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


October 21, 2016

Happy birthday to Holocaust survivor who is 107 years old

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:05 am

On this website, you can read about a Holocaust survivor who has just celebrated her 107th birthday: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2016/10/20/cincinnatis-oldest-holocaust-survivor-turns-107/92493860/

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

… [in 1941] the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany was eight years into the mass slaughter of Jews. At the end of WWII, 6 million Jews would be killed, with nearly a quarter million coming from Slomovits’ home of Romania.

Esther Slomovits turned 107 Thursday. She’s Cincinnati’s oldest Holocaust survivor.

The Slomovits were loaded onto a train for deportation to a Nazi death camp, but Sidney’s former employer bribed someone to stop the train, rescuing the Slomovits’.

End quote

How does one stop a speeding train? When I was a child, I lived only a stone’s throw from the tracks of the Missosuri-Pacific railroad line. It never occurred to me that I could have bribed someone to stop a train going through my town, so that I could get a passenger off the train. The passengers on the train used to lean out the window and wave to me. Were they signaling to me because they wanted me to stop the train so that they could escape?

The most important part of this story is her secrets to living a long life. The following quote is about her habits:

Begin quote:

The key to her longevity, she said, is spending time with those you love, being in nature, a hearty breakfast, substituting honey for sugar and “on your 107th birthday, celebrate with sponge food cake – no icing!”

End quote

The important part of her secret to longevity is that she eats honey instead of sugar. So far, I have lived to the age of 83, and I never touch sugar. If I need to sweeten my food, I use raw honey.

 

November 16, 2013

Death trains and death marches, the last ditch effort by the Nazis to complete the genocide of the Jews

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , , — furtherglory @ 12:03 pm

In 1945, during the last days of World War II, the Nazis made one last attempt to exterminate all the Jews in Europe, by marching them to death, or putting them on “death trains” to drive them to death.

This morning, I read a news story about an American veteran of World War II, who gave a lecture to some American students about the “death train” that his outfit liberated on April 13, 1945 near Magdeburg, Germany.

This quote is from the story, which you can read in full here:

Some 450 students at Wilmington Christian Academy listened with rapt attention Wednesday morning as Frank Towers described his service during World War II. […]

Towers was 23 when he entered the Army in late 1940. In 1944, he crossed the English Channel and landed on Omaha Beach with the 30th Infantry Division a few days after D-Day.

He told how his unit fought in the Battle of the Bulge, crossed the Rhine River and on April 13, approached the small town of Farsleben, on the way to Magdeburg, Germany.

There they found a train stopped on the tracks. It was filled with Holocaust victims.

The train was one of three that left the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, carrying prisoners to a death camp before they would be discovered by Allied liberators.

Yes, dear students, that’s exactly what happened. The train that Frank Towers liberated was headed to the “death camp” at Thersienstadt, so that the prisoners could be gassed.  Don’t let anyone tell you that the train was going to Theresienstadt so that the passengers could be handed over to the Red Cross.

Don’t let anyone tell you that Heinrich Himmler had been negotiating with the British for two weeks to turn the Bergen-Belsen camp over to them because there was a typhus epidemic at the camp.

What really happened was that the Nazis wanted to complete the genocide of the Jews by putting the Jews on trains and moving them around the war zone so that they would be killed by Allied bombs, or they would starve to death on the trains.

You can read the entire account, as told by Frank Towers,  at http://www.30thinfantry.org/holocaust.shtml.

This quote is from the document cited above:

Why those people had not been exterminated earlier, we never did learn.

However, the Nazis were attempting to move them out of Bergen-Belsen so that the advancing Allied Army would not see the conditions of this mass of frail humanity, if it could be called that. […]

…. the train halted at Farsleben and was awaiting further orders as to where to go next. The engineers had then received their orders, to drive the train to, and onto the bridge over the Elbe River, and either blow it up, or just drive it off the end of the damaged bridge, with all of the cars of the train crashing into the river, and killing or drowning all of the occupants.

To think that the Nazis had had 12 years (1933 to 1945) to genocide the Jews, but they fooled around, and didn’t get the job done, so they were forced to put 2,500 Jews on a train and drive the train into a river to kill them.  Fortunately, the train engineer realized, at the last minute, that if he followed orders and drove the train into the river, he would drown himself.

I previously blogged about the three trains, bound for Theresienstadt  at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/the-three-trains-that-left-bergen-belsen-in-april-1945-were-they-bound-for-an-extermination-camp/

What was the name of the train engineer?  His name was Casey Jones.  Like in the song:  “Casey Jones…mounted to the cabin…orders in his hand.”

July 25, 2013

Why was the report on the “Investigation of Alleged Mistreatment of German Guards at Dachau” kept secret until 1991?

German POWs being executed in a coal yard inside the SS garrison

German POWs being executed by American soldiers in a coal yard inside the SS garrison

The bodies of the dead SS soldiers, shown in the photo above, were left in the coal yard at Dachau, where they had been killed, until May 3, 1945 when the incident was investigated by Lt. Col. Joseph Whitaker, the Seventh Army’s Assistant Inspector General. A report on the “Investigation of Alleged Mistreatment of German Guards at Dachau” was filed on June 8, 1945. It was marked secret, but the contents were later revealed to the public in 1991. A copy of the report is included in Col. John H. Linden’s book The Surrender of Dachau 29 April 1945.

Why was this incident, which has since become known as “The Dachau Massacre,” kept secret for 46 years?

Why wasn’t the incident immediately made known to the public so that haters of the German people all over the world could have celebrated this news? After keeping this secret for 46 years, why reveal the truth at all?

Today, it is impossible to write anything about the “Alleged Mistreatment of German guards at Dachau” without attracting hateful comments, ranting about how these German POWs “deserved to die.”

The dead soldiers in the photo above were not German “Guards” of the Dachau concentration camp. Most of them were German SS soldiers, who had been stationed in the SS garrison that was adjacent to the camp. Others were wounded Wehrmacht soldiers, who had been dragged out of a hospital inside the SS garrison.

The photo below shows American soldiers looking at the bodies of the first four SS soldiers who surrendered to Lt. William Walsh.  Lt. Walsh marched these POWs to a train, parked outside the SS garrison, and shot them after they had surrendered in good faith.  The feet of one of the soldiers are shown, hanging out of the box car.

The first four SS who surrendered at Dachau were taken to this train and shot

The first four SS who surrendered at Dachau were taken to this train and shot

At the time that the German soldiers were shot in the coal yard, with their hands in the air, the American soldiers in the 45th Division had not yet seen the Dachau concentration camp that was next door to the SS garrison, and the soldiers in the 42nd Division had not yet arrived at the Dachau compound.  This was a clear case of American soldiers shooting POWs that had surrendered, and had their hands in the air.

The bodies of the German soldiers in the coal yard were left out until the U.S. Army could do an investigation.

The paragraphs below are from the “Secret Report” done by the U.S. Army, which pertain to the “Execution of German soldiers by members of the 45th Division.”  Why did the U.S. Army call the shooting of the SS soldiers an Execution?  Were the German POWs given a trial before they were “Executed”?

4. At the entrance to the back area of the Dachau prison grounds, four German soldiers surrendered to Lt. William P. Walsh, 0-414901, in command of Company “I”, 157th Infantry. These prisoners Lt. Walsh ordered into a box car, where he personally shot them. Pvt. Albert C. Pruitt, 34573708, Company “I”157th Infantry, then climbed into the box car where these Germans were on the floor moaning and apparently still alive, and finished them off with his rifle.

5. After entry into the Dachau Camp area, Lt. Walsh segregated from surrendered prisoners of war those who were identified as SS Troops.

6. Such segregated prisoners of war were marched into a separate enclosure, lined up against the wall and shot down by American troops, who were acting under the orders of Lt. Walsh. A light machine gun, carbines, and either a pistol or a sub-machine gun were used. Seventeen of such prisoners of war were killed, and others were wounded.

7. Lt. Jack Bushyhead, 0-1284822, executive officer of Company “I”, participated with Lt. Walsh in this handling of the men and during the course of the shooting personally fired his weapon at these prisoners.

16. Lt. Walsh testified that the SS men were segregated in order to properly guard them, and were then fired upon because they started moving toward the guards. However, the dead bodies were located along the wall against which they had been lined up, they were killed along the entire line, although Lt. Walsh only claims those on one flank moved, and a number of witnesses testified that it was generally “understood” that these prisoners were to be shot when they were being segregated. These facts contradict the defensive explanation given by Lt. Walsh.

Surrender of the Dachau camp by 2nd Lt. Wicker

Surrender of the Dachau camp by 2nd Lt. Heinrich Wicker

In his report to Headquarters, written on 2 May 1945, Brig. Gen. Henning Linden, of the 42nd Division of the U.S. Army, wrote the following:

As we approached the Southwest corner, three people came forward with a flag of truce. They were a Swiss Red Cross representative, Victor Maurer, and two SS troopers who said they were the camp commander [SS Lieutenant Wickert] and his assistant. They had come here on the night of the 28th to take over from the regular personnel, for the purpose of surrendering the camp to the advancing Americans. The Swiss Red Cross representative said there were about one hundred SS guards in the camp who had their arms stacked, except for the people in the tower…He had given instructions that there were no shots to be fired, and that it would take 50 men to relieve the guards, as there were 42,000 “half-crazed” inmates, many of them typhus-infected….

Note that Brig. Gen. Linden incorrectly referred to SS 2nd Lt. Wicker as Wickert.  After surrendering the Dachau concentration camp to the Americans, 2nd Lt. Wicker was never seen again. It is not known when nor how he was killed.

Dachau was surrendered to the 42nd Div. of the U.S. Army under a flag of truce

Dachau was surrendered to the 42nd Div. of the U.S. Army under a flag of truce

According to 1st Lt. William Cowling, who was with Brig. Gen. Linden at the time that the camp was surrendered, the 42nd Division had been advancing down a road toward Munich when, by chance, they heard about the Dachau concentration camp.

In a letter to his family back home, written on April 30, 1945, Cowling wrote:

Enroute we learned from civilians and two newspaper people that just off the main road was a concentration camp of Dachau, oldest largest and most notorious camp in Germany. These newspaper people were going up to see the camp so we decided to go up too.

We ride in a Jeep with a guard out ahead of the boys and we were several hundred yards ahead as we approached the Camp. The first thing we came to was a railroad track leading out of the Camp with a lot of open box cars on it. As we crossed the track and looked back into the cars the most horrible sight I have ever seen (up to that time) met my eyes. The cars were loaded with dead bodies. Most of them were naked and all of them skin and bones. Honest their legs and arms were only a couple of inches around and they had no buttocks at all. Many of the bodies had bullet holes in the back of their heads. It made us sick at our stomach and so mad we could do nothing but clinch our fists. I couldn’t even talk. We then moved on towards the Camp and my Jeep was still several hundred yards ahead. As we approached the main gate a German officer and a civilian wearing an International Red Cross band and carrying a white flag came out. We immediately filed out and I was just hoping he would make a funny move so I could hit the trigger of my tommy gun. He didn’t however, and when he arrived abreast of us he asked for an American officer. I informed him he a was talking to one and he said he wished to surrender the camp to me.

The photo below shows Brig. Gen. Linden on the far left, with the Red Cross representative in the center and Lt. Wicker, standing next to him.  Wicker’s aid has his hands on his head.  They had been taken to the “death train,” after surrendering the camp, but claimed to know nothing about it.

Lt. Wicker was taken to see the "death train" which he claimed to know nothing about

2nd Lt. Wicker was taken to see the “death train” but he claimed to know nothing about it

SS soldiers had been sent from the battlefield to keep order while the Dachau camp was being surrendered.  They were killed before the U.S. soldiers found out that these were not the guards in the camp.  The guards had left the night before.

SS soldier who had been sent from the battlefield to surrender Dachau

SS soldier who had been sent from the battlefield to surrender Dachau

When you are fighting a war and winning, there is no need to ask questions.  Just shoot every man in sight and hope that one of your victims was a “war criminal,” not a POW with rights under the Geneva Convention of 1929.

My blog post today was inspired by the following comment on another website:

Re: The Dachau Massacre of Guards

SignifierOne, I think the issue that people are trying to argue is that, as Prisoners of War, under the Geneva Conventions, these men should have been detained and processed and then put to trial, tried for crimes against humanity, then executed instead of summarily executed on the spot.

Executing POWs is wrong but in the case of Dachau and with concentration camp SS guards I, personally, would make an exception because of pure outrage. As far as the foreign [Hungarian] SS volunteers that were executed, they would have simply either been repatriated to their country of origin and executed for treason or possibly escape justice by joining the French Foreign Legion.

The “outrage” that caused the American soldiers to “execute” the SS men without a trial was the sight of the “Death Train.”  The American executioners did not bother to examine the train and see that the prisoners had been killed by the strafing of the train by American planes.  The train had taken over 3 weeks to travel 220 miles from the Buchenwald camp because American soldiers had bombed the railroad tracks.

April 24, 2012

The atrocity at Nammering, Germany in the last days of World War II…

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:58 pm

In the photo below, taken on Sunday May 6, 1945, American soldiers are showing some citizens of Nammering a sign that has been erected in their town.  American soldiers discovered the atrocity at Nammering on April 28, 1945, one day before the Dachau concentration camp was liberated.

Sign erected at Nammering, Germany in 1945 Photo Credit: USHMM courtesy of Seymour Schenkman

This quote is from the USHMM website which shows the photograph above:

An American soldier stands next to a sign erected by the U.S. Army to mark the site of the Nammering atrocity. It reads: “In eternal memory. Here lie 800 martyrs who were murdered by Nazi executioners in April 1945. Rest in peace.”

Here is the back story of the Nammering atrocity, as told on the USHMM website:

On April 19, 1945, a freight train with nearly 4,500 prisoners from Buchenwald pulled onto the railroad siding at Nammering. The train had been destined for Dachau, but at Plattling it was diverted towards Nammering because of damage to the railroad caused by Allied bombing.

Once in Nammering, some of the local inhabitants attempted to give the prisoners food and water, but these provisions were stolen by the 150 SS and police officers guarding the train. The commanding officer in charge, Lieutenant Hans Meerbach (sic), ordered during the halt that the bodies of the dead be removed from the train and cremated. This work proceeded too slowly for him, however, and prisoners were forced to carry the bodies of the dead to a nearby mass grave in a ravine roughly 500 yards from the train.

There the prisoners carrying the corpses were shot by the guards and they were also buried in the grave. Altogether 524 prisoners were shot and nearly 800 were interred in the mass grave. The bodies were then covered with lime and the grave was flooded to speed up decomposition.

Those 3,100 prisoners who had remained on the train were sent on to Dachau, where they were liberated…

Bodies of prisoners that were exhumed from a mass grave at Nammering, Germany in April 1945

According to Dachau, A Guide to its Contemporary History by Hans-Günther Richardi, the ill-fated train had left Buchenwald on April 7, 1945 carrying 4,500 French, Italian, Austrian, Polish, Russian and Jewish prisoners from the Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald. Five hours after the train departed from Weimar, Hans Erich Merbach, the transport leader, was informed that the Flossenbürg concentration camp, their destination, had already been liberated by the Americans. The prisoners at Flossenbürg had been evacuated and were being death marched to Dachau. The train had to be rerouted to Dachau but it took almost three weeks to get there because of numerous delays caused by American planes bombing the railroad tracks.

Due to the bombing of the railroad tracks, the train from Buchenwald had to take several very long detours through Leipzig, Dresden and finally through the town of Pilsen in Czechoslovakia. In the village of Nammering, the train was delayed for four days while the track was repaired, and the mayor of the town brought bread and potatoes for the prisoners, according to Harold Marcuse in his book Legacies of Dachau.  Marcuse did not mention that the food was stolen from the prisoners by SS men.

Continuing on via Pocking, the train was attacked by American planes because they thought it was a military transport, according to Richardi. Many of the prisoners were riding in open gondola cars with no protection from the hail of bullets.

According to the USHMM website, “an American officer in the Nammering area forced SS men collected from a nearby POW camp to exhume the corpses and lay them out on either side of the ravine above the mass grave. The inhabitants of Nammering were then ordered to walk through the gravesite, and the bodies were buried in the surrounding towns of Eging am See, Aicha vom Wald, Nammering, and Fuerstenstein.”

The photo below shows that civilians in the town of Nammering were forced to dig individual graves for the prisoners.  Note that there are some women and young girls shown in the photo.

Civilians in town of Nammering were ordered to dig graves for the prisoners

The following quote is from this website:

On 14 April Himmler sent a telegram to the commandant at Flossenbürg, ordering a full evacuation and specifying, “No prisoner may fall into enemy hands alive.”

An assault on prisoners quite similar to the one reported in the captions [on the photographs on this website] had taken place just before it, and apparently in the same vicinity. On 7 April 4480 prisoners were dispatched by train from Buchenwald, destined for Dachau, but the train was diverted to the town of Nammering, near Passau, and there, on 19 April, about 800 prisoners were shot or burnt by the SS. The killing was halted only after a protest by local farmers and a priest. On 26 April the remaining prisoners were sent on to Dachau. Shortly thereafter, on orders from the commander of the American forces who had liberated the area, residents of several nearby towns were forced to bury the victims of the massacre. Among the Germans who were forced to participate were people from Nammering. There are close parallels between this train of events and the one described in several captions in the Flossenbürg collection. These captions, too, report the massacre of about 800 prisoners in transit in April 1945. Again the people of Nammering are noted, and in this case they are accused (note photo #46864) of having participated in the killing. The captions portray the victims as inmates from Flossenbürg, rather than Buchenwald, and report that they had been sent out on 20 April, whereas the massacre of the prisoners from Buchenwald appears, as previously noted, to have taken place on the 19th. Perhaps there was in fact only one massacre, with a confusion on dates and the identity of the victims. Possibly there were in fact two separate incidents, coincidentally close in time and in location.

Hans Eric Merbach, the man in charge of the train that stopped for four days in Nammering, was put on trial by the American Military Tribunal.  Merbach’s crime was that he was part of the “common plan” to kill the Buchenwald prisoners because he had prevented the escape of most of the prisoners from the train. Merbach said that he could not release the prisoners because “every time a prisoner escaped the most incredible things were happening among the civilian population.” (more…)

March 2, 2012

Holocaust survivor Stephen Nasser identifies himself in famous photo taken at Dachau

Filed under: Buchenwald, Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:55 am

An American soldier poses beside the “death train” at Dachau

I previously blogged here about the “death train” found by the American liberators of Dachau.  Now a Holocaust survivor, Stephen Nasser, who is out on the lecture circuit talking to school children, has identified himself as the unconscious prisoner whose head is closest to the door on the left side of the picture.  Nasser has written a book entitled My Brother’s Voice which is used in American schools; a Teacher’s Resource Guide is used to teach the children about the events described in Nasser’s book.

According to his book, Nasser was a Hungarian Jew who was transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944 at the age of 13.  Although it was the policy of the Nazis to gas everyone under the age of 15 at Birkenau, Stephen survived the selection process and later wound up in Mühldorf, a sub-camp of Dachau.

The following quote is from the Teacher’s Resource Guide (a pdf file) which shows a slightly different photo of the scene above:

When he was liberated by U.S. troops on April 30, 1945, he (Stephan Nasser) was discovered — unconscious — under a pile of bodies in a boxcar.

Caption: In this published news photo of American liberation of a Holocaust death train in 1945 at Seeshaupt, the caption said that in this boxcar alone sixty-four were dead.  But Nasser believes one was alive.  From the position he was lying when he passed out, and other evidence, he is 99 percent certain that he was the person lying with his head closet (sic) to the door.

The problem is that the photo, which is included in the Teacher’s Guide to Nasser’s book, shows the train that had brought prisoners to Dachau from the Buchenwald camp, not from the five Mühldorf sub-camps of Dachau.  The train was discovered by American soldiers when they liberated Dachau on April 29, 1945, not on April 30th, as stated in the Teacher’s Resource Guide.  Another “death train” went from one of the Mühldorf sub-camps to Seeshaupt, which was  liberated by General Patton’s third army on April 30, 1945. This is not the train that is shown in the photo above.

According to the official Dachau report, compiled by the US Army after the camp was liberated, there were 31,432 survivors in the main Dachau camp, including 2,539 Jews who had been brought to the camp from the sub-camps just a few weeks before the liberators arrived. Most of the Jewish prisoners from the five sub-camps of Mühldorf had been evacuated to the main Dachau camp a few days earlier, accompanied by Mühldorf Commandant Martin Gottfried Weiss, who then became the acting Commandant of Dachau since the actual Commandant had left the camp.

You can read all about the “death train” from Buchenwald to Dachau on my website here.

August 5, 2010

A typical soldier in America’s Greatest Generation

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:06 am

This morning I read a touching article in The Llano News, an online Texas newspaper; you can read the article here. The article gives today’s Americans an idea of what life was like for the typical American soldier before he went to Germany during World War II.  So many of the things mentioned in the article about the childhood of Norman Livingston are familiar to me because his life before the war was the same as my life.

(more…)

August 2, 2010

Dachau liberation: “women in the gas chamber, still alive, were rescued when American soldiers came through”

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 5:32 pm

An article on the web site of the University of San Diego, written on June 11, 2010, tells about 90-year-old Marvin Hall, a World War II veteran who served with the 42nd Rainbow Division of the US Seventh Army, which liberated the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945.

The article, written by Melissa Wagoner,  starts out with this excerpt:

Holocaust museums and memorials across the globe tell the stories of survivors, of those who saw and lived a horror beyond imagination, whose lives were shattered and never again returned to normal. These recollections have largely shaped the way historians and global citizens view, and have learned from, the atrocities of the Holocaust. Few stories, however, are recorded of those who were part of the American liberation, and who helped shape the course of history through their heroism and sacrifice.

(more…)

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