Poking holes in the Auschwitz liberation story with the help of Elie Wiesel by Carolyn Yeager
[Last edited on 1-26-14] The official Holocaust narrative has it that the Red Army did not arrive at the Auschwitz labor camps until January 27th, 1945—when they found some of the barracks burning, and also blown-up crematoria buildings which had housed “gas chambers.” This is the date that is commemorated all over the world as the Liberation of Auschwitz.
However, there is someone who says he was there who tells it differently – a very famous someone who you would not expect to disagree or dispute any part of the official storyline. In fact, this someone is the most celebrated participant at the commemoration events at the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial site during many past years. I’m speaking of Elie Wiesel (right).
On page 87 of Wiesel’s novel Night (original edition), it is stated that the Russians “liberated” the inmates who were left behind at Monowitz and Birkenau (Auschwitz III and II) two days after the bulk of the prisoners left on the one-day forced march to Gleiwitz, from where they were put on a train to Buchenwald. (This so-called “death march” is often said to have been 3-4 days in length, but it was less than 24 hours.)
“I learned after the war the fate of those who had stayed behind in the hospital. They were quite simply liberated by the Russians two days after the evacuation.”
The evacuation, as we all know, was on the 18th. We also know the Russians did not arrive on the 20th of January! The actual liberation day (set in stone by the official keepers of the Auschwitz narrative) is January 27. What possessed Wiesel to write this? Well, we can read in Un di velt hot geshvign, the much longer Yiddish story allegedly written by Wiesel, too:
“Two days after we had left Buna [Auschwitz III-Monowitz], the Red Army occupied the camp. All the sick had stayed alive.”
Un di velt hot geshvign (translated And The World Remained Silent) was published in 1955 in Brazil. From it’s 245 published pages the 100-page La Nuit was written and published in 1958 (with the English version Night following in 1960). In all versions, that detail remains.
Whether or not Elie Wiesel is the author of the Yiddish book, there is no doubt that he wrote La Nuit directly from it. He has never rejected that sentence as mistaken, nor was it changed or removed in Marion Wiesel’s 2006 new translation. Would it not be great to be able to ask him about it while he is taking part in the Jan. 27 commemoration activities at Auschwitz-Birkenau?
What is the official narrative and what is its source?
The official narrative consists of the story that the Germans, in the form of an SS detachment, returned to Birkenau on Jan. 20th to blow up Crematorium II and III in order to destroy the evidence of the “gas chambers.” Then on Jan. 26, another squad showed up to destroy Crematorium V. In between these two events, on Jan. 23, another SS “division” arrives at the infirmary camp BIIf and sets fire to 30 storeroom barracks (known as “Canada” where clothing and other personal effects were stored). After all this is accomplished, the first advance units of the Red Army marched into the camp on the afternoon of Jan. 27 to the “joyous greeting” of the approximately 7000 inmates remaining there.
There is no easily determined source for the narrative.
A document exists, found in the Russian State Military Archive (RHVA), dated 8 December, 1944, in which the head of the Zentralbauleitung (Central Construction Office), SS-Obersturmführer Werner Jothann, requested from Abteilung IIIa (the prisoner labor employment) the immediate assignment of 100 prisoners for the demolition work “at the crematorium in Camp II”, meaning Crematorium II. This document indicates that the demolition work for the Cremas began long before Jan. 20, 1945—in this case, over a month before. Danuta Czech records in her Calendarium* that on 1st December 1944, a female commando was created for the demolition of Crematorium III. *Auschwitz Chronicle 1939-1945, Henry Holt, 1990, 855 pp.
Czech also tells that the Jan. 20 final destruction of Cremas II and III were carried out under the command of a certain SS-Unterscharführer (Corporal) named Perschel. Her information came from two “eyewitnesses”—female prisoners Anna Kowalczyk and Maria Matlak—who had remained behind and who said they “saw” the SS in the camp on that day. From them came the name of Perschel, who had been “capo of the Work Service in the women’s camp” so they knew him. These two women also said that after ordering 200 women outside the camp gates to be shot (! hard to believe), Perschel selected a group of male prisoners from the infirmary to carry boxes of dynamite to Cremas II and III. This appears to be the basis for Czech’s claim that the SS returned on Jan. 20th and blew up the Cremas.
Some questions arise
The photograph at right, a still from a Soviet propaganda film about the Auschwitz “liberation,” had been thought to be of the clothing warehouses burning. But new research suggests it is more likely regular barracks, probably in Compound B1. If this is true, it makes little difference when the picture was taken, as it was certainly after the Russians arrived.
Is there any credible testimony from those prisoners remaining in the Birkenau camp that they heard or saw explosions of these crematorium buildings on the 20th or the 26th? If so, it has been kept awfully quiet.
If the Germans abandoned the camp on the 18th of January and the Russians didn’t arrive until the 27th, 9 days later, why didn’t more of the inmates just walk away and return to their homes, as many are said to have done later? Considering 8,000 of them sat tight right where they were for 9 entire days, there must, at least, have been decent care provided for them. I find no attempt to properly answer these questions.
There are also no answers to the charges from liberated females that they were raped by Red Army soldiers and threatened with deportation to Siberia if they complained.
After liberating Auschwitz, the Red Army marched on to attack Berlin … And the survivors they had set free were left to find their own way home.
This was a time when Eastern Europe was awash with the human debris of the war. Millions of civilians were travelling – some to try to get home, others to escape from the brutal Soviet advance. And the newly liberated prisoners of Auschwitz joined that great river of humanity.
Two of them were Helena Citronova and her elder sister. Helena was a pretty young woman in her early 20s; her sister was ten years her senior […] Helena and her sister trudged the roads of Poland by day, trying to get home to Czechoslovakia, and then sheltered in hedgerows or barns at night. Often, they would share whatever shelter they could find with other women, also newly freed from Nazi camps. They soon discovered that, in the darkness, Red Army soldiers would search for women.
‘They were drunk – totally drunk,’ says Helena. ‘They were wild animals.’ Red Army soldiers looked ‘for cute girls and raped them’. […] ‘There were cases where they were raped to death. They strangled them. I turned my head because I didn’t want to see because I couldn’t help them. I was afraid they would rape my sister and me. They were animals. No matter where we hid, they found our hiding places and raped some of my girlfriends.* They did horrible things to them. Right up to the last minute we couldn’t believe that we were still meant to survive.’ [ *It’s possible that “Helena” felt too much shame to admit that she too was raped.]
Photos of the dynamited Kremas taken in 1945 [note no exact date given], after the liberation of the camp, can be seen on pages 190-192 of Auschwitz: a history in photographs, as well as on page 261 of Auschwitz: technique and operation of the gas chambers.
In addition, the USAAF air photo, taken on February 19, 1945, shows that Kremas II and III were demolished by explosions. (RG 373 Can F 5367, exp. 3185, Air Photo Evidence, p.66.)
None of this tells us exactly WHEN the dynamiting or other means of demolition took place.
A “death camp” had to be created by the Russians
In 1947, the Soviets remodeled the former crematorium in Auschwitz I [which was still standing] to make it appear that it was also used as a gas chamber. They changed the peaked roof to a flat roof with “holes,” built a tall chimney outside but failed to attach it to the rebuilt ovens inside, and left the drains for the bathroom that was once inside the morgue. It is not a convincing job and has caused many people to have second thoughts about how it could have been a gas chamber.
In Birkenau, the Soviets tampered with the destroyed Cremas—they attempted to break holes into the collapsed roof to match the absurd story of Zyklon B thrown into the chamber through the holes in the roof. About these chiseled-out holes, court-certified expert engineer Walter Luftl, as quoted by Germar Rudolf in his book Lectures on the Holocaust (Theses and Dissertations Press, 2005), p 246, said:
In the cellars of Crematories II and III, the entire force of explosion was forced upward, causing heavy damage to the roofs. The hole under consideration is characterized by the fact that all the cracks and breaks of the slab are found around it, but do not go through it! According to the rules of construction technology this fact alone proves with scientific certainty that it was made after the roof had been destroyed.
Cremas IV and V were also shower houses—they were close to The Central Hygiene building (called “the Sauna”because it contained hot-air and hot-steam chambers for disinfecting clothing) and served the same purpose although on a smaller scale. It was these shower rooms that Soviet propaganda claimed to have been “gas chambers” in these crematories, pretending that gas somehow came out of the shower heads! Crema IV had already been heavily damaged in an uprising on Oct. 7, 1944.
It was a hushed up affair – took years to develop the final narrative
In the book Photographing the Holocaust: Interpretations of the Evidence (Tauris & Company, London, in association with The European Jewish Publication Society, 2004) on page 143, author Janina Struk writes:
On 28 January, 1945, the day after the camp was liberated by the Red Army, Adolf Forbert was one of the first Polish soldiers to arrive. Forbert stayed to film everything he could, but with only 300 meters of film, a camera of the Bell and Howell type manufactured by the Russians, and one Leica, the possibilities were limited.
He said there were 500 sick women in the women’s hospital in Birkenau. The fate of Forbert’s film and photographs of Auschwitz is not known. [In other words, though he did some of the very first filming and photographing at the time of the “liberation,” the film did not survive. What does that suggest? -cy]
The film “Chronicles of the Liberation of Auschwitz,” made in 1945, is attributed to four Soviet army filmmakers. The majority of the now well-known stills of the liberation are taken from this film.
It would be important to know when in 1945 the filming was done – in March, April or May? At the Auschwitz memorial, tour guides now say many of the children filmed were local Polish children used as actors, along with many of the adults. Is this to explain why they look so healthy and well-fed, or is it because it’s true?
Soon after liberation, other photographers began to arrive to take photos for the special investigative commissions established to collect evidence of Nazi crimes. On March 1st, a report in “Soviet War News Weekly” said that “at least 5 million people were destroyed by the Germans at Oswiecim.”
(Barbie) Zelizer [author of books on the Holocaust and Media] states there was an inconsistency in the way the Soviets reported the liberation of the camps in Eastern Europe generally. Not only did they not publicize the liberation of Auschwitz until after the liberation of the western camps, but they didn’t issue press releases about the extermination camps at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka.
Although their [Red Army] advances through Silesia were reported in detail, there were only two brief mentions about the liberation of the camp. On 29 January in the Guardian, one sentence. On 3 February, the Daily Express had one column on page 4 about the liberation. In Poland itself, few images were published of the liberation of Majdanek or Auschwitz-Birkenau.
It would be decades before images of Auschwitz would become familiar in the West.
There is almost nothing in Holocaust literature on the arrival of the Soviets to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The only documentation was put together afterward. All the photographs that are exhibited in the various memorial museums (USHMM, Yad Vashem, A-B Memorial, etc.) and in books, are “stills” from propaganda film(s) made weeks or months later … or they are retouched photos, photo-montages and mislabeled photos that actually show other places and even other national-ethnic groups. Under the least amount of scrutiny, the narrative of the January 27th liberation of these camps comes unraveled.
The story of the Auschwitz liberation has been told in emotion-wrenching photographs that were all staged by Soviet photographers and film makers in the following month of February, March, and even later, and by revengeful witnesses with political and/or national biases. As portions of the book by Janina Struk point out, time would pass before a final solution for the Auschwitz narrative could be cobbled together by Soviet propagandists for public consumption.
For further reading about Elie Wiesel as a ‘holocaust survivor’, see Elie Wiesel Cons The World.
* * *
“Notes” on the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Carlo Mattogno
The Soviets had already experienced the immense propagandistic power of their images of the liberation of Lublin-Majdanek. When the Red Army reached Lublin-Majdanek on 23 July 1944, they found, among other things, the gigantic Kori 5-muffle crematory oven, intact, along with warehouses containing approximately 800,000 pairs of shoes. Based on a technically nonsensical “expert report” on the crematory capacity of the oven, and presupposing that the shoes were necessarily proof of murder, the Soviet transformed Lublin-Majdanek into an “extermination camp” with one and half million victims.
The Majdanek Museum later revealed that the camp had a warehouse to which old shoes were sent from all the other camps for recycling purposes. The number of victims of the camp was revised twice downwards by the Majdanek Museum, which first lowered it to 360,000, then to 235,000, and finally (for now) to 78,000. The number of real deaths is about 42,000. As for the “expert report”, suffice it to say that it exaggerated the actual crematory capacity of the single oven by 1000% 70.
The world’s daily newspapers were soon filled with images of the oven and the mountains of shoes in the camp, considered visible and irrefutable “proof” of the mass extermination allegedly perpetrated there 71.
The Germans thus, to their cost, experienced the suggestive power of images. For this reason, before abandoning Auschwitz camp, they blew up the crematoria at Birkenau and burned the warehouse barracks in the Effektenlager, containing inmate personal effects, burning them all except for six.
By contrast, the Germans left practically intact and in Soviet hands, the entire archive of the Zentralbauleitung, with all the alleged “criminal traces” of the alleged homicidal gas chambers”, not to mention approximately 8,000 inmates 72, all of them ready to serve as alleged “eyewitnesses” to the alleged homicidal “gassings” (all of whom could easily have been gassed and cremated by the SS, according to Holocaust orthodoxy, in the first week of January 1945 in crematorium V, the only one left standing).
Having already deluded themselves with propaganda images of the crematory ovens and alleged gas chambers in the same building, the Soviets presented the disinfestation chamber of so-called Kanada I (Bauwerk 28), which they presented as a homicidal “gas chamber” with gas-tight door and peephole “to watch the progress of the extermination”, as stated in a Polish photo caption in 1980 73, in addition to the cans of Zyklon B and the gas masks stored in the warehouse in that building.
Having invented the extermination procedure, it was now necessary to invent the number of victims. One of the many Soviet sub-committees of “experts” went to work and prepared the “scientific” underpinning for the fateful total of 4 million victims between 14 February and 8 March 1945, based on absurd and fanciful data,. The concoction of this fairy tale involved an inextricable connivance between “witnesses” and “experts”, the latter of which enabled the former to attribute a technically nonsensical capacity to the crematory ovens at Birkenau, based on ridiculous calculations.
The Soviets elaborated their Auschwitz propaganda in a “Communication of the Extraordinary State Commission for the Investigation and Research into the Crimes of the German-fascist invaders and Their Accomplices”, which was published by Pravda on 7 May 1945 and immediately translated into various languages. The English translation appeared as early as 29 May 1945 87; a French translation also appeared in 1945 88. The Soviet report was later introduced into evidence by the Nuremberg Tribunal under Document no. URSS-008.
Propaganda lies become “history”
In May 1945, the Soviet War Crimes Commission was replaced by a Polish Investigatory Commission, responsible for conducting the preliminary investigations with a view to future trials of SS members. This task was entrusted to Judge Jan Sehn, who carried it out assiduously. He was the author of the first “history” of Auschwitz 103, based on the Höss Trial (11-29 March 1947) and a trial of the camp garrison (25 November-16 December 1947).
As regards the alleged extermination installations, Jan Sehn based his findings upon the “technical” “expert report” drawn up by Roman Dawidowski, a certified engineer, which report was officially approved on 26 September 1946 104. The expert enthusiastically approved the Soviet propaganda findings: not content with merely repeating the story of the 4 million deaths 105, he added another, personal absurdity, supported, as always, by “scientific calculations”:
“In the light of the concordant testimonies of the witnesses, the [undersigned] expert is of the opinion that the productivity of the gas chambers in the four cremation complexes at Auschwitz camp amounted to approximately 60,000 persons in 24 hours. This figure is based on the following calculation: according to the statements of the witnesses, 3,000 persons at time were crammed into the gas chambers in each [of the four] crematoria. The undressing procedure, in a climate of violent threats, lasted 30 minutes, while the actual gassing time lasted an average of 25-30 minutes, while the process of clearing out the chambers took 4 hours for each gassing. In total, therefore, to carry out the gassing of a chamber-load of people took 5 hours, that is, the productivity of the gas chambers located in each crematorium complex amounted to approximately 15,000 people. For the 4 cremation complexes put together, therefore, this means a capacity of 60,000 people in 24 hours.” 106.
The expert added that, in 1944, Birkenau’s crematory capacity was 18,000 bodies per day – 8,000 in the crematoria and 10,000 in the “cremation ditches” – but was capable of reaching 24,000 “in the event of maximum utilisation of all the installations.” 107.
One wonders why the SS spent 1,400,000 Reichsmark for the Birkenau crematoria 108 if they could have obtained a higher crematory capacity by just digging a few holes in the ground!
The absurd story invented by Dawidowski was repeated in the judgement of the Höss Trial, as well as in the indictment of the trial of the camp garrison: both trials reaffirmed that the exterminatory capacity of the alleged gas chambers was 60,000 people a day 109, while the fairy tale of the 10,000 bodies per day cremated in the “cremation ditches” still passes for official Holocaust “proven fact” today 110.
Historians behind the Iron Curtain distinguished themselves by their supine acquiescence faced with Soviet and Polish propaganda, which they attempted to equip with a “scholarly veneer”.
The transformation of Soviet and Polish propaganda into “history” was obviously the principal task of the Auschwitz Museum, which really got to work in the 1950s. Its first and most important contribution was the authorship of the “Calendar of Events in Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp”, which was published in Polish between 1958 and 1963 and in German between 1959 and 1964 125, a hastily-prepared “classic” oozing with indignation over the fate of unregistered inmates without the slightest proof.
In one of the first official histories of the camp, published by the Auschwitz Museum in 1977, Franciszek Piper, echoing in toto the official Soviet propaganda line, wrote:
“In almost five years of the camp’s existence, 4,000,000 people perished from disease, executions and massacres in the gas chambers. This figure includes approximately 340,000 out of more than 400,000 registered prisoners, men, women and children” 126.
Holocaust historiography only began to concern itself seriously with Auschwitz in 1989, thanks to Jean-Claude Pressac, who published the book cited above, Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers. Pressac rejected the old Holocaust imposture, employing a new methodology demonstrating the “complete bankruptcy” of all past Holocaust historiography, “based, for the most part, on eyewitness testimonies according to the mood of the moment, truncated to form arbitrary truths and sprinkled with a few German documents of disparate value and without any connection between them” [retranslation] 129.
This respective judgement fully mirrored the reality of the facts, as demonstrated by works such as that by Georges Wellers 130 or that, more pretentious, of Hermann Langbein 131.
With Pressac, Holocaust historiography reached its peak – a peak simultaneously demonstrating the commencement of its inexorable decline. Having established, at least by intention, the primacy of documents over eyewitness testimony, and having grasped (although in a completely inadequate manner) the technical problems involved in the alleged mass extermination, Pressac dealt the first hard blow to the official propaganda story, stripping away the basis for what had, until that time, been an indisputable assumption, not subject to question: the pretense that the Birkenau camp was built as an extermination camp, and that its two larger crematoria were designed with homicidal gas chambers from the very start. Pressac provided revisionist researchers with such a huge mass of arguments that Pressac came under suspicion of being a crypto-revisionist himself, subjected, in the end, to solemn ex-communication as a heretic by the Holocaust Establishment – an ex-communication so totally ferocious that it lasted until his death, which occurred on 23 July 2003 in total media silence
The propaganda fantasies described in the paragraphs above have vexed not a few Holocaust historians: how does one explain the fact that the underground Resistance movement, which had trusted members in every sector and every agency of the camp, failed to draw up a precise, detailed report on the alleged gas chambers at Auschwitz? Why did they wait more than two years to draw up a reasonably decent record of the alleged mass gassings? Why was this record itself merely a product of fantasy? And why did the most fantastic fantasies continue to circulate for two whole years before the final story took shape (as well as long afterwards)?
Excerpted from AUSCHWITZ – 27 JANUARY 1945 TO 27 JANUARY 2005: SIXTY YEARS OF PROPAGANDA by Carlo Mattogno, which is archived HERE. Please consult this page for footnotes.