Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tesch & Stabenow...

Auschwitz Gas Chamber
I have always wondered what happened to those who were involved with the behind scene of the Holocaust.  By this I mean those people who helped make the Holocaust possible in ways other than working at the concentrations or committing the killings.  One thing that has always caught my curiosity is how the concentration camps were supplied with all of that poisonous gas that killed so many people.  Looking around online I found a particular story that answered some of my questions about some of these "behind the scene" people.  This story was about a company called Tesch & Stabenow.  During the time of the Holocaust, Tesch & Stabenow was the leading pest control company in that area.  Within this company out of Hamburg, they created mass amounts of Zyklon-B which was one of the main gases used to kill at the SS concentration camps.  Originally this gas was intended for the delousing and disinfection within these camps.  As time went on the amount of Zyklon-B being provided to these camps was in amount that were massive, way more than delousing/disinfecting required.   There were three people who were put on the Nuremburg Trials.  Those put on trial were the owner (Tesch), his deputy (Weinbacher) and the chief gassing technician (Droshin).  Both Tesch and Weinbacher were found guilty of knowingly selling gas that was being used for killing.  Both were executed.  What I found surprising in this case is the reasoning behind Droshin being acquitted.  He was not acquitted because they believed that he didn't know the intention for the gas that he was creating but rather his position in the company.  Those that acquitted him believed that because of where he was in the company, he had no control of where the guess was supplied to.  I had mixed feelings while reading this.  I think that if he knew the amounts being sent to these camps and he continued to help create the gas, then he is somewhat responsible for the deaths of these people.  Without him the gas would not even exist, so this makes him a major part of the supply process.  At the same time, if he wasn’t producing it someone else would be in his place.  I guess I am torn when it comes to an opinion about Droshin.  I do believe though that Tesch and Weinbacher were guilty if they were overseeing and allowing those mass amounts to go to the camps.  It’s crazy to think about how many people must have been involved to make the holocaust occur and I still wonder how many people were actually held accountable for their actions.  You can read the actual Nuremburg files for this case at this website:
Container of Zyklon B


Stein, Stuart. "The Zyklon B Case: Trial of Bruno Tesch and Two Others. United NationsWar Crimes Commission, 1947." HLSS - Social Sciences. University of the West of England, 27 Jan. 2007. Web. 10 Dec. 2011. <>.

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