Hans Scholl

When you look at the picture, you would assume it is the mugshot of a hardened criminal. But you couldn’t be further from the truth. The picture is of Hans Scholl. He was arrested and later murdered for exposing the criminals that arrested him.

There wasn’t an awful lot of resistance in Germany against the Nazi regime, but there were some groups who actively defied the Nazis. One of those groups was the ‘White Rose’, Hans and his sister Sophie were the founders of that group.

Born on September 22 1918, Hans Scholl was the typical Aryan ideal. In 1933, he joined the Hitler Youth and quickly became a squad leader. However he soon grew disillusioned with the Nazi party. In 1937 a former member of his group, Ernest Reden, confessed to a homosexual relationship with him. Hans was arrested and kept in solitary confinement before admitting the allegations were true. Hans made a positive impact on the judge, who dismissed the choice to join the youth groups as the “youthful exuberance” and “obstinate personality” of a “headstrong young man.” The judge then dismissed the homosexual allegations as a “youthful failing.” Although he was charged under “Paragraph 175”, the paragraph in Nazi law that criminalized homosexual behavior,Hans was allowed to leave the trial with a clean slate. Ernest Reden, on the other hand, was sentenced to three months prison and three months in a concentration camp for the relationship.

Paragraph 175 was only abolished in 1994.

In the summer of 1940 Scholl was sent as a member of the medical corps that went with the German Army invading France. Although he observed little of the actual fighting as he was working at a field hospital where four hundred soldiers were being treated. As a medic he assisted during leg amputations and other operations. He was based in the town of Saint-Quentin and felt guilty about living in requisitioned houses. He told his parents in a letter: “I liked it better when we slept on straw. What am I – a decent person or a robber?”

Scholl returned to his studies in Munich. He attended classes at the university, listened to lectures at various clinics around the city, and attended the wounded soldiers who had returned from fighting on the front-line. He told his sister Inge Scholl: “Going from bed to bed to hold out one’s hand to people in pain is deeply satisfying. It’s the only time I’m really happy. But it’s madness just the same… If it weren’t for this senseless war there would be no wounded to be cared for in the first place.”

Hans was again enrolled in the military service in the spring of 1941 as a medic in the Wehrmacht. After his experiences at the Eastern Front, having learned about mass murder in Poland and the Soviet Union, Scholl and one of his friends, Alexander Schmorell, felt compelled to take action.

In 1942, Hans ,Sophie and others founded the non-violent underground protest movement called The White Rose. From the end of June until mid-July 1942, they wrote the first four leaflets. Quoting extensively from the Bible, Aristotle and Novalis, as well as Goethe and Schiller, the German poets, they appealed to what they considered the German intelligentsia, believing that these people would be easily convinced by the same arguments that also motivated the authors themselves. These leaflets were left in telephone books in public phone booths, mailed to professors and students, and taken by courier to other universities for distribution.

Hans also was responsible for graffiti on public buildings which read ‘Down With Hitler’ and ‘Hitler the Mass Murderer.’ The siblings continued to distribute the leaflets until they were apprehended in 1943 after throwing dozens of fliers from a university window.

“Since the conquest of Poland, 300,000 Jews have been murdered in this country in the most bestial way … The German people slumber on in dull, stupid sleep and encourage the fascist criminals. Each wants to be exonerated of guilt, each one continues on his way with the most placid, calm conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty!”

— 2nd leaflet of the White Rose.

The Scholls and another member of White Rose, Christoph Probst, were scheduled to stand trial before the Volksgerichtshof—the Nazi “People’s Court” notorious for its unfair political trials, which more often than not ended with a death sentence—on 22 February 1943. They were found guilty of treason. Roland Freisler, head judge of the court, sentenced them to death. The three were executed the same day by guillotine at Stadelheim Prison. Sophie went under the guillotine first, followed by Hans and then Christoph. While Sophie and Christoph were silent as they died, Hans yelled “es lebe die Freiheit!” (long live freedom) as the blade fell.

IN THE NAME OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE in the action against

  1. Hans Fritz Scholl, Munich, born at Ingersheim, 22 September 1918,
  2. Sophia Magdalena Scholl, Munich, born at Forchtenberg, 9 May 1921,
  3. Christoph Hermann Probst, of Aldrans bei Innsbruck, born at Murnau, 6 November 1919, now in investigative custody regarding treasonous assistance to the enemy, preparing to commit high treason, and weakening of the nation’s armed security, the People’s Court first Senate, pursuant to the trial held on 22 February 1943, in which the officers were:
    President of the People’s Court Dr. Freisler, Presiding,Director of the Regional Judiciary Stier, SS Group Leader Breithaupt, SA Group Leader Bunge, State Secretary and SA Group Leader Koglmaier, and representing the Attorney General to the Supreme Court of the Reich, Reich Attorney Weyersberg,
    [We]find: That the accused have in time of war by means of leaflets called for the sabotage of the war effort and armaments and for the overthrow of the National Socialist way of life of our people, have propagated defeatist ideas, and have most vulgarly defamed the Führer, thereby giving aid to the enemy of the Reich and weakening the armed security of the nation.
    On this account they are to be punished by death.
    Their honor and rights as citizens are forfeited for all time.

— Translation made by Berlin Documents Center HQ US Army Berlin Command of 1943 Decree against the “White Rose” group.

Something that is often overlooked is the fact that Hans had 4 more siblings aside from Sophie.

Inge Aicher-Scholl (1917–1998) she wrote a book about the White Rose after the war.

Elisabeth Scholl Hartnagel (1920–2020), married Sophie’s long-term boyfriend, Fritz Hartnagel

Werner Scholl (1922–1944) missing in action and presumed dead in June 1944. In 1942, Werner was sent out to the Russian front, where, by chance, he was stationed near Hans. The two were able to see each other fairly often.

Werner and Sophie Scholl

Thilde Scholl (1925–1926)

Robert Scholl was a politician and the father of Hans and Sophie Scholl. He was a critic of the Nazi Party before, during and after the Nazi regime, and was twice sent to prison for his criticism of Nazism. He was mayor of Ingersheim 1917–1920, mayor of Forchtenberg 1920–1930 and lord mayor of Ulm 1945–1948, and co-founded the All-German People’s Party in 1952.

On 27 February 1943, five days after the execution of his children Hans and Sophie as members of the White Rose, Scholl was sentenced to 18 months in prison for listening to enemy radio broadcasts.

Although this post is titled ‘Hans Scholl’ we should not forget the sacrifices made by the other family members.

Hans Scholl would have been 104 today. In wikipedia he is called an activist, but he was much more then that.

sources

https://www.gdw-berlin.de/en/recess/biographies/index_of_persons/biographie/view-bio/hans-scholl/?no_cache=1

https://legacyprojectchicago.org/person/hans-scholl

https://spartacus-educational.com/GERschollH.htm

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/paragraph-175-and-the-nazi-campaign-against-homosexuality

The executions on July 9,1942.

On 9 July 1942, nine members of the resistance group De Oranjewacht, ‘the Orange guard'(Orange is the national colour of the Netherlands and the name of the Royal family) were shot in the Fort near Rijnauwen,Utrecht, the Netherlands . Two trials were conducted against the resistance group and nine members were sentenced to death in both trials. On the same day, two so called Engelandvaarders,(England farers) Jan Stam and Petrus Antonius Ravelli were also shot.

The group. De Oranjewacht, consisted of nine members. It was one of the first resistance groups to be captured by the Nazis during WWII. That was in December 1940. They were imprisoned until that terrible July 9, 1942, the day they were executed. One of the members of this group was the Arnhemmer Piet Hoefsloot.

When he was arrested, convicted and executed, he left behind a wife and eleven children. He was then 49 years old. The youngest was so small that she never really knew her father. Only now, decades later, does she get a picture of him through stories about her father. A number of the eleven children at the time are still alive, all well into their eighties and over nineties. Nevertheless, they were all present at Fort bij Rijnauwen to commemorate their father together with other family members. The youngest daughter and two of the other daughters spoke. One read the farewell letter that father Piet wrote to his wife and children a few hours before his execution from his cell in the prison on Gansstraat. The other daughter read a poem entitled, “Saying Goodbye.” A beautiful flower arrangement was laid (see photo) and this intimate ceremony was concluded with a short moment of silence and the common prayer of the Our Father aloud. A photo of the eleven children was left at the memorial stone, as if Father had reunited with his children. Piet Hoefsloot is buried at Moscowa cemetery in Arnhem.

The other victims.

Frans Heinekamp.Born on October 13, 1898 in Arnhem
Executed on 9 July 1942 in Utrecht, Fort Rijnauwen.

Johan Dons: Born on February 26, 1915 in Utrecht
Executed on 9 July 1942 in Utrecht, Fort Rijnauwen.

Evert van den Berg: Born on September 20, 1915 in Hengelo
Executed on 9 July 1942 in Utrecht, Fort Rijnauwen

Hendrik Marinus Emanuel Pieter Maertens: Born on July 20, 1908 in Rotterdam
Executed on 9 July 1942 in Utrecht, Fort Rijnauwen.

Leonardus Lambertus Twijnstra: Born on March 18, 1904 in Leeuwarderadeel
Executed on 9 July 1942 in Utrecht, Fort Rijnauwen.

Petrus Walter Gerardus van de Weijer:Born on October 9, 1889 in Utrecht
Executed on 9 July 1942 in Utrecht, Fort Rijnauwen.

George Hendrik van der Ploeg: Born on October 26, 1889 in Vlissingen
Executed on 9 July 1942 in Utrecht, Fort Rijnauwen.

Johan Herman Jacobus Boerrigter: Born on February 13, 1906 in Djokjakarta, Dutch East Indies(Indonesia)
Executed on 9 July 1942 in Utrecht, Fort Rijnauwen.

During the war around 1700 Dutch men and women who tried to reach freedom in England, over land or by sea, were given the honorary name: Engelandvaarders (Lit. England-farers).

Jan Stam, born in 1916 in the Dutch East Indies, had been a 2nd lieutenant in the artillery in the May days of 1940. He was married and father of one child. In March 1942 the Ravelli couple moved in with them. Peter Antonius Ravelli (1918) was a 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Dutch East Indies Army. For unknown reasons he was in the Netherlands.
Together, both men decided to make an attempt to go to England. In France, however, they were arrested and brought back to the Netherlands. First they were imprisoned in the House of Detention in Scheveningen, then in the prison in Utrecht.
They were tried by the Feldgericht Kommandierenden Generals und Befehlshabers im Luftgau Holland, and sentenced to death. The death penalty by shooting was carried out on 9 July 1942 in Fort Rijnauwen. Ravelli’s widow gave birth to their child a few months later.

These men make me proud to be Dutch. Many looked away and did nothing, these men decided to stand up against an evil regime and paid the ultimate price.

sources

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/thema/Fusillade%20in%20Fort%20bij%20Rijnauwen%20op%209%20juli%201942

The execution of Hans Bonarewitz

The saying goes “Music can soothe the savage beast”, but what if it is the savage beast that is using the music as a cynical form of evil and torture.

In July 1942 Hans Bonarewitz attempted to escape from Mauthausen concentration camp, he tried to hide in a box. He was captured on July 30 1942.The picture above is him forced to pose for a photograph standing next to the box he wanted to escape in.

He was going to be executed, but rather then just killing him he was paraded though the camp, as if he was some circus attraction.

He was led to the gallows on a makeshift cart pulled by fellow inmates.The camp orchestra had to continuously play the song ” J’attendrai ton retour” – I shall wait for your return.

Another song, the traditional German children’s song “Alle Vögel sind schon da” – All the birds are back again,” was played immediately before execution. It was just evil on top of evil just for the sake of being evil and nothing else. How disgusted the musicians must have been, being forced to do this.

The information was discovered by Aitor Fernandádez-Pacheco,film maker of the documentary film “Mauthausen, una mirada Española,” who interviewed the former Spanish prisoner Mario Constante for his documentary.

sources

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa1144948

https://ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=10954

https://boyerwrites.com/tag/hans-bonarewitz/

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Christoph Probst-Executed February 22.1943.

Not every German supported the Nazis or signed up to their ideology. There were quite a few who were appalled by what their nation had become under the leadership of Hitler and his regime.

However there were only a handful of people who had the courage to stand up against the Nazis, at risk of their own lives. Some of these were an organisation that called themselves “White Rose”

It was a resistance group in Munich . The group, founded in June 1942, consisted of students from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich who distributed leaflets against the Nazis policies.

Sophie and Hans Scholl were the prominent members , and so much has already been written about the Scholl siblings. I want to focus a bit more on another member, Christoph Probst.

Probst had a lot more to lose the the Scholl siblings, although he was young, he was married with 3 children.

Born in Murnau/Upper Bavaria on November 6, 1919, Probst studied medicines in Munich after his labor and military service in 1939.

In 1941 Christoph he married Herta Dohrn, with whom he later had three children. Alexander Schmorell, a friend of his, introduced Probst to Hans Scholl and his group of friends in the summer of 1942.

Christoph Probst joined the White Rose rather late, as he did not belong to the same student group as Hans Scholl, Alexander Schmorell and Willi Graf, and stayed for the most part in the background. He had to consider the safety of his family. He belonged, together with the Scholl siblings, Graf and Schmorell to the tightest circle, into which university professor Kurt Huber also came.

The White Rose produced, printed and distributed, at the risk of their lives, six leaflets in all.

Although Probst had been transferred to Innsbruck in December 1942, he was still actively involved in the discussion of the fifth White Rose leaflet on his visits to Munich and was also prepared to write his own flyer. After Sophie and Hans Scholl were arrested, on February 18 1943, the Gestapo found a draft leaflet written by Probst in Hans Scholl’s jacket pocket, stating: “Hitler and his regime must fall so that Germany may live on.” Christoph Probst was arrested in Innsbruck on February 20, 1943. To his mother he wrote whilst in prison.

“By an unlikely mishap I have now found myself in an awkward position. I don’t sugarcoat anything when I tell you that I’m fine and that I’m very calm. The treatment is good and life in the cell seems so tolerable to me that I’m not afraid of a longer period of imprisonment… I’m only concerned for you, for the wife and the small children”

On 22 February 1943, Christoph Probst and the Scholls were tried and sentenced together at the Volksgerichtshof by judge Roland Freisler, who had already determined the sentences even before the trial had started.

All three were sentenced to death by guillotine. Their sentences were carried out on the very same day at Stadelheim Prison, Munich. Probst had asked for clemency during interrogation. He also requested a trial for the sake of his wife and three children, who were aged three years, two years and four weeks old. His wife, Herta Probst, was sick with childbed fever at the time.

Shortly before Christoph was executed, he was allowed a visit from a Catholic Priest. Christoph requested baptism into the Catholic faith.

The only consolation to this is that his wife Herta survived the war and died 21 September 2016 aged 102

sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/white-rose

https://www.britannica.com/topic/White-Rose#ref1111344

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-white-rose-a-lesson-in-dissent

https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Christoph_Probst

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/171854367/herta-siebler-probst

https://www.gdw-berlin.de/en/recess/biographies/index_of_persons/biographie/view-bio/christoph-probst/?no_cache=1

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Fritz Sauckel’s Letter-Hiding evil in words.

Ernst Friedrich Christoph “Fritz” Sauckel was a Nazi politician, Gauleiter of Gau Thuringia from 1927 and the General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment (Arbeitseinsatz) from March 1942 until the end of World War 2. He was one the 24 persons accused in the Nuremberg Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal. He was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, sentenced to death, and executed by hanging on October 16,1946, 11 days before his 52nd birthday.

At the Nuremberg trials, Sauckel was accused of conspiracy to commit crimes against peace; planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression; war crimes and crimes against humanity. He defended the Arbeitseinsatz as “nothing to do with exploitation.

It is an economic process for supplying labour”. He denied that it was slave labour or that it was common to deliberately work people to death or to mistreat them. However this is not what he said in a letter he had sent to Alfred Rosenberg, 20 April 1942, Report on Labor Mobilization Program.

When you read the letter it looks like an ordinary business operation letter, even a supply chain demand report. But if you read it carefully you will see it is all but that, Below is an English translation of the letter, and I appreciate it that you may not have the time tp read it in one go. This is one key line from the letter.

“All the men [prisoners of war and foreign civilian workers] must be fed, sheltered, and treated in such a way as to exploit them to the highest possible extent at the lowest conceivable degree of expenditure.”

It also explains that all German women should be spared hard labour, but as the picture above shows that was not the case for Non German women.

The letter:

Very esteemed and dear Party-member Rosenberg!
Enclosed please find my program for the mobilization of labor. Please excuse the fact that this copy still contains a few corrections.
Heil Hitler!
Yours
[signed] Fritz Sauckel

To The “Reichminister”
for the Occupied Territories of the East
Party-Member Rosenberg
Berlin

[From] The Deputy for the Four-Year Plan
The Plenipotentiary for Labor Mobilization

20 April 1942

The Labor Mobilization Program.

The aim of this new, gigantic labor mobilization is to use all the rich and tremendous sources, conquered and secured for us by our fighting Armed Forces under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, for the armament of the Armed Forces and also for the nutrition of the Homeland. The raw materials as well as the fertility of the conquered territories and their manpower are to be used completely and conscientiously to the profit of Germany and her allies.

In spite of the fact that most of the German people capable of doing so have already made a most commendable effort for the war economy, more considerable reserves must be found and made available under any circumstances.

The decisive measure to realize this is the uniformly regulated and directed labor mobilization of the nation at the war.

To reach the goal determined by the Fuehrer the simultaneous and quickest use of numerous different measures of unified purpose are absolutely necessary. As any one of those must not interfere with the others, but rather complement them, it is also absolutely necessary that all the offices [Dienststellen] in the Reich, its territories and communities, in party, state, and economy, participating in this decisive task act according to coordinated, synchronized directives.

Thus, the labor-mobilization of the nation contributes extraordinarily to the quickest and victorious termination of the war. It requires every effort of the German people on the Home front. It is for that German people, for their preservation, their freedom, happiness and amelioration of their nutrition and standards of living that this war is being fought.

The Task and its Solution

(No figures are mentioned because of security reasons. I can assure you, nevertheless, that we are concerned with the greatest labor-problem of all times, especially with regard to figures.)

A. The Task:

  1. The conscription of new soldiers to the gigantic extent for all branches and services of the Armed Forces has been rendered necessary by the present war situation.

This means:

a. The removal of workers from all professional enterprises, especially of a great number of trained personnel from armament producing war industries.

b. Also the removal of especially non-essential personnel from the war nutrition industry.

  1. The war situation necessitates the continuation of the tremendously increased and improved armament programs as ordered by the Fuehrer.
  2. The most essential commodities for the German people must continue to be produced for minimum requirements.
  3. The German housewife’s health, particularly the health of those on farms, must not be endangered in their quality as mothers by the war. On the contrary, they must be relieved in every possible way.

B. The Solution

All prisoners of war, from the territories of the West as well as of the East, who are already situated in Germany, must be completely incorporated into the German armament and nutrition industries. Their production must be brought to the highest possible level.

It must be emphasized, however, that an additional tremendous quantity of foreign labor has to be found for the Reich. The greatest pool for that purpose are the occupied territories of the East.

Jewish children making boxes in the Glubokoye ghetto. ——US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Karl Katz

Consequently, it is an immediate necessity to use the human resources of the conquered Soviet territory to the fullest extent. Should we not succeed in obtaining the necessary amount of labor on a voluntary basis, we must immediately institute conscription or forced labor.

Apart from the prisoners of war still in the occupied territories, we must, therefore, requisition skilled or unskilled male and female labor from the Soviet territory from the age of 15 up for the labor mobilization.

On the other hand, one quarter of the total need of foreign labor can be procured in Europe’s occupied territories West of Germany, according to existing possibilities.

The procurement of labor from friendly and also neutral countries can only cover a small part of the total need. It can be applied mostly to skilled workers and specialists.

  1. order to provide considerable relief to the German housewife, especially the mother with many children and the extremely busy farm-woman and in order to avoid any further danger to their health, the Fuehrer also charged me with the procurement of 400,000 – 500,000 selected, healthy and strong girls from the territories of the East for Germany.

6. labor mobilization of the German women is of very great importance.

Examining their very difficult problem and after getting thoroughly acquainted with the fundamental opinion of the Fuehrer as well as of the Reichsmarshal of the Greater German Reich and my own most careful inquiries and their results, I must absolutely reject the possibility of having an obligatory service decreed by the State for all German women and girls for the German War and Nutrition industry.

Although, at the beginning, I myself, and probably the majority of the leading personalities of the party and of the womanhood with me, believed that for certain reasons an obligatory service for women should be decreed, I am of the opinion that all responsible men and women in party, state and economy should accept with the greatest veneration and gratitude the judgment of our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler, whose greatest concern has always been the health of the German women and girls; in other words, the present and future mothers of our nation.

I cannot enumerate all the reasons which made me come to that decision. I only ask for confidence in me as an old fanatical district chief of the National Socialist party and to believe that this could be the only possible decision.

We all agree that this decision might appear unjust towards millions of women who are engaged in defense and nutrition industries under the most strenuous conditions but we also realize that an evil cannot be remedied by spreading it to the utmost.

The only possible way to eliminate the existing injustices and hardships consists in winning the war in order to enable us to remove all women and girls engaged from jobs unsuitable for women, namely endangering their health, the birth-rate of our nation, and family and national life.

We must also consider the difference, whether a woman or girl has been used to work in the field or in a factory because of her young age, and whether already she has proved to be able to stand this kind of work.

Aside from physical harm, the German women and girls under any circumstances must be protected from moral and mental harm according to the wish of the Fuehrer.

Foreign workers from Stadelheim Prison work in a factory owned by the AGFA camera company

It is doubtful that these conditions could be fulfilled in the case of mass-conscription and employment. It is impossible to compare the German Woman with the German soldier in this case, because of the existing fundamental natural and racial differences between man and woman.

We cannot accept the responsibility for the dangers threatening the life of the nation resulting from such a measure in the field of women labor mobilization, in view of the countless men on the fighting front—our dead soldiers.

The many millions of women, however, faithfully and industriously engaged in the German economy, and especially now, in war time, rendering valuable services, deserve the best possible care and consideration. They, as well as the soldiers and work-men, deserve the greatest gratitude of our nation. [ . . . ]

The severest measures must be used against loafers, as we can not allow those parasites to shunt their duties in this decisive struggle of our people at the cost of the others.

Prisoners of War and Foreign Workers.

The complete employment of all prisoners of war as well as the use of a gigantic number of new foreign civilian workers, men and women, has become an indisputable necessity for the solution of the mobilization of labor program in this war.

All the men must be fed, sheltered and treated in such a way as to exploit them to the highest possible extent at the lowest conceivable degree of expenditure.

It has always been natural for us Germans to refrain from cruelty and mean chicaneries towards the beaten enemy, even if he had proven himself the most bestial and most implacable adversary, and to treat him correctly and humanly, even when we expect useful work of him.

As long as the German defense industry did not make it absolutely necessary, we refrained under any circumstances from the use of Soviet prisoners of war as well as of civilian workers, men or women, from the Soviet territories. This has now become impossible and the labor power of these people must now be exploited to the greatest possible extent.

Consequently, I arranged my first measures concerning the food, shelter and treatment of these foreign laborers with the highest competent Reich authorities and with the consent of the Fuehrer and the Reichsmarshal of the Greater German Reich in such a way that a top performance will be demanded and will be obtained.

It must be remembered, though, that even the effort of a machine is conditioned by the amount of fuel, skill and care given to it. How many more conditions must be considered in the case of men, even of low kind and race, than in the case of a machine!

I could not accept the responsibility towards the German people, if after having brought such a tremendous number of men to Germany these men would one day become a burden for the German people or even endanger their health, instead of doing very necessary and useful work, because of mistakes made in their nutrition, shelter and treatment.

The principles of German cleanliness, order and hygiene must therefore also be carefully applied to Russian camps.

Only in such a way will it be possible to exploit that labor to the highest benefit of arms production for the fighting front and for the war nutrition program, without any trace of false sentimentalism.

[ . . . ]

All action making the stay and work in Germany more difficult and unnecessarily unbearable for the foreign workers and exceeding the restrictions and hardships imposed by the war must be avoided. We depend to a large extent upon their good will and their production.

It is therefore only logical to make their stay and work in Germany as bearable as possible—without denying anything to ourselves.

[ . . . ] Therefore, I want to cordially yet insistently commit all German men and women whose labor during war time will be decisive to comply with all those necessities, decisions and measures, according to the old National Socialist principle:

Nothing for us, everything for the Fuehrer and his work, that is, for the future of our Nation!

[signed]: Fritz Sauckel”

Source of English translation: United States Chief Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume III: Documents 001-PS through 1406-PS. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1946, Document 016-PS, pp. 46-59.

What strikes me in this letter is the repeated references to “Foreign Workers” most of them were Jewish, and many of them were German citizens and possibly more German than some of the Nazi leadership.

sources

https://ghdi.ghi-dc.org/docpage.cfm?docpage_id=2415

http://www.camps.bbk.ac.uk/themes/slave-labour.html

https://www.ushmm.org/collections/bibliography/forced-labor

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Bridget Bishop- certaine Detestable Arts Called Witchcrafts & Sorceries.

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. More than two hundred people were accused. Thirty were found guilty, nineteen of whom were executed by hanging (fourteen women and five men). One other man, Giles Corey, was pressed to death for refusing to plead, and at least five people died in jail.

It all began in February 1692 when a group of young girls claimed to have been possessed by the devil and accused other women of being witches. Hysteria spread through colonial Massachusetts and a special court was convened to hear trials of those accused..

Bridget Bishop was the first person executed for witchcraft during the Salem witch trials in 1692. She was executed on June 10,1692.

On April 16, two women ‑ Bridget Bishop and Mary Warren – were newly accused by the afflicted girls. Two days later, complaints were filed against the two, as well as against Giles Corey and Abigail Hobbs. Those who claimed to be tormented were Ann Putnam Jr., Mercy Lewis, Mary Walcott, and Elizabeth Hubbard. Bishop was arrested on April 19 by Salem Marshal George Herrick and taken to Ingersoll’s Ordinary in Salem Village (modern-day Danvers) where the examinations were held. The afflicted girls writhed and convulsed. “She calls the Devil her god!” said Ann Putnam Jr. Judge Hathorne accused Bishop of afflicting the girls, which she denied. “I never saw these persons before, nor I never was in this place before,” said Bishop. “I am as innocent as the child unborn. I am innocent of a witch.” Judge Hathorne accused her of bewitching her first husband to death, which she also denied. The afflicted girls’ behavior was enough to convince the examiners. Bishop was held for trial in Salem jail, a short distance from her home.

“Q: Bishop, what do you say? You stand here charged with sundry acts of witchcraft by you done or committed upon the bodies of Mercy Lewis and Ann Putman and others.
A: I am innocent, I know nothing of it, I have done no witchcraft …. I am as innocent as the child unborn. ….
Q: Goody Bishop, what contact have you made with the Devil?
A: I have made no contact with the Devil. I have never seen him before in my life.”

Bridget Bishop was married at least 3 times, possibly 4 times , but the records are a bit hazy about that.

She married her first husband Captain Samuel Wesselby on 13 April 1660, at St. Mary-in-the-Marsh, Norwich, Norfolk, England. She had two sons and one daughter from her first marriage: John, Benjamin and Mary. Her first Husband died in 1666.

Her second marriage, on 26 July 1666, was to Thomas Oliver, a widower and prominent businessman. She had another daughter from her marriage to Thomas Oliver, Christian Oliver , born 8 May 1667.Thomas Oliver died in June 1679 .Bridget was accused of bewitching Thomas Oliver to death, but was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Her third marriage in 1687 was to Edward Bishop, a prosperous sawyer, whose family lived in Beverly.[12] Her third husband, Edward Bishop, is also one of the founders of the First Church of Beverly. He was 44 at the time of the trials.

Perhaps what made her neighbors most uncomfortable about Bishop had been her relationship with her second husband. While married to Thomas Oliver, Bridget gave every sign of being an abused wife. She would appear on the streets with bruises and scratches. However, it was believed that she was equally an abusive wife. The Olivers were known to verbally fight, and in public. Even on the Sabbath! The couple was once charged for that offense, and told to pay a fine or stand in the public square as punishment. Oliver’s daughter Mary paid the fine for her father, but declined payment for her stepmother. And so, Bridget was made to stand in the public square in penance for such behavior. Bridget Bishop was clearly a person who made others uncomfortable.

Bridget ran two taverns alongside Edward. Bridget Bishop was always seen by friends, family, and guests wearing exotic clothes and bright colors, both far from the standard clothes associated with the devil.

Below is a part of the Indictment against Bridget Bishop. It is in old English but I am sure you will be able to understand the contents.

“The Jurors for our Sovereigne Lord & Lady the King & Queen
pr’sent that Bridgett Bishop als
Olliver the wife of Edward Bishop of
Salem in the County of Essex Sawyer — the Nyneteenth day of April
in the fourth year of the Reigne of our Sovereigne Lord & Lady
William & Mary by the Grace of God of England Scottland France
& Ireland King & Queen Defend’rs of the faith &c and Divers other
dayes & times as well before as after, certaine Detestable Arts Called
Witchcrafts & Sorceries. wickedly and felloniously hath used Practised
& Exercised at and within the Towneship of Salem in the County of
Essex afores’d in upon and ag’t one Abigail Williams of Salem Village
in the County of Essex afores’d singlewoman.. by which said wicked
Arts the said Abigail Williams the Nyneteenth Day of April afores’d
in the fourth Year aboves’d and divers other Dayes and times as well
before as after, was, and is tortured Afflicted Pined Consumed wasted
& tormented ag’t the Peace of our Said Sovereigne Lord & Lady the
King & Queen and ag’t the forme of the Statute in that Case made
and Provided”

Bishop was convicted of witchcraft in short order. On June 10, Sheriff George Corwin escorted her from Salem jail, along Prison Lane to Main Street, and finally to a spot of common pasture at the edge of town. A crowd gathered. Bridget Bishop was ‘hanged by the neck until she was dead,’ on Proctor’s Ledge at Gallows Hill, the first of 19 people to be so executed. Instead of this first execution bringing people to their senses, it was not the end, but the beginning.

Even though Bridget Bishop was the first person to die as a result of the Salem Witch Trials, she wasn’t the first accused. Her accusers also eventually retracted their claims (too little, too late much?) and in the early 1700s the Massachusetts government cleared the names of most of the people who had been wrongly accused of witchcraft, Bridget Bishop not included.

Unfortunately, Bishop wouldn’t benefit from exoneration until more than two centuries later, when in 2001, the names of the remaining accused were cleared.

But Bishop’s status as the first witch hunt martyr remains today. Her unusual situation of being a thrice-married, twice-widowed woman who also owned property is said to have made her an anomaly amongst her counterparts and may have painted the target on her back for her being accused.

sources

https://famous-tria

ls.com/salem/2043-bridget-bishop

https://museumhack.com/who-was-bridget-bishop/

https://www.thoughtco.com/bridget-bishop-biography-3530330

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Helmuth Hübener teenager murdered for speaking the truth.

Helmuth Hübner, was a young member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), he lived in the St. Georg Branch in Hamburg.


His short life was shaped by the rise of fascism in Germany. The Nazis changed nearly every aspect of everyday life for Germans, and Helmut was no exception. He had been a devoted Boy Scout, but he was forced to become part of the Hitler Youth, when the Nazis banned the Boy scouts organization in 1935. Helmut did not feel comfortable with this and quit the Hitler youth in 1938,aged 13.

He was disturbed by participation of the Hitler Youth in Kristallnacht.After Hübener finished secondary school in 1941, he began an apprentice training course at the Hamburg Social Welfare Authority He met other apprentices there, one of whom, Gerhard Düwer, (whom he would later recruit into his resistance movement). In 1941 at a sauna in Altona , he met new friends, some were members of an illegal Young Communist Group.

At that time Helmut started listening to foreign radio stations and mainly the BBC. It was forbidden to listen to any non-government radio transmissions, like the BBC’s multi-language broadcasts, and being caught could result into severe punishments ,including he death penalty.

Helmut found a shortwave radio, which belonged to his older half-brother Gerhard’s in a hallway closet. It had been given to Gerhard early that year by a soldier returning from service in France.

Helmut decided to spread the information he had heard on the radio from the BBC. He also persuaded other like-minded young people to join him in opposition. He started to o compose various anti-national socialist texts and anti-war leaflets.

The leaflets were designed to draw the Germans attention to how distorted the official Nazi reports about World War II from Berlin were, as well as to point out Adolf Hitler’s, Joseph Goebbels’s, and other leading Nazis’ criminal behaviour. Other themes covered by Hübener’s writings were the war’s futility and Germany’s looming defeat. He also mentioned the mistreatment sometimes meted out in the Hitler Youth.

In one of his pamphlets, for example, he wrote:

“German boys! Do you know the country without freedom, the country of terror and tyranny? Yes, you know it well, but are afraid to talk about it. They have intimidated you to such an extent that you don’t dare talk for fear of reprisals. Yes you are right; it is Germany – Hitler Germany! Through their unscrupulous terror tactics against young and old, men and women, they have succeeded in making you spineless puppets to do their bidding”.

For several months, Helmut spread the word about lost battles and Nazi lies. But on February 5 1942, a coworker and Nazi Party member Heinrich Mohn, denounced him. He had seen Helmut trying to translate the pamphlets into French and have them distributed among prisoners of war, he Helmut was arrested and tried before the Volksgerichtshof, or People’s Court, a Nazi-controlled tribunal that dealt with matters of treason.

On 11 August 1942, at age 17, Helmut was tried as an adult by the Special People’s Court (Volksgerichtshof) in Berlin, Helmut was sentenced to death.

After the sentence was announced , Helmut turned to the judges and said, “Now I must die, even though I have committed no crime. So now it’s my turn, but your turn will come.” He hoped this would focus the judge’s wrath solely on him and spare the life of his companions. It worked, his friends received long prison sentences, but survived the war. His two friends, Schnibbe and Wobbe, who had also been arrested, were given prison sentences of five and ten years respectively

On October 27, 1942, guards told Helmut that Adolf Hitler had personally refused to commute his death sentence. Hours later, he was beheaded—the youngest person in German resistance to Nazism ever executed by the Third Reich. It was highly unusual for the Nazis to try an underaged defendant, much less sentence him to death, but the court stated that Helmut had shown more than average intelligence for a boy his age.

Nowadays we also have very vocal youngsters, but mostly they are very privileged, especially in the wealthier western countries. I wonder though would they be willing to face harsh punishment and sacrifices for their causes. I doubt that very much, mainly because they are only paying lip service to often very trivial causes in comparison.

On the other hand there were very fanatical youngsters in Nazi Germany, actively and violently defending the Nazi regime. Children like Alfred Zech, a German child soldier who received the Iron Cross, 2nd Class at the age of 12 years.

sources

https://www.gdw-berlin.de/en/recess/biographies/index_of_persons/biographie/view-bio/helmuth-huebener/?no_cache=1

https://www.history.com/news/meet-the-youngest-person-executed-for-defying-the-nazis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Zech

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The Shamefvll ende of Bishop John Atherton.

Atherton

The Shamefvll ende of Bishop John Atherton. or in modern day English, the shameful end of Bishop John Atherton is probably a good example of”Be careful what you wish for because you may just get it”

John Atherton  was the Anglican Bishop of Waterford and Lismore in the Church of Ireland. But prior to that he was canon of St John’s, Dublin in 1630; chancellor of Killaloe in 1634; chancellor of Christ Church and rector of Killaban and Ballintubride in 1635. In 1636, under the patronage of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Atherton was appointed as Lord Bishop of Waterford and Lismore.

Although a Buggery Act had already been in place in England since 1533, it was found in 1631, that this law did not apply to Ireland. The buggery act was basically a Sodomy Law.

A sodomy law defines certain sexual acts as crimes. It is fairly vague in its definition of what sexual acts meant by the term sodomy and are rarely spelled out in the law, but were  generally  understood by courts to include any sexual act deemed to be unnatural or immoral. Sodomy typically includes anal sex, oral sex, and bestiality. The Sodomy laws were really targeted against Homosexuals and not so much against Heterosexuals.

Atherton was outraged that this act did not apply in Ireland and pushed for the enactment of “An Act for the Punishment for the Vice Of Buggery” in 1634.

On November 11 1634 the Irish House of Commons passed the act.

house of

In 1640 Atherton  accused of buggery with his steward , John Childe. The Bishop’s fellow clerics desperately tried everything  to prevent the judgement being carried out , in order to avoid disgrace to the reformed religion of Ireland. But the verdict of guilty was greeted  by cheers in court, and Atherton  was nearly lynched  on his way from court  to the jail in Cork.

Atherton was executed by hanging in Stephen’s Green, Dublin, after reading the morning service for his fellow cellmates. Allegedly, he confessed about the ‘crime’ to the priest ministering him immediately before his execution, even though he had proclaimed he was  innocence before that and maintained that claim during the execution.

The irony of it was that he was the first to be executed for buggery in Ireland under the law he pushed so hard to enact.

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The brave words from a Mother to her Daughter.

olga

This story is both heartbreaking and uplifting. Heartbreaking because it is a story about a mother who knew she was going to die. Uplifting because her last words were so positive and courageous, despite the fate that awaited her.

Olga Bancic was born on May 10, 1912 to a large Jewish family living in the Bessarabia province when it was still part of the Russian Empire.

In 1936, she traveled to France, where she supported communist activists in transporting weapons to Spanish Republican forces fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Shortly before the outbreak of WWII she gave birth to her Daughter Dolores, the child’s father was Alexandru Jar. After the outbreak of the war Olga left Dolores in care with a French family. Olga joined a resistance group.

She was arrested on November 6, 1943 by the Gestapo, during the interrogation she was tortured.Despite the torture she refused  give information about her comrades.

On February 22,1944 Olga and 22 others were sentenced to death. All male defendants were executed later that day at Fort Mont-Valérien. Olga had been the only female defendant and due to a loophole in the French law which prevented women from being executed on French soil, Olga was deported to Stuttgart. She was executed in Stuttgart on May 10,1944 , her 32nd birthday. She was decapitated with an axe in the local prison’s courtyard.

One of her last deeds was throwing a letter out of a window during her transportation to her place of execution. The letter had a note attached to it saying.:

“Dear Madame: I ask you to please give this letter to my little girl Dolores Jacob after the war. This is the last wish of a mother who will only live twelve more hours.”

Miraculously the letter did reach Dolores, who had been given the name Dolores Jacob, the letter said the following:

“My dear little daughter, my darling little love

Your mother is writing the last letter, my dear little daughter; tomorrow at 6:00, on May 10, I will be no more.

Don’t cry, my love; your mother doesn’t cry any more either. I die with a peaceful conscience and with the firm conviction that tomorrow you will have a happier life and future than your mother’s. You will no longer have to suffer. Be proud of your mother, my little love. I always have your image before me.

I’m going to believe that you will see your father, and I have hope that he’ll meet a fate different from mine. Tell him that I always thought of him, as I always thought of you. I love you both with all my heart. Both of you are dear to me. My darling child, your father is, for you, also a mother. He loves you a lot. You won’t feel the loss of your mother. My darling child, I finish this letter with the hope that you will be happy all your life, with your father, with everyone.

I kiss you with all my heart, a lot a lot.

Farewell my love.

Your Mother”

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The brutal execution of Robert-François Damiens.

damiens

Regicide is the deliberate killing of a monarch, or the person responsible for the killing of a person of royalty. Through the ages there have been a great number of regicides, the last one happened this century. In June 1,2001 the Nepalese Royal Family was allegedly massacred by Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal.

However this blog is about a failed regicide. On On 5 January 1757 French King Louis XV was stabbed by Robert-François Damiens. The king survived the attempt possible because of the layers of clothing he was wearing, in the midst of winter.

luois xv

Guards had captured Robert-François Damiens but the King ordered him not be harmed, well at least not yet.

Damiens was jailed and was tortured in jail in order to ascertain if there were any accomplices to the assassination attempt.

On March 28,1757  Damiens was fetched from jail. He supposedly said “The day will be hard” and how right he was.

He was initially  tortured in where his legs were painfully compressed by devices called “boots”. The tortured then continued with red-hot pincers; the hand with which he had used to hold the knife during the assassination attempt was burned using sulfur. Then molten wax, molten lead, and boiling oil were poured into his wounds.

He was sentenced to death by drawing and quartering and was subsequently  brought to the royal executioner, Charles Henri Sanson, who harnessed horses to Damiens’s  arms and legs to be dismembered. Damiens’ limbs however,did not separate easily: the officiants ordered Sanson to cut Damiens’ tendons, and once that was done the horses were able to perform the dismemberment.Once Damiens was dismembered, to the applause of the crowd, his reportedly still-living torso was burnt at the stake.

sentence

Damiens was the last person  to be executed in France by drawing and quartering,

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