I estimate that at least 2,500,000 victims were executed
and exterminated [at Auschwitz] by gassing and burning,
and at least another half million succumbed to starvation
and disease, making a total dead of about 3,000,000. This
figure represents about 70 per cent or 80 per cent of all
persons sent to Auschwitz as prisoners, the remainder having
been selected and used for slave labor in the concentration
camp industries. . . .
The "final solution" of the Jewish question meant the complete
extermination of all Jews in Europe. I was ordered to establish
extermination facilities at Auschwitz in June, 1941. . .
took from three to fifteen minutes to kill people in the
death chamber, depending upon climactic conditions. We knew
when the people were dead because their screaming stopped.
We usually waited about one-half hour before we opened the
doors and removed the bodies. After the bodies were removed
our special commandos took off the rings and extracted the
from the teeth of the corpses. . . .
The way we selected our victims was as follows. . . . Those
who were fit to work were sent into camp. Others were sent
immediately to the extermination plants. Children of tender
years were invariably exterminated since by reason of their
youth they were unable to work. . . .
We endeavored to fool the victims into thinking that they
were to go through a delousing process. Of course, frequently
they realized our true intentions, and we sometimes had
riots and difficulties due to that fact. Very frequently
women would hide their children under clothes, but of course
when we found them we would send the children to be exterminated.