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VCU Menorah Review Winter/Spring 2011
Number 74
For the Enrichment of Jewish Thought

Zachor: From the Records of the Nuremberg Trials, 1945-6

WITNESS: (a Polish guard at Auschwitz): Women carrying children were always sent with them to the crematorium. The children were then torn from their parents outside the crematorium and sent to the gas chambers separately. When the extermination of the Jews in the gas chambers was at its height, orders were issued to the effect that the children were to be thrown into the crematorium furnaces, or into the pit near the crematorium, without being gassed first.

SMIRNOV (Russian prosecutor): How am I to understand this? Did they throw them into the fire alive, or did they kill them first?

WITNESS: They threw them in alive. Their screams could be heard at the camp.

SMIRNOV: Why did they do this?

WITNESS: It is very difficult to say. We do not know whether they wanted to economize on gas, or if it was because there was not enough room in the gas chambers.

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