Three shots! Three lives lost! All I can hear are shots, shots.

diary

“Three shots! Three lives lost! All I can hear are shots, shots.” This line is the final entry of Renia Spiegel’s diary. It is the final entry but it was not written by her but by her boyfriend.

Renia had left her diary with her boyfriend ,Zygmunt Schwarzer,  for safekeeping. You see Renia could not write that line because one of those three shots was for her.

Zygmunt Schwarzer had helped Renia and his own parents  to hide in the attic of his Uncle’s house but an informant betrayed her whereabouts to the Nazis;s and Renia and Schwarzer’s parents  were shot in the street on July 30, 1942.

Her last name Spiegel means mirror in both the German and Dutch language. Renia’s story as so many others is a mirror we should look at. If we truly look into that mirror we can only come to one conclusion. So little has been learned form the horrors of the past, so little that we are bound to repeat them.

Ending this blog with some of Renia’s own words from July 15,1942 just over 2 weeks before she was killed . May her words  be a mirror to our souls.

“Remember this day; remember it well, You will tell generations to come. Since 8 o’clock today we have been shut away in the ghetto. I live here now. The world is separated from me and I’m separated from the world. Leaving the ghetto without a pass,  is punishable by death.

Inside, there are only our people, close ones, dear ones. Outside, there are strangers. My soul is so very sad. My heart is seized with terror,”

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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Sources

The Smithsonian

The Guardian

Irish Times

 

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There is no place for hate in this world.

ivan

You killing me did not stop your hate. Hate is like a disease, a cancer, it eats on you bit by bit , the more you hate the sicker you get. Hate is like a tumout in your head,it drives you insane. Up to the point that you don’t even realize anymore that killing an 8 months old baby is an act of depravity.

I am Ivan Rozenbaum , born in Romania. I was 8 months young when you killed me in Auschwitz. Your hate died with you but the love for me grew stronger each day.

When people see my face they are equally amused and saddened. Amused because who doesn’t smile when they see the innocence of an infant. Saddened because they cannot comprehend the hate that killed me.

J am Ivan Rozenbaum, for ever remembered as a product of love between 2 people.

Don’t you realize that your birth was a result of an act of love. If there had been no love, there had been no you. Yet you wasted your time and energy with hate.

You should have spent your time learning about me and my people. We did not ask for you to become like us, all we wanted was for you to respect and except us. We will never become special by being the same, it is our differences that makes us special. But your hate stopped you seeing this. Your color was black and white and you missed out on all those colours in between.

Do I feel sorry for you? No! I pity you and the pathetic ideology you followed. An ideology based on hate. If you had only had the epiphany that Love is the strongest weapon you have, yet you never used it.

I am Ivan Rozenbaum and it saddens me that so many decades after my murder, some people still are not able to use that powerful weapon called love.

There is no place for hate in this world. But alas there are those who are so eager to create some space for hate. But hate will never win. It might win a few battles but never the war.

 

Would you willingly hurt someone,if someone in authority told you to?

experiment

I have already done a piece on the Milgram experiments, and this will be more of a follow up.

The Milgram experiment,was designed to observe the extent to which individuals would perform acts that violated their personal conscience when under orders from an authority figure. Basically they wanted  to investigate whether Germans were particularly obedient to authority figures as this was a common explanation for the Nazi killings in World War II.

What they found out was shocking. It more or less proved that given a certain set of circumstances the Holocaust could have happened anywhere.

The experiment was set up in the following way  a scientist” an authoritative figure”— ordered participants to ask another individual a series of questions and administer increasingly painful electric shocks for every wrong answer. The intensity of the shocks started at a level of mild pain when the experiment began but could be built up to lethal doses of electricity as the experiment continued. Not know to the participant, the setup was fake.

“The experiment requires that you continue. It is absolutely essential that you continue. You have no other choice, you must go on.” was the order given to participants.

The experiment started in 1961 and conclude in 1963.

50 years later actor/director Eli Roth repeated the experiment for a documentary on Discovery Channel titles “How evil are you” Trying to find out how people would react nowadays, knowing whet we know now.

This is the real shocking thing ,in 1963 ,65% of the participants continued with the task put do them, knowing that it could actually kill the other participant.

In 2013 the percentage rose to 77%.

 

So the answer to the question ‘Would you willingly hurt someone,if someone in authority told you to?’ would probably be Yes.

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Your smiley face makes me cry.

11 months

Your smiley face makes me cry.

It makes me cry because I know you were born on June 13,1942 in The Hague , the Netherlands and you were killed June 11,1943 in Sobibor. You were not even given the opportunity to blow one candle on your first birthday cake.

I cry but I no longer have tears because they have dried up due to crying for the 1.5 million childer that were killed.

There is one question that occupies my mind constantly. Why?

I know why, but I just can’t comprehend.

Ywo days before your birthday you were murdered.

You are Joseph Blok, you could have been an  inspirational musician or a motivation speaker, or  just simply the father of my best friend.

The biggest fear of your parents  should have been to keep you safe from the measles,chicken pox ,mumps and rubella, but it was men who probably had children themselves, perhaps even babies like you.

Men, who did not see you as human being they though of you as vermin, but it was these men who were the real vermin.

Men who felt heroic for killing babies who could not defend themselves.

Rest in peace young Joseph Blok.

 

 

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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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

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

March 18: On Trial for “Racial Defilement”

Rachel de Groot- A teenage girl, murdered.

Rachel

I wish I could write about how Rachel de Groot survived the war and grew up to fulfill her potential, But I can’t, in fact I can’t even say that much about her. Not because there is not much known about her, because there is.

The reason why I can’t say too much about Rachel is because I am the Father of a teenage girl, the thought that something could happen to her lives with me 24/7 ,but that is normal for any Father or Mother for that matter.

Seeing a picture of Rachel makes me realize how fragile life is and how quick situations can change. One day you are living without a care in the world then suddenly you find yourself in hiding, hiding for people who hate you so much even though they have never met you.

Rachel, her parents and her younger brother al went into hiding in November 1942, the Dutch police, instructed by the Nazi occupiers were rounding up Jews.

Rachel liked to make handcrafts and she used these blac,gold and white beads for that purpose, I do not know for certain but I reckon she used them to make jewelry.

Just cheap disposable beads but they must have been extremely valuable to Rachel because they keep her mind occupied, an escape from the horrors and anxiety she faced.

beadz

Despite everything she still must have had hope because she even made a calendar when she was in hiding, indicating she was still planning her days. People who have no hope do not plan.

calendar

As I stated earlier, I have a teenage daughter and it could have easily been her and I ciuld have been that father with her in hiding, something I just can’t fathom.

Rachel was born on August 15, 1927. My daughter was also born in August. Rachel was murdered in Auschwitz on May 22,1944 together with her mother.Her Father arrived a few months later and was murdered on September 30,1944.Her brother survived the war

Now I know there will be some people who read this and will say that this blog is mainly based on presumptions, and that is true because I never met Rachel how could I have she was murdered before I was even born.But the only way for us to remotely understand the Holocaust(because for those who did not live through it can never understand) is by making it personal.

For some reason Rachel’s story touche me more then other stories, maybe it because of my paternal instincts.

Sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/artifact/beads-used-by-a-dutch-jewish-girl-in-hiding

https://www.joodsmonumentzaanstreek.nl/groot-de-rachel-chelly/

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/541363/about-rachel-de-groot

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn513933

 

The German Jews at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

olympics berlin

The 1936 Berlin were probably the biggest propaganda tool ever to be created by the Nazi regime, but I won’t go into the details of the actual games. I will focus on 3 people of Jewish descent. Two who survived the war and one who did a few days after the games.

In 1935 teh Nazis had introduced the Nuremberg Laws.One of the consequences of these laws was that the Jewish people no longer were allowed to participate in social activities together with ‘Aryan’ people.

Concerned that international opinion would be adversely swayed by the new laws, the Interior Ministry did not actively enforce them until after the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in Berlin that August. Also some of the best athletes were Jewish.

Rudi Ball

Rudi Ball

Because he was Jewish, Ball was initially not consideed for selection in the German ice hockey team. Because  of that Ball’s  good friend and teammate, Gustav Jaenecke, refused to play unless Ball was included. Ball also believed a deal could be struck to save his family in Germany if he returned to play in the games.Realizing the team would not be competitive without their stars and attempting to win as many as possible to propagate their political machine, the Nazis and Ball struck a deal. By playing, Rudi’s family would be able to emigrate from Germany.His parents were allowed to leave and emigrated to South Africa.Although not verified it is believed that Ball had met directly with Hitler.

What I find intriguing and truly amazes me, Ball and also his brothers had already been in safety. In 1933 they played Ice hockey in Switzerland.

After the games Ball resumed playing for his old team in Berlin and, (this is something that truly amazes me) continued in the team in several capacities until 1944.

Ball died in September 1975 and was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2004.

Helene Mayer

Helena

Helene Mayer is a bit of an enigma I suppose. Many see her as a traitor and although I can understand why,I don’t necessarily subscribe to that point of view.

She was, by definition of German law at the time of the Olympics, part-Jewish, which had cost her most of her citizenship rights.Although she did not really consider herself to be Jewish, her Father was Jewish and had died from a heart attack in 1931. Her mother was christian and Helene was more or less raised as a Christian, but that did not matter to the Nazis.

Mayer won a gold medal in fencing at the age of 17 at the 1928 Summer Olympics in 1932 at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, having learned, two hours prior to the match, that her boyfriend had died in a military training exercise in Germany.She remained in the USA to study.

In April 1933, she was kicked out of the Offenbach Fencing Club, even though as a private organization it was then under no legal obligation to expunge its Jews. Later on in 1933 the Germans withdrew her scholarship. She managed to get a job teaching German at Mills College in Oakland, California, and later taught at San Francisco City College.She lost her German citizenship in 1935 because of  the Nuremberg Laws, which considered her non-German.Rejected by her home country and unable to fence for the US, Mayer’s Olympic career should have been over.However out of fear for an American boycott to the Olympic games, the Nazis decided to include Helene mayer in the team, Partially because she looked Aryan.Goebbels required of the press that “no comments were to  be made about Helene Mayer’s Jewish ancestry.

Controversially she gave a Nazi salute on the podium, and later said it might have protected her family. After the games she returned to the US.Her brothers stayed in Germany where, they were forced into hiding before eventually being they were captured and were forced into slave labor in a factory. It was only because of the war’s end they survived not because of Helene’s salute or participation in the games. Having that said though I can understand why she did it. It is very easy for us to judge but we were never put in that situation..

Wolfgang Fürstner

wolfgag

Wolfgang Fürstner  was a German Wehrmacht captain initially appointed as commander,  of Berlin’s Olympic village during the 1936 Summer Olympics.

He had been tasked with building and organizing the Olympic village. Howver shortly before the games commenced he was replaced and demoted to vice commander.

His  Grandfather was Jewish but had converted to Christianity but as with Helen Mayer this didn’t matter to the Nazis, nor did  the fact that he was an officer in the Wehrmacht.

Fürstner, found out  that  he was going to be  classified as a Jew and was to be dismissed from the Wehrmacht.On on 19 August 1936, 3 days after the end of the games he shot himself. The Nazis tried to cover up his suicide by claiming he had died in a car accident. But the truth of his suicide soon leaked to the international press. The Sydney Morning Herald an Australian newspaper, reported Fürstner had been found dead with a gun by his side.

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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Sources

Rudi Ball, 1936, and a Deal with the Devil

https://web.archive.org/web/20180112100839/http://www.sihss.se/RudiBallbiography.htm

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/jul/28/helene-mayer-nazi-germanys-jewish-champion-fencer

In 1936 Games, a Mills College teacher with Jewish roots won silver for Nazi Germany

https://www.ushmm.org/exhibition/olympics/?content=continuing_persecution&lang=en

The farce that was the Nuremberg Trials

Nuremberg

Today marks the 74th anniversary of the sentencing at the main Nuremberg trials.The sentencing took  two days, with the individual sentences read out on the afternoon of 1 October.

The Nuremberg trials were never really meant to serve justice. In one way I can understand it but on the other hand looking at the sentences handed out ,one can not escape the fact that it was really a window dressing exercise.

Of the 24 defendants the international tribunal found all but three of the defendants guilty. Twelve were sentenced to death, one in absentia,Martin Borman, and the rest were given prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life behind bars.

The fact that 3 of them got acquitted speaks volumes, Each one of those 24 men were involved in horrendous war crimes and genocide in one way or another, be it in actively participating or by facilitating No one should have walked out of that court a free man.

Those who did not get the death sentence were given very lenient sentences.

Albert Speer was pivotal in the Nazi crimes but he was very manipulative. His lies were believed and he was sentenced to 20 years. After his release he lived a wealthy life mainly from proceeds of stolen art.

Because the accused men and judges spoke four different languages, the trial saw the introduction of a technological innovation taken for granted today: instantaneous translation. IBM provided the technology and recruited men and women from international telephone exchanges to provide on-the-spot translations through headphones in English, French, German and Russian.

Strangely enough not one staff member of IBM were in the docks with the defendants. IBM played a crucial  role in the Holocaust  at all six phases: identification, expulsion from society, confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and even extermination. Moreover, recently discovered  documents portray with crystal clarity the personal involvement and micro-management of IBM president Thomas J. Watson in the company’s co-planning and co-organizing of Hitler’s campaign to destroy the Jews.

There were subsequent trials but if you look at the amount of sentences it is absolutely shocking how so many got away with murder. Many of them got high positions in government bodies in Germany and the USSR,USA and the UK.

color

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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Sources

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/nuremberg-trials

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ibm-holocaust_b_1301691

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ibm-holocaust_b_1301691

WikiPedia

 

 

Lodz Ghetto . Children rounded up for deportation to Chelmno extermination camp.

Children

I wanted to change the title of the blog to evoke an emotion, but I figured if this doesn’t hit you in the gut nothing will.

It is the actual  title of the picture it is from a public domain. I only changed the names from German into the Polish names.

When you don’t know the background to the picture, you would think that it is an old picture of young primary school children going for a walk or a field trip.

I regularly see a group of children of a similar size, about 30 or so, walking from the local primary school to the leisure centre about half a mile down he road, it is the same centre I attend, they go there for swimming lessons.My children were pupils in that school and would have walked that same route.

However the children in the picture don’t go for a fun activity. They were rounded up to be transported to a place where they would be murdered. There are only 2 adults in the picture A man who is near the end of the group, he is bend over and appears to be giving some instructions.He is wearing an armband so I assuming he is a Kapo or Sonderkommando,but I can’t tell for certain.

On the right edge of the picture stands a woman, she may just be a bystander but my feeling tells me she is a female guard.

What disturbs me about this is that those 2 adults know what will happen to the children and are willingly or forcibly participating. I could not do that, I’d rather kill myself.

Time and time again I ask myself, Why the children? I know the answer but I cannot and will not accept it, the children were seen as enemies and subhuman, and they would grow up to be adult enemies. But the twisted and evil logic behind it escapes me.

This is a line from a Whitney Houston song but it is so fitting here “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.Show them all the beauty they possess inside.”

They are our future by killing them you kill the future.

Every time I see a group of Schoolchildren now going for a walk or fieldtrip, I will think of this picture and will pray that no other child will ever be deported to be killed.But I will also look at the kids and will enjoy their innocent smiles and laughter, just a bit more then I did before

Source

USHMM

 

 

Saving life by taking life.

Dachau

This is a blog I had wanted to do for a long time but was reluctant to actually start it. I was afraid it would be used out of context by both pro life and pro choice advocates. However  this blog is really about desperation and inhumane sacrifices. I would therefore urge every one  not to use this in the current ongoing anti and pro abortion debates.

No one can understand what these women went through,and no one can judge nor should judge them but have compassion instead.

Regardless if pregnant women were able to work, if it was known they were pregnant they were either sent to the gas chambers killing both mother and unborn baby, or they were sent for ‘medical’ experiments and the out come would be the same,death for both.

Dr Gisella Perl was  a Romanian Jewish gynecologist deported together with her family to Auschwitz  in 1944. Her husband,son and parents all died in Auschwitz. Her son was gassed and her Husband was beaten to death just before the liberation of Auschwitz. Her daughter survived.

Gisella

She was spared, only to become an Auschwitz physician under  Josef Mengele.

Mengele ordered Perl  to report all pregnancies to him directly. Pregnant women, he claimed, would be sent to a different camp, one with better care for mother and child. Perl knew he lied. She also knew that she couldn’t tell him about a single pregnancy. How she’d keep them a secret, she did not quite know

Unfortunately , some women who overheard this conversation went to Mengele to tell him they were pregnant themselves . The women  were experimented on and, ultimately, died.

Perl faced a dilemma, if she reported the pregnancies the women would die, if the babies were born the cries would be heard and everyone in the barrack would be killed for keeping the secret.

Therefore,even ,though  it went against everything she believed she stated to perform  abortions dirty floors with her bare, unwashed hands, without any medical instruments or anesthesia, in the hope that the mothers would survive and later, perhaps, be able to bear children.

Sometime when babies were born the mothers would smother them to death in order to survive themselves.

Perl risked her life if she was ever found out she would have been killed.She did suffer after the war, she tried to kill herself by poisoning herself.

However there were some miracle births as well.In February 1945 a Jewish obstetrician Erno Vadasz was called to the women’s “Pregnancy Unit” in Dachau’s sub camp Kaufering by the Kapo, David Witz.  Vadasz was emaciated and  weak .

Erno

There were 7 women expecting babies,. Although he needed help to stand, Vadasz demanded “soap, knife, hot water, towels,” as for any delivery.The mothers had been well fed before the deliveries, and within a few weeks Vadasz had successfully brought all seven babies into the world. This despite the fact that two of the deliveries were complicated.

babies

I have heard and read the most ridiculous comments about this before, comments like “whey did they have sex in the first place” Sex is one of the most primal human instincts, aside from that it was also a bit of an escape of all the horrors around them. A moment of being loved rather then being despised. An opportunity to feel human again.

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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Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6115479/

https://christiansfortruth.com/

The Tragic Heroism Of Gisella Perl, “The Angel of Auschwitz”

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/