Scrapbookpages Blog

April 30, 2016

The significance of the Bug river

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:52 am

If you don’t know the significance of the Bug river, you know nothing.

The following quote is from Wikipedia:

Begin quote

A tributary of the Narew River, the Bug forms part of the border between Ukraine and Poland for 185 kilometres (115 mi),[2] and between Belarus and Poland for 178 kilometres (111 mi),[2][3] and is the fourth longest Polish river.

[…]

Traditionally the Bug River was also often considered the ethnographical border between the Orthodox and Catholic Polish peoples. The Bug was the dividing line between German Wehrmacht and Russian Red Army forces following the 1939 invasion of Poland in the Second World War.

End quote

The Bug river forms the border between Poland and three other countries. So what? you say. Does it seem strange to you that the Nazis put their “death camps” right on their border with these other countries?

The Bug river forms the border between Poland and xxx

My 1998 photo of the entrance into the Treblinka camp

My 1998 photo of the road into Treblinka camp

Take a look at my 1998 photos of the bridge over the Bug river.

My 1998 photo of the bridge over the Bug river

My 1998 photo of the wooden bridge over the Bug river

My 1998 photo of the middle of the bridge

My 1998 photo of the middle of the bridge

After the joint conquest of Poland by the Germans and the Russians in September 1939, the river Bug (pronounced Boog) became the border between the German-occupied General Government of Poland and the Russian zone of occupation; then Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 and conquered the strip of eastern Poland that was being occupied by the Russians. Treblinka is located in the former General Government.

On January 20, 1942, a conference was held in Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, where plans were made for the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” Three extermination camps, called the Operation Reinhard Camps were planned at this conference.

Treblinka was the last of the Operation Reinhard camps to be set up; the other two were Sobibor and Belzec. All three of the Operation Reinhard camps were located on the western side of the Bug river. There is a bend in the river near Treblinka, which required a bridge over the river in order to get to the village of Treblinka, although the village is located on the western side of the border between the former General Government and the Russian zone of occupation.

Hardly more than a creek, the Bug is shallow enough in some places so that one can wade across it, and according to historian Martin Gilbert, some refugees, from both sides, did wade across. The movie “Europa, Europa” has a scene in which Jewish refugees are shown walking toward the Russian sector, trying to escape the Nazis in September 1939 by crossing the Bug river on rafts.

I wrote about the significance of Treblinka on this page of my webite: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Treblinka/introduction.html

The following quote is from my web page, cited above:

Treblinka was second only to Auschwitz in the number of Jews who were killed by the Nazis: between 700,000 and 900,000, compared to an estimated 1.1 million to 1.5 million at Auschwitz.

The Treblinka death camp was located 100 km (62 miles) northeast of Warsaw, near the railroad junction at the village of Malkinia Górna, which is 2.5 km (1.5 miles) from the train station in the tiny village of Treblinka.

Raul Hilberg stated in his three-volume book, “The Destruction of the European Jews,” that there were six Nazi extermination centers, including Treblinka. The other extermination camps were at Belzec, Sobibor, Chelmno, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau, all of which are located in what is now Poland. The last two also functioned as forced labor camps (Zwangsarbeitslager), and were still operational shortly before being liberated by the Soviet Union towards the end of the war in 1944 and early 1945.

The camps at Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor and Chelmno had already been liquidated by the Germans before the Soviet soldiers arrived, and there was no remaining evidence of the extermination of millions of Jews. The combined total of the deaths at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor was 1.5 million, according to Raul Hilberg.

End quote

 

97-year-old Holocaust survivor still enjoys laying a guilt trip on German teenagers

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:11 am
Betty Bausch speaking to students

Betty Bausch speaks to students about her experience in WWII

The following quote is from a recent news article which you can read in full at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4797397,00.html

Begin quote:

Just before Holocaust Memorial Day, 97-year-old survivor Betty Bausch has again packed her suitcase and travelled to tell young Germans of the harm that their nation inflicted decades before they were born. In recent years, this has become her life’s work.

Every time that Bausch finishes describing her family’s travails in the Holocaust and asks for audience questions, the room is filled with a tense silence that eventually becomes an honest, if painful, conversation between a survivor of the inferno and the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the those who committed the atrocities.

End quote

The moral of this story is this: never try to kick a Jew out of your country. The Jews have a right to live in any country in the world, even though they now have their own country [Israel].

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

Begin quote

Bausch’s story of survival from the days of the war is extraordinary. Thanks to endless resourcefulness, aid in procuring forged documents, and an Aryan appearance, she managed to hide and live under a fake identity, thus avoiding being sent to a concentration camp.

She was born and raised in Amsterdam, where she had a happy childhood. Like most of the Netherlands’s Jews, she did not experience anti-Semitism.

Her parents passed on their religious and Zionist stances to their children. However, they hesitated and didn’t use the permits to immigrate to the Land of Israel that they had before the war. When the Germans invaded the Netherlands, it was too late, and they [her parents] were sent to the Sobibor extermination camp and killed.

End quote

You can read about Sobibor on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Sobibor/Tour01.html

This quote is also from the news article:

Bausch has been speaking for 20 years in the Netherlands and for the past six in Germany. “I always begin by telling the youths about my time at their age, when I was 16 years old,” she said, “because I think that it interests them, what I did at their age, and not at 97.

At that time, we only had one radio, which I would always turn on when Hitler was making a speech. He would say, ‘The Jews are the rats of the world and must be destroyed.’ When my family heard that, they would say to me, ‘Betty, turn it off, turn it off; we don’t want to hear it.’ I was the only one told them, ‘We have to hear it; we have to know what that man wants to do with the Jews. If he says it, he’ll do it.’ They would answer me, ‘No, no, it’s just words.’

End quote

Did you catch that? These Jews in the Netherlands had ONLY ONE RADIO. When I was a child, my family did not have even one radio. We had to go a neighbor’s house to hear President Roosevelt speak on the radio. I should be out on the lecture circuit, telling about how I suffered during World War II. Oh, the humanity!

April 29, 2016

Today is the anniversary of the liberation of Dachau

Filed under: Germany — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 10:00 am

On my scrapbookpages.com website, I have a whole section about the Dachau concentration camp:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/KZDachau/index.html

In my web pages about Dachau, I have a section about the liberation of Dachau. I have personally spoken to Dan Dougherty, one of the liberators who lives near me. I wrote about what he said, regarding the liberation of Dachau, on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/LiberationDay.html

The following quote is from my website:

Begin quote:

Liberation of Dachau, 29 April 1945

“Sunday, just after the noon meal, the air was unusually still. The big field outside the compound was deserted. Suddenly someone began running toward the gate at the other side of the field. Others followed. The word was shouted through the mass of gray, tired prisoners. Americans! That word repeated, yelled over the shoulders in throaty Polish, in Italian, in Russian, and Dutch and in the familiar ring of French. The first internee was shot down as he rushed toward the gate by the guard. Yet they kept running and shouting through eager lips and unbelieving eyes. Americans!” Dachau Liberated The Official Report by the U.S. Seventh Army

End quote

Polish prisoners celebrate their liberation from Dachau

Polish prisoners celebrate their liberation from Dachau concentration camp

You can read more about the liberation of Dachau on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/LiberationDay3.html

April 28, 2016

The largest mass murder in a single location in human history

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 7:46 am

If you know anything at all about world history, you already know that the largest mass murder in a single location took place near Oświęcim, the town formerly known by it’s German residents as Auschwitz.

Town hall in Auschwitz

Town hall in Auschwitz

The area where the town of Auschwitz is located is rich in natural resources and geographically well-situated. Oświęcim, aka Auschwitz, attracted settlers and occupiers throughout its history. By 1300, Oświęcim was a mid-sized market town with more than a hundred homes. Many early residents were Germans, who called the town Auschwitz.

Building in Auschwitz

Building in Auschwitz

Ashkenazi Jewish settlers began migrating eastward from central Europe in the thirteenth century, arriving in Oświęcim in the mid-sixteenth century. Although Oswięcim’s Jews weathered accusations and prohibitions, they also enjoyed privileges and economic freedoms. By the 1860s, half of the town’s residents were Jews.

Synagogue in Auschwitz

Synagogue in Auschwitz

If you don’t know the history of Auschwitz, you can catch up by reading this news article at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/27/auschwitz-short-history-liberation-concentration-camp-holocaust

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Auschwitz: a short history of the largest mass murder site in human history

The first Nazi base in Auschwitz, named after the nearby Silesian town of Oświęcim, was set up in May 1940, 37 miles west of Krakow. Now known as Auschwitz I, the site covered 40 square kilometres.

In January 1942, the Nazi party decided to roll out the “Final Solution”. Camps dedicated solely to the extermination of Jews had been created before, but this was formalised by SS Lieutenant General Reinhard Heydrich in a speech at the Wannsee conference. The extermination camp Auschwitz II (or Auschwitz-Birkenau) was opened in the same year.

End quote

There may be a few people in the world, who have been living in a cave somewhere, and they have never heard of the Wannsee conference, where the Holocaust was planned by the Nazis.

The following quote is from my scrapbookpages.com website:

The full title of the Wannsee Conference was “The Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe.” The original phrase was “a final territorial solution of the Jewish question.” The term “Jewish Question” referred to a question that had been discussed for years: Should the Jews have their own state within the country where they lived, or should they assimilate?

On the witness stand at the Nuremberg IMT, Hermann Goering said that the conference was about “the total solution to the Jewish Question” and that it meant the evacuation of the Jews, not extermination.

The minutes or protocols of the Wannsee meeting, 15 pages in all, were written by 36-year-old Adolf Eichmann. The copy that was found in 1947 was undated and unsigned; it had no stamp of any Bureau. The copy appeared to be a draft report of the meeting that was held on January 20, 1942 at Wannsee.

On the witness stand at the Nuremberg IMT, Hermann Goering said that the conference was about “the total solution to the Jewish Question” and that it meant the evacuation of the Jews, not extermination.

The full text of the letter from Goering to Reinhard Heydrich, ordering the Final Solution, (Nuremberg Document PS-710) is quoted below:

Begin quote

To the Chief of the Security Police and the SD, SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich

Berlin

In completion of the task which was entrusted to you in the Edict dated January 24, 1939, of solving the Jewish question by means of emigration or evacuation in the most convenient way possible, given the present conditions, I herewith charge you with making all necessary preparations with regard to organizational, practical and financial aspects for a total solution [Gesamtloesung] of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.

Insofar as the competencies of other central organizations are affected, these are to be involved.

I further charge you with submitting to me promptly an overall plan of the preliminary organizational, practical and financial measures for the execution of the intended final solution (Endloesung) of the Jewish question.

Goering

End quote

The fifteen men who met at Wannsee for this historic occasion were not elder statesmen, but men in their prime, who were, for the most part, long standing members of the Nazi party. Heydrich’s involvement with the Nazis dated back to the dawn of the Fascist movement in Germany when he was a teen-aged member of the Freikorp, a volunteer militia group which engaged in bloody street battles with the Communists, who were led in Berlin by the Jewish militants, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxembourg, and in Munich by the Jewish leader, Kurt Eisner.

Approximately 11 million Jews were to be involved in the final solution of the European Jewish question, distributed as follows among the individual countries:

Country – Number

A. Germany proper 131,800
Austria 43,700
Eastern territories 420,000
General Government 2,284,000
Bialystok 400,000
Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia 74,200
Estonia – free of Jews –
Latvia 3,500
Lithuania 34,000
Belgium 43,000
Denmark 5,600
France / occupied territory 165,000
unoccupied territory 700,000
Greece 69,600
Netherlands 160,800
Norway 1,300

B. Bulgaria 48,000
England 330,000
Finland 2,300
Ireland 4,000
Italy including Sardinia 58,000
Albania 200
Croatia 40,000
Portugal 3,000
Rumania including Bessarabia 342,000
Sweden 8,000
Switzerland 18,000
Serbia 10,000
Slovakia 88,000
Spain 6,000
Turkey (European portion) 55,500
Hungary 742,800
USSR 5,000,00

Ukraine 2,994,684
White Russia
excluding Bialystok 446,484

Total over 11,000,000

 

April 27, 2016

The scale of Birkenau is overwhelming, and it was built for the sole purpose of murdering Jews

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:23 pm
British students on HET tour at Birkenau

British HET tour at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The title of this blog post comes from a British news article which you can read in full at  http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/14454508.Time_will_not_allow_us_to_forget/

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

By 1941 the Nazi genocide had stepped up and [the] Auschwitz [main camp] became too small due to the sheer number of prisoners arriving from across occupied countries.

Two miles away is the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau – a camp with an area covering an area the size of 250 football pitches [425 acres].

The scale of Birkenau is overwhelming, and harrowingly it was built for the sole purpose of murdering Jews.

The iconic railway tracks and entrance dominate the bleak and desolate camp. It is difficult not to see the brick watch tower from any part of the site.

Rabbi Barry Marcus of London’s Central Synagogue revealed that only around 25 per cent of prisoners were taken to the camps to work, while 75 per cent were sent straight to the gas chambers.

End quote

So the stupid Nazis built a camp that was the size of 250 football fields, just for the purpose of gassing Jews.

The news article continues with this quote:

Begin quote

The first camp we visited was Auschwitz [main camp], one hour from Krakow airport.

Sign in main Auschwitz camp warns against touching fence

Sign in main Auschwitz camp warns against touching the electrified fence

Originally the [Auschwitz main camp] site was used as a barracks [for German soldiers] but when the Nazis invaded Poland the empty buildings became the first concentration camp in that area.

Barracks for German soldiers at Auschwitz

Barracks for German soldiers with Appell Platz at Auschwitz main camp

Barrack building Auschwitz main camp

Barrack building in the  Auschwitz main camp was for German soldiers

Auschwitz barracks in winter 2006 Photo Credit: José Ángel López

Auschwitz barracks in winter 2006
Photo Credit: José Ángel López

As we made our way under the ”Arbeit Macht Frei” sign at the gates [into the main camp], the persecution was revealed in greater detail.

The sign translates as ‘work makes you free’ – a sick joke by the Nazis, as nobody was supposed to leave the [main Auschwitz] camp alive.

More likely than not you have heard horrifying stories from survivors or other Holocaust educators but the true extent cannot be described without seeing it for yourself.

End quote

What do British students learn from their HET tours? They learn to worship Jews and to hate Germans.  “that’s all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” [Ode to a Grecian urn]

 

Renee Firestone lived through the Holocaust with her sense of humor intact

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 7:31 am
Renee Firestone as she looks today

Renee Firestone today

The title of my blog post today is a line from a news article, which you can read in full at http://www.jta.org/2016/04/26/arts-entertainment/new-documentary-asks-if-were-ready-to-laugh-at-the-holocaust

You can hear Renee speak in this YouTube video:

I have previously blogged about Renee Firestone at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/renee-firestones-shoah-testimony/

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

Begin quote

“The Last Laugh,” which was a featured documentary at this month’s Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan, is a hybrid in other ways as well. Director Ferne Pearlstein wanted to explore not only the limits of humor and free speech today, but how Shoah victims and survivors used humor as a salve, defense mechanism and weapon despite their powerlessness.

At a Nevada survivors’ convention filmed in the incongruous setting of The Venetian resort in Las Vegas, one survivor recalls how his fellow concentration camp inmates would mock the SS guards’ latest orders. Contemporary footage shot at the Theresienstadt concentration camp shows inmates performing comic skits and a children’s opera with apparent gusto. We now know that the Nazis allowed these theatricals for their own propaganda purposes, and that many of the performers were subsequently murdered at Auschwitz. But survivors tell of the relief, however temporary, provided by the performances.

End quote

April 26, 2016

April 29th, the 71st anniversary of the Dachau massacre

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:36 am

This news article tells one version of the Dachau massacre [aka “The liberation of Dachau”]:

Begin quote

Friday, April 29 is the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Nazi Germany’s first concentration camp — a day that changed Homecrest man Seymour Kaplan forever.

The 90-year-old World War II veteran — among the last living eyewitnesses to Holocaust horrors — was a fresh-faced, 19-year-old machine gunner with the 42nd Infantry Division in Munich when he was ordered into a jeep that day in 1945, and unbeknownst to him driven 10 miles to Dachau Camp to serve as a Yiddish interpreter for prisoners.

End quote

A Yiddish interpreter for the Dachau prisoners? Was Dachau a death camp for Jews? Did the Dachau camp have to be liberated before all the Yiddish-speaking Jews could be killed in the Dachau gas chamber?

The reason this subject is so important is because the liberation of Dachau is symbolic of the liberation of Germany from the Nazis. It is symbolic of the Allied victory over Fascism and the preservation of the freedom of Americans, which had been threatened by the mere existence of Hitler’s Third Reich.

It is symbolic of the Allied liberation of the Jews from persecution by the Nazis, and the end of the Final Solution which claimed the lives of 6 million Jews.

The liberation of Dachau was one of the most significant events of World War II and one of the most important events in world history. All of the soldiers in the 45th and 42nd Divisions of the US Seventh Army can rightly claim to be heroes because they participated in the liberation of Dachau.

Here is the real story!

By the Spring of 1945, the whole country of Germany lay in ruins with every major city destroyed by Allied bombs. Churches that had taken 200 years to build were now empty shells. Bridges had been blown up, train tracks had been bombed and every road was clogged with German refugees. Thousands of women in eastern Germany were drowning themselves, rather than submit to rape by the Russian soldiers, who were advancing towards the capital city of Berlin.

Boys of 14 and old men of 60 years of age were fighting in a hopeless last ditch effort to save Germany from Communism. German soldiers, who had survived the bloody conflict on the Eastern front, were stripping off their uniforms and jumping into the Elbe river to swim naked across to the west side so that they could surrender to the American Army.

Whether soldiers or civilians, the German people were deathly afraid of the Russians, who already had a reputation for committing unspeakable atrocities, even before they reached Berlin.

There was complete chaos in Germany: the infrastructure of the country had been destroyed, the cities were nothing but huge piles of rubble, and everywhere there was complete devastation. Animals in the Zoo in Berlin had to be shot when they escaped after a bomb attack.

German citizens were cowering in underground bomb shelters in the cities or waving white flags of surrender from the windows of their homes in the small towns, including the town of Dachau.

Former concentration camp prisoners, who were now free because some of the  camps had been abandoned by the guards, were wandering aimlessly through the countryside, looting and stealing from the German civilians who still had a home left after repeated Allied bombing raids.

Subways were flooded; phone lines were down; electricity was off. The water supply of the bombed cities was contaminated or non-existent.

Thousands of homeless German civilians had taken shelter in the bombed-out shells of the churches, and were cooking over open fires in the streets of every major city.

Refugees trying to flee from the war zone sat for days beside the railroad tracks waiting for trains which never came. Others were on the road, trying to escape on foot, carrying a few meager possessions, but there was nowhere to go.

Allied planes were strafing everything that moved, including cows grazing in the fields and the trains that were evacuating concentration camp prisoners in an effort to keep them from being released. Former concentration camp prisoners, bent on revenge, attacked the German civilians as they tried desperately to escape. Everything was in short supply, including food, clothing, medicine, coal and even wood to make coffins.

The stench was unbearable; everything smelled of smoke from the charred remains of burned buildings. Corpses were dragged out of the bomb shelters and buried in shallow graves in the gardens of destroyed homes.

Thousands of dead bodies of German civilians were still buried under the collapsed buildings in every large city. In the historic city of Nuremberg, there were 20,000 bodies still buried under the rubble at the time that the trial of the German war criminals began in November 1945.

The Nazi war machine, that had once rolled ruthlessly across Europe and smashed every country in its path, was now suffering a crushing defeat by the superior forces of the Soviet, British and American armies. Soon the world would learn of the Nazi atrocities in the concentration camps and forced labor camps all over Germany. Dachau, the name of the worst camp of them all, would soon become a household word in America.

Photo of the surrender of Dachau

Photo of surrender of Dachau

Another photo of the surrender of the Dachau camp

Another photo of the surrender of the Dachau concentration camp

The main Dachau camp was surrendered to Brigadier General Henning Linden of the 42nd Rainbow Division by SS 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker, who is shown in the photos above. Wicker was accompanied by Red Cross representative Victor Maurer who had just arrived the day before with five trucks loaded with food packages. In the first photo above, Marguerite Higgins is shown, with an arrow pointing to her. She one of the reporters, who was covering World War II.

No one knows for certain what happened to 2nd Lt. Wicker after he surrendered the camp, but it is presumed that he was among the German soldiers who were shot that day by the American liberators or beaten to death by some of the inmates.

Lt. Col. Howard Buechner, a doctor with the 45th Division, wrote the following in his book entitled The Avengers:

Begin quote

Virtually every German officer and every German soldier who was present on that fateful day paid for his sins against his fellow man. Only their wives, children and a group of medics survived. Although a few guards may have temporarily avoided death by disguising themselves as inmates, they were eventually captured and killed.

An investigation conducted between May 3 and May 8, 1945 by Lt. Col. Joseph M. Whitaker, known as the I.G. Report, concluded that the total number of SS men killed on April 29, 1945 at Dachau was somewhere between 50 and 60, including the SS soldiers killed after they surrendered at Tower B, shown in the photo above. Most of the bodies had been thrown into the moat and then shot repeatedly after they were already dead, according to testimony given to the investigators by American soldiers who were there.

Tower B is shown in the photo below. Notice the bodies of dead German soldiers at the base of the tower.

End quote

Tower B is shown in the photo below.

DachauTowerB.jpg

No Americans were killed, nor wounded during the liberation of Dachau. The SS men had been ordered not to shoot and there was no resistance as they were massacred by the liberators.

American soldiers at Dachau

American soldiers at Dachau

In his book about Dachau, Flint Whitlock quoted T/5 Oddi, one of the soldiers in the photo above, from a telephone interview in January 1997:

Begin quote

Our group was the first part of people to go in there [to the prisoner enclosure]. When they saw us, they knew right away we were Americans and they started shouting and waving tiny flags. I don’t know where they got the flags – I imagine the women who were there made them out of swatches of cloth.

End quote

On 28 May 1945, Brig. Gen. Charles Y. Banfill, an Air Force officer who was with the 42nd Division soldiers when Brig. Gen. Henning Linden accepted the surrender of the concentration camp from Lt. Heinrich Wicker, wrote an official report, quoted by John H. Linden in his book, in which Banfill stated the following:

Begin quote

1. This is to certify that I was present at Dachau on 29 April 1945 as a member of a party headed by Brigadier General Henning Linden, Assistant Division Commander, 42nd Infantry Division, U.S. Army.

[…]

5. With one exception, all American personnel, who came under my observation during this period, conducted themselves in an exemplary fashion. The exception noted was that of a soldier who I believe to be a member of the 45th Infantry Division. He called himself to my attention by a loud and obscene series of statements revolving around who had first reached the concentration camp. I approached him and noting that he was apparently under the influence of intoxicants, called him to attention and identified myself to him clearly and explicitly. He immediately quieted down. I noticed the neck of a bottle sticking out of his jacket. I withdrew the bottle which was nearly empty and apparently contained wine and threw it into the moat. At that point, Brig. Gen. Linden approached and directed the soldier to move over to a point some 20 feet away. I noticed that Brig. Gen. Linden spoke emphatically to him for about a minute and then apparently directed him to rejoin his unit. The soldier walked away.

[…]

7. It is my considered opinion that Brig. Gen. Linden did everything in his power to carry out his Division Commander’s instructions to keep the prisoners within the prison enclosure. As determined by discussions with English speaking prisoners, the camp had been under extreme tension for many hours. The prisoners did not know (a) whether they would be massacred by the Germans, (b) whether they would be involved in a fire fight between the German and American troops, or (c) whether they would be liberated by the timely arrival of the Americans. The sight of the few American uniforms that appeared at about 1505 hours resulted in an emotional outburst of relief and enthusiasm which was indescribable.

End quote

An intoxicated soldier, who was creating a disturbance at the gate, was also mentioned by Lt. William Cowling in his official report to headquarters. A German soldier who survived the Dachau massacre mentioned that some of the prisoners were also drunk that day and were killing the guards with shovels. The drunken 45th Division soldier at the gate was never identified.

German soldiers shot at Dachau

Dead SS men who had surrendered the Dachau concentration camp

The photo above shows the bodies of Waffen-SS soldiers who had been sent from the battlefield to surrender the Dachau concentration camp. They offered no resistance to the liberators.

The original of the famous photo above hangs in the 45th Division Museum in Okalahoma City; the photo was copied in Munich, only weeks after World War II ended, and was offered for sale to the men in the 45th Division.

Ted Hibbard, who works at the 45th Division Museum, has identified the picture of the dead SS soldier above as a photo taken by a member of the 45th Division named Edwin Gorak. According to Hibbard, the freed inmates were given 45 caliber pistols by soldiers in the 45 Division and allowed to shoot and beat the SS men who had been sent to surrender the camp.

American soldiers in World War II were very proud of committing war crimes. Only the “krauts” were ever prosecuted, and they continue to be prosecuted to this day.

 

 

 

April 25, 2016

More misuse of the famous Ebensee photo

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:32 am
People passing by a famous photo taken at Ebensee

People passing a window which shows a famous Holocaust photo

The photo above was used to illustrate a news article which you can read in full at http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2016/04/25/Holocaust-project-focuses-on-what-Americans-knew-and-when/stories/201604220173

I have this same photo on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/KZMauthausen/Subcamps/Ebensee01.html

Photo of Holocaust survivors at Ebensee

Holocaust survivors at Ebensee sub-camp

Note that the photo, as shown on my website, is much wider; it shows more of the prisoners that were moved from the Mauthausen main camp to the Ebensee sub-camp where they could be taken care of.

According to Holocaust author Martin Gilbert, the last death marches of the World War Ii, began on May 1, 1945 as the American Army approached; prisoners from the main camp at Mauthausen, and the sub-camps at Gusen and St. Valentin, were marched to Gunskirchen and Ebensee. Hundreds of them 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.

The entrance gate into the Ebenseee camp

The entrance gate into Ebenseee

The photograph above was taken on May 6, 1945, after Ebensee, a sub-camp of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, was liberated by soldiers in the 80th Division of the US Third Army on May 4th and 5th.

The banner, written in French, reads “The French prisoners Salute the Allies.” It was erected by the anti-Nazi resistance fighters who were imprisoned here after being captured and accused of doing acts of sabotage during the Nazi occupation of France.

The prisoners at Ebensee worked in underground factories which manufactured Messerschmitt airplanes. German engineers and civilians also worked in these factories. The site was chosen because there were natural caves which could be enlarged into tunnels so that the munitions factories could be protected from Allied bombing raids.

According to Martin Gilbert, the author of a book entitled “Holocaust,” Ebensee was an “end destination” for Jewish prisoners who were evacuated from camps farther east as the Soviet Army advanced toward Germany. In the last months of the war, the Ebensee camp was seriously over-crowded with these exhausted prisoners, many of whom had just arrived in the weeks prior to the liberation.

Gilbert wrote the following regarding the evacuations and the death marches:

Begin quote

Jews who had already survived the “selections” in Birkenau, and work as slave laborers in factories, had now to survive the death marches. Throughout February and March [1945] columns of men, and crowded cattle trucks, converged on the long-existing concentration camps, now given a new task. These camps had been transformed into holding camps for the remnant of a destroyed people, men and women whose labor was still of some last-minute utility for a dying Reich, or whose emaciated bodies were to be left to languish in agony in one final camp.

End quote

According to Gilbert’s book, a train loaded with 2,059 Jews arrived at Ebensee on March 3, 1945. They had survived the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau and had first been sent to the Gross Rosen concentration camp, then on to Ebensee. Forty-nine of the Jewish prisoners died on the train, and on their first day in the camp, 182 died during the disinfection procedure.

New arrivals had to be disinfected to kill the body lice which spreads typhus. There was a typhus epidemic, in Mauthausen and the sub-camps and, according to Martin Gilbert, 30,000 prisoners had died in these camps in the last four months of the war.

April 24, 2016

Have you ever heard of “Holocaust survivor guilt”?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:07 am

Today, I am writing about a Holocaust news article which I read today: https://news.illinoisstate.edu/2016/04/holocaust-survivors-guilt-spreads-generations/

Why would a Holocaust survivor feel any guilt about surviving? According to the news article, it is because so many others died, but the survivors were somehow saved.

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

Begin quote

For many [Holocaust] survivors, it was older and younger relatives who perished in the death camps and at the hands of the mobile killing squads of the Nazis. “Students always ask why people didn’t resist or leave,” said Professor of History Katrin Paehler, who teaches the history of the Holocaust. “I talk about family connections, and that resistance is a young man’s and [young] woman’s game.”

Image.aspx

The man in the photo above is Abba Kovner.

Paehler often tells students of Jewish resistance fighter Abba Kovner, a youth leader in the Jewish ghetto of Vilna in the Soviet Union. Kovner took resistance fighters from the ghetto and they actually survived in the forest. “Kovner once said that as he was taking young fighters out of the ghetto, his mother asked him what to do. He left her in the ghetto,” said Paehler. “You can’t take an old woman into the forest and expect her to survive. Yet ever since then, he asked himself, ‘Am I a hero or a bad son?’”

Holocaust survivor guilt can be compounded by the idea that Jews and other targeted groups should have left Europe before they were rounded up. Paehler dismisses this idea as “the gift of hindsight.”

End quote

I wrote about Abba Kovner in this previous blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/anton-schmidt-two-minutes-of-silence-in-his-honor-at-eichmanns-trial/

April 23, 2016

How an 11-year-old Jewish boy was saved from the gas chamber twice by his father

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:50 am
2005 photo of the remains of the Birkenau camp

2005 photo of remains of Birkenau camp

The following quote is from this news article:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/holocaust-survivor-saskatoon-auschwitz-1.3540381

The article tells the story of how an 11-year-old boy was saved twice, by his father, from a gas chamber in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Normally, an 11-year-old boy would have stayed with his mother at Birkenau, not with his father, while waiting for his turn to be gassed.

Women and children waiting to go into the gas chamber at Birkenau

Women and children waiting to go into the gas chamber at Birkenau

The women and children in the photo above are looking across the road toward the Sauna in Birkenau where the incoming Jews took a shower, and their clothing was disinfected with Zyklon-B.

There were 4 large homicidal gas chambers at the 425-acre Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, plus two old farmhouses where Jews were routinely  gassed with the deadly poison called Zyklon-B, which was also used to kill lice.

Ruins of Krema II gas chamber

Ruins of Krema II gas chamber

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

Begin quote

Seventy-one years after the Holocaust, a concentration camp survivor told his story about his father saved his life while at the deadly concentration camp Auschwitz.

On Sunday, Nate Leipciger, 88, shared his remarkable survivor story at the annual Saskatoon Holocaust Memorial at the Agudas Israel Synagogue on McKinnon Avenue in Saskatoon [Canada].

He told the packed room how, as a boy in Auschwitz, he didn’t fully grasp what the Nazis had in store for the Jews.

“At 11 years old, I had no idea that the Nazis are going to murder us,” Leipciger said. “Not even when I was standing in front of the gas chamber in Auschwitz, did it occur to me that my life was going to be in danger.”

The article continues with this quote:

Begin Quote

He [Nate Leipciger] told the audience how at one point, he found himself in line for the deadly gas chamber. But his father acted fast, pulling Leipciger out of the lineup, taking him into the concentration camp, where he then saw the unforgiving labour camps and conditions men and women lived in.

That’s when we found out what they were doing to our people, they told us, that our people are now being processed in the gas chamber and that our lifespan in Birkenau was four months–either we get shipped out to Germany or we will end up in the gas chamber. Not a very good future.”

His father’s second heroic moment came when the Nazis were ready to ship Leipciger’s father to a factory in Germany, but his father made a case to a Nazi officer to bring his son along with him.

“At the risk of his own life my father approached [a Nazi officer] and begged him to let me go with him to Germany to a factory and that’s how I was saved from certain death of gassing at Auschwitz,” Leipciger said.

End quote

My photo of a fence that divided the men's camp from the wo

My photo of a fence that divided sections of the Birkenau camp

The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp is huge, covering 425 acres. The boundaries of the Birkenau camp stretch a mile in one direction and a mile and a half in the other direction. When construction, on the camp, was completed, it had over 300 buildings with a capacity of 200,000 prisoners. The entire Birkenau camp was enclosed by an electrified barbed wire fence around the perimeter of the camp.

The interior of the camp was divided into nine sections and each section was surrounded by another electrified barbed wire fence. Men and women were in separate sections, and the younger children stayed in the women’s section. An 11-year-old boy would probably have been put into the women’s camp.

Young boys walking out of the Birkenau camp after it was liberated

Young boys walking out of the Birkenau camp after it was liberated

There were many young boys, aged 11 or younger, who survived Auschwitz-Birkenau.

 

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