|AuschwitzPage 1234||BirkenauPage 123||Other||Plaszów
The entrance to Crematorium 1. The largest room in the crematorium was the mortuary, which was converted into a temporary gas chamber. During the years 1941 and 1942 Soviet POWs, as well as Jews from the ghettos formed by the Nazis in Silesia, were killed here.
"Höss and his colleagues soon realised
that using the camp crematorium as a place of murder created difficulties
for them. The biggest problem they faced was the level of noise
caused by their murders: 'In order to stifle the screams there
were motors,' recalls Józef Paczyñski, 'Two motorcycles
were revving so that no one would hear the cries. People were
yelling and then becoming weaker and weaker. They had those motorcycles
to conceal the yelling, but they failed. They gave it a try but
it didn't work.' The noise of screaming from inside the improvised
gas chamber was never adequately masked by the revving of the
engines, and the position of the crematorium so near the other
buildings of the camp meant that it was impossible to hide the
murders from the other inmates."