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August 22, 2011

Jews were sent to Dachau after Kristallnacht in 1938 and released weeks later

Filed under: Dachau, Holocaust, movies — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:01 am

According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, which you can read here, there were 70,000 Jews rounded up on Kristallnacht, which was the night of Nov. 9th and 10th in 1938; the Jews were sent to concentration camps, including Dachau.  Kristallnacht is considered by the Jews to be the start of the Holocaust. Prior to that, there were no Jews sent to the concentration camps just because they were Jews, although Jews had been sent to the camps for other reasons.

Jewish men in Baden-Baden were arrested on Nov. 10, 1938

This travesty, which was named Kristallnacht by the Nazis, took place after a three-day death watch over Ernst vom Rath, a diplomat at the German embassy in Paris who was shot by Herschel Grynzspan, a 17-year old Polish Jew. Herschel had fled to Paris when the Nazis announced in October 1938 that all Polish Jews in Germany would be deported back to Poland. The Polish government had already torn up their passports when they evicted them earlier and they would not allow them back into the country. Grynzspan’s parents and sister were forced to live in a refugee camp on the border; his motive for killing vom Rath was to call the attention of the world to the plight of these stateless Jews.

The Dachau Museum puts the number of Jews that were sent to Dachau, following Kristallnacht, at exactly 10,911. According to the Museum, another 20,000 Jews were sent to Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen with 10,000 being sent to each of these camps.  

Most of the Jews arrested after Kristallnacht were released within a few weeks after they promised to make arrangements to leave Germany, according to British Holocaust historian Martin Gilbert. Around 8,000 of the 31,000 Jews, who were taken into “protective custody,” after Kristallnacht were allowed to enter Great Britain without a visa and thousands more went to Shanghai, where no visa was required. Altogether, more than 50,000 German Jews found safety in Britain before World War II started, including 10,000 Jewish children, who were sent on Kindertransports.

One of the few countries that allowed entry for Jews in 1938 was the Dominican Republic which had agreed to take 100,000 Jews although only 5,000 accepted this offer. America had a law, passed in 1921, which limited the number of immigrants from Germany and there was a long waiting list.

This quote is from the Sacramento Bee article:

One [of the men arrested after Kristallnacht] was Leo Lieberman, sent to Dachau, the first concentration camp opened in Germany.

But Leo was one of the fortunate ones. He had helped the American consul in Munich with the body of an American who had died in Germany.

At the consul’s urging, the Nazis released Leo from Dachau after six weeks and the family was given a visa to leave Germany – first to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, ultimately to New York in spring 1939, where the family had relatives, including Jerry’s older brother, Erich.

The younger son of Leo Lieberman was Jerry Lieberman who became one of the “Ritchie boys.”  According to the article in the Sacramento Bee, the “Ritchie Boys” were Jews who had fled Nazi persecution in Germany and had come to America where they were trained at Camp Ritchie in Maryland “and taught to interrogate or wage psychological warfare against the Nazis.” 

Years ago, I attended a special showing of a documentary film about the “Ritchie boys.”  I wrote a review which you can read on my web site here.

This quote is from the Sacramanto Bee article:

As a Jew, his part as a Ritchie Boy still stirs enormous pride.

“I was able to use my language skills and education in an interesting way to fight the enemy,” Lieberman, now 87, said. “At the time, we didn’t know what was happening in the ghettos and camps. Once we did, it struck a great pride to be a Jew and to be born a German.”

Very interesting… The Jews didn’t know what was going on in the ghettos and camps, according to Lieberman, but the German civilians are accused, by the Jews today, of being complicit in the Holocaust because they did nothing to stop the atrocities in the camps.

1 Comment

  1. Who wrote this article?

    Comment by Elizabeth — January 9, 2017 @ 2:25 pm

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