Scrapbookpages Blog

May 3, 2017

The story of Dachau, as told to tourists

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 4:30 pm

In 2005, the entrance into the Dachau Memorial site was changed so that visitors can now see a section of the brick path upon which the prisoners walked as they neared the Arbeit Macht Frei gate into the prison camp.

My photo of the gate into the Dachau camp

 

New prisoners walked on this brick path into the Dachau concentration camp

The photo above shows the brick path and the grass covering the rubble of the factory buildings that were torn down after American troops took over the SS training camp and the Army garrison next door to the concentration camp.

Visitors can now see a few of the buildings inside the former SS garrison, including the Administration building which is the white building trimmed in yellow on the right in the photo above. When I visited in 2007, I was told that this building was the Commandant’s house, but I have since learned that his house was torn down in 1987.

On the left side of the photo, you can see the ramp upon which supplies for the camp were unloaded. Passenger trains did not enter the Dachau camp.

A new gravel path, [shown in the photo above] which leads from the bus stop to the Arbeit Macht Frei gate, was constructed in 2005 on the south side of the Dachau complex, which includes the former concentration camp and what is left of the former SS Army Garrison and Training Center for concentration camp administrators, which the Dachau tour guides refer to as a “school of violence” or a “school of terror.”

The entrance into the Dachau Memorial Site was changed again when a new Visitor’s Center was completed. New signs which tell the story of Dachau were added.

I have been to the town of Dachau, and to the concentration camp near the town, several times. The last time that I was there was in 2007.

I have a whole section about the Dachau camp on my scrapbookpages.com website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/KZDachau/DachauLife01A.html

 

March 27, 2017

Arbeit macht Frei

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:51 am

Gate into the main Auschwitz camp

It is hard to get a photo of the Auschwitz gate because there is a steady stream of tourists walking through the gate.

The slogan “Arbeit macht Frei” literally means that work will set you free. This slogan was put over the gate into the main Auschwitz camp, as shown in the photo above. The “death camp” known as Auschwitz-Birkenau did not have this slogan.

The following quote is from Wikipedia:

Begin quote

The slogan “Arbeit macht frei” was placed at the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps. The slogan’s use in this instance was ordered by SS General Theodor Eicke, inspector of concentration camps and second commandant of Dachau Concentration Camp.

The slogan can still be seen at several sites, including over the entrance to Auschwitz I where, according to BBC historian Laurence Rees in his “Auschwitz: a New History”, the sign was erected by order of commandant Rudolf Höss. This particular sign was made by prisoner-labourers including Jan Liwacz. The sign features an upside-down ‘B’, which has been interpreted as an act of defiance by the prisoners who made it.[4][5]

In 1933 the first political prisoners were being rounded up for an indefinite period without charges. They were held in a number of places in Germany. The slogan was first used over the gate of a “wild camp” in the city of Oranienburg, which was set up in an abandoned brewery in March 1933 (it was later rebuilt in 1936 as Sachsenhausen[citation needed]). It can also be seen at the Dachau concentration camp, Gross-Rosen concentration camp, and the Theresienstadt Ghetto-Camp, as well as at Fort Breendonk in Belgium. It has been claimed that the slogan was placed over entrance gates to Auschwitz III / Buna/Monowitz.[6][7] The slogan appeared at the Flossenbürg camp on the left gate post at the camp entry. The original gate posts survive in another part of the camp, but the slogan sign no longer exists.[8] Primo Levi describes seeing the words illuminated over a doorway (as distinct from a gate) in Auschwitz III/Buna Monowitz.[9]

End quote

June 11, 2016

92-year-old frail and deaf woman might be put on trial for her role in killing Jews in the Holocaust

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:17 am

I know what you are thinking, dear reader. You are wondering what heinous crime this woman committed during the time that the Hungarian Jews were being transported to Auschwitz in 1944.

[I thought that the Hungarian Jews were transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, but what do I know?]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3636247/Former-SS-radio-operator-92-received-details-train-loads-Jews-murdered-Auschwitz-faces-genocide-trial.html

According to the recent news article, cited above, this woman [Helma M.] “received the details of incoming shipments of Jews to be murdered at the Auschwitz extermination camp,” and she “will stand trial for her involvement in genocide.”

Did Helma M. know, at the time when she “received details of incoming shipments of Jews” that these Jews were being sent to Auschwitz to be killed?

Did Helma M. know the meaning of the word genocide? Did she know that some day, there would be a law against being involved in genocide?

This photo of the gate into Auschwitz illustrated the article

This photo of the Auschwitz  gate illustrates the article

I took a photo very similar to the photo above on one of my 3 visits to the Auschwitz main camp. My photo was taken a little bit earlier in the morning.

My photo of the Arbeit Macht Frei gate

My early morning photo of the Arbeit Macht Frei gate

The German words on the gate literally mean “work brings freedom” but the Jews have now taken possession of these words and they claim that this slogan was used to taunt the Jews, who would never be given their freedom, but instead would go “up the chimney” as they were cremated after being gassed to death.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Helma M., who lives in an OAP home near Neumünster in Germany, escaped justicde [justice] at war’s end because no-one could prove she had personally harmed anyone within the camp near the city of Krakow.

End quote

The rules have changed since “war’s end.” No proof is now required. Helma M. is German and all Germans are guilty and can never be forgiven.

I predict that, after the last German is dead and gone, there will still be trials conducted because the Jews can never get enough revenge.

The news article ends with the following quote:

Begin quote

Now it is enough to bring prosecutions against former camp guards merely for serving as part of the Nazo ‘murder machine.’

Consequently Jens Rommel, head of the central authority in Germany charged with prosecuting Nazi war crimes, has charged her with complicity in the murders of 260,000 people in the camp.

In her role as a radio operator of the S.S., Mr Rommel said she received and transmitted details of the liquidation of that number of people – most of them Hungarian Jews – between April and July 1944.

Mr Rommel said: ‘Helma M. was involved in the so-called ‘Hungarian Action’ which saw the destruction of at least half the Jewish population of Hungary.

‘Three to four trains arrived daily. Of 360,000 people, at least a quarter of a million of them were murdered immediately, most of them women and children unfit for work.’

He said the killings were organised in the command area where Helma M. worked. He said she knew when the trains arrived and when they left Hungary.
Helma M., who lives in an OAP home near Neumünster in Germany, escaped justicde [justice] at war’s end because no-one could prove she had personally harmed anyone within the camp near the city of Krakow.

When she received news that a train was on its way, S.S. personnel were scrambled to meet it to select those who would live and those who would die instantly.

Helma M. came from Mrągowo, formerly in East Prussia, now part of Poland and knew no other life than that under the Nazi regime.

‘Helma M., would have known what was happening in Auschwitz, would have heard the sound of the shootings and the smell of burning bodies,’ added Mr Rommel.

‘We have learned from other interrogations that people in the command centre talked of the daily events, and as such we say she was a part of the murder machine which made Auschwitz function.’

Prosecutors want her to answer for her crimes before the Juvenile Court of Kiel because she would have been considered a youth at the time of her service in Auschwitz.

Earlier this year experts said she was not fit to stand trial. But she has been ordered to undergo a new examination next month.

End quote

If you have ever wondered why the Nazis wanted to get rid of the Jews, this news article explains it.

March 11, 2016

How tourists react to a tour of Auschwitz

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:09 am
My 1998 photo of old town Warsaw

My 1998 photo of old town Warsaw, a popular tourist attraction

The following quote is from a newspaper article, about a tourist trip to Poland, which you can read in full here:

Begin quote

Our first scheduled tour [in Poland] the next morning was the one I had the most apprehension about. After being picked up by the See Krakow Tour bus, we left for Auschwitz.

[My son] Connor had a little understanding of the Holocaust and wanted to learn more, but I admit I was a little nervous of what we would see and how it would affect my son.

The World War II extermination camp [Auschwitz 1] was not exactly what I expected. I had the notion we would find it deep in the forest, hidden from public view. On the contrary, it was right in the middle of Polish civilization.

Our guide took us through the front gate under the infamous sign in German that reads “Arbeit Macht Frei,” or in English, “Work Will Set You Free.” Of course, we know now that no words could be further from the truth. [The slogan “Arbeit macht Frei” was only used on the gate of a Class I camp, from which prisoners had a chance to be released.]

Without going into extreme detail because of the horrific things that went on there, we saw all kinds of artifacts, mostly things taken from those who were taken there against their will. We were also shown the facilities they were were forced to use.

auschwitzlatrine01

[My 2005 photo above shows the latrine in the quantine barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Incoming prisoners were kept in quarantine for a few weeks before they were admitted into the camp.]

At the even larger [Auschwitz] Birkenau, a not-too-distant larger camp making up the second part of Auschwitz, we saw the ruins of the gas chambers and crematoriums.

The day spent at the camps was somber and moving. The effect it had on me has lasted until this day, and I don’t anticipate it will ever go away completely.

End quote

The moral of this story is that tourists should prepare themselves for a trip to Auschwitz; they should at least learn the significance of the slogan “Arbeit macht Frei.”

The gate into the Dachau camp which was not a death camp

My photo of the gate into the Dachau concentration camp which was not a death camp

I have written several blog posts under the tag “Arbeit macht Frei” including this post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/arbeit-macht-frei-what-does-it-stand-for/

February 3, 2016

What British students learn from the HET tours to Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:59 am
Arbeit macht Frei gate at Auschwitz main camp REUTERS

Arbeit macht Frei gate at Auschwitz main camp
Photo credit: REUTERS

You can read about the latest British HET tour of Auschwitz in this news article:  http://www.eastlothiancourier.com/news/14248333.The_horrors_of_Auschwitz_recounted_by_North_Berwick_High_School_pupil_whose_great__great_gran_died_there/

I have written about the HET tours several times in the past.  I am very critical of this student program because I think that it gives the students the wrong impression of Auschwitz and the Holocaust.

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

Begin quote

The coldness of the gas chambers, the vast scale of [Auschwitz] Birkenau, the hallway lined with faces of prisoners who died and mounds of hair, shoes and glasses – these are the images which will have a lasting impression upon me.

[…]

One week prior to the visit, we attended the orientation seminar. This was useful as it not only allowed us to get to know the other young people who would be going through the same experience but it addressed our expectations of the camp.

[…]

At the seminar, we were incredibly privileged to have heard from survivor Ziggi Shipper. Ziggi’s story of being separated from his grandparents and imprisoned in Auschwitz to later finding his mother again after the war is truly remarkable.

End quote

I first learned about Ziggi and the hair exhibits at Auschwitz when someone made a comment on one of my very first blog posts:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/hair-today-gone-tommorrow-the-exhibits-at-auschwitz/

The news article about the HET tour ends with this quote:

Begin quote

I now feel ready to do this as part of the Next Steps programme, though, and hope to achieve this through various channels such as assemblies we will be presenting during Holocaust Memorial Week.

‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ – these are the hollow words which confront you as you enter Auschwitz.

‘Work sets you free’ – these are the words which met millions of prisoners, some of whom made this sign, who would never experience freedom again.

End quote

I wrote about the meaning of the Arbeit macht Frei sign on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/KZDachau/Gatehouse.html

“Arbeit macht Frei” does NOT mean “kill the Jews” as some people might think, after reading this news article.

January 27, 2016

More misuse of Holocaust photos

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:47 pm
My photo of the gate into the Sachsenhausen camp

My photo of the gate into the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany

 

People are reflected in a puddle as they walk through the gate of the Sachsenhausen Nazi death camp with the phrase 'Arbeit macht frei' (work sets you free) at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, in Oranienburg, about 18 miles north of Berlin, on Jan. 27, 2016. (Markus Schreiber / AP)

People are reflected in a puddle as they walk through the gate of the Sachsenhausen Nazi death camp with the phrase ‘Arbeit macht frei’ (work sets you free) at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, in Oranienburg, about 18 miles north of Berlin, on Jan. 27, 2016. (Markus Schreiber / AP)

Sachsenhausen was NOT a “Nazi death camp” This slogan was never put on the so-called “death camps”.

The following quote is from the news article:

This year’s commemorations come as a resurgence of anti-Semitism casts a shadow over a new generation of European Jews, something that is driving thousands of them each year to leave the continent.

“We must be honest enough to admit that more than 70 years after the Shoah, anti-Semitism is still alive in our ‘civilized’ European Union,” Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s top foreign affairs representative, said in a statement.

Jewish immigration to Israel from Western Europe grew last year due to a rise in anti-Semitic attacks. Most — nearly 8,000 — were from France, where Islamic extremist attacks have destroyed the sense of security previously felt by Europe’s largest Jewish population.

Why is it that no country wants the Jews? The Jews have never done anyone any harm, yet they have been driven out of almost every country in the world, except the USA.

This quote is also from the same news article:

In Berlin, the German Parliament gathered to remember the victims of the Holocaust and heard Ruth Klueger, an Austrian-born writer who survived Auschwitz and other camps, tell of her experience as a camp inmate and slave laborer.

Klueger, now 84, also recalled the initial denial of Nazi crimes in post-war Germany and contrasted that with the country now.

“Two or even three generations have grown up here since then and this country, which was responsible 80 years ago for the worst crimes of the century, has today won the applause of the world thanks to its open borders and the generosity with which it has taken in Syrian and other refugees, and still is,” Klueger said.

So now the Jews approve of Germany, since the country has been ruined by Syrian refugees.  Germany is not Germany any more. Hitler would be turning over in his grave — if he had a grave.

December 13, 2015

You can’t always judge a book by it’s cover

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 7:39 am
The cover of a book written by Eugen Kogon

Cover of book written by Eugen Kogon

The new addition of a book, written years ago by Eugen Kogon, which is shown in the photo above, has a cover with a photo of the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign over an entrance into a building in the Little Fortress at Theresienstadt.

Kogon’s book is about the Buchenwald concentration camp. Did the Buchenwald concentration camp have this sign on any of the buildings in the camp?  No! This photo was taken at Theresienstadt. Only Class 1 camps had the Arbeit macht Frei slogan.

I took this same photo which you can see below.

My photo of the "Little Fortress" at Theresienstadt

My photo of the “Little Fortress” at Theresienstadt

 

Sign on Buchenwald gate says "Jedem das Siene"

Sign on Buchenwald gate says “Jedem das Siene” (Everyone gets what he deserves)

The Buchenwald gate with its famous sign “Jedem das Seine” was designed by Franz Ehrich, a prisoner who studied with Moholy-Nagy, Klee, Kandinsky and Josef Albers at the Bauhaus in Weimar.

Ehrlich was arrested as a Communist resistance fighter in 1935 and sent to Buchenwld two years later. In 1937, the Buchenwald camp was still new and had few buildings. Ehrlich, who had worked with architect Walter Gropius in his Bauhaus Berlin office, volunteered to work in the joinery workshop at Buchenwald; he was assigned to design and build the entrance gate.

The sans-serif lettering of the words “Jedem das Seine” show Ehrlich’s training under Bauhaus typographer Joost Schmidt. After he was released from Buchenwald in 1939, Ehrlich stayed on and worked as a paid architect at the SS training camp and munitions factories at Buchenwald.

Buchenwald was a Class II camp for hard-core political prisoners, mainly Communists, who were considered to be harder to “rehabilitate.” Consequently, conditions in the Buchenwald camp were more severe than at Dachau and Sachsenhausen, which were Class I camps where many prisoners were released after being induced to accept the Nazi principles of obedience and hard work.

The sign over the iron gates at both Dachau and Sachsenhausen read “Arbeit Macht Frei” or Work Brings Freedom.

September 27, 2015

The many gates at Theresienstadt

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:49 am
Main gate into the walled town of Theresienstadt

Main gate into the walled town of Theresienstadt

This morning, I went to Wikipedia to get the facts on Music at  Theresienstadt.  On the Wikipedia page, I saw the photo below, which was purported to be the gate into the Theresienstadt camp.

The gate into the Small Fortress, NOT the gate into the Theresienstadt camp

The gate into the Small Fortress, NOT the gate into the Theresienstadt ghetto (Click on photo to enlarge)

Gate into the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt

Gate into the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt, NOT the gate into the Theresienstadt ghetto

The wall around Theresienstadt fortress

The wall around the Theresienstadt fortress

When Theresienstadt was built as a military fortress in 1780, it consisted of two parts: the Main Fortress, where the Jews were later imprisoned by the Nazis in World War II, and the Small Fortress which was originally built as a prison and was used as such from the time it was completed until a few years after World War II, when the last of the German war criminals, who were incarcerated here by the victorious Allies, were executed.

Old building in Theresienstadt ghetto

Old building in Theresienstadt ghetto (click on photo to enlarge)

Detail of old building at Theresienstadt

Detail of old building at Theresienstadt

The Small Fortress is on the east side of the Ohre river that divides the two parts of the old military fortress, which was named Theresienstadt. The Theresienstadt ghetto is on the west side.

The Main Fortress is now the town of Terezin, which is open to visitors, and even has a hotel where tourists can stay if they don’t mind spending the night in the exact location where Hitler’s SS soldiers once slept.

Gate into the section of the Small Fortress which has the Arbeit Macht Frei sign

Courtyard of the Small Fortress which has the gate with the Arbeit Macht Frei sign

The Small Fortress became a Gestapo prison in June 1940, even before the Main Fortress was turned into a transit camp for the Jews in November 1941.

The following quote is from a pamphlet that I obtained when I toured the Small Fortress:

Begin quote:

People were sent here [to the Small Fortress] for taking part in the democratic and communist resistance movement, for aiding parachutists sent from the west and east to help the Czech resistance, for supporting partisans, escaped prisoners-of-war and Jews, or for individual acts against the Nazi regime. They were intellectuals, workers, farmers, clericals, artists and students, men and women.

The fate of the Jewish prisoners here was particularly tragic. After arrest by the Gestapo for taking part in the resistance movement or breaking the rules established for Jews in Terezin town, they were sent here, given the hardest work and subjected to the worst terrorism by the guards.

It was actually a transit prison as most of the inmates were sent after a certain time before a Nazi court and from there to other prisons and penitentiaries or to concentration camps in Germany, Poland and Austria.

End quote

After visiting the firing range in the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt, tour groups go through the Gate of Death which was the gate through which condemned prisoners had to walk to reach another execution site outside the fortress.

If you don’t want to go through the tunnel to get to the execution site, you can reach the Gate of Death by walking straight ahead when you enter the Small Fortress, instead of turning left into the Administration Court. You will then enter the Fourth Courtyard which is where my tour group emerged when we came through the Gate of Death.

June 30, 2015

Found at last — the name of one person who was gassed by the Nazis

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:52 am

For many years, Bradley Smith has been asking for the name of one person, who was gassed during the Holocaust. Now at last, the name of one person has been found. Kurt Garron was gassed, according to Wikipedia.

The Small Fortress, across the road from the Theresienstadt ghetto

My photo of the Small Fortress, across the road from the Theresienstadt ghetto

Photo on Wikipedia page about Theresienstadt

Photo on Wikipedia page about Theresienstadt

In the FIRST photo above, notice the “Arbeit macht Frei” sign in the background. This sign was NOT over the entrance into the Theresienstadt camp for Jews. The SECOND photo, which is on the Wikipedia page about Theresienstadt, purports to show that the entrance into the Theresiensadt camp had the dreaded sign: “Arbeit macht Frei.” The “Arbeit macht Frei” sign was only put over Class I camps, not over death camps, as claimed by today’s Holocaust True Believers.

After my two visits to Theresienstadt, many years ago, I wrote about the camp on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/CzechRepublic/Theresienstadt/TheresienstadtGhetto/History/GhettoHistory.html

Wikipedia’s misuse of a photo gives you a heads-up that the Wiki page about Theresienstadt might contain some errors. This morning, as I was reading the Wikipedia page on Theresienstadt, I read the following:

Following the successful use of Theresienstadt as a supposed model internment camp during the Red Cross visit, the Nazis decided to make a propaganda film there. It was directed by Jewish prisoner Kurt Gerron, an experienced director and actor; he had appeared with Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel. Shooting took eleven days, starting September 1, 1944.[31] After the film was completed, most of the cast and the director were deported to Auschwitz. Gerron was murdered by gas chamber on October 28, 1944.[32]

Here is the text of source [32]

Evans, Richard J. (2008). The Third Reich At War. Penguin. p. 302. ISBN 978-1-59420-206-3. Retrieved 8 December 2011.

Yes, Virginia there is a gas chamber at Theresienstadt. One of my very first blog posts, on May 13, 2010, was about the Theresienstadt gas chamber.

However, it is not clear whether Gerron was murdered in a gas chamber at Auschwitz, or a gas chamber at Theresienstadt. https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/gas-chamber-at-theresienstadt/

You can read about Richard Evans on this website: http://codoh.com/library/document/402/

February 7, 2015

CNN show “Voices of Auschwitz” hosted by Wolf Blitzer

Last night, I watched the CNN special, entitled Voices of Auschwitz.  The show featured a select group of survivors of Auschwitz, who triumphed over the evil Nazis, by going on to become rich and famous. One of the survivors who was featured, very prominently, in the show was 81-year-old Eva Moses Kor, the twin sister of Miriam Moses, who died at an early age after she was liberated from Auschwitz, 70 years ago, on January 27, 1945. When the CNN show starts, we see a recent color close-up photo of the face of Eva Moses Kor.

I previously blogged about the killing of the Hungarian Jews on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/update-on-oskar-groening-the-ss-guard-at-auschwitz-who-didt-kill-with-his-hands-but-was-part-of-that-killing-machinery/

Very early in my blogging career, five years ago, I blogged about how some of the incoming Jews were marched to the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, while others were marched to the showers: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/the-people-who-walked-on-at-auschwitz-birkenau/

Arbeit Macht Frei sign over the main Auschwitz camp

Arbeit Macht Frei sign over the main Auschwitz camp

Then we see a photo of the famous sign that says “Arbeit Macht Frei” which is now the slogan of the Jews when they complain about the evil perpetrated by the Nazis in the Holocaust. I blogged about the meaning of this sign at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/arbeit-macht-frei-slogan-hi-jacked-by-holocaust-historians/ The  Arbeit Macht Frei sign is over the gate into the Auschwitz main camp, which was a Class I camp for resistance fighters or illegal combatants. The famous “death camp” where Jews were gassed was Auschwitz-Birkeanau, which did not have this sign.

The “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign was used only at Class I camps, so it was not over the gate into the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, where Eva Moses Kor was a prisoner. However, she claims, in the Voices of Auschwitz show, that she was taken to Block 10 in the main camp, where Dr. Mengele did experiments on her and her twin sister.

Block 10 at Auschwitz main camp where Dr. Mengele did experiments on twins

Block 10 at Auschwitz main camp where Dr. Mengele did experiments on twins

Block 10, where Dr. Mengele allegedly did his experiments, has been off limits to tourists for many years, and the windows are blocked out.  During last night’s show on CNN, Eva Moses Kor took Wolf Blitzer into an empty room in a  building, which might have been a room inside Block 10.

Very early in the show, Eva Moses Kor takes Wolf Blitzer to the place where she says that she got off a cattle car when she arrived at Auschwitz. She shows him the very cattle car on which she arrived.  I have a photo of this same cattle car on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Birkenau/Judenrampe.html

Original train car that brought prisoners to Auschwitz

My 2005 photo of an original train car that brought prisoners to Auschwitz at the Judenrampe

Wolf Blitzer is apparently not an expert on the Holocaust, or he would have known that when the Hungarian Jews, including Eva Moses, were brought to Auschwitz-Birkeanu, starting in May 1944, the train tracks had been extended INSIDE the Birkeanau camp and the Judenrampe was no longer being used.

My 2005 photo of the train tracks entering the Birkenau camp

My 2005 photo of the train tracks entering the Birkenau camp

Very early in the show, last night, Wolf Blitzer says that the Nazis “had a plan to wipe out the Jews.”  Then why were the Jews, who are featured in this show, allowed to survive Hitler’s evil plan?  Why didn’t Hitler carry out his plan? The answer might lie in the story of Anita Lasker Waldfisch, who played violin in the orchestra at the main Auschwitz camp; she was later sent to Bergen-Belsen, where she also survived.

Hitler loved music and there were several orchestras at Auschwitz, including an orchestra which played near the Krema III gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau, as the prisoners were marching inside to be gassed.

I blogged about this at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/07/09/the-orchestra-that-played-at-birkenau-as-the-jews-marched-to-the-gas-chamber/ I previously blogged about Anita Lasker Walffisch at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/orchestra-at-auschwitz/

Orchestra at main Auschwitz camp, in which Jewish prisoners played

Orchestra at main Auschwitz camp, in which Jewish prisoners played

Early in the show, Eva Moses Kor tells Wolf Blitzer that she “was crawling and couldn’t walk” on the day that she was liberated by Soviet soldiers on January 27, 1945. By February 1945, she had recovered to the point that she was leading the liberated prisoners out of the camp, along with her twin sister.

Eva Moses Kor and her twin sister Miriam lead the prisoners as they are marched out of Auschwitz-Birkenau

Eva Moses Kor and her twin sister Miriam lead the prisoners as they are marched out of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945  (click on photo to enlarge)

Eva Moses Kor as she looks today and as she points to herself in an old photo taken in February 1945 marching out of Auschwitz-Bkirenau

Eva Moses Kor as she looks today and as she points to herself in an old photo taken in February 1945 marching out of Auschwitz-Bkirenau

One thing that was brought out in the CNN film is that the Jews had had a “wonderful life” before Hitler came along. We see photos of the Jews before the Holocaust, as the Jews explain that they had a “happy childhood” and “beautiful homes.”

Life was good for the Jews in Germany until 1938 when we see a photo of a store window that had the word “Juden” painted on the window.  This was a photo taken at the event known as “Krisstallnacht” when the Germans boycotted Jewish stores in Germany.  This was the beginning of the end for the Jews in Germany. Soon life was over for the Jews: Eva Moses Kor summed it up, on the show, when she said: “In 1944, [the Nazis] came on horses to get the Jews [in Hungary where she lived].”

I wrote about the Hungarian Jews on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/HungarianJews.html

Eva Moses Kor was saved only because she was a twin. She explained to Wolf Blitzer that, when she got off the train at Auschwitz, Dr. Mengele asked her mother if her two girls were twins. Her mother then asked Dr. Mengele if being twins were a good thing, and he said “Yes”.

The mother was sent straight to the gas chamber, but Eva and Miriam were saved, because Dr. Mengele wanted to do evil experiments on twins.

At this point in the show, we hear the story of Renee Firestone. I wrote about Renee Firestone in this previous blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/renee-firestones-shoah-testimony/

On the CNN show, Renee says that she was sent, by Dr. Mengele (who else) to the right, and her mother to the left “and straight to the gas chamber.” At this point, we see young girls frolicking in bathing suits. What does this have to do with anything? My interpretation of the scene was that these were Jewish girls living the good life before the Nazis came along and sent them to concentration camps.

Just after the bathing suits scene, we see photos of the tracks going into Aushwitz-Birkenau with scenes of ominous looking railroad switches.  Jews are getting off the trains with lots of suitcases.

My interpretation of these scenes is that the Jews were rich and living the good life — until the evil Nazis interrupted their lives and sent them to Auschwitz for no reason at all. The Jews had everything, before the Holocaust, except their own country.  Now they have a country, but they are flocking back to Germany.  I wrote about this on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/jews-flocking-back-to-germany/

At this point in the CNN documentary, we see a photo of the Brausebad sign at Dachau.  Wait a minute! Were the Jews, who were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, taken to Dachau to be gassed in the shower room there? As far as I know, the gas chambers at Auschwitz did not have a sign that said Brausebad.

Sign over the door into the shower room at Dachau

Sign over the door into the shower room at Dachau

Just after the Brausebad sign at Dachau was shown in the CNN show, we see a photo of Hungarian women, wearing dresses, marching toward the women’s camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Hungarian women march toward the women's camp at Birkeanu after having a shower

Hungarian women march toward the women’s camp at Birkeanu after having a shower

At this point in the CNN show, it should have been explained that these women had been given a shower, in a shower room at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and their heads had been shaved to get rid of any possible lice that spreads typhus. Instead, we are led to believe that the Nazis humiliated these women by forcing them to wear plain dresses, not even letting them wear blue and white striped clothing.

Finally, we get to the segment about Rene Firestone.  It turns out that Rene was a talented dress designer before she was sent to Auschwitz. We see some of her sketches of women’s dresses. The black and white photo, shown above, was in this segment of the show. The photo shows how the women at Auschwitz-Birkeanu were humiliated by being forced to wear plain dresses.  Would it have killed the Germans to have provided stylish dresses for the women at Auschwitz?

After she was liberated from Auschwitz, Renee went to Budapest where she became a dress designer.

The next part of the show is about Martin Greenfield. We see the Arbeit Macht Frei sign again as the narrator explains that Greenfield was sent to the main camp to work as a tailor for the Nazis. He was just 15 years old.

Martin’s first job at Auschwitz was washing the shirts of the SS men. He ripped a shirt while he was scrubbing the shirt with a brush. He thought that he would be killed because of this, but the Nazis let him live. We see a scene taken at Dachau, when former prisoners walked out of the camp, followed by a scene which showed Martin’s tailor’s shop in America with his name on the top of the building.

Martin Greenfield wrote a book, entitled Measure of a Man, in which he told about his success in dressing several Presidents in hand-sown suits.

Finally, we get to the story of Anita Lasker Wafisch; we see a recent photo of her walking out of her nice home. Then we see the famous Arbeit Macht Frei sign in the main Auschwitz camp. Anita was sent to the main camp, where she played in the orchestra there.  We see the photo of the orchestra at the main Auschwitz camp, which I included in the first part of this blog post. We hear the band playing march music.

Then we see a photo of the Sauna at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where incoming prisoners had to take a shower. Anita explained that the prisoners had to stay in the “quarantine camp” near the entrance to the Birkenau camp. Previously, in  the CNN show, we had seen Eva Moses Kor showing the barracks in the quarantine camp, while she claimed that these were the barracks where she had to live.  Is Eva Kor losing her memory? The photo below shows the barracks in the quarantine camp which are open to visitors.  Eva Kor did not live in  the quarantine barracks, shown in my 2005 photo below.

Quarantine barracks near the entance to Aschwitz Birkeanau camp

Quarantine barracks near the entrance to the Aschwitz Birkeanau camp

Steven Spielberg was shown in the CNN show, as he says: “Auschwitz was an efficient killing machine.” This show was about SURVIVORS of Auschwitz, who went on to fame and fortune, not about prisoners who were killed.

We see Spielberg as he walks under the Arbeit Macht Frei sign; he puts his hand in some mud, and then says that he has the “remains of mass murder on his hand.”

Then we hear Renee Firestone say that Auschwitz was the “worst atrocity in human history.”  There have been numerous atrocities in human history, and this CNN show is one of them.

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