Gassing of prisoners in the barracks

Newspaper clipping, “Slupetzky Trial” (‘Tagblatt', Linz, 28.8.1947). Anton Slupetzky was sentenced to five years imprisonment for his personal involvement in the gassing of Soviet POWs.Newspaper clipping, “Slupetzky Trial” (‘Tagblatt', Linz, 28.8.1947). Anton Slupetzky was sentenced to five years imprisonment for his personal involvement in the gassing of Soviet POWs.Two occasions where prisoners were killed by means of poison gas while inside the barracks are supported by testimony in court. Though it seems likely that additional such killings by gas took place at Gusen, there is a lack of relevant documents and testimony. 

Following the outbreak of typhus, the camp was ordered to be disinfected. Together with inmates, the owner of the Slupetzky firm from Linz and one of his assistants carried out the delousing of all the barracks using Cyclon B gas. The sick Soviet inmates in Block 16 were prevented from leaving the barracks during this process and were asphyxiated by the gas. During the trial, Leopold Fischer, an employee of the disinfection firm, gave evidence against the owner of the Slupetzky firm:

"We did not actually check the barracks. We weren’t particularly interested if they were empty or not."

On 20th April 1945, the camp commander Seidler ordered all seriously ill and disabled inmates to be brought to Block 31 of the sick ward to be gassed. The Kapo of the disinfection detail, Rudolf Fiegl, carried out the gassing in two stages between 21st - 22nd April 1945. The victims were listed as “deceased” on one of two dates. Cyclon B Gas was used to kill either 684 or 892 prisoners.