Scrapbookpages Blog

March 28, 2014

Holocaust survivor in Australia speaks out against changes in free speech laws

The following quote is from an article, which you can read in full at

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/545399/20140328/racial-discrimination-act-tony-abbott-holocaust-moshe.htm#.UzWQ4V7Y1Ph

Holocaust Survivor Moshe Fiszman pleads [with Australia's] leader to abandon his proposed changes [in the Free Speech law], saying that he would be taking away [the Jew's] freedom in doing so.

[...]

[Australian Prime Minister] Mr Abbott claimed that the changes are necessary to remove the restrictions on “free speech,” and that they also include strong prohibitions on racial vilification.

Mr Fiszman, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor who spent the Second World War in Nazi concentration camps, begged to differ.

He penned an open letter to the PM, asking him to abandon his plans to change the RDA [Racial Discrimination Act].

[Moshe Fiszman said] “You might think you are increasing freedom, but let me assure you that you will be taking away the freedom of communities such as mine [the Jewish community]. The freedom to live without hatred and without lies being told about us [the Jews],” he wrote.

“That is why every single ethnic community is against this change. Some 39 communities have protested against it. Australia is a beautiful country because, like the United States, we are all migrants – not minorities. But if this law gets up, we will be made to feel like minorities.

“You might think you are increasing freedom, but this change will hurt disadvantages, underprivileged groups, like the Aborigines who regularly visit the Jewish Holocaust Museum.”

He continued, “I came to this country because it was the furthest away from Europe I could get. Also, I had four years behind bars as a refugee after the war because nobody wanted me, so I had plenty of time to check out what Australia was made of. I researched its constitution and so forth, and I liked it.

[...]

“What do they want to change this law for? If you start playing around with it, where will it end up? Who is it giving the freedom to? They want the right-wing loonies to have a free rein so they can write and say whatever they like and get away with it scot-free. Holocaust deniers like the Adelaide Institute.”

Mr Fiszman was the only member of his family to survive after suffering in various Nazi concentration camps, including the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dachau.

“This is my opinion as a survivor, the opinion of a man who went through living hell for five-and-a-half years, on death row for 24 hours a day. I am dead against it. Don’t let them touch the freedom of the people in the country.

After I read the news article, I did some  research on Moshe Fiszman and found a website which gives the following information about Moshe, obtained in an interview:

http://www.arturszulc.se/anslagstavlan/mellan-himmel-jord/a-interview-with-moshe-fiszman-holocaust-survivor

The following information is from the website, cited above:

What happened to your family? And where you put into a camp? What camp?

In August 1942 the Jewish population (including my family of five people) nearly 24 000 people men, woman, children, babies, pregnant woman, old people, were cramped in cattle trucks over 100 per truck, no food, water or toilet, and what we found out later, taken to a place called Treblinka, and gassed to death, their bodies burned, and the ashes used as fertilizer.

3 000 Jews, including myself, were given striped clothing, and were declared as prisoners of the K/Z. Majdanek.

In July 1944 we were death marched to Tomaszow Mazowiecki for six days. From there to Auschwitz- Birkenau were I was selected to live a while longer. There after I was taken to Natzweiler-Struthof (my prisoner number 25627), from there to Vaihingen am Enz, were we left a mass grave of  1600 prisoners. In March 1945 marched to Dachau (my prisoner number 150321), and finally all Jewish prisoners marched in to the Austrian Alps and by miracle freed.

I survived. What actually what did I survive? I had no family, no home and no country to go back to, I was alone in a cursed country.

You spent almost two years in Majdanek. How does one survive such an ordeal? What kept you going?

Hope.
And the will not to allow the savages to turn out the light on the Jewish people and their history.

[...]

You managed to survive. What happened after the War? How did you end up in Australia?

I was lucky, for five and a half years of starvation and maltreatment, to be found by a front line unit of the 7th U S Army in the mountains of Austria. Lived as a refuge for four years in UNNRA camps, finally Australia was ready to accept me as a migrant.

From this interview, and Moshe’s description of his survival in the Holocaust, we learn that Moshe Fiszman is the living proof of what Holocaust deniers claim.

1. Moshe Fiszman was sent to Treblinka, a death camp, where he was not gassed in any of the 10 gas chambers, but was sent on to the Majdanek death camp, where it was initially reported that there were 5 gas chambers.

2. Next Moshe was sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, where he was again not gassed in any of the alleged 5 gas chambers.

3. From Auschwitz, Moshe was sent to the Natzweiler-Struthof camp, which was mostly a camp for Resistance Fighters, although it had the obligatory gas chamber.  (Was Moshe sent to Natzweiler because he was fighting in the Polish Home Army of illegal combatants?)

4. When the Natzweiler-Struthof camp was abandoned, Moshe was sent to Dachau, which allegedly had a gas chamber, but Moshe was again not gassed. He was sent to a sub-camp of Dachau, called Mittenwald.

5.  After the American Seventh Army liberated the main Dachau camp, they went on to liberate the Mittenwald camp.  After the camp was liberated, it became a Displaced Persons camp, where Moshe stayed on until he went to Australia.

March 27, 2014

Ireland’s desperation for victims of the Holocaust

Filed under: Dachau, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 11:05 am

The Irish are desperate to be included among the countries that suffered at the hands of the Nazis. The Irish have recently put up a memorial to a Jewish woman who lived for a time in Ireland before she was sent to Auschwitz in 1942 and killed.

A couple of years ago, a teacher in Ireland assigned students to find the one and only Irish prisoner who had been incarcerated in the Dachau concentration camp.  I received many e-mails from Irish students who were trying to find out the name of the only Irish prisoner at Dachau.

I did some research on the subject of the only Irish prisoner at Dachau and wrote two blog posts about this:

http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/more-about-the-only-irish-prisoner-at-dachau/

http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/the-only-irish-prisoner-at-dachau/

You can read about the only Irish prisoner to be killed by the Nazis in this news article:

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/memorial-to-ireland-s-only-holocaust-victim-unveiled-1.1737753

This quote is from the Irish Times article, cited above:

A memorial to Ireland’s only Holocaust victim Ettie Steinberg has been unveiled at a secondary school in Malahide, Co Dublin.

[Lynne Jackson, chair of Holocaust Education Trust Ireland] said the stone memorial to Ettie Steinberg was a way for the school to create a permanent Holocaust memorial.

Steinberg’s family were [sic] from Czechoslovakia and came to Dublin from London in 1926. In 1937 she married a Belgian man and later moved to Belgium and then Paris, where she had a son. In 1942 she and her little boy were transported to Auschwitz and killed.

In Jews in Twentieth-Century Ireland , Dermot Keogh notes, “the Steinbergs in Dublin had secured visas for Ettie and her family trough [sic] the British home office in Belfast. The visas were sent immediately to Toulouse but they arrived too late. Ettie and her family had been rounded up the day before…”

I checked the timeline for Auschwitz to confirm that Jews were killed at Auschwitz in 1942 and found this on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website at

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007259

January 25, 1940
The SS decides to construct a concentration camp near Oswiecim (Auschwitz).

May 20, 1940
The first concentration camp prisoners—30 recidivist criminals from Sachsenhausen—arrive at Auschwitz concentration camp.
March 1, 1941
Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of German Police Heinrich Himmler inspects Oswiecim (Auschwitz). Because nearby factories use prisoners for forced labor, Himmler is concerned about the prisoner capacity of the camp. On this visit, he orders both the expansion of Auschwitz I camp facilities to hold 30,000 prisoners and the building of a camp near Birkenau for an expected influx of 100,000 Soviet prisoners of war. Himmler also orders that the camp supply 10,000 prisoners for forced labor to construct an I.G. Farben factory complex at Dwory, about a mile away. Himmler will make additional visits to Auschwitz in 1942, when he will witness the killing of prisoners in the gas chambers.

[...]

January 25, 1942
SS chief Heinrich Himmler informs Richard Gluecks, the Inspector of Concentration Camps, that 100,000 Jewish men and 50,000 Jewish women would be deported from Germany to Auschwitz as forced laborers.

February 15, 1942
The first transport of Jews from Bytom (Beuthen) in German-annexed Upper Silesia arrives in Auschwitz I. The SS camp authorities kill all those on the transport immediately upon arrival with Zyklon B gas.

December 31, 1942
German SS and police authorities deported approximately 175,000 Jews to Auschwitz in 1942.

Notice that the last entry in the timeline says that 175,000 Jews were sent to Auschwitz in 1942, which could have included the Jews sent from France to Auschwitz in 1942.  Ettie Steinberg and her son, who were killed in Auschwitz, were in Paris in 1942, and could have been on a transport sent from Paris to Auschwitz.

This quote is from a Yad Vashem web page about the Holocaust in  France:

In July 1942 some 23,000 Jews were arrested in Paris and in the remainder of the Occupied Zone. At the initiative of Pierre Laval, the Prime Minister of the Vichy regime, most of the Jewish children were deported to the East together with their parents.

So the Irish have a legitimate claim for a Holocaust Memorial.

March 24, 2014

Holocaust survivor of Buchenwald who was sent to France

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:30 am

In a news story, which you can read here, it was mentioned that Leo Lowy was a Jewish survivor of Buchenwald, who was sent to France after the camp was liberated. Before he was sent to Buchenwald, Lowy had been a prisoner at Auschwitz, which was the SECOND camp to which he had been sent.

The news article did not mention the first camp, to which he was sent, but it was probably the Theresienstat camp in what is now the Czech Republic, since Lowy was living in Czechoslovia at that time.

Lowy was 85 years old when he died, so he was probably born in 1929 and was 15 years old when he was sent to Theresienstadt.

According to Holocaust history, a total of 44,693 Jews from Theresienstadt were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. On September 8, 1943, a transport of 5,006 Czech Jews was sent to Auschwitz where they were put into a “family camp” which was liquidated six months later, when all but a few of the Czech Jews were gassed. There were 22,503 Jews from Theresienstadt who were transported to unknown destinations in the east.

At Auschwitz, Lowy was sent to the right by Dr. Josef Mengele because he claimed that he was a “carpenter” and able to work. To the left meant the gas chamber.

This quote from the news article explains why Leo Lowy’s parents were gassed:

[Lowy] was left orphaned after his parents became ill and were refused admittance to the [Auschwitz] hospital because they were Jews.

Contrary to Lowy’s story, Otto Frank,  the father of Anne Frank, was admitted to the hospital at Auschwitz, which enabled him to survive the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.  Anne Frank also survived Auschwitz-Birkenau because she was sick and was sent on the “sick transport” to Bergen-Belsen, where she subsequently died in the typhus epidemic.

This quote is also from the news article:

After the liberation [of Buchenwald] in 1945, U.S. troops took in the teenager [Leo Lowy] as their “mascot,” feeding him in exchange for chores, and brought him to France.

There were 904 children, who were in the Buchenwald camp when it was liberated, and most of them were orphans.  After the liberation of the camp, two American army chaplains, Rabbi Herschel Schacter and Rabbi Robert Marcus, contacted the offices of the OSE (Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants), the Jewish children’s relief organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Children at Buchenwald, most of whom  were orphans

Children at Buchenwald, most of whom were orphans

The OSE made arrangements to send 427 of the Buchenwald children to France, 280 to Switzerland and 250 to England. On June 2, 1945, OSE representatives arrived in Buchenwald and along with Rabbi Marcus, accompanied the transport to France. Rabbi Schacter escorted the second transport to Switzerland.

Buchenwald orphans leave the camp, on their way to France

Buchenwald orphans leave the camp, on their way to France

March 20, 2014

Holocaust survivor was saved by an African-American soldier who rode through the gate of the camp on a tank…

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 12:49 pm

According to a Canadian newspaper article, which you can read in full here, Czechoslovakian Holocaust survivor Max Eisnen was on the “Tour for Humanity” bus tour in Canada, which was sponsored by “The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies.”

This quote is from the newspaper article:

The Tour for Humanity visited Belleville for three days, visiting Harry J Clarke Public School, Quinte Secondary School and Loyalist College this past week to provide staff and students a unique educational experience.

The tour bus is a self-contained, technologically advanced educational centre that offers visual presentations detailing Canadian history, including the history of Aboriginal residential schools and the treatment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. At Loyalist College, Czechoslovakian Holocaust survivor Max Eisnen was also on hand to give a presentation on his experiences and to answer questions from students.

This quote from the Belleville newspaper article tells about Max Eisnen’s Holocaust experience:

[Max], his father and his uncle were sent [from Auschwitz] to a work camp where they worked 12 hours a day while being fed just 300 calories. After a supervisor noticed the three men eating together at lunch one day, Eisen was separated from his father and uncle, also to never see them again. He would later learn they had been chosen to undergo medical experiments for major German pharmaceutical companies. Eisen himself would only escape the gas chambers [at the work camp] by what he described as “luck,” when a Polish doctor took pity on the teenager and made him a medical assistant.

With the war winding down and the Nazi’s facing certain defeat, Eisen recalled the day he was set free [from a concentration camp]. One day he said, the guards at his new compound [probably Buchenwald] were gone, and in through the gate came an American tank with an African American soldier riding on top.

Why do I think that the camp, which was mentioned in this news story, was probably Buchenwald?

The gatehouse at Buchenwald

The gatehouse at Buchenwald

The gate into the Buchenwald camp, which is shown in the photo above, was not big enough for a tank to drive into the camp. Notice that the clock on the top of the gate is stopped at 3:15 p.m., the exact time that the prisoners took control of the camp, and the guards escaped in fear for their lives.

Buchenwald was liberated by white soldiers, riding on an armored tank, but a few days after the camp had been liberated, some African-American soldiers arrived, delivering some supplies to the camp. Max Eisen must have put these two stories together to come up with his story of being liberated by African-American soldiers.

I wrote about the liberation of the Buchenwald camp on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Liberation0.html

I wrote about the African-American soldiers who came to Buchenwald at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/african-american-soldiers-were-among-the-liberators-of-buchenwald/

This quote, regarding the liberation of Buchenwald is from my website:

The Buchenwald concentration camp was liberated on April 11, 1945 by four soldiers in the Sixth Armored Division of the US Third Army, commanded by General George S. Patton. Just before the Americans arrived, the camp had already been taken over by the Communist prisoners who had killed some of the guards and forced the rest to flee into the nearby woods.

Pfc. James Hoyt was driving the M8 armoured vehicle which brought Capt. Frederic Keffer, Tech. Sgt. Herbert Gottschalk and Sgt. Harry Ward to the Buchenwald camp that day.

The following quote is from a CNN news story on the occasion of the death of James Hoyt on August 14, 2008 at the age of 83:

“According to military records, Keffer was the officer in command of the six-wheeled armored vehicle that day. The soldiers were part of the Army’s 6th Armored Division near the camp when about 15 SS troopers were captured. It was mid-afternoon.”

Is anyone else, besides me, bothered by Holocaust survivors telling lies to young students?  There ought to be a law against this. I suggest 5 years in prison, no matter how old the “survivor” is.

March 16, 2014

11-year-old boy who was selected to be a Sonderkommando at Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 4:53 pm

At Auschwitz, the Sonderkommando Jews were selected to work in the crematoria, carrying bodies out of the gas chamber, and shoving them into the cremation ovens.  But first, the Sonderkommando Jews had to pull the gold teeth out of the mouths of their fellow Jews, after they had been gassed.  (Shouldn’t they have pulled the gold teeth out BEFORE the Jews were gassed, and their bodies were contaminated with poison gas?)

Bodies of dead Jews were put onto a trolley before being shoved into the ovens at Auschwitz

Bodies of dead Jews were put onto a trolley before being shoved into the ovens at Auschwitz

Holocaust survivor Martin Becker was selected to be one of the Sonderkommando Jews, at the age of 11; he worked in this job for 5 years before he was marched out of the Auschwitz camp.

Martin Becker is still alive, at the age of 87, and he is out on the lecture circuit, telling his story, which you can read in full at http://www.thewrap.com/martin-becker-holocaust-survivor-waxword-column

Look at my photo above, taken at Auschwitz in 2005.  It shows the trolley, on which the bodies were placed, before they were shoved into the ovens at Auschwitz. At the age of 11, Martin Becker had no trouble dragging a body out of the gas chamber and throwing it up onto a trolley car.

My 1998 photo of a trolley for putting bodies into the oven at Auschwitz

My 1998 photo of a trolley for putting bodies into the oven at Auschwitz

In my photo above, there are lighted candles on the trolley where the bodies would have been placed by the Sonderkommando Jews.  At the age of 11, Martin Becker was not much taller than the trolley car.  Yet, he somehow managed to do his job as a Sonderkommando, so that he would not be shoved into the oven alive.

Why did the Nazis keep Martin Becker alive for 5 long years?  Didn’t they know that he might live to the age of 87 and tell his story to the world?

This quote is from the article about Martin Becker:

Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, Martin Becker was sent to Auschwitz in 1941, as a child of 11. His parents and grandparents were marched off to the gas chambers. He was handed a pliers and ordered to pull gold from the teeth of gassed corpses, individuals — he recalled in my living room this week — who moments earlier had been alive.

Martin Becker lived and worked in this death camp [Auschwitz] for five years, forced to serve as a Sonderkommando, one of the cursed crew charged with disposing of corpses, removing valuables and putting them in the ovens.

It was terrible,” he said simply, with devastating understatement. He recalled a friend he made among the Sonderkommando, Eric, who missed some of the gold in the teeth. He was thrown in the oven by a Nazi guard, still alive. He recalled 1944, when the Hungarian Jews were shipped to their deaths in Auschwitz: “They had a lot of gold in their teeth.”  [...]

The Nazis were careful to kill the Sonderkommando at regular intervals. They were witnesses to crimes, and as such, needed to be liquidated. Martin Becker said that at a key moment of liquidation, he slipped into a line of Russian children and was overlooked.  [...]

How many times did Martin have to slip into a line of Russia children to escape being killed?  According to Wikipedia, the Sonderkommando Jews were killed every 4 months, and replaced by Jews who had just arrived at the camp.

This quote is from Wikipedia:

Because of their intimate knowledge of the process of Nazi mass murder, the Sonderkommando were considered Geheimnisträger — bearers of secrets — and as such, they were kept in isolation from other camp inmates, except, of course, for those about to enter the gas chambers. Since the Nazis did not want Sonderkommandos’ knowledge to reach the outside world, they followed a policy of regularly gassing almost all the Sonderkommando and replacing them with new arrivals at intervals of approximately 4 months; the first task of the new Sonderkommandos would be to dispose of their predecessors’ corpses. Therefore since the inception of the Sonderkommando through to the liquidation of the camp there existed approximately 14 generations of Sonderkommando.[1]

Was Martin Becker big for his age, when he was 11 years old? Was he a big, strapping boy, who could throw the body of a grown man onto a trolley cart?  His photo below, shows that he is shorter than the average man today, but maybe he has shrunk with age.

Martin Becker was a Sonderkommando Jew at Auschwitz

Martin Becker was a Sonderkommando Jew at Auschwitz

Hasidim but I don’t believe ‘em

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:56 am
Hisidic Jew in Brooklyn, NY

Hisidic Jew in Brooklyn, NY

In an episode of “The Sopranos,” a popular TV series several years ago, Paulie Walnuts says “Hasidim but I don’t believe ‘em.”  You can watch this famous episode on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YauJVdK8GPI

I thought of this when I read a blog post about Hasidim on this blog: http://blogs.forward.com/sisterhood-blog/194267/when-hasidic-boys-grow-up-without-real-school/

This quote is from the blog post, cited above:

Last summer, when I interviewed Hasidic men and women who grew up with little to no secular education, I remember feeling angry at this system that churns out, intentionally, boys who cannot speak or read English — the first step in acquiring basic skills to function as an adult in the 21st century. The words one brilliant man used to refer to educational neglect in Satmar is still ringing in my ears: “This is criminal.”

Indeed, it is. Educational neglect of this magnitude should be considered criminal. No community in America should be allowed to perpetuate such inattention to the wellbeing of children.

Watching this video made me think of the countless times my husband and I explained to our children why we don’t know certain basic concepts or historical facts, why my husband never learned how to punctuate a sentence. We talk freely about our childhoods and our desire to see them, our children, receive a solid education. We explain that education is power, and that it is the single driving force for human progression. We speak of our pride in their academic achievements and demonstrate its importance by asking questions about subjects we don’t know.

The next time my son says he hates school, I will play him this video. Hopefully he will get the message.

In reading the above words on the blog of an Hasidic woman, I was reminded of what Hitler wrote in his book Mein Kampf, about the first time that he saw an Hasidic Jew on the streets of Vienna.  I don’t want to waste my time looking for this passage in Mein Kampf, so I will give you this quote from Wikipedia, which tells about what it was like when Hitler lived in Vienna:

At the time Hitler lived there, Vienna was a hotbed of religious prejudice and racism.[37] Fears of being overrun by immigrants from the East were widespread, and the populist mayor, Karl Lueger, exploited the rhetoric of virulent antisemitism for political effect. Georg Schönerer’s pan-Germanic antisemitism had a strong following in the Mariahilf district, where Hitler lived.[38] Hitler read local newspapers, such as the Deutsches Volksblatt, that fanned prejudice and played on Christian fears of being swamped by an influx of eastern Jews.[39]

Hitler’s father was a follower of Georg Schönerer who advocated German nationalism.  Now the idea, of a country having a population of people of one race and one religion, has been thoroughly discredited by the Holocaustians who preach diversity.  Diversity causes problems in many countries of the world today, but it keeps the Jews safe, and allows them to live in any country they choose.  If there is ever a threat of another Holocaust, the Jews now have their own country where they can go to escape.

March 15, 2014

The late Harry W. Mazel is back in the news

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:58 am

You can read the latest news about the late Harry W. Mazel at http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/03/04/momentous-gift-holocaust-archive-cu-boulder-will-draw-scholars-around-world

This quote is from the news article:

The archive is the life work of Harry W. Mazal, a retired businessman from Mexico City who made San Antonio, Texas, his home and became an internationally recognized Holocaust collector and researcher. Working with numerous volunteers, Mazal dedicated his life to creating a vast repository committed to defending the voices and memories of the victims of the Holocaust around the world by promoting scholarly research related to Holocaust studies, Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism and bigotry.

The website of Harry W. Mazel, entitled The Holocaust History Project was one of the first websites that I ever visited when I started studying the Holocaust.

I blogged about Harry W. Mazel on this blog post:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/harry-w-mazal/

March 13, 2014

Mala and Ben Helfgott, Holocaust survivors with an amazing story to tell

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:56 am

Today, I read the heart-warming story of Mala Tribich, a Holocaust survivor who recently spoke to students in the UK about her ordeal in the Bergen-Belsen “death camp.”

This quote is from a news article about Mala’s talk to the students:

After being smuggled back into the [Piotrkow] ghetto, Mala’s mother and eight-year-old sister were among hundreds of Jews rounded up and taken to the nearby Rakow forest, where mass graves had been dug.

Her mum and sister were among 560 adult Jews and 39 children murdered that day.

This quote from the news article immediately caught my attention:

Born Mala Helfgott in 1930 in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland, Mala was approaching her ninth birthday when World War II broke out on September 1, 1939.

I previously blogged about Ben Helfgott, who is the brother of Mala Helfgott, at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/the-remarkable-story-of-ben-helfgott-a-buchenwald-orphan/

In that blog post, I wrote this:

I first heard of Ben Helfgott in a book entitled Holocaust Journey, written by Martin Gilbert several years ago. I remembered Helfgott’s name because he said something about the German people who were burned alive, near Theresienstadt, as they tried to escape from the angry Czechs who expelled them after the war. I was impressed that he could show sympathy for the German expellees who had suffered.  (The former Dachau concentration camp became a home for German refugees from Czechoslovakia for 17 years.)

This quote is from the news article about Mala’s talk to students in the UK:

After a time as a slave labourer alongside her father and brother Mala, now 13, and her young cousin Ann and aunt were taken to Ravensbruck concentration camp, where they were stripped and had their heads shaved.

“We just felt that was the end. We weren’t going to survive,” said Mala.

“My aunt died within three days of our arrival. My best friend died soon after that. Conditions were terrible. We were four people to a bunk.

“Our rations were half a slice of black bread and a grey liquid called soup and a brown liquid called coffee and occasionally a nub of margarine.”

Two to three months later, Mala and Ann were taken to Bergen-Belsen in Germany in cattle trucks.

Bergen-Belsen was not a “death  camp,” as reported in the news article.  It was an EXCHANGE camp.  Ravensbrück was a camp for women.  How did Mala rate a transfer, from Ravensbrück to the Bergen-Belsen EXCHANGE camp?

I would love to know the whole story of Mala and Ben Helfgott. Why weren’t they taken to Rakow to be killed, along with their mother and sister?

You can read Ben Helfgott’s story at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jan/27/holocaust-memorial-day-ben-helfgott

This quote is from the website, cited above:

One morning, four days ­before Christmas in 1942, Nazi soldiers went to the synagogue in the Polish town of Piotrków, where 560 Jews were crammed, and ­demanded that 50 strong men ­accompany them to the woods. The men were told to dig five pits and then shot. In one week in October, 22,000 Jews (out of a population of 25,000) had been sent from Piotrków to the Treblinka gas chambers, so the men were under no illusions what they were digging.

The following morning, the SS took the rest of the people in the synagogue in groups of 100 to the woods. They were told to undress next to the pits and then they were shot. Among the victims was Ben Helfgott’s 37-year-old mother and his eight- year-old sister, Lusia.

Twelve-year-old Ben was working in a glass factory outside the ghetto and so regarded as “legitimate” by the Nazis. His 11-year-old sister, Mala, somehow escaped the roundup and his father had a permit to live in the Piotrków ghetto. But his mother and Lusia were seen as illegals and so went into hiding, fearing that they would be ­murdered. Then the Nazis offered illegals like Ben’s mother asylum. It was a ruse, but she and Lusia came out of hiding and were held in the ­synagogue. It was hardly a place of sanctuary: for amusement, guards would shoot in through the windows, killing and wounding people.

You can read more about the Piotrkow ghetto and the massacre on this website:  http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/piotrkow/pit237.html

March 12, 2014

Abraham Bomba, one of the barbers at Treblinka…

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:20 am

Today, I got an e-mail from Bradley Smith, alerting me to a letter that he has sent to Sara Bloomfield, the Director the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.  His letter concerns Abraham Bomba, whom Bradley claims was a collaborator with the Germans, who ran the Treblinka death camp.

I think that Bradley is calling Abraham Bomba a “collaborator” because he helped the Germans at the Treblinka camp, by cutting the hair of the women before they were gassed.  According to the ex-post-facto law of “common design,” anyone who helped the Nazis, in any way, at the Nazi concentration camps, was guilty of a war crime. This law is still being used to put 90-year-old men on trial in Germany.

In my humble opinion, the ex-post-facto law of “common design” cannot be used to claim that the Jewish helpers in the camps were war criminals.

Abraham Bomba was one of the 40 prisoners, who escaped from the Treblinka extermination camp in 1943, and lived to tell about it. Bomba was a Jew who was born in 1913 in Germany, but was raised in Czestochowa, Poland.

Before he escaped from the Treblinka II camp, Bomba was a barber at the camp; his job was cutting the hair of the victims inside the gas chamber, just before they were gassed.

Abraham Bomba is one of the Jews whom revisionists love to make fun of, because his testimony about Treblinka is so  preposterous. For example, he claimed that there were 20 benches inside the gas chamber, where the women sat while the barbers cut their hair.

Bomba was one of the 1,000 Sonderkommando Jews, who lived in the barracks in a separate section of the Treblinka II camp and worked for the Germans who ran the camp. There were neither factories, nor living quarters, for the 713,555 Jews who arrived at the fake train station at the Treblinka camp in 1942.

A model of the fake train station at Treblinka

A model of the fake train station at Treblinka

According  to the official story of the Holocaust, the terms “arrivals” and “evacuated” were Nazi code words for extermination; the Jews who were sent to Treblinka and the other Operation Reinhard camps were immediately gassed, only hours after their arrival.

In 1990, Abraham Bomba told about his experience in the camp in a video-taped interview for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. You can see and hear part of his interview on the USHMM website at http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_oi.php?MediaId=1079

The  following quote is from the transcript of this interview:

“And now I want to tell you, I want to tell you about the thing…the gas chamber. It was, they ask me already about this thing. The gas chamber, how it looked. Very simple. Was all concrete. There was no window. There was nothing in it. Beside, on top of you, there was wires, and it looked like, you know, the water going to come out from it. Had two doors. Steel doors. From one side and from the other side. The people went in to the gas chamber from the one side. Like myself, I was in it, doing the job as a barber. When it was full the gas chamber–the size of it was…I would say 18 by 18, or 18 by 17, I didn’t measure that time, just a look like I would say I look here the room around, I wouldn’t say exactly how big it is. And they pushed in as many as they could. It was not allowed to have the people standing up with their hands down because there is not enough room, but when people raised their hand like that there was more room to each other. And on top of that they throw in kids, 2, 3, 4 years old kids, on top of them. And we came out. The whole thing it took I would say between five and seven minute. The door opened up, not from the side they went in but the side from the other side and from the other side the…the group…people working in Treblinka number 2, which their job was only about dead people. They took out the corpses. Some of them dead and some of them still alive. They dragged them to the ditches, and over there they covered them. Big ditches, and they covered them. That was the beginning of Treblinka.”

After each gassing, the Jewish workers at Treblinka had to clean up in preparation for the next batch of victims, according to Abraham Bomba. The clothing that had been taken off by the victims had to be removed and put into piles for sorting before being sent on the next empty transport train to Lublin. Everything was done with great efficiency in this assembly-line murder camp, and nothing was wasted. All of the clothes and valuables, taken from the Jews when they arrived at Treblinka, were sent to the Majdanek camp in a suburb of Lublin where everything was disinfected before being sent to Germany and given to civilians.

Apparently, some of the Jews on the trains to Treblinka were also sent to the Majdanek camp.  I previously blogged about Norman Finkelstein’s mother who was sent to Treblinka, and then transferred to Majdanek: http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/jews-from-the-warsaw-ghetto-were-sent-to-the-treblinka-death-camp-except-for-norman-finkelsteins-parents/

The spot where trains stopped inside Treblinka camp

The spot where trains stopped inside Treblinka camp

My 1998 photo above shows a sculpture which is supposed to look like the train tracks that were extended inside the Treblinka camp.

In his 1990 interview at the USHMM, Bomba described what happened after the hair had been cut from the heads of the women.

Below is a quote from the transcript of Bomba’s interview:

“People went in through the gate. Now we know what the gate was, it was the way to the gas chamber and we have never see them again. That was the first hour we came in. After that, we, the people, 18 or 16 people…more people came in from the…working people, they worked already before, in the gas chamber, we had a order to clean up the place. Clean up the place–is not something you can take and clean. It was horrible. But in five, ten minutes this place had to look spotless. And it looked spotless. Like there was never nobody on the place, so the next transport when it comes in, they shouldn’t see what’s going on. We were cleaning up in the outside. Tell you what mean cleaning up: taking away all the clothes, to those places where the clothes were. Now, not only the clothes, all the papers, all the money, all the, the…whatever somebody had with him. And they had a lot of things with them. Pots and pans they had with them. Other things they had with them. We cleaned that up.”

According to the official history of the Holocaust, after his visit to Treblinka in February 1943, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler ordered that all the evidence of the killing of the Jews had to be destroyed. Beginning in March 1943, the bodies of approximately 750,000 victims were exhumed and burned on pyres; the ashes were then buried in the original pits, according to Raul Hilberg, who wrote a book on the Holocaust. Today, a symbolic cemetery is located where some of the ashes were buried. By May 1943, the daily transports had stopped and the Treblinka camp was getting ready to close.

During his trial, Kurt Franz, the last Commandant of Treblinka, testified that “After the uprising in August 1943, I ran the camp single handedly for a month; however, during that period no gassing was undertaken. It was during that period that the original camp was leveled off and lupines were planted.”

According to Bomba’s interview for the USHMM, there was a Jewish commandant at Treblinka, named Jalinski, or something that sounds like Jalinski.  I have been unable to find anyone by that name who was a Commandant at Treblinka.

This quote is from Bradley Smith’s letter to the director of the USHMM:

I believe you would acknowledge that you are aware of who Abraham Bomba was, that he is featured on your Website testifying on film to the fact that as a Sonderkommando he collaborated with Germans in the mass-murder of maybe a million Jews at Treblinka. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_oi.php?MediaId=1079

At the same time I find no suggestion at the USHMM that any effort has ever been made to confront the “human nature” of Mr. Bomba’s behavior. In fact, on your Website he is treated with respect as if he were merely a victim, even perhaps something of a hero.

The Bomba testimony on film that the Museum has chosen to display includes this text: “Mr. Bomba was chosen to cut women’s hair before these women were to be gassed.” At one place Bomba himself testifies:

“I knew them; I lived with them in my town. I lived with them in my street, and some of them were my close friends. And when they saw me, they started asking me, Abe this and Abe that- ‘What’s going to happen to us?’ What could you tell them? What could you tell? . . . Can you imagine that you have to cut their hair and not to tell them a word because you were not allowed? If you say a word that they going to…uh…be gassed in five or seven minutes later, there would be a panic over there and they (the barbers) would be killed too . . . “

In short, Mr. Bomba testifies on film that he collaborated with Germans in the mass murder of Jews at Treblinka. The Museum exploits his testimony to raise money for the Museum. But there is no evidence anywhere on the Museum’s Website that anyone there has made any effort whatever to confront the “human nature” of Mr. Bomba. When a man confesses on film to collaborating with Germans in the extermination of thousands of Jewish children, do you not see something there, in the “human nature” of the man, that needs to be, if not confronted, at least addressed?

I may be mistaken, but one has the impression that you are being purposefully blind to the fact that Mr. Bomba’s collaboration with Germans in the mass-gassings of Jews represents what we have been encouraged to consider as a war crime for which Germans and others have been tried, convicted, and executed. Ms. Bloomberg: do you not think it time that someone at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum confronts the “human nature” of such individuals as Abraham Bomba, their decisions to participate in the extermination of the Jews?

Why is it not time? What is it that is so very special about Abraham Bomba and his collaboration with Germans in the mass murder of Jews? To what purpose might his guilt be found acceptable, his testimony exploited, other than to raise funds for your Museum?

March 10, 2014

20 million people killed by the Nazis, according to the USHMM

A reader of my blog recently stated this in a comment:  “There were over 20 million people who were killed in total by Nazi atrocities from the 1930s until Germany’s surrender.  That does not  include casualties of the various allied and Soviet armies.”

This was news to me, but I wouldn’t put anything past those evil Nazis.

I was curious about where the figure of 20 million came from, so I did a google search and found this news article at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/9906771/Nazis-may-have-killed-up-to-20m-claims-shocking-new-Holocaust-study.html

A photo of the Arbeit Macht Frei gate at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp was included in the article.  I have copied the photo, along with the caption, which you can see below.

 Washington's Holocaust Memorial Museum found that Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto were just part of a extensive network that imprisoned and obliterated millions of lives Photo: AP


Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum found that Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto were just part of a extensive network that imprisoned and obliterated millions of lives Photo: AP

The official name of “Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum” is United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM).  I visited the USHMM several years ago, and wrote about it on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/USHMM/

I do not consider the USHMM to be a reliable source of information, but that’s just me; others might have a different opinion.

I don’t think that a photo of the gate into the Sachsenhausen concentration camp is appropriate for an article about 20 million people being killed.  Sachsenhausen was a Class 1 camp for political prisoners, not a death camp.

You can read about the significance of the Arbeit Macht Frei gate on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Auschwitz/Auschwitz12.html

The Soviets, who liberated the Sachsenhausen camp, claimed that Sachsenhausen was a death camp and that 100,000 people had been killed there.  Now that figure has been officially reduced to 30,000 deaths.  Did the USHMM subtract those 70,000 deaths from the 20 million total?

I took the photo below, on  my visit to the Sachsenhausen camp.  It shows the gate into the camp.  That’s how I know that the photo, which was shown in the article, was taken at Sachsenhausen.  The Arbeit Macht Frei sign was only put on Class I camps, where prisoners had a good chance of being released.

My photo of the gate into the Sachsenhausen camp

My photo of the gate into the Sachsenhausen camp

This quote is from the article cited above:

The millions disappeared into a Nazi imprisonment and killing machine that covered a bloody swathe of Europe and appears to have been far more deadly than has been thought.

Up until now, the Holocaust is thought to have consumed between five and six million Jews, with an estimated further six million other people also murdered by the Nazi regime.

The new figures of 15 to 20 million, which have astonished some Holocaust historians, come after thirteen years of painstaking study at Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum. Historians at the museum brought together and studied the huge amount, and often disparate, files and research on the Holocaust.

The research covered some 42,400 camps and ghettos across Europe, and also included forced-labour camps and Nazi “care” centres where pregnant women were forced to have an abortion or had their child killed right after giving birth. It also drew in camps, prisons and killing grounds used by Nazi puppet regimes in countries such as France and Romania.

The number of locations is almost double previous estimates made by the same institution and, all told, they may have imprisoned and killed between 15 to 20 million people.

Note that the USHMM story is that pregnant women were forced to have an abortion or had their baby killed after giving birth.  I have blogged about babies being born in the Nazi camps several times: http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/pregnant-at-auschwitz-the-story-of-miriam-rosenthal/

http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/its-a-miracle-seven-babies-slipped-through-the-nazi-killing-machine-at-dachau/

http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/holocaust-survivor-who-was-born-in-auschwitz/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/holocaust-survivor-was-born-in-mauthausen-concentration-camp/

This serious mistake, by the USHMM, regarding the fate of pregnant women and babies, is enough for me to question the whole article.

The largest “death camps” in  the Holocaust were Auschwitz and Majdanek. The number of deaths at Auschwitz has been downgraded, from 4 million to 1.1 million, and  the number of deaths at Majdanek has been downgraded, from 1.5 million to 78,000.  Were these deaths subtracted from the 20 million total?

Sorry, but I don’t believe the new total of 20 million people killed by the Nazis.  False in one, false in all.  Next time, don’t tell us about mothers being forced to have an abortion in the “death camps.”

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