Scrapbookpages Blog

May 10, 2018

The liberation of the infamous Buchenwald concentration camp

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, World War II — furtherglory @ 9:15 am

American soldiers at Buchenwald gatehouse, April 1945

The Buchenwald concentration camp was liberated on April 11, 1945 by four soldiers in the Sixth Armored Division of the US Third Army, commanded by General George S. Patton. Just before the Americans arrived, the camp had already been taken over by the Communist prisoners who had killed some of the guards and forced the rest to flee into the nearby woods.

Pfc. James Hoyt was driving the M8 armored vehicle which brought Capt. Frederic Keffer, Tech. Sgt. Herbert Gottschalk and Sgt. Harry Ward to the Buchenwald camp that day.

The following quote is from a CNN news story on the occasion of the death of James Hoyt on August 14, 2008 at the age of 83:

Begin quote

According to military records, Keffer was the officer in command of the six-wheeled armored vehicle that day. The soldiers were part of the Army’s 6th Armored Division near the camp when about 15 SS troopers were captured. It was mid-afternoon.

“At the same time, a group of Russians just escaped from the concentration camp, burst out of the woods attempting to attack the SS men. The Russians were restrained and interrogated,” Maj. Gen. R.W. Grow, the American commander of the 6th Armored Division, wrote in a 1975 letter about the Buchenwald liberation.

Keffer was ordered to take his three comrades and two of the Russian prisoners “as guides to investigate, report and rejoin as rapidly as possible.”

“I took this side journey of about 3 km away from our main force because we kept encountering SS guards and prison inmates, and the latter told us of the large camp to the south,” Keffer wrote in a letter around the 30th anniversary of the liberation.

“We had been told by our intelligence that we might overrun a large prison camp, but we — or at least I — had no idea of either the gigantic size of the camp or of the full extent of the incredible brutality.”

Keffer and Gottschalk, who spoke German, entered the camp through a hole in an electric barbed wire fence. Hoyt and Ward initially stayed at the vehicle.

“We were tumultuously greeted by what I was told were 21,000 men, and what an incredible greeting that was,” Keffer wrote. “I was picked up by arms and legs, thrown into the air, caught, thrown again, caught, thrown, etc., until I had to stop it. I was getting dizzy.

“How the men found such a surge of strength in their emaciated condition was one of those bodily wonders in which the spirit sometimes overcomes all weaknesses of the flesh. My, but it was a great day!”

Keffer said the prisoners, through an underground system, had already taken control of the camp. The four soldiers notified division command to get medical help and food to the prisoners as soon as possible.

The 6th Armored Division newspaper “Armored Attacker” ran a headline on May 5, 1945: “Four 9th AIB Doughs Find Buchenwald.” The article described the discovery as “the worst concentration camp yet to be uncovered by west wall troops.”

Hoyt, a Bronze Star recipient and veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, was the last of the four original liberators to die.

End quote

Today visitors can relive the historic moment that the Communist Resistance fighters took over the Buchenwald concentration camp when they see the clock on top of the gatehouse, which was stopped at 3:15 p.m., the exact time that the prisoners gained control.

Gatehouse at Buchenwald, October 1999

On the morning of April 12, 1945, soldiers of the 80th Infantry Division arrived in the nearby town of Weimar and found it deserted except for some of the liberated prisoners roaming around. The townspeople were cowering in fear inside their bomb-damaged homes.

Edward R. Murrow arrived in Weimar that day and reported in his famous radio broadcast from Buchenwald that the liberated prisoners were hunting down the SS soldiers who had escaped from the camp the day before and killing them while the Americans watched.

Buchenwald’s most famous survivor, Elie Wiesel, wrote that after the liberation of the Buchenwald camp, some of the inmates drove in American jeeps to Weimar, where they looted homes, raped the women, and randomly killed German civilians.

There were approximately 21,000 prisoners at Buchenwald on the day it was liberated. This included approximately 4,000 Jewish prisoners who were survivors of the death camps in what is now Poland, and 904 children under the age of 17, many of whom were orphans.

Regarding the liberation of Buchenwald on April 11, 1945, Robert Abzug wrote the following in his book “Inside the Vicious Heart”:

Begin quote

The Americans were met by reasonably healthy looking, armed prisoners ready to help administer distribution of food, clothing, and medical care. These same prisoners, an International Committee with the Communist underground leader Hans Eiden at its head, seemed to have perfect control over their fellow inmates.

End quote

T/4 Carroll E. Peterson was an 18-year old high school student who had never been more than 100 miles from his home town of Webster, South Dakota until he was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Europe with the 80th Infantry Division in 1944. He reported that one of the sights that he witnessed at Buchenwald, when he visited the camp for a couple of hours on April 12th, was the autopsy table where the skin of starved-to-death prisoners had been removed to make lamp shades.

Harry Snodgrass was a 23 year-old American soldier from Tennessee who had enlisted at the age of 20. He toured the Buchenwald camp a day or two after it was liberated, escorted by a Lithuanian inmate who spoke broken English. In an interview for a documentary film, Snodgrass recalled: “It was in the commander’s office. There were lampshades made from the skin of Jews. In the crematorium they used the ashes of the inmates to fertilize the fields – the ashes of dead people. After an hour, it just became too much. I was stunned – just stunned. We don’t even treat dogs like this.”

The town of Weimar had suffered extensive damage after an Allied bombing raid on February 9, 1945. When the soldiers of the 80th Infantry Division arrived, the bodies of German civilians were still buried under the fallen buildings and the stench was unbearable. The classic building, where Germany’s Weimar Republic was born, lay in ruins; the 18th century homes of Goethe and Schiller, both of which had been preserved as national shrines, were severely damaged. All the historic buildings on the north side of the main town square had been demolished, and the rest of the buildings were damaged.

Damage from Allied bombing of Weimar on Feb. 9, 1945

The American liberators had no sympathy for the residents of Weimar, who had let unspeakable atrocities happen at the Buchenwald camp, only five miles from the town. Regarding the complacency of the townspeople, Harry Snodgrass told an interviewer: “They saw the trains going in but no one saw them leave. If they say they didn’t know what was happening, they were lying.”

The Allies used the word “extermination camp” for all the Nazi camps, assuming that the purpose of these camps was the mass murder of the Jews.

Gatehouse at Buchenwald, October 1999

On the morning of April 12, 1945, soldiers of the 80th Infantry Division arrived in the nearby town of Weimar and found it deserted except for some of the liberated prisoners roaming around. The townspeople were cowering in fear inside their bomb-damaged homes.

Edward R. Murrow arrived in Weimar that day and reported in his famous radio broadcast from Buchenwald that the liberated prisoners were hunting down the SS soldiers who had escaped from the camp the day before and killing them while the Americans watched.

Buchenwald’s most famous survivor, Elie Wiesel, wrote that after the liberation of the Buchenwald camp, some of the inmates drove in American jeeps to Weimar, where they looted homes, raped the women, and randomly killed German civilians.

There were approximately 21,000 prisoners at Buchenwald on the day it was liberated. This included approximately 4,000 Jewish prisoners who were survivors of the death camps in what is now Poland, and 904 children under the age of 17, many of whom were orphans.

Regarding the liberation of Buchenwald on April 11, 1945, Robert Abzug wrote the following in his book “Inside the Vicious Heart”:

The Americans were met by reasonably healthy looking, armed prisoners ready to help administer distribution of food, clothing, and medical care. These same prisoners, an International Committee with the Communist underground leader Hans Eiden at its head, seemed to have perfect control over their fellow inmates.

T/4 Carroll E. Peterson was an 18-year old high school student who had never been more than 100 miles from his home town of Webster, South Dakota until he was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Europe with the 80th Infantry Division in 1944. He reported that one of the sights that he witnessed at Buchenwald, when he visited the camp for a couple of hours on April 12th, was the autopsy table where the skin of starved-to-death prisoners had been removed to make lamp shades.

Harry Snodgrass was a 23 year-old American soldier from Tennessee who had enlisted at the age of 20. He toured the Buchenwald camp a day or two after it was liberated, escorted by a Lithuanian inmate who spoke broken English. In an interview for a documentary film, Snodgrass recalled: “It was in the commander’s office. There were lampshades made from the skin of Jews. In the crematorium they used the ashes of the inmates to fertilize the fields – the ashes of dead people. After an hour, it just became too much. I was stunned – just stunned. We don’t even treat dogs like this.”

The town of Weimar had suffered extensive damage after an Allied bombing raid on February 9, 1945. When the soldiers of the 80th Infantry Division arrived, the bodies of German civilians were still buried under the fallen buildings and the stench was unbearable. The classic building, where Germany’s Weimar Republic was born, lay in ruins; the 18th century homes of Goethe and Schiller, both of which had been preserved as national shrines, were severely damaged. All the historic buildings on the north side of the main town square had been demolished, and the rest of the buildings were damaged.

Damage from Allied bombing of Weimar on Feb. 9, 1945

The American liberators had no sympathy for the residents of Weimar, who had let unspeakable atrocities happen at the Buchenwald camp, only five miles from the town. Regarding the complacency of the townspeople, Harry Snodgrass told an interviewer: “They saw the trains going in but no one saw them leave. If they say they didn’t know what was happening, they were lying.”

The Allies used the word “extermination camp” for all the Nazi beration of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp

American soldiers at Buchenwald gatehouse, April 1945

The Buchenwald concentration camp was liberated on April 11, 1945 by four soldiers in the Sixth Armored Division of the US Third Army, commanded by General George S. Patton. Just before the Americans arrived, the camp had already been taken over by the Communist prisoners who had killed some of the guards and forced the rest to flee into the nearby woods.

Pfc. James Hoyt was driving the M8 armoured vehicle which brought Capt. Frederic Keffer, Tech. Sgt. Herbert Gottschalk and Sgt. Harry Ward to the Buchenwald camp that day.

The following quote is from a CNN news story on the occasion of the death of James Hoyt on August 14, 2008 at the age of 83:

According to military records, Keffer was the officer in command of the six-wheeled armored vehicle that day. The soldiers were part of the Army’s 6th Armored Division near the camp when about 15 SS troopers were captured. It was mid-afternoon.

“At the same time, a group of Russians just escaped from the concentration camp, burst out of the woods attempting to attack the SS men. The Russians were restrained and interrogated,” Maj. Gen. R.W. Grow, the American commander of the 6th Armored Division, wrote in a 1975 letter about the Buchenwald liberation.

Keffer was ordered to take his three comrades and two of the Russian prisoners “as guides to investigate, report and rejoin as rapidly as possible.”

“I took this side journey of about 3 km away from our main force because we kept encountering SS guards and prison inmates, and the latter told us of the large camp to the south,” Keffer wrote in a letter around the 30th anniversary of the liberation.

“We had been told by our intelligence that we might overrun a large prison camp, but we — or at least I — had no idea of either the gigantic size of the camp or of the full extent of the incredible brutality.”

Keffer and Gottschalk, who spoke German, entered the camp through a hole in an electric barbed wire fence. Hoyt and Ward initially stayed at the vehicle.

“We were tumultuously greeted by what I was told were 21,000 men, and what an incredible greeting that was,” Keffer wrote. “I was picked up by arms and legs, thrown into the air, caught, thrown again, caught, thrown, etc., until I had to stop it. I was getting dizzy.

“How the men found such a surge of strength in their emaciated condition was one of those bodily wonders in which the spirit sometimes overcomes all weaknesses of the flesh. My, but it was a great day!”

Keffer said the prisoners, through an underground system, had already taken control of the camp. The four soldiers notified division command to get medical help and food to the prisoners as soon as possible.

The 6th Armored Division newspaper “Armored Attacker” ran a headline on May 5, 1945: “Four 9th AIB Doughs Find Buchenwald.” The article described the discovery as “the worst concentration camp yet to be uncovered by west wall troops.”

Hoyt, a Bronze Star recipient and veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, was the last of the four original liberators to die.

Today visitors can relive the historic moment that the Communist Resistance fighters took over the Buchenwald concentration camp when they see the clock on top of the gatehouse stopped at 3:15 p.m., the exact time that the prisoners gained control.

Gatehouse at Buchenwald, October 1999

On the morning of April 12, 1945, soldiers of the 80th Infantry Division arrived in the nearby town of Weimar and found it deserted except for some of the liberated prisoners roaming around. The townspeople were cowering in fear inside their bomb-damaged homes.

Edward R. Murrow arrived in Weimar that day and reported in his famous radio broadcast from Buchenwald that the liberated prisoners were hunting down the SS soldiers who had escaped from the camp the day before and killing them while the Americans watched.

Buchenwald’s most famous survivor, Elie Wiesel, wrote that after the liberation of the Buchenwald camp, some of the inmates drove in American jeeps to Weimar, where they looted homes, raped the women, and randomly killed German civilians.

There were approximately 21,000 prisoners at Buchenwald on the day it was liberated. This included approximately 4,000 Jewish prisoners who were survivors of the death camps in what is now Poland, and 904 children under the age of 17, many of whom were orphans.

Regarding the liberation of Buchenwald on April 11, 1945, Robert Abzug wrote the following in his book “Inside the Vicious Heart”:

The Americans were met by reasonably healthy looking, armed prisoners ready to help administer distribution of food, clothing, and medical care. These same prisoners, an International Committee with the Communist underground leader Hans Eiden at its head, seemed to have perfect control over their fellow inmates.

T/4 Carroll E. Peterson was an 18-year old high school student who had never been more than 100 miles from his home town of Webster, South Dakota until he was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Europe with the 80th Infantry Division in 1944. He reported that one of the sights that he witnessed at Buchenwald, when he visited the camp for a couple of hours on April 12th, was the autopsy table where the skin of starved-to-death prisoners had been removed to make lamp shades.

Harry Snodgrass was a 23 year-old American soldier from Tennessee who had enlisted at the age of 20. He toured the Buchenwald camp a day or two after it was liberated, escorted by a Lithuanian inmate who spoke broken English. In an interview for a documentary film, Snodgrass recalled: “It was in the commander’s office. There were lampshades made from the skin of Jews. In the crematorium they used the ashes of the inmates to fertilize the fields – the ashes of dead people. After an hour, it just became too much. I was stunned – just stunned. We don’t even treat dogs like this.”

The town of Weimar had suffered extensive damage after an Allied bombing raid on February 9, 1945. When the soldiers of the 80th Infantry Division arrived, the bodies of German civilians were still buried under the fallen buildings and the stench was unbearable. The classic building, where Germany’s Weimar Republic was born, lay in ruins; the 18th century homes of Goethe and Schiller, both of which had been preserved as national shrines, were severely damaged. All the historic buildings on the north side of the main town square had been demolished, and the rest of the buildings were damaged.

Damage from Allied bombing of Weimar on Feb. 9, 1945

The American liberators had no sympathy for the residents of Weimar, who had let unspeakable atrocities happen at the Buchenwald camp, only five miles from the town. Regarding the complacency of the townspeople, Harry Snodgrass told an interviewer: “They saw the trains going in but no one saw them leave. If they say they didn’t know what was happening, they were lying.”

The Allies used the word “extermination camp” for all the Nazi camps, assuming that the purpose of these camps was the mass murder of the Jews. Buchenwald was a Class II camp, intended for the imprisonment of condemned criminals and captured anti-Fascist resistance fighters who were considered to be beyond “rehabilitation.”

General Patton urinates into the Rhine river in Germany

General Patton wrote:

I drove to the Rhine River and went across on the pontoon bridge. I stopped in the middle to take a piss and then picked up some dirt on the far side in emulation of William the Conqueror.

General George S. Patton, March 1945

After crossing the Rhine river, Germany’s ancient line of defense, on the night of March 22, 1945, the US Third Army, commanded by General George S. Patton, was advancing through the middle of Germany toward a pre-determined line where they would stop and wait for the Russian troops advancing from the east. In their path were four charming old towns laid out like a string of pearls in a straight line through the Horsel Valley on Highway F7: Eisenach, Gotha, Erfurt, and Weimar.

This was the heartland of German culture, the old stamping grounds of such German greats as Goethe, Schiller, Liszt, Herder, Nietzsche, Cranach, Luther, and Bach. Today these four cities draw millions of tourists who want to follow in the footsteps of the famous on “the Classics Road.” The area has long been known for its well preserved medieval villages and its gemütliche German people.

By April 1st, which was Easter Sunday, the American soldiers were approaching the first town, Eisenach, on the northwestern edge of the Thuringian Forest. Eisenach has been at the center of German culture since the Middle Ages; it is where Johann Sebastian Bach was born and the place where Martin Luther holed up in a castle to translate the Bible. A few miles down the road is the town of Erfurt, the place from which St. Boniface set out on his mission to convert the Germans to Christianity.

The typical American soldier in World War II was a 19-year-old youth, fresh from the farms and small towns of a country that was less than 200 years old. Most of them had never been outside their home state and the closest they had ever come to the kind of sights they were seeing in Germany was a picture in an encyclopedia. Some of the towns and villages they were marching through had been in existence for 700 years before America had even been seen by a white man. The war-time destruction of this ancient culture, which they were participating in, must have been mind-boggling. Most of these soldiers had no clear idea of why they were fighting the Germans, as General Dwight D. Eisenhower admitted.

 

 

 

April 25, 2018

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 http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/stories/death-camps.htm

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 11, 2018

On this day, April 11th, Buchenwald was liberated

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany — furtherglory @ 5:19 pm

You can read about the liberation of Buchenwald on this day, April 11th in 1945:  https://heavy.com/news/2018/04/buchenwald-concentration-camp-liberated-nazi-wwii/

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

On April 11, 1945, American troops, led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp located near Weimar, Germany. Upon encountering the various atrocities committed by the Nazis at Buchenwald, Eisenhower would later write that “nothing has ever shocked me as much as that sight.”

Buchenwald was home to some of the most notorious and brutal Nazi criminals of World War II. Karl Otto Koch served as the camp commandant, accompanied by his wife, Ilse Koch, who earned the nickname “The Beast of Buchenwald” or “The Bitch of Buchenwald” due to her cruelty toward the prisoners and general inhumanity.

End quote

I have a whole section, on my website, about Buchenwald, which you can read at

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/index.html

December 16, 2017

The truth about the “Buchenwald war criminals”

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 11:27 am

I have a section on my website about the Buchenwald camp, which you can read at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/index.html

You can read about the alleged Buchenwald atrocities in this section of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Atrocities.html

After World War II ended, the Nazi concentration camps were declared to be a “criminal enterprise” by the Allies. Under the new Allied concept of “co-responsibility” which was used in all the World War II war crimes trials, anyone who had worked in any one of the German camps, in any capacity, was a war criminal.

The 31 accused persons, in the Buchenwald war crimes trial, included at least one person who represented each job title in the camp.

The relatively low number of Buchenwald war criminals might have been due to the fact that 76 of the SS staff members had been hunted down and killed by the inmates with the help of the Americans after the camp was liberatorated.

It was not a war crime for American soldiers to kill German POWs at that time because General Dwight D. Eisenhower had had the foresight in March 1945 to designate all future German POWs as Disarmed Enemy Forces in order to get around the rules of the Geneva Convention of 1929, which America had signed.

May 15, 2017

Buchenwald concentration camp was liberated 72 years ago

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 9:07 am

The former Buchenwald camp is in today’s news: http://www.dw.com/en/minutes-silence-at-buchenwald-concentration-camp-marks-72-years-since-liberation/a-38384666

My photo of Buchenwald monument

I have a section about Buchenwald on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Tour.html

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

The state of Thuringia’s culture minister, Benjamin-Immanuel Hoff, was among those who joined Tuesday’s commemorations. The minute’s silence at 3:15 p.m. (1315 UTC) marked the moment troops from the US army first entered the camp near Weimar on April 11, 1945.

There they found 21,000 survivors, including several hundred children and teenagers.

Between 1937 and 1945 the Nazis sent almost 280,000 people from all over Europe to Buchenwald and its 139 satellite camps.

At least 56,000 people died there. They were murdered, used in medical experiments or perished due to starvation or cold while being forced to work making weapons for Adolf Hitler’s war machine.

End quote

My photo of the fence around the Buchenwald camp

You can read more about the Buchenwald camp on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/JedemDasSeine.html

You can read about Elie Wiesel and his claim of being a prisoner at Buchenwald on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/elie-wiesel-at-buchenwald-i-was-there-but-i-wasnt-there/

May 7, 2017

Who can identify this photo?

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 5:49 pm

This photo of prisoners, in the Buchenwald camp, was used in a news article, but the location  was not identified.

The photo above was used in this news article: http://www.timesofisrael.com/for-the-first-time-auschwitz-guides-taught-to-teach-about-jews-spiritual-resistance/

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

NEW YORK — Building a clandestine sukkah; putting on phylacteries; seeking rabbinic counsel. Despite the risk of immediate death if caught, spiritual resistance — large and small — ran strong among religious Jews in the Nazi concentration camps.

End quote

I used the same photo on my scrapbookpages.com website, but in a much smaller size. This photo was taken at Buchenwald. It shows prisoners who were brought from Auschwitz in Poland to the Buchenwald camp in Germany when the Auschwitz camp was abandoned.

You can see the same photo on this page of my scrapbookpages.com website:

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Liberation7.html

I wrote the following about the photo:

Begin quote

An American Army Rabbi, Hershel Schacter, held Shavuot service on May 18, 1945

Buchenwald was not set up as a camp for Jews, but there were 4,000 Jews among the 21,000 prisoners there when the camp was liberated. They had been brought to Buchenwald after the death camps in the East were abandoned.

End quote

So what am I complaining about now, you ask. This photo shows that the prisoners at Auschwitz were saved by the Nazis who took them to Buchenwald when they abandoned the Auschwitz camp, and they allowed the Jews to practice their religion.

April 15, 2017

How many Romanis were killed in the Holocaust?

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:35 am

A reader of my blog wrote this in a comment: “No one should mock the holocaust and, by the way, it was not just Jews but Romanies,” [who were killed in the Holocaust]

I mentioned Romany prisoners on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Liberation7.html

The following quote is from my kosher website, written before I became a Holocaust denier:

Begin quote

The quarantine camp [at Buchenwald], known as the “Small Camp” was a different story. This isolated camp at the bottom of the hill held the sick and the dying, who were mainly the Jewish and Romany prisoners who had recently arrived after being evacuated from the camps in the east.

End quote

So it turns out that the Romany prisoners were not killed at Auschwitz. They were saved, to live another day, and transported out of the camp to places like Buchenwald in Germany.

This quote is also from my kosher website, written before I became a Holocaust denier:

Begin quote

In the first days after the liberation of Buchenwald, the political prisoners who had been freed by the Americans, hunted down 76 of the camp guards who had escaped into the surrounding woods, according to The Buchenwald Report. They were brought back to the camp and killed.

According to Robert Abzug in his book entitled “Inside the Vicious Heart,” the inmates “killed almost eighty ex-guards and camp functionaries in the days following the liberation, sometimes with the aid and encouragement of Americans.”

In his book Abzug quotes one of the liberators, Fred Mercer:

Begin quote

… a German soldier attempted to surrender to the Americans, but was intercepted by a prisoner with a four-foot wood log: “He just stood there and beat him to death. He had to – of course, we didn’t bother him.”

American newspaper reporter Marguerite Higgins wrote in her book “News is a Singular Thing,” that 20 to 30 American soldiers took turns beating 6 young German guards to death at Buchenwald.

End quote

April 3, 2017

Finding Holocaust photos — there’s an app for that

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 3:42 pm

Hollow-eyed, emaciated male prisoners, victims of Nazi genocide against Jews of Europe & others, gripping barbed wire fence in wonderment at their liberation by Amer. forces from the cruelties of Buchenwald concentration camp. (Photo by Margaret Bourke-White//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

You can read about the new app that is available, in this news article: http://www.vocativ.com/410644/app-to-help-kids-experience-holocaust-stories/

The following quote is from the article:

Begin quote

Most kids learn about the Holocaust in school, through textbooks, still photographs, and grainy black and white videos. But now, activists are working to make it possible for people to learn about the horrors on their iPads.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, an intergovernmental group representing 31 countries, announced its plan to make an app with the help of Switzerland’s Center for History Education and Memory Cultures at an event in March. The app, which has now been demoed by over 70 students, is called Fliehen vor dem Holocaust, which translates to “Escaping the Holocaust.”

End quote

I wrote about this famous photo on my blog at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/margaret-bourke-whites-famous-photo-of-buchenwald-prisoners/

Margaret Bourke White was famous for composing her photos and passing them off as not being posed.

I have a section about Buchenwald on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/index.html

July 9, 2016

90 percent [of Hungarian Jews] were exterminated in Auschwitz ovens or Birkenau gas chambers

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

The title of my blog post today is from a line in a news article which you can read in full at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/07/08/amb-nancy-brinker-must-never-forget-elie-wiesel-and-his-message.html

Why were Elie and his father spared? The motive in sending the Jews to Auschwitz was to exterminate them with bug spray, known as Zyklon-B.

What was so different about Elie and his father?  Why weren’t they killed?

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

In March of 1944, Hungary was occupied by Germany and the Final Solution to exterminate Jews of Eastern Europe was underway. Elie was just 15 years old when he and his family along with his Jewish neighbors were rounded up and sent to locally set up ghettos.

Once settled in the ghettos the Jews of Hungary in May of 1944 were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp and shortly after their arrival 90 percent were exterminated in Auschwitz ovens or Birkeneu gas chambers. Elie’s mother and one of this three sisters were killed there. Wiesel and his father were sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp. His father died just a few weeks before liberation. Elie was freed after the camp was liberated by the U.S. 3rd Army on April 11, 1945. Elie survived the Holocaust with his two sisters and they were reunited in a French orphanage. Elie finally made his way to America in the mid 1950’s.

End quote

So Elie was in a “French orphanage?” Is that where he met some young survivors of Auschwitz who had been sent to France after Auschwitz was liberated? Did he get his Auschwitz story from these young boys? I think that he did.

There is a website at http://www.eliewieseltattoo.com/ which devoted to exposing the lies told by Elie Wiesel.

Elie Wiesel claims that he is in this photo taken at Buchenwald

Elie Wiesel claims that he is in this photo taken at Buchenwald but he was never in Buchenwald

June 2, 2016

Where in the world is Goethe Germany?

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 6:48 pm

Today I read a news story about an American soldier who allegedly liberated a German concentration camp named Goethe. You can read the news story at http://www.akron.com/akron-ohio-community-news.asp?aID=30852

The following quote is from the news article:

COLUMBUS [Ohio] — Sen. Frank LaRose (R-District 27) welcomed decorated World War II veteran Bill Miller, of Fairlawn, to the Ohio Statehouse to take part in the Governor’s 36th annual Holocaust Commemoration Program May 25. According to LaRose, Miller, a retired U.S. Army colonel, recounted his experience as a young soldier leading a mission to identify an unknown site outside Goethe, Germany.

The stump of Goethe's oak inside Buchenwals camp

My photo of the stump of Goethe’s oak inside the Buchenwald camp

My photo of the gate into the Buchenwald camp

My photo of the gate into the Buchenwald camp

“I had the tank knock [the gate] down,” said Miller. “When it fell, we were in a concentration camp. The guards had fled, but it was the most horrible thing I think I’ve ever seen. Bodies everywhere … we stopped counting at 800 people. We found the gas chambers, the ovens. When somebody tells you that the Holocaust didn’t happen, I stress to you I have seen these things. It did happen. I’m grateful for the opportunity to tell you my story, and I hope you will relay that story to some of your friends.”

End quote

As you can see, in my photo above, the gate in the gatehouse was not knocked down.

I have searched and searched on the Internet, and I have not found a town, nor a concentration camp named Goethe.  I am guessing that this camp was the Buchenwald camp because it was built in a location where Johann von Goethe used to sit under an oak tree. The stump of the oak tree is still in the former Buchenwald camp, which is now a memorial site.

I have a whole section about Buchenwald on my scrapbookpages.com website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/index.html

I have a sub-section about the liberation of Buchenwald at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Liberation.html

Like most stories of the liberation of the camps by American troops, there is some controversy about what really happened.  I have written about the various claims, regarding the liberation of Buchenwald on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Liberation4.html

On my website pages about the liberation of Buchenwald, I have written what I believe is the truth about how this camp was liberated: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Liberation0.html

American soldiers entering Buchenwald on the day that the camp was liberated

American soldiers entering Buchenwald on the day that the camp was liberated

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