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May 15, 2011

The grandchildren of the Nazi “monsters”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 3:38 pm

One of the regular readers of this blog alerted me to a news article on the European MSNBC website about the grandchildren of alleged Nazi war criminals; you can read it here.  I was particularly appalled by the emotional pain heaped upon unsuspecting grandchild Ursula Boger.  The article pointed out that “It was only during her university years — reading books about the Holocaust — that Ursula Boger found out her grandfather was the most dreaded torturer at Auschwitz.”

According to the MSNBC article, “Boger, 41, said it took her several years of therapy and group seminars to begin to come to terms with the fact her grandfather was a monster.”    

This quote is from the MSNBC article:

“It all just doesn’t go together,” Boger said. “He is the man who killed a little boy with an apple who came in on a transport to Auschwitz, by smashing his head against a wall until he was dead, and then picked up and ate that apple.”

“At the same time, he put a picture of myself as a little girl over his bed in prison. How am I supposed to come to terms with this?”

In 1958, Wilhelm Boger was one of the 95 SS men who were put on trial by the Germans in the “Auschwitz Trial” in Frankfurt.

During the time that the Auschwitz camp was in operation, Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen, an SS judge, investigated the men in the Auschwitz political department, including Boger, but he only arrested Maximilian Grabner, the head of the department. Grabner was accused by Dr. Morgen of killing 2,000 prisoners “beyond the general guidelines.” Grabner was tried by an SS court in Weimar but was not convicted; after the war he was convicted by the Supreme War Tribunal in Krakow in 1947 and sentenced to death.

Strangely, Dr. Morgen didn’t arrest Wilhelm Boger who is now famous for inventing the method of torture known as the Boger Swing.   Boger was never put on trial by Dr. Morgen and he was not turned over to Poland for trial.  It was not until the Frankfurt “Auschwitz Trial” that Boger became a “monster.”

Here is a quote about the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial from this website:

3.3 Wilhelm Boger

During his first interrogation, Wilhelm Boger was asked about the events on the “ramp” in Birkenau. Boger described this ramp correctly as a railway siding leading into the camp. During an investigation against SS members who were suspected of misappropriating property of the incoming prisoners, he stated he had only occasionally had anything to do with the ramp in Birkenau.

How did a small boy manage to hang onto an apple on the way to Auschwitz in a crowded cattle car with 99 other prisoners who were starving? In fact, why didn’t the boy eat the apple during the 3 or 4 day train ride? And where was the wall at the ramp?  Was this a transport that arrived at the Juden Rampe near the main camp?  Or was it a train that arrived on the ramp at the Birkenau camp?

Stories of SS men bashing the heads of babies against a tree or a train are very common in the testimony of Holocaust survivors. I wish I had a nickel for every head bashing story told by a survivor — I would be rich! This particular story is unique in that it was a little boy, not a baby, whose head was bashed and it was against a wall.  Is there a photo of a wall that was anywhere near either the ramp in the Birkenau camp or the Juden Rampe near the main camp?

Are apples symbolic of something?  Remember the fake story of the little girl who threw apples over a fence to a Holocaust survivor who wrote a book about it?  This fake story was on an Oprah show.

I would say to the grandchildren of the Nazi war criminals:  Don’t believe everything told by the survivors.  Especially if apples are involved in the story.


  1. […] I wrote about Wilhelm Boger in another blog post, which you can read here. […]

    Pingback by The Jews were forced to sing as they marched to the gas chamber in the Auschwitz main camp | Scrapbookpages Blog — August 14, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

  2. voglio solo dire che ho visto la signora ursula boger su hystory e mi ha molto colpito vorrei dirle che a volte mi sento colpevole per essere italiana vorrei parteciparle la miaammirazione per il suo coraggio e le darei volentieri un bacio e un abbraccio, ciao ursula
    ti saluto emilia

    Comment by emilia cola da napoli italia — January 31, 2014 @ 7:04 am

  3. […] I previously blogged about the bashing of babies here and here. […]

    Pingback by New book: A Small Town Near Auschwitz « Scrapbookpages Blog — August 13, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

  4. […] young boy and then ate the apple that the boy was carrying?  I previously blogged about this story here.  Did the guide give the name of the basher so that the students could do some research and make […]

    Pingback by bashing the heads of babies and desecrating cemeteries, the two most frequent crimes of the Nazis « Scrapbookpages Blog — August 26, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  5. “Stories of SS men bashing the heads of babies against a tree or a train are very common in the testimony of Holocaust survivors. I wish I had a nickel for every head bashing story told by a survivor — I would be rich!”

    Psalm 137, recited by every Jewish bride at her wedding(s):

    6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
    If I do not remember you,
    If I do not exalt Jerusalem
    Above my chief joy.
    7 Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom
    The day of Jerusalem,
    Who said, “Raze it, raze it
    To its very foundation.”
    8 O daughter of Babylon, you devastated one,
    How blessed will be the one who repays you
    With the recompense with which you have repaid us.
    9 How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones
    Against the rock.

    BTW I have seen other translations that specify dashing out brains ….

    Comment by who+dares+wings — May 16, 2011 @ 8:15 am

  6. This story from Wasserstrom was apparently controversial even at the time and Boger himself denied it:

    “This story was of course picked up by the press because of its sheer emotional and sensational impact. The distasteful, shocking headline from the Frankfurter Rundschau the next day read “Witness: Boger Splattered a Child on the Wall.” The paper reported on the eerie silence and horror in the courtroom as Wasserstrom testified. It also reported one of Boger’s extremely rare retorts in his own defense. Replying to the judge’s inquiry as to whether he had anything to say, Boger calmly said: “to the matter of the child I have nothing to say. That is a ridiculous invention, maybe something for the press.”

    Does Ursula not consider this denial at all? It sure does sound ridiculous if you ask me.

    I’m not sure if Draser had a word about this since it’s claimed he ordered the wall to be washed.

    Comment by Kageki — May 16, 2011 @ 2:53 am

    • Thanks for providing this link. It is strange that she decided, on the basis of witnessing the boy with the apple being killed, that she didn’t wnat to have children. In most of the survivor stories that I have read, the survivors were very proud of the many children and grandchildren they had, as though this were a form of revenge.

      Wasserstrom did not tell anyone about this story until 1947, two years after the war. She did not include the story in any of her writing after the war. In the courtroom, she didn’t mention this story until she was under cross-examination.

      If she is still alive she should be prosecuted for lying under oath. If Boger were still alive, he could be hired as a torturer in America where torture is currently an approved method of interrogation. If it hadn’t been for the practice of torture in America, Osama bin Laden would still be alive.

      Comment by furtherglory — May 16, 2011 @ 7:01 am

  7. In fact, happily, it appears the boy-wall bashing incident happened not on the ramp but at the Political Department (which was next to the old crematorium at Auschwitz I)

    “There is one incident I can never forget: it must have been around November 1944. A truck, carrying Jewish children, drove into the camp. The truck stopped by the barracks of the Political Department. A boy – he must have been about 4 or 5 years old – jumped down. He was playing with an apple that he was holding in his hand. Boger came with Draser to the door. Boger took the child by his feet and smashed his head against the wall. Draser ordered me to wash the wall after that. Later I was called in to do some translation for Boger. He was sitting in his office eating the boy’s apple.”

    Dounia Wasserstrom

    Comment by Grey — May 15, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

    • The “old crematorium” in the main Auschwitz camp was allegedly the location of a gas chamber until the fall of 1944 when it was converted into an air raid shelter. You are correct that the building right next to the crematorium was the Political Department. The gas chamber was no longer being used in November 1944, so there was no reason to bring a truck full of Jewish children to that area. The only reason for bringing the boys near the Political Department was to give Dunia Wasserestrom the opportunity to witness a gruesome murder followed by the opportunity to witness the callous behavior of Boger as he ate the little boy’s apple. This story is a real tear-jerker. If Dunia is still alive, she should be put on trial for Holocaust lying, which should be a crime.

      Comment by furtherglory — May 15, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

  8. The first mention of Boger that I know of came in the Dachau Liberated report page 79
    “As to other names, I also kow Unterscharfuehrer Heueer. He was the man who interrogated and struck Hild Logauer, Regenscheidt, etc., on the Stalin swing.

    SS Oberscharfuehrer (sergeant major) Boger called himself with relish “the Devil”. Formerly I have called him Porgel. He also had this name in th camp. As I had been released two or three days from K.A., Boger called me. He asked, “Do you know me?” I answered “Yes” “What is my name?” he asked. He then added, “I am the devil.” He then asked me why I was interested in the Jewess Zimmerspitz. He struck me with full power under the chin and in the face so I tumbled down.”

    I think this was Eleonore Hoedyss.

    While I agree with the proliferation of head against the wall bashing stories – unfortunately they are impossible to disprove. There was an old ramp outside Birkenau that might have had a wall. And there was also a small wooden building on the platform of the new Birkenau ramp which could have been used to bash heads against. Alternatively, Boger could have brought his own special mobile head bashing wall.

    Comment by Grey — May 15, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    • Thank you for giving me the page number in the Dachau Liberated book. I remembered seeing Boger’s name in the book, but I couldn’t find it when I searched for it. I blogged about Eleonore Hoedyss before on December 27, 2010 under the title “More Stories From Dachau-Liberated The Official Report.”

      Only her initials E.H. are given in the book. I don’t believe anything that E.H. said when she talked to the Americans at Dachau.

      I looked up Dunia Wasserstorn and found the quote from her that you provided in your first comment. On the same page in that book, it is explained that she was one of 8 Jewish women who worked as secretaries in the Political Department. All 8 survived and were apparently treated very well. She gives absolutely no motivation for Boger killing a child in this way and then eating his apple. I don’t believe her story either. She claimed that Boger called her into his office and she saw him eating the apple after he had just murdered a child in front of a witness. That is totally unbelievable.

      It was Dr. Konrad Morgen’s custom to talk to the inmates when he did an investigation. He certainly would have talked with the secretaries in the Political Department. Yet, Boger was not arrested at the time that Dr. Morgen arrested the head of the department. As a result of Dr. Morgen’s investigation, Rudolf Hoess was transferred into another job and he lost his job as the Commandant. But nothing happened to Boger.

      If he had actually killed a child for no reason by bashing his head against the wall in front of a Jewish witness, I am sure that Dr. Morgen would have had him executed, just as he had two camp commandants executed.

      Comment by furtherglory — May 15, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

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