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Dounia Ourisson - Secrets of the Politburo of Auschwitz. Paris [1946] - first edition - copy with dedication of the Author

Opening price: $300

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12.05.2022 07:00pm

Les Secret du bureau politique d'Auschwitz - Secrets of the "Political Bureau of Auschwitz" by Dounia Ourisson. Amicale des déportés d'Auschwitz publishing: Féderation nationale des déportés résistants et patriotiques, Association of Auschwitz deportees: National Federation of Resistance and Patriot Deportees. Paris [1946] - first edition. French. The first and horrifying testimony of an Auschwitz prisoner who worked in the most terrible place in the camp - the office where the lives of prisoners were decided for life or death, survived the war thanks to her work as a translator, and testified in many trials against the Nazi war criminals. A copy with the dedication of the author Dounia Ourisson.

The Author Dounia Ourisson [1910 -1991] was born in Zhytomyr, Ukraine on January 18, 1910 and grew up in Paris. During the war she lived in Vienna. Arrested in March 1942 with her first husband Ariel Ourisson. The two were sent to Auschwitz together with about 1000 other people, of which 14 survivors remained alive and she was among them. Upon arrival, the two were separated as part of the selection, the men to one side, the women to the other. Upon her arrival at the camp, she was tattooed with the number 10308, and was sent to work as a translator in the "Political Bureau" of the camp under Hans Andreas Wilhelm Boger, thanks to her knowledge of several languages - Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, German and French. This department was the most terrible place, where the sentences for the prisoners in the camp were judged and passed - death by hanging, gas, or shooting.

In her detailed testimony before us, which was published shortly after the war, Ourisson describes in detail the process the prisoners went through in Auschwitz from their arrival at the camp to their extermination, a process she witnessed every day as part of her work. When a prisoner arrives at the camp, a case is opened for him. Each file included a number, a registration form that each detainee filled out as soon as he entered the camp with his personal details and origin. Letters sent to prisoners outside the camp were filed in these files, but no prisoner ever had access to them. In a nearby room called the "Death Section" three prisoners worked at registration. There the list of the dead was compiled. Each person murdered in the camp had a card showing the cause of death, the day, and the time of death. The cause of death was never written according to reality. Whether the prisoner died of typhoid, starvation, hanging, or torture, the card states that he "died a natural death." Starting in 1943, the Nazis systematically burned these cards. During the years she worked in that "Bureau", many files with the names of "prisoners on the way to the camp" were sent to the camp on behalf of the Gestapo with the words "night and fog" written on them - this secret password was understood only by the head of the political bureau, and its meaning was that the mentioned prisoner must die within three months. Such a prisoner was sent to work in the sewers, and if within three months he did not die from air poisoning, he was sent to be gassed to death.

She also describes that that about 55 to 60 people worked around the gas industry in the camp. The sentence of a prisoner who stuck his head out of the cell window was death on the spot. Prisoners who for one reason or another were sent from the camp to other camps signed a statement according to which they undertook not to reveal anything of what they saw in the camp. The author even states that every day they received new death records signed by Mengele, with a clear instruction that as the number of the dead increases, the old lists must be destroyed, An instruction that increased over time so that before the camp was evacuated by the Nazis in January 1945, all these records were burned. In cases where money was sent to the Jews from their relatives outside the camp, they had to sign a document confirming that they received the money - this document was sent back to their relatives, but in fact the money never reached them.
Among other things, Ourisson also describes the rebellion that broke out in the camp in the fall of 1944, and the torture that went through those accused of breaking it in - five Russians, three Polish Jews, and one Frenchman, and the anthrall that was in the camp that day. Thanks to her work Ourisson even survived the death march at the end of the war, remained in the Auschwitz camp and was liberated by the Red Army on January 18, 1945. Her husband Ariel Ourisson perished in Auschwitz. After the war she testified in several trials against the Nazi war criminals (during the Auschwitz trial in 1964 in Frankfurt she was a witness for the prosecution and more), and was even crowned a Knight of the National Order of Merit by François Mitterrand. Died on October 1, 1991 in Mexico City.

The illustration on the cover of the booklet alludes to Ourisson's work in Auschwitz. On the left, prisoners in Auschwitz between life and death, on the right, bureau workers check the registers of those sentenced to death and the dead, and a threatening hand is raised from above.

31 p. 21 cm. Stains. Good condition.

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96. Dounia Ourisson - Secrets of the Politburo of Auschwitz. Paris [1946] - first edition - copy with dedication of the Author