Ruins of Krema V
Ruins of Krema V, looking
Krema V was a one-story
building with no basement
The remains of a crematory
oven are in the center of the photo
Krema V was built on the north side of
the Birkenau camp, on the right side of a road that begins at
the SS administration building that is now a Catholic Church.
On the left side of this road is Krema IV. North of Krema V was
the location of the little red house, called Bunker 1, which
was used as a gas chamber before Krema IV and Krema V were built.
The road that ends at Krema IV and Krema
V is parallel to the main camp road, which ends at Krema II and
Krema III on the south side of the camp.
The ruins of Krema
V gas chamber building
Gassing in Krema V began in the summer
of 1943. The crematory ovens in Krema IV and Krema V broke down
almost immediately and the bodies had to be burned in pits, located
north of the Krema V building.
The gas chamber in Krema V was disguised
as a shower room, just like the gas chamber in Krema IV. There
was only one real shower room for the prisoners in this section
of the Birkenau camp; it was in the Central Sauna building, which
was across the road from Krema IV. A display board near the water
treatment plant, close to Krema III, says that there were 90,000
prisoners at Birkenau. With so few shower rooms for 90,000 people,
the prisoners had to wait for weeks for a shower.
The photo directly above is looking northwest.
The location of the little red house and the mass graves of the
victims who died during the typhus epidemic in 1942 is on the
right side of the photo in the area now covered with trees.
I observed that the ground on the west
side of the Krema V ruins was muddy, although it had not rained
for several days. A display board on the west side tells about
burning corpses in pits when the ovens were not functioning.
It is implied that the burning was done on the west side of the
building, although survivors say that the burning pits were on
the north side. A few yards south of the Sauna building, there
are several deep drainage ditches that were filled with water
when I was there. The drainage ditches run from east to west.
This page was last updated on June 3,