Scrapbookpages Blog

May 25, 2013

Dachau tour guides must be certified, in order to keep Neo-Nazis from conducting tours

I have been to the Dachau Memorial Site several times, beginning with my first visit in May 1997, but I have never taken a guided tour.  Now I am very glad that I never took a guided tour.  I might have burst out laughing, been arrested, and thrown into prison in Germany for 5 years.

I learned from this blogger that Dachau tour guides must be certified.  She visited the Dachau Memorial Site on March 5, 2013 and wrote this about her tour guide:

Our guide was not a typical tour guide – he was very much not a people-person, though perhaps that is the sobering nature of his work as a Dachau guide. He’d been giving Dachau tours for four years, and had a certification to do so. I’m always skeptical of certifications and what they actually do for you, but it ended up being very interesting. Apparently Neo-Nazis try to give tours of these camps with revisionist history, to make it sound like these atrocities never happened, showing alleged evidence during the tour that these places are all lies. On our tour there was a strict policy of not videotaping our guide, for fear that if these videos are on the internet then Neo Nazis will re-cut them to make it sound like even the legitimate tour guides believe the revisionist history. Even beyond this, though, the material covered in such a tour is sensitive and perhaps easy to treat or deliver an improper way. The [German] government is trying to get rid of all of these Neo-Nazi revisionists and anyone who doesn’t do a sufficiently sensitive job dealing with what happened at Dachau by requiring tour guide certification. The process takes about a year and a half – you have to know your stuff to be able to discuss this place. Suffice to say, it felt like we were in good hands.

Shouldn’t the policy be extended to forbid tourists from going through the camp on their own?  What is to keep tourists from noticing things that support the revisionist version of Dachau history?  I started down the road to revisionism the minute that I stepped inside the former camp.

According to the blogger who visited Dachau, this is the kind of information that a certified tour guide gives to visitors.  Everything in the following quote is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG:

Psychological torture was perhaps the focus of our tour. There are documents of methods they used just to get under the skin of their prisoners. Little things, like putting coat hooks and shelves in the barracks to emphasize that no one had a coat, or anything to put on the shelves. Signs that said “Rauchen Verboten” – smoking is forbidden – to remind them that they had no cigarettes. Words on the door to the camp – “work will set you free.” Then other things – they would torture people in the dead of the night, between midnight and three in the morning, to keep people in the barracks awake with the screams. They’d keep the windows open just to make it all the louder. Systems were in place to ensure that the guards could not take sympathy on the prisoners without direct harm to themselves – sympathy could result in their own imprisonment in the camp. Former guards were the ones was in charge of keeping the prisoners in that barracks in line, making sure everyone did his job. The capos were usually taken from the group of criminally insane, the psychopaths, the rapists, the murderers. If they didn’t do well enough, they too were turned over to the mob. These camps were designed to almost run themselves.

There was also the interesting issue of paperwork, and registered versus unregistered prisoners. Over the course of the war, only the tiniest fraction of the prisoners were ever registered officially. We know that far more people than were registered went through these camps and died in them, but we have no idea how many simply because the Germans wouldn’t register a lot of people in order to keep the death rates in these camps artificially low. When you look at the map that shows the number of people officially registered in these camps, the numbers are low compared to what you hear in history books.

It would take hours for me to tell you why every word of this is WRONG.  Read a revisionist website to learn the truth.  No wonder the Dachau tour guides have to be certified.  (Certified insane, so they can tell these lies.)

This quote is also from the blogger who took a tour of the Dachau Memorial Site:

Dachau is one of the best preserved concentration camps in the world, and one of only three that still has one of the old gas chambers. When the Nazis realized that they were losing, they destroyed the gas chambers usually, but for some reason not the one at Dachau – there is still speculation about why this is. The man hired to run Dachau, Theodor Eicke, was a medically diagnosed psychopath.

Did the certified tour guide really say that there is “speculation” about Theodor Eicke not blowing up the gas chamber because he was a “medically diagnosed psychopath”?

Eicke was not the Commandant of Dachau at the time that the gas chamber should have been blown up to prevent the Allies from finding it.  Eicke was the second commandant at Dachau and he held this position for only one year.  In June 1934, Eicke was given the title of Inspector General and the authority to approve all punishments in all the camps.  In fact, Eicke was dead by the time that the Dachau gas chamber should have been blown up.  According to Wikipedia, “Eicke was killed on 26 February 1943, several months after being promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer (equivalent to general in the Waffen-SS).”

Isn’t that just like the Nazis?  Promoting a “medically diagnosed psychopath” to the rank of general in the Waffen-SS.  But I digress.

I previously blogged about why the Dachau gas chamber was not blown up.

This quote from my fellow blogger concerns the gas chamber at Dachau:

At the very end of the tour, Marcin our tour guide took us to the building where the gas chamber was held. He gave us the history, told us how it was used. While the Dachau gas chamber was not an instrument of death quite the same way that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were, they were used for experimenting with different kinds of poison gas, to determine what gases and what methods were most effective.

“I went into the gas chamber the first time I was here, and I have never gone back through it. I will not be going through it today. Once was enough. Meet me at the exit.”

First, through the rooms where the men were told to remove all their clothes; they were going to have a shower. Then they would be handed soap and towels.  […]

I was the first to walk in. I can’t really describe how or why it was overwhelming, but it was. Most people were in and out as quickly as they could go – just a walk through, stepping on as little of the floor as possible. I stepped to the side, just stood, crying, while everyone else walked through as if there were some invisible barrier keeping them from stepping into any space that wasn’t directly between the two doors. A large group came shuffling through, laughing and making ghost-sounds to cover up their fear, the uncomfortable way that their skin crawled – but they spoke in whispers and didn’t look up from the ground, so I couldn’t be angry.

I have spent a lot of time in the Dachau gas chamber, on several occasions, so I know that most people just walk through as fast as they can.  You can read all about the Dachau gas chamber on my website here.

The outside wall of the Dachau gas chamber

The outside wall of the Dachau gas chamber

In my opinion, the tour guides should begin their spiel about the gas chamber while standing beside the outside wall of the gas chamber.  Explain to the tourists what these holes in the wall of the gas chamber were for.

But wait, there’s more.  This quote is from the blogger who took a tour of Dachau:

On the way back while we were waiting for our train, Marcin gave us a sort of conclusion. There were a couple of interesting takeaways. Memorials at Dachau are very controversial. Jews were not the only ones persecuted there – over the 12 years that Dachau was running, it was home to political prisoners, homosexuals, Jehovas Witnesses, Gypsies, criminals, the disabled, Jews, and anyone else that the state wanted to imprison. The categories of people and the reasons for imprisonment were intentionally broad so that there didn’t have to be much, if any, justification for incarceration. There are memorials for specific groups of prisoners, but others are not memorialized – for example, the memorials for the gypsies and the homosexuals held at Dachau are not public, but rather held elsewhere and difficult to see (they may not even be available for public viewing – it was unclear). There are yet other Dachau survivors who maintain that while their category of people was wrongfully incarcerated, other groups belonged there.

There is no memorial to the Gypsies at Dachau because Gypsies were not sent to Dachau for being Gypsies.  They were sent to Dachau for breaking the law that said that everyone in Germany should have a job and a permanent address.  This law was directed at the Gypsies, but there were non-Gypsies who were “Luftmenschen” or people living on air with no visible means of support, who were also sent to Dachau.

There is no memorial to the homosexuals at Dachau because homosexuals were sent to Dachau for breaking the law against having homosexual sex in public, or for being male prostitutes, not for their sexual orientation.  They were imprisoned for breaking Paragraph 175, the law against homosexuality which had been on the books in Germany since 1871.

As far as I know, disabled people were not sent to Dachau for being disabled.  Criminals were, in fact, sent to Dachau and other camps, so that they could be put to work instead of lolling around in a prison cell. Jehovah’s Witnesses were sent to Dachau and other camps because they refused to serve in the military.  Men who refused to serve in the military in America were also sent to prison.

Most of the prisoners at Dachau were political prisoners, who were arrested for fighting as illegal combatants, or for being enemies of the German government.  There is no memorial to them at Dachau.

To further understand the gas chamber story, told at Dachau, read this blog post, written by a man who calls himself a “twice a year Jew.”

Iron hooks over the ovens at Dachau where prisoners were hung to watch as their comrades were burned alive

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 12:13 pm

The title of my blog post today comes from a quote from a letter which a 19-year-old American soldier sent to his family after he was taken to see the Dachau concentration camp in July 1945. Dachau had been liberated by American troops on April 29, 1945.

You can read the full news article about the letter here.

Here is the exact quote from the American soldier’s letter which describes the ovens at Dachau:

“Over and in front of the ovens were iron hooks from which a person would be hung while watching his comrades burned alive,” Zohn wrote “The next room is where we found bodies stacked so high that the lights in the ceiling were broken. The blood stood four-feet high.”

Bodies stacked up in the morgue at Dachau

Bodies stacked up in the morgue at Dachau and blood running down the floor drain

The photo above shows the bodies stacked in the morgue at Dachau, but where is the blood standing four feet high?  These bodies had been removed by July 1945, so this soldier must have seen only a photo of the bodies.

Sign above the ovens at Dachau says that prisoners were hung from hooks

Sign above the ovens at Dachau says “Prisoners were hanged from here”

If you look closely at the photo above, you can see a small hook, to the right of the center beam.  To the left of the beam is another hook that is less visible.  The pulley above the ovens was used to raise and lower the inner doors of the ovens.  I  previously blogged about the two sets of doors in the ovens at Dachau.

This is a full quote from the news article about the letter:

Zohn’s letter described the tour the U.S. soldiers took through a carefully organized killing machine of gas chambers, torture rooms, body rooms and the incinerators.

Groups of men, women and children were first lured into the gas chamber, thinking they were showers.
“They went in a long, low-ceilinged room with shower ‘nozzles’ all in the ceiling, but a closer inspection reveals that the nozzles are fakes,” Zohn wrote. “After the 100 or so victims died, they were stacked in the next room which had large drain pipes to drain off the blood and other fluids.

Nazi guards used iron stretchers to deposit the bodies into the ovens, a 20- to 30-minute process, he wrote.

“Over and in front of the ovens were iron hooks from which a person would be hung while watching his comrades burned alive,” Zohn wrote “The next room is where we found bodies stacked so high that the lights in the ceiling were broken. The blood stood four-feet high.”

Posed photo of Dachau crematorium workers demonstrating how they put bodies into the oven

Posed photo of Dachau crematorium workers demonstrating how they put bodies into the oven

The photo above was taken after the Dachau camp was liberated.  It is one of a series of photos that were sold to the American soldiers, who were brought to Dachau on Eisenhower’s orders, so that they could see the atrocities committed at Dachau. Eisenhower wanted the American soldiers to know what they were fighting for.

America fought World War II to stop the evil Nazis from burning prisoners alive while other prisoners watched from where they were hung on a hook above the oven.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a photo which shows how prisoners were hung from hooks in front of the oven so that they could watch as their fellow prisoners were burned alive.

The ovens in the new crematorium at Dachau

The ovens in the new crematorium at Dachau

My photo, of the Dachau ovens above, does not show the hooks, which are very small and hard to see.  I think the Nazis were taking a big chance, that the weight of a body hung from a hook above the ovens, would have pulled down the rafters.  But you know by now how stupid the Nazis were.  How many times do I have to tell you people this?