Scrapbookpages Blog

October 29, 2012

Holocaust denier David Irving will be allowed back into Germany

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:46 am

The Mail Online is reporting that David Irving has won a victory in a German court and will be allowed to enter Germany again.  This quote is from an article in The Mail Online:

A Munich court convicted and fined him in 1993 on a charge of insulting the memory of the dead after he disputed that the gas chambers at Auschwitz killed hundreds of thousands of Jews.

He told a group of right-wingers in 1993 that the Polish government built the chambers after the war to ‘show tourists.’

In 1993, when David Irving said that the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp was built after the war, to show to tourists, the Auschwitz Museum was telling visitors that the gas chamber in the main camp was original, not a reconstruction.  Now the Auschwitz Museum admits that the gas chamber in the main camp is a reconstruction, so the basis for charging David Irving with a crime for Holocaust denial is now gone.

A poster outside the Auschwitz gas chamber shows the changes made during the reconstruction

When I visited the Auschwitz gas chamber in 1998, I was told that it was original, but when I returned in 2005, I was amazed to see a poster outside, which showed the changes made during the reconstruction.

The photo above shows the poster, which is located outside the gas chamber building in the Auschwitz main camp. On the left, the poster depicts the layout of the gas chamber building as it originally looked and on the right, the way it looked after the gas chamber was reconstructed in 1947.

After he was charged with a crime, under Germany’s Holocaust denial law, and given a fine without a trial, David Irving never entered Germany again because he knew that he would be arrested for not paying his fine.  Now he will be able to go to Germany again to continue his research in the German archives.

Note that David Irving did not get his good name back.  He will always be known as Holocaust Denier David Irving.

Original blueprint of the gas chamber building in the main Auschwitz camp

The photo above shows the original blueprint for the Krema I building in the Auschwitz main camp. The morgue, shown on the bottom right of the blueprint, has a door into the oven room and another door into the washroom. The gas chamber was in the same location as the morgue, but it did not include the area of the washroom. Note the door from the vestibule into the washroom; this door no longer exists and the area of the former wash room is included in the reconstructed gas chamber.

The blueprint for the crematorium at Auschwitz I shows that there were three ovens when the crematorium was in operation. The picture below shows a trolley which is in front of where the third oven used to be, behind the first two and in front of the window on the outside wall. According to the construction plans, the windows were added when the building was converted into an air raid shelter.

The third oven in the original crematorium in the main Auschwitz camp was in this location

Entrance into the Auschwitz crematorium where the victims entered to be gassed to death

The photo above shows the original entrance door into the crematorium building at the Auschwitz main camp. This is the door that tourists now enter to see the gas chamber, and it is the same door that the victims entered. According to the detailed construction plans for the air raid shelter, the windows shown in the photo were added in 1944.   A new door, on the other side of the building, was also added when the building was converted into an air raid shelter for the SS men.

A reader of this blog has put two photos in a comment on this post.

I took the same photo when I was at Auschwitz, but I didn’t include the window behind the ovens, which “The Black Rabbit” shows in his photos.

Ovens in the Auschwitz main camp crematorium

My photo above shows the area behind the ovens where there is a light bulb, but my flash did not pick up a window behind the ovens.  I was focusing on the device in the foreground which was for carrying the bodies on the trolleys that you see in front of the ovens.  I did go behind the ovens, but it never occurred to me to photograph the wall behind me. My photo of the rear of the ovens is shown below.

Rear of cremation ovens in Auschwitz main camp

As for what David Irving now believes, I attended one of his lectures a few years ago, and he said that he now believes that Treblinka was a death camp.  He did not say anything about gassing prisoners in the “bunkers” nor anything about the four gas chambers at the Birkenau camp, which are now in ruins.

Yellow Journalism in today’s newspapers

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:27 am

Yesterday, I blogged about Wilhelm Brasse, a prisoner who was put to work as a photographer in the Auschwitz concentration camp in the 1940s.  A reader alerted me to a news article in The Mail Online which tells about Brasse’s work at Auschwitz. This article is an example of Yellow Journalism at it’s best.

For the benefit of readers who are not familiar with the term Yellow Journalism, I am quoting Wikipedia:

Yellow journalism, or the yellow press, is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers.[1] Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism.[1] By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.[2]

Here is the eye-catching headline in The Mail Online:

The photographer at Auschwitz: Man forced to take chilling images of inmates and their Nazi guards was haunted until his death at 94

The Mail Online illustrated the article with photos taken by Brasse, including the chilling image below.

Maximillian Grabner, the head of the Political Department at Auschwitz

If you think the image of Maximillian Grabner is chilling, you should see what he really looked like.  I consider this to be an excellent portrait of the man. The caption on this photo, in The Mail Online, is this:

“Jailer: SS officer Maximilian Grabner was also captured on film by prisoner Brasse in the photography department at Auschwitz”

Maximillian Grabner was the director of the Political Department in Auschwitz. He was arrested by Dr. Konrad Morgen, an SS Judge, who was assigned to investigate all the Nazis camps for incidents of cruelty or abuse of the prisoners. Grabner had been accused of killing 2,000 prisoners “beyond the general guidelines.” Grabner was put on trial by an SS court in Weimar, Germany but was not convicted. In 1947, Grabner was tried and sentenced to death by the Polish Supreme War Tribunal in Krakow.

This quote from The Mail Online is an example of Yellow Journalism:

One day, a prisoner was sent to him because one of the camp doctors, the infamous Nazi Dr Josef Mengele, wanted a photograph of the man’s unusual tattoo.

He said: ‘It was quite beautiful. It was a tattoo of Adam and Eve standing before the Tree in the Garden of Eden, and it had obviously been done by a skilled artist.’

About an hour after taking the photograph, he learned that the man had been killed. He was called by another prisoner to come to one of the camp crematoria where he saw the dead man had been skinned.

Mr Brasse said: ‘The skin with the tattoo was stretched on a table waiting to be framed for this doctor. It was a horrible, horrible sight.’

Back in the days before Yellow Journalism became the norm in the mainsteam media, a good journalist would have explained that Brasse’s claim of being called by another prisoner to one of the camp crematoria would have been quite unusual since Brasse was working in the main Auschwitz camp, which had only one crematorium. Apparently Brasse was called by another prisoner to come to the Auschwitz II camp which had four crematoria.  It would have been very unusual for Brasse to leave his job in the main camp, at the request of another prisoner, to travel 3 kilometers to another camp to take a photo of a dead man who had been skinned for his tattoo.  This part of the article reads as if it were written by Holocaust liar survivor Irene Zisblatt.

This quote is also from The Mail Online:

Mr Brasse and another inmate managed to bury thousands of negatives in the camp’s grounds which were later recovered.

Too bad that Brasse didn’t bury the negative of the man with the tattoo, whom he photographed after the man had been skinned.

Here is more of the horror printed by The Mail Online:

In February 1941, he was summoned to the camp commander’s office, the notoriously brutal Rudolf Höss, who would later be hanged for his crimes.

Mr Brasse was certain that this was the end but when he arrived he discovered that the SS was looking for photographers.

There followed what must have been a bizarre and terrifying experience. The assembled men were tested on their photographic skills.

Each must have known failure would mean a return to hard labour and death.

He said: ‘We were five people. They went through everything with us – the laboratory skills and the technical ability with a camera. I had the skills as well as being able to speak German, so I was chosen.’

The Nazis wanted documentation of their prisoners. The Reich was obsessed with bureaucratic records and setup ‘Erkennungsdienst,’ the photographic identification unit.

Based in the camp, it included cameramen, darkroom technicians and designers.

I don’t want to say anything about the liberal bias of newspapers today because this would attract hateful comments by readers who disagree with this opinion, so I will just quote Wikipedia on the subject of liberal bias:

Liberal bias in the media occurs when liberal ideas have undue influence on the coverage or selection of news stories.

Conservative critics of the media say some bias exists within a wide variety of media channels including network news shows of CBS, ABC, and NBC, cable channels CNN, MSNBC and Current TV, as well as major newspapers, news-wires, and radio outlets, especially CBS News, Newsweek, and The New York Times.[21]

The Mail Online goes far beyond liberal bias, into the realm of Yellow Journalism.