Scrapbookpages Blog

July 4, 2015

10,000 people per day now visit Auschwitz and take photos with a selfie stick

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:24 am
Ruins of a gas chamber at Auschwtiz-Birkenau (click on the photo to enlarge)

Ruins of gas chamber III at Auschwtiz-Birkenau (click on the photo to enlarge)

The first time that I visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, in September 1998, I was the only person there and my Jewish tour guide would not let me get off the main road in the camp because she said that there were snakes in the grass.  She meant real snakes, not Nazis who might be lurking there, ready to throw me into a gas chamber.

Now there are 8,000 to 10,000 people per day walking through Auschwitz-Birkenau, and there might be a real danger of being trampled to death.

Today, I read a news article here which told about how tourists take selfies with a “selfie stick” at Auschwitz. Is taking a selfie with a “selfie stick” worse than taking one with just a hand held device?

I have no objection to using a “selfie stick” if one is so inclined; my concern is with the description of the “crematorium” near which these photos were being taken.

This quote is from the news article:

A couple of weeks ago, I stood before a crematorium at Auschwitz-Birkenau and listened to the tour guide talk about the sonderkommandos. The sonderkommandos, he explained quietly, were the prisoners tasked with removing dead corpses from the gas chambers – after the victims had been showered with cyanide and choked to death – and then with hurling them into ovens or onto piles of other lifeless bodies and burning them to ash. The sonderkommandos, who sometimes found their own family members in the heaps, would be killed off and then replaced to prevent their gruesome stories from circulating to others in the camp. I stood there and listened, catatonic and sick to my stomach, perturbed by the lush green fields and flowers growing along the perimeter of the gas chamber.

The description of the “lush green fields and flowers growing along the perimeter of the gas chambers” identifies this location as being in the Auschwitz II camp — Auschwitz-Birkenau. But the quote starts out by referring to a “crematorium”, not a gas chamber.

There were TWO underground rooms in each of the alleged gas chamber buildings at Birkeanau: an undressing room and a gas chamber. There was no crematorium. As far as I know, the bodies had to be stored outside in the snow, while they were being burned in the ovens a few at a time.

The quote from the news article then continues with this:

But what disturbed me just as much was the tourist I saw tiptoeing his way into the ruins of the gas chamber – which at this point looks like little more than volcanic rubble because the Nazis bombed it to erase evidence before they retreated. Selfie stick in hand, this guy was taking photos of himself in the remains of the crematorium where hundreds of thousands of people were murdered.

The “crematoria” in all the gas chamber buildings at Birkenau were underground. Several people have climbed down into one of the so-called gas chambers, which was in a separate room, but it is completely dark and there is no room for a “selfie stick.”

I think that the author of this article is confused. She obviously meant that tourists are walking down into the former undressing rooms at Birkenau and taking selfies, not into one of the gas chambers.

My photo at the top of this page shows the ruins of the gas chamber in Krema III, which was underground, but the ruins can be accessed now.

Another view of the ruins of the gas chamber in Krema III at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Another view of the ruins of the gas chamber in Krema III at Auschwitz-Birkenau

I suspect that tourists are actually climbing down into the ruins of one of the undressing rooms, not into the ruins of a gas chamber.

Ruins of undressing room in Krema III at Birkenau

Ruins of undressing room in Krema III at Birkenau

July 1, 2015

“Bergen Belsen, for example” was a film made by the British

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — furtherglory @ 11:53 am
Dead prisoners at Bergen-Belsen

Dead prisoners at Bergen-Belsen camp

Josef Kramer, the commandant of the Bergen-Belsen camp

Josef Kramer, commandant of Bergen-Belsen camp, who stayed to help the British

In the year 2002, I took a tour of the Bergen-Belsen memorial site, and as far as I know, I was the only American there that day.

I arrived, by bus, at the memorial site at 1:30 p.m. and by 2:30 p.m. I had finished my tour of what is left of the former camp. I then went to the Document Center to see the English version of a British-made documentary movie that was supposed to start at 3 p.m.

There was a large theater where the movie was being shown in German; the movie had just ended, when I arrived, and the audience of young German students was having a discussion period when I peeked into the theater.

Since I was the only person that wanted to see the movie in English, the film was shown to me in a small room on a TV set with a relatively small screen. Apparently, there were very few English-speaking visitors in the year 2002.

The title of the film was “Bergen-Belsen for Example.” This is obviously a translation of the German title “Bergen-Belsen zum Beispiel.” Zum Beispiel is a German expression which means “for example” but it is used more often and in more different ways than our English expression.

The film opened with scenes of the prisoners greeting the British soldiers as they entered the concentration camp on April 15, 1945.

Not all of the inmates at Bergen-Belsen were starving

Not all of the inmates at Bergen-Belsen were starving

The prisoners looked remarkably healthy, considering the ordeal that they had just been through; everyone was happy and smiling, as shown in the photo above.

Then a British soldier, who said his name was Arthur Bushnell, explained that when the British soldiers first arrived, they got a “false impression” because at first, they didn’t see any dead bodies or emaciated prisoners. All the inmates who rushed up to greet them appeared to be healthy and well-fed.

Bushnell said that there had been 400 German guards in the camp, but only half of them were there when the British arrived. For some strange reason, he didn’t explain why all of guards had not run away to avoid being captured and put on trial as war criminals.

What had actually happened was that the Bergen-Belsen camp had been voluntarily turned over to the British with the agreement that the guards would stay on in the camp to maintain order and help with the work of cleaning up the camp.

Nothing was said about what would happen to the guards, but it was implied in the negotiations that the German guards would be treated with respect and not arrested as war criminals. The movie did not mention that the camp was formally surrendered to the British after both sides had negotiated an agreement.

Instead, the movie led viewers to believe that the British had captured the camp and surprised half of the guards who hadn’t managed to escape like the other half.

According to Eberhard Kolb of the Bergen-Belsen Memorial Site Committee, there were only 80 guards who remained in the camp, 50 men and 30 women. The photographs taken by the British after the liberation show that this number is probably correct.

Bushnell went on to say that there was no food at all in the camp when the British arrived. What had happened to all the food?

Eberhard Kolb wrote that the 30,000 prisoners who had arrived in the camp on April 8, one week before the liberation, had raided the food supplies of the camp. Would it have killed the British to have mentioned this in their film that was made for German children who were not yet born?

The water pump, which pumped drinking water out of cisterns at Bergen-Belsen, had been destroyed by allied bombs and there was no water in the camp. Some water was being brought to the camp by the Germany Army, but not enough for the 60,000 prisoners who were in the camp by the time that the British arrived.

It was not mentioned in the film that the British proceeded to pump water out of a nearby creek, which caused the deaths of more Bergen-Belsen prisoners.

Was the bombing of the water pump mentioned in the film?  No, of course not.

At one time, Bergen-Belsen was an EXCHANGE CAMP. Were any prisoners ever exchanged? The film doesn’t tell us. [Read on]

German citizens and a few German-Americans had been rounded up and put into a prison on Ellis Island two days before Germany declared war on America.

For the German-American citizens, this was a violation of their civil rights under the Constitution of the United States because no charges were brought against them and they were never put on trial. They were held for as long as a year after the war ended.

For the most part, very few prisoners were ever exchanged, but a few lucky inmates were sent to Palestine in exchange for German citizens imprisoned in Great Britain who were released and sent back to Germany.

A few American Jews, who were stranded in Europe when the war started, were held in the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp, but this was not mentioned in the film. America did not offer to exchange any prisoners.

The narrator in the film, that was shown at the Bergen-Belsen Memorial Site, said that the “Germany Army” had refused to bury the dead in the camp. Bergen-Belsen was right in the middle of a war zone and the Germany Army was engaged in fighting in a last-ditch effort to save their country from Communism. Were they supposed to stop fighting in the war, and bury dead Jews who had died of typhus?

Some of the dead bodies at Bergen Belsen were buried near the German Army base, shown in the background

Some of the dead bodies at Bergen Belsen were buried near the German Army base, shown in the background

After the Bergen-Belsen camp was voluntarily turned over to the British, Hungarian soldiers in the German Army were assigned to maintain order at Bergen-Belsen for six days during the transfer of the camp to the British, according to the negotiated agreement. After six days, they had been promised that they would have safe passage back to the German lines.

When they were ordered by the British officers to handle the diseased bodies with their bare hands, the Hungarian soldiers refused because this was not part of the negotiated agreement; their job was to maintain order.

The narrator of the film did not mention that some of the Hungarian soldiers were shot, in violation of the agreement, because they had refused to help with the burial of the bodies.

The next person, who was featured in the film shown at Bergen Belsen, was Mike Lewis, who said he was a Jewish soldier in the British army. He said that it was purely an “accident” that he was sent to Bergen-Belsen as one of the liberators.

British soldier driving a bull dozer to shove the bodies of prisoners into a grave

British soldier driving a bulldozer to shove the bodies of prisoners into a grave

Mike Lewis said that he took photos and movie film at the liberation but he could never bear to look at the photographs afterwards.

The film that Lewis took was shown at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal; this was the famous footage of British bulldozers shoving the bodies into the mass graves. Remarkably, Lewis says that he took a turn driving the bulldozer himself while someone else filmed him.

Next, a short film clip is shown of a woman naked from the waist up, washing herself with water in a wash basin. The narrator explains that the prisoners were so demoralized that they thought nothing of doing their “body functions” out in the open.

In the film, Lewis asks “Why Germany?” Then he explains that “any race is capable of this.” So why the Germans?

Lewis says in the film that “some disease made them [the Germans] prone” to do this.

The implication was that the Germans had deliberately starved or killed the prisoners in the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp, and that they did this because of some strange disease  from which only the German “race” suffers.

It was not explained in the film that the emaciated corpses in the camp were those of people who had died of typhus in an epidemic that was out of control. Keep in mind that most of the visitors who were watching this film, when I was there, were 14-year-old German students.

The film shows the British feeding the prisoners only a clear broth, but says that many of them died, in spite of this, after the liberation. It was not mentioned how many died. (There were 13,000 who died in the six weeks AFTER the liberation.) The film doesn’t say what was the cause of these deaths.

Martin Gilbert, one of the foremost Jewish Holocaust writers, says that many of the prisoners at Bergen-Belsen died from being given too much rich food too soon by the British, and that the rest died from disease before the epidemics could be brought under control.

Next the narrator tells us that the prisoners who were from Eastern Europe didn’t want to return to their homes. The film doesn’t say why.

What the film didn’t tell us is that, the reason that some of the prisoners didn’t want to return to their homes, was that some of the prisoners had been selected for the exchange camp because they were Zionists who wanted to go to Palestine.

The prisoners who didn’t want to leave Bergen-Belsen stayed on, for TEN YEARS, in the German army barracks nearby where they were quartered in brick or stone buildings. This became the largest of all the DP camps, as the prisoners waited for years to get into Canada, Australia and Israel, according to the film. They had a long wait because Israel did not exist until 1948 and before that, the British were restricting Jewish immigration into Palestine.

The narrator then says that, 10 days after the British arrived, which would have been on April 25th, the local German people were brought to the camp to see the bodies which had not yet been buried. Since the burial had begun on April 18th, the bodies that were still to be buried were probably those of the typhus victims who had died after the camp was liberated.

A British soldier speaks to these elderly German civilians in German telling them, “Your sons and daughters are responsible for these crimes.” Then we see scenes of the German SS guards who had risked their lives to stay behind and help, as they take the bodies off the trucks and put them into the mass graves.

There is an audience of former prisoners, mostly healthy-looking women, who are screaming at the top of their lungs, in German, at the guards: “Who is responsible?”

The German civilians were forced to watch this horrible scene in silence while the Jewish soldier filmed it for posterity. The narrator didn’t mention that some of these German civilians were now homeless because they had been forced to move out so that Jewish survivors of Bergen-Belsen could live in their homes.

Former German guard at Bergen-Belsen after she was forced to carry bodies to graves at Bergen-Belsen

Former German guard at Bergen-Belsen after she was forced to carry bodies to graves at Bergen-Belsen

After seeing the film, I went to the Bergen-Belsen museum where I saw photos of the former prisoners. The photo below was shown in the Museum.

Photo of a Bergen-Belsen prisoner who survived

Photo of a Bergen-Belsen prisoner who survived

Kurt Gerson, aka Kurt Gerron, was gassed at Auschwitz on October 28, 1944

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 7:36 am
Kurt Gerson who changed his name to Kurt Gerron

Kurt Gerson who changed his name to Kurt Gerron

Yesterday, I blogged about Kurt Gerron, who was gassed at Auschwitz, according to Wikipedia. I did not realize that this was Kurt Gerson, a man that I had previously read about in my extensive research on the Holocaust.

According to an article on the Holocaust History Project website, which you can read in full here, “Kurt Gerron was born Kurt Gerson to Jewish parents in Berlin, Germany on 11 May 1897.”

The following information is from the Holocaust History Project:

After the German occupation of the Netherlands he was interned in Westerbork transit camp in mid –1943 before being sent to Theresienstadt – the paradise ghetto, near Prague on 25 February 1944.

There he ran a cabaret called “The Karussell” to entertain the ghetto inmates.

He was subsequently forced by the Nazis to make a propaganda film showing how well the Jews were treated at Theresienstadt. The film was called Der Fuhrer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt – The Fuhrer Gives a City to the Jews.

The Germans promised Gerron his life, but they did not keep this promise.

Gerron submitted a script to Commandant Karl Rahm – “The connecting tissue, the leitmotif was water – the rivers,bathtubs, faucets, showers, irrigation ditches – Berlin liked the theme and approval was given to start filming.

Filming commenced on 16 August 1944 and was completed on 11 September 1944, the film was a grotesque lie, and as soon as filming stopped the ghetto slipped back to its cruel regime of starvation and transports.

After completion of the film, Gerron was deported to Auschwitz on the final transport, and he was gassed in Birkenau on 28 October 1944.

So Bradley Smith can stop asking for the name of one person who was gassed by the Nazis. We now know the name of at least one Jew who was gassed: Kurt Gerron, formerly known as Kurt Gerson.

My 2000 photo of one of the buildings at Theresienstadt

My 2000 photo of one of the buildings at Theresienstadt which has fallen into ruins

My 2000 photo of the building where a store for the Jewish residents could shop

My 2000 photo of the store building where the Jewish residents could shop at Theresienstadt

The Dresden barracks for women had a courtyard where the prisoners could play soccer

The Dresden barracks for women had a courtyard where the prisoners could play soccer

The film made by Kurt Gerron featured prisoners playing soccer in the courtyard inside the Dresden barracks.

The film is shown in this You Tube video:

June 30, 2015

Found at last — the name of one person who was gassed by the Nazis

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:52 am

For many years, Bradley Smith has been asking for the name of one person, who was gassed during the Holocaust. Now at last, the name of one person has been found. Kurt Garron was gassed, according to Wikipedia.

The Small Fortress, across the road from the Theresienstadt ghetto

My photo of the Small Fortress, across the road from the Theresienstadt ghetto

Photo on Wikipedia page about Theresienstadt

Photo on Wikipedia page about Theresienstadt

In the FIRST photo above, notice the “Arbeit macht Frei” sign in the background. This sign was NOT over the entrance into the Theresienstadt camp for Jews. The SECOND photo, which is on the Wikipedia page about Theresienstadt, purports to show that the entrance into the Theresiensadt camp had the dreaded sign: “Arbeit macht Frei.” The “Arbeit macht Frei” sign was only put over Class I camps, not over death camps, as claimed by today’s Holocaust True Believers.

After my two visits to Theresienstadt, many years ago, I wrote about the camp on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/CzechRepublic/Theresienstadt/TheresienstadtGhetto/History/GhettoHistory.html

Wikipedia’s misuse of a photo gives you a heads-up that the Wiki page about Theresienstadt might contain some errors. This morning, as I was reading the Wikipedia page on Theresienstadt, I read the following:

Following the successful use of Theresienstadt as a supposed model internment camp during the Red Cross visit, the Nazis decided to make a propaganda film there. It was directed by Jewish prisoner Kurt Gerron, an experienced director and actor; he had appeared with Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel. Shooting took eleven days, starting September 1, 1944.[31] After the film was completed, most of the cast and the director were deported to Auschwitz. Gerron was murdered by gas chamber on October 28, 1944.[32]

Here is the text of source [32]

Evans, Richard J. (2008). The Third Reich At War. Penguin. p. 302. ISBN 978-1-59420-206-3. Retrieved 8 December 2011.

Yes, Virginia there is a gas chamber at Theresienstadt. One of my very first blog posts, on May 13, 2010, was about the Theresienstadt gas chamber.

However, it is not clear whether Gerron was murdered in a gas chamber at Auschwitz, or a gas chamber at Theresienstadt. https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/gas-chamber-at-theresienstadt/

You can read about Richard Evans on this website: http://codoh.com/library/document/402/

June 29, 2015

Which Allied soldier arrested Josef Kramer, the Commandant at Bergen-Belsen?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:14 am

You can read about the trial of Josef Kramer in this previous blog post that I wrote: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/before-the-nuremberg-imt-there-was-the-belsen-trial/

Prisoners in the typhus barracks at Bergen-Belsen

Prisoners in the typhus barracks at Bergen-Belsen

I have always thought that it was a well-known fact that the Bergen-Belsen camp was voluntarily turned over to the British, and that  Commandant Josef Kramer was arrested by some unknown British officer.

Joseph Kramer was immeditely arrested after he met the British at the gate and offered is help

Joseph Kramer was arrested after he met the British at the gate and offered his help

A few days ago, an American woman sent me an e-mail, in which she wrote this:

My Father Raymond Arthur Swanson was sent in when our troops got to this camp [Bergen Belsen] by his commander to arrest this man [Josef Kramer]. At my Fathers funeral all of this came out and was told and recorded by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The VFW [Veterans of Foreign Wars] is a well known institution in America. If the VFW says that Kramer was arrested by an American, it must be true.

It is well known that the British were fighting in the area around Bergen-Belsen during World War II. I had always thought that American troops were not fighting in this part of Germany, but what do I know?

I did a google search and found an excellent article, written by Joseph Bellinger on the Inconvenient History website.  I know that some people [you know who you are] have made fun of Joseph Bellinger and questioned his research, but in my humble opinion, he is one of the best revisionist writers and the  Inconvenient History website is possibly THE BEST revisionist website. In other words, I trust the writing of Joseph Bellinger and the Inconvenient History website.

This quote is from the article written by Joseph Bellinger:

Three Jewish men were among the first British soldiers who entered the liberated [Bergen-Belsen] camp on April 15, 1944.

Among these liberators was Captain Derek Sington, a young man working for British Intelligence at the time these events occurred. Sington appears to have been one of the designated senior officials to first enter Belsen. His written account of the camp’s liberation indicates that he acted with authority and decisiveness when initially confronting the camp commander, Josef Kramer, who was waiting just outside of the main camp to greet and escort the British troops upon arrival.
According to Sington’s account, the Germans had made overtures to his commanding officer seeking to surrender the camp intact. An agreement was reached whereby a small contingent of guards, mainly comprised of Hungarians employed in the service of the Wehrmacht, would remain at the camp site to maintain order, along with a smaller contingent of about fifty SS staff-members and employees, retained for purely administrative purposes. It was implicitly understood that, once the surrender and transfer of the camp were completed, these units were to be allowed to pass on to the German lines without further molestation. Unfortunately for Kramer and his staff, events and emotions were soon to render that agreement null and void.

It is very clear to me, after reading the above quote, that the Bergen-Belsen camp was turned over to the British, and there were no American soldiers there. The Americans were fighting in the area south of Bergen-Belsen.

Dead bodies found by the British at Bergen-Belsen

Emaciated bodies found by the British at Bergen-Belsen

Bellinger’s article continues with this quote:

Sington was met by Commandant Kramer, who jumped onto the running board of his vehicle and saluted. Dispensing with formalities, Sington asked him how many prisoners were currently being held in the camp. Kramer gave a figure of 40,000, plus an additional 15,000 in Camp number 2, which was further up the road. When asked what types of prisoners were being held in confinement there, Kramer replied, “Habitual criminals, felons, and homosexuals.”

[..]

As Sington fought to hold back tears, he strode back to his vehicle and, still accompanied by Kramer, plunged deeper into the foul underbelly of the camp. By this time, the masses of inmates were fully aroused and began surging past the barbed wire enclosures into the main thoroughfare of the camp. At this point, Kramer suddenly leaned toward Sington and remarked, “Now the tumult is beginning.”

The following quote from Bellinger’s article tells how Kramer was treated with contempt by the British. Kramer gets no credit for saving some of the lives of the Bergen-Belsen prisoners.

On the morning of April 18th, after having spent five days and nights in a vile underground cellar enveloped in total darkness, Josef Kramer was taken out of his cell and prepared for transfer out of the camp. The former commandant was manhandled and shackled, both hands and legs. The shackles were much too small for his enormous wrists and cut gaping gashes into his flesh. Kramer was then prodded into a jeep, his shirt ripped from his back, and paraded throughout the camp half-naked, to the accompaniment of jeers, hooting, catcalls, and a resonant howling which sounded to one witness as a “terrifying blend of joy and hate.” Insults and accusations were not the only items thrown at Kramer. Whatever object the inmates could lay their hands on was thrown at Kramer as he crouched as low as he could in the vehicle, trying to avoid any potentially damaging missiles. Two British soldiers were poised directly behind Kramer, constantly prodding him in the spine with their sten guns, which was a cause for great jubilation among the gleeful inmates, and provoked them to howling with “joy and hate.” After he had been duly exposed to the contempt and wrath of the inmates, Kramer was driven out of the compound, amidst a hail of garbage and debris, never to return.

The photo below shows the healthy women and children who greeted the British liberators at the Beren-Belsen gate.

Not all of the inmates at Bergen-Belsen were starving

Not all of the inmates at Bergen-Belsen were starving

The Bergen-Belsen

The Bergen-Belsen “potato peelers” were mentioned in Bellinger’s article

June 27, 2015

The British version of what happened at Bergen Belsen

I am blogging today about a news article, which I read this morning on the Internet: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/queen-elizabeth-II/11701738/The-survivor-and-the-liberator-Two-tales-of-the-horror-at-Bergen-Belsen.html

The news article begins with this quote:

The survivor and the liberator: Two tales of the horror at Bergen-Belsen
As The Queen visits 70 years on, the notorious Nazi concentration camp is still in the minds of Captain Eric Brown and Rudi Oppenheimer

Captain Eric Brown was a British soldier, who was apparently in charge of the Belsen camp, after the camp was VOLUNTARILY turned over to the British because there was a typhus epidemic in the camp.

This quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

For Captain Eric Brown, it is the stench of Bergen-Belsen that remains with him 70 years on.

Capt Brown, 96, was already a legendary Royal Navy test pilot in 1945, and was at an airfield near Hanover assessing captured German aircraft the day before Belsen was liberated by [being voluntarily turned over to] the British.

Fluent in German, he [Captain Brown] was asked if he could spare just one day to help interrogate the commandant of the camp, SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Josef Kramer, and his assistant Irma Grese, both of whom were later hanged for war crimes.

He [Captain Brown] said: “When we arrived the camp guards were all lined up and they were handed over to us and in we went. While the brigadier went to find Kramer and Grese, I had a wander round. [Kramer and Grese had met the British at the gate into the camp and had volunteered their help. They had been immediately arrested and thrown into the camp prison.]

End quote

Joseph Kramer was immeditely arrested after he met the British at the gate and offered is help

Joseph Kramer was immediately arrested after he met the British at the gate and offered his help

Sign at the gate into Bergen Belsen warned that there was a typhus epidemic

Sign at the gate into Bergen Belsen warned that there was a typhus epidemic

The quote from the article continues with this statement by Eric Brown:

Begin quote

Then I went to the interrogation. Kramer was a stocky chap, he looked like a bully boy. He had come from Auschwitz, where his job had been to separate new arrivals into the ones that were to be worked to death and the ones that went straight to the gas chambers. [and you thought that it was Dr. Josef Mengele who decided who would be worked to death and who would die in the chamber.]

“I asked him [Kramer] if he would do it again if he had his time over again, and to my astonishment he said yes. [Did Kramer mean that he would serve his country, if he had to do it over again, or did he mean that he would send Jews to the gas chamber at Bergen-Belsen if he had it to do over again.]

“Irma Grese was probably the worst human being I have ever encountered. She also worked at Auschwitz and I asked her the same question I had asked Kramer. She refused to answer, but I kept asking it, and after I’d asked her four or five times she suddenly leapt to her feet, cried “Heil Hitler!” sat down and refused to answer any more questions.” [Bad Irma! She refused to incriminate herself.]

End quote

Josef Kramer looked like a

Josef Kramer looked like a “bully boy” but was probably not a bully

Irma Grese after she was capured by the British when she volunteered to help

Irma Grese after she was captured by the British when she volunteered to help

Few people would challenge a man who looked like Josef Kramer. I strongly suspect that he was not a “bully boy.”

On my scrapbookpages website, I wrote extensively about Bergen-Belsen.  On this page, I wrote about the camp being turned over to the British: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/BergenBelsen/BergenBelsen05.html

Bergen-Belsen — where homosexuals was (sic) interned by the Nazis …

Filed under: Dachau, Germany — furtherglory @ 10:29 am

The title of my blog post today is a quote from a news article which you can read in full at: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/06/26/queen-pays-sombre-visit-to-bergen-belsen-concentration-camp/

This quote is from the news article, sited above:

Bergen-Belsen – where homosexuals was interned by the Nazis along with a number of other minority groups – was liberated by British troops 1945. Gay prisoners were not set free at the end of the Second World War, unlike other groups, and were made to serve out their sentences.

[…]

Approximately 50,000 served prison sentences as “convicted homosexuals”, and around 5,000 to 15,000 gay men were imprisoned in concentration camps across Germany and Nazi occupied countries. Many gay men were imprisoned by the allied authorities after the liberation of the concentration camps as homosexuality remained illegal.

Statue of the

Statue of the “unknown prisoner” at Dachau; the model for this statue was Kurt Lange, a homosexual

The statue created by Fritz Koelle, known as the “Unknown Inmate,” which is shown in the photo above, was erected at the Dachau memorial site in 1950. The statue is located just north of the old crematorium where the bodies of dead prisoners were burned.

The words on the base of the statue, shown above, when translated into English, mean “To honor the dead, to admonish the living.”

The model for the statue was Kurt Lange, a homosexual who had been imprisoned at Dachau.

Under a new German law, after the Nazis came to power, all criminals who had served two prison terms were sent to a concentration camp for at least six months of “rehabilitation.”

One category of German citizens, who were prosecuted persecuted by Heinrich Himmler, in his capacity as Chief of the German Police, was homosexuals.

Paragraph 175 of the German criminal code, which had been in effect since 1871, made it a crime for men to publicly engage in gay sex or for male prostitutes to solicit men for sex.

It is important to note that men were only arrested if they were having sex in public, or if they were soliciting men on the street. Some of the men who were sent to a concentration camp under this law were not homosexual; they were male prostitutes.

Himmler began enforcing Paragraph 175 and a total of about 10,000 homosexuals were eventually sent to concentration camps such as Dachau, Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen for at least 6 months of “rehabilitation.”  They received regular visits from the medical commissions, who attempted to change their sexual orientation because the Nazis believed that these prisoners were gay by choice.

The first homosexual prisoner to be registered at Mauthausen was Georg Bautler, Prisoner No. 130. The first Jew to be sent to Mauthausen was also incarcerated because he had broken the German law under Paragraph 175.

June 26, 2015

Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Bergen Belsen today, June 26, 2015

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 4:09 pm
My 2001 photo of the entrance stone at Bergen-Belsen

My 2001 photo of the entrance stone at Bergen-Belsen

The words on the stone at the entrance into the Bergen-Belsen Memorial Site give the dates that this area was used as a prison camp, first for Prisoners of War in 1940, then as an exchange camp in 1943, and then for sick prisoners in 1944.

It was not until December 2, 1944 that Bergen-Belsen became a concentration camp.

A news story about the Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Bergen-Belsen begins with this quote:

Bergen-Belsen was the only concentration camp to be liberated by the British, who arrived on April 15, 1945, to scenes that shocked the world thanks to the accounts of BBC war reporter Richard Dimbleby.

Oops! What the news article failed to mention is that the Germans had sent a man to contact the British, who were fighting on the battlefield nearby. The Germans came to beg the British to come to the camp because a typhus epidemic at the camp were out of control. The Germans asked the British to take over because they were losing the war and they could not handle the epidemic.

Yet, every article about Bergen-Belsen that you will ever read, and including every article that you won’t read, tells you that the British broke down the gates into the Belsen camp and saved the inmates in the nick of time before the Germans could kill them all.

Queen meets with Bergen Belsen survivors

Queen meets with Bergen Belsen survivors

The woman on the far right, in the photo above, is Anita Lasker-Wallfisch. I have written two previous blog posts about Anita Lasker-Wallfisch.  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/anita-lasker-wallfisch/

This quote is from the news article:

Begin quote:

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch a Jew born in Breslau in what is now Poland, was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942 because she was travelling with forged papers.

After spells in prison and in Auschwitz, she arrived in Belsen in October 1944.

Asked what it was like to live in Belsen, she said: “It was more like dying there, not living there.

“There was nothing, it was the end, there was no food, nothing. The only reason anyone survived was because the British came in time.

“When the British came it was a miracle, we thought we were dreaming, suddenly we heard an English voice.”

End quote

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip pass by the memorial stone to the Jews

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip pass by the memorial stone to the Jews at the Bergen-Belsen memorial site

The back side of the Jewish Monument has an English translation of the words on the front:

“Israel and the world shall remember thirty thousand Jews exterminated in the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen at the hands of the murderous Nazis. EARTH CONCEAL NOT THE BLOOD SHED ON THEE! First anniversary of Liberation 15th April 1946 Central Jewish Committee Brtish Zone”

My 2001 photo of the Jewish Monument that Queen Eliza passed by

My 2001 photo of the Jewish Monument with the House of Silence in the background

My close-up photo of the monument that the Queen passed on by

My close-up photo of the monument that the Queen passed on by, disrespecting the Jews

My photo above shows the Jewish Monument, which was erected on the first anniversary of the camp liberation, 15 April 1946.

In the background is a modern building where visitors can spend time quietly reflecting on the tragedy which occurred in this spot.

House of Silence at Bergen-Belsen

My photo of the House of Silence at Bergen-Belsen

My 2001 photo of the inside of the House of Silence at Bergen-Belsen

My 2001 photo of the inside of the House of Silence at the memorial site at Bergen-Belsen

I took this photo of a note left in the House of Silence

I took this photo of a note left in the House of Silence

The words on a note left in the House of Silence say: “It was horrible what was done to the people. Remember it. Peace is the only thing what I wish.”

Monument to Chaim Hertzog at Bergen-Belsen

Monument to Chaim Hertzog at Bergen-Belsen

The photo above shows a memorial stone for Chaim Herzog, president of Israel, who died April 17, 1997.

This is an honorary stone; Herzog is not buried at Bergen-Belsen. As a young intelligence officer from Palestine, serving in the British Army, Herzog was with the British troops that took over Bergen-Belsen.

His father was the Chief Rabbi of Ireland and later became the first Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel. Herzog was present when Heinrich Himmler allegedly committed suicide after being captured by the British.

The news article did not mention whether the Queen paid her respects to Herzog.

My photo of the obelisk at Bergen-Belsen, taken in the rain in 2001

My 2001 photo of the obelisk at Bergen-Belsen, taken in the rain. This stone honors all those who died at Belsen

The obelisk and wall in honor of the victims, shown in the photo above, was erected in 1947 on the orders of the British military occupation government. In the foreground, you can see one of the mass graves, and two more mass graves in the background.

Inscription at base of obelisk honors British victims at Bergen-Belsen

Inscription at the base of the obelisk honors the British victims at Bergen-Belsen

Queen Elizabeth paid homage to the British victims who are honored on the stone shown in the photo above.

The photo below shows her placing flowers at the British memorial at the obelisk.

Queen Elizabeth lays wreath at the obelisk

Queen Elizabeth lays wreath at the obelis

I think that the Jews might complain that the Queen did not bow low enough to them on her trip to Belsen.

New book that I can’t wait to read

You can read a news article here, which has this headline:

Andrew Morton traces the Nazi links of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor meet German leader Adolf Hitler in Munich on October 22, 1937. Photo: AP

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor meet German leader Adolf Hitler in Munich on October 22, 1937. Photo: AP

This quote is from the news article:

Lurking behind these shenanigans and the object of the book is their closeness to Nazi Germany. So close the Duchess, then Mrs Simpson, allegedly had an affair with Joachim von Ribbentrop, the reason for the title 17 Carnations – one for every night of their lovemaking; Morton admits they may have been roses. This was all grist to Hitler’s plan to overcome Britain and reinstate the Duke as puppet King, and Wallis as Queen. “She would have made a wonderful Queen,” he murmured.

Later, von Ribbentrop’s crafty plot for kidnapping the couple, offering as bait up to 50 million Swiss dollars ($200 million today) and a castle in Spain, came to naught. A seething Prime Minister Winston Churchill sent them packing to the Bahamas.

June 25, 2015

Watch what you write on Facebook, lest you go to prison for two years

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:06 am

I have just learned, from this news article, that a modern-day “Nazi” has been sentenced to TWO years in prison in France, although the law in France only allows for ONE year in prison for Holocaust denial.

The following quote is from the news article:

A criminal court in Normandy has sentenced French Nazi ideologue Vincent Reynouard to two years in jail for denying the Holocaust in Facebook postings.

Although Mark Zuckerberg officially allows Holocaust denial on Facebook, and Facebook even has a Holocaust page, the law in France does not allow Holocaust denial anywhere.

This quote is also from the news article:

Mr. Collet, who attended the trial, said Mr. Reynouard argued in court that his goal is the “rehabilitation of national socialism.” He has inundated YouTube with more than 120 videos. In one 44-minute video, Mr. Reynouard criticizes Mr. Collet’s commemorations for failing to take into account the French civilians who died in the Allied invasion. More controversially, Mr. Reynouard adds there is “no proof” that the gas chambers ever existed.

I am not a fan of Mr. Reynouard. I think that he has made many minor mistakes, and that he has not studied the Holocaust enough to be an expert. He is entitled to his opinion — but not in France. He should come to America, where he can say anything he wants, at least for now.

My photo of the inside of the church at Oradour-sur-Glane

My photo of the inside of the church at Oradour-sur-Glane

I disagree with Mr. Reynouard on the subject of Oradour-sur-Glane.

Many years ago, I wrote on my website about his conclusions regarding Oradour-sur-Glane, compared to my conclusions:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/VincentReynouard.html

In the article on my website, I was playing Devil’s Advocate. I agree with Reynouard, except for a few details that he got wrong.

This quote is also from the news article:

Mr. Reynouard was convicted in France in 2007 for Holocaust denial, or négationnisme, and went to prison in 2010 to serve a one-year sentence. His incarceration attracted some attention at the time. Hundreds signed a petition to press for his release and the repeal of the French law banning the denial of crimes against humanity.

[…]

Mr. Reynouard, a former mathematics teacher who was sacked by the French Education Ministry for his views in 1997, has also sparked controversy in Belgium. A court in Brussels sentenced him to a one-year jail term in 2008 for “denying the genocide committed by the German national-socialist regime.” The sentence was confirmed by a court of appeal in 2011.

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