Transport to Cosel: Limburg Jews on their way to death.

Before I go into the story of the men, who were put on slave labour by the Nazi regime, I will have to explain what ‘Limburg’ is .Limburg is a province in the southeast of the Netherlands and the northeast of Belgium.

I was born and grew up in the Dutch side of Limburg. The most populated part is the south of the Dutch Limburg, it is also the part that looks completely different then the rest of the Netherlands. There are actually hills there. Although I am a native of the province, I was not aware of the fate of these men.

Not all deportation trains with Dutch Jews went directly to the extermination camps and gas chambers. Between August 28 and December 10, 1942, some of the trains to Auschwitz-Birkenau made a stopover in Silesian Cosel (present-day Poland). Here almost all men between the ages of 15 and 55 had to get off the train at the freight station. Where they were put to work.

On 24 August 1942, six hundred Limburg Jews were issued a call-up card by the Dutch police, the municipal police or a constable. They were all under the age of sixty and had to report to the assembly point at the public school on Professor Pieter Willemsstraat in Maastricht the next day.

Only half of them showed up. The group was taken to Camp Westerbork and was largely deported on August 28, 1942. They were part of the first Cosel transport. Another 17 Cosel transports from the Netherlands would follow. Also 21 transports from France and Belgium stopped in Cosel.

The train stopped on August 29 in Cosel, about a thousand kilometers from Westerbork .About 170 men, 75 of whom are Limburgers, were pushed out of the train while being yelled and cursed at . A selection followed, and those who were not been deemed fit for work had to get back on the train. The train continued the journey to Auschwitz ,when it arrived on August 30,1942, the majority were murdered in the gas chambers.

The Limburg men who left Westerbork on August 28 were put on trucks in Cosel and ended up in Camp Sakrau, from where they went to various other camps in the region. Conditions in these camps were very different. The work was very hard, some of the Jewish men died from hunger, exhaustion, illness or accidents.

Abraham Spiero, a survivor who survived a later transport said about the ordeal:

“The train stopped in Cosel. That was a terrible thing there. Humanity stopped here. We, the men up to 50 years old, all had to sit down squatting. When the train had driven away, we were loaded onto trucks like animals.”

The men of the other 17 Cosel transports also ended up in a network of 177 camps near factories and construction sites. Some 1,500 forced laborers make fighter planes and war machinery, they worked in Krupp’s metalworks or IG Farben’s chemical plants.

Others were forced to work in the construction of railways and highways. Which was a big money earner for the German state and the companies.

The men who were no longer able to work were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they were gassed.

At the end of April 1943, most of the survivors were sent to Camp Blechhammer. Also father Pinehas Gans and son Philip Gans. They both came from the transport of November 2, 1942. Pinehas and Philip survived for a long time, and end up together in Camp Blechhammer. But when the camp is evacuated on January 21,1945 ,the prisoners are marched to Camp Gross-Rosen by foot. During the march or shortly after arrival at Gross Rosen both Gans men are murdered, on February 5,1945.

The Gans family in 1934 .Right in the picture is Pinehas(Piet)Gans, behind him is his wife and sitting next to him is his son Philip

In January 1945, of the ten thousand French, Belgian and Dutch forced laborers selected in Cosel, about two thousand were still alive. Most are in Camp Blechhammer. Eventually, only 873 men survive, less than ten percent of the men who got off at Cosel. The survival rate of the Dutch is even less, of the 3400 Dutch on the Cosel transports, 193 men survived. This also applied to the Limburg men who started their journey in Maastricht on 25 August 1942. Eleven of the 170 men of this first transport survived the forced labour.

On initiative of some people from Limburg there was finally a plaque unveiled at September 2, 2016 near the former goods store station of pre-war Cosel (Poland) and this as a remembrance of the so called Cosel Transports.

sources

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/artikel/transport-naar-cosel-limburgse-joden-op-weg-naar-de-ondergang

https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/100746/Memorial-Cosel-Transports.htm

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Tinus Osendarp, medal winning Olympian and Nazi collaborator.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the star of the 1936 Olympic games was Jesse Owens. But there was another medal winner, who became more infamous then famous. He came 3rd behind in the Men’s 100 metres sprint, behind Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe, He also ended 3 in the Men’s 200 metres sprint, behind Jesse Owens and Mack Robinson. The name of this double bronze medal winner is Tinus Osendarp.

In the 100 m final he ran 10.5 s, behind Americans Jesse Owens 10.3 s, and Ralph Metcalfe 10.4 s. Upon his return home Osendarp was called “the best white sprinter” by the Dutch press.

During the medal ceremony he had raised his arm in the Nazi salute.

Tinus (Martinus) Osendarp was born on 21 May 1916 in Delft as the son of Bernardus Osendarp, owner of an export company in fruit and vegetables. The Osendarp family soon moved to Rijswijk. The VUC football association flourished there, which also had a small athletics department. However, Tinus wanted to become a famous footballer above all else. With his innate speed, he was therefore ascribed a great future on the football field

Tinus Osendarp started sprinting for fun, and was discovered as a talent. His first success came in 1934, when he placed third in the 200 m at the inaugural European Championships, won by compatriot Chris Berger. Osendarp finished fifth in the 100 metres and won a second bronze medal in 4×100 metres relay (with Tjeerd Boersma, Chris Berger, and the non-Olympian Robert Jansen).

He increased his popularity by winning both the 100 and the 200 at the 1938 European Championships in Paris.

The basis for his future involvement in National Socialism was laid in Berlin, where he first came under the influence of SS propaganda.

Working as a policeman in The Hague, Osendarp joined the NSB (the Dutch National Socialist Party) in 1941, and the SS in 1943. Working for the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), he was involved with arrests of various resistance fighters. and helping in the deportation of Dutch Jews. The payment for each captured Jewish man or woman was 7.50 Dutch Guilders, which is the equivalent of $50 or €42 today. Many of those he arrested or betrayed were murdered.

In 1948, Osendarp was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but he was allowed to carry out his sentence by working in the coal mines, in the Southeast of the Netherlands, to support his family.

This is actually the street where I grew up, Convicted Nazis on the way back to the camps they stayed in after working in the Maurits Coal mine

He was released early in 1953 and moved to Limburg to work in the mines. In 1958 he also became athletics coach at Kimbria in Maastricht, and from 1972 he was a coach at Achilles-Top in Kerkrade. He died in 2002 at the age of 86 in Heerlen. Although he was a relatively ‘minor’ perpetrator, I think his sentence was much too lenient. He should have been jailed for life.

sources

http://www.olympedia.org/athletes/73863

Martinus “Tinus” Bernardus Osendarp, Dutch 1936 top athlete and Nazi collaborator.

https://web.archive.org/web/20200417093957/https://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/summer/1936/ATH/mens-100-metres.html

https://hyperleap.com/topic/Tinus_Osendarp

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Alfred Trzebinski-Evil under the guise of science.

It is hard, if not impossible, to define what the most evil crime was during the Holocaust. It is not like there is a gradient scale you can apply. Without a doubt though the murder of children was among the most heinous of acts.

One especially comes to mind. On April 20,1945, on the 56th birthday of Adolf Hitler, 18 days before the end of the war in Europe.

At that time, 20 Jewish children who had been living in Neuengamme Concentration Camp outside Hamburg.Aged between five and 12 years. Ten girls and ten boys, including two pairs of siblings. For months, the SS doctor Kurt Heißmeyer has been maltreating them as test objects for medical experiments: he had injected live tuberculosis bacilli under their skin and used probes to introduce them into the lungs. These 20 children and 4 adult supervisors were sent to the Bullenhuser Damm subcamp, a disused school building.

Alfred Trzebinski was a Polish(a Polish history website states that the Trzebinski family belonged to the nobility of greater Poland) assistant physician at Auschwitz, Neuengamme and Madjanek concentration camp. Together with Kurt Heissmeyer and Arnold Strippel, he was held responsible for the murder of twenty Jewish children in the Bullenhuser Schule.

On the night of 20 April 1945, Trzebinski injected morphine into the children (to sedate them) after which they were hanged in the basement of the Bullenhuser Damm school.

After the war he tried to go underground, but was arrested on 1 February 1946 and sentenced to death in the Curio-Haus trial. During his trial he confessed in quite an arrogant maner, saying, “If I had acted as a hero the children might have died a little later, but their fate could no longer be averted” and admitted “you cannot execute children, you can only murder them” but they were “only” Jews. Trzebinski was executed by hanging on 8 October 1946 by Albert Pierrepoint at Hamelin prison.

sources

https://naszahistoria.pl/alfred-trzebinski-lekarzdzieciobojca-z-niemieckich-obozow-koncentracyjnych/ar/c15-14192059

https://archive.org/details/admittingholocau00lawr/page/66/mode/2up

http://www.kinder-vom-bullenhuser-damm.de/_english/the_perpetrators.php

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/tijdlijn/Alfred-Tzrebinski/03/0004

https://www.executedtoday.com/tag/alfred-trzebinski/

https://www.xwhos.com/person/alfred_trzebinski-whois.html

https://www.memoiresdeguerre.com/article-trzebinski-alfred-113942559.html

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Ignorance is never the answer.++contains graphic images++

I have often argued that it would be unfair to brush all Germans with the same brush, There were Germans who did resist the Nazi regime. However there is no denying that many were ignorant about the fact what was happening to their neighboits who were either Jewish, Gay, Jehovah Witness, Disabled or Roma/Sinti, or who just had a different political view..

The definition of ignorance is: lack of knowledge, education, or awareness. I recently read an interesting definition of ignorance in an article on a website called Farnham street, it has all sorts of pieces on food for thoughts. They defined it as “Empty Suits and Fragilistas” :[The Empty Suit/Fragilista] defaults to thinking that what he doesn’t see is not there, or what he does not understand does not exist. At the core, he tends to mistake the unknown for the nonexistent.’ I think this was partially the problem in Nazi Germany and that is how the Nazis got away with mass murder and genocide. Because this ignorance turned into collaboration and complicity

But before we judge the German citizens.

The oppressive nature of the Nazi state meant that it was difficult not to be complicit in Nazi activities at some level – although some people played a much more active role in helping the Nazis to achieve their aims than others. Different examples of collaboration in Nazi Germany included: informing on Jewish neighbours, adhering anti-semitic laws,or taking part in boycotting Jewish shops and businesses.

Public notice, issued by the Central Committee for the Defense against Jewish Atrocities and the Boycott, instructing Germans to protect themselves against the Jews by boycotting Jewish businesses and Jewish professionals on April 1, 1933. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Hans Levi

While the Nazi leadership led the way in creating their racist ideology, the anti-Jewish laws and propaganda were implemented and bound into law by those working for the Civil Service . Those who continued to work in the Civil Service following the Nazi rise to power therefore directly contributed to the Nazis’ persecution of Jews.

Following the Nazi rise to power, new textbooks were introduced to make sure that all content taught by teachers was in line with the Nazis’ beliefs. This page is taken from a Nazi racial science textbook published in 1934. In the bottom right corner, someone has added another side profile with stereotypical Jewish features and written ‘Jüden’, meaning Jews, next to it.

The Germans weren’t the only ones being complicit. There were many citizens in the occupied countries who were eager to help the Nazi regime. Collaboration took many forms. In some countries the government actively cooperated with the Nazis. In others, individuals or groups acted on their own initiative to offer their help to the Nazis. Smaller forms of collaboration also took place on an individual basis, such as informing on Jewish neighbours (sometimes out of antisemitism, sometimes out of a desire to take over their property, jobs or valuables once they had been arrested or deported)

That doesn’t take away the fact though that this all started in Germany. If the German citizenry would have paid more attention to what was happening, and if they would have asked collectively what was happening to their neighbours, then perhaps the Holocaust would not have taken place, and they would not have to be forced to bury those who their political leaders had massacred, in their names.

sources

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn1004598

https://www.ushmm.org/learn/timeline-of-events/1933-1938/anti-jewish-boycott

Simon Blitz-Murdered Doctor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sources

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

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

Richard Glücks-The evil man in charge of the concentration camps.

On May 10.1945, probably knowing that he was close to be captured, by swallowing a capsule of potassium cyanide at the Mürwik naval base in Flensburg-Mürwik,Richard Glücks ended his own life. Although the lack of official records or photos gave rise to speculation about his ultimate fate.

There are many biographies about this man, but I decided to stick with the facts that matter. No matter how you twist or turn it, Richard Glücks was an evil man.

Glucks was a major contributor to the execution of the “Final Solution”—the
destruction of European Jewry. He established Auschwitz, where millions of
Jews were exterminated; was in charge of the construction of gas chambers;
and helped develop the medical experiments program that was carried out in the concentration camps.
In 1942 Glucks was made responsible for a unit of the Economic Administrative Main Office (Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt), which dealt
with industrial companies regarding the use of concentration camp prisoners as slave laborers in their factories.

Some might say that Glücks was the worst of them and that he actually eased some of the suffering the camps.

Due to the extremely high mortality rate in the camps around 1942, which of course had a negative effect on the deployment of prisoners as slave laborers, Glücks sent the following memo to all camp commanders on December 28,1942:

“The first camp physicians are to do their utmost with all the means available to them, to considerably lower the mortality rate in the various camps [..] The physicians are to supervise the feeding of prisoners more than ever and submit proposals for improvement to the camp commanders according to policy. These are not to be just put on paper but must frequently be checked by the physicians. [..] The Reichsführer-SS has ordered the death rate be lowered considerably.”

But this was not because he felt sorry for the inmates in the camps, but it was solely for economic reasons.

From 1942 onwards he was responsible for slave labour and the death by work.

In July 1942, he participated in a planning meeting with Himmler on the topic of medical experiments on camp inmates. From several visits to the Auschwitz concentration camps, Glücks was well aware of the mass murders and other atrocities committed there.

On July 8, 1942, Glücks had a meeting with Himmler, Professor Carl Clauberg and others about the intended mass sterilization of Jewish women in the concentration camps. Auschwitz was designated as the camp where Clauberg was to start experimenting with various means of sterilization. Numerous prisoners succumbed to the consequences of these experiments; others endured excruciating pains and were maimed for the rest of their lives. Glücks has also ordered to develop gas cambers in certain camps in order to kill sick and weakened prisoners speedily and efficiently.

Glucks was one of the key figures of the concentration camp system. Together with Himmler and Pohl, he decided how many of the deported Jews were to be killed and determined that the hair of the murdered people was to be collected and made into ‘hair-yarn stockings for U-boat crews and hair-felt stockings for the railroad’.

sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/ss-and-the-camp-system

http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/holoprelude/glucks.html

https://www.tracesofwar.com/articles/4870/Gl%C3%BCcks-Richard.htm

Remembering Two Heroes

Two definitions of a Hero are :1. a person admired for achievements and noble qualities. 2. one who shows great courage. Both definitions apply to Józef Cebula and Sophie Scholl.

The reason why I am remembering these 2 people is because of today’s date May 9. Sophie Scholl was born on May 9,1921, Józef Cebula was murdered on May 9 1941.

Józef Cebula Józef Cebula was born into a modest family of Polish origin on March 23, 1902, at Malnia in southern Poland. He suffered tuberculosis as a child, and was in fact declared incurable . After an unexpected recovery, he visited an Oblate shrine where he shared his story with an Oblate priest. The priest advised Józef to study with the Oblates at the newly-established Oblate minor seminary.

He was ordained as a priest on 5 June 1927 while still in a seminary. Father Cebula became a superior at the Oblate seminaries in 1931, and became novice master at Markowice in 1937.

When the Nazis occupied Poland during the Second World War, they declared loyalty to the Church illegal. All Church associations were forbidden, and many priests were arrested. On May 4, 1940, the Oblate novices at Markowice were arrested by the Nazis and sent to the concentration camp at Dachau, Germany.

Fr. Cebula was forbidden to exercise his priestly ministry and obliged to work in the fields. But at night, the zealous priest celebrated the Eucharist and administered the sacraments in the surrounding villages, until he was arrested on April 2, 1941. He was taken to a concentration camp at Mauthausen in Austria.

Fr. Cebula was known for his humility ,he was a man of quiet prayer with a deep spiritual life. He radiated peace in the very middle of the death camp, even when he was tormented by the Nazis.

Father Cebula was forced to carry 60-pound rocks from the quarry to a camp two miles away. He had to climb a 144-step staircase called the Death Stairs, while being beaten and insulted by his tormentors. The guards humiliated and mocked him by ordering him to sing the texts of the Mass while he worked.

On May 9th 1941 , Fr. Cebula summoned up his strength and courage and said, “It is not you who are in charge. God will judge you.” The Nazis ordered him to run, with a rock on his back, towards the camp’s barbed wire fence, where a guard shot him with a sub-machine gun and declared that Fr. Cebula “was shot while trying to escape”. He died in this volley of bullets. His body was taken to a crematorium and burned.

Sophie Scholl, was only 11 years-old when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany Sophie, like her brothers and sisters, were influenced by the changes that took place in their school.

Growing up in Nazi Germany, Sophie Scholl had automatically become a member of the girl’s branch of Hitler Youth, the League of German Girls, at the age of twelve, and she was soon promoted to Squad Leader. She was an excited and happy follower of the National Socialist cult of youth. The teenager believed in the ideals propagated at the time, as did many of her peers.

However, as discrimination against the Jews grew, Sophie began to question what she was being told. When two of her Jewish friends were barred from joining the League, Sophie protested and as she grew older she became more and more disillusioned by the Nazi Party.

The strict rules opened her eyes to Nazi doctrine and their treatment of other peoples, and she became disillusioned with German education. She also served six months in the Auxiliary War Service, but this only strengthened her resolve against the Nazis.

She joined her brother, Hans and his Munich University friends when they formed a passive resistance group called ‘The White Rose’. Their actions against the regime included peaceful demonstrations, painting anti-Nazi slogans and distributing leaflets. It was the leaflet distribution that led to their arrest. They were observed by a university janitor collecting those which had not been taken, he denounced them.

The White Rose was a small endeavor with large consequences. At its core were siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, their fellow students Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf, Christoph Probst, and a professor of philosophy and musicology at the University of Munich, Kurt Huber. Together they published and distributed six pamphlets, first typed on a typewriter, then multiplied via mimeograph. At first, they only distributed them via mail, sending them to professors, booksellers, authors, friends and others—going through phone books for addresses and hand-writing each envelope. In the end, they distributed thousands, reaching households all over Germany. Acquiring such large amounts of paper, envelopes, and stamps at a time of strict rationing without raising suspicion was problematic, but the students managed by engaging a wide-ranging network of supporters in cities and towns as far north as Hamburg, and as far south as Vienna. These networks were also activated to distribute the pamphlets, attempting to trick the Gestapo into believing the White Rose had locations all across the country.

The translated text of one of their pamphlets

“Our current ‘state’ is the dictatorship of evil. We know that already, I hear you object, and we don’t need you to reproach us for it yet again. But, I ask you, if you know that, then why don’t you act? Why do you tolerate these rulers gradually robbing you, in public and in private, of one right after another, until one day nothing, absolutely nothing, remains but the machinery of the state, under the command of criminals and drunkards?”

In January 1943, the group felt empowered and hopeful. Their activism seemed to be working, rattling the authorities and sparking discussions amongst their peers.

However ,on the 18th February 1943, Sophie and her brother Hans brought a suitcase full of leaflets to the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich main building. They hurriedly dropped stacks of copies in the empty corridors for students to find when they left the lecture rooms. Leaving before the lectures had ended, the Scholl siblings noticed that there were some left-over copies in the suitcase and decided to distribute them. Sophie flung the last remaining leaflets from the top floor down into the atrium. This spontaneous action was observed by the university maintenance man, Jakob Schmied.

Hans and Sophie Scholl were taken into Gestapo custody. A draft of a seventh pamphlet, written by Christoph Probst, was found in the possession of Hans Scholl at the time of his arrest by the Gestapo. While Sophie Scholl got rid of incriminating evidence before being taken into custody, Hans did try to destroy the draft of the last leaflet by tearing it apart and trying to swallow it down. But, the Gestapo recovered enough to match the handwriting with other writings from Probst, which they found when they searched Hans’s apartment. The main Gestapo interrogator was Robert Mohr, who initially thought Sophie was innocent.

But , after Hans had confessed, Sophie assumed full responsibility in an attempt to protect other members of the White Rose.

The Scholls and Probst were to stand trial before the Volksgerichtshof— the Nazi “People’s Court” infamous for its unfair political trials, which more often than not ended with a death sentence — on 22 February 1943. They were found guilty of treason. Roland Freisler, head judge of the court, sentenced them to death.

Sophie and the 2 others. were executed the same day by guillotine at Stadelheim Prison.

It takes real courage to stand up to evil, especially when you know it can result in death. It is this courage that make all these people real heroes.

Finishing up with a poem about courage by the American poet Edgar Albert Guest

Courage isn’t a brilliant dash,
A daring deed in a moment’s flash;
It isn’t an instantaneous thing
Born of despair with a sudden spring
It isn’t a creature of flickered hope
Or the final tug at a slipping rope;
But it’s something deep in the soul of man
That is working always to serve some plan.

Courage isn’t the last resort
In the work of life or the game of sport;
It isn’t a thing that a man can call
At some future time when he’s apt to fall;
If he hasn’t it now, he will have it not
When the strain is great and the pace is hot.
For who would strive for a distant goal
must always have courage within his soul.

Courage isn’t a dazzling light
that flashes and passes away from sight;
it’s a slow, unwavering, ingrained trait
with the patience to work and the strength to wait.
It’s part of a man when his skies are blue,
it’s part of him when he has work to do.
The brave man never is freed of it.
He has it when there is no need of it.

Courage was never designed for show;
it isn’t a thing that can come and go;
it’s written in victory and defeat
and every trial a man may meet.
It’s part of his hours, his days and his years,
Back of his smiles and behind his tears.
Courage is more than a daring deed:
It’s the breath of life and a strong man’s creed.

sources

https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/sophie-scholl-and-white-rose

Chocolate bar bomb

I just don’t know how the war would have gone if the Germans had succeeded with these bombs.

Giving a new meaning to the dessert name “death by chocolate”, The German bomb makers created explosive devices with a coating of thin layer of rich dark chocolate, then packaged it in expensive-looking black and gold paper.

Arguably the most unconventional bomb was the chocolate bar bomb was intended to be smuggled into the Royal household with the purpose of assassination. None of the chocolate bars reached Britain, but British authorities did capture some in places as far away as Turkey. A secondary use for the proposed disguised chocolate bar was as an emergency hand grenade

The Germans had planned to use secret agents working in Britain to discretely place the bars, branded as Peters Chocolate, among other luxury items taken into the dining room used by the War Cabinet during the conflict.

But the British intelligence service did a decent job of uncovering these plots. And Victor Rothschild, the head of MI5’s very small counter-sabotage unit, wanted to document what the British had found.

Lord Rothschild, a scientist in peace time as well as a key member of the Rothschild banking family, immediately typed a letter to a talented illustrator seconded to his unit, asking him to draw poster-size images of the chocolate to warn the public to be on the look-out.

His letter to the artist, Laurence Fish, is dated May 4, 1943 and was written from his secret bunker in Parliament Street, London.

It was unearthed by Mr Fish’s wife, journalist Jean Bray, as she sorted through his possessions after the artist’s death at the age of 89 in 2009.

The letter, marked “secret”, reads:

“Dear Fish, I wonder if you could do a drawing for me of an explosive slab of chocolate.

We have received information that the enemy are using pound slabs of chocolate which are made of steel with a very thin covering of real chocolate.

Inside there is high explosive and some form of delay mechanism…When you break off a piece of chocolate at one end in the normal way, instead of it falling away, a piece of canvas is revealed stuck into the middle of the piece which has been broken off and a ticking into the middle of the remainder of the slab.

The letter explained how the mechanism would be activated when the piece of chocolate was pulled sharply, which would also pull the canvas, and Lord Rothschild said he was enclosing a “very poor sketch” done by someone who had seen one of the bars. When the piece of chocolate at the end was broken off, the canvas detonator was pulled, and, after a delay of seven seconds, the bomb would explode.

sources

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/nazis-wanted-beat-brits-exploding-chocolate-bars-180956798/

https://www.history.com/news/sketches-reveal-nazi-chocolate-bombs

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/found-original-drawings-of-a-nazi-chocolate-bomb-and-other-boobytrapped-devices

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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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Putting evil into words

They say a picture tells a thousand words. But it never tells the full story. The picture above has a clear description of how evil men can be, below are some testimonies and eye witness accounts of liberators and survivors of the Holocaust.

Gina Rappaport was liberated by the US Army in April 1945, after spending two years in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. After her liberation, she wrote down her story. This is an excerpt of what she wrote.


“After two years the SS told us to pack our things and go to the station, and they put us on a train which travelled for an unknown destination. We were seven days in the train travelling very slowly, when we were liberated by the American army on the 13th of April. It was the luckiest day of my life.
At that moment I was bathing in the river when I saw the first American soldier from afar. What a joy. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was sure it was a dream, but still it was true.
A few minutes before the American soldiers arrived we were told that we should have to go on foot over the Elbe River. But the American army saved us from a sure death, which we will never forget.
I was also sad this day because I remembered how many people of value had died and couldn’t see the liberation and the fall of the barbarian, Hitler. I shall never forget what I owe to the American army.
I hope that I will be able to estimate the right value, what the Americans have done for us. Now, after five years of suffering I shall know how to appreciate the more my liberty.”

In spring 1945, Benjamin Ferencz began investigating crimes committed by the Nazis. In the area outside the Flossenbürg concentration camp, he followed a trail of mass graves. This is his recollection.


“As the camps were about to be liberated, the Germans tried to move the inmates out, those who were still able to walk or to work. They left those behind to be killed or to die, who were too sick. But they marched them out. And they were marching—I think it was from Flossenbürg to Dachau, or one of the camps. And they took them through the woods and they marched at night, and if anybody faltered on the way, they were immediately shot. If anybody paused to try to pick up a potato or to eat a root or something, they were shot.
And I was able to follow this trail through the woods of mass graves—10, 20, 30, 50 killed, you know.
And I would get the nearest farmer to, say, dig them up. They would say, “Oh yes, we heard firing last night, there was shooting going on.” “Where was it?” ‘Over there in the woods.’ And I would say, ‘Let’s
go.’ And we’d go out to the woods and there would be a newly dug-up place, and I would say, ‘Get some shovels.’ And then stop some Germans on the street, ‘Take this shovel, dig them up.’ And we’d dig up the
bodies of people who’d been obviously shot through the head, usually top of the skull was blown off, shot probably kneeling from the back. Some of them were tied still, you know, just lightly covered over with six
inches of dirt, something like that. But I could follow the trail of crime being committed all along the way”

Marie Knowles Ellifritz was 22 when she tended to the survivors of the Mauthausen concentration camp. Her commanding officer gave the nurses the option not to enter the camp because he couldn’t bring himself
to subject them to the horrors he had seen. This is her recollection.


“The emotional trauma caused by our medical participation in the liberation of the European concentration camps was beyond belief. As Americans and as women we never before had been subjected to such inhumanity to man. And my initial feeling was of a tremendous job to do.
To take in 1,500 patients into a 400-bed hospital had to be madness. That fact became our madness. And it proved to become a tremendous overwhelming job. Clinically, it was a matter of sorting the dead from the
living, deciding who would live for at least three days or more, and to make all those we found comfortable and to begin the process of treatment. A tent to keep the patient dry, an air mattress to give them a place
to lie down, a blanket to help them keep warm, pajamas to give them some dignity, a small amount of foodto nourish them, and plasma to preserve the remaining life and begin them on a road back to living.
Everyone had work to do. The patients themselves helped as much as they could. We deloused them. We moved them out of the larger camp into our tent city and we let the fresh air, the sunshine, the space, and
most of all their freedom do its work.
It seemed to take one to three days for us to convince some of them that they were truly free at last.

And when that reality came they simply closed their eyes and died in peace and freedom. Some of the patients seemed to know immediately that they were free once again and so they were able to rejoice and begin to make plans for the future. Life force for these patients had begun when the camp’s gates were opened by their liberators.”

Mr. PATRICK GORDON WALKER (BBC): I reached Weimar’s concentration camp a few days after its liberation by British soldiers. I met these soldiers. They were filled with righteous anger. Unlike British soldiers as a rule, they wanted to talk, to tell the world what they had seen. I made recordings of these men, all of them of the outfit …(unintelligible) just outside the camp itself.

Mr. TYLER McKENNEY PAYNE (British Soldier): I’m Tyler McKenney Payne(ph) of the …(unintelligible). I live at Mansfield Woodhouse(ph). I want to tell you a tale, just one tale, as there are many other horrible sights in the past days that I saw. I myself was guarding the milk store, and around this milk store was a screaming crowd of women with babies. I kept picking a few babies out and feeding them.

And one woman who was–I think she was mad, kept kissing my feet and clothing, so I took the baby from her. When I looked at the baby, his face was black and he had been dead for a few days. I couldn’t come to say it was dead so I burst the milk can opened and poured milk down through its dead lips. The woman crooned and giggled with delight. I gave her the baby back and she staggered off and lay in the sun. And when I next looked, she was dead with the baby in her arms. So I put her in the stack of the dead bodies, 2 or 300 dead, and then I turned away. I was allowed to say that I’m a British soldier and it’s not propaganda; it’s the truth.

Mr. MURROW: As we walked out into the courtyard, a man fell dead. Two others–they must have been over 60–were crawling towards the latrine. I saw it, but will not describe it.

In another part of the camp, they showed me the children, hundreds of them. Some were only six. One rolled up his sleeve, showed me his number. It was tattooed on his arm; D6030 it was. The others showed me their numbers. They will carry them till they die. An elderly man standing beside me said, The children, enemies of the state.' I could see their ribs through their thin shirts. The old man said,I am Professor Charles Risha(ph) of the Sorbonne.’ The children clung to my hands and stared. We crossed to the courtyard. Men kept coming up to speak to me and to touch me. Professors from Poland, doctors from Vienna, men from all Europe, men from the countries that made America.

Lucjan Salzman, a Polish Jewish prisoner, was 17 when, in April 1945, he was liberated from the Wöbbelin concentration camp in Germany by the 82nd Airborne Division. This is his recollection.


“I ran in that direction and as I came onto that place I noticed many prisoners yelling and screaming and jumping and dancing. And there standing amongst them were seven giants, young people. They must have
been 18 or 19—American soldiers. There were seven or eight of them standing inside the camp. Apparently they cut the wire and came into the camp.
They were bewildered by us. Wild and unkempt and dirty and, I’m sure, smelly people, jumping and dancing and trying to embrace them and kiss them. And I did too. I also joined the crowd and yelled and screamed
and somehow knew that the day of liberation has come.
It was a strange feeling for me, however, because as I remember it, on the one hand, I was, I was overwhelmed by this unexpected and unhoped for encounter of freedom, but at the same time, what was happening was outside of me. I really—I didn’t know what to make of it. I knew I was free, but
I didn’t count on it. I somehow didn’t know what it meant. And I knew it was great, but I, I was overjoyed because all people around me were overjoyed and were singing and dancing and, and—but I, I was 17.
I, I was free, but what it meant I wasn’t sure.”

sources.

https://www.npr.org/2005/05/04/4630493/eyewitness-reports-of-nazi-concentration-camps?t=1651948620658

https://www.eisenhowerlibrary.gov/research/photographs/world-war-ii-holocaust-images

Remembering Elisabeth Huisman-Lees

The 4th of May is the date when all deaths from World War 2( and the last few years also from other conflicts) are remembered. At 8pm a 2 minutes silence is observed nationwide.

There were 7,900 military death, 198,000 civilian deaths, of which 20,000 died between late September 1944 and early May 1945 due to famine. But I will be remembering one victim of the estimated 104,000, Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.

Elisabeth Huisman-Lees was born on August 17,1908 in The Hague, Netherlands. She died on May 4,1945 ,one day before the Netherlands was officially liberated, in Tröbitz, Germany.

Like most of the Dutch Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust, Elisabeth was Jewish but above anything else she was Dutch. She even played ‘Korfbal’ which is a typical Dutch sport.It has similarities to netball and basketball, and is played by two teams of eight players with four female players and four male players in each team. The objective is to throw a ball into a netless basket that is mounted on a 3.5 m (11.5 feet) high pole.

Elisabeth is on the right in the middle row

On February 1,1944 Elisabeth was sent from Westerbork to Bergen Belsen. From there she was put on the so called ‘Lost Train: Bergen-Belsen to Tröbitz’.

On April 10, 1945 a transport carrying Jews left Bergen-Belsen with an intended destination of Theresienstadt. However, due to bombings, the train ended up in the German town called Tröbitz.

In early April 1945, prisoners from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp were transferred to Theresienstadt concentration camp.

One of the three trains used for this was liberated by the Russian army near the village of Tröbitz. Many passengers did not survive this train journey. A large number of those who survived the train journey have died as a result of the outbreak of the typhus epidemic. The deceased were buried in a common grave behind the management barracks of the “Hansa” quarry.

211 died on that transport in Tröbitz. The really sad thing is that they all died just before or after the end of the war. Some died in June 1945. The youngest was Raphael Dasberg. He was only 8 years old, he died on April 22,1945.

If I would have to be silent for 2 minutes for each individual Dutch world war 2 victim, I would have to be silent for just over 300 days.

If I would have to remain silent for 2 minutes for each individual Jewish Holocaust victim, I would have to stay silent for 8,3344 days or 22.8 years. 10 years longer then the duration of the Holocaust.

Just think of that for a second.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/149380/elisabeth-huisman-lees

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/135297/raphael-dasberg

https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60772/

http://www.musiques-regenerees.fr/GhettosCamps/Camps/TheLostTrain_Bergen-BelsenToTroebitz.html

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/tijdlijn/Elisabeth-Huisman-Lees/01/31022

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