Scrapbookpages Blog

September 15, 2012

Middle Eastern countries protesting against America — how long will we continue to have free speech?

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 9:27 am

I haven’t turned on the TV yet today, to see how the unrest in the Middle East is progressing, but as of yesterday, there was rioting and burning of American flags in 21 countries, in protests against America. The Jewish newspaper Haaretz has an article which says that the film, which sparked the riots, was made by an Israeli filmmaker who has gone into hiding.

An article on the Weekend Edition of Counter Punch, entitled  The Reality Behind the “Free Speech” Argument America and the Muslims, written by Esam Al-Amin, explains the importance of current events, relative to America’s freedom of speech.

This quote is from the article written by Esam Al-Amin which you can read in full here:

…. But on a more basic level, does the West really believe in free speech or does it apply a double standard when it comes to Muslim sensibilities? Let’s check the record.

In the private sector, when Google was asked to remove the highly inflammatory YouTube video, it immediately and correctly cited its long established policy of supporting freedom of speech, including all despised speech (though it reluctantly agreed to suspend it in Egypt and Libya.) But as the Jewish Press reported on August 1, Google had no problem removing 1,710 videos and closing their affiliated accounts because “A substantial number of those videos concerned Holocaust denial and defense of Holocaust deniers.” According to the newspaper report, Google “closed the user’s account within 24 hours” of receiving the complaint by a group that monitors anti-Semitism in Australia.

In July 2011, Facebook was pressured by Israeli authorities to close the accounts of many Palestinian activists. Israel complained that the activists were coordinating their plans to travel to Israel and cause disruptions. In reality, the activists were trying to make a strong political statement online. Needless to say, the Israeli government could have easily rescinded any visas it might have issued to these activists or prevented any person from entering the country had they actually traveled. There was no call for incitement or violence by the activists to justify closing their accounts.

People in the U.S. may not be aware of these incidents where hate or disfavored speech was taken down. But many people in the Muslim world are aware of such interventions that run contrary to stated principles. Plausibly, they wonder, if foreigners such as the Attorney General of Israel or an Australian monitoring group can get Google or Facebook to shut down videos or close accounts, how can one argue that the President or the Secretary of State cannot make similar requests? They also recall that in 2009 Secretary Clinton intervened and prevailed over the executives of Facebook and Twitter on behalf of the activists of the so-called Green movement in Iran. This is not an argument to advocate closing down accounts or removing videos but simply to illustrate the hypocrisy and double standard practiced by public officials and business conglomerates when dealing with Muslim concerns.

Furthermore, many European countries enacted laws in the past three decades that criminalize any speech or writings that question the official accounts of the Holocaust. In 1996 French philosopher Roger Garaudy published his book, The Founding Myths of Modern Israel. Critics charged that his book contained Holocaust denial and consequently the French government indicted him, and shortly thereafter, the courts banned any further publication of the book. In 1998 Garaudy was convicted, sentenced to a suspended jail sentence of several years, and fined forty thousand dollars.

In 2005, English writer David Irving was apprehended in Austria on a 1989 arrest warrant of being a Holocaust denier. He was subsequently convicted of “trivializing, grossly playing down, and denying the Holocaust,” and sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Moreover, British Muslim Ahmed Faraz was sentenced in Dec. 2011 to three years in prison in London after being convicted of “disseminating a number of books deemed to be terrorist publications.” The publication Faraz was convicted of distributing in his bookstore was the 1964 book, Milestones, written by the late Egyptian author Sayyed Qutb.

But the U.S. government’s recent record is far more alarming. In fact, since 9/11 draconian sentences have been handed down on the account of what traditionally was considered pure first amendment activities.

In one case involving American-born Tarek Mehanna, Yale Professor Andrew F. March wrote in the New York Times, “As a political scientist specializing in Islamic law and war, I frequently read, store, share and translate texts and videos by jihadi groups. As a political philosopher, I debate the ethics of killing. As a citizen, I express views, thoughts and emotions about killing to other citizens. As a human being, I sometimes feel joy (I am ashamed to admit) at the suffering of some humans and anger at the suffering of others.” He further wrote, “At Mr. Mehanna’s trial, I saw how those same actions can constitute federal crimes, because Mr. Mehanna’s conviction was based largely on things he said, wrote and translated.”

What these examples and many others illustrate is that the protection of the constitutional freedoms of speech, expression, and association are used selectively in the U.S. on the basis of political judgments. American officials, public intellectuals, and opinion makers revel in invoking the first amendment as an inviolable principle when Islam or its sacred symbols are attacked, and then find rationalizations and loopholes when American Muslims engage in objectionable free speech activities. However, this double standard is not lost on the majority of people in the Muslim world and across the globe.

The criteria to judge whether a society values and respects free speech is when the most vulnerable members of society, those who might be the targets of the majority, can feel safe and free to say what they think when they want on any subject without fear, intimidation or negative repercussions. In other words, to know whether America today honors free speech one must ask one hundred random American Muslim activists that question to get the real answer.

In a nutshell, America shall only have credibility as a champion and guardian of freedom of speech and expression when the thoughts, speeches, writings, fatwas, translations, poetry, and web browsing of Mehanna and his colleagues are not criminalized. Only when they are set free can America reclaim back the mantle.

September 14, 2012

Don’t use photos of children with chubby cheeks when attacking Holocaust denial

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 1:40 pm

The photo below was used by the online UK newspaper The Telegraph to illustrate a news article with this headline:  Iran diplomatic coup backfires as Ban Ki-Moon attacks Holocaust denial

Young survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

This quote is from the news article in the online newspaper The Telegraph:

As heads of states and delegates from the 120 members of the Non-aligned Movement looked on, Mr Ban (Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General) denounced Iran for its “outrageous” comments denying the Holocaust and Israel’s right to exist.

I strongly reject any threat by any [UN] member state to destroy another, or outrageous comments to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust,” he said.

“Claiming another UN member state does not have the right to exist or describe it in racist terms is not only utterly wrong but undermines the very principles we have all promised to uphold.”

It is hard to find suitable photos of the survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, but that is no excuse for using photos like the photo above, or the two photos below, which were taken by the Soviets after they liberated the camp in January, 1945.  It is a well-known “historical fact” that children under the age of 15 were immediately gassed upon arrival. Those who were allowed to live were starved to death, or tortured by Dr. Mengele (the Angel of Death) who did horrible experiments on them. So that is why photos like the one above, which shows children with chubby cheeks, should not be used when attacking Holocaust denial.  Especially this photo should not be used because the children in the Auschwitz camp wore their own clothes, not the striped adult uniforms that they are wearing in these photos.

Child survivors marching out of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

Child survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau show their tattoos

The only suitable photo, that I have been able to find is the one below, showing a young boy being carried by Soviet doctors.

Auschwitz survivor being cared for by Soviet doctors

Nor should photos of old women, marching out of Auschwitz-Birkenau, be shown in news articles attacking Holocaust denial.  Old people were immediately gassed upon arrival, another well-known “historical fact.”

Old woman with a cane, walking out of Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

September 13, 2012

Did Albert Speer really design the Nazi gas chambers?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:02 am

Today I am writing in answer to a comment made on my blog, in which the following was stated:

Those in the docks at Nuremburg and subsequent trials across the world since 1947 acknowledge the gas chambers, including Speer, the architect of the gas chambers, amongst other buildings of notoriety he designed and had built. There is a reason why Speer’s children, whilst living nearby to Speer, would not live in the same house as him – they didn’t want to be associated with the man that designed the gas chambers because they understand the reasons why they were designed.

It was news to me that Albert Speer designed the Nazi gas chambers and had them built.  Way back in 1997, I purchased and read the book Inside the Third Reich, Memoirs by Albert Speer in preparation for a trip to Germany during which I planned to visit Nuremberg and then the Dachau concentration camp.  Today, I got out the book and decided to look through it to find out if Albert Speer really acknowledged that he had designed the Nazi gas chambers.  Fortunately, his book has an extensive index, which I consulted before reading the book again. The book is 526 pages long, so Thank God, he included an index.

In checking the index of Speer’s Memoirs, I found the term “Gas warfare,” but not “gas chambers,” nor any other reference to gassing.  In reading Speer’s book, back in 1997, I was struck by the fact that he was very proud of the structures that he had designed.  Did he leave out any mention of the gas chambers in his Memoirs because he was not proud of designing them?

Near the end of his book, on page 523, Speer admitted his guilt as a war criminal.  This quote is from Speer’s Memoirs:

I had participated in a war, which as we of the intimate circle should never have doubted, was aimed at world domination.  What is more, by my abilities and my energies, I had prolonged that war by many months.  I had assented to having the globe of the world crown that domed hall which was to be the symbol of the new Berlin.  Nor was it only symbolically that Hitler dreamed of possessing the globe. It was part of his dream to subjugate other nations.  France, I had heard him say many times, was to be reduced to the status of a small nation. Belgium, Holland, even Burgundy, were to be incorporated into his Reich. The national life of the Poles and the Soviet Russians was to be extinguished; they were to made into helot peoples.  Nor, for one who wanted to listen, had Hitler concealed his intention to exterminate the Jewish people.  In his speech of January 30, 1939, he openly stated as much. Although I never actually agreed with Hitler on these questions, I had nevertheless designed the buildings and produced the weapons that served his ends.

So it seems that Albert Speer admitted, in his Memoirs, that he “designed the buildings … that served [Hitler’s] ends.  Why didn’t Speer specify which buildings that he had designed to serve Hitler’s ends?

Did Hitler actually say in his January 30, 1939 speech that he was going to “exterminate the Jewish people”?  What German word did he use for the English word “exterminate”?  I don’t know so I had to look it up.  I found a website which has published Hitler’s entire speech, not in German, but translated into English.

This quote is from Hitler’s speech on January 30, 1939:

One thing I should like to say on this day, which may be memorable for others as well as for us Germans: In the course of my life I have very often been a prophet and have usually been ridiculed for it. During the time of my struggle for power, it was in the first instance the Jewish race that only received my prophecies with laughter when I said that I would one day take over the leadership of the State and with it that of the whole nation and that I would then, among many other things, settle the Jewish problem. Their laughter was uproarious, but I think that for some time now they have been laughing on the other side of their face. Today I will once more be a prophet. If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war,then the result will not be the bolshevization of the earth, and this the victory of Jewry, butthe annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe! For the time when the non-Jewish nations had no propaganda is at an end. National Socialist Germany and fascist Italy have institutions that enable them when necessary to enlighten the world about the nature of a question of which many nations are instinctively conscious, but which they have not yet clearly thought out. At the moment Jews in certain countries may be fomenting hatred under the protection of a press, of the film, of wireless propaganda, of the theater, of literature, etc., all of which they control. . . .”

The nations are no longer willing to die on the battlefield that this unstable international race may profiteer from a war or satisfy its Old Testament vengeance. The Jewish watchword, ‘Workers of the world, unite!’ will be conquered by a higher realization, namely, ‘Workers of all classes and of all nations, recognize your common enemy!’

Note that Hitler said that he was going to “annihilate the Jewish race in Europe,” not that he was going to annihilate all the Jews in the world. Did Hitler mean that he was going to get the Jews out of Europe, or did he mean that he was going to kill the Jews in Europe?  If he killed only the Jews in Europe, this would not have solved his problem with International Jewry, since Jews from other continents would have quickly filled the void in Europe.

But I digress.  Let’s get back to Albert Speer.  At the Nuremberg IMT, a former prisoner at Mauthausen, named Francois Boix, identified Speer as one of the men who came to visit the Mauthausen camp. Now we’re getting somewhere.  Speer obviously went to Mauthausen to check on the construction of the gas chamber there, which he had designed.  Or did he have some other reason to visit Mauthausen? Like maybe he wanted to inspect the factories at Mauthausen, which were building armaments for the Germans in World War II.

The website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has this quote, from the testimony at Nuremberg, about Speer’s visit to the Mauthausen camp:

When did you see him? A. [Speer] came to the Gusen camp in 1943 to arrange for some constructions, and also to the quarry at Mauthausen. I did not see him myself as I was in the identification service of the camp and could not leave, but during these visits Paul Ricker, head of the identification department, took a roll of film with his Leica which I developed. On this film I recognised (sic) Speer and with him other leaders of the SS. Speer wore a light-coloured suit.

So Speer came to visit the Gusen and Mauthausen camps in 1943? Funny, he never mentioned Mauthausen in his Memoirs.  (The word Mauthausen is not in the index of his book.)

The gas chamber at Mauthausen was completed in the spring of 1942, according to testimony in the American Military Tribunal proceedings against the Mauthausen war criminals.  Why did Speer wait a whole year before going to inspect the Mauthausen gas chamber which he had allegedly designed?

I found some more information on the subject of Albert Speer and the gas chambers on this website. This quote is from the website:

Ernst Nielsen developed an interest in the Holocaust in the early 1970s. He first undertook some study of the subject at a university in 1975.  (Nielsen testified on behalf of Ernst Zündel at his trial in 1988.)

In 1977 [Nielsen] wrote to Albert Speer and arranged a meeting which took place for one hour in Heidelberg, West Germany. Speer had been the minister responsible for armaments and war production during the war. This meant he had been involved with Auschwitz since Auschwitz was an industrial centre. Nielsen asked Speer if there were gas chambers in Auschwitz. Speer replied that the first time he learned about gas chambers was during the Nuremberg trials. Nielsen met Zündel about a year later and told him about this meeting with Speer during one of many conversations he had with Zündel about the Holocaust story.

This information is from my own scrapbookpages.com website:

On March 30, 1943, Speer made his one and only visit to a concentration camp, taking a tour of Mauthausen, which at that time was just switching over from forced labor in the granite quarry to munitions factories using prison labor. Speer was a close personal friend of Hitler and one of the most powerful men in the Nazi government, holding the position of state architect and later the title of Armaments Minister. It was his job to work with Hitler, an amateur architect, in designing new buildings for Berlin and Linz. As the war progressed, plans for the buildings were put on hold and the concentration camps became work camps for the armaments industry, which was under the control of Speer.

Gitta Sereny, author of Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth, wrote the following in regard to Speer’s visit to Mauthausen:

…he spent about forty-five minutes being given the so-called VIP tour which carefully protected visitors from seeing anything that might shock their sensibilities. It was no doubt under the utopian impression this tour provided that he wrote five days later to Himmler protesting against the “lavish building projects” he noticed in the camp. Given the extreme shortage of steel, wood and manpower for building armament factories desperately needed to supply the front lines, he felt that despite the admittedly important tasks for the war effort assigned to concentration camps, the SS really could not continue building along such generous lines:

“We must therefore carry out a new planning program for construction within the concentration camps, which, while allowing for the maximum success for present demands of the armament industry, will require a minimum of material and labor. The answer is an immediate switch to primitive construction methods.”

By “primitive construction methods,” Speer meant such things as temporary unpainted wooden barracks buildings, like the ones used at Auschwitz, which had unplastered walls and no windows because they were really intended to be used for horse barns. Mauthausen, with its granite buildings and painted wooden barracks with windows, was too nice for the slave laborers in Speer’s estimation.

You can see photos of the beautiful buildings at Mauthausen on my website here.

According to Sereny, Speer talked to a friend, Annamarie Kempf, about his trip to Mauthausen. Annamarie told the author:

Now of course, we know that what they showed him was all fake – what they called their “VIP treatment”: a couple of good barracks with, for God’s sake, vases with flowers; shiny kitchens with tasty food on the stove; immaculate shower rooms; and clean, robust-looking prisoners who declared themselves well satisfied with their imprisonment. No wonder he said it wasn’t so bad.

Conditions in all the camps in Greater Germany, which included Austria, deteriorated rapidly when the camps in what is now Poland had to be evacuated, beginning in the summer of 1944, as the Army of the Soviet Union advanced. On October 17, 1944, there were 6,969 male inmates and 399 female inmates at Mauthausen, according to the camp records. After prisoners began to arrive from Auschwitz, which was evacuated beginning in October 1944, the main camp at Mauthausen became seriously overcrowded, with 19,800 prisoners at one point, making conditions ideal for the spread of disease. From there, it was all downhill. By the time the American liberators arrived in the first week of May 1945, there was no more food, no flowers in the vases, no robust-looking prisoners and the shower room, which was actually a gas chamber, was filled with dead prisoners.

I have one whole section, on my website, about the Mauthausen gas chamber, which you can read here.  In all my research about Mauthausen, I never learned that it was Albert Speer who had designed the gas chamber there.  He must have designed the Mauthausen gas chamber with beauty in mind, rather than workability.

The Memorial Site at Mauthausen does not acknowledge that the gas chamber was designed by Albert Speer.  Nor does any other Memorial Site acknowledge that Albert Speer designed the gas chamber in their former camp.

September 12, 2012

Can the Holocaust be saved? Even the Jews are now denying it

Filed under: Buchenwald, Dachau, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 10:53 am

I had never heard of Micha Kat until I came across a blog post on the Balder Blog, written on October 23, 2011, which you can read in full here.

This quote is from the Balder Blog:

Rumors say that Micha Kat has fled Holland, where so called ‘holocaust denial’ is a punishable thought crime, and has taken up residency in Laos

 

Micha Kat: Our society is in the proces (sic) of crashing, because its foundations have shown themselves to be completely rotten. One of these rotten foundations is the history surrounding the ‘Holocaust’. If we want to attack the system as a whole, we can do this best and most effectively by directing our efforts to this foundation, which is seen as the most ‘holy’ and the most ‘sacrosanct’. The Holocaust. Source

Micha Kat and the Holocaust Hoax [Micha Kat is shown in the photo on the right]

This infamous holocaust lie must be exposed in order to also smash the other lies; the benevolent European Union, the life threatening ‘pandemics’, the saving of Greece ‘for your own good’, and the illusion of trustworthiness of the government and the main stream media..

My father had a Jewish mother, and my mother a Jewish father. A deadly cocktail; even if I officially [Halacha – Jewish law] am not Jewish, all my growing up and education was focussed (sic) on our Jewish identity, and especially on Israel, where my mother has lived for many years, and where much of her family still lives.

End quote from Balder Blog

There are a few obvious errors in the Balder blog post, but the gist of the article is that Micha Kat, born in 1963, is denying the Holocaust. He may or may not be Jewish, depending on how you define the word Jew.

Scroll way down on the Balder blog post and you will see the video of David Cole as he confronts a tour guide in the gas chamber of the main Auschwitz camp.  This is the first time that I have been able to see the entire documentary made by David Cole in 1992.  In 1994, David Cole had to go into hiding, in fear for his life, and was never heard from for many years.

When I went to Auschwitz, for the first time, in 1998, I arranged my tour through a tour company in New York city.  My guide for the Auschwitz main camp was a very young Jewish woman, who was not very assertive — much like the guide that David Cole had in 1992.

In 1998, the entrance to the gas chamber in the main camp was through the door that was constructed by the Germans when they converted the “gas chamber” into a bomb shelter.  The door is shown in my 1998 photo below.

Door into Auschwitz gas chamber constructed when the room was converted into a bomb shelter

Before we went into the gas chamber through the air raid shelter door, I started to climb up onto the roof.  The guide said to me, “You can’t go up there!”  I said, “Sure you can.  Look, there is a path up to the top.”  As a result, I got the photos, which I took on the roof, shown below.

My 1998 photo of the roof of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

Roof of the gas chamber in Auschwitz, with the SS hospital that was directly across the street

As I was walking around the main Auschwitz camp in 1998, I sensed that my tour guide was very nervous because she was suspicious of me.  Like David Cole, whom I had never heard of at that time, I was asking questions and I was not showing the proper emotion during a tour of the most sacred place on earth.

In 1998, there was no sign anywhere which said that photos were forbidden at Auschwitz.  The first photo of the gas chamber, that I took in 1998, is shown below.

My 1998 photo of the doorway into Auschwitz gas chamber from the oven room

I took the photo above after I had observed that the doorway had no signs of any door being there and it was not lined up with the tracks in front of the ovens; obviously this was not the original doorway from the oven room into the gas chamber. Note that the photo shows a tour group inside the gas chamber.

After I took the photo above, the tour guide told me not to take any more photos because she said that it is disrespectful to take photos inside the gas chamber where so many people died.   I ignored her and took a photo of the back wall of the gas chamber, which you can see below.  The tour guide glared at me with an expression of “How dare you disrespect such a sacred place.”  I took this photo because I couldn’t contain myself after seeing a glass panel in the back door of the gas chamber.

My 1998 photo of the back wall of the Auschwitz gas chamber

I asked my tour guide “What kept the prisoners from breaking the glass in the door and letting all the poison gas out of the gas chamber?”  She told me, with a straight face, that there was a guard outside the door, with a gun, ready to shoot anyone who tried to break the glass.

We started walking out of the door shown in the photo above, and when the tour guide had her back turned, I spun around, and holding the camera in one hand, I took the photo below.  This was one of the first published photos of the gas chamber in the main camp.  A similar photo is shown on the Balder Blog.  You can’t take this same photo now because there is always a flower arrangement on the floor.

My 1998 photo of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

Note the marks on the floor in the photo above, which show where there were walls around several little rooms in the chamber when it was used as a air raid shelter.  In the face of this evidence, my tour guide assured me that the gas chamber was original, not a reconstruction.

The following quote is from the blog post on the Balder Blog:

In which camp was Uncle Ernie gassed?

Get me right please: I don’t say that all these stories are 100% lies, but that there was ‘something which was twisted’. Strange. If even things like that are wrapped in such mystery, how then couldn’t it be with the big story; the Holocaust; the ‘planned industrialized extermination’ of European Jewry?

The most often published ‘Auschwitz photo’. Evidence for Holocaust and gas chambers? Just think about the comparable photo of the ‘Serbian concentration camp’ Omarska, which was spread by the NATO propaganda machine, and which is known to be a propaganda hoax. [images right –>]

As a child I read everything about the war. The five small volumes written by Lou de Jong on the occasion of a TV series at that point in time, I literally knew by heart. The books in my parent’s library contained numbers from standard works. But there was also something wrong there. Something which didn’t add up. I already had seen that through as a kid. It was all about the gas chambers.

End quote from Balder Blog

Prisoners in Buchenwald concentration camp

Prisoners in Buchenwald concentration camp

The Balder Blog has made a correction on a famous photo [shown above], which was taken at Buchenwald, explaining that the photo of the prisoners in a concentration barrack “originates from Buchenwald.”  This is the famous photo which allegedly shows Elie Wiesel as one of the prisoners in barrack #56 at Buchenwald.  Now there is a whole website devoted to Elie Wiesel.  The title of the website is Elie Wiesel Cons the World.  As far as I know, the owner of the website has not gone into hiding, like David Cole.  You can watch a video about Elie Wiesel on the Elie Wiesel Cons the World web site here.

So what is going on here?  Will the whole Holocaust story soon be revealed as a giant hoax, as believed by the Holocaust deniers?

Already, the Holocaust numbers are dwindling down:  From 4 million deaths at Auschwitz, claimed by the Soviets at the Nuremberg IMT, the official number is now down to 1.1 million deaths, of which around 900,000 were Jews.  The numbers at Majdanek are now officially down to 78,000 deaths, of which 59,000 were Jews. The number of deaths at Majdanek was claimed to be 1.5 million by the Soviets at Nuremberg.

Only Dachau is holding the line:  The number of deaths at Dachau has now been inflated by 10,000 — which the tour guides justify by the fact that, as we all know, the Nazis didn’t keep accurate records.  The tour guides at Dachau now tell visitors that the gas chamber there was used, although not for “mass gassing.”

When I was a Freshman in High School in 1948, the students were given a small pamphlet to take home.  We were supposed to study this pamphlet and be prepared for a class discussion the next day.  I remember this very clearly.

The pamphlet was all about how President Harry Truman was the first national leader to recognize Israel as a country.  It was so sad to read about the poor Jews, who had no country of their own.  The main point of the pamphlet, however, was that it was Harry Truman, the first president of the United States from Missouri, who had been the first to recognize the country of Israel.  The Holocaust was not discussed, not in the pamphlet, nor in the classroom.  We were not told why the Jews needed a country of their own.

The students in my high school were so proud that it was a man from Missouri who was the first one to come to the defense of the Jews and recognize Israel as their country.  The point that I am trying to make here is that the Holocaust was not discussed immediately after World War II — not in my High School classes, nor in my classes at the University of Missouri.

The Holocaust did not become a popular subject until some time in the 1970s.  Now it is the number one topic of the day.  There is something about the Holocaust in the news every day.   Americans are suffering from Holocaust fatigue.  The Jews have overplayed their hand and now the Holocaust is becoming a joke.

September 10, 2012

Republican Congressman “invokes” the Holocaust in a speech about student loans

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:15 am

As reported by Tablet Magazine, Republican Representative Roscoe Bartlett from Maryland said this in reference to the constitutionality of federal student loans and the Patriot Act:

“Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans; it certainly is a good idea to give them loans,” Bartlett said. “But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.”

Congressman Bartlett got into trouble because he invoked the Holocaust. He also pointed out that there are more people of German ancestry in American today than any other [ethnic group].  What was he implying?  That German-Americans might ignore our Constitution and start another Holocaust?

What Rep. Bartlett should have said is that America ignored it’s own Constitution during World War II to put Japanese-Americans and German-Americans into “internment camps.” If we ignore our Constitution regarding student loans, this could lead to Americans being put into “internment camps” again — solely because of their ethnicity.

Did Germany ignore it’s Constitution in order to put Jews into concentration camps?  I don’t think so.  Hitler did everything legally.  He learned his lesson after he tried to take over the German government by force, and was arrested and put into Landsberg prison in 1923.  After he got out in 1924, he vowed to take over the government of German by doing everything legally.

Feldherrenhalle in Munich was where Hitler’s failed 1923 Putsch ended

Hitler leaving the town of Landsberg, after being released from Landsberg prison in 1924

This quote is from another blog which you can read here:

After being appointed chancellor of Germany on January 31, 1933, Hitler asked President von Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag. A general election was scheduled for March 5, 1933.
The burning of the Reichstag six days before the election, depicted by the Nazis as the beginning of a communist revolution, resulted in the Reichstag Fire Decree, which (among other things) suspended civil liberties and habeas corpus rights. Hitler used the decree to have the Communist Party’s offices raided and its representatives arrested, effectively eliminating them as a political force.
Although receiving five million more votes than in the previous election, the NSDAP had failed to gain an absolute majority in parliament, depending on the 52 seats won by its coalition partner, the German National People’s Party, for a slim majority.
To free himself from this dependency, Hitler had the cabinet, in its first post-election meeting on March 15, draw up plans for an Enabling Act which would give the cabinet legislative power for four years. The Nazis devised the Enabling Act to gain complete political power without the need of the support of a majority in the Reichstag and without the need to bargain with their coalition partners.

The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) was passed by Germany’s Reichstag and signed by President Paul von Hindenburg on March 23, 1933. It was the second major step, after the Reichstag Fire Decree, through which Chancellor Adolf Hitler legally obtained plenary powers and established his dictatorship. It received its name from its legal status as an enabling act granting the Cabinet the authority to enact laws without the participation of the Reichstag for four years.
The formal name of the Enabling Act was Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich (English: Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Nation).

September 9, 2012

Scottish students learn that little children were allowed to take their toys with them into the Auschwitz gas chamber

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:48 am

Yes, it’s true: the little Jewish children were allowed to take their toys into the Auschwitz gas chamber — and you thought that the Nazis were cruel!

Of course, the Jewish babies had their heads bashed against the nearest tree, but the children, who were able to walk, went to their death carrying their toys with them into the gas chamber.  What happened to the toys after the Jewish children were gassed?  The toys had to be thrown out because they were contaminated with poison gas, so don’t expect to see the toys in the Auschwitz Museum.

In a news article in the online Daily Record, a newspaper in the UK, I learned that a group of “Scottish schoolchildren took the pilgrimage to the brutal [Auschwitz] death camp where the Nazis murdered hundreds of thousands of people.”

Hundreds of thousands?  At the Nuremberg IMT, the Soviets testified under oath that 4 million people were murdered at Auschwitz.

Now we find out that the Nazis weren’t so bad after all.  They allowed little children to take their toys with them into the gas chamber, and they murdered less than a million Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the extermination camp.

This quote is from the article in the Daily Record, which you can read in full here:

Just over 200 pupils from across Scotland were taken to Auschwitz this week by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

It is an ongoing scheme, funded by the Scottish Government, in the hope that those who bear witness to the Holocaust will spread the message that it must not happen again.

Yes, the Holocaust Educational Trust is “an ongoing scheme,” but isn’t this a poor choice of words to use in an article that is favorable to the HET?

According to the article in the Daily Record:

Auschwitz I served as the administrative centre and was the site of the deaths of roughly 70,000 people, mostly ethnic Poles and Soviet prisoners of war.

Auschwitz II was an extermination camp, the site of the deaths of at least 960,000 Jews, 75,000 Poles, and some 19,000 Roma.

Auschwitz I was the main camp, located in a suburb of the town of Auschwitz.  Soviet Prisoners of War were brought to the Auschwitz II camp, aka Birkenau.  The term “ethnic Poles” is a euphemism for the Polish Resistance fighters who were fighting as illegal combatants, in violation of the Geneva Convention, during World War II.  The Scottish schoolchildren were made to believe that the Nazis killed “ethnic Poles,” just because they were Polish.

According to the article in the Daily Record, the tour guide “told how the dead were found, piled in a pyramid in the gas chamber, as the desperate had clambered towards the sky for air. How the little children were allowed to take their toys to the gas chamber because it stopped them being troublesome.”

This is the first time that I have ever heard of little children being allowed to take their toys to the gas chamber, but I have heard about the bodies piled in a pyramid in the gas chamber.  I previously blogged about the pile of bodies found in the gas chamber at Dachau here.

Note that the tour guide “told how the dead were found,”  in the Auschwitz gas chamber.  Found by whom?  At Auschwitz, the gas chambers were blown up by the Nazis before the Soviet liberators arrived. Or did the Soviets find the gas chambers intact and blow them up after they saw the bodies piled up?  Unfortunately, the Soviets did not take a photo of the bodies piled up in the Auschwitz gas chamber.  If they had, the pile of bodies might have looked like the bodies in the photo below, which was taken in the Dachau morgue, after the camp was liberated.

Bodies found in the Dachau morgue, April 1945

This quote is from the article in the online Daily Record:

In Auschwitz I, the teenagers saw the prison cells where for misdemeanours (sic) like feeding another inmate or picking up a guard’s cigarette, the “criminal” was hauled before a kangaroo court which despatched (sic) its victims, one per minute.

Then they were taken to the shooting wall and the punishment dispensed.

Feet away is a post with a hook where a 14-year-old hung until he starved to death. His crime – feeding bread to a dying Jew.

When I visited Auschwitz in 2005, there was no “post with a hook” at the Black Wall where prisoners were executed after being convicted  in “a kangaroo court.”  Has the “post with a hook” been reconstructed recently at the Black Wall?

I took the photo below inside the Auschwitz Museum in 1998.  It shows the “post with a hook” at the Black Wall on the left side of the photo.

Photo of a drawing in the Auschwitz Museum which shows a post with a hook

Still photo from Russian film shows the hanging punishment

Still photo from Soviet  film shows the hanging punishment

How was the 14-year-old boy hung from the “post with a hook” at Auschwitz?  If he had been hung by the neck, he would have soon died, so maybe the tour guide told the Scottish schoolchildren that he was hung by the arms until he starved to death.

The photograph above, which was taken inside the Dachau Museum in May 2001, shows a scene at Buchenwald that was created in 1958 for an East German DEFA film. (Source: H. Obenaus, “Das Foto vom Baumhängen: Ein Bild geht um die Welt,” in Stiftung Topographie des Terrors Berlin (ed.), Gedenkstätten-Rundbrief no. 68, Berlin, October 1995, pp. 3-8) This fake photo is not included in the new Dachau Museum which opened in 2003, but all the tour guides at Dachau dwell at length on the hanging punishment.

On my trip to Auschwitz in 2005, I overheard a tour guide tell a group of visitors that the two poles in front of the windows of Block 10 were used for the hanging punishment in which prisoners were hung by their arms tied behind their back. This punishment was originated by SS man Martin Sommer at the Buchenwald camp. In 1942, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler made a new rule that the SS men, in all the camps, were forbidden to “lay violent hands on the prisoners,” which would have included hanging by the arms.

Poles in front of Block 10 at Auschwitz

It was in front of the Black Wall that political prisoners, mostly Polish Resistance fighters, who had been convicted by the Gestapo Summary Court in Block 11, were executed. These prisoners had been brought to the Auschwitz I camp, but were not registered as inmates. They were housed in dormitory rooms on the first and second floors of Block 11 while they awaited trial in a courtroom set up in the building.  They were not murdered because they had picked up a cigarette or given food to a dying Jew.  They had not spent any time as inmates in the camp.

Block 11, where the Gestapo courtroom was located, is on the right.  Block 10 is on the left

After being convicted in the courtroom in Block 11, the guilty prisoners were taken to a small washroom in the Block 11 building where they were ordered to strip naked.  Then they were marched to the Black Wall in groups of three and executed with one shot to the neck at close range. Some of the prisoners, who were sent here, were Czech Resistance fighters from the Gestapo prison at the Small Fortress near the Theresienstadt ghetto.

The complete records, compiled by the office of Richard Glücks for all the Nazi concentration camps in the years 1935 to 1944, are now stored on microfilm and kept in the Russian Central Archives in the Central State Archives No. 187603 on Rolls 281 through 286. Richard Glücks was the head of Amt D: Konzentrationslagerwesen of the WVHA; he was the highest-ranking “Inspector of Concentration Camps” in Nazi Germany.

The total number of people executed at Auschwitz-Birkenau, according to the Nazi records, was 1,646 including 117 Jews, 1,485 Poles, 19 Russians, 5 Czechs and 20 Gypsies, but according to the Auschwitz Museum, there were 20,000 people murdered at the Black Wall in the Auschwitz I camp.

What else did the Scottish schoolchildren learn from the tour guide at Auschwitz?  Believe it or not, according to the article in the Daily Record:

The [Auschwitz II] camp stretches across 6720 acres and the factory of death sprawls as far as the eye can see.

Schoolchildren today might have a hard time visualizing what 6,720 acres looks like.  It is true that “the factory of death sprawls as far as the eye can see.”  But 6,720 acres?  I was told by my private tour guide in 1998, that the size of the Birkenau camp was 425 acres.

My grandparents had a 40-acre farm.  This was enough land for a corn field, a wheat field, a cow pasture, a pig pen, a hen house, an orchard, and a house with a large vegetable garden.  6,720 acres is the size of the entire county where their farm was located.  To help young people visualize: the Holocaust Memorial in the heart of Berlin is about 5 acres. Also, the Dachau concentration camp is about 5 acres.

The purpose of the trips, that are promoted by the Holocaust Educational Trust, is to teach schoolchildren in the UK to hate the Germans and to idolize the Jews.  The schoolchildren do not learn history, they learn hatred. God forbid, they should learn the truth about Auschwitz.

September 7, 2012

Jews were gassed at Majdanek with the exhaust from captured Soviet tanks. Who knew?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 5:16 pm

I was startled to read this on the British Mail Online a couple of days ago:

“Victims at Majdanek were forced into gas chambers that were pumped full with the exhaust from captured Soviet tank engines.”

Did the exhaust from the captured Soviet tank engines cause the heavy blue stains that one can still see in the Majdanek gas chambers?  The photo below shows the stains inside one of the Majdanek gas chambers.

Blue stains caused by the use of Zyklon-B in a Majdanek gas chamber

When I visited the Majdanek death camp in 1998, I was told by my private tour guide that these blue stains were caused by Zyklon-B, the gas that was used to kill the Jews.  Was my guide wrong?  Are the blue stains, that are seen in many of the Nazi gas chambers, actually caused by exhaust from tanks? Is that why some of the Nazi gas chambers, for example the gas chambers at Dachau and Mauthausen, have no blue stains?

I also read this on the Mail Online:

The crematoria next door (to the Majdanek gas chamber) still has ash remains of victims in its ovens.

What crematoria (plural) are they talking about?  The Majdanek crematorium building (the only one) is located at the opposite end of the camp from the gas chambers.  There is a small gas chamber, disguised as a shower room, in the crematorium building at Majdanek, but I was told that it used Zyklon-B which was dropped through a hole in the ceiling.  The original crematorium building was burned down, allegedly by the Nazis, and the building was reconstructed by the Soviets.

The photo below shows the reconstructed crematorium building.  In the reconstructed gas chamber in this building, the hole for the Zyklon-B is directly over the floor drain.  The Zyklon-B would have gone down the drain before the victims in the shower room could have been poisoned.


2006 Photo of Crematorium reconstructed by the Soviet Union
Photo Credit: Simon Robertson

The Mail Online news article includes this information:

[Majdanek was] Used for mass killings during Operation Reinhard: the Nazi plan to murder all Polish Jews

Operation Reinhard was the name given to the plan to transport the Jews to three camps: Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec, which the Nazis claimed were transit camps.  The headquarters of Operation Reinhard was in the city of Lublin, which is where Majdanek is now located.  During World War II, Majdanek was just outside the city limits of Lublin.  The clothing, taken from the Jews, who were sent to the three Operation Reinhard camps, was disinfected with Zyklon-B before being sent to Germany.

Could the rooms at Majdanek, with the heavy blue stains, have been disinfection chambers?  Is that why these rooms were located close to the entrance into the camp, not close to the crematorium which was at the opposite end of the camp?  The building close to the entrance has a shower room that is separate from the alleged gas chambers. A sign in the building, when I visited in 1998, said that the purpose of taking a shower, before going into the gas chamber, was to warm up the body so that the gas could work faster.

Building No. 41 at Majdanek was allegedly a gas chamber

The gas chamber building, shown in the photo above, is located within sight of the street that goes past the Majdanek camp. A sign on the building says “Bad und Desinfektion” (Bath and Disinfection), which the Museum guidebook says was “to lull the vigilance of those condemned to death.”

There are actually two buildings near the entrance to the camp where Zyklon-B was used. Only the building allegedly used for gassing people with Zyklon-B was shown to me by my guide. The other one is barrack Number 42 which was used for delousing clothing with the same Zyklon-B when the camp was in operation. Barrack Number 42 is locked and visitors are not allowed to see it.

The disinfection buildings at Auschwitz, which used Zyklon-B to disinfect the prisoner’s clothing, are also off limits to visitors. I previously blogged about this here.

According to the Mail Online, here is why Majdanek is in the news now:

Authorities in Lublin in eastern Poland want to construct [a new] crematorium near to the Majdanek camp where 80,000 people were put to death during the Second World War

That’s right. There were close to 80,000 deaths, from all causes, at Majdanek.  The exact figure that is now given by the Majdanek Museum is 78,000, including 59,000 Jewish deaths.  The Soviet prosecutors at the Nuremberg IMT alleged that the number of deaths at Majdank was 1.5 million.  I didn’t know, until now, that the deaths at Majdanek were due to gassing with exhaust from Soviet tank engines.  That means that the gassing of the Jews could not have started until enough Soviet tanks had been captured.

September 4, 2012

300 Luxembourg policemen killed at Dachau — Why has this atrocity been suppressed?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 2:05 pm

I was doing some research on the Dachau concentration camp today, when I came across this blog:  Sráid Marx, An Irish Marxist Blog, which has some information here about a tour that the blogger took at Dachau with an Irish tour guide.

This quote is from Sráid Marx, An Irish Marxist Blog:

[The Dachau tour guide] told the story of the three hundred Luxembourg policemen who refused to swear allegiance to Adolf Hitler and who were sent to Dachau as punishment.  When they arrived they were ordered to do so again in the main square.  When they again refused seventeen were selected at random and executed.  The same ritual was held every year.

Although I have read many books about Dachau, and I have visited the Memorial Site five times, this is the first and only time that I have ever heard about 300 Luxembourg policemen being killed at Dachau, or about the ritual that was held every year.  One would think that this atrocity would be well known.  I have never taken a tour at Dachau; I have always wandered around on my own.  Maybe I should go back one more time and take a tour given by an Irish guide.

I tried searching the Internet for more information on the 300 Luxembourg policemen, but all I could find was this website which sells military items.  This quote is from the website:

Accused: Kolb, August Heinrich 4 Years 3 Months. Crime Category:NS-Crimes in etainment Centres, War Crimes Court: LG Nürnberg-Fürth 541013 BGH 550624 Country where the crime was committed: Germany Crime Location: HS KL Sachsenhausen Crime Date: 42-45 Victims: Prisoners, Prisoners of War. Nationality: German, Luxembourg, Polish, Soviet, unknown.Office: Haftstättenpersonal KL Sachsenhausen. Subject of the proceeding: Participation of a Schutzhaftlagerführer in the hanging of prisoners on the roll-call square as well as in individual executions of a total of at least 100 persons, who were killed in the factory court-yard by a shot in the back of the neck (‘Genickschuss’) or by hanging, on orders of the Reich Security Main Office. Shooting of at least 50 prisoners, who were unfit for work as well as of 19 Luxembourg policemen, who had refused to take the oath of loyalty on Hitler. Participation in the shooting of at least 20 prisoners, who fell behind because of exhaustion during an evacuation march in April 1945

Note that the above reference is to the shooting of 19 Luxembourg policemen at the Sachsenhausen camp, not at Dachau.

Just how reliable is the information given by the Irish tour guide at Dachau?  Here is another quote about what the Irish tour guide said:

He told the story [of] Johann Georg Elser, a religious worker who was a keen defender of workers’ rights who had voted for the Communist Party until 1933. In 1939 he planted a bomb in a Munich beer hall where Hitler was due to speak.  Hitler was due to fly back to Berlin that night but because of fog it was thought he should take the train so he left earlier than planned.  The bomb missed Hitler by 13 minutes.  Elser was caught, severely tortured by the Gestapo, and incarcerated in Dachau.  Hitler planned that when the war was won he would be put in front of a show trial and executed.

Just a few short weeks before the end of the war Hitler ordered the killing of Elser and he was shot in the bunker at Dachau.

I am surprised that a tour guide at Dachau is now telling visitors that Georg Elser was shot in the camp bunker.  The Dachau Memorial Site was previously telling visitors that Elser was killed by a bomb that hit the camp on April 9, 1945. This was the same day that a British prisoner, Sigismund Payne-Best, arrived at the camp; he had been transferred to Dachau from Buchenwald.  All the prisoners in the bunker had been taken to a bomb shelter on the day that the bomb hit, so Elser could not have been killed by the bomb.

I blogged about the death of Georg Elser at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/who-killed-georg-elser-the-man-who-tried-to-kill-hitler/

So now the truth comes out: it was Hitler who ordered the shooting of Georg Elser.   Hitler thought that the British were involved in the plot to kill him. Did Hitler give an order to kill Elser because he didn’t want anyone to know that the British were involved in the assassination attempt? Or was it Sigismund Payne-Best who gave the order to kill Elser?  I previously blogged about the death of Georg Elser here.

Here is one more quote about what the Irish tour guide told visitors to Dachau:

Our guide pointed out that the concentration camp was only a relatively small part of the whole and the much larger part was the SS training camp.  Today it is a training camp for the German police.  In 1972, for the Munich Olympic Games and because of the widespread media attention this would bring, the authorities knocked down parts of the site and built a mound between this training camp and the concentration camp.  In this way it would not be possible to view the training camp and it would perhaps not arouse questions.  This is now covered in grass and trees today.A campaign involving survivors succeeded in getting part of this removed so that today you can see, but not enter, this camp, and see one of the original but otherwise unremarkable buildings still in existence.

On my first three visits to Dachau in 1997, 2001 and 2003, the entrance into the camp was on the east side, through a hole in the fence around the camp, as shown in the 2003 photo below.

The east side of Dachau Memorial Site where the former tourist entrance was located

My photo below shows some of what is left of the SS training camp today.  The mounds that you see on each side cover the old factory buildings that were torn down. The “authorities” did not build these mounds.

A view of the SS training camp that was next to the Dachau concentration camp

Compare the two photos below.  The old black and white photo below shows factories that were formerly outside the entrance through the Dachau gatehouse.  These factories were torn down and covered over with grass, which you see in recent photos.

Current tourist entrance to Dachau Memorial Site has mounds covered with grass on each side

Old photo shows a large factory near the entrance into the  Dachau concentration camp

There was previously a high wall, built by the American military, which separated the Dachau Memorial Site from the SS training camp, which the US Army took over and occupied for 28 years.  This wall was torn down when the Memorial Site officials decided to allow tourists to enter the camp through the Arbeit Macht Frei gate, just as the prisoners did.  The incoming prisoners had to walk from the train station in the town of Dachau to the camp. They did not arrive on the train tracks that you see at Dachau today.  These were narrow gauge tracks for transporting goods into the camp.

What did the Dachau gas chamber look like the day after the camp was liberated?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:27 am

I am writing today in answer to a comment made by a man whose grandfather was an American soldier at Dachau the day it was liberated on April 29, 1945.  His grandfather brought home photos of Dachau, including a photo of the gas chamber which was piled high with bodies, presumably the bodies of prisoners who had just been gassed.

The photos are no longer in this man’s possession, but he supplied a link to a web site which shows a drawing done by Brian J. Stonehouse, a British SOE agent who was a prisoner at Dachau. The drawing shows an open door and through the door, one can see another door, beyond which there are bodies piled up.  The drawings of Brian Stonehouse are copyrighted so I cannot show the drawing of the gas chamber here.  You will have to go to this website to see the drawing which looks like a drawing of the scene in the photo below.

Bodies found in the Dachau morgue when the camp was liberated on April 29, 1945

Note that the photo above shows a floor drain with blood running down into it.  A gas chamber cannot have a working floor drain because the poison gas would get into the sewer and poison the whole neighborhood.

Dachau gas chamber with a view into the morgue room on the right

My color photo directly above shows the Dachau gas chamber with a view into another room on the right, which is the room shown in the old black and white photo above. There were six floor drains in the gas chamber. Note the one floor drain in the photo, which is now closed up. On the left side in the photo is a water pipe that was used to clean the morgue room which had no water supply. Above the water pipe is an opening for a peephole into the gas chamber. Note that the tiles around the peep hole do not match the other tiles in the room.

When the American soldiers arrived on April 29, 1945, the gas chamber was empty, but the room next to it was piled high with bodies.  The photo below shows the outside of the building where these rooms were located.

Baracke-X the building where the Dachau gas chamber was located

The gas chamber is the room on the far left which has three holes in the wall.  The next room is the morgue room which has windows, and then the room where the ovens were located.

The room that was in the drawing done by Brian J. Stonehouse was the morgue room where bodies were stored until they could be burned in the ovens.  On the day that Dachau was liberated, there was no coal to burn the bodies.

This is the description given on the website for the drawing done by Brian Stonehouse:

Brian Julian Stonehouse, M.B.E. (1918-1998) Dachau gas chambers-the day after liberation signed and inscribed ‘B J Stonehouse/ Dachau 4t’, charcoal 29 x 32cm (11 7/16 x 12 5/8in). In a personal diary started in Dachau on Liberation day Brian Stonehouse described the day this sketch was made: ‘Monday Evening, April 30, 1945 – I visited and made sketches of piles of corpses at the Krematorium. Not much time to sketch, as the place had been mined by the SS before they left, and the building was expected to blow up at any minute.’ The sketches he made in Dachau were presented to the Imperial War Museum, this is believed to be the last known concentration camp picture by Brian Stonehouse still in private hands.

Note that Brian Stonehouse  said that he “made sketches of piles of corpses at the Krematorium.” He did not say that the “piles (plural) of corpses were in the gas chamber.

Stonewhouse literally took his life in his hands to sketch the “gas chambers” (plural) which he believed had been mined by the SS before they left.  He didn’t make this up. According to Sgt. Scott Corbett, a correspondent for the official 42nd Division newspaper who was at Dachau on the day it was liberated, the SS staff had set a time bomb to blow up the gas chamber after they abandoned the camp on April 28th, the day before the American liberators arrived.

I previously blogged here about how the Nazis had set a time bomb to blow up the Dachau gas chamber.

The following quote is from an article written by Sgt. Scott Corbett for the Rainbow Reveille, the 42nd Division Newspaper. This excerpt from Scott Corbett’s article is included on page 42 of the book entitled Dachau 29 April 1945, the Rainbow Liberation Memoirs, Edited by Sam Dann:

The first human beings ever to enter the infamous Concentration Camp at Dachau without despair and terror, entered it today. Infantry men of the XVth Corps, 42nd Division, are now in command of Dachau and they brought a new life to over 30,000 survivors among the prisoners of the horror camp.

What they found there bears out every atrocity told about the first great concentration camp in 12 years of its existence. In the crematorium, the skeleton-like bodies of the dead still lay in a room next to the furnace, stacked like cordwood. The cement floor slanted to a drain which carried off the blood, but not the unforgettable stench of death. Unlike Auschwitz, where the Gas Chamber and the Crematorium were demolished by the retreating SS, the destruction of this horrifying evidence at Dachau by a time bomb was prevented when doughboys discovered and severed the wire which would have set off the charge. In addition, the entire building was a maze of booby-traps.

It is clear from this description of the gas chamber building by Scott Corbet that the room with the bodies “stacked like cordwood” was the “room next to the furnace.”  The room next to the furnace was the morgue room, not the gas chamber.  There was another room at the north end of the Baracke-X building which was also being used as a morgue room on the day the camp was liberated.  This room is shown in the photo below.

Room full of dead bodies at the north end of the gas chamber building

My photo below shows the door into the Dachau gas chamber with a view into the gas chamber and the morgue room next to it. I was standing in the same spot where Stonehouse was standing (or sitting) when he made his sketch.  Actually, I think that Stonehouse drew his sketch from memory after he saw the door into the gas chamber; he didn’t get the doors quite right in his sketch.

Door into the gas chamber at Dachau

I  was standing in the undressing room when I took the photo above, which shows the door from the undressing room into the gas chamber. I composed this photo so as to show the electrical wiring going into the room.  The undressing room is 10 feet high, but the gas chamber as it looks now is around 7 and a half feet high.  The location of the wiring indicates that the gas chamber was originally 10 feet high. (Hint: the “gas chamber” at Dachau may have been a shower room that was modified by the American liberators.)

September 2, 2012

“Brief Encounter With a Hero, Name Unknown” a poem about the Josef Shillinger story

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:06 pm

I was doing some research on the Josef Shillinger story this morning when I came across a website featuring University of Utah Professor Jacqueline Osherow, who wrote a poem entitled Brief Encounter with a Hero, Name Unknown.

I am pretty sure that the Hero, Name Unknown is not Josef Schillinger, but rather the woman who shot him.

Jacqueline Osherow has written several books.  One of her books, published in 1994, is entitled Conversations with Survivors.

This quote about the book is from the website:

[Osherow] expanded more into her traditional background in Judaism, from the Yiddish language to the Holocaust. “I was introduced far too young,” Osherow says of the Holocaust. “It was such a gigantic overwhelming presence.” Osherow recalls at age 7 admitting to her mother the reason she refused to take showers: She feared that gas would come out of the showerhead.

A grown Osherow wasn’t seeking accounts, but her then-husband’s entire family survived the Holocaust. This included his stepmother, Fany, who wanted her memories documented. The result was “Conversations With Survivors,” a poem recalling Fany’s experience during the Holocaust and in present day.

“Brief Encounter With a Hero, Name Unknown,” a poem from her third book, With a Moon in Transit (1996), is one of her most acclaimed. Osherow tells how the poem took shape: She asked her father-in-law, a Holocaust survivor in charge of delousing at Birkenau (an extermination camp annex of Auschwitz, the Nazi’s largest concentration camp), if he knew any of the SS. He told the story of Josef Schillinger, an SS officer. In the tale, a woman brought to the gas chamber grabs Schillinger’s gun, killing him and three other guards before being gunned down herself. The story haunted Osherow until she wrote the poem. Since then, “Brief Encounter” has taken on a life of its own.

Last year, Susan Gubar released Poetry After Auschwitz: Remembering What One Never Knew, in which she discusses “Brief Encounter.”

Osherow was stunned—and incredibly thrilled—to discover the story had a history beyond her father-in-law’s account. Merely searching online, Osherow found various accounts of the incident: It occurred in October 1943, and the woman was most likely a Polish dancer named Franceska Mann.

“My mind exploded,” Osherow recalls, still astonished. “I thought it was something that only existed in my father-in-law’s head and my head. Suddenly, there was external proof.” It also lends insight to the way Osherow writes poetry: It’s about conversations, stories and experiences, not historic research.

Note that Osherow’s father-in-law was in charge of delousing at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  The main place where delousing was done was at “the central Sauna” which you can read about on this page of my website.

I previously blogged about the death of Schillinger here.  This is a fascinating story, which must be true, since there are so many versions of it. I first heard the story when I visited the Memorial Site of the Bergen-Belsen camp.  Franceska Mann was an exchange prisoner at Belsen before she was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau to be gassed.  I wrote about her on this page of my website.

One of the Sonderkommando prisoners at Birkenau was Zalmen Gradowski, who participated in the revolt of prisoners at Krema IV, the gas chamber that is close to the Central Sauna at Birkenau.  Gradowski wrote a statement which he buried at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Included in his message was his version of the death of Josef Schillinger.

Here is what Gradowski wrote about the famous incident when Shillinger was shot:

The second incident was… that of the “Warsaw convoy”. They were from Warsaw who had taken American citizenship; some of them had been born in America. They were supposed to be transferred to an internment camp in Germany then eventually to Switzerland where they would be placed in the care of the Red Cross.

But instead of doing so, the great and “civilized” powers-that-be had them brought to the crematoria here. It was at this point that a heroic young woman, a dancer, committed an act of great bravery. Seizing the revolver of Kwakernak, the head of the camp’s political section, she used it to shoot Schillinger, a notoriously nasty character. Her act inspired the other brave women with her, who launched bottles and other missiles at those savage, rabid animals, the uniformed SS.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.