Simon Blitz-Murdered Doctor

I have long given up on trying to understand the logic behind some of the Nazis actions. For example the mass murder of Doctors, the Nazis themselves could have used them for their own medical needs.

Simon Blitz was born on June 28, 1907 in the Watergraafsmeer( The Watergraafsmeer is a polder in the Netherlands. It was reclaimed in 1629} hs parents were Josephus Blitz (1880 -1938) and Betsij van Wezel (1876-1947). He had 3 brothers and 2 sisters: Abraham, Ruben and Benjamin, Elisabeth and Cato. He studied medicine in Amsterdam and sat his medical final exams on April 29, 1936. Dr. Simon Blitz lived and practiced at 188 Zuider Amstellaan in Amsterdam.

He married Klara Elisabeth Erwteman in Amsterdam in October 1937. Together they had a child who was born in 1939. In December 1940 Simon and Klara divorced.

At least seventeen Jewish doctors were arrested, deported and sometimes even murdered by the Nazis during the first years of occupation, until July 1942.

On February 22, 1941, Simon Blitz was arrested during a raid in Amsterdam. Between 23 and 27, he was imprisoned in Camp Schoorl.Between February 27, 1941 and February 28, Simon was transported from Camp Schoorl to Buchenwald. There were 409 in total on that transport

Simon Blitz was murdered on May 12, 1941 in Buchenwald. He was was 33 years old. His wife and child survived the war.

Ann approximate 137 Jewish Doctors were either killed or murdered during World War 2. The hate of the Nazis had such a far reaching impact, that undoubtedly would also have impacted themselves.

sources

https://westerborkportretten.nl/westerborkportretten/simon-blitz

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/154124/simon-blitz

Testimonies on Ohrdruf Concentration camp.

I am not a great believer in posting graphic images, but when it comes to the Holocaust there really is not always a way around it.

The picture above was taken in Ohrdruf shortly after it was liberated, it is actually one of the least graphic pictures.

The Ohrdruf camp was a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and the first Nazi camp liberated by US troops.

The camp was liberated on April 4, 1945, by the 4th Armored Division, led by Brigadier General Joseph F. H. Cutrona, and the 89th Infantry Division. It was the first Nazi concentration camp liberated by the U.S. Army. There is a scene in ‘the Band of Brothers’ where they liberate a camp, the name isn’t mentioned but I believe it to be Ohrdruf.

One of the 4th Armored Division soldiers, David Cohen, said: “We walked into a shed and the bodies were piled up like wood. There are no words to describe it. The smell was overpowering and unforgettable.”

The horrific nature of what the 4th Armored Division had discovered led General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, to visit the camp on April 12, with Generals George S. Patton and Omar Bradley. After his visit, Eisenhower cabled General George C. Marshall, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, describing his trip to Ohrdruf:

“The most interesting—although horrible—sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.'”

Ohrdruf had also made a powerful impression on battle hardened Patton, who described it as “one of the most appalling sights that I have ever seen.” He recounted in his diary that:

“In a shed … was a pile of about 40 completely naked human bodies in the last stages of emaciation. These bodies were lightly sprinkled with lime, not for the purposes of destroying them, but for the purpose of removing the stench.

When the shed was full—I presume its capacity to be about 200, the bodies were taken to a pit a mile from the camp where they were buried. The inmates claimed that 3,000 men, who had been either shot in the head or who had died of starvation, had been so buried since the 1st of January.

When we began to approach with our troops, the Germans thought it expedient to remove the evidence of their crime. Therefore, they had some of the slaves exhume the bodies and place them on a mammoth griddle composed of 60-centimeter railway tracks laid on brick foundations. They poured pitch on the bodies and then built a fire of pinewood and coal under them. They were not very successful in their operations because there was a pile of human bones, skulls, charred torsos on or under the griddle which must have accounted for many hundreds.”

John W. Becket was another soldier who entered Ohrdruf that day. On the 17th of April he documented his experiences and impressions.

“As we came along our way we saw a sign pointing to ‘OHRDRUF,’ 15 kilometers from here, that is where the Germans had a concentration camp. What we saw was enough and at that it was pretty well cleaned up.”

“… an MP captain was questioning one of the liberated prisoners. He was Polish, spoke German, & as he related it was translated to us by the captain.” The prisoner showed them places where prisoners were beaten, tortured, and executed. Beckett wrote, “As the Polish prisoner talked, tears seemed to come to his eyes but he fought them down.”

“All such atrocities that were known to savages & Roman times & here it exists today in 1945, how is it possible, how can a man treat another as such. The question perhaps can’t be answered and I pray they will receive their just rewards, both here & in the life to come. Practically the whole battery went to see it & Patton wanted as many of his men that could go to see it & know that it is real & not propaganda. Its real, all too grotesquely real.”

Bruce Nickols was yet another soldier who recalled on what he saw that day. In 1998 he wrote a report on it.

“Fifty years have passed since this day but I recall my first impression of the camp called Ohrdruf which I found later was associated administratively with the camp called Buchenwald. Ohrdruf was named after the town of the same name, apparently locally famous for its history of being the place where Johann Sebastian Bach composed some of his works..

April 4, 1945
REPORT ON SURRENDER OF THE GERMAN CONCENTRATION CAMP AT OHRDRUF:
The date was April 4, 1945 and I was on a patrol as a member of the I &R platoon attached to the Headquarters company of 354th Infantry Regiment, of the 89th Infantry Division, 3rd Army U.S.A.

As I recall it was a beautiful spring morning marred by the fact that we were under mortar attack. I remember very well my surprise when I observed Brigadier General Robertson strolling upright down the road. He was an elderly avunular gentleman who thought nonchalance under fire characterized the general officer’s role model.

I was impressed but remained prone in the drainage ditch until the atttack ceased. Shortly thereafter, an acquaintance let it be known that a camp had been liberated further up the hill.

Fifty years have passed since this day but I recall my first impression of the camp called Ohrdruf which I found later was associated administratively with the camp called Buchenwald. Ohrdruf was named after the town of the same name, apparently locally famous for its history of being the place where Johann Sebastian Bach composed some of his works.

From the outside, the camp was unremarkable. It was surrounded by a high barbed wire fence and had a wooden sign which read, “Arbeit Macht Frei.” The swinging gate was open, and a young soldier, probably an SS guard, lay dead diagonally across the entrance. The camp was located inthe forest and was surrounded by a thick grove of pine and other conifers. The inside of the camp was composed of a large 100 yards square central area which was surrounded by one story barracks painted green which appeared to house 60-100 inmates.

As we stepped into the compound one was greeted by an overpowering odor of quick-lime, dirty clothing, feces, and urine. Laying in the center of the square were 60-70 dead prisoners clad in striped clothing and in disarray. They had reportedly been machine gunned the day before because they were too weak to march to another camp. The idea was for the SS and the prisoners to avoid the approaching U.S. Army and the Russians.

Adjacent to the”parade ground” was a small shed which was open on one side. Inside,were bodies stacked in alternate directions as one would stack cord wood, and each layer was covered with a sprinkling of quick-lime. I did not see him, but someone told me that there had been a body of a dead American aviator in the shed. This place reportedly had been used for punishment, and the inmates were beaten on their back and heads with a shovel. My understanding is that all died following this abuse.

I visited some of the surrounding barracks and found live inmates who had hidden during the massacre. They were astounded and appeared to be struggling to understand what was happening. Some were in their 5 tier bunks and somewhere wandering about.

This was the first camp to be “liberated” by the Allied armies in Germany. Ohrdruf was visited by Generals Eisenhower, Patton and Bradley and there are photographs of them observing the bodies of the machine gunned inmates. According to Eisenhower, Patton had refused to visit the punishment shed as he feared he would become ill. He did vomit at a later time.

Further into the camp was evidence of an attempt to exhume and burn large numbers of bodies. There was a gallows, although I really cannot remember whether I saw it or not. I don’t remember leaving the camp. I recall being numb after seeing the camp. I had just turned 20 years old and I had read the biographical “Out of the Night.” It was a pale and inadequate picture of a German concentration camp by a refugee German author.

I recall becoming very upset when we got back to our quarters, but the whole experience was far beyond my understanding. I wrote a letter to my parents describing the experience which was read at a local gathering of business men. It was widely disbelieved.

Bruce Nickols”

sources

https://www.ushmm.org/learn/timeline-of-events/1942-1945/liberation-of-ohrdruf

https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/ohrdruf-concentration-camp

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

Donation

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Lee Miller not Just a lady in a bathtub..(updated 6 Feb.2022)

One of the most iconic pictures of women during WWII is the picture of Lee Miller sitting in Adolf Hitler’s bathtub, in his Munich apartment in 1945.

“I was living in Hitler’s private apartment in Munich when his death was announced.” she said afterwards.

Lee Miller however wasn’t just a lady in a bathtub.

Elizabeth “Lee” Miller, Lady Penrose was an American photographer and photojournalist. She was a fashion model in New York City in the 1920s before going to Paris, where she became a fashion and fine art photographer. She was unapologetically sexual. A strong woman in a male dominated world.

During World War 2,she was a war correspondent for Vogue, covering events such as the London Blitz, the liberation of Paris, and the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau, despite having no military training.

It is this part I want to focus on.

The magazine Vogue is a well known Fashion magazine. You would not associate it with hard hitting journalism , yet in June 1945 it published pictures taken by Lee Miller of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

“I don’t usually take pictures of horrors. But don’t think that every town and every area isn’t rich with them. I hope Vogue will feel that it can publish there pictures.” Lee Miller wrote to her editor in the cover letter that was sent with her manuscripts and photographs of the liberation of Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps.
.
and Vogue did publish it. ‘BELIEVE IT’ was the title of the article published in American Vogue. British Vogue also published images.
.

In her manuscripts she writes ‘The overcrowded blocks of prisoners were re-crowded by incoming evacuated prisoners from other camps. The triple decker bunks without blankets, or even straw, held two and three men per bunk who lay in bed too weak to circulate the camp in victory and liberation marches or songs, although they mostly grinned and cheered, peering over the edge. In the few minutes it took me to take my pictures two men were found dead, and were unceremoniously dragged out and thrown on the heap outside the block. Nobody seemed to mind except me. The doctor said it was too late for more than half the others in the building anyway.’

sources

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20140903-in-hitlers-bathtub

https://www.instagram.com/leemillerarchives/?hl=en

https://www.leemiller.co.uk/component/Main/17ToA3p1yfaBss9G2InA3w..a

https://archive.vogue.com/article/1945/6/germans-are-like-this

Margot Frank-Cohen-Full life interrupted

I could have picked any name out of millions of victims to write about today. So why did I pick Margot Frank-Cohen? No particular reason other then that she would have been 100 years old today.

A few decades ago it would have been utter nonsense to talk about someone’s 100th birthday. Hardly anyone would reach that age. However nowadays there are more centenarians then there have ever been. So it could have been well possible for Margot to still be alive today, but as you can see on her wedding picture, the people around all have a star on their clothes. We all know the color of that star was yellow. We also know that those stars were given to Jews so that they could be identified as such.

The word on their stars reads “Jood” the Dutch word for Jew. Margot wasn’t Dutch but she was born in Bocholt.

Bocholt is a city in the north-west of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, part of the district Borken. It is situated 4 km (2½ miles) south of the border with the Netherlands.

When she moved to the Netherlands I don’t know. I presume it was in 1939 the same time as her parents moved to Amsterdam.

Or it could be the case that her parents moved here because Margot already lived in the Netherlands. Because in 1939 Margot married Hein Lindeman, she was 18 at the time. The marriage didn’t last too long but the couple did have a daughter together, Sophia Juliana Senta Lindeman, born on February 10, 1940.

When you look at the dates 1939 and February 1940, things were still normal for the Jews living in the Netherlands. It was only in May 1940, after the German occupation, things started to change gradually for the Jews.

As stated earlier the marriage between Margot and Hein didn’t last long they divorced in 1941.

This is the astonishing bit, neither of them gave up on love. Despite the fact that so many of their friends and families were already deported, both Margot and Hein re-married. Hein married Alida (Ali) Druyf in May 1942. Just over 4 months later Alida was murdered in Auschwitz on September 28,1942. Hein was murdered in Sobibor on April 23,1943.

Margot married Siegfried Frank in 1942 in Camp Westerbork. The picture at the start of the blog is from their wedding day.Margot was Murdered in Auschwitz together with her 4 year old daughter on October 6,1944. They were put on transport Transport XXIV/7, no. 194 on September 6, 1944,Westerbork the Netherlands to Terezín Then from Terezin via transport En, no. 47 on October. 10. 1944, Terezín to Auschwitz

The irony is that her husband died on the 2nd anniversary of her ex husband. He was murdered in Buchenwald on April 23 1945, just a few days after it was liberated.

Despite Margot’s young age, she had already lived a fuller life then most people. A full life only to be interrupted by an evil ideology

Sources

https://www.holocaust.cz/en/database-of-victims/victim/149922-margot-frank-cohen/

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/195704/margot-frank-cohen

https://www.geni.com/people/Margot-Frank/6000000164906549161

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/195703/sophia-juliana-senta-lindeman

https://www.geni.com/people/Siegfried-Frank/6000000065602842922

Donation

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Buchenwald

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

I could do a blog on any of the 44,000 Nazi concentration camps. Yes you are reading that right, there were about 44,000 concentration camps. Some were extermination camps, some were labour camps and there were transit camps. Regardless what their designation was, the ultimate aim was the annihilation of those deemed subhuman by the Nazis, be they Jews, Roma, Jehovah Witness, gay, political prisoners or disabled.

As the title suggests this blog is about Buchenwald ,one of the first camps, which was built in Germany itself. The majority of the other camps were built in eastern Europe.

Rather then writing too much about it, I will post some pictures. Some are graphic. I usually try to avoid graphic pictures but sometimes it is necessary to show the horrors.

Dutch Jews wearing prison uniforms marked with a yellow star and the letter “N”, for Netherlands, stand at attention during a roll call at the Buchenwald concentration camp. On February 28, 1941, 389 Jewish prisoners from Amsterdam and Rotterdam, many of them working class longshoremen, arrived in Buchenwald. All were immediately sent to work in the quarry and on construction projects, which led many to soon fall ill from exhaustion, exposure, and poor diet. Regardless of the deaths, camp leaders still considered the liquidation of the Dutch Jews to be proceeding too slowly and ordered the camp doctor, Eisele, to close the infirmary to Dutch Jews, expelling the bedridden or killing them by lethal injection.

Senator Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky, a member of a congressional committee investigating Nazi atrocities, views the evidence at first hand at Buchenwald concentration camp.

On the main gate, the motto Jedem das Seine (English: “To each his own”), was inscribed. The SS interpreted this to mean the “master race” had a right to humiliate and destroy others. It was designed by Buchenwald prisoner and Bauhaus architect Franz Ehrlich, who used a Bauhaus typeface for it, even though Bauhaus was seen as degenerate art by the National Socialists and was prohibited. This defiance however went unnoticed by the SS.

A trailer with corpses

Nazis ran out of coal and were unable to cremate bodies of the dead at camp just before it was liberated and just left the corpses pile up.

These are slave laborers in the Buchenwald concentration camp, many had died from malnutrition when U.S. troops of the 80th Division entered the camp. The very ill man lying at the back on the lower bunk is Max Hamburger, who had TBC and severe malnutrition. He recovered and became a psychiatrist in the Netherlands. Second row, seventh from left is Elie Wiesel. Photograph taken 5 days after liberation.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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://catalog.archives.gov/id/292594

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa14527

Remembering Betsy Labzowski- Murdered on March 12 1945.

A few months ago I saw a quote which said “If you remember one, you remember them all” This really stuck with me.

Today I am remembering Betsy Labzowski, she was born in Zierikzee, the Netherlands , 29 June 1920 and she was murdered in Extern kommando Raguhn, 12 March 1945, which was a subcamp of Buchenwald, aged 24

Betty’s parents were from Lithuanian descent.

Betty was only 24 when she was murdered. A beautiful young woman who still had a future in front of her. Who knows what she could have become, a Doctor, a secretary, an actress, a model, a teacher, a wife, a mother. Her possibilities were endless, but on March 12,1945 less then 2 months to the war’s end. Betty’s future was cut short by an evil regime.

I would love to see that it was only the Germans who were responsible for her death, but that would be a lie. The occupying Nazi regime were helped by civil servants and a very effective Dutch civil administration. Often out of fear, but not always.

It is such a stain on my country’s history, but luckily most people do know and acknowledge this.

There are other countries in Europe who still have to come to terms with their histories, but rather then facing up to it they have decided toe revise it, Do they not know that the same ideology which killed millions in the past, including many of their own citizens, is rearing its ugly head again?

I hope Betty’s death was not just a statistic but a lesson to be learned for all of us.

Source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/119491/betsy-labzowski#intro

Lee Miller not Just a lady in a bathtub.

One of the most iconic pictures of women during WWII is the picture of Lee Miller sitting in Adolf Hitler’s bathtub, in his Munich apartment in 1945.

“I was living in Hitler’s private apartment in Munich when his death was announced.” she said afterwards.

Lee Miller however wasn’t just a lady in a bathtub.

Elizabeth “Lee” Miller, Lady Penrose was an American photographer and photojournalist. She was a fashion model in New York City in the 1920s before going to Paris, where she became a fashion and fine art photographer. She was unapologetically sexual.

During the Second World War, she was a war correspondent for Vogue, covering events such as the London Blitz, the liberation of Paris, and the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau, despite having no military training

It is this part I want to focus on.

The magazine Vogue is a well known Fashion magazine. You would not associate it with hard hitting journalism , yet in June 1945 it published pictures taken by Lee Miller of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

“I don’t usually take pictures of horrors. But don’t think that every town and every area isn’t rich with them. I hope Vogue will feel that it can publish there pictures.” Lee Miller wrote to her editor in the cover letter that was sent with her manuscripts and photographs of the liberation of Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps.
.
and Vogue did publish it. ‘BELIEVE IT’ was the title of the article published in American Vogue. British Vogue also published images.
.

In her manuscripts she writes ‘The overcrowded blocks of prisoners were re-crowded by incoming evacuated prisoners from other camps. The triple decker bunks without blankets, or even straw, held two and three men per bunk who lay in bed too weak to circulate the camp in victory and liberation marches or songs, although they mostly grinned and cheered, peering over the edge. In the few minutes it took me to take my pictures two men were found dead, and were unceremoniously dragged out and thrown on the heap outside the block. Nobody seemed to mind except me. The doctor said it was too late for more than half the others in the building anyway.’


.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20140903-in-hitlers-bathtub

https://www.instagram.com/leemillerarchives/?hl=en

https://www.leemiller.co.uk/component/Main/17ToA3p1yfaBss9G2InA3w..a

https://archive.vogue.com/article/1945/6/germans-are-like-this

The Dentist of Auschwitz

2020-05-03

I will not say too much about Benjamin Jacobs aka Bronek Jakubowicz or Berek Jakubowicz. As the title suggests he was a dentist, but he also is a survivor. Not only did he survive Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps, he also survived Auschwitz, a death march and the sinking of SS Cap Arcona, which was bombed by the RAF killing thousands.

One of the reasons why I won’t saying too much about Benjamin Jacobs is because he wrote a book titled “The Dentist of Auschwitz” a book which I only recently received as a present and haven’t read yet.

One thing I will say is that  one of the jobs he had as the dentist of Auschwitz,  was extracting gold teeth  from the corpses of those who were killed, I really cannot fathom how I didn’t suffered greatly from this. However this does show his incredible mental strength , which would have contributed to his survival. I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have.

In later interviews and I presume in his book he did say “I heard the voices of broken hearts and crushed souls” regarding to that gruesome task.

He died on January 30th ,2004 aged 84.

 

Sources

https://archive.org/details/dentistofauschwi00jaco

https://muse.jhu.edu/book/3531

 

Death march Buchenwald

2020-02-28

One of the things I could never understand was the death marches. The most of them happened near the end of the war. Even from a strategically point of view they made no sense. Then again a lot of actions taken by the Nazis didn’t make a lot of sense. So may of their policies and strategies were fueled by hate.

The Buchenwald Death March took place between April 7th and 10, 1945. It was a match of about 300km. 28,500 to 30,000 inmates were marched to 3 other camps. Dachau,Flossenbürg, and Theresienstadt. on a route via Jena, Eisenberg, Bad Köstritz, and Gera.

Of the 28,500-30,000 inmates approximately 9,000 died.

I just can’t imagine the fear and the  anxiety they must have felt. Those who fell down were either shot or left to die. Most of these people were weakened because of the  horrific treatment they got in the Buchenwald. Those who dies were walked to death, just sit back for a minute and imagine that.

The remaining 21,000 inmates who were left behind in Buchenwald were liberated on April 11,1945.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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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soutces

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/death-marches-1

NIOD

 

This is what hate does.

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

Jedem

I don’t like posting horrific pictures in relation to the Holocaust, or any other subject for that matter. And I don’t like it for 2 reasons

Firstly I find it physically hard to stomach and generally gives me nightmares.

Secondly we have come to live in a society where some people get offended by everything, even by the truth or rather especially by the truth, Instead of facing it they complain about it and try everything to get that truth removed.

However to me neither of those reasons are good enough  not to show what hate really can do.

Buchenwald concentration camp had the particular cynical motto on their gate “Jedem das Seine” or Each their own.

Below are 2 picture which were found by a US soldier after the camp was liberated. The pictures were taken by the Nazis who ran the camp. This what they meant with Each their own. You would not do it to an animal.

Horror

buchenwald 2

As I said earlier I don’t like posting graphic images. I think it is much more powerful to personalize the stories. But sometimes we have to be reminded by the gruesome horrors caused by hate.