Heinrich Bütefisch- virtually unpunished.

Heinrich

Heinrich Bütefisch- is not a well known name in the context of WWII and the Holocaust, yet he was responsible for the deaths of thousands, In addition to that he also worked for a company who had helped to develop Zyklon b, the gas used to kill millions.

The company that produced Zyklon B was Degesch -Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schädlingsbekämpfung(German Corporation for Pest control) which was owned for 42.5 per cent by IG Farben.

Heinrich Bütefisch was a leading manager at IG Farben, and an Obersturmbannführer in the SS.

zyklon b

He was placed as the head of the gasoline synthesis program to be established at the I.G. Auschwitz plant.He was places in charge  of production at the Buna werke facitory at Monowitz, sometimes referred to as Auschwitz III.

3

When the factory was being built Jews in the surrounding areas were removed from their homes, and the homes were given to Germans employd at the factory, Some Polish residents were also moved.

The life expectancy for Jews working at Monoiwtz were 3 to 4 months, and for those working in the nearby supply mines it was only 1 month.

An estimate 10,000 died at Monowitz/Buna Werke . Bütefisch claimed he was never actually present at the Monowitz concentration camp, and he only  knew the construction site only from a few visits. I doubt this was true, and even if it was he was the man in charge and ultimately was responsible for everything that happened there.

He was arrested  by the U.S. Army in 1945, and was indicted at the Nuremberg IG Farben trial in 1948. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison ,including time already served.

After his early release from prison in 1951, heh became a member of several supervisory boards, including Deutsche Gasolin AG, Feldmühle, and Papier- und Zellstoffwerke AG, the following year.

He also was hired as a  consultant for Ruhrchemie AG Oberhausen, and becamed a member ofits supervisory board in 1952.

Of the 24 defendants at the IG Farben Trial, 10 were acquitted . One was removed due to medical reasons. The remaining 13 men received sentences varying form 1 to 8 years, none of them served the full term.

trial

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sources

http://www.wollheim-memorial.de/en/heinrich_buetefisch_18941969

https://www.chemie.de/lexikon/Heinrich_B%C3%BCtefisch.html

https://digitalcommons.law.lsu.edu/nuremberg_photos/63/

The Buchenwald Song and the brutal murder of the man who wrote it.

Song

Fritz Löhner-Beda was  an  Austrian born Jewish librettist, lyricist and writer. Born Wildenschwert, Bohemia but he grew up in one of Europe’s most cultural cities,Vienna. Alas Vienna’s culture was to become tainted to a degree.

In the 1920s, Löhner-Beda became one of the most popular and  sought-after librettists and lyricists in Vienna. This popularity though meant nothing on April 1,1938, less then 3 weeks after the Anschluss, (annexation of Austria by the Nazis).

AH ANSCHLUSS

On April 1, 1938 Löhner-Beda was arrested and deported to Dachau concentration camp.His Viennese neighbors and fan base did very little to help him.Just over 5 months later on September 23 1938 he was deported to Buchenwald.

While in Buchenwald, at the end of 1938, he wrote Das Buchenwald lied(the Buchenwald song) together with Hermann Leopoldi an Austrian born Jewish composer. Below is the text to the chorus of the song

“O Buchenwald, ich kann dich nicht vergessen,
weil du mein Schicksal bist.
Wer dich verließ, der kann es erst ermessen,
wie wundervoll die Freiheit ist!
O Buchenwald, wir jammern nicht und klagen,
und was auch unser Schicksal sei,
wir wollen trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen,
denn einmal kommt der Tag, dann sind wir frei!”

English Translation:

“O Buchenwald, I cannot forget you,
because you are my fate.
Only he who leaves you can appreciate
how wonderful freedom is!
O Buchenwald, we don’t cry and complain;
and whatever our destiny may be,
we nevertheless shall say ‘yes’ to life:
for once the day comes, we shall be free!”

Viktor Frankl used the line “trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen”(nevertheless shall say ‘yes’ to life) as the German title for his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”. written in 1946.

ja zum leben

On October 17, 1942,  Löhner-Beda was deported to the Monowitz concentration camp, a sub-camp of Auschwitz. The SS established the camp in October 1942 at the behest of I.G. Farben executives to provide slave labor for their Buna Werke (Buna Works) industrial complex.

monowitz

On December 4,1942 Fritz Löhner-Beda had already been ill. he was accused of not working hard enough. Because of this he was beaten to death by a Kapo. Just imagine that, beaten to death that is a different kind of evil. I know the Kapo’s were forced to do bad things in order to survive themselves, but beating someone to death that takes a particular kind of person.

So many people were killed during the Holocaust but with that also so much cultural heritage has vanished.

Fritz Löhner-Beda could have contributed so much more for the betterment of humankind.Who knows how many classic songs he could have written, or how many more award winning plays and screenplays. His death didn’t only end his life it also deprived the world of a great artist.

Fritz

Ending this blog with a version of the song and one more time the line “we nevertheless shall say ‘yes’ to life” Let’s do that , let us all say yes to life despite whatever comes our way, We owe to Fritz and to ourselves.

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