Scrapbookpages Blog

June 11, 2016

the Nazis issued dresses made out of potoato sacks to the Jewish girls at Birkenau

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 6:54 pm

Today, I read a news article which had the following quote:

Begin quote

As if the despicable experience of the ghetto weren’t enough, [Hilda] Mantelmacher and the others who were in line for slave labor [at Auschwitz-Birkenau] were told to disrobe.

“They took everything away from us,” she said, including their undergarments. “They gave us wooden shoes that caused blisters on my feet that felt like fire.”

The women were issued potato sacks for dresses.

End quote

Women at Birkenau wearing dresses after taking a shower

Women at Birkenau were issued cotton dresses after taking a shower

Note the photo above which shows women who have newly arrived at Auschwitz-Birkeanu. After taking a shower and having their heads shaved to eliminate any lice, that might spread typhus, the women have been issued cotton dresses to wear. Note that the cloth does not have a flower pattern, which indicates that they were not made from American feed sacks.

Few people today would admit to knowing anything about feed sack dresses because that would reveal their advanced age.  I was born in 1933, so I am familiar with feed sack dresses, but I have never heard anything about potato sack dresses. My family did not put potatoes in sacks to store them, and neither did anyone else, as far as I know.

In the old days in America, chicken feed was sold in sacks made of thick cotton, which had a flower pattern. Women used these sacks to make clothes for their little girls; one sack was enough to make one dress.

As far as I know, a potato crop in America was never stored in any kind of sack. The potatoes that were grown in a back yard garden were stored in a pile inside a shed in the back yard, not stored in sacks. Only in stores were potatoes put into sacks, as shown in the photo below.

sacks of potatoes

Potatoes in “potato sacks”

As far as I know, no one saved the sacks in which potatoes were stored when they were sold in a store. In my home town, no store sold potatoes because everyone grew their own potatoes in their back yard.

The following quote is also from the news article:

Begin quote

Because Auschwitz-Birkenau was a death camp, even those who were not immediately sent to the gas chambers would eventually learn of their fate.

One day [Dr.] Mengele announced to Mantelmacher and her fellow-inmates of “A House” that they would be going to the gas chambers the following day.

Through the intercession of a girl named Lydia, whom [Dr.] Mengele had admired for her attractiveness, “A House” was spared for one more day while the occupants of “B House” were sent to the gas chambers instead.

“The trucks came,” Matelmacher said, “and there was screaming and crying.”

Mantelmacher (now between 14 and 17 years of age), because she was so diminutive, initially didn’t qualify and would be sent to the gas chamber.

“He looked at me and said I was too little,” Mantelmacher said. “You can’t work. I started crying.”

Her friend Lydia told her to go to the back of the line and bite her lips to make them red and to pull her cheeks to give them a red glow. However, [Dr.] Mengele recognized her and was about to dismiss her to the gas chamber when Lydia came to her rescue.

“Look, she is a good worker,” Lydia told him as she lifted Mantelmacher’s potato sack dress. “She has good strong legs.”

In Hamburg, the work was to collect bricks from bombed out buildings for use in new structures. It appeared to Mantelmacher that the city’s residents went about their business oblivious to the slave labor.

“When the bombs came, we were so happy,” she said. “I prayed for the safety of the pilots.”

To Mantelmacher and her fellow-laborers, the bombings gave them joy, confidence and hope.

“If the Nazis win the war, none of us would be here,” she continued. “If I die from a bomb, somebody will survive.”

Nevertheless, there was always the overhanging threat that if a person did not work hard, she would be shot, beaten to death or sent to the gas chamber.

Mantelmacher was eventually sent to another camp, Bergen-Belsen, where Typhus and death were rampant. It was originally built to hold 10,000 inmates but by April 1945, that number had risen to 60,000.

“The dead were stacked up,” she said. “My job was to take away the dead.”

End quote

Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler had already opened a special section at the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp on July 8, 1944, where 1683 Hungarian Jews from Budapest were brought. The Jews in the Hungarian section were treated better than all the others at Bergen-Belsen. They received better food and medical care and were not required to work. They wore their own clothes, but were required to wear a yellow Star of David patch.

The Bergen-Belsen camp had different categories of prisoners, and the Hungarian Jews were in the category of Preferential Jews (Vorzugsjuden) because they were considered desirable for exchange purposes.

The first transport of 318 “exchange Jews” left the Bergen-Belsen Hungarian camp on August 18, 1944, bound for Switzerland. On August 20th, the trainload of Hungarian Jews arrived in Bregenz and then went on to St. Gallen the next day.

It seems to me that Mantelmacher was not very accurate in her speech to the school children.

10 Comments »

  1. When are they gonna start saying,they also wore barrels

    Comment by Tim — June 12, 2016 @ 8:27 am

    • You wrote: “When are they gonna start saying,they also wore barrels”

      I found this website which shows a man wearing a barrel. I did not find any Holocaust website which mentioned Jews wearing barrels in the camps.

      http://chiseler.org/post/55398919095/the-bankruptcy-barrel-a-historical-debate

      Comment by furtherglory — June 12, 2016 @ 1:06 pm

      • I remembered hearing long time back,illustrators would draw cartoons with someone wearing a barrel. They did it to hint that the person was broke. I made a joke to mama one time about the song,”coal miners daughter “. I was poking fun where Loretta Lynn talked about gettin shoes for the winter,cause her daddy sold a hog. Moma told me that’s about how that worked. Papa was a sharecropper. Momas family was 12 kids. After he got his share of the money for the cotton,papa would by the boys new pants and the girls new dresses. Moma got hers and mee maw put it on her to wear to school. Moma didn’t want to wear it. She smuggled her overall jumpers out with her that morning. She got half way to school and changed into them. She hid her dress in the brush by the RR tracks. She didn’t know the railroad company was burning off brush by the tracks that day. There went the brand new dress. Papa was a prison guard at night. He’d done left for work by the time mama got home from school. Mee maw told him about it when he got in the next morning. Papa took a switch to her. She said her ass was so sore she had trouble sittin for the next few days. I don’t recall her saying if the family had potato sack clothes,but clothes weren’t overly abundant for the kids. When I was growing up,we weren’t rich. Dad was in the Air Force and Moma had a job. We didn’t have top of the line,but we never wanted for anything . I guess that’s why I can’t fathom potato sack clothing. Who knows. They way people view fashion now days,potato sack clothing might be a hit

        Comment by Tim — June 12, 2016 @ 5:20 pm

  2. Listening to Hilda Mantelmacher’s presentation on YouTube, it soon became clear that she was reading from a script prepared by the holocaust industry. The narrative was a general one, quite similar to those we’ve all heard countless times before. All the “correct boxes were ticked-off”, as she ploughed-on relentlessly through her account – never deviating from the script at all.

    Hilda was introduced to the audience as a Czechoslovakian Jew – but there is no mention of which town she originally came from in that country. And neither is the name of the ghetto that she claims she was incarcerated in before being sent on to Auschwitz. In fact, by researching other websites, Hilda does not even seem to know her birthday or her age – which does seem rather curious!

    Dr. Mengele – of course – makes an obligatory appearance in her narrative, and quite naturally enough, he selected her for the gas chamber. But plucky old Hilda promptly went back to the end of the line and came around again for a second time, whereupon the diabolical Doctor recognised her, and said she was too diminutive in size for work, and thus – regretfully – she must be crammed inside a room with hundreds of others, and exterminated immediately by fumigation pellets and her body completely disappear from the face of the earth.

    Fortunately, providence intervened at that point, because Hilda’s friend ( someone with no name ) pulled up her potato-sack dress and said to the dynamic doctor; “Look, she’s got good strong legs for work”. And that – my good friends – is why Hilda is still with us to this very day, touring around the holo-circuit in America and informing anyone who is unlucky enough to hear all her un-corroborated drivel !

    Comment by Talbot — June 12, 2016 @ 7:13 am

    • I blogged about Dr. Mengele on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/dr-josef-mengele-dont-it-make-my-brown-eyes-blue/

      Comment by furtherglory — June 12, 2016 @ 7:38 am

      • The last three paragraphs of your account about Mengele are interesting.

        Quote;- ” Dr. Mengele escaped from Auschwitz before the camp was liberated by the army of the Soviet Union, and he took all of his research papers with him. These papers later fell into the hands of the Allies, but they have never been published. The results of Dr. Mengele’s experiments are currently being held in a vault in Israel. The testimony of some of the Jews, who were the subjects of his experiments or research, has been published, but not the results of Dr. Mengele’s experiments, nor his research papers on Jewish genetic conditions and diseases.

        Dr. Josef Mengele died on February 7, 1979 when he suffered a stroke while swimming at Bertioga beach in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was not until a couple of years after his death that survivors began to come forward with stories about the crimes that he had committed at Birkenau, and a massive manhunt was made to find him.

        But was anyone really trying to find Dr. Mengele? Not according to his son. As long as Dr. Mengele was not found and brought to trial, the survivors of Birkenau could make up stories without having to prove those stories. ”

        So, both Israel and the Allies maybe hiding some of Mengele’s research papers and are declining to publish them. Hmm! – that certainly speaks volumes; as does the rise to global notoriety of the previously little-known Auschwitz doctor, along with the lack of any serious attempt to trace him.

        Comment by Talbot — June 12, 2016 @ 9:37 am

        • How can they say they couldn’t find him or he was elusive. In 1980 São Paulo had a population of 12 million. Yes. A person can get lost in a city that big. At the same time,there’s that many more eyes and ears. If I was wanted,I’d get as far off the grid as possible. I damn sure ain’t gonna be going for a swim in the ocean. Even if no one in Brazil knew who he was,I don’t see where he’d take any chances “if he was ” a wanted man. I know I wouldn’t

          Comment by Tim — June 12, 2016 @ 10:29 am

          • You wrote: “How can they say they couldn’t find him or he was elusive.”

            No one was trying to find Dr. Mengele because he had done nothing wrong and there was no grounds to prosecute him. The only thing that Dr. Mengele was guilty of, was being too charming. I personally think that he was gay.

            Comment by furtherglory — June 12, 2016 @ 1:12 pm

            • Well his sexual orientation is own business. It’s not my thing,but I’m not gonna condem him for that. That was my point I was trying to make. History has him painted as a demon. History doesn’t “accuse the man”, they’ve played “judge,jury and exocutioner”. I still believe a person is entitled to defend themselves . He didn’t get that chance. My point was,if he did commit crimes,wouldn’t he want to fly below the radar? People miss that one “important” fact. People never look at what’s demonstrable. If people would stop with their “sheep mentality”,they might start asking what’s painfully obvious. All the rest is just BS obfuscation ,put out there so they’ll never figure out the truth. Like I said,if he was a criminal,why would he put himself right in the middle of 12 million pairs of eyes.

              Comment by Tim — June 12, 2016 @ 3:24 pm

  3. Kuhscheißeschöpfer is her real name

    Comment by shafarnullifidian — June 11, 2016 @ 7:42 pm


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