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April 22, 2013

The Bullenhuser Damm School in Hamburg where the Nazis hung children, until dead, from hooks in the basement

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:54 am
Bullenhuser Damm school in Hamburg where Jewish children were murdered

Bullenhuser Damm school in Hamburg where Jewish children were murdered

I vaguely recall reading, years ago, the story of the Jewish children who were killed by being hung from hooks in the basement of the Bullenhuser Damm school in Hamburg. The purpose of killing these children was to prevent them from giving testimony about the medical experiments that Nazi doctors were doing at the school.

One would think that the cruel Nazis would take pity on innocent children, and just give them an injection of poison to kill them … but No!  The depraved Nazis dragged the Jewish children, kicking and screaming, to the basement, where they hung them from hooks until they were dead.

Unfortunately, there is no photo, that I know of, which shows the hooks in the basement of the school.  The photo below shows the hooks in the basement of the Buchenwald crematorium, where prisoners were hung by the neck until dead … but that’s another story.

Hooks on the wall of the basement in the Buchenwald crematorium

Hooks on the wall of the basement in the Buchenwald crematorium

I was reminded of the Bullenhuser Damm story today, when I read about two young Jewish girls who survived the Holocaust because they had the good sense to refuse when Dr. Josef Mengele tried to entice them into going on a transport to the school in Hamburg.

When Dr. Josef Mengele came to the children’s barracks at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, and flashed his gapped-tooth grin, asking “Who wants to see their mother?” — Andra and Tatiana, two young girls from Italy, did not step forward.  They knew that this was a ruse.

Dr. Mengele was NOT your typical German, six foot four, blond and blue-eyed, sondern short, dark-haired, and brown-eyed.  But what he lacked in looks, he more than made up for with his charm.  Every Holocaust survivor has described Dr. Mengele as charming and polite, but Andra and Tatiana were not fooled by his charm.  They refused his invitation to go to the women’s barracks to see their mother, and Dr. Mengele was powerless to force them to go.

You can read the story of Andra and Tatiana Bucci in full here.  This quote is from the article about them in the online Washington Post:

Andra and Tatiana Bucci did not cry at Auschwitz.

Or if they did, they have forgotten. They do not recall suffering from hunger, although surely they did, or missing their mother, who arrived with them at the concentration camp and then one day disappeared. They do remember what she looked like the last time they saw her at Auschwitz. Bald and emaciated, she frightened them. Andra and Tatiana were only 4 and 6 years old.

[…]

…. The Nazis arrested everyone in the house — including Nonna Rosa, Mira, Andra and Tatiana, their 6-year-old cousin Sergio and his mother, Mira’s sister Gisella. […]

At the Judenrampe [at Auschwitz], the “Jewish platform” where deportees were unloaded before Nazis built the now-iconic train tracks directly into the camp, Andra looked at the frozen ground as she recalled the scene in 1944 — the soldiers barking in a language she didn’t understand and herding the masses like animals. Mira and her daughters, Gisella and Sergio were ordered in one direction, Nonna Rosa in the other. Like many elderly deportees, she immediately perished.

By surviving that first selection, Andra and Tatiana had already exceeded their life expectancy at Auschwitz. “The fact that these children survived at all is extraordinary luck,” said Patricia Heberer, a historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the author of “Children During the Holocaust.”

Andra and Tatiana believe they were spared because they were mistaken for twins, who were prized by the notorious Nazi doctor Josef Mengele for medical experiments. Among the copious records kept by the Germans at Auschwitz, there is a list of twins, Tatiana and Andra have been told, on which their names appear. They do not know why their cousin Sergio went with them, and not to the gas chamber.

[…]

Mira went to the women’s quarters and to work. The girls, along with Sergio, went to the children’s barracks. […]

Andra and Tatiana have forgotten the faces of most other children in their barracks. But they remember the face of their cousin Sergio, whose story they told through tears.

One day, the girls received a visit from the blokova, a female prisoner who oversaw the children’s barracks. She favored them and had occasionally brought them extra food, once even some extra clothing. Years later, Tatiana broke down when she realized that her sweater had undoubtedly come from a murdered child.

The sisters remember that the blokova gave them a warning. A man would come to the children’s barracks and announce that whoever wanted to see his or her mother should come forward. The woman insisted: The girls must not move.

It came to pass one day exactly as the blokova had said. Andra and Tatiana, in the second great act of obedience that saved them, stood still.

“Inside, they were grown-ups, not little ones,” said Pezzetti, the Italian scholar. They knew, he said, that they could not delude themselves into thinking that their mother was waiting for them.

The girls had passed the blokova’s warning on to Sergio. But Sergio, an only child, could not resist. He went away [to Bullenhuser Damm school] with a group of 10 girls and 10 boys. Andra and Tatiana never saw him again.

Decades later, they learned that Sergio and the other children had been taken to Germany, where they were infected with tuberculosis for a Nazi medical experiment. In an effort to conceal the brutalization of 20 human guinea pigs, Nazis hanged the children in the basement of a school in Hamburg less than a month before the war ended.

[..]

…. Mira — unbeknownst to her daughters — had not died at Auschwitz. She had been transferred to another camp, survived, returned to Italy and was reunited with the girls’ father, who had been a prisoner of war in Africa. Gisella, too, had survived.

In case you don’t believe the story of the children, being hung from hooks in the basement of the Bullenhuser Damm school, you can read about it on Wikipedia.  The following quote is from Wikipedia:

In October 1944,[2] a subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp was established in the school to house prisoners used in clearing the rubble after air raids. The Bullenhauser Damm School was evacuated on April 11, 1945. […]

On the night of April 20, 1945, 20 Jewish children who had been used in medical experiments at Neuengamme, their four adult Jewish caretakers and six Red Army prisoners of war (POWs) were killed in the basement of the school.[3] Later that evening, 24 Soviet POWs who had also been used in the experiments were brought to the school to be murdered. The names, ages and countries of origin were recorded by Hans Meyer, one of the thousands of Scandinavian prisoners released to the custody of Sweden in the closing months of the war. Neuengamme was used as a transit camp for these prisoners.[4]

[…]

The medical experiments on tuberculosis infection were initially carried out on prisoners from the Soviet Union and other countries at the Neuengamme concentration camp. The experiments were then extended to Jews. For this he chose to use Jewish children. Twenty Jewish children (10 boys and 10 girls) from Auschwitz concentration camp were chosen by Josef Mengele and sent to Neuengamme. Mengele allegedly asked the children, “Who wants to go and see their mother?”

The children were accompanied to Neuengamme by four women prisoners. Two were Polish nurses and one was a Hungarian pharmacist, and they were killed upon arrival at Neuengamme. The fourth woman, Polish-born Jew Paula Trocki, was a doctor. She survived the war and later gave testimony in Jerusalem ….

[…]

The SS evacuated the building around April 11, 1945 leaving a skeleton crew of two SS guards: Ewald Jauch and Johann Frahm and a janitor. They were accompanied by three SS guards (Wilhelm Dreimann, Adolf Speck, and Heinrich Wiehagen), as well as the driver, Hans Friedrich Petersen, and SS physician, Alfred Trzebinski. The children as well as others were told they were being taken to Theresienstadt. Upon arriving at the school they were led into the basement. According to one of the SS men present, the children “sat down on the benches all around and were cheerful and happy that they had been for once allowed out of Neuengamme. The children were completely unsuspecting.”

They were then made to undress and were then injected with morphine by Trzebinski. They were then led into an adjacent room and hanged from hooks set into the wall. The execution was overseen by SS Obersturmführer Arnold Strippel. The first child to be hanged was so light that the noose would not tighten. Frahm grabbed him in a bearhug and used his own weight to pull down and tighten the noose. The adults were hanged from overhead pipes; they were made to stand on a box, which was pulled away from under them. That same night, about 30 additional Soviet prisoners were also brought by lorry to the school to be executed; six escaped, three were shot trying to do so, and the rest were hanged in the basement.[7]

Note that the Nazis gave the children morphine before hanging them from hooks in the basement of the school.  The children could have been given a merciful death by giving them a little more morphine, but No!  The hateful Nazis had to hang the children from hooks, even going so far as to grab a child in a bearhug and pull the child down so that the noose would tighten.  This is why the German people will be forever hated.

Richard Baer, Dr. Josef Mengele and Rudolf Hoess

Left to right: Richard Baer, Dr. Josef Mengele and Rudolf Hoess

Andra and Tatiana were initially spared, when they were not selected for the gas chamber upon arrival at Auschwtiz-Birkenau, because Dr. Mengele thought that these two children, aged 6 and 4, were twins.  Dr. Mengele is famous for not being able to tell a child’s age; hundreds of Jews survived the Holocaust because they lied about their age and said that they were older than 15, the age at which children were selected for the gas chamber.  Obviously, Dr. Mengele was able to judge that Andra and Tatiana were younger than 15, but he thought that they were twins.

Keep in mind that there is a document in the files of Auschwitz, which lists them as twins. Strangely, Andra and Tatiana were not used by Dr. Mengele in his experiments on twins, or if they were, they didn’t mention it for some reason.

With Dr. Mengele in charge of selections at Auschwitz-Birkeanau, it is a miracle that the Nazis managed to kill anyone.

13 Comments »

  1. it is absolutely unbelievable that anyone in 2013 should dare to doubt the facts that occurred so recently and caused untold pain and anguish to so many innocent people. These poor children and so many others who were murdered by fanatics in uniforms… SS, Gestapo… at least their memory should be respected!

    Comment by i — June 9, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

  2. Why cant people see and believe? The youngest memory I have since my childhood, were these prisoners in striped suits, no hair, naked bodies, and skin and bones, I could not have been more than 6 years old. I lived in Iowa, my parents tried to hide the pictures so I would not see them. But I did, I had no idea as being born in l945 what these pictures were. How on earth can people not believe this tragic loss of all these beautiful people
    losing their lives for what? For nothing but a person total increase of hate for others. There are no works in any language to describes the horrors of what
    happened to so many millions. I am so sad, all we can do is increase our knowledge, and voice our increase of belief of such such sadness, crimes, and innocents taken from all these millions of people, whom done nothing in the world but be alive. And as I see it was not just the Jews, it was many others whom were innocent. How could our G-d leave us with such horrors? It is something I can and never will understand, along with all the other unfairness in this world, but Hitler’s destroying all the races for his own benefit, proved what a crazy man he was. Power has killed our world.

    Comment by Susan Myers — April 27, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

  3. It’s incredible to think that the aggression and brutality of the SS as well as Germany’s world-beating innovative engineers couldn’t pick up 2 little girls and stick them in a truck

    Comment by DB — April 22, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

    • Maybe some of the SS men and some of the innovative engineers could have forced these two little girls into a truck and taken them to Hamburg, but not Dr. Josef Mengele. Dr. Mengele was well known, among the Auschwitz prisoners, for being “nice to the children,” bringing them hair ribbons and chocolate. Dr. Mengele was famous for getting by on his charm and nice manners. He was from an upper-class family, after all.

      Comment by furtherglory — April 22, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

      • THE SCHOOL AT BULLENHUSERDAMM
        20 Jewish children aged up to 12 years were hanged here in April 1945, in order not to make known the tuberculosis experiments performed on them.

        Situated in a Hamburg industrial area, not far from one of the many canals that run through the city, there is a small rose garden. It is maintained irregularly, and a wooden fence is separating it on one side from a busy road, on the other side is a Kindergarten playground, where on a winter morning colourful dressed young children enthusiastically played in cold puddles until a teacher prompted them to less “schmutzige” games.

        Further back is the playground of Bullenhuserdam-school, during the Nazi era, a satellite camp of Neuengamme concentration camp was established here. Today it is called “Janusz Korzak School”, named after the leader of the Warsaw orphanage, who had voluntarily accompanied children to the gas chambers of Treblinka.

        A few days before the war, the SS brought twenty Jewish children, along with two French and two Dutch doctors, their supervisors, all concentration camp inmates to this place. In November 1944, these children, ten boys and ten girls were (the Germans were always methodically), all between five and twelve years old, transported from Auschwitz to Neuengamme, and used for medical experiments by the SS doctor Kurt Meier. He infected the children with the TB bacillus, which made them very sick, then their lymph glands were surgically removed for analysis.

        On the night of the 20th April 1945 [Hitler celebrated his last birthday, sic]- British troops were not far from Hamburg – the SS brought these children together with the four adults in the boiler room of the school basement, and hanged them. The youngest was five years old.

        Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 22, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

        • Thanks for this information. Why do you think the children were hanged? Why not just give them enough morphine to kill them? Why hang them on hooks, instead of using the usual method of hanging? Is it possible that these children died as a result of the experiments, and their bodies were hung on hooks to keep the bodies straight for burning in a cremation oven?

          Comment by furtherglory — April 23, 2013 @ 6:55 am

          • FG.
            I can not answer your question, but I assume that the hanging took place after their deaths, more for handling purposes until the corpse is ‘stiff’ and straight which made them more convenient during transport either to be cremated or burried

            Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 23, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

            • FG
              This is an extract from Link http://www.auschwitz.dk/Bullenhuser.htm. It seems to me that the children were apparently given Morphine prior to hanging:

              ‘To conceal all traces the SS transported the children to the former Bullenhuser Damm School, which had been used as a satellite camp since October 1944. They were immediately taken to the basement and ordered to undress.

              An SS officer later reported: “They sat down on the benches all around and were cheerful and happy that they had been for once allowed out of Neuengamme. The children were completely unsuspecting.”

              The children were told that they had to be vaccinated against typhoid fever before their return journey. Then they were injected with morphine. They were hanged from hooks on the wall, but the SS men found it difficult to kill the mutilated children. The first child to be strung up was so light – due to disease and malnutrition – that the rope wouldn’t strangle him. SS Untersturmführer Frahm had to use all of his own weight to tighten the noose. Then he hanged the others, two at a time, from different hooks. ‘Just like pictures on the wall’, he would recall later. He added that none of the children had cried.

              At five o’ clock in the morning on April 21th, 1945, the Nazis had finished with their work and drank hard-earned coffee …’

              Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 23, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

        • Herbert is there any written contemporaneous evidence for your claims ? Where would the evidence be ? Just repeating post war allied psychops propaganda doesn’t make it true you know.

          Comment by peter — April 23, 2013 @ 10:31 am

          • Peter
            My cousin lives in Hamburg (Silke Reinke)’Am Doggen’ near by and I went there to find out more, although the events that took place there is part of history and generally has to be accepted as hearsay as it comes from people that write it, admittedly to push often their own agenda. If you search the net you will find sufficient material which is almost unbelievable that human kind could sink that low.What I wrote is factual.

            Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 23, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

          • Herbert Stolpmann, like Eli(er) Weaselstein, is just another congenital infantile fantasist who cannot provide a jot of evidence, like Eli(er) Weaselstein, to support any of the allegations that he makes against the glorious German SS.
            Perhaps Herbert Stolpmann should look up the date: Friday, March 24, 1933, before he parrots allegations that he cannot substantiate. The only factual instance of children being liquidated on a grand scale, was during the “Red Terror”
            that was unleashed on Russia by Bolshevik Communists. Is Herbert Stolpmann commenting from occupied Palestine, by any chance? Jomi

            Comment by John-Joseph:Saintclair — April 24, 2013 @ 2:09 am

            • Red Terror
              In the times of the Red Terror, Dzershinsky founded a newspaper, Ezhenedelnik VChK (Cheka weekly), which was openly intended to vaunt the merits of the secret police and to encourage “the just desire of the masses for revenge”.. For the six weeks of its existence (it was closed down by an order from the Central Committee after raison de’etre of the Cheka was called into question by a number of Bolshevik Leaders), the paper candidly and unashamedly described the taking of hostages, their internment in concentration camps, and their execution. It thus constituted an official basic minimum of information of the Red Terror for September and October 1918. For instance, the newspaper reported that the medium-sized city of Nizhmi Novgorod the Cheka, who was particular zealous under the leadership of Nikolai Bulganin (later the head of the Soviet state from 1954 to 1957), executed 141 hostages after 31 August, and took more than 700 hostages in a mere three days. In Vyatka the Cheka for the Ural region reported the execution of 23 “ex-policemen”, 154 “counter-revolutionaries”, 8 “monarchists”, 28 “members of the Constitutional Democratic party”, 186 “officer”, and 10 “Mensheviks and right Socialist Revolutionaries”, all in a space of a week. The Ivanovo Voznensensk Cheka reported taking 181 hostages, executing 25 “counter-revolutionaries”, and setting up a concentration camp with space for 1000 people. The Cheka of the small town of Sebezhsk reported shooting 17 “kulaks” and one priest, who had celebrated a mass for the bloody tyrant Nicholas II”, the Tver Cheka reported 130 hostages and 39 executions; the Perm Cheka reported 50 executions. This macabre catalogue could be extended considerably, these are merely a few extracts from six issues of the Cheka Weekly.
              I was trained by SS-Instructors, should I be proud of it in your opinion of atrocities that were committed by them, I can only repeat what I said before, what I have written about those children hanged in the basement of the school is factual. It is obvious to me that you are part of an extreme right-wing collection malcontent individuals that do not accept reality.

              Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — April 24, 2013 @ 5:04 am

              • I read this at http://www.auschwitz.dk/Bullenhuser.htm – although similar versions with a number of alterations in their details have been circulating around the internet.

                So, we are told that this happened in the basement of a school. Done there in supposed secrecy in order to “hide the evidence” of alleged medical experiments.

                Assuming the story told is true…
                My first question is: How was this crime discovered?

                If the children were killed in secret…and then disposed of in secret… how was the crime discovered? Obviously, the Germans could not have been “caught in the act” because then the sinister “coffee break” couldn’t appear in the story, right?

                1. Can you tell me then how this crime was discovered?

                Second question: In the story, the children are described as being so weak and malnourished that “the rope wouldn’t strangle” them because of their low body weight. “SS Untersturmführer* Frahm had to use all of his own weight to tighten the noose..”

                If these victims were already this weak…and this close to death…Why not just dig a pit out back of wherever they were being housed originally and throw them in? You don’t even need to shoot them or bash their heads in because after you cover them over with dirt they’ll just suffocate silently anyway. Why bother with the macabre proceeding of “hanging them just like pictures on a wall”?

                Because it makes for a more lurid, sickening and inflammatory tale?

                If the Germans were worried the bodies might be dug up later they could have simply cremated them on site, right in the pit, that is. Yes, just toss some branches in first as kindling, then the kids. Then light ‘em on fire. No gasoline or other accelerants needed because as we know from Yankel Wiernik’s book “A Year in Treblinka”, bodies just burn on their own, like wood. “Self-cremation“. Never mind the human body’s water content of 70%.

                A passage from Wiernik’s book was read into the trial proceedings by the prosecution at Nuremberg so it must be reliable stuff.

                2. Nevertheless, can you explain why the Germans found it unavoidably necessary to go the extent of “hanging on a wall” these (underfed and supposedly nearly dead) children as the most expedient and logical method of dispatch?

                Third question: If the Germans needed to kill off and hide a few of their victims -even in haste- really, why go to the trouble of transporting these few victims away from a “major killing center” which was supposedly set up for just such killing and disposal? Hadn’t the Germans been killing millions of people in a factory-like manner and disposing of them efficiently for years? Were they afraid these ashes might be “autopsied”?

                The website “Jewishgen.org” says this about Neuengamme: “Thousands of inmates were hanged, shot, gassed, killed by lethal injection or transferred to the [other] death camps”.

                3. In view of that claim, can you explain why the Germans needed to “transport” these victims to a special killing location instead of just dumping them onto the alleged conveyor belt of death that we are told Germany had been remorselessly operating for 12 years?

                (Poor choice of words by me…as there *aren’t* even any conveyor belts in the camps or in the stories despite the frequent and obvious necessity of moving hundreds of thousands of pounds of unwieldy dead weight fixed distances such as between the gas chambers and the even stranger individual-opening ovens. Dario Gabbai, an “eye-witness” who claims to have worked as a “sonderkommando” in the killing operation at Auschwitz says they used “canes” to “hook” the bodies and then drag across the floor – all 200,000 pounds worth. But then in other moments he also describes harvesting the victims’ hair *after* the gassing took place and he was stepping on bodies as the dead exhaled a puff of Zyklon-B…) See Gabbai’s testimony on You Tube, including “The Last Days of the Big Lie” or “Auschwitz -Why the Gas Chambers Are A Myth”

                Lastly : As a matter of formality I will now ask where I can find a transcript from the trial where this crime was “proved”. The transcript must of course include the court’s examination of this specific allegation. That is, the hanging of these children at the school. The trial transcript should obviously address -at least in some manner- the questions I’ve raised above. If the transcript doesn’t contain any of this, or no transcript even exists… then, I’m quite sure you get the point. As you can guess, I have tried to locate such transcripts and googled “Bullenhuser“, Neuengamme, “Curio Haus Trial”, etc…and
                found nothing of proof. But lots of recycled or altered retellings of the same story. But you give it a shot. Perhaps you’ll
                find one of those shrunken heads the Americans say they “found” at Buchenwald – the ones that have been strangely “missing” ever since the end of the Nuremberg Trials.

                *In another version at this website: http://www.midstreamthf.com/200204/feature.html Frahm is a Rottenführer, basically a “team leader”, equal to a Corporal. The author of this “Midstream Magazine” version is Steven Friedman. Might he have a reason to lie?

                Comment by Alan — August 25, 2013 @ 2:42 pm


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