Thursday, 28 June 2012

"Station Z" The Last Stop

The location of Station Z at Sachsenhausen. With it's white cover, which was erected after the Soviet cover built in 1961 was removed in 2004.

A March 1945 aerial photo of Sachsenhausen, with "Station Z" indicated by the "3" (original photo)

The "Execution Trench" in the foreground, with Station Z behind it. 1945 Soviet photo.
"The large, single-storey building described by the SS as "Station Z" was at the same time a crematorium and a place of extermination. "Z", the last letter of the alphabet, was a cynical reference to the last station in the life of an inmate. Although one was planned very early on, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp did not have its own crematorium until 1939 or 1940. Until then, the mortal remains of inmates had been cremated in various crematoria in Berlin or buried in the Oranienburg cemetery. As the capacity of the first small crematorium with one cremation oven was soon no longer adequate, the SS had four mobile ovens set up the Wehrmacht. These were taken out of service in 1943 after "Station Z" had been built. In "Station Z", as well as four fixed cremation ovens, there were a gas chamber and a firing squad execution area. The building, still wholly intact, was blown up by the KVP (Militarised People's Police) of the GDR in 1952 and 1953. It was only in the course of constructing the National Memorial in 1961 that the architects were able to secure the foundations and the remains of the ovens, over which they erected a monumental roof. This had to be demolished in 2004 because of extensive structual deterioration."
- Reads a museum sign at "Station Z"
How "Station Z" looked in June 2012

Location Sketch of Station Z (enlargement & original photo)

Not all of the 19 numbered areas on the above "Location Sketch of Station Z" are given a description on the museum display at "Station Z", but the ones that are, are as follows:

1. Garage
2. Gas Chamber
3. Corridor
4. Undressing Room
7. Doctor's Room (loud music was played here on a gramophone, to drown out the gunfire from room 14
11. Antechamber
12. Execution Room
13. Execution Room
14. Where an SS man would shoot (through a hole in the wall) someone in room 13, who thought they were being measured for their height
15. SS Rest Room
17. Mortuary, where gold teeth and filings were extracted from the murdered corpses
18. Crematorium
19. Ash Bunker

I've already posted details and photos about the gas chamber and the crematorium in "Station Z", so I will concentrate below on the claimed "neck shot facility" in "Station Z"

The "neck shot facility", according to museum signs at "Station Z", supposedly worked as follows:
  • Prisoners would be brought into the Undressing Room (number 4) and were forced to strip.
  • Prisoner would go into the Doctors Room (number 7) where a gramophone was playing loudly. There SS men in white coats would examine them, and mark any prisoners with gold teeth or filings.
  • Prisoners would then be led, one at a time, by an SS man into the room marked number 13, there he would be stood in front of a measuring rod fixed to the wall, as if his height was being measured.
  • An SS man in the room marked number 14, would then shoot the prisoner in the back of the neck, through a slit in the wall.
  • Then two men from the crematorium detail would open the door from the mortuary (number 17) and drag the corpse into the mortuary.
  • If the prisoner had been marked as having gold teeth or filings, his corpse would be left in the mortuary for them to be removed. The corpses without gold teeth or filings, and those that had had their gold teeth or filings removed, would be dragged into the crematorium (number 18) and then cremated in any of the four ovens, each of which could burn 6 - 8 bodies simultaneously.

The route that the corpses of the people killed in the gas chamber (number 2), would have had to have been dragged to the crematorium (number 18), looks very arduous. Certainly a bad design on the part of the Nazis there.

The "liquid Cyclon B" Gas Chamber

“the Nazis gassed about 100,000 people in this room ... ”

 - Fritz Dörbeck, former inmate (footnote 76)

This is a Soviet photo from 1945, which is reproduced on a museum sign (the big red arrow is my own addition)

"Garage and entrance to the gas chamber"
Soviet photo from May or June 1945. The "entrance to the gas chamber" is through the door at the back of the garage

How it looked in June 2012

The gas chamber was within the building supposedly referred to by the SS as "Station Z" (the final stop), which also contained the crematorium, and is now covered by the white structure above, which was erected after the Soviet cover built in 1961 was removed in 2004.

This photo was taken from the opposite direction from the one above. In the foreground in the gas chamber,
looking out through the gas chamber door, across the garage, and then up the slope into the garage

The gas chamber from another angel. It was very small.
I took photographs of all the museums signs that are placed inside the Station Z protective cover, I've already reproduced many of their claims regarding the cremation process here. But following, verbatim, is what the museum claims about the gassing procedure at Sachsenhausen:
"The gas chamber was installed in 1943 in a tiled room with worked showers. SS men placed small bottles filled with liquid Cyclon B into a ventilation system fitted next to the door that is visible in the photo. When the bottle was broken with a spike, the gas was forced together with warmed air into the gas chamber. The ventilation system cannot be seen in the photo because it was hidden by the SS in the Industrial Yard and was not rediscovered in the transformer shed until shortly after this picture was taken." (enlargement of photo above)
Soviet photo from May or June 1945, of the gas chamber at Sachsenhausen, with showerheads and a window.

"The showers were not only installed as a deception. As an SS man later testified before a court in the Federal Republic of Germany, the warm water was supposed to enhance the effect of the gas." (enlargement of photo above)
"Former inmate Paul Sakowski demonstrating to the Soviet Commission of Investigation how the gas chamber worked Still from the film "Todeslager Sachsenhausen" (Death Camp Sachsenhausen) 1946-47/Berlin, Progress Film Distribution"
"In preparation for a large show trial, to be held in Pankow town hall in Berlin, of leading members of the concentration camp command staff and several inmate foremen, including Paul Sakowski, who was accused of being a "hangman", a DEFA film crew accompanied the Soviet Commission of Investigation at its work in Sachsenhausen. For this purpose, the technical installations of the gas chamber, which had been concealed in the Industrial Yard by the SS and found after liberation, were reinstalled. Inmates from Soviet Speical Camp No.7 (1945-1950) relate that they had to carry out this work."

Summing up, and further reading
The Sachsenhausen Museum, claims in their display which was erected in 2004 at the earliest, that people were gassed at Sachsenhausen with bottled "liquid Cyclon B", mixed with warm air, and aided by warm water!
Michael Mills, who frequents Axis History Forum, has pointed out that the supposed homicidal gassing procedure at Sachsenhausen, sounds identical to the use of cyanide as a delousing agent.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Crematorium

Station Z
(Attributed SS nickname for "extermination" part of the camp)

From August 1943, there were four coal fired crematory ovens in the Sachsenhausen crematorium, each capable of cremating up-to 8 bodies at a time. The four ovens could process 600 bodies per 24 hours, but the Nazis avoided cremations at night, as the flames leaping from the chimney attracted unwanted attention. The Soviets decided to blow up the crematorium, twice, in 1952 and 1953, for reasons unknown to this day.

The site of the former Crematorium

Nope, this isn't a modern crematorium, it's a new-ish, fancy cover which protects the remnants of the 
crematorium and gas chambers, and it's the 40 metre tall obelisk erected in 1961 by the communists.

 The writing on a wall just as you enter the complex

The other side of the above wall. And hello, it's the same sculpture that's in the communist built New Museum

A museum sign depicting the ruins in this semi-covered complex, number 18 denotes the location of the crematorium

Soviet photo from June 1945, of how the crematorium look from the outside (original photo)

The crematory ovens viewable in the distance

Commemorative blocks in front of the crematory ovens 

 The four crematory ovens. What a rubbish photo. I didn't realise how dark it was in that corner.

This single oven (on the left) could cremate upto 8 bodies at a time

The crematory ovens on the right

A memorial plague commemorating "Station Z" (the final stop), the krematoriums (crematoriums) and gaskammer (gas chamber) 

These are clipped from my photo of a museum sign near them crematorium, they show Soviet
photos from May or June 1945 of the ovens in the crematorium  at Sachsenhausen

This is clipped from the same photo, it describes how, in August 1943, the Germans fitted four new coke fired crematoria ovens made by the Berlin firm Kori into this crematorium. These miracle ovens could each cremate between 6 and 8 corpses simultaneously, and combined they could cremate 600 bodies in 24 hours. But as flames shot out of the chimney, the cremations mostly took place during the day, to avoid .... Unfortunately I didn't take the best of photos, as I missed why the Germans wanted to avoid lighting up the night sky with their flame bleching crematorium chimney. To avoid attracting British Lancaster bombers perhaps?
The original photo, full sized is linked here

This cartoon was supposedly drawn in 1945 by a Victor Siminski

The original photo, full sized is linked here

The similarity between Siminski's cartoon and these posed photos from Dachau is uncanny.

photos taken without permission from scrapbookpages 

Comparing them together... Pointing out the similarities is too easy. Try and spot the difference. (enlarged)

In 1952 and then again in 1953, for reasons unknown to this day, the Soviets blew-up "Station Z",
which containing the Sachsenhausen gas chamber and crematorium (original photo inc text)

The Burial Ground

The pamphlet / map I brought in the Visitor Centre says of the indicated area:
"Burial Ground with Ashes of Victims of the Concentration Camp
In 1996 and 2004, several trenches were discovered near to "Station Z" In them the SS had tipped ashes from the crematorium"

The heading of the museum sign by the "Burial Ground" reads:

"Here, in 1941, over 10,000 Soviet prisoners of war were murdered in a 'neck-shot facility' within the space of ten weeks"

840,000 erm...... over 10,000 Russian soldiers were killed in this manner at Sachsenhausen in one go erm..... in 10 weeks

Here's an enlargement of the English text on the above sign. This ridiculous story is exactly the same as the "Nazi in the closet" story at Buchenwald. 40,000 people, who believed they were being measured for their height, were shot dead by a Nazi in the closet.
Also, and the main Nuremberg trial, it was claimed that 840,000 Russian POWs were killed at Sachsenhausen in one go, then burnt in four portable ovens. It seems the death toll for this incident has been revised downwards by 830,000 or 98.81%.

The Execution Trench

The Execution Trench (indicated by the red arrow) is in a part of the Sachsenhausen camp supposedly nick-named "Station Z" by the SS, as it was the "final stop." More on Station Z, along with a comparison of how this part of the memorial has changed since 1999 can be seen on the highly authoritative scrapbookpages.
The pamphlet/map I brought in the visitor centre says: "In this trench, resistance fighters, conscientious objectors and people sentenced by the Nazis were executed."

Clearly that is a door which leads somewhere. 

How it looked in June 1945, original photo

Clearly this entrance to an underground something, now blocked up with logs, logs which show no signs of having been hit by bullets

The Former 68 Barracks


There was once 68 barracks at Sachsenhausen, now just two remain (No.s 38 & 39). The locations of where the others once stood are now marked with the sort of things above, which I've dubbed beds of stone. These beds of stone, presumably 66 of them in total (I didn't count), are indicated by the white oblong boxes on the above map of the camp.
These beds of stone must be very recent addition to the site, as they do not appear on Google Earth's aerial view of the camp