The Vergasungskeller document (Nuremberg trials document NO-4473) was a letter written on January 29, 1943 by SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Bischoff to SS-Oberführer Hans Kammler concerning Crema II in Birkenau (see image below). I have previously written about another letter attributed to Bischoff in this article. Both letters are used by Holocaust fabulists to promote their narrative, but unfortunately for them, under examination both letters fail to provide evidence for their story.
Just so I don’t get accused of building a strawman, I will present a couple claims from Holocaust fabulists. The following is a claim about the Vergasungskeller document (VD) from a Holocaust fabulist on Twitter (I mean X):
One of the other documents that calls the basement room in Crema II a corpse cellar, or Leichenkeller, would be the blueprints of the building (see image below). There is nothing sinister about a storage for corpses in a crematorium. As far as the claim that there were shower heads in the room of the alleged gas chamber, there is no physical evidence for that, as the building was destroyed before Birkenau’s liberation. Official Holocaust fabulists also admit that they do not know for certain what the door to the alleged gas chamber looked like. Besides, having a gastight door does not automatically make a room a homicidal gas chamber.
In this letter, the word “Vergasungskeller” is used to describe the supposed “morgue.” That word means exactly what it sounds like: “gassing cellar,” a (homicidal) gas chamber. This was a slip which not only proves that there was a gas chamber in Krema II, but that the architect Bischoff knew exactly what he was constructing.
HHP is quite confident that this letter is the smoking gun for proof of the alleged homicidal gas chambers. However, not all Holocaust fabulists agree. Celebrated Holocaust fabulist Jean-Claude Pressac disagrees with HHP’s hardline stance on the matter. From his book, Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers, he states:
To affirm, SOLELY on the basis of the letter of 29th January 1943 that the term “Vergassungskeller” designated a homicidal gas chamber installed in Leichenkeller 1 / corpse cellar 1 of Krematorium II was irresponsible, for though “gas chamber” was correct, there was no proof that it was “homicidal” . . . . The letter shows that the SS called Leichenkeller 1 of Krematorium II the Vergassungskeller / gassing cellar. The existence of a gas chamber in the basement of Krematorium II is thus proven, BUT THAT IS ALL. It is not until this “slip” is compared with and united with others, that the evidence that this was in fact a homicidal gas chamber becomes overwhelming.
According to Pressac, the letter on its own does not prove the existence of a homicidal gas chamber. Of course, Pressac then relies on the “taken as a whole” trope to say that the VD be used as evidence of a homicidal gas chamber. I assume that both HHP and Pressac call the use of the term “Vergassungskeller” a “slip” because the word was underlined in the original document. However, there is no real way to know when or why this word was underlined. It just adds to the mystery.
To unravel this mystery let’s see what the letter actually says. The following translation is from the HHP:
Except for some minor construction work, Krematorium II was finished by working with all our available forces day and night, despite inexpressible difficulties and freezing weather. The ovens were fired in the presence of the senior engineer Prüfer of the executing firm, Topf and Sons, Erfurt, and they are working faultlessly. The reinforced concrete ceiling of the morgue could not yet be eliminated due to the freezing weather. However, this is not significant, as the gassing cellar can be used for this purpose.
Due to the railway car prohibition, the company Topf and Sons could not deliver the aeration and deaeration equipment at the time demanded by the Zentralbauleitung. After the aeration and deaeration equipment arrive, however, installation will begin immediately, so that presumably by February 20, 1943, it will be completely ready for operation.
Enclosed find a report of the inspecting engineer of the firm of Topf and Sons.”
Yes, the term Vergasungskeller, or gas cellar, is in there. The translation from above is a little confusing though. What does Bischoff mean by the concrete ceiling of the morgue could not be eliminated? For clarification let’s look at the following translation from Carlo Mattogno’s book, The Real Case for Auschwitz:
Crematorium II has been completed, except for minor details, by using all available manpower, in spite of extreme difficulties and severe frost and by running day and night shifts. The furnaces were fired up in the presence of senior engineer Prüfer of the contracting firm, Messrs. Topf & Söhne of Erfurt, and function perfectly. The planking of the reinforced concrete ceiling of the corpse cellar could not yet be stripped because of the effect of frost. This is, however, of no importance, because the gassing cellar can be
used for this instead.
On account of freight restrictions, Topf & Söhne have as yet been unable to supply in time the aeration and de-aeration system as requested by Zentralbauleitung. On arrival of the aeration and de-aeration equipment installation will proceed immediately, and it is expected that the unit will be ready for operation on February 20, 1943.(source page 52)
You can see why HHP’s translation of the VD is confusing because it seems to be leaving out details for some reason. One could only speculate as to why.
In order for this reference to a “gassing cellar” to be evidence for the official Holocaust narrative Bischoff would have to be calling the morgue, or Leichenkeller 1, in Crema II a gassing cellar. If he is referring to a gassing cellar in any other place than what is claimed to be a homicidal gas chamber, then the whole thing is a wash. It isn’t made clear that the “gassing cellar” is in the same building. Although there are arguments as to why it is referring to the same building, I personally don’t think you can rule out the possibility that Bischoff is referring to a different building.
Both Pressac and Mattogno agree that the morgue with the slats that cannot be taken out is Leichenkeller 2. Let’s take another look at this image from before as a guide. Leichenkeller 2 is where the Jews allegedly got undressed before they entered the alleged gas chamber. If Bischoff is indeed referring to Leichenkeller 1 as the “gassing cellar” he would be saying that it can be used for the undressing room. As you’ll recall the VD said, “The reinforced concrete ceiling of the morgue [Leichenkeller 2] could not yet be eliminated due to the freezing weather. However, this is not significant, as the gassing cellar [Leichenkeller 1] can be used for this purpose.” How exactly could the same room function for both an undressing room and gas chamber at the same time? Doesn’t make much sense.
But there’s more. We have to take the rest of the VD into account, Bischoff talks about equipment not being able to be delivered in time. To quote Mattogno:
Topf had not yet shipped the “aeration and de-aeration system” “on account of freight restrictions,” the “Vergasungskeller” could not have been operational as a homicidal gas chamber. The interpretation of official historiography – the undressing room for the victims is not operational but that is of no importance, because the homicidal gas chamber could be used for this purpose – is thus nonsensical a fortiori: if the alleged homicidal gas chamber was not operational, why should it be used as an undressing hall for victims? And victims of what, if the homicidal gas chamber did not work?(source page 54)
Simply put, the official Holocaust narrative does not work within the context of the letter. Something else was going on. Mattogno believes that due to the typhus epidemic that Auschwitz/Birkenau was experiencing the “gassing cellar” was planned to be used as a delousing chamber. You can see his full argument with supporting documents on pages 54-65 of his book that I have previously mentioned, The Real Case for Auschwitz. I find Mattogno’s case to be most the most compelling. However, there are other theories, such as the use of the “gassing cellar” as an air raid shelter. You can read about that and more on this thread from the CoDoH forum.
Holocaust fabulists use circular logic to declare that the VD is proof of homicidal gas chambers. However, as I have demonstrated, not only are there are multiple plausible explanations, but the official narrative does not make sense within the context of the letter. The VD is not the smoking gun that some Holocaust fabulists portray it to be.