THE GRADUAL DEHUMANIZING BY THE NAZI REGIME-Part 2

Capture

The persecution of the Jews began systematically almost as soon as Hitler came to power. The Nazis established many new anti-Jewish laws. These were introduced slowly at first, so that the civilian population would not realise the extent of the Nazi party’s anti-Semitism. Below is a chart showing a small selection of the 2,000 Nazi anti-Jewish decrees passed between 1933-1945. It is uncertain whether Hitler planned to murder the Jews when he came to power. Originally it seems he intended to force them out of Germany but this eventually led to a plan to exterminate the Jews.

1933

  • Public burning of books by Jews and anti-Nazis

    1933-may-10-berlin-book-burning

  • Random attacks on Jews and Jewish property
  • Police and the courts no longer protect Jews
  • April boycotts of Jewish shops – for one day, Germans are told not to buy from shops and business owned by Jews
  • SA stand by shops to discourage people from going inside

    Berlin, NS-Boykott gegen jüdische Geschäfte

  • ‘Kosher’- ritual slaughter of animals banned
  • Department of Racial Hygiene (‘ethnic cleansing’) established

1934

  • Jewish students excluded from exams in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and law
  • Jews excluded from military service

1935

  • Nuremberg Laws deny Jews many basic civil rights
  • Law for ‘The Protection of German Blood and German Honour’ forbade mixed marriages

    1024px-Nuremberg_laws

1935-1936

  • Jews no longer allowed to vote and lose German citizenship
  • Benefit payments to large Jewish families stopped
  • Jews banned from parks, restaurants and swimming poolsjvzveId
  • Jews forbidden to use the German greeting ‘Heil Hitler’
  • Jews no longer allowed electrical/optical equipment, bicycles, typewriters or records
  • Passports for Jews to travel abroad restricted
  • Many Jewish students removed from German schools and universities

1938

  • Special identity cards issued to Jews
  • Jews excluded from cinema, theatre, concerts, exhibitions, beaches and holiday resorts
  • Jews forced to add the names Sarah or Israel to their own
  • Kristallnacht (9 November) – a night of terrible violence in Germany. German and Austrian Jews are murdered, synagogues burnt and desecrated and shop windows destroyed. Thousands of Jews are arrestedcom-kristellnacht
  • Jewish children expelled from German schools
  • Jews’ passports stamped with a red letter ‘J’. Some have passports removed to prevent them leaving the country.

1939

  • A central office for Jewish emigration set up
  • Jews evicted from their homes without reason and notice
  • Jews’ radios confiscated
  • Jewish curfew established

1940

  • Jews’ telephones confiscated
  • Jews no longer receive ration cards for clothes

1941

  • Jews over 6 forced to wear a Yellow Star of David with ‘Jew’ written on itParis, Jüdische Frauen mit Stern
  • Jews Forbidden to use public telephones
  • Jews forbidden to keep dogs, cats and birds
  • Jews forbidden to leave the country

1942

  • Jews hand over fur coats and woollen items
  • Jews not allowed to receive eggs or milk
  • Blind or deaf Jews no longer allowed to wear armbands identifying their condition in traffic
  • All schools closed to Jewish children

1943

Continuous Deportations

05

06

With all this happening there were still brave people who defied the Nazi rules, often in subtle but clear ways.

A menorah defies the Nazi flag , 1931

Advertisements

Nazi Propaganda-Part 2

nazi-propaganda-posters-1

One of the ways how the Nazis were able to include regular citizens in their web of evil and deceit was by propaganda. Regardless what you think of them, they were masters of propaganda, it enabled them to brainwash the ordinary citizenry. That combined with promising and delivering employment and some level of prosperity is a powerful weapon.

In fact it probably was their most powerful weapon because it allowed them to get away with awful crimes and atrocities.

Here are just some of the propaganda slogans and posters used during the Nazi era.To be honest some of them look very similar to motivational posters which are used nowadays.

The text: “National Socialism is the guarantee of victory.” This poster was released in fall 1939.

ws5-43

A quotation from Clausewitz: “The time is yours. What happens with it depends on you.” ( September 1940)

ws04

A common Nazi slogan : “The Führer is always right .” (February 1941)

ws8-41

A quotation from Hermann Göring: “To help to defend and finish the Führer’s enormous work is the happiest task and highest duty of all Germans” (May 1941)

ws01

This quotation from Hitler’s 30 January 1939 speech promises the destruction of the Jews. It appeared in September 1941, after the invasion of the Soviet Union, and during the opening stages of the Holocaust. The translation: “If International Finance Jewry should succeed once more in plunging the peoples into a world war, the result will not be the victory of Jewry, but rather the destruction of the Jewish race in Europe.

ws08

This one encourages motherhood. The translation is: “Work is an honor for the woman as is it for the man, but a child ennobles the mother.” ( December 1942)

ws06

A quotation from Joseph Goebbels: “Only composure and a heart of bronze bring victory.” (January 1943)

ws02

This July 1932 election poster shows the German worker, enlightened through National Socialism, towering over his opponents. It reads “We Workers Have Awakened. We’re Voting National Socialist”

Capture

 

Friend and Foe- The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.

Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

Bad as World War II and all its horrors were it could have been a lot worse if the Germans didn’t break the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.

The impact it would have had if Hitler and Stalin had remained “friends”would have been unfathomable. In all likelihood it might have saved a lot of Soviet and German lives but the outcome for the citizens of the other  European nations would have probably been more devastating.

Molotov–Ribbentrop_Pact_(German_copy)

Japan probably would not have allied themselves with Germany and may not have attacked Pearl Harbor.

These of course are speculations stemming from a “what if ?” scenario, the fact is that Germany and the Soviet Union were allies at the start of the war. at a high cost for Poland.

Following are some impression on how that Soviet -German friendship looked like.

Soviet and German officials having a friendly conversation in the newly captured Polish city of Brest, September 1939.

soviet_german_brest_1939

German–Soviet military parade in Brest-Litovsk on September 22, 1939

Polen, Siegesparade, Guderian, Kriwoschein

Rolling Soviet tanks and German motorcyclists.

Polen, deutsch-sowjetische Siegesparade, Panzer

Common parade of Wehrmacht and Red Army in Brest at the end of the Invasion of Poland. At the center Major General Heinz Guderian and Brigadier Semyon Krivoshein

800px-Armia_Czerwona,_Wehrmacht_22.09.1939_wspólna_parada

German and Soviet personnel amid parade display material.

Polen, deutsch-sowjetische Siegesparade

Soviet and German soldiers in Lublin.

Polen, Treffen deutscher und sowjetischer Soldaten

Polish hostages being blindfolded during preparations for their mass execution in Palmiry, 1940.

Polish_Hostages_preparing_in_Palmiry_by_Nazi-Germans_for_mass_execution_2

Ribbentrop taking leave of Molotov in Berlin, November 1940

Berlin, Verabschiedung Molotows

Germany terminated the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact at 03:15 on 22 June 1941 by launching a massive attack on the Soviet positions in eastern Poland which marked the beginning of the invasion of the Soviet Union known as Operation Barbarossa.

operation_barbarossa_in_rare_pictures (1)

The executioner who escaped execution.

Johann-Reichhart

The name Johann Reichhart might not be one synonymous with Nazi Germany but his ruthless killing streak made him one of the most feared members of the regime.

Reichhart was born into a line of German executioners dating back eight generations. He got his start as a judicial executioner in 1928.

Johann Reichhart took 3,165 lives during his time as Germany’s chief executioner. Ironically, after the collapse of the Third Reich , he would hang some of those he once served, Nazi war criminals, on behalf of the victorious Allies.

The beheadings of Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans and a third member of The White Rose, their student resistance group, were among 2,873 executions he carried out in the Second World War.

 

scholl

His career in killing began in earnest with the execution by guillotine of Rupert Fischer and Andreas Hutterer for murder.

The administration promised him 150 Goldmarks for each execution, and announced: ‘From April 1, 1924, Reichhart takes over the execution of all death sentences coming in the Free State of Bavaria to the execution by beheading with the guillotine.

Johann2

A lull in executions forced Reichhart to become a green grocer in neighbouring Holland but he was back in action after Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 and soon became a vital clog in the Nazi killing machine.

Despite the enormous workload he was asked to complete, Reichhart was very strict in his execution protocol, wearing the traditional German executioners’ attire of black coat, white shirt and gloves, black bow-tie and top-hat. His work took him to many parts of occupied Europe including Poland and Austria. His record for the most executions in one day was 32. He was so determined to be punctual at all his “appointments” he asked the transport ministry if he could be spared speeding tickets. His request was denied.

Reichhart immersed himself in his role and even invented a device called the ‘double detective tongs’ that kept prisoners pinned down without the need to tie them with rope.

The metal clamp held the prisoner beneath the guillotine instead of rope meaning execution time was reduced to four seconds flat.

Cruelly, the Nazis even charged the families of those they had imprisoned and beheaded. For every day that a prisoner was held, a fee of 1.50 Reichsmarks was charged. The executions cost 300 Reichsmarks.

300Even the 12 pfennig cost of posting the invoice was demanded back by the Nazi state.

Married dad-of-three Reichhart had gained such notoriety that his children were taunted at school with chants such as ‘headcutter, headcutter, your dad’s a headcutter!’

The reputation of their father even drove one of his sons to suicide.

Following VE Day, Reichhart, who was a member of the Nazi Party, was arrested and imprisoned in Landsberg Prison for the purposes of de-nazification but not tried for carrying out his duty of judicial executioner.

Reichhart had to justify himself at a de-Nazification court, where he said: “I have carried out death sentences in the firm conviction that I should serve the state with my work, and to comply with lawfully enacted laws. I never doubted the legality of what I was doing.”

He was subsequently employed by the Occupation Authorities until the end of May 1946 to help execute 156 Nazi war criminals at Landsberg am Lech by hanging.John_C._Woods_holding_a_noose

He cooperated with Allied chief executioner Master Sergeant John C. Woods

 

in the preparations for further executions of those found guilty and sentenced to death at the Nuremberg Trials,but refused to carry out any further executions himself following two cases of mistaken identity.

 

One of the reasons he ended up working for the Allies was that there were not a lot of people prepared to do that kind of thing.’

Reichhart ended his days alone and lonely, first breeding dogs and making perfume, and later being looked after in a care home near Munich, where he died in 1972

executioner8

 

 

They took the easy way out

Eduard_Wirths

After all the suffering,death and destruction they caused there were several in the Nazi leadership ,and lower ranks , who were too cowardly to stand trial and killed themselves instead.In this summary I am excluded Hitler, Himmler,Goebbels and Goering because I have already done separate blogs on their suicides.

Eduard Wirths ,

picture above  (4 September 1909 – 20 September 1945) was the Chief SS doctor (SS-Standortarzt) at the Auschwitz concentration camp from September 1942 to January 1945. Thus, Wirths had formal responsibility for everything undertaken by the nearly 20 SS doctors (including Josef Mengele, Horst Schumann and Carl Clauberg) who worked in the medical sections of Auschwitz between 1942–1945.

Wirths was captured by the Allies at the end of the war and held in custody by British forces. Later, on 20 September 1945, knowing that he would surely face trial for numerous war crimes, Wirths committed suicide by hanging.

Johannes Blaskowitz

Johannes Blaskowitz

A German general during World War II and recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.16822

Blaskowitz was charged with war crimes during the Nuremberg Trials in the High Command Trial (Case No. XII).

In one notorious case he was accused of ordering the execution of 2 deserters after the German surrender. He committed suicide on 5 February 1948: after breaking away from his guards, he threw himself off a balcony into the inner courtyard of the court building

Robert Ley

Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-2008-0922-501,_Robert_Ley

He headed the German Labour Front from 1933 to 1945.

As Nazi Germany collapsed in early 1945, Ley was among the government figures who remained fanatically loyal to Hitler.He last saw Hitler on 20 April 1945, Hitler’s birthday, in the Führerbunker in central Berlin. The next day he left for southern Bavaria, in the expectation that Hitler would make his last stand in the “National Redoubt” in the alpine areas. When Hitler refused to leave Berlin, Ley was effectively unemployed. On 16 May he was captured by American paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division in a shoemaker’s house in the village of Schleching. Ley told them he was “Dr. Ernst Distelmeyer,” but he was identified by Franz Xaver Schwarz, the treasurer of the Nazi Party and a long-time enemy.

Robert_Ley_arrested

At the Nuremberg Trials, Ley was indicted under Count One (“The Common Plan or Conspiracy to wage an aggressive war in violation of international law or treaties”), Count Three (War Crimes, including among other things “mistreatment of prisoners of war or civilian populations”) and Count Four (“Crimes Against Humanity – murder, extermination, enslavement of civilian populations; persecution on the basis of racial, religions or political grounds”). Ley was apparently indignant at being regarded as a war criminal, telling the American psychiatrist Douglas Kelley and psychologist Gustave Gilbert who had seen and tested him in prison: “Stand us against a wall and shoot us, well and good, you are victors. But why should I be brought before a Tribunal like a c-c-c- … I can’t even get the word out!”

On 24 October, three days after receiving the indictment, Ley strangled himself in his prison cell using a noose made by tearing a towel into strips, fastened to the toilet pipe in his cell.

R_ley_cell

Franz Friedrich Böhme

Franz Böhme

An Austrian general in the Wehrmacht during World War II, serving as Commander of the XVIII Mountain Corps, Hitler’s ‘Plenipotentiary Commanding General’ in the Balkans, and commander-in-chief in German-occupied Norway during World War II. Böhme stood trial in Nuremberg in the Hostages Trial for having massacred thousands of Serbian civilians.

Defendants_in_the_dock_and_their_lawyers_during_Hostages_Trial_USHMM_16806

After being captured in Norway, he was brought before the Hostages Trial, a division of the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials, and charged with war crimes committed in Serbia during his control of the region in 1941. He had upped the ante of retaliatory strikes against Serbs, killing a hundred Serbs for every German killed, and fifty for every German wounded; this resulted in the massacre of thousands of civilians. When his extradition to Yugoslavia seemed imminent, Böhme committed suicide by jumping from the 4th story of the prison in which he was being held. His body was interred at St. Leonhard-Friedhof in Graz.

Emil Haussmann

Emil_Haussmann_at_the_Nuremberg_Trials

A  German SS-Sturmbannführer, in Einsatzkommando 12 of Einsatzgruppe D, which perpetrated the Holocaust in occupied Ukraine. Haussmann was accused in 1947 at the Einsatzgruppen Trial.43043

Haussmann took part in Einsatzkommando 12 during the invasion of the Soviet Union. In 1947 he was one of 24 defendants at the Einsatzgruppen Trial. On 29 July 1947, he received the indictment along with his co-defendants: (1) crimes against humanity, (2) war crimes, and (3) membership in a criminal organization. Two days later, before the arraignment, Haussmann committed suicide in his cell and was removed from the process.Thus, he was the only defendant at the Einsatzgruppen trial who escaped a sentence.

The Belgian Holocaust

RetrieveAsset

For some reason you don’t hear that much about the Holocaust in Belgium and to be honest I don’t know why that is.

After the Germans conquered Belgium in May 1940, the Belgian government fled to Great Britain and formed a government-in-exile in London. King Leopold III remained in Belgium under house arrest during the German occupation. A German military administration coexisted with the Belgian civil service.

At the start of the war, the population of Belgium was overwhelmingly Catholic. Jews made up the largest non-Christian population in the country, numbering between 70–75,000 out of a population of 8 million. Most lived in the cities of Antwerp, Brussels, Charleroi and Liège. The vast majority were recent immigrants to Belgium who had fled persecution in Germany and Eastern Europe, and, as a result, only a small minority actually possessed Belgian citizenship.

Immediately after the occupation of Belgium, the Germans instituted anti-Jewish laws and ordinances.

Proclamation_about_Jews_in_German-occupied_Belgium

They restricted the civil rights of Jews, confiscated their property and businesses, banned them from certain professions, and in 1942 required Jews to wear a yellow Star of David.

Jodenster_van_kledij

Belgian Jews were also rounded up for forced labor. They worked primarily in the construction of military fortifications in northern France, and also in construction projects, clothing and armaments factories, and stone quarries in Belgium.

On 23 October 1940, the German Military Administration adopted anti-Jewish legislation for the first time.[9] The new laws, similar to the Nuremberg Laws adopted in Germany in 1935, coincided with the adoption of similar legislation in the Netherlands and in France.The laws of 28 October forbade Jews to practice certain professions (including the civil service) and forced Jews to register with their local municipality. On the same date, the German administration announced a definition of who was regarded as Jewish. Jewish-owned shops or businesses had to be marked by a sign in the window, and Jewish-owned economic assets had to be registered.

1024px-Poster_denoting_Jewish-owned_business_from_occupied_Belgium

From June 1940, a list of Jewish businesses had already been drawn up in Liège

The German administration was responsible for the deportation of the Jews in Belgium. Under the German occupation,In the summer of 1940, some German Jews and political refugees were deported from Belgium to Gurs and St. Cyprien, internment camps in southern France.

03100

On 14 April 1941, after watching the German propaganda film Der Ewige Jude, Flemish paramilitaries from the Volksverwering, VNV and Algemeene-SS Vlaanderen began a pogrom in the city of Antwerp.

Ssvlaanderen

The mob, armed with iron bars, attacked and burned two synagogues in the city and threw the Torah scrolls onto the street.They then attacked the home of Marcus Rottenburg, the town’s chief rabbi. The police and fire brigade were summoned, but they were forbidden to intervene by the German authorities.

From August 1942, the Germans began deporting Jews, using Arbeitseinsatz (“recruitment for work”) in German factories as a pretext.[14] Around half of the Jews turned up voluntarily (though coerced by the German authorities) for transportation although round-ups were begun in late July. Later in the war, the Germans increasingly relied on the police to arrest or round up Jews by force.

The first convoy from Belgium, carrying stateless Jews, left Mechelen transit camp for Auschwitz on 4 August 1942 and was soon followed by others.These trains left for extermination camps in Eastern Europe. Between October 1942 and January 1943, deportations were temporarily halted;by this time 16,600 people have been deported on 17 rail convoys. As the result of Queen Elisabeth’s (Belgian Queen)intervention with the German authorities.

800px-ElisabethofBelgium

In 1943, the deportations resumed. By the time that deportations to extermination camps had begun, however, nearly 2,250 Belgian Jews had already been deported as forced laborers for Organisation Todt, a civil and military engineering group, which was working on the construction of the Atlantic Wall in Northern France

In September, armed Devisenschutzkommando (DSK; “Currency protection command”) units raided homes to seize valuables and personal belongings as the occupants were preparing to report to the transit camp, and in the same month, Jews with Belgian citizenship were deported for the first time.

pres003onde01ill121

DSK units relied on networks of informants, who were paid between 100 and 200 Belgian francs for each person they betrayed.After the war, the collaborator Felix Lauterborn stated in his trial that 80 per cent of arrests in Antwerp used information from paid informants. In total, 6,000 Jews were deported in 1943, with another 2,700 in 1944. Transports were halted by the deteriorating situation in occupied Belgium before the liberation.

The percentages of Jews which were deported varied by location. It was highest in Antwerp, with 67 per cent deported, but lower in Brussels (37 per cent), Liège (35 per cent) and Charleroi (42 per cent). The main destination for the convoys was Auschwitz in German-occupied Poland. Smaller numbers were sent to Buchenwald and Ravensbrück concentration camps, as well as Vittel concentration camp in France.

In total, 25,437 Jews were deported from Belgium. Only 1,207 of these survived the war. Among those deported and killed was the surrealist artist Felix Nussbaum in 1944.

Self_Portrait_with_Jewish_Identity_Card_-Felix_Nussbaum_-_1943

The Breendonk and Mechelen camps served as collection centers for the deportations.

41207

 

“It Is Difficult to Know How to Begin”

HaroldPorterLetterNationalArchives

The title is a line from a 1945 letter, from Harold Porter to his mother and father in Michigan, describing the situation at the Dachau concentration camp after liberation. The letters that Pfc. Porter, who served as a medic with the 116th Evacuation Hospital, wrote to his parents are now archived at the Eisenhower Presidential Library.

When I did research on Harold Potter it could not find anything aside from the letters and the unit he served with. I did however get a lot of links to Harry Potter

hp

The irony here is that although JK Rowlings tales of the young wizard are totally fictional, it’s the accounts of Harold Porter which are completely unfathomable and incomprehensible because his words are true and tell a story which no one should have to witness.

Using stationery found in the abandoned office of the camp commandant, Porter found himself at a loss to convey the horrors he encountered at the Dachau concentration camp: boxcars filled with thousands of decomposing bodies, the crematorium surrounded by stacks of nude corpses, and the stacks of carefully sorted clothing belonging to the victims.

RetrieveAsset

His account is unsparing and graphic, with descriptions of what the bodies looked like, the sounds they made as they were being moved, and their odor. Days after entering the camp, he was still trying to grasp the reality of what he saw.

This is the full contents of the letter. It is a long read but it is just so important that it gets read to ensure no other soldier will ever have to write a letter like that to his parents.

“Dear Mother and Father,

You have, by this time, received a letter mentioning that I am quartered in the concentration camp at Dachau. It is still undecided whether we will be permitted to describe the conditions here, but I’m writing this now to tell you a little, and will mail it later when we are told we can.

page 1

It is difficult to know how to begin. By this time I have recovered from my first emotional shock and am able to write without seeming like a hysterical gibbering idiot. Yet, I know you will hesitate to believe me no matter how objective and factual I try to be. I even find myself trying to deny what I am looking at with my own eyes. Certainly, what I have seen in the past few days will affect my personality for the rest of my life.

We knew a day or two before we moved that we were going to operate in Dachau, and that it was the location of one of the most notorious concentration camps, but while we expected things to be grizzly, I’m sure none of us knew what was coming. It is easy to read about atrocities, but they must be seen before they can be believed. To think that I once scoffed at Valtin’s “Out of the Night” as being preposterous! I’ve seen worse.

sights than any he described.

page 2

The trip south from Ottengen was pleasant enough. We passed through Donauworth and Aichach and as we entered Dachau, the country, with the cottages, river, country estates and Alps in the distance, was almost like a tourist resort. BUt as we came to the center of the city, we met a train with a wrecked engine – about fifty cars long. Every car was loaded with bodies. There must have been thousands of them – all obviously starved to death. This was a shock of the first order, and the odor can best be immagined. But neither the sight nor the odor were anything when compared with what we were still to see.

Marc Coyle reached the camp two days before I did and was a guard so as soon as I got there I looked him up and he took me to the crematory.

sscorpses1

Dead SS troops were scattered around the grounds, but when we reached the furnace house we cam upon a huge stack of corpses piled up like kindling, all nude so that their clothes wouldn’t be wasted by the burning. There were furnaces for burning six bodies at once and on each side of them was a room twenty feet square crammed to the ceiling with more bodies – one big stinking rotten mess. Their faces

purple, their eyes popping, and with a ludicrous grin on each one.

page 3They were nothing but bones & skin.  Coyle had assisted at ten autopsies the day before (wearing a gas mask) on ten bodies selected at random.  Eight of them had advanced T.B., all had Typhus and extreme malnutrition symptoms.  There were both women and children in the stack in addition to the men.

While we were inspecting the place, freed prisoners drove up with wagon loads of corpses removed from the compound proper.  Watching the unloading was horrible.  The bodies squooshed and gurgled as they hit the pile and the odor could almost be seen.

Behind the furnace was the execution chamber, a windowless cell twenty feet square with gas nozzles every few feet across the ceiling.  Outside, in addition to the huge mound of charred bone fragments, were the carefully sorted and stacked clothes of the victims – which obviously numbered in the thousands.  Although I stood there looking at it, I couldn’t believe it.  The realness of the whole mess is just gradually dawning on me, and I doubt if it will ever on you.

There is a rumor circulating with says that the war is over.  It probably is as much as it ever will be.  We’ve all been expecting the end for several days, but were not too excited about it because we know that it does not mean too much as far as our immediate situation is concerned.  There was no celebrating – it’s difficult to celebrate anything with the morbid state we’re in.

page 4

The Pacific theater will not come immediately for this unit; we have around 36,000 potential and eventual patients here.  The end of the work for everyone else is going to be just the beginning for us.

Today was a scorching hot day after several raining cold ones.  The result of the heat on the corpses is impossible to describe, and the situation will probably get worse because their disposal will certainly take time.

My arms are sore from the typhus shot so I’m ending here for the present.  More will follow later.  I have lots to write about now.

 

Love, Harold.”

There were pictures of the camp included with his letter but I believe the letter is compelling enough, I did include 1 picture of the corpses of the SS guards.

The reason why I included that one is because there was a debate and indeed that debate is still ongoing whether the killing of the SS guards could be considered a war crime or not. I don’t think it was, given what the liberators witnessed when they freed the camp, but that is my opinion.

References:

https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/eyewitness/html.php?section=7

https://www.fold3.com/page/1597-letter-from-harold-porter-to-his-parents-describing-dachau-concentration-camp/stories

 

 

 

 

 

They saw what was happening and did nothing.

21edmund-burke

As Edmund Burke once said”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, I would like to add “for good women to do nothing”

This is is how the Nazi regime and all its evil could flourish. People saw what was happening, it was often blatantly obvious but yet they did nothing,or very little.

This is not meant as an accusation to the German (and Austrian)people, because they were intoxicated by the power displayed by Hitler, additionally they were going through economic hardships and Hitler kept his ‘promises’of prosperity and employment and they didn’t realize or didn’t want to see the price to paid for it.

Below are just some examples that really should have opened the eyes of some people.

This photograph was taken in Austria days after the Nazi annexation, March 1938. A lady sitting on a bench, marked “Jews only”

A Jewish woman who is concealing her face sits on a park bench marked Only for Jews, Austria, 1938 (1)

A boy sits on a bench in a public park. The words painted on the bench say, “For Aryans only.

boy-bench-aryan

It wasn’t only the Germans and Austrians who knew what was happening the whole world saw what was going on and did nothing.

19381011_NYT_frontpage_Kristallnacht

Jewish prisoners paraded by the SS and local police through the streets of Baden-Baden,November 10 1938.

photo01

SS guards at the Dachau concentration camp, 1933.

KZ Dachau, SS-Wachmannschaft

Nazi SA paramilitaries outside Israel’s Department Store in Berlin. The signs read: “Germans defend yourselves! Don’t buy from Jews.

Berlin, Boykott-Posten vor jüdischem Warenhaus

Four Nazi troops sing in front of the Berlin branch of the Woolworth Co. store during the movement to boycott Jewish presence in Germany, March 1, 1933.

Nazis singing to encourage a boycott of the allegedly Jewish-founded Woolworths, 1933

This is the Reichserntedankfest(Thanksgiving for the Harvest) of 1934 in Buckeberg. That year, 700,000 people participated. Even those who did not support Nazis were totally blown away and emotionally shaken. They had never experienced anything even remotely like this, there was no rock concerts back then. It created spiritual feeling of sublime and unity among people who were participating. When they were marching back to their tents in the night, they could still see the huge spotlights piercing the sky in the Buckeberg. They were totally pumped up and fell that things are really going to change better.

Reichserntedankfest_rally_1934

The synagogue of Baden-Baden in flames, November 10, 1938

photo03

Two Germans accused of having violated the law against sexual relations between Jews and Gentiles.

bb6287c6e28a1175f0ae6306c3fa7dc3.jpg

A Jewish youth is forced under Nazi supervision to write “Jew” on the wall of a house, following the annexation of Austria, Vienna, 1938.

64b48e7db92468ce8631a6becb5c692e

In Austria Jews are made to scrub pro-Austrian slogans from streets – March 1938

Austrian-Jews-scrub-sidewalk_1938

A woman’s hair is shaved in public as she is accused of having violated the Nuremberg Laws

4dbe19363111e8fbd94915d9b4a5c273

I know people will say that there are similarities in apartheid and the segregation of African Americans, but the Nazi’s final solution’s aim was to annihilate and not to segregate.

Killing for Fun

Group portrait of T-4 Euthanasia program personnel at a social gathering

I do apologize for the title but to be honest I think it was the most suitable description. Despite all the murders they committed the staff ,both senior and junior, of the euthanasia centres ,SS and concentration camps still had a good time,having fun and being entertained.

The picture above is a group portrait of T-4 Euthanasia program personnel at a social gathering.

SS female auxiliaries from concentration camps take a break at a special resort for hard-working extermination personnel. In this photo, the girls are making mock faces supposedly expressing their disappointment of not having another serving of sweets.

feae3b1b296d5bed58cb80318daf9921

A group of concentration camp “administrators” pose for the photographer.

ss

Female guards in Auschwitz Concentration Camp – Poland

female

Prison staff at Colditz

Colditz

The Waffen-SS Music School was established in Braun­schweig on 1 July 1941 with the assistance of the SS Officer’s School in the same town. There were 60 students in the first training class and the first school director was Hstuf. Edgar Siedentopf. Most of the individual training group instructors were drawn from the NCOs attached to the band of SS Rgt. „Germania“/Division „Wiking.“ The students would frequently receive instru­mental training from members of the Braunschweig City-Theatre Orchestra, but at all times their activities were supervised either by the school commander or an SS instructor.

scan0098-e1502111986729

scan0099

scan0097

Operation Foxley-The killing of Hitler

hitler-assassination-plan-source-11

Operation Foxley was a 1944 plan to assassinate Adolf Hitler, conceived by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE). Although detailed preparations were made, no attempt was made to carry out the plan. Historians believe the most likely date for an attempt would have been 13–14 July 1944, during one of Hitler’s visits to the Berghof.

Obersalzberg, Berghof von Adolf Hitler

One of the first actual British plans to assassinate Hitler was to bomb the special train “Amerika” (in 1943 renamed “Brandenburg”) he travelled in; SOE had extensive experience of derailing trains using explosives. The plan was dropped because Hitler’s schedule was too irregular and unpredictable: stations were informed of his arrival only a few minutes beforehand.

Hitler_command_train

Another plan was to put some tasteless but lethal poison in the drinking water supply on Hitler’s train. However, this plan was considered too complicated because of the need for an inside man.

Although detailed planning was done to facilitate the attempt, it was never put into action.  SOE had several plans on taking out Germany’s Führer, including blowing up his train or by using poison. Neither of those had much of a chance of success. The SOE then planned on using a sniper to kill Hitler when he visited the Berghof, Hitler’s home in the Obersalzberg of the Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden, Bavaria.

SOE became aware of a facet of Hitler’s routine that made the attempt possible. One of his former security guards was captured in the fighting in Normandy during the early summer of 1944. This prisoner revealed that while at the Berghof, Hitler always took a 20-minute morning walk just after 10 a.m.and have breakfast at a teahouse on the premises. They learned that Hitler wanted liked to be left alone during this walk, leaving him unprotected along the edge of a wooded area, where he was out of sight of sentry posts. The Berghof was part of a large complex on the Obersaltzberg.   Many high-ranking Nazi’s had houses there so that they could relax in comfort when Hitler was there. Whenever Hitler was at the Berghof a Nazi flag was hoisted from the main house and could be seen from a café below in the town of Berchtesgaden.

The plan was for a sniper, armed with a Mauser Kar-98K and fitted with a scope to kill Hitler as he took his morning walk.

KARk98-sniper-465-e1503677996474

However, it wasn’t going to be easy. Although he felt secure within his compound and preferred to walk alone on most mornings, there were various sentries posted around the area anywhere between 100-500 meters from the path to the teahouse. The shot would be from a few hundred meters or failing that, he could be attacked while being driven back to the main house from the teahouse.

teahouse

The obvious issue for the British was the actually getting the team into and out of Germany. The two men picked for the mission were a German speaking Pole and a British sniper. The British lucked out when a German POW named Dieser told SOE that he had an uncle named Heidentaler, who lived as a shopkeeper in Salzburg, about 12 miles away who was a die-hard anti-Nazi. Heidentaler also did frequent target practice less than 10 miles from the estate and knew the area well.

The British sniper practiced with a Kar-98K and became proficient with it practicing in similar conditions with a moving target. He was also given a Luger 9mm pistol with a suppressor attached so that any unfortunate souls that stumbled upon them at the estate would be eliminated.

luger

The plan was to have the two men parachute into Germany, make their way to Salzburg where Heidentaler would hide the men and then transport them to Berchtesgaden disguised as German Mountain troops.

Everything was ready to go and the plan was submitted in November 1944. But SOE’s Deputy Head of their German Directorate, Lt. Colonel Ronald Thornley thought the assassination was a bad idea. Hitler, Thornley argued, may be turned into a martyr and the Germans’ loss of the war could be blamed on his loss and not a flawed overall strategy. Moreover, he said, it may cause a repeat of the WWI-WWII scenario where Germany may try to rise again.

Ultimately it was decided to scrap the plan, in no small part because Churchill’s advisors believed that Hitler, with absolute power, was a terrible strategist. With his increasing paranoia and poor decisions that were becoming more frequent, it was thought that his being in charge of the German war machine was a better alternative than removing him via an assassin’s rifle and having a more apt leader continuing the war.

Hitler is was deemed, was more valuable to the Allies alive than dead. The plan was scrapped. Just a few months later, with Germany in ruins, he committed suicide in Berlin.

DS-14