Saturday, 10 November 2012

3.5m killed at Auschwitz, say Gideon Hausner

Gideon Hausner was the prosecutor at the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann, and soon after became an Israeli politician. The following is from an article he wrote entitled "So That You Will Tell…" which appeared in the 1977 book Sefer Oshpitsin; Oswiecim; Auschwitz memorial, which Joseph Schachter translated into English in 1999.
Oswiecim – or by its German name, Auschwitz – has entered the international lexicon as a symbol of unprecedented atrocities defying human description.
This was the killing field for millions, deliberately chosen as the locus of the extermination of European Jewry. Three and one half million people were exterminated there in the process of mass murder unprecedented in the history of mankind.
During his performance at the Eichmann Show Trial, Hausner had been more ambiguous with his estimates for the death toll, putting it at "millions", but also claiming "millions" of Jews were brought there. He'd also read from the affidavit of Rudolf Vrba, which put the death toll at 2,500,000 (plus or minus 10%). Vrba was the former Auschwitz II (Birkenau) escapee who broke the news of the gas chambers to the world, and purely coincidentally, was a second-cousin of the women who would later secure the confession of Rudolp Hoess.

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