The Civil Servants part in the Dutch Holocaust.

BEWIJS

I am proud of my country and I am a proud Dutch man, the fact I live somewhere else does not change this. However it would be hypocritical of me to say that the Netherlands has nothing to be ashamed off, because it certainly does.

The Dutch have a reputation to be reliable and diligent in their work and mostly that is true. But this same diligence combined with complacency and staying conform to policies,regardless who is in charge has contributed to the death of thousands.

deportatie.JPG Despite being a  neutral country, the Netherlands was invaded on the morning of 10 May 1940.

As the country was occupied it   was controlled by a German civilian governor, unlike it’s southern neighbour Belgium which which was under German military control. The civil government, the Reichskommissariat Niederlande, was headed by the Austrian Nazi Arthur Seyss-Inquart.

seyss

The Dutch civil service, however, adopted an accommodating approach to the Germans. And I don’t want to judge here because I don’t know what I would have done.

The Dutch elite also had an ‘understanding’ with the German occupiers, and sometimes even played an active role in the persecution of Jews.

One Civil Servant in particular went out of his way to please his new paymaster.

Jacobus  Lentz was vital in developing a personal identity card, to be carried by all Dutch citizens.

Jacobus Lentz

The idea of a national identity card was rejected by the Dutch government in early 1940, for it went against Dutch traditions, an national identity card with assume that every Dutch person was a potential criminal.

A few months later though, Lentz was able to sell the idea of a personal identity card to the German occupier. And in April 1941 every Dutch person above the age of 14 was obliged to carry an ID Card.

The ID Card gave the Germans a powerful tool to carry out its oppressive policies.The Identity Card was of such a good quality that it was seen as the best in Europe, and the resistance never really succeeded in forging them properly.

Especially when it came to the persecution of Jews in the Netherlands it proved to be invaluable for the Nazis, Every Jewish ID Card was stamped with a J.

Jood

The system of the personal Identity cards has cost the lives of thousands, because it made it so easy to find Jews but also members of the resistance.

Jacob Lentz was also eager to register every full blood Jew. On January 10th 1941 every Jew of full or partial Jewish blood was obliged to register.Once they registered they received a letter to confirm they were registered.

Letter

By September 5 1941,Lentz was able to tell his German paymasters the exact number of Jews living in the Netherlands.

Full blooded Jews 140,552

Half blooded Jews 14,549

Quarter Blooded Jews 5,719

Many of them died, it is estimated that 75% of the Jews residing in the Netherlands perished during the Holocaust.

After the war he received a prison sentence of only 3 years. It was judged the Jacob Lentz was the prime example of someone doing his job without looking at the bigger picture and not considering the consequences.

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Cairbre aka Slats- A Real Dubliner

mgm

Born on March 20 1919, Cairbre is probably one of the most famous Dubliners to have ever lived, but yet hardly anyone knows him.

Maybe it’s because he was renamed to Slats?

As so many stars, Cairbre came from humble beginnings. There was no crib or hostel for him when he was born, there may have been a stable. He was born in Dublin Zoo.

When MGM opened their studio they needed a mascot, Not just any mascot but one with a bite and a roar. So they bought Cairbre the Lion from Dublin Zoo and shipped him over to Hollywood, where they changes his name to Slats.

This of course did not please Cairbre one bit, when he was asked to roar he just refused. Being from Dublin he was just not going to do as he was told especially not after they  changed  his  name.

MGM did stick with him though as the first logo from 1924 to 1928 as their now so famous MGM Lion, there have been 6 after him, but the Dubliner Caitbre aka Slats remains the first MGM Lion.

slats

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Brundibár- A Holocaust Opera.

Opera

On the 23rd of June , 1944,two delegates from the International Red Cross and one from the Danish Red Cross visited Theresienstadt  accompanied by the commandant SS First Lieutenant Karl Rahm and one of his deputies.

Rahm

During the visit the delegations were treated to an Opera by the Jewish composer Hans Krása. The children’s opera Brundibár was composed by composer Hans Krása and written by the writer Adolf Hoffmeister in 1938. for a government competition, which was  later cancelled because of  political developments.

In mid 1941 a production of the opera  was directed by Rafael Schächter, and several  of his friends,  it served as a fiftieth birthday present for the director of the orphanage at Hagibor. There had only been 2 performances of the production in Prague, both took place in secret for the Jews were banned of partaking in any cultural events.

By winter 1942 composer Krása and  the set designer František Zelenka had been transported to Theresienstadt.

By summer 1943, almost all of the children from  the original chorus and the orphanage staff had also been transported to Theresienstadt.

cast

This gave composer Krása the opportunity to reconstruct the full score of the opera, based on memory and the partial piano score that he had kept, the opera was adapted ait to suit the musical instruments which were available in the camp:guitar, clarinet, , flute, accordion, piano, percussion instruments, 4 violins, a double bass and a cello . A set was once again designed by František Zelenka, who had  formerly been  a stage manager at the Czech National Theatre.

In spring  time of 1944 the Theresienstadt ghetto was getting ready  for a visit from the  International Red Cross committee, whose aim it was to assess its function as a ‘model’ ghetto that was ‘given’ to the Jews, by Hitler. Brundibár was chosen as the opera that would be put on show  for the committee. It waswas moved to a large sports hall outside the ghetto, and Zelenka, was given the materials make improvements to  the set and costumes. This beautification of Brundibár had to happen overnight. The end scenes of Brundibár were then filmed on June 23  1944 for the propaganda  film Theresienstadt (better known under the title The Führer Has Given the Jews a Town).

film crew

The plot of the opera is about two children,Aninka and Pepíček, whose mother is very ill and needs milk to get better, but there is no money.An idea  of making money occurs to them when they see the organ-grinder Brundibár earning a living in the market. But Brundibár is an evil man , and shouts down the children. During the night,  animals from one of the posters  come to the aid of  the despairing children, and the following  day they help the children to sing louder than Brundibár. The children get  the money they need , but the evil Brundibár steals their earnings . In the end the children find him and are given back what belongs to them.

All of the cast who were involved in the Theresienstadt production were put on transport  sent to Auschwitz as soon as filming was finished. Most were gassed immediately when they arrived, including the children and also the composer Krása.

Krasa

What makes all of this worse is that the whole charade was believed by the Red Cross.

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Dr Schumann’s sterilization experiments in Auschwitz

Schumann

Not only was Auschwitz a death camp it also had an endless supply of humans that could be used for  experiments,without the fear of repercussions for those who carried out the experiments.

Dr Carl Clauberg and Dr Horst Schumann, were assigned to head the sterilization  experiments  in Auschwitz,

claberg

Dr Clauberg was an well known gynecologist  with expertise in infertility treatment.

Schumann had been working for  the Public Health Office in Halle. He was recruited to the Luftwaffe  as a physician in 1939. But moved on from the Luftwaffe to   joined the Aktion T4 Euthanasia program in early October 1939,

Schumann, SS-Sturmbannführer   began his sterilization experiments using X-rays at the request of Viktor Brack, the organizer of the T4 Programme.

The purpose of the sterilisation  experiments was to perfect a technique in which non-Aryans could be prevented  from reproducing while still being used  as slave laborers.

On  the 28th of  July 1941, Horst Schumann arrived in Auschwitz. Where he started  work at Block 30 in the women’s hospital, where he set up an x-ray station in 1942.

women

Here both  men and women were sterilized without consent  by being put repeatedly for several minutes between two x-ray machines, the rays aiming at their sexual organs. Most victims  died after great suffering, or were gassed immediately because the radiation burns from which they suffered rendered them unfit for work.

By 31 December 1942 about 200 men had been sterilized and would later be castrated by Shumann to determine the effects  of the radiation method of sterilization
Their testicles were removed and sent to Breslau for  examination.

The women were injected with  liquid into the uterus while they were on the X-ray table and were X-rayed while the injection went on

Schumann selected the  test ‘subjects’  himself. They were always  Jewish men, women and girls in their prime , but  who looked like they aged rapidly  after the experiments.

The parts of the body that were treated with the rays were burnt,and pus would have developed . Many times the intestines would also be affected. Many died.

camp

Part of Schumann’s ‘quality’ check to determine if  the radiation had worked, was the so-called semen check: a wooden implement  covered with a rubber hose was pushed  into the rectum of a male victim and the glands stimulated until ejaculation occurred so that the ejaculate could be tested for sperm  The samples were sent to the University of Breslau  for examination.

Schumann selected some  women of Block 10 in the main camp of Auschwitz. In this Block Jewish women had been selected for human experiments. To control the radiation on women, prisoner doctors Dr. Maximilian Samuel and Dr. Wladislaw Dering had to remove an ovary.

block 10

Horst Schmann also conducted  typhus experiments by injecting people with blood from typhus infected patients with the aim to then  cure the newly infected subjects. Schumann left Auschwitz in September 1944 and was appointed to the Sonnenstein Clinic in Saxony which had earlier been converted into a military hospital.

After the war he worked as a sports doctor in a clinic in Gladbeck,  Germany.He was only identified after he applied for a hunting rifle in 1951. A warrant for his arrest was issued then. Through a technicality he was not arrested, he claimed he didn’t have a German passport so he applied for a passport in Japan, which he got.He then fled to Egypt and later settled in Khartoum in Sudan where he got a job as the head of a Hospital.After he was recognized by an Auschwitz survivor, he fled to Ghana, where he received protection from Kwame Nkrumah. the head of state of Ghana.

ghana

in 1966 Schumann’s luck seemed to have run out when he was extradited to Germany.He stood trial in 1970, but was released from jail in 1972 due to his heart condition and generally deteriorating health. It wasn’t until 1983 before he died.

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Source

Research Gate

The Origin of Nazi Evil

Klara

I was struggling with a title for this blog, I initially wanted to call it the Origin of Evil, but I don’t think that would reflect the truth.

If you look at the eyes of the woman in the picture, you might think they look familiar, and you would be right. The woman is Klara Pölzl Hitler, the mother of Adolf. Her eyes although lighter still bizarrely have a striking resemblance to her son’s eyes.

ah

Klara was born to Johanna  and Johann Baptist Pölzl. Klara’s mother gave birth to 11 children, of the 11 only 5 survived, 2 sons and 3 daughters.,this is all verified, Now here is where it gets a bit vague.

Johanna Pölzl(nee Hiedler or Hüttler) was the Daughter of Johann Nepomuk  Hiedler(or Hüttler) and Eva Hiedler. Johann Nepomuk was the brother of Johann Georg Hiedler, who is the most likely candidate to be Alois Hiedler’s biological father, but that was never confirmed because Alois was born out of wedlock with the name Alois Johann Schicklgruber. Johann Georg Hiedler. Legally Johan Georg was Alois’s stepfather but it is widely believed he was actually the biological father too. Alois took the bane of his Stepfather but due to a clerical error the name Hiedler, became Hitler. This would mean that Adolf Hitler’s parents were cousins.

alois

Alois was married twice before marrying Klara, he had 2 children with his second wife, Alois Jr, who was initially illegitimate,(Alois had an affair with Alois Jr”s mother while still married to his first wife)and Angela. Alois Jr’s second wife died,due to  a lung disease at the age of 23

Klara Hitler’s 6 siblings weren’t the only one to die at a young age, She herself had 6 children, 4 of whom died. Only Adolf and Paula survived.

Gustav Hitler (1885–1887), died of diphtheria
Ida Hitler (1886–1888), died of diphtheria
Otto Hitler (1892–1892), died of hydrocephalus
Edmund Hitler (1894–1900), died of measles.

I know this is probably quite a bit too take in but this is so intriguing. So many of Adolf Hitler’s family died and he survived,I just wonder what if the cards were dealt in a slightly different way.

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Source

Geni.com

 

James Stewart and Walter Matthau in 453rd Bombardment Group.

453

The title is not a tagline for a Hollywood blockbuster, although it should have been. I am sure it would have made a great movie.

James Stewart and Walter Matthau did serve together in the 453rd Bombardment Group during WWII.

WALTER

Prior to becoming a Hollywood icon,Walter Matthau was a radioman-gunner in the U.S. Army Air Forces with the Eighth Air Force in the United Kingdom, crewing a Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber. He was assigned to the same 453rd Bombardment Group as James Stewart. When he was  based in England at RAF Old Buckenham, in Norfolk he partook in several  missions across  Europe during the Battle of the Bulge. He ended the war with the rank of Staff Sergeant. He served with Jimmy Stewart, who was an operations officer giving mission briefings to the group.

Jimmy

When it comes to Hollywood greats, they don’t get any bigger than James Stewart, the list of iconic movies he made is endless. Prior to the war he already made a number of classic movies”Mr Smith goes to Washington” being one of them.

washington

Having learned to fly in 1935, he was drafted into the United States Army in 1940 as a private (after twice failing the medical for being underweight). During the course of World War II he was promoted  to the rank of Colonel in March 1945, first as an instructor at home in the United States, and later on combat missions in Europe.

On March 30, 1944, he was sent to RAF Old Buckenham in a function as group operations officer of the 453rd Bombardment Group, a new B-24 unit that had just lost both its commander and operations officer on missions. Leading as an example, he flew as command pilot in the lead B-24 on several missions deep into Nazi-occupied Europe.

B 24

Two heroes, who not only fought for freedom, they also entertained us and still do .

 

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Sources

IMDB

Together we Serve

Teaching hate

1

I was going to put a lot of pictures in this blog, but then when I looked at this picture I thought that it would be enough.

A class, class mates and a teacher, like any other class in any other school. Except it isn’t. Here the children are taught to hate. The kids standing in front of the class are not there because they didn’t do their homework, or missed a test.

No they were standing there because they were Jewish, no other reason.

The lines on the blackboard translate to “The Jew is our greatest enemy! Beware of the Jew”

The teacher here as in any other school, is a figure of authority. In charge of children who he has to educate, it is clear that here he is teaching hate and he is using live examples of the type of people his pupils have to hate.

This picture is from a school in Germany taken in 1935, just think of that 1935 several years before the holocaust did not reach the mass extermination stage yet.

People ask me sometimes ” How could a sophisticated and cultured nation like Germany allow a genocide.

The picture above is part of the answer, you teach them to hate at a young age.

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The bombing of Wimbledon-Centre Court

wimbledon

Nothing was sacred and nothing was spared during WWII, not even the hallow grounds of the  All-England  Lawn Tennis Club otherwise known as ;Wimbledon’.

Although the club was closed for all matches in the war years. Rather then having Tennis players run over its lawns civil defense and military personnel made use of  the All-England Club. It  even became home to a small farmyard stocked with rabbits, pigs and hens..

During the six years of war more than 1,000 bombs fell on the borough of Wimbledon, destroying nearly 14,000 homes.

aerial

The Centre Court did not escaped unscathed either, one bomb hit it on on 11 October,1940. Resulting in damage a corner of the competitors’ stand, losing 1200 seats in the stadium. It would take to 1947 before the damage was repaired.

1200

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Bundesacrhiv

 

The lonely journey of Otto Frank on the Monowai steamship.

Monowai

I am a father of 3 children and every time they leave the house a million scenarios go through my head of things that could happen to them, but I am not unique in this for it  is what fathers and mothers do, they worry for their kids.

Otto Frank was a father and a husband to 2 beautiful daughters and a remarkable wife, I just can’t fathom the anxiety he must have felt on the 4th of August 1944, when the Gestapo raided the annex of the building, Otto and his family had been hiding in since July 6 1942.

annex

The uncertainty of the fate of his family must have driven him to the brink of insanity.

On the 22nd of  April 1945, a few weeks before the end of the war in Europe, the Monowai,flying the New Zealand flag,  set sail from England for Odessa on the Black Sea.it was carrying 1600 Soviets who had been captured serving with the Germans in France. The Manowai then embarked Jewish Holocaust survivors from Western Europe, on of them was Otto Frank – who had been liberated from the Auschwitz death camp on January 27th 1945. by the Soviet army. On 21 May the ship traveled with the Jewish survivors   from Odessa to Marseille, where it arrived on the 27th of May.

Marseille

While aboard the Monowai, Otto Frank wrote the following letter:

“The closer we get to home the greater our impatience to hear from our loved ones. Everything that’s happened the past few years! Until our arrest I don’t know exactly what caused it, even now, at least we still had contact with each other. I don’t know what’s happened since then. Kugler and Kleiman and especially Miep and her husband and Bep Voskuil provided us with everything for two whole years, with incomparable devotion and sacrifice and despite all danger.

I can’t even begin to describe it. How will I ever begin to repay everything they did. But what has happened since then? To them, to you to Robert (His brother). Are you in touch with Julius and Walter? (Edith’s brothers) All our possessions are gone. There won’t be a pin left, the Germans stole everything. Not a photo, letter or document remains. Financially we were fine in the past few years, I earned good money and saved it. Now it’s all gone. But I don’t think about any of that. We have lived through too much to worry about that kind of thing. Only the children matter, the children. I hope to get news from you immediately. Maybe you’ve already heard news about the girls”

By this time Otto had discovered that his wife, Edith, had died at Auschwitz

This letter broke my heart. We know so much about Anne through her diary and also but to a lesser extend about Margot, but none of us can ever imagine the pain Otto felt when he heard the news about his daughters.

Frank

The sad thing is that Anne Frank’s diary did not have to be published if the US had not cancelled the Frank’s visa in December 1941, just after Germany had declared war to the US.  I am not accusing the US government but it is sad nonetheless.

The even sadder thing is that Otto Frank was accused of tempering with Anne’s diary. I really don’t understand the mindset of people like that. accusing a man who lost everything. To me he is a hero who despite everything kept his sanity and ensured that the story of his daughter and the rest of his family would be told.

Otto Frank died of lung cancer on 19 August 1980 in Basel.

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Source

New Zealand History

Wikipedia

 

I wish I could put myself in your shoes! But I can’t.

klein

I wish I could myself in your shoes and understand what you went through, but I can’t.

I could never understand the pain you suffered or the hate you encountered.Nor could I imagine the anxiety you must have had.

I wish I could myself in your shoes or see the world through your eyes, ut I can’t.

I am not able to comprehend the evil that you have seen. Nor can I fathom the desperation you must have felt.

I wish I could put myself in your shoes and feel what you felt, but I can’t.

I a, mot a child like you were, I am an adult I don’t experience life like you did. Nor was my innocence ever betrayed.

I wish I could put myself in your shoes for our family names are nearly the same, only 2 letters of a difference.

You were Wolf Klein aged 6 when you were murdered by an evil ideology in Auschwitz-Birkenau.