Scrapbookpages Blog

November 17, 2015

Was Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau a homicidal gas chamber?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:31 am
Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Krema IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau

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

Begin quote:

I’ve always been intrigued by the structures inside Birkenau called Krema 4 and Krema 5. Does anyone know what these facilities were really used for? The idea that they were homicidal gas chambers and crematorium ovens doesn’t make a lot of sense. After studying the blueprints for their design and viewing the available photographs – and then trying to match these to the holocausters accounts, it is clear that they are all at sea in trying to give a plausible story-line.

Could they have been small factories or workshops making component parts for munitions, such as detonators etc.?

End quote

After visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau twice, and seeing the former locations of Krema IV and Krema V, I came to the conclusion that these buildings had gas chambers for the disinfection of the prisoner’s clothing. It was the location of these gas chambers which caused me to believe that they were used to disinfect the clothing of the prisoners, not as homicidal gas chambers.

Krema IV was located near the building called Canada where prisoner's clothing was stored

Krema IV was located near the building called Canada where prisoner’s clothing was stored

My photo above shows the location of the building called Canada and the location of Krema IV right next to it.

Krema IV was located just north of the clothing warehouses, which were in a section that the prisoners called Canada. Across the road from Canada was the Central Sauna which had a shower room and disinfection chambers where the prisoners’ clothing was deloused. Krema IV had a shower room which was alleged, by the Holocaustians, to have been a gas chamber.

What a strange location for a homicidal gas chamber — right next to the clothing warehouse called Canada.

The ruins of Krema IV right next to the location of the clothing warehouse

The ruins of Krema IV, right next to the location of the clothing warehouse

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

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

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

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

Strangely, the men in the last Sonderkommando group were not exterminated. Around 100 of them were marched out of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp when it was abandoned by the Nazis on January 18, 1945.

Several members of this Sonderkommando group survived and three of them gave eye-witness testimony at the 1947 trial of Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess, about how the prisoners were gassed at Birkenau.

Ruins of Krema IV with the ruins of Krema V in the background behind the trees

Ruins of Krema IV with the ruins of Krema V in the background behind the trees


The building called Canada was allegely burned by the Germans as they left Birkenau

The building called Canada was allegedly burned by the Germans as they left Auschwitz-Birkenau before the Soviet soldiers arrived

Why would the SS men at Birkenau have burned up the clothing warehouses?  I don’t think that they did.

The photo above is a still photo from a movie made by Henryk Makarewicz, a soldier in the Polish Berlin Army, shortly after the Birkenau camp was liberated. The clothing warehouses were still burning, and in the background can be seen two chimneys. The chimneys of Crematorium IV or Crematorium V might have been still standing after the buildings were blown up.

Samuel Pisar, a survivor of Majdanek, Auschwitz and Dachau, was a prisoner in the Birkenau camp at the time that Crematorium IV was destroyed.

In an article in the Washington Post, published on January 23, 2005, Pisar wrote that Crematorium IV was set on fire. The following quote is from his article:

I also witnessed an extraordinary act of heroism. The Sonderkommando — inmates coerced to dispose of bodies — attacked their SS guards, threw them into the furnaces, set fire to buildings and escaped. They were rapidly captured and executed, but their courage boosted our morale.

Crematorium IV was across the road from the beautiful red brick building, called “die zentrale Sauna” which was used for disinfecting the clothing and for processing the incoming prisoners. Crematorium IV was also near “the little white house,” where gassing operations took place, starting in June 1942, before Crematorium IV and the Sauna were completed.

In the movie Schindler’s List, women prisoners are shown exiting from the shower room in the Sauna building; they see the high brick chimney of Crematorium IV, which is across the road from the Sauna. The gas chambers in Crematorium IV and Crematorium V were above ground, although in the movie, the prisoners are shown going down steps into an underground undressing room.


November 16, 2015

Rabbi Dov Lior says that attacks in Paris were payback for the Holocaust

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:07 am

You can read in the news here about Rabbi Dov Lior and his claim that the Paris attacks were payback for what happened to the Jews in France 70 years ago.  Apparently, Rabbi Lior has never heard of the French Resistance.  The Jews in France did not go quietly to their deaths.

I wrote a lengthy article about the “French Resistance” on my website at

My photo of the memorial site at Natzweiler

My photo of the memorial site at Natzweiler

The main camp where the French Jews were sent was Natzweiler, which you can read about on my website at

The whipping of prisoners in the concentration camps

My photo of a whipping block on display at the Dachau memorial sire

My photo of a whipping block on display at Dachau memorial site

A new reader of my blog recently made a comment about the prisoners in the concentration camps being whipped.

In the Dachau Museum, a whipping block, that was used to punish the prisoners, was on display when I visited the Dachau Memorial Site in 2007.  It is shown in my photo above.

Visitors to the Museum are told that prisoners were given 25 lashes for such minor offenses as having a button missing from their uniform or putting their hands in their pockets.

One visitor to the Dachau Museum wrote this on his blog:

In the shower room they had set up a table where they used to whip people if they did anything against the rules. The rules included things such as having a dried spot of water on the bowl you ate out of.

What visitors to the Dachau Museum are not told is that all punishments had to be authorized by WVHA, the Central Office for Economic Administration in Oranienburg, after a report was filed; punishments for women had to be personally approved by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Imagine someone at the central office in charge of the camps reading a request for punishment of a prisoner who had a “dried spot of water” on his bowl.

Visitors to the Dachau Museum are not told that the whipping block was no longer used after 1942 when Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler gave an order that the SS men in the concentration camps were forbidden to “lay violent hands on the prisoners.”

American generals watch a demonstration of the whipping block at Ohrdruf camp

American generals watch a demonstration of the whipping block at Ohrdruf camp

A whipping block was constructed for a demonstration at Ohrdruf. Notice that it is not a real whipping block, like the one in the photo at the top of this page.

Rudolf Wolf, a former prisoner at Dachau, demonstrates the whipping block at the Dachau trial of Franz Trenkle

Rudolf Wolf, a former prisoner at Dachau, demonstrates the whipping block at the Dachau trial of Franz Trenkle

In the photo above, Rudolf Wolf, a former prisoner at Dachau, demonstrates the whipping block. Notice that this appears to be an ordinary table, not a whipping block like the one on display in the Dachau Museum.

Wolf testified that Franz Trenkle was in charge of punishments in the camp. In the photograph above, Wolf shows how he had to bend over the whipping block when he was punished at Dachau. Franz Trenkle was convicted and hanged on May 28, 1946.

Fake photo of the hanging punishment at Dachau

Fake photo of the hanging punishment in the Dachau Museum

The hanging punishment, shown in the photo above, was originated by Martin Sommer, an SS officer at Buchenwald. This punishment was abolished at Dachau by Commandant Martin Weiss in 1942.

Sommer was dismissed from his job at Buchenwald and sent to the Eastern front after being put on trial in 1943 in SS judge Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen’s court for abuse of the prisoners.

The photograph above, taken inside the old Dachau Museum in May 2001, shows a scene at Buchenwald that was created in 1958 for an East German DEFA film. (Source: H. Obenaus, “Das Foto vom Baumhängen: Ein Bild geht um die Welt,” in Stiftung Topographie des Terrors Berlin (ed.), Gedenkstätten-Rundbrief no. 68, Berlin, October 1995, pp. 3-8)

This fake photo was not included in the new Dachau Museum which opened in 2003, but all the tour guides at Dachau were still dwelling at length on the hanging punishment during my visits to the Memorial Site.

I previously blogged about Martin Sommer on this blog post:

November 15, 2015

“Brennt Paris?” (Is Paris burning?) Did Hitler really say this?

Filed under: TV shows, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:09 am
After Germany conquered France, Hitler visited the Eifel tower

After Germany conquered France, Hitler visited the Eiffel tower

Until today, I had always thought that Hitler had given orders not to destroy Paris, after the Germans conquered France during World War II.

Today, I was watching Fox News, when I heard some news about the attack in Paris last night. I heard a reporter say that Hitler had famously said “Is Paris burning?”

I rushed to my computer to look it up.  I found this quote on Wikipedia:

A popular account holds that Hitler phoned [Dietrich Hugo Hermann] von Choltitz a week later at his headquarters in the Hôtel Meurice, in a rage, screaming, “Brennt Paris?” (“Is Paris burning?”)[5] By another account, the question was addressed to Hitler’s Chief of Staff, Generaloberst Alfred Jodl, on 25 August at the Wolf’s Lair: “Jodl, is Paris burning?”[6]

I also found the following information at

General der Infanterie Dietrich Hugo Hermann von Choltitz (9 November 1894 – 4 November 1966) was a German career military officer who served in the Imperial German Army during World War I and the Wehrmacht during World War II. He is chiefly remembered for his role as the last commander of Nazi-occupied Paris in 1944, wherein he disobeyed Hitler’s orders to level the city, but instead surrendered it to Free French forces.[1][2] He was hailed in many contemporary accounts as the “Saviour of Paris” for not allowing it to be destroyed.

Von Choltitz later asserted that his defiance of Hitler’s direct order stemmed from its obvious military futility, his affection for the French capital’s history and culture, and the realization that Hitler had by then become completely insane.

After France surrendered in World War II, the French continued to fight in the French Resistance.  I wrote about this on my website at

The following quote is from my website:

The French resistance fighters blew up bridges, derailed trains, directed the British in the bombing of German troop trains, kidnapped and killed German army officers, and ambushed German troops. They took no prisoners, but rather killed any German soldiers who surrendered to them, sometimes mutilating their bodies for good measure. The Nazis referred to them as “terrorists.”

The fact that the French continued to fight, during World War II, as illegal combatants might be what angered Hitler to the point where he wanted to burn Paris.

This quote is also from my website:

In the days immediately following the Normandy invasion, the FFI, or the French Forces of the Interior, became a French Army under the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF) commanded by General Eisenhower, who unilaterally informed the Germans that the French resistance fighters were to be regarded as legal combatants. Eisenhower authorized a French combat division to be commanded by General Jacques-Philippe Leclerc. This division was called the 2nd Armored Division, but it was more commonly known as Division Leclerc. De Gaulle contacted the Communist resistance in Paris and unilaterally informed them that Division Leclerc would be the liberators of Paris.

Meanwhile, Hitler was holed up in his Berlin bunker and he had seemingly gone mad; he ordered the destruction of Paris rather than surrender it to the Allies. His generals ignored this order and Paris was saved.

Eisenhower had finally agreed that the 2nd Armored Division should lead the liberation of Paris with the US Fourth Infantry Division providing backup. Paris was liberated on August 25, 1944; Charles de Gaulle rode into Paris in triumph, holding up his arms, spread wide in a V for victory sign.

November 14, 2015

Bergen-Belsen death camp

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 12:34 pm

I have just read, in this news article, that Bergen-Belsen was a death camp.  Who knew?

Famous photo of a dying man who survived Bergen-Belsen

Famous photo of a dying man who survived Bergen-Belsen

This quote is from the news article:

Frieda Jaffe and Julius Maslovat are separated by more than 3,400 miles, but they share a common history of a childhood marred by tragedy.

Both were very young children born in Piotrkow, Poland, who survived the ghetto and the death camp of Bergen-Belsen during the Shoah, or Holocaust. Even so, they didn’t know one another.

I have a section on my website about Bergen-Belsen which you can read at

The photo below, from Wikipedia, shows the location of the “death camps.”

Holocaust "death camps"

Holocaust “death camps” (click to enlarge)

The plan to gas the prisoners at Theresienstadt near the end of World War II

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:27 am
My photo of a woman shopper in the town formerly known as Theresienstadt

My photo of a woman shopper in the town formerly known as Theresienstadt

My photo of the Gate into Theresienstadt

My photo of the Gate into Theresienstadt

Today, I am answering a comment made on my blog at 2 o’clock in the morning [California time] by Wolf Murmelstein, who was a prisoner at Theresienstadt when he was a child.

In my humble opinion, I believe that Wolf was too young to understand what was going on at Theresienstadt, where his father, Benjamin Murmelstein, was the last Jewish Elder.

The Bauhof building at Theresienstadt

The Bauhof building at Theresienstadt was near the alleged gas chamber

According to the Theresienstadt Ghetto Museum, in 1945, a homicidal gas chamber was built in a corridor of the town’s fortifications wall near the Litomerice gate, which is right by the Bauhof building, shown in the photograph above. (Click here to see a map of the ghetto. The Bauhof building is number 14 on the map.) According to Holocaust historian Martin Gilbert, this gas chamber was never “activated.”

Here is the comment, made by Wolf Murmelstein, with some corrections in English grammar, made by me:

Begin quote:

Commenting on the [Holocaust denial] case of the old German woman [Ursula Haverbeck] convicted for neo-nazi propaganda, I  have simply remembered how the aged Jews of Vienna had been driven to deportation in September 1942 and visitors present that Saturday afternoon had been selected to be deported too.

At Theresienstadt, the aged persons dwelled in the Kavalier barrack and also in many other buildings. Many passed away because of the bad conditions and also because of their advanced age.

However, in January 1945, Eichmann and his staff could see that the death rate had not been high enough, and in order to hasten the destruction of the Jewish inmates, they ordered to adapt, inside the wall around the camp, a room inside the wall,  in a strange way without written design – only oral instructions — a room inside the wall.

My photo below shows the double wall around the camp.

Double walls around Theresienstadt

My phjoto of the double walls around Theresienstadt

Wall around Theresienstadt

The outside of the double wall around Theresienstadt

Just as at the arrival, in December 1944, of a group from Slovakia, the first alarming news arrived, that the purpose of that room inside the [double] wall seemed to be for a dangerous purpose.

At a certain moment, the Elder Benjamin Murmelstein – after having left instructions for the inmates, in the case of his arrest – faced the German Commandant of the camp, Karl Rahm, who spoke vaguely about a bomb safe warehouse, but then left for Prague.

Commandant Rahm returned after three days with the order to stop the work which only SS General Karl Hermann Frank had the authority to give. The Commandant [Karl Rahm] had tried to reach a personal deal with the Allies and wanted to use Theresienstadt in his negotiations.

From a statement, made by SS Captain Heinrich Joeke in the People’s Court, the gas chamber at Theresienstadt had been built to exterminate the political prisoners in the camp.

It is noteworthy that Commander Karl Rahm, at his trial, did not mention his trip to Prague where he obtained the order of SS General Frank to stop work on the gas chamber, although the key witness Benjamin Murmelstein mentioned this.

I believe that he feared revenge on his family at Vienna when speaking about the responsibility of [Adolf] Eichmann and staff members who managed to escape at war’s end. So he spoke always about the phantom bomb safe warehouse.

It is noteworthy that not even Rahm spoke about delousing and similar nonsense. Indeed the Nazis considered the lice as a useful instrument for provoking mortal diseases, [such as typhus] among the inmates.

That old German Neo-nazi woman [Ursula Haverbeck]  will certainly live better during her last years than the aged Jews who were deported to Theresienstadt.

Today, events in Paris [attacks by ISIS] show that laws, against Holocaust denial and other racist hatred spraying, ought to be harder. . .

November 13, 2015

What happened to “aged persons” at Theresienstadt?

On my blog post today, I am answering a comment made by Wolf Murmelstein; he wrote the following:

“I remember the Saturday of September 1942 when the Nazis came in Vienna Home of Jewish aged persons enlisting all of them for deportation…”

The implication, in this comment, is that the aged persons were taken to Theresienstadt where they were killed in the gas chambers, which Wolf believes were in existence at Theresienstadt.

Several years ago, I wrote, on my website, about the elderly persons who were sent to Theresienstadt.

The following information is from this page on my website:

By the time that the Nazis started deporting the Jews from Germany, there were less than 200,000 of them left in the country; all the others had already emigrated to escape the Nazi persecution.

Forty percent of the remaining Jews in Germany were over 60 years old, as the children and young people had been the first to leave. After Austria became part of the Greater German Reich in March 1938, the Jews were forced to emigrate to any country that would take them, and only 15,000 old people were allowed to remain.

All of these elderly Austrian Jews were deported to Theresienstadt where their mortality rate was the highest of all.

Hoenelbe barracks at Theresienstadt

Hohenelbe barracks at Theresienstadt

Between Parkstrasse and Wallstrasse on the east side of the former Theresienstadt ghetto is the Hohenelbe barracks shown in the photograph above.

This was the central hospital for the Jewish inmates in the ghetto. There were public baths, showers and a swimming pool located here. The building included a kitchen which prepared food for the hospital patients.

Behind this building is a large bastion jutting out from the town walls which you can get a glimpse of on the extreme left of the photo above. Located between the walls of the bastion was the Kavalir barracks.

This area served as the processing center for incoming inmates in 1942, and the original reception center was converted into a warehouse where clothing taken from the incoming prisoners was stored.

Later, the Kavalir barracks was used to house the very old prisoners and also prisoners brought to Theresienstadt from the Jewish insane asylums in the Greater German Reich. Some of the insane people were placed in locked cells in the basement where they had to sleep on bare stone floors. In September 1942 Jewish inmates of the Berlin Home for the Blind were put into the Kavalir barracks.

I have a map of Theresienstadt, which shows the location of all the barracks, on this page of my website:

87-year-old Ursula Haverbeck convicted of Holocaust denial in Germany

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:35 am
Ursula Haverbeck

Ursula Haverbeck

This quote is from a news article, which you can read in full here:

BERLIN – An 87-year-old German woman who is a prominent neo-Nazi has been convicted of Holocaust denial and sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Bild newspaper reported Friday that Ursula Haverbeck says she will appeal Thursday’s Hamburg state court verdict.

Haverbeck was charged earlier this year after giving an interview outside the trial of former SS Sgt. Oskar Groening claiming Auschwitz wasn’t a death camp.

When she challenged the presiding judge in Hamburg to prove it was, Bild reports that he said he wouldn’t debate someone who “can’t accept any facts,” adding “I also don’t have to prove to you the world is round.”

Groening, who gave lengthy testimony on how the death camp functioned, was convicted of 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for the Jews killed while he was there.

What is wrong with this woman? She is 87 years old, living in Germany, and she doesn’t know that it is as sure that the Auschwitz was a death camp, as it is sure that the earth is round.

Ursula is a harmless old lady, who looks like a nun.  She should be allowed to say whatever she wants.  What’s the harm?

The news article says that Haverbeck claimed that the Auschwitz camp was not a death camp.  Actually, that is correct. Auschwitz (the main camp) was not a death camp; the death camp was Auschwitz-Birkenau.  The Auschwitz main camp had a gas chamber but it was unworkable.

My photo of the Krema I gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

My photo of the Krema I gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

You can read about the alleged gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp on my website at

Ursula should demand that the judge go to the Auschwitz main camp, put some live animals into the gas chamber and gas them with Zyklon-B pellets thrown through the holes on the roof.

The door into the oven room, that is right next to the Auschwitz gas chamber, has been removed so that tourists can enter from the oven room and proceed into the gas chamber.  That opening would have to be closed up, if the alleged gas chamber is tested.

Actually, nothing has to be proved by the prosecution in a German trial of a Holocaust denier.  The Germans have a long word, which I can’t remember, which means that the Holocaust is a fact that does not have to be proved.

ournalists gather outside the courtroom after a verdict in the case of former SS officer Oskar Groening on July 15, 2015 at court in Lueneburg, northern Germany. Photo: AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ

Journalists gather outside the courtroom after a verdict in the case of former SS officer Oskar Groening on July 15, 2015 at court in Lueneburg, northern Germany. Photo: AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ

Note that the building in the photo above is the Lueneburg courthouse where the trial of the Bergen-Belsen war criminals was held after World War II.

The moral of this story is the following:  Don’t open your mouth and start denying the Holocaust in front of a courthouse where war criminals have been historically  tried and automatically convicted.  In fact, don’t speak about the Holocaust at all when you are in Germany which is not a free country.

November 12, 2015

In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue; in 1497 Columbus died and went to heaven

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 7:52 am
Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus

In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue; in 1497 Columbus died and went to heaven.

We all know that in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. But did Columbus go to heaven when he died in 1497? No, he did not!

Columbus was Jewish and Jews don’t believe in heaven, nor in hell.  I learned that from Howard Wolowitz, the Jewish character on the TV show called The Big Bang Theory.

Columbus was expelled from Spain in 1492 because he was Jewish.

This quote is from this Jewish source:

Begin quote:

It was Christopher Columbus, the “world-unveiling Genoese” himself, who first linked the Jews and the New World. In his letter to the king and queen of Spain which opens the Journal of the First Voyage, Columbus writes:

So after having expelled the Jews from your dominions, Your Highnesses, in the same month of January, ordered me to proceed with sufficient armament to the said region of India.

Actually, Columbus set sail on August 3, 1492, a day after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain began. Much has been written of Columbus’s purported Jewish origins and of Jews who accompanied him on his first voyage. It is certain only that the expedition’s interpreter, Luis de Torres, was born a Jew but had converted shortly before the expedition set sail; that two “New Christians,” Luis de Santangel and Gabriel Sanchez, had a hand in the financing; and that two Jews, Abraham Zacuto and Joseph Vecinho, provided technical expertise that helped Columbus navigate the “Ocean Sea.”

End quote

So what does this have to do with anything?  One of the Jewish readers of my blog thinks that the Jews were expelled from Germany and killed by the Nazis for no reason at all.

I previously blogged about this here:

I also blogged about the Jews being killed in German in the year 1298:

The Jews are flocking back to Germany now.  I wrote about this on these two blog posts:

Why would the Jews want to go back to Germany after being Holocausted by the Germans? It is because it is easy to take advantage of the German people who are kind and loving, not like the Jews who lie, cheat and steal and take advantage of everyone with whom they come in contact.

November 10, 2015

Jan Karski is back in the news

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 2:51 pm
Jan Karski

Jan Karski, the hero who broke into Auschwitz

Jan Karski is mentioned in a recent news article, which you can read in full here.

A few months ago, I blogged about Jan Karski here:

This quote is from the news article:


A year-and-a-half has passed since Arthur Feinsod and Brad Venable saw World War II-era concentration camps in Poland, but the experience stuck with the Indiana State University faculty members.


Feinsod and Venable, art education coordinator for the Department of Art and Design, made the visit after staging a production of Feinsod’s play, “Coming to See Aunt Sophie,” in Germany.

The play tells the story of Jan Karski, who[m] Feinsod called a “hero of the Holocaust” for relaying information about the horrors committed by the Nazis in Poland. Vernable portrayed Karski as an older man.

Their trip sparked an idea for a week-long series of events remembering the Holocaust, particularly Kristallnacht or “The Night of Broken Glass,” the coordinated series of attacks against Jews in Nazi Germany and Austria in 1938.

This quote is from a previous blog post that I wrote:

Jan Karski was a Polish resistance fighter who was among the first to tell the world, in the Summer of 1942, that the Nazis were NOT “transporting the Jews to the East,” as they claimed, but were committing mass murder in occupied Poland.  At that time, Karski was a 33-year-old diplomat in the Polish government-in-exile in London; he was preparing for a secret mission to carry information about the massacre of the Jews in occupied Poland to America. Before leaving for Washington, DC, he met with two Jewish leaders from the Warsaw Ghetto. They briefed him on “Hitler’s war against the Polish Jews.”

During a ceremony at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on April 23rd this year, President Obama spoke about Jan Karski as “a young Polish Catholic who witnessed Jews being put on cattle cars, who saw the killings, and who told the truth, all the way to President Roosevelt himself.”  Jan Karski had tried to tell the world the truth, while “so many others stood silent,” in the words of President Obama.

After coming to America in July 1943, Jan Karski got his PhD and then taught history at Georgetown University for many years.  He became an American citizen in 1954.  In the year 2000, Dr. Karski died at the age of 86.

Here is the back story on Jan Karski from a previous blog post:

On September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, Jan Karski (not his real name) was a young soldier in a horse-drawn artillery unit, which was hopelessly outdated compared to the well-equipped German army.  Karski deserted, running toward the East, but on September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Poland from the other side. Karski was captured by the Soviets; he barely escaped the Katyn Forest massacre which the Soviets blamed on the Germans at the Nuremberg IMT.

Karski fled into one of the many huge forests in Poland and joined the Polish Underground which continued to fight throughout World War II, although not on the battlefield.  Karski worked as a courier, carrying messages from Warsaw to the Polish government which was in exile in France at that time.  On one of his missions, he was captured by the German Gestapo and tortured.  To escape the torture, he pulled a razor blade out of the sole of his shoe and slashed his wrists.  The Germans took him to a hospital and he survived.

Karski escaped from the Germans and, posing as a Jew, wearing a yellow Star of David, he sneaked into the Warsaw Ghetto so that he could observe the horrible conditions there. He learned that the Jews were being sent from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka, a death camp that was 60 miles to the East.

Next, Karski went to the Izbica Ghetto, which served as a transit camp for Jews who were being sent to the Belzec and Sobibor extermination camps.

After witnessing what was happening to the Jews in Poland, Karski went to England where he spoke to members of the British War Cabinet, but Winston Churchill refused to see him.  Then it was on to America, where Karski spoke with Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, and finally with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  All of these men found his story difficult to believe.

In a secret meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Karski told Roosevelt about the Auschwitz death camp and that 1.8. million Jews had already been killed in Poland. He said that commanders of the Polish Home Army (a resistance group) had estimated that, without Allied intervention, the Jews of Poland would “cease to exist” in 18 months.  Still, Roosevelt refused to bomb the Auschwitz death camp.

After failing to impress any of the Allied leaders, Jan Karski went public with his story.  He delivered around 200 lectures and wrote a best-selling book entitled The Story of a Secret State.  Still, it was several years after the war until it became universally known that Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor were death camps where the Jews were gassed.

So what did Jan Karski do to get the Presidential Medal of Freedom, if no one listened to him?  Although America did nothing to save the Jews from the gas chambers in what is now Poland, President Roosevelt did establish the War Refugee Board, a Federal agency that helped the Holocaust survivors to come to America. John Pehle, who became the head of the War Refugee Board, said that President Roosevelt decided to establish the board after his talks with Jan Karski.

Sorry, but I don’t believe the story told by Jan Karski. I think that his story is just another case of “liar, liar, pants on fire.”

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