of Rudolf's Vrba's testimony at the January 1985
'False News' trial of Ernst Zündel? A
discussion thread entitled 'Did
the Nazis use prisoners as Christmas
at the Third Reich Forum failed to shed further light on
this 'well-known' event. See
press coverage of Vrba's testimony.
Christie (left). You, in your book, describe a
situation where the guards forced the prisoners to sing
"Silent Night" at Christmas time, and if they didn't sing
properly they were sent to bed without supper. Is that
Rudolf Vrba. That is right partially. Others
Q.They were murdered for not singing "Silent Night"
A. That's right. And if I may add another legal point
of view, I have been approached by the German Embassy,
German Consulate in Vancouver three months ago on the
case of investigation of the well-known event in
Auschwitz I and Birkenau, that during Christmas of 1942
they put up a great Christmas Tree and brought there a
number of prisoners, killed them and hanged them over
that Christmas Tree and proclaimed that this is a
suitable ornamentation at this period in this place. This
became an investigation. The perpetrators of the crime
are known by name to the Consul General of the Federal
Republic of Vancouver, and I am sure he will be more than
willing to provide you with the documentation.
Douglas Christie. I'm sorry, I don't think
you've given me the answer to my question as to whether
you were in Krematorium No. I in Auschwitz.
Rudolf Vrba. No, I was not in Krematoria -- oh,
A. Yes, I was.
Q. Were people being gassed there at the time?
A. No, they were not gassed, and there was a
particular occasion when I went into that crematoria and
Q. I see.
A. There must have been a particular reason, because
it was not a walking sort of distance.
A. When I was working in "Kanada"
[the warehouse for looted
property], in November 1942, I have been taken
to the dumping truck to Krematoria I in Auschwitz. The
Krematoria I in Auschwitz was on yard -- that yard on the
lefthand side had, to my recollection Krematorium I, and
to the righthand side there was a hospital for S.S. The
best would be, again, if I show it on a -- do I have
Q. What I would really like to do isp. 1475
deal with the diagram we have in our hands. This is
Birkenau we are dealing with.
I asked you if you had been in Krema I in Auschwitz when
people were being gassed, and I think the answer is no.
A. The answer is no. I went there for collecting their
clothes from the gas chamber in Krematorium I.
Q. From the gas chamber?
Q. Were you inside?
Q. What did the gas chamber look like?
A. It was originally a garage which connected the S.S.
barracks with that small crematorium.
A. And there were garage doors.
A. And the roof was reinforced with earth. The inside
was dark. The door was opened ---
Q. How wide were the doors?
A. Like a good garage door, and two side opening to
A. We went in under the pretext that we are collecting
-- not under the pretext, under the order to collect the
clothes which were there.
Consequently, as I understood, the people had to
undress before they went into that gas chamber.p. 1476
Q. You are telling us ---
Then they were gassed, and then, because there were
clothes in the yard in front of the hospital, they were
shoved in the gas chamber before they were taken out. So
I understand that was my job at that time, so I collected
Q. The clothes were in the gas chamber.
A reader comments: A
look at the plan of the crematorium in the book by
Robert Jan Van
Pelt Auschwitz 1270 to the Present shows that
the "gas chamber" was originally designated as a morgue.
Vrba's characterisation of it as a 'garage' defies
obvious explanation. Furthermore, his description,
apparently positing a third entrance to the room, does
not accord with the original plan either.