Scrapbookpages Blog

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

March 30, 2016

Were “the krauts” working on an atomic bomb?

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:06 am

There has been some discussion in the comments section of my blog about whether or not the Germans, aka “the krauts,” were working on an atomic bomb before World War II ended. Allegedly, Max Planck was working on this.

I learned about the question of the atomic bomb when I went to visit the Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald, which is near the town of Ohrdruf.

General Eisenhower viewing bodies at Ohrdruf

General Eisenhower viewing bodies at Ohrdruf that were left out for a week

I tried to hire a driver to take me to the site of the former Ohrdruf camp. I was told that there was was nothing to see there.  The site of the former camp was completely off limits and guarded. The people in the nearby town refused to talk. I immediately suspected “Something wrong!” as Dr. Henry Lee would famously say during the O.J. trial.

I won’t keep you in suspense. I believe that Ohrdruf is the place where the Germans were trying to build an atomic bomb.

I wrote the following on my scrapbookpages.com website:

The Buchenwald camp had been liberated the day before General Eisennhower’s visit to the Ohrdruf camp. At Buchenwald, there were shrunken heads, human skin lampshades and ashtrays made from human bones. At Ohrdruf, there was nothing to see except a shed filled with 40 dead bodies. So why did Captain Alois Liethen take four American generals to see Ohrdruf instead of Buchenwald?

What was Captain Liethen referring to when he wrote these words in a letter to his family?

“After looking the place over for nearly a whole day I came back and made an oral report to my commanding general — rather I was ordered to do so by my boss, the Col. in my section. Then after I had told him all about the place [Ohrdruf] he got in touch with the High Command and told them about it and the following tale bears out what they did about it.”

There has been some speculation that the Germans might have tested an atomic bomb near Ohrdruf. In his book entitled “The SS Brotherhood of the Bell,” author James P. Farrell wrote about “the alleged German test of a small critical mass, high yield atom bomb at or near the Ohrdruf troop parade ground on March 4, 1945.” The “troop parade ground” was at the German Army Base right next to the Ohrdruf labor camp.

Why did General Eisenhower immediately order a propaganda campaign about Nazi atrocities? Was it to distract the media from discovering a far more important story? The first news reel about the Nazi camps called Ohrdruf a “murder mill.”

Burned bodies of prisoners at Ohrdruf

Burned bodies of prisoners at the Ohrdruf  forced labor camp

The photograph above, which was taken at the Ohrdruf forced labor camp, on April 13, 1945, 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 photo is shown because this is what the American soldiers first saw when they liberated Germany from the Nazis in 1945.

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.

People in the town of Ohrdruf were forced to look at the dead bodies

People in the town of Ohrdruf were forced to look at the dead bodies of prisoners who had died of typhus in the camp

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

Begin quote

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.

End quote

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:

Begin quote

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.

End quote

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

Begin quote

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.”

End quote

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

Begin quote

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.

End quote

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 was not claimed to have had a gas chamber.

What is the point of all this, you ask?  The point, that I am trying to make here, is that the stories of World War II and the Holocaust began before the war was over, and the lies continue to this day.

 

March 29, 2016

Should the Nazi extermination camps have been bombed by the Allies?

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 6:50 am

This morning, I found a comment on my blog, which was written by Herbert Stolpmann von Waldeck, who seems to be very well informed about World War II and the Nazi “extermination camps” where Jews were murdered. His entire comment is quoted below.

Begin quote

THE BOMBING DEBATE
At the beginning of 1944, the War Refugee Board asked Jewish organizations and other groups helping refugees for suggestions on what it should do. Not one suggested bombing extermination camps or rail lines leading to them. There is no evidence that anybody came up with the idea before May 1944. Apparently the first such proposal was made by a Slovak rabbi, Michael Dov Ber Weissmandel, to the Jewish Agency on May 16. At about the same time, two officials of the Jewish Agency in Palestine separately made similar suggestions. Yitzhak Gruenbaum made his to the U.S. Consul-General in Jerusalem, Lowell C. Pinkerton, and Moshe Shertok made his to George Hall, the British under secretary of state for foreign affairs. However, the idea was promptly squashed by the Executive Board of the Jewish Agency. On June 11, 1944, the Executive, with David Ben-Gurion in the chair, overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to ask the Allies to bomb the railroad lines and the death camps, with Ben-Gurion summing up:
“The view of the board is that we should not ask the Allies to bomb places where there are Jews.”

End quote from comment

On April 4, 1945, American soldiers of the 4th Armored Division of General Patton’s US Third Army were moving through the area south of the city of Gotha in search of a secret Nazi communications center when they unexpectedly came across the ghastly scene of the abandoned Ohrdruf forced labor camp.

A few soldiers in the 354th Infantry Regiment of the 89th Infantry Division of the US Third Army reached the abandoned camp that same day, after being alerted by prisoners who had escaped from the march out of the camp, which had started on April 2nd. Prior to that, in September 1944, US troops had witnessed their first concentration camp: the abandoned Natzweiler camp in Alsace, which was then a part of the Greater German Reich, but is now in France.

Ohrdruf, also known as Ohrdruf-Nord, was the first Nazi prison camp to be discovered while it still had inmates living inside of it, although 9,000 prisoners had already been evacuated from Ohrdruf on April 2nd and marched 32 miles to the main camp at Buchenwald. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the camp had a population of 11,700 prisoners in late March, 1945 before the evacuation began.

This photograph below, taken at Ohrdruf on April 8, 1945, shows survivors who had escaped during the evacuation of the camp, but came back after the American liberators arrived.

Ordruf survivors pose with Hayden Sears

Ordruf survivors pose with American Col. Hayden Sears on April 8, 1945

Dead prisoners at the Ohrdruf camp

Dead prisoners at Ohrdruf camp

In the photo above, the prisoners have been partially covered by blankets because their pants had been pulled down, an indication that these men might have been killed by their fellow prisoners after the Germans left. The first Americans on the scene said that the blood was still wet. The liberators all agreed that these prisoners had been shot, although some witnesses said that they had been shot in the neck, while others said that they had been mowed down by machine gun fire.

On April 11, 1945, just a week after the discovery of the Ohrdruf camp, American soldiers liberated the infamous Buchenwald main camp, which was to become synonymous with Nazi barbarity for a whole generation of Americans. Buchenwald is located 5 miles north of the city of Weimar, which is 20 miles to the east of Gotha, where General Dwight D. Eisenhower had set up his headquarters.

The Ohrdruf forced labor camp was a sub-camp of the huge Buchenwald camp. Ohrdruf had been opened in November 1944 when prisoners were brought from Buchenwald to work on the construction of a vast underground bunker to house a new Führer headquarters for Hitler and his henchmen. This location was in the vicinity of a secret Nazi communications center and it was also near an underground salt mine where the Nazis had stored their gold and art treasures.

Buchenwald is located 5 miles north of the city of Weimar, which is 20 miles to the east of Gotha, where General Dwight D. Eisenhower had set up his headquarters.

General Eisenhower views burned bodies at Ohrdruf

General Eisenhower views burned bodies at Ohrdruf on April 12, 1945

The photo above hangs in the United States Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

There has been some speculation that the Germans might have tested an atomic bomb near Ohrdruf. In his book entitled “The SS Brotherhood of the Bell,” author James P. Farrell wrote about “the alleged German test of a small critical mass, high yield atom bomb at or near the Ohrdruf troop parade ground on March 4, 1945.” The “troop parade ground” was at the German Army Base right next to the Ohrdruf labor camp.

Why did General Eisenhower immediately order a propaganda campaign about Nazi atrocities? Was it to distract the media from discovering a far more important story? The first news reel about the Nazi camps called Ohrdruf a “murder mill.”  You can view this news reel film on the Internet.

 

February 16, 2016

“The Mühldorf Train of Death” is in the news

Filed under: Buchenwald, Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:59 am

Dead bodies on the Train of Death

The photo above shows dead bodies on a death train

“The Mühldorf Train of Death” is mentioned in a recent news article which you can read in full at http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/story/news/education/usm/2016/02/15/holocaust-survivor-speak-documentary-screening/80422828/

Young German boys were forced to look at the dead bodies on the train

Young German boys were forced to look at the dead bodies on the train of death

I am not positive about this, but I believe that the train, that is mentioned in the news article, was the famous train that was found just outside the Dachau concentration camp by the American soldiers who liberated the Dachau camp on April 29, 1945.

I previously wrote about Dachau, and “The Mühldorf Train of Death”  on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/MaxMannheimer.html

Dead bodies on the "train of Death'

“The train of Death” at Dachau

The "lone survivor" of the Death Train

The “lone survivor” of the Death Train

The following events preceded the tragedy of the infamous Death Train:

On April 4, 1945, the American Third army was advancing eastward through Germany and unexpectedly came upon the nearly deserted Ohrdruf forced labor camp near the town of Gotha.

Ohrdruf, which was a sub-camp of Buchenwald, was the first Nazi camp that any American soldiers had ever seen in Germany. Almost all the prisoners had been evacuated from Ohrdruf and had been taken to the Buchenwald main camp.

Like all the major concentration camps, Buchenwald had many sub-camps including one in a small town called Langensalza, where a former textile factory had been converted into a munitions plant which produced parts for Heinkel fighter planes used by the German Air Force.

On April 1st, which was Easter Sunday, 1,500 prisoners from Langensalza had been force-marched 60 kilometers to the Buchenwald main camp.

Buchenwald was already overcrowded with prisoners who had been evacuated from the camps in Poland, and there was no room for the new prisoners. In a few days, these prisoners from the sub-camps would be put on another train, the train that was to become infamous as the Death Train which so enraged the American liberators of Dachau.

According to the rules of the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war were supposed to be evacuated from the war zone, but this was not what had motivated the Nazis. They were concerned that the prisoners, if released from the camps by the Allies, would roam the countryside, attacking German soldiers and looting civilian homes, not to mention the fear of spreading the typhus epidemic that was causing the deaths of thousands of prisoners every day in the overcrowded camps.

The Nazis were especially fearful that Jewish inmates in the camps would exact revenge on the German people if they were released.

When the 6th Armored Division of the US Third Army arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11th, 1945, the SS guards had already fled for their lives and the Communist prisoners were in charge of the camp. The prisoners were still locked inside the prison enclosure, but the gate house clock had been stopped at 3:15 p.m., the time that the Communists took over, and the camp was flying the white flag of surrender.

The American liberators promptly released some of the Communist prisoners and allowed them to hunt down and kill 80 of the guards who were still hiding in the surrounding forest. Some were brought back to the camp where American soldiers participated with the inmates in beating these captured German SS soldiers to death.

While the US Seventh Army was fighting its way across southern Germany, capturing one town after another with little resistance, the prisoners who had been evacuated to Buchenwald from the abandoned Ohrdruf forced labor camp were starting on their ill-fated journey which would end on a railroad track just outside the Dachau concentration camp. On April 7th, they were marched 5 kilometers to the town of Weimar. At 9 p.m. on April 8th, they were put on a southbound train.

The prisoners were guarded by 20 SS soldiers under the command of Hans Merbach. For their journey, which was expected to be relatively short, they were given “a handful of boiled potatoes, 500 grams of bread, 50 grams of sausage and 25 grams of margarine” according to Merbach, who was quoted by Hans-Günther Richardi in his book, “Dachau, A Guide to its Contemporary History.” According to Richardi, the train which left Weimar on April 8th was filled with 4,500 prisoners who were French, Italian, Austrian, Polish, Russian and Jewish.

It was unseasonably cold in the Spring of 1945, and there was snow on the bodies when the soldiers in the 40th Combat Engineer Regiment arrived on April 30, 1945.

According to Gleb Rahr, one of the few prisoners on the train who made it to Dachau alive, his journey had started on April 5th, when he was one of 5,000 prisoners who were force-marched to Weimar from Buchenwald. He had reached Buchenwald from the sub-camp of Langensalza only a couple of days before.

As quoted by Sam Dann in “Dachau 29 April 1945,” Rahr said that there were “60 open box cars” on the train and that “About eighty prisoners were forced into each car; thirty would have strained its capacity. Two SS soldiers were attached to each car.”

According to Rahr, after the open box cars were filled beyond their capacity, “Two or three (more) were jammed into each boxcar.” These additional prisoners were from one of the most infamous forced labor camps, the V-2 rocket plants at Dora, Rahr says. As described by Rahr, all the prisoners from Dora “were dying of starvation, and infected with typhus. Within a few days, every one of them had died. But the lice they had brought with them multiplied and settled on the rest of us.”

Rahr’s eye-witness account differs from the accounts of others: At first Rahr said that there were “60 open box cars,” but then he contradicted himself in the same interview, quoted in “Dachau 29 April 1945,” and said that there were “three trains of 30 cars each” which were bound for Leipzig. Another prisoner who was fortunate enough to withstand the trip on the Death Train and to make it inside the camp was Joseph Knoll.

Among the survivors on the Death Train was Martin Rosenfeld. He claimed that 350 prisoners were shot to death as they marched from the Buchenwald camp to the train station at Weimar, and that there were only 1,100 survivors out of 5,000 who boarded the train. According to his account, the train had arrived at Dachau on April 26, 1945, although Gleb Rahr and Joseph Knoll both told author Sam Dann that the date was April 27, 1945.

In his testimony before an American Military Tribunal in 1947, Hans Merbach said the train had arrived on April 26, 1945. The confusion about the date may have been caused by the fact that there were actually two trains that arrived at Dachau. One of them was parked inside the SS camp complex and it was empty.

According to Dachau author Hans-Günther Richardi, five hours after the train had departed from Weimar, Hans Merbach, the transport leader, was informed that the Flossenbürg concentration camp had already been liberated by the Americans.

The prisoners at Flossenbürg had been evacuated and were being death marched to Dachau. Many of these prisoners died on the way and were buried at the Waldfriedhof cemetery in the city of Dachau. The train had to be rerouted to Dachau, but it took almost three weeks to get there because of numerous delays caused by American planes bombing the railroad tracks.

The train had to take several very long detours through Leipzig, Dresden and finally through the town of Pilsen in Czechoslovakia. In the village of Nammering in Upper Bavaria, the train was delayed for four days while the track was repaired, and the mayor of the town brought bread and potatoes for the prisoners, according to Harold Marcuse who wrote about the train in his book “Legacies of Dachau.”

Continuing on via Pocking, the train was attacked by American planes because they thought it was a military transport, according to Richardi. Many of the prisoners were riding in open freight cars with no protection from the hail of bullets.

The final leg of the journey was another detour to the south of Dachau, through Mühldorf and then Munich, arriving in Dachau early on the afternoon of April 26th, three days before the liberation of the camp.

The prisoners, some of whom were not in very good shape to begin with, had been on the train for 19 days. Out of the 4,500 or 5,000 who had been put on the train in Weimar, only 1,300 were able to walk the short distance from the railroad spur line into the Dachau prison compound, according to survivors Rahr and Knoll, as told to Sam Dann, who wrote “Dachau 29 April 1945.”

The surviving prisoners on the train were barely able to drag themselves through the gates into Dachau. According to Rahr, the survivors were taken to the Quarantine Barracks and given “hot oat soup,” which he said was “the first food of any kind” that was given to them since the start of the trip. In his account of the trip, Rahr says that the only food the prisoners got for the whole trip was one loaf of bread on the first day. He mentioned the four-day stop in Nammering, but did not say that the prisoners were given any food, as claimed by the mayor of the town. Rahr told about the bodies from the train that were burned at Nammering. The burning was unsuccessful and the prisoners had to bury the bodies, according to Rahr.

By the time that the 45th Thunderbird Infantry Division arrived in the town of Dachau, the locomotive had been removed from the abandoned train and 39 cars, half of them with dead prisoners, had been left standing on a siding on Friedenstrasse, just outside the railroad gate into the SS Garrison. Inside the SS camp, another freight train stood on the tracks, but this one was empty.

Most of the Waffen-SS soldiers had left the Dachau Garrison on or before the 28th, leaving the food warehouses unlocked. When the news of the abandonment of the SS camp spread, the townspeople converged on the warehouses, looking for food to steal, just as the American liberators arrived.

The American soldiers were appalled to see residents of Dachau bicycling past the railroad cars filled with corpses, on their way to loot the warehouses, with no concern for the dead prisoners. After the camp was liberated, the Americans distributed the food from the SS warehouses to the prisoners, leaving the residents to fend for themselves.

Some of the dead had been buried along the way by the prisoners who had been forced to dig the graves, but towards the end of the journey, the bodies were just laid out along the tracks.

The bodies were left on the train for two weeks until the Army could do a full investigation. Tripods were set up near the train, and photographs were taken by US Army photographers. Soldiers who had “liberated” cameras from the Germans took numerous photographs and developed the film when they got home.

Young boys, who were members of the Hitler Youth, were brought to the train and forced to look at the decaying bodies. Boys as young as 12 were fighting in the war towards the end, so it is doubtful that these boys had any sympathy for the prisoners who had died on the train.

Nor did the residents of Dachau exhibit any sympathy for the dead prisoners on the train on the day of the liberation. A New York Times correspondent wrote about civilians looting the SS warehouses that were within sight of the train, while they avoided looking at the train and did not have the common decency to cover the naked bodies.

When the Death Train finally made it to Dachau, the sick and dying prisoners were left on the train along with the corpses of those who had died from exposure or starvation or had been killed when American planes strafed the train. One prisoner who was still alive on the day that the American liberators arrived was rescued.

According to Harold Marcuse in his book “Legacies of Dachau,” the wives of the SS officers who lived in the Dachau SS Garrison were forced to clean the box cars after the badly decomposed bodies were removed.

To get back to the news story, that prompted my blog post today, the following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Leslie Schwartz’ story of survival and freedom, captured in [the documentary entitled] “The Mühldorf Train of Death” will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in the University of Southern Mississippi International Center, room 101. German television produced the documentary on Schwartz, which focuses on his interaction with a group of high school students trying to learn about and honor survivors of the Holocaust. Admission is free.

Schwartz was imprisoned at age 14 near the end of the war and managed to elude death, but lost his entire family in the gas chambers at the infamous Auschwitz death camps. He will participate in a question and answer session at the screening. Earlier in the day, he will attend a pre-screening reception at Hattiesburg’s African-American History Museum and also share his story with students in a USM history class.

End quote

I have the feeling that Schwartz will not tell the story of the train accurately.  How will he explain that he survived Auschwitz while his whole family was gassed? Children under the age of 15 were automatically gassed, according to the official Holocaust story, but Leslie was spared so that he could tell lies to future generations.

February 14, 2016

Jan Gross and Jewabne back in the news

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 7:51 am
House in Poland

House in Poland similar to houses in Jewabne

The following quote is from a news article which you can read in full at https://www.rt.com/news/332409-poland-holocaust-award-jews/

Begin quote:

The Polish government is contemplating withdrawing an Order of Merit from a renowned US historian who said Poles killed more Jews than Germans in WWII. Academics have denounced the move, arguing that retracting the award endangers the freedom of scientific research.

Polish and foreign academics have written two open letters to the country’s president, Andrzej Duda, in support of Jan Tomasz Gross, a Princeton University professor of Polish origin, who may be stripped of an Order of Merit Poland granted him in 1996 for his studies into the Holocaust.

[…]

Gross is best known for his book “Neighbors: the Destruction of the Jewish Community at Jewabne, Poland,” in which he tells about documented atrocities, including the torture, slaughter and burning alive of some 1,600 Jewish people in the town of Jedwabne, which were committed by local Poles.

End quote

I have written several blog posts about Jewabne and Jan Gross, which you can read it:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/jan-gross/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/jedwabne/

 

February 13, 2016

More misuse of old World War II photos

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:05 am
Photo taken at Ohrdruf

Photo taken at Ohrdruf, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, shows German civilians being forced to look at dead bodies of Jews

The photo above is included on this website:  http://listovative.com/top-10-major-reasons-why-people-hate-jews/

The title of the website is

Top 10 Major Reasons why People hate Jews

The headline above the photo, shown above, says Top 10. Racial Cleansing.

I have this same photo on my website page about the true story of what happened at Ohrdruf:

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Ohrdruf/Ohrdruf01.html

The photo does not show “Racial Cleansing.” It shows civilians, that lived in the town of Ohrdruf, who were forced, by the U.S. Army to come to the Ohrdruf subcamp of Buchenwald to view the dead bodies found there.

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

On Patton’s orders, German civilians were brought from the town of Ohrdruf to exhume the bodies in the mass grave there and bury them again in individual graves.

Survivors of Ohrdruf talk to General Hayden Sears

Survivors of Ohrdruf talk to General Hayden Sears on April 8, 1945

In the photo above, notice how the poor mistreated survivors of Ohrdruf are nicely dressed and appear to be in good health.  Why weren’t these prisoners killed by the Germans?  Because that is not what happened.  Read the whole story on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Ohrdruf/index.html

 

January 19, 2016

German soldiers were treated as war criminals by the Allies after World War II

I am answering a comment, made by one of the readers of my blog, with a new blog post.

The following quote is from the comment directed at a Jew who had made a comment:

“…you get on the sins of other people; yet you forget the sins of the Jews. For instance, you say nothing about the Sonderkommando [Jews] who supposedly worked in the gas chambers, inviting their own people into those gas chambers. So their sins are forgiven: Jews can kill Jews to save their own lives, but that’s okay.  They were only following orders because they would be killed [if they didn’t].  Right? But its a different story when the German soldiers get hung, after the Nuremberg trials, for following their orders too.”

German soldiers were treated quite differently after they had surrendered in World War II.

The U.S. Third Army and the U.S. Seventh Army remained in Germany after World War II ended on May 8, 1945, and their War Crimes Detachments immediately began arresting suspected German war criminals; 400 to 700 persons were arrested each day until well over 100,000 Germans had been incarcerated by December 1945, according to Harold Marcuse who wrote a book entitled “Legacies of Dachau.”

The former Dachau concentration camp already held 1,000 German soldiers, accused of war crimes, by the end of June 1945. They were put to work cleaning up the barracks.

In July 1945, General Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first military governor of the American Zone of Occupation in Germany. The accused Germans could expect no mercy from Eisenhower who had written in a letter to his wife, Mamie: “God, I hate the Germans.”

The authority for charging the defeated Germans with war crimes came from the London Agreement, signed after the war on August 8, 1945 by the four winning countries: Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the USA.

The basis for the charges against the accused German war criminals was Law Order No. 10, issued by the Allied Control Council, the governing body for Germany after World War II ended.

Law Order No. 10 defined Crimes against Peace, War Crimes, and Crimes against Humanity. A fourth crime category was membership in any organization, such as the Nazi party or the SS, that was declared to be criminal by the Allies. The war crimes contained in Law Order No. 10 were new crimes, created specifically for the defeated Germans, not crimes against existing international laws. Any acts committed by the winning Allies which were covered under Law Order No. 10 were not considered war crimes.

The German prisoners at Dachau were not treated as Prisoners of War under the Geneva convention because they had become “war criminals” at the moment that they committed their alleged war crimes. Every member of the elite SS volunteer Army was automatically a war criminal because the SS was designated by the Allies as a criminal organization even before anyone was put on trial. Any member of the Nazi political party, who had any official job within the party, was likewise automatically a war criminal regardless of what they had personally done.

Under the Allied concept of participating in a “common plan” to commit war crimes, it was not necessary for a Nazi or a member of the SS to have committed an atrocity themselves; all were automatically guilty under the concept of co-responsibility for any atrocity that might have occurred.

The only good German was a traitor to his country; the German SS soldiers imprisoned at Dachau had volunteered to fight for their country; therefore they were war criminals and did not deserve to be treated as POWs under the Geneva Convention of 1929.

The basis for the “common plan” theory of guilt was Article II, paragraph 2 of Law Order No. 10 which stated as follows:

2. Any person without regard to nationality or the capacity in which he acted, is deemed to have committed a crime as defined in paragraph 1 of this Article, if he was (a) a principal or (b) was an accessory to the commission of any such crime or ordered or abetted the same or (c) took a consenting part therein or (d) was connected with plans or enterprises involving its commission or (e) was a member of any organization or group connected with the commission of any such crime or (f) with reference to paragraph 1 (a), if he held a high political, civil or military (including General Staff) position in Germany or in one of its Allies, co-belligerents or satellites or held high position in the financial, industrial or economic life of any such country.

Waffen-SS soldiers in the prestigious Liebstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler Division, known as the LAH, were separated from the other Waffen-SS POWs and brought to the War Crimes Enclosure at Dachau where they were interrogated by a special team that was investigating the “Malmedy Massacre.” This resulted in a scandal that was investigated by the U.S. Congress after accusations by the LAH soldiers that they had been tortured at Dachau by the Jewish interrogators to make them confess to crimes which they claimed they didn’t commit.

The Soviet Union set up 10 Special Camps for German soldiers.

The former Buchenwald concentration camp became Special Camp No. 2 while the former Sachsenhausen concentration camp became Special Camp No. 7. Both of these camps were in the Soviet Zone of Occupation, behind the “Iron Curtain” and were run by the Soviet secret service, the NKVD.

The British also set up a number of camps: the former Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg became No. 6 Civil Internment Camp and KZ Esterwagen became No. 9 Civil Internment Camp. The British camp at Bad Nenndorf was a particularly brutal place where former German soldiers were tortured between 1945 and 1947.

News commentator Bill O’Reilly commented on the brutality of the Bad Nenndorf camp on his show a couple of years ago.

German soldiers, that were rounded up by the War Crimes Detachment of the U.S. Seventh Army, were put into Civilian Internment Enclosure No. 78 in Ludwigsburg, Germany. In March 1946, the U.S. Seventh Army left Germany and their German prisoners were transferred to Dachau.

You can read what an American soldier wrote about Eisenhower’s German POW camps, which were set up after World War II at http://www.rense.com/general19/camps.htm

January 9, 2016

Elie Wiesel still lying his head off at the age of 87

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 7:42 am

Elie Wiesel has recently admitted that he has no ID number tattooed on his arm, which is an admission that he was never in a concentration camp, as he has been claiming for years.

He was not a prisoner at Auschwitz, where all incoming prisoners were immediately tattooed with a number on their arm.

JedemDasSeine.jpg

The gate into the Buchenwald camp is shown in the photo above.

He was not at Buchenwald which was a class II concentration camp in Germany. The sign on the gate into the camp reads “Jedem das Seine” which is German for “Everyone gets what he deserves.”

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

According to a recent news article, Elie Wiesel was quoted as follows:

“I belong to a generation that has seen probably the darkest of its moments and lived them …but also the happiest. The Day of Liberation [of Buchenwald]…when suddenly, the Americans came in! Days earlier, 10,000 left Buchenwald [to be killed] and [we] were the last to leave literally the last…. we were supposed to leave the next day. ”

Read more: http://forward.com/the-assimilator/329182/michael-douglas-presents-award-to-elie-wiesel-at-blue-card-gala/#ixzz3wl8jYYHO

I have written extensively about Elie Wiesel and the liberation of Buchenwald on my scrapbookpages.com website:

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Liberation0.html

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Liberation4.html

 

January 6, 2016

Prisoners were marched out of Dachau near the end of WWII

Filed under: Buchenwald, Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 6:11 am

I became interested in blogging around 5 years ago, when someone who was planning to write a book about the Dachau concentration camp prisoners, who were taken to the South Tyrol near the end of World War II, asked for my help in researching this subject. He was planning to write a book, but first he was planning to do a blog about his research on the subject.

At that time, I had just started a blog of my own, and had written my first blog post about a 3-legged dog named Tripod at the University of Missouri.

As it turned out, I don’t think that this fellow ever wrote the book that he was planning. So I decided to put the research that I had done, on this subject, on my website.

One of the regular readers of my blog recently wrote this in a comment:

“Due to Nazi fanaticism of almost all SS men, until the very last days of  the war, prisoners had been murdered or taken to a hidden place in the Tyrol mountains as hostages, where after the German surrender, an armed fight occurred between Wehrmacht and SS soldiers, who refused to let the hostages free.”

I am answering his comment with the information that I put on my website years ago about the march to the South Tyrol.

Begin quote from my website:

Due to Nazi fanaticism of almost all SS men until the very last days of the war, prisoners had been murdered, or taken to a hidden place in the Tyrol mountains as hostages, where after the German surrender, an armed fight between Wehrmacht soldiers and SS men, who refused to let the hostages free, had occurred.

Dachau prisoners marching to Tyrol

Dachau prisoners marching  from Dachau to the  South Tyrol in 1945

The days and weeks just before the liberation of Dachau were a frightening time for the prisoners. There were rumors that the SS had orders to kill them all, rather than let them be released by the Allies.

The prisoners knew that it would be difficult to evacuate the whole camp: convoys of trucks and trains were constantly being attacked by American fighter planes which were also strafing the outskirts of the camp; the Dachau sub-camp at Allach had been bombed just before the American liberators arrived and the Dachau main camp had been bombed on April 9, 1945.

In the last days of the Dachau camp, the Nazis had run out of coal to burn the bodies and corpses were piling up faster than they could be hauled out of the camp and buried. Realizing that the situation was totally out of control, the camp Commandant immediately proposed to surrender the Dachau camp to the Allies, but the concentration camp headquarters in Oranienburg refused to allow it because Hitler insisted that the inmates not be turned over to the Allies. One of his reasons was that all the camps in Germany, including Dachau, had prisoners who were career criminals that had been sent to a concentration camp after they had served their prison term for their second offense.

At the time of the American liberation of Dachau, there were 759 of these career criminals at Dachau, according to former prisoner Paul Berben’s book entitled “Dachau 1933 – 1945: The Official History.”

German citizens were already so terrorized that many of them were committing suicide by drowning or shooting themselves just before the Russians and the Americans arrived to take over their towns.

There was also the fear that typhus would spread throughout Germany if the prisoners were released after the camps were surrendered to the Allies.

Dachau was in the western part of Germany and it became an end destination for the prisoners from other camps in the east that were being evacuated from the war zone. The prisoners from the Kaufering sub-camps at Landsberg am Lech and the Mühldorf sub-camps were also brought to the Dachau main camp shortly before it was liberated.

Paul Berben, the official historian of Dachau and a member of the International Committee which controlled the main camp at the end, wrote the following in his book entitled “Dachau 1933 – 1945: The Official History”:

Begin quote

When the evacuation began of camps situated in areas threatened by the victorious advance of the Allies, the horror surpassed anything that had been seen till then. [….]

From the start of the evacuation tens of thousands of prisoners arrived at Dachau in a state of terrible exhaustion, and a vast number died before the liberation and in the weeks that followed. These massive arrivals caused unparalleled difficulties and a large number of deaths among the camp population, particularly as a typhus epidemic spread.

End quote

Half of the deaths in Dachau occurred in the last 6 months that the camp was in operation, including 2,226 prisoners who died in the month of May, after the liberation. According to Paul Berben, there were 18,296 deaths in the main camp and all the sub-camps of Dachau between November 1944 and the end of May 1945. Most of these deaths were due to the typhus epidemic in the camp, according to Berben.

On April 26, 1945, three days before the American liberators arrived at Dachau, a transport of 1,735 Jewish prisoners left on a train bound for the mountains in southern Germany.

Then another 6,887 prisoners, half of them Jews and half of them Russian POWs, were marched south toward the mountains of the South Tyrol. According to testimony given at the Nuremberg IMT, the march to the Tyrol was part of a plan, devised by Ernst Kaltenbrunner, to kill all these prisoners.

At the Nuremberg IMT, on January 2, 1946, Lt. Commander Whitney R. Harris submitted Document 3462-PS, the sworn interrogation of Bertus Gerdes, the former Gaustabsamtsleiter under the Gauleiter of Munich. This interrogation was taken in the course of an official military investigation by the U.S. Army. During the interrogation, Gerdes was ordered to state all he knew about Kaltenbrunner.

Lt. Commander Harris read part of Document 3462-PSI, beginning with the third paragraph of Page 2, as quoted below from the transcript of the Nuremberg IMT on January 2, 1946:

Begin quote

“Giesler told me that Kaltenbrunner was in constant touch with him because he was greatly worried about the attitude of the foreign workers and especially inmates of Concentration Camps Dachau, Mühldorf, and Landsberg, which were in the path of the approaching Allied armies. On a Tuesday in the middle of April 1945 I received a telephone call from Gauleiter Giesler asking me to be available for a conversation that night. In the course of our personal conversation that night, I was told by Giesler that he had received a directive from Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner, by order of the Fuehrer, to work out a plan without delay for the liquidation of the concentration camp at Dachau and the two Jewish labor camps in Landsberg and Mühldorf. The directive proposed to liquidate the two Jewish labor camps at Landsberg and Mühldorf by use of the German Luftwaffe, since the construction area of these camps had previously been the targets of repeated enemy air attacks. This action received the code name of ‘Wolke A-1.'”

“I was certain that I would never let this directive be carried out. As the action Wolke A-1 should have become operational already for some time, I was literally swamped by couriers from Kaltenbrunner and moreover I was supposed to have discussed the details of the Mühldorf and Landsberg actions in detail with the two Kreisleiter concerned. The couriers, who were in most cases SS officers, usually SS Untersturmfuehrer, gave me terse and strict orders to read and initial. The orders threatened me with the most terrible punishment, including execution, if I did not comply with them. However, I could always excuse my failure to execute the plan because of bad flying weather and lack of gasoline and bombs. Therefore, Kaltenbrunner ordered that the Jews in Landsberg be marched to Dachau in order to include them in the Dachau extermination operations, and that the Mühldorf action was to be carried out by the Gestapo.

“Kaltenbrunner also ordered an operation Wolkenbrand for the Concentration Camp Dachau, which provided that the inmates of the concentration camp at Dachau were to be liquidated by poison with the exception of Aryan nationals of the Western Powers.

“Gauleiter Giesler received this order direct from Kaltenbrunner and discussed in my presence the procurement of the required amounts of poison with Dr. Harrfeld, the Gau health chief. Dr. Harrfeld promised to procure these quantities when ordered and was advised to await my further directions. As I was determined to prevent the execution of this plan in any event, I gave no further instructions to Dr. Harrfeld.

“The inmates of Landsberg had hardly been delivered at Dachau when Kaltenbrunner sent a courier declaring the Action Wolkenbrand was operational.

“I prevented the execution of the Wolfe A-1’ and ‘Wolkenbrand’ by giving Giesler the reason that the front was too close and asked him to transmit this on to Kaltenbrunner.

“Kaltenbrunner therefore issued directives in writing to Dachau to transport all Western European prisoners by truck to Switzerland and to march the remaining inmates into Tyrol, where the final liquidation of these prisoners was to take place without fail.”

End quote

Rudolf Hoess, the former Commandant of Auschwitz, testified at Nuremberg, as a defense witness for Ernst Kaltenbrunner, that he had no knowledge of a plan to destroy the Dachau camp with a bomb or with poison.

The following quote is from the Nuremberg IMT trial transcript:

Begin quote

DR. KAUFFMANN: It has been maintained here–and this is my last question–that the Defendant Kaltenbrunner gave the order that Dachau and two auxiliary camps were to be destroyed by bombing or with poison. I ask you, did you hear anything about this; if not, would you consider such an order possible?
HOESS: I have never heard anything about this, and I do not know anything either about an order to evacuate any camps in southern Germany, as I have already mentioned. Apart from that, I consider it quite impossible that a camp could be destroyed by this method.

End quote

The death march to the South Tyrol is shown in the photograph at the top of my blog post. These prisoners were finally overtaken by American troops and liberated on May 2, 1945.

One of the Jewish prisoners who survived the march was Hirschel Grodzienski, who came to the USA in December 1946 and changed his name to Harold Gordon. Another survivor of the death march was Jack Adler, who was liberated by American troops on May 1, 1945.

The American Army believed that Hitler was planning to hole up in the mountains near the town of Berchtesgaden in a last-ditch effort to escape capture; some Holocaust historians believe that these prisoners were being sent to build a redoubt.

The 137 prominent VIP prisoners in Dachau were evacuated on April 26, 1945; they were moved southward for their own safety. Some of the Catholic priests in the camp were taken to the town of Dachau on April 24th and then released.

Dachau Commandant Wilhelm Eduard Weiter accompanied a transport of prisoners to Schloss Itter, a subcamp of Dachau in Austria. On May 6, 1945, Weiter shot himself, according to Johannes Tuchel, the author of “Dachau and the Nazi Terror 1933-1945.” However, the German Wikipedia gives May 2, 1945 as the date that Weiter shot himself.

Stanislav Zamecnik wrote in his book entitled “That was Dachau,” published in 2005, that Weiter committed suicide. Zvonimir Cuckovic stated that Weiter was buried in the forest near Schloss Itter.

However, in the book entitled “World without Civilization: Mass Murder and the Holocaust,” published in 2004, Robert M. Spector wrote the following:

Feig indicates that a Wilhelm Weiter, as Commandant, was “probably shot by a zealot SS officer.”

Nerin E. Gun, a journalist who was a former prisoner at Dachau, wrote the following in his book “The Day of the Americans,” published in 1966:

Begin quote

The SS commandant of the camp, Weiter, for having disobeyed Hitler’s orders, was executed by a fanatic SS sergeant, Ruppert, in the countryside while trying to escape. Weiter died with a bullet in the neck, clutching a picture of Hitler.

End quote

Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert was the SS officer in charge of executions at Dachau; he was put on trial by an American Military Tribunal in November 1945, but he was not charged with the murder of Weiter, nor with the murder of four British SOE women, another crime that he was accused of by a former prisoner.

May 6, 1945, the day that Weiter either committed suicide, or was shot by someone else, was the same day that the 137 Dachau VIP prisoners were liberated by American soldiers. According to Gun, an SS man named Fritz threw a grenade at the liberators.

Regarding the American retaliation for the grenade attack, Gun wrote the following in “The Day of the Americans”:

Begin quote

The Americans were furious and shot down all the guards posted around the village. The Resistance, during this time, had not sat on its hands. The six Gestapo functionaries, the professional killers who had joined the convoy at Innsbruck, were hanging from the trees in the village square.

End quote

Nerin E. Gun also wrote that Dr. Sigmund Rascher was shot in Innsbruck, although the Museum at Dachau says that Dr. Rascher was executed on the orders of Heinrich Himmler in the bunker on April 26, 1945, the day that the VIP prisoners at Dachau were evacuated from the camp.

An account of the period just before the liberation of the camp, called “The Last Days of Dachau,” was written jointly by Arthur Haulot, a Belgian prisoner, and Dr. Ali Kuci, an Albanian prisoner. Nerin E. Gun mentioned in his book that he was Kuci’s assistant.

The book written by Haulot and Kuci mentions the orders given by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler after Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the head of the Security SD forces, ordered that the prisoners should be “liquidated” in the event that it was impossible to evacuate the camp. Himmler’s order stated that the camp was to be immediately evacuated and that “No prisoner should fall into the hands of the enemy alive…” This message was received in the camp in response to a query sent to Berlin by the camp commandant, according to Kuci and Haulot.

Information from “The Last Days of Dachau,” given by Marcus J. Smith in his book, “The Harrowing of Hell,” is as follows:

Begin quote

The day before (on April 8, 1945), the commandant and his staff had worried about the possibility of concealed knives and firearms in the prison compound; they feared an insurrection. Knowing that the prisoners were getting out of hand, they made plans to massacre them. At the designated time, the barracks were surrounded by SS troopers, their machine guns ready.

But the SS camp surgeon protested strongly. He believed that there should be no more killings. The commandant decided to search for weapons; if they were found, he could justify the executions. Nothing was found.

End quote

Kuci and Haulot wrote that the members of the Communist underground resistance group began to initiate action designed to create confusion within the camp in order to prevent the evacuation of the prisoners. At midnight on April 23rd, a group of 400 Jewish women arrived, having walked all the way from a sub-camp in Landsberg am Lech, near Munich. Many of them must have died soon afterwards because an official American Army report claims that there were only 225 Jewish women alive in the camp when it was liberated.

On April 24th, a group of Jewish inmates at Dachau were forced into boxcars parked outside the camp, but no engine was available for the train, so they had to remain there for three more days. According to Kuci, it was rumored that the Jews were being kept in the outer area in the hope that they would be bombed by the American planes.

On April 26th, according to Kuci, the prisoners ransacked the trains, canteen, kitchen and warehouses for food and civilian clothes. At 9 a.m. that day, the order was given to evacuate the entire camp, but the underground committee moved quickly to sabotage the SS plans.

According to Kuci’s book, the SS had assembled 6,700 prisoners for evacuation by 8 p.m. on April 26th. Then, just as the inmates were ready to leave the camp, a group of 120 barefoot women entered the camp; they were all that remained of 480 women who had walked all the way from the Auschwitz concentration camp, according to Kuci, as told by Marcus J. Smith in his book “The Harrowing of Hell.” In spite of this distraction, 6,887 prisoners left the camp at 10 p.m. that night.

Death march out of the Sachsenhausen camp

Death march out of Sachsenhausen camp

The Sachsenhausen concentration camp, near Berlin, had already been evacuated on April 21, 1945 and the prisoners were on a death march, trying to evade the approaching Red Army of the Soviet Union.

According to Kuci, the “death train” from Buchenwald had arrived at noon on April 27th. However, witnesses at the trial of the transport leader, Hans Merbach, said that the train had arrived on the 26th.

Kuci wrote that there were 1,600 survivors out of 2,400 who had left Buchenwald. Marcus J. Smith wrote that these figures were later changed to 2,000 to 2,500 out of 6,000 who started the trip three weeks before.

Two hundred of the survivors died that afternoon and another 400 had to be hospitalized immediately, according to Kuci. Two of the survivors said that there were only 1300 prisoners alive upon arrival, out of 5,000 who had originally been on the death train.

Victor Maurer, a representative of the Red Cross, said that he was told that, out of 5,000 prisoners who started the trip, 2,700 were dead on arrival, which would mean that there were 2,300 survivors who entered the camp.

The book “The Last Days of Dachau” ends with the following story, as told by Marcus J. Smith in his book:

Begin quote

The next day, April 28, the battle front was only ten or twelve kilometers away. The nearer it came, the fewer the number of Nazi soldiers in the camp. About one hundred remained; most of the officers were gone.

Members of the prisoners’ committee moved into the open, distributing a bulletin saying they were taking command. All prisoners were to remain in their quarters, to refrain from contact with the guards. (Some guards had been helpful in the last few months. They, too, were aware of the progress of the Allies.)

At 6 p.m., three of the committee leaders, Arthur Haulot, Captain Willem Boellaard, and Father Phily, a French priest, were summoned to the office of the commandant. Four others, Patrick O’Leary, Leon Malczewski, Ali Kuci and Edmond Michelet, waited nervously in the hospital. About two hours later the three reappeared, smiling.

The commandant had conceded, they said. He had introduced them to an official of the International Red Cross, who had just arrived with five truckloads of supplies.

“We had a long conversation with him concerning the distribution,” said Captain Boellaard.

End quote

According to Marcus J. Smith, the Red Cross representative, Victor Maurer, arrived at Dachau on April 27, 1945. Other sources say that the date of his arrival was April 28th. The following is an excerpt from Maurer’s official report, as quoted in Smith’s book, “The Harrowing of Hell”:

Begin quote

At the camp, I told a sentry that I wished to speak to the camp commandant. A little later I was received by the adjutant, Lt. Otto, in the commandant’s office. I asked for permission to circulate freely through the area where the prisoners were kept. The commandant said that it was not possible to issue such an authorization, that only General (Ernst) Kaltenbrunner could grant such permission, and that he was in the vicinity of Linz (Austria). The telephone and telegraph being out of order, the affair had become considerably complicated.

The Germans were very happy to know about the arrival of the (five truck loads of) food parcels. The commandant acquainted me with his desire for the immediate repatriation of 17,500 prisoners in a good state of health. These were mostly French and Polish; German, Jewish and Bulgarian inmates could not be released. I replied that I had to contact my district commander as soon as possible, but I could not do this until the next day. Lastly, the commandant asked me to quickly transport a cargo of food parcels to a depot in the Tyrols.

The request for food to be sent to the Tyrols might have been intended for the 6,887 prisoners who had left the camp at 10 p.m. on April 26th, headed in that direction. However, Smith also wrote that some of the prisoners who had escaped from the march reported that all the prisoners on this march had been murdered by the SS and that the only survivors were the 60 prisoners who had escaped.

End quote

The Official Report by The U.S. Seventh Army, which was based on interviews with 20 political prisoners at Dachau, included the story of the prisoners being massacred by the SS guards, leaving only 60 survivors.

One of the survivors of the march, Hirshel Grodzienski, wrote in his memoirs that the column of prisoners had been strafed by American planes, and in the confusion, he had escaped along with some of the other prisoners.

The official report of Victor Maurer continued as follows, as quoted in Smith’s book:

We said good-bye. I was permitted to personally distribute parcels to the prisoners. Lt. Otto accompanied me to the prison courtyard while a column of prisoners were led into the courtyard. Naturally, a very great joy prevailed among the prisoners because this was the first time a delegate of the ICRC has had access to the camp. Because some SS officers were always around, it was with great difficulty that I learned that, since January 1, 1945, 15,000 prisoners had died of typhus, and that in a transport of 5,000 prisoners from Buchenwald, about 2,700 were dead on arrival at Dachau.

End quote

The number of dead bodies on the train varies considerably, according to who is telling the story. Later, in the same report, Maurer said that there were 500 bodies on the train, and that some had been killed, while others had died of starvation.

Maurer’s report continues, as quoted by Marcus J. Smith in his book:

Begin quote

I further learned that M. Blum, Schuschnigg, and others were taken away a few days ago, at the same time as 6,000 others. In my opinion this happened because the combat front had drawn nearer. Some of the prisoners (trustees) emptied the trucks and signed the accompanying receipts. I spent the night in Barrack 203, Room 3. This was not in the prison camp.

End quote

On the night of April 28, 1945, Martin Gottfried Weiss left the camp dressed in civilian clothes and carrying false identification. The next day, two divisions of the US Seventh Army arrived to liberate the Dachau camp, but a few prisoners had already escaped from a work party sent to the town of Dachau in the last days just before the liberation.

Along with a few residents of the town, the prisoners fought a pitched battle with SS men in the town, but were defeated. The prisoners who survived the battle escaped. Two former prisoners of Dachau, Walter Neff and Georg Scherer, who had continued to work in the concentration camp after they were released, were the organizers of the confrontation with the SS in the town of Dachau.

On April 29, 1945, the same day that the camp was liberated, Weiss and his adjutant, Rudolf Heinrich Suttrop, were captured by 19-year-old Corporal Henry Senger in Munich after two escaped prisoners from Dachau told him where they were hiding. Senger did not identify the two prisoners, nor explain why they were in Munich on the day that Dachau was liberated. They may have been among the prisoners who had escaped with the help of Dachau citizens in the last days of the camp.

An account of the capture of Martin Gottfried Weiss was written by Senger, who now lives in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and it was put on the web by Harold Marcuse, a history professor at the University of Santa Barbara who is an expert on Dachau. You can read an article by Henry Senger on the web site of Harold Marcuse.

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