Scrapbookpages Blog

November 3, 2016

What a teacher remembers the most is the pile of shoes at Auschwitz

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 3:06 pm

The following quote is from a news article which you can read in full at http://www.salisburypost.com/2016/11/03/rebecca-rider-column-teaching-holocaust/

Begin quote

“the most heartbreaking thing” to look at [is] the piles and piles of shoes, [in the Museum at the Auschwitz main camp].

End quote

When the Soviet Union liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 1945, there were 43,000 pairs of shoes in the camp. The shoes are now displayed in the main Auschwitz camp.

My 1998 photo of the shoes in the Auschwitz museum

My 1998 photo of the shoes in the museum

In order to take the above photo, I had to stand in a long line, with my camera ready, and inch along until I reached a spot where I could take a photo. I chose this spot to take my photo because there are two shoes with a bit of color, in the mass of rotting grey shoes. Using a flash gun in the museum was not allowed.

Buildings numbered 4, 5, 6, and 7 in the former Auschwitz I concentration camp have been converted from barracks into museum rooms with glass display cases. My photo above shows the display case for the shoes.

All of the exhibit buildings in the Auschwitz main camp are located on the second cross street, to your right, after you enter through the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate.

At the end of this street is Block 11, the prison block which is open to visitors.

In Block 5, there are displays devoted to the “Material Evidence of Crime.”

One of the saddest sights at Auschwitz is the display of shoes in a huge glass case that takes up half a barracks room in Block 5. The shoes seem to be deteriorating and are mostly the same dark gray color, except for a few women’s or children’s shoes that are made of red leather. The red shoes stand out like the red coat worn by the little girl in Schindler’s List, a black and white picture.

My 1998 photo of Building 15 at Auschwitz

My 1998 photo of Building 15 at Auschwitz

The visitors’ tour of the main Auschwitz camp begins in Block 15, shown in the photo above, which houses an exhibit entitled Historical Introduction. The building is located at the corner of the first intersection of camp streets after you pass the camp kitchen near the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate, which is behind the camera on the left. Organized groups begin their tour of the museum buildings here and then move on to Blocks 4, 5, 6, and 7 which are in the last row of barracks buildings.

March 16, 2015

Toilets at Auchwitz-Birkenau were “holes in rock”

This morning, I read a news account of a student trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau, which included this statement:

“[the students] continued round the [Auschitz-Birkenau] camp, witnessing more horrifying scenes, even the primitive toilets of holes in rock, still retained the stench as though they’d just been used yesterday. To be assigned the cleaning duty of these was considered to be one of the best jobs to be given in the camp.”

I searched and searched to find a photo of these toilets, but found nothing until I searched my own website and found the photos, shown below, which I took in 2005.

The latrine in the quarantine barracks at Auschwitz-Berkinau

Latrine in the quarantine barracks at Auschwitz

Bunk beds in the quarantine barracks which are shown to tourists at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Bunk beds in the quarantine barracks which are shown to tourists at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The quarantine barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau are the only barracks that are shown to tourists today. The other wooden barracks have been mostly torn down.

Barracks in the quarantine camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau

My photo of the barracks in the quarantine camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau

This quote is from the news article:

TO stand inside wooden barracks designed for 52 horses, but used to house over 400 female prisoners, is to be overwhelmed by the horror of Auschwitz.

The quote above refers to the quarantine barracks that are just inside the Auschwitz-Birkeanu camp; these barracks are located to the right of the gate tower, as you enter the camp. These barracks were NOT used for “400 female prisoners.” The women’s camp is shown in my photo below.

Women's camp at Auschwitz Birkenau

Women’s camp at Auschwitz Birkenau

Apparently, these students were not told that the quarantine barracks were set up to house newly arriving prisoners until it could be determined whether they had any diseases that could spread throughout the camp. The purpose of these barracks was to save lives.

The holes in the quarantine barracks were like the holes in an outhouse.  Remember that this was back in the 1940ies when many homes, even in America, did not have indoor plumbing.

Not all of the Jews who were sent to Auschwitz were rich. Some of them lived in primitive houses with no indoor plumbing, as shown on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/the-long-road-from-the-shetetls-of-eastern-europe-to-the-good-life-in-america-and-the-uk-via-auschwitz/

Typically, an outhouse was not cleaned in the old days; instead the outhouse was just moved to a new spot when it was full.  The Germans were just trying to be efficient by cleaning the huge outhouse in the quarantine camp.

Today’s British students are affronted by the horror of an outhouse at Birkenau, instead of flush toilets. But do the Nazis ever get credit for trying to save lives by having quarantine barracks? No, of course not.

But I am getting ahead of myself:  The news article starts out with this quote:

On February 25 Alice Windsor of the lower sixth and I joined a group of more than 200 [British] students and teachers from schools and colleges across the West Midlands [in the UK] to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp with the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET). This was set up over 10 years ago on the premise that ‘hearing is not like seeing’ and that to grasp the scale of the Holocaust it is necessary to visit one of the Nazi [concentration] camps.

From there, the story is all down hill, as the students are told more and more lies and half-truths:

We saw the infamous “Block 11” which was the prisoner barracks where innocent people believed to have been plotting to escape were taken. If it is possible to imagine even worse conditions this was it! For example imagine a hatch the size of an oven door on the floor. Prisoners were made to crawl through and stand in a space no larger than a chimney, for up to 20 days in the pitch black with no food or water.

You can read about Block 11 on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Auschwitz1/Auschwitz06.html

Block 11 at the Auschwitz main camp

Block 11 at the Auschwitz main camp was the prison block

Reconstructed standing cell in Block 11 in the  Auschwitz 1 camp

Reconstructed standing cell in the basement of Block 11 in the Auschwitz 1 main camp

I took the photo above when I visited the Auschwitz 1 camp in 1998, accompanied by a private tour guide.  We were the only people in the Block 11 building that day.

The second time that I visited the Auschwitz 1 camp in 2005, there were so many tourists that we were not allowed to see the RECONSTRUCTED standing cells up close, nor to take photos.

You can read about the reconstructed standing cells on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Auschwitz1/Auschwitz06A.html

I also wrote about the standing cells at Auschwitz on these blog posts: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/standing-cells/

It appears that the standing cell story has gotten worse over time. Now tourists are told that prisoners had to stand in these cells for 20 days.  How were the dead bodies removed after the prisoners died in these cells?

The news article continues with this quote:

One of the worst experiences for [one of the students] personally was visiting a gas chamber; here over 2,000 men, women and children were slaughtered daily. Alice and I were both distressed to see a child’s bare footprint embedded in the cement. As you enter this haunting room which smelt of death you could see nail scratch marks on the walls where people tried to literally dig themselves out. You almost hear their silent screams.

Fingernail scratches on wall of gas chamber

Fingernail scratches on the wall of the gas chamber in main Auschwitz camp where Jews literally tried to dig themselves out of the gas chamber Photo credit: Simon Robertson

I have searched and searched my photos of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, trying to find a “child’s footprint in the concrete.”

I don’t understand this.  There was a child walking around in wet concrete in the gas chamber in the main camp?  Yet somehow, the child made only one footprint?

The gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

The gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp shows no footprint of a child

The photo above shows a floor mark where a wall was added to the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, when it was converted into a bomb shelter for German soldiers. Do you see a child’s footprint anywhere?

My 2005 photo of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp

My 2005 photo of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp shows no footprint

Toilet drains in the Auschwitz gas chamber

Toilet drains in the washroom next to the Auschwitz gas chamber

The photo above, which shows two toilet drains, in a room adjoining the Auschwitz gas chamber, might have a baby’s footprint in the concrete floor, but I didn’t see it.

 

 

 

March 7, 2015

The Holocaust Trust version of Holocaust history

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — furtherglory @ 3:32 pm

This quote is from an article in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, which you can read in full here.

“For 16 years, the Holocaust Education Trust (HET) has been running trips to Auschwitz, the extermination camp where 1.2m innocent people were murdered simply because they didn’t fit narrow Nazi ideals.”

The official number of deaths at Auschwitz is now 1.1 million, down from 4 million, which was claimed for years. But it never hurts to add another 100,000 or so victims, just in  case.

The article also contains these claims:

1. Auschwitz played a leading role in the Holocaust where six million Jews and five million Slavs, Gypsies, homosexuals, disabled people and political enemies were massacred by Hitler’s genocidal regime.

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/porrajmos-the-persecution-of-the-roma-and-sinti-by-the-nazis/#more-10509

2. the Polish town of Oswiecim.

The name (pronounced ‘oshee-entsim’) was once a regular town with 8,000 Jews comprising the majority of its population.

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/whats-in-a-name-auschwitz-and-birkenau/

3. In 1939, it was occupied by the Nazis and renamed Auschwitz as part of the party’s ‘Lebensraum’ (living space) policy.

4. Oswiecim was purged of its Jewish population.

5. In a cemetery a short distance from the Oswiecim’s attractive main square we learn that Jewish gravestones were removed and used as paving stones, our HET guide Martin Winstone says. Hitler was determined to erase the Jewish race from the past as well as the present.

Jewish headstones used to pave roads

Jewish headstones used to pave roads

6. the headstones which were returned to the cemetery after the war.

Auschwitz main camp Photo Credit: José Ángel López

Auschwitz I camp in winter  Photo Credit: José Ángel López

7. Auschwitz I where the genocide began in 1940.

Arbeit Macht Frei sign on the Auschwitz I gate

Arbeit Macht Frei sign on the Auschwitz I gate

8. [the Arbeit macht Frei sign] means ‘work makes you free’ and was presumably intended as a sick joke; no prisoner was supposed to leave Auschwitz alive.

The Arbeit Macht Frei sign was only put on gates into camps that were Class I camps, where prisoners had a chance to be released.  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Auschwitz/Auschwitz12.html

Block 11 on the right where prisoners were given a trial before being shot at the black wall shown in the center

Block 11 on the right where prisoners were given a trial before being shot at the black wall

Prisoners were taken to the Black Wall and executed after a trial. http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Auschwitz1/Auschwitz05.html

9. the jail and punishment block [Block 11] where inmates were tortured and given a kangaroo hearing before being taken out and shot at the ‘death wall’ [black wall].

Jews sent to the left to be killed

Jews sent to the left to be killed

10. Those deemed unfit, including elderly people and children, would be sent left to the gas chambers [at Auschwitz-Birkenau].

End of quotes from the news article.

Now you know the true facts of the Holocaust, dear readers.  Don’t try to deny any of this or you might go to prison for 5 years for “Holocaust denial” which is a crime in 19 countries.

 

 

August 8, 2014

Taking photos at Auschwitz is now forbidden in certain places

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:36 am
"Selfie" taken at Auschwitz main camp

“Selfie” taken at Auschwitz was put on Twitter

I have been reading about the young American girl who took a “selfie” at the Auschwitz main camp and then put the photo on Twitter. She has been widely criticized for this, but I see nothing wrong with the photo. It shows a pretty girl with some beautiful brick buildings in the background.  What’s wrong with that?

You can read about the outrage caused by the “selfie” here.

One of the news stories, which you can read in full here, says that photos are now forbidden in the exhibit room, at Auschwitz, where hair, cut from the heads of the Jew, is shown. On my first trip to Auschwitz in 1998, I could not get close enough to take a photo of the hair that is displayed in a large glass case, because of the large crowd of tourists, but I did take a photo of the hair in a small glass case, which is shown below.  I also took a photo of the shoes that are on display.

Human hair was made into cloth at Auschwitz

Human hair was made into cloth at Auschwitz

Shoes worn by the prisoners at Auschwitz are on display

Shoes worn by the prisoners at Auschwitz are on display

Photos in the basement of Block 11 and in the gas chamber are also forbidden now, according to the news article.

I am very glad now that I got to see Auschwitz in 1998 and again in 2005; I was allowed to take photos of everything.  You can see all of my 2005 photos on my website here.

I think that the reason that photos of some things at Auschwitz are forbidden is because there are millions of tourists now visiting the camp, and the crowds must move along quickly; taking photos would hold up the long lines of people creeping along at a snail’s pace.

But there could be other reasons why certain things cannot be photographed at Auschwitz. For example, the reconstructed “standing cells” in the basement of Block 11 look very suspicious to me. These cells were reconstructed by the Soviets, long after they had been torn down, on the orders of the Auschwitz camp commandant.

Standing celll that was reconstructed at Auschwitz

Standing cell has been reconstructed at Auschwitz

My 1998 photograph above shows the reconstructed entrance to one of the 4 standing cells (Stehzellen) in prison cell #22 in the basement of Block 11. These 4 cells were 31.5 inches square; there was no light coming in at all, and no heating or cooling system.

Prisoners had to crawl into the cell through a tiny door, as shown in the photo above. Metal bars at the entrance allowed guards to open the door and look inside the cell. There was no room to lie down, nor to sit down in the cell; prisoners had to stand up. The floors of these cells were covered with excrement left by the occupants.

Prisoners who were being punished were put into these cells at night, and in the morning taken out to perform a full 10-hour day of work. This punishment was usually given to prisoners who had tried to sabotage the work done in the factories at Auschwitz.

The reconstructed door, which is shown in my photo above, opens into Cell #2; there is another cell to the right of the door, which you can see in the photo. To the left in the picture above, you can see the edge of the door into Cell #1 on the left, which gives you an idea of how small these cells were. Imagine the problem of removing a dead body from one of these cells!

After Arthur Liebehenschel replaced Rudolf Hoess as the camp commandant on December 1, 1943, he ordered the standing cells to be torn down. The standing cells have been partially reconstructed.

I previously blogged here about a prisoner named Eleanor Hodys, who claimed to have been kept in a standing cell at Auschwitz for nine weeks.

Door into Cell #27 in basement of Block 11

Door into Cell #27 in basement of Block 11

If photos are not allowed now, in the basement of Block 11, that means that photos of Cell #27 cannot be taken anymore.

In October 1998, I took a tour of the Auschwitz I camp and saw the basement inside  Block 11.

According to my tour guide, on Sept. 3, 1941, the Nazis conducted the first mass killing of people using Zyklon-B in prison cell number 27 in Block 11. Adolf Eichmann was visiting the Auschwitz camp on that day, although Commandant Rudolf Höss was away on business, according to the Auschwitz Museum guidebook. Since 1939, Adolf Eichmann had been the head of Department IV, B4 in the Reich Central Security Office (RSHA); Eichmann’s department was in charge of getting rid of the Jews in Europe.

Karl Fritzsch, the camp commander and the deputy of Rudolf Höss, took it upon himself to carry out this first gassing, while his superior officer, Rudolf Höss, was away.

The wooden door of the cell where the gassing took place is shown in the photo above; notice the glass peephole in the door. In 1998, tourists were not permitted to see the interior of the cell.

According to the news article, tourists are no longer allowed to take photos inside the gas chamber in the main camp. This new rule could have been made because it would hold up the lines of people walking through the gas chamber, or it could be because the so-called gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp is too stupid for words.

If you need a photo of the gas chamber in the Auschwitz main camp, check out my photos here.

December 6, 2013

British students on HET tour of Auschwitz learn about “the block of death”

Filed under: Germany, Health, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 11:28 am

A news article, in a British newspaper, which you can read in full here tells about a recent trip, taken to Auschwitz, by 17-year-old students from the UK.  Block 11, shown in the photo below, is mentioned in the article.

Block 11 at the Auschwitz main camp

Block 11 at the Auschwitz main camp

Pictured above is Block 11, the prison building, which is located inside a walled courtyard in the Auschwitz main camp. It was here, in this building, that political prisoners, brought from outside the camp, were housed while they awaited trial in the courtroom of the Gestapo Summary Court, which was in this building.

Jewish prisoners from inside Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II (Birkenau) were also brought here for punishment for what the Nazis considered serious offenses, such as sabotage in the Auschwitz factories.

My photograph above was taken in 1998, from inside the courtyard between Block 11 and Block 10. It shows the front side of the prison building, known as Block 11. On the left is the black wall, where prisoners were executed after being convicted in the courtroom that was located in Block 11.

In the photo, one can see the concrete wells placed around the basement windows so the prisoners in the cells below could not see out, but some light could enter through the open top of the well.

The windows on the ground floor have bars on them; there were dormitories with three-tiered bunk beds in these rooms, where prisoners lived while awaiting trial. The upper floor window openings, on both sides of the building, have been closed up with bricks with only a small window left at the top.

The back side of Block 11, where prisoners were housed before trial and execution

The back side of Block 11, where prisoners were housed before trial and execution

The photo above shows the other side of Block 11, where there was a gravel pit, which was used as an execution site for 152 Polish Catholic political prisoners. Note that the windows have been blocked up.

The gravel pit is where, in 1988, Carmelite nuns placed the 26-foot souvenir cross from the Mass said by the Pope at Auschwitz II in 1979.  The cross is shown on the left side of the photo above.

Think about all this, as you read this quote from the British news article:

We continue our tour of Auschwitz I [the main camp] and hear of the atrocities committed there.

We walk past Block 11, known as the “block of death,” where prisoners were tortured and medical experiments were conducted.

We are told of the Nazi tactic of sterilising Jews and those with “genetic imperfections” so they could no longer have children with the aim that they would slowly die out.

This is all new to me.  When I first visited the Auschwitz main camp in 1998, my private tour guide told me that Block 11 was where prisoners were held until they were put on trial.  If convicted, they were taken outside to the “black wall” (between Block 11 and Block 10) where they were executed with a shot in the neck.  I was told that “medical experiments” were conducted in Block 10, the building on the other side of the courtyard, across from Block 11.

My tour guide didn’t say anything about sterilising Jews at Auschwitz. This would have been a waste of time because Hitler’s alleged plan was to kill all the Jews.

As far as sterilising people with “genetic imperfections,” I know that Hitler ordered that German people with hereditary conditions should be sterlized so that conditions such as Huntington’s disease, mental illness, and hereditary deafness, would not be passed on to future generations.  Needless to say, this is no longer done in Germany, and one can see people with hereditary conditions on the streets of German cities.

This quote is also from news article:

The pupils from Imberhorne School, 17-year-olds Ellie Radcliffe and Chania Fox, both tell me they want to hear personal stories to humanise the loss of life. This is something our guide, Phillipa Meggit, from the Holocaust Educational Trust, has said on several occasions during the journey here – look beyond the figures which you can’t quantify – how can you imagine an estimated 1.2 million people whose lives were pointlessly snuffed out? – and think about the individuals.  […]

For Chania, who lives in Crescent Road in East Grinstead, it was a pile of shoe polishes which most struck a chord.

She said: “It was the shoe polishes that really made me stop and think. Just the fact that those people were so deceived and unaware of where they were going, they brought things like that with them.”

I also noticed the small round containers of shoe polish when I visited Auschwitz, but I didn’t photograph them. The Nazis saved the shoe polish because they were planning to send it back to Germany, to give to the German people whose homes had been bombed by the Allies.

The most popular brand of shoe polish was Shinola

The most popular brand of shoe polish in America was Shinola

Shinola was the most well-know brand of shoe polish in America.  A popular expression, back in the day, was “[so and so] doesn’t know shit from Shinola.”  This could be said for the Auschwitz tour guide.

The shoe polish is representative of a different era, when people in America, as well as in Germany, polished their shoes every Saturday night, after their weekly bath in a galvinized tub in front of the kitchen stove. Everyone dressed up, back then, and put on their shined shoes, to go to church on Sunday morning.  The Jews were also shining their shoes, but on Friday night.  Who knew?

July 17, 2013

Family photos displayed at Auschwitz-Birkenau in the Sauna building

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:39 pm
Family photos on display in the Sauna building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Family photos on display in the Sauna building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The photo above shows a display of photos that had been brought to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in the luggage carried by the Jews. Behind this photo board are more photos on display.  Somehow the photos survived.

I took the photo above, in the Sauna building, on my second visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2005. The floor in the room has been covered in glass to preserve it; the photo board is reflected in the glass.

On my first visit to Auschwitz, in 1998, the Sauna building was not open. Visitors to Auschwitz were prevented from seeing the inside of this building for 60 years, before it was finally opened in 2005.  The Sauna building contains a real shower room, which is not something that visitors to a “death camp” should see.

This quote is from an article, written by Menachem Z. Rosensaft, whose father was shown in one of the photos that were saved:

All we know is that the photographs were rescued by inmates and hidden in the camp, lest the Germans burn them.  For decades after the war, they lay in a storage room in one of the buildings at Auschwitz.  In 1986, Ann Weiss, the daughter of two Holocaust survivors, came upon them almost by accident. She returned to Poland two years later and painstakingly copied the photographs.  In 2001 many of them were published in Ann Weiss’ book, “The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz-Birkenau.”

This quote from the article in the Jewish Chronicle describes the photo of Menachem Rosensaft’s father, Josef Rosensaft, which was found at Auschwitz-Birkenau:

The black and white photograph is of a young man, not yet 30 years old.  He is standing near the tower of a 14th century castle in the southern town of Będzin, wearing a long sleeved white shirt and tie, but no jacket.  He holds a hat in his hand as he looks into the camera.  The picture was taken before the Germans arrived, before the Jews of Będzin were forced to live in a ghetto, before the young man’s sisters and brother were taken to their death at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The young man did not know that day that he would eventually be deported from Będzin with his wife and her daughter, or that he would escape from the Auschwitz-bound train by diving out of a window into the Vistula River, or that he would return to the ghetto even though he had been hit by three German bullets, or that he would learn that all the Jews on his transport had been taken directly to the gas chambers.  He did not know when his picture was taken beside the Będzin castle that he would survive the as-yet unbegun war, would survive Auschwitz-Birkenau (including many months in the notorious Block 11, known as the death block) as well as the Lagisha labor camp and the Langensalza, Dora-Mittelbau and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. All that was still to come.

The photograph itself also survived Auschwitz. It was one of approximately 2,400 photographs that Jews had brought with them as they arrived there, unaware of their fate, and that they were forced to surrender together with their other meager belongings — their suitcases, their clothes. We will never know whether the picture had belonged to the young man’s wife, or to one of his sisters, or to a friend.

Wait a minute!  Josef Rosensaft was in Block 11?  This was the famous prison block where prisoners, who had been accused of a crime, were held until they could be put on trial, and if convicted, executed at the Black Wall.
So Josef Rosensaft had been accused of a crime, possibly fighting as an illegal combatant with the Jewish Resistance, but he was not convicted.  Then he was sent to two labor camps before being sent to Dora-Mittelbau, the famous camp where V-2 rockets were being built.  Then he was evacuated to Bergen-Belsen, an exchange camp which had been turned into a concentration camp, in the last days of the war.  Josef Rosensaft’s whole story disputes the claim that Hitler wanted to genocide the Jews.  His story amounts to “Holocaust denial.”

March 16, 2013

The first gassing of prisoners by the Nazis took place in Block 11 at Auschwitz

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 2:02 pm
Block 11 at Auschwitz where the first gassing allegedly took place

Block 11 at Auschwitz where the first gassing allegedly took place

A reader of my blog recently made a comment in which the issue of the first gassing of prisoners by the Nazis was brought up:

The First Gassing at Auschwitz: Genesis of a Myth: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v09/v09p193_Mattogno.html

The article in the above link, written by Carlo Mattogno, is quite long, but I have quoted part of it below:

The First Gassing at Auschwitz: Genesis of a Myth
Carlo Mattogno

Paper Presented to the Ninth International Revisionist Conference.

Introduction

The story of the Auschwitz gas chambers begins, notoriously, with the experimental gassing of approximately 850 individuals, which supposedly took place in the underground cells of Block 11 within the main camp on September 3, 1941.

Danuta Czech in Kalendarium der Ereignisse im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau (Calendar of Events in the Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau), describes it in the following way:

“3.9. [September 3] For the first time, experiments in mass murder through the use of Cyclon B [sic] gas were conducted in the concentration camp of Auschwitz.

[…]

This account, in support of which Danuta Czech gives no documentary proof, is nonetheless accepted with an exemplary lack of criticism by all Exterminationist historians. This is even more surprising in that the alleged gassing in Block 11 of Auschwitz would constitute the very beginning of the process that would subsequently lead to the gas chambers of the crematoria of Birkenau. The intermediate steps of that process were the mortuary chambers of Crematorium I of the Main Camp and the so-called “Bunkers” 1 and 2 of Birkenau. The Block II “gassing,” then, by the canons of Exterminationism, initiated the greatest murder operation of all times.

[…]

We will begin with the exposition of these sources.
I. The Sources

[…]

2. The Sources from the Postwar Period

Four witnesses, as far as we can determine, have confirmed the reality of the first gassing by giving specific descriptions: Josef Vacek, eye-witness; Rudolf Höss, indirect witness; Zenon Rozanski, eye-witness; Wojciech Barcz, eye-witness. To these is added the report of inquiry by the Polish Commission of Investigation on German crimes at Auschwitz.

[…]

E. THE REPORT OF THE POLISH INVESTIGATION COMMISSION

In a publication issued in 1946, the Central Commission for investigation of German Crimes in Poland presented the following account of the first gassing:

“All of these methods used in killing were not enough to absorb all superfluous prisoners, and, above all, they could not resolve the problem of freeing themselves of hundreds of thousands of Jews. This method was tried out in the summer of 1941 in the coal- cellars of Block XI on about 250 patients from the hospital blocks and about 600 prisoners of war.

After the victims had been put there, the windows of the cellars were covered with earth, and afterwards an SS man in a gas-mask poured the contents of a can of cyclon on the floor and locked the door. Next afternoon Palitzsch, wearing a gas-mask, opened the door and found that some of the prisoners were still alive. More cyclon was accordingly poured out, and the doors locked again, to be reopened next evening, when all the prisoners were dead.”[15]

Did you catch that?  “… the windows of the cellars were covered with earth…” and “an SS man in a gas-mask poured the contents of a can of cyclon on the floor and locked the door”

"window wells" of Block 11 are shown along the foundation of the building

“window wells” of Block 11 are shown along the foundation of the building

Allegedly dirt was put down into the concrete well around the window of room #27 in the basement of Block 11, which is shown in the photo above.  Maybe a Polish person would have put dirt down into a window well, where it would have been very hard to clean it out, but I don’t believe that a German person would have done something like that.  The photo below shows a window in a similar cell in Block 11.

window in the prison cell where Father Kolbe died

window in the prison cell where Father Kolbe died

Cell #27 in Block 11 where the first gassing allegedly took place

Cell #27 in Block 11 where the first gassing allegedly took place in 1941

Cell # 27, where the first gassing allegedly took place, was not open when I took this photo in 1998. As far as I know, tourists have never been allowed to see the inside of this prison cell where the first gassing took place.

Why don’t I believe that prisoners were gassed in Block 11 in September 1941?  For one thing, the “Final Solution” had not yet been planned.  It would have been completely stupid to test Cyklon-B in 1941, without an order from someone in authority in the Nazi hierarchy, and to throw the pellets on the floor of a prison cell where it would have been very hard to retrieve them, not to mention that it would have been hard to clean the dirt out of the window well.

In my opinion, it is time to lay this story to rest.  If this story is going to continue to be included in the official Holocaust history, at least let us see the inside of Cell #27.

Maybe a re-enactment of the first gassing should be conducted for the benefit of tourists.  Then everyone could see just how stupid this alleged first gassing was.

July 25, 2012

the “death barracks” at Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:43 am

This news story in the online Edmonton Journal, which you can read in full here, mentions the “death barracks” at Auschwitz.  I was not familiar with this term, so I had to do some searching to find out exactly where the “death barracks” were located.

The photo below is from the Auschwitz Album, a book of photographs that was found by Lili Jacob in a concentration camp in Germany at the end of the war. The album consists of around 200 photos taken by the SS men at Birkenau when a transport of 3,500 Hungarian Jews arrived in May 1944 from Carpatho-Ruthenia, a region annexed to Hungary from the former country of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Jacob was on this transport; she survived because she was selected to work.

Famous photo of woman and children walking to the “death barracks.”

According to this page on Wikipedia, the caption on the famous photo above claims that it shows a woman and children walking to the “death barracks.”  Many websites about the Holocaust have repeated this information.

When I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2005, I took the photo below which shows the famous photo of the woman and children on a signboard at the entrance to a road that goes from South to North through the center of the Birkenau camp, from the women’s camp to the new “Mexico” section of the camp which was in the process of being built.

Display board at entrance to a road through the Auschwitz-Birkenau  death camp

According to the text on the display board shown in the photo above, this road through the Birkenau camp was a shortcut to Krema IV and Krema V where there were gas chambers, disguised as shower rooms. Note the photo on the display board. This photo was shown as evidence at the Auschwitz Trial in Frankfurt where 22 SS men, who had formerly worked at Auschwitz-Birkenau, were put on trial by the Germans in 1963.

Is this the road to the “death barracks” that Holocaust survivor Ray Pierzchajlo was talking about?  I don’t think so. According to the Edmonton Journal article about him, he was in the main Auschwitz camp, not the Auschwitz II camp, aka Birkenau. He was a political prisoner, who had been wrongly arrested for helping the Polish Resistance during the Nazi occupation of Poland.

This quote is from the Edmonton Journal article about Ray Pierzchajlo:

On Dec. 5, 1941, the Gestapo came looking for his 14-year-old brother, who had been delivering flyers for the Polish resistance. Pierzchajlo, 20 at the time, pretended to be his brother, figuring the Gestapo would let him go when they realized their mistake, while giving his brother time to go into hiding. “I whispered to my mother, ‘Send him (my brother) away.’ ”

But the Nazis kept Pierzchajlo, and after three months in a Warsaw jail, he was shipped to Auschwitz. Just before he left, he smuggled a note to his father, who was being held in the same jail.

At the camp, prisoners were divided into different lines. Most Jews were sent to the gas chambers. Pierzchajlo, young and strong, joined the lines for forced labour.  […]

With the number 12632 tattooed on his arm, he worked alongside other political prisoners, Jews and Gypsies, barely alive on thin soup and bread full of sawdust.

Through his barracks window, he watched Nazi guards shoot hundreds of Jews, Poles, Russians and Germans as they walked out of a nearby “death barracks.”

Then, in 1942, the trains filled with Jews began arriving. They were systematically killed in the gas chambers in the nearby Birkenau extermination camp, built in 1941.

So it is clear that he is not talking about the “death barracks” at Birkenau, toward which the old woman and the children were walking, according to the Wikipedia caption on a photo taken by an SS man and put into an album called Auschwitz Album.  No, Pierzchajlo is talking about the “death barracks” at the main Auschwitz camp.

I did some more searching and found this quote on this blog post:

Located in Auschwitz I is Cell 18, in the “death barracks” beside the execution wall.  The door way to Cell 18 remains closed with an iron grill, for it is holy ground. Maximillian Kolbe died on the floor of this cell, having made the ultimate sacrifice. A Polish national and a priest, he offered his life in the place of another inmate with children who was randomly selected for execution as punishment for a block mate who did not appear at roll call.

Cell No. 18, where Father Kolbe died, is shown in the photo below.

Cell No. 18 in Block 11 at Auschwitz main camp

So it turns out that both the Auschwitz main camp and the Birkenau camp had “death barracks.”  The “death barracks” at the main camp were in Block 11, the camp prison, which had a  courtroom where political prisoners were put on trial.  If they were convicted, the condemned men were taken out into the courtyard between Block 10 and Block 11 to be shot.  Somehow, Pierzchajlo was able to see the convicted prisoners being shot from his barracks window.

Entrance to the courtyard between Block 10 on the right and Block 11 on the left

In the photo above, Block 10 is shown on the right.  This is where medical experiments were conducted on women.  So where was the barrack building from which Pierzchajlo could observe the shooting of the men and women who had been convicted in the courtroom in Block 11?

Almost every Holocaust survivor says that prisoners  went through a selection upon arrival and those who were selected to die were sent immediately to the gas chamber, not to a “death barracks” to wait for their turn in the gas chamber.  There were other selections when Dr. Mengele would come to the barracks and choose prisoners, who looked unhealthy, to be taken to the gas chamber.   However, I have never heard of a “death barracks” at Birkenau where prisoners were sent to wait for their turn to die.

Numerous stories told by Holocaust survivors mention that a train would arrive at Birkenau and on that same day, 3,000 prisoners would be gassed and burned.  There was a soccer field right next to Krema III, one of the gas chamber buildings, and the prisoners who were playing soccer could watch the prisoners entering the gas chamber.

July 22, 2012

Father Kolbe, the Catholic priest who died in place of another at Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:53 am

This quote is from a piece written by Dean Stroud which you can read in full here:

In July 1941 in the Auschwitz concentration camp, a Nazi officer selected a group of prisoners to die a slow death by starvation. Some prisoners had attempted to escape, and the Nazi response was to kill prisoners as a lesson against trying such things.

One of the men selected to die in the “starvation pit” pleaded not to be among those killed because he had a family. At that moment a Catholic priest, Father Maximilian Kolbe, volunteered to take the man’s place. He had no family, he said, and no one awaiting him. He would die in the man’s place.

Uncharacteristically, the Nazi allowed the exchange. In the starvation pit, the priest never despaired or fell into bitterness. He encouraged the other prisoners until he alone was left alive. Finally, tired of waiting for him to die, the Nazis killed him. Years later, when Pope John Paul II beatified Father Kolbe, the Jewish man whose place he had taken, was sitting in the audience with his wife, children and grandchildren.

I feel that this story needs some explanation, especially the term “starvation pit,” so I am putting in my two-cents worth.

The photo below shows the door into prison cell No. 21, one of the “starvation cells” in Block 11, the internal prison in the main Auschwitz camp.

The door into Prison Cell No. 21 in Block 11 at Auschwitz

Cell No. 21, shown in the photo above, has two religious pictures which were scratched into the wall by a Polish political prisoner, using only his fingernails. The wooden door of the cell has  a piece of glass covering the upper half of the door where there are more scratchings made with fingernails.

Cell No. 27 was a “starvation cell” in Block 11

Cell No. 21 and No. 27 were called “starvation cells” because prisoners, who had been condemned to death, were kept there without food and water until they died.

Cell No. 27 is where the first prisoners were gassed with Zyklon-B at Auschwitz, on the orders of the Camp Commander Karl Fritsch, but that is another story.

Block 11 has window wells to let light into the prison cells in the basement

The prison cell that was occupied by Father Kolbe

Father Maximilian Kolbe was a Catholic priest who was arrested by the Gestapo on February 17, 1941 because he had hidden 2,000 Jews, and because he was broadcasting reports over the radio condemning Nazi activities during World War II. On May 25, 1941, he was sent to the main Auschwitz camp as a political prisoner.

The following quote is from Wikipedia:

In July 1941, a man from Kolbe’s barrack had vanished, prompting SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Fritsch, the Lagerführer (i.e., the camp commander), to pick 10 men from the same barrack to be starved to death in Block 11 (notorious for torture), in order to deter further escape attempts. (The man who had disappeared was later found drowned in the camp latrine.) One of the selected men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, lamenting his family, and Kolbe volunteered to take his place.

Gajowniczek was a Polish political prisoner who had been arrested because he was aiding the Jewish resistance in Poland, although he was not a Jew himself.

This quote is from Wikipedia:

Franciszek Gajowniczek (November 15, 1901 – March 13, 1995[1]) was a Polish army sergeant whose life was spared by the Nazis when Saint Maximilian Kolbe sacrificed his life for Gajowniczek’s. Gajowniczek had been sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp for aiding the Jewish resistance in Poland.

Father Kolbe was canonized a saint in the Catholic Church on Oct. 10, 1982 in a ceremony held at the Auschwitz I camp.

This quote is from Wikipedia:

Gajowniczek was released from Auschwitz after spending five years, five months and nine days in the camp. Though his wife, Helena, survived the war, his sons were killed in a Soviet bombardment in 1945, before his release.[1]

PopePaul VI beatified Maximilian Kolbe in 1971; for the occasion, Gajowniczek was a guest of the Pope.  […]

His wife, Helena, died in 1977.[1] Gajowniczek was again a guest of the Pope when Maximilian Kolbe was canonized by John Paul II on October 10, 1982.

The wife and children and grandchildren of Gajowniczek may have been with him at the beatification of Father Kolbe, but strangely Wikipedia doesn’t mention it, nor does Wikipedia mention that Gajowniczek was Jewish.

Dean Stroud’s version of the story is better because he tells how a non-Jew sacrificed his life so that a Jew could live.  If only more non-Jews had given their lives so that the Jews could live, there would have been no Holocaust.