Scrapbookpages Blog

April 22, 2016

Another day, another student trip to Auschwitz

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 11:02 am
View of the Auschwitz main camp

Aerial view of the Auschwitz main camp with the Sola river shown at the top of the photo

My 2007 photo of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

My 2007 photo of the gas chamber and the entrance into the oven room in the main Auschwitz camp

My 2005 photo of the suitcases on display at Auschwitz

My 2005 photo of suitcases on display at Auschwitz main camp

The biggest mistake, that the Nazis ever made, was to allow 10,000 Jewish children to travel to Great Britain, before they started gassing the rest of the Jews in Germany and Poland.

Now those children are all grown up, and they are making a big effort to teach today’s British students about Auschwitz, the largest death complex in the Holocaust.

You can read about the latest student trip at http://coventryobserver.co.uk/news/feature-sobering-day-remembering-fallen-auschwitz/

The headline of the article is

A sobering day remembering the fallen in Auschwitz

The fallen? This expression usually refers to soldiers who have fallen in a war. In this news article, the fallen are the Jews, who fought the good fight, but were Holocausted by the evil Nazis.

The following quote is from the article:

Begin quote
Prior to arrival [at Auschwitz], [Jewish] prisoners were shown images of a ‘swimming pool’ [at Auschwitz] with green grass, flowers and beautiful countryside in the background – a lie which clearly worked.

Auschwitz

Little did they know this swimming pool’s only purpose was to extinguish any fires that broke out – and lying directly next to the ‘pool’ was endless amounts of fencing, barbed wire and lookout bases to stop any prisoners escaping.

Pictures of prisoners that were killed are plastered over the walls – some lucky enough to live a couple of months, others days, the majority just hours.

A huge chamber of shoes, pans, glasses, possessions dominate my vision – it’s shocking, jaw-dropping.

I could tell some students were incredibly hesitant to enter one of the gas chambers, a place where thousands of innocent people were killed.

Chillingly, it took the Germans two days to kill the first innocent group due to a lack of knowledge in knowing how much Zyklon B to add to the chamber.

From killing hundreds in days, the Germans tweaked the quantity of Zyklon B pellets used and could now kill thousands in minutes.

We entered, and you felt an incredible sense of what those entering the chamber would’ve felt – though obviously nowhere near as terrifying or shocking.

A concrete bunker it was, just a room with plain concrete walls, a plain concrete ceiling and very claustrophobic.

For me, though, the most poignant moment came when strolling past some old ruins – that turned out to be another gas chamber.

End quote

Note that the first thing, that the students are taught, is the swimming pool lie. Auschwitz was allegedly a death camp! What kind of a death camp has a swimming pool! Unmöglich!

1996 photo of the swimming pool in the main camp

1996 photo of the swimming pool in the main Auschwitz camp

My 2005 photo of the location of swimming pool

My 2005 photo shows repair work being done on the swimming pool

In the photo above, the building on the right is Block 6, one of the barracks buildings where Jews lived in the camp. How cruel it was, for the Nazis to house Jews in a building where they could look out the window and see a nice swimming pool, but they were forbidden to swim in it!

According to the news story, the swimming pool was only for putting out fires!

Pity the poor Jew who tried to start a fire at Auschwitz.  The Nazis had this covered: a swimming pool, with a diving board, ready to put out any fire.  Besides that, the buildings in the Auschwitz main camp, where the swimming pool was located, were all brick buildings, not easily burned to the ground!

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

Begin quote

I could tell some students were incredibly hesitant to enter one of the gas chambers, a place where thousands of innocent people were killed.

Chillingly, it took the Germans two days to kill the first innocent group due to a lack of knowledge in knowing how much Zyklon B to add to the chamber.

From killing hundreds in days, the Germans tweaked the quantity of Zyklon B pellets used and could now kill thousands in minutes.

We entered, and you felt an incredible sense of what those entering the chamber would’ve felt – though obviously nowhere near as terrifying or shocking.

A concrete bunker it was, just a room with plain concrete walls, a plain concrete ceiling and very claustrophobic.

For me, though, the most poignant moment came when strolling past some old ruins – that turned out to be another gas chamber.

End quote

Another gas chamber that is in ruins now? Was this in the main camp, or at Aushwitz-Birkenau. As far as I know, there was only one gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, so the student must be talking about the ruins at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

My 2005 photo of the ruins of Krema II at Birkenau

My 2005 photo of the ruins of Krema II at Auschwitz-Birkenau

This final quote is the words of a student, as stated in the news article:

Begin quote

Standing on the platform, I look to my left and see an endless train line – running deep into the woods that helped the Germans disguise the true purpose of Auschwitz [Birkenau].

I look to my right and see the iconic building that shadows the death camp – looking forwards and backwards just fields, fields as far as the eye can see.

It’s near impossible to describe the day, the place, the feeling of standing in a spot where millions of people were once murdered.

There I was, strolling through a place that could be renovated into a nice town, a place of construction, but instead it was – and continues to be – the world’s most infamous town where millions of people were separated, murdered and used.

End quote

 

Holocaust survivor explains the word “ration” to 4th graders in America

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 7:50 am

I was a fourth grade student in American during World War II, and I knew what the word “ration” meant. Americans had “ration stamps” which we had to use to buy food. This was not a hardship for my family. We were limited in the amount of money that we had to buy food, but we had plenty of ration stamps.

Memories of my pitiful life during World War II came flooding back to me when I read this recent news article:

http://www.latimes.com/socal/coastline-pilot/news/tn-cpt-me-0422-holocaust-survivor-20160421-story.html

The following quote is from the news article cited above:

Begin quote

Families torn apart, the arduous and frightening life behind barbed wire, emaciated bodies and then the death march as Russian and Allied forces moved in.

[Holocaust survivor] Sam Silberberg spoke with precision as if the events were still fresh. He paused at certain points to let his audience [elementary school children] process what he was telling them.

Silberberg, 86, had the rapt attention of fourth-and fifth-graders at Top of the World Elementary this week as he shared what life was like in two Nazi concentration camps and his subsequent escape.

It was the first time [that] Silberberg, a Laguna Woods resident, had spoken to an elementary school audience, and so he needed to tailor his content.

But in a way it was fitting that he talked to this age group, since Silberberg was 10 and living in Poland when the Germans entered the country in 1939, intent on cleansing the land of Jews.

[…]

Curious students occasionally asked Silberberg to explain certain terms, such as “ration.” Silberberg also involved students by asking them if they understood specific words.

[…]

The Nazis shipped Silberberg and his father together to a camp called Blechhammer in present-day Poland. The Germans assigned each prisoner a number, a striped uniform, a canister and sack that officers filled with each day’s food — a few slices of bread, margarine and cup of “watery” soup, according to Silberberg.

Handcuffed prisoners walked to their work assignments. Silberberg assisted a welder piecing together beams.

End quote

I am only vaguely familiar with the place called Blechhammer, so I had to look it up on the internet, where I found the following information at https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Blechhammer.html

Begin quote
Blechhammer was established in April 1942 near Kozle, a town 18.5 miles (30 km) west of Gliwice, Poland. Blechhammer was initally a labor camp for Jews. The original 350 prisoners built a synthetic gasoline plant for the Oberschlesische Hydriewerke (Upper Silesia Hydrogenation Works). When 120 prisoners contracted typhus, they were transferred to Auschwitz, where they were killed. That June the remaining prisoners were transferred to a new and larger camp that had been built nearby.

The camp was populated primarily by Jews from Upper Silesia, however, among the 5,500 prisoners were people from 15 different countries. They were housed in wooden barracks under appalling conditions, with no toilet or washing facilities. Some 200 female Jewish prisoners were put into a separate section of the camp. Hunger and disease were rife, especially diarrhea and tuberculosis. A crematorium was built, in which were cremated the bodies of 1,500 prisoners who had died from “natural” causes or had been killed.

End quote

Excuse me; I don’t think that 4th graders in America should be subjected to this kind of abuse. They are sitting there, looking at their iPhone, or taking selfies of themselves, thinking about the lavish dinner that they will be having tonight.  What do they care about some old man who had to eat “watery soup” seventy years ago?

If any of the students were actually listening, as this old man spoke, did any of them wonder why he had to wear handcuffs as he walked to his work assignments.  Maybe the teacher explained to the students that prisoners in America sometimes worked in a chain gang:  http://www.dictionary.com/browse/chain-gang

Did the teacher explain to the students, in advance, that the Jews were locked up because of their propensity to lie, steal and cheat? There was a war going on, and the Nazis did not want the Jews to help the enemy.