Scrapbookpages Blog

April 15, 2013

Do photos of piles of shoes prove that prisoners were murdered at Dachau?

Filed under: Dachau, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 2:18 pm

The photo below was used by a blogger in a blog post about a “Holocaust denier.”  It was implied that this photo proves that prisoners were murdered at Dachau.

Pile of shoes found at Dachau when the camp was liberated

Pile of shoes found at Dachau when the camp was liberated

This quote is the text under the photo above:

Argentinean blogger, Marcelo Gonzalez? He’s a Holocaust denier. Is there any better way to flush one’s credibility down the toilet? I can’t think of one.

I interpreted the blogger’s words to mean that the photo above proves the Holocaust, and if you deny the meaning of this photo, your credibility is going down the toilet.

This quote is a continuation of the blog post:

Dawn writes,

Being that I am a Jewish convert to Catholicism who attends Mass in the Extraordinary Form (the traditional Latin Mass), and am all too familiar with the antisemitism that Father Angelo Mary Geiger calls the “soft white underbelly of the Rad Trad movement,” I had a bad feeling about Gonzalez. Given that Pope Francis was known in Buenos Aires as a friend to the Jewish community, even co-writing a book with a leading rabbi of the city, I looked to see what, if anything, the traditionalist writer had to say about Jews and the Holocaust.

It wasn’t hard to find.

Five months ago, Marcelo Gonzalez announced that he had reached the “fixed position” that the “so-called ‘holocaust’” is a media exaggeration. If Google’s translation is correct, he wrote that he prefers to call it “the so-called ‘holocaust’” or, alternatively, the “hollowcaust.”  You can read for yourself his blog entry “Holocaust and Hollowcaust” via Google Translate (or read it here in the original Spanish). It’s disgusting, and as a fellow member of the Mystical Body, I am ashamed.

I have a similar photo of the shoes found at Dachau on my website; the photo is shown below.

Pile of shoes found at Dachau

Pile of shoes found at Dachau

Notice that the building in the background is the same in both photos.  The photo above was taken by one of the soldiers who liberated Dachau.

After the liberation of Dachau, Pastor Heinrich Grüber, one of the privileged prisoners at Dachau, described how upsetting the sight of the children’s shoes was to the Dachau prisoners who had to sort them:

We were shaken to the depths of our soul when the first transports of children’s shoes arrived – we men who were inured to suffering and to shock had to fight back tears. […] this was the most terrible thing for us, the most bitter thing, perhaps the worst thing that befell us.

The sight of the children’s shoes also affected Bob Grigsby, a World War II veteran who spoke to an audience of 100 people at the First Lutheran Church in Longmont, CO on November 11, 2007 about what he saw when he was a 19-year-old soldier at the liberation of Dachau: “One of my memories is of a stack of baby shoes, about as big as this room,” Grigsby said. “They weren’t just picking on grownups.”

But that wasn’t the worst horror that Grigsby discovered at Dachau.

The following quote, regarding the prisoners at Dachau, is from an article in the Longmont Times-Call on November 12, 2007:

“They were making soap out of their rendered bodies,” he said, his voice growing thick and beginning to stumble. “These were human beings. And I guess I had never seen anything like that before. I had dreams about it for years and years.”

Pile of shoes found at Majdanek

Pile of shoes found at Majdanek

The photo above shows some of the 800,000 shoes that were found at the Majdanek death camp.  From this evidence, the Soviet liberators of Majdanek deduced that 1.5 million people had been murdered at Majdanek.  Now the number of deaths at Majdanek has been lowered to 78,000.

On this website, you can see a photo of shoes found at Auschwitz; the caption on the photo says “Piles of shoes of murdered prisoners.”

Pile of shoes found at Auschwitz

Pile of shoes found at Auschwitz

Shoes were also found at the Bergen-Belsen camp, as shown in the photo below.

Pile of shoes found at the Bergen-Belsen camp

Pile of shoes found at the Bergen-Belsen camp

Do these piles of shoes at Dachau, Majdanek, Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen prove that the Nazis murdered the owners of the shoes?  At the risk of my credibility going down the toilet, I don’t think so.

What about the piles of clothing that were found at Dachau, as shown in the photo below?

Piles of clothing found at Dachau

Piles of clothing found at Dachau

There were piles of clothing waiting to be deloused in the four disinfection chambers at the south end of the crematorium building. The photo above, which is stored in the National Archives in Washington, DC, was printed in newspapers in 1945 with the caption:

“Tattered clothes from prisoners who were forced to strip before they were killed, lay in huge piles in the infamous Dachau concentration camp.”

There was a typhus epidemic raging in the Dachau camp and 900 prisoners at Dachau were dying of the disease when the liberators arrived, according to the account of Marcus J. Smith. Smith was an Army doctor, who along with 9 others, formed Displaced Persons Team 115, which was sent to Dachau after the liberation.

In his book entitled Dachau: The Harrowing of Hell, Smith wrote that eleven of the barracks buildings at the Dachau camp had been converted into a hospital to house the 4,205 sick prisoners. Another 3,866 prisoners were bed ridden.

Smith put the total number of survivors of the Dachau camp at around 32,600, but said that between 100 and 200 a day were still dying after the camp was liberated. He mentioned that the American Army tried to keep the freed prisoners in the camp, in order to prevent the typhus epidemic from spreading throughout the country. Typhus is spread by lice, and the clothing was being deloused in an attempt to stop the epidemic.

Why didn’t the Nazis get rid of the evidence (shoes and clothing) when they knew that the liberators were on their way?  Bergen-Belsen was voluntarily turned over to the British.  The Nazis knew when the British would arrive. Why  didn’t the Nazis get rid of the pile of shoes there?

What is the real story of the shoes? The Nazis were taking apart worn-out shoes and using the pieces of shoe leather to make new shoes for their soldiers. Some of the shoes were sent to the citizens of Germany who had lost everything in the bombing raids on German cities.  Some of these shoes had been taken from the prisoners who had been brought to the camps, and some were the worn-out shoes of German soldiers.