- The "report" is not written by German official Alfred Franke-Gricksch, but a text typed up by a certain Eric Lipmann
- The document and its history are full of various absurdities, Lipmann clearly made it all up
- There is another English translation of a report allegedly written by Gricksch, found in the British National Archives in the early 2000s, posted here:
- There is no German original for this second report, but it doesn't even speak of Jews being killed, just their property being confiscated. It's in perfect agreement with the revisionist position
- Mainstream "Holocaust" historians claim both documents are genuine translations or originals, with the first being a "secret" document, but the total absurdities prove quite conclusively it's a fake
7.6.2. The Franke-Gricksch “Report” and Pressac’s Comments
Pressac introduces the document in the following manner (ibid., p. 236):
“In the afternoon of the same day [May 4, 1943], SS Major Alfred FRANKE-Gricksch, adjutant to SS General Maximillian VON HERFF […], Head of the SS Central Personnel Office [SS Personal Hauptamt, 98 99 Wilmersdorferstraße, Berlin-Charlottenburg], accompanying the General on a tour of inspection in the ‘General Government’ [the half of the Polish territory occupied by the Germans and placed under the authority of Hans Frank], arrived in KL Auschwitz (although reported, the presence of General von Herff is doubtful). Franke-Gricksch visited Krematorium II and is supposed to have witnessed the gassing of those unfit for work from a convoy of 2,930 Greek Jews (from the Salonika ghetto). Following this visit, between the evening of 4th May and 16th May, he wrote a report on what he had seen at Auschwitz Birkenau for his chief, von Herff, and for Reichsführer SS Himmler. This report was entitled: ‘JEWISH RESETTLEMENT ACTION’.” (emphases by Pressac)
On the origin of the document, Pressac has this to say (ibid., p. 238):
“This report was shown to Professor Charles W Sydnor of Hampton-Sydney College, Virginia (United States) in 1976 by a person from Richmond (Virginia) who had discovered it after the second world war. This man, apparently Eric M Lippmann [sic] according to the signature, was at the time employed by the US Army on collecting documents and seeking anything that might be used as evidence in the Nuremberg trials. He seems to remember finding carbon copy of the original report among a set of documents in a place he cannot recall exactly, somewhere in Bavaria. The original was not there. Having immediately realized the value of this report, which described the whole process of exterminating the Jews in Auschwitz, he made a typed copy for himself, as he had to hand the carbon over to the American Prosecutor at Nuremberg. He certified in longhand that he had made a true copy, and signed it ‘Eric M Lipmann.’ The two sheets that he typed are now preserved in the Tauber Estate of Brandeis University with other documents from the Third Reich.”
Pressac publishes the document in question, drawn up in German; our translation is as follows:352
“Part of a report rendered by SS Sturmbannführer Franke-Gricksch on a trip through the General Government on 4 to 16 May 1943. [This heading is typed in English in Lipmann’s typescript]
R e s e t t l e m e n t – A c t i o n
of the Jews
A special task in the arrangement of the Jewish question has [been given to] the A u s c h w i t z Camp. The most modern measures enable the Führer order to be carried out within the shortest possible time and without major commotion.
The so-called ‘resettlement action’ of the Jews takes place in the following manner:
The Jews arrive, toward nightfall, in special trains (freight-cars) and are being routed on special tracks into dedicated enclosed areas of the camp. There, they are unloaded and examined, first of all, by a medical commission in the presence of the camp commandant and several SS officers to determine their fitness for work. Here, all those who can be integrated into the work process in any way, will go into a special camp. The temporarily sick are moved immediately to the hospital camp and made healthy again by special food, the basic rule being: to maintain any kind of manpower for work. The former way of ‘resettlement action’ is refused in its entirety, as one cannot afford to continually destroy important work energies.
Those unfit go into a larger house, into the basement rooms which have access from the outside. One goes down 5-6 steps and enters a longish, well built and aerated basement room which is equipped with benches on its right and left sides. It is brightly lit and there are numbers above the benches. The prisoners are told that, for their new tasks, they will have to be disinfected and cleaned and must therefore undress completely to be bathed. In order to avoid any kind of panic or commotion they are ordered to fold their clothes properly and place them below the numbers they have been assigned in order to find them again after the bath. Everything proceeds in utter calmness. Then one passes through a small passage and enters a large basement room which is similar to a shower-bath. In this room, there are three large columns. From outside the basement room one can lower certain agents into these columns. Once 300-400 people are assembled in this space, the doors are closed and the containers with the substances are lowered into the columns. As soon as the containers touch the bottom of the column they generate particular substances which put the people to sleep within one minute. A few minutes later, the door at the other end which leads to a lift opens. The hair of the corpses is cut and other experts (Jews) break out the teeth (gold teeth). One has come to know that the Jews keep hidden in hollow teeth jewels, gold, platinum etc. After that, the corpses are loaded into elevators and are taken to the first upper floor. There, there are 10 large crematorium furnaces in which the corpses are burned. As fresh corpses burn particularly well, only ½ – 1 metric hundredweight [Zentner] of coke are needed for the whole procedure. This work is carried out by Jewish detainees who will never leave this camp.
Output of this ‘resettlement action’ to date: 500,000 Jews.
Present capacity of ‘the resettlement action’ furnaces: 10,000 in 24 hours. [Handwritten note:] I affirm, that this [is] a true copy of the original report. Eric M. Lipmann”
Leaving aside the certainly relevant question of the origins and the authenticity of the document – a retyped copy, appearing as late as 1976, of the carbon copy of an original that was never found, the carbon copy having been discovered at an unknown location and transmitted to an unknown person, with the carbon copy then disappearing as well – we will pass on immediately to Pressac’s critical comment (ibid., p. 239):
“Franke-Gricksch reports that ‘The unfit go to a BIGGISH HOUSE, into the basement…’ without saying that it is a crematorium, or which one. Later in his account we learn that the ‘house’ is equipped with ‘big cremation furnaces,’ so it must have been a crematorium. Only Krematorien II and III had semi-basements, whereas Krematorien I, IV and V had none. On 4th May 1943, only Krematorium II was complete and operational, while Kr III was not yet ready. Franke-Gricksch’s ‘biggish house’ can therefore be nothing other than Birkenau Krematorium II.
The errors in his report are:
 ‘5-6 steps’ (for the access stairway at the western end of Leichenkeller 2) instead of 10. Simple lack of attention on the part of a man who used this stairway only once. The error would be more serious on the part of a Sonderkommando member, using it several times a day.
 ‘three big pillars’ [columns for pouring Zyklon B] instead of four. The explanation of this error is that Franke-Gricksch must have just gone a few paces into Leichenkeller 1, not down to the end, and thus noticed only three of the four columns.
 ‘the doors [of Leichenkeller 1] are closed’ instead of the door, singular. This is probably due to confusion with the double door of Leichenkeller 2 leading to the corridor, through which he had just come before having a quick look over the threshold of Leichenkeller 1.
 ‘the door on the other side is opened, leading to a lift.’ There was not an entrance door at one end and exit at the other, but only one door to Leichenkeller 1, through which the victims entered and from which the corpses were removed. This is the most glaring fault, but may be explained by the route taken during Franke-Gricksch’s visit.
 ‘go to the first floor’ [are taken to the first upper floor; Ed.] instead of the floor above, or ground floor. A common mistake made by many witnesses.
 ‘10 large crematorium furnaces,’ instead of 5 three muffle furnaces or 15 muffles. As with Leichenkeller 1, Franke-Gricksch probably did not go the whole length of the furnace room, but stood at the western entrance in front of the first furnace and listened to the explanations given. It could be that the figure ten was the total he was given for the capacity of Krematorien II and III together (10 three muffle furnaces).
 ‘500,000 Jews’ [in May 1943], instead of a true figure of probably somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000. This figure would have been provided by the Auschwitz SS guide and Franke-Gricksch is merely repeating the inflated figure given to make the camp look efficient.
 ‘10,000 in 24 hours,’ instead of the ‘official’ figure of 4,756 per day for the FIVE Krematorien (I, II, III, IV and V), itself a theoretical figure that was never achieved in 1943, as proved by the Krematorium coke consumption. The maximum daily throughput of the 4 Birkenau Krematorien was in the order of 3,000 incinerations. What is more, in May 1943, Kr III was not yet in service. This is simply another Auschwitz SS propaganda figure passed on by Franke-Gricksch.”
Pressac then goes on to explain the error in connection with the two doors of Leichenkeller 1 which he touches upon under Item 4 above (ibid.):
“The most striking and serious error in his report is his stating that the gas chamber (Leichenkeller 1) had a door at each end. This can be explained only if there was some kind of break in his visit to the crematorium that caused him to lose his bearings somewhat.”
His mistake is claimed to become understandable if one assumes that he entered Leichenkeller 2 from the outside, then walked through it, into the corridor and the vestibule, then took a few steps into Leichenkeller 1, leaving the half-basement via the stairs on the north side (through the former Leichenkeller 3), then re-entering the ground floor of the crematorium through the door located on the north side, and viewing the furnace hall while listening in front of the first furnace to the explanations of his guide and going down into the half-basement by means of the freight elevator thus arriving in front of the gas chamber, “[…] (where, not recognizing the vestibule he had passed through some time before, he thought this was ANOTHER door to the gas chamber). He probably went back up to the ground floor on the corpse hoist and left the Krematorium through the main, north, door. The ‘break’ thus occurred when he emerged from the basement by the northern stairway, instead of more logically taking the corpse hoist directly up to the furnace room.” (ibid., p. 239)
7.6.3. Critical Analysis of Pressac’s Comments
Pressac’s remarks are a good example of the way in which a scholar with a fine critical and sometimes even very sensitive mind can get lost in useless suppositions and sophistications. His whole reasoning is grounded on the assumption that the document in question is authentic, although there is no proof for this, and hence his analysis aims merely at explaining the “mistakes” in the “report,” instead of checking into the veracity and, ultimately, the authenticity of the document itself. In other words, he pre-empts what he is going to find out.
Another serious error on Pressac’s side is the fact that he attempts to attribute the erroneous figures in the documents at times to Franke-Gricksch’s SS guide, at other times to Franke-Gricksch himself. The criterion for the one or the other is the alleged propagandistic exaggeration of the SS: wherever possible, the errors are to be ascribed to the SS guide – the 500,000 persons “resettled,” the cremation capacity of 10,000 corpses per day. Where this cannot be done, the mistakes are attributed to Franke-Gricksch’s faulty observations – the three columns instead of four,354 the two doors instead of one, the nonexistent door at the other end of the gas chamber, the ten cremation furnaces instead of five.
Actually, if it is unlikely that the guide had not correctly explained the equipment of the crematorium to Franke-Gricksch, it is altogether unbelievable that, when describing the alleged extermination of Jews, the guide would not have called things by their proper names, like not using the very name of the installation, crematorium, which the document refers to as a “house.” Not even Zyklon B is ever mentioned in this “report,” according to which the killing was done with “certain agents” or “particular substances which made the people fall asleep within a minute,” saying that “the containers with the substances are lowered into the columns.” Pressac has nothing to say about this, dwelling instead on insignificant “mistakes,” such as Items 1 or 5 in his remarks, and explaining the others in a laboriously sophistic manner.
His explanation concerning the closure of the “doors” of Leichenkeller 1 (Item 3) is quite obviously in error because we are clearly dealing here with the closure of the “doors” of a room which according to the document has precisely two doors. Pressac’s explanation concerning the existence of these two doors (Item 4) is an elaboration which is not only unprovable but against common sense: the inspection of the crematorium would have been carried out methodically: Leichenkeller 2, corridor, vestibule, Leichenkeller 1, to be interrupted there – nobody knows why – for a tour of the ground floor, only to continue in the semi-basement later. But in the account there is no mention of any “interruption,” the visit of the semi-basement having ended with the alleged look into Leichenkeller 1 and Franke-Gricksch having been led into the ground floor precisely via the flight of service stairs built for that purpose (see Section 2.9.1.).
It is extremely unlikely that an SS-Sturmbannführer would have been moved into the furnace hall by means of the freight elevator used for the corpses – which, in any case, would have been against safety rules. From the furnace hall, if we follow Pressac, Franke-Gricksch would have been taken back down into the semi-basement again via the freight elevator – what for? He had already gone through the basement earlier. Apparently this was claimed by Pressac only so that he could “explain” Franke-Gricksch’s alleged mix-up of the gas chamber door with some other door!
To support this ludicrous thesis, Pressac has to make a moron out of the SS officer – someone unable to recognize a room he had inspected minutes earlier, simply because he was now entering it through a different entrance! Without even taking into account that Franke-Gricksch must have been aware of the arrangement and the orientation of Leichenkeller 1 – either because he had entered Leichenkeller 2 from the outside yard where one could see the upper part of Leichenkeller 1 protruding from the ground, or because in the “report” the introduction columns for the sleeping agent introduced “from above, from the outside of the basement” are mentioned. Hence Franke-Gricksch would never have imagined another door at the far end of that room where there was only a wall and soil!
The explanation of the 10 furnaces (Item 6) makes no sense either, because if Franke-Gricksch had not seen one or several of the furnaces farthest away when standing near the first, then he would have given a figure less than 5 for the furnaces, or, for the muffles, a multiple of 3, e.g. 9 or 12 (as each furnace had 3 muffles), but certainly not ten. Actually, though, as we can see from the blueprints of the ground floor of the crematorium shown by Pressac such as No. 933(-934)(r) (ibid., p. 283), even standing one meter away from the first furnace, he could have seen the other four furnaces most distinctly. The other explanation, namely that the number of furnaces refers to Crematoria II and III together, does not hold water either, because the report speaks of the “present capacity” (jetzige Kapazität) of the furnaces, hence only of Crematorium II, for, as Pressac correctly states, “only Crematorium II was terminated and operational whereas Crematorium III was not yet ready.”
Just as silly is Pressac’s explanation on the subject of the “three large columns”: on the one hand, even taking only a few steps into Leichenkeller 1, Franke-Gricksch could not but see the four alleged columns, and on the other hand, his SS guide, when explaining their function, would certainly not have failed to tell him that there were four of them and why this was so.
When it comes to the cremation capacity of the furnaces in Crematorium II – 10,000 corpses in 24 hours – Pressac falls back on what he calls propagandistic exaggerations by the camp SS. However, the capacity given for the alleged gas chamber – “300-400 persons” – clashes most violently with that figure. It would mean that, in order to have the furnaces run flat out, there would have had to be 28 gassings per day on average. But then, for Pressac himself the gassing capacity was 1,000 to 1,500 persons at a time (ibid., p. 473), whereas for Tauber it was 3,000 to 4,000 persons (see Section 10.3.3.).
Thus Pressac, by far-fetched arguments, pretends to explain gross mistakes which remain inexplicable, if one considers the document to be authentic. In order to accomplish this, he has to bypass essential aspects of the “report” which do not fit into his interpretative framework.
I have already pointed out the omission, in his comments, of any details regarding the “substances” used in the alleged gas chamber. A further case in point is the coke consumption which the document ascribes to the furnaces of Crematorium II and which is in glaring contrast with Pressac’s conjectures (see Subchapter 9.4.). The most serious matter, though, is the following statement:
“The Jews arrive, toward nightfall, in special trains (freight-cars) and are being routed on special tracks into dedicated enclosed areas of the camp.”
However, the only railroad tracks which went into the Birkenau Camp were those which formed the so-called “ramp.” Pressac himself tells us, though, that this ramp “did not become operational until May 1944 for the arrival of the Hungarian Jews” (ibid., p. 253). In May 1943 the Jewish convoys were unloaded at the so-called “old ramp” or “Jewish ramp” of the Auschwitz railroad station (ibid., p. 162). Then how was Franke-Gricksch able to see tracks in May 1943 that were only laid a year later? This irresolvable conundrum demonstrates by itself that the Franke-Gricksch “report” cannot possibly be authentic, and precisely for that reason Pressac has said nothing about the matter.
This chronological impossibility, together with the gross mistakes of the “report” and its incredible disuse of elementary terms such as “crematorium” or “Zyklon B” shows clearly that it is a fabrication using testimonies of former detainees, which even betray the propaganda effort (cf. Renk 1991). Another striking example for this is this statement:
“One has come to know that the Jews keep hidden in hollow teeth [!] jewels, gold, platinum etc.”
352 Translator’s note: our translation differs somewhat from Pressac’s in its choice of words and its sentence structure. This was done in order to better reflect the sometimes journalistic and unmilitary style of Lipmann’s text, but it also leads to slight differences in some of the words when passages from Pressac’s text are quoted. The typed copy of the “original” has many spelling errors, some of them hinting at a native English or American typist.
353 The verb “kommen” is used twice in this sentence, the second occurrence is faulty German, transl.
354 But, for some strange reason, the “report” does not mention the seven concrete pillars holding up
the ceiling of the room.