Two 10 months old babies- 2 different futures.

babyy

This blog contains 2 pictures of 2 baby boys both aged 10 months. With these pictures I will be attempting to explain the Holocaust in a way that most anyone can understand it.

Having that said no one will really ever understand how it was possible to massacre so many innocent lives on such an industrial scale.

The pictures are nearly identical but were taken with a time span of 25 years between them.

The picture above is a picture of Bernhard Arend Sanders born on March 20,1943 in Schalkwijk, Houten, Utrecht, The Netherlands .

Bernhard was killed on January 28, 1944 in Auschwitz, he was barely 10 months old . He was killed because of someone’s warped ideology of how the perfect human being looked like and because a twisted sense of entitlement.

Although Bernhard was Dutch, seen by the Nazis as a pure race,he was also Jewish, Jews were subhuman,even vermin, according to the Nazi doctrine as lined out by the Nazi leadership, Hitler,Himmler,Hess,Goebbels,Goering and others.

According to these men the Aryan race was the purest form of humanity and everyone else would either be subjected to the Aryan race or eradicated altogether.

There were 3 ironies in this, Firstly none of the aforementioned leaders of the Nazi regime fulfilled the Nazi criteria of being pure Aryan. Because Aryans were meant to be tall,blonde,blue eyed,Germanic blood  and athletic.

Secondly, many of those the Nazis had deemed to be subhuman  actually fulfilled all the criteria for being Aryan

Thirdly, the actual Aryan race were Indo-Iranians from origin.

But because of this warped ideology a young beautiful boy like Bernhard Arend Sanders was murdered in a most horrible way, gassed to death.

The Nazis had this twisted sense of entitlement, they believed they were meant to rule and therefore everything belonged to them. They felt they were entitled to take anything they desired,regardless who owned it.

I deliberately mention Nazis rather then Germans, although the Nazis were able to control a great number of Germans by feeding them false promises and propaganda, there were Germans who resisted them. Also the Nazis did not only control the Germans there are very few occupied countries who did not fall for the Nazi propaganda in one way or another/ Although mostly a minority, there were a substantial number of National Socialists in other European countries and even in the UK and the USA.

Yes the Nazis also  used violence to achieve their goals but it all started off via a democratic route.

baby

Fast forward to 1968/69 and imagine an alternative history. A new  political movement, whose name we don’t know yet, has come to power in one of the smallest countries in Western Europe, the Netherlands. This new government declares that the Aryan race with blonde hair and blue eyes are subhuman, even vermin, and need to be eradicated.

Just imagine that, the little baby boy in the picture above would have been killed, and this blog would never be written, because you see that little boy was me 10 months old.

We should never ever forget the Holocaust and should always hold those responsible accountable. But we also should never forget that this could easily happen again but this time it might be the blonde blue eyed Europeans, the Asians, the Muslims or the Jews again.

Evil has no nationality or creed.Next time it could be me or you.

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The shoe of a child

shoe

There are so many horrific images of the Holocaust, Films and pictures of corpses on carts. Photographs of women and children being executed. There is a disturbing photograph of a Jewish lady with ripped clothes being chased by young children.

All of these images are very powerful but I have decided to limit those images in my blogs. Not because I don’t find them important because they are, but basically for 2 reasons.

  1. After doing these blogs for 2+ years I found they had an impact on my well being,both physically and mentally.
  2. It is so hard to fathom these pictures that people get desensitized by them , and they become more like raw data and the stories behind them are forgotten.

Other images , although not graphic in nature, can be more powerful and heartbreaking. Pictures of daily objects.

Pictures like the picture of a child’s shoe which  was found near the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

It is not just a shoe but also a story. The story of a child whose name is forgotten.

The story of a human being whose life was cut short because of hate.

A shoe which was put on every day, sometimes with the laces untied because the child was so eager to go outside and play with friends or to kick a ball.

On the other hand that same shoe was put on and the child was deliberately delaying putting it on and tying the laces, because he or she did not want to go to school.

A child whose future was robbed, and whose potential was denied to flourish.

What is even more heart breaking it was only one shoe that was found, It became a symbol of a broken life, a life interrupted.

So you see it is not just a shoe but a chronicle of the short life of a child,

 

 

 

Remember

watch

January 27 the day designated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. I could post thousands of pictures of victims.

Or disturbing and very graphic pictures, some of them just too horrific to look at and rather then look at them we turn away because we cannot fathom that evil on display in front of us. Impossible to comprehend how any human being could commit these crimes to any other human being.

And that is just it and it may be an uncomfortable truth but both victims and perpetrators were human beings. It is easy and in a way logical to call those who did these unfathomable evil deeds monsters, but I believe that would be wrong, because that gives them an excuse.  For what do we expect from monsters? We expect them to do bad things.

Many of them were clerical workers, bakers, butchers,painters,husbands,wives,mothers and fathers. They were not all political leaders or dictators. Often they were ‘common people’

As for the poor misfortunes who just happened to be Jewish,Jehovah Witness,Homosexual, Disabled,Roma or just people standing up to the regime. They were innocent human beings, victims of hate and warped ideologies.

Human beings like the owner of the pocket watch found among  the belongings of inmates from Auschwitz. The owner of the watch had an anticipation of time. Time to celebrate a birthday. Time to meet a friend. Time to go for lunch or go to the shop to buy a newspaper. But in an instant this anticipation of time was taken away from him or her. The only time that was left to wait for were the days,hours,minutes or seconds left to live.

Our duty as human beings and citizens of the world is to remember that we as humans can cause so much hurt and chaos but equally we are also the solution. If we let this happen again , we have failed and alas at the moment it is starting to look like we are making the same mistakes again.

 

I am Paul

paul

I am Paul , like every 4 year old boy I like to kick a ball. Give me a blank sheet of paper and some crayons and I am happy as can be.

I am Paul  I feel like a big boy but I know I am small. I like to play outside, come rain or shine.

I am Paul and sometimes I cry when I fall. But when my dad or mum pick me up and wipe away my tears and kiss my sore knee better I feel great again.

I am Paul , when I get praise I feel 10 feet tall. I love my food  especially cakes and  all things sweet.

I am Paul , I don’t like being an oddball. I hate it when people laugh at me and point at me and make fun of the yellow star I wear.

I am Paul and I can’t understand it at all. Why does anyone want to murder me. I am only 4, I want to live so much more.

I am Paul van Gelderen I was murdered in Auschwitz on September 28 1942 ,together with my Mother.

I am Paul, I am Paul.

 

A promise of life

sarah

I was born with a promise of life.

A life full of joy and excitement, but also a life of sometimes sadness

A life of play and learning new skills every day.

A life which is unique , so very much the same as other but yet totally different.

A life with family and friends.

A life of song and dance.

A life full of flavors and colors

But my promise of life became a certainty of death.

I am Sarah Eva Vleeschhouwer, I died age 7 murdered in Auschwitz.

 

Source

Joods Monument

 

Therese Brandl- Evil knows no gender.

Brandl

When you Google the name Therese Brandl, one of the first results you get is a mention of her name in IMDb(Internet Movie Database) as one of the cast members of the 1945 documentary “Auschwitz Krakow Trial 1947″ .

I don’t criticize IMDb for categorizing her as a cast member because that is how the website is set up. In reality Therese Brandl was a staff member of some of the most evil and vile places ever to be built. Ravensbrück,Auschwitz” and Muehldorf which was a sub camp of Dachau.

Auschwitz

She had began training at Ravensbrück in 1940. She worked as an SS Aufseherin in KZ Ravensbrück before transferring to Auschwitz in 1942 and then to the KZ Muehldorf (a satellite camp of Dachau). She beat her prisoners and made selections for the gas chambers. In the summer of 1943, she received a medal from the Reich for her “good conduct” in the camps.
One of the survivors gave an example of how evil she was, the survivor was Andreas Larinciakos, he was 9 years old when he encountered her.

“While in the camp, Doctor Mengele took my blood many times. In November 1944, all children were transferred to Camp A, the gypsy camp. When they counted us, one was found missing,  Mandl, SS-Lagerführerin of the women’s camp and her assistant, Brandl, drove us out into the street at one in the morning and made us stand there in the frost until noon the next day”

Brandl fled Muehldorf in late April 1945 but was arrested in Bavaria 4 months later on August 29,1945 by the US Army. she was put on trial in the Auschwitz Trial at Kraków.,on 22 December 1947.

trial

She was sentenced to death and hanged on 28 January 1948, just a few days before her 46th birthday.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Source

Yad Vashem

 

The Angel Louis Turksma

Louis

Dear Louis, I have to believe you are an Angel Because if I don’t I get engulfed with hate for those who killed you. But your beautiful face only radiates love.

You are an Angel, you already look up to your new home in Heaven. You were 4 when you were murdered by those who thought you were only vermin. You re not, you never were and never will be. Your murderers are the vermin.

How can anyone look in those eyes and feel they have  a justified reason for closing them for ever?

You are an Angel like so many others who died in Auschwitz.

There is a hypothetical question that asks ” Who would you like to meet first when you pass the pearly gates?”

Louis if my time has come, I hope it is you I see first. But til then be my Angel as I will be your voice.

 

Holocaust sex slaves.

brothel

I was struggling giving this blog a title. I was thinking of calling it “brothels in the concentration camps” but I think that would not do justice to the real horror and impossible choices these women had to make.

In general women who work in brothels have some level of autonomy over their lives, some even enjoy working there, But for the women who were forced to work in the concentration camp brothels, there was no choice, it was a matter of life and death.Therefor I thought the title Holocaust sex slaves was the best description.

The brothels in the concentration camps  were to establish an incentive for prisoners to collaborate. The women forced into these brothels came mainly from the Ravensbrück concentration camp,

ravensbruck

The women were taken into a furnished room. The barracks were different from the ones  at the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp.

The SS opened 10 brothels, the first one opened in the Austrian camp at Mauthausen in 1942. The biggest was in Auschwitz,as many as 21 women prisoners once worked. The women forced to work in the Auschwitz brothel were inmates from Auschwitz in block 24.

24

The last brothel opened in early 1945.

One of the women testified: “They told us we were in the camp brothel, that we were the lucky ones. We would eat well and have enough to drink. If we behaved and fulfilled our duties nothing would happen to us.”

The women were made to have sex with the forced labourers, which was an idea devised by SS chief Heinrich Himmler in order  increase productivity and to  try to prevent homosexuality from ‘spreading’ in the camps.

himmler

There was no actual evidence that it produced any noticeable increase in the prisoners’ work productivity levels. Only a few inmates were actually in a physical condition to go to them.

Jewish women were not ‘recruited’ to work in the brothels, and Jewish men were not admitted to the brothels.

The women, aged between 17 and 35  received more food and were treated less harshly than other female inmates. In return, they had to provide sex to selected prisoners every evening between 8 and 10 p.m., and on Sunday afternoons.

Inmates allowed to go the brothels  had to sign up for a specific day and pay two reichs marks for a 20-minute “session” based on a  schedule which was predetermined.

20 female prisoners, were controlled by a female overseer

The women were matched with ‘clients’ by an SS-officer. The ‘clients; were mainly  inmates who ended up in the camps branded as  common or professional criminals who wore the green triangles,

triangle

Himmler was also convinced that by forcing homosexual inmates to have sex once a week  with the women ,it would ‘cure’ their homosexuality

The women would frequently be replaced because of  exhaustion and illness, and were often sent away to their deaths later. Some of them underwent forced sterilizations as well as forced abortions, many times resulting in death.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

Der Spiegel

 

The Local.de

Mail On Line

WW2 Resource

The Telegraph

 

 

 

A single Chess piece

pawn

A single chess piece with little of no value, yet it is invaluable.

A bit of carved wood part of the game of 32 pieces, 16 white ,16 black.

A game played by millions and played by people of all religions and none.

A game which equally unites and divides people.

This pawn piece says so much and also so little. It was found in the vicinity  Auschwitz’s Crematorium III.

The owner of the pawn was murdered, cast aside like a pawn him or herself.Chess,such an honorable game ,played by prince and pauper alike. But there was no honor in those who killed the owner of this pawn piece. No honor indeed, just evil and a warped elevated sense of themselves. The notion that they were above everyone else, where in fact is was them who were the vermin, Vermin dressed in uniforms decorated with a swastika

Rest in peace poor chess player. I hope you can continue your game in heaven.

The Buchenwald Song and the brutal murder of the man who wrote it.

Song

Fritz Löhner-Beda was  an  Austrian born Jewish librettist, lyricist and writer. Born Wildenschwert, Bohemia but he grew up in one of Europe’s most cultural cities,Vienna. Alas Vienna’s culture was to become tainted to a degree.

In the 1920s, Löhner-Beda became one of the most popular and  sought-after librettists and lyricists in Vienna. This popularity though meant nothing on April 1,1938, less then 3 weeks after the Anschluss, (annexation of Austria by the Nazis).

AH ANSCHLUSS

On April 1, 1938 Löhner-Beda was arrested and deported to Dachau concentration camp.His Viennese neighbors and fan base did very little to help him.Just over 5 months later on September 23 1938 he was deported to Buchenwald.

While in Buchenwald, at the end of 1938, he wrote Das Buchenwald lied(the Buchenwald song) together with Hermann Leopoldi an Austrian born Jewish composer. Below is the text to the chorus of the song

“O Buchenwald, ich kann dich nicht vergessen,
weil du mein Schicksal bist.
Wer dich verließ, der kann es erst ermessen,
wie wundervoll die Freiheit ist!
O Buchenwald, wir jammern nicht und klagen,
und was auch unser Schicksal sei,
wir wollen trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen,
denn einmal kommt der Tag, dann sind wir frei!”

English Translation:

“O Buchenwald, I cannot forget you,
because you are my fate.
Only he who leaves you can appreciate
how wonderful freedom is!
O Buchenwald, we don’t cry and complain;
and whatever our destiny may be,
we nevertheless shall say ‘yes’ to life:
for once the day comes, we shall be free!”

Viktor Frankl used the line “trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen”(nevertheless shall say ‘yes’ to life) as the German title for his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”. written in 1946.

ja zum leben

On October 17, 1942,  Löhner-Beda was deported to the Monowitz concentration camp, a sub-camp of Auschwitz. The SS established the camp in October 1942 at the behest of I.G. Farben executives to provide slave labor for their Buna Werke (Buna Works) industrial complex.

monowitz

On December 4,1942 Fritz Löhner-Beda had already been ill. he was accused of not working hard enough. Because of this he was beaten to death by a Kapo. Just imagine that, beaten to death that is a different kind of evil. I know the Kapo’s were forced to do bad things in order to survive themselves, but beating someone to death that takes a particular kind of person.

So many people were killed during the Holocaust but with that also so much cultural heritage has vanished.

Fritz Löhner-Beda could have contributed so much more for the betterment of humankind.Who knows how many classic songs he could have written, or how many more award winning plays and screenplays. His death didn’t only end his life it also deprived the world of a great artist.

Fritz

Ending this blog with a version of the song and one more time the line “we nevertheless shall say ‘yes’ to life” Let’s do that , let us all say yes to life despite whatever comes our way, We owe to Fritz and to ourselves.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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