Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
A cremation fraud, pp. 93-94 PDF (473.6 KB)
In the gas chambers-where the prisoners were told to take a shower bath, and were then exterminated-we saw a large skull and crossbones painted on the door of the deadly chamber warn- ing the attendants of the danger; in this chamber 80 men were killed at one time in 4 or 5 minutes. A Cremation Fraud The large cremation ovens resembled huge baker's ovens. Two bodies were cremated at the same time. In the cremation room was a large sign in German, "Cleanliness is your duty. Don't for- get to wash your hands." Then in the inspection of horrors we were taken to the room where the Nazis stored the ashes of the cremated victims. The ashes were placed in pots resembling small flower-pots-we were told that the Nazis sold these ashes to the families of the deceased for 1,000 marks. The families thought they were receiving the ashes of their loved ones, but in reality the Nazis had filled the pots from a huge vat containing ashes of all the cremated prisoners. Going to the execution yard where the Nazis shot prisoners, we were told that the prisoners were placed behind a bamboo screen, through which the soldiers fired their volley, murdering their vic- tims. We saw also the two notorious trees from which the Nazis hung certain victims. Wherever we went in the environment of the horror chamber, we smelled the sickly odor of death. The bodies, however, had been removed by impressed German labor. We took time to visit the Red Cross building with its huge Red Cross signs on the roof. Here on the site occupied by workers of mercy the Nazis had maintained an arsenal of bombs, guns, etc. We were sick at heart as we came away from the place of gas chambers, cremations, and other atrocities. It was all a pitiful, al- most incredible sight. 93
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