I previously blogged about the movie “The Debt” and wrote (facetiously) that it will win Academy Awards because it is a Holocaust movie. After seeing the movie today, I think that it will be nominated for several Academy awards — because it is a great movie. This film is a remake of a 2007 Israeli film, also named The Debt.
I was not expecting to like this movie, but after seeing it, I am giving it high praise. It is being advertised as a “spy thriller” but it is much more than that. The story line is about Truth and whether telling lies can sometimes be justified.
Some memorable lines in the movie are
“We have to lie.” “The Truth stays in this room.” “Truth is a luxury.”
And regarding the necessity to lie: “The important thing is Justice.”
I doubt that this movie will win the Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year because the story line is hard to follow, unless you have some advance knowledge of the plot. If you prefer to see movies without any idea of what the plot is about, don’t read any further.
CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD (more…)
The following story is from an article, written by Shirley Welsh in the Vail Daily News, on June 7, 2007. The title of the article is “Have you ever heard of Dachau?” I found this old article when I was going through my files today, weeding out old documents. This is the story told by Frank Doll, an American soldier, who was with the 989th Artillery Battalion.
Quote from the article by Shirley Welsh:
“Have you heard of Dachau?” (Asked the Colonel)
“No, sir,” Frank replied.
“It’s a concentration camp. The Nazis have been moving a lot of prisoners there from the other camps to Dachau. The 42nd is going to take the camp, but they need artillery for support.” (more…)
When World War II came to an end in May 1945, the Allies were faced with the legal problem of how to punish the German war criminals. At that time, there was no German law, nor any International law, that covered such crimes as the genocide of the Jews or the atrocities committed by the Germans in the concentration camps. New laws had to be made after the fact.
Col. Robert Jackson, the chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg IMT, said in his opening address: “Hence I am not disturbed by the lack of precedent for the inquiry we propose to conduct.” He meant that he was not concerned about the creation of new laws, called ex post facto laws, which were used in the proceedings of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal. Ex post facto laws were also used by the American Military Tribunal at Dachau, which prosecuted people who had been associated with the concentration camps that had been liberated by American soldiers.
The new law that was created, based on the concept of co-responsibility for the crimes that had been committed by others, was called “common design” or “common plan” by the Allies. (more…)
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
—William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Today, I read this in a travel blog:
Auschwitz and Birkenau had lovey Polish names originally as they were rural villages, when the Germans came they sent most of the Polish inhabitants to work camps away from here or they interred them as they didn’t want word to leak out about what they were doing. They changed the village names to the similar sounding but German language place names of Auschwitz and Birkenau.
If you’ve ever read anything about the Holocaust or seen a movie based on the Holocaust, you know that every Holocaust survivor claims to have witnessed a German soldier kill a baby by bashing its head against a tree or the side of a train. If you believe the stories of the survivors, this was the most universal atrocity committed by the Germans against the Jews, except for desecrating every Jewish cemetery in Poland.
In a recent news article, I read about a group of students, who will be the future military leaders of America. They visited the last remaining synagogue in the town of Auschwitz, then toured the main Auschwitz concentration camp, after which they did some work in a Jewish cemetery. (more…)
When World War II ended in May 1945, German war criminals were put on trial by the Allies at the Nuremberg IMT and also in separate trials held by the American military, the British, the French and the Soviets. There were no trials for any violations of the Geneva Convention committed by any of the Allied troops.
At the trials held by the American Military Tribunal on the grounds of the former Dachau concentration camp, the American lawyers for the defense and the American lawyers for the prosecution could not agree on the laws of the Geneva Convention of 1929. The defense attorneys argued that the Germans were not responsible for any crimes committed against soldiers of the Soviet Union because the Soviets had not signed the convention and were not following it with regard to the Germans. (more…)
Hole on outside wall of gas chamber at Dachau concentration camp
The photo above shows a boarded-up hole in the outside wall of the Baracke X building at the former Dachau concentration camp. There is no corresponding hole on the inside of the building; the room behind this wall was allegedly a homicidal gas chamber. I always assumed that this was a botched construction of a peep hole. Until now…
When I read in the news today about the death of Harry W. Mazal, I decided to take another look at his famous holocaust-history.org website. The purpose of Mazal’s website, according to his daughter, is to combat Holocaust denial. I had read the section on the Dachau gas chamber years ago when I first became interested in the Holocaust. In reading this section again, I was particularly interested in his description of how a homicidal gassing was carried out at Dachau.
Two bins on outside wall of Dachau gas chamber
Quote from the gas chamber section on the holocaust-history.org website here:
The person in charge of a homicidal gassing need only don a gas mask, open the two bins, and dump part of a small tin of Zyklon-B into each one. Having done this, the operator would close the bins, which are protected from interference from the victims by a protective grating, <photo 40> <photo 41> and wait a few minutes until all the victims were dead. At this point, the powerful mechanical extractor could be energized sending the poisonous fumes into the atmosphere, drawing fresh air through a small hatchway located above the bins. The bodies could then be moved into the mortuary chamber to await incineration in the adjoining crematory furnaces.
I have put the most important part in bold face type to draw attention to it. Now it all makes sense. The hole in the wall was put there for the purpose of bringing fresh air into the room to air it out after the use of Zyklon-B to gas the prisoners. (more…)
According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, which you can read here, there were 70,000 Jews rounded up on Kristallnacht, which was the night of Nov. 9th and 10th in 1938; the Jews were sent to concentration camps, including Dachau. Kristallnacht is considered by the Jews to be the start of the Holocaust. Prior to that, there were no Jews sent to the concentration camps just because they were Jews, although Jews had been sent to the camps for other reasons.
Jewish men in Baden-Baden were arrested on Nov. 10, 1938
This travesty, which was named Kristallnacht by the Nazis, took place after a three-day death watch over Ernst vom Rath, a diplomat at the German embassy in Paris who was shot by Herschel Grynzspan, a 17-year old Polish Jew. Herschel had fled to Paris when the Nazis announced in October 1938 that all Polish Jews in Germany would be deported back to Poland. The Polish government had already torn up their passports when they evicted them earlier and they would not allow them back into the country. Grynzspan’s parents and sister were forced to live in a refugee camp on the border; his motive for killing vom Rath was to call the attention of the world to the plight of these stateless Jews.
The Dachau Museum puts the number of Jews that were sent to Dachau, following Kristallnacht, at exactly 10,911. According to the Museum, another 20,000 Jews were sent to Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen with 10,000 being sent to each of these camps. (more…)
I have heard so much about Holocaust denial now being allowed on Facebook that I finally decided to check it out. This wordpress blog gives some links to the Facebook pages that are supposedly Holocaust denial. I checked out some of the so-called Holocaust denial on Facebook and I did not see anything worth reading. I don’t understand what the fuss is all about. I am not on Facebook myself — I consider it to be a huge waste of time.
Nobody asked for my opinion, but I am going to give it anyway. I think that putting Holocaust denial on Facebook trivializes Holocaust denial, or revisionism as most people prefer to call it. I think that Facebook should NOT allow Holocaust denial. Making Holocaust denial a part of social networking leads young people to believe that Holocaust denial is a joke and not a serious matter.
Check out a real Holocaust denial blog here.
I’ve never been to Israel so I’ve never seen the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum there. Today I learned from this website that there is a “scale model of a gas chamber” in the museum.
This quote is from the web site which mentions the scale model at Yad Vashem:
There we saw a scale model of a gas chamber, and we learned that a company called Topf und Söhne was hired to design and build four gas chambers and a crematorium. In case anyone in the future wanted to perpetrate another genocide, they patented the design. The facility was capable of murdering 4,756 people in 24 hours – they guaranteed it in writing.
Wow! Talk about German engineering! The Topf und Söhne (Topf and son) company guaranteed an exact number of Jews that could be killed in 24 hours! And they patented their design! Now we know how the Germans were able to dispose of 400,000 Hungarian Jews in only 10 weeks at Auschwitz-Birkenau, as claimed by Holocaust historians.
But wait a minute! Topf und Söhne guaranteed in writing that 4,756 people could be MURDERED in 24 hours, but how long did it take to burn the bodies of 4,756 people? How many bodies could fit on the elevator that brought the bodies up from the underground gas chambers in Krema II and Krema III to the ovens on the ground floor? Where did they store the bodies while they were waiting to burn them? Surely not outside the gas chamber buildings because that would have immediately tipped off the victims that they were not going into a shower room. There was no corpse storage room in Krema II, nor in Krema III, because the only rooms in these crematoria were the gas chambers and undressing rooms.
Logo of Topf und Söhne on Dachau oven
The photo above shows the Topf logo on the one oven (with two retorts) in the Old Crematorium at Dachau. The logo is on the lower left hand side in the photo below.
Oven in the Old Crematorium at Dachau