Mussfeldt, Erich

Erich Mussfeldt
Erich Mussfeldt

Erich Mussfeldt (18 Feb. 1913 – 24 Jan. 1948), SS Oberscharführer, was deployed to the Auschwitz Main Camp in August 1940 as a labor unit leader, and then as a block leader. In November of 1941, he was transferred to the Majdanek Camp, where he was put in charge of cremations, after the provisional crematorium at Majdanek, with two mobile oil-fired furnaces, became operational in June 1942. Until then, deceased inmates had been buried in mass graves.

Starting in February 1943, Mussfeldt is said to have been put in charge of exhuming and cremating the bodies in these mass graves by way of open-air incinerations within the context of the so-called Aktion 1005.

In May 1944, he was transferred to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp, and there put in charge of Crematoria II and III.

After the war, he was arrested by U.S. troops and, during one of the infamous Dachau show trials, sentenced to life imprisonment. After this, he was extradited to Poland, where he was one of the 40 defendants during the Krakow show trial against former members of the Auschwitz camp staff. He was sentenced to death and subsequently executed.

While in Polish captivity, Mussfeldt signed various statements. Having suffered through one of the U.S. American Dachau trials, where SS defendants were routinely severely tortured to extract confessions, and having been subjected to Polish imprisonment using gentler, but no less effective Stalinist means of softening up defendants, Mussfeldt showed some resilience by insisting, for instance, that the furnaces he operated at Majdanek could cremate only one corpse per muffle and would take an hour to do so (Graf/Mattogno 2012, p. 112). However, when asked about the more-primitive cremation furnaces at Auschwitz, he stated that they could cremate three bodies per muffle within half an hour, hence six times of what was physically possible (Mattogno 2019, p. 287).

On the other hand, he compromised with his oppressors by giving them a detailed description of a mass shooting at which he claims to have been a mere forced observer: the alleged execution of some 17,000 Jews at the Majdanek Camp within just one day, 3 November 1943, in what was later dubbed Operation “Harvest Festival.” This was a completely made-up event whose mainstream narrative rests predominantly on Mussfeldt’s physically and organizationally impossible account. Mussfeldt claims to have subsequently supervised the burning of the victims with open-air incinerations.

It goes without saying that it can be excluded with certainty that any superior would have ordered, hence forced, Mussfeldt to be present at the presumably 10-hour-long mass shooting of 17,000 camp inmates. What would have been the point of this, except terrorizing a subordinate?

Mussfeldt was basically forced to confirm and flesh out atrocity claims that had been circulated by the Polish resistance movement since late 1943. (See the entry on Operation “Harvest Festival,” as well as Graf/Mattogno 2012, pp. 212-228.)

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