Scrapbookpages Blog

September 2, 2013

Has documentation of one person who was gassed at Auschwitz finally been found?

For many years, Bradley Smith has been asking for the name of one person, with documentation, who was gassed at Auschwitz, or any other Nazi concentration camp.  Today, I got an e-mail from Bradley, which got my hopes up, that the name of one person had finally been found.

It seems that a letter was sent, by CODOH historian David Merlin, to Peter Black, a senior historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, asking for one name of a person (with proof) who was gassed by the Nazis. A reply was received in which the name Else Ury was given by the USHMM.

The reply, sent by the USHMM, is quoted below:

“We know that Else Ury went to Auschwitz-Birkenau, because her name appears on a transport list with more than 1100 others deported from Berlin to Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 12, 1943. We know that she did not survive selection upon arrival because her name does not appear in the prisoner registry.” [..]

Else Ury was one of 1,196 German Jews deported from Berlin to Auschwitz on January 13, 1943.”

Note that the name Else Ury was on TWO DIFFERENT transport lists: January 12 and January 13, 1943.  Her name was obviously taken off the January 12th list and put on the January 13th list.  Who’s to say that her name was not removed from the January 13th list and put on yet another list.  Is there any proof that she survived the trip to Auschwitz on the train that left on January 13th?  It was in the dead of winter, and the trains were not heated.

According to an article on Bradley Smith’s CODOH website, Else Ury’s name was put into the Yad Vashem database several times.  Else was born in 1877 and she lived in Berlin.

Wait a minute! This woman was 66 years old and she lived in Berlin.  She was a “prominent and talented writer.”  Would a 66-year-old woman, who was a famous writer, have been sent to Auschwitz to be gassed?  Old women and prominent Jews were sent to Theresienstadt.

It would have been a waste of time and money to send a 66-year-old woman to Auschwitz to be gassed.  This woman was virtually on her death bed.  There were millions of Jews to be gassed.  Why waste time on an old woman who probably would not survive the train ride, in a cattle car, to Auschwitz?

The most important thing about the story of Else Ury is that she was not registered in the Auschwitz camp, which is allegedly the proof that she was gassed.  Many prisoners were sent to Auschwitz, where they stayed for several months before being sent elsewhere; they were not registered because they were not selected to work in the camp.  They stayed for a few months at Auschwitz, which was a TRANSIT CAMP, as well as a death camp.  Then they were sent on to another camp.

I previously wrote a blog post about the man who allegedly kept records of the Jews who were gassed:

I previously wrote about Auschwitz on a blog post which you can read here:

This quote is from my website:

The town of Auschwitz was a major railroad hub, with many train tracks coming into it; there was a large marshaling yard near the Auschwitz station. Standing on the railroad overpass in 1941, Himmler realized that Birkenau was an ideal location for transporting people by rail from all over Europe, although the plans for exterminating the Jews were not finalized until the Nazis were confident that they would win their war against the Soviet Union.

My guess is that Else Ury, a prominent old woman, was sent to Theresienstadt, where there was a barracks, that was specifically for older women.  The photo below shows a hospital for old people at Theresienstadt.

Hohenelbe Barracks at Theresienstadt contained a hospital

Hohenelbe Barracks at Theresienstadt contained a hospital

Between Parkstrasse and Wallstrasse on the east side of the Theresienstadt ghetto is where the Hohenelbe barracks were located. This was the central hospital for the Jewish inmates in the ghetto. There were public baths, showers and a swimming pool located here. The building included a kitchen which prepared food for the hospital patients.

Behind this building is a large bastion jutting out from the town walls which you can get a glimpse of on the extreme left of the photo above. Located between the walls of the bastion was the Kavalir barracks.  The Kavalir barracks was used to house the very old prisoners and also prisoners brought to Theresienstadt from the Jewish insane asylums in the Greater German Reich.  This could be the place where Else Ury was a prisoner.

As I read further in the letter from David Merlin, CODOH to the USHMM, I found that Mr. Merlin also thinks that Else Ury was most likely sent to Theresienstadt. This quote is from his letter:

First, we note a conflict between your statement that “1196 German Jews (were) deported from Berlin to Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 12, 1943” and the report of Danuta Czech in Auschwitz Chronicle that a transport from Berlin arrived at Auschwitz on January 13, 1943 with one thousand (1,000) men, women and children on it. This suggests that 196 persons may have been taken off of the Auschwitz transport.

We also note that there were numerous transports of Jewish deportees from Berlin to Theresienstadt in 1943. These transports carried thousands of people and oftentimes included prominent older German Jews, like Else Ury. One such transport from Berlin went to Theresienstadt on January 12, 1943, the day that Else Ury was deported. It was transport I/80 and carried 105 people.

So, has the name of one person who was gassed been found?  Nope.  Close, but no cigar.