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SS Doctor at Auschwitz

Johann Paul Kremer

Diary - Selected Extracts



On August 29, 1941, Johann Paul Kremer, a medical doctor who had joined the Wehrmacht on May 20, 1941, was ordered to Concentration Camp Auschwitz to replace another surgeon. Kremer kept a diary of many of his daily activities throughout the war. After his arrival at Auschwitz, oftentimes within the same entry Kremer speaks without emotion of “actions” he observed and the food he ate, as if these two activities are on the same plane. The footnotes to the diary contain important corroborating or clarifying information and should be read along with the primary text.


29 August 1942


Ordered according to F. L. USSZ 2150 Aug 28. 42. 1833 to Concentration Camp Auschwitz to replace a surgeon there who had been taken sick.


30 August 1942


Departure from Prague, 8.15 am through Bohmisch Trubau, Olmutz, Prerau, Oderberg. Arrival at Concentration Camp 5.36 pm  


Quarantine in camp on account of numerous contagious diseases (typhus, malaria, diarrhoea). Received top secret order through the garrison physician Hauptsturmfuhrer Uhlenbrok and accommodation in a room (No 26) in the Waffen-SS club –house


31 August 1942


Tropical climate with 28 degrees centigrade in the shade, dust and innumerable flies. Excellent food in the Home, this evening, for instance, we had sour duck livers for 0.40 mark, with stuffed tomatoes, tomato salad etc. Water is infected, so we drink seltzer water, which is served free (Mattoni)


First inoculation against typhus. Had photo taken for the camp identity card


1 September 1942


Have ordered SS officer’s cap, sword belt and braces from Berlin by letter. In the afternoon was present at the gassing of a block with Zyklon B against lice


Jews at the Drancy camp

2 September 1942


Was present for first time at a “special action” at 3 am. By comparison Dante’s Inferno seems almost a comedy. Auschwitz is justly called an extermination camp


Notes: On this date a transport of 1,000 Jews from Drancy – the twenty-sixth RSHA transport from France. There are 545 men and boys, 455 women and girls in the transport.


A first selection is carried out in Cosel, 761 people are killed in the gas chambers.


5 September 1942


This noon was present at a special action in the women’s camp, “Moslems”  – the most horrible of all horrors. Hschf Thilo, military surgeon, is right when he said to me today that we are located here in “anus mundi” (anus of the world).


In the evening at about 8 pm another “special action” with a draft from Holland. Men compete to take part in such actions as they get additional rations – one fifth litre of Vodka, 5 cigarettes, 100 gram’s of sausage and bread. Today and tomorrow (Sunday) on duty


Notes: 714 Jewish men, women and children from Westerbork arrive in an RSHA transport from Holland. 661 of this transport were gassed. 


6 September 1942


Today an excellent Sunday dinner: tomato soup, one half a chicken with potatoes and red cabbage (20 grams of fat), dessert and magnificent vanilla ice-cream.


After dinner we welcomed the new garrison doctor, Obersturmfuhrer Wirths from Waldbrol, Sturmbannfuhrer Fietsch in Prague had been his regimental surgeon. It is a week since I came to camp and still have not been able to get rid of the fleas in my room in spite of using all kinds of insecticides, such as Flit (Cuprex) etc


I got a refreshing impression after visiting the commandant’s aide-de-camp for the first time. Above his room I saw a big inscription on paper, “Cyclists dismount.”


We have also verses worthy of notice hanging in the office of our SS hospital:


“If you make a thousand lucky hits, People see them, they nod and pass. But even the smallest yelping dog will never forgot, should you miss but once."


In the evening at 8’oclock attended another special actions outdoors.


Notes: 981Jews arrived at Auschwitz from the transit camp at Drancy, France, of which 927 were gassed immediately.


9 September 1942


This morning I received most welcome news from my solicitor Professor Hallermann in Munster, that I was divorced from my wife from the 1st of the month


Later was present as physician at the flogging of 8 camp inmates and at one execution by shooting with a small calibre gun. Got soap flakes and 2 cakes of soap. At noon a civilian jumped out of the blue at my bicycle, just like an assassin, ran alongside and begged me to tell him whether I was State Councillor Heuner from Wroclaw (Breslau).


He fought in World War 1 side by side with that gentleman. How many doubles have I then, running about in this world. In the evening present at a special action (4th time).Notes: 1,000 Jewish men, women and children arrive from Drancy in the twenty-ninth RSHA transport from France. 689 people are killed in the gas chambers.    


SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Philipp Schmidt, the first commander of the assembly camp for Jews, in Mechelen outside Mailines

10 September 1942


In the morning was present at a special action (5th time). Notes: 1,000 Jews arrive from the Malines Camp with the eight RSHA transport from Belgium. After a first selection was carried out in Cosel, 715 people were taken to the gas chambers.


11 September 1942


Obersturmbannfuhrer Lolling came to camp today, and when presented to him I learned only then that I was standing in for Hauptscharfuhrer Kitt, who was now convalescing in Obersalzberg.


14 September 1942


Again relapsed into the Auschwitz illness; temperature 37.8 centigrade. Today given the third and final inoculation against typhus


17 September 1942


Have ordered a casual coat from the Clothes Distribution Office (Kleiderkasse) in Berlin. Have included coupons for the coat, as part of my uniform. Together with Dr Meyer today visited the women’s camp in Birkenau


20 September 1942


This Sunday afternoon from 3pm to 6pm I listened to a concert of the prisoners’ band in glorious sunshine; the bandmaster was a conductor of the Warsaw State Opera, 80 musicians.


Roast pork for dinner, baked tench for supper


23 September 1942


This night was present at the 6th and 7th special actions. Obergruppenfuhrer Pohl with suite arrived at the Waffen –SS club-house in the morning. The sentry at the door presented arms before me for the first time.


At 8 o’clock in the evening supper in the Home with Obergruppenfuhrer Pohl, a truly festive meal. We had baked pike, as much of it, as we wanted, real coffee, excellent beer and sandwiches.


Notes: Jews from Slovakia arrive on a RSHA transport only 294 men and 67 women are admitted, the rest are gassed.


1,000 Jewish men, women and children from Pithviers arrive on the thirty-fifth RSHA transport from France. 641 deportees are gassed immediately


27 September 1942


Eduard Wirths

This Sunday afternoon, from 4 till 8, a party in the club with supper, free beer and cigarettes. Speech by Commandant Hoss and a musical and theatrical programme.


30 September 1942


This night was present at the 8th special action. Aumeier told me, when I asked for information, that KL Auschwitz was over 12 kilometres in length and 8 kilometres wide. It’s area covered 22,000 morgs, including 12,000 morgs of arable land and 2,000 morgs of fish ponds


Notes: 610 Jewish men, women and children arrive from Westerbork in as RSHA transport from Holland. 454 deportees are gassed immediately.


3 October 1942


Today I preserved fresh material from the human liver, spleen and pancreas, also lice from persons infected with typhus, in pure alcohol. Whole streets at Auschwitz are down with typhus. I therefore took the first inoculation against abdominal typhus.


Obersturmbannfuhrer Schwarz ill with typhus


6 October 1942


Obersturmfuhrer Entress met with an accident on his motorcycle, I dressed his injuries. Commandant Hoss fell from his horse. Obersturmfuhrer Wirths still absent


7 October 1942


Present at the 9th special action (new arrivals and women “Moslems”) Wirths finally back. Am acting for Entress in men’s camp (introducing doctors etc)


Notes: 2012 Jewish men, women and children arrive from Westerbork in an RSHA transport from Holland. 1414 deportees as well as female prisoners selected from the camp are killed in the gas chambers.


12 October 1942


The second inoculation against typhus, strong reaction in the evening (fever). In spite of this was present at night at another special action with a draft from Holland (1,600 persons). Horrible scenes in front of the last bunker. This was the 10th special action


Notes: The twelfth and thirteenth RSHA transport from Belgium bring 995 and 675 Jews respectively, from the Malines Camp. 1558 deportees are gassed immediately


13 October 1942


Arrival of Untersturmfuhrer Vetter. Sturmbannfuhrer Caesar also ill with typhus, after his wife died of it a few days ago. Was present at a punishment and then at the execution of 7 Polish civilians


17 October 1942


Was present at a punishment and 11 executions. Have taken fresh liver, spleen and pancreas material after an injection of pilocarpin


Drove to Mikolow with Wirths, who had told me earlier that I would have to stay on longer


Round up of Jews in Holland, many if whom were killed in Auschwitz

18 October 1942


In wet and cold weather was on this Sunday morning present at the 11th special action (from Holland). Terrible scenes when 3 women begged to have their bare lives spared


Notes: 1710 Jewish men, women and children arrive from Holland. 1594 deportees are gassed immediately. Kremer under investigation in Krakow on the 18 July 1947 added to this entry:


Three women from Holland didn’t want to go to the gas chamber and begged for their lives. They were young and healthy women and yet their pleas weren’t heard, instead the SS men participating in the operation shot them right on the spot."


19 October 1942


Went to Kattowitz with Obersturmfuhrer Wirths and Mrs Hoss to buy shoulder-straps for the overcoat. Got back through Mikolow


24 October 1942


6 women from the Budy mutiny got injections (Klehr).


25 October 1942


Today, Sunday took a bicycle trip via Rajsko to Budy in wonderful autumn weather. Wilhelmy back from his trip to Croatia (plum brandy)


31 October 1942


Very beautiful autumn weather for the last 14 days, so that every day one has the opportunity of sun-bathing in the garden of the Waffen-SS club house. Even the clear nights are relatively mild.


As Thilo and Meyer are home on leave I took over the duties of military physician. On account of an official trip to my military authorities I asked for 5 days leave to go to the SS military hospital in Prague


1 November 1942


Today, Sunday after duty in the hospital, chiefly collecting blood samples from venulae, at 1.01pm departure from Auschwitz by long distance train to Prague.  Arrival in Prague at 10.30 in the evening


6 November 1942


The nurse woke me at 6 in the morning, and soon after I was at the station (tram number 21 and 7), where I got into an express for Mahrisch Ostrau at 8.10.


In Prerau I changed trains and boarded the Vienna – Cracow express. I had hardly entered the second class compartment, when a Major- General started a conversation and was my companion for the rest of the journey.


We were almost the only two occupants of the compartment. He told me about his experiences at the front and shook hands with me at the end of the journey.


The whole trip Prague-Auschwitz took over 9 hours. Having reached my destination I immediately set off to the SS officer’s mess, where at last I had the chance to eat as much as I wanted


8 November 1942


Took part this night in 2 special actions in rainy and murky weather (12th and 13th). In the morning I welcomed Hauptscharfuhrer Kitt, a pupil of mine from Essen to the hospital.


Jews from the Zichenau district read a Nazi decree in 1941

Another special action in the afternoon, the 14th in which I had participated so far. In the evening a cosy gathering to which I was invited by Hstuf Wirths, now present in camp. We had Bulgarian red wine, plum brandy from Croatia


Notes: 1,000 Jews arrive on a RSHA transport from the ghettos in the so-called Administrative District of Zichenau. All of this transport were gassed immediately


1,000 Jewish men, women and children arrive from Drancy on the forty-second RSHA transport from France. 773 deportees are killed in the gas chambers. 1,000 Jewish men, women and children arrive on a RSHA transport from the ghetto in the Bialystok District


15 November 1942


Was present at a punishment in the morning.


17 November 1942


Made ready for tomorrow’s departure for Prague. In the hospital: Jambor, Brauner, Biedermann, Wilks and in the wards: Klehr, and Scherpe, all of them “old barbed-wire fighters” and “concentration camp hares.”


Stabsscharfuhrer Ontl wangled a coupon for a pair of breeches from me. The pharmacist Hauptsturmfuhrer Kromer was always very helpful in preparing the necessary reagens; Sauther the dentist, has been recently transferred to Minsk


18 November 1942


Today at 1.20 pm departure for Prague via Oderberg, Mahrisch Ostrau (change trains), Prerau, Olmutz. Arrival in Prague at 10.11 pm. Here I caught a good connection to the military hospital



Auschwitz Chronicle – Danuta Czech,published by Henry Holt New York 1990

KL Auschwitz Seen by the SS published by the Auschwitz Museum 1978

The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Oswiecim "Diary of Paul Kremer"

The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, 1963–1965 Genocide, History and the Limits of the Law Devin O. Pendas Boston College, Massachusetts


Holocaust Historical Society



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