The Auschwitz Protocols, also known as the Auschwitz Reports, is a collection of three eyewitness reports from 1943–44 about the mass murder that was taking place inside the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland during the Second World War.
The reports were compiled by prisoners who had escaped from the camp, presented in the Protocols in their order of importance from the point of view of the Western Allies, though this was not their chronological order. The prisoners were Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler (the Vrba-Wetzler report), Arnost Rosin and Czesław Mordowicz (the Rosin-Mordowicz report), and Jerzy Tabeau (the "Polish Major's report"). The full reports were first published in this form by the United States War Refugee Board on 26 November 1944 under the title "German Extermination Camps—Auschwitz and Birkenau." They were submitted in evidence at the Nuremberg Trials as document number 022-L, and are held in the War Refugee Board archives in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in New York.
It is not known when they were first called the Auschwitz Protocols, but Randolph L. Braham may have been the first to do so. He used that term for the document in his The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary (1981).
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- 13 April
- Alfred Wetzler taken to Auschwitz.
- Dionys Lenard from Slovakia escapes from Majdanek with news of what happened to Slovakian Jews.
- 20 June
- Kazimierz Piechowski, a Polish prisoner, and three or four others escape; they pass information to the Polish Home Army (AK).
- 30 June
- Rudolf Vrba taken to Auschwitz.
- 2 November
- Kazimirez Halori, a Polish prisoner, escapes and passes information to the Polish Socialist Party.
- Report entitled "Auschwitz–Camp of Death" published by Natalia Zarembina, another Polish escapee; it is later published in English in 1943 (London) and March 1944 (New York).
Witold Pilecki, a Polish soldier, escapes. Witold's report is filed away by the British government with a note saying there was no indication as to the source's reliability. Jan Redzej and Edward Ciesielski escape with Pilecki and each compiles a separate report for the Polish Home Army.
Stanislaw Chybinski, a member of the Polish Home Army, escapes and compiles the report "Snapshots of Auschwitz".
Jerzy Tabeau (or Tabau) and Roman Cieliczko escape. They write a report in December 1943 and January 1944 that becomes known as the "Polish Major's report".
- 19 March
- Germany invades Hungary.
- 22 March
- The Washington Post and the New York Herald Tribune report the existence of gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz.
- 5 April
- Siegfried Lederer escapes to warn Jews in Theresienstadt and the Red Cross about the mass murder inside the camp.
- 7–11 April
- Vrba and Wetzler escape.
- 22 / 23 April
- Vrba and Wetzler arrive in Žilina, Slovakia.
- 24 April
- Vrba and Wetzler meet Dr Oscar Neumann of the Slovakian Jewish Council.
- 27 April
- Oscar Krasniansky completes a German translation of the Vrba-Wetzler report.
- 28 April
- A copy of the report is handed to Rudolf Kastner of the Budapest Aid and Rescue Committee. The first trainload of Hungarian Jews leaves for Auschwitz (preceding the mass deportations).
- c. 28 April
- Kastner gives a copy of the report to Geza Soos, Hungarian Foreign Ministry official; Soos gives it to Joszef Elias; Elias's secretary translates it into Hungarian and prepares six copies for Hungarian officials.
- 15 May
- Mass transports begin of Hungary's Jews to Auschwitz, at a rate of 12,000 a day.
- 27 May
- Arnost Rosin, a Slovakian Jew, and Czesław Mordowicz, a Polish Jew, escape from Auschwitz. They write a report about the killing of Hungarian Jews.
- 4 June
- The New York Times reports that a young Pole who escaped from Auschwitz described the gas chambers and said that Jews were being executed.
- 6 June
- Allied invasion of Normandy, France.
- mid June
- The Vrba-Wetzler report reaches the British and US governments.
- 15 June
- The BBC World Service reports that 4,000 Jews from the Theresienstadt concentration camp were killed in gas chambers at Auschwitz during March 1944. Rosin and Mordowicz (see 27 May) tell Oscar Krasniansky (see 27 April) that around 100,000 Hungarian Jews were killed on arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau between 15 and 27 May, apparently with no knowledge of what was about to happen to them.
- 16 June
- The New York World Telegram repeats the BBC's information. Allen Dulles, Swiss director of the US Office of Strategic Services, sends the Vrba-Wetzler report to the US State Department.
- 17 June
- The Los Angeles Times repeats the BBC's information.
- 20 June
- 'The Washington Times Herald reports the same, courtesy of Reuters, while The New York Times offers further details. In Bratislava, Vrba discusses his report with Vatican legate Monsignor Mario Martilotti, who then sends a copy to the Vatican via Switzerland.
- 25 June
- The New York Times reports that "new mass executions" recently took place in Auschwitz.
- 30 June
- The Kastner train, carrying 1,684 Jews, leaves Hungary for Switzerland via Bergen-Belsen.
- 1–10 July
- Several newspapers report that, between April 1942 and April 1944, 1.5 to 1.7 million Jews were killed at Auschwitz (from the Vrba-Wetzler report).
- 7 July
- Hungarian government orders a halt to the deportations.
- 9 July
- Mass deportations end.
- The Vrba-Wetzler report (the term "Auschwitz Protocols" is sometimes used to refer to just this report), a 30–40-page report written around 24 April 1944, after Vrba and Wetzler, two Slovakian prisoners, escaped from Auschwitz 7–11 April 1944. In the Protocols, it was 33 pages long and was called "No 1. The Extermination Camps of Auschwitz (Oswiecim) and Birkenau in Upper Silesia."
- The Rosin-Mordowicz report, a seven-page report from Arnost Rosin and Czesław Mordowicz, also Slovakian prisoners, who escaped from Auschwitz on 27 May 1944. This was presented as an addition to the Vrba-Wetzler report.
- The "Polish Major's report," written by Jerzy Tabeau (or Tabau), who was in Auschwitz under the pseudonym Jerzy (or George) Wesolowski, and who escaped with Roman Cieliczko on 19 November 1943. Zoltán Szabó writes that Tabeau compiled his report between December 1943 and January 1944. It was copied using a stencil machine in Geneva in August 1944, and was distributed by the Polish government-in-exile and Jewish groups. This was presented in the Protocols as the 19-page "No 2. Transport (The Polish Major's Report)."
The contents of the Protocols was discussed in detail by The New York Times on 26 November 1944.
- ^ Szabó (2011), pp. 85–120
- ^ a b Szabó (2011), p. 94
- ^ a b c Conway (2002), pp. 292–293, footnote 3
- ^ a b Szabó (2011), p. 91
- ^ a b c Gilbert (1989), p. 305
- ^ Szabó (2011), p. 90
- John Conway (2002). "The Significance of the Vrba-Wetzler Report on Auschwitz-Birkenau," in Rudolf Vrba. I Escaped from Auschwitz. Barricade Books, Appendix I.
- Gilbert, Martin (1989). "The Question of Bombing Auschwitz," in Michael Robert Marrus. The Nazi Holocaust: The End of the Holocaust. Part 9. Walter de Gruyter.
- Szabó, Zoltán Tibori (2011). "The Auschwitz Reports: Who Got Them, and When?" in Randolph L. Braham and William vanden Heuvel. The Auschwitz Reports and the Holocaust in Hungary. Columbia University Press.
- Braham, Randolph L. (2011) . The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. Columbia University Press.
- Henryk Świebocki (2013). Informing the world about Auschwitz Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau.