We invited readers to comment on the story by CNN's Steve Goldberg, "Barber to the SS, witness to the Holocaust," in which former Polish prisoner at Auschwitz, Joszef Paczynski, (right), claimed to have witnessed gassings in the building opposite by looking through roof tiles.
I JUST wanted to point out a problem I have with the Joszef Paczynski story. The man claims to have witnessed a gassing from the attic of the building he and other inmates worked in. He creates this story of the risk he took to sneak into the attic and lift a tile.
YOU solicited evidence in connection with the January 26, 2005 CNN gas chamber story where a Mr. Paczynski said, "I went to the attic of the building, stood on a box and lifted the roof tiles a bit, and I could see exactly what was going on."
For one thing, we can look at roofing materials. With common asphalt tile roofing a penetration from below would entail punching a hole up through the supportive sheathing and underlayment, and this wrecking crew operation would have alerted the "very polite" SS officers whose every word was discernable. If he could hear them, they could hear him.
The only other possibility is that the tiles in play here were masonry, either clay or concrete, both of which are interlocking and can be supported by a relatively open framework skeleton. I suppose such interlocking ceramic tiles could be hiked up "a bit" to provide the glimpse described, but our narrator doesn't mention the fork lift or set of hydraulic jacks that would make this operation feasible.
Also, while the narrator "stood on a box" below the roof he'd perforated, all sounds reaching his ears would be attenuated and non-directional. A little further along, through this same low-tech orifice, our auditioner heard "loud screams" penetrating the massive masonry walls, floor and ceiling of a neighboring building. He didn't say anything about peephole gas chamber doors with hermetic seals that we've run into time and time again, but in their absence we'd have the gas wafting out and the victims straggling off. However, to the profound detriment of our narrator, the closure of these gas tight doors that would have precipitated screaming would also have precluded any such sound from reaching him.
WELL, this is very interesting story with the usual "chronological flaws" of dates and places.
Now the SS men have their hair cut every day after the "gassings" and Rudolph Höss left the camp two months earlier than thought and they aren't using the "Little Red Farmhouse", the converted bunkers outside Auschwit/Birkenau, but are gassing the victims in the main camp 1.6 kilometers from Birkenau. Obviously, our "barber" has his dates confused and the location of the "barber shop" as well.
This is the best story since the Polish female was saved from the "gas chambers" by Dr. Joseph Mengele in December of 1942, while he was still with his Waffen SS unit in Russia. Dr. Mengele did not arrive at Auschwitz until May 23, 1943 after being wounded in Russia and being given the choice of going back to the Eastern Front or serving in a concentration camp system. (See Danuta Czech's Kalendarium)
Little wonder that Josef Stalin had the first "Holocaust book", The Black Book of the Jewish People, by Ilya Ehrenburg and Vassily Grossman destroyed when they published the story of the "gigantic electrocution device/ crematorium plate that was allegedly used at Belzec to exterminate the victims. Josef Stalin was no fool . . . . and shortly thereafter the "gas chamber" story took the center stage and the "evidence" was constructed at Auschwitz in 1948. Say Stalin was planning another "Holocaust" against the Jewish people when he mysteriously died two days before their shipment to Siberia? Excellent timing to say the least for the standpoint of the victims (Source: Edvard Radzinsky's book, Stalin)
If these "survivors" must embellish the "truth" (whatever it is), they should at least consult the published timeline so that their "extraordinary" tales of mayhem and death more closely corresponds to what is actually known about these camps and their history.
WE just read this article and your comment about Paczynski. We can understand your point and the so-called search for your truth. Well, we can also understand your attitude about Paczynski's perception. Both Paczynski's and your attitude may be hypothetical. But we believe Paczynski's. Why? Because he was there, and you were not. You're the writer, he's the barber. He's Polish, you're English. It does matter, no matter what you may think about that. Now, talking about slitting Hoss's throat? Why didn't Churchill use his "genius" to slit Stalin's throat? It's absurd, isn't it?
[...] Although he's 85, Paczynski may sleep sweetly, others may dream their nightmares that will never end.