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June 15, 2013

The true story of how SS Lt. Col. Kurt Becher saved 1,000 Hungarian Jews…

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 12:02 pm

According to a Hungarian Holocaust survivor, who recently spoke to students in America, as reported in this news article, here is the true story of how 1,000 Hungarian Jews were saved by Kurt Becher, a German SS soldier, during World War II.

According to the news article, cited above, the truth is that there was no exchange camp at Bergen-Belsen, and the Jews who were exchanged for goods, during the Holocaust, had actually been rounded up in Hungary by two Jewish boys pretending to be Nazis. Believe it or not, that is what really happened, according to Hungarian Holocaust survivor Marika Barnett, who spoke to a group of American High School students recently.

This quote is from a news article which you can read in full here:

[The Jews] lived in fear in their house that they would be taken to the Danube and shot. Nazi soldiers came for them on December 27.

“We were terrified. We were only allowed to take a little suitcase… At gunpoint we were running in front of (Nazis).”

However these were not real Nazis. They were two Jewish boys pretending to be Nazi soldiers. They brought them to a special building SS Lt. Colonel Kurt Becher had set aside to house 1000 Jews in the hopes that he would be given leniency at the end of the war.

For money and for signatures that later helped them when they were put on trial, some of the German SS officers saved Jews from the Hungarian Nazis.

Here is what really happened:  Hitler had given his permission in December 1942 to release Jews, from the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp, for ransom. On August 21, 1944, three SS officers (Kurt Becher, Max Grüson and Hermann Krumey) who were representing Reichsfürher-SS Heinrich Himmler, and a representative of the Budapest Jews, Rudolf Kastner, met with Saly Mayer, a leading member of the Jewish Community in Switzerland.

The meeting took place in the middle of a bridge at St. Margarethen, on the border between Germany and Switzerland, because Mayer refused to enter Germany and he also did not want the SS men to enter Switzerland, according to Jewish historian Yehuda Bauer.

Becher asked for farm machinery and 10,000 trucks, and in return, he promised to free 318 Hungarian Jews from Bergen-Belsen. In a show of good faith, the train with the 318 Jews was already waiting at the Swiss border. Mayer offered minerals and industry goods instead of the trucks. According to Yehuda Bauer, Becher later claimed that he had persuaded Himmler not to deport the Budapest Jews, and that was why Himmler issued an order to stop the deportation of Hungarian Jews three days later.

A second group of 1,368 Hungarian Jews left the Bergen-Belsen detention camp on December 4, 1944 and entered Switzerland just after midnight on December 7th, according to Yehuda Bauer. Altogether, there was a total of 2,896 Jews released for ransom, including a transport of 1,210 Jews from the Theresienstadt Ghetto who entered Switzerland on February 7, 1945.

After the departure of the second Hungarian transport to Switzerland in December, more transports from Budapest continued to arrive at Bergen-Belsen and the Hungarian section remained in existence there until April 15, 1945 when the camp was voluntarily turned over to the British by Heinrich Himmler. According to Eberhard Kolb, who wrote a book about Bergen-Belsen, it was a transport of Hungarian Jews in February 1945 that bought in the lice that started a typhus epidemic in the camp. The delousing facilities in the camp had been temporarily out of order at that time.

After the Hungarian Jews had entered Switzerland, there were false reports by the Swiss press that the Jews were being ransomed in exchange for asylum for 200 SS officers who were planning to defect. When Hitler heard this news, from Ernst Kaltenbrunner, he ordered all further releases of Jews for ransom to stop.

Marika Barnett also told this story to the American students, as reported in the news article:

On Oct. 15, after a failed attempt of the governor of Hungary to join the Allies, members of the Hungarian Nazi Party took over the government and since by then Jews only lived in Budapest, the Hungarian Nazis went from house to house diligently, day and night and took the Jews to the shore of the Danube.

After they removed their clothes, they tied three people together and with one bullet they shot one person and the other two drowned alongside of them. “We lost many, many friends that way.” Her own parents escaped on the way to the collection centers four times by bribing their escorts.

I previously blogged about Kurt Becher here.

After Marika Barnett gave her talk at the High School, a Holocaust revisionist spoke to the students for an hour, giving the true story of Kurt Becher and the Jews who were saved by being exchanged for goods.

Just kidding.  God forbid that American students should learn both sides of history.  Holocaust survivors are allowed to speak to vulnerable students, telling any lies that they can think of; their stories are never vetted in advance.