Scrapbookpages Blog

March 16, 2014

Hasidim but I don’t believe ’em

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:56 am
Hisidic Jew in Brooklyn, NY

Hisidic Jew in Brooklyn, NY

In an episode of “The Sopranos,” a popular TV series several years ago, Paulie Walnuts says “Hasidim but I don’t believe ’em.”  You can watch this famous episode on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YauJVdK8GPI

I thought of this when I read a blog post about Hasidim on this blog: http://blogs.forward.com/sisterhood-blog/194267/when-hasidic-boys-grow-up-without-real-school/

This quote is from the blog post, cited above:

Last summer, when I interviewed Hasidic men and women who grew up with little to no secular education, I remember feeling angry at this system that churns out, intentionally, boys who cannot speak or read English — the first step in acquiring basic skills to function as an adult in the 21st century. The words one brilliant man used to refer to educational neglect in Satmar is still ringing in my ears: “This is criminal.”

Indeed, it is. Educational neglect of this magnitude should be considered criminal. No community in America should be allowed to perpetuate such inattention to the wellbeing of children.

Watching this video made me think of the countless times my husband and I explained to our children why we don’t know certain basic concepts or historical facts, why my husband never learned how to punctuate a sentence. We talk freely about our childhoods and our desire to see them, our children, receive a solid education. We explain that education is power, and that it is the single driving force for human progression. We speak of our pride in their academic achievements and demonstrate its importance by asking questions about subjects we don’t know.

The next time my son says he hates school, I will play him this video. Hopefully he will get the message.

In reading the above words on the blog of an Hasidic woman, I was reminded of what Hitler wrote in his book Mein Kampf, about the first time that he saw an Hasidic Jew on the streets of Vienna.  I don’t want to waste my time looking for this passage in Mein Kampf, so I will give you this quote from Wikipedia, which tells about what it was like when Hitler lived in Vienna:

At the time Hitler lived there, Vienna was a hotbed of religious prejudice and racism.[37] Fears of being overrun by immigrants from the East were widespread, and the populist mayor, Karl Lueger, exploited the rhetoric of virulent antisemitism for political effect. Georg Schönerer’s pan-Germanic antisemitism had a strong following in the Mariahilf district, where Hitler lived.[38] Hitler read local newspapers, such as the Deutsches Volksblatt, that fanned prejudice and played on Christian fears of being swamped by an influx of eastern Jews.[39]

Hitler’s father was a follower of Georg Schönerer who advocated German nationalism.  Now the idea, of a country having a population of people of one race and one religion, has been thoroughly discredited by the Holocaustians who preach diversity.  Diversity causes problems in many countries of the world today, but it keeps the Jews safe, and allows them to live in any country they choose.  If there is ever a threat of another Holocaust, the Jews now have their own country where they can go to escape.

March 15, 2014

The late Harry W. Mazel is back in the news

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:58 am

You can read the latest news about the late Harry W. Mazel at http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/03/04/momentous-gift-holocaust-archive-cu-boulder-will-draw-scholars-around-world

This quote is from the news article:

The archive is the life work of Harry W. Mazal, a retired businessman from Mexico City who made San Antonio, Texas, his home and became an internationally recognized Holocaust collector and researcher. Working with numerous volunteers, Mazal dedicated his life to creating a vast repository committed to defending the voices and memories of the victims of the Holocaust around the world by promoting scholarly research related to Holocaust studies, Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism and bigotry.

The website of Harry W. Mazel, entitled The Holocaust History Project was one of the first websites that I ever visited when I started studying the Holocaust.

I blogged about Harry W. Mazel on this blog post:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/harry-w-mazal/

General Patton’s policy regarding the treatment of German POWs

Filed under: World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:00 am

A reader of my blog recently made a comment in which he stated that General Patton told his men: “Any man who brings me an SS prisoner will be court Marshalled!”?

I interpret this to mean that General Patton wanted his men to take no prisoners when fighting in battle against Waffen-SS soldiers. Even more explicit, General Patton ordered his men to kill all Waffen-SS soldiers who surrendered.

I have been searching for some verification of this order, but have found nothing.  What I did find in my searching was an article about General Eisenhower and his treatment of German POWs at http://www.rense.com/general46/germ.htm

This quote is from the website cited above:

One month before the end of World War 11, General Eisenhower issued special orders concerning the treatment of German Prisoners and specific in the language of those orders was this statement,

“Prison enclosures are to provide no shelter or other comforts.”

Eisenhower biographer Stephen Ambrose, who was given access to the Eisenhower personal letters, states that he proposed to exterminate the entire German General Staff, thousands of people, after the war.

Eisenhower, in his personal letters, did not merely hate the Nazi Regime, and the few who imposed its will down from the top, but that HE HATED THE GERMAN PEOPLE AS A RACE. It was his personal intent to destroy as many of them as he could, and one way was to wipe out as many prisoners of war as possible.

Of course, that was illegal under International law, so he issued an order on March 10, 1945 and verified by his initials on a cable of that date, that German Prisoners of War be predesignated as “Disarmed Enemy Forces” called in these reports as DEF. He ordered that these Germans did not fall under the Geneva Rules, and were not to be fed or given any water or medical attention. The Swiss Red Cross was not to inspect the camps, for under the DEF classification, they had no such authority or jurisdiction.

This quote from the website cited above is the most important:

Months after the war was officially over, Eisenhower’s special German DEF camps were still in operation forcing the men into confinement, but denying that they were prisoners. As soon as the war was over, General George Patton simply turned his prisoners loose to fend for themselves and find their way home as best they could. Eisenhower was furious, and issued a specific order to Patton, to turn these men over to the DEF camps. Knowing Patton as we do from history, we know that these orders were largely ignored, and it may well be that Patton’s untimely and curious death may have been a result of what he knew about these wretched Eisenhower DEF camps.  […]

General Patton’s Third Army was the only command in the European Theater to release significant numbers of Germans.

Others, such as Omar Bradley and General J.C.H. Lee, Commander of Com Z, tried, and ordered the release of prisoners within a week of the war’s end. However, a SHAEF Order, signed by Eisenhower, countermanded them on May 15th.

I wrote about Eisenhower’s DEF camps on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/EasternGermany/Gotha/

March 13, 2014

Mala and Ben Helfgott, Holocaust survivors with an amazing story to tell

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:56 am

Today, I read the heart-warming story of Mala Tribich, a Holocaust survivor who recently spoke to students in the UK about her ordeal in the Bergen-Belsen “death camp.”

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

After being smuggled back into the [Piotrkow] ghetto, Mala’s mother and eight-year-old sister were among hundreds of Jews rounded up and taken to the nearby Rakow forest, where mass graves had been dug.

Her mum and sister were among 560 adult Jews and 39 children murdered that day.

This quote from the news article immediately caught my attention:

Born Mala Helfgott in 1930 in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland, Mala was approaching her ninth birthday when World War II broke out on September 1, 1939.

I previously blogged about Ben Helfgott, who is the brother of Mala Helfgott, at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/the-remarkable-story-of-ben-helfgott-a-buchenwald-orphan/

In that blog post, I wrote this:

I first heard of Ben Helfgott in a book entitled Holocaust Journey, written by Martin Gilbert several years ago. I remembered Helfgott’s name because he said something about the German people who were burned alive, near Theresienstadt, as they tried to escape from the angry Czechs who expelled them after the war. I was impressed that he could show sympathy for the German expellees who had suffered.  (The former Dachau concentration camp became a home for German refugees from Czechoslovakia for 17 years.)

This quote is from the news article about Mala’s talk to students in the UK:

After a time as a slave labourer alongside her father and brother Mala, now 13, and her young cousin Ann and aunt were taken to Ravensbruck concentration camp, where they were stripped and had their heads shaved.

“We just felt that was the end. We weren’t going to survive,” said Mala.

“My aunt died within three days of our arrival. My best friend died soon after that. Conditions were terrible. We were four people to a bunk.

“Our rations were half a slice of black bread and a grey liquid called soup and a brown liquid called coffee and occasionally a nub of margarine.”

Two to three months later, Mala and Ann were taken to Bergen-Belsen in Germany in cattle trucks.

Bergen-Belsen was not a “death  camp,” as reported in the news article.  It was an EXCHANGE camp.  Ravensbrück was a camp for women.  How did Mala rate a transfer, from Ravensbrück to the Bergen-Belsen EXCHANGE camp?

I would love to know the whole story of Mala and Ben Helfgott. Why weren’t they taken to Rakow to be killed, along with their mother and sister?

You can read Ben Helfgott’s story at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jan/27/holocaust-memorial-day-ben-helfgott

This quote is from the website, cited above:

One morning, four days ­before Christmas in 1942, Nazi soldiers went to the synagogue in the Polish town of Piotrków, where 560 Jews were crammed, and ­demanded that 50 strong men ­accompany them to the woods. The men were told to dig five pits and then shot. In one week in October, 22,000 Jews (out of a population of 25,000) had been sent from Piotrków to the Treblinka gas chambers, so the men were under no illusions what they were digging.

The following morning, the SS took the rest of the people in the synagogue in groups of 100 to the woods. They were told to undress next to the pits and then they were shot. Among the victims was Ben Helfgott’s 37-year-old mother and his eight- year-old sister, Lusia.

Twelve-year-old Ben was working in a glass factory outside the ghetto and so regarded as “legitimate” by the Nazis. His 11-year-old sister, Mala, somehow escaped the roundup and his father had a permit to live in the Piotrków ghetto. But his mother and Lusia were seen as illegals and so went into hiding, fearing that they would be ­murdered. Then the Nazis offered illegals like Ben’s mother asylum. It was a ruse, but she and Lusia came out of hiding and were held in the ­synagogue. It was hardly a place of sanctuary: for amusement, guards would shoot in through the windows, killing and wounding people.

You can read more about the Piotrkow ghetto and the massacre on this website:  http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/piotrkow/pit237.html

March 12, 2014

Abraham Bomba, one of the barbers at Treblinka…

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:20 am

Today, I got an e-mail from Bradley Smith, alerting me to a letter that he has sent to Sara Bloomfield, the Director the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.  His letter concerns Abraham Bomba, whom Bradley claims was a collaborator with the Germans, who ran the Treblinka death camp.

I think that Bradley is calling Abraham Bomba a “collaborator” because he helped the Germans at the Treblinka camp, by cutting the hair of the women before they were gassed.  According to the ex-post-facto law of “common design,” anyone who helped the Nazis, in any way, at the Nazi concentration camps, was guilty of a war crime. This law is still being used to put 90-year-old men on trial in Germany.

In my humble opinion, the ex-post-facto law of “common design” cannot be used to claim that the Jewish helpers in the camps were war criminals.

Abraham Bomba was one of the 40 prisoners, who escaped from the Treblinka extermination camp in 1943, and lived to tell about it. Bomba was a Jew who was born in 1913 in Germany, but was raised in Czestochowa, Poland.

Before he escaped from the Treblinka II camp, Bomba was a barber at the camp; his job was cutting the hair of the victims inside the gas chamber, just before they were gassed.

Abraham Bomba is one of the Jews whom revisionists love to make fun of, because his testimony about Treblinka is so  preposterous. For example, he claimed that there were 20 benches inside the gas chamber, where the women sat while the barbers cut their hair.

Bomba was one of the 1,000 Sonderkommando Jews, who lived in the barracks in a separate section of the Treblinka II camp and worked for the Germans who ran the camp. There were neither factories, nor living quarters, for the 713,555 Jews who arrived at the fake train station at the Treblinka camp in 1942.

A model of the fake train station at Treblinka

A model of the fake train station at Treblinka

According  to the official story of the Holocaust, the terms “arrivals” and “evacuated” were Nazi code words for extermination; the Jews who were sent to Treblinka and the other Operation Reinhard camps were immediately gassed, only hours after their arrival.

In 1990, Abraham Bomba told about his experience in the camp in a video-taped interview for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. You can see and hear part of his interview on the USHMM website at http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_oi.php?MediaId=1079

The  following quote is from the transcript of this interview:

“And now I want to tell you, I want to tell you about the thing…the gas chamber. It was, they ask me already about this thing. The gas chamber, how it looked. Very simple. Was all concrete. There was no window. There was nothing in it. Beside, on top of you, there was wires, and it looked like, you know, the water going to come out from it. Had two doors. Steel doors. From one side and from the other side. The people went in to the gas chamber from the one side. Like myself, I was in it, doing the job as a barber. When it was full the gas chamber–the size of it was…I would say 18 by 18, or 18 by 17, I didn’t measure that time, just a look like I would say I look here the room around, I wouldn’t say exactly how big it is. And they pushed in as many as they could. It was not allowed to have the people standing up with their hands down because there is not enough room, but when people raised their hand like that there was more room to each other. And on top of that they throw in kids, 2, 3, 4 years old kids, on top of them. And we came out. The whole thing it took I would say between five and seven minute. The door opened up, not from the side they went in but the side from the other side and from the other side the…the group…people working in Treblinka number 2, which their job was only about dead people. They took out the corpses. Some of them dead and some of them still alive. They dragged them to the ditches, and over there they covered them. Big ditches, and they covered them. That was the beginning of Treblinka.”

After each gassing, the Jewish workers at Treblinka had to clean up in preparation for the next batch of victims, according to Abraham Bomba. The clothing that had been taken off by the victims had to be removed and put into piles for sorting before being sent on the next empty transport train to Lublin. Everything was done with great efficiency in this assembly-line murder camp, and nothing was wasted. All of the clothes and valuables, taken from the Jews when they arrived at Treblinka, were sent to the Majdanek camp in a suburb of Lublin where everything was disinfected before being sent to Germany and given to civilians.

Apparently, some of the Jews on the trains to Treblinka were also sent to the Majdanek camp.  I previously blogged about Norman Finkelstein’s mother who was sent to Treblinka, and then transferred to Majdanek: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/jews-from-the-warsaw-ghetto-were-sent-to-the-treblinka-death-camp-except-for-norman-finkelsteins-parents/

The spot where trains stopped inside Treblinka camp

The spot where trains stopped inside Treblinka camp

My 1998 photo above shows a sculpture which is supposed to look like the train tracks that were extended inside the Treblinka camp.

In his 1990 interview at the USHMM, Bomba described what happened after the hair had been cut from the heads of the women.

Below is a quote from the transcript of Bomba’s interview:

“People went in through the gate. Now we know what the gate was, it was the way to the gas chamber and we have never see them again. That was the first hour we came in. After that, we, the people, 18 or 16 people…more people came in from the…working people, they worked already before, in the gas chamber, we had a order to clean up the place. Clean up the place–is not something you can take and clean. It was horrible. But in five, ten minutes this place had to look spotless. And it looked spotless. Like there was never nobody on the place, so the next transport when it comes in, they shouldn’t see what’s going on. We were cleaning up in the outside. Tell you what mean cleaning up: taking away all the clothes, to those places where the clothes were. Now, not only the clothes, all the papers, all the money, all the, the…whatever somebody had with him. And they had a lot of things with them. Pots and pans they had with them. Other things they had with them. We cleaned that up.”

According to the official history of the Holocaust, after his visit to Treblinka in February 1943, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler ordered that all the evidence of the killing of the Jews had to be destroyed. Beginning in March 1943, the bodies of approximately 750,000 victims were exhumed and burned on pyres; the ashes were then buried in the original pits, according to Raul Hilberg, who wrote a book on the Holocaust. Today, a symbolic cemetery is located where some of the ashes were buried. By May 1943, the daily transports had stopped and the Treblinka camp was getting ready to close.

During his trial, Kurt Franz, the last Commandant of Treblinka, testified that “After the uprising in August 1943, I ran the camp single handedly for a month; however, during that period no gassing was undertaken. It was during that period that the original camp was leveled off and lupines were planted.”

According to Bomba’s interview for the USHMM, there was a Jewish commandant at Treblinka, named Jalinski, or something that sounds like Jalinski.  I have been unable to find anyone by that name who was a Commandant at Treblinka.

This quote is from Bradley Smith’s letter to the director of the USHMM:

I believe you would acknowledge that you are aware of who Abraham Bomba was, that he is featured on your Website testifying on film to the fact that as a Sonderkommando he collaborated with Germans in the mass-murder of maybe a million Jews at Treblinka. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_oi.php?MediaId=1079

At the same time I find no suggestion at the USHMM that any effort has ever been made to confront the “human nature” of Mr. Bomba’s behavior. In fact, on your Website he is treated with respect as if he were merely a victim, even perhaps something of a hero.

The Bomba testimony on film that the Museum has chosen to display includes this text: “Mr. Bomba was chosen to cut women’s hair before these women were to be gassed.” At one place Bomba himself testifies:

“I knew them; I lived with them in my town. I lived with them in my street, and some of them were my close friends. And when they saw me, they started asking me, Abe this and Abe that- ‘What’s going to happen to us?’ What could you tell them? What could you tell? . . . Can you imagine that you have to cut their hair and not to tell them a word because you were not allowed? If you say a word that they going to…uh…be gassed in five or seven minutes later, there would be a panic over there and they (the barbers) would be killed too . . . ”

In short, Mr. Bomba testifies on film that he collaborated with Germans in the mass murder of Jews at Treblinka. The Museum exploits his testimony to raise money for the Museum. But there is no evidence anywhere on the Museum’s Website that anyone there has made any effort whatever to confront the “human nature” of Mr. Bomba. When a man confesses on film to collaborating with Germans in the extermination of thousands of Jewish children, do you not see something there, in the “human nature” of the man, that needs to be, if not confronted, at least addressed?

I may be mistaken, but one has the impression that you are being purposefully blind to the fact that Mr. Bomba’s collaboration with Germans in the mass-gassings of Jews represents what we have been encouraged to consider as a war crime for which Germans and others have been tried, convicted, and executed. Ms. Bloomberg: do you not think it time that someone at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum confronts the “human nature” of such individuals as Abraham Bomba, their decisions to participate in the extermination of the Jews?

Why is it not time? What is it that is so very special about Abraham Bomba and his collaboration with Germans in the mass murder of Jews? To what purpose might his guilt be found acceptable, his testimony exploited, other than to raise funds for your Museum?

March 10, 2014

20 million people killed by the Nazis, according to the USHMM

A reader of my blog recently stated this in a comment:  “There were over 20 million people who were killed in total by Nazi atrocities from the 1930s until Germany’s surrender.  That does not  include casualties of the various allied and Soviet armies.”

This was news to me, but I wouldn’t put anything past those evil Nazis.

I was curious about where the figure of 20 million came from, so I did a google search and found this news article at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/9906771/Nazis-may-have-killed-up-to-20m-claims-shocking-new-Holocaust-study.html

A photo of the Arbeit Macht Frei gate at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp was included in the article.  I have copied the photo, along with the caption, which you can see below.

 Washington's Holocaust Memorial Museum found that Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto were just part of a extensive network that imprisoned and obliterated millions of lives Photo: AP


Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum found that Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto were just part of a extensive network that imprisoned and obliterated millions of lives Photo: AP

The official name of “Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum” is United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM).  I visited the USHMM several years ago, and wrote about it on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/USHMM/

I do not consider the USHMM to be a reliable source of information, but that’s just me; others might have a different opinion.

I don’t think that a photo of the gate into the Sachsenhausen concentration camp is appropriate for an article about 20 million people being killed.  Sachsenhausen was a Class 1 camp for political prisoners, not a death camp.

You can read about the significance of the Arbeit Macht Frei gate on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Auschwitz/Auschwitz12.html

The Soviets, who liberated the Sachsenhausen camp, claimed that Sachsenhausen was a death camp and that 100,000 people had been killed there.  Now that figure has been officially reduced to 30,000 deaths.  Did the USHMM subtract those 70,000 deaths from the 20 million total?

I took the photo below, on  my visit to the Sachsenhausen camp.  It shows the gate into the camp.  That’s how I know that the photo, which was shown in the article, was taken at Sachsenhausen.  The Arbeit Macht Frei sign was only put on Class I camps, where prisoners had a good chance of being released.

My photo of the gate into the Sachsenhausen camp

My photo of the gate into the Sachsenhausen camp

This quote is from the article cited above:

The millions disappeared into a Nazi imprisonment and killing machine that covered a bloody swathe of Europe and appears to have been far more deadly than has been thought.

Up until now, the Holocaust is thought to have consumed between five and six million Jews, with an estimated further six million other people also murdered by the Nazi regime.

The new figures of 15 to 20 million, which have astonished some Holocaust historians, come after thirteen years of painstaking study at Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum. Historians at the museum brought together and studied the huge amount, and often disparate, files and research on the Holocaust.

The research covered some 42,400 camps and ghettos across Europe, and also included forced-labour camps and Nazi “care” centres where pregnant women were forced to have an abortion or had their child killed right after giving birth. It also drew in camps, prisons and killing grounds used by Nazi puppet regimes in countries such as France and Romania.

The number of locations is almost double previous estimates made by the same institution and, all told, they may have imprisoned and killed between 15 to 20 million people.

Note that the USHMM story is that pregnant women were forced to have an abortion or had their baby killed after giving birth.  I have blogged about babies being born in the Nazi camps several times: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/pregnant-at-auschwitz-the-story-of-miriam-rosenthal/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/its-a-miracle-seven-babies-slipped-through-the-nazi-killing-machine-at-dachau/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/holocaust-survivor-who-was-born-in-auschwitz/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/holocaust-survivor-was-born-in-mauthausen-concentration-camp/

This serious mistake, by the USHMM, regarding the fate of pregnant women and babies, is enough for me to question the whole article.

The largest “death camps” in  the Holocaust were Auschwitz and Majdanek. The number of deaths at Auschwitz has been downgraded, from 4 million to 1.1 million, and  the number of deaths at Majdanek has been downgraded, from 1.5 million to 78,000.  Were these deaths subtracted from the 20 million total?

Sorry, but I don’t believe the new total of 20 million people killed by the Nazis.  False in one, false in all.  Next time, don’t tell us about mothers being forced to have an abortion in the “death camps.”

March 8, 2014

How Holocaust survivor Bernard Marks survived Auschwitz without a tattoo…

Filed under: Buchenwald, Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:46 am

Holocaust survivor Bernard Marks recently gave a talk, to 8th grade students at Holmes Junior High School in Davis, California. He revealed that he was a prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau, although he has no tattoo on his arm.

A number tattooed on the arm of a Holocaust survivor

Prisoners at Auschwitz had numbers tattooed on their arms

You can read an article, about the talk given by Bernard Marks, in the Davis Enterprise newspaper at http://www.davisenterprise.com/features/next-generation/holmes-students-spellbound-by-stories-of-holocaust-survivor/

This quote is from the article in the Davis Enterprise:

When it was [Bernard’s] turn to be tattooed [at Auschwitz], Marks said, he told the German officer he had to use the restroom. He even got into an argument about it, going so far as to tell the officer if he didn’t let Marks go, he would find himself in a large puddle. He was given permission to go, as was his father, who was ordered to make sure he returned. But they never did, managing to avoid the tattooing day after day.

It was, Marks said, “just one of the games we played.”

So famous Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel is not the only survivor of Auschwitz who got by without a tattoo.  You can read about Elie and his lack of an Auschwitz tattoo at http://www.eliewieseltattoo.com/tag/auschwitz-a-7713/

Primo Levi wrote, on page 27 of his book Survival in Auschwitz, that every prisoner was required to have a tattoo in order to get their food in the chow line: “It seems that this is the real, true initiation: only by showing one’s number can one get bread and soup.” Levi was a prisoner in the Auschwitz III camp, aka Monowitz.  Without a tattoo, how did Bernard Marks get any food in the Auschwitz camp?

Elie Wiesel was sent to Buchenwald after he was marched out of Auschwitz.  Bernard Marks was sent to Dachau, where his mother and brother were killed, although Bernard and his father were spared.

I wonder why Bernard’s mother was sent to Dachau to be killed.  Why hadn’t she been gassed at Auschwitz?  Dachau was not a camp for women. There were no women there until the very end of the war.  I previously blogged about the women who were sent from Auschwitz to Dachau at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/women-prisoners-liberated-at-dachau/

Elie Wiesel had no ID number at Buchenwald; I wonder if Bernard Marks got by without an ID number at Dachau.

This quote, regarding the tattooing of prisoners, is from a well-known True Believer website at http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/othercamps/auschwitzbasics.html

The registration of newly arrived prisoners took place after the issuing of clothing and consisted of filling out a personal form, including details of next of kin. These forms were kept in the camps Political Department.

Thus registered, the prisoner received a camp serial number, which would serve instead of their name, for the duration of their stay in the camp.

(photo of Auschwitz Tattoo. Number of Henry Oertelt B11291)

The registration process [at Auschwitz] also included the tattooing of the prisoners camp number on their left forearm, and photographs were taken of the prisoners from three angles. […]

Every prisoner registered in Auschwitz Concentration Camp received a camp number, which he had to wear on his striped uniform in a precisely defined place.

Bernard Marks was 13 years old when he arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau. How did he manage to get past Dr. Josef Mengele, the most famous of the 30 SS men who made the selections for the gas chamber?  Prisoners under the age of 15 or over the age of 45 were sent to the gas chamber immediately upon arrival at Auschwitz.

This quote from the Davis Enterprise explains why Bernard Marks was not sent to the gas chamber upon his arrival at Auschwitz:

In August 1944, Marks and his family were transported from Lodz to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Marks’ father had managed to hang on to his son’s work permit, which showed him being two years older than he really was, and it spared him on the selection ramp at Auschwitz — a ramp upon which the infamous Mengele, known as the “Angel of Death,” decided who would be killed and who would be spared to labor in the camp.

The rest of Marks’ family wasn’t so fortunate.

I will never forget that day,” he said.

He credited his father for saving his life time and again and getting him through the ordeal.

And he ended the presentation to Holmes students with a little levity. Asked by a student if he had a number tattooed on his arm like other Holocaust survivors, he told the story of how he and his father managed to avoid that particular indignity with a little ingenuity.

It should be a crime for Holocaust survivors to tell 8th graders stories about how they fooled Dr. Mengele and were able to get by without a tattoo at Auschwitz.  The lack of an Auschwitz tattoo is an indication that Bernard Marks was not really at Auschwitz.

Another clue is that prisoners from the Lodz ghetto were sent directly to Dachau, near the end of the war.

This quote is from the H.E.A.R.T  (True Believer) website:

They [the Jews in the Lodz ghetto] were tortured and subsequently shot or transported to Dachau and Mauthausen concentration camps.

March 7, 2014

Photos of the Majdanek death camp

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: — furtherglory @ 11:10 am

I am posting some recent photos of the Majdanek death camp, which were sent to me by José Ángel Lopez.  Click on the photos to enlarge.

The remains of the Majdanek death camp as it looks today  Photo Credit: José Ángel

The remains of the Majdanek death camp as it looks today Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

Reconstructed crematorium at Majdanek, with the city of Lublin in the background Photo Credit: José Ángel

Reconstructed crematorium at Majdanek, with the city of Lublin in the background Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

The photo above shows the front entrance into the reconstructed Majdanek crematorium where the bodies of dead prisoners were burned.

Majdanek is now located within the city limits of Lublin, a major city in Poland.  When the camp was liberated by Soviet troops in July 1944, the first report of the deaths in the camp was 1.7 million.  This was quickly downgraded to 1.5 million, which is the figure that was given by the Soviets at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal.  The latest figures for Majdanek is 78,000 deaths including 59,000 Jewish deaths.

The Majdanek crematorium  Photo Credit: José Ángel

The Majdanek crematorium Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

The photo above shows the rear of the reconstructed Majdanek crematorium.

The original Majdanek crematorium was burned down in 1944, allegedly by the Nazis.  The old photo below shows the crematorium just after it was burned.

Old photo shows bodies that were burned at the Majdanek crematorium

Old photo shows bodies that were burned at the Majdanek crematorium

The old black and white photo above shows the ruined crematorium as it looked when Russian soldiers arrived at the camp on July 23, 1944. The wooden crematorium building had allegedly been set on fire by the Nazis in order to burn the bodies of Polish political prisoners who had been brought from the Gestapo prison at the Castle in Lublin and executed the day before liberation. Their charred remains are shown in the foreground in the photo.

In the background of the photo above are the brick ovens with iron doors which were not damaged in the fire. The main gas chamber building, which is located down the slope at the other end of the camp, was not burned, leaving behind evidence of the Nazi crimes.

Dome at Majdanek memorial site holds ashes of  prisoners Photo Credit: José Ángel

Dome at Majdanek memorial site holds ashes of prisoners Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

The gigantic, circular Mausoleum at the Majdanek Memorial Site, which is shown in the photo above, stands at the end of the former “black path” to the crematorium, a walkway that is now called the Road of Homage in English. To the left, in front of the steps, are four containers to hold eternal flames for special ceremonies. The structure was designed by architect and sculptor Wiktor Tolkin.

Under the dome, shown in the photo above is a huge circular urn, shaped like a saucer, which contains the ashes of some of the victims at Majdanek. These ashes were recovered from a compost pile in the camp, where they had been mixed with dirt and garden refuse and composted in preparation for spreading on the vegetable garden in the camp.

Close-up of the dome  Photo Credit: José Ángel

Close-up of the dome Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

The dome of the Mausoleum, as shown in the photo above, is pockmarked, as though it had suffered bomb damage in the war. The English translation of the inscription on the frieze of the dome reads “Let our fate be a warning to you.”

Just behind the Mausoleum pictured above, and a little to the right, is a small stone which commemorates the deaths of around 18,000 Jews on that spot on November 3, 1943, an event that was code-named by the Nazis with the cynical word “Erntefest” which means Harvest Festival in English. The camp inmates called this day “bloody Wednesday.” This was the largest mass execution carried out at any of the concentration camps in the history of the Holocaust. The victims were the last remnants of the Jewish population in the Lublin district.

According to the Majdanek guidebook, Heinrich Himmler ordered the liquidation of the Jews in the Lublin district after the insurrection on October 14, 1943 at Sobibor, one of the Operation Reinhard extermination camps on the Polish-Russian border, in which 300 Jews, led by a Jewish Russian Prisoner of War, escaped into the nearby woods. At this time, the three largest concentrations of Jews in Eastern Poland were at the camp at Majdanek and at the labor camp at Poniatowa, a tiny Polish village where 18,000 people were held, and at the Polish village of Trawniki where 10,000 Jews were imprisoned in a labor camp.

According to the guidebook, “In the autumn of 1943, the Nazi authorities were alarmed by the uprisings in the Warsaw and Bialystok ghettos, by the activity of the resistance movement in the camps and by the rebellions in the death camps at Sobibor and Treblinka.” Their greatest fear was that the Jewish prisoners at Lublin would start a rebellion that would result in their escape to the forests where they would join the Polish partisans who were fighting the German Army.

The Nazis were also worried about the camp resistance movement at Majdanek, where the Polish underground organizations were fighting as partisans outside the camp.

The Majdanek guidebook devotes a whole section to the activities of the camp resistance movement, which included activists from the Polish Home Army, and the main political parties: the Polish Socialist Party, the Peasant Party, the National Party, and the Polish Worker’s Party.

Guard tower at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel

Guard tower at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

Note the buildings in the background of the photo above; these buildings are in the city of Lublin.

Building No. 50 at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel

Building No. 50 at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

José Ángel standing in front of Building No. 52 at Majdanek

José Ángel standing in front of Building No. 52 at Majdanek

The two photos above appear to be original barracks buildings at Majdanek. The photo below was taken in the Majdanek museum which is in a wooden building, not far from the gas chamber building.

Round badges worn by prisoners at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel

Round badges worn by prisoners  Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

The photo above shows the round badges worn by the prisoners at Majdanek.  This photo shows an exhibit in the Majdanek Museum.

Exhibit in Majdanek Museum Photo Credit: José Ángel

Exhibit in Majdanek Museum Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

Spoons used by prisoners at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel

Spoons and knives used by prisoners in Majdanek camp Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

Prayer books used by prisoners at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel

Prayer books and rosaries used by prisoners at Majdanek   Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

Guard  tower at Majdanek memorial site Photo Credit: José Ángel

Guard tower at Majdanek  Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

March 5, 2014

Charles Krauthammer mentions the Sudetenland on Fox News show

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:29 am

Update, March 7, 2014

Hillary Clinton is the latest person to compare Putin to Hitler, according to a news report which you can read in full at  http://www.presstelegram.com/general-news/20140304/hillary-clinton-compares-vladimir-putins-actions-in-ukraine-to-adolf-hitlers-in-nazi-germany

This quote is from the news article, cited above:

LONG BEACH >> Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday compared recent actions by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine to those implemented by Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s.

Putin’s desire to protect minority Russians in Ukraine is reminiscent of Hitler’s actions to protect ethnic Germans outside Germany, she said.  […]

Clinton made her comments at a private event benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach.

“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 30s,” she said. “All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”

Hillary Clinton is exactly right.  But she made a mistake in saying something good about Hitler.  You can’t do that, when you are thinking about running for president of the United States.

Continue reading my original post:

The following quote is the words of Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer, on the Fox News show Special Report with  Bret Baier, on March 4, 2014.

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“That’s not a blink. That’s a KGB agent lying through his teeth, which is what they train to do for all of their lives. I mean, when Hitler went into the Sudetenland, he claimed it was in response to a desire on the part of the population. This is what all dictators do. The idea that somehow it’s a blink, because he’s waiting to see if he wants to take the rest of Ukraine, and that’s a sign of weakness? I think it’s delusional.” – Charles Krauthammer, on “Special Report with Bret Baier”

You can read the full text of the “Special Report” show at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/05/from-reset-button-to-nazi-talk-hillary-hawk-returns/

Charles Krauthammer has a vast knowledge of history (and everything else). His remarks on The O’Reilly Factor are normally 100% correct.  But the official history of World War II is so ingrained that this chapter of history is usually told from the standpoint of the Jews and the Holocaust.

Did the 3.5 million ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland really like the way that they were being treated by the Czechs after their homeland was given to the new country of Czechoslovakia after World War I? Did the Germans really want to be ruled by the Czechs, after centuries of being ruled by their fellow Germans?

Years ago, when I visited Prague, I took a guided tour, which I arranged through my hotel.  The tour guide was an elderly Jewish man.  Before we began the tour of Prague, the tour bus drove to a park on the outskirts of the city.  Everyone had to get out of the bus.  Then the tour guide pointed to a hill that we were supposed to look at.

There was nothing there.  It was like Gertrude Stein’s description of Oakland, CA.  “When you get there, there is no there, there.”

Then the tour guide told us that the hill, at which were were looking, was the spot where the Germans, who came to this land many years ago, first built a castle when they claimed this land for the German people.   The Czechs did not arrive until many years later.  The original inhabitants were the Celts, who were driven out by the Germans.

The whole point of a trip to this hill was that the tour guide was trying to impress upon us that this land had first belonged to the Celts, and then to the Germans.  The Czechs came much later, and they were ruled by the Germans for centuries.

But, according to Charles Krauthammer, the Germans in the Sudetenland were happy to be ruled by the Czechs, after living under German rule for hundreds of years, and they had no desire for their land to be part of Germany.

Sudeten Germans being expelled from the Sudetenland after World War II

Sudeten Germans being expelled from the Sudetenland after World War II

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the Sudetenland and World War II:

German Bohemians, later known as the Sudeten Germans, were ethnic Germans living in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which later became an integral part of the state of Czechoslovakia. Before 1945, Czechoslovakia was inhabited by over three million such German Bohemians, comprising about 23 percent of the population of the whole republic and about 29 and a half percent of the population of Bohemia and Moravia.[4] Ethnic Germans had lived in Bohemia, a part of the Holy Roman Empire, since the 14th century (and in some areas from the 12th century or earlier), mostly in the border regions of the so-called Sudetenland. They became known as the Sudeten Germans after the fall of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which was a consequence of the First World War. After 1945, most ethnic Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia, and sent to Germany and Austria.

You can read about the expulsion of the ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudeten_Germans#Expulsion_and_transfer

In the aftermath of WWII, when the Czechoslovak state was restored, the government expelled the majority of ethnic Germans (about 3 million altogether), in the belief that their behavior had been a major cause of the war and subsequent destruction. In the months directly following the end of the war, “wild” expulsions happened from May till August 1945. Several Czechoslovak statesmen encouraged such expulsions with polemical speeches. Generally local authorities ordered the expulsions, which armed volunteers carried out. In some cases the regular army initiated or assisted such expulsions.[39] Several thousand Germans were murdered during the expulsion, and many more died from hunger and illness as a consequence of becoming refugees.

Krauthammer’s comment that “when Hitler went into the Sudetenland, he claimed it was in response to a desire on the part of the population” is completely and totally wrong.  Hitler didn’t [erroneously] CLAIM that it was “in response to a desire on the part of the population.”

It was, IN FACT, a desire on the part of the population in the Sudetenland to be part of Germany.  The ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland were being treated badly by the Czechs.

The border between the Sudetenland and Germany was the Sudeten mountains.  During the occupation of Germany, after World War II, by American soldiers and Russian soldiers, the Sudeten mountains were the only protection that the Americans had from the Russians.  The families of American soldiers, stationed in Bavaria, were told to keep the gas tank of their car full at all times, and a packed suitcase in the car, ready to escape if the Russians should ever come over the Sudeten mountains to attack, during the “Cold war.”

March 4, 2014

Putin is “taking a page out of the Hitler playbook” according to Bill O’Reilly

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:55 am

You can read what Bill O’Reilly said on his Fox news show last night at http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/oreilly/2014/03/04/bill-oreilly-how-handle-putin

This quote is from O’Reilly’s “Talking Points” at the beginning of his show, The O’Reilly Factor, last night:

Taking a page out of the Hitler playbook, Russian President Putin has invaded Ukraine saying that Russian nationals are in danger in that country. You may remember back in 1938 the Nazi leader did the exact same thing in Czechoslovakia sending in forces to, quote, “protect Germans” who[m] the Fuhrer said were at risk it was a reuse (sic).

Did Hitler send forces into Czechoslovakia in 1938?

O’Reilly has said on his show that he is currently writing a book about World War II, so he should know.

I have forgotten much of the history of World War II, so I had to look it up myself.  I did a google search and found the following quote on a website at http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nazis-take-czechoslovakia

On this day [March 15, 1939], Hitler’s forces invade and occupy Czechoslovakia–a nation sacrificed on the altar of the Munich Pact, which was a vain attempt to prevent Germany’s imperial aims.

On September 30, 1938, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, which sealed the fate of Czechoslovakia, virtually handing it over to Germany in the name of peace. Although the agreement was to give into Hitler’s hands only the Sudentenland, that part of Czechoslovakia where 3 million ethnic Germans lived, it also handed over to the Nazi war machine 66 percent of Czechoslovakia’s coal, 70 percent of its iron and steel, and 70 percent of its electrical power. Without those resources, the Czech nation was left vulnerable to complete German domination.

No matter what concessions the Czech government attempted to make to appease Hitler, whether dissolving the Communist Party or suspending all Jewish teachers in ethnic-German majority schools, rumors continued to circulate about “the incorporation of Czechoslovakia into the Reich.” In fact, as early as October 1938, Hitler made it clear that he intended to force the central Czechoslovakian government to give Slovakia its independence, which would make the “rump” Czech state “even more completely at our mercy,” remarked Hermann Goering. Slovakia indeed declared its “independence” (in fact, complete dependence on Germany) on March 14, 1939, with the threat of invasion squelching all debate within the Czech province.

Then, on March 15, 1939, during a meeting with Czech President Emil Hacha–a man considered weak, and possibly even senile–Hitler threatened a bombing raid against Prague, the Czech capital, unless he obtained from Hacha free passage for German troops into Czech borders. He got it. That same day, German troops poured into Bohemia and Moravia. The two provinces offered no resistance, and they were quickly made a protectorate of Germany. By evening, Hitler made a triumphant entry into Prague.

The Munich Pact, which according to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had purchased “peace in our time,” was actually a mere negotiating ploy by the Hitler, only temporarily delaying the Fuhrer’s blood and land lust.

Several years ago, I visited the Czech Republic and before I went, I did a lot of research on the subject.

Bastion on southeast side of the old fortress, Sudeten mountains in background

Bastion on southeast side of the old Theresienstadt fortress with the Sudeten mountains in background

I am quoting below what I wrote on my website scrapbookpages.com after my visit to the Czech Republic.

The Czechoslovak Republic was founded on October 28, 1918, before the end of World War I, by Tomas G. Masaryk, who strongly supported Zionism and opposed anti-Semitism. Masaryk had an American wife and during the war, he had frequent talks with President Woodrow Wilson to gain support for Czech independence. As a strong supporter of the Jews, Masaryk had made a name for himself when he publicly sided with the Jews in the blood libel case in the town of Polna in 1899. (There is an exhibit about this case in the Maisel Synagogue in Prague.)

Thomas G. Masaryk became the first president of the new country of Czechoslovakia which was set up in accordance with Wilson’s Fourteen Points, on which the Armistice was signed to end World War I on November 11, 1918.

After he had united Germany and Austria in March 1938 [Der Anschluss], Hitler began complaining that the Czechs were mistreating and discriminating against the 3.5 million ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia, who had been citizens of Austria-Hungary before World War I. Political parties, which were pro-Nazi, had been banned in Czechoslovakia and ethnic Germans who supported Hitler were being jailed. The Czechs hated the ethnic Germans because they had been under the rule of the Germans in the Austrian Hapsburg Empire for over 600 years before they gained their independence. On the other hand, the Slovaks tended to be anti-Semitic and they supported the Nazis. The very first Jews to be sent to Auschwitz and Majdanek were Slovaks who had already been put into labor camps in their own country.

Great Britain, France and Italy assumed responsibility for the conflict in Czechoslovakia since they had signed the Treaty of Versailles which ended the war and stripped the Germans and Austrians of a big chunk of their former territories. Czechoslovakia had become a country as a result of that treaty. America also fought on the side of the Allies in World War I, but did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles because it included the League of Nations, which the American Congress voted not to join.

Austria-Hungary and Germany both signed an Armistice based on the Fourteen Points proposed by Woodrow Wilson, the American President during the war years. One of the key points was self-determination which meant that all ethnic groups had the right to determine the country in which they would live. This point of Wilson’s Fourteen Points was violated by the Treaty of Versailles when half a million Poles and a million Hungarians, along with three and a half million ethnic Germans became citizens of the new country of Czechoslovakia, which was dominated by the Czechs.

In answer to Hitler’s complaints, the British formed a commission to study the problem. This resulted in the Munich agreement, signed on Sept. 30, 1938 between Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain, in which the borderland known as the Sudetenland, with its predominantly German population, was given to Germany. There were also 45,000 Jews living in the Sudetenland who were handed over to Hitler as a result of the Munich appeasement.

The Sudetenland had formerly been part of the Austrian Empire but by 1938, Austria was part of the new Greater German Reich created by Hitler in the Anschluss with Austria. The unification of Germany and Austria had been expressly forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles, but the Allies did not protest this violation of the treaty. The Czech government did not have a say in the Munich agreement, since the country of Czechoslovakia was not in existence before the Treaty of Versailles was signed.

Theresienstadt was right on the dividing line between the Sudetenland and the remaining part of Czechoslovakia with the demarcation line being immediately alongside the town’s fortifications. As soon as the Germans arrived to take over the Sudetenland, 25,000 of the Jews living there fled across the border into Theresienstadt and some of them took temporary refuge in the Small Fortress.

Eduard Benes, who replaced Masaryk as president of Czechoslovakia in 1935, had been opposed to the Germans in World War I. During the period between wars, Benes was a strong supporter of the League of Nations and was active in trying to prevent Germany from regaining military power.

As an opponent of Fascism, Benes had complained to the League of Nations many times when Hitler began to violate the terms of the Versailles Treaty by rearming and placing troops in the Rhineland on the border between France and Germany.

The Munich “appeasement” of Hitler was intended to prevent another world war, but soon afterwards, Hitler demanded the resignation of Benes, his unrelenting opponent, who was agitating against the German takeover of the Sudetenland. In an effort to maintain peace, Benes resigned and went to England where he set up a Czech government in exile.

On March 14, 1939, following the resignation of Benes, Slovakia declared itself an independent state under the rule of Father Jozef Tiso, a Catholic priest and a Nazi supporter. On the following day, the Nazis marched into Czechoslovakia and took over the rest of the country without a fight. The states of Bohemia and Moravia, which had been dominated by the Germans for centuries under the Holy Roman Empire, became a German Protectorate. The Czech town of Terezin became once again a German town, and the name was changed back to the original name of Theresienstadt.

The Czechs fought as partisans against the Fascists in World War II, even sending men from England into Czechoslovakia by parachute to assassinate a top Nazi, SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. According to Ben G. Frank in his book entitled “A Travel Guide to Jewish Europe,” over 50% of the Czech partisans were Jews.

After Slovakia split off into an independent country, it became an ally of the German Fascists. The rest of the small states in Czechoslovakia were taken over by Poland and Hungary to bring their former citizens back into their respective countries in accordance with Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Hungary became a Fascist ally of Germany, but there was still an ongoing dispute between Germany and Poland over the territory which Germany had lost to Poland after World War I. Germany had been divided into two parts, separated by the Polish Corridor which was created to give the Poles access to the port of Danzig.

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