From Hawaii to the Holocaust-The Japanese Americans who liberated Dachau.

The Japanese who liberated the Dachau Concentration camps complex..

The soldiers were from the 442nd Infantry Regiment an infantry regiment of the United States Army. The unit is most known as a fighting unit composed almost entirely of second-generation American soldiers of Japanese ancestry aka Nisei.
Although some of them had been in internment camps themselves, after the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Imperial army, they still volunteered for the US army, and even though many of their family members remained in internment camps these soldiers fought valiantly and were in fact one the most decorated units in the US Army.
The Nisei 522nd Field Artillery Battalion was organized as part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team; but towards the end of the war, the 522nd became a roving battalion, helping out wherever they were needed.


They had the distinction of liberating survivors of the Dachau concentration camp system, from the Nazis on April 29, 1945.
Here are just some of their testimonies.


Technician Fourth Grade Ichiro Imamura: “I watched as one of the scouts used his carbine to shoot off the chain that held the prison gates shut …. They weren’t dead, as he had first thought. When the gates swung open, we got our first good look at the prisoners. Many of them were Jews. They were wearing striped prison suits and round caps. It was cold and the snow was two feet deep in some places. There were no German guards. The prisoners struggled to their feet …. They shuffled weakly out of the compound. They were like skeletons – all skin and bones ….”


Scouts from the 522nd were among the first Allied troops to release prisoners from the Kaufering IV Hurlach satellite camp, one of nearly 170 such camps, where more than 3,000 prisoners were held.


Joseph Ichiuji testimonial: “As we came around the way, there were a lot of Jewish inmates coming out of the camp, and I heard that the gate was opened by our advanced scouts. They took a rifle and shot it. I think it was a fellow from Hawaii that did that. I think it was a Captain Taylor, Company B was one of them, but another person from Hawaii, he passed away. They opened the gate and all these German, I mean, Jewish victims were coming out of the camp”


Minoru Tsubota testimonial: “Then, when we finally opened the Dachau camp, got in, oh those people were so afraid of us, I guess. You could see the fear in their face. But eventually, they realized that we were there to liberate them and help them”
Minoru Tsubota testimonial: “They were all just skin and bones, sunken eyes. I think they were more dead than they were alive because they hadn’t eaten so much because, I think, just before we got there the S.S. people had all pulled back up and they were gone. But, we went there, and outside of the camps there were a lot of railroad cars there that had bodies in them. I had the opportunity to go into the camp there, but you could smell the stench. The people were dead and piled up in the buildings, and it was just unbelievable that the Germans could do that to the Jewish people. I really didn’t think it was possible at all actually”

Sources

https://resourceguide.densho.org/From%20Hawaii%20to%20the%20Holocaust:%20A%20Shared%20Moment%20in%20History%20(film)/

https://www.worldcat.org/title/from-hawaii-to-the-holocaust-a-shared-moment-in-history/oclc/31954150

https://www.timesofisrael.com/these-us-soldiers-liberated-dachau-while-their-own-families-were-locked-up-back-home/

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Nanne Zwiep- Died for speaking his mind.

It is very easy to judge in retrospect. It is true that the Dutch could have and should have done more for their Jewish neighbours. However when even speaking out about the Nazi regime could get you arrested and even killed, it is understandable that people were reluctant to act, To be honest I would have second thoughts .

Nanne Zwiep was a pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church in the town of Enschede. On Sunday 19 April 1942, during a sermon in church he spoke out against the Nazi regime and the persecution of Jews.

The following day he was arrested and after 5 months of interrogation in prison in Arnhem and Amersfoort he was transported to Dachau. On 24 November 1942, two months after his arrival at the camp, he died of exhaustion and malnutrition.

It had not been the 1st time he had spoke out against the Nazis . After an act of sabotage, the cutting of cables, the Nazis raided the town of Enschede on the night of 13/14 September 1941 where about 100 Jews were arrested as a retribution and were deported to Mauthausen, within a few weeks 64 of them were murdered.

Immediately after the raid the clergy of the churches in Enschede got together to voice their protest and demanded the release of the Jewish prisoners. Pastor Zwiep was sent as a representative of the clergy men to deliver the letter of protest in the Hague, to General Friedrich Christiansen. the supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht in the Netherlands. The protest was ignored.

After the death of Jewish Surgeon Julius van Dam in December 1941, Pastor Zwiep did not hold back his criticism about the Nazi regime in the Netherlands, he was convinced that the death of Surgeon Julius van Dam was caused by the terror committed to the Jews in the Netherlands.

His sermon on April 19,1942 must have been the last straw for the Nazi regime.

He died in Dachau on November 24,1942 because he voiced his opinion, not because he suggested to take up arms or endorses violent protests, no he only voiced his opinion and that was enough reason to be killed.

On May 1, 1945 the biggest scout group was named after Pastor Zwiep in his honour and to this day still carries his name.

Ending this blog with a quote by Pastor Zwiep.

“One conquers small things with humour and big things with faith”

Sources

https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/58791/Memorial-Nanne-Zwiep.htm

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Otto Moll – a special kind of evil.

Moll

There were many evil men in the SS. but some appeared to have more joy in their evil deeds than others..

Otto Moll was arrested on April 29,1945 when the US Army liberated Dachau but prior to his role in Dachau he had several position in Auschwitz and Auschwitz Birkenau. He was in charge of the crematoria at Auschwitz.

I will not say too much about Moll myself, instead I will use the words of 2 survivors and the words of The Auschwirz commandant Rudolf Hoess and the words of Moll himself. It is believed that Moll personally murdered thousands of victims, Before you read the testimonies have a good look at the picture below. In it you can see Moll in the front row. A picture of SS officers having a ‘jolly’ good time, and then read the testimonies and read them more then once. At the front row areKarl Hoecker, Otto Moll, Rudolf Hoess, Richard Baer, Josef Kramer (standing slightly behind Hoessler and partially obscured), Franz Hoessler, Josef Mengele, Anton Thumann, and Walter Schmidetzki. Hermann Buch is in the center. Konrad Wiegand, head of the vehicle pool is in the middle.

ss

Testimony of Alter Feinsilber.a member of the Sonderkommando at Birkenau .

“It happened that some prisoners offered resistance when about to be shot at the pit or that children would cry and then SS Quartermaster Sergeant Moll would throw them alive into the flames of the pit”

Testimony of Henryk Tauber also a member of the Sonderkommando.

“Hauptscharführer Moll was the most degenerate of the lot. Before his arrival at the camp, he was in charge of the work at the Bunkers, where they incinerated the gassed victims in pits. Then he was transferred for a while to another section. In view of the preparation necessary for the “reception” of convoys from Hungary in 1944, he was put in charge of all the crematoria. It is he who organized the large-scale extermination of the people arriving in these convoys. Just before the arrival of the Hungarian transports, he ordered pits to be dug alongside crematoria V and restarted the activity of Bunker 2, which had been lying idle, and its pits. In the yard of the crematory, there were notices on posts, with inscriptions telling the new arrivals from the transports that they were to go to the camp where work was waiting for them, but that first they had to take a bath and undergo disinfestation. For that, it was necessary for them to undress and put all their valuables in baskets specially placed for this purpose in the yard. Moll repeated the same thing in his speeches to the new arrivals. There were so many convoys that sometimes it happened that the gas chambers were incapable of containing all the new arrivals. The excess people were generally shot, one at a time and often by Moll himself. On several occasions, Moll threw people into the flaming pits alive. He also practised shooting people from a distance. He ill-treated and beat Sonderkommando prisoners, treating them like animals. Those who were in his personal service told us that he used a piece of wire to fish out gold objects from the box containing the jewels taken from new arrivals, and took them off in a briefcase. Among the objects left by the people who came to be gassed, he took furs and different types of food, in particular fat. When he took food, he said smilingly to the SS around him that one had to take advantage before the lean years came. Under his direction, the Sonderkommando was strengthened and increased to about 1000 prisoners”

Extract from the interrogation which was conducted by by Lieut.-Colonel Smith W. Brookhart on April 16 in Nuremberg.

Q. You are the same Otto Moll who appeared here this morning and you understand that your statements here are made under oath?
A. Yes. May I make a request please?
Q. Yes.
A. In Landsberg I made a request that I be confronted with Rudolf Hoess, the commandant of the Auschwitz Camp, so that I may testify in front of Hoess and Hoess may testify in front of me. I request you now that this may be granted. I would like to have Hoess testify in my presence, as I would like to see him make the statements in my presence and I can testify as to the truth.
Q. Assuming that you are confronted by Hoess, are you going to tell the truth, or are you going to continue to give us the same kind of a story that you gave us this morning?
A. No. I want Hoess to come here and state just what orders he gave me and I can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as to what is true and what is not true. Hoess should come here and say what orders he gave me, what duties I fulfilled and in what manner I accomplished them and then I can deny or confirm what he says.
Q. We will conduct the interrogation in the manner we wish and on the basis of the subjects in which we are interested. You are to listen carefully, you are not to interrupt or make any sound whatsoever until you are requested. Do you understand that?
A. I will remain silent and I will listen to him.
Q. You will be given the opportunity to speak at the proper time.
A. Please approve this request that Hoess may come in here and repeat his incriminating testimony against me. It hurts me to see that he, the commandant, is running around free, when I have to go around shackled to a guard.
Q. We are not interested whatsoever in your feelings in this matter.

(Rudolf Hoess, commandant of the Auschwitz Camp, enters room)

Q. Are you the same Rudolf Hoess that has appeared here on numerous occasions and given testimony?
A. Yes.
Q. Do you understand that the statements you make here this afternoon are made under oath?
A. Yes.
Q. Do you know this person sitting to your right that is shackled to the guard?
A. Yes.
Q. What is his name?
A. Otto Moll.
Q. Where did you know him?
A. First at Sachsenhausen and later at Auschwitz.
Q. What did this Otto Moll do at Sachsenhausen and later at Auschwitz?
A. In Sachsenhausen he was a gardener and later at Auschwitz he was used as a leader of a work detail and later on he was used as a supervisor during the various actions.
Q. You mean the actions whereby people were executed and later cremated.?
A. Yes.
Q. You told us this morning about his first assignment in 1941 when farm buildings were converted into an extermination plant. Will you restate what you said about that?
A. At first he worked on the farm and then later I moved him into the farm house, which was used as a professional extermination plant.

Questions directed to Otto Moll

Q. Otto Moll, is what the witness has just said true?
A. First, I was used in work in connection with the excavation of the mass graves. Hoess must know that. He is in error if he said that I worked in the buildings where the gassing was carried out. At first I was used for the excavation of the mass graves and he must remember that. Hoess, do you remember Swosten, Blank, Omen, Hatford and Garduck [sic]? Those are the people who worked in the building at the time when you alleged I worked there and I was working on excavations. Surely Hoess remembers that.

Question directed to Rudolf Hoess

Q. Is that right?
A. Moll is correct insofar as he says he was first used in the excavations – that was before he was being used for the executions.

Question directed to Otto Moll

Q. What is being said here, as I told you this morning, is that you are responsible for this operation, namely for killing and destruction of the bodies in the first improvised slaughter house.
A. I was responsible to see that the corpses were burned after the people were killed. I was never responsible for the actual supervision of the killing. It was always the officers or the physicians who were present at the time. As my commandant, at the time, Hoess should be able to confirm this.

Questions directed to Rudolf Hoess

Q. What do you say about this?
A. As I said this morning, Moll is only partly correct. As I explained, the gas was actually thrown into the chamber by the medical personnel and Moll was not responsible for supervising the entire process, beginning with the arrival of the transport and the burning of the corpses, he was only responsible for a part of this process, at least initially.
Q. You did say that he was responsible for seeing that these people were exterminated.
A. I could have been misunderstood. What I said, or meant to say, was that Moll was responsible in the buildings where he worked. At first, to see that people were undressed in orderly fashion, and after they were killed, to see that the bodies were disposed of in an orderly fashion, later on when the extensive extermination plant was completed, he was responsible for the entire plant.
Q. Just what operations in the plant was he responsible for?
A. He was responsible for everything up to and including the actual leading into the gas chambers of the people and after that, to remove the bodies to burn them.
Q. Will you please repeat about Moll shooting people through the neck.
A. As I explained this morning, those that were too weak to be moved to the gas chamber, or who could not be moved for some other reason, were shot through the neck by him or…[ellipses in original PM] some of the other fellows around, with small caliber arms.

Questions directed to Otto Moll

Q. Well, what do you say about that?
A. It may be possible that some of them were shot by me, but it was a comparatively small number and I would like to know if Hoess ever saw me do it.
Q. I told you this morning that Hoess said he saw you do it many times and so did many others.

Questions directed to Rudolf Hoess

Q. Hoess, isn’t that right?
A. Yes, it is true. I mentioned this morning that there were comparatively few killed in that manner.
Q. You could not tell if it was a few dozen or a few hundred. That was your problem.
A. I cannot quote you an exact number—that is impossible for so many years; there were many. Sometimes there were a few out of each incoming transport and sometimes there were none. That is why I cannot tell you the exact number.

Questions addressed to Otto Moll

Q. Well, this is the first thing you have admitted, now you are telling the truth about which you lied this morning. Are you ready to tell us the truth regarding your responsibility about other operations?
A. Yes, I will tell you the truth as long as my Commandant is present. Let my Commandant tell you what I did and what my duties were.
Q. We know what Hoess said. What we want to know is your story. You are asking us for the opportunity to tell your story and that caused us to bring Hoess in here.
A. No, I asked that I be interrogated in the presence of Hoess.

Question addressed to Rudolf Hoess

Q. You told us this morning that Moll was considered the best man for exterminations because he handled the teams of prisoners and guards better than your other subordinates. Is that right?
A. Yes.

Question addressed to Otto Moll

Q. Moll, suppose you tell us what was your method of selection of foremen from the Capos and just what you found to be the best method of handling the guards that had charge of the transports after they came in.
A. When I was ordered to do this work, the work details had already been selected. My Oberfuehrers had already selected the Capos or foremen, whatever you call them. I carried out correctly the work in all kinds of weather. I was never drunk on duty, or when I was with the prisoners, and I never mistreated any of the prisoners. I achieved good success in the work of the prisoners because I, myself, helped them with their work with my own hands. The prisoners had respect for me because I always behaved as an exemplary soldier toward them, there, I was designated for any kind of difficult work that came up. May I ask Hoess to confirm that?

Question addressed to Rudolf Hoess

Q. Is that correct?
A. Yes, that is what I stated this morning.

Questions addressed to Otto Moll

Q. You were decorated for your work, were you not?
A. I received a decoration for my services. Almost all of them who served for a number of years in the whole of Germany received these decorations. I did not receive any decoration for special work that I had done like this work. I would not have wanted to receive a decoration for this kind of work.
Q. Why?
A. Because I did not look upon this work as honorable work.
Q. Did you ever protest?
A. I asked many times why those things had to be done, why they could not be stopped. I even asked Hoess and he answered that he himself did not like this, but he himself had strict orders and nothing could be done about it. He, like the rest of us, suffered by this work and none of us were really sane anymore.

Questions addressed to Rudolf Hoess

Q. Is that right Hoess?
A. Yes, others also said that and already testified to that in the Reich.
Q. When do you think you lost your sanity, Hoess?
A. I think you mean that: just when our nerves started to crack. I can testify that I was not healthy in 1942. I told you about my leave in 1943, however, I had to do those things as there was no one there who would do it for us. There were strict orders and they had to be followed. Many of the others felt as I did and subordinate leaders came to me in the same manner as Moll did and discussed it and they had the same feeling.
Q. Do you think that Moll is crazy?
A. No.

Questions addressed to Otto Moll

Q. How long do you think you have been without your sanity?
A. I did not mean to say that I was insane or I have been insane, what I mean is that my nerves have cracked and have cracked repeatedly. They were very bad after I had an attack of typhus and I was in the hospital and was granted a leave of absence by the doctors for the conditions of my nerves. I was never declared unfit for duty on account of bad nerve, or because of the so-called paragraph 51.
Q. How many people do you estimate went through the operation, which you were responsible for –how many victims?
A. When you use the words—‘you were responsible’—I want to emphasize again that I do not wish to have that word applied in any way to the actual killing of the people, as I was not responsible for the actual physical ending of their lives and I will not admit that as it is not the fact.
Q. You did not pull the trigger, but you caused someone else to do it. Is that your position?
A. I do not understand the question.
Q. How many victims were exterminated in the camp from 1941 on?
A. I don’t know the number and I don’t think I would be able to give you any number at all as far as the total number of victim goes. I believe Hoess might know that.
Q. The only thing we are interested in is what you have knowledge of.
A. When I was in charge of these excavations, as I told you about before, together with another comrade, which was confirmed by Hoess today, we put between 30,000 and 40,000 people in these mass graves. It was the most terrible work that could be carried out by any human being.
Q. Stick to the figures.
A. I don’t know who those people were or how they got there. I only excavated the mass graves. I was responsible for burning the bodies right there.

Question addressed to Rudolf Hoess.

Q. How does that figure strike you, Hoess?
A. It is impossible for him to know the exact figures, but they appear to me to be much too small as far as I can remember today. The people buried in the two big mass graves of the so-called dugouts one and two, amounted to 106,000 or 107,000 people.

Questions addressed to Otto Moll

A. I could not complete the excavation detail, which I mentioned before, I then got the attack of typhus.
Q. What do you estimate was the number of bodies you handled?
A. It was later they went through my crematory plant and I would say between 40,000 and 50,000, that is at the crematory where I was responsible. I was not responsible for the two large crematories, as they were two SS corps [members] Nussfeld and also Foss, who were responsible for the two large cremations and Hoess will remember that.
Q. You tell us about the figures you know.
A. I told you the number, maybe 50,000 and possibly there were more.
Q. Is that for all times from 1941 clear to the end?
A. Yes, that is from 1941 for the entire length of my service when I had anything to do with the matter.
Q. Don’t you think you are much too modest? You had the reputation of being the biggest killer in Auschwitz. The figures there run into the millions. Won’t you change your answer?
A. It is not true that I was the greatest killer in Auschwitz.
Q. You were the greatest cremator.
A. That is not true either. The number is not right and is probably brought up by the men who want me to be punished by death.

Questions addressed to Rudolf Hoess

Q. Hoess, what do you think would be the correct figures?
A. Moll, in my opinion, cannot possibly have any idea of the number of killings in the dugouts where he was working and responsible. At any rate, they were far, far too low—that is, Moll’s figure.
Q. What figure would you attribute to Moll’s responsibility?
A. It is impossible for me to quote the exact, or even a very rough figure, of the number of corpses that were handled by Moll. As the use of the extermination plant varied at all times, I do not know how many corpses. I would have to attribute to Moll and how many to Nussfeld and the others.

Questions addressed to Otto Moll

Q. Moll, how many women and children do you estimate were among the bodies you handled?
A. Men and women were there in about equal numbers and the ratio of children to the other people was about one child in one hundred people brought in. Sometimes transports arrived without children. I would also like to say that I was not constantly working with these transports and of course, I cannot tell you what happened during my absence when I was not there, as I was away on leave of absence, etc.
Q. We have heard that there were more children than that. Do you want to change your statement?
A. As I told you, it may be one child in a hundred, or it may be more. I cannot remember that exactly.

Questions addressed to Rudolf Hoess

Q. What do you say to that Hoess?
A. My estimate is that one-third of all the victims would be men and two-thirds women and children. I am not able to quote the exact ratio between women and children, as that depended or/and [sic] varied greatly with the transports that came in, however, I do remember that in the transports that came in from the Ukraine and Hungary the proportion of children was particularly high.
Q. In what year was that?
A. That was particularly in 1943, or it may have been early in the year 1944.

Questions addressed to Otto Moll

Q. Moll, yesterday, you told us you had two installations and spoke of the furnace in which there were twelve large ovens and two additional with two ovens each, making a total of twenty-eight separate burning units. How many human beings could you cremate at one time?
A. Two to three corpses could be burned in one furnace at one time. The furnaces were built large enough for that.
Q. Did you operate at full capacity often?
A. I would like to emphasize that I had no responsibility at all with the cremation in the stoves. What I was responsible for was the burning of the corpses out in the open. Corporals Nussfeld and Foss were responsible for the cremation in the furnaces.

Questions addressed to Rudolf Hoess

Q. Is that right, Hoess?
A. First of all, Moll is slightly wrong in regard to the figures he quoted on the furnaces. The two large units were made up of five double furnaces each and the others of four double furnaces each. It is true that Nussfeld and Foss were responsible for the furnace details, each had a large and a small one and Moll was responsible for the bodies out in the open. Moll was responsible for the disposition of the ashes, but later on I put Moll in charge of the entire cremation. This was in the year 1944.
Q. Was that in the two months you were back at Auschwitz after you were away?
A. Yes, that is when I was transferred back to Auschwitz.
Q. How often were the crematoria detail of prisoners exterminated?
A. As far as I can remember, it was twice before I left for the first time and they were exterminated again after the action against the Hungarians was completed.
Q. On whose orders were the prisoners exterminated?
A. I received that order from Eichmann and he ordered in particular that the furnace commandoes should be shot every three months, however, I failed to comply with these orders as I did not think it was right.

Questions addressed to Otto Moll

Q. You have said that your detail was never exterminated. What do you say now?
A. No, that is not true. The work detail with which I worked was never exterminated as long as I was there and as long as I worked. As regard to the first work detail I had for the excavation of mass graves, which I had to leave because of my attack of typhus, they may have been exterminated when I returned to duty. The only thing that I know of is when I left, the last work detail I worked with, was still alive and that is, every member of the detail was alive when I left. Sometime later when I left mutiny broke out in the camp. I know that the entire guard company at the camp was used to suppress this mutiny. I was not there, I was at Gleiwitz at the time. I do not know anything about this, but Hoess can tell you that.
Q. Did you ever cremate any of your crematorium detail?
A. No.
Q. You mentioned that in the killing of the people in the gas chambers that it took only one half minute. On what do you base that?
A. The gas was poured in through an opening. About one half minute after the gas was poured in, of course I am merely estimating this time as we never had a stop-watch to clock it and we were not interested, at any rate, after one-half minute there were no more heavy sounds and no sounds at all that could be heard from the gas chamber.
Q. What kind of sounds were heard before that?
A. The people wept and screeched.
Q. You observed all this and heard the sounds?
A. Yes, I had to hear this because I was near there with my work detail. There is nothing that I could do against this as I had no possibility of changing this in any way.
Q. We are not interested in your opinions on that. You helped make the arrangements to put them in the gas chamber and burned them afterwards when they were killed. The only thing you failed to do personally was pour in the gas. Is that it?
A. I was not responsible for the preparations as there were no special preparations. The victims were led to the gas chamber by the duty officer and then there was a work detail from the administrator, they told them to undress, there was a further detail from the proper administration [sic], which were responsible to collect all the valuables from the people. The whole thing happened very correctly and in no instance was there any reason to interfere. I had no right to interfere, always a doctor supervised the entire thing.
Q. You recall yesterday, you said you were told that if any prisoners coming off of new transports detailed for the gas chamber would escape, you would be court-martialled.
A. I was talking about the work detail, not about the transports.
Q. This came at the time you were testifying about your responsibilities at the crematorium.
A. No, I only say as far as the work detail is concerned for which I was responsible.
Q. We will not argue about it, as the notes show otherwise.

Questions addressed to Rudolf Hoess.

Q. What do you say of the detail of Moll.
A. Moll is not looking at this the right way. It actually is true and I have explained this before, that the officer was responsible for the entire transport, that is he was responsible to see that all were unloaded from each transport, the doctors were responsible for the phase of work to see that people were killed and all the bodies disposed of. It was the responsibility of the subordinate, like Moll, to see that the people actually got into the gas chambers under the doctors and then to see that their bodies were burned. As far as the subordinate leader was concerned, it was his responsibility to see that none of his work detail escaped and he would be responsible to see that none got away. In the last analysis I was responsible for the entire matter, that is for the entire situation dealing with these transports.
Q. You have told us about some of the problems of making sure that everyone was exterminated. For instance, that mothers hid their children under their clothing after they undressed. Who was the person that gathered up the children, searched them out and put them into the gas chamber?
A. I think this thing has been slightly misunderstood. The way this thing happened is that mothers had babies with them, who would be wrapped in blankets or cloth. The people had been told that they were going to take a bath, they had no idea that they were going to be killed. It was not the idea, the mothers did not want to take the children in with them to the bath and they left them outside. Later on, the work detail from the administration, which was responsible for them, would pick up the babies and put them in the gas chamber then.
Q. Was it Moll’s responsibility to see that the children were disposed of?
A. Yes, but it would not mean on the other hand that Moll would have the particular task of picking out the babies from under the blankets. I did not tell any one of the officers or non-coms [NCOs] that they would be responsible for any particular thing, but the entire team was responsible for the extermination. It was to be done and all of them carried out the orders smoothly and properly.

Questions addressed to Otto Moll

Q. You, Moll, said that your team respected you because you gave them a hand. Was this job of picking up small children and gassing them a part of the hand you loaned them?
A. Possibly this was not expressed correctly by Hoess. I had nothing to do with the searching of the clothes because that was not my duty. As I said, the officers that had charge of the duty when the transport came in was responsible for them until the moment they entered the gas chamber. I had nothing to do with that, I never touched the babies or had anything to do with it.
Q. Did any of your men have anything to do with that? Anyone under you?
A. Yes, the prisoners were responsible for that. They had to clean up the room after it had been cleared of people, they would then take the babies and throw them into the gas chamber. There was a strict order against any SS men touching any of this property.
Q. We are not talking about property. We are talking of people. Did you have a special operation to kill these babies or were they thrown into the room where people were still alive and all were gassed together?
A. Such a thing happened rarely and I cannot remember a case where a baby was found, but if they were found they were thrown into the gas chamber.
Q. How do you know?
A. Well, that was an order for the officer responsible for the transport and if any children were found they were to be disposed of like all the rest in the gas chamber.
Q. You carried out your orders?
A. I emphasize again that I myself did not find any children, but if I did find any, I would have to do it too.
Q. Did you shoot any babies in the neck, like you did the other victims?
A. Such a thing never happened.
Q. That is what you said about shooting other people this morning then we proved you a liar. Are you sure you are telling the truth this time?.

 

Otto Moll was executed on 28 May 1946, Thankfully justice was served.

 

 

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Sources

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Poland/Birkenau/Birkenau03.html

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa1163609

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=64198

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa1167624

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Moll#Brutality

 

May 2nd 1945-Dachau Death March

522 snow

There are a few amazing things about the death march from Dachau which had started on April 24,1945 and was headed to the Austrian border. Firstly it was a cold late April and early May because it was still snowing . Secondly there were still a few thousand victims alive but the most interesting thing is who saved the victims.

The victims were saved by the US 522nd Field Artillery Battalion. What was so special about this unit is that they were ‘Nisei’ they were  children of Japanese-born immigrants in the US.

What thought must have gone through the minds of he victims when they saw Japanese looking soldiers in a US uniform.

On 29 April a scouting expedition  of the 522nd found  a sub camp of  Dachau concentration camp.The camp was Kaufering IV Hurlach.

One of the men of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion spoke about what he saw when he entered the camp.

“As we came around the way, there were a lot of Jewish inmates coming out of the camp, and I heard that the gate was opened by our advanced scouts. They took a rifle and shot it. I think it was a fellow from Hawaii that did that. I think it was a Captain Taylor, Company B was one of them, but another person from Hawaii, he passed away. They opened the gate and all these German, I mean, Jewish victims were coming out of the camp.

Then, when we finally opened the Dachau camp, got in, oh those people were so afraid of us, I guess. You could see the fear in their face. But eventually, they realized that we were there to liberate them and help them.

They were all just skin and bones, sunken eyes. I think they were more dead than they were alive because they hadn’t eaten so much because, I think, just before we got there the S.S. people had all pulled back up and they were gone. But, we went there, and outside of the camps there were a lot of railroad cars there that had bodies in them. I had the opportunity to go into the camp there, but you could smell the stench. The people were dead and piled up in the buildings, and it was just unbelievable that the Germans could do that to the Jewish people. I really didn’t think it was possible at all actually”

kaufering

The men of the 522, initially wanted to give food to the inmates but were prevented from offering food and water to the prisoners because it could cause them more harm rather than help, the American soldiers found this difficult .Don Shimazu a member of the 522 recalled.

Our hearts were saying, ‘Yes, feed them, help them,’ but our heads were saying, ‘No, don’t feed them, those are orders!’ What those freed inmates must have suffered and endured is beyond imagination—they were like walking skeletons.”

On the 2nd of May the unit encountered Jewish inmates  who were put on a death march from Dachau and were approaching Waakirchen.

waakirchen

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Sources

http://encyclopedia.densho.org/522nd_Field_Artillery_Battalion/#

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn511077

 

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

Table of Death

Sigfied

A name you don’t hear mentioned very often in the context of WWII and the Holocaust is Siegfried Adolf Handloser. He was Chief of the Medical Services of the German Armed Forces during World War II. And held therefore the  most important medical position in the entire German Armed Forces and the Waffen-SS. He could have stopped, or at least done something about the medical experiments conducted on concentration camp prisoners, but he didn’t. He had been sentenced to life but the sentence was later reduced to 20 years, he died of cancer in Munich in 1954.

When you give unethical scientists a Cart Blanche to do whatever they want to do, combined with an ideological political philosophy which consider some people to be subhuman,it creates true horror for the victims.

cold water

Dr Sigmund Rascher(seen in the picture above on the right) was an SS doctor. He conducted  sveral deadly experiments,freezing experiments was one set of them.One way to see how the Nazis could prevent hypothermia for the troops was by conducting cold water immersion experiments.

During the experiments, the victims  were immersed in a tank of ice water. Some were anesthetized, others conscious, many were naked, where others would be  dressed. A number of different methods of rewarming the victims were also tested. Responses of body temperatures, clinical manifestations, and selected biochemical and physiologic measurements were reportedly monitored, and autopsies were carried out. The experiments were carried out  in Dachau.

The data was recorder in a scientific table by Dr Sigmund Rascher. The disturbing aspect of this, it was done without any emotion just business as usual, even though many of the victims died. There was no regard for human life whatsoever.

data

Rascher had tried to deceit Himmler by claiming that that population growth could be sped up by extending the childbearing age of women. Rascher even had made it public  that his wife Karoline had given birth to three children even after reaching 48 years of age.However Mrs Rascher was arrested during her 4th ‘pregnancy’, when she tried to abduct a child. It was then discovered that the previous three ‘pregnancies’ were euther purchases or kidnapped babies.

Sigmund Rascher was arrested  in April 1944 and executed a year later on April 26,1945.

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Sources

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199005173222006

 

https://world-war-history.fandom.com/wiki/Nazi_Germany%27s_human_experimentation

 

 

Just a fraction of the Horrors.

Dachau

The picture is of clothes that once belonged to prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp, it was taken shortly after the camp was liberated.

When you look a it it looks like a launderette has dumped its load in a courtyard.

But this picture tells so much more. Each of those pieces of material and pieces of cloth once belonged to a human being. A human being who was not deemed worthy of live by the ideology spread by the NSDAP_-Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. The national  socialist workers party. Leave those words sink in. and especially the words socialist and workers. Indicating they had the best interest at heart for the workers.

It was all a lie. If the workers would be Jewish, Homosexual, Roma or any other group which did not fit the NSDAP ideal, they would be worked to death or immediately gassed if they arrived in any of the death camps.

Even if you look at those piles of clothes you realize that this only a fraction of all crimes and horrors committed.

How did we ever let this happen?

Dachau was the first concentration camp and was in operation from 1933 to 1945.

Over the years of its operation, thousands of Dachau prisoners died of disease, malnutrition and slave labour. Thousands more were executed for breaking  camp rules, which were often very vague.Starting 1941, thousands of Soviet prisoners of war were sent to Dachau then shot to death at a nearby rifle range. In 1942, construction began at Dachau on Barrack X, a crematorium that eventually consisted of four big ovens used to burn corpses. With the implementation in 1942 of Hitler’s “Final Solution” to systematically eradicate all European Jews, thousands of Dachau detainees were moved to Nazi extermination camps in Poland, where they died in gas chambers.

Dachau was also used for some of the most gruesome experiments.For example, prisoners were forced to be test subjects in a series of tests to determine the posibility of reviving individuals immersed in freezing water. For hours at a time, prisoners were forcibly submerged in tanks filled with ice water. Some prisoners died during the process.

Approximately 40,000 died in Dachau, Which is roughly about 0.4% of the total amount of people who died during the Holocaust, and that percentage may even be smaller because I took the number of 11,000,000 which is generally taken as the approximate number of victims, but I think that number is actually more.

But just imagine that although a number of 40,000 looks big it is only 0.4 ” , a fraction of the horrors.

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Sources

Startseite

 

Saving life by taking life.

Dachau

This is a blog I had wanted to do for a long time but was reluctant to actually start it. I was afraid it would be used out of context by both pro life and pro choice advocates. However  this blog is really about desperation and inhumane sacrifices. I would therefore urge every one  not to use this in the current ongoing anti and pro abortion debates.

No one can understand what these women went through,and no one can judge nor should judge them but have compassion instead.

Regardless if pregnant women were able to work, if it was known they were pregnant they were either sent to the gas chambers killing both mother and unborn baby, or they were sent for ‘medical’ experiments and the out come would be the same,death for both.

Dr Gisella Perl was  a Romanian Jewish gynecologist deported together with her family to Auschwitz  in 1944. Her husband,son and parents all died in Auschwitz. Her son was gassed and her Husband was beaten to death just before the liberation of Auschwitz. Her daughter survived.

Gisella

She was spared, only to become an Auschwitz physician under  Josef Mengele.

Mengele ordered Perl  to report all pregnancies to him directly. Pregnant women, he claimed, would be sent to a different camp, one with better care for mother and child. Perl knew he lied. She also knew that she couldn’t tell him about a single pregnancy. How she’d keep them a secret, she did not quite know

Unfortunately , some women who overheard this conversation went to Mengele to tell him they were pregnant themselves . The women  were experimented on and, ultimately, died.

Perl faced a dilemma, if she reported the pregnancies the women would die, if the babies were born the cries would be heard and everyone in the barrack would be killed for keeping the secret.

Therefore,even ,though  it went against everything she believed she stated to perform  abortions dirty floors with her bare, unwashed hands, without any medical instruments or anesthesia, in the hope that the mothers would survive and later, perhaps, be able to bear children.

Sometime when babies were born the mothers would smother them to death in order to survive themselves.

Perl risked her life if she was ever found out she would have been killed.She did suffer after the war, she tried to kill herself by poisoning herself.

However there were some miracle births as well.In February 1945 a Jewish obstetrician Erno Vadasz was called to the women’s “Pregnancy Unit” in Dachau’s sub camp Kaufering by the Kapo, David Witz.  Vadasz was emaciated and  weak .

Erno

There were 7 women expecting babies,. Although he needed help to stand, Vadasz demanded “soap, knife, hot water, towels,” as for any delivery.The mothers had been well fed before the deliveries, and within a few weeks Vadasz had successfully brought all seven babies into the world. This despite the fact that two of the deliveries were complicated.

babies

I have heard and read the most ridiculous comments about this before, comments like “whey did they have sex in the first place” Sex is one of the most primal human instincts, aside from that it was also a bit of an escape of all the horrors around them. A moment of being loved rather then being despised. An opportunity to feel human again.

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Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6115479/

https://christiansfortruth.com/

The Tragic Heroism Of Gisella Perl, “The Angel of Auschwitz”

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Diet Eman- WWII Hero.

Diet

Only the good die young, all the evil seem to live forever is a line from an Iron Maiden song, and there have been times where I thought this to be true, because I saw so many evil people living a long and prosperous lives.

But thankfully ever now and then that theory is proven wrong when you hear stories about people who personify the word good and you see they lived a long good life.

As was the case with Berendina Roelofina Hendrika  Eman aka Diet Eman. A genuine hero who lived to the age of 99, she died 2 weeks ago. What is amazing I had never heard of her until 2 friends, Norman Stone and Andy Ludwig( I am sure they won’t mind me giving them an honorable mention) pointed the story of Diet out to me.

She was born on April 20, 1920 in the Hague, the Netherlands and died on September 3, 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A

She grew up in a religious Christian family she had 3 siblings and she was the 2nd youngest.

Om May 10,1940 when the Germans invaded the Netherlands her brother in law was killed.Shortly afterwards, Diet and her fiancé Hein Sietsma decided to join the resistance.The pair together with some friends established a resistance group with the code name “HEIN” which was in reference to Hein Sietsma but was also an abbreviation for “Help Elkander In Nood”which translates in Help each other in Need.

Diet and Hein

Initially the group listened to the BBC and translated the text of the broadcast in Dutch and distributed the transcripts in Dutch resistance magazines.They also smuggled  downed Allied pilots to England.

Soon they began to help Jewish friend find hiding places. Diet recalled after the war.

“There came a day,when my Jewish friend Herman, who worked with me in the bank in The Hague, began to understand that, for him, as a Jew, life could not go on in the same way anymore. He thus became the first Jewish person that we helped during the Occupation.”

Their resistance group began  to focus on stealing food and gas ration cards, forging identity papers and sheltering hundreds of fugitive Jews.

forged

At one stage Diet delivered supplies and moral support to an apartment in The Hague which housed 27 Jews in hiding, in late 1942. The walls were paper thin. Crying babies and even toilet flushing risked raising the suspicions of neighbors, who know that the apartment was owned by a single woman,Mies Walbelm.

Diet warned Mies, she told her “You’re living on top of a volcano that’s ready to erupt” but Mies did not heed the warning and housed more people, which was immensely brave but also extremely dangerous and could jeopardize the woman’s life but also those she hid. Despite that Diet kept visiting the apartment ,bringing supplies, sometimes 5 times a week Eventually the Gestapo did raid the apartment. A diary that contained Diet’s code name was discovered.One day Diet’s parents called her to warn her the Gestapo had turned up and told her not to return home. 

Diet and Hein Sietsma had plans to marry in September 1944, but in April Sietsma was arrested carrying false papers. In May Diet Eman, also, was caught on a train carrying a false ID. Luckily she managed to dispose of the incriminating papers she was carrying at a busy station while the Germans’ backs were turned, distracted by one of the men’s new plastic raincoat, a novelty at the time.

Diet was taken to Scheveningen prison and was later send to Vught concentration camp for  a few  months. However she kept insisting stubbornly that she was not Diet Eman but a simple housemaid. she managed to convince the Germans and she was released. She immediately rejoined the resistance and remained with it until May 1945. It was in June 1945 she found out that fiancé Hein Sietsma had died in Dachau in January 1945.

By some miracle, a letter he had written on a single sheet of toilet paper and tossed from a train as he was being transported to the camp found its way to her.“Darling, don’t count on seeing each other again soon,Even if we won’t see each other on earth again, we will never be sorry for what we did, and that we took this stand.”

He signed off with the Latin phrase that was engraved on the gold engagement ring that he had given her: “Omnia vincit amor.” Love conquers all.

A brother of Diet died later in a Japanese prison camp.

After the war she moved to the US, She became a nurse, learned Spanish, worked for Shell Oil in Venezuela, married an American engineer named Egon Erlich, divorced and moved to Michigan, where she also worked as a nurse and later for an export company. She raised a son and daughter.She kept quiet k about her resistance work until 1978. That year, she spoke at a “Suffering and Survival” convention. Here she met Dr. James Schaap who worked with Eman to write her memoir, “Things We Couldn’t Say”, which was published in 1994.

Things

On August 23, 1998, Yad Vashem recognized Berendina Roelofina Hendrika Eman as Righteous Among the Nations.

An amazing woman who risked her life to safe others, the world needs heroes like her today. Rust zacht Diet, ik zal U niet vergeten.

Persoon

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

Holocausteducatie.nl

The New York Times

Smithsonian

Telegraph UK

Yad Vashem

 

The Tulp brothers-Evil and Good.

Februari staking

The story of the two Tulp brothers is bizarre and yet intriguing in more way than one. They were half brothers, the older brother took the path of evil although he was a police officer, Where the younger one risked his life by resisting the evil his brother was part of.

Sybren

Sybren Tulp was born on March 29,1891 in Leeuwarden, Friesland, in the Northwest of the Netherlands. When he was 14 his parents divorced and his Father re-married a year later.

In 1912 he graduated from the Royal Military academy and  in 1916 he was commissioned as an officer with the KNIL-Royal Dutch Indonesian Army and served in Indonesia.

In 1932 he took command of the Dutch colonial Army  in Surinam, a Dutch colony in South America. In 1938 he returned to Europe, spending 8 months in Germany and Italy. In 1939 he settled in The Hague,the Netherlands, and joined the NSB (Dutch Nazi Party)). In late February 1941, after the February strike, in Amsterdam, the German occupying authorities appointed him Inspector-General of the municipal police in Amsterdam. He organized the force along Nazi operational lines and set up an Office for Jewish affairs (Bureau Joodse Zaken) which took action against Jews whenever they ‘violated’ various prohibitions, like the not wearing the Yellow star of David.

star
When the deportations began in the summer of 1942, Sybren Tulp personally supervised the eviction of Jews from their homes and their transfer to assembly points en route to camps like Westerbork and Vught. He convinced the Nazi authorities that it would be better to have Dutch police  be in charge of this rather  than to entrust it to German police because the Dutch police had a better understanding of the city.

From September 1942 onward there were also nightly raids on Jewish houses and properties, Sybke Tulip would also often supervise those raids.

On October 3rd 1942, he got very sick and died less then 3 weeks later on October 22nd.

Haring

Haring Tulp was the younger half brother of Sybren. He was born on May 26,1909.

Haring was involved with the communist resistance in the Netherlands, He distributed illegal newspapers and magazines like . “Het Noorderlicht”(Northern Light) and “de Waarheid” (the Truth). On May 28th,1941 he was caught and arrested by the SD and locked up in PDL Amersfoort.

AMERSFOORT

I don’t know this for certain and am working on an assumption but I am certain since his brother had such a high position in the Police, he must have known about his younger brother’s arrest, and most have ignored it.

From Amersfoort, Haring got transported to Buchenwald ,where he arrived on February 24,1942 and was designated prisoner number 1127. A few months later on the 6th of July, he was deported to Dachau where he was assigned prisoner number 31169.

He only stayed in Dachau for a few months because by the 19th of September,1942 he was back in Buchenwald.

He died in Buchenwald on October 19th,1942, three days before his brother Sybren died.

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

Verzetsmuseum

Yad Vashem