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August 27, 2013

The Nuremberg “show trials,” aka the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal

The Palace of Justice (Justizgebäude) at Fürtherstrasse 22, where the trial took place

Palace of Justice (Justizgebäude) at Fürtherstrasse 22 in Nuremberg, where the trial took place

Today I am expanding on a blog post written by The Black Rabbit of Inlé, one of my regular readers:  http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/goerings-execution-was-foregone.html?zx=649975c9486c2a32

This quote is from the blog post, cited above:

November 20, 1945 was the opening day of the Trial of the Major war Criminals at Nuremberg, but a letter written by [Sir Hartley] Shawcross on November 4, 1945 reveals that he knew Goering was going to be executed at the end of it.

The Nuremberg trials, which started on November 20, 1945, are called “show trials” because the outcome was known before the trials began.

German war criminals on trial at the Nuremberg IMT

German war criminals on trial at the Nuremberg IMT

The first and best known of the show trials was the “Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal.” This was the show trial of the 24 most important captured leaders of Germany. It was held from November 20, 1945 to October 1, 1946.  The photo above shows Hermann Goering on the far left, with Rudolf Hess sitting next to him. On the far right is Ernst Kaltenbrunner.

 View of the bomb damage of Nürnberg from the castle hill Photo Credit: Charles J. Sheridan


View of the bomb damage of Nürnberg
Photo Credit: Charles J. Sheridan

Bombing Germany back to the stone age was not enough revenge for the Allies; they had to put on show trials.

The first trial, before the International Military Tribunal, had prosecutors and judges from the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. A second set of trials, known as the Nuremberg Military Tribunals, was conducted by the United States only. The most famous of these trials were the Doctors’ Trial and the Judges’ Trial.

The Trial of the Major War Criminals began on November 20, 1945 when British judge Sir Goeffrey Lawrence called the court to order, saying “This trial, which is now about to begin, is unique in the annals of jurisprudence.” The trial ended nine months later on October 1, 1946.

The trial was unprecedented because the prosecutors who conducted the trial and the judges who made up the jury were both from the victorious Allies only. The International Tribunal and the charges against the Germans had been created under the terms of an agreement among the Allies, known as the London Charter, signed on August 8, 1945.

At the main trial, there were 100,000 documents accepted into evidence and the transcript of the trial filled 42 volumes with more than 5 million words. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Allied prosecutors submitted some 3,000 tons of records at the Nuremberg IMT. The defense was not allowed access to any documents except the ones that were actually used by the prosecution.

Nürnberg [Nuremberg] was famous for producing toys and gingerbread cookies, not war materials; it was the ideological center of Nazi Germany and Hitler’s favorite city. Nürnberg was regarded as the “most German” of all the cities in Germany, which made it a target for vindictive Allied bombing.

On the night of January 2, 1945, 514 British Lancaster bombers and 7 other British planes destroyed or damaged most of the old city, including the medieval walls, the historic castle and two centuries-old Gothic churches. At that point in the war, it was the most devastating air-raid attack on a civilian population and only the Allied bombing of Dresden, six weeks later, caused more damage and civilian deaths in Germany.

One wing of the Palace of Justice had to be restored by the forced labor of German prisoners, so that the show trials could be held in Room 600.

Room 600 is the room which has the windows covered

Room 600 is the room which has the windows covered

You can read about why the Nuremberg IMT is called a “show trial” at http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_show_trials

I previously blogged about the start of World War II, as presented at the Nuremberg IMT at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/alfred-naujocks-and-the-start-of-world-war-ii/

The entire Nuremberg International Military Tribunal trial was captured on film and shown to the world on TV. Newsreel films showed the city of Nürnberg as a pile of rubble, which had not yet been cleared when the trial started; the bodies of 20,000 German civilians were still buried under the destroyed buildings as the German war criminals were brought into the courtroom of the Palace of Justice. The Palace of Justice had suffered some damage in the Allied bombing of Nürnberg, but it had been restored by the forced labor of the conquered Germans before the trial began.

It was at the Nuremberg trials that the whole world learned for the first time about the German atrocities, including all the gory details of the shrunken heads, the soap made from human fat, the leather goods made from the skin of concentration camp prisoners, and the gas chambers which accounted for the majority of the deaths at Auschwitz and Majdanek, where the Russians testified that not less than 4 million people had died in the Auschwitz complex and another 1.5 million had died at the Majdanek camp. Today, the figures given for these camps is 1.1 million deaths at Auschwitz and 78,000 at Majdanek, including 59,000 Jews.

The horror films of the Allied liberation of the Nazi concentration camps at Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald and Dachau were shown at the trial, to the defendants and to the public. An American-made documentary film, which showed all the graphic details of the gas pipes and control wheels which regulated the flow of poison gas through the shower heads of the Dachau gas chamber was shown in the courtroom on November 29, 1945.  I blogged about the Dachau gas chamber film at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/proof-of-the-nazi-gas-chambers-given-at-the-nuremberg-imt-on-nov-29-1945/

The Nuremberg IMT was more than just a trial. It was a graphic presentation to the entire world that the Allies had fought “the Good War” against the evil Nazis.

The following quote is from the web site of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

The goals of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) transcended verdict and punishment. The creators of the court were deliberately assembling a public record of the horrific crimes committed by Germans during World War II, including those of the Holocaust. American chief prosecutor Robert Jackson worried that “unless record was made future generations would not believe how horrible the truth was.”

In order to avoid any accusation of exclusive reliance on personal testimony, which later generations might perceive to be biased, prosecutors decided to base their case primarily on thousands of documents written by the Germans themselves. These masses of documents were translated into the court’s four official languages, analyzed for their significance, and reproduced for distribution to defense attorneys and other trial participants. The prosecution presented other evidence through artifacts, diagrams, and photographs taken by Nazi photographers in concentration camps.

On the third day of his cross examination of Hermann Goering, American prosecutor Robert Jackson questioned him about the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany, including the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws on Citizenship which Goering had signed in September 1935.

Robert H. Jackson, chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg, during his closing address to the Tribunal.

Robert H. Jackson, chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg, during his closing address l

Then Jackson confronted Goering with the most incriminating piece of evidence in the entire trial: a letter dated July 31, 1941, in which Goering had ordered Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), to prepare a plan for the “Final solution of the Jewish question.” Goering testified that the German term “Die Endlösung” in the letter should have been translated as the “total solution,” and that it referred only to “the emigration of the Jews,” not the extermination of Jews.

The Protocols of the Wannsee Conference, at which the “Final Solution” was planned, were not found until 1947, so this important document was not included in the mountain of evidence introduced at the International Military Tribunal at which the German war criminals were tried for Crimes against Humanity.

Some people today claim that the Wannsee Conference never took place. Since the minutes of the meeting were not found until 1947, this is entirely possible.  Adolf Eichmann was the man who allegedly wrote the minutes that were not found until 1947.  He was put on trial in Israel so that he could elaborate on the plan to genocide the Jews, now known as “the Final Solution.”

Room where the Wannsee Conference was held

Wannsee Conference was held here

The photograph above shows the large dining room of a villa on the Grossen Wannsee, a lake in the Wannsee suburb of Berlin, where the Conference on “The Final Solution of the Jewish Question” was held on January 20, 1942. This is the room where the plans for the genocide of the Jews were discussed. The villa is now a Holocaust Museum.

For the most part, the International Military Tribunal charged the defendants, not with individual responsibility for specific crimes, but with a “Common Plan” to commit crimes.

According to the book Justice at Nuremberg by Robert E. Conot, the idea for the Common Plan charges against the Germans came from Lieutenant Colonel Murray C. Bernays, a Lithuanian Jew who had emigrated to American in 1900 at the age of six.

Before the trial, according to Conot’s book, Churchill and Roosevelt’s adviser Henry Morgenthau, Jr. had advocated that “the principal Nazi leaders should be charged with their crimes, then summarily shot.” Bernays argued for a trial as “the educational and therapeutic opportunity of our generation.” Regarding the Nazi crimes, Bernays wrote “The crimes and atrocities were not single or unconnected, but the inevitable outcome of the basic criminal conspiracy of the Nazi party.”

There was nothing in international law which allowed a charge of participating in a “Common Plan.”  The Nuremberg trials were conducted on the basis of new laws that were made up by the Allies AFTER  the war, specifically for the German war criminals.

Any atrocities committed by the Allies were not considered war crimes. After the war, France passed a law that no French citizen could be charged with a war crime.

The Nuremberg trial had far-reaching consequences — for America and the world. In 1948 President Harry Truman desegregated the American armed forces, and in 1954 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional, Justice Robert Jackson, who participated in the decision, said that the Nuremberg experience and the “awful consequences of racial prejudice revealed by … the Nazi regime” had influenced his decision.

According to Conot’s book, before the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal proceedings began, there was no international criminal code; the barbaric practices of the Nazis became war crimes under international law, only after the IMT proceedings, when the United Nations passed the Genocide Convention and a Declaration of Human Rights.

After World War II, the rules of warfare changed: reprisals can no longer be taken against hostages or Prisoners of War; forced labor is now outlawed; captured partisans are given equal status with POWs. The Germans had been convicted of all these crimes before they were crimes. The verdicts at the Nuremberg IMT established international law and the actions of the Germans in World War II are now war crimes.

Regulations of all the major World War II armies now state that orders which would constitute the commission of a crime need not be obeyed. All the crimes that were revealed at the Nuremberg trial have now been incorporated into international law and the defense used at the Nuremberg trial by the German generals and admirals that they were just obeying orders is no longer valid.

August 26, 2013

The famous speech, allegedly made in March 1984 by Sir Hartley Shawcross, at Stourbridge, England

Filed under: World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:10 am

A regular reader of my blog wrote a comment in which he quoted the following, from a speech allegedly made at Stourbridge in March 1984, by Sir Hartley Shawcross, one of the prosecutors at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal:

“Hitler and the German people didn’t want this war. We didn’t answer Hitler’s various petitions for peace. Now we have to admit that he was right. Instead of a cooperation with Germany, which he had offered us, now stands the gigantic, imperialistic might of the Soviets. I feel ashamed to see how the same intentions which we accused Hitler of now are pursued under a different name.” – Sir Hartley Shawcross

This speech was supposedly made by Sir Hartley Shawcross at Stourbridge, England on March 16, 1984. It has been a source of controversy ever since.

Sir Hartley Shawcross had actually made a speech at Stourbridge on March 12, 1948, which was reported in the The Times (London) on March 13, 1948:

“SINISTER AIMS OF COMMUNISM SIR H. SHAWCROSS ON WESTERN UNION Sir Hartley Shawcross, the Attorney-General, speaking at Stourbridge last night [March 12th], said that recent tragic events in Czechoslovakia [communist putsch followed by suicide of Masaryk] had brought a new sense of urgency to the movement for western union. […] SAME NAZI TECHNIQUE […] Step by step I have been forced more and more to the conclusion that the aims of Communism in Europe are sinister and deadly aims. I prosecuted the Nazis in Nuremberg. With my Russian colleagues I condemned Nazi aggression and Nazi terror. I feel shame and humiliation now to see under a different name the same aims pursued, the same technique followed, without check. […]”

The speech that was allegedly made by Shawcross on March 16, 1984, is believed to be a forgery.  The forgery is sometimes quoted as follows:

“I believe now that Hitler and the German People did not want war. But we declared war on Germany, intent on destroying her. In this we were encouraged by the Jews around Roosevelt. This was said to be in accordance with our principle of the ‘Balance of Power’. We ignored Hitler’s pleading not to enter into war. Now we are forced to realize that Hitler was right. He offered us the co-operation of Germany. Instead, since 1945, we have been facing the immense power of the Soviet Empire.”

Hey, Sir Hartley, tell us what you really think.

Compare the alleged March 16, 1984 speech, to the following quote from the two-day opening statement by Lord Shawcross on the 12th day of the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal on Tuesday, December 4, 1945:

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS (Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom):

May it please the Tribunal, on an occasion to which reference has and will be made, Hitler, the leader of the Nazi conspirators who are now on trial before you, is reported as having said, in reference to their warlike plans:

“I shall give a propagandist cause for starting the war, never mind whether it be true or not. The victor shall not be asked later on whether he told the truth or not. In starting and making a war, not the right is what matters, but victory the strongest has the right.”

The British Empire with its Allies has twice, within the space of 25 years, been victorious in wars which have been forced upon it, but it is precisely because we realize that victory is not enough, that might is not necessarily right, that lasting peace and the rule of international law is not to be secured by the strong arm alone, that the British nation is taking part in this Trial. There are those who would perhaps say that these wretched men should have been dealt with summarily without trial by “executive action”; that their power for evil broken, they should have been swept aside into oblivion without this elaborate and careful investigation into the part which they played in bringing this war about: Vae Victis! Let them pay the penalty of defeat. But that was not the view of the British Government. Not so would the rule of law be raised and strengthened on the international as well as upon the municipal plane; not so would future generations realize that right is not always on the side of the big battalions; not so would the world be made aware that the waging of aggressive war is not only a dangerous venture but a criminal one.

Lord Shawcross made it quite clear in his opening statement at Nuremberg that Hitler was responsible for starting World War II and that the Germans had forced not one, but two wars, upon the British empire in the previous 25 years.

In the alleged Stourbridge speech, Shawcross allegedly said just the opposite.

The speech, allegedly made by Sir Hartley Shawcross at Stourbridge, England on March 16, 1984, and allegedly reported by the Associated Press, is quoted on numerous web sites and in books such as The Triumph Of Reason: The Thinking Man’s Guide To Adolf Hitler by British author Michael Walsh, published on December 8, 2002.

The reason that the alleged Stourbridge speech is so controversial is because Sir Hartley Shawcross supposedly had a complete change of heart in 1984 at the age of 82. In the speech that he allegedly made on March 16, 1984 at Stourbridge, Shawcross exonerated Hitler and blamed the British for starting World War II.

What happened to cause Shawcross to change his mind?  Was he becoming senile at the age of 82?

Which country really DID start World War II?  Check out my previous blog post at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/youtube-video-proves-that-hitler-did-not-start-wwii/

I became interested in this controversy in 1999 when the alleged Stourbridge speech was being discussed on an Internet newsgroup. According to some of the comments on the newsgroup, a search of the Associated Press Archives showed that no such speech had been reported. The speech had not been reported in the London Times, nor in the New York Times.

When Shawcross died in 2003, many newspapers reported allegations of forgery. British author David Irving claims that the alleged Shawcross speech at Stourbridge was indeed a forgery.  The memoirs of Sir Hartley Shawcross, published in 1995, did not mention the speech. Nor was his alleged speech at Stourbridge mentioned in his obituary, when he died at the age of 101.

In 2008, I contacted the webmaster of the web site for the town of Stourbridge. He told me that he has no knowledge of a speech made there by Shawcross on March 16, 1984.

In 2008, Stourbridge was a college town of 54,000 people. If Shawcross had made such a controversial speech there in 1984, the whole town would still remember it. You can be sure that everyone in Missouri knows that Churchill made his famous “Iron Curtain” speech on March 5, 1946 at Westminster College in the equally small town of Fulton.

I think that we can safely say that Sir Hartley Shawcross did not have a change of heart, and that he believed to his dying day that Hitler and Germany were solely at fault in World War II, never the British.

The closing argument, given by Sir Hartley Shawcross, at the Nuremberg IMT, was a summation of the crimes which he believed had been proved by the Allies during the trial.

The following excerpt, from the closing argument, shows that Shawcross was emphatic about the Nazis being solely responsible for all the war crimes committed during World War II:

That these defendants participated in and are morally guilty of crimes so frightful that the imagination staggers and reels back at their very contemplation is not in doubt. Let the words of the defendant Frank, which were repeated to you this morning, be well remembered: “Thousands of years will pass and this guilt of Germany will not be erased”. Total and totalitarian war, waged in defiance of solemn undertakings and in breach of treaties; great cities, from Coventry to Stalingrad, reduced to rubble, the countryside laid waste, and now the inevitable aftermath of war so fought – hunger and disease stalking through the world; millions of people homeless, maimed, bereaved. And in their graves, crying out, not for vengeance but that this shall not happen again, ten million who might be living in peace and happiness at this hour, soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians killed in battles that ought never to have been.

Nor was that the only or the greatest crime. In all our countries when, perhaps in the heat of passion or for other motives which impair restraint, some individual is killed, the murder becomes a sensation, our compassion is aroused, nor do we rest until the criminal is punished and the rule of law is vindicated. Shall we do less when not one but on the lowest computation twelve million men, women and children are done to death. Not in battle, not in passion, but in the cold, calculated, deliberate attempt to destroy nations and races, to disintegrate the traditions, the institutions and the very existence of free and ancient States. Twelve million murders. Two-thirds of the Jews in Europe exterminated, more than six million of them on the killers’ own figures. Murder conducted like some mass- production industry in the gas chambers and the ovens of Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Maidanek and Oranienburg.

Maidanek was the German name for the Majdanek death camp in Poland and Oranienburg is the location of the Sachsenhausen camp.

What about the gas chambers at Belzec, Sobibor, Stutthof, Theresienstadt, Natzweiler, and Hartheim?

The gas chamber at Buchenwald has fallen by the wayside, but the others are still part of what you must believe to stay out of prison in 17 countries.  You can read about the gas chambers, that are still in existence, on my blog at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/how-many-of-the-nazi-gas-chambers-are-still-in-existence/


August 25, 2013

Did the Nazis actually steam Jews to death in a Sauna?

Filed under: Health, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:16 am
The Central Sauna at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The Central Sauna at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The large brick building at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, which was called “die zentrale Sauna,” is shown in the photo above.   I previously blogged about the Sauna at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/why-was-there-a-sauna-at-auschwitz/

For 60 years, the Central Sauna building was not open to tourists. During that time, visitors to Auschwitz could only speculate about what the Auschwitz Sauna looked like.  I imagined that the Auschwitz prisoners had the luxury of taking steam baths.  After all, the prisoners were playing soccer and attending concerts.  Would it have been so unusual for the Nazis to provide steam baths for the soccer players after a game?

The online Free Dictionary gives this definition for the word “sauna”:

A Finnish steam bath in which the steam is produced by pouring water over heated rocks.
A bathhouse or room for taking such a steam bath.

I imagined that the Auschwitz-Birkenau Sauna building had individual steam baths for the prisoners.  In the old days, a health resort typically had a canvas box, in which a person would sit inside, with their head sticking out of a hole in the top.  In the 1940s, in America, a “sauna” looked something like the modern sauna box in the photo below.  I have actually taken a steam bath inside a canvas box, with my head sticking out.  I have also had a “mud bath” but I don’t think the Nazis provided mud baths for the prisoners.

An individual sauna box for a steam bath

An individual sauna box for a steam bath

Yesterday, I read an article, in the online Guardian newspaper, about the Ovitz family of dwarves, who were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944.

Members of the Ovitz family of dwarves who were sent to Auschwitz

Members of the Ovitz family of dwarves who were sent to Auschwitz

According to this article, the dwarves had a close call when they mistakenly thought that they had been sent to the gas chamber:

What actually happened was that the Ovitzs and their neighbours were taken to the camp sauna for disinfection, where the water poured over heated stones produced much steam and fumes, as well as temperatures intense enough to cause someone to faint. The sauna had a particularly traumatic effect on both small children and fragile dwarves that might easily have created the impression of being gassed.

So it turns out that the Ovitz family of dwarves, and their neighbors who were falsely claiming to be related to them, were actually sent into a steam room, which they mistakenly thought was a gas chamber.

In October 2005, I had a chance to see the inside of the Sauna building at Auschwitz-Birkenau. There were no steam rooms inside the Sauna building.  The building was called a Sauna because it had iron boxes in which the prisoners’ clothes were steamed to kill the lice that spreads typhus.  These boxes looked something like the individual saunas used at health resorts at a time when rich people would routinely go to a spa town to “take the waters.”

The photo below shows a box for steaming clothes, inside the Central Sauna at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

A steam chamber for disinfecting the clothing of prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau

A steam chamber for disinfecting the clothing of prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau

This quote from the Guardian explains the gassing operation at Auschwitz-Birkenau:

Though we had five first-hand eyewitness accounts [of the gas chamber, given by 5 dwarves], we wanted to verify the story. The only way to do so was to study the procedures and manuals of operating a gas chamber. These were designed to kill between 500 and 2,000 people at once, depending on the size of the hall. Cyclone B was effective only at a room temperature of 27C, which was achieved by cramping a mass of people together. Gas chambers were simply not operated for merely 22 people; small groups were shot.

Furthermore, according to the camp’s rigid safety orders, SS personnel had to wear gas masks when operating Cyclone B. Although the victims died within 15 minutes, the SS men routinely waited half an hour before turning on the powerful fans that dispersed the gas from the chamber. Only then were the doors opened. The operators themselves did not enter; instead, Jewish inmates from the Sonderkommando were sent in to drag out the bodies for cremation. Once the extermination process had begun, it could not be halted, because by then it would have been impossible to open the doors.

What actually happened was that the Ovitzs and their neighbours were taken to the camp sauna for disinfection ……

Every Holocaust survivor has to have a story about how they were saved from the gas chamber.  Even the 22 members of the Ovitz family, which included their fake relatives, had to make up a story about why they were not gassed.

Dr. Josef Mengele was over-joyed to have this family available for his research into hereditary conditions; he would never have allowed them to be gassed, but still the dwarves had to make up a lie.

This quote from the Guardian article, and the links provided by the Guardian, explains the Nazi policy:

When the Nazis came to power, the Ovitzs were doubly doomed: under the Aktion T-4 euthanasia programme, the Germans set out to kill people who were physically or mentally disabled, whose lives were considered “unworthy of living”, “a burden on society”; and, as Jews, the Ovitzs were the target of the Final Solution.

On 19 May 1944, they were brought to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp because they were Jews. But, by a twist of fate, their disability played for them. It was rare that one person from an entire family survived the camp, let alone two, but all 12 members of the Ovitz family – the youngest a baby boy just 18 months old, the oldest his 58-year-old dwarf aunt – emerged alive.

I have to give the Guardian credit for exposing the lies told by Holocaust survivors.  This quote is from the Guardian:

In her autobiography, Auschwitz: True Tales From A Grotesque Land, Sarah Nomberg-Przytyk describes in appalling detail the horrible death of two members of the Ovitz group, one of them an 18-month-old baby boy who died as a result of one of Mengele’s experiments: “Around him, like pillars of stone, stood a large woman, along with the child’s mother, slim and frail; the three midgets sat in miniature chairs.” In the evening, the dead toddler was placed outside the block with the other corpses to be taken to the crematorium. Nomberg-Przytyk also recounts the death of Avram Ovitz, the leader of the group: “The old midget wanted his wife” and tried to slip through the barbed wire; a guard spotted him and, when Avram got close enough, shot him. “He never made it to his wife.”

But the little boy and his uncle Avram were not killed, and lived to see liberation day. What, then, caused Nomberg-Przytyk to make such grave mistakes? Most likely she was compressing a number of events, and attributed to the dwarves two common occurrences in the daily life of the camp: the death of a child in his mother’s arms and the shooting of an inmate who approached the electrified fence.

And there were others, such as Renee Firestone, who described the death of the Ovitz dwarves: “The Germans found a community of midgets, transported them to Auschwitz, shot them en masse and then were forced to let them sit in a pile for three days until the crematoria could take them.”

One plausible explanation for the discrepancy between fact and remembrance is that the survivors, who regarded their own deliverance as miraculous, found the chances slim that someone as helpless as a dwarf could escape death. The fact that the Ovitzs were transferred several times from one side of the camp to the other caused their fellow inmates to lose touch with them, and in Auschwitz, when you stopped seeing someone, it could mean only one thing.

The seven dwarves, as well as their entourage, all survived the war, and emigrated to Israel in May 1949.

The first story about the Treblinka camp, told by the Soviets who came across the remains of the camp, was that the prisoners were steamed to death in steam chambers.  You read about it at http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v12/v12p133_Allen.html

August 23, 2013

The number of Jewish prisoners at Dachau: Figures don’t lie, but liars figure

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:05 am

Almost every news story, or website, that you will ever read, mentions that 2/3 of the prisoners at Dachau were Jews.  This is very misleading; it implies that Dachau was a camp for Jews, instead of a camp that held mainly political prisoners.

When the Dachau concentration camp was liberated on April 29, 1945, there were 2,539 Jews among approximately 32,000 survivors in the main camp, located just outside the town of Dachau.  By what slight of hand does 2,539 figure out to be two thirds of 32,000?

Political prisoners at Dachau after the camp was liberated

Political prisoners at Dachau after the camp was liberated

According to Paul Berben, a former prisoner, who wrote a book called Dachau: 1933 – 1945: The Official History, there were 67,649 prisoners in the main Dachau camp AND IT’S 123 SUB-CAMPS when the last census was taken on April 26, 1945, three days before the US 7th Army arrived to liberate the MAIN camp.  Most of the Jews were in the sub-camps, not the main camp.

Many of the sub-camps, which Berben refers to as “Kommandos,” had already been evacuated and the prisoners had been brought to the main camp at Dachau.  Before the evacuation of the sub-camps, there were virtually no Jews in the main camp.

The largest number of prisoners in the whole Dachau system were classified as political prisoners, who numbered 43,401; the majority of the political prisoners were Catholic. The political prisoners included Communists, Social Democrats, anarchists, spies, and anti-Fascist resistance fighters from the Nazi occupied countries such as France, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, and Poland.

Dachau survivors pose in a barracks building after they were liberated

Dachau survivors pose in a barracks building after they were liberated

There was a total of 22,100 Jews in the Dachau system on April 26, 1945 and most of them were in the sub-camps. Many of the Jews in the main camp had just arrived a few days before from the sub-camps that had been evacuated.

On April 26th, approximately 3,400 Jews had been death-marched out of the main camp, headed south toward the mountains where it is believed that the Nazis intended to hold them as hostages to use in surrender negotiations with the Allies. Another 1,735 Jews had been evacuated from Dachau by train on April 26th.

The evacuation of prisoners from the sub-camps to the main Dachau camp had begun in March 1945, in preparation for surrendering the prisoners to the Allies. The evacuated prisoners had to walk for several days to the main camp because Allied bombs were destroying the railroad tracks as fast as the Germans could repair them. The few trains that did bring prisoners to Dachau, including a train load of women and children, were bombed or strafed by American planes, killing many of the prisoners.

Women prisoners who had recently arrived at Dachau

Women prisoners who had recently arrived at Dachau

Most of the prisoners in the sub-camps of Dachau were Jews who had survived Auschwitz and had been brought on trains to Germany in January 1945 after a 50-kilometer death march out of the camp. By the time that the survivors staggered into the Dachau main camp in the last weeks of April, they were emaciated, sick and exhausted. Other Jews at Dachau in 1945 had been brought from the three Lithuanian ghettos in the Summer of 1944 to work in the Dachau sub-camps. The American liberators got most of their information about the Dachau camp from these Jews who had only recently arrived and were eager to tell their stories about abuse at the hands of the Nazis.

Since March 1945, around 15,000 new prisoners had been accommodated in the Dachau main camp, which had been originally designed for 5,000 men. By the time that the American liberators arrived, there were over 30,000 prisoners in the main camp, although the exact number was unknown.

According to Paul Berben’s account, the prisoners who arrived at Dachau were particularly numerous in 1944, as the inmates in other camps were evacuated from the war zone. He wrote that the last prisoner number at the end of 1943 was 60.869.

By the end of 1944, the last prisoner number was 137.244, which indicates that 76,375 new prisoners were brought to Dachau in 1944; most of them were sent to the sub-camps to work in the factories. The last prisoner numbers registered at Dachau were around 161.900. It was at this point that life in the Dachau concentration camp began to deteriorate.

In the final desperate days of trying to evacuate prisoners from the camps to prevent them from being released by the Allies, there were around 6,000 prisoners brought to Dachau from Flossenbürg, Buchenwald and Leipzig. These prisoners were not registered at Dachau, nor given a number, according to Paul Berben.

Throughout the 12 years that the Dachau camp was in existence, there were approximately 206,000 prisoners brought to the main camp and it’s 123 sub-camps.  There were 31,951 recorded deaths.  The Dachau Memorial Site estimates that there were at least 41,000 deaths, including the deaths, during the last days, which were not recorded.

In her speech at Dachau on August 20, 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the following:

“At the same time, this place [Dachau] is a constant warning: how did Germany reach the point of taking away the right of people to live because of their origin, their religion… or their sexual orientation?”

Dachau was primarily a place where the right of people to live was taken away because they were political enemies of the German government, or their right to live had been taken away because they had broken the law, for example, the law known as Paragraph 175 which made it a crime to have homosexual sex in public.  Most of the prisoners at Dachau were Catholic, but they were not imprisoned because of their religion.  There were numerous prisoners at Dachau who were incarcerated because they were fighting in a war as illegal combatants.

August 22, 2013

French resistance fighter, who was a prisoner at Dachau, defends Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is being heavily criticized in the press because she combined a trip to the Dachau Memorial Site with a trip to the town of Dachau in connection with her re-election campaign.  Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with that.  If she had gone to the town, and NOT visited the former camp, she would have been criticized even more.

In one news story, which you can read in full here, a former Dachau prisoner defends Chancellor Merkel:

Jean Samuel, a French resistance fighter held at Dachau from July 1944 until the camp’s liberation in April 1945, said that regardless of Merkel’s campaign schedule the gesture was important.

“We are fighting for the duty to remember so I hope that is also why she came,” he told AFP at the ceremony.

As a “French resistance fighter,” Jean Samuel was an illegal combatant, who could have been executed because he was in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1929.  You can read about the history of the French resistance on my website here.  Jean Samuel was most likely a prisoner at the Natzweiler camp, which was the main camp for French resistance fighters, before he was transferred to Dachau.

The photo below shows some of the French Resistance fighters, who were prisoners at Dachau.

French resistance fighters at Dachau

French resistance fighters at Dachau

Notice that one of the French Resistance fighters at Dachau was given a jacket that is two sizes too small.  This is just one of the many ways that prisoners at Dachau were tortured.  At least, he has a cigarette in his hand. The photo below shows another photo of the resistance fighters at Dachau, including one man with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.  Could this be the same man?

"Political prisoners" at Dachau after the camp was liberated

“Political prisoners” at Dachau after the camp was liberated

The photo above shows some of the members of the International Committee of Dachau, an organization that was in charge of the Dachau camp when it was liberated. The second man from the left, who is wearing a cardigan sweater and a coat, appears to be Albert Guérisse, a British SOE agent from Belgium, who was hiding his identity by using the name Patrick O’Leary.

Guérisse was one of five British SOE agents who had survived the Nazi concentration camps at Mauthausen in Austria and Natzweiler in Alsace before being transferred to Dachau. On the day that the Dachau camp was liberated, Guérisse greeted Lt. William P. Walsh and 1st Lt. Jack Bushyhead of the 45th Infantry Division and took them on a tour of the camp, showing them the gas chambers and the ovens in the crematorium.

After Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945, the official report of the US Seventh Army was printed as a book entitled Dachau Liberated: The Official Report by The U.S. Seventh Army, Released Within Days of the Camp’s Liberation by Elements of the 42nd and 45th Divisions. The Report was based on two days of interviewing 20 political prisoners at Dachau; the prisoners told the Americans that both the shower room and the four disinfection chambers were used as homicidal gas chambers.

The following quote is from The Official Report:

“When the American troops arrived on 29 April 1945, there were approximately 32,500 estimated internees of all nationalities, the Poles predominating. During this period, the camp was notorious for its cruelty, but within the last six or eight months, some ‘token’ improvement was noted in the treatment of the internees. However, the new crematorium was completed in May 1944, and the gas chambers, a total of five, were used for the executions and the disposals of the bodies.”

I applaud Jean Samuel for defending Chancellor Merkel.  It’s the least he could do to thank the Germans for not executing him, as they could have legally done, since he had been fighting in World War II as an illegal combatant.

In order to understand the story of the French Resistance, with regard to Dachau, you can read about the long and complicated case of General Charles Delestraint on my web site at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/GeneralDelestraint.html

August 21, 2013

German Chancellor Angela Merkel can’t win for losing (visit to former Dachau concentration camp)

Angela Merkel lays a wreath at the International Monument at Dachau

Angela Merkel lays a wreath at the International Monument at Dachau

The news today is filled with stories of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the grounds of the first Nazi concentration camp near the town of Dachau. Then it was on to a beer fest in the town. Chancellor Merkel is being heavily criticized for combining a trip to the Memorial Site at the former camp with a trip to the town of Dachau to drink beer.

Angela Merkel was accompanied by Max Mannheimer, a survivor of Dachau

Angela Merkel was accompanied by Max Mannheimer, a survivor of Dachau

In the photo above, Chancellor Merkel looks as though she has the weight of the world on her shoulders as she walks beside Max Mannheimer, a survivor of two Dachau sub-camps at Allach and Mühldorf.  I don’t begrudge Chancellor Merkel a glass of beer after going through this ordeal.

Not mentioned in any of the news stories is that beer drinking does not have the same connotation in Germany, as it does in America.  Literally everyone in Germany drinks beer; it is considered to be good for one’s health.

There is nothing wrong with going to a beer fest, after visiting a Memorial Site.  If Hilary Clinton were president of the United States, and she visited an internment camp, where German-Americans were imprisoned during World War II and for two years afterwards, she might go to a beer joint afterwards and some people might legitimately complain.  Beer drinking has a low-class connotation in America, but not in Germany.

None of the stories, that I have read, about Chancellor Merkel’s visit, mentioned that Max Mannheimer is a controversial figure because of his “später Tagebuch,” which means a diary written later.

This quote from Wikipedia is about Mannheimer writing his Tagebuch or diary of his time in Nazi concentration camps at a later time.

Seine Erinnerungen wurden zum ersten Mal 1985 in den Dachauer Heften abgedruckt.[13] und erschienen 2000 vollständig unter dem Titel Spätes Tagebuch.

In other words, Max Mannheimer miracaculously remembered his time in Nazi concentrations camps, and wrote his memoir many years later.  Because Mannheimer never said a word about his time in the camps until many years later, some people are suspicious of his “später Tagebuch.” In any case, he was not a prisoner in the main Dachau camp, which Chancellor Merkel visited.

This quote about Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Dachau is from a news article which you can read in full here:

Ms Merkel’s tour of Dachau, which was the first Nazi concentration camp, included a meeting with Max Mannheimer, one of its few remaining survivors. More than 200,000 people including Jews, homosexuals, Roma and political prisoners were imprisoned, forced to work and used for medical experiments at Dachau which opened in 1933. It was liberated by US troops in April 1945

The Chancellor was shown the camp baths and a room where prisoners were stripped of their clothing and identity and henceforth referred to only by numbers. Ms Merkel said her visit was accompanied by feelings of “shame and dismay”.

She visited the camp baths (plural)?

What camp baths?  One of the exhibits at Dachau is located in a former shower room, as shown in the photo below.

Former shower room at Dachau is now used for Museum displays

Former shower room at Dachau is now used for Museum displays

The photo above shows a room in the Museum at Dachau which was formerly a shower room.  The shower fixtures, which were formerly on the left side of the room, have been removed. The photo below shows what the room looked like when Dachau was a Nazi concentration camp.

Shower room at Dachau had shower heads hanging down from the ceiling

Shower room at Dachau had shower heads hanging down from the ceiling

The only other shower room at Dachau was converted into a gas chamber when the American liberators lowered the ceiling and stuck shower heads into the ceiling.  The so-called Dachau gas chamber, as it looks today, is shown in the photo below.

Dachau shower room in BarackeX was converted into a gas chamber in 1945

Dachau shower room in BarackeX was converted into a gas chamber in 1945

Surely, Chancellor Merkel was not shown the shower room in the BarrackX building and told that this was a “camp bath,” not a gas chamber.

What about the room where Dachau prisoners were “stripped of their clothing?”  That could only be the undressing room in BarackeX.  The two photos below show the undressing room.

The wall of the undressing room at Dachau

The wall of the empty undressing room at Dachau

Door into shower room which was converted into a gas chamber at Dachau

Door into shower room which was converted into a gas chamber at Dachau by the American liberators

Did Max Mannheimer tell Chancellor Merkel that the room shown in the photo above was the undressing room where incoming prisoners undressed before going into the shower?  Mannheimer would have taken a shower in BarackeX before being sent to a sub-camp of Dachau.

Surely, the German people are not saying that the gas chamber at Dachau was a shower room!  That is against the law and will get you 5 years in prison.

Another criticism that I have, of the news stories about Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Dachau, is the claim that Dachau had “prisoners of war” in the camp.  This quote is from Fox News:

More than 200,000 Jews, gays, Roma, political opponents, the disabled and prisoners of war were imprisoned in Dachau during World War II.

Yes, it is true that there were “prisoners of war” incarcerated at Dachau during World War II, but they were NOT prisoners of war at the time that they were sent to the camp.  They only became “prisoners of war” after the Allies created ex-post-facto laws AFTER the war.

The so-called “prisoners of war” at Dachau were illegal combatants under the rules of the Geneva Convention of 1929.  They were resistance fighters who were fighting after their country had surrendered and promised to lay down their arms and stop fighting.  The main camps where illegal combatants were sent were Buchenwald and Natzweiler, but there were some prisoners at Natzweiler who were transferred to Dachau in the last days of the war.  These prisoners were designated at “prisoners of war” after the German camps were taken over by the Allies.

German prisoners of war, who were actual soldiers, not illegal combatants, were designated by General Eisenhower as Disarmed Enemy Forces and held in camps where they were not treated according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.

The only real POWs at Dachau were German POWs who were imprisoned, after World War II, in War Crimes Enclosure No. 1 at Dachau.  Surely, Chancellor Merkel did not honor these men on her visit.

August 20, 2013

What was the role of the U.S. Army Evacuation hospitals in World War II?

Filed under: Buchenwald, Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:45 am

In case you are having trouble answering the question in the title of my blog post today, I will make it a multiple choice question:

1. Did the U.S. Army Evacuation Hospitals search out the Nazi concentration camps and liberate them?

Or 2. Did the Evacuation Hospitals follow the infantry and the tanks to the concentration camps, after the camps had been liberated, and set up hospitals in the barracks of the camps to treat the inmates who were sick with typhus and other diseases?

Soldiers of the 139th Evacuation Hospital take sick prisoners out of Ebensee

Soldiers of the 139th Evacuation Hospital take sick prisoners out of Ebensee sub-camp of Mauthausen

Date:    Saturday, May 12, 1945 – Wednesday, May 30, 1945
Locale:    Ebensee, Austria
Credit:    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Fred Anderson
Copyright:    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Healthy German prisoners at Ebensee march out of the camp after it was liberated

Healthy German prisoners at Ebensee march out of the camp after it was liberated

The correct answer, to the question in the title of my blog post, is No. 2.

For example, three days after the Buchenwald camp was officially liberated by U.S. Army soldiers, the 120th Evacuation Hospital arrived in the city of Weimar with a staff of 273 service personnel to take care of 3,000 sick prisoners at Buchenwald.  Prior to that, the 120th Evacuation Hospital had been taking care of soldiers who had been wounded on the battlefield.

A hospital was set up at Buchenwald, by the 120th Evacuation Hospital, in the barracks of the German SS soldiers who had been stationed at the German Army garrison at Buchenwald. The staff members of the 120th Evacuation Hospital stayed in a beautiful castle, which had formerly been the summer home of German royalty. A path through the woods connected the castle to the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Typhus ward set up by the 120th Evacuation Hospital at Dachau

Typhus ward set up by the 116th Evacuation Hospital at Dachau

On 2 May 1945, the 116th Evacuation Hospital arrived at Dachau and set up operations. The Dachau camp had been liberated on April 29, 1945.

According to a U.S. Army report, made on 20 May 1945, there were 140 prisoners dying each day in the Dachau camp AFTER the camp had been liberated.  The principle causes of death were starvation, tuberculosis, typhus and dysentery. Before the Americans arrived, there had been 4,000 sick prisoners in the Dachau hospital and an unknown number of sick prisoners in the barracks who had been receiving no medical attention.

Warren Priest, a soldier with the 120th Evacuation Hospital, told about how he himself had contracted typhus at Buchenwald, but was saved by recently discovered medicinal drugs which the Germans did not as yet have available.

The subject of my blog post today was inspired by a comment made by a reader named “The Black Rabbit of Inlé“.  He mentioned a new book, written by Dr. Richard MacDonald, which tells the story of how the 139th Evacuation Hospital liberated the Ebensee sub-camp of Mauthausen, but has never been given credit for the liberation.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum gives the credit for the liberation of Ebensee to the 80th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army.

You can read the list of liberators of the camps on the website of the USHMM here.  No Evacuation Hospitals are listed as liberators.  To be counted as liberators, an Army unit had to have been at a concentration camp within 48 hours of the first soldiers to arrive.

There is a great deal of confusion, about who liberated which camp, because General Eisenhower ordered that every soldier in the U.S. Army, who was anywhere near a concentration camp, should be transported to the closest camp so that they could see the dead bodies of prisoners who had died in the typhus epidemic.  As a result, virtually every U.S. soldier, who served in World War II in Europe, can claim to be a liberator of a concentration camp.

You can read about Dr. Richard MacDonald’s new book on this website.

This quote is from the website, cited above:

The Konzentrationslager (KZ) Ebensee Concentration Camp was established to house prisoners tasked to further the research and production of the V-2 missile program run by Nazi SS Officer Wernher von Braun. This camp was liberated on May 6, 1945. Most historical accounts state that the Eightieth Infantry Division liberated this camp; however, this particular division was around forty miles behind the tanks of the actual group that brought freedom to the 16,694 labor inmates in KZ Ebensee. The Third Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron of the Third Cavalry Group came up the road to the camp at around 10AM on that fateful Sunday; at 2:45PM, the Third Platoon of F Company opened the gates.

Unfortunately for the men of these military units they, together with the U.S. Army 139th Evacuation Hospital, became phantom units in historical archives. Their contributions to the liberation of the camp were never recorded. Inside the Gates hopes to change this by detailing the 139th Evacuation Hospital’s involvement in freeing the thousands of inmates in the said Austrian Concentration Camp.

Ebensee was not in Austria, when it was liberated, because Austria was not a country at the time that the Ebensee camp was liberated. Ever hear of “der Anschluss”?  It’s a long story, but Dr. MacDonald can catch up on history by reading this page of my website.

Sick prisoners at Ebensee sub-camp of Mauthausen

Sick prisoners at Ebensee sub-camp of Mauthausen

According to Martin Gilbert, the author of a book entitled Holocaust, Ebensee was an “end destination” for Jewish prisoners who were evacuated from camps farther east as the Soviet Army advanced toward Germany. In the last months of the war, the Ebensee camp was seriously over-crowded with these exhausted prisoners, many of whom had just arrived in the weeks prior to the liberation.

Gilbert wrote the following regarding the evacuations and the death marches:

Jews who had already survived the “selections” in Birkenau, and work as slave laborers in factories, had now to survive the death marches. Throughout February and March [1945] columns of men, and crowded cattle trucks, converged on the long-existing concentration camps, now given a new task. These camps had been transformed into holding camps for the remnant of a destroyed people, men and women whose labor was still of some last-minute utility for a dying Reich, or whose emaciated bodies were to be left to languish in agony in one final camp.

According to Gilbert’s book, a train loaded with 2,059 Jews arrived at Ebensee on March 3, 1945. They had survived the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau and had first been sent to the Gross Rosen concentration camp, then on to Ebensee.

Forty-nine of the Jewish prisoners died on the train, according to Martin Gilbert, and on their first day in the Ebensee camp, 182 died during the disinfection procedure. New arrivals had to be disinfected to kill the body lice which spreads typhus. There was a typhus epidemic in Mauthausen and the sub-camps and, according to Martin Gilbert, 30,000 prisoners died in these camps in the last four months of the war.

Ebensee survivors have shaved heads to prevent the spread of lice

Ebensee survivors have shaved heads to prevent the spread of lice

According to Martin Gilbert, the last death marches of the war began on May 1, 1945 as the American Army approached; prisoners from the main camp at Mauthausen and the sub-camps at Gusen and St. Valentin were marched to Gunskirchen and Ebensee. Hundreds of them died from exhaustion, or were shot because they couldn’t keep up, or as they attempted to escape.

When American troops in the 80th Infantry Division arrived on May 4, 1945, there were around 60,000 prisoners from 25 different countries at Ebensee.

Evelyn le Chene, the historian of Mauthausen, wrote that, as the American armies approached Ebensee, all thirty thousand prisoners in the camp were ordered into a tunnel packed with explosives. There were similar reports of plans to kill all the prisoners at other camps, such as Nordhausen, and even Dachau, but none of these plans was ever carried out.

Hitler did not want the prisoners in the concentration camps to be released to get revenge on German civilians. In fact, the Russian liberators at Theresienstadt did release the Jewish prisoners there, and according to Theo Richmond, the author of the book Konin, One Man’s Quest For a Vanished Jewish Community, the former inmates did get “nekomeh” or Revenge. Richmond quotes Louis Lefkowitz, a Jewish survivor of Buchenwald and Theresienstadt, who recounted the following story regarding German civilians who were trying to flee from the Russian soldiers who were also exacting vengeance on the Germans:

I saw nekomeh in Theresienstadt. For two days after the liberation, the Russians let us do whatever we want. I was too weak to join in, but I saw our boys bring in Germans who were running away on horse and wagons. They brought them in – whole families on the wagons. They put gasoline over the people and burned them up. Wagons with whole families were burning day and night for two days.

The following quote, regarding the plan to force all the Ebensee prisoners into a tunnel, is from Evelyn le Chene:

The prisoners, to a man, blankly refused. The SS guards were paralyzed with indecision. The hordes of humans swayed and murmured. For the first time since their arrest, the prisoners who were not already dying saw the possibility that they might just survive the war. Understandably, they neither wished to be blown up in the tunnel, nor mown down by SS machine guns for refusing. But they knew that in these last days, many of the SS had left and been replaced by Ethnic Germans. […] With the war all but over, they were thinking of the future, and the punishment they would receive for the slaughter of so many human beings was something they still wished – even with their already stained hands – to avoid. And so the prisoners won the day.

Ebensee was the last chance for the Allies to spread lies and propaganda.  The photo below shows the movie cameras that were brought in to photograph the liberation of Ebensee.

Film crew is ready to film the Ebensee camp

Film crew is ready to film the Ebensee camp

August 19, 2013

Edward D. Royce took photos at Dachau that “have long served as rebuttal to Holocaust deniers”

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 3:15 pm

Edward D. Royce is the father of Republican Congressman Ed R. Royce.  In the news today is an article in the Orange County Register, about Edward D. Royce, which you can read in full here.

This quote is from the news article in the online Orange County [California] Register:

Former Stanton Mayor Edward D. Royce, whose photographs of corpses at the Dachau concentration camp have long served as rebuttal to Holocaust deniers, was honored Monday with the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Distinguished Service Award for his role in helping liberate the camp when he was an Army private.

Royce, father of Republican Congressman Ed R. Royce, took the podium at the Museum of Tolerance ceremony and recalled being among the first liberating forces to arrive at the camp on April 29, 1945.

So Edward D. Royce was one of the American soldiers who arrived at Dachau on April 29, 1945, the day that the camp was surrendered to American soldiers under a white flag of truce.  That means that he was either with the 45th Division or the 42nd Division, the two outfits that are credited with liberating the Dachau camp.  I did a quick check on the internet to determine which outift he was with and found this website:  http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/bib/48477

This quote, regarding the military service of Edward D. Royce is from the website, cited above:

Branch of Service:
Army
Unit of Service:
3rd Field Artillery Observation Battalion

Oops! This means that Edward D. Royce was not at Dachau on the day that the camp was liberated.  He might have been among the soldiers who were brought in trucks to see the camp, long after it was liberated.

This quote from the Orange County Register tells about what Edward D. Royce saw at Dachau:

“I saw heaps of clothes in front of the building with bad – German for bath – painted on the door, the shower heads that pumped deadly gas instead of water, the room filled halfway to the ceiling with naked bodies and the room with ovens for burning the bodies,” said Royce, 88. […]

Royce’s black-and-white photos, taken with a camera borrowed from his brother, documented the ovens and corpses at the camp. An estimated 6 million Jews were killed during World War II, and an estimated 30,000 prisoners died at Dachau, including deaths from extermination, disease, starvation and suicide.

I did an Image search on Google and found this page for Edward D. Royce:

I found only one photo of Dachau in the search results for Edward D. Royce, and it is not a photo that was taken by any of the American soldiers.

The photo, which is shown below, was one of the pictures in a packet of photos that were available for purchase when the U.S. soldiers were brought to Dachau in trucks, long after liberation day, so that they could go home and tell their relatives that they had participated in the liberation of Dachau.

Photo that was available for purchase at Dachau

Photo from Google Image search results for Edward D. Royce

The photo, from the Image search, has been cropped so that it does not show the logo that is in the bottom left hand corner. This is supposed to be a photo, taken by Edward D. Royce at Dachau.

I have the same photo on this page of my website.  The photo below shows the full picture before it was cropped.

Photo taken long after Dachau was liberated was available for sale

Photo, taken long after Dachau was liberated, was available for sale

Notice the logo in the lower left hand corner. This photo was taken long after the Dachau camp was liberated.

A small Museum was set up by the former prisoners at Dachau, shortly after the camp was liberated.  On this page of my website, you can see a photo of the original small museum that was set up by the prisoners.

So it appears that another “liar, liar, pants on fire,” has been caught lying about his role in the liberation of Dachau.

August 18, 2013

American soldier, who saw Dachau, also remembers “starving German children, who were homeless orphans.”

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:22 pm

Alvin Law is a 90-year-old veteran of World War II, now living in a retirement home in Plainview, TX.  He recently gave an interview, to an online Plainview newspaper, which you can read in full here.

This quote is from the Plainview newspaper article:

Alvin was near Munich when he remembers coming up to the Dachau Concentration Camp. The camp was the first concentration camp established by the Nazis, and was responsible for the deaths of 31,951 Jews, ordinary Germans, Austrian criminals and foreign nationalists.

By that time, Nazis were in the process of evacuating prisoners to other camps as Americans advanced into Germany. The Nazis were also trying to hide or destroy evidence of gas chambers, in a vain attempt to hide the horrific crimes.

In April 1945, U.S. Army troops were able to liberate the camp.

“They were overjoyed,” said Alvin, as he described seeing freed prisoners.

But the experience was bittersweet, as Alvin described seeing the mountains of dead bodies in the camp.

“It was horrible,” said Alvin.

Alvin also remembers the starving German children, who were now homeless orphans.

It’s a miracle!  A newspaper article, which actually mentions that Germans were suffering during World War II. You can read here about how the Allies starved German people to death AFTER World War II ended.

The starving German children, who were homeless orphans, might have been in the DP camp that was set up near the town of Dachau.

The article mentions that “The Nazis were also trying to hide or destroy evidence of gas chambers…”

Actually, there was not much effort to destroy the evidence of gas chambers at Dachau.  The Nazis left behind a large shower room, at Dachau, that was perfect for turning into a gas chamber, AFTER the camp was liberated.  But you can’t expect an American newspaper to point this out.

I wrote about how the American liberators of Dachau made a film on May 3, 1945, which showed the gas chamber which they had just constructed. This film was shown during the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal as proof that there was a gas chamber at Dachau.  You can read about it on one of my previous blog posts here.  You can read here about what tour guides tell visitors now about Dachau.

Photo of the mountain of dead bodies at Dachau was taken in May 1945

Photo of the mountain of dead bodies at Dachau was taken in May 1945

There was only one “mountain” of dead bodies at Dachau, when the Americans arrived.  This mountain of bodies was at the crematorium, awaiting cremation, but the Nazis had run out of coal to burn the bodies.

Pile of bodies at Dachau on the day after American liberators arrived

Pile of bodies at Dachau on the day after American liberators arrived

The photo above shows American soldiers looking at a pile of bodies, which includes a small pile of bodies of German soldiers, that the Americans had killed when the camp was surrendered to them.  I previously blogged here about Alfred de Grazia, Commanding Officer of the Psychological Warfare Propaganda Team attached to headquarters of the US 7th Army, who arrived at Dachau on May 1, 1945 to supervise the construction of a gas chamber at Dachau.

The faded color photo below shows that on May 1, 1945, the pile of dead bodies had been removed and, in it’s place was a pile of sand, ready to be used for construction of some kind.  By May 3, 1945, the Dachau gas chamber was ready for inspection by a group of American congressmen.

The photo below is on the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, along with this caption:

Date: Tuesday, May 01, 1945
Locale: Dachau, [Bavaria] Germany
Photographer: Colonel Alexander Zabin
Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Colonel Alexander Zabin
Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Photo of Dachau crematorium building, taken on May 1, 1945 shows no pile of bodies

Photo of Dachau crematorium building, taken on May 1, 1945 shows no pile of bodies

In the month of May 1945, an additional 2,226 Dachau prisoners died, of typhus and other diseases, after the camp was liberated. There were 196 more deaths in June before the typhus epidemic was finally stopped by the use of DDT and the vaccination of all the prisoners.

Alvin Law was probably among the American soldiers, stationed near Munich, who were brought in trucks to see the Dachau atrocities, weeks after the camp had been surrendered.

Still, I give the reporter on the Plainview newspaper a lot of credit for looking up the exact number of deaths at Dachau and including this in his article.  I think that most American reporters would have written that 100,000 died at Dachau, or maybe 500,000.  The reporter did mention the Jews first in the list of prisoners who died at Dachau.

August 15, 2013

Survivor of the Stutthof camp was not sent to the gas chamber because she pinched her cheeks and stood tall in order to look healthy

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 2:01 pm

During the Holocaust, the Nazis didn’t gas prisoners who were capable of working.  Nor did they gas anyone between the ages of 15 and 45.  The secret to avoiding the gas chamber was to look healthy enough to work, and to lie about your age.

The Stutthof gas chamber

The Stutthof gas chamber

One of the little known camps that had a gas chamber was the Stutthof camp near the city formerly known as Danzig.  A photo of the gas chamber is shown above.  Notice the small structure to the left of the door.  This looks like a place where coal was burned to heat the gas chamber hot enough to release the gas from the Zyklon-B pellets.

The photo below shows the inside of the Stuffhof gas chamber.  The stains on the walls are proof that this is a Gaskammer.

Stains cause by Zyklon-B gas inside the Stutthof gas chamber

Stains cause by Zyklon-B gas inside the Stutthof gas chamber  Photo credit: Germar Rudolf

Holocaust survivor Nesse Godin recently gave a talk to workers at Northrop Grumman Technical Services in Herndon, VA.  You can read about her talk here.

This quote is from the news article about Ms. Godin’s talk:

In 1944, Godin said the few Jews remaining in the Siauliai ghetto were deported to the Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig, Poland. Godin said she became prisoner “number 54015” and was separated from her mother and brother Jecheskel. Her other brother, Menashe, evaded deportation with the help of a gentile friend, and remained in hiding, she said.

In the camp, Godin said older Jewish women looked after her, protecting her and advising her on how to survive. “They would make me stand tall and pinch my cheeks to get the blood flowing in them when the Germans came around to take sick people away to the gas chambers,” she said. “If you looked sick, there was a good chance you would be chosen to die. Those women saved my life. ”

The gas chamber at Stutthof is little known, but I mentioned it in a previous blog post about the gas chambers that are still in existence.

This photo of Stutthof Concentration Camp is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Gas chamber and crematorium - Picture of Stutthof Concentration Camp, Sztutowo
This photo of Stutthof Concentration Camp is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Wikipedia confirms that there was a homicidal gas chamber at Stutthof, although it could hold only 150 prisoners at a time.  Zyklon-B was a dangerous gas.  It hardly seems worth it to have a homicidal gas chamber that could gas only 150 prisoners at a time.  It would have been more efficient to just shoot the sick prisoners at Stutthof.

This quote is from Wikipedia:

A crematorium and gas chamber were added [at Stutthof] in 1943, just in time to start mass executions when Stutthof was included in the “Final Solution” in June 1944. Mobile gas wagons were also used to complement the maximum capacity of the gas chamber (150 people per execution) when needed.

This quote is also from Wikipedia:

The evacuation of prisoners from the Stutthof camp system in northern Poland began in January 1945. When the final evacuation began, there were nearly 50,000 prisoners, the majority of them Jews, in the Stutthof camp system. About 5,000 prisoners from Stutthof subcamps were marched to the Baltic Sea coast, forced into the water, and machine-gunned. The rest of the prisoners were marched in the direction of Lauenburg in eastern Germany. Cut off by advancing Soviet forces the Germans forced the surviving prisoners back to Stutthof. Marching in severe winter conditions and brutal treatment by SS guards led to thousands of deaths.

In late April 1945, the remaining prisoners were removed from Stutthof by sea, since the camp was completely encircled by Soviet forces. Again, hundreds of prisoners were forced into the sea and shot. Over 4,000 were sent by small boat to Germany, some to the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg, and some to camps along the Baltic coast.

Fortunately, Ms. Godin was sent out of the Stutthof camp before the evacuation of the camp.  This quote is from the news article about her talk:

In January 1945, when she was 16, Grodin said she was sent on a forced death march with a group of approximately 1,000 fellow female prisoners that lasted six weeks, marching from sunup to sundown with inadequate shoes and clothing in terrible weather conditions.

“When the Soviet army liberated the group on March 10, 1945, only 200 women, including me, were still alive,” she said. “On my 17th birthday —18 days later — I only weighed 69 pounds, but I had survived and I was free.”

If you ever read the story of a Holocaust survivor, who does not know how much he or she weighed when they were liberated, you will know that they are not a real survivor.

Assuming that Nesse was around 5 feet tall and weighed only 69 pounds, she was 30 pounds underweight.  In other words, a skeleton.

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