[back] Eye Witnesses Historians
Nazi Mass Murder: A Documentary History of the Use of Poison Gas by Eugen Kogen
The American Lieutenant in charge of documenting Buchenwald (where the
shrunken heads came from) was from the Psychological Warfare Division of the
Allied Forces. Albert G. Rosenberg was Jewish, born and raised in Germany. He
had recently become an American.
"Psychological Warfare Division." That's a strange name for a department that's going to document a concentration camp for future generations isn't it? The Lieutenant in the PWD was Albert G. Rosenberg. Even though he was only in his late 20's at the time, he had a rare special pass called a "SHAEF Pass", which gave him the power to confiscate the posh villa belonging to Baldur Von Schirach, who had been the wartime mayor of Vienna and also the leader of the Hitler Youth. Rosenberg lived in the villa with 12-15 former Buchenwald inmates and the team wrote-up a documentation of the camp. Most of the former inmates were communists, led by a non-communist Austrian Catholic named Eugen Kogon. Kogon compiled the report while Albert Rosenberg supervised the overall project. One could say that the documentation of Buchenwald is largely a story of liberated communists working in a posh villa, under the supervision of a Jewish Psychological Warfare Division Lieutenant who had emigrated to the USA from Germany just seven years earlier. Objectivity you can count on.
After this project, Albert Rosenberg confiscated a German suburban house for Eugen Kogon and his family to live in, so that Kogon could write a book on his personal experiences at Buchenwald. The Psychological Warfare Division, which by now had made the Orwellian move to change it's name to "Information Control" wanted this book to be read by the German population. The book, called "Der SS-Staat, is still the standard work for Buchenwald. In my June 2007, 2-hour phone conversation with the elderly Albert G. Rosenberg, he told me that Kogon could have become Chancellor of Germany instead of Konrad Adenaur, (something about Kogon knowing a "Cardinal Pacelli" and how that was a good thing.) but one was more right and the other more center, and Adenauer ended up becoming Chancellor. Months later out of curiosity I looked up Cardinal Pacelli on Wikipedia and saw he became Pope Pius XII in 1939.
That would have been interesting though: Psych Warfare changes it's name to "Information Control" and promotes Kogon to become the head of Modernist Germany. It would have been 1984 in 1954.
Much of the above is documented in University of Texas, El Paso Professor David A. Hackett's book, The Buchenwald Report. Published in 1995. Nazi Shrunken Heads
In Historical Fact No. 24, Walendy published an article by Ingrid Weckert
entitled "Mass Killings or Disinformation?." Weckert analysed the book
Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas (National Socialist Mass
Killings by Poison Gas) [ edited by Kogon, Langbein and Rückerl] and determined
that it contained much false information, contradictions and technical
impossibilities. (28-7680, 7681) As an example, on page 115 of the book, the
authors claimed that in Chelmno:
"The crematoria ovens had a width of ten metres and a length of about five to six metres. They were not protruding from the ground. They had no chimneys. They tapered down towards the bottom where grates were fastened. These grates consisted of railroad tracks; the shorter rails are the grates. The longer ones, however, served the purpose of camouflaging the crematoria ovens from airplanes. These rails were placed over the pits and covered up with metal sheet. On top of each layer of dead bodies, a layer of wood logs was placed. As far as I can remember, the oven was lit from the bottom. Whoever was lighting the fire had to make his way through the opening, the ash opening to get underneath the grates. I would like to remark that an underground corridor led to the ash box serving as an air supply channel as well as for the purpose of removing the ashes. The corpses burned quickly. New corpses were constantly being thrown on top."
Walendy testified that this account was so absurd, that one shouldn't have to give any explanations at all with respect to it. In principle, burnings of corpses could not be carried out in pits and trenches with wooden logs because the oxygen supply was insufficient. It was even less possible if the wooden logs were covered with sheet metal and the lighting was carried out from the bottom. It was not possible to continue a fire in such conditions. (28-7690 to 7693)
At page 247 of the book, the authors included an account of how gassings took place:
"If a gassing was to be carried out, Roth ordered one of the camp inmates under his command, usually the witness Kanduth, to heat up a brick inside the crematoria. Often Roth carried the hot brick on a shovel into a gas cell and placed it into a gas input device consisting of an iron box with a removable lid which could be closed airtight by using wing screws and a gasket. The introduced hot brick served the purpose of vapourizing the subsequently filled-in poison gas which was bound to paper scraps using the uprising heat."
Walendy testified that the gas chambers as described in the book were so large that several hundred people were placed in them. The introduction of one brick into one of these large chambers would have had no effect in terms of the intended purpose. Furthermore, Zyklon B was produced as a pest control substance. It was delivered in closed containers in the form of grains. It had nothing to do with scraps of paper. (28-7694)
The book was of special importance, said Walendy, because it was written by three well- known authors. Eugen Kogon was a professor and a former inmate of Buchenwald. Hermann Langbein was a former inmate of Auschwitz and Rückerl was the chief prosecutor and head of the Central Office of Judicial Administration. Walendy believed it was important, from a political point of view, to know whether the allegations contained in the book were true or false. (28-7681, 7682) [Udo Walendy] The 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988