Scrapbookpages Blog

April 27, 2016

The scale of Birkenau is overwhelming, and it was built for the sole purpose of murdering Jews

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:23 pm
British students on HET tour at Birkenau

British HET tour at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The title of this blog post comes from a British news article which you can read in full at

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

By 1941 the Nazi genocide had stepped up and [the] Auschwitz [main camp] became too small due to the sheer number of prisoners arriving from across occupied countries.

Two miles away is the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau – a camp with an area covering an area the size of 250 football pitches [425 acres].

The scale of Birkenau is overwhelming, and harrowingly it was built for the sole purpose of murdering Jews.

The iconic railway tracks and entrance dominate the bleak and desolate camp. It is difficult not to see the brick watch tower from any part of the site.

Rabbi Barry Marcus of London’s Central Synagogue revealed that only around 25 per cent of prisoners were taken to the camps to work, while 75 per cent were sent straight to the gas chambers.

End quote

So the stupid Nazis built a camp that was the size of 250 football fields, just for the purpose of gassing Jews.

The news article continues with this quote:

Begin quote

The first camp we visited was Auschwitz [main camp], one hour from Krakow airport.

Sign in main Auschwitz camp warns against touching fence

Sign in main Auschwitz camp warns against touching the electrified fence

Originally the [Auschwitz main camp] site was used as a barracks [for German soldiers] but when the Nazis invaded Poland the empty buildings became the first concentration camp in that area.

Barracks for German soldiers at Auschwitz

Barracks for German soldiers with Appell Platz at Auschwitz main camp

Barrack building Auschwitz main camp

Barrack building in the  Auschwitz main camp was for German soldiers

Auschwitz barracks in winter 2006 Photo Credit: José Ángel López

Auschwitz barracks in winter 2006
Photo Credit: José Ángel López

As we made our way under the ”Arbeit Macht Frei” sign at the gates [into the main camp], the persecution was revealed in greater detail.

The sign translates as ‘work makes you free’ – a sick joke by the Nazis, as nobody was supposed to leave the [main Auschwitz] camp alive.

More likely than not you have heard horrifying stories from survivors or other Holocaust educators but the true extent cannot be described without seeing it for yourself.

End quote

What do British students learn from their HET tours? They learn to worship Jews and to hate Germans.  “that’s all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” [Ode to a Grecian urn]


Renee Firestone lived through the Holocaust with her sense of humor intact

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 7:31 am
Renee Firestone as she looks today

Renee Firestone today

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

You can hear Renee speak in this YouTube video:

I have previously blogged about Renee Firestone at

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

Begin quote

“The Last Laugh,” which was a featured documentary at this month’s Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan, is a hybrid in other ways as well. Director Ferne Pearlstein wanted to explore not only the limits of humor and free speech today, but how Shoah victims and survivors used humor as a salve, defense mechanism and weapon despite their powerlessness.

At a Nevada survivors’ convention filmed in the incongruous setting of The Venetian resort in Las Vegas, one survivor recalls how his fellow concentration camp inmates would mock the SS guards’ latest orders. Contemporary footage shot at the Theresienstadt concentration camp shows inmates performing comic skits and a children’s opera with apparent gusto. We now know that the Nazis allowed these theatricals for their own propaganda purposes, and that many of the performers were subsequently murdered at Auschwitz. But survivors tell of the relief, however temporary, provided by the performances.

End quote

April 26, 2016

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

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

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

Begin quote

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

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

End quote

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

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

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

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

Here is the real story!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of the surrender of Dachau

Photo of surrender of Dachau

Another photo of the surrender of the Dachau camp

Another photo of the surrender of the Dachau concentration camp

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

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

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

Begin quote

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

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

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

End quote

Tower B is shown in the photo below.


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

American soldiers at Dachau

American soldiers at Dachau

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

Begin quote

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

End quote

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

Begin quote

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


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


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

End quote

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

German soldiers shot at Dachau

Dead SS men who had surrendered the Dachau concentration camp

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

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

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

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




April 25, 2016

More misuse of the famous Ebensee photo

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

People passing a window which shows a famous Holocaust photo

The photo above was used to illustrate a news article which you can read in full at

I have this same photo on my website at

Photo of Holocaust survivors at Ebensee

Holocaust survivors at Ebensee sub-camp

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

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

The entrance gate into the Ebenseee camp

The entrance gate into Ebenseee

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

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

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

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

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

Begin quote

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

End quote

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

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

April 24, 2016

Have you ever heard of “Holocaust survivor guilt”?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:07 am

Today, I am writing about a Holocaust news article which I read today:

Why would a Holocaust survivor feel any guilt about surviving? According to the news article, it is because so many others died, but the survivors were somehow saved.

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

Begin quote

For many [Holocaust] survivors, it was older and younger relatives who perished in the death camps and at the hands of the mobile killing squads of the Nazis. “Students always ask why people didn’t resist or leave,” said Professor of History Katrin Paehler, who teaches the history of the Holocaust. “I talk about family connections, and that resistance is a young man’s and [young] woman’s game.”


The man in the photo above is Abba Kovner.

Paehler often tells students of Jewish resistance fighter Abba Kovner, a youth leader in the Jewish ghetto of Vilna in the Soviet Union. Kovner took resistance fighters from the ghetto and they actually survived in the forest. “Kovner once said that as he was taking young fighters out of the ghetto, his mother asked him what to do. He left her in the ghetto,” said Paehler. “You can’t take an old woman into the forest and expect her to survive. Yet ever since then, he asked himself, ‘Am I a hero or a bad son?’”

Holocaust survivor guilt can be compounded by the idea that Jews and other targeted groups should have left Europe before they were rounded up. Paehler dismisses this idea as “the gift of hindsight.”

End quote

I wrote about Abba Kovner in this previous blog post:

April 23, 2016

How an 11-year-old Jewish boy was saved from the gas chamber twice by his father

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:50 am
2005 photo of the remains of the Birkenau camp

2005 photo of remains of Birkenau camp

The following quote is from this news article:

The article tells the story of how an 11-year-old boy was saved twice, by his father, from a gas chamber in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Normally, an 11-year-old boy would have stayed with his mother at Birkenau, not with his father, while waiting for his turn to be gassed.

Women and children waiting to go into the gas chamber at Birkenau

Women and children waiting to go into the gas chamber at Birkenau

The women and children in the photo above are looking across the road toward the Sauna in Birkenau where the incoming Jews took a shower, and their clothing was disinfected with Zyklon-B.

There were 4 large homicidal gas chambers at the 425-acre Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, plus two old farmhouses where Jews were routinely  gassed with the deadly poison called Zyklon-B, which was also used to kill lice.

Ruins of Krema II gas chamber

Ruins of Krema II gas chamber

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

Begin quote

Seventy-one years after the Holocaust, a concentration camp survivor told his story about his father saved his life while at the deadly concentration camp Auschwitz.

On Sunday, Nate Leipciger, 88, shared his remarkable survivor story at the annual Saskatoon Holocaust Memorial at the Agudas Israel Synagogue on McKinnon Avenue in Saskatoon [Canada].

He told the packed room how, as a boy in Auschwitz, he didn’t fully grasp what the Nazis had in store for the Jews.

“At 11 years old, I had no idea that the Nazis are going to murder us,” Leipciger said. “Not even when I was standing in front of the gas chamber in Auschwitz, did it occur to me that my life was going to be in danger.”

The article continues with this quote:

Begin Quote

He [Nate Leipciger] told the audience how at one point, he found himself in line for the deadly gas chamber. But his father acted fast, pulling Leipciger out of the lineup, taking him into the concentration camp, where he then saw the unforgiving labour camps and conditions men and women lived in.

That’s when we found out what they were doing to our people, they told us, that our people are now being processed in the gas chamber and that our lifespan in Birkenau was four months–either we get shipped out to Germany or we will end up in the gas chamber. Not a very good future.”

His father’s second heroic moment came when the Nazis were ready to ship Leipciger’s father to a factory in Germany, but his father made a case to a Nazi officer to bring his son along with him.

“At the risk of his own life my father approached [a Nazi officer] and begged him to let me go with him to Germany to a factory and that’s how I was saved from certain death of gassing at Auschwitz,” Leipciger said.

End quote

My photo of a fence that divided the men's camp from the wo

My photo of a fence that divided sections of the Birkenau camp

The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp is huge, covering 425 acres. The boundaries of the Birkenau camp stretch a mile in one direction and a mile and a half in the other direction. When construction, on the camp, was completed, it had over 300 buildings with a capacity of 200,000 prisoners. The entire Birkenau camp was enclosed by an electrified barbed wire fence around the perimeter of the camp.

The interior of the camp was divided into nine sections and each section was surrounded by another electrified barbed wire fence. Men and women were in separate sections, and the younger children stayed in the women’s section. An 11-year-old boy would probably have been put into the women’s camp.

Young boys walking out of the Birkenau camp after it was liberated

Young boys walking out of the Birkenau camp after it was liberated

There were many young boys, aged 11 or younger, who survived Auschwitz-Birkenau.


April 22, 2016

Another day, another student trip to Auschwitz

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 11:02 am
View of the Auschwitz main camp

Aerial view of the Auschwitz main camp with the Sola river shown at the top of the photo

My 2007 photo of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

My 2007 photo of the gas chamber and the entrance into the oven room in the main Auschwitz camp

My 2005 photo of the suitcases on display at Auschwitz

My 2005 photo of suitcases on display at Auschwitz main camp

The biggest mistake, that the Nazis ever made, was to allow 10,000 Jewish children to travel to Great Britain, before they started gassing the rest of the Jews in Germany and Poland.

Now those children are all grown up, and they are making a big effort to teach today’s British students about Auschwitz, the largest death complex in the Holocaust.

You can read about the latest student trip at

The headline of the article is

A sobering day remembering the fallen in Auschwitz

The fallen? This expression usually refers to soldiers who have fallen in a war. In this news article, the fallen are the Jews, who fought the good fight, but were Holocausted by the evil Nazis.

The following quote is from the article:

Begin quote
Prior to arrival [at Auschwitz], [Jewish] prisoners were shown images of a ‘swimming pool’ [at Auschwitz] with green grass, flowers and beautiful countryside in the background – a lie which clearly worked.


Little did they know this swimming pool’s only purpose was to extinguish any fires that broke out – and lying directly next to the ‘pool’ was endless amounts of fencing, barbed wire and lookout bases to stop any prisoners escaping.

Pictures of prisoners that were killed are plastered over the walls – some lucky enough to live a couple of months, others days, the majority just hours.

A huge chamber of shoes, pans, glasses, possessions dominate my vision – it’s shocking, jaw-dropping.

I could tell some students were incredibly hesitant to enter one of the gas chambers, a place where thousands of innocent people were killed.

Chillingly, it took the Germans two days to kill the first innocent group due to a lack of knowledge in knowing how much Zyklon B to add to the chamber.

From killing hundreds in days, the Germans tweaked the quantity of Zyklon B pellets used and could now kill thousands in minutes.

We entered, and you felt an incredible sense of what those entering the chamber would’ve felt – though obviously nowhere near as terrifying or shocking.

A concrete bunker it was, just a room with plain concrete walls, a plain concrete ceiling and very claustrophobic.

For me, though, the most poignant moment came when strolling past some old ruins – that turned out to be another gas chamber.

End quote

Note that the first thing, that the students are taught, is the swimming pool lie. Auschwitz was allegedly a death camp! What kind of a death camp has a swimming pool! Unmöglich!

1996 photo of the swimming pool in the main camp

1996 photo of the swimming pool in the main Auschwitz camp

My 2005 photo of the location of swimming pool

My 2005 photo shows repair work being done on the swimming pool

In the photo above, the building on the right is Block 6, one of the barracks buildings where Jews lived in the camp. How cruel it was, for the Nazis to house Jews in a building where they could look out the window and see a nice swimming pool, but they were forbidden to swim in it!

According to the news story, the swimming pool was only for putting out fires!

Pity the poor Jew who tried to start a fire at Auschwitz.  The Nazis had this covered: a swimming pool, with a diving board, ready to put out any fire.  Besides that, the buildings in the Auschwitz main camp, where the swimming pool was located, were all brick buildings, not easily burned to the ground!

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

Begin quote

I could tell some students were incredibly hesitant to enter one of the gas chambers, a place where thousands of innocent people were killed.

Chillingly, it took the Germans two days to kill the first innocent group due to a lack of knowledge in knowing how much Zyklon B to add to the chamber.

From killing hundreds in days, the Germans tweaked the quantity of Zyklon B pellets used and could now kill thousands in minutes.

We entered, and you felt an incredible sense of what those entering the chamber would’ve felt – though obviously nowhere near as terrifying or shocking.

A concrete bunker it was, just a room with plain concrete walls, a plain concrete ceiling and very claustrophobic.

For me, though, the most poignant moment came when strolling past some old ruins – that turned out to be another gas chamber.

End quote

Another gas chamber that is in ruins now? Was this in the main camp, or at Aushwitz-Birkenau. As far as I know, there was only one gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, so the student must be talking about the ruins at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

My 2005 photo of the ruins of Krema II at Birkenau

My 2005 photo of the ruins of Krema II at Auschwitz-Birkenau

This final quote is the words of a student, as stated in the news article:

Begin quote

Standing on the platform, I look to my left and see an endless train line – running deep into the woods that helped the Germans disguise the true purpose of Auschwitz [Birkenau].

I look to my right and see the iconic building that shadows the death camp – looking forwards and backwards just fields, fields as far as the eye can see.

It’s near impossible to describe the day, the place, the feeling of standing in a spot where millions of people were once murdered.

There I was, strolling through a place that could be renovated into a nice town, a place of construction, but instead it was – and continues to be – the world’s most infamous town where millions of people were separated, murdered and used.

End quote


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:

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

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:

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

What The World Rejected
Hitler’s Peace Offers, 1933- 1939
by Dr. Friedrich Stieve

Everything People Believed About Hitler’s Intentions Toward Britain Was A Myth Created By Churchill
by Kevin Myers

An Overview Of Hitler’s Peace Proposals

Evidence The British Forced
Hitler To Continue WWII
The Hitler-Hess Deception
by Martin Allen

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

What the World Rejected: Hitler’s 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

Churchill, Hitler And The Unnecessary War,_Hitler_and_the_Unnecessary_War

Adolf Hitler: Man Of Peace?
by Mike kinh

Hitler Gives 16 Point Peace Plan,3898320

Hitler’s Peace Plans No Surrender If They Are Rejected ..,4051196

09 Oct 1939 – World Rejects Hitler’s “Peace” Plan …

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.

World Peace Or War Of Destruction? : Adolf Hitler’s Peace Plan
Author: Adolf Hitler
Publisher: Hamburg : President Heinrich Kessemeier, [1939?]

Prime Minister Winston Churchill Finally Reveals Hitlers Secret Plan For Peace!

Hitler’s War
(Peace) Overtures
by David Irving

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

What The World Rejected:
Hitler’s Peace Offers 1933-1939
by Dr. Friedrich Stieve

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.

Hitler Makes A Peace Offer To Britain
19th July 1940: Hitler makes a Peace offer to Britain

Was World War II The Result Of Hitler’s Master Plan?

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

When Hitler Dropped Peace Leaflets, Churchill Dropped Bombs!

What the World Rejected:
Hitler’s Peace Offers, 1933-1939 – Time to face the facts!

What The World Rejected : Hitler’s Peace Offers, 1933-1939

Hitler Pleas For Peace — Fdr Prepares For War
by Mike King

The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed (.pdf)
by David L. Hoggan

President Roosevelt And The Origins Of the 1939 War
by David L. Hoggan

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