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August 2, 2014

John Breyer “operated the wooden door on a gas chamber at Auschwitz”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:59 am

The title of my blog post today comes from an article which you can read in full here.  The photo, shown below, accompanies the article.

Photo of John Breyer who worked at the Auschwitz main camp

Photo of John Breyer who worked at the Auschwitz main camp

In the news article, the caption on the photo above says “John Breyer, it is said, operated the wooden door on a gas chamber at Auschwitz.”  So it is SAID that John Breyer “operated the wooden door on a gas chamber at Auschwitz.”  How does one OPERATE a wooden door?  Does it take some special training to operate a wooden door?  Did John Breyer have a choice?  Could he have refused to operate that wooden door?

When I visited the Auschwitz main camp in 2005, I took photos of a wooden door, which might have been the door that John Breyer allegedly “operated.”

Wooden door into the gas chamber in the Auschwitz main camp

Wooden door into the gas chamber in the Auschwitz main camp

In the photo above, you can see a metal door, opening to the outside of the building; this door was added to the “gas chamber” in the main Auschwitz camp, in 1943, when it was converted into a bomb shelter, for German soldiers stationed at the camp.  The door handle, on the wooden door into the bomb shelter, is silver colored and hard to see.

There were virtually no door KNOBS in all of Germany in those days. John Breyer might have had some special training to learn how to OPERATE a door handle.

Door handle on a door into the Kehlsteinhaus in Germany

Door handle on a door into the Kehlsteinhaus in Germany

Door handles, instead of knobs, were typically used in Germany for many years.  America was known to the soldiers who occupied Germany, after World War II, as “the land of the round doorknob.”

My photo of a door handle on a door into the Kehlsteinhaus, shown in the photo above, was taken in 1997.

John Breyer started working at the Auschwitz main camp, beginning in May 1944, at which time, the Auschwitz gas chamber was a bomb shelter for German guards.

Wooden door is shown in the background of a photo of the gas chamber

Wooden door is shown in the background of a photo of the gas chamber

The wooden door, shown in the background of the photo above, was not there in 1941 when Jews were allegedly gassed in the morgue room of the crematorium in the Auschwitz main camp.

Door into the "wash room" that is now included in the Auschwitz gas chamber

Wooden door into the “wash room” that is now included in the gas chamber

The photo above shows what was allegedly the back door into the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp; it is actually the door into a washroom that was not included in the alleged gas chamber.

When I visited Auschwitz for the first time in 1998, tourists were being told that the door, in the photo above, was the back door of the gas chamber in the main camp. I was told that a German guard stood outside this door and prevented the Jews from breaking the glass so that they could escape.  Was John Breyer the guard who stood outside this door and “operated it” so that the prisoners could not escape?  No, he was not a guard at the Auschwitz main camp until May 1944.

Krema I gas chamber in the Auschwitz 1 camp

Krema I gas chamber in the Auschwitz 1 camp shows wooden door in the background

July 24, 2014

Famous photos of SS guards herding Jews to the gas chambers at Auschwitz—NOT!

The photo below accompanies a recent news article in the LA Times. The article is about John Breyer, the Nazi war criminal who died before he could be put on trial, at the age of 89, for the crime of helping to herd 216,000 Jews, from 158 trains, to the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944.

This quote is from the news article:  “Even though [Breyer] was assigned to the Death’s Head guard battalion at Auschwitz, he said he refused to kill anyone, so he served as a perimeter guard, far from the killing.  He says that he never shepherded prisoners from the trains to the gas chambers.”

Breyer was given a choice? When he was assigned to be a guard at Auschwitz, he was asked if he would be willing to kill Jews?  Was he asked if he would be willing to herd 216,000 Jews to the gas chamber, and he said “No.”?

Photos of the Jews arriving on trains at Auschwitz-Birkenau show that Breyer is correct in implying that there were no armed guards forcing the Jews to walk to the gas chambers.

ct-sc-nw-nazi-guard-b-jpg-20140620

Notice that the photo above, which shows Jews who have just arrived on a train at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, does not include SS guards herding the Jews along, at gun point.

A train load of Jews that have just arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau

A train load of Jews that have just arrived at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp (Click to enlarge)

In the photo above, the Krema II gas chamber building is shown in the background.

I have tried to find some photos that show SS soldiers, like John Breyer, herding the Jews from 158 trains toward the four gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, but I have been unable to find any such photos. The photo above shows hundreds of Jews who have just arrived on a train.  Note the Kapos, the Jewish helpers, who are wearing striped uniforms; there are one or two SS men in the photo, but they are not pointing guns at the Jews.

SS men directing Jews toward the gas chamber

SS men directing Jews toward the gas chamber, while Kapos stand by to help on the left

The photo below shows some Jews shuffling along, carrying their bundles.  They are obviously on the way to one of the gas chambers.  Where else could they be going? Auschwitz-Birkenau was a death camp, where all the Jews from 158 trains were immediately herded into gas chambers, according to all the recent news articles about the John Breyer case.

Jews walking to the gas chamber at Auschwitz

Jews walking to the gas chamber at Auschwitz

This photo is the most famous of the "walking to the gas chamber" photos

This photo is the most famous of the “walking to the gas chamber” photos

Jews walking to the entrance into the Krema III gas chamber

Jews walking toward the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Notice in the photo above that all the Jews, from a train that has just arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau, are walking toward the entrance into the undressing room of Krema III, but there are no SS guards in sight.

Walking to the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Walking to the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

In these photos, where are the SS men, like John Breyer, who forced the Jews to walk to the gas chambers?

The photo below shows a man, who is wearing a striped uniform and a striped cap.  This man is a Kapo, a Jewish prisoner, whose job it was to assist the Jews arriving at the Auschwitz death camp.  The Holocaust survivors, who are alive today, were told by a Kapo, at the train, to lie about their age, because everyone under the age of 15 was automatically sent to the gas chamber.

A Kapo standing beside a train that has just arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau

A Kapo standing beside a train that has just arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Visitors today, who take a tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau, are first taken to the “quarantine barracks” near the entrance into the camp. Why did they need to “quarantine” in-coming prisoners?  Who cares if any of the incoming prisoners had any disease that might cause an epidemic in the camp?  All the prisoners were scheduled to be gassed upon arrival, according to the prosecutors of elderly men like John Breyer.

My 2005 photo below shows one of the barracks in the quarantine camp.  Obviously these barracks were never used because the Jews were immediately herded into the gas chamber by men like war criminal John Breyer.

My 2005 photo of barracks in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

My 2005 photo of barracks in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

Tourists at Auschwitz-Birkenau should not be taken first to the “quarantine barracks.”  This is a way of promoting Holocaust denial.  Prisoners did not need to be held in quarantine in a “death camp,” where they were taken immediately from the train to the gas chamber.