Scrapbookpages Blog

August 17, 2010

Congress pledges $15 million to save Auschwitz-Birkenau

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:43 am

In today’s news is an article, that you can read here, which states that  “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month announced a $15 million grant for the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation to help preserve the camp.”

According to the news article, “One of several Illinois House members to sign the letter was U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D9th.”

This quote is from the news article:

Schakowsky stressed that preservation of the camp is as important now as ever before because of a rise in anti-Semitism and the continued existence of Holocaust deniers.

In these tough economic times, do we really need to spend $15 million to combat the “rise of anti-Semitism” and the “continued existence of Holocaust deniers”?

What really caught my eye in the news article was this:

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center over the last few years publicly advocated for the intervention and support by the international community for the Auschwitz-Birkenau site.

“It was unthinkable that this central symbol of the Holocaust might disappear,” Hirschhaut said. “That through the force of time and the ravages of the elements, this central memorial, this sacred ground, could disappear. That the elements could finish the job that the Nazis set out to do — to massively hide their crimes.”

Ruins of gas chamber Krema II, Feb. 1945

My photo of Krema II ruins, Oct. 2005

The Germans set out to “massively hide their crimes” when they allegedly blew up two gas chambers at Birkenau (Krema II and Krema III) on January 20, 1945.  But first they marched 60,000 prisoners, women and children first, out of the camp on January 18, 1945. There were Soviet soldiers in the area on January 17, 1945, and the 60,000 prisoners barely got out before the Soviets arrived at the camp on January 27, 1945.

One characteristic of the German people is that they are never late; you can set your watch by their arrival for an appointment.  So why did they march the prisoners out first and then hang around the camp for two days before blowing up the two largest gas chambers? The gassing of the prisoners allegedly stopped at the end of October 1944, on the orders of Heinrich Himmler.  There was plenty of time to blow up the gas chambers before the Soviets arrived, so why did they wait until the last minute?  At Dachau, the SS men procrastinated for so long that they didn’t have time to blow up the gas chamber at all before they left the camp.  At Majdanek, the Germans didn’t burn down the crematorium, which included a gas chamber, until the day that the Soviets arrived, and they didn’t destroy the largest gas chamber building at Majdanek at all.  Such poor prior planning! It almost seems that the Nazis wanted to leave evidence behind so they would get caught.

Krema IV had a gas chamber disguised as a shower room

The crematory ovens were removed from the gas chamber buildings with cranes in November 1944 and the Germans had December and half of January to blow up the gas chambers that were in the same buildings as the ovens, but they didn’t.

Krema IV had been destroyed by the prisoners in October 1944, but the Germans waited until January 26, 1945, the day before the camp was liberated, to blow up Krema V.  What took them so long?  With the Soviet soldiers in the area as early as January 17, 1945, did the Germans really fool around until January 26th to blow up the last remaining gas chamber.  This was so un-German — to wait until the last minute to “massively hide their crimes.”

Krema II building had ovens and a gas chamber, 1943 photo

Model of Krema II at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

In the photo above, the waiting room is on the left and the gas chamber is on the right. These rooms were 5 feet below ground.  The ovens were on the ground floor.

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