Karl(Karel) Zaicsek-Defiant immigrant miner.

karel

As many of you will know by now I was born and raised in a small mining town in the south east of the Netherlands, the town is called Geleen. But like many other towns in the world Geleen is divided in several neighborhoods, the neighborhood I grew up in, is called Lindenheuvel.

DSC_0697

In the 1926 the Dutch government opened a state run coal mine called Maurits adjacent to Lindenheuvel. This created employment for not only the Dutch but also other nationalities, Geleen became an attractive option for immigrants.

Karl Zaicsek,s  parents were some of those immigrants.They moved from Hungary to Lindenheuvel in Geleen. It is not known when exactly Karl and his parents to Geleen, all we know is that Karl’s father died on the 9th of February 1939, Karl was only 17 at the time. So I presume it was up to him then to provide for his family. He got a job in the mine.

On May 10th 1940, German troops invaded the Netherlands, and a few days later after the bombing of Rotterdam, the Dutch army capitulated . The Dutch government had already gone in exile in London.

Karl  continued working  in the mine during the war but he also became a member of the council of resistance, he had the code name Koenen.

His acts of defiance against the German oppressors consisted of distributing illegal literature,ammunition and delivery of food to those who were in hiding.

On September 12th ,1944  Karl and his mate Jan Barning were caught by German soldiers outside the entrance of the SBB-Stikstofbindingsbedrijf(Nitrogen Fixation factory).

SBB

They had just come back with supplies,it is thought that Karl  had a basket of butter on his bicycle.

The pair however did not want to be escorted to the German HQ and decided to make a run for it.Jan Barning threw his bike at the German soldier who escorted them  and then he and Karl made a run for it. Jan was nearly shot in the head but managed to run into a nearby hostel for mine workers.

Unfortunately Karl Zaicsek was not as lucky  and was caught again  between Sittard and Hoensbroek and was executed on the 12th of September 1944 but other sources say the 16th of September. The sad thing about this Geleen was liberated only a few days later on September 18th.

His family only received confirmation of his death in 1951. On the 20th of July 1951 they held a funeral service for them.

In Lindenheubel a street was named after Karl.

sraat

I only found out about Karl a few years ago. I easily could have discovered his story a long time ago if I had only looked at the names on the monument in the center of Lindenheuvel, his name is one of the names of the soldiers and resistance fighters mentioned on the monument. A place I passed by and visited hundreds of times.

lheuvel

Even if I had been a bit more inquisitive about the street name I so often walked on I would have known the story of Karl. Only after I became an immigrant myself I discovered his heroic actions and that of so many other from Geleen.

 

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https://www.wo2slachtoffers.nl/bio/56599/Zaicsek-Karl-Karel.htm

 

 

 

 

Table of Death

Sigfied

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

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

cold water

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

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

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

data

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

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

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Sources

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

 

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

 

 

Not all heroes wear uniforms.

sam

When you look at the above picture you may think there is nothing extraordinary about it. However when you delve only slightly into the history of the picture you quickly how realize how amazing the picture really is.

The picture is of a Jewish male choir of the Great Synagogue in Amsterdam, it was taken in March 1942 and although the deportations of Dutch Jews had not started yet at the that time,  the life of Dutch Jews had been nearly made impossible at that stage.

Yet these men kept going and tried to lift the spirits with their singing. Heroically they maintained their cultural legacy despite the looming threat of being killed.

It particularly touched me because one of my hobbies is singing, in fact I used to be a conductor of a mixed choir, and when I saw the style of the conductor of this choir it reminds me of my own style.

The conductor’s name is Samuel Henri Englander he was appointed as the conductor when he was aged 20.Under his leadership the choir became well known, it soon got the nick name ‘Englander’s choir’. They performed at shul services but also weddings and even  in concerts where they  primarily  would sing religious music from Eastern Europe and Yiddish folk songs. Some of the concerts WERE  even be broadcast by the BBC.

bbc

I don’t know what happened to the choir, I can only presume they did not survive. Samuel Henri Englander was murdered in Sobibor on 11 June 1943.

So much talent has been destroyed by the Nazis, depriving not only the world but also themselves of so much good.

Koor

 

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Source

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/137039600/samuel-henri-englander

NIOD

A.B.C- The Boys from Argentina

ABC

“Mengele and Eichman tour
I was here last year due to my father’s Nazi hunt in the 50s, lovely small Restaurant, even met a man in his 90s who knew many Nazis. Even had dinner in the corner with him where Mengele and Eichman once sat. You wont find anything from the past inside like old tables or chairs,but the idea what folks were talking about back then was intriguing”

The above text is from a restaurant review posted on Tripadvisor in September 2018. The restaurant is the A.B.C restaurant in Lavalle 545, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

abc rest

I was always surprised where there were never any sanctions against Argentina, and other South American countries, but Argentina appears to have harboured and still does provide a safe haven for escaped Nazi war criminals.

The A.B.C restaurant is a prime example where Nazis dined and wined in plain sight. In 1950 Adolf Eichmann escaped with help from the Red Cross to Argentina m in 1952 his family followed him. Eichmann changed his name to Ricardo Klement.

ricardo

Joseph Mengele also moved to Argentina after he had been hiding ,more or less in plain sight, in Germany, In 1949 he fled to Argentina via Genoa in Italy, using the alias Helmut Gregor, also assisted by the Red Cross via a passport and Visa he obtained from them. Now I don’t want to be too critical of the Red Cross because the whole civil administration was a chaos in the ;ate 40s in Germany.

Mengele though soon started using his own name again, be it a with a slight Spanish angle to it as Jose Mengele.

Somewhere in 1953 both men met in the German style A.B.C restaurant where they held a party for another Nazi, the propagandist Johann von Leers, who worked for Goebbels and also wrote propaganda for Juan Perón. von Leers was moving to Egypt , so Mengele and Eichmann threw him some sort of goodbye party.

There were so many Nazis who received refuge in Argentina, there is a small town called Bariloche, which made international headlines in 1995  when it became known as a haven for Nazi war criminals, such as the former SS Hauptsturmführer Erich Priebke and SS officer Reinhard Kopps, known in Argentina as Juan Maler. Priebke had been the director of the German School of Bariloche for many years.

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

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Sources

BBC

https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/the-long-road-to-eichmann-s-arrest-a-nazi-war-criminal-s-life-in-argentina-a-754486.html

 

 

 

 

My letter to Anne Frank

anne

Dear Anne,

You don’t know me, but I know you.In fact nearly everyone knows you, and yet no one really knows you.

We know you  through your personal stories you wrote in your diary. We see each word, each letter and each paragraph, but we don’t see your hopes, your fears or your anxiety. You write about them , however we cannot really imagine how it must have been. I know I can’t.

Although because of a virus which has engulfed the world now, we are all told to stay at home as much as possible, we get a bit of an inkling how it must have been for  you and your family, but not really. All we have to do is to stay at home and enjoy ourselves. We can write like you did, but we don’t have to stay silent, we don’t have to be afraid to be dragged out of our house.We can do whatever we want to do.

In your time there was also a virus,it was fueled with and by hate, a sickening ideology.

I have a daughter who is about the same age as you, she even looks a bit like you. I really don’t know what I would do if something would happen to her, I am sure I would be devastated, sad and angry and more then likely would want some sort of revenge, but those are just speculation for I try not to think of an event like that.

I once passed by your house or rather the place you hid in, I could not get in because there was a queue of several hundred meters of people who had booked a ticket to see the annex. A thought then came to me, what if there had been a similar queue on the morning of 4 August 1944, the day you and your family were arrested, and what if all the people in that queue would have protested against the arrest, would have made a difference?

You’ll be happy to know your book has become one of the biggest selling books ever, only in recent time it has been surpassed by the books about another teenager, a boy called Harry Potter, but his story is fictional whereas yours is a brutal reality. I am sure though you would have loved his stories.

Even now there are people who dispute the genuinity of your writing. They say your father tempered with it. I am not angry with those people, I pity them, their indifference blinds them to the power of your words, the lessons to be learned from them.

What saddens me the most is not so much that you died a horrible death but the fact it is not even known when you died, it says about the date February or March 1945.

Dear Anne, I am not going to say you are a hero because you weren’t really. You were a young teenage girl whose diary should never have published, but whose life should have been lived to the fullest. Nothing excuses your death, it should not have happened.

Maybe one day when I leave my earthly coil behind we may meet ,but for now know this your memory lives on. Evil was not able to silence you.

 

Yours truly

Dirk de Klein, a father of a teenage girl.

A smiley face on a passport application form.

passport

A smiley face on a passport application form.

A smiley face of a girl who had high hopes of travelling and get many stamps in her passport.

A smiley face of a girl who maybe one day would become a famous child actor, like Shirley Temple because she looks just like her. The same Shirley Temple who would become an ambassador of the US in the country where this passport application was issued.

A smiley face of a girl who perhaps one day would become the scientist who who find a vaccine for many diseases.

A smiley face of a girl who just wanted to be that, a girl. But she was not allowed to be a girl.

A smiley face of a girl who became a statistic, but she is not a statistic. She was murdered for the crime of being a human being.

She was born 29. 10. 1930 and was put on Transport B, no. 411 on 21. 10. 1941, Prague to Łódź, where she was murdered.

Her name is Eva Abelesova.a girl with a smiley face.

Source

https://www.holocaust.cz/de/opferdatenbank/opfer/141943-eva-abelesova/

 

 

 

 

One of the shabbiest acts in musical history.

Capture

The term the Nazis used for how to handle  the Jews was “Ausradieren” or ‘Erase’, this did not only mean to kill every Jew but also ensure that no other Jew would be born again.

But the notion of erasing the Jewish people also meant to erase anything Jewish. Things like Jewish scientific research, literature,art  and music had to be destroyed or replaced.

When it came to music there were composers who we were willing participants in achieving at least the musical part of that aim.

Carl Orff, composer of works like ‘Carmina Burana’ (best known for the piece O Fortuna),

 

was  among  the few German composers during the Nazi era  who had been hired to write ‘appropriately’ Aryan music to replace the  new incidental music and replace  for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, which had been composed by the vilified  Jewish composer Felix Mendelssohn.

In 1995, the music critic Alex Ross called Orff’s version of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ ’ one of the shabbiest acts in musical history.” and I tend to agree with that.

Thankfully the Nazis did not succeed in destroying all Jewish cultural heritage, the world would have been a much more boring place without it.

Carl Orff was on a de-nazification program. He always denied that he had been a supporter of the Nazi regime and that he even had helped to set up “the White Rose” .resistance group, but there was never any evidence found to back up that claim.

Carl Orff died on March 29,1982.

white rose

Ending this blog with a piece of  Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this piece is more commonly known as the Wedding March.

 

 

 

Donation

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

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Sources

Music History Monday: To Dance with the Devil

Midsummer Music Even the Nazis Couldn’t Stamp Out

BBC

 

Toilet Paper

tp

When I first started doing my blogs I never though I would be writing about toilet paper one day, but due this upsurge in the fascination with toilet paper , caused by the Covid 19 crisis, I felt compelled to have a quick look at the history of toilet paper.

Below are just some key events in relation to the evolution of the paper that has become such a popular item recently.

Prior to the use of paper these implements were used to clean one’s behind.

wc

The use of toilet paper in human history dates back to the 6th century AD, in early medieval China. In 589 AD the scholar-official Yan Zhitui (531–591) wrote about the use of toilet paper:

“Paper on which there are quotations or commentaries from the Five Classics or the names of sages, I dare not use for toilet purposes”

During the later Tang dynasty (618–907 AD), an Arab traveller to China in the year 851 AD remarked:

.”the Chinese] do not wash themselves with water when they have done their necessities; but they only wipe themselves with paper”

The rise of publishing by the eighteenth century led to the use of newspapers and cheap editions of popular books for cleansing. Lord Chesterfield, in a letter to his son in 1747, told of a man who purchased

“a common edition of Horace, of which he tore off gradually a couple of pages, carried them with him to that necessary place, read them first, and then sent them down as a sacrifice to Cloacina; thus was so much time fairly gained”

Other times political manifestos were used to wipe one’s bum as a matter of protest.

wc p

Joseph Gayetty is widely credited with being the inventor of modern commercially available toilet paper in the United States. Gayetty’s paper, first introduced in 1857, was available as late as the 1920s. Gayetty’s Medicated Paper was sold in packages of flat sheets, watermarked with the inventor’s name. Original advertisements for the product used the tagline “The greatest necessity of the age! Gayetty’s medicated paper for the water-closet.”

Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York, obtained the earliest United States patents for toilet paper and dispensers, the types of which eventually were in common use in that country, in 1883.Toilet paper dispensed from rolls was popularized when the Scott Paper Company began marketing it in 1890.

The rolled toilet paper that we use today, which is perforated, was created in the 1880’s. Toilet paper varies immensely; size, roughness, weight, resistance, residues, water-absorption, etc.

The bigger companies invest time and money in surveys to figure out which requirements sell best. This can lead to the adding of aloe in the paper, for a softer feeling paper.

1

The manufacturing of this product had a long period of refinement, considering that as late as the 1930s, a selling point of the Northern Tissue company was that their toilet paper was “splinter free” Imagine that up until 1935 cleaning your butt was a dangerous business.

qn

 

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

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Sources

Vintage News

Wikipedia

 

Women in Auschwitz

women

On March 26, 1942, close to 1000  women were taken from the Ravensbrück concentration camp to Auschwitz, mots of them were deemed “criminals” and “a-socials”.Only a few hours later,  yet another transport arrived. Again, it was made up of almost 1000 Jewish women from Slovakia. It would be first transport of women to  Auschwitz.

Rather then going into the details of this event I will focus on 4 eye witness accounts of women who survived the Holocaust.

Laura Varon on the experience when she first arrived in Auschwitz

“They opened the doors, the squeaking doors… and a little bit of air came… When we arrived in Auschwitz, we were already numb: the bones, the legs were not moving anymore. Two men in striped uniforms, because they heard us speaking Ladino, they told us in Ladino, ‘We are Greeks from Saloniki. Give the children to the old people,’ they told us. Again, we didn’t [understand] what this meant. How can you understand, ‘Give the children to the old people?’ And then they were afraid to talk to us and that’s all, ‘Give the children to the old people.'”

Feige Serl-Lax  on her arrival in Auschwitz

“…And then we were in Auschwitz and then they opened the door, the Polish Jewish boys come… They were there… a long time. And he sees my sister, [she] was a beauty. He said, ‘You have children?’ She said, ‘Yes. Two children.’ And in that manner he said, ‘Let the children go left and you two go right.’ I take out the child and my sister takes out [the other child] and we don’t let him. We come in the line to Mengele. That Polish man that I didn’t want to release the child to, then he comes and takes the child from me and pushes me to the right… and he wants to take from my sister, also the little boy… Mengele was angry and told my sister to go left. I never saw]her again. That was the last time.”

Yehudit Rubinstein on her experiences

“…They sent us… to the bathhouse. So there the first order we got: Everything off. We just couldn’t believe what we heard: to take off everything, take off clothes, everything, pins from your hair, everything out. We were uncomfortable, the first time in my life I was in public, undressing in front of men, coming in and out, then we understood that nothing will help us, so we had to undress, and they called ‘Who is a hairdresser?’ …So one woman whom I knew as a young girl from my town, she was a hairdresser, so step by step with the scissors and with their machine started to cut the hair, other parts, everywhere, private parts, before we turned around under the shower, opened the water before we had a chance to wet ourselves: ‘Raus’ , they gave us this gray uniform, and just our shoes – the lot of us were holding on to their shoes, put on their shoes, bare naked and nothing on them and out in the garden, out in front of the bathhouse.

shaven

Lea Kahana-Grunwald recalled her memories if a pregnant woman.

“A girl came in. She came in with her mother. She was pregnant and he overlooked it, Mengele. He didn’t notice. It was a young girl, a young person. The first child. She wasn’t so big. She had the child on the bunk, without any help. The mother was with her and I suppose the staff helped her through it… I don’t know what they did with the child, whether they burned it or what. She gave birth and she had to stand next morning at roll call. She survived. The child was killed. How they killed it I don’t know the details, but I knew the girl. She was from my town and she got married a few months earlier. That was her first pregnancy, her first child.”

Donation

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Source

Yad Vashem

 

The experiments of Horst Schumann.

Horst

I have to warn you up front, this is not an easy read. I will try to stick to the facts and keep my emotions out of it, regardless on how difficult that will be. And I will keep it only to the experiments and the post war situation for Horst Schumann.

Horst Schumann  was an SS-Sturmbannführer and medical doctor who conducted sterilization and castration experiments at Auschwitz he was especially interested in the mass sterilization of Jews by using  X-ray radiation.

He worked at Block 30 at the women’s hospital, here set up an x-ray unit in 1942.                 (the picture below is from an x ray machine in Auschwitz but I don’t know if this one was used by Schumann)

x ray

Dr. Schumann did not have any particular qualifications for medical research. His duties prior to his research into sterilization involved the direction of killing centers and selection of victims.  By 1942, the doctor and his assistants were at work on X-ray sterilization experiments at Block 30 in Birkenau.  In these experiments, men and women had their reproductive areas exposed to a five to eight minute dose of X-rays. Depending on the intensity of the dose, this resulted in external burns or worse. Following exposure, some of the women and men underwent operations to remove reproductive organs for evaluation. Ovaries and testicles were removed and examined. The men also were subject to other brutalizing medical procedures involving semen extraction.  Many of the victims died from complications following the surgeries. The survivors were not as likely as others to survive assignment to work details in their weakened condition. Roughly one thousand male and female prisoners were subjected to X-ray sterilization with about two hundred of them undergoing follow-up extractive surgery.

(. Lifton, The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide (Basic Books, 2000), pp. 25, 247, 274-282.)

book

Both men and women were forcibly sterilized . They were positioned repeatedly for a number of minutes between two x-ray machines, the rays were aimed  aiming at their sexual organs. Most victims succumbed  to the treatment and died after great suffering, Either that or they were gassed because the injuries they sustained made them unfit to work .Men’s testicles were removed and sent to Breslau for histopathological examination. Schumann chose his test persons himself. They were always young, healthy, good-looking Jewish men, women and girls but who would often look like old people afterwards. Often the intestines were also affected. Another element   of Schumann’s experiments was to check whether the radiation had worked, For this they used the so-called semen check. The method was by inserting  a stick covered with a rubber hose was into the rectum of the victim and the glands stimulated until ejaculation occurred so that the ejaculate could be tested for sperm. These samples were also sent to the University of Breslau  for examination.

Schumann selected several women from Block 10 at the main camp of Auschwitz.  To control the radiation on women, prisoner doctors ,Dr. Maximilian Samuel and Dr. Wladislaw Dering had to remove an ovary from a healthy woman.

Another experiment Schumann conducted was typhus experiment. He did this  by injecting people with blood from typhus patients and would then attempt to cure the newly infected subjects.

After the war he was  a sports doctor for the city of Gladbeck. But when he was identified in 1951 the East German government issued a warrant for his arrest. He managed to evade capture and worked for 3 years as a ships doctor. He had no German passport but in 1954 he applied for a passport in Japan, which was issued to him under his own name. He then fled to Egypt but shortly after he settled in Khartoum in the Sudan as head of a hospital. In 1962 he was forced to flee Sudan after he was recognized by an Auschwitz survivor. He went to Ghana where he received protection from the President

In 1966 he was extradited to West Germany where he stood trial in Frankfurt on September 23,1970. However due to bad health he only served about 18 months in Jail.

He eventually died on 5 May 1983.age 77. A lot older then most of the victims he killed.

Donation

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Sources

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph241/payzer2/

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/horst-schumann

http://auschwitz.org/en/history/medical-experiments/horst-schumann