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May 12, 2015

Oskar Groening wants to bear witness to refute Holocaust deniers

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:05 am
Oskar Groening in court (Julian Stratenschulte/AFP) Is this the face of a depraved killer?

Oskar Groening in court (Julian Stratenschulte/AFP)
Is this the face of a depraved killer?

Former German soldier Oskar Groening is back in court today, after a short stay in a hospital, which interrupted his trial.

In the latest news report about his case, which you can read in full here, Groener explained why he has gone over to the other side and now wants to refute Holocaust denial, which is against the law in Germany.

This quote is from the news article:

Begin  quote

Mr Groening, who after his stint at the death camp was captured by Allied forces and spent time in a prisoner of war camp in Britain, described in a matter of fact tone some of the murders he witnessed at Auschwitz.

On his first day on the ramp where Jewish prisoners exited the trains, he saw an SS colleague grab a crying baby and slam its head against a truck until it was quiet.

He also told of an incident when he saw naked Jews herded into a farm house near the camp. A soldier then locked them in, donned a gas mask, and poured the contents of a can down a hatch.

“The screams became louder and more desperate but after a short time they became quieter again,” Mr Groening said.

End quote

Does anyone besides me see something suspicious about these stories told by Groening in the courtroom?

I recognize these stories as claims that have been told many times by former inmates at Auschwitz-Birenau. Slamming the heads of babies against a train or a truck is the Number One atrocity story told by the former prisoners. The “screams” of the prisoners as they were being gassed is the second most common story told by survivors.

According to the news article: “Mr Groening admitted to being an enthusiastic Nazi and to working as an SS guard at Auschwitz between May and June 1944, when more than 400,000 Jews from Hungary were brought there and at least 300,000 killed almost immediately in gas chambers.”

How is it Groening’s fault that 300,000 Hungarian Jews were killed in only 10 weeks time?  How was he supposed to stop the gassing of the Hungarian Jews?

If Groening is responsible for the gassing of the Hungarian Jews, he is also responsible for saving the Hungarian Jews, who are now in the courtroom testifying against him.

This quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Eva Kor, one of the co-plaintiffs, told The Telegraph she lost her parents and her two older sisters when the entire family was taken by the Nazis from Hungary and sent to Auschwitz.

“I can’t bring anybody back,” she said just before the trial began. “But I want information on how the system worked. How they decided on selecting who went to the gas chambers, and I want to see files on the medical experiments that were carried out on me and my twin sister by (Josef) Mengele,” said the 81-year-old, who now lives in the US.

End quote

The news article also mentions Susan Pollack [Zsuzsanna Blau from Felsogod, Hungary], who was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau at the age of 14.  Susan lost 50 members of her family, and she was the only member of her family to survive the Holocaust. She was moved from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen where she was liberated after the camp was voluntarily turned over to the British.

Allegedly, everyone under the age of 15 was gassed at Auschwitz, but not Susan Pollack. Dr. Josef Mengele, who was one of the 30 SS men who selected the prisoners to be gassed, allowed her to live because he knew that some day old men, who had nothing to do with the selection of prisoners to be gassed, would be put on trial as war criminals and witnesses would be needed to testify 70 years later.

Oskar Groening hobbles into  court with the help of two men

Oskar Groening hobbles into court with the help of two men (Click  to enlarge photo)

May 10, 2015

Margaret Bourke-White’s famous photo of Buchenwald prisoners

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 6:23 pm
Famous photo of Buchenwald survivors was taken by Margaret Bourk-White

Famous photo of Buchenwald survivors taken by Margaret Bourke-White

A recent news article, which you can read in full here, included the photo shown above with a credit given to Time and Life Pictures/Getty Image. This photo was taken by the well known photographer Margaret Bourke-White, who was famous for posing her pictures, and passing them off as candid photos.

The description of this photo, in the news article is this:

“Emaciated male prisoners, victims of Nazi genocide, staring through barbed wire fence at their liberators after American forces overran the Buchenwald concentration camp”

The men in the photo are far from being “victims of Nazi genocide.” If they had been genocided, they would have been dead at the time that the prisoners liberated themselves before the American soldiers  arrived.

The photo above, taken by Margaret Burke-White, on April 15, 1945, after the liberation of Buchenwald, shows a group of unsmiling male inmates, who were privileged Communist political prisoners, lined up in front of a barbed wire fence in the camp.

In the center of the photo is a dapper-looking gentleman with a neatly trimmed moustache and short beard; he is wearing freshly-laundered striped prison pants, and what looks like a new wool overcoat.

His expression is one of disdain, as though he can’t wait for the picture taking to end, and the cigarettes and chocolate bars to be handed out. The rest of the prisoners in the picture, all of them clean shaven, including one elderly gentleman leaning on a cane, are looking at the camera as though they are puzzled by the sight of this self-assured American woman, dressed in full Army regalia, who is standing behind a camera set upon a tripod, and holding a flash fill-light attached to the camera.

Margaret Bourke-White, America’s most famous photographer, had been traveling with the Third Army and had accompanied the American soldiers when they crossed the Rhine. She had arrived at Buchenwald on April 15, 1945, along with General George S. Patton. This was four days after the prisoners had liberated themselves on April 11, 1945.

Margaret Bourke-White, famous Life photographer

Margaret Bourke-White, famous Life photographer

Margaret Bourke-White using a light meter  to get the right exposure for a photo of the dead prisoners at Buchenwald

Margaret Bourke-White using a light meter to get the right exposure for a photo of the dead prisoners at Buchenwald

May 8, 2015

“Train 1000 to Auschwitz” on the 8th of May 2015

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:50 am

You can read about the Train 1000 in today’s news at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20150507STO53210/html/Schulz-in-Auschwitz-We-have-come-together-here-to-keep-the-memory-alive

1000 young people were brought on a train to Auschwitz to hear a group of old men speak today at the site of the International Monument at Auschwitz-Birkenau. These young people are being urged to “keep the memory of  Auschwitz alive.”

The photo below was shown at the top of the news article:

20150508PHT54004_originalIn the photo above, you can see part of the International Monument on the right hand side.

You can see the same view of the monument in my 2005 photo below.

International Monument with  the ruins of one of the Auschwitz-Birkeanau gas chambers in the background

International Monument with the ruins of one of the Auschwitz-Birkeanau gas chambers in the background

What this news article doesn’t tell you is that the International Monument was built on top of a road that led to the Sauna where incoming prisoners went sent, to take a shower, immediately after getting off the train.

This road led to the Sauna  where incoming prisoners took a shower

This road led to the Sauna where incoming prisoners took a shower after getting off an incoming  train

The monument is between the ruins of two of the largest gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkeanu. The location  of the monument  prevents tourists from knowing that there was a road which led to the  Sauna.

Some of the prisoners, who got off the train, were given  a shower in the Sauna while their clothing  was disinfected, and they were then given uniforms fresh out of the disinfection chambers.  This was done to save lives; that’s why there are so many Auschwitz survivors still alive today.

The incoming prisoners, who had been selected for work, immediately after getting off the train, were sent to one of the three disinfection buildings that were close to the train tracks. They were given a shower and then given clean  uniforms that had just been disinfected.

Blue stains, from  Zyklon-B, on  the door  into a  disinfection chamber

Blue stains, from Zyklon-B, on the door into a disinfection chamber

When I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2005, the disinfection buildings were off limits. I presume that today’s 1000 students  were not allowed to see these buildings.

It is up to the younger generation to keep the Holocaust story alive. God forbid they should learn what really happened.

May 6, 2015

The most egregious lies about the Holocaust were told by Lt. Jack Taylor

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:48 am
Entrance into the  Mauthausen camp where Lt. Jack Taylor was a prisoner for a few days

Entrance into the Mauthausen camp where Lt. Jack Taylor was a prisoner for a few days. The white stone object is the back side of a monument to the Russian general who was frozen to death.

A reader of my blog made a comment in which a link to the filmed court testimony given by Lt. Jack Taylor was included. I believe that Lt. Jack Taylor was the worst liar of all the Holohoax liars; his lies deserve a blog post of their own, so bear with me, please.

Lt. Jack Taylor testified in  court about the Mauthausen gas chamber

Lt. Jack Taylor testified lied in court about the Mauthausen gas chamber

First, a bit of background about the Mauthausen camp:

The Mauthausen concentration camp was a Class III camp in Austria for “Return Unwanted” prisoners. The camp was liberated by American troops on May 5, 1945; it was the last of the Nazi camps to be liberated by American soldiers, just three days before World War II ended on May 8, 1945. The American soldiers were greeted at the gate by 37-year-old Lt. Jack H. Taylor, a Commando in the United States Navy, who had been captured after leading a sabotage mission behind enemy lines. In other words, he was an  illegal combatant, and that’s why he was arrested and sent to a prison camp.

When the Americans arrived, Lt. Taylor had been a prisoner at Mauthausen for only 35 days; he had arrived in the camp on April 1, 1945, after being transferred from a Gestapo prison in Vienna because Soviet troops were 50 kilometers from the city and advancing rapidly. The Nazis didn’t want  him to get killed in the fight to take the city of Vienna.

Lt. Cmdr. Jack Taylor gave the following testimony at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg:

Begin quote:

“In October ’44, I was the first Allied officer to drop onto Austria. I was captured December 1st, by the Gestapo, severely beaten, ah, even though I was in uniform, severely beaten, and, and, considered as a non-prisoner of war. I was taken to Vienna prison where I was held for four months.

When the Russians neared Vienna, I was taken to this Mauthausen concentration lager [camp], an extermination camp, the worst in Germany, where we have been starving and, and beaten and killed, ah, fortunately, my turn hadn’t come. Ah, two American officers at least have been executed here. Here is the insignia of one, a U.S. naval officer, and here is his dog tag. Here is the army officer, executed by gas in this lager [camp]. Ah…there were…

[Question: “How many ways did they execute them?”]

Five or six ways: by gas, by shooting, by beating, that is beating with clubs, ah, by exposure, that is standing out in the snow, naked, for 48 hours and having cold water put on them, thrown on them in the middle of winter, starvation, dogs, and pushing over a hundred-foot cliff.”

End Quote

This cliff at Mauthausen was called the

This cliff at Mauthausen was called the “parachute jump” (Click on the photo to enlarge)

Lt. Cmdr. Taylor was the first witness for the prosecution in the Mauthausen trial, which was brought before an American Military Tribunal at Dachau. By now, Taylor was an experienced prosecution witness and he elaborated on his Nuremberg testimony.

When asked by prosecutor Lt. Col. William Denson, on direct examination, how many different forms of killing that he had come in contact with in Mauthausen, Taylor testified as follows:

Begin quote:

“Gassing, hanging, shooting, beating. There was one particular group of Dutch Jews who were beaten until they jumped over the cliff into the stone quarry. Some that were not killed on the first fall were taken back up and thrown over to be sure. Then there was exposure. Any new transport coming in was forced to stand out in the open, regardless of the time of the year, practically naked. Other forms of killing included clubbing to death with axes or hammers and so forth, tearing to pieces by dogs specially trained for the purpose, injections into the heart and veins with magnesium chloride or benzene, whippings with a cow-tail to tear the flesh away, mashing in a concrete mixer, forcing them to drink a great quantity of water and jumping on the stomach while the prisoner was lying on his back, freezing half-naked in subzero temperatures, buried alive, red-hot poker down the throat. I remember a very prominent Czech general who was held down in the shower room and had a hose forced down his throat. He drowned that way.”

End Quote

Of course, Jack Taylor had never seen anyone carried back up to the top of a cliff and thrown off a second time, nor had he ever seen anyone mashed in a concrete mixer, nor buried alive, nor killed with a red-hot poker shoved down their throat. These were stories lies that he had heard from the other prisoners.

This kind of hearsay testimony was common in all the Dachau proceedings. The purpose of reiterating these stories in sworn testimony on the witness stand was to get these atrocities entered into the record, so that these alleged crimes would go down in history for future generations to read as the gospel truth.

Lt. Cmdr. Taylor may have been confused about the nationality of the general. There were similar stories about a Russian general, Lt. Gen. Dmitry Mikhailovich Karbyshev, who was either drowned in the shower or forced to stand outside in freezing weather while water was poured over him on some unknown date in February 1945. A statue of Karbyshev encased in a block of ice stands near the gate into the Mauthausen camp. (see the photo at the  top of this page)

Lt. Condr. Taylor testified during the trial that he had been scheduled to die in the Mauthausen gas chamber on May 6, 1945, but he was miraculously saved when American troops arrived the day before his planned execution.

In his debriefing statement, Lt. Condr. Jack Taylor told Dr. Stransky Milos, the Czech prisoner who wrote the statement, the following:

“After the Americans had liberated us, I discovered that I should have been executed on 28 April 1945, along with 27 other prisoners from Block 13. A friendly Czech, Mylos [Milos], who worked in the political department had, unknown to me, removed my paper and destroyed it so that I was not included with the 27.”

According to an addendum to the debriefing statement, written by Dr. Stransky Milos, an order was given to execute 27 prisoners who had been sent to Mauthausen on January 4, 1945 [1.4.45]. Lt. Jack Taylor, who had arrived on April 1, 1945, was included in this order.

Dr. Milos wrote the following in his addendum to the debriefing statement:

“Execution ordered by Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei und des Sicherheitsdiestes in Wien based on martial law for 27 police-prisoners, many of the transport from 1.4.1945 [January 4, 1945] took place on 28.4.1945 at Mauthausen afternoon. The execution of the Captain Taylor has not been carried out, because 3 days before I burnt his documents.”

Keep in mind that the Germans were building Messerschmitt ME262 jet airplanes at Mauthausen and V-2 rockets at a sub-camp of Buchenwald, but they were allegedly too stupid to notice that the only copy of an execution order had been burned by an inmate.

When Jack Taylor arrived at Mauthausen, there was a typhus epidemic in progress and 300 prisoners were dying each day, but according to Taylor’s court testimony, 367 prisoners had been marched from Czechoslovakia to Mauthausen during the epidemic, and instead of being taken to the Quarantine camp which was directly across the street from the crematorium, they were immediately taken into the crematorium to be killed and then burned in the a new oven that Taylor had been working on to build.

Crematorium at Mauthausen was under the green building

Crematorium at Mauthausen was under the green building (Click on the photo to enlarge)

The photo above shows the smoke stack for the underground crematorium at Mauthausen. The street in the foreground is the main camp road. On the left in the photo is the gate into the Quarantine camp where incoming prisoners were held for two weeks in order to prevent the spread of disease. The stairs down to the crematorium are next to the green building, and directly across from the Quarantine camp.

The location of the Quarantine camp now has memorials to the prisoners that were killed in the alleged gas chamber. There is no mention that the prisoners were  put into quarantine in an attempt to save lives.

Lt. Jack Taylor poses at Mauthausen on the  day the camp was liberated

Lt. Jack Taylor poses at Mauthausen on the day the camp was liberated

To  sum up, of all the Holohoax liers that you will ever  meet, and all those  that you won’t meet, Lt. Jack Taylor was the worst.

May 5, 2015

Today is the 70ieth anniversary of the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 2:31 pm
Mauthausen was liberated by American soldiers on May 5, 1945

Mauthausen was liberated by American soldiers on May 5, 1945

I wrote about the liberation of the Mauthausen camp on this previous blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/the-liberation-of-mauthausen-may-5-1945/

Mauthausen was the only  Class III camp in the concentration camp system. Prisoners who were sent there were classified as  “Return  Unwanted” meaning that they had almost no chance of being  released.

There was one American  who was a prisoner at Mauthausen: Lt. Jack Taylor. You can read about him on this previous blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/lt-cmdr-jack-h-taylor-americas-first-navy-seal/

The Mauthausen camp is unique because of these three things:

1. The Mauthausen camp is very beautiful; the town of Mauthausen is even  more beautiful.

Entrance into the Mauthausen camp

Entrance into the Mauthausen camp (Click to enlarge)

The town of Mauthausen is only a few miles from the camp (Click to enlarge)

The town of Mauthausen is only a few miles from the camp (Click to enlarge)

2. More lies have been told about this camp than about any other Nazi concentration camp. The biggest lie ever told is the lie about the Mauthausen gas chamber, which was a multi-purpose room where prisoners could take a shower, or be killed by gas put into the room through an apparatus that was removed just before the camp was liberated.

The Mauthausen gas chamber was a fully functioning shower room

The Mauthausen gas chamber was a fully functioning shower room (Click on the photo to enlarge)

3. There are more memorials to the former prisoners of this camp than there are in any of the other Concentration Camp Memorial Sites.

The Memorial to the Jews who were killed at Mauthausen is in the most prominent spot

The Memorial to the Jews, who were killed at Mauthausen, is in the most prominent spot (Click on photo to enlarge)

Memorial to Lt. Gen. Dmitri Karbyshev who was frozen in a block of ice

Memorial to Russian Lt. Gen. Dmitri Karbyshev who was frozen in a block of ice in the Mauthausen camp

Albanian partisan ready to smash a defeated German soldier in the face

Albanian partisan ready to smash a defeated German soldier in the face

May 4, 2015

I am reading a new book entitled “Holocaust High Priest”

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:51 am
New book about Elie Wiesel and the Holocaust

New book about Elie Wiesel and the Holocaust by Warren B. Routledge

I am currently reading a new book, written by Warren B. Routledge, about the Holocaust High Priest, which you may have guessed is Elie Wiesel.  The sub-title of the book is “Elie Wiesel, Night, The Memory Cult, and the Rise of Revisionism.”

I usually don’t start reading a non-fiction book by beginning on the first page. I like to skip around, using the index, to locate the best parts. In this case, the index is not designed for that kind of reading.

The Forward of the book starts off by describing how Elie Wiesel and his father followed the Germans when they abandoned Auschwitz, although they had been given a choice: Elie could have stayed in his cozy, warm hospital bed and waited for the nice Soviet soldiers to liberate him. Instead, he jumped out of his hospital bed and followed those evil German SS men out of the camp. Why wasn’t he afraid of being Holocausted?

So right away, this book tells you “Something wrong!” Why would Elie and his father march for miles through the snow, following those evil Germans when there were nice Russian soldiers coming to save them?

I thought that I knew everything about the Holocaust and Elie Wiesel, but in Chapter 1, I learned new information that I didn’t know before. So I am very glad that I didn’t skip around in reading the book, as I usually do.

Chapter 1 gets started on page 19. It is about a man that I had never heard of. My first thought was that I certainly would not have started a book by writing some boring story about a man that nobody had ever heard of before. But I kept on reading and learned that this information is extremely important.

I am almost to the end. On the very last page are two photos of the 1947 drawings done by David Olere, which depict Elie Wiesel’s description of what he saw on his first Night at Auschwitz.

Painting depicts what Elie Wiesel saw on his first night at Auschwitz

Painting depicts what Elie Wiesel saw on his first night at Auschwitz

I learned something new about the  painting shown in the photo above. The left side of the painting, as  shown on my website, has been cut off.  So to sum up, there is more to the story of Elie Wiesel that I didn’t know until I started reading this book.

In the book, there is a lot of coverage of the famous photo taken at Buchenwald, which allegedly shows Elie Wiesel. The author of this book gives a lot of information regarding the photo.

I wrote about the photo on this blog post:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/famous-photo-of-buchenwald-survivors-revisited/

May 3, 2015

American liberators of Dachau recall atrocities committed by SS men in the camp

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherglory @ 11:34 am
SS 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker surrenders Dachau camp to Brig. Gen. Henning Linden on April 29, 1945

SS 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker surrenders Dachau camp to Brig. Gen. Henning Linden, under a white flag of truce, on April 29, 1945

Alan Lukens, who entered Dachau as a U.S. army private in 1945, attended the [70ieth] anniversary ceremony at the former camp, according to a news article which you can read in full here.

Alongside the joy, Lukens remembered that “SS snipers, after hanging out white surrender flags, shot several American GIs as we entered the camp.”

This is the first time that I am hearing about the American GIs who were killed by “SS snipers” at the liberation of Dachau. What were the names of these GIs? Is there a monument in honor of them at the Dachau memorial site? If not, a memorial with their names should be put up immediately.

At the very least, the names of the GIs who were killed during the liberation of Dachau should be honored at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.

Where were the “snipers” hiding when they shot these GIs? Was this the famous Tower B incident when several GIs SS men were shot after they had surrendered?

Bodies of dead German soldiers at Tower B

Bodies of dead German soldiers at Tower B

But it gets worse! Read the following quote from the news article:

Abba Naor, a Lithuanian-born former Dachau prisoner who now lives in Israel, was flanked by two of his great-grandchildren as he spoke at Sunday’s ceremony.

“I hope that they and all the children in this world never have to experience such crimes,” Naor said.

He recalled an SS guard ordering the killing of a new-born Jewish boy in December 1944 and reports that some SS commanders were “loving fathers who played with their children after they had driven thousands into the gas chambers.”

Gas chambers (plural)? Oh yes, there were four disinfection chambers where the clothing of the prisoners was disinfected with deadly Zyklon-B gas to kill the lice that spreads typhus. There was also a shower room where gas came out of the shower heads.

How many women with babies were there at Dachau in December 1944? I wrote about this at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/women-prisoners-liberated-at-dachau/

I also wrote about the new-born babies that were brought to Dachau right after the liberation of the camp:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/its-a-miracle-seven-babies-slipped-through-the-nazi-killing-machine-at-dachau/

Note that Abba Naor was “a Lithuanian born Jew”. That means that he had only been in the Dachau camp for a few months.  Lithuanian Jews were brought to Dachau in August 1944, according to Wikipedia. Yet, here he is at the 70ieth anniversary of the camps, telling stories lies, which he thinks that no one will check out.

Waffen-SS soldiers wearing battle fatigue uniforms were killed in the Dachau reprisal

Waffen-SS soldiers wearing battle fatigue uniforms were killed in the Dachau reprisal on the day that Dachau was liberated

There is nothing in this news article about the “Dachau reprisals,” which is a big part of the story of the Dachau liberation. I wrote about this on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/dachau-liberation-reprisals-another-term-for-the-dachau-massacre/

This news story about the liberation of Dachau was written by two modern-day Associated Press reporters. Back in the old days, it was the custom to give BOTH sides of every news story. That is all in the past.

Today’s reporters give only one side of any news story: the side that is favorable to the Jews.  Old time reporters would have written something like what I wrote in this blog post about the liberation of Dachau: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/emaciated-survivors-of-the-dachau-horror-camp/

 

May 2, 2015

Did Mietek Grocher walk backwards out of the room after his lecture to students in Sweden?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:37 am
Monument of Struggle and Martyrdom at Majdanek

Monument of Struggle and Martyrdom at Majdanek where Grocher was a prisoner

The back side of the Majdanek monument

The back side of the Majdanek monument faces the camp

Holocaust survivor Mietek Grocher recently gave a lecture to students in Sweden, where skinheads interrupted his talk. Grocher is a survivor of the Majdanek death camp in Poland. He claims that he survived because he walked backwards out of a gas chamber in the Majdanek camp.

This quote is from the Jerusalem Post article about his speech:

Members of a Swedish youth movement launched an anti-fascist campaign at a high school where neo-Nazis interrupted a lecture by a Holocaust survivor.

The campaign began last week at the Peders Skrivares high school in the western province of Halland, where on April 22 a group of skinheads demonstratively walked in on a talk given to students by Mietek Grocher, 89, Sveriges Radio reported.

I previously wrote this blog post about Grocher, who survived the gas chamber at Majdanek by walking backwards out of the room: : https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/mietek-grocher-the-man-who-walked-backwards-out-of-a-gas-chamber-and-survived/

April 30, 2015

The first American soldier through the gate at Dachau was George Rose

Filed under: Dachau, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:16 am

I didn’t write about the liberation of Dachau yesterday, on the 70th anniversary of this big event, because I thought that I had already covered that story very extensively on my blog. As it turns out, I was wrong!

The reason that the subject of the liberation of Dachau 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 the persecution of 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, no matter who was the first man to set foot inside the camp.

This newspaper article tells the story of George Rose, who claims that he was the first soldier to enter the Dachau camp on the day that the camp was liberated.  The following quote is from the article:

Begin quote

RALEIGH, N.C. – He was just 18 years old when he helped liberate the Dachau Concentration Camp at the end of World War II.

On Wednesday, 70 years later, George Rose of Wilmington met with North Carolina legislators, who honored him with a special resolution commemorating the anniversary of the U.S. Army’s liberation of the camp and his role in it.

“We went through the gate and that’s when we saw all the boxcars and bodies thrown one on top of another,” Rose said. “Also (we saw) a wall with bodies like rag dolls laying against it. I was 18 years old at this time, but it is something I will never forget.”

End quote

Wait a minute!  He went through THE GATE and he saw boxcars and bodies?  What gate? The train with the bodies of prisoners was parked OUTSIDE the gate into the Dachau concentration camp.

American soldiers examine the bodies found on the

American soldiers examine the bodies found on the “death train” outside the Dachau camp

The train, that was parked outside the camp, had been strafed by American planes, killing prisoners that had been evacuated from the Buchenwald camp for their own safety.

In his book entitled The Rock of Anzio, Flint Whitlock quotes a statement made by Lt. William Walsh of the 45th Division in a documentary called The Liberation of KZ Dachau.

The following quote is from Lt. Walsh’s statement:

Begin quote

We finally get up to the main gate [into the Dachau concentration camp]. This is the gate that says, “Work makes you free”….And when I get to the gate, I asked if anybody spoke English, and there was an Englishman there [Albert Guérisse, also known as Patrick O’Leary]. I think he was a naval officer….and I said to him, “Are there any Americans in there?” And he says, “I don’t know…I think so, but there may be only one or two.”

And then I said, “…. I can’t open the gates, but I want you to know there’s all kinds of medical supplies and doctors and food and stuff like this coming behind us, and they’re going to take care of you.” And he said, “I want you to come in here first….I want you to see what was going on.”

And then he finally prevailed on me. I said, “Okay, I’ll go in.” and I went in with [Jack] Busheyhead and a sergant (sic). Of course, we had to squeeze through the gate because they’re all inside, screaming and hollering.

End quote

The man named “Busheyhead” was 1st Lt. Jack Bushyhead, a “full-blooded Cherokee Indian” who was the Executive Officer of I Company, 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, the unit which allegedly murdered 346 Waffen-SS soldiers in cold blood, on Bushyhead’s orders, on the day of the liberation.

John Degro

John Degro

John Degro was a member of this unit. The massacre took place after 1st Lt. Bushyhead had seen the concentration camp and he wanted to avenge the wrongs done to the prisoners, according to Col. Buechner, who wrote a book entitled Dachau, The Hour of the Avenger. 1st Lt. Bushyhead was the Avenger in the title.

However, Col. Buechner wrote that the massacre took place before 3 p.m. and other accounts of the events that day say that the 45th Division soldiers did not arrive at the gate into the prison enclosure until after 3 p.m.

Albert Guérisse was a prominent member of the International Committee of Dachau, a Communist organization which was in charge of the camp after the Commandant and the regular guards had left. He was from Belgium and was actually a British SOE agent or a spy in layman’s terms.

On March 17, 1986, Private First Class John Degro, the lead scout of I Company, 3rd BN, 157th Infantry, 45th Division, wrote a statement regarding his claim to have been the first American soldier to set foot inside the Dachau camp.

Col. Howard Buechner, a 45th Division Medical Corps officer, included Degro’s statement in his book entitled Dachau, the Hour of the Avenger.

The following quote is Degro’s words from Buechner’s book:

Begin quote:

As lead scout, I shot the lock off the gate and entered the compound. There were 32,000 inmates, screaming, between hugging and kissing us. The stench was unbearable. We backed out the gate, let a few inmates out and gave them weapons. We cleaned out the guard towers, took knapsacks off of the dead SS and threw them over the barbed wire into the compound.

End quote

On the day of the Dachau liberation, 1st Lt. William J. Cowling, an aide to Brig. Gen. Henning Linden who was the deputy commander of the 42nd Division, wrote a long letter to his family in which he claimed that he was the first soldier to enter the Dachau concentration camp, along with some “newspaper people.”

The next day Marguerite Higgins, a reporter with the New York Herald Tribune, filed a news report in which she claimed that she and Sgt. Peter Furst were the first two people to go inside the Dachau concentration camp. Furst was a reporter for the US Army Newspaper called the Stars and Stripes.

It was around 10 years ago that a newspaper reporter named Grant Segall, who was working at the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper, e-mailed me to ask for my help in a story that he was writing about the liberation of the Dachau camp.

The following quote is from the newspaper article, which he wrote:

Begin quote

Accounts differ as to which units liberated which camp when. But no one [except scrapbookpages.com] disputes that Private First Class Degro was the lead scout when GIs from the 45th Infantry Division, known as the Thunderbirds, helped to liberate Dachau in southern Germany.

When the troops saw the train’s cargo, says Degro, they spun and vomited. “Then we went out of our heads.”

Disdaining cover, the Thunderbirds stormed the camp. They dragged German soldiers from a hospital, never mind their wounds. They shot many unresisting foes [an atrocity whose documentation was reportedly shredded and burned by Gen. George Patton].

Though historians [including me] particularly question this part of the story, Degro insists that he raised his M-1 rifle and shot a padlock off a gate. The rescuers were hugged by screaming, skeletal prisoners.

“We were gesturing them back. We didn’t want to hurt their feelings after what they went through,” says Degro, but “they smelled like hell.”

End quote

Note that Segall starts off by saying: “Accounts differ.”  This was because I told him that there are several different accounts of the liberation of Dachau. After acknowledging that there are several different accounts, Segall reported on the account of John Degro, and didn’t mention the other accounts, which I had told him about.

In his book The Rock of Anzio, which is the history of the 45th Thunderbird Division, Flint Whitlock quoted extensively from what Lt. Col. Felix Sparks told him about the liberation.

According to Sparks, 45th Division soldiers arrived at the concentration camp gate shortly before the three jeeps carrying officers of the 42nd Division.

However, Whitlock quotes Pfc. William Donahue of the 42nd Division who said that he was already at the gate into the concentration camp when the men of the 45th Division arrived. Some of them had been drinking, according to Donahue.

Flint Whitlock does not mention John Degro at all in his book, although Degro was a member of the 45th Division. It is not clear when Degro would have shot the lock off the gate into the concentration camp, nor how the gate would have been secured again, once the lock was destroyed.

Sparks told Whitlock that his orders had been to liberate the camp and then to secure it and not let anyone in or out. If Sparks passed these orders down to his men, then John Degro would have been disobeying orders when he shot the lock off the gate and then let some of the prisoners out, as he claims.

In his book, John H. Linden mentioned that it took an hour to get all the prisoners safely back inside, once the gate had been opened by the men of the 42nd Division.

According to Lt. Col. Sparks, as told to Flint Whitlock, he met Brig. Gen. Henning Linden who had just arrived in a jeep at the concentration camp gate. Just prior to this, Linden had accepted the surrender of the concentration camp from SS 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker near the gate at the southwest corner of the camp. 1st Lt. Cowling claimed in his letter to his family that he had entered the concentration camp while the General was still talking to Lt. Wicker.

It is clear from these quotes that the lock on the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate into the concentration camp did not need to be shot off. The gate could be opened from the outside by removing a bar which locked it. The gate was wide enough for a truck to drive through it, but there was also a pedestrian door in the gate that could be opened without opening the whole gate. The pedestrian door could only be opened by remote control from inside the gatehouse.

There were SS guards inside the gatehouse, waiting to surrender. Twelve of them surrendered to 1st Lt. Cowling, according to John H. Linden, the author of Surrender of the Dachau Concentration Camp 29 Apr 45, the True Account.

Both Cowling and Higgins disagree with Sparks’ version of the story, as they both claim that there were no prisoners in sight when they first entered the concentration camp. The similarity in their stories indicates that they entered the concentration camp at the same time, and each claimed to be the first person to set foot inside the prison enclosure.

John H. Linden confirms in his book that Cowling, Higgins and Furst entered the camp together, along with T/5 Oddi and Pfc. Tinkham, who were assigned to guard them.

On the day of the liberation, the concentration camp was under the control of the International Committee of Dachau, which consisted of a group of Communist political prisoners.

The last Commandant of Dachau, Wilhelm Eduard Weiter, had left the camp with a transport of prisoners on April 26th and had put Martin Gottfried Weiss in charge. As the acting Commandant, Weiss had turned the camp over to the Committee on April 28th and had then escaped with most of the regular guards that night.

The Committee had ordered all the prisoners to stay inside the barracks, so as not to provoke the remaining guards into killing them all.

End of story

April 29, 2015

“Between two throw-ins, right behind my back,” 3,000 Jews were gassed to death.

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:50 am

Today is April 29th, the anniversary of the day that the Dachau concentration camp was liberated in 1945.  I wrote about the Dachau liberation last year on this blog post:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/emaciated-survivors-of-the-dachau-horror-camp/

On this blog post, I wrote about the “Dachau massacre” on the day that the camp was liberated:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/new-book-about-felix-sparks-gives-a-new-perspective-on-the-liberation-of-dachau-and-the-dachau-massacre/  Wikipedia calls the “Dachau massacre” a “reprisal.

Whatever. Now I am blogging about something different.  Read on.

My photo of the ruins of the Krema III gas chamber with the prisoner's soccer field in the background

My photo of the ruins of the Krema III gas chamber with the prisoner’s soccer field in the background

My photo of the ruins of Gas Chamber III at Auschwitz-Birkenau

My photo of the ruins of Gas Chamber III at Auschwitz-Birkenau. A soccer field where the prisoners played is shown in the background on  the left.

The title of my blog post today is a  quote from Tadeusz Barowski’s famous book entitled This Way to the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen, which is about his time, as a prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau, when 400,000 Hungarian Jews were gassed in only 10 weeks.

Or was it 560,000 Jews that were killed in only 10 weeks? Sadly, no one knows the exact number because no one recorded their names, nor their prison identification numbers.  I wrote about the number of Hungarian  Jews that were killed, in 10  weeks, on this  previous blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/how-many-hungarian-jews-were-murdered-in-the-holocaust/

Crematorium 3 (Krema III) was the main gas chamber where the Hungarian Jews were gassed.

Crematorium 3 (Krema III) was the main gas chamber where thousands of  Hungarian Jews were gassed in May 1944

The gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau were not a secret; all the prisoners were aware of what was going on. Many of the Jews saved themselves by lying about their age, or sneaking  over into the line of the prisoners that had been chosen to be workers in the 425 acre camp. The worker Jews were marched, on the same road, to the Central Sauna where they took a shower and had their hair shaved off. They were then assigned to barracks in the camp.

According to Tadeusz Borowski, a Polish political prisoner at Birkenau,  a soccer field was built at the camp in the Spring of 1944 “on the broad clearing behind the hospital barracks.”  Hospital barracks?  Surely not!  Why would a “death camp” have a hospital? Something wrong!

The team of prisoners played against a team of SS men who worked in the nearby hospital.

My early morning photo of the ruins of Gas Chamber III at Auschwitz-Birkeanu

My early morning photo of the ruins of Gas Chamber III at Auschwitz-Birkeanu

By 1944, the railroad tracks into the camp had been extended all the way from the Gate of Death at Birkenau to the gas chambers at the western end of the camp; the men playing soccer were able to see the victims arrive on the trains and then walk to Krema III, which was “right by the fence” that separated the gas chambers from the barracks in the camp. Note the fence in the black and white photo above.

Borowski famously wrote, in his book, that he was the goalkeeper in a soccer game on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in May, and “Between two throw-ins, right behind my back, three thousand people had been put to death.”

Three thousand was the number of Jews that typically arrived on each train transport.

During the extermination of the Hungarian Jews in May 1944, an entire transport would be gassed without going through a selection process, in spite of the fact that the Nazis were desperate for workers in their munitions factories.

Most of the Holocaust survivors, who are still alive today, are Hungarian Jews and each of them has his or her unique story of how  they escaped the gas chambers.

I wrote about some of the stories of escape from the gas chambers on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/stories-of-escape-from-the-gas-chambers-at-auschwitz-birkenau/

In other news today, you can read about a movie that is being made about Deborah Lipstadt’s victory over “Holocaust denier David Irving.” at http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Authors-battle-with-Holocaust-denier-to-hit-silver-screen-400609

I blogged about this trial on this blog post:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/deborah-lipstadt-who-defeated-hard-core-holocaust-denial-now-worries-about-soft-core-denial/

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