Scrapbookpages Blog

October 29, 2014

One of the 40 Most Powerful Photos Ever Taken: Jews liberated from a train at Farsleben

Women and children who were liberated from a death train

Jewish women and children who were liberated from a “death train” at Farsleben

The photo above was copied from this blog: http://teachinghistorymatters.com/about/

This quote, from the blog post, is about the photo of the women and children who were liberated from the train:

“A moving collection of iconic photographs from the last 100 years that demonstrate the heartbreak of loss, the tremendous power of loyalty, and the triumph of the human spirit.”

This caption is on the photo:

“Farsleben train, moment of liberation, Friday the 13th of April,1945. Two American tank commanders in Sherman light tanks and their major in a jeep liberate the train, deep in the heart of Nazi Germany. Stunned survivors come to the realization that they are saved. Major Benjamin snaps the photo.”

Why am I so concerned with this photo? To me, this is not a suitable photo to convey the horror of the Holocaust.  The woman in the foreground of the photo is wearing a very fashionable outfit (perhaps from Paris) and the little girl is dressed in a warm coat with a ribbon (or a flower) in her hair.

Regular readers of my blog know that I have complained many times about photos that are unsuitable for a Holocaust story.  For example, this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/beware-of-illustrating-news-articles-with-photos-that-promote-holocaust-denial/

The photo below, which shows women in a barracks at Bergen-Belsen after the camp was turned over to the British, would be much better, to illustrate the Holocaust.  The women are nicely dressed, but I don’t see anyone wearing Paris fashions.

Jewish women  peeling potatoes at Bergen-Belsen

Jewish women peeling potatoes at Bergen-Belsen

The photo below is the iconic photo of Bergen-Belsen.  This is the photo that should be among the 40 best photos ever taken.

Dying man at the Bergen-Belsen camp when it was turned over to the British

Dying man at the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp after the camp was turned over to the British in April 1945

Nowhere on the blog, which shows the photo at the top of my blog post, does it say that these people were prisoners who were put on this train at Bergen-Belsen.  Nor does the author tell us WHY these Jews were put on a train in the very last days of World War II.

I previously blogged about the “death train” that was liberated by American soldiers at Farsleben, near Magdeburg, Germany.   https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/death-trains-and-death-marches-the-last-ditch-effort-by-the-nazis-to-complete-the-genocide-of-the-jews/

The text, which accompanies the photo at the top of my blog post, should have explained that these people were Hungarian Jews from the STAR CAMP at the Bergen-Belsen EXCHANGE CAMP.  I previously blogged about the Star Camp at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/star-camp-at-bergen-belsen/

The text below is from my scrapbookpages.com website:

Between April 6th and April 11th, the Hungarian Jews were evacuated from Bergen-Belsen on the orders of Heinrich Himmler, who was planning to use them as bargaining chips in his negotiations with the Allies. The Jews in the Star Camp and also in the Neutrals Camp were also evacuated, along with the Hungarians, in three trains which held altogether about 7,000 Jews who were considered “exchange Jews.”

One of these three trains arrived with 1712 people on April 21, 1945 in the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia. Two weeks later the Theresienstadt Ghetto was turned over to the Red Cross, just before Russian troops arrived. The other two trains never made it to Theresienstadt because they had to keep making detours due to frequent Allied air attacks, according to Eberhard Kolb who wrote the book Bergen-Belsen from 1943 to 1945.

One of the three trains finally stopped on April 13th near Magdeburg in northern Germany; the guards ran away and the Jews on the train were liberated by American troops. The third train halted on April 23, 1945 near the village of Tröbitz in the Niederlausitz region; they were liberated by Russian troops after the guards escaped.

Update October 30, 2014:

The Jews, who were on the three trains, were “exchange Jews” who had been held at Bergen-Belsen for potential exchange for German-American and German citizens who were prisoners in internment camps in America.

The initial plan for the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp had been to detain as many as 30,000 Jews for exchange with the Allies for German citizens being held in Internment, but as it turned out, there were only 358 of the Jews at Bergen-Belsen who obtained their freedom through a genuine exchange for other prisoners.

The most well-known exchange group consisted of 222 Jews who were selected in April 1944 from approximately 1300 holders of certificates for Palestine. This group finally left for Istanbul via Vienna and Budapest on June 30, 1944 and reached Haifa on July 10, 1944.

The second group that was exchanged consisted of 136 Jews who left Bergen-Belsen on January 21, 1945 and arrived in Switzerland on January 25, 1945. A total of 301 Bergen-Belsen inmates, who were citizens of South American or Central American countries, had left the camp on the 21st of January, but 165 of them were taken to civil internment camps at Biberach and Ravensburg.

There were German citizens, who had been kidnapped in South American countries, and brought to internment camps for Germans in the USA.  The German government was trying to exchange the Jews, imprisoned at Bergen-Belsen, for these German citizens.  http://www.gaic.info/internment_camp.html

 

 

6 Comments »

  1. “Nowhere on the blog, which shows the photo at the top of my blog post, does it say that these people were prisoners who were put on this train at Bergen-Belsen. Nor does the author tell us WHY these Jews were put on a train in the very last days of World War II.”

    Really. I suppose you read all 262 posts over the last seven years. I suppose you’ve read the original primary information I have collected from the eyewitnesses, or seen the other photographs, or read the comments of the historians who have commended my work. I suppose you’ve read my commentary and seen my photographs from my visits to the authentic sites, including Belsen and Theresienstadt.. I suppose the 270 former children who were on this train whom we have located tell us that their experiences were like springtime “in Paris”… Look no further, Mr Further Glory, as you obviously are the expert an all matters Holocaust related.

    “A moving collection of iconic photographs from the last 100 years that demonstrate the heartbreak of loss, the tremendous power of loyalty, and the triumph of the human spirit.” Not my words. Like you, perhaps those expropriators found the site and decided to use it for their own “agenda”. Never said it should represent “the horror of the Holocaust”- but even you should be able to see that there are very few photos associated with “trains” and “liberation”. That the fact that it is taken at moment of liberation is rare. The fact that I found those present in 1945, soldiers and survivors, and REUNITED THEM nearly 65 years later is rarer still. But let’s leave that all out.

    I was of course aware of your previous, wonderful “I blogged about this, I blogged about that” posts. I never commented because I thought we were on the same side. But I will now, “One of the three trains finally stopped on April 14 near Magdeburg in northern Germany”- wrong. Friday, April 13th the Americans of the 743rd Tank Battalion and 30th Infantry Division, and the 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion found the transport from Belsen at Farsleben.. On Sat. am the 14th they were transported to Hilersleben – I know the 97 year old who got them there safely- where for the next six weeks medics from the 95th Medical Battalion struggled to save them.I have interviewed 4 guys still living who were struggling to save the survivors of Belsen at Hilersleben, Mr. Scrapbook. A 90 yr old friend is still traumatized by the sick little girl from the train who greeted him with joy every morning, who smiled, and who died on him, whose lifeless ragdoll figure with arms outstretched he personally carried to the morgue tent. You could read it, below, and on my blog, but I think you would rather show the world how much smarter you really are.
    http://teachinghistorymatters.com/2012/03/04/it-was-tough-some-of-our-guys-couldnt-take-it

    “Nowhere on the blog, which shows the photo at the top of my blog post, does it say that these people were prisoners who were put on this train at Bergen-Belsen. Nor does the author tell us WHY these Jews were put on a train in the very last days of World War II.” (umm, linked right on the page….am I really so shallow?)
    https://teachinghistorymatters.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/rozell.pdf
    ( way more original, and accurate, research than you offer. But you chose not to go there.)

    In all honesty I thought you were smart, but with your disparaging comments about my work, clearly you are not so smart after all…and frankly, sir, after all my hard work, you piss me off with your trite know-it-all dismissals. I don’t expect to see this comment published, but I print my real name anyway. Thanks for lighting a fire for a blog post of my own. Which by the way has been around about twice as long as yours. “The best, Jerry. Gold.” See ya on the flipside.

    Matthew Rozell Hudson Falls NY USA 10-28-2014.

    Comment by Matthew Rozell — October 29, 2014 @ 5:35 pm

    • Well done for posting your name but I would point out that the reason for anonymity of those who hold reasoned and rational opinions and views which are out of line of yours, is the fear of legal prosecution and imprisonment in Europe. Even in western countries which have a degree of freedom in historical debate there is the fear of social ostracism and potential loss of employment.

      Comment by peter — October 29, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

    • You wrote: “I suppose you read all 262 posts over the last seven years.”

      No, I read only one of your blog posts, the one upon which I based my blog post.

      I have written over 1,300 blog posts since I started my blog on Feb. 5, 2004. When I write a new blog post, I don’t assume that everyone, who is reading it, has read all of my previous posts. Over the lifetime of my blog, I have had 2,615, 683 views of my posts. I don’t have statistics on how many people have read my blog, nor how many people have read each post. That is why I put links to previous blog posts on the same subject.

      If you have written only “262 blog posts in seven years.” I don’t think that you are in any position to criticize me.

      Comment by furtherglory — October 30, 2014 @ 7:52 am

    • You mentioned that I wrote that “one of the trains stopped on April 14th.” I was quoting my own website, which contains this mistake. I got the information for my website pages about Bergen-Belsen from a book written by Eberhard Kolb, which I purchased at the Belsen Memorial Site in 2001.

      I have corrected this mistake on my blog post, but it will be difficult to change my website. I wrote this on my website in 2001, and no one noticed this mistake in the 13 years since I wrote it.

      Comment by furtherglory — October 30, 2014 @ 9:18 am

    • I think that you have misunderstood what I was trying to convey in my blog post about the Jews who were saved from the train which was taking them to Theresienstadt.

      I have read another blog post from your site: http://teachinghistorymatters.com/2012/03/04/it-was-tough-some-of-our-guys-couldnt-take-it/

      This quote is from the blog post cited above:

      Begin quote
      For the past few years, Mr. Rozell and Mr. Towers have been tracking down those survivors, who ended up at Hillersleben after the train they were on was intercepted by members of the 743rd Tank Battalion and 119th Infantry Regiment on April 13, 1945, in the German town of Farsleben. The train had left Bergen-Belsen and was headed for an extermination camp in Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia.
      End quote

      Why were they headed to the Theresienstadt EXTERMINATION camp, when there was a gas chamber at Bergen-Belsen? I wrote about the gas chamber at Bergen-Belsen on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/BergenBelsen/BergenBelsen04.html

      I also wrote about the gas chamber at Theresienstadt at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/gas-chamber-at-theresienstadt/

      The point that I was trying to make in my most recent blog post is this: According to the official Holocaust story (which people in 19 countries are currently forced to believe under pain of imprisonment for 5 years or more) the Jews were starved, beaten, gassed, buried alive, forced to wear striped pajamas, and mistreated in every way possible. Yet the photo that you put on your blog post shows Jews who are fashionably dressed, wearing ribbons in their hair, as they leave the train that was carrying them to the gas chamber at Theresienstadt. To me, this photo represents “Holocaust denial,” and it should be hidden away somewhere, so that the goyim won’t know how the Jews were really treated.

      Comment by furtherglory — October 30, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

  2. Reading and writing,along with photography and even the amazing successes of science, have served to increase our abilities to deceive each other.These same technologies, used honestly and appraised judiciously, can also improve our abilities to know (the truth).

    Judicious appraisal might even, over time, improve the honesty with which these devices are employed.

    Sigh.

    Comment by Jett Rucker — October 29, 2014 @ 11:26 am


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