Scrapbookpages Blog

September 25, 2016

Treblinka memorial site is in today’s news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 11:24 am

The first place that I visited, when I started traveling to Holocaust sites in 1998, was Treblinka, a camp in Poland where it is claimed, by Holocaust True Believers, that millions of Jews were killed. Holocaust deniers claim that Treblinka was a transit camp. I believe that it was a transit camp, but what do I know?

My 1998 photo of the huge monument at Treblinka

My 1998 photo of a huge monument at Treblinka

The huge monument at Treblinka, shown in the photo above, is located on the spot where the Jews were allegedly killed. No one is allowed to dig anywhere near this monument to prove, or disprove, that bodies were buried there.

You can read a news story about a trip to Holocaust sites in Poland, taken recently by Pam Kancher, on this website: http://www.heritagefl.com/story/2016/09/23/features/there-but-for-the-grace-of-god-go-i/6856.html

Begin quote

This past July, the Holocaust Center sponsored its first Jewish Heritage Tour to Poland and Prague. Thirty people joined me [Pam Karcher] on an emotional 10-day journey of reflection and remembrance. At our recent reunion we each shared a memory that stood out from all the rest. By far the most meaningful experience I had was visiting the Treblinka memorial.

Treblinka was the site of the Nazis’ second-largest extermination camp after Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is estimated that from July 1942 through November 1943 between 870,000 and 925,000 Jews were killed there-on average 2,000 men, women and children were gassed each day and their bodies burnt on huge, open-air cremation pyres.

Treblinka was not a work camp. It was built as a death camp. Jews were deported there from the Warsaw Ghetto as well as from other areas of Central Poland, primarily Warsaw, Radom and Krakow. Following an uprising by the prisoners in August 1943, the extermination camp was demolished and abandoned.

[The most important part of the news article is this quote:]

The Treblinka Museum of Struggle and Martyrdom, dedicated in 1964, was built in the shadow of the gas chambers, the original buildings having long ago been plowed and planted over. The only thing left were the ashes and memories. The outdoor museum is a symbolic Jewish cemetery made of 17,000 boulders of varying shapes and sizes-some say they represent the lost Jewish communities of the Holocaust. One hundred-forty of the boulders were engraved with the name of a town or village from which the Jews were deported.

End quote

My 1998 photo of the symbolic cemetery

My 1998 photo of the symbolic cemetery at Treblinka

There are no bodies that were buried in the location of the symbolic cemetery, shown in my photo above. That is why it is called a SYMBOLIC cemetery, not an actual cemetery where bodies are buried.  The purpose of this symbolic cemetery is to prevent anyone from digging up the ground to see if any bodies are  actually buried there.

In my humble opinion, there are no bodies buried in this area because Treblinka was a TRANSIT  camp, where no Jews were deliberately killed.

Symbolic cemetery behind Treblionka Monument

My 1998 photo of Symbolic cemetery behind Treblinka Monument

 

 

June 26, 2016

Was Chelmno a transit camp or an extermination camp?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:15 pm
Chelmno Castle aka the Manor house

Chelmno Castle, aka the Manor house, where Jews were imprisoned Photo credit: Alan Collins

There has been some discussion on my blog about the Chelmno camp. Was it a transit camp, as claimed by Holocaust revisionists, or was it a death camp?

The Chelmno Catholic church where the victms spent their last night

The Chelmno Catholic church where the victims spent their last night Photo Credit: Alan Collins

Here is the official story of Chelmno. The reader can decide for himself or herself.

Chelmno was a Nazi camp located in the small Polish village of Chelmno nad Neren (Chelmno on the river Ner), 60 kilometers northwest of Lodz, a major city in what is now western Poland. The camp, which had been opened by the Germans some time in October or November 1941, was in the Warthegau, a district in the part of Poland that had been annexed into the Greater German Reich after the joint conquest of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939.

Foundation of the castle which has been torn down

Foundation of the castle, where the Jews were kept before they were allegedly killed Photo Credit: Alan Collins

Chelmno was called Kulmhof by the Germans and Lodz was known by the German name Litzmannstadt. The Warthegau had been a part of the German state of Prussia between 1795 and 1871. After the German states united in 1871, the Warthegau was in Germany until after World War I when it was given back to the Poles.

After World War II ended in Europe with the surrender of the German Army on May 7, 1945, the provisional Polish government set up the Central Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland. The purpose was to gather evidence for the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal which was set to begin on November 20, 1945, and for the planned trials of Germans who had committed war crimes in Poland.

The main report by the Central Commission was entitled GERMAN CRIMES IN POLAND; it was originally published in two volumes in 1946 and 1947. The report included an overview of the main Nazi concentration camps and death camps in Poland. Two of the death camps, Auschwitz and Chelmno, had been in Greater Germany while they were in operation but now they are located in Poland.

The Chapter on Chelmno in the report is reprinted below.

Begin quote from report:

Report of the Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland

GERMAN CRIMES IN POLAND (Warsaw, 1946, 1947)
Extermination Camp Chelmno (Kulmhof)

Part I

The extermination camp at Chelmno was a typical death camp, i.e. a place designed exclusively for killing all who where brought there. The only ones to be saved were a small group of workers selected by the Germans for work connected with their criminal activities.

The extermination camp at Chelmno demands special attention, because during the German occupation only a very few people in Poland ever knew of its existence and the hundreds of thousands of its victims.

The village of Chelmno (district of Kolo) is situated 14 km. (8 3/4 miles) from the town of Kolo, through which runs the main railway line from Lodz to Poznan, and which is connected with the village of Chelmno by a branch line. Lodz, the second largest city of Poland, which in 1939 had a Jewish population of 202,000, was relatively near (60 km or 37 1/2 miles); the road to it was good and little used.

In the village there was a small country house surrounded by an old park, which was owned by the State and stood empty. In the vicinity was a pine-wood, sections of which, densely planted with young trees, were almost impenetrable. This site the German occupation authorities selected for their extermination camp. The park was enclosed by a high wooden fence which concealed everything that went on behind it.

The local inhabitants were expelled from the village, only a few workers being left to do the necessary jobs. Inside the enclosure were two buildings, the small country house and an old granary, besides which the Germans constructed two wooden hutments. The whole enclosure where hundred of thousands of people were done to death measured only 2 hectares (5 acres).

Those who were brought here for destruction were convinced till the very last moment that they were to be employed on fortification work in the East. They were told that, before going further, they would have a bath, and that their clothes would be disinfected. Immediately after their arrival at the camp they were taken to the large hall of the house, where they were told to undress, and then they were driven along a corridor to the front door, where a large lorry, fitted up as a gas-chamber, was standing. This, they were told, was to take them to the bath-house. When the lorry was full, the door was locked, the engine started, and carbon monoxide was introduced into the interior through a specially constructed exhaust pipe. After 4-5 minutes, when the cries and struggles of the suffocating victims were heard no more, the lorry was driven to the wood, 4 km (2 1/2 miles) away, which was enclosed with a high fence and surrounded with outposts. Here the corpses were unloaded and buried, and afterwards burnt in one of the clearings.

Part II

The aim of the Chelmno camp was the extermination of the Jews from the Warthegau, the part of Poland which consisted of the 1939 province (voivodship) of Poznania, almost the whole province of Lodz, and a part of the province of Warsaw, inhabited altogether by 4,546,000 People (including 450,000 Jews).

The camp was established in November 1941. The extermination process began on December 8, with the ghetto population of the cities and towns of the Warthegau, first from the neighbouring Kolo, Dabie, Sompolno, Klodawa and many other places, and later from Lodz itself. The first Jews arrived at Chelmno from Lodz in the middle of January 1942. From that time onwards an average of 1000 a day was maintained, with short intermissions, till April 1943.

Besides those who were brought by rail, others were delivered at the camp from time to time in cars, but such were comparatively rare. Besides those from Poland there were also transports of Jews from Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland; as a rule the Lodz ghetto served as a distribution centre. The total number of Jews from abroad amounted to about 16,000.

Besides the 300,000 Jews from the Warthegau, about 5,000 Gypsies and about a thousand Poles and Russian prisoners of war were murdered at Chelmno. But the execution of the latter took place mostly at night. They were taken straight to the wood, and shot.

In 1943, four lorries filled with children aged from 12-14 without Jewish emblems were brought. The witnesses took the impression that they were “Aryans.” It was just at this time that the Nazis were expelling the Polish population from the neighbourhood of Zamosc, and as a rule separating children from their parents.

Part III

According to the evidence of three witnesses (Podchlebnik, Srebrnik and Zurawski) who succeeded in escaping from the camp of Chelmno, as well as to that of Polish witnesses drawn from the population of the neighbourhood who had been able to get in touch with the inmates of the camp, and finally, that obtained from the railway transport records, the following preparatory phases in the process of mass execution can be distinguished:

Jews who were taken were told that they were going for military work in the East. Except for those from Lodz, it was the practice to surround the town at dawn with gendarmerie, police, SS, army, and Nazi party units in order to prevent the escape of the Jews. The latter were collected at appointed places, and were allowed to take hand-baggage with them; having been told that they were going to be taken for work on fortifications in the East. Only small numbers of craftsmen, such as tailors, furriers and shoemakers, were selected and sent to the ghetto at Lodz.

At the same time, all that was going on at the camp was kept so secret that the Jews taken there had no notion whatever of what was awaiting them. Many, indeed, applied voluntarily to be sent to Chelmno and the East.

The railway trains which used to bring the Jews from Lodz consisted as a rule of 20-22 wagons. At Kolo the transportees, usually about 1000 at one time, were reloaded and sent by the branch line to Powiercic, the rail-head, whence their baggage was dispatched straight to Chelmno, while they themselves were taken under an escort of 6 to 8 gendarmes to the neighbouring village of Zawadki, and left for the night in a large mill building.

The next morning 3 lorries used to come for them from Chelmno, about 2 km (a mile and a quarter) away. Not more that 100-150 were taken at a time, that being the number which could be gassed in one operation. The whole process was so arranged that the next batch of victims remained till the last moment ignorant of the fate of those who had proceeded them. The whole thousand were disposed of by 1 or 2 p.m.

The loaded lorries entered the camp grounds and stopped before the house, where the newcomers were addressed by a representative of the Sonderkommando, who told them they were going to work in the East, and promised them fair treatment and good food. He also told them that first they must take a bath and deliver their clothes to be disinfected. From the courtyard they were sent inside the house, to a heated room on the first floor, where they undressed. They then came downstairs to a corridor, on the walls of which were inscriptions: “to the doctor” or “to the bath”, the latter with an arrow pointing to the front door. When they had gone out they were told that they were going in a closed car to the bath-house.

Before the door of the country house stood a large lorry with a door in the rear, so placed that it could be entered directly with the help of a ladder. The time assigned for loading it was very short, gendarmes standing in the corridor and driving the wretched victims into the car as quickly as possible with shouts and blows. When the whole of one batch had been forced into the car, the door was banged and the engine started, poisoning with its exhaust fumes those who were locked inside. The process was usually complete in 4 or 5 minutes, and then the lorry was driven to Rzuchow wood about 4 km (2 1/2 miles) away, where the corpses were unloaded and burnt.

Meanwhile lorries were bringing from Zawadki the next batch of 100-150 persons, destined to be disposed of in the same way, all traces of the previous batch having been removed and their belongings (clothing, shoes, etc.) taken away.

When the camp was “liquidated” in 1944, the gas-chamber lorries were sent back to Germany. At the inquiry it was established that they had originally been brought from Berlin. There were three of them, one large enough to hold about 150 persons, and two with a capacity of 80-100 each. Their official name was Sonderwagen.

As the Sonderkommando of the camp had no repair shops, and the cars often needed overhaul, they were sent to the Kraft und Reichsstrassenbauamt repair shops at Kolo. Eight Polish mechanics who had worked there and were examined at the inquiry described their construction as follows: the large lorry measured 6 x 3 metres (20 x 10 ft.) and the smaller ones 4.5 or 2,3 x 2.5 metres (15 or 16 x 8 ft.). The outside was covered with narrow overlapping boards, so that it looked as though it were armoured. The inside was lined with iron plates and the door fitted tightly, so that no air could let in from outside. The outside was painted dark gray.

The exhaust pipe was placed underneath and discharged its gas through a vent in the middle of the floor, which was guarded by a perforated iron plate, to prevent it from choking. On the floor of the car was a wooden grating. The engine was probably made by Sauer. By the driver’s seat was a plate with the words: Baujahr 1940-Berlin. In the driver’s cabin were gas-masks.

Part IV

In Rzuchow wood, 4 km (2 1/2 miles) from Chelmno, the camp authorities enclosed two sections and posted sentries on the adjoining roads. Here the gas-lorries brought the corpses from Chelmno. After the door was opened, ten minutes were allowed for the complete evaporation of the gas, and then the bodies were unloaded by the Jewish Waldkommando, and carefully searched for concealed gold and valuables. Gold teeth were pulled out, finger-rings torn off.

Until the spring of 1942 the remains were buried in large common graves, one of which measured 270 x 9 x 6 metres (885 x 30 x 20 ft.). In the spring of 1942 two crematoria were built, and after that, all the dead were burnt in them (and the bodies previously buried as well). Details about the furnaces are lacking, for the investigator could find no witnesses who had been in the wood in 1942 or 1943. Those who lived near had only noticed two constantly smoking chimneys within the enclosure.

The furnaces were blown up by the camp authorities on April 7, 1943. Two new ones were, however, constructed in 1944, when the camp activities were resumed. The witnesses Zurawski and Srebrnik, and the captured gendarme Bruno Israel, who saw them in 1944, describe them as follows:

They were built deep in the ground and did not project above its surface; and were shaped like inverted cones with rectangular bases. At the top on the ground level the furnaces measured 6 x 10 m (20 x 33 ft.) and they were 4 m (13 ft.) deep. At the bottom by the ash-pit they measured 1.5 x 2 m (95 x 6 in. ft.). The grates were made of rails. A channel to the ash-pit ensured the admittance of air and permitted the removal of ashes and bones. The sides of the furnace were made of firebrick and faced with cement. In the furnace were alternate layers of chopped wood and corpses: to facilitate combustion, space was left between the corpses. The furnace could hold 100 corpses at a time, but as they burned down, fresh ones were added from above.

The ashes and remains of bones were removed from the ash-pit, ground in mortars, and, at first, thrown into especially dug ditches; but later, from 1943 onwards, bones and ashes were secretly carted to Zawadki at night, and there thrown into the river.

Part V

The number of people killed at Chelmno could not be calculated from reliable data or railway records as the camp authorities destroyed all the evidence. The investigators were therefore obliged to confine themselves to the evidence given by witnesses concerning the number of transports sent to Chelmno.

In order to obtain as accurate an estimate as possible, witnesses were called from various points through which the transports passed (Lodz, Kolo, Powiercie, Zawvadki and Chelmno) or on individual observation and the counting based on the collective Railway tickets which they had seen (e. g. that of the woman Lange, a German booking-clerk at Kolo station), or finally individual observation and the counting of transports; or finally on what the members of the Sonderkommando told them about the number of victims.

All the witnesses agree that the average number of persons brought to the camp was at least 1000 a day. There were times when the number was larger, but 1000 may be accepted as a reliable average – exclusive of those who were brought in cars. These latter were not a negligible proportion, coming as they did from numerous small towns.

As to how many railway trains arrived during the whole time of the camp’s existence, investigators found that the extermination activities at Chelmno lasted from December 8, 1941 to April 9, 1943. From April 1943, till the final “liquidation” of the camp in January 1945, strictly speaking, the camp was not functioning; the total number of transports in this period amounting only to 10, bringing approximately 10,000 people.

Considering only the time from December 8, 1941 to April 7, 1943, 480 days, we must allow for a break of two months in the spring of 1942, when transports were stopped, as well as for certain interruptions due to merely technical causes, which, it was found, did not exceed 70 days altogether. This gives (61 + 70) or 131-150 days lost. The remainder, 330 days of full activity, may be unhesitatingly accepted, and if 1000 victims were murdered a day, the total was 330,000. To this number must be added the 10,000 killed in 1944. The final total therefore is 340,000 men, women and children, from infants to old folks, killed at the extermination camp at Chelmno.

Part VI

This mass destruction was carefully planned, down to the smallest detail. The victims were kept in ignorance of their fate, and the whole German staff did not exceed 150-180 persons. Sonderkommando Kulmhof consisted only of a party of 20 SS-men, N. C. O.s of gendarmerie, and over 100 members of the German police, who served as sentinels, helping in the camp and in the wood where the corpses were burnt, and guarding the neighbouring roads.

At the head of the camp was Hauptsturmführer Hans Bootman. For the first few months, the Commandant of the camp was a certain Lange who had come, like all the SS-men, from Germany. The assistant of the Commandant was first Lange, then Otto Platte and Willi Hiller. All activities in the camp were managed by Untersturmführer Heffele. In charge of the works in the wood was Wachmeister Lenz. The crematoria were superintended by Hauptscharführer Johann Runge, who had directed their construction with the help of Unterscharführer Kretschmer. Hauptscharführer Gustav Laps, Hauptscharführer Burstinge and Gilow served as drivers of the gas-wagons.

The investigators cited the names of 80 Germans who were members of the Sonderkommando. In addition to their wages, they received hush-money (Schweigegeld) amounting to 13 RM a day. The Canteen was well stocked with food and spirits. The inquiry showed that Greiser Gaulciter of the Warthegau, during one of his visits to the camp at the beginning of March 1943, handed each of the members of the Sonderkommando 500 RM at a banquet specially given for them, and invited them to his estate when on leave.

It should be pointed out that when, in January 1945, in view of the Soviet offensive, arrangements were being made for the final “liquidation” of the camp, the camp authorities waited till the last minute for Greiser to give the evacuation order (evidence of Israel Bruno, the arrested gendarme from Chelm).

The camp was also inspected personally by Himmler, and Dr. Bradfisch, chief of the Gestapo at Lodz, and Hans Bibow, the manager of the Ghettoverwaltung at Lodz, were constant visitors.

It was found that Greiser and the higher functionaries of the German administration who were in contact with the camp had received valuables which had belonged to murdered Jews. But the gendarmerie and police were very severely punished if they appropriated such things.

Apart from the Sonderkommando, some 70 Jewish workers and 8 Polish prisoners from concentration camps were employed in the camp on searching and burning the corpses. They worked in two parties: the Hauskommando in the camp enclosure, and the Waldkommando in the wood. As a rule, after several weeks of work, these Jewish workers were killed, and replaced by fresh ones, newly arrived. They were fettered to check their movements. The workers at the ash-pit in the wood as a rule did not live longer than a few days. The attitude of members of the Sonderkommando towards the Jewish workers was cruel. Members of the SS used them as living targets, shooting them like hares.

Besides this, members of the Sonderkommando very often killed infants and small children, as well as old people, although they knew that they would be gassed anyway within the next few hours.

Part VII

A further important factor inspiring the destruction of the Jews by the Nazi authorities was economic. The value of the property owned by 340,000 people amounted to a large sum. The majority of things had been already taken from the Jews at the time of the evacuation of the ghettos, but many valuables and gold were stolen in the camp itself.

The things which were seized were sent to different centres, mostly to Lodz, where they were collected and underwent a final examination before being sent to the Reich. It was stated for instance, that on September 9, 1944, 775 wristwatches and 550 pocket watches were sent from Chelmno to the Ghettoverwaltung at Lodz.

At the inquiry it was stated that the clothing of the victims was sold for the benefit of the winter assistance fund (Winterhilfe). Among the documents of the case, there is a letter of January 9, 1943 to the ghetto administration at Lodz, sent by the Winterhilfswerk des Deutschen Volkes: Der Gaubeauftragte Poznan. It runs as follows: “Concerning the supply of textiles for NSV by the ghetto authorities. According to a personal understanding between you, my principal local Manager Kichhorn and the local Manager Koalick, clothes, dresses, and underwear are to be provided after cleaning. The 1,500 suits supplied do not correspond in any way to the textiles which we saw at Chelmno (Kulmhof), which were put at the disposal of the ghetto authorities: Your consignment contains various assorted articles of clothing, but no whole suits. Many articles of this clothing are badly stained and partly permeated with dirt and blood-stains. (Ein grosser Teil der Bekleidungsstucke ist stark befleckt und teilweise auch mit Schmutz und Blutflecken durchsetzt). In one of the consignments sent to Poznan containing 200 jackets, on 51 of them the Jewish stars had not been removed! As they are mostly Polish workers in the camps of the district, the danger is that the settlers (Ruckwanderer) who receive this clothing will become aware of its origin and WHW will be discredited (und das WHW somit in Misskredit kommt).”

From the above it may be concluded that German philanthropic institutions knew that the clothing sent from Poland had been owned by murdered Jews.

Part VIII

The final activities of the camp at Chelmno in 1944 differ from those of 1941-1943 in this, that the victims were brought from Kolo by a local branch railway line direct to Chelmno, where they were left for the night in the church, and the next day were taken directly to Rzuchow wood. In this wood, at a distance of only 150 metres from the crematoria, two wooden huts were constructed, one of them designed, as was previously the country house at Chelmno, to be a dressing room for those going to the bath, and the other as a clothing and baggage store.

The general procedure was exactly as before, the victims, completely naked, being forced into gas-lorries and told they were going to the bath-house. After gassing the victims, the lorries were driven to a nearby clearing, in which stood the crematoria where the corpses were burnt.

The total number of persons murdered in 1944 was about 10,000. According to the testimony of the witness Peham, the wife of a gendarme from the camp at Chelmno, trainloads of Hungarian Jews in 1944 were to be directed there. In the end, however, they were not sent there, but to Oswiecim.

In the autumn of 1944, the camp in the wood was completely destroyed, the crematoria being blown up, the huts taken to pieces, and almost every trace of crime being carefully removed. A Special Commission from Berlin directed, on the spot, the destruction of all the evidence of what had been done. But up to the last moment, January 17, 1945, the Sonderkommando and a group of 47 Jewish workers stayed there.

In the night of January 17/18, 1945, the Sonderkommando shot these last remaining Jews. When they tried to defend themselves and two gendarmes were killed, the Sonderkommando set fire to the building. Only two Jews, Zurawski and Srebrnik, survived.

End of official story of Chelmno camp.

I personally think that the Chelmno camp was a transit camp. Jews were brought there and then sent on to other camps where they were put to work. There was no gas chamber at Chelmno, only alleged “gas vans.”

April 5, 2016

Jules Schelvis, survivor of the Sobibor death camp and six other camps, has died at the age of 95

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:50 am
Two monuments at the site of the Sobibor camp Photo credit: Alan Collins

Two monuments at the alleged Sobibor extermination camp Photo credit: Alan Collins

You can see some old black and white photos of the Sobibor camp at http://www.deathcamps.org/sobibor/photos.html

The following quote is from a news article which you can read in full here:

Begin quote

Jules Schelvis, the last Dutch survivor of the Nazi death camp at Sobibor, died on Monday at his home near Amsterdam at the age of 95, according to the BBC.

Some 250,000 people, mostly Jews, were in 1942 and 1943 murdered at Sobibor, one of three secret camps whose entire purpose was extermination that the Nazis established in occupied Poland.

Most of Schelvis’s relatives died in the Second World War, the BBC reported, and he spent time in six additional camps before he was liberated.

After the war, Schelvis began documenting what had occurred at the camp, which had far fewer surviving witnesses than concentration and labor camps.

Schelvis was also a co-plaintiff in the trial of John Demnanjuk, convicted in 2011 of 27,900 counts of acting as an accessory to murder.

End quote

Excuse me! I don’t understand this!

Sobibor was strictly an extermination camp, the purpose of which was to kill every Jew that entered the camp.  Why did those stupid Nazis save this one prisoner? Did they deliberately save one prisoner so that he could live to the age of 95 and testify many years later at the trials of aged men like John Demnanjuk?

The news story continues with this quote:

Begin quote

After the war, Schelvis began documenting what had occurred at the [Sobibor] camp, which had far fewer surviving witnesses than concentration and labor camps.

[…]

He published his first book, Inside the Gates, which described life in the camps, in 1982. He founded the Sobibor Foundation in 1999, dedicated to remembrance of the camp’s victims and survivors.

Once asked why he devoted years of his life to enshrining the memory of the Holocaust, he said: “I did it for everyone who was murdered there. First of all for my wife and the family and everyone else.”

End quote

Note that he dedicated his book to “the camp’s victims and survivors.” Survivors? Plural? What kind of “death camp” has survivors?  The purpose of the Sobibor camp was the kill the Jews, not to save Jews who would become “survivors” and testify at trials of Holocaust deniers.

Sobibor railroad station is on the right Photo credit: Alan Collins

The Sobibor railroad station is on the right                   Photo credit: Alan Collins

Many people, including me, think that the German people are very intelligent.  Not true! The stupid Nazis built a “death camp” way out in the boondocks, where they could kill Jews in secret, but then they left survivors, who would live to the age of 95, allowing them to write books about this “death camp.”  Sobibor was a “whistle stop” on a one-track railroad. Why take Jews way out in the Polish countryside to kill them when it would have been more efficient to kill them in Warsaw?

Could it be that Sobibor was a transit camp, from which the Jews were sent somewhere else, and that’s why there were survivors who lived to be 95 years old?

February 24, 2016

Monuments at Treblinka prevent digging for evidence

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:49 am
Stones with names of towns and villages, where the victims came from, are seen on the grounds of the former German Nazi Death Camp Treblinka, near the village of Treblinka, northeast Poland, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. A German prosecutor has opened a murder investigation against a key witness in John Demjanjuk's trial on allegations the man may have been involved in mass killings at the Nazis' Treblinka concentration camp. Munich prosecutor Hans-Joachim Lutz told The Associated Press on Friday the probe is based on statements from former guards that Alex Nagorny, 94, took part in shootings at the camp in occupied Poland in 1941-42. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Stones with names of towns and villages, where the victims came from, are seen on the grounds of the former German Nazi Death Camp Treblinka (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

The following quote is from the news story which includes the photo shown above:

“Stones bear the names of hometowns and villages of Jews at the site of the Treblinka death camp in northeast Poland. About 875,000 European Jews were killed at Treblinka in a one-year span at the height of World War II. (Alik Keplicz, Associated Press file)”

According to Holocaust True Believers, Treblinka was an extermination camp where Jews were brought from Warsaw, and many small towns and villages in Poland, to be killed in gas chambers.  Allegedly, their bodies were burned and the ashes were buried inside the camp.  Years later, the alleged burial site was covered with stones, bearing the names of numerous places from which the Jews had been brought to Treblinka to be killed.

Holocaust deniers believe that Treblinka was a transit camp, where Jews were given a shower before being sent, to the east, across the Bug river into parts unknown.

Unfortunately, we will never know the truth, for sure, because the ground has been covered by stones in honor of the victims, so that no digging for evidence can be done.

Stones with names of towns from whence victims came

Stones with names of towns from whence victims were brought to Treblinka

Stone monument at Treblinka

Stone monument at Treblinka surrounded by smaller stones which prevent digging

The photograph above shows the back side of the memorial tombstone at Treblinka. When the death camp was in operation, there was a narrow dirt path through a “tube” covered with tree branches which led to the gas chamber building in this spot. Notice the Menorah at the top of the tombstone.

Stone monument on the site where gas chamber was allegedly located

Stone monument on the site of alleged gas chamber at Treblinka

Located on a knoll, at the top of a gentle slope, on the site of the former Treblinka extermination camp, is a large circular area with 17,000 stones of various sizes and colors set into concrete, which represents a symbolic cemetery, which is shown in my photos above.

When I visited Treblinka in October 1998, my private tour guide told me that 130 of the stones have the names of the cities or towns from which the victims were deported to the death camp. The guide told me that many relatives, of those who died here, come to the symbolic cemetery and are disappointed to find that their village is not named on any of the stones.

According to a pamphlet, which I purchased at the Visitor’s Center, “The great monument in Treblinka is a homage of the Polish people to those ashes lie under the concrete plates of the symbolic cemetery. It is one of the most tragic monuments of martyrdom in Poland.”

My tour guide informed me that the ashes of the 800,000 people, who were murdered at Treblinka, were dumped in this area and are now hidden underneath the concrete of the symbolic cemetery and under the grass and tiny flowers which cover the area.

One of the 17,000 symbolic stones represents the city of Kielce in central Poland, where 42 Jews were killed by a mob of Polish citizens in a pogrom on July 4, 1946, long after the Nazi occupation had ended.

Today Kielce is a modern industrial city with a population of 210,000, located between Warsaw and Krakow. In 1939, the Jewish population in the city was around 25,000, although until the early 1800s, Jews had been barred from living in the city. After the 1946 pogrom, many of the 300,000 Polish Holocaust survivors fled Poland and settled in other countries.

In 1968 there was more violence against the Jews in Poland, and almost all of the survivors were forced to leave.

Since my visit to Treblinka in 1998, I have learned that some tour guides now tell visitors that the number of 17,000 stones in the symbolic cemetery represents the highest number of Jews that were gassed in a single day when the camp was in operation. Others say that the number 17,000 represents the number of Jewish communities that were destroyed in the Holocaust.

According to the pamphlet which I obtained from the Visitor’s Center, the Treblinka memorial site was built between 1959 and 1963. In February 1960, the Warsaw Regional Council selected the designs of Polish sculptor Franciszek Duszenko and Polish architect Adam Haupt for the memorial stone and the Symbolic Cemetery.

According to the Warsaw Regional Council, the design of the symbolic cemetery would create a field of jagged stones that suggest a cemetery consisting of 17,000 stones with 700 of the stones inscribed with the names of the Jewish villages and communities in Poland that were obliterated by the Holocaust.

Symbolic cemetery with simulated burning pit in foreground

Symbolic cemetery at Treblinka has simulated burning pit in foreground

Stone commemorating victims from Sandomierz

Treblinka stone commemorating victims from Sandomierz

Symbolic cemetery in Treblinka

Stone in honor of victims sent from Warsaw

The 800,000 bodies, which had allegedly been buried previously at Treblinka, were later dug up and then cremated on the orders of Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, after he had visited the camp in 1943, according to Martin Gilbert. This project allegedly required three months of intense labor by 1,000 Jewish workers who were forced to perform this grisly task in an attempt to destroy the evidence of alleged mass murder at Treblinka.

Monument at Treblinka recreates the burning pits

Monument at Treblinka recreates burning pits where the bodies of Jews were burned

According to my tour guide, on my trip to Treblinka in 1998, the first gas chambers at Treblinka used carbon monoxide. The 10 new gas chambers used the poison gas known as Zyklon-B, according to the pamphlet which I purchased at the Visitor’s Center.

According to the True Believer version of history, Treblinka did not have delousing chambers; all the clothing taken from the prisoners was sent to the Majdanek camp to be disinfected with Zyklon-B before being sent to Germany. What? The Nazis couldn’t spare some of the Zyklon-B, used at Treblinka, to delouse the clothing?

A short distance farther up the slope, to the east of the gas chambers at Treblinka, was located the “cremation pyres” according to a map in the camp pamphlet which I purchased at Treblinka.

Strangely, none of the three Operation Reinhard extermination camps had a crematorium for burning the bodies of the 1.5 million Jews who were killed in these camps. Of the other five extermination camps which were in operation during the same period (Chelmno, Sobibor, Belzec, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau), only Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek, which also functioned as forced labor camps, had crematoria with ovens for burning the bodies.

It is hard for me to believe that the Nazis did such poor prior planning of the extermination of the Jews in the death camps.

One of the 40 prisoners who escaped from Treblinka, and lived to tell about it, was Abraham Bomba, a Jew who was born in 1913 in Germany, but raised in Czestochowa, Poland. Bomba was one of the 1,000 Jews who lived in the barracks in a separate section of the Treblinka II camp and worked for the Germans who ran the death camp. Bomba was a barber and his job was cutting the hair of the victims inside the gas chamber, just before they were gassed. In 1990, he told about his experience in the camp in a video-taped interview for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The quote below is from the transcript of his interview:

“And now I want to tell you, I want to tell you about the thing…the gas chamber. It was, they ask me already about this thing. The gas chamber, how it looked. Very simple. Was all concrete. There was no window. There was nothing in it. Beside, on top of you, there was wires, and it looked like, you know, the water going to come out from it. Had two doors. Steel doors. From one side and from the other side. The people went in to the gas chamber from the one side. Like myself, I was in it, doing the job as a barber. When it was full the gas chamber–the size of it was…I would say 18 by 18, or 18 by 17, I didn’t measure that time, just a look like I would say I look here the room around, I wouldn’t say exactly how big it is. And they pushed in as many as they could. It was not allowed to have the people standing up with their hands down because there is not enough room, but when people raised their hand like that there was more room to each other. And on top of that they throw in kids, 2, 3, 4 years old kids, on top of them. And we came out. The whole thing it took I would say between five and seven minute. The door opened up, not from the side they went in but the side from the other side and from the other side the…the group…people working in Treblinka number 2, which their job was only about dead people. They took out the corpses. Some of them dead and some of them still alive. They dragged them to the ditches, and over there they covered them. Big ditches, and they covered them. That was the beginning of Treblinka.”

After each gassing, the Jewish workers at Treblinka had to clean up in preparation for the next batch of victims, according to Abraham Bomba. The clothing that had been taken off by the victims had to be removed and put into piles for sorting before being sent on the next empty transport train to Lublin. Everything was done with great efficiency in this assembly-line murder camp, and nothing was wasted. All of the clothes and valuables, taken from the Jews when they arrived at Treblinka, were sent to the Majdanek camp in a suburb of Lublin where everything was disinfected before being sent to Germany and given to civilians.

In his 1990 interview at the USHMM, Bomba described what happened next. Below is a quote from the transcript of his interview:

“People went in through the gate. Now we know what the gate was, it was the way to the gas chamber and we have never see them again. That was the first hour we came in. After that, we, the people, 18 or 16 people…more people came in from the…working people, they worked already before, in the gas chamber, we had a order to clean up the place. Clean up the place–is not something you can take and clean. It was horrible. But in five, ten minutes this place had to look spotless. And it looked spotless. Like there was never nobody on the place, so the next transport when it comes in, they shouldn’t see what’s going on. We were cleaning up in the outside. Tell you what mean cleaning up: taking away all the clothes, to those places where the clothes were. Now, not only the clothes, all the papers, all the money, all the, the…whatever somebody had with him. And they had a lot of things with them. Pots and pans they had with them. Other things they had with them. We cleaned that up.”

 

April 28, 2010

Women prisoners liberated at Dachau

There were a few women at the Dachau concentration camp when it was liberated by American soldiers on April 29, 1945.  A short time before the liberators arrived, these women had been brought from various labor camps in Germany to the main Dachau camp so that they could be surrendered to the Allies.  One of the women, who was liberated from Dachau, was Ann Rosenheck, who told her story to students at Troy University in Dothan, Alabama a week ago. You can read all about it here on the web site of the Dothan Eagle newspaper. (more…)