Scrapbookpages Blog

August 13, 2016

Anniversary of the day the Berlin wall was built

Filed under: Germany — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 4:55 pm

August 13th is the anniversary of the day that the wall was built in Berlin in 1961.

My photo of the last piece of the wall before it was torn down

My 1989 photo of the last piece of the wall before it was torn down

The following quote is from a news article which you can read in full at

Begin quote

“No one has the intention of building a wall,” said Walter Ulbricht, head of the State Council of East Germany, at an international press conference in East Berlin on June 15, 1961. Less than two months later, at dawn on August 13, construction workers began stretching barbed wire across the roads to Berlin’s western sectors. It was a fateful day for the German people. For 28 years, the Berlin Wall would separate the city into east and west.

Berliners were in shock. “A concentration camp barrier” has been stretched through the center of Berlin, said then mayor – and later chancellor – Willy Brandt a few hours later in front of the city’s parliament. The Berlin Wall would remain for exactly 10,315 days, becoming a symbol of the Cold War and dividing the world into two hostile blocs: the capitalist West and the communist East. More than 250 people lost their lives trying to cross the barrier.

The Berlin Wall would become a symbol that survived generations

Many of the people who fled the East in 1961 were much-needed youth: From the start of the year, every second person who made the move was under 25.

Wirtschaftswunder – an economic miracle

German youth in 1961 were born in the midst of war and destruction, in bombed-out cities or out in the country among billeted soldiers and refugees. Some went hungry as infants; many never got to know their fathers. Their parents would prefer to forget those dark days.

End quote

Auschwitz was the “crossroad” of Europe

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 10:25 am

Today I am answering a comment on my blog with this new blog post.

This is the comment, made by a new reader of my blog:

Begin quote

what happened to all the guys that didn’t get registered in the [Auschwitz] camp. cause as far as i know we have no records from trains leaving auschwitz for some other destinations with these people.
we have plenty of entry for trains coming but surprisingly no [none] for the next journey!! don’t tell me these people evaporate just like smoke or that some magical dwarf shouted nach & nebel and they all disappeared.
and just as long as you denier aren’t able to answer that question, you are to be the liars, the hoax maker.and the testimonies, despite errors and some weirdness still reflect an image of the reality.

End quote from comment

Here is what really happened:

Shown below is a a map of the railroad lines leading to Auschwitz, the Cross Roads of Europe.


When railroad lines were built in the 19th century, the little town of Auschwitz, at the junction of three empires, became the crossroads of Europe. There were 44 train lines coming into Auschwitz, making it at one time a larger railroad hub than Penn Station in New York City.

Jews arrived on trains

Jews arriving on a train at Auschwitz-Birkenau

It was because Auschwitz was such an important railroad junction that a camp for migrant workers was built in a suburb of the town in 1916; seasonal farm workers from all over Europe were sent from Auschwitz to the large German estates. The migrant worker camp, with its beautiful brick barracks buildings, was the place that eventually became the Auschwitz I concentration camp.

The plan to establish a concentration camp at Auschwitz was first announced by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler on April 27, 1940.

Konzentrationslager Auschwitz, the main camp, was originally opened on June 14, 1940, as just another concentration camp, in the former Polish military garrison in Zazole, a district of the town of Auschwitz.

Thirty German criminals, who were prisoners in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, were brought to Auschwitz in May 1940 to convert the garrison into a prison camp.

Throughout its existence, the Nazis called Auschwitz a concentration camp, not an extermination camp nor Vernichtungslager. The term “extermination camp” was coined by the Allies and initially, it applied to all the Nazi camps.

At first, the Auschwitz main camp, known as the Stammlager, was only a camp for Polish political prisoners, including some Jews, and also German common criminals, who assisted the Nazis in supervising the other prisoners.

The first transport to the main Auschwitz camp consisted of 728 Polish inmates of the Gestapo prison at Tarnow, Poland. They were mostly university students, including a few Jews, who had joined the Polish Resistance.

The Polish Army never surrendered to the Germans and no Armistice was ever signed. The Poles continued to fight during World War II, but as insurgents or illegal combatants, not as soldiers on the battlefield. When captured, the Polish resistance fighters were sent to Auschwitz or other concentration camps such as Buchenwald and Dachau.

Among the first 728 prisoners who arrived at Auschwitz on June 14, 1940 was 18-year-old Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, who later became Poland ‘s foreign minister and a pioneer of German-Polish reconciliation.

The important point here is that Auschwitz was a railroad hub with many train lines coming into the town of Auschwitz. Prisoners who were brought to Auschwitz could be sent from there, by trains, to any place in Europe.