Mandelbaum, Henryk

Henryk Mandelbaum
Henryk Mandelbaum

Henryk Mandelbaum (15 Dec. 1922 – 17 June 2008) was a Polish Jew who was deported to Auschwitz in late April 1944. He claims to have been assigned to the Sonderkommando in June, and supposedly worked there until January 1945. Mandelbaum was interrogated by Soviet investigators in late February 1945, then again in preparation for the Höss Show Trial by Polish investigators in late September 1946. He testified both at the Krakow Show Trial against Rudolf Höss and at the Warsaw show trial against former members of the Auschwitz Camp’s staff. Almost 60 years later, he was repeatedly interviewed by employees of the Auschwitz Museum, who published these interviews in a book. From all these depositions, we can glean the following regarding Mandelbaum’s claims on exterminations at Auschwitz:

  • Unsurprisingly, many of his claims in his various statements differ in many details, which makes it difficult to extract a consistent storyline.
  • In 1945, he claimed that during his work at the Sonderkommando, 1.5 million people were killed, more than the orthodoxy today claims for the camp’s entire existence.
  • Not satisfied with the Soviet propaganda claim of 4 million victims, he increased that total during the Höss Trial to more than 4.5 million.
  • Selections of inmates at the railway ramp were conducted by the ineluctable Josef Mengele, as if no other SS physician ever worked at Auschwitz.
  • He claimed that up to 3,000 people went into the underground morgue of Crematoria II and III, which would have led to an impossible packing density of (3,000÷210 m²=) just over 14 people per m².
  • Against all other witnesses and the mainstream’s current claim, he insisted that the alleged homicidal gas chamber inside Crematorium V was equipped with false showerheads. He confused this with the basements of Crematoria II and III, which had real showers – declared false by many witnesses.
  • The intended victims were issued towels, soap and toothbrushes (that is unique!) before entering the gas chamber of Crematorium V. This most certainly would never have happened, considering the mess it would have created, and the effort necessary to retrieve and clean these items afterwards.
  • Mandelbaum claimed that Zyklon B needed to get wet to release its poison, whereas the opposite is true: moisture severely impeded the release of hydrogen-cyanide vapors from the carrier material.
  • The gassing lasted half an hour, or maybe only seven minutes, and then the room was briefly aired out by opening doors “on both sides”, although none of the gas chambers had doors on both sides, and the ventilation of a room stuffed full of people and without a forceful mechanical ventilation would have taken many hours, if not days. The Sonderkommando members worked in the chambers almost right away, and often succumbed to the gas, but did not die – when in fact they would not have lived for long.
  • In Crematoria II and III, the gas was inserted through “windows,” “4 gas injection devices,” or some “columns with screens”; yet once all victims had died after 7 minutes, “gas was still released,” meaning that the Zyklon pellets could not be retrieved. This clashes with the current orthodox narrative of a retrievable Zyklon container.
  • The victims were so tightly packed that they kept standing up straight even after they died – which is physically impossible.
  • Four to six corpses were placed into each cremation muffle – designed and sized to hold only one body.
  • The cremation of such a physically impossible load lasted 12 to 15 minutes, when in fact the cremation of just one body took an entire hour.
  • The crematorium he worked in had ten furnaces – while Crematoria II and III each had five triple-muffle furnaces, and Crematoria IV & V had one 8-muffle furnace each.
  • He claimed that 3,000 people had to be cremated per shift, and that just two persons loaded these 3,000 bodies into the elevator. Hence, they lifted some (3,000 × 60 kg ÷ 2 =) 90 metric tons during one shift, which is impossible to accomplish even for a strong, fit man.
  • He insisted that during arrival of large transports from Hungary, the crematoria were shut down and pyres used instead, because the corpses allegedly burned better in them. But that is patently absurd; why develop cremation furnaces in the first place, if simple pyres worked so well? And why were cremation furnaces built in so many German concentration camps, at great expense? Later, however, he claimed that “the trunks and thighs” did not burn in the pits, hence had to be fished out of the ashes, and thrown into another blazing pit… Air photos prove, however, that no open-air incineration pits existed in Birkenau during the deportation of the Hungarian Jews.
  • Mandelbaum made up a non-existing visit to the crematorium by Himmler and army generals in late summer of 1944, and spoke of other, equally non-existing commissions visiting from Berlin.
  • He insisted that one of those conjured-up commission members stated that the Jews “burned like paper.” That was Mandelbaum’s preposterous false claim.
  • Mandelbaum claimed that corpses were thrown on top of an already blazing, gigantic pyre, which would have been all but physically impossible, considering the heat of such a large fire.
  • He also repeated the tall tale that highly combustible fat did not burn but rather dripped out of the burning corpses, ran along gutters at the pit’s bottom, was collected in special pans in holes, retrieved from there, and poured right back onto the pyre. He even expressly stated: “So the deceased in the pits fried rather than burned.”
  • In 1942 alone, when Mandelbaum wasn’t even at Auschwitz, he insisted that 25 railway cars full of victims’ spectacles were hauled out of Auschwitz.

The last statement is typical for this witness, who had very little first-hand knowledge of anything, yet still regurgitated whatever rumor, cliché and black propaganda he had heard, made it his own, and wrapped it in a story that changed with every testimony he gave. (For details, see Mattogno 2021d, pp. 179-216.)

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