Swiss Report Gives Details of Nazi System of Gassing Jews

The correspondent of the New York Times in Switzerland today cables further quotes from the 9,000-word report issued by the Very Rev. Paul Voght, head of the Refugee Relief Committee in Zurich, after checking and re-checking the facts on the Nazi mass-slaughter of 1,715,000 Jews in the Birkenau and Auschwitz “extermination camps” in Upper Silesia from April 1942 till April 1944.

Emphasizing that many of the victims are tortured before they reach the camps, the report says that on their arrival at one of the two camps — the administration of which is directed by Elite Guard Untersturmfuehrer Schwarzhuber, “a sadistic drunkard from the Tyrol”– the refugees are sorted into batches of 100 or so and taken to “bathing” sheds, where, after having been stripped and completely shaved, they are “deloused” with a solution of strong disinfectant and carbolic acid that burns their skins off. On leaving this shed they pass through a tunnel to a second “enumeration” shed with a typewritten slip bearing a serial number “proving” that they have been deloused.

Here, still naked, batches of men and women are tattooed with the numbers that they have on their slips of paper “under the most primitive and inhumane conditions, which often lead to fatal blood poisoning — which in itself is often a merciful alternative.” Two fugitives from the Slovak extermination campaign who fled at three-month intervals and “are now on neutral soil” bear physical confirmation of this tattooing operation — one with a five-figure numeral on his left leg and the other with a six-numeral figure considerably above the 200,000 mark on his.

NAKED PRISONERS GIVEN RAGGED RUSSIAN UNIFORMS TO WEAR

The tale of the six-figure fugitive is quoted by Dr. Voght’s report, the New York Times correspondent points out. “From the tattooing shed,” he said, “we were riven to a cellar where we received a sort of prisoner’s ‘uniform’ that was later ‘exchanged’ for a ragged Russian soldier uniform scarcely adequate to cover our nakedness, let alone give us warmth from the cruel temperatures.” The purpose of any clothing at all, in the refugee’s opinion, was to bear “other indications,” such as nationality and “degree of offense” of each person. Women in the tattooing sheds were tattooed on their breasts, according to the same witness.”

NEXT STORY