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November 4, 2011

Educating 6th graders about Dachau

An article on the AccessNorthGa.com website, which you can read in full here, has this headline:  South Hall 6th graders learn about the Holocaust.

This quote is from the article:

Fifty sixth graders at South Hall Middle School Thursday morning learned about the Holocaust of World War Two from someone who saw it first hand.

Retired army general Russel Weiskircher was a 20-year-old soldier when he helped liberate Dachau, the Nazi death camp, 66 years ago at the close of the war in Europe.

As vice chairman of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, he said his mission is to educate, and encourage young people never to hate.

[…]

Weiskircher said most students he talks to have never heard of Dachau.

The Commission is a state agency that uses the lessons of the Holocaust to teach about injustice, stereotyping, discrimination and bigotry so that the Holocaust will never be repeated.

Why should 6th graders in America learn about Dachau?  Should 6th graders be taught that prisoners were sent to Dachau because of injustice, stereotyping, discrimination and bigotry?  Will teaching young children about Dachau cause them to love everybody, or will it teach them to hate the ethnic group that set up the Dachau camp?

Shouldn’t American students be learning about the internment camps in America, where Japanese-Americans and German-Americans were imprisoned?  Some say that the 4th Amendment rights of these American citizens were violated. The students could learn history and government at the same time, if they were taught about the American internment camps.

There has been a lot of news recently about the Japanese-American soldiers, who fought for America during World War II.  There are many claims by Japanese-American veterans that they liberated Dachau.  That can’t be right because Russell Weiskircher claims that he was among the liberators of Dachau, and he’s not Japanese-American.

Russell Weiskircher was a soldier in the 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Thunderbird Division. This was the regiment that played a big role in the liberation of Dachau. In April 2007, Weiskircher spoke to students at a Catholic school in Georgia about what he saw at Dachau on April 29, 1945. This quote is from his speech:

“We were coming toward the camp and the first thing, this intense odor and then we saw bodies spewed over six acres.”

The 157th Infantry Regiment first entered the SS camp, next door to the concentration camp, and proceeded to kill the SS soldiers who had been sent to surrender the camp.  Did Weiskircher see the bodies of Hungarian and German soldiers, that were killed during the liberation, “spewed over six acres”?

I’ve been to Dachau several times and my estimate of the size of the concentration camp is that it is about 5 acres.  Other liberators have described the scene with the phrase “bodies stacked like cordwood,” but according to Weiskircher, the bodies at Dachau were “spewed over six acres.”

Weiskircher, who retired from the Army as a Brigadier General, was Vice President of the Georgia Holocaust Commission in 2007 when he gave the speech that I quoted above.

The following is a quote from Weiskircher’s speech which was published on April 21, 2007 on the website http://www.11alive.com :

“A little girl, about six years old, crawled up to the barbed wire. And, all she knew was she used to have a mommy and her name was mommy,” he told the students.

“Her name was the number tattooed on her arm. She didn’t know her name.”

The fact that this child survivor had a number on her arm indicates that she had been previously registered at the Auschwitz death camp. She was Jewish because only Jews at Auschwitz were tattooed. When the Auschwitz camp was abandoned on January 18, 1945, the survivors, including women and children, were marched 37 miles through two feet of snow to the German border, and then sent by train to Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Dachau and other camps.

According to Holocaust historians, the Jews were “death marched” out of Auschwitz in order to kill them by marching and those who survived the march were then taken to camps like Dachau for the purpose of killing them.

Barbed wired fence and prison barracks  Photo Credit: Frederick Ludwikowski  Courtesy of Robert Thomas Gray, 14th Ordnance Co.

The photo above, taken after the liberation of Dachau, shows what the camp looked liked before the survivors rushed to the fence to greet the liberators.  The Dachau camp was surrounded by a wall on three sides; on the west side of the camp was a barbed wire fence with a ditch in front of it. Behind the ditch was a strip of grass which was off limits for the prisoners.  A few of the prisoners were killed instantly when they touched the fence before the electricity was turned off.  The little six-year-old girl could have been trampled to death by the rush to the fence, but apparently she survived.

Between the two barracks in the photo above can be seen three flags, including a British flag. There were several captured British SOE men at Dachau when it was liberated. On the right is Barrack 27, where Belgian political prisoners were housed in Room 4. Catholic priests also lived in Barrack 27, but they had already been released a few days before the Americans arrived.  Dachau was mainly a camp for political prisoners, particularly resistance fighters, who were fighting during World War II as illegal combatants.

Most Americans knew about the internment camps in America during World War II.  Eisenhower referred to the Nazi camps as “internment camps,” because that was the terminology that was familiar to Americans.

According to Wikipedia, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the internment camps in America with Executive Order 9066, issued February 19, 1942, which allowed local military commanders to designate “military areas” as “exclusion zones,” from which “any or all persons may be excluded.” This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire Pacific coast, including all of California and most of Oregon and Washington, except for those in internment camps.

How many 6th graders in America know about our internment camps?  When I was in the 6th grade, I knew about the American camps, but I didn’t know anything about Dachau.  In my day, every 6th grader knew about the Bataan Death March, but nothing about Dachau.  How times have changed!

I did a google search to find out more about what Weiskircher teaches American 6th graders and found a video on this website.

Here is what I learned from the video:

1.  Weiskircher does not know how to pronounce the word Dachau correctly.

2.  The Dachau camp could be smelled from 2 kilometers away on a cold day when there were snow flurries.

3. Weiskircher didn’t know the size of the Dachau camp, but it was the size of two or three golf courses.

4.  The Dachau camp was “completely encircled by a moat.”  (The moat was only on one side of the camp. The “moat” was called the Würm river canal.)

Bridge over the Würm river canal on the west side of Dachau camp

5.  There were 42 box cars on a track just outside the camp, not 39 cars as most of the other American soldiers reported.  (no mention of the fact that many of the cars were gondola cars and the prisoners had been killed when American planes strafed the train)

6.  The prisoners at Dachau included “homosexuals, Gypsies, Seventh Day Adventists and Mormons.  (no mention of political prisoners who were captured while fighting as illegal combatants)

7.  The prisoners in the 42 box cars had been brought to Dachau because Dachau had crematories.  The prisoners from the train were “showered in the gas chamber” and then burned.  (Caution:  if you don’t believe that prisoners were brought to Dachau specifically for the purpose of killing them in the last days of the war, you will be labeled a “Holocaust denier.”)

8.  Prisoners were “worked to death” at Dachau. (The word typhus did not pass his lips during his talk to the students.)

Of course, Weiskircher didn’t tell the students about the atrocities committed by the Americans at Dachau.  (google Dachau massacre)

There is no law against lying and exaggerating about Dachau, but if Weiskircher had told the students the truth about Dachau, he would be in danger of spending 5 years in prison in Germany after rendition (the abduction and illegal transfer of a person from one nation to another) which was the fate of Germar Rudolf.

14 Comments

  1. Oh, I see now. My reply did go to the right place. There were a lot of replies to the same post of yours ahead of mine, so mine was far down from it. You are smarter than I am … I said you were very intelligent. 🙂 Sorry for complaining.

    Comment by Skeptic — November 10, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

  2. On top of everything else, FG, your “reply” option no longer works. You should see that it’s fixed.

    Comment by Skeptic — November 9, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

    • I just clicked on Reply and I am replying to your post. I have changed my comments setting to allow comments on my old posts. I hope I have not messed up the settings. I will look into it.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 10, 2011 @ 5:48 am

  3. Further Glory,

    Jews are a race. Adolf Hitler, who seems to have never been wrong about Jews, wrote in Mein Kampf that Jews were a race pretending to be a religion. Today, more than ever it seems, a very large segment of the Jewish population are not religious at all. It has been pointed out that they don’t even believe in God, but are complete atheists. There is also more emphasis on genetic links that all Jews share. But to be more precise, they should be called an ethnic group, not a race. However, it is THEY who call themselves a race.

    Just where they originated is very hard to say, because they are made up of a lot of things. But they are not European at all; and they are not white.

    Racism: Do you want the politically correct definition? Some politically INcorrect definitions are: A. Racism is love for your own people. B. God created the races so is a racist. C. Racism is the belief that races exist, for a reason, and have meaning … therefore, race should be paid attention to. D. Racism means to keep the races separate — the opposite of race-mixing.

    Comment by Skeptic — November 5, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

    • I asked a college student for today’s politically correct definition of race, as taught in American schools. I was told that “race is a social construct.” In other words, there is no such thing as race because all human beings are exactly alike. Under this definition, a racist is a person who believes that races exist and that races can be distinguished from each other by their differences. In this system, it is O.K. to mate with anyone because there is no such thing as race-mixing since there are no races.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 6, 2011 @ 5:40 am

      • So how do we explain Hooked Noses and the Sickle Cell?

        Comment by schlageter — November 6, 2011 @ 11:15 am

        • Maybe you haven’t noticed the handsome Jews who are the product of a mixed marriage between a Jew and a Gentile. Other marriages between Jews and Gentiles are for the purpose of avoiding Jewish genetic diseases such as Tay-Sachs.

          As for Sickle Cell, I had to look that one up. I found this quote:

          “Sickle cell anaemia remains a controversial disorder even today. While universal newborn screening for the disease has been implemented in most US states, many centres, including most in Britain, use targeted screening. High risk groups continue to be identified by racial and ethnic traits. The value of universal screening is supported by the results of California’s newborn haemoglobinopathy screening programme. It identified 7000 non-black carriers of the sickle cell trait or disease among two million infants screened.”

          It won’t be long before there are no more “pure races.” Everyone will have bad genes, so it won’t matter whom you marry.

          Comment by furtherglory — November 6, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

          • FG, you have a horrible attitude. You “cave in” at the first difficulty; you do not resist because you just don’t much care. You just want to keep yourself safe. At the same time, you are very intelligent and a nice person, and secretly love Germans. 🙂

            Comment by Skeptic — November 9, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

      • I hope this reply goes in the right place. They teach that there is one race, the Human Race, and that differences are in color only ,,, are only skin-deep. Now anybody with a few brains who has lived long enough knows that isn’t true. Why are Negroes still way down in school achievement after 50 years of desegregation and Affirmative Action? And that’s just one marker. Today’s students are trained not to notice this, which must make them sczhidoid. We have all become liars (but not me).

        Comment by Skeptic — November 9, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

  4. Bigotry, discrimination, and hate are practiced every day in the Gaza Strip, in hollywood, on Wall Street, and every other area where the Chosen ones exist

    Comment by schlageter — November 5, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

  5. Tattooing of KZ Inmates at Auschwitz.
    The tattoo was the prisoner’s camp number, sometimes with a special symbol added, some Jews had a triangle, and Roma had the letter “Z” (from German Zigeuner for “Gypsy”). In May 1944, the Jews received the letters “A” or “B” to indicate particular series of numbers. Difficulties increased in 1941 when Soviet POWs came in masses, and the first few thousand tattoos were applied to them. This was done with a special stamp with the numbers to be tattooed composed of needles. The tattoo was applied to the upper left part of the breast. In March 1942, the same method was used in Birkenau.It is generally accepted that the tattooing of prisoners began with the influx of Soviet prisoners of war into Auschwitz in 1941. Approximately 12,000 Soviet prisoners of war were brought to and registered in the Auschwitz concentration camp complex between 1941-1945; most arrived in October 1941 from Stalag 308 in Neuhammer.
    The notion that only Jews were tattooed is incorrect, (I have met a young Dutch women who had her number tattooed between thumb and forefinger of her left hand and she was not a Jewess.)
    Source: Franciszek Piper and Teresa Swiebock”Nazi Death Camps 1996″, pp 60-61

    Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — November 4, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

  6. U of T master’s thesis calls Holocaust education ‘racist’
    By Macleans.ca | December 7th, 2010 | 11:56 am

    University defends itself on ‘freedom of inquiry’ grounds

    A University of Toronto student who submitted a master’s thesis that argues Holocaust education is “racist,” is drawing heated criticism against the university for accepting it. In her thesis, Jennifer Peto argues that the March of the Living and the March of Remembrance and Hope programs perpetuate “Jewish victimhood” while obscuring “Jewish privilege,” denying “Jewish racism,” and promoting the “interests of the Israeli nation-state.” Her thesis is titled, “The Victimhood of the Powerful: White Jews, Zionism and the Racism of Hegemonic Holocaust Education.”

    Peto criticizes the March of Remembrance and Hope, which takes young Canadians of all backgrounds to Holocaust sites in Poland along with Holocaust survivors, stating that there are “questions about the implications of white Jews taking it upon themselves to educate people of colour about genocide, racism and intolerance.” In response, Carla Wittes, who is a director at the Centre for Canadian Diversity, which runs the program, told the Toronto Star the thesis is offensive. “We are a non-faith-based organization concerned with educating people about the dangers of discrimination, and the Holocaust is obviously a prime example,” she said.

    Chery Misak, U of T’s provost defended accepting the thesis, “freedom of inquiry lies at the very heart of our institution” she said. Peto, who is a Jewish activist involved with the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid dismissed criticism to the Star. “This is not the first time I have been dragged through the mud by pro-Israel groups and I am sure it will not be that last,” she said.

    http://oncampus.macleans.ca/education/2010/12/07/u-of-t-masters-thesis-calls-holocaust-education-racist/
    .

    Comment by who+dares+wings — November 4, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

    • What is the current definition of racism? During the Holocaust, the term racist didn’t exist. Are the Jews a race, a religion, or an ethnic group?

      Comment by furtherglory — November 5, 2011 @ 10:55 am

      • Officially according to US law the Jewish race exists, this classification was created in order to include Jews in anti-discrimination laws. The Jews themselves often refer to themselves as a race, in the Bible they are referred to as a nation and a race. Also a race cannot be joined and you can convert to Judaism thus becoming a Jew but not a member of a new race!

        Jewish people believe they are descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all with a common blood line this may better be described as a family or a people.

        However you define the Jewish people they are a distinct group of people sharing a bond which has stood the test of time.

        Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — November 6, 2011 @ 1:13 am


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