Scrapbookpages Blog

April 1, 2017

American students were asked to debate in favor of the Holocaust

Filed under: Dachau, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:29 am

Photo that is displayed in the United States Holocaust Museum shows Jews marching to the gas chamber

I am blogging today about a news article which you can read in full at

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Students in Oswego County, New York were asked to argue for and against the Nazi’s “Final Solution” as part of an assignment.

The “Final Solution” was Nazi Germany’s plan to exterminate the Jews, which was formulated and implemented during World War II as an answer to the so-called “Jewish Question.” As the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum explains, “Six million Jewish men, women, and children were killed during the Holocaust—two-thirds of the Jews living in Europe before World War II.”

End quote

What a revolting development this is!

As everyone knows, the Jews were killed for no reason. Jews are “God’s Chosen People” who are allowed to lie, steal and cheat because they are Jews.

The article says that “six million were KILLED”. Apparently the Jews were taken care of so well that no one died of disease; the Jews in the sacred “six million” were all killed.  Apparently, no one died of typhus or any other disease.

Bodies of Jews were cremated in ovens like this at Dachau

The bodies of the dead Jews were cremated in an effort to stop the spread of disease. However, no Jews died of disease, according to the official Holocaust story.

Ashes of unknown prisoners, who died of typhus, are buried in this grave at Dachau

Begin another quote from the same news article:

The assignment was offered in a “Principles of Literary Representation” class taught through the CiTi/BOCES New Vision Program — which allows high school students to take college-level courses on SUNY’s Oswego campus three times a week. According to, there were no Jewish students in the class that year.

According to the text of the assignment, the debate was not meant for people to be sympathetic to the Nazi point of view, but rather the assignment was meant to get students out of their comfort zones and teach them to debate points that are against their ideological perspectives, reports.

End quote

March 5, 2017

Here is what to expect if you go to the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC

Filed under: Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 6:25 am

The US Holocaust Museum Permanent Exhibit

My photo of the United States Holocaust Museum

My photo of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

In the year 2000, I traveled to Washington, DC to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which is very close to the Capital Building. I visited the US Holocaust Memorial Museum on two successive days, spending several hours there each day. I did not take any photos inside the museum because photos were forbidden.

The permanent exhibit at the Museum has the world’s largest collection of Holocaust photographs and artifacts, displayed on three floors of the museum, which is 36,000 square feet in size.

photo that is displayed in USHMM Museum

Photo of Ohrdruf that is displayed in the museum

Visitors are allowed to take their own self-guided tour and spend as much time as they want, looking at the 2,500 photographs and 900 artifacts. The exhibit includes 70 video monitors, 30 interactive stations and 3 video projection theaters.

When I was there, I did not see any tour guides leading large groups of people and disturbing the quiet contemplation of the other visitors. I observed that most of the people who worked at the Museum were African American women, and most of them were overweight.

The exhibits are in chronological order, beginning with the Nazi rise to power in 1933 and ending with the founding of Eretz Israel in 1948.

Each of the three floors of the exhibit has a theme, starting with The Nazi Assault – 1933 – 1939 on the fourth floor, moving on to The Final Solution – 1940 – 1945 on the third floor and ending with The Last Chapter on the second floor. To see the whole exhibit requires at least one to three hours.

According to the museum’s designer, “the primary purpose is to communicate concepts,” not just to display objects.

At the end of the tour, visitors must enter the 6,000 square foot Hall of Remembrance, which has 6 sides symbolizing the 6-point Star of David, and the 6 death camps where 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis.

As you enter from the 14th Street entrance to the Museum, and walk down the hallway on the main floor, the first place you come to on the left-hand side is the room where the elevators to the permanent exhibit are located. To your right in this room is a table with a box of 500 different booklets, which look vaguely like passports, with the museum logo printed on the cover. Each visitor is asked to select a passport, which has the name and picture of a real person who experienced the Holocaust.

As you proceed through the exhibit, you are supposed to turn the pages in the booklet to find out what happened to the person, whose identity you have assumed. I visited the museum twice on two successive days so I got two passports. I did not see any place to turn in these booklets at the end of the tour, so I assume that they were intended to be souvenirs.

My first passport person was a Czech Jewish child whose parents moved to Belgium before the War. She survived by getting false papers and pretending to be non-Jewish; after the war she emigrated to the United States. (Her story parallels that of America’s former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.)

My passport person on the second day was a Polish Catholic, born in 1893, who made her living as a school teacher. She became a resistance fighter soon after Germany defeated Poland in 1939, and was arrested for hiding a Jewish family. She was sent to the women’s camp at Ravensbrück in Germany, and then to Bergen-Belsen where she survived, although she was sick with typhus. After recovering from typhus in Sweden, she returned to her home town in Poland, where she died a natural death years later.

On both days that I visited the museum, I had obtained a ticket in advance so that I could enter the exhibits at 11 a.m. I was told that this is the earliest entry time for persons who have obtained a ticket in advance by mail and are not part of a group.

Most of the visitors to the museum are part of a school group, and most of the groups that I saw appeared to be junior high or middle school students. The other visitors were mostly senior citizens, but each day there were one or two young couples carrying a baby in a backpack. On the two days that I visited, I saw only one person that I could identify as Jewish by his or her clothing and appearance.

There were a few African-Americans among the students, but I did not see any adult African American visitors. The visitors were predominantly white Americans, but almost all the museum personnel were African-American.

Everyone that I saw at the museum was dressed in casual, colorful sports clothes, not like the visitors to Holocaust museums in Europe, who tend to dress in black from head to toe, or at least in conservative clothes in a neutral color.

The uniform of the museum personnel, when I visited in 2000, was a navy blazer, gray slacks, white shirt, striped tie and black dress shoes; both men and women wore the same outfits and some of the women had their hair cut short so that they looked like men.

On my first visit, I entered the building at 10 a.m. so I had time to look around a little and to see a movie, shown in the Helena Rubenstein auditorium on the basement level, which gives an overview of the Holocaust.

There are three elevators, with interiors made of cold hard steel, and a group of visitors enters every few minutes, reminiscent of the Jews entering the gas chamber; the doors close automatically and the elevator rises to the fourth floor. Before getting on the elevator, the visitors are asked to face the back wall where there is a small video monitor overhead, playing a film clip which shows scenes from the American liberation of the camps in Germany, as we hear a voice telling about the discovery of one of the camps, probably Buchenwald.

The attendant told us that the voice is that of a famous person, but she would not tell us who it was. My guess was General George S. Patton, commander of the troops that liberated Buchenwald.

When the film clip ended, the elevator doors opened automatically, and there was a collective gasp from the occupants as we were confronted with a huge floor-to-ceiling photograph, about 9 feet wide.

The photo shows Americans viewing the cremation pyre at Ohrdruf on April 13, 1945. [You can see the photo, near the top of this page.]

In the photo, American soldiers are looking at some railroad tracks which are being used as a pyre to burn the bodies of those who had died in the Ohrdruf camp. At the time that the photo was taken, the bodies were not yet completely burned and the skulls could be easily seen. This must have been a gruesome sight to the 12-year-old students, on the tour, who had never seen anything like this before.

The caption on the photo said that this was the Ohrdruf concentration camp, which is a misnomer, because Ohrdruf was a forced labor camp and a sub-camp of Buchenwald, which was a concentration camp. The corpses were identified in the caption as “prisoners,” not Jews because the forced laborers in this camp were probably not Jewish.

The placement of this photograph is designed to give visitors the same shock that our troops got when they first saw the camps. It also gives Americans a feeling of pride that our soldiers fought and died to liberate the Nazi camps before Hitler could complete “the Final Solution.”

The fourth floor is supposed to be devoted to the years before the Holocaust started, but the exhibit starts off with this enormous photo taken at Ohrdruf near the end of the war and right next to it is a large color photograph of an inmate of Dachau after the American liberation of that camp.

Next is a movie screen which continuously shows some color footage of the Dachau camp, filmed on April 29, 1945 by Lt. Col. George Stevens, who was already a noted Hollywood director at the time. He later directed the movie “Diary of Anne Frank.”

The movie shows some of the German guards at Dachau, with their hands in the air, including a young blond, blue-eyed boy who faces the camera with a look of complete terror on his face.

The film does not show the surrendering German guards being shot by American soldiers, or beaten to death by the prisoners, or the bodies of the dead guards piled up in front of the crematorium.

These introductory photographs and films are intended to immediately make American visitors to the museum feel proud of their country’s role in freeing the Jews, and are not concerned with historical accuracy.

From there, the exhibit moves on to show what it was like in Germany when the Nazis first came to power. Nazi marching music is playing in the background, and video monitors show the torch-light parades through the Brandenburg gate in Berlin, young blond girls giving the Sieg Heil salute to Hitler at the annual party rally in Nuremberg, and Hitler waving to his screaming admirers after his appointment as Chancellor.

A large photograph of a Storm Trooper holding a vicious German Sheppard wearing a muzzle is featured in a section titled “The terror begins.” In a display case is a brown Storm Trooper uniform with a red, white and black Swastika arm band.

In my opinion, this section on the Nazi rise to power does not adequately convey the German nationalism and patriotism, or the hatred of Communism, which caused the Germans to turn into barbarians. I overheard a man standing next to me say that “someone should have just shot Hitler.”

Obviously, the display did not get across to him that in the 1930s the majority of the German people loved and supported Hitler, or that the Germans equated Judaism with Bolshevism, which was their word for Communism.

The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles has a much better exhibit on the depth of anti-Semitism in Germany and the street fighting between the Nazis and the Reds, as the Communists were also called.

The exhibit at the USHMM gives the impression that it all started with the Nazi party, and does not explain that anti-Semitism was inexorably building up throughout Europe, starting as early as 1881 with the assassination of Czar Alexander I, which the Russians blamed on the Jews.

There were photographs of the German boycott of Jewish stores on April 1, 1933, and the caption mentioned that “there was talk of an American boycott of German goods” but didn’t say whether this boycott ever happened.

Actually, an American boycott of German goods had been declared by Rabbi Stephen Wise on March 23, 1945, the same day that the German Congress voted to give Hitler dictatorial powers under the Enabling Act. The German one-day boycott was intended to stop the news stories of Nazi atrocities which were being printed in Jewish newspapers.

Although there are some small items on display, most of the artifacts throughout the museum are large objects which really command your attention. As the tour proceeds, these large artifacts gradually overwhelm the visitor with their visual impact.

For example, the first large artifact that we see, near the start of the fourth floor exhibit, is a glass case with a punch card sorting machine and a Hollerith tabulating machine used to count punch cards. Both of these machines were forerunners of the computer and were used by the Germans, who were technically very advanced, to keep track of the Jews who were deported to the concentration camps.

The exhibit area is dark and only the items on display are lighted; the visitors inched their way past the displays in numbed silence both times when I was there.

The whole permanent exhibit is done in a low-key serious vein, befitting a serious subject, not like the glitzy extravaganza at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles which uses elaborate displays of dummies, and gimmicks that give a Disneyland quality to the museum there. The exhibits at the USHMM are simple and easy to understand; they are on an adult level and do not talk down to the visitor.

The next section of the fourth floor exhibit is called the “Science of Race.” On display are swatches of hair in different colors, a color chart used to classify eye color, and a caliper to measure the width of the nose. There are similar exhibits at Hartheim Castle in Austria where disabled people were gassed.

The Nazis were obsessed with race and did a lot of research on eugenics and genetics in an effort to improve the Aryan race, which they called the Herrenfolk, usually translated into “The Master Race” in English.

Their definition of Aryan included only the Nordic ethnic group of the Caucasian race. Strangely, most of the Nazi leaders were from the German state of Bavaria, or from Austria, and were not of the Nordic type. Two huge posters show all the various races of the world, according to the Nazi classification of people.

The Anschluss or unification of Germany and Austria in March 1938 is shown in the next section, but it is not explained that this was a violation of the Treaty of Versailles, and that an important plank of the Nazi party platform was the overthrow of this treaty, which was signed at the end of World War I.

Throughout the exhibit, English words are used, although students of the Holocaust are very familiar with German words like Anschluss, Einsatzgruppen, and Kristallnacht.

The exhibit points out that there were 185,000 Jews in Austria in 1938 when it became part of Gross Deutschland (Greater Germany).

A picture of Jews, being forced to wash the sidewalks in Vienna is shown and the caption reads that the Jews were “humiliated” by the Germans without saying why they were humiliated in this particular way. Actually, the Jews were being forced to scrub Schuschnigg’s Fatherland Front slogans off the sidewalks of Vienna after the Anschluss.

After leaving the elevator, the progression of the fourth floor exhibit is to the left. The displays continue around behind the elevators until you come to a red and white painted metal pole, placed horizontally so that it is a barrier blocking the exit near the end of the room. I noticed that some visitors squeezed through and went around the barrier, but by doing so they missed a significant part of the displays.

The barrier represents the border of Poland which the Germans crossed when they invaded on September 1, 1939, but there is more to the story before you get to that point, so you should turn left at the barrier, where you will see a semicircular niche completely covered with a photograph of Lake Geneva. The title of this exhibit is “No help, No haven.” It is the story of the Evian Conference, which President Roosevelt organized in July 1938.

At the Conference, representatives of 32 countries met at a luxury hotel to discuss the refugee problem after the Germans had taken over Austria in March and made it known that they wanted to get rid of all the Jews.

The museum doesn’t mention that the reason Hitler was particularly concerned about Austria was because it was the country of his birth and that he first became anti-Semitic when he encountered Orthodox Jews on the streets of Vienna when he was a young man. The smell of these Jews was what caused him to turn against the Jews.

The Evian conference was a failure because no country wanted to accept the Jews, but the United States did agree to admit the full quota of Eastern Europeans and Germans allowed by our immigration laws, which had not been done up to that time.

The “Night of Broken Glass” is the subject of the next section. The museum uses the Polish word “pogrom” to characterize this event which happened on November 9, 1938. A pogrom is a state organized or state sanctioned riot in which Jewish property is destroyed, and the Jews are beaten and killed in an effort to force them to leave a town or province, or in this case, a country.

The exhibit does not make it clear that pogroms had been a regular occurrence in Europe for at least a thousand years, and that this was the Mother of all Pogroms. The caption says that 25,000 Jews were arrested after this night. Most sources claim that 30,000 were arrested. Later on, in another museum exhibit, the number is reduced to 20,000 who were arrested.

The caption on the photo mentions that the Jews were sent to the three main German concentration camps, Dachau, Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald, where they were released if they agreed to emigrate quickly. This section of the display shows a large door frame from the place where the torah was kept in a Synagogue; it has been hacked with an axe to obliterate the Hebrew inscription on it. A glass case shows a number of torah scrolls which were pulled out and desecrated.

A small section called “Enemies of the State” is devoted to the non-Jewish people who were persecuted by the Nazis, and here there are displays about the homosexuals and the Gypsies.

“Communists, Social Democrats, trade unionists, liberals, pacifists, dissenting clergy, and Jehovah’s Witnesses” are listed in the reading material but no details are given and there are no pictures of them.

There was a significant number of Communists incarcerated as political prisoners in the major German concentration camps at Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen, but you would never know it from seeing this exhibit. Not mentioned are the asocials, the work-shy or the criminals who were sent to a concentration camp after they finished their prison time for their second offense. All these categories of people, and also the Jews, were called “enemies of the state” by the Nazis and were put into the concentration camps.

The museum exhibits consistently downplay the fact that numerous Communists were sent to the Nazi concentration camps, barely mentioning it in passing. In the section about the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the reason given for the invasion is that the Nazis wanted “Lebensraum,” or living space, not that they were fighting against Communism.

I did not see any mention of the fact that the policy of incarcerating the “enemies of the state” without benefit of a trial began when thousands of Communists were rounded up, after the burning of the Reichstag in February 1933, and imprisoned at Dachau, the first concentration camp.

One of the displays says that “homosexuals were targeted because of their sexual orientation” but it is not mentioned that there had been a law against homosexual acts on the books since Germany became a united country in 1871. A video monitor shows mug shots of homosexuals who were arrested but there is no mention of the fact that they were arrested for breaking an existing law.

According to the museum, a total of 10,000 homosexuals and a total of 220,000 Gypsies were sent to the Nazi concentration camps. Before 1942, Gypsy men were sent to the camps under the category of asocial because they traditionally didn’t work at a regular job and had no permanent address. They were arrested under a law which said that every person in Germany had to have a permanent address.

This section includes a large Gypsy wagon, which looks like a pioneer Conestoga wagon without the white canvas cover. On the wagon is a violin which was owned by a Gypsy man. Nearby is a glass case with a Gypsy woman’s outfit of clothing, consisting of a black Persian lamb jacket, a silk blouse and a black skirt of expensive looking material. Silver bracelets and tortoise shell hair combs are on the wall of the case, along with a studio portrait of a well-dressed Gypsy woman. The owner of these clothes must have owned a fancier wagon than the one on display.

Most people are familiar with the colorful painted caravans that the Gypsies traveled around in; if one of these horse-drawn vans could not have been found, the museum should have at least displayed a picture of one, so that visitors would not be puzzled by the juxtaposition of the expensive clothes and a wagon made of rough, unpainted wood with no top.

The last thing in the Nazi Assault section on the fourth floor is the story of the St. Louis, a ship with European Jews that was denied entry into the United States. No country wanted the Jews.

The exhibits continue on the third floor which is the section entitled The Final Solution – 1940 – 1945. The phrase “The final solution” comes from the title of the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942 at a villa in the Wannsee suburb of Berlin where the genocide of the Jews was planned.

Another section has a train cattle car which was actually used to transport Jews to Auschwitz where many were gassed immediately upon arrival. One can enter the train car and experience the terror felt by the Jews as they were transported to their deaths.

Also on this floor is a large pile of shoes brought from the warehouse where 800,000 shoes were stored at the Majdanek death camp in Poland. Majdanek was the headquarters for the Operation Reinhard death camps at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor. The clothing taken from the Jews before they were gassed at the three Operation Reinhard camps was sent to Majdanek to be disinfected.

The Final Solution exhibit includes a model of a gas chamber door at the Majdanek death camp where Jews were gassed. In this section of the exhibit are bunk beds brought from the prisoners’ barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau. There is an audio theater where visitors can sit and rest while they listen to the eye-witness stories of Holocaust survivors from “Voices from Auschwitz.”

The really horrible scenes from the Holocaust are blocked by a low wall which only adults can see over. Children under 11 years of age are discouraged from entering the permanent exhibits but when I visited the Museum, there was nothing to prevent parents from taking very young children up the elevators.

The original confession signed by Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess was displayed in a picture frame which included a photo of Hungarian Jewish women and children, carrying their hand baggage in sacks, on their way to one of the the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau in May 1945.

The third and last section of the exhibits, called the Final Chapter, is on the second floor. There are photos showing the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps by American soldiers, including photos of the Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald, which was the first camp to be found by American troops.

The exhibits in the Final Chapter include the trial of the German war criminals at the Nuremberg IMT and a section on those people who worked to save the Jews.

There is an aerial photo of the Monowitz camp in the Auschwitz complex after it was hit by Allied bombs.

The only exit from the permanent exhibits is through the Hall of Remembrance, which is like a church, where the goyim can worship the Jews. Do I need to tell you that you must be respectful in this room, or you might be arrested. If you don’t know by now that you must worship the Jews, I can’t help you.

February 27, 2017

Holocaust news article uses wrong photo in order to deceive

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:29 am

Read the following news article to see how the Jews use photos to deceive the gullible public:

The photo, shown below, was used in the news article.

photo used in news article

photo used in news article

The photo above has been altered to show additional bodies; it is claimed that these are the bodies of Jews killed by the Nazis.

original photo shows bodies of prisoners killed by American bombs

original photo shows bodies of prisoners killed by American bombs

I wrote about this story on this blog post:

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

The systematic killing of Jews by the Nazis ended in a death toll of about 6 million Jews. The Final Solution to the Jewish Question, as the Nazis called the genocide, was devised by Hitler himself and carried out by thousands of his officers and soldiers.

End quote

6 million Jews? Sorry, but the total number of Jews killed in the Holocaust is now down to 1.1 million.





May 19, 2016

So you want the truth about the Holocaust? Better go to Wikipedia

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:07 am

People who are reading my blog should know that I am writing Holocaust denial, which is against the law in 20 countries. If you want to know the truth about the Holocaust, you had better go to Wikipedia, which is strictly kosher.

The photo below is shown on the Wikipedia page about the Holocaust:

Mother with baby is being sent to the right

Mother with baby was sent to the right upon arrival at Birkenau

Excuse me! I don’t think that the photo above is appropriate to illustrate the Holocaust.

The photo above shows a train that has just arrived inside the Birkenau camp. In the background, you can see the famous tower of death.

According to Holocaust true history, mothers with babies were sent to the left, to their death.This woman and her baby are being sent to the right.

The prisoners, who are standing on the left, in the photo are Sonderkommando Jews who helped the Nazis. The Sonderkommando Jews served for three months and were then allegedly killed, but a new group of Sonderkomdo Jews took over for the next three months.

The last group of Sonderkomdo Jews were allowed to march out of the camp and were saved;  they testified, in war crimes trials, about the crimes committed by the Nazis.

The following quote is from Wikipedia:

The Holocaust (from the Greek ὁλόκαυστος holókaustos: hólos, “whole” and kaustós, “burnt”),[2] also known as the Shoah (Hebrew: השואה, HaShoah, “the catastrophe”), was a genocide in which Adolf Hitler‘s Nazi Germany and its collaborators killed about six million Jews.[3] The victims included 1.5 million children[4] and represented about two-thirds of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe.[5] Some definitions of the Holocaust include the additional five million non-Jewish victims of Nazi mass murders, bringing the total to about 11 million. Killings took place throughout Nazi Germany and German-occupied territories.[6]

From 1941 to 1945, Jews were systematically murdered in one of the deadliest genocides in history, which was part of a broader aggregate of acts of oppression and killings of various ethnic and political groups in Europe by the Nazi regime.[7] Every arm of Germany’s bureaucracy was involved in the logistics and the carrying out of the genocide. Other victims of Nazi crimes included ethnic Poles, Soviet citizens and Soviet POWs, other Slavs, Romanis, communists, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the mentally and physically disabled.[8][9] A network of about 42,500 facilities in Germany and German-occupied territories was used to concentrate victims for slave labor, mass murder, and other human rights abuses.[10] Over 200,000 people are estimated to have been Holocaust perpetrators.[11]

The persecution and genocide were carried out in stages, culminating in what Nazis termed the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” (die Endlösung der Judenfrage), an agenda to exterminate Jews in Europe. Initially the German government passed laws to exclude Jews from civil society, most prominently the Nuremberg Laws of 1935. Nazis established a network of concentration camps starting in 1933 and ghettos following the outbreak of World War II in 1939. In 1941, as Germany conquered new territory in eastern Europe, specialized paramilitary units called Einsatzgruppen murdered around two million Jews and “partisans”,[clarification needed] often in mass shootings. By the end of 1942, victims were being regularly transported by freight trains to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, most were systematically killed in gas chambers. This continued until the end of World War II in Europe in April–May 1945.

End quote from Wikipedia

I wrote about the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” on this blog post:

Note this part of the Holocaust quote from Wikipedia’s page:

Begin quote

Other victims of Nazi crimes included ethnic Poles, Soviet citizens and Soviet POWs, other Slavs, Romanis, communists, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the mentally and physically disabled.[8][9]

End quote

I don’t believe that Romanis [gypsies] and homosexuals were deliberately killed by the Nazis. Nor do I believe that communists and Jehovah’s Witnesses were killed.  Mentally and physically disabled people were, in fact, killed at Hartheim castle, but I do not consider this to be part of the Holocaust.

The Wikipedia page continues with this quote:

The persecution and genocide were carried out in stages, culminating in what Nazis termed the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” (die Endlösung der Judenfrage), an agenda to exterminate Jews in Europe. Initially the German government passed laws to exclude Jews from civil society, most prominently the Nuremberg Laws of 1935. Nazis established a network of concentration camps starting in 1933 and ghettos following the outbreak of World War II in 1939. In 1941, as Germany conquered new territory in eastern Europe, specialized paramilitary units called Einsatzgruppen murdered around two million Jews and “partisans”,[clarification needed] often in mass shootings. By the end of 1942, victims were being regularly transported by freight trains to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, most were systematically killed in gas chambers. This continued until the end of World War II in Europe in April–May 1945.


January 12, 2016

Operation Reinhardt or Operation Reinhard?

One of the regular readers of my blog [hermie] wrote the following in a comment:

Why would the Nazis have named that operation [Operation Reinhardt] after German Secretary of State for Finances Fritz Reinhardt if no seizure of money and other valuables had been intended in the first place? Would have been nonsensical.

Was this operation really called Operation Reinhardt or was it called Operation Reinhard?

On January 20, 1942 at Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, a conference was held to plan “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question” for Europe’s 11 million Jews. SS General Reinhard Heydrich, who was the head of RSHA (Reich Security Main Office) as well as the Deputy of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (now the Czech Republic) led the conference. The protocols from the conference, as written by Adolf Eichmann, contained the expression “transportation to the East,” a euphemism that was used to mean the genocidal killing of all the Jews in Europe.

On May 27, 1942, Reinhard Heydrich was fatally wounded by two Czech resistance fighters who had parachuted into German-occupied Bohemia from Great Britain where they had been trained. Even before Heydrich died 8 days later, Odilo Globocnik began preparations for Aktion Reinhard, which was the plan to send Jews to their deaths at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor, according to Martin Gilbert’s book “The Holocaust.”

A fourth extermination camp had already opened at Chelmno in what is now western Poland, and the first Jews had been gassed in mobile vans on December 8, 1941, according to the Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland.

There were no “selections” made at the three Operation Reinhard camps, nor at the Chelmno camp. All the Jews who were sent to these camps, with the exception of a few who escaped, were immediately killed in gas chambers, but there were no records kept of their deaths.

Treblinka and the other two Operation Reinhard camps, Sobibor and Belzec, were all located near the Bug river which formed the eastern border of German-occupied Poland. The Bug river is very shallow at Treblinka; it is what people from Missouri would call a “crick” or creek, compared to the Missouri and the Mississippi rivers. It is shallow enough to wade across in the Summer time, or to walk across when it is frozen in the Winter.

A bridge over the Bug river for trains and cars

My 1998 photo of a bridge over the Bug river for trains and cars

The territory on the other side of the Bug river was White Russia (Belarus) and the section of Poland that was given to the Soviet Union after the joint conquest of Poland by the Germans and the Soviet Union in September 1939.

This part of Poland had formerly been occupied by the Russians between 1772 and 1917; between 1835 and 1917, this area was included in the Pale of Settlement, a huge reservation where the Eastern European Jews had been forced to live.

The tiny village of Treblinka is located on the railroad line running from Ostrów Mazowiecki to Siedlce. A short distance from Treblinka, at Malkinia Junction, this line intersects the major railway line which runs from Warsaw, east to Bialystok. Trains can reverse directions at the Junction and return to Warsaw, or turn south towards Lublin, which was the headquarters for Operation Reinhard. A few Jews from Warsaw were sent to the Majdanek death camp in Lublin on trains that turned south at the Malkinia Junction.

When railroad lines were built in the 19th century, the width of the tracks was standardized in America and western Europe, but the tracks in Russia and eastern Poland were a different gauge.

Bialystok is the end of the line in Poland; this is as far east as trains can go without changing the wheels on the rail cars. Treblinka is located only a short distance west of Bialystok.

In June 1941, the German Army invaded the Soviet Union and “liberated” the area formerly known as the Pale of Settlement. By the time that the Aktion Reinhard camps were set up in 1942, German troops had advanced a thousand kilometers into Russia. Allegedly, the plan was to transport the Jews as far as the Bug river and kill them in gas chambers, then claim that they had been “transported to the East.”

In 1942, the Germans built a new railroad spur line from the Malkinia Junction into the Treblinka extermination camp. When a train, 60 cars long, arrived at the junction, the cars were uncoupled and 20 cars at a time were backed into the camp. Today, a stone sculpture shows the location of the train tracks that brought the Jews into the Treblinka death camp.

Monument at the spot where the train station once stood at Treblinka

Monument at the spot where the train station once stood at Treblinka

The first Jews to be deported to the Treblinka death camp were from the Warsaw ghetto; the first transport of 6,000 Jews arrived at Treblinka at about 9:30 on 23 July 1942. Between late July and September 1942, the Germans transported more than 300,000 Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka, according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Jews were also deported to Treblinka from Lublin and Bialystok, two major cities in eastern Poland, which were then in the General Government, as German-occupied Poland was called. Others were transported to Treblinka from the Theresienstadt ghetto in what is now the Czech Republic. Approximately 2,000 Gypsies were also sent to Treblinka and allegedly murdered in the gas chambers.

Trains continued to arrive regularly at Treblinka until May 1943, and a few more transports arrived after that date.

On October 19, 1943, Odilo Globocnik wrote to Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler: “I have completed Aktion Reinhard and have dissolved all the camps.”

In an article published on August 8, 1943, the New York Times referred to a headline in a London newspaper which read: “2,000,000 Murders by Nazis Charged. Polish Paper in London says Jews Are Exterminated in Treblinka Death House.” The subtitle read : “According to report, steam is used to kill men, women and children at a place in the woods.”

The London newspaper story was based upon an article published on August 7th in the magazine Polish Labor Fights, which contained information from a Polish report on November 15, 1942.

More news about the killing of the Jews at the Treblinka camp came from Vasily Grossman, a Jewish war correspondent who was traveling with the Soviet Red Army.

In November 1944, Grossman published an article entitled “The Hell of Treblinka,” which was later quoted at the trial of the major German war criminals at Nuremberg. Grossman had interviewed 40 survivors of the Treblinka uprising and he had talked to some of the local farmers. The camp had been completely razed to the ground; there was nothing left for Grossman to see, “only graves and death.” The Jews had all been killed, according to Grossman.

Proof that Treblinka was an extermination camp is contained in a 16-page secret document, that was submitted by Nazi statistician Dr. Richard Korherr to Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler on March 27, 1943. Reichsführer-SS Himmler was a five-star general and the leader of the SS; he was responsible for all the Nazi concentration camps, which were administered by the SS.

This report on “The Final Solution of the European Jewish Problem,” compiled at Himmler’s request, stated that of the 1,449,692 Jews deported from the Eastern provinces, 1,274,366 had been subjected to Sonderbehandlung at camps in the General Government.

On April 1, 1943, when Himmler had the report prepared for submission to Hitler, the words “Sonderbehandlung at Camps in the General Government” were changed to “Transport of Jews from the Eastern Provinces to the Russian East, Processed through the Camps in the General Government.”

The term Sonderbehandlung, sometimes abbreviated SB, was allegedly used by the Nazis to mean death in the gas chamber; the English translation is “special treatment.”

The terms “evacuation” and “transportation to the East” were allegedly Nazi code words for sending the Jews to death camps where they were murdered in the gas chambers. The words “resettled” and “liquidated,” when used to refer to the Jews, were also euphemisms which were allegedly used to mean “killed in the gas chambers”.

The term “die Endlösung der Judenfrage” was written by Hermann Goering in a letter to Reinhard Heydrich on July 31, 1941. Translated into English as “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” this is as a euphemism which was allegedly used by the Nazis to mean the genocide of the Jews in Europe.

However, at the Nuremberg IMT, Goering testified that the term meant the “Total solution to the Jewish question” which was a euphemism for the evacuation of the Jews to the East.

The Nazis referred to Treblinka as a Durchgangslager (transit camp).

Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler was responsible for completing, by March 1943, the resettlement of 629,000 ethnic Germans from the Baltic countries into the Polish territory that was incorporated into the Greater German Reich in October 1939. He was also responsible for deporting 365,000 Poles, from the part of Poland that was incorporated into the Greater German Reich, to occupied Poland, and for deporting 295,000 citizens from Luxembourg and the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, which were also incorporated into the Greater German Reich. All this had been accomplished by Himmler by March 1943 when Dr. Korherr, who was Himmler’s chief statistician, made his report on what had happened to the Jews who were living in Eastern Poland.

In 2000, a document called the Höfle Telegram was discovered by Holocaust historians in the Public Records Office in Kew, England. This document consists of two intercepted encoded messages, both of which were sent from Lublin on January 11, 1943 by SS-Sturmbannführer Hermann Höfle, and marked “state secret.”

One message was sent to Adolf Eichmann in the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) in Berlin and the other to SS-Oberststurmbannführer Franz Heim, deputy commander of the Security Police (SIPO) at the headquarters of German-occupied Poland in Krakow.

The encoded messages gave the number of arrivals at the Operation Reinhard camps during the previous two weeks and the following totals for Jews sent to the Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor and Lublin (Majdanek) camps in 1942:

Treblinka, 71,355 [713,555]; Belzec, 434,500; Sobibor, 101,370; and Majdanek, 24,733.

The number for Treblinka, 71,355, was a typographical error; the correct number is 713,555, based on the total given. The total “arrivals” for the four camps matches the total of 1,274,166 “evacuated” Jews in the Korherr Report.

Besides the freight trains that carried the Jews in box cars to Treblinka, there were also passenger trains with 3,000 people on board each train, as well as trucks and horse-drawn wagons that brought the victims to Treblinka.

May 24, 2015

Auschwitz — “the largest mass murder site in human history”

In my blog post today, I am commenting on a news article, in a British newspaper, which you can read in full at

The Wannsee house dining room as it looks today

The Wannsee house dining room as it looks today. This is the room where the Wannsee Conference was held.  (Click on the photo to enlarge)

The article in The Guardian newspaper, cited above, begins with this quote:

On 27 January 1945 Soviet soldiers entered the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp complex in south-west Poland. The site had been evacuated by the Nazis just days earlier. Thus ended the largest mass murder in a single location in human history.

The part of the article, which particularly caught my eye, is this quote:

In January 1942, the Nazi party decided to roll out the Final Solution. Camps dedicated solely to the extermination of Jews had been created before, but this was formalised by SS Lieutenant General Reinhard Heydrich in a speech at the Wannsee conference. The extermination camp Auschwitz II (or Auschwitz-Birkenau) was opened in the same year.

So what is the real story on the Wannsee conference and the “Final Solution”?

The dining room, as it looked in 1916 when the Wannsee house was built. This is the room where the Wannsee conference was held in 1942

The dining room, as it looked in 1916 when the Wannsee house was built. This is the room where the Wannsee conference was held in 1942

The photograph above shows the dining room [where the Wannsee Conference was held] as it looked in 1922. At the time of the conference in January 1942, the room was probably furnished much like this. Now the former conference room has been stripped of its Queen Ann chairs, Oriental rug, chandelier, and wall tapestry, and only a glass table and 15 stools are in the room.

Fifteen top officials of the Nazi bureaucracy and the SS attended the Wannsee conference, which was led by 38-year-old Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), on January 20, 1942 in an old mansion in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee.

A photo of the Wannsee mansion, taken shortly after it was built in 1916

A photo of the Wannsee mansion, taken shortly after it was built in 1916

The minutes or protocols of the Wannsee meeting, 15 pages in all, were written by 36-year-old Adolf Eichmann.

The copy of the minutes, that was found by the Allies in 1947, was undated and unsigned; it had no stamp of any Bureau. The copy appeared to be a draft report of the meeting.

The full title of the Conference was “The Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe.”

The original phrase, upon which the title was based, was “a final territorial solution of the Jewish question.”

The term “Jewish Question” referred to a question that had been discussed for years: Should the Jews have their own state within the country where they lived, or should they assimilate?

On the witness stand, at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, Hermann Goering said that the conference was about “the total solution to the Jewish Question” and that it meant the evacuation of the Jews, not the extermination of the Jews.

The full text of the letter from Goering to Heydrich, ordering the Final Solution, (Nuremberg Document PS-710) is quoted below:

Begin quote:

To the Chief of the Security Police and the SD, SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich


In completion of the task which was entrusted to you in the Edict dated January 24, 1939, of solving the Jewish question by means of emigration or evacuation in the most convenient way possible, given the present conditions, I herewith charge you with making all necessary preparations with regard to organizational, practical and financial aspects for a total solution [Gesamtloesung] of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.

Insofar as the competencies of other central organizations are affected, these are to be involved.

I further charge you with submitting to me promptly an overall plan of the preliminary organizational, practical and financial measures for the execution of the intended final solution (Endloesung) of the Jewish question.

[signed] Goering

End quote

The former dining room in the Wannsee house is used today for meetings in which the famous Conference is discussed.

The former dining room in the Wannsee house is used today for meetings to discuss the Holocaust

The former dining room in the Wannsee house is used today for meetings to discuss the Holocaust  (Click on the photo to enlarge)

August 2, 2013

Holocaust survivor stories must fit the basic premise of the Holocaust — the genocide of the Jews

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

When I visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in the year 2000, I wanted to buy Claude Lanzmann’s nine-and-a-half hour documentary film, entitled Shoah.  I went to the book store at the Museum, with my credit card ready, but I balked when I learned that the price was $900.  Now Lanzmann has a new documentary out, and his original masterpiece is available at at a fraction of the original price.

There is an article about Lanzmann’s documentaries, which you can read in full here.  This quote is from the article:

Director Claude Lanzmann’s choice to focus only on those witnesses who were regularly in contact with the process of extermination forces the viewer to be reminded that the ultimate goal of the Holocaust wasn’t to harass the Jewish people or move them or make them uncomfortable. The purpose of the Holocaust—to obliterate the Jewish people entirely—is reflected in the empty landscape of Chelmno, where only the foundation stones of the killing area still remain.

The Chelmno camp was 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 was 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.

Monument at the location of the Chelmno camp

Monument near the Chelmno camp, overlooking the Ner river Photo Credit: Alan Collins

The “purpose” of the Holocaust was genocide.  Lanzmann’s original documentary is a collection of the stories of the survivors. Every survivor has his or her unique story, but every story is about how the survivor escaped death in the gas chamber.

The article about Lanzmann begins with this quote:

Only the Stories Still Exist

A lone man rows himself down [the river Ner] in a boat, singing a Polish folk song. His voice slips across the banks of the river, into the forests beyond, and disappears. No echo returns to indicate that the man, Simon Srebnik, is drawing closer and closer to the forest clearing in Chelmno, Poland, where poison gas was first used by Nazi forces to murder Jews. One of the first Jews to be brought to the Chelmno killing center, Srebnik speaks with teary eyes about moving the bodies of the dead at the command of German soldiers and Polish special police.

A young man when the Holocaust began, Srebnik enchanted his captors with his beautiful singing voice. Strains of his song were heard by the non-Jews in Chelmno, several of whom still vividly remember the mixture of beauty and desperation they sensed in the boy’s voice. Srebnik himself calls singing for the soldiers while they were killing his people “true German irony”.

Like all of the witnesses who speak about the Holocaust in Shoah, Srebnik was intimately close to the process of Jewish extermination. As the film unfolds, more and more survivors tell stories about working in crematoriums and surviving the death camps. Filmed in their homes, at the camps or on stages designed to illicit their testimony, Shoah visually and figuratively approaches the Holocaust from multiple angles without losing its sense of purpose.

Simon Srebnik was a Sonderkommando, one of the Jewish helpers who assisted the Nazis in burning the bodies of the dead.  The Nazis kept no records of the Jews who were killed.  The proof of the Holocaust depends on the testimony of the Sonderkommando Jews and the numerous survivors who witnessed the “extermination” of the Jews, but somehow managed to escape.

Each of these survivor stories must fit the basic premise that the Nazis had a plan, called “The Final Solution,” which was the plan to genocide the Jews.  This plan was discussed at the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942.  Yet, the gassing of the Jews began at Chelmno on December 7, 1941, before the conference was held.  Fortunately, the Nazis left witnesses alive to tell about it.

Jewish workers lived in the granary, the building in the background

Jewish workers lived in the granary, the building in the background  Photo Credit: Alan Collins

The Jewish workers, called the JudenKommando, who did the work of burning the corpses at Chelmno, were housed in the granary during the second phase of the killing at Chelmno. The granary is shown in the background of the photo above.

On the night of January 17 and 18, 1945, the SS men began taking the 47 Jewish workers out of the granary building and shooting them in groups of five, according to the two survivors, Shimon Srebnik and Mordechai Zurawski. The Jews defended themselves and two of the SS men were killed. According to the two survivors, the SS men then set fire to the granary.

The price of Lanzmann’s documentary, with the testimony of numerous survivors, has now dwindled down to less than $40.00 but I have lost interest, and probably won’t buy it.  I’ve got better things to do.

P.S.  If you like fairy tales and such, read this blog post by Carolyn Yeager:

May 26, 2012

50th anniversary of the execution of Adolf Eichmann, the “Architect of the Holocaust”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:08 pm

May 31st will mark the 50th anniversary of the hanging of Adolf Eichmann, who was charged with 15 crimes in an Israeli court, and convicted in 1962 of crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership in an outlawed organization (the SS).

Eichmann’s crime was that he was the man in charge of the trains that transported the Jews to the concentration camps.  Who was the man in charge of the trains that took the Japanese-Americans, German-Americans and Italian-Americans to internment camps in America?  I don’t know, but I doubt that there was anyone in charge of scheduling the trains in America.  Americans are not as organized as the Germans are. Up until recently, you could set your watch by the arrival and departure of the trains in Germany. In America, not so much.

The three judges in the trial of Adolf Eichmann were Moshe Landau, Benjamin Halevy and Yitzhak Raveh, all three of whom were German Jews who had left Germany in 1933 and escaped to the British Mandate of Palestine, soon after Hitler came to power.

This raises the question: Why didn’t all the German Jews just go to Palestine in 1933? The Holocaust could have been avoided altogether if the Jews had all emigrated to Palestine.  The answer is that the British would not allow it — they were trying to avoid the conflict that is still going on today.

As an officer in the SS, Eichmann had been assigned in 1938 to help organize SS Security Forces in Vienna after the Anschluss of Austria with Germany. After that, Eichmann was selected by the SS leadership to form the Central Office for Jewish Emigration at the end of 1938.

According to Wikipedia: Eichmann was an “expert on Jewish matters” for the Third Reich, overseeing the concentration camps, the expropriation of Jewish property, and the deportation of Jews to ghettos and death camps. He played a major role in implementing the Final Solution.

In his capacity as the head of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration, Eichmann had tried to work with Zionist organizations to get Jews into Palestine.  In December 1939, Eichmann was assigned to head the RSHA Sub-Department IV-B4, which was the office of the German government that dealt with Jewish affairs and emigration. In 1940, Eichmann was in charge of the Madagascar Project, a plan to deport Jews to the island of Madagascar, but this plan was never put into effect. (Again, the British were against this plan.)

In short, Adolf Eichmann was in charge of getting the Jews out of Germany, but was he eventually put in charge of killing all the Jews in Europe?  Yes! According to Wikipedia: “Reinhard Heydrich disclosed to Eichmann in autumn 1941 that all the Jews in German-controlled Europe were to be murdered. (Source: Browning, Christopher R. (2004), The Origins of the Final Solution, p. 362)”

Several years ago, I was staying in a hotel in Berlin, and I wanted to go to the newly-opened Museum in the house in Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, where the Final Solution was planned.  I asked the two young people working at the front desk in the hotel how to get to the house in Wannsee where the Final Solution was planned.  I spoke to them in English because all young people in Germany speak English better than most Americans.  But the phrase “Final Solution” drew a complete blank: these young people had no idea what I was talking about.  So I said it in German:  “die Endlösung.”  Again, I drew a complete blank.

Finally, I asked the young woman at the front desk in the hotel to call me a taxi.  Surely, a taxi driver would know how to get there.  As it turned out, the cab driver did know, but he said it was 50 miles, each way.  “Das macht aber nicht,” I said, and away we went.

The point of this long digression from my subject is that a man was hanged for his role as the Architect of the Final Solution 50 years ago, but today’s young people in Germany don’t know what you are talking about when you say “die Endlösung der Judenfrage.”

Adolf Eichmann was a low-level bureaucrat in Nazi Germany. He never personally killed anyone and never ordered the death of anyone. He had no authority in Nazi Germany and was not a decision maker. So unimportant was Eichmann that he did not even leave Germany until 1950. When he finally emigrated to Argentina, he did so with the help of the International Red Cross.  His wife and children did not change their names when they left Germany, and that’s how Eichmann was tracked down by the Israeli Mossad in 1960.

Eichmann’s good friend, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who was 6 levels above Eichmann in the Reich Security Main Office, was put on trial by the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal and specifically charged with gassing the Jews. Eichmann was not important enough to be hunted down and put on trial at Nuremberg. Eichmann and Kaltenbrunner had been friends from their school days in Linz, Austria, the city that was also the boyhood home of Adolf Hitler.  It was because of this boyhood friendship that Eichmann, who was a High School dropout, had gotten his job with RSHA.

So if Eichmann was such “small potatoes,” why was he kidnapped by the Mossad and put on trial in Israel?  There were hundreds of bureaucrats and technicians who were at the same level in the Nazi hierarchy as Eichmann.

In my humble opinion, the reason that Eichmann was put on trial was because he was the man who had typed up the minutes of the Wannseee Conference, the meeting where the Final Solution was planned on January 20, 1942. In the minutes of this meeting, a copy of which was discovered in 1947, the participants had used euphemisms such as “transportation to the East”  instead of talking about “the extermination of the Jews in gas chambers.” The Jews in Israel, who were survivors of the Holocaust, wanted to hunt down Eichmann, put him on trial, and establish that he had falsified the minutes of the Wannsee conference.

After 11 months in custody in Israel, during which time he was given Thorazine, a drug that is used to treat mental illness, Eichmann was finally put on trial. His facial tics (tartive dyskinesia) showed the effects of long term use of Thorazine.

With a little help from heavy doses of Thorazine, Eichmann confessed the truth, which was that the Wannsee Conference was held for the purpose of planning the genocide of the Jews. Up to that time, there had been no documentation found which showed that Hitler had ordered the killing of all the Jews. The Eichmann trial finally provided the proof of the systematic plan to exterminate the Jews; that is why Eichmann is regarded today as the second most important Nazi, next to Adolf Hitler.

July 24, 2011

December 12, 1941 — the day that Hitler ordered the Final Solution

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:05 am

This morning I was searching the internet when I came across a web site which mentioned that Hitler ordered the extermination of all the Jews on December 12, 1941.  The source given for this information was Christian Gerlach.  I looked him up on Wikipedia here and learned that he is a professor of Modern History at the University of Bern in Switzerland.  Professor Gerlach has written lots of books and essays and his credentials are impeccable, but is he right about the date of Hitler’s order?

Let’s consider what was happening on December 12, 1941:  Hitler had just declared war on America in a long-winded speech on December 11, 1941 which you can read in full here.  President Roosevelt immediately responded by declaring war on Germany on the same day.

According to Christian Gerlach, Hitler gave the order to kill all the Jews the next day after his declaration of war against America. But wait a minute!  The gassing of the Jews had already started on December 8, 1941 at the Chelmno death camp.  Every student of the Holocaust knows that!


April 8, 2011

In “The Final Solution,” where and how did the Chelmno death camp fit in? (Updated)

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 2:44 pm

Update: May 26, 2015

The following quote is from an article which you can read in full at\

Begin quote:

In order to conceal the growing scope of these activities in the east, the Nazi leadership looked for alternatives for mass shooting that would provide greater secrecy. In the closing months of 1941, new decisions were taken on what had moved from mass murder to systematically-planned genocide. On September 3, gassing with Zyklon B was tested at Auschwitz-Birkenau; from November 1, 1941, construction began on new extermination camps at Bełżec and Chełmno, with the latter starting to murder Jews by carbon monoxide on December 7, 1941, in occupied Poland.

End quote

I have a large section about Chelmno on my website at

Continue reading my original post:

In a news article which you can read here, I noticed that the reporter included Chelmno as one of the Operation Reinhardt camps.  This quote is from the news article:

Belzec was one of four secret death factories, the others being Treblinka, Chelmno and Sobibor, that the SS established to kill the Jews of Poland and some Russian prisoners of war early in the war.

By the time the camps were destroyed – to be replaced by Auschwitz – more than 2.5 million people had been killed in them in a programme the Nazis dubbed ‘Operation Reinhard’.

The Nazis tried to cover up their genocide of the Jews by claiming that the three Operation Reinhard camps (Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec) were transit camps for the purpose of evacuating the Jews to the East.  These three camps were set up following the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, but Chelmno was not one of the Operation Reinhard camps.

Chelmno was set up in November 1941 and the gassing of the Jews actually started at Chelmno on December 8, 1941, according to Martin Gilbert, a noted Holocaust historian. (The Nazis called Chelmno a transit camp and claimed that the prisoners were being sent to work in the East, after being disinfected.)

In his book entitled Holocaust, Gilbert wrote the following:

On 7 December 1941, as the first seven hundred Jews were being deported to the death camp at Chelmno, Japanese aircraft attacked the United States Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Unknown at that time either to the Allies or the Jews of Europe, Roosevelt’s day that would “live in infamy” was also the first day of the “final solution.”

So the Jews were sent to Chelmno and gassed BEFORE the Wannsee Conference where the genocide of the Jews was planned?

According to Martin Gilbert, the first 700 Jews that were killed at Chelmno were from the Polish village of Kolo; they arrived at Chelmno on the evening of December 7, 1941 and on the following day, all of them were killed with carbon monoxide in gas vans. The victims were taken on 8 or 9 separate journeys in the gas vans to a clearing in the Rzuchowski woods near Chelmno, where the bodies were first buried, and later dug up and burned.

The Operation Reinhard camps had gas chambers which used carbon monoxide to kill the Jews, but the Chelmno camp was unique in that gas vans were used.  Adolf Eichmann admitted at his trial in Jerusalem that gas vans had been used at Chelmno.

Memorial stone at Chelmno honors 350,000 Jews who were murdered there  Photo credit: Alan Collins

The text on the Memorial stone in the photo above says that ABOUT 350,000 Jews – Men, women and children – were murdered at Chelmno. The exact number is unknown because the Nazis destroyed all the records, but the number is too low according to  Martin Gilbert, who wrote in his book, entitled “Holocaust,” that 360,000 Jews were killed at Chelmno in just the first phase of the killing, between December 7, 1941 and March 1943.

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum says that “at least 152,000” Jews were killed at Chelmno. The Museum at the villa in Wannsee, near Berlin, says that “152,000 Jews and 5,000 Gypsies” were killed at Chelmno.

After World War II ended in Europe with the surrender of the German Army on May 7, 1945, the provisional Polish government, which was controlled by the Soviet Union, 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 and for the Polish trials of Germans who had committed war crimes in Poland.

The main report by the Central Commission, which you can read here, 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. Two of the death camps, Auschwitz and Chelmno, had been in the Greater German Reich while they were in operation, but after the war they were located in Poland.

The Chelmno death camp was 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 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 September 1939.

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 in the Treaty of Versailles.

The Jews, who were destined to be killed, were brought on trains, via a main railroad line that ran from Lodz to Poznan, to the village of Kolo. The village was 14 kilometers from Chelmno; it was the closest stop on this railroad line.

At Kolo, the victims were transferred to another train which took them on a narrow gauge railroad line 6 kilometers to the village of Powiercie. From Powiercie, the victims had to walk 1.5 kilometers through a forest to the village of Zawadka where they spent their last night locked inside a mill. They were then transported by trucks the next day to an old manor house, called the Castle, at Chelmno.

The foundation of the Castle which was destroyed after the first phase of the killing Photo credit: Alan Collins

The Chelmno camp had no prisoner barracks nor factories. According to the Polish Central Commission, its sole purpose was to murder Jews and Roma who were not capable of working at forced labor for the Nazis. In 1939, there were around 385,000 Jews living in the Warthegau; those who could work were sent to the Lodz ghetto where they labored in textile factories which made uniforms for the German army.

On January 16, 1942, deportations from the Lodz ghetto began; records from the ghetto show that 54,990 people were deported before the final liquidation of the ghetto in August 1944. The Jewish leader of the Lodz ghetto, Chaim Rumkowski, compiled the lists of people to be deported, although he had no knowledge that they were being sent to their deaths at Chelmno.

The gassing of the Jews at Chelmno was carried out in two separate phases. In the first phase, between December 7, 1941 and April 1943, Jews from the surrounding area and the Lodz ghetto were brought to Chelmno and killed on the day after their arrival. Although the Nazis destroyed all records of the Chelmno camp, it is alleged that around 15,000 Jews and 5,000 Roma, who were deported from Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Czechoslovakia and Luxembourg, were brought to Chelmno to be killed.

The victims of the Nazis at Chelmno also included Polish non-Jewish citizens and Soviet Prisoners of War.

After the first phase of the murder of the Jews at Chelmno ended, the Castle was blown up on April 7, 1943 by the SS. The second phase of the killing at Chelmno began in May or June 1944. During this second phase, the Jews were housed in the Chelmno church on their last night of life. The church is shown in the photo below.

Church where the Jews spent their last night before being gassed at Chelmno Photo Credit: Alan Collins

The Granary where the Jewish workers stayed at Chelmno  Photo Credit:  Alan Collins

The Jewish workers, called the Juden Kommando, who did the work of burning the corpses at Chelmno, were housed in the granary during the second phase of the killing at Chelmno. The granary is shown in the background of the photo above.

Exact information about Chelmno is not available because all the records were destroyed and there were only four Jewish survivors, according to the Polish Central Commission. In the second phase, the Jews spent their last night in the church, which is shown in the background of the photo of the destroyed castle.

The following quote is from the Polish Central Commission:

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.

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.

So the victims were told that they were going to be taken to the East to work?  This means that the victims themselves did not think that they were too old, or too young, or too sick to work; otherwise, they would have known that they were going to be killed.  They were completely fooled by this ruse.

But why would the Nazis kill Jews who were capable of working?  And why did they start killing them even before the plans were made on January 20, 1942 to kill all the Jews.  Why was Chaim Rumkowski allowed to choose Jews from the Lodz ghetto to be sent to Chelmno?

You can read more about Chelmno on this website, where you will see the photo below.  This famous photo allegedly shows Jews at Chelmno just before they were gassed.  Note that the man in the foreground of the photo was allowed to wear his trousers into the gas van, but the other prisoners were forced to undress.

Jews at Chelmno, just before they were gassed

On the night of January 17 and 18, 1945, the SS men began taking the 47 Jewish workers out of the granary building and shooting them in groups of five, according to two survivors, Shimon Srebnik and Mordechai Zurawski. The Jews defended themselves and two of the SS men were killed. According to the survivors, the SS men then set fire to the granary.

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