Scrapbookpages Blog

February 16, 2017

White House Holocaust Remembrance Day statement failed to mention Jews

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Trump — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:30 am
Trump's wig blowing off his head

Trump’s wig blowing off his head

The photo above shows The Donald blowing his top.

This news article tells about Donald Trump’s Holocaust Remembrance Day statement:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/02/07/republicans_block_vote_on_resolution_stating_that_holocaust_targeted_jews.html

The Donald failed to mention Jews in his Holocaust Remembrance Day statement.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote from news article:

The resolution, a shrewd effort to pin Republicans down on something the Trump administration has needlessly made an issue, condemned the White House’s Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, which failed to mention Jews or the anti-Semitism that led to Adolf Hitler’s genocide against them. It also called for the House to reiterate “the indisputable fact that the Nazi regime targeted the Jewish people in its perpetration of the Holocaust,” condemn Holocaust denialism, and demand acknowledgment from the White House that Jews were targeted.

In the wake of controversy over the Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, the White House defended it, saying that it had wished to be inclusive by acknowledging that other groups had been killed by Hitler’s regime as well.

End quote

So-called “other groups” who were killed by “Hitler’s regime” don’t count. The Holocaust is about the Jews. Why didn’t Trump’s Jewish son-in-law advise him on this subject.

February 15, 2017

Here is what you will need to know when America passes a Holocaust denial law

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

DachauE030.jpeg

My photo of the entrance into Dachau camp

This morning, when I started my day by reading the most recent Holocaust news, I read an article which includes all the false information that you will need to know when America becomes the 21st country to pass a Holocaust denial law.

You can read the news article at http://www.edmondsun.com/news/central-th-graders-study-holocaust-survivors-son-shares-parents-story/article_4be3e71a-f30c-11e6-84b8-d3a4e27fa8d5.html

The news story begins with this quote:

For Central Middle School eighth graders, their yearly study of the “Diary of Anne Frank” was made even more real as Edmond resident Mike Korenblit visited them and shared the Holocaust through his parents’ eyes. He has written a book about his parents, Manya and Meyer Korenblit titled “Until We Meet Again: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Holocaust.”

End quote from news article

Years ago, before I became a Holocaust denier, I wrote about Manya and Meyer Korenblit on this page of my scrapbookpages.com website: https://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/LiberationDay2A.html

Begin quote from my website:

Also among the prisoners on the march [out of Dachau], who were liberated by the Americans, was Majir Korenblit, who had changed his name to Major Kornblit when he moved to Ponca City, Oklahoma in 1951. In 1983, his son Michael Korenblit co-authored a book about the Holocaust experience of his father and his mother, Mania, who changed her name to Manya after the war. The book is entitled “Until We Meet Again: A True Story of Love and War, Separation and Reunion.”

After the Nazis had conquered Poland in September 1939, Majir Korenblit and his teen-aged sweetheart Mania hid from the Gestapo, along with a handful of other Jews, in a hand-dug crater underneath a three-story haystack. Eventually, hunger forced them out of their hiding place and they went to work for the Nazis in the Hrubieszow ghetto.

When the Gestapo came to the ghetto, Major and Manya separated and escaped, spending the next 2 1/2 years on the verge of death. Between them, Majir and Mania survived 13 concentration camps, including Auschwitz where both acquired a tattoo on their arms when they were registered.

Mania survived Auschwitz because she volunteered to work in Czechoslovakia where she was liberated by the Soviet Army. Majir was sent to Germany to work and wound up in Dachau in the last days of the war.

Mania and Majir lost their entire families in the Holocaust, except for Mania’s younger brother Chaim, who moved to Great Britain after the war. Mania and her brother were reunited in 1982.

End quote from my website

To get back to the news article, the following quote describes how students are taught today about the Holocaust.

Begin quote from news article:

Without trivializing the Holocaust, Mike explained to the students that the Holocaust started with a group of people being bullied. The bullies, the German soldiers, targeted certain victims, not only based on who they were, but on their appearance, sexual orientation and religion.

“There were also those who stood by and watched while others were victimized, and didn’t do anything to stop it. In many ways, the Holocaust shared the characteristics of school bullying,” Mike said.

End quote from news article

News articles like this are very upsetting to me. Rarely does a news article explain what really happened. Nobody cares about the true story of what really happened.  It’s all about teaching the Jewish version of history to young people today.

February 14, 2017

Were there two women at Auschwitz, named Edith Stein and Edith Steiner?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:24 am

Sometimes it is possible to find the light of love even in the darkest of times. Like Edith Steiner who was just 20 when she barely escaped death while being held at the Auschwitz concentration camp by the Nazis. John Mackay, the then-23-year-old Scottish soldier who saved Edith, is still with her celebrating their 71st Valentine’s Day together. Edith and her mother were the only remaining members of their family who had not been sent to the gas chambers which meant certain death. But they were saved by a commando team – which Mackay was a part of – that freed a number of Jewish prisoners from the clutches of the Nazis in Poland.

Sometimes it is possible to find the light of love even in the darkest of times. Like Edith Steiner [shown above] who was just 20 when she barely escaped death while being held at the Auschwitz concentration camp by the Nazis. John Mackay [shown above], the then-23-year-old Scottish soldier who saved Edith, is still with her celebrating their 71st Valentine’s Day together.
Edith and her mother were the only remaining members of their family who had not been sent to the gas chambers which meant certain death. But they were saved by a commando team – which Mackay was a part of – that freed a number of Jewish prisoners from the clutches of the Nazis in Poland.

End quote from this news article: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/viral-and-trending/140217/auschwitz-survivor-spends-71st-valentines-day-with-her-rescuer.html

I didn’t know that Scottish soldiers liberated Auschwitz. Stupid me!

I wrote about the liberation of Auschwitz on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/Liberation.html

The following quote is from my website:

The Auschwitz main camp, the Birkenau death camp and the Monowitz labor camp were liberated by soldiers of the Soviet Union in the First Army of the Ukrainian Front, under the command of Marshal Koniev, on January 27, 1945.

End quote

How could I have been so wrong! Now I know that it was actually Scottish soldiers who liberated Auschwitz — NOT!

 

February 2, 2017

Is The Donald a fascist? Say it isn’t so!

Filed under: Germany, Trump — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 2:32 pm

This article claims that Donald Trump is a fascist!

http://www.salon.com/2017/01/21/congratulations-america-you-did-it-an-actual-fascist-is-now-your-official-president/

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Donald Trump, a serial liar, narcissist, failed businessman, political con artist, adulterer, professed grabber of women’s genitals without their permission, man who does not read, ignoramus, admirer and fan of despots and dictators, encourager of vigilante violence against innocent people, actor in a porn video, person who does not pay his employees, member of the Vladimir Putin fan club, racist landlord, preferred candidate of neo-Nazis and other fringe racists, professional wrestling villain, and candidate who incites violence against his political opponents, is now the 45th president of the United States of America.

Donald Trump is also a fascist authoritarian in the American mold and leader of the world’s most powerful and influential “democracy.”

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, the American news media desperately avoided using such language to describe Donald Trump. They did this because of material self-interest and advertising revenues, as well as an inability to accept how Trump had gamed obsolete journalistic norms of “fairness,” “balance” and “objectivity.”

In doing so, the American news media facilitated Trump’s rise to power. They labeled Trump as a “populist” who was “unconventional.” The American news media kept suggesting that Trump would “pivot” for the general election in order to win more “mainstream” and “centrist” voters. There were some bold voices who said that Trump had “authoritarian tendencies.” But very few commentators had the courage to plainly state that Donald Trump was a fascist — even though the evidence was growing then and is now insurmountable.

End quote

So what is wrong with being a “fascist”? The Nazis were “facists”.  A person can’t get any worse than being a fascist!

December 14, 2016

The Nazis allegedly used Jewish grave stones to pave roads

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, movies, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 12:17 pm

The Nazis used Jewish grave stones to pay roads, according to a news article, which you can read here:

https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/12/14/photo-exhibit-making-north-american-premier-highlights-erasure-of-polish-jewish-history-since-world-war-ii/

I wrote about the use of grave stones, to pave roads, on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/did-the-nazis-use-jewish-tombstones-to-pave-roads/

The photo below allegedly shows a road paved with Jewish grave stones. Actually, this is a still shot from the fictional movie entitled “Schindler’s List.”

Photo from the movie  scoindler's List

Still photo from the movie Schindler’s List

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Speaking about Polish photographer Lukasz Baksik’s works that show how Jewish gravestones in Poland have been stolen and reused for other purposes over the decades — particularly during the eras of Nazi and Soviet rule — Elizabeth Gelman said, “The big thing for us is this has been going on for so long. Generations in Poland have grown up walking on and walking by — and in some cases even dancing — on people’s graves, without thinking about it, without really knowing what they are.”

Furthermore, Gelman noted, “this goes on in all of our communities, to some extent. What aren’t we seeing? What have we pushed to the side and stopped caring about? What are the things in our own communities that are important to recognize but we no longer see?”

End quote

 

October 30, 2016

My final thoughts about Majdanek

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:54 pm

Here are my final thoughts about Majdanek, a former Nazi death camp in Poland:

Imagine you are driving down I-5, a super highway in California, and there is heavy traffic, with no place to pull over and stop. Imagine that someone says to you “Look over there and you will see a gas chamber building where the Nazis gassed Jews.”

You look out the window and you see two identical buildings, so you say “Which one?” Your guide tells you that the gas chamber is the building on the left, and that the identical building on the right was used for delousing the clothing of the prisoners.

You say: “Can I see the delousing building first?” and your guide says “No, you may not. You may not go anywhere near the delousing building and you cannot peek into the windows because they are covered.”

At this point, you say to yourself: “Something wrong!”

Then imagine that you drive a few more feet down this major highway, and your tour guide says “Look over there, that two-story white house is where the Majdanek Commandant lived with his wife and three young daughters.”

You are very upset! You say “Do you mean to say that three young girls were living in a house that was literally a stone’s throw from a homicidal gas chamber?”

Your tour guide says “Don’t worry, the wife and daughters  were not isolated. This highway goes into the city of Lublin (pronounced Loo-Bleen), which is only a few miles away. Lublin is a major city.”

You say, “But the three children must have been very unhappy because they were cooped up in the house, and could not play outside.”

Your guide says, “No, the girls played outside every day; their yard was very large and they had a doll house and a swing set.”

You are appalled! Little girls playing outside, while, a few yards away, Jews are marching into gas chambers to be killed.

That’s when you begin to understand that the Nazis really were the worst people in the world.

End of Story

October 9, 2016

A Czech volleyball team named Zyklon-B

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:20 am

Some people have no respect for anything – including the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were allegedly killed, including many Jews that were allegedly exterminated with Zyklon-B, a poison gas that was used, by the Nazis, to kill the lice that spread typhus, a deadly disease.

You can read about the volleyball team in this news article:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/218726

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote from news article

Czech Jews slam volleyball team named for poison used by Nazis

Nazi flag displayed at volleyball game

Nazi flag displayed at volleyball game

This caption is on the photo above:

Czech Jews protest the naming of a children’s volleyball team Cyklon B, after the poison that Nazis used to kill Jews.

This quote is from news article quoted above:

Begin quote from news article:

Czech Jews protested the naming of a children’s volleyball team after the poison that Nazis used to kill Jews and Roma in gas chambers during the Holocaust.

The team Cyklon B – the Czech-language transliteration for the Zyklon B pesticide that the Nazis used — participated recently in a Prague tournament featuring teams from Czech Republic orphanages.

Fans at the tournament, which was sponsored by the ING Bank Fund of the Tereza Maxová Foundation, shouted “Go Cyklon B,” the Pravo daily reported Thursday.

End quote from news article

What does this have to do with anything?

People who study the Holocaust need to know the history of the Czech people, so I am going to tell you a little bit of history:

The Czech people initially had their own dynasty, known as the Premyslides. The famous “Good King Wencelas” was the ruler of the Czechs in the 10th century.

The Czech homeland of Bohemia, which along with Moravia, now constitutes the Czech Republic, came under the rule of the Austrian Hapsburg empire in 1526. It was Joseph II of the Hapsburg family, the ruler of the Austrian Empire, who built a town and named it Theresienstadt (Theresa’s city) after his mother, the Empress Maria Theresa.

This is the same Joseph II, in whose honor Josefov, the Jewish quarter in Prague, was originally named Josefstadt in 1850. Although his mother, Empress Maria Theresa, was an anti-Semite who had expelled the Jews from the Austrian empire for three years, Joseph II was an enlightened monarch who emancipated the Jews of Prague when he became Emperor in 1780 after the death of his mother.

In 1780, when the town of Theresienstadt was originally built as a military garrison at the junction of the Ohre and Elbe rivers, near the Sudeten mountain range in the province of Bohemia, the Czech people, who had lived in this area since the 5th century, did not have an independent country of their own.

Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which was signed after World War I ended, the Hapsburg Empire, by then a multi-ethnic country called Austria-Hungary, was broken up into the separate independent countries of Austria, Hungary, Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia. The new country of Czechoslovakia was made up of the former states of Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, Russian Ruthenia and part of Silesia.

Czechs and ethnic Germans had been living side by side in Bohemia for over a thousand years, and the new country had a population of 6 million Czechs, 3.5 million Germans and 2 million Slovaks.

The Czechs and Slovaks were both Slavic people, like the Russians and the Poles, but the Germans were a completely different ethnic group which had rarely intermarried with the Slavs.

Do these children, who are playing volleyball know anything about the history of the Czechs? I don’t think so. They just want to have fun; they don’t know that the name of their volleyball team upsets the old folks who still remember what the swastika once stood for.

August 14, 2016

The Majdanek camp, as seen by a young Jewish girl

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:46 am

You can read here about a tour of the memorial site at the former Majdanek concentration camp, written by a young Jewish girl named Carly Cohen:  http://www.jewishchronicle.org/2016/08/01/leaving-auschwitz/

Carly Cohen on visit to Auschwitz camp

Carly Cohen on a visit to Auschwitz main camp before visiting Majdanek camp

The following quote is from the news article cited above:

Begin quote

One aspect of Majdanek that stood out to me was that there was a town overlooking the camp. People’s balconies looked out to the gas chambers and the barracks in which thousands of people were imprisoned. It is mind-boggling to me how people can wake up, make coffee, and sit on their balconies and welcome in the morning by staring death in the face. I never thought I would experience a place that could prove to be more emotional than Auschwitz. I thought I had experienced the worst of the worst while at Auschwitz-Birkenau, but when I went to Majdanek, I proved myself wrong.

End quote

One of the first places that I visited, when I began touring the sites of the Holocaust, was Majdanek. I was very impressed by the sight of the Majdanek camp, but not for the same reason that this young girl was impressed.

When I began my tour of the camps in Poland in 1998, the first place that I visited was Treblinka.

In sharp contrast to the alleged extermination camp at Treblinka, which is in a wooded area as remote as Ted Kaczynkski’s Montana cabin, the Majdanek concentration camp is situated in a major urban area, four kilometers from the city center of Lublin, and can be easily reached by trolley car.

The location of the Majdanek camp is in an area of rolling terrain and can be seen from all sides; it could not be more public or accessible.

The Majdanek concentration camp is located in an entirely open area with no ten-foot wall around it to hide the activities inside the camp, as at Dachau. There was no security zone established around the Majdanek camp, as at Birkenau, and there is no natural protection, such as a river or a forest, as at Treblinka.

Besides being bounded on the north by a busy main road, the Majdanek camp was bounded on the south by two small villages named Abramowic and Dziesiata.

According to the camp 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 that 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.

People driving past the camp, while it was in operation, had a completely unobstructed view, being able to see the tall brick chimney of the crematorium wafting smoke from the top of a slope not far away, and the gas chamber building which is a few yards from a busy street.

Majdakek is also known as Maidenek, which is the German version of the name.

What really impressed me, when I visited the Majdanek memorial site was the huge stone monument at the entrance.

Huge monument at entrance to Majdanek Memorial site

Huge monument at entrance to Majdanek Memorial site

Monument as viewed from inside the camp

Monument as viewed from inside the former Majdanek camp

The population of Lublin has more than tripled since the end of World War II and the former Majdanek concentration camp is now within the city limits, like a municipal park except that it is a ghastly eyesore. There are several modern high-rise apartment buildings overlooking the camp on two sides.

On one side of the camp, is a Roman Catholic cemetery which was there even when the camp was in operation.

On the other side of the street, directly across from the former concentration camp, there is now a Polish military installation since this street is part of the main road into the Ukraine and Russia. During World War II, the street which borders the Majdanek concentration camp was the main route to the eastern front for the German army.

The city of Lublin is near the eastern border of Poland and what is now the Ukraine. Between 1772 and 1918, when Poland had ceased to be an independent country and was divided between Prussia (Germany), Austria and Russia, Lublin was in the Russian sector.

In April 1835, Russian Czar Nicholas I issued a decree which created the Pale of Settlement, a territory where Russian Jews were forced to live until after the Communist Revolution of 1917. Lublin was located within the Pale of Settlement, as was the city of Warsaw.

The census of 1897 counted 4,899,300 Jews who were crowded into the Pale of Settlement, which was like a huge reservation similar to those where the Native Americans were forced to live during the same time period in the western USA.

In 1881, Russia began evicting the Jews from the Pale, which began a mass migration. By 1914, two million Jews had left the Pale and had settled in Germany, Austria, America and other countries.

In 1939, when Poland was again divided between Germany and the Soviet Union, Lublin came under the control of Russia again. This lasted until June 1941 when the Nazis launched an attack on the Communist Soviet Union, the ideological enemy of Fascist Germany.

Lublin, being close to the border of the German-controlled General Government of Poland, was one of the first cities to be conquered by the Germans. The German conquest of the Soviet sector of Poland in the last 6 months of 1941 brought Polish Communists and also millions of Jews, who were the sworn enemies of the Nazis, under the control of the Germans.

In order to avoid having partisans attack them from the rear as they advanced into Russia, the Nazis rounded up those whom they considered their political enemies and confined them in the Majdanek camp, along with the captured Soviet POWs.

But, to get back to the apartment houses, with their balconies overlooking the camp, I did not photograph them because I did not want to invade their privacy. However, my tour guide did point out the balconies, as she told me about the Polish residents watching as the Germans shot thousands of Jews at Majdanek.

The gas chambers at Majdanek are on the other side of the camp, near the highway, where thousands of vehicles were passing by. People could observe the Jews entering the alleged gas chamber building.

The Nazis claimed that the Jews were only taking a shower, not being gassed to death, in this building. The identical building right next to the gas chamber building is closed to tourists. The clothing of the Jews was disinfected in this building, in order to kill the lice that spreads typhus.

 

 

December 12, 2010

Sonderkommando Revolt — Holocaust revenge video game

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:44 am

A new video game, called Sonderkommando Revolt, developed by an Israeli game maker, is due out next month.  The developer of the video game described the game as “blast the Nazis fun.”  The game is based on the uprising of Auschwitz-Birkenau prisoners on October 7, 1944 when the Krema IV gas chamber was blown up. Players will take the part of Zalmen Gradowski, a real-life Sonderkommando, who was one of the leaders of the uprising.  Gradowski was killed during the actual uprising, but in the video game, he will finally have the chance to get revenge on the Nazis through the kids who play the game.

I have never wasted my time playing video games, but my grandchildren spend hours playing.  In fact, one of them started playing video games at the age of two, and he is thinking of becoming a video game developer himself.  What a great “after Christmas gift” this would be for him! (Just kidding; I would never do that.)

(more…)

February 20, 2010

Shutter Island – Dachau flashbacks

Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited new movie Shutter Island opened on February 19, 2010.  I was there when the doors opened because I was very anxious to see how the flashback scene of the Dachau massacre would be portrayed.

I previously posted some photos of the movie set for the Dachau flashbacks.  It turns out that the Dachau scene was completely changed and those photos are no longer valid.

Before I saw the movie, I foolishly thought that Teddy Daniels, the main character, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, was having nightmares about Dachau because he felt some guilt or remorse about shooting German Prisoners of War in cold blood.  It turns out that the fictional Teddy Daniels is a German-hater and he was traumatized by seeing the dead bodies of prisoners who had died in the typhus epidemic at Dachau, not by what he refers to as the “murder” of the guards.

In the film, there is a German doctor at the Shutter Island mental hospital, played by Max von Sydow, who looks German, but according to some of the reviews, he is actually Swedish in real life.  As Teddy Daniels is talking with Dr. Naehring, played by von Sydow, Teddy suddenly starts speaking German out of the blue.  In real life, Leonard DiCaprio speaks fluent German, which he learned from his German grandmother. The German words are not translated, but most people will catch the German word Konzentrationslager, which means concentration camp in English.

Teddy’s purpose in speaking German seems to be that he wants to express his hatred for German doctors by reminding Dr. Naehring of the experiments done by the Nazis. Teddy is angry that a Nazi doctor was allowed to emigrate to America after the war. The Nazi doctors did experiments on the concentration camp prisoners and some of the doctors were brought to America to continue their experiments.  In another scene, Teddy Daniels says that Nazis provoke him.

There are several flashbacks of Dachau, lasting about 10 seconds each, before the main flashback, which shows the murder of the guards.  The first flashback is triggered when Teddy Daniels and his partner Chuck are listening to some German music.  Chuck asks Teddy: “Brahms?”  and there is a ten second pause during which we see the bodies of a couple of dead children at Dachau, before Teddy answers, “No, Mahler.”

Just the thought of anything German triggers mental pictures of Dachau in the mind of Teddy Daniels.  Lucky for him, they weren’t listening to Wagner, or he might have had a hemorrhage and dropped dead on the spot, ending the movie right there.

If there were any dead children at Dachau when the American liberators arrived, no one took a photo of them. The dead children that Teddy Daniels sees are his own children, but we don’t know this at this point.

Another flashback shows concentration camp prisoners, wearing striped uniforms, standing with their hands touching the barbed wire at Dachau.  The electricity was off in the camp because  Dachau had been hit by an American bomb on April 9, 1945, but a generator was still maintaining the electricity in the barbed wire, and a few prisoners died when they ran to the wire and touched it as soon as they saw the American liberators.  The photo below was taken after the electricity was turned off.

Real life photo of Dachau prisoners touching the barbed wire

Very early in the movie, Teddy Daniels mentions that the barbed wire around the mental hospital grounds on Shutter Island is electrified; he explains that he knows this because of some past experience he has had with electrified barbed wire. This is the first reference to his participation in the liberation of Dachau.

Then there is a brief flashback which shows a German officer lying on the floor with his face bleeding, as Teddy Daniels looks at him with an expression of extreme hatred on his face.  It appears that Teddy has shot the German officer. We know that the officer is lying on the floor of an office room at Dachau because we have seen earlier flashbacks of papers flying all over the office as American soldiers go through the camp records.  Yeah right, like the American liberators bothered to look at the records at the camp before shooting the guards who had surrendered!

In real life, the American liberators confiscated the records at Dachau, then put up a sign at the crematorium which said that 238,000 prisoners had been burned in the ovens at Dachau.  It was not until many years later that the American military turned the Dachau records over to the Red Cross.  The total number of prisoners registered at Dachau during the 12 years that the camp was in existence was 206,206.  In addition, there were around 7,000 prisoners, who arrived in the last couple of days before the camp was liberated, that were never counted.

In another flashback, we learn that the wounded German officer, that Teddy saw, was the Commandant of Dachau and that he had tried to kill himself shortly before the American liberators arrived.  This didn’t happen in the real life story of Dachau.

The last Commandant of Dachau, Wilhelm Eduard Weiter, allegedly killed himself a few days after the camp was liberated. He had escorted a group of prisoners to a sub-camp in Austria, and then allegedly shot himself when American troops arrived.  I don’t buy the story of his suicide.  I think he was killed for the same reason that Heinrich Himmler was killed by the British after he was captured.  The Allies didn’t want to put any Germans on trial who might tell the truth about what had really happened.

After Weiter had conveniently committed suicide, the previous Commandant of Dachau, Martin Gottfried Weiss, was put on trial by an American Military Tribunal, although there were no specific charges against him and several prisoners testified in his defense.  He was convicted and hanged; his crime was that he was the Commandant of Dachau.

The main Dachau massacre flashback shows the American liberators entering the Dachau concentration camp through a gate with a large sign that reads “Arbeit macht Frei.”  I guess someone told Martin Scorsese: “You gotta show the Arbeit macht Frei sign because that is the universal symbol of the Holocaust, known by everyone in the civilized world.”

Unfortunately, the scene does not show anything resembling the real Dachau gate house; the sign is just hanging there, like at the Auschwitz main camp.  In the movie, the buildings inside the Dachau camp are brick; the whole scene looks like Auschwitz, not Dachau.

Real life Arbeit macht Frei sign on Dachau gate

In real life, the first shots of the Dachau massacre did not take place inside the Dachau concentration camp, but in the SS garrison that was next door to the camp.  The first SS soldiers were shot before the Americans even saw the dead bodies in the camp, and before they saw the gas chamber. It was the sight of the bodies on the “death train” that caused the American soldiers to lose all control and murder the guards. In the movie, the guards are killed before the Americans see the “death train.”

Dead bodies piled up at Dachau crematorium

The photo above, taken in May 1945, shows the bodies of Dachau prisoners who died of typhus AFTER the camp was liberated. There were up to 400 prisoners dying each day in the typhus epidemic; the photo shows some prisoners still wearing their striped uniforms, which indicates that they died after the camp was liberated.

Railroad gate and tracks at Dachau

The soldiers of the 45th Infantry Division of the US Seventh Army actually entered the Dachau SS garrison through the railroad gate, into the SS garrison, which was open because the “death train” was part way inside the garrison.  My photo above, taken in 2001, shows the location of the railroad gate and a short section of the tracks, which have been preserved as a memorial to the prisoners.

Real life execution of German soldiers at Dachau

The photo above shows the execution scene inside the SS garrison at Dachau.  Note the hospital in the background on the right. There were other executions of German soldiers in various locations inside the Dachau camp.

In the flashback scenes, there is great emphasis placed on the snow at Dachau.  The ground is covered with snow and the bodies are frozen and encased in ice.  The most visible bodies are a woman and a young girl. None of the photos taken at the liberation of Dachau show dead bodies of women or children.

There had been some snow flurries at Dachau, but it was not snowing on April 29, 1945, the day that Dachau was liberated. It did snow on May 1, 1945 at Dachau. The snow seems to be symbolic because it matches the ashes that fall in other flashback scenes.

The actual shooting of the guards at Dachau was so short that it was impossible for me to identify the uniforms that they were wearing.  The German guards were lined up against a barbed wire fence and shot by a number of American soldiers who were firing rifles.  The first shot was fired at a guard who was trying to run away.  The excuse that the  real life American liberators gave for shooting Prisoners of War at Dachau was that “they were trying to get away.”

In real life, the regular guards at Dachau had fled the night before the liberation of the camp, and there were 128 SS soldiers in prison at Dachau who were released and forced to guard the camp until the Americans arrived.

The general impression that most people have is that the SS men, who guarded the concentration camps, were allowed to abuse or murder the prisoners any time they felt like it. Actually, any SS man who did something like that was put into a wing of the camp prison at Dachau that was reserved for the SS. There had been 128 SS men in the prison the day before Dachau was liberated. That part of the prison at Dachau has long since been torn down and the tour guides tell visitors that the inmates were beaten for something as minor as having a button missing on their uniform.

The surrender of the Dachau camp is not shown in the movie, and viewers are led to believe that the SS men at Dachau had to be shot by the American liberators because they were defending the camp.

The German soldiers, who were murdered at Dachau, included Wehrmacht soldiers in the regular army, as well as Waffen-SS soldiers who were sent from the battlefield to surrender the camp to the Americans. The Wehrmacht soldiers were dragged out of a military hospital and shot by the American liberators.

In one scene in the movie, Teddy Daniels says that after seeing Dachau, he knew what men are capable of doing to other men.  This trite expression is repeated by every tourist who gets anywhere near Dachau; it makes me want to scream every time I read it or hear it.  But in the movie, it has some significance, as viewers will learn at the end of the movie.

Leonardo DiCaprio should win an academy award for best actor for his performance in this movie.  The movie is good, but not that good; it is too contrived.

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