Johann Paul Kremer, M.D., Ph.D., professor at the
University of Münster, arrived at Auschwitz on
August 30, 1942, where he replaced a doctor who had
fallen sick. He carried
out assessments of prisoners attempting to gain
admission to the hospital.
Kremer ordered most of them killed by phenol injection.
He selected prisoners who struck him as particularly
good experimental material, and questioned them just
before their deaths, as they lay on the autopsy table
awaiting injection, about such personal details as their
weight before arrest and any medicines they had used
recently. In some cases, he ordered these prisoners
gassings in Auschwitz and wrote about them in his
September 2, 1942
For the first time, at 3:00 A.M. outside, attended a
special action. Dante's Inferno seems to me almost a
comedy compared to this. They don't call Auschwitz the
camp of annihilation for nothing!
September 5, 1942
In the morning attended a special action from the
women's concentration camp (Muslims); the most dreadful
of horrors. Master-Sergeant Thilo (troop doctor)
was right when he said to me that this is the anus
mundi. In the evening towards 8:00 attended another special
action from Holland. Because of the special rations
they get a fifth of a liter of schnapps, 5 cigarettes,
100 g salami and bread, the men all clamor to take part
in such actions. Today and tomorrow (Sunday) work.
After the war, Johann
Paul Kremer testified about his diary. An extract is
found in "The Good Old Days": The
Holocaust as Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders,
Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen, and Volker Riess, Eds., 1991,
unpleasant was the gassing of the emaciated women from
the women's camp, who were generally known as
'Muslims'. I remember I once took part in the gassing
of one of these groups of women. I cannot say how big
the group was.
When I got close to the bunker [I saw] them sitting on
the ground. They were still clothed. As they were
wearing worn-out camp clothing they were not left in
the undressing hut but made to undress in the open
I concluded from the behavior of these women that they
had no doubt what fate awaited them, as they begged
and pleaded to the SS men to spare them their lives.
However, they were herded into the gas chambers and
As an anatomist I have seen a lot of terrible things:
I had had a lot of experience with dead bodies, and
yet what I saw that day was like nothing I had ever
seen before. Still completely shocked by what I had
seen I wrote in my diary on 5 September 1942: 'The
most dreadful of horrors. Hauptscharführer Thilo was
right when he said to me today that this is the anus
mundi', the anal orifice of the world.
I used this image because I could not imagine anything
more disgusting and horrific.
Kremer at a hearing on 18 July 1947 in Cracow