Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer- Saturday 3rd February 1945
HORRORS OF A GERMAN MURDER FACTORY
Conveyor Belt Killed Victims and Carried Them to Furnaces
THE Osweicim murder factory puts even Maidenek in the shade.” This comment, from a correspondent who has visited the great concentration camp at Osweicim, in Silesia, now in Russian hands, covers a tale of horror. Osweicim, for example, boasted a conveyor belt for the dead. With unparalleled efficiency this not only electrocuted the Nazis’ victims, but also conveyed their bodies straight into furnaces.. ” The first shock that Osweicim gives you its enormous size,” writes Boris Polevoy, a well-known Russian journalist, in “Pravda ” to-day. There is dozen square miles saturated with human blood, and literally blanketed with human ashes. I saw enormous fields and vegetable gardens nestling the valleys of the Vistula and Sola Rivers, fertilised by the ashes and bone powder of the Nazi victims. ” This was a great industry, with many departments, each specialising in a certain function.. There were offices for sorting the victims, according to age and strength, according to whether they could perform some labour before they were executed. There were offices for old men, and for women and children and invalids who were condemned to immediate destruction.
There was another department for semi-invalids, who were forced to sort the clothes of those who had already been murdered. “But the main department was the ‘smelting furnace’ (that is what the Nazis called it) where, after elaborate tortures, the victims were burned.” Nobody knows how many people died at Osweicim. But the estimate of 1.500,000 has been made, starting from the time when the Germans used the crude bullet, the days of electrocution and the “smelting furnace.” This much is known. Between 1941 until early in 1943, between five and eight trains a day, loaded to the limit with Russians, Poles, Jews, Czechs, Frenchmen and Jugoslavs, arrived at the Osweicim concentration camp. The railway wagons were always Jammed to the doors —which were sealed. The trains, staffed by men specially detached for this business, always returned from Oswelcim empty. Before Maidenek This was where the great technique of murder on a mass scale was first developed, long before Maidenek. The early methods here were primitive, says Polevoy. The Nazis made their victims lie prone the bottom of a ditch, machine-gunned them, piled another row top of them and then made the next victims fill in what was left of the ditch. There are literally several hundreds of these old ” graves” still left at Osweicim. Later, more methods were Introduced. Plant was mechanised, gas-chambers built, and ” smelting furnaces and crematoria erected. Then Maidenek was discovered, and the Germans—at Osweicim—got into a panic. When they saw retreat was certain they tried to hide the evidence of their mass murder, just as they had done Maidenek. Polovey writes: “The portable apparatus for the extermination of children was removed, and the gas chambers were altered and rebuilt into innocent-looking garages. But the evidence of the annihilation millions people cannot wiped out entirely. And there are still inmates of the camp here who can tell the whole story.
. “Then Maidenek was discovered, and the Germans—at Osweicim—got into a panic. When they saw retreat was certain they tried 10 hide the evidence of their mass murder,”
Hide the evidence?
Yes because those fiendish Nazis knew that if they were captured and tried by a Soviet court without any evidence of mass murder the Communists would simply have to let them go free!