Lodz Ghetto . Children rounded up for deportation to Chelmno extermination camp.

Children

I wanted to change the title of the blog to evoke an emotion, but I figured if this doesn’t hit you in the gut nothing will.

It is the actual  title of the picture it is from a public domain. I only changed the names from German into the Polish names.

When you don’t know the background to the picture, you would think that it is an old picture of young primary school children going for a walk or a field trip.

I regularly see a group of children of a similar size, about 30 or so, walking from the local primary school to the leisure centre about half a mile down he road, it is the same centre I attend, they go there for swimming lessons.My children were pupils in that school and would have walked that same route.

However the children in the picture don’t go for a fun activity. They were rounded up to be transported to a place where they would be murdered. There are only 2 adults in the picture A man who is near the end of the group, he is bend over and appears to be giving some instructions.He is wearing an armband so I assuming he is a Kapo or Sonderkommando,but I can’t tell for certain.

On the right edge of the picture stands a woman, she may just be a bystander but my feeling tells me she is a female guard.

What disturbs me about this is that those 2 adults know what will happen to the children and are willingly or forcibly participating. I could not do that, I’d rather kill myself.

Time and time again I ask myself, Why the children? I know the answer but I cannot and will not accept it, the children were seen as enemies and subhuman, and they would grow up to be adult enemies. But the twisted and evil logic behind it escapes me.

This is a line from a Whitney Houston song but it is so fitting here “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.Show them all the beauty they possess inside.”

They are our future by killing them you kill the future.

Every time I see a group of Schoolchildren now going for a walk or fieldtrip, I will think of this picture and will pray that no other child will ever be deported to be killed.But I will also look at the kids and will enjoy their innocent smiles and laughter, just a bit more then I did before

Source

USHMM

 

 

Walk a mile in your shoes.

shoe

As the title might suggest I was trying to find some poetic sentences to describe this picture.

But I couldn’t,because the more I looked at the picture the less sense it made. In fact it made no sense to me at all.

What is the sense of keeping all these shoes? Were they meant as trophies? Of all the attire that one possesses , the shoes are the most personal items.Looking at my own feet, I am a size 13, additionally my feet are wide and high. No one could ever walk a mile in my shoes, no one but me anyway.

That brings me back to my questions, why keep these shoes? They will be useless to others because they won’t fit.

Looking at the picture I also realized that no one of us, except for those very few survivors, could ever walk a mile in these shoes, figuratively speaking. This picture represent a hate, not a hate borne out of dislike, but hate borne out of pure evil. A hate so great that millions were murdered. Millions and millions pairs of shoes left behind.They would walk never again.

And as I looked at a picture I thought, it makes no economical sense either, Millions killed out of pure hate, a hate that even jeopardized an economy. Millions of people who would never again buy new shoes,clothes,jewelry or furniture. Millions who would never ever again to their daily grocery shopping.

What makes someone hate his fellow human being so much that he or she is even willing to negatively affect his or her future prosperity.

As I said this hate was borne out of evil. Someone told me today that hate eats one from the inside. and that is true for hate borne out of dislike, however when the origin is evil the hate gets combined with ignorance. Of those who committed these millions of crimes it is sometimes said they were brainwashed and were following orders, but you only get brainwashed if you allow it. So few showed any remorse of what they did and even that remorse was not genuine. The majority had no issues with their conscience, killing came just as easy as eating an apple.

Looking at the picture it made no sense to me that there are still some who say the Holocaust never happened.

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“Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy”

Gilbert

The title of this blog is a quote from Captain G. M. Gilbert. which he quoted after the Nuremberg trials. He was  appointed the prison psychologist of the German prisoners. During the process of the Nuremberg trials , During this time he became a confidant to several of the defendants ,including Hermann Göring.

Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings, and condition from his or her point of view, rather than from one’s own. In short to ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

To a great extend I agree with his opinion. However a psychopath can also imagine him or herself in the situation or circumstances of another person. But where someone with empathy use their use their ability for good and to facilitate a helping hand where possible, a psychopath uses this ability to better their own position at any cost regardless the price anyone else has to pay.

Gilbert had a famous exchange with Göring, which he recorded in his book”The Psychology of Dictatorship “.

Below is the text of that exchange.

“Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

Göring indicates here that he understands that no one wants war, but he also knows how easy it is to get people to do things they usually would not even contemplate, once you set the conditions for it.

I think a good lesson can be learned from that. The Holocaust happened, but it is not unthinkable something like this could happen again, and what scares me most it could  perhaps happen on an even  bigger scale.The times may have changed but deep down mankind hasn’t.

nuremberg

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Stealing the last bit of comfort.

dolls

People can be conditioned to commit evil acts but some are just born evil.

In February 1944 two French Jewish sisters Denise and Micheline Lévy were about to be put on a transport to Auschwitz. They were lined up in the small French village of Gemeaux

sisteers levy

One of the last acts they experienced before being put on the train was not an act of kindness but an act of pure evil.

A French police officer snatched the 2 dolls the girls were carrying(picture at the top of the blog). There was no need for him to do this, he was not ordered to do so, He just did it because he could and in his own pathetic,sick little mind he thought it was the right thing to do. Depriving these 2 little angels from the last bit of comfort they had.

The Gendarme knew the 2 girls were going to be killed but yet he could not find that little bit of humanity to let the girls keep those dolls. He did not even keep the dolls to perhaps give to other girls, he just discarded the toys.

A shop keeper found the dolls on the street and picked them up and gave  to Mrs Gilles in the village. She gave the dolls to her twin daughters, who in return gave them to their nieces, However none of the girls ever played with them because they knew the history of the dolls.

One of the nieces who is now in her forties decided to give the dolls to the THE SHOAH MEMORIAL in Paris, where they are now.

 

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Source

The Telegraph

 

 

 

 

The Sea water experiments-Evil Science.

sea water

In 1798 the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” was published by he English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The most famous line of the poem is “Water, water, every where,Nor any drop to drink.”

There are several theories in relation to the inspiration of the poem but the above mentioned line refers to the fact that one or more sailors were stranded in the ocean without any fresh water. Indicating that although there was an abundance of water, it was not fir for human consumption. Because drinking sea water can lead to dehydration among other ailments and eventually to death.

This knowledge did not stop Dr. Hans Eppinger and Dr. Wilhelm Beiglböck.

From July 1944 to September 1944, experiments were carried out at the Dachau concentration camp to see if it was possible to the viability of make sea water fit for consumption.Another goal was The goal  was to establish if the prisoners would suffer any severe physical symptoms or death within a period of 6–12 days.

At one stage ,a group of roughly 90 Roma prisoners were deprived of food and given nothing but sea water to drink.Witnesses reported that the test subjects  had been seen licking the floors they had mopped in an attempt to get some water. Sometimes chemicals were added to the water to eliminate the salty taste

Many of the subjects who received  sea water ended up suffering excruciating torture, diarrhea, convulsions, hallucinations, foaming at the mouth, and in most cases, madness or death.

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Enablers of Evil

zyklon b

There are some facts that can be disputed in relation to the Holocaust,albeit very few. The one thing though that is indisputable is that Hitler and his henchmen were not able to cause so much death and destruction if it hadn’t been for the men and women who helped them.

It may be disputed that maybe some helped reluctantly for fear of their own lives or livelihoods, they did help nevertheless thus becoming enablers of the Nazi regime.

Following are some pictures of a few of these hundreds of thousands  renablers of evil.Mind you many of these enjoyed being evil themselves.

Juana Bormann

Juana

Herta Ehlert

herta

Fritz Radimersky

Fritz

Joseph Hoegen

Josef

Erich Muhsfeldt

erich

Ruth Neudeck

Neudeck

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Martin Sommer-Too evil for Nazi standards.

Sommer

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The bizarre thing about the Nazi regime was that they had so many contradictions.They had no issues with committing mass murder and genocide or evil and cruel medical experiments, but they had issues with cruelty which was not conform with their policies.

It was okay to murder and torture but it had to be done the Nazi way.

Walter Gerhard Martin Sommer was an SS Hauptscharführer who served as a guard in 2 concentration camps First he served in Sachsenhausen  later in  Buchenwald. Where he got the nickname  “Hangman of Buchenwald”

SS

 

He was born in Schkölen, to a farming family  in Thuringia in 1915. In 1931 at age sixteen, Sommer joined the Nazi Party and 2 years later became a member of the SS.He was also a  a depraved sadist.

After he left Sachsenhausen he was assigned to Buchenwald where he was put in charge of a cell block where he reigned over his prisoners with impunity. Later he promoted to head the punishment bunker and was promoted once more to Chief Penal Officer.

In both camps Somner served under Karl Koch.

Koch

Sommer was quick to utilize his  position to fulfill  his natural sadistic desires.

His favorite manner of torture was tying prisoners’ wrists together behind their backs and then hang them a few inches off the ground from cell bars, stanchions, or branches of trees until their arms became dislocated. This  earned him the nickname “the Hangman of Buchenwald.”

HangmanWhen this special form of torture was conducted on prisoners in the woods around the camp, the screams of the victims were so intense that the other inmates soon gave the area a name, the “singing forest.”

Sommer had a special dislike for clergy men. One time he ordered two Austrian priests, Otto Neururer and Mathias Spannlang, to be crucified upside-down.Another time he beat a Catholic priest to death for performing the Sacrament of Penance for a fellow inmate.

At one stage he beat  a German pastor, then hanged him naked outside in the winter and threw buckets of water over him and let him freeze to death.

Sommer also had a secret compartment underneath the floor under his desk.  Where he kept his private instruments of torture concealed.Instruments  such as the needles he used to kill his victims after he finished torturing them, he would inject them with carbolic acid, or inject air into their veins causing his victims to die by embolism. Sometimes, after ‘private’ late night torture sessions he would hide the bodies of his victims under his bed until he could dispose of them the following morning.

He sometimes would  rubbed prisoner’s backs with steel brushes and then pour acid on the wounds

In 1943 ,Heinrich Himmler appointed SS judge Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen to investigate allegations of cruelty and corruption at the Buchenwald camp.

Morgen

Morgen found the allegations to be true and Sommer was put on trial.

After the  trial Sommer was sentenced to  a reduction in rank and was sent to a penal battalion fighting on the Eastern Front where he was wounded in a tank explosion, losing his left arm and right leg. He was arrested by the Soviet army and was detained as P.O.W. until 1950 when his prisoner status was changed from Prisoner of War to war criminal. In 1955 as part of the negotiations conducted on behalf of Soviet held German prisoners by Konrad Adenauer, Sommer was released.

After his release he returned to West Germany where he married his Nurse, and they had a child ,Sommer filed for and received a pension for his service related disabilities. sommer newsHe received a pension of 280 marks a month and over 10,500 marks in back payments.

He escaped punishment for his crimes until 1957, when he was indicted for complicity in the death in 101 concentration camp inmates.In 1958, the German government deemed  Sommer healthy enough for trial.

He was convicted of 25 deaths and received a life sentence. The sentence was appealed but  the case was upheld in May 1959 by the German  Federal Court. In 1971 he was released from jail because there was no facility to continue his treatment of his war injuries. he was transferred to a hospital and in 1973 to a nursing home where he remained until his death in 1988.

 

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Sources

Der Spiegel

German Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gerda Steinhoff- No remorse but jokes.

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Gerda

The buzzword nowadays us gender balance, and to be fair to the Nazi regime they had figured out gender balance decades ago. But was that a good thing?

When it come to evil there is no real difference between men and women, the men are in general physically stronger through their biology, but that is where the difference ends.

There were a large amount of female guards as part of the SS across several concentration camps.

guards

Compared to the likes of Ilse Koch or Maria Mandl,Gerda Steinhoff wasn’t the worse of the female guards. This was probably because she joined the SS late in the war. Prior to her career with the SS, she had been working and tram conductor.

She got married in 1944 and had a child. That same year, due to a shortage of new guards, Gerda joined the camp staff at Stutthof. On October 1, 1944, she became a Blockleiterin in Stutthof women’s camp SK-III.There, she took part in selections of prisoners to be sent to the gas chambers

SK11

Later that month, on October 31st , 1944, she received a  promotio to SS-Oberaufseherin and was assigned to the Danzig-Holm subcamp. On the first of December, 1944 she was reassigned to the Bromberg-Ost female subcamp of Stutthof located in Bydgoszcz near Gdańsk.  In the camp is where ,she received a medal for her loyalty and service to the Third Reich, on January 25, 1945. She was dedicated and utterly devoted  to her job in the camps and was known as a very ruthless supervisor. Soon before the end of World War II, she fled the camp and went back home.

But her stay at home didn’t last long, on the 25th of May , 1945, she was arrested by Polish officials and sent to prison. She stood trial with the other SS women and kapos and was convicted and condemned to death for her involvement in the selections and what was called her sadistic abuse of prisoners.During her trial Gerda showed no remorse but made jokes instead

She was publicly hanged on July 4, 1946, on Biskupia Gorka Hill, near Gdańsk.

hanging

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Hitler’s Children

1

One of the more disturbing and intriguing aspects about Hitler is his seemingly fondness of children,at least ‘aryan’ children.

The same man who was responsible of millions of children to die, made sure he would use any photo opportunity with kids. He saw children in two ways, they were either impure and  the offspring of vermin or they were the future warriors and breeding machines for the third reich. Both would often have the same outcome, death, either in the gas chambers or as result of slave labour or at the battlefield.

2

Although he would like to be portrayed not only as the Führer but also as the father of the nation. A man who had only the best intentions of the country and all he did was to build a secure future for the children of the nation.

3.JPG

And the propaganda worked, people believed it, At least early on during his time as the supreme German leader. He kept his promises of jobs and prosperity, and in a poverty stricken country that is a very powerful tool.

4

But prosperity made with the endorsement of violence and without a social conscientiousness  breeds selfishness. People didn’t want to see the crimes committed by their leaders. They had a good life as had their family, and that was all that mattered. Little did they know that all this wealth and prosperity was only superficial. It only serve one real purpose, the indulgence of a power mad evil regime.

Soon the citizens of the third reich found out that to maintain their standard of living sacrifices had to be made. Those young warriors were called to serve their master, not their country, but their master.

HJ

At the end the only one the Führer cared for was the grandson born out of wedlock to Maria Schicklgruber, the son of Alois Hiedlet(later Hitler) , Adolf Hitler.

He didn’t care how many were sacrificed  or what age they were.

combat

Were the signs there? Yes and they were blatantly clear. But as I said earlier, the propaganda was believed and for a short time life had been good. But only for those who were deemed to be of a pure race. For the Jews,Roma,Disabled,Homosexuals,Jehovah Witnesses, the narrative was one of death and destruction. Eventually all of Germany faced destruction caused by the allies because the Nazi leaders left them no choice.

dresdan

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Dr Schumann’s sterilization experiments in Auschwitz

Schumann

Not only was Auschwitz a death camp it also had an endless supply of humans that could be used for  experiments,without the fear of repercussions for those who carried out the experiments.

Dr Carl Clauberg and Dr Horst Schumann, were assigned to head the sterilization  experiments  in Auschwitz,

claberg

Dr Clauberg was an well known gynecologist  with expertise in infertility treatment.

Schumann had been working for  the Public Health Office in Halle. He was recruited to the Luftwaffe  as a physician in 1939. But moved on from the Luftwaffe to   joined the Aktion T4 Euthanasia program in early October 1939,

Schumann, SS-Sturmbannführer   began his sterilization experiments using X-rays at the request of Viktor Brack, the organizer of the T4 Programme.

The purpose of the sterilisation  experiments was to perfect a technique in which non-Aryans could be prevented  from reproducing while still being used  as slave laborers.

On  the 28th of  July 1941, Horst Schumann arrived in Auschwitz. Where he started  work at Block 30 in the women’s hospital, where he set up an x-ray station in 1942.

women

Here both  men and women were sterilized without consent  by being put repeatedly for several minutes between two x-ray machines, the rays aiming at their sexual organs. Most victims  died after great suffering, or were gassed immediately because the radiation burns from which they suffered rendered them unfit for work.

By 31 December 1942 about 200 men had been sterilized and would later be castrated by Shumann to determine the effects  of the radiation method of sterilization
Their testicles were removed and sent to Breslau for  examination.

The women were injected with  liquid into the uterus while they were on the X-ray table and were X-rayed while the injection went on

Schumann selected the  test ‘subjects’  himself. They were always  Jewish men, women and girls in their prime , but  who looked like they aged rapidly  after the experiments.

The parts of the body that were treated with the rays were burnt,and pus would have developed . Many times the intestines would also be affected. Many died.

camp

Part of Schumann’s ‘quality’ check to determine if  the radiation had worked, was the so-called semen check: a wooden implement  covered with a rubber hose was pushed  into the rectum of a male victim and the glands stimulated until ejaculation occurred so that the ejaculate could be tested for sperm  The samples were sent to the University of Breslau  for examination.

Schumann selected some  women of Block 10 in the main camp of Auschwitz. In this Block Jewish women had been selected for human experiments. To control the radiation on women, prisoner doctors Dr. Maximilian Samuel and Dr. Wladislaw Dering had to remove an ovary.

block 10

Horst Schmann also conducted  typhus experiments by injecting people with blood from typhus infected patients with the aim to then  cure the newly infected subjects. Schumann left Auschwitz in September 1944 and was appointed to the Sonnenstein Clinic in Saxony which had earlier been converted into a military hospital.

After the war he worked as a sports doctor in a clinic in Gladbeck,  Germany.He was only identified after he applied for a hunting rifle in 1951. A warrant for his arrest was issued then. Through a technicality he was not arrested, he claimed he didn’t have a German passport so he applied for a passport in Japan, which he got.He then fled to Egypt and later settled in Khartoum in Sudan where he got a job as the head of a Hospital.After he was recognized by an Auschwitz survivor, he fled to Ghana, where he received protection from Kwame Nkrumah. the head of state of Ghana.

ghana

in 1966 Schumann’s luck seemed to have run out when he was extradited to Germany.He stood trial in 1970, but was released from jail in 1972 due to his heart condition and generally deteriorating health. It wasn’t until 1983 before he died.

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Source

Research Gate