Scrapbookpages Blog

June 6, 2016

Stumbling Stones on the streets of German cities

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

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

The following quote is the first sentence in a news article which you can read in full here: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/06/01/stolpersteine-memory-holocaust-victims-marks-path-along-european-streets.html

Begin quote

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

End quote

Stumbling stones on a city street in Germany

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

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

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

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

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

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

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

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

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

End quote

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

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

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

Begin quote

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

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

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

End quote

RuinedChurch

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

I have a section on my scrapbookpages.com website about Berlin: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Berlin2002/index.html

 

 

June 5, 2016

the Netherlands is finally getting a national Holocaust museum

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

The title of my blog post today is a line from a news article, which you can read in full at http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/jun/05/dutch-get-holocaust-museum-20160605/

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

Begin quote

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

[…]

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

End quote

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

Begin quote

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

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

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

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

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

End quote

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

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

But to get back to Sobibor…..

MapSobibor

Map of Sobibor camp

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

I have written several blog posts about Sobibor: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/sobibor/

I have a section about Sobibor on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Sobibor/Tour01.html

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

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

 

June 2, 2016

Where in the world is Goethe Germany?

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 6:48 pm

Today I read a news story about an American soldier who allegedly liberated a German concentration camp named Goethe. You can read the news story at http://www.akron.com/akron-ohio-community-news.asp?aID=30852

The following quote is from the news article:

COLUMBUS [Ohio] — Sen. Frank LaRose (R-District 27) welcomed decorated World War II veteran Bill Miller, of Fairlawn, to the Ohio Statehouse to take part in the Governor’s 36th annual Holocaust Commemoration Program May 25. According to LaRose, Miller, a retired U.S. Army colonel, recounted his experience as a young soldier leading a mission to identify an unknown site outside Goethe, Germany.

The stump of Goethe's oak inside Buchenwals camp

My photo of the stump of Goethe’s oak inside the Buchenwald camp

My photo of the gate into the Buchenwald camp

My photo of the gate into the Buchenwald camp

“I had the tank knock [the gate] down,” said Miller. “When it fell, we were in a concentration camp. The guards had fled, but it was the most horrible thing I think I’ve ever seen. Bodies everywhere … we stopped counting at 800 people. We found the gas chambers, the ovens. When somebody tells you that the Holocaust didn’t happen, I stress to you I have seen these things. It did happen. I’m grateful for the opportunity to tell you my story, and I hope you will relay that story to some of your friends.”

End quote

As you can see, in my photo above, the gate in the gatehouse was not knocked down.

I have searched and searched on the Internet, and I have not found a town, nor a concentration camp named Goethe.  I am guessing that this camp was the Buchenwald camp because it was built in a location where Johann von Goethe used to sit under an oak tree. The stump of the oak tree is still in the former Buchenwald camp, which is now a memorial site.

I have a whole section about Buchenwald on my scrapbookpages.com website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/index.html

I have a sub-section about the liberation of Buchenwald at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Liberation.html

Like most stories of the liberation of the camps by American troops, there is some controversy about what really happened.  I have written about the various claims, regarding the liberation of Buchenwald on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Liberation4.html

On my website pages about the liberation of Buchenwald, I have written what I believe is the truth about how this camp was liberated: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Liberation0.html

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

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

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

 

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