26 Jan. 46

places we asked the Lorraine soldiers of the Wehrmacht who were guarding us whether we would arrive soon; and they replied, "If you knew where you are going you would not be in a hurry to get there."

We arrived at Auschwitz at dawn. The seals on our cars were broken, and we were driven out by blows with the butt end of a rifle, and taken to the Birkenau Camp, a section of the Auschwitz Camp. It is situation in the middle of a great plain, which was frozen in the month of January. During this part of the journey we had to drag our luggage. As we passed through the door we knew only too well how slender our chances were that we would come out again, for we had already met columns of living skeletons going to work; and as we entered we sang "The Marseillaise" to keep up our courage.

We were led to a large shed, then to the disinfecting station.

There our heads were shaved and our registration numbers were tattooed on the left forearm. Then we were taken into a large room for a steam bath and a cold shower. In spite of the fact that we were naked, all this took place in the presence of 55 men and women. We were then given clothing which was soiled and torn, a cotton dress and jacket of the same material.

As all this had taken several hours, we saw from the windows of the block where we were, the camp of the men; and toward the evening an orchestra came in. It was snowing and we wondered why they were playing music. We then saw that the camp foremen were returning to the camp. Each foreman was followed by men who were carrying the dead. As they could hardly drag themselves along, every time they stumbled they were put on their feet again by being kicked or by blows with the butt end of a rifle.

After that we were taken to the block where we were to live.

There were no beds but only bunks, measuring 2 by 2 meters, and there nine of us had to sleep the first night without any mattress or blanket. We remained in blocks of this kind for several months. We could not sleep all night, because every time one of the nine moved - this happened unceasingly because we were all ill - she disturbed the whole row.

At 3:30 in the morning the shouting of the guards woke us up and with cudgel blows we were driven from our bunks to go to roll call. Nothing in the world could release us from going to the roll call; even those who were dying had to be dragged there. We had to stand there in rows of five until dawn, that is, 7 or 8 o'clock in the morning in winter; and when there was a fog, sometimes until noon. Then the commandos would start on their way to work.

M. DUBOST: Excuse me, can you describe the roll call?





(Note references to rain. snow, mud, slime, quicksand, etc . etc. and this is in holes yet.)

26 Jan. 46

MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: For roll call we were lined up in rows of five; and we waited until daybreak, until the Auf­seherinnen, the German women guards in uniform, came to count us. They had cudgels and they beat us more or less at random.

We had a comrade, Germaine Renaud, a school teacher from Azay-le-Rideau in France, who had her skull broken before my eyes from a blow with a cudgel during the roll call.

The work at Auschwitz consisted of clearing demolished houses, road building, and especially the draining of marsh land. This was by far the hardest work, for all day we had our feet in the water and there was the danger of being sucked down. It frequently happened that we that we had to pull out a comrade who had sunk in up to the waist.

During the work the SS men and women who stood guard over us would beat us with cudgels and set their dogs on us. Many of our friends had their legs torn by the dogs. I even saw a woman torn to pieces and die under my very eyes when Tauber, a member of the SS, encouraged his dog to attack her and grinned at the sight.

The causes of death were extremely numerous. First of all, there was the complete lack of washing facilities. When we arrived at Auschwitz, for 12,000 internees there was only one tap of water, unfit for drinking, and it was not always flowing. As this tap was in the German wash house, we could reach it only by passing through the guards, who were German common-law women prisoners, and they beat us horribly as we went by. It was therefore almost impossible to wash ourselves or our clothes. For more than 3 months we remained without changing our clothes. When there was snow, we melted some to wash in. Later, in the spring, whe we went to work, we would drink from a puddle by the road-side and the wash our underclothes in it. We took turns washing our hands in this dirty water. Our companions were dying of thirst because we only got half a cup of herbal tea twice a day.

M. DUBOST: Please describe in detail one of the roll calls at the beginning of February.

MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: On 5 February there was what is called a general roll call.

M. DUBOST: In what year was that?

MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: In 1943. At 3:30 the whole camp ...

M. DUBOST: In the morning at 3:30?

MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: In the morning at 3:30 the whole camp was awakened and sent out on the plain, whereas normally the roll call was at 3:30 but inside the camp. We remained




26 Jan. 46

out in front of the camp until 5 in the afternoon, in the snow, without any food. Then when the signal was given we had to go through the door one by one, and we were struck in the back with a cudgel, each one of us, in order to make us run. Those who could not run, either because they were too old or too ill, were caught by a hook and taken to Block 25, waiting block" for the gas chamber. On that day 10 of the French women of our convoy were thus caught and taken to Block 25.

When all the internees were back in the camp, a party to which I belonged was organized to go and pick up the bodies of the dead which were scattered over the plain as on a battlefield. We carried to the yard of Block 25 the dead and the dying without distinction, and they remained there stacked up in a pile.

This Block 25, which was the anteroom of the gas chamber, if one may express it so, is well known to me because at that time we had been transferred to Block 26 and our windows opened on the yard of Number 25. One saw stacks of corpses piled up in the courtyard, and from time to time a hand or a head would stir among the bodies, trying to free itself. It was a dying woman attempting to get free and live. The rate of mortality in that block was even more terrible than elsewhere because, having been condemned to death, they received food or drink only if there was something left in the cans in the kitchen; which means that very often they went for several days without a drop of water.

One of our companions, Annette Épaux, a fine young woman of 30, passing the block one day, was overcome with pity for those women who moaned from morning till night in all languages, "Drink. Drink. Water!" She came back to our block to get a little herbal tea, but as she was passing it through the bars of the window she was seen by the Aufseherin, who took her by the neck and threw her into Block 25. All my life I will remember Annette Épaux. Two days later I saw her on the truck which was taking the internees to the gas chamber. She had her arms around another French woman, old Line Porcher, and when the truck started moving she cried, "Think of my little boy, if you ever get back to France." Then they started singing "The Marseillaise."

In Block 25, in the courtyard, there were rats as big as cats running about and gnawing the corpses and even attacking the dying who had not enough strength left to chase them away.

Another cause of mortality and epidemics was the fact that we were given food in large red mess tins, which were merely rinsed in cold water after each meal. As all the women were ill and had not the strength during the night to go to the trench which was used as a lavatory, the access to which was beyond description, they used these containers for a purpose for which they were not meant.




26 Jan. 46

The next day the mess tins were collected and taken to a refuse heap. During the day another team would come and collect them, wash them in: cold water, and put them in use again.

Another cause of death was the problem of shoes. In the snow and mud of Poland leather shoes were completely destroyed at the end of a week or two, therefore our feet were frozen and covered with sores. We had to sleep with our muddy shoes on, lest they be stolen, and when the time came to get up for roll call cries of anguish could be heard: "My shoes have been stolen." Then one had to wait until the whole block had been emptied to look under the bunks for odd shoes. Sometimes one found two shoes for the same foot, or one shoe and one sabot. One could go to roll call like that but it was an additional torture for work, because sores formed on our feet which quickly became infected for lack of care. Many of our companions went to the revier for sores on their feet and legs and never came back.

M. DUBOST: What did they do to the internees who came to roll call without shoes?

MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: The Jewish internees who came without shoes were immediately taken to Block 25.

M. DUBOST: They were gassed then?

MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: They were gassed for any reason whatsoever. Their conditions were moreover absolutely appalling. Although we were crowded 800 in a block and could scarcely move, they were 1,500 to a block of similar dimensions, so that many of them could not sleep or even lie down during the whole night.

M. DUBOST: Can you talk about the Revier?

MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: To reach the Revier one had to go first to the roll call. Whatever the state was ...

. M. DUBOST: Would you please explain what the Revier was in the camp?

MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: The Revier was the blocks where the sick were put. This place could not be given the name of hospital, because it did not correspond in any way to our idea of a hospital.

To go there one had first to obtain authorization from the block chief who seldom gave it. When it was finally granted we were led in columns to the infirmary where, no matter what weather, whether it snowed or rained, even if one had a temperature of 40º' (centigrade) one had to wait for several hours standing in a queue to be admitted. It frequently happened that patients died outside




26 Jan. 46

M. DUBOST: They were not tattooed?

MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: No. They were not even counted.

M. DUBOST: You were tattooed?

MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: Yes, look. [The witness showed her arm.] They were taken to a red brick building, which bore the letters "Baden," that is to say "Baths." There, to begin with, they were made to undress and given a towel before they went into the so-called shower room. Later on, at the time of the large convoys from Hungary, they had no more time left to play-act or to pretend; they were brutally undressed, and I know these details as I knew a little Jewess from France who lived with her family at the "Republique" district.

M. DUBOST: In Paris?

MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: In Paris. She was called "little Marie" and she was the only one, the sole survivor of a family of nine. Her mother and her seven brothers and sisters had been gassed on arrival. When I met her she was employed to undress the babies before they were taken into the gas chamber. Once the people were undressed they took them into a room which was somewhat like a shower room, and gas capsules were thrown through an opening in the ceiling. An SS man would watch the effect produced through a porthole. At the end of 5 or 7 minutes, when the gas had completed its work, he gave the signal to open the doors; and men with gas masks - they too were internees - went into the room and removed the corpses. They told us that the internees must have suffered before dying, because they were closely clinging to one another and it was very difficult to separate them.

After that a special squad would come to pull out gold teeth and dentures; and again, when the bodies had been reduced to ashes, they would sift them in an attempt to recover the gold.

At Auschwitz there were eight crematories but, as from 1944, these proved insufficient. The SS had large pits dug by the internees, where they put branches, sprinkled with gasoline, which they set on fire. Then they threw the corpses into the pits. From our block we could see after about three-quarters of an hour or an hour after the arrival of a convoy, large flames coming from the crematory, and the sky was lighted up by the burning pits.

One night we were awakened by terrifying cries. And. we discovered, on the following day, from the men working in the Sonderkommando - the "Gas Kommando" - that on the preceding day, the gas supply having run out, they had thrown the children into the furnaces alive.






This Communist report contains 5 references to swamps at Auschwitz ...


SS-Leute die Schwester meiner Frau mit ihren zwei Kindem und Meine Nichte im Alter von 38 Jahren. 1m Juli 1944 ging auch Meine Schwester zu Grunde."

Der Tod am laufenden Band.-

Die Erhebungen ergaben, dass, abgesehen von den Menschen. die zu Experimentierzwecken in den Lagern von Auschwitz bestimmt waren, dort dauernd etwa 200.000 Gefangene zum Zwecke der Ausbeutung durch im hoechsten Masse entkraeftende Zwangsarbeit gehalten wurden. Die Menschen, die diese Arbeiten verrichten mussten, wurden in einen Zustandvoelliger Erschoepfung gebracht und dann als nutzlos umgebracht. Jede Woche trafen deutsche Aerzte eine "Auswahl", als deren Ergebnis alle Kranken in den Gaskammern umgebracht wurden. Diese wurden durch solche ersetzt, die per Bahn im Lager neu angekommen waren. Es war ein genau ausgearbeitetes System, ein schreckliches laufendes Band des Todes. Die einen wurden umgebracht um durch andere ersetzt zu werden, die dann an der Reihe waren, durch ruecksichtslose Ausbeutung zu Krankheit und Ersehoepfung gebracht zu werden und dann schickte man sie wie die anderen in die Gaskammem.

S k 1a v e n f u e r die I. G. Far ben - I n d u s t r i e.

1m Jahre 1941 begannen die Deutschen mit dem Bau einer grossen, chemiscen Ruestungsfabrik fuer die I.G. Farbenindustrie - in der Naehe von Auschwitz und mit dem Bau einer Ruestungsfabrik fuer Artillerie- und andere Zuender. Der Bau wurde ausgefuehrt von Krupp, von "Union-Firmen" und anderen Gesellschaften. Zehn tausende von Auschwitzgefangenen der verschiedensten Nationalitaeten - Russen, Ukrainer, Weissrussen, Polen, Franzosen. Jugoslawen, Griechen, Belgier, Tschechen, Hollaender, Italiener ­ schmaehteten unter der brutalen Ausbeutung, arbeiteten an diesen Bauten, ebenso an der Trockenlegung von Suempfen, in Bergwerken und an dem Bau von Strassen.

Die.Baracken der Konzentrationslager befanden sieh sieben bis acht Kilometer von den Arbeitstellen. SS-Mannschaften liessen die Gefangenen zu Tausenden antreten und trieben sie dann unter bewaffneter Bewachung und umgeben von Aufsehem, mit Knueppeln und Hunden zur Arbeit. Bei der Arbeit wurden die Gefangenen von den SS-Leuten, den Aufpassern und Vorarbeitem auf brutale Weise geschlagen: Einen Schlag fuer Aufrichten des Rueckens, einen anderen dafuer. dass man nieht genuegend Erde auf die Schaufel nahm, wieder einen dafuer, dass man nicht schnell genug arbeitete. Andere wurden durch Pruegel dazu gebracht, dass sie mit dem




... even the "gigantic swamps" of Auschwitz (!)


erde-beladenen Schiebkarren rannten. Der Vorarbeiter sagte: "Die Gesel1schaft bezahlt vier Mark fuer Dich und deshalb musst Du arbeiten wie ein Pferd." Die, die vor Erschoepfung zusammenbrachen, wurden auf der Stelle erschossen. Die Arbeiterstellen waren zur gleichen Zeit Hinrichtungsstaetten. Die Toetung von Gebngenenwurde von der Lagerverwaltung in jeder Weise unterstuetzt. Obersturmbannfuehrer LIEBEGERSCHEL erliess einen Befehl, in welchem er den SS-Leuten 50 Mark fuer jeden getoeteten Gefangenen aussetzte, der einen "Fluchtversuch" machte. Um diese Belohnung zu erhalten, mordeten die Wachmannschaften ungestraft.

Ueber die Toetung von Gefangenen auf der Arbeitsstelle wurde von einem ehemaligen Gefangenen ausgesagt: " .... im August 1943 arbeitete ich an der Baustelle der I.G. Farbenindustrie-Anlage. Eines Tages brachten SS-Leute 400 Gefangene zu dieser Arbeitsstelle, darunter Jugoslawen, Griechen, Franzosen und Belgier, trieben sie in einen Graben und begannen sie lebendig zu begraben. Die dem Tode Verfallenen schrieen in verschiedenen Sprachen um Hilfe. Die SS-Leute, die dabei standen, sagten zu uns: "Schaut her und arbeitet beser als bisher, sonst geschieht das Gleiche mit Euch." Zwei Wochen spaeter wurden wir verlegt, urn das Gelaende fuer ein Gebaeude in einem der Auschwitzlager vorzubereiten. SS-Mann LOSSMANN und andere SS Leute suchten 30 Mann von uns aus, trieben sie in einen Graben und gegruben sie his zum Hals in der Erde. Dann stiegen SS-Leute auf Pferde, begannen ueber das Gelaende zu gallopieren und toeteten alle 30 Mann." Die riesigen Suempfen from Auschwitz wurden zum Grabe von vielen Tausenden von Menschen verschiedenster Nationalitaeten. Ueber 300 Kolonnen von 50 bis 1.200 Mann stark arbeiteten dort. Infolge der unmenschlichen Arbeitsbedingungen das ganze Jahr hindurch, infolge der Schlaege, der Morde und der Gewalttaetigkeiten, lebte nicht einer von denen die dort arbeiteten, laenger als zwei oder drei Monate. Sie wurden in den Suempfen hingemordet oder, wenn sie krank wurden, durch Phenolspritzungen ins Herz oder in den Gaskammern getoetet.

JAKOB KOENIG, ein Spezialingenieur fuer Urbarmachung, der als gewoehnlicher Erdarbeiter in den Suempfen arbeitete, sagte aus: ich gehoerte zu einer Kolonne von 400 Mann, die an der Urbarmachung von Sumpfland arbeiteten. Die Aufseher, die sich am dcutschen Verbrechen rekrutierten, schlugen die Menschen mit ihren Knuppeln und Spaten bewusstlos. In unserer Kolonne waren Maenner und Frauen aller Altersstufen, darunter Akademiker, Aerzte, Lehrer, Professoren. Jugoslawien allein war durch 14 Ingenieure vertreten, die dort nichts als gewoehnliche Erdarbeiter waren.

Ein ehemaliger Gefangener, SIMON MEISELIER BEGAIN gab an: "Vun unserer Kolonne werden taeglich die Lelehen von 100 bis




The water and mud the French prosecutor is referring to are at Auschwitz.

30 Jan.46

This work was carried out, as the witnesses have told us, in water, in the mud, in underground factories - in Dora for instance­ and in the quarries in Mauthausen. In addition to the work, which was exhausting in itself, the deportees were subject to ill-treatment by the SS and the Kapos, such as blows or being bitten by dogs.

Our Document Number F-274, Exhibit Number RF-301, Pages 74 and 75, brings official testimony to this effect. Is it necessary to read to the Tribunal from this document, which is an official document to which we constantly refer and which has been translated into German and into English?

THE PRESIDENT: I do not think you need read it.

M. DUBOST: Thank you, Mr. President. In the same document, Page 77 and Page 78, informs us that all the prisoners were forced to do the work assigned to them, even under the worst conditions of health and hygiene. There was no quarantine for them even in case of contagious diseases or during epidemics.

The French Document Number F-392, Exhibit Number RF-330, which we have already submitted, which is the testimony of Dr. Steinberg, confirms that of Mme. Vaillant-Couturier. It is the twelfth document of your first document book. We shall read at Page 4:

"We received half a liter of herb tea; this was when we were awakened. A supervisor, who was at the door, hastened our washing by giving us blows with a cudgel. The lack of hygiene led to an epidemic of typhus .... "

At the end of the third paragraph you will find the conditions under which the prisoners were taken to the factories; in the fifth paragraph a description of shoes:

"We had been provided with wooden shoes which in a few days caused wounds. These wounds produced boils which brought death to many."

I shall now read Document R-129, Pages 22, 23, and 24 in the second document book, and whi!=h we submit under the Number ...

THE PRESIDENT: One moment; the Tribunal will adjourn now

for fifteen minutes. .

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, the Tribunal has been considering the question of the evidence which you have presented on the concentration camps; and they are of opinion that you have proved the case for the present, subject, of course, to any evidence which may be produced on behalf of the defendants and, of course, subject also to .your right under Article 24-c of the Charter to bring in rebutting evidence, should the Tribunal think it right to admit