"Thirty minutes later, the Sonderkommando was ordered
to transport the corpses to the furnace, situated about five meters from the
door of the Leichenhalle, in a separate room.
"In Birkenau, where
I was as from July 1943, I witnessed a great many gassings, carried out several
times a week.
”In 1944, when convoys brought hundreds of thousands
of Jews from Hungary, there were gassings every day, and even several times a
“In Birkenau, the Sonderkommando was locked up when the
victims arrived and entered the gas chamber.
“This rule was not
always applied, however.
“Thus as a member of the Sonderkommando,
I was able to see the injection og gas by an SS man who poured the contents of
a black can, of diameter about 10 to 12 centimeters and about 25 centimeters
high, into a kind of small chimney or tube which projected a few tens of
centimeters from the roof of the gas chamber.
“The SS man wore a
mask. He immediately closed the opening through which he poured the contents of
“The Sonderkommando started to remove the bodies from the
gas chamber 15 to 20 minutes after the SS man had poured in the contents of the
can. The doors of the gas chamber were open. The air was purified by
ventilation. When we started to remove the bodies near the door, we felt no ill
effects. Working in the centre of the chamber, our eyes sometimes watered.
“I would add the following details:
Sonderkommando men pull gold teeth and fillings from the mouths of the corpses.
When the corpses had been removed, a vehicle took away the clothes and all that
“I feel I should add that the Hungarian Jews
who were gassed in 1944 entered the gas chamber without having their hair
“I certify that that I was deported to Auschwitz under the
name of ‘Stanislas Jankowski’. In April 1945, I made a declaration
under this name before a Cracow magistrate, a member of the Central Commission
for the Investigation of Hitlerite Crimes in Poland, a declaration that was
published in the Auschwitz Notebooks
“I indicated to him that my
true identity was Alter Fajnzylberg My registration number in the Auschwitz
Birkenau camp, tatooed on my left arm and my chest, is 27,675.
“Such is my declaration.”