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Selected Quotes from Auschwitz

My life's principle, which I was taught very early on, was to desire and to strive to achieve ethical values.

Adolf Eichmann

I am not the monster that I am made out to be. I am the victim of an error of judgment. Adolf Eichmann

I have already said that the top echelons, to which I did not belong, gave the orders, and they rightly, in my opinion, deserved punishment for the atrocities which were perpetrated on the victims on their orders. But the subordinates are now also victims. I am one of such victims. Adolf Eichmann

I never had the power and the responsibility of a giver of orders. I never carried out killings, as Hรถss did. Adolf Eichmann

What about the women and children? I made up my mind to find a clear solution here too. I did not feel I had the right to exterminate the men while allowing the children to grow up and take revenge upon our sons and grandsons. Heinrich Himmler

...the reasons behind the extermination programme seemed to me right. I did not reflect on it at the time... Rudolf Hรถss

We discussed the ways and means of effecting the extermination. This could only be done by gassing, since it would have been absolutely impossible to dispose by shooting of the large number of people that were expected; and it would have placed too heavy a burden on the SS men who had to carry it out.. Rudolf Hรถss

The bodies could be buried in long, deep pits in the nearby meadows. We didn't think about burning them at this time. We calculated that in the space available in the farmhouse, approximately eight hundred people could be killed using a suitable gas after the building was made airtight. Rudolf Hรถss

Experience had shown that the prussic acid called Cyklon B caused death with far greater speed and certainty, especially if the rooms were kept dry and airtight with the people packed closely together, and provided they were fitted with as large a number of intake vents as possible. Rudolf Hรถss

Protected by a gas-mask I watched the killings myself. In the crowded cells death came instantaneously the moment the gas was thrown in. A short, almost smothered cry, and it was all over. Rudolf Hรถss

The whole operation, including assistance given during undressing, the filling of the bunker, the emptying of the bunker, the removal of the corpses, as well as the preparation and filling up of the mass graves, was carried out by a special detachment of Jews, who were separately accommodated and who, in accordance with Eichmann's orders, were themselves liquidated after every big action. Rudolf Hรถss

Those who were to ill to be brought to the gaschambers were shot in the back of the neck by a small calibre weapon. Rudolf Hรถss

Once a women with four children, all holding each other by the hand to help the smallest ones over the rough ground, passed by me very slowly. She stepped very close to me and whispered, pointing to her four children "How can you murder these beautiful, darling children? Don't you have any heart?" Rudolf Hรถss

During bad weather or when a strong wind was blowing, the stench of burning flesh was carried for many miles and causing the whole neighborhood to talk about the burning of Jews. Rudolf Hรถss

Crematoria II and III both had underground undressing rooms and gas-chambers in which the air could be completely changed. he bodies were taken to the ovens on the floor above by means of a lift. These gaschambers could hold about 3.000 people, but this number was never reached since the individual transports were never as large as that. Rudolf Hรถss

"You will now bathe and be disinfected, we don't want any epidemics in the camp. Then you will be brought to your barracks and get some hot soup..." Everything was extremely tidy. But the specific smell made some of them uneasy. They looked in vain for showers.... The hall meanwhile was getting packed.... Suddenly the door was closed... Those inside heard heavy bolts being secured.... A deadly paralyzing terror spread among the victims... The Cyclon B acted swiftly... Some two minutes later the screams became less and less loud... Two minutes more and Grabner stopped looking at his watch There was complete silence... The guards were called off, and the cleaning squad started to sort out the clothes, so tidily put down in the yard of the crematorium... Pery Broad

The women went in first with their children, followed by the men who were always fewer in number. This part of the operation nearly always went smoothly, for the prisoners of the special detachment would calm those who betrayed any anxiety or who perhaps had some inkling of their fate. As an additional precaution these prisoners of the special detachment and an SS man always remained in the chamber until the last moment. Rudolf Hรถss

It could be observed through the peep-hole in the door that those who were standing nearest to the induction vents were killed at once. It can be said that about onethird died straight away. The remainder staggered about and began to scream and struggle for air. The screaming, however, soon changed to the death rattle and in a few minutes all lay still. After twenty minutes at the latest no movements could be discerned. Rudolf Hรถss

The special detachment now set about removing the gold teeth and cutting the hair from the women. After this, the bodies were taken up by lift and laid in front of the ovens, which had meanwhile been stoked up. Rudolf Hรถss

As strange as that was, so was the general behavior of the Sonderkommando. All of them knew with certainty that when it was over, they themselves would suffer the same fate as thousands of their race had before them, in whose destruction they were very helpful. In spite of this they still did their job with an eagerness and in a caring, helpful way during the undressing, yet they would also use force with those who resisted undressing. Rudolf Hรถss

While dragging the bodies, they ate or smoked. Even the gruesome job of burning the bodies dug up after being in mass graves for a long time did not prevent them from eating. It often happened that Jews from the Sonderkommando discovered close relatives among the bodies and even among those who went into the gas chambers. Although they were visibly affected there never was any kind of incident. Rudolf Hรถss

Eichmann expected to receive from Hungary... about 3 million Jews. The arrests and transportation's should have been completed by 1943, but because of Hungarian government's political difficulties, the date was always being postponed... Rudolf Hรถss

The next country on the list was Romania. Eichmann expected to get about 4 million Jews from there. Negotiations with the Romanian authorities, however, were likely to be difficult... Rudolf Hรถss

In the meantime Bulgaria was to follow, with an estimated 2,5 million Jews. The authorities there were agreeable to the transport, but wanted to wait on the results of the negotiations with Romania... Rudolf Hรถss

The course taken by the war changed all those plans... Rudolf Hรถss

Himmler was dissatisfied with the extermination methods in Auschwitz. First of all they were to slow. Rudolf Hรถss

Auschwitz achieved its climax in the spring of 1944. Long trains from Hungary were incessantly arriving at the Birkenau subcamp. All Hungarian Jews were to be exterminated in one sweep... A new railway siding with three lines of rails, leading up to the new crematorium, made it possible to have one train unloaded while another one was arriving... Pery Broad

It is tragic that, although I was by nature gentle, goodnatured, and very helpful, I became the greatest destroyer of human beings who carried out every order to exterminate people no matter what. Rudolf Hรถss

How I envy my comrades who were allowed to die an honest soldier's death. Without realizing it, I became a cog in the wheel of the huge extermination machine of the Third Reich. The machine is smashed, the motor has perished, and I must perish with it. The world demands it. Rudolf Hรถss

My path through life is now coming to a close. Fate has worked out a truly sad ending for me. How fortunate were the comrades who were allowed to die an honest soldier's death. Calmly and composed I look toward the end. From the beginning I was completely clear about the fact that I would perish with the world to which I had pledged myself with all my body and soul when that world was shattered and destroyed. Rudolf Hรถss

At the end it is difficult to have to admit to myself that I have chosen a very wrong path and, because of it, I have brought about my own destruction. Rudolf Hรถss

And so there is only a pile of rubble left from our world from which the survivors have to build a new and better world with great difficulty. My time has come. Rudolf Hรถss

S채tila 2008, Lennart Grebelius

Selected Quotes from Auschwitz210 x 210 liten text