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June 29, 2015

Which Allied soldier arrested Josef Kramer, the Commandant at Bergen-Belsen?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:14 am

You can read about the trial of Josef Kramer in this previous blog post that I wrote: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/before-the-nuremberg-imt-there-was-the-belsen-trial/

Prisoners in the typhus barracks at Bergen-Belsen

Prisoners in the typhus barracks at Bergen-Belsen

I have always thought that it was a well-known fact that the Bergen-Belsen camp was voluntarily turned over to the British, and that  Commandant Josef Kramer was arrested by some unknown British officer.

Joseph Kramer was immeditely arrested after he met the British at the gate and offered is help

Joseph Kramer was arrested after he met the British at the gate and offered his help

A few days ago, an American woman sent me an e-mail, in which she wrote this:

My Father Raymond Arthur Swanson was sent in when our troops got to this camp [Bergen Belsen] by his commander to arrest this man [Josef Kramer]. At my Fathers funeral all of this came out and was told and recorded by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The VFW [Veterans of Foreign Wars] is a well known institution in America. If the VFW says that Kramer was arrested by an American, it must be true.

It is well known that the British were fighting in the area around Bergen-Belsen during World War II. I had always thought that American troops were not fighting in this part of Germany, but what do I know?

I did a google search and found an excellent article, written by Joseph Bellinger on the Inconvenient History website.  I know that some people [you know who you are] have made fun of Joseph Bellinger and questioned his research, but in my humble opinion, he is one of the best revisionist writers and the  Inconvenient History website is possibly THE BEST revisionist website. In other words, I trust the writing of Joseph Bellinger and the Inconvenient History website.

This quote is from the article written by Joseph Bellinger:

Three Jewish men were among the first British soldiers who entered the liberated [Bergen-Belsen] camp on April 15, 1944.

Among these liberators was Captain Derek Sington, a young man working for British Intelligence at the time these events occurred. Sington appears to have been one of the designated senior officials to first enter Belsen. His written account of the camp’s liberation indicates that he acted with authority and decisiveness when initially confronting the camp commander, Josef Kramer, who was waiting just outside of the main camp to greet and escort the British troops upon arrival.
According to Sington’s account, the Germans had made overtures to his commanding officer seeking to surrender the camp intact. An agreement was reached whereby a small contingent of guards, mainly comprised of Hungarians employed in the service of the Wehrmacht, would remain at the camp site to maintain order, along with a smaller contingent of about fifty SS staff-members and employees, retained for purely administrative purposes. It was implicitly understood that, once the surrender and transfer of the camp were completed, these units were to be allowed to pass on to the German lines without further molestation. Unfortunately for Kramer and his staff, events and emotions were soon to render that agreement null and void.

It is very clear to me, after reading the above quote, that the Bergen-Belsen camp was turned over to the British, and there were no American soldiers there. The Americans were fighting in the area south of Bergen-Belsen.

Dead bodies found by the British at Bergen-Belsen

Emaciated bodies found by the British at Bergen-Belsen

Bellinger’s article continues with this quote:

Sington was met by Commandant Kramer, who jumped onto the running board of his vehicle and saluted. Dispensing with formalities, Sington asked him how many prisoners were currently being held in the camp. Kramer gave a figure of 40,000, plus an additional 15,000 in Camp number 2, which was further up the road. When asked what types of prisoners were being held in confinement there, Kramer replied, “Habitual criminals, felons, and homosexuals.”

[..]

As Sington fought to hold back tears, he strode back to his vehicle and, still accompanied by Kramer, plunged deeper into the foul underbelly of the camp. By this time, the masses of inmates were fully aroused and began surging past the barbed wire enclosures into the main thoroughfare of the camp. At this point, Kramer suddenly leaned toward Sington and remarked, “Now the tumult is beginning.”

The following quote from Bellinger’s article tells how Kramer was treated with contempt by the British. Kramer gets no credit for saving some of the lives of the Bergen-Belsen prisoners.

On the morning of April 18th, after having spent five days and nights in a vile underground cellar enveloped in total darkness, Josef Kramer was taken out of his cell and prepared for transfer out of the camp. The former commandant was manhandled and shackled, both hands and legs. The shackles were much too small for his enormous wrists and cut gaping gashes into his flesh. Kramer was then prodded into a jeep, his shirt ripped from his back, and paraded throughout the camp half-naked, to the accompaniment of jeers, hooting, catcalls, and a resonant howling which sounded to one witness as a “terrifying blend of joy and hate.” Insults and accusations were not the only items thrown at Kramer. Whatever object the inmates could lay their hands on was thrown at Kramer as he crouched as low as he could in the vehicle, trying to avoid any potentially damaging missiles. Two British soldiers were poised directly behind Kramer, constantly prodding him in the spine with their sten guns, which was a cause for great jubilation among the gleeful inmates, and provoked them to howling with “joy and hate.” After he had been duly exposed to the contempt and wrath of the inmates, Kramer was driven out of the compound, amidst a hail of garbage and debris, never to return.

The photo below shows the healthy women and children who greeted the British liberators at the Beren-Belsen gate.

Not all of the inmates at Bergen-Belsen were starving

Not all of the inmates at Bergen-Belsen were starving

The Bergen-Belsen

The Bergen-Belsen “potato peelers” were mentioned in Bellinger’s article

April 13, 2012

Joseph Bellinger dissects the Holocaust survivor book written by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:28 pm

I am a great admirer of the writing of Joseph Bellinger. I have just finished reading his article entitled The Amazing Claims of Miklos Nyiszli which you can read in full here As I read through the article, I noticed some quotes from Dr. Nyiszli’s book, Auschwitz A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account, which I do not recall reading.  I have the “First Arcade Paperback Edition” published in 1993. I got out my copy of the book and noticed that some changes had been made in the 1993 edition, which leaves out some of the  original wording in the 1961 edition critiqued by Bellinger.

This quote is from Joseph Bellinger’s article:

…Bettelheim chooses to remain haunted. Thus, the examination of Nyiszli’s claims are deferred to the realm of the mystical and unexplained phenomena within the universe, and the author speaks with due reverence and piety of that which he fails to explain or examine with reason. Clearly, for Bettelheim, unquestioning belief in Nyiszli’s book is an item of faith.

Yet, paradoxically, Bettelheim also writes:

“In its clues to an answer lies the importance of this book. It is an unbelievable story, but we all know it is true. We wish to forget it. It just does not fit into our system of value and thought. And rather than to reshape them, we wish to dismiss the story of the German extermination camps. If we could, we would prefer to think it never happened.”

If we replace the plural “we” with “I” and “our” with “my” we will be faced with the real essence of Bettelheim’s thought process, which he chose to suppress entirely, rather than face the ultimate consequences of what his own reason sought to impose upon his offended intellect.

In the 1993 edition which I have, the FORWARD, written by Bruno Bettelheim, does not include the paragraph which Bellinger quoted.  The FORWARD ends with this paragraph:

This book then is most of all a cautionary tale, as old as mankind. Those who seek to protect the body at all cost die many times over. Those who risk the body to survive as men have a good chance to live on.

The 1993 edition of Dr. Nyiszli’s book has an INTRODUCTION written by Richard Seaver.

This quote is from Richard Seaver’s Introduction:

…in 1944 German authorities destroyed the transport lists of all Jews who had been sent to Auschwitz up to that point, and in the succeeding months ordered the destruction of all other incriminating documents.  Later, as the Russian armies drew near Auschwitz early in 1945, other evidence was either burned or transferred to camps further west.

Why was it necessary for the “German authorities” to destroy the transport lists of all Jews who had been sent to Auschwitz?  Because those clever “German authorities” knew that the Jews, who were gassed immediately after they arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau, had not been registered in the camp, so the only way to know how many Jews were gassed would be to look at the transport list.  By subtracting the number of prisoners, who were transported to Auschwitz and were then transferred to another camp, and the number of survivors from the number of Jews transported, the remaining number would be the total number of prisoners who were gassed.  By destroying the transport lists, the “German authorities” made it impossible to know the exact number of Jews who were gassed, and the Russian liberators of the camp could give an estimate as high as 4 million deaths if they were so inclined.

Getting back to Joseph Bellinger’s article, here is another quote from what he wrote:

… it does not take Nysizli long before he offends the intellect of the reader by writing on page 23

I got only as far as page 16 before I became suspicious that Dr. Nysizli had never seen Auschwitz-Birkenau.  This quote is from page 16:

Concrete pylons stretched in even rows to the horizon, with barbed wire strung between them from top to bottom. Signs warned that the wires were electrically charged with high tension current.  Inside the enormous squares bounded by the pylons stood hundreds of barracks covered with green tar-paper  and arranged to form a long, rectangular network of streets as far as the eye could see.

Birkenau is now a vast field of the remains of the brick stoves that were in the barracks which are now gone

Most of the wooden barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau are gone now, but the few that are left are not covered with tar paper.   I lived in a poor neighborhood as a child, and I saw many tar-paper shacks, but never any covered with GREEN tar-paper.  The photos below show the wooden barracks that are still standing.

My 2005 photo of the Quarantine barracks at Birkenau

Barbed wire fence at Birkenau with wooden barrack in the background on the left hand side

The wooden barracks shown in the photos might be reconstructed barrack buildings, but if they are, why were these buildings not reconstructed authentically with the green tar-paper covering?  Did they run out of green tar-paper in Poland?  The barracks in the American internment camps for Japanese Americans were covered with black tar-paper.  They could have stripped some of that tar-paper off and used it instead of reconstructing barracks with no tar-paper.

Joseph Bellinger quoted from the DECLARATION written by Dr. Nyiszli at the beginning of the book. In the 1993 edition of the book, there is an additional paragraph in the Declaration which I will quote here:

In writing this work I am not aiming for any literary success. When I lived through these horrors, which were beyond all imagining, I was not a writer but a doctor.  Today, in telling them, I write not as a reporter, but as a doctor.

Sounds like he’s covering his tracks for any mistakes that he might have made, and in my opinion, he made many mistakes.  I previously wrote a blog post about Dr. Nyiszli which you can read here.