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October 1, 2012

A Holocaust fairy tale: Jews saved by a malfunction of the gas chambers

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

This is a fairy tale that has been adapted from an article in the Jerusalem Post, which you can read in full here.  The article tells about the Teitlebaum family: father Tuvia Teitlebaum, mother Margit Frankfurt Teitlebaum and their son and six daughters who lived in Nyirbator, Hungary, a town in the northern great plain region of eastern Hungary.

A Holocaust Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a Jewish family, named Teitlebaum, living the good life in Nyirbator, Hungary. The Teitlebaums were business owners.  The whole family was engaged in business.  As each of their children reached maturity, a new enterprise was created around his or her talents. For instance, daughter Eva was gifted at handicrafts, so she was sent for artistic training, and opened a store specializing in finely embroidered clothing and lace curtains, which she operated even after she was married. Daughter Magda ran a delivery business. Daughter Olga worked in the beer business.

After the evil Nazis came to power in Germany, the Teitlebaums knew that it would be wise for Jews to get out of Europe. So the father made arrangements for the family to emigrate to New Zealand.  He engaged tutors to teach his seven children to speak English.

But, alas, the Teitlebaum family waited too long to leave Hungary, which was an Ally of Germany.  On March 19, 1944, the evil Nazis occupied Hungary, and the Teitlebaums could not escape. The father decided that the only way to escape the Nazis was to gather the family together and give everyone a fast-acting poison.  But the mother intervened to save the family, telling the father that “Maybe one of our beautiful children will survive.”

The Teitlebaums were undoubtedly rich, since the whole family was engaged in some kind of business, and they probably had the nicest house in Nyirbator, Hungary.  The Nazis chose the Teitlebaum house for their officer’s club and the Teitlebaum family was sent in cattle cars to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

The six daughters in the Teitlebaum family were sent on the same train, and this train was dispatched with haste to the gas chambers.  But on the day that the six young women stood together to die, the gas chambers experienced a rare malfunction.  All four of the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau had malfunctioned at the same time, a rare occurrence indeed.

At this point, the Nazis had to resort to Plan B. Instead of being gassed, the six young women in the Teitlebaum family were dispatched to a munitions factory in a labor camp near Bremen, Germany.

When the factory in Bremen was forced to close because the Nazis had run out of fuel, the six Teitlebaum daughters were assigned to chop wood in a forest.  There the Teitlebaum sisters found parachutes left by pilots who had been shot down.  The Teitlebaum sisters were resourceful and talented. Eva was an expert seamstress; she made sweaters for her sisters out of the parachutes.  She also made a Santa Claus for a Christmas party held by the German guards.  For her act of kindness, the Germans gave the six Teitlebaum sisters a blanket and extra food.

Then Nora and Alice, who shared the Teitlebaum family’s artistic talent, were recruited by the Nazis to make Christmas cards for the German officers.  And so, in the midst of the mass murder around them, these religious Jewish sisters were saved by making a Santa Claus and Christmas cards for the evil Nazis.

But the camaraderie between the Jews and the Nazis did not last long.  These same German officers, who had celebrated Christmas with the Jewish Teitlebaums, now realized that the Jews would soon be liberated and the Nazis would be held accountable for their crimes. So these same officers now invited the Teitlebaums for coffee and cheese. But Eva Teitlebaum was not fooled by this invitation.  Her instincts told her that the evil Nazis were up to no good, and she insisted that her sisters should turn down the invitation.  The food, as it turned out, had been poisoned.  The Nazis had invited the young women for coffee because they wanted to  wipe out all witnesses to their crimes.

After the plan to poison the Teitlebaum sisters failed, the Nazis locked the young women in a train and sent them to an unknown destination, without food and water, and with British planes bombing from above.  As the tracks were bombed, the Nazis let the Teitlebaum sisters out of the train, and set them to fixing the tracks.  After the resourceful and talented Teitlebaum sisters had repaired the tracks, they were locked up again in the cattle cars.

When the train reached Plauen, it could go no farther; the Nazis fled, leaving the sisters locked in the cattle cars. But there was one kind Nazi officer, who proved the exception to the rule: He unlocked the doors of the train. Half of the passengers were already dead, and the Teitlebaum sisters had to extract themselves from amid the bodies.

Once outside the ill-fated train, the sisters saw a picturesque and tranquil scene: a mountain lake with a charming guest house.  The sisters jumped into the lake for a swim, discarding their filthy clothing.

While the sisters were in the lake, other prisoners approached the guest house and were shot.  The Teitlebaum sisters were saved because they had the good sense to stay in the water all night.  Lo and behold, they were rescued by French Jewish underground soldiers the next morning.  The Jewish soldiers gave them new clothing and helped them to reach the British Displaced Persons camp in Neustadt, Germany. Fortunately, the Teitlebaum sisters could speak English because their father had hired a tutor for them.

All seven of the Teitlebaum children survived the Holocaust, although their parents were murdered at Auschwitz on a day when the gas chambers did not malfunction.

The most important information in this fairy tale

The Teitlebaum family arrived at Auschwitz-Birkeau, in the Spring of 1944, on a train that had around 3,000 Jews crowded into cattle cars.  So it was not just the Teitlebaum family that was saved that day because of the malfunction of the gas chambers. There were at least 3,000 Jews who were saved that day because all four of the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau had malfunctioned.

How does a gas chamber malfunction?  In the case of the Nazi gas chambers, the gassing procedure was very simple.  The Jews were herded inside the two underground gas chambers in Krema II and Krema III and then the Zyklon-B gas pellets were poured into the chamber through holes in the roof.  The Krema IV and Krema V gas chambers were above ground and the Zyklon-B was poured in through windows in the wall.

Opening a can of Zyklon-B for the gas chamber

So what happened on that day in May 1944 when this train full of Hungarian Jews arrived.  Were the Nazis unable to open the holes in the roof, and the holes in the wall?  Were the Zyklon-B pellets defective?

It was rare for something like this to happen, but not unknown.  There are other Holocaust survivors who claim that they were saved because the Auschwitz gas chambers “malfunctioned.”  While this was happening, the Germans were building rockets and and jet airplanes.  Did the SS men at Auschwitz put in a call to Hitler and say to him “Get some engineers over here ASAP.  We can’t figure out how to make the gas chambers functional.”

I previously blogged about the malfunction of the Auschwitz gas chambers here.

9 Comments

  1. What could malfunction in the action of throwing insecticide pellets through holes in the roof? The malfunction stories clearly indicate that the ‘survivors’ telling these stories think that the alleged Nazi gassings were a complex process operated with a sophisticated machinery (what they were not at all). Exposed liars…

    “But the camaraderie between the Jews and the Nazis did not last long. These same German officers, who had celebrated Christmas with the Jewish Teitlebaums, now realized that the Jews would soon be liberated and the Nazis would be held accountable for their crimes. So these same officers now invited the Teitlebaums for coffee and cheese. But Eva Teitlebaum was not fooled by this invitation. Her instincts told her that the evil Nazis were up to no good, and she insisted that her sisters should turn down the invitation. The food, as it turned out, had been poisoned. The Nazis had invited the young women for coffee because they wanted to wipe out all witnesses to their crimes.”

    Can you imagine the Nazis trying to murder the witnesses of their crimes by inviting them for a coffee and cheese party? So ridiculous. 🙂

    The Nazis so much wanted to kill all the alleged witnesses of their crimes that Himmler voluntarily turned Belsen camp (many of the prisoners liberated from Belsen were Jews who had been evacuated from Auschwitz a little earlier) to the the British troops. How strange…

    Comment by hermod — October 22, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

  2. An immeasurable loss today, gas chamber usher and serial liar Shlomo Venezia has just met his Cre-tor.

    Comment by Eager For Answers — October 2, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

  3. Some very clever jew sneaked into the SS barracks and stole the only tin opener so the SS couldn’t open the zyklon B tins

    Comment by Brian Lane — October 2, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    • I have added a photo of a can being opened by someone. It looks like a pretty simple procedure, but I never suspected that someone might have stolen the only can opener. The manufacturer should have provided a can opener with each can of Zyklon-B. The manufacturer DID provide machines that would automatically open a can of Zyklon-B and pour it into a basket. However, these machines were not used at Auschwitz, as far as I know.

      You can see a photo of one of these machines on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/GasChamber/disinfection02.html

      I suspect that the Zyklon-B cans had a lid that could be pried open by running a simple tool around the rim of the can. I don’t think that the cans had to be cut open with a can opener. Keep in mind that the cans were designed so that they could be opened by a machine.

      Comment by furtherglory — October 2, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

  4. Then a Wolf came with three bears to huff and puff to blow their House off its foundation but the Wolf and three bears all died of heart attacks…..after the UFO took them away in a time warp.

    Comment by Joe Rizoli — October 2, 2012 @ 8:53 am

  5. You link to the story of Mordechai Eldar who was pulled at the last moment from the gas chamber with 49 boys,

    I found in my archives one of those lucky 49, Nahum Hoch, a smart little Jew:

    My father took off his raincoat and put it on me to try and make me look taller.

    Mengele decided that this selection would be according to height. I managed to put stones in my shoes to make myself look taller.

    Makes me wonder why the 6 Million didn’t use these simple tricks.

    Comment by Eager For Answers — October 2, 2012 @ 3:31 am

    • The Nazis made a big mistake in not registering the prisoners who were brought to Auschwitz-Birkenau and gassed immediately. They were so hell-bent on gassing the prisoners immediately after they got off the trains that they couldn’t be bothered to make records for them. At the same time, the Nazis made another big mistake in not registering the prisoners who were brought to Auschwitz and then transferred to other camps within a few days.

      So there are no records for most of the Jews who were brought to Auschwitz. Keep in mind that the Nazis were keeping records on Hollerith punch cards. If only they had kept punch card records for the Jews who were gassed. Then they would be no deniers of the 6 million. The True Believers claim that punch cards were made for those who were gassed.

      I previously blogged about the punch cards for prisoners who were gassed: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/code-6-was-for-the-gas-chamber-new-book-by-edwin-black-about-ibm-and-holocaust/

      Comment by furtherglory — October 2, 2012 @ 9:26 am

  6. Thanks Furtherglory for this wonderful and uplifting story; envisioning these skeletal girls moving railroad tracks with their gracile fingers broke my heart.

    A visit to the Yad Vashem Database disturbed me as well; Tuvia Teitelbaum was either:

    – born in 1880, murdered in Auschwitz according to his nephew, on the form he filled in 1955.

    – born in 1891, murdered in Auschwitz in 1943 according to his daughter Olga, on the form she filled in 1957.

    – date of birth unspecified, murdered in Auschwitz May 25, 1944 according to his daughter Olga, on the form she filled in 1999. (Notice she didn’t care to fill a form for her mother).

    Of course, several people named Tuvia Teitelbaum could be born in the large Jewish community of Erdobenye.

    Comment by Eager For Answers — October 2, 2012 @ 2:04 am

    • The mother would have been among the Jews that was sent to the gas chamber on the day that they arrived, which was the day when all four gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau malfunctioned. Tuvia Teitlebaum would have been in the group of men and boys who were also saved on the day that they arrived. Tuvia was obviously gassed a few days later on May 25, 1944 and Olga witnessed him entering the gas chamber that day. Olga could have been working in the women’s kitchen, which was only a stone’s throw from Krema II. She could not have gotten the date that her father was gassed from the records that the Nazis kept because no records were kept for the people who were gassed.

      Olga was a smart girl, who paid attention to the date of the family’s arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau. She gave a date for the death of her father that was a few days after his arrival. However, I have read many stories of Jews being saved from the gas chamber and in all these stories, the Jews were rarely sent to the gas chamber a second time. No matter how they survived the gas chamber the first time, they were almost never sent to the gas chamber a second time.

      Olga didn’t fill out a form for her mother because her mother obviously escaped the gas chamber on the day that she arrived when all of the gas chambers malfunctioned. Olga was sent out of Auschwitz-Birkenau a few days later, so she would not have known how her mother died, or even if she died at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Her mother would have been registered at Auschwitz-Birkenau if she wasn’t gassed. If the mother was sent on to another camp, she also would not have been registered. The mother might have been registered at Auschwitz-Birkenau and her name might be in the records. Olga might have known that her mother was registered at Auschwitz, so she didn’t claim that her mother was “murdered at Auschwitz.” She knows that her mother has a card on file in the Auschwitz records which gives her cause of death.

      Comment by furtherglory — October 2, 2012 @ 8:17 am


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