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Report by Alfred Wetzler and Rudolf Vrba, two Escapees from Auschwitz (Late April 1944)

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14. Transport Arrivals, September 1943 – April 1944.

c. 153,000 (sic) – 154,000

1000 Gentile Poles from the Warsaw Pawiak prison.

c. 155,000 (sic) – 159,000

4000 men from various prisons, Jews who had been in hiding and were captured around Benzburg, and a group of Russians (Schutzrussen) arrived in October 1943. At the same time, Russian POWs also came in and received numbers 1-12,000.

c. 160,000 (sic) – 165,000

About 5000 men, mostly Dutch and Belgian Jews, and the first transport of Italian Jews came from Fiume, Trieste, and Rome. Not less than 30,000 persons from these transports were taken directly to the gas chamber.

Mortality among the Jews assigned to camp was particularly high. The method of selection took its toll at an increased rate. Selection reached its peak between 10 – 24 January 1944, when the strongest and healthiest Jews were taken regardless of their labor assignment or profession. Only doctors were spared. Everyone had to line up for the "selection," and a close check was made to ascertain that all were present. The "selection" was then made by the camp doctor (the son or nephew of the police chief of Berlin) and by the Birkenau camp commandant, SS Untersturmfuehrer Schwarzhuber. All Jews transferred from Block No. 7 to the "hospital" (Krankenbau), which was located in another part of the camp, were gassed without exception. In addition to these, another 2500 men and 6000 women were sent to the gas chamber through "selection."

c. 165,000 – 168,000

3000 Jews arrived from Teresin on 20 December 1943. This roster had the same title as the one which had come in September. They were billeted with the September arrivals and enjoyed the same privileges. Twenty-four hours before the extermination of the first group the later arrivals were segregated in an adjoining part of the camp which happened to be empty. They are still living in this quarter. In view of their knowledge of the fate of the first group, they are already preparing to resist. Resistance has been organized by Ruzenka Laufer and Hugo Langsfeld, both of Prague. They are collecting easily inflammable material and want to set their blocks on fire. Their quarantine will be over on 20 June 1944.

c. 169,000 (sic) – 170,000

1000 persons, including Poles, Russians, and Jews in smaller groups.

c. 170,000 - 171,000

1000 Gentile Poles and Russians, and a smaller number of Yugoslavs.

c. 171,000 - 174,000

3000 Dutch, Belgian, and native French Jews arrived in late February and early March 1944. This was the first shipment of native as distinguished from naturalized French Jews. They came from the unoccupied zone. An overwhelming majority of these were immediately gassed.

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