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July 13, 2017

Germany agrees to pay pensions for Lasi Holocaust survivors

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:32 am
Related image

Lasi survivors receive compensation

You can read about Germany’s plan to pay pensions for Lasi Holocaust survivors in this news article: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/germany-agrees-pensions-iasi-romania-holocaust-survivors-n781991

[I previously blogged about this on July 4, 2017]

As it turns out, Germany made a big mistake in allowing some of the Jews to live. Now they are going to pay pensions for the survivors that they didn’t kill. What a revolting development this is.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

George Herscu’s eyes filled with tears when he got the news: More than 75 years after he survived a Holocaust massacre, the German government had finally agreed to recognize his suffering.

“After so many years, justice is done,” the 90-year-old said, crying in his Springfield, New Jersey, home.

“My mother, my father…” he said, his voice trailing off as he remembered his murdered family. “For me it’s a little bit too late, you know. But it’s just the fact that they recognized the barbaric way they killed my father.”

Herscu is one of 1,000 survivors of what’s known as the Iasi Pogrom, a 1940 roundup of Romanian Jews planned by Romanian and German officials.

For years, the Germans refused to compensate the Iasi survivors the same way it compensates those who made it out of concentration camps or were trapped in open ghettos.

But the Conference on Jewish Claims Against Germany announced Wednesday that it negotiated an agreement that makes Iasi survivors eligible for pensions.

Now the survivors who meet the criteria will receive pensions of about $400 a month and are eligible for more home care services. Herscu and his wife Sonia, who is also a survivor, will each get pensions.

End quote

Germany can’t win for losing. Now they have to pay pensions to the Jews that they didn’t kill.

March 28, 2017

Photos from Soviet film of Auschwitz-Birkenau survivors

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:35 am

Two weeks after Auschwitz-Birkenau and the main Auschwitz camp were liberated by soldiers in the Army of the Soviet Union, a film was made which showed the survivors of the camp. All of the photos below are still shots from the Soviet film.

Prisoners at the main Auschwitz camp celebrate their liberation by Soviet soldiers

There were 5,800 survivors at the Auschwitz II camp (Birkenau) when the Soviets arrived on Januray 27, 1945. There were more survivors in the Auschwitz I camp (the main camp), some of whom are shown the documentary film taken in February 1945. The photo above shows men in the main camp.

Child survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau; Eva Moses Kor is the girl on the far right

Both of the photos above are still photos from a documentary film, which was made by the Soviet Union in February 1945. This is what the survivors of a death camp looked like, no more than four weeks after they were “liberated” on January 27, 1945.

Were these survivors actually “local people dressed to look like prisoners” as my Polish tour guide claimed. This would mean that Eva Moses Kor, who is still alive, was not actually in the film, but was being impersonated by a local Polish girl.

Survivors of Auschswitz-Birkenau camp

The photograph above is a still picture taken from the Soviet movie which was shown at the beginning of the tour at the Auschwitz Museum when I visited in 1998. It shows some of the 5,800 Birkenau survivors, most of whom look like well-fed Polish peasants, walking out of the camp. In the background of the photo you can see the wooden barracks buildings, with windows under the roof, and the posts of the barbed wire fence.

The tall, skinny guy in the photo is Dr. Otto Wolken, a medical doctor in the Birkenau Quarantine camp, who stayed behind to help his fellow prisoners when the Birkenau camp was evacuated. He is the only one in the photo who looks properly emaciated, as death camp prisoners should look.

The survivors, who are shown in the photo above, are walking along an interior camp road which bisects the Birkenau camp from north to south, connecting the women’s camp with the new section of Birkenau, known as “Mexico.” For all I know, these people are imposters who were brought in by the Soviets because all the real prisoners had been forced to march out of the camp.

Dr. Wolken was the first witness to testify at the Auschwitz Trial, held by the German government in Frankfurt between 1963 and 1965.

Women who survived Auschwitz-Birkenau huddle under blankets to keep warm

In the evening the female prisoners in the Auschwitz women’s camp, who are shown in the photo above, were formed into columns, including the female prisoners who had been transferred from Birkenau. They were driven out in the direction of Rajsko. The female prisoners of the gardening and plant breeding squads from the Rajsko sub-camp joined the procession of the male and female prisoners evacuated from Auschwitz-Birkenau.

There were more survivors in the Auschwitz I camp (the main camp), some of whom are shown the documentary film taken in February 1945. The photo at the top of this page shows men in the main camp.

 

March 18, 2017

Mel Gibson is doing a mitzvah.

Filed under: Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:01 am

 

Mel Gibson arrives at the 89th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The title of my blog post today is the first line in a news article which you can read at

Mel Gibson Has Been Quietly Working to Help Holocaust Survivors

I previously blogged about Mel Gibson on this blog post:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/mel-gibsons-uncle-killed-when-he-fell-out-of-a-guard-tower-at-a-concentration-camp-jay-leno-joke/

The following quote is from the news article, cited above:

Begin quote

The Hacksaw Ridge director, [Mel Gibson] who made headlines back in 2006 for going on a drunken anti-semitic rant, has been quietly working with a charity that helps Holocaust survivors.

Zane Buzby, the founder of the Survivor Mitzvah Project, recently told Extra that her charity helps “bring emergency aid to Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe who are in desperate need of food, medicine, heat and shelter and we always bring them friendship and hope.”

She adds, “The goal of the Survivor Mitzvah Project is to make sure that no Holocaust survivor who has endured the darkest days of human history will ever be hungry again or suffer or be forgotten or neglected.”

Gibson quickly responded to the mission of the Survivor Mitzvah Project after the charity approached him to see if he’d like to get involved.

“He has been an avid supporter of this organization for a few years now and doesn’t just write a check,” says a source.

End quote

Read here about how Wikipedia defines the word Mitzvah: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitzvah

 

January 25, 2017

500,000 Holocaust survivors are living out their final years in poverty

Filed under: Food, Germany, Health, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:37 am

The title of this blog post is a quote from a news article that was published today:

https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/01/25/remembering-the-holocaust-forgetting-the-survivors/

This is the time of the year when you see ads on TV asking for donations for the starving Holocaust survivors in Russia.

The Jews are the richest people in the world; why can’t they take care of their own.

The following quote is from the news article, cited above:

Begin quote

Today, many of the world’s remaining 500,000 Holocaust survivors are living out their final years in poverty. Most of those who are suffering either live in Israel, across the former Soviet Union or in greater New York City.

Of the 189,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel, 25 percent live below the poverty line. Of the 60,000 survivors throughout the former Soviet Union (FSU), poverty is endemic — approaching 85-90%. Even in New York City, home to another 60,000 survivors, about half live below the poverty line.

End quote

I have written many times, on my blog, that I think the reason that these Jews have lived such a long life is because they had a meager diet as children; their diet consisted of bread and oatmeal, with very little meat.  I had a similar diet as a child, and I think that this is why I have lived a long life, and I am still in good health.

March 27, 2015

Most Israelis are not Holocaust survivors, nor children of survivors

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

The title of my blog post today is a quote from a recent news article.

This quote is from the article:

Most Israelis are not Holocaust survivors or children of survivors. The majority are immigrants, or the children of immigrants, from Arab or African countries. Their relatives were not gassed in Auschwitz.
Netanyahu occasionally invokes aspects of the Holocaust – typically to contrast the self-sufficiency of Israel with the helplessness of Europe’s Jews under Hitler.

But there is another aspect of the Holocaust that Netanyahu has publicly cited, which is quite germane to understanding the Israeli election results. In his address to the 2012 American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington, he held up a letter written by a Franklin D. Roosevelt administration official in 1944, rejecting a request by Jewish leaders to bomb Auschwitz or the railway lines leading to it. The decision to cite that historical episode does not mean Israel’s prime minister is somehow “traumatized” by “Holocaust rage.” Indeed, President Obama commented at the time, “I am deeply mindful of the historical precedents that weigh on any prime minister of Israel when they think about the potential threats to Israel and the Jewish homeland.”

It is precisely the Allies’ abandonment of Europe’s Jews that many Israelis today regard as relevant to their situation. Israelis do not imagine themselves as comparable to captives being herded into gas chambers. But they have a legitimate concern that the international community could abandon Israel in some future hour of need.

So where DO the survivors of the Holocaust live?  Probably, most of them live in America, Canada and Germany.

I wrote about the Jews flocking back to Germany on this previous blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/jews-flocking-back-to-germany/

This website http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Holocaust-survivors-plead-Help-us-hold-Passover-Seder-395280 tells about the Holocaust survivors in Israel who need money and donations in order to hold the Passover Seder.

The news article, cited above, says that 50,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel are living in poverty. So which is it? Are there Holocaust survivors in Israel or not? And why can’t the Jews in Israel take care of their own people?

This quote is from the news article:

The Jews now have their own country, thanks to Hitler and the Transfer Agreement, but they can’t take care of their own people, and need constant donations from other countries.

You can read about the Transfer Agreement on my blog here:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/hitler-and-the-transfer-agreement/

Update at 11 a.m. today:

In other news about Israel, on this website, you can read this quote:

Israel is a state armed with nuclear weapons and in the grip of a siege mentality due to the collective trauma of the Jewish people that has never been healed. What makes this siege mentality dangerous and pathological is that it prevents Israel from recognizing how its own actions have contributed to the despair, rage, and continuing resistance of the Palestinian people and to its own growing Isolation in the world. There is a sickness rampant in Israeli society whereby most Israelis see themselves as the ultimate victim, an innocent victim in a world that hates them and wants to annihilate them. This then leads to a sense of pathological entitlement whereby because they believe they have been perpetually wronged and abused, they may act with impunity to do whatever they want to secure their own safety, regardless of how it harms or wrongs others.

April 9, 2014

If everyone who claims to be a survivor actually is one . . . who did Hitler kill?”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:54 am

The title of my blog post today is a quote from Norman Finkelstein’s book entitled The Holocaust Industry, published in the year 2000.

Here is the exact quote from page 81 of The Holocaust Industry:  “If everyone who claims to be a [Holocaust] survivor actually is one, my mother used to exclaim, “who[m] did Hitler kill?”

I thought about this when I read a recent news article at http://www.tcu360.com/campus/2014/04/32123.holocaust-survivor-shares-story-fleeing-nazi-germany

The article is about a woman who escaped Nazi Germany in 1939 on a Kindertransport to the UK.  After World War II, she moved to the USA where she is now out on the lecture circuit, telling her sad story to college students. There is not a day that goes by, in the USA, that a “Holocaust survivor” is not out telling his or her story about surviving the Holocaust.

In his book, Finkelstein cites a book, written by Henry Friedlander, entitled Darkness and Dawn in 1945: The Nazis, the Allies, and the Suvivors. According to Friedlander, as quoted by Finkelstein, “The figure for Holocaust survivors at war’s end is generally put at some 100,000.”

On page 83 of his book, Finkelstein wrote this:

The Israeli Prime Minister’s office recently put the number of “living Holocaust survivors at nearly a million.”

When I read Finkelstein’s book, back in the year 2000, I was just beginning to study the Holocaust, and I could not comprehend what he was saying. For example, he wrote on page 85 that his mother was “A survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, Majdanek concentration camp and slave labor camps at Czestochowa and Skarszyksko-Kamiena…”

Umschlagplatz in Warsaw, from which Jews were deported to Treblinka to be killed

Umschlagplatz in Warsaw, from which Jews were deported to Treblinka to be killed

I had made a trip to Poland in 1998, where I had seen the place in the Warsaw Ghetto, from which the Jews were shipped to Treblinka to be killed. I had learned that Treblinka was a “killing center,” not a transit camp, so how did Finkelstein’s mother get to Majdanek?  I was completely confused by this.

To top it all off, I had visited Majdanek in 1998, where I had learned that Majdanek was a “death camp” with 4 gas chambers. According to Soviet testimony at the Nuremberg IMT, there were 1.5 million people, who were killed at Majdanek.

Majdanek "death camp" in Poland

Majdanek “death camp” in Poland

So how did Finkelstein’s mother escape the Majdanek gas chambers? I assumed that the Nazis had spared Finkelstein’s mother because she was young and beautiful.

I have recently learned that Finkelstein’s mother has been accused of being a “Nazi collaborator” because she is suspected of having been a Kapo [a prisoner who was a helper] at Majdanek.

On my 1998 trip to Poland,  I learned about a book entitled The Painted Bird, written by Jerzy Kosinski. My Polish tour guide told me that this book was a fake story. When I returned from Poland, I got the book from my local library and started reading it, but I couldn’t finish it — it was too gory for me.

In his book, Finkelstein wrote:

[The Painted Bird] was purported to be Kosinski’s autobiographical account of his wanderings as a solitary child through rural Poland during World War II. In fact, Kosinski lived with his parents throughout the war. The book’s motif is the sadistic sexual tortures perpetrated by the Polish peasantry. […]  The Painted Bird became a basic Holocaust text. […] … and required reading in high school and college classes.

So what does all this have to do with anything? I suspect that there are numerous fake Holocaust books. For example, on page 82 of his book, Finkelstein dares to criticize Eli Wiesel.

This quote is from page 82 of Finkelstein’s book:

Apart from the frailties of memory, some Holocaust survivor testimony may be suspect for additional reasons. Because survivors are now revered as secular saints, one doesn’t dare question them.

Finkelstein goes on to list the lies told by Elie Wiesel, who is the No. 1 “secular saint,” whom people don’t dare to question.  Except for those pesky Holocaust deniers. How many Holocaust denial laws will it take to stop Holocaust denial?  The Russian Federation is the latest country to make Holocaust denial a crime.  The Russians are now forbidden to question the verdict at the Nuremberg IMT, at which it was “proved” that 1.5 million people were killed at Majdanek — except for Normal Finkelstein’s mother.

November 15, 2012

Germany has paid $89 billion in reparations to the Jews … and there is more to come

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:55 am

An article in The Detroit News, which you can read in full here states that, since 1952, Germany has paid $89 billion in reparations, and the Germans are increasing their payments this year.

This quote is from the article in The Detroit News:

Germany has paid — primarily to Jewish survivors — some $89 billion in compensation overall for Nazi crimes since the agreement was signed in 1952.

In one change to the treaty that Germany agreed to earlier this year, the country will provide compensation payments to a new category of Nazi victims — some 80,000 Jews who fled ahead of the advancing German army and mobile killing squads and eventually resettled in the former Soviet Union.

So that’s how Holocaust survivors got to the Soviet Union.  At this time of the year, there will be TV ads, asking for contributions to feed the starving survivors in the former Soviet Union.

This quote is also from the article in The Detroit News:

Germany already increased payments this year for home care for Holocaust survivors by 15 percent over 2011, and has pledged to raise that further in 2013 and 2014.

Compensation has been ever evolving since the 1952 agreement, with annual negotiations between the Claims Conference and the German government on who should receive funds and how much will be paid.

Still, even 67 years after the end of World War II, there is much to set right, said Stuart Eizenstat, the former U.S. ambassador to the European Union [an American citizen] who serves as the Claims Conference’s special negotiator.

“One of the things that drives me is that with all of that, the best surveys out there are there are probably 500,000 survivors alive today worldwide and half of them are in poverty or very close to the poverty line,” he told the AP. “This is an ongoing responsibility — this is not the end of the road.”

Half of the Holocaust survivors are close to the poverty line?  What?  They didn’t get a book deal for their sad story?

Note that Germany first started paying the Jews in 1952 for the Holocaust.  Germany was still a pile of rubble at that time and there were millions of “expellees,” the term for ethnic Germans who had been evacuated to Germany after the war.  What about them?  Did they ever get any reparations?

The expellees from the Czech Republic were still living in the barracks at Dachau in 1960 before they were thrown out, so that a Memorial could be constructed at Dachau.

How long will Germany have to pay reparations for the Holocaust?  Probably until there are no more ethnic Germans left in Germany, which will be in the year 2050, according to Germar Rudolf.

May 4, 2012

How many Hungarian Jews were murdered in the Holocaust?

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:42 am

In yesterday’s news, I read about David Kahan, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor, who gives talks to students about the Holocaust.  According to the news article in The Voice:

“Within 10 months over 800,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered.”

There were 725,000 Jews living in Hungary in 1944, including many who were previously residents of Romania, according to Laurence Rees, who wrote Auschwitz, a New History.

Most of the Holocaust survivors, who are still alive today, are Hungarian Jews. Could Laurence Rees be wrong about the number of Jews in Hungary in 1944?

Hungarian Jews going through a selection process at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944

Women and children waiting for their turn in the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

David Kahan’s story is similar to the stories of many other Hungarian survivors.  This quote is from the news article in The Voice:

Kahan, who was 15 at the time, was sent to a ghetto near his hometown to be shipped off to the Auschwitz extermination camp. After being herded into a train car with his parents, brother and sister they were taken off the train and lined up.

At the head of the line was the infamous Nazi Doctor Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death, who took a quick look at each person and with a flick of his thumb, told each person which way to go. One way was to be taken to the gas chambers and the other was to the barracks for work. His parents and younger brother and sister were sent to the gas chambers. He was chosen to live and to work.

Kahan worked for only a few days at Auschwitz before being shipped off to two other concentration camps over the next 10 months. Then one day Kahan and other Jews were loaded on a train that was to take them to an unknown location; before it reached that location though it was stopped and liberated by United States troops.

Hungarian men who were selected to work at Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

Hungary was an ally of Germany but the Hungarian Jews were not deported to camps until the Spring of 1944, after the German Army took over Hungary. Laurence Rees wrote that it was not until May 1944, when the Hungarian Jews were deported, that Auschwitz-Birkenau became the site of the largest mass murder in modern history and the epicenter of the Final Solution.

According to Rees, in 1942, there were 2.7 million Jews murdered by the Nazis, including 1.6 million at the Operation Reinhard camps, but only 200,000 Jews were gassed at Auschwitz that year in two old converted farm houses. Rees wrote that almost one half of all the Jews that were killed at Auschwitz were Hungarian Jews who were gassed within a period of 10 weeks in 1944. Up until the Spring of 1944, it had been the three Operation Reinhard camps at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor, that were the main Nazi killing centers for the Jews, not Auschwitz.

After the formation of the Reich Central Security Office (RSHA) in 1939, Adolf Eichmann was put in charge of section IV B4, the RSHA department that handled the deportation of the Jews. One of his first assignments was to work on the Nazi plan to send the European Jews to the island of Madagascar off the coast of Africa. This plan was abandoned in 1940.

According to Rudolf Höss, the Commandant of Auschwitz, “Eichmann had concerned himself with the Jewish question since his youth and had an extensive knowledge of the literature on the subject. He lived for a long time in Palestine in order to learn more about the Zionists and the growing Jewish state.”

In 1937, Eichmann had gone to the Middle East to research the possibility of mass Jewish emigration to Palestine. He had met with Feival Polkes, an agent of the Haganah, with whom he discussed the Zionist plan to create a Jewish state. According to testimony at his trial in 1961 in Jerusalem, Eichmann was denied entry into Palestine by the British, who were opposed to a Jewish state in Palestine, so the idea of deporting all the European Jews to Palestine had to be abandoned.

After the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, at which the Final Solution to the Jewish Question was planned, Eichmann was assigned to organize the “transportation to the East” which was a Nazi euphemism for sending the European Jews to be killed at Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau.  (The killing of the Jews at Chelmno began before the Wannsee Conference.)

According to Daniel Goldhagen, the author of the best-selling book entitled Hitler’s Willing Executioners, the Nazis were in a frenzy to complete the genocide of the Jews before the end of the war. Even though they were desperate for workers in their munitions factories, it was more important to the Nazis to carry out the Final Solution to the Jewish Question, according to Goldhagen who wrote the following:

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

On April 17, 1943, after Bulgaria, another ally of Germany, had refused to permit their Jews to be deported, Hitler met with Admiral Miklos Horthy, the Hungarian leader, in Salzburg and tried to persuade him to allow the Hungarian Jews to be “resettled” in Poland, according to Martin Gilbert in his book entitled Never Again. Admiral Horthy rejected Hitler’s plea and refused to deport the Hungarian Jews.

The deportation of the Hungarian Jews did not begin until April 29, 1944 when a train load of Jews were sent to Birkenau on the orders of Adolf Eichmann, according to the book by Laurence Rees. According to The Holocaust Chronicle, a huge book published in 2002 by Louis Weber, the CEO of Publications International, Ltd., another train filled with Hungarian Jews left for Birkeanu on April 30, 1944; the two trains with a total of 3,800 Jews reached Birkenau on May 2, 1944. There were 486 men and 616 women selected to work; the remaining 2698 Jews were gassed upon arrival.

On May 8, 1944, former Commandant Rudolf Höss (Hoess) was brought back to Auschwitz-Birkenau to supervise the further deportation of the Hungarian Jews. The next day, Höss ordered the train tracks to be extended inside the Birkenau camp so that the Hungarian Jews could be brought as close as possible to the gas chambers.

According to Laurence Rees, in his book Auschwitz, a New History, the first mass transport of Hungarian Jews left on May 15, 1944 and arrived at Birkenau on May 16, 1944. The mass transports consisted of 3,000 or more prisoners on each train.

The last mass transport of 14,491 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz arrived on July 9, 1944, according to a book entitled Die Zahl der Opfer von Auschwitz, by Franciszek Piper, the former director of the Auschwitz Museum. After this mass transport of Jews left Hungary on July 8, 1944, Horthy ordered the deportation of the Hungarian Jews to stop.

By that time, a minimum of 435,000 Hungarian Jews, mostly those living in the villages and small towns, had been transported to Auschwitz, according to evidence given at the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961 in which transportation lists compiled by Laszlo Ferenczy, the chief of police in Hungary, were introduced.

On July 14, 1944, Adolf Eichmann attempted to deport another 1,500 Jews, but Horthy ordered the train to turn around before it could make it past the Hungarian border. On July 19th, Eichmann ordered the 1,500 Jews to be loaded onto the train again and rushed out of the country.

On August 13, 1944, a small transport of 131 Jews arrived from Hungary at Auschwitz and on August 18, 1944, the last transport of 152 Jews arrived.

In a telegram sent to the Foreign Office in Berlin on July 11, 1944 by Edmund Veesenmayer, it was reported that 55,741 Jews had been deported from Zone V, by July 9th as planned, and that the total number of Jews deported from Zones I through V in Hungary was 437,402

In a book entitled The World Must Know, which is the official book for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Michael Birnbaum wrote:

Between May 14 and July 8, 1944, 437,402 Jews from fifty-five Hungarian localities were deported to Auschwitz in 147 trains. Most were gassed at Birkenau soon after they arrived. The railroad system was stretched to its limits to keep up with the demand of the camp, where as many as 12,000 people a day were being gassed.

The exact number of Hungarian Jews murdered at Auschwitz is unknown, and the estimates vary widely. Robert E. Conot wrote in his book Justice at Nuremberg that 330,000 of the Hungarian Jews were sent directly to the gas chambers at Auschwitz. The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust puts the total number of Hungarian Jews who died at Auschwitz-Birkenau between May and July 1944 at approximately 550,000, the majority of whom were gassed. Raul Hilberg stated in his book entitled The Destruction of the European Jews that over 180,000 Hungarian Jews died at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

According to Francizek Piper, the majority of the Hungarian Jews, who were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, were gassed immediately. A booklet purchased from the Auschwitz Museum stated that 434,351 of the Hungarian Jews were gassed upon arrival. If these figures are correct, only 3,051 Hungarian Jews, out of the 437,402 who were sent to Auschwitz, were registered in the camp. However, Francizek Piper wrote that 28,000 Hungarian Jews were registered. The Jews who were gassed were not registered in the camp, so the number of Jews who were gassed is unknown.

The web site of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum confirms that over 100,000 Hungarian Jews were used for labor, as agreed upon by Hitler and Horthy on March 18, 1944, and that some of them were transferred to other camps within weeks of their arrival.

The following quote is from the USHMM web site:

Between late April and early July 1944, approximately 440,000 Hungarian Jews were deported, around 426,000 of them to Auschwitz. The SS sent approximately 320,000 of them directly to the gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau and deployed approximately 110,000 at forced labor in the Auschwitz concentration camp complex. The SS authorities transferred many of these Hungarian Jewish forced laborers within weeks of their arrival in Auschwitz to other concentration camps in Germany and Austria.

If only 28,000 Hungarian Jews were registered at Auschwitz-Birkenau, as stated by Franciszek Piper, the former director of the Auschwitz Museum, this means that thousands were transferred from Auschwitz to labor camps without being registered. The prisoners who were gassed were not registered in the camp, and no records were kept on them.

According to records kept by the Germans at the Dachau concentration camp, between June 18, 1944 and March 9, 1945, a total of 28,838 Hungarian Jews were sent from Auschwitz-Birkenau to Dachau and then transferred to Landsberg am Lech to work on construction of underground factories in the eleven Kaufering subcamps of Dachau.

Some of the Jews who were selected for slave labor were sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria and its sub-camps where they worked in German aircraft factories.

Others were sent to the Stutthof camp near Danzig, according to Martin Gilbert, who wrote the following in his book entitled Holocaust:

On June 17 Veesenmayer telegraphed to Berlin that 340,142 Hungarian Jews had now been deported. A few were relatively fortunate to be selected for the barracks, or even moved out altogether to factories and camps in Germany. On June 19 some 500 Jews, and on June 22 a thousand, were sent to work in factories in the Munich area. […] Ten days later, the first Jews, 2500 women, were deported from Birkenau to Stutthof concentration camp. From Stutthof, they were sent to several hundred factories in the Baltic region. But most Jews sent to Birkenau continued to be gassed.

According to the Museum at the former Theresienstadt ghetto in what is now the Czech Republic, there were 1,150 Hungarian Jews sent to Theresienstadt and 1,138 of them were still there on May 9, 1945 when the camp was liberated by Soviet troops.

Hungarian Jews were also sent to Bergen-Belsen, which was an exchange camp until December 1944.  After Hitler himself put pressure on Admiral Horthy to deport the Budapest Jews to Auschwitz, the Hungarian government decided to begin transporting the Budapest Jews on August 25, 1944. According to Yehuda Bauer, the plan was to transport the Jews on 6 trains with 20,000 Jews on each train; the first train was scheduled to leave for Auschwitz on August 27, 1944. However, the deportation plans were stopped when the Hungarian government received a telegram from Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler on August 24th; Himmler ordered the preparations for the deportation of the Budapest Jews to stop.

According to Eberhard Kolb, who wrote a book about the Bergen-Belsen camp, Reichsführer Himmler had already opened a special section at the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp on July 8, 1944, where 1683 Hungarian Jews from Budapest were brought. The Jews in the Hungarian section were treated better than all the others at Bergen-Belsen. They received better food and medical care and were not required to work. They wore their own clothes, but were required to wear a yellow Star of David patch. The Bergen-Belsen camp had different categories of prisoners, and the Hungarian Jews were in the category of Preferential Jews (Vorzugsjuden) because they were considered desirable for exchange purposes.

The first transport of 318 “exchange Jews” left the Bergen-Belsen Hungarian camp on August 18, 1944, bound for Switzerland. On August 20th, the trainload of Hungarian Jews arrived in Bregenz and then went on to St. Gallen the next day.

January 9, 2011

International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27th (updated)

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:01 am

January 27th will mark the 66th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death camps. This day was designated by the United Nations in 2005 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, an annual commemoration in honor of the victims of the Holocaust.

“The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust” is observed around the world on Jan. 27th each year. To commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day this year, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will hold a candle-lighting ceremony, which will be attended by the Washington, D.C. diplomatic community, along with Holocaust survivors, and the general public. The ceremony will take place in the Museum’s Hall of Remembrance.

Each year in April, the United States also commemorates the Holocaust during the national Days of Remembrance held inside the Hall of Remembrance at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The 6,000 square-foot Hall of Remembrance is on the second floor of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC at the end of the tour of the permanent exhibit.  The room has 6 sides which represent the 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, and the 6-pointed Star of David, which is the Jewish emblem. The Hall is three stories high and there is a 6-sided skylight at the top.

As you enter the Hall of Remenbrance, the first thing you see is a rectangular block of black marble, topped by an eternal flame, as shown in the photo below. There are no real windows in the room but shafts of light are provided by narrow glass-covered slits at the four exterior corners of the building, as shown on the left in the photo below.

The Hall of Remembrance at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum

The eternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance

The photograph directly above shows a black marble block, evocative of a coffin, which contains dirt from 38 of the concentration camps in Europe. The dirt was brought to America in urns, like those used by the Nazis for the ashes of the victims who were cremated, and in a touching ceremony, the dirt was deposited inside the block by Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. Dirt from a cemetery in Europe where American soldiers are buried was also included, in honor of the American liberators of the Dachau, Buchenwald and Mauthausen concentration camps.

The black marble panel on the wall behind the eternal flame has the inscription: “Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life. And you shall make them known to your children and to your children’s children.”

On the other side of the hall, opposite the eternal flame, are two speaker’s stands, one on each side, resembling two pulpits in a church. It is from one of these stands that the President of the United States will deliver a speech on  International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th and also on the U.S. Holocaust Remembrance Day in April.

Survivors march out of the Birkenau death camp

When the Auschwitz main camp, the Birkenau death camp and the Monowitz labor camp were liberated by soldiers of the Soviet Union in the First Army of the Ukrainian Front, under the command of Marshal Koniev, on January 27, 1945, this was no big deal.  The story was hardly covered by the press.

Auschwitz was not the first Nazi extermination camp to be liberated. The first camp to be liberated was Majdanek, located in a suburb of the city of Lublin in eastern Poland. The first gas chambers to be seen by anyone in the outside world were at Majdanek, which Soviet soldiers entered on July 23, 1944.

When I visited Auschwitz for the second time in 2005, I purchased a film that had been produced by the Auschwitz Museum.  In the film, one of the Museum administrators said that he had heard that the camp was not liberated, but rather “it was happened upon by the Red Army when they were marching by.” He also mentioned that some people have said that the survivors liberated themselves. Binjamin Wilkomirski, who claimed to be a child survivor of Auschwitz, wrote in his book, “Fragments,” that there was no liberation. “We just ran away without permission,” he wrote. “No joyous celebration. I never heard the word ‘liberation’ back then, I didn’t even know there was such a word.”  (Wilkomirski has since admitted that his story is fake and his book has now been down graded to a novel.)

Women march out of Birkenau after being liberated

When the Soviet soldiers arrived on Jan. 27th, they didn’t have cameras with them, so the liberation had to be reenacted a few days later when a film of the liberation was made.  The photos of the liberation are still photos from the film.

Women who were liberated from Birkenau death camp

Men who were liberated from Auschwitz main camp

Children liberated from Birkenau show their tattoos

Child survivors leave Birkenau camp

On January 18, 1945, the three Auschwitz camps, called Auschwitz I, II and III, and the 40 satellite camps had been abandoned by the Germans. The gassing of the Jews at Auschwitz II, also known as Birkenau, had stopped at the end of October 1944.  Aerial photos taken by the Allies showed that the roofs of crematoria buildings Crematorium II and Crematorium III at Birkenau had been removed in November 1944, so that the cremation ovens could be removed by cranes.  The gas chambers in Crematoria II, III, and V were blown up on Jan. 20th and Jan. 26th.  Crematorium IV had already been blown up by the inmates in October 1944.

When the soldiers of the Red Army of the Soviet Union arrived at Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, they were expecting to find gas chambers, since the gassing of the Jews had been common knowledge as early as June 1942 when the news was first broadcast over the radio by the BBC. What the Soviet soldiers found were the ruins of four large gas chambers where, according to their estimate, 4 million Jews had been gassed to death.  It is currently estimated that 1.1 million prisoners were murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Krema II, one of the destroyed gas chamber buildings at Birkenau, February 1945

Ruins of one of the gas chambers at Birkenau, 1945 photo

After the Germans had abandoned the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex and marched thousands of the prisoners out on January 18, 1945, they came back on January 20 and blew up two of the crematoria buildings where underground gas chambers were located. The photo above shows the ruins of one of these buildings (probably Krema III) with an unidentified building still standing in the background.

Krema V after it was destroyed

Reconstructed gas chamber at Auschwitz main camp

The photo above shows an opening into the oven room on the left hand side.  This opening was cut when the gas chamber was reconstructed by the Soviet Union.

In 1947, the former Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was turned into an outdoor museum and for the next 50 years or more, visitors were told that the gas chamber in the main camp was original; it is now admitted that it is a reconstruction.

Before they fled from the camp, the Germans had attempted to destroy the evidence of the genocide of the Jews, but had left behind at least 1,200 survivors at the Auschwitz main camp and 5,800 survivors at Birkenau, including 611 children. Some of these children are still alive today and they have told the world about the monstrous crimes that were perpetrated by the Germans at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Child survivors of the Birkenau death camp

One of the most famous child survivors of Birkenau is Eva Moses Kor who is shown on the far right in the photo above.

Child survivors who were liberated at Birkenau in 1945

Miriam Moses, the twin sister of Eva Moses Kor, is shown on the far right.  Eva and Miriam survived because they were twins who were selected by Dr. Josef Mengele for his sadistic medical experiments.

Child survivors marching out of the Birkenau camp

The photo above shows some of the 611 children in the Birkenau camp who were left behind when the camp was evacuated on January 18, 1945. According to Holocaust historian Danuta Czech, the evacuation of Auschwitz-Birkenau began in the early morning hours when 500 women with children were escorted out of the camp by SS guards. They reached Wodzislaw on January 21st. The men arrived the next day and all were loaded onto open railroad cars and taken to Germany.

The prisoners at Monowitz and all the prisoners in the sub-camps marched to the four concentration camps at Gleiwitz near the German border, arriving also on January 21st. They were then taken on trains to Buchenwald, Dachau, Sachsenhausen or Mauthausen.  Among the prisoners at Monowitz was Elie Wiesel, who was taken to Buchenwald, where he was liberated on April 11, 1945 by American troops.

Altogether, there were 4,428 women and girls and 169 boys who stayed behind at Birkenau. Around 2,000 prisoners were left behind in the men’s camp at Birkenau and there were around 1250 men in the main camp who did not join the march out of the camp. There were 850 men who chose to stay behind at Monowitz.  According to Primo Levi, around 800 of them were sick or injured and they were in the camp hospital.  Primo Levi was one of the prisoners in the hospital.

The last roll call, taken by the SS on January 17, 1945, showed that there was a total of 16,226 prisoners in the main camp, called Auschwitz I. Of this number, there were 10,030 men and 6,196 women. The total count from the last roll call was 67,012 prisoners in the three Auschwitz camps, according to Danuta Czech’s book entitled “Auschwitz Kalendarium.”  The Nazi records from the camp were turned over to the International Red Cross Tracing Service by the Soviet Union after the fall of Communism in 1989.

The last roll call showed that there was a total of 15,668 prisoners at Birkenau and four nearby sub-camps. The following figures were published in “Auschwitz Kalendarium”:

Babitz 159
Budy 313
Plawy 138
Wirtschaftshof-Birkenau 204
Birkenau Men’s Camp 4,473
Birkenau Women’s Camp 10,381
Total 15,668

Warehouses at Birkenau were still burning on Jan. 27, 1945

The photo above is a still photo from a movie made by Henryk Makarewicz, a soldier in the Polish Berlin Army, immediately after the camp was liberated.

Before the Nazis abandoned the camp, they burned some of the camp records and also set fire to the clothing warehouses and some of the barracks at Birkenau. The prisoners had named the area where the warehouses were located “Canada” because of the riches contained in these buildings. The warehouses and the barracks were still burning when the Soviet liberators arrived 10 days later.

Soviet soldiers talk with Birkenau survivors

Old women were left behind at Birkenau when the camp was evacuated on Jan. 18, 1945

Dead bodies found in Block 11, the prison at the main camp

Dead bodies found in a shed at Birkenau

Old women try to keep warm by lying on the brick stove in a barracks at Birkenau

Woman survivor at Auschwitz-Birkenau

You can read here about how Eva Moses Kor has been able to forgive Dr. Mengele and the other doctors at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

This quote is from the web site cited above:

What changed her was the death of Miriam, her twin, and meeting Dr. Hans Munch, a former SS physician at Auschwitz, who told her the “nightmare” had haunted him ever since. To her amazement, Kor found she actually liked him. He was also the first Nazi doctor to verify the existence of the gas chambers and crematories, and Adolf Hitler’s “final solution” plan to exterminate all European Jews.

[…]
Kor soon went on to forgive all of the Nazi doctors, including Dr. Josef Mengele. And she and Dr. Munch wound up signing separate documents — his verifying the Holocaust or Shoah actually happened and her “Declaration of Amnesty” letter — at the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in January 27, 1995. At the same time, she forgave her parents for not saving her from the horrors of Auschwitz and also herself for hating her parents because of that.

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