Auschwitz-Birkenau: The Franke-Gricksch Report
“The Auschwitz camp has a special task in the settlement of the Jewish question. The most modern methods make it possible to implement the Fuhrer Order very quickly and discreetly. The so-called "resettlement action" for the Jews proceeds as follows: The Jews arrive in special trains (goods wagons) towards evening and are taken by a special line to a special area of the camp. There they are unloaded and examined by a medical board in the presence of the Camp Commandant and several leading SS in the first place to see if they are fit for work.
"Here anybody who can be integrated into the work process in any way is sent to a special camp. Those with some temporary ailment are sent immediately to the quarantine camp and are brought back to health through a special diet. The basic principle is: keep as many prisoners as possible for labour. The "resettlement action" of the old sort is completely rejected, for it is not permissible to systematically destroy substantial labour capacities.
“The unfit go to a biggish house, into the basement rooms, which are accessible from the outside. They descend 5 or 6 steps and come to a long, well-built and ventilated basement, fitted with benches on the right and left. It is brightly lit, and above the benches are numbers. The prisoners are told that they are to be disinfected and washed ready for their new tasks. They therefore have to undress completely to be bathed. In order to avoid any panic or disorder, they are told to arrange their clothes neatly and leave them under a number so that they can find their things again after the bath. Everything proceeds in complete calm. They then go through a small corridor and arrive in a big basement room that resembles a shower room. In this room, there are three big pillars. Into these it is possible from above, outside the basement, to lower certain products. After 300 to 400 people have gathered in this room, the doors are closed and from above containers with the products are lowered into the pillars. When the containers reach the floor of the pillars, they produce certain substances that put the people to sleep in one minute. A few minutes later, the door on the other side is opened, leading to a lift. The hair of the corpses is cut off and the teeth are broken out (gold teeth) by qualified people (Jews). It has been observed that Jews have hidden jewels, gold, platinum, etc. in hollow teeth. After this the corpses are burned (As fresh corpses burn particularly well, the whole process requires only 1/2 to 1 Zentner [25 to 50kg] of coke). The work itself is carried out by Jewish prisoners who will never leave this camp.
“The result to date of this “resettlement action”: 500,000 Jews. The present capacity of the “resettlement action” furnaces: 10,000 in 24 hours.” (Pressac, Jean Claude; Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers; The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, NY, 1989; 238-239)
Source: The Nizkor Project