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September 6, 2015

Rainer Hoess, grandson of Rudolf Hoess, has gone off the deep end

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 6:30 pm

According to a news article, which you can read in full here, the grandson of Rudolf Hoess, who was the Commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau, has truly gone off the deep end.

This quote is from the news article, cited above:

Dad-of-four Rainer [Hoess] revealed: “My grandfather [Rudolf Hoess] sent thousands of kids to the gas chamber and then he came home, hugged and kissed his family and said, ‘How was your day?’”

Hand-picked by SS chief Heinrich Himmler, [Rudolf] Hoess readily admitted killing around 1.1 million Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and other prisoners.

So Rudolf Hoess readily admitted killing 1.1 million prisoners?

No, Rudolf Hoess made several confessions after he was almost beaten to death by the British Jewish soldiers who captured him, but in none of his confessions was the number of 1.1 million mentioned.

The number of 1.1 million is the number that is claimed by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. This included 900,000 Jews and 200,000 others including Gypsies.

Rufolf Hoess [Höss] was arrested by the British Military Police near Flensburg in Schleswig-Holstein on March 11, 1946. In the photo below, he is shown while in custody.

Rudolf Hoess is shown after he was captured by the British

Rudolf Hoess is shown after he was captured by the British

On April 5, 1945, Höss signed a sworn deposition, written in English, which was introduced as evidence at the Nuremberg IMT; he admitted to killing 2.5 million Jews in the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, even before the deportation of the Hungarian Jews, which added another 400,000 to the total.

Rudolf Hoess was afraid of the British officers after he was almost beaten to death

Rudolf Hoess was afraid of the British officers after he was almost beaten to death

The following quote is from the sworn affidavit, signed by Rudolf Hoess, which was entered into the proceedings of the Nuremberg IMT:

Begin quote:

I have been constantly associated with the administration of concentration camps since 1934, serving at Dachau until 1938; then as Adjutant in Sachsenhausen from 1938 – 5/1/1940, when I was appointed Kommandant of Auschwitz.

I commanded Auschwitz until 12/1/1943 and estimate that at least 2.5 million victims were executed and exterminated there by gassing and burning, and at least another half million succumbed to starvation and disease making a total dead of about 3 million. This figure represents about 70-80% of all persons sent to Auschwitz as prisoners, the remainder having been selected and used for slave labor in the concentration camp industries; included among the executed and burned were approximately 20,000 Russian prisoners of war (previously screened out of prisoner-of-war cages by the Gestapo) who were delivered at Auschwitz in Wehrmacht transports operated by regular Wehrmacht officers and men.

The remainder of the total number of victims included about 100,000 German Jews, and great numbers of citizens, mostly Jewish, from Holland, France, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Greece, or other countries. We executed about 400,000 Hungarian Jews alone at Auschwitz in the summer of 1944.

End quote

Notice that Hoess includes “citizens” of Hungary in the prisoners who were gassed while he “commanded Auschwitz until 12/1/1943.” Wrong!!!

The first two transports of Hungarian Jews did not arrive at Auschwitz-Birkenau until May 2, 1944. Nevertheless, when Hoess was asked, during cross examination by American prosecutor Col. Harlan Amen, if his affidavit was correct with regard to the statement above, he answered “Es stimmt.” The English equivalent would be “That’s correct.”

The following is a quote from the Judgment handed down at the Nuremberg IMT:

German missions were sent to such satellite countries as Hungary and Bulgaria, to arrange for the shipment of Jews to extermination camps and it is known that by the end of 1944, 400,000 Jews from Hungary had been murdered at Auschwitz. Evidence has also been given of the evacuation of 110,000 Jews from part of Romania for “liquidation.”

Adolf Eichmann, who had been put in charge of this program by Hitler, has estimated that the policy pursued resulted in the killing of 6,000,000 Jews, of which 4,000,000 were killed in the extermination institutions.

Adolf Eichmann did not testify at the Nuremberg IMT. The Judgment at Nuremberg, with regard to the killing of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, was mostly based on hearsay testimony given in an affidavit, dated 26 November 1945, by former SS officer Wilhelm Höttl.

Höttl stated that Adolf Eichmann, the head of the Jewish section of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), had told him in August 1944 that four million Jews had been killed in the extermination camps, and another two million had been killed by the Einsatzgruppen on the Eastern front.

After the German surrender in May 1945, Höttl had been recruited to work with American intelligence.

Rudolf Höss also mentioned in his sworn affidavit, entered into the proceedings at Nuremberg, that he had personally received an order from Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the SS general in charge of all the concentration camps, to exterminate the Jews who were deported to Auschwitz.

Höss wrote in his autobiography that Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler ordered the extermination of all the Jews in the summer of 1941, six months before the Final Solution was planned at the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942.

The following quote is from the autobiography of Höss:

The sub-section (of RSHA) concerned with the Jews, controlled by Eichmann and Gunther, had no doubts about its objective. In accordance with the orders given by the Reichsführer SS in the summer of 1941, all Jews were to be exterminated. The Reich Security Head Office raised the strongest objections when the Reichsführer SS, on [Oswald] Pohl’s suggestion, directed that the able-bodied Jews were to be sorted out from the rest.

In an appendix to his autobiography, written in January and February 1947 while he was in prison in Poland, there is a statement made by Höss at a later date and typewritten by someone else.

The following is a quote from a typewritten statement allegedly taken from Höss:

In the summer of 1941, I cannot remember the exact date, I was suddenly summoned to the Reichsführer SS, directly by his adjutant’s office. Contrary to his usual custom, Himmler received me without his adjutant being present and said in effect:

“The Führer has ordered that the Jewish question be solved once and for all and that we, the SS, are to implement that order. […] I have now decided to entrust this task to you. […] You will learn further details from Sturmbannführer Eichmann of the Reich Security Head Office who will call on you in the immediate future.”


“The Jews are the sworn enemies of the German people and must be eradicated. Every Jew that we can lay our hands on is to be destroyed now during the war, without exception. If we cannot now obliterate the biological basis of Jewry, the Jews will one day destroy the German people.”

In the typewritten statement, Höss went on to say that in the autumn of 1941, a secret order was given to transfer Russian political Commissars in the POW camps to the nearest concentration camp for liquidation. These prisoners were shot in the gravel pit near the clothing warehouses or at the black wall in the courtyard of Block 11 at the main Auschwitz camp.

Höss wrote the following regarding the first gassing at Auschwitz in September 1941:

When I was absent on duty, my representative, Hauptsturmführer Fritsch, on his own initiative, used gas for killing these Russian prisoners of war.

This was the first time that Zyklon-B was ever used by the Nazis for homicidal gassing.

The Auschwitz Museum currently maintains that approximately 1.1 million people died at Auschwitz of all causes, 90% of whom were Jews.

Rudolf Höss testified at his trial in 1947 before the Supreme National Tribunal in Warsaw that Adolf Eichmann had told him a number of times that 400,000 Hungarian Jews were exterminated at Auschwitz.

Based on the testimony of members of the Sonderkommando who had removed the bodies from the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nuremberg Nuremberg Tribunal found him guilty of the murder of 300,000 non-Jews who were registered and at least 2.5 million Jews who were brought to the camp for immediate extermination and were never registered.

For the gassing of the Hungarian Jews between May and July 1944, the gas chambers in Bunker 2, an old farm house near the Central Sauna building, had to be put into operation again, since the four large gas chambers in the crematoria at Birkenau did not have the capacity to handle up to 12,000 victims who were gassed each day during the height of the “Hungarian Action.”

The gas chamber in Krema I was no longer in use, and Bunker 1, another old farm house which was used for gassing in 1942, had been torn down.

According to the testimony of Henryk Tauber at the trial of Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Höss in Poland, up to 5,000 corpses could be burned each day in Krema II and Krema III alone. As many as 3,000 corpses could be burned each day in Krema IV and Krema V. The old burning pits were re-excavated and five new burning pits, which were dug near Krema V, were used to dispose of the remaining 4,000 corpses produced by the gas chambers each day during the height of the deportation of the Hungarian Jews.

Tauber was a member of the Sonderkommando unit which removed the bodies from the gas chambers and put them into the ovens. This information comes from a book entitled Auschwitz Nazi Death Camp, published by the Auschwitz Museum in 1996.

The following information is also included in the book Auschwitz Nazi Death Camp:

In the end, according to a letter from the Zentralbauletung der Waffen-SS und Polizei Auschwitz to Administrative Groups C of SS-WVHA of June 28, 1943, it was found that each crematorium had the following capacities in 24 hours: Crematorium I – 340 corpses, Crematorium II – 1440 corpses, Crematorium III – 1440 corpses, Crematorium IV – 768 corpses, Crematorium V – 768 corpses.

Altogether, the crematoria could burn a total of 4,756 corpses a day.

The Birkenau camp was built on marshy ground but prisoners in a punishment Kommando had been forced to dig a deep drainage ditch, called the Königsgraben, at the western end of the camp near where the burning pits were located.

According to the book Nazi Death Camp, around 100 members of the Sonderkommando who worked in the gas chamber buildings at Birkenau were among the 60,000 prisoners who were marched out of the camp, under SS escort, on January 18, 1945 when the three Auschwitz camps were abandoned.

The Nazis didn’t anticipate that some of these Sonderkommando workers would survive and testify against them in war crimes trials after the war. Besides Tauber, there were two others, Szlama Dragon and Alter Feinsilber, aka Stanislaw Jankowski, who also testified about the gassing of the Jews at the trial of Rudolf Höss in Poland after the war.

Three other members of the Sonderkommando, who were murdered after a few months on the job, had managed to hide their diaries, containing accounts of the gassing of prisoners at Birkenau, in containers which they buried in the ground to be discovered later by survivors.

I find it remarkable that the grandson of Rudolf Hoess believes the lies told about his grandfather.

May 29, 2010

Genocide — Episode 20 of “The World at War”

The World at War is a British television documentary consisting of 26 hour-long episodes. I don’t remember seeing the documentary when it was first shown on TV in 1973.  I had lived through World War II and in 1973, I was watching shows like the Brady Bunch and the Mary Tyler Moore show with my family.

The World at War is currently being shown on the Military channel, and last night I watched Episode #20 which is entitled Genocide.  It starts off with a young Heinrich Himmler who is concerned with turning the German youth into a strong, healthy “superior race.”  Himmler is shown as the founder of the SS, which is described as a superior fighting force.  The documentary is narrated by  actor Sir Lawrence Olivier who has a cultured, upper class British accent.

One would think that what Himmler was doing was a good thing.  What country wouldn’t want healthy young people and a strong, loyal army?  Yet there is a sinister undertone to Olivier’s voice that signals to the viewer that what Himmler is creating will result in the worst crime in the history of the world: the genocide of the Jews.

The documentary shows Nazi propaganda posters in which Jews are depicted as ugly caricatures.  It mentions that the Germans considered the Jews and also the Slavs (Russians and Poles) to be untermenschen or sub-human people.

Typical drawing of Jews with grotesque features draining the blood of children

The photo above was published in Julius Streicher’s newspaper “Der Stürmer.”  I couldn’t find any of the Nazis posters that were shown in the documentary.

Starving children in the Warsaw ghetto

Jews are shown being forced into ghettos where, we are told, they were deliberately starved to death.  Then we see the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto and the famous photo of the little boy with his hands up, which some people don’t believe was taken in the Warsaw ghetto. You can read more about this photo on my scrapbookpages web site here.

Famous photo shown in documentary was not taken in the Warsaw ghetto

In the documentary, we see some real film footage of the Einsatzgruppen shooting the Jews in pits. A woman survivor describes how she was shot and how she fell into a pit of blood, but she didn’t die.

Another person, who spoke on camera in the documentary at that point, was Wilhelm Höttl, one of Himmler’s associates, who testified at the Nuremberg IMT after the war.  Höttl said something about Himmler being dissatisfied with the shooting of the Jews because it was “not enough.”  I was expecting Höttl to tell the famous story of Himmler’s leather coat being hit with bits of brains as the Jews were shot in the head only a few feet from where he was watching, but he didn’t.  This story is usually told to explain why Himmler decided to use a more humane method of killing the Jews.  More humane for the German soldiers who had to do the shooting, that is, not more humane for the Jews.

In any case, this led into how Himmler made the decision to use gas chambers instead of shooting the Jews. But first, Höttl repeated his hearsay testimony at Nuremberg by telling about the time that Adolf Eichmann told him that 4 million Jews had been killed in the gas chambers and 2 million had been killed by the Einsatzgruppen, who shot the Jews in pits.  Apparently, the Germans didn’t think that there was anything wrong with shooting 2 million Jews because they recorded the whole thing with their movie cameras.

Famous photo of Jew being shot by Einsatzgruppen soldier

The photo above is shown in the documentary, and the camera zooms in on the face of the victim.

In the documentary, Himmler is credited with ordering a conference in 1942 to discuss the “Jewish Problem.”  The exact date of the conference (January 20, 1942) and the exact title are not given, but I knew that this was a reference to the Wannsee conference, which was authorized by Reichsmarshall Hermann Göriong in a letter to Reinhard Heydrich, dated July 31, 1941.  The title of the conference was “die Endlösung der Judenfrage.”  The English translation of the title is usually “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” but Göring said, in his testimony before the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal in 1946 that what he had really meant was “the complete solution to the Jewish Question.”

Jewish web sites like to use the expression “Jewish Problem,” rather than “Jewish Question.”  For example, the Shoah Education web site has an article about “die Endlösung” which you can read here.

Question or Problem?  What’s the difference?  The Shoah Education web site says that “Hitler and his men” had discussed the “Jewish Problem” for years. No, what everyone in Europe had discussed for years was the “Jewish Question” which was whether or not the Jews should have their own nation within a nation.

Hitler didn’t care if the Jews had their own nation, as long as it was not within the German nation.  He was fine with the Jews going to Palestine and setting up their own nation, but at that time, Palestine was a British protectorate and the British were severely limiting the number of Jews who could settle in Palestine.

In 1934, Adolf Eichmann was put in charge of sneaking German Jews into Palestine, but of course, the documentary doesn’t mention this important information.

As soon as I heard “Jewish Problem” instead of  “Jewish Question” in the documentary, I knew that the British were being disingenuous in telling the story. Sure enough, the next thing I heard was something about the “decision” to gas the Jews, which the documentary says was made at the conference.  Wrong, wrong, wrong!  There is nothing in the minutes of the Wannsee conference about gassing the Jews.  Of course, it is possible that Adolf Eichmann, who wrote up the minutes  of the conference, left that part out, but that’s not what we were told in the documentary.  You can read about the Wannsee conference on my scrapbookpages website here.

Moving right along, we next see Karl Wolff, who was Heinrich Himmler’s adjutant.  He tells us that he accompanied Himmler when he visited Auschwitz in 1942 and that he personally saw Zyklon-B being thrown through the roof of a gas chamber. You can read all about Himmler’s visit to Auschwitz here.

I was watching the documentary in a darkened room, so it is hard to read my writing on the notes that I made, but I wrote that it was mentioned that the gassing at Auschwitz was done by climbing up a ladder and putting the Zyklon-B poison gas through a hole in the roof.  I can’t remember which witness said that, but that person had obviously never been to Auschwitz.  The gas chamber in the main camp is on level ground, but has dirt piled up against the sides of the building.  A person can walk up the pile of dirt to get onto the roof; no ladder is needed.

Krema I at main Auschwitz camp; notice the path where one can walk up onto the roof

The roofs of two of the gas chambers at Birkenau were only three feet above ground, so a ladder was not necessary.  Two other gas chambers at Birkenau were on the ground floor and the Zyklon-B was thrown in through the windows.

Two famous Holocaust survivors, Primo Levi and Rudolf Vrba, are shown in the documentary.  We also hear about the gas chambers from a Polish guy named Dov P.  (I didn’t write down his last name) who describes the gas chamber in Krema I in the main camp.  What really caught my attention was when he said that the gas chamber in Krema I was disguised as a shower room, and right at that point in the documentary, a photo of the door into the gas chamber at Dachau was shown.  Above the door is the word “Brausebad” which means shower bath.

Door into the Dachau gas chamer with “Brausebad” sign above the door

In 1973, most people had never visited Dachau and Auschwitz was behind the Iron Curtain where no Westerners were allowed to go.  In the documentary, Dov described how the Auschwitz Krema I gas chamber was filled to capacity and then little children were thrown in on top of the heads of the adults. After the prisoners were gassed, Dov said that it only took 15 minutes to burn the bodies.

The gassing of the Jews at Auschwitz took place around 30 years before the documentary was made.  Dov, a Polish Jew, looked no more than 40 years old in the documentary.  He must have been a child of 10 when he witnessed the gassing of prisoners in Krema I at Auschwitz.  Children under the age of 15 were gassed upon arrival at Auschwitz, according to Holocaust historians, but Dov did not explain why he wasn’t gassed.

Lots of photos from the Auschwitz Album, taken in May 1944 when a train load of Hungarian Jews were brought to Birkenau, are shown in the documentary, but there is no explanation given about how and why the photos were taken.

On April 3, 2010, I blogged about the opening episode of The World at War in which the story of Oradour-sur-Glane is told from the viewpoint of the Allies. You can read it here.

I haven’t worked my way through all 26 episodes of  The World at War yet, but what I have seen so far is completely disingenuous and not the least bit objective, as history should be.