Scrapbookpages Blog

April 22, 2016

Holocaust survivor explains the word “ration” to 4th graders in America

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — furtherglory @ 7:50 am

I was a fourth grade student in American during World War II, and I knew what the word “ration” meant. Americans had “ration stamps” which we had to use to buy food. This was not a hardship for my family. We were limited in the amount of money that we had to buy food, but we had plenty of ration stamps.

Memories of my pitiful life during World War II came flooding back to me when I read this recent news article:

http://www.latimes.com/socal/coastline-pilot/news/tn-cpt-me-0422-holocaust-survivor-20160421-story.html

The following quote is from the news article cited above:

Begin quote

Families torn apart, the arduous and frightening life behind barbed wire, emaciated bodies and then the death march as Russian and Allied forces moved in.

[Holocaust survivor] Sam Silberberg spoke with precision as if the events were still fresh. He paused at certain points to let his audience [elementary school children] process what he was telling them.

Silberberg, 86, had the rapt attention of fourth-and fifth-graders at Top of the World Elementary this week as he shared what life was like in two Nazi concentration camps and his subsequent escape.

It was the first time [that] Silberberg, a Laguna Woods resident, had spoken to an elementary school audience, and so he needed to tailor his content.

But in a way it was fitting that he talked to this age group, since Silberberg was 10 and living in Poland when the Germans entered the country in 1939, intent on cleansing the land of Jews.

[…]

Curious students occasionally asked Silberberg to explain certain terms, such as “ration.” Silberberg also involved students by asking them if they understood specific words.

[…]

The Nazis shipped Silberberg and his father together to a camp called Blechhammer in present-day Poland. The Germans assigned each prisoner a number, a striped uniform, a canister and sack that officers filled with each day’s food — a few slices of bread, margarine and cup of “watery” soup, according to Silberberg.

Handcuffed prisoners walked to their work assignments. Silberberg assisted a welder piecing together beams.

End quote

I am only vaguely familiar with the place called Blechhammer, so I had to look it up on the internet, where I found the following information at https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Blechhammer.html

Begin quote
Blechhammer was established in April 1942 near Kozle, a town 18.5 miles (30 km) west of Gliwice, Poland. Blechhammer was initally a labor camp for Jews. The original 350 prisoners built a synthetic gasoline plant for the Oberschlesische Hydriewerke (Upper Silesia Hydrogenation Works). When 120 prisoners contracted typhus, they were transferred to Auschwitz, where they were killed. That June the remaining prisoners were transferred to a new and larger camp that had been built nearby.

The camp was populated primarily by Jews from Upper Silesia, however, among the 5,500 prisoners were people from 15 different countries. They were housed in wooden barracks under appalling conditions, with no toilet or washing facilities. Some 200 female Jewish prisoners were put into a separate section of the camp. Hunger and disease were rife, especially diarrhea and tuberculosis. A crematorium was built, in which were cremated the bodies of 1,500 prisoners who had died from “natural” causes or had been killed.

End quote

Excuse me; I don’t think that 4th graders in America should be subjected to this kind of abuse. They are sitting there, looking at their iPhone, or taking selfies of themselves, thinking about the lavish dinner that they will be having tonight.  What do they care about some old man who had to eat “watery soup” seventy years ago?

If any of the students were actually listening, as this old man spoke, did any of them wonder why he had to wear handcuffs as he walked to his work assignments.  Maybe the teacher explained to the students that prisoners in America sometimes worked in a chain gang:  http://www.dictionary.com/browse/chain-gang

Did the teacher explain to the students, in advance, that the Jews were locked up because of their propensity to lie, steal and cheat? There was a war going on, and the Nazis did not want the Jews to help the enemy.

 

 

April 21, 2016

The destruction of the city of Berlin in WWII

Filed under: Germany, World War II — furtherglory @ 10:21 am

In a recent comment, one of the readers of my blog mentioned something about the destruction of Berlin in World War II.

Sony Center in Berlin

Sony Center in Berlin

Berlin has been rebuilt with modern buildings, like the Sony Center, and there is very little left of the old Berlin, except for a few piles of rubble that have been covered over with grass, as you can see in my photo below.

My photo of the rubble in Berlin has been covered over with grass

My photo of a mound of rubble in Berlin covered over with grass

At the beginning of August 1945, three months after the German surrender, which ended World War II, American President Harry Truman was on his way to Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin, for a conference with Allied leaders Churchill and Stalin, when he took a victory lap around Berlin in an Army Jeep to see the devastation wrought by the Allied bombing.

There was not much left of Berlin to see. The capital city of Germany had been bombed 24 times between November 18, 1943 and March 1944, and sporadic hits continued until the city was captured by the Russian army in April, 1945. By that time, the city had been reduced to 98 million cubic yards of rubble.

Each of the bomb attacks involved over 1,000 planes and the dropping of up to 2,000 tons of bombs. Half of the city’s bridges were destroyed and the underground railway tunnels were flooded. There was no gas, electricity or water in the central portion of the city.

The pre-war population of 4.3 million had been reduced to 2.8 million, as people were forced to flee the city; some 1.5 million people became homeless when their homes were bombed.

One out of 7 of the buildings destroyed in Germany by the Allied bombing were in Berlin. Out of a total of 245,000 buildings in Berlin, 50,000 had been completely destroyed and 23,000 had been severely damaged; 80,000 residents of the city had been killed. Even the trees in the Tiergarten, a large park in the center of the city, had been killed in the Battle of Berlin.

There were so many historic buildings destroyed that Berliners jokingly referred to the American and British air raids as Baedecker Bombing. Baedecker travel guide books were used by tourists to locate famous and historic buildings.

A mere 5 years earlier, after the conquest of France in 6 weeks time, Hitler had visited Paris and taken an early morning tour of the deserted streets to see the famous buildings of the capital city, which were all still intact. Hitler’s earliest ambition had been to be an architect, and he made sure that the beautiful buildings of Paris were not destroyed.

Before World War II started, Hitler had big plans to completely rebuild Berlin into a world class city with classic buildings which he and his chief architect, Albert Speer, were working together to design. At least part of his dream has now been realized.

The rubble has been cleared away and Berlin has been completely rebuilt with stunning new modern architecture, although Hitler would hardly approve of the new Berlin, since he hated anything modern, calling it “entartete Kunst” (degenerate art).

Modern art on a historic church in Berlin

Modern art on a historic German church in Berlin

Monument in honor of the Russians who liberated Berlin from the Nazis

Monument in honor of Russians who liberated Berlin and raped German women

Modern building in historic city of Berlin

Modern building in historic city of Berlin

Hitler’s Peace Plans

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: — furtherglory @ 6:35 am

I woke up this morning, and found a very long comment, which was put up last night by one of the followers of my blog. I am publishing the comment so that all my readers can see it.

Hitler’s Peace Plans

Compiled by Mark R. Elsis

“After visiting these two places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived . . .
He had a mystery about him in the way that he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made.”
Prelude to Leadership: The European Diary of John F. Kennedy, Summer 1945

The Hitler Speech They Don’t Want You To Hear
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G57GKUtWzNs

What The World Rejected
Hitler’s Peace Offers, 1933- 1939
by Dr. Friedrich Stieve
http://ihr.org/other/what-the-world-rejected.html

Everything People Believed About Hitler’s Intentions Toward Britain Was A Myth Created By Churchill
by Kevin Myers
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/kevin-myers/kevin-myers-everything-people-believed-about-hitlers-intentions-toward-britain-was-a-myth-created-by-churchill-26866697.html

An Overview Of Hitler’s Peace Proposals
https://www.stormfront.org/forum/t378972

Evidence The British Forced
Hitler To Continue WWII
The Hitler-Hess Deception
by Martin Allen
http://www.rense.com/general46/evii.htm

Nazis ‘offered To Leave Western Europe In Exchange For Free Hand To Attack Ussr’
It Was One Of The Most Perplexing Episodes Of The Second World War Which, More Than 70 Years On, Remains Shrouded In Mystery.
by Jasper Copping
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/10336126/Nazis-offered-to-leave-western-Europe-in-exchange-for-free-hand-to-attack-USSR.html

What the World Rejected: Hitler’s Peace Offers, 1933-1939 – Time To Face The Facts!
http://justice4germans.com/2013/06/29/what-the-world-rejected-hitlers-peace-offers-1933-1939-time-to-face-the-facts

What The World Rejected : Hitler’s Peace Offers, 1933-1939 (with C.C.)
Dr. Friedrich Stieve
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB8VU2Fd_sM

Churchill, Hitler And The Unnecessary War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill,_Hitler_and_the_Unnecessary_War

Adolf Hitler: Man Of Peace?
by Mike kinh
http://www.tomatobubble.com/id570.html

Hitler Gives 16 Point Peace Plan
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19390831&id=h6VQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=HSIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5991,3898320

Hitler’s Peace Plans No Surrender If They Are Rejected ..
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2507&dat=19391011&id=AJJDAAAAIBAJ&sjid=F4sMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3317,4051196

09 Oct 1939 – World Rejects Hitler’s “Peace” Plan …
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/11259532

Witness to History
By Michael Walsh
Complete Disarmament Offered By Hitler:
On May 17th, 1933, in a speech to the Reichstag, Hitler offered complete German disarmament, if others would do likewise. There was no response.
After October 14th, 1933, Hitler again put forward proposals which included arms limitation, particularly the elimination of weapons designed for use against civilian populations, and the preparation of a mutual non-aggression pact. France said ‘non!’ Others did not responds at all, and France, Britain and Russia increased their arms build-up.
On May 21st, 1935, Hitler sought to limit the dropping of gas, incendiary and explosive bombs out side of battle zones. He was also ready to agree to the abolition of the heaviest artillery and tanks, and to accept any limitation on the size of naval vessels. Again, there was no response save for France making an aggressive anti-German alliance with the Soviet Union.
On March 31st, 1936, Hitler formulated a nineteen-point peace plan that included the reduction of arms, and to bring aerial warfare under the protection of the Geneva Convention. His proposals were ignored.
The repeated rejection of Hitler’s proposals to assure equitable peace in Europe would indicate that the Western powers were preparing for armed conflict against Germany, a conflict from which only the allies could benefit. Lord Lothian had predicted such a war in a speech on June 5th, 1934.
http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/witness2.htm

World Peace Or War Of Destruction? : Adolf Hitler’s Peace Plan
Author: Adolf Hitler
Publisher: Hamburg : President Heinrich Kessemeier, [1939?]
http://www.worldcat.org/title/world-peace-or-war-of-destruction-adolf-hitlers-peace-plan/oclc/22868785

Prime Minister Winston Churchill Finally Reveals Hitlers Secret Plan For Peace!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm9IjDgI4lU

Hitler’s War
(Peace) Overtures
by David Irving
http://www.fpp.co.uk/books/Hitler/1977/html_chapter/02.html

Hitler 1936-45: Nemesis
Characteristically, Hitler ‘s first step after his ‘election’ success was to present a ‘peace plan’ – generous in his own eyes – to his coveted allies, the British. On 1 April, his special envoy in London, Joachim von Ribbentrop, the former champagne salesman who had become his most trusted adviser in foreign affairs, passed on the offer Hitler had drafted the previous day to the British government. It included a four-month moratorium on any troop reinforcements in the Rhineland, together with an expression of willingness to participate in international talks aimed at a twenty-five-year peace pact, restricting production of the heaviest forms of artillery alongside bans on the bombing of civilian targets and usage of poison-gas, chemical, or incendiary bombs.
by Ian Kershaw
http://www.theguardian.com/education/2002/jan/04/highereducation.books

What The World Rejected:
Hitler’s Peace Offers 1933-1939
by Dr. Friedrich Stieve
http://www.wintersonnenwende.com/scriptorium/english/archives/nothanks/wwr00.htm

Papers From Hitler’s Deputy To Be Auctioned
In the midst of war, Hitler’s deputy flew to Scotland with a peace treaty for the British in his suitcase. Now, documents which could shine a light on what Rudolf Hess really wanted are up for auction in the US.
http://www.dw.de/papers-from-hitlers-deputy-to-be-auctioned/a-17080893

Hitler Makes A Peace Offer To Britain
19th July 1940: Hitler makes a Peace offer to Britain
http://ww2today.com/hitler-makes-a-peace-offer-to-britain

Was World War II The Result Of Hitler’s Master Plan?
http://jessbcuzz.weebly.com/uploads/8/4/7/2/8472357/hitlers_master_plan.pdf

Historian Uncovers New Account:
Document Suggests Hitler Knew Of Hess’ British Flight Plans
Was Rudolf Hess’s infamous flight to Great Britain in 1941 coordinated with Adolf Hitler? Although historians have long believed that the Nazi Party’s second-in-command was acting on his own, newly revealed statements by a senior Hess adjutant may suggest otherwise.
by Jan Friedmann and Klaus Wiegrefe
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/historian-uncovers-new-account-document-suggests-hitler-knew-of-hess-british-flight-plans-a-765607.html

When Hitler Dropped Peace Leaflets, Churchill Dropped Bombs!
http://www.tomatobubble.com/id763.html

What the World Rejected:
Hitler’s Peace Offers, 1933-1939 – Time to face the facts!
http://justice4germans.com/2013/06/29/what-the-world-rejected-hitlers-peace-offers-1933-1939-time-to-face-the-facts

What The World Rejected : Hitler’s Peace Offers, 1933-1939
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB8VU2Fd_sM

Hitler Pleas For Peace — Fdr Prepares For War
by Mike King
http://www.tomatobubble.com/id958.html

The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed (.pdf)
by David L. Hoggan
http://www.jrbooksonline.com/pdf_books/david%20hoggan-the%20forced%20war.pdf

President Roosevelt And The Origins Of the 1939 War
by David L. Hoggan
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v04/v04p205_Hoggan.html

April 19, 2016

Belsen had forced much of the world to confront the undeniable reality of the Final Solution

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:09 am
Famous photo of a man struggling to survive at Bergen-Belsen

Famous photo of a man struggling to survive at Bergen-Belsen

I am four days late, and probably four dollars short, in writing about the 71st anniversary of the day, April 15, 1945, when Bergen-Belsen was voluntarily turned over to the British near the end of World War II because of a typhus epidemic in the camp. British soldiers did not liberate the camp, as news stories would have you believe. The Belsen camp was voluntarily turned over to the British.

Famous photo shows a Jewish soldier driving a bulldozer

Famous still photo from a movie shows a Jewish soldier driving a bulldozer to shove bodies into a mass grave

The title of my blog post today is a quote from a news article with the headline The Legal Lessons of Bergen-Belsen, which you can read in full here.

The news article begins with the following quote:

Begin quote

Editor’s note: The following is a version of the speech delivered by the author on Sunday, April 17, 2016, at a ceremony in Germany marking the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen.

“Earth Conceal Not the Blood Shed on Thee!”

These words from the Book of Job are engraved on the Jewish monument that my father, Josef Rosensaft, unveiled here in the midst of the mass graves of Bergen-Belsen on April 15, 1946—the first anniversary of the liberation of this notorious Nazi concentration camp. Only one year earlier, thousands of corpses had borne mute witness to the mass murder that had been perpetrated in this place, and the photographs of the human devastation encountered at Belsen by British troops had forced much of the world to confront the undeniable reality of the Final Solution.

It is eerily symbolic, therefore, that exactly 70 years ago today, on April 17, 1946, Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi Party’s chief ideologist and pseudo-philosopher, was being cross-examined before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg about the precise meaning and context of the German term “Ausrottung,” meaning “extermination,” that he had used with respect to Jews in war-time communications with Hitler. Rosenberg also testified that day that he considered the shooting of hostages to be “an accepted act of reprisal.”

End quote

You can read about Bergen-Belsen on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/BergenBelsen/ConcentrationCamp.html

Note that the news article gives a link to my website to show the monument of Alfred Rosenberg.

 

 

 

 

April 13, 2016

The misuse of Holocaust photos in today’s news articles

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:37 am

55e7192ec84f21899b0377ff36cbc52c

The photo above was used to illustrate a news article which you can read at http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/nazism-is-an-abomination-not-a-term-of-casual-abuse/news-story/c5758e1893e03ed0d4fd0820e79d089a

Nazism is an abomination, not a term of casual abuse

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

Begin quote

Nazis, who represent the ultimate evil and conjure horrific visions of suffering and depravity, are appearing in our culture with disturbing frequency and obscenely littering our public square. We have soup Nazis, grammar Nazis, eco-Nazis, femi-Nazis, nico-Nazis, health Nazis, jazz Nazis, ticket Nazis, lunchbox Nazis and traffic Nazis, to name but a few. The real Nazis must be delighted with these distortions.

I get why people are tempted to introduce Nazis into a discussion, why the appeal of invoking and exploiting this imagery is so powerful. The Third Reich embodies a unique historical evil and is a convenient metaphor for illustrating the concept of right versus wrong. It’s a cheap trick that packs a punch as a scare tactic, is hard to beat for shock value and is guaranteed to work as a sensational headline generator.

End quote

The photo above is a very poor choice to illustrate the Holocaust. Note the warm clothing, including warm caps and coats. Many of the women in the photo are past the age to be selected as workers.

Note that some of the women have a full head of hair, which means that they have been in the camp long enough for their hair to grow out after the hair was initially shaved to get rid of any lice.

These women appear to be in good health, not starving to death. Would it have killed the people who wrote this article, to have used a proper photograph of starving, emaciated prisoners, freezing to death without proper clothing?

 

The sad story of Dachau prisoner Theodor Haas

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 5:13 am
My 2003 photo of the gate into the Dachau camp

My 2003 photo of gate into Dachau camp

Theodor Haas was among the Jews taken into “protective custody” on November 9, 1938. He was sent to Dachau, where he remained as a prisoner for 3 years.

Fence around Dachau camp

My photo of the fence around the Dachau concentration camp

Quoted below is an excerpt from an interview with Theodore Haas, conducted by Aaron Zelman, the founder of the organization called “Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.” At the time of this interview, Haas was living in America and was a member of this organization.

Haas still had nightmares about the persecution that he had endured as a Jew in Nazi Germany. He survived the Holocaust only because he was released from Dachau in 1941, before plans for the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” were made on January 20, 1942 at the Wannsee Conference.

In February 1942, deportation of all the Jews to the death camps in Poland began.

The interview of Theodore Haas is quoted below.

The interviewer, Aaron Zelman, asks the questions and Theodore Haas answers:

Q.) How did you end up at Dachau? How old were you?

A.) November 9th, 1938 was Kristallnacht — The Night of Broken Glass — The night Synagogues were ransacked and burned, Jewish owned shops destroyed; I guess you could call it the night the fires of hell engulfed the soul of humanity. I was arrested November 10th, “for my own personal security.” I was 21 years old. My parents were arrested and ultimately died in a concentration camp in France. I was released from Dachau in 1941, under the condition that I leave Germany immediately. This was common procedure before the “Final Solution.”

Q.) What did you think when you were sent to Dachau? What did you know about Dachau beforehand?

A.) My first thoughts were those of many others: “The world has gone mad.” I knew that the life expectancy at Dachau was relatively short. I knew beforehand that inmates were abused. The horror of Dachau was known throughout Germany.
People [Germans] used to frighten their children, “If you do not behave, you will surely end up at Dachau.” A famous German comedian, Weiss Ferdl, said “Regardless how many machine gun towers they have around K.Z. Dachau, if I want to get in, I shall get in.” The Nazis obliged him; he died at Dachau.

Q.) How did you accept the fears of Dachau?

A.) Due to the constant hunger and extreme cold weather, one becomes too numb to even think of fear. A prisoner under these conditions becomes obsessed with survival; nothing else matters.

Q.) What were the living conditions like in Dachau?

A.) We were issued one quarter of a loaf of bread. That was to last three days. In the morning, we picked up, at the kitchen, a cup of roasted barley drink. There was no lunch.
At dinnertime, sometimes we got a watery soup with bits of tripe or some salt herring and a boiled potato. Our prison clothes were a heavy, coarse denim. They would freeze when they got wet. We were not issued hats, gloves or underwear.
The first night, about 500 prisoners were stuffed into a room designed to hold 50 Believe me, it is possible. Later on, we were forced to sleep on straw. As time went on, the straw disintegrated and we became louse infested. The guards delighted in making weak and ill clothed prisoners march or stand at attention in rain, snow, and ice for hours. As you can imagine, death came often due to the conditions.

Q.) Do you have residual fears? How do you feel about German re-unification?

A.) I have nightmares constantly. I recently dreamed that a guard grabbed me. My wife’s arm touched my face, and I unfortunately bit her severely. German re-unification, in my opinion, will be the basis for another war. The Germans, regardless of what their present leadership says, will want their lost territories back, East Prussia, Silesia, and Danzig (Gdansk). My family history goes back over 700 years in Germany. I understand all too well what the politicians do not want the people to be thinking about.

Q.) You mentioned you were shot and stabbed several times. Were these experiments, punishment or torture?

A.) They were punishment. I very often, in a fit of temper, acted while the brain was not in gear. The sorry results were two 9 mm bullets in my knees. Fortunately, one of the prisoners had a fingernail file and was able to dig the slugs out. In another situation, I was stabbed in the washroom of room #1, Block 16. Twice in a struggle where I nearly lost my right thumb. A German prisoner Hans Wissing, who after the war became mayor of his home town, Leinsweiler, witnessed the whole situation. We stayed in touch until a few months ago, when he died.

Q.) Do you remember some of the steps taken by the Nazis to de-humanize people and to make them feel hopeless? How were people robbed of their dignity?

A.) If you had treated an animal in Germany the way we were treated, you would have been jailed. For example, a guard or a group of them would single out a prisoner and beat him with canes or a club. Sometimes to further terrorize a prisoner, the guards would form a circle around a prisoner and beat him unconscious. There were cases of a prisoner being told to report to the Revier (“Hospital”) and being forced to drink a quart of castor oil. Believe me, this is a lousy, painful, wretched way to die. You develop extreme diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and severe dehydration. If the Nazis wanted you to live and suffer more, they would take measures to rehydrate the victim.

Q.) What was the routine like at Dachau?

A.) Three times a day, we were counted. We had to carry the dead to the square. Each time, we had to stand at attention in all kinds of weather. We stood wearing next to nothing, had weak bladders, while our tormentors had sheepskin coats and felt boots. The bastards really enjoyed watching us suffer. I remember how the guards had a good laugh when one of them “accidentally” let loose with a machine gun, killing about 30 prisoners.

Q.) What did people do to try to adjust to Dachau? Keep their spirits up?

A.) There were some actors, comedians, and musicians among us. Sometimes they would clandestinely perform. One of the musicians got hold of a violin and played for us. To this day, it remains a mystery how he got his hands on a violin. I still keep in touch with other prisoners. I am a member of the Dachau Prisoners Association. Each year I go back to Germany to visit.

Q.) Did people ever successfully escape? Do you remember acts of bravery?

A.) Nobody escaped, only in the movies does the “hero” escape. Guards received extra leave time for killing prisoners that got too close to the fence. I do, however, think all prisoners were heroes in their own way. Especially the German prisoners, for they would not acquiesce to the Nazis. They suffered greatly too.

Q.) Did the camp inmates ever bring up the topic, “If only we were armed before, we would not be here now”?

A.) Many, many times. Before Adolph Hitler came to power, there was a black market in firearms, but the German people had been so conditioned to be law abiding, that they would never consider buying an unregistered gun. The German people really believed that only hoodlums own such guns. What fools we were. It truly frightens me to see how the government, media, and some police groups in America are pushing for the same mindset. In my opinion, the people of America had better start asking and demanding answers to some hard questions about firearms ownership, especially if the government does not trust me to own firearms, why or how can the people be expected to trust the government? There is no doubt in my mind that millions of lives could have been saved if the people were not “brainwashed” about gun ownership and had been well armed. Hitler’s thugs and goons were not very brave when confronted by a gun. Gun haters always want to forget the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which is a perfect example of how a ragtag, half starved group of Jews took up 10 handguns and made asses out of the Nazis.

End of interview

April 11, 2016

The trial of Werner Röhde and 8 others

The Trial of Werner Röhde and 8 others in a British Military Court at Wuppertal, Germany began on May 29, 1946 and ended on June 1, 1946. The nine men were charged with the murder of four British SOE agents on July 6, 1944 at the Natzweiler concentration camp in Alsace.

Werner Röhde was a medical doctor who had allegedly murdered the four SOE agents by giving them a lethal injection. It was the custom of the Allies to strip the title of Doctor from the accused in war crimes proceedings.

The 8 others in the dock were Fritz Hartjenstein, the Commandant at Natzweiler, Max Wochner and Wolfgang Zeuss from the Political Department at Natzweiler, Peter Straub who was the man in charge of executions, Franz Berg who was a prisoner in the camp, Emil Brüttel, Emil Meier and Kurt aus dem Bruch. Dr. Heinrich Plaza, who had also allegedly participated in the lethal injection of the women, was not on trial because he had not been captured.

In all of the Allied Military Tribunals, the concept of a “common plan” or co-responsibility for war crimes was used. This meant that anyone, who was present when a war crime was committed, was equally guilty because the accused should have acted to prevent the crime from taking place.

The evidence for the prosecution had been gathered by Major Bill Barkworth of the SAS War Crimes Investigation team and Vera Atkins, a Squadron Officer of the British SOE, who had interrogated the Natzweiler staff and some of the Natzweiler prisoners, who were also captured SOE agents.

The four SOE agents, who were allegedly murdered at Natzweiler, had been captured by the German Gestapo and had not returned after the war ended. The key prosecution witnesses, Albert Guérisse, Brian Stonehouse and Dr. Georges Boogaerts, who were all members of the SOE, had a motive for wanting these 4 women SOE agents to go down in history as heroines, not as missing persons.

The first witness for the prosecution was Vera Atkins, who testified on May 29, 1944 that Andrée Borrel, Vera Leigh, Diana Rowden and Noor Inayat Khan had been murdered at Natzweiler. It was not known until much later that Noor Inayat Khan was allegedly executed at Dachau and that Sonia Olschanezky was the fourth victim at Natzweiler. However, before her testimony, Vera Atkins had made sure that the Court would not allow the names of the victims to be published. Atkins herself was referred to in the press as a “WAAF officer” and her name was withheld.

According to Sarah Helm, who wrote a biography of Vera Atkins, entitled “A Life in Secrets,” Atkins did not want the SOE to be “exposed to any close scrutiny as a result of the case.” The SOE was a secret organization, also known as Churchill’s Secret Army, and it was engaged in espionage and sabotage behind enemy lines. The four women agents had been in the F section which operated as illegal insurgents in France after that country had signed an Armistice with Germany in 1940.

The attorney for the defense, Dr. Grobel, argued in court that “international law allowed for the execution of irregular combatants” and that the court should “consider this case from the point of view that it was a normal and simple execution of spies.” Vera Atkins was quoted by the press as saying that “the women were not spies.”

One thing the Allied Military Tribunals would not tolerate was any mention by the defense that the Allies had committed similar acts. During World War II, the British executed 15 German spies. The last person to be executed at the famous Tower of London was Josef Jacobs who was captured after he broke his leg during a parachute jump. He was shot on August 15, 1941.

In America, 8 captured German saboteurs were sentenced to death and 6 of them were executed in the electric chair. The other two sentences were reduced because the men had turned against their countrymen and cooperated with the Americans. Although the 8 Germans were caught before they had the opportunity to commit any acts of sabotage, 6 of them were executed because they had violated the Laws of War by going behind enemy lines to commit hostile acts without being in uniform.

According to Rita Kramer, who wrote a book entitled “Flames in the Field,” the proceedings of the British Military Court were widely publicized by the press, but the names of the women who had been allegedly executed at Natzweiler were not published until two years later, and even then it was not revealed that they had been the subject of a British Military Court where nine men had been prosecuted for their alleged execution.

In 1958, a series of articles in a British newspaper, which was a condensed version of a book entitled “Death be not Proud” by Elizabeth Nichols, accused the authorities of keeping the names of the dead women secret as a “War Office cover-up of official blunders,” according to Rita Kramer. The alleged “cover-up” was for the purpose of keeping secret the accusation that the British SOE had deliberately sent radio operators to France to be caught so that the British could transmit false information to their radios after the agents were captured by the Germans.

The senior counter intelligence officer with RSHA, the Reich Security Head Office in Berlin, was Horst Kopkow; he was responsible for all orders pertaining to the SOE agents captured in France. If any order was given for the execution of four SOE agents at Natzweiler, he would have been the man who signed it. He had not yet been captured when the trial of Dr. Röhde and 8 others began.

By the end of 1946, Kopkow was in British custody, but he denied any responsibility for the murder of any female F section SOE agents, saying that it was Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler who had personally decided their fate, according to Sarah Helm’s book “A Life in Secrets.” Himmler was the head of the SS and all the concentration camps. All punishments in all the camps had to be approved by the head office in Oranienburg and all punishments of female prisoners had to be personally approved by Himmler, including executions.

Sarah Helm wrote that Kopkow was taken to England for interrogation in 1948, but when he arrived, he was found to be running a temperature, and two days later he died from bronchial pneumonia before any information could be obtained from him. A death certificate was issued for him and information was released that he had been buried in the POW section of a Military Cemetery.

By 1948, the Allies had realized that the real enemy was the Communist Soviet Union. Kopkow had not died; he had been “released from custody to work for British and American intelligence,” according to the book “A Life in Secrets,” by Sarah Helm. Kopkow’s death had been faked so that he could help the Allies in fighting the Cold War against the Soviets.

If Kopkow had authorized the execution of the 8 women SOE agents, he would have given the order to Herman Rösner of the Karlsruhe Gestapo to carry out. Rösner would then have instructed Max Wassmer and Christian Ott to take the women to Natzweiler and Dachau. Under the “common plan” concept used by the Allies in all their war crimes trials, Rösner would have been guilty of murder, but he was never prosecuted. In the 1960ies, he was hired by the British to provide intelligence for NATO, according to Sarah Helm’s book.

The men who were brought before the Allied military tribunals were called the accused, not the defendants, because they were considered guilty until they were proven innocent. They were guilty from the moment that they had allegedly committed a war crime. As war criminals, rather than POWs, they were not entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention. It could be argued that the execution of the British spies was not legal under international law because they had not been given a trial, as required by the Hague Convention of 1907. However, using the standards of the Allied war crimes trials, spies were not entitled to a trial because they lost their protection the moment they parachuted behind enemy lines with the intent to commit war crimes.

The procedure was to interrogate the accused before the proceedings began and to obtain depositions which the accused would then repeat before the Court. However, in the British and American proceedings, the accused were allowed to have an attorney to represent them. Their attorneys were allowed to use any means to defend them, including the accusation that their clients had been unduly persuaded to give incriminating information in their depositions which they now wanted to recant on the witness stand.

Testimony or confessions about prior bad acts could be admitted, even though it had nothing to do with the crime that was being prosecuted. For example, one of the accused, Peter Straub, who had worked for a number of years in Auschwitz before being transferred to Natzweiler, had supposedly told Walter Schultz, a prisoner at Natzweiler, that he had “put four million people up the chimney.” What kind of a person voluntarily confesses to such barbarity, knowing that he would surely be executed, and uses the terminology of Auschwitz survivors to describe his crime?

According to Rita Kramer, all of the accused would “later deny their complicity,” after giving depositions beforehand in which they stated that they had been involved in the execution of the four SOE agents at Natzweiler. The fact that all of the accused wanted to change their previous testimony, given in their depositions, indicates that they had somehow been induced to incriminate themselves before the proceedings began.

Peter Straub, the executioner at Natzweiler, denied everything, claiming that he was not present when the executions took place. Straub was the hangman; executions at Natzweiler were normally carried out by hanging and all the prisoners were required to watch.

The photo below shows the hangman’s noose at the Memorial site of the former Natzweiler camp.

Prisoners were normally executed by hanging on a gallows, as shown in the photo above.

The following quote is from “Flames in the Field,” by Rita Kramer:

During the period of their detention together at Recklinghausen awaiting trial, several of the defendants had second thoughts about the statements that they had made to Barkworth and sworn to earlier. At the trial they expressed the wish to revise some of the evidence they had given in their affidavits implicating each other. Some lost their memories, others refreshed theirs. This led to some retractions having to do with just exactly who was present in the crematorium that night. But it didn’t matter. There was ample evidence to convince the court of the guilt of those in the dock.

Ms. Kramer used the expression “ample evidence,” when what she obviously meant was “ample testimony.” There were four women SOE agents missing and presumed dead. There was no hard evidence whatsoever that these four women had been executed at Natzweiler: no death records, no execution order, no autopsy report, no bodies, not even the correct name of one of the alleged victims. Vera Atkins had to prevail upon Dr. Röhde to sign death certificates for the four women because there were no official records of their deaths.

Emil Brüttel was a medical orderly in the dispensary at Natzweiler. Under interrogation by British investigators before the trail, Brüttel said that, on the evening that the women were executed, he had received a phone call from Dr. Heinrich Plaza, who was having dinner in the officer’s mess outside the camp. Dr. Plaza inquired about how many capsules of Evipan were available, then called again and asked how much phenol was on hand. When Dr. Plaza called a third time, he instructed Brüttel and Eugen Foster to be ready for duty and to bring the phenol and a 10cc syringe and one or two larger-gauge needles. Dr. Plaza escaped justice because he was never captured after the war.

One of the accused at the proceedings of the British Military Court was Franz Berg, who was a Kapo or one of the prisoners who assisted the guards in the camp; it was his job to stoke the crematorium furnace.

During the proceedings, Berg told the incredible story that he had been ordered by Peter Straub, who was in charge of executions, to heat up the oven in the crematorium and then to disappear. At 9:30 p.m. Berg was still stoking the oven when Dr. Werner Röhde and the camp Commandant, SS-Obersturmbanführer Friedrich “Fritz” Hartjenstein, came into the crematorium. Both Dr. Röhde and Hartjenstein had previously worked at the Auschwitz II camp, also known as Birkenau, before being transferred to Natzweiler. Dr. Röhde had just arrived at Natzweiler; he was replacing Dr. Heinrich Plaza, who was already wearing civilian clothes in preparation for his departure.

Accompanying them were Obersturmführer Johannes Otto, the adjutant to the Commandant, and Wolfgang Zeuss, who worked in the Political Department. A medical orderly named Emil Brüttel and Robert Nietsch were also in the group.

Berg was ordered by Dr. Röhde to go to his quarters in a dormitory room in the crematorium. He pretended to be asleep when Commandant Hartjenstein and his adjutant, Johannes Otto, came to check on him a few minutes later. They locked the door from the outside to keep Berg from witnessing the secret execution of the four women. However, Georg Fuhrmann, a prisoner in the top bunk of the dorm room, was able to see through the transom over the door into the corridor.

The dormitory room in the crematorium is shown in the photo below.

Dormitory room in Natzweiler crematorium

Berg testified that Fuhrmann whispered to him, giving him a running commentary on what was happening in the corridor. There was the noise of bodies being dragged across the floor and the sounds of heavy breathing and low groaning combined. The fourth woman resisted and Dr. Röhde told her that she was being given an injection for typhus, according to Berg’s account.

Part of Berg’s deposition was quoted by Rita Kramer in “Flames in the Field”:

From the noise of the crematorium oven doors which I heard, I can state definitely that in each case the groaning women were placed immediately in the crematorium oven. When [the officials] had gone, we went to the crematorium oven, opened the door and saw that there were four blackened bodies within. Next morning in the course of my duties I had to clear the ashes out of the crematorium oven. I found a pink woman’s stocking garter on the floor near the oven.

Oven where bodies were burned at Natzweiler-Struthof

As the above photo of the oven at Natzweiler shows, the bodies were put inside by means of a stretcher. Berg testified that afterwards, he had seen four blackened bodies inside, apparently not completely burned. The bodies had been undressed before they were cremated, and Berg had found a tell-tale piece of feminine clothing right beside the oven.

Berg referred to the women as “Jewish” in his testimony, according to Rita Kramer, but only one of the four women, Sonia Olschanezky, was Jewish. There were 29 Jewish women who had been brought to Natzweiler from Auschwitz in the Summer of 1943 to be gassed, but their bodies had not been cremated.

There were medical experiments being done at Natzweiler, including experiments done on Gypsy women. One of the experiments was an attempt to find a vaccine for typhus, which the Germans had not yet successfully developed. The four women SOE agents were allegedly told that they were being given an injection for typhus, but were instead given phenol injections.

The following quote is from “Flames in the Field,” by Rita Kramer:

The most dramatic testimony came from Walter Schultz, who had been an interpreter in the camp’s Political Department. It was here the orders came regarding prisoners transferred to the camp by the Gestapo for ‘special treatment,’ a euphemism the meaning of which was clearly understood by all. It was not necessary for files to be made for new arrivals accompanied, like the four women, by requests for special treatment.

Hearsay testimony, which would not be allowed in a normal trial, was acceptable at the Allied Military Tribunals. Schultz claimed that Peter Straub was very drunk on the day of the secret execution of the four women and that Straub had told him all about the women being killed by phenol injection. One of the women had regained consciousness after the injection and had scratched his face, as she fought being put into the oven alive. According to Rita Kramer, the author of “Flames in the Field,” when Straub was interrogated by Vera Atkins, he still had scars on his face from the scratches inflicted by Andrée Borrel.

Dr. Heinrich Plaza was leaving the Natzweiler camp on the day of the alleged execution of the women, and there was a party for him that night. This could explain why Peter Straub was drunk, as Schultz testified at the trial. Could the four “well-dressed” women who arrived in the camp at 3 p.m. that day have been the wives of the SS men, or perhaps prostitutes, who were brought to the camp for the party? According to several witnesses who saw the women when they arrived, each of them was carrying a box or a small suitcase. Who brings a suitcase to an execution?

It was not until 1956 that the public learned the fate of the men who were brought before the British Military Court at Wuppertal on May 29, 1946. The British had kept the sentences and the execution of the accused secret.

The commandant at Natzweiler, SS-Obersturmbanführer Friedrich “Fritz” Hartjenstein, was convicted, and on June 1, 1946 he was sentenced to life in prison. He was tried again for complicity in the hanging of an RAF pilot at Natzweiler; he was convicted again, and was sentenced on June 5, 1946 to death by firing squad. Then he was extradited to France for another trial by a French Military Tribunal for the mass murder of prisoners at Natzweiler. He was convicted and sentenced to death once again, but his sentence was commuted to life in prison. He died of a heart attack in a French prison at Metz on October 20, 1954.

Dr. Werner Röhde was sentenced to death by hanging and was executed on October 11, 1946. The date of his sentence was June 5, 1946 although the proceedings in the case of the four SOE women ended on June 1, 1946. This indicates that he might have been charged with more crimes in a subsequent trial, along with Commandant Fritz Hartjenstein, who was sentenced on June 1, 1946 and then sentenced a second time on June 5, 1946.

Peter Straub, the SS officer in charge of executions, was convicted and was subsequently sentenced to 13 years in prison on June 1, 1946. This was a remarkably short sentence, considering that Straub had told a prisoner named Walter Schultz that he was responsible for killing 4 million people at Auschwitz and that he had shoved a woman into a crematory oven alive and had the scars to prove it.

Straub was tried again by another British Military Court at Wuppertal for complicity in the hanging of an RAF pilot who was a prisoner at Natzweiler in the Summer of 1944. He was convicted of this crime and on June 5, 1946 he was sentenced to death. He was hanged on October 11, 1946.

Magnus Wochner was sentenced to 10 years in prison for carrying out the alleged order from RSHA to execute the four SOE women. He was then turned over to the French for prosecution but was released.

Emil Brüttel was sentenced to prison but was released by the French after he was turned over to them.

Wolfgang Zeuss and two others were acquitted.

Johannes Otto was never prosecuted because he committed suicide after the war ended.

According to Sarah Helm’s book “A Life in Secrets,” Franz Berg was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Other sources say that Berg was sentenced to death and hanged on October 11, 1946. He may have been tried again on other charges for which he received the death penalty.

Max Wassmer and Christian Ott, the two Gestapo men from Karlsruhe, who allegedly accompanied the four women SOE agents to Natzweiler and also accompanied four other women SOE agents to Dachau, were never charged with a crime for their part in the alleged murders of the eight women. They were rewarded for giving information to their interrogators by being released from custody. Both were in their late fifties and were highly experienced in Gestapo work; they knew how to tell investigators what they wanted to hear.

April 2, 2016

Vera Atkins aka Vera Rosenberg — her testimony in war crimes trials

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — furtherglory @ 1:05 pm

The subject of Vera Atkins came up in a comment on my blog, so I am putting in my two cents worth in a new blog post.

Vera Atkins testified for the prosecution in several war crimes trials, for example the trial of Werner Röhde and 8 others.

The Trial of Werner Röhde and 8 others in a British Military Court at Wuppertal, Germany began on May 29, 1946 and ended on June 1, 1946. The nine men were charged with the murder of four British SOE agents on July 6, 1944 at the Natzweiler concentration camp in Alsace. Werner Röhde was a medical doctor who had allegedly murdered four SOE agents by giving them a lethal injection. It was the custom of the Allies to strip the title of Doctor from the accused in war crimes proceedings.

The 8 others in the dock, at the trial, were Fritz Hartjenstein, the Commandant at Natzweiler, Max Wochner and Wolfgang Zeuss from the Political Department at Natzweiler, Peter Straub who was the man in charge of executions, Franz Berg who was a prisoner in the camp, Emil Brüttel, Emil Meier and Kurt aus dem Bruch. Dr. Heinrich Plaza, who had also allegedly participated in the lethal injection of the women, was not on trial because he had not been captured.

In all of the Allied Military Tribunals, the concept of a “common plan” or co-responsibility for war crimes was used. This meant that anyone, who was present when a war crime was committed, was equally guilty because the accused should have acted to prevent the crime from taking place.

The evidence for the prosecution had been gathered by Major Bill Barkworth of the SAS War Crimes Investigation team and Vera Atkins, a Squadron Officer of the British SOE, who had interrogated the Natzweiler staff and some of the Natzweiler prisoners, who were also captured SOE agents.

The four SOE agents, who were allegedly murdered at Natzweiler, had been captured by the German Gestapo and had not returned after the war ended. The key prosecution witnesses, Albert Guérisse, Brian Stonehouse and Dr. Georges Boogaerts, who were all members of the SOE, had a motive for wanting these 4 women SOE agents to go down in history as heroines, not as missing persons.

The first witness for the prosecution was Vera Atkins, who testified on May 29, 1944 that Andrée Borrel, Vera Leigh, Diana Rowden and Noor Inayat Khan had been murdered at Natzweiler. It was not known until much later that Noor Inayat Khan was allegedly executed at Dachau and that Sonia Olschanezky was the fourth victim at Natzweiler. However, before her testimony, Vera Atkins had made sure that the Court would not allow the names of the victims to be published. Atkins herself was referred to in the press as a “WAAF officer” and her name was withheld.

According to Sarah Helm, who wrote a biography of Vera Atkins, entitled “A Life in Secrets,” Atkins did not want the SOE to be “exposed to any close scrutiny as a result of the case.” The SOE was a secret organization, also known as Churchill’s Secret Army, and it was engaged in espionage and sabotage behind enemy lines. The four women agents had been in the F section which operated as illegal insurgents in France after that country had signed an Armistice with Germany in 1940.

The attorney for the defense, Dr. Grobel, argued in court that “international law allowed for the execution of irregular combatants” and that the court should “consider this case from the point of view that it was a normal and simple execution of spies.” Vera Atkins was quoted by the press as saying that “the women were not spies.”

One thing the Allied Military Tribunals would not tolerate was any mention by the defense that the Allies had committed similar acts. During World War II, the British executed 15 German spies. The last person to be executed at the famous Tower of London was Josef Jacobs who was captured after he broke his leg during a parachute jump. He was shot on August 15, 1941.

In America, 8 captured German saboteurs were sentenced to death and 6 of them were executed in the electric chair. The other two sentences were reduced because the men had turned against their countrymen and cooperated with the Americans. Although the 8 Germans were caught before they had the opportunity to commit any acts of sabotage, 6 of them were executed because they had violated the Laws of War by going behind enemy lines to commit hostile acts without being in uniform.

According to Rita Kramer, who wrote a book entitled “Flames in the Field,” the proceedings of the British Military Court were widely publicized by the press, but the names of the women who had been allegedly executed at Natzweiler were not published until two years later, and even then it was not revealed that they had been the subject of a British Military Court where nine men had been prosecuted for their alleged execution.

In 1958, a series of articles in a British newspaper, which was a condensed version of a book entitled “Death be not Proud” by Elizabeth Nichols, accused the authorities of keeping the names of the dead women secret as a “War Office cover-up of official blunders,” according to Rita Kramer. The alleged “cover-up” was for the purpose of keeping secret the accusation that the British SOE had deliberately sent radio operators to France to be caught so that the British could transmit false information to their radios after the agents were captured by the Germans.

The senior counter intelligence officer with RSHA, the Reich Security Head Office in Berlin, was Horst Kopkow; he was responsible for all orders pertaining to the SOE agents captured in France. If any order was given for the execution of four SOE agents at Natzweiler, he would have been the man who signed it. He had not yet been captured when the trial of Dr. Röhde and 8 others began.

By the end of 1946, Kopkow was in British custody, but he denied any responsibility for the murder of any female F section SOE agents, saying that it was Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler who had personally decided their fate, according to Sarah Helm’s book “A Life in Secrets.”

Himmler was the head of the SS and all the concentration camps. All punishments in all the camps had to be approved by the head office in Oranienburg and all punishments of female prisoners had to be personally approved by Himmler, including executions.

Sarah Helm wrote that Kopkow was taken to England for interrogation in 1948, but when he arrived, he was found to be running a temperature, and two days later he died from bronchial pneumonia before any information could be obtained from him. A death certificate was issued for him and information was released that he had been buried in the POW section of a Military Cemetery.

By 1948, the Allies had realized that the real enemy was the Communist Soviet Union. Kopkow had not died; he had been “released from custody to work for British and American intelligence,” according to the book “A Life in Secrets,” by Sarah Helm. Kopkow’s death had been faked so that he could help the Allies in fighting the Cold War against the Soviets.

If Kopkow had authorized the execution of the 8 women SOE agents, he would have given the order to Herman Rösner of the Karlsruhe Gestapo to carry out. Rösner would then have instructed Max Wassmer and Christian Ott to take the women to Natzweiler and Dachau.

Under the “common plan” concept used by the Allies in all their war crimes trials, Rösner would have been guilty of murder, but he was never prosecuted. In the 1960ies, he was hired by the British to provide intelligence for NATO, according to Sarah Helm’s book.

The men who were brought before the Allied military tribunals were called the accused, not the defendants, because they were considered guilty until they were proven innocent. They were guilty from the moment that they had allegedly committed a war crime. As war criminals, rather than POWs, they were not entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention

It could be argued that the execution of the British spies was not legal under international law because they had not been given a trial, as required by the Hague Convention of 1907. However, using the standards of the Allied war crimes trials, spies were not entitled to a trial because they lost their protection the moment they parachuted behind enemy lines with the intent to commit war crimes.

The procedure was to interrogate the accused before the proceedings began and to obtain depositions which the accused would then repeat before the Court. However, in the British and American proceedings, the accused were allowed to have an attorney to represent them. Their attorneys were allowed to use any means to defend them, including the accusation that their clients had been unduly persuaded to give incriminating information in their depositions which they now wanted to recant on the witness stand.

Testimony or confessions about prior bad acts could be admitted, even though it had nothing to do with the crime that was being prosecuted. For example, one of the accused, Peter Straub, who had worked for a number of years in Auschwitz before being transferred to Natzweiler, had supposedly told Walter Schultz, a prisoner at Natzweiler, that he had “put four million people up the chimney.” What kind of a person voluntarily confesses to such barbarity, knowing that he would surely be executed, and uses the terminology of Auschwitz survivors to describe his crime?

According to Rita Kramer, all of the accused would “later deny their complicity,” after giving depositions beforehand in which they stated that they had been involved in the execution of the four SOE agents at Natzweiler. The fact that all of the accused wanted to change their previous testimony, given in their depositions, indicates that they had somehow been induced to incriminate themselves before the proceedings began.

Peter Straub, the executioner at Natzweiler, denied everything, claiming that he was not present when the executions took place. Straub was the hangman; executions at Natzweiler were normally carried out by hanging and all the prisoners were required to watch.

Read more on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Natzweiler/SOEagents5.html

Read more about the British SOE agents on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/BritishSOEagents.html

Otto Skorzeny, once nicknamed “the most dangerous man in Europe”

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:39 am

The title of my blog post today comes from the words in a comment by one of the regular readers of my blog.

The words in a comment by Tim are quoted below:

Begin quote

I got a question(actually two questions) It’s off the subject . Anybody that knows of this,feel free to jump in. Otto Skorzen. He was one of hitlers most favored ss men. Heard he went to work for the Mossad. It said he told Wiesenthal he’d go to work for them,if Wiesenthal tore up the arrest warrant he had on him for war crimes . I don’t know what his “crimes” were,but if the hebs put out the arrest warrant,I’m guessing it had something to do with the holo. He was put on trial at the end of WW2 ,by the Americans,for something unrelated to the holo. He became a contract killer for mossad. I don’t care if you’re a hired gun for mossad or you worked at one of the units in the nazi prison system . Murder is murder. Yet this guy is handed a “get out of jail free card”,because he becomes a killer for Israel .So what’s up here ? You’re going to be arrested for crimes involving the holo,but if take out marked people for Israel,they’ll turn a blind eye to your past transgressions ? I’m beginning to think they weren’t to overly concerned with getting justice for the Jews . How many other nazis did the Jews let skate,because they went to work for them? I know Israel had their own hit people. What. Did they feel like God having a former ss man under their thumb. They pull shit like this,don’t bang on my door looking to borrow a cup of sympathy.

End of Comment by Tim

Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny

I have written at length about Skorzeny on my website. The words below are from my website:

In another Dachau [trial] proceeding, which began in August 1947, Lt. Col. Otto Skorzeny and nine others were charged as war criminals for the illegal use of US Army uniforms and with killing more than 100 Prisoners of War during the Battle of the Bulge. Lt. Col. Rosenfeld was also the law member of the panel of judges in this proceeding, but this time he allowed defense testimony that US troops had worn German uniforms in combat during World War II in similar efforts to confuse the enemy.

An affidavit from the Malmedy Massacre proceeding was introduced by the prosecution in the Skorzeny case, and when the defense protested, Lt. Col. Rosenfeld dropped the charges of killing POWs. There were no corroborating witnesses for the killings, and Rosenfeld ruled that the case could not be tried on affidavits alone.

This was an important ruling because in all the war crimes military tribunals conducted in Germany after World War II, witnesses were not required to appear in person and affidavits were allowed to be entered, so that the defense had no opportunity to cross-examine the person who signed the affidavit.

Otto Skorzeni

Otto Skorzeni

Otto Skorzeny, shown in the photo above, was acquitted after the presiding judge allowed testimony that the American military had committed the same crime of wearing enemy uniforms during the Battle of the Bulge. Although he was acquitted, Skorzeny was still held in prison after the verdict; he finally escaped and fled to South America.

In the first few days of the Battle of the Bulge, there was mass confusion caused by a team of 28 Germans dressed in American uniforms, led by the famous commando Otto Skorzeny. Riding in stolen American jeeps, they created havoc by directing American troops down the wrong road, changing signposts and cutting telephone wires to General Bradley’s field headquarters. Four of the team were captured and when they confessed their mission, the American army immediately broadcast the news that there were thousands of Germans operating behind enemy lines. Skorzeny and his men were later brought before the American military tribunal at Dachau in another proceeding.

Although there was an automatic review process in which American military personnel reviewed all the Dachau proceedings, there was no appeal process for war crimes verdicts handed down by the American military court. This did not seem fair to Everett, who was a southern gentleman from a prominent family in Atlanta, GA. Everett prepared a 228-page analysis of the pre-trial interrogations and the trial, which he sent to the officers who would be conducting the automatic review of the case. This report included the accusations against the prosecution interrogators.

When 12 of the death sentences were upheld by the review board, including that of Col. Jochen Peiper, Everett decided to petition the US Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus on the grounds that the 73 accused were being illegally held in Landsberg prison after being convicted as a result of “illegal and fraudulently procured confessions.”

When the news of Everett’s charges, that the Malmedy Massacre accused had been forced to sign confessions, was leaked to the media, the American public was outraged. World War II was “the Good War” in which Americans fought for their democratic ideals and their freedom. The Malmedy Massacre case had made a mockery of the rights of the accused to a fair trial. This was not the American way. American soldiers had fought and died to preserve this freedom.

When the case came to the attention of Secretary of the Army Kenneth C. Royall, he ordered a stay of execution for the 12 men who were scheduled to be hanged in just a few days, and then directed General Lucius D. Clay, the highest authority of the American occupation in Germany to investigate Everett’s charges against the prosecution. Not satisfied with that, Royall then appointed a three-man commission, headed by Judge Gordon Simpson of the Texas Supreme Court, to investigate not only the Malmedy Massacre case, but other Dachau proceedings, which had involved the same Jewish interrogators. The other two members of the commission were Judge Edward L. Van Roden and Lt. Col. Charles Lawrence, Jr.

After a six-week investigation conducted from an office which they set up in Munich, the Simpson Commission made its recommendation to Royall. The Commission had looked at 65 mass trials of German war criminals in which 139 death sentences had been handed down. By that time, 152 German war criminals tried at Dachau had already been executed.

The 139 men who were still awaiting execution were staff members of the Dachau concentration camp, SS soldiers accused of shooting POWs at Malmedy and German civilians accused of killing Allied pilots who were shot down on bombing missions over Germany. On January 6, 1949, they recommended that 29 of these death sentences, including the 12 death sentences in the Malmedy Massacre case, be commuted to life in prison.

In February 1949, an article entitled “American Atrocities in Germany,” which was allegedly written by Judge Van Roden, was published in The Progressive. In his article, Van Roden wrote as follows:

American investigators at the U. S. Court in Dachau, Germany, used the following methods to obtain confessions: Beatings and brutal kickings. Knocking out teeth and breaking jaws. Mock trials. Solitary confinement. Posturing as priests. Very limited rations. Spiritual deprivation. Promises of acquittal. Complaints concerning these third degree methods were received by Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall last Spring (1948).

The statements which were admitted as evidence were obtained from men who had first been kept in solitary confinement for three, four, and, five months. They were confined between four walls, with no windows, and no opportunity of exercise. Two meals a day were shoved in to them through a slot in the door. They were not allowed to talk to anyone. They had no communication with their families or any minister or priest during that time.

This solitary confinement proved sufficient in itself in some cases to persuade the Germans to sign prepared statements. These statements not only involved the signer, but often would involve other defendants. Our investigators would put a black hood over the accused’s head and then punch him in the face with brass knuckles, kick him, and beat him with rubber hose. Many of the German defendants had teeth knocked out. Some had their jaws broken.

All but two of the Germans, in the 139 cases we investigated, had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair. This was Standard Operating Procedure with American investigators. Perl admitted use of mock trials and persuasive methods including violence and said the court was free to decide the weight to be attached to evidence thus received. But it all went in.

Read more at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauTrials/MalmedyMassacre04.html

March 31, 2016

Crushing the bones of the Holocaust victims

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:54 am

One of the readers of my blog wrote the following in a comment:

“Yes, there were machines to crush bones [in the concentration camps]. The prisoners also manually crushed any remaining bones.”

Bone Crusher used in World War II

Bone Crusher used in World War II

I wrote about bone crushing in the camps on my website.

Begin quote from my scrapbookpages.com website:
Another member of the Sonderkommando who survived was Henryk Mandelbaum who arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau in April 1944.

The following quote is from The Toronto Star on June 21, 2008:

Begin quote

Soon after a 21-year-old Henryk Mandelbaum arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau in April 1944, he was taken to a gas chamber filled with the lifeless bodies of fellow Jews.

He would become accustomed to the sight. During more than nine months as a member of the Sonderkommando, the group of prisoners the Nazis forced to assist in the disposal of the gassed, Mandelbaum “saw everything from beginning to end,” said Auschwitz-Birkenau museum historian Igor Bartosik ­ “people going into the changing rooms, he saw people changing, he saw the moment of the gassing, the throwing of the Zyklon into the gas chambers, he heard the screams.”

Mandelbaum’s daily routine: help remove hair, gold teeth and hidden jewelry from the dead; carry them to the crematoria; load them into the ovens.

“I thought,” he said in 2006, “I was in hell. Fire and smoke were everywhere. I had to clean the gas chambers and put the bodies in the crematoria, or burn them outside when the extermination was in full swing and the crematoria were not enough … we then had to crush the bones into powder and throw it in the river.”

Sonderkommando members were habitually executed. Fewer than 150 of more than 2,000 who served in the group at Auschwitz-Birkenau survived. But Mandelbaum escaped during a January 1945 “death march,” then spent decades speaking about his experience and leading group tours of the camp.

End quote

 

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