‘How could I burn fellow believers?’ Read a real-time account of the Auschwitz gas chambers, hidden for more than 70 years

Nadjary’s duties included receiving crowds of Jews as they were forced to undress before entering the gas chambers. The chambers were fitted with dummy showerheads, and Jews arriving in transport trains were told they were merely being taken into shower rooms.

“They went to their deaths suspecting nothing,” wrote Nadjary, adding that he occasionally “told the truth” if asked. Other Sonderkommando reported running into distant cousins in the change rooms, and similarly telling them of their imminent fate.

After approximately 3,000 had been packed into a chamber “as in a sardine tin,” SS men would use portals in the roof to drop Zyklon B canisters among the crowd.

“The boxes of gas always came in cars from the German Red Cross,” wrote Nadjary, noting that it took about five to six minutes for the gas to kill the whole 3,000.

When the chambers were unsealed, it was the job of the Sonderkommando to carry the bodies to adjacent crematoriums. Given the crowded conditions of the chamber, many bodies would still be standing up when they entered, the skin discoloured by the poison.

All evidence, ashes and crushed bones, was then dumped into a nearby river. “Thus they eliminate all traces,” wrote Nadjary.

The whole process of murdering and vaporizing a train of 3,500 people could take as little as four hours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s