Gertner, Szaja

Szaja Gertner was a Polish Jew who was deported to Ausch­witz from Łódź, Poland, on an unknown date. His testimony was published in a Polish book in 1945. Right after his arrival, he claims to have been assigned to the so-called Sonderkommando. There he claims to have witnessed things that are absurd or demonstrably impossible:

  • Each person received a receipt for the clothing they left behind when undressing to be gassed, which is a unique and nonsensical claim.
  • They all received a piece of soap and a towel to take with them to the “shower,” a useless waste of resources, plus no one takes towels into a shower.
  • Rather than calming the victims to make them cooperative, the Germans began to beat the inmates to cause confusion.
  • The panicking victims “threw themselves on top of each other, and fled from each other,” a completely senseless way of acting.
  • Then, the victims were driven from the showers into “the chamber,” meaning that the shower room was clearly not the gas chamber. So, they had actual showers? And then the freshly-cleaned Jews were gassed?
  • The gas was thrown in through a window, though that room had no window, and the orthodoxy insist of the poison having been introduced through ceiling holes by way of some special Zyklon-B introduction device.
  • After the gassing, ventilation through mere opening of doors and windows took only five minutes, an impossibly short time.
  • The Sonderkommando inmates dragging out the corpses put “cotton plugs” into their mouth to protect against the gas that “escaped from the bodies as soon as they were moved,” although cotton plugs offer no protection at all against hydrogen-cyanide vapors.
  • “Railway tracks ran from the door of the gassing room to the furnace,” where the rail carts carrying 40 corpses each dumped this load onto a huge grate. No crematorium in Auschwitz had railway tracks going from any room to the furnace room.
  • The cremation grate was heated with a strong electric current, turning the corpses to ashes within just 10 minutes. But no electrically heated furnace was ever erected in any German wartime camp. Cremations of single corpses in such furnaces take as long as those in other furnaces, hence around an hour.
  • The witness moreover fantasized about a large fan blowing the cremation ashes into a separate pit, where a worker “filled a barrel with ashes, and a winch pulled it up.” No document, no material trace and no other witness tale substantiates this unique claim.

Some parts of this testimony echo aspects of atrocity propaganda spread by the Polish underground during the war, which indicates the likely source of this witness’s claims. (For more details, see Mattogno 2021, pp. 307f.)

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