Scrapbookpages Blog

September 5, 2016

93 year old Holocaust survivor to receive honorary doctorate

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:55 am

The following quote is from a news article which you can read in full at http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/our-city/north-leeds/chapel-allerton/special-award-for-leeds-auschwitz-survivor-1-8105684

Begin quote

A Leeds pensioner who survived the horrors of the Holocaust and settled in England is to receive an honorary doctorate. Iby Knill, 93. of Chapel Allerton, grew up in Czechoslovakia and escaped to Hungary in 1942 as Nazi persecution of Jews accelerated.

93-year-old Iby Krill

93-year-old Holocaust survivor Iby Krill

As a young woman, she spent time in hiding and helping the local Resistance movement before she was eventually captured and taken to the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

Mrs Knill will be given an honorary degree by the University of Huddersfield, where she spoke last year as part of the Holocaust Memorial lecture event. She spent much of her internment working as a slave labourer in an armaments factory, and was liberated by American troops while part of a forced march to Bergen-Belsen when the Nazi retreat began. She later discovered her father had died in the gas chambers, and was reunited with her mother and brother in their home city of Bratislava.

End quote

This is not the first time that Iby Krill has been in the national news. I was reading about her many years ago, and I included her story on my scrapbookpages.com website.

The following quote is from my website:

Begin quote

Iby’s story begins when she was a young girl growing up in her native Czechoslovakia. When the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938, she escaped over the border into Hungary but was arrested as an illegal immigrant.

“There were five of us, all girls and we made a pact to stay together as we walked through those gates and were greeted by the man we later learned was Dr Josef Mengele,” she says of her arrival at Birkenau. “From that day on it became a test of survival.” Miraculously, she adds, all five of them lived to witness the liberation from the Nazis in 1945.

By 2010, Iby had started writing her story and was seeking a publisher for her manuscript, which is chillingly brutal in its frankness, according to Virginia Mason’s news article.

According to Iby Knill, “The shower unit and the gas chamber looked the same. They had been built that way, so we never knew if we were to be gassed or just showered.”

In her lectures on the Holocaust, Iby describes the infamous Dr Mengele, whose experiments in the name of medical science earned him the nick name, Angel of Death. “We lined up and he would walk in front of us, picking out the weakest. Their fate was the gas chambers.”

She talks of the cramped, inhuman conditions at Birkenau, the incredible hunger and thirst, and worst of all, the scraps of gray, latherless soap made from human ashes, and the constant fear of extermination in the gas chamber.

According to her story, Iby was able to leave the Birkenau death camp only by volunteering to go to the Lippstadt labour camp, a sub-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, where she worked in the hospital unit. On Easter Sunday, 1945, while on a death march to the main Buchenwald camp, she was freed by Allied Forces.

End quote from my website

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

Begin quote

A fluent German speaker from childhood, she later used her language skills to act as an interpreter for British forces in post-war Germany. She met her husband, British army officer Bert Knill, and in 1947 she came to England as a married woman.

Mrs Knill, who is now a widow and has a Masters degree in theology, did not speak publicly about her past until 2003, and since then has told her story in books and during television appearances. She will take part in an awards ceremony at the university in November, where she will be joined by experts from the fields of engineering, medicine and finance.

End quote

Why do so many Holocaust survivors live to an advanced age. My theory is that a meager diet contributes to living a long life. I am 83 and still going strong. When I was young, my family was very poor; we ate very little meat. Just like the concentration camp inmates, I had a meager diet of vegetables.

February 29, 2016

What really happened to the Hungarian Jews?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , , , , — furtherglory @ 11:43 am

One of the regular readers of my blog wrote this in a comment:

But, they [the Hungarian Jews] had to be registered in the camps that received them because the camp commanders had to account for that labor force.

So, someone, give me a list of camps where these Jews were sent [after they arrived at Auschwitz-Birkean].

My photo of the gate into the Dachau camp

My photo of the gate into the Dachau camp

Dachau was one of the camps to which Jews were sent from Auschwitz-Birkenau.

I have explained many times that Auschwitz-Birkenau was a TRANSIT camp, as well as a concentration camp, where Jews were imprisoned.

The story of Iby Knill, a Jewish woman who was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, explains it. According to Iby Knill, “The shower unit and the gas chamber looked the same. They had been built that way, so we never knew if we were to be gassed or just showered.”

In her lectures to students, about the Holocaust, Iby Knill frequently talks about the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele, whose experiments in the name of medical science have earned him the nick name, Angel of Death.  Iby tells students that “We lined up and he [Dr. Mengele] would walk in front of us, picking out the weakest. Their fate was the gas chambers.”

Iby Knill also tells students about the cramped, inhuman conditions at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the incredible hunger and thirst, and worst of all, the scraps of gray, latherless soap made from human ashes, and the constant fear of extermination in the gas chamber.

According to her story, Iby was able to leave the Auscwitz-Birkenau death camp by volunteering to go to the Lippstadt labour camp, a sub-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, where she worked in the hospital unit. On Easter Sunday, 1945, while on a death march to the main Buchenwald camp, she was freed by Allied Forces.

Lily Ebert is another Holocaust survivor whose story is frequently told.

The following information about Lily Ebert is from an article by Ross Lydall in the London Evening Standard on January 26, 2010:

At the age of 14, Lily Ebert was taken from the Hungarian town of Bonybad to Birkenau in a packed cattle car, along with her mother, brother and three sisters. Lily was registered upon arrival in July 1944 and tattooed with the number A-10572, even though she was below the age of 15 and could have been sent directly to the gas chamber.  After about four months at Birkenau, Lily and her three sisters were transferred to an ammunition factory near Leipzig, Germany, which was a sub-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

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 sub-camps of Dachau.

Nerin E. Gun was a Turkish journalist, who was imprisoned at Dachau in 1944. His job was to take down the names and vital information from Hungarian Jewish women who were supposedly on their way to be gassed in the Dachau gas chamber.

In his book entitled The Day of the Americans, published in 1966, Gun wrote the following regarding his work at Dachau:

I belonged to the team of prisoners in charge of sorting the pitiful herds of Hungarian Jewesses who were being directed to the gas chambers. My role was an insignificant one: I asked questions in Hungarian and entered the answers in German in a huge ledger. The administration of the camp was meticulous. It wanted a record of the name, address, weight, age, profession, school certificates, and so on, of all these women who in a few minutes were to be turned into corpses. I was not allowed in the crematorium, but I knew from the others what went on in there.

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

Other Jews at Dachau were sent to the Stutthof camp near Danzig, according to Martin Gilbert, who wrote the following about this in his book entitled Holocaust:

Begin quote:

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

End quote

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

Begin quote

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.

End quote

I also wrote about the new born babies at Dachau, whose mothers were Hungarian Jews, on this blog post:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/new-born-babies-at-dachau/

August 17, 2015

The Holocaust is mainly the strory of the Hungarian Jews

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:02 am
Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwtiz-Birkenau May 1944

Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwtiz-Birkenau on May 26, 1944

The Holocaust, as we know it today, is mostly about the Hungarian Jews.

This quote is from a recent news article, which you can read in full here.

They [the Hungarian Jews] were massacred by their fellow Hungarian citizens.

​Sent to their deaths through the efficient work of their elected government’s bureaucrats.

Their neighbors, their business partners, their fellow club members, the chimney sweeps, police officers, tax collectors, the electric meter readers, the mailmen, the chauffeurs, their grocers and their teachers actively ​and willingly ​participated in the genocide.

The Jews – regardless of their social standing – eagerly and efficiently were served up to the gallows and ovens on a silver platter by elected public office. 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.

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.

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, the little red house and the little white house. This information is from the book Auschwitz, a New History by Laurence Rees, published in 2005.

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.

The order to round up the Hungarian Jews and confine them in ghettos was signed by Lazlo Baky of the Royal Hungarian government on April 7, 1944. Jews in Hungary had been persecuted since 1092 when Jews were forbidden to marry Christians.

The deportation of the Hungarian Jews began on 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 2,698 Jews were gassed upon arrival.

On May 8, 1944, former Auschwitz 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.

Train tracks were extended from the Auschwitz station to the Birkenau camp

Train tracks were extended from the Auschwitz station into the Birkenau camp

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 Auschwitz-Birkenau on May 16, 1944. The mass transports consisted of 3,000 or more prisoners on each train.

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.

From the beginning of the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis in 1933, until March 1944, Hungary was a relatively safe haven for the Jews and many Jews from Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland sought refuge within its borders. However, in 1938, Hungary had enacted laws similar to the laws in Nazi Germany, which discriminated against the Jews.

On September 3, 1943, Italy signed an armistice with the Allies and turned against Germany, their former ally. Horthy hoped to negotiate a similar deal with the Western allies to stop a Soviet invasion of Hungary.

“Sonderkommando Eichmann,” a special group of SS soldiers under the command of Adolf Eichmann, was activated on March 10, 1944 for the purpose of deporting the Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz; the personnel in this Special Action Commando was assembled at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria and then sent to Hungary on March 19, 1944 during the celebration of Purim, a Jewish holiday.

On March 18, 1944, Hitler had a second meeting with Horthy at Schloss Klessheim, a castle near Salzburg in Austria. An agreement was reached in which Horthy promised to allow 100,000 Jews to be sent to the Greater German Reich to construct underground factories for the manufacture of fighter aircraft. These factories were to be located at Mauthausen, and at the eleven Kaufering subcamps of Dachau. The Jews were to be sent to Auschwitz, and then transferred to the camps in Germany and Austria.

When Horthy returned to Hungary, he found that Edmund Veesenmayer, an SS Brigadeführer, had been installed as the effective ruler of Hungary, responsible directly to the German Foreign Office and Hitler.

On March 19, 1944, the same day that Eichmann’s Sonderkommando arrived, German troops occupied Hungary. The invasion of Hungary by the Soviet Union was imminent and Hitler suspected that Horthy was planning to change sides. As it became more and more likely that Germany would lose the war, its allies began to defect to the winning side. Romania switched to the Allied side on August 23, 1944.

After the formation of the Reich Central Security Office (RSHA) in 1939, Adolf Eichmann had been 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.

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 was abandoned.

At 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 Holocaust True Believers claim was a euphemism for sending the European Jews to be killed at Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Hungarian Jewish children walking to the gas chamber at Birkenau

Hungarian Jewish children walking to the gas chamber at Birkenau; they were allowed to carry their pails of food into the gas chamber

The next day after German forces took over Hungary, Adolf Eichmann arrived to oversee the process of deporting the Hungarian Jews. 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.

The Jews in the villages and small towns were immediately rounded up and concentrated in ghettos. One of the ghettos was located in a brick factory in the city of Miskolc, Hungary, where 14,000 Jews were imprisoned while they waited to be transported to Birkeanu.  Many of the Holocaust survivors, still alive today, talk about the brick factory. Famous survivor, Irene Zisblatt, was one of the Jews who was allegedly at the brick factory, before being sent to Auschwitz.

Hungarian women are not happy after their arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Hungarian women are not happy after their arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau

One of the Hungarian Jews who survived Auschwitz was Alice Lok Cahana, whose story was recounted by Laurence Rees in his book entitled Auschwitz, a New History.

Alice was 15 when she was registered in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, but in spite of being over the age of 14, she was sent, only months later, to the gas chamber in Krema V and told that she would be given new clothes after taking a shower.

According to Alice, the purpose of the red brick Krema V building was deceptively disguised by red geraniums in window boxes, so that the prisoners would not suspect that they were going into a gas chamber. Alice was inside the gas chamber in Krema V when the revolt by the Sonderkommando unit in Krema IV began on October 7, 1944. This was the occasion when the Sonderkommando blew up the Krema IV gas chamber building with dynamite that had been sneaked into Birkenau by some of the women prisoners who worked in factories outside the camp.

Laurence Rees wrote:

But the revolt did save some lives. It must have been because of the chaos caused by the Sonderkommando in crematorium 4 that the SS guards emptied the gas chamber of crematorium 5 next door without killing Alice Lok Cahana and her group.

Another famous Hungarian survivor was Iby Knill, who was 18 years old, and working as a resistance fighter in Hungary when she was arrested and eventually transported to the Birkenau death camp in June 1944, according to a news article by Virginia Mason, published on January 26, 2010.

Iby’s story begins when she was a young girl growing up in her native Czechoslovakia; when the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938, she escaped over the border into Hungary but was arrested as an illegal immigrant.

“There were five of us, all girls and we made a pact to stay together as we walked through those gates and were greeted by the man we later learned was Dr Josef Mengele,” she says of her arrival at Birkenau. “From that day on it became a test of survival.” Miraculously, she adds, all five of them lived to witness the liberation from the Nazis in 1945.

By 2010, Iby had started writing her survivor story and was seeking a publisher for her manuscript.

According to Iby Knill, “The shower unit and the gas chamber looked the same. They had been built that way, so we never knew if we were to be gassed or just showered.”

In her lectures on the Holocaust, Iby described the infamous Dr Mengele, whose experiments in the name of medical science earned him the nick name, Angel of Death. “We lined up and he would walk in front of us, picking out the weakest. Their fate was the gas chambers.”

She wrote about the cramped, inhuman conditions at Birkenau, the incredible hunger and thirst, and worst of all, the scraps of gray, latherless soap made from human ashes, and the constant fear of extermination in the gas chamber.

According to her story, Iby was able to leave the Birkenau death camp only by volunteering to go to the Lippstadt labour camp, a sub-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, where she worked in the hospital unit. On Easter Sunday, 1945, while on a death march to the main Buchenwald camp, she was freed by Allied Forces.

 

April 10, 2014

Holocaust Survivor Iby Knill breaks her silence to tell story of a twin who was gassed at Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:16 pm

In an article in the Mail Online newspaper, 90-year-old Iby Knill tells the story of a twin girl, whom she met on her first night in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in July 1944. Iby Knill was among the Hungarian Jews who were sent to Birkenau, beginning in May 1944.

This quote is from the article in the Mail Online:

A grandmother who survived the Holocaust has finally spoken about the horrors of Auschwitz 70 years after promising a girl she would tell the world what she had witnessed.

Iby Knill, 90, recalls how on the first night she spent at the death camp in July 1944 a frail teenager crawled over to her and begged ‘if you live, please tell our story.’

Four years ago Mrs knill took a course in theology and it was during one of the group sessions that she finally revealed she was sent to the concentration camp when she was 20.

In a moving testament she describes the realisation that she faced being gassed like six million others.

Remembering her terrible first night at Auschwitz, she said: ‘The girl told me that her and her sister were going to be experimented on.

‘She said they were then going to be gassed and therefore exterminated. She made me promise to tell the story of the camps, if I were to live.

I previously blogged here about Block 10, the building in the main Auschwitz camp where Dr. Josef Mengele allegedly conducted his experiments on twins.

I always thought that Dr. Mengele had a reputation for being very charming, and that he was nice to the twins upon whom he experimented, bringing them candy and hair ribbons. Now the truth comes out!

Dr. Mengele told the little girls that they were going to experimented on and then GASSED.  Not only that, Dr. Mengele allowed the twins, on whom he was going to experiment, to be put into the same barracks as the incoming prisoners, so that they could tell these prisoners what Dr. Mengele had in store for them.

At Auschwitz, the incoming prisoners, who were selected to live, were given a shower and then put into the quarantine barracks near the entrance to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.  But not Iby Knill. She was put into the regular barracks, where she met a twin, who was scheduled to be gassed by Dr. Mengele, after he experimented on her. How cruel of Dr. Mengele to tell a child that she was going to be gassed, after he was through experimenting on her!

Iby Knill spent only six weeks at Auschwitz before she was sent to a labor camp to work. Yet, on her first night in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, Iby was in the same barracks as one of Dr. Mengele’s twins. No quarantine barracks for her!

Several years ago, I wrote about Iby Knill on my scrapbookpages.com website. This quote is from my website:

Iby Knill was 18 and working as a resistance fighter in Hungary when she was arrested and eventually transported to the Birkenau death camp in June 1944, according to a news article by Virginia Mason, published on January 26, 2010.

Iby’s story begins when she was a young girl growing up in her native Czechoslovakia; when the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938, she escaped over the border into Hungary but was arrested as an illegal immigrant.

“There were five of us, all girls and we made a pact to stay together as we walked through those gates and were greeted by the man we later learned was Dr Josef Mengele,” she says of her arrival at Birkenau. “From that day on it became a test of survival.” Miraculously, she adds, all five of them lived to witness the liberation from the Nazis in 1945.

By 2010, Iby had started writing her story and was seeking a publisher for her manuscript, which is chillingly brutal in its frankness, according to Virginia Mason’s article.

According to Iby Knill, “The shower unit and the gas chamber looked the same. They had been built that way, so we never knew if we were to be gassed or just showered.”

In her lectures on the Holocaust, Iby describes the infamous Dr Mengele, whose experiments in the name of medical science earned him the nick name, Angel of Death. “We lined up and he would walk in front of us, picking out the weakest. Their fate was the gas chambers.”

She talks of the cramped, inhuman conditions at Birkenau, the incredible hunger and thirst, and worst of all, the scraps of gray, latherless soap made from human ashes, and the constant fear of extermination in the gas chamber.

According to her story, Iby was able to leave the Birkenau death camp only by volunteering to go to the Lippstadt labour camp, a sub-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, where she worked in the hospital unit. On Easter Sunday, 1945, while on a death march to the main Buchenwald camp, she was freed by Allied Forces.

Note that Iby was sent to the Lippstadt labour camp, after 6 weeks in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.  She VOLUNTEERED to go to the labor camp. Did she volunteer to leave Auschwitz-Birkenau because she didn’t like using the grey soap made from HUMAN ashes?  I can’t say that I blame her: that soap wouldn’t suds and it wouldn’t foam.

Prisoners, who were sent immediately from the Auschwitz death camp to a labor camp, were not tattooed. Iby wrote a book about the fact that she did not have a tattoo, as if she were the only person to leave Auschwitz without a tattoo.

The cover of her book is shown in the photo below.

Iby Knill had no number at Auschwitz

Iby Knill had no number at Auschwitz

The news article about Iby Knill says that she was liberated from Kaunitz, which was a Displaced Persons camp, not a labor camp. She was marched out of the labor camp, and was on her way to the Buchenwald camp when she was liberated by Allied troops, then taken to a DP camp to wait for a chance to emigrate to another country.