Auschwitz- Some forgotten facts.

AUSCHWITZ

Prisoners in Auschwitz were given a number which was tattooed on their arm. Marking people with a number makes it easier to treat them as objects rather then human beings. However not everyone got a number, there were occasions where they ran out of ink.

More people were killed in Auschwitz then the combined total  WWII military casualties of the US,UK and Canada. An estimated 1.1 million were murdered in Auschwitz. 845.800 UK/US and Canadian troops were killed during all of WWII .

A Star of David was placed above the entrance to the gas chamber and a sign was painted in Hebrew on a purple curtain covering the entrance to the gas chamber that said “This is the Gateway to God. Righteous men will pass through”

Of the estimated 7,500 -8000 guards only 750 were sentenced, and even those sentences were mostly relatively light sentences.

Auschwitz guards had their own athletics team. The camp for the  was like a small town, with its own staff canteen, cinema, theatre and grocery store.

gurads

The Nazis generated a revenue of  60 million Reichmarks, which is today’s equivalent of 163 million USD. from slave labour.

Auschwitz was of course a complex of about 40 camps.

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Sources

BBC

http://auschwitz.org/en/

 

There is no justification

angel

There is no, nor was there ever, nor will there ever be any justification for murdering a 6 year old child, or any child for that matter.

A 6 year old child should be send to school not an extermination camp. What sick twisted ideology thinks it is okay to murder a child?

Nelly Tarszis was born on July 10,1936 in Lodz Poland and was killed on 24 August 1942 in Chelmno. She was just aged 6.

Nowadays a typical school year starts on September 1st or near to that date, I believe it was the same in the 1940s.

Nelly would just have been one week or so away from her 1st school day, A highlight in any child’s life and indeed the lives of their parents, Education is a basic human right, Having that feeling of opening your first school book on your first page is a right that should never be stolen from any child, yet it was for Nelly and millions like her.

If we fail our children again, and at the moment there is a real possibility this may happen, we have utterly failed as a society, because now we have the benefit if hindsight, We know the signs, the rhetoric, they are not unique and not even that original.

DO NOT FAIL THE CHILDREN AGAIN

Faces of Auschwitz

Auschwitz

Some people think of Auschwitz as 1 camp but it was a complex of over 40  camps operated by the Nazis in occupied Poland.

It is estimated that at least at least 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, o which 1.1 million were murdered. But I do believe that number is higher,however since I cannot verify that I will go with the data which is available.

Regardless how many were deported the simple fact is that they were all innocent and the number deported and killed should be 0. Each one of them was a human being, although they did not commit any crimes they were treated like criminals. Even their pictures taken at Auschwitz were mug shots.

Below are just some of the faces of Auschwitz.

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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

USHMM

https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/

 

Three shots! Three lives lost! All I can hear are shots, shots.

diary

“Three shots! Three lives lost! All I can hear are shots, shots.” This line is the final entry of Renia Spiegel’s diary. It is the final entry but it was not written by her but by her boyfriend.

Renia had left her diary with her boyfriend ,Zygmunt Schwarzer,  for safekeeping. You see Renia could not write that line because one of those three shots was for her.

Zygmunt Schwarzer had helped Renia and his own parents  to hide in the attic of his Uncle’s house but an informant betrayed her whereabouts to the Nazis;s and Renia and Schwarzer’s parents  were shot in the street on July 30, 1942.

Her last name Spiegel means mirror in both the German and Dutch language. Renia’s story as so many others is a mirror we should look at. If we truly look into that mirror we can only come to one conclusion. So little has been learned form the horrors of the past, so little that we are bound to repeat them.

Ending this blog with some of Renia’s own words from July 15,1942 just over 2 weeks before she was killed . May her words  be a mirror to our souls.

“Remember this day; remember it well, You will tell generations to come. Since 8 o’clock today we have been shut away in the ghetto. I live here now. The world is separated from me and I’m separated from the world. Leaving the ghetto without a pass,  is punishable by death.

Inside, there are only our people, close ones, dear ones. Outside, there are strangers. My soul is so very sad. My heart is seized with terror,”

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

The Smithsonian

The Guardian

Irish Times

 

A TRAGIC LOVE STORY

Kapo

++++courtesy of HSA-Holocaust Social Archive++++++++++++++++

She was the troubled daughter of the rabbi of Warsaw’s great synagogue; he was the son of a Polish Jewish leader. As neighbors they used to play together as children, but when they grew up, each went on their separate way. The leader’s son became a communist who fought in the Brigade in Spain, and did not immigrate to Israel with the rest of his family. The daughter of the rabbi married a successful lawyer and they were among the aristocratic Bohemia of Warsaw and were the parents of a single child, born after 11 years of marriage.
After the Nazi occupation, the spoiled boy arrived in the Warsaw ghetto, learned how to walk through cracks in the wall and bring food from the garbage cans. His mother called her former nanny who took him to her village, where she introduced the blue-eyed and blond-haired boy as her nephew, but warned him not to expose his body in front of other children.
The leader’s son was captured in France and sent to Auschwitz, where his friends asked him to represent them because he was a jurist and proficient in languages. In fact, he became a Kapo, and to this day, there are differences of opinion about the degree of cruelty he discovered in this position and the part he took in the resistance and camp’s underground.
The Rabbi’s daughter’s husband perished in the camp, and after the liberation she arrived in Jerusalem weighing 35 Kg. With the help of her family, she found her son in a village in Poland. She brought him to Israel but was unable to raise him and he was sent to ‘Kibbutz Ramat David’.
The leader’s son was arrested and tried in Paris as a collaborator with the Nazis, and some claim that the fact he opposed Stalin played a part against him. His father left all his pursuits and fought for his credit. After the trial ended and he was found ‘not guilty’, he came to Israel and lived in his parents’ house in Jerusalem, where he met again with the daughter of the rabbi and they fell in love. She started gaining weight and the two talked about getting married and the boy’s return from the kibbutz.
The leader’s son wanted to join the IDF but was refused because of his past, and was recruited only after the war of independence started. In a battle in Ramat-Rachel, an order of withdrawal was issued but the leader’s son stormed at the enemy in what appeared as a suicidal action, and was killed.
When the rabbi’s daughter heard of his death, she declined his parents’ offer to mourn with them, went to her home and took her own life.
Away from besieged Jerusalem, the child who knew in his life, wealth, hunger in the ghetto, life in a Polish village and a kibbutz was left orphaned and alone.

From the fascinating book “Kapo in Auschwitz” by Professor Tuvia Friling.

Link to the book’s preview:
https://www.academia.edu/26350561/A_Jewish_Kapo_in_Auschwitz_History_Memory_and_the_Politics_of_Survival
Link to the book’s reviews:
https://www.academia.edu/36873051/A_Jewish_Kapo_in_Auschwitz_-_Book_Reviews
Link to purchase the book:

 

Source

https://www.facebook.com/groups/HSA.Archive

 

Letter to Henio

Henlo

The “Letters to Henio” project began in the city of Lublin in 2005 as part of an activity to preserve and reconstruct the city’s Jewish heritage. A local cultural center, Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre, organizes this educational activity. According to the center’s director, Tomasz Pietrasiewicz, the main idea of the project is as follows: “It is impossible to remember the faces and names of 40,000 people. Remember one. A shy smile, white shirt with a collar, colored shorts, side haircut, striped socks… Henio.”

Every year on 19 April, 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.

I am not a citizen of Lublin, but I felt compelled to also send a letter to Henio. Howver I will not send it to his last known address but will post it below.

“Dear Henio,

I don’t know you and you don’t know me.

But looking at your last photograph I can see a proud young boy, standing straight and ready to pose for his picture to be taken. A white shirt, pure white socks the symbol of your purity and innocence.

You were only 6  years old when this picture was taken. It was perhaps taken after a long school day and you were eager to go home, to kick a ball or just to have a cod glass of water or lemonade.

Maybe it was a hot day ,because it was July 1939, and you were promised an ice cream after the picture was taken.

None of this was extraordinary because every child is entitled to have a treat after being such a good child.

A few months after this picture was taken at the start of a new school year your world was turned upside down, On September 1 1939, a foreign army invaded your country. A foreign army with ver bad intentions.

You this army did not only want to take all the land it also want to get rid of people like you. You were Jewish and according this evil new regime your life was not worthy.

First they took you and your family from your home in Lublin and were put into a ghetto, Then in November 1942 you and your father were sent to the Majdanek concentration camp, it was not too far away from your house.

But you were never to see your house again because on that day  November 9th,1942 you were murdered. You were put into a gas chamber where you died an awful death. You were only 9.

I don’t know you and you don’t know me but from now on ,every year on March 25th, your birthday, I will light a candle for you and remember you until the day that I shed my earthly coil.

And maybe one day our souls will meet.”

 

The parallel universe in Auschwitz.

Villa

I was struggling with the title but to be honest I can’t think there is another way of describing it.

An estimated 1.5 to 2 million children were killed during the Holocaust. How many were killed in Auschwitz is not clear but if you consider that for example on October 10,1944 800 gypsy children were gassed, it will give you some indication of how many children were killed in the 5 years the camp was in operation.

auschwitz

Yet some children had a great time in Auschwitz. They lived a very idyllic live, without a care in the world. They had nice clothes,plenty of food,toys and were able to play outside and even go for a swim. These 5 children lived in a parallel universe compared to those children who lived only a few yards away from them.

They were the children of Rudolf Höss, the longest-serving commandant of Auschwitz.

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After ordering to kill children in the camp Rudolf Höss, would go home and play with his own children, Their villa was adjacent to the camp and the gate of the garden would actually come out in the camp.

The villa was so close you could see the prisoner blocks and old crematorium from the upstairs window.The family decorated their home with furniture and art taken from prisoners as they were selected for the gas chambers. It was a life of luxury only a few short steps from horror and torment.

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children

 

Most of Höss’s children denied that the Holocaust ever happened. His Daughter Brigitte did not deny that atrocities took place or that Jews and others were murdered in the concentration camps, but she doubted that millions were killed.

In 1972 she moved to Washington with her Husband.Where she got a job in a Fashion salon which was owned by a Jewish couple who had fled  Nazi Germany after the Kristallnacht in 1938.

Höss’s grandson Rainer, is the only member of his family to publicly denounce his grandfather. He has been involved in several documentaries highlighting the evil acts of his grandfather.

Once he was asked what he would do to his grandfather, he answered ” I would kill him myself”.

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

BBC

Daily Telegraph

Mail On line

Independent.co.uk

Jerusalem Post

 

 

The Green Triangle -The first prisoners in Auschwitz

gREEN

Many people believe that the industrialized scale killing of Jews, Homosexuals,Roma and others in Auschwitz started immediately when the camp had opened.

But the fact is that for the first few weeks there were only 30 prisoners. On May 20,1940 the first 30 numbers were assigned to  German prisoners who had been designated as professional criminals.

They were known as “greens” after the green triangles they were required to wear on their prison clothing.

Up to the 14th of June these were the only prisoners in Auschwitz. The prisoner assigned number 31 was the first political prisoner. He was Stanisław Ryniak a Polish political prisoner who had arrived on June 14,1940 with the first mass transport to Auschwitz.

31

Stanislaw survived and died aged 88 on February 13, 2004.

The first gassings started at September 3, 1941.

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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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The young people who fought back.

 

I have many weaknesses ,one of them is that I have a very low tolerance or even no tolerance for people who have a warped sense of entitlement. I know I shouldn’t be intolerant and just rise above it , but I find that very hard at times.

Especially when it comes to the snowflake generation or millennials. A millennial is described  as “a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.Or people born between the years of 1981 to 1998. I have to say not all of these people do have that sense of entitlement, there are many very decent people among them. It is only a minority of millennials but is a very vocal minority, They appear to have a problem for every solution. Generally they have not experienced any hardships but yet they claim their lives are much worse then that of the generation before them.

Then I come across stories of extremely brave young people like Mordechai Anielewicz,Mira Fuchrer and Rachel (Sarenka) Zylberberg(all pictured above)zob

These 3 young people ,who were in the same age bracket as the millenials, all died this day 76 years ago in Warsaw, May 8,1943. They were all members of the  Jewish Combat Organizationor ZOB in Polish), a resistance movement in occupied Poland, which was instrumental in engineering the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

 

The youth groups that were instrumental in forming the ŻOB had anticipated German intentions to annihilate Warsaw Jewry and began to shift from an educational and cultural focus to self-defense and eventual armed struggle

Their headquarters  was a bunker based on Ulica Miła 18 (or 18 Pleasant Street in English)

I am not going too much into the details of the group. I leave that up to all of you to do the homework on that, Because there is so much information on them.

Suffice to say that Mordechai Anielewicz was the leader of the ZOB and Mira Fuchrer was his girlfiend. Together with their friend Rachel  Zylberberg they played a pivotal role in the uprising at the cost of their lives.

On the 8th of May they were in the bunker with a group of about 120 fighters, when the bunker was discovered.s They were surrounded by the Nazis but the young resistance  fighters refused to surrender. Many of them committed suicide.

bunker

These heroes should never be forgotten.

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The fighting postmen of Gdansk

postmen

One event that is often over looked in the wider context of WWII is one of the first actions of the war.

On September 1,1939 the Germans cut the phone and electricity lines to the Post office of Gdansk. At the time there were 56 people in the building. Combat engineer and Army Reserve 2nd lieutenant  Konrad Guderski. 42 Gdansk postal employees, ten postal employees from  the cities of Gdynia and Bydgoszcz, the building keeper with his wife and a 10-year-old daughter who lived in the complex.

Konrad Guderski had been dispatched to  Gdansk  earlier in 1939.konradHis task was to help organize the official and volunteer security staff at the Polish Post Office in Gdansk, because of the imminent threat of a German invasion.

Guderski was sent by the Ministry of Military Affairs in April 1939, to Gdansk.He was an engineer by trade but joined the army in 1934.

Of the 56 people in the Post office complex ,Konrad Guderski was the only one person working for the military.

At 4.45 on September 1st ,1939 the German battleship SMS Schleswig-Holstein started shelling the Polish positions on the Westerplatte, and in doing so fired the first shots of World War II. The ship had already been in Gdansk prior to September 1st. In a way similar as the Trojan horse. It had come to Gdansk as part of an annual  ceremonial visit in August. What wasn’t known by the polish authorities  that the ship had about 100 heavily armed infantry men on board.

cruiser

Gdansk which was called Danzig at the time was technically a German city in Poland, about 90% of the population were ethnic Germans, The city also had SA and SS divisions ,also the police force were loyal to the Nazi regime.

Three ADGZ heavy armored cars were brought in by the police ,as the local SS,SA, the Police and some infantry reinforcements from the Schleswig Hosltein attacked the Post office.

adgz

The Germand thought it was going to be an easy victory .The attack started at the same time, as the shelling of Westerplatte . It was,  even though the attackers were able to get entrance to the complex , the attack initially failed. Guderski though was killed by his own grenade while trying to stop the German advance.

The siege lasted 15 hours, After the Germans pumped burning gasoline into the basement, and used flamethrowers 5 people in the building were burned alive.

The defenders of the Post office decided to call it a day and sent Dr. Jan Michoń, the director of the Post Office and Józef Wąsik, the commandant of the Post Office,out with a white flag. However the Germans ignored the white flag and shot both men.

The rest of the Poles were allowed to surrender and leave the burning building. Six people managed to escape from the building, although two of them were captured the following days.The other 4 managed to survive the war.

Sixteen wounded prisoners were sent to the Gestapo hospital, where six subsequently died (including the 10-year-old daughter of the building keeper). The other 28 were first imprisoned in the police building and, after a few days, sent to Victorianism(a temporary prison for Poles living in Gdansk), where they were interrogated and tortured.

viktoria

All the other defenders of the Post office were sentenced to death.

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

Libcom.org

Warhistory on Line