1941 Kurt Gerstein joined the Health Department of the SS and in January 1942 he
was appointed head of the Technical Disinfection Service of the Waffen SS, responsible for
handling 'poisonous disinfectant gases'.
A friend later recalled: "He was so appalled by the satanic practices of
the Nazis, that their eventuel victory did not seem to him impossible."
Kurt Gerstein was deeply shaken by what he witnessed - he had but one desire: to
gain an insight into the Nazi death machinery and shout it to the whole world.
Eventually he risked his life to inform the Allies.
He described how the Jews
were forced to undress, the piles of shoes were allegedly 25 meters high, the
women's hair was cut off, the naked Jews were driven between two barbed wire
fences to the gas chambers.
"I see everything! The mothers, their babies at the breast, the little naked children, the men and women, naked. They enter into the death chamber, pushed by the leather whips of the SS. Pack well, that is what the captain ordered. Seven to eight hundred persons on twenty-five square meters. More than half are children ..."
five-year-old girl dropped a necklace and a three-year-old boy picked it up as
they passed into the chamber, where victims were crammed in so tightly they
could not move. Men, women, children filed past in ghastly parade as a burly SS
man promised in a loud, priestlike voice that nothing terrible was going to
happen to them. "All you have to do is breathe in deeply. That
strengthens the lungs. Inhaling is a means of preventing infectious diseases.
It's a good method of disinfection."