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January 16, 2018

Information for students who are studying the book named “Night” written by Elie Wiesel

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 11:30 am

I know that American students are frequently assigned to read Elie Wiesel’s book, entitled “Night”, and then write a paper on it.

Below are some Notes for “Night,” the book written by Elie Wiesel.

Night Chapter Summaries

Chapter 1: Wiesel grew up in Sighet, a small town in Translyvania. He is a strict Orthodox Jew who is tutored by Moshe the Beadle. When all foreign Jews are expelled, Moshe is deported. He returns to Sighet with horrific tales. Nobody believes him.

Fascists gain control in Hungary and allow the Nazis to come. The Jews of Sighet remain in denial that anything bad will happen to them. Days later, the town is ordered to evacuate. Eliezer’s family is part of the last group. Their former Gentile servant, Martha, warns them of impending danger and offers them a place of refuge. They refuse.

Chapter 2: Eliezer and his townsmen are packed into cattle cars and suffer terribly. One woman, Madame Schacter, continually screams of a fire. She is silenced by her fellow prisoners. As the train arrives at Birkenau, they see smoke rising from chimneys and are inundated with the horrific smell of burning flesh.

Chapter 3: The first selection occurs. Eliezer and his father lie about their age and avoid the crematorium. As they walk to Auschwitz they pass a pit of burning babies. When they arrive in their barracks they are disinfected with gasoline, receive a tattoo, and are dressed in prison clothes. Eliezer’s father asks to go to the bathroom and is clobbered by a kapo. The prisoners are then escorted to Buna, a work camp four hours away.

Analysis: Wiesel emphasizes the human failure to comprehend just how evil humans can be. He and his family are warned several times to flee, yet they and the town find the truth impossible. Wiesel’s primary goal in publishing Night is to prevent another Holocaust from happening. He emphasizes the need to be aware of evil in the world and to believe first hand accounts of it.

His recounting of the miserable conditions on the cattle cars and the horrific events he witnesses at Birkenau are examples of first hand accounts that must be taken seriously in order to prevent something as horrible from happening again.

Chapter 4: At Buna Eliezer is summoned by the dentist to have his gold crown removed. He feigns illness. The dentist, he discovers, is hanged. Eliezer’s only focus is to eat and stay alive. He is savagely beaten by the kapo, Idek and is consoled by a French worker, whom he meets years after the war. The prison foreman, Franek, notices Eliezer’s gold crown and demands it. He refuses. Franek beats Eliezer’s father and he gives up the crown.

Eliezer catches Idek having sex with a female French worker. Idek whips him mercilessly and warns him that one word of what he saw will result in more severe punishment. During an air raid two cauldrons of soup are left unattended. A prisoner crawls to them and is shot right before eating some. The Nazis erect a gallows at camp and hang three prisoners, the last one, a boy loved by all, causes even the most jaded of prisoners to weep.

Chapter 5: It is late summer 1944 and another selection occurs. This time Eliezer’s father is on the wrong side. He gives his spoon and knife to his son. Eliezer rejoices as he returns and discovers there was another selection and his father still lives. Eliezer hurts his foot and is sent to the infirmary. He hears rumors of Russians approaching. The Nazis evacuate the camp. Eliezer assumes infirmary patients will be killed so he leaves. He discovers later that the patients were liberated the next day.

Chapter 6: The prisoners are forced to run 42 miles in one night during a blizzard. Those unable to keep up are shot. The refugees stop in a small village where Eliezer and his father keep each other awake to avoid freezing to death. Rabbi Eliahu enters a small shack occupied by Eliezer, looking for his son. Eliezer recalls–after Eliahu’s departure–seeing his son desert his father, something he prays for strength never to do. Another selection occurs. Eliezer’s father is sent to the death side. A diversion is created and his father switches lines.

Chapter 7: The survivors are packed into cattle cars and sent to Germany. The train stops frequently to remove dead bodies. Eliezer recounts how German workers throw bread into the cattle cars to witness the prisoners kill each other. Eliezer is nearly killed.

Analysis: Wiesel attributes his survival to luck and coincidence, two ideas that play a prominent role in the novel. Each selection is a matter of luck and coincidence; being assigned to easier jobs is a matter of luck and coincidence; leaving the infirmary is a matter of luck and coincidence. Wiesel honestly portrays his feelings toward his father. He recognizes that his father gives him strength to continue; he acknowledges also that his father at times becomes a burden.

Chapter 8: Upon their arrival at Buchenwald, Eliezer’s father is unable to move. Eliezer brings him soup and coffee, against the advice of other prisoners who counsel him to keep it for himself. Eliezer’s father, suffering from dysentery, begs for water. An SS guard becomes annoyed and knocks him in the head. Eliezer wakes up the next morning and discovers his father’s empty bed. He is more relieved than sad.

Chapter 9: Eliezer is only concerned with food during his remaining months at Buchenwald. On April 5, the evacuation of Buchenwald is ordered. Nazis murder thousands daily. On April 10, Eliezer’s block is ordered to evacuate, but it is cut short by air raid sirens. The next day the camp is liberated. Wiesel nearly dies from food poisoning. He recovers, looks in a mirror, and is shocked by his appearance.

Analysis: Eliezer’s reflection that he resembled a corpse ends the novel with a sense of hopelessness. Despite this hopelessness Wiesel dedicates his life to human rights.

Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/education/homework-tips/articles/45193.aspx?p=2#ixzz0T56HUqDU

Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/education/homework-tips/articles/45193.aspx#ixzz0T569ugFg

Characters in Night by Elie Wiesel

When reviewing characters in Night by Elie Wiesel, keep in mind that these Night characters are actual human beings and that Night is a memoir of Wiesel’s actual experience in a concentration camp.

Eliezer – Wiesel gives a first person psychological account of life in a concentration camp. It is important not to confuse the narrator with the author, even though they are the same person. Eliezer’s experiences cause him to question his faith and the existence of a loving, merciful God. Eliezer’s (the narrator’s) account leaves the reader with a sense of hopelessness, that humanity is irredeemable, that God has abandoned his creation.

Eliezer’s assertions are not that of the author. Elie Wiesel, the older version of Eliezer, the death camp survivor, has dedicated his life to serving mankind and to prevent human rights atrocities, showing that something wonderful can result from incomprehensible suffering. For more on Wiesel’s life after his liberation, check out his website.

Chlomo – Eliezer’s father is the only other character who appears consistently. He is a respected member in Sighet before being deported. Eliezer and Chlomo remain together throughout the ordeal. The narrator is honest and frank in his assessment of his father. He needs his father to keep going, but resents having to take care of him at times. He acknowledges a sense of relief when Chlomo finally dies. One of the more powerful scenes occur towards the end of the novel when Rabbi Eliahou searches for his son during the forced evacuation of Buna. Eliezer recalls seeing Eliahou’s son, recalling that he had abandoned his father. Eliezer then utters a prayer, asking for the strength never to do such a thing to his own father.

Moshe the Beadle – Moshe is Eliezer’s teacher who is deported along with other foreign Jews in Hungary. He escapes, returns, and warns the town about atrocities he witnessed. Nobody believes him.

Madame Shachter – She is deported in the same cattle car as Eliezer. She screams of fires the entire time. The passengers mistake her for a mad woman only to discover she is a prophetess as they see the furnaces of Birkenau and the pit of burning babies.

Juliek – Eliezer first meets Juliek, a young musician, at Auschwitz. He hears him play his violin at Gleiwitz toward the end of the narrative.

Idek – Idek is a kapo at the electrical parts plant at Buna where Eliezer works. Eliezer catches him having intercourse with a French woman. Idek whips Eliezer as punishment.

Franek – Eliezer’s foreman at Buna who steels Eliezer’s gold crown with the help of a dentist and a rusty spoon.

Dr. Josef Mengele – Eliezer encounters Mengele after his arrival at Auschwitz. Known as the angel of death, Mengele sentenced thousands of Jews to their death. He also oversaw cruel experiments on prisoners.

Hilda, Bea, Tziporah – Eliezer’s mother and sisters, whom he never sees after entering Auschwitz.

Read more at

http://www.brighthub.com/education/homework-tips/articles/45197.aspx#ixzz0T4uxryMk

Here are some important Quotes from Night:

Use these Night quotes as a reminder to thwart prejudice, racism, hatred, and discrimination, for they are the seeds of human rights violations. These important quotes from Night will help you remember.

Quote: Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.

Analysis: As Eliezer arrives at Auschwitz he is greeted by his first selection. He and his father follow the line that passes a pit of burning babies. It is difficult for even the most hardened reader not to wince at this passage; it stands out as the most horrible atrocity in a chronicle of horrible atrocities.

Wiesel writes three times in this passage “Never shall I forget.” He uses anaphora, a poetic device that involves the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of clauses, to highlight the novel’s major theme–to never forget.

Quote: Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.

Analysis: A continuation of the first quote in this section, the phrase “Never shall I forget” is repeated four more times. This section of the passage highlights another major theme of the novel–the struggle to maintain faith in a world full of evil.

Some Important Quotes from Night by Elie Wiesel

Use these Night quotes as a reminder to thwart prejudice, racism, hatred, and discrimination, for they are the seeds of human rights violations.

These important quotes from Night will help you remember.

Quote: One day I was able to get up, after gathering all my strength. I wanted to see myself in the mirror hanging on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me. The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me.

Analysis: The narrative’s last lines leaves the reader with a sense of hopelessness. Eliezer views himself as dead; innocence is dead; humanity is dead; God is dead. It is important not to confuse the narrator with the author. Elie Wiesel, the older version of Eliezer, the death camp survivor, has dedicated his life to serving mankind and to prevent human rights atrocities, showing the world that humankind is capable of goodness, notwithstanding its inherent evil. For more on Wiesel’s life after his liberation, check out his website.

Quote: The night was gone. The morning star was shining in the sky. I too had become a completely different person. The student of the Talmud, the child that I was, had been consumed in the flames… A dark flame had entered my soul and devoured it.

Analysis: Wiesel uses parallel structure–the like grammatical structure of adjacent phrases or clauses that signify equality of importance–to draw attention to the two things which died: his faith and his childhood.

Quote: Yet another last night. The last night at home, the last night in the ghetto, the last night in the train, the last night in Buna.

Analysis: The repetition of “the last night” emphasizes death, not just the death of his fellow prisoners, but the death of humanity.

Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/education/homework-tips/articles/45196.aspx#ixzz0T4ws25Ro

 

Themes in Night by Elie Wiesel

Night themes include the dangers of silence and the importance of remembering. Putting into practice these themes from Night by Elie Wiesel can help prevent human rights atrocities. Night themes include the inhumanity of humans toward others and the struggle to have faith in a benevolent God during suffering.

Silence – As Eliezer and his family exit the train at Auschwitz, they are shocked at its existence, causing one of the prisoners to insult them, in disbelief that it was 1944 and they had never heard of Auschwitz. They weren’t alone.

How many otherwise good humans were aware of the existence of concentration camps but chose to remain silent? It is silence which allows the Nazi takeover in Europe. Another silence Wiesel emphasizes is the silence of God to allow such atrocities to occur. Wiesel counsels his readers to not be silent witnesses to hate.

The Importance of Remembering – One of Wiesel’s main objectives in writing Night is to remind his audience that the Holocaust occurred, in hopes that it will never repeat itself. Wiesel has maintained his vigilance against hatred and inhumanity through the Elie Wiesel foundation for humanity.

The Existence of Evil – Philosophers and religious scholars have theorized on the existence of evil for centuries, asking the question “How or why does God allow evil to exist if he is, in fact, all powerful and good. Throughout the narrative, Eliezer answers the question by asserting his God is dead. Despite his avowal that his faith is dead, he maintains scraps of it, praying, for example, that he will never betray his father as Rabbi Eliahou’s son does. He also recognizes that those prisoners who completely lose their faith soon die.

Inhumanity – Eliezer is shocked that human beings can be so cruel. The first section of the narrative portrays the entire city of Sighet in denial. When foreign Jews are deported, the town insists all is well. When Moshe the Beadle returns and reports Nazi atrocities, the town insists all is well. When the Fascists take over in Hungary, the town insists all is well. When the SS begin patrolling the streets, the town insists all is well. When Eliezer suggests they move to Palestine, his father refuses. When Martha the former servant offers them refuge, even after most of the town had been expelled, they remain. Those in Sighet cannot comprehend that other human beings can be so evil.

The Animalization of Humans – Eliezer comments on how prisoners themselves become inhuman in concentration camps. In addition to the kapos who treat regular prisoners almost as cruelly as the SS, Eliezer witnesses three instances of sons turning against their fathers: (1) He witnesses a son abusing his father; (2) He witnesses Rabbi Eliahou’s son abandon him during the forced evacuation from Buna; (3) He witnesses a son beat his own father over a piece of bread on the train to Buchenwald. Eliezer feels guilt over the manner in which he treats his father, feeling him a burden at times.

Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/education/homework-tips/articles/45195.aspx#ixzz0T4xZc1P7

 

Symbolism in Night by Elie Wiesel

Understanding Night symbolism brings greater appreciation for Wiesel’s memoirs.

1. Night – The title of the novel symbolizes death, the death of innocence, childhood, faith, and millions of people. The narrative contains many last nights, the last night in Sighet, the last night in Buna, the last night with his father, the last night of innocence, etc. Night also symbolizes a world without God. The worst suffering occurs at night. Wiesel contends that God does not live in the concentration camps and God’s people have no recourse.


2. Fire – Fire represents hell. Eliezer’s hellish experience is foreshadowed by Madame Shachter’s insane screaming on the train to Auschwitz. The pit of burning babies scars Wiesel for life. The specter of the furnace haunts Wiesel and his fellow prisoners throughout. The symbol of fire in Night, however, is ironic. No longer is fire a tool of the righteous to punish the wicked. It has become a tool of the wicked to punish the righteous. It emphasizes Wiesel’s belief that God has abandoned his people.

3. Silence – Silence symbolizes fear, apathy, and inability. Wiesel cannot comprehend that the world can remain silent as the Nazis commit atrocities. It also represents the silence of the oppressed. Eliezer, for example, remains silent when his father is beaten, unable to help him. The entire town of Sighet remains silent to the pleas of Moshe the Beadle, who warns the town of what is coming. Silence also represents the absence of God. Note the camp’s reaction to the young boy’s hanging–silence. A common theme in the narrative is God’s silence as his people suffer.


4. Corpses – Corpses symbolize the living dead. Prisoners are often referred to as corpses, corpses whose spirits have been crushed by suffering. Eliezer looks in the mirror as the narrative ends and sees a corpse, symbolizing the death of innocence and childhood.

Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/education/homework-tips/articles/48700.aspx#ixzz0T55k6tUW

Books by Elie Wiesel

There are many people, including me, who believe that Elie Wiesel was never in any camp. He made it all up, and he made many mistakes. Yet, his stories continue to be told to school children.

January 15, 2018

Westerbork, the camp were Anne Frank was sent, is in today’s news

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 1:40 pm

You can read about the Nazi transit camp at Westerbork in this recent news article: https://www.timesofisrael.com/at-westerbork-virtual-reality-simulations-recreate-the-nazi-transit-camp/

Westerbork was the camp where Anne Frank was sent first, after she was captured when her hiding place in an attic in Amsterdam was discovered.

Knowing that his Jewish family might be deported, Otto Frank had prepared a hiding place in Amsterdam with a two-year supply of food and other essentials. Five months later, Anne and her family suddenly disappeared, leaving behind notes saying that they had gone to Switzerland, which was a neutral country during World War II.

Otto Frank’s brother actually did escape from occupied France to Switzerland, but Otto Frank had wanted to remain in Amsterdam because he was conducting a thriving business there.

Many other Jewish families in Amsterdam also went into hiding, trusting that their Dutch neighbors and business associates would not betray their hiding places to the police.

Approximately 25,000 Dutch Jews hid during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands which began after the Germans defeated the Dutch in May 1940 in the early part of World War II.

Those unfortunate Dutch Jews who did not go into hiding were taken to a transit camp at Westerbork, from where they were then transported by train to Auschwitz, the infamous killing center, located in what is now Poland. It was there that millions of Jews allegedly perished in gas chambers.

Today, Holocaust deniers claim that there were no homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, but what do they know!

Many of the 160,000 Jews in the Netherlands were refugees, like the Franks and their friends in the annex, who had escaped from Germany after Hitler and the Nazis came to power in 1933.

Westerbork was originally a refugee camp for German Jews who were regarded as illegal immigrants in the Netherlands after they escaped over the border from Nazi Germany before the war.

The Franks went into hiding on July 6, 1942 shortly after Anne’s 13th birthday on June 12th. One week later they were joined by Hermann and Auguste van Pels, their 15-year-old son Peter and Peter’s cat. Dr. Pfeffer joined them on November 16, 1942, bringing along his dentist’s drill.

On August 4th, 1944, the police raided their hiding place in the annex and they were taken to the Westerbork transit camp on a passenger train, after a short stay at the Amsterdam headquarters of the Security Police.

On September 3, 1944, all 8 were loaded onto a freight train and taken on the last transport of Dutch Jews to Auschwitz, where they arrived on the night of September 5th and 6th.

Otto Frank was the only one of the 8 who survived. He died on August 19, 1980 in Switzerland.

Hermann van Pels was allegedly murdered in a gas chamber at Auschwitz in either September or October 1944, according to information presented at the Anne Frank House. Anne’s mother died of tuberculosis in January 1945 at Auschwitz. Anne and her sister died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen; the others all died from disease in various Nazi concentration camps to which they were transferred from Auschwitz.

Anne and her sister, Margot, were sent from Auschwitz on October 28, 1944 to the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp on a transport which, according to the International Red Cross, consisted of sick women who were expected to recover from their illness.

Later, Anne and Margot both became ill with typhus and both died in March 1945 during a horrendous epidemic in Bergen-Belsen. Both were buried in one of the unmarked mass graves there.

January 8, 2018

Never get your foot caught in a railroad switch

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany — furtherglory @ 11:32 am

In the foreground of this photo is a Railroad switch at the former Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

When I was a child, I lived in a house that was only a few feet from the railroad tracks. One of the first things that my father taught me was never to get my foot caught in a rail switch, like the one shown in the old photo above, which was taken inside the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. In other words, never put your foot inside a railroad switch, because you never know when someone will throw that switch and your foot will be caught. You will never be able to get your foot out, and you will be run over by a train.

The following quote is from the news article about the photo above:

Begin quote

Mentor Public Library is hosting a special program about the Nuremberg Trials for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

After World War II, surviving Nazi officials faced trial for their crimes. Those trials and their outcomes still impact global politics today. You can learn more about them at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, at its Main Branch.

The speaker will be the library’s own Dr. John Foster. In addition to being a reference librarian, Foster earned a doctorate degree in history with a specialization in Modern German History. For previous International Holocaust Remembrance Days, he discussed the life of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and the rise of National Socialism in Germany.

Foster’s talk is free and open to all. The library does ask that people register to attend beforehand. They can sign up online or call the library at (440) 255-8811 ext. 247.

End quote from news article

The moral of this story is “Look before you leap” and don’t walk on railroad tracks.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp location was selected on March 1, 1941 when Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the head of all the concentration camps, visited Auschwitz for the first time. He stood on the railroad overpass in Auschwitz and decided that the village of Birkenau, which he could see in the distance, would be an ideal place to expand the Auschwitz concentration camp because of its proximity to the railroad lines. The Polish name for the village was Brzezinka.

Birkenau was opened on October 7, 1941 as a Prisoner of War camp for soldiers captured during the German invasion of the Soviet Union which had begun on June 22, 1941. Most of the Soviet POWs quickly died from starvation, disease and overwork; they were buried in mass graves on the northern side of the vast Birkenau camp.

Out of over 13,000 Soviet POWs who were brought to Birkenau, only 92 were alive on January 17, 1945 when the last roll call was taken. The Germans did not feel the need to treat the Soviet soldiers in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 1929, because the Soviet Union had not signed the Convention and was not treating German POWs according to the laws of the Convention.

The Birkenau camp is huge, covering 425 acres. The boundaries of Birkenau stretch a mile in one direction and a mile and a half in the other direction. When construction was completed, it had over 300 buildings with a capacity of 200,000 prisoners. The entire Birkenau camp was enclosed by an electrified barbed wire fence around the perimeter of the camp.

The interior of the camp was divided into nine sections and each section was surrounded by another electrified barbed wire fence. Men and women were in separate sections, and the younger children stayed in the women’s section.

January 4, 2018

Don’t make fun of Auschwitz survivors — you could go to prison for this crime

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 12:56 pm

You can read all about it at http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/german-man-sentenced-prison-making-fun-holocaust-52138113

There were many survivors of Auschwitz, and some of them are still alive. It is very cruel to make fun of a survivor. The survivors of the Holocaust are sacred people, and you must bow down before them.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

A 32-year-old German neo-Nazi has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for incitement after posting a picture of a miniature of the Auschwitz death camp on Facebook with an offensive caption.

Judge Manfred Weber at the district court in Hohenstein-Ernstthal in eastern Germany told the man Thursday “you made fun of Auschwitz survivors — that’s very bad.”

The German news agency dpa reported that the sentence of the previously convicted neo-Nazi also took into consideration his earlier charge for criminal assault and the posting of a photomontage of Adolf Hitler in combination with a swastika and firecrackers. The display of Nazi emblems is illegal in Germany.

The man from Glauchau in Saxony, whose name was not given in line with German privacy rules, can appeal the conviction.

End quote

What a revolting development this is!  Imagine making fun of a Holocaust survivor. There are many Auschwitz survivors still alive. I have an explanation for that. The Auschwitz prisoners had a potato based diet.  I ate potatoes every day when I was a child, and I think that that is why I’m still alive.

December 31, 2017

Roma and Sinti victims in the Holocaust

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 2:55 pm

You can read about the Roma and Sinti victims of the Holocaust in this news article: http://siouxcityjournal.com/business/local/people/usd-law-professor-attending-seminar-at-holocaust-museum/article_6e734822-074f-593c-aae1-99c25ac3f4cf.html

I wrote about the Roma and Sinti victims of the Holocaust on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Sachsenhausen/MemorialSite/GypsyMuseum.html

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 Sinti and Roma 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. When I visited the display, there were no artifacts, only photographs on large display boards, such as the one shown below.

photo of Gypsy girl who was put into Nazi camp

One of the displays at Sachsenhausen tells about the Gypsies who were transported from Westerbork, a transit camp in the Netherlands, to Auschwitz on May 19, 1944. The photograph above shows a photo from the display which features a girl who 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 a transport to Auschwitz.

 

One of my old blog posts, that is one of my best

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 9:31 am

This old blog post is about Primo Levi, a famous Holocaust survivor who wrote about what happened to him when he was a prisoner of the Germans.

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/primo-levi-the-story-of-ten-days-jan-18th-to-jan-27th-1945/

Oskar Groening is back in the news!

Filed under: Auschwitz, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: — furtherglory @ 8:33 am
Oskar Groening

Poor Oskar looks to old to go to jail.

You can read about Oskar in this 12/31/2017 news article:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/240016

Begin Quote from news article:

He came to attention in 2005 after giving interviews about his work in the camp in an attempt to persuade Holocaust deniers that the genocide had taken place.

End Quote

You can read my many other blog posts about Oskar by following the links below:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/oskar-groening/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/oskar-groening/page/2/

 

December 17, 2017

Why did Rudolf Hoess confess to murdering Jews?

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 12:10 pm

Rudolf Höss was the Commandant of Auschwitz

Rudolf Hoess on the right — Heinrich Himmler on the left.

Rudolf Höss, aka Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau, was arrested by the British near Flensburg, Schleswig- Holstein, Germany on March 11, 1946.

After he confessed, Hoess was turned over to the Supreme National Tribunal in Poland on May 25, 1946.

Hoess was put on trial in 1947; he was convicted and sentenced to be hanged. His execution took place at the main Auschwitz camp on April 16, 1947.

Three months later, the former camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau officially became the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.

Rudolf Hoess was captured by the Jewish Brigade

Flensburg was where Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had established himself in the last days of World War II; he had told his SS men “Save yourself, if you can.”

While he awaited trial in Poland, Rudolf Hoess wrote his memoirs, which were later published in a book with the title “Death Dealer.”

Hoess wrote the following in his memoirs:

I took the name Seamen Franz Lang and traveled with marching orders to the Navel Intelligence School on the Isle of Sylt. […] The Naval Intelligence School was dismantled and transported to the internment area between the Kiel Canal and the Schlei River. […] I was released very early and passed all the British checkpoints and through the employment office without any problems. I got a job on a farm near Flensburg as a laborer.

The British were able to find Rudolf Hoess, after he had been on the farm for eight months, because they contacted his family and threatened to turn his son over to the Soviet Union to be sent to Siberia unless they revealed his hiding place.

On page 179 of “Death Dealer,” Hoess described his arrest and interrogation by the British.

The following quote is from the book entitled “Death Dealer,” edited by Steven Paskuly and first published in 1992:

On March 11, 1946, at 11 p.m., I was arrested. My vial of poison had broken just two days before. The arrest was successful because I was frightened at being awakened out of a sound sleep. I assumed that it was a robbery because there were a lot of them occurring in the area.

I was treated terribly by the [British] Field Security Police. I was dragged to Heide and, of all places, to the same military barracks from which I had been released eight months before by the British. I do not know what was in the transcript, or what I said, even though I signed it, because they gave me liquor and beat me with a whip. It was too much even for me to bear. The whip was my own. By chance it had found its way into my wife’s luggage. My horse had hardly ever been touched by it, much less the prisoners. Somehow one of the interrogators probably thought that I had constantly used it to whip the prisoners.

After a few days I was taken to Minden on the Weser River, which was the main interrogation center in the British zone. There they treated me even more roughly, especially the first British prosecutor, who was a major. The conditions in the jail reflected the attitude of the first prosecutor.

Surprisingly, after three weeks I was shaved, my hair was cut, and I was allowed to wash myself. My handcuffs had not been opened since my arrest. The next day, I was taken by car to Nuremberg together with a prisoner of war who had been brought over from London as a witness in Fritsche’s defense. Compared to where I had been before, imprisonment with the IMT [International Military Tribunal] was like staying in a health spa.


Quoted below is the deposition signed by Rudolf Hoess after being forced to drink liquor and after he was beaten with his own horse whip.

My comments are enclosed in brackets like this […]

Deposition of Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Höss, alias Franz Lang, given while in British Captivity – written in English and signed by Höss:

I Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Höss, alias Franz Lang, hereby declare, after having been warned accordingly, that the following statement is true:

In 1933 I formed a squadron of horse SS on the farm Sallentin in Pommern [Pomerania]. I was detailed by the Party and by landowners to do this as I have been in the cavalry. My party number is 3240.

Himmler noticed me during an inspection of the SS in Stettin; we knew each other from the Bund der Artamanen, and he arranged that the administration of a Concentration Camp was given me.

I came to Dachau in November 1934 where, after additional military training, I was employed as a Blockführer in the Schutzhaftlager. Later on I did the job of a Rapportführer and Gefangenenigentumsverwalter.

When I came to Dachau I held the rank of Scharführer SS and was promoted, in 1935, SS Untersturmführer. In 1938 I was sent, as Adjutant, to the Camp Commandant of Sachsenhausen, Oberführer Baranowski.

In November 1938 I was made Schutzhaftlagerführer holding the rank of a SS- Hauptsturmführer until my transfer to Auschwitz on 1 May 1940.  

I was given the order by a higher authority, to transform the former Polish Artillery Barracks near Auschwitz into a quarantine camp for prisoners coming from Poland.

After Himmler inspected the camp in 1941, I received the order to enlarge the camp and to employ the prisoners in the, to be developed, agricultural district, and to drain the swamps and inundation area on the Weichsel [river].

Furthermore he ordered [me] to put 8 to 10,000 prisoners at the disposal of the building of the new Buna Works of the I.G. Farben [company]. At the same time he ordered the erection of a POW Camp, for 100,000 Russian prisoners, near Birkenau.

The number of prisoners grew daily in spite of my repeated interventions that billets were not sufficient, and further intakes were sent to me. Epidemic diseases were unavoidable because medical provisions were inadequate. The death rates rose accordingly, as prisoners were not buried, crematoriums had to be installed.  

In 1941 the first intakes of Jews came from Slovakia and Upper Silesia. People unfit to work were gassed in a room of the crematorium in accordance with an order which Himmler gave me personally.

I was ordered to see Himmler in Berlin in June 1941 and he told me, approximately, the following:

The Führer ordered the solution of the Jewish question in Europe. [Actually, Hermann Göring ordered Reinhard von Heydrich to hold a conference at Wannsee on January 20, 1942 to plan “the final solution of the Jewish question.”] A few so called Vernichtungslager [extermination camps] are existing in the General Government [occupied Poland]: 

Belzec near Rawa Ruska Ost Polen [not in operation until March 1942]

Treblinka near Malkinia on the River Bug [not in operation until July 1942]

Wolzek near Lublin [no camp with that name ever existed]

The Buna Works [the Auschwitz III camp at Monowitz which was not opened until 1942]

These camps come under the Einsatzkommando of the Sicherheitspolizei under the leadership of high SIPO officers and guard companies. These camps were not very efficient and could not be enlarged. I visited the camp Treblinka in spring 1942 to inform myself about the conditions. [The Treblinka camp was not in operation until July 1942.] The following method was used in the process of extermination. Small chambers were used equipped with pipes to induce the exhaust gas from car engines.

This method was unreliable as the engines, coming from old captured transport vehicles and tanks, very often failed to work. Because of that, the intakes could not be dealt with according to the plan, which [was] meant to clear the Warsaw Ghetto.

According to the Camp Commandant of Treblinka, 80,000 people have been gassed in the course of half a year.

For the above mentioned reasons, Himmler declared the only possibility to extend this camp, in accordance with this plan, was Auschwitz, as it was a railway junction of four lines and, not being thickly populated, the camp area could be cut off completely. This is the reason why he decided to do the mass exterminations in Auschwitz and I had to make the preparations at once.

He wanted the exact plan in accordance with this instruction in four weeks. Furthermore he said this task is so difficult and important that he cannot order just anybody to do it and he had the intention to give this task to another high ranking SS officer but he did not consider it advisable to have two officers giving orders whilst on a construction job.  

I was then given the definite order to carry out the destruction of the intakes sent from RSHA [Reich Security Head Office]. I had to get in touch with SS Obersturmbannführer Eichmann of Amt 4 (Dienststelle) commanded by Gruppenführer Muller [Mueller] concerning the sequence of incoming transports.  

At the same time transports of Russian P.O.W. arrived from the area of the Gestapo Leitstelle Breslau, Troppau, and Kattowitz, who, by Himmler’s written order to the local Gestapo leaders, had to be exterminated.

As the new crematoriums were only to be finished in late 1942 [Krema II was not finished until March 1943 and Krema III was not finished until April 1943], the prisoners had to be gassed in provisionally erected gas-chambers [the little red house and the little white house] and then had to be burned in pits. I am now going to explain the method of gassing.

The sick and people unfit to walk were taken there in lorries. In front of the farmhouses [little red house and little white house] everybody had to undress behind walls made from branches. On the door was a notice saying “Disinfectionsraum.”

The Unterführer on duty had to tell the prisoners to watch their kit in order to find it again after having been deloused; this prevented disturbances.

When they were undressed, they went into the room according to size, 2 to 300 at a time. The doors were locked and one or two tins of zyklon B were thrown into the room through holes in the wall.  

It consisted of a rough substance of Prussic acid. It took, according to the weather 3 to 10 minutes. After half an hour the doors were opened and the bodies were taken out by the commando of prisoners, who were permanently employed there, and burned in pits. Before being cremated, gold teeth and rings were removed.

Firewood was stacked between the bodies and when approximately 100 bodies were in a pit, the wood was lighted with rags soaked in paraffin. When the fire had started properly, more bodies were thrown on to it.  

The fat which collected in the bottom of the pits was put into the fire with buckets to hasten the process of burning when it was raining. The burning took 6 to 7 hours.

The smell of the burned bodies was noticed in the camp even if the wind was blowing from the west. After the pits had been cleaned, the remaining ashes were broken up. This was done on a cement platter where prisoners pulverized the remaining bones with wooden hammers.  

The remains were loaded on lorries and taken to an out of the way place on the Weichsel and thrown into the river. After the erection of the new big crematorium, the following method was used. After the first two big crematoriums [Krema II and Krema III] were finished in 1942 (the other two were finished half a year later) mass transports from Belgium, France, Holland and Greece started. [The other two were Krema IV and Krema V]

The following method was used:

The transport trains ran alongside an especially built ramp [the Judenrampe] with three lines which was situated between the crematorium, store and camp Birkenau. The sorting out of the prisoners and the disposing of the luggage was done on the ramp.

Prisoners fit to work were taken to one of the various camps, prisoners to be exterminated were taken to one of the new crematoriums. There they first went to one of the big underground rooms to address [undress]. This room was equipped with benches and contraptions to hang up clothing and the prisoners were told by interpreters that they were brought here to have a bath and be deloused and to remember where they put their clothing.

Then they went on to the next room which was equipped with water pipes and showers to give the impression of a bath. Two Unterführers remained in the room until the last moment to prevent unrest.

Sometimes it happened that prisoners knew what was going to be done. Especially the transports from Belsen [Bergen-Belsen] knew, as they originated from the East, when the trains reached Upper Silesia, that they were most likely [being] taken to the place of extermination.

When transports from Belsen arrived, safety measures were strengthened and the transports were split up into smaller groups which we sent to different crematoriums to prevent riots. SS men formed a strong cordon and forced resisting prisoners into the gas-chamber. That happened very rarely as prisoners were set at ease by the measures we undertook.  

I remember one incident especially well.

One transport from Belsen arrived, approximately two-thirds, mostly men were in the gas- chamber, the remaining third was in the dressing room. When three or four armed SS Unterführers entered the dressing room to hasten the undressing, mutiny broke out.

The light cables were torn down, the SS men were overpowered, one of them stabbed and all of them were robbed of their weapons. As this room was in complete darkness, wild shooting started between the guard near the exit door and the prisoners inside.

When I arrived, I ordered the doors to be shut and I had the process of gassing the first party finished and then went into the room together with the guard carrying small searchlights, pushing the prisoners into a corner from where they were taken out singly into another room of the crematorium and shot, by my order, with small calibre weapons.  

It happened repeatedly that women hid their children underneath their clothing and did not take them into the gas chamber. The clothing was searched by the permanent commando of prisoners under the supervision of the SS and children who were found were sent into the gas-chamber.  

After half an hour, the electric air conditioner was started up and the bodies were taken up to the cremating stove by lift. The cremation of approximately 2,000 prisoners in five cremating stoves took approximately 12 hours.  

In Auschwitz [actually Birkenau] there were two plants [Krema II and Krema III]; each of them had five double stoves. Furthermore there were another two plants [Krema IV and Krema V], each having four bigger stoves and provisional plants [the two farm houses] as described above. The second provisional plant [actually, the first provisional plant, which was the little red house] had been destroyed. All clothing and property of prisoners was sorted out in the store by a commando of prisoners which was permanently employed there and was also billeted there.  

Valuables were sent monthly to the Reichsbank in Berlin. Clothing was sent to armament firms, after having been cleaned, for the use of forced labour and displaced persons. Gold from teeth was melted down and sent monthly to the medical department of the Waffen-SS. 

The man in charge was Sanitaetsfeldzeugmeister SS ­Gruppenführer Blumenreuter. I personally never shot anybody or beat anybody.

Owing to the mass intakes, the number of prisoners fit to work grew immensely. My protests to the RHSA to slow down the transports, which means to send fewer transports, was rejected every time. The reason given was the Reichsführer-SS [Heinrich Himmler] had given an order to speed up extermination and every SS Führer hampering same will be called to account.

Owing to the immense over populating of existing barracks and owing to the inadequate hygienic installations, epidemic diseases like spotted fever [typhoid], typhus, scarlet fever and diphtheria, broke out from time to time, especially in the camp Birkenau.  

Doctors came under the camp commandant from a military point of view. As far as medical decisions went, they had their own routine and came under the Chef des Sanitatswesens des WVHauptamtes Standartenführer Dr. Lolling, who again came under Reichsarzt Dr Gravitz.  

In one respect, the above mentioned rule has been broken; local Gestapo leaders were given orders by RHSA to get in touch with me. Prisoners which were kept in concentration camps for the Gestapo and who have not been sentenced out of political reasons were allowed to be removed by any other means.

I received the names of the persons, personally, from the leader of the Gestapo and I passed them on again to the respective doctor for finishing off. This, usually was an injection of petrol. The doctor had orders to write an ordinary death certificate. Regarding the reason of the deaths, he could put any illness.

During the time as Commandant, we made the following experiments:

Professor Clauberg, chief of the Women’s Hospital, Konigshutte, in Upper Silesia, made sterilization experiments. This was done as follows. He got in contact with the doctor of the women’s camp to find him suitable persons.

They were put in a special ward of the hospital. Under a special x-ray screen, he gave them a syringe with a special liquid, which went through the womb into the ovary. This liquid, as he said, definitely blocked the ovary and caused an inflammation. After a few weeks, he gave them another injection which could tell him that the ovary was definitely blocked.

These experiments were made by order of the Reichsführer-SS [Heinrich Himmler].  

Signed: Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Höss


At the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, Rudolf Hoess was called as a defense witness by Kurt Kauffmann, the lawyer for Ernst Kaltenbrunner, on April 15, 1946. This “opened the door” for an affidavit signed by Hoess to be entered into the proceedings of the Nuremberg IMT and gave the prosecution the opportunity to cross-examine Hoess on the witness stand on April 15, 1946.

The first confession signed by Hoess was labeled by the Allies as Nuremberg Document No-1210. It was an 8-page typewritten document written in German. Hoess wrote the date 14.3.1946 2:30 (March 14, 1946 2:30 a.m.) next to his signature. This date was three days after his capure on March 11, 1946. Hoess had been beaten half to death; alcohol had been poured down his throat, and he had been kept awake for three days and nights before he finally signed this confession at 2:30 in the morning.

A second affidavit signed by Rudolf Hoess on April 5, 1946 was labeled by the Allies at the Nuremberg IMT as document PS-3868. It was a typewritten document, about 2 and a quarter pages long, written in English. A second document, also labeled PS-3868, was purported to be the English translation of the original deposition given by Hoess in German. The second document was the one that was entered into the proceedings of the Nuremberg IMT.

During his cross-examination of Rudolf Hoess, American prosecutor Col. Harlan Amen quoted from the second affidavit which was alleged to be the English translation of a deposition given by Hoess in German. After reading each statement made by Hoess in his affidavit, Col Amen asked Hoess if this was what he had said and Hoess answered “Jawohl.” [the English equivalent would be “Yes, indeed.”]

Text of Affidavit signed by Kommandant Rudolf Höss on April 5, 1946, which was entered into the proceedings of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal:

Begin quote

I am forty six years old, and have been a member of the NSDAP [Nazi party] since 1922, a member of the SS since 1934, a member of the Waffen-SS since 1939. I was a member from 1 December 1934 of the SS Guard Unit, the so-called Deathshead Formation (Totenkopf Verband).

I have been constantly associated with the administration of concentration camps since 1934, serving at Dachau until 1938; then as Adjutant in Sachsenhausen from 1938 – 5/1/1940, when I was appointed Kommandant of Auschwitz. I commanded Auschwitz until 12/1/1943 and estimate that at least 2.5 million victims were executed and exterminated there by gassing and burning, and at least another half million succumbed to starvation and disease, making a total dead of about 3 million. This figure represents about 70-80% of all persons sent to Auschwitz as prisoners, the remainder having been selected and used for slave labor in the concentration camp industries; included among the executed and burned were approximately 20,000 Russian prisoners of war (previously screened out of prisoner-of-war cages by the Gestapo) who were delivered at Auschwitz in Wehrmacht transports operated by regular Wehrmacht officers and men. The remainder of the total number of victims included about 100,000 German Jews, and great numbers of citizens, mostly Jewish, from Holland, France, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Greece, or other countries. [There were no Jews from Hungary among the victims while Hoess was the Commandant from May 1, 1940 until December 1, 1943.] We executed about 400,000 Hungarian Jews alone at Auschwitz in the summer of 1944.

[Hoess was brought back to Auschwitz-Birkenau on May 8, 1944 to supervise the gassing of the Hungarian Jews which had begun on May 2, 1944 when two trains filled with Hungarian Jews arrived at Birkenau.]

Mass executions by gassing commenced during the summer of 1941 and continued until Fall 1944. I personally supervised executions at Auschwitz until 12/1/1943 and know by reason of my continued duties in the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps, WVHA, that these mass executions continued as stated above. All mass executions by gassing took place under the direct order, supervision, and responsibility of RSHA. I received all orders for carrying out these mass executions directly from RSHA.

The “Final Solution” of the Jewish question meant the complete extermination of all Jews in Europe. I was ordered to establish extermination facilities at Auschwitz in 6/1941. At that time, there were already in the General Government three other extermination camps: Belzek [sic], Treblinka and Wolzek [probably Sobibor]. These camps were under the Einsatzkommando of the Security Police and SD. I visited Treblinka to find out how they carried out their exterminations.

[The extermination camps at Belzec, Treblinka and Wolzek (Sobibor) were not in existence until 1942.]

The camp commandant at Treblinka told me that he had liquidated 80,000 in the course of one-half year. He was principally concerned with liquidating all the Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto. He used [carbon] monoxide gas, and I did not think that his methods were very efficient. So when I set up the extermination building at Auschwitz, I used Zyklon B, which was a crystallized prussic acid which we dropped into the death chamber from a small opening. It took from 3-15 minutes to kill the people in the death chamber, depending upon climatic conditions. We knew when the people were dead because their screaming stopped. We usually waited about one-half hour before we opened the doors and removed the bodies. After the bodies were removed our special Kommandos took off the rings and extracted the gold from the teeth of the corpses.

Another improvement we made over Treblinka was that we built our gas chamber to accommodate 2000 people at one time whereas at Treblinka their 10 gas chambers only accommodated 200 people each. The way we selected our victims was as follows: We had two SS doctors on duty at Auschwitz to examine the incoming transports of prisoners. The prisoners would be marched by one of the doctors who would make spot decisions as they walked by. Those who were fit for work were sent into the camp. Others were sent immediately to the extermination plants. Children of tender years were invariably exterminated since by reason of their youth they were unable to work.

Still another improvement we made over Treblinka was that at Treblinka the victims almost always knew that they were to be exterminated and at Auschwitz we endeavored to fool the victims into thinking that they were to go through a delousing process. Of course, frequently they realized our true intentions and we sometimes had riots and difficulties due to that fact. Very frequently women would hide their children under the clothes, but of course when we found them we would send the children in to be exterminated. We were required to carry out these exterminations in secrecy but of course the foul and nauseating stench from the continuous burning of bodies permeated the entire area and all of the people living in the surrounding communities knew that exterminations were going on at Auschwitz.

We received from time to time special prisoners from the local Gestapo office. The SS doctors killed such prisoners by injections of benzene. Doctors had orders to write ordinary death certificates and could put down any reason at all for the cause of death.

From time to time we conducted medical experiments on women inmates, including sterilization and experiments relating to cancer. Most of the people who died under these experiments had been already condemned to death by the Gestapo.

I understand English as it is written above. The above statements are true; this declaration is made by me voluntarily and without compulsion; after reading over the statement I have signed and executed the same at Nuremberg, Germany, on the 4/5/1946. – Rudolf Hoess


Background of Rudolf Hoess

In 1923, Rudolf Höss [Hoess] was involved in the political murder of Walter Kadow, who was alleged to have betrayed Nazi party member Leo Schlageter to the French occupation authorities. He was sentenced to ten years in prison. One of his accomplices was Martin Bormann, Hitler’s future deputy, who subsequently protected him at a later stage in his career.

Höss was released under the Amnesty Law of 14 July 1928, after having served less than half of his sentence, and for the next six years, he worked as a farmer in Brandenburg and Pomerania in various service groups. 

In 1934, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler invited Höss to join the SS and, in June of the same year, he was posted to the concentration camp at Dachau, as a block overseer.

Höss was transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1938, where he was promoted to SS Captain and given the job of Adjutant to the Commandant. Two years later, Höss was appointed the first Commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp on 1 May 1940. Höss held this position until 1 December 1943 when he was replaced by Arthur Liebehenschel, who became the new Commandant of Auschwitz I.

Höss visited Chelmno in September 1942 and he also visited the Treblinka death camp; in Lublin, he met Odilo Globocnik, who was in charge of the “Aktion Reinhard” program.

In November 1943, Höss was made the head of the number one branch of Amstgruppe D of the WVHA, later becoming the deputy of Richard Glücks, the Inspector ­ General of Concentration Camps. Höss returned to Auschwitz on 8 May 1944 to oversee the extermination of the Hungarian Jews.

 

December 8, 2017

Holocaust survivor Alice Lok Cohana has died at 88 years old

Filed under: Auschwitz, Holocaust — Tags: — furtherglory @ 2:30 pm
KRT KIDS NEWS STORY SLUGGED: HOLOCAUST KRT PHOTOGRAPH VIA CHICAGO TRIBUNE  (KN5-February 11) Alice Lok Cahana recalls celebrating the Sabbath with her sister while hiding in Bergen-Belsen s latrines, pictured behind her, during World War II. Cahana is one of five Hungarian Holocaust survivors interviewed in the film 'The Last Days,' the new documentary produced by Steven Spielberg.  The Last Days,' (PG-13) which opens friday, survivors revisited concentration camps and the towns where they grew up. (TB) AP,PL 1999 (Horiz B&W Only) Photo: HO / CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Alice Lok Cahana recalls celebrating the Sabbath with her sister while hiding in Bergen-Belsen’s latrines.

You can read about the death of Alice Lok Cohana at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-deaths/article/Alice-Lok-Cahana-artist-and-Holocaust-survivor-12417040.php#photo-14674373

Several years ago, I wrote the following about Alice Lok Cohana on my website:

Begin quote from my website:

One of the Hungarian Jews who survived Auschwitz was Alice Lok Cahana, whose story was recounted by Laurence Rees in his book entitled “Auschwitz, a New History.”

Alice was 15 when she was registered in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, but months later she was sent to the gas chamber in Krema V and told that she would be given new clothes after taking a shower. The purpose of the red brick Krema V building was deceptively disguised by red geraniums in window boxes, according to Alice.

She was inside the gas chamber in Krema V when the revolt by the Sonderkommando unit in Krema IV began on October 7, 1944. This was the occasion when the Sonderkommando blew up the Krema IV gas chamber building with dynamite that had been sneaked into Auschwitz-Birkenau by some of the women prisoners who worked in factories outside the camp.

houston artist and Holocaust survivor, Alice Cahana, is featured in Steven Spielberg's documentary, THE LAST DAYS.  photo shot 2/16/99 HOUCHRON CAPTION (02/18/1999): Alice Lok Cahana keeps memories of concentration camp horrors and small blessings alive in her paintings and in her testimony in the Oscar-nominated film "The Last Days.'' Photo: Kevin Fujii / Houston Chronicle

Alice Lok Cahana The recent news article left out here survival story.

Laurence Rees wrote:

But the revolt did save some lives. It must have been because of the chaos caused by the Sonderkommando in crematorium 4 that the SS guards emptied the gas chamber of crematorium 5 next door without killing Alice Lok Cahana and her group.

End quote

December 2, 2017

Oskar Groening — the SS man who observed the gassing of the Jews at Auschwitz

Filed under: Auschwitz, Holocaust — Tags: — furtherglory @ 9:17 am

My photo of the gas chamber at Auschwitz

I took the photo above, in the Auschwitz main camp, while my tour guide was screaming at me that I COULD not take photos. She should have said “you MAY not take photos”. I could take photos, so I did.

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Birkenau/RuinsBunker2.html

The following text is quoted from my web site which you can read in full by following the link above.

Oskar Groening, an SS man who worked at Auschwitz-Birkenau, said that the gassing of the Jews, during the Holocaust, was done at night in two old farmhouses.

As told by Laurence Rees, Groening said that he had witnessed a gassing operation one night after he had been awakened by an alarm because a number of Jews had escaped as they were being marched to the gas chamber. He saw the lights on in one of the farm houses, and seven or eight bodies out in front of the building. He assumed that these were the bodies of escapees who had been caught and shot.

Groening was “overcome by curiosity,” according to Lawrence Rees, and Groening and his comrades stayed around to watch what was going on at the farm house. They saw an SS man, wearing a gas mask, pour Zyklon-B pellets through a hatch in the side of the cottage wall. They heard screaming for a minute, followed by silence. Then an SS man went up to the door, and looked through a peephole to see if all the prisoners were dead.

This remote area at Auschwitz-Birkenau was a good location for the use of Zyklon-B which was a dangerous chemical that had the potential to kill the SS men who had to throw it inside the building.

Until March 1942, the gassing of the Jews had been done in Krema I at the Auschwitz main camp. Krema I was situated between the SS hospital and the Gestapo building, not a good location for the use of dangerous poison gas.

In his autobiography, Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant at Auschwitz-Birkenau, wrote regarding the gassing of the Jews in the little white house:

Begin quote

“Hundreds of men and women in the full bloom of life walked all unsuspecting to their death in the gas chambers under the blossom-laden fruit trees of the orchard. This picture of death in the midst of life remains with me to this day. I looked upon them [the Jews] as enemies of our people. The reasons behind the Extermination Program seemed to me right.”

End quote

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/oskar-groening/

Oskar has been in the news quite a bit lately, and you can click on the link above and then scroll down to read the many news articles.

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