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                        Technique and Operation
                            of the Gas Chambers ©
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 Document F3
Document F3
Translation of Document F3
Translation of Document F3
and extending the building line to the southeast. This project, born at the end of October 1941 out of conversations between the new Bauleitung Director, SS Captain Karl Bischoff and the Topf chief engineer Kurt Prüfer was precisely described in a letter of 22nd October 1941 sent by the Bauleitung to Topf [PMO files BW 30/27 page 27 and BW 30/ 43 page 116]. The study was undertaken by the Bauleitung services and probably resulted in three drawings of a “new Krematorium” (Neubau Kremat), Nos. 870, 871 and 875, showing respectively its external aspect, the ground floor and the furnace installation [Document D1a]. Although these drawings have not been found, they must have closely resembled those of the “Entwurf für das Krematorium / projected Krematorium” of the “930 series” on which the building is shown in its final form. Drawing 3250 (drawn in 1941-42 and used by the Bauleitung in 1943 to show the location of the watch towers around the camp), showing its situation in the main camp. and that of 19th February 1942 [Document K] established by the SS Economic Administration Main Office show the implantation of a new Krematorium similar to that of the 930 series, but with a collective external chimney built onto its annex wing and not emerging from it as shown on the 930 drawings. On 15th January 1942, the Bauleitung Drawing Office, headed by SS Second Lieutenant Walter Dejaco, newly promoted to this rank, had finished the drawings for the “Krematorium project” 935 (west elevation), 936 (north elevation), 937 (east elevation) [Document L] )and 938 (south elevation) [Document M]. The orientation of the building proves its destination the main camp (as already shown on the drawing of 19th February 1942 [Document K). 

This series of elevations was completed by drawings 932 (basement), 933 (sections) and 934 (ground floor). They were all checked by Dejaco and countersigned by Bischoff on 28th January 1942. The locations of the two underground “Leichenkeller/ corpse cellars” mentioned in the letter of 22nd October 1941 do not appear on the drawings 935, 936, 937 and 938.

But, on 27th February 1942 [file BW 30/25. page 1 (letter of 5th March 1942) and BW 30/34, page 37 (letter of 30th March 1942)], it was decided following a conference with Oberführer SS Dr. Ing Kammler of the SS Economic Administration Head Office in Berlin, to transfer this new Krematorium from the main camp to the POW (prisoner of war) camp in Birkenau, where this building, classified by the Bauleitung as “Bauwerk/ Worksite” 30, was built and copied under the designation “Krematorium II”.

This decision seems to have remained purely theoretical for a good month, for a letter of 2nd April 1942 [Document N] addressed by the Bauleitung to Topf, written by Dejaco and signed by Bischoff, still speaks of the “[new] Krematorium to [be] built in the Auschwitz concentration camp” (i.e., in the Stammlager, the main camp).
Technique and operation
of the gas chambers

Jean-Claude Pressac
© 1989, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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