Scrapbookpages Blog

August 10, 2015

Oskar Groening stood on the ramp at Birkenau 3 times, but was sentenced to four years in prison

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 12:04 pm
Oskar Groening at his trial

Oskar Groening at his trial

Today, I read an old news story here about the trial of Oskar Groening, a former German SS man, who was prosecuted as a war criminal because he had formerly served as an accountant at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

Oskar Groening as a young soldier

Oskar Groening as a young soldier

This quote is from the news story:

Though he [Groening] was more regularly assigned to the camp’s Auschwitz I section, he said he guarded the Birkenau ramp three times, including one busy 24-hour shift. The main gas chambers were located at Birkenau.

“The capacity of the gas chambers and the capacity of the crematoria were quite limited. Someone said that 5,000 people were processed in 24 hours but I didn’t verify this. I didn’t know,” he said. “For the sake of order we waited until train 1 was entirely processed and finished.”

Auschwitz survivors describe their arrival as chaotic, with Nazi guards yelling orders, dogs barking and families being ripped apart.

But Groening, 93, maintained the opposite, saying “it was very orderly and not as strenuous” on the ramp at Birkenau.
“The process was the same as Auschwitz I. The only difference was that there were no trucks,” he said during the second day of his trial. “They all walked – some in one direction some, in another direction … to where the crematoria and gas chambers were.”

Wait a minute! Where were the crematoria?  The gas chamber buildings at Birkenau, and in the main Auschwitz camp, did not have a crematorium.  The room, which would normally have been a crematorium, was instead an undressing room.  Everyone knows that!

Note that Groening worked at the ramp, where selections for the gas chamber were made, only 3 times. Yet he was sentenced to 4 years in prison. I don’t think that this was a fair sentence.  Groening should have been sentenced to only THREE YEARS in prison, one year for each time when he was at the ramp, collecting money from the luggage.

Groening had nothing to do with the prisoners being gassed, but he was THERE, so he is guilty of a war crime. This is according to the ex-post-facto law, known as “common plan.”

Groening committed his crime BEFORE the common plan law was created by the Allies after the war.

Novel about an affair, involving a Jewish girl and a Nazi, is causing quite a stir

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

The following newspaper caption is on the photo below, which accompanies this news story:  An unlikely romantic hero … Julius Viel a former SS-commander, who murdered seven Jewish prisoners of the concentration camp Theresienstadt in 1945. Photograph: Thomas Kienzle/AP


One of the regular readers of my blog is Wolf Murmelstein, the son of the last Jewish Elder of Theresienstadt. Perhaps he can add some information to this story about a former Commandant of Theresienstadt.

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

A romantic novel in which a “blonde and blue-eyed Jewess” falls in love with an SS-Kommandant in Theresienstadt concentration camp has caused outrage and offence in the romance writing community after it was shortlisted for two top awards.

Kate Breslin’s For Such a Time is a riff on the Old Testament’s Book of Esther, in which the Jewish girl Hadassah, known as Esther, marries the Persian king Ahasuerus, and saves her people from a genocide. In Breslin’s version, Hadassah hides behind the identity of Stella Muller while working as a secretary for [fictional] SS Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt. She “finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy”, as she tries to save the camp’s prisoners. Eventually, she converts to Christianity.

For Such a Time was shortlisted for two prizes in the Romance Writers of America’s annual awards: best first book, and best “inspirational” – meaning Christian – romance earlier this year. While it did not win, the fact it was nominated for the prestigious prizes prompted Sarah Wendell, author and co-founder of the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books romance website, to write to the RWA’s board of directors laying out why the decision to shortlist the novel was “so offensive and upsetting”.

“This is a romance between a Jewish prisoner and a Nazi officer who was in charge of a concentration camp. To put it mildly, I don’t see this set-up as an imbalance of power that could possibly be redeemed in a romance narrative, nor do I think the setting and characterisation is remotely romantic. But I think this issue is much larger than my individual opinion,” wrote Wendell, in a piece which has since gone viral.

End quote from news story.

I previously blogged about a similar story, in which Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant of Auschwitz, had an affair with a prisoner.

I also blogged about Rudolf Hoess and his affair with a prisoner on this blog post: