Holocaust Handbook Volume: 48
Nagging is easy. We actually did a better job! That which is missing in Czech’s Chronicle is included here: day after day of the camp’s history, documents are presented showing that it could not have been an extermination camp: tens of thousands of sick and injured inmates were cared for medically with huge efforts, and the camp authorities tried hard to improve the initially catastrophic hygienic conditions. Part Two contains data on transports, camp occupancy and mortality figures. For the first time, we find out what this camps’ real death toll was. Set of two volumes.
The most important historical-documentary source about Auschwitz published so far is Danuta Czech’s Auschwitz Chronicle, first published in 1989 (German edition). However, the author, working from communist Poland, has given an extremely biased picture of the camp: It is limited to the alleged extermination of Jews and Gypsies, which is presented as virtually the sole purpose of Auschwitz. A separate study (volume 47 of the present series) has documented in detail that Czech’s work is a mendacious conglomeration of assumptions, distortions, inventions and omissions.
The opening of Eastern archives after the collapse of the Eastern bloc has provided access to vast collections of sources, opening up immense historical horizons that require a complete revision of the communist propaganda view of history prevalent during the Cold War, which is attempted herewith.
This present work focuses on sources that were unknown or inaccessible to Czech, or that she intentionally passed over. The purpose is to provide the reader and researcher with a more-comprehensive historical picture of Auschwitz Camp activities. In the first, chronological part of the present study, the focus is on documents concerning the sanitary and medical situation and the planning and construction of the camp. They show, for example, that there were always tens of thousands of prisoners at Auschwitz who were not fit for work: “inpatients”, “invalids” and “juveniles”. Other documents show that a lot of effort was made to nurse sick prisoners back to health. These prisoners were therefore not killed, as Czech could falsely claim by hiding these documents from her readers, but they persistently appear in the documents as alive and kicking.
The only merit of Czech’s Auschwitz Chronicle is the listing of deportation transports that arrived at Auschwitz. However, her approach is purely chronological, making it impossible to get an overall picture. Since compilations of overall figures are far more important than individual data, the statistical aspects of the history of Auschwitz have not been integrated here into the first, calendrical part, but are reproduced in tabular form in the second part. This also lists what Czech reprehensibly neglected: the occupancy rate of the camp as well as the verifiable mortality rates. This also finally provides a definitive answer to the question: How many prisoners demonstrably died in the Auschwitz camp? Moreover, the number of inmates transferred from Auschwitz to other camps in 1944/1945 is meticulously documented: about 280,500 witnesses to what happened at Auschwitz. The Germans had nothing to hide.
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