Scrapbookpages Blog

April 25, 2017

Jan Demjanjuk is dead but not gone — he is back in the news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 5:57 pm

John Demjanjuk is shown on the right in the photo above

The two letters J in Demjanjuk’s name are pronounced like the letter Y in English words. So his name, when properly pronounced, sounds like Demyanyuk.

You can read the latest news about John Demjanjuk in this newspaper article: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/11/israeli_filmmaker_doesnt_believe_john_demjanjuk.html

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

U.S. prosecutors first went after Demjanjuk in 1977, when they accused him of lying about his wartime past to get into the United States, and they sought his deportation. In 1986, he was charged in Israel as being “Ivan the Terrible,” a Ukrainian guard who tortured Jews at the Treblinka death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

He was convicted and sentenced to death, but years later, in 1993, Israel’s Supreme Court overturned the conviction, based on new information obtained after the fall of the Soviet Union. The court, however, said the Nazis had trained him as a guard and that he served at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Demjanjuk returned to the United States, and a judge re-instated his citizenship. In 1999, federal prosecutors again sought his deportation. They said Demjanjuk worked at Sobibor and two other camps. They based their case on seven wartime documents that they said tied Demjanjuk to the Nazis.

U.S. District Judge Paul Matia ruled in 2002 that Demjanjuk and other Nazi guards led Jews off trains at Sobibor, disrobed them and led them to the gas chambers. An immigration judge later ordered Demjanjuk deported, but no country initially would take him.

That changed in 2009, when German prosecutors sought to charge him with accessory in the deaths of 28,000 in Sobibor. He eventually was taken to Germany, despite his family’s protests over his poor health. He was convicted in 2011. His case was on appeal when he died.

But his family refused to give up. His attorneys said federal prosecutors withheld an FBI document that questioned the legitimacy of a Nazi guard pass, which judges have said places Demjanjuk in Nazi service. Polster, the federal judge whom Bloch interviewed, ruled the FBI document was based on speculation and mistaken beliefs.

End quote

Sobibor is one of the few Holocaust camps that I have never visited. When I did some research on Sobibor with the intention of going there, I learned that it was a dangerous place, way out in the boondocks, where thieves were waiting to kill American tourists and take all their money.

Fortunately Alan Collins went there and took photos which he allowed me to use on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Sobibor/Tour01.html

Two monuments at Sobibor dedicated to the prisoners who were killed there

Large monument with large pile of ashes in the background

In the photo immediately above, the red stone sculpture represents a woman, looking up at the sky, holding a small child in her arms. In the background can be seen the huge mound of ashes that is located in the former Camp III. These are the ashes of the Jews who were allegedly gassed and burned at Sobibor.

During World War II, and for years afterward, the Sobibor camp was virtually unknown. William Shirer did not even mention it in his monumental 1147-page book entitled “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” It was not until the release of a 1987 TV movie, “Escape from Sobibor,” based on a book with the same name, that the public knew of this remote spot where thousands of Jews lost their lives. The movie tells the story of the revolt during which around 300 prisoners escaped; no more than 50 of them survived to the end of the war.

According to an article in the Liverpool Daily Post, a prisoner named Leon Feldhendler had been formulating plans for an escape for many months but it wasn’t until the arrival in Sobibor of a transport of Soviet prisoners of war, among them Red Army Officer Alexander ‘Sasha’ Pechersky, that the plan of action really began to take shape.

Initially Feldhendler and his conspirators had thought of poisoning the camp guards and making their escape but the guards discovered the poison and shot 5 prisoners in reprisal. Another idea, to set fire to the camp and escape in the confusion, had to be abandoned when the Germans planted mines around the camp perimeter.

Feldhendler met with Pechersky and with the aid of another man, Solomon Leitman, who acted as the interpreter, became Pechersky’s main collaborator in the plot. With his military experience, the former Red Army Lieutenant quickly assumed the leadership of the escape plan.

The exact number of Jews who were murdered at Sobibor is unknown since the bodies were burned on pyres and the train records were destroyed. Estimates range from 170,000 to 250,000 deaths in the short time that Sobibor was in operation.

According to Dutch historian Johannes Houwink ten Cate, the transportation list of the Jews sent on 19 trains to Sobibor from the transit camp at Westerbork in the Netherlands contains the names and place of birth of the 34,000 Dutch Jews, but the names of the Jews sent from other countries to Sobibor are unknown. Approximately 33,000 Dutch Jews were killed in the gas chambers at Sobibor and 1,000 were chosen as workers at Sobibor, or to be sent to a nearby labor camp. Only 19 Dutch Jews survived.

In 1999, Jules Schelvis, the sole survivor of a transport of Dutch Jews from Westerbork on June 1, 1943, founded Stichting Sobibor. The foundation’s goal is to keep the memory of the Sobibor camp alive.

The Donald gives a speech and mispronounces nearly every word

Filed under: Dachau, Holocaust, Trump, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:13 am

Trump at Holocaust remembrance — Photo credit New York Times

In the past, I have written several blog posts about Donald Trump including this one which you can read at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/is-donald-trump-the-new-hitler/

This morning, I listened to President Trump give a speech, and I was shocked to hear him mispronounce so many well-known words, regarding the Holocaust.

For example, Trump mispronounced the word Nazi. He said Nozzy instead of Not-see.

Then he mispronounced the name of the most famous person who ever claimed to be a Holocaust survivor, but wasn’t: Elie Wiesel.

Just before he died, Wiesel confessed that he was never in a concentration camp. He was probably hiding out in his childhood home in Hungary, which I wrote about in this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/the-childhood-home-of-elie-the-wiesel/

Trump mispronounced Wiesel’s first name as Elly, instead of E-lee.  The way that Trump pronounced “Elly”, it rhymed with Smelly and Jelly.   He mispronounced the word Wiesel as Weasel, instead of Vee-zel.

Near the end of his speech, President Trump told the story of Gerda Klein who claimed that she had been held by the Nazis in a prison in Poland for 3 years. Trump did not give the name of the prison, so that we could look it up.

Gerda claimed that she was liberated from Dachau by American soldiers. That day was Gerda’s 21st birthday and she weighed 68 pounds, according to the story told by Trump.

I have written extensively on my scrapbookpages.com website about the liberation of the Dachau camp: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/LiberationDay4.html

I wrote my website many years ago — in 1998, and at that time, I had never heard the story of Gerda Klein.  So I do not believe her story. Trump should have given some proof of this story.

It is strange that I never heard about Gerda Wiessmann when I was studying the liberation of Dachau.

I blogged about Gerda before on the link below.

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/holocaust-survivor-awarded-medal-of-freedom/

Did the Nazis have “transit camps” or only “death camps”?

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 8:01 am

One of the readers of my blog wrote in a comment that the Nazis did not have “transit camps” where Jews were sent instead of being sent to a “death camp”.

Here are the exact words in the comment:

“I will wonder why deniers keep calling camps “transit camps” when they can’t prove anyone was ever transited through them.”

This is an excellent question. I did a search of all my blog posts and found that there were many camps which the Nazis referred to as “durchgang” camps. This was their word for a transit camp.

Prisoners stayed in a “durchgang camp” for only a day or two before being sent to a permanent camp.

I have written about these “durchgang camps” on these blog posts:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/was-chelmno-a-transit-camp-or-an-extermination-camp/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/was-treblinka-really-a-transit-camp/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/the-story-of-treblinka-transit-camp-or-extermination-center/