Scrapbookpages Blog

May 10, 2016

free online course that teaches about the Holocaust from the Jewish perspective

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 5:38 pm

You can read about a new online history course that teaches about the Holocaust: https://www.coursera.org/learn/holocaust-introduction-1/

The following quote is from the website, cited above:

Begin quote

This free online course was produced jointly by Tel Aviv University and Yad Vashem – the World Center for Holocaust Research. The course tracks the history of the Holocaust and has two parts. “The Holocaust – An Introduction (I): Nazi Germany: Ideology, The Jews and the World” is the first of the two courses and covers the following themes in its three weeks:

Week 1

From Hatred to Core Ideology; From Democracy to a Totalitarian State; Nazi Germany and the Jews

Course Introduction trailer
Introduction:
Why the Jews?
Nazi Antisemitism
Gleichschaltung
Life in Nazi Germany
Jewish Life in Nazi Germany
1938 – A Major Turning Point

End quote

Gleichshaltung was a new word made up by the Nazis. I will try to explain it to you:

Building in the town of Dachau

Buildings in the town of Dachau

By March 1933, the Nazis had taken over every town in Germany, including the town of Dachau.  The building on the left in the photo above is where the Nazis raised their flag on March 9, 1933, after they took over the town of Dachau.

An important policy of the Nazi party in Germany was called Gleichschaltung, a term that was coined in 1933, to mean that all German culture, religious practice, politics, and daily life should conform with Nazi ideology. This policy meant total control of thought, belief, and practice, and it was used to systematically eradicate all anti-Nazi elements, after Hitler came to power in January 1933.

Under the Gleichschaltung policy, every member of the Nazi party was given a second job, in addition to his regular job.

Heinrich Himmler was given a second job as the supervisor of the German prisons.  On his first visit to the Munich prison, Himmler noted that the prison was overcrowded because Communists had been rounded up after the fire in the German Reichstag on February 27, 1933 and sent to “wild camps” or to regular prisons, including the Munich prison.

On March 22, 1933, Heinrich Himmler opened the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany at an old factory just outside of the town of Dachau. The first prisoners were 200 Communists who had been taken into “protective custody” after the burning of the Reichstag on the night of February 27, 1933; the justification for the imprisonment of the Communists was that they were “enemies of the state.”

Here is a little history of Germany to put everything into context:

Following World War I, Germany became a democratic Republic with a Constitution based on the American Constitution. After Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933, a new congressional election was required to confirm his appointment.

In the election which took place on March 5, 1933, the Nazis gained enough seats in the Reichstag (German Congress) so that, with the help of other conservative parties, they were able to pass legislation on March 7th, which ended state’s rights in Germany. This legislation allowed Hitler to unite Germany for the first time into “ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer” (one people, one empire, one leader).

After this legislation was put into effect on March 9, 1933, all the German states were now controlled by the federal government, under the rule of the Nazis; the governors of each state and all the government positions of any importance were now appointed by the Nazis, and of course, the appointees were loyal members of the Nazi party.

The Nazi term for this new unity among the German people was Gleichschaltung; it meant that everyone was on the same page with all the people pulling together, united in their beliefs and objectives.

After March 9, 1933, the former German states, such as Prussia and Bavaria, no longer had state’s rights and the German people were now ruled by one government and one leader for the first time ever in the history of the German people.

One reason that the Nazis wanted to bring all the German states under their central control was to make sure that Bavaria would never again be taken over by the Communists, which was what happened on November 7, 1918 when Jewish leader Kurt Eisner led a revolution, forced the King of Bavaria to resign, and then set up a Communist Republic in Bavaria.

So, long story short, Gleichschaltung was the start of Germany for the Germans, not for the Jews. The Jews thought that it was their right to live in any country in the world, and to control that country for their benefit. The Jews have now achieved that goal, and Hitler is now the worst person who ever lived on this earth.

 

What Jewish children are taught about the Holocaust

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: — furtherglory @ 10:20 am

Today I read a news article, which really shocked me:  http://atlantajewishtimes.com/2016/05/never-forget-still/

The article is about what Jewish children are taught today, regarding the Holocaust.

For example, this quote is from the news article, cited above:

Begin quote

Majdanek was much more than a death camp. The couple who ran it invented murderous techniques such as dragging a body behind a motorcycle and skinning women to create art canvases.

I still could not connect with the stories we were told, but it all became real when we were taken to the mountain of ashes. Those were Jews. Those were victims. Those were the tortured. Those ashes were once human beings. The relatively small mound of dust and bones represented countless human beings — unidentified and unclaimed.

I could not and still cannot fathom how those ashes used to have arms, legs and heartbeats. Right before we went back to the buses, I looked down and saw scattered bones. I finally felt the devastation of the Shoah.

End quote

What was the name of the couple who ran the Majdanek camp? I have never heard that story.

Where are the “art canvases” that were created, at Majdanek by using the skin of women? I have never seen them.

I have an entire section about Majdanek on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Majdanek/index.html

Start with this page about Majdanek:

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Majdanek/Majdanek.html

One thing about the Majdanek memorial site that this young Jewish girl completely misunderstood was the Mausoleum. I wrote about it on this page of my website:

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Majdanek/Majdanek06.html

The Mausoleum at Majdanek Photo credit: Simon Robertson

The Mausoleum at Majdanek Photo credit: Simon Robertson

The following quote is from my scrapbookpages.com website:

Begin quote

A gigantic, circular Mausoleum at the Majdanek Memorial Site stands at the end of the former “black path” to the crematorium, a walkway that is now called the Road of Homage in English. The structure was designed by architect and sculptor Wiktor Tolkin, the same man who designed the Monument of Struggle and Martyrdom at the other end of the walkway, near the street.

The dome of the Mausoleum is pockmarked, as though it had suffered bomb damage in the war. The English translation of the inscription on the frieze of the dome reads “Let our fate be a warning to you.”

Under the dome is a huge circular urn, shaped like a saucer, which contains the ashes of some of the victims at Majdanek. Before visiting Majdanek, I had heard about the ashes and wondered what kept them from blowing away in the wind. The answer is that the ashes were recovered from a compost pile in the camp, where they had been mixed with dirt and garden refuse and composted in preparation for spreading on the vegetable garden in the camp.

The material under the dome looks like compacted dirt, the color of adobe. There are a few bone fragments visible. To the left, in front of the steps, are four containers to hold eternal flames for special ceremonies.

End quote

Let’s get back to the article written by the young Jews girl. The following quote is from the article:

Begin quote

I stepped on each plank of wood on the train track [at Auschwitz-Birkenau]. The planks seemed to never end, but when I reached the camp [entrance] gate, I sighed. I knew I could walk out and return to my reality, but for the deported men, women and children, Birkenau was their reality.

The most common mode of mass killing in the Holocaust was the gas chamber. I learned about the gas chambers in history classes at home, but stepping inside one [in the main Auschwitz camp] was nothing like the textbooks. There were smudges of blue on the floor and walls from the Zyklon B poison tablets. The walls had scratch marks from people trying to pull themselves up for a last gulp of air.

train tracks going into the Auschwitz-Birkeanu camp

My 2005 photo of the train tracks going into the Auschwitz-Birkeanu camp

With the exception of one young girl shielded by a larger woman, no one survived the gas chambers. Jews went into showers thinking they were gas chambers, and they went into gas chambers thinking they were showers. Life for them was one giant question mark.

I looked at my shoes and thought to myself how hundreds and thousands of bodies were beneath my feet. Death was right below me. And it was one of the smallest gas chambers: It killed only 700 people a day.

End quote

“hundreds of bodies were beneath [her] feet”?

Are visitors to Auschwitz told today, that the bodies of Jews who were gassed, are buried beneath the alleged gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp?

My 2005 photo of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

My 2005 photo of the gas chamber in Auschwitz camp

 

 

90-year-old American war veteran recalls the liberation of Mauthausen

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:08 am

The following quote is from a news article which you can read in full at https://www.rt.com/news/342485-war-love-aviation-regiment/

Begin quote

William Phelps wore a first sergeant’s stripes at the unlikely age of 19 as a World War II tank gunner, heard Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s unvarnished opinions over lunch one day and made the cover of Yank magazine in 1945 in a memorable photo, patching his trousers with a sewing machine in front of a tank.

But his most important day in Europe was in liberating an Austrian extermination camp.

Outside Linz, Phelps and two dozen soldiers entering the Mauthausen concentration camp 71 years ago last week were stunned at the sight of dead, dying and emaciated prisoners. The Americans saw German guards in the distance running for their lives, prisoners killing some of them with rocks and clubs.

“I’ll tell you, it’s really tough for me to describe because when you come into something like that, you haven’t seen a hundred people naked and stacked up, shriveled up all over the place, and it was unbelievable for me and most of the troops that were there,” said Phelps, 90, of San Antonio.

End quote

The liberation of Mauthausenn was re-enacteed a day later

The liberation of Mauthausenn was re-enacted a day later

The photograph above was taken on May 6, 1945, the day after the official liberation of the Mauthausen main camp. It shows prisoners surrounding an M8 Greyhound armored car.

According to Pierre Serge Choumoff, the liberation of Mauthausen, as shown in the photo above, was reenacted for photographers at the request of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Nazi eagle over the gate had already been removed by the prisoners and a banner, written in Spanish, had been put up by the Spanish political prisoners. The English translation reads “The Spanish Anti-Fascists Salute the Liberating Forces.”

These prisoners were Spanish Republicans who had fought against General Francisco Franco’s Fascist forces in the Spanish Civil War and had escaped to France when the Republicans lost the war. The Spanish Republicans were interned by the French and later, when the Germans defeated France in 1940, they were incarcerated as political prisoners because they were opposed to the Nazis. Germany had fought on the side of Franco in the Spanish Civil War, which was a war between the Fascists and the Communists. For the anti-Fascist Spanish Republicans, Mauthausen has the same significance as Auschwitz does for the Jews.

The news article continues with the following quote:

“We’d seen dead Germans because that’s what we were paid to do. We had to kill them or they had to kill us. But you didn’t have a stack of a hundred people, 200 people, 300 that had been laying there for days.”

As the week began, Phelps, 90, of San Antonio was back in Europe, where he visited the Auschwitz concentration camp as part of a tour marking the Holocaust.

He did not go to Mauthausen, a facility designed to be the last stop for criminals, political prisoners and religious conscientious objectors but that later also housed accused communists, Jews and defeated refugees of the Spanish Republic who had fought Gen. Francisco Franco.

End quote

Here is what really happened when the Mauthausen camp was liberated.

On May 5, 1945, the date usually given for the official liberation of the Mauthausen main concentration camp, a platoon of 23 men from the 11th Armored Division of the US Third Army, led by Staff Sgt. Albert J. Kosiek, arrived at the main camp near the town of Mauthausen. They were guided there by Louis Haefliger, a Red Cross representative in the camp, and two German soldiers, after first liberating the Gusen sub-camp, 6 kilometers to the west.

Haefliger had taken it upon himself to go out and find American soldiers fighting in the area. He brought them first to the Gusen sub-camp because of the rumors that Hitler had instructed Ernst Kaltenbrunner to give the order to kill all the prisoners by blowing them up in the underground tunnels of the munitions factories there.

After the prisoners in the Gusen sub-camp were released by the American liberators, fighting broke out among the inmates and over 500 of the prisoners were brutally killed by their fellow inmates, according to Sgt. Kosiek.

The platoon of American soldiers was unable to control the released prisoners, so they left the Gusen camp and proceeded to the main camp, where the Communist prisoners were already organized into an International Committee that was ready to take control.

According to Manuel Razola and Mariano Constante, two Spanish inmates at Mauthausen who wrote a book entitled “Triangle Blue,” in the last days of the war, the prisoners had formed an International Committee, which took over the camp as soon as the American liberators arrived on May 5, 1945.

Razola and Constante are quoted by Christian Bernadac in his book entitled “The 186 Steps.” According to their story, “The international committee had taken the decision to execute the most criminal SS and common-law elements.” On the night that the camp was liberated, the international committee killed 8 of the Kapos in the camp and 6 of the SS officers.