Exterior of New Crematorium

The first photograph below shows the exterior of Baracke X, the new crematorium building which houses four crematory ovens, a homicidal gas chamber disguised as a shower room, and four disinfection gas chambers used for delousing clothing. In the photograph below, the outside wall of the gas chamber is in the section of the building directly behind the recently added round white table, which has a commemorative plaque on the top of it. The gas chamber is the only room in the building which has no windows. To the right of the gas chamber is a mortuary room where bodies were customarily stored, awaiting cremation. The single door to the left of the mortuary room leads to a small vestibule between the mortuary and the crematorium. The wheel chair ramp in front of this door was added recently. The double doors open into the crematory room where there are four ovens for burning corpses. The windows on either side of the double doors are the windows of the crematory room.

At the south end of this building, which is to the left but not shown, are the four disinfection gas chambers. Notice the two large vents on the roof and the tall chimney over the crematory room. In the center of the building are two small vent pipes near the peak of the roof. The pipe on the roof at the left is over the gas chamber disguised as a shower room and the one on the right is over the vestibule between the mortuary room and the crematory room.

Baracke X, the crematorium and gas chamber building

The photograph below shows the south end of the crematorium building which is the area to the left that is not shown in the photograph above. On the far left of the photograph below is the open-air hallway where the second set of doors to the disinfection chambers are located. The double doors shown in the center of the picture open into a small vestibule between the disinfection gas chambers and a room on the south side of the undressing room next to the gas chamber disguised as a shower room. This room contains a display of photographs about the gas chamber, including a photograph of the original blueprints for the building and a copy of the letter from Dr. Sigmund Rascher to Heinrich Himmler which refers to a gas chamber that was being planned for this building. There is also a US Army photograph of the fully-clothed corpses, found in the room, which were spilling over into this vestibule. The soldiers made the obvious assumption that these dead prisoners had recently been killed in the disinfection gas chambers next door.

 

Double doors lead into a room next to the undressing room

The photograph below shows the outside wall of the gas chamber disguised as a shower room. On the wall are two bins which have hinges on the bottom so that they can be opened and closed. The hinges appear to be rusted permanently in the open position. These bins were used as chutes to pour Zyklon B pellets onto the floor of the gas chamber. The wall behind the bins has an opening with a grate over it on the inside wall of the building where the gas pellets came through the chute and fell onto the floor. The mysterious rectangular opening in the center between the bins could be a fresh air inlet or a peephole to observe the victims inside the gas chamber. There is no corresponding opening on the inside of the gas chamber. Between the rectangular opening and the bin on the right is a drain pipe to drain water off the roof.

The Baracke X building was outside the prison compound and separated from the concentration camp by the Würm river. The outside wall of the gas chamber was hidden from the view of the inmates by a ten-foot wall with a screen of poplar trees in front of it. The first photograph of the building taken by the American Army shows a wooden screen that had been placed by the Nazis in front of the bins in order to hide the activity of the SS in pouring the Zyklon B onto the floor of the gas chamber. In the Museum, there are no photographs of this building taken by the Nazis during construction or just after it was finished. The only photograph on display is the one taken by the US Army shortly after the liberation which shows this section of the wall hidden by a wooden screen.

Two small bins used to pour Zyklon B into the gas chamber

Close-up of outside wall of gas chamber

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