Scrapbookpages Blog

June 9, 2016

precious items that had once belonged to the murdered Jews have been found

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 11:58 am
A cup that once belonged to a Jew who was murdered at Auschwitz

A cup that once belonged to a Jew who was murdered at Auschwitz

The ruins of Krema II in Feb. 1945

The ruins of Crematorium II in Feb. 1945

The photograph above, taken in February 1945, shows the ruins of Crematorium II. Today, the crematorium building is commonly known by the German name: Krema II

At the end of the main camp road, which runs east and west through the Auschwitz II camp, also known as Birkenau, one can see the ruins of Crematorium II on the left and to the right, the ruins of Crematorium III.

A model of Crematorium III is on display in one of the museum buildings at the Auschwitz main camp.

Below is an old picture of Crematorium III, taken just after the building was put into operation in the Summer of 1943.

Old photo of Crematorium III at Birkenau

Old photo of Crematorium III at Birkenau

All four of the Crematoria buildings in Auschwitz-Birkenau were designed by Walter Dejaco, the same architect who designed the administration building at the entrance to the Auschwitz I camp, and also the Central Sauna building near Crematorium IV where the prisoners took showers.

In May 1944, the railroad tracks at Auschwitz were extended from the train station into the Birkeanu camp so that the trains carrying the Hungarian Jews could be brought inside the camp. The old photo of Crematorium III shows the tracks a few feet from the 10-foot barbed wire fence around the building.

According to a book from the Auschwitz Museum, Crematorium III was blown up by the Nazis on Jan. 20, 1945, the same day that Crematorium II was destroyed. This was shortly after the Nazis had abandoned the camp; some people, including me, believe that it was the Soviets who destroyed these buildings.

A book from the U.S. Holocaust Museum entitled The World Must Know by Michael Berenbaum says that “Soviet troops entered Birkenau on January 18, 1945.” January 18th was the day that 60,000 prisoners were death-marched, by the Germans, out of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Krema II and Krema III were both T-shaped brick buildings which were mirror images. Allegedly, each of the Krema buildings had an underground gas chamber where Jews were murdered with Zyklon-B, a poison gas that was also used for delousing the clothing at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Both of these Krema buildings are now nothing but ruins; they were allegedly blown up by the fleeing Nazis on Jan. 20, 1945, two days after they had abandoned the camp.  Or was it the Soviet liberators who blew up these buildings?

On the ground floor, of both Krema II and Krema III, were 5 large ovens where the bodies were cremated after being brought up on an elevator. Each of the ovens had 3 openings, called muffles or retorts, which means that there were actually 15 ovens which could each handle up to 3 bodies at a time.

The underground gas chambers in Krema II and Krema III were not directly underneath the oven room, which was the part of the building that was above ground. The alleged gas chamber rooms were covered only by a reinforced concrete roof and a layer of dirt. Allegedly, Zyklon-B, which was in the form of pellets, had been poured into the gas chambers through these holes in the roof.

In May 1944, the railroad tracks were extended from the Auschwitz train station into the Birkenau camp just before the Hungarian Jews began to arrive. The railroad tracks went all the way to the western end of the Birkenau camp, so that the Hungarian Jews could be brought directly to the gas chambers in Krema II and Krema III, which were located near the end of the main camp road.

Hungarian Jews waiting to be gassed in Krema II

Hungarian Jews waiting to be gassed in Krema II

The photo above allegedly shows Hungarian men, women and children resting in the birch tree grove at the western end of the Birkenau camp, while they wait to enter one of the gas chambers at Birkenau. I believe that they are waiting for their turn in the shower room of the Saunas building, which they are facing.

The photo above is from the Auschwitz Album, a book of photographs that was found by Lili Jacob in a concentration camp in Germany at the end of the war. The album consists of around 200 photos taken by an SS man at Birkenau when a transport of 3,500 Hungarian Jews arrived in May 1944 from Carpatho-Ruthenia, a region annexed to Hungary from the former country of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Jacob was on this transport; she survived because she had been selected to work.

Jews walking to the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Jewish mother and her children walking to the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The famous photo above was taken on the road that runs north and south through the center of the Birkenau camp. The woman and her children are walking to the north side of the camp where two more gas chambers, called Krema V and Krema IV, were located.

The tracks in the photo above are narrow gauge tracks used to carry building materials to the new section of the camp, called “Mexico,” where barracks were being built for 50,000 more inmates at Birkenau.

One of the survivors of Auschwitz was Samuel Pisar, who was first sent, at the age of 13, to the Majdanek death camp, in August 1943, when the Bialystok ghetto in Poland was liquidated. A few months later, he was transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he was put to work.

In an article in the Washington Post, published on January 23, 2005, Samuel Pisar wrote the following about his experience at Birkenau:

Begin quote

My labor commando was assigned to remove garbage from a ramp near the Crematoria. From there I observed the peak of human extermination and heard the blood-curdling cries of innocents as they were herded into the gas chambers. Once the doors were locked, they had only three minutes to live, yet they found enough strength to dig their fingernails into the walls and scratch in the words “Never Forget.”

End quote

One of the Auschwitz-Birkenau prisoners, who loaded the corpses of the murdered Jews into the Crematoria ovens after they were killed in the gas chambers with Zyklon-B, was Schlomo Venezia who described his work in an interview with Adam L. Freeman, a reporter with the Bloomberg News, on December 17, 2007.

According to Freeman’s article, posted on the web site, Schlomo worked for eight months at Birkenau in 1944, “…12 hours a day, seven days a week, cadaver after cadaver until it became a mechanical task, like feeding a heating furnace with cords of wood.”

Schlomo Venezia wrote a memoir entitled Sonderkommando Auschwitz, which was originally published in French; a new Italian version was published in 2007.

The following quote about Schlomo’s story is from Adam L. Freeman’s article in the Bloomberg News on December 17, 2007:

Begin quote

He recalls, for example, the day he met his father’s emaciated cousin in an undressing room at the gas chambers. Venezia offered him the only solace possible, he writes — some sardines and a lie that the Zyklon B would kill him quickly.

“It was just terrible to have to lie, but there was no way around it,” Venezia explains. “I tried in some way to make the horrible situation easier.”

The Sonderkommandos, as the prisoners working at the gas chambers were known, were privy to how the Nazis went about their butchery. Determined to keep their methods secret, the Nazis killed members of these units at regular intervals, making Venezia’s memoir very rare.

Venezia was 20 years old at the time. His own mother was murdered at the camp while he worked at the ovens; she was one of the 1.1 million Jews killed there, according to the latest figures.

Cutting the hair off cadavers, pulling their gold teeth and dragging them to the furnaces became mechanical, Venezia said, It was the only way to stay sane. The routine broke down only once, Venezia recalled; it was when the prisoners were confronted with the lifeless body of a woman possessing “the absolute beauty of an ancient statue.”

She looked like “a woman in a painting,” Venezia said, pausing for a moment in reflection. “Like Mona Lisa.,” he said. Yet there was nothing to do but cremate her.

Another day, Venezia’s unit found a live baby, trying to suck its dead mother’s breast, among a heap of corpses in the gas chamber. The prisoners watched without protest as a Nazi guard unloaded his pistol into the infant, according to Venezia.

“There were so many terrible things that happened,” Venezia said. “Every day it was something else.”

Venezia claimed that he witnessed the sometimes absurd machinations of the Nazi bureaucracy. When one prisoner attempted suicide, Venezia  recalled, a doctor treated his self-inflicted wounds, making him fit to be gassed.  The gas chamber story must be kept pure at all cost.

As the Soviet Army came near Auschwitz, confusion swept through the camp, allowing Sonderkommandos like Venezia and his brother to mix with other prisoners and march with them out of the camp.

German soldiers marched 5,000 survivors for days through the freezing Polish winter until they were out of reach of Soviet troops. Then they herded the prisoners onto trains bound for Austria, where they were eventually freed by U.S. forces.

Venezia  had never talked about Auschwitz-Birkenau — even with his wife and children — until he visited the former camp in 1992. At the time, Italy was experiencing a resurgence of anti-Semitism, and that is why he decided to tell his story.

Since then, Venezia has returned to Auschwitz 46 times, often accompanying tourist groups. He gives talks at schools across Italy, and he spoke to Rome soccer team Lazio after striker Paolo Di Canio was suspended for making Fascist salutes.

Sonderkommando members were habitually executed. Fewer than 150 of more than 2,000 who served in the group at Auschwitz-Birkenau survived.

End quote

My photo of the ruins of Krema II

My photo of the ruins of Krema II

Although Krema II was allegedly blown up by the Nazis two days after they abandoned the camp, the underground gas chamber is still intact and can be entered by crawling through a hole in the roof, which was created when the building was dynamited.

The underground gas chambers at Birkeanau were held up by concrete columns, and originally there were also wire-mesh columns designed to hold the Zyklon-B pellets so that they could be retrieved after the gassing.

These wire-mesh columns were allegedly removed by the Nazis, prior to blowing up the buildings, and can no longer be seen. The holes through which the gas was poured are shown on aerial photos taken of the camp when the gas chambers were in operation. The roof of the Krema III gas chamber was completely destroyed when the building was blown up and the holes cannot be seen today. The roof of the Krema II building was badly damaged and the location of the holes for pouring Zyklon-B pellets into the gas chamber cannot be found.

An aerial photo taken by the Allies in December 1944 shows that the Germans had removed the roofs over Crematoria II and III, as they began dismantling the interior of the facilities in preparation for abandoning the Birkenau camp.

In 1946, Rudolf Höss, the Camp Commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau from 1940 to 1943, was captured in northern Germany by a British army unit called the Jewish Brigade. He signed a confession, written in English, in which he admitted that 9,000 Jews were gassed each day at Birkenau. After a trial in Poland, he was hanged in front of the gas chamber building in the Auschwitz main camp on April 16, 1947.

Here is an excerpt from the confession of Rudolph Höss, as printed in the book entitled Auschwitz, sold at the Museum.

The following is a description of the gassing procedure in Krema II and Krema III:

“Those Jews selected for extermination were brought as quietly as possible, men and women separately, to the [buildings housing the gas chambers and] crematoria. In the undressing room, the Sonderkommando prisoners who worked there would tell them in their native language that they were now going for a shower and delousing. They were instructed to fold their clothes tidily and to make sure they remembered precisely where they had left them so that they would be able to find them quickly afterwards…

After undressing, the Jews were sent into the gas chamber: it had shower installations and water pipes so that it would look just like a shower room, but in fact it was a gas chamber. The women and children were sent in first, then the men, always fewer in number…

The levers locking the door were then quickly shut tight. Fumigators who were on stand-by outside then immediately emptied the Zyklon B down through special shafts that opened into outlets in the ceiling…

Through a peep-hole in the door one could see that the people standing nearest the outlets dropped dead immediately….

Half an hour after the gas had been introduced, the door was opened, the ventilation system was switched on, and removal of the corpses began right away… The Sonderkommando extracted any gold teeth, cut off the women’s hair, and then loaded the corpses on to lifts to take them up to the incinerators, which had been stoked up in advance. Depending on the size of the corpses, up to three could be put into an incinerator at the same time.”

The following quote is from a book which I purchased at USHMM:

Begin quote

Victims arrived in Crematorium II through a stairway leading down to the undressing room. Here, SS guards told them to surrender their valuables and undress for delousing showers. Victims were told to remember where they had left their clothing. Posters bearing slogans such as Cleanliness Brings Freedom and One Louse Can Kill were designed to misrepresent the showers as hygienic. Most victims were deceived. The undressing room in Crematorium II could accommodate about a thousand people. Once the victims had stripped nude, the guards herded them into an underground gas chamber. Women and children – who were normally the majority – always went in first. Fake shower heads in the ceiling were intended to fool victims into believing that they were about to shower. As soon as the chamber had been filled, sealed and locked, SS guards poured in Zyklon B pellets through special vents in the roof. The pellets fell to the floor, releasing their deadly gas. Most victims died quickly. After about twenty minutes, ventilating machines sucked out the poisonous air. When all were dead, their bodies were pillaged and burned. Under SS guard, prisoners hauled the corpses into an adjacent room, where gold teeth and fillings were removed and hair was shaved off the heads of dead women. Finally, a freight elevator lifted the corpses to an incineration room on the ground floor. The bodies were stuffed into ovens, three or four at a time. Crematorium II had fifteen ovens, which could burn between forty-five and seventy-five corpses at once, and about one thousand people in one day.

End quote


June 8, 2016

Did the “Nürnberg trials” prove anything of importance?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: — furtherglory @ 4:34 pm
The beautiful city of Nuremberg before it was bombed by the Allies

The beautiful city of Nuremberg before it was bombed by the Allies

German churches were bombed by the Allies

German churches were bombed by the Allies

A German boy in the ruined city of Nuremberg before the trial

A German boy in the ruined city of Nuremberg

The building in the city of Nuremberg where the war crimes trials were held

The building where the war crimes trials were held at the end of World War II

The old photograph above shows the east wing of the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany where the war crimes trials were held at the end of World War II. The courtroom was in Room 600, shown in the center of the east wing on the top floor. In the photo, room 600 can be identified by the curtains covering two of the windows.

My photo of the building where the war crimes trials were held

My photo of the building where the war crimes trials were held

To Americans, the name Nuremberg is synonymous with Justice, just as the name Munich is synonymous with Appeasement.

The Nuremberg IMT was more than just a trial. It was a graphic presentation to the entire world that the Allies had fought “the Good War” against the evil Nazis.

The Palace of Justice (Justizgebäude) at Fürtherstrasse 22, where the trial took place, was still being used as a court house when I visited the place in 1958.

The following quote is from the web site of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC:

The goals of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) transcended verdict and punishment. The creators of the court were deliberately assembling a public record of the horrific crimes committed by Germans during World War II, including those of the Holocaust.

American chief prosecutor Robert Jackson worried that “unless record was made future generations would not believe how horrible the truth was.”

In order to avoid any accusation of exclusive reliance on personal testimony, which later generations might perceive to be biased, prosecutors decided to base their case primarily on thousands of documents written by the Germans themselves. These masses of documents were translated into the court’s four official languages, analyzed for their significance, and reproduced for distribution to defense attorneys and other trial participants.

The prosecution presented other evidence through artifacts, diagrams, and photographs taken by Nazi photographers in concentration camps.

Nineteen investigative teams scoured German records, interviewed witnesses, and visited the sites of atrocities to build the case.
End quote

Now I am writing my explanation of the trials:

The charges at the Nuremberg main trial were based on the rules contained in Control Council Law No. 10 which stated the four categories of crimes, as follows:

Law No. 10


Article II

1. Each of the following acts is recognized as a crime:

(a) Crimes against Peace. Initiation of invasions of other countries and
wars of aggression in violation of international laws and treaties,
including but not limited to planning, preparation, initiation or waging a war of aggression, or a war of violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing.

(b) War Crimes. Atrocities or offenses against persons or property constituting violations of the laws or customs of war, including but not limited to, murder, ill treatment or deportation to slave labour or for any other purpose, of civilian population from occupied territory, murder or ill treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

(a) Crimes against Humanity. Atrocities and offenses, including but not limited to murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, torture, rape, or other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds whether or not in violation of the domestic laws of the country where perpetrated.

(d) Membership in categories of a criminal group or organization declared criminal by the International Military Tribunal.

End of Article II

Control Council Law No. 10 included all war crimes committed by the Nazi regime against any and all nations and individuals between January 30, 1933, when Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany, and July 1, 1945.

Beginning in November 1945, a few days before the start of the IMT main trial, there were American Military Tribunal proceedings conducted at Dachau which included only crimes committed by the Germans against Allied nationals in concentration camps in Germany and Austria between January 1, 1942 and the liberation of each camp. This was roughly the period of time during which America was at war with Germany.

For the most part, the International Military Tribunal charged the defendants, not with individual responsibility for specific crimes, but with a “Common Plan” to commit crimes.

There was no law called “Common Plan” before the trials at Nuremberg started.  This was a new law that was made up by the Allies, specifically for the Germans. The winners of a war make the rules; there is not need for the winners to be fair to the losers.

According to the book  entitled Justice at Nuremberg by Robert E. Conot, the idea for the Common Plan charges against the Germans came from Lieutenant Colonel Murray C. Bernays, a Lithuanian Jew who had emigrated to American in 1900 at the age of six.

Before the trial, according to Conot’s book, Churchill and Roosevelt’s advisor Henry Morgenthau, Jr. had advocated that “the principal Nazi leaders should be charged with their crimes, then summarily shot.”

Bernays argued for a trial as “the educational and therapeutic opportunity of our generation.” Regarding the Nazi crimes, Bernays wrote “The crimes and atrocities were not single or unconnected, but the inevitable outcome of the basic criminal conspiracy of the Nazi party.”

There was nothing in international law which allowed a charge of participating in a “Common Plan.”

The German war criminals were specifically charged with violating the Hague convention of 1907 by invading and attacking countries without a formal declaration of war and with the violation of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 which called for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy. Under each of the three counts in the indictment, a detailed list of all the German crimes was entered by each of the four Allied countries: Great Britain, the United States of America, France and the Soviet Union.

Any atrocities committed by the Allies were not considered war crimes. After the war, France passed a law that no French citizen could be charged with a war crime.

The Soviet Union accused the German military and specifically Hermann Goering, head of the German Air Force, of committing the Katyn Forrest Massacre of 11,000 Polish army officers in September 1941.

The Germans had brought in American POWs as observers when the bodies were dug up. An American soldier testified for the defense regarding the Katyn Forrest Massacre; in 1989 the world learned that his testimony was correct when the Soviet Union admitted that it was really the Russians who had murdered a total of 15,000 Polish army officers before June 1941, and had falsely accused the Germans.

Hermann Goering, recognized by the court as the No. 2 man in Germany, was the most important witness for the defense. He defended the overthrow of the Weimar Republic in Germany by the Nazis, and claimed that the concentration camps were necessary and legal.

German citizens had rights similar to the rights of Americans under our Constitution, but the German Constitution included Article 48, the emergency clause, which allowed for civil rights to be suspended. Hitler had used Article 48 to suspend Germany’s equivalent of our Fourth Amendment right after the Reichstag fire on the night of February 27, 1933.

Starting in April 1942, America set up internment camps for Japanese-American citizens which violated their Fourth Amendment rights, but Germany’s concentration camps were technically legal under the German Constitution.

On the third day of his cross examination of Hermann Goering, Jackson questioned him about the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany, including the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws on Citizenship which Goering had signed in September 1935.

Then Jackson confronted Goering with the most incriminating piece of evidence in the entire trial: a letter dated July 31, 1941, in which Goering had ordered Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), to prepare a plan for the “Final solution of the Jewish question.”

Goering testified that the German term “Die Endlösung” in the letter should have been translated as the “total solution,” and that it referred only to “the emigration of the Jews,” not the extermination of Jews.

The Protocols of the Wannsee Conference, at which the “Final Solution” was planned, were not found until 1947, so this important document was not included in the mountain of evidence introduced at the International Military Tribunal at which the German war criminals were tried for Crimes against Humanity.

The phrase “Endlösung der Judenfrage” was not originated by Hermann Goering.

Long before the Wannsee Conference, the phrase “Endlösung der Judenfrage” appeared in the 1897 manifesto of the Zionist “National Jewish Association – Cologne”:

“ Experience has shown that civic emancipation has fallen short of securing the social and cultural future of the Jewish people. The Final Solution of the Jewish Question lies therefore in the establishment of the Jewish State.”

Theodor Herzl the “Father of Zionism'” used the term “the final solution of the Jewish Question” in an 1899 letter to the Russian Czar:

“I supplemented this endeavor in my covering letter to the Czar:

“Sire: It is to the graciousness of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Baden, who has Grand Duke of Baden, who has consented to become the exalted sponsor of my humble request for an audience with Your Imperial Majesty, that I owe my permission to submit the Zionist plan for the final solution of the Jewish Question.” [Source: The complete diaries of Theodor Herzl, Volume 3]

The Nuremberg trial had far-reaching consequences – for America and the world. In 1948 President Harry Truman desegregated the American armed forces, and in 1954 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional, Justice Robert Jackson who participated in the decision said that the Nuremberg experience and the “awful consequences of racial prejudice revealed by … the Nazi regime” had influenced his decision.

According to Conot’s book, before the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal proceedings, there was no international criminal code; the barbaric practices of the Nazis became war crimes under international law, only after the IMT proceedings, when the United Nations passed the Genocide Convention and a Declaration of Human Rights.

After World War II, the rules of warfare changed: reprisals can no longer be taken against hostages or Prisoners of War; forced labor is now outlawed; captured partisans are given equal status with regular POWs. The Germans had been convicted of all these crimes before they were crimes.

The verdicts at the Nuremberg IMT established international law and the actions of the Germans in World War II are now war crimes.

Regulations of all the major World War II armies now state that orders which would constitute the commission of a crime need not be obeyed.

All the crimes that were revealed at the Nuremberg trial have now been incorporated into international law and the defense used at the Nuremberg trial by the German generals and admirals that they were just obeying orders is no longer valid.

At the Nuremberg IMT, the horror films of the Allied liberation of the Nazi concentration camps at Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald and Dachau were shown at the trial, to the defendants and to the public.

An American-made documentary film, which showed all the graphic details of the gas pipes and control wheels which regulated the flow of poison gas through the shower heads of the Dachau gas chamber, was shown in the courtroom on November 29, 1945.

The German military and economic leaders were visibly stunned by this proof of a gas chamber at Dachau, and claimed that they were seeing and hearing about this unprecedented atrocity for the first time.

The American public was horrified that such a thing could have taken place in the civilized world.

Today, tourists are not allowed to see the gas pipes and control wheels that were shown in the courtroom at Nuremberg. Instead, they are shown bins on the outside wall of the gas chamber which were allegedly used to put the poison gas pellets into the room.

The entire trial was captured on film and shown to the world on TV. Newsreel films showed the city of Nürnberg as a pile of rubble, which had not yet been cleared when the trial started; the bodies of 20,000 German civilians were still buried under the destroyed buildings as the German war criminals were brought into the courtroom of the Palace of Justice.

The Palace of Justice had suffered some damage in the Allied bombing of Nürnberg, but it had been restored by the forced labor of the conquered Germans before the trial began.

It was at the Nuremberg trials that the whole world learned for the first time about the German atrocities, including all the gory details of the medical experiments on prisoners, the shrunken heads, the soap made from human fat, the leather goods made from the skin of concentration camp prisoners, and the gas chambers which accounted for the majority of the deaths at Auschwitz and Majdanek, where the Russians testified that not less than 4 million people had died in the Auschwitz complex and another 1.5 million had died at the Majdanek camp.

Today, the figures given for these camps is 1.1 million deaths at Auschwitz and 78,000 at Majdanek, including 59,000 Jews.

Before 1945, the city of Nürnberg (Nuremberg) was most famous for producing a type of gingerbread called Nürnberger Lebkuchen; now the city is known the world over as the location of the proceedings before the International Military Tribunal where German war criminals were put on trial in the aftermath of World War II.

To Americans, the name Nuremberg is synonymous with Justice, just as the name Munich is synonymous with Appeasement. The Palace of Justice (Justizgebäude) at Fürtherstrasse 22, where the trial took place, is still being used as a courthouse; the building is shown in the photographs on this page.

Until recently, trials were still being conducted in room #600 the very room where the leaders of the Third Reich sat as they listened to testimony about their Crimes against Peace, War Crimes, and Crimes against Humanity over half a century ago.

The Justizgebäude, where the defeated Germans faced the judgment of the victorious Allies, is on the opposite side of the city, and a world away, from the Zeppelin Field where Hitler addressed the cheering crowds and the German Army once paraded in all its glory.

The first trial, in 1945, at the Palace of Justice was the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, consisting of prosecutors and judges from the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. A second set of trials, known as the Nuremberg Military Tribunals, were conducted by the United States. The most famous of these trials were the Doctors’ Trial and the Judges’ Trial.

The Trial of the Major War Criminals began on November 20, 1945; British judge Sir Goeffrey Lawrence called the court to order, saying that “This trial, which is now about to begin, is unique in the annals of jurisprudence.” The trial ended nine months later on October 1, 1946.

The trial was unprecedented because the prosecutors who conducted the trial and the judges who made up the jury were both from the victorious Allies only. The International Tribunal and the charges against the Germans had been created under the terms of an agreement among the Allies, known as the London Charter, signed on August 8, 1945.

At the main trial, there were 100,000 documents accepted into evidence and the transcript of the trial filled 42 volumes with more than 5 million words. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Allied prosecutors submitted some 3,000 tons of records at the Nuremberg IMT. The defense was not allowed access to any documents except the ones that were actually used by the prosecution.

One of the most important witnesses at the International Military Tribunal was Rudolf Höss, also known as Rudolf Hoess, who was a defense witness for Ernst Kaltenbrunner, one of the men on trial.

During the cross examination of Hoess, by the prosecution, an affidavit which he had signed on May 14, 1946 was introduced. This was his confession, sworn under oath, in which he admitted that 2 million Jews had been put to death by gassing and half a million more by other means while he was the Commandant of Auschwitz. This did not include the Hungarian Jews who were gassed while Hoess was not the Commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

There were 403 open sessions conducted by the IMT, and 113 witnesses were called to the stand including 33 for the prosecution and 80 for the defense.

Many prosecution witnesses gave testimony in an affidavit and did not take the stand, so the defense had no opportunity to cross examine them under oath. Even when Ernst Kaltenbrunner demanded that a prosecution witness take the stand so that he could confront him, the request was denied.

The complete transcript of the main Nuremberg trial, with the 216 days of testimony against the 22 defendants, was published in book form and it is also available online on the Internet.



Precious items that once belonged to Auschwitz victims have been found

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 8:31 am
My photo of some of the precious items, previously found at Birkenau

My 2007 photo of some of the precious items, previously found at Birkenau, on display

My photo of the Auschwitz-Birkenau gatehouse taken from the inside

My photo of the Auschwitz-Birkenau gatehouse taken from the inside; a similar photo is at the top of the news article.

You can read the full story, about the precious items that have been recently found at Auschwitz here:

A photo similar to my second photo above accompanies the news article.

The following quotes, in no particular order, are from the news article:

The Auschwitz museum said on Tuesday it has recovered 16,000 long-lost items belonging to Jews killed at the Nazi death camp [Auschwitz-Birkenau], decades after they were stored away and forgotten by Poland’s former communist regime.

Archaeologists first dug up the items in 1967 from the ruins of what had been a crematorium and gas chamber at the former Second World War death camp set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

“In most cases, these are the last personal belongings of the Jews led to death in the gas chambers upon selection at the ramp,” the museum said in a statement.

“These include, among others, thermometers, empty bottles of medicine, fragments of shoes, jewellery, cutlery, watches, brushes, tobacco pipes, lighters.”

End of quotes from the news article

My first job, after I graduated from Journalism school, was reading news articles, before the paper went to press, and making any necessary corrections. I have arranged the quotes, given above, in the order that I think they should be, not in the way that they were arranged in the news article.

Clothing warehouse at Birkeanu

Clothing warehouse at Birkenau

The old photo above was taken after the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was found by soldiers in the Soviet Union. This clothing was found at the central sauna where incoming prisoners took a shower and were then issued uniforms to wear. There is no clear indication about where the recent clothing was found.

My 2007 photo of the Central Sauna building

My 2007 photo of the Central Sauna building at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

Notice that there are no tourists in my photo above. Few people go to see this building, where incoming prisoners took a shower and were issued uniforms to wear.

My photo of the ruins of Krema II gas chamber

My 2005 photo of the ruins of Krema II gas chamber at Birkenau

Don’t start denying that the alleged gas chamber, shown in my photo above, is a gas chamber, or you could go to prison for 5 years or more in 19 countries now. It is O.K. to deny the Holocaust in the good ole USA, although not for long.



June 7, 2016

all it takes, to be a saint, is to save 12 Jews

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:43 am

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

Begin quote:

A Swedish nun who saved Jewish families during World War II was canonized by Pope Francis in a ceremony at St Peter’s Square on Sunday, the NNC reported.

Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad, a Lutheran who converted to Catholicism, is Sweden’s first saint in more than 600 years.

Hesselblad, a former nurse, is credited with saving at least 12 Jews during the war by concealing them inside the Rome convent where she was the mother superior. The Jews remained hidden for about six months until the end of the war.

End quote

Excuse me! I don’t believe that, saving only 12 Jews, warrants sainthood.  There were 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust. Why couldn’t she have saved a few more Jews?

According to the news article, this is Sweden’s first saint in 600 years. Maybe if there had been more Jews in Sweden, there would have been more saints.  Saving a gentile gets you nothing, as far as I know.

My favorite saint is St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.

St. Jude - the patron saint of lost causes

St. Jude – the patron saint of lost causes

When you think that everything in your life is hopeless, pray to St. Jude; he will get you through it.


June 6, 2016

How many Jews died at Auschwitz?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 5:06 pm

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

“Well, no one ever claimed that 4 million Jews died at Auschwitz. So that decline in numbers [down to 1.1 million] has no bearing on the amount of Jews killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau.”

Excuse me — I think that someone did, in fact, claim that 4 million Jews died at Auschwitz. The famous 4 million number was literally carved in stone at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

This stone was displayed at Auschwitz-Birkenau

This stone was displayed at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The sauna building at Birkenau where clothes were disinfected and prisoners took a shower

My photo of the sauna building at Birkenau where the clothes were disinfected with Zyklon-B and prisoners took a shower

On May 14, 1946, the former Commandant of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, Rudolf Höß, also known as Rudolf Hoess, signed a sworn affidavit in which he stated that two million Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau between 1941 and 1943 while he was the Commandant.

My 2005 photo of the Fence around the Birkenau camp

My 2005 photo of the fence around the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

This did not include the period, during which Hoess was not the Commandant, when over 300,000 Hungarian Jews were gassed during a period of 10 weeks in the Summer of 1944, according to the Auschwitz Museum.

The English translation of the German text in the affidavit reads: “I declare herewith under oath that in the years 1941 to 1943 during my tenure in office as commandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp 2 million Jews were put to death by gassing and a 1/2 million by other means. Rudolf Hoess. May 14, 1946.” The confession was signed by Hoess and by Josef Maier of the US Chief of Counsel’s office.

The original affidavit, signed by Rudolf Hoess, was displayed in a glass case in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC when I visited the museum in the year 2000. The photo that was displayed, along with the affidavit, showed Hungarian Jewish women and children walking to one of the four gas chambers in the Auschwitz- Birkenau death camp on May 26, 1944, carrying their hand baggage in sacks.

My photo taken in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum

My photo taken in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The caption underneath the photo above reads:

On May 14, 1946, Rudolf Hoess, the former commandant of Auschwitz, signed a declaration stating that during his tenure in office, 2 million Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz and another 500,000 killed in other ways.

End quote

Hoess overestimated the number of Jews gassed by about 1 million, according to today’s statistics.

There have been allegations that this confession was obtained from Rudolf Hoess by means of torture.

Rupert Butler wrote in his book entitled Legions of Death, published by Arrow Books in London in 1983, that before Hoess confessed, he had been beaten for three days by a British team of torturers under the command of Jewish interrogator Bernard Clarke.

In April 1967, an International Monument, dedicated to the victims of Fascism, was unveiled at Auschwitz-Birkenau, between the ruins of Krema II and Krema III, the two crematoria buildings where the two largest gas chambers were located.

The ruins of the Birkenau camp

My 2005 photo of the ruins of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

The monument included a series of granite plaques which informed visitors that 4 million people had been murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz-Birkenau. This number was an estimate given by the Soviet Union on May 8, 1945, based on the maximum capacity of the cremation ovens in the main Auschwitz camp and the ovens in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

Four million was the number of deaths at Auschwitz-Birkenau that the Soviet Union had included in their war crimes charges against the Nazis at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal in November 1945.

The Soviet Union also charged that the Nazis had murdered 1.5 million people at the Majdanek death camp. Today, the Museum at Majdanek claims that only 78,000 prisoners, including 59,000 Jews, died at Majdanek.

According to the Auschwitz Museum, after the fall of Communism in 1989, the Soviet Union turned over to the International Committee of the Red Cross 46 volumes of Death Books (Sterbebücher) which they had confiscated from the Auschwitz camp. These records, which had been kept by the political department (Gestapo) at Auschwitz, show that there were around 69,000 registered prisoners who died between July 29, 1941 and December 31, 1943.

The Death books from June 14, 1940 to July 28, 1941 are missing, as are the death books from all of 1944 and January 1945. Based on these records, the International Red Cross has estimated that a total of around 135,000 registered prisoners died in the three Auschwitz camps. These figures are for Jews and non-Jews.

The document in the photo below, which shows records kept in the Nazi concentration camps, is stored at Arolsen, Germany.

Records kept by the Red Cross

Records kept by the Red Cross

In 1990, the plaques at Auschwitz-Birkenau, with the figure of 4 million, were removed. It was not until 1995 that new plaques were placed at the International Monument. There are 20 metal plates inscribed in Yiddish, English and all the major languages of Europe.

The plaques were set on granite slabs on the steps of the International Monument. The number of deaths at Auschwitz, according to each of the 20 metal plates, is 1.5 million. However, the official number of deaths, according to the Jews, is now 1.1 million.

The English inscription reads:



In 1980, Franciszek Piper, the director of the Auschwitz Museum, began a study of all the available documents at Auschwitz; he calculated that 1,077,180 prisoners, of which 90% were Jews, had died at Auschwitz, based on his estimate of the number of arrivals minus the number of liberated prisoners and the number of transferred, escaped and released prisoners. This number includes the Jews, not registered in the camp, who are assumed to have been gassed immediately upon arrival.

In 1946, Rudolf Hoess was put on trial in Poland; he was charged with the murder of “around 300,000 people held at the camp as prisoners and entered into the camp’s records and around 4,000,000 people, mainly Jews, who were brought to the camp in transports from other European countries for immediate extermination and thus not listed in the camp’s records.” During his trial, Höss changed the figure in his confession to a total of 1,130,000 Jews that were gassed but declared “During my tenure at Auschwitz, millions of people died, whose exact number I cannot determine.”

Rudolf Hoess wrote in his autobiography that Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann and his deputy were the only ones who knew the total number of Jews that were gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau because Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had ordered the records to be burned after every special action. The Nazis always used code words when talking about the genocide of the Jews: a mass gassing was called a “special action.”

In the last days of World War II, shortly before Berlin was surrounded by Soviet troops, Eichmann told Hoess that 2.5 million Jews had been murdered at Auschwitz Birkenau. Eichmann was an SS Lt. Col. who was the head of Department IV, B-4, the section of the Reich Central Security Office (RSHA) in Berlin, which was responsible for deporting the Jews. It was Adolf Eichmann who was in charge of deporting the Jews on the trains to the death camps.

According to the Auschwitz Museum, no records of the number of prisoners who died at Auschwitz-Birkenau have ever been found. In an article on the official Auschwitz website, Franciszek Piper wrote the following:

When the Soviet army entered the camp on January 27, 1945, they did not find any German documents there giving the number of victims, or any that could be used as a basis for calculating this number. Such documents (transport lists, notifications of the arrival of transports, reports about the outcome of selection) had been destroyed before liberation. For this reason, the Soviet commission investigating the crimes committed in Auschwitz Concentration Camp had to make estimates.


The absence of the most important of the statistical sources that the Germans kept in Auschwitz made it practically impossible for historians to research the issue of the number of victims. The reluctance to research this issue also resulted from a conviction of the impossibility of drawing up a full list of transports reflecting the total number of deportees, and above all of the people who were consumed by the gas chambers and crematoria with no registration or records.

In his book entitled “IBM and the Holocaust,” Edwin Black wrote that the Nazis tracked the prisoners by using IBM Hollerith machines which sorted punch cards that were coded with information about each prisoner. The numbers on the tattoos that were put on the arms of the Auschwitz prisoners, starting in 1943, were originally the prisoner’s code number on his Hollerith card.

The following is a quote from the book “IBM and the Holocaust” by Edwin Black:

Begin quote

It was not just people who were counted and marshaled for deportation. Box cars, locomotives and intricate train time tables were scheduled across battle-scared borders – all while a war was being fought on two fronts. The technology had enabled Nazi Germany to orchestrate the death of millions without skipping a note.

End quote

According to Edwin Black, the prisoners were not tracked with an IBM punch card until they were registered in a camp, so there are no records of those who arrived at Auschwitz, but were not registered. Of the millions of Hollerith punch cards used by the Nazis, only around 100,000 survived the war, according to Edwin Black.

The generally accepted figure of 1.3 million who were deported to Auschwitz is not based on the train records kept by the Germans, but rather an estimate made by Franciszek Piper who wrote the following in his article on the official Auschwitz web site:

After an overall analysis of the original sources and findings on deportation to Auschwitz, I concluded that a total of at least 1,300,000 people were deported there, and that 1,100,000 of them perished. Approximately 200,000 people were deported from Auschwitz to other camps as part of the redistribution of labor resources and the final liquidation of the camp.

One of the most distinguished Holocaust researchers, Raul Hilberg, published a separate work (Auschwitz and the Final Solution) on the number of Auschwitz victims. His findings reaffirmed both the figure of 1,000,000 Jewish Auschwitz victims that he had arrived at as long ago as 1961, as well as my own conclusions.

The IBM Hollerith punch cards kept by the Germans for the Jews, Russians and Gypsies, who were registered in the camp and later killed in the gas chambers, were coded as F-6 for “special treatment” or as “evacuations” according to Edwin Black, the author of “IBM and the Holocaust.” The code for “execution” was D-4.

In 2002, Edwin Black wrote the following in an article regarding the IBM Hollerith punch card machines in Krakow which were used by the Nazis to keep track of the Auschwitz prisoners:

The machines almost certainly did not maintain extermination totals, which were calculated as “evacuations” by the Hollerith Gruppe in Krakow.

Richard Seaver wrote in the Introduction to Auschwitz, a Doctor’s Eyewitness Account by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli that “in 1944 German authorities destroyed the transport lists of all Jews who had been sent to Auschwitz up to that point, and in the succeeding months ordered the destruction of all other incriminating documents.”

The complete records, compiled by the office of Richard Glücks for all the Nazi concentration camps in the years 1935 to 1944, are now stored on microfilm and kept in the Russian Central Archives in the Central State Archives No. 187603 on Rolls 281 through 286. These records give statistics on the number of Auschwitz deaths from execution, typhus and other natural causes, but not the statistics on the Jews who were gassed.

According to Wikipedia, Richard Glücks attained the rank of a SS-Gruppenführer and a Generalleutnant of the Waffen-SS and was, from 1939 until the end of World War II, the head of Amt D: Konzentrationslagerwesen of the WVHA and the highest-ranking “Inspector of Concentration Camps” in Nazi Germany. Close to Himmler, Glücks was directly responsible for the forced labour of the camp inmates; he was also the supervisor for the medical practices in the camps, ranging from human experimentation to the implementation of the Endlösung, in particular the mass murder of the inmates by gassing with Zyklon-B.

Endlösung is the German term for “The Final Solution,” which means the genocide of the Jews. Himmler and Glücks both escaped justice by committing suicide immediately after they were captured by the Allies in May 1945, before they could be interrogated.

According to the records kept by the office of Richard Glücks, there was a total of 121,453 inmates, including 100,743 Jews who were transferred out of Auschwitz-Birkenau to other camps.

The same records show that there was a total of 334,785 prisoners who entered Auschwitz-Birkenau between May 1940 and December 1944, including 161,785 non-Jews.

The records kept by the office of Richard Glücks show that 103,429 inmates of Auschwitz-Birkenau died from typhus, including 58,240 Jews who died from typhus between 1942 and 1944. An additional 4,140 prisoners died of other natural causes between 1940 and 1944, including 2,064 Jews.

The number of people executed at Auschwitz, according to the records stored on microfilm in the Russian Archives, was 1,646 including 117 Jews, 1,485 Poles, 19 Russians, 5 Czechs and 20 Gypsies.

The German records kept by the office of Richard Glücks show that 173,000 Jews were brought to Auschwitz-Birkenau and that 100,743 were transferred to other camps; 58,240 Jews died of typhus; 2064 Jews died of natural causes and 117 Jews were executed, bringing the total number of Jewish deaths at Auschwitz-Birkenau to 60,421. At the end of October 1944, there were 11,836 Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau, plus a few that were admitted to the camp in November and December 1944, according to the records kept by the office of Richard Glücks.

The German records show that 161,785 non-Jews were brought to Auschwitz-Birkenau from May 1940 to December 1944 and that 45,189 of them died from typhus; 1,529 non-Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau were executed; 2,076 non-Jews died of natural causes, other than typhus. This makes a total of 48,794 non-Jewish deaths at Auschwitz-Birkenau in addition to the 60,421 Jewish deaths, for a combined total of 109,215. This does not include the deaths in January 1945 before Auschwitz was liberated on January 27, 1945.

According to information presented at the Auschwitz Museum, 405,222 prisoners were registered at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Jews who were immediately sent to the gas chamber were not registered and no records of any kind were kept for them.

Out of the 405,222 prisoners who were registered at Auschwitz and Birkenau, around 340,000 died at Auschwitz and other camps to which they were transferred, according to a Museum guidebook, which I purchased in 2005. This figure includes the prisoners who were registered and then selected later for gassing because they were no longer able to work.

By subtracting the number of prisoners still in the camp the day before it was abandoned, the By subtracting the number of prisoners still in the camp the day before it was abandoned, the number of prisoners sent to other concentration camps, and the number of escapees from the number of prisoners that were registered, the remainder is a number that closely matches the figure of 135,000 deaths that was estimated by the Red Cross. According to Franciszek Piper, the director of the Auschwitz Museum, there were approximately 500 prisoners who escaped from Auschwitz.

The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust puts the total number of Hungarian Jews who died at Auschwitz-Birkenau between May and July 1944 at approximately 550,000, the majority of whom were gassed, but Lucy Dawidowicz wrote in her book entitled “The War Against the Jews,” published in 1975, that 450,000 Hungarian Jews were brought to Auschwitz between May 1944 and October 1944. Raul Hilberg stated in his book entitled The Destruction of the European Jews that the number of Hungarian Jews brought to Auschwitz was 180,000.

According to Franciszek Piper, the majority of the Hungarian Jews, who were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, were gassed immediately.

A booklet purchased from the Auschwitz Museum stated that 434,351 of the Hungarian Jews were gassed upon arrival. If these figures are correct, only 3,051 Hungarian Jews, out of the 437,402 who were sent to Auschwitz, were registered in the camp. However, Franciszek Piper wrote that 28,000 Hungarian Jews were registered at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The records from the office of Richard Glücks show that only 23,117 Hungarian Jews were brought to Auschwitz-Birkenau and 21,527 Hungarian Jews were transferred out of the camp.

On July 12, 1944, there were 92,705 prisoners in the whole camp complex, according to the roll call taken that day. In the main camp, there were 14,386 men. At Birkenau, there were 19,711 men and 31,406 women. There were 26,705 men in Auschwitz III. This total did not include the Hungarian Jews who were not registered, according to Danuta Czech. They were held in section B III of Birkenau, called Mexico, while they waited to be gassed or sent to another camp.

On April 12, 1947, just before his execution, Rudolf Hoess signed the following Final Statement, in which he admitted his shame for committing Crimes Against Humanity and for participating in the genocide perpetrated by the Third Reich:

Begin quote from the confession of Rudolf Hoess:

My conscience is forcing me to make also the following assertion: In the isolation prison I have reached the bitter understanding of the terrible crimes I have committed against humanity. As a Kommandant of the extermination camp at Auschwitz, I have realized my part in the monstrous genocide plans of the Third Reich.

By this means I caused humanity and mankind the greatest harm, and brought unspeakable suffering, particularly to the Polish nation. For my responsibility, I am now paying with my life. Oh, that God would forgive me my deeds! People of Poland, I beg you to forgive me! Just now in the Polish prisons have I recognized what humanity really is. In spite of everything that happened I have been treated humanely, which I had never expected, and this has made me feel deeply ashamed. Would to God…that the fact of disclosing and confirming those monstrous crimes against mankind and humanity may prevent for all future ages even the premises leading to such horrible events.

End of confession

Stumbling Stones on the streets of German cities

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:17 am

Tourists, in Germany today, can’t walk two feet down a city street without being confronted with memories of the Holocaust.

The following quote is the first sentence in a news article which you can read in full here:

Begin quote

Reminders of Germany’s dark past confront 7-year-old Juri Hesselmann each morning as he walks to school with his father.

End quote

Stumbling stones on a city street in Germany

Stumbling stones on a Berlin street mark former locations of  Jewish residents who were killed in the Holocaust

In the photo above, notice the cobblestones in the street on the right hand side. These cobblestones were laid hundreds of years ago, and millions of Germans have walked these streets in the past.  Now a German citizen can’t walk two steps out of his house without being confronted with guilt about the Holocaust.  When will this end? NEVER!

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

The first Stolpersteine  in Berlin were placed in 1996. Memorializing 50 Jewish residents of Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, they were the creation of German artist Gunter Demnig as part of an art project that examined Auschwitz, the German death camp in Nazi occupied Poland, where 1.1 million people were gassed, shot, beaten, or died from disease and hunger.

These first Stolpersteine were considered illegal. But the Berlin authorities later relented.

In the 20 years since, Demnig has placed nearly 60,000 Stolpersteine throughout Europe, from Norway to Greece, with more than 7,000 in Berlin alone. Astonished by the demand for these memorials, Demnig has acknowledged that the job has consumed his life.

Demnig now has an assistant, Michael Friedrichs-Friedlander, who was especially moved by the 34 plaques he made for orphans and their caregivers. These plaques were placed in front of an orphanage in Hamburg.

“They were between three and five years old,” Friedrichs-Friedlander told the German government broadcaster Deutsche Welle. “I couldn’t sleep for weeks.”

The plaques serve as constant reminders to the residents of neighborhoods like Juri’s that the Nazi death machine took so many Jews from the neighborhood. They force residents to think. How would they react if they had a Jewish neighbor who vanished in the night? What would you do if your neighbor were taken away today?

End quote

I have an alternative suggestion. Every resident of Germany should place a plaque, with the name of a Jew who cheated him or her, on the street in front of his or her residence.

Note that the news article mentions that 1.1 million Jews were killed at Auschwitz. This is down from the 4 million deaths that were originally claimed at Auschwitz.  However, this does not change the sacred 6 million number of Jewish deaths.

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

Begin quote

According to Helmut Lolhoffel, a spokesman for the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf Stolpersteine project, there were 13,200 Jewish residents deported from this area of Berlin and murdered by the Nazis. The Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf area includes Juri’s neighborhood. Altogether there were 55,000 Jews deported from Berlin and killed.

Lolhoffel, 72, whose parents were Nazis, said that Germans must forever commemorate the victims of the Nazis.

“The Stolpersteine are our permanent reminders,” said Hesselmann, noting that their importance grows as the number of survivors who can tell the story of the Holocaust shrinks.

End quote


My photo above shows the Kaiser Wilhelm Church, which was built at the end of the 19th century; it was destroyed by British bombs in November 1943. Part of the ruins have been preserved as a memorial. A new modern church and a tower have been built beside it.

I have a section on my website about Berlin:



June 5, 2016

the Netherlands is finally getting a national Holocaust museum

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

The title of my blog post today is a line from a news article, which you can read in full at

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

Begin quote

AMSTERDAM — More than 70 years after tens of thousands of Dutch Jews were deported and killed by the Nazis, the Netherlands is finally getting a national Holocaust museum.


In all, 104,000 Dutch Jews were among the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. The theater is now home to a memorial to those victims.

End quote

The most important part of the news article comes later in this quote:

Begin quote

The nine paintings on show are collectively titled “The Demise of Abraham Reiss.” They trace the life of [Jeroen] Krabbe’s grandfather, who was murdered by the Nazis in 1943 in the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland.

From a man sitting in a forest of birch trees on the edge of Amsterdam, the paintings trace Reiss’ life in pre-war Amsterdam to his detention in the Westerbork camp in the northeastern Netherlands and his arrival at Sobibor, where he was greeted by a snarling dog and shadowy, faceless guards. The final painting shows thick smoke billowing out of the chimney of Sobibor’s gas chamber and a flock of geese, whose honking was intended to drown out the screams of Jews being murdered, according to a text accompanying one of the paintings.

The artist said he couldn’t bring himself to visit Sobibor. So instead he drew on the memories of camp survivor Jules Schelvis, who wrote a book about his experiences and built models of the camp and its gas chambers. The models are exhibited in the same room as Krabbe’s paintings.

Krabbe said he also used his acting skills to imagine how his grandfather would respond to the horrors unfolding in his life.

“I wanted to get under his skin,” Krabbe told The Associated Press. “To imagine how it would be to experience what happened to him and how he would have reacted. It was like I had to play a role.”

End quote

Only 104,000 Dutch Jews were “murdered”? How many other Dutch Jews, including Anne Frank, died of disease, or natural causes, during the Holocaust?

It hardly seems worth it to have a national museum dedicated to only 104,000 citizens who were murdered.  Why not have a memorial to all the Dutch citizens who died during World War II, which would include Anne Frank, who died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen?

But to get back to Sobibor…..


Map of Sobibor camp

Sobibor is one of the few places, related to the Holocaust, that I have not visited.  From everything that I have read about Sobibor, I believe that it was a transit camp, from which Jews were sent to the east, never to return.

I have written several blog posts about Sobibor:

I have a section about Sobibor on my website at

Alert readers of my blog post might have noticed that the news article mentioned “thick smoke billowing out of the chimney of Sobibor’s gas chamber.”

A real gas chamber, like the one in Jefferson City, MO, is supposed to have a tall chimney to vent the gas high into the air. Did the Nazis have a gas chamber consultant, like Fred Leuchter, to advise them on the construction of the gas chamber at Sobibor?


June 4, 2016

The Jew who jumped into a ditch on the way to the gas chamber

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 5:37 pm

Ruins of the Auschwitz-Birkeanu camp in winter of 2005

Today I am writing about Holocaust survivor David Chase, who has recently passed away at age of 86.

The following quote is from a news article about his death:

Begin quote

David Chase was a self-made businessman who survived the Holocaust and built his life anew. He escaped the concentration camp at Auschwitz jumping into a ditch as he and other inmates were being led to the gas chambers. He later took cover in the forest, but his parents and siblings perished in the Nazi concentration camps. He remembers that it was a sunny day in Auschwitz when his mother was murdered. “I raised my hands and said, ‘My G-d, of all people, why her? She was a wonderful human being who had so much compassion and love for others—why her?’”

End quote

The mother of David Chase was apparently not spry enough to jump into a ditch on the march to the gas chamber. It was relatively easy to escape the gas chamber at Birkenau but you had to be spry enough to jump off the cart that was carrying you there, and you had to be able to jump into a ditch that might be filled with muddy water after a recent rain.

I have a whole section on my website about Auschwitz:

A little history of Auschwitz-Birkenau might be in order here:

The first prisoners at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp had to tear down the brick houses in the Polish village of Brzezinka, which the Germans called Birkenau. The bricks were used to construct primitive barracks, built on the ground without foundations. Eventually, the houses in 6 more Polish villages were torn down in order to expand the Birkenau camp.

Auschwitz-Birkenau was built on marshy ground which had to be drained. The ground at Birkenau is still so wet that there are spots at the western end that look like a bog garden, a place with plants that grow only in wet places.

The photo below shows prisoners digging a drainage ditch at the western end of the camp. This was part of Heinrich Himmler’s ambitious plan to set up a huge farm at Auschwitz.

Prisoners digging a drainage ditch at Birkeanu

Prisoners digging a drainage ditch with cranes at Auschwitz-Birkeanu

According to the book entitled Auschwitz, 1270 to the present by Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt, Heinrich Himmler got the idea of using the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp to establish a large agricultural estate as early as November 1940, after Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess had paid him a visit. According to the book, cited above: “The two men began to plan the transformation of Auschwitz [Birkenau] into an agricultural experiment station which would service the entire region.”

At that early date, in November 1940,  the projected inmate population of Auschwitz-Birkenau was 10,000 and Himmler envisioned that most of the prisoners would work on an experimental farm, according to Dwork and van Pelt, as written in their book.

Dwork and van Pelt wrote: “It was the metamorphosis of the camp into an agricultural estate worked by slaves that caught [Himmler’s] fancy; it fit his fantasy of the German east, and he was enraptured by the vision of Auschwitz playing a central role in the reclamation of that area.”

The town of Auschwitz had originally been built by Germans and German farmers had formerly owned the land in that area, which Himmler wanted to reclaim for the Greater German Reich.

According to the book by Dwork and Van Pelt, most of the slave labor on the Auschwitz experimental farm was done by women. The following quote is from Auschwitz, 1270 to the present:

Begin quote

His [Himmler’s] bucolic fantasy engendered a brutality that exceeded the conditions in the sand and gravel pit industrial work assigned to men. The women simply had no machinery of any kind to help them. It was lethal work. Many died, and nearly no one survived without permanent injury.

It was too great an assault for anyone to sustain, and it is possible that one day early in October 1942, women slave laborers at the agricultural farm in the Auschwitz subcamp of Budy tried to break out. German women kapos killed the approximately ninety French Jews with poles and axes, claiming to suppress an uprising. Not one of the prisoners survived that day.

End quote

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

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 website at

I have a sub-section about the liberation of Buchenwald at

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:

On my website pages about the liberation of Buchenwald, I have written what I believe is the truth about how this camp was liberated:

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

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

the late Primo Levy is back in the news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:28 am
Primo Levi as a young man

Primo Levi as a young man

If you don’t know who Primo Levi is, I can’t help you.  Suffice to say, if you don’t know the name Primo Levi, it is almost certain that you have never been to college.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.

I previously blogged about Primo Levi on this blog post:

Today, I am commenting on a news article, which you can read in full at

The news article is about an original manuscript, written years ago, by Primo Levi. The manuscript was recently put into a museum in Washington, DC.

The recent news article begins with this quote:

Begin quote

Manuela Paul had the precious documents in a plastic folder, inside an artist’s satchel, inside a Whole Foods shopping bag, which she kept at her side the entire bus ride from New York to Washington [DC].

The package in her custody was a rare 1946 draft of one of the most revered books to come out of the Holocaust — Italian author Primo Levi’s classic memoir of his 10 months in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz [Monowitz].

End quote

Normally, a news story begins with “Who, What, Where, When and Why,” but not if it is a news story about Jews. The Jews are “God’s Chosen People.” They are not like the lowly goyim who are not even human. The Jews can break the rules and get away with it.

The following quote is the very last paragraph in the news article, which was written backwards, with the most important information given at the end of the article.

Begin quote:

“Survival in Auschwitz” [written by Primo Levy] is considered one of the great Holocaust books, along with “The Diary of Anne Frank” and Elie Wiesel’s concentration camp memoir, “Night,” the museum said.

The manuscript includes 10 of the eventual 17 chapters, dating from the winter and spring of 1946. Levi had been liberated by the Russians [Soviet Union soldiers] in January 1945. He died in 1987.
End quote

Personally, I think that the writing of Primo Levi is highly over rated. If he had not been a Jew, his books would never have been published.

The factories in the Monowitz camp, where Levi was a prisoner, are still being used, and the camp is off limits to tourists. I have written several blog posts about Monowitz:



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