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January 12, 2014

The Military Channel on TV tells the story of a British SOE woman who was burned alive at Natzweiler

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 12:00 pm

This morning, I watched a TV show on the Military Channel (Channel 274 on my TV) which was entitled “The Nazis Hunters.”  It was all about how the British hunted down German war criminals after World War II.

I watched the show to the end and was shocked to learn that a British SOE woman had been burned alive at the Natzwwiler concentration camp. As she was being shoved into the oven, she managed to scratch the face of a man named Peter Straub, scarring him for life.  The woman was not named on the Military Channel show, but I know, from my research on this subject, that the woman who was allegedly burned alive at Natzweiler was Andrée Borrel.

I  previously blogged about Andrée Borrel here.

The following quote is from Flames in the Field, by Rita Kramer:

The most dramatic testimony [about Andrée Borrel] came from Walter Schultz, who had been an interpreter in the camp’s Political Department. It was here the orders came regarding prisoners transferred to the camp by the Gestapo for ‘special treatment,’ a euphemism the meaning of which was clearly understood by all. It was not necessary for files to be made for new arrivals accompanied, like the four women, by requests for special treatment.

Hearsay testimony, such as the testimony of Walter Schultz, which would not have been allowed in a normal trial, was acceptable at the Allied Military Tribunals. Walter Schultz claimed that Peter Straub was very drunk on the day of the secret execution of the four women and that Straub had told him all about the women being killed by phenol injection. One of the women had regained consciousness after the injection and had scratched his face, as she fought being put into the oven alive.

According to Rita Kramer, the author of Flames in the Field, when Straub was interrogated by Vera Atkins, he still had scars on his face from the scratches inflicted by Andrée Borrel.

On the show, the Natzweiler camp was called a “secret camp.” This was news to me.  I thought that it was a concentration camp, like any other.

I had tuned in to the Military Channel show a few minutes late, and the first thing that I heard was something about “the Vosges mountains.” I was immediately interested because I knew that the Natzweiler concentration camp in Alsace had been located in the vicinity of the Vosges mountains.

Entrance into Natzweiler concentration camp

Entrance into Natzweiler concentration camp

A photo, very similar to my photo above, was shown on the Military Channel show, although it was not immediately identified as the entrance into the Natzweiler camp.

Vera Atkins

Vera Atkins

Then a photo of a woman was shown.  I immediately recognized the face of Vera Atkins, who was in the British SOE during World War II.  At this point in the show, her photo was not yet identified. Way to build up suspense!

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Vera Atkins:

Vera Atkins was born Vera-May Rosenberg to Max Rosenberg, a German Jewish father and his British Jewish wife, Zeftro Hilda, known as Hilda in Galai, Romania.  [...]

Her position as a woman, a Jew and a non-British national in SOE would also explain Atkins’ defensiveness during and after the war.

Atkins persuaded M.R.D. Foot, SOE’s official historian, not to reveal her Romanian origins in his history.

She remained to her death a strong defender of F Section’s wartime record, and ensured that each of the 12 women murdered in the three concentration camps of Natzweiler-Struthof, Dachau and Ravensbrueck are commemorated by memorial plaques close to where they were killed.

Strangely, the Military Channel show entitled “The Nazi Hunters” ended before it was revealed that Vera Atkins later changed her mind and claimed that one of the four women, who were allegedly executed at Natzweiler and burned in the oven there, had actually been executed and burned at Dachau.

A photo of the sinister looking oven at Natzweiler, similar to my photo below, was shown on the Military Channel show.

The one cremation oven at the Natzweiler camp

The one cremation oven at the Natzweiler camp

The following information about Natzweiler is from my own website, based on my research (Some of this information was also mentioned on the Military Channel show):

The Trial of Werner Röhde and 8 others in a British Military Court at Wuppertal, Germany began on May 29, 1946 and ended on June 1, 1946. The nine men were charged with the murder of four British SOE agents on July 6, 1944 at the Natzweiler concentration camp in Alsace.

Werner Röhde was a medical doctor who had allegedly murdered the four SOE agents by giving them a lethal injection. (It was the custom of the Allies to strip the title of Doctor from the accused in war crimes proceedings.)

The 8 others in the dock were Fritz Hartjenstein, the Commandant at Natzweiler, Max Wochner and Wolfgang Zeuss from the Political Department at Natzweiler, Peter Straub who was the man in charge of executions, Franz Berg who was a prisoner in the camp, Emil Brüttel, Emil Meier and Kurt aus dem Bruch. Dr. Heinrich Plaza, who had also allegedly participated in the lethal injection of the women, was not on trial because he had not been captured.

In all of the Allied Military Tribunals, the concept of a “common plan” or co-responsibility for war crimes was used. This meant that anyone, who was present when a war crime was committed, was equally guilty because the accused should have acted to prevent the crime from taking place.

The evidence for the prosecution had been gathered by Major Bill Barkworth of the SAS War Crimes Investigation team and Vera Atkins, a Squadron Officer of the British SOE, who had interrogated the Natzweiler staff and some of the Natzweiler prisoners, who were also captured SOE agents.

The four SOE agents, who were allegedly murdered at Natzweiler, had been captured by the German Gestapo and had not returned after the war ended. The key prosecution witnesses, Albert Guérisse, Brian Stonehouse and Dr. Georges Boogaerts, who were all members of the SOE, had a motive for wanting these 4 women SOE agents to go down in history as heroines, not as missing persons.

The first witness for the prosecution was Vera Atkins, who testified on May 29, 1944 that Andrée Borrel, Vera Leigh, Diana Rowden and Noor Inayat Khan had been murdered at Natzweiler.

It was not known until much later that Noor Inayat Khan was allegedly executed at Dachau and that Sonia Olschanezky was the fourth victim at Natzweiler. However, before her testimony, Vera Atkins had made sure that the Court would not allow the names of the victims to be published. Atkins herself was referred to in the press as a “WAAF officer” and her name was withheld.

According to Sarah Helm, who wrote a biography of Vera Atkins, entitled A Life in Secrets, Atkins did not want the SOE to be “exposed to any close scrutiny as a result of the case.” The SOE was a secret organization, also known as Churchill’s Secret Army, and it was engaged in espionage and sabotage behind enemy lines. The four women agents had been in the F section which operated as illegal insurgents in France after that country had signed an Armistice with Germany in 1940.

The attorney for the defense, Dr. Grobel, argued in court that “international law allowed for the execution of irregular combatants” and that the court should “consider this case from the point of view that it was a normal and simple execution of spies.” Vera Atkins was quoted by the press as saying that “the women were not spies.”

One thing the Allied Military Tribunals would not tolerate was any mention by the defense that the Allies had committed similar acts. During World War II, the British executed 15 German spies. The last person to be executed at the famous Tower of London was Josef Jacobs who was captured after he broke his leg during a parachute jump. He was shot on August 15, 1941. In America, 8 captured German saboteurs were sentenced to death and 6 of them were executed in the electric chair. The other two sentences were reduced because the men had turned against their countrymen and cooperated with the Americans. Although the 8 Germans were caught before they had the opportunity to commit any acts of sabotage, 6 of them were executed because they had violated the Laws of War by going behind enemy lines to commit hostile acts without being in uniform.

According to Rita Kramer, who wrote a book entitled Flames in the Field, the proceedings of the British Military Court were widely publicized by the press, but the names of the women who had been allegedly executed at Natzweiler were not published until two years later, and even then it was not revealed that they had been the subject of a British Military Court where nine men had been prosecuted for their alleged execution.

In 1958, a series of articles in a British newspaper, which was a condensed version of a book entitled Death be not Proud by Elizabeth Nichols, accused the authorities of keeping the names of the dead women secret as a “War Office cover-up of official blunders,” according to Rita Kramer.

The alleged “cover-up” was for the purpose of keeping secret the accusation that the British SOE had deliberately sent radio operators to France to be caught so that the British could transmit false information to their radios after the agents were captured by the Germans.

If the execution of the 8 women SOE agents had been authorized, the order would have been given to Herman Rösner of the Karlsruhe Gestapo to carry out. Rösner would have then instructed Max Wassmer and Christian Ott to take the women to Natzweiler.

Under the “common plan” concept used by the Allies in all their war crimes trials, Rösner would have been guilty of murder, but he was never prosecuted. In the 1960ies, he was hired by the British to provide intelligence for NATO, according to Sarah Helm’s book.

The procedure, in a war crimes trial, was to interrogate the accused before the proceedings began and to obtain depositions which the accused would then repeat before the Court. However, in the British and American proceedings, the accused were allowed to have an attorney to represent them. Their attorneys were allowed to use any means to defend them, including the accusation that their clients had been unduly persuaded to give incriminating information in their depositions which they now wanted to recant on the witness stand.

Testimony or confessions about prior bad acts could be admitted, even though it had nothing to do with the crime that was being prosecuted. For example, one of the accused, Peter Straub, who had worked for a number of years in Auschwitz before being transferred to Natzweiler, had supposedly told Walter Schultz, a prisoner at Natzweiler, that he had “put four million people up the chimney.”

According to Rita Kramer, all of the accused would “later deny their complicity,” after giving depositions beforehand in which they stated that they had been involved in the execution of the four SOE agents at Natzweiler. The fact that all of the accused wanted to change their previous testimony, given in their depositions, indicates that they had somehow been induced to incriminate themselves before the proceedings began.

Peter Straub, the executioner at Natzweiler, denied everything, claiming that he was not present when the executions took place. Straub was the hangman; executions at Natzweiler were normally carried out by hanging and all the prisoners were required to watch.

The following quote is from Flames in the Field, by Rita Kramer:

During the period of their detention together at Recklinghausen awaiting trial, several of the defendants had second thoughts about the statements that they had made to Barkworth and sworn to earlier. At the trial they expressed the wish to revise some of the evidence they had given in their affidavits implicating each other. Some lost their memories, others refreshed theirs. This led to some retractions having to do with just exactly who was present in the crematorium that night. But it didn’t matter. There was ample evidence to convince the court of the guilt of those in the dock.

Ms. Kramer used the expression “ample evidence,” when what she obviously meant was “ample testimony.”

There were four women SOE agents missing and presumed dead. There was no hard evidence whatsoever that these four women had been executed at Natzweiler: no death records, no execution order, no autopsy report, no bodies, not even the correct name of one of the alleged victims. Vera Atkins had to prevail upon Dr. Röhde to sign death certificates for the four women because there were no official records of their deaths.

One of the accused at the proceedings of the British Military Court was Franz Berg, who was a Kapo or one of the prisoners who assisted the guards at Natzweiler. It was his job to stoke the crematorium furnace.

During the proceedings, Berg told the incredible story that he had been ordered by Peter Straub, who was in charge of executions, to heat up the oven in the crematorium and then to disappear. At 9:30 p.m. Berg was still stoking the oven when Dr. Werner Röhde and the camp Commandant, SS-Obersturmbanführer Friedrich “Fritz” Hartjenstein, came into the crematorium. Both Dr. Röhde and Hartjenstein had previously worked at the Auschwitz II camp, also known as Birkenau, before being transferred to Natzweiler. Dr. Röhde had just arrived at Natzweiler; he was replacing Dr. Heinrich Plaza, who was already wearing civilian clothes in preparation for his departure.

Accompanying them were Obersturmführer Johannes Otto, the adjutant to the Commandant, and Wolfgang Zeuss, who worked in the Political Department. A medical orderly named Emil Brüttel and Robert Nietsch were also in the group.

Berg was ordered by Dr. Röhde to go to his quarters in a dormitory room in the crematorium. He pretended to be asleep when Commandant Hartjenstein and his adjutant, Johannes Otto, came to check on him a few minutes later. They locked the door from the outside to keep Berg from witnessing the secret execution of the four women. However, Georg Fuhrmann, a prisoner in the top bunk of the dorm room, was able to see through the transom over the door into the corridor.

Berg testified that Fuhrmann whispered to him, giving him a running commentary on what was happening in the corridor. There was the noise of bodies being dragged across the floor and the sounds of heavy breathing and low groaning combined. The fourth woman resisted and Dr. Röhde told her that she was being given an injection for typhus, according to Berg’s account.

Part of Berg’s deposition was quoted by Rita Kramer in Flames in the Field:

From the noise of the crematorium oven doors which I heard, I can state definitely that in each case the groaning women were placed immediately in the crematorium oven. When [the officials] had gone, we went to the crematorium oven, opened the door and saw that there were four blackened bodies within. Next morning in the course of my duties I had to clear the ashes out of the crematorium oven. I found a pink woman’s stocking garter on the floor near the oven.

As the photo of the oven at Natzweiler above shows, the bodies were put inside by means of a stretcher. Berg testified that afterwards, he had seen four blackened bodies inside, apparently not completely burned. The bodies had been undressed before they were cremated, and Berg had found a tell-tale piece of feminine clothing right beside the oven.

Berg referred to the women as “Jewish” in his testimony, according to Rita Kramer, but only one of the four women, Sonia Olschanezky, was Jewish. There were 29 Jewish women who had been brought to Natzweiler from Auschwitz in the Summer of 1943 to be gassed, but their bodies had not been cremated.

There were medical experiments being done at Natzweiler, including experiments done on Gypsy women. One of the experiments was an attempt to find a vaccine for typhus, which the Germans had not yet successfully developed. The four women SOE agents were allegedly told that they were being given an injection for typhus, but were instead given phenol injections.

Dr. Heinrich Plaza was leaving the Natzweiler camp on the day of the alleged execution of the women, and there was a party for him that night. This could explain why Peter Straub was drunk, as Schultz testified at the trial. Could the four “well-dressed” women who arrived in the camp at 3 p.m. that day have been the wives of the SS men, or perhaps prostitutes, who were brought to the camp for the party? According to several witnesses who saw the women when they arrived, each of them was carrying a box or a small suitcase. Who brings a suitcase to an execution?

It was not until 1956 that the public learned the fate of the men who were brought before the British Military Court at Wuppertal on May 29, 1946. The British had kept the sentences and the execution of the accused secret.

Peter Straub, the SS officer in charge of executions at Natzweiler, was convicted and was subsequently sentenced to 13 years in prison on June 1, 1946. This was a remarkably short sentence, considering that Straub had told a prisoner named Walter Schultz that he was responsible for killing 4 million people at Auschwitz and that he had shoved a woman into a crematory oven alive and had the scars to prove it.

Straub was tried again by another British Military Court at Wuppertal for complicity in the hanging of an RAF pilot who was a prisoner at Natzweiler in the Summer of 1944. He was convicted of this crime and on June 5, 1946 he was sentenced to death. He was hanged on October 11, 1946.

Magnus Wochner was sentenced to 10 years in prison for carrying out the alleged order from RSHA to execute the four SOE women. He was then turned over to the French for prosecution but was released.

According to Sarah Helm’s book “A Life in Secrets,” Franz Berg was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Other sources say that Berg was sentenced to death and hanged on October 11, 1946. He may have been tried again on other charges for which he received the death penalty.

Max Wassmer and Christian Ott, the two Gestapo men from Karlsruhe, who allegedly accompanied the four women SOE agents to Natzweiler and also accompanied four other women SOE agents to Dachau, were never charged with a crime for their part in the alleged murders of the eight women. They were rewarded for giving information to their interrogators by being released from custody. Both were in their late fifties and were highly experienced in Gestapo work; they knew how to tell investigators what they wanted to hear.

The Military Channel show ended before telling us that one of the British SOE women, Noor Inayat Khan, who was allegedly killed at Natzweiler, was later allegedly executed at Dachau.

Thus ends the credibility of the Military Channel.

January 10, 2014

At last, the truth about war criminal August Eigruber comes out

In preparation for a new movie, coming out in February 2014, I am reading the book by Robert M. Edsel, entitled The Monuments Men.  The movie, also entitled The Monuments Men, is based on the book.

I ordered the book from Amazon.com and started reading it two days ago.  The book is 540 pages long, so of course I didn’t start reading it on page one.  No, I went straight to the index and started looking up words that would lead me to the important parts of the book.

The first word that I looked up in the index was Ohrdruf.  I have written extensively about Ohrdruf on my website and on my blog.  I found the name August Eigruber while I was looking up something else.

August Eigruber on the witness stand, Lt. Col. Denson on the right

August Eigruber on the witness stand, Lt. Col. Denson on the right

August Eigruber was put on trial by American prosecutors in an American Military Tribunal proceeding against the war criminals associated with the Mauhausen Concentration camp. In the photo above, Lt. Col. William Denson, the American prosecutor, seems to be amused by Eigruber’s testimony.

Several years ago, I wrote about Eigruber on my website.

The following quote is from my website:

The “big fish” among the accused in the Mauthausen case was August Eigruber, the former Gauleiter of Upper Austria. He was charged with participating in the common design to violate the Laws and Usages of War because, along with other alleged crimes, he had been involved in helping Heinrich Himmler to acquire the property where the Mauthausen camp was built. Hartheim Castle, near Linz, was also under Eigruber’s jurisdiction and he had leased it to the Reich. Prisoners from Mauthausen had been taken to the castle to be gassed, according to confessions obtained by the American military interrogators from several of the accused men.

Eigruber was an associate of such top Nazis as Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Adolf Eichmann and Adolf Hitler, all of whom were from Austria. He was also a friend of Martin Bormann, who was Hitler’s deputy. When he refused to talk after he was captured, Eigruber was sent to Washington, DC for questioning. Eigruber’s importance was such that he was originally slated to be among the men who were tried at the Nuremberg IMT.

According to Joshua Greene’s book Justice at Dachau, the chief prosecutor at Dachau, Lt. Col. William Denson, put in a call to Robert Jackson, the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg IMT and told him, “Send me Eigruber. I’ll hang him high as Haman.” Haman was the villain in the biblical story on which the Jewish holiday of Purim is based. Denson made good on his boast: Eigruber was hanged on May 28, 1947.

On February 18, 1946, August Eigruber was brought from Nuremberg to Dachau and turned over to Lt. Paul Guth for interrogation. Lt. Guth testified on the witness stand that he had not coerced or threatened Eigruber in any way. Although he had previously refused to talk, Eigruber voluntarily signed a statement for Lt. Guth the next day, in which he admitted that he was responsible for leasing Hartheim Castle to the Reich in 1939 for the killing of mental patients who were incurably ill or unable to work. He also admitted to inspecting the Mauthausen gas chamber once and to participating in the execution of ten prisoners of unknown nationality during the night in March or April 1945. Eigruber’s statement ended with the following words:

“This statement was made by me on three pages on the 19th of February 1946, in Dachau, Germany, of my own free will and without compulsion. To save time, a clerk wrote it down on a typewriter. I have read through it, and I have made corrections that appeared necessary to me. The above declaration contains my statements, and I swear before God that it is the entire truth. Signed, August Eigruber.”

[...]

Lt. Col. William Denson became famous for his 100% conviction rate in the first four proceedings conducted by the American Military Tribunal at Dachau. He died in 1998 at the age of 85 and in his obituary, he was quoted as saying that August Eigruber was “one of the most arrogant defendants I have ever encountered.” Eigruber was allegedly tortured to force him to confess, and there is even a rumor that he was “mutilated and castrated” after he was captured, but apparently even that didn’t humble him.

On page 505 of The Monuments Men, I read this about August Eigruber:

[Eigruber] was found guilty of war crimes committed at the Mauthausen concentration camp, including the execution of prisoners of war.

Much of the evidence used to convict [Eigruber] was from archives found in the salt mine at Altausee, probably another reason [Eigruber] was so keen to destroy the mine.

Altaussee salt mine where German art was stored

Altaussee salt mine where German art was stored

The photo above is from Wikipedia which has this caption on the photo:
Altaussee, May 1945 after the removal of the Nazi-bombs at the Nazi stolen art repository (Altaussee salt mine)

So maybe Eigruber actually did try to blow up the salt mine where German art treasures were stored.  This brings up the question:  Was he brought to America to be tortured into confessing that he had planted a bomb to destroy evidence against himself?

I wrote about the Prisoners of War, who were killed at Mauthausen, on my website here.  The Soviet Union had not signed the Geneva Convention of 1929, and they were killing German POWs, so the Germans did not think that they were obligated to observe the Geneva Convention with regard to the Soviet Union.

August Eigruber did not personally commit any war crimes at Mauthausen. He didn’t personally execute POWs. He was charged with crimes at Mauthausen under the “common plan” concept that was invented by the Allies AFTER the war.  Under this concept, anyone who had anything whatsoever to do with a concentration camp was a war criminal.

Apparently Eigruber’s real crime was that he wanted to blow up the Altaussee salt mine to destroy the “spoils of war” to which the Americans felt that they were entitled.

On page 371 of The Monuments Men, I read this:

… [Bernard] Bernstein (one of the Monuments Men) was proceeding under the assumption that everything in the [Merkers] mine, including the [German] artwork, was captured enemy loot.  It would be months before he was disavowed of that notion.

On page 374, I had read that the Merkers mine (near Ohrdruf) was in the part of Germany that had been promised to the Soviet Union.  So Bernard Bernstein was proceeding under the assumption that Americans would not only steal all the German art treasures from the Germans, but they would also steal everything from the Soviets, who were entitled to the loot from their future zone of occupation of Germany.

So it turns out that Eigruber’s crime was that he wanted to destroy art that belonged to Germany, rather than see it go to the enemy as the “spoils of war.”  Strangely, that was not mentioned in the book about the trials of the German war criminals.

On page 371, just after the quote about Bernard Bernstein, we find this information about the Ohrdruf labor camp:

A[n Allied] guard showed us how the blood had congealed in coarse black scabs where the starving prisoners had torn out the entrails of the dead for food.

In all my research about Ohrdruf, I never learned about the starving prisoners eating the entrails of the dead for food.  I had to look up the word entrails to make sure of the meaning of the word.  Entrails are the intestines or guts of an animal or human being.  The food in the intestines has been digested and is on its way to being shit.  I can’t think of anything more likely to kill a person than eating entrails.

American officer Hayden Sears talks to Ohrdruf survivors

American officer Hayden Sears talks to Ohrdruf survivors

The photo above shows well dressed and well fed survivors of Ohrdruf talking to an American Army officer.  Apparently, eating entrails had not affected them.

The story of eating entrails at Ohrdruf was told by “an Allied guard.”  Why did the Germans have an “Allied guard” at a labor camp?  Could this have been a Kapo, that was an illegal combatant imprisoned at Ohrdruf, who helped the German guards?

The photo below shows a Kapo, standing on the left, who acted as a guide for General Eisenhower and other American military officers at Ohrdruf.  The next day, this man was killed by the other prisoners.

The man on the far left is a Kapo who worked as a helper at the Ohrdruf camp

The man on the far left is a Kapo who worked as a helper at the Ohrdruf camp

Finally, I started reading the book, starting with Chapter 1, which is about Harry Ettlinger, a Jew from Karlsruhe, Germany who escaped Nazi Germany in 1938, and came to America, where he settled in Newark, New Jersey.  The book tells about how Ettlinger had a hard time getting out of Germany because no country wanted to take the Jews who were fleeing the Nazis. As a German Jew, Ettlinger was the perfect candidate for the group, known as The Monuments Men.

General Eisenhower inspects the gold in the Merker mine near Ohrdruf

General Eisenhower inspects the gold in the Merkers mine near Ohrdruf

In the photo above, the soldier on the far left is Benjamin B. Ferencz.  Strangely, he is not included in the index of the book The Monuments Men. In 1945, Ferencz was transferred from General Patton’s army to the newly created War Crimes Branch of the U.S. Army, where his job was to gather evidence for future trials of German war criminals. A Jew from Transylvania, Ferencz had moved with his family to America at the age of 10 months.

January 9, 2014

First Anne, then Liese, go into hiding from the Nazis, and two Holocaust books are the end result

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:37 am

My blog post today is about a book, written by Dr. Nelly Toll, which you can read about in a news article here.

This quote is from the news article, cited above:

In her most recent book, “Beyond the Hidden Walls,” the story concentrates on Liese — based on Toll’s aunt — who is expelled from a tuberculosis sanatorium in Switzerland in the middle of winter in 1942.

Before I went to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, several years ago, I studied up on Anne’s story and her book The Diary of Anne Frank, which was published by her father after her death.

I learned that Anne Frank’s full name was Anneliese, which was a very popular name for girls in Germany back in those days, and probably still is. As was the case with many girls, back then, she went by the nickname Anne.  She could have just as easily chosen the name Liese for her nickname. The fact that the Franks named their daughter Anneliese indicates that they were assimilated.  Otherwise, they would have named their daughter Sara or Leah or some other popular Jewish name.

There is a famous German song about Anneliese, which you can hear on the YouTube video below, and learn how to pronounce the name.  If you are getting bored, reading my blog post, you can stop and dance the polka, as you listen to the music.

I learned, before I went to visit the famous rooms where Anne hid from the Nazis, that the name Anne is correctly pronounced, in German, with the final e pronounced like the final e in Porsche.  This stood me in good stead on my visit because the attendants at the Museum immediately knew that I was no ordinary American tourist: I pronounced the final e.

Sign at the entrance to the Anne Frank house at 267 Prinsengracht street

Sign at the entrance to the Anne Frank house at 267 Prinsengracht street

The tourist entrance to the Anne Frank house is through the house next door, as shown in the photo above.  It is possible to get into the Annex without climbing the steep steps up to the third floor, but the attendants at the Museum don’t tell you that — not even if you pronounce the name Anne correctly.  You have to be a very important person in order to be allowed to take the elevator.

AnneFrankHouse
The photo above shows a cross section of the annex, where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis, and the house in front of the Annex. The house is on the left, and the annex  is on the right. Tourists enter the house through a door that has been cut into the wall of the passageway which connects the house and the annex on the ground floor.

The room, where Anne Frank hid, is on the 2nd floor (3rd floor in American terms) on the side nearest to the viewer. The tiny window on the side of the attic in the annex had a view of the Westerkerk (church).

The folks, who own the Anne Frank house, are very protective of it.  Tourists are not allowed to take photos inside the house, nor the annex, because the folks who own the house want to make money off the books and videos that they sell to tourists.  Anyone who dares to put up a photo of the interior of the house, on the Internet, will immediately be ordered to remove the photo.  Fortunately, no one can stop you from taking photos outside the house.

The house in front of the annex where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis

The house in front of the annex where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis

This quote is from the news article about Dr. Toll’s book:

Nelly Toll, a Voorhees resident, painter and author, is herself a Holocaust survivor. She began writing when she was just a child hiding from the Nazis.

Toll’s parents decided, after more and more people they knew were being taken by the Nazis, to go into hiding. Her father searched their village and finally found a man who once lived in their building to agree to hide her and her mother in a room on the third floor of their home.

Toll has written four books, and her novel, “Behind the Secret Window,” as well as a lot of her artwork, was about her time in hiding. More than 50,000 copies of “Behind the Secret Window” were sold. And the book received eight awards.

In case you are wondering:  Yes, I know how to polk.  I have danced the polka many times to the song about Anneliese.

January 8, 2014

American soldier, who liberated Mauthausen, saved woman who was on the steps of the crematorium

Marsha Kreuzman is a Holocaust survivor of the Plaszow, Auschwitz, and Mauthausen concentration camps.  The story of her liberation from Mauthausen is told in a recent news article which you can read here.

The Mauthausen concentration camp was liberated by American soldiers on May 5, 1945.  General Eisenhower ordered a re-enactment of the liberation on May 6, 1945 so that photographs could be taken. This was the day that American soldiers, from the 11th Armored Division, including Joe Barbella, arrived at the camp.

The liberation of Mauthausen was re-enacted on May 6, 1945 when soldiers of the 11th Armored Division arrived

The liberation of Mauthausen was re-enacted on May 6, 1945 when soldiers of the 11th Armored Division arrived at the camp

The photograph above was taken on May 6, 1945, the day after the official liberation of the Mauthausen main camp on May 5, 1945. The photo shows prisoners surrounding an M8 Greyhound armored car.

According to Pierre Serge Choumoff (a prisoner at the camp), the liberation of Mauthausen, as shown in the photo above, was reenacted for photographers at the request of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Nazi eagle over the gate had already been removed by the prisoners and a banner, written in Spanish, had been put up by the Spanish political prisoners. The English translation reads “The Spanish Anti-Fascists Salute the Liberating Forces.”

This quote is from the news article, cited above:

LIVINGSTON, N.J., (RNS) It’s been almost 70 years, but Marsha Kreuzman still remembers the moment she lay outside the steps of a Nazi crematorium wishing she could die.

Kreuzman had already lost her mother, father and brother to the Holocaust, and death seemed inevitable, she said.

But then an American soldier picked up her 68-pound body and whisked her to safety.  [...]

On May 5, 1945, U.S. soldiers from the 11th Armored Division would cross the Linz border in Austria and liberate Mauthausen. [Joe] Barbella wouldn’t enter the camp with the medical unit until the day after it was liberated, he said.

“When we got there, we saw all these people were skin and bones,” Barbella said.

Kreuzman said she remembers lying down just outside the camp’s crematorium when the soldiers arrived. She heard the words: “You’re free.”

She fainted and a soldier carried her to a field hospital, where doctors would start nursing her back to health, she said.

Apparently, 68-pound Marsha had been lying on the steps down into the crematorium for one whole day before Joe Barbella arrived and the liberation of the camp was re-enacted for the benefit of the press.  Or was she placed on the steps for the re-enactment?  Hopefully, the Communist prisoners, who had helped to liberate camp, had picked her up, on May 5th, and had taken her inside the camp hospital which was located right next to the crematorium.

The white building in the photo is the camp hospital

The white building on the left is the former Mauthausen camp hospital, which is now a Museum.  The steps down into the crematorium are shown in the center of the photo

Steps down into the Crematorium at Mauthausen

Steps down into the Crematorium at Mauthausen are shown in the center of the photo

The photo above shows a view of the Mauthausen crematorium chimney. I took this photo from across the street, where I was standing at the open gate into the Quarantine camp where prisoners were confined for two weeks upon their arrival in an attempt to prevent epidemics. The green building, on the right side, is the bunker or camp prison. An outside stairway, at the end of the green building, leads to the execution area underground where prisoners were shot or hanged.

The gas chamber is located underground in the area to the left of the chimney. In the foreground is the opening into the Quarantine camp.

Marsha Krauzman says that she was lying on the steps down into the underground crematorium, when she was rescued by an American soldier on May 6, 1945. She had been taken to the crematorium by the German guards, presumably to be killed in the gas chamber.

On May 5, 1945, the date given for the official liberation of the Mauthausen main concentration camp, a platoon of 23 men from the 11th Armored Division of the US Third Army, led by Staff Sgt. Albert J. Kosiek, had arrived at the main camp near the town of Mauthausen. They had been guided there by Louis Haefliger, a Red Cross representative who was staying in the camp, and two German soldiers, after first liberating the Gusen sub-camp, 6 kilometers to the west.

Haefliger had taken it upon himself to go out and find American soldiers fighting in the area. He brought them first to the Gusen sub-camp because of the rumors that Hitler had instructed Ernst Kaltenbrunner to give the order to kill all the prisoners by blowing them up in the underground tunnels of the munitions factories there.

After the prisoners in the Gusen sub-camp were released by the American liberators, fighting broke out among the inmates and over 500 of the prisoners were brutally killed by their fellow inmates, according to Sgt. Kosiek. The platoon of American soldiers was unable to control the released prisoners, so they left the Gusen camp and proceeded to the main camp, where the Communist prisoners had already organized an International Committee that was ready to take control of the main camp.

For many years, the Mauthausen camp had only one oven

For many years, the Mauthausen camp had only one oven

Although Mauthausen allegedly had a gas chamber, which was underground, in the crematorium building, there was only one cremation oven, which is shown in the photo above.  The prisoners had been working to build a second double oven in the last few weeks before the camp was liberated.

Marsha Kreuzman was lying on the steps that led to the underground gas chamber, which doubled as a shower room.

In the YouTube video below, you can hear a young Marcha Kreuzman tell the story about how she was taken, along with many other prisoners, to the Mauthausen crematorium. She implies in her talk that the prisoners were taken to the crematorium to be killed and then burned. Or was she actually taken to the camp hospital which was right next door to the crematorium?

January 7, 2014

A letter to Irma Grese, from Batsheva Dagan, not her real name

Batsheva Dagan (real name Isabella Rubinstein) is an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor, who is out on the lecture circuit, telling the story of her victory over the Nazis. She says that she was a prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau for two years.  (Scroll way down to read her life story, as published in the The Jerusalem Post.)

In a recent lecture to school children in Ireland, which you can read about in The Jerusalem Post online news here, she said that she is amazed to re-read the “fire and brimstone” letter that she wrote to Nazi war criminal Irma Grese; her letter was published in The Palestine Post in October 1945.

Irma Grese, a notorious guard at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen

Irma Grese, a notorious guard at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen

The letter, which she did not mail, was written to a 21-year-old German girl who had worked as a guard at Auschwitz-Birkenau and later, for one month, at Bergen-Belsen.  Irma Grese became famous when she was put on trial by the British in 1945, after the Bergen-Belsen camp was voluntarily turned over to them in April 1945.

Irma Grese, who was not very sophisticated, nor highly educated, had stayed behind at Bergen-Belsen, to help the British with the typhus epidemic, that had caused an unmitigated disaster in the former Bergen-Belsen Exchange camp, which had become a concentration camp in the last months of the war.

Sign put up by the British at Bergen-Belsen after the camp was turned over to them

Sign put up by the British at Bergen-Belsen after the camp was turned over to them

When the British arrived at the Belsen camp, Irma Grese was standing at the gate into the camp, along with the Belsen Commandant Josef Kramer, offering her help.

Commandant Josef Kramer was arrested and put in leg irons.

Commandant Josef Kramer was arrested and put in leg irons after he offered to help the British

Most of the Belsen guards had run away before the British arrived, but not the brave German girl, Irma Grese, who took her life in her hands to help the British during a typhus epidemic. To her surprise, Irma was immediately arrested by the British, and a few months later, she was put on trial as a war criminal. Josef Kramer was also arrested and put into a dark prison cell.

Irma Grese and Josef Kramer after they were arrested by the British

Irma Grese and Josef Kramer after they were arrested by the British at Bergen Belsen

In recent years, Irma Grese has become a cult figure among neo-Nazis. She is considered by them to be a heroine because of her stoicism at her trial and the fact that she showed great courage in going bravely to her death. She is regarded by the neo-Nazis as a martyr, who died for her country, since the neo-Nazis don’t believe that she was the sadistic, sexually-depraved killer that she was portrayed to be by Holocaust survivors at her trial.

In the world of Holocaust trivia, Irma Grese ranks alongside Amon Goeth and Dr. Mengele, as the famous Nazis that the Jews most love to hate.

As quoted from The Jerusalem Post, here is the letter that Batsheva Dagan wrote in 1945, but did not send, to Irma Grese:

“We, your victims, do not want you to die,” read the letter addressed to Grese, which the newspaper ran in full on October 29, 1945. “We would much rather that you live, as we had to, with billows of filthy black smoke from the chimneys of the crematoria [at Auschwitz] constantly before your eyes.

“We want to see you dragging heavy stones, barefoot and in rags. We want to see you beaten, cruelly and mercilessly as you, cruel and without mercy, beat us [with a cellophane whip].

“We want you to go so hungry that you cannot sleep at night, as we could not. We want to see your blonde hair shaved off, as you made us shave our heads [to get rid of any lice].”

I have written extensively, about the trial of Irma Grese and the other guards, who were put on trial by the British in 1945.  The Belsen Trial was the very first trial of Nazi war criminals, long before the Nuremberg IMT and the AMT trials conducted by Americans at Dachau.

The trial, which was conducted by the British, was eagerly followed by the press and the defendant, who attracted the most attention, was the notorious 21-year-old Irma Grese, who was accused of participating in selections for the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Auschwitz II death camp.

Despite her young age, Irma had achieved the rank of Oberaufseherin, or Senior SS Overseer, by the fall of 1943. In this role, she was in charge of supervising around 30,000 women prisoners, mostly Polish and Hungarian Jews, at Auschwitz-Birkenau. She was transferred to Bergen-Belsen in March 1945, only a month before the camp was turned over to the British, and she was also charged with beating prisoners in that camp.

Some of the inmates at Bergen-Belsen had been transferred to Belsen from Auschwitz-Birkenau, so they were able testify against the defendants with regard to both camps. Grese was the highest ranking woman among the defendants at The Belsen Trial, but she was also the youngest. She was, by far, the most hated by the former prisoners who submitted affidavits against her at her trial.

Quoted below is Irma Grese’s testimony at her trial, under direct examination, about her background:

I was born on 7th October, 1923. In 1938 I left the elementary school and worked for six months on agricultural jobs at a farm, after which I worked in a shop in Luchen for six months. When I was 15 I went to a hospital in Hohenluchen, where I stayed for two years. I tried to become a nurse but the Labour Exchange would not allow that and sent me to work in a dairy in Fürstenburg. In July, 1942, I tried again to become a nurse, but the Labour Exchange sent me to Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, although I protested against it. I stayed there until March, 1943, when I went to Birkenau Camp in Auschwitz. I remained in Auschwitz until January, 1945.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau survivors testified that Grese habitually wore jack boots, and carried a plaited cellophane whip and a pistol. Survivors testified, in affidavits, that she was always accompanied by a vicious dog. The survivors claimed that Irma was sadistic and that she derived sexual pleasure from beating the women prisoners with her cellophane riding crop.

Survivors claimed that she had beaten women prisoners to death at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and that Irma had shot other prisoners in cold blood. These accusations of murder were made in affidavits, and none of accusations were corroborated.

The most serious charge against Irma Grese was that she had been present when inmates at Birkenau were selected for the gas chamber and that she had participated by forcing the women to line up for inspection by Dr. Mengele.

Irma denied having a dog, beating prisoners to death or shooting anyone, although she did admit to hitting prisoners with her cellophane whip even though it was forbidden for the Overseers to beat the prisoners. She stated that she continued to use her whip even after being ordered not to by Commandant Kramer.

Irma also admitted to being aware that prisoners were gassed at Birkenau; she stated that this was common knowledge in the camp and that she had been told by the prisoners about the gassing. She admitted that she was present when selections were made and that she had helped to line up the prisoners, but she denied making the selections herself.

Quoted below is her testimony, regarding the gas chamber selections, under direct examination, by her defense lawyer, Major Cranfield (page. 249 in the trial transcript):

Cranfield: Where did the order come from for what we call “selection parades”?
Grese: That came by telephone from a RapportFührerin or from Oberaufseherin Dreschel.
Cranfield: When the order came were you told what the parade was for?
Grese: No.
Cranfield: What were the prisoners supposed to do when the whistle went?
Grese: Fall in fives, and it was my duty to see that they did so. Dr. Mengele then came and made the selection. As I was responsible for the camp my duties were to know how many people were leaving and I had to count them, and I kept the figures in a strength book. After the selection took place they were sent into “B” Camp, and Dreschel telephoned and told me that they had gone to another camp in Germany for working purposes or for special treatment, which I thought was the gas chamber. I then put in my strength book either so many for transfer to Germany to another camp, or so many for S.B. (Sonder Behandlung). It was well known to the whole camp that S. B. meant the gas chamber.
Cranfield: Were you told anything about the gas chamber by your senior officers?
Grese: No, the prisoners told me about it.
Cranfield: You have been accused of choosing prisoners on these parades and sending them to the gas chamber. Have you done that?
Grese: No; I knew that prisoners were gassed.
Cranfield: Was it not quite simple to know whether or not the selection was for the gas chamber, because only Jews had to attend such selections?

Grese: I myself had only Jews in Camp “C.”
Cranfield: Then they would all have to attend the selection for the gas chamber, would they not?
Grese: Yes.
Cranfield: As you were told to wait for the doctors you would know perfectly well what it was for?
Grese: No.
Cranfield: When these people were parading they were very often paraded naked and inspected like cattle to see whether they were fit to work or fit to die, were they not?
Grese: Not like cattle.
Cranfield: You were there keeping order, were you not, and if one ran away you brought her back and gave her a beating?
Grese: Yes.

To get back to Batsheva Dagen, here is her Holocaust story, as printed in The Jerusalem Post:

Dagan was born in 1925 in Lodz, the eighth of nine children. When the Nazis invaded Poland in September 1939, her large family scattered. One brother went to Palestine, another joined the Polish Brigade, others sought refuge in the Soviet Union. Dagan moved with her parents and younger siblings to the relative safety of the central Polish city of Radom.

“My father heard they were setting up a ghetto in Lodz and he didn’t like the sound of it,” she said, “so we moved to Radom and were spared being put in one for a little over a year.”

But in 1940, a ghetto was set up in Radom and life suddenly became mean.

“You would not believe the deprivation, the lows that humans can sink to,” she said.
Dagan joined the ghetto’s resistance movement and on one occasion traveled under the guise of a gentile to Warsaw – where she personally delivered a dispatch to Mordechai Anielewicz, the heroic leader of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – and then back again. When, in 1942, the Radom ghetto was about to be liquidated, she escaped using fake documents. She took on the identity of a non-Jewish maid and went to work for a family in Germany.

“I worked for a fervently Nazi family where I took care of two teenagers,” she recalled. “Many years after the war I met them in Hamburg. The daughter was very cold to me, but the son was warm. They could not believe I survived.”

Her ruse did not last long. Her real identity was discovered by the Gestapo and she was sent to Auschwitz in April 1943. There, she survived the worst horrors imaginable. She was given tasks like collecting prickly nettles, which were used to make tea, barehanded, and removing precious items from the bodies of those killed in the gas chambers. She survived by relying on the camaraderie of a group of eight women and a strict regimen of self-discipline.

Note that Dagen (not her real name) claims that she removed items from the bodies in the gas chambers.  She also claims that she was a Resistance fighter (illegal combatant) in the Warsaw ghetto.

January 2, 2014

Changes in the Dachau gas chamber story over the years

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:10 am

A reader of my blog provided a link to a page, captured by the “wayback machine,” which shows what a famous Dachau website looked like years ago.  You can see it for yourself at https://web.archive.org/web/20050311091556/http://www.holocaust-history.org/dachau-gas-chambers/

The website, shown in the link, was one of the first websites about Dachau, if not THE first.

This quote is from an “essay” written by Harry W. Mazal OBE, which was published, many years ago, on the website, cited above:

A larger room adjacent to the four disinfestation chambers is also a gas chamber but this one was designed specifically for homicidal purposes. Any doubts that this chamber is a gas chamber are rapidly dispelled upon viewing the exhaust vents on the ceiling of the room <photo 31>, the exhaust chimney on the roof <photo 32>, and the metal doors that are identical in design to those used by the disinfestation gas chambers <photo 33> <photo 34>. It would appear that the fake shower heads on the ceiling of the chamber <photo 35>, the sign over the door stating Brausebad (shower room) <photo 36> and the smooth brick finish simulating tiling (see <photo 41> below) were part of an elaborate ploy to make the victims believe they were going to take a bath after having deposited their clothes in the passageway connecting the disinfestation chambers with the homicidal chamber.

Most people have never had the opportunity to see a real homicidal gas chamber, which was used to execute condemned criminals.  I am from Missouri, one of the few places which has a real gas chamber, which I saw when I was about 12 years old.

Mazal’s photo 32, which shows “the exhaust chimney on the roof” is shown below.

Harry Mazal's photo of the exhaust pipe on the roof of the Dachau gas chamber

Harry Mazal’s photo of the exhaust pipe on the roof of  gas chamber

40 ft. pipe on the roof of the Missouri gas chamber

40 ft. exhaust pipe on the roof of the Missouri gas chamber

According to Fred Leuchter, who was a consultant for the Missouri gas chamber, until his career was ruined, a homicidal gas chamber must have a 40 foot gas pipe.  Leuchter does not have a degree in Engineering, so what does he know?

This quote is also from Harry Hazal’s website:

The question arises of the difference between the method of dispensing of Zyklon-B to the disinfestation chambers and to the extermination chamber. Quite simply: the exposure time and concentration of hydrogen cyanide gas for killing insects is considerably higher than that which is needed to kill humans. According to the manufacturers of the product, it only requires 0.3 grams per cubic meter to kill human beings, whereas concentrations of up to 10 grams per cubic meter were routinely employed to destroy insects. 22 The relative ease with which it is possible to kill humans with low concentrations of hydrogen cyanide makes it simpler and less expensive to use the drawer-like bins in the homicidal chamber rather than to use the costly Degesch dispensers. Additionally, the bins would allow for other volatile poisons to be employed as suggested by Rascher in his letter to Himmler.

The photo below shows “the drawer-like bins” mentioned by Mazal on his website.

photo 39 on Harry Hazal's website shows the "drawer-like bins" used to put the gas pellets into the Dachau gas chamber

photo 39 on Harry Hazal’s website shows the “drawer-like bins” used to put the gas pellets into the Dachau gas chamber (photo taken by Daniel Karen)

The original caption on the photo above: “Close-up view of bin-like drawer designed to introduce lethal poisons into the homicidal chamber. Note hinges on bottom allowing the device to rock in or out. (Photo by Dr. Daniel Keren.)”

To his credit, Harry Mazal quotes from a small book written by Bishop Neuhäusler, which was first published in June 1960:

Bishop Neuhäusler, for example, states:

Also behind the wire fence was the camp crematorium. At first it was housed in a wooden barrack, later in a stone building built by Polish Catholic priests, to whom the building trade had been taught. This crematorium was located in a small forest on the west side quite close to the camp. The prevailing wind was from the west and consequently the smell of burning corpses filled the camp, reminding of their approaching end and adding immeasurably to their despair.

With the new crematorium a gas chamber was also connected. The whole construction of the crematorium with its gas chamber was completed in 1943. It contained an ‘undressing room’, a ‘shower bath’, and a ‘mortuary’. The showers were metal traps which had no pipelines for a supply of poisonous gas. This gas chamber was never set in action in Dachau. Only the dead were brought to the crematorium for ‘burning’, no living for ‘gassing’. 25

The quote above is from page 17 of a small 82 page booklet by Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler, which I purchased at the Dachau Memorial Site in 2001.  It was the 2000 edition of his booklet entitled “What was it like in the Concentration Camp at Dachau? An Attempt to Come Closer to the Truth”

Dr. Neuhäusler was an Auxiliary Bishop of Munich.  I wrote about him and the other Catholic priests, who were prisoners at Dachau at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/KZDachau/DachauLife3.html

After writing that “no living” prisoners were brought to the crematorium “for gassing,” Dr. Neuhäusler went on to say, in his booklet, that prisoners at Dachau were taken to Hartheim Castle near Linz, Austria, to be gassed.  You can read about the gas chamber at Hartheim Castle on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Hartheim/gaschamber02.html

When I visited Dachau for the first time in 1997, I spent a lot of time in the Dachau Museum, which has since been changed at least twice.  In the original Museum, I recall reading that sick prisoners were sent to Hartheim Castle to be gassed to death, but first a doctor had to sign the order for the prisoner to be sent to Hartheim, giving the cause of the fatal illness that warranted a merciful death for the prisoner.

The fact that prisoners from Dachau were sent to Hartheim to be gassed indicates that there was no homicidal gas chamber at Dachau — until the shower room was converted into a gas chamber by the Americans who liberated Dachau.  I blogged about the Dachau gas chamber film that was shown at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/proof-of-the-nazi-gas-chambers-given-at-the-nuremberg-imt-on-nov-29-1945/

I have written about the Dachau gas chamber on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/GasChamber/history02.html

Harry Mazal is now deceased, but if he were still alive today, would he still claim that the shower room at Dachau was a homicidal gas chamber?  Tour guides at Dachau now tell gullible teenagers that the Dachau gas chamber was used, although not for “mass gassing.”

January 1, 2014

North America — the last outpost for Holocaust denial

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:50 pm

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

The United States and Canada have a totally different approach to hate speech because their history is different from the aggressors’ of World War II, “so their attitude to legislation on the matter is totally different,” said Porat. While in Europe the trend is to act against racist comments, not just racist actions, North American law sanctifies freedom of speech. “Holocaust denial is not outlawed there,” said Porat. “There is a whole empire of denial.”

It’s true.  The last outpost for Holocaust denial is North America.  Most of the countries of Europe have Holocaust Denial laws now.  It is most unusual that the US and Canada still have free speech, regarding the Holocaust.  However, the free speech laws didn’t protect Holocaust deniers Germar Rudolf and Ernst Zundel, who were both renditioned to Germany for trial.  Both were convicted of Holocaust denial and served time in a German prison.

Dachau prisoners celebrate their liberation from Dachau

Dachau prisoners celebrate their liberation from Dachau

This quote, regarding Holocaust Denial, is from Wikipedia:

Holocaust denial is the act of denying the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust during World War II.[1][2] The key claims of Holocaust denial are that the German Nazi government had no Final Solution policy or intention of exterminating Jews, Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas chambers to mass murder Jews, and the actual number of Jews killed was significantly (typically an order of magnitude) lower than the historically accepted figure of 5 to 6 million.[3][4][5]

Holocaust deniers generally do not accept the term denial as an appropriate description of their activities, and use the term revisionism instead.[6] Scholars use the term “denial” to differentiate Holocaust deniers from historical revisionists, who use established historical methodologies.[7] The methodologies of Holocaust deniers are criticized as based on a predetermined conclusion that ignores extensive historical evidence to the contrary.[8]

Source [8] is quoted below.

8.  Predetermined conclusion:

“‘Revisionism’ is obliged to deviate from the standard methodology of historical pursuit because it seeks to mold facts to fit a preconceived result, it denies events that have been objectively and empirically proved to have occurred, and because it works backward from the conclusion to the facts, thus necessitating the distortion and manipulation of those facts where they differ from the preordained conclusion (which they almost always do). In short, “revisionism” denies something that demonstrably happened, through methodological dishonesty.” McFee, Gordon. “Why ‘Revisionism’ Isn’t”, The Holocaust History Project, May 15, 1999. Retrieved December 22, 2006.

Alan L. Berger, “Holocaust Denial: Tempest in a Teapot, or Storm on the Horizon?”, in Zev Garber and Richard Libowitz (eds), Peace, in Deed: Essays in Honor of Harry James Cargas, Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998, p. 154.

The Holocaust History Project is discussed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust_History_Project

Their website has a list of the members of The Holocaust History Project, many of whom are now dead, or retired from writing about the Holocaust.

For the official history of the Holocaust, which you must believe, to stay out of prison in 17 countries [soon to be 19 countries in 2014] go to this page of the THHP website: http://www.holocaust-history.org/denial/revisionism-qa.shtml

A few years ago, the Holocaust History Project had a website which claimed that the Dachau gas chamber was a real gas chamber where prisoners were gassed.  I have been unable to find the original page with photos which proved that Dachau had a homicidal gas chamber.

This quote is an example of what you can read on The Holocaust History Project website:

The overall total of around 6 million is based on demographic studies and analysis of Nazi train records that record the numbers of Jews shipped to Auschwitz during its existence. An example of the methodology used is in Raul Hilberg’s Destruction of the European Jews.

I read somewhere that the train records were never found.  I read this, either in Edwin Black’s book, “IBM and the Holocaust,” and/or in a pamphlet that I obtained from the Auschwitz Museum.

You can read more about the 6 million at http://zioncrimefactory.com/the-six-million-myth/

December 31, 2013

Both doors of Auschwitz gas chamber opened inward

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 12:33 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNsbGKqjXcs

This morning, I was listening to a you-tube video of an old TV show presented by Montel Williams, many years ago.  Mark Weber and David Cole, both Jewish and both revisionists, were guests on the show.

David Cole pointed out, on the TV show, that both doors in the alleged gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp opened inward.  David Cole asked if the German engineers would have built a gas chamber with the doors opening inward, which would have made it difficult to remove the bodies after 900 people were allegedly gassed in the room at the same time.

I visited the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, in 1998 and again in 2005, and I took photos of the doors. It didn’t occur to me that building the doors in this fashion would have been totally stupid, but David Cole is right.  How did they get the doors open with bodies pressed up against them?

How is it that the Germans allowed this stupid construction?  The answer is that the alleged gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp is a RECONSTRUCTION, done by the Soviet Union after the camp was liberated in January 1945.

Door in the Auschwitz gas chamber opens inward

Door into the Auschwitz gas chamber opens inward

When the Auschwitz camp was liberated by soldiers of the Soviet Union,  the alleged gas chamber in the main camp had been turned into an air raid shelter by the Germans. The photo above shows an air raid shelter door on the left and a wooden door into former gas chamber on the right.  Neither of these doors was there when the Auschwitz gas chamber was allegedly used for gassing the Jews.  These are doors into an air raid shelter that was constructed in the Auschwitz morgue, which was right next to the crematorium, where dead bodies were burned.

Door into Auschwitz gas chamber opens inward

Door into Auschwitz gas chamber opens inward

Notice that the the door in the photo above, which was the back door into the gas chamber in 1998, has a glass window.  Allegedly, the Jews were prevented from breaking the glass because there was a German soldier standing outside the door, ready to shoot anyone who tried to escape. (Actually, this was originally the door into a washroom, before the reconstruction done by the Soviets.)

I blogged about the washroom at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/manhole-and-floor-drain-inside-the-krema-i-gas-chamber-at-auschwitz/

When I visited the Auschwitz gas chamber in 1998, I was told by my tour guide that the prisoners entered the gas chamber through the air raid shelter door.  At that time, the Auschwitz Memorial Site was not yet admitting that the Auschwitz gas chamber is a reconstruction.

My 1998 photo of the back door into the gas chamber

My 1998 photo of the back door into the gas chamber

On my trip to Auschwitz in 1998, I was told that the door, shown in the photo above, was the back door of the gas chamber, and that the victims had entered through the air raid shelter door.  At that time, it was a crime to claim that the air raid shelter door was not there when the Jews were allegedly gassed in what was obviously a morgue.

December 30, 2013

New book tells about a Holocaust survivor who escaped from the Mauthausen gas chamber

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:15 am

My blog post today is about a book entitled My Bargain with God: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Lou Dunst, by Ben Kamin. Sunbelt Publishing, Inc., El Cajon, California, 2014.  You can read all about the book in a news article here.

The Nazis had a plan to kill all the Jews in Europe, known as “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question in Europe.”  Their plan was never accomplished, and today there are numerous survivors still living.  These survivors are publishing books, and their stories must explain how they beat the odds and weren’t gassed.

My photo of the Mauthausen gas chamber

Mauthausen gas chamber has shower fixtures on the ceiling

Here is a quote from the article about the story of Holocaust survivor Lou Dunst:

Lou and his brother survived Auschwitz only to be forced once again into a boxcar to another death camp, Mauthausen. Once again, they were herded into a gas chamber, expecting to die, choked to death by poisonous gas. “We were pressed together, naked, shrieking with horror, people falling on each other, some trampled, gasping for air, unable to think, function, even form some kind of prayer.” The killing machine did not work.

Sign on the wall of the Mauthausen gas chamber explains how th gassing apparatus worked

Sign on the wall of the Mauthausen gas chamber explains how the gassing apparatus worked

The killing machine, mentioned in the news article, was in a separate room behind one of the walls in the gas chamber. The machine was allegedly removed by the Nazis, on April 29, 1945, shortly before the camp was liberated on May 5, 1945.   Lou Dunst was liberated from Ebensee, a sub-camp of Mauthausen, on May 6, 1945.

The quote from the news article continues below:

Barely alive at the death camp Mauthausen, starving and thirsty, the emaciated inmates cried out for water or a little piece of stale bread, anything that could help them survive, but the guards only responded with contempt. “They told us not to worry; we were going to the gas chamber anyway.” The next morning the prisoners were shoved, pushed, kicked into the gas chamber. They waited for the smell of the gas, but it didn’t come. There was a malfunction in the system and the poisonous gas was not funneled through the gas lines to reach its destination so it did not work. Lou and the others miraculously got out from the gas chamber, hysterical, demoralized, relieved, confused, grateful, terrorized, but still not dead.”

The gassing apparatus was located in a small room behind the gas chamber

The gassing apparatus was located in a small room behind the gas chamber

The photo above shows one of the doors into the Mauthausen gas chamber on the left.  On the right, in the photo, is the gassing apparatus room; the gassing apparatus is no longer there.

The two photos below show the door handle on the outside of the room, and the door latch on the inside of the gas chamber.

Door handle outside the gas chamber at Mauthauen

Door handle outside the gas chamber at Mauthausen

Door latch inside the Mauthausen gas chamber

Door latch inside the Mauthausen gas chamber

The Mauthausen gas chamber was a fully functioning shower room in addition to being a gas chamber with a gassing apparatus behind one of the walls.

Lou Dunst is indeed lucky to have survived the notorious Mauthausen camp where prisoners could be gassed in the shower room, that is, if the gassing apparatus was working on the day that they were scheduled to take a shower.

This quote is from the news article about the book:

Finally the doors [of the gas chamber] opened and the stunned slaves [prisoners] rush out into the open air.  The Nazis pushed and shoved the scared and naked prisoners into the central meeting ground, where the commandant of Mauthausen casually remarked: “To burn our bodies was too expensive. Instead, he would send us to a place where we would vanish without any cost to the Third Reich.”

Lou and Irving were transferred once again, this time to Ebensee, a sub-camp of Mauthausen, where they were to work underground making pilotless VI rockets that would rain down on London. At Ebensee, one of the harshest death camps, Lou was placed on a pile of corpses; hardly breathing and with little pulse, Lou awaited death.

On May 6, 1945, American GI Robert Persinger of the Third Cavalry of General George S. Patton’s Third Army drove his tank, the Lady Luck, through the camp fence to liberate the inmates of Ebensee. Irving Dunst grabbed Persinger’s hand and tugged him over to his brother’s seemingly lifeless body on the pile of corpus and shouted: “That’s my brother. Please rescue him.”

The photo below shows a pile of corpses at Ebensee.  The soldier in the photo, which was taken on May 8, 1945, is Al Winters.

Dunst was on a pile of corspes at Ebensee when he was resuced

Lou Dunst was on a pile of dead bodies, like this, at Ebensee when he was rescued

You can read about Ebensee on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/KZMauthausen/Subcamps/Ebensee01.html

December 28, 2013

Brick barracks at Auschwitz are crumbling — the USA has not given any $ for restoration

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 12:44 pm

According to a news article, which you can read in full here, the USA has not made good on its promise to send $15 million to help with the $160 million restoration project at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

There are 45 brick barrack buildings at Auschwitz-Birkenau (the Auschwitz II camp) and 42 of them are currently closed to tourists because they are dangerously close to falling down.

Early morning photo of brick barracks, 2005 photo

Early morning photo of brick barracks, 2005 photo

There are now 1.5 million tourists who visit Auschwitz each year, and you have to get up pretty early in the morning to get a photo without hundreds of tourists in the picture.  I took the photo above, in 2005, from the top of the gate tower at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

This quote is from the news article:

Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi death camp where 1.1 million Jews and other victims were murdered, was not built to last forever. But that’s exactly what the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation is charged with doing, and it is collecting $160 million from a group of 28 countries to make that possible.

Germany has pledged $80 million; Poland has committed $12 million; Israel has paid half of its $1 million pledge. The United States joined the group of countries in 2010, when then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her department would give $15 million to the endowment.

But because of technicalities in the legislative budgeting process, none of that money has been sent to the foundation to date, making the United States the only country not to have made good on any part of its pledge.

Brick barracks at Auschwitz were built with no foundations

Brick barracks at Auschwitz were built with no foundations

The brick barrack buildings were built by Soviet POWs at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  The buildings were set upon bare ground with no foundations.  The bricks were taken from Polish houses which were torn down to make room for the camp, which covers 425 acres.

Brick buildings at Auschwitz-Birkenau are deteriorating

Women’s kitchen building on the right

Ruins of Krema II with the women's kitchen in the background

Ruins of Krema II with the women’s kitchen in the background

Krema II was one of the buildings at Auschwitz-Birkenau which housed a gas chamber and cremation ovens.  The building was only a stone’s throw from the women’s kitchen.  This was a very dangerous set-up because some of the Zyklon-B gas fumes could have wafted over to the women’s kitchen where food was being cooked.  How stupid was that!  What were they thinking?

Interior of brick barrack building

Interior of brick barrack building

Uneven floor in brick barrack building is a hazzard

Uneven floor in brick barrack building is a hazzard

In the interior of the brick barrack buildings, the floor was laid directly on the ground, not set into sand.  The floor is very uneven, making it dangerous for tourists to walk upon.

This quote is from the news article:

Were the U.S.’s $15 million contribution to fall through, the impact on the foundation could be disastrous, and the Polish embassy in Washington has been in touch with the State Department about the matter.

“We are fully aware of how complicated the appropriations process can be, but we still remain very hopeful,” Maciej Pisarski, deputy chief of mission at the Polish embassy told the Journal on Dec. 20. “This is a noncontroversial issue.”

Rabbi Andrew Baker, director of international Jewish affairs at American Jewish Committee, remembered the 2009 push to get the U.S. on board as not being particularly fraught.

“I don’t think it was a hard sell,” Baker, who served for a time on the International Auschwitz Council, said. “I think everyone recognized that it was the right thing to do.”

The consensus that Auschwitz must be preserved — as a reminder of the attempted genocide of the Jews of Europe, and as a refutation of those who would deny the facts of that Holocaust — extends far beyond Washington.

Note that the article mentions “the attempted genocide of the Jews of Europe.”  Attempted genocide? I thought that the Holocaust WAS a genocide.

The brick barrack buildings were built to house Soviet POWs, not to ATTEMPT the genocide of the Jews.  By letting the buildings fall down and rot away, this would help to “deny the facts of that Holocaust.”

My suggestion would be to charge admission to see Auschwitz.  Does Disneyland collect money from the U.S. government to pay for the upkeep of its buildings? Charging only one dollar for admission would bring in $1.5 million PER YEAR.

Update: Dec. 29, 2013:

After reading some of the comments on this blog post, I have come to the conclusion that the number 6 should be honored at Auschwitz by charging $6.00 admission to the famous death camp, or its equivalent in money used in other countries.  That would bring in enough money to rebuild the whole Auschwitz-Birkenau camp to its original condition, including the gas chambers.

Another change that should be made at Auschwitz:  Visitors should be arrested immediately if they laugh out loud. On my trip to Auschwitz in 2005, a young Jewish man was laughing at the famous photo of a woman and two children walking to the gas chamber. He tried to engage me in a conversation about the gas chambers, but I was horrified by his disrespect, and I refused to talk with him.

 

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