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September 30, 2013

May 7, 1945 — the day that the Nazi atrocities started

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:40 am
Cover of Life Magazine, May 7, 1945

Cover of Life Magazine, May 7, 1945

The sad faces on the cover of the May 7, 1945 issue of Life Magazine are the faces of “The German People.”  Why are there faces of Germans, and not faces of Jews, on the cover of Life in May 1945?  Because the word “Holocaust” was not yet universally known by Americans in 1945; the genocide of the Jews had not yet started.

The German People were not yet guilty of the greatest crime in the history of the world. On May 7, 1945, it was the inhuman bombing of German cities that was in the news.

May 7, 1945 was the day that the Germans surrendered to General Dwight D. Eisenhower (“the terrible Swedish Jew“), who declined to shake hands with General Jodl, the German who signed the surrender.

The ubiquitous “Holocaust” story was not yet known, but it was about to begin.  On the day of the surrender, it was the defeated Germans, who were on the cover of Life magazine.

Lest there should be some confusion about the real story of the Word War II, on an inside page of Life magazine, a reporter wrote, in describing the Germans: “the bitterness of defeat.” The faces on the cover photo were described as  the “unhappy but hard and arrogant faces” of Germans. Life magazine explained that the Germans had not yet “been forced to see the atrocities committed in their name.”

Whoa! “The atrocities committed in their name”?  Where have we heard that before?  On day One, the day that Germany surrendered, the Allies were already chanting about the German civilians and “the atrocities committed in their name.”  It wasn’t long before Eisenhower ordered that the German people should be brought to Dachau and other camps to “see the atrocities committed in their name.”

This set the tone of the Guilt which still exists in Germany:  every German who did not betray his country in war time is guilty to this day, and his children and grandchildren after him.  Every German must forever bow down to the Jews because of “the atrocities committed in their name.”

Two photos inside the May 7, 1945 edition of Life magazine

Two photos inside the May 7, 1945 edition of Life magazine show the German atrocities

The two photos above are from the inside pages of the Life Magazine May 7, 1945 edition.  The photo on the left shows the bodies laid out at Nordhausen; these prisoners had been killed by an American bomb. I blogged about the photo of Nordhausen here.

The photo on the right shows German SS guards at Bergen-Belsen being forced to put bodies into mass graves.  These prisoners had died in the typhus epidemic at Belsen.

Bodies found inside a barn at Gardelegen

Bodies found inside a barn at Gardelegen

The photos shown above were also included in the May 7, 1945 edition of Life magazine.  You can read about the Gardelegen massacre on my website here.

July 18, 2010

Origin of the belief that prisoners were burned alive on the “death marches” out of the concentration camps

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:28 am

The origin of the Holocaust story of the prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps being sent on “death marches” and burned alive, at places like Gardelegen, is the best-selling book, Hitler’s Willing Executioners, Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.

Chapter 14 of Goldhagen’s book is entitled “Marching to What End?”

Goldhagen wrote that “marching the Jews to death, was an end in itself.” Goldhagen did say that Himmler, the head of all the concentration camps, had given an order not to kill any of the Jews being marched out of the camps, but he wrote that, in spite of this order, the Germans continued to kill the Jews on the marches.

I read Goldhagen’s book before I knew very much about the Holocaust, and I was amazed to read this on page 367:

Finally, the fidelity of the Germans to their genocidal enterprise was so great as seeming to defy comprehension. Their world was disintegrating around them, yet they persisted in genocidal killing until the end.

Goldhagen then quotes a survivor of the Gardelegen massacre:

One night we stopped near the town of Gardelegen.  We lay down in a field and several Germans went to consult about what they should do.  They returned with a lot of young people from the Hitler Youth and with members of the police force from the town. They chased us all into a large barn. Since we were 3,000 – 6,000 people, the wall of the barn collapsed from the pressure of the mass of people, and many of us fled. The Germans poured out petrol and set the barn on fire.  Several thousand people were burned alive. Those of us who had managed to escape, lay down in a nearby wood and heard the heart-rending screams of the victims. This was on April 13. One day later the place was conquered by Eisenhower’s army. When the Americans got there, the bodies were still  burning.

The book includes this photo of a victim of the Gardelegen massacre.

Prisoner clutched a handful of straw as he burned to death

This photo was shown all over America in a traveling exhibit which ended at Washington, DC.  Remarkably, the straw and the man’s clothing didn’t burn.  I think that this photo proves that the prisoners were not deliberately burned alive.

Goldhagen also included this photo, which I think was staged. I think a dead body was placed in the doorway and then the sliding barn door was pulled across his body.

Prisoner who tunneled under the door face-up on his back.

After reading about this terrible crime, I went to Gardelegen to see for myself.  I wrote about the Gardelegen massacre here and here. I wrote about the reason for the massacre here.

To this day, the official story of the Holocaust, as taught in American universities, is that the prisoners were marched out of the camps in order to kill them and that prisoners on the marches were deliberately burned to death. According to the official story, the Germans had no fear of the Jews and the Russian POWs killing and raping civilians; they just wanted to kill the Jews for no reason in the last days of the war.

Read the full story of Gardelegen for yourself here.