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April 13, 2012

Joseph Bellinger dissects the Holocaust survivor book written by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:28 pm

I am a great admirer of the writing of Joseph Bellinger. I have just finished reading his article entitled The Amazing Claims of Miklos Nyiszli which you can read in full here As I read through the article, I noticed some quotes from Dr. Nyiszli’s book, Auschwitz A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account, which I do not recall reading.  I have the “First Arcade Paperback Edition” published in 1993. I got out my copy of the book and noticed that some changes had been made in the 1993 edition, which leaves out some of the  original wording in the 1961 edition critiqued by Bellinger.

This quote is from Joseph Bellinger’s article:

…Bettelheim chooses to remain haunted. Thus, the examination of Nyiszli’s claims are deferred to the realm of the mystical and unexplained phenomena within the universe, and the author speaks with due reverence and piety of that which he fails to explain or examine with reason. Clearly, for Bettelheim, unquestioning belief in Nyiszli’s book is an item of faith.

Yet, paradoxically, Bettelheim also writes:

“In its clues to an answer lies the importance of this book. It is an unbelievable story, but we all know it is true. We wish to forget it. It just does not fit into our system of value and thought. And rather than to reshape them, we wish to dismiss the story of the German extermination camps. If we could, we would prefer to think it never happened.”

If we replace the plural “we” with “I” and “our” with “my” we will be faced with the real essence of Bettelheim’s thought process, which he chose to suppress entirely, rather than face the ultimate consequences of what his own reason sought to impose upon his offended intellect.

In the 1993 edition which I have, the FORWARD, written by Bruno Bettelheim, does not include the paragraph which Bellinger quoted.  The FORWARD ends with this paragraph:

This book then is most of all a cautionary tale, as old as mankind. Those who seek to protect the body at all cost die many times over. Those who risk the body to survive as men have a good chance to live on.

The 1993 edition of Dr. Nyiszli’s book has an INTRODUCTION written by Richard Seaver.

This quote is from Richard Seaver’s Introduction:

…in 1944 German authorities destroyed the transport lists of all Jews who had been sent to Auschwitz up to that point, and in the succeeding months ordered the destruction of all other incriminating documents.  Later, as the Russian armies drew near Auschwitz early in 1945, other evidence was either burned or transferred to camps further west.

Why was it necessary for the “German authorities” to destroy the transport lists of all Jews who had been sent to Auschwitz?  Because those clever “German authorities” knew that the Jews, who were gassed immediately after they arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau, had not been registered in the camp, so the only way to know how many Jews were gassed would be to look at the transport list.  By subtracting the number of prisoners, who were transported to Auschwitz and were then transferred to another camp, and the number of survivors from the number of Jews transported, the remaining number would be the total number of prisoners who were gassed.  By destroying the transport lists, the “German authorities” made it impossible to know the exact number of Jews who were gassed, and the Russian liberators of the camp could give an estimate as high as 4 million deaths if they were so inclined.

Getting back to Joseph Bellinger’s article, here is another quote from what he wrote:

… it does not take Nysizli long before he offends the intellect of the reader by writing on page 23

I got only as far as page 16 before I became suspicious that Dr. Nysizli had never seen Auschwitz-Birkenau.  This quote is from page 16:

Concrete pylons stretched in even rows to the horizon, with barbed wire strung between them from top to bottom. Signs warned that the wires were electrically charged with high tension current.  Inside the enormous squares bounded by the pylons stood hundreds of barracks covered with green tar-paper  and arranged to form a long, rectangular network of streets as far as the eye could see.

Birkenau is now a vast field of the remains of the brick stoves that were in the barracks which are now gone

Most of the wooden barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau are gone now, but the few that are left are not covered with tar paper.   I lived in a poor neighborhood as a child, and I saw many tar-paper shacks, but never any covered with GREEN tar-paper.  The photos below show the wooden barracks that are still standing.

My 2005 photo of the Quarantine barracks at Birkenau

Barbed wire fence at Birkenau with wooden barrack in the background on the left hand side

The wooden barracks shown in the photos might be reconstructed barrack buildings, but if they are, why were these buildings not reconstructed authentically with the green tar-paper covering?  Did they run out of green tar-paper in Poland?  The barracks in the American internment camps for Japanese Americans were covered with black tar-paper.  They could have stripped some of that tar-paper off and used it instead of reconstructing barracks with no tar-paper.

Joseph Bellinger quoted from the DECLARATION written by Dr. Nyiszli at the beginning of the book. In the 1993 edition of the book, there is an additional paragraph in the Declaration which I will quote here:

In writing this work I am not aiming for any literary success. When I lived through these horrors, which were beyond all imagining, I was not a writer but a doctor.  Today, in telling them, I write not as a reporter, but as a doctor.

Sounds like he’s covering his tracks for any mistakes that he might have made, and in my opinion, he made many mistakes.  I previously wrote a blog post about Dr. Nyiszli which you can read here.

October 17, 2011

Eyewitness Auschwitz, Three Years in the Gas Chambers by Filip Müller

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:42 am

The paperback edition of Filip Müller’s book Eye Witness Auschwitz was “published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum” in 1999, twenty years after the book was first published in 1979.  His description of the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau matches many of the details in the description given by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli who published his book Auschwitz, A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account in 1960.

Müller was a prisoner at Auschwitz from April 1942 until January 18, 1945 when he left the camp on a “death march.”  Dr. Nyiszli arrived at the Auschwitz II camp, aka Birkenau, on a transport with other Hungarian Jews in May 1944, and left on the same “death march” out of the camp.  Both ended up at the Mauthausen camp in Austria, where they both stayed for a few days before being sent to the Melk sub-camp of Mauthausen.  Could they have met at Melk and compared notes on their work at Auschwitz-Birkenau?

Both Müller and Dr. Nyiszli were members of the Sonderkommando squads that worked, and lived, inside the gas chamber buildings at Birkenau. Dr. Nyiszli was a doctor who did autopsies at Birkenau, while Müller was a lowly prisoner who carried the victims out of the gas chamber, first at the main Auschwitz camp and later at the Birkenau camp.

Dr. Nyiszli wrote his book first, so if either of them copied from the other, it was Müller who copied from Dr. Nyiszli.  Yet it was Müller who had 3 years of first-hand experience in the gruesome task of entering the gas chamber and carrying the bodies to the incinerator ovens.  Dr. Nyiszli was at Birkenau for only 8 months and there was no reason why he would have been required to enter a gas chamber.

Did Dr. Miklos Nyiszli get his information about the gas chambers from Filip Müller?  In 1945 when both were rescued by American troops from a sub-camp of Mauthausen, Müller was a naive, uneducated 23-year-old while Dr. Nyiszli was a much more sophisticated 44-year-old doctor.  Did Dr. Nyiszli steal the gas chamber story from Müller and profit from the gas chamber experience of Müller?

On page 13 of his book, Müller mentioned that he ate some cheese and poppyseed cake that he found in the luggage in the gas chamber.  Dr. Nyiszli was a medical doctor and he would have known that this was impossible, so he didn’t include this detail in his book.

On page 60 of his book, Müller mentions that there was a morgue in one of the Birkeanau gas chamber buildings. Elsewhere in his book, he also mentions a morgue room that was separate from the gas chamber room and the undressing room.  On page 60, he wrote:  “When we entered the morgue, we found lying in a heap some 200 emaciated corpses, all of whom had obviously died of hunger, disease or exhaustion. They had been thrown down the concrete shute from the yard into the mortuary basement.”

The ruins of the crematoria at Birkenau do not show that there were three rooms: a gas chamber, an undressing room and a third room for storing the bodies of the prisoners who had died from disease.  Müller published his book in 1979, by which time he was 57 years old; apparently he was already losing his memory and he consulted the plans for the Krema III gas chamber building which originally called for a “corpse slide” but a concrete shute was never built.  Dr. Nyiszli did not make this mistake in his book.

Filip Müller and Dr. Miklos Nyiszli are to Holocaust history what Fred Leuchter and Germar Rudolf are to Holocaust revisionism.  Both Leuchter and Rudolf climbed down into the ruins of the Krema II gas chamber at Birkenau and both gave a description which did not match what Müller and Dr. Nyiszli described.  Neither Leuchter nor Rudolf found evidence of the holes through which the Zyklon-B pellets were allegedly poured, and neither of them found any evidence of the “hollow pillars of sheet metal” which kept the pellets from being scattered on the floor of the gas chamber.  Both Müller and Dr. Nyiszli mentioned the hollow pillars in their accounts of the gas chambers at Birkenau.

On page 60, Müller also wrote this:  “Mounted on the ceiling was a large number of dummy shower heads made of metal.”  He was describing Krema II, the same gas chamber into the ruins of which both Leuchter and Rudolf descended and found no showerheads.

On page 65, Müller wrote: “The hair was cut after the women had been gassed.”  Remember that he was writing this in 1979 after the Auschwitz Museum had already been set up with exhibits including a large glass case of human hair.  Hair does not deteriorate.  In the Victorian era, women used to make framed pictures out of hair cut from their heads.  In a Museum in Scotland, I saw a lock of hair from Bonnie Prince Charlie which had not deteriorated over the years.  However, the hair in the Auschwitz Museum is badly deteriorated; it has obviously been subjected to Zyklon-B to kill any lice because it was intended to be sent to Germany to be used in making cloth.  After the women were gassed at Auschwitz, the hair would have been filled with excrement and it would have been hard to clean.  The German people are noted for being efficient; I think they would have cut the hair off before sending the women into the gas chamber.

On page 81, Müller wrote: “Thus, a towel slung over their arm and clutching a cake of soap, they entered, all unsuspecting, the three gas chambers of crematorium 5.”  Where have I heard the soap and towels story before?  Now I remember: it was at Dachau that the American liberators found soap and towels in the undressing room for the gas chamber.  Did Müller borrow this detail from the Dachau story?  Or were there three shower rooms in Crematorium 5 at Birkenau?

The first Jews who were sent to Auschwitz were from Slovakia, the state that had broken off from Czechslovakia, and was allied with Germany during World War II.

In the forward to Müller’s book, Professor Yehuda Bauer of Yad Vashem wrote this:

Why did Müller not publish his memoir before?  He did in a way.  He returned to his Czechoslovak home after the war.  A summary of his testimony was included in a book in 1946 (published in English in 1966 as The Death Factory by O. Kraus and E. Kulka).

So now the truth comes out:  Müller was the first to write a description of the gas chambers in 1946.  Dr. Nyiszli wrote his book in 1947.

It is my personal opinion that Dr. Nyiszli never saw the inside of any gas chamber and he got his information from Filip Müller, who entered the gas chambers at Auschwitz and Birkenau many times over a period of three years and even lived, for a time, in the undressing room of crematorium 4, as he wrote on page 147 of his book.  On the same page, he wrote: “some of us (Sonderkommandos) made their quarters in the lofts of crematorium 2 and 3.”  Dr. Nyiszli claimed that he lived in crematorium 1, but he obviously meant crematorium 3 because he mentioned that it was near the soccer field.  Crematorium 1 was in the main Auschwitz camp.

There are some revisionists who don’t believe that Dr. Nyiszli was ever at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  I find it strange that both Dr. Nyiszli and Filip Müller were sent to Mauthausen and then to the Melk sub-camp.  What are the chances of that?  Dr. Nyiszli could have faked his whole book, based on the experience of Filip Müller.

October 15, 2011

Eye-witness description of the procedure used in the Auschwitz-Birkenau gas chambers

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:41 am

There were two survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp who wrote eye-witness descriptions of how the gassing of the Jews was accomplished.  One of these books was written by Filip Müller, who was a Sonderkommando at Auschwitz. He wrote a book, published in 1979, entitled Eyewitness Auschwitz, Three Years in the Gas Chambers.

Ruins of Krema III gas chamber with SS entrance into the gas chamber in the center

The second survivor who wrote a book describing the gas chambers was Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, a doctor who was working, as a pathologist, with the Sonderkommando squad at Birkenau.  I blogged about his book yesterday, but I am writing about it again because his eye-witness description of the gas chamber deserves more publicity.  He described the gas chamber building that was near the soccer field, which would be Krema III, shown in the photo above.

The description of the operation of the Birkenau gas chambers begins on p. 47 in Chapter VII of Dr. Nyiszli’s book.  He begins with a description of the arrival of a transport train, which he sees from the window of the crematorium building (probably Krema III) where he lives with other members of the Sonderkommando group.  As soon as the train arrives, the men in the furnace room of the crematorium prepare “to welcome the new convoy.”  Enormous ventilators are turned on to fan the flames in the 15 ovens.  Dr. Nyiszli describes the “incineration room as 500 feet long, with a concrete floor and barred windows.”

The incinerators (cremation ovens) at Auschwitz-Birkenau

It only takes 5 or 6 minutes for the victims to arrive at the crematorium after they have been selected to go to the left; they march into the courtyard of Krema III, in groups of five. The entrance to the gas chamber is only 300 yards from the ramp where the selection has been made.

Women directed to the left are destined to be gassed

Victims walking past Krema III in the background

Regarding the march to the gas chamber, Dr. Nyiszli wrote: “For the most part the babies were carried in their fathers’ arms or else wheeled in their carriages.”

Wait a minute!  The fathers carried the babies to the gas chamber?  A man young enough to have a babe in arms was young enough to work.   And baby carriages on the trains to Auschwitz?  In all the Holocaust survivor books that I have ever read, I’ve never heard of that. Nor is it shown in any of the photos that the Nazis took.

Then Dr. Nyiszli mentions “the water faucets, used for sprinkling the grass” in the courtyard of the gas chamber building.  Automatic sprinklers at Birkenau?  I was 11 years old in 1944, and I had no idea that sprinklers had been invented at that time.  In California, everyone has sprinklers on their lawn because it never rains in the Summer, but it rains in Poland, so why were sprinklers needed?

Then Dr. Nyiszli writes:  “They (the victims) began to take pots and pans from their luggage, and broke ranks, pushing and shoving in an effort to get near the faucets and fill their containers.”  NO! NO! NO!  The luggage was left behind.  The victims did not carry their luggage into the gas chamber.  Look at the luggage in the Auschwitz Museum.  You can easily see that the luggage was not subjected to Zyklon-B gas; it is completely undamaged.

Luggage brought by Jews to Auschwitz has not deteriorated

But then, Dr. Nyiszli describes how the SS men “waited patiently till each had quenched his thirst and filled his container” with water from the sprinklers.  The photo below shows a child carrying a pail on the way to the gas chamber.  This appears to me to be a lunch pail for carrying food, not a pail for water.

Children carrying pails to the gas chamber at Birkenau

Finally, the victims “advanced for about 100 yards along a cinder path edged with green grass to an iron ramp, from which 10 to 12 concrete steps led underground to an enormous room dominated by a large sign in German, French, Greek and Hungarian: ‘Baths and Disinfection Room.’”

Sign for showers at Birkenau

Disinfection sign at Birkenau

The two photos above show that there really were Bath and Disinfection signs at Birkenau, but they were in the Sauna, where the prisoners had to take a shower and be disinfected before they were admitted into the camp.

Here is Dr. Nyiszli’s description of the undressing room, probably in Krema III at Birkenau:

The room into which the convoy proceeded was about 200 yards long: its walls were whitewashed and it was brightly lit. In the middle of the room rows of columns. Around the columns, as well as along the walls, benches. Above the benches, numbered coat hangers. [...]  There were 3,000 people in the room: men, women and children.

Ruins of Krema III undressing room

The photo above shows the ruins of the undressing room of Krema III, which according to Dr. Nyiszli held 3,000 people. Note the broken columns in the ruins.

Ruins of the gas chamber in Krema III at Birkenau

Note the columns in the photo of Krema III above; the columns held up the roof of the gas chamber; the roof was three feet above ground.

Dr. Nyiszli wrote that, after 3,000 people had been crowded into the undressing room, “Some of the soldiers arrived and announced that everyone must be completely undressed in ten minutes.”  He wrote that the people in the gas chamber “were struck dumb with surprise.  Modest women and girls looked at each other questioningly.” [...] “The aged, the paralyzed, the mad were helped to undress by a Sonderkommando squad sent for that purpose.”  The Sonderkommando squad was made up of Jewish men, so it was O.K for them to help with the undressing of the victims.

Dr. Nyiszli’s description of the gassing procedure continues with this quote:

Making his way through the crowd (of 3,000 people), an SS opened the swing-doors of the large oaken gate at the end of the (undressing) room.  The crowd flowed through it into another equally well-lighted room.  The second room was the same size as the first, but neither benches or pegs were to be seen.  In the center of the room, at thirty-yard intervals, columns rose from the concrete floor to the ceiling.  They were not supporting columns, but square sheet-iron pipes, the sides of which contained numerous perforations, like a wire lattice.

Notice in the photos above, that the sheet-iron pipes were removed before the Krema III gas chamber was blown up by the Nazis.  The purpose of these pipes was to hold the Zyklon-B gas pellets, so that they would not have to be removed from the floor after the victims were dead.  The Nazis were no fools — they were careful to leave no evidence behind.

Dr. Nyiszli’s description of the gassing continues with this quote:

Everyone was inside. A hoarse command rang out: “SS and Sonderkommando leave the room.”  They obeyed and counted off.  The doors swung shut and from without, the lights were switched off.

At that very instant the sound of a car was heard:  a deluxe model, furnished by the International Red Cross.  An SS officer and a SDG (Sanitatsdienstgefreiter: Deputy Health Service Officer) stepped out of the car. The Deputy Health Officer held four green sheet-iron cannisters.  He advanced across the grass, where, every thirty yards, short concrete pipes jutted up from the ground.  Having donned his gas mask, he lifted the lid of the pipe, which was also made of concrete. He opened one of the cans and poured the contents — a mauve granulated material into the opening.

HOLD IT!  The color of the gas pellets was mauve?  Mauve is sort of a dusty rose color.  I have seen Zyklon-B gas pellets at two different camp memorial sites. The pellets were a very light bluish-green color.  Definitely not mauve!

The gassing procure continues with this quote from Dr. Nyiszli’s book:

Twenty minutes later the electric ventilators were set going in order to evacuate the gas.  The doors opened, the trucks arrived, and a Sonderkommando squad loaded the clothing and the shoes separately. They were going to disinfect them. This time it was a real case of disinfection.  Later they would transport them by rail to various parts of the country.

The ventilators, patented “Exhator” system, quickly evacuated the gas from the room, but in the crannies between the dead and the cracks of the doors, small pockets of it still remained.  Even two hours later it caused a suffocating cough.  For that reason the Sonderkommando group which first moved into the room was equipped with gas masks. Once again the room was powerfully lighted, revealing a horrible spectacle.   [...]

The Sonderkommando squad, outfitted with large rubber boots, lined up around the hill of bodies and flooded it with powerful jets of water.

Dr. Nyiszli wrote that the Sonderkommando squad was killed every four months. (Other sources say that the Sondekommando squad was killed every THREE months.) The first assignment of the new group was to carry the bodies of the previous group to the ovens, so the Sonderkommando men knew that they would only live for four months.  Yet, they carried on, removing the dead Jews from the gas chambers. There were 12 squads killed before the 13th squad decided to blow up the Krema IV gas chambers in a revolt.

Dr. Nyiszli worked with the 14th and last Sonderkommado squad.  Members of the last squad were allowed to live; they were marched out of the camp on January 18, 1945 when the camp was abandoned. Several of them gave testimony about the gas chambers.

October 14, 2011

Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, the Jewish doctor who volunteered to help Dr. Josef Mengele in his experiments

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 10:35 am

One of the earliest books about Auschwitz was written by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli and first published in the Hungarian language in a Budapest newspaper from February 16, 1947 through April 5, 1947.  My copy of the book, which is entitled Auschwitz, a Doctor’s Eye-Witness Account, was first published in English in 1960. In his book, Dr. Nyiszli describes his work as a pathologist, who assisted Dr. Josef Mengele by doing autopsies for his experiments in the Gypsy Camp at Auschwitz II, aka Birkenau. I also blogged about Dr. Nyiszli’s book here.

Yesterday, I blogged about the experiments allegedly done by Dr. Mengele in Block 10 in the main Auschwitz camp, according to information given to students by a tour guide.  Not according to Dr. Nyiszli, who wrote about Dr. Mengele doing medical experiments only at Birkenau. He did not mention that Dr. Mengele worked at the Auschwitz main camp.

On page 31 of his book, Dr. Nyiszli wrote that “Three categories of experiments were performed here (in the Gypsy camp): the first consisted of research into the origin and causes of dual births [...] The second was the search to discover the biological and pathological causes for the birth of dwarfs and giants. And the third was the study of the causes and treatment of a disease commonly called “dry gangrene of the face.”  According to Dr. Nyiszli, this disease was “exceptionally rare,” but in the Gypsy Camp, it was “fairly common.”  Dr. Nyiszli wrote that “the syphilis rate in the Gypsy Camp was extremely high” and from this it had been deduced that “dry gangrene of the face” was related to “hereditary syphilis.”  Other writers refer to this disease as “Noma.”

Dr. Nyiszli wrote that he arrived at Auschwitz on a train with other Jews from Hungary in May 1944; he went through a “selection” at which Dr. Mengele asked for doctors to volunteer to work as doctors. Dr. Nyiszli was the only doctor, out of 50 doctors on that transport, who volunteered.

Because he volunteered to help the Nazi doctors, Dr. Nyiszli was given civilian clothes, and allowed to sleep in the “twelfth hospital barracks,” instead of being put into the quarantine barracks.  The twelfth hospital at Birkenau?  Yes, Dr. Nyiszli wrote that “The head doctor of barracks hospital number 12 was Dr. Levy, professor at the University of Strasbourg…”

(more…)

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