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Apr
03
2010

Traces of a Chimera, or Bełżec’s Vanishing Gas Chamber Building

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By Thomas Kues

1. The Alleged Second Phase Gas Chamber Building at Bełżec

According Israeli historian Yitzhak Arad [1] the first gas chamber building at Bełżec, a wooden barrack containing three chambers each measuring 4 x 8 meters, was torn down sometime in late June 1942 and replaced with a larger, more solid building measuring 24 x 10 meters and containing six separate gas chambers, each measuring 4 x 8 (or possibly 4 x 5 or 5 x 5) meters. As for the construction material, Arad quotes the Jewish key witness Rudolf Reder, who in 1946 stated that the building was made “of grey concrete”. The former SS-Untersturmführer Josef Oberhauser described it as “a massive new building” in his testimony.[2] The witness Wilhelm Pfannenstiel testified that “the building that housed the gas chambers was made of concrete”.[3] That the building was made of brick and/or concrete was accepted also by the verdict of the 1965 Bełżec trial in Munich[4], and has been adopted as a fact by various authoritative works on the Holocaust, such as the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.[5]
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Written by Thomas Kues in: Belzec,Gas Chambers,Operation Reinhardt | Tags: