Thursday, July 06, 2017

The Kinna Report - German Document on the Killing of Unfit Jews in Auschwitz

Author: Hans Metzner
Introduction

In late 1942, several thousand Poles were deported from Zamosc to destinations according to their racial value attributed to them by Nazis as Zamosc was declared "to the first German settlement area in the Generalgouvernement" (order of Himmler of 12 November July 1942, Jaczynska, Sonderlaboratorium SS, p. 414). The racially most inferior defined people were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. The transport left Zamosc with 644 Poles of this group on 10 December 1942. Several people escaped from the train, the rest was admitted to Auschwitz on 13 December 1942.

The SS officer Heinrich Kinna of the migration central office wrote a report about the transport on 16 December 1942, in which he also summarised his talk with the deputy commandant in Auschwitz, Hans Aumeier (who he spelled phonetically as "Haumeier"). Aumeier informed Kinna on the camp's lethal policy on unfit prisoners, an indiscretion only trumped by Kinna writing that down in plain words:
"Imbeciles, idiots, cripples and sick people have to be removed from the camp within a short time by liquidation to unburden the camp. But this measure has insofar complications as, according to the order from the RSHA, the Poles have to die of a natural death contrary to the measures applied on the Jews."
(extract from the report of Heinrich Kinna of 16 December 1942, reproduced in full below)

It is noteworthy that while Kinna's employer, the migration central office in Lodz, sounds rather innocent and unrelated to the murder of Jews, its men were dispatched to Chelmno/Kulmhof extermination camp in 1942 (see documents 16 and 17 in Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents - Origin and Foundation), so that Kinna might have been already inside the circle of people knowing details on the extermination of Jews. In fact, in his job description Kinna himself included the task "carrying out measures [Zweckmaßnahmen] against Jews and anti-social people" (letter of Kinna to the SS Personnel Main Office of 13 July 1943, cited in Aly, "Endlösung". Völkerverschiebung und der Mord an den europäischen Juden, p. 20).

The significance of this contemporary German document lies in its reference to the killing of Jews unfit for work in Auschwitz without resorting to the usual camouflage language (see for instance Mattogno's special treatment of evidence and "Separate accommodation" in Auschwitz: a code word for extrajudicial executions).


The Document 

TRANSCRIPTION
Heinrich Kinna                                                                 Zamosc, den 16.12.42
SS-Untersturmführer

Bericht
zu dem Transport von 644 Polen nach dem Arbeitslager Auschwitz am 10.12.42.

Der Transport wurde am 10.12. d.Js. 16.00 Uhr in Zamosc auf den Weg gegeben. Die Ankunft erfolgte am 12.12. in Auschwitz nach 23.00 Uhr.

Von den 644 Polen entfernten sich insgesamt 14 Personen.

3 Personen, und zwar:

Bialy Karoline geb. Batzdorf, geb. 14.1.00
"    Sohn Czeslaw, geb. 17.2.26
Sedzimirska Michalina, geb. 19.2.22

ergriffen auf offener Strecke während einer Fahrtunterbrechung vor dem Verschiebebahnhof in Krakau mit Hilfe polnischer Bahnbeamten, die die verschlossene Wagentür öffneten, die Flucht.

Die Flucht selbst wurde durch die herrschende Dunkelheit begünstigt und erfolgte zu dem Zeitpunkt, zu dem der Kontrollposten sich am anderen Ende des Zuges befand. Die sofort eingeleitete Suchaktion blieb erfolglos. Die restlich fehlenden 11 Personen müssen, sofern die bei der Verladung in Zamosc erfolgte Zählung stimmt, aus dem fahrenden Zug und zwar aus den oberen Lucken der Güterwagen gesprungen sein. Es wird deswegen vorgeschlagen, künftig die nicht mit Türen versehene Oberlucken durch Stacheldraht zu sichern. Die Übernahme in Auschwitz erfolgte am 13.12.42, eine namentliche Verlesung fand nicht statt.

Die Überführung des Transportes verlief abgesehen von der eigenmächtigen Entfernung der 14 Personen und ohne Inbetrachtziehung der Verspätung, planmäßig.

Auftragsgemäß wurde mit dem Vertreter des Lagerkommandanten, SS-Hauptsturmführer Haumeier, über die Wünsche der Lagerführung und die Möglichkeit von den in den Transporten erscheinenden II-er Fällen gesprochen.

II-er Fälle betreffend wurde darauf hingewiesen, daß nach Anweisung vom Reichssicherheitshauptamt, die in Zamosc eingelieferten Polen familienweise einer Gesamtwertung unterworfen und dem entsprechend in die zuständigen Gruppen aufgeteilt werden. Durch die vorstehend angeführte Anweisung des RSHA ergibt sich möglicherweise die Tatsache, daß rassisch gut aussehende Menschen grundsätzlich aber nicht fahrlässigerweise nicht mit der Wertungsgruppe II bedacht werden. In solchen Fällen müßten die als II-er Fälle zu bewertenden Menschen nochmals überprüft und unter Inbetrachtziehung ihrer arbeitsmäßigen Leistung den zuständigen Dienststellen zur Kenntnis gebracht werden.

Arbeitseinsatzfähigkeit bezügl. erklärte SS-Hauptsturmführer Haumeier, daß nur arbeitsfähige Polen angeliefert werden sollen um somit möglichst jede unnütze Belastung des Lagers sowie des Zubringerverkehrs zu vermeiden. Beschränkte, Idioten, Krüppel und kranke Menschen müssen in kürzester Zeit durch Liquidation zur Entlastung des Lagers aus demselben entfernt werden. Diese Maßnahme findet aber insofern eine Erschwerung, da nach Anweisung des RSHA entgegen der bei den Juden angewendeten Maßnahme, Polen eines natürlichen Todes sterben müssen. Es wird dieserhalb von der Lagerführung gewünscht, von der Zuweisung Nichteinsatzfähiger Abstand zu nehmen.

Das Gepäck der nach Auschwitz überstellten Polen, soll auf ein Minimum beschränkt sein, d.h. den nach dortselbst verbrachten Polen ist nur das Nötigste, für die Reise benötigte Handgepäcks mitzugeben. Alle weiteren Gepäckstücke, wie Betten, Kleider, Wäsche, dürfen wegen Seuchengefahr nicht in das Lager eingeführt werden und können außerdem laut Lagerbestimmung daselbst auch keine Verwendung finden, da die Ausstattung der Baracken eine gleichmäßige ist. Es wird aus diesem Grund vorgeschlagen, alle weiteren Habseligkeiten mit der Begründung einer späteren Nachsendung in Zamosc zurückzuhalten und zur anderweitigen Verwendung zuständigen Dienststellen zur Verfügung zu stellen. Voranmeldung der Transporte betreffend, bittet die dortige Lagerverwaltung bei Durchgabe durch FS Männer und Frauen getrennt aufzuführen.

[Unterschrift]
SS-Untersturmführer
TRANSLATION
Heinrich Kinna                                                                 Zamosc, 16 December 1942
SS-Untersturmführer


Report
on the transport of 644 Poles to the labour camp Auschwitz on 12 December 1942.

The transport left Zamosc at 4 pm on 10 December of this year. The arrival in Auschwitz was after 11 pm on 12 December. 14 persons left the 644 Poles. 3 persons, namely

Bialy Karoline nee Batzdorf, born on 14 January 1900
"     son Czeslaw, born on 17 February 1926
Sedzimirska Michalina, born on 19 February 1922

escaped on open line during a stop over before the marshaling yard in Cracow with the help of Polish railroad employees, who opened the closed wagon door. 

The escape was favored by the prevailing darkness and took place at the time the guards were at the other end of the train. The immediately initiated search was unsuccessful. The remaining missing 11 persons must have jumped out of the moving train, through upper windows of the goods wagons, if it was counted correctly during the the loading in Zamosc. It is therefore proposed that in future the upper windows, which are not covered with doors, shall be protected by barbed wire. The takeover took place in Auschwitz on 13 December 1942, the names were not read out.

Apart from the unauthorized departures of the 14 persons and without considering the delay, the transfer of the transport proceeded as planned.

As ordered, it was talked with the deputy of the camp commander, SS Hauptsturmführer Haumeier, about the wishes of the camp administration and the possibilities of the II cases appearing in the transports.

Regarding the II cases, it was pointed out that, according to instructions from the Reichsicherheitshauptamt, the Poles sent to Zamosc are subjected to an evaluation as a whole family and distributed accordingly among the relevant groups. The above regulation of the RSHA may result in the fact that racially good-looking people are, in principle, but not negligently not assigned to the evaluation group II. In such cases, the persons to be assessed as II-cases should be re-examined and called to the attention of the relevant offices by taking into account their work performance.

Regarding labour force, SS Hauptsturmführer Haumeier stated that only workable Poles should be delivered to avoid any unnecessary burdens to the camp and the feeder traffic. Imbeciles, idiots, cripples and sick people have to be removed from the camp within a short time by liquidation to unburden the camp. But this measure has insofar complications as, according to the order from the RSHA, the Poles have to die of a natural death contrary to the measures applied on the Jews. It is therefore requested by the camp administration that it is refrained from allocating those unfit for work.

The luggage of the Poles transferred to Auschwitz is to be kept to a minimum, i. e. the Poles sent there should get only the bare minimum required hand luggage needed for the journey. All other luggage, such as blankets, clothes may not be brought to the camp because of the danger of epidemics, nor can they be used according to the camp regulations, since the equipment of the barracks is uniform. For this reason it is proposed to withhold further belongings in Zamosc with the justification that these are subsequently forwarded and to make them available to other offices. Regarding the announcement of the transports, the camp administration asks to list in the telex the women and the men separately.

[signature]
SS-Untersturmführer
(Document from Jaczynska, Sonderlaboratorium SS, p. 423, citing IPN GK 69/169)


Holocaust Denial

The Kinna report with its paragraph on the killing of Jews radically contradicts a predominant view of Auschwitz Denial. The document has been merely addressed with brief, confusing and wholly inadequate comments by the leading deniers Germar Rudolf and Carlo Mattogno.

In 2000, Rudolf wrote on the report that "a thorough analysis will have to wait". 17 years later...and still waiting for that! (it was not delivered by Mattogno either, see below) He only wondered why "nobody asked him [Kinna] about what the measures allegedly applied against the Jews, about his role in this, and he was not charged for complicity". Rudolf has clearly not read and understood the document. It's not about Kinna's role in the killing of Jews. Quite the opposite, Kinna had nothing to do with Jews in Auschwitz, but was deporting the Poles from Zamosc. He was only informed by Aumeier that the unfit Jews are killed, a practise not authorised on Poles. The mere possession of such knowledge already ruling out any active involvement was considered insufficient to put somebody on charge in West-Germany at the time. 

And by the way, we are not "left totally in the dark about what ...the measure applied to the Jews were" (sentence order reversed). There were more than enough actual eyewitnesses on the killing of Jews at the first Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, where Kinna was examined and "confirmed the accuracy of the report" (see further below), so everybody knew too well what "measures" Aumeier meant (see Homicidal gassings at the first Frankfurt Auschwitz trial – A statistical survey).

Mattogno has published a short treatment of the Kinna report in Healthcare in Auschwitz. He argues that the document "stands in diametric opposition to the normal practise in Birkenau of placing seriously ill Jews in the hospital" and "the remarks that Kinna attributes to Aumeier are contrary to documented facts and so appear to be unfounded" (p. 213). 

If Mattogno were a noob on Auschwitz, one might excuse this as just some ill-informed, naive remark. But with his background and reading on Auschwitz, the argument looks more like that of a desperate fool. The killing of unfit Jews in Auschwitz is, of course, a well documented fact further supported by the Kinna report.

The supposed contradiction between Aumeier's statement as reproduced by Kinna and the actual practise of keeping unfit registered Jews alive at least for a certain time is only created by the biased reading and oversimplified understanding of this claimed "specialist in text analysis and critique". The statement attributed to Aumeier says that unfit prisoners have to be removed from the camp "within a short time", a relative term that may mean a day, a week or even a month depending on the context. This is especially relevant for sick prisoners, as it was adverse from the Nazis' point of view to kill immediately anybody, who came forward as sick: firstly, because it scared people of reporting their sickness and hence risking to infect others as well, secondly it made little sense to destroy ones workforce merely because of a readily curable disease.

Furthermore, it is possible, if not likely, that Aumeier was primarily talking to Kinna about people unfit for work on a long term ("Imbeciles, idiots, cripples and sick people"; with sick meaning an incurable disease) and therefore not referring to many Jews admitted to the camp's hospital blocks anyway, but mainly to those selected as unfit for work already at the incoming transport selection. These were usually killed in a very short time - on the same or next day of the arrival before even registered in the camp's books.

On the treatment of the Poles, Mattogno asserts that Kinna "obviously attributes conflicting testimony to Aumeier", but fails to grasp that the conflict merely results from a different point of view of the camp administration on the one side and the SS leaders in Berlin on the other. While the camp administration would have liked to solve the problem of overcrowding and feeding unfit people by killing them, such practise was not approved on the Poles by the RSHA. Hence, Aumeier requested Kinna not to bring unfit Poles to the camp. On the contrary, unfit Jews were less of a problem for the camp administration as these could have been systematically murdered.

What is especially revealing for Mattogno is that he merely points out his made-up contradictions allegedly contained in the Kinna report, but fails to explain the document in any way. He ends with the claim that the remarks in the report "appear to be unfounded", but does not elaborate what consequences such finding is supposed to have, which would be the essence of any analysis. He missed to do what would be precisely the work of a real historian. Mattogno isn't, obviously.

Why would Aumeier tell Kinna they kill unfit Jews when they don't? Why would Kinna write that Aumeier told him they kill unfit Jews when he didn't? Or why would the Poles forge a document that says the RSHA did not allow to kill unfit Poles in Auschwitz? Why would Kinna confirm the accuracy of the report at a West-German trial when it is not? (see below section on authenticity) As long as Mattogno cannot convincingly explain this and support his case, the alleged unfounded remarks of Aumeier in the Kinna report are already evened by the unfounded nature of his own hypothesis (he did not even spell out), and nothing is gained from his drivel even if it would have made sense.

In fact, this is a typical blunder throughout Mattogno works, perhaps the most bizarre example is discussed in "Rebuttal of Mattogno on Auschwitz, Part 5: Construction Documents, E: Gas Detectors", where Mattogno describes a perfectly authentic German war-time document, which content can be well understand within the framework of the mass extermination in Auschwitz, as having "no value, no more than a military document that mentioned a flying attack donkey" because of his inability to think outside his narrow-minded box of denial once a while.

In footnote 399 of Mattogno's book, the editor (Rudolf?) adds to the argument that the report contains "liguistic[sic!] peculiarities that make it suspect" (how ironic!). However, the examples mentioned do not support the assertion that something were "suspect". On the contrary, the German "Betten" is a proper term to describe blankets, see the corresponding entry in the Duden. If anything, the editor's footnote shows once again that linguistic arguments advanced by Holocaust deniers on incriminating German documents are without merit and can be safely discarded.

Authenticity

Neither Rudolf nor Mattogno have declared the Kinna report as a forgery, but this seems what they would like their readers to conclude from their vague statements and it is reasonable to discuss the authenticity of the document anyway, as such considerations will surely come up by some deniers.

The report was first published as Polish translation in 1947 (Biuletyn Glównej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Niemieckich w Polsce, volume 2) and as facsimile in 1960 (same title, volume 8, see also this page on phdn.org and Gilles Karmasyn's comment to this post). The document is presently preserved at the Instytut Pamięci Narodowej in Poland, signature GK 69/169. Its authenticity can be established on several grounds.

First of all, the document fits into the historical context and reality: From March 1942 to April 1943, Heinrich Kinna was employed  at the Umwandererzentralstelle (migration central office) Lodz, which outpost in Zamosc was in charge of the clearing of Poles (letter of the UWZ Lodz to the RSHA of 1 June 1944, BArch B 162/20952, p. 172).

On 31 October 1942, the Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller submitted to Himmler a proposal on the "evacuation of Poles in Lublin district (Zamosc)" which included that "the people fit for work of category four of 14 to 60 years will be deported to concentration camp Auschwitz" (BArch B 162/20952, p. 162). The policy was subsequently ordered by the Higher SS and Police Leader of the Generalgouvernement Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger (order of Krüger of 10 November 1942, BArch B 162/20952, p. 166) and instructed by the head of the migration central office in Lodz Hermann Krumey (order of Krumey of 21 November 1942, Jaczynska, Sonderlaboratorium SS, p. 417, cf. BArch B 162/20952, p. 170).

Figure 1
On 13 December 1942, 632 Poles from Zamosc were registered in Auschwitz with the male numbers 82548 - 82859 and the female numbers 26810 - 27129 (Czech, Kalendarium, p. 358f., photographs of prisoners from this transport in Figure 1 from Jaczynska, Sonderlaboratorium SS, p. 232).

Krumey confirmed in his "final report on the work of the migration central office outpost Zamosc" for 1942 that "644 people [were] sent to the working camp Auschwitz" (report of Krumey of 31 December 1942, Jaczynska, Sonderlaboratorium SS, p. 430).

Secondly, the style of the document corresponds to that of another report authored by Kinna in 1941 as member of the resettlement staff Kärnten-Veldes.

Thirdly, the killing of unfit Jews mentioned in the report is supported by abundant evidence, notably by the testimony of Hans Aumeier himself:
"Resettlement of the Jews.

Under this designation the extermination of the Jews was carried out in Auschwitz and elsewhere....After the arrival, the prisoners were separated into fit for work and unfit for work. The people fit for work were sent into the camp and admitted by Political Department, they were registered there by number and name for the first time. The people unfit for work were sent to the gas chambers."
(deposition of Hans Aumeier of 8 October 1945)

In the mean time, severely sick Jewish prisoners were selected in the camp hospital blocks by the doctors and sent to the gassing from time to time.
(deposition of Hans Aumeier of 25 July 1945)


Last but not least, Kinna was examined on 2 July 1964 at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial and according to a protocol quoted at the Irving vs. Lipstadt trial "the witness Kinna confirmed the accuracy of the report".

UPDATE of 19/08/2017:

In addition, there is an interrogation protocol of Heinrich Kinna in course of the investigations against his superiour Hermann Krumey of the UWZ from 21 August 1962, where he was questioned on the report :
"The report is mine...Naturally, the report is clear. The knowledge was provided to me by Krumey, by Haumeier."
(BArch 162/1029, p. 332-334)

4 comments:

Nathan said...

-Or why would the Poles forge a document that says the RSHA did not allow to kill unfit Poles in Auschwitz?-

Since the official Policy of Poland after WWII was that Poles were the primary victims and that Auschwitz was a monument to Polish Martyrdom first and foremost, they wouldn't.

Gilles Karmasyn said...

Hooray! Wonderful post about that piece I always considered a smoking, no a firing gun.

I must add to the story of its publication that I have recently discovered that the Kinna report was first referred to in 1947 in (not a real surprise for anyone familiar with the sources) Biuletyn Glównej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Niemieckich w Polsce (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo), II, 1947, page 55. And -- lo and behold! -- it is entirely translated in Polish pages 114-115 (scans availabe if need be).

1947, guys...

As you nicely noted, I had previoulsy uncovered (well, others had before me of course, but not mentionned this, or put the scans, online...) that it's first full fac-simile publication was in Biuletyn Glównej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Prawnicze, 1960, vol XIII, Dokument 6, pages 18F-19F.

It's better than that: the very incriminating part of the document was fully translated in french, in a french work (translated from polish) as soon as 1961, along with the full facsimiles!

Janusz Gumkowski & Kazimierz Leszczynski, L’occupation hitlérienne en Pologne, Warsaw: Polonia, 1961, published the facsimiles in the pictures pages before page 193 and the part about jews beeing killed, in french, on page 182.

I must underscore the fact that this book was a must read for anyone wanting to deal, in french, with nazi crimes in Poland. Anyone focusing on jews or Auschwitz could not fail to spot the Kinna Report. This confirms that the two big french crackpot deniers, Rassinier (who died in 1967) and Faurisson (still alived) who never ceased to brag about their research abilities are just lazy crooks or liars (well, we know they are both) since none of them never, ever, mentionned the Kinna report.

Well, of course, that very same work was also published in english in 1961: Poland under Nazi occupation, Polonia Pub. House, 1961. And... it's there:
https://archive.org/details/PolandUnderNaziOccupation

Incriminating part translated in english page 156, facsimiles just before page 177 (but not legible on the above digital version). It's also a "classic".

So, the very same conclusion (not that it's new anyway) applies to all the english speaking deniers after 1961: they are a bunch of lazy lying crooks.

It's important to underline the fact that it's now clear that the Kinna report was NOT an obscure document hidden in hard to find polish primary sources publications, or in the zillions of documents submitted during trials (it was submitted at the Eichmann trial and at the Auschwitz Frankfurt trial), but was made available as facsimiles with an insistence on the very incriminating part, made available in french an english, no later than 1961, in works that could not escape the scrutiny of any serious good faith researcher.

Two questions for Hans:
1. Where did he get those gorgeous scans?
2. Can I use them on phdn (with full proper credit and source of course)?

Cheers,

Gilles Karmasyn

Hans Metzner said...

Hi Gilles,

thanks for the additional, new info!

Feel free to repost the images, they are from the book by Agnieszka Jaczyńska, Sonderlaboratorium SS. Zamojszczyzna – „pierwszy obszar osiedleńczy w Generalnym Gubernatorstwie”, p. 423.

Gilles Karmasyn said...

HI Hans,

Thank you for the full reference. I will use it with proper attribution.

Again: great work.