There are three different categories of criminal traces. They are essentially all slips of the tongue or slips of the pen.
8.001 Category 1. Proofs dealing with documents concerning gas-tight doors, gas-tight windows (little doors), and hardware for these doors and windows, such as closures and anchors. Various hardware was ordered for the Kremas from DAW (the inmate metal and fabrication shop). On twenty-two different occasions hardware was ordered for doors with a distinction of being gas-tight (gasdichten Türen, Gastüren, and luftdicht). Also, on occasion, doors with peepholes were ordered, but not found installed, in photos.
8.002 First, it must be remembered that the doors in question were to be utilized in morgues (Leichenkeller) and as one might expect, the morgues are wont for some type of minimal seal on the openings. Second, Leichenkeller #1 was to contain the decomposing older bodies, which might be even more of a problem.
8.003 There is a distinct translation problem relative to gas-tight or air-tight for gasdicht or luftdicht. It must be remembered that non-technical persons make no distinction between gas-tight and gas-proof (gassicher) which is what the architects of the Bauleitung would have ordered. They did not however order gas-proof doors and windows. This is obvious when we consider that these doors were "sealed" with weather-stripping of felt. If, in fact, these doors were gas-proof then everyone of us lives in a gas chamber since our storm doors are sealed with rubber, the modern replacement for felt, in construction.
The distinction is more than subtle but few non-technical people ever take the time to consider it. Consider this: We all speak of our water proof watch, but we really mean water-tight or water-resistant, since a diver,s watch is really water-proof (wassersicher). It is standard construction to weather-strip all doors in Germany with felt (now rubber). Mr. Pressac should be more careful with his translation. Technical terms are technical terms in either English, French or German.
8.004 Proofs #3, 6, 7, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 17a, 17b, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 32 and 34 fall into this category. Rooms with closures designated as such (gas-tight) were not gas-proof, and therefore unsafe and unusable for gas executions. It should be noted that gas-tight and weather-tight are being utilized synonymously, and do not indicate "hermetic" as Mr. Pressac says at one point.
8.005 Category 2. Proofs dealing with Auskleideraum, Auskleidekeller meaning undressing room and undressing cellar, respectively. These facilities were not for people about to be gassed to undress, but rather for bodies of people who had died of natural causes, to be undressed, before cremation. Most, if not all, mortuaries or crematories have such a room, why should we believe these are any different?
8.006 Proofs #4, 5, 10, 12 and 32 fall into this category. Undressing rooms for those already dead by natural causes, not execution.
8.007 Category 3. Other proofs. Most of these are individual cases and will be addressed as such.
8.008 "Vergassungskeller" slip by S.S. Captain Bishoff. In a letter dated 29 January 1943, S.S. Captain Bishoff, then head of the Auschwitz Bauleitung, in a letter to headquarters discusses the construction progress of Krema II. It being winter, the cement work was delayed because of the cold and the concrete forms could not be removed from one of the Leichenkeller ceilings on schedule. He does not identify the Leichenkeller, but because of an additional construction report (29 January 1943) written by Kurt Prufer, engineer for Topf and Son, it is most likely that he (Bishoff) was talking about Leichenkeller 2. Bishoff says, "Because of the frost, it has not yet been possible to remove the formwork from the ceiling of the corpse cellar.
This is of no consequence, however, as the 'Vergassungskeller' carburetion cellar can be used to this end" (morgue). Mr. Pressac, again incorrectly translates the word "Vergassungskeller" (carburetion cellar) as gassing cellar, which Pressac assumes to be Leichenkeller 1, the alleged gas chamber. It is unclear by the text exactly what Bishoff is saying, but he most likely means the furnace room. In the furnace room are the five secondary blowers (pulsed air) which mix air with the combusted gasses in the furnace. This carburetion process controls the air/gas mix in the crematory furnaces. Since it is winter, Bishoff does not want the corpses to freeze and temporary placement in the furnace room, which is heating only to dry the brick and mortar, and not cremating corpses, will prevent this.
8.009 Proof #1. Again, a little thought in a technical translation will prevent major misconceptions.
8.010 10 Gasprufer. On 26 February 1943 S.S. Lieutenant Pollok sent an urgent telegram to Topf and Son reading as follows: "Please send 10 gas testers ("Gasprufer") that we spoke about before. Quote price later." Mr. Pressac translates "Gasprufer" (again, a technical term, incorrectly as gas detectors. There is a major distinction. Gas Detectors are utilized for testing gas (leakage etc.). Gas testers are used to determine the amount (quantity) of gas present. telegram would have read "Gasentdecker" if detectors were wanted.
8.011 Gas testers are utilized by every furnace installer and repairman for testing the proper carbon monoxide/air mixture to determine if the furnace is burning correctly. This MUST be done particularly when using pulsed air installations. This is something Mr. Pressac should have known, or should have found out. (Appendix II & III)
8.012 Proof #2. These gas testers have nothing to do with testing for hydrogen cyanide gas and do not imply the existence of gas chambers.
8.013 4 "Drahtnetzeinschiebvorrichtungen" and 4 "Holzblenden." These items were found on an inventory list for Leichenkeller 2, Krema II, dated 24 June, 1943, supplied with the construction deed for the structure. Again, Mr. Pressac incorrectly translates two technical terms incorrectly. 4 Wire net insertion contrivances and 4 wooden architectural facade dressings is the correct translation. Mr. Pressac translates as 4 wire mesh introduction devices and 4 wooden covers. Again, these are technical items and should be translated very precisely. In order to agree with the Pressac translation, it would have had to have said 4 "Drahtsiebeinführvorrichtungen" and 4 "Holzdeckel."
8.014 Mr. Pressac also claims, for no apparent reason, that the inventory was listed incorrectly for Leichenkeller 2 and should have been Leichenkeller 1. The only apparent reason for this, is to support the use of Leichenkeller 1 as a gas chamber, which it could not have been. (Illustration 12)
8.015 The use of architectural dressings to cover something on a building is very common. The wire net insertion contrivances may have been for handling and inserting an autopsied body (in parts) into the retort. Neither of these devices have anything to do with equipment for gas executions.
8.016 Proofs # 8 and 9 fall into this category, again showing no connection with execution gas chambers.
8.017 14 "Brausen" (shower heads). These appear on another inventory document for Krema II, Leichenkeller 1, dated 24 June 1943, supplied with the construction deed for the structure. Mr. Pressac incorrectly translates "Brausen" as dummy (phony) showers. He takes exceptional license with this translation, since "Scheinbrausen" is not the term used. The blueprints for Leichenkeller 1 show the water pipes coming into the room (and there were faucets there) but do not show the showers. Thus, they had to be dummy. (Illustration 12)
8.018 Mr. Pressac however, forgets the urgent telegram of 15 May 1943 from Bishoff to Topf requesting plans for a hot water heater which would be attached to the incinerator of Krema III with a capacity of about 100 showers. It should be obvious, even to Mr. Pressac, that the lack of a complete document file does not give him license to make foolish assumptions. It simply means that documentation showing the installation of the showers and the water heater in Krema II has been lost, or is not available to us at the present time.
8.019 Proof # 16 falls into this category, clearly showing no connection with execution gas chambers.
8.020 Heat in Leichenkeller 1. Proofs # 30 and 31 concern heat to be supplied in the basement of Krema II utilizing the excess heat from the motor rooms where the forced-draft blower system was installed. There are two documents that relate to this.
8.021 First, a letter from the Bauleitung (Bishoff) to Topf, dated 6 March 1943, discussing a prior letter (from Topf) in which a suggestion is made to PREHEAT cellar 1 with the exhaust air from the three forced draft installations on the main furnace. Second, an inspection record written by Prufer concerning a Topf inspection of Kremas II and III dated 25 March 1943. In this document he says that, since the failure and discontinuance of the forced-draft blower system on the cremation furnaces, the HOT AIR SUPPLY for Leichenkeller 1 likewise, must be discontinued. This is because the hot air was from the forced-draft blower system. It should be noted that the terminology is different. Bishoff talks of PREHEAT and Prufer (the designer) talks of hot air supply.
8.022 One must realize that a major mistake was made on the design of both Kremas II and III. Neither building had heat. The heat from the furnace would not be sufficient (if not ducted) to heat the rest of the building, especially the cellars, by convection. Some heat is necessary (even in the morgues) to prevent the pipes from freezing. Prufer came up with an excellent plan to take the chill out of the cellar areas. But, he talks of hot air supply (heating system) not preheat for cellar 1. There appears to be some confusion of terminology but it is most likely that the heat was for all cellar areas. It should be noted that with the distances that the air had to travel it would have been barely warm upon reaching the defined locations, supporting the fact that it was only to prevent the pipes from freezing.
8.023 Further, although Pressac misses it, on 3 February 1943, Messing, the Topf fitter, request parts for a heating and air handling system from Kirschneck of the Bauleitung. This is document B.W.30 page 97 of the P.M.O. (Pg. # 359). These are warm air heating system parts to be used (as per the document) for Leichenkeller 1 and 2, the Autopsy and Washroom areas and the furnace room. Kirschneck orders (document P.M.O. 030/27 page 55 dated 3 February 1943) (Pg. # 375) some (not all) of the parts (apparently because the heating decision is not yet finalized), eliminating the metal dampers but including a wooden blower (cannot be used for gas). We must note that all of the basement areas have common air handling (and perhaps heating) components. This is impossible if the intention is to use hydrogen cyanide gas. (Illustration 1 and 2)
8.024 At this point we must look at the overall ventilation plan, for which there is no existing documentation. On page 369 of the reviewed document, Pressac defines the ventilation system of Krema II with text and a chimney drawing. This is his second attempt, the first being for "Album d'Auschwitz", published by Editions du Seuil in November 1983. This new definition reverses one outlet, as can be seen on the same page. Again, Mr. Pressac is wrong. The approach he uses is contrary to all known laws of physics. Leichenkeller 2 and the other cellar rooms, exclusive of Leichenkeller 1, have no air intake. It is categorically impossible to extract air from an underground room (or any room for that matter) without an air intake. If the fans were heavy enough and could continue to draw without stalling, the unvented Leichenkeller 2 and the other rooms would implode and collapse under the suction. It is more likely that the fans could not sustain the load and would first stall, then overload and burn out. This apparently never happened. The German Engineers of the Bauleitung were not that stupid, nor was Prufer. In truth, Mr. Pressac totally fails to understand the physics of the heating and air handling involved.
8.025 In reality, the system contained a common air intake for all underground areas and a common exhaust for the same. This means Leichenkellers 1 and 2, the Autopsy and all other underground rooms shared common air, thus demonstrating that Leichenkeller 1 could not have been used as a gas chamber. If one follows the chain of events, one can easily determine the evolution of the air system.
8.026 First, I will number the chimneys utilized for the air system. As per Pressac's drawing on page 369, we will assign numbers first to the large chimney with four flues. To the left of that is the single chimney of the air system and to the tight (as per the photo) the main chimney for the furnaces. The four common flues will be #'s 1 through 4 from left to right (front of the Krema). The lone chimney to the extreme left will be # 5. This definition is based upon the size of the flues and the air requirements of the system and is supported by historical events in construction. Originally, when the facility still had the forced-draft blower system, there were the four common chimneys. Chimney 2 was the original furnace intake. Chimney three was the underground (cellar) intake. Chimney 1 was the underground exhaust. Chimney 4 was the furnace room exhaust. There was no Chimney 5. These assignments are based on a comparison of proportioned volumes. The Furnace Room received additional air through the open windows. This was necessary because of the pulsed air blowers on the furnace units. (Illustration 3)
8.027 With the elimination of the forced-draft blowers the main furnace flue needed help. Chimney 4 was added to compensate for the elimination of the forced-draft system and used in conjunction with Chimney 2. If we add the sizes of Chimney 2 and Chimney 4 we get 5000 centimeters squared (1500 plus 3500). Chimney 1 was taken for the exhaust. The exhaust Chimney 1 is only 4000 centimeters squared, giving us a difference of 1000 centimeters squared. This means that the volume of air entering the Furnace Room is now greater than that removed, the difference being utilized by the pulsed air blowers. The windows now would have to remain closed in order not to disturb the gravity-flow air chimney draft on the main furnaces. This required closure of the windows would have suffocated the furnaces without the increased air intake. Since the four unit chimney had already been built, a new chimney (# 5) had to be added to replace Chimney 1 taken for the Furnace Room intake. You will notice that intakes are always greater than exhausts to accommodate static pressure within the system (losses).
8.028 Thus we can readily see that the mechanics and engineering for the above configuration required a common ventilating system for all cellar areas. This is borne out by the testimony of Henryk Tauber before Judge Sehn of the Hitlerite Crimes Investigation as shown on page 484 of the reviewed document. This is apparently the only part of Tauber's testimony that Pressac rejects.
8.029 Proofs # 30 and 31 fall into this category and clearly demonstrate the impossibility of a gas chamber in Leichenkeller 1.
8.030 1 "Schlüssel, für Gaskammer" (Gas Chamber Key). Why is this included, since Mr. Pressac eliminates it himself, unless he just wants to have the reader exposed to the word GAS CHAMBER? It is most likely for the storage room for Zyklon B in Block 14. None of the alleged gas chambers in the Kremas had locks or required keys.
8.031 Proof # 33 falls into this category. It clearly does not show the existence of any alleged gas chamber.
8.032 Proof # 19 is a bit strange. It is an entry taken from a daily work report at a Krema. It is allegedly (by no means clear) for work in a room in Krema IV and made by a foreman for Riedel Company, a contractor. He says he tamped the ground and concreted the floor in the gas chamber: "betonieren in der Gaskammer". This entry # 5 on said work report is from file BW 30/28, page 28 (pg. #446) at the Auschwitz archives. (Illustration 4)
8.033 In the absence of other documentation it means nothing and will remain an enigma. It, however, may be a joke. This foreman and his crew had been working here for a number of days and perhaps he or someone in his crew was flatulent during that period. I'm sure these people were no different than most construction workers and he may have put this in the daily report as a joke. If he only knew that Pressac, some fifty years later, would try to hang his execution gas chamber theories on his words.
8.034 This is Proof # 19 and falls in to this category. I do not believe it merits any further comment.
8.035 All of these Alleged Criminal Traces are either not properly translated or not properly interpreted. Not one of these Alleged Criminal Traces is capable of supporting any Gas Chamber theory. In short, these are not proof of anything.
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