Scrapbookpages Blog

August 10, 2015

Oskar Groening stood on the ramp at Birkenau 3 times, but was sentenced to four years in prison

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 12:04 pm
Oskar Groening at his trial

Oskar Groening at his trial

Today, I read an old news story here about the trial of Oskar Groening, a former German SS man, who was prosecuted as a war criminal because he had formerly served as an accountant at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

Oskar Groening as a young soldier

Oskar Groening as a young soldier

This quote is from the news story:

Though he [Groening] was more regularly assigned to the camp’s Auschwitz I section, he said he guarded the Birkenau ramp three times, including one busy 24-hour shift. The main gas chambers were located at Birkenau.

“The capacity of the gas chambers and the capacity of the crematoria were quite limited. Someone said that 5,000 people were processed in 24 hours but I didn’t verify this. I didn’t know,” he said. “For the sake of order we waited until train 1 was entirely processed and finished.”

Auschwitz survivors describe their arrival as chaotic, with Nazi guards yelling orders, dogs barking and families being ripped apart.

But Groening, 93, maintained the opposite, saying “it was very orderly and not as strenuous” on the ramp at Birkenau.
“The process was the same as Auschwitz I. The only difference was that there were no trucks,” he said during the second day of his trial. “They all walked – some in one direction some, in another direction … to where the crematoria and gas chambers were.”

Wait a minute! Where were the crematoria?  The gas chamber buildings at Birkenau, and in the main Auschwitz camp, did not have a crematorium.  The room, which would normally have been a crematorium, was instead an undressing room.  Everyone knows that!

Note that Groening worked at the ramp, where selections for the gas chamber were made, only 3 times. Yet he was sentenced to 4 years in prison. I don’t think that this was a fair sentence.  Groening should have been sentenced to only THREE YEARS in prison, one year for each time when he was at the ramp, collecting money from the luggage.

Groening had nothing to do with the prisoners being gassed, but he was THERE, so he is guilty of a war crime. This is according to the ex-post-facto law, known as “common plan.”

Groening committed his crime BEFORE the common plan law was created by the Allies after the war.

July 25, 2015

92 year old man accused of serving in a death camp — I hope this goes to trial!

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:40 pm

You can read here about the latest German man who is being accused of being an accomplice in the death of Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Why do I hope that this will go to trial? Because he is accused of being an accomplice, starting in November 1942.  You can read about the gassing that started at Auschwitz-Birkenau in November 1942 on this page of my website:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Birkenau/DisinfectionBuilding.html

The following quote is from my website:

Building where the clothing of Auschwitz prisoners were disinfected with Zyklon-B gas

Building where the clothing of Auschwitz prisoners were disinfected with Zyklon-B gas (Click to enlarge)

There are two buildings located on the south side of the Auschwtiz-Birkenau camp, which were used to delouse the prisoners’ clothing with Zyklon-B, the same gas that was used to kill the Jews in the gas chambers. The two buildings are shaped like the letter T and are mirror images of each other.

The photo above shows building BW5b which is located in the B1b section of Birkenau on the left side of the camp as you are standing at the entrance gate into the camp. The east wing of the building above was used for delousing.

The second delousing building is BW5a in the B1a section, which is on the other side of the fence on the right in the photo above. The west wing of the BW5a building was used for delousing. Both of these brick buildings also had shower rooms for the in-coming prisoners.

On the blueprints of these buildings, the delousing room was called a Gaskammer which means gas chamber in English.

Did you catch that?  A building where clothing was deloused with Zyklon-B gas pellets was called a GASKAMMER, which is the German word for GAS CHAMBER.

The photo below shows a blueprint of the building where clothing was deloused with Zyklon-B gas.  Notice the word “Gaskammer” right under the number 1 in red.

GaskammerBlueprint1

So there you have it. This 92 year old man was trying to save lives by working in a building that had a gas chamber for delousing the clothing of the incoming Jews, in an effort to SAVE lives.

July 4, 2015

10,000 people per day now visit Auschwitz and take photos with a selfie stick

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:24 am
Ruins of a gas chamber at Auschwtiz-Birkenau (click on the photo to enlarge)

Ruins of gas chamber III at Auschwtiz-Birkenau (click on the photo to enlarge)

The first time that I visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, in September 1998, I was the only person there and my Jewish tour guide would not let me get off the main road in the camp because she said that there were snakes in the grass.  She meant real snakes, not Nazis who might be lurking there, ready to throw me into a gas chamber.

Now there are 8,000 to 10,000 people per day walking through Auschwitz-Birkenau, and there might be a real danger of being trampled to death.

Today, I read a news article here which told about how tourists take selfies with a “selfie stick” at Auschwitz. Is taking a selfie with a “selfie stick” worse than taking one with just a hand held device?

I have no objection to using a “selfie stick” if one is so inclined; my concern is with the description of the “crematorium” near which these photos were being taken.

This quote is from the news article:

A couple of weeks ago, I stood before a crematorium at Auschwitz-Birkenau and listened to the tour guide talk about the sonderkommandos. The sonderkommandos, he explained quietly, were the prisoners tasked with removing dead corpses from the gas chambers – after the victims had been showered with cyanide and choked to death – and then with hurling them into ovens or onto piles of other lifeless bodies and burning them to ash. The sonderkommandos, who sometimes found their own family members in the heaps, would be killed off and then replaced to prevent their gruesome stories from circulating to others in the camp. I stood there and listened, catatonic and sick to my stomach, perturbed by the lush green fields and flowers growing along the perimeter of the gas chamber.

The description of the “lush green fields and flowers growing along the perimeter of the gas chambers” identifies this location as being in the Auschwitz II camp — Auschwitz-Birkenau. But the quote starts out by referring to a “crematorium”, not a gas chamber.

There were TWO underground rooms in each of the alleged gas chamber buildings at Birkeanau: an undressing room and a gas chamber. There was no crematorium. As far as I know, the bodies had to be stored outside in the snow, while they were being burned in the ovens a few at a time.

The quote from the news article then continues with this:

But what disturbed me just as much was the tourist I saw tiptoeing his way into the ruins of the gas chamber – which at this point looks like little more than volcanic rubble because the Nazis bombed it to erase evidence before they retreated. Selfie stick in hand, this guy was taking photos of himself in the remains of the crematorium where hundreds of thousands of people were murdered.

The “crematoria” in all the gas chamber buildings at Birkenau were underground. Several people have climbed down into one of the so-called gas chambers, which was in a separate room, but it is completely dark and there is no room for a “selfie stick.”

I think that the author of this article is confused. She obviously meant that tourists are walking down into the former undressing rooms at Birkenau and taking selfies, not into one of the gas chambers.

My photo at the top of this page shows the ruins of the gas chamber in Krema III, which was underground, but the ruins can be accessed now.

Another view of the ruins of the gas chamber in Krema III at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Another view of the ruins of the gas chamber in Krema III at Auschwitz-Birkenau

I suspect that tourists are actually climbing down into the ruins of one of the undressing rooms, not into the ruins of a gas chamber.

Ruins of undressing room in Krema III at Birkenau

Ruins of undressing room in Krema III at Birkenau

June 30, 2015

Found at last — the name of one person who was gassed by the Nazis

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:52 am

For many years, Bradley Smith has been asking for the name of one person, who was gassed during the Holocaust. Now at last, the name of one person has been found. Kurt Garron was gassed, according to Wikipedia.

The Small Fortress, across the road from the Theresienstadt ghetto

My photo of the Small Fortress, across the road from the Theresienstadt ghetto

Photo on Wikipedia page about Theresienstadt

Photo on Wikipedia page about Theresienstadt

In the FIRST photo above, notice the “Arbeit macht Frei” sign in the background. This sign was NOT over the entrance into the Theresienstadt camp for Jews. The SECOND photo, which is on the Wikipedia page about Theresienstadt, purports to show that the entrance into the Theresiensadt camp had the dreaded sign: “Arbeit macht Frei.” The “Arbeit macht Frei” sign was only put over Class I camps, not over death camps, as claimed by today’s Holocaust True Believers.

After my two visits to Theresienstadt, many years ago, I wrote about the camp on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/CzechRepublic/Theresienstadt/TheresienstadtGhetto/History/GhettoHistory.html

Wikipedia’s misuse of a photo gives you a heads-up that the Wiki page about Theresienstadt might contain some errors. This morning, as I was reading the Wikipedia page on Theresienstadt, I read the following:

Following the successful use of Theresienstadt as a supposed model internment camp during the Red Cross visit, the Nazis decided to make a propaganda film there. It was directed by Jewish prisoner Kurt Gerron, an experienced director and actor; he had appeared with Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel. Shooting took eleven days, starting September 1, 1944.[31] After the film was completed, most of the cast and the director were deported to Auschwitz. Gerron was murdered by gas chamber on October 28, 1944.[32]

Here is the text of source [32]

Evans, Richard J. (2008). The Third Reich At War. Penguin. p. 302. ISBN 978-1-59420-206-3. Retrieved 8 December 2011.

Yes, Virginia there is a gas chamber at Theresienstadt. One of my very first blog posts, on May 13, 2010, was about the Theresienstadt gas chamber.

However, it is not clear whether Gerron was murdered in a gas chamber at Auschwitz, or a gas chamber at Theresienstadt. https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/gas-chamber-at-theresienstadt/

You can read about Richard Evans on this website: http://codoh.com/library/document/402/

January 12, 2015

Sven Norrman, the man who first told the British about the gassing of the Jews in 1942

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:03 am

The “Warsaw Swedes” were the men who worked with the Polish resistance in World War II as illegal combatants.  A Swedish man named Sven Norrman was a member of this group; he was the man who smuggled out the first proof of the gassing of the Jews, when he revealed to the British, in May 1942, that the Nazis were gassing the Jews in Poland.

This news was broadcast by the BBC, on June 9, 1942, and the rest is history. This was the beginning of the Holocaust.

I was a child in an American elementary school, that was located 25 miles from the gas chamber is Jefferson City, MO.  I have written about the Missouri gas chamber several times on my blog: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/missouri-gas-chamber/

You can read more about the story of the first gassing of the Jews in this article in the British news paper, The Mail Online. This news quickly went around the world.  Anne Frank learned about it, while she was hiding in an attic in Amsterdam, and I heard about it in my elementaryschool classroom in a small town in Missouri.

This quote is from the news article in The Mail Online:

On June 9, 1942, a speech was broadcast on the BBC that would change human history.

Władysław Sikorski, Poland’s prime minister exiled in London, revealed that 700,000 Jews had been systematically murdered in brutal Nazi concentration camps, quarantined and executed en-masse in ghettos, and walked to their deaths in gas chambers.

This was the first time the world and the Allied forces had heard of the crimes of the Holocaust, a secret the Nazi leaders had been able to keep until now.

The information, a dossier of photographs and documents, had come to London from Poland via Stockholm, thanks to a group of Swedish men who had risked their lives to tell the world about the Nazi persecution of Polish Jews

Forgotten hero: Sven Norrman, responsible for couriering the documents that would reveal the Nazi Holocaust and slaughter of 700,000 Polish Jews out of Warsaw, pictured with his Polish-Jewish mistress Gizela 'Iza' Zbyszynska in the years after the war
Forgotten hero: Sven Norrman, responsible for couriering the documents that would reveal the Nazi Holocaust and slaughter of 700,000 Polish Jews out of Warsaw, pictured with his Polish-Jewish mistress Gizela ‘Iza’ Zbyszynska in the years after the war

Was Sven Norrman the man who was called “the terrible Swedish Jew”? No, that was the nickname of General Eisenhower.  You can read about it on my blog post at  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/may-7-1945-the-day-that-the-nazi-atrocities-started/
Some of my readers might be tempted to deny that the gassing of the Jews started in 1942.  Go ahead and deny.  It is not against the law to deny something that never happened.

June 23, 2014

Johann Breyer was complicit in the murder of 216,000 Jews in the gas chamber at Auschwitz — Updated

John Breyer, at the age of 17, when he was in the German army

John Breyer, at the age of 17, when he was in the German army

Update July 23, 2014:  John Breyer has died while awaiting trial.
You can read about it here.  He will probably be put on trial, even after his death. I wrote that Breyer might be put on trial after his death here.

Update June 24, 2014:

According to a news article, which you can read in full here, Johann Breyer has been charged with crimes committed at the Auschwitz II camp, from May 1944 to October 1944, when the Hungarian Jews were brought to the camp in 158 trains. Starting in May 1944, Breyer was a perimeter guard at the Auschwitz I camp, which was 3 kilometers from the Auschwitz II camp.  Before that, he was a perimeter guard at the Buchenwald concentration camp, where there was no gas chamber.

The following quote is from the news article:

In Germany, Breyer was accused in connection to the extermination of approximately 158 trainloads of Jewish prisoners coming from Hungary, Germany and Czechoslovakia. This is documented to have occurred between May 1944 to October 1944. Thousands of women, men and children from the trains were sent to their deaths in the gas chambers. Breyer has denied any direct involvement in the execution process. Prosecutors argue that being a perimeter guard [at the main Auschwitz camp] and his overall presence in the camps is being involved in the process and that his role served to aid in the the deaths.

The reporter, who wrote this article used a photo from this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Auschwitz1/Auschwitz12.html

Unfortunately, the reporter didn’t read the text on my website, after stealing the photo, or she would have known that the Jews, who were gassed between May 1944 and October 1944, were gassed at the Auschwitz II camp, aka Auschwitz-Birkenau.  My photo shows the gate into the Auschwitz I camp, where Breyer was a guard, but the gas chamber in this camp was no longer in operation in 1944.

Another news article, which you can read in full here, also gets the story completely wrong.

This quote is from the article, cited above:

As an armed guard at the Nazi concentration [main] camp at Auschwitz and a member of the notorious SS “Death’s Head” battalion, the authorities charged on Wednesday, Mr. Breyer was complicit in the gassing of 216,000 Jews taken [to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp] in 1944 from Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Germany.

The Germans, seeking to have him extradited to stand trial, have charged him with 158 counts of aiding and abetting in murder — one count for each of the 158 trainloads of Jews taken to the killing center at [the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp] in a six-month span. Most of the so-called deportees, including many thousands of women, children and old people, were killed in gas chambers almost immediately after arriving at Auschwitz [Birkeanau], with their bodies burned in four crematories.

Mr. Breyer acknowledged two decades ago, when first questioned by the American authorities, that he had worked as a guard at Auschwitz [main camp], but he said that he had done so involuntarily and had nothing to do with the gassings. His lawyer, Dennis Boyle, insisted Wednesday that Mr. Breyer had worked in a prison section of Auschwitz [ main camp], not among the guards in the extermination area [Auschwitz-Birkeanu]. “He was absolutely not one of those guards,” Mr. Boyle said.

You can read about the history of the “Death’s Head” unit of the SS on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/SScamp/SSHistory.html

Continue reading my original post:

According to a recent news article, which you can read in full here, 89-year old former German SS soldier Johann Breyer, now living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the USA, has been charged with being “complicit” in 158 cases of murder in the deaths of 216,000 Jews at Auschwitz.

Complicit? What does that mean? It means that he was present, somewhere inside one of the three Auschwitz camps, when 216,000 Jews arrived on 158 trains, and he did nothing to prevent the Jews from being taken to the gas chamber.  If he had tried to prevent the deaths of these 216,000 Jews, he would have been shot, on the spot, but he would have gone down in history as a hero, who tried to save Jews from an ignominious death.

Copy of the "criminal complaint" against Johann Breyer

The “criminal complaint” against Johann Breyer (click on the photo to enlarge)

The Talmud teaches that “He who saves a single life, saves the world entire.”

  http://jewinthecity.com/2013/09/he-who-saves-just-one-life-saves-the-world-entire/#ixzz35ZNdmqpz

Are the names of the 216,000 Jews, who arrived on these 158 trains known?  Yes, but there was always a “selection” done by Dr. Josef Mengele, who was always at the ramp, looking for twins for his experiments.

The Jews, who were gassed immediately after they got off the trains in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, were not registered, so their names are unknown.

Each of the Holocaust survivors, who is still alive today, has a story about why they were not gassed.

Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau

What the news article didn’t tell you is that Breyer will be prosecuted in a German court, under the “common design” theory, an ex-post-facto law, that was made up by the Allies after the war. Under this concept, every German man or woman was guilty of murdering Jews, if they were anywhere near a concentration camp during World War II, working in any capacity. Even a person, who once worked as a baker, or a supply clerk in a Nazi camp, is guilty under the “common plan” or “common design” concept that was dreamed up by the Allies after the war.

This quote is from the news article:

An 89-year-old Philadelphia man [Johann Breyer] was ordered held without bail today on a German arrest warrant charging that he aided and abetted in the deaths of 216,000 Jews while he was a guard at the Auschwitz death camp.

The “Auschwitz death camp” was Auschwitz-Birkenau, aka Auschwitz II, which was located near the “Judenrampe” (shown in the photo below) where the Jews got off the trains, before the tracks were extended inside the camp when the Hungarian Jews were deported in May 1944.

The train ramp, from where the Jews were taken to the Auschwitz II camp

The train ramp, from where the Jews were taken to the Auschwitz II camp to be gassed

However, this quote from the news article says that Breyer worked at the Auschwitz I camp:

Breyer testified in U.S. court that he served as a perimeter guard at Auschwitz I, which was largely for prisoners used as slave laborers, though it also had a makeshift gas chamber used early in the war; it was also the camp where SS doctor Josef Mengele carried out sadistic experiments on inmates.

But [Breyer] denied ever serving in Auschwitz II, better known as Auschwitz-Birkenau, the death camp area where the bulk of the people were killed.

Note that, according to the news article, the Auschwitz I camp had a “makeshift gas chamber.”  What does that mean?  Is this a reference to the fact, now admitted, that the gas chamber in the main camp was created by the Soviets after the war?

Or is the term “makeshift gas chamber” an admission that the so-called gas chamber in the main camp was a morgue room that could not have been used as a homicidal gas chamber?

Will the prosecution have to prove that the “makeshift gas chamber” in the main camp could have been used to kill people?  No, of course not. It is “common knowledge” that Jews were gassed inside what looks like a morgue room in the main Auschwitz camp.

Gas chamber in main Auschwitz camp was located in the morgue room

Gas chamber in main Auschwitz camp was located in the morgue room (Click on photo to enlarge)

Quote from the news article:

By early 1943, [Breyer] arrived at Auschwitz, still a [17-year-old] teenager. He allegedly became a member of the Death’s Head battalion. In the next year, 216,000 Jews arrived by train and “were exterminated upon arrival,” the indictment says. They “were taken from the train ramp by armed Death’s Head guards directly to the gas chambers for extermination. … The armed Death’s Head guards were under orders to shoot to kill anyone who tried to escape.”

Note that all the Jews, who had arrived by train, “were exterminated upon arrival.”  What? There were no selections?  Where was Dr. Mengele when these 216,000 Jews arrived by train? Maybe he was sick.  It is known that Dr. Mengele got typhus while he was at Auschwitz, so maybe he missed doing the selections from 158 trains.

You can read about the “Death’s Head” battalion on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/SScamp/SSHistory.html

The photo below shows the “Death’s Head” emblem. Any German soldier, who wore this emblem, was a criminal, under the ex-post-facto laws of the Allies.

Death's Head emblem worn by SS men on their caps.

Death’s Head emblem worn by SS men on their caps.

If Johann Breyer is renditioned to Germany for prosecution under the “common design” charge, he will be automatically convicted because there is no defense against the “common design” charge. Any German person, who was anywhere near a German concentration camp is automatically guilty, regardless of his or her job at the camp.

John Breyer claims that he does not have a tattoo, which all SS soldiers were supposed to have, showing their blood type. Dr. Mengele did not have this tattoo either.  If an SS soldier were caught after the war, he would have been instantly recognizable as an SS soldier, so apparently these soldiers were given a choice in the matter, since the tattoo marked them as a “war criminal.”

February 26, 2014

Franz Suchomel’s interview for Claude Lanzman’s documentary entitled Shoah

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 11:02 am

Franz Suchomel’s interview with Claude Lanzman, for his documentary entitled Shoah, is shown in seven Youtube videos.  There is also a YouTube video entitled “The Treblinka Death Camp — Former SS member confesses” which you can view at the end of this blog post.

Did SS man Franz Suchoml actually confess to the existence of gas chambers at Treblinka?  Yes.  He said, in his interview with Lanzman, that he “heard the motors” of the gas chamber.

The gas chambers at Treblinka had motors?  Oh, how I wish that gas chamber expert Fred Leuchter would come out of hiding and explain how the motors in a gas chamber worked.

The photo below shows the inside of a real gas chamber in Jefferson City, MO.  Fred Leuchter was a consultant for this gas chamber, years ago.  Maybe there are motors underneath the seats, which somehow heated the Zyklon-B lethal gas.

Inside the gas chamber in Jefferson City, MO

Inside the gas chamber in Jefferson City, MO

Strangely, Franz Suchomel did not say anything about the bodies being removed from the gas chamber after the victims had been gassed.

According to Suchomel’s description of Treblinka in his interview, there were 500 to 600 Jews in the “Blue Squad” who helped “3 to 5 Germans” with the gassing procedure.  The Jews in the Blue Squad had been promised that they would live, if they helped to herd the Jews through “the funnel” into the gas chamber. But this was a lie, according to Suchomel.

In his interview, Suchomel said that the Jews in the Blue Squad were “not shot or gassed.”  They were starved to death, and at the end, “a typhus epidemic broke out” at Treblinka, which killed the Jews in the Blue Squad.

In his confession, Suchomel described how the Jewish men were driven into the gas chamber first, while the women had to wait, for a long time in the freezing cold, for their turn.  How the gas chamber was emptied, after each group of men had been gassed, Suchomel didn’t say.

At one point in the interview, Suchomel said (regarding how the women died in the gas chamber) “I didn’t see it.”

What Suchomel did say, in his interview, was “That’s how they were finished off.”  This implies that the Jews were gassed, although he had not actually witnessed the death of the Jews in the alleged gas chambers.

According to the latest estimate, there were 900,000 Jews gassed at Treblinka; this would have taken a long time, because it was so cold when the gassing took place. (The Zyklon-B gas had to be heated to 78.3 degrees Fahrenheit.)  Suchomel was very emphatic about the freezing weather — he mentioned that even the SS men suffered because their uniforms were not adequate.

At one point in his so-called confession, Suchomel said that “…on the roof  (of the gas chamber) were the hell hounds.”  He explained that the “hell hounds” were the Ukrainian helpers at Treblinka.  This implies that there were holes in the roof, through which the Zyklon-B pellets were poured into the gas chambers.  Maybe the “motors” that Suchomel heard were heating the Zyklon-B to the proper temperature to activate the gas.  This would have taken some time, since the weather was below zero when the gassing took place. Or maybe the “motors” were for the tanks that were used to generate carbon monoxide.

In his interview, Suchomel spoke German in a way that I could understand; he did not speak in a German dialect, as many Germans do.  He mentioned that the Treblinka camp was shaped like a rhombus. This indicates to me that he was at least somewhat educated.

The video that includes his confession starts off by showing old trains, that were like the trains that took the Jews to Treblinka. The village of Treblinka was shown.  The village was very small, as shown in my 1998 photo below.

The small village of Treblinka

The small village of Treblinka

Then the Malkinia Bahnhof (train station) was shown.

Malkinia train station was 7 miles from the Treblinka camp

Suchomel said the Malkinia train station was 7 miles from the Treblinka camp

In his so-called confession, Suchomel never explained why the remote location of the Treblinka camp was selected.  I explained this in a previous blog post at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/malkinia-junction-where-the-trains-to-treblinka-stopped/

You can watch Suchomel’s confession on the video below.

October 14, 2013

Carla Cohn wrote “My Nine Lives” after surviving Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and Mauthausen

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:45 am

Carla Cohn was a small child, living in Berlin, with her prominent Jewish family, when she was sent, along with her sister and her parents to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, the best of all places, to which the Jews were sent, during the Holocaust.

Building L410 for young girls at Theresienstadt

Building L410 for young girls, ages 8 to 16, at Theresienstadt

I have blogged several times about Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein, who is the subject of a new film by Claude Lanzman, the man who made the 9 and 1/2 hour film entitled Shoah. Lanzman interviewed Dr. Mermelstein at great length at the time that he was recording testimony from many Holocaust survivors for Shoah, but the interview ended up on the cutting room floor. Lanzman’s new film features the interview with Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein.

Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein was at Theresienstadt from Sept. 27, 1944 until May 5, 1945, so Carla Cohn was not at Theresienstadt during the time that he was there.  In spite of this, Ms. Cohn calls him Murmelschwein in her book. (In German, the word Schwein means pig; this is the worst insult possible in German, sometimes the insult is given as Schweinehund.)

My previous blog posts, about Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein, which you can read here and here have generated a lot of comments, including this comment made by Herbert Stolpmann, who has his own blog at http://dachaukz.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html

This quote is from a comment made by Herbert Stolpmann:

… Carla Cohn has [this] to say of Dr. Wolf Murmelstein’s late father in her book ‘MY NINE LIVES’:

…The next Judenrat (Jewish Administration Advisor) was a Rabi, Benjamin Murmelstein, generally referred to as ‘Murmelschwein’ (pig). He was generally disliked and distrusted. Rumour had it, that being in charge of the deportation lists, he would substitute a name on the list for a price.

This ancient rumour has been confirmed to me rather poignantly when the past came to haunt me here in Rome a few years ago. I received a phone call by a man I did not know who insisted to come and see me regarding an important Terezin [Theresienstadt,sic] matter. He would not give his name over the phone. I was unable to refuse since it had to do with Terezin. I found myself face to face with an obviously very distressed man who introduced himself as Rabbi Murmelstein’s son!

His father has died recently but the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Toaff, would not permit a Jewish burial for his father. The son was contacting all surviving Terezin ghetto inmates to ask them to give positive testimony for his father, so that he could be buried as a Jew in honour…

I did a search on My Nine Lives and found that parts of the book can be read online. Ms. Cohn wrote her book in the German language, but I decided to read the English translation.  From my limited understanding of the German language, I was able to deduce that her writing style is very good, but I elected to read the English version, so that I would not misunderstand the meaning of her words.

These quotes are from pages 68 and 69 of her book:

From page 68:

The delousing drill was often repeated.  We never knew whether the shower was intended for the purpose of delousing and a “wash,” or whether it was to prepare our bodies for the gas chamber.  Zyklon B gas works more efficiently when the body is wet. […]

A real shower room, not a gas chamber, at Auschwitz-Birkenau

A real shower room, not a gas chamber, at Auschwitz-Birkenau

From page 69:

During the last “selection” by Dr. Mengele, the “Angel of Death,” I was found to be “unfit” and ordered “left” with the sick and aged.  I did not fully register what that meant at that moment.  I did notice that the scramble for the “shower” was even more frantic, though seemingly taking longer than in other times.  I was nude, in the corridor waiting my turn into the “shower.”

An SS man appeared, grabbed me and shoved me back out while whispering, “I have pulled you out once before, what are you doing in here again”!  I have never seen this SS before or afterwards.  My life was saved by “blind” luck in the guise of a case of mistaken identity!

Another push sent me outside, nude.  I found myself among a group of younger women, out in the icy cold. Someone threw some clothes at me, among them a long, black heavy man’s coat of which I grabbed and frantically  put on while hiding between women.

I read much more of her book, starting with her account of her stay at Theresienstadt, followed by her description of her days spent at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  She wrote about how she was eventually sent, in 1944, to the Mauthausen camp in Austria, where she was put to work, with a group of other women, digging a tunnel.  After World War II ended, there were accusations that Ernst Kaltenbrunner had given the order for all the prisoners at Mauthausen to be taken into the tunnel which was to be blown up in order to kill all the prisoners.

Carla Cohn apparently believed, after the war, that the purpose of the tunnel that she had been digging was to kill all the prisoners before the American liberators arrived.

Long story, short: Carla Cohn’s book is a composite of all the Holocaust claims, from the gassing of prisoners in the showers, to blowing up the prisoners in tunnels.  Her claims about Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein should be evaluated in that context.  In other words, I wouldn’t believe anything that she writes.

October 8, 2013

How long did it take for prisoners to die in a Nazi gas chamber?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 1:10 pm

Many people have wondered how long it took for the gas to take effect in a Nazi gas chamber.  After reading the story of a Holocaust survivor, who gave a talk to students in Canada recently, I now know the answer.  In a previous blog post, I wrote about how gassing methods were first tested and perfected at Dachau. I also blogged about the story of Eva Olssen here.

According to Holocaust survivor Eva Olssen, it took 20 minutes for her relatives to die in the gas chamber.  This quote is from a news article which you can read in full here.

It was May 15, 1944.

Olsson and her 19 extended family members, who lived in a two-room apartment in Hungary, were forced from their home.

Four days later they arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau — also known as The Killing Factory. She was holding her young niece’s hand and a prisoner whispered to Olsson to give the child to an older woman. Olsson didn’t let go. The prisoner said it again and after a third time, Olsson let go of the girl’s hand. That ensured she would survive.

Her mother, sisters and nieces went the other way to a gas chamber. You would hear screaming for 20 minutes and then there was silence, she said.

An Auschwtiz prisoner was standing beside the trains when Jews arrived

An Auschwitz prisoner was standing beside the trains when Jews arrived

In the photo above, notice the prisoner, wearing a striped uniform, standing beside the train on the far right.  These prisoners, who helped the Nazis, were called Kapos (captains).  They advised the prisoners on how to survive the selection that took place as soon as the train stopped.

Eva Olssen was saved because a Kapo told her not to hold the hand of a child.  Children under the age of 15 were gassed within hours after arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Photos were taken at Auschwitz-Birkenau on May 26, 1944; Eva Olssen arrived on May 19, 1944 so she is not shown in any of the pictures.

You can read about Auschwitz-Birkenau on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/Birkenau01B.html

You can read about the deportation of the Hungarian Jews, including Eva Olssen, at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/HungarianJews.html

Could Eva Olssen have heard the screams coming from the gas chamber?  It is possible, although not very likely.

The photo below shows the ruins of Krema II, one of the four gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  In 1944, railroad tracks were extended inside of the camp, to within a few yards of Krema II and Krema III.  The International Monument, which is shown in the background of the photo, was built a few feet from Krema II and Krema III.

Ruins of Krema II, one of the gas chambers, at Birkenau

Ruins of Krema II, one of the gas chambers, at Birkenau

Ruins of oven room in Krema II with women's camp in the background

Ruins of oven room in Krema II with women’s camp in the background

In the photo directly above, you can see the kitchen in the women’s camp in the background.  The women’s barracks are behind the kitchen, but not shown, in this photo.  The gas chambers in Krema II and  Krema III, were five feet below ground. It would have been hard to hear screams, but not impossible.

In 1944, the train tracks had been extended inside the Birkenau camp, right up to the location of Krema II and Krema III.  The photo below shows how close the tracks are to the Holocaust monument which is between the ruins of Krema II and Krema III.

The end of the train tracks at Birkenau is close to the ruins of Krema II and Krema III

The end of the train tracks at Birkenau is close to the ruins of Krema II and Krema III

In the photo above, the ruins of Krema II are on the left, but not shown.  The ruins of Krema III are on the right.

Prisoners walking past Krema III gas chamber building which is in the background

Prisoners walking past Krema III gas chamber building which is in the background

The prisoners in the photo above are walking past Krema III, which is in the background. They are looking toward Krema II, as they walk to the showers. Strangely, there are some children in the photo, who were not selected to be gassed. There are also some prisoners who look as if they are able to work.

All this is very confusing.  You would think that the Nazis would have put the gas chambers off in the woods somewhere, not out in the open, near a road where other prisoners marching past could hear the screams.  How horrible — to hear the screams of your mother dying in a gas chamber!

June 3, 2013

89-year-old Holocaust survivor has died — he was a “commando” at Auschwitz

I have just finished reading the online obituary of Benny Hochman, who was sent to Auschwitz in 1939 and later marched to Buchenwald where he was liberated by American soldiers.

According to Benny Hochman’s obituary, “One night in the winter of 1939, Nazi soldiers arrived at the family’s home to take Benny’s older brother Boleak, a Polish officer, to Auschwitz. They took 16-year-old Benny, too. He became B-3156.”

Gate into the Auschwitz main camp which was opened in 1940

Gate into the Auschwitz main camp which was opened in 1940

Several years ago, I wrote this on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Auschwitz1/Auschwitz02.html:

The decision to open a concentration camp for Polish political prisoners in the town of Auschwitz was made by Heinrich Himmler on April 27, 1940. The first prisoners, a group of 728 Poles, arrived at the Auschwitz I camp on June 14, 1940. They were political prisoners from the Gestapo prison at Tarnow, a Polish town about 40 miles east of Krakow. Tarnow was also the site of a Ghetto set up by the Nazis in 1940 where 3,000 Jews worked in a clothing factory making uniforms for the German army; over 40,000 Jews lived in the Tarnow Ghetto until it was liquidated.

I suppose that I will have to go back and correct the information on my website, since Auschwitz was opened in 1939, according to Benny Hochman.

The first prisoners, that were sent to Auschwitz, were Polish “political prisoners,” so Benny is admitting that he was sent to Auschwitz because he was fighting with the Polish Resistance.  Nowhere in his obituary does it say that Benny was Jewish, yet he had a mis-spelled German name, not a Polish name.

Benny Hochman was given the number B-3156 at Auschwitz when he arrived in 1939, at least a year before the Auschwitz camp was opened.

On their website, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has this quote, regarding the Auschwitz tattoo numbers:

In order to avoid the assignment of excessively high numbers from the general series to the large number of Hungarian Jews arriving in 1944, the SS authorities introduced new sequences of numbers in mid-May 1944. This series, prefaced by the letter A, began with “1” and ended at “20,000.” Once the number 20,000 was reached, a new series beginning with “B” series was introduced. Some 15,000 men received “B” series tattoos. For an unknown reason, the “A” series for women did not stop at 20,000 and continued to 30,000.

The obituary in the online Journal Star starts out with this quote:

An American soldier found Benny Hochman lying near the perimeter of the Buchenwald concentration camp in central Germany.

The 21-year-old Polish man stood 6 feet tall and weighed 78 pounds.

For three years at Auschwitz, Hochman fought for scraps of food and wheeled bodies out of gas chambers. Days before the Allies arrived [at Auschwitz], the Nazis marched the prisoners to Buchenwald. He worked on Autobahn and avoided the wrath of Ilse Koch.

I thought that the Autobahn was completed before World War II started, but maybe he was working to repair sections of  the Autobahn that had been bombed.  In any case, Hochman was able to avoid Ilse Koch, the wife of the Buchenwald Commandant, who ordered lampshades to be made from the skin of Buchenwald prisoners.

Hochman survived Auschwitz because he “wheeled bodies out of gas chambers,” meaning that he was a Sonderkommando, who worked in a crematorium at Auschwitz.  The Sonderkommando workers were killed every three months, but the last group was marched out of Auschwitz because the Nazis wanted to make sure that there would be witnesses to the gas chambers.

I previously blogged about the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/if-this-is-a-gas-chamber-im-groucho-marx/

The most interesting part of Hochman’s obituary comes at the end:

Hochman worked as a “commando.” He removed the thousands of bodies from the gas chambers, loaded them onto wagons and wheeled them to the crematoriums. When the furnaces couldn’t keep up with the number of corpses, Hochman unloaded them into open dirt pits, into open flames.  [This contradicts Elie Wiesel’s story about prisoners being thrown ALIVE into open flames.]

Hochman was given a small hammer to knock out any gold teeth in the mouths of the dead. The scraps of food he found in the pockets of the dead helped him stay alive.

Wait a minute!  Benny ate food found in the POCKETS of the dead?  No, no, no!  The Jews were marched into an UNDRESSING ROOM and told to take off all their clothes before proceeding into the gas chamber. Benny’s story indicates that he was working in the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp which did not have an undressing room.  Filip Mueller, one of the Commandos who worked in the main camp gas chamber, wrote that he ate some cheese that he found in the gas chamber in the main camp.

Besides that, the food in the pockets of the dead, in the gas chamber, would have been saturated with Zyklon-B gas and anyone who ate the food would have died a horrible death.

Benny Hochman’s obituary continues with this quote:

Nazis moved those left at Auschwitz to Buchenwald in 1944. About 80 percent died on the monthlong trip. Hochman worked to avoid death, but eventually the five years he’d spent fighting for his life started to take their toll.

He was lying on the ground, near death when the 926th Signal Battalion of the American Army arrived.

Benny can be excused for not knowing that the 926th Signal Battalion is not credited with being liberators of Buchenwald, since he was near death at the time.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a list of Army units which liberated the camps.  I checked on the 926th Signal Battalion to make sure and found this:  http://www.ushmm.org/shared/search/main.php?q__typ=&q=926th+Signal+Battalion&Submit=

Truck loads of American soldiers were brought to see Buchenwald after the camp was liberated

Truck loads of American soldiers were brought to see Buchenwald after the camp was liberated

After the Buchenwald camp was liberated by the prisoners themselves on April 11, 1945, the US Army brought as many soldiers as they could to see the exhibits that had been put up by the survivors.  Benny may have been lying on the ground, near death, days after the Buchenwald camp was liberated, when a soldier from the 926th Signal Battalion found him.

I also found another obituary for Benny Hochman.  It was written by Klark Byrd in the Dickinson Press; you can read it at http://www.thedickinsonpress.com/event/article/id/68954/

This quote is from the article written by Klark Byrd:

After the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, Benny’s life was on a course for something terrible. Though he and his family weren’t Jewish, his brother was educated and a member of the Polish army. For those reasons, he was targeted by the Gestapo in 1940. When they came for his brother, they took Benny too.

Why would the Gestapo be after a member of the “Polish army”?  Could it be that his brother was in an army of partisans who were fighting illegally, not as soldiers on a battlefield?  Was his brother in the “Polish Home Army,” which fought as Resistance fighters, not as soldiers?

The quote from Klark Byrd’s article continues:

His autobiography, “From Hell to Here,” states that “On April 14, 1945, a starving emaciated Polish lad lay in the gutter near the electrically charged perimeter fence of Buchenwald Concentration Camp with guns of war sounding in the distance.”

An American soldier found him. He offered Benny a piece of hard candy. Benny was too weak to take it. The soldier scooped him up and took him to an Army hospital to recuperate.

Benny was found, lying in a gutter, on April 14, 1945 after the Buchenwald camp had been liberated on April 11, 1945.  Had he been lying there in the gutter for 3 days before he was found?

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