Litzmannstadt-the Children’s concentration camp.

girlsThe children’s camp on Przemyslowa Street in Lodz, which was located within the Lodz Ghetto.Separated from the Ghetto only by a high fence made of planks.

The young inmates were Polish children from all of Poland’s regions.The children were either ophans or the children of deported parents. They were aged between 2 and 17 but the majority were between the ages of 8 and 12 Not much is known how children were selected or reasons why they ended up there. There is one record claiming that a young boy was sent to Litzmannstadt because he was caught without a ticket on a train.

The Nazis were always on the look out for children who did fit the ‘aryan’ profile.Those among them found to be suitable, were transported  from Litzmannstadt to the greater German Reich for adoption and Germanisation to be raised as Germans.

The conditions were harsh in the camp.Everyone slept in bare wooden multi-storey bunks. They would eat out doors regardless what condition. Children as young as two were forced to work at crafts and small-scale industrial projects.

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Children who could not keep up, or who committed “violations” which could be something innocent like  wetting the bed, were severly punished by beatings, hours of exercises like running,jumping,standing, etc, reduced rations, and being drenched with cold water and exposed to the weather in winter, fall, and early spring. As in nearly all other   camps, vermin such as lice, scabies, flies, and rats were rampant.

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Sources

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Vintage News

Many thanks to Norman Stone for pointing the story out to me

 

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World War 2 heart break. -But in a positive way.

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There are so many images of death and destruction during WWII, Images of dying children or children that already have been killed.

Images of families torn apart not knowing if they will ever see each other again, But the amazing thing though, amidst all of these portrayals of the abyss there are some pictures that will break your heart,but in a positive way. Pictures like the one above where a little girl gives a soldier a kiss on Valentine’s day 1945 in France.

Maybe I should say they will melt your heart, but either way I will have no doubt that these will bring tears to your eyes.

A volunteer who saved and comforts a baby after a bombing in London.

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An American soldier kissing a little Italian girl

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American soldier cleaning the face of a young french orphan.

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A British soldier gives soup to a little French girl in Caen

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US soldiers talking to the only French girl left in Cerisy-la-salle, France after the Allied invasion of Normandy. July 25, 1944

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Soviet soldier returning home to greet his daughter.

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Guardsman returning to duty after being home on leave kisses his little son in 1941

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Two Dutch kids get some much needed food from an allied soldier (Jan 1st, 1945)

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I am an idiot

bABY

I am Gerhard Kretschmar, I am an idiot.

I am Gerhard Kretschmar, there are no pictures of me

I am Gerhard Kretschmar, I am a 5 month old idiot.

I am Gerhard Kretschmar, my Father wanted me to be put asleep

But the Doctor refused.

I am Gerhard Kretschmar, my Father then asked Hitler if he would kill me.

Hitler said no problem.

I am Gerhard Kretschmar, I was born blind and one leg and one arm.

I am Gerhard Kretschmar,, I am an idiot, at least that is what the Nazis called me.

I am Gerhard Kretschmar, the first T4 Victim

 

 

Hitler’s Children

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One of the more disturbing and intriguing aspects about Hitler is his seemingly fondness of children,at least ‘aryan’ children.

The same man who was responsible of millions of children to die, made sure he would use any photo opportunity with kids. He saw children in two ways, they were either impure and  the offspring of vermin or they were the future warriors and breeding machines for the third reich. Both would often have the same outcome, death, either in the gas chambers or as result of slave labour or at the battlefield.

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Although he would like to be portrayed not only as the Führer but also as the father of the nation. A man who had only the best intentions of the country and all he did was to build a secure future for the children of the nation.

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And the propaganda worked, people believed it, At least early on during his time as the supreme German leader. He kept his promises of jobs and prosperity, and in a poverty stricken country that is a very powerful tool.

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But prosperity made with the endorsement of violence and without a social conscientiousness  breeds selfishness. People didn’t want to see the crimes committed by their leaders. They had a good life as had their family, and that was all that mattered. Little did they know that all this wealth and prosperity was only superficial. It only serve one real purpose, the indulgence of a power mad evil regime.

Soon the citizens of the third reich found out that to maintain their standard of living sacrifices had to be made. Those young warriors were called to serve their master, not their country, but their master.

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At the end the only one the Führer cared for was the grandson born out of wedlock to Maria Schicklgruber, the son of Alois Hiedlet(later Hitler) , Adolf Hitler.

He didn’t care how many were sacrificed  or what age they were.

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Were the signs there? Yes and they were blatantly clear. But as I said earlier, the propaganda was believed and for a short time life had been good. But only for those who were deemed to be of a pure race. For the Jews,Roma,Disabled,Homosexuals,Jehovah Witnesses, the narrative was one of death and destruction. Eventually all of Germany faced destruction caused by the allies because the Nazi leaders left them no choice.

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The Children of Castle Hoensbroek

Kinderen Hoesnbroek

I came across the above picture a few years ago and the information I got with it is that the children in the picture were orphans, staying with the nuns in Castle Hoensbroek, in Limburg .the south east of the Netherlands

However all the children had been placed under guardianship. They originally came from a town in North-Holland called Velsen where they had been students of a boarding school ,run by Nuns.

In October 1942 the German occupiers had ordered the boarding school to be evacuated, for it was going to be demolished. The Germans were going to build a 5 km long defense line and the boarding school was in the way.

Frantically the nuns looked for an alternative accommodation. They were offered the castle Hoensbroek in December 1942. They moved in on December 23 just in time for the Christmas celebrations. The distance between Velsen and Hoensbroek is about 200km. For the children that must have felt like moving to the other side of the world.

Hoensbroek

The children lived a relatively undisturbed live in the castle. Several times it had been declared unsuitable for the Germany army. However a few days before liberation there were a few nervous moments.

Kinderen

Some SS men on leave. had stayed in the adjacent farm and had been throwing hand grenades in the canals surrounding the castle, just for fun. They had also been walking around naked.

On September 12, 1944 a highly placed SS officer had visited the castle for inspection, he was told there was no room. His reply was not too worry about that, the SS would make some room, while he was looking around at the yard where the children were playing at  the time.But he left.

The following day another highly placed SS officer,with a limp, came to the castle but he too left.

On September 17, 1944 Hoensbroek was liberated by the allied forces. As a part of the celebrations the children were dressed up in the traditional clothing of the Velsen-Volendam region. The pictures taken were send to the US to show the people there that the troops had arrived in the Netherlands.

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The murder of the Goebbels children

Goebbels

Regardless what you think of their parents, when you analyse it the Goebbels children were victims of the same warped ideology and regime as so many other children. The only difference they may have died in less painful circumstances, at least 5 of them.

So enthralled were Joseph  and Magda Goebbels with Hitler that they gave all 6 of their children names starting with H to honor their beloved leader.

Helga Susanne.Hildegard Traudel,Helmut Christian,Holdine Kathrin,Hedwig Johanna and Heidrun Elisabeth.

Obersalzberg, Besuch Familie Goebbels bei Hitler

There also was a half brother called Harald, born in November 1921. from a previous marriage between Magda Goebbels nee Behrend Rietschel and German business man Günther Quandt,founder of several companies including BMW. Harald,He served as a lieutenant in the Luftwaffe during World War II.   he survived the war and together with his half brother Herbert Quandt, ran their father’s businesses including the aforementioned BMW after the war. The picture below is a photograph of the whole Goebbels family including the half brother Harald.Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1978-086-03,_Joseph_Goebbels_mit_Familie

Like any child anywhere in the world a child is formed and conditioned by the environment it grows up in, as was the case with the Goebbels children. And on the surface they were loved by their parents, and  maybe even a bit deeper then the surface but not much. For any normal thinking and loving parent will do anything to safeguards their child’s life.

In the case of the Goebbels parents their love for Hitler was bigger then the love for their children. On May 1st 1945 ,a day after Hitler committed suicide, Joseph and Magda Goebbels decided to follow suit and also kill the children. Some people say they did this because of fear what the soviet army might do to the children, they imagined it a fate worse then death, Joseph Goebbels was of course well aware what this might entail, for he was one of the leaders of the regime who slaughtered millions of children in the most horrendous conditions , and he  had lost not one night sleep over it.

But I believe they killed their own kids so that could die pure Aryan, for there had been plenty of opportunities to smuggle their kids to the west of Germany where the US and UK troops had occupied the country. Many of those who had been in the bunker did just do that and could have easily taken the kids with them, if they had been asked.

Adolf Hitler [Misc.]

Joseph and Magda wrote goodbye letters to Harald, explaining their decision, calling death the “the only possible and honorable conclusion.” Magda, convinced she was sparing her children from a life of humiliation, finalized the plan to end their lives.

It isn’t entirely clear as to who helped the Goebbels poison their children. The plan was to sedate them, but it is not certain who actually administered the drugs that put the children to sleep. The most likely candidate was Helmut Kunz,Helmut Kunz a dentist who served as one of the Nazi’s chief medical officers. Supposedly, Magda had asked him to help her kill the children, but he refused to do it, saying he was “incapable” of such an act. She then told him that it was an order from Hitler, and he agreed to do it.

Kunz did give the children morphine, but it’s unclear who gave them the cyanide. Magda was unable to do it and was said to have called Dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger, one of the SS’s doctors, to administer the “candy” to the children.

He gave the children cyanide in some form of chocolate.

Rochus Misch, the bunker telephone/radio operator, stated that Werner Naumann told him that he had seen Hitler’s personal physician, Dr Stumpfegger, give the children something “sweetened” to drink.[Another account says that the children were told they would be leaving for Berchtesgaden in the morning, and Stumpfegger was said to have provided Magda with morphine to sedate them. Erna Flegel claims that Magda reassured the children about the morphine by telling them that they needed inoculations because they would be staying in the bunker for a long time.

On the same night that their children were killed, Magda and Joseph Goebbels went into the study in the Führerbunker. According to legend, the couple stood near where Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun had died and been burned as they bit into cyanide and shot themselves, perhaps at the same time. Another theory is that Günther Schwägemann, Günther SchwägemannNazi officer and object of their daughter Hedwig’s affection-Hedwig insisted, in 1944, that when she grew up she was going to marry Günther Schwägermann, having been captivated by the fact he had a fake eye.  -shot them. The bodies of Magda and Joseph Goebbels were set on fire.

On 3 May 1945, the day after Soviet troops led by Lt. Col. Ivan Klimenko had discovered the burned bodies of their parents in the courtyard above, they found the children down in the Vorbunker dressed in their nightclothes, with ribbons tied in the girls’ hair after they died.

Goebbels family

Based on autopsy findings, there was some trouble when it came to giving Helga the poison. She either woke up from her slumber and resisted taking it or the dosage was insufficient to kill her. When Russian doctors autopsied Helga’s body, they found bruises, indicating that there had been a struggle. Her jaw may have been broken as well.Helga

Helga was killed age 12,Hildegard was killed age 11.Helmut was age 9 when he was killed.Holdine was eight years old at the time of her death.Hedwig was six years old, four days shy of her seventh birthday, at the time of her death. And Heidrun was only 4 when she was killed.

children

I know some people will say”They deserved what was coming to them” and to an extend I can understand that sentiment, but these kids were not responsible for the actions of their parents, in fact they were a victim of the warped ideology their parents had subscribed to.

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I am a product of love.

Celine

I am a product of love,love between a man and a woman.

I am a product of love, by 2 people who would do anything for me.

I am a product of love, for anyone who looks into my angelic eyes can’t but love me.

I am a product of love to all those around me.

But I am not only a product of love I am also a victim of hate.

I am a victim of hate, hated by those who say they love their country and the men who lead them.

I am a victim of hate for some think I am different,not quite human.

I am a victim of hate, but yet I have 10 fingers and 10 toes just like those who hate me.

I am a victim of hate because I am different but yet I am the same.

I am a victim of hate but I don’t want to be remembered as a victim of hate.

I am Celine de Vries but people also call me Lieneke. I was born in Amsterdam on Nov 15 1936. But I died a long way from home in Sobibor on June 11 1943. I was only 6.

I am a victim of hate but I want to remembered as a product of love.

 

 

And then he kissed his children goodnight.

Arlette Orenstein

A Father does everything for his children.

A Father looks after all their needs and comforts them.

So how can a Father by evil towards other children.

Without remorse he killed thousands, many looked like his own children.

He also had a Daughter just like Arlette Orenstein. But Arlette was 4 when she was murdered on October 3 1943 as ordered by Rudolf Hoess.

Without remorse he killed children on a daily basis and at night he would kiss his own children goodnight.

A Father does everything for his own children

A Father gives them love, hugs and kisses and tells them a nighttime stories

But some the real nighttime stories are not suitable for young ears, for the Father in those stories is the monster.

After the killing he kissed his own kids goodnight.

 

And then suddenly I vanished

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My name is Renate Hirsch , I was born in Haiger,Wiesbaden in Germany on 14/07/1935.

I wish I could tell you my favourite game

I wish I could tell you who my best friend was

I wish I could sing for you my favourite song, or that I could tell you which instruments I play.

I wish I could show you pictures of my first ballet recital or my first goal I scored in hockey.

I wish I could show a drawing of a field of tulips I drew. when I was out on a picnic with my parents on a hot July day, my birthday perhaps.

But I can’t for I vanished. I died but no one knows where or when.No longer a human just a number, one of many.

 

A tear rolls down my face

Henio

A tear rolls down my face because you made me cry, not because you hurt me.

A tear rolls down my face because you made me sad, not because you did me wrong

A tear rolls down my face and I wonder why, because I don’t know you.

A tear rolls down my face although I have never met you.

All I see is a young boy aged 9 with a happy smiley face, full of life .

This last picture of you, taken outside the entrance of a bank. is all that remains of you.

On the same day  day you started 1st grade in school, September 1,1939 an evil force swept through your land and declared you an enemy.

An ‘enemy’ that was all in their twisted mind, for how could a 6 year old be a threat.

There was no room anymore in your own land for people like you, so the evil force gave you a new ‘home’., called  Majdanek concentration camp.

You and your family had to go through a selection in this new home, in spring 1942 you survived.

On November 9th 1942 you were killed in a Gas chamber, you were 9. Your name is Henio Zytomirski

A tear rolls down my face because now I know your name and age.

A tear rolls down my face because I know I was 9 once.

A tear tolls down my face for I know the pain you felt was real.

A tear rolls down my face, knowing you died innocent.

A tear rolls down my face.