Saturday, October 14, 2006

Interviews with Auschwitz perpetrators

Our good friend Hans, of RODOH, has found this interesting page. It contains interviews with Auschwitz perpetrators Erber and Klehr, made in 1977 in prison, and now transcribed from the tapes. They contain rather interesting passages, which Hans has translated.

Read more!

Erber: I estimate that the number of gassed people is 500.000 to 750.000, but I cannot be certain because I don't have the files anymore.

Bierbrauer: You've said more wasn't possible. What does that mean? More as a million or...

Erber: We shouldn't forget it was war. Firstly, the transport capacities were lacking and secondly the extermination itself that didn't work either. I've read in this Dings, 20.000 dead per day. Without doubt impossible.

Bierbrauer: Why was it impossible?

Erber: Because it wasn't realizable. You couldn't do this.

Steiner: You mean technically?

Erber: Nee. [apparently he means "no, it was not technically possible"]

Steiner: So you say about 750.000.

Erber: Up to 750, but that's the absolute maximum.

Steiner: But you don't include people who were shot...

Erber: Wait...

Steiner: ...or died otherwise?

Erber: [incomprehensible]....with the executions at the black wall, these were death sentences mostly, at the black wall etc. and with the injections etc....I calculate 280.000

Steiner: So in total how many people perished in Auschwitz?

Erber: In Auschwitz almost a million, but this is an estimate.


Bierbrauer: But Mr. Erber does it make a big difference if it were 1 million according to you estimation or say 2 million according to others?

Erber: It couldn't be, look I was there from 40 to 45 and so many were not killed there.

Heh, Erber was more or less correct, of course. Certainly more correct than many historians of that era. Now, if Erber was coerced, why would he even argue about the number with some interviewers?

Steiner: Do you remember that the Sonderkommando was gassed periodically, that they stayed exactly 6 months and then...

Erber: Steiner, we have so many of the Sonderkommandos who are still alive today. Look, a certain Miller from Prag was already in the small crematorium and when the people were shot and gassed and buried. I wrote this to you...

Steiner: Yes.

Erber: ...that after some time the blood water was coming up and they were exhumed and burned. And a certain Buckl, he now lives in, I don't know now, I still have the adresses from the trial, Miller lives in Prag and Buckl lives in America or Australia. Some are still living in France.

Steiner: So you are saying it is not true?

Erber: The one, which did the excavations, came away as a whole. But they were not gassed in Auschwitz, they were sent to Majdanek, 200 men.

Steiner: When was this?

Erber: This was end of 42, beginning of 43. First they wanted to bury them [apparently the gassed Jews not the SK], but then the blood water came up and they made the graves for the burning.

Steiner: Yes, so when was this, was this 42 or 43? You said the whole thing was in 1944, right?

Erber: No...

Steiner: The uprising...

Erber: The uprising was in 1944, but I mean the Kommando which came away....

Steiner: Aha

Erber: That was 42 or early 43. Before the big crematoria were ready.

Steiner: Yes, yes. And what was with the blood? At this time there was nothing with the blood, which trickled out, that was after the uprising, wasn't it?

Erber: No, no, that was at the graves.

Steiner: At the graves, okay...

Erber: That was at the graves, the people were gassed and put into the graves and then the...

Steiner: Since when was this, 43?

Erber: End of 42 or

Steiner: Ah yes.

Erber: beginning of 43. This hadn't anything to do with the gassing over there. This was the gassing in that farm house, I also wrote you about this.

Steiner: Yes you have.

Erber: That was from the former community Raisko, which was completely evacuated and only two buildings were left.

Blood from the graves, again.

1 comment:

Hans said...

"I am not sure whether you can credibly claim that 250 000 were shot at the Black Wall (a post liberation construction) or killed by injection."

Well, whatever Erber babbled in the interview about black wall and injections, it is apparent that he meant 280.000 deaths in Auschwitz in total except gassing, that is every cause of death other than gassing including natural death. This becomes more clear in the interview with Ebbo Demant, though he gave a lower figure there (Direkt von der Rampe weg, p. 49):

"1941/42 there was the big typhus epidemic, where many, many died. I estimate 180.000 deaths, if not more, by shooting and epidemics etc."

And on the gassed figure:

"Erber: Well, according to my estimation there could have been almost half a Million.

Demant: What happened to the corpses?

Erber: In the beginning they were buried. The gassed people. But then the blood water came up. And everything lifted to the top. So they were exhumed and burned. And then there were the crematoria. They came into operation in 1943. Four of them."