Toddler and other young ‘enemies’ of the state

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I have posted similar blogs like this before and I won’t apologize for that because it is important to understand how warped the Nazi ideology was.

They killed babies and children not by accident but deliberately, Children who often could not even walk yet were seen as enemies of the state.

The above picture is of Betty Jas , she was only 2 years old when she was murdered at Auschwitz-Birenkau on October 12, 1942.

Eva Kovach

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Eva was only 4 when she was  murdered at Auschwitz-Birenkau in 1944.

Isaac Costa de Foncea

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9 year old Isaac Costa de Foncea was  murdered in Auschwitz on September 17, 1942 with his three younger sisters Betsy (6) Ina (4) Elisabeth (20 months)

Annie Dirnfeld

Annie Dirnfeld

Annie Dirnfeld age 2 was sadly deported to Auschwitz then murdered on July 5, 1944.

Alfred Schenkel

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Alfred Schenkel gassed in Auschwitz on Apr. 15, 1944. Alfred perished 3 months before his 7th birthday.

What is most disturbing is many of those who send these kids to be gassed had children themselves, and yet to did not perceive their acts to be evil.

 

 

 

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Kamp Amersfoort-Concentration camp in the Netherlands.

amersfoort (51)Between 1941 and 1945 approximately 37,000 prisoners, mainly political prisoners, were incarcerated for varying lengths of time in this camp, which served as both a transit and prison camp under the direct command of the SS.

The fluctuating prisoner population showed an eclectic group of people from all over the Netherlands: Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, prisoners of war from the Soviet Union, members of the resistance, clergy, black marketeers, clandestine butchers and smugglers.

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It was a simple black & white signboard alongside the road with a few abbreviated German words. Nothing more. But for the thousands of prisoners who saw this board on their way to Polizeiliches Durchgangslager (Police Transit Camp) Amersfoort, it was their first glimpse of an unknown future.

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They had to walk from the main train station in Amersfoort to the outskirts of the city, where a complex of barracks called Camp Amersfoort was located from 1941 to 1945. The camp was small at first. The guards were cruel and uncertainty ruled. During the course of the war, the number of prisoners increased and in the spring of 1943 the camp was expanded. Many more prisoners could be housed after this, but neglect, hunger, abuse and murder remained the order of the day. On 19 April 1945, the camp was transferred to the Red Cross. More than 35,000 prisoners were interned in Camp Amersfoort for a brief or extended period of time.

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After the re-opening in 1943, 70 Jews from Kamp Vught and 600 Jews from Kamp Westerbork of British, American and Hungarian nationality were briefly sent to Kamp Amersfoort. They were joined by contract breakers of the German Arbeitseinsatz (forced labour program), deserted Waffen SS soldiers, deserted German truck drivers of the Nationalsozialistische Kraftfahr-Korps, and lawbreaking members of the NSB (the Dutch National Socialist Movement).

This medley of prisoners was not the only feature that determined the character of Kamp Amersfoort. The extreme cruelty of the camp command made life miserable for thousands of prisoners. Despite their relatively short stay, many prisoners died from deprivations and violence at a camp where rumour has it that one could hear the screams of people being beaten up there for miles over the heath. It is more than a rumour. Jewish prisoners in particular were treated horribly, not only from guards, but fellow prisoners.

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Edith and Rosa Stein, two Hebrew Catholics arrested by the SS, described what it was like arriving at Amersfoort at 3:00 in the morning on August 3, 1942:

Rosa & Edith (Sr. Teresia Benedicta) Stein #2

When the vans reached the camp, they emptied their passengers who were taken over by the S.S. guards. These began to drive them, cursing and swearing, beating them on their backs with their truncheons, into a hut where they were to pass the night without having had a meal.

The hut was divided into two sections, one for men, one for women. It was separated from the main lager by a barbed-wire fence. Altogether, the lager held at that moment, about three hundred men, women and children.

The beds were iron frames arranged in a double tier, without mattresses of any kind. Our prisoners threw themselves on the bare springs trying to snatch a few minutes sleep; but few slept that night, if only because the guards kept switching the lights off and on, from time to time, as a precaution against attempts to escape, which was next to impossible in any case. Their cold harsh voices filled the prisoners with anxiety about the future and, in these circumstances, it is anxiety which can turn a prison into a hell on earth.

Both sisters died 6 days later in Auschwitz

Violence from the guards was not the only thing that prisoners had to worry about. Weakened physical conditions from overwork, very little food and poor hygiene in camp made illness and disease another frightening and lonely way to die. Yehudit Harris, a young boy in Amersfoort remembers screaming from the pain as his mother washed him with snow in the winter to rid them of lice and to protect against illness. Even the mattresses that prisoners slept on were often infested with lice, diphtheria, dysentery or T.B.

Amersfoort was a brutal place to be a prisoner and is summed up by Elie Cohen, who said that “transfer from Amersfoort to Westerbork was like going from hell to heaven”

The first camp leader was SS-Schutzhaftlagerführer I Johann Friedrich Stöver . From January 1, 1943, the camp leader was SS-Schutzhaftlagerführer II Karl Peter Berg . Berg was a very cruel man, who was described as a “predator who derived great pleasure from the agony of others”. During roll call he loved to sneak about unnoticed behind the rows of men and catch someone in some violation, such as talking or not following orders properly. With a big grin, he would torment his victim.

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n 1948 the camp commandant and guards of Amersfoort were tried and convicted for their crimes. Karl Peter Berg was sentenced to death and was executed in 1949.

After the war people wanted to forget the horrors of the camp as quickly as possible and the camp was completely dismantled. Despite the fact that everything was torn down to the foundations the anguish remained tangible.

In 2004 a beautiful, modest memorial was completed, symbolizing the resurrection of the memories from the ground (from oblivion).

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It’s personal-A poem.

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They say I am their enemy but yet I don’t know them and have never seen them before.

Why are they taking my glasses and my shoes, they are not weapons.

Why are they making this so personal, what is it that I have done?

I really would like to know.

Keys

They say I no longer own my house and have to give my keys to them.

Even my wedding ring is no longer mine.

They already took my wife when we got off the train

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They say I am not a human being, but yet I have the same flesh and blood as them

All that I own has been taken now

 

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They say it’s not personal

But they took my wife, my children, my everything. How can it not be personal?

I see my wife and children one more time,

A guard tells me they are going to the showers,to be disinfected. I don’t believe him.

I don’t care what they say anymore.

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The Nazi Plan-Film and evidence

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The lead U.S. prosecutor, and the driving force behind the organization of the Trial, was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson.  During preparation for the trial, Jackson made the bold and historic decision to use film and photo evidence to convict the Nazis. But these films had to be found..

Jackson knew that it was important to use Nazi shot footage as no one could claim that the footage had been prejudiced against the Nazis by what was shown since it was shot by the Nazis themselves.

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A special OSS film team — OSS Field Photographic Branch/War Crimes — was formed for this purpose. Brothers Budd and Stuart Schulberg, sons of the former Paramount studio chief B.P. Schulberg, were assigned to this special OSS search team that was dispatched to Europe. Budd was a Navy Lieutenant, and his younger brother Stuart, a Marine Corps Sergeant.

Stuart Schulberg and another office from the film unit, Daniel Fuchs (later a well-known author), were sent first, in June 1945.  Budd Schulberg, along with OSS film editors Robert Parrish and Joseph Zigman, followed in September 1945.

The search for incriminating film was conducted under enormous time pressure, and they encountered sabotage along the way.  They found two caches of film still burning, as though their guardians had been tipped off, and began to suspect leaks from their German informants, two SS film editors.

Just in time for the start of the trial, they found significant evidence, which, in close collaboration with Jackson’s staff of lawyers, they edited into a 4-hour film for the courtroom called The Nazi Plan.

In the course of this work, Budd Schulberg apprehended Leni Riefenstahl at her country home in Kitzbühl, Austria, as a material witness, and took her to the Nuremberg editing room, so she could help Budd identify Nazi figures in her films and in other German film material his unit had captured.

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Stuart Schulberg took possession of the photo archive of Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler’s personal photographer, and became the film unit’s expert on still photo evidence. Most of the stills presented at the trial carry his affidavit of authenticity.

George Stevens was brought in to put it all together, with the help of Schulberg and principal editor Robert Parrish. The footage was extensive and the version finally edited together for Nuremberg was almost two hours longer than the version released to the public later. The complete documentary, with narration written by Schulberg, was presented as evidence on December 13, 1945, and helped in the effort to convict Nazi war criminals.

The Nazi Plan isn’t an easy watch, as it deals with the unblinking truth about the Nazis, but it’s an important one nonetheless. Few directors and writers in Hollywood, much less any film industry, can claim they played a vital role in the conviction of Nazi war criminals from World War II. Writer Budd Schulberg and director George Stevens could but, to their credit, never made much of a big deal about it. They did their part and weren’t looking for any reward or any long lasting fame as war heroes. But they were, and their work helped bring some of the worst figures in world history to justice.

Declaration of war

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Alfried Krupp- Paying for his crimes, but very little.

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This is something that always amazed me, the leniency given to the German captains of industry. Even when the initial sentences were high(but not high enough) they were often pardoned by representatives of the allied Governments.

After the war, the Allied Military Government investigated Krupp’s employment of slave laborers. John_J._McCloy_-_Project_Gutenberg_etext_20587He was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and the forfeiture of all property. However, after three years, John J. McCloy, the American High Commissioner for Germany arranged for Krupp to be pardoned and the forfeiture of his property was reversed.

The Krupp Trial (or officially, The United States of America vs. Alfried Krupp, et al.) was the tenth of twelve trials for war crimes that U.S. authorities held in their occupation zone at Nuremberg, Germany after the end of World War II.

These twelve trials were all held before U.S. military courts, not before the International Military Tribunal, but took place in the same rooms at the Palace of Justice.

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Alfried Krupp, the son of Gustav Krupp, was born in Essen, Germany, on 13th August, 1907. After studying engineering in Munich and Berlin he joined his father’s company, Friedrich Krupp AG, that by the First World War was Germany’s largest armaments company.

Krupp and his father were initially hostile to the Nazi Party. However, in 1930 they were persuaded by Hjalmar Schacht that Adolf Hitler would destroy the trade unions and the political left in Germany. Schacht also pointed out that a Hitler government would considerably increase expenditure on armaments. In 1933 Krupp joined the Schutzstaffel (SS).

As a result of the terms of the Versailles Treaty the Krupp family had been forced to become producers of agricultural machinery after the First World War. However, in 1933, Krupp factories began producing tanks in what was officially part of the ‘Agricultural Tractor Scheme’.

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They also built submarines in the Netherlands and new weapons were developed and tested in Sweden.

During World War II, the company’s profits increased and it gained control of factories in German-occupied Europe. Alfried became more active in controlling the company as his father’s health declined. He became de facto head of the firm in 1941 when Gustav Krupp suffered a stroke. Under Alfried, the company used slave labor supplied by the Nazi regime and thereby also became involved in the Holocaust, assigning Jewish prisoners from concentration camps to work in many of its factories. Even when the military suggested that security reasons dictated that work should be performed by free German workers, Alfried insisted on using slaves.

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He officially replaced his father as head of the family firm under the Lex Krupp (“Krupp Law” ), proclaimed by Adolf Hitler on 12 November 1943, which set aside the usual laws of inheritance and preserved the Krupp firm as a family business. Under this law, Alfried formally added the Krupp name to his own. He was also appointed Reichsminister für Rüstung und Kriegsproduktion (“Minister for Armament and War Production”). The transfer of ownership was a gesture of gratitude by Hitler and was to be one of only a few major Nazi laws that survived the fall of the regime. During the war, he was responsible for the transfer of factories in the occupied territories to the German Reich. Alfried Krupp was awarded the War Merit Cross, Second and First Class.

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Krupp worked closely with the SS, which controlled the concentration camps from which slave labor was obtained. In a letter dated 7 September 1943, he wrote: “As regards the cooperation of our technical office in Breslau, I can only say that between that office and Auschwitz the closest understanding exists and is guaranteed for the future.” According to one of his own employees, even when it was clear that the war was lost: “Krupp considered it a duty to make 520 Jewish girls, some of them little more than children, work under the most brutal conditions in the heart of the concern, in Essen”

By 1950 the United States was involved in fighting the Cold War. In June of that year, North Korean troops invaded South Korea. It was believed that German steel was needed for armaments for the Korean War and in October, John J. McCloy, the high commissioner in American occupied Germany, lifted the 11 million ton limitation on German steel production. McCloy also began pardoning German industrialists who had been convicted at Nuremberg. This included Fritz Ter Meer, the senior executive of I. G. Farben, the company that produced Zyklon B poison for the gas chambers.

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He was also Hitler’s Commissioner of for Armament and War Production for the chemical industry during the war.

In January, 1951, John J. McCloy announced that Alfried Krupp and eight members of his board of directors who had been convicted with him, were to be released. His property, valued at around 45 million, and his numerous companies were also restored to him.

McCloy’s decision was very controversial. Eleanor Roosevelt wrote to McCloy to ask: “Why are we freeing so many Nazis?”

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Telford Taylor, who took part in the prosecution of the Nazi war criminals wrote: “Wittingly or not, Mr. McCloy has dealt a blow to the principles of international law and concepts of humanity for which we fought the war.”

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Rumours began circulating that McCloy had been bribed by the Krupp’s American lawyer, Earl J. Carroll. According to one magazine: “The terms of Carroll’s employment were simple. He was to get Krupp out of prison and get his property restored. The fee was to be 5 per cent of everything he could recover. Carroll got Krupp out and his fortune returned, receiving for his five-year job a fee of, roughly, $25 million.”

McCloy rejected these claims and told the journalist, William Manchester: “There’s not a goddamn word of truth in the charge that Krupp’s release was inspired by the outbreak of the Korean War. No lawyer told me what to do, and it wasn’t political. It was a matter of my conscience.”

Within a few years of his release Krupp’s company was the 12th largest corporation in the world. Alfried Krupp died in Essen, West Germany, on 30th July, 1967.

After all the lives he destroyed, he died a wealthy man.

Villa Hügel Essen, Präsident von Togo

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Made to face their crimes

 

1024px-Dachau_execution_coalyard_1945-04-29Their are people who consider the execution of SS guards , after the liberation of Dachau, by allied troops to be a war crime. I can see why people perceive it that way, but I don’t subscribe to that point of view.

What the allied troops witnessed there was  worse then a scene from hell, and I can see what made them want to execute the men responsible for it. I probably would have felt the same.

When the Allied Forces invaded Germany at the end of World War II, few of the combat veterans were prepared to cope with the horrors they encountered during the liberation of the concentration camps. The inhumane conditions and the torturous treatment of the prisoners only further revealed the true cruelty and brutality behind Hitler’s leadership and the reign of the Nazi Party.

Below are images of the aftermath of the liberation of several concentration camps. Some of these pictures could be disturbing to some people.

British soldiers look on as Aufseherinnen(female  camp supervisors)at Bergen-Belsen are forced to dispose of 10,000 corpses in a mass grave.
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A freed prisoner beating a German camp guard at the liberated Dachau Concentration Camp in 1945.
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German civilians opposite prisoners’ bodies. The prisoners died of starvation in the Wobbelin camp. The germans were forced to walk by and see what they allowed to happen.

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Buchenwald concentration camp guards who received a beating from the prisoners when the camp was liberated by the American

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Wolfram Sievers-MD of Sick scientists

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Wolfram Sievers was the Reich Manager of the Ancestral Heritage Society (“Ahnenerbe”) and Director of its Institute for Military Scientific Research (Institut fuer Wehrwissenschaftliche Zweckforschung)

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In order to understand how sick and twisted this man and his colleagues were I will demonstrate this not by horrific images but by a letter he send to another ‘sceintist’ Dr Brandt. The letter was used in the trial against Wolfram Sievers during the Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg following the end of World War II(the picture below shows his ‘comrade’ Dr Barndt, during the trial)

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“Subject: Securing of skulls of Jewish-Bolshevik commissars for the purpose of scientific research at the Reich University, Strassburg.

We have a nearly complete collection of skulls of all races and peoples at our disposal. Of the Jewish race, however, only very few specimens of skulls are available, with the result that it is impossible to arrive at precise conclusions from examining them. The war in the east now presents us with the opportunity to overcome this deficiency. By procuring the skulls of the Jewish- Bolshevik commissars, who represent the prototype of the repulsive but characteristic subhuman, we have the chance now to compile good, scientific documents.

The best practical method for obtaining and collecting this skull material could be handled by directing the Wehrmacht to turn over alive all captured Jewish- Bolshevik commissars to the Field Police. They, in turn, are to be given special directives to inform a certain office at regular intervals of the numbers and place of detention of these captured Jews and to give them close attention and care until a special delegate arrives. This special delegate, who will be in charge of securing the material (a junior physician of the Wehrmacht or even the Field Police or a student of medicine equipped with a motor car and driver), will be required to take a previously established series of photographs, make anthropological measurements and, in addition, determine as far as possible other personal data of the prisoners.

Following the subsequently induced death of the Jew, whose head should not be damaged, the physician will separate the head from the body and will forward it to its proper point of destination in an hermetically sealed tin can, especially made for this purpose and filled with a conserving fluid. Having arrived at the laboratory, the comparison tests and anatomical research on the skull, as well as determination of the race membership and of pathological features of the skull form, the form and size of the brain, etc., can proceed by means of photos, measurements and other data supplied on the head, and the skull itself.”

That was the report which you forwarded to Brandt?

A. Yes, that was the report of Professor Hirt.”

 

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It was Hirt who mainly carried out the ‘collecting’ but it was Sievers who was his direct superior and it was his wish to have a collection after the war of a extinct race.

Sievers was sentenced to death on 20 August 1947 for crimes against humanity, and hanged on 2 June 1948, at Landsberg prison in Bavaria.

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The Jäger Report- The mathematics of evil

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5 Months=137,346 deaths, that is the disturbing mathematical equation that could be made from the Jäger report.

Not human beings, just numbers on a spreadsheet created by a man who claimed I was always a person with a heightened sense of duty”

The so-called Jäger Report (full title: Complete tabulation of executions carried out in the Einsatzkommando 3 zone up to December 1, 1941) was written on 1 December 1941 by Karl Jäger, commander of Einsatzkommando 3 (EK 3), a killing unit of Einsatzgruppe A which was attached to Army Group North during the Operation Barbarossa.

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It is the most detailed and precise surviving chronicle of the activities of one individual Einsatzkommando, and a key record documenting the Holocaust in Lithuania as well as in Latvia and Belarus.

Oberstes Gericht, Globke-Prozess, Beweisstück

SS-Standartenfuehrer Karl Jaeger, was a Swiss-born mid-ranking official in the SS of Nazi Germany and Einsatzkommando

Among all Nazi documents detailing dastardly acts of mass murder and other atrocities, the “Jaeger Report” is one of the most horrifying.  It provides a very detailed account of the murderous rampage of this “special squad” in Nazi-occupied USSR. Usually, the figures for Jews who were murdered by EK 3 are broken into “Jewish men”, “Jewish women”, and “Jewish children”.

The report commences with:

    1. “Secret Reich Business! 5 copies Complete list of executions carried out in theEK 3 area up to 1 December 1941.”

And goes on to list the daily numbers of the victims; some typical entries are (see the sixth page):

    1. 20.9.41 in Nemencing
      1. 128 Jews, 176 Jewesses, 99 Jewish children
      1. 22.9.41 in Novo-Wilejka
      1. 468 Jews, 495 Jewesses, 196 Jewish children
      1. 24.9.41 in Riess
      1. 512 Jews, 744 Jewesses, 511 Jewish children
      1. 25.9.41 in Jahiunai
      1. 215 Jews, 229 Jewesses, 131 Jewish children 27.9.41 in Eysisky
      1. 989 Jews, 1,636 Jewesses, 821 Jewish children.

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Jaeger flatly describes how the victims were rounded up, taken into secluded areas, and shot – men, women, and children:

“Depending on the number of Jews a place for the graves had to be found and then the graves dug. The distance from the assembly point to the graves was on average 4 to 5 Km. The Jews were transported in detachments of 500 to the execution area, with a distance of at least 2 Km between them.”

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The most shocking aspect of the report is the ‘matter of fact- another day in the office’ type of language was used.

“I can state today that the goal of solving the Jewish problem for Lithuania has been achieved by Einsatzkommando 3. In Lithuania, there are no more Jews, other than the Work Jews, including their families. They are:

		In Schaulen		around   4,500
		In Kauen		  “     15,000
		In Wilna		  “     15,000

I also wanted to kill these Work Jews, including their families, which however brought upon me acrimonious challenges from the civil administration (the Reichskommisar) and the army and caused the prohibition: the Work Jews and their families are not to be shot!

The goal of making Lithuania free of Jews could only be attained through the deployment of a raiding commando with selected men under the leadership of SS First Lieutenant Hamann, who completely and entirely adopted my goals and understood the importance of ensuring the co-operation of the Lithuanian partisans and the competent civilian positions.

The implementation of such activities is primarily a question of organization. The decision to systematically make every district free of Jews necessitated an exhaustive preparation of each individual operation and reconnaissance of the prevailing circumstances in the applicable district. The Jews had to be assembled at one or several locations. Depending on the number, a place for the required pits had to be found and the pits dug. The marching route from the assembly place to the pits amounted on average to 4 to 5 kilometers. The Jews were transported to the place of execution in detachments of 500, at intervals of at least 2 kilometers. The attendant difficulties and nerve-wracking activity occasioned in doing this are shown in a randomly selected example:

In Rokiskis, 3,208 people had to be transported 4.5 kilometers before they could be liquidated. To accomplish this task in 24 hours, more than 60 of the 80 available Lithuanian partisans had to be allocated for transportation and cordoning off duty.”

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Jäger escaped capture by the Allies when the war ended, assumed a false identity, and was able to assimilate back into society as a farm hand until his report was discovered in March 1959. Arrested and charged with his crimes, Jäger committed suicide by hanging himself in prison in Hohenasperg while he was awaiting trial in June 1959.

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Poor innocent child- A poem for the young victims of the Holocaust

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Poor innocent child

 

Your eyes have no hate.

And yet there are those who hate you.

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Your smile has no fear

And yet there are those who fear you

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Your tears are filled with feelings

And yet there are those who have no feelings for you.

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Your face so beautiful and pure

And yet there are those who look upon it in disgust

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Your life has so much meaning

And yet there are those who believe it has no meaning at all

 

Poor innocent child.

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Except for the boy with the tears, all of these children were killed.

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The Nazi Musical Genocide

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The Holocaust was and still is the biggest crime ever committed in the history of mankind.Additionally it also killed music by killing the talent the produced and created music.

Some of the composers and musicians in this blog were killed only because they were Jewish.or because they defied the Nazi rule, for as musicians they were creatures of emotion and they knew what they witnesses was wrong because that how they felt it, and they decided to do something about it.

 

Samuel Schuijer

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Samuel Schuijer was born in The Hague on September 9, 1873, son of Roosje van Kam and Abraham Schuijer. The family had a jewelry store on the Heerengracht 18. Five of the nine Schuijer children became professional musicians. Sam studied violin, cello, bassoon and music theory at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Shortly after graduating, he worked primarily as the principal bassoonist in various Dutch orchestras and also made a European tour with the Eduard Strauss orchestra as principal solo bassoonist. In 1894, he married Elizabeth Alter, an opera singer and actress. They had three sons: Abraham (pianist), Marinus, who died in infancy and Louis (cellist).

On December 11, 1942, Samuel Schuijer was murdered in Auschwitz. His home and music school had been plundered by the Nazis. With the loss of his life and destruction of his belongings, all traces of this significant Dutch musician seemed to be erased. But a group of children in The Hague found a box containing music manuscripts, waiting for the garbage truck. They took their treasure home and it became the first step in rediscovering a lost fragment of Dutch music history.

Mischa Hillesum

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The pianist Mischa Hillesum was an extremely musical, sensitive but also mentally unstable personality. Conservatory teachers acknowledged his stunning talents and audiences were thrilled by his performances. Music was his primary necessity, his way of dealing with daily realities. He was hospitalized several times in a mental institution. In 1943, the Hillesum family arrived in Westerbork. Mischa eventually died while detained as a forced laborer in Warsaw. Only a few of his compositions are known.

Sim Gokkes

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Simon (Sim) Gokkes (21 March 1897, Amsterdam – 5 February 1943, Auschwitz) was a Dutch-Jewish composer.

As a child, Gokkes took his first singing lessons with Ben Geysel, an opera singer who ran the Rembrandt Theatre of Amsterdam. Gokkes was also a pupil of Victor Schlesinger, cantor of the Rapenburg Synagogue in Amsterdam. In 1912, Gokkes wrote his first compositions, “Ngolinu Leshabiag” and “Yigdal”. He studied composition with Sem Dresden and also piano and flute at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam, finishing in 1919. He then worked as an assistant director of the Netherlands Opera.

Throughout his life, Gokkes directed several choirs. In 1921, he founded the School Choir of Amsterdam. For years he was director of the Santo Serviçio, the choir of the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam. Gokkes is known as an innovator of synagogue music. His compositions relate primarily to religious themes.

In 1923, Gokkes married pianist Rebecca Winnik. Along with his wife and his two children, David and Rachel, he was murdered in Auschwitz concentration camp on 5 February 1943.

Only some of his works are preserved in the Netherlands Music Institute.

Jan van Gilse

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Jan van Gilse received his musical education in Germany. His music developed into a synthesis of French impressionism and German romanticism. He became a popular conductor and one of the founders of the Society of Dutch composers (GeNeCo) and also the copyright organization BUMA. During the war, this socially engaged human being was fiercely anti-German. He had to pay a heavy price for his fighting spirit.

van Gilse (Rotterdam, 11 May 1881 – Oegstgeest, 8 September 1944) was a Dutch composer and conductor. Among his works are five symphonies and the Dutch-language opera Thijl.

7980 Thijl

Coming from a family of theologians, Jan van Gilse showed an early aptitude for piano playing and composing. From 1897 onwards, he studied at the Cologne conservatory. After his teacher, Franz Wüllner, died in 1902, he continued his studies with Engelbert Humperdinck in Berlin. From 1909 to 1911, he studied in Italy. In 1901, van Gilse received the Beethoven-Haus Prize in Bonn for his (First) Symphony in F major; In 1906, the Michael Beer Prize was awarded to him for his Third Symphony, ‘Erhebung’ (‘Elevation’; for soprano solo and orchestra).

In addition to composing, van Gilse soon developed an interest in conducting. He started out with the Bremen opera, a post which was followed by appointments in Munich and Amsterdam.

During World War II, van Gilse became actively involved with the resistance movement against the German occupation of the Netherlands. Both his sons, who were also resistance fighters, were killed by the occupiers before van Gilse himself succumbed (probably to pneumonia) in the autumn of 1944. To protect his shelter, he was buried in an unmarked grave outside the village of Oegstgeest.

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