Controversy Of The Auschwitz Swimming Pool
By Robert Faurisson
July 20, 2001
(with addendum of July 27)
The Heretical Press
- The German-Australian revisionist Frederick Toben has brought to our
attention the fact that today, beside the swimming pool at Auschwitz I,
there stands a signboard bearing, in Polish, English and Hebrew, a notice
intended to have the visitor believe that the pool was in fact a simple
reservoir for the fire brigade. It reads as follows:
- "Fire brigade reservoir built in the form of a swimming pool,
probably in early 1944."
- He asks when exactly this signboard appeared. I myself have no idea but
the inscription is just as fallacious as any number of the Auschwitz
museum's other allegations or explanations. One fails to see why the
Germans, rather than settling for an ordinary reservoir, would have made one
in the fashion of a swimming pool... complete with diving board.
- The pool was a pool. It was meant for the detainees.
- Marc Klein mentions it at least twice in his 1947 recollections of the
camp. In an article entitled 'Auschwitz I Stammlager' he wrote:
- "The working hours were modified on Sundays and holidays, when most
of the kommandos were at leisure. Roll call was at around noon; evenings
were devoted to rest and to a choice of cultural and sporting
activities. Football, basketball, and water-polo matches (in an open-air
pool built within the perimeter by detainees) attracted crowds of
onlookers. It should be noted that only the very fit and well-fed,
exempt from the harsh jobs, could indulge in these games which drew the
liveliest applause from the masses of other detainees." (De l'UniversitÈ
aux camps de concentration: Telmorgnages strasbourgeois, Paris, les
Belles-lettres, 1947, p. 453).
- In his 1948 booklet 'Observations et reflexions sur les camps de
concentration nazis' he further wrote:
- Auschwitz I was made up of 28 blocks built of stone laid out in
three parallel rows between which ran paved streets. A third street ran
the length of the quadrangle and was planted with birch trees, the
Birkenhaller intended as a walkway for the detainees, with benches;
there also was an open air swimming pool (booklet of 32 pages printed in
Caen, 1948, p. 10; its text is a reproduction of the author's article
published in Etudes germaniques, n 3, 1948, pp. 244-275).
- M. Klein, professor at the Strasbourg medicine faculty, took care to
point out that his first statement had been submitted "to the reading and
scrutiny of Robert Weil, professor of science at Sarreguemines lycee," who
had been interned in the same camps as himself (p. 455).
- In 1985, at Ernst Zundel's first trial in Toronto, I spoke of M. Klein's
recollections but the real specialist on the history of the Auschwitz I
swimming pool was at that time none other than the Swedish revisionist
Dietlieb Felderer. If I remember correctly, the Canadian press headlined an
article on his testimony about it. Moreover, in his writings he often
returns to this and other quite concrete, quite precise subjects just as
disquieting for the supporters of the exterminationist argument.
- The water of the swimming pool can obviously be used by firemen in case
of emergency. In his booklet, M. Klein wrote:
- "there were firemen at the camp with very modern equipment" (p. 9).
Amongst the things that he had not expected to find on arriving, in June
1944, "at a camp whose sinister reputation was known to the whole world
thanks to the Allied radio broadcasts," one may note, for the detainees,
"a hospital with sections specialised in line with the most modern
hospital practices" (p. 4), "vast and well fitted-out wash houses along
with communal W.C.'s built according to the modern principles of
sanitary hygiene" (p. 10), "the micro-wave delousing process which had
just been created" (p. 14), "the mechanical bakery" (p. 15) the legal
aid for the detainees (pp. 16-17), the existence of "dietetic cooking"
for some of the sick, with "special soups and even a special bread" (p.
26), "a library where numerous reference works, classic textbooks, and
periodicals could be found" (p 27), the daily rolling by, next to the
camp, of "the Krakow-Berlin express" (p. 29), a cinema, a cabaret, an
orchestra (p. 31), etc. M. Klein also notes the horrible aspects of life
in the camp and all the rumours, including the "horrific stories" of
gassings which he seems not really to have believed until after the war,
and then only thanks to the testimonies in the "various trials of war
criminals" (p. 7).
- Addendum of July 27.
- A wartime detainee and, like M. Klein and R. Weil, a Jew himself,
confirmed, in a short testimony written in 1997 entitled "Une Piscine
Auschwitz," that he saw, in July 1944, dozens of his fellow prisoners busy
at work on the said pool which, he pointed out, had "a diving board and an
access ladder"; he could have added "along with three starting blocks for
- He wrote that towards the end of that month "a newsreel director had
some deportees filmed swimming there." As one might expect, he enlivened his
account with the regular stereotypes of the SS men's or kapos' brutality and
he saw in the making both of the pool and of the film nothing but a
propaganda operation. His report ends with two interesting remarks. First,
that in 1997 no guide was "aware" of the pool (which nonetheless stands
right before the guides' very eyes and of which a photograph accompanies the
article: we read that this picture, showing a swimming pool full of water,
was taken in that year) and that the author would like to know just where
the newsreel might be today. His question is akin to those put by some
revisionists: might the film not be "at the headquarters of the
International Red Cross"? Doubtless he meant: at the International Tracing
Service (ITS) located at Arolsen-Waldeck in Germany and operating under the
direction of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with
headquarters in Geneva. Since 1978, this body has barred revisionists from
its archives, which are known to be an exceptionally rich resource. For its
part, the Auschwitz State Museum probably possesses documentation relevant
to various aspects of this swimming pool's construction, e.g. the project,
the plans, the financing, the requests for and the supply of building
materials, the requisition of labourers, the inspection visits.
- (Reference for this account: R. Esrail, registration no. 173295, - Une
piscine ¦ Auschwitz ª, in AprËs Auschwitz (Bulletin de l'Amicale des
dÈportÈs d'Auschwitz), n 264/octobre 1997, p. 10).
- "Swimming Pool, Auschwitz Camp, June 1996. Inmates from Auschwitz and
surrounding camps enjoyed swimming and sunbathing beside the pool on
Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Although not as popular as sports like
soccer, some competition was organized where inmates from different
countries of origin, and different camps, raced in individual and relay
events." From www.air-photo.com
, now off-line.
- The Heretical Press
- PO Box 1004, Hull,
- Yorkshire HU3 2YT, England