Scrapbookpages Blog

July 8, 2016

the famous letter from Sigman Rascher to Himmler

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 3:14 pm

A letter written by Sigman Rascher to Heinrich Himmler is used by Holocaust True Believers to prove that there was a homicidal gas chamber at Dachau.

The letter is quoted below, first in German and then in English.

Esteemed Reichsführer! [Himmler]

Wie Sie wissen, wird im KL Dachau dieselbe Einricht[ung] wie in Linz gebaut. Nachdem die “Invalidentransporte” sowieso in bestimmten Kammern enden, frage ich, ob nicht in diesen Kammern an der sowieso dazu bestimmten Personen dieWirkung unserer verschiedenen Kampfgase erprobt werden kann? Bis jetzt liegen nur Tierversuche bezw. Berichte ueber Unfaelle bei Herrstellung dieser Gase vor. Wegen dieses Absatzes schicke ich den Brief als “Geheimsache.”
(signed)
S. Rascher 28

The English translation of the body of the letter is as follows:

As you know, the same installation as in Linz [Austria] is to be built in Dachau. As the ‘invalid transports’ terminate in the special chambers [in Linz] anyway I wondered if it would be possible to test the effects of our combat gases in these chambers [in Dachau] using the persons who are destined for those chambers anyway. The only reports which are available so far are for experiments on animals or of accidents in the manufacture of these gases.

May 12, 2016

A new version of the liberation of Mauthausen

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 6:33 am
The entrance into the Mauthausen camp

The entrance into Mauthausen camp

Note the eagle over the gate into the Mauthausen camp. This eagle was pulled down by the prisoners in the camp when they liberated themselves on May 5, 1945. The photo below shows some of the prisoners re-enacting the pulling down of the eagle emblem on May 6, 1945.

Prisoners re-enact the pulling down of the Nazi eagle

Prisoners re-enact the pulling down of the Nazi eagle

One of my very first blog posts, six years ago, was about the liberation of the Mauthausen camp in Austria:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/the-liberation-of-mauthausen-may-5-1945/

Yesterday, I read a new version of the liberation of Mauthausen, as told by 90-year-old Army veteran William Phelps.

The following quote is from the news article about Phelps:

SAN ANTONIO (AP) William Phelps wore a first sergeant’s stripes at the unlikely age of 19 as a World War II tank gunner, heard Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s unvarnished opinions over lunch one day and made the cover of Yank Magazine in 1945 in a memorable photo, patching his trousers with a sewing machine in front of a tank.

But his most important day in Europe was in liberating a Nazi extermination camp in Austria.

Outside Linz, [Austria] Phelps and two dozen soldiers entering the Mauthausen concentration camp 71 years ago last week were stunned at the sight of dead, dying and emaciated prisoners. The Americans saw German guards in the distance running for their lives, prisoners killing some of them with rocks and clubs.

End quote

Note that the article does not say that Phelps was with the 11th Armored Division, which was the division which arrived at Mauthausen the day after the prisoners had liberated themselves.

Americans enter Mauthausen camp after the prisoners had libeated themselves

Americans enter Mauthausen camp after the prisoners had liberated themselves

Several years ago, I visited the former Mauthausen camp and the town of Mauthausen. I have a whole section about Mauthausen on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/index.html

I have a section about the history of the camp at: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/KZMauthausen/History/index.html

Start by reading this page:

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/KZMauthausen/History/introduction.html

The town of Mauthausen

My photo of the town of Mauthausen

I have a section about the town of Mauthausen at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/Town/index.html

 

 

April 30, 2013

Mayday, Mayday

Filed under: Germany — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 5:00 pm
Dancing around the Maypole in Buchenberg, Germany

Dancing around the Maypole in Buchenberg, Germany

The term Mayday is an international radiotelephone signal word used by aircraft and ships in distress, according to the Online Dictionary. The term comes from the French term venez m’aider, meaning “Come help me.”

Mayday in Germany, and in German-American communities in the USA, also means a celebration of Spring.  According to tradition, the first person (of the opposite sex) that you see on Mayday is your true love.

The photo above shows both male and female dancers dancing around a Maypole, but it is usually young girls who dance around a pole on the first day of May in America.  This custom used to be followed religiously in German-American communities in America, but today — not so much.

Two holidays occur on May 1st in Germany, and the Germans celebrate them both. May Day has been a nationwide holiday in Germany since 1919, when the German National Assembly declared it to be a holiday to honor working men and women. It is also widely celebrated in Germany as a rite of spring, with music, dancing and maypoles.  The May Day traditional celebration goes back to the Wiccan holiday Beltane, which was a celebration of Spring.

Muttertag is the German celebration of May 1st, which features dancing around a Maypole.  Over 120 years ago, America inspired the celebration of labor on May Day.  The European Labor Day began in 1890 as a sympathy gesture for striking Americans in Chicago.  Dancing around the Maypole goes back quite a bit farther.

To dance around a Maypole, the dancers walk around a tall pole, clutching a rainbow of colored ribbons.  An outer circle of dancers moves clockwise while an inner circle dances in the opposite direction.  At the start, the dancers stretch their ribbons far away from the center, but move closer as the colors wrap around the pole.  In synch with each other, and the music, the circles then change direction and unwind themselves.

The German Maypole custom goes back to pre-Christian celebrations of spring.  Beginning with the Equinox in March and April, German tribes used to celebrate the new life and fertility of the season.  Trees received a particular reverence during these rituals.  Dancing around them became the precedent for the Maypole.

Young girls dancing around a Maypole

Young girls dancing around a Maypole

In Germany, the Maypole is left up for at least a month.  I took the photos below on a trip to Germany and a trip to Austria.

A Maypole in the town square in Linz, Austria

A Maypole in the town square in Linz, Austria

Maypole in the town square of Geseke, Germany

Maypole in the town square of Geseke, Germany