Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

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Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby BRoI » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:40 pm

I'm starting this thread as a place to collate evidence for a homicidal gas van at Majdanek.

First up are the sources cited by Tomasz Kranz in his 2007 study [revised 2010]:

Kranz 2007 wrote:An issue that has not been completely explained is the question as to whether at Majdanek people were murdered in a specially-converted truck. It has been mentioned by Alexander Donat, who saw on the grounds of the camp automobile park (Fahrbereitschaft) a covered truck used — according to him — for killing people with carbon monoxide. The information about the gassing by automobile fumes of 60 Jewish women from Majdanek picked out during selection carried out between January and May, 1943, is also mentioned in the indictment of Hackmann and 9 other members of the Majdanek SS personnel. [16]

16. Archive of the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw (later AIPNwW), Verdicts and Indictments, Ref. No. A.O./252, Anklageschrift gegen Hackmann und neun andere Angeschuldigte (Konzentrationslager Lublin/Majdanek), vol. 2, pp. 187-188; Donat, The Holocaust Kingdom (Washington 1999), p. 172; (Czeslaw) Skoraczynski, Zywe numery (Krakow 1984), p.95. It is certain that such a truck indeed was on the camp grounds. In the documents of the labor assignment office it is listed, next to the gas chamber and bath, as a Desinfektionsauto (cf. photo 15).

- Kranz, Extermination of Jews at the Majdanek Concentration Camp, 2007, pp.44-45.
Kranz 2010 wrote:Another issue yet to be satisfactorily explained is whether, at Majdanek, people were murdere d in a specially-converted truck. Alexander Donat has described seeing a covered truck on the grounds of the camp's automobile park (Fahrbereitschaft) used — according to him — for killing people with carbon monoxide. Information about the gassing with automobile fumes of 60 Jewish women from Majdanek picked out during a selection carried out between January and May 1943 is also mentioned in the indictment of Hackmann and nine other members of Majdanek's SS personnel. [16]

16. Archive of the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw (hereinafter AIPNwW), Verdicts and indictments, Ref. No. A.O./252, Anklageschrift gegen Hackmann und neun andere Angeschuldigte (Konzentrationslager Lublin/Majdanek), vol. 2, pp. 187-188; Donat, The Holocaust Kingdom (Washington 1999), p. 172; (Czeslaw) Skoraczyriski, Zywe numery (Krakow 1984), p. 95. It is certain indeed that such a truck was on camp grounds. In the documents of the labour assignment office it is listed, next to the gas chamber and bathhouse, as a Desinfektionsauto.

- Kranz, The Extermination of Jews at the Majdanek Concentration Camp, 2010, pp.44-45.


In this study, Kranz's cited evidence for a gas van at Majdanek is:

1. Former prisoner Alexander Donant's 1965 book
2. Former prisoner Czeslaw Skoraczyriski's posthumously published 1984 book [the man died in 1982]
3. The 15 November 1974 indictment of the Duesseldorf-Majdanek trial
4. The listing of "Desinfektionsauto" on a German document dated 1 September 1943

1. I don't have Donat's book so can't quote from it for the time being.

2. Below's page 95 of the same edition of Skoraczyriski's book referenced by Kranz. There's no mention of any sort of vehicle here.

I used an OCR programme to digitalise the Polish text in photos I took of Skoraczyriski's chapter titled "Gasmeister", pages 92 - 113. As far as I can tell, there's no mention of any sort of vehicle used for homicidal gassings in this particular chapter. I may well be mistaken, or there might be mention of them elsewhere in the book; I only took photos of this one chapter when I consulted the book three years ago.

Image
Image


3. Below are pages of the indictment of the Duesseldorf-Majdanek trial cited by Kranz. This particular charge related to August Wilhelm Reinartz; in Nov/Dec 1978—three years into the trial—it was ruled that he was unfit to stand trial due to ill-health.

Image


4. This is the document listing the "Desinfektionsauto" which Kranz is "certain" was a homicidal gas van:

Image
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:05 pm

Rabbit, I have nothing to add to this. This is my comment so I can follow along.

Probably this was addressed in the endless Majdanek thread but I’ll leave it up to those who know more.

This is an interesting topic, thank you for starting it.
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Re: Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:07 pm

Donat, The Holocaust Kingdom, p 172:
A couple of passenger cars, some trucks, and one covered van, which people described in a whisper as ‘the gas chamber," made up the motor pool. The van - the Russian expression for it meant "soul-destroyer" - was, indeed, the first Majdanek gas chamber. Victims had been locked inside and killed with carbon monoxide.

Donat was brought to Majdanek at the end of April 1943, from the Warsaw ghetto, during the uprising; at one point in his time at Majdanek, in May, Donat was assigned to the motor pool (Fahrbereitschaft), where he worked as a Schreiber and was "to record the numbers of incoming and outgoing cars." (p 171) Donat spent just 3 days in the motor pool before being sent to a ditch-digging commando, a "demotion" he wrote.

I have not seen these files - a friend sent me these references some time ago and I never followed up on them:

- Lothar Hoffmann (Security Police Lublin), interrogation of [?] (West-German investigators) [BArch B 162 / 5066, p. 179], on a homicidal gas van in Lublin ---> KdS Lublin
- Anna Böttcher (Jewish prisoner in Lublin), interrogation of 31 July 1959 (West-German investigators), [BArch B 162 / 5066, p. 185 ff.], on killing of Jews with a homicidal gas van in Lublin ---> KL Majdanek
- Benno Goldland (prisoner in Lublin), examination of [1949? 1950?] (München, West German trial, LG München) [BArch B 162 / 5066, p. 191], on killing of people with a homicidal gas van in Lublin ---> KdS Lublin
- Josef Müller (prisoner in Lublin), examination of [1949? 1950?] (München, West German trial, LG München) [BArch B 162 / 5066, p. 191], on killing of people with a homicidal gas van in Lublin ---> KdS Lublin

from the Polish-Soviet Extraordinary Commission communique (p 17):
The Polish-Soviet Extraordinary Commission has established that in addition to the gas chambers, the Germans in Lublin utilized special automobiles known as "murder vans" for the purpose of putting people to death.

The witnesses-Stetdiener, an ex-soldier of the Polish army, and Atrokhov, a Soviet prisoner of war, gave a detailed description of the machine in which the German fiends asphyxiated their victims with the aid of the exhaust gas from the engine.

The discovery within the precincts of the camp of a number of corpses bearing the characteristic symptoms of poisoning by carbon monoxide confirms the fact that the Germans utilized carbon monoxide for the purpose of putting prisoners to death.

more detail about these two witnesses is found in Graf & Mattogno, quoting from the Polish-Soviet Commission report (p 190):
Later it was found that the Germans made equally extensive use of gas vans[498] for killing people. The witness ATROCHOW saw this ‘gas van’ himself and describes it as follows:

‘This gas van was a hermetically sealable bus, earthy gray in color; it could hold 60 people, who were poisoned in it with exhaust gas. The people were poisoned on the drive from the city to the crematorium, and they were always already dead on arrival at the crematorium. Obersturmführer Gotschik has provided me with detailed witness testimony about the gas van’ (l.d. 93).

Stetdiner, a soldier in the Polish army who had fallen into German captivity in 1939 and who was questioned on this subject, also gives a detailed description of this gas van. He says:

‘More than once, gas vans came and brought fresh corpses. There could be no doubt that these victims had only just been asphyxiated, for the bodies were still warm… There were cases where these gas vans arrived three times daily. Externally, it was a truck with a massive metal box and metal floor; the door could be closed airtight. A hose ran from the engine under the box, connecting the engine with the box floor; there were numerous small openings in the floor, like a grid' (l.d. 438a).

I also have a note that there are three testimonies about gas vans in the camp or in the Lublin area that I took to be unreliable on their face: Fissel, Peltz, Contract.
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Re: Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby BRoI » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:39 am

Next up is Kranz's article in the authoritative Neue Studien [org. 2011]:

Kranz, Neue Studien wrote:Im Hinblick auf den Einsatz von Giftgas zur Menschentötung stellt das Konzentrationslager Majdanek einen Sonderfall dar. Hier wurden nicht nur zwei verschiedene Gase als Tötungsmittel in Gaskammern angewendet — das Schädlingsbekämpfungsmittel Zyklon B (HCN) und Kohlenmonoxid (CO) —, sondern es war auch ein Gaswagen in Betrieb. (p.219)

Es gibt Indizien, die darauf hinweisen, dass ein Teil der Opfer des Konzentrationslagers Maidanek in einem speziell umgebauten Lastwagen erstickt wurde. Diese Morde wurden vermutlich in einem Desinfektionsauto verübt, das sich im Besitz des Lagers befand, oder in einem Gaswagen, der dem Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei und des Sicherheitsdienstes Lublin gehörte. Einigen Häftlingsaussagen zufolge verkehrte er zwischen der Stadt und dem Lager. [21] (p.225)

20. APMM (Archive of the State Museum Majdanek), XIX-1425, Aussage Franz A., 30.4.1965, Bl. 4.
21. Ebenda, Fot. 39, Bl. 311-313a; Ambach/Köhler, Lublin-Majdanek(: Das Konzentration- und Vernichtungslager im Spiegel von Zeugenaussagen, Düsseldorf 2003), S. 200; Kranz, Die Vernichtung der Juden in Majdanek (Lublin 2007), S. 45 f. (p.225)

- Kranz, "Massentötungen durch Giftgas im Konzentrationslager Majdanek", Neue Studien, 2012 edition


This time Kranz doesn't bother describing any of evidence for the gas van. He cites:

1. His own 2007 study
2. A single page in a 2003 legal journal, a edition devoted to the Duesseldorf-Majdanek trial.
3. Stuff in the Majdanek museum archive

1. Was examined in the OP

2. I have a digital edition of this volume. Kranz is referencing a statement by Hanna Narkiewicz-Jodko, a prisoner doctor who was in Majdanek 18 January - 17 May 1943:
Hanna Narkiewicz-Jodko wrote:Auf den Zwischenfeldern zwischen Feld I und II und zwischen Feld IV und V standen dann immer Hunderte von Häftlingen, die sich weder setzen noch hinlegen durften, weil ansonsten auf sie geschossen wurde. Von dort wurden die Frauengruppen zu je hundert Personen unter Schlägen in den ersten Raum der Badebaracke getrieben. Dort mussten sie sich ausziehen und kamen dann nackt in den eigentlichen Bade- oder Duschraum, wo ein deutscher Arzt - meist Dr. Blanke und seltener Dr. Rindfleisch - schon auf sie wartete. Einmal hat diese Position auch der Sanitäter Reinartz innegehabt. Dieser jeweils selektierende Arzt oder Sanitäter zeigte dann mit seiner Peitsche geradeaus oder er wies die meist jüngeren und kräftigeren unter die Brausen. Diejenigen Frauen, die er geradeaus durchgewiesen hatte, verließen dann hinten den Baderaum und mussten hellgelbe Fahrzeuge mit festen Aufbauten besteigen. Die Motoren dieser Fahrzeuge waren schon in Betrieb und fuhren, sobald sie voll waren, weg. Dann wurde ein neues ähnliches Fahrzeug vorgefahren. Ich weiß nicht, ob diese Fahrzeuge eine Art Gaskammer darstellten. Die eigentliche feste Gaskammer befand sich in der Nähe des Bades und hatte eine Tür mit einem kleinen Guckloch. Von dem Badekapo habe ich erfahren, dass Frauen dort vergast wurden. Männer habe man meist in Gruben erschossen und anschließend verbrannt. Die tragischsten Selektionen waren für mich immer die der Mütter und Kinder. Einmal hat sogar vor meinen Augen eine Mutter ihr Kind mit Zyankali vergiftet, um diesem ganzen zu entgehen.

[...]

Auf Vorhalt, dass sie in einerfrüheren Vernehmung von dem Abtransport Ausselektierter auf LKW mit Planen zur Gaskammer gesprochen habe, sagte die Zeugin:

Nein, es waren LKW mit metallbeschlagenen Aufbauten. Ich habe sie nur von hinten gesehen; sie sahen aus wie Kühlwagen.


Thomas Köhler writes in this volume:
Thomas Köhler wrote:Laut zweier Zeugenaussagen im Düsseldorfer „Majdanek-Prozess“ wurde im KL Lublin möglicherweise auch ein sog. Gaswagen, ähnlich wie im Vernichtungslager Chelmno, zur Ermordung von Menschen eingesetzt [253a]

253a. Dazu folgende Zeugenaussagen: Narkiewicz-Jodko: S. 170-202, insb. S. 198 u. 201


Admittedly I've only had a cursory glance through the book, but the other witness, I imagine, is Sofia Skibinska, prisoner at Majdanek: 8 January 1943 - 18 April 1944:
Sofia Skibinska wrote:Im Bereich des Bades habe ich einmal ein Fahrzeug gesehen, von dem ich nicht wusste, was es war. Später habe ich von Mithäftlingen gehört, dass es sich um ein Fahrzeug handelte zur Vergasung von Menschen. Es war ein großer LKW mit Blechbeschlagung, der hinten einen Eingang hatte. An die Farbe erinnere ich mich nicht.



3. "Bl. 311-313a" — presumably Kranz is referencing the testimony of Atrochow and Stetdiner in the Pol-Sov Commission report that Mattogno also featured [p.187 citing "GARF, 7021-107-9, pp. 311a-313a"] who SM quoted for their testimony up-thread.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby BRoI » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:57 am

In another study, Mattogno quotes a witness whose testimony could be used to support last-minute gassings and explain the three CO victims found lying in, or near, the crematorium. Even if his testimony on *gas cars*, or other matters, wasn't particularly accurate.

Mattogno wrote:During the trial of some members of the camp staff at Lublin in December 1944 a single witness, Tadeusz Budzyn, spoke of killings in the chambers that were equipped with pipes: [330]

Presiding judge: Were any murders committed by suffocation? Witness: Let me begin by stating that, when there was [as yet] no Zyklon B, there existed a first gas chamber where gassings could be implemented by means of combustion gases. This chamber is arranged in such a way that, on the one hand, it had pipes connected to a diesel engine feeding the gas into the chamber. In the last phase, the Germans at Majdanek hit on the idea to design cars which were gas chambers at the same time. These cars were built in such a manner that, when the driver started out, the gas was fed from the exhaust pipe into the interior of the car, and when the driver had reached his destination, the detainees were already dead.

330. Majdanek. Rozprawa przed Specjalnym Sądem karnym w Lublinie, Czytelnik. Lublin, 1945, p. 52.
- Carlo Mattogno, Inside the Gas Chambers, p.127.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby BRoI » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:32 pm

BRoI wrote:Admittedly I've only had a cursory glance through the book, but the other witness, I imagine, is Sofia Skibinska, prisoner at Majdanek: 8 January 1943 - 18 April 1944:


The witnesses listed on the aforementioned D-M trial indictment charge cited by Kranz are:

Narkiewicz-Jodko
Stpinczynska

Presumably, Stpinczynska is an alternative spelling of Skibinska.

In addition to what I quote above, Skibinska also testified:

Skibinska wrote:Transporte wurden, wenn sie nicht zu groß waren, sofort in den sogenannten „Rosengarten“ geführt. Dabei handelte es sich um einen nicht sehr großen Platz, umzäunt, in der Gegend des Bades und der Gaskammer. Größere Transporte wurden dagegen auf das sogenannte Zwischenfeld geführt und von dort in Gruppen in den Rosengarten gebracht. Es gab zwei Zwischenfelder, und zwar eins zwischen den Feldern I und II und eins zwischen den Feldern IV und V. Auf dem ersten Zwischenfeld befand sich das alte Krematorium und die Wäscherei, das zweite war ein Baumaterialien- und Kohlenlager. Was die Selektionen im Rosengarten betrifft, so konnte ich dies nur beiläufig sehen, wenn ich mit irgendwelchen Berichten unterwegs war, die unterschrieben werden mussten. Ein Teil der Menschen wurde gleich abgeteilt, ein anderer Teil gebadet, eingekleidet und auf das Feld geführt. Von denen, die getötet wurden, wurde berichtet, sie würden in Fahrzeugen getötet. Wir hörten häufig die Motorengeräusche aus der Richtung des Bades, wenn neue Transporte gekommen waren. Ich war niemals in unmittelbarer Nähe der Selektionen im Rosengarten; wir haben auch nie gesehen, wie groß ein Transport war oder wie viele davon ins Lager gekommen sind und wie viele nicht. An sich bemühten sich die Deutschen, solche Aktionen dann durchzuführen, wenn keine Zeugen da waren. An diesen Selektionen waren am häufigsten die Oberaufseherin, die Aufseherinnen Braunsteiner und Lächert, überhaupt die Aufseherinnen, die kein festes Kommando hatten, beteiligt. Das sind jedoch Schlussfolgerungen.

Als im Mai oder Juni 1943 ein Teil der Häftlingsfrauen in einem Block in der Mitte des Feldes untergebracht waren, befahl man uns eines Abends, sofort in die Blocks zu gehen. Aus diesem Block, in dem sich jüdische Mütter mit Kindern befanden, wurden alle Kinder mitgenommen und zwar mit Gewalt. Dabei habe ich die Ehrich, die Lächert und, so meine ich, auch die Braunsteiner gesehen. Die Kinder wurden auf die Fahrzeuge geworfen; sie schrien. Die Ehrich ging auf eines der Fahrzeuge und gab den Kindern Bonbons. Ich habe das von gegenüber gesehen. Ich war aus der Näherei gekommen und zwar mit der zusätzlichen Schicht. Alle Frauen begaben sich in ihre Blocks, in unserem Block waren zufällig nur wenige. Ich lag damals in der ersten Pritschenreihe am Fenster und zwar auf der mittleren der drei Pritschen und konnte durch das geöffnete Fenster die ganze Feldbreite übersehen. Nach dem Abtransport der Kinder versuchte man, einen Abendappell zu machen, aber es war nichtmöglich, die Mütter zum Appell zu bringen. Ein Teil der Frauen wehrte sich wie wahnsinnig. Ich glaube, dass nach einiger Zeit auch diese Frauen getötet wurden. Das ganze muss sich am späten Nachmittag abgespielt haben, da danach der Appell folgte.

Es sollen etwa 900 Frauen und Kinder betroffen gewesen sein. Die Mütter waren polnische Jüdinnen, evtl. auch Jüdinnen aus anderen Ländern, die alle in einer Baracke waren. Es gab neben den jüdischen Müttern und Kindern in einer Baracke noch andere Mütter und Kinder in weiteren Baracken. Die Opfer wurden mit offenen Wagen weggebracht. Der zweite Wagen war ein Anhänger; ob der erste Wagen ein LKW oder eine Zugmaschine war, weiß ich nicht.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby nickterry » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:34 pm

BRoI wrote:Next up is Kranz's article in the authoritative Neue Studien [org. 2011]:


...

3. "Bl. 311-313a" — presumably Kranz is referencing the testimony of Atrochow and Stetdiner in the Pol-Sov Commission report that Mattogno also featured [p.187 citing "GARF, 7021-107-9, pp. 311a-313a"] who SM quoted for their testimony up-thread.


Not sure why you say the 'Neue Studien' collection is "authoritative" when it's a conference proceedings.

Regarding Bl. 311-313a, the footnoting you cite

20. APMM (Archive of the State Museum Majdanek), XIX-1425, Aussage Franz A., 30.4.1965, Bl. 4.
21. Ebenda, Fot. 39, Bl. 311-313a;

clearly indicates a further citation from a file of over 300pp that also includes a 1965 statement, during the Duesseldorf Majdanek investigation.

APMM's copies from the Polish-Soviet commission seem to be in XXV, not XIX.

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Re: Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby nickterry » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:37 pm

well, this has already established that gas vans were testified to
    in 1944 in Poland,
    the late 1940s in West Germany,
    in the Duesseldorf investigation and
    independently in memoirs published in Poland and the USA.

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Re: Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby BRoI » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:41 pm

nickterry wrote:Not sure why you say the 'Neue Studien' collection is "authoritative" when it's a conference proceedings.

It was a conference on the topic of the Nazis' use of poison gas where recognised experts on various Holocaust killing centres [e.g. RJ van Pelt on A-B] presented the latest research and strongest evidence for homicidal gassings. This book is authoritative, and I think you're going to mislead other posters about this book's significance.


nickterry wrote:Regarding Bl. 311-313a, the footnoting you cite

20. APMM (Archive of the State Museum Majdanek), XIX-1425, Aussage Franz A., 30.4.1965, Bl. 4.
21. Ebenda, Fot. 39, Bl. 311-313a;

clearly indicates a further citation from a file of over 300pp that also includes a 1965 statement, during the Duesseldorf Majdanek investigation.

Nope. Kranz doesn't mention it in the Neue Studien, but XIX is the museum's "Collection of photo and Xerox copies". See Kranz, 2010, p.14, n.12; "Zbiór fotokopii i kserokopii: Zbiór XIX", Informator o zasobie archiwalnym Państwowego Muzeum na Majdanku, p.86f.

In the Neue Studien Kranz's cites a GARF ref for the Pol-Sov Com's report on the gas chambers [p.223, n.14.].


nickterry wrote:APMM's copies from the Polish-Soviet commission seem to be in XXV, not XIX.

I guess you've already been looking at Informator o zasobie archiwalnym Państwowego Muzeum na Majdanku. But it states of the museum's collection on the Pol-Sov com [p.96]:

Badacze zajmujący się tym tematem powinni sięgnąć także do materiałów prze-chowywanych w zbiorze fotokopii i kserokopii pod sygnaturą 38, wśród których znajdują się m.in. odpisy protokołów Komisji z przeprowadzonych wizji lokalnych, protokoły przesłuchania świadków i inne cenne dokumenty. Wprawdzie dokumenty te sporządzono w języku rosyjskim, jednakże najistotniejsze przetłumaczone zostały na język polski.


So, Kranz effectively cites XIX:39, whereas this 2012 guide says they've copies of Pol-Sov com stuff in XIX:38.

Kranz typo? Who knows? Perhaps they've copies of stuff in both 38 & 39.

But the pages nos. cited by Mattogno [311a-313a] and Kranz [311-313a] show that Kranz could only be referring to the alleged gas van testimony of Atrochow and Stetdiner.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby nickterry » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:39 pm

BRoI wrote:
nickterry wrote:Not sure why you say the 'Neue Studien' collection is "authoritative" when it's a conference proceedings.

It was a conference on the topic of the Nazis' use of poison gas where recognised experts on various Holocaust killing centres [e.g. RJ van Pelt on A-B] presented the latest research and strongest evidence for homicidal gassings. This book is authoritative, and I think you're going to mislead other posters about this book's significance.


The collection is actually somewhat mixed in depth/strength, which is virtually the norm for collections. The chapters on the extermination camps proper are somewhat more essayistic (Pelt) or present overviews (Pohl) or succinct summaries (Klein on Chelmno), whereas the chapters on euthanasia centres or the KZs in the Reich are usually more detailed. Kranz's Majdanek chapter is a good summary, but it only has 25 footnotes.

I was very impressed with the collection for the coverage of T4 and the KZs in the Reich, but less so for the extermination camps.

Re: the APMM references XIX vs XXV - on reflection and your clarifications, you are right, but Holland's MA thesis was citing documents under XXV that are paginated differently in GARF 7021-107-9, which would suggest a duplicate set of the 1944 materials in APMM. Kranz didn't exactly elaborate on what was in 311-313a in the multi-source footnote.

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Re: Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby BRoI » Wed May 02, 2018 12:30 am

Remarkably early mention of gas vans at Majdanek in Life magazine, 28 August 1944:

The survivors, said reports from Moscow, were loaded into "murder vans" which killed them either with the carbon-monoxide gas from the motor exhaust or a "Cyclone" gas.
Great ovens for cremating bodies which had been gassed in "murder vans" used at Kharkov (LIFE, July 10) are shown here.

Image
- Life, 28 August 1944, p.34.

The original Pol-Sov Com report used by Mattogno appears to be undated but states that the commission worked at Majdanek between 4 - 24 August 1944.

The "Communique" only has a publication date, "Moscow 1944". As does the Czech version, "Zpráva", "Moskva 1944".

The report was published as a supplement to the 28 September 1944 edition of Soviet War News Weekly [London] in far better English than the error-strewn "Communique". Otherwise they seem identical.

Life magazine's correspondent Richard Lauterbach had visited Majdanek on either the 13 or 20 August; Nick might be able to pin-point the exact date. Lauterbach made no mention of gas vans in his Majdanek article in Life, 18 September 1944, pp.17-18.

Lauterbach isn't credited as having any involvement in the 28 August article. It appears to be based on reports and photos from Moscow.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby BRoI » Thu May 03, 2018 1:28 pm

nickterry wrote:Kranz didn't exactly elaborate on what was in 311-313a in the multi-source footnote.

True, but the pages are cited in reference to gas vans. It would be an almighty coincidence that pages 311[a]-313a of an entirely different document to the P-S Com report also feature testimony on gas vans.

As I mentioned earlier, Kranz cites the file in the GARF when he quotes from the P-S Com report in the Neue Studien. I'll come back to this point.

I had a look through other Kranz works to see if and how he cites the P-S Com report.

No mention of the P-S Com report:
"Das KL Lublin - zwischen Planung und Realisierung", Die nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager v.1,1998, p.363-389
"Between Planning and Implementation: The Lublin District and Majdanek Camp in Nazi Policy", Lessons and Legacies v.4, 2003, pp.215-235.


Mentions only the published version:
"Ewidencja zgonów i śmiertelność więźniów KL Lublin", Zeszyty Majdanka v.23, 2005, p.36, n.83.
"Bookkeeping of Death and Prisoner Mortality at Majdanek", Yad Vashem Studies 35:1, 2007, p.99, n.47.


Mentions info in the org. report [poss. lifted from Mattogno] but only cites the pub. version:
"Eksterminacja Żydów na Majdanku i rola obozu w realizacji 'Akcji Reinhardt'", Zeszyty Majdanka v. 22, 2003, n.60.
Extermination of Jews at the Majdanek Concentration Camp, 2007, p.41, n.5.
The Extermination of Jews at the Majdanek Concentration Camp, 2010, p.41, n.5.



Kranz, Neue Studien, p.223 wrote:
Gemäß dem auf Russisch verfassten Bericht der Kommission waren die Flaschen dunkelrot und mit den Nummern 10, 17, 44, 52 und 60 versehen. Sie trugen die Aufschrift: ,,Kohlenoxid. Bei 150 Atmosphären abgefüllt 8.7.42, Żenerwajn und Brenen. Berlin B.9. Getestet bei 225 Atmosphären. Leergewicht 75,8 kg. Volumen 40,6 Liter." [14]

14. GARF, 7021-107-9, Bl. 229-243.


It's odd that Kranz cites a document in the GARF if there's a copy in the APMM. It's also odd that he doesn't cite the precise page no. he's quoting but instead cites the entire section of the report concerning gas chambers. Although, Kranz's Cyrillic-to-Latin transliteration "Żenerwajn" is not something obviously taken from Mattogno; who just translated it as "Schönerwein".
Last edited by BRoI on Fri May 04, 2018 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: Evidence for a gas van at Majdanek

Postby BRoI » Thu May 03, 2018 8:34 pm

In the first paragraph of her 2005 study on Majdanek, Barbara Schwindt uses gas vans at Majdanek and claims the shower-room in B&D 1 [Barrack 41] was a gas chamber as examples of errors that were spread about camps in Eastern Europe.


Im Jahre 1965 schrieb der deutsche Historiker Martin Broszat, daß die national-sozialistischen Konzentrationslager zwar zu einem gängigen Begriff geworden seien, daß aber immer noch wenig gesichertes Wissen über sie existiere. Dieser Feststellung muß man auch heute noch — über 50 Jahre nach Ende des Krieges —zustimmen. Seit Ende der 80er Jahre ist zwar eine Reihe von empirisch-historischen Studien zu einzelnen Konzentrationslagern erschienen, aber ihre Anzahl ist in Anbetracht der Fülle an Publikationen zu diesem Thema vergleichsweise gering. Insbesondere bei den in Ostpolen sowie im Baltikum und Weißrußland gelegenen nationalsozialistischen Konzentrations-, Vernichtungsund Zwangsarbeitslagern handelt es sich nach wie vor um ein Desiderat der Forschung. Der geringe Kenntnisstand über die Geschichte dieser Lager, die zu verschiedenen Zeiten und auf unterschiedliche Weise im Zusammenhang mit der „Endlösung" standen, leisten der Legendenbildung sowie der Verbreitung von Irrtümern Vorschub. So soll zum Beispiel der Duschraum in der Badebaracke in Majdanek als Gaskammer gedient haben, in der man zur Täuschung der Opfer Duschköpfe und Röhren angebracht habe. Andernorts ist vom Einsatz eines Gaswagens auf dem Lagergelände die Rede. Mit der vorliegenden Arbeit, die die Geschichte Majdaneks als Lager der „Endlösung" untersucht, soll der Legendenbildung entgegengewirkt werden.
- Barbara Schwindt, Das Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager Majdanek: Funktionswandel im Kontext der "Endlösung", Königshausen & Neumann, 2005, p.13.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.


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