Scrapbookpages Blog

April 2, 2013

Did Auschwitz prisoners have a choice to stay in the camp, or were they forced to go on a “death march”?

I have been researching my fingers to the bone, trying to find a source that proves that Auschwitz prisoners were FORCED to march out of the camp if they were able to walk.  Since the purpose of the march out of the camp was allegedly to march the prisoners to death, according to Daniel Goldhagen’s book entitled Hitler’s Willing Exectioners, it seems to me that those who were too sick to walk would have been killed before the Nazis left the camp with the prisoners on the march.  Otherwise, the death march would have accomplished nothing.  There would still have been prisoners alive who would be witnesses to the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

My blog post today is in answer to the following comment made by Carolyn Yeager:

How do you know these [prisoners in a photo] are actual liberated Auschwitz prisoners? Almost all the photos of the masses of people supposedly taken at “liberation” were actually taken later, up to a month later, or even more. I wrote about this at the end of this article at EWCTW:

When I was on “the tour” at Auschwitz, the Polish tour guide stood before a big blow-up of a well-known photo of healthy (even chubby) youngsters behind a barbed wire fence, some in over-size striped shirts over their street clothing … and said matter-of-factly that it was taken “several months” after the liberation. I jumped on that and she explained that all the liberation photos, or most of them, were stills from a film made later with local people dressed to look like prisoners. Any photography from the actual first days of “liberation” is lost (been destroyed, more likely).
In my opinion, there was no “liberation” at Auschwitz of the type at Dachau and Buchenwald; it had to be invented by Soviet Intelligence. I really need to do a new article just about this.

One of the photos, to which Ms. Yeager referred, is the photo shown below.

Still shot from a film made by the Soviet liberators of Auschwitz-Birkenau

Still shot from a film made by the Soviet liberators of Auschwitz-Birkenau

The photo above shows some of the 611 children in the Birkenau camp after it was liberated. The girl on the far right is Miriam Mozes, the twin sister of Eva Moses Kor.  The twins were selected by Dr. Josef Mengele for his medical experiments.  Eva and her twin sister Miriam both survived; Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated four days before their 11th birthday.

The photo of the children at the barbed wire fence is a still photo from a documentary film made by the Soviets in February 1945, so this is what the children in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp looked like, no more than four weeks after they were “liberated” on January 27, 1945.

Were these children actually “local people dressed to look like prisoners” as the Polish tour guide claimed.  This would mean that Eva Moses Kor, who is still alive, was not actually in the film, but was being impersonated by a local Polish girl.  I saw the documentary film, which was shown in a theater at the main Auschwitz camp, when I visited in 1998.  I saw the version that had English sub-titles.  I don’t believe that the people shown in the film were locals who were brought in to impersonate  the prisoners.

Perhaps the confusion was caused by the photo below which is also a still shot from the Soviet film.

Prisoners walking out of Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

Prisoners walking out of Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

The photograph above is a still picture taken from the Soviet movie which was shown at the beginning of the tour at the Auschwitz Museum when I visited in 1998.  It shows some of the 5,800 Birkenau survivors, most of whom look like well-fed Polish peasants, walking out of the camp. In the background you can see the wooden barracks buildings, with windows under the roof, and the posts of the barbed wire fence. These survivors are walking along the interior camp road that bisects the Birkenau camp from north to south, connecting the women’s camp with the new section of Birkenau, known as “Mexico.”  For all I know, these people are imposters who were brought in by the Soviets because all the real prisoners had been forced to march out of the camp.

The tall, skinny guy in the photo is Dr. Otto Wolken, a medical doctor in the Birkenau Quarantine camp, who stayed behind to help his fellow prisoners when the Birkenau camp was evacuated. He is the only one in the photo who looks properly emaciated, as death camp prisoners should look.

Dr. Wolken was the first witness to testify at the Auschwitz Trial, held by the German government in Frankfurt between 1963 and 1965.

This website has some information about the prisoners who were marched out of Auschwitz:

In the evening the female prisoners in the Auschwitz women’s camp were formed into columns, including the female prisoners who were transferred from Birkenau, and driven out in the direction of Rajsko. The female prisoners of the gardening and plant breeding squads from the Rajsko sub-camp join the procession of the male and female prisoners evacuated from Auschwitz-Birkenau and bring up the rear.  There were 5,800 survivors at the Auschwitz II camp (Birkenau) when the Soviets arrived on Januray 27, 1945.

There were more survivors in the Auschwitz I camp (the main camp), some of whom are shown the documentary film taken in February 1945.  The photo below shows men in the main camp.

Survivors in the main Auschwitz camp re-enact the liberation for a documentary made in Feb. 1945

Survivors in the main Auschwitz camp re-enact the liberation for a documentary made in Feb. 1945

They march through the communities of Pszczyna, Poreba, Wielka, and Jastrzebie Gorna to Wodzislaw in Silesia. Only Eugenia Halbreich (No 29700), who had hidden herself in the attic of a dwelling next to the house of SS man Grell, remains in the Rajsko sub-camp.

All the prisoners of the Monowitz sub-camp, the camp near the I.G. Farben works, are assembled on the parade ground in the evening. They are formed into columns of 1,000 prisoners each. Divisions of nurses were placed among the individual columns. The columns lead through Bierun, Mikolow, Mokre Slaskie and Przyszowice to Gleiwitz; 850 prisoners remain in the prisoners infirmary [at Monowitz], among them are assistant doctors, and 18 doctors, including Dr. Czeslaw Jaworski.

The prisoners are evacuated from the Trzebinia sub-camp and those able to march are led to Auschwitz; those that cannot remain there. Those still alive upon their arrival in Rybnik are loaded into open freight cars.

The Trzebinia Sub-Camp

After four days they arrive in the Gross Rosen Concentration Camp stiff from the cold. Because of overcrowding at the camp the transport is refused and is directed onto Sachsenhausen, but after remaining there for two weeks, it was sent to Bergen-Belsen. Arnost Tauber, Abraham Piasecki and Karl Broszio escape during the march.

Those unable to march are sent to the secondary railway track of the Trzebinia refinery, where they are crammed into four freight cars which set off for an unknown destination.

There was no mention on the H.E.A.R.T website, which I quoted above, that the prisoners were forced to march, or be shot if they refused or were unable to march.   In fact, nowhere could I find any information that the prisoners in the three Auschwitz camps were FORCED to join the march out of the camp.

Old women marching out of the Birkeanau camp in Feb. 1945

Old women marching out of the Birkeanau camp in Feb. 1945

The photo above is a still shot from the documentary made by the Soviets in February 1945.  It shows old women marching out of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.  Apparently, these women were allowed to stay in the camp and were not FORCED to join the march.  They were allowed to live and were not shot because they did not join the march.

Chapter 14 of Daniel Goldhagen’s book Hitler’s Willing Executioners is entitled “Marching to What End?”

Goldhagen wrote that “marching the Jews to death, was an end in itself.” Goldhagen wrote that Himmler, the head of all the concentration camps, had given an order not to kill any of the Jews being marched out of the camps, but he wrote that, in spite of this order, the Germans continued to kill the Jews on the marches.

Goldhagen wrote this on page 367:  “Finally, the fidelity of the Germans to their genocidal enterprise was so great as seeming to defy comprehension. Their world was disintegrating around them, yet they persisted in genocidal killing until the end.”

As far as I know, Daniel Goldhagen is the ONLY source of the alleged story that the prisoners were marched out of Auschwitz for the purpose of killing them and that the prisoners were forced to join the march.

What is the name for the expulsion of ethnic Germans after World War II?

Filed under: Germany — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:24 am

The ethnic Germans, who were expelled from Czechoslovakia and Poland, after World War II, are called “expellees” but what is the name for everything that happened to them during the expulsion.

The Jews have a name for what happened to them during World War II; their suffering is called “the Holocaust.”  The Gypsies have a name for what happened to them; their mistreatment is called “the Porajmos” or literally “devouring or destruction.”

There is an expression for denial of what happened to the Jews: it is called “the Holocaust never happened.”  But how can one express denial of the expulsion of the Germans?  For example, fill in the blank:  “the ——– never happened.”  There are laws in 17 or 18 countries now that make it a crime to say “the Holocaust never happened.”  There should also be a law against saying “the ——– never happened.”

Every detail of the ——– should be a sacred belief that cannot be denied without being imprisoned for at least 5 years.  You can read some of the details of what happened to the ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia here.

This quote is from the website cited above:

Soviet observers even reported to the Central Committee in Moscow that the Czechs “don’t kill them, but torment them like livestock.  The Czechs look at them like cattle” (Murashko and Noskova 1995, 235-7).  Czechoslovak military officers organized mass killings of German civilians.  Vojt chern”. Karol Ctibor Pazura, and BedYich Pokorn” ordered soldiers and militias to force ethnic Germans on death marches, and even to dig their own mass graves before being shot by firing squads without being prompted by resistance (Radio Praha #2). Sudeten Germans as young as 12 and 15 who were accused of escaping from internment camps were hanged or shot.  Over 750 civilians were executed at Postoloprty after preparing their own graves (Radio Praha #1).  Many civilians and soldiers attacked or killed German civilians at random, in some cases even stringing them by their heels onto trees and dousing them with gasoline before burning them to death (A H I).

One of the worst atrocities of the expulsion was the so-called Brno March (called the Brno death march by the Germans). The large German minority around the Moravian capital of Brno was escorted out of their homes with only an hour to prepare whatever they could carry before being marched over 50 km to the border of Austria.  Over 20,000 civilian families were marched by soldiers with almost no water, food or medicine.  Many were relegated to defecate or urinate whilst they walked because they could not leave the line.  Those who dissented were disciplined with rife butts and even whips.

Bodies of the dead and inform reportedly lay on the sides of the road (BBC Jolyon). Over 800 people died due to starvation, exersion , or dehydration (Benea 2002, 209)  Other scholars cite 1,700 dead in the Czech prison camps and at Brno (Glcasheim 2000, 470).  Many German nationalists exaggerate this dead and claim as many as 20,000 but this has thus far been disproven.  Many Czechs respond to the “death march” by saying that the number dead primarily consisted of the old and inform, and was the result of the lack of food that equally affected the Czechs themselves.  Another atrocity during the expulsions was the so-called Usti Massacre in August 1945, in which Sudeten German civilians were forced to wear white armbands and were marched to a bridge by the Elbe river.  Soldiers lined several families up against the edge and hurled them over the side after they were all shot, including according to some sources an infant.  Other inter-ethnic violence against Sudeten German civilians occurred across the country.  Some first-hand sources cite unarmed Germans being shot in groups of 30 or 40 at a time before being interred in mass graves, as corroborated with the reputable BBC (Wheeler).

I was inspired to write this by a comment on my blog.  The comment is quoted below:

I need clarification – you didn’t come right out and say that the Holocaust never took place. Do you honestly believe that it’s a lie? If yes, what reason could anyone possibly ever have for telling such a story if it weren’t true? All you have to do is look into the eyes of a Holocaust survivor as they tell you what happened to them, study their body language and you’ll see they’re telling the truth. Are you a qualified psychologist who can tell me otherwise? No? Here’s some advice for you: If you want to question the integrity of a well-established part of history than make sure you state the reason why you doubt it and ensure you have evidence that contradicts it. Without evidence, your theory is without merit or logic.

If I question or dispute any detail of the Holocaust, I am accused to denying the Holocaust or “saying the Holocaust never took place.”  There is no defense to the accusation of saying “the Holocaust never took place.”  What does the expression “the Holocaust never took place” even mean?

This quote is about what happened to the ethnic Germans after World War II.  You can believe this or not; it is not required by law to believe the following:

The later stages of World War II, and the period after the end of that war, saw the forced migration of millions of German nationals (Reichsdeutsche) regardless of ethnicity, and ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche) regardless of which citizenship, from various European states and territories, mostly into the areas which would become post-war Germany and post-war Austria. These areas of expulsion included pre-war German provinces which were transferred to Poland and the Soviet Union after the war, as well as areas which Nazi Germany had annexed or occupied in pre-war Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, northern Yugoslavia and other states of Central and Eastern Europe.

The movement of Germans involved a total of at least 12 million people, with some sources putting the figure at 14 million, and was the largest movement or transfer of any population in modern European history. The largest numbers came from the former eastern territories of Germany acquired by Poland and the Soviet Union (about 7 million) and from Czechoslovakia (about 3 million). It was also the largest among all the post-war expulsions in Central and Eastern Europe, which displaced more than twenty million people in total. The events have been variously described as population transfer, ethnic cleansing or genocide.

The death toll attributable to the flight and expulsions is disputed, with estimates ranging from 500,000 to 2 million; more recent estimates are close to the lower 500,000 figure.

The policy was part of the geopolitical and ethnic reconfiguration of postwar Europe; in part spoils of war, in part political changes in Europe following the war and in part recompense for atrocities and ethnic cleansings that had occurred during the war.

After the Dachau camp was liberated, ethnic Germans who had been expelled from Czechoslovakia lived in the barracks for the next 17 years.  Tour guides at Dachau do not tell visitors about the suffering of the ethnic Germans which is called ——.