The Stairs/Chute of Krema II and III
The presence on the blueprints of Krema II and III of a stairway from an external door has lead to claims that this demonstrates that these two buildings must have had a homicidal function. This argument, chiefly run by JC Pressac and later Professor Robert van Pelt goes somewhat along the lines that the original design had a chute to be implemented at this location which would be consistent with a normal morgue but the later addition of a stairway in this location implies that victims were intended to walk down this structure into a lethal gas chamber.
From the Judgement of Justice Grey at the trial of Deboral Lipstadt, the significance was summed up as follows:
“Meanwhile, Professor van Pelt also explained that when the plans of crematoria II and III were redesigned in late 1942 and early 1943, the corpse-slides or chutes appearing on the original plans were removed, and the entrance to the basement moved to the other side of the building. Thus, if the re-design was intended to facilitate the gassing of corpses, people who are already dead, it had only succeeded in compelling those who were carrying the corpses to negotiate a series of small rooms, narrow passages, and staircases to reach the gassing-space.”
At best it is a fairly weak argument, and rather a side issue because Krema Denial holds that these two buildings were most likely bakeries – and hence by definition these blueprints cannot be genuine – but lets examine what we can find out about this feature in more detail.
Above is a 1943 photo of Krema III (mysteriously with the partially underground undressing chamber and gas chamber not visible…), the door that is alleged to lead to the stairway/chute is circled in red. From the external appearance one would expect it would simply lead into a corridor on the ground floor and neither to a corpse chute or a stairway; and according to Krema Denial, that is exactly what it does. The alleged chute or stairway through such a door would be an extra-ordinary design.
Above we see a blueprint of Krema II (Krema III blueprints are very few), with staircase in cross-sectioned circled in red.
Above we see another blueprint of the floor plan of the basement level of Krema II (covered in Cyrillic characters). The disputed stairway is circled in red, in yellow I have circled the legitimate external stairway down to the basement level entry door. Apparantly the supposed design called for a superfluous door in close proximity.
This is a still later plan of Krema II of the ground floor level. For reasons unknown, the stairway and door does not appear on this plan (and is replaced by a storage room), this is just one of the many anomalies that appear on these peculiar blueprints. The legitimate external door is circled in yellow.
Above is a photo of the current state of the ruins of Krema III (the state of Krema II is too broken to inspect in this area). The yellow arrow points out the disputed door, alleged to lead to a staircase or chute. In fact, if you look beneath the collapsed concrete roof you can see nothing but unbroken floor. To the left are the covers of some structures that are built into the ground against the wall. I did not try to lift the covers, but at a guess they might be cisterns.
Above is a close-up of these possible cisterns – it is possible to look under the collapsed roof and see concrete floor. Part of the roof has collapsed into the exposed elevator shaft.
Around the other side of the building it is possible to see the remains of the external legitimate stairway and basement entrance door (circled yellow on the blueprints above)
The entire stairwell appears to have been cleared of rubble and the basement investigated by museum staff. It has now been covered with an impenetrable grill and it is impossible to see into the cellar. It is, however, possible to lie down on top of this grill and dangling ones digital camera, outstretched with the arm hanging downwards, use it as a kind of periscope and gain the following pictures:
The picture above represents the camera angled forward (ie, the alleged oven room is above the righthand wall). The light you can see coming through at the opposite wall is likely to be that coming through the opening of the elevator shaft.
The photo above is with the camera angled in the other direction (ie the wall of the underground undressing chamber is on the left hand side). There appears to be no evidence of any connection to an underground undressing chamber or any door or entrance through which 2000 Jewish victims could stream through to the gas chamber. There may be a small doorway concealed in the back corner behind the wooden support – unfortunately only the camera can descend into this space – the visitor can not view it directly.
The final image is the camera in the centre. At the opposite wall is supposed to be found the large double doors into the gas chamber – through which 2000 Jewish victims daily streamed in and their corpses were dragged out to be loaded on the elevator. There is absolutely no sign of this door.