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February 6: The Inventory

February 6, 2013

SS chief Heinrich Himmler received an inventory from SS-Obergruppenführer Oswald Pohl on this date in 1943 of the materials taken from Jews in Auschwitz and its satellite camps. Cited items included 155,000 women's coats, 15,000 children's coats, 132,000 men's shirts, 11,000 boys' jackets, 22,000 pairs of shoes, and 6,600 pounds of women's hair, enough to fill an entire railroad car. Also included in the inventory were nearly $500,000 in American currency and $116,420 in gold. Pohl's report noted that 824 boxcars of goods had left Auschwitz: 569 to the Reich Ministry of Economy, 211 to VoMI (the Nazi agency in charge of ethnic Germans outside the boundaries of Germany), and 44 to other concentration camps, various other Nazi organizations, and the IG Farben factories near Auschwitz. Pohl, who oversaw the organization of concentration camps and slave labor, was captured by British troops on May 27, 1946, sentenced to death at the Nuremberg Trials, and hanged in 1951.

"Ultimately, about 60 million Reichmarks — 125 million Pounds in today's money — would be generated [in Auschwitz and surrounding camps] for the Nazi state . . ." —PBS series, Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State