“a member of the NSDAP since 1922; a member of the SS since 1934; a member of the Waffen-SS since 1939” and “a member from 1 December 1934 of the SS Guard Unit, the so-called Deathshead Formation [Totenkopf Verband].”
[More deleted for brevity]
“I have been constantly associated with the administration of concentration camps since 1934, serving at Dachau until 1938; then as Adjutant in Sachsenhausen from 1938 to May 1, 1940, when I was appointed Commandant of Auschwitz. I commanded Auschwitz until 1 December 1943, and estimate that at least 2,500,000 victims were executed and exterminated there by gassing and burning…. Included among the executed and burnt were approximately 20,000 Russian prisoners of war,…100,000 German Jews, and great numbers of citizens…from…other countries. We executed about 400,000 Hungarian Jews alone at Auschwitz in the summer of 1944…. Mass executions by gassing commenced during the summer of 1941 and continued until fall 1944. I personally supervised executions at Auschwitz until the first of December 1943 and know by reason of my continued duties …that these mass executions continued as stated above. The “final solution” of the Jewish question meant the complete extermination of all Jews in Europe. I was ordered to establish extermination facilities at Auschwitz in June 1941. At that time, there were already in the general government three other extermination camps; Belzec, Treblinka, and Wolzek. …[W]hen I set up the extermination building at Auschwitz, I used Zyklon B, which was a crystallized prussic acid [prussic acid is simply HCN, hydrogen cyanide. -Ed R.] which we dropped into the death chamber from a small opening. It took 3 to 15 minutes to kill the people in the death chamber…. We knew when the people were dead because their screaming stopped.
“I understand English as it is written above. The above statements are true; this declaration is made by me voluntarily and without compulsion; after reading over the statements, I have signed and executed the same at Nuremberg, Germany, on the fifth day of April 1946.
Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Hoess
Taken as reproduced in Aspects of Western Civilization (sic), edited byPerry M. Rogers, pp.385-387.
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