházím nejenom já, ale jeste nekolik dalsích desítek príslusníku »Sonderkommanda«, do koncentracního tábora v Mauthausenu. Pravda je, ze v Mauthausenu, pred mým blokem, pri apelu, predstoupili príslusníci SS a ptali se, kdo pracoval v »Sonderkommandu«. Chtel bych tedy ríct, ze to »Sonderkommando« jsem prozil nikoliv jenom já, ale i dalsí vezni, kterí tam od roku 1942 pracovali. Jako Samuel Jankowski, Lulus Maurice a ostatní, se kterými jsem se sesel v tábore v Birkenau, kdyz jsme odcházeli s transportem. Nehlede k té skutecnosti, ze dalsí desítky clenu » Sonderkommanda« odcházely také s ostatními vezni. Ovsem to se je dná o cleny Sonderkommanda«, kterí prisli teprve na jare 1943. "

[Das Verfahren: 98. Verhandlungstag (08.10.1964). Der 1. Frankfurter Auschwitz-Prozeß, S. 20649]

I see also no ground to conclude that Feliks Rosenthal plagiarized Nyiszli. They both stated they were in "quarantine", but just how does that demonstrate plagiarizm? It is expected that people experiencing the same event will have some overlap in their narrative.

There is also Shlomo Venezia, Meine Arbeit im Sonderkommando, p.191:

"Ich weiß nicht mehr genau, an welchem Tag wir in Mauthausen ankamen, aber ich glaube, es war Ende Januar. Unsere Gefangenenkolonne marschierte durch das riesige Haupttor ins Lager. Rechts vom Tor stand ein großes Gebäude, um das wir herumgehen mussten, um zur Sauna zu gelangen. Wir waren immer noch viele, auch wenn einige auf dem Weg hierher gestorben waren: Es dauerte zwei Tage, bis wir alle in der Sauna gewesen waren. Bevor man hineinging, wusste keiner, was ihn in dem Gebäude erwar-tete: Die Gefangenen mussten zu fünft hinein, aber man sah sie nicht wieder herauskommen.
Ich schlief zwei Nächte draußen mit den anderen, die als Letzte in die Sauna mussten. Bei mir waren mein Bruder, meine Cousins und andere Freunde aus Auschwitz. In regelmäßigen Abständen kamen Soldaten vorbei und fragten: »Wer hat im Sonderkommando gearbeitet?« Um nicht auf-gespürt zu werden, schlug ich meinem Bruder vor, unseren Namen zu ändern. Statt »Venezia« wollte ich sagen, ich hieße »Benezia«, sofern sie mich danach fragen sollten."


Morris Kesselman is also cited on this in Kilian et al, Zeugen aus der Todeszone, p. 304.

As far as I'm concerned, there is sufficient evidence to consider that the Sonderkommandos were likely called out in Mauthausen.
Last edited by Hans on Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:16 pm

There is also, albeit much later than Müller's testimony of course and than Rosenthal's as well, what Chazan said to Greif, mentioning two guards from Krema II at Mauthausen. I poked around and could not find who they might be (I gave up on the search to get back to some other things but did learn, Pike p 186, that Kaduk and Miessner from Auschwitz had been in charge of a train bringing Auschwitz prisoners to Mauthausen in January 1945 and were then placed in charge of the tent camp there). I didn't, however, find anything further to support Chazan - but nothing to call his account into question either.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby BRoI » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:52 pm

Hans wrote:The cards seem pretty incomplete. There are about 10,000 inmate cards on the site. There were like 64.800 prisoners in Mauthausen and its subcamps in early April 1945, so this record covers only a smaller fraction of prisoners.

Thanks.

The NARA guide "The Mauthausen Concentration Camp Complex: World War II and Postwar Records" lists a May 1945 report that mentions the missing cards:
https://www.archives.gov/files/publications/ref-info-papers/rip115.pdf

III.46 General Correspondence, 1944–1945
Two reports pertaining to Mauthausen,signed by Col. Allen B.Mitchell,Chief USGCC Legal Division, Prisons Branch, are filed under War Department decimal filing number 254 (Detention and Internment Camps).(See box 8, location: 390/40/17/02). A June 9, 1945, “Report on Buchenwald and Mauthausen Concentration Camps,” describes the visit of Col. Mitchell’s investigative team to the Mauthausen Main Camp on May 17–18, 1945, and the location of missing inmate personnel cards for all camps within the Mauthausen complex. A substantially larger June 14 report,“Review of Activities, TD First and Third Armies, 27 April –1 June 1945, ”provides a chronology of events surrounding the liberation of Buchenwald and Mauthausen. Sections 16 through 33 describe activities of Col. Mitchell’s team (mainly the completion of identification cards by surviving inmates) at Mauthausen, Gusen, and Ebensee as well as at camps in the vicinity of Linz and Neubau, Austria. The following items are appended to the report:

A few other interesting looking items which might contain details of some of the numerous SK liberated at Ebensee:
III.31 Mauthausen Concentration Camp Entry Registers
(Entry 59, location: 190/13/25/07, boxes 1–2)
These original registers stand as a separate entry in RG 238. The four bound, handwritten volumes are arranged by inmate number and give name, nationality, and date and place of birth. Additional handwritten notations in pencil indicate sub­camp and, in red ink, date and place of death, and date of escape, transfer, or release. As indicated below, there is one missing volume for inmate numbers 30,001–50,000. This gap is repeated in the copy of the numerical register of prisoners in the custody of the International Tracing Service (see VII.9 below).
Vol 1: 1–30,000
Vol 2: 50,001–80,000
Vol. 3: 80,001–111,500
Vol. 4: 111,501–139,157
Miscellaneous German Records Collection, Part IV (T84), roll 337. See German Guide No. 90. Rosters of prisoners of war of Greek nationality and of stateless individuals at sub­camp Ebensee. Also includes lists of Dutch political prisoners released from Ebensee.
Morning report, Ebensee Camp, May 17, 1947 [sic; 5?] (population statistics by nationality)
30th Field Hospital report on medical conditions at Ebensee,with statistics on patients and medical personnel, May 13, 1945, signed by Lt. Col. Francis Sandford [Bendel claimed he was in hospital for some weeks before liberation, perhaps afterwards as well, he was still ill when the Brits wanted him to testify at the Tesch trial]
II.53 SHAEF, Headquarters Twelfth Army Group, Adjutant General Section, Decimal File 1943–45 (Entry 198)
Filed under decimal 254 (internment camps) is a small amount of cable traffic between Headquarters, 12th Army Group, the Commander, 3rd U.S. Army, and SHAEF G­5 regarding preparations for the liberation of the Mauthausen Complex. A cable to SHAEF, June 8, 1945, cites enclosures of five lists, in duplicate, of inmates at Mauthausen, Ebensee, Gusen, Linz, and Neubau. The lists have not been located. (Box 86, location 290/08/16/03)
II.40 Captured German Records Microfilmed at Alexandria, VA
Microfilmed items pertaining to Mauthausen and its sub­camps are described in Part VII (NARA Microfilm Publications), below. A significant amount of documentation on the Ebensee sub­camp (described in German Guide No. 33, Records of the Reich Leader of the SS and Chief of the German Police, Part II, pages 86–87) was neither filmed nor restituted. The original paper records, described below, are arranged in folders designated EAP 164 a­28/1–2, 5, 7–8, 10–23, 25–27, and 30. They are included among Records of the Reich Leader of the SS and Chief of German Police (Box 273, location: 190/14/27/07).
EAP 164­a­28/5: Military Government of Germany Concentration Camp Processing Dockets, Ebensee Concentration Camp, May 18, 1945. Hand­ and typewritten forms registering Ebensee survivors, giving name, inmate number, sex, age, place of birth, nationality, prisoner type, offense, date of sentence, and date of entry into the camp. In every case, prisoner type and offense is listed as “political.” 120 pages
EAP 164­a­28/8: A typed list of Greek inmates, giving name, inmate number, sex, age, and place of birth. This appears to be a list of survivors. Undated, 4 pages [the Gabbais, Bennahmias, Venezia, Cohen, Sackar, Kesselman perhaps]
EAP 164­a­28/10: Transport lists (name only) of 1,050 French nationals returned to France as of May 19, 1945. 36 pages. This folder also includes the following items: [...] [David Olere perhaps]
A list of foreign nationals (non ­French) repatriated to France, undated, with names only. 2 pages [Bendel perhaps]
EAP 164­a­28/25: Military Government of Germany Concentration Camp Processing Dockets listing Czechoslovak political prisoners repatriated from Ebensee as of May 27 and June 7, 1945, giving name, inmate number, sex, age, place of birth, nationality, and type of prisoner. 17 pages [Paisikovic perhaps]
EAP 164­a­28/22: “Belge–Dutch” handwritten list of Belgian inmates at Ebensee, May 8, 1945, giving inmate number and name (9 pages); and three handwritten lists of Dutch inmates, cited as Groups I, II, and III, undated, giving surname and first initial only (3 pages) [Moshe Schellekes perhaps]
EAP 164­a­28/27: “Totenlisten: Unterlagen staatenweise geordnet.” A handwritten compilation of 1,725 inmates who died at Ebensee from Dec. 1944 forward, arranged by nationality, giving name, inmate number, and date of death, with 171 listed as “unbekannte” (unidentified). 150 pages
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby BRoI » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:24 pm

I'll respond to your post tomorrow, Hans. Too tired at the moment.

Here's what Moll and Hoess had to say regarding the SK during their joint interrogation at Nuremberg.

Moll touched on the SK during his individual interrogation earlier in the day, but he was so obviously lying about everything I don't think its even worth quoting.

QUESTIONS ADDRESSED TO RUDOLF HOESS:

Q. You told us this morning that Moll was considered the best man for exterminations because he handled the teams of prisoners and guards better than your other subordinated. Is that right?

A. Yes.

QUESTIONS ADDRESSED TO OTTO MOLL:

Q. Moll, suppose you tell us what was your method of selection of foremen from the Capos and just what you found to be the best method of handling the guards that had charge of the transports after they came in.

A. When I was ordered to do this work, the work details had already been selected. My Oberfuehrers had already selected the Capos or foremen, whatever you call them. I carried out correctly the work in all kinds of weather. I was never drunk on duty, or when I was with the prisoners, and I never mistreated any of the prisoners. I achieved good success in the work of the prisoners because I, myself, helped them with their work with my own hands. The prisoners had respect for me because I always behaved as an exemplary soldier toward them, therefore, I was designated for any kind of difficult work that came up, may I ask Hoess to confirm that?

QUESTIONS ADDRESSED TO RUDOLF HOESS:

Q. Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is what I stated this morning?

[above p.6 ...]

[QUESTIONS ADDRESSED TO RUDOLF HOESS:]

Q. How often were the crematory details of prisoners exterminated?

A. As far as I can remember, it was twice before I left for the first time and they were exterminated again after the action against the Hungarians was completed.

On whose orders were the prisoners exterminated?

A. I received that order from Eichmann and he order in particular that the furnace commandos should be shot every three months, however, I failed to comply with these orders as I did not think this was right.

QUESTIONS ADDRESSED TO OTTO MOLL:

Q. You have said that your detail was never exterminated. What do you say now?

A. No, that is not true. The work detail with which I worked was never exterminated as long as I was there and as long as I worked. As regard to the first work detail I had the excavation of mass graves, which I had to leave because of my attack of typhus, they may have been exterminated, when I returned to duty. The only thing I know of is when I left, the last work detail, I worked with, was still alive and that is, every member of the detail was alive when I left. Sometime later when I left mutiny broke out in the camp. I know that the entire guard company at the camp was used to suppress this mutiny. I was not there, I was at Gleiwitz at the time. I do not know anything about this, but Hoess can tell you that.

Q. Did you ever cremated any of your crematorium detail?

A. No.

[above pp.12-13]

- Joint Interrogation of Otto Moll and Rudolf Hoess, Nuremberg, 16 April 1946, 14:15-16:15.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby BRoI » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:27 am

Hans wrote:Filip Müller already mentioned the episode during his examination at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, which is his most reliable testimony and for which there is no evidence he drew any inspiration from Nyiszli:

""A pak uz prichází 18. leden 1945, kdy odcházím nejenom já, ale jeste nekolik dalsích desítek príslusníku »Sonderkommanda«, do koncentracního tábora v Mauthausenu. Pravda je, ze v Mauthausenu, pred mým blokem, pri apelu, predstoupili príslusníci SS a ptali se, kdo pracoval v »Sonderkommandu«. Chtel bych tedy ríct, ze to »Sonderkommando« jsem prozil nikoliv jenom já, ale i dalsí vezni, kterí tam od roku 1942 pracovali. Jako Samuel Jankowski, Lulus Maurice a ostatní, se kterými jsem se sesel v tábore v Birkenau, kdyz jsme odcházeli s transportem. Nehlede k té skutecnosti, ze dalsí desítky clenu » Sonderkommanda« odcházely také s ostatními vezni. Ovsem to se je dná o cleny Sonderkommanda«, kterí prisli teprve na jare 1943. "

[Das Verfahren: 98. Verhandlungstag (08.10.1964). Der 1. Frankfurter Auschwitz-Prozeß, S. 20649]

What makes his testimony at the Krakow-Auschwitz trial and in Kraus & Kulka's study less reliable that this one?

You neglected to quote Mueller saying it was an SS-man from Auschwitz who called them out. So, it's kinda like Shaul Chazan's version, only this time there was just a single guard and he wasn't from Krema II:
[...] ten esesman, který toto prováděl před naším blokem v Mauthausenu, byl fakticky esesman z Osvětimi, tedy z Birkenau. Viděl jsem ho tam několikrát, ale on nepobýval v krematoriu. A tak jsem si řekl: prostě mě nepoznal. A nebyl jsem tam sám. Konkrétně si pamatuju, že vedle mě stál kapo Lajzer [Eliezer Welbel], Schlojme [Schlomo Kirzenbaum] a další.


I see also no ground to conclude that Feliks Rosenthal plagiarized Nyiszli. They both stated they were in "quarantine", but just how does that demonstrate plagiarizm? It is expected that people experiencing the same event will have some overlap in their narrative.

The "same event". So this was a one off incident was it? An officer and general went into Nyiszel barracks looking for the only four SK they didn't kill; Mueller was asked by a guard from Auschwitz; two Krema II guards asked Chazan; Rosenthal didn't specify, nor did Silbergberg precisely say who asked him whilst they were travelling to Mauathausen. But they all duped Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz just by not answering—or wearing their caps in a way that made them unrecognisable—something the Germans would have least expected!


There is also Shlomo Venezia, Meine Arbeit im Sonderkommando, p.191:
"Ich weiß nicht mehr genau, an welchem Tag wir in Mauthausen ankamen, aber ich glaube, es war Ende Januar. Unsere Gefangenenkolonne marschierte durch das riesige Haupttor ins Lager. Rechts vom Tor stand ein großes Gebäude, um das wir herumgehen mussten, um zur Sauna zu gelangen. Wir waren immer noch viele, auch wenn einige auf dem Weg hierher gestorben waren: Es dauerte zwei Tage, bis wir alle in der Sauna gewesen waren. Bevor man hineinging, wusste keiner, was ihn in dem Gebäude erwar-tete: Die Gefangenen mussten zu fünft hinein, aber man sah sie nicht wieder herauskommen.
Ich schlief zwei Nächte draußen mit den anderen, die als Letzte in die Sauna mussten. Bei mir waren mein Bruder, meine Cousins und andere Freunde aus Auschwitz. In regelmäßigen Abständen kamen Soldaten vorbei und fragten: »Wer hat im Sonderkommando gearbeitet?« Um nicht auf-gespürt zu werden, schlug ich meinem Bruder vor, unseren Namen zu ändern. Statt »Venezia« wollte ich sagen, ich hieße »Benezia«, sofern sie mich danach fragen sollten."

Okay, a 21st century account mentions they asked a few times. Nyiszel wrote about that days-long queue for the baths.


Hans wrote:As far as I'm concerned, there is sufficient evidence to consider that the Sonderkommandos were likely called out in Mauthausen.

Of course you are, but what about the claim they gave fake names when being registered at Mauthausen and altered the numbers tattooed on their arms [D. Czech in Anatomy of Auschwitz Death Camp, p.372]? None of the accounts you're relying on mention doing anything like that. Was there no list of SK that could have been given to the guard[s] tasked with tracking them down?
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Kleon_I XYZ Contagion » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:41 am

- Here's a picture of the bag and the thermos flask with the 12 pages manuscript, written in 1944 by the Greek Sonderkommando Marcel Nadjari, that was found in Birkenau soil, at crematorium 3 in 1980,

Image

- Here's a lecture with English subtitles from Prof. Pavel Polian for the manuscript:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5B7fGdzi5A

- Here's a new article that summarizes all our knowledge on the subject, from a Greek magazine, in Greek of course but with a little help from Google translator you'll get the picture:
https://insidestory.gr/article/marcel-n ... EN1NL42YM6

And here's an older small feature of mine on the October 1944 SK revolt, along with a small documentary:
http://xyzcontagion.wordpress.com/2012/ ... s-ebraioi/

- Marcel Nadjary Transcript in English:
https://web.archive.org/web/20080826034 ... 006905.php
According to experts and scholars, the 10 stages of every genocide are
Classification Symbolization Discrimination Dehumanization Organization Polarization Preparation Persecution Extermination
... and finally the 10th stage:
Denial
http://www.genocidewatch.org/genocide/t ... ocide.html

XYZ Contagion (‘Because the truth is contagious‘), an investigative/research political and historical website, deals also with the Srebrenica Genocide
https://xyzcontagion.wordpress.com/about/#English

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:02 pm

Just a question:
Is there another SK witness that tells how long did it take to "process" the complete destruction of a convoy per Crematorium?
Let's say that 2000 people a sent to Krema II (III), how long before it can treat another load of victims?

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Wed May 10, 2017 6:34 pm

UP...

Well i see that my question was ignored.
I have just finished Venezia's book, and it contains surprising information.
I have not the time to check back, so does anyone know if the process of gassing has been described with detail by any other SK or witnesses, that is mainly the time needed for "processing" a killing through the installation of Birkenau?

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed May 10, 2017 6:43 pm

Sorry, Balsalmo. Just got back yesterday and today I'm trying to catch up with stuff at home.

D-H might know it off hand.

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed May 10, 2017 6:48 pm

I have no recollection of anyone giving the exact information you asked for. Not knowing is not the same as ignoring :) Also, my not having written down that precise detail - total time for destruction of a transport - doesn't mean that no one has stated it.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Denying-History » Wed May 10, 2017 6:51 pm

Hmmm, none exactly come to mind. I honestly never thought of making a list. I always used Van Pelts calculation and adverages given by members of the SK. Sorry Balsamo.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Balsamo » Wed May 10, 2017 9:40 pm

Thanks...no hard feelings meant...
What does Van Pelt wrote?

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Denying-History » Thu May 11, 2017 3:03 am

He doesn't outline the whole process but using his figures one can get a general idea. I don't believe that Pelt really ever gave any times for gassing's besides Broads account of 4 minutes. (Case p.228) So to give a bit more of a conservative figure I would use Greens (LC50) of 5 to 15 minutes limit for the gas release. Assuming a concentration of 1,000-10,000 ppm ventilation would take 30 to 40 minutes. (Case p.366) The elevator shaft on assumption took up twelve corpses at once and lasted about 10 minutes each or 150 corpses per hour. (Case [James Dalrymple] p. 471) So it would take 13 hours roughly to lift all the bodies up to the crematorium. And with a cremation rate of 1,440 corpses per 24 hours (Case p.342) would take around 33 hours to cremate 2,000 corpses on the basis.

That should give you some idea, just assuming undressing and guidance took around a half hour you are probably looking at 33.5 to 34 hours for the whole process, based on some calculations from pelts book.
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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Xcalibur » Thu May 11, 2017 3:45 am

So Roberto at HC hasn't covered this... for the last 13 years?

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Re: More Auschwitz: The Sonderkommando Thread

Postby Denying-History » Thu May 11, 2017 4:08 am

He probably has done it somewhere on rodoh.
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