Scrapbookpages Blog

July 10, 2015

Auschwitz Survivor says that she is “unable to forgive Oskar Groening”

Oskar Groening awaits the decision in his trial

94-year-old Oskar Groening awaits the decision on his potential prison time

According to a recent news article, German national Oskar Groening, 94, stands accused of 300,000 counts of  “accessory to murder” in the cases of deported Hungarian Jews sent to the gas chambers between May and July 1944.”

Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944

Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944  (click to enlarge)

The photo above shows a typical scene of a train arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Jews waiting for their turn in the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Jews waiting for their turn in the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Oskar Groening worked at the train tracks at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, where he collected money from the luggage brought to the camp by Hungarian Jews in 1944.

Working at the train tracks makes Groening guilty as an “accessory to the fact” of the murder of 300,000 Jews, according to the prosecutor at his trial, which has just ended.  Groening has admitted his “moral guilt” in court, but he denies that he is guilty of this latest ex-post-facto law, which became a new law as a result of the John Demjanjuk trial.

The following quote is from the news article which you can read in full at http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-bookkeeper-of-auschwitz-survivor-testify-as-trial-nears-end-2015-7

As the final witness during the [Groening] trial, Irene Weiss, 84, a Czech-born Auschwitz survivor from the United States, gave searing testimony against Groening.

Dressed in a black trouser suit and speaking in an unwavering voice, Weiss described her terrifying ordeal as a 13-year-old girl.

Showing two photographs of her family as they arrived at Auschwitz that were recovered 25 years after the Holocaust, Weiss said her mother, three younger siblings, and older brother were all murdered soon after in the gas chambers.

Her father was forced to work as a Sonderkommando, removing corpses from the gas chambers and cremating them, until the SS shot him.

Weiss said she was unable to forgive Groening.

“He has said that he does not consider himself a perpetrator but merely a small cog in the machine,” she said.

“But if he were sitting here today wearing his SS uniform, I would tremble and all the horror that I experienced as a 13-year-old would return to me.

“Any person who wore that uniform in that place represented terror and the depths to which humanity can sink, regardless of what function they performed.”

You can read all about Irene Weiss on this website: http://www.ushmm.org/remember/office-of-survivor-affairs/survivor-volunteer/irene-fogel-weiss

This quote is from the USHMM article, cited above:

Over a two-month period beginning in May 1944, nearly 425,000 Jews were deported from Hungary to Auschwitz-Birkenau, including Irene and her family. Irene was 13 years old. Upon arrival at the camp, her mother, three younger siblings, and older brother were killed.

SS authorities selected Irene and her sister Serena for forced labor, while their father was forced to work as a Sonderkommando, removing corpses from the gas chambers and cremating them. The SS camp staff periodically killed the members of the Sonderkommando and replaced them with persons from newly arriving transports. While still in the camp, Irene’s aunt learned through a boy from their hometown that when Meyer could no longer perform this work, the SS shot and killed him.

Wait a minute! Irene was only 13, but she was selected to work, while her older brother was sent to the gas chamber. It was the policy of the SS, at the death camps, to kill everyone younger than 15 or older than 45 immediately upon arrival. How was 13-year-old Irene able to pass the selection while her older brother was sent to the gas chamber?

The USHMM article continues with this quote:

Irene, Serena, and two maternal aunts, Rose and Piri Mermelstein, worked in the “Canada” section of Birkenau—storage warehouses located near two crematoria—for eight months until January 1945,

Working in the “Canada” warehouse was the best job that a prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau could get. How was Irene so fortunate that she got one of the best jobs in the camp, at the tender age of 13? Didn’t someone notice that she should have been gassed?

Selections at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Selections for work or the gas chamber  at Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

But wait, there’s more: “One day during morning roll call, the SS separated Serena and other prisoners from the group, deeming them too weak and emaciated to work. Irene said to a camp guard, “She is my sister,” and was then allowed to go with Serena. The sisters heard from other inmates that they would be sent back to Ravensbrück, where there were gas chambers. They were locked in a room with other prisoners to await the transport truck, but it never arrived.”

So Irene was finally selected to be sent to Ravensbrück, “where there were gas chambers”? But once again, Irene was saved because the transport truck never arrived.

Irene should be arrested as a “Holocaust denier.”  Her testimony at the trial goes against all the facts of the Holocaust.

Religious Jews who were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau to be killed

Religious Jews who were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau to be gassed

Meanwhile, Holocaust survivors are asking for more money: http://www.news4jax.com/news/holocaust-survivors-ask-for-financial-aide/34051298