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: http://www.eliewieseltattoo.com/elie-wiesel-knows-soviet-%E2%80%9Cliberators%E2%80%9D-destroyed-the-birkenau-crematoriums/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.