Scrapbookpages Blog

March 28, 2014

Holocaust survivor in Australia speaks out against changes in free speech laws

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

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/545399/20140328/racial-discrimination-act-tony-abbott-holocaust-moshe.htm#.UzWQ4V7Y1Ph

Holocaust Survivor Moshe Fiszman pleads [with Australia's] leader to abandon his proposed changes [in the Free Speech law], saying that he would be taking away [the Jew's] freedom in doing so.

[...]

[Australian Prime Minister] Mr Abbott claimed that the changes are necessary to remove the restrictions on “free speech,” and that they also include strong prohibitions on racial vilification.

Mr Fiszman, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor who spent the Second World War in Nazi concentration camps, begged to differ.

He penned an open letter to the PM, asking him to abandon his plans to change the RDA [Racial Discrimination Act].

[Moshe Fiszman said] “You might think you are increasing freedom, but let me assure you that you will be taking away the freedom of communities such as mine [the Jewish community]. The freedom to live without hatred and without lies being told about us [the Jews],” he wrote.

“That is why every single ethnic community is against this change. Some 39 communities have protested against it. Australia is a beautiful country because, like the United States, we are all migrants – not minorities. But if this law gets up, we will be made to feel like minorities.

“You might think you are increasing freedom, but this change will hurt disadvantages, underprivileged groups, like the Aborigines who regularly visit the Jewish Holocaust Museum.”

He continued, “I came to this country because it was the furthest away from Europe I could get. Also, I had four years behind bars as a refugee after the war because nobody wanted me, so I had plenty of time to check out what Australia was made of. I researched its constitution and so forth, and I liked it.

[...]

“What do they want to change this law for? If you start playing around with it, where will it end up? Who is it giving the freedom to? They want the right-wing loonies to have a free rein so they can write and say whatever they like and get away with it scot-free. Holocaust deniers like the Adelaide Institute.”

Mr Fiszman was the only member of his family to survive after suffering in various Nazi concentration camps, including the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dachau.

“This is my opinion as a survivor, the opinion of a man who went through living hell for five-and-a-half years, on death row for 24 hours a day. I am dead against it. Don’t let them touch the freedom of the people in the country.

After I read the news article, I did some  research on Moshe Fiszman and found a website which gives the following information about Moshe, obtained in an interview:

http://www.arturszulc.se/anslagstavlan/mellan-himmel-jord/a-interview-with-moshe-fiszman-holocaust-survivor

The following information is from the website, cited above:

What happened to your family? And where you put into a camp? What camp?

In August 1942 the Jewish population (including my family of five people) nearly 24 000 people men, woman, children, babies, pregnant woman, old people, were cramped in cattle trucks over 100 per truck, no food, water or toilet, and what we found out later, taken to a place called Treblinka, and gassed to death, their bodies burned, and the ashes used as fertilizer.

3 000 Jews, including myself, were given striped clothing, and were declared as prisoners of the K/Z. Majdanek.

In July 1944 we were death marched to Tomaszow Mazowiecki for six days. From there to Auschwitz- Birkenau were I was selected to live a while longer. There after I was taken to Natzweiler-Struthof (my prisoner number 25627), from there to Vaihingen am Enz, were we left a mass grave of  1600 prisoners. In March 1945 marched to Dachau (my prisoner number 150321), and finally all Jewish prisoners marched in to the Austrian Alps and by miracle freed.

I survived. What actually what did I survive? I had no family, no home and no country to go back to, I was alone in a cursed country.

You spent almost two years in Majdanek. How does one survive such an ordeal? What kept you going?

Hope.
And the will not to allow the savages to turn out the light on the Jewish people and their history.

[...]

You managed to survive. What happened after the War? How did you end up in Australia?

I was lucky, for five and a half years of starvation and maltreatment, to be found by a front line unit of the 7th U S Army in the mountains of Austria. Lived as a refuge for four years in UNNRA camps, finally Australia was ready to accept me as a migrant.

From this interview, and Moshe’s description of his survival in the Holocaust, we learn that Moshe Fiszman is the living proof of what Holocaust deniers claim.

1. Moshe Fiszman was sent to Treblinka, a death camp, where he was not gassed in any of the 10 gas chambers, but was sent on to the Majdanek death camp, where it was initially reported that there were 5 gas chambers.

2. Next Moshe was sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, where he was again not gassed in any of the alleged 5 gas chambers.

3. From Auschwitz, Moshe was sent to the Natzweiler-Struthof camp, which was mostly a camp for Resistance Fighters, although it had the obligatory gas chamber.  (Was Moshe sent to Natzweiler because he was fighting in the Polish Home Army of illegal combatants?)

4. When the Natzweiler-Struthof camp was abandoned, Moshe was sent to Dachau, which allegedly had a gas chamber, but Moshe was again not gassed. He was sent to a sub-camp of Dachau, called Mittenwald.

5.  After the American Seventh Army liberated the main Dachau camp, they went on to liberate the Mittenwald camp.  After the camp was liberated, it became a Displaced Persons camp, where Moshe stayed on until he went to Australia.

December 24, 2013

Did the Nazis plant birch trees at Auschwitz to cover up their crimes?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 6:30 am
Birch trees at Auschwitz-Birkenau, 2005

Birch trees at Auschwitz-Birkenau, 2005

The subject, of the birch trees at Auschwitz-Birkenau, came up in a comment by a regular reader of my blog.  I am answering his comment in my new post today.

The reader’s comment is quoted below:

I once had some literature that I got from Auschwitz in 1991 which unfortunately I seem to have mislaid, but anyway, it stated that the Nazis planted birch trees around Birkenau because they grew quickly and would cover up their crimes.

But Birkenau is named after the birch trees, surely. And of course they are visible in photos. They would not name a camp after some trees and then plant the trees later, would they?

Birkenau might have been named after the birch trees, which appear to have been deliberately planted at the western end of the Auschwitz II camp, which is now called Auschwitz-Birkenau. In the background of the photo above, you can see the water treatment plant, built with bricks.  The birch trees do not hide anything.

The German word Birken means birches in English. The camp was most likely named after the birch trees.

When I visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in 2005, there was a sign outside the gatehouse, which said that the seven villages of Brzezinka, Babice, Broszkowice, Rajsk, Plawy, Harmeze, and Brzeszcze-Budy were torn down to provide space for the 425-acre Birkenau camp.

Google Translate gives the German translation of Brzezinka as Birkenau but I don’t know if the Polish word Brezzinka actually means Birkenau in German.

The birch trees are at the far end of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, and do not hide anything. The location and the placement of the trees suggests that they were deliberately planted, but not to hide anything.

Birch tree grove at western end of Auschwitz II camp

Birch tree grove at western end of Auschwitz II camp, aka Auschwitz-Birkenau

I took these photos of the birch trees at Auschwitz-Birkenau, not because I thought that the trees were attractive, but because I was disappointed in the famous birch trees at Birkenau, which are not nearly as beautiful as the birch trees in California.

Hungarian Jews waiting to be gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Hungarian Jews waiting to be gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The Jews, shown in the photo above, are looking toward the Sauna which is across the road in front of them.  The Sauna had a shower room and disinfection chambers to kill lice in clothing in steam chambers.  The photo above is from the Auschwitz Album, a book of photos taken by the SS men at Auschwitz. However, this photo is claimed by Holocaustians to show the Jews waiting for the gas chambers in Krema IV and Krema V which are behind them.

Crematorium IV which was blown up by the prisoners

Crematorium IV which was blown up by the prisoners

The photograph above shows the gas chamber building known as Crematorium IV, or Krema IV, taken in the Summer of 1943 after it became operational. This building was blown up by Jewish inmates in a camp rebellion on October 7, 1944.

Notice the trees behind the Krema IV gas chamber, shown in the photo above.  These trees are hiding the building from the people outside the camp, but they appear to be full grown trees, that were there before Auschwitz-Birkenau was set up as a camp.

The Krema IV gas chamber, disguised as a shower room, was located above ground in the wing of the building which is to the left in the picture. Note that the roof line of the gas chamber is lower than the roof of the main part of the building. Zyklon-B poison gas pellets were thrown into the fake shower room through windows on the outside wall of the gas chamber.

Krema IV was located just north of the clothing warehouses which were set on fire by the Germans when they abandoned the camp on January 18, 1945.

As for deliberately planting trees to hide evidence, take a look at the photo below, which shows the International Monument at the end of the railroad tracks that were extended inside the camp in May 1944.

Trees behind the International Monument at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Trees behind the International Monument at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The International Monument, shown in the photo above, was built on top of a road that went north, from the end of the main road at the western end of the camp, to the Sauna where incoming prisoners took a shower and received clean clothes that had been disinfected with steam.  On the other side of this road, beyond the monument, was farmland where Polish civilians could see everything going on inside the camp, before these trees were planted, and the road was covered by this grotesque monument.

Visitors to the camp today do not realize that the main camp road did not end at the Krema II and Krema III gas chambers.  The prisoners passed the two crematoria, then turned to the right, onto the road that is now covered by the International Monument, and continued on to the Sauna, where they took a shower.

Prisoners walking west toward the road where the International Monument now stands

Prisoners walking west toward the road where the International Monument now stands

The prisoners in the photo above are looking toward the photographer who is standing in front of Krema II.  They are passing Krema III, which is in the background. Notice that there are babies and young children in this group, and others who are too old to work, but they are not heading into the gas chambers, which were allegedly located in the crematoria.  They are headed toward the intersection of the main camp road and another road that leads to the Sauna.  That road is currently covered by the International Monument.

Hungarian Jews headed toward the Sauna at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Hungarian Jews headed toward the Sauna at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The photo above is from the Auschwitz Album, a book of photos, taken by the Germans, which also includes the previous photo of Jews walking past Krema III.  Notice the gate in the background on the far upper right hand side.  This gate opens into the enclosure around the part of the camp where the Sauna is located.

My 2005 photo of the gate into the section where the Sauna is located is shown below.

Gate, on the right hand side opens into the section where the Sauna is located

Gate, on the right hand side opens into the section where the Sauna is located

May 4, 2013

A Holocaust picture book for 5th graders is desperately needed

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:00 am

American children begin their Holocaust education in the 5th grade.  Typically, a Holocaust survivor comes into a 5th grade classroom and tells the gullible children a story about how he or she escaped the gas chamber at Auschwitz, or how they survived the gas chamber selections at Auschwitz, and then escaped the gas chamber at Bergen-Belsen the day before the camp was liberated.

What is needed is a picture book so that the children can visualize a gas chamber.

A real gas chamber in Jefferson City, MO that was used for execution

A real gas chamber in Jefferson City, MO that was used for execution

A man sitting inside a real gas chamber

A man sitting inside a real gas chamber

Holocaust revisionist Germar Rudolf inside a disinfection chamber at Auschwitz

Holocaust revisionist Germar Rudolf inside a disinfection chamber at Auschwitz that has blue stains on the wall

Alleged gas chamber at Auschwitz has no blue stains on the walls

Alleged gas chamber at Auschwitz has no blue Zyklon-B stains on the walls

Blue stains on the outside wall of an Auschwitz-Birkenau disinfection building

Blue Zyklon-B stains on the outside wall of an Auschwitz-Birkenau disinfection building

Inside the ruins of a gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau which has no stains

Inside the ruins of a gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau that has no  heavy blue stains from Zyklon-B use

Inside of Auschwitz-Birkenau alleged gas chamber shows no Zyklon-B stains

Inside of Auschwitz-Birkenau alleged gas chamber shows no heavy Zyklon-B stains

The 5th grade students should be told that men risked a long prison sentence to go inside the ruins of the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau to take samples from the walls and test these samples to show that there was no evidence that Zyklon-B had been used in these alleged gas chambers to kill millions of Jews.

Gas chamber expert Fred Leuchter climbed down into allege gas chamber at Birkenau

Gas chamber expert Fred Leuchter climbed down into alleged gas chamber at Birkenau and found no evidence of gassing

After the children have been prepared, by looking at a picture book of the alleged Auschwitz gas chambers, they can then make up their minds about the truth of the stories told by the survivors.  At least, the children should be prepared to ask intelligent questions of the survivors who claim that they escaped the Auschwitz gas chamber.

Another revisionist who climbed down into the alleged gas chamber in Krema II at Birkenau

Another revisionist who climbed down into the alleged gas chamber in Krema II at Birkenau

You can read a typical story here of a Holocaust survivor, who survived, while millions of others were sent to the gas chambers at Auschwitz. She recently spoke to High School students in Wichita, Kansas who gave her a standing ovation, but apparently asked no questions.  This quote is from her story:

One by one, and in groups, so many other children she knew in the Terezin [Theresienstadt] camp got sent off to the gas chambers, to places like Auschwitz.

Why didn’t one of the students ask her why the Nazis left witnesses behind at Theresienstadt, including young children who would live to be 82 years old, and tell the world about the Auschwitz gas chambers 68 years later?

March 13, 2013

Jews were reduced to ashes within a half-hour of their arrival at the Sobibór extermination camp

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 2:27 pm

Philip Bialowitz is one of the few survivors of the Sobibór extermination camp, who is still living.  He was one of the prisoners who escaped from the camp, “running through machine gun fire and minefields,” according to this article in a Florida newspaper on March 7, 2013.

This quote is from the news article:

“…We were reduced to ashes within a half-hour of our arrival,” Bialowitz said about his fellow prisoners at Sobibór, a Nazi prison camp. [...]

It was not a labor camp — it was an extermination camp. Jews from across Europe were brought in by train and almost immediately gassed and then burned in mass cremations. The Jewish Virtual Library estimates 250,000 Jews were murdered at Sobibór in 18 months.”

The photo below shows the location at Sobibór where a brick building with gas chambers once stood. A large block of stone represents the gas chambers in two buildings at Sobibór, which were torn down long ago. Survivors of Sobibór do not agree on the number or size of the gas chambers. The victims were killed with carbon monoxide from the exhaust of engines taken from captured Soviet tanks, which were stored in in the camp. There is also disagreement among Holocaustians on whether these were diesel engines or gasoline engines.

Monuments at Sobibór where the gas  chambers were located Photo Credit:  Alan Collins

Monuments at Sobibór where the gas chambers were once located Photo Credit: Alan Collins

This quote is from the news article:

Now a small memorial sits in a dense forest at Sobibór. Bialowitz visits every year.

“I stand on the ashes of 250,000 Jews, in the middle of a forest, hidden from the conscience of the world.”

The photo below shows another view of the red stone sculpture, which represents a woman, looking up at the sky, holding a small child in her arms. In the background can be seen the huge mound of ashes that is located in the former camp. These are the ashes of the 250,000 Jews who were gassed and burned at Sobibór.

Sobibor Monument with ashes in the background Photo Credit: Alan Collins

Sobibor Monument with ashes in the background Photo Credit: Alan Collins

Ashes of the Jews who were gassed and burned at Sobibor Photo Credit: Alan Collins

Ashes of the Jews who were gassed and burned at Sobibor Photo Credit: Alan Collins

The photo above shows a huge mound of ashes and bone fragments surrounded by a stone wall. In front of the wall is a glass display case which contains a small amount of ashes and bone. There is also a display of ashes and bone fragments in the Museum at Sobibór.

Hopefully, Philip Bialowitz does not stand on this mound of ashes once a year when he goes back to visit the former camp.

Contrary to Biolowitz’s claim that the Jews were turned into ashes within a half hour of arrival, most Holocaust historians say that the bodies of the Jews who were gassed at Sobibór were first buried and then exhumed and burned.  This same procedure was followed at the Belzec, Treblinka and Chelmno extermination camps where the bodies were first buried and then exhumed and burned.

In an attempt to destroy all the evidence, the ashes of the victims at Chelmno were hauled away secretly during the night by the SS men and taken to another town where they were dumped into a river.

The ashes at Treblinka and Belzec were buried to destroy the evidence. Only at Sobibór were the ashes of the victims left behind as incriminating evidence.

There is a similar mound of ashes at the Memorial Site of the Majdanek camp, where the ashes of 18,000 Jews, who were shot on  November 3, 1943, have been placed under a dome, which is shown in the photo below.

Ashes of 18,000 Jews who were shot at the Majdanek camp in 1943  Photo Credit: Simon Robertson

Ashes of 18,000 Jews who were shot at Majdanek in 1943 Photo Credit: Simon Robertson

The Sobibór camp was quite small; it was only 400 meters wide and 600 meters long. The entire camp was enclosed by a barbed wire fence that was three meters high. On three sides of the camp was a mine field, intended to keep anyone from approaching the camp. The watch towers were manned by Ukrainian SS guards who had been conscripted from captured soldiers in the Soviet Army to assist the 30 German SS men who were the administrators of the camp.

The Jews arrived on trains which stopped at the ramp across from the Sobibór station, or in trucks from nearby Polish villages. Most of the Jews were transported in cattle cars, but the 34,000 Dutch Jews who were sent to Sobibór arrived in passenger trains, according to Toivi Blatt, one of the prisoners who was chosen to be one of the helpers at Sobibór.

At the entrance to the camp, the victims were instructed to deposit their hand baggage and purses before proceeding along the path, called the “Himmelfahrtstrasse” (Street to heaven), which led to the spot where the hair was cut from the heads of the women, and then on to the gas chambers disguised as showers. According to Toivi Blatt, all documents, photos and personal items were removed from the confiscated baggage and anything that could not be recycled to send to Germany was burned in open fires that lit up the night sky.

The Sobibór camp was on the eastern edge of German-occupied Poland, five kilometers west of the Bug river. The Bug river was as far as trains from western Europe could go without changing the wheels to fit the train tracks in the Soviet Union, which were a different gauge. On the other side of the Bug river from Sobibór was Ukraine, which had belonged to the Soviet Union until it was taken by the Germans shortly after their invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.

The unsuspecting Jews who arrived at Sobibór were told that they would be sent to work camps in Ukraine after they had taken a shower, but instead, the Jews were immediately killed in gas chambers disguised as shower rooms.

Sobibór was one of the three Aktion Reinhard camps, which were set up after the end of the Wannsee Conference, which was held, starting on January 20, 1942, to plan “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question in Europe.”

The Nazis claimed that the Aktion Reinhard camps were transit camps for the “evacuation of the Jews to the East,” a euphemism for the genocide of the Jews. Unlike the death camps at Auschwitz and Majdanek, the three Aktion Reinhard camps did not have ovens to cremate the bodies. The Jews were not registered upon arrival at the Aktion Reinhard camps and no death records were kept.

The head of Aktion Reinhard (Operation Reinhard) was SS-Brigadeführer Odilio Globocnik, who had previously been the Gauleiter of Vienna, Austria. Unfortunately, Globocnik and Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler both committed suicide after being captured by the British, so we will never know their version of what happened.

At the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal in 1946, documents were introduced which showed an exchange of letters in 1943 between Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the head of all the concentration camps, and Richard Glücks, the Inspector of the Concentration Camps, in which Glücks suggested that Sobibór be converted into a concentration camp. In a letter dated 5 July 1943, Himmler rejected this idea. This indicates that Sobibór was not a concentration camp, but rather a camp that was not part of the Nazi concentration camp system.

The three Aktion Reinhard camps were all in remote locations, but “each site was on a railroad line linking it with hundreds of towns and villages whose Jewish communities were now trapped and starving” in the spring of 1942, according to Martin Gilbert’s book entitled The Holocaust. Sobibór was linked by rail with many large Jewish communities, including Lublin, Wlodawa and Chelm. Jews were also brought from the Theresienstadt ghetto, located in what is now the Czech Republic, and from the Netherlands, to be gassed at Sobibór.

Deportations to Sobibór began in mid April 1942 with transports from the town of Zamosc in Poland, according to Holocaust historian Martin Gilbert. The Jews from the Lublin ghetto were also sent to Sobibór to be gassed, although there were several gas chambers at Majdanek just outside the city of Lublin.

During the first phase of the extermination of the Jews at Sobibór, which lasted until July 1942, an estimated 100,000 Jews were gassed to death. Their bodies were buried in mass graves, then dug up later and burned on pyres. During the next phase, the bodies were burned immediately, according to Toivi Blatt, one of the few survivors of Sobibór. At the age of 15, Blatt had been selected to work in sorting the clothing in the camp. Philip Bialowitz was also selected to work in sorting the possessions of the Jews who arrived at the camp.

This quote is from the news article about Philip Bialowitz:

Bialowitz was a teenager when he arrived with what remained of his family at the camp on the outskirts of the village of Sobibór in Poland. Prisoners who had a trade deemed useful by the guards were spared, to be used as slaves in the camp. Bialowitz’s brother was a pharmacist, and he told the guards Bialowitz was his assistant. The brothers were saved; the rest of the family was not.

Bialowitz said goodbye to his sisters and niece.

“My niece was crying as she hugged me,” Bialowitz said. “She knew she was going to die. At 7 years old, she knew.”

Upon arriving at the camp, prisoners were stripped of their clothes and all their belongings. Bialowitz was forced to search through their belongings, giving anything of value to the guards and burning all documents.

He said he tried to commit to memory the faces from thousands of families’ photographs before torching them.

Under constant threat of death, he had to cut the hair of women stripped naked on their last stop before the gas chambers. He was forbidden to utter a word of comfort to them.

During World War II, and for years afterward, the Sobibór camp was virtually unknown. William Shirer did not even mention it in his monumental 1147-page book entitled The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It was not until the release of a 1987 TV movie, Escape from Sobibor, based on a book with the same name, that the public knew of this remote spot where 250,000 Jews lost their lives. The movie tells the story of the revolt during which around 300 prisoners escaped; no more than 50 of them survived to the end of the war. Philip Bialowitz was one of the prisoners who escaped and survived.

This quote is from the news article about Philip Bialowitz:

Bialowitz said it is of the utmost importance the story be retold over and over, so the world might finally learn the lessons it failed to learn from Adolf Hitler’s reign. Referring to the Killing Fields of Cambodia and the genocide in Darfur, Bialowitz said, “The world is profoundly broken.”

The father of five and grandfather of 15 said his faith was tested but is stronger than ever.

“There are good people and evil people,” he said. “God didn’t make the Holocaust happen.”

Bialowitz has testified at several war trials and the subsequent sentencing of some of the Gestapo gives him little satisfaction. He has not forgiven them.

“I do not condemn the Germans, only the perpetrators, and the punishment does not fit their crimes.”

On the day of his escape 70 years ago, a teenage Bialowitz made a promise to the leaders of the successful revolt — to tell the world about Sobibór.

You can read the official history of the Sobibór at this website.

You can read here about how some of the Jews were saved because they were sent to Siberia by Stalin.

March 9, 2013

Jews from the Netherlands were killed in the Sachsenhausen gas chamber… who knew?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:32 am

The Orange County Register online newspaper has an article here, from which I am quoting:

Eighth-grader Kaitlyn Pham thought she knew the history of the Holocaust because of books she studied in school.

But it wasn’t until the 12-year-old heard the firsthand account of Ursula Levy that Pham truly began to understand the strength and courage it took to live through one of the largest atrocities in history.

Pham chronicled in an essay how a young Levy, now 77, and her family were forced from their small Netherlands town and imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The family lived in constant fear of the dreaded gas chambers. In all that time, Levy used music to help her cope, until she was eventually freed.

Jews from the Netherlands were sent to Sachsenhausen?  And they lived in constant fear of the “gas chambers” (plural)? Yet they were allowed to play music?  And Levy was “eventually freed?”  So she was not marched out of Sachsenhausen before the liberators arrived?  You can read about the prisoners being marched out of the Sachsenhausen camp on my website here.

The Sachsenhausen camp was mainly a concentration camp for political prisoners, not a death camp for Jews.  I previously blogged about the Sachsenhausen camp here.

The lone gas chamber at Sachsenhausen was quite small, as shown in the photo of the ruins below.  Note the floor drain in the middle of the gas chamber.  What kept the poison gas from going down the drain and poisoning everyone in the whole camp?

The ruins of the Sachsenhausen gas chamber

The ruins of the Sachsenhausen gas chamber

Old photo of the Sachsenhausen gas chamber shows a window

Old photo of the Sachsenhausen gas chamber shows a window

Note that the Sachsenhausen gas chamber, as shown in the photo above, was disguised as a shower room and had glass windows on two of the walls.

I didn’t know that Jewish families were sent directly from small towns to Sachsenhausen to be gassed, so I checked it out on Wikipedia.

This quote is from Wikipedia:

During the first year of the occupation of the Netherlands, Jews were forced to register with the authorities and were banned from certain occupations. Starting in January 1942, some Dutch Jews were forced to move to Amsterdam; others were directly deported to Westerbork, a concentration camp near the small village of Hooghalen which had been founded in 1939 by the Dutch government to give shelter to Jews fleeing Nazi persecution, but would fulfill the function of a transit camp to the Nazi death camps in Middle and Eastern Europe during World War II.

All non-Dutch Jews were also sent to Westerbork. In addition, over 15,000 Jews were sent to labour camps. Deportations of Jews from the Netherlands to Poland and Germany began on 15 June 1942 and ended on 13 September 1944. Ultimately some 101,000 Jews were deported in 98 transports from Westerbork to Auschwitz (57,800; 65 transports), Sobibor (34,313; 19 transports), Bergen-Belsen (3,724; 8 transports) and Theresienstadt (4,466; 6 transports), where most of them were murdered. Another 6,000 Jews were deported from other locations (like Vught) in the Netherlands to concentration camps in Germany, Poland and Austria (like Mauthausen). Only 5,200 survived. The Dutch underground hid an estimated number of Jews of some 25,000–30,000; eventually, an estimated 16,500 Jews managed to survive the war by hiding.

Some 7,000 to 8,000 survived by fleeing to countries like Spain, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland, or by being married to non-Jews (which saved them from deportation and possible death). At the same time, there was substantial collaboration from the Dutch population including the Amsterdam city administration, the Dutch municipal police, and Dutch railway workers who all helped to round up and deport Jews.

Is there any proof that there was a gas chamber at Sachsenhausen?  Yes, it was proved at a trial held by the Soviet Union after the war.

The Soviet Union Military Tribunal proceedings against Sachsenhausen Commandant Anton Kaindl and 15 others associated with the Sachsenhausen concentration camp began on October 23, 1947 in the Berlin Pankow city hall. This was the first time that the Soviets had allowed the press and the public to attend one of their Military Tribunal proceedings and this event soon became known in the press as “the Berlin trial.”

On the second day of the proceedings, a film made in 1946 by the Soviets, entitled “Sachsenhausen Death Camp,” was shown in the courtroom. Similar to the film made by the Americans at Dachau, the Sachsenhausen movie showed how poison gas was introduced into the gas chamber through large pipes with control wheels. The Sachsenhausen gas chamber was disguised as a shower room, just like the gas chamber at Dachau, and the pipes resembled water pipes going into a real shower room. Paul Sakowski was shown in the film, as he explained how the gas flowed through the pipes.

Paul Saskowski explains how poison gas came through water pipes

Paul Saskowski explains how poison gas came through water pipes into the Sachsenhausen gas chamber

Sakowski was a prisoner whose job was foreman of the crematorium at Sachsenhausen until 1943, when the gas chamber was built. The defendants were not charged with murdering Jews in the Sachsenhausen gas chamber, but rather with the gassing of Soviet Prisoners of War, since the Jews at Sachsenhausen had been transported to Poland, beginning in February 1942, before the gas chamber was built.

The Sachsenhausen gas chamber was located directly behind the shooting range, shown in the photo below.  Soviet POWs were shot at the shooting range, except for the ones who were killed in the gas chamber that was right next to the shooting range.

The place where Soviet POWs were shot at Sachsenhausen

The place where Soviet POWs were shot at Sachsenhausen

February 9, 2013

Tadeusz Borowski quoted in an article about the UN and Israel

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 12:20 pm

This morning, I read an article here, written by William A. Cook, entitled Neither Justice Nor Morality – Just Impunity From Crimes Against Humanity.  

The article begins with a quote from a book written by Tadeusz Borowski entitled This Way for the Gas Ladies and Gentlemen.  The book is a collection of short stories which were first published in 1948 under the title of one of the short stories.

The quote, which William A. Cook used in his article, is from the short story, which is entitled The January Offensive.  This short story begins on page 164 of the book entitled This Way for the Gas Ladies and Gentlemen.

The short story that begins on page 164 starts with this quote:

I would like to tell you a short and moral story I heard from a certain Polish poet who during the first autumn after the war came to West Germany, accompanied by his wife and mistress…

In 1944, before the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp complex was liberated by Soviet soldiers, Borowski had been transported to Dachau; he was liberated by American soldiers at the Allach subcamp of Dachau. Borowski had been a concentration camp prisoner between 1943 and 1945, first at Auschwitz and later at Dachau.  Borowski was a political prisoner; he had been arrested because he was a Communist, who opposed the Nazis.

This quote is from Borowski’s  short story entitled The January Offensive:

After the liberation [of Dachau] we were carefully isolated from the surrounding communities and we vegetated throughout the beautiful, sunny month of May inside the dirty, D.D.T. sprayed barracks of Dachau. [....]

After two months of efforts, so macabre but so humorous that one day they deserve to be described separately, all four of us moved into a little room belonging to the Polish Committee in Munich… [....]

Later, thanks to our concentration camp documents, three of us were able —honestly and legally — to get a comfortable four-room apartment vacated by a Nazi who was temporarily  sent to stay with his relatives and who was told to leave some of his furniture and religious pictures for us.

At that time we longed to emigrate, and all four of us dreamed of nothing else but to escape as soon as possible from the ghetto of Europe to another continent where we could study in peace and get rich. [...]

The poet, together with his wife and mistress, rested for several days in the mahogany matrimonial bed belonging to our landlord, recovering from the hardships of his journey. [....]   The four of us became involved in a heated discussion with the poet…

It is at this point in the short story, on page 168, that the quote used by William A. Cook begins. The quote, from the short story The January Offensive is printed below:

The world is ruled by neither justice nor morality; crime is not punished nor virtue rewarded, one is forgotten as quickly as the other. The world is ruled by power and power is obtained with money. To work is senseless, because money cannot be obtained through work, but through exploitation of others. And if we cannot exploit as much as we wish, at least let us work as little as we can. Moral duty? We believe neither in the morality of man nor in the morality of systems.”
― Tadeusz BorowskiThis Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen

It would appear that William A. Cook got this quote from the website in the link above, which gives many quotes from Borowski’s books.  If you read the above quote, in its original context, in the book of short stories entitled This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen, you will see that this paragraph has quote marks around it. I interpreted the quote marks to mean that the words quoted above were the words of “the poet” who was living with Borowski in an apartment taken away from a Nazi after the war.

If you read Borowski’s entire book of short stories, as I did, you will observe that the words that were quoted by William A. Cook, were not the sentiments of Borowski.  No, the remarkable thing about Borowski’s book is that he wrote about the good life that he enjoyed at Auschwitz; he mentioned the concerts every Sunday at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the soccer games near the Krema III gas chamber, the boxing matches in the camp, the wedding that took place at Auschwitz, and the road to the Sauna where the prisoners took showers.

The most famous quote from Borowski’s stories is the quote from his short story entitled The People Who Walked On:

Between two throw-ins in a soccer game, right behind my back, three thousand people had been put to death.

In the above quote, Borowski was referring to a transport of 3,000 Hungarian Jews who had been put to death in the gas chambers at Birkenau in 1944.  “The People who walked on” were Jews who walked past the gas chambers and went on to the Sauna where they took a shower. I previously blogged about this here.

While Jews were being gassed to death, only yards from the soccer field, Borowski was playing soccer with a team of inmates against a team of SS men.  Borowski was a hospital orderly; he had taken a training course for this job at Auschwitz.  Did Borowski really believe that Jews were being gassed while he was playing soccer?

This quote, from the book This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen, is from the very start of the book, on page 29, after an introduction by someone else:

All of us walk around naked. The delousing is finally over, and our striped suits are back from the tanks of Cyclone B solution, an efficient killer of lice in clothing and of men in gas chambers.

The very first sentence in the book tells how Zyklon-B gas was used to disinfect the clothing of the prisoners as soon as they arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Borowski apparently knew, from the moment that he arrived at Auschwitz, that the same gas that was used to kill the lice that spreads typhus, was also used to kill people in homicidal gas chambers.   The Nazis went to a great deal of trouble to save the prisoners from dying of typhus, while at the same time gassing prisoners to death.  Does this make any sense?

November 27, 2012

the Nazis “had more people than they could kill” at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 7:54 am

The title of my blog post today comes from a quote by a British student who recently visited Auschwitz-Birkenau on a “Lessons From Auschwitz” trip organized by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

“The scale of the killings [at Auschwitz-Birkenau] was enormous.

“What shocked me was that they actually had more people here than they could kill. Thank God people survived and there was evidence so people could be brought to justice and tell the story, so something like this will never happen again.”

This student got it right:  Thank God that there were too many to kill, so there were people who survived and could “tell the story.”

One would think that gas chambers would be an efficient way to kill millions of people.  But no! In the inefficient killing system at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the undressing rooms were larger than the gas chamber rooms; it should have been the other way around.  Not all of the naked people in the undressing room could get into the gas chamber.  Yesterday, I blogged about Irene Zisblatt who got stuck in the door of the gas chamber because there were too many people in the undressing room, so that not everyone could get into the gas chamber.  With the best engineers in the world, the Germans could not figure this out in advance!

Blueprint of Krema II, one of the four gas chamber buildings at Birkenau

On the blueprint shown above, the undressing room is on the right. The gas chamber is perpendicular to the undressing room. Notice that the undressing room is three times the size of the gas chamber.  There is an exterior entrance on the north side of the building which opens into a Vorraum (vestibule) so that the SS men could enter the gas chamber, without going through the undressing room. In case of emergency, the gas chamber could be used as a bomb shelter for the SS men working in the area, since it had a gas-tight air raid shelter door.

But there were other ways to kill the Jews at Auschwitz, besides the gas chamber. Why didn’t the Nazis just start shooting the Jews at the end, when they finally realized that they were not going to be able to finish the job?  But no!  The stupid Nazis marched the survivors out of the camp before the Soviet liberators arrived.  Their plan was to march the Jews to death, but it didn’t work.  There were survivors of the “death march” who lived to tell their stories, even to this day.

After fooling the prisoners into thinking that they were going to be saved by marching out of the camp, the Jews were put on a train as soon as they got to the German border.  They could have killed them all by continuing the “death march” until everyone had died.

This quote is also from the article which you can read in full here:

Visiting the main camp, one is struck by the systemic nature of this genocide and the efficiency with which the Nazis carried out their “project”. Not only did they ruthlessly exploit the labour of those they did not kill immediately, but also they looted the belongings the prisoners brought with them, ripped out gold teeth from victims of the gas chamber and shaved off their hair for textile production. A huge pile of this hair is on display in the camp, a sight that brings some pupils to tears.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!  The Nazis were most certainly NOT efficient in their “project.”  Having a labor camp and an extermination camp in the same location was not efficient.  The three Operation Reinhard camps (Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor) were efficient; you don’t hear many survivors of these camps out on the lecture circuit telling about how they survived.

Ripping gold teeth out of the mouths of the corpses was NOT efficient.  They should have removed the gold teeth before sending the Jews to the gas chamber.  The hair should have been shaved BEFORE sending the Jews to the gas chamber, so that it would not have had to be cleaned.  Just think of the mess that was created by people dying while crammed together in a gas chamber that was too small.

This quote is from the article about the student trip:

Our final destination before flying back to London is Auschwitz II, also known as Birkenau, located just two miles away from the main camp. Birkenau was designated by SS leader Heinrich Himmler as the place of the “final solution of the Jewish question in Europe” – the main site where trains delivered people to the gas chambers from all over German occupied Europe between 1942 and 1944.

Do you see the problem here?  The Nazis waited until 1942 to begin a genocide!  And they stopped in November 1944 when the ovens were removed from the crematoria at Birkenau.

So now you know why there are so many Holocaust survivors.  They simply “had more people than they could kill” at Auschwitz-Birkenau. It would have been more efficient to have had many small gas chambers at many small camps where the Jews could have been killed locally, instead of having a 425 acre site at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Jews could get lost in the 300 barrack buildings, never be seen again by their family members.

October 26, 2012

Thomas Dalton writes “A Postcard from Treblinka” about what he learned on a visit to the camp

Filed under: Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:02 am

A big Thank You to the reader who wrote a comment on my blog and included a link to A Postcard from Treblinka by Thomas Dalton, the author of a book entitled Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at Both Sides. Dalton is a professor of humanities at an American university.  You can read his articles on Inconvenient History here.  If you are not familiar with Inconvenient History, stop reading this right now and go immediately to the inconvienthistory.com website.

Dalton includes a photo of the Treblinka Museum, which was not there when I visited the Treblinka Memorial Site in 1998. At the time of my visit, there was only a small tourist center, which is shown in my photo below.  The one car parked in front of the tourist center was my tour guide’s car. We were the only visitors there that day.

Tourist Center at Treblinka in 1998

In writing about his recent trip to Treblinka, Thomas Dalton mentioned that he hired a taxi to drive him to Treblinka and just before reaching the camp, they came to a bridge over the Bug river, which was not open to traffic at that time. When I visited Treblinka in 1998, my driver took me over this bridge, which is a reconstruction, according to British Holocaust historian Martin Gilbert.

Bridge over the Bug river, near Treblinka

I have written previously on my blog about the route to Treblinka here.

On my trip to Treblinka, I was immediately suspicious about this place being a “death camp.”  It’s location near the Bug river suggested to me that Treblinka was a transit camp, which I wrote about on this blog post.

In visiting Holocaust memorial sites, I try my best to be respectful and not burst out laughing.  In reading Thomas Dalton’s account of his visit to Treblinka, I couldn’t contain myself.  I laughed out loud when I read his description of the Treblinka Monument as “a toad-stool like monolith.”  My photo of the monument is shown below.

My 1998 photo of the Treblinka Monument

According to the pamphlet that I obtained from the Visitor’s Center in 1998, the Treblinka memorial site was built between 1959 and 1963. In February 1960, the Warsaw Regional Council selected the design of Polish sculptor Franciszek Duszenko and Polish architect Adam Haupt for the memorial stone and the Symbolic Cemetery.

According to the Council, the design of the symbolic cemetery would create a field of jagged stones that suggest a cemetery consisting of 17,000 stones with 700 of the stones inscribed with the names of the Jewish villages and communities in Poland that were obliterated by the Holocaust.

The photograph below shows the back side of the memorial tombstone. When the death camp was in operation, there was a narrow dirt path through a “tube” covered with tree branches which led to the gas chamber building in this spot. Notice the Menorah at the top of the tombstone.

The back side of the Monument at Treblinka

In my 1998 photo above, the back side of the Monument faces the symbolic graveyard where, according to my tour guide, the ashes of the victims are buried.

This quote is from A Postcard from Treblinka by Thomas Dalton:

Soon enough we arrived at the pathway (the symbolic “tube”) that led to the famous central monument: a toadstool-like monolith located at the very spot of the alleged gas chambers (Photo 8). Here we were, at the heart of Treblinka, the site of the most horrendous kill rate of the entire Holocaust: of the 912,000 victims, 837,000 were killed in just six months of 1942, according to the camp’s (and Burba’s) “official” tally. (The remaining 75,000 died in 1943.) This works out to nearly 140,000 per month, 35,000 per week, or 5,000 per day, every day, rain or shine, for six months. Not even Auschwitz during the alleged Hungarian massacre could match this rate.

(And where did they put all that dirt, by the way?) Upon dumping the bodies for nine months, the Germans then, allegedly, covered the whole mess up—just in time to change their minds and decide to burn them all.

So they uncovered the graves, dredged up 700,000 rotting, decaying corpses, and dragged them over to…a fire pit. To burn them all. Down to pure ash, down to nothing. In the open air. Using wood logs. I asked Edward where this miracle happened. He walked us over to the “symbolic” pit where the Germans had constructed grills of elevated railway rails, on which they could stack the corpses—see Photos 9 and 10. Wood was placed underneath, ignited, and the bodies all but vaporized. And not only did they have the 700,000 exhumed corpses, but they also had to contend with the ongoing supply of 212,000 “fresh” bodies that were still being gassed—at a rate of 5,000 per day. All 912,000 bodies, reduced to ash, in the very spot we were standing. And they did this in just 16 weeks, according to the experts—more than 8,000 per day, every day. Those Germans were brilliant indeed, and efficient.

One small detail that I noticed in Dalton’s description of Treblinka was this quote:

How deep were the graves?, [Dalton] asked. Eight meters—some 26 feet, a very impressive hole.

In the quote above, Dalton was asking the Director of the Treblinka Museum, about the depth of the graves where the gassing victims were originally buried.  I read somewhere that the grave pits were 35 feet deep.  Apparently, that was wrong.  The graves were 26 feet deep — and the height of the Treblinka Monument is exactly 26 feet high.

When the Treblinka death camp was in operation, there was a narrow dirt path through a “tube” covered with tree branches which led to the gas chamber building in the spot where the huge memorial now stands.

This quote is from A Postcard from Treblinka:

A British forensic archaeologist has unearthed fresh evidence to prove the existence of mass graves at the Nazi death camp Treblinka—scuppering the claims of Holocaust deniers who say it was merely a transit camp. … Forensic archaeologist Caroline Sturdy Colls has now undertaken the first coordinated scientific attempt to locate the graves.

I previously blogged about the scuppering of the claims of Holocaust deniers here.

September 26, 2012

The story of Viktor Frankl, a famous Holocaust survivor

I was browsing through the CODOH website this morning when I came across some interesting information about Viktor Frankl, the famous Psychiatrist, who survived four Nazi camps, including the Auschwitz death camp and the infamous Dachau camp.  There is an article in the CODOH library, entitled The Human Face of Holocaust Revisionism, written by Chris Crookes, which you can read in full here.

This quote is from the article by Chris Crookes:

…. I spent a few days lying out in the sun in the garden reading the biography of Viktor Frankl Trotzdem Ja zum Leben Sagen (Man’s Search for Meaning). I realized I had never read an eye-witness account of the biggest crime of the last century and I was also interested in the subject of how we apply meaning to our experiences. So I had bought it online from Amazon.

In the first half of the book Frankl (who was a psychiatrist) wrote of his experiences in WW2 as a Jew in concentration labor camps. As I read it I noticed he kept jumping between two contradictory viewpoints, sometimes in the space of a few pages.

At some places he affirmed that all the Jews themselves knew that if they were going to Auschwitz, then they were destined for almost certain annihilation. And at other times he asserts that they didn’t know. At some places he asserts that he and other people upon arrival knew that they were getting segregated into lines either for gassing or for work, and at others he maintains that the people didn’t know what the segregation was for.

That was confusing.

At one point he states how he himself knew, as after being selected by Joseph Mengele “to the left for the gas chamber,” he relates how he “switched behind Mengele’s back” to the right.

Then there were other odd things. He says he got out of Auschwitz by volunteering as a doctor. He wrote that he left in a transportation of ill inmates taken to Bavaria in 1944. The thought occurred: “Jewish inmates were not being gassed then? They were instead being transported out for medical care elsewhere?” That was a bit surprising.

Then he wrote how in Bavaria he worked as a doctor treating ill inmates in a hospital camp in the typhus ward near Dachau. I thought: “Er… They were taking care of them? In 1944? Jews with Typhoid? Trying to cure them?”

THEN after finishing the book I discovered that despite him giving the impression that he had been at Auschwitz at the very least for many months, that he had in fact only been there for 3 or 4 days. It was then that my curiosity was piqued and my research into this started. And it was then that I was reminded of the Colonel’s wife (who had been a young girl at the time of these events) claiming that nobody knew what was going on in the camps.

So it was that I started to re-evaluate all this. How was she—and the other town residents—supposed to know about that, if a camp inmate at Auschwitz couldn’t make up his mind whether he himself knew or not?

The important point, to take from this article, is that Viktor Frankl couldn’t decide whether prisoners were gassed at Auschwitz or not, so how could the people in the nearby towns, such as Dachau, know that prisoners were being gassed.  In recent years, the German people have been demonized for not helping the Jews, claiming that they didn’t know what was going on in the camps.

I previously blogged about the people in the town of Dachau here and here.  I blogged about how the people in the town of Dachau were punished for not helping the Jews here.

But to get back to Viktor Frankl, here is the short version of his experience in the Nazi camps:  He was first sent to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, which was the camp for the prominent Jews.  From there, he was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Holocaust experts will tell you that the only reason that Jews were sent, from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz, was to kill them.  But after only three or four days at Auschwitz-Birkenau, he was sent to the Dachau main camp.  From there, he was sent to the Kaufering III sub-camp where he worked as a doctor, treating prisoners who had typhus.

Frankl was not registered at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which according to the Holocaust experts, means that he was gassed.  Then he was sent to the Dachau main camp, where he was again not registered before being sent on to the Kaufering III sub-camp.

According to Wikipedia: “In March 1945, he was offered to be moved to the so called rest-camp Türkheim, also affiliated with Dachau. He decided to go to Türkheim, where he worked as a doctor until 27 April 1945, when Frankl was liberated by the Americans.”

The estimates, made by Holocaust experts, of how many prisoners were gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau are based on the number of prisoners that were not registered.

This quote is from an article on the IHR website:

Was Holocaust Survivor Viktor Frankl Gassed at Auschwitz.

Few men who emerged from the camps can match the late Viktor Frankl for acclaim. A psychiatrist from Vienna who died in 1997, Frankl gained international renown for the theories of mental health he expounded through his psychiatric school, logotherapy. Inextricably bound up with Frankl’s fame, teachings, and moral authority was his experience of the German concentration camps, above all Auschwitz, as described in Man’s Search for Meaning (U.S., 1959) a worldwide bestseller that has been ranked as one of the ten most influential books of the twentieth century by the Library of Congress.

In his reminiscence, Frankl recounted his stay at Auschwitz as if it had lasted an eternity. Now comes Timothy Pytell, adjunct professor of history at the Cooper Union in New York City, to inform us that, based on his research for an intellectual biography of Frankl, the celebrated survivor spent at most three days at Auschwitz, while in transit from Theresienstadt in Bohemia to a subcamp of Dachau in October 1944. As Pytell observes, a reader of Man’s Search for Meaning would “be stunned to discover that Frankl spent only a few days in Auschwitz.” In the book, Frankl devotes some thirty pages to Auschwitz. Besides recording his experiences on arrival (shaving, showering, delousing, etc.), Frankl makes observations about the lot of inmates there that strongly imply that, at the very least, he spent months, not days, at the camp. (“We had to wear the same shirts for half a year, until they had lost all appearance of being shirts.”) As Pytell writes of Frankl’s depiction of his stay at Auschwitz: “But if truth be told, Frankl’s rendition is contradictory and profoundly deceptive.”

Pytell notes that Frankl was transferred from Theresienstadt on October 19, 1944, on a train that carried 1500 persons to Auschwitz, and that the prisoner’s log of the Dachau sub-camp Kaufering III records Frankl’s arrival on October 25, 1944. Indeed, Frankl himself told the American evangelist Robert Schuller, in an interview published in Schuller’s magazine Possibilities (March-April 1991): “I was in Auschwitz only three or four days … I was sent to a barrack and we were all transported to a camp in Bavaria.” Thus the credibility of yet another star survivor has been tested and found wanting. Like the testimony of Miklos Nyiszli, Filip Müller, Rudolf Vrba, Mel Mermelstein, and a host of other eyewitness oracles, Viktor Frankl’s Auschwitz stories are now an embarrassment to the Holocaust industry, rather than an indictment of the Germans.

There’s more, however. While Pytell wasn’t up to examining the implications of Frankl’s stay at Auschwitz for the reliability of the camp’s official history, records compiled by exterminationist researcher of Theresienstadt H. G. Adler and by the Auschwitz State Museum make clear that if Frankl arrived at Auschwitz on October 20, 1944, he must have left Theresienstadt on a train with 1,500 passengers, designated “Es.” The English-language edition of the supposedly authoritative Auschwitz Chronicle, 1939-45 (editor Danuta Czech, London: I.B.Tauris, 1990), based on material from the Auschwitz State Museum, reports of that train:

    October 20

    1,500 Jewish men, women, and children are sent in an RSHA transport from the ghetto in Theresienstadt. After the selection, 169 women are admitted to the transit camp and 173 men as prisoners to the camp. The men receive Nos. B-13307-B-13479. The remaining 1,158 people are killed in the gas chamber of Crematorium III.

Now, while Viktor Frankl reports at length in his chatty memoir about his reception at Auschwitz (including the obligatory brush with Dr. Mengele), he says not a word about being registered, assigned a number, tattooed with that number, or transferred to the Auschwitz Stammlager, the permanent camp). Thus one can conclude that he was not admitted as a prisoner to the camp. And the Chronicle’s entry speaks of no surviving, non-registered persons from that shipment. Ergo, according to the Auschwitz Chronicle, and the records on which it claims to be based, Viktor Frankl must have beem gassed nearly fifty-three years before his widely announced death in September 1997. Who was it, then, who was sent out of Auschwitz a few days later, and went on to write all those books?

May 23, 2012

Raoul Wallenberg — the man who saved Jews from the Holocaust — with fake passports

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:50 am

This is the year of Raoul Wallenberg, the 100th anniversary of his birth. He is being honored as a hero all over the world.

As everyone knows, there were 425,000 Hungarian Jews killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau in a period of only 10 weeks in 1944.  Or was it 475,000?  The exact number of Hungarian Jews who were gassed is unknown because the Nazis didn’t keep records on the Jews who were sent to the gas chamber immediately upon arrival.

The Nazis had a plan, called “The Final Solution,” which was their plan to kill all the Jews — unless, of course, the Jews could show a passport to a neutral country.  Raoul Wallenburg came along in the nick of time to save 100,000 Jews from the gas chamber by providing them with fake passports to Sweden. Or was it 20,000 Jews that he saved?  The numbers vary according to which news story you read.

Strangely, Hitler was O.K. with this.  He wanted to kill all the Jews, but in 1943, he authorized an exchange camp at Bergen-Belsen where Jews could be exchanged for prisoners held by the Allies.  At Bergen-Belsen, there was a Sonderlager (Special Camp) where several thousand Polish Jews, who had been deported in mid-1943, were held because they were in possession of temporary passports from South American countries.

In July 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt organized the Evian Conference at Lake Geneva where representatives from 32 countries met to decide where the German Jews could find safe haven from the coming Holocaust.  None of the countries, except the Dominican Republic, wanted to accept Jews as immigrants.  In America, there were laws, passed by Congress in 1924 which limited the number of immigrants from Germany. These laws had been passed for the purpose of keeping Jews out of America.

In 1942, President Roosevelt violated the fourth amendment to the American constitution when he issued an order to intern Japanese-Americans and German-Americans in camps in America.  He could have violated the Constitution again by overturning the immigration law that had been passed by Congress in 1924.  But No!  Roosevelt did nothing to save the Jews.

Here is a quote from a news article about Wallenberg, which you can read in full here:

By the beginning of 1944, the Allies knew that Germany under Adolf Hitler was systematically exterminating the Jews of Europe. Eyewitness testimonies about the gas chambers of Auschwitz had removed any doubt as to the meaning of “the final solution.”

What eyewitness testimonies had been given in 1944?  Rudolf Vbera was a Slovakian Jew who had escaped from the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in April 1944 and had told the world that 1.7 million Jews had already been killed in the gas chambers at Birkenau.  How did he know this?

Vrba was a Kapo whose job it was to take the luggage from the Jews when they arrived at the Judenrampe, the ramp where the Jews got off the trains before the tracks were extended inside the camp.  Vrba had an eidetic memory (photographic memory) and the arrival of  millions of Jews at the Judenrampe was instantly recorded in his brain.

The 1.7 million Jews who arrived, while Vrba was at the ramp, were taken in trucks to the Birkenau camp and never seen again by Vrba.  What could have happened to them?  They were gassed, of course.

Rudolf Vrba (real name: Walter Rosenberg)

This quote is from the Wikipedia entry for Rudolf Vrba:

Mass transports [to Auschwitz-Birkenau] began on May 15, 1944 at a rate of 12,000 people a day; they were led to believe they were being resettled, but most were sent straight to the gas chambers. Details from the Vrba-Wetzler report alerting the world to what was happening inside the camp were broadcast in Czech and Slovak on June 15, 1944, by the BBC World Service and reported several days later by The New York Times, prompting world leaders to appeal to Hungarian regent Miklós Horthy to halt the deportations. He ordered them to be stopped on July 7, fearing he would be held personally responsible after the war; 475,000 had already been deported, but another 200,000 were probably saved.

By April, 1944, Dr. Vrba had calculated that 1.7-million Jews had been killed in the death camps. And from guards he’d overhead, he knew that the number was going to climb, with “a million units” expected to arrive from Hungary.

Wait a minute! Rudolf Vrba and another prisoner named Alfred Wetzler had escaped from Birkenau in April 1944 and 475,000 Hungarian Jews were sent to Birkenau before the news that Jews were being gassed was told to the world by the BBC and the New York Times in June 1944?  Why didn’t Rudolf Vrba get the news to the world leaders sooner?  All it took was a passport to a neutral country to save a Jew from the gas chamber!

I recall reading, years ago, the book written by Rudolf Vrba.  I was amazed to read that, after his escape from Birkenau, he went to visit his mother in Slovakia.  His mother had not been sent to a camp?  What kind of a genocide was this, if not all the Jews were sent to camps?

I was also amazed to read about Vrba’s life in the Birkenau camp.  He was feasting on roast chicken and drinking wine!  In fact, when he and Wetzler made their escape, their pockets were filled with cigarettes and a couple of bottles of wine.  As a Kapo,Vrba had been living well at Birkenau while he counted 1.7 million Jews who were taken in trucks directly to the gas chambers.  The official story, as told by the Auschwitz-Museum, is that 1.3 million Jews were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and 1.1 million were gassed.

Here is another quote from the news article about Raoul Wallenberg:

By July 1944, upwards of 400,000 Jewish men, women and children had been deported, in cattle cars, to their deaths in Auschwitz. The man directing the genocide, Adolf Eichmann, now turned his attention to the 200,000 Jews of Budapest.

At this point Raoul Wallenberg arrived as first secretary of the Swedish legation. Scion of a banking family, he had studied architecture in America and done business in Europe. Nothing in his life had demanded particular courage, much less marked him for unique greatness.

Wallenberg came with a single mission: to rescue as many Jews as possible. With nothing more than the authority of his character and a mantle of diplomatic licence, he proceeded to bluff, deceive and defy the Nazis.

He distributed thousands of pseudo “passports” that identified the bearers as emigrants to Sweden. With bundles of such life-saving documents, he appeared at train stations and pulled Jews off death cars. He interceded at forced marches and plucked Jews from death columns. He purchased food and medicine, hired doctors and guards, protected Jews in rented safe houses.

Over a period of six months, at mounting risk to his own life, Wallenberg negotiated with the Nazis, bribed them, intimidated them. Days before liberation, in his most daring stroke, he prevented a massacre in the ghetto by threatening a German general with execution as a war criminal.

Wallenberg’s example inspired similar rescues by neutral Switzerland, Portugal and Spain. His actions are estimated to have saved about 100,000 lives.

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