Scrapbookpages Blog

November 23, 2014

Deborah E. Lipstadt writes about anti-Semitism in Europe today

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 1:06 pm

I previously blogged about Deborah E. Lipstadt on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/denying-the-holocaust/

Deborah E. Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. She chairs the US Holocaust Museum’s Committee on Anti-Semitism and State Sponsored Holocaust Denial. She was a member of the Presidential delegation to the OSCE Conference last week in Berlin.

This quote is from a news article, which you can read in full here:

Jews face an inner spiritual and psychological assault. Young people described being Jewish as having become a negative, a burden. “We are continuously on the defensive. It’s depressing.” Guy, a young Dutchman, recalled that not long ago a bunch of his Jewish friends gathered to celebrate his birthday. “What,” he asked us with an ironic smile, “do a group of young men talk about when they gather to drink beer and enjoy themselves? The Holocaust, anti-Semitism, and insecurity.”

In certain countries children who attend Jewish schools are warned — if not “forbidden” — from wearing anything that would single them out as Jews. No school insignias on the book bags, no school symbols on their jackets, no kippot. Nothing.  [...]
[H]ere are right wing national parties, such as the Golden Dawn in Greece, which fall back on traditional hostility towards Jews. But there are also the European cultural elites, most of whom have remained decidedly silent as this scourge grows. Situated on the political left, they are critical of Israel and have conflated anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hostility. They seem unconcerned that segments of Europe are on the path to once again becoming Judenrein. One would think that but seventy years after the Holocaust the possibility would horrify them.

What a revolting development this is!  Just when the Jews want to leave Israel and go back to Germany, there is renewed anti-Semitism in Europe.

The article, written by Deborah E. Lipstadt, starts out with this quote:

Ten years ago the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe convened a conference on European anti-Semitism. Last week it met to assess what had happened in the past decade. The signs are not good.

While a good part of the meeting was dedicated to official presentations by the participating nations, it was what one heard in the hallway over coffee that was most significant. At one point the White House delegation, of which I was part, met with representatives of an array of European Jewish communities. What we heard left me shaken.

We knew about the murders in the Brussels Jewish museum, the children gunned down on the Toulouse schoolyard, the fate of Ilan Halimi, a young French Jew who had been lured by a group of Muslims who then held him captive, tortured and eventually murdered him. We were aware of the violent demonstrations, assaults on synagogues, and the aggressive rhetoric — including “Jews to the gas” — that had occurred in various European cities. We anticipated that this would be our informants’ main concern.

While they certainly worried about this type of violence, what weighed upon them more was a “changed daily routine” that leaves them feeling “under threat.” Schools and Jewish institutions are under heavy guard. While this reassured some people, other parents described how, when they deposit their children at the Jewish schools and see the visibly armed guards protecting the site, rather than feeling reassured, they are reminded of the Toulouse schoolyard and the murdered children.

Why can’t the Jews catch a break?  The Jews have never done anyone any harm. What’s not to like?
I also blogged about the famous court case when David Irving sued Deborah E. Lipstadt:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/

November 22, 2014

New show about women’s resistance in the Holocaust

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:24 am

This morning I read a news article in the online Haaretz newspaper which has the headline: The sexual violence which spurred women’s resistance in the Holocaust.

The reconstructed ruins of Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The reconstructed ruins of Krema IV (note that the building was very small)

The news article is about a new show which features the four women who supplied the explosives to blow up Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau shortly before the camp was abandoned by the Nazis on January 18, 1945.

Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau was blown up on Oct. 7, 1944

This quote is from the article:

NEW YORK – On October 7, 1944, Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz blew up a crematorium [Krema IV] in an attempted revolt that, while ultimately futile, has become a powerful rebuttal to the claim that Jews succumbed to the Nazis without a fight. Many know this story but few know the names Roza Robota, Estera Wajcblum, Regina Szafirsztajn and Ala Gertner, four women who smuggled gunpowder under their fingernails and stitched it into the seams of their clothes to make the uprising possible.

Their role has been diminished in historical accounts of the event, if mentioned at all, but a new exhibition by the American Jewish Historical Society in Manhattan, called “October 7, 1944,” seeks to reinsert them into the narrative. The exhibition, which opened last month on the 70th anniversary of the revolt and runs through December 30, makes its case in a most unorthodox way: It merges contemporary dance and archival material.

Excuse me, but I don’t think that this is an appropriate way to honor these four brave women, who literally gave their lives to blow up a building that was believed, by the Jews, to contain a gas chamber.

A few years ago, there was a video game, about the Krema IV explosion, that was set to be released, but it was withdrawn because it was too controversial. I blogged about the video game at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/sonderkommando-revolt-holocaust-revenge-video-game/

The location of Krema IV has been reconstructed at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The location of Krema IV has been reconstructed at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Krema IV was located just north of the clothing warehouses, which were in a section that the prisoners called Kanada. Across the road from Kanada was the Central Sauna which had a shower room and disinfection chambers where the prisoners’ clothing was deloused. Krema IV had a shower room which was allegedly a gas chamber, according to survivors of the Holocaust.

According to Michael J. Neufeld and Michael Berenbaum, in their book entitled The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It?, the Krema IV and Krema V buildings, which were identical, were 220 feet long by 42 feet wide.

The Krema IV building was completely demolished, blown up with explosives which four women prisoners stole from the factory where they were working. All the bricks in the ruins of the building were removed by Polish civilians after the war; the ruins that visitors see today are a reconstruction, according to the Auschwitz Museum.

The place, in the Auschwitz main camp, where the four women were executed

The place, in the Auschwitz main camp, where the four women were executed

When I visited Auschwitz in 1998, I was told by my tour guide that the four women, who supplied the explosives to blow up Krema IV, were executed in the location shown in the photo above. This spot is just outside the entrance into the main camp.

The prisoners who worked in the crematory buildings at Auschwitz, removing the bodies of the victims who had allegedly been gassed, were members of a special group called the Sonderkommando.

According to Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, a prisoner who did autopsies at Birkenau, each Sonderkommando group was killed after a few months and replaced by a new crew. According to Dr. Nyiszli, these prisoners knew that they were soon going to be killed, and that is why the members of the next-to-last Sonderkommando revolted and blew up the Krema IV building.

A sign at the reconstructed ruins of Krema IV says that there were 450 prisoners who were killed by the SS during the revolt or afterwards in retaliation.

Strangely, the men in the last Sonderkommando at Auschwitz-Birkenau were not exterminated. Around 100 of them were marched out of the camp when it was abandoned by the Nazis on January 18, 1945. Several members of the Sonderkommando survived and three of them gave eye-witness testimony at the 1947 trial of Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess, about how the prisoners were gassed at Birkenau.

As far as I know, there was very little sexual violence against women in the concentration camps.  There was a heavy penalty for any SS men who were sexually violent.  That’s why there was a brothel at Auschwitz.  I wrote about the brothel in this previous blog post:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/block-24-at-auschwitz-the-brothel/

November 19, 2014

New Spielberg documentary will feature Holocaust survivor who was a direct witness to mass murder at Auschwitz

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:48 am

You can read about Steven Spielberg’s new documentary in a news story here.

I previously blogged about a previous documentary, which Spielberg produced: http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/the-last-days-a-documentary-by-steven-spielberg/

This quote is from the news article:

An Auschwitz survivor now living in Harpenden [England] is to feature in a Steven Spielberg-funded film about her return visit to the Polish concentration camp. [the German concentration camp known as Auschwitz, which is now located in Poland].

This is not the first time Kitty Hart-Moxon has been in a film documenting her travels back to the infamous [Auschwitz-Birkenau] camp, however this time she is joined by two girls who are the same age she would have been when she first arrived.

The 88 year old has retold her experiences of survival beginning with her entry to the camp in 1943, where she recalls working in the latrines, digging ditches and having to move on to the ‘Kanada Kommando’ duty, where she had to sort though the clothes of the murdered victims.

She HAD TO move on to the Kanada Kommando?  No, she had the good fortune to be selected to work in the clothing warehouse, where she had the opportunity to steal valuables and food that had been brought, by the prisoners, to the camp in their luggage.  And she had the opportunity to hob nob with the German SS men, and potentially have an affair with one of them, as several of the women in the Kanada Kommando did.  There was at least one marriage between one of the Kanada girls and an SS man.

The Kanada warehouses burning after the Germans abandoned Auschwitz

Buildings burning after the Germans abandoned Auschwitz

Piles of clothing in a Kanada warehouse

Piles of clothing in a Kanada warehouse at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The news article continues with this quote:

Steven Spielberg’s foundation Shoah Foundation funded the project and sent a film crew over from LA to film Kitty and Lydia in Auschwitz and the documentary will be shown on 200 channels across the world. It will also be sent out to all schools across America.

At the end of the filming in Auschwitz, as Kitty stood in front of the pond in which the Nazis had dumped the ashes of the victims, she was asked about the importance of the Legacy Project, to which she said: “This is my legacy, it is for all the people who were here, many of whom never came out.

There are several “ash ponds” at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where the ashes of over a million Jews were thrown.  The one where Kitty stood, on her latest trip to Auschwitz, was probably the ash pond shown in my 2005 photo below.

Ash pond with Sauna building in the background

Ash pond with Sauna building in the background

Ash pond for Krema II at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Ash pond for Krema II at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Maybe Kitty and the students stood at the ash pond shown in the photo directly above, which is where the ashes from Krema II were thrown. The ruins of the Krematorium are shown in the upper right hand corner of the photo.

The photo below shows round brick buildings at Auschwitz II camp.

Water treatment plant at Auschwitz II camp

Water treatment plant at Auschwitz II camp

But forget all that.  The most important thing about Kitty’s story is that she was a direct witness to the gassing of the Jews in Krema IV at Auschitz-Birkenau.  Krema IV no longer exists; it was blown up by the prisoners.

Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which was blown up by the prisoners

This quote is from a another news article which you can read in full here.

[Kitty] is a direct witness to mass murder. ‘From our hut [barrack] I looked out on the gas chamber and crematorium number four.’ She gestures to her sitting-room wall, maybe three metres from our chairs. ‘That’s how close it was. I saw people going into a building and never coming out. I saw the SS go up the ladders and empty tins of white crystals [which produced the poison gas] into a hole in the roof. I heard screams a few minutes later. I saw smoke and fire and men wheeling barrows of ash. That went on 24 hours a day. At one point, an SS woman escorted some of us back to the main camp on an errand. We were taken around the outer perimeter past the woods at the back. There they were driving people alive into burning pits.’

Other Holocaust survivors, who were witnesses to the gassing of the Jews in Krema IV, have testified that the gas pellets were thrown into the room through the windows in the wall of Krema IV.

I previously blogged about Alice Lok Cahana who was in Krema V, next door to Krema IV, when it was blown up. http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/page/26/

Krema IV and Krema V were crematoriums where the bodies of dead Jews were burned.  The buildings also had shower rooms for the prisoners.

 

November 17, 2014

Update on Oskar Groening, the SS guard at Auschwitz “who did’t kill with his hands, but was part of that killing machinery”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 5:44 am

In a recent news article, which you can read in full here, I learned that “437,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz in the span of 57 days in the sping and early summer of 1944. They were murdeed at a rate of 3.5 Jews per minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so that by the end of the 57th day 300,000 of them were dead.”

Strangely, most of the survivors of the Holocaust, who are still alive today, are Hungarian Jews, who have written books about how they fooled the Nazis and escaped the gas chamber.

This quote is from the news article:

Judy Lysy is a Holocaust survivor [of Auschwitz] in Toronto. [...] She is not among the co-plaintiffs in the Groening case since the charges against him, for German legal reasons, only cover the 57-day killing frenzy associated with the Jewish Hungarian deportees. [...]

Ms. Lysy, a Slovakian Jew, was raised in pro-Nazi, Hungarian-occupied territory. She arrived in Auschwitz in April 1944. It was a sunny day. She was 16. [...]

“We did not know where those people had gone for the first 10 days. And this was my arrival to Auschwitz. Oskar Groening didn’t kill with his hands. But he was part of that killing machinery.”

The news article goes on to explain that Ms. Lysy was given the job of a translator at Auschwitz.  She was also over the age of 15, so she would not have been sent to the gas chamber, in any case.

Child survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau after they were liberated

Child survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau after they were liberated (Click on photo to enlarge)

The photo above is used to illustrate the news story. Despite my many complaints about inappropriate photos being used to illustrate the Holocaust, once again a photo of children with chubby cheeks is used to illustrate a story about 300,000 Jews being gassed in 57 days.

Dead bodies found in Block 11 at the Auschwitz main camp

Dead bodies found in Block 11 at the Auschwitz main camp

The photo above, which shows dead bodies found in Block 11 in the main Auschwitz camp, would be an appropriate photo for this news story.

This quote is from the news story, cited above:

The accused is Oskar Groening, the so-called “bookkeeper” of Auschwitz, a former SS sergeant who sorted and counted monies stolen from the murdered Jews, occasionally couriering it to his Nazi overlords in Berlin. He also stood guard on the train platform in Auschwitz, as cattle cars delivered their doomed Jewish cargo. Doing so in the belief that, as he told DER SPIEGEL magazine in 2005, the destruction of the Jews was a “necessary thing.”

I previously blogged about Oskar Groening at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/oskar-groening-another-93-year-old-auschwitz-guard-will-be-charged-with-accessory-to-murder/

I also wrote about Oskar Groening in this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/oskar-groening-was-grease-in-the-machine-of-mass-extermination-at-auschwitz/

It seems that Oskar Groening will now be put on trial under the ex-post-facto law known as “common plan.”  Under this concept, anyone who was there when the crime of killing Jews was perpetrated, is guilty of a crime.  There is no defense against the “common plan” law, so he will be automatically convicted and sent to prison for the rest of his life, or to a nursing home in Germany, where he will live out his days as a convicted war criminal.

The ruins of Krema III, one of the four gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The ruins of Krema III, one of the four gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau (Click on photo to enlarge)

 

 

 

November 14, 2014

British students amazed by photos displayed at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Photos displayed in the Sauna building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Photos displayed in the Sauna building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

My 2005 photo above shows a wall of photos, which are displayed in the building called the “Sauna” at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The floor in the room is covered with glass, and the wall of photos is reflected in the glass, making it look like two walls of photos, but there is only one wall and the reflection of the wall.

I previously blogged about the Sauna on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/why-was-there-a-sauna-at-auschwitz/

The photo wall at Auschwitz-Birkenau consists of photos found at the camp after it was liberated.  Allegedly, these photos were selected and saved, by the Nazis, from a larger number of photos, which had been brought to the camp by the Jews.

How did the Nazis decide which photos to save and which to burn? Look at the photo above again.  Almost all of the photos, on display at Auschwitz, are color photos.

Recently, a group of British students were taken on a tour of Auschwitz by the HET; you can read about the trip here.

This quote is from the news article about the HET trip:

We were taken to a room which was full of photographs on display. When the prisoners packed a suitcase to leave their homes, the most important possessions were photographs.

The majority of them [the photos] were burned by the Nazis. But a small collection were left behind. It was touching and poignant to see all the smiling faces of families and loved ones of those who perished in Auschwitz.

I find it strange that the students were so concerned with the photos, and not with the purpose of the Sauna building, where the exhibit of the photos is located.

What criteria did the Nazis use in selecting photos to save?

Look at the photo below, which shows a wall of photos at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Hall of photo at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Hall of photo at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Notice that the photos, in the display shown above, are mostly black and white, while the photos displayed in the Sauna at Auschwitz are almost all color photos.

I can see it all now: those evil Nazis were going through the luggage of the prisoners and sorting the photos into piles for a future Museum at Auschwitz, and a future Museum in America.

One thing that the British students, on the HET trip, might not have realized is that most people were not taking color photos with their primitive box cameras in the 1940ies.  Color film was expensive and it had to be sent to Rochester, New York to be processed.

The first modern color film, Kodachrome, was introduced in 1935 based on three colored emulsions. Most modern color films, except Kodachrome, are based on technology developed for Agfacolor (as ‘Agfacolor Neue’) in 1936.

Unfortunately, when WWII came along, color photography was still a novelty. The first batches of color film from Kodak were hard to find, leaving combat and civilian photographers with little choice but to record events in black and white.

When I was taking photos back in the 1940ies, I had a box camera like the one shown in the photo below.

Box camera used in the 1940ies in America

Box camera used in the 1940ies in America

Students today, who are taking selfies with their iPhone do not realize the significance of color photos in 1944.  A person who had color photos of their family members, in the 1940s, was a rich privileged person.

The purpose of the Sauna building, where the exhibit of the photos is located, was to save lives by disinfecting the clothing to prevent the spread of disease, and to provide a shower for incoming prisoners in an effort to prevent disease.

The room with the photos is at the end of the present-day tour of the Sauna.  These students weren’t impressed by the effort to save lives; they were only concerned with the (dubious) claim that the Nazis went through the photos in the luggage and callously burned some of them, while selecting other photos to save.

I suspect that the students were not told that this building was closed to tourists for 60 years.  I believe that the building was closed so that tourists would not realize that the Nazis made a big effort to save the lives of the Jews who were sent to Auschwitz.

Lviv ghetto in Ukraine, where Jews hid in sewers, is back in the news

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:13 am
Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler in Lviv, Nov. 7, 2014. (Courtesy of Limmud FSU)

Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler in Lviv, Nov. 7, 2014. (Courtesy of Limmud FSU)

The photo above is from a newspaper article, which you can read in full here.  It shows one of the manhole covers, that can be lifted up, to enter the sewer in Lviv.

The news story is about the sewer system in the city of Lviv, where Jews hid for 14 months, during World War II, to escape the Genocide perpetrated by the Nazis.  Strangely, there is no Holocaust memorial to mark this historic spot, nor any of the other manhole covers where the Jews entered the sewer.

A few years ago, there was a movie, entitled In Darkness, about Jewish children hiding in the sewers.  I blogged about the movie here.

Scene from the movie "In Darkness, shows children hiding the sewer

Scene from the movie “In Darkness,” shows children emerging from the sewer

In the movie scene, shown in the photo above, notice that the little girl is wearing a ribbon in her hair.  One must keep up appearances, even while living in a sewer.

I didn’t actually go to see the movie because I thought that it would be too upsetting.  Personally, I would not live in a sewer for 14 months to escape death.  I would have just said, “Kill me now.”

Near the end of the war, the survivors of the Lviv ghetto were sent to Dachau.  I wrote about one of the survivors of the ghetto on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/WilliamWeiss.html

This quote is from my website:

Six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, including the entire family of William Weiss, who was among the prisoners at Dachau when it was liberated by the US Seventh Army on April 29, 1945. Before the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Weiss family had lived in peace and prosperity in Lwow, which at that time was a Polish city, also known by the English name Lvov. The city was originally called L’viv when it was founded in 1256 as the capital of Galicia; today the city of L’viv is in the Ukraine. From 1772 until 1919, the city was called Lemberg, after it became part of the Austrian Empire in the first partition of Poland.

According to his own account, as told to newspaper reporter Marsha Low in 2001, Weiss was a studious child who earned good grades and he expected to one day take over his father’s military supply business in Lvov. When World War II started in 1939 with the invasion of Poland, the Soviet Union captured the city of Lvov on September 17, 1939, the first day that the Russians entered the war on the side of Nazi Germany. After Poland was conquered, Lvov was in the section that was occupied by the Soviet Union, as part of the pact made with the Germans prior to the joint invasion. The original population of Lvov was one third Jewish and there were an additional 100,000 Jewish refugees in the city, who had fled to the east, escaping from the Germans when they invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.

The area occupied by the Soviet Union, after September 1939, had formerly belonged to the Russians from 1795 until after World War I when the Poles finally regained their independence. After the Russians took back their lost Polish territory in September 1939, they set up a Communist government and the Soviet secret police, known as the NKVD, was put in charge of arresting any resistance fighters.

On July 2, 1941, the life of the Weiss family changed drastically, according to his account, as told to Marsha Low. On June 22, 1941, the German Army had invaded the Soviet Union and by July 2nd, they had captured the city of Lvov. The name of the city was changed back to Lemberg, the name that had been given to it by the Austrians. According to Weiss’s account, the Nazis began rounding up the Jews in the city within the first month, taking them to the Brygidki and Loncki prisons on the edge of town.

Weiss told Ms. Low that by August 1941, the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police began forcing the Jews into a ghetto in Lvov, allowing them to take with them only what they could carry. Lvov became one of the five major ghettos in Poland; the other four were Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow and Lublin. Altogether, there were 356 ghettos established by the Nazis in Poland after September 1939.

The evacuation of the Lvov Jews began on March 19, 1942 and continued for one month until 15,000 Jews had been sent to the gas chambers at Belzec, one of the three Operation Reinhard extermination camps, which had been set up specifically to kill the Jews as part of the Final Solution. Between August 10 and August 23, 1942, 50,000 more Jews from the Lvov ghetto were sent to Belzec, which is north of Lvov, on the west side of the Bug river, the border between the part of Poland occupied by the Germans and the former Soviet occupied zone. Between March and December 1942, a total of 600,000 Jews were murdered in the gas chamber at Belzec.

Weiss told reporter Marsha Low that, in August 1942, his father had found a hiding place in Lvov and had planned an escape for the entire family on the evening of a day when the Lvov Jews were rounded up, but it was too late. Weiss and his mother and two sisters had already been put into the group that was assembled, ready to be sent to either Belzec or the concentration camp at Janowska. Weiss was 19 years old at that time. He told Ms. Low that his mother and two sisters were sent to Belzec, but he managed to escape certain death because, on the day that the Jews were assembled for transport, his mother told him to sneak over to the other side where able-bodied people were being sent to work at Janowska, not to be killed at Belzec.

As quoted in the newspaper article, Weiss said, “I listened to her. Now I know she knew she’d be killed. They put me on a truck and took me to the Janowska camp.” Weiss said that he managed to escape from the Janowska camp that same night, running to the place where his father was hiding in Lvov, ready to escape with the whole family. When he told his father that their escape plan was too late because his mother and sisters were already on their way to Belzec, his father cried, the first time that Weiss had ever seen his father cry. After a week in hiding in Lvov, Weiss said that he and his father were captured and sent to Loncki prison. Another 5,000 Jews from Lvov were evacuated in November 1942, and sent to either Belzec or Janowska, but Weiss and his father remained for a year in the Loncki prison until the Soviet Army arrived in 1943.

Weiss and his father were among 30 prisoners who were evacuated from the Loncki prison before Russian troops captured Lvov; they were sent to the Auschwitz death camp, where both managed to survive. In his interview with Marsha Low, Weiss said that he still dreams of naked bodies being herded into the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

As the Soviet Army advanced further into Poland, Auschwitz was evacuated in January 1945. In the dead of winter, through knee-deep snow, the starving prisoners were forced to march 50 kilometers to Gleiwitz near the border of Germany. Weiss said that his 42-year-old father died of starvation on the forced march. After a few weeks in Gleiwitz, Weiss was transported by train to the Dachau concentration camp. When Dachau was liberated by American troops, 22-year-old William Weiss, who was 5 foot 7 inches tall, weighed only 75 pounds and he was suffering from typhus. He had survived nearly three years of imprisonment by the Nazis. He said that he was sent to a hospital in Munich, where he met his future wife, Regina, who was also a survivor. They were married on March 13, 1946 in the city hall in Munich.

William Weiss and Regina emigrated to America where they settled near Detroit in West Bloomfield, Michigan. In 2001, Weiss was retired from the clothing business, and was working as a volunteer at least once a week at the Holocaust Memorial Center in West Bloomfield, telling his story to a new generation, so that the horrors of the Nazi regime will never be forgotten.

November 9, 2014

November 9th, the anniversary of 3 important events in Germany

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:16 am
A piece of the Berlin that has been preserved

A piece of the Berlin wall that has been preserved

Today, the German people are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down. You can read about it on the news at http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/merkel-leads-berlin-wall-ceremony-30729681.html

Germans celebrating the wall coming down 25 years ago

Germans celebrating the wall coming down 25 years ago

November 9th is a very important date in German history because it was on that day that three very significant events happened.

It was on Nov. 9, 1918, that the Social Democrats took over Germany, forced the Kaiser to abdicate and then declared The Republic of Germany.  Two days later, the Great War (WWI) ended.  But it’s not over til it’s over.  The peace terms of World War I led to World War II.

On that November day in 1918, Hitler was lying in a hospital bed, after being blinded by gas that had been used, by both sides, in battle.  The take-over by the Social Democrats, on Nov. 9, 1918, led to Hitler and the Nazis taking over Germany, which then resulted in the Holocaust.

It was on November 9, 1938 that the event known as Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) took place.  This was a one-day event in which Jewish stores and synagogues were destroyed throughout Germany.

Today, few people remember the first two events, but the fall of the Berlin wall, which took place, 25 years ago, on November 9th, is being celebrated today.

November 7, 2014

WW2 veteran tells Florida teachers about the Dachau gas chamber

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:22 pm
SS 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker surrenders Dachau camp to Brig. Gen. Henning Linden

SS 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker surrenders Dachau camp to Brig. Gen. Henning Linden

A news story that you can read in full here, tells about a recent talk given to teachers in Floria. George Aigen told the teachers about his visit to the Dachau camp after it was liberated.  The date of his Dachau visit, and the Army outfit in which he was a member are not mentioned.

This quote is from the news article:
Since 1994, the Florida Legislature has required K-12 schools in the state to include Holocaust studies in the curriculum. Florida is one of only six states in the U.S. that requires the teaching of the Holocaust. Of all the mandates forced onto teachers by federal, state and local education officials, the Holocaust mandate remains one of the more enlightened.

[...]

In addition to teaching resources, every year HERC puts together a program for the workshop that is second to none. Over the years they have brought in academic experts, Holocaust survivors and others offering a unique perspective. This year’s special guest was WWII veteran George Aigen.

While Corporal Aigen now lives in Valdosta, Ga., he was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. It was as a teenager in Brooklyn that Aigen was drafted into the U.S. Army and shipped overseas to fight in the European theater. He was decorated for the unusually high number of battles in which his unit found themselves, but his most vivid and haunting memories are of the day that his unit walked into the Dachau concentration camp.
Aigen was moved to tears as he recounted the horrific scenes that he confronted that day. A picture of hundreds of victims —Jews and others — crammed into bunk houses. The memories of entering the shower facility, only to learn that it was a chamber of death for the thousands that entered before that day. Aigen recalled discovering the furnaces that were designed to rid the camp of the thousands of victims who died there, and the facility where the ashes were kept.

Since first telling his story in public a few years ago, Aigen has given hundreds of talks. He has made it his latest mission to bring his experience with the Holocaust to as many as possible, especially students.

Does anyone ever confront Aigen and ask for proof that there was a gas chamber at Dachau?  It is interesting that this news story does not give the date that Aigen saw Dachau.  Was it before or after the American liberators of Dachau had finished constructing the so-called gas chamber?

You can read about the Dachau gas chamber on my website at  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/GasChamber/history.html

I have blogged about the Dachau gas chamber many times, including this blog post: http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/the-method-used-at-dachau-to-input-the-gas-into-the-gas-chamber/

 

November 5, 2014

How many Jews were slaughtered in the Dachau death camp?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:26 am
Dead bodies of prisoners who died of typhus at Dachau after the camp was liberated

Dead bodies of prisoners who died of typhus at Dachau after the camp was liberated (click on photo to enlarge)

I checked the news this morning in an attempt to find out if the Dachau “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate has been recovered yet.  No word on the gate, but I did find a news story which is headlined “Merkel urges action on Dachau gate theft”.

This quote is from the news article, in which Angela Merkel is quoted:

During World War II [Dachau] became a death camp where more than 41,000 Jews were slaughtered before US troops liberated it on April 29, 1945.

The news article does not say how many non-Jews were killed at Dachau, nor how many Jews were killed by some other means besides being slaughtered.  If you don’t know the meaning of the word “slaughtered” check this out: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/slaughtered

Usually, animals are slaughtered to provide food.  I doubt that the “slaughtered Jews” were eaten, but what about their skin?  Was the skin used to make lampshades?  According to the testimony of Dr. Franz Blaha, the skin of the dead Jews was used to make a number of items.  I wrote about this on my website at

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauTrials/MartinGottfriedWeiss01.html

How many prisoners actually died at Dachau, according to the official records?

There were 31,951 deaths at the main Dachau camp during the 12 years that the camp was in existence, according to a report made by the International Tracing Service at Arolson, Germany in 1977. The Tracing Service is part of the International Red Cross. This report was based on death records meticulously kept by the Nazis.

The Dachau camp records were confiscated by the American Army, after the camp was surrendered to the American “liberators” on April 29, 1945. These records are currently being kept in the National Archives in Washington, DC.

According to the camp records, there were 3,752 deaths at Dachau in the first seven years that the camp was in operation, but the death toll escalated to 13,158 deaths in the first four months of 1945. Just in the month of February 1945, there were 3,977 deaths at Dachau, more than in all of the seven years before the war. Most of these deaths in 1945 were due to a typhus epidemic in the camp which began in the fall of 1944 when prisoners were evacuated from the camps in Poland and brought to Dachau.

Was Dachau really a “death camp” for the slaughtering of Jews? Let’s examined the records kept at Dachau. The Dachau camp records show that there were 28,838 Jews brought from Auschwitz to the Dachau main camp between June 18, 1944 and March 9, 1945. Before being transferred to the 11 Kaufering sub-camps near Landsberg, the Jews were kept in quarantine at Dachau for two weeks in an effort to prevent the spread of disease.

At the Dachau main camp, these Jewish prisoners were first dipped in a tub of disinfectant, then given a shower and issued clean clothes that had been disinfected with Zyklon-B in a Gaskammer.

The photo below shows a door into a Gaskammer at Dachau where clothing was disinfected with Zyklon-B gas.

American soldier looks at a door into a clothing disinfection chamber at Dachau

American soldier looks at a door into a clothing disinfection chamber at Dachau, April 1945

Holocaust True Believers claim that 28,838 Jews had been brought to Dachau to be gassed in the shower room at Dachau, although the shower room had not yet been converted into a gas chamber by the American liberators.

The official report of the US Seventh Army, published in 1945, mentioned that 14,700 deaths had occurred at Dachau in the first quarter of 1945.

Paul Berben, a prisoner in the camp, wrote a book entitled Dachau, the Official History 1933 – 1945, in which he stated that 2,888 prisoners had died at Dachau in January 1945, 3,977 prisoners had died in February, 3,668 had died in March and 2,625 had died in April, for a total of 13,158 in the first four months of 1945.  These deaths had been caused by a typhus epidemic in the camp.

In the month of May 1945, an additional 2,226 Dachau prisoners died after the camp was liberated, in spite of the excellent care given to them by American military doctors. There were 196 more deaths in June before the typhus epidemic was finally stopped by the use of DDT and the vaccination of all the prisoners.  The Germans did not use DDT for fear of harming the environment.

Prisoners were sprayed with DDT at Dachau by the American liberators

Dachau prisoners were sprayed with DDT by the American liberators after the camp was surrendered to them

At the American Military Tribunal held at the Dachau camp in November 1945, the prosecution stated that 161, 939 prisoners had been processed through Dachau between 1940 and 1945 and that over 25,000 of them had died. According to the figures in Paul Berben’s book, the exact number of prisoners who died at Dachau during this period was 27,839.

The US Seventh Army report stated that an estimated 229,000 prisoners had been processed at Dachau since the camp opened on March 22, 1933 including around 7,000 who had arrived in the last three weeks of April, 1945. The camp records showed that 206,206 prisoners had been registered in the camp in the 12 years that Dachau was a concentration camp, but in the chaos of the last days before the camp was surrendered to the Americans, some prisoners had not been registered.

 

November 3, 2014

“Arbeit Macht Frei” gate at Dachau has been stolen

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 10:44 am
The opening where the iconic "Arbeit Macht Frei" gate used to be

The opening where the iconic “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate used to be at the Dachau Memorial site

I was alerted, by one of the readers of my blog, to the news that the famous Dachau “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign was stolen overnight, between Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014.  You can read about it in the news here.

Who would do such a thing?  “Arbeit Macht Frei” is a slogan that is owned by the Jews, although Dachau was not primarily a camp for Jews.  You can read about the history of Dachau on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/overview.html

Rudolf Höss (Hoess) was the man who originated the “Arbeit Macht Frei” slogan. Translated into English, the words mean “Work will set you free.” In his autobiography, Hoess explained that this expression means that work liberates one in the spiritual sense, not that the prisoners literally had a chance of being released if they worked hard.  These words have now been twisted, by the Jews, to mean that the Nazis taunted the Jews, making them think that they would be released if they worked hard.

The following quote is from this news story about the theft:

Dr. Max Mannheimer, a Holocaust survivor and vice president of the International Dachau Committee, said he was “horrified that Nazis apparently so desecrated the memorial to those murdered here and violated the reverence due to such a place.”

I wrote about Dr. Max Mannheimer on this previous blog post:  http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/90-year-old-holocaust-survivor-was-with-muslim-leaders-on-trip-to-dachau-and-auschwitz/

All of the photos below were taken by me, except the old black and white photo.  Click on the photos to see a larger size.

Arbeit Macht Frei gate into Dachau

Arbeit Macht Frei gate into former Dachau camp

Dachau gate in 2003 before tourists were allowed to enter through the gate

Dachau gate in 2003 before tourists were allowed to enter through this gate

Before tourists were allowed to enter the former camp through the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate, there was a high wall between the gate and the former SS camp at Dachau and it was impossible to take a photo like the first photo above.  It was during that time that I took the two photos below.

Gate into Dachau camp

Early morning shot of gate into Dachau camp

Another early morning shot of the gate into Dachau camp

Another early morning shot of the gate into Dachau

Dachau gate house

Tourists entering the Dachau gate house in 2008

Dachau gatehouse in 1945 after the camp was liberated

Dachau gatehouse in 1945 after the camp was liberated

In the photo above, notice the bridge over a canal which runs past the entrance to the camp.

Entrance into Dachau camp in 2003

Entrance into Dachau camp in 2003

In 2003, before the Arbeit Macht Frei gate was open to visitors, tourists had to enter the camp through an opening in the barbed wire fence around the camp.

You can see more photos and read about Dachau on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/KZDachau/DachauLife01G.html

Most of the news stories, about the theft of the gate, say that 40,000 to 50,000 Jews were killed at Dachau.  I wrote about the death statistics at Dachau on this page of my website:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/deathstatistics.html

Few people visit the town of Dachau, which is shown in my photo below.

The town of Dachau

The town of Dachau (click on the photo to enlarge)

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