Chaplain van Lierop-Forgotten Dachau Victim

van Lierop

On April 29, 1945 the US troops liberated Dachau concentration camp. I could post thousands of pictures of teh atrocities which were perpetrated there, but most people would probably only look at one or two pictures and then turn away,because the horror is just too great to endure. The normal human mind can’t fathom the images of the evil in front of them.

I decided to focus on just one victim who was murdered in Dachau, Chaplain A.S.A.A. van Lierop, AKA Noud van Lierop, He was a Dutch Catholic priest born on September 25,1897 in a small town called Steenbergen in the south of the Netherlands.

There were 3 things that surprised me about this man. Firstly when I saw his name I was convinced he was someone from my hometown, because the name van Lierop is a well known name in Geleen, hey used to have a small chocolate shop and factory, but Noud was not one of my town folk. Secondly I had never heard of him and what he did before the war and what happened to him during the war. Thirdly there is no mention of him on his birthplace wikipedia page, several notable names are mentioned but his name isn’t one of them which I personally think is a disgrace.

Who was Chaplain A.S.A.A. van Lierop?

He started his work as a Chaplain in the city of Breda in the Netherlands and was also the chief editor of  the Katholieke Wereldpost, an influential catholic magazine

Already in the 1930s van Lierop saw what was happening in Germany and he warned about the rise of the Nazi regime and warned about the crimes committed by them. The magazine was established as a Catholic counter alternative to Fascism and Communism. It employed several exiled prominent Catholic Germans and the HQ in Breda is quickly seen as a hotbed of Anti German propaganda.

After the Nazis invade the Netherlands in May 1940, agents  of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt(Reich Main Security Office) raid the offices of the Katholieke Wereldpost and van Lierop is arrested and sent to Dachau as a political prisoner. On November 27,1942 he is killed in Dachau, aged 45.

He may have been a forgotten victim but from now on he will always be a known hero to me, and hopefully to others.

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Sources

https://brabantsegesneuvelden.nl/persoon/noud-van-lierop-steenbergen-1897

https://beeldbankwo2.nl/nl/beelden/detail/c419a384-025a-11e7-904b-d89d6717b464/media/f21141b6-a3b5-117a-312d-1378bda6a004?mode=detail&view=horizontal&q=Dachau&rows=1&page=37

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steenbergen#Notable_people

The Löb siblings

Family

In the 1920’s it would not be uncommon ,in the Catholic south of the Netherlands, that 1 or 2 children in a family would join a monastery or convent. But 6 from the 8 children was rare. What makes it even more rare with  the Löb siblings that their parents had been Jewish. but they had converted to Catholicism.

Three of the Löb  brothers went to the Koningshoeven Abbey in Berkel-Enschot and two sisters to the nearby Koningsoord Trappist convent.

In 1926, when the oldest son George entered the Cistercian Abbey of Koningshoeven. Robert and Ernst would soon join their brother. George would take the name
Father Ignatius, Robert was Brother Linus and Ernst, Father Nivardus. The
girls in the family soon followed suit the oldest daughter Lina entered a
Trappistine monastery where she was later joined by her twin sisters. Lina
became Mother Hedwig, Dora became Mother Maria Theresia. The  youngest, (by a margin), of the six, the frail Louise, joined her sisters  there in 1937, henceforth she became known as Sister Veronica.

Only Hans and Paula, the two youngest children stayed at home . The Löb parents had died before the Netherlands was occupied.

Catholic Jews, such as the Löb family, did not appear to be in any imminent danger from the German occupiers.

However on 2 August 1942 5 of the Löb siblings were arrested The immediate cause of the arrest of the Löb family  was the letter of protest against the deportation of Jews that was read aloud in churches by order of the bishops in late July 1942. A declaration was being read in churches across the Netherlands, on behalf of the Archbishop. The declaration was a protest at the deportation of Jews.

The 5 had been urged to flee by other Nuns and Monks but they refused, The 3 Brothers said the Nazis threatened to kill ten priests if the brothers didn’t give ourselves up.

The 5 Löb siblings  were transferred to Amersfoort, Westerbork and finally to Auschwitz where, in the autumn of 1942, George and Ernst were killed on August 19, 1942. The other 3 were all killed on September 30,1942.

Louise managed to evade persecution, Several times she was summoned but she always received help, once by  the Jewish Council.And another time by a Doctor who worked at the monastery. Unfortunately because of being frail and sickly she died on August 1,1944 due to Tuberculosis.

Hans,Hans the youngest brother was also arrested by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz,
where he died in February 1945.Paula, the youngest child who had married was hidden by a Catholic family during the Nazi persecution,survived the war.

On 2 August 1942, 245 Jewish Catholics were arrested along with the Löb siblings. To the Nazis it didn’t matter if they had converted to Catholicism, in their eyes and according to their laws these people were still considered Jewish.

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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

Brabantremembers.com

Joods Monument

Catholic Heritage Curricula

 

 

Michael Kitzelmann, his conscience got the better of him.

Michael Kitzelmann

It would be absurd to say that every German soldier was bad. There were some who saw what was happening and protested against it and paid the ultimate price for it.

Michael Kitzelmann had been a loyal soldier of the Wehrmacht. He was company commander at the age of  24,  and was awarded the Iron Cross,Second Class for bravery in battle. He was also a devout Catholic.  In letters to his parents and in talks with his fellow soldiers he would be critical  of war and destruction of those responsible,during Operation Barbarossa.Russland, Halbkettenfahrzeug mit Geschütz

Between January and May 1942 he was assigned  to a unit combating  partisans in Russia, where he witnessed  atrocities committed by  the Einsatzgruppen  on the Russian population and against the Jews.

Traumatized and shocked by these experiences he started to re-examine his conscience. He to detest the Nazis and openly criticize commands.

His attitude resulting from a Christian rejection of war and the Nazi leaders responsible became  apparent in his letters home and discussions with fellow soldiers.

A  comrade betrayed  him in March 1942, whilst he  was being treated for an injury in a hospital. Kitzelmann was subsequently arrested in April 1942.  On Good Friday 1942,he was  sentenced to death for undermining military force.

He  was executed  by firing squad on 11 June 1942 in Oryol prison.Before his execution, he forgave the sergeant who had betrayed him.

Orel_Tsentral-Prison_in_old

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The Dark side of Carnaval

Alaaf und Heil Hitler

The date 11 November  has a great number of special meanings, for example the armistice of WWI was signed on the 11th day of the 11th month on the 11th hour.Add 11 after the 11th hour and you get a different meaning.

I don’t know exactly what the origin is but the date 11 11 at 11:11 am  is also known as the fool’s date, throughout a great number of countries but mainly in western Europe it triggers the start of the preparations for the Carnaval(aka Carnival) season.

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Carnaval is traditionally a Catholic  festival that takes place the 3 days before lent,the actual word translates into fall of meat. It signifies 3 days of indulgence of food and drink before people fast for 40 days until Easter. It starts on a Sunday and ends on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.This is traced back to biblical times where Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, and then was tempted by the Devil .”Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

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In modern days it really has become a feast of indulgence and not only a Catholic festival anymore, the most famous Carnaval is the Rio de Janeiro one.

A pivotal part of the festival is the parades or the floats on the Monday of the festival. The floats are mostly portray current affairs and have a satirical and political nature.

During the Nazi regime the festival became more sinister and darker. The floats ,which are really meant to be funny and make people think and laugh, were turned into a propaganda tool

The floats were used to manifeats expressions of anti-Semitism marking the German Carnival season during the years leading up to World War II.

Anti-Semitic floats, like this one from Cologne Carnival in 1934, were common. The banner reads: “The Last Ones Are Leaving.”

Alaaf und Heil Hitler

This float from Cologne’s Rose Monday parade in 1936 depicts the Jews losing their rights under the so-called Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935.

Alaaf und Heil Hitler

 

The carnival was used as a propaganda tool to highlight the values of the German nation. Here Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels (right) can be seen enjoying the Munich carnival, known as Fasching, in 1935.

Alaaf und Heil Hitler

A 1935 design for a float with depictions of people who have fled Germany, with the motto: “Refugees, Under the Roofs of Paris.”

Alaaf und Heil Hitler

Kraft durch Freude-Strength through Joy, the Nazi organization responsible for leisure activities, hosted an event in Cologne in 1935. However, Cologne Carnival organizers managed to keep control of the festivities.

Alaaf und Heil Hitler

The Nazis saw that the tradition of Carnival could be used to portray their notions of the German Volk or nation. Yet its anarchic fun and potential to mock those in power was something they sought to strictly control. Right from the beginning of the Nazi regime in 1933, there were orders not to mention Hitler during the festivities.

Yet there were some rare instances of defiance. For example, one Carnival group in Frankfurt dared to print posters in a newspaper depicting the Führer as a Carnival jester. A team of Nazis was immediately sent out to destroy the club’s float and arrest the editors, who spent three weeks in prison.

This image from the magazine Kladderadatsch shows the Führer accompanying Germania to a Fastnacht ball.

Alaaf und Heil Hitler

The famous Cologne Carnival speaker Karl Küppnerkk also fell foul of the authorities after making one too many jokes about the Nazis. During one speech, he stuck out his hand to do the Hitler salute and quipped: “Looks like rain.” Küppner ended up in jail and was barred from making any more speeches.

And the president of Düsseldorf’s Carnival committee, Leo Statz, paid the ultimate price for his irreverence. He had repeatedly annoyed the Nazis with his satirical Carnival songs and in 1943, after drunkenly questioning whether Germany could win the war, he was arrested by the Gestapo and eventually executed.

Nevertheless, these were the exceptions. On the whole there was a large degree of compliance with the regime. There were jokes in almost every Carnival speech about Jews as well as other enemies, such as the French or Russians. Many of the floats mocked the League of Nations, and favourite hate figures were American politicians, such as New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, whose mother was Jewish.

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For the regime, Carnival was a useful propaganda tool to the outside world. There were repeated references to the jobs created and the boost to the economy. The Nazis launched an advertising campaign to attract foreign tourists and to show the country in a favorable light and to show the “peaceful Germans, who didn’t want war, but just wanted to have fun,”

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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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