Not Just Numbers

The approximate number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust by nation .

Poland 3,000.000; Ukraine 900,000;Hungary 450,000; Russia 352,000;Romania 300;000;BaltIc countries 228,000;Germany/Austria 210,000;the Netherlands 105,000;France 92,000;Slovakia 75,000; Greece 54,000;Belgium 40,000;Yugoslavia 26,000;Bulgaria 14,000 ;Italy 8,000,Luxembourg 1,000;Norway 900. Total 5,907,900.

These numbers are just estimates. I believe the number is actually higher, because not all suicides are included n this number nor are all the numbers of those who died during the transport.

However when I saw these numbers I had 2 questions. My first question was “How come there are no numbers for the Danish Jews?” The Danes had been very successful in saving their Jewish neighbours. Many of then were enabled to escape to Sweden with help from their Danish neighbours .Like 19 year old Henny Sinding who used hos boat ‘Geda III’ to smuggle Jews from Denmark to Sweden.

This is not to say that no Danish Jews died. Some did die either by suicide or they didn’t survive the escape journey to Sweden. There will also have been Danish Jews who lived elsewhere who would have been deported .

My second question was “Who was responsible for the Holocaust? ” The answer to that is not as easy as one might think. No one will doubt or deny that the Nazi regime in Germany and Austria were responsible for the death of millions, however their counterparts in other European countries also did play a part in this. The excuse of being occupied they had to do as they were told is often used, but the fact is many European governments were willing participants.

Even the countries which weren’t occupied played their part. The picture below and at the start of the blog are pictures of Jewish refugees Not much is known about the group of mostly Jewish refugees who came from the region of Moravská Ostrava/Mährisch Ostrau in former Czechoslovakia, and arrived in Great Britain on March 29 1939 ,shortly after Germany had invaded Czechoslovakia, but a day after the British Police deported them at and put them on a plane at Croydoen airport.

Although the exact number of murdered Jews will never really be known, in a way it doesn’t really matter. Because each of these numbers represent a person, a human being with a living soul. A human being like any other human being, but because they were seen as a lesser life form by a sick and twisted ideology they were murdered.

A human being like Max Baum a cattle dealer who was born in Linnich, Germany , 18 August 1907 but lived in Doenrade in the Netherlands and spent some time in Geleen. Maz was murdered in Auschwitz, 18 December 1943. His wife survived

sources

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https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/227984/max-baum

I am Annie

I am Annie Nakache.

My Father,Alfre Nakache was a famous Olympic swimmer. In 1936 he competed in the Berlin Olympic games for France.

In July 1941 he set the world record in the 200 metre breaststroke with a time of 2:36.8.

But his biggest achievement happened on August 12,1941. He became a father that day. A father to me Annie Nakache. I was born in Constantine Algeria.

This strange thing happened though in 1944 , my parents and I were sent to a camp called Auschwitz. My mother and I were murdered there.

I am Annie Nakache, a child of 2 Jewish people one died with me the other one survived,

My dad would win more races after the war but he lost his wife and his daughter Annie Nakache.

I am Annie Nakache. I could have become a famous Olympian ,maybe a footballer.

I am Annie Nakache but an evil regime did not deem me to be worthy of life.

Betraying your neighbours for greed.

fee

War brings out the best and the worst out of people, that is just a fact. It is easy to acknowledge the good but there is often a struggle acknowledging the bad, even to the extent of trying to completely erase it from history.

When it comes to the Holocaust there is no question about it that it was caused by Germany and Austria and their Nazi regimes, however they could never have succeeded without the help of others in the occupied countries, and even from people who were not in occupied countries.

Some collaborators were driven by fear and a sense of self survival but there were some who saw an opportunity to gain from the misery and horrors of others.

In the  Netherlands there were people like Dries Riphagen and Wim Henneicke, who were both members of the Column Henneicke. They would hunt Jews for the SD and SS for a reward of 7.5 Dutch guilders per Jew, which is the equivalent of $50 or €42 today.

Rip Drieshagen would sometimes befriend some of his Jewish victims prior to selling them out to  the Nazis, he would tell  them to give him their valuables and he would save it for them and return it to them after the war. He escaped being captured after the war, He fled to Argentina where he became friendly with Juan and Evita Peron, He died in Montreux,Switzerland on 13 May 1973.

Dries

On November 19, 1940 in Warsaw Poland someone who called himself Ewald Reiman, blackmailed a family he believed was Jewish, threatening to reveal their identity if not paid hush money.

Capture

“”Ladies and Gentlemen.

On the basis of accurate investigation, we have determined the truth about your Semitic origins. In view of the above, we request that you deliver to the bearer of this note the sum of 2,000 zlotys (two thousand zlotys) in a sealed envelope. … In return, we will destroy the incriminating evidence that is in our possession. Otherwise, we will immediately hand over the evidence to the German authorities.”

These type of  blackmailers made life extremely difficult  for Jews who had false identification documents enabling them to hide in plain sight and evade German orders to move into ghettos.

The Nazi regime often drew upon some Polish agencies, such as Polish police forces and railroad personnel, in the guarding of ghettos and the deportation of Jews to the killing centers. Individual Poles often helped in the identification, denunciation, and hunting down of Jews in hiding, often profiting from the associated blackmail, and actively participated in the plunder of Jewish property.

But this wasn’t only the case in Poland but in most of occupied Europe.

I know that I will get a lot of comments and emails about me suggesting there was even one Polish collaborator, but I am basing my research on facts and research of historians.

It is such a pity that so many ,mainly former Eastern European communist countries are trying to whitewash their Holocaust history. To suit their own narrative but it is an insult to all the victims Jewish and Non Jewish. It is also not necessary . No one will accuse or judge anyone born after the war or those who were still children during the war for the sins of their parents,grandparents and great grandparents. In fact most people will think it is courageous when you face up to a part of a darker part of history .

However people will judge you for denying or trying to erase that part of history rather then highlighting it and learning from it. You owe to the victims and future generations to face up to all aspects of your history.

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

http://somewereneighbors.ushmm.org/#/exhibitions/neighbors/un860/description

https://apnews.com/9eb9502f00724a50aeb33082ff7ce692

https://www.timesofisrael.com/poland-honors-world-war-ii-group-that-collaborated-with-nazis/

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/poland-s-holocaust-law-is-a-licence-to-whitewash-history-1.3383516

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/02/02/yes-some-poles-were-nazi-collaborators-the-polish-parliament-is-trying-to-legislate-that-away/

 

15 Month enemy of the state

Martine

I wish I could explain why this 15 month old girl was an enemy of the state, but I can’t

I wish I cold explain why this 15 month girl was an enemy of the French state ,but I can’t.

I wish I could explain why this 15 month old girl was an enemy of the French state controlled by a Nazi regime, but I can’t

I wish I could explain why this 15 month old girl was an enemy of the French state, controlled by a Nazi regime and accommodated by French politicians, but I can’t

I wish I could explain why this 15 month old girl was an enemy of the state, and although she was an enemy she survived, but I can’t because she didn’t.

I wish I could explain why this 15 month old girl was an enemy of the state and was taken from her birthplace Lyon and transported to Auschwitz, but I can’t

I wish I could explain why this 15 month old girl was an enemy of the state and was murdered in the gas chambers in Auschwitz, but I can’t.

What I can say is that her name is Martine Polack, born 29 October 1942,Lyon France.Murdered on February 3, 1944, Auschwitz,Poland.

 

 

 

 

The inhumanity of Zyklon B.

zb

Recently I heard this bizarre debate on how humane the killing with Zyklon B was. It was so much better then being executed. Fortunately the site where this was debated on was taken down ,unfortunately I didn’t take note of the names.

In case if any one is wondering if the killing with Zyklon B gas was humane, let me please destroy that notion. Firstly it wasn’t an instant death, there were some instance  where it would take up to 30 minutes to die from it in a very painful way.

The picture above shows 2 soldiers demonstrating how to avoid the leaking of Zyklon B from the gas chambers by applying mud and loam soil to the chinks of the door.

You can also see they are wearing Gas masks. These are not German soldiers but Soviet soldiers after the liberation by the Soviet army in July 1944. Demonstrating how to avoid the leaking, the fact that they had to wear a gas mask while they were outside of the gas chambers says enough.

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My letter to Henio Zytomirski

Henio

Henio Zytomirski was a 9 year old boy who was gassed at Majdanek concentration camp in Poland , on November 9 1942.

In 2005 a project was started in Lubin ,Poland, called ‘Letters to Henio. Each year on April 19 ,which is Holocaust Remembrance Day in Poland, pupils and citizens of Lublin are asked to send letters addressed to Henio Zytomirski at 11th Kowalska Street, the last known address of Henio in Lublin.

Although it is not the 19th of April today I still will send him a letter via this blog. It is not only a letter to Henio but also an indictment to those who want to silence people like me. People who desperately want to keep the memory of Henio ,and all the other victims alive, But often they are met by threats of those who take pleasure in the Holocaust and/or deny it, Or are threatened by history revisionists who lack the bravery and dignity to admit their nation made many mistakes, they rather sweep it under the carpet.More disturbingly they are being ridiculed by so called Holocaust scholars, not because they are telling untruths , but because they choose a different word then these so called scholars would and they start a war of semantics not realizing how much damage that does because it distracts from the message. The message of maintaining the memories alive , the memories like those of Henio.

My Letter to Henio

Dear Hennio,

I should not have to send you a letter. In fact I should not even know your name. You really should have lived a mundane or even boring life. Or perhaps a very exciting life but you didn’t.

You never got the chance to grow up . You were born 25 March 1933 and murdered in a most brutal way on November 9 1942. You were just 9 years old when you were killed.

Your life was taken from you but your memory isn’t.

Nowadays you would probably have been called an ‘influencer’ because you have several social media accounts with a great number of followers. But if I look at some of the pages dedicated to you I get sad, because they are using you as a way to get some political message across.

You were not a politician, How could you have been? You were only 9. All I want to do is to show your picture and a few details of your life so that people remember your name, and maybe they will even try to find out more about you, and that is good, because that means a piece of you is still alive.

There are some who want to stop me from telling your story and that of other children, but I won’t let them, Because these people have nothing to contribute to society.

If my day comes and I hope that won’t be any day soon, and I pass through I pass through the pearly gates,if I am allowed, I will look you up and we will talk then.

For now my young friend rest in peace in the knowledge you are not forgotten.

The parallel universe that was Auschwitz.

FUN

If you wouldn’t know the wider context of the picture, you would smile at it and think” a lovely picture of young people in the military enjoying themselves”.

And that is exactly what they did , they did enjoy themselves. However this weren’t just some random service men and women. These men and women all had a part to play in the industrial murder of innocent men,women and children, sometimes even newborn babies.

These men and women were all officers and guards of the Auschwitz concentration camp. This photo and others were taken by Karl Hoecker arrived at Auschwitz on May 25, 1944. He was adjutant to Richard Baer, who was a commandant of Auschwitz I concentration camp from May 1944 to December 1944.

karl

Prior to Auschwitz he worked in Majdanek . Majadenke Camp records showed that between May 1943 and May 1944 Höcker had acquired at least 3,610 kilograms of Zyklon B  for use in Majdanek from the Hamburg firm of Tesch & Stabenow.

People often ask me what pictures do I find I most disturbing from the Holocaust. It is not the pictures of children, although they churn my stomach every time I see them. Nor is it the pictures of the heaps of bodies piled on top of each other . It is the pictures like the ones from the Höcker album, which show such an apparent parallel universe that existed in Auschwitz and the sheer evil of people enjoying themselves after work , when they would have been responsible or at least witnessed at first hand, the destruction of so many innocent  lives, only because of hate fueled by a sick ideology.

Some of these men and women had children themselves, yet they did not hesitate killing children of other parents. As if the lives of Jews and other groups just didn’t matter.

kids

singing

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The teenager Meyer Abramczyk

Meyer A

Usually when I write a blog which contains the word ‘teenager’ it refers to somene who was murdered during the Holocaust.,Meyer Abramczyk wasn’t. In fact he sadly passed away when he was aged 87.

Metaphorically speaking the teenager Meyer was killed during the Holocaust. He was born on July 24, 1926 in Belchatow, Poland. His parents were Herschel and Toba Abramczyk. He had six brothers and sisters: Zelda, Hinda, Moshe, Jankiel, Channah, and Paula. At that time.

Meyer was age 13 when the Nazis invaded Poland.  During the 1st week of the war ,Belchatow, was designated a Jewish town. The Abramczyk family tried to flee but soon discovered this was virtually impossible. They were stopped by the SS on the way and were harassed by them. In 1940 Meyer was send to a work camp in Poznan. He was still only 13 at the time.

Age 13 his first year as a teenager. The teenage years are  some of the most important years of a young man’s life. They are the years that transform you from a child into a man. In any normal circumstance a teenager will have his parents and maybe even older siblings around him for support  . It is this support that is needed to cope with all the physical,mental and hormonal changes that happen in those years and the anxiety that goes with that.

For Meyer this support was  taken away. He was left to cope on his own under the most brutal circumstances one could imagine. It later emerged that this support was killed,As were Meyer’s teenage years, they were killed too. A time where he should be playing, exploring ,discovering and enjoying life as much as he could, but that time was taken away from him. He never got to be that teenager. His aim was now survival, and he may not even have  known it at the time that would become his goal, but he did survive and left a legacy and testimony.

Meyer spent of all his teenage years fearing for his life, not knowing what happened to his family.

Meyer’s story as a teenager is remarkable in more then one way. He survived several concentration camps, the last one being Auschwitz Birkenau. He also survived the Auschwitz death march and the sinking of the The Cap Arcona. The ship bombed by the allies, Of the estimated 5,000(some sources put that number higher)  concentration camps inmates  on board only 250 survived, the then still 18 tear old Meyer was one of them.

cap

For years after the war he searched for his family he eventually found out  they were all murdered.

There is a quote by George Herbert , it says ” Living well is the best revenge.” and Meyer certainly did that. He did move to Canada in 1956 and settled in Toronto . Where he married and had 3 children and 6 grandchildren.He worked as a butcher for 60 years and retired at the age of 80. One of his children is Toba, who I consider a friend, She once wrote a piece about her father called “Meyer Abramczyk-Our Hero” for the KehilaLinks Home Page for Belchatow. I do agree Meyer (aka Majer) was a Hero and an example for many generations to come.

Finishing this blog with a picture of Meyer and 3 Belchatow Survivors
in Föhrenwald Displaced Persons Camp, Germany, 1946.

DP

Thank you Toba Abramczyk for allowing me to write about your dad.

Sources

http://liebowitzes.com/belchatow/fohrenwald.htm

https://www.cambridgescholars.com/the-literary-representation-of-world-war-ii-childhood

 

 

Auschwitz May 20 1940

AUSCHWITZ

When people hear the word Auschwitz ,a shiver goes down their spine, and that is a good thing. However so many people do not really know that much about Auschwitz. They think it was only one camp, where there were really many other camps connected to Auschwitz. about 40.

Some even think that from day 1, thousands of Jewish prisoners were transported to Auschwitz, but the when the first transport tool place on May 20 1940, 80 years ago today, there were only 30 prisoners.

The transport consisted of some 30 German inmates, who were branded  as “professional criminals.”  In Nazi Germany it didn’t take much to be categorized a professional criminal .The SS had selected them from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp outside of Berlin

Less then a month later , on June 14 another 728 inmates were transported to Auschwitz. The transport consisted  of 728 Poles including 20 Polish Jews. They were dubbed ‘political prisoners’ and members of the Polish resistance.They were transported from a prison in Tarnow. Among them was Stanisław Ryniak he was designated number 31 and the first political prisoner.

transpor

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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

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/auschwitz

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/auschwitz-key-dates

http://auschwitz.org/en/museum/auschwitz-prisoners/prisoner-numbers

 

This is how close the Holocaust still is.

no5

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

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

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

graaf

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only Leo survived the war.

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

REMEMBER ALWAYS

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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

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

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