Paragraph 2: "I have been constantly associated with the
administration of concentration camps since 1934, serving at Dachau until
1938; then as Adjutant in Sachsenhausen from 1938 - 5/1/1940, when I was
appointed Kommandant of Auschwitz. I commanded Auschwitz until 12/1/1943
and estimate that at least 2.5 million victims were executed and exterminated
there by gassing and burning, and at least another half million succumbed
to starvation and disease making a total dead of about 3 million. This
figure represents about 70-80% of all persons sent to Auschwitz as prisoners,
the remainder having been selected and used for slave labor in the concentration
camp industries; included among the executed and burned were approximately
20,000 Russian prisoners of war (previously screened out of prisoner-of-war
cages by the Gestapo) who were delivered at Auschwitz in Wehrmacht transports
operated by regular Wehrmacht officers and men. The remainder of the total
number of victims included about 100,000 German Jews, and great numbers
of citizens, mostly Jewish, from Holland, France, Belgium, Poland, Hungary,
Czechoslovakia, Greece, or other countries. We executed about 400,000 Hungarian
Jews alone at Auschwitz in the summer of 1944."
Paragraph 4: "Mass executions by gassing commenced during
the summer of 1941 and continued until fall 1944. I personally supervised
executions at Auschwitz until 12/1/1943 and know by reason of my continued
duties in the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps, WVHA, that these mass
executions continued as stated above. All mass executions by gassing took
place under the direct order, supervision, and responsibility of RSHA.
I received all orders for carrying out these mass executions directly from
Paragraph 6: "The 'Final Solution' of the Jewish question
meant the complete extermination of all Jews in Europe. I was ordered to
establish extermination facilities at Auschwitz in 6/1941. At that time,
there were already in the General Government three other extermination
camps: Belzek, Treblinka and Wolzek. These camps were under the Einsatzkommando
of the Security Police and SD. I visited Treblinka to find out how they
carried out their exterminations. The camp commandant at Treblinka told
me that he had liquidated 80,000 in the course of one-half year. He was
principally concerned with liquidating all the Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto.
He used monoxide gas, and I did not think that his methods were very efficient.
So when I set up the extermination building at Auschwitz, I used Zyklon
B, which was a crystallized prussic acid which we dropped into the death
chamber from a small opening. It took from 3-15 minutes to kill the people
in the death chamber, depending upon climatic conditions. We knew when
the people were dead because their screaming stopped. We usually waited
about one-half hour before we opened the doors and removed the bodies.
After the bodies were removed our special Kommandos took off the rings
and extracted the gold from the teeth of the corpses."
Paragraph 7: "Another improvement we made over Treblinka
was that we built our gas chamber to accommodate 2000 people at one time
whereas at Treblinka their 10 gas chambers only accommodated 200 people
each. The way we selected our victims was as follows: We had two SS doctors
on duty at Auschwitz to examine the incoming transports of prisoners. The
prisoners would be marched by one of the doctors who would make spot decisions
as they walked by. Those who were fit for work were sent into the camp.
Others were sent immediately to the extermination plants. Children of tender
years were invariably exterminated since by reason of their youth they
were unable to work. Still another improvement we made over Treblinka was
that at Treblinka the victims almost always knew that they were to be exterminated
and at Auschwitz we endeavored to fool the victims into thinking that they
were to go through a delousing process. Of course, frequently they realized
our true intentions and we sometimes had riots and difficulties due to
that fact. Very frequently women would hide their children under the clothes,
but of course when we found them we would send the children in to be exterminated.
We were required to carry out these exterminations in secrecy but of course
the foul and nauseating stench from the continuous burning of bodies permeated
the entire area and all of the people living in the surrounding communities
knew that exterminations were going on at Auschwitz."
"I understand English as it is written above. The above statements
are true; this declaration is made by me voluntarily and without compulsion;
after reading over the statement I have signed and executed the same at
Nuremberg, Germany, on the 4/5/1946." - Rudolf Höss.
During his testimony in the court room, a question by Kurt Kauffmann,
Defense Counsel for Ernst Kaltenbrunner...
Dr. Kauffmann: Did you yourself ever feel pity with the victims,
thinking of your own family and children? How was it possible for you to
carry out these actions in spite of this?
Höss: In view of all these doubts which I had, the only
one and decisive argument was the strict order and the reason given for
it by Reichsführer Himmler.