Commandant of Auschwitz: His Torture and His Forced Confessions
By Carlo Mattogno
On March 7, 1946, British officials showed up at the doorstep of Hedwig Höss’s house in British-occupied northern Germany. They wanted to know where her husband Rudolf Höss was hiding, the former commandant of the infamous Auschwitz Camp. Frau Höss claimed she didn’t know. But they didn’t believe her. They arrested her and threw her into prison. But she still refused to reveal her husband’s hiding place. The British therefore went back to Frau Höss’s home, kidnapped her five children, and threw them into prison as well. However, Frau Höss still wouldn’t budge. Hence, the British started beating her oldest child, 16-year-old Klaus.
Still not getting from Frau Höss what they wanted, they had a train pull up on the tracks behind the prison, threatening Frau Höss that her son would be deported to Siberia if she didn’t tell them. Only then did she finally relent.
A few hours later, at night, the British showed up at Höss’s hiding place. They caught him by surprise. They beat him; they forced alcohol down his throat; they stripped him naked; they tortured him for three days, never letting him sleep even for a minute. At the end of all this, the British finally got from Höss what they wanted: a handwritten confession.
85 DEPOSITIONS GIVEN
Thusly softened up, Höss started singing like a bird, following his jailers’ and abusers’ cues. For the next 13 months until his execution, he made a total of 85 different depositions, most of them dealing with what he claimed to have transpired at Auschwitz while he had been in charge. Most famous among them is Höss’s essay on the so-called “Final Solution of the Jewish Question,” which he penned while in Polish custody awaiting his trial and eventual execution. In it, he put on paper how it came about that he was put in charge of exterminating as many as 3 million Jews at Auschwitz, and how he implemented this most atrocious of all mass murders ever committed.
WHAT HÖSS ADMITTED TO . . .
Together with the many other writings produced while he was incarcerated, these writings and transcriptions form the core of evidence on what is said to have happened at Auschwitz, exactly because it was written by the man who confessed to being in charge of it all. These include:
• March 14, 1946 (deposition)
• March 16, 1946 (deposition)
• March 16, 1946 (another deposition)
• April 1, 1946 (interrogation)
• April 2, 1946 (interrogation)
• April 3, 1946 (interrogation)
• April 4, 1946 (interrogation)
• April 4, 1946 (deposition)
• April 5, 1946 (interrogation)
• April 8, 1946 (interrogation)
• April 8, 1946 (another interrogation)
• April 9, 1946 (interrogation)
• April 9, 1946 (another interrogation)
• April 10-12, 1946 (deposition)
• April 11, 1946 (interrogation)
• April 15, 1946 (interrogation)
• April 15, 1946 (another interrogation)
• April 16, 1946 (interrogation)
• April 23, 1946 (interrogation)
• April 23/24, 1946 (deposition)
• April 30, 1946 (interrogation)
• May 14, 1946 (interrogation)
• May 16, 1946 (interrogation)
• May 17, 1946 (interrogation)
• May 18, 1946 (interrogation)
• May 20, 1946 (interrogation)
• May 20, 1946 (deposition)
• Sept. 28, 1946 (interrogation)
• Oct. 1, 1946 (deposition)
• Nov. 7, 1946 (interrogation)
• Nov. 9, 1946 (interrogation)
• Nov. 11, 1946 (interrogation)
• Nov. 12, 1946 (interrogation)
• Nov. 14, 1946 (interrogation)
• Nov.15, 1946 (interrogation)
• Jan. 5, 1947 (interrogation)
• Jan. 6, 1947 (interrogation)
• Jan. 8, 1947 (interrogation)
• Jan. 9, 1947 (interrogation)
• Jan. 11, 1947 (interrogation)
• Jan. 29, 1947 (interrogation)
• Jan. 30, 1947 (interrogation)
• Jan. 31, 1947 (interrogation)
• March 3, 1947 (interrogation)
• Nov. 1946 through Feb. 1947 (35 essays and memos)
• March 11 through 29, 1947 (statements, Warsaw trial)
• April 11, 1947 (life story)
• April 12, 1947 (written deposition)
But is everything Höss told his captors actually true?
While it is true that his very first confession was extracted by torture, the same cannot be said of the many depositions he made during the subsequent and final 13 months of his life. Höss himself wrote that he was treated astonishingly humanely while in Polish custody, and that he truly deserved to be put to death for what was done by him and those under his command.
LAMENTABLE RESEARCH GAP
While a few books exist that lavishly quote Höss’s several postwar writings, most prominently Steven Paskuly’s Death Dealer, none of the authors or editors of the works published hitherto put in the effort of collecting all of Höss’s post-war statements, comparing them to reveal whether his many stories are consistent or contradictory, and comparing them with the actual, proven historical record as has been established by solid documentation and material evidence.
This lamentable research gap has finally been filled by Italian historian Carlo Mattogno, the most competent and prolific Revisionist writer ever. The result forms Volume 35 of the ever-growing series Holocaust Handbooks Series.
DON’T MAKE SENSE
In the first 10 pages of his book, Mattogno traces the gripping story of Höss’s capture and torture as summarized above, all solidly documented with what Mattogno found in the archives and in published confessions of Höss’s former tormentors. In the next 160-some-odd pages, Mattogno’s new book presents essential excerpts from many statements made by Höss while in prison, with a focus on what Höss claimed about the fate of the Jews at Auschwitz. The final and most important part of the book analyzes these excerpts meticulously in 145 pages. The author demonstrates that many of Höss’s various statements about the “Final Solution” contradict one another and are refuted by the actual historical record.
For example, Höss starts out by claiming that he received an order from the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, in the summer of 1941 to exterminate the Jews. After that, he claims to have visited the Treblinka extermination camp to learn there how to do it. The two most important problems with that claim are:
1) The alleged Treblinka extermination camp was established only one year later.
2) Himmler’s office diary proves that he never met with Höss in the summer of 1941.
Mainstream historians have tried to postdate that order to the summer of 1942, when Himmler actually visited Auschwitz, claiming that Höss simply made an error. However, Mattogno shows that Höss repeated this claim over and over again. In addition, the entire orthodox narrative depends on the order having been issued in the summer of 1941, as all other events of mass murder at Auschwitz are said to have unfolded from that point onward, and by the summer of 1942, the mass murder is said to have been in full swing for over half a year. Not that there is any reliable evidence for that, but that’s a different matter.
Höss’s stories about extermination orders issued or amended are also contradictory, plus they make no sense if compared with the actual record. Documents show that during the first half of 1942, for which Höss claims that an unconditional “kill-them-all” Himmler order was in effect, all Jews deported to Auschwitz were properly registered and admitted to the camp. There simply was no extermination going on says the forensic evidence.
KILL THEM ALL
In other depositions, Höss claimed that Jews were selected in order to pick out those who could work, implying that Himmler’s “kill-them-all” order either did not exist or was ignored by Höss and replaced with “kill the weak ones only.” This example shows that Höss’s claims are a convoluted tangle of untruths. This is true for basically anything he says about the entire affair. Mattogno has collected 53 separate topics about which Höss makes statements that are either internally inconsistent, contradict other statements he made, or are refuted by the actual historical record (or any combination of the three).
WHY DID HE LIE?
In his conclusion, Mattogno addresses the question arising from all this: Why did Höss keep on lying so excessively, after his initial physical abuse was over? Did he want to protect his family? Was he brainwashed to the point that he believed the propaganda he was fed, around which he then spun his own yarn? Did he try to buy time to have his execution postponed by babbling endlessly to anyone about anything they were willing to listen to? Or did he suffer from “Stockholm Syndrome,” meaning that he had changed sides, psychologically speaking, by finding his captors’ stance attractive and worthy of his support? There is no conclusive answer to that question. All we know is that, for one reason or another, Höss both figuratively and literally lied his head off.
Commandant of Auschwitz: Rudolf Höss, His Torture and His Forced Confessions, by Carlo Mattogno, softcover, 402 pages, bibliography, index, #802, $25 minus 10% for TBR subscribers plus $5 S&H inside U.S. (Email sales@Barnes Review.org for foreign S&H.) Send request with payment to TBR, P.O. Box 15877, Washington, D.C. 20003 or call 1-877-773-9077 toll free to order. See www.BarnesReview.com.