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September 7, 2011

The last remaining piece of the Warsaw ghetto wall

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 6:54 am

My photo of the last remaining piece of Warsaw ghetto wall

I signed up for GBTV yesterday and learned that when Glenn Beck went to Poland in July this year, he included a visit to the remains of the Warsaw ghetto wall.  He was surprised to find that the wall was so high.

The last remaining piece of the wall is ten feet high, as shown in my photo above, taken in 1998 on my first visit to Poland. According to my tour guide, parts of the wall which connected two buildings, such as this remaining section, were built higher than the rest of the wall, which was mostly lower than 10 feet.  Apparently Beck’s tour guide forgot to tell him that.   (more…)

September 6, 2011

Dying victims scratched the walls of the Auschwitz gas chamber with their fingernails

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 7:44 am
Scratch marks on the wall of the Auschwitz gas chamber

Scratch marks on the wall of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

The photo above, taken by Simon Robertson on January 12, 2004, shows fingernail scratches on the wall of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp.  Notice the star of David on the right hand side in the middle of the photo. To the left of that star of David, there is another one in the white patch in the middle of the photo.

Scratches on the wall of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

Scratches on the wall of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

When I visited Auschwitz in October 2005, I did not notice these scratch marks; possibly they had been painted over.  On my first visit to the Auschwitz main camp in October 1998, I did not see any scratches on the walls of the gas chamber.

Scratches on gas chamber wall when Glenn Beck visited the Auschwitz main camp in 2011

The following quote from Glenn Beck is on the website which shows the photo above:

The gas chambers. Glenn Beck: I have always assumed that it killed relatively quickly. But when I saw this wall – I knew I was wrong. To stand in this room where hundreds of thousands died was horrifying. The children were always on the top of the bodies. Heroes to the end. – the adults all assumed the air would be clearer higher and they tried to give these children a chance to live by holding them up close to the ceiling. It didn’t work. The gas killed everyone – but not instantly. It took twenty long horrific minutes. And the walls show it. Many of the children weren’t with their mom or dad, but with strangers. Oh, the special hell that awaited all those who were silent.

How does Glenn Beck know that it took “twenty long horrific minutes” to kill the victims in the Auschwitz gas chamber?  In the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, where these photos were taken, there was no way to heat the Zyklon-B gas pellets. In the winter time, it would have taken much longer for the victims to die. The manufacturer of the Zyklon-B gas pellets recommended that the pellets be heated to a temperature of 78.3 degrees in order to speed up the release of the poison gas fumes, but the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp has no way to heat the pellets and no fan to circulate the gas fumes throughout the room.

Zyklon-B gas pellets on display in a glass case

On my trip to Auschwitz in 2005, I spent a long time in the Auschwitz gas chamber. I examined every inch of the room and I did not see any scratch marks on the walls.  All I saw were light blue patches of paint that appeared to be covering something on the wall.  These patches of paint are very obvious in the photos below.

My photo of the Auschwitz gas chamber, 2005

My photo of Auschwitz gas chamber, 2005

Update May 9, 2013:

Since I first wrote this post, I have found one of my photos, taken in 2005, which shows fingernail scratches on the wall. The photo, which is shown below, shows scratches near the ceiling of the gas chamber in the main camp.  I was taking a photo of the ceiling, and did not notice that my photo showed fingernail scratches near the ceiling on the far left side of the photo.

Fingernail scratches on the wall of the Auschwitz gas chamber, 2005

Fingernail scratches on the wall of the Auschwitz gas chamber, 2005

Continue reading my original post:

You can read more about the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp on my website here.  You can read more about the fingernail scratches on the wall of the Auschwitz gas chamber here.

Glenn Beck made a documentary film about his trip to Auschwitz with his wife Tania which can be seen on his new Glenn Beck TV (GBTV) online channel.

This quote is from the promotion for the documentary:

There is perhaps no single location representing all of history that better depicts pure evil, man’s greatest inhumanity to his fellow man, than the stark, cold set of buildings in southern Poland called Auschwitz-Birkenau. During WWII more than one million people, mostly Jews were executed there. Murdered in cold blood. The Nazis called it “the final solution of the Jewish question in Europe.”

From 1942 through 1944 Jews were delivered to the camp’s gas chambers from all over Europe.

But in the face of unthinkable horror there were people who displayed courage beyond imagination. Regular men, women, and children who put their very lives on the line in defense of righteousness. It was a small but important triumph of the human spirit then and equally important lesson for us today.

Note that Glenn Beck’s emphasis is on the righteous Gentiles who displayed courage and stood up to save the Jews.  There is a “special hell” for those who remained silent and did not intervene to stop the gassing of the Jews, even as they scratched the walls of the gas chamber in a last desperate attempt to escape, lifting their babies up so that they could gasp their last breath of air.  Oh, the Humanity!

The composite photo below was prepared by one of the readers of my blog.  It shows an old photo at the top with one of my 2005 photos and then a blueprint of the Auschwitz I gas chamber building.  Note that the blue paint that is now on the walls was not there in the old photo.

Click on the photo to see a larger size

Read more about Glenn Beck’s visit to Auschwitz here.

September 5, 2011

Huckabee’s new Learn Our History videos for children — facts or propaganda?

Filed under: World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:53 am

I usually watch Mike Huckabee’s TV show on Saturday nights.  Last Saturday, he was promoting his new Learn Our History series of videos for American school children, aged 7 and up.  He pointed out that these videos are needed because our students are not learning history in school; Huckabee claims that most high school seniors don’t know who was the first president of the United States.  The videos are intended for parents who want to supplement what their children learn in school.

One of his new videos was played on his TV show.  In this video, which is in the form of a cartoon, we see Hitler shaking hands with a man dressed in a British uniform, as the narrator says something about “Why is Hitler shaking hands with someone from another country when he hated everyone who was not German?”  So, right away, we are given a heads up that this lesson will be a biased view of history.  From this video, the little kids will learn a new word, which is pronounced very slowly: APPEASEMENT.  What they won’t learn is the true facts surrounding this event and the years of history leading up to the meeting.  You can read about some of this history on my web site here.

The information in this particular video is over-simplified and it does not adequately explain the Munich Conference.  I don’t think that 7-year-old children should be introduced to controversial events in history with a biased presentation in cartoon form.

Here is a preview of another video in the Learn Our History series:

September 4, 2011

American schools prepare children for the day when China will be the world’s greatest super power

Filed under: Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 12:28 pm

It won’t be long before China surpasses America as a super power.  In preparation for that day, which is not far off, American elementary schools are now offering “immersion programs” in Cantonese and also Mandarin, which is the official language of business in China.  The Chinese immersion classes start as early as kindergarten.  In California, the Sacramento City Unified District began offering Chinese-English immersion classes for students in 2010.

In the first year of an immersion program, elementary school children in the Sacramento area will have classes in which 80% of the instruction is in a Chinese language and 20% in English, but over the next five years, the percentage will be 50-50 between English and Chinese. Instruction in Mandarin Chinese will begin in the fourth grade. The students in these classes will be Asian and non-Asian; there is a waiting list to get into these classes.

Way back in the 1800s in the USA, there were “German schools” in Missouri and Wisconsin which taught elementary school classes in both German and English.  This was at a time when many households in America spoke only German and students entered kindergarten knowing only German, which was the language spoken at home.  During World War I, there were many American soldiers who spoke fluent German, which they had learned at home.  By the time that America was fighting Germany in World War II, there was still one in four Americans who could speak German.  This came in handy when America occupied Germany.  As a result of years of occupation, the German people now speak English better than most Americans.

Meanwhile, young people in China are learning American culture.  They are being introduced to Harry Potter, American junk food, and Anne Frank.  When I visit my TCM Chinese doctor twice a week, I read the magazines in the waiting room.  In some of the Chinese magazines, half of the articles are in Chinese and the other half are in English.  I’m learning about ancient Chinese customs and history, while the Chinese-Americans in the waiting room are reading about how China is rapidly becoming Americanized.

Where will it all end?  I don’t know, but I’m making friends with as many Chinese-Americans as I can.  As for language, I’m still trying to learn German.

New YouTube video about 9/11 by Anthony Lawson

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 7:23 am

“The most Colossal Lie ever told.”


September 2, 2011

Whatever happened to Glenn Beck?

Filed under: Holocaust, TV shows — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:19 am

I was a big fan of the Glenn Beck show, which used to air at 2 p.m. in California.  The show started on January 19, 2009 and was on for two and a half years.  It was a sad day when I saw his last show on June 30, 2011.  It was like a death, but Glenn is not really gone.  He is still around on his syndicated radio talk show (which I never listened to) and on his GBTV network.  I have not signed up yet for GBTV, but I suppose I will have to pay to follow Glenn from now on.  Today, I watched a documentary here that Glenn decided to offer for free.

In the text that comes before the documentary, I was startled to read this:

“….if you fear the Lord (generally a good idea) you know God says that He will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse it.”

Funny, I never heard God say that.  Does God talk to Glenn Beck?  Did God make a YouTube video about this?

The first part of the documentary shows Glenn Beck on his trip to Auschwitz in August this year.  Early in the documentary, it is mentioned that there were 35 million people in Poland.  But there were only 6,266 righteous Gentiles who tried to save Jews.  Glenn asks why there weren’t more people in Poland who stood up for the Jews.  Was that a rhetorical question?  Glenn Beck is a self-educated man.  How come he never learned why the Poles hated the Jews? (more…)

September 1, 2011

Was the “surgeon of Birkenau” really a surgeon?

The term “surgeon of Birkenau” has become a household word since the release of a new movie called The Debt. You can read my review of The Debt here.

This movie is a remake of a 2007 movie with the same story line, except that the Nazi “monster” in the 2007 film was called “the surgeon of Treblinka.”

Treblinka was strictly a death camp where all the Jews and a few Gypsies were killed immediately upon arrival, so why would there be a surgeon at Treblinka?  For that matter, why would there be a German surgeon at Birkenau?  The job of a surgeon is to save lives.  Germany was at war and there were thousands of German soldiers who needed surgery after they had been wounded on the battlefield.  Why would the Germans send a surgeon to save Jews at Birkenau?

The term surgeon is used in the movie The Debt to describe the character named Dr. Dieter Vogel, who is based on the real-life Dr. Josef Mengele. Dr. Mengele allegedly did surgery for the purpose of torturing the prisoners at Birkenau.  For example, he allegedly sewed two children together, back to back, to create Siamese twins.  What possible use would this have for German medicine in the future?  This was purely torture, done by a “monster.”

When Dr. Mengele came to Auschwitz-Birkenau in May 1943, his first assignment was to take care of the prisoners in the Gypsy camp, which was a family camp where men, women and children lived in the same barracks. He was later assigned to the women’s barracks where he delivered babies, but as far as I know, he did not do surgery.  There were plenty of Jewish doctors in all the camps, who could have done any surgery that was necessary to save lives.

In the new film The Debt, the former “surgeon of Birkenau” is hiding out in East Berlin working under an assumed name as a gynecologist. A woman (Rachel Singer) is part of the Mossad team that is assigned to find him; her job is to pretend to be a married woman who is trying to have a baby. She goes to see the suspected “surgeon of Birkenau” so that she can find out for sure if he is the “monster” who killed Jews at Birkenau.  The doctor is very gentle and polite but he asks a lot of questions. It seems that he is suspicious of her:  She doesn’t speak German like a native German speaker.  He asks her who referred her to him and she names a Jewish doctor.  He asks about the doctor: “How is the old Jew?”

Dr. Mengele was a medical doctor with an M.D. degree, which he had received in July 1938 from the University of Frankfurt, but his specialty was research on hereditary conditions. He had previously earned a PhD in Anthropology in 1935 with a thesis on “Racial Morphological Research on the Lower Jaw Section of Four Racial Groups.” He was a medical expert on the difference between racial groups and how heredity affects the health of babies in different racial groups.

In January 1937, Dr. Mengele had been appointed a research assistant at the Institute for Heredity, Biology and Racial Purity at the University of Frankfurt. He worked under Professor Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, a geneticist who was doing research on twins. As the war-time director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Hereditary Teaching Genetics, located in Berlin, von Verschuer secured the funds for Mengele’s experiments at Auschwitz. The results of Mengele’s research on twins was sent to this Institute. The grant for Mengele’s genetic research was authorized by the German Research Council in August 1943.

The research on hereditary conditions was important to the Nazis because they wanted to have a strong, healthy race of people who would be free from hereditary defects.  The Nazis did not want the German people to mix with Jewish people because the Jews had a number of hereditary diseases.  Dr. Mengele was doing research on how hereditary defects are passed on to future generations.  Read here about a hereditary condition that is found among Ashkenazi Jews.

Dr. Mengele had already begun his research on heredity before the war and he jumped at the chance to go to Birkenau where he would have a great opportunity to study hereditary defects.  At Birkenau, he volunteered to do the selections for the gas chamber, even when it wasn’t his turn, because he wanted to find subjects for his medical research on genetic conditions and hereditary diseases. He particularly wanted to find twins for the research that he had started before he was posted to Birkenau.

Dr. Mengele escaped from Auschwitz before the camp was liberated by the army of the Soviet Union in January 1945. He took all of his research papers with him. These papers later fell into the hands of the Allies, but they have never been published. The results of Dr. Mengele’s experiments are currently being held in a vault in Israel and will probably never be released to the public.

Dr. Josef Mengele has gone down in history, not as an expert on hereditary conditions, but as a mad scientist who killed and tortured prisoners at Birkenau.  He allegedly did operations without an anesthetic at Birkenau, just for the purpose of torture.  His most well known crime was turning brown eyes blue, just for the hell of it.

According to the book entitled Mengele, the Complete Story, by Gerald L. Posner and John Ware, Dr. Josef Mengele spent 21 months at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, and during that time, he sent 400,000 prisoners to their deaths in the gas chambers at Birkenau. He selected 20,000 Jews and Gypsies per month to be killed, according to Posner and Ware.

The total number of deaths at Auschwitz-Birkenau is now set at 1.1 million, out of which 900,000 were Jews.  That means that Dr. Josef Mengele was single handedly responsible for almost half of deaths of the Jews at Birkenau. He sent Jews to their deaths with a wave of a baton while he whistled tunes from German opera, according to the stories about him told by the survivors.  Besides that, he was very good looking and charming, which made his crimes all the more heinous.  His nickname in the camp was actually “The Angel of Death,” not the “surgeon of Birkenau.”

Dr. Josef Mengele died on February 7, 1979 when he suffered a stroke while swimming at Bertioga beach in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His death was kept secret by his family and friends. It was not until a couple of years after his death that survivors began to come forward with stories about the crimes that he had committed at Birkenau, and the Mossad made a massive manhunt to find him.

The movie The Debt is based on what might have happened if the Mossad had started looking for Dr. Mengele in 1965 instead of waiting until after he was dead to begin their search for him.  Why was it so important to capture Dr. Mengele and bring him to trial in Israel?  Because his legacy as a surgeon who tortured prisoners had to be established, in order to prevent his name from going down in history as the doctor who did research on hereditary conditions that were prevalent among the Jews.

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