Gradowski, Salmen

Salmen Gradowski is the name that can be found on a set of handwritten documents – one of which is known today as a “diary” – that were allegedly found inside an aluminum container by a Soviet investigative commission on 5 March 1945, near the ruins of the former Crematorium II at Birkenau. The texts, said to be in Yiddish, are stored at the Museum of Military Medical Service in St. Petersburg, and were deciphered and translated by Polish professor Bernard Mark.

One of the documents, a letter dated 6 September 1944, mentions twice that millions of people were exterminated at Auschwitz, and that at the time when this letter was written, “tens of thousands of Jews from the Czech and Slovakian regions” were being murdered. However, the only mass murder of Jews from the region of former Czechoslovakia in the summer of 1944 was the alleged elimination of the Theresienstadt Family Camp (affecting some 7,000 people), which is said to have happened on 10 and 11 July, if we follow the orthodox narrative of events (Czech 1990, pp. 662f.); but this is a mere figment of two witnesses’ vivid yet mendacious imagination (see the entry on the Family Camp). The next such alleged event was the murder of Jews deported from the Theresienstadt Ghetto, but they arrived at Ausch­witz only on 29 September 1944 (Czech 1990, p. 718). Hence, the letter cites exaggerated victim numbers along the line of Soviet post-war propaganda, plus an imaginary event.

The “diary” has Gradowski’s deportation train pass through “the well-known Treblinka train station.” While this camp with its train station was probably well-known to the Soviet investigators who “discovered” the diary, it would have been completely unknown to Gradowski during his alleged deportation in late 1942, and there is no reason why his train would have passed through this station’s minor railway line at all.

About the alleged murder weapon which Gradowski is said to have helped operate (as a member of the Sonderkommando), the diary only fleetingly mentions “the gas chamber,” nothing more. If these homicidal gas chambers had been real, any diary would be full of references to this object of horrors, with detailed descriptions.

Another manuscript attributed to Gradowski, also in Yiddish, is also said to have been dug up near the ruins of one of the former Birkenau crematoria by some unnamed, probably Polish civilian. The partly damaged text was eventually deciphered, translated and then published in Israel. The text exudes a sugary rhetoric of sentimental lyricism, often bordering on the ridiculous. At the beginning, the text, in an attempt to prevent being dismissed as “atrocity propaganda,” appeals to future information that will confirm the “terrible secret,” although that very text of an alleged member of the Sonderkommando should by all means be the primary source of such information to confirm this “terrible secret.” However, the text contains nothing of substance. Quite to the contrary, it tells one whimsical anecdote after another, like a novel authored by an omnipresent person, seeing, hearing, feeling everything that was happening, and describing at great length and in great detail the vicissitudes of male and female inmates, sounding out their innermost thoughts and emotions, like an all-seeing eye capable of peering through the barrack walls. Here is a list of peculiarities:

  • The text tells a gripping tale of the presumed annihilation of the Jews from the family camp, an event that has been refuted as atrocity propaganda.
  • The cremation furnaces allegedly were kept hot for three days without anything getting burned – a waste of fuel that would not have happened.
  • This text (like other false testimony) used the term “bunker“ to refer to the basement morgues of Crematoria II & III allegedly misused as gas chambers, rather than for the makeshift gassing facilities outside the camp perimeter.
  • In celebration of a mass gassing, all members of the camp’s Political Department allegedly lined up in a room in front of the gas chamber – which is not only obvious nonsense but was also impossible, because there was no room that could have accommodated all these members.
  • The text describes in gripping detail the interaction of a husband and wife inside the gas chamber, for which the author must have stood right next to them. The moment the toxic gas was released, the husband instantly solidified into an immovable statue.
  • After a gassing, two doors with four bolts were opened, but the room in question only had one single-leaf door and no bolts.
  • The opened gas chamber had the “atrocious stench of death,” meaning that the inmates of the Sonderkommando did not wear gas masks (which would have been fatal), but freshly asphyxiated people do not exude much of any smell.
  • The gas turned the pink faces “reddish, purplish or black” – while a hydrogen-cyanide poisoning would have turned faces from a normal to a pinkish hue.
  • Cremating three corpses (two adult and one child) took “a few minutes” (or later, “20 minutes”), when in fact the cremation furnaces at Auschwitz took one hour to cremate one body (see the entry on crematoria).
  • 2,500 people were crammed into the morgue (aka gas chamber) of 210 m², hence a packing density of 12 per square meter, which, if at all possible, would have required training, discipline and the victims’ willing cooperation.
  • A gassing scene contains enough pro-Soviet resistance rhetoric to fill a Stalinist propaganda movie.
  • The victims even sing Israel’s national anthem and predict the country’s resurrection – which hints at this entire fairy tale having been concocted after the founding of the state of Israel (in 1948), and possibly in Israel itself.

Some descriptions of the equipment used inside Crematorium II are rather accurate, which indicates that the author of this text had some reliable knowledge in this regard and may indeed have been a member of the crematorium stokers.

(For details, see Mattogno 2021, pp. 248-259.)

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