Scrapbookpages Blog

May 28, 2016

Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein has died, at the age of 91

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 4:10 pm

You can read a newspaper report on the death of Hedy Epstein at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/us/hedy-epstein-rights-activist-and-holocaust-survivor-dies-at-91.html?_r=0

Hedy Epstein is shown in the center of the photo

A protest in Cairo in 2009. Hedy Epstein, center, spent much of her life working for a broad range of social justice movements. Credit Amr Nabil/Associated Press

It was only a year ago that I was blogging about Hedy Epstein: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/hedy-epstein-the-jewish-woman-who-was-arrested-in-st-louis-confronted-herman-goering-at-nuremberg/

The following quote is from the recent news story:

Begin quote

Ms. Epstein, a Holocaust survivor who spoke widely about the persecution of the Jews in Germany, and who spent most of her adult life working for a broad range of social justice movements, died on Thursday at her home in St. Louis. She was 91.

The cause was cancer, said Dianne Lee, a friend.

Ms. Epstein was born Hedwig Wachenheimer on Aug. 15, 1924, in Freiburg, Germany, and raised in nearby Kippenheim. Her father, Hugo, ran a dry-goods company founded by his grandfather. Her mother, the former Ella Eichel, was a homemaker.

After the Kristallnacht pogrom, Hedy was expelled from school. She returned home to see her house ransacked and her father being dragged away by the police. He spent four weeks in Dachau. After being released, he and his wife arranged for Hedy, their only child, to travel to England in 1939 on a Kindertransport train and ship.

“I was a terrible child,” Ms. Epstein told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2000. “I resisted going away and accused my parents of having found me on the doorstep, left by Gypsies, and now wanting to get rid of me. I recognized later that they were giving me life.”

She was an interview subject in the Academy Award-winning 2000 documentary “Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport.”

[…]

Hedy was raised by foster parents in London and left school at 16 to work in a munitions plant. In 1945, she returned to Germany, where she was a translator and researcher with the Allied War Crimes Tribunal at the Nuremberg “Doctors Trial.”

She immigrated to the United States in 1948 and began working for the New York Association for New Americans, an agency that brought Holocaust survivors to the United States. Two years later, feeling restless, she moved to St. Paul, a city she picked at random, where she worked on behalf of refugees.

End quote

It is a mystery to me why the Nazis sent children to England to be saved. Didn’t they realize that these children would spend the rest of their lives demonizing the German people, and participating in war crimes trials against Germans. That’s the thanks they got for saving a few Jewish children, by sending them to England.

The following quote is from the end of the news article:

Begin quote

Her 1999 memoir, written in German and published in Germany, was titled “Erinnern Ist Nicht Genug” (“Remembering Is Not Enough”).

Ms. Epstein often addressed audiences at schools and community events about the Holocaust. Her talks concluded with an admonition: “Remember the past, don’t hate, don’t be a bystander.”

End quote

Sorry, but I have no respect for Hedy Epstein, who spent her whole adult life encouraging people to hate the German people.

May 21, 2016

What’s wrong with this map?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:12 am
Map of Poland

Map shows 3 Nazi death camps on the border of Poland

The map, shown above, identifies the locations of three of the alleged Nazi death camps: Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec. All 3 of these camps were very near the Bug river, which is not shown on the map.

Allegedly, the Nazis transported Jews to Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec for no reason, other than to kill them. But why waste trains and manpower to transport Jews to these Godforsaken places when it would have been more efficient, and cheaper, to gas them in Warsaw or at Auschwitz.

Transporting Jews from Warsaw to Treblinka and Belzec, both of which are right on the border of Poland, was highly inefficient, since the Jews could have been killed in a hidden gas chamber in Warsaw, and no one would have known about it.

Note that the locations of Warsaw and Auschwitz were easier to reach, than the three locations along the river. Auschwitz was the largest central railroad hub in Europe; trains from anywhere in Europe could go to Auschwitz without changing tracks.

If you have ever been to Germany, you know that the German people are very smart and very efficient. So why did the Germans come up with this stupid plan of transporting the Jews to Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec to be killed?  This is a trick question. The answer is that the Jews were not transported to these places to be killed; the Jews were sent, from these locations, into the eastern territories to get rid of them, but not to kill them.

So why am I writing about this now, you ask. It is because I have just read a news article about these camps: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/unearthing-the-atrocities-of-nazi-death-camps/

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

Begin quote

During the Second World War, [Caroline] Sturdy Colls knew, more than 900,000 Jewish deportees had been killed at the Treblinka death camp, an unassuming site about the size of a suburban shopping mall. After closely guarded boxcars of arrivals passed through the gates of Treblinka or its sister camps, Beec [Belzec] and Sobibór, it took less than an hour for camp staff to exterminate them in engine-exhaust gas chambers.

All three of the Operation Reinhard camps were located within a few hundred miles of each other in formerly central (now eastern) Poland, and some 500 miles from the notorious Auschwitz death camp. Of the approximately 1.7 million Jewish people who arrived at the three Reinhard camps, scarcely a hundred survived the war, and they only made it because they staged desperate breakouts that succeeded against all odds.

End quote

Photo credit: Culture Club/Getty Images

Photo credit: Culture Club/Getty Images

My 1998 photo of the memorial stones at Treblinka

My 1998 photo of the memorial stones at the Treblinka camp

According to my tour guide, who accompanied me to Treblinka in 1998, the stones in the photo above cover the area where the ashes were buried after the Jews were gassed and burned at Treblinka. Each stone represents a town or a city from which the victims were taken to Treblinka to be killed. This monument prevents anyone from digging in this area to see if ashes or bodies are buried here.

May 10, 2016

free online course that teaches about the Holocaust from the Jewish perspective

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 5:38 pm

You can read about a new online history course that teaches about the Holocaust: https://www.coursera.org/learn/holocaust-introduction-1/

The following quote is from the website, cited above:

Begin quote

This free online course was produced jointly by Tel Aviv University and Yad Vashem – the World Center for Holocaust Research. The course tracks the history of the Holocaust and has two parts. “The Holocaust – An Introduction (I): Nazi Germany: Ideology, The Jews and the World” is the first of the two courses and covers the following themes in its three weeks:

Week 1

From Hatred to Core Ideology; From Democracy to a Totalitarian State; Nazi Germany and the Jews

Course Introduction trailer
Introduction:
Why the Jews?
Nazi Antisemitism
Gleichschaltung
Life in Nazi Germany
Jewish Life in Nazi Germany
1938 – A Major Turning Point

End quote

Gleichshaltung was a new word made up by the Nazis. I will try to explain it to you:

Building in the town of Dachau

Buildings in the town of Dachau

By March 1933, the Nazis had taken over every town in Germany, including the town of Dachau.  The building on the left in the photo above is where the Nazis raised their flag on March 9, 1933, after they took over the town of Dachau.

An important policy of the Nazi party in Germany was called Gleichschaltung, a term that was coined in 1933, to mean that all German culture, religious practice, politics, and daily life should conform with Nazi ideology. This policy meant total control of thought, belief, and practice, and it was used to systematically eradicate all anti-Nazi elements, after Hitler came to power in January 1933.

Under the Gleichschaltung policy, every member of the Nazi party was given a second job, in addition to his regular job.

Heinrich Himmler was given a second job as the supervisor of the German prisons.  On his first visit to the Munich prison, Himmler noted that the prison was overcrowded because Communists had been rounded up after the fire in the German Reichstag on February 27, 1933 and sent to “wild camps” or to regular prisons, including the Munich prison.

On March 22, 1933, Heinrich Himmler opened the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany at an old factory just outside of the town of Dachau. The first prisoners were 200 Communists who had been taken into “protective custody” after the burning of the Reichstag on the night of February 27, 1933; the justification for the imprisonment of the Communists was that they were “enemies of the state.”

Here is a little history of Germany to put everything into context:

Following World War I, Germany became a democratic Republic with a Constitution based on the American Constitution. After Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933, a new congressional election was required to confirm his appointment.

In the election which took place on March 5, 1933, the Nazis gained enough seats in the Reichstag (German Congress) so that, with the help of other conservative parties, they were able to pass legislation on March 7th, which ended state’s rights in Germany. This legislation allowed Hitler to unite Germany for the first time into “ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer” (one people, one empire, one leader).

After this legislation was put into effect on March 9, 1933, all the German states were now controlled by the federal government, under the rule of the Nazis; the governors of each state and all the government positions of any importance were now appointed by the Nazis, and of course, the appointees were loyal members of the Nazi party.

The Nazi term for this new unity among the German people was Gleichschaltung; it meant that everyone was on the same page with all the people pulling together, united in their beliefs and objectives.

After March 9, 1933, the former German states, such as Prussia and Bavaria, no longer had state’s rights and the German people were now ruled by one government and one leader for the first time ever in the history of the German people.

One reason that the Nazis wanted to bring all the German states under their central control was to make sure that Bavaria would never again be taken over by the Communists, which was what happened on November 7, 1918 when Jewish leader Kurt Eisner led a revolution, forced the King of Bavaria to resign, and then set up a Communist Republic in Bavaria.

So, long story short, Gleichschaltung was the start of Germany for the Germans, not for the Jews. The Jews thought that it was their right to live in any country in the world, and to control that country for their benefit. The Jews have now achieved that goal, and Hitler is now the worst person who ever lived on this earth.

 

90-year-old American war veteran recalls the liberation of Mauthausen

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:08 am

The following quote is from a news article which you can read in full at https://www.rt.com/news/342485-war-love-aviation-regiment/

Begin quote

William Phelps wore a first sergeant’s stripes at the unlikely age of 19 as a World War II tank gunner, heard Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s unvarnished opinions over lunch one day and made the cover of Yank magazine in 1945 in a memorable photo, patching his trousers with a sewing machine in front of a tank.

But his most important day in Europe was in liberating an Austrian extermination camp.

Outside Linz, Phelps and two dozen soldiers entering the Mauthausen concentration camp 71 years ago last week were stunned at the sight of dead, dying and emaciated prisoners. The Americans saw German guards in the distance running for their lives, prisoners killing some of them with rocks and clubs.

“I’ll tell you, it’s really tough for me to describe because when you come into something like that, you haven’t seen a hundred people naked and stacked up, shriveled up all over the place, and it was unbelievable for me and most of the troops that were there,” said Phelps, 90, of San Antonio.

End quote

The liberation of Mauthausenn was re-enacteed a day later

The liberation of Mauthausenn was re-enacted a day later

The photograph above was taken on May 6, 1945, the day after the official liberation of the Mauthausen main camp. It shows prisoners surrounding an M8 Greyhound armored car.

According to Pierre Serge Choumoff, the liberation of Mauthausen, as shown in the photo above, was reenacted for photographers at the request of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Nazi eagle over the gate had already been removed by the prisoners and a banner, written in Spanish, had been put up by the Spanish political prisoners. The English translation reads “The Spanish Anti-Fascists Salute the Liberating Forces.”

These prisoners were Spanish Republicans who had fought against General Francisco Franco’s Fascist forces in the Spanish Civil War and had escaped to France when the Republicans lost the war. The Spanish Republicans were interned by the French and later, when the Germans defeated France in 1940, they were incarcerated as political prisoners because they were opposed to the Nazis. Germany had fought on the side of Franco in the Spanish Civil War, which was a war between the Fascists and the Communists. For the anti-Fascist Spanish Republicans, Mauthausen has the same significance as Auschwitz does for the Jews.

The news article continues with the following quote:

“We’d seen dead Germans because that’s what we were paid to do. We had to kill them or they had to kill us. But you didn’t have a stack of a hundred people, 200 people, 300 that had been laying there for days.”

As the week began, Phelps, 90, of San Antonio was back in Europe, where he visited the Auschwitz concentration camp as part of a tour marking the Holocaust.

He did not go to Mauthausen, a facility designed to be the last stop for criminals, political prisoners and religious conscientious objectors but that later also housed accused communists, Jews and defeated refugees of the Spanish Republic who had fought Gen. Francisco Franco.

End quote

Here is what really happened when the Mauthausen camp was liberated.

On May 5, 1945, the date usually given for the official liberation of the Mauthausen main concentration camp, a platoon of 23 men from the 11th Armored Division of the US Third Army, led by Staff Sgt. Albert J. Kosiek, arrived at the main camp near the town of Mauthausen. They were guided there by Louis Haefliger, a Red Cross representative in the camp, and two German soldiers, after first liberating the Gusen sub-camp, 6 kilometers to the west.

Haefliger had taken it upon himself to go out and find American soldiers fighting in the area. He brought them first to the Gusen sub-camp because of the rumors that Hitler had instructed Ernst Kaltenbrunner to give the order to kill all the prisoners by blowing them up in the underground tunnels of the munitions factories there.

After the prisoners in the Gusen sub-camp were released by the American liberators, fighting broke out among the inmates and over 500 of the prisoners were brutally killed by their fellow inmates, according to Sgt. Kosiek.

The platoon of American soldiers was unable to control the released prisoners, so they left the Gusen camp and proceeded to the main camp, where the Communist prisoners were already organized into an International Committee that was ready to take control.

According to Manuel Razola and Mariano Constante, two Spanish inmates at Mauthausen who wrote a book entitled “Triangle Blue,” in the last days of the war, the prisoners had formed an International Committee, which took over the camp as soon as the American liberators arrived on May 5, 1945.

Razola and Constante are quoted by Christian Bernadac in his book entitled “The 186 Steps.” According to their story, “The international committee had taken the decision to execute the most criminal SS and common-law elements.” On the night that the camp was liberated, the international committee killed 8 of the Kapos in the camp and 6 of the SS officers.

 

 

May 8, 2016

Jews were offloaded directly from the cattle cars into the gas chambers

The title of my blog post today is a line from a news article which you can read in full at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/general-news/20160507/oakland-woman-traces-familys-holocaust-story

The following quote is from the news article cited above:

Begin quote

The Nazis started weekly transports from Amsterdam in July 1943.

“Relatives tried to get them off the transport list,” Vasos-Baczewski said. “That’s when they knew it was over.”

The Mosbachers did not remain in Auschwitz, Vasos-Baczewski and her husband learned. “We knew that they had been there, but didn’t have specific dates, documentation that they had been killed immediately,” she said.

The world knows now what occurred at the concentration camp. “They had a ramp,” Vasos-Baczewski said. “They could offload directly from the cattle car into the gas chambers.”

End quote

Trains brought Jews into the Birkenau camp in 1944

Trains brought Jews into the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in 1944

On the map below, note that the gas chambers are marked in red at the top of the map. The train tracks going into the camp are shown at the bottom of the map.

The top of the map shown below points west and shows the western end of the Birkeanu camp where the Zentral Sauna is located. “The little white house” is shown behind the Sauna and to the right. The Sauna was the building where the clothing was disinfected in steam chambers; this building also had a large shower room. The buildings shown just below the Sauna on the map were the clothing warehouses. To the right of the clothing warehouses were Krema IV and Krema V (No. 17 on the map) which had gas chambers disguised as showers. Behind the clothing warehouses were the hospital barracks. On the left side of the map below (No. 15) are Crematorium II and Crematorium III, shown in red. The white part of these two buildings in the drawing denotes the undressing rooms and the gas chambers which were partially underground. No. 14 on the map denotes the main camp road with the women’s camp on the left; the women’s kitchen is right below Crematorium II.

Map of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

Map of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

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

Begin quote

The other piece of Vasos-Baczewski’s story came via the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and an archive called the International Tracing Service. The tracing service is a portal to “more than 150 million pages of documents relating to 17 million people,” according to the museum’s Raymund Flandez.

It was maintained in Bad Arolsen, Germany, and kept closed to the international community until 2007.

Since then, at no charge, the museum has fielded about 250 requests a month arriving from 75 countries around the world, from people hoping to trace missing relatives or shed light on the experiences of Holocaust victims, Flandez wrote in a release.

The Nazis kept meticulous records of their atrocities, Vasos-Baczewski said. “That was the most sobering thing to see: their names on the documents, the transport lists. The Germans were just great record keepers,” she said.

The Nazis started weekly transports from Amsterdam in July 1943.

“Relatives tried to get them off the transport list,” Vasos-Baczewski said. “That’s when they knew it was over.”

The Mosbachers did not remain in Auschwitz, Vasos-Baczewski and her husband learned. “We knew that they had been there, but didn’t have specific dates, documentation that they had been killed immediately,” she said.

The world knows now what occurred at the concentration camp. “They had a ramp,” Vasos-Baczewski said. “They could offload directly from the cattle car into the gas chambers.”

End quote

Original boxcar that brought Jews to Birkenau

My photo of original cattle car that brought Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau

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!

 

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.

End quote

 

97-year-old Holocaust survivor still enjoys laying a guilt trip on German teenagers

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:11 am
Betty Bausch speaking to students

Betty Bausch speaks to students about her experience in WWII

The following quote is from a recent news article which you can read in full at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4797397,00.html

Begin quote:

Just before Holocaust Memorial Day, 97-year-old survivor Betty Bausch has again packed her suitcase and travelled to tell young Germans of the harm that their nation inflicted decades before they were born. In recent years, this has become her life’s work.

Every time that Bausch finishes describing her family’s travails in the Holocaust and asks for audience questions, the room is filled with a tense silence that eventually becomes an honest, if painful, conversation between a survivor of the inferno and the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the those who committed the atrocities.

End quote

The moral of this story is this: never try to kick a Jew out of your country. The Jews have a right to live in any country in the world, even though they now have their own country [Israel].

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

Begin quote

Bausch’s story of survival from the days of the war is extraordinary. Thanks to endless resourcefulness, aid in procuring forged documents, and an Aryan appearance, she managed to hide and live under a fake identity, thus avoiding being sent to a concentration camp.

She was born and raised in Amsterdam, where she had a happy childhood. Like most of the Netherlands’s Jews, she did not experience anti-Semitism.

Her parents passed on their religious and Zionist stances to their children. However, they hesitated and didn’t use the permits to immigrate to the Land of Israel that they had before the war. When the Germans invaded the Netherlands, it was too late, and they [her parents] were sent to the Sobibor extermination camp and killed.

End quote

You can read about Sobibor on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Sobibor/Tour01.html

This quote is also from the news article:

Bausch has been speaking for 20 years in the Netherlands and for the past six in Germany. “I always begin by telling the youths about my time at their age, when I was 16 years old,” she said, “because I think that it interests them, what I did at their age, and not at 97.

At that time, we only had one radio, which I would always turn on when Hitler was making a speech. He would say, ‘The Jews are the rats of the world and must be destroyed.’ When my family heard that, they would say to me, ‘Betty, turn it off, turn it off; we don’t want to hear it.’ I was the only one told them, ‘We have to hear it; we have to know what that man wants to do with the Jews. If he says it, he’ll do it.’ They would answer me, ‘No, no, it’s just words.’

End quote

Did you catch that? These Jews in the Netherlands had ONLY ONE RADIO. When I was a child, my family did not have even one radio. We had to go a neighbor’s house to hear President Roosevelt speak on the radio. I should be out on the lecture circuit, telling about how I suffered during World War II. Oh, the humanity!

April 26, 2016

April 29th, the 71st anniversary of the Dachau massacre

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

This news article tells one version of the Dachau massacre [aka “The liberation of Dachau”]:

Begin quote

Friday, April 29 is the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Nazi Germany’s first concentration camp — a day that changed Homecrest man Seymour Kaplan forever.

The 90-year-old World War II veteran — among the last living eyewitnesses to Holocaust horrors — was a fresh-faced, 19-year-old machine gunner with the 42nd Infantry Division in Munich when he was ordered into a jeep that day in 1945, and unbeknownst to him driven 10 miles to Dachau Camp to serve as a Yiddish interpreter for prisoners.

End quote

A Yiddish interpreter for the Dachau prisoners? Was Dachau a death camp for Jews? Did the Dachau camp have to be liberated before all the Yiddish-speaking Jews could be killed in the Dachau gas chamber?

The reason this subject is so important is because the liberation of Dachau is symbolic of the liberation of Germany from the Nazis. It is symbolic of the Allied victory over Fascism and the preservation of the freedom of Americans, which had been threatened by the mere existence of Hitler’s Third Reich.

It is symbolic of the Allied liberation of the Jews from persecution by the Nazis, and the end of the Final Solution which claimed the lives of 6 million Jews.

The liberation of Dachau was one of the most significant events of World War II and one of the most important events in world history. All of the soldiers in the 45th and 42nd Divisions of the US Seventh Army can rightly claim to be heroes because they participated in the liberation of Dachau.

Here is the real story!

By the Spring of 1945, the whole country of Germany lay in ruins with every major city destroyed by Allied bombs. Churches that had taken 200 years to build were now empty shells. Bridges had been blown up, train tracks had been bombed and every road was clogged with German refugees. Thousands of women in eastern Germany were drowning themselves, rather than submit to rape by the Russian soldiers, who were advancing towards the capital city of Berlin.

Boys of 14 and old men of 60 years of age were fighting in a hopeless last ditch effort to save Germany from Communism. German soldiers, who had survived the bloody conflict on the Eastern front, were stripping off their uniforms and jumping into the Elbe river to swim naked across to the west side so that they could surrender to the American Army.

Whether soldiers or civilians, the German people were deathly afraid of the Russians, who already had a reputation for committing unspeakable atrocities, even before they reached Berlin.

There was complete chaos in Germany: the infrastructure of the country had been destroyed, the cities were nothing but huge piles of rubble, and everywhere there was complete devastation. Animals in the Zoo in Berlin had to be shot when they escaped after a bomb attack.

German citizens were cowering in underground bomb shelters in the cities or waving white flags of surrender from the windows of their homes in the small towns, including the town of Dachau.

Former concentration camp prisoners, who were now free because some of the  camps had been abandoned by the guards, were wandering aimlessly through the countryside, looting and stealing from the German civilians who still had a home left after repeated Allied bombing raids.

Subways were flooded; phone lines were down; electricity was off. The water supply of the bombed cities was contaminated or non-existent.

Thousands of homeless German civilians had taken shelter in the bombed-out shells of the churches, and were cooking over open fires in the streets of every major city.

Refugees trying to flee from the war zone sat for days beside the railroad tracks waiting for trains which never came. Others were on the road, trying to escape on foot, carrying a few meager possessions, but there was nowhere to go.

Allied planes were strafing everything that moved, including cows grazing in the fields and the trains that were evacuating concentration camp prisoners in an effort to keep them from being released. Former concentration camp prisoners, bent on revenge, attacked the German civilians as they tried desperately to escape. Everything was in short supply, including food, clothing, medicine, coal and even wood to make coffins.

The stench was unbearable; everything smelled of smoke from the charred remains of burned buildings. Corpses were dragged out of the bomb shelters and buried in shallow graves in the gardens of destroyed homes.

Thousands of dead bodies of German civilians were still buried under the collapsed buildings in every large city. In the historic city of Nuremberg, there were 20,000 bodies still buried under the rubble at the time that the trial of the German war criminals began in November 1945.

The Nazi war machine, that had once rolled ruthlessly across Europe and smashed every country in its path, was now suffering a crushing defeat by the superior forces of the Soviet, British and American armies. Soon the world would learn of the Nazi atrocities in the concentration camps and forced labor camps all over Germany. Dachau, the name of the worst camp of them all, would soon become a household word in America.

Photo of the surrender of Dachau

Photo of surrender of Dachau

Another photo of the surrender of the Dachau camp

Another photo of the surrender of the Dachau concentration camp

The main Dachau camp was surrendered to Brigadier General Henning Linden of the 42nd Rainbow Division by SS 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker, who is shown in the photos above. Wicker was accompanied by Red Cross representative Victor Maurer who had just arrived the day before with five trucks loaded with food packages. In the first photo above, Marguerite Higgins is shown, with an arrow pointing to her. She one of the reporters, who was covering World War II.

No one knows for certain what happened to 2nd Lt. Wicker after he surrendered the camp, but it is presumed that he was among the German soldiers who were shot that day by the American liberators or beaten to death by some of the inmates.

Lt. Col. Howard Buechner, a doctor with the 45th Division, wrote the following in his book entitled The Avengers:

Begin quote

Virtually every German officer and every German soldier who was present on that fateful day paid for his sins against his fellow man. Only their wives, children and a group of medics survived. Although a few guards may have temporarily avoided death by disguising themselves as inmates, they were eventually captured and killed.

An investigation conducted between May 3 and May 8, 1945 by Lt. Col. Joseph M. Whitaker, known as the I.G. Report, concluded that the total number of SS men killed on April 29, 1945 at Dachau was somewhere between 50 and 60, including the SS soldiers killed after they surrendered at Tower B, shown in the photo above. Most of the bodies had been thrown into the moat and then shot repeatedly after they were already dead, according to testimony given to the investigators by American soldiers who were there.

Tower B is shown in the photo below. Notice the bodies of dead German soldiers at the base of the tower.

End quote

Tower B is shown in the photo below.

DachauTowerB.jpg

No Americans were killed, nor wounded during the liberation of Dachau. The SS men had been ordered not to shoot and there was no resistance as they were massacred by the liberators.

American soldiers at Dachau

American soldiers at Dachau

In his book about Dachau, Flint Whitlock quoted T/5 Oddi, one of the soldiers in the photo above, from a telephone interview in January 1997:

Begin quote

Our group was the first part of people to go in there [to the prisoner enclosure]. When they saw us, they knew right away we were Americans and they started shouting and waving tiny flags. I don’t know where they got the flags – I imagine the women who were there made them out of swatches of cloth.

End quote

On 28 May 1945, Brig. Gen. Charles Y. Banfill, an Air Force officer who was with the 42nd Division soldiers when Brig. Gen. Henning Linden accepted the surrender of the concentration camp from Lt. Heinrich Wicker, wrote an official report, quoted by John H. Linden in his book, in which Banfill stated the following:

Begin quote

1. This is to certify that I was present at Dachau on 29 April 1945 as a member of a party headed by Brigadier General Henning Linden, Assistant Division Commander, 42nd Infantry Division, U.S. Army.

[…]

5. With one exception, all American personnel, who came under my observation during this period, conducted themselves in an exemplary fashion. The exception noted was that of a soldier who I believe to be a member of the 45th Infantry Division. He called himself to my attention by a loud and obscene series of statements revolving around who had first reached the concentration camp. I approached him and noting that he was apparently under the influence of intoxicants, called him to attention and identified myself to him clearly and explicitly. He immediately quieted down. I noticed the neck of a bottle sticking out of his jacket. I withdrew the bottle which was nearly empty and apparently contained wine and threw it into the moat. At that point, Brig. Gen. Linden approached and directed the soldier to move over to a point some 20 feet away. I noticed that Brig. Gen. Linden spoke emphatically to him for about a minute and then apparently directed him to rejoin his unit. The soldier walked away.

[…]

7. It is my considered opinion that Brig. Gen. Linden did everything in his power to carry out his Division Commander’s instructions to keep the prisoners within the prison enclosure. As determined by discussions with English speaking prisoners, the camp had been under extreme tension for many hours. The prisoners did not know (a) whether they would be massacred by the Germans, (b) whether they would be involved in a fire fight between the German and American troops, or (c) whether they would be liberated by the timely arrival of the Americans. The sight of the few American uniforms that appeared at about 1505 hours resulted in an emotional outburst of relief and enthusiasm which was indescribable.

End quote

An intoxicated soldier, who was creating a disturbance at the gate, was also mentioned by Lt. William Cowling in his official report to headquarters. A German soldier who survived the Dachau massacre mentioned that some of the prisoners were also drunk that day and were killing the guards with shovels. The drunken 45th Division soldier at the gate was never identified.

German soldiers shot at Dachau

Dead SS men who had surrendered the Dachau concentration camp

The photo above shows the bodies of Waffen-SS soldiers who had been sent from the battlefield to surrender the Dachau concentration camp. They offered no resistance to the liberators.

The original of the famous photo above hangs in the 45th Division Museum in Okalahoma City; the photo was copied in Munich, only weeks after World War II ended, and was offered for sale to the men in the 45th Division.

Ted Hibbard, who works at the 45th Division Museum, has identified the picture of the dead SS soldier above as a photo taken by a member of the 45th Division named Edwin Gorak. According to Hibbard, the freed inmates were given 45 caliber pistols by soldiers in the 45 Division and allowed to shoot and beat the SS men who had been sent to surrender the camp.

American soldiers in World War II were very proud of committing war crimes. Only the “krauts” were ever prosecuted, and they continue to be prosecuted to this day.

 

 

 

April 25, 2016

More misuse of the famous Ebensee photo

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:32 am
People passing by a famous photo taken at Ebensee

People passing a window which shows a famous Holocaust photo

The photo above was used to illustrate a news article which you can read in full at http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2016/04/25/Holocaust-project-focuses-on-what-Americans-knew-and-when/stories/201604220173

I have this same photo on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/KZMauthausen/Subcamps/Ebensee01.html

Photo of Holocaust survivors at Ebensee

Holocaust survivors at Ebensee sub-camp

Note that the photo, as shown on my website, is much wider; it shows more of the prisoners that were moved from the Mauthausen main camp to the Ebensee sub-camp where they could be taken care of.

According to Holocaust author Martin Gilbert, the last death marches of the World War Ii, began on May 1, 1945 as the American Army approached; prisoners from the main camp at Mauthausen, and the sub-camps at Gusen and St. Valentin, were marched to Gunskirchen and Ebensee. Hundreds of them died from exhaustion, or were shot because they couldn’t keep up, or as they attempted to escape. When American troops in the 80th Infantry Division arrived on May 4, 1945, there were around 60,000 prisoners from 25 different countries at Ebensee.

The entrance gate into the Ebenseee camp

The entrance gate into Ebenseee

The photograph above was taken on May 6, 1945, after Ebensee, a sub-camp of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, was liberated by soldiers in the 80th Division of the US Third Army on May 4th and 5th.

The banner, written in French, reads “The French prisoners Salute the Allies.” It was erected by the anti-Nazi resistance fighters who were imprisoned here after being captured and accused of doing acts of sabotage during the Nazi occupation of France.

The prisoners at Ebensee worked in underground factories which manufactured Messerschmitt airplanes. German engineers and civilians also worked in these factories. The site was chosen because there were natural caves which could be enlarged into tunnels so that the munitions factories could be protected from Allied bombing raids.

According to Martin Gilbert, the author of a book entitled “Holocaust,” Ebensee was an “end destination” for Jewish prisoners who were evacuated from camps farther east as the Soviet Army advanced toward Germany. In the last months of the war, the Ebensee camp was seriously over-crowded with these exhausted prisoners, many of whom had just arrived in the weeks prior to the liberation.

Gilbert wrote the following regarding the evacuations and the death marches:

Begin quote

Jews who had already survived the “selections” in Birkenau, and work as slave laborers in factories, had now to survive the death marches. Throughout February and March [1945] columns of men, and crowded cattle trucks, converged on the long-existing concentration camps, now given a new task. These camps had been transformed into holding camps for the remnant of a destroyed people, men and women whose labor was still of some last-minute utility for a dying Reich, or whose emaciated bodies were to be left to languish in agony in one final camp.

End quote

According to Gilbert’s book, a train loaded with 2,059 Jews arrived at Ebensee on March 3, 1945. They had survived the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau and had first been sent to the Gross Rosen concentration camp, then on to Ebensee. Forty-nine of the Jewish prisoners died on the train, and on their first day in the camp, 182 died during the disinfection procedure.

New arrivals had to be disinfected to kill the body lice which spreads typhus. There was a typhus epidemic, in Mauthausen and the sub-camps and, according to Martin Gilbert, 30,000 prisoners had died in these camps in the last four months of the war.

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