Scrapbookpages Blog

March 24, 2016

“Trawniki concentration camp” mentioned in Holocaust themed opera

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:32 am

I doubt that one non-Jewish person in a million knows where Trawniki is located, nor the historical significance of this God-forsaken place.

I am writing about Trawniki today, in order to explain the following quote from a news article about a new opera which is based on the Jewish version of the Holocaust:

Begin quote from news article:

Weinberg, whose parents and sister were killed in the Trawniki concentration camp, fled to the Soviet Union in 1939. It was there that he became friends with Shostakovich, who used what influence he had to protect Weinberg, a vulnerable foreign Jew in a country where anti-Semitism remained strong. When Weinberg was imprisoned, Shostakovich intervened to get him out.

But if the influence of Shostakovich could spring Weinberg from prison, it could not make Soviet authorities love [the opera] The Passenger. The opera’s dark themes found little favor with a musical establishment that preferred uplifting, outward-looking works that celebrated working-class or communist heroes; a focus on the Holocaust deflected attention from the favored theme of Soviet sacrifices during “The Great Patriotic War.” Weinberg, who completed the opera in 1968, died in 1996 without ever seeing it performed.

End quote

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/performing-arts/article67824407.html#storylink=cpy

When I visited the memorial site of the former Treblinka “death camp,” in 1998, I saw two large stones placed at an angle to form a gate into the former camp.

Entrance into Treblinka memorial site

My 1998 photo of memorial stones at the entrance into Treblinka memorial site

At the gate into the Treblinka memorial site, there are also 6 memorial stones, set close together. Each of the six stones is inscribed with a different language including Hebrew, English and Polish.

The English inscription says that the Treblinka camp was in operation from July 1942 to August 1943 and that during those 13 months, 800,000 Jews were killed there. The inscription also mentions the Aug. 2, 1943 uprising, calling it the “armed revolt which was crashed [crushed] in blood by the Nazi hangmen.”

It was this uprising, along with the uprisings at Sobibor and the Warsaw ghetto, which allegedly motivated the Nazis to execute all the Jews at the Trawniki forced labor camp near Lublin in November 1943.

Yes, Trawniki was a “forced labor camp” not a concentration camp.

Ashes of prisoners killed at Majdanek are under this dome

Ashes of 18,000 prisoners killed at Majdanek are under this dome

At the memorial site of the former Majdanek concentration camp, there is a small stone, near the Mausoleum shown in the photo above, 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 Majdanek inmates called this day, November 3, 1943, “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.

In 1943, 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 Majdanek 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 also feared that their plans to exterminate the Jews were being thwarted, by the cooperation of the camp resistance movement at Majdanek, with the Polish underground organizations fighting as partisans outside the camp.

The camp 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.

Along with the Polish civilian partisans, and the Jewish partisans hiding in the forests, there were also escaped Russian Prisoners of War, who would sometimes shoot the Jewish partisans. Although Poland had been conquered, within a month after the country was invaded, by the joint effort of the Germans and the Russians, guerrilla warfare continued in Poland until the Germans finally surrendered to the Allies in May 1945.

19 Comments »

  1. Holocaust themed opera

    OT

    Mark your calendars: DENIAL, based on the Deborah E. Lipstadt’s acclaimed book ‘History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier’, is scheduled for release in the autumn — if ‘Son of Saul’ can be kept on cinematic life support until then, maybe they’ll be shown together as a double feature.

    Comment by eah — March 25, 2016 @ 6:38 am

  2. Guerilla warfare against Soviet trained “Judeo-Masonic Bolsheviks” like Ana Pauker continued in Romania until l968. The new post war Anglo-American-Zionist imperium (NATO, UN etc.) led dissidents and resistance fighters in the East European countries handed over to Stalin at Yalta to believe the Cold War might turn hot any day and when it did their countries would be liberated. Instead, like the l956 Hungarian Uprising, they were hung out to dry by the various state departments and intelligences services of the Free World. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYNUVvxOSes

    Comment by who dares wings — March 24, 2016 @ 4:22 pm

  3. Google the “forest brothers” for Baltic resistance. Here is the “always reliable” wiki

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Brothers

    Comment by Schlageter — March 24, 2016 @ 12:04 pm

  4. FG writes;- “At the memorial site of the former Majdanek concentration camp, there is a small stone, near the Mausoleum shown in the photo above, 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 Majdanek inmates called this day, November 3, 1943, “bloody Wednesday.” This was the largest mass execution carried out at any of the concentration camps in the history of the Holocaust”

    Yes – his so-called “Operation Harvest Festival” is supposed to have taken place over a ten hour period on one single day on the 3rd November 1943. Apparently, nearly 18,400 Jewish workers were machine-gunned to death in prepared pits.

    Where did this take place, you might ask – in a series of remote forest clearings where four battalions of SS troops had divided up the Jews into separate groups of 4,500 people?

    Oh,no – it was carried out inside the Majdanek labour camp itself, while the daily life of the camp proceeded as normal. To drown out the noise of the machine-guns and screams of the victims, the Nazis apparently rigged up loud speakers and played Mozart all day long!

    The Jews were all assembled in barracks at the rear of the camp, and then they were led in batches of 100 into an undressing hut where they removed all their clothes. They were then made to exit the hut in single file, go through a gap in the perimeter fence, and pass between two lines of SS guards to the pits. There, they had to climb down into the pit, and scramble across the already dead bodies in order to lay face down in an ordered row on top of them. Then they were simply machine-gunned.

    But if you are killing 18,400 people in batches of one hundred over a ten hour period, then you have to carry out at least 18 batches per hour. This means that you only have less than three and a half minutes to carry out the procedure described above.

    I would suggest it would take well over three and a half minutes to get one hundred victims from the assembly hut into the undressing room; force them to disrobe; and get them to file out through the door. How much extra time would be needed to carry out the rest of the procedure? And even then, you would need a team of workers to collect all the clothes and shoes before the next batch arrives.

    I’m afraid the folk who concocted this story didn’t think it all through properly !

    Comment by Talbot — March 24, 2016 @ 11:07 am

    • It should be noted hat Majdanek is not in some obscure wood, it is located on a main road and hill literally on the edge of Lublin.
      I’m sure no one in town noticed at all…

      Comment by Schlageter — March 24, 2016 @ 12:01 pm

      • I visited Majdanek in 1998 and wrote about it on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Majdanek/Majdanek01.html

        The Majdanek camp was very close to the street, which was a stone’s throw from a major highway. There was heavy traffic on the road, which passed the concentration camp. I was stunned when I saw the location. Why were the Nazis so stupid that they built a death camp a few feet from a main highway with heavy traffic?

        Comment by furtherglory — March 24, 2016 @ 1:50 pm

    • You wrote about the killing of 18,400 prisoners at the Majdanek camp. There were apartment houses overlooking the scene of the killing. Allegedly, the apartment dwellers sat out on the balcony and watched the killing scene, which was only a few feet away. On the other side of the killing scene, there was a major highway with cars passing close enough to hear the gunfire. The bodies of the victims were burned and the ashes were put on a compost pile. After the war, the ashes were retrieved and put under a huge monument. When I visited the Memorial Site, and looked at the ashes, it looked like a compost pile.

      Comment by furtherglory — March 24, 2016 @ 2:13 pm

      • “Allegedly, the apartment dwellers sat out on the balcony and watched the killing scene, which was only a few feet away”.

        I’m glad you started your sentence with the word “Allegedly” – because I tried to get my mind around the idea that a sweet elderly Polish couple would be sitting on the balcony of their apartment and gazing down on the most horrific scene imaginable. If true, they were witnessing hundreds and hundreds of naked people being machine-gunned into pits – one after the other. Surely, by noon on that dreadful November day, the husband would have said to his wife;- Muriel, dear, we’ve got to get out of here fast! They’ve killed thousands already; how do we know that they not coming for us next? Grab your hat and coat and I’ll hail a cab to take us to Lublin station in order to catch the first train out of town.

        Comment by Talbot — March 24, 2016 @ 3:05 pm

        • You wrote: “’m glad you started your sentence with the word “Allegedly” – because I tried to get my mind around the idea that a sweet elderly Polish couple would be sitting on the balcony of their apartment and gazing down on the most horrific scene imaginable.”

          I wrote allegedly because I don’t think that there was any shooting. If there was any shooting of prisoners, it would not have taken place in a place where there were numerous potential observers.

          Comment by furtherglory — March 24, 2016 @ 4:08 pm

      • I believe Eric Hunt has produced a video that finally demolishes the idea that Majdanek was a death camp with homicidal gas chambers. You’re probably right, FG – that monument silo is most likely full of compost, mixed in with animal bones, sand, grit and earth.

        Comment by Talbot — March 24, 2016 @ 3:33 pm

        • This “Operation Harvest Festival”, or “Erntefest”, was not just restricted to Majdanek. Apparently, on that very same day, the Nazis are alleged to have killed 10,000 Jewish workers at nearby Trawniki; and 13,000 more at a sub-camp called Poniatowa ( which was a small military/industrial complex that lay about 35 kilometres west of Lublin.). This brings the grand total of killings carried out during this operation to 43,000! – a totally impossible figure to achieve in the short time frame over which it is alleged.

          But unlike Majdanek, where there is a monumental silo in which it is claimed the human remains were interred, there are no graves or memorials at either Trawniki or Poniatowa. So what happened to these 23,000 bodies? Well – there is no answer from the official holocaust proponents; and I suspect the reason why – is because this mass killing never took place.

          I’m of the opinion that what the Germans were actually doing, was to finally deport the last major batch of Polish Jews from work camps and ghettos all over the Lublin region, and transport them eastwards into the occupied territories of the Soviet Union. The transit camps at Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec had all been closed down by November 1943, and thus Majdanek, Trawniki and Poniatowa were more-or-less carrying out the same function as these places ( i.e;- processing and despatching workers by train to places where they were needed.

          Some people might argue that there was no railway line which served Majdanek. But that’s not strictly true – because our trusty old friend – Google Earth – shows a sizeable railway marshalling yard about half a kilometre to the east of the camp . This could be easily reached in well-under 20 minutes, by crossing over the main highway outside the camp entrance and walking down one of the side roads to reach it. Its quite possible that the bulk of these deportees were loaded on to trains at these sidings.

          Trawniki was well served by a main railway line that ran alongside the camp-complex, and it even had a short spur leading into it. Poniatowa was also connected to the outside world by a narrow-gauge railway – which the official holocaust websites even admit to. (Once again, we can view the alignment of the former track by zooming in on Google Earth.)

          Comment by Talbot — March 25, 2016 @ 1:56 am

          • It is claimed that the alleged shootings at Poniatowa went on into the following day – Nov. 4th. 1943, and there is even a witness who survived this massacre and escaped.

            Her name is Ludwika Fiszer, and she claims that both herself and her daughter were naked, and forced to lie down together in a large pit where they were machine-gunned. Her daughter was killed, but she was not hurt, and remained silent and still among the other naked bodies until after dark, when the shootings had finished.

            Ludwika then somehow managed to climb out of the pit full of bodies, met up with two other naked women who had also survived and off they went down the street together.

            The month was November, it was night time, and there was a howling wind – says Ludwika. So you might think that a combination of severe shock of what she had endured; the trauma of witnessing her daughter being killed; combined with her nakedness and the biting cold weather, would quickly lead to exposure, hypothermia and physical and psychological collapse.

            But no – Ludwika had some Polish banknotes with her. Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, you are going to have to work out for yourselves where she secreted these on her naked body – and with this money the intrepid trio went from house to house in order to pay the Polish inhabitants for some old clothes and bread and scraps to eat. Strangely, none of the residents opened their front doors, but from the upstairs windows there came flying out all kinds of garments, under-ware, shoes and items of food.

            Anyway, if you want to read more of her story, then type in “The Testimony of Ludwika Fiszer” on Google. Its so hilarious, that you would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh!

            Comment by Talbot — March 25, 2016 @ 3:23 am

  5. You’re the only one that ever mentions how the invasion was a group effort between Germany and Russia . The history books might mention involvement from Russia,but it seems like that’s only in the footnotes

    Comment by Tim — March 24, 2016 @ 10:19 am

    • Soviet invasion of Poland — International reaction

      The Soviet invasion of Poland…started without a formal declaration of war on 17 September 1939…The reaction of France and Britain to the Soviet invasion and annexation of Eastern Poland was muted…Under the terms of the Polish-British Common Defence Pact of 25 August 1939, the British had promised assistance if a European power attacked Poland. A secret protocol of the pact, however, specified that the European power referred to Germany. When Polish Ambassador Edward Raczyński reminded Foreign Secretary Edward Frederick Lindley Wood of the pact, he was bluntly told that it was Britain’s business whether to declare war on the Soviet Union.

      Comment by eah — March 25, 2016 @ 6:49 am

      • I’m sorry. It just seems like this all of that deals with hitlers success with the German economy. Russia invaded from the east and no one noticed. They gonna dump it all on hitler. He wasn’t a nice guy. That’s no secret,but they never bring Papa Joe up. Hitler managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat,when the rest of the world was dealing with a disabled economy. From where I stand,that was probably reason enough for people to hate hitler. His prison system and eradication program weren’t going full steam yet. I don’t know what the kids are being taught in school today about this subject,but when I was in school,they’d have you believe hitler started it all. Stalin was just sitting around scratching his ass. Not doing a damn thing. At least school kids today have the Internet . They can buck what their history teacher is trying to teach them. Good example here,I was never taught in school it was Britains place to declare war on Russia . I just hope all the kids in school are being given the full story.

        Comment by Tim — March 25, 2016 @ 9:19 am

  6. I believe guerilla warfare in Poland (and the Baltic republics) continued WELL AFTER the German surrender in 1945. From that point forward, it was directed against the Soviet occupiers.

    It did eventually die down, as communism held on long enough for people(‘s children) to get used to it.

    Comment by Jett Rucker — March 24, 2016 @ 8:43 am

    • I agree that guerilla warfare continued in Poland well after the German surrender. I wrote about that somewhere on my website, but I can’t find that page now.

      Comment by furtherglory — March 24, 2016 @ 8:59 am


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