Auschwitz crematorium exhibition opens in Berlin
17 June 2005, BERLIN - An exhibition opens at Berlin's Jewish Museum on Sunday tracing how an ordinary German engineering company designed and built the crematoria at Nazi death camps including Auschwitz.
17 June 2005
BERLIN - An exhibition opens at Berlin's Jewish Museum on Sunday tracing how an ordinary German engineering company designed and built the crematoria at Nazi death camps including Auschwitz.
An Erfurt company, Topf & Soehne (Topf and Sons), not only built the furnaces, but devised the ventilation system for the gas chambers at Auschwitz while striving "to give the SS the best advice on the construction of the death factories", the museum said on Friday.
The museum said the exhibition, organised jointly with the Auschwitz Museum and two Holocaust memorial sites at Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dorau, will run in Berlin from 19 June to 18 September.
The exhibition, entitled 'Technicians of the Final Solution', will examine the role of industry in the murder of millions of Jews in the Nazi death camps during World War Two.
"Topf & Soehne was a perfectly normal German industrial enterprise - until it became a business partner to the SS," the Jewish Museum said. Remnants of the Auschwitz furnaces have been brought to Berlin.
The central issue is the "moral and inhuman indifference" on the part of the Topf company employees in knowingly assisting in the genocide, the museum said. The display includes quotes from the firm's staff as well as from death camp prisoners.
Allied investigators easily discovered the company after the camps were liberated: it had its name-plate on the furnaces. Holocaust historians said in Berlin on Friday the company staff either denied their role or tried to justify it.
Ernst-Wolfgang Topf, one of the proprietors, insisted to his death that the furnaces were "innocent". He set up a new business after the Second World War building crematoria.
Subject: German news