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August 13, 2012

New book: A Small Town Near Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:05 pm

I’m sitting here waiting for UPS to deliver a book that I ordered last week, searching the Internet for something of interest to read. I came across a blog post on the Oxford University Press blog here which tells about a new book, written by Mary Fulbrook, entitled A Small Town Near Auschwitz, Ordinary Nazis and the Holocaust.

The blog of Oxford University Press has an article written by the author Mary Fulbrook, which I am quoting:

How should we remember these events of seventy years ago?  Should there be a plaque at the Bedzin bus terminus, or the railway station, to the deportation of tens of thousands of victims of Nazism or should today’s inhabitants be able to live undisturbed by the ghettos of the past, untroubled by the murder of half of the former residents of their town?

This quote is also from the article written by Mary Fulbrook:

One of those at the Hakoach sportsground [in Bedzin] was a teenager by the name of Rutka Laskier. She recalled the selection of August 1942 just a few months later, in a diary entry written in the ghetto. After describing her own experiences, she added:

“Oh, I forgot the most important thing. I saw how a soldier tore a baby, who was only a few months old, out of a mother’s hands and bashed his head against an electric pylon. The baby’s brain splashed on the wood. The mother went crazy. I am writing this as if nothing has happened. But I’m young, I’m 14, and I haven’t seen much in my life, and I’m already so indifferent. Now I am terrified when I see ‘uniforms’. I’m turning into an animal waiting to die. One can lose one’s mind thinking about this.”

Rutka died in Auschwitz just a few months later.

I had to look up the term “electric pylon.”  I learned that it is a transmission tower.  If that tower is still there, the memorial to the Jews who were sent from Bedzin to Auschwitz should be put up at the tower.  It should be a statue of a German soldier bashing a baby’s brains out.  The bashing of babies’ heads was so common during the Holocaust that virtually every survivor has included a story about it in his or her memoir.  Yet, as far as I know, there is no memorial in honor of all those babies.

I previously blogged about the bashing of babies here and here.  I wrote about a story told by Holocaust survivor Philip Riteman, regarding the bashing of a baby, near the end of this page of my website.

The book by Mary Fulbrook is about Udo Klausa, the man who was in charge of deporting the Jews from Bedzin and another small town nearby.  This quote is from the description of the book:

But the book is much more than a portrayal of an individual man. Udo Klausa’s case is so important because it is in many ways so typical. Behind Klausa’s story is the larger story of how countless local functionaries across the Third Reich facilitated the murderous plans of a relatively small number among the Nazi elite – and of how those plans could never have been realized, on the same scale, without the diligent cooperation of these generally very ordinary administrators. As Fulbrook shows, men like Klausa ‘knew’ and yet mostly suppressed this knowledge, performing their day jobs without apparent recognition of their own role in the system, or any sense of personal wrongdoing or remorse – either before or after 1945.

This account is no ordinary historical reconstruction. For Fulbrook did not discover Udo Klausa amongst the archives. She has known the Klausa family all her life. She had no inkling of her subject’s true role in the Third Reich until a few years ago, a discovery that led directly to this inescapably personal professional history.

This makes me wonder about the minor officials in America who rounded up the German-Americans and sent them to internment camps for the duration of the war and for two years after the war.  Has anyone ever done a book on them?


  1. Fnn, how about actually reading up on the law before charging others with lunacy? The 1985 amendments law allowed for expellees to enable prosecutions if anyone insulted (e.g. denied) their experiences. The legal committee gave examples of what it termed to be insulted groups as “Jews or the Silesians,” the latter being a group of Germans expelled. Of course, there are fewer people ideologues who would deny the expulsions as compared with those who deny the Holocaust.

    As for a lack of monuments, what is the big deal? Monuments do take some time and work, and several organizations exist which are working towards this end, mostly well after the unification. Memorials have been established elsewhere in Europe for the expulsion victims. No monument or memorial existed for the Great Hunger in Ireland until the 1990s, almost 150 years after its happening. The FRG has also supported efforts regarding documentation and presentation of the event.

    Comment by Ray — August 18, 2012 @ 8:34 am

  2. “The death we gave them was a nice quick death; compared with the hellish torment of thousands upon thousands in the dungeons of the GPU. Babies
    flew in a big arc through the air and we picked them off in mid-flight before they landed in the pit or in the water. – Walter Mattner to his wife [5 October 1941] in Guido Knopp – Hitler’s Holocaust – 2000 p.52. (GPU was the Soviet secret police.)

    Comment by who dares wings — August 13, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

    • Curiously this letter turned up in 1947 and was type written as i am sure many soldiers on the eastern front used type writers to type letters to their wives.

      Comment by peter — August 14, 2012 @ 2:22 am

      • Who Dares Wings hates communists and Jews so much that he is willing to concede the Holocaust so long as Germans are held to be more humane in their killings in comparison to the Soviets…

        And Peter, Mattner was not a soldier but an administrative officer of the SS & Police unit in Mogilev. He was never on the front, and would have had easy access to a type writer in his office (if these letters were even typed). As for the documents turning up in 1947, are you hinting at something there? That is when Mattner was interrogated in October 1947, so is most likely when he was investigated, the papers to his wife found, etc. He confirmed the authenticity of the letters during his interrogation.

        Comment by Ray — August 14, 2012 @ 8:06 am

        • I live in a western country where day in day out the Holocaust is displayed prominently in the mass media. It is second only to the weather report in frequency of mentions in newspapers. Having an enquiring mind I wondered why ? Having researched it I realized it is a useful tool for safeguarding the interests of a particular ethnic group which has overwhelming control of the ownership of the media.
          As for most of these stories many originate from US psychops who also gave us the human skin lamp shades and shrunken heads. This letter is just another example and
          has as much validity as Hoess ‘s confession which was beaten out of him.

          Comment by peter — August 14, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

          • Well Peter, it appears that you have a very exciting imagination. First of all, you greatly exaggerate the number of Holocaust stories in Western media. They are present, but they are not everywhere, as are many things these days. Just today I checked my local newspapers, and not a word on it about the genocide! There also was an evidence lack of discussion of the event for more than 30 years after the war. Why was that so if the genocide was mere propaganda? What good is propaganda unless it is actually used for something?

            As for US psychops, good luck showing some evidence for that charge. The conspiracy your alleging would involve torturing thousands of witnesses and forging a similar number of documents. Where is your evidence? Where are the admissions by people who committed this act? Where are the documents ordering such an instituion an mission to be established? What forensic and circumstantial evidence do you have to suggest that torturing and fabricating took place on such an enormous scale?

            See, it is easy to cry “forgery” as you did, but not so easy to describe details. Generally, when that is the case, it explains why forgery allegations are ridiculed as nothing but the expression of the forgery accuser recognizing their own position to be, well, bullocks to say it kindly. And of course, if these psychops were so omnipresent and omnipowerful, you wouldn’t have a clue about Hoess being tortured. That, and many other reasons (such as his conradiction from official Soviet & Polish positions on Auschwitz death figures) is why Hoess’ memoir refutes deniers like you who allege a master hoax.

            Comment by Ray — August 15, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

            • hi Ray do you get paid by the ADL or do you do this for love , one of the Hasbara mob ?
              As for your local paper not having a story every day about the Holocaust that wouldn’t be unusual but try reading a widely circulating US newspaper or British national newspaper and you might get a different viewpoint. Lets take the Daily Mail for example the largest selling British newspaper with a US website which is very popular. Do a search on ” Holocaust” and how many stories in the last ten years… over 2600. Whether it gets paid by the ADL to publish these stories is unclear.
              As for the use of torture then you really do take me for a fool. Hoess was beaten for three days and signed a confession in English a language he couldn’t read or understand.
              The holocaust denial laws are used by Zionists to put in jail those who seek to show the truth and ultimately the truth will prevail despite all your and the tribes efforts.

              Comment by peter — August 16, 2012 @ 9:41 am

              • Peter, unfortunately I do not get paid for criticizing deniers like you. I guess the fun is the only true form of payment necessary. Also, despite your worries I also am of neither Jewish heritage nor faith. I know few Jews, and have little interactions with them. Not that it would make a difference, for truth is truth is truth. On Daily Mail searches, why look at the Holocaust in a vacuum? Why are you so centered on the event? look for words like “genocide,” “ethnic cleansing”, “cold war,” “vietnam war,” etc., and you’ll discover that the references to the Holocaust (many times only in passing) are hardly unique to important historical events in the past few decades. That you are obsessed only with the Holocaust is not the media’s fault.

                You say that Holocaust denial laws are used by Zionists to imprison those seeking truth. I understand the reasoning of such laws (to protect the memory of the dead), but must assure you that it is not any Zionist fear of the likes of you. In the span of just a few days, you have bumbled easily accessible facts. You first alleged that Mattner was a soldier with no access to a type writer; you were wrong, as I described above. You just now allege that Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Hoess did not understand the English language; this too is wrong, as Hoess describes in his own memoirs (“In meiner Freizeit trieb ich mit Eifer Englisch, ich hatte mir Lehrbücher kommen lassen, später ließ ich mir laufend englische Bücher und Zeitschriften schicken, und so lernte ich in ca. einem Jahr ohne fremde Hilfe diese Sprache.”). Why should they be scared of you?

                Note that similar criminalization laws exist for other genocides (Armenia, for instance), including in Germany. The original law used to punish Holocaust deniers in Germany also established penalities against those who denied or minimized the expulsions of 12-15 million ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe after WWII.

                Comment by Ray — August 16, 2012 @ 10:24 am

                • “The original law used to punish Holocaust deniers in Germany also established penalities against those who denied or minimized the expulsions of 12-15 million ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe after WWII.”

                  You’re making yourself sound like a lunatic. AFAIK, there isn’t one monument or memorial to the German expellees anywhere in Germany. The very topic of the expulsions is controversial and provokes suspicion-the very opposite of the state Holocaust religion.

                  Comment by fnn — August 17, 2012 @ 10:59 am

                • The only country that has laws against Armenian genocide denial is France and that is because France has a population of over 1/2 million Armenians. As for German punishment of ” expulsion deniars” ; you really are a stranger to reason There are no memorials to the 15 million expellees and if anyone suggests building one it is considered electoral suicide.

                  Comment by Pete — August 23, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

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