Four Innocent Lives

4 kids

This picture really upset me, it comes from an album from the National Monument of Camp Vught. When I saw the picture first I thought it was a family picture of 4 siblings. But these kids are not related, it appears to be a staged picture taken at  Vught Concentration Camp

But that is not what upset me, what did, is the notion that these 4 kids were given some bit of hope of a life, but that life was taken from them.

4 futures taken for no other reason but hate.

What is even more upsetting is that so little is known of these children , only the bare facts and not even all the facts either.

The boy in the picture, top left, is Simon Koster born 20 January 1934 in Amsterdam.Murdered in Auschwitz 17 September 1942 .aged 8.

The little girl in front of  Simon is Dora Fresco, born 13 September 1940.in the Hague Murdered in Sobibor 16 July 1943, aged 2.

The oldest girl ,top right is Rabecca Pemina Vorst, date of birth not known, birthplace not known. Murdered in Auschwitz 26 March 1943.

The baby lying down on the bed is Rosalie van Baale, born 22 June 1941, in Amsterdam. Murdered in Vught Concentration Camp on 12 April 1943, aged 1.

NEVER EVER FORGET WHAT HATE CAN DO.

A slight correction, one of my readers found some additional information and discovered that the 4 children are related through their mothers who were sisters from each other, and the picture was made before they were sent to Vught.

The kids all have different surnames which indicates 4 mothers. This makes that picture even more upsetting because it means that 4 young families were either killed or torn apart.

 

 

 

 

Love is stronger then the fear of death.

Weddimg

I probably could do a whole essay on how Guus van der Wijk and Mina de Vries met, and at some stage I probably will, but for now it suffices to say they were extremely brave people, in fact in my eyes they are heroes.

Despite the knowledge that there was a great chance they would be separated and likely would face death , it did not stop them in declaring their love for each other and copper fasten their love in matrimony, and capture that moment for future generations.

On August 17,1942 arranged in an improvised manner to have a wedding picture taken,in Leeuwarden in the North of th Netherlands. There was no fancy wedding dress or expensive ring. Just ordinary attire, the only indication that it was a festive occasion was the carnation on Mina’s dress.

In less then 3 months later Mina would become a widow,Guus was killed in Auschwitz on November 13,1942.

Mina herself would be killed in Sobibor on March 20,1943.

In death they would be reunited again because their love had no fear of death.

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Source

NIOD

 

Faces of Auschwitz

Auschwitz

Some people think of Auschwitz as 1 camp but it was a complex of over 40  camps operated by the Nazis in occupied Poland.

It is estimated that at least at least 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, o which 1.1 million were murdered. But I do believe that number is higher,however since I cannot verify that I will go with the data which is available.

Regardless how many were deported the simple fact is that they were all innocent and the number deported and killed should be 0. Each one of them was a human being, although they did not commit any crimes they were treated like criminals. Even their pictures taken at Auschwitz were mug shots.

Below are just some of the faces of Auschwitz.

1

3

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Sources

USHMM

https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/

 

Adolf Englender killed in Auschwitz

Adolf

IT is good to write detailed stories of those who were murdered in the Holocaust, to ensure they get remembered. But sometimes it is just as powerful when you keep it a brief description, not because their is not worthy enough to be told, because they are, But just to illustrate that each one of these poor souls were ordinary people, just like you and me just living their own lives not bothering anyone, yet this was enough for them to be killed.

Adolf Englender

Born December 22 1891 in Hameln

Arrested in 1939 send to Hannover Prison

Send to Buchenwald in 1939

Deported to Auschwitz in 1942

Killed in Auschwitz October 31,1942.

He was only a few months younger then I am now, when he was killed.

stone

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Snap shot of Death-Registering the dead in Auschwitz.

2020-01-16

If any one still has any doubts about the scale of murder during the Holocaust, you only have to look at the the 2 official documents below. They are both from the death register in Auschwitz. The first  page are the registered deaths of female prisoners.

The document is dated December 11,1943 the heading says” On December 8,1943 the following female prisoners died” This is just a list of 1 day, there was a 2nd list connected to it but I cannot verify if that was also from December 8,1943.

female

The 2nd document is dated January 2nd 1944. In the first heading it says “From the morning roll call January 1,1944 to the midday roll call January 1,1944 the following inmates died”

The second heading says “From the midday roll call January 1,1944 to Morning roll call January 2,1944 the following inmates died”

 

rolcall

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

NIOD

https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/

Holocaust art by a survivor.

priest and rabbi

David Olère  was a  Jewish Polish-born French painter and sculptor best known for his explicit drawings and paintings based on his experiences as a Jewish Sonderkommando inmate at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

He began to draw at Auschwitz-Birkenau during the last days of the camp, when the SS became less attentive. His work has an invaluable as evidence  documentary: there are no photos of what happened in the gas chambers and crematoria

Below are just some of his paintings. I believe they speak for themselves.

Arrival of a Convoy

convoy

Their Last Steps

steps

Selection for Gas Chambers

selection

the Remains of Children

children

The last one hit me hard.

 

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Source

http://fcit.usf.edu/Holocaust/gallery2/D38.HTM

One lost shoe-One stolen life.

Shoe

There were several horrific events on March 27 1944

1,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, France, to Auschwitz.
2,000 Jews are murdered in Kovno Lithuania
40 Jewish policemen in Riga, Latvia, ghetto are shot by the Gestapo
Children’s Aktion-Nazis take all the Jewish children of Kovno,Lithuania.,and deport them

One Father carves the date of the taking of his daughter in the sole of the shoe she had lost when she was taken.

The daughter was only 2, her name was Hinda Cohen she was deported to Auschwitz where she was murdered.

One lost shoe-One stolen life

One lost shoe- One desperate Father

One lost shoe- One grieving mother-

One lost shoe- One future denied

One lost shoe

Hinda’s parents  Dov and Tzipporah Cohen both survived the Holocaust but forever there was a void that could never be filled, a void caused by hate and evil. I cannot imagine how they felt nor do I want to because it would dive me insane.

 

 

 

Sex during the Holocaust

Brothel

I know this is an awkward subject and some people may have difficulties even reading past the first sentence. However just because it is awkward and  controversial doesn’t mean it is not important.

Sex is one of the most primal human instincts and urges it is how we manage to reproduce, but is more then that it is something that makes us feel good. The orgasm is  the peak of sexual excitement. It is a powerful feeling of physical pleasure and sensation. And sex  is something we even need  for our general physical and mental  health.

Capture

I have often wondered how it must have been during the Holocaust and especially in the camps, was it even possible?

The aim of the Nazi regime was to eradicate the Jews and to a lesser degree Gypsies and other ethnic groups. Aside from the mass murder they also deprived those who worked in the camps from having sex, therefor ensuring they would not reproduce. Often they also would be subjected to sterilization

In all documentations  I have read about the Holocaust, I have not discovered any indication that the deprivation of sex  was ever considered as a crime, in the post war trials.Which I find strange because  It was of course a heinous crime to deprive anyone from one of the most human of human rights.

If anyone was caught having sex there would be severe punishments. Sexual contact between prisoners was extremely rare. Men and women were mostly separated in the camps but in some work groups they would sometimes work together.

Rudolf Vrba’s  recounts some exceptions, in his book “I Escaped From Auschwitz “. On  one occasion a  male kapo of a male inmate work group had a longing  for sex with the female kapo of a female work group working in the same operation, sorting the belongings of the victims who had been murdered in the gas chambers. The female kapo was an attractive, young Hungarian girl who agreed to have sex  if she was given some specified gifts. Vrba was instructed  in  one casewas to transport the gifts to the female kapo before the sexual encounter. Unfortunately for Vrba, he was caught ,the gifts, taken from the belongings of the murdered individuals, were considered property of the Reich He was beaten severely because he hadn’t reported the 2 Kapos.

Kanada

In Joan Ringlehiem’s book “Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust.” one survivor recalled “I had two enemies: Nazis and men.” in the same book another survivor gave her account describes that  besides the Nazis, men acted like “animals” too. She stated  that one day, the SS officers decided to let the men go to the side where the women were. At this point in time, all they wanted to do was have sex.

Germans were not allowed to have sex with any one deemed by the Nazis as ‘sub human’,anyone caught having sex with a Jew or any other ethnic minority not considered Aryan, could result in severe penalties, even the death penalty.

Young attractive women were often forced into working in brothels  to work as sex slaves.Two of the largest were in Auschwitz, in Nazi-occupied Poland, with the main brothel nicknamed ‘Puff’ situated just behind the Arbeit Macht Frei entrance in Block 24.

24

An estimated  21 women prisoners worked in the Auschwitz brothels which were known as Sonderbauten (special buildings). The final brothel was opened in 1945.Emaciated prisoners chosen for the brothels were given a humiliating medical check and had disinfectant cream smeared over their genitals.

But there were brothels in other camps too, the picture at the top of the blog is a picture of a brothel in Buchenwald.

The brothels were created as an incentive for prisoners to collaborate, although these was  mostly by Kapos,   criminals who would use the brothels.

The Auschwitz brothel was fitted with peep holes used by SS guards  to ensure the inmates only used the missionary position.

Heinrich Himmler  had initially intended the brothels to be used to ‘convert’ gay  prisoners by teaching them  “the joys of the opposite sex”,

Homosexuals of course were another group persecuted by the Nazi regime. That would mainly apply yo gay man and not so much to lesbians, there were only a few lesbians persecuted and this was not even the primary reason it usually was  because they were Jewish rather then lesbian. Female homosexuality was basically not acknowledged of something that existed.

Donation

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Sources

USHMM

The Guardian

Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust.”

Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust.”

Just ‘ordinary’ evil men

Auschwitz

Most of the SS guards working in Auschwitz and indeed other camps had not been hardened soldiers before the war. They had been ‘ordinary’ people.

And that is still a mystery to me, how could these men become so involved in these unspeakable evil acts, Some were more willingly than others , but each one of them were involved in way or another. I know some people will argue that if they didn’t follow orders they would have been klled themselves, however no evidence was ever found that guards how die not partake in the killing were ever punished.

They may have been brainwashed but eventually they were never forced.

Below are just some examples of Auschwitz guards and what they had done before the war.

Alois Balletshofer, farmer from Bavaria, Germany.

alois

Franz Hubert, a locksmith and citizen of Romania.

Franz

Fritz Taddiken, German painter.

Fritz

Kolomann Bistritz, Hungarian citizen and farmer.

bistritz

These are just 4 men but there were thousands of ‘ordinary; evil men.Most of tme lived banal lives after the war.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

BBC

LocalGov.co.uk

All that is interesting

Holocaust reports ignored.

ignored

Time and time again reports about the Holocaust were either ignored or not believed, even when the reports came from eye witnesses like Kurt Gerstein.

Gerstein was a German SS officer and head of technical disinfection services of the Hygiene-Institut der Waffen-SS (Institute for Hygiene of the Waffen-SS) in this capacity he would travel to Auschwitz,Belzec and Treblinka offering the supply of Zyklon B.

ZYLON B

In this lies the irony the man who supplied Belzec and Treblinka with the gas that killed so many, had joined the SS to get an inside view and try to change the policies from within the organisation. In a letter to his wife Gerstein once wrote: “I joined the SS … acting as an agent of the Confessing Church.” Because of his position he witnessed first hand the horrors of the Holocaust. He had given a detailed report to Swedish diplomat Göran von Otter, as well as to Swiss diplomats, members of the Roman Catholic Church whu had contact with  Pope Pius XII, and to the exiled Dutch government.

exile

In February 1943 Gerstein was visited by Dutch industrialist H.J. Ubbink.Where Gerstein told Ubbink but the crimes he had witnessed. In a letter sent by Ubbink to Erika Arajs, Department of Justice in Nuremberg, dated September 14, 1949, Ubbink stated.

“With great indignation he told me how  gassings took place using the exhaust gas from diesel engines. He gave me all the details and told me that at that time there were 9000 deaths per day in the three camps.”

Ubbink passed Gerstein’s  on to a member of the Dutch Resistance, Cornelius Van der Hooft, who reluctantly because he could not believe what he heard , did write  a report on March 23, 1943 titled”Tötunsanstalten in Polen” This report seems  been sent to the Dutch government-in-exile because  on April 24, 1943, a month after the meeting between Ubbink and  Van der Hooft , another version of the report inspired by Gerstein was written. Typed on paper without an official heading, and with the shortened  title of “Tötungsanstalten”, this version was dispatched  within the Dutch government-in-exile, to the British government and eventually to the attention of the United States Inter-Allied Information Committee.

The clandestine Dutch Newspaper Trouw

, who van der Hooft was associated with also had alluded  to the fate of the Dutch Jews in article written on March ,19.1943.

“We must never forget what this oppressor [as in the German occupier] inflicts upon us, how he in his cowardly way assassinates the most noble and pure of the nation, how he makes mass arrests of our best fellow citizens and imprisons them in these evil places where cruelty and sadism reign, how he sacks our country with a brutality never before equaled in all our history, how he robs us of our valiant laborers in order to force them to work like Pharaoh made the Israelites, how coldly and in the most inhumane manner, he strips our Jewish fellow citizens and then assassinates them”

Trouw

Despite all of this no actions were taken.

Two weeks before Nazi Germany’s surrender,on 22 April 1945, Gerstein voluntarily surrendered himself  to the French commandant of the occupied town of Reutlingen. He received a sympathetic reception and was transferred to a residence in a hotel in Rottweil. Here he was able to write several reports , some of which were used inthe Nuremberg trials.

Below is an excepts of one of his reports, but I have to warns you it is a very graphich description of what he witnessed.

————–


“Then the procession starts moving. In front a very lovely young girl; so all of them go along the alley, all naked, men, women, children, without artificial limbs. I myself stand together with Hauptmann Wirth on top of the ramp between the gas chambers. Mothers with babies at their breast, they come onward, hesitate, enter the death chambers! At the corner a strong SS man stands who, with a voice like a pastor, says to the poor people: “There is not the least chance that something will happen to you! You must only take a deep breath in the chamber, that widens the lungs; this inhalation is necessary because of the illnesses and epidemics.” On the question of what would happen to them he answered: “Yes, of course, the men have to work, building houses and roads but the women don’t need to work. Only if they wish they can help in housekeeping or in the kitchen.”

For some of these poor people this gave a little glimmer of hope, enough to go the few steps to the chambers without resistance. The majority are aware, the smell tells them of their fate! So they climb the small staircase, and then they see everything. Mothers with little children at the breast, little naked children, adults, men, women, all naked – they hesitate but they enter the death chambers, pushed forward by those behind them or driven by the leather whips of the SS.

The majority without saying a word. A Jewess of about 40 years of age, with flaming eyes, calls down vengeance on the head of the murderers for the blood which is shed here. She gets 5 or 6 slashes with the riding crop into her face from Hauptmann Wirth personally, then she also disappears into the chamber. Many people pray. I pray with them, I press myself in a corner and shout loudly to my and their God. How gladly I would have entered the chamber together with them, how gladly I would have died the same death as them. Then they would have found a uniformed SS man in their chambers – the case would have been understood and treated as an accident, one man quietly missing. Still I am not allowed to do this. First I must tell what I am experiencing here!

The chambers fill. “Pack well!” – Hauptmann Wirth has ordered. The people stand on each other’s feet. 700 – 800 on 25 square meters, in 45 cubic meters! The SS physically squeezes them together, as far as is possible.

The doors close. At the same time the others are waiting outside in the open air, naked. Someone tells me: “The same in winter!” “Yes, but they could catch their death of cold,” I say. “Yes, exactly what they are here for!” says an SS man to me in his Low German. Now I finally understand why the whole installation is called the Hackenholt-Foundation. Hackenholt is the driver of the diesel engine, a little technician, also the builder of the facility.

The people are brought to death with the diesel exhaust fumes. But the diesel doesn’t work! Hauptmann Wirth comes. One can see that he feels embarrassed that that happens just today, when I am here. That’s right, I see everything! And I wait. My stop watch has honestly registered everything. 50 minutes, 70 minutes [?] – the diesel doesn’t start! The people are waiting in their gas chambers. In vain! One can hear them crying, sobbing… Hauptmann Wirth hits the Ukrainian who is helping Unterscharführer Hackenholt 12, 13 times in the face.

After two hours and 49 minutes – the stop watch has registered everything well – the diesel starts. Until this moment the people live in these 4 chambers, four times 750 people in 4 times 45 cubic meters! Again 25 minutes pass. Right, many are dead now. One can see that through the small window in which the electric light illuminates the chambers for a moment. After 28 minutes only a few are still alive. Finally, after 32 minutes, everyone is dead!

From the other side men from the work command open the wooden doors. They have been promised – even Jews – freedom, and some one-thousandth of all valuables found, for their terrible service. Like basalt pillars the dead stand inside, pressed together in the chambers. In any event there was no space to fall down or even bend forward. Even in death one can still tell the families. They still hold hands, tensed in death, so that one can barely tear them apart in order to empty the chamber for the next batch. The corpses are thrown out, wet from sweat and urine, soiled by excrement, menstrual blood on their legs.

Children’s’ corpses fly through the air. There is no time. The riding crops of the Ukrainians lash down on the work commands. Two dozen dentists open mouths with hooks and look for gold. Gold to the left, without gold to the right. Other dentists break gold teeth and crowns out of jaws with pliers and hammers.

Among all this Hauptmann Wirth is running around. He is in his element. Some workers search the genitals and anus of the corpses for gold, diamonds, and valuables. Wirth calls me to him: “Lift this can full of gold teeth, that is only from yesterday and the day before yesterday!” In an incredibly vulgar and incorrect diction he said to me: “You won’t believe what we find in gold and diamonds every day” – he pronounced it (in German Brillanten) with two L – “and in dollars. But see for yourself!” And now he led me to a jeweller who managed all these treasures, and let me see all this. Then someone showed me a former head of the Kaufhaus des Westens in Berlin, and a violinist: “That was a Hauptmann of the Austrian Army, knight of the Iron Cross 1st class who is now camp elder of the Jewish work command!”

The naked corpses were carried on wooden stretchers to pits only a few meters away, measuring 100 x 20 x 12 meters. After a few days the corpses welled up and a short time later they collapsed, so that one could throw a new layer of bodies upon them. Then ten centimeters of sand were spread over the pit, so that a few heads and arms still rose from it here and there. At such a place I saw Jews climbing over the corpses and working. One told me that by mistake those who arrived dead had not been stripped. Of course this has to be done later because of the  valuables which otherwise they would take with them into the grave.”

————-

Gerstein was  later movedto the Cherche-Midi military prison, where he was treated as a Nazi war criminal. On 25 July 1945, he was found dead in his cell, after an alleged suicide.

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

https://journals.openedition.org/

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/

Trouw

WikiPedia