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June 12, 2012

What does the evidence show about the real story of Oradour-sur-Glane?

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: — furtherglory @ 12:29 pm

This old photo is displayed in the Center of Memory at the ruins of the village of Oradour-sur-Glane

The old photo above, which shows two French children standing in front of the sign at the entrance to the ruins, is displayed in the Center of Memory at Oradour-sur-Glane. The caption on the photo says that the German SS soldiers dishonored their mothers by killing children, but the caption doesn’t mention the French soldiers from Alsace who took part in the massacre and also killed children, some of whom were refugees from Alsace.

Tourists must go through the Center of Memory in order to get to the ruins of the village of Oradour-sur-Glane which was destroyed in a German reprisal action in World War II

I did not go inside the Center of Memory to see the exhibits because I did not want to pay to see them.  I walked through the hallway to get to the ruins on the other side of the road. The photo below shows the hallway.

Displays in the hallway which leads to the ruins of the town

Here is my synopsis of the Official Story of Oradour-sur-Glane, as it is told in the Center of Memory, the Museum shown in the photo above:

Around 2 p.m. on June 10, 1944, four days after the start of the Allied invasion of Normandy, approximately 150 Waffen-SS soldiers entered the tranquil village of Oradour-sur-Glane in south central France. For no apparent reason, Hitler’s elite troops destroyed every building in this peaceful village and brutally murdered a total of 642 innocent men, women and children, an unexplained tragedy which has gone down in history as one of the worst war crimes committed by the Germans in World War II.

On that beautiful June day, the defenseless inhabitants of Oradour-sur-Glane were rudely dragged out of their homes, including the sick and the elderly, and ordered to assemble on the Fairgrounds on the pretext of checking their identity papers. After all of the villagers had been assembled, they were forced to wait in suspense with machine guns pointed at them. Then the women were separated from the men and marched a short distance to the small Catholic Church, carrying infants in their arms or pushing them in baby carriages.

The men in the village were ordered to line up in three rows and face a wall that bordered on the Fairgrounds. A short time later, the men were randomly divided into groups and herded into six buildings: barns, garages, a smithy, and a wine storehouse. Around 4 p.m., a loud explosion was heard which was interpreted by the men to be a signal for the SS soldiers to begin firing their machine guns. Most of the men were wounded in the legs and then burned alive when every building in the village was set on fire by the German soldiers at around 5 p.m. By some miracle, 6 of the men managed to escape from one of the burning barns and 5 of them survived. They testified in court about this completely unjustified German barbarity against blameless French civilians.

The Oradour church only had a seating capacity of 350 persons, but 245 frightened women and 207 sobbing children were forced inside at gunpoint while the men were still sitting on the grass of the Fairgrounds, awaiting their fate. The women and children were locked inside the church while the SS soldiers systematically looted all the homes in this prosperous farming village. Then around 4 p.m. a couple of SS soldiers carried a gas bomb inside this holy place and set it off, filling the church with a cloud of noxious black smoke. Their intention had been to asphyxiate the women and children in the House of God, but their plan failed.

As the women and children pressed against the doors, trying to escape and struggling to breathe, SS soldiers then entered the crowded, smoke-filled church and fired hundreds of shots at the hapless victims, while other SS men stood outside ready to machine-gun anyone who attempted to escape. The soldiers fired low inside the church in order to hit the small children. Babies in their prams were blown up by hand grenades, filled with gas, that were tossed into the church. Then brushwood and straw was carried into the stone church and piled on top of the writhing bodies of those that were not yet dead. The church was then set on fire, burning alive the women and babies who had only been wounded by the shots and the grenades. The clamor coming from the church could be heard for a distance of two kilometers, according the Bishop’s office report.

The fire inside the church was so intense that the flames leaped up into the bell tower, shown in the photo above. The bronze church bell melted from the heat of the flames and fell down onto the floor of the church. One SS soldier was accidentally killed by falling debris when the roof of the church steeple collapsed.

Only one woman, a 47-year-old grandmother, escaped from the church. Taking advantage of a cloud of smoke, she hid behind the main altar where she found a ladder that had been left there for the purpose of lighting the candles on the altar. Madame Marguerite Rouffanche, the lone survivor of the massacre in the church, managed to escape by using the ladder to climb up to a broken window behind the altar, then leaping out of the window, which was 10 feet from the ground. Although hit by machine gun fire and wounded 4 times in the legs and once in the shoulder, she was able to crawl to the garden behind the presbytery where she hid among the rows of peas until she was rescued, 24 hours later, at 5 p.m. the next day, and taken to the hospital in Limoges where she was admitted under an assumed name. In 1953, she testified before a French military tribunal in Bordeaux about the massacre of the women and children in the church.  End of (official) Story

Is there any evidence which supports the official story?  None that I know of.  All of the remaining evidence, which can be seen today, supports the German version of the story, which is that members of the French Resistance in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane were storing explosives inside the Church and there was an explosion which killed the women and children. Note that the official story includes the fact that there was an explosion heard at 4 p.m.

The bell in the tower of the church fell.   Did it fall as the result of an explosion in the bell tower?

The broken bell is displayed inside the ruins of the church

Notice in the photo above that the melted bell is resting on some broken stones; the stone in the foreground appears to have a bit of the melted bronze on it. This indicates that the bell fell onto some stones in another location and both the bell and the stones were transported to this location inside the church. The floor of the church, underneath the bell, is undamaged.

A close-up of the melted church bell shows that the engraving on the bell did not melt

The wooden confessional inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church did not burn

Strangely, the wooden confession box in the ruined church is still in pristine condition, despite the fact that the church was set on fire, burning the women and children alive, according to the official story.  Not even the smoke from the alleged fire damaged the confession box.

The location of the confession box in the church

The photo above shows the transept on the left side of the Oradour-sur-Glane church where the wooden confession box is located. Behind the wall is the front door of the church. Note the damage on the arch of the transept which looks like damage from an explosion. The melted bell is located to the left of this view and very close to the confessional, not underneath the bell tower. The great mystery of the massacre in Oradour-sur-Glane is why the wooden confession box did not suffer any damage from the fire that melted the church bell in the tower. The bodies of two boys were found in the confessional; they had been shot in the neck.

The transept on the right-hand side of the Oradour-sur-Glane church

The photo above shows the transept on the right side of the church, which had two side altars before the church was destroyed. On the left side of the photo, you can see that the side altar has been completely demolished. The broken pieces have been piled up to resemble an altar, which is shown in the photo below. The official story is that the altar was blown up by hand grenades thrown into the church by the SS soldiers who were trying to kill the babies sitting in their prams.  Strangely the other altar in this transept is still in pristine condition, as shown in the second photo below.

Broken pieces of  side altar were piled up to resemble an altar in the ruins of the Oradour-sur-Glane church

The other side altar in the right-hand transept is still in pristine condition

The photo below shows the transept on the left side of the church which has a side altar still in pristine condition.  This is the same side of the church where the confessional is located.

Side altar on the left side of the church with the main altar on the right in the Oradour-sur-Glane church

The photo below shows the main altar with a brick wall on the right. The doorway in the wall has pieces of the communion rail stored there, along with broken pieces of the main altar. In the new church in the new town of Oradour-sur-Glane, there is a little room in this space; the new church is modeled after the old one. It appears that there is a room behind the brick wall in the old church, but the access to it was closed off when I visited.

The main altar and a little room behind a brick wall on the right

According to the official story, a German soldier stood in the cramped space to the right of the main altar and fired at the children huddled at the altar, aiming low so as to hit the small children. The photo below shows the bullet holes in the side panel of the altar, which is only a few feet from the brick wall.

Bullet holes in the side panel of the main altar in the Oradour-sur-Glane church

Could there be another explanation for the bullet holes in the main altar?  Could there have been ammunition stored in the church by members of the French resistance in Oradour-sur-Glane?

The photo below shows the center panel of the front of the altar. It appears to have one bullet hole in the center and one on each side.

Bullet holes in the front panel of the main altar

Were the bullet holes in the front panel of the main altar made by German soldiers who were standing inside the burning church, shooting the innocent children standing in front of the altar?

The burned corpse of Mr. Desourteaux was found in the ruins at Oradour-sur-Glane

The photo above shows what a burned corpse looks like.  The photo below shows body parts of women and children found in the ruins of the church with unburned clothing.  The body parts seem to support the unofficial story that the church was not burned by the SS soldiers.

Body parts with unburned clothing were found in the church

The purpose of the Center of Memory at Oradour-sur-Glane seems to be to promote hatred of the German people.  The following quote is from a book published by the Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Oradour-sur-Glane:

“Lest we forget…Months and years have passed since the drama at Oradour; it must remain alive in the hearts of French people, as the clearest example of Nazi cruelty. Let not the France of the future, ennobled by adversity, purified by the sacrifice of so many of its finest citizens, forget the humble and innocent victims, who for the sole crime of being French, paid the ultimate price. Let us not forget them.”

So German soldiers took time out from fighting the war and came to Oradour-sur-Glane, four days after the Normandy invasion, for the sole purpose of killing French civilians for the sole crime of being French? (That’s the official story, and if you don’t believe it, you could go to prison for several years.)

Following the Normandy invasion, the German Army, and especially the SS, came under heavy attack by the Maquis, a resistance group that in today’s War on Terror would be called insurgents or illegal combatants. The Waffen-SS Das Reich Division, which had been ordered from Bordeaux to the Normandy front, took 17 days to complete what would normally have been a three-day journey, suffering numerous casualties en route, as they were attacked by the Maquisards.

The Maquis was working closely with the British, who gave them supplies and coordinated their efforts. In the days immediately following the Allied invasion at Normandy, the leader of the Free French, Charles de Gaulle, was making plans to become the President of France after it was liberated from the German occupation. From his headquarters in London, he directed the British to drop money and ammunition to the resistance fighters in rural areas, rather than supplying the 25,000 Communists who were in Paris. He did not want the capital city of Paris to be liberated by the Communists because this would have resulted in a Communist government in France after the war. The Maquis fought in the outlying areas, hiding in the hamlets and villages of rural France; de Gaulle wanted all the Allied ammunition to be given to them.

The Maquisards set land mines, wrecked trains, blew up bridges and railroad tracks, ambushed German soldiers, kidnapped high-ranking German officers, killed wounded SS soldiers, and directed British and American planes in the bombing of German troop trains. There were also French collaborators who were helping the Nazis in the fight against Communism, particularly the Milice, the secret police, which helped the German Gestapo in arresting the resistance fighters.

The destruction of Oradour-sur-Glane had the desired effect because, immediately after the massacre, the Communist partisans, who had been wreaking havoc in the Limosin area, gave the order to stop fighting. The order was intercepted by the Germans and this immediately lifted their morale. The reprisal had worked; this was basically the reason why reprisals were allowed at that time, although such bestial cruelty as the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane is, understandably, no longer legal under international law.

Otto Diekmann, the commanding officer who ordered the reprisal at Oradour-sur-Glane, returned to his headquarters in the late afternoon, and gave his report to his commanding officer. Diekmann had gone to Oradour-sur-Glane to search for his friend and fellow officer, Helmut Kämpfe, the commander of Der Führer Battalion 3, who had been kidnapped by members of the FTP, the French Communist resistance, on June 9, 1944.

The following quote, from Diekmann’s Report, was included in Otto Weidinger’s book, Comrades to the End:

The Company had encountered resistance in Oradour, the bodies of executed German soldiers were found. It then occupied the village and immediately conducted an intensive search of the houses. Unfortunately this failed to turn up Kämpfe, however large quantities of weapons and ammunition were found. Therefore all the men of the village were shot, who were surely Maquisards.

The women and children were locked up in the church while all this was going on. Then the village was set on fire, as a result of which the ammunition that was stored in almost every house went up. The burning of the village resulted in fire spreading to the church, where ammunition had also been hidden in the roof. The church burned down very rapidly and the women and children lost their lives.

Note that Diekmann wrote that “The church burned down very rapidly…”  Diekmann left the village before the church was destroyed, so he did not know that it had been destroyed by an explosion of the ammunition stored inside. The church could not have “burned down very rapidly” since it was made of stone.  Diekmann apparently did not see the church before he left in the late afternoon.

Some former SS men believe that Diekmann committed suicide by deliberately getting himself killed at Normandy. He had been court-martialed because, in ordering the reprisal, he had exceeded his orders and he knew that he would soon be put on trial by the SS.

German Army General Erwin Rommel demanded the court martial of Diekmann, and even said that he would conduct it himself. Compare this with General George S. Patton tearing up the court-martial papers of the American soldiers who committed the Dachau massacre. Ironically, the killing of over 500 Waffen-SS Prisoners of War, who had surrendered at Dachau, was motivated by the anger that American soldiers felt after seeing dead bodies of prisoners on a train outside the camp, while the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre may have been touched off by the anguish of the SS soldiers at seeing the charred bodies of wounded Waffen-SS men who had been burned alive in an ambulance near the village.

I wrote another blog post about Oradour-sur-Glane at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/oradour-sur-glane-shown-in-the-tv-series-the-world-at-war/


June 11, 2012

Who burned whom alive in France during World War II? Oradour-sur-Glane and the hamlet of Rouffilac

Filed under: World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:04 pm

Yesterday was the anniversary of the destruction of the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane by German SS soldiers.  I didn’t blog about it because I thought that no one would be interested in this story anymore.  Today, I did a search to find out if any other blogger had mentioned Oradour-sur-Glane. I found this quote here:

On June 8, 1944, Major Adolf Diekmann, at the time summering in the Périgord with his Nazi battalion, stopped just beneath the cave in the hamlet called Rouffilac. He demanded that the proprietress make him and his men some crepes. She refused—so Diekmann burned her and 15 others to death in the bakery. The same group of soldiers killed 99 people the next day in Tulle, and the day after that burned alive 642 more in Oradour-sur-Glane, including 205 children. Diekmann was killed in battle before he could be tried for war crimes.

Note that Diekmann’s Nazi battalion was “summering” in the south of France, two days after the Normany invasion, with not a care in the world. Diekmann was not concerned with the war that was going on around him.  He wanted crepes for breakfast and when he didn’t get what he wanted, Diekmann burned 16 people alive in the bakery.

I was not familiar with the tragedy which involved the burning of 16 people in a bakery in Rouffilac, so I googled it but I could not find any source which confirms this atrocity.  Could this blogger have confused the burning of women and children in a bakery in Rouffilac with the story of the burning of people in a bakery in Oradour-sur-Glane?

The ruins of the bakery in Oradour-sur-Glane

It is known that members of the Maquis (a French Resistance group) came back to the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane and stayed for two days immediately following the massacre. Could it be that some of the bodies found in the ruins were moved to the bakery by members of the Marquis?

The ovens are on the left, inside the ruins of the Oradour-sur-Glane bakery

The Official Publication of the Oradour-sur-Glane Remembrance Committee and the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Oradour-sur-Glane includes the following information:

“A special envoy of the French Interior Force (the Resistance) who visited Oradour in the first few days specified that the charred remains of a father, mother and three children were gathered from inside a baker’s oven. We ourselves found, not far from this baker’s oven, a fire damper, still half full of coal, in which was discovered human bones (lumbar vertebrae) in an advanced state of charring. Faced with such a finding, it is clear that one is allowed to surmise a great deal.”

Apparently the SS surmised something quite different, based on the discovery of charred bodies at the bakery. According to a book by H. W. Koch, entitled Aspects of the Third Reich, the still smoldering body of Major Helmut Kämpfe was seen at an Oradour bakery by Diekmann’s men and the body was identified by the Knight’s Cross found on the body. Members of the Milice, the French secret police, had told the SS the day before that the Maquisards in Oradour were planning to burn Kämpfe alive. Other sources claim that Kämpfe was killed in the village of Breuilaufa, where his first grave was found in 1945.

Only 52 of the 642 victims of the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre were ever identified; the others were missing and presumed to have been killed there on 10 June 1944, although no death certificate was ever issued for them.

There are two sides to every story, but you don’t often hear the German side of what happened in World War II.  In his autobiography, entitled SS Panzergrenadier, former Waffen-SS soldier Hans Schmidt, who became an American citizen after World War II, wrote about the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre from the SS point of view.

According to Schmidt’s book, the Waffen-SS soldiers of Das Reich Division, the perpetrators of the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre, had been stationed from April to June 1944 in the Toulouse area for “rest, recuperation and replenishment,” after fighting the Russians on the Eastern front.

Schmidt wrote that, during the occupation of France, “German soldiers usually got along very well with the locals.” But, according to Schmidt, this changed soon after the start of 1944 when the French underground became more active. Schmidt blamed the British government for encouraging the French Resistance activity.

Schmidt wrote that

about one hundred soldiers of Das Reich had been murdered or kidnapped by the ‘heroes’ of the Maquis (terrorists!) before the division embarked, by road and train, on the difficult trip to Normandy. In doing so, Das Reich had to traverse the mountainous area in the surroundings of the city of Limoges where partisans were especially active.

In his book, Schmidt tells about the kidnapping of Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe, the battalion commander of the 3rd Battalion of Das Reich Division, on the night of 9 June 1944. Representatives of the French resistance had sent a ransom note to “Der Führer” battalion command post on the morning of the 10th of June. Acting on this information, Sturmbannführer Otto Diekmann, a close personal friend of Kämpfe, took two platoons from 3rd Company/1st Battalion/Regiment “Der Führer” to Oradour-sur-Glane to search for him.

On the search for this “beloved officer,” Diekmann’s men had discovered a burned-out German ambulance that had been set on fire, apparently by the partisans, near the southern entrance to the village of Oradour-sur-Glane. The driver of the ambulance had been tied to the steering wheel with wire. He had been burned alive, along with the man sitting next to him in the passenger seat, and four wounded soldiers inside the ambulance, according to Schmidt’s book.

Before entering Oradour-sur-Glane, the SS rounded up the residents of the hamlets on the south side of the village, because this was the vicinity where the burned out ambulance was found. By coincidence, the one woman who survived the massacre, Madame Marguerite Rouffanche, lived in a hamlet on the south side of the village.

Madame Rouffanche leaped out of a church window, that was 10 feet from the ground.  She survived, although she was allegedly shot five times by the SS soldiers.  How fortunate that there was one survivor who could testify about what happened in the church!  And she just happened to live in the hamlet, near where SS soldiers had been burned to death in an ambulance!

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the middle window

The Bishop’s Report of the Oradour-sur-Glane tragedy says that the bodies of 15 to 20 children were found behind the alter where Madame Rouffanche jumped.  Why didn’t the children jump out of the window?

Madame Rouffanche testified in court that she did not climb up to the window until after the church was set on fire by the SS soldiers. By this time, most of the women and children in the church were already dead. According to her story, she had survived the gas bomb that was set off in the church and the shots fired into the sacristy, as well as the grenades tossed through the doors and windows and she had not been wounded by the hundreds of shots fired inside the church. Hiding behind a cloud of smoke, she went behind the altar and found a stool that was used to light the candles on the altar. She used the stool to climb up to the window where she then jumped out.

If you don’t believe the official story of Oradour-sur-Glane, including the lies told about the bodies found in the bakery, you could go to prison in France, where it is against the law to deny the official story.  I’m not sure if the law applies to the story of the bakery in Rouffilac where 16 people were burned to death because Adolf Diekmann did not get crepes for breakfast while he was “summering” in France.

 

June 10, 2012

Jehovah’s Witnesses sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:23 am

I’ve been reading the news about the football players on European teams going to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.  Most of the stories mention that victims in the Auschwitz death camp included Gypsies, homosexuals, political prisoners, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.  For example, the news article here has this statement:

Most of the Auschwitz victims were Jews but the Nazis also killed many Poles, Soviet prisoners of wars, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals and political opponents there.

The following information is from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website which says that the total number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Nazi Germany was 20,000:

In the Nazi years, about 10,000 Witnesses, most of them of German nationality, were imprisoned in concentration camps. After 1939, small numbers of Witnesses from Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Norway, and Poland (some of them refugees from Germany) were arrested and deported to Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück, Auschwitz, Mauthausen, and other concentration camps. An estimated 2,500 to 5,000 Witnesses died in the camps or prisons. More than 200 men were tried by the German War Court and executed for refusing military service.

The Nazis referred to the Jehovah’s Witnesses as “volunteer” prisoners because they could leave at any time if only they would change their minds about serving in the Army or stop distributing pamphlets against the German government.

So why would Jehovah’s Witnesses be sent to Auschwitz, which was a death camp?

Jehovah’s Witnesses were sent to all the camps because they were selected to work as servants in the homes of the SS men who were running the camps.

The movie The Boy in the  Striped Pajamas shows a scene in which a Jewish doctor is working in the kitchen in the Commandant’s house, using a knife to peel potatoes.  That’s not what happened in real life.  Jewish doctors were put to work in the camp hospitals, and it was the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who were allowed to use knives in the homes of the SS men, because they were considered to be trustworthy.

The main camp where Jehovah’s Witnesses (Bibelforscher) were sent was Sachsenhausen, which is near Berlin.  In 1936, after the Bibelforscher were banned by law in Germany, there were 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses sent to Sachsenhausen.

At the Sachsenhausen Memorial Site, there is a memorial stone in honor of a prisoner named August Dickman who was executed because he was a member of the International Bible Students Association, who refused to serve in the Germany army. The memorial stone says that he was a “conscientious objector.”

According to Rudolf Höss, who was the adjutant in the Sachsenhausen camp at the time that Dickmann was executed, there were a large number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Sachsenhausen; he wrote in his memoirs that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were sent to the camps beginning in 1937, because they were “using religion to undermine the will of the people for military preparedness,” by recruiting others to their beliefs about not serving in the military. Höss claimed that only those who were actively preaching against the state and recruiting others were imprisoned.  Höss would later become famous as the first Commandant of Auschwitz.

When World War II started, all concentration camp prisoners, who were fit for military service, were drafted. Höss wrote in his memoirs: “A large number of them (the Jehovah’s Witnesses) refused to serve in the military and were, therefore, sentenced to death by Himmler as draft dodgers.”  Those who were willing to renounce their ideas against the military, or to serve in the army were released.

In America, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Japanese-American prisoners in the internment camps, who refused to serve in the American army, were sent to federal prisons where they were forced to work at hard labor, but none were executed.

Mauthausen was a Class III camp where the worst criminals were sent. The first Jehovah’s Witness to be registered at the Mauthausen camp was Franz Bräuchle, who was Prisoner No. 337.   By August 1939, a year after the Mauthausen camp was opened, there were 143 Jehovah’s Witnesses who were prisoners there.

Jehovah’s Witnesses who were prisoners at the Niederhagen camp

Niederhagen was a sub-camp of Sachsenhausen. The photo above shows Jehovah’s Witnesses who were prisoners in the Niederhagen camp. Some of them were over 40 years old when they were sent to the camp, so they could not have been imprisoned just because they refused to serve in the Army.

Hermann Pister, the Commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, claimed in his testimony before the American Military Tribunal at Dachau that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were imprisoned in the concentration camps “not for their religious convictions, but for their Communist tendencies.”

In all of the news articles about Auschwitz, it is implied that the prisoners in the camp, regardless of their category, were sent there, and murdered, for no reason at all.

June 9, 2012

Football players from England learn about Dr. Heinz Thilo who did selections for the gas chamber at Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:41 am

According to a news article in the online Telegraph, the England football players stood “transfixed” in front of a photo in the Auschwitz Museum which showed an SS officer, Dr. Heinz Thilo, doing a selection for the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  These photos have been added to the Auschwitz Museum since I was there in 2005, so I am not sure which photo they saw, but it was probably a photo from the Auschwitz Album, like the photo below.

SS officer making selections for the gas chamber

The photo above, which is from the Auschwitz Album, shows Dr. Thilo, who is partly hidden behind another man.  The place where this photo was taken is midway along the railroad tracks into the Birkenau camp. In the background of the photo, you can see men walking down the road which is to the left of the railroad tracks as you enter the Birkenau camp.  This road goes to the two largest gas chambers, Krema II on the left side of the road and Krema III on the right side of the road.  Where else could these men be going, except to the gas chamber?

Dr. Heinz Thilo making selections at Birkenau

This quote is from the news article:

Roy Hodgson, his close friend Avram Grant and the Football Association chairman David Bernstein, whose father escaped from the Nazis, stared at the picture. Thilo’s arrogant stance, the way he was casually pointing an elderly Jew towards his death, symbolised the Final Solution.

“There was the guy who made all the decisions, whether they lived or died,” said Rooney, talking on the team bus after the seven players’ visit to this hell on earth. “He’s probably gone home after that, listened to music, and had dinner with his family as if nothing had happened. It’s crazy. It’s hard to understand.”

There were over 30 doctors who made the selections at Birkenau, including the famous Dr. Josef Mengele.  Now there will be a new Nazi doctor to hate: Dr. Heinz Thilo.

Hungarian Jews arriving on a train at Auschwitz-Birkenau

In the photo above, you can see the tall chimneys of Krema II and Krema III, in the background, on opposite sides of the train.  On the left side of the photo, you can see the building that is shown in the first photo above.

Close-up of Dr. Thilo making selections for the gas chamber at Birkenau

The football players thought that the man, shown in the Museum photo, looked “arrogant.”  Maybe the photo above is the one they saw.  Note the man wearing a striped uniform in the foreground.  This man was a Kapo, a prisoner who assisted the SS men.

These gullible young men from England were taken to Auschwitz for indoctrination in Holocaust propaganda, after a visit to Oscar Shindler’s factory in Krakow where they learned that Amon Goeth had “killed 500 prisoners” by shooting them from the balcony of his house.  (They were not told that there was a hill between Goeth’s house and the camp, but Goeth had a special rifle that could shoot over a hill.)

What the football players were not told at Birkenau is that the main road through the Birkenau camp went beyond the gas chambers and intersected with another road that went to the Sauna where prisoners took a shower.  That intersection is now covered by the monstrosity called the International Monument, located between the ruins of Krema II and Krema III.

The International Monument, on the left, is between the ruins of  Krema II and the ruins of Krema III, shown on the right in the background

You can see a collection of photos here taken when the England players toured Auschwitz-Birkenau, including a photo of one of the players coming out of the reconstructed gas chamber in the main camp. The news article with these photos includes these statements:

The most harrowing moment came when the players were led into the only surviving gas chamber at Auschwitz.  […]

David Bernstein, the FA chairman and grandson of a Hungarian Jew, shook his head in disgust and despair when he was told prisoners were made to think they were going for a shower when they were asked to take their clothes off and enter the gas chamber.

But the prisoners were not asked to take their clothes off before entering the gas chamber in the main camp because there was no place to put the clothes.  Filip Mueller, a prisoner who worked in the gas chamber, removing the bodies for burning, wrote that the victims wore their clothes and even carried their suitcases into the gas chamber.

June 8, 2012

$150 million project to preserve Auschwitz-Birkenau — including the archival documents and artwork

I read in the news today that the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum will soon have a Perpetual Fund of $150 million, donated by 20 countries, to use for restoration of the Auschwitz main camp (Auschwitz I) and the Birkenau camp (Auschwitz II).  “The annual interest of several million dollars will make it possible to plan and carry out the conservation work.”  You can read the full story here.

Auschwitz III, also known as Monowitz, is still in existence, but off limits to visitors, because the factories that were built by the Nazis are still being used.

I was amazed to learn that, along with the “155 buildings and 300 ruins, including the gas chambers and crematoria, as well as more than 100,000 personal items that belonged to victims,”  other items to be preserved include “archival documents and prisoners’ artworks.”

Archival documents?  What documents?

This quote is from the news article:

Israeli Ambassador to Poland Zvi Rav-Ner during the ceremony called the initiative “a holy mission.” Auschwitz was a “German Nazi death factory,” he said, in which 1.5 million people were killed.

“The memory is important,” Rav-Ner said. “There are many voices on the world which say that Auschwitz didn’t happen and there were no millions of victims.”

Why would anyone say that “there were no millions of victims”?

Are there “archival documents” that prove that 1.5 million prisoners were killed at the three Auschwitz camps, as stated on the plaques at the International Monument?  You can read the full story of the death statistics at Auschwitz-Birkenau here.

Plaque at the International Monument with words in English

As shown in the photo above, the English inscription on a plaque at the International Monument reads as follows:

FOR EVER LET THIS PLACE BE A CRY OF DESPAIR AND A WARNING TO HUMANITY, WHERE THE NAZIS MURDERED ABOUT ONE AND A HALF MILLION MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN MAINLY JEWS FROM VARIOUS COUNTRIES OF EUROPE. AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU 1940-1945

The original plaques that were put up by the Soviet Union said that there had been 4 million people killed at Auschwitz. In 1995, at the suggestion of Lech Walesa, the number of deaths on the plaques was changed from 4 million to 1.5 million.

In 1989, the Soviet Union turned over, to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the 46 volumes of Death Books (Sterbebücher) which they had confiscated from the Auschwitz camp.  These records, which had been kept by the political department (Gestapo) at Auschwitz, showed that there were around 69,000 registered prisoners who died between July 29, 1941 and December 31, 1943. The Death books from June 14, 1940 to July 28, 1941 are missing, as are the death books from all of 1944 and January 1945. Based on these records, the International Red Cross has estimated that a total of around 135,000 registered prisoners died in the three Auschwitz camps. These figures are for Jews and non-Jews, but do not include the figures for the Jews who were allegedly gassed.  The Jews who were allegedly gassed were not registered at Auschwitz-Birkenau and there were no records kept for them.  The Red Cross records were released at the request of Ernst Zündel, who was put on trial three times for Holocaust denial, but you don’t hear much about that anymore.

What about the artwork done at Auschwitz-Birkenau? I previously blogged about the artwork done in the Nazi concentration camps here.  I have heard that the kitchen building near the Arbeit Macht Frei gate at the Auschwitz main camp will soon have displays of artwork done by the prisoners, but I don’t know if this building is open to visitors yet.

The most famous artwork at Auschwitz is the painting on the ceiling of one of the wooden barrack buildings at Birkenau, which is shown in the photo below.

Painting on ceiling of wooden barrack in Auschwitz-Birkenau Photo Credit: Bryan Lynch

The painting in the photo above shows workers digging the Königsgraben canal at the western end of the Birkenau camp. The canal was needed in order to drain the water in the camp, since Birkenau was built on swampy ground.

June 4, 2012

Jews not satisfied with visit of Germany’s football players to Auschwitz (updated)

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:16 am

Update: June 5, 2012

The news of the visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau by members of the German football team has been reported in the New York Times, along with a video of the visit which you can see here.

The video shows the placing of a wreath at the Black Wall, where resistance fighters were executed after being convicted in a court in Block 11.  Very few Jews were killed at this wall, which you read about here.

The Black Wall at the Auschwitz main camp

The German visit included Block 5 in the main camp where there are exhibits. Then it was on to Birkenau where the visitors placed candles at the International Monument before going to the Sauna building where there is an exhibit of old photos, as shown in the photo below.

An exhibit of photos of Jews in the Sauna building

The video did not show the German visitors inside the gas chamber in the main camp.  Did they skip this part of the Auschwitz tour?

Did the German visitors walk to the former soccer field which is behind the ruins of the Krema III gas chamber? When I started my blog on Feb. 5, 2010, my very first post was about the prisoners playing soccer while the Jews were being gassed, within sight of the players, a few yards away.

Continue reading my original post:

The Jewish community in Germany has criticized the recent visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau by members of Germany’s national football team.

This quote is from a news article on the Spiegel Online website:

The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, on Sunday criticized the German Football Association after only three members of the national team visited the Auschwitz death camp on Friday in the run up to the Euro 2012 soccer championship in Poland and Ukraine that starts on June 8.

“If the whole national team had come, one could have reached hundreds of thousands of young people — more than a thousand memorial speeches” could reach, Graumann told a meeting of the Council in Hamburg on Sunday, according to a report by the German Catholic news agency KNA. Graumann also pointed out that the whole of the England team planned to visit Auschwitz.

When will the German people learn that it’s never enough?  No matter how much money the Germans give to the Jews in reparations, no matter how much money and weapons that the Germans give to Israel, it is never enough.  The Jews will never be satisfied: the Germans can never bow low enough to the Jews. Germany can never be forgiven for the Holocaust.

According to the Spiegel Online article, Dieter Graumann lambasted the director of the German team, for his “colosssl insensitivity” in using “the German word Kamingespräch for fireside chat — a reference to an informal discussion or briefing. Kamin means fireplace but can also mean chimney, which Graumann said evoked the chimneys of Auschwitz.”

This quote from the Spiegel Online explains why this choice of words offended the Jews:

Graumann, who had urged the German team in March to visit Auschwitz, on Sunday accused the director of the German team, Oliver Bierhoff, of being insensitive in his choice of words on the matter. Bierhoff, in charge of public relations for the national team, had said in March that the squad would address the Holocaust during the tournament but had not decided in what form that would happen. “It can be a fireside chat or a lecture,” he had said. Bierhoff used the German word “Kamingespräch” for fireside chat — a reference to an informal discussion or briefing. Kamin means fireplace but can also mean chimney, which Graumann said evoked the chimneys of Auschwitz.

He said the use of the word Kamingespräch showed “colossal insensitivity and tastelessness” and was unbearable given “that people in Auschwitz, my grandparents for example, were gassed, incinerated and sent up the chimney.”

I predict that all the players on Germany’s team will soon be going to Auschwitz to lay a wreath at the chimney, through which Graumann’s grandparents went.

Auschwitz chimney was reconstructed by the Soviet Union in 1947

You can read about the Auschwitz ovens and the chimney built by the Soviets here.

This final quote is from the Spiegel Online article which you can read in full here:

Bierhoff had said in March that the German team had to focus on its sporting performance while in Poland and that Auschwitz was a long way — 570 kilometers — from the team’s base in Gdansk on the Baltic Coast. The England team only has a 70-kilometer journey to Auschwitz from its base in Krakow. Bierhoff had added that the DFB wanted to avoid any visit looking like a “PR exercise.”

Never mind the “sporting performance” of the German team.  The most important thing is to bow down to the Jews.  I previously blogged about why the German team should NOT go to Auschwitz-Birkenau here.  I blogged about the number of German Jews who were killed in the Holocaust here.

June 3, 2012

What does a real gas chamber look like?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:55 am

The gas chamber at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, MO

The photo above shows the small building which houses a real gas chamber, that was built in 1937 in Jefferson City, MO to execute criminals who had been condemned to death in a court of law.  This small building contains two small cells and a room with two chairs where two persons could be gassed at one time.  The Missouri gas chamber is no longer in use.

Two seats inside the Missouri gas chamber

The photo above and the quote below are from this website:

In the center of the building was the air tight chamber painted white, with two perforated steel chairs. Beneath the chairs were guides to hold the three-gallon earthen jars which contained the sulfuric acid into which the cyanide pellets were dropped when a lever was pulled by the Warden.

After the execution the lethal gas was extracted from the chamber and vented out a forty-five foot pipe through the roof of the building.

The photo below shows the short vent pipe over the Dachau gas chamber.

Short vent pipe on the roof of the Dachau gas chamber

The photo below shows that the short vent pipe over the Dachau gas chamber was there when the camp was liberated. According to Fred Leuchter, the vent pipe should have been 40 feet high.

Photo taken after the liberation of Dachau shows vent pipes on the roof of gas chamber Photo Credit: Donald E. Jackson

A shower room at the Mauthausen Memorial Site which is claimed to have been a gas chamber

The photo above shows a shower room with water pipes and shower heads visible on the ceiling.  You can read more about the Mauthausen shower room, which has real water pipes but no way to put lethal gas into the room, on my website here.

Fred Leuchter is an execution expert who was a consultant for the operation of the Missouri gas chamber.  He did a report on the Mauthausen gas chamber which you can read on my website here.

Shower room that was turned into a gas chamber by Americans after Dachau was liberated

The photo above shows the northeast corner of the Dachau shower room which was claimed to have been a gas chamber in testimony given at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal.  I previously blogged about the testimony given at Nuremberg here.

In the photo above, you can see three round holes from which the fake shower heads, put in by the Americans, have been removed.  (They were stolen as souvenirs by tourists.) On the east wall, which is shown on the right in the photo, is a vent through which the Zyklon-B gas pellets were poured, according to claims made by Holocaust believers.  According to the Leuchter Report, these vents were obviously added after the gas chamber was modified.

You can read more about the Dachau gas chambers on my website here.  You can read the Leuchter Report on the Dachau gas chamber here.

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