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Crematorium

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Crematorium

 

The crematorium grounds were strictly separated from the prisoners’ camp. In the SS camp the path branched off to the crematorium area in front of the Jourhaus. Only the crematorium work detail was permitted to enter this area.

Still preserved today are the first crematorium built in 1940 and the so-called barrack X, built in 1942/43. The gas chamber installed in barrack X was never put into operation for the planned mass extermination.

This area also served as an execution site. The memorials erected at various times after 1950 in the crematorium area commemorate the murdered.

 

Illegal shot of the crematorium with smoking chimney

This secretly taken photo by the Belgian prisoner Jean Brichaux from the summer of 1944 is the only surviving shot of the crematorium facility taken during the existence of the concentration camp.

The photo shows the smoking chimney of the crematorium ovens and is thus the obvious proof for an operating crematorium.

 

 

Crematorium, barrack X, US soldiers in front of a pile of corpses

This photo is one piece of the evidence collected by American war reporters after liberation.

The soldiers are standing in front of a pile of corpses in front of barrack X. The wooden wall behind the pile of corpses is part of the gas chamber. From here the tins of cyanide B were to be thrown into the gas chamber.

The gas chamber was never put into operation as an instrument for mass extermination.

 

Crematorium ovens, barrack X

The photo shows three of the four ovens in the new crematorium, the barrack X.

The crematorium was used to dispose of the corpses from the concentration camp; the ovens were mostly in operation around the clock. At the end of 1944 the ovens were no longer able to cope with the number of corpses from the camp.

The Americans thus found corpses piled up as they liberated the camp at the end of April 1945. The pictures of the piles of bodies became known worldwide and showed the extent and the result of National Socialist persecution and extermination policy and practice.

 

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