Today, I went to the website of the USHMM to see a photo, allegedly taken at Buchenwald, which a fellow blogger believes is a fake. The photo is shown on this page, along with many other photos that were taken at Buchenwald after the camp was liberated on April 11, 1945. Curiously, three of the photos on that page, which you can see below, have similar characteristics.
Notice that the three photos above, which were allegedly taken at Buchenwald, appear to have been printed in an American commercial photography lab, which printed the pictures in a sepia tone and put fancy borders around the photos. This indicates that the three photos might have been taken on the same day by the same photographer, who took the film home to America to have it developed and printed.
However, there is one problem with these photos. My 1999 photo of the chimney of the Buchenwald crematorium, which is shown below, looks nothing like the tall chimney in the first photo, which was allegedly taken at Buchenwald in 1945. As far as I know, the crematorium at Buchenwald was not rebuilt after the camp was liberated.
The Buchenwald crematorium was located near the gatehouse that was the entrance into the prison enclosure. The gatehouse was to the right, but out of camera range in the photo above.
So who is right? Were all three of the old photos above taken at Buchenwald, or not?
I was browsing through the website of Carolyn Yeager yesterday, when I came across a copy of the photo shown below.
I have this same photo on my scrapbookpages.com website here. The photo was sent to me several years ago, for my exclusive use, by the daughter of one of the men in the photo. I was told the name of one of the men, but I had to promise his daughter that I would not reveal her father’s name.
This quote is from Ms. Yeager’s website:
A mislabeled photo – turning Germans into Jews
The picture of four men, below right, is in the Museum’s Buchenwald photo archives labeled as “Group Portrait of Four Jewish Youth at liberation in Buchenwald,” photo #27289. It’s dated Wednesday, April 11, 1945 (Liberation Day!), courtesy of Morris Rosen; no photographer listed. It adds this information: ” Nucher, (the donor’s friend) is pictured in the lower left. Pictured in the center is Jacob Rosenthal from Satu-Mare.”
Consider the extent of the irresponsible misinformation on the USHMM website when you learn that these are German men after being interned at the notorious Bad Nenndorf secret prison set up in Germany by the British during their occupation of north-west Germany in 1945. I used this photo in the post for my Oct. 29 radio program The Heretics Hour. The treatment of the prisoners in this camp by the British was far worse than anything experienced by those at Buchenwald. Below are more pictures of documented Bad Nenndorf victims. All suffered from actual, unnecessary starvation.
Note that the man in the center is identified by the USHMM as Jacob Rosenthal from Satu-Mare. It has been so long ago that I don’t recall the name given to me by the woman who claimed to be the daughter of the man in the center of the photo. In an exchange of e-mails, I was given the following information which I am quoting from my website scrapbookpages.com:
The photo above was taken by an American Army photographer shortly after the camp was liberated. In the center of the photo is a Jewish prisoner who had gone into hiding when the Germans started to evacuate the camp, according to his daughter. He first hid in the typhus ward and later dug a hole near the infirmary barrack. He was too weak to stand when this photo was taken.
His daughter wrote in an e-mail to me that her father told her about “the American soldier who asked him to pose for a picture, because he was particularly emaciated compared to the other – political – prisoners. The photographer asked them to assume a serious expression, because he wanted to communicate what happened in the camps during the war.”
Note that the prisoner in the center of the photo is wearing thick socks. The concentration camp prisoners were not normally issued socks. These socks had formerly belonged to an SS guard in the camp.
The following is a quote from the e-mail letter sent to me by this prisoner’s daughter:
When my father arrived in Buchenwald, he was slated to work in the quarry, in effect a protracted death sentence, when a Nazi Jeep drove by seeking building engineers. My father was a textile engineer, but decided to take the chance. He was lucky; his co-worker (they were building barracks) taught him on the job.
Towards the end of the war he would hide near the Germans’ cabin and listen to the newscasts, which told of the approaching American army. This motivated him to find whatever means possible to hold out in the camp and avoid further deportation. I already wrote you how he hid: first by hiding in the typhus ward, then by digging a cave.
I feel like a fool now because I was so gullible. When I received the photo, I did notice the thick socks and questioned that. But I believed the woman who had sent me the photo. I thought that the men in the photo were Jews who had been starved at Buchenwald.
I have enhanced the photo, using PhotoShop, and posted it below, in case anyone else wants to use this photo or blog about it.