Anne Frank-Before she was a victim, she was a child.

anne 1

I know that some people will disagree with the description of victim, but unfortunately Anne Frank did die as a result of the Holocaust which does make her a victim. But before that she was also a child.

This blog contains pictures to remind us of the fact that she had been a child, who lived a tragic short life.

anne 2

anne 3

anne 4

anne 5

Source

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Where some see a ring, I see a tragedy.

ring

Some pieces of jewelry are bought in the spur of the moment. Often an impulsive buy, a pair of earrings for your wife because you think they look nice or a necklace for your girlfriend because although it may not be expensive it is still something nice for her to have.

But buying a ring is different, it always has a profound meaning. It indicates the love between 2 people, with a ring they show this love to the world. Or it is an acknowledgement for a great goal which has been achieved. A ring also means respect for one another.

In May 2016 staff at The Auschwitz Museum found am enamel mug with a false bottom. Hidden in the double bottom was a ring and a necklace.

mug

Due to the passage of time, the materials had gradually degraded, and the second bottom separated from the mug exposing the hidden treasure.

I don’t care about the monetary value of the ring for there is an emotional story behind it, It is a story of hope. The owner of the ring clearly hoped that one day he or she would be reunited with the piece of jewelry. It is also a story of fear for the owner knew if the ring was taken off him or her it would be lost forever. Unfortunately the owner was never reunited with the piece of jewelry.

The ring and the cup also reveal a more sinister story.

The Nazis constantly  lied to the Jews deported for extermination. They were told they were going to be resettled, with a new job and place to live

They allowed the victims take some  luggage with them. Knowing well that they would take things were precious to them thus ensuring they would take the jewelry,clothing and other valuable items from them before they sent them to be gassed.

I don’t know if the owner of the ring survived, I hope they did but I fear they didn’t.

And sometimes a ring tells a story about a reluctant hero.

Ring Jane

The story emerged in an unlikely place, a BBC show called “Antiques Roadshow” It was told by 2 women. The women were nieces of Jane Haining, the ring belonged to her.

Jane worked as a missionary for the Church of Scotland in Budapest.The mission had established a school in 1846, with funds provided by Jews converted to Christianity. Haining looked after 50 of the school’s 400 pupils ,the majority  were Jewish.

Students

As the war broke out she was actually on holidays in Cornwall, and she could have stayed there saved and sound  but she decided to return to Hungary to the Mission in Budapest. She was arrested by the Nazis in 1944,accused of working among Jews and listening to the BBC. She was sent to  Auschwitz, where she was tattooed as prisoner 79467. She died in Auschwitz  on July 17. 194. Haining is the only Scot to be officially honoured for giving her life to help Jews in the Holocaust.

Jane

 

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Sources

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BBC

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

 

 

Reporting of children who showed signs of severe mental or physical disability.

child

They say a picture paints a thousand words.But ever since I have been doing blogs about the holocaust I have seen many pictures that have left me speechless, and none more so then the suffering of children.

On August 18 1939, Wilhelm Frick ordered all physicians, nurses and midwives to report children under the age of three who showed signs of severe mental or physical disability. This was the first phase in the Nazi Germany’s child euthanasia program. The so called T4 program.

The key document was a circular from the Reich Minister of the Interior of 18 August 1939, Ref: IVb 3088/39 – 1079 Mi, which was marked “Strictly Confidential” and specified the groups to be included and how they were to be assembled. After that, doctors and midwives together with maternity hospitals, obstetric departments and children’s hospitals, except where a senior doctor was not present or did not get the instruction, were required to report in writing to the appropriate health authorities:

if the newborn child is suspected of being afflicted with the following congenital disorders:

1) Idiocy and mongolism (especially cases combined with blindness and deafness),
2) Microcephaly
3) Hydrocephalus, to a severe or advanced degree
4) Malformations of all kinds, particularly the absence of limbs, severe midline defects of the head and spine, etc.
5) Paralysis, including cerebral palsy

A template of a reporting form was enclosed with the circular, which had to be sent by public health authorities as required to their higher administrative authority.  Uniquely, a reward of 2 RM for each report was given to the midwives and nurses affected “for professional services rendered”.

Nurses Midwives

At the start only children under the age of 3 were to be reported. The prescribed registration form gave the illusion that registration was only being sought with the aim of providing special medical care, in fact they were designed to determine if a child would be killed or not, the technical term was if they were eligible for euthanasia, as if that was a good thing.

Three experts were appointed from the National Committee who had been heavily involved in the preparatory committee, Werner Catel, Hans Heinze and Ernst Wentzler. Hefelmann  who remarked  later,that Professor Heinze and Dr. Wentzler  supported euthanasia with great enthusiasm and Professor Catel with conviction, and so they agreed without any pressure to so act as expert assessors.

But it wasn’t only Physicians who killed children,some nurses killed children, saying that they were under orders.

Below is a picture of  Richard Jenne-  the last known child murdered in the T4 program.

Richard

 

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Israel and Sara

Israel

Today marks the 80th anniversary where the Jews in Germany even lost control of their own names.

On 17 August 1938, the Nazi regime decreed that by January 1, 1939, Jewish men and women bearing first names of “non-Jewish” origin had to add “Israel” and “Sara,” respectively, to their given names (Namensänderungs verordnung). For their children, only a restricted number of “Jewish” first names were allowed.

name change

The law had already been discussed in 1934. The Nazi lawyer Wilhelm Frick had voiced his concern that the Jews could disguise their identity by changing their names.On July 19 1935 he had introduced a design to Hitler, whereby it was easier to identify Jews by adding something specifically Yiddish to their names.

Frick

Less then 2 years later a decree was passed requiring  Jews bearing first names of “non-Jewish” origin to adopt an additional name: “Israel” for men and “Sara” for women.

Sara

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Sources

USHMM

Wikipedia Germany

 

 

In the end Hitler and his mates were pathetic hypocrites.

loot 1

One of the things I can’t comprehend is the fact that no one appear to be seeing through the lies and hypocrisy of the Nazi regime.

They saw they Jews as vermin and filth. And everything Jewish was forbidden, Jewish books were burned, Jewish music was banned. Basically in the eyes of Hitler and his cronies the Jews were a contaminated and tainted race.

Here is the thing if I find something tainted and contaminated I want nothing to do with it, and want to stay as far away from it and everything it came in contact with.

That is also the message the Nazi spread. However they were not afraid the steal art and valuables belonging to Jews. They even would go as far as taking the gold teeth or gold dental caps of those they had murdered in the gas chambers, to remelt the gold and use it again.

dental caps

They had an organisation dedicated to steeling art and valuables. The ‘Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg’ or Reichsleiter Rosenberg Taskforce, were tasked to to confiscate:

  • precious manuscripts and books from national libraries and archives;
  • important artifacts of ecclesiastical authorities and Masonic lodges;
  • all valuable cultural property belonging to Jews.ERR_Seal

They must have been one of the busiest Nazi task force  by their own estimates until 17 October 1944, they transitioned, 1,418,000 railway wagons containing books and works of art as well as 427,000 tonnes by ship.Neuschwanstein Castle was the ERR’s principal storage facility, but they also used salt mines and other places.

castle

Some of the art was only found decades after the war and some was never found. Below are and valuables  just some impressions of the are recovered by the allied troops. The first picture is a famous picture and although it is not graphic it is nonetheless harrowing for it is a picture of gold rings, of victims of concentration camps.

Rings

Loot 2

loot 3

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Gerda Steinhoff- No remorse but jokes.

++++++++CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES++++++++++

Gerda

The buzzword nowadays us gender balance, and to be fair to the Nazi regime they had figured out gender balance decades ago. But was that a good thing?

When it come to evil there is no real difference between men and women, the men are in general physically stronger through their biology, but that is where the difference ends.

There were a large amount of female guards as part of the SS across several concentration camps.

guards

Compared to the likes of Ilse Koch or Maria Mandl,Gerda Steinhoff wasn’t the worse of the female guards. This was probably because she joined the SS late in the war. Prior to her career with the SS, she had been working and tram conductor.

She got married in 1944 and had a child. That same year, due to a shortage of new guards, Gerda joined the camp staff at Stutthof. On October 1, 1944, she became a Blockleiterin in Stutthof women’s camp SK-III.There, she took part in selections of prisoners to be sent to the gas chambers

SK11

Later that month, on October 31st , 1944, she received a  promotio to SS-Oberaufseherin and was assigned to the Danzig-Holm subcamp. On the first of December, 1944 she was reassigned to the Bromberg-Ost female subcamp of Stutthof located in Bydgoszcz near Gdańsk.  In the camp is where ,she received a medal for her loyalty and service to the Third Reich, on January 25, 1945. She was dedicated and utterly devoted  to her job in the camps and was known as a very ruthless supervisor. Soon before the end of World War II, she fled the camp and went back home.

But her stay at home didn’t last long, on the 25th of May , 1945, she was arrested by Polish officials and sent to prison. She stood trial with the other SS women and kapos and was convicted and condemned to death for her involvement in the selections and what was called her sadistic abuse of prisoners.During her trial Gerda showed no remorse but made jokes instead

She was publicly hanged on July 4, 1946, on Biskupia Gorka Hill, near Gdańsk.

hanging

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Age 10

Lyse

I am age 10, I should be at school learning and having fun with my fellow students.

I am age 10, my only worry should be “will I have enough to time to go out and play after my homework”

I am age 10, my greatest ambition in life at this stage is to become 11.

I am age 10, a child.

I am age 10, a  French girl.

I am age 10, from Strassboug

I am age 10,Jewish.

I am age 10, a victim

I am age 10,sent to Auschwitz

I am age 10, murdered.

I am age 10, my name Lyse Charen.

 

Judenfrei-Free of Jews: At least 2 executions a man per day.

Frei

I am always amazed by the fact that there are still people who desperately want to deny the Holocaust. Although there is so much evident and a lot of it very graphic, they still say it never happened and that the photographic evidence are staged pictures, produced by the allies.

The one thing they do forget is the evidence produced by the Nazi’s themselves. The Nazis kept records of nearly everything they did, in fact they insisted in getting this done pright. Some used the records to impress their superiors. Reports like the Jaeger and the Stahlecker reports proved extremely valuable during the Nuremberg trials.

nuremberg

Franz Walter Stahlecker  was commander of the SS  for the Reichskommissariat Ostland (the civilian occupation regime in the Baltic states-Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania-, the northeastern part of Poland and the west part of  Belarus).in 1941–42.

On October 16 1941, Stahlecker submitted a report documenting the murder of over 220,000 Jewish men,women and children between  June 22 and October 15, 1941,by Einsatzgruppe A.

report

The map at the start of this blog was included in the report, it gives the breakdown of the deaths per country, the deaths are illustrated as coffins. The total number on the map is just over 218,000 so I don’t know if the map was complete before he finished his report or if there are discrepancies, either way the numbers are massive On top of the map it says “Judenfrei” meaning free of Jews.

Most of these killings would have been done via executions. The einsatzgruppen varied from 500-1000 men, so if you take the higher number of 1000 that would come down to more then 220 executions per man, or close to 2 executions, per man a day.

But if you take that massive number of 220,000 it still only represents about 3.5 % of all Jews killed during the Holocaust.

Stahlecker was killed in action on 23 March 1942, by Soviet partisans near  Krasnogvardeysk, Russia.

Stahlbecker

 

 

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Why the story of Edith Stein is still relevant.

Edith Stein

An increasing amount of people say that stories of the Holocaust are no longer relevant and should be left in the past. I don’t subscribe to that point of view, remembering the Holocaust is now more important then it ever has been.In a time where some politicians are making policies based on hate, it is relevant to remember it could cost the lives of millions.

The story of Edith Stein also has personal relevance to me. It is a story that intrigues me for it shows how much the Nazis hated the Jewish people, for, and I do apologize for the phrase but I don’t think there is any other way of saying it. to the Nazis once a Jew always a Jew. It also highlights an ignorance I had as a youngster.

I will not go to deep into the life of Edith Stein because so much is already written about her, and I will not be able to add any value to that.

1938

Edith Stein was born to Jewish parents in Breslau on 12 October 1891, the youngest of 11. In 1921 she converted to Catholicism, as did her sister Rosa Stein.

Edith entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery St. Maria vom Frieden (Our Lady of Peace) in Cologne in 1933 and took the religious name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

In 1933 the Nazis also came to power, according to their Nuremberg Race laws both Edith and her sisters were considered to be Jewish, despite the conversion to Catholicism, therefor to avoid persecution by the Nazis, Edith and her sister were transferred to a monastery in Echt in the Netherlands.

Klooster

As I mentioned my youthful ignorance before, Echt is only about 15 km away from my birthplace. It is a small town in the province of Limburg in the south east of the Netherlands. In my late teens and early twenties I would often frequent a nightclub’the Majestic’ in Echt. which was really a stones throw away from the monastery. I also would go their by train and would get off on the very same station which was used decades earlier to transport Edith and Rosa to Camp Amersfoort. And I was completely oblivious to all of that.

station

The Stein sisters were arrested by the SS on 2 August 1942. They were imprisoned at the concentration camps of Amersfoort and Westerbork before being deported to Auschwitz. A Dutch official at Westerbork was so impressed by Edith’s  sense of faith and calm, he offered her an escape plan. She  refused his assistance, stating, “If somebody intervened at this point and took away her chance to share in the fate of her brothers and sisters, that would be utter annihilation”

Edith and Rosa among 985 other Jews were sent to Auschwitz on August 7,1942. It is believed that Edith and her sister both died in the gas chambers on August 9th 1942.

who you are

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