RE: Technical alterations to the special vehicles
already in operation and those in production.
Since December 1941, for example, 97,000 have been
processed using three vans without any faults developing in the vehicles.
The well-known explosion in Kulmhof (Chelmno) must be treated as a special
case. It was caused by faulty practice. Special instructions have been
given to the relevant offices in order to avoid such accidents. The
instructions were such as to ensure a considerable increase in the degree
Further operational experience hitherto indicates that
the following technical alterations are appropriate....
2) The vans are normally loaded with 9-10 people per
square meter. With the large Saurer special vans this is not possible
because although they do not become overloaded their maneuverability is
much impaired. A reduction in the load area appears desirable. It can be
achieved by reducing the size of the van by c. 1 meter. The difficulty
referred to cannot be overcome by reducing the size of the load. For a
reduction in the numbers will necessitate a longer period of operation
because the free spaces will have to be filled with CO. By contrast, a
smaller load area which is completely full requires a much sorter period
of operation since there are no free spaces.....
3) The connecting hoses between the exhaust and the van
frequently rust through because they are corroded inside by the liquids
which fall on them. To prevent this the connecting piece must be moved so
that the gas is fed from the top downwards. This will prevent liquids
6) The lighting must be better protected against damage
than hitherto....It has been suggested that lighting should be dispensed
with since they are allegedly never used. However, experience shows that
when the rear door is closed and therefore when it becomes dark, the cargo
presses hard towards the door....It makes it difficult to latch the door.
Furthermore, it has been observed that the noise always begins when the
doors are shut presumably because of fear brought on by the darkness.