In 1987, I published a book devoted to Höss’s various post-war statements (Mattogno 1987). It listed 60 objections characterized by internal contradictions and insurmountable contradictions to the orthodox Holocaust narrative of that time, thus showing that “the former commander of Auschwitz lied on all essential points of his ‘eye-witness testimony,’ which must therefore be rejected as a gross fraud.” The tortures inflicted by the British on Höss at the time, which in 1987 had already been documented, were therefore not mentioned a priori in order to invalidate Höss’s declarations, but a posteriori in order to explain the contradictions and absurdities found in his statements.
In the present study, for which I had access to an enormously larger documentation, I approach the topic from a different angle. The fundamental problem which no one has ever considered is whether the core of Höss’s first statements mirrored reality, or whether it mirrored some preordained “truth” which the British questioning Höss forced him to comply with in order to “confirm” it. In other words: did those statements come from Höss or from his torturers? Hence, are they sincere and accurate, or in compliance with his inquisitors’ predilections? And what is the relationship between Höss’s first statements and those he made later? This study is a well-founded and documented answer to these questions.
On March 15, 1946, Field Security Section 92 summarized the events of Rudolf Höss’s arrest with reference to a report dated 13 November 1945:
“After five months of continuous investigations, interrogations and extensive searches, this Section has succeeded in arresting SS Obersturmbannfuehrer HOESS Rudolf Franz Ferdinand, who commanded the notorious AUSCHWITZ Concentration Camp which was built under his supervision and who, in 1943, became chief of Amt 1 of Amtsgruppe D (Inspectorate of Concentration Camps) in the SS Wirtschafts und Verwaltungs Hauptamt  As mentioned in the above quoted previous report, HOESS’ wife and her five children were located in this Section’s area (Sugar Factory, ST MICHAELISDONN. SUEDERDITMARSCHEN). When last interrogated in November 1945, Frau HOESS stated that she had last seen her husband in RENDSBURG on 30 April 1945. By assessing various psychological aspects of her story, members of this Section gained the firm impression that she was lying. After careful plans for her re-interrogation, based on data accumulated during the elapsed five months, had been worked out, Frau HOESS was arrested during the night of 5 Mar 46. It was only at 1600 hrs on the 11 Mar 46 that she finally broke down and admitted having been visited by HOESS in ST MICHAELISDONN in July 1945, that she had communicated with him later and that she knew his present whereabouts. She named as his address – GOTTRUPEL near FLENSBURG, c/o the farmer, Hans Peter HANSEN.”
Höss’s wife, Hedwig, was therefore arrested in the middle of the night, obviously in order to terrorize her and her five children, and “she finally[!] broke down” six days later. We will see later what methods were used to achieve this.
The British had been tracking down Höss for months. On October 24, 1945, Field Security Section 92 organized a raid at the sugar factory of St Michaelisdonn, during which they interviewed all employees as well as Höss’s wife. She made detailed statements about her husband, but did not reveal his hiding place. Meanwhile, the British had arrested Karl Sommer, who had been deputy chief of Office D II of the WVHA.4 Sommer reported that all members of Office Group D had assumed pseudonyms, and that Höss was now Driver Lang. The former commander of Auschwitz called himself Franz Lang.
Field Security Section 92, assisted by Section 318, went to Gottrupel on the night of March 13, where the farm was surrounded at 11 PM. Höss was surprised in pajamas.
“He was forced down immediately and his mouth prised open. The Medical Officer of 5 RHA, 7 Armd Div rapidly examined him for any hidden poison as we had obtained information that all members of Amtsgruppe D had been issued with the same poison with which Reichsfuehrer SS HIMMLER had succeeded in killing himself after capture. HOESS was living under the alias of LANG Franz at this farm (see attached statement ) but admitted his true identity within ten minutes of his arrest.”
On the day of the arrest, Captain William Cross, Chief of Field Security Section 92, signed the form “War Criminal Arrest Report” of the “Military Government of Germany,” which provides all the relevant details; in addition to the date and time (March 11, 1946, at 23 PM).
On March 15, 1946, Höss was handed over to Captain Harvey Alexander of the War Crimes Investigation Team, which placed him under the custody of the Army of the Rhine. On March 30, the prisoner was transferred to HQ 30 Corps District, in a detention facility called “Tomato” in Minden.
After his extradition to Poland (May 25, 1946), while in prison at Krakow, Höss recounted his experience during his arrest:
“I was arrested on 11 March 1946 (at 11 pm). My phial of poison had been broken two days before. When I was aroused from sleep, I thought at first, I was being attacked by robbers, for many robberies were taking place at that time. That was how they managed to arrest me. I was maltreated by the Field Security Police. I was dragged to Heide where I was put in those very barracks from which I had been released by the British eight months earlier. At my first interrogation, evidence was obtained by beating me. I do not know what is in the protocol, although I signed it. Alcohol and the whip were too much for me. The whip was my own, which by chance had gotten into my wife’s luggage. It had hardly ever touched my horse, far less the prisoners. Nevertheless, one of my interrogators was convinced that I had perpetually used it for flogging the prisoners. After some days, I was taken to Minden-on-the-Weser, the main interrogation center in the British Zone. There I received further rough treatment at the hands of the 1st English public prosecutor, a major. The conditions in the prison accorded with this behavior.” (My emphasis)
Rupert Butler’s Legions of Death, which recounted Höss’s arrest by the team of “Bernard Clarke, a “British” jew and a sergeant in 92nd Field Security Section”:
“At 5 pm on 11 March 1946, Frau Hoess opened her front door to six intelligence specialists in British uniform, most of them tall and menacing and all of them practised in the more sophisticated techniques of sustained and merciless investigation. No physical violence was used on the family: it was scarcely necessary. Wife and children were separated and guarded. Clarke’s tone was deliberately lowkey and conversational. He began mildly: ‘I understand your husband came to see you as recently as last night.’ Frau Hoess merely replied: ‘I haven’t seen him since he absconded months ago.’ Clarke tried once more, saying gently but with a tone of reproach: ‘You know that isn’t true.’ Then all at once his manner his changed and he was shouting: ‘If you don’t tell us we’ll turn you over to the Russians and they’ll put you before a firing-squad. Your son will go to Siberia.’ It proved more than enough. Eventually, a broken Frau Hoess betrayed the whereabouts of the former Auschwitz Kommandant, the man who now called himself Franz Lang. Suitable intimidation of the son and daughter produced precisely identical information” (My emphasis)
“Hoess screamed in terror at the mere sight of British uniforms. Clarke yelled: ‘What is your name?’ With each answer of ‘Franz Lang’, Clarke’s hand crashed into the face of his prisoner. The fourth time that happened, Hoess broke and admitted who he was. The admission suddenly unleashed the loathing of the jewish sergeants in the arresting party whose parents had died in Auschwitz following an order signed by Hoess. The prisoner was torn from the top bunk, the pyjamas ripped from his body. He was then dragged naked to one of the slaughter tables, where it seemed to Clarke the blows and screams were endless. Eventually, the Medical Officer urged the Captain: ‘Call them off, unless you want to take back a corpse.’ A blanket was thrown over Hoess and he was dragged to Clarke’s car, where the sergeant poured a substantial slug of whisky down his throat. Then Hoess tried to sleep. Clarke thrust his service stick under the man’s eyelids, and ordered in German: ‘Keep your pig eyes open, you swine.’ For the first time Hoess trotted out his oft-repeated justification: ‘I took my orders from Himmler. I am a soldier in the same way as you are a soldier and we had to obey orders.’ The party arrived back at Heide around three in the morning. The snow was swirling still, but the blanket was torn from Hoess and he was made to walk completely nude through the prison yard to his cell. It took three days to get a coherent statement out of him. But once he started talking, there was no holding him.”
On the following days, many newspapers, including German ones, reported on Höss’s arrest, always accompanied by the alleged gassing of 2 million people. On March 19, 1946, the Berliner Zeitung carried the front-page headline: “The man who gassed two million people” (“Der Mann, der zwei Millionen Menschen vergaste”). That news item, dated March 18, came from an “American news agency” and stated:
“During an interrogation, Hoess confessed to having gassed some two million people at Auschwitz.”
On the same day, Der Tagespiegel published a front-page article titled “The Commandant of Auschwitz Arrested” (“Der Kommandant von Auschwitz verhaftet”), also referring to a news item of March 18. The “gassing” story was reported with the same words.
The next day, the same journal returned to that subject with another frontpage article titled “Confession of the Auschwitz Commandant” (“Geständnis des Auschwitzer Kommandanten”) that referred to “a remarkable confession” in which Höss had admitted “that he personally, in carrying out Himmler’s orders, ordered the gassing of two million people in the time between June 1941 and the end of 1943, during which time he was commandant of Auschwitz.”
The British newspapers published the statement of March 16, 1946 even in facsimile; as did for instance The Daily Herald, in a front-page article by a certain Denis Martin (“This Man Killed 2,000,000”), which also very briefly summarized the statement of March 14, and The Daily Telegraph in a brief article on page 6 without headline. References to the Belsen Trial were present in all these articles. This confirms that the British knew perfectly well which things “the greatest individual killer in the history of the world” had been made to “confess.” The British clearly aimed at influencing public opinion, especially in Germany, in view of the future “re-education” following the victors’ prescriptions. Höss’s handwritten signature at the bottom of this document was designed to contribute a lot to this end.
What stands out immediately in the chronological presentation of Höss’s “confessions” as presented in Part One is that his first statements, those made to the British, contradict those he subsequently made in Nuremberg and later in Poland. It can now be argued that the former Auschwitz commandant’s knowledge regarding the extermination of the jews mirrored that of those who interrogated him.
This is undoubtedly the main reason why Holocaust historians have been silent about the contents of Höss’s statements to the British, particularly the one made on March 14, 1946, while at the same time seeking to reduce them to mere anticipations of future declarations.
During British imprisonment, Höss did not know anything about either the “first gassing” or the “gassings” in the old crematorium of the Main Camp. At Nuremberg, this story was probably suggested by the American interrogators who had taken it from the many testimonies on Auschwitz in their possession.
Höss ended his final statement by saying:
“Many things happened at Auschwitz, presumably in my name, of which I did not know anything. It is not true that I would have known everything that was happening in the camp. In this respect, first of all, my area of activities was too large; secondly, very important things were hidden from me. I learned of many events only here, during the investigation and during the trial. I myself, I personally did not steal, I did not mistreat the prisoners, I did not beat them. All that was done, I did by order of my superiors; I did not allow any arbitrary act. However, when making this statement, I have no intention of escaping [my] responsibility. This ends my statement.”
With the judgment pronounced on April 2, 1947, Höss was sentenced to death. He was found guilty of having caused the death of 300,000 registered detainees at Auschwitz, of 2,500,000 unregistered detainees, mostly jews who were deported to the camp and gassed, and of 12,000 Soviet prisoners of war. On April 5, Höss was transferred to the Wadowice Prison, about 25 km southeast of Auschwitz. On April 16, 1947, he was hanged inside the former concentration camp.
In this study, I have documented that all of Höss’s statements about the Holocaust are wrong, contradictory and absurd, and that his chronology of events is purely fictitious, just as the events he wove into them (the gassings). In a word, they are completely fabricated. How can this irrefutable fact be explained?
The torture inflicted by the British on the former Auschwitz commandant is undoubtedly an important but not the only explanation. The chronological development of Höss’s statements as presented in Part One highlights the development of his Holocaust knowledge, which shows a clear dependence on the “knowledge” of the investigators – first the British, then the American and finally Polish – who interrogated him.
He was clearly aware of the enormity of the accusations coming from witnesses, and at times, when they were going over the top, he also sought to limit these accusations quantitatively, but he fully accepted the basic thesis of the extermination of the jews by poison gas. Although at the beginning this thesis was imposed upon him with torture, he then accepted it almost in good faith, repeating it verbally and signing somewhat dubious statements. He always provided the widest assurance that every single one of his statements contained the pure truth and had been made voluntarily by him.
Ever since he got arrested and subsequently tortured and interrogated, Höss understood perfectly well that he had nowhere to escape. He knew very well that, being considered “the greatest individual killer in the history of the world,” his fate was sealed.
To sum up, from his first interrogation, which he had signed without even knowing the contents, the British interrogators imposed upon Höss by way of torture the Auschwitz narrative outlined during the Belsen Trial, and Höss subsequently stuck to this version due to the well-founded fear of retaliation against his family, who remained hostages of the British occupational authorities. His broken psyche made him uniquely subservient to his inquisitors, who induced him to make ever increasing “confessions” along with the growing amount of holocaust “information” they fed him, but at the same time this prevented him from keeping control over the enormous mountain of lies he was piling up – much of which he probably did not even remember – because of the enormous amount of contradictions they contain, as well as the many absurdities which are the most telling hallmarks of his lies. Initially, Höss was a coerced liar, but then he found a taste for the grandiloquent lie.