Scrapbookpages Blog

May 3, 2016

“the Poles killed more Jews than the Germans did” Say what?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:15 am

The quote, in the title of my blog post today, is from this news article: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/14/holocaust-scholar-questioned-on-claim-poles-killed-more-jews-than-germans-in-war

 Princeton professor Jan Tomasz Gross speaks in Warsaw on Wednesday. Photograph: Alik Kęplicz/AP

Princeton professor Jan Tomasz Gross speaks in Warsaw. Photograph: Alik Kęplicz/AP

I have written about Jan Michael Gross, who lives in America, in several blog posts including these recent posts:
https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/jan-gross-and-jewabne-back-in-the-news/

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/historian-jan-tomasz-gross-is-back-in-the-news-as-poland-seeks-to-change-history/

In case you don’t understand all this, the point of this news story is that Jan Gross is trying to claim that the Poles were as bad as the Germans because they killed Jews, the same as the Germans.

There is no worse insult than to claim that some other group of people is as bad as the Germans.  The Germans are the worst people in the world, and they can never be forgiven. There are now more than one million Jews living in Germany, and they are keeping an eye on those murdering Germans to make sure that they don’t kill any more Jews.

March 11, 2016

How tourists react to a tour of Auschwitz

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:09 am
My 1998 photo of old town Warsaw

My 1998 photo of old town Warsaw, a popular tourist attraction

The following quote is from a newspaper article, about a tourist trip to Poland, which you can read in full here:

Begin quote

Our first scheduled tour [in Poland] the next morning was the one I had the most apprehension about. After being picked up by the See Krakow Tour bus, we left for Auschwitz.

[My son] Connor had a little understanding of the Holocaust and wanted to learn more, but I admit I was a little nervous of what we would see and how it would affect my son.

The World War II extermination camp [Auschwitz 1] was not exactly what I expected. I had the notion we would find it deep in the forest, hidden from public view. On the contrary, it was right in the middle of Polish civilization.

Our guide took us through the front gate under the infamous sign in German that reads “Arbeit Macht Frei,” or in English, “Work Will Set You Free.” Of course, we know now that no words could be further from the truth. [The slogan “Arbeit macht Frei” was only used on the gate of a Class I camp, from which prisoners had a chance to be released.]

Without going into extreme detail because of the horrific things that went on there, we saw all kinds of artifacts, mostly things taken from those who were taken there against their will. We were also shown the facilities they were were forced to use.

auschwitzlatrine01

[My 2005 photo above shows the latrine in the quantine barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Incoming prisoners were kept in quarantine for a few weeks before they were admitted into the camp.]

At the even larger [Auschwitz] Birkenau, a not-too-distant larger camp making up the second part of Auschwitz, we saw the ruins of the gas chambers and crematoriums.

The day spent at the camps was somber and moving. The effect it had on me has lasted until this day, and I don’t anticipate it will ever go away completely.

End quote

The moral of this story is that tourists should prepare themselves for a trip to Auschwitz; they should at least learn the significance of the slogan “Arbeit macht Frei.”

The gate into the Dachau camp which was not a death camp

My photo of the gate into the Dachau concentration camp which was not a death camp

I have written several blog posts under the tag “Arbeit macht Frei” including this post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/arbeit-macht-frei-what-does-it-stand-for/

May 30, 2012

President Barack Obama needs a crash course in geography and the history of World War II

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:23 pm

Yesterday, during the ceremonies for the Presidential Medal of Freedom awards, President Barack Obama offended the Polish people by making a serious mistake when he said that Jews were killed in a “Polish death camp.”  This implies that it was the Polish people who were killing the Jews in death camps.

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

Obama on Tuesday labeled the Nazi facility used to process Jews for extermination as a “Polish death camp.” The White House later said the president “misspoke” and expressed “regret”.

The linguistic faux pas overshadowed Obama’s posthumous award of the highest US civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Jan Karski, a former Polish underground officer who provided early eyewitness accounts of Nazi Germany’s genocide of European Jews.

Between 1939 and 1945, nearly six million Polish citizens perished under Nazi Germany’s brutal World War II occupation of their country.

More than half of Poland’s victims were of Jewish origin and they, in turn, accounted for half of the six million European Jews who perished during the Holocaust.

Many were killed in death camps set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland — including the most notorious, Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Oops!  Another mistake: Auschwitz-Birkenau was not in occupied Poland, also known as the General Government.  Auschwitz was in Silesia which had been annexed into the Greater German Reich in 1939.  The correct way to locate Auschwitz today would be to say that it was in “what is now Poland.”

You can read about the history of Auschwitz-Birkenau on my website here.

Here is a short history and geography lesson for President Barack Obama:

Map shows that Auschwitz and Chelmno were both in Greater Germany

On the map above, the dark brown area shows the “General Government,” which was the name for German-occupied Poland after Poland was defeated by the Germans in September 1939.  The dark orange section shows the portion of today’s Poland which was in the Greater German Reich during World War II.  The Greater German Reich is shown in the whole orange section, including the dark orange part.  The six “extermination” camps were in what is now the country of Poland, shown in the area outlined in yellow.

The two maps below show Germany before World War I and after World War I.  The Germans blamed the Jews for the loss of World War I and they were mad as hell.  That is why they wanted the Jews out of Europe, among other reasons.

Map of Germany in 1871

On the map above, note the German province of Silesia, where Auschwitz-Birkenau was later located.

Map of Germany after the Treaty of Versailles

The map above shows what was left of Germany after a huge chunk of German territory was given to the new countries of Poland and Czechoslovakia after World War I. Notice how East Prussia was cut off from the rest of Germany by the Polish Corridor.  It was a dispute over the Polish Corridor, among other reasons, which led to World War II.

July 28, 2011

YouTube video proves that Hitler did not start WWII

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:37 am

A regular reader of my blog (B. Zelewski), who reads and understands Polish, sent me the link to a YouTube video which shows the proof that Poland fired the first shots of World War II, not Germany.  On the video, you can hear a broadcast from Polish Radio in which the Poles are claiming that Germany has just attacked Poland — but this broadcast had been pre-recorded.

“Pełny komunikat o wybuchu II Wojny Światowej, z dnia 1 września 1939 roku. Komunikat czyta Zbigniew Świętochowski, komunikat specjalny nagrany 29 sierpnia czyta Józef Małgorzewski”

This was the full communique about the outbreak of WWII, as of the 1st of September 1939. The first speaker on the video is Zbigniew Świętochowski, and the special communique, recorded on August 29th, is read by Józef Małgorzewski.

This comment on the video was made by an apparently confused Polish reader:

“Może już ktoś zadawał takie pytanie – ale czemu jest napisane, że komunikat został nagrany 29 sierpnia, kiedy atak rozpoczął się 1 września? womekklol”

Translation:

“Maybe someone has asked this question already, but why it is written that the communique was recorded on August 29th, while the attack began on September 1st?”

B. Zelewski, the person who sent this information to me, knows the answer to the question; he wrote this in an e-mail to me:

The passionate message of Józef Małgorzewski (the second reader) was pre-recorded, since the Polish leaders knew there would be a war with Germany. Poland desired this war. The Poles had been promised all the help, assistance (Lend-Lease) and direct involvement (of the British and French) in a German-Polish war.

The “patriotic” messages for the broadcast had been pre-recorded. As simple as that!

The first radio-host (Zbigniew Świętochowski) blurted out that “the Germans attacked them “in the fifth hour this morning”. “The fifth hour (w piatoj godzinie)” means between 4:00 A.M. and 5.00 A.M.

Here are the words of Adolf Hitler’s speech on September 1, 1939:

“This night for the first time Polish regular soldiers fired on our territory. Since 5:45 a.m.we have been returning fire, and from now on bombs will be met by bombs.”

Wait a minute! Hitler said that he had ordered (his soldiers) to return fire only as of 5:45 AM Central European time. Poland is located East of Germany; Germany and Poland are in the same time zone.

Hitler could not have lied about this. Everyone had heard his orders and no German soldier would have opened fire before 5:45 A.M. on that day. The first shot from the German side came from the training battleship “Schleswig-Holstein”  two minutes later.

It is now obvious that it was Poland that started the war. Poland attacked first!

The Bible of World War II is The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, written by William L. Shirer, an American correspondent in Berlin in 1939.  I have a first edition of his book from 1959.  At the time that I purchased and read his best-selling book, I was totally uneducated with regard to World War II, and I did not detect that his version of history was very biased; he was on the side of the Allies and very much against Germany.

This quote is from page 598 of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich:

“Having lied so often on his way to power and in his consolidation of power, Hitler could not refrain at this serious moment in history from thundering a few more lies to the gullible German people in justification of his wanton act.”

In his book, Shirer quoted from Hitler’s speech on Sept. 1, 1939:

“You know the endless attempts I made for a peaceful clarification and understanding of the problem of Austria, and later the problem of the Sudetenland, Bohemia and Moravia.  It was all in vain…

[…]

“This night, for the first time Polish regular soldiers fired on our own territory.  Since 5:45 a.m. we have been returning fire, and from now on bombs will be met with bombs.

Shirer then wrote this in explanation for his claim that Hitler was lying:

“This was the faked German attack on the German radio station at Gleiwitz, which we have seen was carried out by S.S. men in Polish uniforms under the direction of Neujocks, used by the Chancellor of Germany as justification of his cold-blooded aggression against Poland.”

February 26, 2010

Whatever happened to Hitler’s tree in Poland?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:51 pm

A good friend of mine sent me this link to a newspaper article about a tree in Jaslo, Poland that was planted in honor of Hitler’s birthday during the German occupation in World War II:

The article is dated July 7, 2009 and I have not been able to find any later news about the tree. If the tree was cut down, surely there would have been some news about it.  On the other hand, if the tree is still there, wouldn’t Elie Wiesel and Abe Foxman of the ADL be there demanding that the tree be removed?

The following quote is from the web site that published the article:

Jaslo – An oak tree planted in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II to mark Adolf Hitler’s birthday may soon face the axe if the local mayor has her way.

Authorities in Jaslo in rural southeastern Poland discovered the origins of the tree when plans were lodged to fell it to make way for a traffic roundabout.

“We obtained information that this is no ordinary tree but was put here to mark Adolf Hitler’s birthday,” said Jaslo’s mayor, Maria Kurowska. “So should I try to improve our town’s communications or should I allow a memorial to that criminal to remain standing? The choice is simple for me.”

Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, triggering World War Two and beginning more than five years of occupation. Six million Poles died, including almost all of the country’s three million Jewish citizens.

Not everybody in this town of 38 000 shared Kurowska’s view that the tree must go.

“It was 1942 when the Germans brought a seedling of an oak here and planted it in the centre of the town with all honours, an army orchestra and salutes,” said Kazimierz Polak, who was present at the planting ceremony as a child 67 years ago.

“My father told me then that it was Hitler’s birthday and we found out later the seedling had come from Braunau am Inn (in Austria) where Hitler was born,” Polak said.

“It’s a historic curiosity. What is the oak really guilty of? It’s not the tree’s fault that it was planted here to honour the biggest criminal and enemy of Poland.”

I have some suggestions for what to do with the tree:

1.  Rename the tree “Goethe’s oak.”

Hitler is the most hated person in the world and nobody wants a tree that honors him, but what about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe?  If there is one good German, it’s gotta be Goethe.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - what's not to love?

Goethe lived in Weimar, Germany and he had a favorite oak tree that he used to sit under.  Goethe’s Oak was hit by an American bomb because it just happened to be in the middle of the Buchenwald concentration camp that was built in 1937.  America bombed the Buchenwald camp because of the factories there; they were not trying to kill Goethe’s Oak.

The stump of Goethe’s Oak has been preserved, but it is slowly rotting away and will soon be nothing but dust.  Goethe needs a new oak, so why not give him an oak tree in Poland?

The stump of the Goethe Eiche inside Buchenwald camp

2.  Let Hitler’s oak tree live,  but put a stone marker in front of it.

According to the newspaper article, the oak tree in honor of Hitler came from the town of Braunau am Inn in Austria, where Hitler was born.  I visited Braunau am Inn a few years ago and I asked several of the locals to show me the house where he was born.  They all claimed that they didn’t know the location of the house.  Finally, I went into a book store and asked for a map that would show the location of Hitler’s birthplace.  I was told that no such map existed.

So I just started walking down the main street of the town until I saw a huge granite rock in front of an unidentified building.  I immediately recognized that beautiful golden granite: it was from the quarry at Mauthausen, a concentration camp in Austria.

There were a few other tourists, carrying cameras and gawking at everything, but none of them were paying any attention to the building with the granite rock in front of it.  I walked across the street and began photographing the rock and the building behind it.  People began to stare at me, and then they started smiling.  Then a couple of people actually applauded.  They seemed to be thinking: finally, a person who has the courage to take a picture of the house where Hitler was born.

Anyway, the point of all this is that everyone ignores the house where Hitler was born and it is not identified, but there is that rock, which has a message.

"For peace, freedom and democracy, never again Fascism, millions of dead admonish"

Stone marker in front of Hitler's birthplace in Braunau am Inn

So why not let Hitler’s Oak live, but put up a “never again” stone like the stone in front of Hitler’s birthplace.