Bruno Baum, the last leader of the German communist youth organization of Greater Berlin before the war, was arrested in 1935, together with Erich Honecker, the later Chairman of the State Council (leader) of communist East Germany. For illegal activities and the dissemination of “propaganda material hostile to the State,” Baum was sentenced to 13 years for high treason in 1937. In April 1943, Baum was transferred to Auschwitz. As a trained electrician, he was assigned to an inmate commando of electricians. Baum immediately began to form underground cells and to spread communist resistance propaganda in the camp, an activity facilitated by his freedom of movement within the camp because of his job as an electrician. In mid-1944, he rose to the leadership council of the Auschwitz camp partisans, to which Hermann Langbein (Austrian Communist Party, later Chairman of the Auschwitz Committee) and Jozef Cyrankiewicz (Polish socialist) also belonged. On behalf of the international socialist-communist camp partisan leadership, Baum and his colleagues gathered espionage materials on German armament operations, which were then radioed to London by the Polish underground. Atrocity reports on allegedly inhumane treatment by SS guards and the “monstrous crimes of the Nazis in Auschwitz camp, including the 4.5 million murder victims of all nationalities” were sent by short-wave radio to Radio London at the rate of two reports per week, drawn up and transmitted by the editorial group of the camp underground.
At the end of the war, Baum was transferred to Mauthausen camp, where he was liberated by the Americans. On May 16, 1945, a Soviet repatriation commando smuggled him and 30 other former communist party members, disguised as Soviet citizens, out of the camp and housed them in seclusion at the castle Wilhelminenburg near Vienna until approximately the beginning of August 1945. There they were “trained” and received directives for their future role as leadership cadres in the Soviet zone of occupation, which later became communist East Germany. Baum later became a leading communist official in East Berlin. His strict economic measures, however, contributed to the uprising of eastern Germans on June 17, 1953, against the Soviet occupation. In the wake of the still anti-Zionist policies of the Eastern Bloc, Baum – who had family members living in a kibbutz in Israel – was removed from the Berlin SED communist leadership in 1959 and transferred to Potsdam, where he died in 1971.
Now, this same Bruno Baum, like many of his comrades, wrote reports for the Soviets immediately after the war. One of these reports, written in June 1945, was a “Report on the Activities of the Communist Party in Auschwitz Concentration Camp,” which was coordinated and approved by a “Decision-making Committee” of the Communist Party collective. These consultations and reporting arrangements, in connection with the Report of the Extraordinary Soviet Committee for the Investigation of War Crimes later formed the core of Soviet propaganda on Auschwitz until 1990, including the propaganda figure of four million victims.
Three months after the end of the war, on July 31, 1945, this same Bruno Baum boasted as follows in an article entitled “We Were Radioing From Hell,” published in the German newspaper Deutsche Volkszeitung¸ the central organ of the German Communist Party at that time:
“All the propaganda that now began to circulate about Auschwitz in foreign countries originated with us, assisted by our Polish comrades.”
In his 1949 book Widerstand in Auschwitz (Resistance in Auschwitz), he stated:
“I believe it is no exaggeration if I say that the biggest part of Auschwitz propaganda, which was spread in the world around that time, has been written by us in the camp... We spread this propaganda to the public at large until the very last day of our stay in Auschwitz.
In a later edition of the book, this was changed to more politically correct statements.
In his early post-war statements, Baum also stated that the SS improved the conditions in the camp to such an extant that “Auschwitz became a model camp in the end.”
- Hermann Langbein - Another central figure in the Auschwitz resistance.
Note that besides the external sources listed here, an alleged Holocaust confessor/witness may be extensively discussed in the external sources listed in the articles on the particular Holocaust camps and/or other Holocaust phenomena the individual is associated with.
- Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15.