Hitler’s Nero Decree

Nero

Killing millions in concentration camps wasn’t enough for Hitler. On March 19 he issued the “Befehl betreffend Zerstörungsmaßnahmen im Reichsgebiet” (Demolitions on Reich Territory Decree)but subsequently became known as the Nero Decree, named after the Roman emperor Nero who ordered Rome to be burned to the ground.

This is basically what Hitler wanted for all of German and the occupied territories , still at the last phase of the war he was so delusional he thought he could win by denying the allies anything of value.

Below is the translated text of the decree.

RE: Destruction Measures within Reich Territory
Our nation’s struggle for existence forces us to utilize all means, even within Reich territory, to weaken the fighting power of our enemy and to prevent further advances. Any opportunity to inflict lasting damage on the striking power of the enemy must be taken advantage of. It is a mistake to believe that undestroyed or only temporarily paralyzed traffic, communications, industrial, and supply installations will be useful to us again after the recapture of lost territories. During his retreat, the enemy will leave behind only scorched earth and will abandon all concern for the population.

I therefore command –

1. All military traffic, communications, industrial and supply installations as well as objects within Reich territory that might be used by the enemy in the continuation of his fight, either now or later, are to be destroyed.

2. It is the responsibility of the military command posts to execute this order to destroy all military objects, including traffic and communications installations.

The Gauleiters and Commissioners for Reich Defense are responsible for destroying the industrial and supply installations, as well as of other objects of valuable; the troops must give the Gauleiters and Commissioners for Reich Defense the assistance they need to carry out this task.

3. This command is to be transmitted to all troop commanders as promptly as possible; orders to the contrary are null and void.

Adolf Hitler.

The order was disobeyed, in a similar way when Hitler ordered Dietrich von Choltitz  to blow up the Eiffel tower shortly before Paris was liberated. Dietrich von Choltitz  surrendered to the allies instead.

eiffel

Albert Speer responded on March 29

“When I gave you my memorandum on 18 March, I was convinced that the conclusions which I was drawing from the present situation for the maintenance of our national energy would definitely meet with your approval. For you yourself had already on one occasion determined that, in the event of a lost war, it was the task of the leadership to preserve the nation from a heroic end.

However, that evening you made statements to me from which – unless I have misunderstood you – it is clear and evident that if the war is lost the nation will also be lost. This fate is unavoidable. It is not necessary to show any consideration for the bases, which the people will need for their very primitive further existence; on the contrary, it is better to destroy even these things. For the nation has showed itself to be the weaker one and the future belongs exclusively to the stronger eastern nation. Those remaining after the struggle are in any case the less valuable ones because the good ones have been killed.

On hearing these words I was deeply shocked. And when, a day later, I read your destruction order and shortly afterwards the tough evacuation order, I interpreted these as the first steps in the implementation of these intentions.

Until then, I had believed with all my heart in a successful conclusion to this war. [ . . . ]

However, I can no longer believe in the success of our good cause if, during these decisive months, we simultaneously and systematically destroy the foundations of our national life. That is such a great injustice towards our people that fate could no longer favour us.

I therefore beg you not to carry out a step so destructive of the nation.

If you could decide to do this in some form then I would regain the faith and courage with which to continue working with the greatest energy.

You will be able to understand my inner conflict. I cannot work to my full capacity and generate the necessary confidence if, at the same time as I am demanding from the workers their fullest commitment, I am preparing to destroy the foundation of their lives.”

speer

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Sources

http://ghdi.ghi-dc.org/docpage.cfm?docpage_id=2382

Bundes Archiv

 

Stella Goldschlag- Jewish collaborator.

stella

It is easy for me to be judgmental about Stella Goldschlag, but the fact is I don’t know what I would have done. However Stella did go beyond anything I would have done. Stella was boen in Berlin on July 10,1922 as the only child to a middle class Jewish family.

Although the family did observe all the Jewish holidays, they were German citizens. Her father was a World War I veteran.

But like any other Jewish family they were treated as lesser citizens with the arrival of the Nuremberg laws, and gradually their lives would become more and more perilous. After the 1938 November pogrom the family tried to leave Germany, but could not get the required visas.

In 1941, Stella married a Jewish Jazz musician, Manfred Kübler. They had met whilst  working as Jewish forced-labourers in a war plant in Berlin. In  1942, when the Berlin Jews started to be rounded up and deported to the concentration and death camps, Stella went underground, using forged papers to pass as a non-Jew , her blue eyes and blonde hair gave her an ‘Aryan’ appearance.

However in 1943 Stella, her husband and her parents were found out and arrested. Manfred was deported to Auschwitz.

In order to safe herself and her parents Stella agreed to start working for the Gestapo as Greiferin(catcher) to get the Jews who had gone in hiding, sometimes referred to as U-Boats.

Stella was very successful tracing her former schoolmates and handing their information over to the Gestapo, while posing as an ‘U-Boat’ herself. Some of Stella’s tricks to apprehend Jews in hiding included promising them food and accommodation, meanwhile turning them over to the Nazi authorities.

Although she was promised that her Parents would be safe they were also deported to Auschwitz, but initially were sent to Theresienstadt. They were killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau in October 1944. This did not stop Stella to continue working fort the Gestapo

On October 29,1944 she married a fellow Jewish collaborator,Rolf Isaaksohn.

They were granted a bounty of 200-300 Reichsmark for every Jew in hiding who was arrested with their help. Carrying a gun and papers identifying them as Gestapo agents, they were free to move about the city and did not have to wear the Yellow star .Initially, the Greifer HQ was located in the transit camp at Grosse Hamburgerstrasse but was lare on moved to  the pathology wing of the Jewish hospital.

On one weekend alone, Goldschlag helped the Gestapo catch 62 Jews.

After the war she went into hiding . however she was found and arrested by the Soviets in October 1945. She was sentenced to 10 years in detention.

arrest

After her detention she moved to Weset Berlin, where she was arrested and tried again, She was sentenced to 10 years , but due to the fact she already served time in Soviet detention the sentence was suspended.

Rolf died in 1945, I don’t know under what circumstances.

Stella committed suicide in  1994 by throwing herself out of the window of her apartment in Freiburg.

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Sources

https://www.tracesofwar.com/articles/5158/Goldschlag-Stella.htm

https://www.aviva-berlin.de/aviva/Found.php?id=141669

http://www.holocaustchronicle.org/staticpages/421.html

Treason! 12 of History’s Most Notorious Traitors From Ancient Times to the 20th Century

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pure evil- the murder of newborns

rAVENSBRUCK

Below  is part of the evidence given by Sofia Wieslawa Maczka she was a  a Doctor of Medicine and an X-ray specialist. and an inmate at Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. The evidence she gave was during one of the Ravensbrück trials  against Gerda Quernheim a Nurse at the camp.

This is a short but not an easy read but I do not apologize for that, too often do the  horrors committed by these criminals get sugar coated.

“The Germans would tolerate no new born children in the camp, anyway from the time that I arrived to the 31st Dec 1942, and to that date they were a 11 killed at birth. I personally saw Gerda Quernheim strangle one newly born child and generally presume that she has been responsible for the other deaths.

Fina Pautz was assistant to Quernheim. She was a German inmate of the camp and was presumed to be in the camp for Communist activities. When Quernheim strangled the child I have mentioned above, she handed it through the window to Fina Pautz who threw it into a bucket.”

Initially Quernheim was sentenced to death, but that was reduced to a life sentence and eventually she was released in 1961.

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Source

http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/transcripts/1-transcript-for-nmt-1-medical-case?seq=951

Gerda Metzger- T4 Victim

gerda

Gerda suffered from a form skeletal muscular  paralysis and was taken from her mother then transferred to a so-called “children’s specialist department of the Municipal
children’s Hospital in Stuttgart.

A specialist had come to the family home to examine Gerda. The ‘Doctor’ took the child into a separate room. Gerda’s mothers was not allowed to be present during the examination.

Sje could hear her daughter scream in pain. When the ‘Specialist’ had finished the examination,Gerda’s mother asked”What exactly did you examine?” The woman was told to shut up amd say goodbye to her daughter.Because Gerda was going to be taken to a Special clinic.

On 12 July 1943 , Gerda died in the clinic , she was not yet 4 years old.She was euthanized. Even though the T4 had officially stopped at that stage  ,it unofficially continue to the end of the war.

The Clinic’s director was Dr. Karl Lempp. He was never tried for any of his involvement. All he had to do was to follow the denazification program and git a monetary fine. He continued working as a Doctor until 1950 when he received his pension.

Research  between 2008 and 2009 conducted by  Dr. Marquart who analysed 506 extant death certificates of children who died in the children’s hospital between January 1943 and the end of April 1945, he found 52 suspicious deaths of children diagnosed with severe innate disorders – but for which no causal relation to their death can be established. One third of the children died of pneumonia, a typical result of poisoning with Luminal. The death certificate was sometimes signed with a fake name.

In 2013 a memorial stumble block was placed for Gerda Metzger in Stuttgart.

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Sources

https://www.stolpersteine-stuttgart.de/index.php?docid=820

http://www.uvm.edu/~lkaelber/children/stuttgart/stuttgartolder.html

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/193060569/gerda-metzger

 

Holocaust reports ignored.

ignored

Time and time again reports about the Holocaust were either ignored or not believed, even when the reports came from eye witnesses like Kurt Gerstein.

Gerstein was a German SS officer and head of technical disinfection services of the Hygiene-Institut der Waffen-SS (Institute for Hygiene of the Waffen-SS) in this capacity he would travel to Auschwitz,Belzec and Treblinka offering the supply of Zyklon B.

ZYLON B

In this lies the irony the man who supplied Belzec and Treblinka with the gas that killed so many, had joined the SS to get an inside view and try to change the policies from within the organisation. In a letter to his wife Gerstein once wrote: “I joined the SS … acting as an agent of the Confessing Church.” Because of his position he witnessed first hand the horrors of the Holocaust. He had given a detailed report to Swedish diplomat Göran von Otter, as well as to Swiss diplomats, members of the Roman Catholic Church whu had contact with  Pope Pius XII, and to the exiled Dutch government.

exile

In February 1943 Gerstein was visited by Dutch industrialist H.J. Ubbink.Where Gerstein told Ubbink but the crimes he had witnessed. In a letter sent by Ubbink to Erika Arajs, Department of Justice in Nuremberg, dated September 14, 1949, Ubbink stated.

“With great indignation he told me how  gassings took place using the exhaust gas from diesel engines. He gave me all the details and told me that at that time there were 9000 deaths per day in the three camps.”

Ubbink passed Gerstein’s  on to a member of the Dutch Resistance, Cornelius Van der Hooft, who reluctantly because he could not believe what he heard , did write  a report on March 23, 1943 titled”Tötunsanstalten in Polen” This report seems  been sent to the Dutch government-in-exile because  on April 24, 1943, a month after the meeting between Ubbink and  Van der Hooft , another version of the report inspired by Gerstein was written. Typed on paper without an official heading, and with the shortened  title of “Tötungsanstalten”, this version was dispatched  within the Dutch government-in-exile, to the British government and eventually to the attention of the United States Inter-Allied Information Committee.

The clandestine Dutch Newspaper Trouw

, who van der Hooft was associated with also had alluded  to the fate of the Dutch Jews in article written on March ,19.1943.

“We must never forget what this oppressor [as in the German occupier] inflicts upon us, how he in his cowardly way assassinates the most noble and pure of the nation, how he makes mass arrests of our best fellow citizens and imprisons them in these evil places where cruelty and sadism reign, how he sacks our country with a brutality never before equaled in all our history, how he robs us of our valiant laborers in order to force them to work like Pharaoh made the Israelites, how coldly and in the most inhumane manner, he strips our Jewish fellow citizens and then assassinates them”

Trouw

Despite all of this no actions were taken.

Two weeks before Nazi Germany’s surrender,on 22 April 1945, Gerstein voluntarily surrendered himself  to the French commandant of the occupied town of Reutlingen. He received a sympathetic reception and was transferred to a residence in a hotel in Rottweil. Here he was able to write several reports , some of which were used inthe Nuremberg trials.

Below is an excepts of one of his reports, but I have to warns you it is a very graphich description of what he witnessed.

————–


“Then the procession starts moving. In front a very lovely young girl; so all of them go along the alley, all naked, men, women, children, without artificial limbs. I myself stand together with Hauptmann Wirth on top of the ramp between the gas chambers. Mothers with babies at their breast, they come onward, hesitate, enter the death chambers! At the corner a strong SS man stands who, with a voice like a pastor, says to the poor people: “There is not the least chance that something will happen to you! You must only take a deep breath in the chamber, that widens the lungs; this inhalation is necessary because of the illnesses and epidemics.” On the question of what would happen to them he answered: “Yes, of course, the men have to work, building houses and roads but the women don’t need to work. Only if they wish they can help in housekeeping or in the kitchen.”

For some of these poor people this gave a little glimmer of hope, enough to go the few steps to the chambers without resistance. The majority are aware, the smell tells them of their fate! So they climb the small staircase, and then they see everything. Mothers with little children at the breast, little naked children, adults, men, women, all naked – they hesitate but they enter the death chambers, pushed forward by those behind them or driven by the leather whips of the SS.

The majority without saying a word. A Jewess of about 40 years of age, with flaming eyes, calls down vengeance on the head of the murderers for the blood which is shed here. She gets 5 or 6 slashes with the riding crop into her face from Hauptmann Wirth personally, then she also disappears into the chamber. Many people pray. I pray with them, I press myself in a corner and shout loudly to my and their God. How gladly I would have entered the chamber together with them, how gladly I would have died the same death as them. Then they would have found a uniformed SS man in their chambers – the case would have been understood and treated as an accident, one man quietly missing. Still I am not allowed to do this. First I must tell what I am experiencing here!

The chambers fill. “Pack well!” – Hauptmann Wirth has ordered. The people stand on each other’s feet. 700 – 800 on 25 square meters, in 45 cubic meters! The SS physically squeezes them together, as far as is possible.

The doors close. At the same time the others are waiting outside in the open air, naked. Someone tells me: “The same in winter!” “Yes, but they could catch their death of cold,” I say. “Yes, exactly what they are here for!” says an SS man to me in his Low German. Now I finally understand why the whole installation is called the Hackenholt-Foundation. Hackenholt is the driver of the diesel engine, a little technician, also the builder of the facility.

The people are brought to death with the diesel exhaust fumes. But the diesel doesn’t work! Hauptmann Wirth comes. One can see that he feels embarrassed that that happens just today, when I am here. That’s right, I see everything! And I wait. My stop watch has honestly registered everything. 50 minutes, 70 minutes [?] – the diesel doesn’t start! The people are waiting in their gas chambers. In vain! One can hear them crying, sobbing… Hauptmann Wirth hits the Ukrainian who is helping Unterscharführer Hackenholt 12, 13 times in the face.

After two hours and 49 minutes – the stop watch has registered everything well – the diesel starts. Until this moment the people live in these 4 chambers, four times 750 people in 4 times 45 cubic meters! Again 25 minutes pass. Right, many are dead now. One can see that through the small window in which the electric light illuminates the chambers for a moment. After 28 minutes only a few are still alive. Finally, after 32 minutes, everyone is dead!

From the other side men from the work command open the wooden doors. They have been promised – even Jews – freedom, and some one-thousandth of all valuables found, for their terrible service. Like basalt pillars the dead stand inside, pressed together in the chambers. In any event there was no space to fall down or even bend forward. Even in death one can still tell the families. They still hold hands, tensed in death, so that one can barely tear them apart in order to empty the chamber for the next batch. The corpses are thrown out, wet from sweat and urine, soiled by excrement, menstrual blood on their legs.

Children’s’ corpses fly through the air. There is no time. The riding crops of the Ukrainians lash down on the work commands. Two dozen dentists open mouths with hooks and look for gold. Gold to the left, without gold to the right. Other dentists break gold teeth and crowns out of jaws with pliers and hammers.

Among all this Hauptmann Wirth is running around. He is in his element. Some workers search the genitals and anus of the corpses for gold, diamonds, and valuables. Wirth calls me to him: “Lift this can full of gold teeth, that is only from yesterday and the day before yesterday!” In an incredibly vulgar and incorrect diction he said to me: “You won’t believe what we find in gold and diamonds every day” – he pronounced it (in German Brillanten) with two L – “and in dollars. But see for yourself!” And now he led me to a jeweller who managed all these treasures, and let me see all this. Then someone showed me a former head of the Kaufhaus des Westens in Berlin, and a violinist: “That was a Hauptmann of the Austrian Army, knight of the Iron Cross 1st class who is now camp elder of the Jewish work command!”

The naked corpses were carried on wooden stretchers to pits only a few meters away, measuring 100 x 20 x 12 meters. After a few days the corpses welled up and a short time later they collapsed, so that one could throw a new layer of bodies upon them. Then ten centimeters of sand were spread over the pit, so that a few heads and arms still rose from it here and there. At such a place I saw Jews climbing over the corpses and working. One told me that by mistake those who arrived dead had not been stripped. Of course this has to be done later because of the  valuables which otherwise they would take with them into the grave.”

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Gerstein was  later movedto the Cherche-Midi military prison, where he was treated as a Nazi war criminal. On 25 July 1945, he was found dead in his cell, after an alleged suicide.

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Sources

https://journals.openedition.org/

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/

Trouw

WikiPedia

 

 

Julius Hirsch

JjULIUS

I think the best way of telling the stories of the Holocaust , is to bring it down to a personal level , so that people can find some association with it, although it is  impossible to fully comprehend the horrors.

What makes it difficult is just to pick one of the millions who were murdered. To tell  one story and show that these people were not just victims but were above everything else human beings.

The story of Julius Hirsch resonated with me on several accounts on a personal level.

Julius Hirsch  was a German international footballer. Many football (as in soccer) fans will know that any match between the Netherlands and Germany, the 2 European arch rivals.are filled with passion and emotion. On Sunday, March 24, 1912 a match between these 2 nations ended in a 5-5 draw.

Four goals were scored by Julius Hirsch in that match.

Julius Hirsch was Jewish ,on April 10 1933, exactly 35 years before I was born,  he read in a newspaper that all Southern German clubs would ban Jewish members, including his club KFV , which he then left after over 30 years as a member. In a letter to his club he demanded  that it should not be forgotten that, even though Jews were now the whipping boys of the nation, many of them had given their life blood for the German nation and were true patriots, as shown by their deeds and word.

kfv

In 1943, he got the orders to register for the “Employment of Labor in the East”. On March 1, 1943, Julius Hirsch was deported  to Auschwitz along with eleven other Baden Jews. It was the last deportation from Karlsruhe to Auschwitz. On March 3, 1943, he sent a card to his daughter Esther for her 16th birthday. He had sent iy from Dortmund,one of the stops en route to Auschwitz: “My dearest! I arrived safely, and everything is well! I am headed to Upper Silesia, which is still in Germany. Heartfelt greetings and kisses, your Juller!” It was to be the last anyone heard from Julius . His exact date of death is unknown. In 1950, a German district court declared him dead and set the date of death  on 8 May 1945.

Julius was not just a footballer, he was one of the best of his nation. For a country which traditionally puts  its sports people on such a high pedestal. They cared very little for some of their best just because they were Jewish.

So many talented and cultural geniuses were murdered because of a warped ideology.

Julius

 

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

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Sources

http://juedische-sportstars.de/

https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/niederlande_deutschland/index/spielbericht/1010723

 

 

 

The psychological terror of Kristallnacht.

Capture

Some people say that Kristallnacht marks the start of the Holocaust. I don’t really subscribe to that point of view.

In my opinion the Holocaust started on 19 August 1934. That was the date that 88.1% of the  German population gave Hitler the Carte blanche to do whatever he wanted to via a referendum, merging the posts of Chancellor and President which gave him absolute power.

The wording of the referendum question was:

“The office of the President of the Reich is unified with the office of the Chancellor. Consequently all former powers of the President of the Reich are demised to the Führer and Chancellor of the Reich Adolf Hitler. He himself nominates his substitute.
Do you, German man and German woman, approve of this regulation provided by this Law?”

ja.PNG

But this is not a blog to debate on when the Holocaust started. The bigger problem is that it started in the first place, and it did so with relative ease.

One aspect of the Kristallnacht which is often forgotten is the psychological terror committed on the Jews, often by colleagues and neighbors.

Not only were shops and businesses ransacked and destroyed but also hallowed places like synagogues. Many  burned all night in full view of the public and of local firefighters, who were told  to intervene only to prevent flames from spreading to nearby buildings. Regardless what religious or a-religious views you have, destroying something which is so sacred to many people, is a direct assault on your own decency and turns you into an instrument of evil.

synagogue

But it was also homes of German and Austrian citizens ,who happened to be Jewish . which were destroyed.their privacy was invaded Men broke down doors then  cut into the feather beds, broke  the furniture into pieces with sledgehammers and destroyed everything inside.30,000 Jewish men were arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps, many never returned. It is estimated that nearly 100 Jews were killed that night, but that number is more then likely higher.

British Historian Richard J. Evans estimates 638 suicides are directly linked to the brutal events on that night.

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Sources

Time

The Conversation

USHMM

They were so utterly shocked and frightened, you could do with them what you wanted.

Hans

Below is a part of the testimony of Hans Friedrich a member of of the 1st SS Infantry Brigade. His words are shocking.

“Try to imagine there is a ditch, with people on one side, and behind them soldiers. That was us and we were shooting. And those who were hit fell down into the ditch.They were so utterly shocked and frightened, you could do with them what you wanted.

When he was asked  what he thought and felt when he was shooting, he replied.

“Nothing. I only thought, ‘Aim carefully’ so that you hit properly. That was my thought.”

His answer to the question if he  no feelings for the people, the Jewish civilians that he shot? “No”

When asked why not

“Because my hatred towards the Jews is too great. … And I admit my thinking on this point is unjust, I admit this. But what I experienced from my earliest youth when I was living on a farm, what the Jews were doing to us—well that will never change. That is my unshakable conviction.”

Just read his testimony and then read it again and remember what hate can do.Especially what hate based on lies can do.

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Emmi G.

Emmi G

This is a picture of Emmi G/ A victim of the T4  euthanasia program. Killed because she was ‘different’.

What makes her story even sadder is the fact that we don’t even know her full name. All we know is that she was 16 when she was killed with an overdose of tranquilizers on December 7, 1942 in Meseritz-Obrawalde euthanasia center.

Even the date is heartbreaking  it was 1 day after the celebrations of der Heilige Nikolaus, or Saint Nicholas. The traditional German Christmas celebration.Although the war was raging the St Nicolasr feast was still celebrated throughout the war.

Emmi G had been diagnosed as schizophrenic,she worked as a housemaid. If she actually was  schizophrenic is doubtful. She was a teenager dealing with teenage anxiety during the most horrible time in history. I have no evidence of this but my presumption is that she had just become an ‘inconvenience’ and was therefore killed.

None of the cases in the T4 program were voluntary.

Even if she had been  schizophrenic that does not warrant a death penalty. What ot does require is psychiatric help, but that is something the Nazis did not subscribe to. That is why the designed the T4 program. The irony is the real mental cases were the Nazi leaders themselves.

The story of Emmi G does come with a warning though. We may think that this could not possibly happen here however some European countries do allow Euthanasia on teenagers and even younger children. even children with mental problems

Donation

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

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Source USHMM

 

A rumour was enough to be sentenced to death.

Leo

It is strange how you can come across some stories. I was actually doing some research on the fate of the pets of Jews during the Holocaust, when a picture came up of Leo Katzenberger. What drew my attention to the picture was the fact that Leo looked a lot like one of my Uncles who was also called Leo, now my uncle wasn’t a particularly nice man, where Leo Katzenberger by all accounts was a good neighbor and a good man. But why his picture came up in the place I don’t know.perhaps it is because of his last name.

The story of Leo is a disturbing one and although I don’t like drawing parallels with the Holocaust and current state of affairs, I can’t but help seeing some similarities. The holocaust did not happen overnight ,it was a gradual process, Conditions were created without being properly challenged,conditions which eventually resulted in mass destruction of innocent human lives. It only takes a rumour nowadays to get a person convicted, but today the courts are set in social media, People might not realize it but the Holocaust started by slowly picking on people, making false accusation creating the perfect situations to single out scapegoats.

The Katzenberg tral is a chilling example of what can happen.

Leo Katzenberger was a well known  Jewish businessman in Nuremberg he was the owner of a wholesale shoe business and a number of stores throughout the south Germany, he was also  a leading figure in the Nuremberg Jewish community. Early 1932, he rented out  an apartment and a small storefront in his building at 19 Spittlertorgraben to Irene Seiler, a  daughter of a non-Jewish friend. Although Katzenberger’s business was ‘Aryanized’in 1938, he was still fairly comfortable and still kept his own building and rent space to Seiler.

irene

In March 1942, Katzenberger, aged  76 at the time , and Seiler, who was 30, were accused of having a sexual affair and  were  arrested on charges of racial defilement (Rassenschande).

Both Katzenberger and  Seiler,stated that their friendship was platonic and claimed the relationship between them was more that of a father and daughter, and the only “evidence” was the testimony of a single witness who had seen him leaving her apartment.The investigating judge concluded there was too little evidence to proceed with the case.However the case had come to  the attention of Oswald Rothaug, a judge known for his severity and fanatic support of the Nazi party, Rothaug arranged for the case to be brought to him.

Rothaug

Rothaug knew the trial would create massive publicity and there turned out to be great public interest in the proceedings. The courthouse  was full both trial days. In what was a deliberately set up show trial, Rothaug made remarks about Katzenberger  like “syphilitic Jew” and an “agent of world Jewry.”

Given the fact the trial only last 2 days it was clear there was only going to be 1 outcome. Katzenberger was sentenced to death for race defilement .The usual sentence for this ‘ crime’ would have been a term of imprisonment of several years. But, the Volkschädlingsgesetz, a wartime law, which allowed  the death penalty because it was claimed that Katzenberger used the wartime black outs to visit Seiler.

Irene Seiler was found guilty of perjury for denying an affair had taken place and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment

Leo Katzenberger was killed by guillotine at Stadelheim Prison in Munich on 2 June 1942.

But Even among some Nazi officials, the very weak evidence used  and grounds on which Katzenberger had been sentenced to death caused some discomfort.

 

 

 

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Sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/katzenberger-case-march-13-1942

March 18: On Trial for “Racial Defilement”