Scrapbookpages Blog

January 4, 2017

Triumpf of the Will

Filed under: Germany, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 2:57 pm

The movie Triumph of the Will was mentioned in the TV news. I wrote about this famous movie on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Nurnberg/Nurnberg04A.html

You can watch the famous movie on you-tube.

Quote from my website:

Begin quote
The Nazi party rallies in Nürnberg, Germany were designed to impress the rest of the world with Germany’s military might and the party’s solid support of Hitler. To people who were alive before World War II started, the name Nürnberg immediately evokes images of the spectacular Nazi rallies.

The speeches were broadcast around the world by radio, and films of the event were shown in the newsreels that preceded movies in theaters, the 1930ies substitute for television world news.

In 1935, Hitler commissioned the beautiful and talented movie actress, Leni Riefenstahl, to produce the film “Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will), which is still frequently shown on the History Channel on cable television; it is a propaganda documentary of the 1935 annual party rally at the Zeppelin Field.

In 1934, Albert Speer was commissioned to design a permanent stone structure for the party rallies at the Zeppelin Field. According to Speer, his design was “a mighty flight of stairs topped and enclosed by a long colonnade, flanked on both ends by stone abutments. Undoubtedly it was influenced by the Pergamum altar.” He added that “The structure had a length of thirteen hundred feet and a height of eighty feet. It was almost twice the length of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome.”

June 20, 2016

What role did Albrecht Speer play in the Holocaust?

One of the readers of my blog asked this in a comment: “So you think that [Albrect] Speer should be prosecuted for what he did?  What did he do wrong?”

What did Albrect Speer do wrong? Part of what he did wrong was that he was Adolf Hitler’s best friend.  Speer was guilty by association.

In 1933, the airfield called the Zeppelin Field, which was outside the Nuremberg city center, was first used for the annual Nazi party rally because it offered a huge space for party members to gather and listen to the nationalistic speeches of Hitler, the party leader.

Heinrich Himmler stands behind Hitler was the first party rally

Heinrich Himmler stands behind Hitler at the first party rally

According to Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect, in his Memoirs entitled Inside the Third Reich, the first Nazi Party Rally was held at the Zeppelin field in 1933, after Hitler was appointed Chancellor of the Reich.

As Hitler’s official architect, Speer was commissioned to design a temporary reviewing stand at the Zeppelin Field. He designed a gigantic eagle with a wingspread of over 100 feet. “I spiked it to a timber framework like a butterfly in a collection,” Speer wrote.

Albrecht Speer designed this huge monument at the Zepplin Field

Albrecht Speer designed this huge monument at Zepplin Field

Speer wrote, in his autobiography, that he had designed the Tribüne at the Zeppelin Field so that it would still look beautiful even “after generations of neglect, overgrown with ivy, its columns fallen, the walls crumbling here and there, but the outlines still clearly recognizable.”

Speer was tried by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg in 1945; he was convicted and served 20 years in Spandau prison for his part in the “common plan” of the Nazis to commit war crimes. Speer was the man in charge of the forced labor camps in Germany during the war. In a footnote in his book, Speer mentioned that the Palace of Justice was repaired, in preparation for the International Military Tribunal, by the forced labor of the defeated Germans.

In September 1938, the last peacetime rally had taken place at Nuremberg. This was the largest Nazi rally ever held; there were around 700,000 members of various Nazi organizations which took part in the festivities which lasted for a week.

On Saturday, September 10, 1938, over 800,000 members of the Hitler Youth marched into the Nuremberg stadium and performed military style maneuvers which they had been practicing for a whole year. In the grand finale, they spelled out the name Adolf Hitler. Hitler gave a speech in which he said, “You, my youth, are our nation’s most precious guarantee for a great future, and you are destined to be the leaders of a glorious new order under the supremacy of National Socialism. Never forget that one day you will rule the world.”

As it turned out, Germany does not rule the world. The Germans are now ruled by the Jews, who have come back to live in Germany.

 

February 2, 2016

“gays were rounded up and marched with Jews to the gas chambers”

Filed under: Germany — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 2:11 pm

The title of my blog post today comes from a line in a news article which you can read in full at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-d-rosenstein/anti-semitism-emerges-at_b_9080928.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

The following quote is from the news article:  “Let us never forget gays were rounded up and marched with Jews to the gas chambers.”

Sorry — close but no cigar!

Here is the story of what really happened to gays in Nazi Germany:

Hitler had planned a world exhibition in 1950, at which time the city of Berlin would have been renamed Germania. Hitler had envisioned that, by that time, all the Volkdeutsch (ethnic Germans) would be living together in one united country, which would dominate the world as the only super power.

Authority for this building project came from the “Legislation for the reconstruction of German cities,” which dated from October 4, 1937. Albert Speer, Hitler’s official architect since 1933, was given the job of planning the construction project for Berlin, although Hitler did design some of the buildings himself.

The proposed design for Berlin included the building of a magnificent avenue, 7 kilometers long, which would run north and south, and would intersect with the broad Unter den Linden street at the famous Brandenburg gate.

The street was to end at the Grand Hall, planned to be the largest building in the world. It was to be 290 meters high and 315 meters long with a seating capacity of 150,000 to 180,000 people. Hitler designed this building himself with a little help from Albert Speer. All the buildings in this project were planned to be classic buildings along the lines of those in ancient Greece and Rome.

To provide building materials for this project, beginning in the summer of 1938, the prisoners at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp were used as forced labor in the construction of the world’s largest brickworks just outside the camp, near the Lehnitz lock on the Hohenzollern canal.

When World War II started in 1939, Hitler’s building plans had to be put on hold, but after the victory over France in 1940, the plans resumed.

The prisoners who were assigned to the brickworks (Klinkerwerk) were called the “punishment commando.” The workers had to march to and from the camp to the brickworks each day.

In 1941 the Klinker punishment commando was given the status of a satellite camp or a sub-camp of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Barracks were built on the southeast side of the plant to house the workers.

According to an Information Leaflet about the Klinkerwerk, the satellite camp was used for

… the deliberate annihilation of certain prisoners groups. From July to September 1942, the systematically planned murders of some 180 to 200 homosexual prisoners were carried out in the Klinker satellite camp.

As the closest concentration camp to Berlin, Sachsenhausen had more homosexual prisoners than any of the other camps. A total of approximately 10,000 homosexuals were sent to all the Nazi concentration camps combined during the 12 years of the Third Reich.

In an era when homosexuals were still in the closet in all the countries of the world, Berlin had been a mecca for gays.

The movie Cabaret depicts the gay scene in Berlin before the Nazis came to power. It was based on a book entitled Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood, who lived an openly gay lifestyle in the capital city.

Only male homosexuals who broke the German law by flaunting their lifestyle in public were arrested. After their second arrest and prison term, they were sent to the concentration camps.

No lesbians were ever sent to the camps, solely for being lesbians.

Some of the young men, who were sent to Sachsenhausen after they had been imprisoned for public homosexual activity, were actually Strichjunge, or male prostitutes, from Berlin.

According to the memoirs of Rudolf Höss, the Commandant of Sachsenhausen and later the Commandant of Auschwitz:

“The strict camp life and the hard work quickly reeducated this type. Most of them worked very hard and took great care not to get into trouble so that they could be released as soon as possible. They also avoided associating with those afflicted with this depravity and wanted to make it known that they had nothing to do with homosexuals. In this way countless rehabilitated young men could be released without having a relapse.”

In 1943 the brick factory was partly converted into an armament factory where hand grenades were produced. On April 10, 1945, an Allied bombing raid destroyed the armament factory and the brickworks. About 200 prisoners of the concentration camp lost their lives in the raid.

 

October 17, 2015

How come Nazi war criminal Albert Speer got off with a slap on the wrist?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:41 am

Today, I am answering a question, posed in a comment on my blog, with a new post.

One of the regular readers of my blog asked this question:

“How come Speer got off with basically a slap on the wrist? Compared with the other top dogs in the company, that’s what it seemed like to me.”

I previously blogged about Albert Speer, three years ago, on this blog post:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/did-albert-speer-really-design-the-nazi-gas-chambers/

This quote is from that blog post:

Way back in 1997, I purchased and read the book entitled Inside the Third Reich, Memoirs by Albert Speer in preparation for a trip to Germany during which I planned to visit Nuremberg and then the Dachau concentration camp.

I got out the book and decided to look through it to find out if Albert Speer really acknowledged that he had designed the Nazi gas chambers. Fortunately, his book has an extensive index, which I consulted before reading the book again. The book is 526 pages long, so Thank God, he included an index.

In checking the index of Speer’s Memoirs, I found the term “Gas warfare,” but not “gas chambers,” nor any other reference to gassing. In reading Speer’s book, back in 1997, I was struck by the fact that he was very proud of the structures that he had designed. Did he leave out any mention of the gas chambers in his Memoirs because he was not proud of designing them?

Near the end of his book, on page 523, Speer admitted his guilt as a war criminal. This quote is from Speer’s Memoirs:

Begin quote:

I had participated in a war, which as we of the intimate circle should never have doubted, was aimed at world domination. What is more, by my abilities and my energies, I had prolonged that war by many months. I had assented to having the globe of the world crown that domed hall which was to be the symbol of the new Berlin. Nor was it only symbolically that Hitler dreamed of possessing the globe. It was part of his dream to subjugate other nations. France, I had heard him say many times, was to be reduced to the status of a small nation. Belgium, Holland, even Burgundy, were to be incorporated into his Reich. The national life of the Poles and the Soviet Russians was to be extinguished; they were to made into helot peoples. Nor, for one who wanted to listen, had Hitler concealed his intention to exterminate the Jewish people. In his speech of January 30, 1939, he openly stated as much. Although I never actually agreed with Hitler on these questions, I had nevertheless designed the buildings and produced the weapons that served his ends.

End quote

Albert Speer

Albert Speer

September 13, 2012

Did Albert Speer really design the Nazi gas chambers?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:02 am

Today I am writing in answer to a comment made on my blog, in which the following was stated:

Those in the docks at Nuremburg and subsequent trials across the world since 1947 acknowledge the gas chambers, including Speer, the architect of the gas chambers, amongst other buildings of notoriety he designed and had built. There is a reason why Speer’s children, whilst living nearby to Speer, would not live in the same house as him – they didn’t want to be associated with the man that designed the gas chambers because they understand the reasons why they were designed.

It was news to me that Albert Speer designed the Nazi gas chambers and had them built.  Way back in 1997, I purchased and read the book Inside the Third Reich, Memoirs by Albert Speer in preparation for a trip to Germany during which I planned to visit Nuremberg and then the Dachau concentration camp.  Today, I got out the book and decided to look through it to find out if Albert Speer really acknowledged that he had designed the Nazi gas chambers.  Fortunately, his book has an extensive index, which I consulted before reading the book again. The book is 526 pages long, so Thank God, he included an index.

In checking the index of Speer’s Memoirs, I found the term “Gas warfare,” but not “gas chambers,” nor any other reference to gassing.  In reading Speer’s book, back in 1997, I was struck by the fact that he was very proud of the structures that he had designed.  Did he leave out any mention of the gas chambers in his Memoirs because he was not proud of designing them?

Near the end of his book, on page 523, Speer admitted his guilt as a war criminal.  This quote is from Speer’s Memoirs:

I had participated in a war, which as we of the intimate circle should never have doubted, was aimed at world domination.  What is more, by my abilities and my energies, I had prolonged that war by many months.  I had assented to having the globe of the world crown that domed hall which was to be the symbol of the new Berlin.  Nor was it only symbolically that Hitler dreamed of possessing the globe. It was part of his dream to subjugate other nations.  France, I had heard him say many times, was to be reduced to the status of a small nation. Belgium, Holland, even Burgundy, were to be incorporated into his Reich. The national life of the Poles and the Soviet Russians was to be extinguished; they were to made into helot peoples.  Nor, for one who wanted to listen, had Hitler concealed his intention to exterminate the Jewish people.  In his speech of January 30, 1939, he openly stated as much. Although I never actually agreed with Hitler on these questions, I had nevertheless designed the buildings and produced the weapons that served his ends.

So it seems that Albert Speer admitted, in his Memoirs, that he “designed the buildings … that served [Hitler’s] ends.  Why didn’t Speer specify which buildings that he had designed to serve Hitler’s ends?

Did Hitler actually say in his January 30, 1939 speech that he was going to “exterminate the Jewish people”?  What German word did he use for the English word “exterminate”?  I don’t know so I had to look it up.  I found a website which has published Hitler’s entire speech, not in German, but translated into English.

This quote is from Hitler’s speech on January 30, 1939:

One thing I should like to say on this day, which may be memorable for others as well as for us Germans: In the course of my life I have very often been a prophet and have usually been ridiculed for it. During the time of my struggle for power, it was in the first instance the Jewish race that only received my prophecies with laughter when I said that I would one day take over the leadership of the State and with it that of the whole nation and that I would then, among many other things, settle the Jewish problem. Their laughter was uproarious, but I think that for some time now they have been laughing on the other side of their face. Today I will once more be a prophet. If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war,then the result will not be the bolshevization of the earth, and this the victory of Jewry, butthe annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe! For the time when the non-Jewish nations had no propaganda is at an end. National Socialist Germany and fascist Italy have institutions that enable them when necessary to enlighten the world about the nature of a question of which many nations are instinctively conscious, but which they have not yet clearly thought out. At the moment Jews in certain countries may be fomenting hatred under the protection of a press, of the film, of wireless propaganda, of the theater, of literature, etc., all of which they control. . . .”

The nations are no longer willing to die on the battlefield that this unstable international race may profiteer from a war or satisfy its Old Testament vengeance. The Jewish watchword, ‘Workers of the world, unite!’ will be conquered by a higher realization, namely, ‘Workers of all classes and of all nations, recognize your common enemy!’

Note that Hitler said that he was going to “annihilate the Jewish race in Europe,” not that he was going to annihilate all the Jews in the world. Did Hitler mean that he was going to get the Jews out of Europe, or did he mean that he was going to kill the Jews in Europe?  If he killed only the Jews in Europe, this would not have solved his problem with International Jewry, since Jews from other continents would have quickly filled the void in Europe.

But I digress.  Let’s get back to Albert Speer.  At the Nuremberg IMT, a former prisoner at Mauthausen, named Francois Boix, identified Speer as one of the men who came to visit the Mauthausen camp. Now we’re getting somewhere.  Speer obviously went to Mauthausen to check on the construction of the gas chamber there, which he had designed.  Or did he have some other reason to visit Mauthausen? Like maybe he wanted to inspect the factories at Mauthausen, which were building armaments for the Germans in World War II.

The website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has this quote, from the testimony at Nuremberg, about Speer’s visit to the Mauthausen camp:

When did you see him? A. [Speer] came to the Gusen camp in 1943 to arrange for some constructions, and also to the quarry at Mauthausen. I did not see him myself as I was in the identification service of the camp and could not leave, but during these visits Paul Ricker, head of the identification department, took a roll of film with his Leica which I developed. On this film I recognised (sic) Speer and with him other leaders of the SS. Speer wore a light-coloured suit.

So Speer came to visit the Gusen and Mauthausen camps in 1943? Funny, he never mentioned Mauthausen in his Memoirs.  (The word Mauthausen is not in the index of his book.)

The gas chamber at Mauthausen was completed in the spring of 1942, according to testimony in the American Military Tribunal proceedings against the Mauthausen war criminals.  Why did Speer wait a whole year before going to inspect the Mauthausen gas chamber which he had allegedly designed?

I found some more information on the subject of Albert Speer and the gas chambers on this website. This quote is from the website:

Ernst Nielsen developed an interest in the Holocaust in the early 1970s. He first undertook some study of the subject at a university in 1975.  (Nielsen testified on behalf of Ernst Zündel at his trial in 1988.)

In 1977 [Nielsen] wrote to Albert Speer and arranged a meeting which took place for one hour in Heidelberg, West Germany. Speer had been the minister responsible for armaments and war production during the war. This meant he had been involved with Auschwitz since Auschwitz was an industrial centre. Nielsen asked Speer if there were gas chambers in Auschwitz. Speer replied that the first time he learned about gas chambers was during the Nuremberg trials. Nielsen met Zündel about a year later and told him about this meeting with Speer during one of many conversations he had with Zündel about the Holocaust story.

This information is from my own scrapbookpages.com website:

On March 30, 1943, Speer made his one and only visit to a concentration camp, taking a tour of Mauthausen, which at that time was just switching over from forced labor in the granite quarry to munitions factories using prison labor. Speer was a close personal friend of Hitler and one of the most powerful men in the Nazi government, holding the position of state architect and later the title of Armaments Minister. It was his job to work with Hitler, an amateur architect, in designing new buildings for Berlin and Linz. As the war progressed, plans for the buildings were put on hold and the concentration camps became work camps for the armaments industry, which was under the control of Speer.

Gitta Sereny, author of Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth, wrote the following in regard to Speer’s visit to Mauthausen:

…he spent about forty-five minutes being given the so-called VIP tour which carefully protected visitors from seeing anything that might shock their sensibilities. It was no doubt under the utopian impression this tour provided that he wrote five days later to Himmler protesting against the “lavish building projects” he noticed in the camp. Given the extreme shortage of steel, wood and manpower for building armament factories desperately needed to supply the front lines, he felt that despite the admittedly important tasks for the war effort assigned to concentration camps, the SS really could not continue building along such generous lines:

“We must therefore carry out a new planning program for construction within the concentration camps, which, while allowing for the maximum success for present demands of the armament industry, will require a minimum of material and labor. The answer is an immediate switch to primitive construction methods.”

By “primitive construction methods,” Speer meant such things as temporary unpainted wooden barracks buildings, like the ones used at Auschwitz, which had unplastered walls and no windows because they were really intended to be used for horse barns. Mauthausen, with its granite buildings and painted wooden barracks with windows, was too nice for the slave laborers in Speer’s estimation.

You can see photos of the beautiful buildings at Mauthausen on my website here.

According to Sereny, Speer talked to a friend, Annamarie Kempf, about his trip to Mauthausen. Annamarie told the author:

Now of course, we know that what they showed him was all fake – what they called their “VIP treatment”: a couple of good barracks with, for God’s sake, vases with flowers; shiny kitchens with tasty food on the stove; immaculate shower rooms; and clean, robust-looking prisoners who declared themselves well satisfied with their imprisonment. No wonder he said it wasn’t so bad.

Conditions in all the camps in Greater Germany, which included Austria, deteriorated rapidly when the camps in what is now Poland had to be evacuated, beginning in the summer of 1944, as the Army of the Soviet Union advanced. On October 17, 1944, there were 6,969 male inmates and 399 female inmates at Mauthausen, according to the camp records. After prisoners began to arrive from Auschwitz, which was evacuated beginning in October 1944, the main camp at Mauthausen became seriously overcrowded, with 19,800 prisoners at one point, making conditions ideal for the spread of disease. From there, it was all downhill. By the time the American liberators arrived in the first week of May 1945, there was no more food, no flowers in the vases, no robust-looking prisoners and the shower room, which was actually a gas chamber, was filled with dead prisoners.

I have one whole section, on my website, about the Mauthausen gas chamber, which you can read here.  In all my research about Mauthausen, I never learned that it was Albert Speer who had designed the gas chamber there.  He must have designed the Mauthausen gas chamber with beauty in mind, rather than workability.

The Memorial Site at Mauthausen does not acknowledge that the gas chamber was designed by Albert Speer.  Nor does any other Memorial Site acknowledge that Albert Speer designed the gas chamber in their former camp.

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