Holes on ceiling of Auschwitz gas chamber

View of Auschwitz gas chamber, as seen from the entrance

The Krema I gas chamber in the Auschwitz main camp has four reconstructed holes in the ceiling through which Zyklon-B gas pellets could have been poured into the room. You can see one of the holes in the upper left-hand corner of the photo above. The reconstructed hole is just in front of the reconstructed doorway into the oven room. The present doorway is a few feet to the right of where the original doorway was located. The originial gas chamber, before it was reconstructed in 1947, had the wall of a washroom to the left of the door into the oven room.

A hole on the left side of the ceiling in the reconstructed gas chamber is shown in the photo below.

Reconstructed hole in ceiling of gas chamber

Close-up of another ceiling hole on left side of gas chamber

In the photo below, you can see another hole in the ceiling on the left side of the room. This is probably the opening for a ventilation chimney which was added when the building was converted into an air raid shelter in 1944.

Hole in ceiling of gas chamber on left side

Hole in ceiling can be seen on the right hand side

In the photo above, one of the holes in the ceiling can be seen on the right hand side. The photo below is a close-ups of one of the reconstructed holes in the ceiling on the right side. On the roof of the building, the holes are covered with a wooden lid, which you can see in the photo.

Hole for pouring Zyklon-B gas pellets into gas chamber

According to Franciszek Piper, the director of the Auschwitz Museum, the Zyklon-B gas pellets were poured through the holes on the roof by one SS man who opened the lids of the openings on the roof of the building, one at a time. The pellets were just poured onto the heads of the victims, not into a wire basket from which they could be retrieved, as the manufacturer recommended.

The photo below shows a gas input device that was provided by the Degesch company which produced the Zyklon-B pellets. This photo was taken in one of the four disinfection chambers at Dachau where clothing was deloused with Zyklon-B. This device automatically opened a can of Zyklon-B and dumped the gas pellets into a wire basket.

Gas input device provided by Degesch company

After the gassing was completed in the Auschwitz main camp, the room had to be aired out by opening the doors, since there was no ventilator, according to Piper. However, Piper did acknowledge, in an article in the book "Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp," that a ventilator was added later according to the testimony of Michael Kula at the trial of Rudolf Hoess in Poland. The ventilator is no longer in existence today.

Holes on roof of gas chamber

Exterior of Gas Chamber

Door into Air Raid Shelter


Start of Gas Chamber Tour

Reconstructed Gas Chamber

Interior of Reconstructed Gas Chamber

Introduction to Auschwitz I

Back to Photo Gallery 2


This page was last updated on June 1, 2009