A promise of life

sarah

I was born with a promise of life.

A life full of joy and excitement, but also a life of sometimes sadness

A life of play and learning new skills every day.

A life which is unique , so very much the same as other but yet totally different.

A life with family and friends.

A life of song and dance.

A life full of flavors and colors

But my promise of life became a certainty of death.

I am Sarah Eva Vleeschhouwer, I died age 7 murdered in Auschwitz.

 

Source

Joods Monument

 

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Therese Brandl- Evil knows no gender.

Brandl

When you Google the name Therese Brandl, one of the first results you get is a mention of her name in IMDb(Internet Movie Database) as one of the cast members of the 1945 documentary “Auschwitz Krakow Trial 1947″ .

I don’t criticize IMDb for categorizing her as a cast member because that is how the website is set up. In reality Therese Brandl was a staff member of some of the most evil and vile places ever to be built. Ravensbrück,Auschwitz” and Muehldorf which was a sub camp of Dachau.

Auschwitz

She had began training at Ravensbrück in 1940. She worked as an SS Aufseherin in KZ Ravensbrück before transferring to Auschwitz in 1942 and then to the KZ Muehldorf (a satellite camp of Dachau). She beat her prisoners and made selections for the gas chambers. In the summer of 1943, she received a medal from the Reich for her “good conduct” in the camps.
One of the survivors gave an example of how evil she was, the survivor was Andreas Larinciakos, he was 9 years old when he encountered her.

“While in the camp, Doctor Mengele took my blood many times. In November 1944, all children were transferred to Camp A, the gypsy camp. When they counted us, one was found missing,  Mandl, SS-Lagerführerin of the women’s camp and her assistant, Brandl, drove us out into the street at one in the morning and made us stand there in the frost until noon the next day”

Brandl fled Muehldorf in late April 1945 but was arrested in Bavaria 4 months later on August 29,1945 by the US Army. she was put on trial in the Auschwitz Trial at Kraków.,on 22 December 1947.

trial

She was sentenced to death and hanged on 28 January 1948, just a few days before her 46th birthday.

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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Source

Yad Vashem

 

The Angel Louis Turksma

Louis

Dear Louis, I have to believe you are an Angel Because if I don’t I get engulfed with hate for those who killed you. But your beautiful face only radiates love.

You are an Angel, you already look up to your new home in Heaven. You were 4 when you were murdered by those who thought you were only vermin. You re not, you never were and never will be. Your murderers are the vermin.

How can anyone look in those eyes and feel they have  a justified reason for closing them for ever?

You are an Angel like so many others who died in Auschwitz.

There is a hypothetical question that asks ” Who would you like to meet first when you pass the pearly gates?”

Louis if my time has come, I hope it is you I see first. But til then be my Angel as I will be your voice.

 

Holocaust sex slaves.

brothel

I was struggling giving this blog a title. I was thinking of calling it “brothels in the concentration camps” but I think that would not do justice to the real horror and impossible choices these women had to make.

In general women who work in brothels have some level of autonomy over their lives, some even enjoy working there, But for the women who were forced to work in the concentration camp brothels, there was no choice, it was a matter of life and death.Therefor I thought the title Holocaust sex slaves was the best description.

The brothels in the concentration camps  were to establish an incentive for prisoners to collaborate. The women forced into these brothels came mainly from the Ravensbrück concentration camp,

ravensbruck

The women were taken into a furnished room. The barracks were different from the ones  at the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp.

The SS opened 10 brothels, the first one opened in the Austrian camp at Mauthausen in 1942. The biggest was in Auschwitz,as many as 21 women prisoners once worked. The women forced to work in the Auschwitz brothel were inmates from Auschwitz in block 24.

24

The last brothel opened in early 1945.

One of the women testified: “They told us we were in the camp brothel, that we were the lucky ones. We would eat well and have enough to drink. If we behaved and fulfilled our duties nothing would happen to us.”

The women were made to have sex with the forced labourers, which was an idea devised by SS chief Heinrich Himmler in order  increase productivity and to  try to prevent homosexuality from ‘spreading’ in the camps.

himmler

There was no actual evidence that it produced any noticeable increase in the prisoners’ work productivity levels. Only a few inmates were actually in a physical condition to go to them.

Jewish women were not ‘recruited’ to work in the brothels, and Jewish men were not admitted to the brothels.

The women, aged between 17 and 35  received more food and were treated less harshly than other female inmates. In return, they had to provide sex to selected prisoners every evening between 8 and 10 p.m., and on Sunday afternoons.

Inmates allowed to go the brothels  had to sign up for a specific day and pay two reichs marks for a 20-minute “session” based on a  schedule which was predetermined.

20 female prisoners, were controlled by a female overseer

The women were matched with ‘clients’ by an SS-officer. The ‘clients; were mainly  inmates who ended up in the camps branded as  common or professional criminals who wore the green triangles,

triangle

Himmler was also convinced that by forcing homosexual inmates to have sex once a week  with the women ,it would ‘cure’ their homosexuality

The women would frequently be replaced because of  exhaustion and illness, and were often sent away to their deaths later. Some of them underwent forced sterilizations as well as forced abortions, many times resulting in death.

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

Der Spiegel

 

The Local.de

Mail On Line

WW2 Resource

The Telegraph

 

 

 

A single Chess piece

pawn

A single chess piece with little of no value, yet it is invaluable.

A bit of carved wood part of the game of 32 pieces, 16 white ,16 black.

A game played by millions and played by people of all religions and none.

A game which equally unites and divides people.

This pawn piece says so much and also so little. It was found in the vicinity  Auschwitz’s Crematorium III.

The owner of the pawn was murdered, cast aside like a pawn him or herself.Chess,such an honorable game ,played by prince and pauper alike. But there was no honor in those who killed the owner of this pawn piece. No honor indeed, just evil and a warped elevated sense of themselves. The notion that they were above everyone else, where in fact is was them who were the vermin, Vermin dressed in uniforms decorated with a swastika

Rest in peace poor chess player. I hope you can continue your game in heaven.

The Buchenwald Song and the brutal murder of the man who wrote it.

Song

Fritz Löhner-Beda was  an  Austrian born Jewish librettist, lyricist and writer. Born Wildenschwert, Bohemia but he grew up in one of Europe’s most cultural cities,Vienna. Alas Vienna’s culture was to become tainted to a degree.

In the 1920s, Löhner-Beda became one of the most popular and  sought-after librettists and lyricists in Vienna. This popularity though meant nothing on April 1,1938, less then 3 weeks after the Anschluss, (annexation of Austria by the Nazis).

AH ANSCHLUSS

On April 1, 1938 Löhner-Beda was arrested and deported to Dachau concentration camp.His Viennese neighbors and fan base did very little to help him.Just over 5 months later on September 23 1938 he was deported to Buchenwald.

While in Buchenwald, at the end of 1938, he wrote Das Buchenwald lied(the Buchenwald song) together with Hermann Leopoldi an Austrian born Jewish composer. Below is the text to the chorus of the song

“O Buchenwald, ich kann dich nicht vergessen,
weil du mein Schicksal bist.
Wer dich verließ, der kann es erst ermessen,
wie wundervoll die Freiheit ist!
O Buchenwald, wir jammern nicht und klagen,
und was auch unser Schicksal sei,
wir wollen trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen,
denn einmal kommt der Tag, dann sind wir frei!”

English Translation:

“O Buchenwald, I cannot forget you,
because you are my fate.
Only he who leaves you can appreciate
how wonderful freedom is!
O Buchenwald, we don’t cry and complain;
and whatever our destiny may be,
we nevertheless shall say ‘yes’ to life:
for once the day comes, we shall be free!”

Viktor Frankl used the line “trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen”(nevertheless shall say ‘yes’ to life) as the German title for his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”. written in 1946.

ja zum leben

On October 17, 1942,  Löhner-Beda was deported to the Monowitz concentration camp, a sub-camp of Auschwitz. The SS established the camp in October 1942 at the behest of I.G. Farben executives to provide slave labor for their Buna Werke (Buna Works) industrial complex.

monowitz

On December 4,1942 Fritz Löhner-Beda had already been ill. he was accused of not working hard enough. Because of this he was beaten to death by a Kapo. Just imagine that, beaten to death that is a different kind of evil. I know the Kapo’s were forced to do bad things in order to survive themselves, but beating someone to death that takes a particular kind of person.

So many people were killed during the Holocaust but with that also so much cultural heritage has vanished.

Fritz Löhner-Beda could have contributed so much more for the betterment of humankind.Who knows how many classic songs he could have written, or how many more award winning plays and screenplays. His death didn’t only end his life it also deprived the world of a great artist.

Fritz

Ending this blog with a version of the song and one more time the line “we nevertheless shall say ‘yes’ to life” Let’s do that , let us all say yes to life despite whatever comes our way, We owe to Fritz and to ourselves.

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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9 Candles on my cake.

Ernest

9 Candles were on my last birthday cake,just one away from double digits .

9 Candles on my cake, one candle for each year.

9 Candles were lit, I could feel the heat of each of them.

9 Candles that punched 9 little holes in my cake.

9 Candles, not enough to light up the room, but plenty enough to light up my face.

9 Candles,nothing special and yet it gave me a sense of magic

9 Candles I had to blow out,my mother told me to make a wish

9 Candles ,their flames extinguished slowly one by one 

The slowly extinguished very much like the fire in my soul.

I am Ernest Frydman I was born in Paris on May 7th, 1933.

9 Candles I had to blow out, my mother told me to male a wish.

My wish to have a cake with 10 Candles next year did not come though.

I was murdered in August 1942 in Auschwitz.

Auschwitz Greenhouses

Greenhiuses

A mistake many people make is to think that Auschwitz was only 1 camp.Aside from Auschwitz ,Auschwitz Birkenau and Monowitz which were the 3 biggest camps, there were another 40+ camps.

One of these camps was Rajsko (Gärtnerei, which means Horticultural center or nursery). It was officially established on 12th June 1943. The camp was a 10 minutes walk from the main camp, an estimated 300 women worked and lived there.

A number of female prisoners were selected for their experience and qualifications in agronomy.  They were designated “Kommando Pflanzenzucht” meaning Commando growing plants.

These women were very important and vital to the project,  they were sent from Ravensbrück concentration camp, just north of Berlin.

The flowers produced in Rajsko were distributed  all over Germany. And  became very popular and achieved  a reputation for the quality and longevity.

greenhouse

The women   were forced to work in the nurseries tending flowers, plants and vegetables for the Nazis and also help conduct agricultural experiments into rubber.

There were 2 ‘kommandos’ The first Kommando grew vegetables in hothouses for the SS. They also nursed flower beds, and worked in the nearby fields. The gardening Kommando also ran something which was basically a gardening center or a co-op where SS men, their families, and civilians could purchase vegetables, fruit, and flowers.

The women in the second Kommando worked on the development of the Kazakh dandelion, which was known for its production of high quality rubber.

rubber

The Germans had a chronic shortage in rubber.

Due to the importance to maintain cleanliness and precision in the research work, the conditions in the sub-camp were far superior to those in Birkenau. The women lived in reasonable comfort with heated barracks, slept in beds linen.They also had warm water warm water and wore clean clothes, and ate better. But they were closely supervised and, would be  punished for possessing prohibited items by flogging or sent to work in penal camps.

Although strict provisions were in place, the camp was not immune from a typhus outbreak which was eventually controlled.

SS-Obersturmbannführer Joachim Caesar was the commander of Rajskosub-camp. Many prisoners recalled him to be a human man. He was also the only SS-officer to refuse to partake  in selections  in Birkenau, believing it to be unethical. Surprisingly no action was taken against him for his refusal, which indicated that it was possible to turn down such orders without reprisal, meaning SS officers had a choice.

joachim

Rajsko was liquidated on January 18, 1945, and the prisoners were forced to join the Death March in the direction of Wodzisław Śląski, and from there by train to the Ravensbrück camp.

Several women survived.

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

USHMM

Auschwitz.org

Auschwitz Study group

 

 

 

Deception and death.

Franz

I was struggling with the title of this blog and even about the contents. I was going to do a picture blog with pictures of some of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, and even though I have done blogs containing horrific images I realized that although a picture tells a thousand words it doesn’t necessarily tell the full story.

Therefore I decided to use testimonies from a Nazi and a witness statement of a  survivor to illustrate the evil of one particular evil man ,Franz Hössler, an often forgotten perpetrator who used deception and death to fulfill his own sadistic needs.

Franz 2

Franz Hössler  was a Nazi German SS-Obersturmführer and Schutzhaftlagerführer at the Auschwitz-Birkenau, Dora-Mittelbau and Bergen-Belsen.

Johann Kremer, SS camp doctor in Auschwitz from 30 August to 17 November 1942, recorded a transport of 1,703 Dutch Jews to the main camp managed by Hössler. He had described the event in his diary and used it in his testimony during the Auschwitz  trial.

Kremer

“In connection with the gassings I described in my diary dated 12.10.1942, I declare that on that day about 1,600 Dutch were gassed. This is an approximate figure, which I stated as a result of what I had heard from others. The action was led by SS officer Hssler. I remember that he tried to drive the whole group into a single bunker. This he achieved up to a last man who could not be crammed further into the bunker. Hossler shot this man with a revolver. This is the reason why I wrote in the diary: “Gruesome scene before the last bunker! (Hössler!)”.

Filip Müller one of the very few Sonderkommando members who survived Auschwitz. gave the following testimony. It was a speech of deception Hössler had given to  a group of Greek Jews in the undressing room at the portals of the gas chambers.

filip

“On behalf of the camp administration I bid you welcome. This is not a holiday resort but a labor camp. Just as our soldiers risk their lives at the front to gain victory for the Third Reich, you will have to work here for the welfare of a new Europe. How you tackle this task is entirely up to you. The chance is there for every one of you. We shall look after your health, and we shall also offer you well-paid work. After the war we shall assess everyone according to his merits and treat him accordingly.
Now, would you please all get undressed. Hang your clothes on the hooks we have provided and please remember your number of the hook. When you’ve had your bath there will be a bowl of soup and coffee or tea for all. Oh yes, before I forget, after your bath, please have ready your certificates, diplomas, school reports and any other documents so that we can employ everybody according to his or her training and ability.

Would diabetics who are not allowed sugar report to staff on duty after their baths”

Hössler was not tried at the Auschwitz trial but was   tried in the Belsen Trial.

trial

On 17 November 1945 Hössler was sentenced to death by hanging. The sentence was carried out by British hangman Albert Pierrepoint on 13 December 1945 at Hameln prison.

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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Cleaning the gas chambers.

Gas

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

The Nazis used forced labor to clean the Gas chambers it was done by the so called Sonderkommando’s mostly mad up of Jewish inmates who were selected because they were often young and still reasonably fit, fit enough to carry out physical labour.

Being forced to clean the gas chambers was actually one of the cruelest punishments really , because often those tasked with that awful job had remove their own family members.

The hair of the victims was s shaven  from the heads of corpses straight after their removal from the gas chambers .Human hair was often used in delayed action bombs, where its particular qualities made it highly useful for detonating purposes. Women’s hair was preferred over men’s and children’s , the Nazis running the camps even made a profit from this.After treatment  the hair  was put into twenty-kilogram bales. The bales were sold to German companies at twenty pfennig per kilogram.

hair

It is believed some of the products manufactured  from or containing  hair in those companies may still be in use in German homes today.

In camps like Auschwitz or Sobibor It was the job of the Sonderkommanso’s to get the bodies from the gas chambers, remove the gold teeth from the jaws  using large pliers and then throw the bodies in the mass grave and cover them with chlorinated lime. At a later stage  the corpses from the gas chambers were immediately burned in crematoria or pyres. They also had to clean the gas chambers and remove the blood and excrement. This work was physically and mentally draining and would cause physical and mental  exhaustion , so the work could only be done for a short time.When brink of exhaustion was reached the Sonderkomanndo’s would be gassed themselves. They would quicklt be replaced by prisoners from yet another transport.

Below are some testimonies of some who survived.

Henryk Mandelbaum, a member of the Sonderkommando in Auschwitz.

“I thought I was in hell. Fire and smoke were everywhere. I had to clean the gas chambers and put the bodies in the crematoria, or burn them outside when the extermination was in full swing and the crematoria were not enough,”

SONDERKOMMANDO

Daniel Bennahmias was  also selected to be part of the Sonderkommando unit in Auschwitz.

“Once the gas chamber had been cleared, it must be hosed free of all traces of blood and excrement – but mainly blood – and then it must be whitewashed with a quick drying paint. This step is crucial, and it is done each time the gas chamber is emptied, for the dying have scratched and gouged the walls in their death throes. The walls are embedded with blood and bits of flesh, and none on the next transport must suspect that he is walking into anything other than a shower. This takes two or three hours.”

BLUEPRINT

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

USHMM

Sobiborinterviews.nl