Scrapbookpages Blog

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

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/

 

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