Scrapbookpages Blog

February 1, 2014

“to the victor belongs the spoils” even if you have to steal gold from an ally that helped to win the war

Filed under: Germany, movies, World War II — Tags: , , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:58 am

In doing some research about “The Monuments Men,” in preparation for seeing a new movie by the same name, I learned that the art treasures and the gold bullion, stored in the Merkers salt mine in Germany, was supposed to go to the Soviet Union, because it was located in the occupation zone that had been promised to the Russians.

German  gold was hidden in the  Merkers salt mine

German gold and art treasures were hidden in the Merkers salt mine

When General Patton heard about the gold in the Merkers mine, he claimed it for the USA and then notified General (“God, I hate the Germans”) Eisenhower.

The following quote, about the gold, is from this website: http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1999/spring/nazi-gold-merkers-mine-treasure.html

Nazi Gold: The Merkers Mine Treasure

By Greg Bradsher

Late on the evening of March 22, 1945, elements of Lt. Gen. George Patton’s Third Army crossed the Rhine, and soon thereafter his whole army crossed the river and drove into the heart of Germany. Advancing northeast from Frankfurt, elements of the Third Army cut into the future Soviet Zone and advanced on Gotha. Just before noon on April 4, the village of Merkers fell to the Third Battalion of the 358th Infantry Regiment, Ninetieth Infantry Division, Third Army. During that day and the next the Ninetieth Infantry Division, with its command post at Keiselbach, consolidated its holdings in the Merkers area.(1)

During April 4 and 5 [1945], displaced persons in the vicinity interrogated by the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) personnel of the Ninetieth Infantry Division mentioned a recent movement of German Reichsbank gold from Berlin to the Wintershal AG’s Kaiseroda potassium mine at Merkers. In all of these instances they quoted rumors, but none stated their own knowledge that gold was present in the mine. But just before noon on April 5, a member of Military Intelligence Team 404-G, attached to the 358th Infantry Regiment, who was in Bad Salzungen, about six miles from Merkers, interviewed French displaced persons who had worked in the mine at Merkers. They told him they had heard that gold had been stored in the mine. The information was passed on to the G-2 (intelligence section) of the Ninetieth Infantry Division, and orders were issued prohibiting all civilians from circulating in the area of the mine.(2)

You can read about Gotha on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/EasternGermany/Gotha/

Note the date [April 4, 1945] that the Merkers mine was discovered by the Americans, after “displaced persons” told them about the gold.

"displaced persons" who have come back to the Ohrdruf camp

“displaced persons” who came back to the Ohrdruf camp after the Americans arrived

What is a “displaced person”?  This term refers to a former prisoner in a concentration camp, or a Nazi labor camp, who must find his way home because the Nazis have abandoned the camp where he was a prisoner.  The Nazis had abandoned the Ohrdruf  sub-camp of Buchenwald on April 4, 1945, and had marched most the prisoners to the Buchenwald camp, except for a few who were too sick to walk, or a few who had escaped from the march.

How does one justify stealing “the spoils of war” from an ally [the Soviet Union], who has helped to defeat your enemy?  I know — let’s go to visit Ohrdruf, and make a big deal out of the bodies of prisoners who had died of typhus. Let’s “build another page of the necessary evidence as to the brutality of the Germans” as General Patton wrote to General Eisenhower. Let’s take a photo of the dead bodies that were burned at Ohrdruf, and claim that the Germans had burned prisoners alive. Let’s build a museum in Washington, DC  and hang a photo of the burned bodies in front of the museum door.

Eisenhower views burned bodies at Ohrdruf

Eisenhower views burned bodies at Ohrdruf

This quote is also from the article written by Greg Bradsher:

[Col. Bernard D.] Bernstein, that evening, drove to Patton’s headquarters. Patton told Bernstein that he was very glad Eisenhower was taking responsibility for the gold. Bernstein told him that he wanted to move the Merkers treasure to Frankfurt as quickly as possible and that under the Big Three arrangements at Yalta, the Merkers part of Germany would be taken over by the Russians after the war and that they certainly needed to get the treasure out of the area before the Russians got there. Astounded at what Bernstein told him, not knowing about the postwar arrangements, Patton said he would do everything possible to facilitate Bernstein’s mission.(39)

On April 11 Bernstein returned to Merkers, and that morning, after arranging with Mason for setting up a command post at the mine building for the G-5 officers, he and Rave made an inspection of the art treasures. Later that day Lt. George Stout [one of the Monuments Men], USNR, MFAA Officer, G-5, Twelfth Army Group, and the SHAEF MFAA chief, British Lt. Col. Geoffrey Webb, reported for duty, with the expectation that they would handle the art matters. After Posey’s earlier visit to Merkers, he had notified Webb of the treasure and recommended Stout, former chief of conservation at Harvard’s Fogg Museum and considered America’s greatest expert on the techniques of packing and transporting, be sent to the mine to provide technical guidance. Webb and Stout arrived at Merkers only to find that they needed Bernstein’s permission to see the art. Bernstein showed them his letter from Gay authorizing him to decide who went into the mine and the need for Eddy’s permission for Allied personnel to inspect the mine. Bernstein agreed to let Stout view the works of art, but he denied Webb access.(40)  [George Stout is played by George Clooney in the movie The Monuments Men.]

[...]
Bernstein and Bartlett arrived at the 357th Infantry Regiment Command Post in Merkers at 5 p.m. on April 10. Accompanied by Mason, they went on a tour of the mine to see the vault containing the gold, currency, and art treasure. That evening Bernstein interviewed Veick and Reimer about the gold, currency, and other valuables, as well as any records relating to the gold. Veick provided detailed information about the transportation of the Reichsbank treasure to Merkers and the currency transactions during March and the first days of April. He said he did not know that much about the gold, but Thoms did; “He knows all,” Veick said. Reimer told Bernstein that “the records of the sale of the gold are with Thoms.”(38)

Bernstein, that evening, drove to Patton’s headquarters. Patton told Bernstein that he was very glad Eisenhower was taking responsibility for the gold. Bernstein told him that he wanted to move the Merkers treasure to Frankfurt as quickly as possible and that under the Big Three arrangements at Yalta, the Merkers part of Germany would be taken over by the Russians after the war and that they certainly needed to get the treasure out of the area before the Russians got there. Astounded at what Bernstein told him, not knowing about the postwar arrangements, Patton said he would do everything possible to facilitate Bernstein’s mission.(39)

October 26, 2013

Video of Lt. William P. Walsh talking about the German soldiers who “died in the defense of Dachau”

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:06 am

The YouTube video below (scroll down) shows soldiers in the 45th Infantry Division of the US Army, who were the first liberators to arrive at the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945.  The first man to speak is Lt. Col. Felix L. Sparks; then Lt. William P. Walsh speaks during the video at 1:43 minutes to 2:41 minutes. At 3:49 in the video, the photo below is shown, but the photo is not identified.

GermansKilledDachau

At 8:44 minutes in the video, Lt. Walsh describes a handsome German guy, who comes out “covered with Red Cross shields and white flags.” Lt. Walsh laughs, as he says that this German guy “looks like Howdy Doody” with all of his Red Cross shields.

At 9:32 in the video, Lt. Walsh says that the German soldier “jumped up into a box car” on the train parked outside the Dachau camp.  He doesn’t say why this German soldier jumps into the box car, nor does he say that he personally shot this man, who had surrendered while carrying a white flag.

What was the name of this German soldier, who surrendered to Lt. Walsh, carrying a white flag of surrender?  I previously blogged here about a German soldier who was killed after he surrendered.

At 14:00 in the video, Lt. Walsh begins to speak about the Germans who “died in defense of Dachau.”  He uses this phrase three or four times.  To Lt. William Walsh, when an enemy soldier surrenders, carrying a white flag, he is volunteering to “die in defense” of the military garrison where he is stationed.

The embedding of the YouTube video has been disabled but you can still watch the video on YouTube.  Apparently, someone has objected to my showing of this video on my blog.

I previously blogged about the “Dachau Massacre” at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/dachau-liberation-reprisals-another-term-for-the-dachau-massacre/

"brick path" leads to the Dachau concentration camp from the SS garrison

“brick path” leads to the Dachau concentration camp from the SS garrison in the background

At 7:16 minutes on the YouTube video, an American veteran says that he “walked down a brick path” [after leaving the SS garrison] and he saw a “big, red brick building” at Dachau [which was outside the concentration camp].

At 7:45 minutes, he says that he saw “big vents in the ceiling and gas jets on the wall.”  As he says this, we see a photo of the gas chamber as it looks now, not the way it looked when the American soldiers first saw it.  At this point, the veteran says “Christ, I’m in the gas chamber.”  However, he says that he “didn’t know until he had been in there five minutes.”

"red brick building" which 45th Division soldiers saw at Dachau

“red brick building” which 45th Division soldiers saw at Dachau was the gas chamber building

"gas jets on the wall of the Dachau gas chamber

“gas jets” on the wall of the Dachau gas chamber

Close-up of "gas vent" on the wall of the Dachau gas chamber

Close-up of “gas vent” on the wall of the Dachau gas chamber

The two photos above show what an American soldier in the 45th Infantry Division of the US Army allegedly saw at Dachau on the day that the camp was liberated.  This is very important testimony, as it proves that the gas chamber, as seen today, was exactly like this on April 29, 1945 and it was not remodeled by the Americans.

So why would anyone request that the embedding of the video be disabled?  This video, with the photos of the gas chamber, proves that the American soldiers did the right thing when they killed German POWs with their hands in the air after they had surrendered the camp.

Near the end of the video, at 13.26 minutes, Lt. William Walsh speaks again. Regarding the Dachau massacre, when German soldiers were killed with their hands in the air, he says “maybe it wasn’t a legitimate fight.”  He probably means that a “legitimate fight” is when enemy soldiers are killed on the battlefield, not shooting POWs, who have surrendered and have their hands in the air.

On the video, Lt. Walsh literally cannot say one God damned sentence without cursing.  At the very end, he says “everyone who died in defense of Dachau knew why [they were killed]“.  However, he does say, at one point, “When I go to hell, with the rest of the SS….”  To his credit, Lt. Walsh did imply that he was a war criminal, no better than the SS soldiers, and he admitted that he was going to Hell “with the rest of the SS…”

October 20, 2013

The church funeral plans for Priebke sparked an outcry in the United States.

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:34 am

The title of my blog post today is a quote from a news article about the protests against the funeral of Erich Priebke, who was a convicted Nazi war criminal.

Here is the full quote from the news article on the CNN blog which you can read in full here:

The church funeral plans for Priebke sparked an outcry in the United States.

“Erich Priebke was a monster,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

“He does not deserve the dignity and respect of a proper church burial. His body should be cremated and his ashes scattered at sea, without further ceremony.”

Priebke, a former SS captain sentenced to life in prison for his role in an Italian massacre in 1944, died on Friday.

Priebke was convicted by Italian court in 1998 for helping organize the execution of 335 men and boys in retaliation for attacks on German troops. The former Nazi was unrepentant, denying the Holocaust in his final statement, according to the Associated Press.

Note that the news article says that Priebke was convicted of the crime of helping to organize the execution of 335 men and boys in RETALIATION for attacks on German troops.  No, this was not a RETALIATION, but rather a REPRISAL.

There is a difference between a reprisal and a retaliation.  A reprisal was an action that was legal under the Geneva Convention of 1929.  (Reprisals are no longer legal under the Geneva Convention of 1949) The purpose of a reprisal was to stop illegal combatants from killing enemy soldiers during war time.

An example of a reprisal was what happened at Orddour-sur-Glane.  After the reprisal, the killing of German soldiers by French Resistance fighters in the area of Oradour-sur-Glane stopped, so the reprisal was successful.

After World War II, the Allies changed the laws so that illegal combatants were legal combatants and reprisals against illegal combatants were now ex-post-facto war crimes.  After the war, illegal combatants who had been captured were now considered Prisoners of War, and it was a war crime to put illegal combatants into a concentration camp.

Priebke was convicted under ex-post-facto laws, created by the Allies AFTER the war.  In other words, Priebke was not a war criminal at the time that he participated in a legal reprisal.

As for Priebke’s crime of Holocaust denial, Italy did not have a law against Holocaust denial at the time that Priebke made his Holocaust denial statements. He was never convicted of being a Holocaust denier.  Italy is now trying to catch up to the rest of the world; Italy will soon become the 18th country to have a Holocaust denial law.

I previously blogged about Primo Levi, who was a famous Italian Jew who was sent to Auschwitz.  Levi was arrested for being an Italian partisan, i.e. an illegal combatant.  However, when he was admitted to the camp, he said that he was a Jew, because he was afraid that he would be killed if he admitted to being a Resistance fighter.

October 18, 2013

Madame Rouffanche, the only survivor of the massacre in the Oradour-sur-Glane church, tells her story

Filed under: World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:23 pm

One of the regular readers of my blog asked a question, in a comment on my previous Oradour-sur-Glane post, about how a German soldier managed to put a fire bomb inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church without burning himself up, or allowing the women inside the church to extinguish the fire.

The question is

Were the strings (wicks) short, and the soldiers were blown up with their victims?

or were [the stings or wicks] long enough to give them time to escape the church for safety — and allow people inside to extinguish them?

The only person, who could answer this question, would be Madame Rouffanche, the lone survivor of the Church, who is now dead. However, she did testify in the trial of the SS soldiers after the war.

The answer, according to the testimony of Madame Rouffanche, is long and complicated, so bear with me, while I explain the story with words and pictures.

Madame Rouffanche was over 50 years old, and overweight

Madame Rouffanche was over 50 years old, and overweight

The photo below shows the front of the Oradour-sur-Glane church, where women and children were burned alive on June 10, 1944 by SS soldiers, including some soldiers from the French province of Alsace.

The front of the ruined church in Oradour-sur-Glane

The front of the ruined church in Oradour-sur-Glane

The photo above shows the front of the Oradour-sur-Glane church. On the left side, there is an open doorway, with no door, which is the entrance into the sacristy, sometimes called the vestry. The sacristy was the room that contained the ceremonial clothing of the priests, called the vestments. In the photo above, the main door into the church is on the right, at the top of the steps into the church tower.

Madame Marguerite Rouffanche, the only survivor of the fire in the church, said that SS soldiers entered through the front door, and placed a “smoke bomb” near the choir, which was in the back of the church.

Damage from the smoke bomb inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church

Damage inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church

The photo above shows the damage to the floor of the church near the communion rail which was in the front of the Oradour-sur-Glane church.  You can see a bit of the remains of the Communion rail on the right in the photo. This photo contradicts the testimony of Madame Rouffanche who said that a smoke bomb was placed in the back of the church.

The photo below shows that the location of the floor damage is close to the altar of the church, not in the back of the church, as Madame Rouffanche testified in court. The damage might have been caused by a hand grenade, or something else thrown into the church, as there is no smoke damage.

Damage to the church floor was in the front of the church

Damage to the church floor was in the front of the church

Madame Rouffanche testified that the women and children rushed to the front of the church and tried to escape through the sacristy door. The  women broke open the sacristy door and some of the women entered the sacristy, but were gunned down by SS soldiers who were standing guard outside.

The photo below shows the inside of the damaged sacristy of the church. Soldiers were standing outside this door, shooting the women who tried to escape.

Door to the outside of the sacristry

Door to the outside of the sacristy

The photo above shows the inside of the sacristy. The original door, which probably burned in the fire, has not been replaced, but you can still see the enormous hook that once fastened this door from the inside. The room is filled with rubble and the stair on which Madame Rouffanche said that she sat is no longer there. Through the doorway you can see the courtyard of the church.

Door to the sacristry from inside the church has been nailed shut

Door to the sacristy from inside the church has been nailed shut

The door to the sacristy, from inside the church, has been replaced with a wooden door that has been nailed shut.  Note the child’s pram that has been placed strategically inside the church.  The heartless German soldiers were killing babies in their prams inside the church.

Window inside the sacistry was too high up for the women to escape

Window inside the sacristy was too high up for the women to escape

The sacristy was an unfamiliar place to the women in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane. In those days, women were not allowed to go beyond the communion rail, unless they were cleaning the church. They were not allowed near the main altar unless they were placing flowers there or decorating the church. The sacristy was a private room that only the priests and the altar boys could enter; it was off limits to women.

The following testimony was given by  Madame Rouffanche in the 1953 Military Tribunal at Bordeaux, as quoted in the Official Publication:

“Shoved together in the holy place, we became more and more worried as we awaited the end of the preparations being made for us. At about 4 p.m. some soldiers, about 20 years old placed a sort of bulky box in the nave, near the choir, from which strings were lit and the flames passed to the apparatus which suddenly produced a strong explosion with dense, black, suffocating smoke billowing out. The women and children, half choked and screaming with fright rushed towards the parts of the church where the air was still breathable. The door of the sacristy was then broken in by the violent thrust of one horrified group. I followed in after but gave up and sat on a stair. My daughter came and sat down with me. When the Germans noticed that this room had been broken into they savagely shot down those who had tried to find shelter there. My daughter was killed near me by a bullet fired from outside. I owe my life to the idea I had to shut my eyes and pretend to be dead.

Firing burst out in the church then straw, faggots and chairs were thrown pele-mele onto bodies lying on the stone slabs. I had escaped from the killing and was without injury so I made use of a smoke cloud to slip behind the altar.

The altar inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church had 3 windows behind it

The altar inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church had 3 windows behind it

In this part of the church there are three windows. I made for the widest one in the middle and with the help of a stool used to light the candles, I tried to reach it.

The widest window was the one in the middle

The widest window was the one in the middle

The wall underneath the window where Madame Rouffanche climbed

The wall underneath the window where Madame Rouffanche climbed up

I don’t know how but my strength was multiplied. I heaved myself up to it as best I could and threw myself out of the opening that was offered to me through the already shattered window. I jumped about nine feet down.

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the window on the left

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the window on the left side; note the plaque under the window

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the middle window and stuck the landing

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the middle window and stuck the landing

Note that the ground underneath the church windows slants down to a retaining wall that is 10 feet high.  The window, where Madame Rouffanche jumped is 9 feet from the ground.

From there, she crawled around to a garden behind the church and hid between the rows of peas until she was found the next day at 5 p.m. and taken to a hospital.

Madame Rouffanche checked into the hospital under an assumed name, just in case the SS soldiers should try to track her down and kill her. After all, she was the only witness to what happened in the church, so her life was in danger.

Many accounts of her escape from the church say that Madame Rouffanche used a “ladder,” but it is more likely that it was a stool, as Madame Rouffanche mentioned in her testimony. The space between the back of the altar and the wall under the window is only about two feet wide, hardly wide enough to use a ladder.

Strangely, the bodies of 15 to 20 children were found piled up behind the alter in the narrow space where Madame Rouffanche said that she had used a stool to climb up to the window, according to the Bishop’s Office report.  Why didn’t the children climb up and jump out of the window?  They didn’t need a stool; the children could have stood on each other’s shoulders and climbed out.  But for some reason, they didn’t.

The bottom edge of the middle church window is around 9 feet from the floor of the church. The wall under the window is about six feet straight up and then it is an additional three feet up a slanted section of the wall. Apparently, Madame Rouffanche shoved the children aside and climbed out by herself, leaving the children to burn to death.

The stool or ladder, which Madame Rouffanche used, apparently burned up in the fire in the church, as it is no longer there.

Madame Rouffance said that she picked the middle window for her leap to freedom because it was wider than the other two; her photo shows that Madame Rouffanche was not skinny, so thankfully, there was a window wide enough for her leap.

In her court testimony, Madame Rouffanche said that she did not climb up to the window until after the church had been set on fire by the SS soldiers. By this time, most of the women in the church were already dead. She had survived the gas bomb that was set off in the church and the shots fired into the sacristy, as well as the grenades tossed through the doors and windows and she had not been wounded by the hundreds of shots fired by the soldiers inside the church. She testified that she went behind the altar, hiding behind a cloud of smoke, and found a stool that had been used to light the candles on the altar.

Back in 1944, when I used to go to Mass in a Catholic Church in a small town in America, the altar boys used a long stick to light the candles; they did not climb up on a stool.

The bars which are on the Oradour-sur-Glane church window today were not there when Madame Rouffanche made the leap from the window, according to a staff member at the Center of Memory.

The staff member at the Center of Memory also told me that Madame Rouffanche was not injured when she jumped from the window because shrubbery near the building broke her fall. The shrubbery might also have prevented her from rolling off the ledge, since the ground under the window slants down to a retaining wall. Today this area has been closed off and there is no access to the spot where she landed after leaping from the window.

The bodies of 23-year-old Henriette Joyeaux and her 7-month-old son, Rene, were identified after they were found buried near the church. According to Madame Rouffance, another woman had also climbed up to the window and had called out to her to catch her baby which she then threw out the window.  Meanwhile, there were 15 to 20 children cowering behind the altar, while Madame Rouffanche and the other woman completely ignored them, and only tried to save themselves.

Madame Rouffanche didn’t manage to catch the baby.  The baby fell to the ground and began crying, which alerted soldiers nearby, and they began shooting. Madame Joyeaux and her baby were both killed.  Their bodies were buried, and were only found later.

Madame Joyeaux was from Soudanas, part of the commune of Panazol; her maiden name was Hyvernaud. In her story, Madame Rouffanche referred to the other woman as Madame Hyvernaud. Madame Germaine-Marie Hyvernaud, a resident of Oradour-sur-Glane and probably one of her relatives, was also among the 52 victims whose remains were identified.

These were the final words of Madame Rouffanche to the court:

“I ask that justice be done with God’s help. I came out alive from the crematory oven; I am the sacred witness from the church. I am a mother who has lost everything.”

In my humble opinion, Madame Rouffanche was not “the sacred witness from the church,” but a woman who lived near the hamlet where German soldiers were burned alive in an ambulance.

Here is the real story of Madame Rouffanche:

Just outside the southern entrance to Oradour-sur-Glane, in the tiny hamlet of La Ferme de l’Etang, the SS soldiers came upon the horrible scene of a recent ambush of a German Army ambulance. Four wounded German soldiers had been burned alive inside the ambulance; the driver and another soldier in the passenger seat had been chained to the steering wheel and burned alive.

Before entering the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, the SS rounded up all the residents of the farming hamlets near the southern entrance of the village, where the ambulance was found, and took them in trucks to Oradour-sur-Glane, including family members of Madame Marguerite Rouffanche.

Madame Rouffanche, who lived in the hamlet of La Ferme de l’Etang, allegedly survived the massacre by jumping out of a window in the church; she testified under oath that the SS soldiers had set off a smoke bomb in the church in an attempt to asphyxiate the women and children, and had then set fire to the church, burning some of the women and children alive.

What really happened?  Did Madame Rouffanche hide when her relatives were taken to Oradour-sur-Glane.  Did she survive because she was never inside the church?

October 17, 2013

French citizens were gassed in Oradour-sur-Glane massacre, according to German newspaper, The Local

Center of Memory at Oradour-sur-Glane

Center of Memory at Oradour-sur-Glane with the ruined village in the background

A German newspaper for English speakers has an article about German President Joaquin Glauck’s visit to the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane; he is the first German official to be granted the right to visit the “Martyred Village” where 642 innocent French victims were killed in a massacre on June 10, 1944.

President of Germany on a recent visit to Oradour-sur-Glane

President of Germany on a recent visit to Oradour-sur-Glane

This quote is from an article in The Land newspaper, which you can read in full here:

Gauck is the first German leader to visit Oradour-sur-Glane, where ruins from the war have been preserved as a memorial to the dead. They include a church where women and children were locked in, before toxic gas was released and the building set on fire.

The ruins of the Church at Oradour-sur-Glane

The ruins of the Church at Oradour-sur-Glane

Oradour-sur-Glane church as it looked before the fire

Oradour-sur-Glane church as it looked before the fire

Oradour-sur-Glane was a French village where German soldiers carried out a reprisal action during World War II.  I have blogged at length about the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane, including this blog post.

You can read the official story of the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane on my website here.

This quote is from the official story on my website:

The authors of the booklet, “Oradour-sur-Glane, A Vision of Horror,” point out that what was most striking about the destruction of the village was “the methodical, systematic and even scientific manner in which it was perpetrated.” As the booklet explains, “The German insistence in asking whether there were any munitions dumps was evidently a step of prudence which may be explained by the desire to protect against explosions which the fire might cause and of which they might be the first victims.”

The SS soldiers brought with them all the equipment necessary to destroy the village including bombs, grenades, cartridges, and incendiary bombs, a collection of modern weapons which the authors call “the last word in science and progress!”

According to the authors, “An asphyxiating gas container intended for the liquidation of the unfortunate victims in the church was specially brought in by lorry.” In the opinion of the authors, “The Germans have distinguished themselves from other peoples by their delirious taste for torture, death and blood.” The official story is that the German beasts made plans in advance to gas the women and children and to carry out this terrible crime in the sanctity of a church.

Bodies found in Oradour-sur-Glane church

Body parts found in the Oradour-sur-Glane church

Unburned bodies found in the church appear to be the victims of an explosion.

The lone survivor of the church was a woman named Madame Rouffanche, who testified for the prosecution during the 1953 military tribunal at Bordeaux.

This quote is from her testimony, as published in the Official Publication:

“Shoved together in the holy place, we became more and more worried as we awaited the end of the preparations being made for us. At about 4 p.m. some soldiers, about 20 years old placed a sort of bulky box in the nave, near the choir, from which strings were lit and the flames passed to the apparatus which suddenly produced a strong explosion with dense, black, suffocating smoke billowing out. The women and children, half choked and screaming with fright rushed towards the parts of the church where the air was still breathable.”

According to Madame Rouffanche, the only witness, who was inside the church and survived, the so-called “toxic gas” was actually “dense, black, suffocating smoke billowing out.”  It was NOT cyanide gas, nor any other kind of gas.

As for the alleged fire in the church, one whole side of the church had no damage from a fire, nor from smoke.

The photo below shows the unburned confessional inside the church.

Confessional inside the Oradour-sur-Glane did not burn

Confessional inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church did not burn

Side altar in Oradour-sur-Glane church as no smoke or fire damage

Side altar in Oradour-sur-Glane church has no smoke or fire damage

Close-up of side altar in Oradour-sur-Glane church has no smoke or fire damage

Close-up of side altar in Oradour-sur-Glane church has no smoke or fire damage

The French have hated the Germans for centuries.  Their derogatory term for a German is Boche.  I hope that the French were able to show at least a little respect for the German leader that they finally invited to see the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane after almost 70 years of lies about the the town.

The massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane was a REPRISAL, which was legal during World War II. According to international law during World War II, under the Geneva Convention of 1929, it was legal to violate the laws of war by responding with a reprisal against civilians in order to stop guerrilla actions that were against international law.  Civilians in Oradour-sur-Glane were fighting as illegal combatants, and this is why the Germans did a reprisal in order to stop them.  The reprisal worked since the illegal fighting stopped after the massacre.

There are two sides to every story.  You can read both sides of the Oradour-sur-Glane story on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/index.html

October 14, 2013

Carla Cohn wrote “My Nine Lives” after surviving Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and Mauthausen

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:45 am

Carla Cohn was a small child, living in Berlin, with her prominent Jewish family, when she was sent, along with her sister and her parents to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, the best of all places, to which the Jews were sent, during the Holocaust.

Building L410 for young girls at Theresienstadt

Building L410 for young girls, ages 8 to 16, at Theresienstadt

I have blogged several times about Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein, who is the subject of a new film by Claude Lanzman, the man who made the 9 and 1/2 hour film entitled Shoah. Lanzman interviewed Dr. Mermelstein at great length at the time that he was recording testimony from many Holocaust survivors for Shoah, but the interview ended up on the cutting room floor. Lanzman’s new film features the interview with Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein.

Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein was at Theresienstadt from Sept. 27, 1944 until May 5, 1945, so Carla Cohn was not at Theresienstadt during the time that he was there.  In spite of this, Ms. Cohn calls him Murmelschwein in her book. (In German, the word Schwein means pig; this is the worst insult possible in German, sometimes the insult is given as Schweinehund.)

My previous blog posts, about Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein, which you can read here and here have generated a lot of comments, including this comment made by Herbert Stolpmann, who has his own blog at http://dachaukz.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html

This quote is from a comment made by Herbert Stolpmann:

… Carla Cohn has [this] to say of Dr. Wolf Murmelstein’s late father in her book ‘MY NINE LIVES’:

…The next Judenrat (Jewish Administration Advisor) was a Rabi, Benjamin Murmelstein, generally referred to as ‘Murmelschwein’ (pig). He was generally disliked and distrusted. Rumour had it, that being in charge of the deportation lists, he would substitute a name on the list for a price.

This ancient rumour has been confirmed to me rather poignantly when the past came to haunt me here in Rome a few years ago. I received a phone call by a man I did not know who insisted to come and see me regarding an important Terezin [Theresienstadt,sic] matter. He would not give his name over the phone. I was unable to refuse since it had to do with Terezin. I found myself face to face with an obviously very distressed man who introduced himself as Rabbi Murmelstein’s son!

His father has died recently but the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Toaff, would not permit a Jewish burial for his father. The son was contacting all surviving Terezin ghetto inmates to ask them to give positive testimony for his father, so that he could be buried as a Jew in honour…

I did a search on My Nine Lives and found that parts of the book can be read online. Ms. Cohn wrote her book in the German language, but I decided to read the English translation.  From my limited understanding of the German language, I was able to deduce that her writing style is very good, but I elected to read the English version, so that I would not misunderstand the meaning of her words.

These quotes are from pages 68 and 69 of her book:

From page 68:

The delousing drill was often repeated.  We never knew whether the shower was intended for the purpose of delousing and a “wash,” or whether it was to prepare our bodies for the gas chamber.  Zyklon B gas works more efficiently when the body is wet. [...]

A real shower room, not a gas chamber, at Auschwitz-Birkenau

A real shower room, not a gas chamber, at Auschwitz-Birkenau

From page 69:

During the last “selection” by Dr. Mengele, the “Angel of Death,” I was found to be “unfit” and ordered “left” with the sick and aged.  I did not fully register what that meant at that moment.  I did notice that the scramble for the “shower” was even more frantic, though seemingly taking longer than in other times.  I was nude, in the corridor waiting my turn into the “shower.”

An SS man appeared, grabbed me and shoved me back out while whispering, “I have pulled you out once before, what are you doing in here again”!  I have never seen this SS before or afterwards.  My life was saved by “blind” luck in the guise of a case of mistaken identity!

Another push sent me outside, nude.  I found myself among a group of younger women, out in the icy cold. Someone threw some clothes at me, among them a long, black heavy man’s coat of which I grabbed and frantically  put on while hiding between women.

I read much more of her book, starting with her account of her stay at Theresienstadt, followed by her description of her days spent at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  She wrote about how she was eventually sent, in 1944, to the Mauthausen camp in Austria, where she was put to work, with a group of other women, digging a tunnel.  After World War II ended, there were accusations that Ernst Kaltenbrunner had given the order for all the prisoners at Mauthausen to be taken into the tunnel which was to be blown up in order to kill all the prisoners.

Carla Cohn apparently believed, after the war, that the purpose of the tunnel that she had been digging was to kill all the prisoners before the American liberators arrived.

Long story, short: Carla Cohn’s book is a composite of all the Holocaust claims, from the gassing of prisoners in the showers, to blowing up the prisoners in tunnels.  Her claims about Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein should to evaluated in that context.  In other words, I wouldn’t believe anything that she writes.

October 11, 2013

Unrepentant Nazi war criminal “remained an arrogant Nazi monster until his dieing (sic) day,” according to UK newspaper

An article in the International Business Times, which you can read in full here, starts off with this headline:

Nazi War Criminal Erich Priebke’s Political Will: ‘Jews were to Blame for the Holocaust’

This quote is from the article:

In the interview, [Eric] Priebke proved he remained an arrogant Nazi monster until his dieing day. He claimed Jews are partially to blame for the Holocaust, which extent he however denied. He reveals himself as an unreconstructed anti-Semite who continued to peddle the lies that stoked the genocide of six million Jews, among them 1.5 million children, as well as millions of Russians, Poles, gypsies and gays.

“Responsibility lies with both parties,” [Priebke] said. “Due to their religious beliefs most Jews considered themselves better and above all other human beings,” Priebke says, adding that nevertheless he doesn’t hate them. “There are also good people among them.”
“In Germany Jews’ behaviour was openly criticised since the early years 1900s. They had amassed a huge economic and political power, despite being a scanty part of the world population. This was perceived as unjust.

“It is a fact that even today if you take the 1,000 most powerful and rich individuals in the world, most are Jews,” Priebke said..

Priebke claimed that Jewish migrants from Eastern Europe caused “a real catastrophe” in Germany after the First World War. [Following World War I, German territory was given to the new country of Poland. The Poles denied citizenship to the Jews, and forced them to go to Germany where they became stateless persons.]

“They stockpiled huge capital while most of Germans were living in poverty. Moneylenders got richer and annoyance towards Jews grew higher,” Priebke says.

Priebke said Hitler tried to persuade Jews to leave Germany peacefully but “had to lock them up in lagers as war enemies” after the Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass. [Jewish men were locked up for several weeks until their families could arrange for them to leave Germany.]

So, what was the heinous war crime committed by Priebke?  Why was he hunted down in Argentina and brought back to Germany for trial?

Erich Priebke as a young SS soldier

Erich Priebke as a young SS soldier

This quote from the article in the International Business Times explains Priebke’s crime:

During WWII [Priebke] served under the command of Herbert Kappler in Rome.

On 23 March 1944 Keppler ordered the execution of 335 Italians, in retaliation for an attack by partisan troops that had killed 33 German soldiers.

The execution by firing squad was carried out under captain Priebke’s supervision in the ancient Ardeatine Caves in central Rome.

At his trial Priebke claimed he had only ticked off the names of those killed from a list that included 12 underage boys, about 80 Jews and a catholic priest.

After World War II ended, the Allies made a new law called “common plan,” or “common design,” under which any German was guilty of a crime if he or she were anywhere near where the crime was committed. So when Priebke “ticked off the names” of the people to be killed in a reprisal action, he was guilty of a  crime under the new law of  “common plan.”

Note that the article in the International Business Times does not mention the word “reprisal.”

During World War II, reprisals were legal.  A reprisal was an action carried out against the enemy in an effort to stop the enemy from engaging in partisan activity.  Note that the people killed in the reprisal in Italy were described as “partisans.”

Under the rules of the Geneva Convention of 1929, POWs, who had been captured while fighting on the battlefield, were protected from reprisals.  However, it was not until the Geneva Convention of 1949 that civilians were also protected against reprisals. The Geneva Convention of 1949 states that the principle of the prohibition of reprisals against persons has now become part of international law in respect to all persons, whether they are members of the armed forces or civilians.

According to international law during World War II, under the Geneva Convention of 1929, it was legal to violate the laws of war by responding with a reprisal against civilians in order to stop partisan actions that were against international law.

The fact that “underage boys” as well as Jews and a Catholic priest were killed in the reprisal where Priebke “ticked off the names,” indicates that this was a legal action taken against civilians as revenge against the civilians for killing German soldiers.

Priebke was guilty of being a “war criminal” only because the Allies changed the laws AFTER World War II.

Would it have killed the reporter for the International Business Times to have explained all this?

In today’s news, only one side of the story is told.

October 2, 2013

American G.I. who saw the blood-stained walls of the Dachau gas chamber

Donald Burdick holds a photo which he took with a "liberated" German camera

Donald Burdick holds a photo which he took at Dachau, with a “liberated” German camera

The photo above shows Donald Burdick with a German 35 mm. Voigtländer camera around his neck, holding a photo of the Dachau death train, which he personally took on the day that the Dachau camp was liberated.

American soldiers liberated the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945, but before that, they had the good sense to liberate some German cameras, so that they could photograph the atrocities committed by the Germans at Dachau.

I have enhanced the photo that he is holding, using Photo Shop.  My enhanced version is shown below.

Photo taken by Donald Burdick at Dachau shows German soldiers who were killed by Lt. William Walsh

Photo taken by Donald Burdick at Dachau shows body hanging out of train boxcar

I previously blogged about the bodies found on the Dachau death train here, and I included the photo below which shows the body that is hanging out of the train.

American soldiers pose beside the bodies of SS soldiers who were shot by Lt. William Walsh at Dachau

American soldiers pose beside the bodies of SS soldiers who were shot by Lt. William Walsh

So why am I blogging about this for the umteenth time?  This morning I read a news article on the Leigh Valley newspaper, The Morning Call.

This quote is from The Morning Call:

As Donald Burdick of Forks Township approached the Dachau concentration camp in Germany on the morning of April 29, 1945, he caught the scent something foul in the air. It was a hint of the gruesome scene he was about to stumble upon: about 25 or so railroad stock cars filled with decaying human corpses.

Burdick’s personal photos of what he saw that day as a soldier in the U.S. Army were on display Sunday as part of “The Legacy Exhibit, The Story of the Holocaust.” Initially created for display at area school libraries, the exhibit was open to the public for the first time at the Sigal Museum in Easton.

The interior of Nazi concentration camps, including the blood-stained walls of gas chambers and ash-filled crematory ovens, is captured in the photos of Burdick and others. There are also the ghostly images of prisoners — some alive, practically standing skeletons; others dead, stacked in piles.

Burdick recalled the liberation of Dachau to an audience of about 100 at The Legacy Exhibit’s opening ceremony.

I would love to see Burdick’s photo of the “blood-stained walls of gas chambers” at Dachau.  (Was this an “available light” photo?  Or did Burdick have a flashgun on his “liberated” camera?)

The walls of the homicidal gas chamber at Dachau are glazed brick.  It would have been so easy to wipe down the walls of the gas chamber before the Americans arrived.

The Dachau gas chamber had walls made of glazed brick.

The Dachau gas chamber had walls made of glazed brick.

So why did the stupid Germans leave blood on the walls of the Dachau gas chamber?  Maybe for the same reason that they shot four of their own SS men and put their bodies on the “Death Train,” so that the American liberators could take photos with their liberated Voitlander cameras.  (The body in Burdick’s photo was the body of an SS man, shot by Lt. William Walsh, BEFORE he saw the Dachau concentration camp.)

This quote is a continuation of the article about “The Legacy Exhibit, The Story of the Holocaust”:

The Legacy Exhibit is the brainchild of Marylou Lordi of Easton. She conceived it a couple years ago as a way to bring the lesson’s of the Holocaust to students at Easton High School.

With the help of the Holocaust Resource Center of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, she began assembling artifacts, especially those with a local connection.

She said she wanted to make the history feel real for students by showing them that some of the people who lived it were their neighbors.

“Beyond that, we are trying to teach a larger lesson, that of standing up,” said Shari Spark, coordinator for the Holocaust Resource Center. “If you are not afraid of making a little bit of noise, injustice can stop. … The Holocaust is an example in the extreme of where that didn’t happen.”

After the exhibit’s initial showing at Easton High, it traveled to a dozen other school libraries. Over time, the number of artifacts grew through donations as word of the undertaking spread throughout the community.

“We let it evolve,” Lordi explained.

Burdick and others, including Jewish survivors of World War II, also have addressed assemblies and individual classes at the schools.

Following Burdick’s account, people filed into the room displaying the Legacy collection. Some stared at the photographs; others recoiled after a quick glance.

Also featured were a chronology of the Holocaust, vintage radio broadcasts and military uniforms.

Among those in attendance was Julia Ben-Asher, a senior at Lafayette College. She said she has been to numerous Holocaust memorials.

There was a time, long, long ago, when newspapers took pride in publishing “all the news fit to print.”  It was the policy of every newspaper to print both sides of every story.  Today’s journalists take pride in publishing lies.

The Morning Call newspaper should have mentioned that there are two sides to the Dachau story, and that there is some controversy about the Dachau liberation story, as told by Donald Burdick.

There is another article in The Morning Call which you can read here.

This quote is from the article cited in the link above:

That day in late April 1945, Burdick smelled something putrid as his 16th Field Artillery Observation Battalion moved through the countryside.
[...]
Burdick can’t pinpoint the date he entered Dachau, but his unit could have been among three U.S. Army divisions that liberated the camp on April 29, 1945 — the 42nd Infantry, 45th Infantry and 20th Armored. They found 30,000 survivors, most of them political prisoners. Jews made up the second largest group.

So Donald Burdick was with the 16th Field Artillery Observation Battalion?  It was probably several days after the camp was liberated on April 29th before he took his photos with a liberated camera.

Did Donald Burdick  see any of the 4,000 prisoners who were suffering from typhus at Dachau?  Maybe, but why should he mention that?  No one cares that there was a typhus epidemic at Dachau.  Students today only want to hear about the blood-stained walls of the gas chamber.

September 28, 2013

Rudolf Höss was tasked by Himmler to perfect the techniques of mass execution

The title of my blog post today comes from a line in a news article in the British newspaper Express:

In May 1940 [Rudolf Höss] was made commandant of Auschwitz where he was eventually tasked by Heinrich Himmler with perfecting the techniques of mass execution that were the key element in Hitler’s murderous “final solution”.

What experience did Rudolf Höss have that qualified him for the job of “perfecting the techniques of mass execution”?  Himmler should have called in a gas chamber expert from Jefferson City, Missouri, which had one of the very few gas chambers at that time, although it was not a gas chamber for mass murder.  There were no gas chambers for mass murder anywhere in the world.  Rudolf Höss, a man with no experience in mass murder, and no experience with gas chambers, was given the job of “perfecting the techniques” of mass execution.

Rudolf Höss is quoted in this part of the news article in the Express:

“You could dispose of 2,000 head in half an hour but it was the burning that took all the time,” he explained later. “The killing was easy. You didn’t even need guards to drive them into the chambers. They just went in expecting to take showers and instead of water we turned on poison gas. The whole thing went very quickly.” He related all of this in a quiet, apathetic matter-of-fact tone of voice.

Wait a minute!  “…we turned on poison gas“?  No, no, no.  The poison gas was in the form of pellets, which came in a can.  Hoess should have said: “We opened a can of Zyklon-B and poured the poisoned pellets through a hole in the roof of the gas chamber.”

Empty cans that had been used to hold Zylon-B poison gas pellets

Empty cans that had been used to hold Zylon-B poison gas pellets

Hole in ceiling of Auschwitz gas chamber through which the poison pellets were poured

Hole in ceiling of Auschwitz gas chamber through which the poison pellets were poured

I recognized the alleged quote from Rudolf Höss as a quote from the book entitled Nuremberg Diary by G.M. Gilbert. It is on page 250.

The quote from page 250 of Gilbert’s book continues with this:

I was interested in finding out how the order had actually been given and what his reactions were.  He related it as follows: “In the summer of 1941, Himmler called for me and explained: “The Führer has ordered the Endlösung [final solution] of the Jewish question — and we have to carry out this task. For reasons of transportation and isolation, I have picked Auschwitz for this.  You now have the hard job of carrying this out.” As a reason for this he said that it would have to be done at this time, because if it was not done now, then the Jew would later exterminate the German people — or words to that effect.

So an American Jew, with a degree in Psychology from Columbia University, (home of The Frankfurt School) was sent in to get a confession out of Rudolf Höss?  Perfect.  Who better?

Note that Rudolf Höss supposedly said “it would have to be done at this time, because if it was not done now, then the Jew would later exterminate the German people — or words to that effect.”  Where did that come from?

Heinrich Himmler actually did say “words to that effect.”  The following quote is from a speech made by Heinrich Himmler:

As to the Jewish women and children, I did not believe I had a right to let these children grow up to become avengers who would kill our fathers and grandchildren. That, I thought, would be cowardly. Thus the problem was solved without half-measures.

So who was G.M. Gilbert and why should we believe anything he wrote?  This quote is from Wikipedia:

Gustave Gilbert was born in the state of New York in 1911,the son of Jewish-Austrian immigrants. He won a scholarship from the School for Ethical Culture at the College Town Center in New York. In 1939, Gilbert obtained his Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University. Gilbert also held a diploma from the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology.

During World War II Gilbert was commissioned as a military psychologist with the rank of First Lieutenant. Because of his knowledge of the German language, he was sent overseas as a military intelligence officer.

So a Jewish psychologist, who got his education from the home of the Frankfurt School, was able to get a confession out of Rudolf Höss.

Did Höss deliberately make mistakes, in his numerous confessions to the Allies, as a way of signaling to future generations that he was lying? No, I don’t believe that Höss was that clever, nor that devious.  I believe that he made mistakes in describing the gas chambers because he knew absolutely nothing about gas chambers.  And he couldn’t take any more of the torture, done by the Jews who beat the confessions out of him.

You can read more about the confessions (plural) of Rudolf Höss on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/RudolfHoess.html

September 19, 2013

Harry Reid compared Syria’s use of chemical weapons to “Nazi gas chambers”

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 1:19 pm

The Times of Israel featured a news report today with the headline:

Reid compares Assad’s attacks to Nazi gas chambers

Senate majority leader tries to drum up support in Congress for American military actions against Syria

This quote is from the news report:  “Millions and millions of civilians and prisoners of war were murdered in Nazi death camps, Treblinka and Auschwitz.”

So that’s what happened during World War II?  Prisoners of War were murdered at Treblinka and Auschwitz.

Were any of the Nazis ever charged with killing Prisoners of War at Treblinka or Auschwitz? Not that I know of.

I searched and searched on Wikipedia (the official website for the history of the Holocaust) and found nothing about Prisoners of War being sent to Treblinka and Auschwitz to be murdered.

Reid might have selected the name Treblinka to mention because this camp has been in the news recently.

Symbolic cemetery at Treblinka

Symbolic cemetery at Treblinka has 17,000 stones in honor of the towns and villages from which the victims, who were killed at Treblinka, came

The photo above shows the symbolic cemetery, which is located on a knoll, at the top of a gentle slope, on the site of the former Treblinka extermination camp. The symbolic cemetery is a large circular area with 17,000 stones of various sizes and colors set into concrete. When I visited Treblinka in October 1998, my tour guide told me that 130 of the stones have the names of the cities or towns from which the victims were deported to the death camp.

Strangely, there are no stones in honor of the Prisoners of War who were murdered at Treblinka, according to Harry Reid.

My tour guide informed me that the ashes of the 800,000 people who were murdered here were dumped in this area and are now hidden underneath the concrete of the symbolic cemetery and by the grass and tiny flowers which cover the area.

One of the 17,000 symbolic stones represents the city of Kielce in central Poland, where 42 Jews were killed by a mob of Polish citizens in a pogrom on July 4, 1946, long after the Nazi occupation of Poland had ended.

Since my visit to Treblinka in 1998, I have learned that some tour guides now tell visitors that the number of 17,000 stones in the symbolic cemetery represents the highest number of Jews that were gassed in a single day when the camp was in operation. Others say that the number 17,000 represents the number of Jewish communities that were destroyed in the Holocaust.

Stone in honor of Janusz Korczak at Treblinka

Stone in honor of Janusz Korczak at Treblinka

The photo above shows a stone, in the symbolic cemetery at Treblinka, which was placed there in honor of Janusz Korczak, the only person to have his name on a stone. There are 17,000 stones in the symbolic cemetery and 700 of them represent the Jewish communities in Poland that were destroyed in the Holocaust. Most of the stones are small and have no writing on them. In the foreground of the photo is the stone for the victims from the town of Staszow in Poland.

Harry Reid should raise money for a stone to be put at Treblinka, in honor of the Prisoners of War who were murdered there.

Kurt Franz the last Commandant at Treblinka

Kurt Franz the last Commandant at Treblinka

The man shown in the photo above is Kurt Franz, notorious Nazi war criminal, who was the last Commandant of Treblinka.  He was such a nice man that the prisoners nicknamed him Lalka, the Yiddish word for “Doll.”  Is this the guy who killed Prisoners of War at Treblinka?

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