Scrapbookpages Blog

November 4, 2015

Jews to receive reparations for the agony of riding in box cars

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:49 am
French Jews were forced to ride in box cars like this to Auschwitz

French Jews were forced to ride in box cars like this to Auschwitz

Before the railroad tracks were extended into the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, the Jews got off the trains at the Judenrampe near the Auschwitz main camp.

The Judenrampe at Auschwitz where Jews got off the trains

The Judenrampe at Auschwitz where Jews got off the trains

Holocaust survivors deported from France can now apply for reparations

This quote is from news in the link given above:

Begin quote:

The [US] State Department began accepting applications Tuesday from Holocaust survivors, their spouses and heirs seeking compensation from the French government for the deportations of Jews and other prisoners to Nazi death camps aboard French trains.

Under an agreement reached between U.S. and French officials in December, the State Department will dole out $60 million paid by the French government. Holocaust survivors could receive more than $100,000 each, while spouses of deceased survivors could receive in the “tens of thousands,” depending on the number of claims filed, said Stuart Eizenstat, the State Department’s special assistant on Holocaust issues.

Eizenstat credited the advocacy of the late Leo Bretholz, a Holocaust survivor who lived in Baltimore County and protested Keolis rail bids in Maryland until he died last year at 93. Bretholz’s book, “Leap Into Darkness,” described his harrowing escape from a packed SNCF cattle car bound for Auschwitz in 1942, when he was 21.
In interviews with The Washington Post, Bretholz said the railroad needed to take financial responsibility for transporting prisoners under inhumane conditions.

“It’s important for one reason: Justice should be done,” Bretholz said. “When they [pay reparations], they admit they did something wrong — terribly wrong — sending people to be murdered.”

End quote

I have previously blogged, at least twice, about the inhumanity of the Nazis, who forced the French Jews to ride to the gas chambers at Auschwitz in box cars:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/the-role-of-the-french-railway-in-the-holocaust/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/the-boxcar-has-become-an-icon-of-the-holocaust/

The Holocaust survivors and their heirs will now receive reparations.

My 2005 photo of the door into a boxcar on display at Auschwitz

My 2005 photo of the door into a boxcar on display at Auschwitz

Train cars going to Auschwitz were coupled together like this

Train cars going to Auschwitz were coupled together

Young readers of my blog, who were not alive during the years of the Holocaust, may not be aware that many people in Europe, and even in America, were riding in boxcars — passengers trains were filled with soldiers on their way to the war front.

During the history of mankind, the Jews have been expelled hundreds of times from many different countries.  In my humble opinion, the Jews should be asking themselves why no one wants them, not asking for more and more money.

Tourists stand at the Judenrampe where the Jews got off the trains at Auschwitz

Tourists stand at the Judenrampe where the Jews got off the trains at Auschwitz

January 13, 2015

Holocaust survivor tells students about a concrete “selection platform” at Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:10 am

Today, I am blogging about a news article, which you can read in full here.  The following quote is from the article, which was written by Tom Morton:

Eva [Moses] Kor and a hundred others stood sleepless for four days while riding a cattle car through eastern Europe in the spring of 1944.

When the train stopped, 10-year-old Eva found a crack in the wall, peeked through and still couldn’t figure out where she was, she told an assembly at Natrona County High School on Tuesday.

The girl from a small village in Romania was about to endure horrors that taught her lifelong lessons of survival and even more powerful lessons of forgiveness.

The doors to the cattle cars opened.

Eva, her twin sister Miriam, parents and other family members were hustled to an 85-foot by 35-foot concrete slab known as the “selection platform,” Kor said.

That platform served as the entrance to the Auschwitz (the Germanic word for the nearby town of [Auschwitz] Oswiecim, in occupied Poland) concentration camp where hundreds of thousands of families were torn apart and killed by the Nazis from 1940 to 1945.

Excellent photo of Auschwitz gate taken by Tom Morton

Excellent photo of Auschwitz gate taken by Tom Morton

A guard looked at her and Miriam, and asked her mother if they were twins. After her mother said yes, guards set the twins aside and hauled the rest of her family to their deaths.

Eva and her sister received identifying tattoos on their left arms and spent much of the next year surviving the examinations and experiments of Dr. Joseph Mengele.

The location of the Judenrampe was opened up to tourists in January 2005. I visited the location in 2005 and took some photos.

My 2005 photo of the Judenrampe, where prisoners got off the train at Auschwitz

My 2005 photo of the Judenrampe, where prisoners got off the train at Auschwitz

Original boxcar which brought Jews to Auschwitz

Original boxcar which brought Jews to Auschwitz

You can see more photos and read about the Judenrampe on my website at

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Birkenau/Judenrampe.html

Dr. Josef Mengele, who did selections for the gas chamber at Aushwitz

Dr. Josef Mengele, who did selections for the gas chamber at Auschwitz

Dr. Josef Mengele arrived at Birkenau in early May 1943, just at the time that the second typhus epidemic at Birkenau was starting. Mengele himself contracted typhus while he was at Birkenau.

The following quote is from my website:

The first systematic selection for the gas chambers at Birkenau was made when a transport of Jews arrived at Auschwitz on July 4, 1942. The train stopped a short distance from the Auschwitz train station at a wooden platform called the “Judenrampe,” where the selection process took place. The Jews who were considered fit to work were marched to the Auschwitz main camp, which was close to the Judenrampe. There they were given a shower, their heads were shaved, a number was tattooed on their left forearm, and a registration card was made for them.

The Judenrampe was close to the Auschwitz train station, and also close to the main Auschwitz camp, the entrance of which is shown in Tom Morton’s photo above.

When I visited the location of the Judenrame in 2005, there was no display which mentioned that the ramp was made of concrete.

The only other Holocaust survivor, that I know of, who said that the ramp was made of concrete was Philip Riteman.

This quote, which mentions Philip Riteman, is from my website:

The Judenrampe was used from February 1942 until the first of May 1944. At the end of April 1944, the extermination of the Jews from Hungary began. By that time, a railroad spur line had been extended inside the camp, all the way to the gas chambers in Krema II and Krema III.

One of the first prisoners to arrive at the ramp was Philip Riteman who told a group of students at Annapolis Regional Academy in Nova Scotia in May 2007 the following about his trip to Auschwtz-Birkeanu:

After a week, the train comes to a stop along a huge platform, a mile long and four to five hundred feet wide.

“I see a big sign ‘Work makes you free.’ Auschwitz-Birkenau. I never heard of it. I didn’t know even of its existing.”

Riteman overestimated the size of the platform, which was actually about 500 yards long and 3 to 4 yards wide, according to the Auschwitz Museum. In another speech to another group of students, Riteman said that the platform was made of concrete. The ramp was near the main Auschwitz camp, but the sign over the gate that reads “Arbeit Macht Frei” was not visible from the ramp. Riteman told another group of students that the words “Arbeit Macht Frei” were on signs held by Auschwitz inmates at the ramp.

Why is all of this important? It is important because 1.5 million people per year now visit Auschwitz. This is the same number of people who were killed at Auschwitz, according to the information at the monument at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  These tourists deserve to know the truth.

Photo of children who survived Auschwitz

Photo of children who survived Auschwitz shows Miriam Moses on the far right

Another photo of child survivors with one of the Kor twins on the far right

Another photo of child survivors with Eva Moses Kor on the far right

One has to get up pretty early in the morning to get a good photo of the Auschwitz “Arbeit macht Frei” gate.

I took the photo below, very early in the morning, before all the tourists arrived.

Arbeit macht Frei gate at Auschwitz.

Arbeit macht Frei gate at Auschwitz.