By Udo Walendy
The following has been excerpted from issue No. 31 in the series of brochures (now over 70 in number) entitled Historische Tatsachen (“historical facts”) in which German history in the first half of the 20th century has been accorded the most thorough revisionist reexamination achieved by any contemporary German historian. For several decades, Udo Walen dy was permitted to freely publish the results of his research and analysis without undue harassment. However, in the wake of the recent environment of anti-revisionist laws, and much to the disgrace of the German judiciary and the entire German nation, Mr. Walendy has been arraigned, found guilty of “inciting racial hatred” and is currently incarcerated.
On February 1 and 2, 1945, the Soviet propaganda organ Pravda published lengthy initial accounts of the findings of the Red Army upon its occupation of the Auschwitz camp sites on January 27, 1945. These initial reports and the treatment accorded them are of particular significance for historical analysis, because they had not yet been adapted to Allied propaganda of the time, at least not in detail. The lengthiest first-hand report was published in the issue of February 2, 1945, and began in this manner:
City of Auschwitz—An impartial committee will investigate the accurate number of people killed or tortured to death . . . After the Red Army disclosed the horrible and disgusting secrets of Majdanek [another concentration camp—Ed.] before the world, the Germans in Auschwitz began to remove the traces of their crimes. They leveled the burial mounds of the so-called “old graves” in the eastern part of the camp. Likewise they removed and destroyed all traces of the electric conveyor system, where hundreds of people at one time were electrocuted.
The bodies fell onto a slow-moving transport belt, taking them to a blast furnace. There they were burnt completely, the bones ground in a roller mill and the remains spread on the fields as fertilizer. The special mobile devices to kill children were relocated to the back fields.
The stationary gas chambers in the east side of the camp were remodeled. They were ornamented and decorated with little towers, placed on top of the roof, so they looked like harmless garages.
But it is still possible to assemble traces of the murder of millions. Based upon descriptions by prisoners liberated by the Red Army, it is not difficult to verify everything the Germans tried so carefully to keep secret. This huge death mill was equipped with the latest style of fascist technology and supplied with all those testing devices which only the German brutes are able to invent.
In the first years of the camp the Germans still performed [inefficiently]. They simply led the prisoners to a pit and ordered them to lie face down in the pit and shot them in the neck. After the first row was murdered, the second was forced to lie on top of the first one and was shot; then the third row and so forth. When the grave was full, they shot again at the whole pile of dead people with automatic rifles, just to make sure. The people who did not find room in the graves were also shot and buried [sic]. In this way hundreds of huge graves were filled in the eastern part of the camp. Customarily, these were termed the “old graves.”
Then the Germans recognized this procedure as being primitive and decided to increase the productivity of the murder process. It was mechanized; gas chambers, and electric conveyor systems were installed, they built blast furnaces for cremation and so-called “chimneys.”
But the most terrible thing for the prisoners in Auschwitz was not even death. The sadistic Germans let them starve in the cold, while working 18 hours and punished them most cruelly. I was shown steel cudgels, covered with leather, on the handles of which the factory brand “Krupp Dresden” was engraved. These torture tools were manufactured in mass production.
To the south of the adjoining section, I saw compartments with benches, covered with tin and leather strips attached. On these, people were beaten to death. Tin covering was used, so the blood of the victims could be washed off. Fastidious henchmen caring about sanitation.
I saw a specially constructed chair with steel teeth to break the back of the victim to be killed. I saw massive rubber cudgels, all marked with the brand name “Krupp,” with which the heads and genitals of the prisoners were beaten.
I saw thousands of ghost-like wretches in Auschwitz, so emaciated they staggered like shadows in the wind. They praised the Red Army who had saved them and tore them away from the hell, bringing revenge to the fascist henchmen for Majdanek, Auschwitz, and for all the tortures and sufferings caused to the people of Europe.
The Soviet “reporters” knew what was expected of them regarding their communiqués after taking the concentration camps. Anybody naïve enough to believe that the Soviets, in performing this “duty,” were concerned with “honesty and truth in reporting,” should be reminded of the Soviet record of always trying to avoid culpability for any misdeeds.1
It is therefore not at all surprising that the Soviet reports on Auschwitz were strictly in line with wartime atrocity propaganda, and that they later, in spite of the obvious falsity, clung to them with relentless perseverance.
Note that neither of the two Pravda articles examined here brings out a single detail of what the Red Army really discovered when occupying the camp. In the first article, only the account of one former prisoner from Auschwitz, identified as “Lukaschew, from the Woronesch area,” was offered; and this contained nothing but unprovable statements—this is, at best, hearsay. Furthermore, this prisoner was not even able to describe how and when the Germans performed these various alleged atrocities.
In connection with this second article of Pravda from February 2, 1945, we do not want to forget to quote the United Press correspondent, Henry Shapiro, who obediently echoed the Soviets. Referring to the Pravda articles, he wrote on February 2, 1945, in the Washington Daily News, the following:
“Ghosts” with undefinable age or sex freed from the death mill [quote marks added–Ed.]. The semi-official [Soviet] newspaper Pravda reports today that the Red Army has saved several thousand tortured, emaciated inmates of the largest German murder factory in southwest Poland. They all were of ghostlike appearance, nearly undefinable in their age or sex, thrown to the ground at the slightest wind, as Pravda correspondent Boris Polewoj reports.
Fragmentary reports say that at least 1.5 million people were killed in Auschwitz, says Polewoj. During 1941, 1942 and early 1943, he says, daily, five trains reached Auschwitz with Russians, Poles, Jews, Czechs, French and Yugoslavs, forced into sealed cars. The trains always left Auschwitz empty.
The first shock in Auschwitz is its size. Dozens of square miles are soaked with human blood and literally blanketed with human ashes. This was a huge industry with many departments and arrangements, each one specially designed for its function. The victims were classified according to age and ability to work before deciding on execution. The main station was the smelter where the victims were burnt after sophisticated tortures.
Not satisfied with the earlier methods of killing with automatic guns in pits, the Germans themselves “increased the production” and mechanized the murder machinery, he said. The most perfected equipment was an electric conveyor where hundreds of people could be electrocuted at one time and then conveyed into the smelter furnace. They burned up at once and subsequently were spread as fertilizer on the nearby cabbage fields, says Polewoj.
But the released prisoners say death almost was merciful, compared with the tortures of hunger, cold, and physical drudgery the victims were exposed to before execution, he added.
[Apparently paraphrasing Pole woj:]
I saw leather-covered cudgels that were mass produced in the “Krutz” [sic] factories in Dresden, for the sole purpose to beat prisoners. I saw tin-covered benches with leather strips, where the victims were beaten to a [pulp]. I saw heavy oak chairs, where the victims were killed, after the backbone was broken. I saw rubber cudgels with the trade name “Krutz” [sic] for beating the head or genitals.
Polewoj said the Germans had tried to remove the traces in Auschwitz. They destroyed the conveyors, leveled the high grave mounds, full of skeletons, removed the mobile equipment for killing children, and rebuilt the gas chambers to make them look like harmless garages, he said. But the evidence for the destruction of a million people could not completely be wiped out, he said. A special committee of investigation will need several weeks of careful, intensive study, to understand the meaning of these atrocities to the fullest extent.
In the early June of 1944, the British Ministry of Information had issued a directive to the Anglo-American press to intensify horror propaganda. Auschwitz in particular was to be singled out to personify the evil of everything German. The British knew that propaganda stories were most effective when promptly released after whatever event initiated it. Or, expressed the other way, if there was a long delay, the story lost most of its impact. The British were, therefore, curious as to why the Soviets did not immediately supply photos, film material and other evidence after they occupied Auschwitz. The British government had already sent two inquires to Moscow for such information. Now the reason for the lack of evidence is clear.
The first two articles of Pravda—February 1 and 2, 1945—were pure atrocity propaganda.
The Soviets who overran the camp and made the accusations published in Pravda failed to produce any concrete evidence such as the alleged mobile apparatus to kill children, let alone the “disguised gas chambers.” There are vague hints about various delegations arriving at the camp and inspecting the traces of the crimes, but no reports or pictures. Most of what the Soviets purport to have found does not appear in contemporary Auschwitz literature; on the other hand, and most importantly, what we read in today’s books, was not found by the Soviets—a grotesque situation.
Now let’s check the Pravda articles in detail:
The implication of extreme murderousness during 1941, 1942 and early 1943 is remarkable. No mention was made by Pravda of 1944, when according to the various establishment “holocaust researchers” the real climax of mass annihilation occurred, with the killing and cremation of up to 20,000 prisoners per day. Of this, the Pravda fabricators did not know anything. If they had, it is certain they would have reported it immediately.
It is quite true that from 1941 till spring 1943, many persons arrived at Auschwitz. It was at this time that its huge industrial installations were built. Toward the end of the war the work force had increased to about 100,000—some of it contracted, but mostly forced labor.
Besides German foremen and technicians there were Poles, Czechs, French, Russians, Yugoslavs and Jews. It is strange that nowhere in the Pravda article is there any mention of these ongoing industries, nor did the Poles point this out when later questioned. The “huge expanse of the Auschwitz complex” is ascribed by the allegedly astonished Polewoj entirely to the “murder machine.” There is not a single word that indicates that the camp is a part of the German armament industries, as we now know it clearly was.
The Germans are said to have begun to remove the traces of mass murder in Auschwitz when the Soviets occupied Majdanek concentration camp, which occurred on July 24, 1944. This means the Germans had barely six months left to destroy evidence, including three months of winter, with the ground frozen solid. In this short time, they supposedly removed “the old graves in the eastern part of the camp” and dismantled the mechanisms of the murder of millions of individuals.
These were said to have included hundreds of huge grave pits and high mounds above them with countless layers of bodies. The graves are said to have been quickly “leveled” by the Germans, and this means that, therefore, the bodies would still have been present, especially those bodies that were originally in the pits. However, anyone familiar with the matter knows that in Auschwitz no grave sites were ever found, and in particular none of the alleged mass graves.
The contemporary version, published for several decades, is that the Germans burned all the bodies and ground the remains into dust and then dumped everything into the Vistula River, where it floated away, an impossibility.
Mass graves in the Auschwitz area were not possible, due to the high level of the water table. Even individual grave sites in the area had to be removed later because of ground water contamination. As early as 1942 there were extended periods of typhus epidemics because of ground water contamination.
Mass graves simply could not be tolerated near the Monowitz (Auschwitz III) site, without serious risk to the operations of the armament industries.
Also, it is a delusion to think such clues can be removed that easily.
Even if graves had been cleaned out and refilled, any soil expert could easily verify the excavations by cutting across with trenches. Such findings, witnessed by independent Swiss or Swedish observ ers, would constitute irrefutable proof that something had happened at the site. But there is no such evidence.
What else did the Germans “remove”? The traces of the “electric conveyor system.” That is to say, not just the supposed electric conveyors, but all accessories, the power plant, the electric power lines, the one or several “blast furnaces” or “smelter furnaces.” How credible is the story that all of this heavy apparatus was removed at the last moment by the Germans?
The vanished facilities must have been of such a “high fascist technology” that even today similar hardware has yet to be reinvented, which could facilitate the cremation of, as stated by Polewoj, “hundreds of people completely . . .”
Also the grinding mills for bones, the huge conveyor belt, the piles of coal or other fuel. Are we to believe that everything was wiped off the face of the earth in less than six months, including three months of winter, and nothing was ever found? Not even any construction blueprints?
In other words, the Soviets did not find traces of any of that, or else they would have said so. All this was an invention masquerading as historical truth, to be used against a prostrate German nation.
Even the most German-hating agitators have long ago distanced themselves from these fantastic stories. They did not believe them from the first day.
The fact remains, however, that the Allied power that alone conquered and occupied Auschwitz (the USSR) at the same time shielded the camp from any inspection by foreign observers for many months afterward, and this same ally was the only one to publish stories about what it claims to have found in Auschwitz.
The eastern part of the camp was Monowitz. However, not one of the “holo caustorians” has ever insisted that there were gas chambers in Monowitz. Instead, they all speak of a gas chamber within the main camp only in the beginning—surprisingly, in the immediate neighborhood of the camp kitchen and in the center of the whole complex. It is said to have served later as an air raid shelter. But the holocaust experts all talk about Birkenau, a part of the camp far to the west of the huge industrial complex. And here again the gas chambers supposedly were in the western part. This is quite different from where the “liberators” claim they found them.
But then the story becomes even more complicated.
The Soviet “liberator” has supposedly found the gas chambers, decorated with ornaments and little turrets, to look like harmless garages. All the holocaust experts, however, seem to agree that the Soviets did not find the gas chambers, because (allegedly) they all were completely destroyed in advance of the Soviet “liberation” by the Germans.
Why, after all, should the Germans have spared just these gas chambers from destruction? The Germans otherwise were so obsessed with removal of all traces of the alleged genocide, and yet they decorated them with ornaments and little turrets for the reception of the Soviets.
Not once did the Soviets provide illustrative evidence of these “gas chambers, looking like harmless garages,” to the outside world. Not even a photo was taken of these remarkable structures, despite their obviously tremendous importance.
In a Soviet film on the liberation of Auschwitz, shown on West German television on November 16, 1986, of course, these “gas chambers” were not shown. More surprisingly, the Soviets did not even search for gas chambers, though the film’s contemporary background narration did talk about them constantly.
As to the allegation that refers to the killing by shots into the neck as found in the mass graves in the first years of Auschwitz, at once one is reminded of the Katyn Forest and other Soviet crime scenes, where the NKVD executed thousands of Polish officers in April-May 1940, using exactly the methods they charged against the Germans. And it is typical that people such as Polewoj, a Pravda reporter, and other Soviet organs of publication, were involved in the manipulation of the Katyn case for propaganda.
A Soviet document later produced by the Soviets in Nuremberg, “Doc. USSR-008,”2 carries the signatures of people such as Mytrolitos Nikolaus and Lyssenko, who, in spite of their knowledge of the true perpetrators of the mass murder at Katyn, lied and assigned blame for this genocidal act on Germany.
The compartments with benches, torture chairs to break backbones, steel cudgels from Krupp, etc. were never “shown to the world,” though Polewoj has “found and seen them.” Not even a photograph was made. United Press staff correspondent Henry Shapiro did not believe this deception, but changed the brand name Krupps into the fantasy product Krutz—exchanging one lie for another.
Polewoj saw “thousands of martyrs in Auschwitz, so emaciated that they staggered like shadows in the wind.” Whoever looks at the physical condition of the prisoners in the Soviet film shown recently on the West German television cannot help feeling that—besides really sick ones—the prisoners looked well fed. These pictures have been known throughout the holocaust literature. One gets the impression that these prisoners appeared in better physical condition than the German soldiers of January 1945.
In this context we remember the British inquiries of February 15 and of April 25, 1945 to Moscow, to request release of the information as to what they really did find in Auschwitz.3 So far none of the holocaust experts has taken the meager Soviet answer of May 7, 1945 seriously, and so did not publish it. And this in spite of the fact that they accepted the Soviet figure of 4 million Auschwitz dead without hesitation.
It is worth noting in the Pravda article of February 2, 1945 what Polewoj did not state and did not find: He did not find piles of eyeglasses; he found no piles of dentures, no piles of human hair, no piles of shoes, no piles of worn clothing. Such photos were later published officially by the Soviets but these were mostly faked—some drawn or painted as collages, composed of various parts, which were exhibited as being actual photos.
The Pravda reporter, who spent several days at Auschwitz to search for material with which to make accusations against the “German fascists,” had seen nothing of underground “gas chambers and dressing rooms,” not even heard of them. More surprisingly yet, he had not even singled out “Birkenau,” or found anything worth mentioning about the camp to pass on to the world.
He had not seen or heard anything of the alleged “farmhouses, remodeled already in 1942” to become gas chambers west of Birkenau, and supposedly in operation until October 1944. Not one of the liberated prisoners in the euphoria of liberation reported about them, none mentioned Birkenau, none talked of what had been going on there in 1944.
This is surprising.
He did not see the station platform strewn with suitcases and worn clothing or pilfered freight cars; he saw no mass graves, no rivers (Vistula and Sola) clogged with human ashes, no fields covered with human ashes and bone fragments used as fertilizer, no “mobile gallows.”
In summary it can be said that Polewoj was the first Soviet reporter on the scene; what he saw and reported, was not seen and reported by the subsequent Extra ordinary Soviet Commission.
What the later commission saw and what their cameramen filmed and recorded, was not seen by Polewoj, the first reporter on the spot.
What they did have in common was a devotion to atrocity propaganda.
1 Soviet responsibility for many massacres has been well established, as at Lemberg (Lwow), 1941; in the Baltic states, in 1939-40 and again in 1945-48; Vinitsya, Ukraine; Katyn Forest near Smolensk, where the Germans in 1943 found the bodies of 4,253 Polish officers in several mass graves. These are the only remains yet uncovered from a known group of 15,000 men who disappeared while in Soviet captivity after the communist takeover of Eastern Poland in April and May of 1940. The new government of the Russian Federation has yet to dig into the former Soviet NKVD archives and disclose the location of the mass grave sites where the remaining 10,000 men rest.
2 Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Nov. 14, 1945 to Oct. 1, 1946. Nuremberg, 1947, Vol. XXXIX, pp. 241-261.
3 Martin Gilbert, Auschwitz und die Allierten, Munich, 1982, pp. 395-396. Com pare Historische Tatsachen No. 15, p. 35.