Scrapbookpages Blog

August 21, 2013

German Chancellor Angela Merkel can’t win for losing (visit to former Dachau concentration camp)

Angela Merkel lays a wreath at the International Monument at Dachau

Angela Merkel lays a wreath at the International Monument at Dachau

The news today is filled with stories of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the grounds of the first Nazi concentration camp near the town of Dachau. Then it was on to a beer fest in the town. Chancellor Merkel is being heavily criticized for combining a trip to the Memorial Site at the former camp with a trip to the town of Dachau to drink beer.

Angela Merkel was accompanied by Max Mannheimer, a survivor of Dachau

Angela Merkel was accompanied by Max Mannheimer, a survivor of Dachau

In the photo above, Chancellor Merkel looks as though she has the weight of the world on her shoulders as she walks beside Max Mannheimer, a survivor of two Dachau sub-camps at Allach and Mühldorf.  I don’t begrudge Chancellor Merkel a glass of beer after going through this ordeal.

Not mentioned in any of the news stories is that beer drinking does not have the same connotation in Germany, as it does in America.  Literally everyone in Germany drinks beer; it is considered to be good for one’s health.

There is nothing wrong with going to a beer fest, after visiting a Memorial Site.  If Hilary Clinton were president of the United States, and she visited an internment camp, where German-Americans were imprisoned during World War II and for two years afterwards, she might go to a beer joint afterwards and some people might legitimately complain.  Beer drinking has a low-class connotation in America, but not in Germany.

None of the stories, that I have read, about Chancellor Merkel’s visit, mentioned that Max Mannheimer is a controversial figure because of his “später Tagebuch,” which means a diary written later.

This quote from Wikipedia is about Mannheimer writing his Tagebuch or diary of his time in Nazi concentration camps at a later time.

Seine Erinnerungen wurden zum ersten Mal 1985 in den Dachauer Heften abgedruckt.[13] und erschienen 2000 vollständig unter dem Titel Spätes Tagebuch.

In other words, Max Mannheimer miracaculously remembered his time in Nazi concentrations camps, and wrote his memoir many years later.  Because Mannheimer never said a word about his time in the camps until many years later, some people are suspicious of his “später Tagebuch.” In any case, he was not a prisoner in the main Dachau camp, which Chancellor Merkel visited.

This quote about Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Dachau is from a news article which you can read in full here:

Ms Merkel’s tour of Dachau, which was the first Nazi concentration camp, included a meeting with Max Mannheimer, one of its few remaining survivors. More than 200,000 people including Jews, homosexuals, Roma and political prisoners were imprisoned, forced to work and used for medical experiments at Dachau which opened in 1933. It was liberated by US troops in April 1945

The Chancellor was shown the camp baths and a room where prisoners were stripped of their clothing and identity and henceforth referred to only by numbers. Ms Merkel said her visit was accompanied by feelings of “shame and dismay”.

She visited the camp baths (plural)?

What camp baths?  One of the exhibits at Dachau is located in a former shower room, as shown in the photo below.

Former shower room at Dachau is now used for Museum displays

Former shower room at Dachau is now used for Museum displays

The photo above shows a room in the Museum at Dachau which was formerly a shower room.  The shower fixtures, which were formerly on the left side of the room, have been removed. The photo below shows what the room looked like when Dachau was a Nazi concentration camp.

Shower room at Dachau had shower heads hanging down from the ceiling

Shower room at Dachau had shower heads hanging down from the ceiling

The only other shower room at Dachau was converted into a gas chamber when the American liberators lowered the ceiling and stuck shower heads into the ceiling.  The so-called Dachau gas chamber, as it looks today, is shown in the photo below.

Dachau shower room in BarackeX was converted into a gas chamber in 1945

Dachau shower room in BarackeX was converted into a gas chamber in 1945

Surely, Chancellor Merkel was not shown the shower room in the BarrackX building and told that this was a “camp bath,” not a gas chamber.

What about the room where Dachau prisoners were “stripped of their clothing?”  That could only be the undressing room in BarackeX.  The two photos below show the undressing room.

The wall of the undressing room at Dachau

The wall of the empty undressing room at Dachau

Door into shower room which was converted into a gas chamber at Dachau

Door into shower room which was converted into a gas chamber at Dachau by the American liberators

Did Max Mannheimer tell Chancellor Merkel that the room shown in the photo above was the undressing room where incoming prisoners undressed before going into the shower?  Mannheimer would have taken a shower in BarackeX before being sent to a sub-camp of Dachau.

Surely, the German people are not saying that the gas chamber at Dachau was a shower room!  That is against the law and will get you 5 years in prison.

Another criticism that I have, of the news stories about Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Dachau, is the claim that Dachau had “prisoners of war” in the camp.  This quote is from Fox News:

More than 200,000 Jews, gays, Roma, political opponents, the disabled and prisoners of war were imprisoned in Dachau during World War II.

Yes, it is true that there were “prisoners of war” incarcerated at Dachau during World War II, but they were NOT prisoners of war at the time that they were sent to the camp.  They only became “prisoners of war” after the Allies created ex-post-facto laws AFTER the war.

The so-called “prisoners of war” at Dachau were illegal combatants under the rules of the Geneva Convention of 1929.  They were resistance fighters who were fighting after their country had surrendered and promised to lay down their arms and stop fighting.  The main camps where illegal combatants were sent were Buchenwald and Natzweiler, but there were some prisoners at Natzweiler who were transferred to Dachau in the last days of the war.  These prisoners were designated at “prisoners of war” after the German camps were taken over by the Allies.

German prisoners of war, who were actual soldiers, not illegal combatants, were designated by General Eisenhower as Disarmed Enemy Forces and held in camps where they were not treated according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.

The only real POWs at Dachau were German POWs who were imprisoned, after World War II, in War Crimes Enclosure No. 1 at Dachau.  Surely, Chancellor Merkel did not honor these men on her visit.

April 28, 2013

April 29, 1945 — the day that the Dachau concentration camp was liberated — stories of two survivors

Belief in the “death march” as a means of killing Jews is required in the Holocaustianity religion, so don’t even think of denying this, unless you want your future career to be permanently vitiated.

Death march OUT of Dachau in the last days of World War II

Death march OUT of Dachau in the last days of World War II

The photo above shows Jews being marched OUT of Dachau in order to prevent them from attacking civilians, since they would soon be liberated from Dachau.  Sorry, but I don’t have any photos that show a death march TO Dachau.

In his best-selling book, Hitler’s Willing Executioners, Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen wrote this on page 367 in Chapter 14, entitled “Marching to What End?”

Finally, the fidelity of the Germans to their genocidal enterprise was so great as seeming to defy comprehension. Their world was disintegrating around them, yet they persisted in genocidal killing until the end.

Goldhagen was referring to the death marches out of Auschwitz in the final days of the war, but this definition also applies to another death march out of Auschwitz, which began in July 1944 and ended at Dachau on August 6, 1944.

Two of the famous survivors of this death march were Max Mannheimer and Sol Teichman.

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

One of my closest friends here in Los Angeles is Mr. Sol Teichman, a prominent citizen, businessman, philanthropist, and a Holocaust survivor.

Born on September 9, 1927, in the Hungarian town of Munkacs, Sol’s family were (sic) prominent and prosperous grain, bean and walnut merchants. The family lived in a lovely home in a quiet cul-de-sac and were known in the tight-knit Jewish community for their piety, charity, and close ties to the Belzer and Munkacs Hasidic dynasties.

Of course, the Nazi death grip descended on the Jews of Hungary, and by 1943, the Teichman home and business had been confiscated. The Jews of Munkacs were cruelly herded into a ghetto and then shipped in cattle cars to Auschwitz.

Sol, 17 years old, and his brother Steve, 14, survived the death camp, only to be sent on a death march to Dachau in August 1944.

This quote is from this website:

Shortly after Sol’s Bar Mitzvah in 1940, his father was taken away to a Hungarian labor camp. On the second day of Passover,1944, all the Jews of Munkacz were given one hour to vacate their homes and were herded into ghettos.

In June, they were transported to Auschwitz. That was the last time that Sol Teichman saw his mother, sister and three of his brothers. […]  As the end of the war approached, the Nazis forced many of their Jewish prisoners to participate in their infamous death march to Dachau. Sol and his brother Steve began the march. But Steve’s strength gave out so Sol carried him for the rest of the journey. Of the 6,000 who started the march, only about 600 survived, Sol and his brother among them.

This quote about Max Mannheimer is from Wikipedia:

In October 1943, Mannheimer and his younger brother, Edger were sent to the Warsaw Ghetto to clear rubble.[4] In July 1944, he was sent on a death march to Dachau, arriving on August 6, 1944. After three weeks in quarantine, he was sent to Allach, a Dachau subcamp where he worked at a BMW factory. At the beginning of 1945, he and his brother were sent to Mühldorf subcamp, which was evacuated by train on April 28, 1945. The train was liberated by American troops on April 30, 1945 in Seeshaupt. In the end, only Mannheimer and his brother Edgar survived.[1][3]

Now for Sol Teichman’s story, which is a real tear-jerker:

Quoted from this website:

Here is an excerpt from Sol’s privately printed memoir, The Long Journey Home, in which he describes hell on earth.

The Crimson Lake

It was a death march, and I was terrified at each and every step. My body was convulsed with excruciating muscle spasms. Everywhere was the sharp crack of rifle fire as the Germans picked off one Jew after another. Was I going to be murdered next?  I had no idea where we were going or for how long we were going to march. Would we be on this road for one day, two days, a week, a month, or did the Germans plan on marching us until we were all dead? Not knowing was torture, just as the Germans planned.

If a prisoner tried to step aside to relieve himself, he was shot, bayoneted or beaten to death with the heavy butt of a rifle.

On the first night of the march my brother Steve lost heart.

“I don’t want to go on. I don’t want to live,” he said.

I looked at my brother and I knew in the depths of my soul that there was no choice. And so, though Steve was bigger and heavier than me, I leaned over, draped him over my back and carried my brother.

All I could do was place one foot in front of the other, one breath and then another.

We marched for days and nights without food or water. The heat was unbearable. My bones felt crushed, pulverized. Every breath was torture, my lungs felt as if they were exploding from unbearable pressure. But I knew that if I stopped, if I collapsed, the Germans would shoot us, beat us to death, or let their attack dogs rip us from limb to limb. And so I staggered onward.

One day, in the distance, we spied a lake.  I think it was T’sha B’Av night. Many of the men on the march started running towards the water, desperate to get a drink of water. As I staggered closer to the lake I saw that the water was a strange color.

And then I realized that the lake was red.

The Germans were shooting hundreds of Jews by the shores of the lake—and the water turned to blood.

We stood and stared at the crimson lake. I could not, would not, drink the bloody water.

We lay down, tried to sleep, and then in the middle of the night a tremendous thunderstorm exploded. Rain poured from the sky.

I stood in the middle of the field, opened my mouth and savored the sharp needles of rain dripping down my throat. The thunderstorm was miraculous and provided just enough water to relieve my overwhelming thirst.

Shivering in the rain and mud, I snatched bits of fitful sleep.

In the middle of the night I awoke and watched in dismay as starved prisoners, crazed by empty bellies, shoved tufts of grass—black dirt clinging to the roots—into their mouths, chewed and swallowed.

In the inky darkness, someone whispered that nearby was a meadow filled with wild potatoes. Steve wanted to sneak into the field and eat the raw potatoes, but I wouldn’t let him. I knew that they would make us sick. Taking advantage of the night because the German guards couldn’t see what was going on, some Jews did sneak off and pick the potatoes. They devoured the raw potatoes in quick, starving bites. But soon they doubled over with agonizing cramps and diarrhea, and then, a few hours later, they died. Those who didn’t die, those who were too sick to move, were shot to death by the Germans.

Later, I discovered that, carrying Steve on my back, I had marched for four days and covered approximately seventy miles. But at the time, not knowing how long or how far I traveled, time seemed to vanish and distances seemed endless as I pushed onward, day after day under the oppressive heat, my back bent like a bow. My throat was parched from thirst; the sun beat down and my skin was burned raw. I was dizzy from exhaustion, hunger and fear. Every bone in my body was throbbing. I felt like a marching skeleton. Thousands were murdered along that road. My fellow Jewish prisoners were beaten to death with wooden clubs and iron bars. Some Jews welcomed death for life had become endless torture, unendurable.

Four uncles and several cousins died on this death march.

In a daze, I realized that we had reached a valley. There we camped for the night. The next day we continued a short distance to a railhead and were loaded on cattle cars bound for Dachau.

When we started the march we were about 6,000 Jews, arriving at Dachau there were only about 600 survivors.

You can see color photos of the survivors of Dachau on this website.

August 12, 2010

90-year-old Holocaust survivor was with Muslim leaders on trip to Dachau and Auschwitz

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:11 am

In today’s news in the Jewish Forward, there is the story of 8 imans who went on a 3-day trip to Dachau and Auschwitz which was “co-sponsored by a German think tank and the New Jersey-based Center for Interreligious Understanding, and strongly supported by the United States government.”

The trip, which you can read about here, was the brainchild of law professor Marshall Breger, an Orthodox Jew and former senior official in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

According to a news article,  which you can read here, Breger said:

‘There is a view that there is growing anti-Semitism in the Muslim world, reinforced by people like President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, that there is growing Holocaust denial in the Muslim world.  In light of that, the idea was to offer education to those who might not have the kind of knowledge that we’ve had about World War II and the Jewish community, and to do this in a public way.”

(more…)