Evil enjoying itself in Auschwitz.

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I don’t know what is more disturbing , the pictures of the victims of Auschwitz or the pictures of those working there and were clearly enjoying themselves,nearly thinking it was some sort of holiday camp.

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The  following photos were taken between May and December 1944, and they show the officers and guards of the Auschwitz relaxing and enjoying themselves — as countless people were being murdered and cremated at the nearby death camp. In some of the photos, SS officers can be seen singing.in another a man can be seen decorating a Christmas tree in what could only be described as a holiday in hell.

The photo’s belonged to Karl Höcker, the adjutant to the final camp commandant at Auschwitz, Richard Baer. Höcker took the pictures as personal keepsakes.

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Helferinnen(female helpers), in wool skirts and cotton blouses, listen to the accordion and eat blueberries, which Karl Hoecker had served to them.

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The women with Hoecker “were typists, telegraph clerks, and secretaries in Auschwitz, and were called Helferinnen, which means ‘helpers,’Their racial purity had been established—should an officer be looking for a girlfriend or a wife, the Helferinnen were intended to be a resource.

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Camp commandant Richard Baer, notorious concentration camp doctor Josef Mengele (The Angel of the Death), and the commandant of the Birkenau camp, Josef Kramer.

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This photograph, taken at Auschwitz, shows “nearly a hundred officers arrayed like a glee club up the side of a hill. The accordion player stands across the road,All the men are singing except those in the very front, who perhaps felt too important for it.” The group includes Richard Baer; Rudolf Hoess, who had supervised the building of Auschwitz and had been its first commandant; and Josef Mengele.

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Christmas 1944: Karl Höcker lights the candles of a Christmas tree.

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The Solahütte retreat was used to provide a relaxing atmosphere for SS officers working at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz

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SS officers relax together with women and a baby on a deck at Solahütte.

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David And Perla Szumiraj-An Auschwitz Love story

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Amid the horrors of the Nazi death camps, somehow, some people managed to survive. One such couple is David Szumiraj and his wife Perla, who actually met in Auschwitz.

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David Szumiraj went to Auschwitz in late 1942. During his time there, he tended potato fields, where he worked near a young woman named Perla. The two weren’t allowed to speak, but when guards weren’t looking they made eye contact.

The shared glances were enough for the two to develop feelings for each other. Once they were able to talk for the first time, David says, “It was already inside us, the idea that we were a couple, that we were going to get married.” Their first conversation ended with their first kiss.

In January 1945, with Soviet forces approaching, the Nazis began moving prisoners. The evacuation of Auschwitz was one of the most notorious death marches in history, killing 15,000 people.

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After a week of passengers eating nothing but snow, David’s train was attacked by British planes. Weighing just 38 kilograms (83 lb), he survived by eating grass until American soldiers picked him up. Today, he still won’t eat lettuce.

David had no idea where Perla was. He sent a friend to a camp in Hamburg that housed lots of women—and she was there. The first David knew of his friend’s success was when Perla jumped out from behind a tree at the army base where David was staying.

They married, had a daughter, and decided to move to Argentina to be with some of David’s surviving family.

But getting to Argentina was not easy for Jews. Argentina’s government had supported the Nazis during the war, and had issued a secret order, effectively banning Jewish immigrants.

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To enter Argentina, many Jews said they were Catholic. For others, the only way in was to pay large bribes

They couldn’t afford the $20,000 immigration fees, so they had themselves smuggled into the country from Paraguay instead,so they went to neighbouring Paraguay, where they got in touch with people smugglers who would take them to Argentina. When they finally arrived in Buenos Aires, David’s family was waiting.

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Zyklon B

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Zyklon B:hydrogen cyanide adsorbed on or released from a carrier in the form of small tablets, used as an insecticidal fumigant.

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Even in their preferred choice of mass killing the Nazis used a poison which was originally designed to kill insects and other pests, and that is the clearest indication what they thought of their victims.

Hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous gas that interferes with cellular respiration, was first used as a pesticide in California in the 1880s.Research at Degesch(German Corporation for Pest control)  led to the development of Zyklon (later known as Zyklon A), a pesticide which released hydrogen cyanide upon exposure to water and heat.Zyklon_label_3

It was banned after a similar product was used by Germany as a chemical weapon in World War I. In 1922, Degesch was purchased by Degussa, where a team of chemists that included Walter Heerdt  and Bruno Tesch developed a method of packaging hydrogen cyanide in sealed canisters along with a cautionary eye irritant and adsorbent stabilizers.Bruno_Emil_Tesch

The new product was also named Zyklon, but it became known as Zyklon B to distinguish it from the earlier version. Uses included delousing clothing and disinfesting ships, warehouses, and trains.

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During the killing process, prisoners at Auschwitz and other killing centers were forced into the air-tight chambers that had been disguised by the Nazis to look like shower rooms. The Zyklon pellets were then dumped into the chambers via special air shafts or openings in the ceiling.

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The pellets would then vaporize, giving off a noticeable bitter almond odor. Upon being breathed in, the vapors combined with red blood cells, depriving the human body of vital oxygen, causing unconsciousness, and then death through oxygen starvation.It could take up to 20 minutes before the victims died.

Alderney camps-Nazi Concentration camps in Great Britain.

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The Alderney camps were prison camps built and operated by Nazi Germany during its World War II occupation of the Channel Islands. The Channel Islands was the only part of the British Isles to be occupied.

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The Nazis built four camps on Alderney. The Nazi Organisation Todt (OT) operated each subcamp and used forced labour to build fortifications in Alderney including bunkers, gun emplacements, air-raid shelters, tunnels and concrete fortifications.

The camps commenced operating in January 1942. They were named after the Frisian Islands.

Four labour camps were built, which were named after the German islands of Sylt, Borkum, Norderney and Helgoland.

The camps on Alderney were run from the Neuengamme concentration camp in German Anton Yezhel is one of the few forced workers who was sent to Alderney to have been pictured. Sadly, whether his survived the conditions in unknown.2F743D0F00000578-3363742-image-a-58_1450870271396

Lager Sylt, whose gates still stand today, housed the Jewish prisoners, who were treatment shocked the locals who remained on the Islands under the Nazis.

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Guernsey priest, The Reverend Douglas Ord, saw the prisoners from Sylt arrive in Guernsey in 1944.

He wrote in his diary: ‘Coming down from the harbour was a column of men in rows of five. All were in striped pyjama suits of sorts and their footgear varied from wooden sabots … to pieces of cloth bound round the feet. Others were barefoot.

‘There were more than the 1,000 of them – political prisoners brought away from Alderney. They were shaven-head and in varying degrees of weariness or lameness.

‘Scattered thorough the column among men of sub-human criminal type were others obviously intellectuals, men of superior calibre who had offended the brutal Nazi regime. It tore the heart to see the effects of this systematic and deliberate degradation of human beings.”2F73EA1200000578-3363742-image-a-9_1450342130877

Reverend Ord added: ‘At the head of the column marched five evil-visaged SS men armed with automatic guns. At the rear of the column and along its flanks on both sides and at a distance of about a dozen feet from each other were more of these brutes, similarly armed, and all on alert for any attempt at a break-away. I have never seen such brutality written on human countenances.

‘Occasionally a man would make the ‘V’ sign to us as he went by. All the emotions of pity, sympathy, sorrow, anger and horror surged through us as we watched.

‘All day long the stench of their poor, wretched, unwashed bodies and clothes hung about the route they had followed.’

While there were no gas chambers at Camp Sylt, the way the prisoners were treated led to the deaths of around half of the labourers brought to the island.

Documents compiled by British intelligence services trying to work out what was going on on the Channel Islands at the time laid bare the brutal conditions of life.

One report stated: ‘Too undernourished and exhausted to work efficiently, these men were mercilessly beaten by the German guard and frequently when they were too weak after a beating to stand up, they were clubbed to death or finished off with a knife.’

A report by British intelligence body MI19 said: ‘One such was crucified on the camp gates, naked and in midwinter. The German SS guards threw buckets of cold water over him all night until he was finally dead.

Another was caught by bloodhounds when attempting to stow away to the mainland. He was hanged and then crucified to the same gate. His body was left hanging on the gate for five days as a warning.

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More than 700 camp inmates lost their lives before the camps were closed and the remaining inmates transferred to France in 1944.

After World War II, a court-martial case was prepared against former SS Hauptsturmführer Max List, citing atrocities on Alderney. However, he did not stand trial,and is believed to have lived near Hamburg until his death in the 1980s

 

 

Safekeeping the Flag

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In 1943, the Jewish family Gans was on their way to the train station because Father Josef, Mother Martha and their four children Abraham, Louise, Emma and baby Harry had received a call-up notice.

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After earlier deferments they were ordered, like many other Jews, to report for internment in the Vught Concentration Camp.

The evening before their departure the Gans family said their goodbyes to neighbours they were quite fond of. Josef Gans gave the family’s Dutch flag to Henny, the girl next door, with the words: ‘I’m giving you this flag for safekeeping, until better times. Hang it outside when we return.’ The next day, Henny accompanied them to the station. The steam train with its passenger compartments was already there and waiting.

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The guards slammed the doors shut. Henny threw one last kiss and waved goodbye to her beloved neighbours.

Years later, after hearing that the entire Gans family was murdered in a concentration camp in occupied Poland, Henny donated the flag to the Synagogue in the town of Winterswijk.

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It is not known if there are any relatives of the Gans family still alive

The heroic village Nieuwlande-the Netherlands

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The population of the isolated village of Nieuwlande  in Drenthe,the Netherlands,increased drastically during the dark days of World War II but the new arrivals rarely were seen in public. Not many people in the Netherlands today know about Drents Jerusalem, Nieuwlande’s nickname. In ancient Jerusalem, a continent away, the village received special acknowledgement in April 1985 as the only community which in its entirety was awarded a honourary Yad Vashem medal for harbouring strangers in its homes.

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A month earlier, a large majority of the villagers had received the Yad Vashem Award individually.

The majority of Nieuwlande’s unregistered people were Jews in hiding who had refused to report to the Nazi’s for deportation to concentration camp Westerbork, less then fifty kilometres to the north. Almost every family in the area around the village had taken in people, some as many as ten.

Resisting the Nazi’s in the former peat bog colony already started shortly after the country was occupied in May 1940. However is was not until local municipal councilor Johannes Post asked Rev. F. Slomp who had served a local church in the 1930s, to come over and speak to the villagers that real resistance began.

That meeting, held at a local church in 1942, was attended by 150 people. Slomp, never one to mince words about the dangers of Nazidom, challenged villagers to do their Christian duty to protect those in harm’s way.

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The village inhabitants resolved that every household would hide one Jewish family or at least one Jew.

Post was one of the first to give Jews a hiding place in his home. Soon he was heavily involved as a regional representative in a group which became known as the National Organization to aid those in hiding (known widely by its Dutch acronym LO). As the number of refugees increased and this type of passive resistance became more widespread, the Germans devised ways to strangle the efforts of their opponents by new and tricky rules for food coupons and rationing, for identity cards and permits. The resistance movement countered these by perfecting counterfeit documents and rubber stamps, to fudge population numbers (at civil registreries) and swapping identities (those of deceased people were swapped with those on the wanted list). One of Nieuwlande’s counterfeit experts was a Jew hiding below a kitchen. Eventually, the resistance movement saw no other option but to raid food rations distribution centres for fresh coupons, rationing documents and the like. The Nieuwlande farmer and municipal politician was elected national leader of the combat units (knokploegen, LKP). An additional activity was springing resistance people from jail. In one such scheme involving a raid on the Amsterdam Prison, Post was betrayed and caught. The Germans did not risk holding their most wanted ‘partizan’ for long, they liquidated him in nearby Overveen. He was shot in the neck the following day, on July 16, 1944. Among those with connections to Nieuwlande who did not see Liberation Day was Post’s brother Marinus, also a resistance leader, who was a farmer near  Kampen. (Another Drenthe village noted for wholesale resistance)

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Life in Nieuwlande itself was fairly safe. The linear community along a canal with numerous smaller drainage branches originally was founded as a peat bog colony but over time had turned to farming and become a homogeneous community. Situated between Hoogeveen and Emmen, Nieuwlande was on the border of several municipalities. A hard-working community, that shared the sense of hospitality and fellowship for which all of Drenthe is well-known.

Another key figure in Nieuwlande’s resistance history was Albert Nijwening, who on his heavy-duty bicycle delivered bread in a wide area which also included Nieuwlande and another strong resistance community Hollandscheveld. Nijwening who by then lived in Hoogeveen was asked by Post if he knew suitable hiding places, at first for men who refused labour conscription in Germany to replace those who were called up for the German army. Soon, Nijwening was also finding homes for a growing number of Jews. Getting people to agree to take in strangers meant they had to come to terms with their fear of getting caught, but once the decision had been made it usually was not difficult to get people to take in additional people. At some addresses as many as ten people were living out of sight. Nijwening’s bread delivery route gave him a very good cover for his resistance work.2017-03-16

In addition to building elaborate hide-outs in homes and barns – double walls, secret entrances, etc. – just in case of unwelcome inspections by Nazi collaborators and Germans, Nieuwlande took quite a few precautions to slow down surprise raids or dragnet campaigns. These would often occur at night, during curfew from dusk to dawn. Many farms  were only accessible via a private bridge across the waterways prompting the families to turn the bridge sideways at night or when danger loomed. Additionally, they removed all the house numbers, creating more confusion to unwelcome strangers. Nieuwlande’s hospitality certainly had its limits.

Remarkably, the village largely was left alone until mid 1944; only a few places had been raided and arrests made. In comparison with other places, where loose talk by otherwise supportive people put collaborators on the trail of resistance groups, Nieuwlanders guarded their secrets well. They were severely put to the test when Nazi-henchmen Pattist and Hoogendam led raids on suspected hiding places over a wide area, causing a reign of terror.

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The Children’s perception of the Holocaust.

Malvina Lowova, who was killed aged 12, drew a family being deported under armed guard while farmers armed with pitchforks threaten them

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Helga Weissova. 13 years old. She tells in this drawing how the Germans forced them to reduce the bunks, with the aim of trying to make the hut appearance less narrow and then cheat the Red Cross inspection. Terezín.helga_1

Edita Pollakova. 9 years old. The deportation train arrives at Terezin. Edita died the October 4th of 1944 at Auschwitz.edita_pollakova

Yehuda Bacon. Being 16 years old he drew this portrait of his father recently gassed and burnt at Auschwitz. The face of his father emerges emaciated through a curtain of smoke.4.0.3P1

“Everyone was hungry” Liana Franklová 10 years old. Terezíneveryone-was-hungry

Helga Weissova. 13 years old. Drawing titled “Terezín arrival”. Helga entered in the concentration field with just 12 years old. She brought a box with paintings and a notebook. She draw more than 100 paintings doing what her father told her: “Paint whatever you see”. Here ended Helga’s childhood. With the responsibility of painting everything she saw and experienced. She was one of the few survivors.helga_4

The Orange dress- The short story of a Jewish family who survived the Holocaust.

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In 1944, a little Jewish girl named Elianne Muller wore this dress made of parachute material – dyed orange – during the Liberation celebration that took place in the village of Neerkant in the Dutch province of Brabant. It went beautifully with her reddish curls. The family Tijssen, Peter and Maria Tijssen had 11 children, who had been hiding the girl, made her this dress for this festive occasion.

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Earlier in the war Elianne spent time in three other hiding places, separated from her parents. Though her father Hein and her mother Rebecca miraculously survived, they completely lost track of their daughter. In 1945 her father placed an appeal in various newspapers describing his daughter’s striking hair colour. The plea was successful: Elianne and her parents were reunited. It was an exception for an entire Jewish family to survive the war.78.-brababants-jurkje

 

Cyla And Simon Wiesenthal- A remarkable Love story.

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We have all heard of Simon Wiesenthal.The Austrian Jew survived the Holocaust and later helped hunt down thousands of Nazi war criminals. But the story of his marriage to Cyla Wiesenthal is every bit as spectacular as the story of his fight for justice.

Cyla and Simon married in 1936 and lived in the Polish city of Lvov, which is today part of Ukraine. In 1941, the Nazis arrived, and Lvov became the Jewish ghetto of Lemberg.Lwow_Ghetto_(spring_1942)

In October 1941, the Wiesenthals were shipped to a small labor camp, where they worked for a year. By then, the mass killing of Jews was gathering pace, and the couple knew their deportation to an extermination camp was inevitable

In late 1941, Wiesenthal and his wife were transferred to Janowska concentration camp and forced to work at the Eastern Railway Repair Works.bigjanow03

He painted swastikas and other inscriptions on captured Soviet railway engines, and Cyla was put to work polishing the brass and nickel. In exchange for providing details about the railways, Wiesenthal obtained false identity papers for his wife from a member of the Armia Krajowa, a Polish underground organisation. wp_armia_krajowa_wilno_970dArmia Krajowa smuggled her out of the camp in early 1943 and provided her with a fake Christian identity.

Cyla was sheltered in Lublin, over 200 kilometers (120 mi) to the north. In June 1943, the Gestapo began rounding up suspicious women in the town, so Cyla traveled back to Lemberg to find Simon. After hiding for two days in a train station cloakroom, she made brief contact with him. Once again, he used his resistance contacts, this time to find her shelter in Warsaw.Warsaw_(1940s)

In 1944, Simon tried to commit suicide. He survived, but the story lost that important detail when Armia Krajowa informed Cyla of Simon’s actions, and she believed he was dead. In the meantime, he was moved to a different camp and met a man who had lived on the same Warsaw street as Cyla. The man told Simon that every building on the road had been destroyed by Nazis using flamethrowers, with no survivors.German_Brennkommando-firing_Warsaw_1944 When Simon’s camp was liberated in May 1945, he contacted the Red Cross, who confirmed his wife was dead.

Except she wasn’t. Cyla had been captured in Warsaw and sent to a camp, and the British had freed her a month before the Americans rescued Simon. Each believed the other was dead, until Cyla was reunited with a mutual acquaintance in Krakow. He was extremely surprised to see her. “I’ve just had a letter from your husband asking me to help locate your body,” the friend explained. Unfortunately, they still had a problem—Simon was in the American zone, and Cyla was in the Soviet.

Simon hired a man named Felix Weissberg to get his wife across the border. However, Weissberg was far from competent. He destroyed Cyla’s papers before getting to Krakow, where he forgot her address. He put a notice on a bulletin board: “Would Cyla Wiesenthal please get in touch with Felix Weissberg who will take her to her husband in Linz.”

When three women presented themselves, all claiming to be Cyla, Weissberg had no idea which one was telling the truth. He couldn’t smuggle three women across the border with new fake documents, so he had to guess after interviewing each one. Luckily, he got it right. The couple reunited, and they wasted no time making up for their two years apart. Their daughter was born nine months later.05taetigkeit-linz01

(Simon Wiesenthal with his wife Cyla in Amsterdam with Queen Juliana and her Husband Prince Bernhard)

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The “Jewish-SS” of Westerbork

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Ironically Camp Westerbork had been set up in 1939 to house Jewish refugees fleeing from Nazi Germany to the Netherlands.

Following the German invasion of the Netherlands, the Nazis took over the camp and turned it into a deportation camp. From this camp, 101,000 Dutch Jews and about 5,000 German Jews were deported to their deaths in Occupied Poland. In addition, there were about 400 Gypsies in the camp and, at the very end of the War, some 400 women from the resistance movement.1024px-Westerbork-monument2

The Ordenienst, or Jewish police in Westerbork, were universally detested by camp inmates for their cruelty and role in collaborating with the Nazis. Composed of Jews from Holland and other European countries, members of the OD were responsible for guarding the punishment block and generally maintaining order in the camp. The OD consisting of 20 men in mid-1942, grew to a peak of 182 men in April 1943 and stood at 67 in February 1944. Wearing the “OD” badge on the left breast was decreed in Camp Order No. 27 of 23 April 1943.

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The general supervision of the camp was in the hands of the SS and early on they were also responsible for the security in the vicinity of the camp. Daily life inside the camp was overseen by different Jewish work groups, including the Ordedienst  (Order Service). The members of this group, who wore these green coveralls, were responsible for fire safety and internal security.

They supervised the labour gangs, both inside and outside the camp. They also guarded the people scheduled for transport to the concentration and extermination camps. At times the Jewish Order Service was also deployed for razzias (roundups) in Amsterdam

And also  to retrieve the sick from their homes and for instance to empty the Jewish psychiatric hospital the Apeldoornsche Bosch in 1943.Hoofdgebouw_Apeldoornsche_Bosch_(ca._1930)

Needless to say, members of the Orderdienst were not particularly popular among Westerbork’s prisoners and often referred to as the ‘Jewish-SS’. Ultimately, most of the members of the Jewish Order Service were transported as well.