Scrapbookpages Blog

June 29, 2016

Viktor Frankl’s book will be made into a movie

Filed under: Holocaust, movies — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:30 am
Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl was a famous Holocaust survivor; he wrote a best selling memoir entitled Man’s Search for Meaning.

You can read a news article about him at https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/06/28/viktor-frankls-best-selling-holocaust-memoir-mans-search-for-meaning-to-be-made-into-movie/

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Born in Vienna in 1905, Frankl was an inmate in four concentration camps between 1942 and 1945, while his parents, brother and pregnant wife were all killed. His memoir, which was published in 1946 and written in nine days, is based on his suffering and that of the patients he subsequently treated. By the time of his death in 1997, Man’s Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in 24 languages.

In the book, Frankl argues that “we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward.” It revealed his method, called “logotherapy,” based on finding meaning in life.

End quote

I previously blogged about Victor Frankl at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/the-story-of-viktor-frankl-a-famous-holocaust-survivor/

The following quote is from my previous blog post, cited above:

Begin quote

But to get back to Viktor Frankl, here is the short version of his experience in the Nazi camps:  He was first sent to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, which was the camp for the prominent Jews.  From there, he was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Holocaust experts will tell you that the only reason that Jews were sent, from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz, was to kill them.  But after only three or four days at Auschwitz-Birkenau, he was sent to the Dachau main camp.  From there, he was sent to the Kaufering III sub-camp where he worked as a doctor, treating prisoners who had typhus.

Frankl was not registered at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which according to the Holocaust experts, means that he was gassed.  Then he was sent to the Dachau main camp, where he was again not registered before being sent on to the Kaufering III sub-camp.

According to Wikipedia: “In March 1945, he was offered to be moved to the so called rest-camp Türkheim, also affiliated with Dachau. He decided to go to Türkheim, where he worked as a doctor until 27 April 1945, when Frankl was liberated by the Americans.”

End quote

My personal opinion is that Viktor Frankl was never in any camp. I believe that he made up his Holocaust story, but what do I know? Who am I, a lowly goyim, not even human?

 

May 8, 2016

New Holocaust movie coming soon to a theater near you

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, movies — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:38 am
 Actors in new Holocaust movie

Actors in new Holocaust movie

Just what we need: another Holocaust movie!

You can read about the latest Holocaust movie at http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/remember-review-memorys-no-help-in-christopher-plummers-hunt-for-a-nazi-20160502-gok8zv.html

The following quote is from the article, cited above:

Begin quote

The octogenarian [Max, played by Christopher Plummer] has dementia, but that doesn’t stop his wheelchair-bound fellow resident Max Rosenbaum (Martin Landau) pressing on him written instructions and a reminder of a pledge to carry out their shared plan now he’s a widower. Like a hypnotist instructing a subject, Max grimly sets Zev in motion.

Their scheme, which has Zev unsteadily travelling across American and Canada, is a revenge quest to find the Nazi officer who ushered the pair’s families into the gas chambers at the Auschwitz concentration camp 70 years ago: Max has a name – Rudy Kurlander – and four possible candidates. Zev means wolf in Hebrew, Max reminds him, but with his shaky hands and easy confusion, the ageing Holocaust survivor is an unlikely weapon.

End quote

Excuse me for living, but in my humble opinion, the basic premise of this movie is wrong.  A “Nazi officer” would not have escorted Jews into a gas chamber. That was a job for a Sonderkommando, a Jewish helper who assisted the Nazi officers in the gassing of the Jews. Nazi officers were strutting around in their nice clean uniforms; they did not dirty their hands by shoving Jews into the gas chambers.

This movie will open in a theater near you on May 12, 2016.

 

 

 

March 25, 2016

Movie about Deborah E. Lipstadt will be in theaters soon

Filed under: Holocaust, movies — furtherglory @ 7:57 am

Deborah E. Lipstadt

Deborah E. Lipstadt is shown in the photo above.

Begin quote from news article:

Bleecker Street today announced it has acquired North American rights to Mick Jackson’s film, DENIAL, based on the Deborah E. Lipstadt’s acclaimed book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier. Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz (THE DEEP BLUE SEA, THE CONSTANT GARDENER) will star alongside two-time Academy Award® nominee Tom Wilkinson (MICHAEL CLAYTON, SELMA) and Cannes Award winning Timothy Spall (MR. TURNER, HARRY POTTER).

Adapted for the screen by BAFTA and Academy Award® nominated writer David Hare (THE READER, THE HOURS), the book recounts Lipstadt’s legal battle for historical truth against David Irving, who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the English legal system, the burden of proof is on the accused; therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust happened.

End quote

Did you catch that, all you depraved Holocaust deniers? Deborah E. Lipstadt has proved the Holocaust in a court of law. This is the end of Holocaust denial.

I blogged about this film when it was in production: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/new-movie-about-debra-lipstadt-currently-being-filmed/

I also blogged about Deborah E. Lipstadt on these posts:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/denying-the-holocaust

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/deborah-e-lipstadt

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/

The news article continues with this quote:

Producers Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff said, “We have found the perfect partner to bring this important and exceptional story to American audiences with Andrew and Bleecker Street. It’s an awesome responsibility to join Deborah in the defense of truth and history which continues to shape our world. It could only be achieved with a top class cast and we feel fortunate to have Rachel, Tom and Tim headlining this stellar cast with their talent and passion.”

“Deborah Lipstadt teaches history, but her own story is about what is happening right now all around us. DENIAL shows how one person can make a difference in the world by standing up for what is right,” said Jonathan King, EVP Narrative Film, Participant Media.

End quote

On my scrapbookpages.com website, I wrote about Deborah’s visit to the Black Wall at the main Auschwitz camp, several years ago. I included a photo of her entering the courtyard where the black wall is located.  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Auschwitz1/Auschwitz05.html

This new movie will probably win an Academy Award, since it is about the favorite subject of the Jews: the Holocaust.

March 19, 2016

Donald Trump is using a line from a famous Holocaust movie

I wrote about the movie entitled “The boy in the striped pajamas” on a previous blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/my-review-of-the-boy-in-the-striped-pajamas/

Today, I am commenting on a recent news article which I am quoting:

Throughout this election season, Donald Trump has been drawing comparisons to Adolf Hitler from his detractors. There have been quite a few of these comparisons, in fact. One comparison, however, was inadvertently made years before Trump bursted onto the campaign scene with his “Make America great again!” slogan.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a movie from 2008 that explored what the Jewish extermination camps of Hitler’s Germany looked like by framing events from the perspective of a young interned boy and the young son of one of the camp’s head officers.

End quote

Words similar to Trump’s words were used in the fictional movie entitled “The Boy in the Striped pajamas.”

I wrote a review of the movie, on my website, when the movie first came out: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/stripedpajamas.html

This quote is from the news article, cited above.

Begin quote

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a movie from 2008 that explored what the Jewish extermination camps of Hitler’s Germany looked like by framing events from the perspective of a young interned boy and the young son of one of the camp’s head officers.

There is a poignant scene during which the son of the commandant talks to his sister about what their father really does after he discovers the true nature of the nearby camp. After he calls the camp a “horrible place,” his sister tells him this:

It’s only horrible for them, Bruno. We should be proud of Dad, now more than ever before. He’s making the country great again.

End quote

 

 

March 4, 2016

The story of Holocaust survivor Jack Adler will be told in new movie

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, movies — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 6:24 am

The story of Holocaust survivor Jack Adler will be told in a new movie, which his son Eli Adler is currently working on.  You can read all about it in this recent news article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/reich/ct-surviving-skokie-holocaust-film-ae-0306-20160304-column.html

Jack Adler and his son Eli Adler

Jack Adler and his son Eli Adler at Auschwitz 1 camp

Jack Adler was a prisoner at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, which does not have a good background for a photo, so Jack and his son were photographed at the main Auschwitz camp.

The news article, cited above, begins with the following quote:

Begin quote

Every family has secrets, but some cry out to be revealed to the world.

That’s what San Francisco cinematographer Eli Adler learned when — well into middle age — he began exploring his father’s Holocaust past.

As a child growing up in Skokie, [Illinois] Adler knew little about what his father had suffered and lost in Poland, where an estimated 3 million Jews had been massacred. As an adult, Adler worked on uncounted films but never had made one of his own.

These two needs — to finally grasp his family’s tragic past and to put it on screen for all to see — converged in “Surviving Skokie,” a bittersweet, profoundly autobiographical documentary having its Midwest premiere March 13-15 at the Chicago Jewish Film Festival ( [the writer of this article is] one of several people interviewed in the film).

End quote

When I read this news article, I immediately remembered that I had written about Jack Adler, on my scrapbookpages.com website, way back in 1998. Jack Adler was already well known, even back then.

deathmarch

The photo above shows prisoners from Dachau on a march out of the camp to the South Tyrol.

Dachau was the camp where many famous, high-level political opponents of the Nazi government were held near the end of the war. Just before the camp was liberated, there were 137 VIP prisoners at Dachau, including the former Chancellor of Austria, Kurt von Schuschnigg, and the former Jewish premier of France, Leon Blum. They were evacuated to the South Tyrol in April 1945 on three separate trips, shortly before soldiers of the American Seventh Army arrived to liberate the camp.

Was Jack Adler one of the important prisoners who was sent to South Tyrol for his own safety?

The following quote is from the page that I wrote on my website in 1998:

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/JackAdler.html

Jack Adler was born in 1929 in the small town of Pabianice, near the city of Lodz, in the part of Poland that had been in the German state of Prussia between 1795 and the end of World War I, when this territory was given back to the new independent country of Poland. His family owned a textile factory in Lodz.

When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Adler’s home town was captured during the first week. According to an article written by Karla Pomeroy, and published on January 31, 2007 in the Laramie Boomerang, Adler told an audience at the University of Wyoming on January 29, 2007 that when the occupation of Poland first started, he watched with the excitement of any 10-year-old boy as people brought flowers, food and drink to the Nazi soldiers.

It was the ethnic Germans, whose families had lived in this part of Poland for centuries, that welcomed the German soldiers as liberators. For the Jews, the German occupation was a disaster. Adler said that hours after the occupation began, notices were posted that said Jewish residents were not allowed outside their homes unless they had a yellow Star of David displayed on the front and back of their clothes.

Jewish children were no longer able to attend public school. Almost immediately, the beatings and the torture of the Jews began in the town square of Pabianice, according to Adler’s speech at the University of Wyoming.

The Jews in Pabianice and the other surrounding villages were soon isolated in a ghetto, dependent upon the Germans for food. Adler’s mother and his older brother died in the ghetto, but Adler, his father and two sisters survived.

On May 10, 1942, the able-bodied Jews were moved into a ghetto in Lodz, where they were put to work in the textile factories, making uniforms for German soldiers. According to Adler, the old, the sick and the young were taken to another ghetto, from where they were later sent to the gas chamber. He was able to save his younger sister by sneaking her out of the group destined for the gas chamber and getting her into the work group.

The Lodz ghetto remained open long after the other ghettos in Poland were liquidated and the prisoners were sent to other camps or to the gas chamber. In August 1944, when the Russian Army was already occupying part of Poland, most of the Jews in the Lodz ghetto were finally sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, including Adler, his father and his two sisters. Adler said that his two sisters were immediately sent to a gas chamber, disguised as a shower room, at Birkenau.

According to the article by Karla Pomeroy, Adler told the audience at the University of Wyoming that “mothers with infants had their children ripped from their arms when they refused to give them up. Adler said that the babies were thrown up in the air and used as target practice.”

During the selection process at Birkenau, Jack Adler and his father were directed to the right, but were not registered in the camp. They were held in quarantine at Birkenau for a few weeks, and were then sent to work in one of the eleven Kaufering sub-camps of Dachau near Munich, Germany.

Gate into Dachau camp where Jack Adler was liberated

Gate at Dachau camp where Jack Adler was a prisoner before he was liberated  by American soldiers

Shortly before Dachau was liberated, the prisoners in the Kaufering sub-camps were marched to the main camp. [shown in the photo above] Three days before the American Seventh Army arrived to liberate the Dachau prisoners, thousands of Jews were marched out of the camp, toward the South Tyrol, where Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler [allegedly] intended to use them as hostages in negotiations with the Allies. Adler was liberated from the march by American soldiers on May 1, 1945; he was sixteen years old, and had survived six years in German captivity.

The following is a quote from the article by Karla Pomeroy in the Laramie Boomerang [newspaper]:

Begin quote

Adler was the only member of his immediate family to survive the camps. Out of 83 total members of his family, four others survived.

Adler moved to Chicago a year later as a war orphan. He learned English, graduated high school and went to college. He met his future wife in 1952, and they have two children. He has returned to Germany but has never returned to his home country of Poland.

Adler associated with a small group of Jewish refugees in his new home of Skokie, Ill., but rarely discussed his wartime experiences with anyone, including his children. It wasn’t until his children had grown and had children of their own that he began to open up about his past.

End quote

End of quote from my website

 

 

February 27, 2016

My thoughts about the movie entitled “Son of Saul”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, movies — furtherglory @ 8:34 am

If there is anyone in the world who has not heard about the movie entitled “Son of Saul,” you can read about it on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_of_Saul

I wrote about this movie in a previous blog post at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/how-europe-killed-itself-committed-suicide-is-the-theme-of-a-new-film-by-laslo-nemes/

7b8119d2-4e02-4a5a-9ccb-be7e9bc73301-620x372

I finally had a chance to see this movie yesterday, and I was APPALLED, as Simon Cowell used to say when he was a judge on the American Idol TV show several years ago.

The movie was playing at a large theater complex which has several theaters.  I assumed that this show would be playing in the largest theater and that I would have to arrive early in order to get a good seat.

I arrived early, but there was no indication, at the theater, that this movie was playing that day.  According to the online information about this theater, the first showing would be at 11 a.m. At a quarter to 11, there was no sign of a movie, so I decided to have something to eat at a nearby restaurant.  An hour later, I went back to the theater and found that the movie would be starting soon.

I had gotten there just in time, but to my surprise, the movie was playing in a small theater which had no access for the disabled.  I can barely walk, and I had to take my life in my hands to walk into a darkened theater which had no hand rails to hold on to. Most of the people in the audience were senior citizens. Young people would have no chance of understanding this movie.

Finally the movie started — and the picture on the screen was out of focus.  When I used to go to the movies, back in the old days, this would happen very often.  The people in the theater would stomp their feet and shout at the man in the booth who was in charge of showing the film.  I was expecting this to happen, but no one in the audience said a word.

Finally, the picture came into focus, and the first thing that I saw was the main character breathing heavily.  This went on for a long time until everyone in the audience was sick of it.  I interpreted all this to mean that the film maker wanted everyone in the audience to know that this is a Jewish film, and if you don’t like it, get out now, you unworthy goyim!

The following quote, about the film is from Wikipedia:

Son of Saul (Hungarian: Saul fia) is a 2015 Hungarian drama film directed by László Nemes and co-written by Nemes and Clara Royer. It is set in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, and follows a day-and-a-half in the life of Saul Ausländer (played by Géza Röhrig), a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando.[5]

The members of the Sonderkommando were Jews who served for 3 months, and were then allegedly killed.  Only the last batch of Sonderkommando Jews was marched out of the camp, so that these men could tell their stories to future generations.

The main character in the movie has a red X on the back of his shirt and that is what we see throughout more than half the movie. The actor, who plays the part, is a handsome man, and I assumed that the film maker did not want to show too much of him because this is supposed to be a horror movie.

There are no handsome German characters in the film, except for one man, and all of the Germans speak in a harsh voice.  There are virtually no female characters in the film.

1004781629-oh-col-sonofsaul

 

When we finally get to the scene where the rabbi performs the Jewish ritual for the dead, this lasts for only a few seconds.

The whole theme of the movie is this:  Germans are bad and Jews are good. The Germans killed the Jews for no reason and now the whole world has to suffer by watching movies like this.

February 18, 2016

I’m still waiting to see the movie entitled “Son of Saul”

Filed under: Holocaust, movies — furtherglory @ 10:31 am
Scene from Son of Saul movie

Photo from Son of Saul, a movie about the Holocaust

The movie entitled “Son of Saul” is supposed to play in my city in February 2016.  I keep checking the movie schedule for the theater, in which it is allegedly scheduled to be shown, but there is nothing listed for this film.  I have been waiting so long that I am beginning to lose interest in the film.

This quote is from a review that you can read in full at https://newrepublic.com/article/130019/son-saul-not-just-another-holocaust-movie

Begin quote:

While the premise is relatively simple, Nemes presents it in a radical manner as the film focuses primarily on Saul, presented the majority of the time in medium close-up (from the waist up) with much of the background blurred. Thus, when he is on his hands and knees, scrubbing the bloody stains from the floor of the gas chamber, we see vague images of bodies dragged out behind him.

[…]

What I found more troubling was the narrative leap we’re required to make where Saul’s movements are concerned. He seems to have free range where roaming around the camp is concerned, and while that might be vital to telling the story, it stretches the plausibility of the entire affair. Unnecessary subplots bog down the story as well, as screenwriters Clara Royer and Nemes set the action during the events of Oct 7 and 8, 1944, in which an inmate revolt took place and four astonishing pictures — the only ones known to be taken in any of the camps depicting Nazis disposing of Holocaust victims — were taken. Saul finds himself at the center of both of these events, which distracts him from his primary focus.

End quote

The ruins of Krema IV are a reconstruction

The ruins of Krema IV are a reconstruction

The subject of “the Sonderkommando revolt” is quite controversial. The revolt took place in Krema IV, which was located just north of the clothing warehouses, which were in a section at Auschwitz-Birkenau that the prisoners had named “Canada” because of all the riches to be found there.

Across the road from Canada was the Central Sauna which had a shower room and disinfection chambers where the prisoners’ clothing was deloused. Krema IV had a fake shower room which was actually a gas chamber, according to Holocaust True Believers.

According to Michael J. Neufeld and Michael Berenbaum, in their book entitled The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It? the Krema IV and Krema V buildings were 220 feet long by 42 feet wide.

The Krema IV building was completely demolished, blown up with dynamite which several women prisoners had stolen from the factory where they were working. All the bricks from the building were removed by Polish civilians after the war, and the ruins that visitors see today are a reconstruction, according to the Auschwitz Museum.

The prisoners who worked in the crematory buildings, removing the bodies of the victims who had been gassed, were members of a special group called the Sonderkommando. According to Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, who was allegedly a prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau who did autopsies, each Sonderkommando group was killed after a few months and replaced by a new crew.

Knowing that they were soon going to be killed, the members of the next-to-last Sonderkommando revolted and blew up the Krema IV building. A sign at Krema IV says that there were 450 prisoners who were killed by the SS during the revolt or afterwards in retaliation.

For some unknown reason, the men in the last Sonderkommando group were not exterminated. Around 100 of them were marched out of the camp when it was abandoned by the Nazis on January 18, 1945. Several members of this Sonderkommando group survived and three of them gave eye-witness testimony at the 1947 trial of Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess, about how the prisoners were gassed at Birkenau.

 

 

February 6, 2016

Holocaust survivor who was on Schindler’s List

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, movies — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 7:38 am

I have a section on my scrapbookpages.com website about Schindler’s List, which you can read at  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Kazimierz/Kazimierz01C.html

Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler

This morning, I read a news story about Rena Finder, a woman who survived the Holocaust because she was saved by Oskar Schindler; she had the good fortune to have been put on the famous Schindler’s List.

Rena Finder greets Steven Spielberg Photo credit: Reuters

Rena Finder greets Steven Spielberg [Photo credit: Lucas Jackson – Reuters]

The following quote is from the news story cited above:

Begin quote
[Rena] Finder was among 300 women at Auschwitz in imminent danger of being sent to gas chambers. Schindler received word of them, and he convinced Nazi commanders that he needed workers for his factory in Brünnlitz, in Czechoslovakia. But his usual bribes (mainly alcohol) did not work.

So, Finder said, he sent his secretary, Hilde Albrecht, with everything from food and diamonds to black-market goods to allow Finder and the 299 other women to leave Auschwitz [Birkenau] in 1944.

[You can read about Hilde Albrecht and Oskar Schindler on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oskar_Schindler ]

Finder said she was there for 3½ weeks, but “3½ weeks in Auschwitz was a very long time.” Her father was killed there, but she and her mother escaped, with Schindler’s help.

Schindler — whom she described as an outgoing, friendly and handsome man with a great smile — a few weeks earlier had help save 700 men from the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, where they had spent a week.

“He had papers that these workers were to come to Czechoslovakia,” Finder said of Schindler.

“We left the way we came, on a train. This time they didn’t pack us as much. This time I remember we were able to sit on the floor.”

Movie director Steven Spielberg made Schindler’s compassion known internationally in the 1993 film “Schindler’s List,” based on the 1982 book “Schindler’s Ark” by Thomas Keneally.

“Schinder’s List” received 12 Academy Award nominations and won seven, including Best Picture and Best Director for Spielberg.

End quote

I have written several blog posts which are under the tag Schindler’s List: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/schindlers-list/

January 11, 2016

“Son of Saul” wins only one Golden Globe award

Filed under: Holocaust, movies — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:21 am

You can read the full list of the Golden Globe winners at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/golden-globes/12041121/golden-globe-nominations-2016-winners-live.html

When it comes to awards for movies, any film about Jews or the Holocaust is bound to win in at least several categories.  Last night, the movie Son of Saul won an award for Best Foreign Film, but nothing else.  What a revolting development this is!

You can read a review of the film at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/18/movies/review-son-of-saul-revisits-life-and-death-in-auschwitz.html?_r=0

Photo from the movie Son of Saul

Photo from the movie Son of Saul

I have not seen the film because it has not yet played in the city where I live.  I will finally get to see it in February.

December 31, 2015

“the Ungraspable Horrors of Auschwitz”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, movies — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 1:53 pm

“Son of Saul” and the Ungraspable Horrors of Auschwitz

The words above are in the headline of a news article which you can read at http://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/son-of-saul-and-the-ungraspable-horrors-of-auschwitz

Is ungraspable even a word?

I wrote about the Sonderkommando revolt in this previous blog post:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/sonderkommando-revolt-holocaust-revenge-video-game/

Brody-Son-of-Saul-1200

Quote from the news article about the film:

In the realm of Holocaust dramas, László Nemes’s first feature, “Son of Saul,” is ambitious and provocative but nearly superfluous. Credit Photograph by Sony Pictures Classics / Courtesy Everett

The title of my blog post comes from the news article which has this quote:

While emptying the gas chamber of bodies, Saul sees a boy who is still breathing; the boy dies moments thereafter, but his body is taken by a camp doctor for autopsy—and Saul, visiting the doctor (who turns out also to be a prisoner), tells him that the boy is his son and that he wants to spend a few minutes with the body. What Saul actually wants is something more drastic and seemingly impossible: he wants to take the body and give it a proper burial. Moreover, for that burial he needs a rabbi, and, making use of his position as a Sonderkommando (which allows him to move not quite freely but at least widely throughout the concentration camp), Saul obsessively searches among Jewish deportees to find one.

But, early in his quest, he happens upon other Sonderkommando members who are organizing an armed uprising to destroy the gas chambers, and they recruit him to that cause. Though Saul never makes his reasoning clear (once, he explains, “I have to eat”), he seems to join the uprising neither from commitment nor to save himself but to win his colleagues’ aid in his efforts to bury his son, and to gain the measure of mobility, as a part of their plot, that will help him to do so.

I wrote about the Sonderkommando revolt on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Birkenau/RuinsIV.html

The revolt was the occasion when the Sonderkommando Jews blew up the Krema IV gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The ruins of Krema IV are a reconstruction

The ruins of Krema IV are a reconstruction

According to Michael J. Neufeld and Michael Berenbaum, in their book entitled The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It? the Krema IV and Krema V buildings were 220 feet long by 42 feet wide.

The Krema IV building was completely demolished, blown up with dynamite which several women prisoners stole from the factory where they were working. All the bricks were removed by Polish civilians after the war, and the ruins that visitors see today are a reconstruction, according to the Auschwitz Museum.

According to Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, a prisoner who did autopsies at Birkenau, each Sonderkommando group was killed after a few months and replaced by a new crew. Knowing that they were soon going to be killed, the members of the next-to-last Sonderkommando revolted and blew up the Krema IV building.

A sign at the site of Krema IV says that there were 450 prisoners who were killed by the SS during the revolt or afterwards in retaliation.

For some unknown reason, the Jews in the last Sonderkommando group were not exterminated.

Around 100 of them were marched out of the camp when it was abandoned by the Nazis on January 18, 1945. Several members of this Sonderkommando group survived and three of them gave eye-witness testimony at the 1947 trial of Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess, about how the prisoners were gassed at Birkenau.

This is my last blog post of 2015.  Happy New Year, everyone.

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