Scrapbookpages Blog

May 6, 2016

all roads lead to Bialystok, a city in Poland

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:12 am

When I went on my first trip to Poland in October 1998, I was surprised to find that the roads were very primitive and that there were no freeways, like in America. The first trip to a Holocaust camp, that I took in Poland, was to Treblinka.

My 1998 photo shows a line of stones that mark the border of the Treblinka camp

My 1998 photo shows a line of stones that mark the border of the Treblinka camp

There were no direction signs, on the road to Treblinka, until we were almost there. My driver followed the signs that led to Bialystock, which I now know is the closest large city to the village of Treblinka, although it is many miles away.

Yesterday, one of the readers of my blog wrote the following in a comment:

“neither the Soviets nor the Poles uncovered even the slightest scrap of proof that Treblinka II operated as an extermination camp”

There were two camps, near the village called Treblinka, during World War II. One camp was where Jews were allegedly killed and the other camp, now called Treblinka II, was a work camp for Jews. The main Treblinka camp, where Jews were allegedly killed, is now a memorial site.

My photo of the entrance into the Treblinka camp

My 1988 photo of the entrance into the Treblinka main camp

I have to digress a bit now to tell you about my background. I was born in a small town in Missouri. The bed, in which my mother gave birth to me, was located a stone’s throw from the railroad tracks of a major railroad line.  Probably the first sound, that I ever heard after I came into this world, was the lonesome whistle of a train.

To understand the story of the Holocaust, one must first study the trains, along with the locations of the death camps.  For some strange reason, the so-called extermination camps were located “way out in the boondocks” as people in Missouri would say. And the Jews were taken to the death camps by trains, not by trucks. Didn’t the Nazis need those trains for their troops?

When railroad lines were built in the 19th century, the width of the tracks was standardized in America and western Europe, while the tracks in Russia and eastern Poland were a different gauge. The city of Bialystok is the end of the line for Western railroad tracks in Poland; this is as far east as trains can go without changing the wheels on the rail cars to fit the tracks in Russia.

In June 1941, the German Army invaded the Soviet Union. By the time that the Operation Reinhard camps were set up in 1942, German troops had advanced a thousand kilometers into Russia. Supposedly, the plan was to transport the Jews as far as the Bug river and kill them in gas chambers, then claim that they had been “transported to the East” into Russia.

There were no gas chambers in Bialystok, so the Jews in the Bialystok ghetto had to be transported west to Treblinka in order to kill them. Every Holocaust story that you will ever read, and every story that you won’t read, says that the Jews were transported to the East.

What else could the Nazis have done at Treblinka? Maybe put a pontoon bridge across the Bug river in order to send the Jews into the former Soviet territory? But if the plan was to send all the Jews into Russia, why not just send them from Bialystok, instead of Treblinka?

When Germany began offering reparations to the Jews for their suffering in the Holocaust, there were many Jews who claimed reparations, but were rejected because they had come to Germany from Russia, after the war. According to the True Believer version of the Holocaust, these Jews were allegedly dead, so they could not claim reparations from Germany.

For a few years now, there have been ads on TV asking for donations for the Holocaust survivors in Russia. There is no mention of how these survivors got there, but the scene in the ad, that shows the tattoo on the arm of one of the Holocaust survivors in Russia, has recently been deleted from the ad.

Jews in Warsaw leaving for Treblinka

Jews in Warsaw leaving for the Treblinka death camp

I don’t believe in the Holocaust story because it is not the way that a German person would have done it. Instead of building death camps out in the boondocks, a German person would have put the gas chambers in major cities like Warsaw. Why go to all the trouble and expense of transporting the Jews to some God forsaken place out in the boondocks?

My photo of the village of Poniatowa on the way to Treblinka

My 1998 photo of the village of Poniatowo, on the road to Treblinka in the rain

From Warsaw, the route to Treblinka starts with the crossing of the river Vistula, then a turn onto Highway 18 northeast towards Bialystok, the only large town in the Bialystok province, which is located in the most remote northeast corner of Poland.

It is in the Bialystok province that bison still roam, and one can see the last remaining primeval forest and wetlands on the European continent. This area could truly be called the “Wild East” of Poland.

As you can see in the photograph above, taken in October 1998, the road as it nears the Treblinka camp becomes a one-lane blacktop, badly in need of repair.

Treblinka is two kilometers from the Bug River which, during World War II, formed the border between the Nazi occupied General Government of Poland and the zone occupied by the Soviet Union from September 1939 until the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.

Two other Action Reinhard death camps, Sobibor and Belzec, were also located very close to the Bug river which was the border between the General Government and the Soviet zone of Poland.

My photo of the bridge over the Bug river on the way to Treblinka

My 1998 photo of the bridge over the Bug river on the way to Treblinka

The Soviet zone was the territory that had formerly belonged to Russia between 1772 and 1918. Known as the “Pale of Settlement” between 1835 and 1917, this was the area where all Russian Jews were forced to live until after they were liberated by the Communist Revolution in 1917.

Treblinka was located on the railroad line running from Ostrów Mazowiecki to Siedlce; at Malkinia junction, this line intersected the major railway line which ran from Warsaw to Bialystok.

Now do you understand my complaint about all this? It is not the way a German person would have done it!

 

May 4, 2016

The man who built the oven in which Adolf Eichmann was cremated

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , , — furtherglory @ 5:01 pm
Adolf Eichmann before his trial

Adolf Eichmann before he was given drugs before his trial

The following quote is from this news article:  http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israeli-artist-paints-haunting-images-of-Nazi-death-camp-ovens-453094

Begin quote

Tuly Ziv has created over 100 paintings of furnaces depicting haunting imagery, inspired by a sketch of a furnace that his father, a Holocaust survivor, built and used to cremate the body of Adolf Eichmann, an architect of Hitler’s “Final Solution” who was executed by Israel in 1962 after a war crimes trial in Jerusalem.

Tuly’s father was the only family member to survive Lodz ghetto in Poland and the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany in the killing of six million Jews during World War Two. His mother survived Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland, where she sorted Jews’ possessions after they were cremated.

After the Holocaust, Tuly’s father, Israel Zaklikowski, immigrated to British-administered Palestine, where he worked in a factory for commercial baking ovens.

On June 1, 1962, Tuly says he recalls his father returning home from work, saying: “Last night I cremated Eichmann”.

Eichmann was one of the architects of the “Final Solution”, the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jewish people, and he oversaw the rounding up and deportation of Jews to death camps such as Auschwitz.

In 1960, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency abducted Eichmann from Argentina, where he was living under an assumed identity.

An Israeli court found him guilty of crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes against the Jewish people. He is the only person to have been executed by Israel since its founding in 1948.

End quote

EichmannOnTrial

The photo above shows Eichmann after he was drugged to prepare him for his trial.

On April 25, 1944, in his office at the Hotel Majestic in Budapest, Adolf Eichmann had met with Joel Brand, another leading member of the Jewish Relief and Rescue Committee. Brand had already attended previous meetings with Eichmann and other SS officers in an attempt to bribe them to allow a number of Jews out of Hungary. Now Eichmann said to Brand, “I am prepared to sell one million Jews to you.”

Eichmann proposed an exchange of “Blood for Goods,” in which the British and the Americans would give the Nazis one new truck for every one hundred Jews. Eichmann promised that the trucks would only be used on the Eastern front where the Germans were fighting against the Communist Soviet Union. Brand was asked to go to Istanbul in Turkey to negotiate the deal. Eichmann hoped to obtain 10,000 trucks in exchange for one million Jews.

But even before Brand reached Turkey on May 19, 1944, Eichmann had already ordered the deportation of the Hungarian Jews, which began on April 29, 1944.

According to Laurence Rees, SS officer Kurt Becher, who was a Lt. Col., equal in rank to Eichmann, was trying to blackmail the Weiss family, owners of the biggest industrial conglomerate in Hungary, into giving its shares to the SS in return for safe passage out of the country.

Laurence Rees wrote:

Begin quote

By the time of his meeting with Brand, Eichmann knew that his rival Becher had successfully arranged for shares of the Manfred-Weiss works to be transferred to the Nazis; in return, about fifty members of the Weiss family were allowed to leave and head for neutral countries.

End quote

Brand was accompanied to Istanbul by another man named Bandi Grosz, a former agent of the Abwehr, the German intelligence agency, whose operations in Hungary had been taken over by an SS officer, Lt. Col. Gerhard Clages. At the last meeting with Brand, SS officers Clages, Becher and several other Nazis had been present.

The following quote is from the same book by Laurence Rees:

Begin quote

It was not until May 26, 1944 that the head of the Jewish Agency in Palestine notified a British diplomat, Sir Harold MacMichael, of the Nazis’ proposals. But it only took the British a matter of moments to reject the Brand mission, seeing it as an attempt to split the Western allies from the Soviets.

[…]

In mid-June, Grosz was interrogated in Cairo by British intelligence officers and the story that he told was a surprising one. He claimed that Brand’s mission was only a camouflage for his own. Under the direct orders of Himmler, Grosz had been sent to facilitate a meeting in a neutral country between high-ranking British and American officers and two or three senior figures from the SD – Himmler’s own intelligence service. The purpose of the assignation was to discuss a separate peace treaty with the Western allies so that – together – they could fight the Soviet Union.

End quote

Himmler’s offer was immediately turned down. The British perceived Germany to be a threat to the British policy of “balance of power” and had refused all offers to become allies with Germany before the war; they had also refused several peace offers from Germany before the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.

Great Britain and America needed the help of the Soviet Union in their plan to destroy Germany and in return, Churchill and Roosevelt had promised eastern Europe to the Communists as early as 1943 at the Tehran Conference.

According to Wikipedia, at the Tehran Conference, Churchill and Roosevelt agreed to the following:

Begin quote

Poland’s borders were declared to lie along the Oder and Neisse rivers and the Curzon line, despite protests of the Polish government-in-exile in London. Churchill and Roosevelt also gave Stalin free rein in his own country, and allowed the USSR to set up puppet communist governments in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Baltic states, Romania, and other Eastern European countries.

By turning down Himmler’s offer of an alliance against the Soviet Union, the lives of a million Hungarian Jews were sacrificed; in the end, the British lost their empire and Hungary became a Communist country.

Great Britain and America eventually became allies with Germany in 1948 against the Soviet Union in the Cold War, which lasted until 1989.

End quote

 

“forgiveness is the best revenge” Eva Moses Kor

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 10:42 am
Recent photo of Eva Moses Kor

Recent photo of Eva Moses Kor, a famous Holocaust survivor

The title of my blog post today comes from a news article which you can read in full at http://democratherald.com/corvallis/news/local/the-power-of-forgiveness/article_108391ff-fcab-51f1-946a-d38f3c55bf11.html

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

Begin quote

In 1984 [Eva Moses] Kor founded an organization called CANDLES, or Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors, and ultimately located 122 other surviving [Dr. Josef] Mengele Twins.

But her biggest personal breakthrough didn’t come until a decade later, after she met a Nazi doctor named [Dr.] Hans Munch who had worked at Auschwitz, where his job was to monitor the gas chambers and record the number of the dead.

At her request, he told her in detail about how the gas chambers operated. He also treated her with kindness and respect, and he confessed his personal torment at the memory of what he had done in the death camps.

“This is my problem,” he told her. “This is my nightmare that I live with every day of my life.”

Grateful for his openness, she struggled for the appropriate way to thank him. The solution she came up with shocked the world.

In 1995, during a ceremony at Auschwitz to mark the 50th anniversary of the camp’s liberation, she read a letter in which she forgave the Nazis for the crimes they had perpetrated against herself and her family. Some people were outraged by the letter, but for Kor it was transformative and liberating in the truest sense of the word.

End quote

Why would Dr. Hans Munch confess something like that? Can you say “mentally ill”?

the Nazis would laugh at how they turned human beings into animals

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 9:12 am

The title of my blog post today is a line from this news article: http://coralspringstalk.com/the-three-musketeers-how-a-13-year-old-survived-in-a-nazi-concentration-camp-2-14703

dachau-survivors.jpg

The photo above was taken in the Dachau concentration camp. There are no photos of skinny men or boys at Auschwitz, so this photo was used instead, in the news article.

ChildSurvivorsAuschwitz.jpg

The photo above shows young boys walking out of a barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The news article could not use a photo taken at Birkenau because this would be Holocaust denial, which is against the law in 19 countries, but not yet in the USA.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

To survive in a concentration camp is almost impossible. It depends on whether there is work for you so the captures will feed you. Work is the reason for the Nazis to keep you alive, and while this reason was there, you have food that keeps you alive so you can work. The Nazis would send the able-bodied children and other victims to work at the local refinery, road details, building, farm work, or wherever they needed. There was no kitchen, instead they would throw them food and watch all the people grab for it, like animals tearing at meat. The stronger would remain strong as they grabbed the food from the weak, and the weak would get weaker because they could not fight for the food that would make them strong. All this time, the Nazis would laugh at how they turned human beings into animals. They believed themselves to be Gods. They were the animals.

Sholom found a way to survive. He formed an alliance with two older boys. All three made a pact that saved their lives in the concentration camp. They became the Three Musketeers. One Jewish boy was in Auschwitz because he happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. He came to Poland a few days before the Germans launched the invasion of Poland. He was in London, England with his parents at the time traveling to a wedding. His parents were dead. The other boy came from the town of Lodz, Poland. He was captured and sent to the concentration camp in 1939. It was now 1943 and he had survived four years in hell. Lodz used to have 150,000 Jews representing a fourth of the population of that city. Almost every Jew was either starved to death living in the Lodz Ghetto, or were sent to Auschwitz where they were exterminated. This one Jewish boy survived. He did not know how long he was there. He did not want to know.

The pact formed by the Three Musketeers was quite simple: They would split whatever food they found into thirds, one third for each of them. As well, they would fight for each other and found strength in numbers making sure no one would take away the food they found.

End quote

 

May 3, 2016

“the Poles killed more Jews than the Germans did” Say what?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:15 am

The quote, in the title of my blog post today, is from this news article: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/14/holocaust-scholar-questioned-on-claim-poles-killed-more-jews-than-germans-in-war

 Princeton professor Jan Tomasz Gross speaks in Warsaw on Wednesday. Photograph: Alik Kęplicz/AP

Princeton professor Jan Tomasz Gross speaks in Warsaw. Photograph: Alik Kęplicz/AP

I have written about Jan Michael Gross, who lives in America, in several blog posts including these recent posts:
https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/jan-gross-and-jewabne-back-in-the-news/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/historian-jan-tomasz-gross-is-back-in-the-news-as-poland-seeks-to-change-history/

In case you don’t understand all this, the point of this news story is that Jan Gross is trying to claim that the Poles were as bad as the Germans because they killed Jews, the same as the Germans.

There is no worse insult than to claim that some other group of people is as bad as the Germans.  The Germans are the worst people in the world, and they can never be forgiven. There are now more than one million Jews living in Germany, and they are keeping an eye on those murdering Germans to make sure that they don’t kill any more Jews.

May 2, 2016

Jews were forced to sing on their way to the gas chamber

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 3:55 pm

http://www.centralmaine.com/2016/05/01/hundreds-gather-to-remember-holocaust-in-augusta/

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

Begin quote

AUGUSTA — The Messalonskee High School Mastersingers performed for more than 200 people as part of the Holocaust Remembrance Day program at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine Sunday afternoon.

The group of nearly 40 singers performed eight “Songs of Darkness and Hope” which were sung by Jews during the Holocaust, including Ani Ma’amin, known to have been sung by dozens of Jews as they were marched to the gas chambers in Nazi death camps. The students worked on the project for nearly a year in preparation for their Yom HaShoah performances.

End quote

According to the official guide book for the Dachau camp, which I purchased on my first visit to the camp, the Jews were forced to sing on their way to work.

Begin quote from guidebook:

“Nevertheless, in the first years the concentration camps offered to the outside world a picture of diligence, order and cleanliness. Terror and oppression were not immediately noticeable. When official visitors were conducted around the camp, they saw sparkling clean barracks, well-tended flower beds, and – from a distance – prisoners marching to work singing.”

End quote

Did those evil Nazis really force the Jews to sing on their way to the gas chamber in Auschwitz, or were they singing on their way to work?

I wrote about the Jews singing on their way to the gas chamber on this previous blog post:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/the-jews-were-forced-to-sing-as-they-marched-to-the-gas-chamber-in-the-auschwitz-main-camp/

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

Begin quote

Yom HaShoah, as it is known in Israel and colloquially, commemorates the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust by Nazi Germany and its allies. [the American] Congress designated an eight-day period of remembrance from May 1-May 8 in 1980.

The next exhibit at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, “Children’s Reactions to the Holocaust,” opens May 16 and runs until August 12.

End quote

What ever happened to separation of church and state in America? Apparently this doesn’t apply to the Holocaust religion.

“selected for the gas chamber at roll call”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:14 am
Holocaust survivor Sara Cain

Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor Sara Cain

Today I am commenting on a news article which you can read in full at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4798208,00.html

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Sara Kain was born in 1919 in Kassa (Košice), Czechoslovakia, to a religiously traditional family of eight. In April 1944, a month after the Germans occupied Hungary, the Jews of Kassa and the neighboring towns were concentrated into a ghetto. In May, they were transferred to a brick factory. Sara, her sister Ethel and her parents were deported to Auschwitz [Birkenau] in early June 1944. […]

On arrival at Auschwitz, Sara’s parents were led to the gas chambers. The girls were processed as inmates at the camp.

Sara suffered from numerous sicknesses in the camp. At one roll call, [her sister] Ethel was selected for the gas chambers. With help from acquaintances, Sara managed to get Ethel back.

In April 1945, the camp was liberated by the US Army. After a period of recuperation, she and Ethel decided to make their way to Eretz Israel, where their brother and sister lived.

End quote

What do we learn from this story, dear readers? We learn that the Jews knew about the gas chambers from the moment that they arrived at Auschwitz. If any young people were separated from their parents, they knew instantly that the parents had been taken immediately to the gas chamber and killed. Yet the Nazis were nice enough to take photos of the old people before gassing them.

Elderly Jews waiting for a truck to take them to the gas chamber

Elderly Jews waiting for a truck to take them to the gas chamber

Elderly men were photographed before being gassed

Elderly Jewish men before they were gassed to death

But, not to worry. Young girls were saved, from the gas chamber, by the other prisoners in the camp.

What a sloppy way to conduct a Holocaust! No wonder there are so many survivors still alive today, and able to tell us what really happened.

Auschwitz prisoners celebrate after being liberated by soldiers in the Soviet Union

Auschwitz prisoners celebrate after being liberated by soldiers in the Soviet Union

The Auschwitz main camp, the Birkenau death camp and the Monowitz labor camp were liberated by soldiers of the Soviet Union in the First Army of the Ukrainian Front, under the command of Marshal Koniev, on January 27, 1945.

The photo above shows a few of the survivors in the main Auschwitz camp, standing near the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate. One prisoner has his arms around the neck of a Soviet soldier who is wearing a fur hat. This photo was staged in early February, 1945 after the liberation, as the liberators did not have cameras with them.

As far as I know, there were no photos taken by the American soldiers, who liberated Auschwitz, according to Sara Cain.

 

 

 

May 1, 2016

Maximillian Kolbe — fact or fiction?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 1:14 pm
My photo of cell #18 where Kolbe starved himself to death

My photo of cell #18 where Kolbe starved himself to death

You can read the latest information about Saint Maximillian Kolbe, and decide for yourself if his story is fact or fiction: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2016/04/maximillian-kolbe-and-the-redemption-of-auschwitz.html

Let me say, right off the bat, that I am a heretic. I am going to hell because I don’t believe a word of the Kolbe story.

I wrote about Kolbe on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Auschwitz1/Auschwitz06B.html

and I blogged about him at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/father-kolbe-the-catholic-priest-who-died-in-place-of-another-at-auschwitz/

The following quote is from the blog, cited above:

We were graced this month to travel to Poland on a parish pilgrimage. It was my first extended visit to the country, so it was therefore a great joy to visit Niepokalanow — the friary of St. Maximilian Kolbe. The visit started with Mass in the simple chapel founded by the saint. We continued by visiting his cell, viewing his relics and then worshipping in the modern basilica that stands on the site.

The next day our pilgrims visited the great Marian shrine of Czestochowa before going on to Auschwitz. The amazing accomplishments of St. Maximilian Kolbe climaxed in his death at the extermination camp, and to visit his monastic cell one day and his death cell the next was an awesome, moving and troubling experience. Here was a man, who, from his early life, decided to live for others and ended his life dying for another.

 

 

An estimated 1.7 million people visited Auschwitz last year.

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: — furtherglory @ 10:29 am
My photo of the ruins of Krema III where Jews were gassed

My photo of the ruins of Krema III where Jews were gassed at Birkenau

I have visited Auschwitz three times; the first time was in 1998, when I was the only person there, besides my private tour guide. I had found this tour guide through a tour company in New York City.

My photo of the infamous gate into Birkenau

My photo of the infamous gatehouse into Birkenau

I recall that my tour guide, in 1998, would not let me get off the road through the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp; she said that there were “snakes in the grass.” She meant real snakes, not Holocaust deniers.

Since then, I have visited the Auschwitz main camp and the Birkenau camp two more times, in 2005 and 2008. I have also visited the town of Auschwitz twice.

My photo of the Holocaust memorial at Birkenau

My photo of the dark and dreary Holocaust memorial at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Today, I read a news article about what it is like to visit the Birkenau camp today: http://pilotonline.com/opinion/columnist/guest/annette-finley-croswhite-the-holocaust-still-has-lessons-to-teach/article_b8b9912a-2c1d-53f4-a7aa-486249725360.html

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

Begin quote

ARMS AND LEGS shoved and kicked me. An elderly woman fell to the ground as people battled their way onto the last bus out of town. Fearful of the crowd’s aggression, I grew protective of my companion, a young pregnant woman. “Be careful,” I called out, “she’s pregnant; please let her on.” At that moment the man behind me wrenched my shoulder backwards and screamed into my ear, “Pregnant, yeah right! Let me on because I’m pregnant too!”

In another situation this hostility might have been insignificant. I was standing just outside Auschwitz-Birkenau, however, and these ill-behaved tourists had just left this infamous site of human depravity. Horror stricken, I could not help but wonder at how quickly the process of dehumanization begins in the sea of anonymity and how urgent the lessons of history are today.

End quote

I think that the problem is that the Holocaust has now become a joke. So many lies have been told in the past about the Holocaust, that now no one believes in it.

The following quote is also from the news article:

“….the recently opened souvenir center just outside Birkenau is a particularly troubling indication of Holocaust trivialization.

In the store, Polish key chains are for sale next to postcards featuring cremation ovens or black refrigerator magnets with the word “Auschwitz” embossed in gray. Next door, pierogies and pizzas are offered within sight of the death gate and ramp where so many victims were sent straight to the gas chambers or admitted into the camp to face slow starvation and death. A few miles from Auschwitz, an amusement park is under construction. One will soon be able to combine a visit to the death camp with roller coaster rides. What a difference more than 70 years makes!

April 30, 2016

The significance of the Bug river

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:52 am

If you don’t know the significance of the Bug river, you know nothing.

The following quote is from Wikipedia:

Begin quote

A tributary of the Narew River, the Bug forms part of the border between Ukraine and Poland for 185 kilometres (115 mi),[2] and between Belarus and Poland for 178 kilometres (111 mi),[2][3] and is the fourth longest Polish river.

[…]

Traditionally the Bug River was also often considered the ethnographical border between the Orthodox and Catholic Polish peoples. The Bug was the dividing line between German Wehrmacht and Russian Red Army forces following the 1939 invasion of Poland in the Second World War.

End quote

The Bug river forms the border between Poland and three other countries. So what? you say. Does it seem strange to you that the Nazis put their “death camps” right on their border with these other countries?

The Bug river forms the border between Poland and xxx

My 1998 photo of the entrance into the Treblinka camp

My 1998 photo of the road into Treblinka camp

Take a look at my 1998 photos of the bridge over the Bug river.

My 1998 photo of the bridge over the Bug river

My 1998 photo of the wooden bridge over the Bug river

My 1998 photo of the middle of the bridge

My 1998 photo of the middle of the bridge

After the joint conquest of Poland by the Germans and the Russians in September 1939, the river Bug (pronounced Boog) became the border between the German-occupied General Government of Poland and the Russian zone of occupation; then Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 and conquered the strip of eastern Poland that was being occupied by the Russians. Treblinka is located in the former General Government.

On January 20, 1942, a conference was held in Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, where plans were made for the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” Three extermination camps, called the Operation Reinhard Camps were planned at this conference.

Treblinka was the last of the Operation Reinhard camps to be set up; the other two were Sobibor and Belzec. All three of the Operation Reinhard camps were located on the western side of the Bug river. There is a bend in the river near Treblinka, which required a bridge over the river in order to get to the village of Treblinka, although the village is located on the western side of the border between the former General Government and the Russian zone of occupation.

Hardly more than a creek, the Bug is shallow enough in some places so that one can wade across it, and according to historian Martin Gilbert, some refugees, from both sides, did wade across. The movie “Europa, Europa” has a scene in which Jewish refugees are shown walking toward the Russian sector, trying to escape the Nazis in September 1939 by crossing the Bug river on rafts.

I wrote about the significance of Treblinka on this page of my webite: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Treblinka/introduction.html

The following quote is from my web page, cited above:

Treblinka was second only to Auschwitz in the number of Jews who were killed by the Nazis: between 700,000 and 900,000, compared to an estimated 1.1 million to 1.5 million at Auschwitz.

The Treblinka death camp was located 100 km (62 miles) northeast of Warsaw, near the railroad junction at the village of Malkinia Górna, which is 2.5 km (1.5 miles) from the train station in the tiny village of Treblinka.

Raul Hilberg stated in his three-volume book, “The Destruction of the European Jews,” that there were six Nazi extermination centers, including Treblinka. The other extermination camps were at Belzec, Sobibor, Chelmno, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau, all of which are located in what is now Poland. The last two also functioned as forced labor camps (Zwangsarbeitslager), and were still operational shortly before being liberated by the Soviet Union towards the end of the war in 1944 and early 1945.

The camps at Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor and Chelmno had already been liquidated by the Germans before the Soviet soldiers arrived, and there was no remaining evidence of the extermination of millions of Jews. The combined total of the deaths at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor was 1.5 million, according to Raul Hilberg.

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