Scrapbookpages Blog

October 13, 2017

Simon Wiesenthal was responsible for spreading the “five million” number of non-Jews killed in the Holocaust

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 3:50 pm

My photo of fence at Auschwitz-Birkenau

My blog post today is based on an article entitled “Why they keep leaving Jews out of the Holocaust” which you can read in full at https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/10/09/why-they-keep-leaving-jews-out-of-the-holocaust/

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

The Canadian government has announced that it will correct a memorial plaque at its new National Holocaust Monument, which spoke of the “millions of men, women and children during the Holocaust” — but neglected to mention Jews.

Unfortunately, Canadian Minister of Heritage Melanie Joly has compounded the original error, by announcing that the new plaque will acknowledge “the six million Jews, as well as the five million other victims, that were murdered during the Holocaust.”

But there is, in fact, no historical basis for that “five million” figure. Still, it keeps cropping up, cited by people who apparently assume it’s true just because a lot of other people keep saying it is.

After critics blasted the Trump administration for neglecting to mention Jews in its January 2017 statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, White House spokesperson Hope Hicks said that the administration was trying to be “inclusive of all those who suffered.” She then provided a link to a Huffington Post UK article titled “The Holocaust’s Forgotten Victims: the 5 Million Non-Jewish People Killed by the Nazis.”

[..]

The author of the article in question was Louise Ridley, an assistant news editor at HuffPost UK who specializes in “media, social affairs and gender,” according to her tag line. In the article, Ridley described some of the groups that were persecuted, in differing degrees, by the Nazis, such as gays, Roma (Gypsies) and the disabled. Her list also included “communists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, trade unionists, and resistance fighters.”

She also pointed out that the Nazis murdered several thousand priests, and millions of Polish civilians and Soviet prisoners of war. In fact, the total number of non-Jews killed by the Hitler regime far surpasses five million.

But none of that was part of the Holocaust.

The Germans murdered a lot of innocent people, for a variety of reasons. But the only ones who were targeted for complete annihilation, and whom the Nazis hunted down, in country after country, for the sole purpose of murdering them, were the Jews.

The term “Holocaust” was coined to refer to that specific historical event.

Simon Wiesenthal picked a number of non-Jewish victims that was high enough to seem substantial, but still a little less than the number of Jewish victims. He thought that this formulation would still keep Jews as the primary focus. Evidently he didn’t realize how easy it would be for someone — even an American or Canadian government official — to slide down the slippery slope from “a Holocaust of Jews and non-Jews,” to a Holocaust without Jews at all.

It’s just not that far from a Holocaust of everybody, to a Holocaust of nobody in particular.

End quote

 

 

The Auschwitz brothel is mentioned in today’s news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 12:03 pm

Did the Nazis really provide brothels for their prisoners? Yes, it’s true.

The following quote is from a news article which you can read in full at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4976754/The-Auschwitz-BROTHEL-prisoners-rewarded.html#ixzz4vPo62Fck

Begin quote from news article:

  • 76 years ago this month Nazi Heinrich Himmler ordered brothels to be set up in concentration camps 
  • The diabolical scheme was aimed at encouraging inmates to work harder in return for a ‘reward’
  • Women would be tricked into volunteering for the sex work with extra rations and better conditions
  • The women would have to spend 15 minutes with up to 20 men per day, watched by a Nazi guard 

 

I wrote about this on my scrapbookpages.com website many years ago.
Begin quote from my website:

In June 1941, Heinrich Himmler made another visit to Mauthausen and ordered that brothels be built for the prisoners at both the main camp and at Gusen. Today visitors can see the reconstructed brothel building which has a series of tiny rooms, just big enough for a bed. By the fall of 1942, there were 8 to 10 prisoners from the women’s camp at Ravensbrück who had been brought to work in the brothel. They were volunteers who had been promised better treatment if they agreed to become prostitutes for the prisoners. Other camps such as Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and even the Auschwitz I camp also had brothels for the non-Jewish prisoners.

Like the other major Nazi concentration camps, Mauthausen also had a canteen where the prisoners could buy cigarettes and other items. According to Christian Bernadac, a French journalist who wrote a book about the camp, the inmates had to pay 10 to 20 Pfennings (pennies) per cigarette at the canteen. The camp used prison script (Prämienscheine) to pay the prisoners for their work. Bernadac wrote that the salaries “could vary between 50 Pf to 4 Reichmarks (dollars) a week, depending on their proficiency.”

The prisoners had to work 12 hours a day, Monday through Friday. On Saturday at noon, the work week ended and the prisoners had a day and a half to rest. On Sundays, they played football (soccer) in the camp. The soccer field was located in the spot where the Russian Camp was later built.

According to Edwin Black, author of “IBM and the Holocaust,” the Mauthausen camp had a “massive Hollerith Department” where punch cards were used to keep track of labor assignments. The following quote is from Black’s book:

Hollerith operators located in the Arbeitseinsatz, across from the Political Section, could see the entire parade grounds, including the arrival of every prisoner transport. A low-level SS officer supervised Mauthausen’s Hollerith Department. But day-to-day sorts and tabulations were undertaken by a Russian-born French army lieutenant POW name Jean-Frederic Veith. Veith arrived at Mauthausen on April 22, 1943, just days before his fortieth birthday. Among Veith’s duties was processing the many Hollerith lists from other camps, not only transferred prisoners for new assignment, but also those the sorts had determined were misrouted.

Veith compiled both the voluminous death lists and new arrival rosters, and then dispatched the daily “strength numbers” to Berlin. His section stamped each document Hollerith erfasst – “Hollerith registered” – and then incorporated the figures into the camp’s burgeoning database. Hence, the enormity of Mauthausen’s carnage was ever-present in his mind as he ran the machines.

In early 1944, a quarantine camp was built to hold incoming prisoners in an attempt to prevent epidemics. By the fall of 1944, thousands of prisoners in the over-crowded camp were dying of typhus and other diseases. In the final months before the liberation, there were around 300 prisoners dying each day from disease.

According to Martin Gilbert, author of a book entitled “Holocaust,” there were 30,000 deaths in Mauthausen and its sub-camps in the first four months of 1945. This was approximately half of the deaths in the whole history of the camp; the same thing was happening at the other camps such as Dachau and Bergen-Belsen.

At the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal after the war, the top Nazi officials claimed to have no knowledge of the horrible conditions at Mauthausen and the other concentration camps in Germany and Poland. One of the men on trial was Albert Speer, who was charged with a war crime for the use of slave labor in the German munitions factories, such as those at Mauthausen and Gusen.

On March 30, 1943, Speer made his one and only visit to a concentration camp, taking a tour of Mauthausen, which at that time was just switching over from forced labor in the granite quarry to munitions factories using prison labor. Speer was a close personal friend of Hitler and one of the most powerful men in the Nazi government, holding the position of state architect and later the title of Armaments Minister. It was his job to work with Hitler, an amateur architect, in designing new buildings for Berlin and Linz. As the war progressed, plans for the buildings were put on hold and the concentration camps became work camps.

 

In June 1941, Heinrich Himmler made another visit to Mauthausen and ordered that brothels be built for the prisoners at both the main camp and at Gusen. Today visitors can see the reconstructed brothel building which has a series of tiny rooms, just big enough for a bed. By the fall of 1942, there were 8 to 10 prisoners from the women’s camp at Ravensbrück who had been brought to work in the brothel. They were volunteers who had been promised better treatment if they agreed to become prostitutes for the prisoners. Other camps such as Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and even the Auschwitz I camp also had brothels for the non-Jewish prisoners.

Like the other major Nazi concentration camps, Mauthausen also had a canteen where the prisoners could buy cigarettes and other items. According to Christian Bernadac, a French journalist who wrote a book about the camp, the inmates had to pay 10 to 20 Pfennings (pennies) per cigarette at the canteen. The camp used prison script (Prämienscheine) to pay the prisoners for their work. Bernadac wrote that the salaries “could vary between 50 Pf to 4 Reichmarks (dollars) a week, depending on their proficiency.”

The prisoners had to work 12 hours a day, Monday through Friday. On Saturday at noon, the work week ended and the prisoners had a day and a half to rest. On Sundays, they played football (soccer) in the camp. The soccer field was located in the spot where the Russian Camp was later built.

According to Edwin Black, author of “IBM and the Holocaust,” the Mauthausen camp had a “massive Hollerith Department” where punch cards were used to keep track of labor assignments. The following quote is from Black’s book:

Hollerith operators located in the Arbeitseinsatz, across from the Political Section, could see the entire parade grounds, including the arrival of every prisoner transport. A low-level SS officer supervised Mauthausen’s Hollerith Department. But day-to-day sorts and tabulations were undertaken by a Russian-born French army lieutenant POW name Jean-Frederic Veith. Veith arrived at Mauthausen on April 22, 1943, just days before his fortieth birthday. Among Veith’s duties was processing the many Hollerith lists from other camps, not only transferred prisoners for new assignment, but also those the sorts had determined were misrouted.

Veith compiled both the voluminous death lists and new arrival rosters, and then dispatched the daily “strength numbers” to Berlin. His section stamped each document Hollerith erfasst – “Hollerith registered” – and then incorporated the figures into the camp’s burgeoning database. Hence, the enormity of Mauthausen’s carnage was ever-present in his mind as he ran the machines.

In early 1944, a quarantine camp was built to hold incoming prisoners in an attempt to prevent epidemics. By the fall of 1944, thousands of prisoners in the over-crowded camp were dying of typhus and other diseases. In the final months before the liberation, there were around 300 prisoners dying each day from disease.

According to Martin Gilbert, author of a book entitled “Holocaust,” there were 30,000 deaths in Mauthausen and its sub-camps in the first four months of 1945. This was approximately half of the deaths in the whole history of the camp; the same thing was happening at the other camps such as Dachau and Bergen-Belsen.

At the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal after the war, the top Nazi officials claimed to have no knowledge of the horrible conditions at Mauthausen and the other concentration camps in Germany and Poland. One of the men on trial was Albert Speer, who was charged with a war crime for the use of slave labor in the German munitions factories, such as those at Mauthausen and Gusen.

On March 30, 1943, Speer made his one and only visit to a concentration camp, taking a tour of Mauthausen, which at that time was just switching over from forced labor in the granite quarry to munitions factories using prison labor.

Speer was a close personal friend of Hitler and one of the most powerful men in the Nazi government, holding the position of state architect and later the title of Armaments Minister. It was his job to work with Hitler, an amateur architect, in designing new buildings for Berlin and Linz.

As the war progressed, plans for the buildings were put on hold and the concentration camps became work camps for Jewish prisoners.

End quote from my scrapbookpages.com website

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