Iconic Photo from the Auschwitz Album
The Auschwitz Album is a photographic record of people at Auschwitz-Birkenau during May 1944. One of the most iconic photos in this album shows German SS officers Richard Baer, Josef Mengele, Josef Kramer, and Rudolf Höss smiling and engaging in friendly conversation.
A lady on an Unz discussion thread says these were all extremely evil men who were engaged in a program of mass murder against the Jews. She asked if we recognize any of these men. I certainly do recognize them and, in this article, I discuss the crimes and grave injustices committed against these men after World War II.
Richard Baer, the last commandant of Auschwitz, did not live to see the beginning of his trial in Frankfurt, Germany. He was arrested in December of 1960 in the vicinity of Hamburg. Baer during his pretrial questioning adamantly refused to confirm the existence of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz during World War II.
Baer died in June 1963 under mysterious circumstances while being held in pretrial custody. An autopsy performed on Baer at the Frankfurt-am-Main University School of Medicine stated that the ingestion of an odorless, non-corrosive poison could not be ruled out as the cause of his death. There was no further probe into the cause of Baer’s death, and Chief Public Prosecutor Fritz Bauer ordered his body cremated. Conveniently, the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, Germany began almost immediately after Baer’s death. The statements Baer made during his pretrial interrogations were not read into the trial record. With Baer’s death the prosecutors at the Auschwitz trial were able to attain their primary objective—to reinforce the gas chamber myth and establish it as an unassailable historical fact.1
It has been widely known ever since the illegal abduction of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina that the Israeli Mossad has immense capabilities. Given the fact that Chief Public Prosecutor Bauer was a Zionist Jew, which should have precluded him from heading the pretrial investigation, it is quite possible that the forces of international Jewry were able to murder Baer while he was in jail. If anyone knew the truth about the gas chamber allegation, it was Baer, the last commandant of Auschwitz. Baer’s untimely death prevented him from giving testimony that would have contradicted the official Holocaust narrative. Baer’s death was certainly a relief for the promoters of the Auschwitz trial.2
Josef Mengele was not regarded as a principal war criminal immediately after World War II. After escaping from a U.S. prison camp in Bavaria, Mengele spent the next several years working under an assumed name as a farmhand in Germany. In the summer of 1949, Mengele headed for Argentina, where scores of Germans had found shelter. Since the Cold War in Europe had dampened enthusiasm for prosecuting war criminals, Mengele briefly in the 1950s felt safe from prosecution. Mengele even used his real name in 1958 to become co-owner of a successful pharmaceutical firm.3
Bowing to the pressure of world opinion, the German judiciary issued a warrant for Mengele’s arrest in July 1959, and formally applied to Argentine authorities for his extradition. Mengele escaped arrest by moving in the spring of 1960 to Paraguay and then later to Brazil. A reward of $3 million was offered for Mengele’s capture. With the Israeli secret police, Brazilian police, and numerous other Nazi hunters after him, Mengele became one of the most wanted men in the world.4
Mengele’s only son, Rolf, secretly traveled to Brazil in 1977 to talk to his father about what had happened at Auschwitz during the war. Night after night Rolf asked his father about his time in Auschwitz. When Mengele had finally completed his statements, Rolf asked his father why, if he felt so sure of his innocence, he had not turned himself in? Rolf said his father replied, “There are no judges, only avengers.”5
Rolf said that his father stated that he was not responsible for gassings at Auschwitz, and that twins in the camp owed their lives to him. Mengele said that he personally had never harmed anyone in his life. Sensing Rolf’s incredulity, Mengele shouted at him: “Don’t tell me you, my only son, believe what they write about me? On my mother’s life I have never hurt anyone.”6
Eventually, father and son agreed that no useful purpose would be served in pursuing their discussions. Rolf said that, unfortunately, he realized that his father “would never express any remorse or feeling of guilt in my presence.”vii What Rolf Mengele failed to realize is that his father felt no remorse because Mengele was not guilty of the crimes he was accused of committing at Auschwitz.
Mengele’s statements to his son are supported by the evidence. Despite claims that Mengele performed cruel and lethal experiments on twins at Auschwitz, almost all of the twins Mengele enrolled in his research at Auschwitz survived the war. In fact, so many twins survived Mengele’s research that, in 1984, they helped form an association titled Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Experiment Survivors (CANDLE). This association’s name is a misnomer, because if the experiments were deadly, how could there be so many survivors? Also, if young children unable to work had been immediately selected for gassing at Auschwitz as claimed by “Holocaust” historians, how could so many children at Auschwitz survive the war?8
Carlo Mattogno has prepared a long list of children and twins at Auschwitz who survived the camp.9 In addition to the fact that almost all of the twins at Auschwitz survived the camp, Mattogno’s research provides the following reasons why Mengele did not commit his alleged crimes against twins at Auschwitz:
1. The archives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum contain numerous documents signed by Dr. Mengele, but no document attests to Dr. Mengele’s presumed crimes. No document shows that Mengele killed even one child, or that a child was ever killed on his order.
2. The surviving paperwork shows that Mengele’s research was limited to anthropological and behavioral studies, and did not include any surgical or other intrusive procedures.
3. The twins enrolled in Mengele’s program participated in the program for months on end, with none of them dying while under Mengele’s care.10
Much of the evidence against Mengele derives from Jewish Hungarian physician Miklos Nyiszli, who published a book of memoirs shortly after World War II about his experiences at Auschwitz. These memoirs have been used by mainstream historians as the primary source of Mengele’s alleged crimes at Auschwitz. Nyiszli’s memoirs, however, contain numerous errors and weaknesses that call into question the veracity of his claims.11
Nyiszli made numerous false claims in his memoirs about the alleged homicidal gas chambers and crematoria at Birkenau. For example, Nyiszli wrote regarding a crematorium at Birkenau that “what is really impressive is the column of fire 8-10 meters high which gushes from its mouth between the lightning rods at its four corners.”12 As documented by many researchers, it is technically impossible for such huge flames to gush from crematoria.
Nyiszli wrote about the aftermath of gassings at Birkenau:
The bodies do not lie all over the length and breadth of the room but rather in a single, story-high heap. The explanation for this is that the fallen gas granules first permeate the air layer above the concrete floor with their deadly vapors and only gradually saturate the higher layers of air in the room. This forces the unfortunate victims to trample each other, to climb over one another. In the higher layers the gas thus reaches them later. What a terrible struggle for life must take place there, and yet the time won is only one or two minutes in all!13
Nyiszli totally invented these gassings results. Since hydrocyanic vapors are slightly lighter than air, the diffusion of gas in the gas chambers would not rise from the floor to the ceiling. The gassing victims would have no need to climb over one another to escape the poison gas.14 Nyiszli
also incorrectly wrote that the crematoria were located two kilometers from the Birkenau Camp. The crematoria were instead located inside the camp.15
Carlo Mattogno concludes:
Dr. Mengele’s alleged crimes are not proven by any document. No document shows that Mengele ever killed even one single child, or that one single child was ever killed on his orders. The essential and sole witness, the one upon whose testimony the whole accusation was based, was an extraordinarily creative imposter. Dr. Mengele’s closest collaborators, including the presumed essential witness, and at least 543 of his “victims” were allowed to live: but how, then, are we to believe seriously in the fairy tale of the “Angel of Death” of Auschwitz?16
SS Capt. Josef Kramer was the Commandant of Birkenau from May 8, 1944 to November 25, 1944, and of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp from December 1944 to its liberation by the British on April 15, 1945. Kramer was the principal defendant in the Belsen trial conducted by the British in the autumn of 1945. This trial was concluded in November, just as the International Military Tribunal (IMT) was beginning. Kramer was hanged on December 13, 1945.17
Kramer’s first statement to his British interrogators emphasized that he did not know of an extermination program at any of the German camps. Kramer said:
I have heard of the allegations of former prisoners in Auschwitz referring to a gas chamber there, the mass executions and whippings, the cruelty of the guards employed, and that all this took place either in my presence or with my knowledge. All I can say to all this is that it is untrue from beginning to end.18
We know that Kramer and other defendants at the Belsen trial were tortured, sometimes to the point of begging to be put to death.19 British journalist Alan Moorehead, for example, described the treatment of camp personnel at Bergen-Belsen after the British takeover of the camp:
As we approached the cells of the SS guards, the [British] sergeant’s language became ferocious…. The sergeant unbolted the first door and…strode into the cell, jabbing a metal spike in front of him. “Get up” he shouted. “Get up. Get up, you dirty bastards.” There were half a dozen men lying or half lying on the floor. One or two were able to pull themselves erect at once. The man nearest me, his shirt and face splattered with blood, made two attempts before he got on to his knees and then gradually on to his feet. He stood with his arms stretched out in front of him, trembling violently.
“Come on. Get up” the sergeant shouted [in the next cell]. The man was lying in his blood on the floor, a massive figure with a heavy head and bedraggled beard… “Why don’t you kill me?” he whispered. “Why don’t you kill me? I can’t stand it anymore.” The same phrases dribbled out of his lips over and over again. “He’s been saying that all morning, the dirty bastard,” the sergeant said.20
Kramer later changed his statement to his interrogators. Kramer’s change was probably made either in response to his being tortured, or because his defense attorney advised him that he had told a story that could not be accepted by the court.21 Regardless, Kramer did not receive a fair trial. His execution by hanging after the Belsen trial was a foregone conclusion before the trial even began.
Rudolf Höss was the first Commandant of Auschwitz. Richard Glücks, the head of the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps, in April 1940 told Höss that Himmler wanted Höss to set up a new camp in Upper Silesia near the small town of Auschwitz. Höss accepted the offer. Höss appreciated the opportunity to manage things on his own terms, to work hard, and to prove himself capable of running a large camp.22 Five other SS men and 30 Sachsenhausen internees were sent with Höss to begin work on Auschwitz Camp.23
On March 1, 1941, Himmler visited Auschwitz to inspect the camp and talk to Höss about his plans. Himmler told Höss that he was to build a new camp which would be known as Birkenau, or Auschwitz II, and would be capable of housing over 100,000 prisoners. Himmler also said he wanted to build a synthetic rubber plant near Birkenau for IG Farben, which would be staffed by an additional 10,000 prisoners. Himmler said that the expansion of the camp must be accelerated by every available means. Höss agreed to the assignment and fulfilled Himmler’s ambitious plans.24
The British after the war attempted unsuccessfully for many months to find Höss. Frustrated by their inability to locate Höss, the British decided to intimidate his wife and their five children. On March 7, 1945, Jewish British Capt. Howard Harvey Alexander arrested Höss’s wife Hedwig and interrogated her in a prison cell. However, she refused to reveal her husband’s hiding place. Alexander then interrogated Höss’s children, all minors (3 to 16 years old), who had been left behind alone on their farm. Not getting the answers he wanted, Alexander jailed them as well. Hedwig, however, still would not talk.25
Since their tactics of imprisonment and intimidation had failed, the British soldiers decided to use a new approach. A noisy old steam train was driven past the rear of the prison. Alexander burst into Hedwig’s cell and informed her that this train was about to take her son to Siberia, and that she would never see him again. Waiting a few moments to let his message sink in, Alexander told Hedwig that she could prevent her son’s deportation if she told him where her husband was living and under what alias. Alexander left Hedwig sitting on her cot with a piece of paper and a pencil. When Alexander returned 10 minutes later, Hedwig had written a note with Höss’s location and his alias.26
A group of about 25 men were sent the night of March 11, 1946 to arrest Höss. Many of them were German Jews such as Alexander. Some had kept their original names, such as Kuditsch and Wiener; others had taken on British-sounding names, like Roberts, Cresswell and Shiffers. There were also English-born soldiers from Jewish families, such as Bernard Clarke and Karl Abrahams. Most of these men were enraged and eager to take out their revenge on Höss.27
In 1983, the anti-National Socialist book Legions of Death by Rupert Butler documented that Sgt. Bernard Clarke and other British officers tortured Rudolf Höss into making his confession. The torture of Höss was exceptionally brutal. Neither Bernard Clarke nor Rupert Butler finds anything wrong or immoral in the torture of Höss. Neither of them seems to understand the importance of their revelations. Bernard Clarke and Rupert Butler prove that Höss’s confession was obtained by torture.28
Moritz von Schirmeister, a former associate of Joseph Goebbels, confirmed that Höss’s confession was obtained by torture. At Nuremberg, von Schirmeister sat in the backseat of a car together with Höss, with whom he could speak freely during transit. He remembered Höss’s following statement:
On the things he is accused of, he told me: “Certainly, I signed a statement that I killed two and a half million Jews. But I could just as well have said that it was 5 million Jews. There are certain methods by which any confession can be obtained, whether it is true or not.”29
British Pvt. Ken Jones confirmed that the British used sleep deprivation to break Höss. Jones stated:
We sat in the cell with him, night and day, armed with axe handles. Our job was to prod him every time he fell asleep to help break down his resistance. When Höss was taken out for exercise, he was made to wear only jeans and a thin cotton shirt in the bitter cold. After three days and nights without sleep, Höss finally broke down and made a full confession to the authorities.30
The IMT began on November 20, 1945, four months before Höss’s arrest. Whitney Harris, a young American prosecutor at the IMT, was desperate to find a high-ranking German willing to confirm what had taken place in the concentration camps. At Harris’s request, the manacled Höss was transported 300 miles south to Nuremberg.31
On April 1, 1946, Höss was taken to a small office to be interviewed by Harris. The three weeks in British captivity had taken their toll on Höss. Höss’s eyes were bloodshot, his cheeks were unshaven and gaunt, and his frame appeared to be fragile. Expecting to meet a larger man, someone who exuded power and brutality, Harris instead observed that Höss was a shrunken man.32
While Höss waited in his cell to be called as a witness, he was visited by psychologist Dr. Gustave Gilbert, a New Yorker born to Jewish-Austrian immigrants. Gilbert wrote about Höss:
In all of the discussions Höss is quite matter-of-fact and apathetic, shows some belated interest in the enormity of his crime, but gives the impression that it never would have occurred to him if somebody hadn’t asked him. There is too much apathy to leave any suggestion of remorse and even the prospect of hanging does not unduly distress him. One gets the general impression of a man who is intellectually normal but with the schizoid apathy, insensitivity and lack of empathy that could hardly be more extreme in a frank psychotic.33
Dr. Gilbert later wrote after Höss’s testimony at the IMT: “He gave his testimony in the same matter-of-fact, apathetic manner as he had related it to me in his cell.”34 Maj. Leon Goldensohn, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, also remarked that “Höss looked blank and apathetic.”35 It is this author’s opinion that Höss’s “schizoid apathy” and “apathetic manner” were caused by his brutal torture by British soldiers. Höss was not usually described as apathetic before he was tortured.
On April 15, 1946, Höss appeared in court at the IMT. Ernst Kaltenbrunner’s defense lawyer, Dr. Kurt Kauffmann, asked Höss a series of questions designed to prove that Kaltenbrunner had never visited Auschwitz. Höss affirmed that Kaltenbrunner had never visited Auschwitz, and that Kaltenbrunner didn’t order the execution of Jews at this camp.36
U.S. prosecutor Col. John Amen next started reading from an affidavit Höss had signed in front of Whitney Harris on April 5, 1946. Höss’s testimony at the IMT was probably the most important and striking evidence presented there of a German extermination program. Höss in his testimony said that more than two and a half million people were exterminated in the Auschwitz gas chambers, and that another 500,000 inmates had died there of other causes.37 No defender of the Holocaust story today accepts these inflated figures, and other key portions of Höss’s testimony at the IMT are widely acknowledged to be untrue.
Höss’s testimony, however, was reported around the world. A New York Times article described it as the “crushing climax to the case.” The Times in Britain said of Höss’s signed testimony: “Its dreadful implications must surpass any document ever penned.”38 Höss was regarded as the star prosecution witness at the IMT, and his testimony has become the framework for the official Holocaust story.39
Höss’s trial in Poland after the IMT ended on March 29, 1947. As expected, on April 2, 1947, Höss was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. Höss was hanged on April 16, 1947, in front of the old crematorium at the Auschwitz main camp.40
All four of the SS officers in this iconic Auschwitz Album photo were subject to horrific crimes and grave injustice by the Allies after the war. Josef Mengele was the only SS officer in this photo who was not executed by the Allies. However, to avoid execution, Mengele had to take on an assumed name and travel to Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil to avoid being captured by numerous Nazi hunters. Mengele also had the extremely unfair and pejorative label of the “Angel ofDeath” of Auschwitz forever attached to his name.
Rudolf Höss was subject to brutal torture by Allied soldiers before making his famous testimony at the IMT. Hösslater said in private to Moritz von Schirmeister: “Certainly, I signed a statement that I killed two and a half million Jews. But I could just as well have said that it was 5 million Jews. There are certain methods by which any confession can be obtained, whether it is true or not.”41
The anti-National Socialist book Legions of Death by Rupert Butler later documented that Sgt. Bernard Clarke and other British officers tortured Höss into making his famous confession. Even though he was tortured, Höss’s testimony at the IMT became the most important and striking evidence presented of a German extermination program against the Jews. Höss was later hanged on April 16, 1947 for crimes he did not commit.
Richard Baer, the last commandant of Auschwitz, adamantly refused to confirm to his interrogators the existence of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz during World War II. Baer died in June 1963 under mysterious circumstances while being held in pretrial custody. With Baer’s death the prosecutors at the Auschwitz trial were able to attain their primary objective—to reinforce the gas chamber myth.
According to Jewish historian Joseph Burg, this gas chamber myth has forced multiple generations of Germans to pay reparations to Jewish survivors of the “Holocaust.”42
Josef Kramer’s first statement to his British interrogators also emphasized that he did not know of an extermination program at any German camps during World War II. However, Kramer was forced to change his statement, and was predictably hanged at the end of the Belsen trial. His British captors did not give Kramer a fair trial.
Auschwitz is known today as a hellacious camp in which approximately 1 million Jews were murdered as part of a German program of genocide against European Jewry. However, Auschwitz-Birkenau was actually a network of labor camps built to help the German war economy. These camps also housed specific groups of prisoners such as Gypsies, women with children, and the disabled. Auschwitz-Birkenau also served as a transit camp and, initially, as a prisoner of war camp.43
Auschwitz-Birkenau never served as an extermination camp in which the genocide of Europe’s Jews took place. Unfortunately, SS officers such as Richard Baer, Josef Kramer, and Rudolf Höss paid for this falsification of history with their lives, while Josef Mengele had to live the rest of his life as a hunted war criminal. They were among the many victims of the Allied program of genocide against Germans after World War II.44
1 Stäglich, Wilhelm, Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence, Institute for Historical Review, 1990, pp. 238-239.
3 Gutman, Israel and Berenbaum, Michael, Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp, Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1998, pp. 329-330.
4 Ibid., pp. 330-331.
5 Posner, Gerald L. and Ware, John, Mengele: The Complete Story, New York: McGraw Hill Book Company, 1986, pp. 274, 278.
6 Ibid., p. 279.
7 Ibid., pp. 279-280.
8 Rudolf, Germar, “Josef Mengele—the Creation of a Myth,” Inconvenient History, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2017.
9 Mattogno, Carlo and Nyiszli, Miklos, An Auschwitz Doctor’s Eyewitness Account: The Bestselling Tall Tales of Dr. Mengele’s Assistant Analyzed, Uckfield, UK: Castle Hill Publishers, 2020, pp. 391-407.
10 Mattogno, Carlo, “Dr. Mengele’s ‘Medical Experiments’ on Twins in the Birkenau Gypsy Camp,” Inconvenient History, Vol. 5, No. 4, 2013.
11 Mattogno, Carlo and Nyiszli, Miklos, An Auschwitz Doctor’s Eyewitness Account: The Bestselling Tall Tales of Dr. Mengele’s Assistant Analyzed, Uckfield, UK: Castle Hill Publishers, 2020, pp. 9-16.
12 Ibid., p. 22.
13 Ibid., p. 41.
14 Mattogno, Carlo, “Dr. Mengele’s ‘Medical Experiments’ on Twins in the Birkenau Gypsy Camp,” Inconvenient History, Vol. 5, No. 4, 2013.
17 Butz, Robert, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, Newport Beach, Cal.: Institute for Historical Review, 1993, p. 175.
18 Ibid., pp. 176, 271.
19 Belgion, Montgomery, Victors’ Justice, Hillsdale, Ill.: Henry Regnery, 1949, pp. 80-81.
20 Moorehead, Alan, “Belsen” in Cyril Connolly (ed.), The Golden Horizon, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1953, p. 105f.
21 Butz, Arthur R., The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry, Newport Beach, Cal: Institute for Historical Review, ninth printing, 1992, pp. 189-190.
22 Harding, Thomas, Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013, pp. 59-61.
23 Primomo, John W., Architect of Death at Auschwitz: A Biography of Rudolf Höss, Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2020, p. 49.
24 Ibid., pp. 108-110.
25 Mattogno, Carlo, Commandant of Auschwitz: Rudolf Höss, His Torture and His Forced Confessions, Uckfield, UK: Castle Hill Publishers, 2017, p. 18.
26 Ibid., pp. 18-19.
27 Ibid., p. 19.
28 Faurisson, Robert, “How the British Obtained the Confessions of Rudolf Höss,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 7, No. 4, Winter 1986-87, pp. 392-399.
29 Mattogno, Carlo, Commandant of Auschwitz: Rudolf Höss, His Torture and His Forced Confessions, Uckfield, UK: Castle Hill Publishers, 2017, p. 16.
30 Ibid., pp. 16-17.
31 Harding, Thomas, Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013, pp. 248-251.
32 Ibid., p. 252.
33 Gilbert, Gustave M., Nuremberg Diary, New York: Farrar, Straus and Company, 1947, p. 260.
34 Ibid., p. 264.
35 Mattogno, Carlo, Commandant of Auschwitz: Rudolf Höss, His Torture and His Forced Confessions, Uckfield, UK: Castle Hill Publishers, 2017, pp. 119, 329.
36 Harding, Thomas, Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013, p. 257.
37 Taylor, Telford, The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials: A Personal Memoir, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992, p. 363.
38 Harding, Thomas, Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013, pp. 259-260.
39 Butz, Arthur R., The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry, Newport Beach, Cal: Institute for Historical Review, ninth printing, 1992, p. 101.
40 Primomo, John W., Architect of Death at Auschwitz: A Biography of Rudolf Höss, Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2020, pp. 167, 196.
41 Mattogno, Carlo, Commandant of Auschwitz: Rudolf Höss, His Torture and His Forced Confessions, Uckfield, UK: Castle Hill Publishers, 2017, p. 16.
42 Kulaszka, Barbara, (ed.), Did Six Million Really Die: Report of Evidence in the Canadian “False News” Trial of Ernst Zündel, Toronto: Samisdat Publishers Ltd., 1992, pp. 261-262.
43 Stäglich, Wilhelm, Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence, Institute for Historical Review, 1990, pp. 1-2.
44 Wear, John, “The Genocide of the German People,” Inconvenient History, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2019.