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October 30, 2013

Dr. Efraim Zuroff: “Holocaust distortion is posing a serious threat to the Jewish narrative of the Holocaust”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:32 am

According to a news article, which you can read on The Jerusalem Post here, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is “promulgating a new working definition of Holocaust denial.”

Gideon Behar told The Jerusalem Post that “the definition was important because it was the first such document detailing what is considered acceptable by Western democracies and ratified by an international body.”

Gideon Behar is “the Foreign Ministry’s point man on anti- Semitism and one of two Israeli delegates to the [IHRA]”, according to the news article.

An example of Holocaust denial is given in The Jerusalem Post article: “If you say that only two million Jews were killed that is Holocaust denial according to this definition.”

I have to admit that I had to read this news article 3 times before I could understand it. It was all Greek to me.

This quote is from the article in The Jerusalem Post:

The working definition is not legally binding, but has significant moral authority due to the composition of the IHRA. [The IHRA] includes many of the world’s leading democracies as members and the United Nations among its official observers.

I am very pleased that we now have a group of countries in an organization with “significant moral authority” to tell us what we are required to believe.  I am assuming that the IHRA includes a representative of the USA and that our 1st Amendment right of “freedom of speech” will no longer apply to the Holocaust.

The question of how many Jews died in the Holocaust reminds me of the old “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” question.  No two people will ever agree on a suitable answer.

This quote is from The Jerusalem Post:

According to the IHRA, distortion of the Holocaust is defined as:

• “Intentional efforts to excuse or minimize the impact of the Holocaust or its principal elements, including collaborators and allies of Nazi Germany”

• “Gross minimization of the murder of the victims of the Holocaust in contradiction to reliable sources”

• “Attempts to blame the Jews for causing their own genocide”

• “Statements that cast the Holocaust as a positive historical event” and

• “Attempts to blur the responsibility for the establishment of concentration and death camps devised and operated by Nazi Germany and putting blame on other nations or ethnic groups.”

The last example, in the new definition of Holocaust denial, worries me.  For example, if you say anything about the Italian concentration camps, you could go to prison for “Holocaust denial” because only Nazi Germany can be demonized now.

According to the news article, “the Simon Wiesenthal Center […]  contributed to the definition…”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center?  Now there’s a place where you can learn the truth about the Holocaust.  I previously blogged about the SWC here and here.

According to the article in The Jerusalem Post, Dr. Zuroff was quoted as saying:

“This is excellent, this is extremely important, because it focuses on Holocaust distortion which is something that has developed rapidly in the last few years and is posing a serious threat [to] the Jewish narrative of the Holocaust, especially in Eastern Europe. […]

“[that] doesn’t specifically identify the efforts to equate communism to Nazism as a form of Holocaust distortion,” [an oversight that [Zuroff] believes is problematic.]

So watch what you say, dear readers, lest you be sent to prison for 5 years for “Holocaust distortion.”  Saying that the Soviet Communists killed as many people as the Nazi Fascists would be an example of “Holocaust distortion,” which is the name of the new crime of denial.

October 29, 2013

Holocaust survivor Phil Gans is out selling “Erase the hate” bracelets

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 1:23 pm

PhilGans

I previously blogged here about Philip L. Gans, who allegedly survived the Auschwitz III camp, aka Monowitz. In the photo above, Philip Gans is standing in front of a photo of the Arbeit Macht Frei sign at the Auschwitz main camp, although he claims that he was in the Auschwitz III camp. Did Monowitz have the Arbeit sign?  I blogged about that here.

Philip is now out on the lecture circuit, selling bracelets that say “Erase the hate.”  You can read about it in this news article.  You can read a biography of Phil Gans here.

This quote is from the news article, published today, in The Pilot Tribune:

[Gans and his relatives] were taken to a detention camp in Westerbork [Holland] which, Gans explained, was not bad at all.

A month later 1,001 people from the detention camp were crammed into a train car, used to transport cattle. No one knew where they were going.

Several days later, they arrived at Auschwitz, a slave labor camp. [Does he mean Auschwitz III, aka Monowitz? Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II were “death camps”.]

Off the train, the men and women were separated. From there they were separated into other lines – one for the able-bodied who the Nazis felt could be workers and another line, for those they did not feel could work, were led to the showers where they were gassed to death then cremated.

I never got to say good-bye to my mom…” Gans said, [whose mother] was put in the shower line.

Because of his age, 15, he was put into the working line.
[…]
Gans remained at Auschwitz from Aug. 27, 1943 to Jan. 18, 1945 and was then transferred to Flossenberg where he served from January 1945 until April 16, 1945.
[…]
It was April 23, 1945 that the American army stepped in and helped liberate the [Flossenbürg] prisoners. He will never forget that day or those [American] soldiers who were so kind to him.
[…]
“I’m committed to getting the message out there.” He has coined the phrase, “Erase the Hate,” and put them on silicone bracelets which he sells.

When I wrote my first blog post about Phil Gans, I was skeptical of his story because he claims that he was sent directly to the Auschwitz III camp (Monowitz) which was NOT on a train line.

Before the train tracks were extended inside the Auschwitz II camp, prisoners who were sent to Auschwitz arrived at the Judenrampe and were then taken to the Auschwitz II camp, aka Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they underwent a selection.  Those who were selected to work were then sent to Monowitz, after first being held in the quarantine barracks at Birkenau for a few weeks.

Phil was fortunate that he arrived at Auschwitz at the exact age of 15 because that was the cut off point for prisoners to be chosen to work.  Anne Frank, who was also sent from Westerbork to Auschwitz, was 15 when she arrived, so she was not sent to the gas chamber.

What about his tattoo number, which begins with the number one, and has no letter A or B in front of it?  That part is correct, according to the USHMM website.

This quote about the Flossenbürg camp is from Wikipedia:

On 20 April 1945, they began the forced evacuation of 22,000 inmates, including 1,700 Jews, leaving behind only those too sick to walk. On the death march to the Dachau concentration camp, SS guards shot any inmate too sick to keep up.[4] Before they reached Dachau, more than 7,000 inmates had been shot or had collapsed and died.

By the time the U.S. Army freed the camp on April 23, 1945, more than 30,000 inmates had died at Flossenbürg. Troops from the 2nd Cavalry Group, Mechanized,[5] the 90th Infantry Division and the 97th Infantry Division[6][7] found about 1,600 ill and weak prisoners, mostly in the camp’s hospital barracks.

Phil was again fortunate that he was too sick to join the march out of Flossenbürg, and he was liberated by American troops. Those who could march were taken to the Dachau camp.

The Holocaust story, told by Phil Gans, is just TOO CONVENIENT.  For example, this quote from the news article:

In August of 1942 Gans’ father was informed he was to report to Germany but rather than going, he put the family into hiding. The family moved around and were separated for several months.

It was during the night in July 1943 that Gans was awakened by footsteps in the gravel outside their home. They had been discovered by the Nazis who ordered them up and to get dressed.

It was necessary for the Gans family to go into hiding (just like Anne Frank’s family) so that Phil would be exactly 15 years old, the age of survival at Auschwitz.  Otherwise, he would have had to lie about his age during the selections, which were always done by Dr. Josef Mengele, according to the survivors.

There is a revisionist website with the title “Inconvenient History,” which you can read here. This website could be called “Real History,” except that David Irving already has that title.

There should be a Holocaust website called “Convenient History” where survivors, like Phil Gans, could tell their convenient stories.

October 28, 2013

Holocaust survivor Hilda Mantelmacher was “marched” from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:37 am

This morning, I read a news article here, which mentioned that Holocaust survivor Hilda Mantelmacher spoke at a special diversity presentation held recently on the campus of Central Penn College.

This quote is from the news article:

[Mantelmacher] was invited to speak on Oct. 22 by part-time general education professor Darrel Showers who teaches a history course titled “Remember: A Retrospective of the Holocaust.” At first, the plan was to have her talk in front of the class as a guest lecturer, but the decision was made to share her message with the broader campus community, said Sarah Douglass, college spokesperson.

For years, Hilda had kept silent about her ordeal in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, until one day when she saw two Holocaust deniers speak on a TV show.  This was probably the Phil Donahue show, several years ago, where Bradley Smith and David Cole debated the Holocaust with Holocaust Believers.  That’s when Hilda started speaking on the lecture circuit.

You can listen to her talk at Central Penn College on YouTube:

At 18:53 minutes in the video, Hilda says that the Nazis put a Christian girl in the gas chamber.

At 19:44 minutes in the video, Hilda says that she does not have a tattoo.  She explains this by saying that the Nazis didn’t tattoo people who were selected for the gas chamber.  Hilda was very young when she was sent to Auschwitz, although she doesn’t give her exact age in the video. In another news story, which you can read here, Hilda said that she does not know the day nor the year that she was born.

Apparently, Hilda was selected for the gas chamber, but the Nazis never got around to gassing her.  It is well known that Dr. Josef Mengele could not determine age to within 5 years, so many young children were saved from the gas chamber, by lying about their age.

At 27:15 minutes in the YouTube video, Hilda says that she was MARCHED to Bergen-Belsen.  Up to this point, Hilda had been describing her stay at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which was in what is now Poland, a long way from Bergen-Belsen which was in northwest Germany.

Bergen-Belsen was the camp, to which Anne Frank was transferred, from Auschwitz-Birkenau.  The news article about Hilda’s diversity talk says that Hilda was TRANSFERRED to Bergen-Belsen, thereby covering a huge mistake made by Hilda in her talk. Or maybe, young girls were MARCHED all the way from Poland to Bergen-Belsen.

I rushed to the Bergen-Belsen page on Wikipedia to find out if women marched all the way from Poland to Germany in the last days of the war.  I found the following information on Wikipedia:

In January 1945, the SS took over the POW hospital and increased the size of Bergen-Belsen. As eastern concentration camps were evacuated before the advance of the Red Army, at least 85,000 people were transported in cattle cars or marched to Bergen-Belsen.[12]

I checked the source for this statement and found that this website is the source.  This quote from the website gives the information about the marches:

In the summer of 1944, the SS began to evacuate the camps near the front lines and transport tens of thousands of prisoners to more centrally located camps under catastrophic conditions. At least 85,000 men, women and children were taken to Bergen-Belsen on over 100 transports and death marches starting in December 1944. The train journeys in overcrowded cattle cars and the death marches sometimes lasted for several weeks.

Note that prisoners were MARCHED to Bergen-Belsen, but there is no claim that prisoners were MARCHED FROM POLAND to Bergen-Belsen.  They were marched from other camps in GERMANY to Bergen-Belsen which was WEST of the other camps.

Jewish prisoners dragging a dead body at Bergen-Belsen

Jewish prisoners dragging a dead body at Bergen-Belsen

At 27:53 minutes in the video, Hilda says that the girls at Bergen-Belsen had nothing to do but take away the dead.  The photo above proves that she was right about that.  But then she says that when the British came closer, the Nazis went to hide all the corpses.

There were thousands of dead bodies in the Bergen-Belsen camp because there was a typhus epidemic in progress.  That is why the camp was VOLUNTARILY turned over to the British, after a week of negotiations.  The Nazis did not try to hide the bodies from the British. The British knew that the camp was being turned over to them BECAUSE of the typhus epidemic, which could potentially spread to the German soldiers and the British soldiers who were fighting in this area.

In her talk, Hilda Mantelmacher said all the right things about the gas chamber.  At 13:03 minutes in the video, she says that the prisoners were forced to enter the shower, but it was really a gas chamber.  She mentions that the prisoners were given soap and towels to take with them into the showers, which were really gas chambers.  She also mentions that the prisoners were told to tie their shoes together before leaving them in the undressing room.  Hilda has the official gas chamber story down pat, even though she was never sent to the gas chamber herself.  Instead, she was sent to Bergen-Belsen, a camp that is known to everyone because that is where Anne Frank died, after she was sent there on a TRAIN.

In my humble opinion, Hilda should have done a little more research before telling her fake story about the Holocaust.  For one thing, Hilda said this:  “Dr. Josef Mengele greeted the new arrivals with a cruel face, vicious dogs and a whip held firmly in one hand.”  Every other survivor of Auschwitz has described Dr. Mengele as being very charming, NOT as having “a cruel face.”  The photo below shows Dr. Mengele in the center.  Does this look like “a cruel face:?

Richard Baer, Josef Mengele and Rudolf Hoess

Richard Baer, Josef Mengele and Rudolf Hoess

Most of the survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau describe Dr. Mengele as being impeccably dressed, and whistling as the prisoners passed by him during the selection process.

This quote is from the news article about Hilda’s talk to the students:

“From the start, it was clear that Nazi Germany was bent on the destruction of European Jews and made it a major goal of World War II. Mantelmacher remembers how her father had set aside a secret place for the family.”

So her family had a hiding place?  Could it be that Hilda hid in the “secret place” throughout the war, and was never sent to a camp?

I believe that Hilda Mantelmacher is contributing to the Holocaust denier side of the story, more than proving the Holocaust.

October 26, 2013

Video of Lt. William P. Walsh talking about the German soldiers who “died in the defense of Dachau”

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:06 am

The YouTube video below (scroll down) shows soldiers in the 45th Infantry Division of the US Army, who were the first liberators to arrive at the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945.  The first man to speak is Lt. Col. Felix L. Sparks; then Lt. William P. Walsh speaks during the video at 1:43 minutes to 2:41 minutes. At 3:49 in the video, the photo below is shown, but the photo is not identified.

GermansKilledDachau

At 8:44 minutes in the video, Lt. Walsh describes a handsome German guy, who comes out “covered with Red Cross shields and white flags.” Lt. Walsh laughs, as he says that this German guy “looks like Howdy Doody” with all of his Red Cross shields.

At 9:32 in the video, Lt. Walsh says that the German soldier “jumped up into a box car” on the train parked outside the Dachau camp.  He doesn’t say why this German soldier jumps into the box car, nor does he say that he personally shot this man, who had surrendered while carrying a white flag.

What was the name of this German soldier, who surrendered to Lt. Walsh, carrying a white flag of surrender?  I previously blogged here about a German soldier who was killed after he surrendered.

At 14:00 in the video, Lt. Walsh begins to speak about the Germans who “died in defense of Dachau.”  He uses this phrase three or four times.  To Lt. William Walsh, when an enemy soldier surrenders, carrying a white flag, he is volunteering to “die in defense” of the military garrison where he is stationed.

The embedding of the YouTube video has been disabled but you can still watch the video on YouTube.  Apparently, someone has objected to my showing of this video on my blog.

I previously blogged about the “Dachau Massacre” at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/dachau-liberation-reprisals-another-term-for-the-dachau-massacre/

"brick path" leads to the Dachau concentration camp from the SS garrison

“brick path” leads to the Dachau concentration camp from the SS garrison in the background

At 7:16 minutes on the YouTube video, an American veteran says that he “walked down a brick path” [after leaving the SS garrison] and he saw a “big, red brick building” at Dachau [which was outside the concentration camp].

At 7:45 minutes, he says that he saw “big vents in the ceiling and gas jets on the wall.”  As he says this, we see a photo of the gas chamber as it looks now, not the way it looked when the American soldiers first saw it.  At this point, the veteran says “Christ, I’m in the gas chamber.”  However, he says that he “didn’t know until he had been in there five minutes.”

"red brick building" which 45th Division soldiers saw at Dachau

“red brick building” which 45th Division soldiers saw at Dachau was the gas chamber building

"gas jets on the wall of the Dachau gas chamber

“gas jets” on the wall of the Dachau gas chamber

Close-up of "gas vent" on the wall of the Dachau gas chamber

Close-up of “gas vent” on the wall of the Dachau gas chamber

The two photos above show what an American soldier in the 45th Infantry Division of the US Army allegedly saw at Dachau on the day that the camp was liberated.  This is very important testimony, as it proves that the gas chamber, as seen today, was exactly like this on April 29, 1945 and it was not remodeled by the Americans.

So why would anyone request that the embedding of the video be disabled?  This video, with the photos of the gas chamber, proves that the American soldiers did the right thing when they killed German POWs with their hands in the air after they had surrendered the camp.

Near the end of the video, at 13.26 minutes, Lt. William Walsh speaks again. Regarding the Dachau massacre, when German soldiers were killed with their hands in the air, he says “maybe it wasn’t a legitimate fight.”  He probably means that a “legitimate fight” is when enemy soldiers are killed on the battlefield, not shooting POWs, who have surrendered and have their hands in the air.

On the video, Lt. Walsh literally cannot say one God damned sentence without cursing.  At the very end, he says “everyone who died in defense of Dachau knew why [they were killed]”.  However, he does say, at one point, “When I go to hell, with the rest of the SS….”  To his credit, Lt. Walsh did imply that he was a war criminal, no better than the SS soldiers, and he admitted that he was going to Hell “with the rest of the SS…”

October 23, 2013

New Lanzmann film “The Last of the Unjust” will be in theaters November 2013

Claude Lanzmann has a new film, entitled The Last of the Unjust, which was shown at the New York Film Festival in September 2013. You can read a review of the film here.  I previously blogged about Lanzmann’s new film here.

The film is based on interviews, which Lanzmann did, in 1975, with Benjamin Murmelstein, the last Jewish Elder in the Theresienstadt ghetto.  Benjamin Murmelstein died in 1989, but his son Wolf Murmelstein is still vigorously defending his father’s reputation.

When Lanzmann’s new film is shown in theaters in November, I believe that many viewers will have some difficulty in understanding it.  To prepare for seeing this film, anyone who wants to understand it should read an essay, written by Wolf Murmelstein here.

The title of the film comes from a play on words, taken from André Schwarz-Bart’s novel, entitled The Last of the Just.  Benjamin Murmelstein was being sarcastic when he called himself “The Last of the Unjust.” His reputation had been ruined because of the accusations against him after he survived the Theresienstadt ghetto.  Murmelstein was acquitted of the charge of collaborating with the Nazis, but getting his reputation back was more difficult.

This quote is from the article in the New York Times:

But the first on-camera remarks of Murmelstein’s that Lanzmann includes in “The Last of the Unjust” refer to the rabbi’s own state of exile in Rome and the lessons of Rome for modernity. Just as the city of Rome endures long after the end of Roman civilization, so, Murmelstein explains, all of Europe is enduring the absence of another vanished civilization—that of Judaism. “Judaism is missing,” Murmelstein says. “It is lacking from the world that was destroyed.”

In “The Last of the Unjust,” Lanzmann attempts to put back some of the Judaism. He films a cantor chanting Kol Nidre (from the service of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement) and the Kaddish, the prayer for the dead, in the last surviving synagogue in Vienna. He films the Old-New Synagogue in Prague—and there finds stelae inscribed with the names of Czech victims of the Holocaust, a litany of names that ring to the eye with a music of their own. There’s a defiant, in-your-face aspect to the filming of the liturgy—the destruction of the Jewry of Europe also meant an attempt to destroy Judaism, but Jewish religious observance has survived.

In the year 2000, I visited the Old-New Synagogue on Siroka street in Josefov in Prague, but I did not see the names of the Czech victims of the Holocaust.

Old-New Synagogue in Prague is still being used

Old-New Synagogue in Prague is still being used

I also visited the Pinkas Synagogue in the old Jewish quarter in Prague. Every inch of the stone walls in the interior of the Pinkas Synagogue was inscribed with the names of the 77,297 Jews from Bohemia and Moravia (now the Czech Republic) who died in the Holocaust.

Tourists line up to enter the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague

Tourists line up to enter the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague

According to information given at the Pinkas Synagogue, most of these Jews were sent first to the ghetto set up by the Nazis in the old military garrison in Theresienstadt, which is now the town of Terezin, and were then transported to the death camp at Auschwitz in Poland where they were murdered in the gas chambers.

For his film, Lanzmann also visited the train station where Jews got off the train for the Theresienstadt camp.  I blogged about the train station here.

The article in the New York Times continues with this quote:

Hanukkah means “dedication,” and the holiday celebrates a miracle by which the Second Temple, defiled by marauders, was rededicated, resanctified. “The Last of the Unjust” is itself a sort of rededication, an attempt by Lanzmann to restore something central to the Jewish world of Europe. And he achieves this through the words and the story of Murmelstein, a rabbi who took on an unbearable burden and came through it a pariah. Murmelstein’s efforts to save Jews are revealed to be inseparable from his work, under Nazi authority, to preserve the sham of Theresienstadt—he thinks of himself as a sort of Scheherazade who rescued Jews, and who rescued himself, by helping the Germans tell a propagandistic story. That astonishingly daring and dangerous moral calculus has a Biblical grandeur, horror, and authority.

The essay by Wolf Murmelstein is quite long, so I am quoting some of the most important text here:

During the Holocaust period, the Ghettos were not Jewish Communities but FORCED COMMUNITIES since the Nazis classified persons as Jewish on racial, not religious, criteria. So in the Ghettos, together with believing Jews, there were those converted to other faiths, and the agnostics, Zionists, Czech, German, and Austrian nationalists, persons having some Jewish ancestors, etc. etc. So persons, who did not share the same Faith and had not always been aware that they would share the same fate, now had to live and work together.

In the “TRIUMVIRATE” set up on the orders of [Adolf] Eichmann, Murmelstein had to work, in the capacity of “Second Deputy Elder,” along side the ”Elder” Eppstein, and the “First Deputy Elder” Edelstein and, by the subdivision of tasks, he had to supervise the “HEALTH AND WELFARE” and “TECHNICAL SERVICES” Departments.

In his tasks, Benjamin Murmelstein had to master the problem of different backgrounds and ideas:

Jacob Edelstein, in 1941, was hoping that Terezin would be a good training camp (HAKSCHARAH) for the Youth in preparation for a future life in Palestine. As a Zionist official, he felt bound to party-loyalty.

Paul Eppstein, a young promising sociologist, in 1933 joined the staff of the REICHSVERTRETUNG (after 1939 REICHSVEREINIGUNG) where he worked in the emigration sector and in 1940 he had to replace Leo Baeck as Chief Executive. Until his Martyrdom, he had difficulty in realizing that in the Reich, which was ruled by a criminal gang – internationally acknowledged as a government, assurances or other statements of a “state official” were only tricky ones.

But I am putting the cart before the horse. Benjamin Murmelstein had been in charge of deporting the Jews from Austria, starting in 1938.  After the war, he became famous as the last Jewish Elder at Theresienstadt.

This quote from Wolf Murmelstein’s essay explains why the Theresienstadt ghetto was set up:

But at a certain moment, the Nazis realized that the tale of “resettlement of Jews for work” could hardly justify deportation of aged or sick persons, war officers holding medals for merit, etc.

Furthermore, as explained by Heinrich Himmler: “Germans all agree on the idea of getting rid of the Jews. But then every German has his own Jews, stating that this is a righteous Jew; send away the others but let him stay here.” What Himmler did not explain was that some Germans could not be ignored at all. Besides, there were among the Jews highly qualified persons well known abroad, who could not simply disappear in the East.

The solution was THERESIENSTADT, a little town in Bohemia surrounded by walls and with many barracks, just on the Reich border, now better known under the Czech name TEREZIN. There Eichmann had the opportunity to set up a Ghetto under his own authority and to show the real meaning of his “great ideas.” Many Germans could then “be at peace with their conscience” having obtained for their “righteous Jew” – a relative, a divorced wife, etc. – a place in the “Model Ghetto.” Qualified Jews, known abroad, could for a while, send postcards.

From October 1941 until September 1942, Benjamin Murmelstein had to watch the deportations. At Yom Kippur 1942, he had a nervous crisis of desperation about things that happened in that year. He was in doubt about being ritually qualified to lead the prayer service for the very few believing Jews still in Vienna.

From the beginning to the end of the deportation waves, almost all Jews had been deported from Vienna. Besides the very few believing Jews – community staff members – there were many persons in mixed marriage and descendants of Jewish parents or grand-parents. In that year Benjamin Murmelstein had to face the Vienna Branch of the CENTRAL OFFICE FOR JEWISH EMIGRATION where the rule was “promises are valid only when served.” Amid harsh orders, he tried to save what was possible.

The number of the few believing Jews for the community staff had been the result of a difficult “bargaining” (requests had to be submitted in a suitable form) with SS Ltd Alois (Anton) Brunner. At end of August 1942, Benjamin Murmelstein, with his family, was about to be sent to Terezin. But Eichmann decided to delay the “re-organization” of Terezin “Jewish Self-Government.”

[…]

The delay of the Murmelstein Family deportation lasted only to the end of Jannuary 1943 because Eichmann wanted to report on JANUARY 30 – the anniversary of Hitler’s rise to power – the deportation of Jewish Leadership of Berlin, Vienna and Prague. So Murmelstein and some other Community Staff member with families had to go to THERESIENSTADT (TEREZIN).

[…]

The first Elder of Terezin, Jacob Edelstein, was suspected for some months of having contacts with the so-called Czech Resistance. Eichmann thought it right to follow a “cautious proceeding.” On January 31, 1943, Paul Eppstein became the new Elder of Terezin; he had just arrived from Berlin. Jacob Edelstein was downgraded to First Deputy Elder and Benjamin Murmelstein was named the Second Deputy Elder. All the three of them had been busy managing, in their communities, the emigration of fellow Jews to safe havens, and had failed to find safe havens for themselves and their families; now they shared the responsibility for the “Model” Ghetto.

Theresienstadt became famous as a “model ghetto” because of the two Red Cross visits.  You can read about how the ghetto was cleaned up, in order to fool the Red Cross about the real conditions in the camp here.

October 22, 2013

Family of deceased “Righteous among Nations” award recipient rejects highest Jewsish honor

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 12:51 pm

One of the most famous recipients of the Jewish honor, known as “Righteous among Nations” was Oskar Schindler who saved 1,200 Jews from certain death, as told in the famous Spielberg film Schindler’s List.

Family members of the first Arab to be given this prestigious honor “have rejected the accolade because of their hatred for Israel,” according to a news article which you can read in full here.

According to the article: “Egyptian doctor Mohamed Helmy was honored posthumously last month by Israel’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem for hiding a Jew in Berlin during wartime.”

So an Arab has been honored for saving only one Jew?  The Jews at Yad Vashem must be scraping the bottom of the barrel to find non-Jews who saved at least one Jew during World War II.

Most non-Jews had no sympathy for the Jews during the Holocaust, and did not want to risk their own lives to hide a Jew.

Plaszow camp from which Oskar Schindler saved Jews

Plaszow camp from which Oskar Schindler saved Jews

When Oskar Schindler left his factory, which was a sub-camp of the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, to escape from the Nazis at the end of the war, he was given a ring by the Jewish prisoners whom he had saved.

The ring had been made by the prisoners, who  used gold from the dental work taken out of the mouth of Schindlerjude Simon Jeret. The ring was inscribed “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.”  Is this what it really said inside the gold ring made by the Jewish prisoners?  Some Holocaust deniers claim that the ring said: “He who saves ONE JEW saves the world entire.”

Do the Jews really believe that saving the life of one goyim is the same as saving the life of one Jew?

German officers at the Belzec death camp

German officers at the Belzec death camp

In the news article, this caption is on the photo above:  “Brave: Dr Mohamed Helmy secretly hid Anna Boros in his cottage near Berlin to save her from being sent to a death camp like Belzec, in occupied Poland, pictured, guarded by armed Nazis.”

Amon Goeth, commandant of Plasow camp

Amon Goeth, commandant of Plasow camp

Wait a minute!  That “Nazi monster” Amon Goeth saved Jews from being sent to the Belzec death camp when he accepted bribes in exchange for sending these doomed Jews to a labor camp instead. Goeth should be given a posthumous award for saving hundreds of Jews from certain death at Belzec.  An Egyptian doctor saved one Jewish girl in Berlin and he gets Israel’s highest award for a non-Jew.  And then, his family rejects the award. Allegedly, there were 10,000 Jews who hid in Germany and were never sent to a Nazi camp.  There could be as many as 10,000 Righteous Gentiles in Germany who deserve a Yad Vashem award.

October 21, 2013

My review of a review of Schindler’s List in the New Republic

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:49 am
Scene from the movie Schindler's List

Scene from the movie Schindler’s List

The photo above shows a scene from the movie Schindler’s List in which Oskar Schindler is dictating, from memory, the names of his factory workers whom he wants to take with him to his new factory in Brünnlitz, near his home town in Moravia, which is now in the Czech Republic. His factory manager, Itzhak Stern, a prisoner who works for Schindler, is typing the names.

Amon Goeth shooting prisoners from the balcony of his house

Scene form Schindler’s List in which Amon Goeth is shooting prisoners from the balcony of his house

My previous posts about the movie Schindler’s List have been getting lots of hits lately, and I set out to find out why.  I learned from a google search of the news that Schindler’s List is getting lots of ink in the press because this is the 20th anniversary of the release of the Oscar-winning film.

So what have we learned about the story of Oskar Shindler in the last 20 years?  Nothing at all, it seems to me.

In particular, I believe that the last scene in the movie has been totally misunderstood.  For example, this quote from a review by Stanley Kauffmann in the New Republic:

Near the end, when Schindler assembles his 1,100 Jewish workers on his plant floor to tell them that the war is over and they are free, the German army guards, fully armed, assemble on a sort of balcony above. Schindler addresses the guards: says he knows that they have orders to liquidate his workers; and asks them whether they want to go home as men or as murderers. After a moment’s pause, one of the soldiers leaves—and is soon followed by the others.

How does Schindler know that the soldiers have orders to kill all the prisoners and that, as soon as he leaves, the guards will kill the prisoners, whom he has somehow been protecting in his factory?

And why does Schindler need to hurry off, leaving behind prisoners who are sure to be killed by the German guards, as soon as he is gone?

It is implied in the movie that Schindler must leave his prisoners to their fate because he will be killed by the Nazis, who are coming to kill everyone in the all the camps, before the Allies arrive to liberate them.

Spielberg doesn’t tell us this in his movie, but as every student of the Holocaust now knows: Ernst Kaltenbrunner, one of Hitler’s top henchmen, had already given orders that all the prisoners in all the camps should be killed before the Allied liberators can save them from Hitler’s genocidal plan.

I previously blogged about Ernst Kaltenbrunner here and here.  I blogged here about the alleged order to kill the Dachau prisoners before the Americans arrived to liberate the camp.  Strangely, Wikipedia does not mention the order to kill all the prisoners.

But what is the real reason that Schlindler must hurry off and leave his prisoners to their fate?

It is because he is the Commandant of a sub-camp of the Gross-Rosen Concentration Camp.  He knows that he will be put on trial by the Allies, as a war criminal, because as the Commandant, he is responsible for all the deaths of the Jews, who died of sickness, or other causes, in his camp. At the end of the war, prisoners were dying because of the typhus epidemics in all the camps.

Why did the German soldiers leave Schindler’s factory at the end of the movie?  It was because they knew that they would also be put on trial, as war criminals, because every soldier in Germany would be a “war criminal” if he were captured by the Allies.

The Allied war crimes trials had already been planned long before the crimes had been committed.

According to Robert E. Conot, author of the book 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 by the Allies, after the war, 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. That same year, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin issued a joint statement, called the Moscow Declaration, in which they agreed to bring the German war criminals to justice.

So every soldier in the German army knew that he would be put on trial as a war criminal, that is, if he manged to survive Eisenhower’s death camps.

October 20, 2013

The church funeral plans for Priebke sparked an outcry in the United States.

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:34 am

The title of my blog post today is a quote from a news article about the protests against the funeral of Erich Priebke, who was a convicted Nazi war criminal.

Here is the full quote from the news article on the CNN blog which you can read in full here:

The church funeral plans for Priebke sparked an outcry in the United States.

“Erich Priebke was a monster,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

“He does not deserve the dignity and respect of a proper church burial. His body should be cremated and his ashes scattered at sea, without further ceremony.”

Priebke, a former SS captain sentenced to life in prison for his role in an Italian massacre in 1944, died on Friday.

Priebke was convicted by Italian court in 1998 for helping organize the execution of 335 men and boys in retaliation for attacks on German troops. The former Nazi was unrepentant, denying the Holocaust in his final statement, according to the Associated Press.

Note that the news article says that Priebke was convicted of the crime of helping to organize the execution of 335 men and boys in RETALIATION for attacks on German troops.  No, this was not a RETALIATION, but rather a REPRISAL.

There is a difference between a reprisal and a retaliation.  A reprisal was an action that was legal under the Geneva Convention of 1929.  (Reprisals are no longer legal under the Geneva Convention of 1949) The purpose of a reprisal was to stop illegal combatants from killing enemy soldiers during war time.

An example of a reprisal was what happened at Orddour-sur-Glane.  After the reprisal, the killing of German soldiers by French Resistance fighters in the area of Oradour-sur-Glane stopped, so the reprisal was successful.

After World War II, the Allies changed the laws so that illegal combatants were legal combatants and reprisals against illegal combatants were now ex-post-facto war crimes.  After the war, illegal combatants who had been captured were now considered Prisoners of War, and it was a war crime to put illegal combatants into a concentration camp.

Priebke was convicted under ex-post-facto laws, created by the Allies AFTER the war.  In other words, Priebke was not a war criminal at the time that he participated in a legal reprisal.

As for Priebke’s crime of Holocaust denial, Italy did not have a law against Holocaust denial at the time that Priebke made his Holocaust denial statements. He was never convicted of being a Holocaust denier.  Italy is now trying to catch up to the rest of the world; Italy will soon become the 18th country to have a Holocaust denial law.

I previously blogged about Primo Levi, who was a famous Italian Jew who was sent to Auschwitz.  Levi was arrested for being an Italian partisan, i.e. an illegal combatant.  However, when he was admitted to the camp, he said that he was a Jew, because he was afraid that he would be killed if he admitted to being a Resistance fighter.

October 19, 2013

Glenn Beck in trouble again, as he talks about the purple triangle, used in the Nazi camps

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:09 am
Purple triangle, worn by Jehovah's Witnesses, shown in sculpture at Dachau

Purple triangle, worn by Jehovah’s Witnesses, shown in sculpture at Dachau

Glen Beck is shown in this YouTube video, as he explains why Jehovah’s Witnesses were put into concentration camps and forced to wear a purple triangle on their clothing to identify themselves.

Glen Beck was obviously confused because the German name for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which was Bibelforscher, is translated as “Bible Student” in English.  The Nazis did NOT put people into concentration camps for studying the Bible.  You can read about the persecution of the Jehovah’s Witnesses on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_in_Nazi_Germany

This news article, which you can read in full here,  explains how Glen Beck offended people in the audience when he talked about the triangles used to identify prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps:

This quote is from the news article:

As many people know, the Nazis used colored triangles to indicate what group a prisoner — who was likely to die — was from. Perhaps the most well-known is the pink triangle, which indicated the person whose prison uniform bore the patch was homosexual — or believed to be. An estimated 5,000–15,000 people wearing the Nazi’s pink triangle were murdered during the Holocaust.

“Does anybody know what the purple triangle was?,” Beck asked his audience. Someone yells, “Gay.”

“No, not gay — that was pink,” Beck responds.

The crowd laughs.

Did the mostly religious right Christian evangelist conservatives in Beck’s audience find the prospect of 15,000 gay people about to be murdered by Hitler’s thugs during the Holocaust to be amusing — enough so that they had to break out in laughter?

“It’s hard to know exactly what motivated each person in that room to laugh at that moment,” Sharona Coutts, Director of Investigations and Research at RH Reality Check writes in “Why Did ‘Values Voters’ Attendees Laugh About Gays Being Killed by Nazis?”

[quote from RH Reality Check] ”Was it because it seems funny that gay people were also murdered in the Nazi concentration camps? Was it because of the apparent absurdity, in their point of view, of confusing ‘legitimate’ victims of the Holocaust (Jews, Christians, people with disabilities) with those who they believe might really deserve to be killed? What part of the audience’s “values” made that reference to gay people seem so funny?”

“People with disabilities” were sent to “Nazi concentration camps”?  No, people with disabilities were sent to places like Hartheim Castle.

Beck also says, in the video, that the Nazis used a “black triangle” to designate “anarchists”.

According to information given at the Dachau Memorial Site, a black triangle was worn by the “work-shy” who were called “asocial.”

I previously blogged about the Nazis and homosexuals at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/hitler-started-with-the-gays-say-what/

Why did those evil Nazis discriminate against the innocent Jehovah’s Witnesses, who never did them any harm?

The main camp, where the Jehovah’s Witnesses were sent, was Sachsenhausen, which was near Berlin.  At the Sachsenhausen Memorial Site, there is a memorial stone in honor of a prisoner named August Dickman who was executed because he was a member of International Bible Students Association who refused to serve in the Germany army. The memorial stone says that he was a “conscientious objector.”  He was not executed because he was a Jehovah’s Witness, but rather, because he had refused to serve in the German Army.

In America, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Japanese internment camp prisoners, who refused to serve in the American army, were sent to federal prisons where they were forced to work at hard labor, but none were executed.

According to Rudolf Höss, who was an adjutant in the Sachsenhausen camp before he was transferred to Auschwitz, there were a large number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Sachsenhausen camp.

Rudolf Höss wrote in his memoir that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were sent to concentration camps, beginning in 1937, because they were “using religion to undermine the will of the people for military preparedness,” by recruiting others to their beliefs about not serving in the military.

Höss claimed that only those who were actively preaching against the state and recruiting others were imprisoned.

When World War II started, all concentration camp prisoners who were fit for military service were drafted. Höss wrote: “A large number of them (the Jehovah’s Witnesses) refused to serve in the military and were, therefore, sentenced to death by Himmler as draft dodgers.” Those who were willing to renounce their ideas against the military, or to serve in the army, were released.

The German hardened criminals (Schwehrverbrecher), who were sent to concentration camps, wore green triangles, but they are not represented in the Dachau sculpture.

Triangle sculpture at Dachau Memorial Site

Triangle sculpture at Dachau Memorial Site

In July 1936, just before the Olympics started in Berlin, 120 homeless bums were picked up off the streets and brought to Dachau. They were designated as “work-shy” and given black triangles, but, as you can see in the photo above, they are not honored in the sculpture.

Homosexuals, arrested under Paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code, wore pink triangles, but they were not honored at the Dachau Memorial Site until just recently.

In 1937, a new rule was made that criminals who had been arrested twice and had served two sentences would have to spend at least six months in a concentration camp for “rehabilitation.” The homosexuals in the concentration camps were classified as criminals and did not receive reparations from the German government after the war.

Brown badges were worn by Gypsies, although the first Gypsies brought to Dachau wore a black triangle because they were men who had been arrested for being “work-shy.”

The prisoners used the badge colors to refer to their affiliation. The Communists were the reds and their rivals, the German criminals, were the greens.

A bar over the top of the triangle meant that an inmate was a second-timer, or a prisoner who had served time in the camp, been released, and had then been arrested again; the second time they would be in the punishment block and would be treated more harshly.

The circles in the sculpture represent the circles that were worn below the triangle by prisoners who were assigned to the camp penal colony. These prisoners were assigned to the hardest work in the camps, usually to the rock quarries or the gravel pits. At Dachau, the gravel pit was where the Carmelite convent now stands.

 

October 18, 2013

Madame Rouffanche, the only survivor of the massacre in the Oradour-sur-Glane church, tells her story

Filed under: World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:23 pm

One of the regular readers of my blog asked a question, in a comment on my previous Oradour-sur-Glane post, about how a German soldier managed to put a fire bomb inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church without burning himself up, or allowing the women inside the church to extinguish the fire.

The question is

Were the strings (wicks) short, and the soldiers were blown up with their victims?

or were [the stings or wicks] long enough to give them time to escape the church for safety — and allow people inside to extinguish them?

The only person, who could answer this question, would be Madame Rouffanche, the lone survivor of the Church, who is now dead. However, she did testify in the trial of the SS soldiers after the war.

The answer, according to the testimony of Madame Rouffanche, is long and complicated, so bear with me, while I explain the story with words and pictures.

Madame Rouffanche was over 50 years old, and overweight

Madame Rouffanche was over 50 years old, and overweight

The photo below shows the front of the Oradour-sur-Glane church, where women and children were burned alive on June 10, 1944 by SS soldiers, including some soldiers from the French province of Alsace.

The front of the ruined church in Oradour-sur-Glane

The front of the ruined church in Oradour-sur-Glane

The photo above shows the front of the Oradour-sur-Glane church. On the left side, there is an open doorway, with no door, which is the entrance into the sacristy, sometimes called the vestry. The sacristy was the room that contained the ceremonial clothing of the priests, called the vestments. In the photo above, the main door into the church is on the right, at the top of the steps into the church tower.

Madame Marguerite Rouffanche, the only survivor of the fire in the church, said that SS soldiers entered through the front door, and placed a “smoke bomb” near the choir, which was in the back of the church.

Damage from the smoke bomb inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church

Damage inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church

The photo above shows the damage to the floor of the church near the communion rail which was in the front of the Oradour-sur-Glane church.  You can see a bit of the remains of the Communion rail on the right in the photo. This photo contradicts the testimony of Madame Rouffanche who said that a smoke bomb was placed in the back of the church.

The photo below shows that the location of the floor damage is close to the altar of the church, not in the back of the church, as Madame Rouffanche testified in court. The damage might have been caused by a hand grenade, or something else thrown into the church, as there is no smoke damage.

Damage to the church floor was in the front of the church

Damage to the church floor was in the front of the church

Madame Rouffanche testified that the women and children rushed to the front of the church and tried to escape through the sacristy door. The  women broke open the sacristy door and some of the women entered the sacristy, but were gunned down by SS soldiers who were standing guard outside.

The photo below shows the inside of the damaged sacristy of the church. Soldiers were standing outside this door, shooting the women who tried to escape.

Door to the outside of the sacristry

Door to the outside of the sacristy

The photo above shows the inside of the sacristy. The original door, which probably burned in the fire, has not been replaced, but you can still see the enormous hook that once fastened this door from the inside. The room is filled with rubble and the stair on which Madame Rouffanche said that she sat is no longer there. Through the doorway you can see the courtyard of the church.

Door to the sacristry from inside the church has been nailed shut

Door to the sacristy from inside the church has been nailed shut

The door to the sacristy, from inside the church, has been replaced with a wooden door that has been nailed shut.  Note the child’s pram that has been placed strategically inside the church.  The heartless German soldiers were killing babies in their prams inside the church.

Window inside the sacistry was too high up for the women to escape

Window inside the sacristy was too high up for the women to escape

The sacristy was an unfamiliar place to the women in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane. In those days, women were not allowed to go beyond the communion rail, unless they were cleaning the church. They were not allowed near the main altar unless they were placing flowers there or decorating the church. The sacristy was a private room that only the priests and the altar boys could enter; it was off limits to women.

The following testimony was given by  Madame Rouffanche in the 1953 Military Tribunal at Bordeaux, as quoted in the Official Publication:

“Shoved together in the holy place, we became more and more worried as we awaited the end of the preparations being made for us. At about 4 p.m. some soldiers, about 20 years old placed a sort of bulky box in the nave, near the choir, from which strings were lit and the flames passed to the apparatus which suddenly produced a strong explosion with dense, black, suffocating smoke billowing out. The women and children, half choked and screaming with fright rushed towards the parts of the church where the air was still breathable. The door of the sacristy was then broken in by the violent thrust of one horrified group. I followed in after but gave up and sat on a stair. My daughter came and sat down with me. When the Germans noticed that this room had been broken into they savagely shot down those who had tried to find shelter there. My daughter was killed near me by a bullet fired from outside. I owe my life to the idea I had to shut my eyes and pretend to be dead.

Firing burst out in the church then straw, faggots and chairs were thrown pele-mele onto bodies lying on the stone slabs. I had escaped from the killing and was without injury so I made use of a smoke cloud to slip behind the altar.

The altar inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church had 3 windows behind it

The altar inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church had 3 windows behind it

In this part of the church there are three windows. I made for the widest one in the middle and with the help of a stool used to light the candles, I tried to reach it.

The widest window was the one in the middle

The widest window was the one in the middle

The wall underneath the window where Madame Rouffanche climbed

The wall underneath the window where Madame Rouffanche climbed up

I don’t know how but my strength was multiplied. I heaved myself up to it as best I could and threw myself out of the opening that was offered to me through the already shattered window. I jumped about nine feet down.

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the window on the left

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the window on the left side; note the plaque under the window

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the middle window and stuck the landing

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the middle window and stuck the landing

Note that the ground underneath the church windows slants down to a retaining wall that is 10 feet high.  The window, where Madame Rouffanche jumped is 9 feet from the ground.

From there, she crawled around to a garden behind the church and hid between the rows of peas until she was found the next day at 5 p.m. and taken to a hospital.

Madame Rouffanche checked into the hospital under an assumed name, just in case the SS soldiers should try to track her down and kill her. After all, she was the only witness to what happened in the church, so her life was in danger.

Many accounts of her escape from the church say that Madame Rouffanche used a “ladder,” but it is more likely that it was a stool, as Madame Rouffanche mentioned in her testimony. The space between the back of the altar and the wall under the window is only about two feet wide, hardly wide enough to use a ladder.

Strangely, the bodies of 15 to 20 children were found piled up behind the alter in the narrow space where Madame Rouffanche said that she had used a stool to climb up to the window, according to the Bishop’s Office report.  Why didn’t the children climb up and jump out of the window?  They didn’t need a stool; the children could have stood on each other’s shoulders and climbed out.  But for some reason, they didn’t.

The bottom edge of the middle church window is around 9 feet from the floor of the church. The wall under the window is about six feet straight up and then it is an additional three feet up a slanted section of the wall. Apparently, Madame Rouffanche shoved the children aside and climbed out by herself, leaving the children to burn to death.

The stool or ladder, which Madame Rouffanche used, apparently burned up in the fire in the church, as it is no longer there.

Madame Rouffance said that she picked the middle window for her leap to freedom because it was wider than the other two; her photo shows that Madame Rouffanche was not skinny, so thankfully, there was a window wide enough for her leap.

In her court testimony, Madame Rouffanche said that she did not climb up to the window until after the church had been set on fire by the SS soldiers. By this time, most of the women in the church were already dead. She had survived the gas bomb that was set off in the church and the shots fired into the sacristy, as well as the grenades tossed through the doors and windows and she had not been wounded by the hundreds of shots fired by the soldiers inside the church. She testified that she went behind the altar, hiding behind a cloud of smoke, and found a stool that had been used to light the candles on the altar.

Back in 1944, when I used to go to Mass in a Catholic Church in a small town in America, the altar boys used a long stick to light the candles; they did not climb up on a stool.

The bars which are on the Oradour-sur-Glane church window today were not there when Madame Rouffanche made the leap from the window, according to a staff member at the Center of Memory.

The staff member at the Center of Memory also told me that Madame Rouffanche was not injured when she jumped from the window because shrubbery near the building broke her fall. The shrubbery might also have prevented her from rolling off the ledge, since the ground under the window slants down to a retaining wall. Today this area has been closed off and there is no access to the spot where she landed after leaping from the window.

The bodies of 23-year-old Henriette Joyeaux and her 7-month-old son, Rene, were identified after they were found buried near the church. According to Madame Rouffance, another woman had also climbed up to the window and had called out to her to catch her baby which she then threw out the window.  Meanwhile, there were 15 to 20 children cowering behind the altar, while Madame Rouffanche and the other woman completely ignored them, and only tried to save themselves.

Madame Rouffanche didn’t manage to catch the baby.  The baby fell to the ground and began crying, which alerted soldiers nearby, and they began shooting. Madame Joyeaux and her baby were both killed.  Their bodies were buried, and were only found later.

Madame Joyeaux was from Soudanas, part of the commune of Panazol; her maiden name was Hyvernaud. In her story, Madame Rouffanche referred to the other woman as Madame Hyvernaud. Madame Germaine-Marie Hyvernaud, a resident of Oradour-sur-Glane and probably one of her relatives, was also among the 52 victims whose remains were identified.

These were the final words of Madame Rouffanche to the court:

“I ask that justice be done with God’s help. I came out alive from the crematory oven; I am the sacred witness from the church. I am a mother who has lost everything.”

In my humble opinion, Madame Rouffanche was not “the sacred witness from the church,” but a woman who lived near the hamlet where German soldiers were burned alive in an ambulance.

Here is the real story of Madame Rouffanche:

Just outside the southern entrance to Oradour-sur-Glane, in the tiny hamlet of La Ferme de l’Etang, the SS soldiers came upon the horrible scene of a recent ambush of a German Army ambulance. Four wounded German soldiers had been burned alive inside the ambulance; the driver and another soldier in the passenger seat had been chained to the steering wheel and burned alive.

Before entering the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, the SS rounded up all the residents of the farming hamlets near the southern entrance of the village, where the ambulance was found, and took them in trucks to Oradour-sur-Glane, including family members of Madame Marguerite Rouffanche.

Madame Rouffanche, who lived in the hamlet of La Ferme de l’Etang, allegedly survived the massacre by jumping out of a window in the church; she testified under oath that the SS soldiers had set off a smoke bomb in the church in an attempt to asphyxiate the women and children, and had then set fire to the church, burning some of the women and children alive.

What really happened?  Did Madame Rouffanche hide when her relatives were taken to Oradour-sur-Glane.  Did she survive because she was never inside the church?

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