Scrapbookpages Blog

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:

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.


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.

August 15, 2013

Survivor of the Stutthof camp was not sent to the gas chamber because she pinched her cheeks and stood tall in order to look healthy

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 2:01 pm

During the Holocaust, the Nazis didn’t gas prisoners who were capable of working.  Nor did they gas anyone between the ages of 15 and 45.  The secret to avoiding the gas chamber was to look healthy enough to work, and to lie about your age.

The Stutthof gas chamber

The Stutthof gas chamber

One of the little known camps that had a gas chamber was the Stutthof camp near the city formerly known as Danzig.  A photo of the gas chamber is shown above.  Notice the small structure to the left of the door.  This looks like a place where coal was burned to heat the gas chamber hot enough to release the gas from the Zyklon-B pellets.

The photo below shows the inside of the Stuffhof gas chamber.  The stains on the walls are proof that this is a Gaskammer.

Stains cause by Zyklon-B gas inside the Stutthof gas chamber

Stains cause by Zyklon-B gas inside the Stutthof gas chamber  Photo credit: Germar Rudolf

Holocaust survivor Nesse Godin recently gave a talk to workers at Northrop Grumman Technical Services in Herndon, VA.  You can read about her talk here.

This quote is from the news article about Ms. Godin’s talk:

In 1944, Godin said the few Jews remaining in the Siauliai ghetto were deported to the Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig, Poland. Godin said she became prisoner “number 54015” and was separated from her mother and brother Jecheskel. Her other brother, Menashe, evaded deportation with the help of a gentile friend, and remained in hiding, she said.

In the camp, Godin said older Jewish women looked after her, protecting her and advising her on how to survive. “They would make me stand tall and pinch my cheeks to get the blood flowing in them when the Germans came around to take sick people away to the gas chambers,” she said. “If you looked sick, there was a good chance you would be chosen to die. Those women saved my life. ”

The gas chamber at Stutthof is little known, but I mentioned it in a previous blog post about the gas chambers that are still in existence.

This photo of Stutthof Concentration Camp is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Gas chamber and crematorium - Picture of Stutthof Concentration Camp, Sztutowo
This photo of Stutthof Concentration Camp is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Wikipedia confirms that there was a homicidal gas chamber at Stutthof, although it could hold only 150 prisoners at a time.  Zyklon-B was a dangerous gas.  It hardly seems worth it to have a homicidal gas chamber that could gas only 150 prisoners at a time.  It would have been more efficient to just shoot the sick prisoners at Stutthof.

This quote is from Wikipedia:

A crematorium and gas chamber were added [at Stutthof] in 1943, just in time to start mass executions when Stutthof was included in the “Final Solution” in June 1944. Mobile gas wagons were also used to complement the maximum capacity of the gas chamber (150 people per execution) when needed.

This quote is also from Wikipedia:

The evacuation of prisoners from the Stutthof camp system in northern Poland began in January 1945. When the final evacuation began, there were nearly 50,000 prisoners, the majority of them Jews, in the Stutthof camp system. About 5,000 prisoners from Stutthof subcamps were marched to the Baltic Sea coast, forced into the water, and machine-gunned. The rest of the prisoners were marched in the direction of Lauenburg in eastern Germany. Cut off by advancing Soviet forces the Germans forced the surviving prisoners back to Stutthof. Marching in severe winter conditions and brutal treatment by SS guards led to thousands of deaths.

In late April 1945, the remaining prisoners were removed from Stutthof by sea, since the camp was completely encircled by Soviet forces. Again, hundreds of prisoners were forced into the sea and shot. Over 4,000 were sent by small boat to Germany, some to the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg, and some to camps along the Baltic coast.

Fortunately, Ms. Godin was sent out of the Stutthof camp before the evacuation of the camp.  This quote is from the news article about her talk:

In January 1945, when she was 16, Grodin said she was sent on a forced death march with a group of approximately 1,000 fellow female prisoners that lasted six weeks, marching from sunup to sundown with inadequate shoes and clothing in terrible weather conditions.

“When the Soviet army liberated the group on March 10, 1945, only 200 women, including me, were still alive,” she said. “On my 17th birthday —18 days later — I only weighed 69 pounds, but I had survived and I was free.”

If you ever read the story of a Holocaust survivor, who does not know how much he or she weighed when they were liberated, you will know that they are not a real survivor.

Assuming that Nesse was around 5 feet tall and weighed only 69 pounds, she was 30 pounds underweight.  In other words, a skeleton.

August 3, 2012

Roma Holocaust Memorial Day on August 2nd

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:36 am

A Holocaust Memorial commemoration for the Gypsies took place at 12 noon today at the Hyde Park Holocaust Memorial in London “for the 500,000 Roma who died as victims of the Nazi genocide during the Second World War,” according to this news article.  This quote is from the article:

Those attending will wear replicas of the badges worn by death-camp inmates, yellow stars and white triangles embossed with ‘Z’ for Zigeuner. White and yellow flowers will be laid, a black-edged flag lowered and a minute’s silence observed, followed by the singing of the Romani national anthem, which includes the line “The Black Legion murdered them.”

This commemoration is linked with the observance beside the Holocaust Memorial stone in front of the Palais de l’Europe, Council of Europe, which is held by the European Roma and Travellers Forum.

On the night of 2/3 August 1944, the SS carried out the final liquidation of what was known as the Zigeunerlager at the Auschwitz death-camp. Witnesses say the last 3000 inmates, mostly women, children and old men, fought back with their bare hands as they were forced into the lorries taking them to the gas-chambers.

Badges worn in the Nazi concentration camps

The top row of triangles in the photo above shows all the colors of the badges worn by the prisoners in all the Nazi concentration camps. Red was for Communists, Social Democrats, anarchists, and other “enemies of the state”; green was for German criminals; blue was for foreign forced laborers; brown was for Gypsies; pink was for homosexuals; purple was for Jehovah’s Witnesses and black was for asocials, a catch-all term for vagrants, bums, prostitutes, hobos, perverts, alcoholics who were living on the streets, or anyone who didn’t have a permanent address. The “work-shy,” or those who were arrested because they refused to work, wore a black badge.

Before 1942, Gypsy men wore a black triangle; they were arrested and imprisoned for being asocial because they didn’t have a permanent address, or for being “work-shy” because they were not employed. Every male citizen in Nazi Germany, who was capable of working, was required to take a job and they were not allowed to quit their job without permission. Gypsy women were arrested under the asocial category if they were prostitutes.

The fourth row shows yellow triangles with each of the regular triangle colors placed on the top, forming a six-pointed star. These badges were worn by the Jews and showed their classification as political prisoners, criminals, foreign forced laborers, homosexuals or asocials.

Yesterday, on August 2, 2012, a moment of silence was observed to commemorate Roma (Gypsy) Holocaust Memorial Day, according to this news article in the Slovak Spectator which you can read here. This event was in memory of the date of August 2, 1944 when approximately 2,900 Roma men, women and children were sent to the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau during the night.

Not much is known about the Roma (Gypsies) who were killed by the Nazis.  This quote is from the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

Twenty-three thousand German and Austrian Roma (Gypsies) were inmates of Auschwitz, and about 20,000 of these were killed there. Romani (Gypsy) men, women, and children were confined together in a separate camp. On the night of August 2, 1944, a large group of Roma was gassed in the destruction of the “Gypsy family camp.” Nearly 3,000 Roma were murdered, including most of the women and children. Some of the men were sent to forced-labor camps in Germany where many died. Altogether, hundreds of thousands of Roma from all over German-occupied Europe were murdered in camps and by mobile killing squads.

“The Gypsy family camp?”  Yes, unlike the other prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Roma men, women and children were allowed to stay together as families until they were killed.  The Jews were separated in all the camps, with the men and women in separate barracks, except for the Czech Jewish prisoners who were sent from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz; they were also allowed to live in a family camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

At Auschwitz-Birkenau, a “Gypsy family camp” was set up in wooden barracks in Section BIIe in the Birkenau camp in February 1943. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Gypsy camp was in existence for only seventeen months and most of the Gypsies perished.

The following quote is from the website of the USHMM:

In a decree dated December 16, 1942, Himmler ordered the deportation of Gypsies and part-Gypsies to Auschwitz-Birkenau. At least 23,000 Gypsies were brought there, the first group arriving from Germany in February 1943. Most of the Gypsies at Auschwitz-Birkenau came from Germany or territories annexed to the Reich including Bohemia and Moravia. Police also deported small numbers of Gypsies from Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Norway.

[The two states of Bohemia and Moravia, which are now in the Czech Republic, were part of a German Protectorate from 1938 to 1945; they were not annexed into the Greater German Reich.]

The following quote about the gassing of the Gypsies is from the website of the USHMM:

They (the Gypsies) were killed by gassing or died from starvation, exhaustion from hard labor, and disease (including typhus, smallpox, and the rare, leprosy-like condition called Noma.) Others, including many children, died as the result of cruel medical experiments performed by Dr. Josef Mengele and other SS physicians. The Gypsy camp was liquidated on the night of August 2-3, 1944, when 2,897 Sinti and Roma men, women, and children were killed in the gas chamber. Some 1,400 surviving men and women were transferred to Buchenwald and Ravensbrück concentration camps for forced labor.

Regarding the liquidation of the Gypsy Family Camp on August 2, 1944, Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess wrote the following in his memoir:

By August 1944 there were only about four thousand Gypsies left and these had to go into the gas chambers. Until that time they did not know what fate was in store for them. Only as they were marched barrack after barrack to Crematory 1 did they figure out what was going on.

When Hoess wrote that the Gypsies were marched to Crematory 1, he was undoubtedly referring to Krema II, which was a short distance from the Gypsy camp. Crematory 1, or Krema I in German, was in the main Auschwitz camp, three kilometers from Birkenau. By August 1944, Krema I was no longer in operation as a gas chamber.

Both the USHMM and the Auschwitz Museum say that the number of Gypsies gassed on August 2, 1942 was 2,897, not “four thousand” as Hoess stated. However, according to Dr. Milklos Nyiszli, the number of 4,000 given by Hoess might actually be closer to the correct number of Gypsies who were gassed.

Regarding the gassing of the Gypsies, Dr. Miklos Nyiszli wrote the following in his memoir:

Annihilation time had come for the 4,500 inhabitants of the Gypsy Camp. The measures taken were the same as those taken for the liquidation of the Czech Camp. All the barracks were quarantined. SS guards, leading their police dogs, invaded the Gypsy quarters and chased the inhabitants outside, where they were made to line up. Rations of bread and salami were distributed.The gypsies were made to believe that they were being shipped to another camp, and they swallowed the story. A very easy and efficacious way of calming their fears. No one thought of the crematoriums, for then why would rations of food have been distributed?

This strategy on the part of the SS was dictated neither by pity nor a regard for those condemned to death, but merely by their desire to expedite a large group of people, without any unnecessary incidents or delays, to the gas chambers, guarded by a relatively small patrol. The strategy worked to perfection. Everything went off as planned. Throughout the night the chimneys of number one and two crematoriums sent flames roaring skyward, so that the entire camp was lighted with a sinister glow.

Crematorium No. 1 (Krema I) was in the main camp and Crematorium No. 2 (Krema II) was at Birkenau.

This was not the only occasion when Gypsies were gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

In May 1943, Dr. Josef Mengele arrived in Auschwitz and was assigned to take care of the medical needs of the Gypsy camp. Dr. Mengele is well known as the man who selected the prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau for gassing.

The following quote is from the book Mengele, the Complete Story:

Within days after his arrival, while Auschwitz was in the throes of one of its many typhoid epidemics, Mengele established a reputation for radical and ruthless efficiency. The nearby marshland made clean water difficult to obtain and posed a constant threat from mosquitoes. (Mengele himself contracted malaria in June 1943.) Other SS doctors had failed in their efforts to curb typhus in the close quarters of the camp barracks. Mengele’s solution to the problem was set out in one of the seventy-eight indictments drawn up in 1981 by the West German Prosecutor’s Office, when the authorities thought he was still alive. In terms of detailed evidence, this arrest warrant is the most damning and complete document that was ever compiled against him. According to the warrant, on May 25, 1943, “Mengele sent 507 Gypsies and 528 Gypsy women suspected of typhus to the gas chamber.” It also charged that on “May 25 or 26 he spared those Gypsies who were German while he sent approximately 600 others to be gassed.

So Dr. Mengele’s solution to the typhus epidemic was to send all the Gypsies, who were suspected of having typhus, to the gas chamber?  To which kind of “gas chamber” did he send the Gypsies who were suspected of having typhus?  A homicidal gas chamber or a disinfection gas chamber? And why did he spare the German Gypsies? Were the German Gypsies cleaner and less likely to have lice?

At all the Nazi camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau, there was a building that had a “Gaskammer,” where clothing was disinfected with Zyklon-B, while the prisoners took a shower before putting on clean clothes that had been disinfected. The photo below shows a building at Auschwitz-Birkenau where clothing was disinfected with Zyklon-B.

Building where clothing was disinfected in a Gaskammer at Auschwitz-Birkenau

When the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was in operation, the road that went past this building continued on, past the Krema II gas chamber, then through a gate and out of the camp.  That section of the road is now covered by the International Monument.  The disinfection building was not open to visitors when I visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in 2005. You can read more about this building on my website here.

International Monument at Auschwitz-Birkenau was built on top of main camp road

In the foreground of the photo above, you can see where the train tracks ended. On the left side, but not shown, was the main camp road which went past the disinfection building and past Krema II.  The International Monument was built on top of that road, so that visitors can no longer see that the main camp road continued on, outside the camp, when the camp was in operation.

Could it be possible that the 2,897 Gypsies were taken to the Gaskammer building to be disinfected, and then taken out of the camp on the road that is now covered by the International Monument?  Keep in mind that the Nazis did not record the names, nor the number, of the prisoners who were gassed.  So how is it known that exactly 2,897 Gypsies were gassed on the night of August 2, 1944?  And what happened to all that bread and salami?

Don’t jump to conclusions and report me to the Thought Police!  I am not denying that the Gypsies were gassed.  I’m just speculating that they might have taken a shower in the disinfection building and left the camp on the main camp road during the night, wearing clean, disinfected clothing.

Why are there so many Gypsies begging for money in every country of Europe now, if 500,000 Gypsies were killed during World War II?

December 24, 2011

what students can learn from Michael Berenbaum’s book “A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of its Survivors”

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:26 am

I have not read Michael Berenbaum’s book A Promise to Remember, published by Boston Bulfinch Press in 2003, but a review of the book by Robert Hutcheson, a teacher in Missouri, gives some insights into what this books offers to students in Holocaust education classes.  You can read the full review here.

This quote is from Robert Hutcheson’s book review:

In “The Sonderkommando” chapter, Sam Itzkowitz (see CD) tells of his experiences and describes the death of Bess Platka, the details of which should be shared in pre-college classrooms only with care and discretion. She strangles her baby rather than letting the SS man do it, throws the corpse in his face, hits him over the head with a large beer bottle, and grabs his gun and empties the chamber into him before she meets her own death. This chapter also uses the rather famous and somewhat lurid sketches of David Olére (who painted under the name “Prisoner No. 106144”) which one should also use with great care in the classroom (I would not use most of these myself, though his later painting, “The End of Law and the Rights of Man,” 1950, at the Warsaw Ghetto Fighters House could be used with older students if a print can be obtained). The photo of clothing falling out of a warehouse door (22), however, pointedly and silently witnesses to some of the prisoners who were gassed at Auschwitz.

I have highlighted two different sentences in this single paragraph.  The story of Bess Platka is reminiscent of the story of Franceska Mann, who shot an SS man at Auschwitz.  I previously blogged about her here.  Note that Bess Platka didn’t wait for an SS man to grab her baby and kill it in some monstrous fashion.  No, she took the initiative and got revenge for all the babies whose heads had been bashed against a tree by a German soldier! I previously blogged about head bashing stories here.

The last sentence in the quote above is about the clothes found in a warehouse at Auschwitz.  The clothing “pointedly and silently witnesses to some of the prisoners who were gassed at Auschwitz.”

Clothing spilling out of a door at Auschwitz-Birkenau

How does this clothing prove that prisoners were gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau?  (more…)

October 28, 2011

What tour guides at Auschwitz-Birkenau won’t show you…

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:36 am

Gate into section where disinfection buildings are located

The building shown in the photo above is one of the two buildings located on the south side of the Birkenau camp, near the ruins of Crematorium II.  On the far right hand side of the picture is the gate into sections B1a and B1b which are on either side of the road that bisects the entire Birkenau camp, going from this spot all the way to the Mexico section on the north side of the camp. Tour guides pass this gate and walk on to the nearby International Monument which is located between the ruins of Gas Chamber II and Gas Chamber III.

Old photo shows gate into the section of Auschwitz-Birkenau where disinfection chambers were located

Old photo shows gate into the section of Auschwitz-Birkenau where disinfection chambers were located

Two buildings in sections B1a and B1b 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 color photo above shows building BW5b which is located in the B1b section of Birkenau. These buildings are on the left side of the camp as you are standing at the entrance gate into the camp. The east wing of the building in the color photo above was used for delousing.

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

Disinfection building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The photo above shows the blue stains on the east wing of the BW5a building. These stains, called “Prussian Blue,” are the result of heavy use of Zyklon-B.  Both of the disinfection buildings at Birkenau had a chamber that used Zyklon-B and also a hot air apparatus which was used to kill lice. On the blueprint of the building, the disinfection chamber was labeled “Gaskammer,” which is the German word for gas chamber.

The two disinfection buildings at Birkenau were not open to visitors when I visited Birkenau in October 2005; a sign on the door of one of the buildings said “Conservation Works.” I looked through a window of one of the buildings and I could see standing water inside the building.

Sign inside the Gaskammer building at Birkenau

The photo above shows a sign on the wall inside one of the disinfection buildings; it reads “Eine Laus dein Tod,” which means “One louse your death.”

In July 1942, a typhus epidemic got started at Birkenau when lice were brought into the camp by civilian workers. Three hundred inmates were dying each day before it could be brought under control. In November 1942, disinfection began in these two brick buildings in the women’s camp in an attempt to stop the epidemic.

According to Gerald Reitlinger who wrote a book entitled The Final Solution, the head of the concentration camps, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, issued an order on December 28, 1942 which stated: “The death rate in the camps must be reduced at all costs.”

The delousing of the clothing was a continuous operation, according to Franciszek Piper, the former director of the Auschwitz Museum. After the clothing was hung up in the delousing chamber, Zyklon-B pellets were put on the floor and left for a period of 24 hours before the doors were opened. In contrast, the gassing of the Jews took only 20 minutes, according to Piper.

Hot air oven used for delousing clothes

In the Summer of 1943, two small hot air chambers were put in the BW5a disinfection chamber. The photo above, taken in the Central Sauna, shows what the hot air chambers looked like. (Keep this in mind if you ever want to get rid of head lice. Just use a hair dryer to kill the lice.)

On the blueprints of these buildings, the delousing room was called a Gaskammer which means gas chamber in English. In November 2008, some blueprints of the Birkenau disinfection buildings were found in an apartment in Berlin. A close-up of the blueprints is shown in the photo below.

Gaskammer shown on blueprint of disinfection building at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Close-up of delousing building door shows blue stains

So why are the disinfection buildings not shown to tourists at Auschwitz-Birkenau?  Why are these buildings being allowed to rot away with standing water inside?  It could be because these buildings have the power to turn people into Holocaust deniers.  The photo below shows famous Holocaust denier Germar Rudolf taking samples from the southwest wall of building BW5b.  The second photo below shows Germar taking samples from a room in BW5a. He also took samples from Gas Chamber II and found no signs of Zyklon-B use.

Germar Rudolf taking samples from the blue stains on the wall of a disinfection chamber at Birkenau

Heavy blue stains caused by use of Zyklon-B in disinfection chamber at Birkenau

Caution:  Don’t go wandering around the buildings that are off limits at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  You could wind up in prison in Germany for 5 years or more.  Just remember that it takes more Zyklon-B to kill a louse than it does to kill a human, and you’ll be in no danger of going to prison.

October 7, 2010

Josef Kleinman was gassed at Dachau…and lived to testify against Adolf Eichmann

I’ve been reading a book by Robert Fisk, entitled The Great War for Civilization, published in 2006.  On page 370, I read that “Josef Kleinman is no ordinary Jewish Holocaust survivor.”   Besides the fact that “Jewish Holocaust survivor” is redundant, the author’s observation is an understatement.

I learned on page 369 of the book by Robert Fisk that Josef had told the author that he “was freed from Landsberg on April twenty-seventh, 1945.”

(There were 11 sub-camps of Dachau located near Landsberg am Lech; the camps were all named Kaufering and numbered I through XI.)

Then I read on page 371 that Kleinman was one “Of the twenty-nine thousand Jews brought to Dachau from other camps…”

I put these two facts together and deduced that Josef Kleinman was one of the Jewish survivors of Auschwitz, who were marched out of the camp on January 18, 1945 and taken to concentration camps in Germany.   Around twenty-nine thousand of these survivors were brought to Dachau and gassed, according to the official American army report, written by the American liberators of Dachau.

After Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945, the official report of the US Seventh Army was printed as a book entitled Dachau Liberated: The Official Report by The U.S. Seventh Army, Released Within Days of the Camp’s Liberation by Elements of the 42nd and 45th Divisions.

The Official Report was based on two days of interviewing 20 prominent political prisoners at Dachau; these prisoners told the Americans that both the shower room and the four disinfection chambers at Dachau had been used as homicidal gas chambers. In The Official  Report, it was claimed that “29,138 Jews had been brought to Dachau and murdered in five gas chambers between June 20, 1944 and November 23, 1944.”

It was later learned that these twenty-nine thousand Jews had been sent to the eleven Kaufering sub-camps of Dachau, near Landsberg am Lech, after taking a shower at the Dachau main camp. Kleinman was one of these twenty-nine thousand prisoners and he was liberated from Landsberg in 1945, so Fisk got that part right.

The Dachau camp records show that there were 28,838 Jews brought from Auschwitz to the Dachau main camp between June 18, 1944 and March 9, 1945. Before being transferred to the 11 Kaufering sub-camps near Landsberg, they were kept in quarantine, at the Dachau main camp, for two weeks in an effort to prevent the spread of disease.

All incoming prisoners at Dachau were first dipped in a tub of disinfectant, then given a shower and issued clean clothes that had been disinfected with Zyklon-B to kill the lice that spread typhus. The German word for a clothing disinfection chamber is Gaskammer, which means gas chamber in English.  It is easy to see where the political prisoners, who gave information to the American Army investigators, made their mistake.

In his book, Fisk mentions that Josef Kleinman had kept his “Blue and White” uniform from his days as a prisoner at Dachau; he points out that blue and white are the colors of the Israeli flag.   This is significant: I have never thought of the colors of the uniforms in that context.  Maybe it never occurred to me because the concentration camp uniforms were actually blue and light gray and the non-Jewish prisoners wore the same blue and gray uniforms.

Fisk wrote that Kleinman was the youngest survivor of Auschwitz and that he testified at the trial of Adolf Eichmann, head of the special “Jewish Section” of the SS, who ran the Nazi program to murder the Jews of Europe.

After reading that, I knew that the author had not done much research on the Holocaust, or he would have known that, at the age of 14, Kleinman could not have been “the youngest survivor of Auschwitz.”  The youngest survivors of Auschwitz were babies who were carried out of the camp in the arms of their mothers when the camp was liberated by Soviet soldiers on January 27, 1945.

Here is the full quote from page 370 of the book:

Mr. Kleinman is no ordinary Holocaust survivor. He was the youngest survivor of Auschwitz and he testified at the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the head of Hitler’s programme to murder the Jews of Europe. Indeed, Mr. Kleinman saw Dr. Mengele, the “Angel of Death,” who chose children, women, the old and the sick for the gas chambers. At the age of just 14, he watched one day as Mengele arrived on a bicycle and ordered a boy to hammer a plank of wood to a post. Here, for the record, is part of Kleinman’s testimony at the Eichmann trial:

“We weren’t told what was to happen. We knew. The boys who couldn’t pass under the plank would be spared. Those boys whose heads did not reach the plank would be sent to the gas chambers. We all tried to stretch ourselves upwards, to make ourselves taller. But I gave up. I saw that taller boys than me failed to touch the plank with their heads. My brother told me, ‘Do you want to live? Yes? Then do something.’ My head began to work. I saw some stones. I put them in my shoes, and this made me taller. But I couldn’t stand at attention on the stones, they were killing me.”

Mr. Kleinman’s brother, Shlomo, tore his hat in half and Josef stuffed part of it into his shoes. He was still too short. But he managed to “infiltrate” into the group who had passed the test. The remainder of the boys – a thousand in all – were gassed. Mengele, Josef Kleinman remembers, chose Jewish holidays for the mass killing of Jewish children. Mr. Kleinman’s parents, Meir and Rachel, and his sister had been sent directly to the gas chambers when the family arrived at Auschwitz from the Carpathian mountains, in what is now Ukraine. He survived, along with his brother – who today, a carpenter like Josef, lives a few hundred yards away in the same suburb of Givat Shaul/Deir Yassin.  Josef survived Dachau and the grueling labour of building a massive bunker for Hitler’s secret factory, constructed for the production of Germany’s new Messerschmitt ME262 jet fighter aircraft.

After his liberation by the Americans, Josef Kleinman made his way to Italy and then to a small boat which put him aboard a ship for Palestine, carrying illegal Jewish immigrants who were to try to enter the territory of the dying British mandate. He could carry only a few possessions. He chose to put his Dachau uniform in his bag – he would not forget what happened to him.

May 8, 2010

Dachau crematorium — “laid out with deliberate efficiency as if it was an abattoir”

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:39 am

I learned a new word today, as I was searching wordpress blogs: abattoir.  I looked up the definition on google and learned that it means “a building where animals are butchered” or “a slaughterhouse.”  The word abattoir was used on this blog by someone who had just recently visited the Dachau Memorial Site.  Here is the full quote from the blog:

“Not many of the original barracks remain but the gas chamber and crematorium are very well preserved. Walking through the holding room, to the showers and then through to the crematorium is eerie – the place is laid out with deliberate efficiency as if it was an abattoir. It is hard to understand how one human being can treat another like cattle.”

Oooh, that’s cold! (as the woman on the Progressive insurance TV ad would say)

Brent, the guy who wrote the blog post, got the impression that the Nazis were “deceitful” because they put a sign that says “Brausebad” over the gas chamber, and a sign that says “Arbeit Macht Frei” over the entrance gate.  Brent thinks that the Nazis sold Dachau to the public as a “work and re-education camp” but after the war, the “true purpose” of Dachau became known. He got that right!  The “true purpose” of Dachau was not known until the American liberators arrived on April 29, 1945 and Albert Guérisse, a British SOE agent, escorted the soldiers to the gas chambers (plural).  It was the British BBC that first told the world about the gas chambers in June 1942, long before the Dachau gas chamber was built in 1943.

The Baracke X building where the gas chambers are located at Dachau, May 2007

The alleged homicical gas chamber at Dachau is located in Baracke X, the building shown in the photo above; it is on the far left behind the white table. The morgue where the bodies were stored is on the right, next to the gas chamber, and the next room to the right is the oven room.  You can see that the building was “laid out with deliberately efficiency” like an “abattoir.”

But what about the first photo of the Dachau gas chamber, taken by T/4 Sidney Blau, that was shown to the public a few days after Dachau was surrendered to the Americans?  The door that is shown in the photo below is located at the far end of the Baracke X building, so far away from the ovens that it cannot be shown in the same photo without using a wide angle lens.

Photo of Dachau gas chamber, April 30, 1945

The caption, which the US Army put on this photo, is as follows:

“Gas chambers (plural), conveniently located to the crematory, are examined by a soldier of the U.S. Seventh Army. These chambers were used by Nazi guards for killing prisoners of the infamous Dachau concentration camp.”

Note the word “Gaszeit” which means “Gas time,” on the door.  This shows that the Nazis weren’t deceitful at all.  The prisoners could very clearly see that this was a Gaskammer, which is the German word for a room where Zyklon-B poison gas was used.

There was no “deliberate efficiency” about the location of the Gaskammer shown in the photo above.  It was as far away as it could get from the ovens.  But there was proof of the German reputation for neatness and order; the prisoners had to take off their clothes and hang them up on hangers, as shown in the photo below, taken outside the Baracke X building.

Prisoners clothing hung up outside “die Gaskammern,” April 30, 1945

The south end of the Baracke X building at Dachau, May 2001

The photo above shows the spot where the clothing was hung up at Dachau when the American soldiers arrived on April 29, 1945.  The Americans assumed that the prisoners had been forced to hang up their clothes before going into one of the four rooms with the word “Gaszeit” on the door.

Door into Gaskammer is now bolted to another door

The photo above shows the famous door that was shown to the world as a door into a gas chamber where prisoners were gassed.  It has been bolted to another door so that visitors cannot pose in front of it.   The photo below shows a sign over the four doors into the disinfection chambers at Dachau.  In spite of this sign, some tour guides still tell visitors that the prisoners had to take off their clothes and hang them on hangers before entering these chambers to be killed with Zyklon-B.

Sign over “die Gaskammern” at Dachau, May 2003

Note the black pipe that is to the left of the sign in the photo above.  The “deliberately efficient” Nazis would put an unopened can of Zyklon-B gas pellets into this pipe and the can would automatically be opened and emptied into a wire basket; then hot air would be blown over the pellets to activate the gas. After the clothes had been disinfected, the pellets would be retrieved from the wire basket and put back into the can, to be returned to the manufacturer to be recycled.

DEGESH machine used to put poison gas into disinfection chambers

Prisoner clothing was hung on bar inside the Gaskammer

The photos above show the “deliberate efficiency” with which the Nazis disinfected the prisoner clothing at Dachau in an attempt to stop a typhus epidemic, which killed half of the prisoners who died at Dachau. The “true purpose” of Dachau was to imprison people like British SOE agent Albert Guérisse, who was an illegal combatant during World War II, helping the French Resistance which was fighting in violation of the Armistice that the French had signed.

February 27, 2010

Famous photo of Dachau Gaskammer

Photo of Dachau Gaskammer, April 30, 1945

Gaskammer is the German word for gas chamber. This word was used by the Germans during World War II to mean a room where clothing was deloused with a poison gas called Zyklon-B; the Germans were trying to save lives by killing the lice that spreads typhus.  The doors and the interior of the disinfection chambers have been repainted, but a few of the tour guides at Dachau still tell visitors that these rooms were used to kill people.

The photo above was taken by an American soldier in the Army Signal Corps, named Sidney Blau. The caption which the US Army put on this photo was as follows:

Gas chambers, conveniently located to the crematory, are examined by a soldier of the U.S. Seventh Army. These chambers were used by Nazi guards for killing prisoners of the infamous Dachau concentration camp.

Note that the caption says the gas chambers were used for “killing prisoners” without specifying that they were killing Jews. Note the plural (gas chambers) in the caption on the photo.  There were four identical chambers at the south end of  the Baracke X building, shown below.

South end of Baracke X building at Dachau

Three of the four doors into the rooms where clothing was disinfected

Pretend that you are Sidney Blau and you have been sent to Dachau on April 30, 1945, the day after the camp was liberated, to take photos for the Army Signal Corps. You see four doors with the word “Gaszeit” which means gas time.  Each door has a skull and crossbones with the word Gas.

Outside the Baracke X building, you see clothing hung up on hangers.  On one side of the building, you see huge piles of prison uniforms.

Clothing hung on hangers outside Dachau Gaskammer

Piles of prisoners' clothes near the Baracke X building

What conclusion would you have come to?  Would you have concluded that these rooms were homicidal gas chambers where prisoners were killed?  Would you have thought that it was stupid for the Germans to put a skull and crossbones and the word Gas on the door so that the prisoners would balk at entering the room?  Would you have thought that it was cruel to make the prisoners hang their clothes neatly on a hanger before they were killed?

What about the bars on the ceiling of each Gaskammer?  Would you have thought that they hung the prisoners from the bars to torture them before they were gassed?

Bars on the ceiling of Gaskammer for hanging clothes

If you were Sidney Blau, would you have noticed that there were no floor drains in the four rooms with the word Gaszeit on the door?  When a person dies, all their body fluids are released; the floor would have been covered with filth after each gassing.  Yet, for some reason, the floor drains were outside of each  Gaskammer.

Did they deliberately avoid putting a drain in the Gaskammer so that the poison gas would not get into the sewer system and poison the whole camp?

Was Sidney Blau ordered to take this particular photo or was he just told to take photos?  Did he take a photo of the shower room door after the prisoners told the Americans that the shower room was really a gas chamber?  The door into the shower room, which has never been repainted, would not have been a dramatic shot, like the famous photo at the top of this page.

Door into the shower room in the Baracke X building

The Official Army Report published after the camp was liberated had these words:

“…the new crematorium was completed in May 1944, and the gas chambers, a total of five, were used for the executions and the disposals of the bodies.”

Actually, the new crematorium was completed in May 1943.

The five gas chambers, mentioned in the Official Army Report, included the shower room and the four chambers where the clothing was deloused.  Did anyone stop to think about why there were four identical gas chambers and one that was totally different?

Shower room with one of the six floor drains shown in the center of the photo

The following quote is from the Report of the Atrocities Committed at Dachau Concentration Camp, signed by Col. David Chavez, Jr., JAGD, 7 May 1945 :

“The new building had a gas chamber for executions… the gas chamber was labeled “shower room” over the entrance and was a large room with airtight doors and double glassed lights, sealed and gas proof. The ceiling was studded with dummy shower heads. A small observation peephole, double glassed and hermetically sealed was used to observe the conditions of the victims. There were grates in the floor. Hydrogen cyanide was mixed in the room below, and rose into the gas chamber and out the top vents.”

“… a gas chamber?” What about the four rooms with the word Gas on the door?  “… grates in the floor?”  Were these dummy floor drains, like the “dummy shower heads”?   “… the top vents”?  How come they didn’t mention the vents on the east wall of the shower room?

Vents on east wall of Dachau shower room

Visitors to the Dachau Memorial Site are told that the poison gas was poured onto the floor of the shower room through these vents on the east wall. Zyklon-B gas comes in the form of small pellets about the size of peas.

The delousing chambers had a fancy machine that was used to input gas pellets. Why didn’t they use one of these machines in the shower room?

Device to put gas pellets into delousing rooms at Dachau

If I had been an Army photographer, assigned to take photos at Dachau on April 30, 1945, I would probably have been just as gullible as Sidney Blau. I would have believed the prisoners who came forward and led me to the gas chambers.  After all, the British had been broadcasting information about the Germans gassing the Jews since June 1942.