Scrapbookpages Blog

May 20, 2017

Sybille Steinbacher’s account of the liberation of Dachau

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 4:58 pm

One of the readers of my blog mentioned Sybille Steinbacher’s account of the libertation of Dachau.

I wrote about Steinbacher on my website years ago.  The following information is from my scrapbookpages.com website:

According to Sybille Steinbacher, who wrote a book entitled “Dachau: The Town and the Concentration Camp,” the US Army commandant of the town, after the liberation, spoke angrily to the 30 Dachauers on the day that they were brought to see the Dachau concentration camp. He told them, “As punishment for the brutality that the town tolerated next door to it, it should be sacked and turned into ashes!”

The town priest, Father Friedrich Pfanzelt, who was among the visitors, pleaded with the Americans not to destroy the town. In a series of articles in 1981, a Dachau newspaper named the Dachauer Nachrichten wrote about how the priest saved the town: “On his knees, the prelate pleaded for mercy for Dachau.”

According to Peter Wyden, author of “The Hitler Virus,” 90 percent of the residents of Dachau were Catholic. Regarding Father Pfanzelt, Wyden wrote: “Then, from the pulpit of his St. Jacob’s Church three days later, the priest set in motion Dachau’s great trauma, the protestation of innocence, the denial of guilt that would never leave the community.”

Of all people, Father Pfanzelt should have been aware of the atrocities committed inside the Dachau concentration camp. According to Wyden, “For years the SS had extended him the privilege of conducting Sunday services in the KZ. And he had reciprocated with many ingratiating letters (which Steinbacher found) and had taken pride in his cordial relations with most of the camp commandants.”

Father Pfanzelt died in 1958 without ever confirming or denying that he had saved the town from the wrath of the Americans.

 

Germany’s first Holocaust professor will give lectures at the former I.G. Farben headquarters

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — furtherglory @ 3:29 pm

Back when I was traveling to Holocaust sites, I wanted to see the I.G. Farben headquarters, where Jews had worked in factories. I was told that tourists were not allowed to get anywhere near this building. I was warned that I should not even say the word I.G. Farben because this place was so secret.

I. G. Farben factories at Monowitz

Now a Jewish professor will be giving lectures at the famous I.G. Farben factory, which tourists have not been allowed to see until now.

Jews working  in a factory at Monowitz

The following quote is from the news article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4523096/Germany-s-Holocaust-professor-begins-work.html

Begin quote

A female professor took up her appointment at a prestigious German university this week as the country’s first academic to teach the Nazi Holocaust to students.

Some lectures by historian Sybille Steinbacher will be given in the former HQ of the I.G. Farben company which in wartime made the poison gas used to massacre Jews in their millions.

Professor Steinbacher’s appointment by the Goethe University and the Frankfurt Fritz Bauer Institute was described as ‘a milestone on the way to a better understanding of the Nazi crimes and their impact on history into the present’ by Hesse state science Minister Boris Rhein.

End quote

So the I.G. Farben company was making the Zyklon-B gas that was used to kill the Jews. They were not trying to make an atomic bomb as some people claimed.

Auschwitz III, aka Monowitz, was established in 1942 at the site of the chemical factories of IG Farbenindustrie near the small village of Monowitz, which was located four kilometers from the town of Auschwitz. The IG Farben company had independently selected this location around the same time that Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler decided, in April 1940, to locate a new concentration camp in the town of Auschwitz. The most important factory at Monowitz was the Buna Werke, which was owned by the IG Farben company.

Of the three Nazi concentration camps located near the town of Auschwitz, the Auschwitz III camp was the most important to the Nazis because of its factories which were essential to the German war effort. The Monowitz industrial complex was built by Auschwitz inmates, beginning in April 1941. Initially, the workers walked from the Auschwitz main camp to the building site, a distance of seven kilometers.

Max Faust is one of the men that inspected Monowitz along with Heinrich Himmler

The decision to build chemical factories at Auschwitz transformed both the camp and the town. On February 2, 1941, Herman Göring ordered the Jews in the town to be relocated to a ghetto, and German civilians moved into their former homes.

Auschwitz quickly went from a primitive Jewish town of 12,000 inhabitants to a modern German town of 40,000 people which included an influx of German engineers and their families. Both the main Auschwitz camp and the Birkenau camp were expanded in order to provide workers for the factories. Before Monowitz became a separate camp with barracks buildings, the prisoners had to walk from the other camps to the factories.

On July 17 and 18, 1942, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler made a visit to the Auschwitz complex. The photo directly above shows Himmler talking with German engineer Max Faust about plans for factories at Monowitz, the Auschwitz III camp.

 

The Nathan Rappaport Memorial to Heroes of Warsaw Ghetto is in the news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 12:30 pm

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

http://forward.com/culture/372376/one-author-two-radically-different-holocaust-stories/he

Begin quote

[Victor] Ripp’s journey takes him eastward and further into the past. Rapoport’s famous Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, in Warsaw, Poland, strikes him as grandiose, while Auschwitz knocks him into a “stupefied trance.” In Grodno, his father’s birthplace, he learns that his Ripp relatives were more prosperous than he had imagined.

End quote

When I went to Poland in 1998, my tour guide told me that I absolutely had to see the Rapoport Memorial in Warsaw.

Front of Rappaport Memorial

Back side of Rappaport Memorial

The date that the Nazis chose to destroy the Warsaw Ghetto was on Passover, April 19, 1943.

The leader of the Jewish resistance movement, Mordechai Anielewicz, was determined not to give up without a fight. By this time, the Jews in the Warsaw  Ghetto thought that the daily trains to Treblinka were not transporting the Jews to resettlement camps in the East, as the Nazis claimed, but were taking them to a death camp to be killed in gas chambers.

It was because the ghetto residents began refusing to get on the trains that the Nazis decided to liquidate the Warsaw ghetto.

Ukrainian and Latvian SS soldiers marched into the ghetto on April 19, 1943, entering at the northern border of the Ghetto on Zamenhofa street. It was not until May 16 that the SS was able to defeat the handful of resistors, who lasted longer than the whole Polish army when the Germans and the Russians jointly invaded Poland in September 1939.

On April 19, 1988, the 45th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, a Memory Lane was marked out through the former Ghetto. The route starts at the corner of ul. Anielewicza and ul. Zamenhofa where a plaque tells you that this was the site of the former Ghetto.

The buildings were severely damaged during the fighting, and the Ghetto was torn down. Jewish prisoners were sent to Warsaw from the Auschwitz death camp to clear the ruins of the Ghetto.

One of the stops on Memory Lane is the monument pictured at the top of this page, which honors the Jewish resistance fighters; it is the work of sculptor Nathan Rappaport and is sometimes referred to as the Nathan Rappaport Memorial. It is located on ul. Zamenhofa, the street where the fighting began in the Warsaw uprising.

In the photo at the top of this page, the front of the monument is shown. It depicts several of the resistance fighters with Anielewicz in the front holding a hand grenade in his hand. At the start of the fight, a few hand grenades were virtually the only weapons that the Jews had. After they killed a few SS soldiers and the others retreated, the resistance fighters took the weapons from the hands of the dead and continued the fight the next day when the Nazis returned.

The second photo above shows the back side of the monument. It depicts a line of Jews marching to their death in a concentration camp. In the courtyard where this monument is located, and at many other places along the route of Memory Lane, are black marble stones like gravestones in a symbolic cemetery, honoring those who died in the ghetto and in the extermination camps.