Lancashire Evening Post – 28th January 1946
Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier was a member of the French Resistance and later a prisoner at Auschwitz and Ravensbruck and gave evidence at the Nuremberg trials.
What I find interesting from this eye witness account from Auschwitz giving evidence at the Nuremberg trials is that the SS devised a machine to whip inmates. I would presume a piece of equipment like that would take some modicum of ingenuity to create. So inflicting pain seems to have taken precedence in design terms than mass murder as it seems the best Nazi scientists could come up with for the final solution was to crudely knock a few holes in a mortuary roof and pour in flea powder into it.
Whippings were administered so often at Auschwitz that the SS. finally devised a whipping machine to save time.” Madame Couturier described Ravensbruck as a “slave market.’ ; It was the main source for female labour for the factories. On ” market day.” the women : were lined up and visiting factory managers felt their muscles to select the best physical specimens ‘ At the Ravensbruck camp, to which she was transferred in May. 1944, thousands of Poles including women, were used as “guinea pigs’ in experiments.
As Mme. Couturier left the box she directed a last look of hatred Goering and his associates.
Lieutenant Georges Veith described how 47 British Airmen and Dutch flying officers were massacred by guards at Matthausen in September 1944. the pretext that the- were trying to escape. Victor Dupont swore he frequently saw wives tortured at Buchenwald in front of their husbands. and children before their mothers. Inmates at Buchenwald were degraded even in death. —Reuter and British United Press.
I believe the article relates to the testimony below that she gave during the trials.
M. DUBOST: Who meted out punishments?
MME. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: The SS leaders, men and women.
M. DUBOST: What was the nature of the punishments?
NNE. VAILLANT-COUTURIER: Bodily ill-treatment in particular. 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. There were also endless roll calls day and night, or gymnastics; flat on the belly, get up, lie down, up, down, for hours, and anyone who fell was beaten unmercifully and taken to Block 25.