Scrapbookpages Blog

September 10, 2013

Jewish genetic diseases — where is Dr. Mengele when you need him.

Filed under: Germany, Health — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:11 am

Dr. Joseph Mengele was a German SS doctor, who did selections at Auschwitz-Birkeanau, because he wanted to find subjects for his research on Jewish genetic diseases.  His findings have never been released; his research papers are kept in a vault at Yad Vashem in Israel.

Genetic diseases are still a fact of life, and a big problem, for Jewish couples.  Read this news article about an American Jewish couple who went through a screening test before getting married, but still had a child with a Jewish genetic disease.

This quote is from the article:

Eden has a progressive neurological disorder called Mucolipidosis Type IV, also known as ML4. It’s a rare genetic disease that is more common among Ashkenazi Jews, or people of Eastern and Central European Jewish descent. There is no treatment or cure. Eden’s mental development was halted at 18 months old. She is expected to go blind by age 12.

When Hitler came to power in Germany, he made new laws for the protection of the German people, including a law which banned marriage between Germans and other races.  This quote from Wikipedia explains it:

The Nuremberg laws were based on a belief in Scientific racism and derived from a primitive understanding of genetics. Although the Nazis took these ideas to violent extremes, they were based on thinking that already existed across Europe and America. Nazi laws banning “inter-marriage” and according to Nazi racial ideology the Germanic-Nordic-Aryans were a master race and in accordance with ideas expressed in Eugenics and Social Darwinism;[38] they therefore sought to preserve their supposed racial superiority by banning inter-marriage with people they regarded as inferior or as a threat, in particular Jews, Gypsies and blacks who were classified as untermenschen (subhumans) that were seen as racially distinctive minorities of “alien blood”.[4][39]

The Wikipedia quote is a biased explanation of the German law, which was really a law to prevent Germans from mixing with Jews because Jews had many kinds of genetic diseases.  For generations, the Jews had married close relatives to keep the money in the family. Sometimes, even brothers and sisters married. The result was genetic diseases.

This quote from this website mentions inbreeding among the Jews as a cause of genetic diseases:

Genetic diseases with a high prevalence in Jews are mostly recessive. In general, over 1,000 recessive diseases have been discovered. Most are rare but the prevalence of some of these diseases is increased 100-fold or more in Jewish as in other isolated ethnic groups with predominant inbreeding. This increased prevalence is usually but not invariably confined to individual Jewish ethnic groups (“edot Israel”) and not found in Jews in general. Most are severe and often lead to early death. In some diseases genetic analysis has identified the first appearance of an abnormal “founder” gene originating in a small number of individuals within a Jewish group. This creates a genetic bottleneck whereby the prevalence of a recessive genetic disease is maintained at a high level by subsequent inbreeding.

September 9, 2013

The daughter of Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Höss says he “did it because he had to”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:08 pm
Rudolf Hoess at the Nuremberg IMT

Rudolf Hoess at his trial

The caption on the photo above, which is included in a New York Daily News article, reads: “Rudolf Höss on the first day of his trial for war crimes committed at Auschwitz.”  Höss was put on trial in Poland, but not at Nuremberg.  He was a defense witness for Ernst Kaltenbrunner at Nuremberg. You can read the confession of Rudolf Höss at

I previously blogged about Rudolf Hoess and the reason that he confessed here:

Rudolf Hoess, photographed at the Auschwitz camp

Rudolf Hoess, photographed at Auschwitz

Rudolf Höss was a handsome man before he was tortured, to within an inch of his life, in order to force him to confess to the gassing of Jews at Auschwitz. In the photo above, he looks like a nice man, who wouldn’t hurt anyone.

Update, Sept. 13, 2013:

An alert reader of my blog wrote this in a comment:

[Brigitte Höss] did not give an interview to the New York Daily News. [The story] was just picked up by them from her interview with a nephew of the man who captured her father, who has written a book about it. Thomas Harding [the nephew] found [Brigitte] and so she agreed to talk to him. [The interview] was published in the Washington Post Magazine.

Continue reading my original post:

This quote is from a news article in the online New York Daily News about 80-year-old Brigitte Höss, the daughter of Rudolf Höss, the Commandant of Auschwitz, who is shown in the photo above:

Höss is convinced her father was a good man, despite the atrocities he committed.

“He had to do it,” she said. “His family was threatened. We were threatened if he didn’t. And he was one of many in the SS. There were others as well who would do it if he didn’t.”

Very clever.  David Boroff, who wrote this article which was published on Sept. 9, 2013, has implied that the father of Brigitte Höss “had to [ gas the Jews]” and that she admits that he did it.

Did Rudolf Höss have to gas prisoners to death at Auschwitz because his family was threatened if he didn’t?  Or did he have to give a fake confession because his family was threatened if he didn’t?

There were “others as well who would do it if he didn’t”?  DO WHAT?  Confess to the gassing of prisoners at Auschwitz?

This quote is also from the article, written by David Boroff in the online New York Daily News:

A Nazi monster who admitted killing one million Jews “was the nicest man in the world,” his daughter said in a revealing interview published this weekend.

Brigitte Höss, who lived in comfort at three different concentration camps while innocents were getting slaughtered just yards away, still hides her real identity from the public while living in northern Virginia with her son.

Affidavit signed by Rudolf Hoess on May 14, 1946

Affidavit signed by Rudolf Hoess on May 14, 1946

On May 14, 1946, the former Commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Rudolf Höß, also known as Rudolf Hoess, signed a sworn affidavit in which he stated that two million Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau between 1941 and 1943 while he was the Commandant. This did not include the period, during which Hoess was not the Commandant, when over 300,000 Hungarian Jews were gassed during a period of 10 weeks in the Summer of 1944, according to the Auschwitz Museum.

The English translation of the German text in the affidavit, shown above, reads:

“I declare herewith under oath that in the years 1941 to 1943 during my tenure in office as commandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp 2 million Jews were put to death by gassing and a 1/2 million by other means. Rudolf Hoess. May 14, 1946.”

The confession was signed by Hoess and by Josef Maier of the US Chief of Counsel’s office.

The Confession of Rudolf Hoess is displayed at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC

The Confession of Rudolf Hoess is displayed at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC

The original affidavit, signed by Rudolf Hoess, is displayed in a glass case in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. The photo that is displayed, along with the affidavit, shows Hungarian Jewish women and children walking to one of the four gas chambers in the Birkenau death camp on May 26, 1944, carrying their hand baggage in sacks. Brigitte Höss objects to having a Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.  The Holocaust didn’t happen in America and was not perpetrated by Americans, so why should there be a Holocaust Museum in the capital of the United States of America?

The caption underneath the photo above, which hangs in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, reads:

On May 14, 1946, Rudolf Hoess, the former commandant of Auschwitz, signed a declaration stating that during his tenure in office, 2 million Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz and another 500,000 killed in other ways. Hoess overestimated the number of Jews gassed by about 1 million.

There have been allegations that this confession was obtained from Rudolf Hoess by means of torture. Rupert Butler wrote in his book entitled Legions of Death, published by Arrow Books in London in 1983, that Hoess had been beaten for three days by a British team of torturers under the command of Jewish interrogator Bernard Clarke.

Rudolf Höss  gave several confessions in which he admitted to “killing Jews.”  The first confession signed by Höss was labeled by the Allies as Nuremberg Document No-1210. It was an 8-page typewritten document written in German. Höss wrote the date 14.3.1946 2:30 (March 14, 1946 2:30 a.m.) next to his signature. This date was three days after his capture on March 11, 1946. Höss had been beaten half to death; alcohol had been poured down his throat, and he had been kept awake for three days and nights before he finally signed this confession at 2:30 in the morning.

A second affidavit signed by Rudolf Höss on April 5, 1946 was labeled by the Allies at the Nuremberg IMT as document PS-3868. It was a typewritten document, about 2 and a quarter pages long, written in English. A second document, also labeled PS-3868, was purported to be the English translation of the original deposition given by Höss in German. The second document was the one that was entered into the proceedings of the Nuremberg IMT.

During his cross-examination of Rudolf Höss at the Nuremberg IMT, American prosecutor Col. Harlan Amen quoted from the second affidavit which was alleged to be the English translation of a deposition given by Höss in German. After reading each statement made by Höss in his affidavit, Col Amen asked Höss if this was what he had said and Höss answered “Jawohl.”

In 1946, Rudolf Höss was put on trial in Poland; he was charged with the murder of “around 300,000 people held at the camp as prisoners and entered into the camp’s records and around 4,000,000 people, mainly Jews, who were brought to the camp in transports from other European countries for immediate extermination and thus not listed in the camp’s records.” During his trial, Höss changed the figure in his confession to a total of 1,130,000 Jews that were gassed but declared “During my tenure at Auschwitz, millions of people died, whose exact number I cannot determine.”

Rudolf Höss wrote in his autobiography that Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann and his deputy were the only ones who knew the total number of Jews that were gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau because Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had ordered the records to be burned after every special action. The Nazis always used code words when talking about the genocide of the Jews: a mass gassing was called a “special action.”

In the last days of World War II, shortly before Berlin was surrounded by Soviet troops, Eichmann told Höss that 2.5 million Jews had been murdered at Auschwitz Birkenau. Eichmann was an SS Lt. Col. who was the head of Department IV, B-4, the section of the Reich Central Security Office (RSHA) in Berlin, which was responsible for deporting the Jews. It was Adolf Eichmann who was in charge of deporting the Jews on the trains to the death camps.

According to the Auschwitz Museum, no records of the number of prisoners who died at Auschwitz-Birkenau have ever been found. In an article on the official Auschwitz website, Franciszek Piper wrote the following:

When the Soviet army entered the camp on January 27, 1945, they did not find any German documents there giving the number of victims, or any that could be used as a basis for calculating this number. Such documents (transport lists, notifications of the arrival of transports, reports about the outcome of selection) had been destroyed before liberation. For this reason, the Soviet commission investigating the crimes committed in Auschwitz Concentration Camp had to make estimates. [...]

The absence of the most important of the statistical sources that the Germans kept in Auschwitz made it practically impossible for historians to research the issue of the number of victims. The reluctance to research this issue also resulted from a conviction of the impossibility of drawing up a full list of transports reflecting the total number of deportees, and above all of the people who were consumed by the gas chambers and crematoria with no registration or records.

In his book entitled IBM and the Holocaust, Edwin Black wrote that the Nazis tracked the prisoners by using IBM Hollerith machines which sorted punch cards that were coded with information about each prisoner. The numbers on the tattoos that were put on the arms of the Auschwitz prisoners, starting in 1943, were originally the prisoner’s code number on his Hollerith card.

The following is a quote from the book IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black:

It was not just people who were counted and marshaled for deportation. Box cars, locomotives and intricate train time tables were scheduled across battle-scared borders – all while a war was being fought on two fronts. The technology had enabled Nazi Germany to orchestrate the death of millions without skipping a note.

According to Edwin Black, the prisoners were not tracked with an IBM punch card until they were registered in a camp, so there are no records of those who arrived at Auschwitz, but were not registered. Of the millions of Hollerith punch cards used by the Nazis, only around 100,000 survived the war, according to Edwin Black.

The generally accepted figure of 1.3 million who were deported to Auschwitz is not based on the train records kept by the Germans, but rather an estimate made by Franciszek Piper, the former head of the Auschwitz Memorial Site, who wrote the following in his article on the official Auschwitz web site:

After an overall analysis of the original sources and findings on deportation to Auschwitz, I concluded that a total of at least 1,300,000 people were deported there, and that 1,100,000 of them perished. Approximately 200,000 people were deported from Auschwitz to other camps as part of the redistribution of labor resources and the final liquidation of the camp.

One of the most distinguished Holocaust researchers, Raul Hilberg, published a separate work (Auschwitz and the Final Solution) on the number of Auschwitz victims. His findings reaffirmed both the figure of 1,000,000 Jewish Auschwitz victims that he had arrived at as long ago as 1961, as well as my own conclusions.

The IBM Hollerith punch cards kept by the Germans for the  Jews, Russians and Gypsies, who were registered in the camp and later killed in the gas chambers, were coded as F-6 for “special treatment” or as “evacuations” according to Edwin Black, the author of IBM and the Holocaust. The code for “execution” was D-4.

In 2002, Edwin Black wrote the following in an article regarding the IBM Hollerith punch card machines in Krakow which were used by the Nazis to keep track of the Auschwitz prisoners:

The machines almost certainly did not maintain extermination totals, which were calculated as “evacuations” by the Hollerith Gruppe in Krakow.

On April 12, 1947, just before his execution, Rudolf Höss signed the following Final Statement, in which he admitted his shame for committing Crimes Against Humanity and for participating in the genocide perpetrated by the Third Reich:

My conscience is forcing me to make also the following assertion: In the isolation prison I have reached the bitter understanding of the terrible crimes I have committed against humanity. As a Kommandant of the extermination camp at Auschwitz, I have realized my part in the monstrous genocide plans of the Third Reich. By this means I caused humanity and mankind the greatest harm, and brought unspeakable suffering, particularly to the Polish nation. For my responsibility, I am now paying with my life. Oh, that God would forgive me my deeds! People of Poland, I beg you to forgive me! Just now in the Polish prisons have I recognized what humanity really is. In spite of everything that happened I have been treated humanely, which I had never expected, and this has made me feel deeply ashamed. Would to God…that the fact of disclosing and confirming those monstrous crimes against mankind and humanity may prevent for all future ages even the premises leading to such horrible events.

Was Rudolf Höss also forced to write the above quote?  Did he write the above quote because he was tortured again?

I previously blogged about the son of another child of Rudolf Höss at

September 7, 2013

Giovanni Palatucci was named a Righteous Gentile, and is now a candidate for beatification, the first step towards sainthood

A few days ago, I received a lengthy essay, on the topic of Giovanni Palatucci, from Dr. Wolf Murmelstein, the son of Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein, who was the last Jewish Elder of the Theresienstadt Ghetto during World War II.  In the past, I have published several of the essays, written by Dr. Wolf Murmelsein, on my web site here.  I previously blogged here about an essay written by Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein in defense of his father.

Dr. Murmelstein has written a defense of Giovanni Palatucci, who is called “the Italian Schindler.”   There are others who claim that the story of Giovanni Palatucci is a myth, and that he was a Nazi collaborator. For example, this article in the New York Times.

Giovanni Palatucci

Giovanni Palatucci

According to Wikipedia, Giovanni Palatucci was arrested [by the Nazis] on September 13, 1944. He was condemned to death, but the sentence was later commuted to deportation to the Dachau concentration camp, where he died on February 10, 1945, before the camp was liberated by the Allies on April 29, 1945. Some say that he died of malnutrition and others declared that he was shot.[2]

The fact that Giovanni Palatucci was sent to Dachau indicates that he was arrested for helping Jews to escape deportation, and that he was not a Nazi collaborator.

Postage stamps in honor of Giovanni Palatucci

Postage stamps in honor of Giovanni Palatucci

Currently, Giovanni Palatucci is the subject of an ongoing debate because he is a candidate for beautification, the first step towards being canonized as a Saint in the Catholic Church.  Scroll way down to the bottom of this blog post to read the requirements for canonization.

In 1990, Palatucci was named a Righteous Gentile by Yad Vashem in Israel because he saved a Jewish woman from being killed during the Holocaust. However, there are also claims that Giovanni Palatucci sent Jews to the Auschwitz extermination camp. You can read about the “unfounded claims of heroism” here.

According to Wikipedia: Giovanni Palatucci (May 31, 1909 – February 10, 1945) was an Italian police official who between 1940 and 1944 may have saved thousands of Jews in Fiume (current Rijeka in Croatia) from being deported to Nazi extermination camps. In 2013 a research panel of historians led by the Centro Primo Levi reviewed almost 700 documents and concluded that Palatucci had actually been a willing Nazi collaborator and that of the 500 Jews living in Fiume, 412 were deported to Auschwitz, a higher percentage than in any Italian city.[1] The matter is currently the topic of scholarly debate.

I am publishing Dr. Wolf Murmelstein’s essay, which defends Giovanni Palatucci, and gives new information about what actually happened.


Giovanni Palatucci – 1909/1945 – was the son of a Lawyer in the South Italian Province of Avellino; three uncles were priests.

In 1930 he had to enroll in the Italian Army for the compulsory Military Service at Moncallieri, near Turin where he, in 1932, obtained his degree in Law at the age of 23; a four year Legal Practice followed.

We may suppose that Giovanni Palatucci, at Turin, had  contacts with Jewish colleagues and clients. Noteworthy, in 1934 at Turin, members of a Jewish Group had been put on arrest for antifascist behavior.

Giovanni Palatucci, feeling unhappy about the difficulties of the legal profession, looked for a position in the governmental sector. So, in 1936, he became a Police Officer and started at the Police Headquarters in Genoa, a town where many German Jews stood coping with their emigration procedures.

It is not known whether Giovanni Palatucci had had the opportunity to meet those Jewish emigrants, learning about the first persecution in Nazi Germany; at any rate he had been blamed for “non proper contacts” and, at the end of 1937, sent to Fiume.

Fiume, now Rijeka, until 1918 had been the sole sea port of the Kingdom of Hungary. This was a matter of heavy disputes, and following  the Versailles Peace Treaty, Fiume became a Free Sea Port Town. But, from 1924 on, in force of the Italian-Yugoslavian Agreement, Fiume was one of the many Italian sea port towns. Clearly, it’s economic and social conditions worsened. Nevertheless, the Jewish Community held good positions, thanks to the lasting contacts with the communities of the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire.

In the nearby Istria and Friuli, there was an increasing fascist harassment of the Slovenian and Croatian ethnic communities, a source of bitterness and hate.  Fiume, just at the border with Yugoslavia, was the crucial point of Italian Fascist aims on the Balkan.

At Fiume Police Headquarters, Giovanni Palatucci joined the Section for Control of Foreigners; he could not know that  his historical role was starting.

In March 1938, the notorious anti-Semite Temistocle Testa, a former fascist militia colonel, had been named as Prefect of the Fiume Province and the hardliner Vincenzo Genovesi became the Police Superintendent.

These two hard fascists were supervising Giovanni Palatucci, from 1938 to 1943. So, first of all, we ought to consider which level of actual authority Giovanni Palatucci had been holding in each of these years: his official rank and advancements, the sort of authorizations he had been entitled to grant  and how he could submit proposals.

Just in March 1938, Austria had been annexed to Nazi Germany and there had been the first Jewish refugees reaching Fiume.

In October/November 1938, under the Racist Law of 1938, almost all members of Fiume Jewish Community lost the Italian citizenship that they gotten in 1924. As stateless persons, they were put under the control of the Police Section for Control of Foreigners.

In the following years, an increasing number of refugees, mainly Jews, reached Fiume, trying to escape the Nazi persecutions. So, from 1938 to 1943, Giovanni Palatucci had to deal mainly with Jews.

There were, at one site, the members of Fiume Jewish Community and on other site, the mass of Jewish refugees whose number can only be conjectured.

Therefore, the claim that there were only about 500 Jews in the Fiume zone, so that he could not have saved 5,000, turns out to be baseless; this claim is due to ignorance about the real conditions.

In 1940, Mussolini issued a decree for the expulsion of all these Jewish refugees. This decree actually meant that the Jewish refugees were taken to the border and handed over to the Nazis. Under these conditions, Giovanni Palatucci submitted the proposal to send (for “security reasons”) all these Jewish refugees to Southern Italy.

He could have managed to send them mainly to the area around Campagna – in Salerno province – where his uncle, Giuseppe Maria Palatucci, was a Bishop. His uncle could have called on his connections in the Italian Ministry of Interior to arrange for many Jews to be sent to the villages around there, which would have been obliged to take them in, as residents.

So it turns out that thousands of Jewish refugees – whose exact number can only be conjectured – were sent, from 1940 to 1943, to the Campagna Internment Camp; most of them survived.

Another uncle of Palatucci, was Alfonso, who was the Father Superior of the South Italy Franciscan Province; he advised the Priors of convents which could help.

So the further objection, based on the limited capacity of the Campagna Internment Camp, alleged to be able to handle only a few 100 refugees, turns out to be as baseless as the other claims.

In 1942, the Yugoslavian Jews, living in regions under the Italian Military Occupation, were scheduled to be handed over to the Germans for Deportation. Mussolini had signed the papers with “no objection”.

Italian Military Commanders, knowing enough about the meaning of the terms  “deportation” or “resettlement”, refused to carry out that inhuman order to bring those Jews to Fiume, where Palatucci could have granted further help.

So, Giovanni Palatucci was able to help, mainly because his two uncles were ready to help. Thanks to the actions of Palatucci, the Italian Military Commanders in Yugoslavia could have helped to avoid involvement in Nazi crimes. There were chains of helpful actions.

Leaders of the Italian Jewish Assistance Organization “Delasem” had been able to persuade other Police Officials – often of Southern Italian origin, like Palatucci  – to avoid expulsions of Jewish refugees, sending them, instead, to internment camps or to obliged residence in villages.

Besides that, Dante Almansi (a former Prefect and Chairman of Italian Jewish Communities Union) tried to call on his still remaining connections in order to ease Jewish conditions. However, Dante Almansi learned in 1940 that all Jews were supposed to leave Italy within a certain time. Indeed, it seems that there had been a project to “resettle” all Italian Jews in Ethiopian Highland.

In June 1943, when the possibility of an Allied landing in Italy had to be considered, the hardening of Jewish conditions was already being discussed in the Ministry of Interior.

In July 1943, as the result of an inspection, Palatucci had been blamed for disorder in handling the documents; he had relied on insufficient staff in his section. Had he, advancing in rank, already reached the title of section head?

Things changed in September 1943 when, after the Italian surrender to the Allied Forces, the German forces occupied most of Italy. The Friuli-Istria region had been put under direct German rule and renamed   “Adriatisches Kuestenland,” in view of becoming part of Greater Germany, according to the German Vital Space theory.

Indeed, the Governor of the Austrian region of Carintia had been placed in charge of the civil administration of the area. The local “Italian authorities” (especially the police) lost any power, and in part, were even ousted. The deportation of Jews, who were still in Fiume, was planned and carried out by the German Police.

As to Giovanni Palatucci, he had to adhere to the laws of the so-called “Italian Social Republic,” which had been set up by Mussolini in October 1943.

At the same time, Palatucci joined the Fiume Resistance Board which had the non-realistic goal of establishing Fiume again as a Free Sea Port Town.

In November 1943, Giovanni Palatucci had been the only qualified Police Official still at Fiume. Because of this, the Interior Ministry of the Italian Social Republic, a pathetic movement which was meant to assert Italian presence, named Palatucci the “Temporary Head” of Police Headquarters,  without giving him any real power.

The same Fascist Interior Ministry issued an order stating that actions against the Jews were the matter of German Authorities.  Therefore, the accusations that have arisen against Giovanni Palatucci, in which he has been accused of having been involved in the rounding up and deportation of Fiume Jews, have turned out to be baseless. These accusations are due to deep ignorance about the real power conditions.

It seems that, even in those conditions, Giovanni Palatucci had still been able to help, since survivors have released evidence considered to be trustworthy by Yad Vashem.

At any rate, Palatucci had been put under arrest in September 1944 by the German Police. He was sentenced to death and sent to Dachau where he died in February 1945.

The Fascist Interior Ministry had been informed only about “his ties with the enemy” – with British spies, Jewish refugees, others? – without stating any further detail.

After the War, many refugees remembered the help granted to them by Giovanni Palatucci, and already in 1953, he had been considered a hero. After a year-long investigation, Yad Vashem found sufficient evidence to consider him a Righteous Gentile.

In past years, a new sort of revisionism started and records of help granted in That Darkness are being demolished in a very slanderous manner.

There had been the attempt to “review” the Perlasca Myth, concerning help granted at Budapest in November December 1944 but the son, Franco Perlasca, was able to defend his father’s reputation.

Now there is a debate about the “Palatucci Myth” because no close relative is able to oppose the slander. Against the late Bishop Giuseppe Maria Palatucci, an accusation has arisen that the story was made up with the aim of obtaining financial benefit: a pension for the parents. Whoever launched this tale does not even know that the mother passed away in 1947 while the father, Felice, owned a well established legal firm.

It may be guessed that he too, like his colleagues, had to deal with claims for war pension benefits. The father, Felice, and  the uncle, Bishop Giuseppe Maria, had  certainly been aware that, according to strong Italian law, no one had been entitled to financial benefits due to the death of Giovanni Palatucci who was not married. This accusation turns out to be baseless.

As to the mass of documents “found” more than sixty years after the events, questions of authenticity arise as Fiume Police Headquarters offices had been seized by the Nazis in autumn 1943 and by the Yugoslavians in May 1945.

Furthermore, it had been said on Italian Television in September 1943 that Palatucci had destroyed many documents in his office, upon the  arrival of the German police forces. So, documents found by Croatian authorities in those archives, about seventy years after the events, are raising many questions about their authenticity, questions which ought to be carefully answered.  Besides, Croatia is not happy with the Catholic Church procedure of beatification of Giovanni Palatucci, being rather interested in the deeds of Croatian monks, who took part in Ustascia actions against the Serbs.

How many Jews were helped by Giovanni Palatucci? Their number can be only roughly conjectured. The Talmud states that who saves one life is considered as saving the entire world.

After the Holocaust we should ask:

“When that Righteous person saved the entire world, which other Righteous person helped?”.


Giovanni Palatucci, who died in February 1945 at Dachau, is most likely buried in the cemetery at Leitenberg, located a few miles from the Dachau Memorial Site.  The photo below shows the Italian Memorial chapel at Leitenberg.

Italian Memorial Chapel at Leitenberg cemetery

Italian Memorial Chapel at Leitenberg cemetery

There were 3,388 Italians counted at the Dachau concentration camp at the last roll call on April 26, 1945, three days before the camp was liberated.

The number of Italian prisoners who died at Dachau is unknown. Most of the prisoners, who died at Dachau, died in the last months of the war when there was a typhus epidemic in the camp.  They are buried in unmarked graves on the hill called Leitenberg because the camp had run out of coal to burn the bodies of prisoners dying in the typhus epidemic.

The Italian Memorial Chapel at Leitenberg, called Regina Pacis, was designed by Dr. Enea Ronca from Verona. The name means Queen of Peace. The Memorial Chapel was consecrated on July 31, 1973. It is dedicated to the memory of all the Italians who died in all of the Nazi concentration camps.

There are four steps to sainthood:  A candidate for sainthood must perform a miracle, or be declared a martyr.  In the case of Giovanni Palatucci, he has been declared a martyr.  Because of his actions in saving Italian Jews from deportation to concentration camps, Palatucci was arrested and sent to Dachau where he died, possibly by being executed.

Before a person can be considered a candidate for sainthood, he or she must have been dead for at least 5 years. (Giovanni Palatucci has been dead for more than 5 years.) Then the potential candidate must complete the four steps to becoming a saint.

Step One: When the subject arises, that a person should be considered for Sainthood, a Bishop is placed in charge of the initial investigation of the person’s life. If it is determined that the candidate is deemed worthy of further consideration, the Vatican grants a “Nihil Obstat.” This is a Latin phrase that means “nothing hinders.” Henceforth, the candidate is called a “Servant of God.”

Step Two: The Church Official, a Postulator, who coordinates the process and serves as an advocate, must prove that the candidate lived heroic virtues. This is achieved through the collection of documents and testimonies that are collected and presented to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. When a candidate is approved, he or she earns the title of “Venerable.”

Step Three: To be beatified and recognized as a “Blessed,” one miracle acquired through the candidate’s intercession is required in addition to recognition of heroic virtue (or martyrdom in the case of a martyr).

Step Four: Canonization requires a second miracle after beatification, though a Pope may waive these requirements. (A miracle is not required prior to a martyr’s beatification, but one is required before his or her canonization.) Once this second miracle has been received through the candidate’s intercession, the Pope declares the person a “Saint.”

September 6, 2013

Hitler’s body guard, dead at 96, said that Hitler never talked about the “Final Solution”

Filed under: Germany — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 1:18 pm
Rochus Misch, one of Hitler's body guards

Rochus Misch, Hitler’s body guard

You can read in the news today about the death of Rochus Misch, one of Hitler’s body guards, who has died at the age of 96.  Misch spent 9 years in a Soviet prison camp, after he was captured in Berlin in the last days of the war. Misch had stayed in the bunker until the end.  He saw the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun after they had killed themselves.

This quote is from the news article, cited above:

In his interview with the AP, [Rochus Misch] stayed away from the central questions of guilt and responsibility, saying he knew nothing of the murder of 6 million Jews and that Hitler never brought up the Final Solution in his presence.

“That was never a topic,” he said emphatically. “Never.”

This quote is from the second news article, cited directly above:

Together [Misch and his wife] had one daughter, Brigitta Jacob-Engelken, who told the BBC in 2009 that her maternal grandmother had told her that her mother was Jewish, something Misch refused to accept.

When she was younger Ms Jacob-Engelken learnt Hebrew and spent time on a kibbutz in Israel.

As an architect she has worked on a project to restoration of local synagogues in Germany.

“I don’t blame my father for the work he did because it was harmless work,” she said in 2009.

But she added she could not understand why her father, who remained loyal to Hitler to the end, was not more critical in his reflections of Nazi history.

September 4, 2013

The inefficient way the Final Solution was conducted — Dutch girl gassed at Sobibor

Today, I read this headline on an article in the online newspaper, The Jewish Daily Forward:

Dutch City Unveils Memorial to Helga Deen, Jewish Holocaust Victim
Teen Diarist Was 18 When She Died at Sobibor

Photo of Arbeit Macht Frie gate

Photo of Arbeit Macht Frie gate appears to have been taken at Theresienstadt

Sign over the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt

Sign over the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt

The  first photo above accompanied the article in The Jewish Daily Forward.  The second photo was taken at the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt.  The “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign was on an interior gate at Theresienstadt.  The full picture below shows that this sign was over an interior gate into a prison, where the prisoners had a chance to be released.

The Small Fortress at Theresienstadt

The Small Fortress at Theresienstadt

The slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” has become an icon of the Holocaust, although this sign was only used at places where prisoners had a chance to be released, never on the gate into a death camp.

Now that we have established that the photo, which accompanied the story, has nothing whatsoever to do with Sobibor, the death camp where Helga Deen was allegedly gassed, here is the story that was published by The Jewish Daily Forward:

The Jewish community of Tilburg in the Netherlands unveiled a statue commemorating Helga Deen, a teenage Jewish diarist who died in a concentration camp 70 years ago.

The Liberal Jewish Community of Tilburg unveiled the monument in memory of Deen on Monday in partnership with a neighborhood association, the Dutch daily Brabants Dagblad reported Monday.

The city of Tilburg also has named the square where the statue was erected for Deen, who was killed at 18 in a gas chamber at the Sobibor death camp in 1943. Her German mother, Dutch father and 15-year-old brother, Klaus, also were killed there.

Unlike the teen Dutch-Jewish diarist Anne Frank, who wrote about her life in hiding in Amsterdam, Deen’s diary was about her monthlong stay as a prisoner in the Vught camp. From there she was shipped to Westerbork, another Dutch concentration camp, and then to Sobibor in Poland.

Frank also was incarcerated at Westerbork; she died at 15 in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
[Wrong:  Anne Frank died at Bergen-Belsen. Anne Frank was a German Jew.]

Approximately 75 percent of Holland’s Jewish population of 140,000 died in the Holocaust, according to the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem.

During her stay in Vught, Deen also wrote to her fiance, Kees van den Berg. Her letters to him were found after van den Berg’s death by his son, who gave them to a local archive along with the diary that Deen sent to van den Berg from the camp. Deen’s writings appeared in a book published in 2007.

Note that Helga Deen sent her diary to her fiance “from the camp.”  Which camp?  From Westerbork?  I can’t imagine the Germans saying to the victims at Sobibor: “If any of you have a diary that you want to send back to Holland, please hand it to one of the Sonderkommando Jews, so that we can wrap it up and put the proper postage on it.”

Why would Helga Deen have been sent all the way from Holland to Sobibor, which was a death camp in what is now Poland?  Helga, as well as everyone else in her family, was capable of working.  Why wasn’t Helga put to work digging anti-tank ditches for the German army?  Why did she have to be sent miles away to be killed, when she could have just been shot at the Westerbork camp?

The 34,000 Dutch Jews, who were sent to Sobibor, arrived in 19 passenger trains, according to Toivi Blatt, a survivor of Sobibor.  Meanwhile, German citizens were riding around in cattle cars, because there were not enough passenger trains available during the war.

As we can see, the Final Solution, which was the genocide of the Jews, was handled in a way that was the height of inefficiency — so unlike the German people, who are obsessed with doing everything the RIGHT WAY.

I am going to send a package to the Jews in Siberia this year at Hanukkah, in case Helga Deen is still alive.

September 2, 2013

Has documentation of one person who was gassed at Auschwitz finally been found?

For many years, Bradley Smith has been asking for the name of one person, with documentation, who was gassed at Auschwitz, or any other Nazi concentration camp.  Today, I got an e-mail from Bradley, which got my hopes up, that the name of one person had finally been found.

It seems that a letter was sent, by CODOH historian David Merlin, to Peter Black, a senior historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, asking for one name of a person (with proof) who was gassed by the Nazis. A reply was received in which the name Else Ury was given by the USHMM.

The reply, sent by the USHMM, is quoted below:

“We know that Else Ury went to Auschwitz-Birkenau, because her name appears on a transport list with more than 1100 others deported from Berlin to Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 12, 1943. We know that she did not survive selection upon arrival because her name does not appear in the prisoner registry.” [..]

Else Ury was one of 1,196 German Jews deported from Berlin to Auschwitz on January 13, 1943.”

Note that the name Else Ury was on TWO DIFFERENT transport lists: January 12 and January 13, 1943.  Her name was obviously taken off the January 12th list and put on the January 13th list.  Who’s to say that her name was not removed from the January 13th list and put on yet another list.  Is there any proof that she survived the trip to Auschwitz on the train that left on January 13th?  It was in the dead of winter, and the trains were not heated.

According to an article on Bradley Smith’s CODOH website, Else Ury’s name was put into the Yad Vashem database several times.  Else was born in 1877 and she lived in Berlin.

Wait a minute! This woman was 66 years old and she lived in Berlin.  She was a “prominent and talented writer.”  Would a 66-year-old woman, who was a famous writer, have been sent to Auschwitz to be gassed?  Old women and prominent Jews were sent to Theresienstadt.

It would have been a waste of time and money to send a 66-year-old woman to Auschwitz to be gassed.  This woman was virtually on her death bed.  There were millions of Jews to be gassed.  Why waste time on an old woman who probably would not survive the train ride, in a cattle car, to Auschwitz?

The most important thing about the story of Else Ury is that she was not registered in the Auschwitz camp, which is allegedly the proof that she was gassed.  Many prisoners were sent to Auschwitz, where they stayed for several months before being sent elsewhere; they were not registered because they were not selected to work in the camp.  They stayed for a few months at Auschwitz, which was a TRANSIT CAMP, as well as a death camp.  Then they were sent on to another camp.

I previously wrote a blog post about the man who allegedly kept records of the Jews who were gassed:

I previously wrote about Auschwitz on a blog post which you can read here:

This quote is from my website:

The town of Auschwitz was a major railroad hub, with many train tracks coming into it; there was a large marshaling yard near the Auschwitz station. Standing on the railroad overpass in 1941, Himmler realized that Birkenau was an ideal location for transporting people by rail from all over Europe, although the plans for exterminating the Jews were not finalized until the Nazis were confident that they would win their war against the Soviet Union.

My guess is that Else Ury, a prominent old woman, was sent to Theresienstadt, where there was a barracks, that was specifically for older women.  The photo below shows a hospital for old people at Theresienstadt.

Hohenelbe Barracks at Theresienstadt contained a hospital

Hohenelbe Barracks at Theresienstadt contained a hospital

Between Parkstrasse and Wallstrasse on the east side of the Theresienstadt ghetto is where the Hohenelbe barracks were located. This was the central hospital for the Jewish inmates in the ghetto. There were public baths, showers and a swimming pool located here. The building included a kitchen which prepared food for the hospital patients.

Behind this building is a large bastion jutting out from the town walls which you can get a glimpse of on the extreme left of the photo above. Located between the walls of the bastion was the Kavalir barracks.  The Kavalir barracks was used to house the very old prisoners and also prisoners brought to Theresienstadt from the Jewish insane asylums in the Greater German Reich.  This could be the place where Else Ury was a prisoner.

As I read further in the letter from David Merlin, CODOH to the USHMM, I found that Mr. Merlin also thinks that Else Ury was most likely sent to Theresienstadt. This quote is from his letter:

First, we note a conflict between your statement that “1196 German Jews (were) deported from Berlin to Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 12, 1943″ and the report of Danuta Czech in Auschwitz Chronicle that a transport from Berlin arrived at Auschwitz on January 13, 1943 with one thousand (1,000) men, women and children on it. This suggests that 196 persons may have been taken off of the Auschwitz transport.

We also note that there were numerous transports of Jewish deportees from Berlin to Theresienstadt in 1943. These transports carried thousands of people and oftentimes included prominent older German Jews, like Else Ury. One such transport from Berlin went to Theresienstadt on January 12, 1943, the day that Else Ury was deported. It was transport I/80 and carried 105 people.

So, has the name of one person who was gassed been found?  Nope.  Close, but no cigar.

August 27, 2013

The Nuremberg “show trials,” aka the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal

The Palace of Justice (Justizgebäude) at Fürtherstrasse 22, where the trial took place

Palace of Justice (Justizgebäude) at Fürtherstrasse 22 in Nuremberg, where the trial took place

Today I am expanding on a blog post written by The Black Rabbit of Inlé, one of my regular readers:

This quote is from the blog post, cited above:

November 20, 1945 was the opening day of the Trial of the Major war Criminals at Nuremberg, but a letter written by [Sir Hartley] Shawcross on November 4, 1945 reveals that he knew Goering was going to be executed at the end of it.

The Nuremberg trials, which started on November 20, 1945, are called “show trials” because the outcome was known before the trials began.

German war criminals on trial at the Nuremberg IMT

German war criminals on trial at the Nuremberg IMT

The first and best known of the show trials was the “Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal.” This was the show trial of the 24 most important captured leaders of Germany. It was held from November 20, 1945 to October 1, 1946.  The photo above shows Hermann Goering on the far left, with Rudolf Hess sitting next to him. On the far right is Ernst Kaltenbrunner.

 View of the bomb damage of Nürnberg from the castle hill Photo Credit: Charles J. Sheridan

View of the bomb damage of Nürnberg from the castle hill
Photo Credit: Charles J. Sheridan

Bombing Germany back to the stone age was not enough revenge for the Allies; they had to put on show trials.

The first trial, before the International Military Tribunal, had prosecutors and judges from the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. A second set of trials, known as the Nuremberg Military Tribunals, was conducted by the United States only. The most famous of these trials were the Doctors’ Trial and the Judges’ Trial.

The Trial of the Major War Criminals began on November 20, 1945 when British judge Sir Goeffrey Lawrence called the court to order, saying “This trial, which is now about to begin, is unique in the annals of jurisprudence.” The trial ended nine months later on October 1, 1946.

The trial was unprecedented because the prosecutors who conducted the trial and the judges who made up the jury were both from the victorious Allies only. The International Tribunal and the charges against the Germans had been created under the terms of an agreement among the Allies, known as the London Charter, signed on August 8, 1945.

At the main trial, there were 100,000 documents accepted into evidence and the transcript of the trial filled 42 volumes with more than 5 million words. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Allied prosecutors submitted some 3,000 tons of records at the Nuremberg IMT. The defense was not allowed access to any documents except the ones that were actually used by the prosecution.

Nürnberg [Nuremberg] was famous for producing toys and gingerbread cookies, not war materials; it was the ideological center of Nazi Germany and Hitler’s favorite city. Nürnberg was regarded as the “most German” of all the cities in Germany, which made it a target for vindictive Allied bombing.

On the night of January 2, 1945, 514 British Lancaster bombers and 7 other British planes destroyed or damaged most of the old city, including the medieval walls, the historic castle and two centuries-old Gothic churches. At that point in the war, it was the most devastating air-raid attack on a civilian population and only the Allied bombing of Dresden, six weeks later, caused more damage and civilian deaths in Germany.

One wing of the Palace of Justice had to be restored by the forced labor of German prisoners, so that the show trials could be held in Room 600.

Room 600 is the room which has the windows covered

Room 600 is the room which has the windows covered

You can read about why the Nuremberg IMT is called a “show trial” at

I previously blogged about the start of World War II, as presented at the Nuremberg IMT at

The entire Nuremberg International Military Tribunal trial was captured on film and shown to the world on TV. Newsreel films showed the city of Nürnberg as a pile of rubble, which had not yet been cleared when the trial started; the bodies of 20,000 German civilians were still buried under the destroyed buildings as the German war criminals were brought into the courtroom of the Palace of Justice. The Palace of Justice had suffered some damage in the Allied bombing of Nürnberg, but it had been restored by the forced labor of the conquered Germans before the trial began.

It was at the Nuremberg trials that the whole world learned for the first time about the German atrocities, including all the gory details of the shrunken heads, the soap made from human fat, the leather goods made from the skin of concentration camp prisoners, and the gas chambers which accounted for the majority of the deaths at Auschwitz and Majdanek, where the Russians testified that not less than 4 million people had died in the Auschwitz complex and another 1.5 million had died at the Majdanek camp. Today, the figures given for these camps is 1.1 million deaths at Auschwitz and 78,000 at Majdanek, including 59,000 Jews.

The horror films of the Allied liberation of the Nazi concentration camps at Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald and Dachau were shown at the trial, to the defendants and to the public. An American-made documentary film, which showed all the graphic details of the gas pipes and control wheels which regulated the flow of poison gas through the shower heads of the Dachau gas chamber was shown in the courtroom on November 29, 1945.  I blogged about the Dachau gas chamber film at

The Nuremberg IMT was more than just a trial. It was a graphic presentation to the entire world that the Allies had fought “the Good War” against the evil Nazis.

The following quote is from the web site of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

The goals of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) transcended verdict and punishment. The creators of the court were deliberately assembling a public record of the horrific crimes committed by Germans during World War II, including those of the Holocaust. American chief prosecutor Robert Jackson worried that “unless record was made future generations would not believe how horrible the truth was.”

In order to avoid any accusation of exclusive reliance on personal testimony, which later generations might perceive to be biased, prosecutors decided to base their case primarily on thousands of documents written by the Germans themselves. These masses of documents were translated into the court’s four official languages, analyzed for their significance, and reproduced for distribution to defense attorneys and other trial participants. The prosecution presented other evidence through artifacts, diagrams, and photographs taken by Nazi photographers in concentration camps.

On the third day of his cross examination of Hermann Goering, American prosecutor Robert Jackson questioned him about the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany, including the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws on Citizenship which Goering had signed in September 1935.

Robert H. Jackson, chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg, during his closing address to the Tribunal.

Robert H. Jackson, chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg, during his closing address to the Tribunal

Then Jackson confronted Goering with the most incriminating piece of evidence in the entire trial: a letter dated July 31, 1941, in which Goering had ordered Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), to prepare a plan for the “Final solution of the Jewish question.” Goering testified that the German term “Die Endlösung” in the letter should have been translated as the “total solution,” and that it referred only to “the emigration of the Jews,” not the extermination of Jews.

The Protocols of the Wannsee Conference, at which the “Final Solution” was planned, were not found until 1947, so this important document was not included in the mountain of evidence introduced at the International Military Tribunal at which the German war criminals were tried for Crimes against Humanity.

Some people today claim that the Wannsee Conference never took place. Since the minutes of the meeting were not found until 1947, this is entirely possible.  Adolf Eichmann was the man who allegedly wrote the minutes that were not found until 1947.  He was put on trial in Israel so that he could elaborate on the plan to genocide the Jews, now known as “the Final Solution.”

Room where the Wannsee Conference was held

Room where the Wannsee Conference was held

The photograph above shows the large dining room of a villa on the Grossen Wannsee, a lake in the Wannsee suburb of Berlin, where the Conference on “The Final Solution of the Jewish Question” was held on January 20, 1942. This is the room where the plans for the genocide of the Jews were discussed. The villa is now a Holocaust Museum.

For the most part, the International Military Tribunal charged the defendants, not with individual responsibility for specific crimes, but with a “Common Plan” to commit crimes.

According to the book Justice at Nuremberg by Robert E. Conot, the idea for the Common Plan charges against the Germans came from Lieutenant Colonel Murray C. Bernays, a Lithuanian Jew who had emigrated to American in 1900 at the age of six.

Before the trial, according to Conot’s book, Churchill and Roosevelt’s adviser Henry Morgenthau, Jr. had advocated that “the principal Nazi leaders should be charged with their crimes, then summarily shot.” Bernays argued for a trial as “the educational and therapeutic opportunity of our generation.” Regarding the Nazi crimes, Bernays wrote “The crimes and atrocities were not single or unconnected, but the inevitable outcome of the basic criminal conspiracy of the Nazi party.”

There was nothing in international law which allowed a charge of participating in a “Common Plan.”  The Nuremberg trials were conducted on the basis of new laws that were made up by the Allies AFTER  the war, specifically for the German war criminals.

Any atrocities committed by the Allies were not considered war crimes. After the war, France passed a law that no French citizen could be charged with a war crime.

The Nuremberg trial had far-reaching consequences — for America and the world. In 1948 President Harry Truman desegregated the American armed forces, and in 1954 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional, Justice Robert Jackson, who participated in the decision, said that the Nuremberg experience and the “awful consequences of racial prejudice revealed by … the Nazi regime” had influenced his decision.

According to Conot’s book, before the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal proceedings began, there was no international criminal code; the barbaric practices of the Nazis became war crimes under international law, only after the IMT proceedings, when the United Nations passed the Genocide Convention and a Declaration of Human Rights.

After World War II, the rules of warfare changed: reprisals can no longer be taken against hostages or Prisoners of War; forced labor is now outlawed; captured partisans are given equal status with POWs. The Germans had been convicted of all these crimes before they were crimes. The verdicts at the Nuremberg IMT established international law and the actions of the Germans in World War II are now war crimes.

Regulations of all the major World War II armies now state that orders which would constitute the commission of a crime need not be obeyed. All the crimes that were revealed at the Nuremberg trial have now been incorporated into international law and the defense used at the Nuremberg trial by the German generals and admirals that they were just obeying orders is no longer valid.

August 26, 2013

The famous speech, allegedly made in March 1984 by Sir Hartley Shawcross, at Stourbridge, England

Filed under: World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:10 am

A regular reader of my blog wrote a comment in which he quoted the following, from a speech allegedly made at Stourbridge in March 1984, by Sir Hartley Shawcross, one of the prosecutors at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal:

“Hitler and the German people didn’t want this war. We didn’t answer Hitler’s various petitions for peace. Now we have to admit that he was right. Instead of a cooperation with Germany, which he had offered us, now stands the gigantic, imperialistic might of the Soviets. I feel ashamed to see how the same intentions which we accused Hitler of now are pursued under a different name.” – Sir Hartley Shawcross

This speech was supposedly made by Sir Hartley Shawcross at Stourbridge, England on March 16, 1984. It has been a source of controversy ever since.

Sir Hartley Shawcross had actually made a speech at Stourbridge on March 12, 1948, which was reported in the The Times (London) on March 13, 1948:

“SINISTER AIMS OF COMMUNISM SIR H. SHAWCROSS ON WESTERN UNION Sir Hartley Shawcross, the Attorney-General, speaking at Stourbridge last night [March 12th], said that recent tragic events in Czechoslovakia [communist putsch followed by suicide of Masaryk] had brought a new sense of urgency to the movement for western union. [...] SAME NAZI TECHNIQUE [...] Step by step I have been forced more and more to the conclusion that the aims of Communism in Europe are sinister and deadly aims. I prosecuted the Nazis in Nuremberg. With my Russian colleagues I condemned Nazi aggression and Nazi terror. I feel shame and humiliation now to see under a different name the same aims pursued, the same technique followed, without check. [...]“

The speech that was allegedly made by Shawcross on March 16, 1984, is believed to be a forgery.  The forgery is sometimes quoted as follows:

“I believe now that Hitler and the German People did not want war. But we declared war on Germany, intent on destroying her. In this we were encouraged by the Jews around Roosevelt. This was said to be in accordance with our principle of the ‘Balance of Power’. We ignored Hitler’s pleading not to enter into war. Now we are forced to realize that Hitler was right. He offered us the co-operation of Germany. Instead, since 1945, we have been facing the immense power of the Soviet Empire.”

Hey, Sir Hartley, tell us what you really think.

Compare the alleged March 16, 1984 speech, to the following quote from the two-day opening statement by Lord Shawcross on the 12th day of the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal on Tuesday, December 4, 1945:

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS (Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom):

May it please the Tribunal, on an occasion to which reference has and will be made, Hitler, the leader of the Nazi conspirators who are now on trial before you, is reported as having said, in reference to their warlike plans:

“I shall give a propagandist cause for starting the war, never mind whether it be true or not. The victor shall not be asked later on whether he told the truth or not. In starting and making a war, not the right is what matters, but victory the strongest has the right.”

The British Empire with its Allies has twice, within the space of 25 years, been victorious in wars which have been forced upon it, but it is precisely because we realize that victory is not enough, that might is not necessarily right, that lasting peace and the rule of international law is not to be secured by the strong arm alone, that the British nation is taking part in this Trial. There are those who would perhaps say that these wretched men should have been dealt with summarily without trial by “executive action”; that their power for evil broken, they should have been swept aside into oblivion without this elaborate and careful investigation into the part which they played in bringing this war about: Vae Victis! Let them pay the penalty of defeat. But that was not the view of the British Government. Not so would the rule of law be raised and strengthened on the international as well as upon the municipal plane; not so would future generations realize that right is not always on the side of the big battalions; not so would the world be made aware that the waging of aggressive war is not only a dangerous venture but a criminal one.

Lord Shawcross made it quite clear in his opening statement at Nuremberg that Hitler was responsible for starting World War II and that the Germans had forced not one, but two wars, upon the British empire in the previous 25 years.

In the alleged Stourbridge speech, Shawcross allegedly said just the opposite.

The speech, allegedly made by Sir Hartley Shawcross at Stourbridge, England on March 16, 1984, and allegedly reported by the Associated Press, is quoted on numerous web sites and in books such as The Triumph Of Reason: The Thinking Man’s Guide To Adolf Hitler by British author Michael Walsh, published on December 8, 2002.

The reason that the alleged Stourbridge speech is so controversial is because Sir Hartley Shawcross supposedly had a complete change of heart in 1984 at the age of 82. In the speech that he allegedly made on March 16, 1984 at Stourbridge, Shawcross exonerated Hitler and blamed the British for starting World War II.

What happened to cause Shawcross to change his mind?  Was he becoming senile at the age of 82?

Which country really DID start World War II?  Check out my previous blog post at

I became interested in this controversy in 1999 when the alleged Stourbridge speech was being discussed on an Internet newsgroup. According to some of the comments on the newsgroup, a search of the Associated Press Archives showed that no such speech had been reported. The speech had not been reported in the London Times, nor in the New York Times.

When Shawcross died in 2003, many newspapers reported allegations of forgery. British author David Irving claims that the alleged Shawcross speech at Stourbridge was indeed a forgery.  The memoirs of Sir Hartley Shawcross, published in 1995, did not mention the speech. Nor was his alleged speech at Stourbridge mentioned in his obituary, when he died at the age of 101.

In 2008, I contacted the webmaster of the web site for the town of Stourbridge. He told me that he has no knowledge of a speech made there by Shawcross on March 16, 1984.

In 2008, Stourbridge was a college town of 54,000 people. If Shawcross had made such a controversial speech there in 1984, the whole town would still remember it. You can be sure that everyone in Missouri knows that Churchill made his famous “Iron Curtain” speech on March 5, 1946 at Westminster College in the equally small town of Fulton.

I think that we can safely say that Sir Hartley Shawcross did not have a change of heart, and that he believed to his dying day that Hitler and Germany were solely at fault in World War II, never the British.

The closing argument, given by Sir Hartley Shawcross, at the Nuremberg IMT, was a summation of the crimes which he believed had been proved by the Allies during the trial.

The following excerpt, from the closing argument, shows that Shawcross was emphatic about the Nazis being solely responsible for all the war crimes committed during World War II:

That these defendants participated in and are morally guilty of crimes so frightful that the imagination staggers and reels back at their very contemplation is not in doubt. Let the words of the defendant Frank, which were repeated to you this morning, be well remembered: “Thousands of years will pass and this guilt of Germany will not be erased”. Total and totalitarian war, waged in defiance of solemn undertakings and in breach of treaties; great cities, from Coventry to Stalingrad, reduced to rubble, the countryside laid waste, and now the inevitable aftermath of war so fought – hunger and disease stalking through the world; millions of people homeless, maimed, bereaved. And in their graves, crying out, not for vengeance but that this shall not happen again, ten million who might be living in peace and happiness at this hour, soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians killed in battles that ought never to have been.

Nor was that the only or the greatest crime. In all our countries when, perhaps in the heat of passion or for other motives which impair restraint, some individual is killed, the murder becomes a sensation, our compassion is aroused, nor do we rest until the criminal is punished and the rule of law is vindicated. Shall we do less when not one but on the lowest computation twelve million men, women and children are done to death. Not in battle, not in passion, but in the cold, calculated, deliberate attempt to destroy nations and races, to disintegrate the traditions, the institutions and the very existence of free and ancient States. Twelve million murders. Two-thirds of the Jews in Europe exterminated, more than six million of them on the killers’ own figures. Murder conducted like some mass- production industry in the gas chambers and the ovens of Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Maidanek and Oranienburg.

Maidanek was the German name for the Majdanek death camp in Poland and Oranienburg is the location of the Sachsenhausen camp.

What about the gas chambers at Belzec, Sobibor, Stutthof, Theresienstadt, Natzweiler, and Hartheim?

The gas chamber at Buchenwald has fallen by the wayside, but the others are still part of what you must believe to stay out of prison in 17 countries.  You can read about the gas chambers, that are still in existence, on my blog at

August 25, 2013

Did the Nazis actually steam Jews to death in a Sauna?

Filed under: Health, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:16 am
The Central Sauna at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The Central Sauna at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The large brick building at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, which was called “die zentrale Sauna,” is shown in the photo above.   I previously blogged about the Sauna at

For 60 years, the Central Sauna building was not open to tourists. During that time, visitors to Auschwitz could only speculate about what the Auschwitz Sauna looked like.  I imagined that the Auschwitz prisoners had the luxury of taking steam baths.  After all, the prisoners were playing soccer and attending concerts.  Would it have been so unusual for the Nazis to provide steam baths for the soccer players after a game?

The online Free Dictionary gives this definition for the word “sauna”:

A Finnish steam bath in which the steam is produced by pouring water over heated rocks.
A bathhouse or room for taking such a steam bath.

I imagined that the Auschwitz-Birkenau Sauna building had individual steam baths for the prisoners.  In the old days, a health resort typically had a canvas box, in which a person would sit inside, with their head sticking out of a hole in the top.  In the 1940s, in America, a “sauna” looked something like the modern sauna box in the photo below.  I have actually taken a steam bath inside a canvas box, with my head sticking out.  I have also had a “mud bath” but I don’t think the Nazis provided mud baths for the prisoners.

An individual sauna box for a steam bath

An individual sauna box for a steam bath

Yesterday, I read an article, in the online Guardian newspaper, about the Ovitz family of dwarves, who were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944.

Members of the Ovitz family of dwarves who were sent to Auschwitz

Members of the Ovitz family of dwarves who were sent to Auschwitz

According to this article, the dwarves had a close call when they mistakenly thought that they had been sent to the gas chamber:

What actually happened was that the Ovitzs and their neighbours were taken to the camp sauna for disinfection, where the water poured over heated stones produced much steam and fumes, as well as temperatures intense enough to cause someone to faint. The sauna had a particularly traumatic effect on both small children and fragile dwarves that might easily have created the impression of being gassed.

So it turns out that the Ovitz family of dwarves, and their neighbors who were falsely claiming to be related to them, were actually sent into a steam room, which they mistakenly thought was a gas chamber.

In October 2005, I had a chance to see the inside of the Sauna building at Auschwitz-Birkenau. There were no steam rooms inside the Sauna building.  The building was called a Sauna because it had iron boxes in which the prisoners’ clothes were steamed to kill the lice that spreads typhus.  These boxes looked something like the individual saunas used at health resorts at a time when rich people would routinely go to a spa town to “take the waters.”

The photo below shows a box for steaming clothes, inside the Central Sauna at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

A steam chamber for disinfecting the clothing of prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau

A steam chamber for disinfecting the clothing of prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau

This quote from the Guardian explains the gassing operation at Auschwitz-Birkenau:

Though we had five first-hand eyewitness accounts [of the gas chamber, given by 5 dwarves], we wanted to verify the story. The only way to do so was to study the procedures and manuals of operating a gas chamber. These were designed to kill between 500 and 2,000 people at once, depending on the size of the hall. Cyclone B was effective only at a room temperature of 27C, which was achieved by cramping a mass of people together. Gas chambers were simply not operated for merely 22 people; small groups were shot.

Furthermore, according to the camp’s rigid safety orders, SS personnel had to wear gas masks when operating Cyclone B. Although the victims died within 15 minutes, the SS men routinely waited half an hour before turning on the powerful fans that dispersed the gas from the chamber. Only then were the doors opened. The operators themselves did not enter; instead, Jewish inmates from the Sonderkommando were sent in to drag out the bodies for cremation. Once the extermination process had begun, it could not be halted, because by then it would have been impossible to open the doors.

What actually happened was that the Ovitzs and their neighbours were taken to the camp sauna for disinfection ……

Every Holocaust survivor has to have a story about how they were saved from the gas chamber.  Even the 22 members of the Ovitz family, which included their fake relatives, had to make up a story about why they were not gassed.

Dr. Josef Mengele was over-joyed to have this family available for his research into hereditary conditions; he would never have allowed them to be gassed, but still the dwarves had to make up a lie.

This quote from the Guardian article, and the links provided by the Guardian, explains the Nazi policy:

When the Nazis came to power, the Ovitzs were doubly doomed: under the Aktion T-4 euthanasia programme, the Germans set out to kill people who were physically or mentally disabled, whose lives were considered “unworthy of living”, “a burden on society”; and, as Jews, the Ovitzs were the target of the Final Solution.

On 19 May 1944, they were brought to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp because they were Jews. But, by a twist of fate, their disability played for them. It was rare that one person from an entire family survived the camp, let alone two, but all 12 members of the Ovitz family – the youngest a baby boy just 18 months old, the oldest his 58-year-old dwarf aunt – emerged alive.

I have to give the Guardian credit for exposing the lies told by Holocaust survivors.  This quote is from the Guardian:

In her autobiography, Auschwitz: True Tales From A Grotesque Land, Sarah Nomberg-Przytyk describes in appalling detail the horrible death of two members of the Ovitz group, one of them an 18-month-old baby boy who died as a result of one of Mengele’s experiments: “Around him, like pillars of stone, stood a large woman, along with the child’s mother, slim and frail; the three midgets sat in miniature chairs.” In the evening, the dead toddler was placed outside the block with the other corpses to be taken to the crematorium. Nomberg-Przytyk also recounts the death of Avram Ovitz, the leader of the group: “The old midget wanted his wife” and tried to slip through the barbed wire; a guard spotted him and, when Avram got close enough, shot him. “He never made it to his wife.”

But the little boy and his uncle Avram were not killed, and lived to see liberation day. What, then, caused Nomberg-Przytyk to make such grave mistakes? Most likely she was compressing a number of events, and attributed to the dwarves two common occurrences in the daily life of the camp: the death of a child in his mother’s arms and the shooting of an inmate who approached the electrified fence.

And there were others, such as Renee Firestone, who described the death of the Ovitz dwarves: “The Germans found a community of midgets, transported them to Auschwitz, shot them en masse and then were forced to let them sit in a pile for three days until the crematoria could take them.”

One plausible explanation for the discrepancy between fact and remembrance is that the survivors, who regarded their own deliverance as miraculous, found the chances slim that someone as helpless as a dwarf could escape death. The fact that the Ovitzs were transferred several times from one side of the camp to the other caused their fellow inmates to lose touch with them, and in Auschwitz, when you stopped seeing someone, it could mean only one thing.

The seven dwarves, as well as their entourage, all survived the war, and emigrated to Israel in May 1949.

The first story about the Treblinka camp, told by the Soviets who came across the remains of the camp, was that the prisoners were steamed to death in steam chambers.  You read about it at

August 23, 2013

The number of Jewish prisoners at Dachau: Figures don’t lie, but liars figure

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

Almost every news story, or website, that you will ever read, mentions that 2/3 of the prisoners at Dachau were Jews.  This is very misleading; it implies that Dachau was a camp for Jews, instead of a camp that held mainly political prisoners.

When the Dachau concentration camp was liberated on April 29, 1945, there were 2,539 Jews among approximately 32,000 survivors in the main camp, located just outside the town of Dachau.  By what slight of hand does 2,539 figure out to be two thirds of 32,000?

Political prisoners at Dachau after the camp was liberated

Political prisoners at Dachau after the camp was liberated

According to Paul Berben, a former prisoner, who wrote a book called Dachau: 1933 – 1945: The Official History, there were 67,649 prisoners in the main Dachau camp AND IT’S 123 SUB-CAMPS when the last census was taken on April 26, 1945, three days before the US 7th Army arrived to liberate the MAIN camp.  Most of the Jews were in the sub-camps, not the main camp.

Many of the sub-camps, which Berben refers to as “Kommandos,” had already been evacuated and the prisoners had been brought to the main camp at Dachau.  Before the evacuation of the sub-camps, there were virtually no Jews in the main camp.

The largest number of prisoners in the whole Dachau system were classified as political prisoners, who numbered 43,401; the majority of the political prisoners were Catholic. The political prisoners included Communists, Social Democrats, anarchists, spies, and anti-Fascist resistance fighters from the Nazi occupied countries such as France, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, and Poland.

Dachau survivors pose in a barracks building after they were liberated

Dachau survivors pose in a barracks building after they were liberated

There was a total of 22,100 Jews in the Dachau system on April 26, 1945 and most of them were in the sub-camps. Many of the Jews in the main camp had just arrived a few days before from the sub-camps that had been evacuated.

On April 26th, approximately 3,400 Jews had been death-marched out of the main camp, headed south toward the mountains where it is believed that the Nazis intended to hold them as hostages to use in surrender negotiations with the Allies. Another 1,735 Jews had been evacuated from Dachau by train on April 26th.

The evacuation of prisoners from the sub-camps to the main Dachau camp had begun in March 1945, in preparation for surrendering the prisoners to the Allies. The evacuated prisoners had to walk for several days to the main camp because Allied bombs were destroying the railroad tracks as fast as the Germans could repair them. The few trains that did bring prisoners to Dachau, including a train load of women and children, were bombed or strafed by American planes, killing many of the prisoners.

Women prisoners who had recently arrived at Dachau

Women prisoners who had recently arrived at Dachau

Most of the prisoners in the sub-camps of Dachau were Jews who had survived Auschwitz and had been brought on trains to Germany in January 1945 after a 50-kilometer death march out of the camp. By the time that the survivors staggered into the Dachau main camp in the last weeks of April, they were emaciated, sick and exhausted. Other Jews at Dachau in 1945 had been brought from the three Lithuanian ghettos in the Summer of 1944 to work in the Dachau sub-camps. The American liberators got most of their information about the Dachau camp from these Jews who had only recently arrived and were eager to tell their stories about abuse at the hands of the Nazis.

Since March 1945, around 15,000 new prisoners had been accommodated in the Dachau main camp, which had been originally designed for 5,000 men. By the time that the American liberators arrived, there were over 30,000 prisoners in the main camp, although the exact number was unknown.

According to Paul Berben’s account, the prisoners who arrived at Dachau were particularly numerous in 1944, as the inmates in other camps were evacuated from the war zone. He wrote that the last prisoner number at the end of 1943 was 60.869.

By the end of 1944, the last prisoner number was 137.244, which indicates that 76,375 new prisoners were brought to Dachau in 1944; most of them were sent to the sub-camps to work in the factories. The last prisoner numbers registered at Dachau were around 161.900. It was at this point that life in the Dachau concentration camp began to deteriorate.

In the final desperate days of trying to evacuate prisoners from the camps to prevent them from being released by the Allies, there were around 6,000 prisoners brought to Dachau from Flossenbürg, Buchenwald and Leipzig. These prisoners were not registered at Dachau, nor given a number, according to Paul Berben.

Throughout the 12 years that the Dachau camp was in existence, there were approximately 206,000 prisoners brought to the main camp and it’s 123 sub-camps.  There were 31,951 recorded deaths.  The Dachau Memorial Site estimates that there were at least 41,000 deaths, including the deaths, during the last days, which were not recorded.

In her speech at Dachau on August 20, 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the following:

“At the same time, this place [Dachau] is a constant warning: how did Germany reach the point of taking away the right of people to live because of their origin, their religion… or their sexual orientation?”

Dachau was primarily a place where the right of people to live was taken away because they were political enemies of the German government, or their right to live had been taken away because they had broken the law, for example, the law known as Paragraph 175 which made it a crime to have homosexual sex in public.  Most of the prisoners at Dachau were Catholic, but they were not imprisoned because of their religion.  There were numerous prisoners at Dachau who were incarcerated because they were fighting in a war as illegal combatants.

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