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                        Technique and Operation
                            of the Gas Chambers ©
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  Bauleitung drawing 2003
[PMO Archives, file BW 30/12, neg. no. 20922/4] 
  Krematorium im KLG / Krematorium in POW camp   
  Deckblatt zu Zeichnung Nr 932 u. 933 / Correction sheet to drawings 932 and 933   
  Verlegung des Kellerzuganges an die Strassenseite /
Relocation of the basement access to the side nearest the road 
  Kellergeschoss / Basement   
  Erdgegeschoss / Ground floor   
  M./ Scale 1:100   
  [Krematorium II of Birkenau POW camp. BW 30]   
  Drawn on 19/12/42 by SS Second Lieutenant Dejaco and approved on 5/1/43 by SS Captain Bischoff    
  Translation of inscriptions:
(left to right and top to bottom)  
·   Leichenkeller 2   
·   Büro / Office   
·   Tresor / Strongroom   
·   W.F. u. Vorplatz / Windbreak and anteroom   
·   Vorraum / Vestibule   
·   Goldarbeit / Goldworking   
·   Aufzug / Corpse lift   
·   Leichenkeller 1   
·   Nicht unkellert / Without basement   
Ground floor:  
·   Kellereingang / Access to basement    
·   WC    
·   W.R / Wash room   
·   Abstellraum / Store   
·   Sezierraum / Dissection room   
·   Waschraum / [Corpse] washing room   
·   Krem. Eingang / Krematorium entrance    
·   W.F. / Windbreak    
·   Flur / Corridor    
·   Aufzug / Corpse lift    
·   Ofen / Furnace   

 Bauleitung drawing 2003
Bauleitung drawing 2003

Bauleitung drawing 2003, drawn by Dejaco himself, is of the utmost importance in the evolution of the plans for Krematorium Il and marks the transition from a "normal" crematorium fitted with a corpse chute supplying three underground morgues to an "abnormal" complex that cannot fit any logic other than criminal.

The new arrangement of the basement shows the following modifications as compared with drawings 932, 933 and 1311:  
1. The double door of Leichenkeller 1 now opens outwards (it had been realized that it would be impossible to open the doors of the gas chamber if they opened inwards, as in the original design);

2. The corpse chute has been eliminated (a vital point, implying that since this was no longer required the Leichenkeller could no longer be morgues in any normal sense, or else that the “corpses” arrived on foot.

3 The installation of an access stairway leading directly from the north yard of Krematorium II to a basement antechamber between the goldworking room and the associated office, and then to the junction between Leichenkeller 2 and 1. The western access stairway direct to Leichenkeller 2 was not yet planned [the first mention of it found in the PMO Bauleitung files being dated 26th February 1943], so that the stairs drawn by Dejaco became the ONLY POSSIBLE ACCESS to the Leichenkeller, through which the “corpses” had to pass. Replacing a chute designed to take corpses by an ordinary stairway defies all logic — unless the future corpses entered while they were still living and could walk down the stairs. But if the basement was being filled with live people, what could the function of the “morgues” now be?   
Technique and operation
of the gas chambers

Jean-Claude Pressac
© 1989, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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