Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier (née Vogel; 3 Nov. 1912 – 11 Dec. 1996) was a communist member of the French resistance against the German occupation during World War II. She was arrested on 9 February 1942 by the French police, and on 24 January 1943 deported to Auschwitz–Birkenau. She arrived there three days later and was initially assigned to earthworks, but was later deployed at the inmate infirmary due to her knowledge of German. She joined the inmates’ communist-dominated camp resistance involved in spreading atrocity propaganda. In August 1945, she was transferred to the woman’s camp at Ravensbrück.
In 1945, she had her alleged camp experiences published in a brochure titled Auschwitz, in which she also described – necessarily from hearsay – the presumed gassing procedure. On 28 January 1946, she testified at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal. As her hearsay sources, she claimed a little French girl assigned to undressing infants in a crematorium – in itself a unique claim – and unspecified Sonderkommando members. The pertinent and peculiar claims of her accounts include:
- During homicidal gassings, gas capsules were thrown through an opening in the ceiling. However, the orthodoxy has it that Zyklon-B pellets were poured into Zyklon-B introduction devices built into openings in the roof.
- The killing with gas took five minutes for women and three for men. However, in a facility without means to accelerate the evaporation of the liquid poison from the carrier material, and its dissipation into the large room, such short execution times are physically impossible.
- She personally saw immense flames escaping from the crematorium chimneys, although such a phenomenon is technically impossible with coke-fired crematoria.
- It took only “a few minutes” to turn people into ashes, although it took an hour to cremate one body in the Auschwitz crematoria.
- There were allegedly eight cremation furnaces at Auschwitz, when in fact the Birkenau Camp had four crematoria with together 12 furnaces with 46 muffles total.
- Ditches for open-air incineration of corpses were filled with dry branches soaked in a flammable liquid. They were set on fire, and only then were corpses or living children thrown into them. However, some dry branches would not have done the job. Large stakes of wood would have been needed, since the self-immolation of bodies is a mere myth. However, if she meant huge stacks of wood set ablaze, then the resulting fire would not have allowed anyone to approach it. Bodies thrown in afterwards would have had to be tossed with catapults from a safe distance.
- The gas-chamber doors were supposedly opened 5 or 7 minutes after the start of the execution, hence without prior ventilation. However, ventilation was obligatory and would have taken many hours.
- Without further comment: The SS had a spanking machine to punish naughty inmates (IMT, Vol. 6, p. 213):
“One of the most usual punishments was 50 blows with a stick on the loins. They were administered with a machine which I saw, a swinging apparatus manipulated by an SS.”
It is a bad idea to let mortal enemies – here Communists versus National Socialists – testify against each other, for we are unlikely to hear the truth.
(For more details, see Mattogno 2021, pp. 374f.)