Scrapbookpages Blog

January 15, 2016

You can’t just use any old photo to illustrate a Holocaust news story

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 1:49 pm

I received an e-mail today from Wolf Murmelstein, who directed me to a news story at

The 2nd photo shown below was used at the top of the news article, cited above.

The photo directly below shows survivors marching out of Ebensee, which was a sub-camp of the Mauthausen concentration camp, after they had been liberated by American soldiers on May 6, 1945.  Note that they are marching briskly; they appear to be healthy and are wearing nice clothes.


Holocaust survivors who were taken to the Ebensee camp

Holocaust survivors who were taken to the Ebensee camp from the Mauthausen camp

It appears that the prisoners in the photo directly above do not have adequate clothing, but I think that they have deliberately removed their trousers in order to show their skinny legs.

Notice that, in the photograph above, the prisoners all have shaved heads, a procedure which was used in all the Nazi concentration camps in an effort to control the lice which spreads typhus. Their heads were shaved first on the sides and the next time on the top. These prisoners have a regrowth of hair on the top, but have recently been shaved on the sides of their heads. The privileged Kapos were allowed to have a full growth of hair or a beard if they were bald.

According to Holocaust historian Martin Gilbert, the last death marches, during World War II, began on May 1, 1945 as the American Army approached the camps. Survivors from the main camp at Mauthausen, and the sub-camps at Gusen and St. Valentin, had been marched to Gunskirchen and Ebensee. Hundreds of the prisoners died from exhaustion, or were shot because they couldn’t keep up, or as they attempted to escape. When American troops in the 80th Infantry Division arrived on May 4, 1945, there were around 60,000 prisoners from 25 different countries at Ebensee.

I am sorry to be so ungrateful for the article that was sent to me by Wolf Murmelstein, but this article is just another example of Holocaust True Believers twisting the facts.  The true story behind the photo, that accompanies the article, shows how the Nazis tried to take care of the prisoners by shaving their heads to eliminate the lice that spreads typhus.

To me, the men in the photo appear to be captured “resistance fighters” also known as “illegal combatants.”

The following quote is from the very end of the article, cited above:

Begin quote

Yet Boder’s work remained obscure for years. He spent the rest of his career dedicated to disseminating his interviews, writing the book I Did Not Interview the Dead and taking eight years to revisit, translate and type 70 stories. He sent copies to academic libraries, including Yale, Princeton and Harvard. But it wasn’t until the capture and televised trial of infamous Nazi Adolf Eichmann in 1961, Pugh says, that the public started talking about the Holocaust. “It took the Eichmann trial to capture the public imagination about the scope of the ‘final solution,’ ” he explains. “Ironically — and tragically — Boder died before the trial.” Pugh notes that despite all of Boder’s work, it took 1960s television to help the reality of what had happened sink in.

Incredibly, Boder’s interviews were not fully digitized, translated and transcribed until 2010. Scholars, writers, psychologists and academics now study the interviewees’ words. Together, the interviews tell a brutal story — “people’s inhumanity to people,” as Pugh puts it simply. But as voices of survivors fade, they also offer a vivid reminder of a genocide that has shaped our collective consciousness.

End quote


The lost art of newspaper fact-checking

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:55 am

In my brief career as a journalist, my first job was working as a “fact checker.” In the old days, every word that was printed in a newspaper had to be checked for accuracy before the newspaper went to press. Then, when the first copy of the newspaper rolled off the press, the fact checker had to grab the paper and check for any obvious errors on the front page. Only then, did the presses roll and the first newspapers would hit the streets; the ink on the paper was barely dry.

Printing press

Old time printing press

In rare cases, where there was an obvious error on the front page, the fact checker would yell STOP THE PRESS. The error would be corrected and the press would start up again, slowly at first, but then at great speed.   Sometimes, the press would roll at such great speed that all the papers would be cut up. Then the printing process had to start again.

All that ist shon forbei (in the past).

Today, I read a news article here about the famous “Lost Transport.”

I previously wrote a blog post about the “Lost Transport”, which you can read at

I am going to play the role of a “fact checker” for the news article that is cited above.

The following quote is from the news article, cited above:

Begin quote

It began in April 1945, just as the British were about to liberate the concentration at Bergen Belsen. The Nazi SS, fearing reprisals, chose to get rid of as much evidence as possible in the short time they had left. They did it by loading seventy five hundred sick and dying Jewish inmates onto three transport trains, all bound for the concentration camp at Theresienstadt; Established early in the war Theresienstadt was the Nazi showplace created to prove to the world how well the Third Reich was treating its prisoners. The ruse lasted just long enough to shoot a movie about it while proving to the Red Cross how humane life actually was for the inmates. The deception worked and the world was none the wiser. In reality most of the Jewish participants were eliminated within weeks, mainly at Auschwitz.

End quote from newspaper.

  1.  Bergen-Belsen was not liberated by the British.  The camp was voluntarily turned over to them because there was a typhus epidemic that was out of control in the camp.
  2. The Nazis did not send prisoners on trains to Theresienstadt in order to “get rid of evidence.”  They were trying to save lives by sending prisoners to another camp where there was no typhus epidemic.
  3. The “deception” at Theresienstadt was not done to fool the Red Cross, but to show the Red Cross that the prisoners were, in fact, being treated well.,