Scrapbookpages Blog

July 18, 2010

Origin of the belief that prisoners were burned alive on the “death marches” out of the concentration camps

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:28 am

The origin of the Holocaust story of the prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps being sent on “death marches” and burned alive, at places like Gardelegen, is the best-selling book, Hitler’s Willing Executioners, Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.

Chapter 14 of Goldhagen’s book is entitled “Marching to What End?”

Goldhagen wrote that “marching the Jews to death, was an end in itself.” Goldhagen did say that Himmler, the head of all the concentration camps, had given an order not to kill any of the Jews being marched out of the camps, but he wrote that, in spite of this order, the Germans continued to kill the Jews on the marches.

I read Goldhagen’s book before I knew very much about the Holocaust, and I was amazed to read this on page 367:

Finally, the fidelity of the Germans to their genocidal enterprise was so great as seeming to defy comprehension. Their world was disintegrating around them, yet they persisted in genocidal killing until the end.

Goldhagen then quotes a survivor of the Gardelegen massacre:

One night we stopped near the town of Gardelegen.  We lay down in a field and several Germans went to consult about what they should do.  They returned with a lot of young people from the Hitler Youth and with members of the police force from the town. They chased us all into a large barn. Since we were 3,000 – 6,000 people, the wall of the barn collapsed from the pressure of the mass of people, and many of us fled. The Germans poured out petrol and set the barn on fire.  Several thousand people were burned alive. Those of us who had managed to escape, lay down in a nearby wood and heard the heart-rending screams of the victims. This was on April 13. One day later the place was conquered by Eisenhower’s army. When the Americans got there, the bodies were still  burning.

The book includes this photo of a victim of the Gardelegen massacre.

Prisoner clutched a handful of straw as he burned to death

This photo was shown all over America in a traveling exhibit which ended at Washington, DC.  Remarkably, the straw and the man’s clothing didn’t burn.  I think that this photo proves that the prisoners were not deliberately burned alive.

Goldhagen also included this photo, which I think was staged. I think a dead body was placed in the doorway and then the sliding barn door was pulled across his body.

Prisoner who tunneled under the door face-up on his back.

After reading about this terrible crime, I went to Gardelegen to see for myself.  I wrote about the Gardelegen massacre here and here. I wrote about the reason for the massacre here.

To this day, the official story of the Holocaust, as taught in American universities, is that the prisoners were marched out of the camps in order to kill them and that prisoners on the marches were deliberately burned to death. According to the official story, the Germans had no fear of the Jews and the Russian POWs killing and raping civilians; they just wanted to kill the Jews for no reason in the last days of the war.

Read the full story of Gardelegen for yourself here.


  1. […] the ninth-graders in Hermann, MO will learn about the “death marches and killing […]

    Pingback by Holocaust Education comes to Hermann, MO « Scrapbookpages Blog — September 20, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  2. I agree . . .the photos are real. The grass notwithstanding, fires do strange things. It is because of the grass that I believe the photos to be genuine. No one trying to stage a photo like this would put unburned straw (Grass), in the hands of what would then have to be a sculpture. If you look closely you will see a shoe not totally burnt, and you will see other pieces of straw lying about, untouched too.

    I have walked through forests, what remained of them, shortly after fires swept them. I have seen first hand the capriciousness of fire. Some trees totally destroyed, while others right next to them remain untouched. Fire jumps about, it does strange things. Any fire fighter will tell you it is alive.

    I believe these, and other burnings were orchestrated from on high in the nazi party as a last ditch attempt to garner favor with demonic entities. The nazis always looked for super weapons to help them in their purpose. They looked spiritually as well as scientifically. A lot of the holocaust, as its name implies, was a sacrifice to demonic gods. The goal was power, magick power. The burnings at the end were desperate attempts by people abandoned by their gruesome satanic masters in hell. The prince of lies always abandons his followers in the end . . .always.

    Comment by James Zumaya — January 16, 2012 @ 8:28 am

  3. You are misinformed badly. My dad was with the 102nd Infantry Division and his battalion stumbled on the atrocity at Gardelegen at the end of the war. He took some of the photographs that appear in the 102nd’s yearbook on the divisions conduct and battles during WWII. He never got over what he saw and couldn’t talk about it without choking up.

    Comment by GM Roper — May 5, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  4. The tunneling under the door photo looks staged to me.

    For one thing the wooden door to the left of him is not attached in anyway to the brick door frame

    Comment by littlegreyrabbit — July 19, 2010 @ 10:10 pm

  5. I take my hat off to the author of this article. Well done.

    Comment by daniel marino — July 19, 2010 @ 9:47 am

  6. You can’t possibly be serious. Just try digging under a masonry or stone wall “with nothing but a tablespoon” especially if there is also a concrete floor.

    And then you suggest “fires were probably caused by shooting the prisoners who were trying to escape.” Cookoo!!

    In the essay above. you wrote: “Remarkably, the straw and the man’s clothing didn’t burn.” The dead man is even holding some straw (not burned either but so touching) which proves that the picture was carefully staged. None of that straw had burned because–pay close attention, Furtherglory–there was NO fire here at all. Can’t you read the evidence that is staring you in face?? Your entire theory is bullshit!!!

    The truth is that these victims were burned to death (murdered) somewhere else by the Americans or Brits!

    Friedrich Paul Berg
    Learn everything at
    Nazi Gassings Never Happened! Niemand wurde vergast!

    Comment by Friedrich Paul Berg — July 18, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

    • If you had followed all the links and read my website about Gardelegen, you would know that the floor of the barn was concrete over bricks. The prisoners all had a spoon and a bowl for eating. A couple of prisoners did scrape through the concrete with a spoon and lifted up the bricks and crawled under the door of the barn. There were allegedly grenades thrown into the barn which started fires. I believe that there were small fires that were soon put out by the prisoners; there were some scorch marks on the barn. There is no evidence that the prisoners were murdered somewhere else and brought to the barn. The Americans did kill the SS men, but their bodies are never shown, and this part of the story was not mentioned by the Americans, just like the killing of SS soldiers at Dachau was kept secret for more than 40 years. The man who ordered the prisoners put into the barn was arrested but never prosecuted, which is interesting.

      Comment by furtherglory — July 18, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

  7. In the second of the two photos above, one can clearly see vertical wooden timbers w-i-t-h-o-u-t any charring, or any other sign of fire damage. Obviously, the burning of the victims had occurred elsewhere.

    Quite probably, the train on which these people had been traveling had been strafed and bombed with napalm. The murderers were the cowardly Americans and/or Brits who had been deliberately r-o-a-s-t-i-n-g German civilians for years.

    Friedrich Paul Berg
    Learn everything at
    Nazi Gassings Never Happened! Niemand wurde vergast!

    Comment by Friedrich Paul Berg — July 18, 2010 @ 11:46 am

    • You are correct that the barn doors did not burn. The barn was not on fire because several prisoners did tunnel under the stone walls with nothing but a tablespoon, so it took them hours to escape since the floor of the barn was concrete. There were a few small fires, which the prisoners put out. These fires were probably caused by shooting the prisoners who were trying to escape.

      Comment by furtherglory — July 18, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: