Scrapbookpages Blog

March 14, 2010

“bodies stacked like cordwood” How many times have you read those words?

If you want to do a google search to find the stories, told by American soldiers, about seeing the Nazi concentration camps in World War II, just search on “bodies stacked like cordwood.”  Without exception, every single soldier who saw Dachau or Buchenwald or Ohrdruf or Mauthausen reported that he saw the horror of “bodies stacked like cordwood.”

Schollmeyer wood pile — Photo by Brucellocius on Flickr

Back in those days, everyone knew what the word cordwood meant.  Cordwood is not a type of wood; it refers to a measurement. A cord of wood is a stack of four-foot logs with a specific height and width.  In the old days, a “cord of wood” was something that you purchased, if you didn’t have trees on your own property that you could cut down.  In my home town, most people had a cord of wood on their back porch, ready to be used in the wood-burning pot-belly stove in their “front room.”

So what does this have to do with anything?  To me, the use of the phrase “stacked like cordwood” is significant because it shows that the typical American soldier in World War II was from a small town or a farm, and was not overly sophisticated.  When the soldiers saw the dead bodies in the concentration camps “stacked like cordwood,” their first thought was  “how can human beings do this to other human beings?”  They just naturally assumed that the prisoners had been starved to death or killed in a gas chamber.

Bodies found in the crematorium at Dachau

Bodies stacked outside the crematorium at Buchenwald

Bodies stacked up at Mauthausen

Bodies found in a shed at Ohrdruf

The photos above show what the American soldiers saw.  After visiting the Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald on April 12, 1945,  General Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered that as many American soldiers as possible should be brought from the battlefield in trucks and shown the bodies in the nearest concentration camp.  The bodies were left out for weeks so that thousands of soldiers could have a chance to view them. As more prisoners died after the camps were liberated, their bodies were added to the piles.

What was the purpose of bringing soldiers from the battlefield to see dead bodies?  As General Eisenhower famously said: “The American soldiers didn’t know what they were fighting for, but after seeing the concentration camps, they knew what they were fighting against.”

No explanation of how these prisoners had died was given to the American soldiers.  The soldiers were 18 and 19-year-old boys from small town America.  It never occurred to them that there was a typhus epidemic going on in Germany during the last days of World War II and of course, they were not told that these prisoners had died of typhus.  The American soldiers had been vaccinated, so they didn’t have to worry about typhus.  Typhus had been completely wiped out long ago in America by the use of vaccines.

In World War I, four million people died of typhus — and that was just in Poland. During World War II, the Germans knew of the danger of a typhus epidemic and that’s why they used tons of Zyklon-B to kill the lice that spreads typhus.  But as the war progressed and Germany was losing, there was such chaos that the epidemic of typhus could not be controlled.  The American liberators finally stopped the epidemic with DDT and typhus vaccine, which the Germans didn’t have.

As far as I know, not one American soldier ever asked the liberated prisoners, “What’s  going on here?  How did these people die?”  The soldiers had been shown propaganda films before going overseas, so they knew that the German people were evil.  They had been warned not to be fooled by the friendly, fun-loving Germans in their Lederhosen and dirndls; they had been thoroughly indoctrinated in hatred for the German people.  After the war, the soldiers were ordered not to fraternize with the Germans, and most of them returned to America without ever having the opportunity to learn the truth.

Today, these World War II veterans speak to school children in the classroom, telling their stories of how they liberated Dachau or Buchenwald and saw the “bodies stacked like cordwood.”  Sometimes, they tell the children about how they saw human soap or human lampshades or gas chambers.

In my day, we didn’t have vaccine and we didn’t have autism

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:56 am

Does modern medicine cause modern diseases?  When I was a child in the 30s and 40s, autism was unknown.  It wasn’t because autism existed, but had not yet been diagnosed; it was because no one had the symptoms that are now called autism.

I had every childhood disease known to man: measles, mumps, whooping cough, rubella, chicken pox, influenza, and even scarlet fever. These diseases had no lasting effect on my health. If anything, these childhood diseases made me stronger, as in the old adage: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

All of my classmates had the same diseases and none of them died or had any after effects.  I lived in a small town which did not even have a doctor, but we all managed to survive without any medication at all.

The only vaccine that we had back then was for smallpox, but my mother would not allow me to have the vaccine.  I was finally vaccinated for smallpox at the age of 18 because it was required for entry into college. For ten days, I was extremely sick with a mild case of smallpox, caused by the vaccine.  I lost ten pounds and looked like “death warmed over,” as people used to say back then.

My mother didn’t believe in vaccines because her mother didn’t believe in vaccines.  My children were born before the MMR (Measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine was developed, so they all had measles and chicken pox, although none of the other childhood diseases. They were not as sick as I was when I had measles, which I attribute to better nutrition.

Two of my grandchildren were born before the latest vaccines which are suspected of causing autism; they are perfectly normal, but the last two grandchildren, who had the vaccines, have mild symptoms of autism or ADD or ADHD or whatever.  It is clear to me that these new vaccines make a difference in the lives of the children who are vaccinated.

The old childhood diseases have been wiped out almost completely now, but at what cost?  Now we have an epidemic of autism. What is America going to be like when these autistic children grow up and can’t function normally? Will autism become the new norm?

Federal laws  do not mandate vaccinations; the regulation of vaccines is left to the states, and all 50 states allow exemptions. California permits exemptions based on personal beliefs; most states allow exemptions based on religious beliefs. I don’t think that most parents know of these exemptions.

A recent article in the New York Times has this headline: 3 New Rulings Find No Link to Vaccines and Autism. The article is quoted below:

In a further blow to the antivaccine movement, three judges ruled Friday in three separate cases that thimerosal, a preservative containing mercury, does not cause autism.


The antivaccine groups also lost the first three cases, which were decided in February 2009 by the same three judges, known as special masters. All three rulings were upheld on their first appeals.

Defenders of vaccines said they were pleased by Friday’s decision, while opponents were dismissive, saying they would never get a fair ruling from the omnibus arrangement.

In the three cases brought against the government, by the parents of Jordan King, Colin R. Dwyer and William Mead, all three special masters used strong language in dismissing the expert evidence from the families’ lawyers.

The master in the King ruling emphasized that it was “not a close case” and “extremely unlikely” that Jordan’s autism was connected to his vaccines. The master in the Dwyer case wrote that many parents “relied upon practitioners and researchers who peddled hope, not opinions grounded in science and medicine.”

Patricia Campbell-Smith, the master in the Mead case, also dismissed two subarguments made by a few opponents of vaccines, saying they “have not shown either that certain children are genetically hypersusceptible to mercury or that certain children are predisposed to have difficulty excreting mercury.”

She also echoed a contention by vaccine defenders that a shot is safer than a tuna sandwich. “A normal fish-eating diet by pregnant mothers” is more likely to deposit mercury in the brain than vaccines are, she wrote.

In a telephone press conference after the rulings, Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the inventor of a rotavirus vaccine from which he receives royalties, praised the decisions, saying: “This hypothesis has already had its day in scientific court, but in America we like to have our day in literal court. Fortunately, we now have these rulings.”

Fears of thimerosal emerged more than a decade ago and have cast a pall over vaccines ever since, even though it has been removed from most of them. The fear has caused some parents to avoid them and made outbreaks of diseases like measles and whooping cough more likely.

Even with this decision, Dr. Offit said, “it’s very hard to unscare people after you’ve scared them.”

The Coalition for Vaccine Safety, a group of organizations that believe vaccines cause autism, dismissed the rulings.

“The deck is stacked against families in vaccine court,” said Rebecca Estepp, of the coalition’s steering committee. “Government attorneys defend a government program using government-funded science before government judges. Where’s the justice in that?” The coalition claims to represent 75,000 families.

Amy Carson, founder of Moms Against Mercury, who has a son with brain damage, called the vaccine court arrangement “like the mice overseeing the cheese.”

The vaccine injury fund and the court overseeing it were created in 1988 after judgments in state court lawsuits over vaccines became so inconsistent and so expensive that vaccine companies started quitting the American market.

The third theory, that measles vaccine causes autism, is still to be ruled on by the special masters. But Lisa Randall, a lawyer with the Immunization Action Coalition, which defends vaccines, said she believed some of the test cases had been “abandoned” by the families that brought them after the 2009 decisions dismissed a variant of the same theory.

Another good article about autism can be found on this web site.