Scrapbookpages Blog

January 7, 2016

“degenerate art” is now displayed on bus windows in Germany

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:06 am
My photo of the Dachau monument designed by Nandor Glid

My photo of the Dachau monument designed by Nandor Glid

 

My photo of a detail of the Dachau sculpture designed by Nandor Glid

My photo of a detail of the Dachau sculpture designed by Nandor Glid

A competition among artists, who were concentration camp survivors, was announced on New Year’s day in 1959 to find a suitable design for a monument at Dachau.

Forty-five of the 63 entries were exhibited in November 1959 at the Ministry for Health and Family in Brussels. The final decision to choose the entry by Nandor Glid was made by Albert Guérisse, who was imprisoned at Dachau after he was captured while working as a spy for the British SOE. Guérisse was the President of the International Committee which planned the Memorial Site.

The German people can never escape from accusations of guilt for perpetrating the Holocaust.  Now as they ride around on city buses, they have to look through windows that are decorated with images of the degenerate art done by survivors of the Holocaust.

Another monument at Dachau which has the slogan "Never again" in 5 languages

Another monument at Dachau which has the slogan “Never again” in 5 languages

One of readers of my blog, who has his own blog, sent me an e-mail which included a photo that he took while looking out of the window of a city bus.

Begin quote from the e-mail message:

Silhouette versions of Nandor Glid’s horrible sculpture now appear on buses that drive about Dachau town and the surrounding area. So now it’s not just visitors to the memorial that have to look at it.

I took this photo inside one of the buses in April 2014:

http://fotos.fotoflexer.com/960df59bd31dba9e0c91ed506c971286.jpg

April 10, 2015

June 20, 2014

The method, used at Dachau, to input the gas into the gas chamber

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:33 am

Yesterday, one of the readers of my blog provided a link to a website where I found the photo shown below.

Wheel used to turn on the gas which flowed through pipes into the Dachau gas chamber

Hand turning a wheel

The photo above shows what looks like a hand turning a wheel, which will turn on the gas that flowed through pipes, such as the pipes that were found, going into the Dachau shower room.  When the American liberators arrived at Dachau, on April 29, 1945, they had never before seen a homicidal gas chamber, but they assumed that the gas flowed through the shower heads in the large shower room, located just outside the camp.

I took the photo below, which shows two of the wheels, used for turning on the water, which flowed through the shower heads in the alleged Dachau gas chamber.

Pipes going into the Dachau shower room

Pipes going into the Dachau shower room

I took the photo above, through a window on the outside wall of BarackeX at Dachau, which is shown below.

Window on the outside wall in the rear of the Dachau gas chamber

Window on the outside wall in the rear of the BarackeX building, where the gas chamber is located

BarackeX building  at Dachau, where the gas chamber is located

BarackeX building at Dachau

The mass gassing of the Jews had been known since 1942, when the British first announced it over the radio. When the American liberators arrived at Dachau, they were immediately escorted to BarackeX, the gas chamber building, by a British SOE agent, Albert Guérisse, who was a prisoner there; he had been captured while fighting as an illegal combatant in the French Resistance.

An order had been issued from Berlin on July 23, 1942 to begin construction of BarackeX at a cost of 150,000 Reichsmark. On the blueprints for BarackeX, the homicidal gas chamber was called a shower room, but each of the four disinfection chambers was called a Gaskammer, the German word for gas chamber.

By the time that BarackeX was finished in 1943, millions of European Jews had already been killed in the gas chambers at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor after being transported to the East, and millions more were destined to be sent to the death camps at Auschwitz and Majdanek. Dachau was mainly a camp for Communist political prisoners, anti-Fascist resistance fighters, most of whom were Catholic, and Soviet POWs.

The photograph above, taken in May 2007, shows Baracke X, the building where the infamous Dachau gas chamber is located.

Display on the wall where the door into the gas chamber is located

Display on the wall where the door into the gas chamber is located

The photograph above, which I took in 2003, shows a display on the wall near the door into the Dachau gas chamber; this display shows a drawing of the pipes, which are shown in the photo which I took through the window at the back of the building.

The display caption reads: “Drawings by Captain Fribourg, member of the French military mission May 1945.”

The drawing shows some “fittings” on the wall to the left of the control wheels which the display says “were stolen in the postwar years.” The title on the drawing of the pipes and wheels reads: “Operating facilities in the adjacent left corridor.”  This refers to the corridor behind the gas chamber.

Pipes on the wall behind the Dachau gas chamber Photo Credit: USHMM, courtesy of William and Dorothy McLaughlin Copyright: USHMM

Pipes on the wall behind the Dachau gas chamber
Photo Credit: USHMM, courtesy of William and Dorothy McLaughlin
Copyright: USHMM

The old photo above shows the pipes and control wheels, which I photographed through the window on the back wall of the gas chamber.

Besides the large homicidal gas chamber, disguised as a shower room, there were four smaller gas chambers in the BarackeX building.  The photo below, taken by the US Army on April 30, 1945, shows one of the smaller gas chambers.

U.S. soldier poses in  front of the door into one of the 4 small gas chambers

U.S. soldier poses in front of the door into one of the 4 small gas chambers in the BarackeX building

Door into small gas chamber is now bolted in the open position

Door into small gas chamber is now bolted in the open position

Degesch machine was used in the small gas chambers at Dachau

Degesch machine was used in the small gas chambers at Dachau

In the photo above, you can see a Degesch machine; these machines were on the wall inside the small gas chambers, but not in the gas chamber, disguised as a shower room.

The Degesch machine automatically opened a can of Zyklon-B gas pellets and poured the pellets into a wire basket, so that they could be retrieved after the gassing.  The large homicidal gas chamber at Dachau did not use Zyklon-B pellets.  The gas was liquid and it flowed through the shower heads, which were suspended from the 7.6 ft ceiling.

The official Holocaust story, which you must believe in 19 counries, is that sometimes water flowed through the shower pipes and sometimes, it was gas.  I previously blogged about a Holocaust survivor, who got the water, not the gas. https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/holocaust-survivor-who-got-the-water-not-the-gas/

The photo below shows what the BarackeX building looked like when the American soldiers arrived.

Old photo of BarackeX building, taken in 1945 after Dachau was liberated

Old photo of BarackeX building, taken in 1945 after Dachau was liberated

The photo above shows American soldiers looking at a pile of bodies in front of the BarackeX building. Behind the bodies is a wooden structure, with no roof, which is hiding the holes that were used for pouring the Zyklon-B pellets into the gas chamber.

Outside wall of BarackeX was hidden by a wooden structure

Outside wall of BarackeX was hidden by a wooden structure

After it was learned that the gas used by the Germans in their homicidal gas chambers was in the form of pellets, that could not go through the holes in shower heads, it was miraculously found that the pellets had been put into the Dachau gas chamber through two small chutes on  the outside wall, that were hidden by a wooden screen.

There are very strict laws in Germany, regarding the denial of homicidal gas chambers in the concentration camps, so the tour guides tell the tourists, who flock to Dachau, that the gas chamber was used, and the gas was put into the room through two holes on the outside wall.  Don’t deny this, unless you want to go to prison for 5 years.

Just because you are living in America, which has free speech, don’t think that you are protected.  You can be renditioned to Germany and put on trial for Holocaust denial. Ignorance is no excuse, so just remember what I have told you about the Dachau gas chambers.

 

September 26, 2013

The town of Dachau today — the shame of the concentration camp can never be overcome

In 2001, I went to the town of Dachau and stayed there for a week in a hotel.  At that time, Dachau was still a small, historic town, and I enjoyed my stay immensely. I asked the owner of the hotel which bus I should take to get to the former Dachau camp; she said she didn’t know, so I had to figure it out for myself. The town’s people seemed to be ignoring the former camp, and just living their lives in peace.

Catholic church in the town of Dachau

Catholic church in the town of Dachau

Today, I read in an article in The Independent, which said that young people from Munich are now moving to Dachau and the town has grown to be a city of 45,000 residents.

According to the article in The Independent, which you can read in full here, the town can never overcome its shame, due to the horror of the Dachau concentration camp, which had 800,000 visitors last year.

This quote is from the article in The Independent:

The horror of Dachau takes a little time to sink in. It hits home half way through the former camp’s permanent exhibition on Third Reich terror when visitors are confronted with a piece of slatted wooden furniture that resembles an innocuous child’s toboggan.

Closer inspection reveals that a 4ft-long “bull whip” is lying across the wooden slats. The toboggan, it turns out, is one of the concentration camp system’s notorious “whipping stools” that were used to ruthlessly inflict blood soaked punishment on hundreds of thousands of camp inmates during 12 years of Nazi rule.

Alfred Hübsch, a prisoner in Dachau from 1937 onwards, witnessed the whipping stool in action. His account is on display in the camp museum: “The prisoner’s screams could be heard everywhere,” he writes, “The delinquent had to count the strokes out loud. The numbers were blurted out in terrible pain so the tortured person would slur his words or misspeak. If that happened they would begin beating all over again,” he added.

The “whipping stools” were used for 12 years?  Who knew?

The photo below shows Rudolf Wolf, a former prisoner of the Dachau camp, demonstrating the whipping block during the American Military Tribunal proceedings, where the former SS men in the camp were put on trial.

Former Dachau prisoner demonstrates the whipping table at Dachau trial

Rudolf Wolf demonstrates the whipping table at Dachau trial

The photo below shows the whipping table on display in the Dachau Museum.

Photo of whipping table in the Dachau Museum

Photo of whipping table in the Dachau Museum

Notice that the “whipping block” which is on display in the Museum is a real whipping block, but the table that is being demonstrated by Rudolf Wolf during the AMT proceedings is an ordinary table.  The trial started in Noveber 1945, so why wasn’t the actual whipping block shown during the trial?

That is easily explained: All punishments at Dachau and at all the other concentration camps had to be approved by the WVHA economic office in Oranienburg, where Rudolf Hoess was a member of the staff after he was removed as the Commandant of Auschwitz in December 1943.

At the Nuremberg IMT, on April 15, 1946, Hoess testified that punishment on the whipping block was seldom used and that this punishment was discontinued in 1942 or 1943 because Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler had given a new order that the SS men were forbidden to strike the prisoners. Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler mentioned in his book entitled What was it like in the Concentration Camp at Dachau? that this order was given by Himmler in 1942.

When the American liberators arrived in 1945, they found no whipping table because this seldom-used punishment had not been used for three years.  Are visitors to the Dachau Museum told this?  No, of course not.

This quote is from the article in The Independent:

The whipping stool is merely an introduction to Dachau’s  regime of inconceivable cruelty. Its victims were tortured by “Pole hanging” – a system whereby inmates in groups of 50 were strung up by their hands with their arms tied behind their backs for hours, causing them excruciating pain.

Groups of 50 were strung up?  Did the Nazis take a photo of the pole hanging?  Indeed, they did.  The photo below was shown in the Dachau Museum for years, until it was finally taken down because it was a fake.

Still photo from a Soviet film shows "pole-hanging" punishment

Still photo from a Soviet film shows “pole-hanging” punishment

The photograph above, which I took 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 still dwell at length upon the hanging punishment.  I have not been to Dachau since 2008; perhaps the fake photo has been brought back.

But it gets worse.  This quote is from the article in The Independent:

[The prisoners] were locked in “standing cells” with no room to sit down or turn around for days on end. They were savaged by camp dogs, drowned, shot, worked to death or died from mass overcrowding and the successive outbreaks of disease which plagued the camp before it was finally liberated by American troops in April 1945. The soldiers found hundreds of “ sallow skeletons with large sad eyes”.

Ah, yes, the famous “standing cells.”  Where are they now?  The standing cells were torn down, and now there is only a photo of what they looked like. The photo is shown below.

A diagram of the standing cells in the Dachau bunker

A diagram of the standing cells in the Dachau bunker

Who tore down the standing cells at Dachau and why?  Did anyone take a photo of them before they were torn down?  Not that I know of.  The American liberators of Dachau found out about the standing cells from Eleanore Hodys, a prisoner who had been at Auschwitz, where she claimed that she had been confined to a “standing cell” for NINE WEEKS.  She also claimed that she had had an affair with Rudolf Hoess at Auschwitz.  Hoess had formerly been the Commandant at Dachau, so her story took up about a third of the book about Dachau, which was entitled Dachau Liberated, the Official Report.  Her story may have inspired the claim of standing cells at Dachau.

There was at least one American prisoner at Dachau when the camp was liberated.  What did he have to say about the standing cells, the whipping block and the pole hanging?  Did he write a book about the torture that he endured at Dachau?  Did he ever explain why he was not executed after he was caught, fighting with the French Resistance, in civilian clothes?

The American prisoner at Dachau, when the camp was liberated, was Rene Guiraud.

After being given intensive specialized training, Lt. Guiraud had been parachuted into Nazi-occupied France, along with a radio operator. His mission was to collect intelligence, harass German military units and occupation forces, sabotage critical war material facilities, and carry on other resistance activities. In other words, he was an illegal combatant, according to the Geneva Convention of 1929, and he could have been legally executed.

Guiraud had organized 1,500 guerrilla fighters and developed intelligence networks. During all this, Guiraud posed as a French citizen, wearing civilian clothing. He was captured and interrogated for two months by the Gestapo, but revealed nothing about his mission. After that, he was sent to Dachau where he participated in the camp resistance movement along with the captured British SOE men in the camp.

Two weeks after the liberation of the Dachau horror camp, Guirard “escaped” from the quarantined Dachau camp and went to Paris where he arrived in time to celebrate V-E day.  He never said a word about how he was treated badly at Dachau.

What about the five British SOE agents, who were prisoners in the Dachau camp when it was liberated?  What did they have to say about the horror at Dachau?

One of the prisoners at Dachau, when the camp was liberated, was Albert Guérisse, a British SOE agent from Belgium, who was hiding his identity by using the name Patrick O’Leary. He was one of five British SOE agents who had survived the Nazi concentration camps at Mauthausen in Austria and Natzweiler in Alsace before being transferred to Dachau.

When the American liberators arrived at the gate into the Dachau camp, Guérisse greeted Lt. William P. Walsh and 1st Lt. Jack Bushyhead of the 45th Infantry Division and took them on a tour of the camp, showing them the gas chamber and the ovens in the crematorium. In his book  entitled The Day of the Americans, Nerin E. Gun wrote that Patrick O’Leary (real name Albert Guérisse) was the leader of the International Committee of Dachau, which was in charge of the camp.

What did Guérisse tell the Americans about the horror of Dachau, other than the gas chamber?  Nothing.  He escaped to Paris, along with Rene Guiard.

The information about the Dachau camp, which is told to visitors today, came from the Jewish prisoners, most of whom had only been in the Dachau camp for a few weeks.  They had been evacuated from the sub-camps and brought to the main camp, so that the prisoners could be surrendered to the Americans.  It was the Jewish prisoners who testified at the American Military Tribunal, and wrote books about the horror of Dachau.

Visitors to Dachau today don’t want to hear about what it was really like at Dachau.  They want to see a “horror camp” and a gas chamber. The Dachau Memorial Site caters to the desire of the tourists; it does not tell the true story of what Dachau was really like.

Few tourists visit the historic town of Dachau, which was in existence before America was a country.

 The Gable on the town hall in the historic town of Dachau


The Gable on the town hall in the historic town of Dachau

The photograph above shows a close-up of the emblem on the top of the old town hall. In the round window in the center of the picture, you can see a silver spur. A spur has been used in the Dachau town seal since as far back as 1374.  But who cares about that?  Tourists today only want to see the gas chamber at Dachau, not the historic buildings in the town.

You can see photos of the historic places in the town of Dachau on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauTown/HistoricPlaces/index.html

August 22, 2013

French resistance fighter, who was a prisoner at Dachau, defends Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is being heavily criticized in the press because she combined a trip to the Dachau Memorial Site with a trip to the town of Dachau in connection with her re-election campaign.  Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with that.  If she had gone to the town, and NOT visited the former camp, she would have been criticized even more.

In one news story, which you can read in full here, a former Dachau prisoner defends Chancellor Merkel:

Jean Samuel, a French resistance fighter held at Dachau from July 1944 until the camp’s liberation in April 1945, said that regardless of Merkel’s campaign schedule the gesture was important.

“We are fighting for the duty to remember so I hope that is also why she came,” he told AFP at the ceremony.

As a “French resistance fighter,” Jean Samuel was an illegal combatant, who could have been executed because he was in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1929.  You can read about the history of the French resistance on my website here.  Jean Samuel was most likely a prisoner at the Natzweiler camp, which was the main camp for French resistance fighters, before he was transferred to Dachau.

The photo below shows some of the French Resistance fighters, who were prisoners at Dachau.

French resistance fighters at Dachau

French resistance fighters at Dachau

Notice that one of the French Resistance fighters at Dachau was given a jacket that is two sizes too small.  This is just one of the many ways that prisoners at Dachau were tortured.  At least, he has a cigarette in his hand. The photo below shows another photo of the resistance fighters at Dachau, including one man with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.  Could this be the same man?

"Political prisoners" at Dachau after the camp was liberated

“Political prisoners” at Dachau after the camp was liberated

The photo above shows some of the members of the International Committee of Dachau, an organization that was in charge of the Dachau camp when it was liberated. The second man from the left, who is wearing a cardigan sweater and a coat, appears to be Albert Guérisse, a British SOE agent from Belgium, who was hiding his identity by using the name Patrick O’Leary.

Guérisse was one of five British SOE agents who had survived the Nazi concentration camps at Mauthausen in Austria and Natzweiler in Alsace before being transferred to Dachau. On the day that the Dachau camp was liberated, Guérisse greeted Lt. William P. Walsh and 1st Lt. Jack Bushyhead of the 45th Infantry Division and took them on a tour of the camp, showing them the gas chambers and the ovens in the crematorium.

After Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945, the official report of the US Seventh Army was printed as a book entitled Dachau Liberated: The Official Report by The U.S. Seventh Army, Released Within Days of the Camp’s Liberation by Elements of the 42nd and 45th Divisions. The Report was based on two days of interviewing 20 political prisoners at Dachau; the prisoners told the Americans that both the shower room and the four disinfection chambers were used as homicidal gas chambers.

The following quote is from The Official Report:

“When the American troops arrived on 29 April 1945, there were approximately 32,500 estimated internees of all nationalities, the Poles predominating. During this period, the camp was notorious for its cruelty, but within the last six or eight months, some ‘token’ improvement was noted in the treatment of the internees. However, the new crematorium was completed in May 1944, and the gas chambers, a total of five, were used for the executions and the disposals of the bodies.”

I applaud Jean Samuel for defending Chancellor Merkel.  It’s the least he could do to thank the Germans for not executing him, as they could have legally done, since he had been fighting in World War II as an illegal combatant.

In order to understand the story of the French Resistance, with regard to Dachau, you can read about the long and complicated case of General Charles Delestraint on my web site at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/GeneralDelestraint.html

May 19, 2013

Did a 62-year-old nun with a slegdehammer really make an opening in a guard tower at Dachau for a door into a nunnery?

Earlier today, I wrote a long comment on my blog about a blog post written by another blogger.  My new post today is a continuation of my criticism of what my fellow blogger wrote. I am writing about how the Carmelite convent, just outside of the Dachau Memorial Site, was built.

A Catholic convent was built just outside the north wall of the Dachau camp

A Catholic convent was built just outside the north wall of the Dachau camp

The Carmelite Convent, called Karmel Heilig-Blut, was designed by Josef Wiedemann, the same architect who designed the Catholic Church and its bell tower. The foundation stone was laid by Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler, a former inmate in the camp, at a ceremony on April 28, 1963. The spot where the convent was built was formerly a pond that was filled with gravel when the Nazis rebuilt the camp in 1937. Construction started in August 1963 and the finished convent was dedicated on November 22, 1964.

This quote is from the blog post which you can read in full here:

To leave things on a slightly less depressing note (although I feel like a post about Dachau is allowed–nay, expected–to be a downer), in the years since the war, a convent has been built adjacent to the camp grounds.The sisters wanted the entrance gate to the convent to be through one of the old guard towers at the far end of the camp, near the various religious monuments, but the Powers That Be (the earthly ones, I mean) kept saying no. “The problem was solved,” our guide told us, “by a sixty-two-year-old nun with a sledgehammer”–thus confirming my belief in the inherent badassery of nuns everywhere. The power of Christ compels you, indeed.

No legal action was taken against the nun; a group of Roma people (gypsies) backed her up and lent their support to the convent’s unorthodox building plans. And the gate to the convent remains there (after a bit of touching up…sledgehammer holes aren’t that pretty) to this day, a symbol that Dachau is no longer an enclosed prison, but an open memorial site.

There may have been a nun wielding a sledgehammer, but I am guessing that the nun was allowed to make the first hole in a guard tower at Dachau, in a symbolic ceremony in 1963, when one of the original guard towers at Dachau was remodeled to make an entrance into the Catholic convent.

Entrance into the convent is through a guard tower

Entrance into the convent is through a guard tower

After Dachau was liberated, the “Powers That Be” were the members of the International Committee of Dachau which is still, to this day, in charge of the Dachau Memorial Site.  Just before the acting Commandant, Martin Gottfried Weiss, left the Dachau camp in April 1945, when the American liberators were on their way, he turned the camp over to this Committee, which was headed by Albert Guérisse, a British SOE agent who had been imprisoned at Dachau because he was an illegal combatant, aiding the French Resistance.

The man in charge of the construction of a convent at Dachau was Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler. As a former inmate in the Dachau camp, he headed the projects to build both the convent and the Church of the Mortal Agony of Christ, which was the very first memorial built at Dachau.

When the American liberators arrived at Dachau on April 29, 1945, the majority of the prisoners in the camp were Polish Catholics. According to the US Army census, there were 2,539 Jews in the camp, most of them having arrived in the last days and weeks of the war, after being evacuated from other camps.

A Catholic church was the first memorial built at Dachau

A Catholic church was the first memorial built at Dachau

The name of the Catholic chapel at Dachau is Todeangst Christi. It is usually translated in English as “Mortal Agony of Christ” although the literal translation of the German title would be “Christ’s Mortal Anxiety.” The church was built in 1960 at the instigation of Dr. Johannes Neuhäusler, a former inmate of the camp who became a Bishop in Munich after the war. Neuhäusler had been arrested in 1941 for breaking one of the laws of the Nazi government by publicly reading the critical writings of Cardinal Faulhaber, who opposed the Nazi regime. He was first taken to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp for political prisoners near Berlin and then transferred to Dachau a few months later.

The guard towers at Dachau were torn down after the camp was liberated; the guard towers that you see there today are reconstructions, except for the guard tower which has a door into the Catholic convent, which is the only original tower.

When the Dachau concentration camp was in operation, there were no doors into the guard towers from inside the camp, since this would have allowed the prisoners to break into the towers and kill the guards.

Door into the Catholic Convent at Dachau is through a guard tower

Door into the Catholic Convent at Dachau is through a guard tower

The guard tower, which is now an entrance to the Catholic convent, had to be remodeled to make a door from the Dachau Memorial Site into the convent.  There may have been a ceremony when this door was created.  I can see Neuhäusler handing a sledgehammer to the oldest nun and giving her the honor of making the first blow in the construction of  a new door into the guard tower.

The Jewish Memorial at Dachau was not built until 1967.  It is very close to the Catholic convent, and the Jews have complained about the tiny cross on the convent building, but the cross is still there.

Jewish Memorial at Dachau is very close to the Catholic convent

Jewish Memorial at Dachau is very close to the Catholic convent

Tiny cross on Catholic convent offends the Jews

Tiny cross on Catholic convent offends the Jews

Note the contrast between the Catholic convent and the Jewish Memorial. One is dark and ominous, and the other is light and welcoming.

The Dachau Memorial site has turned into a memorial to the Jews.  Tourists go there to pay their respects to the Jews who died in the Holocaust.  The fact that Dachau was a camp mainly for political prisoners, who were predominantly Catholic, has been completely lost.  The former shower room at Dachau is now explained away as a place where the Nazis tested gassing methods.  The gas chamber is the linchpin of the Holocaust and you can’t have a Memorial to the Jews without a gas chamber.

September 6, 2010

Albert Guérisse and Noor Inayat Khan

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:11 am

Today the Ahmadiyya Times, a newspaper in India, has an article about the execution of Noor Inayat Khan, a British SOE agent, on September 13, 1944 at Dachau. The article includes this quote:

On 11 September 1944 Noor Inayat Khan and three other SOE agents from Karlsruhe prison, Yolande Beekman, Eliane Plewman and Madeleine Damerment, were moved to the Dachau Concentration Camp. In the early hours of the morning, 13 September 1944, the four women were executed by a shot to the head. Their bodies were immediately burned in the crematorium. An anonymous Dutch prisoner emerging in 1958 contended that Noor Inayat Khan was cruelly beaten by a high-ranking SS officer named Wilhelm Ruppert before being shot from behind. Her last word was “Liberté”. She was 30 years old.

As a British SOE agent, Noor Inayat Khan was working with the French Resistance, which was operating in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1929, so the execution of Noor Inayat Khan was legal under the terms of the Geneva Convention of 1929 which did not protect illegal combatants.

The SOE was the Special Operations Executive, a British spy organization, which carried on espionage and sabotage operations in France and elsewhere during World War II.

Albert Guérisse, a medical doctor and a resistance fighter from Belgium, was also a British SOE agent; he was a prisoner at Dachau in September 1944.  So why wasn’t Guérisse executed at Dachau?

Guérisse is the second person from the left

During World War II, Guérisse was in charge of an escape route for downed Allied pilots, called the PAT line. He used the code name Patrick O’Leary, the name of a Canadian friend. In March 1943, Guérisse was arrested in Toulouse after the escape line was infiltrated and betrayed by French collaborator Roger Le Neveu.

Guérisse was first sent to the Neue Bremm prison camp in the German city of Saarbrücken, then to the infamous Class III camp at Mauthausen in Austria; in the summer of 1944 he was an inmate at the Natzweiler labor camp, along with SOE agents Brian Stonehouse, Robert Sheppard and Ian Kenneth Hopper, who went by the name Johnny Hopper. Along with one other SOE agent, they formed a group called the “English Officers.”

When the Natzweiler camp was evacuated on September 6, 1944, Guérisse, Stonehouse, Sheppard and Hopper were sent on a train to Dachau, along with the other Natzweiler inmates. At Dachau, Guérisse became the leader of a group of Communist prisoners who formed the International Committee of Dachau inside the camp.

When the American liberators arrived at Dachau on April 29, 1945, they found that the acting Commandant, Martin Weiss, and most of the regular guards had left the night before, after turning the camp over to Guérisse’s Committee.

Guérisse and the other “English Officers” had managed to survive Mauthausen, Natzweiler and Dachau, three of the worst camps in the Nazi concentration camp system. All three of these camps had gas chambers.  In fact, it was Guérisse who greeted Lt. William P. Walsh and 1st Lt. Jack Bushyhead of the 45th Infantry Division, on the day that Dachau was liberated, and took them to see the gas chamber and the ovens in the crematorium.

The work done for the French Resistance, by Albert Guérisse, and the other English officers, was far more important than anything that the women SOE agents ever did. Yet, Madeleine Damerment was executed, after being captured on the day that she landed in France, while Guérisse and his fellow English officers were allowed to live, and Martin Weiss, the acting Commandant of Dachau, even turned the camp over to Guérisse and his Committee before it was surrendered to the Americans.

There were no male British SOE agents executed at Dachau; on the contrary, the male SOE prisoners were treated exceptionally well in the camps. The male agents did not have to work in the factories, nor on the farm at Dachau, nor in the quarry at Mauthausen. Instead, the male agents were given easy jobs inside the camps.

Albert Guérisse worked in the infirmary at Dachau, just as he had at Natzweiler. This gave him the opportunity to conspire with other Communist prisoners, who worked in the infirmary, in organizing the International Committee of Dachau, which still exists to this day.

Brian Stonehouse was also a British SOE agent at Dachau.  After World War II, he became an illustrator for Vogue magazine.  Stonehouse attributed his survival to the fact that the Nazis had kept him alive for four and a half years in order to make use of his ability as an artist.  But what about Noor Inayat Khan?  She wrote children’s books — why wasn’t she saved?

By some remarkable coincidence, Guérisse and Stonehouse had been sent to the Natzweiler camp shortly before four other female SOE agents were executed there.  Guérisse and Stonehouse were then transferred to Dachau a week before four more female SOE agents were brought to Dachau to be executed.

Arthur Haulot, a former Belgian prisoner at Dachau, and one of the prominent members of the International Committee of Dachau, told Sarah Helm, the author of a biography of SOE officer Vera Atkins, entitled A Life in Secrets, that he had never heard any mention of these women while he was at Dachau. Haulot was having an affair with a German nurse in the camp, according to his Diary, and he was in a unique position to know what was going on.

According to Sarah Helm’s book, “No witnesses had been interrogated who had seen anything at all of these women inside Dachau concentration camp.”

Belgian prisoners at Dachau pose for a photo after they were liberated

Political prisoners at Dachau after they were liberated

Notice that the Belgians and the political prisoners at Dachau appear to be in good health.  The male prisoners at Dachau were treated well, but for some reason, four female British SOE agents were executed at Dachau, including one woman who was captured on the day she landed in France, before she had a chance to do anything to help the French resistance.

What’s going on here?  Did the Nazis just like to execute women?  Before you say that Hitler had no respect for women, what about Leni Riefenstahl who directed the famous documentary Triumph of the Will?


March 5, 2010

Women in the British SOE – what really happened to them?

This morning I got an e-mail from a woman who wrote that she is a cousin of Diana Rowden, a British SOE  agent in World War II, whom she says was murdered at the Natzweiler concentration camp.

This brought back memories of my trip to France and my visit to the Natzweiler Memorial Site a couple of years ago.  I had a hellavuh time getting to the place.  The former Natzweiler camp is located on a steep, winding mountain road, 5 miles from the nearest train station and there is no bus service. I had to hire a taxi driver to drive me there from the nearest town.

While I was in the crematorium building at Natzweiler, I noticed a small plaque on the wall in honor of four women SOE agents who were executed there; their bodies were burned in the one oven of the crematorium.  I remembered that I had seen a similar sign, honoring four other women SOE agents on the wall of the crematorium at Dachau.  I couldn’t help wondering why four women would be brought such a long way,  to a place as isolated as Natzweiler, for execution.  They were brought from a Gestapo prison in Germany to Natzweiler, a camp in Alsace, which is now in France. Why weren’t all eight of the women taken to Dachau for execution, I wondered.

After I got back from my trip, I started doing some research on Natzweiler and I learned that there were several male SOE agents who had been prisoners at Natzweiler and when this camp had to be closed, they were transferred to Dachau.  The SOE men had arrived at Dachau just a week before the SOE women were brought in for execution.  Curiously, the four SOE women had been executed at Natzweiler shortly before the men were transferred.  This struck me as being more than a coincidence.

Did the Gestapo deliberately arrange for several male SOE agents to be at Natzweiler, and then at Dachau, so there would be witnesses to the execution of the SOE women?  And why weren’t the men executed?  Not only were the SOE men not executed, they were privileged prisoners who were treated very well.

One of the SOE men, Albert Guérisse, claimed to be an eye-witness to the arrival of the four SOE women at Natzweiler. Guérisse said that the Commandant of the camp had driven his car down to the railroad station to pick up the women and he drove a couple of laps around the camp, as if he were giving them a tour.  All the prisoners inside the camp were able to  see these women who had been brought to Natzweiler for a secret execution.

Another SOE man, Brian Stonehouse, claimed that he was working near the gate and saw the women arrive on foot; he just happened to be an artist and a fashion expert, so he was able to sketch the women and describe their outfits in detail, right down to the hair ribbons they wore.

The cousin of Diana Rowden, who e-mailed me, wrote that she had met one of the former prisoners at Natzweiler when she visited the Memorial Site. This man told her that he had seen the women SOE agents as they  arrived at night. So we have three different eye-witness versions of the arrival of the women SOE agents at Natzweiler.

I believe that what may have happened is that all three of these witnesses saw the wives and girlfriends of the SS officers at Natzweiler arriving for a party that was going on in honor of an SS man who was leaving because he was being transferred to another camp.

Then I found out that there were four more British SOE women who were executed at Ravensbrück, the women’s concentration camp.  This makes no sense at all.  Why not take all 12 women to the women’s camp for execution?  Both Dachau and Natzweiler were camps for men.

There was one British SOE woman at Ravensbrück, Odette Sansom, who was not executed; she survived because she was having an affair with the Commandant, Fritz Hartjenstein. Odette claimed that all her toenails were pulled out by the Gestapo men who were trying to make her talk.

I spent a great deal of time researching the British SOE and read several books pertaining to the SOE women. On my web site http://www.scrapbookpages.com, I wrote about what I found out here and here.

Here is a quote from this page of my web site:

Of the four British SOE agents allegedly executed at Dachau, Noor Inayat Khan has become the most famous. Noor has gone down in history as a great heroine because she defied her captors to the end, never cooperating with the Germans in any way.

Noor Inayat Khan was the first woman to be sent to France to work as a wireless operator, even though there were other women in the SOE who would have been better suited for this job. Her trainer thought that Noor was too emotional and when she was given a mock interrogation to see how she would hold up under an interrogation by the Gestapo, she failed miserably. Physically tiny and fearful of guns, she was also “not overly burdened with brains,” according to her instructor. Moreover, her exotic beauty might draw attention to her, causing her to be more vulnerable to arrest by the Gestapo.

Noor Inayat Khan was sent to France, even before she had finished her training, on an RAF Lysander plane on the night of June 16, 1943 to become a wireless operator for the Cinema sub circuit of the Prosper line; her organizer was Emile Garry. Noor was captured around October 1, 1943 after she was allegedly betrayed by the sister of Emile Garry.

According to the book “A Life in Secrets,” by Sarah Helm, Noor was denounced by Renée Garry who told the Gestapo where to find her. Renée was in love with another SOE agent named France Antelme, but when Nora arrived, Antelme gave his affection to her.

Renée Garry allegedly sold Noor to the Gestapo for money and revenge, but what was the real motive for Noor’s betrayal? Did the British deliberately select their least qualified female agent to send to France because they wanted her to be caught? Was this a deliberate plan to allow the Germans to capture a British radio?

In her book “Flames in the Field,” Rita Kramer wrote that Henri Déricourt, who was a double agent in the Prosper line, said that the British had deliberately sacrificed women SOE agents as part of a scheme to distract from the invasion of Sicily. These women were “decoys” who were meant to be captured after the British learned that the Germans had infiltrated the Prosper Network. The purpose was to plant disinformation about the invasion of Sicily.

You can read more about the women who were allegedly executed at Dachau here and about the women who were allegedly executed at Natzweiler here.

There are no records whatsoever that would prove that these 12 SOE women were executed.

So what really happened to the women SOE agents?  My theory is that all 12 were sent to Ravensbrück and they died in the typhus epidemic there, or they were transferred from Ravensbrück to Bergen-Belsen where they died in the typhus epidemic.  The records from Ravensbrück were confiscated by the Soviet liberators and have never been made public.

The British deliberately sacrificed these women SOE agents by arranging for them to get caught, and now the women are being widely promoted as heroines in order to cover up the truth.  I have explained this in another blog post.