Henryk Tauber (aka Fuchsbrunner; 8 July 1917 – 3 Jan. 2000) was a Polish Jew sent to the Auschwitz Camp in November 1942. He claimed to have been assigned to the Sonderkommando and worked as a furnace stoker first at the Main Camp’s crematorium, then in Crematorium II at the Birkenau Camp.
Tauber made three depositions right after the war, with the first of them occurring in late February 1945 in front of a Soviet commission. His next deposition was end of May 1945 in front of Polish investigative judge Jan Sehn. Another much shorter deposition was filed with the Jewish Historical Commission of Krakow also in 1945. Tauber was prudent enough not to testify anymore in later years.
After other key witnesses for the alleged extermination activities at Auschwitz had been exposed as untrustworthy, such as Rudolf Höss, Miklós Nyiszli, Charles Bendel and Filip Müller, Henryk Tauber’s testimony gained in importance with the orthodoxy. They were impressed by Tauber’s accurate description of Crematorium II, where he claimed to have worked for more than a year. Due to his current importance to prop up the orthodox Auschwitz narrative, his testimonies are examined here in more detail.
When it comes to describing architectural features of Crematorium II, Tauber’s statements are indeed fairly accurate, meaning that he probably really worked in that building for some time. It is also possible that, in order to refresh his memory, he was shown some documents and blueprints from the former camp administration’s archives, which the Soviets had found untouched when capturing Auschwitz a month earlier.
Tauber becomes untrustworthy, however, when he delves into technical and historical issues, such as when describing the furnaces capacities, the alleged gassing procedure, and certain claimed events. Here are the pertinent claims emphasizing this assessment:
- He claimed that the first homicidal gassing at Crematorium II involved 4,000 victims jammed into a space of 210 m², hence an impossible packing density of more than 19 people per square meters.
- He asserted that, in March and April 1943, Dr. Josef Mengele brought Zyklon B in a Red-Cross vehicle to Crematorium II for homicidal gassings. However, Mengele was assigned to Auschwitz only on 30 May 1943.
- Tauber exaggerated the operating temperatures of the furnaces, which according to instruction manuals was to be between 800 and 1,000 °C, while Tauber, who as an inmate hardly had any means to determine furnace temperatures properly, set it to 1,200 to 1,500 °C in his first interview. That may have been a result of the Soviets influencing him, who, in an expert report on the Majdanek furnaces of August 1944, had made a similar false claim in order to exaggerate the Majdanek furnaces’ capacity. (Graf/Mattogno 2012, pp. 112-114.)
- Tauber claimed that four to five bodies were simultaneously cremated in one muffle. This claim is physically and thermo-technically impossible. The Auschwitz muffles were designed to cremate only one body at a time. The muffle doors were too small to introduce more than two corpses at once, the muffle walls and the coke hearth could not provide enough heat to maintain operating temperature, and four or five corpses would have impeded the air flow in the muffle.
- Tauber’s claim for the average time it took to cremate one body was contradictory, but ranged between 5 and 18 minutes, when in fact the cremation of a single body took about one hour.
- Tauber asserted that they pushed in two corpses at once, then a second set of two corpses, which had to be done quickly before the arms and legs of the first pair of corpses began to rise from the heat. However, dead people cannot raise their arms and legs, and neither can heat, which burns muscles, but does not contract them in a coordinated fashion defying gravity. This statement resembles that of Szlama Dragon in this regard and shows a “convergence of evidence” for orchestrated lies.
- Placing a second pair of bodies on top of one pair already lying on the muffle grate would have required tipping the 45-cm-wide stretcher steeply upward to get it on top of the two corpses already in that muffle. This would have meant hitting the muffle vault, where it is 45 cm wide, with the stretcher’s end rather than being able to insert it fully to unload the next two corpses – which might have slid backwards and off the stretcher with such an inclination.
- The number of daily cremations claimed by Tauber for Crematorium II – on average 2,500 – would have been impossible also, because the freight elevator in that building had a capacity of only five corpses. To get 2,500 bodies into the furnace room, that elevator had to do 500 uninterrupted round trips. For a 20-hour workday, that would amount to just 2 minutes and 24 seconds for each round trip, including the loading and unloading of these bodies.
- Tauber claimed that, if a load of bodies was burning badly, they added “a woman’s corpse […] to speed up the burning process.” Any load of multiple bodies would have burned “badly” initially due to the huge amount of water that needed to be evaporated, no matter the gender. Adding another corpse to an already overfilled muffle would have made matters worse. Humans are not combustion material. They do not self-immolate. However, that didn’t stop Tauber from claiming this four times: Fuel was only needed to ignite the bodies, which then burned all by themselves. He even saw fat dripping from the bodies down into the ash box, where it ignited and burned the bodies. However, in a glowing furnace, fat burns off where it reaches a surface. It has no chance of running and dripping anywhere.
- In order to draw the attention of Allied bomber pilots flying by, Tauber claimed that they placed up to eight emaciated corpses into a muffle, “so that a larger fire came out of the chimney, and the airmen became aware of it.” However, flames cannot shoot out of crematorium chimneys, and most certainly not from burning emaciated, hence fat-less bodies. Furthermore, it would have been utterly impossible to insert eight bodies into one muffle, emaciated or not.
- Tauber claimed that, starting in May 1944, huge open-air incineration pits were dug and gigantic pyres set ablaze at Birkenau. However, air photos of that time and area show that no such gigantic pits of fires ever existed.
- He asserted that fat exuding from the corpses burning in open-air incineration pits percolated to the pits’ bottom, flowed along channels and collected in even deeper collection pits, from where it was scooped out and poured back onto the corpses to fuel the fire. However, fat cannot collect and flow along the bottom of a blazing pit. It ignites where it reaches the surface. Furthermore, with the high groundwater level at Birkenau, the deep collection pits would have filled with water, not fat. In addition, standing next to a blazing fire to collect boiling fat from a deep pit would have led to the scooper getting severe burns.
- Tauber relates that, once a gigantic outdoor pyre was ablaze, more corpses were thrown in. However, with such a blaze causing severe burns to anyone approaching it, we must assume that they used catapults to sling the corpses onto the blazing pyre from a safe distance.
- He claimed that the alleged gas chamber’s ventilation system was turned on only after the door had been opened. That would have happened only if everyone involved was suicidal, the SS members included.
- Although he did not work at Crematoria IV and V, he asserts that Zyklon B was introduced in the claimed gas chambers of these facilities by pouring Zyklon B cans out through hatches, which he correctly described as having been protected by iron bars. However, these hatches, the frames and shutters of which have survived, were so small that any iron bar placed in them would have made the opening too narrow to stick a Zyklon-B can through that opening. Therefore, no Zyklon-B can could ever be poured out through these hatches.
There are more inconsistencies and historical falsehoods contained in Tauber’s testimonies, including atrocity tales containing their own refutation, for instance the story of a Sonderkommando man who, because he “was dawdling at work,” was allegedly chased into a pit with boiling human fat at one of the outdoor pyres…
These detailed highlights suffice to show that Tauber, just like Nyiszli, Bendel, Müller and many other self-proclaimed Sonderkommando members, is untrustworthy when it comes to claims about alleged extermination activities at Auschwitz. (For more details, see Mattogno 2022d, pp. 9-49, 74-114.)