Scrapbookpages Blog

May 30, 2014

Piles of shoes prove that the Jews were gassed in the Nazi death camps

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:47 am

This morning, I read an article, entitled “Shoes bear witness to Nazi horrors,” in the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper here. The following quote is from the article:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — There are pictures, videos and reams of information and items on display at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., yet somehow nothing seems more powerful than a room full of dusty, abandoned shoes.

There are thousands of pairs — some had heels, some were sandals — but all covered the feet of Jewish men, women and children before they were sent to the Nazi gas chambers. A visitor gets chills thinking of so many people obeying the command to remove their footwear, likely not knowing what was about to happen to them.

The photo below, taken at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington,  DC, is shown in the newspaper article.

Display of shoes at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Display of shoes at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

How do we know that these shoes “covered the feet of Jewish men, women and children before they were sent to the Nazi gas chambers,” as stated in the article?

The Nazis did not keep records of the names of the Jews, who were sent to the gas chamber, but they wanted the world to know that they were gassing the Jews, so they devised a plan to save the shoes as evidence.

Even at Bergen-Belsen, an exchange camp, which did not have gas chambers, the shoes were saved in huge piles, as shown in the photo below.

Piles of shoes at the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp

Piles of shoes at the Bergen-Belsen exchange camp

The largest piles of shoes, an estimated 800,000 pairs, were found at the Majdanek death camp, where it was originally claimed by the Soviet union that 1.5 million Jews had died.  Now, it is claimed that only 59,000 Jews died at Majdanek.

Why were so many shoes found at Majdanek? It could be that each of the 59,000 Jews, who died there, brought several pairs of shoes with them. You never know when you might need a change of shoes.

The photo below was taken by Simon Robertson at the Majdanek Memorial Site.

Thousands of shoes, taken from the prisoners at Majdanek, are still stored there

Thousands of shoes, taken from the prisoners at Majdanek, are still stored there

Pile of shoes at Majdanek when the camp was liberated in 1944

Pile of shoes at Majdanek when the camp was liberated in 1944

A huge pile of shoes, which included baby shoes, was found by the American liberators of Dachau in April 1945. These shoes are shown in the photo below.

Pile of shoes found at the Dachau concentration camp

Pile of shoes found at the Dachau concentration camp

At Auschwitz-Birkenau, where 900,000 Jews were killed, according to the latest figures, there were more shoes found.

Old photo shows shoes found in a warehouse at Auschwitz

Old photo shows shoes found in a warehouse at Auschwitz

My 2005 photo of the shoes on display in the Auschwitz Museum

My 1998 photo of the shoes on display in the Auschwitz Museum

What were the Nazis planning to do with all these shoes? Were they saving them for future museums to display as evidence of the gassing of the Jews?  During World War II, the Germany people had plenty of shoes; they were not suffering at all during the bombing of German cities — NOT!  The German soldiers had plenty of good shoes; the Nazis didn’t need to recycle shoes for their soldiers — NOT!   Use your heads, people.  Don’t write silly news stories like the one cited above.


May 4, 2014

What is the truth about the infamous Aktion Erntefest at Majdanek?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:57 am
Prisoners allegely marching to their death at Majdanek

Prisoners allegedly marching to their death at Majdanek

Erntefest, or Harvest Festival in English, is the title given to the alleged execution of 18,000 Jews in only nine hours on November 3, 1943 at the Majdanek concentration camp in Lublin, Poland.  I wrote about this event on my website, after visiting the Majdanek Memorial Site in October 1998.  You can read about it on Wikipedia here.

There has been some discussion in the comments section of my blog about this event.  I thought that the famous Erntefest was a proven fact, but others have doubted it.

I finally did a search to find out what Carlo Mattogno has to say about it.  I consider Mattogno to be the foremost Holocaust revisionist and the most reliable Holocaust historian, because he seems to me to be completely unbiased.  Not that other revisionists are biased, but Mattogno is noted for being completely unbiased.

I found an article here which mentions Mattogno and the famous Erntefest at Majdanek.

The following quote is from the article:

My Italian friend Carlo Mattogno – who is doubtless the world’s foremost expert on the ‘Holocaust’ – and I have decided to do the work all other historians have failed to accomplish. Our book, KL Majdanek. Eine historische und technische Studie has been published in German. (4)

In June 1997, Mattogno and I spent time in Lublin. Our book is essentially based upon the following sources:

– Documents found in Russian archives in 1995 (5);

– Documents found in the archives of Majdanek museum, as well as in the archives of the city of Lublin;

– The Polish literature;

– Practical investigation on the ground of the former concentration camp.

Unfortunately, the documentation about the Lublin camp is by no means as complete as the historian would desire; many documents are missing or were destroyed before the liberation of the camp. Therefore, it would be quite difficult to write a ‘history of Majdanek.’

To mention but one example, we do not know how many prisoners were deported to Majdanek during the almost three years of its existence, and we have to content ourselves with estimates. Still, the extant documents permit us to determine the death figure of the camp with reasonable accuracy and to refute the myth of the homicidal gas chambers as well as the legend of the mass shooting allegedly perpetrated in November 1943.

If Mattogno refutes the “legend” of the mass shooting, that’s good enough for me.

When I visited the Majdanek camp in 1998, I had a private tour guide, who drove me there in her car. The camp was originally built just outside the city of Lublin, but when I visited, the camp was inside the city limits. We were driving down a street, that was a major road in Poland, when  all of a sudden, my tour guide said to me:  “Look over there. That’s the Commandant’s house.”

Then I saw the huge monument that is very near the road.  I was so taken aback that I had a hard time operating my camera, and I didn’t get a good photo of it. I borrowed the photos below.

Monument at Majdanek faces the street

Monument at Majdanek faces the street

The ashes of the 18,000 prisoners who were allegedly killed are under the dome, shown in the photo below. On the right, in the photo, there is one of the original wooden guard towers.  The three objects on the left side are toilets for the tourists, which are the source of a very foul smell.

Ashes under the dome at Majdanek

Ashes under the dome at Majdanek

The point that I am trying to make, in showing the photos above, is that the monuments at the Majdanek Memorial Site are way over the top.  I have since learned that the Majdanek camp was not a major extermination camp, and  probably not an extermination camp at all.

This quote is from the article which you can read in full here:

According to the orthodox ‘Holocaust’ historians, the Germans set up six ‘extermination camps’ in Poland where Jews were systematically murdered in gas chambers. One of these purported extermination centres was Majdanek, near the city of Lublin.

The ‘Holocaust’ historians claim that Majdanek served both as a labour camp and a murder factory. Between September 1942 and October 1943, the Germans are supposed to have gassed large numbers of Jewish prisoners, partly by means of Zyklon-B, partly by means of carbon monoxide. Moreover, the Germans are accused of having shot about 18,000 Jews at Majdanek on November 3, 1943. This was allegedly the beastliest mass murder ever committed in any German concentration camp on a single day.

Tens of thousands of books have been published about the ‘Holocaust.’ One would therefore expect to find an abundance of scientific studies about these six alleged mass murder sites. In reality, the exterminationist historians have almost exclusively focused their attention upon Auschwitz. Much to his dismay, the would-be-student of Majdanek quickly discovers that there is not a single serious book about this camp in any western language!

The original claim, by the Soviet Union, was that 1.7 million people had been killed at Majdanek.  Now that figure has been OFFICIALLY reduced to 78,000, including 59,000 Jews. I am ready to concede that the figure for the Erntefest should be reduced, from 18,000, to perhaps 180 prisoners who were killed.

There is a famous photo of prisoners being marched to their death at Majdanek, which you can see at the top of my blog post.

Years ago, when I visited the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, CA, there was a man at the entrance to the underground parking lot, who looked remarkably like the man in the lower left corner of the photo.  He was stopping all the cars, in order to determine if it was safe to allow the occupants inside the museum.

Did the man in the photo survive and make his way to Los Angeles,  where he is now living the good life in America, like so many other Holocaust survivors?  Anything is possible.

April 9, 2014

If everyone who claims to be a survivor actually is one . . . who did Hitler kill?”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:54 am

The title of my blog post today is a quote from Norman Finkelstein’s book entitled The Holocaust Industry, published in the year 2000.

Here is the exact quote from page 81 of The Holocaust Industry:  “If everyone who claims to be a [Holocaust] survivor actually is one, my mother used to exclaim, “who[m] did Hitler kill?”

I thought about this when I read a recent news article at

The article is about a woman who escaped Nazi Germany in 1939 on a Kindertransport to the UK.  After World War II, she moved to the USA where she is now out on the lecture circuit, telling her sad story to college students. There is not a day that goes by, in the USA, that a “Holocaust survivor” is not out telling his or her story about surviving the Holocaust.

In his book, Finkelstein cites a book, written by Henry Friedlander, entitled Darkness and Dawn in 1945: The Nazis, the Allies, and the Suvivors. According to Friedlander, as quoted by Finkelstein, “The figure for Holocaust survivors at war’s end is generally put at some 100,000.”

On page 83 of his book, Finkelstein wrote this:

The Israeli Prime Minister’s office recently put the number of “living Holocaust survivors at nearly a million.”

When I read Finkelstein’s book, back in the year 2000, I was just beginning to study the Holocaust, and I could not comprehend what he was saying. For example, he wrote on page 85 that his mother was “A survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, Majdanek concentration camp and slave labor camps at Czestochowa and Skarszyksko-Kamiena…”

Umschlagplatz in Warsaw, from which Jews were deported to Treblinka to be killed

Umschlagplatz in Warsaw, from which Jews were deported to Treblinka to be killed

I had made a trip to Poland in 1998, where I had seen the place in the Warsaw Ghetto, from which the Jews were shipped to Treblinka to be killed. I had learned that Treblinka was a “killing center,” not a transit camp, so how did Finkelstein’s mother get to Majdanek?  I was completely confused by this.

To top it all off, I had visited Majdanek in 1998, where I had learned that Majdanek was a “death camp” with 4 gas chambers. According to Soviet testimony at the Nuremberg IMT, there were 1.5 million people, who were killed at Majdanek.

Majdanek "death camp" in Poland

Majdanek “death camp” in Poland

So how did Finkelstein’s mother escape the Majdanek gas chambers? I assumed that the Nazis had spared Finkelstein’s mother because she was young and beautiful.

I have recently learned that Finkelstein’s mother has been accused of being a “Nazi collaborator” because she is suspected of having been a Kapo [a prisoner who was a helper] at Majdanek.

On my 1998 trip to Poland,  I learned about a book entitled The Painted Bird, written by Jerzy Kosinski. My Polish tour guide told me that this book was a fake story. When I returned from Poland, I got the book from my local library and started reading it, but I couldn’t finish it — it was too gory for me.

In his book, Finkelstein wrote:

[The Painted Bird] was purported to be Kosinski’s autobiographical account of his wanderings as a solitary child through rural Poland during World War II. In fact, Kosinski lived with his parents throughout the war. The book’s motif is the sadistic sexual tortures perpetrated by the Polish peasantry. […]  The Painted Bird became a basic Holocaust text. […] … and required reading in high school and college classes.

So what does all this have to do with anything? I suspect that there are numerous fake Holocaust books. For example, on page 82 of his book, Finkelstein dares to criticize Eli Wiesel.

This quote is from page 82 of Finkelstein’s book:

Apart from the frailties of memory, some Holocaust survivor testimony may be suspect for additional reasons. Because survivors are now revered as secular saints, one doesn’t dare question them.

Finkelstein goes on to list the lies told by Elie Wiesel, who is the No. 1 “secular saint,” whom people don’t dare to question.  Except for those pesky Holocaust deniers. How many Holocaust denial laws will it take to stop Holocaust denial?  The Russian Federation is the latest country to make Holocaust denial a crime.  The Russians are now forbidden to question the verdict at the Nuremberg IMT, at which it was “proved” that 1.5 million people were killed at Majdanek — except for Normal Finkelstein’s mother.

March 12, 2014

Abraham Bomba, one of the barbers at Treblinka…

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:20 am

Today, I got an e-mail from Bradley Smith, alerting me to a letter that he has sent to Sara Bloomfield, the Director the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.  His letter concerns Abraham Bomba, whom Bradley claims was a collaborator with the Germans, who ran the Treblinka death camp.

I think that Bradley is calling Abraham Bomba a “collaborator” because he helped the Germans at the Treblinka camp, by cutting the hair of the women before they were gassed.  According to the ex-post-facto law of “common design,” anyone who helped the Nazis, in any way, at the Nazi concentration camps, was guilty of a war crime. This law is still being used to put 90-year-old men on trial in Germany.

In my humble opinion, the ex-post-facto law of “common design” cannot be used to claim that the Jewish helpers in the camps were war criminals.

Abraham Bomba was one of the 40 prisoners, who escaped from the Treblinka extermination camp in 1943, and lived to tell about it. Bomba was a Jew who was born in 1913 in Germany, but was raised in Czestochowa, Poland.

Before he escaped from the Treblinka II camp, Bomba was a barber at the camp; his job was cutting the hair of the victims inside the gas chamber, just before they were gassed.

Abraham Bomba is one of the Jews whom revisionists love to make fun of, because his testimony about Treblinka is so  preposterous. For example, he claimed that there were 20 benches inside the gas chamber, where the women sat while the barbers cut their hair.

Bomba was one of the 1,000 Sonderkommando Jews, who lived in the barracks in a separate section of the Treblinka II camp and worked for the Germans who ran the camp. There were neither factories, nor living quarters, for the 713,555 Jews who arrived at the fake train station at the Treblinka camp in 1942.

A model of the fake train station at Treblinka

A model of the fake train station at Treblinka

According  to the official story of the Holocaust, the terms “arrivals” and “evacuated” were Nazi code words for extermination; the Jews who were sent to Treblinka and the other Operation Reinhard camps were immediately gassed, only hours after their arrival.

In 1990, Abraham Bomba told about his experience in the camp in a video-taped interview for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. You can see and hear part of his interview on the USHMM website at

The  following quote is from the transcript of this interview:

“And now I want to tell you, I want to tell you about the thing…the gas chamber. It was, they ask me already about this thing. The gas chamber, how it looked. Very simple. Was all concrete. There was no window. There was nothing in it. Beside, on top of you, there was wires, and it looked like, you know, the water going to come out from it. Had two doors. Steel doors. From one side and from the other side. The people went in to the gas chamber from the one side. Like myself, I was in it, doing the job as a barber. When it was full the gas chamber–the size of it was…I would say 18 by 18, or 18 by 17, I didn’t measure that time, just a look like I would say I look here the room around, I wouldn’t say exactly how big it is. And they pushed in as many as they could. It was not allowed to have the people standing up with their hands down because there is not enough room, but when people raised their hand like that there was more room to each other. And on top of that they throw in kids, 2, 3, 4 years old kids, on top of them. And we came out. The whole thing it took I would say between five and seven minute. The door opened up, not from the side they went in but the side from the other side and from the other side the…the group…people working in Treblinka number 2, which their job was only about dead people. They took out the corpses. Some of them dead and some of them still alive. They dragged them to the ditches, and over there they covered them. Big ditches, and they covered them. That was the beginning of Treblinka.”

After each gassing, the Jewish workers at Treblinka had to clean up in preparation for the next batch of victims, according to Abraham Bomba. The clothing that had been taken off by the victims had to be removed and put into piles for sorting before being sent on the next empty transport train to Lublin. Everything was done with great efficiency in this assembly-line murder camp, and nothing was wasted. All of the clothes and valuables, taken from the Jews when they arrived at Treblinka, were sent to the Majdanek camp in a suburb of Lublin where everything was disinfected before being sent to Germany and given to civilians.

Apparently, some of the Jews on the trains to Treblinka were also sent to the Majdanek camp.  I previously blogged about Norman Finkelstein’s mother who was sent to Treblinka, and then transferred to Majdanek:

The spot where trains stopped inside Treblinka camp

The spot where trains stopped inside Treblinka camp

My 1998 photo above shows a sculpture which is supposed to look like the train tracks that were extended inside the Treblinka camp.

In his 1990 interview at the USHMM, Bomba described what happened after the hair had been cut from the heads of the women.

Below is a quote from the transcript of Bomba’s interview:

“People went in through the gate. Now we know what the gate was, it was the way to the gas chamber and we have never see them again. That was the first hour we came in. After that, we, the people, 18 or 16 people…more people came in from the…working people, they worked already before, in the gas chamber, we had a order to clean up the place. Clean up the place–is not something you can take and clean. It was horrible. But in five, ten minutes this place had to look spotless. And it looked spotless. Like there was never nobody on the place, so the next transport when it comes in, they shouldn’t see what’s going on. We were cleaning up in the outside. Tell you what mean cleaning up: taking away all the clothes, to those places where the clothes were. Now, not only the clothes, all the papers, all the money, all the, the…whatever somebody had with him. And they had a lot of things with them. Pots and pans they had with them. Other things they had with them. We cleaned that up.”

According to the official history of the Holocaust, after his visit to Treblinka in February 1943, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler ordered that all the evidence of the killing of the Jews had to be destroyed. Beginning in March 1943, the bodies of approximately 750,000 victims were exhumed and burned on pyres; the ashes were then buried in the original pits, according to Raul Hilberg, who wrote a book on the Holocaust. Today, a symbolic cemetery is located where some of the ashes were buried. By May 1943, the daily transports had stopped and the Treblinka camp was getting ready to close.

During his trial, Kurt Franz, the last Commandant of Treblinka, testified that “After the uprising in August 1943, I ran the camp single handedly for a month; however, during that period no gassing was undertaken. It was during that period that the original camp was leveled off and lupines were planted.”

According to Bomba’s interview for the USHMM, there was a Jewish commandant at Treblinka, named Jalinski, or something that sounds like Jalinski.  I have been unable to find anyone by that name who was a Commandant at Treblinka.

This quote is from Bradley Smith’s letter to the director of the USHMM:

I believe you would acknowledge that you are aware of who Abraham Bomba was, that he is featured on your Website testifying on film to the fact that as a Sonderkommando he collaborated with Germans in the mass-murder of maybe a million Jews at Treblinka.

At the same time I find no suggestion at the USHMM that any effort has ever been made to confront the “human nature” of Mr. Bomba’s behavior. In fact, on your Website he is treated with respect as if he were merely a victim, even perhaps something of a hero.

The Bomba testimony on film that the Museum has chosen to display includes this text: “Mr. Bomba was chosen to cut women’s hair before these women were to be gassed.” At one place Bomba himself testifies:

“I knew them; I lived with them in my town. I lived with them in my street, and some of them were my close friends. And when they saw me, they started asking me, Abe this and Abe that- ‘What’s going to happen to us?’ What could you tell them? What could you tell? . . . Can you imagine that you have to cut their hair and not to tell them a word because you were not allowed? If you say a word that they going to…uh…be gassed in five or seven minutes later, there would be a panic over there and they (the barbers) would be killed too . . . ”

In short, Mr. Bomba testifies on film that he collaborated with Germans in the mass murder of Jews at Treblinka. The Museum exploits his testimony to raise money for the Museum. But there is no evidence anywhere on the Museum’s Website that anyone there has made any effort whatever to confront the “human nature” of Mr. Bomba. When a man confesses on film to collaborating with Germans in the extermination of thousands of Jewish children, do you not see something there, in the “human nature” of the man, that needs to be, if not confronted, at least addressed?

I may be mistaken, but one has the impression that you are being purposefully blind to the fact that Mr. Bomba’s collaboration with Germans in the mass-gassings of Jews represents what we have been encouraged to consider as a war crime for which Germans and others have been tried, convicted, and executed. Ms. Bloomberg: do you not think it time that someone at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum confronts the “human nature” of such individuals as Abraham Bomba, their decisions to participate in the extermination of the Jews?

Why is it not time? What is it that is so very special about Abraham Bomba and his collaboration with Germans in the mass murder of Jews? To what purpose might his guilt be found acceptable, his testimony exploited, other than to raise funds for your Museum?

March 7, 2014

Photos of the Majdanek death camp

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: — furtherglory @ 11:10 am

I am posting some recent photos of the Majdanek death camp, which were sent to me by José Ángel Lopez.  Click on the photos to enlarge.

The remains of the Majdanek death camp as it looks today  Photo Credit: José Ángel

The remains of the Majdanek death camp as it looks today Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

Reconstructed crematorium at Majdanek, with the city of Lublin in the background Photo Credit: José Ángel

Reconstructed crematorium at Majdanek, with the city of Lublin in the background Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

The photo above shows the front entrance into the reconstructed Majdanek crematorium where the bodies of dead prisoners were burned.

Majdanek is now located within the city limits of Lublin, a major city in Poland.  When the camp was liberated by Soviet troops in July 1944, the first report of the deaths in the camp was 1.7 million.  This was quickly downgraded to 1.5 million, which is the figure that was given by the Soviets at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal.  The latest figures for Majdanek is 78,000 deaths including 59,000 Jewish deaths.

The Majdanek crematorium  Photo Credit: José Ángel

The Majdanek crematorium Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

The photo above shows the rear of the reconstructed Majdanek crematorium.

The original Majdanek crematorium was burned down in 1944, allegedly by the Nazis.  The old photo below shows the crematorium just after it was burned.

Old photo shows bodies that were burned at the Majdanek crematorium

Old photo shows bodies that were burned at the Majdanek crematorium

The old black and white photo above shows the ruined crematorium as it looked when Russian soldiers arrived at the camp on July 23, 1944. The wooden crematorium building had allegedly been set on fire by the Nazis in order to burn the bodies of Polish political prisoners who had been brought from the Gestapo prison at the Castle in Lublin and executed the day before liberation. Their charred remains are shown in the foreground in the photo.

In the background of the photo above are the brick ovens with iron doors which were not damaged in the fire. The main gas chamber building, which is located down the slope at the other end of the camp, was not burned, leaving behind evidence of the Nazi crimes.

Dome at Majdanek memorial site holds ashes of  prisoners Photo Credit: José Ángel

Dome at Majdanek memorial site holds ashes of prisoners Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

The gigantic, circular Mausoleum at the Majdanek Memorial Site, which is shown in the photo above, stands at the end of the former “black path” to the crematorium, a walkway that is now called the Road of Homage in English. To the left, in front of the steps, are four containers to hold eternal flames for special ceremonies. The structure was designed by architect and sculptor Wiktor Tolkin.

Under the dome, shown in the photo above is a huge circular urn, shaped like a saucer, which contains the ashes of some of the victims at Majdanek. These ashes were recovered from a compost pile in the camp, where they had been mixed with dirt and garden refuse and composted in preparation for spreading on the vegetable garden in the camp.

Close-up of the dome  Photo Credit: José Ángel

Close-up of the dome Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

The dome of the Mausoleum, as shown in the photo above, is pockmarked, as though it had suffered bomb damage in the war. The English translation of the inscription on the frieze of the dome reads “Let our fate be a warning to you.”

Just behind the Mausoleum pictured above, and a little to the right, is a small stone which commemorates the deaths of around 18,000 Jews on that spot on November 3, 1943, an event that was code-named by the Nazis with the cynical word “Erntefest” which means Harvest Festival in English. The camp inmates called this day “bloody Wednesday.” This was the largest mass execution carried out at any of the concentration camps in the history of the Holocaust. The victims were the last remnants of the Jewish population in the Lublin district.

According to the Majdanek guidebook, Heinrich Himmler ordered the liquidation of the Jews in the Lublin district after the insurrection on October 14, 1943 at Sobibor, one of the Operation Reinhard extermination camps on the Polish-Russian border, in which 300 Jews, led by a Jewish Russian Prisoner of War, escaped into the nearby woods. At this time, the three largest concentrations of Jews in Eastern Poland were at the camp at Majdanek and at the labor camp at Poniatowa, a tiny Polish village where 18,000 people were held, and at the Polish village of Trawniki where 10,000 Jews were imprisoned in a labor camp.

According to the guidebook, “In the autumn of 1943, the Nazi authorities were alarmed by the uprisings in the Warsaw and Bialystok ghettos, by the activity of the resistance movement in the camps and by the rebellions in the death camps at Sobibor and Treblinka.” Their greatest fear was that the Jewish prisoners at Lublin would start a rebellion that would result in their escape to the forests where they would join the Polish partisans who were fighting the German Army.

The Nazis were also worried about the camp resistance movement at Majdanek, where the Polish underground organizations were fighting as partisans outside the camp.

The Majdanek guidebook devotes a whole section to the activities of the camp resistance movement, which included activists from the Polish Home Army, and the main political parties: the Polish Socialist Party, the Peasant Party, the National Party, and the Polish Worker’s Party.

Guard tower at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel

Guard tower at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

Note the buildings in the background of the photo above; these buildings are in the city of Lublin.

Building No. 50 at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel

Building No. 50 at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

José Ángel standing in front of Building No. 52 at Majdanek

José Ángel standing in front of Building No. 52 at Majdanek

The two photos above appear to be original barracks buildings at Majdanek. The photo below was taken in the Majdanek museum which is in a wooden building, not far from the gas chamber building.

Round badges worn by prisoners at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel

Round badges worn by prisoners  Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

The photo above shows the round badges worn by the prisoners at Majdanek.  This photo shows an exhibit in the Majdanek Museum.

Exhibit in Majdanek Museum Photo Credit: José Ángel

Exhibit in Majdanek Museum Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

Spoons used by prisoners at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel

Spoons and knives used by prisoners in Majdanek camp Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

Prayer books used by prisoners at Majdanek Photo Credit: José Ángel

Prayer books and rosaries used by prisoners at Majdanek   Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

Guard  tower at Majdanek memorial site Photo Credit: José Ángel

Guard tower at Majdanek  Photo Credit: José Ángel Lopez

December 12, 2012

the Boxcar has become an icon of the Holocaust

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:17 am
Boxcar on display at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Boxcar on display at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Boxcar at Judenrampe near Auschwitz-Birkenau

My 2005 photo of a Boxcar at Judenrampe near Auschwitz-Birkenau

Boxcar at Neuengamme Memorial Site Photo Credit: Bonnie M. Harris

Boxcar at Neuengamme Memorial Site   Photo Credit: Bonnie M. Harris

Jews being loaded into a boxcar to be transported to the Belzec "extermination camp."

Jews being loaded into a boxcar to be transported to the Belzec “extermination camp.”

This quote is from Rainer Froebe, University of Hannover: <Rainer.Froebe>:

The German railway box car (Gueterwagen) is widely used as an icon for the
deportation of Jews and Gypsies.  Full size box cars are on display at
memorial sites in Berlin, Neuengamme, Nordhausen (Dora-Mittelbau
concentration camp), Les Milles (France), Yad Vashem, Washington, D. C. (US
Holocaust Memorial Museum), and Dallas, Texas.
Which other museums or memorial sites (worldwide) have a similar exhibit?
The *Deutsche Technikmuseum* (German Technical Museum) in Berlin which has
been the first institution to put a box car on display in October 1988 is
preparing an iconographic survey.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC has a German boxcar on display; you can read about it and see a photo of the interior of the boxcar here.

German boxcar that was lifted by a crane into an American Holocaust Museum

German boxcar that was lifted by a crane into an American Holocaust Museum

The photo immediately above shows a boxcar that was recently brought from Germany and lifted by a crane into a Holocaust Museum in Farmington Hills, MA.  After the boxcar was in place, the unfinished Museum was built around it.  You can read all about it here.  This quote is from another article about the Holocaust Museum in Farmington Hills:

The morning after Henrietta and Rachel’s family had their first Passover seder in the Warsaw Ghetto, Nazi soldiers came, gathered hundreds of Jews and put them into a railroad boxcar headed for the concentration camps.

It took the sisters and their family: Sara, mother; Israel, father; and two brothers, Reuben and Herschel, one week to reach Majdanek, an extermination camp near Lublin, Poland.

When the train finally reached its destination, Nazi soldiers made their selections. The men and women were separated. They never again saw their father or brothers. Their mother was pulled out of the group of women. Rachel and Henrietta last saw her waiting in a grassy area. “Little did we know that she would be put in the gas chamber,” Rachel Schwartz said. “Never did we think we would never see her again.”

Gallery dedication

The sisters, Rachel Schwartz and Henrietta Weisberg, told their story at the Nov. 20 dedication of The Henrietta and Alvin Weisberg Gallery at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills.

It’s been 70 years since Henrietta and Rachel were transported to an “extermination camp.”  How old was Henrietta when her mother was sent to the gas chamber at Majdanek?

I did a search and found that Henrietta is now 83, so she was 13 at the time that she arrived at the Majdanek “extermination camp” but was not selected for the gas chamber.  How did this happen?  As everyone knows, Jews younger than 15 and older than 45 were immediately gassed, hours after their arrival at an “extermination camp.”

Dead German soldiers on a train at Dachau

Dead German soldiers on a train at Dachau

The photo above shows German soldiers who were taken to a boxcar, parked outside the Dachau concentration camp, and shot after they surrendered the camp to the American liberators of Dachau.  This boxcar had brought prisoners from the Buchenwald camp to Dachau in the last days of World War II.

During World War II, German civilians and German soldiers were routinely riding in boxcars.  During the Depression in America, hobos were “riding the rails,” going from town to town, trying to find a job.  No one makes a big deal about this.  The railroad Museum in Sacramento, CA has an American boxcar on display, which is shown in the photo below.

Boxcar on display in Sacramento railroad museum

Boxcar on display in Sacramento railroad museum

January 29, 2012

Thank you postcards sent from the Auschwitz and Majdanek death camps

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:27 am

Official postcard that was given to prisoners to send as a "Thank You" card

The photo above is a copy of a page in the Majdanek Museum guidebook; it shows the official Thank You postcard provided by the Nazis for the prisoners to send in acknowledgment of the receipt of a package.  The text on the page reads: “Official postcard which a prisoner could send from the camp to his family or to the Polish Red Cross after receiving a parcel.”  You can read about the Majdanek camp on my website here.

I am indebted to one of the regular readers of this blog who gave me the idea for my blog post today.  In a comment on my blog yesterday, this reader gave a link to a video which shows a postcard sent from Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Young people today might be surprised to learn that, even in a death camp, the Nazis required the prisoners to have good manners.  Yes, you read that right — the prisoners at all the Nazi camps were required to send a Thank You postcard to the Red Cross or to civilians who sent packages to the camps. 

The postcards were provided by the Nazis and mailed for the prisoners.  Just because the prisoners were waiting to be gassed at Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau doesn’t mean that they were exempt from the rules of society and could get by with scarfing down food sent by their friends and relatives without sending a Thank you card.

When the Nazi War Criminals were put into camps, awaiting trial for their crimes, were they required to send a Thank You postcard to the Red Cross or the families who sent food?  This is a trick question.  The German war criminals were not allowed to receive Red Cross packages or food from civilians and they were not allowed to send letters or postcards.

October 29, 2011

selections for the gas chamber at the Majdanek death camp

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:43 am

Building #41 at Majdanek death camp had 3 gas chambers

Entrance to gas chamber building #41 at Majdanek Photo Credit:

The photo at the top of the page shows a field of gravel with a roller that was used to roll the field smooth.  This field of gravel was called “die Rose Feld” which is German for the Rose Field.  This is where selections were made for the Majdanek gas chamber.

The sign on the building in the second photo above reads “Bad und Desinfektion” which is German for Bath and Disinfection. Building #42 is shown on the far left in the photo above.

At Majdanek, there were a total of four gas chambers, according to the Museum guidebook, which I purchased at the camp in 1998. The guidebook says that the gas chamber, right next to the shower room in the building shown above, was “a makeshift chamber which presumably had begun functioning before the other three were opened.”

The fourth gas chamber, which is disguised as a shower room, is in the reconstructed crematorium at the other end of the Majdanek camp.

Remarkably, Building #41 was used both for showers and disinfection — and for gassing the Jews.  An identical building (#42) next door to Building #41 was used to disinfect the clothing with Zyklon-B, the same poison gas which was used to gas the Jews in Building #41.  Building #42 is off limits to tourists.

At Majdanek, prisoners who were selected to work took a shower after being disinfected in one of the two concrete bath tubs used for that purpose.  Some excellent photos of the undressing room and the shower room in Building #41 can be seen here on this blog.

The prisoners who were selected to be gassed also took a shower and were dipped in the tub of disinfectant before going into the gas chamber. The door into the three gas chambers in Barrack # 41 is located in the shower room. When I visited in 1998, a sign in the shower room said that the prisoners were given a shower before gassing to “quite (sic) them down.” The tour guide explained that the victims were given a hot shower so they would die more quickly in the gas chamber because the Nazis found that the heat of the bodies caused the gas to work faster.

Zyklon-B comes in crystal form, like tiny rocks, and the pellets must be heated before they release the poison gas which kills lice or people. The Majdanek gas chamber building has a heating unit outside the chambers which blew hot air into the chamber to activate the poison gas, so a hot shower, before the victims entered the gas chamber, was not really necessary.

Upon entering Barrack No. 41, the gas chamber building, you first come to the bare, unfurnished undressing room which has narrow wooden boards over the concrete floor. Then you enter the shower room, a large room with rows of exposed water pipes and sprinkler-type shower heads on the ceiling; this room also has a wooden floor over concrete. At one end of the shower room, there are two large concrete bathtubs. My tour guide told me that the prisoners were not allowed to loll in the bathtub, but had to get in and out in a few seconds. The bathtubs were probably filled with disinfectant, as was the case at other camps such as Buchenwald. This shower room was also used by incoming prisoners who were selected to work at Majdanek, which was a labor camp as well as an extermination camp for the Jews.

The first of three gas chamber rooms at Majdanek

There are two doors into this first gas chamber room, which is shown in the photo above. When I toured the gas chambers at Majdanek, neither door had a lock on it and no marks where a lock might have been removed. Each of the doors had a glass peephole which is protected by tiny metal bars to prevent anyone on the outside of the room from breaking the glass. On my visit, I observed that the glass in one of the peepholes had been broken, probably from the inside, and had not yet been replaced.

Door into the first gas chamber in Building #41

On the blueprints for the Majdanek gas chamber building, the gas chambers are called “Entlausungsanlage,” which means “delousing station” in English. The Nazis used Zyklon-B, an insecticide, for gassing the Jews, the same poison they used in the disinfection building, right next door to the gas chamber, to kill body lice on the prisoner clothing in an effort to stop typhus epidemics.

The gas chamber next to the shower is the largest of the three rooms and it has the heaviest blue stains, caused by repeated use of Zyklon-B.

Hole in ceiling of Majdanek gas chamber

There are two holes in the ceiling through which the Zyklon-B pellets could be dropped into the room and openings in the wall through which hot air was blown in, according to the guidebook. The photo above shows one of the holes through which the gas pellets were poured.

October 27, 2011

The shrinking death statistics at the Majdanek death camp

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:59 am

Of all the former Nazi concentration camps that I have visited, the creepiest one, by far, is the Majdanek camp in Poland.  Majdanek was a “death camp” where Jews were gassed with Zyklon-B, but carbon monoxide was also used for gassing — in the same building.  There was also a gas chamber, disguised as a shower, in the crematorium building which the Nazis allegedly burned down before they fled the scene.  The gas chamber room in the reconstructed crematorium is very small; it has a hole in the ceiling for pouring in the poison gas crystals, and there is a floor drain directly below the hole. The door to this gas chamber is missing, and may have been taken to another museum for display.

It is hard to figure out just how many gas chambers there were at Majdanek: there are a number of gas chamber rooms, all in one building, along with a small room within a room where an SS man could watch the victims die.  (I assume that the observer was protected by a gas-proof suit and a gas mask, and that he was compensated with extra pay.)

Now Jürgen Graf has written an article on the Inconvenient History blog entitled Defending the Faith: Tomasz Kranz’s “Mass Killings by Means of Toxic Gases in the Majdanek Concentration Camp.” You can read the article in full here.

I am quoting this paragraph from Jürgen Graf’s article:

[Tomasz] Kranz, who is the head of the research department of the Majdanek Memorial Institution, caused a minor sensation in late 2005 when he set the number of victims of the [Majdanek] camp at 78,000—something that amounted to a major reduction of previous figures: shortly after the Soviet capture of the Majdanek camp, a Polish-Soviet commission spoke of 1.5 million people who allegedly died there; later on, official Polish history brought this figure down to 360,000 in 1948 and to 235,000 in 1992. As I have shown in an article published in 2008, Kranz’s figure is still too high by at least 28,000 deaths.

Wow!  Jürgen Graf is now saying that there were only 50,000 deaths at Majdanek?

Out of the 78,000 deaths claimed by Kranz in 2005, there were only 59,000 Jewish deaths. Assuming that some people died from disease, starvation and over-work, how many Jews were actually gassed at Majdanek?

Why so many gas chambers for so few deaths at Majdanek?  In fact, why were there any gas chambers at all at Majdanek when the Belzec and Sobibor death camps were very close to Lublin where the former Majdanek death camp is now located within the city limits?

October 6, 2011

Was Treblinka really a transit camp?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:02 am

Treblinka was one of the three Operation Reinhard camps that were set up following the Wannsee Conference in which the Nazis planned “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”  The Nazis claimed that the Operation Reinhard camps were transit camps from which the Jews would be “transported to the East.”  The Jews claim that Treblinka was strictly an extermination camp where the Jews were immediately gassed upon arrival.  (At the Nuremberg IMT, the Soviets claimed that the Jews were steamed to death in steam chambers at Treblinka.)

Original sign at Treblinka Photo Credit: Yad Vashem

My post today is in response to Eric Hunt, who has been doing some excellent research which you can read on his website here.  He has discovered that famous Holocaust survivor Irene Zisblatt was originally sent to Treblinka before she was transferred to Auschwitz.

I have been re-reading Norman Finkelstein’s book, The Holocaust Industry, in which he mentions that his father was a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto and that he was a prisoner at Auschwitz.

Jews in Warsaw ghetto were gathered at the Umschlagplatz

The Jews who were sent from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka were transported, from the infamous Umschlagplatz, in trains 60 cars long, with 100 Jews crammed into each boxcar. The trains stopped at the Malkinia Junction, a Y junction near the village of Treblinka, where 20 cars would be detached from the train and backed into the camp via a spur line. After the passengers were unloaded at a platform beside the tracks, the train would return to the Junction and get the next 20 cars. Leaving Treblinka on the return trip, the trains turned south, taking the clothing to the disinfection chambers at the Majdanek camp in Lublin.  Did the trains also take some of the Warsaw Jews south to Majdanek and Auschwitz?

The spot where the train station at Treblinka once stood

The photograph above shows a stone platform that is supposed to resemble the platform where the Jews got off the trains. When the camp was in operation, there was a real train platform in this spot and behind it was a storehouse, disguised as a train depot, which was used to store the clothing and other items which the victims had brought with them to the camp.

According to a pamphlet which I purchased at the Treblinka Visitor’s Center in 1998, a storehouse at the camp was “disguised as a train station.” The pamphlet explained that the fake station was built to fool the Jews into thinking that they had arrived at a transit camp, from where they were going to be “transported to the East.”

Jews from many different countries, including German-occupied Greece, Bulgarian-occupied Greece, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, were sent to Treblinka.  But for what purpose?  Why not just shoot them in the countries where they lived?  Why have a conference to plan the extermination of the Jews?  Shouldn’t this have been kept secret?

Regarding the fake train station at Treblinka, Samuel Rajzman (a Treblinka survivor) testified as follows at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal:

At first there were no signboards whatsoever at the station, but a few months later the commander of the camp, one Kurt Franz, built a first-class railroad station with signboards. The barracks where the clothing was stored had signs reading “restaurant,” “ticket office,” “telegraph,” “telephone,” and so forth. There were even train schedules for the departure and the arrival of trains to and from Grodno, Suwalki, Vienna, and Berlin.

According to Rajzman’s testimony at Nuremberg, “When Treblinka became very well known, they hung up a huge sign with the inscription Obermaidanek.” (Obermaidanek means Upper Majdanek.) Maidanek was the German name for Majdanek, which was a “death camp” on the outskirts of Lublin, the headquarters of the Operation Reinhard camps. Rajzman explained that “the persons who arrived in transports soon found out that it was not a fashionable station, but that it was a place of death” and for this reason, the sign was intended to calm the victims.

Was the Obermaidanek sign really meant to be an explanation for why the Jews living in the vicinity of Lublin were sent to Treblinka instead of being sent to the Majdanek camp?  Was this sign really there, or did Rajzman make this up?

Memorial in the spot where the Umschlagplatz once stood

The photo above shows a memorial which has been built in Warsaw on ul. Stawki at the spot where the Umschlagplatz once stood, at the northern boundary of the Warsaw Ghetto. The Umschlagplatz was where the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto had to assemble to board the trains which transported them to the death camp at Treblinka, beginning in July 1942.

The Nazis established Jewish Ghettos in all the major Jewish population centers of Poland; this was part of their systematic plan to exterminate (ausrotten) all the Jews in Europe.  The Ghettos were intended as a transitional measure. The next stage of the plan was the liquidation of the Ghettos and “transportation to the East.”

On July 22, 1942 the Warsaw Ghetto was surrounded by Ukrainian and Latvian soldiers in German SS uniforms, as the liquidation of the Ghetto began in response to an order given by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler that “the resettlement of the entire Jewish population of the General Government is to be carried out and completed by December 31.” The General Government was the central portion of the former country of Poland that was occupied by the Germans between 1939 and 1944.

Large stone at Treblinka in honor of the Jews from Warsaw

The largest stone in the symbolic cemetery at Treblinka is the one for Warsaw, from where the largest number of Jews were transported to the camp. According to historian Martin Gilbert, 265,000 Jews from Warsaw were deported to Treblinka. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum puts the number from Warsaw at 300,000. In 1940 the Jewish population of Warsaw and the surrounding area, about 400,000 people, were first crowded into the walled ghetto, then later sent to Treblinka, beginning in July 1942.

On July 20, 1942, the Judenrat (Jewish leaders) were ordered by the Nazis to prepare for the resettlement (Aussiedlung) of the “non-productive elements” to the East. The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were to report voluntarily to the Umschlagplatz (collection point) at the corner of Stawki and Dzika streets, near a railroad siding for the Ostbahn (Eastern Railroad), on which they would be “transported to the East” on crowded freight cars.

Original box cars used for transporting Jews

According to Raul Hilberg in his book, The Destruction of the European Jews: “As soon as the order was posted, a mad rush started for working cards. Many forgings took place and in the ghetto, everyone from top to bottom was frantic.” A similar scene is depicted in the movie, Schindler’s List, when a Jewish professor in Krakow suddenly becomes an experienced metal worker with forged papers, aged by tea stains.

The chairman of the Warsaw Jewish Council, Adam Czerniakow, was ordered by the Nazis to deliver 6,000 Jews per day, seven days a week, to the Umschlagplatz for deportation to Treblinka. A day later, the number was increased to 7,000 per day. Rather than cooperate with the Nazis, Czerniakow committed suicide on July 23rd, the first day that Jews were assembled ready for deportation.

On this blog, you can read about a survivor of Treblinka, Isadore Helfing.

Here is a quote about how he managed to survive the Treblinka death camp where the Jews were gassed upon arrival:

Describe what it was like when they opened the doors. What you saw and how you felt and what you did?

The minute they opened up the door, I was facing right about two storeys dead people right in front of it laying there. These were the people that came before dead right in the trains, in those uh trains, and they pushed them out because they did, they didn’t have time to haul away because another train came in, and that’s what it was, that I saw.

And what did you do?

What I did, I saw it, we’re going all, that’s it, and I see boys dragging dead bodies to the grave you know, and I jumped right in and start dragging those bodies just like I was one of them.

And we’re pulling it to the graves. And uh so this was about three or four o’clock and you know and then the night rolls around and I could not join them, so I hide, I was hiding myself between the bodies there, so.

And then in the morning, I did start doing the same thing, but I see in that they count fifty people dragging those bodies in this particular time, and two or three were killed, they, they shoot them because they couldn’t uh drag those bodies, got sick and so on.

So I joined right into the group, and I became one of the people. So like in the morning they came you know, and they count out the people, how many people there were right among the people there. If somebody is missing so they were looking what’s happened you know, maybe he escaped or something.

So you actually broke into ……

Broken right into the… to the crew, like I am one of it. Everybody was wearing the same, the same clothes, like they were, when they came in.

Trains continued to arrive regularly at Treblinka until May 1943, and a few more transports arrived after that date.

On October 19, 1943, Odilo Globocnik wrote to Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler: “I have completed Aktion Reinhard and have dissolved all the camps.”

In an article published on August 8, 1943, the New York Times referred to a headline in a London newspaper which read: “2,000,000 Murders by Nazis Charged. Polish Paper in London says Jews Are Exterminated in Treblinka Death House.” The subtitle read : “According to report, steam is used to kill men, women and children at a place in the woods.” The London newspaper story was based upon an article published on August 7th in the magazine Polish Labor Fights, which contained information from a Polish report on November 15, 1942.

More news about the killing of the Jews at the Treblinka camp came from Vasily Grossman, a Jewish war correspondent who was traveling with the Soviet Red Army. In November 1944, Grossman published an article entitled “The Hell of Treblinka,” which was later quoted at the Nuremberg IMT. Grossman had interviewed 40 survivors of the Treblinka uprising and he had talked to some of the local farmers. The camp had been completely razed to the ground; there was nothing left for Grossman to see, “only graves and death.” The Jews had all been killed, according to Grossman.

Proof that Treblinka was an extermination camp is contained in a 16-page secret document, that was submitted by Nazi statistician Dr. Richard Korherr to Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler on March 27, 1943. Reichsführer-SS Himmler was a five-star general and the leader of the SS; he was responsible for all the Nazi concentration camps, which were administered by the SS. This report on “The Final Solution of the European Jewish Problem,” compiled at Himmler’s request, stated that of the 1,449,692 Jews deported from the Eastern provinces, 1,274,366 had been subjected to Sonderbehandlung at camps in the General Government.  The term Sonderbehandlung, sometimes abbreviated SB, is believed to have been used by the Nazis to mean death in the gas chamber; the English translation is “special treatment.”

On April 1, 1943, Himmler had the report prepared for submission to Hitler; the words “Sonderbehandlung at Camps in the General Government” were changed to “Transport of Jews from the Eastern Provinces to the Russian East, Processed through the Camps in the General Government.”

The terms “evacuation” and “transportation to the East” are believed to be Nazi code words for sending the Jews to death camps where they were murdered in the gas chambers. The words “resettled” and “liquidated,” when used to refer to the Jews, are believed to be euphemisms which mean killed in the gas chambers.

The term “die Endlösung der Judenfrage” was written by Hermann Goering in a letter to Reinhard Heydrich on July 31, 1941. Translated into English as “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” this is believed to be a euphemism which was used by the Nazis to mean the genocide of the Jews in Europe. However, at the Nuremberg IMT, Goering testified that the term meant the “Total solution to the Jewish question” which he said was a euphemism for the evacuation of the Jews to the East.

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