Scrapbookpages Blog

September 25, 2014

After the Rialto Holocaust assignment fiasco, students will now study “The Holocaust Chronicle,” a Jewish history of the Holocaust (updated)

Filed under: California, Dachau, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:50 am

Scroll down to read the update.

You can read about the new assignment for the students in the Rialto school district at

Previously, the students were asked to study both sides of the Holocaust and write an essay, giving their opinion. Now these same students will be trained in only the Jewish side of the story.

The Holocaust Chronicle is a 709 page book, which weighs about 20 pounds. I have a copy of this book in my home library and I have read most of it.

Jewish book tells history of the Holocaust

Jewish book tells history of the Holocaust

I found this quote, regarding the identity of the girl on the cover:

The young girl pictured on our homepage, and on the cover of The Holocaust Chronicle book, was discovered by British troops in the typhus ward of the Bergen-Belsen, Germany, concentration camp in April 1945. She was one of approximately 60,000 inmates found alive at the camp. Of that number, at least 10,000 were so ravaged by disease and the effects of overwork that they died after their liberation.

The girl’s name, background, and ultimate fate are unknown. We do know that she looked into a camera in April 1945, and that she may very well have walked out of Bergen-Belsen, ready to make her future. If you feel you can identify this girl, please contact us by clicking here, and forward your remarks.

So you can’t get past the cover of this book without reading mistaken so-called facts about the Holocaust. There were 13,000 prisoners who allegedly died after Bergen-Belsen was voluntarily turned over to the British.  Bergen-Belsen was an EXCHANGE camp, a fact which should have been mentioned.

There are numerous mistakes in The Holocaust Chronicle.

In looking for the mistakes, I started with the section on Dachau. On page 578, there is a full-page photo of a Dachau guard who has been shot in the leg, so that he can’t escape the prisoners who are preparing to beat him to death with a shovel. There is an American soldier in the background, holding a pistol. He has his back turned and is ignoring the whole thing.  Is he the one who shot this man in the leg so that the inmates could beat the man to death with a shovel?

German was shot in the leg at Dachau so that the prisoners could beat him to death with a shovel

German man was shot in the leg at Dachau so that the prisoners could beat him to death with a shovel

This is a photo that illustrates the “Dachau massacre,” but the book does not mention this war crime committed by the American liberators.  The man who is preparing to beat the man with a shovel is a Polish Resistance Fighter who was legally incarcerated at Dachau because he was an illegal combatant.  Does The Holocaust Chronicle explain this?  Of course not.

I didn’t have to look very far from the above cited page to find another serious mistake on page 585. There is a photo of some Gypsy children on page 585.  The caption on the photo says that these children “had been subjected to savage medical experiments.”

Gypsy children who are suffering from a disease called "Noma."

Gypsy children who are suffering from a disease called “Noma.”

I blogged about these children, who are suffering from a disease called “Noma,” on this blog post:

I also blogged about a famous photo, taken at Nordhausen. This photo is shown on page 598 of The Holocaust Chronicle, with a caption that says that these bodies are the bodies of inmates, which the Germans “had left to rot” at Nordhausen.

Should public schools in America allow children to study the Jewish version of history, or is this a violation of the First Amendment?

What if a student points out a mistake in The Holocaust Chronicle?  Will he or she be expelled for the crime of “Holocaust denial”?

Update Sept. 26, 2014:

I started looking through my copy of The Holocaust Chronicle again this morning to get an idea of what the students in the Rialto school district will be learning about the Holocaust.

On page 451 of the book, I found the photo below, which I have on my website

Demonstration of how the corpses were dragged to the ovens at Dachau

Demonstration of how the corpses were dragged to the ovens at Dachau

This photo is not on a page about Dachau in The Holocaust Chronicle. It is on a page about the Warsaw ghetto. The caption on the photo identifies the men in the photo as Sonderkommandos, and says that the Sonderkommando Jews assisted the Nazis in order to spare their own lives.  There is no hint that this photo was taken after the liberation of Dachau, at the suggestion of the American liberators.

The photo above is part of a set of 3 photos.  The other two photos, which I have on my website are shown below.

Photo taken after Dachau was liberated shows how bodies were dragged to the ovens

Photo taken after Dachau was liberated shows how bodies were dragged to the ovens

Demonstration of how bodies were put into the ovens at Dachau

Demonstration of how bodies were put into the ovens at Dachau

This quote is from the page of my website which shows the three photos above:

The three old photos [above] show crematory workers demonstrating how they dragged the dead bodies out of the morgue, loaded them onto a stretcher and then shoved them into the cremation ovens. Posed photographs, such as those shown [above], were offered for sale to American soldiers who visited the museum set up in Baracke X by the US Army after the liberation of Dachau. All three photos are courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

According to Marcus J. Smith, a U.S. Army doctor, who wrote a book called “The Harrowing of Hell,” the chief of the crematorium crew was Ludvik “a heavy, powerfully muscled Czech who has labored in the crematorium for a long time.” Smith wrote that Ludvik sent him a letter in which he complained that his team of 10 people were not being treated as well as they had been by the SS. Ludvik wrote in this letter: “We feel that after our liberation, at least the same standard of living should be maintained. But our position is worse than then as to food, drinks and tobacco.”

Smith wrote that, because the cremation efforts were too slow, the bodies were buried by German civilians “at the American commander’s request.” The corpses were taken on carts to the burial site on a hill called Leitenberg where the bodies were transferred to a bulldozed excavation, according to Smith. He wrote that “Eventually 2,400 bodies were buried.” That would mean that there was a total of 3,110 bodies in the camp, including those of the prisoners who died between April 29th and May 6th after the liberation. There were allegedly 2,310 bodies on the death train that arrived in the camp on April 27, 1945, which would have to be included in this total. There were 2,226 prisoners who died in the month of May 1945 after the liberation of the camp; they were buried in a cemetery in the town of Dachau.

Why is this photo, taken after the liberation of Dachau, on a page about the Warsaw ghetto in The Holocaust Chronicle?

The only reason, that I can think of, is that this is a horrible photo which illustrates how evil the Nazis were.  Students, who will be required to study this book, will assume that the dummy in the photo is a human being who is being dragged to an oven, probably while still alive.


February 15, 2014

Holocaust denial and Dr. Mengele’s alleged experiments on Gypsy children

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 6:00 pm

A website called The Moderate Voice, which you can read here, has an article which claims that Dr. Josef Mengele did experiments on Gypsy children.

The photo shown below accompanies the article, which is entitled “21st century technology makes Holocaust denial easy.”  The caption on the photo reads: “Children prisoners in Nazi camps used for medical experiments.”

Children who were allegedly used in medical experiments

Children who were allegedly used in medical experiments

This quote, regarding the photo above, is from The Moderate Voice:

The problem: if history can be dismissed as fake and facts be painted as being questionable, the it’s easier for horrific history to be repeated.

And if it’s easy for something to occur again, chances are some day — perhaps in a different form — it will.

I am one of the Holocaust deniers who has dismissed the photo above as fake. I have this same photo on my website in a section about the Gypsy Museum at the Sachsenhausen Memorial Site.  I visited the Gypsy Museum several years ago and took the photos below.

Photo which I took in the Gypsy Museum at Sachsenhausen

Photo which I took in the Gypsy Museum at Sachsenhausen

Dr. Mengele was the doctor who administered to the sick in the Gypsy camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  He claimed that many of the Gypsy children suffered from a disease called “noma.”

I checked with Wikipedia just to make sure.  The information about Dr. Mengele’s experiments is at

Note that Wikipedia says that Dr. Mengele “established a kindergarten for the children who were the subjects of his experiments, along with all Gypsy children under the age of six.”  This implies that Gypsy children were not part of his experiments.  Dr. Mengele was doing research on twins, not experimenting on Gypsy children.

This quote is from Wikipedia:

Witness Vera Alexander described how he sewed two Gypsy twins together back to back in an attempt to create conjoined twins.[50] The children died of gangrene after several days of suffering.[56]

Sorry for being a “doubting Thomas,” but I don’t believe the story told by Vera Alexander. I think that this is one of those things that “never happened, but are true,” as Elie Wiesel famously said.

This famous photo shows a Gypsy girl on a train to Auschwitz

This famous photo shows a Gypsy girl on a train to Auschwitz

How many times have you seen the photo above?  It shows a Gypsy girl on a train to Auschwitz, from the Westerbork camp in Holland.   The girl in this iconic photo is usually identified as a Jewish girl.  The girl in the picture is not Jewish, but rather a Gypsy girl named Settela Steinbach, who was on a transport to Auschwitz.

If you are going to write about Holocaust denial, you should check and double check the photos that you use, lest you become a Holocaust exaggerator.

Echo chambers are a dangerous thing, and the Internet allows quintessential “narrowcasting,” where people of one opinion can have their beliefs reaffirmed.

The problem: if history can be dismissed as fake and facts be painted as being questionable, the it’s easier for horrific history to be repeated.

And if it’s easy for something to occur again, chances are some day — perhaps in a different form — it will.

October 27, 2012

Photos taken by Wilhelm Brasse at Auschwitz, and some that were not taken by him

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 12:04 pm

Just when I thought that I was all blogged out, a reader of my blog made a comment that included three links to the news about the death of Wilhelm Brasse, the photographer at Auschwitz.  Two of the links (New York Times and Spiegel) showed the identification photos of a young Polish girl, which you can see below.

Here is the caption on the photo in the New York Times:

Prisoner identity photographs, taken by Wilhelm Brasse, of Czeslawa Kwoka of Poland. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Czeslawa arrived with her family at Auschwitz on Dec. 13, 1942, and died on March 12, 1943. She was 14.

I actually remember seeing these photos of this young girl in the Museum exhibits in the Auschwitz main camp when I was there in 1998.

Why have these photos captured the attention of the world?  The photos of this young girl capture the essence of the misfortune of the Auschwitz prisoners.  This is a cute young girl, only 14 years old, but the first two photos show her as old and haggard, her hair shown, and her lips compressed in definance. In the third photo, the photographer has captured her youth and beauty with a jaunty scarf on her head and an upward adoring gaze.  The girl has been “humanized” by the photographer with the way that he posed her in the third photo.

The first photo shows that her head is pressed against a device to hold her head at the correct distance from the camera, so that the photographer did not have to re-focus the camera for each new prisoner.

The quality of the photos is excellent, indicating that a camera with a good portrait lens was being used, and that the photographer knew how to develop and print black and white photos, which is now a lost art.

The third link given by a reader of my blog was to the Wikipedia entry for Wilhelm Brasse.

Wilhelm Brasse holds a photo which he allegedly took at Auschwitz

The photo above is shown on the Wikipedia page for Wilhelm Brasse with this caption:

Brasse in 2005 with one of his Auschwitz photographs

Oops! The photo that Brasse is holding is NOT one of the photos that he took. It is a still shot from a film taken by the Soviet liberators of Auschwitz.  The Soviets filmed these prisoners because, according to the Soviets, these were Jews who had been experimented on by Dr. Josef Mengele.  Wilhelm Brasse could not have taken the film which included this still shot because he had been death marched out of the Auschwitz camp on January 18, 1945 before the Soviets arrived on January 27, 1945 to liberate the camp.

So why did Brasse pose with this still photo?  Did his memory fail him and he couldn’t remember which photos that he took?  Or was he persuaded to pose with a photo that he knew was NOT  one of the photos that he had taken?

I previous blogged about the photo that Brasse is holding here.  Don’t bother trying to change the Wikipedia entry; the lie about this photo is so firmly entrenched into Holocaust history that it is one of those famous “events that never happened, but are true.”

The photo actually shows Gypsy children who are suffering from the disease called “Noma.”  When the Gypsy camp was closed, all the Gypsies were sent to the gas chamber, except for these children who had Noma, who were left behind for some unknown reason.  I previously blogged about the gassing of the Gypsies here and here.

The news articles about the death of Wilhelm Brasse mention that he did not take photos of the prisoners who were immediately gassed upon arrival at Auschwitz.  That is correct: the prisoners who were gassed immediately were not registered in the Auschwitz camp, so no identification photos were taken of them.  That is why the names of the prisoners who were immediately gassed are completely unknown; also the number of Jews who were immediately gassed is completely unknown.  The Nazis were no fools; they had the good sense not to leave behind records of the Jews who were gassed.

This quote is from Wikipedia about Wilhelm Brasse:

Dr. Mengele had insisted that Brasse take the “identity” portraits of Auschwitz prisoners “in three poses: from the front and from each side.”[4] After taking hundreds of thousands of such photographs, Brasse and others disobeyed later Nazi orders to destroy them,[4] yet only some of his photos have survived….

Personally, I don’t believe that Dr. Mengele had anything to do with the “identity” portraits.  The taking of the identity portraits in the main camp started long before Dr. Mengele arrived at the Birkenau camp to be the doctor assigned to take care of the Gypsy family camp.


August 31, 2011

My review of The Debt, the movie about the “surgeon of Birkenau”

I previously blogged about the movie entitled The Debt and wrote (facetiously) that it will win Academy Awards because it is a Holocaust movie.  After seeing the movie today, I think that it will be nominated for several Academy awards — because it is a great movie.  This film is a remake of a 2007 Israeli film, also named The Debt.

I was not expecting to like this movie, but after seeing it, I am giving it high praise.  It is being advertised as a “spy thriller” but it is much more than that.  The story line is about Truth and whether telling lies can sometimes be justified.

Some memorable lines in the movie are

“We have to lie.”  “The Truth stays in this room.”  “Truth is a luxury.”

And regarding the necessity to lie: “The important thing is Justice.”

I doubt that this movie will win the Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year because the story line is hard to follow, unless you have some advance knowledge of the plot.  If you prefer to see movies without any idea of what the plot is about, don’t read any further.


The movie starts in the year 1997 with an event in Tel Aviv, Israel honoring Sarah Gold, the daughter of a Mossad operative, who has just published a book about the exploits of her mother who participated in the capture of a German war criminal named Dieter Vogel in Berlin in 1965. The author of the book begins to read a passage from the book about how her mother, Rachel Singer, shot Dieter Vogel when he attempted to escape, on New Year’s Eve, from the apartment where he was being held. As she reads, the movie switches to a flashback about the events that happened in Berlin in 1965.

Rachel Singer is played by Helen Mirren in the 1997 scenes.  In earlier scenes, taking place in the Eastern section of Berlin in 1965, Rachel Singer is played by Jessica Chastain who is sensitive and charming in contrast to her older self, as played by Helen Mirren.  (Helen Mirren will definitely be nominated for an Academy Award and will probably win.)  Other critics have pointed out that the younger Rachel and the older Rachel do not seem to be the same person.  But the sensitive Rachel is a big factor in the plot, so I think that the contrast is deliberate.

The fictional German war criminal Dieter Vogel is called “the surgeon of Birkenau” in the film; there are many indications that his character is based on the real life Dr. Josef Mengele, just as I suspected when I wrote two earlier posts about The Debt.  In the movie, one of the crimes of Dieter Vogel is claimed to be experiments, done on changing the color of eyes, which caused many “blind children.”  This definitely identifies him as Dr. Josef Mengele who allegedly conducted experiments to change brown eyes to blue at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

I give the makers of this movie extra points for not using the name Mengele and for using an innocuous name like Dieter Vogel instead.  I also give the actors good marks for speaking German in a way that Americans can understand if they have had a class in German.  I could easily follow the German dialogue without looking at the translation at the bottom of the screen.  To their credit, the characters pronounce the word Birkenau correctly.

In the first flashback, Dieter Vogel is a prisoner in an apartment in Berlin in 1965.  The three Mossad agents who have captured him are taking turns guarding him, while he is bound and his mouth is taped shut.  Vogel gets loose and all of a sudden he comes up behind Rachel, attacks her and slashes her in the face, leaving a huge scar which she carries for the rest of her life.  She grabs a pistol on the floor and crawls to the head of the stairs where she kills Dieter Vogel with one shot in the back.  What a brave woman! Who would have thought that a sensitive woman like the young Rachel could kill a man!

But did an Israeli Mossad operative really kill a man without giving him the benefit of a trial to determine if he had really killed thousands of Jews?  No, of course not. The movie makes a big point of telling the audience that the plan was to capture Vogel and take him to Israel where he would stand trial.  In real life, Adolf Eichmann was kidnapped and taken to Israel for trial. That was also the plan for Dieter Vogel. One of the two male Mossad agents in the movie says something about wanting the world “to know the truth” and that is why they were planning to take him to Israel for trial.

In later scenes, we learn why Dieter Vogel was being held as a prisoner in the apartment in Berlin.  It is because the plan, to sneak him out of East Berlin and take him to Israel for trial, was a failure.  Now he is in the apartment and he has to be taken care of, while the 3 Mossad agents try to figure out what to do with him. One of the agents says something about the need to put him on trial “to show the world what he did.”

Later, the same scene, in which Vogel is killed while attempting to escape, is played again.  The audience is waiting for the shot in the back, but this time Vogel makes it safely out the door and escapes.  This creates a big dilemma.  What to do?  Should the Mossad agents admit that Vogel is still on the loose, or should they lie and say that he was shot while attempting to escape?

“Nobody needs to know.”  “No one will ever find him again.”  “We have to lie.”  “It makes no difference (whether he escaped or was shot.) “The truth stays in this room.”

Then in 1997, shortly after Sarah Gold’s book comes out, an old man in a nursing home in Ukraine, who is near death, claims that he is Dieter Vogel.  If this story gets in the papers, it will destroy Sarah Gold, who has just written a book about her mother shooting Dieter Vogel in the back in 1965.  Someone must now track Vogel down and kill him before the story gets in the newspapers. A journalist is already hot on the trail.

Rachel has been taking credit for killing Vogel for 30 years.  She is the one who must now actually kill him. She owes “The Debt” because she took credit for something that she didn’t do.  Now she must pay that Debt by killing Dieter Vogel. The older Rachel is up to the task, unlike the younger Rachel, who wimped out.

Will Rachel find Vogel in time and kill him before the story hits the papers?  Or is the old man in the nursing home, who claims to be Vogel, just some old man who has lost his mind?

You will have to see the movie to find out how it ends.

P.S. Very early in the movie, a number of photographs are shown.  I recognized one of them as the photo shown below.

Left to right: Kaltenbrunner, Ziereis, Himmler, Karl Chielewski

The photo above was taken outside the Mauthausen camp, and it has nothing to do with the “surgeon of Birkenau.”  Other than this, I did not notice anything else that was out of place in the movie.  Everything is authentic, as far as I could tell.  Even the refrigerator in the Berlin apartment, which is a very small size, just like I remember Germany in those days.

Update Sept. 3, 2011 

I have just seen the original version of The Debt, which was made in Israel in 2007; it was on TV.  The original movie has some good points, but it is clearly a movie that would not have appealed to American audiences.  The original movie shows the hatred of the Jews for the Germans, and vice-versa, in a way that the new version does not.

In the original film, the characters speak Hebrew when they are speaking to each other in Berlin, but in the new film, they speak German.  There is a scene in the original version where Dr. Vogel begs one of the Mossad agents to kill him.  The Mossad agent then describes in great detail how Dr. Vogel will be put on trial in Israel. He will be put into a bullet proof glass cage during the trial, and no matter what he says in his defense, he will be convicted and hanged.  In other words, they are planning a repeat of the trial of Adolf Eichmann.

In the original version, the train scene where the plan to sneak the doctor out of East Berlin fails, is not included. The 2007 Israeli version is not as dramatic, but in a way, it is better because it is more emotional and not as glitzy as the new version.  One of the memorable lines in the 2007 version is “The truth is anything we want it to be.”

The photo below was shown in the 2007 version. In the movie, this is supposed to be a photo of the children upon whom the “surgeon of Birkenau” experimented.

Still shot from Soviet film after the liberation of Birkenau

When I visited Auschwitz, I learned that this photo was from a film made by the Soviet liberators of Auschwitz and it actually shows Gypsy children, suffering from an illness called Noma, who were in the camp hospital when Auschwitz was liberated.

Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess wrote in his autobiography, published under the title Death Dealer, that many of the Gypsy children suffered from an illness called “Noma,” which reminded him of leprosy.  These children were being treated for Noma in the camp hospital.  When Dr. Mengele first came to Birkenau, he was assigned to be the doctor for the Gypsy prisoners.

September 4, 2010

What imams learned about Gypsy children on their trip to Auschwitz

Filed under: Health, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 10:56 am

This morning I read this in an article about the recent trip of the Muslim imams to Auschwitz and Dachau:

A meeting held at Auschwitz with Wilhelm Brasse, a non-Jewish survivor who was forced by the Nazis to take pictures of Jewish prisoners inside the camp, exposed to Magid just how sinister Hitler’s regime truly was.  Brasse recalled to the group how he was forced to take photographs of naked Jewish children.

“I was devastated” while listening to the stories, Magid recounted. “I cannot imagine a human being in their right mind would take a child and hurt them. … When I came back [home], I had to hug my children.”

You can read the full article about the visit of the imams here.

Poster inside the Auschwitz Museum shows Gypsy children

Poster inside the Auschwitz Museum shows Gypsy children

The photo above shows Gypsy children. The caption (in English) claims that these children were subjects of medical experiments done by Dr. Josef Mengele, who was the doctor assigned to the Gypsy camp at Auschwitz.

When the Auschwitz I (main camp) was opened in 1940, the first prisoners were political prisoners who were transferred from a Gestapo prison, and mug shots of the victims were taken.  These photos are now displayed at the Auschwitz Museum which is in several buildings.  The photos of the naked Jewish children are not displayed at Auschwitz, and I have never seen a copy of these photos.

Rudolf Hoess wrote in his autobiography, entitled Death Dealer, that many of the Gypsy children at Auschwitz suffered from an illness called “Noma,” which reminded him of leprosy. A famous photo of some Gypsy children, suffering from Noma, is shown below.

Gypsy children, at Auschwitz, who had a disease called Noma

The photo of the Gypsy children suffering from Noma, which is shown above, is a still photo from a film made by the Soviets who liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 1945.  This photo is frequently shown with a caption identifying it as a photo of Jewish children who had been tortured.

A “Gypsy family camp” was set up in wooden barracks in Section BIIe in the Birkenau camp (Auschwitz II)  in February 1943.  According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Gypsy camp was in existence for only seventeen months and most of the Gypsies perished.

The following quote is from the web site of the USHMM:

In a decree dated December 16, 1942, Himmler ordered the deportation of Gypsies and part-Gypsies to Auschwitz-Birkenau. At least 23,000 Gypsies were brought there, the first group arriving from Germany in February 1943. Most of the Gypsies at Auschwitz-Birkenau came from Germany or territories annexed to the Reich including Bohemia and Moravia. Police also deported small numbers of Gypsies from Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Norway.

(The two states of Bohemia and Moravia, which are now in the Czech Republic, were part of a German Protectorate from 1938 to 1945; they were not annexed into the Greater German Reich.)

The following quote about the gassing of the Gypsies at Auschwitz-Birkenau is from the web site of the USHMM:

They (the Gypsies) were killed by gassing or died from starvation, exhaustion from hard labor, and disease (including typhus, smallpox, and the rare, leprosy-like condition called Noma.) Others, including many children, died as the result of cruel medical experiments performed by Dr. Josef Mengele and other SS physicians. The Gypsy camp was liquidated on the night of August 2-3, 1944, when 2,897 Sinti and Roma men, women, and children were killed in the gas chamber. Some 1,400 surviving men and women were transferred to Buchenwald and Ravensbrück concentration camps for forced labor.

According to a guidebook which I purchased in 2005 from the Auschwitz Museum, there were 20,943 Roma (Gypsies) who were gassed in the Krema V gas chamber at Birkenau; their bodies were burned in the pits adjacent to Krema V.

For some strange reason, the Gypsy children who had Noma were not gassed and they were left behind for the Soviet liberators to take care of.

Photo of Gypsy children used in medical experiments at Auschwitz

The photo above was taken in the Gypsy Museum at the Sachsenhausen Memorial site.  The children in this photo are sometimes mistakenly identified as Jews.