Scrapbookpages Blog

May 7, 2016

Black markers identify the ash pond at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 4:07 pm

On this website, you can see a photo of the four black markers at the ash pond near Krema II at Auschwitz-Birkenau:

http://www.thejewishweek.com/features/rabbis-world/yom-hashoah-reflections-2016-5776

I have a similar photo on my scrapbookpages.com website, which you can see below.

Black markers at Birkenau ash pond

Black markers at Birkenau ash pond

My photo of the ruins of Krema II

My photo of the ruins of Krema II

My photo below shows the ruins of Krema II where the ash pond is located, although the ash pond is not shown in this view. The brick building in the background is the kitchen in the women’s camp.

My photo of the ruins of Krema II

My photo of the ruins of Krema II

The following quote is from the news article in the link above:

Begin quote

For my column this week, I would like to share with you the comments I made at our synagogue’s annual Yom Hashoah program on Wednesday evening. They are, in every way, what I would want to say to all of you on this occasion…

If the Passover Haggadah, commemorating a historical event that took place thousands of years ago, drove our imaginations with four questions, a relatively meager text and some clever if enigmatic songs, then what might we possibly say about the Shoah that would be adequate to the task at hand?

The quick answer to that question is, of course, nothing– nothing at all. At the risk of descending quickly into cliché, there simply are no words that are adequate to the task of recounting the myriad horrors that were perpetrated by the Nazis and their sympathizers against our people, the Jewish people, simply because they were Jewish. That is the quickest answer to the question, and certainly the most accurate. The problem with it, however, is that saying “there’s nothing to say” says nothing, and the reason why we are here is because of the categorical imperative to say something– to remember what was done to us, and to pass those memories on. We may not be able to explain it, and certainly not understand it or even adequately describe it, but remembering the Shoah is not- cannot- be a silent activity. It demands words, poetry, music, prayer, and yes, silence – all of which we engage in this evening.

Read more at http://www.thejewishweek.com/features/rabbis-world/yom-hashoah-reflections-2016-5776#TjrEeoRTYFRhdDPh.99

End quote
My photo of another view of the ruins of Krema Ii

My photo of another view of Krema II ruins

Krema II was constructed by the Huta Corporation, according to a design by Architect Georg Werkmann, which was modified by Walter Dejaco.

In 1972, Walter Dejaco was tried in a German court on a charge of aiding and abetting mass murder; he was acquitted of this charge. He claimed that he did not know that the morgue room, called Leichenkeller 1 on the building blueprint, was actually intended to be used as a gas chamber. The undressing room was called Leichenkeller 2 on the blueprint of the building. Leichenkeller is the German word for Corpse Cellar. On the blueprints of Krema IV and Krema V, also designed by Walter Dejaco, the gas chambers are called shower rooms.

 

 

April 16, 2016

“the steps leading down into those gas chambers…”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:24 am
Model of the Krema II gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Model of the Krema II undressing room and gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The title of my blog post today is a quote from a newspaper opinion article which you can read in full at http://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/04/15/teacher-auschwitz-reminds-why-we-must-reject-hate/82984092/

The following quote is from the newspaper opinion piece:

Recently, Werner Coppel, a 91-year-old survivor of Auschwitz, passed away peacefully as I [an American school teacher] held his hand whispering words of gratitude and love. His death, a reminder of our ephemeral nature, has caused immense reflection.

[…]

I challenge each [presidential] candidate to listen to a Holocaust survival story as a reminder of the ideals on which this country was founded. Absorb wisdom gained from the darkness of hatred, evils of divisiveness, stripped dignity of dehumanization. Traverse the paths of Auschwitz-Birkenau, see the steps leading down into those gas chambers, …

End quote

It has been awhile since my last visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2007 and I had forgotten that the alleged gas chambers at Birkenau were underground; the Holocaust victims had to walk down steps into the undressing room and then proceed into the underground gas chamber, which was at a right angle to the undressing room.

Would it have killed the Nazis to put the gas chambers above ground, so as not to frighten the victims, who had to descend down the steps? I would have died of fright, just by going down those steps. I am surprised that the victims did not revolt and refuse to descend the steps to their death. There were 2,000 Jews who were gassed, each time, so it would have been easy for them to revolt. But no! Each batch of Jews went quietly to their deaths.

The photo, at the top of my blog post, shows a model of the Krema II gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which is an exhibit in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

On the left, in the photo, is the underground room where the victims were forced to undress. The gas chamber is shown on the right side of the photo. A small elevator was used to lift the dead bodies up to the cremation ovens, which were on the ground floor of the building. The prisoners who worked in the crematorium lived in the attic space above the ovens.

My photo of the ruins at Auschwitz-Birkenau

My photo of the ruins at Birkenau

The photo above shows the ruins of the undressing room on the right, only a few feet from the steps of the International Monument at Birkenau. In the foreground is the floor of the oven room where the bodies were burned after the Jews were gassed. In the background is the grove of trees that marks the western boundary of the Birkenau camp, with a guard tower in the right hand corner of the photo.

After descending into the undressing room, the prisoners were instructed to take off all their clothes and hang them on hooks on the wall; they were told that they were going to take a shower. Then the naked victims, men, women and children all together, allegedly walked to the end of the undressing room where there was a door into a small vestibule, called the Vorraum.

A door on the south wall of the Vorraum led into the gas chamber, which was at right angles to the undressing room. The gas chamber was allegedly disguised as a shower room with fake shower heads, which are now gone; the hooks in the undressing room have also never been found.

The victims soon learned, to their horror, that they had been duped. The shower room was actually a gas chamber where Zyklon-B gas pellets were thrown in through four holes on the roof.

According to a book entitled, The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It? by Michael J. Neufeld and Michael Berenbaum, the gas chambers in Krema II and Krema III were 99 feet long by 23 feet wide. The undressing rooms in both buildings were 162 feet long by 26 feet wide. The section of these T-shaped buildings, which was above ground, was 99 feet long by 37 feet wide, and the overall size of the long part of the buildings was 352 feet by 41 feet.

Ruins of the oven room at Birkenau with undressing room in the background

Ruins of the oven room at Birkenau and undressing room in the background

On the far right in the photo above, you can see the white steps of the International Monument, which are only three or four feet from the entrance to the undressing room of Krema II where 500,000 Jews descended to their death. In the foreground of the photo above is the remains of the ground-floor furnace room.

The Krema II gas chamber and the undressing room were both about five feet underground, but not directly underneath the brick one-story building which housed the cremation ovens.

My photo of the ruins of the steps down into the undresssing room

My photo of the ruins of the steps down into an undressing room at Birkenau

The photo above shows another view of the steps down into the undressing room, which was a bit larger than the gas chamber. Note that the undressing room does not appear deep enough to be an underground room. The concrete roof of this room was 3 feet above ground.

Note in the photo above that there is no path leading to the steps down into the undressing room. Krema II and Krema III were both enclosed by an interior barbed wire fence, which you can see in the background of the photo above.

To access the undressing rooms at Krema II and Krema III, the prisoners had to walk down the main camp road and enter the gas chamber enclosure through a gate that faced the main camp road, then walk around the building to the west side where the steps down into the undressing rooms were located. The location of the gates into the Krema II and Krema III enclosures are now covered by the International Monument.

The photo below, taken with the camera pointing north, shows the collapsed roof of the gas chamber in Krema II, which is at right angles to the undressing room; the International monument is in the background.

Ruins of Krema II with international monument in the background

Ruins of Krema II with international monument in the background

Approximately in the middle of the photo above, you can see the opening of a small hole, through which both Fred Leuchter and Germar Rudolf descended into the alleged Krema II gas chamber. They were expecting to see blue stains left by the Zyklon-B that was allegedly used in this alleged gas chamber, but neither of them saw any blue stains. What!!! Were both of them blind?

The gassing of the Jews at Birkenau stopped on the first of November 1944; the roof of the Krema II brick building was taken off and the cremation ovens were lifted out with cranes. The alleged fake shower fixtures on the ceiling of the gas chamber were removed and all traces of them are now gone. Then the alleged wire-mesh columns inside Krema II, into which the poison gas pellets had been poured, were removed.

During the David Irving libel case, Robert Jan van Pelt testified as an expert witness that the holes in the roof were closed up and cemented over so skillfully that no trace of them can be seen today. Only then were the gas chamber buildings allegedly blown up by the Germans to destroy any remaining evidence.

Yes, yes, I know! Some of my readers are going to tell me that the Soviet liberators of the camp blew up the alleged gas chambers.  But why would they do that? It was the Germans, who destroyed the evidence of gassing before they left the camp, leading the survivors to safety.

You can see more of my photos of the ruins of the Krema II gas chamber at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/Tour/Birkenau/RuinsII02.html

March 1, 2015

Auschwitz now has online lessons for visitors

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 1:21 pm

You can read all about the online lessons, for visitors to Auschwitz, in this news article in the Jewish World.

This quote is from the online lessons link in the news story: http://auschwitz.org/en/history/

Begin quote:

All over the world, Auschwitz has become a symbol of terror, genocide, and the Holocaust. It was established by Germans in 1940, in the suburbs of Oswiecim, a Polish city that was annexed to the Third Reich by the Nazis. Its name was changed to Auschwitz, which also became the name of Konzentrationslager Auschwitz.

The direct reason for the establishment of the camp was the fact that mass arrests of Poles were increasing beyond the capacity of existing “local” prisons. Initially, Auschwitz was to be one more concentration camp of the type that the Nazis had been setting up since the early 1930s. It functioned in this role throughout its existence, even when, beginning in 1942, it also became the largest of the death camps.

End quote

Several years ago, I did a blog post, in which I wrote that the original name of the town was Auschwitz. I suppose that I will have to take that blog post down because the official history of Auschwitz now states that the original name of the town was Oswiecim.

Curiously, the online lessons do not have any information about the gas chambers at Auschwitz.  Maybe it’s there and I couldn’t find it.  I did find a photo of the ruins of Krema II, which is very similar to a photo, shown below, that I took in 2005.

My 2005 photo of the Ruins of Krema II at Auschwitz-Birkenau

My 2005 photo of the Ruins of Krema II at Auschwitz-Birkenau

I think that the online lessons should include a photo of the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, and explain how the gassing of the prisoners was accomplished. That’s the main thing that visitors want to know.

October 8, 2013

How long did it take for prisoners to die in a Nazi gas chamber?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 1:10 pm

Many people have wondered how long it took for the gas to take effect in a Nazi gas chamber.  After reading the story of a Holocaust survivor, who gave a talk to students in Canada recently, I now know the answer.  In a previous blog post, I wrote about how gassing methods were first tested and perfected at Dachau. I also blogged about the story of Eva Olssen here.

According to Holocaust survivor Eva Olssen, it took 20 minutes for her relatives to die in the gas chamber.  This quote is from a news article which you can read in full here.

It was May 15, 1944.

Olsson and her 19 extended family members, who lived in a two-room apartment in Hungary, were forced from their home.

Four days later they arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau — also known as The Killing Factory. She was holding her young niece’s hand and a prisoner whispered to Olsson to give the child to an older woman. Olsson didn’t let go. The prisoner said it again and after a third time, Olsson let go of the girl’s hand. That ensured she would survive.

Her mother, sisters and nieces went the other way to a gas chamber. You would hear screaming for 20 minutes and then there was silence, she said.

An Auschwtiz prisoner was standing beside the trains when Jews arrived

An Auschwitz prisoner was standing beside the trains when Jews arrived

In the photo above, notice the prisoner, wearing a striped uniform, standing beside the train on the far right.  These prisoners, who helped the Nazis, were called Kapos (captains).  They advised the prisoners on how to survive the selection that took place as soon as the train stopped.

Eva Olssen was saved because a Kapo told her not to hold the hand of a child.  Children under the age of 15 were gassed within hours after arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Photos were taken at Auschwitz-Birkenau on May 26, 1944; Eva Olssen arrived on May 19, 1944 so she is not shown in any of the pictures.

You can read about Auschwitz-Birkenau on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/Birkenau01B.html

You can read about the deportation of the Hungarian Jews, including Eva Olssen, at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/HungarianJews.html

Could Eva Olssen have heard the screams coming from the gas chamber?  It is possible, although not very likely.

The photo below shows the ruins of Krema II, one of the four gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  In 1944, railroad tracks were extended inside of the camp, to within a few yards of Krema II and Krema III.  The International Monument, which is shown in the background of the photo, was built a few feet from Krema II and Krema III.

Ruins of Krema II, one of the gas chambers, at Birkenau

Ruins of Krema II, one of the gas chambers, at Birkenau

Ruins of oven room in Krema II with women's camp in the background

Ruins of oven room in Krema II with women’s camp in the background

In the photo directly above, you can see the kitchen in the women’s camp in the background.  The women’s barracks are behind the kitchen, but not shown, in this photo.  The gas chambers in Krema II and  Krema III, were five feet below ground. It would have been hard to hear screams, but not impossible.

In 1944, the train tracks had been extended inside the Birkenau camp, right up to the location of Krema II and Krema III.  The photo below shows how close the tracks are to the Holocaust monument which is between the ruins of Krema II and Krema III.

The end of the train tracks at Birkenau is close to the ruins of Krema II and Krema III

The end of the train tracks at Birkenau is close to the ruins of Krema II and Krema III

In the photo above, the ruins of Krema II are on the left, but not shown.  The ruins of Krema III are on the right.

Prisoners walking past Krema III gas chamber building which is in the background

Prisoners walking past Krema III gas chamber building which is in the background

The prisoners in the photo above are walking past Krema III, which is in the background. They are looking toward Krema II, as they walk to the showers. Strangely, there are some children in the photo, who were not selected to be gassed. There are also some prisoners who look as if they are able to work.

All this is very confusing.  You would think that the Nazis would have put the gas chambers off in the woods somewhere, not out in the open, near a road where other prisoners marching past could hear the screams.  How horrible — to hear the screams of your mother dying in a gas chamber!

April 26, 2013

Photos of the ruins of Krema II at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:55 am

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I am putting up some pictures of Krema II (the gas chamber building) at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The building was allegedly blown up by the Nazis on January 20, 1945. Or maybe by the Soviet liberators — who knows?  (The SS men had left on January 18, 1945, leading a death march out of the camp.)

These photos were taken by me in October 2005.  The ruins of Krema II have probably collapsed more since then, so I am sharing these photos.

2005 photo of the ruins of Krema II at Auschwitz-Birkenau

2005 photo of the ruins of Krema II at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Ruins of the crematorium in the Krema II building at Birkeanu

Ruins of the crematorium in the Krema II building at Birkenau

Ruins of Krema II

Ruins of Krema II

Holes in roof of Krema II

Holes in the roof of Krema II

Several revisionists have climbed down into the gas chamber, which is located under the collapsed roof shown in the photo above.  I am not sure if the hole shown in the photo is the hole that was used to climb down into the gas chamber.  These are NOT the holes that were used to pour the Zyklon-B pellets into the gas chamber.  Those holes have never been found.

November 5, 2010

Shocking claim that Krema II and Krema III at Auschwitz-Birkenau were bakeries

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 5:52 pm

I found a shocking claim on a blog post of one of the readers who regularly comments on my posts.  Here is a quote from the blog of “little grey rabbit” who calls himself a skeptic:

… the sites at Birkenau known today as “Krema” II and III originally had a much different purpose and and layout than that shown in what are alleged to be the construction blueprints of these buildings.  For reasons which I will not elaborate here, it is my belief that these two buildings were in reality bakeries. Whether that is in fact the case, is irrelevant besides the demonstrable fact that they were not crematoria, or at least not crematoria as were detailed by the blueprints.  My own realization of this fact came some years ago when I noticed the complete absence of underground flues at “Krema” II, underground flues which would be required to connect the ovens to the smoke-stack.   (more…)