The Holocaust Historiography Project

The Franke-Gricksch 'Resettlement Action Report' A Fabrication

The Franke-Gricksch Report is considered by many to be an extremely important document in making the case for mass exterminations. Gerald Fleming, for example, devotes an entire chapter of his book “Hitler and the Final Solution” to an evaluation of this document.

According to legend, the original document was supposedly found in Major Alfred Franke-Gricksch’s career file by Eric Lipman, an officer with the War Crimes Branch of the U.S. Third Army (supposedly Lipman was tipped to its existence after finding a carbon copy of the document somewhere in Bavaria ). Lipman supposedly excerpted the Report from the document by making a typescript copy (that is, typing a copy in German from the German original). The carbon copy of the original was then turned over to the prosecution team at Nuremberg, while the original (according to Pressac) is now thought to be preserved in the National Archives Collection reference NA RG 238. However, the original seems to have become lost, and as of the middle of 1991 no one else has seen hide nor hair of it.

The American prosecution team at Nuremberg never made use of this document, which raises the question as to whether they ever received it, which in turn raises questions at to whether it even exists.

On Gerald Fleming’s part, on February 19, 1991, Brian Renk requested a copy of the carbon copy of the original document from which the Report was allegedly excerpted. Fleming responded by sending a photocopy of the Report ONLY, this in spite of the fact that Fleming has claimed to have in his possession one of three carbon copies of the original document.

Fleming doesn’t mention that the Franke-Gricksch “report” is but part of a larger document, and that is just one of the problems he has with this document. For example, in his book he fails to state that the document to which he devotes an entire chapter is nowhere signed by Franke-Gricksch. He also erroneously stated in a private letter to F-G’s widow that her husband had signed this Report. He also avoids mentioning the peculiarities in the document (discussed below). He also finds fault with only one portion of the Report, and then goes on to quote Filip Mueller as an expert on the topic! Therefore, Fleming is ignorant of the true source of the document, and overlooks (conceals? misrepresents?) problems in the document in order to make his point.

Fleming does not let the F-G report off the hook completely, however. He states:

Franke-Gricksch’s account of 'the execution of the Fuehrer-order,” namely, the lowering of 'certain materials' into a large cellar room resembling a 'shower bath' and activation and release of 'particular substances that put people to sleep in one minute' is a fraudulent and cynical white-washing of death by gassing.

What we are left with then, is no original or carbon copy thereof, and the only evidence we have of this document’s existence is the excerpted Report, the deficiencies of which I shall examine now.

Among of the most obvious things wrong with this “document” is the accidental use of English words in place of German words. Some of these anglicisms were corrected on the typescript copy, some were not. For example, on the first line of the report, “had” for “hat;” “der,” the second word of line 2, typed over “the;” and on line 3, “hier” typed over “here.” On line 8 of the second page of the report, the alleged copyist typed “had,” but corrected it to “hat,” only to begin the following word with “t” (evidently for “the") before catching that and typing the correct German definite article “die.” Furthermore, in the final paragraph of page 1, the English participial ending “d” is twice typed for the German “t,” that is “ausgestatted” for “ausgestattet” on line 5, which has been corrected, and “gebaded” for “gebadet” on line 9. Last but not least, the verb “kommt” is used twice with the same subject in the sentence beginning on line 6 of the third paragraph of line 1.

All that aside, any reasonable person reading this “report” would immediately suspect something is wrong. Where is this “house?” Where are the hollow pillars? What “certain substances” are used? How is it possible to open the doors a few minutes after a lethal gassing when a deadly poison is supposedly still rampant in the air? How can the hair be cut off without first rinsing it of the poison gas? Just how big is this house that it has elevators for hundreds of dead people? Is it normal for large Polish houses to have ten large crematories? By what amazing physical property do fresh corpses burn particularly well? If it takes a modern crematory 2 to 3 hours to partially dispose of a human corpse, how can 10,000 corpses be disposed of in 24 hours with only 10 crematories?

French Holocaust researcher Jean-Claude Pressac says (on page 244 of Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers), “On 28th June, following the handover of Krematorium III, the last one to be completed, Jaehrling calculated the overall throughput for the five Krematorien as 4,756 people in 24 hours, and sent this information to SS General Kammler in Berlin (Document 68). This official figure, coolly doubled when explaining operations to high-ranking visitors (ef. SS Major Franke-Gricksch’s report above, giving a figure of 10,000 in 24 hours), had no basis in practice, and probably has to be divided by two or three to arrive at the true figure.”

Pressac is also much less generous than Fleming regarding other aspects of the Franke-Gricksch “report.” Among the points he notes in this report are:

  1. The “large house” is actually Krema II at Birkenau.
  2. There are not 5 or 6 steps into the Leichenkeller, but 10.
  3. There are not 3 pillars inside the “gas chamber” but 4.
  4. The “doors” cannot be closed when there is only one door involved.
  5. There is no door to open “on the other side” because again there is only one door.
  6. The lift does not take the corpses to the first floor, but to the ground floor.
  7. There are not 10 crematory furnaces but 5 three-muffle furnaces.
  8. There were probably not 500,000 Jews in killed in May, 1943, and true number is somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000.
  9. The capacity of Krema II was not 10,000 per 24 hours, but rather 4,756 for all FIVE crematoria combined, and even this is a theoretical output “that was never achieved in 1943, as proved by the Krematorium coke consumption.” Pressac calls this claim “another Auschwitz SS propaganda figure passed on by Franke-Gricksch.”

Some of these points, such as the actual location of the “large house” and the true number of Jews killed, are pure conjecture on Pressac’s part.

To make up for the deficiencies in the F-G “report,” Pressac concocts an elaborate scenario in an attempt to preserve the desirable portions of the Report while shrugging off the ridiculous portions.

Even so, Pressac misses some of the problems with this document. For example:

  1. He fails to explain how the Sonderkommando members could have resisted the lingering Zyklon B gas as they went to work hauling bodies from the gas chamber, removing gold teeth, etc., only “a few minutes” after the killings.
  2. Anyone visiting the ruins of Leichenkeller I can see that the four pillars are not hollow at all, but are solid, which would have prevented anything from being dropped down them.
  3. Pressac fails to address the assertion that “fresh corpses burn particularly well.”
  4. Pressac ignores the Report’s mention of a “special rail track into an area of the camp specifically set aside for this purpose.” Although there was a rail spur into Birkenau, work was not begun on it until January, 1944. (This single reference, by the way, is enough by itself to show that this document is almost certainly a post-war forgery.)

Unmentioned by both Fleming and Pressac is the fact that nowhere in the report does it say that Franke-Gricksch saw the process he describes. In fact, the report claims he was given a tour of the facilities and the process was explained to him. We know from the records at Auschwitz that Franke-Gricksch was there from May 14-16, 1943.

These are certainly remarkable characteristics for what Fleming, Pressac, and others advance as a simple transcription of a German original. A less trusting (or perhaps more scrupulous) interpreter would be well within his rights to suggest that this document was based on an English-language, not German-language, source.

In short, what we have here is 1) a carbon copy of a typed copy of a carbon copy of an original document, and this original document has never surfaced, 2) gross errors in the typed copy that would lead any scholar to suspect that the “Report” was not copied from a German document, but translated from an English original (that is, forged), and 3) several inaccuracies in the Report itself, at least one of which damns the Report as a forgery.

Ask yourself this question: with all the tons and tons of papers removed from Germany after the war, with all the code intercepts during the war, with all the intelligence activity during the war, why do anti-revisionists find themselves forced to refer to transparent fabrications such as the Franke-Gricksch Report to support their position? The mass gassing of millions of Jews (and millions of others) is no easy task, and would certainly leave behind some trace. Without this trace, the only conclusion is that it never happened.

Anyone interested in a fuller treatment of this document are directed to “The Franke-Gricksch 'Resettlement Action Report': Anatomy of a Fabrication,” by Brian Renk, which appeared in the Fall 1991 Journal of Historical Review, page 261.