Scrapbookpages Blog

November 26, 2013

192,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel strugging economically

Today, I read a news story in the Jewish Daily Forward, which has this headline:

Holocaust Survivors Struggle to Survive on a Pittance in Israel

According to this news story, there are 192,000 Holocaust survivors still alive in Israel.  Most of them are probably Hungarian Jews.

I previously blogged about how many Hungarian Jews were killed in the Holocaust at
https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/how-many-hungarian-jews-were-murdered-in-the-holocaust/?relatedposts_exclude=17917

A photo at the top of the Jewish Daily Forward article shows one survivor wearing a striped uniform emblazoned with a Yellow Star of David, as he protests against the shabby treatment that he is getting from the Israeli government.

Holocaust survivors protesting in Israel

Holocaust survivors protesting in Israel

According to the news article, Dov Jacobovitz, an Auschwitz survivor, gets only $1,200 every 3 months, in reparations from Germany, plus an additional $120 per month from Israel.  What?  He gets only $400 per month from Germany.  This is not nearly enough restitution for what he endured at Auschwitz.

Jacobovitz was from Translyvania, the same place where Elie Wiesel  lived.  This means that Jacobovitz was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi death camp, during the deportation of the Hungarian Jews.

According to Yad Vashem, there were 565,000 Hungarian Jews killed in the Holocaust.  I previously blogged about this at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/some-565000-hungarian-jews-were-murdered-in-the-holocaust-according-to-yad-vashem/

Jacobovitz was 14 years old at the time that he was transported to Auschwitz during the deportation of the Hungarian Jews. He survived because of another mistake made by Dr. Josef Mengele, no doubt.  Everyone under the age of 15 was waved to the left to the gas chamber, but Dr. Mengele made many mistakes in judging the age of the Jews, resulting in 192,000 survivors struggling economically today.  And that’s just in Israel.

How many other survivors, around the world, are struggling on a pittance provided by Germany?

Why hasn’t Jacobovitz written a book, to earn some money?  If he can’t write one himself, he could always hire a ghost writer, as many survivors have done.  For example, Irene Zisblatt’s book was ghost written by Gail Ann Webb.  I previously blogged about Irene, who is now living the good life in Florida, at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/stuck-in-the-door-of-the-gas-chamber-how-irene-zisblatt-survived-auschwitz-birkenau/

This quote, from the news article, is the words of Jacobovitz:

“In the concentration camp, we ate the shavings of carrots and vegetables,” he recalls. “We had wooden shoes. We ate from our hands, from our hat. We’d be satisfied with enough to eat from that. That was in Auschwitz.”

“the shavings of carrots?”  The way I heard it, the Nazis didn’t peel or “shave” anything.  They served potatoes and vegetables with the peeling still on.  Now we learn that the Nazis gave only the carrot shavings to the Jews, while undoubtedly eating the rest of the carrot themselves.

This quote is from the news article:

Jakobovitz longs for the dishes he ate as a child in Transylvania – gefilte fish, goulash, chicken wings – rather than the rice-and-salad fare more typical of the Israeli diet. A restaurant he enjoys in the center of the city serves such Ashkenazi fare, but he can’t afford it. For dinner, he eats leftovers from lunch.

This is hard to believe.  Shame on the German people!  They should be providing enough money for every survivor to enjoy gefilte fish.

I have never eaten gefilte fish, nor have I ever seen it.  For the benefit of others who have never had gefilte fish, I did a search and found the photo below.

Gefilte fish, which is denied to Holocaust survivors in Israel

Gefilte fish, which is denied to Holocaust survivors in Israel

November 24, 2013

The difference between the Holodomor and the Holocaust

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:17 am

The first difference between the Holodomor and the Holocaust is that the word Holocaust will go through a spell checker, while the Holodomor will be flagged as a misspelling.  Virtually every man, woman and child in the world knows that the word Holocaust means the genocide of the Jews, while the word Holodomor is little known outside Ukraine, the section of the Soviet Union that was  formerly known as “the Ukraine.”

Wikipedia photo of a man who died, of starvation, on the street

Wikipedia photo of a man who died, of starvation, on a street in Ukraine

It is against the law to deny the Holodomor in Ukraine, but AFAIK, it is not against the law to deny the Holodomor in any other country.  [Denying the Holocaust will get you a prison term in 20 countries, as of 2016.]

This news article explains the meaning of the term Holodomor.  According to the article: “After independence in 1991, a law in Ukraine made it a criminal offence to deny that the Holodomor was pre-meditated genocide.”

This quote is also from the news article:

Opinion has remained divided for many decades whether the mass death was the result of a deliberate drive to kill an entire people, because Ukrainian nationalism was on the rise, or the unintentional effect of misguided mismanagement by Stalin in his quest to feed rapid industrialisation elsewhere. Millions fell, mostly in rural Ukraine. Cannibalism was documented.
[…]

[A Holodomor survivor said that] Historian Volodymyr Serhiychuk told us: “There was famine in other USSR regions, in Kazakhstan, for instance, but Kazakhs could go and seek food in neighbouring Russian regions, or in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Ukrainians, in contrast, in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, couldn’t go to Belarus or Russia, because the borders were closed and there were no railway tickets for them.

You can read what Wikipedia has to say about this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_the_Holodomor#Deliberately_engineered_or_Continuation_of_civil_war

I previously blogged here about the new definition of Holocaust denial, which includes “Holocaust distortion.”  This quote, from my previous blog post, explains one form of Holocaust distortion:

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

By promoting their Holodomor, Ukrainians are engaging in Holocaust distortion by putting blame on the Soviet Union.  The Soviet Union was on the winning side in World War II, so the former Soviet Union should be exempt from blame. Only Germany should be blamed for atrocities, because the Germans were the losers in World War II, and the German people will be, forever more, demonized by every other country in the world.

An article that you can read at http://www.rense.com/general85/holodo.htm puts the blame for the Holodomor on a Jew.  Oh no! Say it isn’t so!

November 23, 2013

10-year-old twin survived the gas chamber, but his twin sister was gassed

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 1:10 pm

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

Morristown – History and the lessons of the Holocaust came to life during this year’s 23rd annual Kristallnacht Week, Nov. 11-15, at the College of Saint Elizabeth.

Campus events – including survivor testimony, demonstrations of Holographic 3-D technology to capture survivor stories, as well as lectures, art exhibitions and interfaith prayer services — were attended by hundreds of CSE students, staff and faculty, high schools students and teachers, as well as the general public.

Pinchas Gutter, Holocaust survivor from Poland who spent his youth in the camps, shared his story with those who packed Dolan Performance Hall on November 11, the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, or the Night of the Broken Glass. It was on that night that the Nazis wreaked havoc all across Germany and Austria as shops were burned, windows were shattered, stores looted, families torn apart, and more than 90 Jews were killed.

[…]

Gutter’s story is rooted at age 10 when he was forever separated from his parents and twin sister as they were herded to the gas chambers without even a chance to say goodbye. “I realized if I were to survive in the camps, I would have to kill my soul,” he said. Tampering his emotions and several miracles saved his life; miracles, or instances, where he was advised by others to lie about his age, hide under blankets and straw in barracks when sick with typhoid, or get dressed up to avoid selection for the gas chamber.

When Pinchas Gutter’s parents and twin sister were herded to the gas chambers, it must have been during the time that Dr. Josef Mengele was sick with typhus.

Although there were more than 30 doctors, who did the selections at Auschwitz, Dr. Mengele was on the line every day because he was looking for twins for his experiments. He would not have waved Gutter’s twin sister to the left, without so much as a “Goodbye” to her twin brother. He would have saved both twins.

Note that Pinchas Gutter was “advised by others” to “get dressed up” to avoid selection for the gas chamber.  I didn’t know that the prisoners at Auschwitz had more than one outfit to wear.  I never knew that 10-year-old Jewish children could “get dressed up” to avoid the gas chamber at Auschwitz.

I thought that children under the age of 15 were always sent to the gas chambers.  I fail to see how “getting dressed up” could save a child from the gas chamber.

Note that this was the 23rd time that Kristallnacht has been celebrated in America on November 11th.  According to Wikipedia, Krisstallnacht was on the night of November 9th and 10th in 1938.

November 19, 2013

Edith Stein, a Jewish convert to Catholicism, who was gassed at Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 1:36 pm

The subject of saints, who were killed at the Auschwitz death camp, came up recently in the comments on my blog.  There were two Holocaust victims, who were canonized as saints in the Catholic church, after being murdered at Auschwitz.  One was Father Maximilian Kolbe, who was allegedly put to death, after surviving for a couple of weeks in a starvation cell in Block 11 in the main Auschwitz camp. He was a martyr because he had allegedly volunteered to die in place of another prisoner.

The other Auschwitz martyr, who was canonized a saint in 1998, is Edith Stein, who was gassed on the day that she arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau in the summer of 1942.  Before you start blaming this on Dr. Josef Mengele, the man who famously did selections for the gas chamber, he did not arrive at Auschwitz until May 1943.

There were two serious typhus epidemics at Auschwitz: one in the summer of 1942 and another in the summer of 1943, around the time that Dr. Mengele arrived.

In spite of the fact that Edith Stein was a Catholic and was living in the Netherlands, she was arrested in 1942 because she had been born a Jew; she was sent to the Westerbork transit camp, the same place from which Anne Frank was sent to Auschwitz.  From Westerbrook, she was sent, on August 7, 1942, on a train to Auschwitz.

Edith Stein was 51 years old at that time, and she was a Carmelite nun in the Catholic Church.  She had a PhD in philosophy and was experienced as a teacher in a University. However, there wasn’t much demand for her skills at Auschwitz, except for her experience as a nursing assistant.

If Dr. Mengele had been at the Judenrampe when she arrived at Auschwitz in the summer of 1942, he would have waved her to the right, so that she could help with the victims of the typhus epidemic.  In his absence, she was sent immediately to the gas chamber in “the little white house.”

You can see a photo, which shows the location of “the little white house” on the website of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum at http://en.auschwitz.org/z/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46&Itemid=35

The photo on the Museum website shows that the reconstructed ruins of “the little white house” are right behind the building called “The Central Sauna,”  which was built to house a shower room and disinfection chambers for the clothes at Auschwitz.  This suggests that “the little white house” could have been a temporary location of a shower room and disinfection chambers for clothes, while the huge Sauna building was under construction.

The location of “the little white house” was at the end of the road, which ran from the Judenrampe, where Jews arrived on the trains, to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.  The official story of the Holocaust is that the Jews were brought immediately in trucks to the gas chamber.  The German word for a disinfection chamber is Gaskammer; the little white house had a Gaskammer, and possibly a shower room.

Reconstructed ruins of "the little white house where Edith Stein allegedly was gassed

Reconstructed ruins of “the little white house” where Edith Stein allegedly was gassed

Fortunately, Edith Stein had an easy death in the gas chamber, on August 9, 1942, in “the little white house,” instead of contracting typhus and suffering for weeks in an Auschwitz barrack before dying of typhus.

In 1998, the year that Edith Stein was selected as a candidate for sainthood, the location of “the little white house” was unknown.  I went on a visit to the Auschwitz Memorial Site in 1998, and specifically asked my tour guide to show me “the little white house.”  I was very disappointed to learn that the location of the house was unknown.

When I returned to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2005, the location of the house had been found and there had been a reconstruction of the alleged remains of the house.

The location of "the little white house" has been reconstructed

The location of “the little white house” has been reconstructed

Before the construction of the four large gas chambers at Birkenau (Krema II, Krema III, Krema IV and Krema V) was finished in 1943, the gassing of the Jews took place in two old farmhouses, which are now called “the little white house” and “the little red house.”

The little red house was located north of where the fourth gas chamber, called Krema V, was built. It was completely destroyed by the Nazis and nothing remains of it. The little red house was the site of the first gassing of the Jews at Birkenau, beginning in March 1942, around the time that the first typhus epidemic started. The little white house was put into operation as a gas chamber in June 1942.

The little white house was located just west of the Central Sauna, which was built in 1943 to house a shower room and numerous disinfection chambers used to kill lice in the clothing of the prisoners.

What did “the little white house” look like before it was torn down?

As far as I know, there is no photo of it, but it might have looked something like the little white house below.  This little house is located on the road to Auschwitz.

A little white house, near the Auschwitz camp in Poland

A little white house, near the Auschwitz camp in Poland

Note that the little white house, shown in the photo above, has what appears to be a brick foundation, and it is very small, just like “the little white house” where Jews were killed during a typhus epidemic in 1942.

What?  You don’t believe that converted Jews were killed in “the little white house” during a typhus epidemic? Oh, ye of little faith.

November 17, 2013

Visitor’s center at Dachau

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:39 am

The first time that I visited Dachau in 1997, there was no place to eat, and bringing food inside the camp was forbidden.  At that time, there was a McDonald’s restaurant about a mile from the camp, and there was severe criticism of a sign, fairly close to the Memorial Site, advertising McDonald’s.  It was considered very disrespectful to even think of food, while visiting a place where Jews had been killed.

I visited Dachau several times after that.  On my visits, the entrance into the camp was not through the Arbeit macht Frei gate, but though a hole in the fence on the opposite side of the camp.  I have not been back to the Dachau Memorial Site since 2007.

Tourist entrance into Dachau many years ago

Tourist entrance into Dachau many years ago

When I visited the camp in 2007, construction had just begun on a new visitor’s center at the new entrance on the opposite side of the camp.

Entrance path into Dachau memorial site in 2007

Entrance path into Dachau memorial site in 2007

Construction of new Dachau visitor's center began in 2007

Construction of new Dachau visitor’s center began in 2007

The photo above shows the beginning of the construction of a visitor’s center, which includes a bookstore and a cafeteria.  The building in the background is located in the former SS garrison and training camp that is right next to the former concentration camp.

Today, visitors to the Dachau Memorial Site are told by tour guides that the SS garrison was a place where the SS soldiers were trained in torture and abuse of the prisoners next door.

This quote is from another blogger:

Much of the [Dachau] camp (and the part we couldn’t see) was used to train the Nazis in the art of torture. Most of those Nazis worked closely with Hitler and many went on to run Auschwitz. Now the buildings are privately owned and used for the Bavarian Riot Police Academy. (Or something like that. Kind of alarming.) It really bothered me that it was a school for Nazis. Literally. And in the old shower room there are many displays and signs explaining what went on. The most disturbing sign talked about how many different languages were spoken, but said that the only language needed to communicate was that of fear.

Since 2007, visitors to Dachau have been able to see some of the buildings inside the former SS garrison, where Nazis were trained to torture the prisoners in the camp, according to the tour guides.

Looking into the former SS camp, next door to the Dachau concentration camp

Looking into the former SS camp, next door to the Dachau Memorial Site

Dachau ntrance sign put up in 2009

Dachau entrance sign put up in 2009

Visitor's Center at Dachau was opened in 2009

Visitor’s Center at Dachau was opened in 2009

Entrance into Dachau visitor's center

Entrance into Dachau visitor’s center

If Hitler had a grave, he would be turning over in it, at the thought of the construction shown in the photo above.  Hitler was an artist, who had once thought of becoming an architect. The first thing that tour guides at Dachau should explain to tourists is that this building is an example of why Hitler wanted the Jews out of Germany.

Dachau visitor's center has opening in the roof

Dachau visitor’s center has opening in the roof

This quote is from the blogger who took a tour of Dachau after the new visitor’s center was built:

The tour was the hardest towards the end when we went to the gas chamber. Dachau’s gas chamber is still standing. We learned that people who were killed in the gas chambers commonly came from other camps. They simply thought they were being shaved and showered just like any other camp. I had never considered this before, but I suppose it makes it seem less depressing than them knowing that they were going to die. The chambers were used a lot more towards the end of the camp because of disease and over-population. Thousands of people were killed in the chambers. The original ovens used to cremate the bodies were still there as well as the upgraded ones they used later on. I was standing outside the building, listening to our guide explain, and I saw the picture [of the dead bodies outside the gas chamber] posted right there.

So it seems that the tour guides at Dachau are telling students at least part of the story.  The people who were killed in the gas chambers at Dachau did in fact come from other camps.  But why?

Were prisoners brought from other camps to Dachau because the “other camps” didn’t have a gas chamber?  No, they were brought to the main Dachau camp to take a shower and have their clothes disinfected before going on to a sub-camp of Dachau. These people had originally been in Auschwitz, but were brought back to Germany when the Auschwitz camp was abandoned in January 1945.  The “gas chamber” at Dachau is the former shower room, which was changed into a gas chamber by the American liberators of the camp.

I wrote about the newly constructed gas chamber at Dachau that was shown in a film at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/proof-of-the-nazi-gas-chambers-given-at-the-nuremberg-imt-on-nov-29-1945/

Why do tour guides at Dachau tell visitors about the “Dachau gas chamber” at all?  It is because young students want to get their money’s worth when they pay for a tour to the camp.  They don’t want to hear that Dachau was mostly a camp for political prisoners and that there was no gas chamber.  They certainly don’t want to hear that the “gas chamber” was constructed by the American liberators.  In Germany, that would be a crime, punishable by 5 years in prison.

November 16, 2013

Death trains and death marches, the last ditch effort by the Nazis to complete the genocide of the Jews

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , , — furtherglory @ 12:03 pm

In 1945, during the last days of World War II, the Nazis made one last attempt to exterminate all the Jews in Europe, by marching them to death, or putting them on “death trains” to drive them to death.

This morning, I read a news story about an American veteran of World War II, who gave a lecture to some American students about the “death train” that his outfit liberated on April 13, 1945 near Magdeburg, Germany.

This quote is from the story, which you can read in full here:

Some 450 students at Wilmington Christian Academy listened with rapt attention Wednesday morning as Frank Towers described his service during World War II. […]

Towers was 23 when he entered the Army in late 1940. In 1944, he crossed the English Channel and landed on Omaha Beach with the 30th Infantry Division a few days after D-Day.

He told how his unit fought in the Battle of the Bulge, crossed the Rhine River and on April 13, approached the small town of Farsleben, on the way to Magdeburg, Germany.

There they found a train stopped on the tracks. It was filled with Holocaust victims.

The train was one of three that left the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, carrying prisoners to a death camp before they would be discovered by Allied liberators.

Yes, dear students, that’s exactly what happened. The train that Frank Towers liberated was headed to the “death camp” at Thersienstadt, so that the prisoners could be gassed.  Don’t let anyone tell you that the train was going to Theresienstadt so that the passengers could be handed over to the Red Cross.

Don’t let anyone tell you that Heinrich Himmler had been negotiating with the British for two weeks to turn the Bergen-Belsen camp over to them because there was a typhus epidemic at the camp.

What really happened was that the Nazis wanted to complete the genocide of the Jews by putting the Jews on trains and moving them around the war zone so that they would be killed by Allied bombs, or they would starve to death on the trains.

You can read the entire account, as told by Frank Towers,  at http://www.30thinfantry.org/holocaust.shtml.

This quote is from the document cited above:

Why those people had not been exterminated earlier, we never did learn.

However, the Nazis were attempting to move them out of Bergen-Belsen so that the advancing Allied Army would not see the conditions of this mass of frail humanity, if it could be called that. […]

…. the train halted at Farsleben and was awaiting further orders as to where to go next. The engineers had then received their orders, to drive the train to, and onto the bridge over the Elbe River, and either blow it up, or just drive it off the end of the damaged bridge, with all of the cars of the train crashing into the river, and killing or drowning all of the occupants.

To think that the Nazis had had 12 years (1933 to 1945) to genocide the Jews, but they fooled around, and didn’t get the job done, so they were forced to put 2,500 Jews on a train and drive the train into a river to kill them.  Fortunately, the train engineer realized, at the last minute, that if he followed orders and drove the train into the river, he would drown himself.

I previously blogged about the three trains, bound for Theresienstadt  at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/the-three-trains-that-left-bergen-belsen-in-april-1945-were-they-bound-for-an-extermination-camp/

What was the name of the train engineer?  His name was Casey Jones.  Like in the song:  “Casey Jones…mounted to the cabin…orders in his hand.”

November 13, 2013

Woman survives Hitler during a lecture

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:50 pm

This headline: “Fairfield woman describes surviving Hitler during lecture” is on a news story, which you can real in full here:

Did the Fairfield woman also “throw Mama from the train a kiss”?  (Like the mother in the Patti Page song from 1956)

According to the news article, Hitler was the “ultimate bully.”  Hitler came back to bully this woman during a lecture, but she survived.

This quote is from the news article:

A native of Czechoslovakia, Schorr was arrested with her family in 1939 when she was 8. Her parents and brother were killed, but her courage helped her to survive at several concentration camps, including Terezin [Theresienstadt], Auschwitz, and as a slave laborer in Hamburg. She was finally liberated when she reached Bergen-Belsen.

Another quote from the news article:

Schorr discussed “the planned dehumanization” of the Holocaust and discussed surviving such horrors as the loss of family, starvation, enduring medical experiments and escaping the gas chambers.

That was their plan: Take away your humanity, take away your courage and take away what is called humankind,” she said. “You more or less lived like an animal. All you saw was a gigantic mountain of black smoke — the smoke of innocent people.”

Her story sounds like the standard Holocaust story to me.  Hundreds of survivors are out on the lecture circuit today telling similar stories.  With all of these survivors, “whom did Hitler kill?” as the author of the book, The Holocaust Industry famously asked.

November 12, 2013

The story of Marion Blumenthal Lazan, child survivor of the Holocaust

On Veteran’s Day this year, Marion Blumenthal Lazan spoke to students in a school in Kentucky about her ordeal when she spent 6 and 1/2 years as a child in Nazi camps, including Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen.  You can read about her talk to the students here.

According to the news article, Marion and her family were liberated in 1948 by “the Russian Army.”  This is probably a misprint.  It is more likely that Marion and her family were sent on a train, from Bergen-Belsen to Theresienstadt, and the train was liberated by Russian soldiers in April, or early May, 1945.

Monument at Bergen-Belsen Memorial Site in honor of the Jews who died there

Monument at Bergen-Belsen Memorial Site in honor of the Jews who died there

The words on the back side of the Monument at Bergen-Belsen Memorial Site are in English, as quoted below:

“Israel and the world shall remember thirty thousand Jews exterminated in the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen at the hands of the murderous Nazis. EARTH CONCEAL NOT THE BLOOD SHED ON THEE! First anniversary of Liberation 15th April 1946 Central Jewish Committee Brtish Zone”

There is a documentary about Marion Blumenthal Lazan’s story, entitled Marion’s Triumph, which you can read about on Wikipedia.  This quote is from Wikipedia:

Marion’s Triumph is a 2003 documentary that tells the story of Marion Blumenthal Lazan, a child Holocaust survivor, who recounts her painful childhood memories in order to preserve history. The film combines rare historic footage, animated flashbacks, and family photographs to illustrate the horrors she experienced.

This quote is also from Wikipedia:

What’s interesting is that if Anne Frank had survived the war, her story would have been similar to Marion’s. Both Marion and Anne Frank’s families tried to escape the Holocaust, but were caught by Nazis. Both were young girls during the war, and both traveled from Westerbork, a deportation camp, to concentration camps; Marion went directly to Bergen-Belsen, but Anne Frank was sent first to Auschwitz and then to Bergen-Belsen. It’s there that Anne Frank died of typhus, but somehow, despite her malnutrition and the disease that surrounded her, Marion survived.

There are a few facts that are missing from the stories of Marion Blumenthal and Anne Frank.  The main thing that has been left out is that Bergen-Belsen was originally set up as an EXCHANGE CAMP, and did not become a concentration camp until December 1944, three and a half months before the camp was VOLUNTARILY turned over to the British Army.  You can read more about the history of Bergen-Belsen on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/BergenBelsen/Introduction.html

Famous photo of a British soldier pushing bodies into mass graves at Bergen-Belsen with a bulldozer

Famous photo of a British soldier pushing bodies into mass graves at Bergen-Belsen with a bulldozer

Did Marion Blumenthal Lazan tell the high school students that she and her family were sent to Bergen-Belsen where they were put into the one of the 8 sections of the camp that was reserved for prisoners who were regarded as suitable for exchange for German citizens being held in internment camps in America?  As far as I know, she does not mention, in her talks, that her family was put into an EXCHANGE CAMP, but America did not exchange very many prisoners.

Marion Blumental Lazan was probably a prisoner in the Star Camp [Sternlager], while her family waited for an exchange that never came.

Approximately 4,000 Jewish prisoners, mostly from the Westerbrook camp in the Netherlands, lived in the Star camp, where conditions were better than in the other seven camps at Bergen-Belsen. In the Star camp, the prisoners wore a yellow Star of David on their own clothes instead of the usual blue and gray striped prison uniform. According to the Museum at the Bergen-Belsen Memorial Site, the prisoners in the Star camp had to work, even the old people, but they were treated better than the prisoners in the other seven camps.

The following quote is from Eberhard Kolb’s book entitled Bergen-Belsen from 1943 to 1945:

From the Dutch “transit camp'” at Westerbork all those inmates were transported to Bergen-Belsen who were on one of the coveted “ban lists”, above all the “Palestine list”, the “South America list”, or the “dual citizenship list”. Holders of the so-called “Stamp 120000” were also taken to Bergen-Belsen, i.e. Jews with proven connections to enemy states, Jews who had delivered up large properties, diamond workers and diamond dealers who were held back from transportation to an extermination camp but who were not allowed to go abroad, as well as so-called “Jews of merit”. A total of 3670 “exchange Jews” of these categories, always with their families were deported from Westerbork to Bergen-Belsen in eight transports between January and September 1944.

According to Kolb, there were only 6,000 Dutch Jews who returned home after the war, out of a total of 110,000 who were deported by the Nazis. Twenty thousand more Dutch Jews had survived by going into hiding until the war was over. More than a third of the Jews, who survived Bergen-Belsen, were inmates of Star Camp.

According to the Memorial Site at Bergen-Belsen, the exchange camp population on December 1, 1944 was 15,257. By February 1, 1945, there were 22,000 prisoners in the camp, and by March 1, 1945, the number of inmates had swelled to 41,520. On April 15, 1945, there were an estimated 60,000 prisoners in the camp.

A total of 50,000 prisoners died during the last two years that the Bergen-Belsen camp was in operation, including 13,000 who died of weakness and disease after the camp was liberated. By far the biggest killer in the camp was typhus, a deadly disease that is transmitted by body lice.

The story of Bergen-Belsen can be summed up by a chart that hangs on the wall of the Museum at the Memorial Site. It shows that there were 350 deaths in the camp in December 1944 before the typhus epidemic started. In January 1945, after a typhoid epidemic started, there were between 800 and 1000 deaths; in February 1945, after the typhus epidemic broke out, there were 6,000 to 7,000 deaths. In March 1945, the number of deaths had escalated to an incredible 18,168 in only one month.

In April 1945, the deaths were 18,355 in only one month, with half of these deaths occurring after the British took over. Unlike the death camps in Poland, the Bergen-Belsen camp was not equipped to handle this kind of death rate; there was only one crematory oven in the camp.

When the British arrived on April 15, 1945 to take charge of the camp, there were 10,000 bodies that were still unburied, and more were dying every day because the Germans could not control the typhus and typhoid epidemics in the camp. By the end of April, in only two weeks time, 9000 more had died. Another 4,000 died before the end of May.

Marion Blumenthal Lazan told the high school students that she had to pick lice out of her hair.  Did she also tell them that lice causes typhus, and prisoners died by the thousands at Bergen-Belsen from typhus?

Did Marion Blumenthal Lazan tell the students that thousands of lives could have been saved if America had exchanged more of the Germans in the American internment camps for Jews in the Belsen exchange camp?

This quote is from Wikipedia:

A total of 11,507 Germans and German-Americans were interned during the war, accounting for 36% of the total internments under the Justice Department’s Enemy Alien Control Program, but far less than the 110,000 Japanese-Americans interned.[25] Such internments began with the detention of 1,260 Germans shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.[26] Of the 254 persons evicted from coastal areas, the majority were German.[27]

In addition, over 4,500 ethnic Germans were brought to the U.S. from Latin America and similarly detained. The Federal Bureau of Investigation drafted a list of Germans in fifteen Latin American countries whom it suspected of subversive activities and, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, demanded their eviction to the U.S. for detention.[28] The countries that responded expelled 4,058 people.[29] Some 10% to 15% were Nazi party members, including approximately a dozen who were recruiters for the NSDAP/AO, roughly the overseas arm of the Nazi party. Just eight were people suspected of espionage.[30] Also transferred were some 81 Jewish Germans who had recently fled persecution in Nazi Germany.[30] Many had been residents of Latin America for years, some for decades.[30] In some instances, corrupt Latin American officials took the opportunity to seize their property. Sometimes financial rewards paid by American intelligence led to someone’s identification and expulsion.[30] Several countries did not participate in the program, while others operated their own detention facilities.[30][31]

Does Marion Blumenthal Lazan mention any of this in her talks to High School students?  No, of course not.  Nobody cares that German citizens were put into internment camps in America.  Nobody wants to hear that Bergen-Belsen was an EXCHANGE CAMP.  Nobody wants to hear the words typhus and typhoid.

Lazan’s talk was all about how she was discriminated against because she was Jewish.  The worst thing that happened to Marion was that her mother spilled hot water on her daughter’s leg while she was cooking up some soup, in the barracks, using a potato that she had stolen.  In her talk, Marion said that the barracks were unheated, so how did her mother manage to cook a stolen potato?  Did she have a Bunsen burner in her barracks building?

Update 1 p.m. Nov. 12, 2013

After I  had put up the above blog post, I found a YouTube video of Marion Blumenthal Lazan’s talk to students in her home town of Peoria, Illinois.  Marion’s talk begins at 9:15 minutes into the video.  Marion starts off by saying that her story is the story that Anne Frank might have told, but she does not explain how her story differed somewhat, allowing her to survive, while Ann Frank died at Bergen-Belsen.

Marion continued her talk by saying that in 1935, discrimination against the Jews in Germany began, although she does not give any hint, as to why the German people might have been against the Jews. She said that Kristallnacht was the “beginning of a massive pogrom” against the Jews, although she didn’t explain the word “pogrom,” nor did she explain the events that led up to Kristallnacht.  Throughout her talk, Marion did not give the slightest reason why Jews were persecuted in Nazi Germany.

Because of the discrimination against the Jews in Germany, Marion’s family obtained “papers for America” and were scheduled to leave Germany when Kristallnacht happened on November 9, 1938.  Her father was one of the Jewish men who were sent to Buchenwald, but he was soon released because he already had papers for his family to leave Germany.

In January 1939, the Blumenthal family prepared to set sail for America.  In December 1939, the family went to Westerbork, in Holland, to wait for passage to America.  Unfortunately, in May 1940, Germany invaded Holland and that ended Marion’s dream of going to America.

In her talk to the students, Marion did not mention that Jews were having a hard time leaving Germany because other countries in Europe would not take them. She did not explain that, even in America, there were severe restrictions on how many Jewish immigrants were allowed to come in.

Then Marion goes on to tell that, in 1942, the “extermination” of the Jews began.  In January 1942, on a Tuesday morning, Marion’s family was put on “cattle cars,” while “vicious dogs” forced them onto the trains.  She was just 9 years old.

To her credit, Marion explains, in the video, that Bergen-Belsen “was sectioned off,” and that her family was put in the “Sternlager.”  Just as I had guessed, the Blumenthals had been put into the “Star camp” where conditions were better, according to information at the Bergen-Belsen Museum.

At 38.56 minutes in the YouTube video, Marion shows a yellow star, like the one that the Jews were forced to wear in the Star Camp.   But nowhere in her talk did Marion mention that the Star Camp was the best section at Bergen-Belsen, reserved for the prominent Jews, who were suitable for an exchange for a prisoner in an American internment camp.

Marion mentioned that “once a month,” the prisoners at Bergen-Belsen were given a shower. She says that the prisoners “were never sure whether water or gas” would come out of the shower faucets.  However, she does NOT claim that there were gas chambers at Bergen-Belsen; she only hints at the possibility of gas chambers.

Finally, Marion gets to the part in her speech about “four pebbles,” which she says represent her “four family members.”  The title of a book, which she wrote is Four Perfect Pebbles.  While she was at Bergen-Belsen, Marion had made a game out of searching for four perfect pebbles each day.

Finally, Marion gets to the “gas chambers.”  Every Holocaust survivor must explain why they were not sent to the gas chamber, especially when they were younger than 15 years old, while in a camp.  Keep in mind that, at this point in her talk, Marion has not mentioned that Bergen-Belsen was an EXCHANGE camp.  She implies that Bergen-Belsen was an “extermination camp” and since her family had not been exterminated yet, she says that they were put on one of the “three trains to the gas chamber in April 1945.”

I previously blogged about the gas chamber at Theresienstadt here.

Marion does not mention that the trains to the gas chamber were going to Theresienstadt.  She implies that the Nazis were gassing Jews, right up to the end of the war, even after most of the camps had been liberated.  She doesn’t explain that the Nazis had fooled around for years, hoping to exchange Jews for German prisoners in America and other countries, and in the last weeks of the war, they had decided to send the Jews to Theresienstadt, where a gas chamber had allegedly just been set up.

To her credit, Marion did mention, at 27 minutes into the video, that there was a typhus epidemic at Bergen-Belsen.

At 27.51 minutes into the video, Marion says that, after 14 days on the train to Theresienstadt, with no food, no water, and no toilets, she was liberated by “the Russian Army.”  Her family was sent back to Holland, from where they tried to go to Palestine, but the British were not allowing Jews into Palestine.

Finally, her family was able to use their tickets, purchased in 1939, to come to America.  On April 23, 1948, she arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The YouTube video of Marion Blumenthal Lazan’s talk is entitled “Four Perfect Pebbles.”  You will have to search for it yourself, because I cannot put it up for some reason.

To impress upon the students, who had come to hear her talk, how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust, Marion said, near the end of her speech, that 6 million Jews had died in the Holocaust, which was one third of the Jewish population in Europe. She said that there are currently 12.5 million people in the state of Illinois, where she now lives.  Imagine half of the people in the state of Illinois being killed, if ever the Nazis are allowed to come to power again.  It boggles the mind.  Marion gives her talks to students to impress upon them that they should not discriminate against Jews or anyone else.

November 10, 2013

Playing in the women’s orchestra at Auschwitz, the ticket to survival

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:18 am
Anita Lasker Wallfisch is the woman on the right

Anita Lasker Wallfisch is the woman on the right

Caption on the photo above: Trudy Gold, executive director of education and Holocaust studies at the London Jewish Cultural Centre, with Maya Jacobs-Wallfisch and Anita Lasker Wallfisch. Picture: Polly Hancock

I read in the news today that Anita Lasker Wallfisch, a former Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz, is still alive, at the age of 88, and speaking to students about her Holocaust ordeal.

This quote is from the news article:

A surviving member of the Women’s Orchestra in Auschwitz shared her experience in the concentration camp as a gifted cellist.

Imprisoned with her sister in the camp in 1943, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch told an audience at the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC) of her time in the 40-piece orchestra that played marches as other prisoners left the camp every day to carry out forced labour.

During her time in the camp she had to use her musical talent in private concerts for SS officers, an ordeal that is thought to have saved her from being one of the 1.1million murdered there.

The orchestra was created under the instruction of the SS.

During the final stages of the Holocaust the group had to play while Jewish prisoners were sent to the gas chambers to put their minds at rest.

Anita, 88, discussed her traumatic experiences and the effect it has had on her relationships alongside her daughter, Maya Jacobs-Wallfisch, at the LJCC in North End Road, Golders Green, last Thursday.

Maya, a psychotherapist, specialises in helping those affected by the Holocaust and spoke of its importance and the impact it has had on their lives.

Audience members found it an intimate and personal evening that was said to have “brought mother and daughter even closer together”.

This news article resonated with me because, years ago, I wrote about Anita Lasker Wallfisch on my website.  This quote is from my scrapbookpages.com website:

Another orchestra, consisting of 54 female prisoners, played at Birkenau for a year and a half; this was the only female orchestra commissioned by the SS during World War II. After the orchestra leader, Alma Rosé, died in October 1944, the other 53 women were sent to Bergen-Belsen where all of them survived.

Anita Lasker Wallfisch played the cello in the women’s orchestra. In an interview in 2008, Wallfisch told a reporter that she survived Auschwitz because she was in the orchestra: “As long as they wanted an orchestra, they couldn’t put us in the gas chamber. That stupid they wouldn’t be, because we are not really replaceable. Somebody who carries stones is replaceable.”

What kind of a genocide is it when you gas people who can only carry stones, but save the musicians to live another day?

I don’t know how Anita was selected for the orchestra, but I imagine that she was going through the selection line at Auschwitz, and Dr. Josef Mengele was whistling classical music, as usual.  She might have commented on his whistling and she might have identified the music, to prove to him that she was a musician.  That could be how she was saved from the gas chamber.

Men's orchestra playing for a Sunday concert at Auschwitz in 1941

Men’s orchestra playing for a Sunday concert at Auschwitz in 1941

Ruins of the undressing room for gas chamber #2 at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Ruins of the undressing room for gas chamber #2 at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The photo above shows the undressing room for the gas chamber in Krema II, which was called Leichenkeller 2 (Corpse Cellar #2) on the blueprint of the building. The victims entered the undressing room by descending the stairs shown in the background in the photo above. To the left in the photo are the steps of the International Monument which is between Krema II and Krema III gas chambers at the western end of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

The victims walked down the steps into the undressing room while an orchestra played classical music. The location of the orchestra was southeast of Krema III, outside the barbed wire enclosure and right next to the soccer field. This was the location where concerts were held for the prisoners while the gassing operation was in progress. The victims were told that they were going to take a shower, after which they would have a nice, hot meal.

The ruins of the undressing room for gas chamber #3 at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The ruins of the undressing room for gas chamber #3 at Auschwitz-Birkenau

In the background of the photo above is the green grass of the soccer field.  The orchestra was located near the soccer field.  Did the members of the orchestra know that the prisoners marching into the undressing room were going to their death?  If they did know, how could they live with themselves?

My very first blog post was about an Auschwitz prisoner, Tadeusz Borowski, who stuck his head in an oven and killed himself after the war, because he couldn’t live with himself.  He had been playing soccer while the Jews were marching to their death, as an orchestra was playing.  How could Anita Lasker Wallfisch live with herself?

November 8, 2013

Fun and profit, using photos of fingernail scratches on the wall of the Auschwitz gas chamber

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:12 am

If you would like to have a photo of the Auschwitz fingernail scratches, hanging on the wall of your living room, you can buy a large framed photo online at

http://www.art.com/products/p14404813-sa-i2875124/david-clapp-fingernail-scratches-in-main-gas-chamber-auschwitz-poland.htm

or at

http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Fingernail-Scratches-in-Main-Gas-Chamber-Auschwitz-Poland-Posters_i3971294_.htm

When I went to see the Auschwitz main camp in October 2005, I was alone in the gas chamber for over an hour, and I could have taken photos of the fingernail scratches, suitable for framing, but stupid me, I didn’t realize that there was a market for this sort of thing.

I took the photo below in 2005.  Notice the scratches, on the left side of the photo,  just under the electrical wiring on the wall. At the top of the photo, you can see a ceiling beam, which indicates that the scratches are high up on the gas chamber wall.  Why did the victims reach up so high to put scratches on the wall?  Probably, because an evil Nazi came into the gas chamber and put white paint over the scratches on the lower part of the wall.  The only space left for scratches was high up on the wall.

Scratches on the wall of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

Scratches on the wall of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

In the photo above, the fingernail scratches are on the left side, near the top of the photo, underneath the electrical wiring, which is for the light fixtures in the room.

The photo below shows the wiring in the gas chamber and the lights in the room.

Wiring and light fixtures in the Auschwitz gas chamber

Wiring and light fixtures in the Auschwitz gas chamber

Notice the wall on the left side of the photo.  All of the scratches appear to be on this wall. Notice that the wall is a light brown color, except for the patches of white and light blue paint, which appear to be covering previous scratches. The new scratches are above the patches of paint, near the ceiling beams.

There are stories that the victims lifted the babies up near the ceiling so that they could live a few minutes longer by breathing the last little bit of pure air.

The photo below shows one of the holes in the ceiling, which was reconstructed by the Soviet Union, after Auschwitz was liberated on January 27, 1945.  There are currently four of these holes, which were allegedly used to pour the Zyklon-B gas pellets into the gas chamber. (Some Holocaust experts say that originally, there were three holes, in a straight line.) The Soviets did the best that they could, when they reconstructed the gas chamber, so don’t complain.

Reconstructed hole in the ceiling of Auschwitz gas chamber

One of the reconstructed holes in the ceiling of  the Auschwitz gas chamber

The question is:  Were these holes air tight?  If not, the gas would have escaped from the room, and it would have taken hours for the victims to die.  Were the babies allowed to live a few minutes longer because they could breathe the fresh hair coming through these holes?

What about the lights in the room?  Were the lights on, while the victims were dying in the gas chamber?  Most likely, the lights WERE on, so that the victims could see well enough to scratch a perfect star of david with their fingernails.

You can see two perfect Stars of David, scratched by a victim, who had very sharp pointed fingernails, at

http://www.nathan-miller.com/photos/israel/ausch/ausch-Pages/Image21.html

You can see an excellent photo of the scratches on the wall [the second photo] on this website:

http://www.boredpanda.com/must-see-powerful-photos/

In the photo, in the link above, notice the electrical wiring at the top of the photo. This photo was taken near the same place where I took my photo.  I was trying to take a photo of the ceiling, so I didn’t get a dramatic shot of the scratches.

What about the walls of the gas chamber?  Fred Leuchter, a gas chamber expert, who has been thoroughly discredited, had some complaint about the walls, and about the lighting, but what does he know?

This quote is from Fred Leuchter’s report on the Auschwitz gas chamber:

None of these facilities were sealed or gasketed. No provision was ever made to prevent condensation of gas on the walls, floor or ceiling. No provision ever existed to exhaust the air-gas mixture from these buildings. No provision ever existed to introduce or distribute the gas throughout the chamber. No explosion-proof lighting existed and no attempt was ever made to prevent gas from entering the crematories, even though the gas is highly explosive.

You can see some excellent photos of Auschwitz on this blog:  http://imgur.com/gallery/pxAvz
Scroll down to Photos # 7, 8 and 9.  Photo # 7 shows a sign in the gas chamber, which tells visitors that they must be silent, out of respect to the thousands of people who died in this room.  That sign was not there the last time that I was in Auschwitz in 2005.
Photo #8 shows one of the holes in the roof of the gas chamber with the lid removed, so that you can look through the hole, up to the sky above.  This is the same hole that I show on my blog today.
Photo #9 shows the scratches on the wall of the gas chamber.
I didn’t know that high school students are now allowed to walk around inside the gas chamber and take photos. Were these students allowed inside the gas chamber without an official tour guide?
There are a million comments on this blog post, which indicate that the students on this trip were very disturbed by seeing the fingernail scratches near the ceiling of the gas chamber.
Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.