Scrapbookpages Blog

May 30, 2012

President Barack Obama needs a crash course in geography and the history of World War II

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:23 pm

Yesterday, during the ceremonies for the Presidential Medal of Freedom awards, President Barack Obama offended the Polish people by making a serious mistake when he said that Jews were killed in a “Polish death camp.”  This implies that it was the Polish people who were killing the Jews in death camps.

This quote is from a news article which you can read in full here:

Obama on Tuesday labeled the Nazi facility used to process Jews for extermination as a “Polish death camp.” The White House later said the president “misspoke” and expressed “regret”.

The linguistic faux pas overshadowed Obama’s posthumous award of the highest US civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Jan Karski, a former Polish underground officer who provided early eyewitness accounts of Nazi Germany’s genocide of European Jews.

Between 1939 and 1945, nearly six million Polish citizens perished under Nazi Germany’s brutal World War II occupation of their country.

More than half of Poland’s victims were of Jewish origin and they, in turn, accounted for half of the six million European Jews who perished during the Holocaust.

Many were killed in death camps set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland — including the most notorious, Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Oops!  Another mistake: Auschwitz-Birkenau was not in occupied Poland, also known as the General Government.  Auschwitz was in Silesia which had been annexed into the Greater German Reich in 1939.  The correct way to locate Auschwitz today would be to say that it was in “what is now Poland.”

You can read about the history of Auschwitz-Birkenau on my website here.

Here is a short history and geography lesson for President Barack Obama:

Map shows that Auschwitz and Chelmno were both in Greater Germany

On the map above, the dark brown area shows the “General Government,” which was the name for German-occupied Poland after Poland was defeated by the Germans in September 1939.  The dark orange section shows the portion of today’s Poland which was in the Greater German Reich during World War II.  The Greater German Reich is shown in the whole orange section, including the dark orange part.  The six “extermination” camps were in what is now the country of Poland, shown in the area outlined in yellow.

The two maps below show Germany before World War I and after World War I.  The Germans blamed the Jews for the loss of World War I and they were mad as hell.  That is why they wanted the Jews out of Europe, among other reasons.

Map of Germany in 1871

On the map above, note the German province of Silesia, where Auschwitz-Birkenau was later located.

Map of Germany after the Treaty of Versailles

The map above shows what was left of Germany after a huge chunk of German territory was given to the new countries of Poland and Czechoslovakia after World War I. Notice how East Prussia was cut off from the rest of Germany by the Polish Corridor.  It was a dispute over the Polish Corridor, among other reasons, which led to World War II.

May 29, 2012

Recent photos show how much the Auschwitz Museum has changed

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: — furtherglory @ 1:45 pm

The last time that I saw the former Auschwitz-Birkenau camps, which are now called the Auschwitz Museum, was in 2005.  At that time, I wanted to take a photo of the granite stairs in one of the brick buildings in the main Auschwitz camp.  I stood at the bottom of the stairs, with my camera ready, waiting for the steady stream of tourists to stop for just one second so that I could get a photo of the stairs, which have been worn down by the feet of millions of visitors.  Finally, I just gave up.

This morning I saw the photo, that I had wanted to take, on this blog.  The blog (named eyrealm) has lots of good photos, including photos of the suitcases and the shoes in one of the exhibit buildings in the main camp.  When I was there in 2005, I waited for what seemed like an hour, so that I could get a photo of the artificial limbs. I had managed to take photos of the suitcases and the shoes in 1998 when there were very few tourists. The eyrealm blogger was with a tour group.  The group leader must have held back the other tourists, so that her group could take photos.

The photos on the eyrealm blog show the changes that have been made at the Auschwitz main camp in the last 7 years.  The kitchen building just inside the Arbeit Macht Frei gate is now painted a muddy white color to show the way it looked in January 1945 when the camp was liberated. The photo of the band playing has been removed from the end of the building.  I think the building looked much better when it was painted black.

My 2005 photo of the camp kitchen in the main Auschwitz camp

This quote, regarding the kitchen building, is from the eyrealm blog:

Every day the prisoners who hadn’t already been sent to the gas chambers lined up to go to work to the music of musicians who played march music in front of this building.

Old photo shows the camp orchestra playing at the kitchen building

I noticed that the eyrealm blogger did not get a good photo of the Arbeit Macht Frei sign on the gate into the main camp.  This is almost impossible to do, what with all the tour groups entering every 15 minutes with no pause in between.

Regarding the entrance gate at the main Auschwitz camp, the eyrealm blogger wrote:

As we walked through the gates of Auschwitz words above the iron gate were (translated) Work Brings Freedom! What a cruel joke!

The sign was not a cruel joke.  The meaning of the sign is that “work liberates” in the spiritual sense.  This sign was used only at Class I camps, where prisoners had a good chance of being released.  I blogged about the Arbeit Macht Frei sign at Auschwitz, two years ago, here.

1945 photo of the gate into the main Auschwitz camp

Regarding the brick buildings in the main Auschwitz camp, the eyrealm blogger wrote: “These brick buildings were already built for military housing which is why they decided to start here.”  No, the buildings were built in 1916 to house migrant workers when Silesia, the area where the camp is located, was part of Germany.

The recent photos on the eyrealm blog show that new trees have been planted in the main camp.  When I was there, there were several dead trees, which have now been replaced.

My 1998 photo shows a dead tree in the main Auschwitz camp

I learned that another thing that is new at Auschwitz-Birkenau are the grey sign boards with white letters, which tell the tourists the history of the camp.

Here are the words on a sign at the Auschwitz main camp:

JUNE 1940
BEGINNING OF DEPORTATIONS OF POLES.  THE NAZIS SENT TO THE CAMP 140-150 THOUSAND POLISH PRISONERS HALF OF THEM PERISHED.

JUNE 1941
BEGINNING OF DEPORTATIONS OF 25 THOUSAND PRISONERS OF VARIOUS NATIONALITIES. ABOUT HALF OF THEM PERISHED.

SUMMER 1941
BEGINNING OF DEPORTATIONS OF 15 THOUSAND SOVIET POWS. MOST OF THEM PERISHED.

MARCH 1942
BEGINNING OF MASS DEPORTATIONS OF 1,1 MILLION EUROPEAN JEWS.  AUSCHWITZ STARTED FULFILLING TWO FUNCTIONS: WHILE REMAINING A CONCENTRATION CAMP, IT BECAME A SITE OF THE HOLOCAUST, THE BIGGEST MASS MURDER IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND, PERPETRATED BY THE NAZIS.  ABOUT 1 MILLION DEPORTED JEWS WERE MURDERED BY THE SS MAINLY IN GAS CHAMBERS.

FEBRUARY 1943
BEGINNING OF DEPORTATIONS OF 23 THOUSAND ROMA (GYPSIES) 21 THOUSAND OF THEM PERISHED.

This constitutes a big change in the Holocaust story.  The number of Jews murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau is down from 4 million to 1 million, who were mainly killed in gas chambers.  So there were no typhus epidemics at Auschwitz?

This quote is from the eyrealm blog:

Next  a commandant stood at the beginning of the line and pointed people either to the right or the left.  Old people, pregnant women, babies, children too young to work and those who were sick or infirm were sent to the right with the flick of a hand. The healthy ones who looked as though they could work were sent to the left. Those to the right were sent directly to the gas chambers.

The above quote shows that there has been a big change in the Auschwitz story.  It used to be that doctors, including the famous Dr. Mengele, stood at the beginning of the line of prisoners and waved prisoners to the left for the gas chamber and the healthy prisoners to the right to work.

Another quote from the eyrealm blog:

When a prisoner died for whatever reason, his old clothes were issued to the next prisoner without ever seeing the laundry.

Apparently, this tour group did not make it all the way to the Sauna building where the clothing was disinfected in steam chambers before being given to the prisoners.

A recent photo, on the eyrealm blog, of the ruins of the Krema II gas chamber, shows that efforts to prop up the ruins have failed; the roof shown in my 2005 photo below has now collapsed.

My 2005 photo of the ruins of Krema II at Birkenau

This quote from the eyrealm blog really got to me:

It was an unbelievable display of man’s inhumanity to man! What always amazes us is that so few Germans had enough of a conscience or a sense of right and wrong to bring themselves to report what was going on or try to help in some way.

Another change in the Auschwitz story is in this quote:

Just before the war ended, eighty thousand prisoners were rounded up for what is now known as the Death March. Most of them perished in the freezing cold of mid-winter, many without shoes.

The story used to be that 60,000 prisoners were on the death march. The prisoners were not “rounded up.”  The prisoners in the camp were given a choice of whether they wanted to join the march or stay in the camp to wait for the Soviet soldiers. Only 7,000 prisoners chose to remain.  Numerous survivors of the march have said that the Germans gave the prisoners a good pair of shoes from the clothing warehouses that were called “Canada.”  Most of the prisoners on the Death March survived the 50 kilometer march to Gleiwitz where they were put on trains and sent to camps in Germany.

Here is one last quote from the eyrealm blog:

On January 27th only about 7,000 emaciated prisoners with vacant eyes were liberated by the Russian army. The horror of Auschwitz haunted them for the rest of their lives.

The photos from the re-enactment of the liberation, which were taken by the Soviets, show angry eyes or happy eyes, but not vacant eyes. Instead of emaciated prisoners, the photos show survivors with double chins.

Happy Auschwitz prisoners re-enact the liberation of the camp

Prisoner liberated from Auschwitz looks angry

May 28, 2012

Aerial photos of Auschwitz were altered by the CIA to manufacture evidence

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:45 pm

This morning I spent a lot of time reading about the air photos of Auschwitz-Birkenau taken from American reconnaissance planes in 1944 and 1945.  I downloaded the photos from the website of Germar Rudolf here.  In case you don’t know who Germar Rudolf is, he was the first highly qualified Holocaust revisionist, by virtue of his education and intelligence. His books are highly scientific and technical — no hatred nor anti-Semitism involved — just the facts. You can get to know Germar Rudolf on his website here.

The pdf files about the air photos which you can download from Germar Rudolf’s website include photos taken from the Auschwitz Album.  These are photos taken by the Germans during the time that the Hungarian Jews were arriving at Birkenau.  These photos are used by Holocaustians to prove that Jews were gassed, but actually, they prove the opposite.

You can also read about the air photos on this website.  This quote is from the website:

… the photos of Auschwitz (Illustrations 8 and following) were taken by the Americans. It took the Allied landing in Italy in autumn of 1943 before the Americans were able to bomb the industrial area of Upper Silesia; Allied reconnaissance flights over this area therefore did not begin until the winter of 1943/44. However, the corresponding air photos were not submitted to the National Archives by the CIA, and thus made accessible to the public, until the late 1970s. It was also the CIA which published the first photos of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1979.(16)

The pdf files that you can download from Germar Rudolf’s website explain where and how the photos were altered by the CIA.

The area where the two main crematoria were located has been changed by the building of the International Monument between Krema II and Krema III.  Tourists can no longer see that the main camp road went on into the countryside where there were farms very near the camp.  The International Monument has been built over the intersection of the main road and the road to the Sauna where the Jews took a shower before entering the camp as prisoners.

The aerial photos show that the soccer field was very near one crematorium and that there were 12 kitchens near the crematoria.  The photos show that there was no secrecy surrounding the crematoria; the prisoners could see everything that was going on.  The CIA altered the aerial photos to show high fences around some of the buildings.  The alternations done by the CIA show little chimneys where the Zyklon-B gas could have been poured in, but photos taken by the Germans do not show these openings.

The bottom line is that there is no air photo evidence to support the claim of mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  You can read it here.

May 27, 2012

Bob Dylan and Jan Karski to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:38 am

On Tuesday, May 29, 2012, President Barack Obama will give the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Bob Dylan and posthumously to Jan Karski. What do these two men have in common?  Nothing — I just wanted to get your attention.

Most Americans know who Bob Dylan is, but who was Jan Karski?

Jan Karski was a Polish resistance fighter who was among the first to tell the world, in the Summer of 1942, that the Nazis were NOT “transporting the Jews to the East,” as they claimed, but were committing mass murder in occupied Poland.  At that time, Karski was a 33-year-old diplomat in the Polish government-in-exile in London; he was preparing for a secret mission to carry information about the massacre of the Jews in occupied Poland to America. Before leaving for Washington, DC, he met with two Jewish leaders from the Warsaw Ghetto. They briefed him on “Hitler’s war against the Polish Jews.”

During a ceremony at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on April 23rd this year, President Obama spoke about Jan Karski as “a young Polish Catholic who witnessed Jews being put on cattle cars, who saw the killings, and who told the truth, all the way to President Roosevelt himself.”  Jan Karski had tried to tell the world the truth, while “so many others stood silent,” in the words of President Obama.

After coming to America in July 1943, Jan Karski got his PhD and then taught history at Georgetown University for many years.  He became an American citizen in 1954.  In the year 2000, Dr. Karski died at the age of 86.

Here is the back story on Jan Karski:

On September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, Jan Karski (not his real name) was a young soldier in a horse-drawn artillery unit, which was hopelessly outdated compared to the well-equipped German army.  Karski deserted, running toward the East, but on September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Poland from the other side. Karski was captured by the Soviets; he barely escaped the Katyn Forest massacre which the Soviets blamed on the Germans at the Nuremberg IMT.

Karski fled into one of the many huge forests in Poland and joined the Polish Underground which continued to fight throughout World War II, although not on the battlefield.  Karski worked as a courier, carrying messages from Warsaw to the Polish government which was in exile in France at that time.  On one of his missions, he was captured by the German Gestapo and tortured.  To escape the torture, he pulled a razor blade out of the sole of his shoe and slashed his wrists.  The Germans took him to a hospital and he survived.

Karski escaped from the Germans and, posing as a Jew, wearing a yellow Star of David, he sneaked into the Warsaw Ghetto so that he could observe the horrible conditions there. He learned that the Jews were being sent from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka, a death camp that was 60 miles to the East.

Next, Karski went to the Izbica Ghetto, which served as a transit camp for Jews who were being sent to the Belzec and Sobibor extermination camps.

After witnessing what was happening to the Jews in Poland, Karski went to England where he spoke to members of the British War Cabinet, but Winston Churchill refused to see him.  Then it was on to America, where Karski spoke with Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, and finally with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  All of these men found his story difficult to believe.

In a secret meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Karski told Roosevelt about the Auschwitz death camp and that 1.8. million Jews had already been killed in Poland. He said that commanders of the Polish Home Army (a resistance group) had estimated that, without Allied intervention, the Jews of Poland would “cease to exist” in 18 months.  Still, Roosevelt refused to bomb the Auschwitz death camp.

After failing to impress any of the Allied leaders, Jan Karski went public with his story.  He delivered around 200 lectures and wrote a best-selling book entitled The Story of a Secret State.  Still, it was several years after the war until it became universally known that Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor were death camps where the Jews were gassed.

So what did Jan Karski do to get the Presidential Medal of Freedom, if no one listened to him?  Although America did nothing to save the Jews from the gas chambers in what is now Poland, President Roosevelt did establish the War Refugee Board, a Federal agency that helped the Holocaust survivors to come to America. John Pehle, who became the head of the War Refugee Board, said that President Roosevelt decided to establish the board after his talks with Jan Karski.

May 26, 2012

50th anniversary of the execution of Adolf Eichmann, the “Architect of the Holocaust”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:08 pm

May 31st will mark the 50th anniversary of the hanging of Adolf Eichmann, who was charged with 15 crimes in an Israeli court, and convicted in 1962 of crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership in an outlawed organization (the SS).

Eichmann’s crime was that he was the man in charge of the trains that transported the Jews to the concentration camps.  Who was the man in charge of the trains that took the Japanese-Americans, German-Americans and Italian-Americans to internment camps in America?  I don’t know, but I doubt that there was anyone in charge of scheduling the trains in America.  Americans are not as organized as the Germans are. Up until recently, you could set your watch by the arrival and departure of the trains in Germany. In America, not so much.

The three judges in the trial of Adolf Eichmann were Moshe Landau, Benjamin Halevy and Yitzhak Raveh, all three of whom were German Jews who had left Germany in 1933 and escaped to the British Mandate of Palestine, soon after Hitler came to power.

This raises the question: Why didn’t all the German Jews just go to Palestine in 1933? The Holocaust could have been avoided altogether if the Jews had all emigrated to Palestine.  The answer is that the British would not allow it — they were trying to avoid the conflict that is still going on today.

As an officer in the SS, Eichmann had been assigned in 1938 to help organize SS Security Forces in Vienna after the Anschluss of Austria with Germany. After that, Eichmann was selected by the SS leadership to form the Central Office for Jewish Emigration at the end of 1938.

According to Wikipedia: Eichmann was an “expert on Jewish matters” for the Third Reich, overseeing the concentration camps, the expropriation of Jewish property, and the deportation of Jews to ghettos and death camps. He played a major role in implementing the Final Solution.

In his capacity as the head of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration, Eichmann had tried to work with Zionist organizations to get Jews into Palestine.  In December 1939, Eichmann was assigned to head the RSHA Sub-Department IV-B4, which was the office of the German government that dealt with Jewish affairs and emigration. In 1940, Eichmann was in charge of the Madagascar Project, a plan to deport Jews to the island of Madagascar, but this plan was never put into effect. (Again, the British were against this plan.)

In short, Adolf Eichmann was in charge of getting the Jews out of Germany, but was he eventually put in charge of killing all the Jews in Europe?  Yes! According to Wikipedia: “Reinhard Heydrich disclosed to Eichmann in autumn 1941 that all the Jews in German-controlled Europe were to be murdered. (Source: Browning, Christopher R. (2004), The Origins of the Final Solution, p. 362)”

Several years ago, I was staying in a hotel in Berlin, and I wanted to go to the newly-opened Museum in the house in Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, where the Final Solution was planned.  I asked the two young people working at the front desk in the hotel how to get to the house in Wannsee where the Final Solution was planned.  I spoke to them in English because all young people in Germany speak English better than most Americans.  But the phrase “Final Solution” drew a complete blank: these young people had no idea what I was talking about.  So I said it in German:  “die Endlösung.”  Again, I drew a complete blank.

Finally, I asked the young woman at the front desk in the hotel to call me a taxi.  Surely, a taxi driver would know how to get there.  As it turned out, the cab driver did know, but he said it was 50 miles, each way.  “Das macht aber nicht,” I said, and away we went.

The point of this long digression from my subject is that a man was hanged for his role as the Architect of the Final Solution 50 years ago, but today’s young people in Germany don’t know what you are talking about when you say “die Endlösung der Judenfrage.”

Adolf Eichmann was a low-level bureaucrat in Nazi Germany. He never personally killed anyone and never ordered the death of anyone. He had no authority in Nazi Germany and was not a decision maker. So unimportant was Eichmann that he did not even leave Germany until 1950. When he finally emigrated to Argentina, he did so with the help of the International Red Cross.  His wife and children did not change their names when they left Germany, and that’s how Eichmann was tracked down by the Israeli Mossad in 1960.

Eichmann’s good friend, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who was 6 levels above Eichmann in the Reich Security Main Office, was put on trial by the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal and specifically charged with gassing the Jews. Eichmann was not important enough to be hunted down and put on trial at Nuremberg. Eichmann and Kaltenbrunner had been friends from their school days in Linz, Austria, the city that was also the boyhood home of Adolf Hitler.  It was because of this boyhood friendship that Eichmann, who was a High School dropout, had gotten his job with RSHA.

So if Eichmann was such “small potatoes,” why was he kidnapped by the Mossad and put on trial in Israel?  There were hundreds of bureaucrats and technicians who were at the same level in the Nazi hierarchy as Eichmann.

In my humble opinion, the reason that Eichmann was put on trial was because he was the man who had typed up the minutes of the Wannseee Conference, the meeting where the Final Solution was planned on January 20, 1942. In the minutes of this meeting, a copy of which was discovered in 1947, the participants had used euphemisms such as “transportation to the East”  instead of talking about “the extermination of the Jews in gas chambers.” The Jews in Israel, who were survivors of the Holocaust, wanted to hunt down Eichmann, put him on trial, and establish that he had falsified the minutes of the Wannsee conference.

After 11 months in custody in Israel, during which time he was given Thorazine, a drug that is used to treat mental illness, Eichmann was finally put on trial. His facial tics (tartive dyskinesia) showed the effects of long term use of Thorazine.

With a little help from heavy doses of Thorazine, Eichmann confessed the truth, which was that the Wannsee Conference was held for the purpose of planning the genocide of the Jews. Up to that time, there had been no documentation found which showed that Hitler had ordered the killing of all the Jews. The Eichmann trial finally provided the proof of the systematic plan to exterminate the Jews; that is why Eichmann is regarded today as the second most important Nazi, next to Adolf Hitler.

May 25, 2012

the grandson of Rudolf Hoess is still bothered by the shame associated with his family name

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 2:04 pm

Update: June 21, 2013

There is a documentary, by Chanoch Zeevi, entitled Hitler’s Chidren which you can watch on this blog. This quote is from the blog:

“Zeevi has tracked down five descendents of high ranking, powerful Nazi officials with one purpose: to examine the effects of an inherited legacy.”

The documentary shows Rainer Hoess, the grandson of Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant of Auschwitz. Rainer visited Auschwitz and spoke to a group of Israeli teenagers.

The documentary shows the house where Rudolf Hoess lived with his wife and children.  Rainer was particularly disturbed by a gate on the property.  What was not pointed out in the film is that the gate looked out on the countryside that was opposite the Auschwitz main camp; the gas chamber building was not visible to anyone looking through this gate.

Strangely, the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, that was “only yards from the gate” into the yard of the Hoess house, was not shown in the documentary.  Rainer should have been shown the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, and someone should have explained to him exactly how the gas chamber worked.

Monika Goeth, the daughter of Amon Goeth, Commandant of the Plaszow camp, which is shown in Schindler’s List, is also shown in the documentary, as she tells about meeting a survivor of the Plaszow camp who has a tattoo on his arm. It should have been mentioned in the documentary that only prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau were tattooed.  This man must have been sent from Plaszow to Auschwitz, but he somehow survived.

Continue reading my original post:
Rainer Hoess recently visited the Auschwitz main camp, where his father, the son of Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess, was raised in a house that was only a few yards from the gas chamber. You can see a video here which shows the garden of the Commandant’s house where the children of Rudolf Hoess played.  Rainer Hoess was particularly disgusted by the sight of the fancy wrought iron gate that opened from the garden into the Auschwitz main camp; he referred to it as the “gate into hell.”

This quote is from the article which shows the video:

When he was a child Rainer Hoess was shown a family heirloom.

He remembers his mother lifting the heavy lid of the fireproof chest with a large swastika on the lid, revealing bundles of family photos.

They featured his father as a young child playing with his brothers and sisters, in the garden of their grand family home.

The photos show a pool with a slide and a sand pit – an idyllic family setting – but one that was separated from the gas chambers of Auschwitz by just a few yards.

It was where his grandmother told the children to wash the strawberries they picked because they smelled of ash from the concentration camp ovens.

How far was the Commandant’s house from the gas chamber?

The aerial map of the Auschwitz main camp, shown in the photo below, includes the location of the Hoess house, which is on the extreme left in the photo.

Map of Auschwitz main camp shows the Commandant’s house on the far left

The photo below shows the street that runs along the outside of the original camp. Organized tours start on this street, then turn right at the first intersection and go through the Arbeit Macht Frei gate, which is to the right, but out of camera range in this shot. This street goes straight ahead to the gas chamber, and the former Political Section, which are to the right at the next intersection. The SS hospital, which is across from the gas chamber, can be seen on the right; it is the light-colored, two-story building.

Entrance road into the Auschwitz main camp

The SS hospital was across the street from the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

I took the photo above early in the morning in October 2005, before the tour groups entered this part of the camp.  The street shown in the photo continues on to the rear of the house where Hoess lived.  The photo below shows the rear of the house.

The rear of the house where Rudolf Hoess lived

In the photo above, the garden is on the left side of the house, but it is out of camera range in the photo.

The front of the house where Rudolf Hoess lived

The garden, where the wrought iron gate is located, is on the far right side of the photo above.  On the left side, but not shown in the photo, is the fence around the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Why would the Commandant live so close to the gas chamber?  Why not?  The SS hospital was even closer to the gas chamber than the Commandant’s house, and the SS Political Department was on the other side of the gas chamber, as shown in the photo below.

The SS Political Department was located right next to the gas chamber and crematorium at Auschwitz

The photo above shows the gallows where Rudolf Hoess was hanged. On the left is the reconstructed chimney of the crematorium; on the right is the building where the SS Political Department was located.

The chimney at the crematorium was too far from the Commandant's garden for ashes to get on the strawberries

The chimney at the Auschwitz crematorium was too far from the Commandant’s garden for ashes to get on the strawberries

What does all this have to do with anything?  It shows you how callous the SS men were.  It didn’t bother them that Jews were being gassed, 900 at a time, in a gas chamber that was right in the center of where they lived and worked and recovered when they were wounded or sick.  It didn’t bother the Commandant that his children had to wash the ashes off the strawberries from the garden before eating them.

How do we know that Jews were gassed at Auschwitz?  We know it because Rudolf Hoess confessed after he was almost tortured to death by the British.  You can read his confessions (plural) on my website here.  You can read another blog post about Rudolf Hoess here.

the Lopuchowo forest in Poland where 2,000 Jews were executed by the Nazis during WWII

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:58 am

This quote is from an article in Jweekly.com about a group of San Francisco Bay Area teens who participated in this year’s March of the Living:

Walking through the Lopuchowo forest near Tykocin in northeastern Poland, Zoe Weitzman imagined she could hear the cries of the 2,000 Jews who were executed there by the Nazis in August 1941. Weitzman, 19, a senior at Los Gatos High School, says she will never forget the experience.

I visited Tykocin in October 1998 on my first trip to Poland.  I was with a private tour guide, who wanted me to visit the nearby Lopuchowo forest after seeing Tykocin.  She told me that this was where the Nazis had executed thousands of Jewish residents of Tykocin.

I thought to myself at the time:  Seriously?  The Nazis wasted bullets when Tykocin was only a short distance from Treblinka where the Jews could have been gassed?  This didn’t make any sense to me.  I didn’t believe it.  So I told my guide that I didn’t want to take the time to see the forest.  “We’ve got to get to Treblinka,” I said. “We’re losing light.”

A few years later, I heard about the small town of Jedwabne in Poland where, just days after the Nazis occupied the town, on July 10, 1941, the Polish residents murdered almost all of the Jews in the town.  Just like Tykocin, the town of Jedwabne had a population that was half Jews and half Catholics.

I purchased the book by Jan Gross entitled Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne and learned the truth about Jedwabne.  The story of what had really happened in Jedwabne had been kept secret for 60 years.  As I read the book, I thought of Tykocin and the Jews who were allegedly shot by the Nazis, only a few miles from the gas chambers of Treblinka.

This quote is from the website jedwabne.net:

In the small town of Jedwabne in Northeast Poland, Jews lived side by side with local Poles for over two centuries; by the outbreak of the Second World War, they constituted more than half of the town’s 2,500 inhabitants. Relations were peaceful for the most part until July 10, 1941 when, just days after the Germans occupied Jedwabne, almost the entire Jewish population of the town was murdered. Beginning in the morning, Jews were chased, beaten and killed with clubs, knives and iron bars. Women were raped; a small girl’s head was cut off and kicked about. Jews were rounded up from their homes and brought to the market square where the town rabbi and others were forced to carry the statue of Lenin and to sing, “The war is because of us.” At the end of the day, all remaining Jews were forced into a nearby barn that was then doused with gasoline and set on fire. Music was played to drown out their cries. No Jewish witnesses were meant to survive, but seven managed to escape.

A memorial plaque that was erected at the site of the barn after the war read: “Here is the site of the massacre where the Gestapo and Hitler’s gendarmes burned alive 1600 Jewish people. 10.VII. 1941.” Such was the official version of history for almost 60 years, until the appearance of the book Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community of Jedwabne, Poland by Jan T. Gross, a Polish-born Professor at NYU.  In the course of his research, Gross discovered that, in fact, it was not the recently arrived Nazis, but local Polish residents who had carried out this massacre. The book, first published in Polish in May 2000, caused a painful and far-reaching public debate. The dispute was fueled by the realization that the book would soon appear in English, making the story widely known beyond Poland’s borders.

Did you catch that?  The Nazis were blamed for burning Jews alive in a barn in Jedwabne, when it was actually the Polish residents of the town who had murdered the Jews.  Did the same thing happen in Tykocin?

Notice the dates of the massacres:  In July 1941, the Jews were killed by the Poles in Jedwabne, but in August 1941, the Jews from Tykocin were killed in the Lupuchowo forest by the Nazis.  What are the chances of that happening?

May 24, 2012

New film by Claude Lanzmann will feature Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein, the last Jewish Elder at Theresienstadt

Filed under: Holocaust, movies — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:39 am

On May 20, 2012, I blogged about Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein, whose son, Dr. Wolf Murmelstein, wrote an essay about his father, entitled “The Last Unrighteous” — The Witness never heard.  A new movie about Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein by Claude Lanzmann, which will be released soon, will be entitled Last of the Unjust.

This quote is from an article about the film in today’s news:

Elsa Keslassy reports in Variety that Claude Lanzmann’s new film has a title—“Last of the Unjust”—and a lead producer, the new French company Synecdoche. The film, as I mentioned in my review of Lanzmann’s extraordinary autobiography, “The Patagonian Hare,” will be about Theresienstadt. According to Keslassy, it will “put a spotlight on Benjamin Murmelstein, an Austrian Jew who was appointed by Adolf Eichmann as head of the Jewish Council of Elders and rule over Theresienstadt.” Lanzmann will be filming, she says, in Israel, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, and Italy.

Claude Lanzmann is the film maker who created Shoah, a film which features the testimony of numerous Holocaust survivors.  According to the news article, Lanzmann interviewed Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein in 1975, over the course of several days.  These were the most extensive interviews that Lanzmann did, but none of them were included in the completed film.  Why not?  I don’t know, but possibly, it is because Dr. Murmelstein was accused, but not convicted, of collaborating with the Nazis.

This part of the news article, which you can read in full here, caught my attention:

Among the heroes of “Shoah” (and “heroes” is just the right word; the movie has villains, too) are Filip Müller, who, as part of a Sonderkommando at Auschwitz, took part in getting people into gas chambers and getting corpses out of them; and Abraham Bomba, one of the barbers in Treblinka, who cut the hair of Jews who were about to be murdered in gas chambers.

Filip Müller — a hero of the Holocaust?  I don’t think so.  I was very critical of Filip Müller in a blog post which you can read here.  I quoted the testimony of Abraham Bomba on my web site here.  Both Müller and Bomba are favorite targets of Holocaust revisionists because their outrageous claims tend to disprove the Holocaust.

In my humble opinion, I believe that the testimony of Dr. Murmelstein also tends to disprove the Holocaust.  I think that is why his original testimony for Shoah in 1975 ended up on the cutting room floor.

You can read an essay about Theresienstadt, written by Dr. Wolf Murmelstein, on my website here.  You can read the testimony by a child survivor of Theresienstadt here.

May 23, 2012

Raoul Wallenberg — the man who saved Jews from the Holocaust — with fake passports

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:50 am

Update Aug. 7, 2016: Newly discovered journal expresses certainty that Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands, was killed in 1947

Read more at http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/europe/122097-160807-holocaust-hero-was-executed-on-stalin-s-orders-kgb-chief-s-diary-says

Continue reading my original post:

This is the year of Raoul Wallenberg, the 100th anniversary of his birth. He is being honored as a hero all over the world.

As everyone knows, there were 425,000 Hungarian Jews killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau in a period of only 10 weeks in 1944.  Or was it 475,000?  The exact number of Hungarian Jews who were gassed is unknown because the Nazis didn’t keep records on the Jews who were sent to the gas chamber immediately upon arrival.

The Nazis had a plan, called “The Final Solution,” which was their plan to kill all the Jews — unless, of course, the Jews could show a passport to a neutral country.  Raoul Wallenburg came along in the nick of time to save 100,000 Jews from the gas chamber by providing them with fake passports to Sweden. Or was it 20,000 Jews that he saved?  The numbers vary according to which news story you read.

Strangely, Hitler was O.K. with this.  He wanted to kill all the Jews, but in 1943, he authorized an exchange camp at Bergen-Belsen where Jews could be exchanged for prisoners held by the Allies.  At Bergen-Belsen, there was a Sonderlager (Special Camp) where several thousand Polish Jews, who had been deported in mid-1943, were held because they were in possession of temporary passports from South American countries.

In July 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt organized the Evian Conference at Lake Geneva where representatives from 32 countries met to decide where the German Jews could find safe haven from the coming Holocaust.  None of the countries, except the Dominican Republic, wanted to accept Jews as immigrants.  In America, there were laws, passed by Congress in 1924 which limited the number of immigrants from Germany. These laws had been passed for the purpose of keeping Jews out of America.

In 1942, President Roosevelt violated the fourth amendment to the American constitution when he issued an order to intern Japanese-Americans and German-Americans in camps in America.  He could have violated the Constitution again by overturning the immigration law that had been passed by Congress in 1924.  But No!  Roosevelt did nothing to save the Jews.

Here is a quote from a news article about Wallenberg, which you can read in full here:

By the beginning of 1944, the Allies knew that Germany under Adolf Hitler was systematically exterminating the Jews of Europe. Eyewitness testimonies about the gas chambers of Auschwitz had removed any doubt as to the meaning of “the final solution.”

What eyewitness testimonies had been given in 1944?  Rudolf Vbera was a Slovakian Jew who had escaped from the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in April 1944 and had told the world that 1.7 million Jews had already been killed in the gas chambers at Birkenau.  How did he know this?

Vrba was a Kapo whose job it was to take the luggage from the Jews when they arrived at the Judenrampe, the ramp where the Jews got off the trains before the tracks were extended inside the camp.  Vrba had an eidetic memory (photographic memory) and the arrival of  millions of Jews at the Judenrampe was instantly recorded in his brain.

The 1.7 million Jews who arrived, while Vrba was at the ramp, were taken in trucks to the Birkenau camp and never seen again by Vrba.  What could have happened to them?  They were gassed, of course.

Rudolf Vrba (real name: Walter Rosenberg)

This quote is from the Wikipedia entry for Rudolf Vrba:

Mass transports [to Auschwitz-Birkenau] began on May 15, 1944 at a rate of 12,000 people a day; they were led to believe they were being resettled, but most were sent straight to the gas chambers. Details from the Vrba-Wetzler report alerting the world to what was happening inside the camp were broadcast in Czech and Slovak on June 15, 1944, by the BBC World Service and reported several days later by The New York Times, prompting world leaders to appeal to Hungarian regent Miklós Horthy to halt the deportations. He ordered them to be stopped on July 7, fearing he would be held personally responsible after the war; 475,000 had already been deported, but another 200,000 were probably saved.

By April, 1944, Dr. Vrba had calculated that 1.7-million Jews had been killed in the death camps. And from guards he’d overhead, he knew that the number was going to climb, with “a million units” expected to arrive from Hungary.

Wait a minute! Rudolf Vrba and another prisoner named Alfred Wetzler had escaped from Birkenau in April 1944 and 475,000 Hungarian Jews were sent to Birkenau before the news that Jews were being gassed was told to the world by the BBC and the New York Times in June 1944?  Why didn’t Rudolf Vrba get the news to the world leaders sooner?  All it took was a passport to a neutral country to save a Jew from the gas chamber!

I recall reading, years ago, the book written by Rudolf Vrba.  I was amazed to read that, after his escape from Birkenau, he went to visit his mother in Slovakia.  His mother had not been sent to a camp?  What kind of a genocide was this, if not all the Jews were sent to camps?

I was also amazed to read about Vrba’s life in the Birkenau camp.  He was feasting on roast chicken and drinking wine!  In fact, when he and Wetzler made their escape, their pockets were filled with cigarettes and a couple of bottles of wine.  As a Kapo,Vrba had been living well at Birkenau while he counted 1.7 million Jews who were taken in trucks directly to the gas chambers.  The official story, as told by the Auschwitz-Museum, is that 1.3 million Jews were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and 1.1 million were gassed.

Here is another quote from the news article about Raoul Wallenberg:

By July 1944, upwards of 400,000 Jewish men, women and children had been deported, in cattle cars, to their deaths in Auschwitz. The man directing the genocide, Adolf Eichmann, now turned his attention to the 200,000 Jews of Budapest.

At this point Raoul Wallenberg arrived as first secretary of the Swedish legation. Scion of a banking family, he had studied architecture in America and done business in Europe. Nothing in his life had demanded particular courage, much less marked him for unique greatness.

Wallenberg came with a single mission: to rescue as many Jews as possible. With nothing more than the authority of his character and a mantle of diplomatic licence, he proceeded to bluff, deceive and defy the Nazis.

He distributed thousands of pseudo “passports” that identified the bearers as emigrants to Sweden. With bundles of such life-saving documents, he appeared at train stations and pulled Jews off death cars. He interceded at forced marches and plucked Jews from death columns. He purchased food and medicine, hired doctors and guards, protected Jews in rented safe houses.

Over a period of six months, at mounting risk to his own life, Wallenberg negotiated with the Nazis, bribed them, intimidated them. Days before liberation, in his most daring stroke, he prevented a massacre in the ghetto by threatening a German general with execution as a war criminal.

Wallenberg’s example inspired similar rescues by neutral Switzerland, Portugal and Spain. His actions are estimated to have saved about 100,000 lives.

May 22, 2012

the long road from the shetetls of Eastern Europe to the good life in America and the UK….via Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:27 am

A house in the shetetl of Tykocin in Poland

When I made my first trip to Poland in October 1998, I wanted to see the death camps and the gas chambers.  Before I left on my trip, I made arrangements for a tour guide through a company in New York City.  I wanted to make sure that I had a guide who spoke English.  Before taking me to see the camps, my guide told me that I had to first see a shetetl so I could see what it was like for the Jews who were living in Eastern Europe during World War II.  I couldn’t even pronounce the word shetetl and I didn’t understand why I had to waste time seeing a village where Jews no longer lived.

A log house with a tin roof in the village of Tykocin in Poland

Many of the houses in Tykocin look like barns, with what appears to be a hayloft in the attic space, but you can tell they are dwellings because they are right next to the sidewalk and have curtains in the windows.

The German name for the shtetel Jews was Dorfjuden, or village Jews in English. A few of these villages had a population that was 100% Jewish, but in most of them, the Jews lived side by side with the Polish Catholics. The town of Tykocin was divided down the middle into the Jewish district on the west side and the Christian district on the east side.

The weathered gray wooden house shown at the top of this page appears to have shutters on the two doors which are closed and barred. On the top of the house is a window which looks like an opening into a hayloft. To prove that these buildings are not barns, I took a picture of a barn in the back yard of the house, which is shown in the photo below.

Shetetl house on the left with a barn in the background

If these barn-like houses look familiar, it may be because you have seen houses just like them in the movie Fiddler on the Roof.

When these houses were last inhabited by shtetel Jews, most of them did not have indoor plumbing. According to historian Martin Gilbert, there were whole villages in Poland, as late as 1945, that did not have running water, indoor toilets or a sewer system. There was no industry in Tykocin then and, according to my tour guide, the inhabitants were engaged in farming, including the Jews.

House in Tykocin, a former Jewish shetetl

After Poland was partitioned for the third time in 1795, Tykocin was located in the section that came under the control of Russia. Between 1835 and 1917, Tykocin was included in the Pale of Settlement, the reservation where the Jews were forced to live by decree of Russian Czar Nicholas I. The movie Fiddler on the Roof depicts the life of the Jews in the Pale and ends with the start of their expulsion in 1881 after the assassination of Czar Nicholas I during the revolutionary activity, that was just beginning, which finally culminated in the overthrow of Czar Nicholas II by the Communists in 1917.

Two million Jews were expelled from the Russian sector of the former country of Poland between 1881 and the start of World War I in 1914. Most of the Jews from the Pale of Settlement came to America, but some settled in Germany or the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1917, some of the Jews from the Pale of Settlement, who had emigrated to America, returned to fight in the Communist Revolution.

In October 1998, when I visited the Auschwitz II camp, aka Birkenau, it was a rainy day and I was not able to take as many photos as I wanted to take.  When I told my Jewish tour guide that I wanted to come back at a later date, so I could take more photos, she said, “Don’t come during the March of the Living.”  When I asked why, she said that the March of the Living was held once a year to celebrate the victory of the Jews over the Nazis and it was not safe for a person, like me, who looked German, to be in Auschwitz at that time.  (The guide appeared to be Jewish, but she claimed that she was not a Jew because, as I learned when she was verbally attacked in Krakow, Poland was not safe for Jews in 1998.)

This morning, I was reading about three Auschwitz survivors, who now live in South Florida.  They were on this year’s March of the Living.  You can read the article here and see a video about their trip here. The March of the Living also goes to the Maidanek (Majdanek) camp, where the people on the march can see gas chambers and a reconstructed crematorium.

What impressed me about the story of the three Auschwitz survivors on the March of the Living is how lucky they were to have survived their ordeal in a death camp and to have been able to come to America where they could live the good life.

This quote is from the news article:

As the trio travels back to Auschwitz in Poland, each tells a terrifying story about being ripped from their homes and loaded onto crowded trains, with no idea where they were going or what would happen to them once they arrived.

Standing on the train platform at the Birkenau extermination camp, part of Auschwitz, Mermelstein remember the being greeted by the infamous Dr. Joseph Mengele, the man who performed cruel medical experiments on children and adults being held by the Nazis. “He looked at you, had on white gloves and a little stick and just motioned right or left.” Mermelstein is explaining what became known as “the selection process.”  In that split second, people where chosen for life or immediate death in the gas chamber.  No one realized at the time what was happening.  “The people went to right went this way, people who went to left, right behind the fence there, there’s a walk way, they walked about a half a mile to where the gas chambers,” recalls Mermelstein.

The photos below show some of the survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the people who were sent to the right during the selection process, and they survived.

Child survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau

Old woman walking with a cane as survivors leave Birkenau

Child survivors walking out of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

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