Testimony by Joseph Berman regarding atrocities committed by Oberscharführer-SS Rudolf Seck and others in Latvia

They say that a picture paints a thousand words, and that is true, but it never tells the full story. It is just a snap shot of time. Especially when it comes to the Holocaust, pictures are powerful but I believe the testimonies of those who survived and lived through the horrors are much more powerful.

Rudolf Joachim Seck was an SS officer during World War II during the course of which he committed a large numbers of crimes against humanity, for which he was later sentenced to serve life in prison by a West German court. Seck held the SS ranks of Unterscharführer and later Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant). He was the commander of Jungfernhof concentration camp, near Riga, Latvia. His office was at the Gestapo headquarters in Riga on Reimerstrasse. According to Joseph Berman, a Jewish man from Ventspils and a survivor of The Holocaust in Latvia, who was assigned to the work detail cleaning Seck’s automobile, Seck was closely associated with Rudolf Lange, the main SS leader in occupied Latvia.

Rudolf Lange

Seck made it a habit to meet, at the Skirotava railway station, trains of Jews deported from Germany, Austria, or Czechoslovakia. Theoretically these Jews were to be sent to the Riga Ghetto or the Jungfernhof or Salaspils concentration camps, but usually this did not occur, as Seck would instead take them to Bi ernieki or Rumbula forests, near Riga, and shoot them.

Following the war, Seck was tried in West Germany before the Landsgericht Hamburg with other Nazi personnel who planned or participated in the murder of Jews in Latvia. In 1951, Seck was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Below is the testimony of Joseph Berman against Seck

“I am the Joseph Berman mentioned in the House of Commons White Paper on Buchenwald, Advisor to the Prosecution and first Rebuttal Witness in the Buchenwald Trials held at Dachau in 1947; former Intelligence Investigator of the Office of Military Government for Bavaria.

I, Joseph Berman, born on the 25th June 1925 at Ventspils, Latvia, and now living in London, was a political prisoner during the German occupation, first at the main headquarters of all concentration camps in Latvia – Kaiserwald, Riga and later on in the extermination camp Dondangen, Kurland, Latvia. I hereby make the following declaration:-

Rudolf SECK was the man I saw almost every day, beginning from 1941, either coming from or going to the headquarters of the Gestapo for the Baltic States, which was situated at Reimerstrasse, Riga. Mostly he travelled with his car to and from Jungfernhof, Salaspils, the Headquarters, Central Prison, and sometimes also the Riga Ghetto.

He was always with “Sturmbannfuehrer” Dr. Lange’s group, which met the incoming transports of Austrian, Czech and German Jewry at Skirotawa Station. These people were supposed to be taken by him to Salaspils, Jungfernhof or the Riga Ghetto, but usually did not arrive at their destination, because he took them to the Bikernieku or Rumbuli forest to be shot. These facts are known to me because, when cleaning the car of Seck and all the other cars every day, they used to stand next to me and I could hear them brag about their shooting abilities.

I used to see Seck leaving Reimerstrasse with the various convoys that set out from Riga to other parts of the Baltic States and White Russia to quell partisan uprisings and liquidate certain camps or Ghettos or the so-called special “Himmelfahrtskommando.”

I also saw Seck at Peterholm Street, the Clothing Depot of the Gestapo, from where he took away suit-cases full of new clothing, Jewelry, etc., after the unfortunate victims had been taken care of by him.

I also saw him during the “actions” in the Riga Ghetto in 1941, and he was a visitor of Scherwitz at Auseklu Street, and later at Lenta.

Although he never asked me to come with him when he went out on these criminal expeditions, I am aware of the fact that he was one of the leaders of the N.C.O.s at Gestapo headquarters, Riga, who were in charge of Jewish affairs during the German occupation, and I know that he definitely accomplished his mission and ruthlessly liquidated European Jewry.

I was present one day in 1942, in the yard of Motor Pool in Reimerstrasse, when “Untersturmfuehrer Reese, Nickel, Seck, Tekemeyer and Mohr searched the home-going (to the Ghetto) “Reichsjuden” column, after a transport of foodstuff including delicacies had arrived from Paris (stolen by the Riga Gestapo from the Wehrmacht). It consisted of tinned fruit, best chocolates, etc. Hardly anything was found on the unfortunate victims; some had a few potatoes or a piece of bread. 15 people were brought into one of the newly finished garages (they were Jews from either Germany, Austria, or Czechoslovakia); I had to run away when I saw the above-mentioned SD-men lead these men into the garage. To our great surprise, a Jew by the name of Heppy, who, together with Otto Mohr was working in the kitchen of Gestapo headquarters and was responsible for supplies of provisions, and who was respected for his work and organising ability, initiative and personality by all who had contact with him, was also locked up with the above mentioned 15 unfortunate victims. Heppy was a Latvian Jew and had been a sailor for many years; he was an example of cool thinking and open resistance against the Nazi beasts. He must have saved thousands of people by the many favours he bestowed on them.

These 16 people were kept at Reimerstrasse for one night, and the next day the whole Gestapo in Riga turned out to watch them being taken away to Salaspils in a Renault lorry. I still remember the numberplate of the lorry, which was Pol. 91088. They were liquidated in Salaspils in front of all the inmates of that camp. The personalities of the Gestapo headquarters in Riga that day, smiling and in very high spirits, followed the procession to Salaspils; 1 saw them later return to Reimerstrasse. Whenever people were being shot or hung, the same 20 or 30 high ranking officers of the Riga Gestapo had to have their transportation ready in a matter of a few minutes.

I was often maltreated by Rudolf Seck, and whenever he came to Reimerstrasse or to any other place where I was present, he used to kick everybody around.

I saw him many times with an automatic pistol (some of theirs were the small type used by airborne troops), and I saw him carrying an extra large pistol, whenever he went out on one of his criminal expeditions.

(signed) JOSEPH BERMAN

London, 16 February 1949.

I herewith certify that the above is a true copy of the English original.

(signed) H. MICHELSON

London, 16 February 1949.

sources

https://www.testifyingtothetruth.co.uk/viewer/image/106498/2/

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/latvia

https://www.dodax.com/en-us/books-audiobooks/lexica-reference-work/betascript-publishing-rudolf-joachim-seck-dpCH6QFIS3006/

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Fritz Sauckel’s Letter-Hiding evil in words.

Ernst Friedrich Christoph “Fritz” Sauckel was a Nazi politician, Gauleiter of Gau Thuringia from 1927 and the General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment (Arbeitseinsatz) from March 1942 until the end of World War 2. He was one the 24 persons accused in the Nuremberg Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal. He was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, sentenced to death, and executed by hanging on October 16,1946, 11 days before his 52nd birthday.

At the Nuremberg trials, Sauckel was accused of conspiracy to commit crimes against peace; planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression; war crimes and crimes against humanity. He defended the Arbeitseinsatz as “nothing to do with exploitation.

It is an economic process for supplying labour”. He denied that it was slave labour or that it was common to deliberately work people to death or to mistreat them. However this is not what he said in a letter he had sent to Alfred Rosenberg, 20 April 1942, Report on Labor Mobilization Program.

When you read the letter it looks like an ordinary business operation letter, even a supply chain demand report. But if you read it carefully you will see it is all but that, Below is an English translation of the letter, and I appreciate it that you may not have the time tp read it in one go. This is one key line from the letter.

“All the men [prisoners of war and foreign civilian workers] must be fed, sheltered, and treated in such a way as to exploit them to the highest possible extent at the lowest conceivable degree of expenditure.”

It also explains that all German women should be spared hard labour, but as the picture above shows that was not the case for Non German women.

The letter:

Very esteemed and dear Party-member Rosenberg!
Enclosed please find my program for the mobilization of labor. Please excuse the fact that this copy still contains a few corrections.
Heil Hitler!
Yours
[signed] Fritz Sauckel

To The “Reichminister”
for the Occupied Territories of the East
Party-Member Rosenberg
Berlin

[From] The Deputy for the Four-Year Plan
The Plenipotentiary for Labor Mobilization

20 April 1942

The Labor Mobilization Program.

The aim of this new, gigantic labor mobilization is to use all the rich and tremendous sources, conquered and secured for us by our fighting Armed Forces under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, for the armament of the Armed Forces and also for the nutrition of the Homeland. The raw materials as well as the fertility of the conquered territories and their manpower are to be used completely and conscientiously to the profit of Germany and her allies.

In spite of the fact that most of the German people capable of doing so have already made a most commendable effort for the war economy, more considerable reserves must be found and made available under any circumstances.

The decisive measure to realize this is the uniformly regulated and directed labor mobilization of the nation at the war.

To reach the goal determined by the Fuehrer the simultaneous and quickest use of numerous different measures of unified purpose are absolutely necessary. As any one of those must not interfere with the others, but rather complement them, it is also absolutely necessary that all the offices [Dienststellen] in the Reich, its territories and communities, in party, state, and economy, participating in this decisive task act according to coordinated, synchronized directives.

Thus, the labor-mobilization of the nation contributes extraordinarily to the quickest and victorious termination of the war. It requires every effort of the German people on the Home front. It is for that German people, for their preservation, their freedom, happiness and amelioration of their nutrition and standards of living that this war is being fought.

The Task and its Solution

(No figures are mentioned because of security reasons. I can assure you, nevertheless, that we are concerned with the greatest labor-problem of all times, especially with regard to figures.)

A. The Task:

  1. The conscription of new soldiers to the gigantic extent for all branches and services of the Armed Forces has been rendered necessary by the present war situation.

This means:

a. The removal of workers from all professional enterprises, especially of a great number of trained personnel from armament producing war industries.

b. Also the removal of especially non-essential personnel from the war nutrition industry.

  1. The war situation necessitates the continuation of the tremendously increased and improved armament programs as ordered by the Fuehrer.
  2. The most essential commodities for the German people must continue to be produced for minimum requirements.
  3. The German housewife’s health, particularly the health of those on farms, must not be endangered in their quality as mothers by the war. On the contrary, they must be relieved in every possible way.

B. The Solution

All prisoners of war, from the territories of the West as well as of the East, who are already situated in Germany, must be completely incorporated into the German armament and nutrition industries. Their production must be brought to the highest possible level.

It must be emphasized, however, that an additional tremendous quantity of foreign labor has to be found for the Reich. The greatest pool for that purpose are the occupied territories of the East.

Jewish children making boxes in the Glubokoye ghetto. ——US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Karl Katz

Consequently, it is an immediate necessity to use the human resources of the conquered Soviet territory to the fullest extent. Should we not succeed in obtaining the necessary amount of labor on a voluntary basis, we must immediately institute conscription or forced labor.

Apart from the prisoners of war still in the occupied territories, we must, therefore, requisition skilled or unskilled male and female labor from the Soviet territory from the age of 15 up for the labor mobilization.

On the other hand, one quarter of the total need of foreign labor can be procured in Europe’s occupied territories West of Germany, according to existing possibilities.

The procurement of labor from friendly and also neutral countries can only cover a small part of the total need. It can be applied mostly to skilled workers and specialists.

  1. order to provide considerable relief to the German housewife, especially the mother with many children and the extremely busy farm-woman and in order to avoid any further danger to their health, the Fuehrer also charged me with the procurement of 400,000 – 500,000 selected, healthy and strong girls from the territories of the East for Germany.

6. labor mobilization of the German women is of very great importance.

Examining their very difficult problem and after getting thoroughly acquainted with the fundamental opinion of the Fuehrer as well as of the Reichsmarshal of the Greater German Reich and my own most careful inquiries and their results, I must absolutely reject the possibility of having an obligatory service decreed by the State for all German women and girls for the German War and Nutrition industry.

Although, at the beginning, I myself, and probably the majority of the leading personalities of the party and of the womanhood with me, believed that for certain reasons an obligatory service for women should be decreed, I am of the opinion that all responsible men and women in party, state and economy should accept with the greatest veneration and gratitude the judgment of our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler, whose greatest concern has always been the health of the German women and girls; in other words, the present and future mothers of our nation.

I cannot enumerate all the reasons which made me come to that decision. I only ask for confidence in me as an old fanatical district chief of the National Socialist party and to believe that this could be the only possible decision.

We all agree that this decision might appear unjust towards millions of women who are engaged in defense and nutrition industries under the most strenuous conditions but we also realize that an evil cannot be remedied by spreading it to the utmost.

The only possible way to eliminate the existing injustices and hardships consists in winning the war in order to enable us to remove all women and girls engaged from jobs unsuitable for women, namely endangering their health, the birth-rate of our nation, and family and national life.

We must also consider the difference, whether a woman or girl has been used to work in the field or in a factory because of her young age, and whether already she has proved to be able to stand this kind of work.

Aside from physical harm, the German women and girls under any circumstances must be protected from moral and mental harm according to the wish of the Fuehrer.

Foreign workers from Stadelheim Prison work in a factory owned by the AGFA camera company

It is doubtful that these conditions could be fulfilled in the case of mass-conscription and employment. It is impossible to compare the German Woman with the German soldier in this case, because of the existing fundamental natural and racial differences between man and woman.

We cannot accept the responsibility for the dangers threatening the life of the nation resulting from such a measure in the field of women labor mobilization, in view of the countless men on the fighting front—our dead soldiers.

The many millions of women, however, faithfully and industriously engaged in the German economy, and especially now, in war time, rendering valuable services, deserve the best possible care and consideration. They, as well as the soldiers and work-men, deserve the greatest gratitude of our nation. [ . . . ]

The severest measures must be used against loafers, as we can not allow those parasites to shunt their duties in this decisive struggle of our people at the cost of the others.

Prisoners of War and Foreign Workers.

The complete employment of all prisoners of war as well as the use of a gigantic number of new foreign civilian workers, men and women, has become an indisputable necessity for the solution of the mobilization of labor program in this war.

All the men must be fed, sheltered and treated in such a way as to exploit them to the highest possible extent at the lowest conceivable degree of expenditure.

It has always been natural for us Germans to refrain from cruelty and mean chicaneries towards the beaten enemy, even if he had proven himself the most bestial and most implacable adversary, and to treat him correctly and humanly, even when we expect useful work of him.

As long as the German defense industry did not make it absolutely necessary, we refrained under any circumstances from the use of Soviet prisoners of war as well as of civilian workers, men or women, from the Soviet territories. This has now become impossible and the labor power of these people must now be exploited to the greatest possible extent.

Consequently, I arranged my first measures concerning the food, shelter and treatment of these foreign laborers with the highest competent Reich authorities and with the consent of the Fuehrer and the Reichsmarshal of the Greater German Reich in such a way that a top performance will be demanded and will be obtained.

It must be remembered, though, that even the effort of a machine is conditioned by the amount of fuel, skill and care given to it. How many more conditions must be considered in the case of men, even of low kind and race, than in the case of a machine!

I could not accept the responsibility towards the German people, if after having brought such a tremendous number of men to Germany these men would one day become a burden for the German people or even endanger their health, instead of doing very necessary and useful work, because of mistakes made in their nutrition, shelter and treatment.

The principles of German cleanliness, order and hygiene must therefore also be carefully applied to Russian camps.

Only in such a way will it be possible to exploit that labor to the highest benefit of arms production for the fighting front and for the war nutrition program, without any trace of false sentimentalism.

[ . . . ]

All action making the stay and work in Germany more difficult and unnecessarily unbearable for the foreign workers and exceeding the restrictions and hardships imposed by the war must be avoided. We depend to a large extent upon their good will and their production.

It is therefore only logical to make their stay and work in Germany as bearable as possible—without denying anything to ourselves.

[ . . . ] Therefore, I want to cordially yet insistently commit all German men and women whose labor during war time will be decisive to comply with all those necessities, decisions and measures, according to the old National Socialist principle:

Nothing for us, everything for the Fuehrer and his work, that is, for the future of our Nation!

[signed]: Fritz Sauckel”

Source of English translation: United States Chief Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume III: Documents 001-PS through 1406-PS. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1946, Document 016-PS, pp. 46-59.

What strikes me in this letter is the repeated references to “Foreign Workers” most of them were Jewish, and many of them were German citizens and possibly more German than some of the Nazi leadership.

sources

https://ghdi.ghi-dc.org/docpage.cfm?docpage_id=2415

http://www.camps.bbk.ac.uk/themes/slave-labour.html

https://www.ushmm.org/collections/bibliography/forced-labor

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Enno Lolling evil for the sake of being evil.

Enno

I probably could go into great detail in relation to Fr Lolling, but to be honest he is not worth it. The only reason why I am doing a blog about him is that today marks the 75th anniversary of his suicide.

Now I don’t want to go into all the mental complexities that people have before they decide killing themselves. in Dr Lolling’s case as in the case of other Nazi criminals the only reason was cowardice. They knew what awaited them and rather then facing up to their crimes they decided that suicide was the better option. Ironically in Dr Lolling’s case and also that of others , there probably would have been a bigger chance that he would have gotten away with his crimes, because so many did.

On March 3, 1942, he was put in charge of Amt D III of the SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt(SS Main Economic and Administrative Office for Medical Services and Camp Hygiene headquartered at Oranienburg, at the edge of Sachsenhausen concentration camp. This promotion put him in  charge of all medical units and doctors at all SS concentration camps.

On his orders thousands were murdered who were no longer able to work. Later on in the winter of 1942, he also ordered anyone who became ill and needed more then 4 weeks to recover to be killed.

On November 9, 1943, he was promoted to the rank of SS-Standartenführer, but also  continued  his position at Amt D III.

After this final promotion, Lolling ordered the collection of tattoos from prisoners. The tattoos  were to be prepared in different ways and to be send to Berlin. Of course in order to do this and to preserve the integrity of the skin and tattoo, healthy prisoners were killed with an injection to the heart Additional to this he ordered other SS Doctors  to experiment with shrinking human heads and at least three were shrunk.

In general I can’t see very little if any scientific justification for the experiments which were conducted during the Holocaust, except perhaps for curiosity. As so many other crimes committed by these so called men of science, all of this evil was done for the sake of being evil.

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Sources

Notorious Nazi Doctors (The Eclectic Collection Book 4)

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=Enno+Lolling&search_field=all_fields

https://phdn.org/archives/www.mazal.org/Lifton/LiftonT172.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enno_Lolling

 

Heinrich Bütefisch- virtually unpunished.

Heinrich

Heinrich Bütefisch- is not a well known name in the context of WWII and the Holocaust, yet he was responsible for the deaths of thousands, In addition to that he also worked for a company who had helped to develop Zyklon b, the gas used to kill millions.

The company that produced Zyklon B was Degesch -Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schädlingsbekämpfung(German Corporation for Pest control) which was owned for 42.5 per cent by IG Farben.

Heinrich Bütefisch was a leading manager at IG Farben, and an Obersturmbannführer in the SS.

zyklon b

He was placed as the head of the gasoline synthesis program to be established at the I.G. Auschwitz plant.He was places in charge  of production at the Buna werke facitory at Monowitz, sometimes referred to as Auschwitz III.

3

When the factory was being built Jews in the surrounding areas were removed from their homes, and the homes were given to Germans employd at the factory, Some Polish residents were also moved.

The life expectancy for Jews working at Monoiwtz were 3 to 4 months, and for those working in the nearby supply mines it was only 1 month.

An estimate 10,000 died at Monowitz/Buna Werke . Bütefisch claimed he was never actually present at the Monowitz concentration camp, and he only  knew the construction site only from a few visits. I doubt this was true, and even if it was he was the man in charge and ultimately was responsible for everything that happened there.

He was arrested  by the U.S. Army in 1945, and was indicted at the Nuremberg IG Farben trial in 1948. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison ,including time already served.

After his early release from prison in 1951, heh became a member of several supervisory boards, including Deutsche Gasolin AG, Feldmühle, and Papier- und Zellstoffwerke AG, the following year.

He also was hired as a  consultant for Ruhrchemie AG Oberhausen, and becamed a member ofits supervisory board in 1952.

Of the 24 defendants at the IG Farben Trial, 10 were acquitted . One was removed due to medical reasons. The remaining 13 men received sentences varying form 1 to 8 years, none of them served the full term.

trial

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sources

http://www.wollheim-memorial.de/en/heinrich_buetefisch_18941969

https://www.chemie.de/lexikon/Heinrich_B%C3%BCtefisch.html

https://digitalcommons.law.lsu.edu/nuremberg_photos/63/

Enablers of Evil

zyklon b

There are some facts that can be disputed in relation to the Holocaust,albeit very few. The one thing though that is indisputable is that Hitler and his henchmen were not able to cause so much death and destruction if it hadn’t been for the men and women who helped them.

It may be disputed that maybe some helped reluctantly for fear of their own lives or livelihoods, they did help nevertheless thus becoming enablers of the Nazi regime.

Following are some pictures of a few of these hundreds of thousands  renablers of evil.Mind you many of these enjoyed being evil themselves.

Juana Bormann

Juana

Herta Ehlert

herta

Fritz Radimersky

Fritz

Joseph Hoegen

Josef

Erich Muhsfeldt

erich

Ruth Neudeck

Neudeck

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Martin Sommer-Too evil for Nazi standards.

Sommer

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

The bizarre thing about the Nazi regime was that they had so many contradictions.They had no issues with committing mass murder and genocide or evil and cruel medical experiments, but they had issues with cruelty which was not conform with their policies.

It was okay to murder and torture but it had to be done the Nazi way.

Walter Gerhard Martin Sommer was an SS Hauptscharführer who served as a guard in 2 concentration camps First he served in Sachsenhausen  later in  Buchenwald. Where he got the nickname  “Hangman of Buchenwald”

SS

 

He was born in Schkölen, to a farming family  in Thuringia in 1915. In 1931 at age sixteen, Sommer joined the Nazi Party and 2 years later became a member of the SS.He was also a  a depraved sadist.

After he left Sachsenhausen he was assigned to Buchenwald where he was put in charge of a cell block where he reigned over his prisoners with impunity. Later he promoted to head the punishment bunker and was promoted once more to Chief Penal Officer.

In both camps Somner served under Karl Koch.

Koch

Sommer was quick to utilize his  position to fulfill  his natural sadistic desires.

His favorite manner of torture was tying prisoners’ wrists together behind their backs and then hang them a few inches off the ground from cell bars, stanchions, or branches of trees until their arms became dislocated. This  earned him the nickname “the Hangman of Buchenwald.”

HangmanWhen this special form of torture was conducted on prisoners in the woods around the camp, the screams of the victims were so intense that the other inmates soon gave the area a name, the “singing forest.”

Sommer had a special dislike for clergy men. One time he ordered two Austrian priests, Otto Neururer and Mathias Spannlang, to be crucified upside-down.Another time he beat a Catholic priest to death for performing the Sacrament of Penance for a fellow inmate.

At one stage he beat  a German pastor, then hanged him naked outside in the winter and threw buckets of water over him and let him freeze to death.

Sommer also had a secret compartment underneath the floor under his desk.  Where he kept his private instruments of torture concealed.Instruments  such as the needles he used to kill his victims after he finished torturing them, he would inject them with carbolic acid, or inject air into their veins causing his victims to die by embolism. Sometimes, after ‘private’ late night torture sessions he would hide the bodies of his victims under his bed until he could dispose of them the following morning.

He sometimes would  rubbed prisoner’s backs with steel brushes and then pour acid on the wounds

In 1943 ,Heinrich Himmler appointed SS judge Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen to investigate allegations of cruelty and corruption at the Buchenwald camp.

Morgen

Morgen found the allegations to be true and Sommer was put on trial.

After the  trial Sommer was sentenced to  a reduction in rank and was sent to a penal battalion fighting on the Eastern Front where he was wounded in a tank explosion, losing his left arm and right leg. He was arrested by the Soviet army and was detained as P.O.W. until 1950 when his prisoner status was changed from Prisoner of War to war criminal. In 1955 as part of the negotiations conducted on behalf of Soviet held German prisoners by Konrad Adenauer, Sommer was released.

After his release he returned to West Germany where he married his Nurse, and they had a child ,Sommer filed for and received a pension for his service related disabilities. sommer newsHe received a pension of 280 marks a month and over 10,500 marks in back payments.

He escaped punishment for his crimes until 1957, when he was indicted for complicity in the death in 101 concentration camp inmates.In 1958, the German government deemed  Sommer healthy enough for trial.

He was convicted of 25 deaths and received a life sentence. The sentence was appealed but  the case was upheld in May 1959 by the German  Federal Court. In 1971 he was released from jail because there was no facility to continue his treatment of his war injuries. he was transferred to a hospital and in 1973 to a nursing home where he remained until his death in 1988.

 

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Sources

Der Spiegel

German Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

The killing wasn’t enough

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

The Holocaust didn’t start with killing, it started with dehumanizing Jews and other “undesirables”. Convince the population that those deemed by the Nazi regime as inferior, were just that,inferior.

Throughout the war they humiliated Jews, just killing wasn’t good enough they had to be mocked and ridiculed also, for they were considered to be sub human so basically the SS and others could do as they pleased.

The picture above is of a Jewish woman sitting on a bench in Vienna, designated as a “For Jews Only” bench.

It wasn’t only the Germans it was every one who had bought in to this Nazi ideology that mistreated Jews.

Slovak soldiers humiliating Lipa Baum, during the deportation of the Jews of Stropkov.

5089263

SS officers and camp guards humiliating a Jewish man

gaurds_humiliating_jewish_man

Vienna Jews being forced to scrub the sidewalks here are being overseen by Hitler Youth boys, including some very young boys.

scrub

The picture below is of a German woman and a Jewish man surrounded by Nazis. The woman is holding a sign saying. “I am locally the biggest pig and I only get involved with Jews”

The Jewish man is holding a sign saying “As a Jewish Boy I only take German girls into my room”

This was a German-Jewish couple the picture was taken in Hamburg 1935

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Three Jewish businessmen are forced to march down a crowded Leipzig street while carrying signs reading: “Don’t buy from Jews. Shop in German businesses!

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Sources

Yad Vashem

United States Holocaust Museum

 

Nazi crimes trials

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Before you read on let me explain the title of Nazi crimes trials. This is not about the Nuremberg trials or any other subsequent war crimes trials. This is about Nazis bringing Nazis to trial as ordered by Heinrich Himmler.

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I will give you a minute to leave it sink in.

The chief investigator and prosecutor  was Georg Konrad Morgen(picture at the top of the blog),  an SS judge and lawyer.

He was demobilized and employed as a judge in the SS Judiciary, which assigned him to its court in Cracow. In Cracow he investigated several highly placed SS officers for corruption, including Hermann Fegelein, a favorite of Heinrich Himmler’s and the future brother-in-law of Eva Braun. He also exposed one of Fegelein’s co-conspirators, Jaroslawa Mirowska, as the head of the Polish underground.

After requesting a transfer, Morgen was instead dismissed by Himmler, ostensibly for acquitting an SS officer of the racial crime of sexual relations with an alien race, but also perhaps for meddling in Himmler’s affairs.He was punished by being sent to the Wiking Division on the Eastern Front. However, in mid-1943, Himmler recalled Morgen to investigate and prosecute corruption in the concentration camp system, which had become rampant, as reflected in Himmler’s notorious Posen speeches.

 

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Although Morgen could not accuse the men of murder or unjust killings, as Hitler’s regime allowed it to make mass murders like those in concentration camps legal, Morgen was able to charge these men with theft, military insubordination, and murder of individuals.

This is the list of those that were indicted

Name Rank Location
Karl Otto Koch SS-Standartenfuhrer Buchenwald
Hermann Florstedt SS-Standartenfuhrer Majdanek
Hermann Hackmann SS- Hauptsturmfuhrer Majdanek
Hans Loritz SS- Oberfuhrer Sachsenhausen
Adam Gruenewald SS- Sturmbannfuhrer Vught
Karl Kuenstler SS- Obersturmbannfuhrer Flossenburg
Alex Piorkowski SS- Obersturmbannfuhrer Dachau
Maximillian Grabner SS- Untersturmfuhrer Auschwitz
Gerhard Palitzsch SS- Hauptscharfuhrer Auschwitz
Amon Goth SS- Hauptsturmfuhrer Plaszow
Hans Aumeier SS- Sturmbannfuhrer Auschwitz

Rather then going in to each of the accused I will pick out just a few of them.

Karl-Otto Koch

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Koch was first caught for his crimes by SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Josias, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont in 1941, while he was glancing over the death lists of Buchenwald, he had noticed the head hospital workers name, Dr Walter Kramer. He had recongised him because Kramer had successfully treated him in the past, Josias had started to investigate the death and found out that Koch, being the commandant had ordered Kramer and Karl Peixof, a hospital assistant, killed as political prisoners, because they had treated him for syphilis and in fear of being discovered had killed them.

Josias had also gained reports of a prisoner being shot while attempting to escape, by this time Koch had been transferred to Majdanek in Poland. However his wife was still working at Buchenwald. Josias ordered to have a full scale investigation of the camp by Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen. Throughout this investigation, more of the orders to kill prisoners were being revealed, as well as the stolen property of the prisoners. The prisoner who had been shot in his attempted escape was actually told to get water from a well which was some distance from the camp, he was then shot from behind, he was also another one of the hospital attendants who had treated Koch.  

A charge of incitement to murder was lodged by Prince Waldeck and Dr. Morgen against Koch, to which more charges were later added. Other camp officers were also charged, which included Ilse Koch. Koch was arrested in August 1943. Although the camps were known for vast amount of crimes against humanity, the Nazis did not officially sanction cruelty to the prisoners. As strange as it may sound. The trial resulted in Koch being sentenced to death for disgracing both himself and the SS. Koch was executed by firing squad on 5 April 1945, one week before American allied troops arrived to liberate the camp.

Amon Göth

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On 3 September 1943, in addition to his duties at Płaszów, Göth was the officer in charge of the liquidation of the ghetto at Tarnów, which had been home to 25,000 Jews (about 45 per cent of the city’s population) at the start of World War II. By the time the ghetto was liquidated, 8,000 Jews remained. They were loaded on a train to Auschwitz concentration camp, but less than half survived the journey. Most of the survivors were deemed unsuitable for forced labour and were murdered immediately on their arrival at Auschwitz. According to testimony of several witnesses as recorded in his 1946 indictment for war crimes, Göth personally shot between 30 and 90 women and children during the liquidation of the ghetto.

On his birthday in 1943, Göth ordered Natalia Karp, who had just arrived in Płaszów, to play the piano. Karp performed Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp minor so well that Göth allowed her and her sister to live.

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Göth was also the officer in charge of the liquidation of Szebnie concentration camp, which interned 4,000 Jewish and 1,500 Polish slave labourers. Evidence presented at Göth’s trial indicates he delegated this task to a subordinate, SS-Hauptscharführer Josef Grzimek, who was sent to assist camp commandant SS-Hauptsturmführer Hans Kellermann with mass killings.Between 21 September 1943 and 3 February 1944 the camp was gradually liquidated. Around a thousand of the victims were taken to the nearby forest and shot, and the remainder were sent to Auschwitz, where most were gassed immediately on arrival.

On 13 September 1944, Göth was relieved of his position and charged by the SS with theft of Jewish property (which belonged to the state, according to Nazi legislation), failure to provide adequate food to the prisoners under his charge, violation of concentration camp regulations regarding the treatment and punishment of prisoners, and allowing unauthorised access to camp personnel records by prisoners and non-commissioned officers.Administration of the camp at Płaszów was turned over to SS-Obersturmführer Arnold Büscher. Göth was scheduled for an appearance before SS judge Georg Konrad Morgen, but due to the progress of World War II and Germany’s looming defeat, the charges against him were dropped in early 1945. SS doctors diagnosed Göth as suffering from mental illness, and he was committed to a mental institution in Bad Tölz, where he was arrested by the United States military in May 1945.

Auschwitz-Birkenau

KZ Auschwitz, Einfahrt

Morgen subsequently discovered the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Two packages of dental gold, sent by an Auschwitz dental technician to his wife, had been confiscated by postal inspectors and passed on to Morgen for investigation.Realizing that the gold must have been collected from Holocaust victims, Morgen sent an investigative team to Auschwitz and later visited himself, receiving a thorough tour of the killing center at Birkenau. His investigation was not welcomed though; his assistant SS-Stabsscharführer Gerhard Putsch disappeared and the building where evidence files were stored was burned down.Although he could not prosecute the mass extermination of Jews — which, as he explained after the war, was legalized by order of Hitler — he still went on to prosecute the camp commandant Rudolf Höss and the Chief of the camp Gestapo, Maximilian Grabner, for crimes including murder.

Maximilian Grabner

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In 1943, he was arrested for theft,murder, graft and corruption and was put on trial in Weimar a year later. After the trial, he returned to Katowice. Grabner was arrested by the Allies in 1945 and turned over to Poland in 1947. In the Auschwitz Trial he was found guilty of charges of murder and crimes against humanity, and was sentenced to death. Grabner was hanged on 28 January 1948.

In addition to prosecuting concentration-camp officers, Morgen sought an arrest warrant for Adolf Eichmann,as Eichmann himself confirmed at his trial in Jerusalem, but Morgen’s request was rejected.

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After the war, Morgen was a witness at the trial of Nazi war criminals at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg; also the trial of SS WVHA members, and the 1965 Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt–am–Main. Thereafter, he continued his legal career in Frankfurt. He died on 4 February 1982.

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Crimes by the “regular” German soldiers.

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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 ‘das Heer’ 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.

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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

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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!”
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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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“Did they all drown?’

“Yes, they’re all dead.”

“How big was it?”

“6,000 tons.”

“How did you know that?”

“Via the radio.

 

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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.

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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:

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“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

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