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September 14, 2010

The priests who were imprisoned at Dachau

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, movies — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:36 pm

The history of Dachau has changed since I first visited the Memorial site in 1997. Especially, the history of the priests at Dachau.  You can read some of the revised history of the priests at Dachau here.

These quotes are from the web site cited above:

“Many people do not know that Dachau was the concentration camp that Hitler designed just for priests.  Several hundred thousand priests were tortured and murdered there.”

[…]

“In April 1945, as the war was ending, the Nazis, in order to destroy any evidence or witnesses to their crimes, decided to liquidate all the priests left at he death camp in Dachau.  One of the priests encouraged the other prisoners to pray to the Holy Family of Kalisz.  The camp was miraculously liberated several hours before the Nazis could begin their planned executions.  Ever since, the priests from Dachau have made an annual thanksgiving pilgrimage to the Icon of the Holy Family in Kalisz.”

A movie entitled The Ninth Day has been in the news a lot lately.  It is about Father Jean Bernard, a Catholic priest from Luxembourg, who was a prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp from May 19, 1941 to August 1942. Father Bernard wrote a book entitled Pfarrerblock 25487 which was translated into English in 2007 under the title Priestblock 25487. The movie The Ninth Day by Volker Schlöndorff was based on a 9 day furlough that Father Bernard was given to go home when his mother died.

Ronald J. Rychlak wrote the following in his review of Father Bernard’s book:

There was so little food that Fr. Bernard tells of risking the ultimate punishment in order to steal and eat a dandelion from the yard. The prisoners would secretly raid the compost pile, one time relishing discarded bones that had been chewed by the dogs of Nazi officers. Another time the Nazi guards, knowing what the priests intended, urinated on the pile. For some priests, this was not enough to overcome their hunger.

Here is another quote from Ronald J. Rychlak about what he read in Father Bernard’s book, Priestblock 25487:

Priests at Dachau were not marked for death by being shot or gassed as a group, but over two thousand of them died there from disease, starvation, and general brutality. One year, the Nazis “celebrated” Good Friday by torturing 60 priests. They tied the priests’ hands behind their backs, put chains around their wrists, and hoisted them up by the chains. The weight of the priests’ bodies twisted and pulled their joints apart. Several of the priests died, and many others were left permanently disabled. The Nazis, of course, threatened to repeat the event if their orders were not carried out.

I haven’t read Father Bernard’s book and I don’t plan to read it any time soon because I have to watch my blood pressure and I don’t want to have another stroke from reading such a sensational account of the treatment of the priests at Dachau.

In 1940, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler designated Dachau as the camp for clergymen because it was the mildest of all the camps in the Nazi system; 2,720 clergymen were sent there, including 2,579 Catholic Priests. The priests at Dachau were separated from the other prisoners and housed together in several barrack buildings in the rear of the camp.

There were 1,780 Polish priests and 447 German priests at Dachau. Of the 1,034 priests who died in the camp, 868 were Polish and 94 were German. This information comes from the book, What was it like in the Concentration Camp at Dachau?, by Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler.

The clergymen at Dachau included 109 Protestant ministers, 22 Greek Orthodox, 2 Muslims and 8 men who were classified as “Old Catholic and Mariaists.” A few of the priests, who were sent to Dachau, had been arrested for child molestation or for a violation of Paragraph 175, the German law against homosexuality.

The most famous priest at Dachau was Leonard Roth, who had to wear a black triangle because he had been arrested as a pedophile.  A street that borders the Dachau Memorial site has been named for him.

Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler, an auxiliary Bishop from Munich, was one of  8 clergymen at Dachau who had a private cell in the bunker, the camp prison building. He was free to leave his cell and walk around the camp. He could also receive visitors from outside the camp. The worst thing that happened to Dr. Neuhäusler at Dachau, according to his book, was that he was once punished by being confined indoors in the bunker for a week. He was punished for secretly hearing the confession of a former Italian minister who had just arrived at the bunker the day before. Dr. Neuhäusler wrote in his book entitled What was it like in the Concentration Camp at Dachau? that he had been betrayed by a Bible inquirer (Jehovah’s Witness) who worked as the Hausl (housekeeper) in the bunker.

Dr. Neuhäusler did not mention any ill treatment at Dachau but he did write about how he was beaten when he was initially sent to the Sachsenhausen camp, before he was transferred to Dachau.

The first clergymen to arrive at Dachau were Polish priests who were sent there in 1939. The Polish priests were arrested for helping the Polish Resistance after Poland had been conquered in only 28 days.

The German bishops and the Pope had persuaded  Himmler to concentrate all the priests imprisoned in the various Nazi concentration camps into one camp, and to house them all together in separate blocks with a chapel where they could say Mass.

In early December 1940, the priests already in Dachau were put into Barracks Block 26 near the end of the camp street. Within two weeks, they were joined by around 800 to 900 priests from Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Sachsenhausen, Auschwitz and other camps, who were put into Blocks 28 and 30. Block 30 was later converted into an infirmary barrack.

At first, the priests at Dachau were given special privileges such as a ration of wine, a loaf of bread for four men, and individual bunk beds. The priests were not required to work and they were allowed to celebrate Mass.

In October 1941, these privileges were taken away. Only the German priests were now allowed to say Mass. All non-German clergymen, including Poles, Dutchmen, Luxembourgers and Belgians, were removed from Block 26 and sent to Block 28. A wire fence was placed around Block 28 and a sentry stood guard. The non-German priests were now forced to work, just like the rest of the prisoners. Allegedly, this change happened because the Pope had made a speech on the radio in which he condemned the Nazis, and the German bishops had made a public protest about the treatment of the priests.

During the time that the Polish priests were not allowed to say Mass, they asked the priest from Block 26, who was in charge of the chapel, to give them hosts and wine so they could celebrate Mass in secret, according to Dr. Neuhäusler. The Polish priests who worked on the plantation (farm) at Dachau would kneel on the ground and pretend to be weeding. They had a small portable altar which one of the priests would press into the ground. The priests would knell down and receive Communion from their own hands.

One of the German Catholic priests who survived Dachau was Father Hermann Scheipers who was still alive in October 2009 at the age of 96. In an interview with Stu Bykofsky of the Philadelphia Daily News, Father Scheipers said, regarding Dachau:

“So this is what I saw in front of my eyes, that people were gassed in the gas chambers.”

After an interview with Father Scheipers in October 2009, Greg Hayes of the Sun Gazette wrote the following:

Scheipers described the horrors of working and living among the sickness, torture, horrific experiments and death that inundated Dachau.

The priest delivered the story of how his life was saved by his sister Anna and how her courage not only rescued Scheipers but about 500 other priests who were lined up to go, or would have later been sent, to the gas chambers.

Scheipers said his “death certificate” was signed when he was feeling faint during a role (sic) call session one morning in 1942, because he had become “completely exhausted from all the work” in the camp, not because he was sick.

When Anna got word by making illegal contact with other imprisoned priests from the outside that her brother was sentenced to die, she and her father entered the SS security main office (RSHA in Berlin), and Scheipers’ sister insisted the officer guarantee her brother’s safety.

It was then that orders were made to spare the lives of the priests.

Paul Berben was a Dachau prisoner who wrote the Official History of Dachau.   He wrote the following about how the priests were treated differently than the other prisoners:

On 15th March 1941 the clergy were withdrawn from work Kommandos on orders from Berlin, and their conditions improved. They were supplied with bedding of the kind issued to the S.S., and Russian and Polish prisoners were assigned to look after their quarters. They could get up an hour later than the other prisoners and rest on their beds for two hours in the morning and afternoon. Free from work, they could give themselves to study and to meditation. They were given newspapers and allowed to use the library. Their food was adequate; they sometimes received up to a third of a loaf of bread a day; there was even a period when they were given half a litre of cocoa in the morning and a third of a bottle of wine daily.

Father Bernard arrived at Dachau on March 19, 1941, just in time to benefit from the changes made on March 15, 1941. Yet Dr. Neuhäusler wrote this about Father Bernard who first published his dairy in 1945:

In his memoirs he writes: “My first day at the transport commando “Präzifix”: It is March 19, 1941, the feast of St. Joseph – As we push the wagon through the door, I pray to him.

Präzifix was the name of a screw factory just outside the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate at Dachau. According to the diary that he kept at Dachau, Father Bernard was doing heavy work outside the camp on his first day there.

Regarding the priests’ ration of “a third of a bottle of wine daily,” Father Bernard wrote that the priests were forced, under threats of a beating, to uncork the wine and pour a third of the bottle into a cup, then consume the wine all in one gulp. He mentions an occasion in which one priest, who hesitated, had the cup slammed into his face, cutting through his lips and cheeks to the bone.

The regular prisoners in the camp had to drink ersatz coffee, and they were never allowed to drink wine.

15 Comments

  1. My father was in Dachau as a prisoner of war in 1945. He survived fortunately. I am now writing about his experiences from stories he has told me, and what I can read in books from that time. This is my blog: http://elinshouse.wordpress.com/

    Comment by elinshouse — April 24, 2011 @ 1:52 am

  2. PS – The original, 1998 publication of Whitlock’s “Rock of Anzio” is available for searching on Google Books, here:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=sND6091bh6gC&printsec=frontcover&dq=editions:sND6091bh6gC&hl=en&ei=tWuZTIb3N8GC8gbn54SpAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAA#

    It contains the exact same six passages about malaria – no more nor less than the 2005 reissue available on Amazon.

    In short, any remaining uncertainty about your claim of malaria testing of 45th Division soldiers as supposedly asserted in Whitlock’s book has been eliminated.

    The claim is definitively false.

    The only remaining issue is whether you are honest enough to remove the false claim from the several webpages where you have posted it.

    Well, are you?

    We shall see.

    Comment by D. Mersheim — September 21, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

    • I have already searched those editions myself. Even if I remove the information from my web site, the pages are cached and can still be read. Also, some other web sites have copied the information from my web site. I have e-mailed Flint Whitlock for a clarification. The early edition of his book must have contained the information. I did not make this up. I will find out what happened if and when he answers the e-mail.

      Comment by furtherglory — September 21, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

      • I received an e-mail response from Flint Whitlock. He says there was nothing in his first edition about the 45th soldiers participating in a malaria experiment. I know I read this somewhere; I did not make it up. I recall that this was written in connection with the landing in North Africa. The Germans ordered Dr. Schilling out of retirement to conduct experiments on malaria at Dachau and the US also did malaria experiments to prepare for conditions in North Africa.

        I will try to find out where I read this about the 45th Division being involved in the malaria experiments and change the source of the information on my web site.

        Whitlock did not deny that the 45th Division soldiers were used in malaria experiments, but he says I must have gotten this information from another source.

        Comment by furtherglory — September 22, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  3. furtherglory wrote: “I don’t think I am dreaming that I read in his book that 45th Division Soldiers were used in malaria experiments in America. Maybe he cut that part out in his most recent edition because he learned later that this was no true.”

    1) If Whitlock removed the claim because it’s not true, then you should do likewise, and remove the claim from the several webpages where you have posted it, including this page.

    2) If you can provide a citation and a quote to back up your claim, by all means leave it up.

    However, based on the current copyright page, it’s doubtful there was any change to the text of the book.

    Specifically:

    – The initial year of publication in hardcover was 1998.

    The current edition still lists 1998 as the copyright year. A new edition (i.e., a revised text) would in all likelihood have had a new copyright date.

    – The current edition also lists the 1998 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data. Again, a new edition would in all likelihood have an updated CIP.

    – Finally, the current version is referred to as a “reissue” rather than a new edition. A “reissue” is simply a reprint of the original edition.

    Thus, every indicator strongly suggests that the current version of the book available on Amazon is exactly the same as the 1998 and 1999 printings.

    3) In addition, a careful search of the web provides no evidence whatsoever of any malarial testing on soldiers of the 45th, or indeed any US soldiers.

    I note that I searched several webpages that are devoted to preserving the memory of the 45th Division, and none had any reference to malarial testing. These pages include:

    http://www.45thdivision.org/history.htm
    http://www.45thinfantry.com/
    http://www.45thdivisionmuseum.com
    http://www.lonesentry.com/gi_stories_booklets/45thinfantry/index.html

    I also made a careful, general search of the web.

    4) For these reasons, in addition to (1), you should remove the claim from all webpages where you have posted it, as all evidence suggests it is a false claim.

    — Don’t you agree it would be dishonest to leave up a claim for which you have no evidence whatsoever?

    I might add that the same applies to the various assertions you have made that Fr. Bernard is a liar, which I have likewise demonstrated are false.

    Comment by D. Mersheim — September 21, 2010 @ 6:21 pm

    • I addressed the issue of the 45th Division in another reply. As for Father Bernard being liar, how did you demonstrate that he did not lie in this story: “The prisoners would secretly raid the compost pile, one time relishing discarded bones that had been chewed by the dogs of Nazi officers. Another time the Nazi guards, knowing what the priests intended, urinated on the pile. For some priests, this was not enough to overcome their hunger.”

      Comment by furtherglory — September 21, 2010 @ 8:25 pm

    • I have removed all references to the 45th Div. soldiers being used in malaria experiments. This was apparently not in Flint Whitlock’s book and I don’t remember what other books I was reading at the same time.

      America did, in fact, do malaria experiments and I found this information on the Internet:

      “The Stateville Penitentiary Malaria Study was a controlled study of the effects of malaria on the prisoners of Stateville Penitentiary near Joliet, Illinois beginning in the 1940s. The study was conducted by the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago in conjunction with the United States Army and the State Department. At the Nuremberg trials, Nazi doctors cited the malaria experiments as part of their defense.[10] The study continued at Stateville Penitentiary for 29 years.”

      Comment by furtherglory — September 22, 2010 @ 10:07 am

  4. furtherglory wrote: “Bernard wrote in his diary that he arrived in Dachau on March 19th. There is no mistake in the date because he said it was the feast day of St. Joseph. St. Joseph was the patron saint of the priests.”

    He most certainly did not write in his diary that he arrived in Dachau on March 19.

    Rather, in his diary he unambiguously and specifically states that he was arrested in Luxemburg in January 1941, transferred from prison there on May 4, and arrived in Dachau on May 19, 1941, not March 19.

    But Bernard did not begin work at the Präzifix until 1942.

    On the basis of Berben’s citation of the March 15, 1941 work exemption for priests, you claim Bernard is a liar.

    You are wrong, first, in asserting that Bernard began work at the Präzifix on March 19, 1941, when he did not in fact arrive at Dachau until two months later, on May 19, 1941.

    Second, Pohl’s 1942 (R-129) letter to Himmler required the mobilization of “all prisoners” in the camps, as a result of growing German desperation and increased demand for manpower, thus nullifying the March 15, 1941 order referenced by Berben.

    This is confirmed by Marcuse, who notes that the Dachau clergy had their “work exemption rescinded” in 1942. Legacies of Dachau, p. 136.

    The facts thus accord with Bernard’s account of working at the Präzifix in 1942, and your accusation that he lied is proved groundless.

    furtherglory wrote: “Yet his date of arrival is given as May 19, 1941 by other sources.”

    Again, it is the diary itself which states that he arrived in Dachau on May 19, 1941.

    furtherglory wrote: “You are nit picking about words”

    Nonsense. You falsely accused Bernard of being a liar based on specific, alleged evidence, which I needed to address specifically in order to debunk your claim. That is not nitpicking.

    furtherglory wrote: “I don’t believe the story quoted above.”

    To any unbiased reader, the credibility of Bernard’s account speaks for itself.

    Given the abundant evidence of your bias, however, your reaction is not surprising.

    furtherglory wrote: “There was no testimony, that I know of, about the priests being abused.”

    The First Indictment in the Nuremberg Trial states that the “Nazi conspirators… pursued a programme of persecution of priests, clergy and members of monastic orders.” http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/imt/nca/nca-01/nca-01-03-indictment.html

    And Mr. Justice Jackson, the chief United States prosecutor, said the following in his opening statement:

    “A most intense drive was directed against the Roman Catholic Church. After a strategic Concordat with the Holy See, signed in July, 1933, in Rome, which never was observed by the Nazi Party, a long and persistent persecution of the Catholic Church, its priesthood and its members, was carried out. Church Schools and educational institutions were suppressed or subjected to requirements of Nazi teaching inconsistent with the Christian faith. The property of the Church was confiscated and inspired vandalism directed against the Church property was left unpunished. Religious instruction was impeded and the exercise of religion made difficult. Priests and bishops were laid upon, riots were stimulated to harass them, and many were sent to concentration camps.

    “After occupation of foreign soil, these persecutions went on with greater vigour than ever. We will present to you from the files of the Vatican the earnest protests made by the Vatican to Ribbentrop summarising the persecutions to which the priesthood and the Church had been subjected in this Twentieth Century under the Nazi regime. Ribbentrop never answered them. He could not deny. He dared not justify.” http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-01/tgmwc-01-02-04.html

    The interested reader may find further specific details about what Jackson described as “The Battle Against the Churches” in his complete remarks at the above-noted link.

    furtherglory wrote: “The only testimony was about the priests being used in the malaria experiments. America also did malaria experiments and used soldiers in the 45th Infantry Division of the US Army.”

    I would refer the interested reader to the testimony of Fr. Leo Miechalowski, a Polish priest imprisoned at Dachau who was subjected to both torturous malarial and “aviation” or “freezing” experiments.

    His deposition can be read here: http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/nuremberg/NurembergDoctorTranscript.html

    It is laughable to contend that the horrific treatment Miechalowski was subjected to was in any way analogous to the supposed malaria experiments performed on soldiers of the 45th, which claim furtherglory elsewhere attributes to an alleged account in the book, “The Rock of Anzio” by Flint Whitlock (see furtherglory’s comments here:
    http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Dachauscrapbook/DachauLiberation/Thunderbird.html.

    First of all, Whitlock himself states that at Dachau “many died as the result of being used as human ‘guinea pigs’ for ghastly, pseudo-scientific experiments carried out by the camp’s medical personnel. Here, inmates were cruelly subjected to experiments in the effects of malaria, tuberculosis, hypothermia, and decompression at high altitudes through the use of a decompression chamber.” P. 353.

    Second, I find six references to malaria in Whitlock’s book, on pages 54, 55, 56, 104, 143, and 353.

    There is no mention on any of these pages to any “malaria experiments” performed on soldiers of the 45th.

    — furtherglory, please provide a specific page reference in Whitlock’s book to substantiate your claim that members of the 45th Infantry Division were subjected to malaria experiments.

    In fact, at “the Nuremberg trials, Nazi doctors cited malaria experiments as part of their defense.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_experimentation_in_the_United_States#cite_note-germ-war-9

    However, the experiments cited by the Nazi doctors were carried out on prisoners in Chicago, not members of the U.S. military. http://www.counterpunch.org/germwar.html

    Comment by D. Mersheim — September 21, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

    • I looked up Whitlock’s book on Amazon.com and found that there were 3 earlier editions, published in 1999 and 1998. I began my Dachau web site in 1998, and I would have been reading one of these earlier editions, not the edition that was published in 2005. I don’t think I am dreaming that I read in his book that 45th Division Soldiers were used in malaria experiments in America. Maybe he cut that part out in his most recent edition because he learned later that this was not true.

      Comment by furtherglory — September 21, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

  5. furtherglory, you accused Bernard of a “whopper,” about drinking wine and another prisoner being cut by a “wine glass.”

    Your “whopper” was flatly contradicted both by the authority you rely on, Berben, and Bernard, who made no claim about drinking from a wine glass, but rather specifically wrote of a metal cup.

    In short, there is no factual basis for the “whopper” you accused Bernard of.

    Again, you can spin it all you like, but you are the one guilty of telling a “whopper.”

    furtherglory wrote: “I also said that I got my information from reviews of the book by Ronald J. Rychlak and from two newspaper articles.”

    Rychlak said nothing about a “wine glass.” Nor did any source you quoted.

    furtherglory wrote: “Father Bernard was caught in at least one lie when he wrote that he was put to work in a factory outside the camp on his first day there, which was four days after a new rule that the priests did not have to work.”

    Bernard made no such claim about working at the Präzifix in his first day at Dachau, or in 1941. Neuhäusler has the dates wrong.

    furtherglory wrote: “Dachau is now mentioned in the same sentence as Auschwitz, as if these two camps were equal.”

    This is a separate issue. Obviously such claims are false. Bernard, for example, made no such claim; he claims severe ill treatment of himself and others, verging on if not in fact torture, and which resulted in the death of many. However, he makes no claim of mass exterminations occurring at Dachau, or, for example, the use of gas chambers.

    Comment by D. Mersheim — September 21, 2010 @ 7:15 am

    • Bernard wrote in his diary that he arrived in Dachau on March 19th. There is no mistake in the date because he said it was the feast day of St. Joseph. St. Joseph was the patron saint of the priests. Yet his date of arrival is given as May 19, 1941 by other sources.

      There were 20,000 priests in Germany and 447 of them were sent to Dachau. Most of the priests at Dachau had been arrested because they were helping the Resistance movement. Father Bernard was from Luxembourg and he was arrested for this reason. In the first years after Dachau was liberated, most of the books were written by the priests. Instead of telling the truth about Dachau, they wrote of the abuse they suffered.

      Ronald J. Rychlak write the following in a review of the book written by Father Bernard:

      “There was so little food that Fr. Bernard tells of risking the ultimate punishment in order to steal and eat a dandelion from the yard. The prisoners would secretly raid the compost pile, one time relishing discarded bones that had been chewed by the dogs of Nazi officers. Another time the Nazi guards, knowing what the priests intended, urinated on the pile. For some priests, this was not enough to overcome their hunger.”

      I don’t believe the story quoted above.

      You are nit picking about words, but my post was about the big picture. Dachau was designated as the camp for the priests because it was the camp where prisoners got the best treatment. Father Bernard was given a furlough and he was released after a little more than a year. In spite of this, he turned the tables and wrote about how he was treated badly.

      There was no testimony, that I know of, about the priests being abused, at the American Military Tribunal where the staff members of the Dachau camp were prosecuted. The only testimony was about the priests being used in the malaria experiments. America also did malaria experiments.

      Comment by furtherglory — September 21, 2010 @ 9:48 am

      • I wrote: “There was no testimony, that I know of, about the priests being abused, at the American Military Tribunal where the staff members of the Dachau camp were prosecuted.” The American Military Tribunal held proceedings at the Dachau complex. These proceedings were completely separate from the Nuremberg International Tribunal. The first of these proceedings was against the staff of the Dachau concentration camp.

        Apparently Father Bernard kept a diary which was a separate book from his later book which was translated into English and has now been made into a movie. Dr. Neuhäusler, who was a prisoner at Dachau, wrote this about what he read in Father Bernard’s diary which was first published in 1945:

        “My first day at the transport commando “Präzifix”: It is March 19, 1941, the feast of St. Joseph – As we push the wagon through the door, I pray to him.”

        As I mentioned before, I have not read Father Bernard’s book. I got the above information from Neuhausler’s book.

        Comment by furtherglory — September 21, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

  6. furtherglory wrote: “He mentions an occasion in which one priest, who hesitated, had the glass slammed into his face, cutting through his lips and cheeks to the bone.

    The regular prisoners in the camp had to drink their ersatz coffee out of an enameled cup, and they were never allowed to drink any wine at all, much less in a wine glass.

    It is stories like this that have made me decide not to read Father Bernard’s book, at least not until my health is good enough to withstand the lies like the whopper that he told about the wine.”

    Your critique is confused and confused coherent.

    1. You write *regular prisoners* were never allowed to drink any wine at all. On the other hand, the Berben quote states, in accord with Bernard’s account, that priest-prisoners *were* given a daily ration of wine.

    You cite no authority for the proposition that the Dachau priest-prisoners were either not allowed to drink, or not given wine.

    2. On p. 34 of the book “Priestblock,” Bernard writes of the priest who hesitated while drinking the wine: “In a flash the SS man is on him and slams his fist into the bottom of the cup so violently that the metal rim slices a semi-circle through his lips and cheeks, all the way down to the bone. The man is bleeding so badly he has to go to the infirmary.”

    Bernard says nothing about drinking wine in a wine glass, as you falsely assert. On the contrary, he specifically refers to the “metal rim” of the cup the man was drinking from.

    Again, your critique is flatly contrary to the facts.

    I fear lest your health give out under the shock, but the only “whoppers” here are your own.

    Comment by D. Mersheim — September 20, 2010 @ 5:45 am

    • I specifically stated that I had not read the book. I also said that I got my information from reviews of the book by Ronald J. Rychlak and from two newspaper articles. I did not write that “the Dachau priest-prisoners were either not allowed to drink, or not given wine.” I specifically quoted Paul Berben who wrote that the priests were given a third of a bottle of wine. Since I had not read the book and the reviewer and the newspapers did not use the word “cup,” I did not know that the priests drank their third of a bottle of wine out of a metal cup that was big enough to hold that much wine.

      The word “glass” can be used to mean a container that is made out of glass, but it can also be used for a container that is used as a glass, but made out of plastic or metal. I have never seen a cup with a sharp metal rim, but I have seen a chalice, which typically has a sharp rim. A chalice can be big enough to hold a third of a bottle of wine. In case you are not familiar with this word, a chalice is a large metal container shaped like a wine glass which is used by the priest when saying mass.

      In any case, Father Bernard’s story about the wine was an attempt to put a different spin on the privileges given to the priests and turn the privilege into torture. Paul Berben’s book has now been replaced by another book which is sold at the Dachau book store; the new book tells all about the torture at Dachau instead of the privileges.

      The whole point of sending the priests to Dachau was that Dachau was known as the “mildest camp” in the concentration camp system. There was testimony at the Nuremberg IMT that Dachau was the mildest camp. All that has changed now and the Dachau Memorial site tour guides now tell visitors about how badly the prisoners were treated. Dachau is now mentioned in the same sentence as Auschwitz, as if these two camps were equal.

      Father Bernard was caught in at least one lie when he wrote that he was put to work in a factory outside the camp on his first day there, which was four days after a new rule that the priests did not have to work.

      Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen, the SS judge who investigated all the camps, gave Dachau a good report. In his investigations, Dr. Morgan would stay at a camp for 4 to 8 months and ask the prisoners about conditions in the camp. Father Bernard should have spoken up and told his story to Dr. Morgan, who would have promptly arrested the guard and put him into the wing of the bunker that was for SS men who had committed crimes. There were 128 SS men in this section of the bunker when the camp was liberated.

      Comment by furtherglory — September 20, 2010 @ 7:23 am

    • It seems that D. Mersheim is trying to make it appear that Further Glory doesn’t tell the truth about what he reads, but attempts instead to “whitewash” the conc. camp system.

      D. Mersheim wants us to believe every outrageous lie told by camp inmates without critical thinking. The priests at Dachau were more political than godly, and their shameful lies after they were released attests to that. It’s only the simple-minded who believe that because someone wears a priestly collar or garment, he is a superior moral being.

      Mersheim is confusing “regular” prisoners with “Priest-prisoners,” for some reason, in his critique of FG. Then, trying to turn the difference between “glass” and “cup” or glass and metal into a major “whopper” of a mistake, he unquestionably accepts every horror story told by a “survivor.”
      But it’s just not believable that an “SS man” would smash the cup into the priest’s face because he “hesitated” while drinking. This fits in with the effort to portray a majority of SS personnel as sadistic brutes. If there were sadists in the camps, they were usually inmates who gained positions of relative authority — Jews and communists.

      The fact that life in the camps was quite tolerable for most, up until the end when the infrastructure broke down because of Allied indiscriminate bombing warfare, is fought tooth and nail by the Holocaust Industry and the Israel Lobby with it’s many tentacles. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a group of people for whom lying is second nature. Lying is not condemned because “it serves a good cause!!”

      Comment by Sceptic — September 20, 2010 @ 8:06 am


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