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July 7, 2012

Holocaust Memorial going up on Main Street in the USA

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:14 am

This quote is from a news story, written by Kaitlin Joseph, in the online Nashua (New Hampshire) Telegraph, which you can read in full here:

NASHUA – A Holocaust memorial at Rotary Common on Main Street began to take shape Friday afternoon (July 6, 2012).

The project, organized by former Alderman Fred Teeboom, started fundraising in 2009 and laid down the foundation for the memorial at the end of 2011.

The memorial is a set of six granite stones, each weighing up to five tons, set in a circle upon a round, flat foundation. Each stone has the name of an extermination camp inscribed on it. There are bent brackets spouting from each stone at the top, and the stones also have etched barbed wire on them.

Teeboom, who grew up in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, said the city was unanimous in voting to erect the park and monument in honor of Holocaust victims.

“It was the greatest evil in the history of mankind,” Teeboom said.

The six extermination camps, mentioned in the article, were Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec and Chelmno.

Fred Teeboom survived the Holocaust because he was hidden by a Christian family.  His family was not betrayed, like the family of Anne Frank, that also hid in Amsterdam. Fred Teeboom was saved, but 100 members of his extended family died in Auschwitz.

Teeboom describes the Nashua Memorial in this video.  He says that 3 million Jews were killed in the six extermination camps that are represented in the theme of the Memorial.

I had never heard of Nashua, New Hampshire, before I read this news, so I looked it up on Wikipedia and found this:

Nashua is a city in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA. As of the 2010 census, Nashua had a total population of 86,494,[1] making it the second largest city in the state (and in the three northern New England states) after Manchester.

January 25, 2012

More Holocaust education needed: one in five young Germans has never heard of Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:20 am

Today, the British newspaper Mail Online is reporting this startling news:

ONE-FIFTH of young Germans have never heard of Auschwitz, survey reveals

Does this mean one-fifth of young “ethnic Germans” (Volksdeutsche) have never heard of Auschwitz, or does it mean one-fifth of all young citizens of Germany have never heard of Auschwitz?

It is hard for me to believe that anyone in Germany has never heard of Auschwitz  — unless they are recent immigrants from Africa or the Middle East.  Did the people asking the survey question pronounce the word Auschwitz correctly? If the surveyers used the British or the American pronunciation of the word, the ethnic Germans might not have known what they were talking about.

According to the article in the Mail Online, “Twenty one per cent of people aged between 18 and 30 quizzed about the most notorious Nazi extermination camp had not heard of it, the survey revealed.”   How was the question posed:  Did the survey people ask “What was the most notorious Nazi extermination camp?”

This quote is from the article:

The Nazis built six extermination camps – Auschwitz, Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka and Majdanek – all of them in occupied Poland.The murder of prisoners, most of them Jewish, began in 1941 when Nazi officials enacted Hitler’s ‘Final Solution of the Jewish Question’.

The “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” was enacted in 1941?  Does that mean “enacted into law?”  NO, NO, NO! There was no German law in which the murder of the Jews was ordered. The murder of the Jews did, in fact, begin in 1941, but the Wannsee conference where the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” was discussed did not begin until January 20, 1942.  So the murder of the Jews was not ordered at the Wannsee conference.

Auschwitz was not in occupied Poland when the camp was in operation, as stated in the Mail Online article.  It was in the Greater German Reich.  So was Chelmno.

Chelmno was located 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.

This quote is also from the article in the Mail Online:

The survey, published in Stern magazine, showed that of people over 30, 95 per cent had heard of Auschwitz and the crimes committed there.

But less than 70 per cent could name the country it lies in.

Auschwitz is in Silesia which was also annexed into the Greater German Reich in 1939.  Silesia was given to Poland after World War I, in the Treaty of Versailles.  After the conquest of Poland in 1939, Germany took back Silesia.  Maybe 70 per cent of the Germans who were surveyed do not believe that Silesia should belong to Poland.  Or maybe they were answering the question with the name of the country that Auschwitz was in when the camp was in operation.

I’m guessing that the reason the survey found that one out of five young Germans had never heard of Auschwitz is because one out of five Germans are afraid to speak about the Holocaust, for fear that they will get a notice in the mail that they have to pay a fine for breaking the German law against Holocaust denial.  It has been my experience, in visiting Germany many times, that Germans of all ages are afraid to speak about the Holocaust.

I think that this survey might have been flawed by the survey takers not asking the questions in the right way.

I have found that, when talking to German people, one must be very precise.  For example, if you ask for a ticket to Frankfurt, you will hear “Which one?”  Don’t go to Berlin unless you know how to pronounce the name of the city.  If you want to go to Rothenburg, you must specify Rothenburg ob der Tauber.  There are special places in Germany where Americans, who can’t pronounce Dachau correctly, can buy their tickets without being frowned upon for not knowing how to speak properly.

August 9, 2010

Dachau — in the news today…

This morning I read an article about Dachau on the web site of the Daily Pilot newspaper, which was published on August 7, 2010.  It’s been 65 years since there was a concentration camp at Dachau, so how could there be any news about the Dachau camp today?

Here is a quote from the article in the Daily Pilot:

Dachau was one of the first extermination camps established by Adolf Hitler. It was where thousands of Jews, gypsies and other “undesirables” (in Hitler’s mind) were gassed to death, and then cremated en masse.

This really is news.  It has finally been revealed that Dachau was established by Adolf Hitler, not Heinrich Himmler, and that Dachau was one of the “extermination camps.”  Not just Jews but “gypsies” and other “undesirables” were gassed to death at Dachau, according to this article which you can also read here.

The article includes information from a friend of the author who visited Dachau in 1960 and wrote this:

When we arrived at the (Dachau) camp, we found that we were in the area where the gas chambers, the cremation ovens, and a mound with pansies in the form of the Star of David were located. The mound, a circle of some 25 feet across and four feet high, contained the ashes of 6,000 Jews who had been cremated. We were the only people visiting at that time. It was very emotional to enter the area where so many had died. You could see the barn-like building where families undressed, hung up their clothing, and prepared for a “shower,” during which they were gassed to death.

Now we’re getting somewhere.  “Families” were gassed together at Dachau.  Who knew?  The interesting thing is that the “families” were gassed during a “shower.”  This took place in a barn-like building which could only be the brick building called Baracke X.

Baracke X at Dachau where the gas chamber is located

The “families” who were gassed at Dachau “hung up their clothes” before being gassed.  Notice all the women’s clothes and baby clothes in the photo below.  (Sarcasm)

Clothes hung up at Dachau in front of the disinfection gas chambers

Today visitors to Dachau are told that the gas was in the form of pellets that “could be put into the gas chamber” through holes in the wall. (After all but one of the shower heads were stolen as souvenirs, visitors could then see that the shower heads were not hooked up to any pipes.)  Did the author’s friend not see these holes in the wall in 1960?  This really IS news.

Zyklon-B pellets could put into the Dachau gas chamber through these bins on the outside wall of the gas chamber

The mound of ashes that the friend saw in 1960 is no longer a mound and it is not covered with pansies any more, as the photo below shows.

The ashes of the prisoners who died at Dachau are buried here

Ashes at Dachau marked with a Christian cross

The author of the article on the Daily Pilot web site visited Dachau in 1965.  In 1965, the ethnic German “expellees” from Czechoslovakia had just been kicked out of the former Dachau camp so that it could be turned into  a memorial site. In 1960, when the author’s friend visited, ethnic Germans, who were homeless refugees, were still living at Dachau in the old barracks.  How come the friend didn’t mention this?

The article, as published by the Daily Pilot and on this blog, includes this information written by the author’s friend:

After the shower (in the gas chamber), doors on each end of the barn (Baracke X) were opened and bulldozers were used to push the bodies out of the chamber to the crematoriums a short distance away. There were two of these crematoriums with ovens that would accommodate about 12 people at a time, with four in one and eight in the other.

Wow! How did the Germans get a bulldozer into the gas chamber building and drive it through several rooms to the gas chamber, which is in the middle of the building?  Did the bulldozer push the bodies through the gas chamber into the morgue room and then through the oven room to two crematoria a short distance away?  There are actually two crematoria at Dachau, one inside the Baracke X building and one inside a small building nearby.  The Baracke X crematorium has four ovens and the one in the small building has one oven with two openings.