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September 30, 2013

May 7, 1945 — the day that the Nazi atrocities started

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:40 am
Cover of Life Magazine, May 7, 1945

Cover of Life Magazine, May 7, 1945

The sad faces on the cover of the May 7, 1945 issue of Life Magazine are the faces of “The German People.”  Why are there faces of Germans, and not faces of Jews, on the cover of Life in May 1945?  Because the word “Holocaust” was not yet universally known by Americans in 1945; the genocide of the Jews had not yet started.

The German People were not yet guilty of the greatest crime in the history of the world. On May 7, 1945, it was the inhuman bombing of German cities that was in the news.

May 7, 1945 was the day that the Germans surrendered to General Dwight D. Eisenhower (“the terrible Swedish Jew“), who declined to shake hands with General Jodl, the German who signed the surrender.

The ubiquitous “Holocaust” story was not yet known, but it was about to begin.  On the day of the surrender, it was the defeated Germans, who were on the cover of Life magazine.

Lest there should be some confusion about the real story of the Word War II, on an inside page of Life magazine, a reporter wrote, in describing the Germans: “the bitterness of defeat.” The faces on the cover photo were described as  the “unhappy but hard and arrogant faces” of Germans. Life magazine explained that the Germans had not yet “been forced to see the atrocities committed in their name.”

Whoa! “The atrocities committed in their name”?  Where have we heard that before?  On day One, the day that Germany surrendered, the Allies were already chanting about the German civilians and “the atrocities committed in their name.”  It wasn’t long before Eisenhower ordered that the German people should be brought to Dachau and other camps to “see the atrocities committed in their name.”

This set the tone of the Guilt which still exists in Germany:  every German who did not betray his country in war time is guilty to this day, and his children and grandchildren after him.  Every German must forever bow down to the Jews because of “the atrocities committed in their name.”

Two photos inside the May 7, 1945 edition of Life magazine

Two photos inside the May 7, 1945 edition of Life magazine show the German atrocities

The two photos above are from the inside pages of the Life Magazine May 7, 1945 edition.  The photo on the left shows the bodies laid out at Nordhausen; these prisoners had been killed by an American bomb. I blogged about the photo of Nordhausen here.

The photo on the right shows German SS guards at Bergen-Belsen being forced to put bodies into mass graves.  These prisoners had died in the typhus epidemic at Belsen.

Bodies found inside a barn at Gardelegen

Bodies found inside a barn at Gardelegen

The photos shown above were also included in the May 7, 1945 edition of Life magazine.  You can read about the Gardelegen massacre on my website here.

September 29, 2013

Granddaughter of Amon Goeth, the Schindler’s List balcony sniper, publishes her memoir

Nigerian-German author Jennifer Teege poses for a photo with her book "Amon, My grandfather would have shot me" about concentration camp commander Amon Goeth on September 26, 2013, Hamburg

Nigerian-German author Jennifer Teege poses for a photo with her book “Amon, My grandfather would have shot me” about concentration camp commander Amon Goeth on September 26, 2013

The photo above was copied from a news article which you can read in full here.

Another news article starts off with this quote:

A steel-eyed Nazi killer picks off Jewish prisoners with a rifle from a balcony in a concentration camp in 1944.

More than six decades later, a Nigerian-German woman who has studied in Israel thumbs through a book about the sniper and is shocked to learn the man is her own grandfather.

In a memoir published this month with the chilling title “Amon: My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me”, Jennifer Teege recounts her dark family secret and the extraordinary story of how her own life became enmeshed with one of history’s grimmest chapters.

Teege is the child of a Nigerian student and [Monika Goeth] the German daughter of Amon Goeth, the commandant of the Plaszow concentration camp outside Krakow in today’s Poland who featured in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Holocaust drama “Schindler’s List”.

Scene from the movie Shindler's List show Amon Goeth shooting prisoners from a balcony

Scene from Shindler’s List shows Amon Goeth shooting prisoners from a balcony

The photo above is a still shot from the movie Schindler’s List. It shows Amon Goeth shooting prisoners in a fictional scene from the movie. This fictional scene was concocted by Steven Spielberg after he saw a photo of Amon Goeth standing on the patio of his home which did NOT overlook the Plaszow camp.

Amon Goeth standing on the patio of his house, holding a rifle

Amon Goeth standing on the patio of his house, holding a rifle

When the granddaughter of Amon Goeth learned who her grandfather was, dollar signs must have flashed before her eyes.  This was her chance to gain fame and fortune.  She could write a memoir and make some money off the Holocaust Industry.  Is there any Nazi more famous than Amon Goeth, the commandant who shot prisoners from his balcony?

The movie Schindler’s List is based on a novel entitled Schindler’s Ark.  If the fictional book had not been made into a fictional movie by Steven Spielberg, the name Amon Goeth would be unknown today.  Amon Goeth was a minor criminal, whose crime was that he stole goods from the Plaszow camp. After the war, he was put on trial in a Polish court and convicted of being a member of the Nazi party and a member of the Waffen-SS, both crimes that were made up by the Allies.  He was also convicted of being responsible, under the “common plan” law made up by the Allies, for all the deaths that occurred at the Plaszow camp.  He was not charged with shooting prisoners from his balcony.

In 1943, SS Judge Georg Konrad Morgen of the Haupt Amt Gericht (SS-HAG) was given an assignment to investigate and prosecute corruption and unauthorized murder at the Buchenwald concentration camp. He stayed at the Buchenwald camp for 8 months, investigating the Commandant, Karl Koch, before charging him with murder. Koch was executed for killing a couple of prisoners in the Buchenwald camp.

Dr. Morgen’s next assignment was to investigate the Plaszow camp. As a result of his investigation, which involved interviewing several of the prisoners, Amon Goeth was arrested by the Central Office of the SS Judiciary and imprisoned. Goeth was charged with stealing from the warehouses and factories at Plaszow, but not with shooting prisoners from the balcony of his home.  Oskar Schindler was also arrested, at the same time, for the crime of helping Goeth to store the stolen goods, but Schindler was released before being put on trial.  Goeth was not put on trial by the Germans because he was sick with diabetes; he was sent to a hospital instead.

Strangely, none of the Plaszow prisoners told Dr. Morgen about Amon Goeth shooting prisoners from his balcony.  It was Steven Spielberg who made up this crime when he saw a photo of Goeth standing on his patio.  In Spielberg’s defense, the photo did look like someone standing on a balcony, not a patio.

Amon Goeth standing on the patio of his home, near the Plaszow camp

Amon Goeth standing on the patio of his home, near the Plaszow camp; this photo inspired the balcony sniper story

Ruth Irene Kalder, the mother of Monkia Goeth, standing on the balcony of Amon Goeth's home

Ruth Irene Kalder, the mother of Monkia Goeth, standing on the patio of Amon Goeth’s home

The photo above shows that Jennifer Teege has some resemblance to her grandmother, Ruth Irene Kalder, who was the mistress of Amon Goeth.

Did Ruth Irene Kalder also shoot prisoners from the patio of Goeth’s home?  Not that I know of, but she might have set her dog on the prisoners, who were way off in a concentration camp, that was behind a hill, and not visible from Goeth’s home.

Ruth always spoke highly of Amon Goeth, but what did she know?  She only lived with the man.  While she was out walking her dog, Amon might have been out  on the patio, shooting prisoners with a special rifle that could shoot over a hill.

Memorial Stone at the site of the former Plaszow camp

Memorial Stone at the site of the former Plaszow camp

One of the news articles about Jennifer Teege shows the Memorial Stone at the Plaszow camp.  I took the photo of the Memorial Stone above, when I visited the site of the former camp in 1998.

My Polish tour guide translated the words inscribed on the stone, which were written in Polish. She told me that the words say something to the effect that we don’t know their names, so we call them by one name: Jews. We can’t describe how terrible and barbaric the Nazis were, so we call them by one name: Hitlerists.

There was one word that the guide didn’t know how to translate into English; it was the one word in the Polish language that I knew, the word pogrom. (Po-GROM means “like thunder.”  This word was used to describe the act of non-Jews chasing Jews out by the use of violence.)

My tour guide pointed out that the term Hitlerites or Hitlerists or Nazis should always be used when referring to the enemy in World War II, rather than Germans. There were many countries that supported or collaborated with the Nazis, and many soldiers from Allied or neutral countries that fought in the Waffen-SS, the volunteer army of Nazi Germany. The photograph above shows the front of the memorial stone with the inscription in Polish, which uses the name Hitlerists for the perpetrators.

September 28, 2013

Rudolf Höss was tasked by Himmler to perfect the techniques of mass execution

The title of my blog post today comes from a line in a news article in the British newspaper Express:

In May 1940 [Rudolf Höss] was made commandant of Auschwitz where he was eventually tasked by Heinrich Himmler with perfecting the techniques of mass execution that were the key element in Hitler’s murderous “final solution”.

What experience did Rudolf Höss have that qualified him for the job of “perfecting the techniques of mass execution”?  Himmler should have called in a gas chamber expert from Jefferson City, Missouri, which had one of the very few gas chambers at that time, although it was not a gas chamber for mass murder.  There were no gas chambers for mass murder anywhere in the world.  Rudolf Höss, a man with no experience in mass murder, and no experience with gas chambers, was given the job of “perfecting the techniques” of mass execution.

Rudolf Höss is quoted in this part of the news article in the Express:

“You could dispose of 2,000 head in half an hour but it was the burning that took all the time,” he explained later. “The killing was easy. You didn’t even need guards to drive them into the chambers. They just went in expecting to take showers and instead of water we turned on poison gas. The whole thing went very quickly.” He related all of this in a quiet, apathetic matter-of-fact tone of voice.

Wait a minute!  “…we turned on poison gas“?  No, no, no.  The poison gas was in the form of pellets, which came in a can.  Hoess should have said: “We opened a can of Zyklon-B and poured the poisoned pellets through a hole in the roof of the gas chamber.”

Empty cans that had been used to hold Zylon-B poison gas pellets

Empty cans that had been used to hold Zylon-B poison gas pellets

Hole in ceiling of Auschwitz gas chamber through which the poison pellets were poured

Hole in ceiling of Auschwitz gas chamber through which the poison pellets were poured

I recognized the alleged quote from Rudolf Höss as a quote from the book entitled Nuremberg Diary by G.M. Gilbert. It is on page 250.

The quote from page 250 of Gilbert’s book continues with this:

I was interested in finding out how the order had actually been given and what his reactions were.  He related it as follows: “In the summer of 1941, Himmler called for me and explained: “The Führer has ordered the Endlösung [final solution] of the Jewish question — and we have to carry out this task. For reasons of transportation and isolation, I have picked Auschwitz for this.  You now have the hard job of carrying this out.” As a reason for this he said that it would have to be done at this time, because if it was not done now, then the Jew would later exterminate the German people — or words to that effect.

So an American Jew, with a degree in Psychology from Columbia University, (home of The Frankfurt School) was sent in to get a confession out of Rudolf Höss?  Perfect.  Who better?

Note that Rudolf Höss supposedly said “it would have to be done at this time, because if it was not done now, then the Jew would later exterminate the German people — or words to that effect.”  Where did that come from?

Heinrich Himmler actually did say “words to that effect.”  The following quote is from a speech made by Heinrich Himmler:

As to the Jewish women and children, I did not believe I had a right to let these children grow up to become avengers who would kill our fathers and grandchildren. That, I thought, would be cowardly. Thus the problem was solved without half-measures.

So who was G.M. Gilbert and why should we believe anything he wrote?  This quote is from Wikipedia:

Gustave Gilbert was born in the state of New York in 1911,the son of Jewish-Austrian immigrants. He won a scholarship from the School for Ethical Culture at the College Town Center in New York. In 1939, Gilbert obtained his Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University. Gilbert also held a diploma from the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology.

During World War II Gilbert was commissioned as a military psychologist with the rank of First Lieutenant. Because of his knowledge of the German language, he was sent overseas as a military intelligence officer.

So a Jewish psychologist, who got his education from the home of the Frankfurt School, was able to get a confession out of Rudolf Höss.

Did Höss deliberately make mistakes, in his numerous confessions to the Allies, as a way of signaling to future generations that he was lying? No, I don’t believe that Höss was that clever, nor that devious.  I believe that he made mistakes in describing the gas chambers because he knew absolutely nothing about gas chambers.  And he couldn’t take any more of the torture, done by the Jews who beat the confessions out of him.

You can read more about the confessions (plural) of Rudolf Höss on my website at

September 27, 2013

93-year-old former Auschwitz guard will go on trial as an accessory to murder

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:21 am

You can read the news of an impending trial of a former cook at Auschwitz in The Guardian newspaper here.

This quote is from the news article:

German prosecutors on Thursday charged a 93-year-old alleged former guard at the Auschwitz death camp as an accessory to murder, part of a renewed drive to bring lower-level Nazi collaborators to justice before they die.

The prosecution service in the city of Stuttgart said the accused worked as a guard at Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland from 1941 to 1943. During that time they say he was on duty when 12 prisoner convoys arrived at the death camp. More than 10,000 of those prisoners were determined unfit for work and sent to the gas chamber immediately on arrival.

Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz in 1944

Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz in 1944 (Click on the photo to enlarge)

The photo above shows a train load of Jews arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

How many Jews were on each convoy to Auschwitz?  A thousand Jews on each train?  If more than 10,000 prisoners were killed after they arrived on 12 convoys, there must have been 1,000 Jews on each train.

From 1941 to 1943, there were four gas chambers in operation at Auschwitz-Birkenau, so that means that the capacity of those four chambers was 10,000 Jews per day.  This sounds like a gross exaggeration to me.

This quote is also from the news article in The Guardian:

The head of the German agency that probes Nazi war crimes, Kurt Schrimm, said the accused was on a list of 30 former Auschwitz guards it wants to prosecute for their role in facilitating mass murder.

“The investigation was short but intensive. We looked for documents that showed that [the accused] was on duty on particular days when the transports came in,” said Claudia Krauth, state prosecutor for the Stuttgart court. “If we have proof that someone has committed a crime, we are required to prosecute that person.”


[This man’s] arrest was made possible by the 2011 conviction in Munich of Ivan Demjanjuk, who was found to have been an accessory to the murder of almost 28,000 Jews in Sobibor by virtue of having served as a guard at a death camp. He was the first ex-Nazi convicted in Germany without evidence of a specific crime or a specific victim.

[The accused man] told the German newspaper Die Welt this year that he had been a cook at Auschwitz and had later left the camp to fight on the eastern front, although he could not remember which unit he had been in.

Demjanjuk lying on a stretcher in the courtroom Photo Credit: Getty Images

Ivan Demjanjuk lying on a stretcher in the courtroom Photo Credit: Getty Images

According to the precedent established at the trial of Ivan Demjanjuk, anyone who was present at a concentration camp, where a Jew was killed, is guilty of a crime, even if the accused had nothing whatsoever to do with the crime.

This was a new law established by the Allies after World War II, know as the “common plan” principle of guilt.  Anyone who was present in a concentration camp, in any capacity, was guilty of a crime if anyone died in the camp.

I previously blogged about the “common plan” theory of guilt at

The war crimes trials were planned by the Allies long before the war crimes were even committed, so why shouldn’t the trials continue until the last German soldier is dead and buried.

According to Robert E. Conot, author of the book entitled Justice at Nuremberg, the idea of bringing the German war criminals to justice was first voiced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on October 7, 1942, when he declared: “It is our intention that just and sure punishment shall be meted out to the ringleaders responsible for the organized murder of thousands of innocent persons in the commission of atrocities which have violated every tenet of the Christian faith.”

Roosevelt was referring to atrocities committed in the concentration camps, beginning in 1933; most of the war crimes that were prosecuted, after the war, by the American Military Tribunal at Dachau had not yet been committed.

The Declaration of St. James on January 13, 1942 announced British plans for war crimes trials even before the British BBC first broadcast the news of the gassing of the Jews in June 1942. On December 17, 1942, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told the House of Commons: “The German authorities are now carrying into effect Hitler’s oft repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people of Europe.”

On October 26, 1943, the United Nations War Crimes Commission, composed of 15 Allied nations, met in London to discuss the trials of the German war criminals which were already being planned by the Allies, even before the war was won. That same year, in 1943, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin issued a joint statement, called the Moscow Declaration, in which they agreed to bring the German war criminals to justice after the war.

The United States participated in war crimes trials in Europe under three jurisdictions: the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, the U.S. Military Tribunals at Nuremberg, and the American Military Tribunal at Dachau. The authority for the proceedings of all three jurisdictions derived from the Moscow Declaration, called the Declaration of German Atrocities, which was released on November 1, 1943. This declaration, which was made long before many of the war crimes were committed, expressed the Allied plan to arrest and bring to justice Axis war criminals.

If only the names of the 10,000 Jews, who were gassed at Auschwitz, when the accused man was a cook at Auschwitz, then the relatives could be in the courtroom to see that justice is served.  Unfortunately, the Nazis did not keep a record of the names of the 10,000 Jews who were gassed.

September 26, 2013

The town of Dachau today — the shame of the concentration camp can never be overcome

In 2001, I went to the town of Dachau and stayed there for a week in a hotel.  At that time, Dachau was still a small, historic town, and I enjoyed my stay immensely. I asked the owner of the hotel which bus I should take to get to the former Dachau camp; she said she didn’t know, so I had to figure it out for myself. The town’s people seemed to be ignoring the former camp, and just living their lives in peace.

Catholic church in the town of Dachau

Catholic church in the town of Dachau

Today, I read in an article in The Independent, which said that young people from Munich are now moving to Dachau and the town has grown to be a city of 45,000 residents.

According to the article in The Independent, which you can read in full here, the town can never overcome its shame, due to the horror of the Dachau concentration camp, which had 800,000 visitors last year.

This quote is from the article in The Independent:

The horror of Dachau takes a little time to sink in. It hits home half way through the former camp’s permanent exhibition on Third Reich terror when visitors are confronted with a piece of slatted wooden furniture that resembles an innocuous child’s toboggan.

Closer inspection reveals that a 4ft-long “bull whip” is lying across the wooden slats. The toboggan, it turns out, is one of the concentration camp system’s notorious “whipping stools” that were used to ruthlessly inflict blood soaked punishment on hundreds of thousands of camp inmates during 12 years of Nazi rule.

Alfred Hübsch, a prisoner in Dachau from 1937 onwards, witnessed the whipping stool in action. His account is on display in the camp museum: “The prisoner’s screams could be heard everywhere,” he writes, “The delinquent had to count the strokes out loud. The numbers were blurted out in terrible pain so the tortured person would slur his words or misspeak. If that happened they would begin beating all over again,” he added.

The “whipping stools” were used for 12 years?  Who knew?

The photo below shows Rudolf Wolf, a former prisoner of the Dachau camp, demonstrating the whipping block during the American Military Tribunal proceedings, where the former SS men in the camp were put on trial.

Former Dachau prisoner demonstrates the whipping table at Dachau trial

Rudolf Wolf demonstrates the whipping table at Dachau trial

The photo below shows the whipping table on display in the Dachau Museum.

Photo of whipping table in the Dachau Museum

Photo of whipping table in the Dachau Museum

Notice that the “whipping block” which is on display in the Museum is a real whipping block, but the table that is being demonstrated by Rudolf Wolf during the AMT proceedings is an ordinary table.  The trial started in Noveber 1945, so why wasn’t the actual whipping block shown during the trial?

That is easily explained: All punishments at Dachau and at all the other concentration camps had to be approved by the WVHA economic office in Oranienburg, where Rudolf Hoess was a member of the staff after he was removed as the Commandant of Auschwitz in December 1943.

At the Nuremberg IMT, on April 15, 1946, Hoess testified that punishment on the whipping block was seldom used and that this punishment was discontinued in 1942 or 1943 because Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler had given a new order that the SS men were forbidden to strike the prisoners. Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler mentioned in his book entitled What was it like in the Concentration Camp at Dachau? that this order was given by Himmler in 1942.

When the American liberators arrived in 1945, they found no whipping table because this seldom-used punishment had not been used for three years.  Are visitors to the Dachau Museum told this?  No, of course not.

This quote is from the article in The Independent:

The whipping stool is merely an introduction to Dachau’s  regime of inconceivable cruelty. Its victims were tortured by “Pole hanging” – a system whereby inmates in groups of 50 were strung up by their hands with their arms tied behind their backs for hours, causing them excruciating pain.

Groups of 50 were strung up?  Did the Nazis take a photo of the pole hanging?  Indeed, they did.  The photo below was shown in the Dachau Museum for years, until it was finally taken down because it was a fake.

Still photo from a Soviet film shows "pole-hanging" punishment

Still photo from a Soviet film shows “pole-hanging” punishment

The photograph above, which I took inside the old Dachau Museum in May 2001, shows a scene at Buchenwald that was created in 1958 for an East German DEFA film. (Source: H. Obenaus, “Das Foto vom Baumhängen: Ein Bild geht um die Welt,” in Stiftung Topographie des Terrors Berlin (ed.), Gedenkstätten-Rundbrief no. 68, Berlin, October 1995, pp. 3-8)

This fake photo was not included in the new Dachau Museum which opened in 2003, but all the tour guides at Dachau still dwell at length upon the hanging punishment.  I have not been to Dachau since 2008; perhaps the fake photo has been brought back.

But it gets worse.  This quote is from the article in The Independent:

[The prisoners] were locked in “standing cells” with no room to sit down or turn around for days on end. They were savaged by camp dogs, drowned, shot, worked to death or died from mass overcrowding and the successive outbreaks of disease which plagued the camp before it was finally liberated by American troops in April 1945. The soldiers found hundreds of “ sallow skeletons with large sad eyes”.

Ah, yes, the famous “standing cells.”  Where are they now?  The standing cells were torn down, and now there is only a photo of what they looked like. The photo is shown below.

A diagram of the standing cells in the Dachau bunker

A diagram of the standing cells in the Dachau bunker

Who tore down the standing cells at Dachau and why?  Did anyone take a photo of them before they were torn down?  Not that I know of.  The American liberators of Dachau found out about the standing cells from Eleanore Hodys, a prisoner who had been at Auschwitz, where she claimed that she had been confined to a “standing cell” for NINE WEEKS.  She also claimed that she had had an affair with Rudolf Hoess at Auschwitz.  Hoess had formerly been the Commandant at Dachau, so her story took up about a third of the book about Dachau, which was entitled Dachau Liberated, the Official Report.  Her story may have inspired the claim of standing cells at Dachau.

There was at least one American prisoner at Dachau when the camp was liberated.  What did he have to say about the standing cells, the whipping block and the pole hanging?  Did he write a book about the torture that he endured at Dachau?  Did he ever explain why he was not executed after he was caught, fighting with the French Resistance, in civilian clothes?

The American prisoner at Dachau, when the camp was liberated, was Rene Guiraud.

After being given intensive specialized training, Lt. Guiraud had been parachuted into Nazi-occupied France, along with a radio operator. His mission was to collect intelligence, harass German military units and occupation forces, sabotage critical war material facilities, and carry on other resistance activities. In other words, he was an illegal combatant, according to the Geneva Convention of 1929, and he could have been legally executed.

Guiraud had organized 1,500 guerrilla fighters and developed intelligence networks. During all this, Guiraud posed as a French citizen, wearing civilian clothing. He was captured and interrogated for two months by the Gestapo, but revealed nothing about his mission. After that, he was sent to Dachau where he participated in the camp resistance movement along with the captured British SOE men in the camp.

Two weeks after the liberation of the Dachau horror camp, Guirard “escaped” from the quarantined Dachau camp and went to Paris where he arrived in time to celebrate V-E day.  He never said a word about how he was treated badly at Dachau.

What about the five British SOE agents, who were prisoners in the Dachau camp when it was liberated?  What did they have to say about the horror at Dachau?

One of the prisoners at Dachau, when the camp was liberated, was Albert Guérisse, a British SOE agent from Belgium, who was hiding his identity by using the name Patrick O’Leary. He 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.

When the American liberators arrived at the gate into the Dachau camp, 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 chamber and the ovens in the crematorium. In his book  entitled The Day of the Americans, Nerin E. Gun wrote that Patrick O’Leary (real name Albert Guérisse) was the leader of the International Committee of Dachau, which was in charge of the camp.

What did Guérisse tell the Americans about the horror of Dachau, other than the gas chamber?  Nothing.  He escaped to Paris, along with Rene Guiard.

The information about the Dachau camp, which is told to visitors today, came from the Jewish prisoners, most of whom had only been in the Dachau camp for a few weeks.  They had been evacuated from the sub-camps and brought to the main camp, so that the prisoners could be surrendered to the Americans.  It was the Jewish prisoners who testified at the American Military Tribunal, and wrote books about the horror of Dachau.

Visitors to Dachau today don’t want to hear about what it was really like at Dachau.  They want to see a “horror camp” and a gas chamber. The Dachau Memorial Site caters to the desire of the tourists; it does not tell the true story of what Dachau was really like.

Few tourists visit the historic town of Dachau, which was in existence before America was a country.

 The Gable on the town hall in the historic town of Dachau

The Gable on the town hall in the historic town of Dachau

The photograph above shows a close-up of the emblem on the top of the old town hall. In the round window in the center of the picture, you can see a silver spur. A spur has been used in the Dachau town seal since as far back as 1374.  But who cares about that?  Tourists today only want to see the gas chamber at Dachau, not the historic buildings in the town.

You can see photos of the historic places in the town of Dachau on my website at

September 23, 2013

New book by Leon Leyson, the youngest survivor on Schindler’s List

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:44 am

This news article in The Independent tells about Leon Leyson, the youngest survivor on Schindler’s List, who died just before his memoir was published.  I have not read the book; it has just “hit the shelves” according to the news article.

I previously blogged about the death of Leon Leyson here.

This quote is from The Independent:

He was one of the youngest Holocaust survivors to be saved by Oskar Schindler, and he waited almost 70 years to tell his story. Sadly, Leon Leyson died before he could see his memoir published. The extraordinary, horrifying and heart-breaking book The Boy on the Wooden Box, about a 13-year-old who found his way onto Schindler’s famous list, was released in the US by Simon & Schuster’s children’s division today.

The Plaszow labor camp where Leon Leyson was a prisoner

The Plaszow labor camp where Leon Leyson was a prisoner

Reading through the news article in The Independent, this quote grabbed my attention:

The [Leyson] family was sent to the Plaszow camp in 1940, and Mr Leyson only managed to rejoin his family after sneaking past a guard at huge personal risk. He described stepping through the gates like “arriving at the innermost circle of hell” adding the moment he arrived “I was convinced I would never leave alive”.

The Plazow camp was set up, as a forced labor camp for Jews, in the fall of 1942, according to the Yad Vashem Museum in Israel.  So Leon’s family could not have been sent to Plaszow in 1940.  Leon is the second person that I know of, who sneaked into the Plaszow camp.

Fence around the former Plaszow camp, which has been torn down

Fence around the former Plaszow camp, which has been torn down

The quote from The Independent continues with this information:

The camp’s commandant was the infamous Amon Goeth. Among the frequent brushes with fate, Mr Leyson once had his leg bandaged at the infirmary, finding out later that Goeth had all the patients arbitrarily shot moments after he had left.

Amon Goeth was the Commandant of the Plazow camp from February 1943 to September 1944 when he was arrested by the German Gestapo for stealing from the camp.  How much contact did Leon actually have with Amon Goeth?

Did the reporter, who wrote the news article, make a mistake in the dates, or did Leon Leyson make a mistake in his memoir?

This quote is also from the news article:

In a final act of salvation, in April 1945 with the Germans fleeing, they were ordered to murder all the Jewish workers in the Brinlitz camp. Schindler managed to thwart the plan and have the SS officer in charged transferred out of the area.

Not according to the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which has this to say about Oskar Schindler’s factory:

Though classified as an armaments factory, the Brünnlitz plant produced just one wagonload of live ammunition in just under eight months of operation. By presenting bogus production figures, Schindler justified the existence of the sub-camp as an armaments factory and thus facilitated the survival of over 1,000 Jews, sparing them the horrors and brutality of conventional camp life. Schindler left Brünnlitz only on May 9, 1945, the day that Soviet troops liberated the camp.

There were stories about the Nazis planning to kill all the prisoners in all the camps, at the end of the war, but this turned out to be untrue. You can read about the alleged plan to kill all the prisoners at Dachau on my website here.

At the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, Ernst Kaltenbrunner was accused of ordering all the prisoners to be killed at the end of the war.  You can read his testimony on another blog post which I wrote.

September 22, 2013

How the film Schlindler’s List introduced Americans to the Holocaust…

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 10:46 am

This morning, I read an excellent essay, written by Sally Friedman, for The Philadelphia Inquirer, which was published about a week ago.

It is hard to believe that it was 20 years ago, that Schindler’s List was first shown in theaters.  Even people, who knew about the Holocaust, twenty years ago, actually knew virtually nothing about the Holocaust. It was the movie, Schindler’s List, that introduced the world to the Holocaust.

Scene from Schindler's List show Schindler typing the list

Scene from Schindler’s List

This quote is from the beginning of Ms. Friedman’s essay:

Twenty years ago, sitting in a suburban movie theater watching Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List, I had an awakening. The kind that ignites nerve endings.

I knew that Jews, my people by birth and heritage, had been systematically killed by the Nazis simply because they were Jewish.

So the Nazis killed the Jews simply because they were Jewish?  What was it about the Jews that caused to Nazis to want to get rid of them?

Let’s go back to the beginning of the Nazi party, back to 1920, when Hitler published his “25 points” which was the basic principles, upon which the Nazi party was founded.

Remember that, in 1920, it had been only two years since Germany had lost World War One. Hitler believed that it was the actions of the Jews that had caused Germany to lose the war.

Point number 24. is the most important point in the 25 Points:

24. We demand freedom for all religious faiths in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or offend the moral and ethical sense of the Germanic race.
The party as such represents the point of view of a positive Christianity without binding itself to any one particular confession. It fights against the Jewish materialist spirit within and without, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our folk can only come about from within on the principle:


Hitler believed that the Jews were not working for the “common good” of the German people, but for the individual good of the Jews.

There were also a few other points in the 25 Points, which applied to the Jews:

11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in blood and treasure, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as treason to the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.


16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle-class, the immediate communalization of large stores which will be rented cheaply to small tradespeople, and the strongest consideration must be given to ensure that small traders shall deliver the supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.

17. We demand an agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.

18. We demand that ruthless war be waged against those who work to the injury of the common welfare. Traitors, usurers, profiteers, etc., are to be punished with death, regardless of creed or race.

Look at point number 16.  The Jews had invented the idea of a “department store,” where each section of the store was owned by a different person.  Meanwhile, the German craftsmen were selling their wares from their own residence.  The Germans lost business because customers wanted to go to a big store where there was goods of every kind, being sold by the Jews, and they could do their shopping under one roof.

Let’s read Point 24 again:

The [Nazi] party as such represents the point of view of a positive Christianity without binding itself to any one particular confession. It fights against the Jewish materialist spirit within and without, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our folk can only come about from within on the principle:


Did you catch this part?:  “[the Nazi party] fights against the Jewish materialistic spirit…

The term positive Christianity is explained on this website:

This quote is from the website, cited above:

[Alfred] Rosenberg saw Positive Christianity as Norse paganism being at one with Christianity. Rather than have the cross as the symbol of Positive Christianity, Rosenberg wanted the sun in the form of a sun cross.

The photo below, taken at the Wewelsburg castle shows the “sun cross.”

The "sun cross" aka the Sun Wheel

The “sun cross” aka the Sun Wheel

To get back to Schindler’s List, this movie boiled everything down to Good vs. Evil.  Jews were Good, and anyone who saved Jews was Good.  Nazis were Evil, and anyone who wanted to get rid of Jews was Evil.

Oskar Schindler represented Good in the movie, and Amon Goeth, the commandant of the Plaszow camp, represented Evil.

This part of the article by Ms. Friedman really offended me:

Schindler’s List Benefit Film Screening

A benefit film screening for the USC Shoah Foundation-The Institute for Visual History and Education, with guest appearance by Liam Neeson, is at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut St. Preceded at 5:30 by a VIP reception and supper with Neeson. Tickets: $100 to $1,000. Information: 215-665-7208 or

Remember Point 24, which mentioned the “Jewish materialistic spirit”?  $1,000 for a movie ticket and a chance to meet Liam Neeson is an example of “materialistic spirit” in my humble opinion.

How many billions of dollars have the Jews made off the Holocaust?  If Hitler had a grave, he would be turning over in it, and saying “That’s what I’m talking about.”

September 21, 2013

Amon Goeth in the news: Was he actually hanged?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, movies — Tags: — furtherglory @ 10:16 am
Mugshot of Amon Goeth after he was arrested for stealing from the Plaszow camp

Mugshot of Amon Goeth after he was arrested for stealing from the Plaszow camp

There has been an inordinate amount of interest in a blog post which I put up over three years ago, on June 2, 2010. Way back then, I wrote about Amon Goeth, the man who was made famous by the film Schindler’s List.  Oskar Schindler was the opposite of Amon Goeth; he was the hero of Schindler’s List, while Amon Goeth was the villain. The day before, on June 1, 2010, I blogged about Schindler here.

Amon Goeth after he was arrested for stealing from the camp where he was the Commandant

Amon Goeth after he was arrested by the Gestapo for stealing from the camp

You can read my old post at

When this old blog post started getting many hits recently, I set out to find out why. I did a search on Amon Goeth and found a video of the hanging of Amon Goeth, which you can see below. (The hanging begins at 3:17 minutes in the video.)

As I watched the film of the hanging of Amon Goeth, it didn’t look right to me.  As Dr. Henry Lee famously said, “Something Wrong!”  The man in the video did not look like Amon Goeth. Also, the man in the film remained calm throughout two botched attempts.

I was going to blog about the botched hanging of Amon Goeth, but something stayed my hand.  Something Wrong!

Would Amon Goeth, the famous killer who shot prisoners from his balcony, have remained calm?  No, the Amon Goeth, who is depicted in Schindlder’s List, would have thrown a fit if he had been subjected to this gross incompetence.

The hanging film also showed Goeth allegedly standing on his balcony, holding a rifle, but I recognized the “balcony” as being the patio on the ground floor of Amon’s house, which is shown in the second photo below.

Amon Goeth allegedly standing on his balcony

Amon Goeth allegedly standing on his balcony

Goeth standing on the patio on the ground floor of his house

Goeth standing on the patio on the ground floor of his house

Amon Goeth in his SS uniform

Amon Goeth in his SS uniform

Then I did some more searching and found a news article about Goeth here.  It seems that others have also questioned the film which shows the hanging of Goeth.

This quote is from the news article:

Did ‘executed’ Nazi criminal in Schindler’s List escape justice? Historians claim video of camp commander being hanged is NOT him

Amon Goeth killed thousands of people as concentration camp commander
For decades video of a Nazi execution was believed to show his death
But new documentary says film shows execution of Dr Ludwig Fischer
Goeth was chillingly played by Ralph Fiennes in the Spielberg masterpiece
His death is a complete mystery and it is not known where he was buried

By Becky Evans

PUBLISHED: 09:05 EST, 21 March 2013 | UPDATED: 11:47 EST, 21 March 2013

Sadistic Amon Goeth

Sadistic Amon Goeth was believed to have been executed in a filmed hanging but now historians say it was a different Nazi butcher.

Revelations about the execution of a notorious Nazi war criminal, immortalised (sic) in Schindler’s List, have raised questions about how the mass murderer died and whether he was even hanged at all.

For decades Amon Goeth, who was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews and Poles during World War Two, was believed to have been filmed being executed in 1946.

A black and white video shows executioners twice botching a hanging before he was eventually killed.

But historians claim in a new National Geographic documentary called Bloody Tales that the video was from 1947 and shows Dr Ludwig Fischer being hanged.

Worryingly, there is almost no detail about the sadistic mass murderer’s death in official records and no one knows what happened to his body.

Historian Dr Suzannah Lipscomb and presenter Joe Crowley do not believe he escaped Europe like other high profile Nazis such as Adolf Eichmann and Joseph Mengele, and say he was killed.

However the revelations surrounding Goeth, who was known to carry out his own killings rather than order them, mean his death is now a complete mystery with records containing just two words: ‘He died.’

Read more:

At Goeth’s trial in Poland, after the end of World War II, the Nazi party was said to be “an organization which, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, through aggressive wars, violence and other crimes, aimed at world domination and establishment of the National-Socialist regime.”

At his trial, Amon Goeth was accused of personally issuing orders to deprive people of freedom, to ill-treat and exterminate individuals and whole groups of people. His crimes, including the newly created crime of genocide, came under a new law of the Allies, called Crimes against Humanity.

The charges against Amon Goeth were as follows:

(1) The accused as commandant of the forced labour camp at Plaszow (Cracow) from 11th February, 1943, till 13th September, 1944, caused the death of about 8,000 inmates by ordering a large number of them to be exterminated.

(2) As a SS-Sturmführer the accused carried out on behalf of SS-Sturmbannführer Willi Haase the final closing down of the Cracow ghetto. This liquidation action which began on 13th March, 1943, deprived of freedom about 10,000 people who had been interned in the camp of Plaszow, and caused the death of about 2,000.

(3) As a SS-Hauptsturmführer the accused carried out on 3rd September, 1943, the closing down of the Tarnow ghetto. As a result of this action an unknown number of people perished, having been killed on the spot in Tarnow; others died through asphyxiation during transport by rail or were exterminated in other camps, in particular at Auschwitz.

(4) Between September, 1943, and 3rd February, 1944, the accused closed down the forced labour camp at Szebnie near Jaslo by ordering the inmates to be murdered on the spot or deported to other camps, thus causing the death of several thousand persons.

(5) Simultaneously with the activities described under (1) to (4) the accused deprived the inmates of valuables, gold and money deposited by them, and appropriated those things. He also stole clothing, furniture and other movable property belonging to displaced or interned people, and sent them to Germany. The value of stolen goods and in particular of valuables reached many million zlotys at the rate of exchange in force at the time.

Amon Goeth was escorted from the courtroom after the was sentenced to death

Amon Goeth was escorted from the courtroom after he was sentenced to death

At his trial, the last charge, as stated in number (5) above, was the crime for which he had been arrested by the Gestapo on September 13, 1944, after an investigation by Waffen-SS officer Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen.

Dr. Morgen had done a lengthy investigation of the activities of Amon Goeth, but did not arrest him for killing anyone.

At his trial, Goeth’s defense was that he was a Waffen-SS soldier who had to follow the orders of his superiors. He denied killing anyone except when ordered to carry out an execution.

Amon Goeth was found guilty on all counts in the Polish court. He was sentenced to death and was allegedly hanged in Krakow on September 13, 1946, exactly two years to the day that he left the Plaszow camp after being arrested.

September 19, 2013

Harry Reid compared Syria’s use of chemical weapons to “Nazi gas chambers”

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 1:19 pm

The Times of Israel featured a news report today with the headline:

Reid compares Assad’s attacks to Nazi gas chambers

Senate majority leader tries to drum up support in Congress for American military actions against Syria

This quote is from the news report:  “Millions and millions of civilians and prisoners of war were murdered in Nazi death camps, Treblinka and Auschwitz.”

So that’s what happened during World War II?  Prisoners of War were murdered at Treblinka and Auschwitz.

Were any of the Nazis ever charged with killing Prisoners of War at Treblinka or Auschwitz? Not that I know of.

I searched and searched on Wikipedia (the official website for the history of the Holocaust) and found nothing about Prisoners of War being sent to Treblinka and Auschwitz to be murdered.

Reid might have selected the name Treblinka to mention because this camp has been in the news recently.

Symbolic cemetery at Treblinka

Symbolic cemetery at Treblinka has 17,000 stones in honor of the towns and villages from which the victims, who were killed at Treblinka, came

The photo above shows the symbolic cemetery, which is located on a knoll, at the top of a gentle slope, on the site of the former Treblinka extermination camp. The symbolic cemetery is a large circular area with 17,000 stones of various sizes and colors set into concrete. When I visited Treblinka in October 1998, my tour guide told me that 130 of the stones have the names of the cities or towns from which the victims were deported to the death camp.

Strangely, there are no stones in honor of the Prisoners of War who were murdered at Treblinka, according to Harry Reid.

My tour guide informed me that the ashes of the 800,000 people who were murdered here were dumped in this area and are now hidden underneath the concrete of the symbolic cemetery and by the grass and tiny flowers which cover the area.

One of the 17,000 symbolic stones represents the city of Kielce in central Poland, where 42 Jews were killed by a mob of Polish citizens in a pogrom on July 4, 1946, long after the Nazi occupation of Poland had ended.

Since my visit to Treblinka in 1998, I have learned that some tour guides now tell visitors that the number of 17,000 stones in the symbolic cemetery represents the highest number of Jews that were gassed in a single day when the camp was in operation. Others say that the number 17,000 represents the number of Jewish communities that were destroyed in the Holocaust.

Stone in honor of Janusz Korczak at Treblinka

Stone in honor of Janusz Korczak at Treblinka

The photo above shows a stone, in the symbolic cemetery at Treblinka, which was placed there in honor of Janusz Korczak, the only person to have his name on a stone. There are 17,000 stones in the symbolic cemetery and 700 of them represent the Jewish communities in Poland that were destroyed in the Holocaust. Most of the stones are small and have no writing on them. In the foreground of the photo is the stone for the victims from the town of Staszow in Poland.

Harry Reid should raise money for a stone to be put at Treblinka, in honor of the Prisoners of War who were murdered there.

Kurt Franz the last Commandant at Treblinka

Kurt Franz the last Commandant at Treblinka

The man shown in the photo above is Kurt Franz, notorious Nazi war criminal, who was the last Commandant of Treblinka.  He was such a nice man that the prisoners nicknamed him Lalka, the Yiddish word for “Doll.”  Is this the guy who killed Prisoners of War at Treblinka?

September 17, 2013

Holocaust survivor who “got the water, not the gas”

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 7:21 am

The title of my blog post today comes from a news article about the Holocaust on ABC News, which has the headline shown below:

Holocaust Survivor, Daughter Offer Business Advice Tips From Auschwitz

Jill Klein, the daughter of Holocaust survivor, Gene Klein, has written a new book about Auschwitz. You can read the full article, about her book, on the ABC News website here.

This quote is from the news article:

Her book, “We got the Water: Tracing My Family’s Path Through Auschwitz,” takes its title from an entry in a diary kept by Gene Klein’s sister Lilly, who also was interned in the infamous Nazi death camp. Lilly wrote in her diary of being sent to Auschwitz’s showers. In her case, she was sent to a real bathhouse, not to the gas chamber:

“Then we went into the showers, and we were the lucky ones. We got the water. Millions of others got the gas, but we knew nothing about that then.”  […]

She says she and her dad started doing the presentations a year ago and have done about a dozen so far. They speak for free to not-for-profit groups. For-profit clients pay between $6,000 and $10,000. Further information about their presentations can be found at

I haven’t read Jill’s book, but it sounds very misleading to me. Her book implies that some of the prisoners got water and others got gas — from the same source.

Did the shower rooms at Auschwitz have faucets that dispensed water sometimes, and gas other times?  No, the gas chambers in Krema II and Krema III at Auschwitz-Birkenau, did not have shower faucets.

Krema IV and Krema V at Auschwitz-Birkenau had gas chambers that were disguised as showers, so presumably they had shower faucets. However, water and gas could not have come out of the same faucet.  The gas was in the form of pellets; it could not have been put into the gas chambers through shower faucets.

Jill Klein may have gotten the idea for her book from the movie Schindler’s List, which shows Jewish women inside what they think is a gas chamber, but then water comes out of the faucets.  After the women leave the building where they have taken a shower, they look across the road and see Jews descending some stairs into a gas chamber building.  This scene is pure fiction.  The Sauna building at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which had a shower room, was NOT directly across from a gas chamber building that had stairs going down into the undressing room.  If the women in the movie were in a shower room in Krema IV or Krema V, the gas chambers with steps going down into the undressing room were about a mile away, so they could not have seen the steps.

I am guessing that Jill’s Aunt Lilly was sent to either Crematorium IV or Crematorium V, which had ovens to burn the bodies and also shower rooms for the prisoners. She “got the water” because she was NOT sent to Crematorium II or Crematorium III, which did not have shower faucets.

Photo of Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau, taken in 1943

Photo of Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau, taken in 1943

The photograph above, taken in the Summer of 1943, shows Krema IV (Crematorium IV) just after it first became operational.  The gas chamber, disguised as a shower room, was located above ground in the wing of the building which is to the left in the picture. Note that the roof line of the gas chamber is lower than the roof of the main part of the building.  According to official Holocaust history, Zyklon-B poison gas pellets were thrown into a fake shower room through windows on the outside wall of the Krema IV gas chamber. This building was blown up by Jewish inmates in a camp rebellion on October 7, 1944. Krema V was a mirror image of Krema IV.  There is nothing left of these buildings, except the reconstructed ruins.

The Sauna Building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The Sauna Building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Krema IV was across the road from the beautiful red brick building, called “die zentrale Sauna” which was the place where incoming prisoners were processed and the prisoner’s clothing was disinfected.  There was a shower room for the prisoners in the Sauna building.

In the movie Schindler’s List, women prisoners are shown exiting from the shower room in the Sauna building; they see the high brick chimney of Krema IV, which is across the road from the Sauna. The gas chambers in Krema IV and Krema V were above ground, although in Schindler’s List, the prisoners are shown going down steps into an underground undressing room.

The photo below is from the Auschwitz Album, a book of photos taken by an SS man at Birkenau on May 26, 1944. It shows a group of Hungarian Jews waiting at the western end of the camp; the Central Sauna, where the main shower room was located, is across the road from where the Jews are waiting.  Krema IV and Krema V are behind them and to the left.

Prisoners waiting for a shower in the Krema IV building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Hungarian Prisoners waiting for a shower at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The building plans for Krema IV and Krema V show shower rooms, but according to official Holocaust history, these rooms were actually gas chambers. Even the Red Cross inspectors were fooled by these showers; they thought that these were real showers, not gas chambers.

Between April 29, 1944 and July 8, 1944, there was a total of 437,402 Hungarian Jews transported by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau, including Jill Klein’s relatives.  The photo below shows the entrance gate into the Birkenau camp.

Entrance into Birkenau camp was called the Gate of Death by the prisoners

Entrance into Birkenau camp was called the Gate of Death by the prisoners

In May 1944, the train tracks were extended, through the gate house, to the inside of the Birkenau camp.  Just inside the camp, there was a switch which divided the tracks, as shown in the photo below.


Train tracks were extended into the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in the Spring of 1944

Train tracks were extended into the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in the Spring of 1944

The train tracks to Auschwitz were extended inside the camp in May 1944, so that the Hungarian Jews could be brought into the camp, instead of being brought from the trains by truck into the camp. The single track that entered through the “Gate of Death” was divided into two tracks inside the camp.

Prisoners getting off the train inside the Birkenau camp

Prisoners getting off the train inside the Birkenau camp

The photo above shows the tall chimneys of Krema II on the left and Krema III on the right.  Some of the prisoners who got off the train went directly to Krema II or Krema III, according to official Holocaust history.

Some of the Hungarian Jews were allegedly gassed immediately without going through a selection process. The next day, the survivors were told by the other prisoners that their relatives had gone “durch den Kamin,” which means “through the chimney.” This was an expression, used by the prisoners in the camp, which meant that the victims had been immediately gassed upon arrival and then burned in a crematorium at Birkenau.

Jill Klein’s relatives were the lucky ones, who “got the water, not the gas.”

At the end of October 1944, Heinrich Himmler ordered the gassing of the prisoners with Zyklon-B to be stopped, according to a guide book which I purchased at the Auschwitz Memorial Site in 1998; the last “selection” of prisoners was on October 30, 1944. This decision, according to the guidebook, was prompted by the liberation of the Majdanek death camp and the discovery, by soldiers of the Soviet Union, of the incriminating evidence of 500 empty Zyklon-B cans and several remaining gas chambers with blue stains on the walls, left by the gas. His decision was also influenced by the camp uprising when Krema IV was blown up. The prisoners had used dynamite, that had been smuggled in by women inmates, who worked in factories outside the camp.

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