Saturday, May 01, 2021

What the Soviets knew about Auschwitz - and when. Part V: the destruction of the Hungarian Jews.

On 15.07.1944 the director of 1st Directorate of NKGB, the Soviet intelligence, Pavel Fitin wrote to Aleksandr Shcherbakov, a Central Committee secretary and the head of the Political Directorate of the Red Army and the Soviet Information Bureau:
ЦК ВКП(б)
товарищу Щербакову

Нами из Варшавы от нашего корреспондента получена информация следующего содержания:

"В лагере Освенцим немцы отравляют газами венгерских евреев по 10-15 тысяч в день и жгут их на кострах. Проверено точно, реагируйте."

Начальник I Управления НКГБ
Союза ССР
(ФИТИН)
CC AUCP(b)
to comrade Shcherbakov

We received the following information from our correspondent in Warsaw:

"In the camp Auschwitz the Germans are poisoning 10-15 thousand Hungarian Jews a day with gas and burning them on pyres. Definitely verified, react."

Head of the 1st Directorate of NKGB
USSR
(FITIN)
Source: RGASPI, f. 17, op. 125, d. 250, l. 89.

Thus the Soviet intelligence learned about the mass destruction of the Hungarian Jews in Auschwitz either while it was still going on (depending on when exactly Fitin got this information) or shortly thereafter.

Up to 09.07.1944 about 434,000 Jews were deported from Hungary, most of them to Auschwitz, where about 320,000 of them were found unfit for work and gassed on arrival, and the rest were either registered in the camp or left in the area for the transit Jews (who resided in the camp but were not registered there, awaiting transfer to labor camps). Most of the latter Jews were transferred for work in other camps, but many eventually perished (incl. through gassings) in Auschwitz.

So far I have been unable to find anything in the central press, like Pravda or Izvestiya, about this destruction. Whether this was due to scarcity of information, low importance assigned to it or A. Shcherbakov's reputed antisemitism is hard to say.

5 comments:

  1. "So far I have been unable to find anything in the central press, like Pravda or Izvestiya, about this destruction." Why would you? There is no news in Pravda and no truth in Izvestiya.

    Seriously, the Soviet policy was to purge the Holocaust of any Jewish content. For example, the notorious monument at Auschwitz did not mention that any of the victims were Jewish. Sophie's Choice writ large.

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    Replies
    1. Ah, they did mention it obliquely, just usually formulating it as the murder of "peaceful Soviet citizens" or "citizens of many countries". Sometimes the mentions were direct (e.g. Grossman's Treblinka book).

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  2. Hello, I had found your blong and I think is a very interesting piece of history, the only thing i wanna know did you responded to these two boogs of carlo mattogno http://holocausthandbooks.com/dl/28-tecoar.pdf and if you didnt, do you plan to respond to these two books in a future?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, there are no plans for a centralized response, at our blog you will find numerous points and chunks addressed at this tag.

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