Scrapbookpages Blog

November 8, 2017

Here is why I never went to Sobibor

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 12:03 pm

I have visited almost every former concentration camp, except for one: Sobibor.

Years ago, I wanted to go to Sobibor, but I was warned not to go there. I was told that the former camp was inhabited by murderers and thieves, and that I would be robbed, raped and killed, with my body left beside the road to rot.

I am writing about Sobibor now because this former camp is in the news:

The following quote is from the news story:

Begin quote

JTA – In late 1943, the Germans were desperate to cover all traces of their death camp in Sobibor, Poland. They demolished buildings, bulldozed the evidence, planted trees.

More than 70 years later, archaeologists led by Yoram Haimi of the Israel Antiquities Authority set about excavating the site, uncovering gas chambers, mass graves — and, late last year, a girl’s silver pendant. It is engraved with a date, the place name “Frankfurt” and the Hebrew words “mazal tov.”

A cry from the earth, the remnant from a killing ground has opened up a tragic past to a family that knew little about it.

End quote from news story

Train station at Sobibor is shown on the right

Sobibor was a death camp, allegedly built by the Nazis in March 1942 for the sole purpose of killing European Jews in gas chambers. An estimated 250,000 Jews were murdered at Sobibor during a period of only 18 months, according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The old train station at the village of Sobibor is shown on the right side of the photograph above; train service to Sobibor was discontinued in 1999. Also on the right side of the photo is the house where the Commandant of the camp formerly lived.

Franz Stangl was the first Commandant of the camp. Stangl had previously headed the euthanasia center at Hartheim Castle in Austria where physically and mentally disabled Germans were killed with carbon monoxide in a gas chamber. After six months at Sobibor, Stangl was transferred to the Treblinka death camp where he served as the Commandant.

November 6, 2017

A Holocaust survivor who is still alive describes what it was like in the camps

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 1:35 pm

The following description was given by Eduard Kornfeld, a Holocaust survivor, who is still alive and well. You can read his story in full at

Begin quote from the website above:

Eduard Kornfeld was born in 1929 near Bratislava, Slovakia. He was taken to Auschwitz and several other concentration camps. On April 29, 1945, he was freed by American troops from the Dachau camp in Germany, weighing only 60 pounds at the time. His mother Rosa, his father Simon and his siblings Hilda, Josef, Alexander, and Rachel were all murdered in the camps. Kornfeld arrived in Switzerland in 1949 and was nursed in Davos, Switzerland for four years as he recovered from severe tuberculosis. Later, he trained to become a gemstone setter in Zurich. He has two sons, a daughter, and seven grandchildren.

End quote

The following quote is the words of Eduard Kornfeld:

“We were deported in a cattle car, the journey took three days. When the train suddenly stopped, I heard someone shouting outside in German, ‘Get out!’ I looked out of the carriage and saw Nazi officers beating people they thought were moving too slowly. A mother wasn’t moving quick enough because she was trying to take care of her child, so the officers took her infant and threw him in the same truck they put the old and sick in. Those people were sent to be gassed immediately.”

End quote

My photo of a Nazi gas chamber at Auschwitz

How does Eduard Kornfeld know that the people on the truck were “gassed immediately”? Was there a sign that said “This way to the gas chamber”?

Did the Nazi officer say: “Listen up, you stupid Jews. We are taking these people to the gas chamber, but we are allowing you to live, so that there will be Jews who can tell the story in future years.”

I lived in Germany for 20 months after World War II, and I met many German men. I was amazed at how nice they were. The German men were very polite and charming. I assume that they were also polite and charming as they led the Jews to the gas chamber.


The story of Oradour-sur-Glane from the SS point of view

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 11:20 am

There are two sides to every story, including the story of Oradour-sur-Glane.

I have a section on my website about Oradour-sur-Glane, including a section about the story from the SS soldier’s point of view.

You can read about Oradour-sur-Glane, from the SS point of view, on my website at

My version of the story starts with this quote:

Begin quote

The SS justification for the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre centers on their claim that the destruction of the village was a reprisal, which was legal under international law up until the Geneva Convention of 1949.

Reprisal does not mean revenge. It is a legal term defined in international humanitarian law. It means that an Army has the right, during war time, to respond in kind when guerrilla fighters violate international law, and there is no other way to stop them from continuing their illegal activity except by a reprisal action.

The SS did not follow every attack by the French resistance with a reprisal. Most of the time, the guerrillas were captured and sent to concentration camps such as Natzweiler-Struthof, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Dachau.

This reprisal action was taken because the SS believed that the Oradour-sur-Glane villagers were heavily involved with the Maquis, a French Resistance group; they claimed to have discovered that almost every house in Oradour was filled with weapons and ammunition.

End quote

You can read about every aspect of the Oradour-sur-Glane story on my website at


Bergen-Belsen — the camp where Anne Frank died

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 10:52 am

Famous photo of a British soldier shoving bodies into a mass grave at Bergen-Belsen

Bergen-Belsen was the name of an infamous Nazi camp which has become a symbol of the Holocaust that claimed the lives of 6 million Jews in Europe more than sixty years ago.

In 1943, Bergen-Belsen was initially set up as a detention camp (Aufenthaltslager) for prisoners who held foreign passports and were thus eligible to be traded for German citizens being held in Allied internment camps. In December 1944, Bergen-Belsen became a concentration camp under the command of Joseph Kramer.

On April 15, 1945, the Bergen-Belsen camp was surrendered to British Officer Derrick Sington, who wrote about it in a small book called “Belsen Uncovered” which was published by Duckworth, London in 1946.

In the last days of the war, Hitler’s second in command, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, had been plotting behind Hitler’s back in an attempt to negotiate a peace with America and Great Britain, with the aim of forming an alliance to fight against the Communists.

Himmler knew that half of Germany and all of Eastern Europe, with a population of 120 million people, had been promised to the Communists by American president Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Yalta Conference. As the leader who was in charge of all the concentration camps (his rank in the SS was equivalent to a 5-star General in the US Army), Himmler planned to use the Jewish prisoners as bargaining chips in his negotiations with the non-Communist Allies.

Himmler was determined to do all he could to hamper the inevitable take-over of Europe by the Communists. To this end, beginning on April 5, 1945, he ordered the execution of Communist leaders being held at the three main concentration camps in Germany: Dachau, Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald.

Before surrendering the Bergen-Belsen camp to the British on April 15, 1945, Himmler ordered about 7,000 people to be evacuated from the camp. The three train loads of prisoners, which left the camp between April 6 and April 11, were made up of prominent Dutch Jews, Hungarian Jews, Jewish prisoners from neutral countries and Jewish prisoners who held foreign passports. Himmler was hoping to use these prisoners to negotiate with the Allies. The rest of the prisoners at Bergen-Belsen were to be voluntarily turned over to the British.

A section for sick prisoners, who could no longer work in the Nazi forced labor camps, was set aside at Bergen-Belsen in March 1944. In 1945, when World War II was drawing to a close, civilian prisoners were evacuated from other concentration camps as Soviet troops advanced westward; thousands of these prisoners were brought to the Bergen-Belsen camp which was not equipped to handle such a large number of people.

Finally, Bergen-Belsen itself was right in the middle of the war zone where bombs were falling and Allied planes were strafing the Autobahn and the railroads. British and Germans troops were doing battle on the Lüneberg heath right outside the camp. In February 1945, the situation at Bergen-Belsen became catastrophic when a typhus epidemic broke out in the crowded camp.

By April 1945, the war in Europe was very definitely over. All that was needed now was a formal surrender signed by Adolf Hitler. Hitler was a broken man: his dream of uniting the German folk into a Thousand Year Reich was gone, his health was ruined by Parkinson’s disease and for the past several years, his mental capacity had been increasingly failing. He was holed up in an underground bunker beneath his Chancellery in Berlin, still moving his armies around on a map and unwilling to admit defeat.

The Nazis has gotten their start in 1919, fighting against the Communists in the streets of Berlin; it was now 26 years later and Hitler was not ready to surrender his beloved Fatherland to the Communist Soviet Union and its American and British Allies. He would rather see Germany completely annihilated, and in the last days of the war, he ordered his best friend, Albert Speer, the chief of Nazi war production, to destroy what was left of Germany after Allied bombs had reduced every major city to rubble. Speer ignored the order.

October 28, 2017

Note to readers of my blog in Germany

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 11:36 am

Dear readers of my blog in Germany: Everything that I write on my blog is against the law in Germany.

It is O.K. for American soldiers who are stationed in Germany to read my blog, because German laws do not apply to them.

However, German citizens in Germany are in danger of going to prison if they are caught reading what I write.

Read this article which explains the laws in Germany:

The following quote is from the article

Begin quote

In today’s Germany the outright denial and even the trivialization of the Holocaust in public is a federal crime, punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Why is that? And since when do these legal provisions exist?

End quote

The Jews are back in Germany, and the Jews rule. So don’t go denying the Holocaust in Germany.

The following quote is also from the article:

Begin quote

History of laws againgst Holocaust denial

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that in 1960 the first law against Holocaust denial was passed as a reaction to the re-emerging anti-Semitism in German society: On Christmas Eve 1959, just a couple of months after its widely celebrated re-opening, the synagogue in Cologne was besmeared with swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs by two members of a right-extremist party.

In the following months an entire wave of anti-Semitic acts swept over Germany. The administration of chancellor Konrad Adenauer (CDU: Christian Democratic Union) saw itself under considerable pressure to act and therefore decided to pass a law against ‘incitement’ (Volksverhetzung). The purpose of this law was to, among other things, make the denial of Nazi crimes against Jews a crime.

The mind-set of the deniers was seen as the foundational myth of new forms of anti-Semitism that focused on the state of Israel and its alleged moral blackmailing of the German state based on the – in the eyes of these anti-Semites – ‘historical lie’ of the Holocaust.

Once passed however, the law was never really used to sentence Holocaust deniers as the judicial qualifications necessary for a conviction were set very high. Furthermore, the German judicial system was still full of officials who started their careers in the Third Reich and in most cases were not willing to really confront their, and their country’s past.

That does not necessarily mean that they still held on to their old beliefs – even though that could be found too – but they were very reluctant to address the topic of Vergangenheitsbewältigung (the process of coming to terms with one’s past) and therefor bring charges against Holocaust deniers.

End quote


October 22, 2017

Bergen-Belsen, the camp that is the most misunderstood

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 11:27 am

This recent article is about Bergen-Belsen:

The following quote is from the article:

Begin quote

A CALLER stunned Radio 2 listeners with a sick comment on the Holocaust live on air.

Former nurse Josephine Buck ranted “you never saw anybody fat coming out of Belsen” during an obesity debate on Jeremy Vine’s show.

She was referring to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany where the Nazis killed 50,000 mainly Jewish people in World War Two — including diarist Anne Frank, who was just 15.

Host Paddy O’Connell, filling in for Jeremy, did not apologise and merely moved on.

Josephine, from Dorset, also referred to obese people as “lumps of lard”. Kevin Hall wrote online: “Truly vile woman. Why do the BBC pander to these people?”

End quote

Child survivors at Bergen-Belsen greet the British
I wrote about Bergen-Belsen on my website at
Start reading about Bergen-Belsen on my website at

August 25, 2017

The Mauthausen memorial site is in the news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — furtherglory @ 2:44 pm

Mauthausen Memorial site is included in an article which you can read  at

You can see some recent photos of the former Mauthausen camp at

I have a section about Mauthausen on my website at

I visited the Mauthausen memorial site in 2003 and took the photo below.

My 2003 photo of Mauthausen

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

The outside areas [at Mauthausen] feature sculptures that honor the 190,000 people from over 40 different nations who were imprisoned during the camp’s seven years of terror. Memorial sculptures of varying sizes and styles pay homage to the Jewish, French, Dutch, Polish, and other victims of Mauthausen.

One particularly striking statue is the Albanian Memorial, which portrays an Albanian resistance fighter standing over a defeated Nazi soldier. He’s about the strike the Nazi in the face with his rifle stock.

End quote from news article.

My photo above shows the sculpture of the Albanian resistance fighter ready to strike a German soldier.

The photo shows part of the monument of Albania, which was erected in 1969. It depicts a defeated German soldier being subdued by the strong arm of an Albanian resistance fighter.

Note the swastika on the belt buckle of the fallen soldier. Flowers have been left for the defeated soldier by visitors who may have been confused by this statue which shows a German soldier as the victim, not an Albanian resistance fighter as the victim of the Nazis.

Another photo of the fallen German soldier statue where someone has left flowers for the German soldier

This monument conveys the message that World War II was a war of annihilation, winner take all, no second place, no conditional surrender accepted, nothing short of total victory allowed, kick ’em while they’re down and then erect a monument to humiliate the vanquished for generations to come.

This monument is not about the 300 – 400 Albanians who were among the victims at Mauthausen, but rather a celebration of the anti-Fascist victory over the Hitlerites.


August 18, 2017

The liberation of Buchenwald is mentioned in today’s news

Filed under: Germany, Trump, World War II — furtherglory @ 12:54 pm

The liberation of Buchenwald by American soldiers….

My photo of the gatehouse at the Buchenwald camp

American soldiers arrive at the Buchenwald gate

You can read about the liberation of Buchenwald in this current news article:

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

The other day I listened to Donald Trump’s justification for the violence at Charlottesville and his wink and nod to the alt-right, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, or whatever they call themselves, some of whom he said were “very nice people.” I call them evil.

With too few exceptions, his remarks have been followed with stunning silence by Republican members of Congress and the members of his cabinet. Others actually are defending his words.

Then I got to thinking about my father, the late Rocky Mountain News columnist, Gene Amole. During World War II he served in the unit that would liberate the Buchenwald death camp. What he saw there gave him nightmares for the rest of his life.

He never talked about it. One day he saw me reading a book about the Nazis, so he sat down and told me the story of how he and his fellow soldiers arrived at Buchenwald to find more than 21,000 naked, starving and nearly dead prisoners using what little strength they had to cheer their arrival.

They hugged the Americans and wept with relief and joy at the sight of them. The shocked and horrified soldiers passed out their own rations, gave up their coats, blankets and whatever else they had to cover their emaciated bodies.

End quote

I have written about the liberation of Buchenwald on my website at

My version of the story of the Buchenwald liberation is a little different. My version starts off with this quote from my website:

Begin quote

The Buchenwald concentration camp was liberated on April 11, 1945 by four soldiers in the Sixth Armored Division of the US Third Army, commanded by General George S. Patton. Just before the Americans arrived, the camp had already been taken over by the Communist prisoners who had killed some of the guards and forced the rest to flee into the nearby woods.

Pfc. James Hoyt was driving the M8 armored vehicle which brought Capt. Frederic Keffer, Tech. Sgt. Herbert Gottschalk and Sgt. Harry Ward to the Buchenwald camp that day.

End quote — continue reading at


August 6, 2017

…the long and shameful history of anti-Semitism in Ireland.

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 10:53 am

2nd December 1938: Some of the 5,000 Jewish and non-Aryan German child refugees, the ‘Kindertransport’, arriving in England at Harwich from Germany. (Photo by Fred Morley/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

The Irish people are noted for being very friendly and fun-loving. I’ve been to Ireland. It was the first place I went when I started traveling 30 years ago.  I was welcomed in Ireland as if I were a long lost cousin.

I was not aware, until now, that the Irish are anti-Semitic. Why would anyone not love Jews?  What’s not to like?

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

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

The columnist Kevin Myers sparked outrage this week with his offhand remark that Jews were “not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price”.

Myers was sacked for his reference to two highly-paid Jewish BBC broadcasters in The Sunday Times in an article about salaries at the British broadcaster.

After apologising profusely, he later claimed he was a “great admirer of Jews” and their culture of “exploring their talent and making the most of it”.

The former columnist insisted that he was not anti-Semitic, but the suggestion that Jews were motivated by money would have been familiar to anyone who has followed the long and shameful history of anti-Semitism in Ireland.

Public figures have expressed much more virulent anti-Jewish sentiments in the past; unlike Myers, in most cases they got away with it, because at times in our history such sentiments were popular.

The hateful stereotype of the grasping Jew was a theme in political discourse, going right back to Arthur Griffith and the birth of Sinn Féin.

At its worst, the stirring of hatred against Jews by some politicians and churchmen helped to create a climate where Jewish refugees from Europe were unable to escape to Ireland from the Holocaust. It could be a life-and-death issue.

End quote

What should you learn from this news article? The Jews have been hated since time began, and they will continue to be hated, the world over, until the end of time.

That’s all she wrote —  and she rubbed that out.


August 4, 2017

Remember when America refused to save Jews from Nazi Germany?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 6:21 pm

UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 1754: Jewish refugees aboard the ‘SS St Louis’ attempt to communicate with friends and relatives in Cuba, who were permitted to approach the docked vessel in small boats. The passengers were not allowed to disembark.

If only America had taken in the Jewish passengers on the ship called the St. Louis. The Jews were forced to return to Germany where they were sent to camps and killed. This was the beginning of the Holocaust, which could have been avoided altogether if only America had taken in all the Jews who were trying to escape from Germany.

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

Begin quote

Republican Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.), with the endorsement of the White House, released the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act on Wednesday. If passed, the bill would make deep cuts in legal immigration and substantial changes in the categories under which immigrants are admitted to the U.S.

Some supporters of the bill have cited the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform—often called the Jordan Commission after Barbara Jordan, its chair—as justification for the legislation. That could not be further from the truth. As the executive director of the commission, I can attest to the fundamental differences between the RAISE Act and our recommendations.

In its first report to Congress, the commission concluded that “legal immigration has strengthened and can continue to strengthen this country.” Its recommendations sought to improve the admission process by ensuring timely entry of immediate family of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents (LPRs), as well as timely entry of workers and refugees.

End quote from news article

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