Evil enjoying itself in Auschwitz.

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I don’t know what is more disturbing , the pictures of the victims of Auschwitz or the pictures of those working there and were clearly enjoying themselves,nearly thinking it was some sort of holiday camp.

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The  following photos were taken between May and December 1944, and they show the officers and guards of the Auschwitz relaxing and enjoying themselves — as countless people were being murdered and cremated at the nearby death camp. In some of the photos, SS officers can be seen singing.in another a man can be seen decorating a Christmas tree in what could only be described as a holiday in hell.

The photo’s belonged to Karl Höcker, the adjutant to the final camp commandant at Auschwitz, Richard Baer. Höcker took the pictures as personal keepsakes.

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Helferinnen(female helpers), in wool skirts and cotton blouses, listen to the accordion and eat blueberries, which Karl Hoecker had served to them.

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The women with Hoecker “were typists, telegraph clerks, and secretaries in Auschwitz, and were called Helferinnen, which means ‘helpers,’Their racial purity had been established—should an officer be looking for a girlfriend or a wife, the Helferinnen were intended to be a resource.

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Camp commandant Richard Baer, notorious concentration camp doctor Josef Mengele (The Angel of the Death), and the commandant of the Birkenau camp, Josef Kramer.

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This photograph, taken at Auschwitz, shows “nearly a hundred officers arrayed like a glee club up the side of a hill. The accordion player stands across the road,All the men are singing except those in the very front, who perhaps felt too important for it.” The group includes Richard Baer; Rudolf Hoess, who had supervised the building of Auschwitz and had been its first commandant; and Josef Mengele.

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Christmas 1944: Karl Höcker lights the candles of a Christmas tree.

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The Solahütte retreat was used to provide a relaxing atmosphere for SS officers working at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz

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SS officers relax together with women and a baby on a deck at Solahütte.

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David And Perla Szumiraj-An Auschwitz Love story

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Amid the horrors of the Nazi death camps, somehow, some people managed to survive. One such couple is David Szumiraj and his wife Perla, who actually met in Auschwitz.

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David Szumiraj went to Auschwitz in late 1942. During his time there, he tended potato fields, where he worked near a young woman named Perla. The two weren’t allowed to speak, but when guards weren’t looking they made eye contact.

The shared glances were enough for the two to develop feelings for each other. Once they were able to talk for the first time, David says, “It was already inside us, the idea that we were a couple, that we were going to get married.” Their first conversation ended with their first kiss.

In January 1945, with Soviet forces approaching, the Nazis began moving prisoners. The evacuation of Auschwitz was one of the most notorious death marches in history, killing 15,000 people.

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After a week of passengers eating nothing but snow, David’s train was attacked by British planes. Weighing just 38 kilograms (83 lb), he survived by eating grass until American soldiers picked him up. Today, he still won’t eat lettuce.

David had no idea where Perla was. He sent a friend to a camp in Hamburg that housed lots of women—and she was there. The first David knew of his friend’s success was when Perla jumped out from behind a tree at the army base where David was staying.

They married, had a daughter, and decided to move to Argentina to be with some of David’s surviving family.

But getting to Argentina was not easy for Jews. Argentina’s government had supported the Nazis during the war, and had issued a secret order, effectively banning Jewish immigrants.

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To enter Argentina, many Jews said they were Catholic. For others, the only way in was to pay large bribes

They couldn’t afford the $20,000 immigration fees, so they had themselves smuggled into the country from Paraguay instead,so they went to neighbouring Paraguay, where they got in touch with people smugglers who would take them to Argentina. When they finally arrived in Buenos Aires, David’s family was waiting.

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The Auschwitz guards

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There were 40 defendants at the Auschwitz trial. 39 were sentenced and 1 was acquitted.Of the 39 sentences there were 23 death sentences, 2 of which were later commuted to life imprisonment. The other sentences varied from life to 3 years imprisonment.

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39 People convicted even though there had been close to 10,000 in the Auschwitz garrison.Each one of them had a choice to make a difference but nearly all of them decided that the killing of at least 1.1 million innocent lives was the right cause of action.

There should have been a lot more on trial.

Below are pictures of some of the Auschwitz guards,the amazing thing is most of them were normal working men and women with often mundane jobs before the war. And yet they became complacent and participated in the biggest mass killing in history.

Johannnes Gunesch (left) was an ethnic German farmer in Romania before the war.

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Albin Heinrich Ackermann was a waiter before the war.

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Franz Josef Kern was a warehouse operator and administrator before the war.

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Hans Adalbert Erich Karl Valentin was a sales person before the war.

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Martin Flohr (left) was a locksmith before the war in his native Croatia

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Johannes Badstubner was a coal miner from Planitz, near Zwickau in eastern Germany.

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Johannes Maranca  had served in the German Army in the First World War and worked as a plumber and roofer before being called up again, at the age of 53, in 1944.

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Johanna Langefeld (5 March 1900 – 26 January 1974) was a German female guard and supervisor at three Nazi concentration camps: Lichtenburg, Ravensbrück, and Auschwitz.

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Langefeld was unemployed until age 34, when she began to teach domestic economy in an establishment of the city of Neuss. From 1935 onwards, she worked as a guard in a so-called Arbeitsanstalt (working institution) in Brauweiler, which was, in fact, a prison for prostitutes, unemployed and homeless women, and other so called “antisocial” women, who were then later imprisoned in concentration camps.

In March 1942, Langefeld was assigned to build a new women’s camp in Auschwitz.

On 20 December 1945, Langefeld was arrested by the U.S. Army, and in September 1946, was extradited to the Polish judiciary preparing the Auschwitz trial.On 23 December 1946, she escaped from prison. Given her prior relatively positive treatment of inmates in this German Nazi concentration camp located on occupied Polish soil, the escape was assisted by Polish staff of the prison where she was held

After the escape she hid in a convent, working in a private home. Sometime around 1957, she returned illegally to live with her sister in Munich. She died in Augsburg, Germany on 26 January 1974, aged 73

The only person at the trial who was acquitted was Hans Wilhelm Münch.

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Münch was nicknamed The Good Man of Auschwitz for his refusal to assist in the mass murders there. He developed many elaborate ruses to keep inmates alive. He was the only person acquitted of war crimes at the 1947 Auschwitz trials in Kraków, where many inmates testified in his favor. After the war and the trial, he returned to Germany and worked as a practicing physician in Roßhaupten in Bavaria. While suffering from Alzheimer’s in old age, he made several public remarks that appeared to support Nazi ideology, and was tried for inciting racial hatred and similar charges. Münch was never sentenced, as all courts ruled that he was not of sound mind. He died in 2001.

 

The liberation of Auschwitz

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On this day 72 years ago Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by  by the 322nd Rifle Division of the Red Army, the soldiers found 7,500 prisoners alive and over 600 corpses. Among items found by the Soviet soldiers were 370,000 men’s suits, 837,000 women’s garments, and 7.7 tonnes  of human hair. Just imagine that 7.700 KG of human hair. The average weight of hair is 0.045 KG.

The camp’s liberation received little press attention at the time. Due to the vast extent of the camp area, at least four divisions took part in liberating the camp: 100th Rifle Division (established in Vologda, Russia), 322nd Rifle Division (Gorky, Russia), 286th Rifle Division (Leningrad), and 107th Motor Rifle Division (Tambov, Russia).

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Below are some images of the liberation of Auschwitz , Never Forget!

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The return journeys that never happened

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This metal train sign ‘Westerbork-Auschwitz, Auschwitz-Westerbork’ indicated a return trip that nobody would ever make.

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On 15 and 16 July 1942, the first two cargo trains packed with more than 2,000 Jews left the Westerbork Transit Camp headed for the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland. Most of the people aboard these transports were killed the same day they arrived. A total of 65 trains left for Auschwitz alone.

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The prisoners at Westerbork lived from transport to transport and between hope and fear. The evening before a departure was unbearable because the names of those who would be transported were announced then. The next day there was no escape. Sometimes as many as 70 people with all their bags were crammed into each filthy boxcar of the lengthy train. The doors were then bolted shut from the outside. ‘It is overwhelming for the men; they swallow their tears. The train screeches: the poisonous snake begins to inch forward,’ wrote the Dutch writer and photographer Philip Mechanicus in the diary he kept in Westerbork.

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Of the 107,000 Jews and 245 Sinti and Roma who were deported from the Netherlands, for the most part via Westerbork, only a total of 5,000 people returned.

Sadly enough Westerbork was established and built by  Dutch government as a refugee camp, in 1939, financed partly by Dutch Jews, to absorb fleeing Jews from Nazi Germany. The Jewish refugees were housed after they had tried to escape Nazi terror in their homeland.

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Following the German invasion of the Netherlands, the Nazis took over the camp and turned it into a deportation camp.

The general supervision of the camp was in the hands of the SS and early on they were also responsible for the security in the vicinity of the camp. Daily life inside the camp was overseen by different Jewish work groups, including the Ordedienst  (Lit. Order Service). The members of this group, who wore these green coveralls, were responsible for fire safety and internal security.

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They supervised the labour gangs, both inside and outside the camp. They also guarded the people scheduled for transport to the concentration and extermination camps. At times the Jewish Order Service was also deployed for razzias (roundups) in Amsterdam, to retrieve the sick from their homes and for instance to empty the Jewish psychiatric hospital the Apeldoornsche Bosch in 1943.

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Needless to say, members of the Orderdienst were not particularly popular among Westerbork’s prisoners and often referred to as the ‘Jewish-SS’. Eventually, most of the members of the Jewish Order Service were transported as well.

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The mystery of the Auschwitz albums

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The Auschwitz Album

The Auschwitz Album is a unique photographic record of the Holocaust of the Second World War. A collection of photographs taken inside a Nazi German death camp, it is the only surviving pictorial evidence (with the exception of four surreptitious photographs taken by Sonderkommandos) of the extermination process from inside the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp.

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The identity of the photographer has never been determined. They may have been taken by either Ernst Hoffmann or Bernhard Walter, two SS men responsible for fingerprinting and taking photo IDs of those prisoners who were not selected for extermination.The album has 56 pages and 193 photographs. Originally, it had more photos, but before being donated to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Israel, some of them were given to survivors who recognized relatives and friends.

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The images follow the processing of newly arrived Hungarian Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia in the early summer of 1944. They document the disembarkation of the Jewish prisoners from the train boxcars, followed by the selection process, performed by doctors of the SS and wardens of the camp, which separated those who were considered fit for work from those who were to be sent to the gas chambers. The photographer followed groups of those selected for work, and those selected for death to a birch grove just outside the crematoria where they were made to wait before being killed. The photographer also documented the workings of an area called Canada, where the looted belongings of the prisoners were sorted before transport to Germany.

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The album’s survival is remarkable, given the strenuous efforts made by the Nazis to keep the “Final Solution” a secret. Also remarkable is the story of its discovery. Lili Jacob (later Lili Jacob-Zelmanovic Meier) was selected for work at Auschwitz-Birkenau while the other members of her family were sent to the gas chambers.

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(Yisrael and Zelig Jacob, the younger brothers of Lili Jacob, from the Auschwitz Album)

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The Auschwitz camp was evacuated by the Nazis as the Soviet army approached. Jacob passed through various camps, finally arriving at the Dora concentration camp, where she was eventually liberated. Recovering from illness in a vacated barracks of the SS, Jacob found the album in a cupboard beside her bed. Inside, she found pictures of herself, her relatives, and others from her community. The coincidence was astounding, given that the Nordhausen-Dora camp was over 640 km (400 mi) away, and that over 1,100,000 people were killed at Auschwitz.

The album’s existence had been known publicly since at least the 1960s, when it was used as evidence at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials. Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld visited Lili in 1980 and convinced her to donate the album to Yad Vashem.

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The album’s contents were first published that year in the book The Auschwitz Album, edited by Klarsfeld.

Selection and Selected for slave labor

 

The last moments before the gas chambers

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I didn’t post all the photographs I picked the ones I thought were the most haunting.The looks in some of the eyes ,of especially children,are chilling.

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The Sonderkommando photographs are four blurred photographs taken secretly in August 1944 inside the Auschwitz concentration camp.they are the only ones known to exist of events around the gas chambers.

The images were taken within 15–30 minutes of each other by an inmate inside Auschwitz-Birkenau, the extermination camp within the Auschwitz complex. Usually named only as Alex, a Jewish prisoner from Greece, the photographer was a member of the Sonderkommando, inmates forced to work in and around the gas chambers. Several sources identified him as Alberto Errera, a Greek Jewish naval officer.

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He took two shots from inside one of the gas chambers and two outside, shooting from the hip, unable to aim the camera with any precision. The Polish resistance smuggled the film out of the camp in a toothpaste tube.

On 9 Augus during the transport of ash from the Krematorium, to be discharged into the Vistula, Errera tried to convince his three co-detainees (including Hugo Baruch Venezia and Henri Nechama Capon) to escape, but they refused. Once on site, Errera stunned the accompanying two Schupos with a shovel, and plunged into the Vistula.

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He was caught during the next two or three days, tortured and killed. As usual when a fugitive was caught, his body was exposed at the camp entrance, as an example to the other inmates.

The photographs were numbered 280–283 by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.Nos. 280 and 281 show the cremation of corpses in a fire pit, shot through the black frame of the gas chamber’s doorway or window. No. 282 shows a group of naked women just before they enter the gas chamber. No. 283 is an image of trees, the result of the photographer aiming too high.

 

The evil of Herta Oberheuser

Men do not have a ‘monopoly’ on evil. Women can be just as evil if not more.

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This is one of those stories where I don’t know what is more disturbing, the evil acts committed by Herta Oberheuser or the fact that she got away with it.

Herta Oberheuser (15 May 1911 in Cologne, – 24 January 1978 in Linz am Rhein, West Germany) was a Nazi physician at the Auschwitz and Ravensbrück concentration camps from 1940 until 1943.

Oberheuser worked at concentration camps under the supervision of Dr. Karl Gebhardt, participating in gruesome medical experiments (sulfanilamide as well as bone, muscle, and nerve regeneration and bone transplantation) conducted on 86 women, 74 of whom were Polish political prisoners in the camp.

She killed healthy children with oil and evipan injections, then removed their limbs and vital organs. The time from the injection to death was between three and five minutes, with the person being fully conscious until the last moment. She performed some of the most gruesome and painful medical experiments, focusing on deliberately inflicting wounds on the subjects. In order to simulate the combat wounds of German soldiers fighting in the war, Oberheuser rubbed foreign objects, such as wood, rusty nails, slivers of glass, dirt, or sawdust into the cuts.

Herta Oberheuser was the only female defendant in the Nuremberg Medical Trial, where she was sentenced to 20 years in jail. It was later reduced to 10 years in prison.

She was released in April 1952 for ‘good behavior’ and became a family doctor in West Germany. She lost her position in 1956, after a Ravensbrück survivor recognized her, and her license to practice medicine was revoked in 1958. She died in January 1978.

Testimony from Vladislava Karolewska, a Polish political prisoner and victim of medical experimentation:

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In the hospital we were put to bed and the hospital room in which we stayed was locked. We were not told what we were to do in the hospital and when one of my comrades put the question she got no answer but she was answered by an ironical smile. Then a German nurse arrived and gave me an injection in my leg. After this injection I vomited and I was put on a hospital cot and they brought me to the operating room… I regained my consciousness in the morning and then I noticed that my leg was in a cast from the ankle up to the knee and I felt a very strong pain in this leg and the high temperature. I noticed also that my leg was swollen from the toes up to the groin. The pain was increasing and the temperature, too, and the next day I noticed that some liquid was flowing from my leg… I saw Dr. Fischer again. He had an operating gown and rubber gloves on his hands. A blanket was put over my eyes and I did not know what was done with my leg but I felt great pain and I had the impression that something must have been cut out of my leg. Those present were: Schildauski, Rosenthal, and Oberhauser… Two weeks later we were all taken again to the operating room and put on the operating tables. The bandage was removed, and that was the first time I saw my leg. The incision went so deep that I could see the bone… On the eighth of September I was sent back to the block. I could not walk. The pus was draining from my leg; the leg was swollen up and I could not walk. In the block, I stayed in bed for one week; then I was called to the hospital again. I could not walk and I was carried by my comrades. In the hospital I met some of my comrades who were there for the operation. This time I was sure I was going to be executed because I saw an ambulance standing before the office which was used by the Germans to transport people intended for execution… When I was in my room I made the remark to fellow prisoners that we were operated on in very bad conditions and left here in this room and that we were not given even the possibility to recover. This remark must have been heard by a German nurse who was sitting in the corridor because the door of our room leading to the corridor was opened. The German nurse entered the room and told us to get up and dress. We answered that we could not follow her order because we had great pains in our legs and we couldn’t walk. Then the German nurse came with Dr. Oberhauser into our room. Dr. Oberhauser told us to dress and come to the dressing room. We put on our dresses; and, being unable to walk, we had to hop on one leg going into the operating room. After one hop, we had to rest. Dr. Oberhauser did not allow anybody to help us. When we arrived at the operating room, quite exhausted, Dr. Oberhauser appeared and told us to go back because the change of dressing would not take place that day.

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I could not walk, but somebody, a prisoner whose name I don’t remember, helped me to come back to the room… At the end of February 1943, Dr. Oberhauser called us and said, “Those girls are new guinea-pigs”; and we were very well known under this name in the camp. Then we understood that we were persons intended for experiments and we decided to protest against the performance of those operations on healthy people… Dr. Trommel took me by the left wrist and pulled my arm back. With his other hand he tried to gag me, putting a piece of rag into my mouth, because I shouted. The second SS man took my right hand and stretched it. Two other SS men held me by my feet. Immobilized, I felt that somebody was giving me an injection. I defended myself for a long time, but then I grew weaker. The injection had its effect; I felt sleepy. I heard Trommel saying, “Das ist fertig”, that is all. I regained consciousness again, but I don’t know when. Then I noticed that a German nurse was taking off my dress, I then lost consciousness again; I regained it in the morning. Then I noticed that both my legs were in iron splints and were bandaged from the toes to groin. I felt a strong pain in my feet, and a temperature… Two weeks later a second operation was performed on my left leg although pus was draining from my former wound, and a piece of shin bone was removed.

– from testimony given at the “Doctors Trial” before an American military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany

Roosje Glaser- The Dancing Queen of Auschwitz.

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With all the horrible stories we have heard about Auschwitz it does happen that every once in a while we come across a more ‘lighthearted’ tale. By chance I came across the story of Roosje Glaser.

Even before Nazi racial laws turned her into a wanted person in her native Netherlands, Roosje Glaser had limited patience for rules.

A lighthearted and sometimes frivolous Jewish dance instructor who loved jazz music and the company of handsome men, Glaser ignored the 1940 Nazi takeover of Holland and the murderous anti-Semitism it brought. When she couldn’t ignore it, she mocked it.

An amateur photographer whose Aryan looks allowed her greater mobility than other Jews, Glaser not only flouted Nazi laws that forced Jews to wear yellow stars, but used to pose for photographs with unsuspecting German occupation soldiers next to cafe signs that read “no Jews allowed.”

 

Her flamboyant defiance eventually got Glaser sent to Auschwitz. But at the death camp, that same trait helped her survive as a dance instructor to the SS until she staged a clever escape. The remarkable life story of Roosje Glaser, who died in 2000, was only recently documented in a new biography about her written and published in Britain this year by her Dutch nephew.

“On the one hand, it seems that at times she didn’t understand the severity of her situation,” said Paul Glaser, the son of Roosje Glaser’s brother and author of “Dancing with the Enemy.” “On the other hand, she survived by seizing a series of opportunities that show she knew what she was doing.

 

Roosje Glaser’s first act of defiance was to remove the letter J from her passport, which authorities stamped on the documents of Jews after the Nazi takeover.

In violation of Nazi racial laws, Roosje Glaser continued to run her successful dance school. She even made it into the cinema reel in 1941, as part of a Nazi-era item that was meant to show that Amsterdam’s cultural scene was unhampered by the occupation.

Rosie (ex-)husband Leo reports her to the Kultuurkamer. Rosie is forced to close her thriving dance school.
Leo and his brother Marinus betray Rosie to the commissioner of police and the mayor. Rosie is arrested and handed over to the SS who lock her up for six weeks

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Summoned and marked by authorities, Glaser was unable to find a venue for the graduation ball of her dance class of 1942. So she had the graduation in a barn in the countryside.

Ignoring the summons, she stole another woman’s passport and moved to a different city, living under a false identity in a boarding house run by a German woman who was married to a Dutch Nazi. Then a former lover betrayed her to the authorities — this time for payment.

Initially she and her mother are send to Camp Westerbork .

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Determined not to be send to Poland she befriends the leader of her barrack, she demonstrates a tap dance for him which results in getting her job as a nurse. She then gets her mother transferred to the hospital and gets her father, who had been sent to the camp previously, a job in the kitchen.

Later she works as a private secretary of Jacob Haan, an SS officer at the camp.She started a relationship with Jacob Haan, he advised her that it probably would be better to change her maiden name to her ex Husband’s last name Crielaars, which is a catholic name.

Eventually despite all her efforts she gets send to Auschwitz.

In Auschwitz she ends up in Block 10 ,a cellblock  where women and men were used as experimental subjects for German doctors. The experiments in Block 10 ranged from skin testing for reaction to relatively gentle substances to giving phenol injections to the heart for immediate dissection.

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Here she uses her charm and her dancing skills and she refuses to further part-take in the experiments, but rather then being killed for it, she gets send to Birkenau. Did experiments conducted on her rendered her unable to bear children.

At Birkenau she is tasked to comfort and to set at ease those who are send to the gas chambers.

As a fluent speaker of German and accomplished administrator, Glaser landed a position as an assistant to a German officer at Auschwitz.

“She had charm and she spoke to the Germans like she was one of them, like a classmate. She lacked that victim mentality,” said Paul Glaser, who interviewed his aunt for the book close to her death and has spent the past 15 years gathering additional materials about her extraordinary life story.

Using what he called “natural charm,” Roosje Glaser began giving her German bosses dance lessons after hours, sometimes together with their girlfriends or the dreaded Aufsehrinnen – female guards

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This gave her some privileges like extra rations of bread which she shares with other inmates.

At the start of 1945 Roosje and other inmates are sent to another camp, due to the imminent arrival of the Soviet troops. In this camp the Swedish Red cross is handing out food parcels. Her married name, Crielaars had a Scandinavian ring to is so she decides to go with it,because of this she ends up in an exchange program between Danish prisoners and German POW’s. She then ends up in a refugee camp in Sweden

At the refugee camp in Sweden,Roosje Glaser began giving dancing lessons to other displaced persons like herself.

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Disappointed by the Dutch treatment of her, she had been betrayed twice and ironically the only help she received in the Netherlands during the war was from a German woman and her Dutch Nazi husband. she decided to stay in Sweden after the war. Where stayed until 2000 the year she died.

 

 

 

Irma Grese- Evil knows no gender.

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Men don’t have the monopoly on doing evil acts, throughout history there have been many women who acted in barbaric ways. Often their acts would be more evil then that of their male counterparts as was the case with  Irma Grese, the proof that evil is not bound to gender but personality.

Irma Ida Ilse Grese (7 October 1923 – 13 December 1945) was a female SS guard at the Nazi concentration camps of Ravensbrück and Auschwitz, and served as warden of the women’s section of Bergen-Belsen.

Grese was convicted for crimes against humanity committed at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, and sentenced to death at the Belsen trial. Executed at 22 years of age, Grese was the youngest woman to die judicially under British law in the 20th century. She was nicknamed by the camps’ inmates “the Hyena of Auschwitz”

During World War II Irma Grese was the most notorious of the female Nazi war criminals. She was born on October 7, 1923, to a agricultural family and left school in 1938 at the age of 15. She worked on a farm for six months, then in a shop and later for two years in a hospital. Then she was sent to work at the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp.

She became a camp guard at the age of 19, and in March 1943 she was transferred to Auschwitz. She rose to the rank of Senior SS-Supervisor in the autumn of 1943, in charge of around 30,000 women prisoners, mainly Polish and Hungarian Jews. This was the second highest rank that SS female concentration camp personnel could attain.

After the war survivors provided extensive details of murders, tortures, cruelties and sexual excesses engaged in by Irma Grese during her years at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. They testified to her acts of pure sadism, beatings and arbitrary shooting of prisoners, savaging of prisoners by her trained and half starved dogs, to her selecting prisoners for the gas chambers.

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Irma Grese was born to Berta Grese and Alfred Grese, a dairy worker. Irma was the third of five children (three girls and two boys). In 1936, her mother committed suicide by drinking hydrochloric acid after discovering that Alfred had had an affair with a local pub owner’s daughter.

Irma Grese left school in 1938 at age fourteen, probably due to a combination of a poor scholastic aptitude, bullying by classmates, and a fanatical preoccupation with the League of German Girls (Bund Deutscher Mädel), a Nazi female youth organization, of which her father disapproved.

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Among other casual jobs, she worked as an assistant nurse in the sanatorium of the SS for two years and unsuccessfully tried to find an apprenticeship as a nurse.

Irma Grese worked as a dairy helper and was single when she volunteered for service in a concentration camp. From mid-1942 she was an Aufseherin (female guard) at Ravensbrück and in March 1943 transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau. In the second half of 1944, Grese was promoted to Rapportführerin, the second-highest rank open to female KZ-wardens. In this function, she participated in prisoner selections for the gas chambers.

In early 1945, Grese accompanied a prisoner transport from Auschwitz to Ravensbrück. In March 1945, she went to Bergen-Belsen along with a large number of prisoners from Ravensbrück.Grese was captured by the British on 15 April 1945, together with other SS personnel who did not flee.

Grese inspired virulent hatred in prisoner Olga Lengyel, who wrote in her memoir Five Chimneys that selections in the women’s camp were made by SS Aufseherin Elisabeth Hasse and Irma Grese. The latter was visibly pleased by the terror her presence inspired in the women at roll call. Grese had a penchant for selecting not only the sick and the weak but any woman who had retained vestiges of her former beauty. Lengyel said that Grese had several lovers among the SS in the camp, including Josef Mengele. After Grese forced the inmate surgeon at the infirmary into performing her illegal abortion, she disclosed that she planned a career in the movies after the war. Lengyel felt that Grese’s meticulous grooming, custom fitted clothes, and overuse of perfume were part of a deliberate act of sadism among the ragged women prisoners.

It became apparent that she wasn’t just torturing and maiming prisoners because it was her job, an excuse many Nazis have tried to use to explain their actions. She did it because she got off on it, literally. Take this survivor’s story, recounted by Sonja Maria Hedgepeth and Rochelle G. Saide in their book Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust, as an example:

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“[Grese] went around in camp, her bejeweled whip poised, picked out the most beautiful young women and slashed their breasts open with the braided wire end of her whip. Subsequently those breasts got infected by the lice and dirt which invaded every nook and corner of the camp. They had to be cut open, if the patient was to be saved. Irma Griese (sic) invariably arrived to watch the operation, kicking the victim if her screams interfered with her pleasure and giving herself completely to the orgiastic spasms which shook her entire body and made saliva run down from the corner of her mouth”

While at Auschwitz, when she wasn’t  just torturing people for fun, Grese was reportedly responsible for 30 murders every day. Then, in 1945, she was transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she earned the nickname the “beautiful beast of Belsen” because of her tight-fitting Nazi uniform, blue eyes and blonde hair. She was pretty much everything Hitler stood for.

On April 15, 1945, British Forces finally liberated the Bergen-Belsen camp and took Grese into custody.

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Grese and ten others, eight men and two other women, Johanna Bormann (mistakenly spelled Juana by the British) and Elisabeth Volkenrath, were convicted for crimes committed at Auschwitz and Belsen and sentenced to death. As the verdicts were read, Grese was the only prisoner to remain defiant.Her subsequent appeal was rejected.

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On Thursday, 13 December 1945, in Hamelin Jail, Grese was led to the gallows. The women were executed singly by long-drop hanging and then the men in pairs.Regimental Sergeant-Major O’Neill assisted the noted British executioner, Albert Pierrepoint.

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Forgotten History- Dr. Carl Clauberg Experiments

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The notorious Heinrich Himmler himself ordered a Nazi doctor to artificially inseminate concentration camp prisoners though various experimental methods. Dr. Carl Clauberg artificially inseminated about 300 women at Auschwitz, who were strapped down and taunted mercilessly. Clauberg told his victims that he had used animal sperm to create a monster inside of them.

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Carl Clauberg (28 September 1898 – 9 August 1957) was a German medical doctor who conducted medical experiments on human subjects (mainly Jewish) in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. He worked with Horst Schumann in X-ray sterilization experiments at Auschwitz concentration camp

In 1942 Viktor Brack — director of T4 murder operation — wrote a letter to Heinrich Himmler stating,

“I am of the opinion that out of approx. 10 million European Jews at least 2–3 million men and women will be fit for work and should be kept alive. . . Of course this can only be done if they are at the same time rendered incapable of reproduction . . . under my instruction experiments for this purpose have been complete. . . . the type of sterilization normally performed on persons with genetic diseases, is here out of the question, because it takes too long and is too expensive. Castration by X-ray however is not only relatively cheap, but can also be performed on many thousands in the shortest time.”

He indicated that using X-ray, 3,000–4,000 Jews could be castrated daily, and then put to work.

Between 1942–1945, Dr. Carl Clauberg was a highly esteemed gynecologist with expertise in female sexual hormones with an unassailable reputation within German medical society. At Auschwitz he was given Block 10 with its several hundred Jewish women for his medical experiments. He sought to develop a method capable of sterilizing millions of people with minimum time and effort.

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He also developed a non-surgical method of sterilization by injecting a specially prepared caustic substance into the female reproductive organs producing severe inflammation and excruciating pain. The secret substance was developed by his assistant Dr. Johannes Goebel, chief chemist with Schering Pharmaceutical Co (Lifton, Nazi Doctors). The goal was to create adhesions in the fallopian tubes to obstruct them within six weeks. In his correspondence with Himmler, Clauberg refers to the women in his experiments as “the human material to be provided. . .”

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Clauberg also conducted artificial insemination experiments on 300 women at Auschwitz. Adding to their physical abuse, he reportedly taunted the women by telling them that he inseminated them with animal sperm and that monsters were now growing in their wombs.

X-ray sterilization experiments at Auschwitz were conducted on 420 (mostly) male Jewish victims. Of these 188 were castrated after being radiated (Weindling). Of the more than 1,000 prisoners subjected by Clauberg and Dr. Horst Schumann to X-Ray sterilization experiments — some of the victims as young as 14 years old — only 100 survived (Susan Benedict 2014). Clauberg enthusiastically informed Himmler of the promising potential of his sterilization method: “I shall be able to report in the foreseeable future that one experienced physician, with an appropriately equipped office and the aid of ten auxiliary personnel, will be able to carry out in the course of a single day the sterilization of hundreds, or even 1,000 women.”

When the Red Army approached Auschwitz, Clauberg moved to Ravensbrück concentration camp to continue his experiments on Romani women. Soviet troops captured him there in 1945.

After the war in 1948 Clauberg was put on trial in the Soviet Union and received 25 years in prison. In 1955, he was released (but not pardoned) by the Soviet Union, with the final group of about 10,000 POWs and civilian internees. He returned to West Germany, where he was reinstated at his former clinic based on his prewar scientific output. Bizarre behavior, including openly boasting of his “achievements” in “developing a new sterilization technique at the Auschwitz concentration camp”, destroyed any chance he might have had of staying unnoticed. After public outcry from groups of survivors, Clauberg was arrested in 1955 and was put on trial. He died of a heart attack before the trial could start.