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June 10, 2017

The background of the Jews currently in the White House

Filed under: Trump, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 3:18 pm

The Jews in the White House today are Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kuschner.

Jared Kushner and Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi at the Harvard Chabad New York Alumni Reception, June 2013. (Harvard Chabad)

Here is some background on Jared Kushner, copied from an article in the Times of Israel newspaper: http://www.timesofisrael.com/jared-kushners-family-is-a-legend-in-this-belarus-town/

Begin quote from news article:

… in Novogrudok — a picturesque city of 30,000 in western Belarus, about halfway between Minsk and Bialystok, Poland — Trump’s election is especially celebrated because it adds [Jared] Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and key advisor, to the city’s short list of international success stories.

“Of course I am very proud that there is someone from Novogrudok in the White House,” said Boris Semyonov, a 57-year-old businessman, when asked about the subject last week in Lenin Square — a wide, clean space in the city center featuring a bust of the communist leader. “I am waiting for him to visit us.”

In Novogrudok, the Kushners are remembered and revered — not for their Trump connections or their sprawling real estate empire, nor for the scandal that engulfed Kushner’s father, Charles, or the recent allegations that he proposed a back channel for communication between the Trump administration and Russia.

Rather, the Kushners are known for the daring escape from the local ghetto in one of the most famous acts of Jewish resistance to the Nazis.

The Kushners’ story features prominently at Novogrudok’s humble Museum of Jewish Resistance. The two-room museum, which opened in 2007, features pictures of Kushner’s paternal family — his great-grandfather, Zaidel; his wife, Hinda; their daughter, Rae; and her two siblings. The museum also displays the bunk beds where the family was forced to sleep when the Germans rounded up the local Jews into the Novogrudok ghetto.

In addition to Novogrudok’s wartime Jewish population of 6,000 — about a quarter of its total population — the Nazis crammed an additional 24,000 Jews from neighboring towns into a ghetto that was built around around a courthouse.

“The Kushners were a well-off family that, before the war, owned several shops in the center, and were known to many people here,” said Marina Yarashuk, director of the Museum of History and Regional Studies in Novogrudok, which operates the Jewish museum. “So it’s natural that they should feature in the display.”

But what really makes the Kushners’ story stand out, Yarashuk added, is how they stuck together through a remarkable escape. Their plan seemed doomed to fail, but ultimately enabled them to survive the Holocaust and fight the Nazis alongside Jewish partisans.

The Kushners’ unlikely survival centers upon the actions of Rae Kushner — Jared’s steel-willed paternal grandmother, who was 16 when the Germans placed her with her parents, sister and brother in the ghetto.

Having survived at least five “selections” for murder by machine gun — including the one in which her mother was killed — Rae joined her brother in leading a daring escape through a tunnel that was dug underneath the heavily-guarded ghetto, which was surrounded by electric wire.

In what became one of Belarus’ best-known Holocaust stories, Rae helped lead prisoners through the weeks-in-the-making escape tunnel, which was the longest of its kind in Nazi-occupied Europe and facilitated the biggest escape through a tunnel by Jews.

The diggers — who concealed the earth they removed inside double walls and attics — led 350 men and women to freedom through the tunnel and into the woods. There, the survivors joined the Bielski partisans — a group of some 1,000 Jews named after the three brothers who led them, and whose bravery was the subject of the 2008 film “Defiance.”

End quote

Continue reading more about Jared Kuschner at http://www.timesofisrael.com/jared-kushners-family-is-a-legend-in-this-belarus-town/

May 14, 2016

How could I have been so wrong about Theresienstadt?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 1:44 pm
Gate into the former Theresienstdt ghetto

Gate into the former Theresienstadt ghetto

The wall around Theresienstadt

The wall around Theresienstadt fort, the site of the ghetto where Jews were imprisoned

Today I read a news story at http://www.newspostleader.co.uk/news/local/holocaust-horrors-brought-to-life-for-students-1-7907002#ixzz48f2Zrchi

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

Begin quote:

History students at Blyth’s Bede Academy heard the first hand account from Joanna Millan, a grandmother who spent two years in a concentration camp at Theresianstadt, [Theresienstadt] near Prague.

Less than 100 children out of 15,000 deported there survived, with Joanna just three-years-old when she came to England in August, 1945.

End quote

Several years ago, I visited the Theresienstadt ghetto on two separate days.  I took a tour bus there and walked around the former camp, which is still a town in the Czech Republic, where non-Jews now live.

After my extensive visit, I wrote the following about Theresienstadt on my website:

The total number of Jews transported from their homes to the Theresienstadt ghetto, from the day that it opened on November 24, 1941 until April 20, 1945, was 139,654, according to a 1991 book called “The Terezin Ghetto” by Ludmila Chladkova, which I purchased from the Theresienstadt Museum. Out of the total who were originally deported to Theresienstadt, there were 33,430 persons who died in the ghetto. There were 207 babies born in the camp, despite the fact that the men and women were housed in separate barracks.

There were also 13,454 persons who arrived at the ghetto after April 20, after being evacuated by the Nazis from other concentration camps that had to be closed before the Soviet Army arrived.

In the first week of May 1945, the Nazis turned the camp over to the Red Cross, and the SS staff left the camp on May 5, 1945. At that time, there were 16,832 of the original 139,654 who had been deported to Theresienstadt that were still alive and living in the ghetto. The book by Ludmila Chladkova, which is sold at the Theresienstadt Museum, has no explanation for the discrepancy between this number of 16,832 and the number of survivors which her book says was 17,472.

About half of these 16,832 prisoners, or 8,565 persons, had arrived in Theresienstadt after October 28, 1944, so they had been in the ghetto for only seven months or less. The last transport out of the ghetto left on October 28, 1944.

The majority of the Jews sent directly to Theresienstadt were from the German protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia which is now the Czech Republic and from Slovakia which became an independent country when Czechoslovakia ceased to exist in 1939. There were 75,666 Czech and Slovak Jews sent to Theresienstadt and 8,542 of them were still alive in the ghetto when the Red Cross took over in the first week of May, 1945. From Germany, there were 42,104 Jews transported to Theresienstadt, and 5,221 were still alive in the ghetto on May 9, 1945. There were 15,253 Austrian Jews, most of them over 60 years old, who were sent to the ghetto but only 1,293 of them were still there on May 9, 1945. The total number of Jews deported to Theresienstadt from the Netherlands was 4,897, out of which 1,285 were still alive in the camp on May 9, 1945.

The deportation of the Hungarian Jews did not begin until the end of April 1944 and 1,150 of them were sent to Theresienstadt. Because of the short length of their stay in the ghetto, there were 1,138 still there on May 9, 1945.

There were 117 Jews sent to Theresienstadt from Gdansk, which was the former German port city of Danzig that was made into an international port under the control of Poland after World War I, and 11 of them were still there at the end.

According to the book “The Terezin Ghetto” by Ludmila Chladkova, the 466 Danish Jews who were sent to Theresienstadt were all sent back to Denmark by the Nazis on April 15, 1945, shortly before the ghetto was handed over to the Red Cross. Other sources give the number of Danish Jews sent to Theresienstadt as 481, 475, 456 and 464. No two web sites or books agree on the number of Danish Jews sent to Theresienstadt or the number who returned to Denmark. Other sources give various numbers for the Danish Jews who died at Theresienstadt: 31, 43, 51, 52, 53, 58 and 116.

Not counting the Danish Jews, there were 17,472 survivors of the 139,654 Jews originally sent to the ghetto who were still there when the Russian army arrived on May 8, 1945, according to Ludmila Chladkova.

Out of the 139,654 Jews who were originally deported to Theresienstadt, 86,934 were subsequently transported to the east to various concentration camps, not counting the 1,260 children from Bialystok in eastern Poland.

According to Martin Gilbert in his book “Holocaust Journey,” the Bialystok children were survivors from the Bialystok ghetto. They arrived in Theresienstadt on August 24, 1943 and on October 5, 1943 they were sent out of the camp, along with 53 volunteer doctors, nurses and attendants. According to Gilbert, the Nazis claimed that these children were going to be exchanged in neutral Switzerland for German POWs held by the Allies, but instead “they were taken to Auschwitz and murdered.” These children were not counted in the official Nazi records of those who were transported to the east.

In addition, there were 1,623 Jews from Theresienstadt who were sent, before the end of the war, to the neutral countries of Switzerland and Sweden with the help of the Red Cross. Out of the 86,934 Jews who were sent farther east, there were 3,097 who returned to their home countries.

There were 701 Jews who managed to escape from Theresienstadt and 336 others who violated the rules of the ghetto and consequently were sent to the Gestapo prison in the Small Fortress across the river. Those who served their time in the Small Fortress, and survived, were later sent to concentration camps in the east.

When the concentration camps in the East closed, because the Russians were advancing into Poland during the last months of the war, all the inmates who could walk were marched to Germany and crowded into the camps there. This caused a disaster in Germany because they brought the typhus epidemic with them from Poland. In the last three weeks of the war, there were 13,454 prisoners from the concentration camps in the east who were admitted into the Theresienstadt ghetto, and the typhus epidemic spread to Theresienstadt.

According to the Ghetto Museum, a total of 34,396 prisoners died in Ghetto Theresienstadt including 966 who had just arrived from the camps in the east after April 20, 1945. When the war ended on May 8, 1945, the total number of people in the ghetto was 29,320 which included the survivors from the eastern camps who had arrived in the last weeks of the war and the 16,832 survivors of the original transports.

End of information from my website

O.K. it is time to go to Wikipedia, the website that knows all: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theresienstadt_concentration_camp

Wikipedia is strictly a kosher website, where no Holocaust denial is allowed.

Begin quote from Wikipedia:

Approximately 144,000 Jews were sent to Theresienstadt. Most inmates were Czech Jews, but 40,000 were from Germany, 15,000 from Austria, 5,000 from the Netherlands, and 300 from Luxembourg. In addition to the group of approximately 500 Jews from Denmark, Slovak and Hungarian Jews were deported to the ghetto. 1,600 Jewish children from Białystok, Poland, were deported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz; none survived. About a quarter of the inmates (33,000) died in Theresienstadt, mostly because of the deadly conditions, which included hunger, stress, and disease. The typhus epidemic at the very end of war took an especially heavy toll.

About 88,000 prisoners were deported to Auschwitz and other extermination camps, including Treblinka. At the end of the war, 17,247 had survived. An estimated 15,000 children lived in the ghetto. Willy Groag, one of the youth care workers, mistakenly claimed after the war that only 93 survived.[33] However, 242 children younger than 15 survived deportation to camps in the East, and 1,566 children survived in the ghetto proper.[citation needed]

End quote

I wrote about the Bialystok children on my blog at: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/the-fate-of-the-bialystok-ghetto-children-who-were-sent-to-theresienstadt/

 

 

May 6, 2016

all roads lead to Bialystok, a city in Poland

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:12 am

When I went on my first trip to Poland in October 1998, I was surprised to find that the roads were very primitive and that there were no freeways, like in America. The first trip to a Holocaust camp, that I took in Poland, was to Treblinka.

My 1998 photo shows a line of stones that mark the border of the Treblinka camp

My 1998 photo shows a line of stones that mark the border of the Treblinka camp

There were no direction signs, on the road to Treblinka, until we were almost there. My driver followed the signs that led to Bialystock, which I now know is the closest large city to the village of Treblinka, although it is many miles away.

Yesterday, one of the readers of my blog wrote the following in a comment:

“neither the Soviets nor the Poles uncovered even the slightest scrap of proof that Treblinka II operated as an extermination camp”

There were two camps, near the village called Treblinka, during World War II. One camp was where Jews were allegedly killed and the other camp, now called Treblinka II, was a work camp for Jews. The main Treblinka camp, where Jews were allegedly killed, is now a memorial site.

My photo of the entrance into the Treblinka camp

My 1988 photo of the entrance into the Treblinka main camp

I have to digress a bit now to tell you about my background. I was born in a small town in Missouri. The bed, in which my mother gave birth to me, was located a stone’s throw from the railroad tracks of a major railroad line.  Probably the first sound, that I ever heard after I came into this world, was the lonesome whistle of a train.

To understand the story of the Holocaust, one must first study the trains, along with the locations of the death camps.  For some strange reason, the so-called extermination camps were located “way out in the boondocks” as people in Missouri would say. And the Jews were taken to the death camps by trains, not by trucks. Didn’t the Nazis need those trains for their troops?

When railroad lines were built in the 19th century, the width of the tracks was standardized in America and western Europe, while the tracks in Russia and eastern Poland were a different gauge. The city of Bialystok is the end of the line for Western railroad tracks in Poland; this is as far east as trains can go without changing the wheels on the rail cars to fit the tracks in Russia.

In June 1941, the German Army invaded the Soviet Union. By the time that the Operation Reinhard camps were set up in 1942, German troops had advanced a thousand kilometers into Russia. Supposedly, the plan was to transport the Jews as far as the Bug river and kill them in gas chambers, then claim that they had been “transported to the East” into Russia.

There were no gas chambers in Bialystok, so the Jews in the Bialystok ghetto had to be transported west to Treblinka in order to kill them. Every Holocaust story that you will ever read, and every story that you won’t read, says that the Jews were transported to the East.

What else could the Nazis have done at Treblinka? Maybe put a pontoon bridge across the Bug river in order to send the Jews into the former Soviet territory? But if the plan was to send all the Jews into Russia, why not just send them from Bialystok, instead of Treblinka?

When Germany began offering reparations to the Jews for their suffering in the Holocaust, there were many Jews who claimed reparations, but were rejected because they had come to Germany from Russia, after the war. According to the True Believer version of the Holocaust, these Jews were allegedly dead, so they could not claim reparations from Germany.

For a few years now, there have been ads on TV asking for donations for the Holocaust survivors in Russia. There is no mention of how these survivors got there, but the scene in the ad, that shows the tattoo on the arm of one of the Holocaust survivors in Russia, has recently been deleted from the ad.

Jews in Warsaw leaving for Treblinka

Jews in Warsaw leaving for the Treblinka death camp

I don’t believe in the Holocaust story because it is not the way that a German person would have done it. Instead of building death camps out in the boondocks, a German person would have put the gas chambers in major cities like Warsaw. Why go to all the trouble and expense of transporting the Jews to some God forsaken place out in the boondocks?

My photo of the village of Poniatowa on the way to Treblinka

My 1998 photo of the village of Poniatowo, on the road to Treblinka in the rain

From Warsaw, the route to Treblinka starts with the crossing of the river Vistula, then a turn onto Highway 18 northeast towards Bialystok, the only large town in the Bialystok province, which is located in the most remote northeast corner of Poland.

It is in the Bialystok province that bison still roam, and one can see the last remaining primeval forest and wetlands on the European continent. This area could truly be called the “Wild East” of Poland.

As you can see in the photograph above, taken in October 1998, the road as it nears the Treblinka camp becomes a one-lane blacktop, badly in need of repair.

Treblinka is two kilometers from the Bug River which, during World War II, formed the border between the Nazi occupied General Government of Poland and the zone occupied by the Soviet Union from September 1939 until the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.

Two other Action Reinhard death camps, Sobibor and Belzec, were also located very close to the Bug river which was the border between the General Government and the Soviet zone of Poland.

My photo of the bridge over the Bug river on the way to Treblinka

My 1998 photo of the bridge over the Bug river on the way to Treblinka

The Soviet zone was the territory that had formerly belonged to Russia between 1772 and 1918. Known as the “Pale of Settlement” between 1835 and 1917, this was the area where all Russian Jews were forced to live until after they were liberated by the Communist Revolution in 1917.

Treblinka was located on the railroad line running from Ostrów Mazowiecki to Siedlce; at Malkinia junction, this line intersected the major railway line which ran from Warsaw to Bialystok.

Now do you understand my complaint about all this? It is not the way a German person would have done it!

 

March 25, 2011

the trains that traveled WEST to Treblinka

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:01 am

Treblinka was one of the three Operation Reinhard camps in Poland.  On January 20, 1942 at Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, a conference was held to plan “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question” for Europe’s 11 million Jews. Reinhard Heydrich, who was the head of RSHA (Reich Security Main Office), led the conference. The protocols from the conference contained the expression “transportation to the East,” a euphemism that was used to mean the genocidal killing of all the Jews in Europe.

17,000 stones in Treblinka cemetery

Following the conference, the three Operation Reinhard camps were set up at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor.  The first Jews to be deported to Treblinka were from the Warsaw ghetto; the first transport of 6,000 Jews arrived at Treblinka at about 9:30 on 23 July 1942. Between late July and September 1942, the Germans transported more than 300,000 Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka, according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Jews were also deported to Treblinka from the ghettos in Lublin and Bialystok. Others were transported to Treblinka from the Theresienstadt ghetto in what is now the Czech Republic.  Trains continued to arrive regularly at Treblinka until May 1943, and a few more transports arrived after that date.

The Nazis called the Operation Reinhard camps “transit camps.” Their cover story was that the Jews were being “transported to the East” from these camps, but some of the trains actually traveled WEST to Treblinka.

Did the Nazis slip up and blow their cover story of “evacuation to the east” by sending trains west to Treblinka?  O.K., it’s time to get out the maps.

On the web site of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, you can see a map which shows the train routes to the three Operation Reinhard camps here.   Another map on the USHMM web site, which you can see here, shows the location of Treblinka and the surrounding ghettos from which the Jews were transported to the camp.

One of the ghettos on the map is Bialystock, which was a city with a large Jewish population.  As the map on the USHMM web site clearly shows, Treblinka is southwest of Bialystok.  The map shows that Treblinka was in German-occupied Poland, which was called the General Government.  Bialystok was in Poland (and still is) but it was not in the General Government.  By 1942, the German Army had advanced into the part of Poland that had been occupied by the Soviet Union after the joint invasion of Poland in 1939 by the Germans and the Soviets.

The Nazi plan for the genocide of the Jews was to consolidate the Jews into ghettos near major railroad lines for easy transportation to the death camps, which they referred to as transit camps.  One of the main railroad lines in Poland was the Warsaw-Bialystok line. Malkinia Junction near Treblinka was a stop on this line.

The tiny village of Treblinka is located on the railroad line running from Ostrów Mazowiecki to Siedlce. A short distance from Treblinka, at Malkinia Junction, this line intersects the Warsaw-Bialystok line. Trains could reverse directions at the Junction and return to Warsaw, or turn south towards Lublin, which was the headquarters for Operation Reinhard.

When I visited Treblinka in 1998, my tour guide drove me from Warsaw to the camp, a distance of about 60 miles.  Shortly after we left Warsaw, I began seeing signs giving the distance to Bialystok.  There were no signs giving the directions to Treblinka at that time — I saw nothing but directions to Bialystok all the way to the camp.  At that time, I had never heard of Bialystok, but I deduced that it must be an important place, since all roads led to it.  I made a mental note that if I ever came back to Poland and wanted to see Treblinka again, I could just rent a car and head towards Bialystok.

The dividing line, between the part of Poland that was occupied by the Germans during World War II and the part that was occupied by the Soviets after the conquest of Poland in 1939, was the Bug river, which connects with the Vistula river.  All of the Operation Reinhard camps are very near the Bug river.

As the map on the USHMM web site shows, the territory east of Bialystok is Belarus, which Americas used to call White Russia. Also to the east of Bialystok is the section of Poland that was given to the Soviet Union after the joint conquest of Poland by the Germans and the Soviet Union in September 1939. This part of Poland, which had formerly been occupied by the Russians between 1772 and 1917, was now under the control of Germany.  The Nazis claimed that their plan was to send the Jews into this territory.

When railroad lines were built in the 19th century, the width of the tracks was standardized in America and western Europe, but the tracks in Russia and eastern Poland were a different gauge. Bialystok is the end of the line for Western railroad tracks in Poland; this is as far east as trains can go without changing the wheels on the rail cars to fit the tracks in Russia.

In June 1941, the German Army had invaded the Soviet Union. By the time that the Operation Reinhard camps were set up in 1942, German troops had advanced a thousand kilometers into Russia. The plan was to transport the Jews as far as the Bug river and kill them in gas chambers, then claim that they had been “transported to the East.”  There was no gas chamber in Bialystok so the Jews in the Bialystok ghetto were transported west to Treblinka in order to kill them.

What else could the Nazis have done at Treblinka?  Maybe put a pontoon bridge across the Bug river and send the Jews into the former Soviet territory? But if the plan was to send all the Jews into Russia, why not just send them to the east from Bialystok? Maybe the Nazis didn’t want to send the Bialystok Jews as a separate group, but wanted to keep the Jews together when they were “transported to the East.”

When Germany began offering reparations to the Jews for the Holocaust, there were many Jews who claimed reparations but were rejected because they had come from Russia to Germany after the war.  According to the official history of the Holocaust, these people were dead, so they could not claim reparations from Germany.

Now there are ads on TV asking for donations for the Holocaust survivors in Russia.  There is no mention of how these survivors got there, but the scene in the ad, that shows the tattoo on the arm of one of the Holocaust survivors in Russia, has recently been deleted from the ad.

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