Scrapbookpages Blog

June 19, 2017

Jan Grabowski, the son of a Holocaust survivor, is in the news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — furtherglory @ 3:05 pm


Photo of dead prisoners taken by Jan Grabowski at the Mauthausen camp

You can read about Jan Grabowski in this recent news article:

The following quote is from the news article:

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Historians from the Polish Center for Holocaust Research have criticized the Polish League Against Defamation for publishing a letter signed by 134 scientists and others condemning Jan Grabowski’s works describing the participation of Poles in the crimes committed by the Germans during World War II.

Grabowski, the son of a Holocaust survivor, is a professor of history of the Holocaust at the University of Ottawa and the co-founder of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research.

Polish nationalists have been increasingly assertive in recent years in condemning suggestions that Poland was a perpetrator nation instead of a victim of Nazi occupation.

In a statement, the Polish League Against Defamation called it “disturbing” that Grabowski’s book “Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland” was honored in 2014 with an award from Yad Vashem, “with which the author remains in close contact.”

The book, published by the Indiana University Press, documents the involvement of Poles in finding and killing Jews during the Holocaust. It draws on materials from Polish, Jewish and German sources, and focuses on accounts of the fates of individual Jews.

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I wrote about Grabowski on my website:

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British Author David Wingeate Pike published a book entitled “Spaniards in the Holocaust: Mauthausen, the Horror on the Danube” in 2000, in which he told the story of the Spanish Republicans in Mauthausen. He got much of his information from Juan de Diego, who was a Kapo in the Mauthausen camp. Diego was one of the privileged block leaders in Mauthausen; in this capacity, he had the opportunity to hide some of the incriminating evidence of atrocities from being destroyed by the German guards before they left the camp in the last week of the war.

According to Pike, 90% of the Spanish Republicans, who had previously been interned in France, were sent to Mauthausen in 1940 and 1941. Records saved by the Spanish survivors show that 23,400 Spanish prisoners were registered at Mauthausen and its subcamps and that 16,310 of them died, leaving around 9,200 survivors.

The majority of the Spanish prisoners at Mauthausen worked in the quarries, but some had administrative jobs. Among the later group were Antonio Garcia Alonso and Francesco Boix Campo, according to Pike, who wrote that Boix was sent to Mauthausen on January 27, 1941. Because of his facility with German, Boix initially worked as a translator in the camp. Garcia arrived in Mauthausen on April 7, 1941. Because he was a trained photographer, Garcia was assigned to work in the camp’s photo lab, Erkennungsdienst.

The SS photographer Kornacz was the only one who took photographs, but he employed inmates to handle the developing, printing and filing of the photo archive. Kornacz was assigned to take mug shots of arriving prisoners and to photograph official visits to the camp as well as the bodies of prisoners who died. He instructed his assistants to print five copies of each photograph: one for the camp archive and one each to be sent to Berlin, Oranienburg, Vienna and Linz.

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