Scrapbookpages Blog

January 2, 2017

Pressac says that the Germans used dummy shower heads inside the Dachau gas chamber

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 3:54 pm

DachauE011.jpeg

I took the photo above when I visited the Dachau memorial site. This was the last remaining shower head inside the alleged gas chamber. All the others had been stolen by tourists.

Note that the shower head in the photo above was smashed by a visitor to the Dachau camp.

You can read about Pressac in a recent news article at http://www.5280.com/news/magazine/2016/12/honor-international-holocaust-remembrance-day-boulder

If you have never heard of Jean Claude Pressac, this means that you have never studied the Holocaust.

The news article begins with the following quote:

Begin quote

Between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany killed about six million Jews. Nothing will ever adequately answer the question “Why?”—but the Mazal Holocaust Collection, one of the largest private Holocaust archives in the country, provides some clues. In 2014, the daughter of the late Harry Mazal, a Texas businessman, gifted her father’s library to the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. And with January 27 being International Holocaust Remembrance Day, there’s no more appropriate time to explore the collection.

End quote

You can read about the late Henry Mazel at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ahro

I have visited the Dachau memorial site several times, and I have a large section about Dachau on my website at:

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/index.html

The news article also includes the following quote:

Begin quote

American forces liberated the [concentration] camp at Dachau on April 29, 1945. Two days later, a congressional committee toured the site. Its report unveiled the terrors committed there in grim detail: As Allied forces closed in on Germany, the Nazis relocated captives by train to Dachau. “[A]t least 100 of these civilian prisoners had been jammed into each [of the 50 cars]—locked in—and they had been on the road for several days without food or water. Approximately 3,000 of them were dead upon arrival.”

End quote

I wrote about the Dachau “death train” on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/DeathTrain.html

You can read more about the Dachau camp on this section of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/KZDachau/index.html


December 23, 2016

Could Herschel Grynszpan still be alive?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:44 am
Herschel Grynspan

Photo on news article shows Herschel Grynszpan, then and now

On this news article, you can read about the possibility that Herschel Grynszpan is still alive: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-1.759957

In 1938, there was a night of violence in Germany, that came to be known as  Kristallnacht. This was the night that German citizens smashed windows in Jewish shops and set fire to over 200 Jewish Synagogues throughout Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland in what is now the Czech Republic. Ninety-one people were killed during this uncontrolled riot which the police did not try to stop.

That night, Hitler and his henchmen were gathered at the Bürgerbräukeller, a beer hall in Munich, celebrating the anniversary of Hitler’s attempt to take over the German government by force in 1923; Hitler’s failed Putsch had been organized at the Bürgerbräukeller.

Joseph Goebbels made a speech, at the beer hall, in which he said that he would not be surprised if the German people were so outraged by the assassination of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath, by a Polish Jew named Herschel Grynszpan, that they would take the law into their own lands and attack Jewish businesses and Synagogues. Goebbels is generally credited with being the instigator of the pogrom. (Pogrom is a Polish word which means an event in which ordinary citizens use violence to drive the Jews out.)

In spite of the Jewish “holy war” against the Nazis, there were no Jews sent to any of the concentration camps solely because they were Jewish, during the first five and a half years that the Nazi concentration camps were in existence. Jews were sent to the Dachau concentration camp, from day one, but it was because they were Communists or trade union leaders, not because they were Jewish.

The first Jews, to be taken into “protective custody” in Germany, simply because they were Jewish, were arrested during the pogrom on the night of November 9th & 10th in 1938, which the Nazis named Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass).

Kristallnacht was the night that German citizens smashed windows in Jewish shops and set fire to over 200 Jewish Synagogues throughout Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland in what is now the Czech Republic. Ninety-one people were killed during this uncontrolled riot which the police did not try to stop.

That night, Hitler and his henchmen were gathered at the Bürgerbräukeller, a beer hall in Munich, celebrating the anniversary of Hitler’s attempt to take over the German government by force in 1923; Hitler’s failed Putsch had been organized at the Bürgerbräukeller.

Joseph Goebbels made a speech, at the beer hall, in which he said that he would not be surprised if the German people were so outraged by the assassination of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath, by a Polish Jew named Herschel Grynszpan, that they would take the law into their own lands and attack Jewish businesses and Synagogues. Goebbels is generally credited with being the instigator of the pogrom. (Pogrom is a Polish word which means an event in which ordinary citizens use violence to drive the Jews out.)

Approximately 30,00 Jewish men were arrested during the pogrom, allegedly for their own protection, and taken to the 3 major concentration camps in Germany, including 10,911 who were brought to Dachau and held as prisoners while they were pressured to sign over their property and leave the country.

The majority of these Jews were released within a few weeks, after they had promised to leave Germany within six months; most of them wound up in Shanghai, the only place that did not require a visa, because other countries, except Great Britain, refused to take them.

In anticipation of such violence against the Jews by the Nazis, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had invited 32 countries to a Conference in Evian, France in July 1938 to discuss the problem of Jewish refugees.

The only country which agreed to allow Jewish refugees, as immigrants. was the Dominican Republic; 5,000 German Jews emigrated to the Dominican Republic before the start of World War II.

The American Congress refused to change the US immigration laws, passed in 1920 and 1921, to allow a higher quota of Jewish refugees from Germany to enter, although America did start filling the quota under the existing laws for the first time. The poor Jews — no country wanted them!

 

Christine Flowers is a lawyer.

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 6:42 am
My photo of the gate into the Dachau camp

My photo of the gate into the Dachau concentration camp

The title of my blog post today is the last sentence in a news article, which you can read in full at

http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20161223_Flowers__Truth_is_the_antidote_for_the_poison_of_Holocaust_denial.html

So she’s a lawyer. And I’m not. So what does that make me? Dog shit?

The following quote is from the news article written by Christine Flowers:

Begin quote

Ironically, though, the [newspaper] column elicited something that I didn’t see coming. Apathy is one thing, and so is nationalistic bravado in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory, but the response that I got from a man named Joe was so unexpected, I had to reread it a few times just to make sure it wasn’t a joke.

Joe wrote me a long email that started off with a compliment: “Christine, obviously you seem to be a very caring person with your article.” And then, like Joe Frazier landing one of those deadly left hooks on your weak side, he wrote: “But, of course, you use some of the same propaganda that we have heard for 70 years about the Jews and their genocide and the 6 million.”

And he proceeded to explain to me how the Holocaust was a lie, and “there were no gas chambers.” To make sure I believed him, Joe helpfully provided links to support his thesis, most of which included the word “hoax.”

End quote

The article continues with this quote:

Begin quote

The thing is, I don’t even feel good that my post [on Facebook] ridiculing Joe was “liked” over 250 times and that my old law professor suggested I should win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

I keep coming back to the idea that there are still people out there, people with thousands of Facebook friends like Joe, who believe the Holocaust never happened.

You’ll sigh and raise your eyebrows and try to convince me that this is just a fringe element of society and that, of course, most educated people believe that Auschwitz, Dachau and Treblinka existed in stone and brick and mortar and not simply as the architecture of fantasy. Of course, that’s true.

But it’s not enough to say these are the fringe elements in society, these deniers of Germany’s great shame, just as it’s not enough to say that anyone who thinks slaves were well-treated by their “masters” is a lobotomized moron.

End quote

July 17, 2016

Holocaust denier kicked to the curb in Canada

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 7:43 am

You can read about Holocaust Denier Monika Schaefer at http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/canadian-greens-expel-holocaust-denier-monika-schaefer-video/2016/07/17/

Photo from Monika Schaefer's website

Photo from Monika’s website

If you have no interest in the Holocaust, nor in Holocaust denial, at least listen to Monika play the fiddle in the video below.  I hope that I am correct in calling her instrument a fiddle, not a violin.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

The Canadian Green Party on Friday issued a press release condemning “statements made by former candidate” Monika Schaefer. Green Party leader MP Elizabeth May said in the same press release: “I am shocked by comments made by Ms. Schaefer and I condemn her terribly misguided and untrue statements. Ms. Schaefer does not represent the values of the Green Party nor of our membership.”

It began on Thursday, when B’nai Brith Canada exposed Schaefer—the Green Party’s candidate in Alberta in 2006, 2008 and 2011—as denying the Holocaust in a homemade YouTube video. Schaefer described the Holocaust as “the most persistent lie in all of history,” and claimed that victims of Nazi death camps “were kept as healthy and as well-fed as was possible,” and that “there were no gas chambers there.” She denounced “the 6-million lie” and recommended the writings of Ernst Zündel, a German Holocaust denier who had been deported from Canada in 2005.

End quote

If this is happening in Canada, can America be far behind? The Jews will do anything to preserve their cash cow — the Holocaust

This quote from the news article explains it:

Emily McMillan, Executive Director of the Green Party of Canada, said “Monika Schaefer’s comments denying the Holocaust are outrageous and shocking. Ms. Schaefer has no standing within the Green Party of Canada, and her views are exclusively her own. Ms. Schaefer was rejected as a potential Green candidate for the riding of Yellowhead prior to the 2015 federal election, and also rejected as a potential candidate for the 2014 by-election in Fort McMurray-Athabasca.”

“In light of Ms. Schaefer’s untrue statements made in a recent online video, we will be initiating the process to terminate her membership with the Green Party of Canada at the earliest possible opportunity,” McMillan added.

A Green Party member may be expelled by a resolution of Federal Council or a General Meeting of members. The Party will request a motion be put forward to terminate Schaefer’s membership at its next Federal Council meeting, according to the press release.

June 19, 2016

Jews killed in “faux showers” at Auschwitz

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:00 am

A news article, which you can read in full here, describes how a young Jewish boy was saved from the Auschwitz gas chamber, which had been disguised as a “faux shower.”

My photo of the shower room at Dachau

My photo of the “faux shower” at Dachau which is still alleged to have been a gas chamber

Note the holes on the ceiling of the alleged gas chamber at Dachau; all of the shower heads have now been stolen by tourists. My photo of the last remaining shower head at Dachau is shown below; this shower head is now gone, apparently stolen as a souvenir by a tourist.

My photo of the last remaining shower head at Dachau

My photo of last remaining Dachau shower head

The news article, cited above, tells about [Holocaust survivor] Chaim Schwimmer’s miraculous rescue, in 1944, from certain death at Auschwitz. In October that year, the 14-year-old was pulled from a crowd just a few steps from being murdered in the concentration camp’s gas chamber.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Schwimmer was one of the approximately 50 young men selected for labor after having been forcibly disrobed and prepared to be marched to their deaths in the faux showers along with hundreds of others.

End quote

Note the term “faux showers.” There were allegedly faux showers at Dachau and Mauthausen, but as far as I know, no one has ever claimed that there were fake showers at Auschwitz.

My photo of a real shower room in the Sauna building at Birkenau

My photo of a real shower room in the Sauna building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

At Auschwitz-Birkenau there was a real shower in the sauna building; it is shown in my photo above. The shower heads have been removed.

The alleged gas chambers at Birkenau were underground and they did not have shower fixtures.

The alleged faux showers at Dachau and Mauthausen were actually real showers. There were no gas chambers at either of these camps, although tourists are now told that the real showers at these camps were gas chambers.

My photo of the gas chamber at Mauthausen

My photo of the shower heads on the ceiling of the alleged gas chamber at Mauthausen

So where did the prisoners, at these camps, take a shower? Allegedly, the prisoners at these camps never took a shower; the prisoners just stayed dirty for 4 or 5 years.  This was in Germany, a country that is noted for cleanliness.  You can walk down a city street in Germany, and you think that you are in Disneyland, in the early morning, because the streets are so clean.

This quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Chaim Schwimmer, 85, recalled what happened after reaching the gas chamber’s building on that rainy afternoon.

“They told us to undress. We were expecting right away that they’d take us to the gas chamber. But we stood — and waited and waited and waited,” he said.

Three German soldiers entered the room. One ordered a young prisoner to sprint to the end of the room — apparently, Schwimmer thought, to test his fitness. Schwimmer boasted of his own ability to work. A soldier berated him, but ordered him to leave the building with the others selected.

Herskovic, now 88, was unusually calm that day, not dreading what likely awaited. He mumbled a passage from the Talmud on keeping the faith even when a sword was pressed against one’s neck.

After he had undressed, three soldiers appeared. One ordered the boys to line up, three per row.

“When he said that, I knew we’d be saved now. I stood in the second row, and I was immediately picked and sent to the right side, where we were to go back to the camp and remain alive,” Herskovic said.

End quote

My first job, after I graduated from college, was at a city newspaper, working as a fact checker. Apparently, this job of fact checking, does not exist on today’s newspapers. Reporters write anything that they feel like writing, and no one cares about the facts.

 

April 13, 2016

The sad story of Dachau prisoner Theodor Haas

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 5:13 am
My 2003 photo of the gate into the Dachau camp

My 2003 photo of gate into Dachau camp

Theodor Haas was among the Jews taken into “protective custody” on November 9, 1938. He was sent to Dachau, where he remained as a prisoner for 3 years.

Fence around Dachau camp

My photo of the fence around the Dachau concentration camp

Quoted below is an excerpt from an interview with Theodore Haas, conducted by Aaron Zelman, the founder of the organization called “Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.” At the time of this interview, Haas was living in America and was a member of this organization.

Haas still had nightmares about the persecution that he had endured as a Jew in Nazi Germany. He survived the Holocaust only because he was released from Dachau in 1941, before plans for the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” were made on January 20, 1942 at the Wannsee Conference.

In February 1942, deportation of all the Jews to the death camps in Poland began.

The interview of Theodore Haas is quoted below.

The interviewer, Aaron Zelman, asks the questions and Theodore Haas answers:

Q.) How did you end up at Dachau? How old were you?

A.) November 9th, 1938 was Kristallnacht — The Night of Broken Glass — The night Synagogues were ransacked and burned, Jewish owned shops destroyed; I guess you could call it the night the fires of hell engulfed the soul of humanity. I was arrested November 10th, “for my own personal security.” I was 21 years old. My parents were arrested and ultimately died in a concentration camp in France. I was released from Dachau in 1941, under the condition that I leave Germany immediately. This was common procedure before the “Final Solution.”

Q.) What did you think when you were sent to Dachau? What did you know about Dachau beforehand?

A.) My first thoughts were those of many others: “The world has gone mad.” I knew that the life expectancy at Dachau was relatively short. I knew beforehand that inmates were abused. The horror of Dachau was known throughout Germany.
People [Germans] used to frighten their children, “If you do not behave, you will surely end up at Dachau.” A famous German comedian, Weiss Ferdl, said “Regardless how many machine gun towers they have around K.Z. Dachau, if I want to get in, I shall get in.” The Nazis obliged him; he died at Dachau.

Q.) How did you accept the fears of Dachau?

A.) Due to the constant hunger and extreme cold weather, one becomes too numb to even think of fear. A prisoner under these conditions becomes obsessed with survival; nothing else matters.

Q.) What were the living conditions like in Dachau?

A.) We were issued one quarter of a loaf of bread. That was to last three days. In the morning, we picked up, at the kitchen, a cup of roasted barley drink. There was no lunch.
At dinnertime, sometimes we got a watery soup with bits of tripe or some salt herring and a boiled potato. Our prison clothes were a heavy, coarse denim. They would freeze when they got wet. We were not issued hats, gloves or underwear.
The first night, about 500 prisoners were stuffed into a room designed to hold 50 Believe me, it is possible. Later on, we were forced to sleep on straw. As time went on, the straw disintegrated and we became louse infested. The guards delighted in making weak and ill clothed prisoners march or stand at attention in rain, snow, and ice for hours. As you can imagine, death came often due to the conditions.

Q.) Do you have residual fears? How do you feel about German re-unification?

A.) I have nightmares constantly. I recently dreamed that a guard grabbed me. My wife’s arm touched my face, and I unfortunately bit her severely. German re-unification, in my opinion, will be the basis for another war. The Germans, regardless of what their present leadership says, will want their lost territories back, East Prussia, Silesia, and Danzig (Gdansk). My family history goes back over 700 years in Germany. I understand all too well what the politicians do not want the people to be thinking about.

Q.) You mentioned you were shot and stabbed several times. Were these experiments, punishment or torture?

A.) They were punishment. I very often, in a fit of temper, acted while the brain was not in gear. The sorry results were two 9 mm bullets in my knees. Fortunately, one of the prisoners had a fingernail file and was able to dig the slugs out. In another situation, I was stabbed in the washroom of room #1, Block 16. Twice in a struggle where I nearly lost my right thumb. A German prisoner Hans Wissing, who after the war became mayor of his home town, Leinsweiler, witnessed the whole situation. We stayed in touch until a few months ago, when he died.

Q.) Do you remember some of the steps taken by the Nazis to de-humanize people and to make them feel hopeless? How were people robbed of their dignity?

A.) If you had treated an animal in Germany the way we were treated, you would have been jailed. For example, a guard or a group of them would single out a prisoner and beat him with canes or a club. Sometimes to further terrorize a prisoner, the guards would form a circle around a prisoner and beat him unconscious. There were cases of a prisoner being told to report to the Revier (“Hospital”) and being forced to drink a quart of castor oil. Believe me, this is a lousy, painful, wretched way to die. You develop extreme diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and severe dehydration. If the Nazis wanted you to live and suffer more, they would take measures to rehydrate the victim.

Q.) What was the routine like at Dachau?

A.) Three times a day, we were counted. We had to carry the dead to the square. Each time, we had to stand at attention in all kinds of weather. We stood wearing next to nothing, had weak bladders, while our tormentors had sheepskin coats and felt boots. The bastards really enjoyed watching us suffer. I remember how the guards had a good laugh when one of them “accidentally” let loose with a machine gun, killing about 30 prisoners.

Q.) What did people do to try to adjust to Dachau? Keep their spirits up?

A.) There were some actors, comedians, and musicians among us. Sometimes they would clandestinely perform. One of the musicians got hold of a violin and played for us. To this day, it remains a mystery how he got his hands on a violin. I still keep in touch with other prisoners. I am a member of the Dachau Prisoners Association. Each year I go back to Germany to visit.

Q.) Did people ever successfully escape? Do you remember acts of bravery?

A.) Nobody escaped, only in the movies does the “hero” escape. Guards received extra leave time for killing prisoners that got too close to the fence. I do, however, think all prisoners were heroes in their own way. Especially the German prisoners, for they would not acquiesce to the Nazis. They suffered greatly too.

Q.) Did the camp inmates ever bring up the topic, “If only we were armed before, we would not be here now”?

A.) Many, many times. Before Adolph Hitler came to power, there was a black market in firearms, but the German people had been so conditioned to be law abiding, that they would never consider buying an unregistered gun. The German people really believed that only hoodlums own such guns. What fools we were. It truly frightens me to see how the government, media, and some police groups in America are pushing for the same mindset. In my opinion, the people of America had better start asking and demanding answers to some hard questions about firearms ownership, especially if the government does not trust me to own firearms, why or how can the people be expected to trust the government? There is no doubt in my mind that millions of lives could have been saved if the people were not “brainwashed” about gun ownership and had been well armed. Hitler’s thugs and goons were not very brave when confronted by a gun. Gun haters always want to forget the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which is a perfect example of how a ragtag, half starved group of Jews took up 10 handguns and made asses out of the Nazis.

End of interview

January 7, 2016

“degenerate art” is now displayed on bus windows in Germany

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:06 am
My photo of the Dachau monument designed by Nandor Glid

My photo of the Dachau monument designed by Nandor Glid

 

My photo of a detail of the Dachau sculpture designed by Nandor Glid

My photo of a detail of the Dachau sculpture designed by Nandor Glid

A competition among artists, who were concentration camp survivors, was announced on New Year’s day in 1959 to find a suitable design for a monument at Dachau.

Forty-five of the 63 entries were exhibited in November 1959 at the Ministry for Health and Family in Brussels. The final decision to choose the entry by Nandor Glid was made by Albert Guérisse, who was imprisoned at Dachau after he was captured while working as a spy for the British SOE. Guérisse was the President of the International Committee which planned the Memorial Site.

The German people can never escape from accusations of guilt for perpetrating the Holocaust.  Now as they ride around on city buses, they have to look through windows that are decorated with images of the degenerate art done by survivors of the Holocaust.

Another monument at Dachau which has the slogan "Never again" in 5 languages

Another monument at Dachau which has the slogan “Never again” in 5 languages

One of readers of my blog, who has his own blog, sent me an e-mail which included a photo that he took while looking out of the window of a city bus.

Begin quote from the e-mail message:

Silhouette versions of Nandor Glid’s horrible sculpture now appear on buses that drive about Dachau town and the surrounding area. So now it’s not just visitors to the memorial that have to look at it.

I took this photo inside one of the buses in April 2014:

http://fotos.fotoflexer.com/960df59bd31dba9e0c91ed506c971286.jpg

January 6, 2016

Prisoners were marched out of Dachau near the end of WWII

Filed under: Buchenwald, Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 6:11 am

I became interested in blogging around 5 years ago, when someone who was planning to write a book about the Dachau concentration camp prisoners, who were taken to the South Tyrol near the end of World War II, asked for my help in researching this subject. He was planning to write a book, but first he was planning to do a blog about his research on the subject.

At that time, I had just started a blog of my own, and had written my first blog post about a 3-legged dog named Tripod at the University of Missouri.

As it turned out, I don’t think that this fellow ever wrote the book that he was planning. So I decided to put the research that I had done, on this subject, on my website.

One of the regular readers of my blog recently wrote this in a comment:

“Due to Nazi fanaticism of almost all SS men, until the very last days of  the war, prisoners had been murdered or taken to a hidden place in the Tyrol mountains as hostages, where after the German surrender, an armed fight occurred between Wehrmacht and SS soldiers, who refused to let the hostages free.”

I am answering his comment with the information that I put on my website years ago about the march to the South Tyrol.

Begin quote from my website:

Due to Nazi fanaticism of almost all SS men until the very last days of the war, prisoners had been murdered, or taken to a hidden place in the Tyrol mountains as hostages, where after the German surrender, an armed fight between Wehrmacht soldiers and SS men, who refused to let the hostages free, had occurred.

Dachau prisoners marching to Tyrol

Dachau prisoners marching  from Dachau to the  South Tyrol in 1945

The days and weeks just before the liberation of Dachau were a frightening time for the prisoners. There were rumors that the SS had orders to kill them all, rather than let them be released by the Allies.

The prisoners knew that it would be difficult to evacuate the whole camp: convoys of trucks and trains were constantly being attacked by American fighter planes which were also strafing the outskirts of the camp; the Dachau sub-camp at Allach had been bombed just before the American liberators arrived and the Dachau main camp had been bombed on April 9, 1945.

In the last days of the Dachau camp, the Nazis had run out of coal to burn the bodies and corpses were piling up faster than they could be hauled out of the camp and buried. Realizing that the situation was totally out of control, the camp Commandant immediately proposed to surrender the Dachau camp to the Allies, but the concentration camp headquarters in Oranienburg refused to allow it because Hitler insisted that the inmates not be turned over to the Allies. One of his reasons was that all the camps in Germany, including Dachau, had prisoners who were career criminals that had been sent to a concentration camp after they had served their prison term for their second offense.

At the time of the American liberation of Dachau, there were 759 of these career criminals at Dachau, according to former prisoner Paul Berben’s book entitled “Dachau 1933 – 1945: The Official History.”

German citizens were already so terrorized that many of them were committing suicide by drowning or shooting themselves just before the Russians and the Americans arrived to take over their towns.

There was also the fear that typhus would spread throughout Germany if the prisoners were released after the camps were surrendered to the Allies.

Dachau was in the western part of Germany and it became an end destination for the prisoners from other camps in the east that were being evacuated from the war zone. The prisoners from the Kaufering sub-camps at Landsberg am Lech and the Mühldorf sub-camps were also brought to the Dachau main camp shortly before it was liberated.

Paul Berben, the official historian of Dachau and a member of the International Committee which controlled the main camp at the end, wrote the following in his book entitled “Dachau 1933 – 1945: The Official History”:

Begin quote

When the evacuation began of camps situated in areas threatened by the victorious advance of the Allies, the horror surpassed anything that had been seen till then. [….]

From the start of the evacuation tens of thousands of prisoners arrived at Dachau in a state of terrible exhaustion, and a vast number died before the liberation and in the weeks that followed. These massive arrivals caused unparalleled difficulties and a large number of deaths among the camp population, particularly as a typhus epidemic spread.

End quote

Half of the deaths in Dachau occurred in the last 6 months that the camp was in operation, including 2,226 prisoners who died in the month of May, after the liberation. According to Paul Berben, there were 18,296 deaths in the main camp and all the sub-camps of Dachau between November 1944 and the end of May 1945. Most of these deaths were due to the typhus epidemic in the camp, according to Berben.

On April 26, 1945, three days before the American liberators arrived at Dachau, a transport of 1,735 Jewish prisoners left on a train bound for the mountains in southern Germany.

Then another 6,887 prisoners, half of them Jews and half of them Russian POWs, were marched south toward the mountains of the South Tyrol. According to testimony given at the Nuremberg IMT, the march to the Tyrol was part of a plan, devised by Ernst Kaltenbrunner, to kill all these prisoners.

At the Nuremberg IMT, on January 2, 1946, Lt. Commander Whitney R. Harris submitted Document 3462-PS, the sworn interrogation of Bertus Gerdes, the former Gaustabsamtsleiter under the Gauleiter of Munich. This interrogation was taken in the course of an official military investigation by the U.S. Army. During the interrogation, Gerdes was ordered to state all he knew about Kaltenbrunner.

Lt. Commander Harris read part of Document 3462-PSI, beginning with the third paragraph of Page 2, as quoted below from the transcript of the Nuremberg IMT on January 2, 1946:

Begin quote

“Giesler told me that Kaltenbrunner was in constant touch with him because he was greatly worried about the attitude of the foreign workers and especially inmates of Concentration Camps Dachau, Mühldorf, and Landsberg, which were in the path of the approaching Allied armies. On a Tuesday in the middle of April 1945 I received a telephone call from Gauleiter Giesler asking me to be available for a conversation that night. In the course of our personal conversation that night, I was told by Giesler that he had received a directive from Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner, by order of the Fuehrer, to work out a plan without delay for the liquidation of the concentration camp at Dachau and the two Jewish labor camps in Landsberg and Mühldorf. The directive proposed to liquidate the two Jewish labor camps at Landsberg and Mühldorf by use of the German Luftwaffe, since the construction area of these camps had previously been the targets of repeated enemy air attacks. This action received the code name of ‘Wolke A-1.'”

“I was certain that I would never let this directive be carried out. As the action Wolke A-1 should have become operational already for some time, I was literally swamped by couriers from Kaltenbrunner and moreover I was supposed to have discussed the details of the Mühldorf and Landsberg actions in detail with the two Kreisleiter concerned. The couriers, who were in most cases SS officers, usually SS Untersturmfuehrer, gave me terse and strict orders to read and initial. The orders threatened me with the most terrible punishment, including execution, if I did not comply with them. However, I could always excuse my failure to execute the plan because of bad flying weather and lack of gasoline and bombs. Therefore, Kaltenbrunner ordered that the Jews in Landsberg be marched to Dachau in order to include them in the Dachau extermination operations, and that the Mühldorf action was to be carried out by the Gestapo.

“Kaltenbrunner also ordered an operation Wolkenbrand for the Concentration Camp Dachau, which provided that the inmates of the concentration camp at Dachau were to be liquidated by poison with the exception of Aryan nationals of the Western Powers.

“Gauleiter Giesler received this order direct from Kaltenbrunner and discussed in my presence the procurement of the required amounts of poison with Dr. Harrfeld, the Gau health chief. Dr. Harrfeld promised to procure these quantities when ordered and was advised to await my further directions. As I was determined to prevent the execution of this plan in any event, I gave no further instructions to Dr. Harrfeld.

“The inmates of Landsberg had hardly been delivered at Dachau when Kaltenbrunner sent a courier declaring the Action Wolkenbrand was operational.

“I prevented the execution of the Wolfe A-1’ and ‘Wolkenbrand’ by giving Giesler the reason that the front was too close and asked him to transmit this on to Kaltenbrunner.

“Kaltenbrunner therefore issued directives in writing to Dachau to transport all Western European prisoners by truck to Switzerland and to march the remaining inmates into Tyrol, where the final liquidation of these prisoners was to take place without fail.”

End quote

Rudolf Hoess, the former Commandant of Auschwitz, testified at Nuremberg, as a defense witness for Ernst Kaltenbrunner, that he had no knowledge of a plan to destroy the Dachau camp with a bomb or with poison.

The following quote is from the Nuremberg IMT trial transcript:

Begin quote

DR. KAUFFMANN: It has been maintained here–and this is my last question–that the Defendant Kaltenbrunner gave the order that Dachau and two auxiliary camps were to be destroyed by bombing or with poison. I ask you, did you hear anything about this; if not, would you consider such an order possible?
HOESS: I have never heard anything about this, and I do not know anything either about an order to evacuate any camps in southern Germany, as I have already mentioned. Apart from that, I consider it quite impossible that a camp could be destroyed by this method.

End quote

The death march to the South Tyrol is shown in the photograph at the top of my blog post. These prisoners were finally overtaken by American troops and liberated on May 2, 1945.

One of the Jewish prisoners who survived the march was Hirschel Grodzienski, who came to the USA in December 1946 and changed his name to Harold Gordon. Another survivor of the death march was Jack Adler, who was liberated by American troops on May 1, 1945.

The American Army believed that Hitler was planning to hole up in the mountains near the town of Berchtesgaden in a last-ditch effort to escape capture; some Holocaust historians believe that these prisoners were being sent to build a redoubt.

The 137 prominent VIP prisoners in Dachau were evacuated on April 26, 1945; they were moved southward for their own safety. Some of the Catholic priests in the camp were taken to the town of Dachau on April 24th and then released.

Dachau Commandant Wilhelm Eduard Weiter accompanied a transport of prisoners to Schloss Itter, a subcamp of Dachau in Austria. On May 6, 1945, Weiter shot himself, according to Johannes Tuchel, the author of “Dachau and the Nazi Terror 1933-1945.” However, the German Wikipedia gives May 2, 1945 as the date that Weiter shot himself.

Stanislav Zamecnik wrote in his book entitled “That was Dachau,” published in 2005, that Weiter committed suicide. Zvonimir Cuckovic stated that Weiter was buried in the forest near Schloss Itter.

However, in the book entitled “World without Civilization: Mass Murder and the Holocaust,” published in 2004, Robert M. Spector wrote the following:

Feig indicates that a Wilhelm Weiter, as Commandant, was “probably shot by a zealot SS officer.”

Nerin E. Gun, a journalist who was a former prisoner at Dachau, wrote the following in his book “The Day of the Americans,” published in 1966:

Begin quote

The SS commandant of the camp, Weiter, for having disobeyed Hitler’s orders, was executed by a fanatic SS sergeant, Ruppert, in the countryside while trying to escape. Weiter died with a bullet in the neck, clutching a picture of Hitler.

End quote

Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert was the SS officer in charge of executions at Dachau; he was put on trial by an American Military Tribunal in November 1945, but he was not charged with the murder of Weiter, nor with the murder of four British SOE women, another crime that he was accused of by a former prisoner.

May 6, 1945, the day that Weiter either committed suicide, or was shot by someone else, was the same day that the 137 Dachau VIP prisoners were liberated by American soldiers. According to Gun, an SS man named Fritz threw a grenade at the liberators.

Regarding the American retaliation for the grenade attack, Gun wrote the following in “The Day of the Americans”:

Begin quote

The Americans were furious and shot down all the guards posted around the village. The Resistance, during this time, had not sat on its hands. The six Gestapo functionaries, the professional killers who had joined the convoy at Innsbruck, were hanging from the trees in the village square.

End quote

Nerin E. Gun also wrote that Dr. Sigmund Rascher was shot in Innsbruck, although the Museum at Dachau says that Dr. Rascher was executed on the orders of Heinrich Himmler in the bunker on April 26, 1945, the day that the VIP prisoners at Dachau were evacuated from the camp.

An account of the period just before the liberation of the camp, called “The Last Days of Dachau,” was written jointly by Arthur Haulot, a Belgian prisoner, and Dr. Ali Kuci, an Albanian prisoner. Nerin E. Gun mentioned in his book that he was Kuci’s assistant.

The book written by Haulot and Kuci mentions the orders given by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler after Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the head of the Security SD forces, ordered that the prisoners should be “liquidated” in the event that it was impossible to evacuate the camp. Himmler’s order stated that the camp was to be immediately evacuated and that “No prisoner should fall into the hands of the enemy alive…” This message was received in the camp in response to a query sent to Berlin by the camp commandant, according to Kuci and Haulot.

Information from “The Last Days of Dachau,” given by Marcus J. Smith in his book, “The Harrowing of Hell,” is as follows:

Begin quote

The day before (on April 8, 1945), the commandant and his staff had worried about the possibility of concealed knives and firearms in the prison compound; they feared an insurrection. Knowing that the prisoners were getting out of hand, they made plans to massacre them. At the designated time, the barracks were surrounded by SS troopers, their machine guns ready.

But the SS camp surgeon protested strongly. He believed that there should be no more killings. The commandant decided to search for weapons; if they were found, he could justify the executions. Nothing was found.

End quote

Kuci and Haulot wrote that the members of the Communist underground resistance group began to initiate action designed to create confusion within the camp in order to prevent the evacuation of the prisoners. At midnight on April 23rd, a group of 400 Jewish women arrived, having walked all the way from a sub-camp in Landsberg am Lech, near Munich. Many of them must have died soon afterwards because an official American Army report claims that there were only 225 Jewish women alive in the camp when it was liberated.

On April 24th, a group of Jewish inmates at Dachau were forced into boxcars parked outside the camp, but no engine was available for the train, so they had to remain there for three more days. According to Kuci, it was rumored that the Jews were being kept in the outer area in the hope that they would be bombed by the American planes.

On April 26th, according to Kuci, the prisoners ransacked the trains, canteen, kitchen and warehouses for food and civilian clothes. At 9 a.m. that day, the order was given to evacuate the entire camp, but the underground committee moved quickly to sabotage the SS plans.

According to Kuci’s book, the SS had assembled 6,700 prisoners for evacuation by 8 p.m. on April 26th. Then, just as the inmates were ready to leave the camp, a group of 120 barefoot women entered the camp; they were all that remained of 480 women who had walked all the way from the Auschwitz concentration camp, according to Kuci, as told by Marcus J. Smith in his book “The Harrowing of Hell.” In spite of this distraction, 6,887 prisoners left the camp at 10 p.m. that night.

Death march out of the Sachsenhausen camp

Death march out of Sachsenhausen camp

The Sachsenhausen concentration camp, near Berlin, had already been evacuated on April 21, 1945 and the prisoners were on a death march, trying to evade the approaching Red Army of the Soviet Union.

According to Kuci, the “death train” from Buchenwald had arrived at noon on April 27th. However, witnesses at the trial of the transport leader, Hans Merbach, said that the train had arrived on the 26th.

Kuci wrote that there were 1,600 survivors out of 2,400 who had left Buchenwald. Marcus J. Smith wrote that these figures were later changed to 2,000 to 2,500 out of 6,000 who started the trip three weeks before.

Two hundred of the survivors died that afternoon and another 400 had to be hospitalized immediately, according to Kuci. Two of the survivors said that there were only 1300 prisoners alive upon arrival, out of 5,000 who had originally been on the death train.

Victor Maurer, a representative of the Red Cross, said that he was told that, out of 5,000 prisoners who started the trip, 2,700 were dead on arrival, which would mean that there were 2,300 survivors who entered the camp.

The book “The Last Days of Dachau” ends with the following story, as told by Marcus J. Smith in his book:

Begin quote

The next day, April 28, the battle front was only ten or twelve kilometers away. The nearer it came, the fewer the number of Nazi soldiers in the camp. About one hundred remained; most of the officers were gone.

Members of the prisoners’ committee moved into the open, distributing a bulletin saying they were taking command. All prisoners were to remain in their quarters, to refrain from contact with the guards. (Some guards had been helpful in the last few months. They, too, were aware of the progress of the Allies.)

At 6 p.m., three of the committee leaders, Arthur Haulot, Captain Willem Boellaard, and Father Phily, a French priest, were summoned to the office of the commandant. Four others, Patrick O’Leary, Leon Malczewski, Ali Kuci and Edmond Michelet, waited nervously in the hospital. About two hours later the three reappeared, smiling.

The commandant had conceded, they said. He had introduced them to an official of the International Red Cross, who had just arrived with five truckloads of supplies.

“We had a long conversation with him concerning the distribution,” said Captain Boellaard.

End quote

According to Marcus J. Smith, the Red Cross representative, Victor Maurer, arrived at Dachau on April 27, 1945. Other sources say that the date of his arrival was April 28th. The following is an excerpt from Maurer’s official report, as quoted in Smith’s book, “The Harrowing of Hell”:

Begin quote

At the camp, I told a sentry that I wished to speak to the camp commandant. A little later I was received by the adjutant, Lt. Otto, in the commandant’s office. I asked for permission to circulate freely through the area where the prisoners were kept. The commandant said that it was not possible to issue such an authorization, that only General (Ernst) Kaltenbrunner could grant such permission, and that he was in the vicinity of Linz (Austria). The telephone and telegraph being out of order, the affair had become considerably complicated.

The Germans were very happy to know about the arrival of the (five truck loads of) food parcels. The commandant acquainted me with his desire for the immediate repatriation of 17,500 prisoners in a good state of health. These were mostly French and Polish; German, Jewish and Bulgarian inmates could not be released. I replied that I had to contact my district commander as soon as possible, but I could not do this until the next day. Lastly, the commandant asked me to quickly transport a cargo of food parcels to a depot in the Tyrols.

The request for food to be sent to the Tyrols might have been intended for the 6,887 prisoners who had left the camp at 10 p.m. on April 26th, headed in that direction. However, Smith also wrote that some of the prisoners who had escaped from the march reported that all the prisoners on this march had been murdered by the SS and that the only survivors were the 60 prisoners who had escaped.

End quote

The Official Report by The U.S. Seventh Army, which was based on interviews with 20 political prisoners at Dachau, included the story of the prisoners being massacred by the SS guards, leaving only 60 survivors.

One of the survivors of the march, Hirshel Grodzienski, wrote in his memoirs that the column of prisoners had been strafed by American planes, and in the confusion, he had escaped along with some of the other prisoners.

The official report of Victor Maurer continued as follows, as quoted in Smith’s book:

We said good-bye. I was permitted to personally distribute parcels to the prisoners. Lt. Otto accompanied me to the prison courtyard while a column of prisoners were led into the courtyard. Naturally, a very great joy prevailed among the prisoners because this was the first time a delegate of the ICRC has had access to the camp. Because some SS officers were always around, it was with great difficulty that I learned that, since January 1, 1945, 15,000 prisoners had died of typhus, and that in a transport of 5,000 prisoners from Buchenwald, about 2,700 were dead on arrival at Dachau.

End quote

The number of dead bodies on the train varies considerably, according to who is telling the story. Later, in the same report, Maurer said that there were 500 bodies on the train, and that some had been killed, while others had died of starvation.

Maurer’s report continues, as quoted by Marcus J. Smith in his book:

Begin quote

I further learned that M. Blum, Schuschnigg, and others were taken away a few days ago, at the same time as 6,000 others. In my opinion this happened because the combat front had drawn nearer. Some of the prisoners (trustees) emptied the trucks and signed the accompanying receipts. I spent the night in Barrack 203, Room 3. This was not in the prison camp.

End quote

On the night of April 28, 1945, Martin Gottfried Weiss left the camp dressed in civilian clothes and carrying false identification. The next day, two divisions of the US Seventh Army arrived to liberate the Dachau camp, but a few prisoners had already escaped from a work party sent to the town of Dachau in the last days just before the liberation.

Along with a few residents of the town, the prisoners fought a pitched battle with SS men in the town, but were defeated. The prisoners who survived the battle escaped. Two former prisoners of Dachau, Walter Neff and Georg Scherer, who had continued to work in the concentration camp after they were released, were the organizers of the confrontation with the SS in the town of Dachau.

On April 29, 1945, the same day that the camp was liberated, Weiss and his adjutant, Rudolf Heinrich Suttrop, were captured by 19-year-old Corporal Henry Senger in Munich after two escaped prisoners from Dachau told him where they were hiding. Senger did not identify the two prisoners, nor explain why they were in Munich on the day that Dachau was liberated. They may have been among the prisoners who had escaped with the help of Dachau citizens in the last days of the camp.

An account of the capture of Martin Gottfried Weiss was written by Senger, who now lives in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and it was put on the web by Harold Marcuse, a history professor at the University of Santa Barbara who is an expert on Dachau. You can read an article by Henry Senger on the web site of Harold Marcuse.

November 14, 2014

Lviv ghetto in Ukraine, where Jews hid in sewers, is back in the news

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:13 am
Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler in Lviv, Nov. 7, 2014. (Courtesy of Limmud FSU)

Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler in Lviv, Nov. 7, 2014. (Courtesy of Limmud FSU)

The photo above is from a newspaper article, which you can read in full here.  It shows one of the manhole covers, that can be lifted up, to enter the sewer in Lviv.

The news story is about the sewer system in the city of Lviv, where Jews hid for 14 months, during World War II, to escape the Genocide perpetrated by the Nazis.  Strangely, there is no Holocaust memorial to mark this historic spot, nor any of the other manhole covers where the Jews entered the sewer.

A few years ago, there was a movie, entitled In Darkness, about Jewish children hiding in the sewers.  I blogged about the movie here.

Scene from the movie "In Darkness, shows children hiding the sewer

Scene from the movie “In Darkness,” shows children emerging from the sewer

In the movie scene, shown in the photo above, notice that the little girl is wearing a ribbon in her hair.  One must keep up appearances, even while living in a sewer.

I didn’t actually go to see the movie because I thought that it would be too upsetting.  Personally, I would not live in a sewer for 14 months to escape death.  I would have just said, “Kill me now.”

Near the end of the war, the survivors of the Lviv ghetto were sent to Dachau.  I wrote about one of the survivors of the ghetto on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/WilliamWeiss.html

This quote is from my website:

Six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, including the entire family of William Weiss, who was among the prisoners at Dachau when it was liberated by the US Seventh Army on April 29, 1945. Before the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Weiss family had lived in peace and prosperity in Lwow, which at that time was a Polish city, also known by the English name Lvov. The city was originally called L’viv when it was founded in 1256 as the capital of Galicia; today the city of L’viv is in the Ukraine. From 1772 until 1919, the city was called Lemberg, after it became part of the Austrian Empire in the first partition of Poland.

According to his own account, as told to newspaper reporter Marsha Low in 2001, Weiss was a studious child who earned good grades and he expected to one day take over his father’s military supply business in Lvov. When World War II started in 1939 with the invasion of Poland, the Soviet Union captured the city of Lvov on September 17, 1939, the first day that the Russians entered the war on the side of Nazi Germany. After Poland was conquered, Lvov was in the section that was occupied by the Soviet Union, as part of the pact made with the Germans prior to the joint invasion. The original population of Lvov was one third Jewish and there were an additional 100,000 Jewish refugees in the city, who had fled to the east, escaping from the Germans when they invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.

The area occupied by the Soviet Union, after September 1939, had formerly belonged to the Russians from 1795 until after World War I when the Poles finally regained their independence. After the Russians took back their lost Polish territory in September 1939, they set up a Communist government and the Soviet secret police, known as the NKVD, was put in charge of arresting any resistance fighters.

On July 2, 1941, the life of the Weiss family changed drastically, according to his account, as told to Marsha Low. On June 22, 1941, the German Army had invaded the Soviet Union and by July 2nd, they had captured the city of Lvov. The name of the city was changed back to Lemberg, the name that had been given to it by the Austrians. According to Weiss’s account, the Nazis began rounding up the Jews in the city within the first month, taking them to the Brygidki and Loncki prisons on the edge of town.

Weiss told Ms. Low that by August 1941, the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police began forcing the Jews into a ghetto in Lvov, allowing them to take with them only what they could carry. Lvov became one of the five major ghettos in Poland; the other four were Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow and Lublin. Altogether, there were 356 ghettos established by the Nazis in Poland after September 1939.

The evacuation of the Lvov Jews began on March 19, 1942 and continued for one month until 15,000 Jews had been sent to the gas chambers at Belzec, one of the three Operation Reinhard extermination camps, which had been set up specifically to kill the Jews as part of the Final Solution. Between August 10 and August 23, 1942, 50,000 more Jews from the Lvov ghetto were sent to Belzec, which is north of Lvov, on the west side of the Bug river, the border between the part of Poland occupied by the Germans and the former Soviet occupied zone. Between March and December 1942, a total of 600,000 Jews were murdered in the gas chamber at Belzec.

Weiss told reporter Marsha Low that, in August 1942, his father had found a hiding place in Lvov and had planned an escape for the entire family on the evening of a day when the Lvov Jews were rounded up, but it was too late. Weiss and his mother and two sisters had already been put into the group that was assembled, ready to be sent to either Belzec or the concentration camp at Janowska. Weiss was 19 years old at that time. He told Ms. Low that his mother and two sisters were sent to Belzec, but he managed to escape certain death because, on the day that the Jews were assembled for transport, his mother told him to sneak over to the other side where able-bodied people were being sent to work at Janowska, not to be killed at Belzec.

As quoted in the newspaper article, Weiss said, “I listened to her. Now I know she knew she’d be killed. They put me on a truck and took me to the Janowska camp.” Weiss said that he managed to escape from the Janowska camp that same night, running to the place where his father was hiding in Lvov, ready to escape with the whole family. When he told his father that their escape plan was too late because his mother and sisters were already on their way to Belzec, his father cried, the first time that Weiss had ever seen his father cry. After a week in hiding in Lvov, Weiss said that he and his father were captured and sent to Loncki prison. Another 5,000 Jews from Lvov were evacuated in November 1942, and sent to either Belzec or Janowska, but Weiss and his father remained for a year in the Loncki prison until the Soviet Army arrived in 1943.

Weiss and his father were among 30 prisoners who were evacuated from the Loncki prison before Russian troops captured Lvov; they were sent to the Auschwitz death camp, where both managed to survive. In his interview with Marsha Low, Weiss said that he still dreams of naked bodies being herded into the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

As the Soviet Army advanced further into Poland, Auschwitz was evacuated in January 1945. In the dead of winter, through knee-deep snow, the starving prisoners were forced to march 50 kilometers to Gleiwitz near the border of Germany. Weiss said that his 42-year-old father died of starvation on the forced march. After a few weeks in Gleiwitz, Weiss was transported by train to the Dachau concentration camp. When Dachau was liberated by American troops, 22-year-old William Weiss, who was 5 foot 7 inches tall, weighed only 75 pounds and he was suffering from typhus. He had survived nearly three years of imprisonment by the Nazis. He said that he was sent to a hospital in Munich, where he met his future wife, Regina, who was also a survivor. They were married on March 13, 1946 in the city hall in Munich.

William Weiss and Regina emigrated to America where they settled near Detroit in West Bloomfield, Michigan. In 2001, Weiss was retired from the clothing business, and was working as a volunteer at least once a week at the Holocaust Memorial Center in West Bloomfield, telling his story to a new generation, so that the horrors of the Nazi regime will never be forgotten.

July 20, 2014

Philip Riteman is still educating students about the Holocaust

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 10:33 am

This morning, I read in a CBS news story that Holocaust survivor Philip Riteman is still out on the lecture circuit, educating young students in Canada about the horrors of the Holocaust.

This quote is from the news article:

One of the last living Holocaust survivors in Atlantic Canada continues to tell his story, and says he worries the horrors he experienced could happen again.

It took four decades for Auschwitz survivor Philip Riteman to begin speaking about what he went through after he was captured by the Nazis when he was 14 years old.

Philip Riteman, Holocaust survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau

Philip Riteman, Holocaust survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau

The news article is very short, but it does give a hint that Philip’s story is worth some in-depth study.  I recognized his name, when I read the news article, and I remembered that I wrote about him extensively on my website scrapbookpages.com many years ago: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/PhilipRiteman.html

One of the interesting things about Philip’s story is that he was liberated on May 2, 1945 by American troops. This date identifies him as one of the prisoners who were marched out of the Dachau main camp toward the mountains of Austria in April 1945, just before the main Dachau camp was liberated..

The following information is from my scrapbookpages website:

Acting upon Hitler’s orders, the Commandant of Dachau, Wilhelm Eduard Weiter, made an attempt to evacuate the Dachau main camp before the American liberators arrived. On April 26th, 1945, Weiter left the Dachau main camp with a transport of prisoners bound for Schloss Itter, a subcamp of Dachu in Austria. Weiter allegedly committed suicide when the prisoners on the march were liberated by the Allies, but the truth is that he was probably shot by the Americans.

This quote is from my website page on Philip Riteman:

On November 10, 2005, Riteman gave a talk to College students in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; Keith Adolph took the following notes which he posted on his blog:

-Reitman went to school as a normal child in 1938
-Early on in the war it was seen as a fight against evil
-In 1939 Poland was invaded
-His father had ties to the Russian Gov’t and so they traveled to live under Russia and still it was not a good country to live in
-The Germans’ journey to Minsk took them through Reitman’s small town. For months they drove tanks through town
-They killed those in their way or caught watching them

-The Nazis approached the mayor and demanded 10 kilos of gold and 20 kilos of silver or they would level the town. They took the money and left after a time.
-They returned and surrounded the town before asking for more. This time the town could not pay.
-Days later, at 3 AM, the Nazis came to the houses and took people from their homes. They separated children from parents and marched the 3000 residents 60 km. Others (about 5000) were driven.
-During the march they killed roughly 200 residents.
-Before releasing the residents the Nazis took 14 people aside, striped them and shot them dead, letting their bodies drop into 7 graves already dug.
-The residents were then freed and reunited with the others.

-They were left in a small town that was entirely vacant.
-The village had been purged and the people were culled into a mass grave 50 x 100 and 7 feet deep
-En route they came upon a town and they were collected into a ghetto of 40,000.
-After Reitman’s group joined the ghetto, any person approaching the ghetto was shot.
The ghetto had no food.

-Nine months later the ghetto was liquidated
-The residents were told they were being taken to a farm.
-They were all collected into 120 freight cars with all they could carry.
-The trains traveled for hours – all day
-A baby starved to death on the journey
-A man dropped dead and was pushed to the wall
-The train kept going
-The train traveled for 6 nights and 7 days.
-No food, No water
-People were soiling themselves where they stood
-One man was using a spoon to catch snow drops falling outside for water
-Reitman and the others were taken to Auschwitz

-The doors were opened and everyone jumped out
-Reitman grabbed his little sister. Also in the car were his two brothers, his big sister and his parents
-The Nazis beat and pushed them onto a platform
-A woman chasing her baby was stabbed to death with a bayonet
-Reitman was told to pretend that he was 18 when the Nazis were dividing the Jews by age and gender.
-If you were 18-45 you had a chance of surviving
-Parents with their young children were taken straight to the gas chambers.

-The Nazis began to divide the men by occupation
-Reitman pretended to be a locksmith
-The intellectuals were collected (about 300 of them) and machine gunned to death. The Nazis only needed workers.
-They were ordered to strip naked and shot if they moved too slowly.
-The Jews were shaved from head to toe.
-Body searches were conducted. Those caught hiding anything, even their gold teeth were executed.

-If you spoke German in the camps, the Nazis would bring out ‘interpreters’ who beat you with sticks so that you would never speak German again.

-Hundreds of men were put into cold showers and then given striped clothes.
-They were given a bowl, no utensils.
-They were then tattooed.
-Over 2 million died at Auschwitz.
-They were made to march. If you refused, your legs were broken.
-The Jews marched better than the Nazis.
-The Nazis would lock them into their barracks each night.
-They fit 7 into each bunk.
-There were 125,000 men at Auschwitz [main camp] at this time.
-Only 20,000 were Jewish. The others were Russians, Gypsies, Blacks and so on.

-Reitman spent 2 years at Auschwitz [main camp] and then 2 years at Dachau [subcamps]. In between he spent 6 months in Birkenau [AuschwitzII] where there were 2000 men to a barrack
-Smaller camps would kill their population and then call on larger camps to replenish their numbers. This is why Reitman moved around so much.

-Reitman says he had to close his mind to survive. He was like a zombie.
-He learned to never be first or last in line. Always be in the middle.
-He lost five brothers, his parents, his grandparents. He lost nine uncles and nine aunts and many cousins.
-He was the only survivor in his whole European family.
-He could not talk about the camps or his family for forty years.

“What kept you going?”
-If there is a God somewhere he will help me.
-He would have liked to have eaten one big meal and then died
-They ate one bowl of soup a day.
-If they had lost their bowl they were accused of sabotaging the Nazi Gov’t and beaten to death with sticks
-They wouldn’t waste the bullet.
-By comparison, the homeless today live in heaven. The Nazis burned them.
-If you limped, you were shot.
-Those who escaped got only 100-1000 feet and they starved to death.
-When they returned they were shot and burned by their fellow prisoners at the start of their day (5 AM)

-After 6 months in the camp Reitman found an old class mate who was in the camps because he was a Baptist.
-The boy recognized Reitman and called out to him.
-The Nazis had wanted his family’s cattle but the boy’s father would not give it to them. He was shot.
-His mother attacked the Nazis and she was hung in the town center.
-His sisters were cut and raped and shot in the heart.
-His little brother was chased into the woods and shot.
-The boy joined Reitman’s work group on a farm and was instantly hated by the Nazis.
-One day he was stripped and put into a water trough. The Nazis took steel wool and tried to take his freckles off.
-The boy died in the trough which was full of his own blood.
-Reitman and the others had to take the boy back to camp to be burned.
-He was Reitman’s best friend.

-Reitman was sent to another camp. When he arrived the barrack was full of all the dead.
-He and the others were forced to bury the bodies, but they were forbidden to pray.
-At another camp he spent a month in an airplane hanger.
-At Dachau the barracks were filled with bodies piled 7 ft high.
-When they tried to remove them the bodies came apart in their hands.
-These barracks were sunken into the ground 

[the barracks at the Kaufering IV camp were sunk into the ground – http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/KauferingIVLiberation.html ]

Barracks at Kaufering IV sub-camp of Dachau were partly underground

Barracks at Kaufering IV sub-camp of Dachau were partly underground

-They were marched for 2-3 weeks in the winter with only the snow to eat.
-Reitman estimates that 50,000 were killed for their weakness.
-They marched with tanks so that American planes would not bomb the convoys. The Jews wished they would though, just to kill the Germans.
-One night the camp was empty, not a German in sight. In the distance he could see the Americans coming, calling “You’re free!”
-This was May 2, 1945. Reitman was 18 years old and 75 lbs.

-The Americans brought food and medicine.
-Reitman had never seen bananas before, or a coloured person.
-A coloured soldier taught him to peel bananas.
-He would drink 3-4 cans of milk a day

-Reitman says he will never go back to the camps, but urges young people to visit them.
-He says he sees the camp every time he closes his eyes, even when he lived in Newfoundland.
-It would take Reitman 5 years to tell the story of his 5 years in the camps.

-He cannot forgive or forget what happened. Only God can forgive.
-Reitman says he does not hate the Germans he met after the war. He only hates the Nazis

-“I am speaking for millions who cannot speak”

-When he saw Americans he applied to go to the USA.
-The Red Cross took care of him in Europe and asked him about his history which they compared to his records held by the Nazis
-A month later he received a letter from Newfoundland from his mother’s sister.
-Then he got another letter from Newfoundland with 20 US $ in it.
-And then another from Montreal with 10 US $
-Then New York from his father’s sister and an uncle who had left Europe in 1890 and another in 1905.
-They were all relatives that he had never known to exist.
-In 1946 he was to come to Canada but the Canadian Gov’t would not allow Jews into the country.
-Newfoundland was not part of Canada at the time and they brought him right over.
-He traveled from Munich to Paris to New York to Newfoundland.
-He had never been on a boat before and he was very sea sick.
-The Newfoundland Gov’t said he was a free man. He was a Newfoundlander.

Most people would give the prize for the best Holocaust lies to Irene Zisblatt, but I think that Philip Riteman is a contender for this prize.  He at least deserves an honorable mention in the list of  Holocaust liars who have told the most egregious Holocaust lies.

From the details of his story, it is clear that Riteman was a political prisoner who was first sent to the Auschwitz main camp.   He was not among the Jews who were rounded up in order to be “exterminated” at the Auchwitz-Birkeanau camp. Riteman was marched out of the Auschwitz camp, and taken to Dachau, where he was then sent to one of the sub-camps to work.  He was brought back to the main camp, and then marched out of Dachau, on a march led by the Commandant of the camp, indicating that he was one of the prominent prisoners that the Nazis wanted to save.

Prisoners marching out of Dachau pass through a German village

Prisoners marching out of the Dachau main camp in April 1945 pass through a German village

 

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