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August 29, 2012

Kinderblock 66 — a new documentary film about the boys of Buchenwald

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: — furtherglory @ 10:43 am

I read in the news here about a new documentary which tells the story of more than 900 boys who were saved from the Nazis in the Buchenwald concentration camp.  Four of them recently returned to the former Buchenwald camp to star in the documentary.

This quote is from the St. Louis Dispatch news about the documentary:

In the last desperate months of the Third Reich, the Nazis targeted Jewish children, who arrived at the Buchenwald death camp by the thousands. But the children had secret allies: a resistance movement of prisoners who vowed to protect them. Led by Antonin Kalina, a Czech communist, and Gustav Schiller, a Polish Jew, the underground resistance safeguarded more than 900 boys until the war was over. This documentary profiles four former prisoners of Block 66 who return to the camp 65 years after they were freed to honor the memory of their friends and protectors.

So the Nazis waited until the “last desperate months of the Third Reich” to target the Jewish children?  The Nazis sent Jewish children to Buchenwald to be killed?  Wait a minute!  Buchenwald didn’t have a gas chamber!  Why bring children from Auschwitz, which had gas chambers, to Buchenwald which had no gas chamber?

Fortunately, there were Communists at Buchenwald who organized an “underground resistance” to save “more than 900 boys” in the camp.  Were the Nazis powerless to stop the Communists from organizing a resistance movement?  Why didn’t the Nazis just kill the Communists?  Then they could have killed Jewish children at Buchenwald without any interference.

What about the little Jewish girls?  Where were they taken to be killed in “the last desperate months of the Third Reich”?

Most of the little girls stayed with their mothers in the Auschwitz camp, while the young boys, including Elie Wiesel, joined the march out of the camp and were taken to Buchenwald or other camps in Germany.  You can see photos of the children who stayed in the Auschwitz camp on my website here.

There is a preview of the film Kinderblock 66 on YouTube.  At 2:40 in the film, these words are on the screen:  “The Little Camp” was the death zone of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.”  I thought that in-coming prisoners were put into “The Little Camp” because it was the quarantine section where new prisoners were kept in attempt to prevent the spread of disease in the camp.  I didn’t know that “The Little Camp” was the “death zone” where prisoners were brought to be killed.

But it gets worse.  At 3:21 in the documentary, these words are on the screen:  “As the Nazis faced defeat the number of Jews sent on death marches increased.”  The implication is that “death marches” were a means of killing Jews in the last days of the war.  The Nazis simply marched the Jews from one camp to another as a means of killing them. What an inefficient way to accomplish a genocide!

As we all know, the Nazis had a plan to kill all the Jews. That’s what genocide means.  But they fooled around and didn’t get their plan accomplished before they started losing the war, so in the final days, they had to resort to marching the Jews to death.

But the Communist underground saved 900 boys at Buchenwald from being marched to death. A Communist prisoner told the boys not to report to the Appellplatz (roll call place) and none of them did.  They were saved from being “marched to death.”


  1. Way before Hitler came to power the Soviets discovered (did it really need to be discovered ?) that you can easily kill millions of people by simply shooting them or starving them to death. Indeed, Germans starved to death large numbers of Soviet POWs . So from whence comes this constant German quest to invent new baroque methods of killing like gas vans, gas chambers and “death marches” ?

    Comment by fnn — August 31, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

    • My understanding is that alternatives to shooting people were studied and carried out because some of the German soldiers who were having to kill massive numbers of civilians in occupied territories were having trouble with this. It was basically everybody, men women small children the elderly, and the intimate nature of personally shooting civilians watching them suffer was messing with their minds. This was especially true in the Soviet theatre where so many civilians were killed. The numbers were staggering. I suppose gassing is something like dropping bombs on people from a height where you cannot even see the death you are causing: the killers are more removed from their victims. This is just one reason I have come across, but highlights that every German required to put on a uniform was not automatically an emotionless killing machine. I know a Vietnam vet and his worst regret is that he may have killed civilians.

      Comment by Kris Aaron — June 10, 2013 @ 7:21 pm

      • You wrote: “My understanding is that alternatives to shooting people were studied and carried out because some of the German soldiers who were having to kill massive numbers of civilians in occupied territories were having trouble with this.”

        There is a popular story that Heinrich Himmler went to see the shooting of Jewish prisoners, and his nice leather coat was spattered with blood and brains as the Jews were shot in the head at close range. That was why he decided to find another way to kill the Jews.

        Another version of the story is that it was Adolf Eichmann who had his leather coat spattered with blood, as he watched the shooting of Jews.

        The Eichmann claim was made in the book entitled “Masters of Death: the SS Eisatzgruppen and the Invention
        of the Holocaust” by Richard Rhodes This quote is from the book: “From the Jewish police we learned that Eichmann swore angrily when blood splattered his coat.”

        That is allegedly why the Nazis decided to gas the Jews, so they would not get blood and brains on their leather coats.

        Comment by furtherglory — June 11, 2013 @ 9:10 am

  2. Is Jack Werber mentioned in the documentary at all?

    He was a Buchenwald survivor and property magnet, his memoirs were entitled “Saving Children”, Ilsa Koch turned his friend Hans into a lampshade.

    The Red Witch Koch, use to shrink people’s heads, so she could use them as handles on her riding whips.

    Comment by The Black Rabbit of Inlé — August 31, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

    • I have not seen the documentary, but I am sure that Jack Werber is not mentioned. The documentary is about 4 of the orphans in Block 66, who made a trip back to Buchenwald, which is now a Memorial Site. I have written a new blog post about Jack Werber and the alleged lampshades made out of human skin at Buchenwald.

      Comment by furtherglory — September 1, 2012 @ 10:23 am

  3. If you are serious about discussing this film, I will be happy to do it. The information in this film was given by Historians who specialize in the Holocaust, and Buchenwald to be exact. There are dozens of stories and eyewitness accounts that tell of the efforts of the Communist Underground and of the Death Marches.

    Comment by Steven Moskovic — August 29, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

    • The Communists were put in charge of the day-to-day administration of the Buchenwald camp with the permission of the Commandant. You can read about the trial of the Commandant on my website at

      The terms “Communist Underground” and “Communist resistance” imply that the Communists secretly took charge of the boys in the Buchenwald camp and saved them without the knowledge of the SS staff. It implies that the boys were sent to Buchenwald for the purpose of killing them since there wasn’t time to kill them at Auschwitz before the Auschwitz camp had to be abandoned, but the staff at Buchenwald was unable to kill the boys because the Communists hid them in the “Small Camp.” It implies that the SS staff at Buchenwald made one last desperate attempt to kill the boys by “marching them to death,” but the Communist Underground ordered the boys not to report for roll call, and the boys were saved.

      Buchenwald was one of the two main camps for Resistance fighters, who were fighting in World War II as illegal combatants. Natzweiler was the other one. The Communists at Buchenwald were political prisoners who were arrested because of their resistance to the Nazis, or Resistance fighters, who happened to be Communists, that were arrested because of their violation of the Geneva Convention by fighting as illegal combatants.

      The Communists who ran the Buchenwald camp saved the older boys from being sent to a sub-camp where they would have had to work.

      There were also children at Dachau. The prisoners there organized classes for boys in the barracks. At Dachau, some of the children were sent to the homes of citizens of the town of Dachau where they worked. The Dachau children are not as famous as the Buchenwald children.

      In my opinion, the main fault of the documentary is that it gives the impression that the SS men at Buchenwald were trying to kill the young boys, but the Communist prisoners organized an “underground” effort to save them from the SS. I don’t think that is what happened.

      I have written several blog posts about Buchenwald, including these posts:

      I think that there has been more exaggeration about Buchenwald than about any other camp. This was the first camp liberated by the Allies and it was the first chance for the Allies to spread propaganda about the camps.

      Comment by furtherglory — August 30, 2012 @ 8:05 am

  4. Whenever the Nazis took over a village in the Eastern Territory the first order of business was scrambling the socks so no one had a matching pair. Afterwards they milked the cows to death. They were the ultimate evil and if you think their demon seed isn’t laying in wait for another opportunity to wreck an even worse havoc on humankind you are just naive.

    Comment by who dares wings — August 29, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

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