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April 22, 2013

An American public school has opened a Holocaust Museum

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 1:40 pm

A U.S. High School in the Bronx has recently opened a Holocaust Museum.  You can read all about it in the online New York Daily News here.

One of the items on display is an empty Zyklon-B can.  Zyklon-B was the poison gas that was used in the homicidal gas chambers at the Nazi death camps. Zyklon-B was also used in the disinfection chambers in all the camps; the clothes of the prisoners were disinfected in order to kill the lice that spreads typhus.  A photo of the empty can, on display in the High School Museum, is shown below.

Empty Zyklon-B can on display in American public school

Empty Zyklon-B can on display in American public school

Do you notice anything about the hole in the top of the can?  This jagged hole was probably not made by a machine supplied by the Degesch company, which shipped the Zyklon-B to the camps.  This means that this can is probably not from Dachau, where the cans were opened by a machine.  It could be an empty can from Auschwitz.

Cans of Zykon-B at the Mauthausen camp

Cans of Zykon-B at the Mauthausen Memorial Site

My photo above was taken at the Mauthausen Memorial Site, which shows a shower room where prisoners were allegedly gassed with Zyklon-B, although the device that was used to put the Zyklon-B into the room was mysteriously removed, and can no longer be seen.

Notice that the can, with the pellets spilling out, has an opening that might have been made by a Degesch machine.   Degesch machines were never used in the homicidal gas chambers; the Zyklon-B pellets were just dumped onto the heads of the prisoners through holes in the roof of the gas chamber.

Degesch machine used to open a can of Zyklon-B and pour the pellets into a basket

Degesch machine used at Dachau to open a can of Zyklon-B and pour the pellets into a basket from which they could be retrieved

What are the Bronx High School students going to learn in their Holocaust Museum?  Will the teacher say:  “Gather around students and you will learn how Zykon-B was used to save lives in the Nazi concentration camps.  Zylon-B was the poison that was used to disinfect the clothing of the prisoners because typhus is spread by lice.”

This quote is from the news article in the online New York Daily News:

The museum cost $1 million to construct and was paid for by donations – many from the school’s alumni, according to principal Valerie Reidy. She said the museum would be used as part of the school’s curriculum to build students’ character and help link history to current events.

“We teach a lot of things other than content,” she said. “We want to make sure our students become leaders who stand up and say, ‘No. I’m not going to let this happen.’”

Stuart Elenko, who taught at the school from 1964 to 1993, started the collection as a way to teach students tolerance, Jill Veyler, the museum’s curator, said.

Sadly, my High School did not have a million dollar Museum with an empty Zyklon-B can on display, so I didn’t learn tolerance.

2 Comments

  1. The Project Statement for my cancelled art show “Dr. Death and the Dwarfs of Auschwitz” presented by JEMA and the U.S. Miniature Museum of Atrocities (http://www.jema.us/) which opened in Gibsonton, Fl on March 23, 2007 was not quoted in it’s entirety in the recent New Yorker article about me (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/03/charles-krafft-and-the-conundrum-of-nazi-art.html) Here it is:

    “Dr. Death and the Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz is a response to the explosive proliferation of Holocaust museums around the world. It also presents an abstract challenge to the belief requirement that any skepticism about the Holocaust story in it’s ecumenical entirety is abject moral midgetry. Some of the images presented are taken from the book In Our Hearts We Were Giants, by Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev. This is a true story of a family of Hungarian Jewish dwarfs who survived Auschwitz thanks to the proprietary interest of the notorious camp physician Dr. Joseph Mengele. Pictures of the Ovitz lillliput troupe have been interspersed with standard WWII era file photos to create a miniaturized presentation of clichéd Holocaust horror. Denial or “trivialization” of the received history of this sixty-year-old set of events has been declared a criminal act by nine European governments and the United Nations. The idea of the Holocaust as the single episode of the 20th century whose consequentiality seems only to increase as it recedes into the past raises questions about scale in relation to the proper commemoration of an incident of such psychic magnitude. These issues are what the sensationalized theme and reduced size of this exhibition are attempting to address.”

    As it became more obvious that this show wasn’t going to be posted at the website where JEMA exhibitions are digitally archived I sent the director a series of messages notifying him that I’d found a potential buyer for it, a wealthy collector of oddities in Toronto. This was a commercial first for JEMA, but nothing came of it because by then his enthusiasm for the collaboration was moribund. Within the year doll furniture store owner Joyce Clifford retired and Dolly’s Doll House closed.

    Comment by who+dares+wings — April 24, 2013 @ 7:55 am

  2. Yes, I have one reply, i feel guilty to be alive -there are no words in the language of the world to have been there with the terror that never left the one breathing. One Jewish man wrote “Dogs are lucky” before they were shipped to HELL. OUr little children our good adults, our lives are gone, like a can of bleach. Completely before our eyes. Why oh Why did not someone in Europe help someone,. anyone to save their life, even one child….just one. Susan Myers

    Comment by Susan Myers — April 22, 2013 @ 6:12 pm


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