On 25 September 1946 in Katowice, Judge Artur Bubik interviewed the person specified below as a witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the wording of Article 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Henryk Mandelbaum|
|Parents’ names||Dawid and Estera Lemkowicz|
|Place of residence||Będzin, Narutowicza Street 4|
|Occupation||UB [Polish political police] agent|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Relationship to the parties||none|
I was taken to the Auschwitz camp in May 1944. I spent three months in quarantine, and then as a physically healthy man I was assigned to the so-called Sonderkommando, that is, to a special division whose task was to gas and burn prisoners. The head of the Sonderkommando was a man named Otto Moll, a Hauptscharführer.
I was assigned the task of loading clothes left by gassed prisoners into cars; the clothes mostly came from Hungarian transports. The whole operation went as follows: a doctor was present when the transports arrived at the railway ramp. He declared that about 200-300 people were able to work (the entire transport usually consisted of 3,000 people), while the rest were sent to die. Those remaining people were told to go to the bathhouse, take towels, etc. They did indeed enter rooms that resembled shower rooms (there were showers, taps, etc.); they were taken inside (the rooms were large, so the entire transport could fit into one room). Of course, first the people had to undress in special locker rooms. Then, the SS men closed the room’s door (only SS men were present at the gassing), and with the use of special devices they let the gas in from the ceiling. In one room, there were four (Zyklon) gas inlets.
Rudolf Höß came there once or twice a week. His every visit meant that a new transport of prisoners would arrive. He was always smiling, cheerful, and he wore his hat to the left, to [unreadable]. His entire behavior was centered around urging his subordinates to work.
Once, I saw that the prisoners whose task was to handle corpses were not doing it very well. So Höß and Moll demonstrated how corpses should best be handled.
I would like to mention that the prisoners employed in the Sonderkommando had no contact with other inmates, so that they would not spread information about the things that were happening there. Additionally, that personnel changed from time to time – the old staff was exterminated.
When the Germans started losing on the Eastern Front, in November 1944 if I am not mistaken, they started to dismantle the gas chambers, crematoria, [illegible] blew up everything, parts of the facilities, i.e. [illegible] devices. They also transported prisoners of war outside the camp in groups of a thousand, saying that they were transporting them to Groß- Rrosen.
I would also like to add that initially the ashes of dead people were buried, and then they were thrown into the Vistula.
I would like to testify as a witness in the trial of Rudolf Höß.