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July 2, 2016

pesecution of the Gypsies in the Holocaust

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:52 am
Famous photo of Stella Steinbach

Famous photo of Stella Steinbach

Several years ago, when I visited the memorial site at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, I saw the famous photo of Stella Steinbach displayed in the Gypsy museum there.

photo taken in Gypsy museum at Sachsehausen

My photo taken in the Gypsy museum

A permanent exhibition entitled “The National Socialist Genocide of the Sinti and Roma” is shown at the Sachenhausen Memorial Site in the main western building of the SS workshops in the former Industrial Yard, outside the former prison enclosure at Sachsenhausen. This building was constructed in 1937-38; it was converted into museum space in 2001. A sign at the entrance to the Sachsenhausen Memorial Site directs visitors to the left where a road leads through the former Industrial Yard to the Museum.

The exhibits in the Sinti and Roma Museum consist only of photographs and text which tell the history of the Nazi genocide of the Gypsies. All of the text is in the German language with no translations into other languages. There are no artifacts, only photographs on large display boards.

The following quote about Stella Steinbach is from this website:

Begin quote

Anna Maria (Settela) Steinbach (December 23rd, 1934–July 31st, 1944) was a Dutch girl who was gassed in Nazi Germany’s Auschwitz concentration camp. She remained the symbol of the prosecution of the Dutch Jews, until it was discovered in 1994 that she was not Jewish but had belonged to the Sinti group of the Romani people.

Steinbach was born in Buchten near Born in southern Limburg as the daughter of a trader and violinist. On May 16th, 1944, a razzia against the Roma was organized in the whole of the Netherlands. Steinbach was arrested in Eindhoven. That very same day, she arrived with another 577 people in Camp Westerbork. 279 were allowed to leave again because although they lived in trailers they were not Roma. In Westerbork, Steinbach’s head was shaved as a preventive measure against head lice. Like the other Roma girls and women, she wore a torn sheet around her head to cover her bald head.

On May 19th, Settela was put on a transport together with 244 other Roma to Auschwitz-Birkenau on a train that contained also Jewish prisoners. Right before the doors were being closed, she apparently stared through the opening at a passing dog or the German soldiers. Rudolf Breslauer, a Jewish prisoner in Westerbork, who was shooting a movie on orders of the German camp commander filmed the image of Settela’s fearsome glance staring out of the wagon. Crasa Wagner also was in the same wagon and heard Settela’s mother call her name and warned her to pull her head out of the opening. Crasa Wagner survived Auschwitz and was able to identify Settela in 1994.

On May 22nd, the Dutch Roma, among whom was Settela Steinbach, arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. They were registered and taken to the Roma section. Roma that were fit to work were taken to ammunition factories in Germany. The remaining three thousand Roma were gassed in the period from July to August 3rd. Steinbach, her mother, two brothers, two sisters, her aunt, two nephews and a niece were part of this latter group. Of the Steinbach’s family, only the father survived who died in 1946 and lies buried in the cemetery of Maastricht.

End quote

One of the displays in the museum, at the Sachsenhauen memorial site, tells about the Gypsies who were transported from Westerbork, a transit camp in the Netherlands, to Auschwitz on May 19, 1944.

At Auschwitz, the Gypsies were put into a separate section where families were allowed to stay together. According to the Sachsenhausen Museum exhibit, on the night of the 2nd and 3rd of August 1944, Settela and her mother and 9 sisters were murdered in the gas chamber at Auschwitz.  What else could have happened to them? Could they have been taken to another camp? No one knows.


November 23, 2015

Other people’s blogs

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 8:49 am

I am fresh out of ideas on what to blog about, so today I decided to check out the blogs written by other people.  I found an interesting blog at

The title of this blog is My Grandparent’s Holocaust.

My blog has no title because I write about anything and everything, although mostly about the Holocaust.

The writing on the “My Grandparent’s Holocaust” blog is excellent.

The following quote from the blog, cited above, will illustrate what I mean by “excellent” writing:

Begin quote:

My Grandparents’ Holocaust

For years, my grandparents had kept the stories of their Holocaust a secret. However, I was determined to uncover the memories of their past. Since 2006 I began documenting their lives and writing a book of narrative nonfiction: My Grandparents’ Holocaust. This blog will feature excerpts from the book and related stories.

By nightfall, the train crawled out of the station.

“Chana. Esther. Mama,” Leon shouted in vain.

The sappy smell of pine combs curling off the winds from the river and the intoxicating aromas of acacia were masked in the cattle car by diarrhea. The locomotive was a dark and crowded tomb. Now and again the train stopped and the doors slid open. Gunfire exploded. The doors closed and the train crept forward again. Sometimes the doors would not open; the bullets entered through the openings above.

Leon slinked through the mass of bodies to the bars on the window. He reached down to his waist and carefully removed a long sliver of wire that he had worn like a belt. Leon coiled the wire around his left hand and slipped the wire through the barred window overhead. Wrapping it tightly around his other hand, he dragged the thin cord back and forth against one bar for hours.

The heat, even at night, was unbearable. Thirst poured through the wagon. Bodies slumped against one another. There was no room to fall. Even the dead stood.

Leon noticed that the wire cutting through his palms was also cutting through the cage; but the train was nearing Treblinka. The sobs and prayers intensified. Others buried faith right there in that cattle car.

Then the bar gave out.

He looked around the cattle car once more for his family, but the darkness consumed everything.

As quickly as his tired arms allowed, Leon tied the cord back around his waist, hoisted his frail frame up through the hole, and slithered halfway through the opening. Every vein in his arm pumped violently. His entire body shook. Draped from the window of the cattle car, ten feet from the moving ground, Leon felt unequipped to handle the fall. If the drop did not end his life, the machine gunner atop the roof could. But entering Treblinka was certain death. This moment, hanging from the cattle car like a blanket drying, he at least controlled. Leon inched the rest of his body through and in one motion launched himself from the cattle car, tumbling into the night over shards of ground.

In a Polish field somewhere between Otwock and Treblinka, Leon Lederman watched as the train crept toward the gas chambers with his mother, father, and four sisters inside.

Life had taken a new purpose—some way, there would be vengeance. There was no choice now but to return to Karczew. He was seventeen years of age.

End quote from another person’s blog

Train that took prisoners to Dachau appears to have narrow openings

Train that took prisoners to Dachau appears to have narrow openings on the side of a boxcar


Famous photo of a Gypsy girl named Settela Steinbachj on a train to Auschwitz

Famous photo of a Gypsy girl named Settela Steinbach on a train to Auschwitz

The photo above proves that there were small openings in the cattle cars that took the Jews to the death camps. But was Treblinka really a “death camp”?

I believe that Treblinka was a “transit camp.”  I blogged about Treblinka being a transit camp on this blog post:


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.

February 5, 2011

Famous photo of Settela Steinbach, a Gypsy girl who was gassed at Auschwitz

I was catching up on the news about 90-year-old John Demjanjuck, who is currently on trial in Munich for alleged crimes committed during World War II, when I came across the web site of the World Jewish Congress here.  The big news, according to the WJC is that Demjanjuck will be indicted by Spain on new charges as soon as the verdict on his current trial is in, which will be some time in March, 2011.

I noticed that the WJC web site is featuring a video about the Holocaust; the video is entitled “Holocaust denial is Anti-Semitism.”  I watched the video and saw a photo of Settela Steinbach, who is the Gypsy girl in an iconic photo of the Holocaust.

Famous photo of a Gypsy girl on a train to Auschwitz

You can watch the video that shows Settela Steinbach here.  The video is about the 6 million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust, so why is there a photo of a Gypsy girl in the video?    (more…)