Veit Harlan-Messenger of Evil.

Although many German film makers left Germany in the 1930s, because of the rise of the Nazism, propaganda minister Göbbels still had quite a pool of film makers to help him produce a great number of propaganda movies.

The most famous and probably prolific was Leni Riefenstahl. But a close second was Veit Harlan.

After Adolf Hitler came to power, Harlan -unlike many German film directors – decided to remain in Germany. He embraced the new Nazi regime with both arms and directed several pro-Nazi propaganda films for the new Nazi regime , with his 3rd wife Kristina Söderbaum in the main parts. Considered to be the worst of these was the universally reviled Jud Süß (1940), a virulent anti-Semitic propaganda piece masquerading as a period piece melodrama. After the war, he was charged with crimes against humanity because of this film, but in 1950, after several court trials, he was acquitted twice and released. Both acquittals remain controversial to this day since the ruling judge had previously worked as a judge for the Nazi regime and since Harlan’s works had been proven to have contributed hugely to spreading the antisemitism in Germany, which enabled the Holocaust.

His first wife Dora Gerson was one of the victims of the Nazi regime, she was murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau on February 14, 1943.

There are some fascinating connections to Veit Harlan. His son, from his second marriage to Hilde Körber, Thomas Harlan was an author and film director who created a semi-documentary film in 1984, “Wundkanal” (“Wound Passage”), in which his father, played by a convicted mass murderer, is forced to undergo a series of brutal interrogations into his war crimes. Thomas Harlan’s final publication, issued posthumously, entitled Veit, was a memoir in the form of a letter to his father, continuing the investigation into his father’s actions during the Nazi regime.

The mass murderer(turned actor) in the film Wundkanal was SS Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Filbert, responsible as the first head of SS-Einsatzkommando 9, a mobile killing squad, for the murder of more than 18,000 Soviet Jews – men, women and children. Filbert was sentenced to life imprisonment but was released in 1975.

Susanne Körber, one of his daughters from his second wife Hilde Körber, converted to Judaism and married the son of Holocaust victims. She committed suicide in 1989.

Veit Harlan’s niece, Christiane Susanne Harlan, German born actress, dancer, painter, and singer took the name of her second husband, the legendary Jewish director Stanley Kubrick. Her married name was and still is Christiane Kubrick.

Christiane did act in a few movies like in ‘the Path to Glory’ She said she was ashamed to come from a “family of murderers” but was happy that Kubrick’s Jewish family accepted her despite her ties to Harlan. They remained married until Stanley Kubrick’s death in 1999.

She painted for her husband’s films; the paintings seen in the Harford’s apartment in Eyes Wide Shut (1999) are hers, as is the large painting of seed boxes in the writer’s home in A Clockwork Orange (1971).

sources

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0473583/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0363234/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm

Donation

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Martha Gellhorn’s account of the Liberation of Dachau.

Martha Gellhorn, a pioneering female journalist who often reported from the front lines during WWII. Her Father was Jewish, her Mother was protestant From 1940 to 1945 she was married to Ernest Hemingway.

She was the only woman to land at Normandy, France on June 6th 1944-D-Day. She was also one of the first journalists to report from Dachau concentration camp after it was liberated by US troops on April 29, 1945.

This is just some of her recollection and accounts of the liberation of the first Nazi concentration camp ,Dachau.

“We were blind and unbelieving and slow, and that we can never be again.
I have not talked about how it was the day the American Army arrived, though the prisoners told me. In their joy to be free and longing to see the friends who had come at last, the prisoners rushed to the fence and died- electrocuted.

There were those who died cheering, because that effort of happiness was more than their bodies could endure. There were those who died because at last they had food and they ate before they could be stopped and it killed them. I do not know words fine enough to talk of the men who have lived in this horror for years- three years, five years, ten years- and whose minds are as clear and unafraid as the day they entered.


I was in Dachau when the German armies surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. It was a suitable place to be. For surely this war was made to abolish Dachau and all the other places like Dachau and everything that Dachau stands for. To abolish it forever. That these cemetery prisons existed is the crime and shame of the German people.
We are not entirely guiltless, we the Allies, because it took us twelve years to open the gates of Dachau. We were blind and unbelieving and slow, and that we can never be again. We must know that there can never be peace if there is cruelty like this in the world.
And if ever again we tolerate such cruelty we have no right to peace.”

As I stated earlier Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp it opened on 22 March 1933. For 12 years it was used for murdering people, initially for political prisoners but later it was used for the mass murder of Jews, Poles, Romani, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholic priests, Communists.

What I find scary is that we don’t have learned anything from the history of the Holocaust. Genocides are still happening across the world.

Even in many western so called modern countries there seems to be an upsurge of extreme right ideologies.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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sources

https://www.ushmm.org/search/results/?q=45075

https://www.pbs.org/perilousfight/psychology/disbelief_of_atrocities/letters/

Buchenwald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A trailer with corpses

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

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

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

https://catalog.archives.gov/id/292594

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

Holocaust Obituary

This broke my heart.

On September 14, 1945 an obituary appeared in the Nieuw Israëlitisch Weekblad, which was a Dutch Jewish weekly newspaper, it was an obituary for several generations of one family:

George Sandelowsky (father and father-in-law), who had died on February 25 as a result as the awful conditions in Bergen Belsen concentration camp. aged 66. Occupation: Wholesale dealer

Peterle Sandelowsky died on March 15 1945 ,aged 8 months described as ‘our little sunshine and hope for the future’ In fact Peterle was only 7 months old. Peterle was born in Westerbork on August 2 1944. A short life lived entirely in concentration camps. Before you read further I want you to leave this sink in for a minute.

Gitella Cohn-Pels ,mother and mother-in-law),at age 52. died on April 2, 1945

Aron Cohn ,father and father-in-law, whom ‘ had to be left behind dying on April 9,1945, They had to presume due to the fact they could find out no further information he died the same was as his loving wife. However it appears he was liberated but he still died on June 30 1945 in Tröbitz. Occupation: Manager

Rosa Sandelowsky-Wulff ,mother and mother-in-law, who had died of typhus in Tröbitz at age 53 on May 17,1945 . She could offer no more resistance to the Typhus she had been subjected to On May 17 he brave heart broke. A heart that had beat her entire life for her family, for her husband and children.

I believe the obituary was placed by Fritz Sandelowsky, Eva Goldberger and Otto Sandelowsky

Such a sad and poignant story . A snapshot of a tragedy so hard to fathom.

I found this obituary on the Joods Monument website , but after doing a bit more research I found the entire 14 September 1945 edition of the Nieuw Israëlitisch Weekblad. Next to the obituary were a few more notifications, most of them are looking for information on the whereabouts of loved ones.

Just a simple newspaper, but such an important piece of a historical record of the Holocaust. Never forget.

Sources

http://resolver.kb.nl/resolve?urn=ddd:010858268:mpeg21:pdf

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/25101/aaron-cohn

Remembering Günther Ernst Aronade

Günther Ernst Aronade was born on March 19, 1918 Kattowitz, Germany, now Poland.

I am not sure on the exact date but it looks liked Günther and his wife Alisa (Ilse) Heymann moved to Amsterdam in 1938, I can only imagine because of the Nazi regime in Germany.

In September 1943 the couple ended up in Camp Westerbork, they managed to escape on September 15, 1943. They fled to France in December,

In France they were captured again and were sent to Auschwitz on February 10,1944 via Drancy.

Günther was murdered in Auschwitz on February 1943. he was aged 25.

His wife survived the war, she died on January 8, 1986. in Israel.

Source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/358450/gunther-ernst-aronade

https://www.geni.com/people/G%C3%BCnther-Aronade/6000000002292874170

https://www.geni.com/people/Alisa-Ilse-Heymann-Elsberg/6000000030450294861

Crazy Little Thing Called Love- The story behind it.

This is a deviation from my usual heavier historic history blogs. Just a bit of lightheartedness at the start of a hopefully better 2021.

This is the story behind ” Crazy little thing called love”

Although ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ is a simple song it does actually demonstrate how genius Freddie Mercury was. He wrote the song while Queen were recording The Game in Germany. He wrote it while taking a bubble bath in his room at the Munich Hilton.

’Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ took me five or 10 minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can’t play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing, because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords,” Mercury shared in a 1981 interview with Melody Maker. He wrote it as a tribute to Elvis.

Freddie did know though that Brian May probably would not like the song, because of it’s rockabilly style, he once said in an interview So he took the song to the studio shortly after writing it and presented it to Roger Taylor and John Deacon. The three of them,their then new producer Reinhold Mack, recorded it at Musicland Studios in Munich. Later on Brian May added his part.

The song was released on 5 October 1979 in the UK and on December 7th in the US. It would become Queen’s first number 1 hit in the USA.

sources

YouTube

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/queen/crazy-little-thing-called-love

When we forget our History, we forfeit our Future.

The Holocaust is by far the worst era of mankind. It has shown us on how a supposedly cultured and sophisticated society, murdered millions because they were deemed not to have a place in that society.

But this didn’t come as a lighting from the blue. It was brewing for decades. Two political movements were at the heart of it.

It was the far right extreme Nazis who did the killing, but the far left played a crucial part too. The so called Weimar culture wanted Germany to become a place of great liberal values, but for some these values were too liberal. Many saw it as a new Sodom and Gomorrah. The fact that not everyone felt comfortable living in a society where everything was possible, was sometimes ignored and their concerns weren’t always listened to.

This gave opportunities to the far right movement to recruit members.

Combine that with a growth of antisemitism ,and a political party who used hate to build their policies, especially hate for Jews and you had the perfect storm. All they had to do was to gradually turn the Jews, Homosexuals, Communists and others into scapegoats, the foundation of the Holocaust was laid.

I could go back to WWI but for the purpose of this blog I will start at January 1,1920, which was the date that Adolf Hitler entered German politics by joining the Deutsche Arbeiter Partei or the German workers party.(see membership card at the start of the blog).

1921 Germany for the Germans

1922 worthless money- 50,000 Mark

1923 A disabled war veteran in Berlin.

1923 Beerhall Putsch

1924 Communist Party of Germany propaganda vehicle crossing Alexanderplatz. Berlin.

1925-Demonstration of the communist youth Germany on May 1.

1926 Bamber Conference The Bamberg leadership conference was a meeting of the leadership of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party ( NSDAP) on 14 February.

1927 January 10, release of Metropolis.

1928 The Threepenny Opera opens in Berlin in August

1929 Propaganda, the invasion of foreign eggs.

1930 23 January – The Nazi Party gains its first minister as Wilhelm Frick becomes Minister of the Interior and Education in Thuringia as part of a right-wing coalition administration.

1931 A bank in Berlin damaged during violent clashes between police and demonstrators in June .

1932 German Federal election

1933 30 January — Nazi leader Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany by President of Germany Paul von Hindenburg.

1933 1 April Boycott of Jewish Businesses

1933 10 May: the Nazis stage massive public book burnings.

1933 May 27 SS Guards arriving at the Dachau “Protective Custody” Camp.

1934 German referendum gives Adolf Hitler absolute power

1938 November 10 SS guards force Jews, arrested during Kristallnacht (the “Night of Broken Glass”), to march through the town of Baden-Baden. Onlookers watch from along the street and walls. Baden-Baden, Germany. November 10, 1938.

1939 September 1, Germany invades Poland, September 3 Great Britain and France declare war to Germany . WWII is a fact.

1940 The first 30 prisoners arrived on 20 May in Auschwitz

1941 September 3 – The Holocaust: SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Fritzsch first uses the pesticide Zyklon B, to execute Soviet prisoners of war en masse at Auschwitz concentration camp

1942 January 20 Wannsee conference Nazis decide that the “Final Solution (Endlösung) to the Jewish problem” is deportations to extermination camps.

1943 May 30 Dr. Josef Mengele begins his position as a medical officer in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

1944 August 4 Anne Frank and her family are arrested.

1945 April 15 Bergen Belsen is liberated. The allied troops witness the horrors of the Holocaust.

We now all have a duty to make sure this History does not repeat itself. We cannot use the excuse that we didn’t know because we do have the benefit of hindsight.

We should listen and learn from each other and acknowledge concerns. If we dismiss people#s worries and opinions we open it up to a repeat of this dark era, and potentially cause an even bigger Holocaust.

sources

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/12/the-horrors-i-saw-still-wake-me-at-night-the-liberation-of-belsen-75-years-on#img-1

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Reached the age of 9 years

Hannelore

“Reached the age of 9 years” may seem like a very matter of fact and brutal title , but the brutal honesty is many of the 1.5 million children murdered during the Holocaust did not even reach that age.

Reached the age of 9 years should never be said of any child as the age of death.

Reached the age of 9 years should never be said of any child as the age of death because of murder.

But reached the age of 9 years was the reality of Hannelore Cahn, born on 31 May 1935 in Wesseling near Cologne, Germany. Murdered on 25 October 1944 in Auschwitz.

It is not clear how Hannelore ended up in the Netherlands . She was the daughter of Emil Cahn and Irene Löwenstein. In 1939  she and her 2 brothers Kurt and Josef came from Cologne in Germany to the Netherlands and resided at the Jewish orphanage in Utrecht,

Her brother Kurt reached the ag15 years, he was born om April 10,1929 39 years before I was born. He was murdered on 28 February 1945, not clear where he was murdered.

Her brother Josef reached the age of 19 born in Wesseling, 25 August 1925 and died in Germany just before the war ended on 2 May 1945.

All 3 Cahn children I presume were sent by their parents to the Netherlands, to escape the Nazi regime.

Their Father Emil, ended up in the British army and shortly after the war he enquired about his children, only to find out they all were killed. No Father should ever have to go through that.

Reached the age of 9 years a brutal reality because of a warped ideology.

Source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/121861/hannelore-cahn

This is how close the Holocaust still is.

no5

May 10, 2020 is Mother’s Day in most countries, with only a few exceptions like the UK and Ireland who had it on March 22. May 10 1943 is the date when one Jewish Mother and Grandmother was killed at Westerbork, aged 83. Her name was  Jeanette Meyer-Cahn, wife and  widow of Daniel Meyer. Daniel had died on 10 March 1941 in Geleen, the Netherlands.

Although Jeanette was originally from Leutesdorf, near Koblenz in Germany in 1938 Jeanette, Daniel and their youngest child, Max, and his in laws, the Kaufmann family moved to the Netherlands, initially to Sittard and on June 21,1939 to neighbouring Geleen. The address Jeanette and Daniel moved to was Graaf Huynlaan 5. The picture above is of that address. This is where suddenly the Holocaust comes very near to me again.

Not only passed I by that address a lot, because it was actually in the city centre, I even bought sunglasses a few times in the sunglasses shop right next to the house. It is also in the direct vicinity of the bank, ABN AMRO where I had an account, and in fact still have, but also my favourite restaurant, Akropolis, as the name suggest a Greek restaurant.

graaf

It was also near a bistro, named ‘t Wittebroodje, which served a great French onion soup.

Jeanette and Daniel had 5 children Walter, Rosa, Mathilde, Leo en Max Meyer, and 2 grand children Erich Meyer and Bruno Nathan(picture below)

btuno Walter was killed in WWI during the battle of Verdun. Leo and his wife had emigrated to South America in the 1930’s.

On August 25, 1942 Max and his wife Berta reported to the Market in Geleen, from there they are first deported to Maastricht and then to Poland via Westerbork, where in Poland they ended up isn’t clear. All we know is that they did not survive.

Jeanette’s 2 daughters and grandsons were all killed during the Holocaust.

Jeanette died  on 10 May 1943 in Westerbork transit camp, due to illness and exhaustion and she was cremated on 12 May 1943. The urn with her ashes was placed on the Jewish cemetery on field U, row 6, grave nr. 6.

Only Leo survived the war.

The war may have ended 75 year ago and with it also the Holocaust, it is a fact that decades on people like me can still find a connection with it.

REMEMBER ALWAYS

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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SOURCES

https://www.stolpersteinesittardgeleen.nl/Slachtoffers/Jeanette-Meyer-Cahn

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/514769/about-jeanette-meyer-cahn

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

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

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

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