The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Hans Münch
The Auschwitz Declaration

January 27, 1995

I, Dr. Hans Munch hereby attest that, as an SS physician on duty in Auschwitz in 1944, I witnessed the selection process of those who were to live and those who were to die.  Other SS physicians on duty in the camps made selections at the platform where the transports arrived.  They also made selections in the barracks.  I was exempt from performing selections because I had refused to do so.

I further attest that I saw thousands of people gassed here at Auschwitz.  Children, old people, the sick and those unable to work were sent to the gas chambers.  These were innocent human beings: Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, Hitler's political opponents - anyone who did not fit Hitler's idea of a pure Aryan race.

I am signing this paper of my own free will to help document the cruel intolerance of my fellow SS.

I, a former SS physician, witnessed the dropping of Zyklon B into simulated exhaust vents from outside the gas chambers.  Zyklon B began to work as soon as it was released from the canisters.  The effects of the gas were observed through a peephole by an assigned doctor or the SS officer on duty.  After three to five minutes, death could be certified, and the doors were opened as a sign that the corpses were cleared to be burned.

This is the nightmare I continue to live with fifty years later.

I am so sorry that in some way I was part of it.  Under the prevailing circumstances I did the best I could to save as many lives as possible.  Joining the SS was a mistake.  I was young.  I was an opportunist.  And once I joined, there was no way out.

Dr. Hans Munch
January 27, 1995, Auschwitz

(6 witnesses)

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