Scrapbookpages Blog

January 10, 2016

Letter written by Holocaust victim moments before she entered the gas chamber

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:38 am

There is a common mistaken perception that the German people are cruel and hateful.  After all, they did kill 6 million Jews — for no reason at all.

But in my personal experience, I have always found the German people to be extremely nice and always helpful.  To give you an idea, I have traveled extensively in Germany, in my old age, and I never once had to throw my suitcase up on a train.  The person behind me, man or woman, always grabbed my suitcase and threw it onto the train for me. And this was not a heavy suitcase; I could have handled it myself, in case the person behind me was not German.

This morning, I read a news story about a woman who was gassed at Auschwitz, but the Nazis were kind enough to allow her to write a letter to her family, just before she boarded a truck that would take her to the gas chamber.  That letter survived the war.

To me, this proves that the Germans are nice people, always considerate and helpful.

You can read the story of the letter in this news article:

http://www.wpbf.com/news/holocaust-letter-presented-to-us-holocaust-memorial-museum/37300788

Begin quote:

PALM BEACH, Fla. —Frank Grunwald is a Holocaust survivor. He was separated from his family when he was 12 years old.

Grunwald and his father survived. His older brother and his mother were never to be seen or heard from again.

Grunwald always wondered what happened to his mother, and it wasn’t until his father passed away years later that he discovered a letter that explained it all. He found a note written on July 11, 1944, hours before she [his mother] was killed in a gas chamber.

Grunwald wanted the letter to be preserved, so he is donating it to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

At the Temple Emanu-El of Palm Beach on Wednesday night, museum officials accepted the letter and shared the story of Grunwald.

End quote from news article

In the video that is included with the news article, a woman explains that the Nazis allowed the Jews to “keep pencil and paper” in case the Red Cross made an inspection of the camp.

So it was only because of the Red Cross that this woman was able to write a letter while she was on the truck taking her to the gas chamber.

Wait a minute! Where was this “gas chamber” located?

Was it at the far end of the the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, over a mile from the entrance to the camp?

SaunaBldg.jpg

The building called “the central sauna” is shown in the photo above

Was this woman actually on a truck that was taking her to the Sauna for a shower.  The Sauna building, where the clothing was disinfected and incoming prisoners were given a shower, was at the far end of the camp, about a mile from the entrance gate into the camp.

This woman might have been confused about where the truck was taking her.  Her 12 year old daughter was not being taken on this same truck.  This should have alerted the woman to the possibility that she was not on her way to the gas chamber.  The daughter survived, although the alleged policy of the Nazis was to gas everyone under the age of 15.

October 17, 2015

How come Nazi war criminal Albert Speer got off with a slap on the wrist?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:41 am

Today, I am answering a question, posed in a comment on my blog, with a new post.

One of the regular readers of my blog asked this question:

“How come Speer got off with basically a slap on the wrist? Compared with the other top dogs in the company, that’s what it seemed like to me.”

I previously blogged about Albert Speer, three years ago, on this blog post:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/did-albert-speer-really-design-the-nazi-gas-chambers/

This quote is from that blog post:

Way back in 1997, I purchased and read the book entitled Inside the Third Reich, Memoirs by Albert Speer in preparation for a trip to Germany during which I planned to visit Nuremberg and then the Dachau concentration camp.

I got out the book and decided to look through it to find out if Albert Speer really acknowledged that he had designed the Nazi gas chambers. Fortunately, his book has an extensive index, which I consulted before reading the book again. The book is 526 pages long, so Thank God, he included an index.

In checking the index of Speer’s Memoirs, I found the term “Gas warfare,” but not “gas chambers,” nor any other reference to gassing. In reading Speer’s book, back in 1997, I was struck by the fact that he was very proud of the structures that he had designed. Did he leave out any mention of the gas chambers in his Memoirs because he was not proud of designing them?

Near the end of his book, on page 523, Speer admitted his guilt as a war criminal. This quote is from Speer’s Memoirs:

Begin quote:

I had participated in a war, which as we of the intimate circle should never have doubted, was aimed at world domination. What is more, by my abilities and my energies, I had prolonged that war by many months. I had assented to having the globe of the world crown that domed hall which was to be the symbol of the new Berlin. Nor was it only symbolically that Hitler dreamed of possessing the globe. It was part of his dream to subjugate other nations. France, I had heard him say many times, was to be reduced to the status of a small nation. Belgium, Holland, even Burgundy, were to be incorporated into his Reich. The national life of the Poles and the Soviet Russians was to be extinguished; they were to made into helot peoples. Nor, for one who wanted to listen, had Hitler concealed his intention to exterminate the Jewish people. In his speech of January 30, 1939, he openly stated as much. Although I never actually agreed with Hitler on these questions, I had nevertheless designed the buildings and produced the weapons that served his ends.

End quote

Albert Speer

Albert Speer

September 25, 2015

British pupils enjoy life overseas, after which they hear a Holocaust survivor speak

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:04 am

This morning, I read a news article here which started off with this quote:

During activities week in July, 41 pupils from Woldgate School’s Years Eight and Nine, accompanied by five staff, visited Cantabria in the North of Spain.

We arrived on Monday afternoon and visited the village of Santillana where we stayed for four nights.

Eventually the article disintegrated into this quote:

Visiting speaker: Arek Hersh

Once again, the History department was privileged to welcome Arek Hersh to Woldgate [school].

Arek is a holocaust survivor and for several years now he has come into school to talk to our year nine pupils following their study of Hitler’s Germany and the Holocaust.

Arek was born and lived in Poland until he was 11 years old. Before the age of 15, he had lived through two ghettos and four concentration camps.

He narrowly escaped the gas chambers of Auschwitz, before eventually being freed and brought to England at the end of the war.

His story is very moving and inspiring and it has been published in a book entitled, A detail of History. This title has been deliberately chosen to echo the words of those who have sought to deny or dismiss the events of the Holocaust.

A film of his life, Arek, was shown to Year Nine pupils, after which they were encouraged to ask him questions. This year the event went especially well.

Pupils were attentive throughout the film and the questions they put to Arek were exceptional. At the end many of them came to shake his hand and buy his book, the proceeds of which go to continuing Holocaust education.

End quote

Do any of these students ever ask Arek how he managed to escape the gas chambers — when he was under the age of 15? This man’s whole life is Holocaust denial. As everyone knows, children under the age of 15 were sent immediately to the gas chamber when they arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

I don’t know if Arek mentioned the name of the SS man who was doing the selections when he went through the line, but it had to be Dr. Mengele, the SS man who was always whistling tunes from classical music and not paying attention to the children that he was letting through, instead of waving them to the gas chamber line, as he was supposed to do.

September 9, 2015

Frank Misa Grunwald, who survived a death march and 5 death camps, is still giving lectures on the Holocaust

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:19 am
Frank Misa Grunwald as a young child

Frank Misa Grunwald as a young child

Around a year ago, I blogged about Frank Misa Grunwald, who is a regular on the lecture circuit, telling young students about his story of surviving several death camps and the gas chamber.

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/documentary-about-a-child-suvivor-of-5-nazi-camps-nominated-for-an-emmy/

Frank Grunwald is still out on the lecture circuit educating young students about the Holocaust.  You can read about him in the news here.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote:

A presentation, “Escaping the Auschwitz Gas Chamber,” with special guest survivor Frank Misa Grunwald, will take place at CANDLES at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Frank Grunwald was 6-years-old when German troops invaded Czechoslovakia in March 1939. In the summer of 1942, he and his family were deported to the Terezin ghetto and in December 1943 to Auschwitz. At the last minute, he was pulled from the line leading to the gas chamber and placed with older children to work sorting the clothes of new arrivals. He survived a death march and four other concentration camps before U.S. soldiers liberated him in May 1945.

[…]

Frank’s story was documented in the award-winning 2012 film. Misa’s Fugue.

End quote

August 26, 2015

Did Fred Leuchter actually go to Auschwitz?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:25 am
Fred Leuchter, the man who climbed down into a gas chamber at Auschwitz

Fred Leuchter, the man who climbed down into a gas chamber at Auschwitz

One of the new readers of my blog made a comment in which he claimed that Fred Leuchter never even went to Auschwitz, much less climbed down into a gas chamber.

Fred Leuchter climbing out of the gas chamber No. 2 at Auschwitz

Fred Leuchter climbing out of the gas chamber No. 2 at Auschwitz

Fred Leuchter has been demonized and driven out of polite society because he climbed down into a gas chamber, but claimed that it was not a gas chamber.

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.
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