Scrapbookpages Blog

April 30, 2018

Jewish woman wrote letter to her husband minutes before she was gassed

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 1:00 pm

Yes, of course, the Jews were allowed to write letters to loved ones minutes before they were gassed. The Germans were not barbarians, as some people think — the Germans had manners.

When I first went to Germany, I was struck by the fact that the German people were very polite. They had manners. I was very surprised by this. In fact, other Americans living in Germany told me that I should watch my manners when dealing with the German people.

I am commenting on this news article:

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

That Vilma Grunwald’s letter even exists is extraordinary. She penned it in the minutes before she was gassed at Auschwitz, addressed it to her husband, and handed it to a Nazi guard who did the improbable—delivered it to the man, who was also imprisoned at the camp. The Washington Post reports she accompanied her eldest child, a 16-year-old named John who limped, to the gas chambers. The Indianapolis Star has the story of the July 11, 1944, letter, which has for the last four years resided at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “I’m always reluctant to say it’s the only such document ever created,” says the museum’s chief acquisitions curator, “but to the best of our knowledge” it is the only surviving letter written at the concentration camp prior to a gassing.

Grunwald’s son, Misa (who now goes by Frank and lives northeast of Indianapolis) learned of the letter as an 11-year-old in 1946 but did not read it until after his father’s 1967 death. Frank tells the Star that what he found most moving was the 11-sentence letter’s tone: free of anger or resentment, and focused only on him and his father. It reads in part: “The famous trucks are already here and we are waiting for it to begin. … You—my only and dearest one, do not blame yourself for what happened, it was our destiny. We did what we could. … Take care of the little golden boy and don’t spoil him too much with your love. Both of you—stay healthy, my dear ones. I will be thinking of you and Misa. Have a fabulous life, we must board the trucks.” (This man buried a letter at Auschwitz; now we know what it says

Attention readers: Don’t be reading my blog if you live in Germany

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 12:08 pm

It is against the law for people in Germany to know the truth about the Holocaust and about World War II.  It is O.K. to read my blog if you are an American soldier stationed in Germany, but even then, you have to be careful.

Recently, I have noticed that there were 7 readers of my blog in Germany. Hopefully, these were American soldiers stationed in Germany. German citizens are not allowed to know the truth. Germany is now ruled by Jews.

April 28, 2018

40% of Americans don’t know what Auschwitz is

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 5:38 pm

Here is a quote from this recent news article:

Begin quote

For seven decades, “never forget” has been a rallying cry of the Holocaust remembrance movement.

But a survey released Thursday, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, found that many adults lack basic knowledge of what happened — and this lack of knowledge is more pronounced among millennials, whom the survey defined as people ages 18-34.

Thirty-one percent of Americans, and 41 percent of millennials, believe that 2 million or fewer Jews were killed in the Holocaust; the actual number is around 6 million. Forty-one percent of Americans, and 66 percent of millennials, cannot say what Auschwitz was. Only 39 percent of Americans know that Hitler was democratically elected.

End quote

Readers can start learning about Auschwitz by going to this page on my website:

Then continue your Auschwitz education by reading this page of my website:

Then read this page:

Photographs were forbidden when I visited Auschwitz, but I risked my life to take photos. I pretended that I could not understand the signs. I was not arrested and some of the tourists applauded when I took photos, risking a jail sentence. When confronted, I always pretended that I was confused and didn’t know what I was doing.


Should Holocaust stories be required in public schools?

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 2:11 pm

To read the answer to the question asked in the title of my blog post, go to this news article:

The following quote gives the answer to the question in the title:

Begin quote

In response to a question about a recent survey that found a lack of knowledge about the Holocaust among millennials, Spielberg said, “It’s not a pre-requisite to graduate high school, as it should be. It should be part of the social science, social studies curriculum in every public high school in this country.”

He clarified that he wasn’t saying his movie should be taught in schools necessarily, but said, “these stories that Holocaust survivors have the courage to tell” should be on the curriculum.

End quote

I don’t agree that this subject should be taught in public schools in America. There is no place for religion in public schools. It is O.K. to teach the Holocaust in a Jewish school, but not in a public school. How would the Jews like it if Holocaust denial were taught in a public school?

When the Holocaust is taught anywhere, both sides of the story should be taught, not just the Jewish version of the story, or the Nazi version of the story.  Let the children decide which side they want to believe.

I know what you are going to say: “How can little children decide anything?” Little children should be taught to think for themselves, and not to take the side of anyone in a debate.


April 25, 2018

The Wannsee conference where the Final Solution was planned

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 3:46 pm

You can read all about Wannsee in this recent news article:

This image of Reinhard Heydrich is from the documentary by Nazi Hunters “Killing Reinhard Heydrich” and can be found on YouTube.

You can also read about the Wannsee conference on my website at

The following quote is from the news article, cited above:

Begin quote

On February 20th of 1942, senior Nazi government officials and key members of Waffen SS (Protection Squadron – Military Wing) met for one day in an elegantly columned official residence (stolen from a Jewish family) set among gardens near the shore of Lake Wannsee on the outskirts of Berlin. The purpose of the meeting? Formalizing plans for “the final solution of the Jewish Question.” It was officially known as the Conference of State Secretaries. The true objective was the efficient murder of all Jews, not just in Germany’s living space, but on the entire land mass of Eurasia – from Belfast to Vladivostok, no Jews. Not one.

End quote

You can read more about Wannsee on my website at


The Roma and Sinti victims in the Holocaust

Filed under: Holocaust — furtherglory @ 1:35 pm

 Sachsenhausen Roma & Sinti Museum

Building on the left is now a museum for the Roma and Sinti

A permanent exhibition entitled “The National Socialist Genocide of the Sinti and Roma” is shown in the main western building of the SS workshops in the former Industrial Yard, outside the former prison enclosure at Sachsenhausen. The building was constructed in 1937-38 and was converted into museum space in 2001.

A sign at the entrance to the Sachsenhausen Memorial site directs visitors to the left where a road leads through the Industrial Yard to the Museum.

The exhibits in the Roma and Sinti Museum consist of photographs and text which tell the history of the Nazi genocide of the Gypsies. All of the text is in the German language with no translations into other languages. There are no artifacts, only photographs on large display boards, such as those shown below.

One of the displays, which is pictured below, tells about the Gypsies who were transported from Westerbork, a transit camp in the Netherlands, to Auschwitz on May 19, 1944. The second photograph below shows a close-up of the display which features a famous photograph, that is sometimes erroneously identified as being a Jewish girl from Poland.

The girl in the picture is not Jewish, but rather a Gypsy girl named Settela Steinbach, who was on the transport to Auschwitz.

At Auschwitz, the Gypsies were put into a separate section where families were allowed to stay together. According to the Museum exhibit, on the night of the 2nd and 3rd of August 1944, Settela and her mother and 9 sisters were murdered in the gas chamber at Auschwitz.

Display shows Gypsies, sent from Westerbork to Auschwitz

Settela Steinbach on a transport to Auschwitz, 19 May 1944

Display shows racial prejudice by the Nazis against the Gypsies

Gypsy children were used in medical research at Auschwitz

Display shows Nazi propaganda against the Roma and Sinti

Ohrdruf — the place where the Holocaust started

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 1:04 pm

Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald

Americans view cremation pyre at Ohrdruf on April 13, 1945

The photograph above, which was taken at the Ohrdruf forced labor camp, is a copy of the one that hangs in front of the elevator door at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. It is the first thing that visitors to the Museum see as they step out of the elevator and enter the first exhibit room. This is what the American soldiers first saw when they liberated Germany from the Nazis.

The photo shows a pyre made of railroad tracks where the bodies of prisoners who had died at Ohrdruf were burned. Ohrdruf was a small sub-camp of Buchenwald and it did not have a crematorium with ovens to dispose of the bodies.

Survivors told Eisenhower prisoners were hung with piano wire

The photo above shows General Dwight D. Eisenhower viewing the gallows at Ohrdruf. Standing to the left of the general, and partially hidden by a pole, is Captain Alois Liethen, who was General Eisenhower’s interpreter. The two men on Eisenhower’s right are survivors who are explaining the atrocities committed in the camp.

The Ohrdruf camp was unique in that prisoners were hanged there with piano wire, rather than with rope, according to the survivors. An identical gallows was found at the Buchenwald main camp, where prisoners were hanged with rope.

The man on the far left, wearing a jacket and a scarf, is one of the survivors who served as a guide for General Eisenhower and his entourage. The next day the guide was “killed by some of the inmates,” General Patton wrote in his memoirs, explaining that the guide “was not a prisoner at all, but one of the executioners.”

A. C. Boyd, a soldier in the 89th Infantry Division was at Ohrdruf on the day that this man was killed. In a news article in The Gadsden Times, Jimmy Smothers wrote the following:

Boyd said he saw a Nazi guard, who had not fled with the others, trying to exit the camp. One of the prisoners, who still had a little strength, ran to a truck, got a tire iron and killed him.

“I witnessed that and saw that no one tried to stop him,” Boyd said.

In a letter dated April 15, 1945, addressed to Ike (General Dwight D. Eisenhower), Patton wrote the following regarding the man who had served as their guide at Ohrdruf:

Begin quote

It may interest you to know that the very talkative, alleged former member of the murder camp was recognized by a Russian prisoner as a former guard. The prisoner beat his brains out with a rock.

End quote

This prisoner was probably one of the Kapos in the camp whose job had been to assist the German guards; it is doubtful that an SS soldier would have remained behind when the camp was evacuated, knowing that the prisoners would exact revenge as soon as the Americans arrived. If any SS men had remained in the camp, they would have been promptly killed or taken into custody on April 4, 1945 when the camp was first discovered by American troops.

It has been alleged that some of the SS men at the concentration camps tried to disguise themselves by putting on civilian clothes or prison garb when the American troops approached, but the prisoners had beaten them to death when the camps were liberated.

Note that General Patton referred to Ohrdruf as a “murder camp” in his letter. It is clear from Patton’s letters and his memoir that he did not have a clear understanding of the purpose of the concentration camps and labor camps because he believed everything that the prisoners told him.

Captain Alois Liethen also believed the stories told by the survivors, for example, the allegation that prisoners at Ohrdruf were whipped for the slightest infraction of the rules, although in 1942, long before the Ohrdruf camp was in existence, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had forbidden the SS men to strike the prisoners.

Captain Alois Liethen wrote the following in a letter to his family, dated 13 April 1945, the day after he served as the interpreter on the tour of Ohrdruf:

The treatment of the prisoners was something that even amazed me. If anyone dared to even as much as smile in ranks he received 25 lashes with a heavy oak staff while he was bent over nearly double over a whipping post, anyone who tried to escape was hanged — not by a rope but by a wire from a gibbet — all of the inmates had to witness these hangings even tho they were sick or feeble. When they were out on a work detail — which they were every day from daylight to darkness they were beaten if they didn’t produce as fast as they should, and then in many cases when the whims of the guards arose to the occasion they would shoot at them just for the pure fun of it — those that ducked were surely doomed for then they were a sure target for the second shot. Then to come to the matter of food. Each man received 300 grams of bread (black sour hard stuff) and 1 liter of soup, of course there were those who performed those special duties such as the one that I spoke to mostly — he was on the burning and burying detail — he got 500 grams of bread and 2 liters of soup perday (sic). They were kept very busy for there were estimated that there were 200 to 250 buried or burned every week.

In the photo below, note the guide, in the center of the picture, who is walking beside the generals, telling them about the atrocities in the camp. This is the man who was killed by the other survivors the next day, according to General Patton. The man who is leading the walk around the bodies is Captain Liethen, the interpreter for the group.

American Generals view dead bodies left out for a week

The Ohrdruf-Nord camp had been discovered by the 4th Armored Division more than a week before the generals’ visit, but everything had been left intact because General Walker and General Middleton had ordered that as many soldiers as possible should be brought there to view the horrible scene. The bodies were left out until at least the first week of May, so that visiting soldiers could pose beside them.

In May 1945, this US soldier posed with bodies left out since April 2, 1945

The photo below shows the townspeople from Ohrdruf as they are forced to view the bodies found in the camp. General Walker had ordered that the mayor of Ohrdruf and his wife should be brought to the camp to see the display of corpses. After seeing the horror, they went back home and killed themselves.

German civilians forced to view the bodies in an Ohrdruf barrack

General Patton wrote that he suggested that the rest of the inhabitants of Ohrdruf be brought to the camp the next day, and that the army had “used the same system in having the inhabitants of Weimar go through the even larger slave camp (Buchenwald) north of that town.”

German civilians were brought from the town of Ohrdruf to exhume the bodies in the mass grave and bury them again in individual graves.

Civilians from town of Ohrdruf were forced to view the victims

Regarding the Ohrdruf-Nord camp, General Patton wrote the following in his diary:

It was the most appalling sight imaginable. In a shed . . . was a pile of about 40 completely naked human bodies in the last stages of emaciation. These bodies were lightly sprinkled with lime, not for the purposes of destroying them, but for the purpose of removing the stench.

When the shed was full–I presume its capacity to be about 200, the bodies were taken to a pit a mile from the camp where they were buried. The inmates claimed that 3,000 men, who had been either shot in the head or who had died of starvation, had been so buried since the 1st of January.

A typhus epidemic had started in Germany in December 1944 and had quickly spread to all the camps as prisoners were transferred from one camp to another. Half of all the prisoners who died in the German camps died between December 1944 and the end of June 1945. Yet the survivors of Ohrdruf claimed that all the bodies found at the camp were those of prisoners who had been deliberately killed or starved to death.

It would be hard to find a German town, however small or obscure, that is completely lacking in historic or cultural importance. After describing the crimes of the Germans in his autobiography, General Patton went on to tell about how the Americans wantonly destroyed every village and hamlet in their path. On the same page of his book, in which he describes the atrocities of the Germans, Patton wrote the following:

We developed later a system known as the ‘Third Army War Memorial Project’ by which we always fired a few salvos into every town we approached, before even asking for surrender. The object of this was to let the inhabitants have something to show to future generations of Germans by way of proof that the Third Army had passed that way.

Robert Abzug wrote the following in his book entitled “Inside the Vicious Heart”:

Soon after seeing Ohrdruf, Eisenhower ordered every unit near by that was not in the front lines to tour Ohrdruf: “We are told that the American soldier does not know what he is fighting for. Now, at least, he will know what he is fighting against.'” Eisenhower felt it was essential not only for his troops to see for themselves, but for the world to know about conditions at Ohrdruf and other camps. From Third Army headquarters, he cabled London and Washington, urging delegations of officials and newsmen to be eye-witnesses to the camps. The message to Washington read: ‘We are constantly finding German camps in which they have placed political prisoners where unspeakable conditions exist. From my own personal observation, I can state unequivocally that all written statements up to now do not paint the full horrors.”

The following quote is from an article copyrighted in 2004 on the Eisenhower Memorial Commission web site

As Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in World War II, General Eisenhower had been given information about the Nazi concentration camp system well before he led the invasion to liberate Western Europe (June, 1944). Reports on the massive genocide inflicted on Jews, Gypsies, political prisoners, homosexuals, dissidents, and other groups by the Schutzstaffel (SS) had been circulated among all the Allied leaders. Very few of the Allied commanders, however, had an accurate conception of what is now known to the world as the Holocaust until their troops began to encounter the death camps as they marched into Western Germany.

On April 4, 1945, elements of the United States Army’s 89th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division captured the Ohrdruf concentration camp outside the town of Gotha in south central Germany. Although the Americans didn’t know it at the time, Ohrdruf was one of several sub-camps serving the Buchenwald extermination camp, which was close to the city of Weimar several miles north of Gotha. Ohrdruf was a holding facility for over 11,000 prisoners on their way to the gas chambers and crematoria at Buchenwald.

Contrary to the information given by the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, which is quoted above, Ohrdruf was a forced labor camp, not “a holding facility” for prisoners on the way to the gas chambers. Buchenwald was one of the few camps in the Nazi system that did not have a gas chamber.

Buchenwald gas chambr?

Ohrdruf, Continued

Buchenwald main camp


April 24, 2018

the Holocaust continues to fade from public consciousness

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 7:41 pm

My blog post today is a comment on a news article which you can read in full at

Begin quote from news article:

Despite the Holocaust museum’s many successes, the Holocaust continues to fade from public consciousness. A recent survey found that 66 percent of millennials do not know that Auschwitz was a concentration camp. Eighty percent of Americans have not visited a museum about the Holocaust.

So, Bloomfield said, “keeping the lessons of the Holocaust relevant, and reaching a global audience, are two of our biggest challenges going forward.” The museum plans to expand its collections, translate its website into more languages (it’s currently available in 16), launch new programs to study modern-day genocides, and present special exhibitions in more countries around the world.

End quote from news article

A good place to start learning about the Holocaust would be my website. Start by reading this page of my website:

My early morning photo of the entrance into the main Auschwitz camp before the tourists started arriving. I had to sneak into the camp before the gates were open to get the photo above in 1998.


The gate into the Auschwitz=Birkenau camp

The following quote is also from the news article:

Begin quote

Despite the [Holocaust] museum’s many successes, the Holocaust continues to fade from public consciousness. A recent survey found that 66 percent of millennials do not know that Auschwitz was a concentration camp. Eighty percent of Americans have not visited a museum about the Holocaust.

So, Bloomfield said, “keeping the lessons of the Holocaust relevant, and reaching a global audience, are two of our biggest challenges going forward.” The museum plans to expand its collections, translate its website into more languages (it’s currently available in 16), launch new programs to study modern-day genocides, and present special exhibitions in more countries around the world.

End quote

April 23, 2018

New exhibit will open at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Filed under: Germany, Language — furtherglory @ 5:06 pm

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

Begin quote

A new exhibit that opens Monday at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum [in Washington, DC] aims to honor a founding mission.

Five years in the making, “Americans and the Holocaust” contextualizes attitudes in the U.S. during 1930s and ’40s persecution and mass murder of Jews in Europe.

Twenty-five years ago, when the building opened, noted Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel introduced the museum not as an answer to the horrors of genocide but to pose a glaring question: How could this happen?

End quote

How would Elie Wiesel know how this happened? He was hiding out in his home town, and few people knew where he was.

The article continues with this quote:

Begin quote

In gauging these attitudes, visitors can wade through chronological checkpoints of public opinion polling during the era. For example, results consistently show that at least two-thirds of Americans disapproved of Nazi treatment of Jews but simultaneously were not willing to let in more exiles. The lone fact that Gallup was polling these kinds of questions suggests the vein of the American consciousness.

An interactive map archiving crowd-sourced newspaper coverage shows that if Americans were reading news at the time, much of it was from a wire service with headlines varying state by state. “You didn’t have to be a New Yorker or in D.C. to be reading stories about Nazis’ persecution of Jews,” Greene says.

End quote

I was a child when all of this was going on, and I was reading the daily morning newspaper from St. Louis. So I knew about the “Nazi persecution of Jews”. I was only a child, but I believed that the Jews deserved this persecution because the Jews were bad people. That is what most people believed back then.

The American responses “must and will be explored thoroughly and honestly,” Wiesel said in a 1979 address before President Jimmy Carter, who had tasked a commission, chaired by Wiesel, with recommending an appropriate memorial for the 6 million lives lost.

The historical evidence in the museum collection in Washington, D.C., detailing what America knew and when, dispels myths that its actors didn’t have enough information about the magnitude of Nazi Germany’s campaign to intervene, says Daniel Greene, a historian and the curator of the exhibit.

Famous photo of little boy with his hands up

Filed under: Germany — furtherglory @ 4:25 pm

Years ago, I wrote about the little boy with his hands up. His name was Tsvi C. Nussbaum.You can read about him on my website at

You can also read about him in this recent news article:

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Seven-year-old Tsvi C. Nussbaum was one of the Polish Jews who was arrested, along with his aunt, on July 13, 1943, in front of the Hotel Polski on the Aryan side of the Warsaw ghetto, where they had been living as Gentiles. Since they had foreign passports, they were sent to the Bergen-Belsen detention camp as “exchange Jews.” Little Tsvi’s parents had emigrated to Palestine in 1935, but had returned to Sandomierz, Poland in 1939 just before World War II started. Tsvi was one of the survivors of Bergen-Belsen. In 1945, he went to Palestine, but in 1953 he moved to America. He became a doctor, specializing in ear, nose and throat, in Rockland County in upstate New York. He was blessed with 4 daughters and 2 grandchildren.

Long after the war, Tsvi Nussbaum claimed to be the little boy in the photo above. However, this photo was allegedly taken during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which took place between April 19, 1943 and May 16, 1943 before Tsvi was arrested; it is one of the photos included in the Stroop Report about the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto. The soldier, who is holding a gun on the little boy in the photo, was Josef Blösche; he was put on trial in East Germany after the war and was executed after being convicted of being a war criminal.

On October 23, 1943 a transport of around 1700 of these Polish Jews arrived on passenger trains at the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, although they had been told that they were being taken to a transfer camp called Bergau near Dresden, from where they would continue on to Switzerland to be exchanged for German POWs. One of the passengers was Franceska Mann, a beautiful dancer who was a performer at the Melody Palace nightclub in Warsaw. She had probably obtained her foreign passport from the Hotel Polski on the Aryan side of the Warsaw Ghetto. In July 1943 the Germans arrested the 600 Jewish inhabitants of the hotel and some of them were sent to Bergen-Belsen as exchange Jews. Others were sent to Vittel in France to await transfer to South America.

According to Jerzy Tabau, who later escaped from Birkenau and wrote a report on the incident, the new arrivals were not registered. Instead, they were told that they had to be disinfected before crossing the border into Switzerland. They were taken into the undressing room next to the gas chamber and ordered to undress. The beautiful Franceska caught the attention of SS Sergeant Major Josef Schillinger, who stared at her and ordered her to undress completely. Suddenly Franceska threw her shoe into Schillinger’s face, and as he opened his gun holster, Franceska grabbed his pistol and fired two shots, wounding him in the stomach. Then she fired a third shot which wounded another SS Sergeant named Emmerich. Schillinger died on the way to the hospital.

According to Tabau, whose report, called “The Polish Major’s Report,” was entered into the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal as Document L-022, the shots served as a signal for the other women to attack the SS men; one SS man had his nose torn off, and another was scalped, according to Tabau’s report which was quoted by Martin Gilbert in his book, The Holocaust. Reinforcements were summoned and the camp commander, Rudolf Höss, came with other SS men carrying machine guns and grenades. According to another report, called “Jewish Resistance in Nazi-occupied Europe” written by Ainsztein and quoted by Martin Gilbert, the women were then removed one by one, taken outside and shot to death. However, Eberhard Kolb wrote that they were all murdered in the gas chamber.

In 1944, two more transports of the Polish Jews were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, leaving only about 350 in the special camp at Bergen-Belsen. They were the ones with papers for Palestine, the USA or legitimate documents for South American countries, according to Kolb.

4. Hungarian Camp (Ungarnlager)

This camp was established on July 8, 1944 for 1683 Jews from Hungary. According to the Memorial Site, they were treated even better than the inmates in the Star camp. They were allowed to wear civilian clothes, with a Star of David sewn on. They did not have to work, nor were they forced to attend the endless roll calls. They were given better food and the sick were properly cared for. They were known as Vorzugsjuden or Preferential Jews. Like the Star Camp, this camp had a Jewish self-administration.

5. Star Camp (Sternlager)

Approximately 4,000 Jewish prisoners, mostly from the Netherlands, lived in the Star camp, where conditions were somewhat better than in other parts of Bergen-Belsen. In the Star camp, the prisoners wore a yellow Star of David on their own clothes instead of the usual blue and gray striped prison uniform, but they did have to work, even the old people, according to the Memorial Site.

The following quote is from Eberhard Kolb’s book Bergen-Belsen from 1943 to 1945:

From the Dutch “transit camp'” at Westerbork all those inmates were transported to Bergen-Belsen who were on one of the coveted “ban lists”, above all the “Palestine list”, the “South America list”, or the “dual citizenship list”. Holders of the so-called “Stamp 120000” were also taken to Bergen-Belsen, i.e. Jews with proven connections to enemy states, Jews who had delivered up large properties, diamond workers and diamond dealers who were held back from transportation to an extermination camp but who were not allowed to go abroad, as well as so-called “Jews of merit”. A total of 3670 “exchange Jews” of these categories, always with their families were deported from Westerbork to Bergen-Belsen in eight transports between January and September 1944.

According to Kolb, there were only 6,000 Dutch Jews who returned home after the war, out of a total of 110,000 who were deported by the Nazis. 20,000 more Dutch Jews survived by going into hiding until the war was over. More than a third of those who survived the camps were inmates of the Bergen-Belsen Star Camp.

6. Tent Camp (Zeltlager)

This camp was constructed at the beginning of August 1944. At first it was used as a transit camp for women’s transports arriving from Poland. In late October and early November 1944, around 3,000 women who had been evacuated from Auschwitz-Birkenau were housed in the tents because pre-fabricated barrack buildings which had been removed from the Plaszow camp near Cracow and transported to the Star Camp were not yet ready for them. According to Eberhard Kolb (Bergen-Belsen from 1943 to 1945) the Dutch Red Cross was told that the prisoners in this transport were “ill but potentially curable women” and because of this, they were the first to be evacuated from Auschwitz-Birkenau. These sick women, who had just completed a journey of several days in overcrowded railroad cattle cars now had to camp out in tents with no heat, no toilets, no lighting, no beds and only a thin layer of straw covering the bare ground.

Anne Frank and her sister Margot were transferred to Bergen-Belsen from Auschwitz in October 1944 and most likely were housed temporarily in the tent camp. Due to their condition of ill health, the prisoners in the tent camp were not forced to work.

7. Small Women’s Camp (Kleines Frauenlager)

After a storm blew down several of the tents on November 7, 1944, the prisoners were crowded into the barracks of the Small Women’s Camp which was right next to the Star Camp. This Women’s camp had first opened in August 1944 for women who were transported from the death camp at Auschwitz, which was being evacuated because the army of the Soviet Union was advancing across Poland.

On December 2, 1944, there was a total of 15,257 prisoners in Bergen-Belsen and 8,000 of them were women and girls in this camp, which was called the Women’s camp. On that date, Bergen-Belsen became officially a concentration camp, instead of a detention camp, and a new commandant, Hauptsturmführer-SS Josef Kramer, who had been brought from Auschwitz-Birkenau, took over from the previous commandant, Hauptsturmführer-SS Adolf Haas.

According to Eberhard Kolb, in January 1945, the Women’s camp became a second Prisoner’s Camp, or Häftlingslager II, for male prisoners. At the same time, Bergen-Belsen was expanded and a new camp was set up for the women prisoners.

8. Large Women’s Camp (Grosses Frauenlager)

According to Eberhard Kolb, there were 9,735 men and 8,730 women in Bergen-Belsen on January 1, 1945. By January 15, 1945, there were 16,475 women and a new camp had to be set up for them. The former camp hospital in the POW camp was incorporated into the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and the 36 barracks there were used to house the women. By March 1, 1945, there were 26,723 women in this camp. On March 15, 1945 there were 30,387 women in the new Women’s camp.

Map of Bergen-Belsen camp at the Memorial Site

If you draw a diagonal line through this map, from the top left-hand corner to the bottom right-hand corner, you will see where six of the sections, described above, were located. Beginning at the top left, was No. 7 the original Women’s Camp which later became a new Prison camp for men; next to it was No. 5 the Star Camp; then No. 3 the Special Camp and No. 4 the Hungarian Camp; next is No. 2 the Neutral Camp, and then No. 1 the Prison Camp. Outside the line which represents the boundary of the concentration camp is part of the German Army Training Center on the right-hand side.

If you draw another diagonal line through this map, from the top right-hand corner to the bottom left-hand corner, you will see the location of the new Large Women’s Camp and the tent camp. The Large Women’s camp is located inside the loop which outlines the Bergen-Belsen camp boundary, just down from the top right-hand corner. Outside the loop was the POW camp, which was first set up in 1940. In January 1945, the POW camp was closed and the Large Women’s camp was put in the hospital section of the former POW camp. In the bottom left-hand corner of the photo is where the Documentation Center and Museum now stand. Just above these two buildings is where the tent camp once stood, inside the loop where it juts out on the left side. There are no buildings left now, but this map shows where the buildings were formerly located.

The Memorial Site is located on the left-hand side of the map above. The Documentation Center and Museum are shown in the bottom left-hand corner with a path leading to the former grounds of the camp. If you turn right where this path intersects the road around the former camp boundary, you will come to the place where roll calls were held. To the left, the road leads to the monuments. The large obelisk monument is shown in the top left-hand corner of this map. As you can see, the Memorial Site consists of only a small portion of the former concentration camp.

German Army Training Center next to Bergen-Belsen

On the left-hand side of the map above, you can see part of the former concentration camp, which was inside the loop which represents the road around the camp boundary. On the right-hand side of the map is the German Army Training Center which is still in existence. It is right next to the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. A POW camp was first set up in the Army barracks shown in the center of the map, next to the concentration camp on the left. The POW camp was later expanded to the section on the left, above the concentration camp. Part of this POW camp was incorporated into the concentration camp in January 1945 because a new women’s camp was needed to hold a huge influx of prisoners. The diagonal line across the right-hand corner of the photo above represents the road from Celle to Belsen. The entrance to the Bergen-Belsen camp is about 1.5 kilometers from the Army Training Center, along this road.

German Army Training Center at Belsen

History of Bergen-Belsen

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