Scrapbookpages Blog

June 30, 2015

Found at last — the name of one person who was gassed by the Nazis

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:52 am

For many years, Bradley Smith has been asking for the name of one person, who was gassed during the Holocaust. Now at last, the name of one person has been found. Kurt Garron was gassed, according to Wikipedia.

The Small Fortress, across the road from the Theresienstadt ghetto

My photo of the Small Fortress, across the road from the Theresienstadt ghetto

Photo on Wikipedia page about Theresienstadt

Photo on Wikipedia page about Theresienstadt

In the FIRST photo above, notice the “Arbeit macht Frei” sign in the background. This sign was NOT over the entrance into the Theresienstadt camp for Jews. The SECOND photo, which is on the Wikipedia page about Theresienstadt, purports to show that the entrance into the Theresiensadt camp had the dreaded sign: “Arbeit macht Frei.” The “Arbeit macht Frei” sign was only put over Class I camps, not over death camps, as claimed by today’s Holocaust True Believers.

After my two visits to Theresienstadt, many years ago, I wrote about the camp on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/CzechRepublic/Theresienstadt/TheresienstadtGhetto/History/GhettoHistory.html

Wikipedia’s misuse of a photo gives you a heads-up that the Wiki page about Theresienstadt might contain some errors. This morning, as I was reading the Wikipedia page on Theresienstadt, I read the following:

Following the successful use of Theresienstadt as a supposed model internment camp during the Red Cross visit, the Nazis decided to make a propaganda film there. It was directed by Jewish prisoner Kurt Gerron, an experienced director and actor; he had appeared with Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel. Shooting took eleven days, starting September 1, 1944.[31] After the film was completed, most of the cast and the director were deported to Auschwitz. Gerron was murdered by gas chamber on October 28, 1944.[32]

Here is the text of source [32]

Evans, Richard J. (2008). The Third Reich At War. Penguin. p. 302. ISBN 978-1-59420-206-3. Retrieved 8 December 2011.

Yes, Virginia there is a gas chamber at Theresienstadt. One of my very first blog posts, on May 13, 2010, was about the Theresienstadt gas chamber.

However, it is not clear whether Gerron was murdered in a gas chamber at Auschwitz, or a gas chamber at Theresienstadt. https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/gas-chamber-at-theresienstadt/

You can read about Richard Evans on this website: http://codoh.com/library/document/402/

June 29, 2015

Which Allied soldier arrested Josef Kramer, the Commandant at Bergen-Belsen?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:14 am

You can read about the trial of Josef Kramer in this previous blog post that I wrote: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/before-the-nuremberg-imt-there-was-the-belsen-trial/

Prisoners in the typhus barracks at Bergen-Belsen

Prisoners in the typhus barracks at Bergen-Belsen

I have always thought that it was a well-known fact that the Bergen-Belsen camp was voluntarily turned over to the British, and that  Commandant Josef Kramer was arrested by some unknown British officer.

Joseph Kramer was immeditely arrested after he met the British at the gate and offered is help

Joseph Kramer was arrested after he met the British at the gate and offered his help

A few days ago, an American woman sent me an e-mail, in which she wrote this:

My Father Raymond Arthur Swanson was sent in when our troops got to this camp [Bergen Belsen] by his commander to arrest this man [Josef Kramer]. At my Fathers funeral all of this came out and was told and recorded by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The VFW [Veterans of Foreign Wars] is a well known institution in America. If the VFW says that Kramer was arrested by an American, it must be true.

It is well known that the British were fighting in the area around Bergen-Belsen during World War II. I had always thought that American troops were not fighting in this part of Germany, but what do I know?

I did a google search and found an excellent article, written by Joseph Bellinger on the Inconvenient History website.  I know that some people [you know who you are] have made fun of Joseph Bellinger and questioned his research, but in my humble opinion, he is one of the best revisionist writers and the  Inconvenient History website is possibly THE BEST revisionist website. In other words, I trust the writing of Joseph Bellinger and the Inconvenient History website.

This quote is from the article written by Joseph Bellinger:

Three Jewish men were among the first British soldiers who entered the liberated [Bergen-Belsen] camp on April 15, 1944.

Among these liberators was Captain Derek Sington, a young man working for British Intelligence at the time these events occurred. Sington appears to have been one of the designated senior officials to first enter Belsen. His written account of the camp’s liberation indicates that he acted with authority and decisiveness when initially confronting the camp commander, Josef Kramer, who was waiting just outside of the main camp to greet and escort the British troops upon arrival.
According to Sington’s account, the Germans had made overtures to his commanding officer seeking to surrender the camp intact. An agreement was reached whereby a small contingent of guards, mainly comprised of Hungarians employed in the service of the Wehrmacht, would remain at the camp site to maintain order, along with a smaller contingent of about fifty SS staff-members and employees, retained for purely administrative purposes. It was implicitly understood that, once the surrender and transfer of the camp were completed, these units were to be allowed to pass on to the German lines without further molestation. Unfortunately for Kramer and his staff, events and emotions were soon to render that agreement null and void.

It is very clear to me, after reading the above quote, that the Bergen-Belsen camp was turned over to the British, and there were no American soldiers there. The Americans were fighting in the area south of Bergen-Belsen.

Dead bodies found by the British at Bergen-Belsen

Emaciated bodies found by the British at Bergen-Belsen

Bellinger’s article continues with this quote:

Sington was met by Commandant Kramer, who jumped onto the running board of his vehicle and saluted. Dispensing with formalities, Sington asked him how many prisoners were currently being held in the camp. Kramer gave a figure of 40,000, plus an additional 15,000 in Camp number 2, which was further up the road. When asked what types of prisoners were being held in confinement there, Kramer replied, “Habitual criminals, felons, and homosexuals.”

[..]

As Sington fought to hold back tears, he strode back to his vehicle and, still accompanied by Kramer, plunged deeper into the foul underbelly of the camp. By this time, the masses of inmates were fully aroused and began surging past the barbed wire enclosures into the main thoroughfare of the camp. At this point, Kramer suddenly leaned toward Sington and remarked, “Now the tumult is beginning.”

The following quote from Bellinger’s article tells how Kramer was treated with contempt by the British. Kramer gets no credit for saving some of the lives of the Bergen-Belsen prisoners.

On the morning of April 18th, after having spent five days and nights in a vile underground cellar enveloped in total darkness, Josef Kramer was taken out of his cell and prepared for transfer out of the camp. The former commandant was manhandled and shackled, both hands and legs. The shackles were much too small for his enormous wrists and cut gaping gashes into his flesh. Kramer was then prodded into a jeep, his shirt ripped from his back, and paraded throughout the camp half-naked, to the accompaniment of jeers, hooting, catcalls, and a resonant howling which sounded to one witness as a “terrifying blend of joy and hate.” Insults and accusations were not the only items thrown at Kramer. Whatever object the inmates could lay their hands on was thrown at Kramer as he crouched as low as he could in the vehicle, trying to avoid any potentially damaging missiles. Two British soldiers were poised directly behind Kramer, constantly prodding him in the spine with their sten guns, which was a cause for great jubilation among the gleeful inmates, and provoked them to howling with “joy and hate.” After he had been duly exposed to the contempt and wrath of the inmates, Kramer was driven out of the compound, amidst a hail of garbage and debris, never to return.

The photo below shows the healthy women and children who greeted the British liberators at the Beren-Belsen gate.

Not all of the inmates at Bergen-Belsen were starving

Not all of the inmates at Bergen-Belsen were starving

The Bergen-Belsen

The Bergen-Belsen “potato peelers” were mentioned in Bellinger’s article

June 27, 2015

The British version of what happened at Bergen Belsen

I am blogging today about a news article, which I read this morning on the Internet: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/queen-elizabeth-II/11701738/The-survivor-and-the-liberator-Two-tales-of-the-horror-at-Bergen-Belsen.html

The news article begins with this quote:

The survivor and the liberator: Two tales of the horror at Bergen-Belsen
As The Queen visits 70 years on, the notorious Nazi concentration camp is still in the minds of Captain Eric Brown and Rudi Oppenheimer

Captain Eric Brown was a British soldier, who was apparently in charge of the Belsen camp, after the camp was VOLUNTARILY turned over to the British because there was a typhus epidemic in the camp.

This quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

For Captain Eric Brown, it is the stench of Bergen-Belsen that remains with him 70 years on.

Capt Brown, 96, was already a legendary Royal Navy test pilot in 1945, and was at an airfield near Hanover assessing captured German aircraft the day before Belsen was liberated by [being voluntarily turned over to] the British.

Fluent in German, he [Captain Brown] was asked if he could spare just one day to help interrogate the commandant of the camp, SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Josef Kramer, and his assistant Irma Grese, both of whom were later hanged for war crimes.

He [Captain Brown] said: “When we arrived the camp guards were all lined up and they were handed over to us and in we went. While the brigadier went to find Kramer and Grese, I had a wander round. [Kramer and Grese had met the British at the gate into the camp and had volunteered their help. They had been immediately arrested and thrown into the camp prison.]

End quote

Joseph Kramer was immeditely arrested after he met the British at the gate and offered is help

Joseph Kramer was immediately arrested after he met the British at the gate and offered his help

Sign at the gate into Bergen Belsen warned that there was a typhus epidemic

Sign at the gate into Bergen Belsen warned that there was a typhus epidemic

The quote from the article continues with this statement by Eric Brown:

Begin quote

Then I went to the interrogation. Kramer was a stocky chap, he looked like a bully boy. He had come from Auschwitz, where his job had been to separate new arrivals into the ones that were to be worked to death and the ones that went straight to the gas chambers. [and you thought that it was Dr. Josef Mengele who decided who would be worked to death and who would die in the chamber.]

“I asked him [Kramer] if he would do it again if he had his time over again, and to my astonishment he said yes. [Did Kramer mean that he would serve his country, if he had to do it over again, or did he mean that he would send Jews to the gas chamber at Bergen-Belsen if he had it to do over again.]

“Irma Grese was probably the worst human being I have ever encountered. She also worked at Auschwitz and I asked her the same question I had asked Kramer. She refused to answer, but I kept asking it, and after I’d asked her four or five times she suddenly leapt to her feet, cried “Heil Hitler!” sat down and refused to answer any more questions.” [Bad Irma! She refused to incriminate herself.]

End quote

Josef Kramer looked like a

Josef Kramer looked like a “bully boy” but was probably not a bully

Irma Grese after she was capured by the British when she volunteered to help

Irma Grese after she was captured by the British when she volunteered to help

Few people would challenge a man who looked like Josef Kramer. I strongly suspect that he was not a “bully boy.”

On my scrapbookpages website, I wrote extensively about Bergen-Belsen.  On this page, I wrote about the camp being turned over to the British: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/BergenBelsen/BergenBelsen05.html

Bergen-Belsen — where homosexuals was (sic) interned by the Nazis …

Filed under: Dachau, Germany — furtherglory @ 10:29 am

The title of my blog post today is a quote from a news article which you can read in full at: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/06/26/queen-pays-sombre-visit-to-bergen-belsen-concentration-camp/

This quote is from the news article, sited above:

Bergen-Belsen – where homosexuals was interned by the Nazis along with a number of other minority groups – was liberated by British troops 1945. Gay prisoners were not set free at the end of the Second World War, unlike other groups, and were made to serve out their sentences.

[…]

Approximately 50,000 served prison sentences as “convicted homosexuals”, and around 5,000 to 15,000 gay men were imprisoned in concentration camps across Germany and Nazi occupied countries. Many gay men were imprisoned by the allied authorities after the liberation of the concentration camps as homosexuality remained illegal.

Statue of the

Statue of the “unknown prisoner” at Dachau; the model for this statue was Kurt Lange, a homosexual

The statue created by Fritz Koelle, known as the “Unknown Inmate,” which is shown in the photo above, was erected at the Dachau memorial site in 1950. The statue is located just north of the old crematorium where the bodies of dead prisoners were burned.

The words on the base of the statue, shown above, when translated into English, mean “To honor the dead, to admonish the living.”

The model for the statue was Kurt Lange, a homosexual who had been imprisoned at Dachau.

Under a new German law, after the Nazis came to power, all criminals who had served two prison terms were sent to a concentration camp for at least six months of “rehabilitation.”

One category of German citizens, who were prosecuted persecuted by Heinrich Himmler, in his capacity as Chief of the German Police, was homosexuals.

Paragraph 175 of the German criminal code, which had been in effect since 1871, made it a crime for men to publicly engage in gay sex or for male prostitutes to solicit men for sex.

It is important to note that men were only arrested if they were having sex in public, or if they were soliciting men on the street. Some of the men who were sent to a concentration camp under this law were not homosexual; they were male prostitutes.

Himmler began enforcing Paragraph 175 and a total of about 10,000 homosexuals were eventually sent to concentration camps such as Dachau, Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen for at least 6 months of “rehabilitation.”  They received regular visits from the medical commissions, who attempted to change their sexual orientation because the Nazis believed that these prisoners were gay by choice.

The first homosexual prisoner to be registered at Mauthausen was Georg Bautler, Prisoner No. 130. The first Jew to be sent to Mauthausen was also incarcerated because he had broken the German law under Paragraph 175.

June 26, 2015

Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Bergen Belsen today, June 26, 2015

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 4:09 pm
My 2001 photo of the entrance stone at Bergen-Belsen

My 2001 photo of the entrance stone at Bergen-Belsen

The words on the stone at the entrance into the Bergen-Belsen Memorial Site give the dates that this area was used as a prison camp, first for Prisoners of War in 1940, then as an exchange camp in 1943, and then for sick prisoners in 1944.

It was not until December 2, 1944 that Bergen-Belsen became a concentration camp.

A news story about the Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Bergen-Belsen begins with this quote:

Bergen-Belsen was the only concentration camp to be liberated by the British, who arrived on April 15, 1945, to scenes that shocked the world thanks to the accounts of BBC war reporter Richard Dimbleby.

Oops! What the news article failed to mention is that the Germans had sent a man to contact the British, who were fighting on the battlefield nearby. The Germans came to beg the British to come to the camp because a typhus epidemic at the camp were out of control. The Germans asked the British to take over because they were losing the war and they could not handle the epidemic.

Yet, every article about Bergen-Belsen that you will ever read, and including every article that you won’t read, tells you that the British broke down the gates into the Belsen camp and saved the inmates in the nick of time before the Germans could kill them all.

Queen meets with Bergen Belsen survivors

Queen meets with Bergen Belsen survivors

The woman on the far right, in the photo above, is Anita Lasker-Wallfisch. I have written two previous blog posts about Anita Lasker-Wallfisch.  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/anita-lasker-wallfisch/

This quote is from the news article:

Begin quote:

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch a Jew born in Breslau in what is now Poland, was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942 because she was travelling with forged papers.

After spells in prison and in Auschwitz, she arrived in Belsen in October 1944.

Asked what it was like to live in Belsen, she said: “It was more like dying there, not living there.

“There was nothing, it was the end, there was no food, nothing. The only reason anyone survived was because the British came in time.

“When the British came it was a miracle, we thought we were dreaming, suddenly we heard an English voice.”

End quote

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip pass by the memorial stone to the Jews

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip pass by the memorial stone to the Jews at the Bergen-Belsen memorial site

The back side of the Jewish Monument has an English translation of the words on the front:

“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”

My 2001 photo of the Jewish Monument that Queen Eliza passed by

My 2001 photo of the Jewish Monument with the House of Silence in the background

My close-up photo of the monument that the Queen passed on by

My close-up photo of the monument that the Queen passed on by, disrespecting the Jews

My photo above shows the Jewish Monument, which was erected on the first anniversary of the camp liberation, 15 April 1946.

In the background is a modern building where visitors can spend time quietly reflecting on the tragedy which occurred in this spot.

House of Silence at Bergen-Belsen

My photo of the House of Silence at Bergen-Belsen

My 2001 photo of the inside of the House of Silence at Bergen-Belsen

My 2001 photo of the inside of the House of Silence at the memorial site at Bergen-Belsen

I took this photo of a note left in the House of Silence

I took this photo of a note left in the House of Silence

The words on a note left in the House of Silence say: “It was horrible what was done to the people. Remember it. Peace is the only thing what I wish.”

Monument to Chaim Hertzog at Bergen-Belsen

Monument to Chaim Hertzog at Bergen-Belsen

The photo above shows a memorial stone for Chaim Herzog, president of Israel, who died April 17, 1997.

This is an honorary stone; Herzog is not buried at Bergen-Belsen. As a young intelligence officer from Palestine, serving in the British Army, Herzog was with the British troops that took over Bergen-Belsen.

His father was the Chief Rabbi of Ireland and later became the first Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel. Herzog was present when Heinrich Himmler allegedly committed suicide after being captured by the British.

The news article did not mention whether the Queen paid her respects to Herzog.

My photo of the obelisk at Bergen-Belsen, taken in the rain in 2001

My 2001 photo of the obelisk at Bergen-Belsen, taken in the rain. This stone honors all those who died at Belsen

The obelisk and wall in honor of the victims, shown in the photo above, was erected in 1947 on the orders of the British military occupation government. In the foreground, you can see one of the mass graves, and two more mass graves in the background.

Inscription at base of obelisk honors British victims at Bergen-Belsen

Inscription at the base of the obelisk honors the British victims at Bergen-Belsen

Queen Elizabeth paid homage to the British victims who are honored on the stone shown in the photo above.

The photo below shows her placing flowers at the British memorial at the obelisk.

Queen Elizabeth lays wreath at the obelisk

Queen Elizabeth lays wreath at the obelis

I think that the Jews might complain that the Queen did not bow low enough to them on her trip to Belsen.

New book that I can’t wait to read

You can read a news article here, which has this headline:

Andrew Morton traces the Nazi links of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor meet German leader Adolf Hitler in Munich on October 22, 1937. Photo: AP

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor meet German leader Adolf Hitler in Munich on October 22, 1937. Photo: AP

This quote is from the news article:

Lurking behind these shenanigans and the object of the book is their closeness to Nazi Germany. So close the Duchess, then Mrs Simpson, allegedly had an affair with Joachim von Ribbentrop, the reason for the title 17 Carnations – one for every night of their lovemaking; Morton admits they may have been roses. This was all grist to Hitler’s plan to overcome Britain and reinstate the Duke as puppet King, and Wallis as Queen. “She would have made a wonderful Queen,” he murmured.

Later, von Ribbentrop’s crafty plot for kidnapping the couple, offering as bait up to 50 million Swiss dollars ($200 million today) and a castle in Spain, came to naught. A seething Prime Minister Winston Churchill sent them packing to the Bahamas.

June 25, 2015

Watch what you write on Facebook, lest you go to prison for two years

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:06 am

I have just learned, from this news article, that a modern-day “Nazi” has been sentenced to TWO years in prison in France, although the law in France only allows for ONE year in prison for Holocaust denial.

The following quote is from the news article:

A criminal court in Normandy has sentenced French Nazi ideologue Vincent Reynouard to two years in jail for denying the Holocaust in Facebook postings.

Although Mark Zuckerberg officially allows Holocaust denial on Facebook, and Facebook even has a Holocaust page, the law in France does not allow Holocaust denial anywhere.

This quote is also from the news article:

Mr. Collet, who attended the trial, said Mr. Reynouard argued in court that his goal is the “rehabilitation of national socialism.” He has inundated YouTube with more than 120 videos. In one 44-minute video, Mr. Reynouard criticizes Mr. Collet’s commemorations for failing to take into account the French civilians who died in the Allied invasion. More controversially, Mr. Reynouard adds there is “no proof” that the gas chambers ever existed.

I am not a fan of Mr. Reynouard. I think that he has made many minor mistakes, and that he has not studied the Holocaust enough to be an expert. He is entitled to his opinion — but not in France. He should come to America, where he can say anything he wants, at least for now.

My photo of the inside of the church at Oradour-sur-Glane

My photo of the inside of the church at Oradour-sur-Glane

I disagree with Mr. Reynouard on the subject of Oradour-sur-Glane.

Many years ago, I wrote on my website about his conclusions regarding Oradour-sur-Glane, compared to my conclusions:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/VincentReynouard.html

In the article on my website, I was playing Devil’s Advocate. I agree with Reynouard, except for a few details that he got wrong.

This quote is also from the news article:

Mr. Reynouard was convicted in France in 2007 for Holocaust denial, or négationnisme, and went to prison in 2010 to serve a one-year sentence. His incarceration attracted some attention at the time. Hundreds signed a petition to press for his release and the repeal of the French law banning the denial of crimes against humanity.

[…]

Mr. Reynouard, a former mathematics teacher who was sacked by the French Education Ministry for his views in 1997, has also sparked controversy in Belgium. A court in Brussels sentenced him to a one-year jail term in 2008 for “denying the genocide committed by the German national-socialist regime.” The sentence was confirmed by a court of appeal in 2011.

June 24, 2015

British teenagers arrested for stealing artefacts from Auschwitz-Birkenau

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:56 am

Update June 27, 2015:

The photo below accompanies a news article about the recent theft of artifacts from Auschwitz.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/british-teenagers-freed-polish-police-5937520

Is Auschwitz-Birkeanu located on a hillside?  No, the place where the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp was located is flat as a pancake. Only the camera was tilted. This photo should have been straightened in Photo Shop.

Photo of Auschwiz-Birkenau accompanies news article

Photo of Auschwiz-Birkenau accompanies news article

Update June 25, 2015:

This quote is from the Guardian, a British newspaper:

“Two British schoolboys arrested at Auschwitz have each received a year’s probation, suspended for three years, and a 1,000 zloty (£170) fine after admitting stealing artefacts from the former Nazi death camp.”

Included in the news article, cited above, is a photo of the precious items that were stolen.

These items were stolen from the site of the Canada warehouse at Auschwitz

These items were stolen from the site of the Canada warehouse at Auschwitz

Continue reading my original post:

This morning, I was shocked to read in a news story that two British teenagers had spent a night in jail after being arrested for stealing precious artefacts from the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial site.

This quote is from the news story:

Two British schoolboys were spared jail yesterday after stealing artefacts that belonged to prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Marcus Dell and Ben Thompson, both 17, were arrested during a school trip to southern Poland to learn about the horrors of the Holocaust.

The pair, who attend Cambridge’s exclusive The Perse School where fees are more than £15,000 a year, were spotted acting suspiciously on Monday afternoon.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3135957/British-teenagers-arrested-stealing-items-former-Nazi-concentration-camp-Auschwitz.html#ixzz3dzuQ2HNQ

My first impression was that these boys had somehow managed to take items from the glass cases in Block 5, one of the buildings in the Auschwitz museum.

Shoes taken from the Jewish prisoners of Auschwitz are displayed in museum

Shoes taken from the Jewish prisoners of Auschwitz are displayed in museum

Blocks 4, 5, 6, and 7 at the former Auschwitz I concentration camp have been converted from barracks into museum rooms with glass display cases. All of these exhibit buildings are located on the second cross street, to your right after you enter through the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate into the main Auschwitz camp.

In Block 5, there are displays devoted to the “Material Evidence of Crime.” One of the saddest sights at Auschwitz is the display of shoes in a huge glass case that takes up half a barracks room in Block 5. The shoes seem to be deteriorating and are mostly the same dark gray color, except for a few women’s or children’s shoes that are made of red dyed leather. The red shoes stand out like the red coat worn by the little girl in Schindler’s List, a black and white picture.

The building known as Canada was where the shoes taken from the prisoners were stored

The building known as Canada was where the shoes taken from the prisoners were stored

Did these British teenagers break the glass in the display cases at Auschwitz and steal several items, while thousands of witnesses watched?

There are currently 1.5 million visitors per year at Auschwitz, and it is almost impossible to get up to the glass cases to see the items on display. On my second trip to Auschwitz in 2005, I wanted to take a photo of the stairs that have been worn down by millions of footsteps, but it was impossible because of the steady stream of visitors, which did not stop for a second.

Location where the Canada building once stood before it was burned down

Location where the Canada storage building once stood before it was burned down

However, the news article explained that the boys had been digging in the location of the building, known as Canada, where all the clothing taken from the Jews had been stored.

Location of the building known as Canada in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

Location of the building known as Canada in the former Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

The building known as Canada was set on fire after the camp was abandoned by the Nazis

The building known as Canada was set on fire after the camp was abandoned by the Nazis

I think that the folks at the Auschwitz museum should be glad that these young boys have found a few precious objects to add to the evidence of the murder of the Jews at Auschwitz. Every item that was ever touched by a Jew at Auschwitz is precious and should be preserved for time and all eternity.

June 23, 2015

My review of “Auschwitz: Hitler’s Final Solution”

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

Last night, I watched a new TV special entitled “Auschwitz: Hitler’s Final Solution.”

Let me say, right off the bat, the show was not as bad as I was expecting. There were lots of good aspects of the show.  For example, the name of the Auschwitz commandant, Rudolf Höss was pronounced correctly. (It sounds something like “Hearse.”)

Since the title of the show included the name Auschwitz, not Auschwitz-Birkenau, I was expecting the show to be about the main Auschwitz camp, but the show started off by showing aerial footage of the huge 425 acre Birkenau camp with it’s huge number of wooden barracks, as the narrator told us that 1.1 million people had died at this place.  This indicates that this show was made recently, since the number of deaths is now down from the original 4 million, that was claimed at the Nuremberg IMT,  to 1.1 million, claimed by the current official Auschwitz website.

Then we see the railroad tracks on the inside of the Birkenau camp with the Gate of Death faintly shown in the background.

Finally, we get to the start of the show, which is labeled “Origins – April 1940”.  So it turns out that the show is going to be about the main Auschwitz camp where Rudolf Höss was the first Commandant. We see a shiny black car, traveling towards us, on what looks like a dirt road.  I think that this scene is authentic because, when I first went to Poland in 1998, the roads looked a lot like this.

One of the best things about the show is that Rudolf Höss is humanized. One scene shows him getting his hair cut by a prisoner who says, on the show, that he could have easily slit the Commandant’s throat, but it would have meant his own death, and the new Commandant could have been worse.

At the very end of the show, Rudolf Höss is shown as a loving father, sitting around the fire, with his arms around his children. That’s how one of his daughters has described him. How could such a nice man have killed all those Jews.  Stay tuned for more.

Color photos are shown of the red roof tops of the barracks buildings in the main camp, as we are given the first mistaken information about the main camp. We are told that these building date back to 1940, when the main Auschwitz camp was “a former Polish Army barracks.”  We are told that the main camp was “not for Jews, but for “Polish political prisoners.”  Close, but no cigar. The main camp was first used for illegal combatants, who were fighting as “resistance fighters.”

But to get back to the origins of the main Auschwitz camp, it was built as a camp with barracks for farm workers who stayed there between  jobs, and traveled by train to work on farms throughout Poland.

Auschwitz was the main railroad hub in Europe.  From Auschwitz, a person could go anywhere in Europe, without changing trains.  I wrote about this on this previous blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/why-auschwitz-was-chosen-by-the-germans-as-the-location-of-their-largest-camp/

As the show continues, we learn that “in 1940, the motto of Dachau was put over  the gate into the main Auschwitz camp.”  Of course, we are not told the real meaning of this slogan and why it was put on the main Auschwitz camp, but not on the gate at Birkenau. I wrote about the meaning of the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/arbeit-macht-frei-what-does-it-stand-for/

It is not long before the show gets to the first big lie: a fake photo of “pole hanging.”

This photo is a still shot from a film

This photo is a still shot from a film made by the Soviet Union

I took the photo above in the Museum at Dachau in May 2001. The photo, which is a depiction of the alleged tree hanging punishment at Buchenwald, was not included in the new Museum at Dachau which opened in May 2003.

According to Harold Marcuse, Professor of History at the University of California at Santa Barbara, this scene was created in 1958 for an East German DEFA film, which is why the photo is no longer used. Reference: H. Obenaus, “Das Foto vom Baumhängen: Ein Bild geht um die Welt,” in Stiftung Topographie des Terrors Berlin (ed.), Gedenkstätten-Rundbrief no. 68, Berlin, October 1995, pp. 3-8.

Right after the fake photo is shown, we see some photos of the house where Rudolf Hoess lived.  Then, after a commercial, we see the red roofs of the main camp again. We are told that Auschwitz was located in an area where there was lots of coal, and that the IG Farben company needed coal for their factories where synthetic rubber was being made. We are told that Heinrich Himmler visited the town of Auschwitz, and that the residents were thrown out so that Germans could take over the town.

According to this show, Hitler wanted to “reshape entire countries.”  We are told that Hitler thought that the Russians were “inferior human beings” and that he was “planning mass starvation in the Soviet Union.”  We are told that “the Nazis envisioned the extermination of 3 million Russians in the Soviet Union.”

Then we get to the crux of the matter: “The Jews had lost World War I for Germany.”  I believe that this is correct. Hitler turned against the Jews because he believed that they were the cause of Germany losing World War I.

We were shown photos of Jews being beaten in Ukraine. We were told that 10,000 Jews were gathered in Ukraine and then taken out and shot. We are shown the footage of the dead Jews falling into ditches as they are shot.  But the narrator says: “the Jews cheated the Germans.”  At last, a reason for why the Germans killed the Jews. I never thought that I would ever hear that on TV.

As we see film footage of the survivors of Birkenau marching out, we hear that we are usually told that the Jews were killed for no reason, but a former German soldier, who is on the show, says that “they were killed for a reason.”

I thought that the show would never get around to the gas chambers, but finally the big day arrives and we hear that it was in the Summer of 1941 that prisoners were first “killed by gassing.”

At that point, I thought that we would see a photo of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, but no, we are told that the gassing started with the “gibbering idiots” and “disabled children” and was then extended to “disabled adults”.

I thought that, at this point, we would see a photo of the gas chamber at Hartheim castle, but no! We are told about another place, that I have never heard of, where the “disabled were sent into a shower room,” and “carbon monoxide was turned on.”

We are told that “the first Auschwitz prisoners were sent to Germany to be gassed, and that these were “worn out prisoners who could no longer work.”  Unfortunately, the location of the gas chamber in Germany was not mentioned.

Finally, we get to the first gassing at Auschwitz. This was the experiment that was allegedly done in Block 11 in the main camp. It was mentioned that “the windows were blocked with sand.”  I have written about this on my website and on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/the-first-gassing-of-prisoners-by-the-nazis-took-place-in-block-11-at-auschwitz/

The detail about the window being blocked with sand makes me think that this story is a lie. I don’t think that any German person would ever do something like that. It would have been difficult to get the sand out of the window well, although not impossible.

Block 11 had window wells around the basement windows

Block 11 had window wells around the basement windows

Finally, the show gets around to the first homicidal gas chamber where Jews were killed in the Holocaust. I thought that we would see some  photos of the inside of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, but no! All we see is a photo of the door into the gas chamber, similar to my photo below.

Door into the gas chamber in the Auschwitz main camp

Door into the gas chamber in the Auschwitz main camp

Why can’t we see a photo of the gas chamber in the main camp? Is it because people in the audience would die laughing?

Then we see a photo of two ovens in the gas chamber building, but no photo of the gas chamber room.  The photo of the ovens was similar to my photo below.

A photo of the ovens in the main Auschwitz camp was shown in the docutmentary

A photo of the ovens in the main Auschwitz camp was shown in the documentary

During the show, there were extensive quotes from the confessions of Rudolph Hoess, but there was no mention that these were confessions obtained by many days of British soldiers torturing Hoess. I have quoted his confessions on this page of my website:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/RudolfHoess.html

Rudolf Hoess appears to be afraid of the nice British officer

Rudolf Hoess appears to be afraid of the nice British officer

It should have been explained in the show that Rudolf Hoess confessed after many days of being kept awake and tortured.  The photo above shows that he is afraid of the British officer who is talking to him. However, the words from his confession were quoted in the show,  as the absolute truth, without saying that these were the words of Rudolf Hoess after many days of torture.

June 22, 2015

Madame Rouffanche, the “lone survivor” of the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 10:27 am
Altar in the ruins of the Oradour-sur-Glane church

Altar in the ruins of the Oradour-sur-Glane church with 3 windows behind it

This year, I let the June 10th anniversary of the Oradour-sur-Glane tragedy go by without blogging about it. Now I am going to answer a comment made on one of my previous blog posts.

The following comment was made by Anthony Godly:

Was Mme Roufanche ever in the church? After escaping through that church window She hid in a garden (in daylight?). Miraculously, the younger woman with a child was shot and killed whilst trying to escape from the church through that same window, only seconds before Mme Roufanche – a much older Woman – manage to climb up to that window. Did Mme Roufanche have any burn marks, cuts or bruises?

Here is my answer to Mr. Godly’s question:

We don’t  know if Madame Roufanche had any “markes,  cuts or bruises” because she checked into a hospital under an assumed name, and no one was ever allowed to see any of her “burn marks, cuts or bruises.” She stayed in hiding in the hospital for more than a year.

Madame Marguerite Rouffanche, the lone survivor of the massacre in the church, had allegedly managed to escape from the burning church in Oradour-sur-Glane by using a ladder to climb up to a broken window behind the main altar in the church, then allegedly leaping out of a window, which was 9 feet from the ground.

Madame Rouffanche allegedly leaped through this window behind the altar in a church

Madame Rouffanche allegedly leaped through this window behind the altar in a church

Although allegedly hit by machine gun fire from German soldiers, and wounded 4 times in the legs and once in the shoulder, this 50-something, overweight woman was able to crawl to the garden behind the presbytery where she hid among the rows of peas until she was rescued, 24 hours later, at 5 p.m. the next day, and taken to the hospital in Limoges where she was admitted under an assumed name. It took a full year for her to recover from her wounds.

In 1953, she testified before a French military tribunal in Bordeaux about the massacre of the women and children in the church.

The window on the left is the middle window in the church

The window on the left is the middle window in the Oradour-sur-Glane church

Madame Rouffchance had to first climb up this ramp to get to the window

Madame Rouffchance had to first climb up this ramp to get to the window in the Oradour-sur-Glane church

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the middle window, rolled down the embankment and then stuck the landing

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the middle window, rolled down the embankment and then stuck the landing

The German attack on the village of Oradour-sur-Glane was prompted by the kidnapping of Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe, the battalion commander of the 3rd Battalion of Das Reich Division, on the night of 9 June 1944. Representatives of the French resistance had sent a ransom note to the “Der Führer” battalion command post on the morning of the 10th of June.

Acting on this information, Sturmbannführer Otto Diekmann, a close personal friend of Kämpfe, took two platoons from 3rd Company/1st Battalion/Regiment “Der Führer” to Oradour-sur-Glane to search for him.

On the search for this “beloved officer,” Diekmann’s men had discovered a burned-out German ambulance that had been set on fire, apparently by the French partisans, near the southern entrance to the village of Oradour-sur-Glane.

The driver of the ambulance had been tied to the steering wheel with wire. He had been burned alive, along with the man sitting next to him in the passenger seat, and four wounded soldiers inside the ambulance.

Before entering Oradour-sur-Glane, the SS rounded up the residents of the hamlets on the south side of the village, because this was the vicinity where the burned out ambulance was found. By coincidence, the one woman who allegedly survived the massacre, Madame Marguerite Rouffanche, lived in a hamlet on the south side of the village.

I believe that Madame Rouffanche was a partisan, who was fighting in World War II as a resistance fighter, aka an illegal combatant.

The destruction of Oradour-sur-Glane had the desired effect because, immediately after the massacre, the Communist partisans, who had been wreaking havoc in the Limosin area, gave the order to stop fighting.

The order was intercepted by the Germans and this immediately lifted their morale. The reprisal had worked; this was basically the reason why reprisals were allowed at that time, although such bestial cruelty as the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane is, understandably, no longer legal under international law.

In a rambling autobiography entitled “SS Panzergrenadier,” former Waffen-SS soldier Hans Schmidt, with whom I have personally spoken, wrote about the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre from the SS point of view. In a footnote on page 377 of his book, Schmidt debunks the official story that the villagers were innocent.

They were illegal combatants who were stopped by a legal reprisal.

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.