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The Auschwitz Protocols, also known as the Auschwitz Reports, is a collection of three eyewitness reports from 1943–44 about the mass murder that was taking place inside the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland during the Second World War.[1]

The reports were compiled by prisoners who had escaped from the camp, presented in the Protocols in their order of importance from the point of view of the Western Allies, though this was not their chronological order.[2] The prisoners were Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler (the Vrba-Wetzler report), Arnost Rosin and Czesław Mordowicz (the Rosin-Mordowicz report), and Jerzy Tabeau (the "Polish Major's report").[2] The full reports were first published in this form by the United States War Refugee Board on 26 November 1944 under the title "German Extermination Camps—Auschwitz and Birkenau."[3] They were submitted in evidence at the Nuremberg Trials as document number 022-L, and are held in the War Refugee Board archives in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in New York.[3]

It is not known when they were first called the Auschwitz Protocols, but Randolph L. Braham may have been the first to do so. He used that term for the document in his The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary (1981).[3]

Component reports

  • The Vrba-Wetzler report (the term "Auschwitz Protocols" is sometimes used to refer to just this report), a 30–40-page report written around 24 April 1944, after Vrba and Wetzler, two Slovakian prisoners, escaped from Auschwitz 7–11 April 1944.[4] In the Protocols, it was 33 pages long and was called "No 1. The Extermination Camps of Auschwitz (Oswiecim) and Birkenau in Upper Silesia."[5]
  • The Rosin-Mordowicz report, a seven-page report from Arnost Rosin and Czesław Mordowicz, also Slovakian prisoners, who escaped from Auschwitz on 27 May 1944.[4] This was presented as an addition to the Vrba-Wetzler report.[5]
  • The "Polish Major's report," written by Jerzy Tabeau (or Tabau), who was in Auschwitz under the pseudonym Jerzy (or George) Wesolowski, and who escaped with Roman Cieliczko on 19 November 1943. Zoltán Szabó writes that Tabeau compiled his report between December 1943 and January 1944. It was copied using a stencil machine in Geneva in August 1944, and was distributed by the Polish government-in-exile and Jewish groups.[6] This was presented in the Protocols as the 19-page "No 2. Transport (The Polish Major's Report)."[5]

The contents of the Protocols was discussed in detail by The New York Times on 26 November 1944.

See also


  1. Szabó (2011), pp. 85–120
  2. 2.0 2.1 Szabó (2011), p. 94
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Conway (2002), pp. 292–293, footnote 3
  4. 4.0 4.1 Szabó (2011), p. 91
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Gilbert (1989), p. 305
  6. Szabó (2011), p. 90


John Conway (2002). "The Significance of the Vrba-Wetzler Report on Auschwitz-Birkenau," in Rudolf Vrba. I Escaped from Auschwitz. Barricade Books, Appendix I.
Gilbert, Martin (1989). "The Question of Bombing Auschwitz," in Michael Robert Marrus. The Nazi Holocaust: The End of the Holocaust. Part 9. Walter de Gruyter.
Szabó, Zoltán Tibori (2011). "The Auschwitz Reports: Who Got Them, and When?" in Randolph L. Braham and William vanden Heuvel. The Auschwitz Reports and the Holocaust in Hungary. Columbia University Press.

Further reading

Braham, Randolph L. (2011) [1981]. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. Columbia University Press.
Henryk Świebocki (2013). Informing the world about Auschwitz Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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