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                        Technique and Operation
                            of the Gas Chambers ©
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In the biggest room there were two little windows and just one in each of the three others [Document 2: Drawing 2]. These windows were closed by little wooden doors. Each room had a separate access. On the entrance door there was a metal sign with the inscription “Hochspannung Lebensgefar” as already as already mentioned above. When the door was opened, this sign was invisible but one could see another “Zum Baden / to the baths” [Document 3: Fig. 1]. The people entering these rooms to be gassed saw on the exit door the sign with the inscription “Zur Desinfektion / to disinfection”. It is obvious that behind this door, there was no disinfection. That was the door through which we removed the bodies. Each room had its own exit door [Document 3: Figures 3 and 4].

The room I have just been described is faithfully reproduced in the drawing made by by M. Nosal, an engineer living in Oswiecim. This cottage was designated Bunker 2 …

After the construction at Birkenau of Krematorium II, the huts situated next to Bunker 2 were also dismantled. The pits were filled with earth and the surface was smoothed. The Bunker itself was kept until the end . It remained unused for a long time and then was started up again for gassing the Hungarian Jews. They then built new huts and dug new pits...

Bunker 2 could contain over 2000 people in all its rooms [see above comments on this point] ...

I would like to point out that the window fittings of Bunkers 1 and 2 and the doors of these Bunkers and of Krematoriun IV and V were similar and made of the same wood…”

S. Dragon went to live in Israel. He was a witness at the 25th session of the Dejaco Ertl trial in Vienna on 1st March 1972. When the hearing was resumed at 1 p.m., he stated that he had worked in a Krematorium which was a small building with a gas chamber and stated that “Dieses Gebaüde war aussen weiss / this building was white on the outside.” He was, in fact, speaking of Bunker 2. S. Dragon's total confusion between Krematorium I and Bunker 2 caused the hearing to be suspended so that a Hebrew interpreter could be called. At the 26th session on 2nd March, he very honestly said “Ich kann mich heute nach 30 Jaren nicht mehr erinnern ... / I can't remember today after 30 years...” He had also forgotten the drawings (1 and 2) and 2] made in 1945 according to his indications. The intervening time had done its work, a blessing for the witness, a disaster for justice and for History. I have added this anecdote to show the irreplaceable value of early testimony. Afterwards, witnesses constantly go over the same story, altering it as the years go by.  
Document 3

Document 3:

Drawings by the author to illustrate S. Dragon’s testimony regarding the notices on the doors
of the gas chambers of Bunker 2.  
    Translation of inscriptions:             
   ·   Façade sud est / South-east elevation   
   Figure 1: exterior open —    “TO THE BATHS”   
   Figure 2: exterior closed —  “High tension - Danger”    
   Figure 3: interior closed —   “TO DISINFECTION”    
    Figure 4: Chambre à gas 2 / Gas chamber 2    
Technique and operation
of the gas chambers

Jean-Claude Pressac
© 1989, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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