Crimes by the “regular” German soldiers.

german-soldiers-atrocities-war-crimes

There are still many who think that the Nazi atrocities were only carried out by the SS, SS-Totenkopfverbände, Einsatzgruppen and Waffen-SS but not by the regular German Wehrmacht soldiers or Luftwaffe. However in recent years evidence has emerged that especially the Wehrmacht were also responsible for atrocities and some even worse then the SS.

Below are some accounts from Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe soldiers given during interviews some of these were used in the book “Soldaten”

Eye witness account of Willy Peter Reese ,a young Wehrmacht soldier.

2017-03-02
Willy Peter Reese, an infantryman who fought on the Russian front and died in 1944 aged 23, kept a diary of how German soldiers killed scores of prisoners of war, committed rape, threw pregnant women and children out of their homes and stole food..
”We were without feeling for the suffering of others,We bragged about what we had conquered and about the effect a pistol could have on a defenseless woman.”

”We danced in the railway carriages and fired into the air, made a captured Russian woman dance naked for us and smeared her breasts with boot polish, we made her as drunk as we were,”

Luftwaffe accounts

luftwaffe

Fighter pilot Budde and Corporal Bartels were captured by the British early 1943.
Budde: “I flew two spoiling attacks. In other words, we shelled buildings.”
 
Bartels: “But not destructive attacks with a specific target, like what we did?”
 
Budde: “No, just spoiling attacks. We encountered some of the nicest targets, like mansions on a mountain. When you flew at them from below and fired into them, you could see the windows rattling and then the roof going up in the air. There was the time we hit Ashford. There was an event on the market square, crowds of people, speeches being given. We really sprayed them! That was fun!”
scan0003-10
Two other pilots, Bäumer and Greim, also had their share of “amusing” experiences, which they described in a conversation with other soldiers.

Bäumer: “We had a 2-centimeter gun installed on the front (of the aircraft). Then we flew down low over the streets, and when we saw cars coming from the other direction, we put on our headlights so that they would think another car was approaching them. Then we shot them with the gun. We had a lot of successes that way. It was great, and it was a lot of fun. We attacked trains and other stuff the same way.”
 
Greim: “We once flew a low-altitude attack near Eastbourne. When we got there we saw a big castle where there was apparently a ball or something like that being held. In any case, there were lots of women in nice clothes and a band. We flew past the first time, but then we attacked and really stuck it to them. Now that, my dear friend, was a lot of fun.”

Major General Walter Bruns

bruns-walter2

In April 1945, Major General Walter Bruns described what happened during a typical “Jew operation” he witnessed.

Bruns: “The trenches were 24 meters long and about 3 meters wide. They had to lie down like sardines in a can, with their heads toward the middle. At the top, there were six marksmen with submachine guns who then shot them in the back of the neck. It was already full when I arrived, so the ones who were still alive had to lie on top, and then they got shot. They had to lie there in neat layers so that it wouldn’t take up too much space. Before this happened, they had to turn in their valuables at another station.

german-soldiers-atrocities

The edge of the forest was here, and in here there were the three trenches on that Sunday, and here there was a line that stretched for one-and-a-half kilometers, and it was moving very slowly. They were standing in line to be killed. When they got closer, they could see what was going on inside. Roughly at this spot, they had to hand over their jewelry and their suitcases. A little farther along, they had to take off their clothes, all except their shirts and underpants. It was just women and little children, like two-year-olds.”

The Vinkt massacre

128459480-gdf82yev-vinktcroixnoms

Was a war crime which occurred in the Belgian villages of Vinkt and Meighem, near Ghent, between 26–28 May 1940 during the Battle of the Lys. During the massacre, between 86 and 140 civilians were deliberately killed by German Wehrmacht troops from the 337th Infantry Regiment, apparently as retaliation for the Belgian army’s resistance in the village.

dienstrockausgehrock-paradeeveryday-tunic-for-stabsfeldwebel-of-37th-infantry-reg-118942-600x600

Arriving near the bridge on May 25, the German 225th Division, consisting mostly of badly trained soldiers from Itzehoe in the North of the Hamburg area, found it impossible to cross. They then took 140 civilians hostage and used them as human shields.

Boasting

The story Lance Corporal Sommer tells about a lieutenant whom he served under on the Italian front shows how common it was to terrorize the civilian population:after the collapse of the Mussolini government

 Sommer: “Even in Italy , whenever we arrived in a new place, he would always say: ‘Let’s kill a couple of people first!’ I could speak Italian, so I always got special tasks. He would say: ‘Okay, let’s kill 20 men so we can have some peace and quiet here. We don’t want them getting any ideas!’ (laughter) Then we staged a little attack, with the motto: ‘Anyone gives us the slightest trouble and we’ll kill another 50.'”

Bender: “What criteria did he use to select them? Did he just pull them out at random?”

Sommer: “Yeah, 20 men, just like that. ‘Come here,’ he’d say. Then he’d line them up on the market square, pick up three MGs — rat-a-tat-tat — and there they were, dead. That was how it happened. Then he would say: ‘Great! Pigs!’ He hated the Italians so much, you wouldn’t believe it.”

shot

In another case, a senior German army officer voiced his disgust at a junior lieutenant’s giggling account of how he and his men raped a so-called woman “spy” in Russia and then threw hand grenades at her. “She didn’t half scream when they exploded near her,” the lieutenant jeered.

Even the German navy was involved.

In March 1943, Solm, a seaman on a submarine, tells a cellmate how he “knocked off a children’s transport” in which more than 50 children drowned. The transport he mentions was most likely the British passenger ship City of Benares, which was sunk in the north Atlantic on Sept. 17, 1940.

ss_city_of_benares

“Did they all drown?’

“Yes, they’re all dead.”

“How big was it?”

“6,000 tons.”

“How did you know that?”

“Via the radio.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Fritz Klein’s interpretation of the Hippocratic oath.

Nuremberg Trial Suspect Fritz Klein, Belsen Camp Doctor

Fritz Klein (24 November 1888 – 13 December 1945) was a German Nazi physician hanged for his role in atrocities at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during the Holocaust.

Klein was born in Feketehalom, Austria-Hungary (now Codlea in central Romania).Klein was considered a Volksdeutscher, or ethnic German. He studied medicine at the University of Budapest and completed his military service in Romania, finishing his studies in Budapest after World War I. He lived as a doctor in Siebenbürgen(Transylvania). In 1939 as a Romanian citizen he was drafted into the Romanian army, where after the outbreak of the war with the Soviet Union in 1941 he served as paramedic on the eastern front. In May 1943 Romanian dictator Marshal Antonescu, on a demand from Hitler to release ethnic Germans in the Romanian Army, drafted them into the German army.

800px-ion_antonescu

Hence Klein became a soldier in the Waffen-SS, was listed in the SS-Personalhauptamt, and was posted to Yugoslavia.

On 15 December 1943, he arrived in Auschwitz concentration camp, where at first he served as a camp doctor in the women’s camp in Birkenau. Subsequently, he worked as a camp doctor in the Gypsy camp. He also participated in numerous selections (“Selektionen”) on the ramp. In December 1944 he was transferred to Neuengamme concentration camp, from where he was sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in January 1945.

BELSEN EXTERMINATION CAMP

He remained at the camp with commandant Josef Kramer and assisted in handing it over to British troops. Klein was imprisoned and required to help bury all unburied corpses in mass graves.

Dr. Fritz Klein

The British Fifth Army Film & Photographic Unit photographed Klein standing in a mass grave in a well-known 1945 photo.

When asked how he reconciled his actions with his ethical obligations as a physician, Klein famously stated:

hippocraticoath

“My Hippocratic oath tells me to cut a gangrenous appendix out of the human body. The Jews are the gangrenous appendix of mankind. That’s why I cut them out.”

Klein and 44 other camp staff were tried in the Belsen Trial by a British military court at Lüneburg. The trial lasted several weeks from September to November 1945. During the trial Anita Lasker testified that he took part in selections for the gas chamber. He was sentenced to death and hanged at Hamelin jail by Albert Pierrepoint on 13 December 1945

albert-pierrepoint

Gustav Wagner-Sadistic Murderer

It is just unfathomable how many of the most evil and vile war criminals escaped justice. It is something the German government and other European and American governments should be deeply,deeply ashamed off because they escaped under their watch.

Gustav Franz Wagner (18 July 1911 – 3 October 1980) was am Austrian member of the SS with the rank of Staff sergeant (Oberscharführer). Wagner was a deputy commander of the Sobibór extermination camp in German-occupied Poland, where more than 200,000 Jews were gassed during Operation Reinhard. Due to his brutality, he was known as “The Beast” and “Wolf

Born in Vienna, Wagner joined the Nazi Party in 1931 as member number 443,217. After being arrested for proscribed National Socialist agitation, he fled to Germany, where he joined the SA and later the SS in the late 1930s.

In May 1940, Wagner was part of the Action T4 euthanasia program at Hartheim with administrative functions .

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/04/08/forgotten-history-the-t-4-holocaust-victimsthe-killing-of-the-disabled/

Due to his experience in T4, Wagner was assigned to help establish the Sobibór extermination camp in March 1942.

2ec5108e77ea2f7d57bcfe0ba34777e7

Once the gassing installations were completed, Wagner became deputy commandant of the camp under Commandant Franz Stangl. His official title was quartermaster-sergeant of the camp.

stangl_franz

 

Wagner was in charge of selecting which prisoners from the newly arrived transports would be used as slave laborers in and outside the camp, and which would be sent to their deaths in the gas chambers. When Wagner was on vacation or attending to duties elsewhere, Karl Frenzel assumed his role within the camp.

frenzel_karl_august

Together with Frenzel he selected the prisoners who had to work in or outside the camp from the incoming transports. Although absent during the uprising, he did help dismantle the camp, among other things by executing the Arbeitsjuden from Treblinka who tore down the barracks.

 

More than any other officer at Sobibór, Wagner was responsible for the daily interactions with prisoners. Wagner supervised the routine and daily life at Sobibór, and he was one of the most brutal SS officers. Survivors of the camp described him as a cold-blooded sadist.Wagner was known to beat and thrash camp inmates on a regular basis, and to kill Jews without reason or restraint. Inmate Moshe Bahir described him:

moshe-bahir-center-one-of-the-participants-in-the-uprising-in-the-sobibor-extermination-camp

“He was a handsome man, tall and blond — a pure Aryan. In civilian life he was, no doubt, a well-mannered man; at Sobibor he was a wild beast. His lust to kill knew no bounds… He would snatch babies from their mothers’ arms and tear them to pieces in his hands. I saw him beat two men to death with a rifle, because they did not carry out his instructions properly, since they did not understand German. I remember that one night a group of youths aged fifteen or sixteen arrived in the camp. The head of this group was one Abraham. After a long and arduous work day, this young man collapsed on his pallet and fell asleep. Suddenly Wagner came into our barrack, and Abraham did not hear him call to stand up at once before him. Furious, he pulled Abraham naked off his bed and began to beat him all over his body. When Wagner grew weary of the blows, he took out his revolver and killed him on the spot. This atrocious spectacle was carried out before all of us, including Abraham’s younger brother.”

Inmate Eda Lichtman wrote that on the Jewish fast day of Yom Kippur, downloadWagner appeared at roll call, selected some prisoners, gave them bread and forced them to eat it. As the prisoners ate the bread, Wagner laughed loudly, enjoying his joke because he knew that these Jews were pious.

One of the Sobibór prisoners improvised a song which ironically described camp life (original text with English translation):

  • Wie lustig ist da unser Leben
  • Man tut uns zu essen geben
  • Wie lustig ist im grünen Wald
  • Wo ich mir aufhalt
  • How fun is our life there,
  • They give us food to eat that’s fair,
  • What fun it is in the green wood,
  • Where I am stood.

Wagner enjoyed this song and he forced the prisoners to sing it frequently.

After two Jews escaped from Sobibór in the spring of 1943, Wagner was put in charge of a squad of soldiers from the Wehrmacht, who laid minefields around the camp so as to prevent further escapes. However, these efforts did not prevent another escape, which took form in the Sobibór revolt. Wagner was not present at the camp on the day of the Sobibór revolt (14 October 1943). The inmates knew of Wagner’s absence and believed that it would improve their chances of success.

Heinrich Himmler considered Wagner to be “one of the most deserving men of Operation Reinhard”

After Sobibór, Wagner was transferred to Italy, where he participated in the deportation of Jews

Gustav Wagner was sentenced to death in absentia, but escaped with Franz Stangl to Brazil. Clergy at the Collegio Teutonico di Santa Maria dell’Anima in Rome assisted Wagner in his flight from justice.

alois_hudal

Wagner was admitted as a permanent resident on 12 April 1950 and on 4 December 1950 a Brazilian passport was issued in the name of “Günther Mendel”, his new identity. He lived in Brazil undisturbed until he was exposed by Simon Wiesenthal and arrested on 30 May 1978.

It was only because Franz Stangl had mentioned ,that Wagner lived in Brazil, during an interview with Gitta Sereny for a study of him published as Into that Darkness.

gitta_sereny

Stangl died of heart failure nineteen hours after the conclusion of that interview, in Düsseldorf prison on 28 June 1971.

Simon Wiesenthal investigated the whereabouts of Wagner after that interview.

simon_wiesenthal_1982

The trail went dead for years but it was only when an article appeared in a Brazilian Newspaper which was also picked up by the New York times, the article was about Nazi’s in Sao Paulo ,Brazil celebrating Hitler’s Birthday.

2016-12-01

The invite to the  secret celebration in was coded.It was out of pure luck that the reporters had found the location of the party.

2016-12-01-2

Because they had become hungry and thirsty they stopped at a hotel.When they arrived reporter/photographer,Cynthia Brito noticed Nazi porcelain in a display unit in the lobby. They then looked around in the  and noticed the. party going on in a function room at the back of the hotel.She then secretly took pictures of the guests.

None of the pictures showed Wagner but Wiesenthal asked Cynthia Brito, if she could publish a picture of one of the men and say that this was Gustav Wagner,SS Officer and War Criminal, he sent her Wagner’s SS rank number.Just to lure Wagner out of hiding.

download-1

Brito agreed and published the picture. A day after publishing the ‘mock’ Wagner was killed and afraid that he would be indicted for the murder the real Wagner reported to the police.

Wagner was arrested after Wiesenthal contacted the police.Also a Sobibor survivot who also lived in Brazil gave evidence to Wagner’s crimes.

Extradition requests from Israel, Austria and Poland were rejected by Brazil’s Attorney General. On 22 June 1979 the Brazilian Supreme Court also rejected a West German extradition request.

beastmedia_2-02-2

 

Wagner, in a 1979 BBC interview, showed no remorse for his activities in running the camp, remarking:

I had no feelings. … It just became another job. In the evening we never discussed our work, but just drank and played cards.

In October 1980, Wagner was found with a knife in his chest in São Paulo. According to his attorney, Wagner committed suicide. His date of death was determined to be 3 October 1980. However it is widely believed that is more likely he was killed rather then suicide.

 

 

Dr.Aribert Heim-AKA Tarek Hussein Farid-AKA Dr.Death

horseback4vice-copy

One of the aspects of WWII I find most disturbing is really what happened after the war, so many of the Nazi criminals got away with murder and were never brought to justice. Often helped by Nazi sympathizers or worse yer by allied forces.

Aribert Ferdinand Heim (28 June 1914 – 10 August 1992)was an Austrian SS doctor, also known as “Dr Death”. During World War II he served at the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in Mauthausen, killing and torturing inmates by various methods, such as direct injections of toxic compounds into the hearts of his victims.

Heim was born in Bad Radkersburg, Austria-Hungary, the son of a policeman and a housewife. He studied medicine in Graz, and received his diploma in Vienna.

d08b80b52

He joined the local Nazi party in 1935, three years before Austria was annexed by Germany. Heim joined the SS after the Anschluss. He volunteered for the Waffen-SS in the spring of 1940, rising to the rank of Hauptsturmführer.

In October 1941, Heim was assigned to Mauthausen near Linz, Austria as a camp doctor. While at the concentration camp, Heim worked closely with SS pharmacist Erich Wasicky and carried out gruesome experiments likened to those of Joseph Mengele at Auschwitz. Heim was also a doctor at Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen concentration camps.

Aribert Heim worked in Mauthausen as a doctor starting in October 1941 at the age of 26, and he only worked there for six weeks. The prisoners at Mauthausen called Heim “Dr. Death”, or the “Butcher of Mauthausen” for his cruelty.

He was known for performing operations without anaesthesia. For about two months (October to December 1941), Heim was stationed at the Ebensee concentration camp near Linz, Austria, where he carried out experiments on Jews and others similar to those performed at Auschwitz by Josef Mengele.

ebensee01

According to Holocaust survivors, Jewish prisoners were poisoned with various injections directly into the heart, including petrol, phenol, available poisons or even water, to induce death.

He is reported to have removed organs from living prisoners without anesthesia, killing hundreds.A prisoner by the name of Karl Lotter also worked in the Mauthausen hospital at the time Aribert Heim was there.Lotter testified that in 1941, he witnessed Aribert Heim butcher a prisoner who came to him with an inflamed foot.Lotter provided more gruesome details about how Aribert butchered the 18-year-old prisoner. Lotter stated that Aribert gave the prisoner anesthetic and then proceeded to cut him open, castrate him, and take out one of his kidneys.The prisoner died, and his head was cut off, boiled and stripped of its flesh.Heim then allegedly used this young man’s skull as a paperweight on his desk.In a sworn statement that was given eight years after the incident Lotter stated that Heim, “needed the head because of its perfect teeth”.Other survivors of the Holocaust referred to Aribert removing tattooed flesh from prisoners and using the skin to make seat coverings, which he gave to the commandant of the camp.

In February 1942, Heim began serving in the 6th SS Mountain Division Nord in Northern Finland where he was an SS doctor in Oulu’s hospitals.

800px-former_hospital_building_in_peltola_oulu_aug2008_002

Heim was captured by US soldiers on March 15, 1945 and sent to a camp for prisoners of war. He was released and avoided immediate prosecution due to the mysterious omission of his time at Mauthausen from his American-held file in Germany. Following his release, Heim worked as a gynecologist in the German spa town Baden-Baden, where he lived with his wife and two sons. Heim disappeared in 1962 when he was warned that a warrant had been issued for his arrest and investigators were waiting for him at his residence.

In the years following his disappearance, Heim was the target of a rapidly escalating manhunt and ever-increasing rewards for his capture. Following his escape there were reported sightings in Latin America, Spain and Africa, as well as formal investigations aimed at bringing him to justice, some of which took place even after he had apparently died in Egypt. The German government offered €150,000 for information leading to his arrest, while the Simon Wiesenthal Center launched Operation Last Chance, a project to assist governments in the location and arrest of suspected Nazi war criminals who are still alive.

According to his son Rüdiger Heim, he drove through France and Spain onward to Morocco, moving finally to Egypt via Libya.

lead_large

Tax records prove that, as late as 2001, Heim’s lawyer asked the German authorities to refund capital gains taxes levied on him because he was living abroad.

In Egypt, Heim converted to Islam at the Al Azhar mosque and lived under the false name Tarek Hussein Farid.

800px-cairo_-_islamic_district_-_al_azhar_mosque_and_university

Despite being in hiding, Heim continued to correspond with friends and family in Europe and received money from his late sister, Herta Barth.

In 2006, a German newspaper reported that he had a daughter, Waltraud, living on the outskirts of Puerto Montt, Chile who said he died in 1993. However, when she tried to recover a muiltimillion euro inheritance from an account in his name, she was unable to provide a death certificate.

Fredrik Jensen, a Norwegian and a former SS Obersturmführer, was put under police investigation in June 2007, and charged with assisting Heim in his escape.

320x

The accusation was denied by Jensen.In July 2007, the Austrian Justice Ministry declared that it would pay €50,000 for information leading to his arrest and extradition to Austria

In August 2008, Heim’s son Rüdiger asked that his father be declared legally dead, in order to take hold of his assets; he intended to donate them to projects working to document the atrocities committed in the camps.

After years of apparently false sightings, the circumstances surrounding Heim’s escape, life in hiding and death were jointly reported by the German broadcaster ZDF and the New York Times in February 2009.

In 1980, Dr. Heim converted to Islam, according to several witnesses, and took the name Tarek Hussein Farid, although some records call him Tarek Hussein or Tarek Farid Hussein. The following medial records detail Dr. Heim’s treatment for rectal cancer beginning in about 1990.

 

He eventually died of cancer in 1992, according to documents and interviews.

 

74baceeaf

In an interview at the family’s villa in Baden-Baden his son Rüdiger admitted publicly for the first time that he was with his father in Egypt at the time of his death. Heim says it was during the Olympics, and that he died the day after the games ended. According to Efraim Zuroff, Rüdiger Heim had – until the publishing of the ZDF research results – constantly denied having any knowledge of the whereabouts of Aribert Heim.

107483347

On 18 March 2009, the Simon Wiesenthal Center filed a criminal complaint due to suspicion of false testimony.In 2012, a regional court in Baden-Baden confirmed that Heim died under the assumed identity of Tarek Hussein Farid in Egypt in 1992, based on evidence that his family and lawyer had presented.

article-1135927-034eea1b000005dc-750_468x269

During a series of interviews with Heim’s family, his son Rüdiger admitted that he had been with his father when he died of intestinal cancer on August 10, 1992. Heim’s son learned about the Dr. Heim’s whereabouts from his late aunt, Herta Barth. Rüdiger also learned from his father that there had been other ex-Nazis in hiding in Egypt.

 

Nazi plunder and thievery

Italien, Überführung von Kunstschätzen

Besides the murders and genocide committed by the Nazi’s ,they didn’t shy away from stealing and plundering either.

The plundering and stealing refers to art theft and other items stolen as a result of the organized looting of European countries during the time of the Third Reich by agents acting on behalf of the ruling Nazi Party of Germany. Plundering occurred from 1933 until the end of World War II, particularly by military units known as the Kunstschutz, although most plunder was acquired during the war. In addition to gold, silver and currency, cultural items of great significance were stolen, including paintings, ceramics, books, and religious treasures. Although most of these items were recovered by agents of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program(MFAA), affectionately referred to as the Monuments Men, on behalf of the Allies immediately following the war, many are still missing.

monuments-men-recovered-artworks

There is an international effort under way to identify Nazi plunder that still remains unaccounted for, with the aim of ultimately returning the items to the rightful owners, their families or their respective countries.

Below are just some items which were stolen.

Jean Metzinger, 1913, En Canot (Im Boot), oil on canvas, 146 x 114 cm (57.5 in × 44.9 in), exhibited at Moderni Umeni, S.V.U. Mánes, Prague, 1914, acquired in 1916 by Georg Muche at the Galerie Der Sturm, confiscated by the Nazis circa 1936, displayed at the Degenerate Art show in Munich, and missing ever since.

jean_metzinger_1913_en_canot_oil_on_canvas_146_x_114_cm_missing_or_destroyed

Degenerate art (German: Entartete Kunst) was a term adopted by the Nazi regime to describe Modern art. Such art was banned on the grounds that it was un-German, Jewish, or Communist in nature, and those identified as degenerate artists were subjected to sanctions. These included being dismissed from teaching positions, being forbidden to exhibit or to sell their art, and in some cases being forbidden to produce art.

Degenerate Art also was the title of an exhibition, held by the Nazis in Munich in 1937, consisting of modernist artworks chaotically hung and accompanied by text labels deriding the art. Designed to inflame public opinion against modernism, the exhibition subsequently traveled to several other cities in Germany and Austria.

Adolf Hitler and Adolf Ziegler visit the Degenerate Art Exhibition, 1937.

degenerate-hitler-ziegler

Albert Gleizes, 1912, Landschaft bei Paris, Paysage près de Paris, Paysage de Courbevoie, missing from Hannover since 1937.

albert_gleizes_1912_landschaft_bei_paris_paysage_pres_de_paris_paysage_de_courbevoie_oil_on_canvas_72-8_x_87-1_cm_missing_from_hannover_since_1937

Aleksander Gierymski’s Jewess with Oranges discovered on 26 November 2010 in an art auction in Buxtehude, Germany

aleksander_gierymski_zydowka_z_pomaranczami

German loot stored at Schlosskirche Ellingen, Bavaria (April 1945)

looted_art_-_german_loot_stored_at_schlosskirche_ellingen_-_ellingen_bavaria_-_germany

 

 

Hitler assesses looted art

hitler-with-looted-art

In 1943 and 1944 the shore of Lake Toplitz served as a Nazi naval testing station. Using copper diaphragms, scientists experimented with different explosives, detonating up to 4,000 kg charges at various depths. They also fired torpedoes from a launching pad in the lake into the Tote Mountains, making vast holes in the canyon walls. Over £100 million of counterfeit pound sterling notes were dumped in the lake after Operation Bernhard, which was never fully put into action. There is speculation that there might be other valuables to be recovered from the bottom of the Toplitzsee. There is a layer of sunken logs floating half way to the bottom of the lake, making diving beyond it hazardous or impossible. Gerhard Zauner, one of the divers on the 1959 expedition, reports that he saw a sunken aircraft below this layer.

toplitzsee

Nazi gold stored in Merkers Salt Mine.

schachtanlage_merkers

The Amber Room Removed from Catherine Palace, Saint Petersburg, by Germans during World War II and transported to Germany. Estimated (adjusted) value: $142 million.

catherine_palace_interior_-_amber_room_1

Nearly half of the gold looted by the Nazis from the Dutch central bank during the Second World War remains to this day in Switzerland, a reminder of the Alpine nation’s controversial role as a financial conduit for Hitler’s regime. About 61,000kg of Dutch war gold, currently value at about €2bn, is believed to be still in Swiss possession.

gold

Aktion Erntefest-The Murder of 43,000 Jews

61525-700x468

Today marks the 73rd anniversary of Aktion Erntefest.(German: for Operation Harvest Festival) was the World War II mass shooting action by the SS conducted at the Majdanek concentration camp and its subcamps, its purpose was to liquidate the remaining Polish Jews in the Lublin reservation and the Lublin Ghetto, including its entire slave-labour camp workforce. The operation took place on 3 November 1943.Approximately 43,000 Jews were killed on the orders of Christian Wirth and Jakob Sporrenberg .

Aktion Erntefest was the last operation of  Operation Reinhard,the codename given to the secretive German Nazi plan to mass-murder most Polish Jews in the General Government district of German-occupied Poland.

Operation Harvest Festival was the single largest German massacre of Jews in the entire war. It surpassed the notorious massacre of more than 33,000 Jews at Babi Yar outside Kiev by 10,000 victims. It was exceeded only by the 1941 Odessa massacre of more than 50,000 Jews in October 1941, committed by Romanian troops.

The timing of the operation was apparently in response to several efforts by surviving Jews to resist the Nazis (for example, the uprisings at the Sobibor and Treblinka extermination camps, and armed resistance in the Warsaw, Białystok, and Vilna ghettos). The SS feared additional Jewish-led revolts in the General Government,ahead of the Soviet counter-offensive. To prevent further resistance the SS decided to kill most of the remaining Jews who were employed in slave-labor projects of the Ostindustrie (Osti) enterprise owned by the SS, while imprisoned at the Trawniki, Poniatowa, and Majdanek concentration camps with subcamps in Budzyn, Kraśnik, Puławy, Lipowa and others.The inmates were ordered to dig anti-tank trenches unaware of their true purpose.

The Orpo police formation tasked with performing Aktion Erntefest had prior experience in the area. It was involved with the liquidation of the ghettos in the Lublin district of the General Government from which the same targets originated.

bigorpo02

.”Erntefest” was the largest single-day, single-camp massacre of the Holocaust under direct German occupation,totalling 43,000 in three nearby locations It began at dawn on 3 November 1943. The main camp as well as the Trawniki and Poniatowa subcamps of the Majdanek extermination camp were surrounded by SS and the Reserve Police Battalion 101 (a unit of the German Order Police from Hamburg) augmented by a squad of Hiwis called “Trawniki men” from Ukraine.

 

The Jews were taken out of the camps in groups and shot layer upon layer inside the pits dug specifically for this purpose. The burial site resembled a solid mass of women’s and men’s bodies heaped together… with legs and arms interlinked.

erntefest2

At Majdanek, Jews were first separated from the other prisoners. They were then taken in groups to long and deep trenches and shot one-by-one under the leadership of pathological killer Erich Muhsfeldt .

220px-erich_muhsfeldt_1

At the main camp, 18,400 Jews were killed on 3 November 1943. Jews from those other slave labor camps in the Lublin area were also taken to Majdanek and shot simultaneously. Music was played through loudspeakers at both Majdanek and Trawniki to drown out the noise of the mass shooting. The killing operation was completed in a single day at Majdanek and Trawniki. At Poniatowa the shootings took two days, because in one of the barracks Jews staged a revolt. To stamp it out the SS set it on fire and the killings went on as planned.

map-erntefest

 

The strange case of Douglas Kelley, Nuremberg Trials Psychiatrist

Lt. Colonel Douglas McGlashan Kelley (11 August 1912 – January 1, 1958) was a United States Army Military Intelligence Corps officer who served as chief psychiatrist at Nuremberg Prison during the Nuremberg War Trials. He was charged with ascertaining defendants’ competency evaluations before standing trial.

NUREMBERG TRIAL

Kelley was born in Truckee, California. He graduated from University of California at Berkeley and received his medical degree from the School of Medicine in San Francisco. He continued his studies at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, earning a Doctor of Medical Science in 1941.

In 1942 he was called to duty in the United States Army Medical Corps as chief psychiatrist for the 30th General Hospital in the European Theatre. Along with psychologist Gustave Gilbert he administered the Rorschach inkblot test to the 22 defendants in the Nazi leadership group prior to the first Nuremberg trials.

Kelley authored two books on the subject: Twenty-two Cells in Nuremberg and The Case of Rudolph Hess.

rudolf_hessDouglas Kelley wrote that one of the things that surprised him most about former Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess was his absolute naivete.

By the time the psychiatrist examined him, he had been in custody for about four years following his attempt to get the British to join the Germans in fighting the Soviet Union. He seemed earnestly shocked that he was taken prisoner and revealed that he was absolutely convinced that he was slowly being poisoned. So Hess began saving food, medicine . . . anything that he was offered, wrapping samples in little brown packages, sealing them with wax, and stockpiling them for later analysis.

When first taken captive, he refused all food. After holding out for a whole day, though, he gave in and accepted some milk. Already suspicious, he would only eat with those who were holding him, but when he got a massive headache afterward, he wrote that it was then that he knew he was being poisoned.

He also wrote that his captors were apparently disappointed when he answered their questions, so he started pretending simply not to remember. He did it so much that eventually, he says, the amnesia was real, and most likely helped along by what he called the “brain poison.”

His certainty that he was being poisoned increased as his captivity dragged on. He thought that there were bones and splinters in his food and powders in his laundry to cause rashes. He claimed that the skin on the inside of his mouth was being worn away and claimed that his stomach pains were so bad that he needed to scrape and eat lime from the walls of his cell relieve the pain. Brain poison was destroying his memory more and more, and kept on believing it even though a Swiss messenger tested his food and told him that there was nothing wrong with it.

1389.8 Holocaust H

When Hermann Goering was taken into custody, what he brought with him alone spoke volumes about his self-importance. There were 12 monogrammed suitcases, jewel-studded medals, the equivalent of about $1 million in cash, several cigar cutters, and a stash of watches and cigarette cases. Along with potassium cyanide capsules sewn into his clothes and stashed in a can of coffee, there was also a suitcase filled with enough paracodeine for a small country.

The case was filled with somewhere around 20,000 capsules, and it’s thought that he had gone directly to Germany’s manufacturers for his stash. That wasn’t all of it, either—he admitted that he had already flushed a large amount of pills before his capture, as he’d thought that it would have been unseemly to have been captured with as many pills as he’d had.

Originally, he claimed that they were part of a doctor’s prescription that he was taking for a heart condition, insisting that he was required to take 40 pills a day. Not surprisingly, they didn’t believe him and had the pills tested. The painkiller, related to morphine and opium, was found to work along the same lines as codeine, but with a stronger sedative action.They started weaning him off the pills immediately, dropping his daily dose to first 38 pills, then to 18. At that point, medical staff were advised not to reduce the dose any further, since they weren’t sure what would happen to him if he was taken off the drugs completely. He was still going through withdrawals by the time Kelley took over his treatment.

5-keitel

Part of establishing whether or not the Nazis were capable of standing trial was the administration of an IQ test. The Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Test was adapted from English and given in German, and at the time, it was one of the most widely used IQ tests available. Scores of 65 or less were classified as “defective,” between 80 and 119 as normal, and 128 and above was “very superior.” Only about 2.2 percent of the population scored in that range. Some of the questions were altered to get rid of any kind of cultural bias, and the test measured things like memory, mental calculations, picking out objects or details deleted from a picture, and even hand speed.

The average for the 21 Nazis tested was 128. (Ley was already dead by this time.) The highest score was 143, from Hjalmar Schacht, with Goering, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Karl Donitz, Franz von Papen, Erich Raeder, Hans Frank, Hans Fritsche, and Baldur von Schirach all testing 130 or above, and with Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, and Albert Speer all also falling into the “very superior” category.

Their reaction to IQ testing was even more fascinating, with many of them actually looking forward to the testing and most being pleased with the results. Even those like Franz von Papen, who were initially irritated with the idea that they needed to subject themselves to a test that was so far beneath them, admitted that it was one of the more enjoyable moments of their captivity.

Perhaps most bizarre was the reaction of Wilhelm Keitel (pictured above) to the test. He was very, very impressed by it, even going as far as to say that it was much better than the “silly nonsense that German psychologists resorted to.” Later, Kelley discovered that Keitel had outlawed all intelligence testing after his son had flunked out during the tests to enter officer training.

kelley1930scropped

But as the title suggest it is a strange case.Upon honorable discharge in 1946, Kelley was appointed Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in North Carolina. In 1949 he was appointed Professor of Criminology at the University of California at Berkeley. He committed suicide in front of his wife and children on New Year’s Day 1958 by ingesting a capsule of potassium cyanide.

cyanide

He killed himself in the same way as Hermann Goering had done.

His suicide was front-page news for two days in The Chronicle. He was just 45 years old. He had attended a New Year’s Eve party the night before. “He was his usual jovial self,” one guest was quoted as saying. He had driven into San Francisco earlier in the day to pick up his father, a dentist, so they could watch the Rose Bowl on the family’s new color television. He left no note.

 

 

Kaufering IV Concentration camp-Dachau Subcamp

kauferingiv

Dachau concentration camp was the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in Germany,intended to hold political prisoners. It is located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory northeast of the medieval town of Dachau, about 16 km (10 mi) northwest of Munich in the state of Bavaria, in southern Germany.Opened in 1933 by Heinrich Himmler, its purpose was enlarged to include forced labor, and eventually, the imprisonment of Jews, ordinary German and Austrian criminals, and eventually foreign nationals from countries that Germany occupied or invaded.

Dachau, Konzentrationslager

The Dachau camp system grew to include nearly 100 sub-camps, which were mostly work camps or “Arbeitskommandos,” and were located throughout southern Germany and Austria. The camps were liberated by U.S. forces on 29 April 1945.

800px-concentration_camp_dachau_aerial_view


These work camps used forced foreign labour to make parts for the Messerschmidt aircraft factories. To protect them from Allied bombing raids, they were built partially underground. Te working and living conditions were unbelievable and shocked US troops who came across them. In the last weeks of WW2 Typhus had run rampant through these camps and thousands of inmates were left to die as medical help was non-existent.

On of these subcamps was Kaufering IV Concentration camp.I could have picked any other subcamp to write about but Kaufering IV stuck with me because of 1 picture. The picture below shows Johann Baptist Eichelsdorfer, the last Commandant of the Kaufering IV sub-camp. After this camp was liberated on April 27, 1945 by the 12th Armored Division of the US Seventh Army, Col. Edward Seiller ordered the German civilians in the nearby town of Hurlach to bury the bodies found in the camp. On that day, Eichelsdorfer, who had been captured and brought back to the camp, was forced to pose in the middle of the corpses which had been laid out in the camp prior to burial.

ss-officer-johann-baptist-eichelsdoerfer-the-commandant-of-the-kaufering-iv-concentration-camp-hurlach-bavaria-germany-stands-among-the-corpses-of-prisoners-killed-in-his-camp-dat

Eichelsdorfer had taken charge of the camp on the 4th of January 1945. it had been designated as a ‘Sick Camp’ but in reality it was a camp of prisoners who had become sick because of the poor living conditions in Dachau and therefore had become to disabled to work.

The SS began death marching prisoners to Dachau pending the US arrival and at camp IV, the SS killed hundreds of the prisoners by setting fire to the barracks.Colonel Edward F. Seiller, commander of the 12th Armored Division’s Military Government, took control of the camp and had some 250 civilians from the nearby town of Landsberg brought to the camp and made them bury the dead prisoners.These 360 dead repose in a cemetery located where the roll-call area (Appell Platz) of the camp used to be, that is about a mile south of the village of Hurlach.

As for Johann Baptist Eichelsdorfer he was tried under case Case No. 000-50-2 (US vs. Martin Gottfried Weiss et al) Tried 13 Dec. 45 at the Dachau trials.

2016-10-06

Eichelsdorfer had been defended by Captain Dalwin Niles who had argued that his client was shifted to the camp as commander after he had become to ill to serve in the Wehrmacht, and he had no influence on this whatsoever. His client was an old and sick man and was not capable to manage the camp properly, however some of the survivors testified that Eichelsdorfer had willingly particpated in physically abusing the prisoners, sometimes he would beat them up until they were unconscious.

His sentence was carried out on the 29th of May at 14.14 PM by John C. Woods

woods

 

Hate is Mankind’s worst disease

Hate is mankind’s worst disease and it seems to be incurable.

I am only limiting this to the 1933-1945 era but I could easily have dozens of pages of pictures of all era’s  going up to today.

Nazis singing to encourage a boycott of Jewish shops , 1933

nazis-singing-to-encourage-a-boycott-of-the-allegedly-jewish-founded-woolworths-1933-1

A German woman facing public humiliation because of a romantic affair with a Polish man, 1942

german_women_polish_man_1

The Kovno Garage Massacre – Lithuanian nationalists clubbing Jewish Lithuanians to death, 1941

the-kovno-garage-massacre-lithuanian-nationalists-clubbing-jewish-lithuanians-to-death-1941-1

Leonard Siffleet about to be beheaded with a sword by a Japanese soldier, 1943

leonard-siffleet-about-to-be-beheaded-with-a-sword-by-a-japanese-soldier-1943

The speech where Adolf Hitler declared war on the USA, 1941

the-speech-where-adolf-hitler-declared-war-on-the-usa-1941

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

a-jewish-woman-who-is-concealing-her-face-sits-on-a-park-bench-marked-only-for-jews-austria-1938

Nazi General Anton Dostler is tied to a stake before his execution by a firing squad, 1945

german-general-anton-dostler-is-tied-to-a-stake-before-his-execution-by-a-firing-squad-italy-1945-color

Japanese soldiers shooting blindfolded Sikh prisoners before bayonetting them

japanese_atrocities_imperial_war_museum_k9922

Facing Death: the different expressions of six Polish civilians moments before death by firing squad, 1939.

facing_the_death_six_polish-prisoners

Goebbels congratulates a 16 year old recruit after receiving the Iron Cross II, 1945.

goebbels-congratulates-a-young-recruit-after-receiving-the-iron-cross-ii-1945

Laughing at Auschwitz – SS auxiliaries poses at a resort for Auschwitz personnel, 1942.

ss-auxiliaries-poses-at-a-resort-for-auschwitz-personnel-from-laughing-at-auschwitz-c-1942

Eyes of Hate, a candid photograph of Goebbels after he finds out his photographer is Jewish, 1933

eyes-of-hate-joseph-goebbel

Henry Ford receiving the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Nazi officials, 1938

henry_ford_grand_cross_1938

Pedestrians glance at the broken windows of a Jewish owned shop in Berlin after Kristallnacht

gty_kristallnacht_kb_131108_33x16_1600

Chinese prisoners being buried alive by the Japanese Army during the Nanking Massacre 1937

chinese_civilians_to_be_buried_alive

 

Loyalty oath of Nazi SS troops, Feldherrnhalle, Munich, 1938. The SS loyalty oath was as follows: “I vow to you, Adolf Hitler, as Führer and chancellor of the German Reich, loyalty and bravery. I vow to you and to the leaders that you set for me, absolute allegiance until death. So help me God”

annual-midnight-swearing-in-of-nazi-ss-troops-feldherrnhalle-munich-1938

August Frank memorandum

Today marks the 74th anniversary of the August Frank memorandum.

august_frank

The August Frank memorandum of 26 September 1942 was a directive from SS Lieutenant General (Obergruppenführer) August Frank of the SS concentration camp administration department (SS-WVHA). The memorandum provides a measure of the detailed planning that Frank and other Nazis put into the carrying out of The Holocaust. For example, it includes instructions as to the disposition of postage stamp collections and underwear of the murdered Jews. It is clear that the Nazis were intent in removing everything of value from their murdered victims, and indeed, went further than the memo itself. Hair, for example, was removed before execution to be made into mattresses.

The memorandum contains an instruction that the yellow stars that the Nazis forced the Jews to wear on their clothing were to be removed before the clothing was redistributed to ethnic Germans whom the Nazis were resettling into occupied Poland. This memorandum, when it came to light after the war, played a key role in refuting Frank’s claims that he had no knowledge that Jews were being murdered en masse in the extermination camps of Operation Reinhard.It is also notable as an example of the use of the Nazi euphemism “evacuation” of the Jews, which meant their systematic murder.

deportation_to_treblinka_from_ghetto_in_siedlce_1942

The top secret memorandum, printed in multiple copies, was sent to the Chief of the SS Garrison Administration Lublin, and to the Chief of Administration Concentration Camp Auschwitz among others. English translation, provided by the Nuernberg Military Tribunal during the Trials of War Criminals:

1024px-nuremberg_trials_retouched

Top Secret
6 copies–4th copy

Chief A/Pr./B.
Journ. No. 050/42 secr.
VS 96/42

26 September 1942

To the Chief of the SS Garrison Administration Lublin
To the Chief of Administration Concentration Camp Auschwitz
Subject: Utilization of property on the occasion of settlement and evacuation of Jews.

Without taking into account the over all regulations which are expected to be issued during October, pertaining to the utilization of mobile and immobile property of the evacuated Jews, the following procedure has to be followed with regard to the property carried by them — property, which will in all orders in the future be called goods originating from thefts, receiving of stolen goods, and hoarded goods:
1. a. Cash money in German Reich Bank notes have to be paid into the account: Economic and Administrative Main Office 158/1488 with the Reich Bank in Berlin-Sehoeneberg.
b. Foreign exchange (coined or uncoined), rare metals, jewelry, precious and semi-precious stones, pearls, gold from teeth and scrap gold have to be delivered to the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office. The latter is responsible for the immediate delivery to the German Reich Bank.

rhino2_nera_0
c. Watches and clocks of all kinds, alarm clocks, fountain pens, mechanical pencils, hand and electrical razors, pocketknives, scissors, flashlights, wallets, and purses are to be repaired by the Economic and Administrative Main Office in special repair shops, cleaned, and evaluated; and have to be delivered quickly to front line troops. Delivery to the troops is on a cash basis through the post exchanges. Three-fourth price grades are to be set and it has to be made sure that each officer and man cannot buy more than one watch. Exempt from sale are the gold watches, the utilization of which rests with me. The proceeds go to the Reich.
d. Men’s underwear and men’s clothing including footwear has to be sorted and valued. After covering the needs of the concentration camp inmates and in exceptions for the troops they are to be handed over to the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle. The proceeds go to the Reich in all cases.
e. Women’s clothing and women’s underwear, including footwear; children’s clothing and children’s underwear, including footwear; have to be handed over to the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle against payment. Underwear of pure silk is to be handed over to the Reich Ministry of Economics according to orders by the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office. This order refers also to underwear, under letter.
f. Featherbeds, quilts, woolen blankets, cloth for suits, shawls, umbrellas, walking sticks, thermos flasks, ear flaps, baby carriages, combs, handbags, leather belts, shopping baskets, tobacco pipes, sun glasses, mirrors, table knives, forks and spoons, knapsacks, and suitcases made from leather or artificial material are to be delivered to the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle. The question of payment will be decided later.
The needs in quilts, woolen blankets, thermos flasks, ear flaps, combs, table knives, forks and spoons, and knapsacks can be furnished from Lublin and Auschwitz from these stocks against payment from budget funds.
g. Linen, such as bed sheets, bed linen, pillows, towels, wiping cloths, and tablecloths are to be handed over to the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle against payment. Bed sheets, bed linen, towels, wiping cloths, and table cloths can be furnished for the needs of troops from these stocks against payment from budget funds.
h. Spectacles and eyeglasses of every kind are to be handed in to the medical office for utilization. (Spectacles with golden frames have to be handed in without glasses together with the rare metals). A settlement of accounts for the spectacles and eyeglasses need not take place with regard to their low value and their limited use.

heaps-of-glasses-taken-from-gassed-inmates-at-auschwitz
i. Valuable furs of all kinds, raw and cured, are to be delivered to the SS WVHA.

Litzmannstadt, Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle
j. Ordinary furs (lamb, hare, and rabbit skins) are to be reported to the SS WVHA, Amt B II, and are to be delivered to the clothing plant of the Waffen SS, Ravensbrueck near Fuerstenbern (Mecklenburg).
k. All items mentioned under the letters d, e, and f, which have only one-fifth or two-fifths of the full value, or are useless altogether will be delivered via the SS WV HA to the Reich Ministry for Economics for utilization.
For the decision on items which are not mentioned under the letters b-i, application for a decision as to their utilization should be made to the chief of the WVHA.

2. The SS WVHA will establish all prices under observation of the legally controlled prices. This estimation, however, can be made later on. Petty evaluations which only waste time and personnel may be eliminated. Average prices for single items have to be established in general. For instance, one pair of used men’s trousers 3.00 RM, one woolen blanket 6.00 RM, etc. For the delivery of useless items to the Reich Ministry for Economics, average Kilo prices will have to be established.

It has to be strictly observed, that the Jewish Star is removed from all garments and outer garments which are to be delivered. Furthermore, items which are to be delivered have to be searched for hidden and sewed-in values, this should be carried out with the greatest possible care.

Polen, Ghetto Litzmannstadt, Bewohner

ACTING FOR

[Signed] FRANK
SS Brigadefuehrer and Brigadier General of the Waffen SS

On a side note isn’t it amazing that some people with the same surname had such a different impact on the retelling of the Holocaust from a victim and perpetrator point of view. The victims: Anne Frank and her family. The perpetrators Hans and August Frank.

On 3 November 1947 Frank was sentenced to life in prison by the tribunal with the following words:

“AUGUST FRANK, this Tribunal has adjudged you guilty under counts two, three, and four of the indictment filed in this case. For the crimes of which you have thus been convicted, this Tribunal sentences you to imprisonment for the remainder of your natural life, at such place of confinement as shall be determined by competent authority”

In 1951 Frank’s sentence was commuted to 15 years. Frank was released from Landsberg Prison on 7 May 1954. He died in March 1984.