Important evidence found in Berlin:
The German newspaper Bild published never-before-seen architectural plans of the Auschwitz extermination camp on Saturday that reveal, in their unequivocally marked sections, that everyone involved in the operation of Auschwitz knew full well that it was intended for the systematic extermination of human beings, the paper said.
The floor plans, cross-sections and maps on yellowing paper, mostly on a scale of 1:100, were reportedly found during the evacuation of an abandoned Berlin apartment. They were drawn up between 1941 and 1943.
The 28 documents include detailed blueprints of prisoner barracks, gas chambers marked clearly Gaskammer (Gas chamber) in a Gothic-inspired font and a cross-section of the gate into which the rails of trains entered carrying Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, disabled persons and other people the National Socialists sent to die.
One of the maps carries the handwritten signature of Gestapo commander Heinrich Himmler.
The plans were not construction plans but were drawn after Auschwitz-Birkenau was built (on the foundations of an old military base from the Austro-Hungarian Empire).
On January 20, 1942, Nazi officials met in the resort of Wannsee east of Berlin where they devised the Final Solution, and this has traditionally been taken by historians as the beginning of the Nazis' extermination campaign.
One of the drawings, predating the Wannsee Conference by eight months, sheds new light on the chronology of the German genocide machine.
Dr. Hans-Dieter Kreikamp, chief director of the Bundesarchivs, the federal archives in Berlin, said the find was of "extraordinary importance."
"The plans are authentic certificates of a systematically planned genocide of European Jews," Bild quoted Kreikamp as saying.
As the plans show a "Laundry and shower room" leading into a "Dressing room" and then to the "Gas chamber," there could be no doubt of the purpose of the large room marked Gaskammer.
The documents rebut the last of those who would deny the Holocaust, Bild said in its report.