What was Auschwitz?


“British Intelligence analysts cracked the “Enigma” code in 1941″… which gave them access to top-secret German data concerning matters such as submarine positions. The genius of Alan Turing is associated with this feat, using the “Colossus” computer at Bletchley Park. All the world has heard about its importance as regards Britain winning World War II, yet it was little appreciated, if not totally ignored, that these decrypts also contained a mass of information about the German wartime labour camps. Very little was heard on this matter – maintained as a state secret for fifty years – until it was finally released in the mid-1990s.

Before that, historians had little more to go on than a summary made by the British Intelligence analyst F.H. Hinsley back in 1981, where he stated:158

“The return from Auschwitz, the largest of the camps with 20,000 prisoners, mentioned illness as the main cause of death, but included references to shootings and hangings. There were no references in the decrypts to gassings.”

No-one at Nuremberg had wanted to use this material.

A sample decrypt from Bletchley Park, World War 2

A sample decrypt from Bletchley Park, World War 2

Once this data was released, an unexpected problem arose: the priceless decrypts – the most authentic information anyone could possibly want about daily camp life under the Nazis – yielded no crumb of evidence that any “Final Solution” had been ongoing! Experts had to start apologizing for how British Intelligence had somehow “failed to apprehend” the Holocaust.159 More recently the historian Nick Terry concluded:160

“It would therefore seem as if British intelligence was largely hoodwinked in the first half of 1942.”

Was it?

Rather feebly, experts were obliged to conjecture – as Holo-historians had been doing through the previous decade – that innocuous-sounding phrases concealed the fiendish meaning and intention. For example, sending Jews “to the East” alluded to mass gassing.161 But is that really how historians are meant to behave? Should not their conclusions be drawn from the data, rather than imposed upon it? We here explore the view that the initial understanding by British Intelligence of these decrypts was sound.

I came to peruse these top-secret wartime documents in the Public Record Office in the autumn of 2012,162 thrilled to be turning over the crinkly pages with old, blue typewriter-print and MOST SECRET… NEVER TO BE REMOVED FROM THE OFFICE red-inked across the top. Here were confidential wartime documents from the head of MI6 to the Prime Minister Winston Churchill, plus decrypts straight from Auschwitz! I apprehended why the Holo-historians had not wanted to know about these priceless wartime texts…

The one British historian who has written about these decrypts since their release seems to be the Exeter history professor Nick Terry. While posting on the CODOH site – and one appreciates a professional historian engaging in dialogue with Revisionists, as he is the only one who will do this – he alluded to his article about these decrypts.160 So I decided to go along to the Public Record Office and check them out. I posted excerpts onto CODOH, as a result of which our new British Revisionist website posted some of the monthly texts, from September 1942 to January 1943. The monthly decrypts covered twelve months, from January 1942 to January 1943, after which they broke off; the codes could not be cracked any more.

Let’s quote the summary report for June (it has camp names in capitals):163

“V Labour and Industry
The shortage of manpower leads to a considerable employment of prisoners outside as well as inside concentration camps. There are constant enquiries regarding the trade of prisoners and evidence on the part of undertakings and firms of demand for prisoner labour.
On May 1st, LUBLIN can provide: 1200 clerical workers and students, 200 bakers, 150 butchers, 350 agricultural workers and 800 workers of various trades, total 2700. (85/7). On the same date DR. CAESAR is informed that KL RAVENSBRUECK disposes of 3 German speaking women horticulturalists and 2 botanists. (85/12). The transfer of 95 skilled workers and 180 unskilled workers to the GUSTLOFF works is arranged on May 13th at the rate of RM 5,00 per day and per prisoner for skilled workers, and RM 4,00 for unskilled workers. (60/8). KL DACHAU sends 18 @ rate of RM 0,30 per day per prisoner. (70/8) 20 prisoners are required on June 22nd. For laying a field cable from ENNSDORF to MAUTHAUSEN (139/15). In KL FLOSSENBUERG, prisoners who are not fit for heavier work will be employed on repair work, and the finishing of children’s toys. (80/28). A demand for 30 to 40 prisoners comes from a cement factory (131/18). HIMMLER himself requires by 10 A.M. on May 27th the number of glass blowers available in KLA (86/34); and canvassing of makers of musical instruments in proceeding in JULY (174/1).”

At last it can be told: prisoners not fit for heavier work had to – finish off children’s toys!

Beside the monthly totals, comments such as these were written:164

“b) KL. Dachau. […] On 19 May 18 prisoners are to be transferred to Versuchsanstalt fuer Ernaehrung und Verpflegung. […] On 23 June 20 carpenters are to be sent to DACHAU from MAUTHAUSEN.”
“c) KL. Mauthausen […] 580 Russians: the fall in numbers is presumably caused by separating off the civilian Russians […]. On 20th April they are told that Dr. RUSCHER is allowed to use coloured photography which is necessary for his experiments. On 4 May a prisoner is shot in flight.” … “fall in numbers is presumably caused by separating off civilian Russians.”
“f) KL. Auschwitz. […] A Pole escapes on 13 May. On 15 May Himmler expresses his interest in their tanning experiments.[165]”
“On 5 June AUSCHWITZ is told that for political reasons they will not receive 2,000 Jewish workers, but on 17 June Jewish transports from Slovakia are announced; […] A message of June 9th. says that Typhus dominates the camp: 18 out of 106 cases have died before 15 June; 22 out of 77 further cases have died before 22nd.June.”

The Summer of 1942 is a turning point in our story, when exterminist historians believe that the terrible mass gassing of Jews began at Auschwitz. The “machinery of mass murder” – to use Jean-Claude Pressac’s dramatic phrase – allegedly got going! As Dr Terry averred, “the machinery of the death camps was in place and the policy of ‘selection’ on the ramps at Auschwitz was instituted from July 17, 1942.”166 August was the month when the biggest and worst epidemic hit the camps, a shock reverberating through Auschwitz in particular, as the disease of typhus, caused by a bacillus carried by body lice and long-extinct in Germany, returned to haunt the German labour camps. A Polish resistance movement might well have introduced it to the German military.167 It seems that civilians entering the camp had brought it, not the inmates deported there.168 New protocols called “special treatment” (“Sonderbehandlung”) were swiftly developed and implemented169 for all camp members, which involved routines of hair shaving, use of showers, with cleansing and delousing of clothing, bedding and living quarters.170

Two utterly different interpretations of that summer, one exterminist and the other Revisionist, stand before us when reading the following decrypt summary of 27 September 1942:171

“For the first time returns are given for deaths of prisoners: the figures for August are NIEDERHAGEN 21, AUSCHWITZ 6829 (or 6889) men, 1525 women; BUCHENWALD 74; FLOSSENBURG 88. The AUSCHWITZ figure represents about 30% of the total given in the IPCC figures; the cause is likely to be typhus, as typhus was rife in June (see last summary) and a policeman is suspected of typhus in September. Deaths must constitute a large proportion if not all of the ‘departures’ mentioned in the GPCC figures, which total 5325 for 19 days of August. During 19 days of August arrivals total 4989 so that they nearly balance deaths. About half of the prisoners are Jews. AUSCHWITZ is said to be under a ban on 4th September. Deaths in BUCHENWALD represent a tiny proportion of the departures.”

Suddenly, a vast mortality was reported in one camp – viewed by British historian Nick Terry as part of a covert Jew extermination program.172 That is not a logical inference, on account of the way camp mortality plummeted after September, once the epidemic was being brought under control. Typhus plus typhoid fever and dysentery, diarrhoea etc., were raging in the camp, a total nightmare, with inmates as well as civilian employees and SS members banned from leaving owing to the risk of transmission. As David Irving wrote:173

“There was evidently a deadly epidemic raging at the camp, since a message of September 4 in reply to a request for a thousand prisoners for building the Danube railway, stated that Auschwitz could not provide them until the ‘ban’ (Lagersperre) on the camp had been lifted.”

The “ban” confirms that the terrible peak in mortality was caused by infectious diseases and not something else.

We conjecture that, if a Polish resistance movement had indeed started the typhus epidemic, the execution of a whole busload of Poles in September could have been payback:174

“Camp Kommander Rudolf Höss applied for some rubber truncheons, but was advised they were ‘unobtainable in Breslau’ There is a report of some executions taking place: ‘Executions are reported: a Russian civilian is shot when attempting to escape from NIEDERHAGEN. FLOSSENB[U]ERG is allowed a lorry and a bus to convey Polish civilians to a wood for execution. A prisoner is hung in HINZERT and nine more are shot.”

I quite like the rubber truncheons. These primary source documents show a momentous change in the summer of 1942, with the outbreak of typhus and the initiation of “special treatment” routines. Sudden death arrives, but I suggest that no intentional extermination is happening. Winston Churchill’s speech about “We are in the presence of a crime without a name…” on 24 August 1942 no doubt alluded, as Dr Terry has made clear, to what decrypts had been telling him about the brutal Russian campaign – and not, as has been alleged in certain quarters, to “the Holocaust.”175

The October reports review the massive mortality:176

“The large influx of Russian civilians, Jews and Poles continues and it is reasonable to suppose that deaths from typhus are still high in AUSCHWTZ and probably in other camps such as NIEDERHAGEN and HINZERT. Concentration camp prisoners are being used in large numbers in COLOGNE, and there is evidence of a cutting down of outside commitments to increase the number of prisoners available for war work. A new camp is intended at DEBICA. SACHSENHAUSEN evidently contains Englishmen as it has asked for an English interpreter. Some light on conditions in Concentration camps is shown by the instruction that a visiting labour commission is not to be shown either ‘special quarters’ (Sonderunterbringung) or, if it can be avoided, ‘prisoners shot when escaping.’”

It would seem that shame has been experienced by the camp authorities over the dead bodies of prisoners shot while attempting escape. Note the different categories of Poles, Russians and Jews used for the daily totals, as we’ll see. The endeavour to get useful work out of the camp prisoners here appears.

A fall in the inmate population was discussed:

Auschwitz: “The total falls from 22,455 on 1st Sept. to 17,365 on 30th Sept. and to 16966 on 20th Oct. No figures for deaths have been given this month and therefore it cannot be said what proportion of the daily departures, which amounts to 2395 on 7th Sept, 1429 on 8th Sept, and otherwise vary between 550 and 47, are due to death: it is however known that at least 11 SS men have been taken into hospital on suspicion of typhus during October. As about 2,000 men in the total are always unaccounted for, it is difficult to be certain in what categories the arrivals and departures belong. But on 7th Sept. the numbers of political prisoners, Jews and Poles have fallen by 1, 2020 and 284 respectively, a net loss of 2305; the net loss in the total column is 2379; therefore it is clear that the majority of the departures are Jews.”

That sudden drop of several thousand in inmate population was due, the analyst concluded, not to illness but to departures, chiefly Jews.He was scrutinizing the several columns of data. Some ten percent of the total camp inmates are “always unaccounted for” he concluded – which helps to resolve the vitally important issue: with all the comings and goings in the labour camps, about ten percent – two thousand out of some twenty thousand – here remain unregistered. In this situation, there cannot be tens of thousands of Jews continually arriving, as Hilberg wants to believe. Instead, a majority of the departures are Jewish. That ought to settle quite a bit of the ongoing debate.

The decrypts tell of Jews coming and going between the camps, doing valuable industrial work. Here a quote from the November 1942 summary:177

“The use of prisoners for war industries on a large scale is discussed below: […] the largest transference is the move of Jews to AUSCHWITZ for the synthetic rubber works. Another major movement is the transference of sick prisoners to DACHAU.”

The huge industrial Monowitz plant, a couple of miles due east of Auschwitz, is here alluded to as “synthetic rubber works” and as “Bunawerk,” “Buna” being the name for the synthetic rubber produced.

Various industries are here alluded to, with allusions to Himmler enquiring about whether glass blowers and makers of musical instruments are available, and some ongoing tanning experiments. Normally Himmler is described as visiting Auschwitz over 17-18 July 1942 to “witness a gassing” – a claim, to quote Carlo Mattogno, “incessantly repeated and never proven.”178 Terry has imagined Himmler as giving “the green light to a policy of total extermination” in July of 1942.179 One has a choice here between two different realities; like choosing the red pill or blue, one of them is the real world.

From the monthly data it can be gleaned that Dachau had about 40% Jews in the first half of 1942 and Auschwitz somewhat less. Generally Auschwitz had more Poles than Jews, with the number of Jews peaking at 12,000 in mid-1942. It is evident that the author(s) of these reports had no inkling of an “extermination” process going on in the camps; otherwise the details of people occasionally being shot and how many died of this or that would not make sense.

Here a quote from the January 1943 summary about Auschwitz:180

“The Bunawerk is still employing 2210 men of whom 1100 are on the actual work. Jewish watchmakers are sent to SACHSENHAUSEN where they are urgently needed.
Typhus cases continue to be reported although strenuous measures have been adopted and 36 cases were found among the new batch of prisoners on 22 Jan.”

Jews are alluded to in these decrypts with a respectful tone, being imported into Auschwitz as skilled industrial labour, or urgently needed as watchmakers somewhere else. One can either have an ongoing program of extermination or have workers capable of doing skilled work – but not both. This new and detailed info about life in the camps has to drive a final stake through the heart of the exterminist thesis.
158 British Intelligence in World War Two, HMSO, 1981 F. Hinsey Ed., Vol. II, p.673.
159 Holo-historian Sir Martin Gilbert in 1997 explained how in these decrypts British Intelligence had sadly “failed to realize” etc. what was happening (20 May 1997). “Holocaust document released,” BBC archives, online. He there averred that Winston Churchill’s speech on 24 August 1941 saying “We are in the presence of a crime without a name” alluded to the Holocaust. However, as Dr Terry’s essay makes clear (op. cit. p. 360), Churchill was here alluding to the Russian-German conflict.
160 Nick Terry, “Conflicting Signals: British Intelligence on the ‘Final Solution’, 1941-1942” (online), Yad Vashem Studies vol. 32, 2004, pp. 351-396, here p. 382.
161 Robert van Pelt, Auschwitz 1270 to the Present, 1996; he averred that “…the words ‘further East’ meant gas chambers” and that “passing through” (as in the numbers that “passed through the camp”) alluded to “the process of extermination,” p. 326. The East signified a “domain of redemption” for the German nation, he explained!
162 Search for “Public Record Office,” then go to the Discovery catalogue, and insert a file name, e.g. HW 16/65.
163 Quoting from the Public Record Office document HW 16/65; at www.whatreallyhappened.info, our page “Bletchley Park decrypts” only has decrypts starting from September 1942. The terms in parentheses are allusions to the original German decrypts; this quote is from the June 1942 summary; in English. “KLA” (Konzentrations-Lager Auschwitz) = concentration camp Auschwitz.
164 Summary Report of 21 August 1942, with references to original German decrypts omitted; www.whatreallyhappened.info/decrypts/hw16_65_zip_os1_21.8.42.html
165 Himmler visit to Auschwitz was 17-18th July: C. Mattogno, Special Treatment at Auschwitz, p. 17.
166 N. Terry, op. cit. p. 382.
167 Irving, Churchill’s War, vol. 2, p. 548, footnote 28 (citing archive sources in US).
168 Rudolf Report, 2003, p. 60.
169 On July 29, a radio message authorized the camp administration to pick up gas for disinfestation: “The permit for travel by truck, from Auschwitz to Dessau, for the collection of gas, which is urgently required for the disinfestation of the camp, is hereby issued.” Mattogno, Special Treatment at Auschwitz, Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago 2004, p. 45.
170 See Carlo Mattogno’s book Special Treatment in Auschwitz (op. cit.) for evidence of the meaning of this term.
171 www.whatreallyhappened.info/decrypts/hw16_65_zip_os2_27.9.42.html; this September report is enormously important, as giving a link or a comparison with the monthly deaths recorded in the Death Books of Auschwitz (Sterbebücher von Auschwitz, 2005).
172 N. Terry op. cit., p. 386.
173 David Irving, Churchill’s War, p. 548 (www.fpp.co.uk/books/Churchill/2/Pt3.pdf).

Dr. Nicholas Kollerstrom, from Breaking the Spell – The Holocaust, Myth & Reality, Castle Hill Publishers, UK, 2014, pgs 95-106. Online: https://archive.org/details/BreakingTheSpell_48


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Auschwitz – it was Hell.”  For all its subjectivity, this remark attributed to a former inmate does not begin to characterize the emotion-charged ideas the word Auschwitz evokes today. Auschwitz symbolizes more than the multitudinous agonies suffered in concentration camps, not only German camps during the war, but concentration camps everywhere, past and present: It has come to symbolize the “murder of millions of European Jews.”

Everyone “knows” that we are not “supposed to” voice the slightest doubt regarding the legend that is Auschwitz, or even relate personal experiences that might not be entirely in line with it. Indeed, to commit such heresy is to run the risk of losing one’s livelihood. For the powers that be have ordained that Auschwitz must be viewed in one way only.

That is exactly what should make us leery. Truth does not require coercion to be accepted. Its persuasiveness does not depend on constant repetition of bold-faced claims. All that is really needed for truth to prevail is to show the facts, and let common sense do the rest.

 What then could be more natural than to examine the factual basis of the allegation that Auschwitz was the site of the most extensive and atrocious massacre of Jews in history? Almost everybody is familiar with this claim, but nobody can say just what evidence there is to support it. People have come to regard the whole subject as taboo. I noticed this was true even of the judges who imposed a relatively harsh penalty on me for having published, in the form of an open letter, a de visu account of the Auschwitz parent camp that conflicts with the now current picture of Auschwitz.* It appeared in the monthly periodical NationEuropa, Vol. XXII, no. 10 (October 1973), pp. 50-52.

When I wrote that letter, it was far from my intention to dispute the extermination thesis per se. Anyway, that would have been outside the scope of my account. However, the reaction it provoked made me realize for the first time what importance the powers that have for decades been determining our destiny as a nation place on the Auschwitz taboo. That realization awakened in me an irresistible urge to research the historical sources for the allegation that Auschwitz was an “extermination camp,” and come to grips with it. I believe my findings deserve to be brought to the attention of the general public.

At the outset, let one thing be noted: Contrary to popular belief, Auschwitz was not a single camp under central administration. Rather, it consisted of a number of individual camps of various sizes, some of which had considerable organizational autonomy. The actual Auschwitz camp —the so-called Stammlager (“parent camp” or “main camp,” also known as “Auschwitz I”)— was situated about 2 kilometers [1.25 miles] southwest of the town of Auschwitz in Upper Silesia. Not this camp, but the Birkenau camp, located about 3 kilometers [1.9 miles] west of the town, is supposed to have been the site of the extermination of the Jews.

There was a series of other camps in the Auschwitz region, some of which had been established for special purposes, such as Raisko, for agricultural experiments, and Monowitz, for the production of synthetic rubber. All these camps were associated, more or less loosely, with the main camp. Thus it is hardly correct to designate “Auschwitz” as an “extermination camp,” pure and simple, as people often do, perhaps from ignorance.

Basically, “Auschwitz” was a network of labour camps established in the industrial area of Upper Silesia for the German war economy. The Birkenau camp (“Auschwitz II”), which is the focal point of the extermination claims, served primarily as an internment camp for specific groups of prisoners, such as Gypsies, women with children, as well as the chronically ill and those who were otherwise incapable of labour. It also served as a transit camp and, initially, even as a prisoner of war camp. In the spring of 1943, several crematoria —allegedly containing “gas chambers” for the extermination of Jews— were put into operation there, while the original camp crematorium in “Auschwitz I” was shut down in July 1943.

[…]  I am aware, of course, that Auschwitz is not the only camp that has been linked to the “extermination of the Jews.” Nevertheless, it assumes such importance in this connection, both qualitatively and quantitatively, that I am convinced that the extermination thesis stands or falls with the allegation that Auschwitz was a “death factory.”

DR. WILHELM STÄGLICH, Hamburg, December 1978.  From the Introduction to  Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence


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I was in Auschwitz from January to December 1944.”  After the war I heard about the alleged mass murders of Jews and I was quite taken aback. Despite all the testimony submitted and all the reports in the media, I know [that] such atrocities were never committed. I have said so repeatedly, everywhere and at all times, but it has always been useless for no one has wanted to believe me. The evidence, I am told, is unequivocal and confirmed without contradiction.

[…] fairly long portion removed in the interests of keeping strictly to a description of Auschwitz -ed.

I never made a secret of my having been at Auschwitz. When asked about the destruction of Jews, I answered that I knew nothing about that. I simply marvelled at how quickly the populace was willing to accept and believe the stories about these mass gassings, without any apparent resistance.

As a result of a war injury in 1940 I developed a severe case of chronic sinus. The slightest cold put me back in hospital. The Autumn of 1942 brought an official medical finding: service on the home front. I filed a request for furlough to attend a higher agricultural school and did so in 1942/43. In the spring of 1943 a commander of Army Headquarters came to our school to solicit agrarians willing to go to the Ukraine to raise india rubber plants. I applied and was accepted.

Kok Sagis

A mobile war needs vehicles, and vehicles need tires, and tires are made from rubber. Of course there is synthetic rubber, made from carbon, lime and sulphur, called “buna.” But without the addition of natural India rubber to the mixture, it cannot be produced as there is then no cohesion. The Russians, in their attempt to become self-sufficient (in our case this was called preparation for war), had systematically searched their whole flora for plants that contained India rubber . . . and found some — among others, one called Kok Sagis, a close relation of the dandelion. The white latex in its roots contains India rubber. This became very important to carrying on the war. The motorized vehicles branch at HQ had organized departments for the cultivation, utilization and research of plants with India rubber content. After a short training period, I was sent to the Ukraine to supervise the planting and cultivation of India rubber bearing plants. I had never seen a Kok Sagis plant, but practical work and assistance from some Russian agrarians soon provided the necessary knowledge.

In 1943 we lost the Ukraine, and early in 1944 I was transferred to the department of plant cultivation at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. This institute had established a branch at Auschwitz, so I went there, and only on my way did I learn that it was a concentration camp. When relating my experiences at Auschwitz, I have some doubts as to whether I should mention names of former colleagues who today are still alive and with whom I still maintain contact. I know that I myself must be prepared for reprisals for breaking the silence. I am now ready to accept these … and in part already have had to do so.

Life In the Camp

It was cold and windy when I arrived at the railroad station of Auschwitz on January 15, 1944. I wondered whether to go by horse and carriage, but decided to walk. Leaving my baggage at the station, I asked my way to the camp. Actually the camp [Auschwitz 1], consisting of barracks that were ugly but massively built, was very near. The first thing I noticed was the inscription over the gate “ARBEIT MACHT FREI” (“Work will set us Free”). I was surprised to see so many inmates of the camp walk around unguarded. Later I learned that the camp, surrounded with an electrified barbed wire fence, was under guard only at night. There were guards posted outside the grounds, however, who were pulled in at night after roll call.

I reported to my superior, Dr. A., a fine-looking man with steel-blue eyes and reddish hair. He greeted me warmly. I was curious about the camp and asked about the inmates. He said, “The Germans who are here belong here . . . apart from that it is the European elite that is here.” Later I discovered there was some truth to that statement. I was introduced to his co-workers. There was a former Czarist officer, an exile, who also spoke German and French, and he offered to drive me to my quarters. The officers had no cars but they did have a carriage and a driver at their disposal to travel on the extensive lands that were under cultivation. However, I found this somewhat pompous. I also found it embarrassing that inmates whom we passed on the way took off their caps and stood at attention as we went by, but we were officers and the SS-men also gave us the military salute.

Thies_horse buggyAuthor (centre) with arm resting on horse-drawn buggy used by officers for conveyance around the camp grounds.

My quarters were in Raisko, about 3 km from the main camp. This was where a women’s camp, the botany buildings with their hot houses, and the laboratories for our research work were located. I was given a room in an unattached dwelling; I shared the house with a colleague who was the supervisor of the department of plant cultivation. He was a man with a happy disposition. There was something heart warming about his laughter; he was well liked by the inmates and he still corresponds with some of them today. Later on he had his wife and two young children join him. I then moved to an apartment in a botanic building that had just been completed. This I shared with a scientist whose name I can mention; it was Dr. Boehme. He was shot and killed by Polish civilians who went wild after the capitulation. He had never harmed anyone and had been kindness and courtesy personified.

The first inmate I met was “Agnes.” She was a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and was our cleaning lady. I questioned her about conditions at the camp but she would not speak about them. Not so Mrs. Pohl who was in control of the kitchen. She also was a student of the Bible and made up flyers which she distributed to the inmates. Actually, this was against the regulations, but it wasn’t my job to watch the inmates. Apart from that, her publications seemed harmless to me, and I had always been tolerant in matters of religion. Even now I cannot deny Jehovah’s Witnesses a certain measure of respect for they were willing to have themselves locked up and suffer for their faith simply because they wanted to suffer. There was no need to watch them and they were free to move even beyond the line of posted guards.

In our camp [Raisko] about 300 women were housed in three barracks. They were made up of a select type of worker who worked almost exclusively for the department of plants. For the most part they were Jewish and Polish with a sprinkling of French. All spoke German quite well and many had an academic degree. Their work was of a scientific nature and they were quite self-sufficient. In fact, it was not I who was training the inmates, they were training me, and they did so with a certain pride—in fact, I might almost say, with an air of self-importance. At any rate, I had the impression that the inmates performed their research tasks gladly and with enthusiasm.

The cultivation of plants proceeded on a basis of selectivity. The roots of the plants were examined as to their India rubber content and reproduced through seedlings. Their seeds were carefully gathered and re-sown. Sabotage could easily have been committed but we never learned of even a single instance. It must be mentioned, however, that the inmates did not trust each other. There was that ancient feeling of hate between Jews and Poles. Compared to this hate, so-called National Socialist hatred of the Jews was quite harmless.

The results in increased India rubber production were quite satisfactory. One of our superiors went to Russia, and returned with a number of scientists. They came with their families and worked for us as civilians, enjoying their work.

A sort of drama developed with the arrival of one Russian agronomist, J. Sassmoshek. He found a former sweetheart among the inmates and this re-union had its natural effects. Sassmoshek married the woman and she was released from her internment. After the evacuation from Auschwitz, I saw them again at Halle and both were radiantly happy. I myself was not so happy at the time. I had just been through that terrible air raid of February 13th on Dresden, which had been declared an open, undefended city, and from which I had escaped unharmed, as if by some miracle. I believe on this one day in Dresden more people died than had supposedly died in Auschwitz throughout all the years of the war. But the war crimes of the Allies are not debatable, even to this day.

Just what was the daily routine at Auschwitz? Rising at 7 a.m., washing, showering, breakfast and roll call, on the job at 8. Lunch from 12-1, and work again until 5 p.m. Roll call once more at 7 p.m., following which the guards posted outside the camp were pulled in and the camp put under guard. [Just think how soundly they can all sleep, knowing they are being protected.] Mail was delivered daily. Packages were opened at roll call and examined by the camp supervisor. Only rarely had some of the contents to be withheld, such as for instance, certain medical preparations, books and pamphlets, cameras, radios and technical instruments. These things, however, remained the property of the inmates and were stored in a huge warehouse called “Kanada”, where also all possessions of Jews interned at Auschwitz were kept.

Kanada” was kept under guard at all times to prevent looting from the outside. In our weather station we had a female SS-worker who, on one occasion, “organized” a pair of stockings for herself from “Kanada”. She was court-martialed for “plundering”. However, the inmates themselves, who worked there, stole constantly.

Surprising to me was the elegance of the inmates’ wearing apparel. Their outer garments did, of course, consist of uniforms, but all other apparel, including shoes, was of the finest quality, nor was there any lack in beauty care, and make-up was all part of the female dress. Every Saturday our women were sent to the main camp for an exchange of laundry and they brought back alluring bits of booty, which were then distributed among the inmates. It was a type of theft that I think was being quietly tolerated.


In May my wife, for the first time, came to visit me. She was a teacher in agricultural home economics and was curious about my work at the concentration camp. This fact alone, that we were able to have our relatives visit us at any time, should prove that the camp administration had nothing to hide. Had Auschwitz been the death factory it is reputed to have been, such visits would certainly not have been permitted. Formalities, such as even today are required for a visit to that prison camp otherwise known as East Germany, were not required at Auschwitz. We were a young married couple and had not seen too much of each other in our marriage. I met my wife at the railway station. She wore wooden sandals without stockings and a kerchief over her hair. It was war time and elegance was a luxury we could not afford.

At that time I had a new cleaning lady—personal maid would have been a more fitting title. Olga! Olga was Polish. She was a factotum. But there was something touching about the solicitous care with which she took my affairs in hand. There were always flowers in my room; always a clean table cloth and clean curtains, and somehow she always managed to have a surprise for me.

She had taken special pains in getting my room ready for my wife’s visit. Above my bed she had attached a praying angel to the wall — Lord only knows where she got that! Actually, her care was a bit overpowering, but I had to accept since I didn’t want to hurt the concerned soul that she was.

Thies_with wife on leave

Author and wife on leave in the East, 1944.

During my wife’s visit, work was commenced on the india rubber fields and I did not have too much time for my visitor. But she had the best possible companion in Olga, who could talk like a waterfall. My wife felt she should compensate Olga for her thoughtfulness and bought her a small gift. The result was that when I took my wife to the railway station for her trip back home, I hardly recognized her. She was dressed in new clothes from head to toe. Olga had “obtained” everything for her, even a brand new suitcase. My wife had brought me a few delicate morsels saved from her own meager rations, among other things, a piece of butter. Olga managed to make fried potatoes for me evenings and, strangely enough, there was no end to the butter. Care packages arrived daily and Olga felt duty-bound to include me in the distribution of this bounty. The inmates at Raisko never went hungry, and any new arrival looking somewhat undernourished, after only a few days seemed to have a “smooth fur.”

The Death Camp

The death camp was not in Auschwitz, it was at Birkenau.” This is what I heard and read after the war. Well, I was also in Birkenau. This camp I did not like. It was overcrowded and the people there did not make a good impression on me. Everything looked neglected and grubby. I also saw families with children. It hurt to see them, but I was told that the authorities felt it kinder not to separate children from their parents when the latter were interned. Some children played ball merrily enough. Still, I felt children did not belong there and the fact that the English had done likewise—in the Boer War, for instance—was a poor excuse. I said so to my superior. His answer: “I agree with you, but I can’t change it.”

I had been commissioned to pick 100 workers for hoeing the Kok-Sagis plants. At roll call the inmates were asked if they were interested in this kind of work and if they had done it before. Then followed the “selection” of the workers. This “selection” was later completely misinterpreted. The purpose was to give the inmates something to do and they themselves wanted to be occupied. Selecting them meant no more than to inquire about their inclinations, their capabilities, and their physical state of health with regard to the work they were to do.

Thies_kok-sagis plantsKok-Sagis plants in various stages of development.

The fact was, however, that in Auschwitz there were more people than were jobs. Naturally, I was concerned with getting workers who had experience on farms. Jews, of course, were not experienced for any kind of farm work, whilst on the other had, Poles were excellent farm workers. Gypsies were entirely useless. Detachment 11—that was the name of our female workers from Birkenau—came every day to work in the fields that lay beyond the outer line of posted guards. I dealt with these people almost daily and listened to their complaints. On one occasion I saw an SS guard kick a woman. I confronted him about this.

He claimed that the woman had called him a Nazi pig, but the fact was that he had first insulted her. I reported this case and the SS-guard was sent to “Strafbataillon” in Danzig. From this day on, my favor with the inmates rose significantly, especially with those in Detachment 11. They often came to me with requests or complaints and I did whatever I could for them, because to me they were not enemies, they were simply interned. Often, I did favours for them that were against the regulations. Their greatest joy was for me to take them for a walk down to the river Sula, where on those hot summer days of 1944 I allowed them to go bathing.

Theis_women working fieldsWomen inmates working Kol-Sagis fields. Note absence of guards and standard attire of women.

Apart from all else, the hoeing-detachment from Birkenau was a merry bunch. They sang their Polish folk songs while working and the gypsies danced to the melodies. In the beginning, I was quite upset and worried about the undernourished appearance of some of the inmates. Then I learned that they had arrived in rather poor physical shape and it took some time before they had padded themselves with some extra poundage. Often I shared their common noonday meals and fared well doing so.

But Detachment 11 also had a secret supply source. The most wonderful things were found by them in unknown hiding places. In the night these were replenished by friends of the inmates. Sometimes these friends even donned inmate attire and marched into the camp, allowing an inmate to take a few days off. Auschwitz was located in Poland and the population helped the inmates as much as possible, though this was officially not permitted.

Theis_inmate working fieldInmate working in fields (hidden by horses). Note only one single guard at great distance, in far left of photograph.

The occupation troops, but especially the so-called civil administration, often roused the antagonism of the population, as was well-known. One measure I decidedly disapproved of was the expropriation of land from small farmers. They had to give it up for agricultural use by the concentration camp. I was told, however, that they were compensated for their property on the same basis as land expropriated from Germans for the construction of autobahns. I also did not like the re-settlement measures that were carried out, but I was told repeatedly that these were never forced on anyone. Curtailment of freedom is hard, but war is tough and it became increasingly tougher for us too. In the fall of 1944, for the first time, the camp at Auschwitz was bombed by American planes. There were about 20 victims among the inmates. I myself had lost faith in victory after the successful landing at the English Channel [Normandy-ed]. Reports from the front became more and more ominous, and the inmates too were well informed—the devil knows through whom.

In our area the inmates were looked after now just as well as they had been before. Once a week a film was shown. Camp supervisors and inmates jointly saw, among others, the film “Muenchhausen” and the “Golden City.” Church services were held in community halls. I attended several myself and found them to be quite solemn, especially those of the Russian Orthodox Community, to which our Russian civilian workers also belonged. A theater group had been organized by the inmates and one evening they invited us to a performance of “Faust.” Professional actors could not have produced a better show.

As for myself, I would have liked to take some more time off for studies but the war situation was serious and chances were poor. It was suggested that I take a correspondence course, and I sent away for books. An inmate, a Jewish female doctor from Prague offered to help me cram, and she did so every afternoon. This was possible in Raisko.

The Jews were intelligent and so far as I got to know them in Auschwitz, quite nice too. In the summer my mother came for a visit and stayed several days. Of course, a fat friendship developed between her and Olga. One evening my mother asked about the crematorium where corpses were supposed to be burned. I knew nothing about this, so I asked Olga. She could not tell me anything definite either. She did intimate, however, that around Bielitz there always was what seemed to be a reflection against the sky, as if from a fire.

So I went in the direction of Bielitz and there found a mining camp in which some inmates also worked. I travelled around the entire camp and examined all fire grates and all smoke stacks, but found nothing. I asked my colleagues; the answer … a shrug of the shoulder and “don’t pay any attention to those rumors.” Actually, there was a crematorium in Auschwitz, I was told, for there were 20,000 people there and any city of that size has a crematorium. Of course people died here as they did elsewhere, but not only inmates at the camp. The wife of one of our supervisors had also died here. As far as I was concerned, that was enough of an answer.

During all the time I was in Auschwitz I never in the least observed anything that even indicated mass killings in gas chambers. Also the story of a smell of burned flesh that allegedly hovered over the camp at times was an infamous lie. In the vicinity of the main camp there was a smithy where horses’ hooves were shod. The burning of the horses’ hooves when fitting them with shoes naturally caused an unpleasant smell. Incidentally, the man who was in charge of this particular smithy at the time now lives in a neighboring village.

As a matter of fact, camp regulations became more generous all the time. In the main camp there was now a brothel for the men. Love and sex is something human after all, and was not withheld from those who were interned. Of course there were also love relationships among the inmates. I doubt that the so-called “house of pleasure” was a deterrent. The fact that such houses did exist for the inmates in Auschwitz was completely ignored in all post-war reports. An admission to such a brothel was a kind of reward for good behaviour. There were also some inmates who flung their ticket into the Kapo’s face. Hats off to them, I say, for that to me was a special show of good behaviour. Olga loved to constantly chatter and her continual gossiping, rumouring and wondering as to whether or not corpses were being burned (whilst I knew for sure there was no such happening) finally got on my nerves. This, plus her almost slavish servitude, brought us to a parting of the ways. She was given a new job, one I did not begrudge her. She was made “overseer” in the women’s camp and it was her job to keep out men who had no business there. Olga had a gift for “raising hell” and could scold so beautifully that it was a joy to see her eject males from the female camp. Her fellow inmates called her “Zerberus,” (hound of hell).

Good old Olga, sometimes I wonder what became of her. She didn’t want to return to a Communist Poland — almost none of the inmates wanted that, not even the Jews. Many of them even prayed for a German victory. From a colleague, whom I visited recently, I learned that quite a number of them are in the U.S. He still corresponds with some. Some were also willing to testify on behalf of SS Officers at their trials but were denied this privilege by Allied and especially by West German authorities. These reports were publicized by the “right wing” press at the time.

There were no secrets in Auschwitz. In September 1944 a Commission of the Red Cross came to inspect the camp, but it was more interested in the camp at Birkenau.

We also had a great many inspections at Raisko, but the people who came were largely interested in plant cultivation. I was often involved in these tours. Although it was actually not permitted that inmates converse with visitors, they did explain their work to them.

Theis_visiting delegationVisiting Delegation

[…] non-essential portion removed -ed.

After the war I saw a TV film about Auschwitz that showed a building with huge smoke stacks. I am very sorry, but when I left the camp at Auschwitz in December 1944, I did not see this building. I cannot imagine that these smoke stacks were built in the cold winter of 1944/45, but 1 suspect that these structures were erected after the war. It also seems implausible that, if they should have existed, the SS did not destroy them. During the past few days I have heard a report on the radio according to which 4 million people are supposed to have been shot at Auschwitz. It is an absolute certainty that no people were shot at Auschwitz, because this we would have heard. I do, however, recall one occasion when there was great excitement in the camp. A rumour was being spread that hostages were to be shot. This type of revenge is the most despicable I can think of because it hits innocent people. That it did take place—on either side—is quite likely. If for every bombing victim an inmate should have been killed, none of the 200,000 inmates would have left a concentration camp alive. On this basis, considering that Auschwitz was in operation only four years, one million people a year or 3,000 per day would have had to die. Just what would a crematorium look like in which 3,000 corpses were burned every day? Even mass graves on this order could not be kept secret.

Yet the German people continue to believe in these mass murders. Why? We who know the truth, have we not burdened ourselves with an awful responsibility? Why did we keep silent for so long? I shall try to answer these questions.

1. We have not kept silent at all. There was no one who wanted to hear our reports, no paper wanted to publish them, no publisher print them.

2. Even today there are still enough witnesses alive who could verify my statements and make similar ones of their own. What we need, however, is an unbiased constitutional state. To tell the truth is tantamount to social ostracism and financial suicide.

3. I cannot say that I am tired of life, but my life’s task lies behind me; my children are taken care of, and my wife should receive her well-earned pension at 65. At least, I hope it will not be withheld from her if something should happen to me.

4. During the long years that I have worked as a journalist and publisher, I have created a small circle of readers and with the aid of the German Citizenship initiative I can publish my reports independently.

5. It is being maintained, and regretfully also by members and voters of the main German political parties, that “only recognition of our guilt in starting the war and destroying 6 million Jews will make it possible for us to re-enter the community of nations, and that whoever denies that brings great harm to the German people.”

6. To disprove the mass murders in concentration camps would not only prove the entire thrust of post-war German politics to be a mistake, but the post-war politicians still in power would have to admit their political concepts to be entirely [wrong]. This must not be allowed.

7. Of course, there were also cowards, liars and paid witnesses. Some of the accused, who must have known that the testimony against them was false, still made a confession because they thought—and of this they were no doubt assured—that they would gain advantages for themselves if they adjusted their statements to the testimony of the accusers. However, it must also be stated here that confessions were obtained through torture.

What changes will take place when the disclosure of my own personal experience is made public? Most likely none. Some sort of decree may be issued against me and an attempt might be made to confiscate this pamphlet.

Our people, especially our children, must be freed from the feeling of guilt being forced upon them by the victors of the last war—and it is only the truth that will make them free.

I have recorded the memories of my experiences as I recall them. I have stated the truth, so help me God. If these my statements contribute to our youth having more respect for their fathers who as soldiers fought for Germany, and who were definitely not criminals, then I shall be very happy.

Thies Christophersen, Kaelberhagen, January 3, 1973  From Die Auschwitz Lüge, first published in German in 1973; First English edition 1974 under the title The Auschwitz Lie

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My investigations of the Jewish “Holocaust” commenced in 1972 and twenty seven years have passed since the first publication of this book in 1976 in England as The Hoax of the Twentieth Century. Twenty six years have passed since the release of the slightly revised second British and first American edition of 1977.  […]  I treated the German concentration camps as specific institutions that existed in specific locations, with the alleged events that took place in them taking place, if at all, in real space and real time, together with other events that happened simultaneously in those same camps or in real space. By “real space” I mean a space that we all exist in so that, whatever happened at Auschwitz, it happened at the same time President Roosevelt held meetings in Washington, and I as a child went to school, etc., and in the same space.

That is so obvious that it may seem preposterous for me to present it as an original perspective, but please hear me out. My impression of the extant literature was that the events claimed there may as well be imagined as having taken place on Mars if at all, so absent was a concern for the broader context. As I reminded readers in my Chapter 5: “There was a war going on during World War II.”

Consider my presentation of Auschwitz, the principal alleged “extermination camp”. I started by describing Auschwitz as a camp that performed functions similar to those performed by typical German camps that are not claimed to have been extermination camps; I outlined those functions and I presented a map showing where the German camps were. Then I described Auschwitz in its unique respects and showed why the Allies would have been interested in events transpiring at Auschwitz. I presented pictures of crematorium ovens at Auschwitz and other camps. I presented a map of the Auschwitz region and a plan of the “Birkenau” section of the Auschwitz camp. That plan and the various maps showed the reader exactly where, in Europe, Poland, and at Auschwitz, the great gas chambers were supposed to have been located. Then I considered one of the specific groups of Jews, the Hungarian Jews, not only from the point of view of allegations of events in German camps but from the point of view of events in Hungary. That is, for me the problem of the Hungarian Jews was as much a problem of what happened in Hungary as what happened at Auschwitz. Even in considering events at Auschwitz, I chose to place my perspective elsewhere, among the Allies who, at the time in question, were very interested in Auschwitz as an industrial bombing target and would have photographed the camp for that purpose.

The photographs were produced almost three years after publication of my book and confirmed my conclusions, but that is not the point that I am now trying to emphasize. My point is that, as unlikely as it may seem, my method of placing Auschwitz in its general historical context was essentially unique in this historical area [of Holocaust]. True, some of what I said in that respect is to be found in earlier books that purported to relate how the “exterminations” transpired, but in scattered bits and pieces that were usually incidental to those accounts. Even so, much had to be culled from diverse sources. For example, though it seems obvious that any useful discussion of the Auschwitz problem required a map of the Auschwitz region and of the Birkenau camp, the former had to be constructed by me from several sources and the latter had to be lifted, not from one of the standard “Holocaust” books such as those by Hilberg or Reitlinger, but from a book about a German trial of Auschwitz personnel that took place in 1963-65. Hilberg, Reitlinger, and similar authors were very stingy with maps and pictures, except in books specifically devoted to presenting pictures. We can say, with only minor oversimplification, that they would sell you a book of pictures or a book of text, but not one book integrating the two in any useful way.

I believe my analysis provoked investigations of specific problems, even when such influence was not acknowledged. My implied skepticism about the reality of the mysterious “German industrialist” who in 1942, according to the World Jewish Congress, passed along information that a plan to exterminate the Jews had been discussed in Hitler’s headquarters, may have provoked the later investigations attempting to determine his identity. Walter Laqueur and Richard Breitman, in Breaking the Silence, 1986, unconvincingly proposed Eduard Schulte. I also stressed the inaction of the Allies with respect to Auschwitz, which Laqueur (The Terrible Secret, 1980) and Martin Gilbert (Auschwitz and the Allies, 1981) tried without success to explain.

The existence and relevance of the 1944 aerial reconnaissance photos of Auschwitz were, to the best of my knowledge, first argued in my book. I also believe that my book provoked, perhaps through some intermediary, the 1979 release of these photos by the CIA, but again such influence is not admitted.

I analyzed the specifics of the alleged extermination process at Auschwitz. I showed that all of the specific material facts required a dual interpretation of relatively mundane facts, e.g. transports, selections, showers, shaving hair, Zyklon B, crematoria etc., all real and all relatively mundane, had been given a second interpretation. That insight scarcely merits the label today, but it did then. It has been the main paradigm for all subsequent revisionist writing on Auschwitz and other alleged “extermination camps”. It may seem very simple and obvious after one reads this book; it certainly was not when I wrote it. The reader is shown what sorts of questions he should ask if he wants to go further. Those who have studied the development of ideas understand that the right answers are not attainable until the right questions are formulated (yes, questions can be right or wrong). This book, even today, shows how to do this.

Arthur Butz, from the foreword to the 2003 edition of The Hoax of the 20th Century