And then they came for me!

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What a lot of people don’t realize is that the Holocaust wasn’t a sudden event but a gradual one.Most of the victims looked just like any one else in society therefor in order for the Nazis to identify Jews,Jehovah Witnesses,Homosexuals and other victims. they needed the help of the public servants who worked in the citizens registration office throughout the occupied countries.

Another thing that is often overseen is the psychological terror  and anxiety endured by the victims, since 1933 they would have asked themselves the question “When will they come for me?” because most of them knew being arrested and deported would have been inevitable.Also for those who helped them.

The picture above is of three participants in the Treblinka uprising who escaped and survived the war. Warsaw, Poland, 1945.

Below are just some of the victims. They are in all age groups,some survived and others didn’t. But even those who survived that psychological terror often stayed with them,combined with survivor’s guilt until they died, or even for those who are still alive until today.

Jermie and Chaje Adler

The second of seven children, Jermie was born to poor, religious Jewish parents at a time when Selo-Solotvina was part of Hungary.3706

Orphaned as a young boy, he earned a living by working at odd jobs. In the 1920s he married Chaje . Together, they moved to Liege, Belgium, in search of better economic opportunities. There, they raised three daughters.

In Liege the Adlers lived in an apartment above a cafe, and Jermie and Chaje ran a successful tailoring business. Their children attended the French-language public schools. When war began in Poland in 1939, his wife was fearful, 3725even though Belgium was a neutral country. It brought back troubling memories of her village being overrun during World War I.The Germans occupied Belgium in 1940. To bypass the rationing system, Jermie would buy butter and eggs from the local farmers, who then pretended to the authorities that they’d been robbed. When Liege’s Jews were forced to register in 1942, Catholic friends helped the Adlers obtain false papers and rented them a house in a nearby village. Jermie fell ill and on Friday, March 3, 1944, he checked into a hospital. While he was in the hospital, the Gestapo arrested his wife, two daughters, and a nephew.

On May 19, 1944, Chaje was deported from the Mechelen internment camp to Auschwitz with her two daughters and a nephew. They were gassed two days later.

Jermie returned to Liege after it was liberated by U.S. troops on September 8, 1944. All but his eldest daughter were killed during the war.

The Ulma family

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At the onset of World War II, Józef Ulma (born in 1900) was a prominent citizen in the village of Markowa: a librarian, a photographer, active in social life and the local Catholic Youth Association. He was an educated fruit grower and a bee-keeper. His wife Wiktoria (born Wiktoria Niemczak in 1912), was a homemaker. The Ulmas had six children: Stanisława, age 8, Barbara, age 7, Władysław, age 6, Franciszek, age 4, Antoni, age 3 and Maria, age 2. 

In the summer and autumn of 1942, the Nazi police deported several Jewish families of Markowa to their deaths.Only those who were hidden in Polish peasants’ homes survived. Eight Jews found shelter with the Ulmas: six members of the Szall (Szali) family from Łańcut including father, mother and four sons, as well as the two daughters of Chaim Goldman, Golda and Layka. Józef Ulma put all eight Jews in the attic.

In the night of 23-24 March 1944 German police came to Markowa from Lancut. They found the Jews on the Ulma farm and executed them. Afterwards they murdered the entire Ulma family – Jozef, Wiktoria, who was seven month pregnant, and their six small children – Stanislawa, Barbara, Wladyslawa, Franciszka, Maria, and Antoni. The eldest of the Ulma’s children had just begun to attend classes in primary school.

Eva Heyman

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Eva Heyman, aged 13, in Hungary a few months before she was murdered in a gas chamber, 1944

The Lerer Family

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Family photo taken in Paris, France 1942 of 7 year old Bernard Lerer standing beside his older sister and in front of his father. The family was murdered in Auschwitz on Aug. 23,1942.

Gad Beck

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Gad grew up in Berlin. His father was a Jewish immigrant from Austria. Gad’s mother had converted to Judaism. The Becks lived in a poor section of Berlin, populated predominantly by Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe. When Gad and his twin sister, Miriam, were 5, the Becks moved to the Weissensee district of Berlin, where Gad entered primary school.

Gad was just 10 when the Nazis came to power. As one of a small number of Jewish pupils in his school, he  quickly became the target of antisemitic comments: “Can I sit somewhere else, not next to Gad? He has such stinking Jewish feet.” In 1934 his  parents enrolled him in a Jewish school, but he had to quit school when he was 12 as they could no longer afford the tuition. he found work as a shop assistant.

s the child of a mixed marriage [Mischlinge], he was not deported to the east when other German Jews were. He remained in Berlin where he became involved in the underground, helping Jews to escape to Switzerland. As a homosexual, he was able to turn to his trusted non-Jewish, homosexual acquaintances to help supply food and hiding places. In early 1945 a Jewish spy for the Gestapo betrayed him and a number of his underground friends. He was interned in a Jewish transit camp in Berlin.

After the war, Gad helped organize the emigration of Jewish survivors to Palestine. In 1947 he left for Palestine, and returned to Berlin in 1979.

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The first picture from Space- to boldly go where we already are.

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On Oct. 24, 1946, the first extraterrestrial view of Earth was shot from 65 miles away aboard a Nazi-built V-2 rocket launched by American scientists, according to Smithsonian magazine. Thanks to a Devry 35-millimeter movie camera, Earthlings saw their planet for the first time as a grainy, black-and-white mass that looked more like paint under a microscope than humanity’s home for at least the last 200,000 years.

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The grainy, black-and-white photos were taken from an altitude of 65 miles by a 35-millimeter motion picture camera riding on a V-2 missile launched from the White Sands Missile Range. Snapping a new frame every second and a half, the rocket-borne camera climbed straight up, then fell back to Earth minutes later, slamming into the ground at 500 feet per second. The camera itself was smashed, but the film, protected in a steel cassette, was unharmed.

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Denazification-a small price to pay for a Genocide.

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After the liberation of Germany in May 1945 the Allied Powers initiated a comprehensive denazification program. Its purpose was to eradicate National Socialist thought from political, economic as well as intellectual and cultural life. As a first step the NSDAP and its subdivisions were prohibited, Nazi laws were abolished and the external signs and symbols of National Socialism removed. The main focus of the program was the systematic screening of all former members of the NSDAP – party membership was defined as the criterion for their dismissal from executive positions in industry and from public office.

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The term denazification was first coined as a legal term in 1943 in the Pentagon, intended to be applied in a narrow sense with reference to the post-war German legal system. Soon afterward, it took on the more general meaning.

The denazification program in Germany mandated the elimination of Nazi names from public squares, city streets, and other venues. US, Soviet, and British soldiers enthusiastically removed Nazi emblems and renamed public spaces.

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The process of denazification was carried out diversely in the various zones. The most elaborate procedures were instituted in the United States zone, where investigated individuals were required to complete highly detailed questionnaires concerning their personal histories and to appear at hearings before panels of German adjudicators. In the British and French zones, denazification was pursued with less vigor because the authorities thought it more important to reestablish a functioning bureaucracy in their sectors.

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Denazification was most rigorous in the Soviet sector. Civil servants, teachers, and legal officials with significant Nazi pasts were thoroughly purged. Denazification was also used as an instrument for seizing the resources of the so-called “class enemy”: former Nazis who owned factories or estates were denounced and their property confiscated. After participating in the social transformation, some former Nazis were pardoned and even gained high positions within the new communist ruling class.

The denazification process mandated that simpler cases involving lesser offenders be tried before more complicated cases involving officials higher up in the Nazi regime. With time, however, prosecution became less severe, and the United States came to be more concerned with the Cold War. When denazification ended in March 1948, the more serious cases had not yet been tried. As a result, numerous former Nazi functionaries escaped justice, much to the regret of many Germans.

Diese Schandtaten: Eure Schuld! (“These atrocities: your fault!”) One of the posters distributed by U.S. occupation authorities in the summer of 1945

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Very soon after the program started, due to the emergence of the Cold War, the western powers and the United States in particular began to lose interest in the program, and it was carried out in an increasingly lenient and lukewarm way until being officially abolished in 1951.

After the defeat as part of the Denazification the German and Austrian populations were forced to visit the concentration and deaths camps to be confronted with the crimes committed by their leaders.

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German prisoners of war were forced to see footage of the atrocities in movie theatres.

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The U.S. conducted opinion surveys in occupied Germany.Tony Judt, in his book Postwar: a History of Europe since 1945, extracted and used some of them.

  • A majority in the years 1945–49 stated National Socialism to have been a good idea but badly applied.
  • In 1946, 6% of Germans said the Nuremberg trials had been unfair.
  • In 1946, 37% in the US occupation zone said about the Holocaust that “the extermination of the Jews and Poles and other non-Aryans was necessary for the security of Germans”.
  • In 1946, 1 in 3 in the US occupation zone said that Jews should not have the same rights as those belonging to the Aryan race.
  • In 1950, 1 in 3 said the Nuremberg trials had been unfair.
  • In 1952, 37% said Germany was better off without the Jews.
  • In 1952, 25% had a good opinion of Hitler.

British historian Ian Kershaw in his book The “Hitler Myth”: Image and Reality in the Third Reich writes about the various surveys carried out at the German population:

  • In 1945, 42% of young Germans and 22% of adult Germans thought that the reconstruction of Germany would be best applied by a ‘strong new Führer’.
  • In 1952, 10% of Germans thought that Hitler was the greatest statesmen and that his greatness would only be realised at a later date and 22% thought he had made ‘some mistakes’ but was still an excellent leader.
  • In 1952, roughly 33% opposed the assassination attempt of Hitler in the 20 July plot in 1944.
  • In 1953, 14% of Germans said they would vote for someone like Hitler again.

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Do cry for me Argentina- The other side of Evita Peron

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The former first lady of Argentina has been accused of accepting Nazi treasures stolen from wealthy families during the Holocaust in return for using her country as a safe haven. 

According to a new book, Eva Peron and her husband, former president Juan Peron, kept quiet about the number of Nazis who were hiding out in Argentina after the Second World War.

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Among those who fled to the South American country was Adolf Eichmann, a key orchestrator of the concentration camps.

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He lived under a false name and worked for Mercedes Benz until 1960, when he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and taken to Israel.He was later faced trial and was hanged for the war crimes he committed.

Josef Mengele, the Nazi ‘Angel of Death’ responsible for human experiments on Holocaust victims, also found refuge in Argentina and lived in South America until his death in 1979 at the age of 67.

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In ‘The Politically Incorrect Guide to Latin America,’ authors Leandro Narloch and Duda Teixeira wrote: ‘It is still suspected that among her [Eva Peron’s] possessions, there were pieces of Nazi treasure that came from rich Jewish families killed in concentration camps.
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‘Peron himself even spoke of goods of ”German and Japanese origin” that the Argentine government had appropriated,’ they added.Switzerland is said to have launched an investigation into whether Argentina deposited stolen Nazi loot in Swiss banks after the war.

In 1947, then First Lady Eva Peron included a brief trip to Switzerland during a publicity tour of Europe to try and boost the image of her husband’s regime abroad.

According to historians, she may have opened at least one secret Geneva account to stash funds and valuables she allegedly received from Nazis in exchange for Argentine passports and visas.

Records  emerging from Swiss archives and the investigations of Nazi hunters, an unpublicized side of Evita’s world tour was coordinating the network for helping Nazis relocate in Argentina.

This new evidence of Evita’s cozy ties with prominent Nazis corroborates the long-held suspicion that she and her husband, Gen. Juan Peron, laid the groundwork for a bloody resurgence of fascism across Latin America in the 1970s and ’80s.

Besides blemishing the Evita legend, the evidence threatens to inflict more damage on Switzerland’s image for plucky neutrality. The international banking center is still staggering from disclosures about its wartime collaboration with Adolf Hitler and Swiss profiteering off his Jewish victims.

The archival records indicate that Switzerland’s assistance to Hitler’s henchmen didn’t stop with the collapse of the Third Reich.

And the old Swiss-Argentine-Nazi connection reaches to the present in another way. Spanish “superjudge” Baltasar Garzon is seeking to open other Swiss records on bank accounts controlled by Argentine military officers who led the so-called “Dirty War” that killed and “disappeared” tens of thousands of Argentines between 1976-83.

The second wife of Juan Peron, Evita was given the official title of ‘Spiritual Leader of the Nation’ by the Argentine Congress before her death from cancer in 1952 at the age of 33 and is still regarded as a national heroin.

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The heart broken widow bride

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Marine Sergeant Lena Basilone was the wife of Medal of Honor winner John Basilone,one of the famous Marines every Marine Corps recruit learns about at boot camp. He is often discussed in Marine Corps history classes but no one ever mentions that his wife was a Marine too.

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John Basilone (November 4, 1916 – February 19, 1945) was a United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who was killed in action during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for heroism above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Guadalcanal and the Navy Cross posthumously for extraordinary heroism during the Battle of Iwo Jima. He was the only enlisted Marine to receive both of these decorations in World War II.

On Iwo Jima’s D-Day – February 19, 1945 – Basilone was a machine-gun section leader who came ashore on Red Beach 2.  He was part of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division.

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Facing unbelievable firing power, from Japanese defenders, Gunnery Sgt. Basilone and his Marines made progress toward their objective – an airfield on the island.  Urging his men to keep moving forward (lest they die), Basilone displayed the same type of heroic behavior which earned him the Medal of Honor at Guadalcanal.

Then … he was hit and killed.

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Lena never remarried and she lived in California until her death in 1999. One of her few, if not only, public appearances after John’s death was about nine months after he died. She was the official sponsor of the destroyer named after him, the USS Basilone, and she participated in its christening ceremony:.

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Above is the obituary of Lena Basilone.  It tells us that she never remarried, after the Iwo Jima death of her husband, John Basilone.  Lena was 86 years old when she died on the 11th of June, 1999.

Before her death, the federal government had offered Lena a burial spot in Arlington Cemetery, not far from the location where her husband is interred.  Lena turned down the offer, reportedly saying that “she didn’t want to cause trouble for everyone.”

Instead, she is interred at Riverside National Cemetery, Plot 50 0 5557 in Riverside, California.

Here is the text of the article:

(Originally Printed) WEDNESDAY. JUNE 16, 1999
Ex-Marine Lena Basilone dies

Obituary:  Services Wednesday for longtime Lakewood resident.  Lena Basilone, former Marine, tireless volunteer and wife of America’s first Word War II Medal of Honor recipient, died Friday. She was 86.

Lena Mae Riggi was born March 7, 1916 in Portland, Ore. to Italian Sicilian immigrants. After leaving Oregon, she attended business school. When WWII broke out, she found herself enlisted in the Marine Corps, stationed at Camp Pendleton. “She served as a field cook (on the base), and her title was Sergeant,” said Barbara Garner, longtime friend and roommate.  “Her attitude was ‘I can do anything they (men) can do.’ ”

It was during this time that she caught the eye of a decorated Marine, a man who was the United States’ first WWII war hero. His name was John Basilone. John had been stationed in the Pacific theater of the war. After defending a narrow pass and annihilating an entire enemy regiment on the island of Guadalcanal in 1942, John was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The medal is the United States’ top honor for war-time duties.

John returned home to ticker-tape parades and instant nationwide fanfare. He went across the country, mingled with the president, met movie stars and helped raise $1.4 million in War Bonds. He was even offered a commission and a position in Washington. However, John was not complacent hanging around desks and smiling for the cameras and his reaction to the Washington job was:

“I ain’t no officer, I ain’t no museum piece and I belong back with my outfit.”

So back into action he went.

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But before he left, a romance blossomed between him and Lena. “They met at Camp Pendleton. He was very charming, good-looking, yet tough. He was a man of honor and quite a hero. All the ladies thought he was a very good man,” said Barbara. On July 7, 1944 the couple wed.

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After a short, happy time together, John headed back to the war-torn South Pacific. It was there that John died, in an exchange of heavy gunfire on the island of Iwo Jima. The date was February 19, 1945. “Lena was notified of Johnny’s death on March 7, 1945. It was her (32nd) birthday,” said Barbara.

For his selfless dedication to his country, John was awarded the Purple Heart and Nary Cross posthumously.

In 1949, Lena christened a Navy destroyer ship, named the USS Basilone. Years later, the city of Raritan, N J. erected a statue in his honor.

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Lena never remarried and was content with her life. She once told Barbara: “Once you have the best, you can’t settle for less.” She purchased a home in Lakewood and stayed there for over 50 years until her death.

“Lena had a large network of friends, she was active in many organizations and she was a terrific cook,” said Barbara, “She enjoyed inviting a large group over and cooking them a special meal (for Thanksgiving and other holidays).”

Lena stayed active by working at an electrical company, volunteering at the Long Beach Veterans Hospital, the American Veterans Auxiliary and the Women’s Marine Association. She also was a faithful member of the Liberty Baptist Church of Long Beach.

“She was a very determined lady, loved by many … when she saw a need, she would go about filling it,” said Barbara.

One important event that Lena never lived to see was the dedication of a 17-mile stretch of the San Diego (5) Freeway near Camp Pendleton, to be named ‘Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Memorial Freeway.’ The official word that the resolution passed came Monday, just three days after her death.

“The (newer generation of) Marines don’t know who he was,” said Frank Turiace, former U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant and decorated Korean War veteran, wanted to change that,” With the help of state Sen. Bill Murrow, Turiace set out on a mission to make sure that John is never forgotten.” He (Murrow) was very instrumental in putting this through … he has the connections,” said Turiace.

“This stretch (of highway) is to honor John and Lena.” Although the federal government offered to bury Lena in Arlington National Cemetery near her husband, she refused because “she didn’t want to cause trouble for everyone.” Services are set for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Hunter Perez Mortuary, 5443 Long Beach Blvd.

Local Marines will provide a bugler and pallbearers. A private service will follow at Veterans Administration National Cemetery in Riverside.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Veterans of WWII Association.

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Operation Paperclips-Evil deeds rewarded.

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Operation Paperclip (also Project Paperclip) was the code name for the O.S.S.–U.S. Military rescue of scientists from Nazi Germany, during the terminus and aftermath of World War II. In 1945, the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency was established with direct responsibility for effecting Operation Paperclip.

The primary purpose for Operation Paperclip was for the U.S. to gain a military advantage in the burgeoning Cold War, and later Space Race, between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

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By comparison, the Soviet Union were even more aggressive in recruiting Germans: during Operation Osoaviakhim, Soviet military units forcibly (at gunpoint) recruited 2,000+ German specialists to the Soviet Union during one night.

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The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) established the first secret recruitment program, called Operation Overcast, on July 20, 1945, initially “to assist in shortening the Japanese war and to aid our postwar military research.” The term “Overcast” was the name first given by the German scientists’ family members for the housing camp where they were held in Bavaria.[4] In late summer 1945, the JCS established the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), a subcommmittee of the Joint Intelligence Community, to directly oversee Operation Overcast and later Operation Paperclip.

The JIOA had one representative of each member agency of the Joint Intelligence Committee: the army’s director of intelligence, the chief of naval intelligence, the assistant chief of Air Staff-2 (air force intelligence), and a representative from the State Department.In November 1945, Operation Overcast was renamed Operation Paperclip by Ordnance Corps (United States Army) officers, who would attach a paperclip to the folders of those rocket experts whom they wished to employ in America. President Truman formally approved Operation Paperclip and expanded it to include one thousand German scientists in a secret directive, circulated on September 3, 1946.

One of the most well-known recruits was Werner von Braun, the technical director at the Peenemunde Army Research Center in Germany.(dresses as civilian in the picture below)

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who was instrumental in developing the lethal V-2 rocket that devastated England during the war.

Peenemünde, Start einer V2

Von Braun and other rocket scientists were brought to Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico, as “War Department Special Employees” to assist the U.S. Army with rocket experimentation. Von Braun later became director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle, which eventually propelled two dozen American astronauts to the Moon.

SS General Hans Kammler, who as an engineer had constructed several concentration camps, including Auschwitz, had a reputation for brutality and had originated the idea of using concentration camp prisoners as slave laborers in the rocket program. Arthur Rudolph, chief engineer of the V-2 rocket factory at Peenemünde, endorsed this idea in April 1943 when a labor shortage developed. More people died building the V-2 rockets than were killed by it as a weapon. Von Braun admitted visiting the plant at Mittelwerk on many occasions, and called conditions at the plant “repulsive”, but claimed never to have witnessed any deaths or beatings, although it had become clear to him by 1944 that deaths had occurred.He denied ever having visited the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp itself, where 20,000 died from illness, beatings, hangings, and intolerable working conditions.

Some prisoners claim von Braun engaged in brutal treatment or approved of it. Guy Morand, a French resistance fighter who was a prisoner in Dora, testified in 1995 that after an apparent sabotage attempt, von Braun ordered a prisoner to be flogged, while Robert Cazabonne, another French prisoner, claimed von Braun stood by as prisoners were hanged by chains suspended by cranes.However, these accounts may have been a case of mistaken identity.Former Buchenwald inmate Adam Cabala claims that von Braun went to the concentration camp to pick slave laborers: “[…] also the German scientists led by Prof. Wernher von Braun were aware of everything daily. As they went along the corridors, they saw the exhaustion of the inmates, their arduous work and their pain. Not one single time did Prof. Wernher von Braun protest against this cruelty and bestiality during his frequent stays at Dora. Even the aspect of corpses did not touch him: On a small area near the ambulance shed, inmates tortured to death by slave labor and the terror of the overseers were piling up daily. But, Prof. Wernher von Braun passed them so close that he was almost touching the corpses.

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Von Braun was not the only one who had actively taken a part in the genocide. Many more of the Operation Paperclip scientist had committed awful crimes, but yet they were rewarded with a comfortable job working for

Every year since 1963, the Space Medicine Association has given out the Hubertus Strughold Award to a top scientist or clinician for outstanding work in aviation medicine.

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In April 1935 the government of Nazi Germany appointed Strughold to serve as the director of the Berlin-based Research Institute for Aviation Medicine, a medical think tank that operated under the auspices of Hermann Göring’s Ministry of Aviation

In October 1942, Strughold attended a medical conference in Nuremberg at which SS physician Sigmund Rascher delivered a presentation outlining various medical experiments he had conducted, in conjunction with the Luftwaffe, in which prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp were used as human test subjects.

 

These experiments included physiological tests during which camp inmates were immersed in freezing water, placed in air pressure chambers and made to endure invasive surgical procedures without anesthetic. Many of the inmates forced to participate died as a result. Various Luftwaffe physicians had participated in the experiments and several of them had close ties to Strughold, both through the Institute for Aviation Medicine and the Luftwaffe Medical Service.

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WWII- The aftermath

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The effects of  WWII were felt for years and even decades after the war ended. It can even be argued that the effects can even be noticed nowadays.

Below are some pictures of the Aftermath of WWII in Europe.

A German soldier returns home to Frankfurt am Main after the end of the War, 1946.

German Soldier returning home Tony Vaccaro

The photo of a German prisoner of war returning to his home town of Frankfurt to discover his house bombed and his family no longer there.

Three girls skate home from school, past blocks of houses destroyed by Allied air raids, Essen, Germany, February 14, 1949.

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Three German girls skate home from school past blocks of houses destroyed by Allied air raids in Essen, Germany, Feb. 14, 1949. These kids can’t remember a time when their city didn’t look like that, because they weren’t old enough or even born when the city was still standing. For them, life had always been like that

A smiling prisoner of war returning home to Vienna passes a woman holding a photograph up in a mixture of hope and despair

A mother shows a picture of her son to a returning prisoner of war, 1947 (1)

The hunger-winter of 1947, thousands protest against the disastrous food situation (31 March 1947)

Krefeld, Hungerwinter, Demonstration

One year after the D-Day landings in Normandy, German prisoners landscape the first U.S. cemetery at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France, near “Omaha” Beach

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In the streets of Brignoles, angry French citizens publicly rebuke a woman who is suspected of having collaborated with the Germans.

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Dutch boys helping to rebuild Rotterdam, a city badky damaged by the Luftwaffe. . The photograph was taken November 5, 1945

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Mar 3, 2017 – A huge bomb that was discovered at a construction site in North London

Rolf Abrahamsohn-Eye witness to the Holocaust.

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Rolf Abrahamsohn was not only a witness to the Holocaust he was also witness to the remorselessness of some of his fellow country men.

One day a few months after the war Rolf encountered a man who was hitchhiking. Rolf felt sorry for the man because he only had one leg, so he decided to give him a lift.

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After a few minutes the conversation turned to the Kristall nacht. The hitchhiker told Rolf that one night he was at a party he was told “come and meet us at the Loestraße tomorrow, you will see some action there” He said he did go there and walked into a textile shop,it had been burning already, but the place was “filthy”  the hitchhiker claimed. At that stage Rolf stopped the car and kindly asked the man to leave the vehicle, when the hitchhiker got our Rolf said” I wish they had blown away your other leg too, our place wasn’t filthy”

The shop the man had been referring to was Rolf’s parents shop.

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I mentioned fellow country men because Rolf was a German. Although the Abrahamsohn’s were Jewish they did celebrate Christmas like any other German, singing the same carols and hymns. They even sent their sons to an evangelical christian school.Rolf’s dad had fought for the German army during WWI, with the slogan “All Jews are proud to be German”

Rolf Abrahamsohn was born on March 9 in Marl,Germany. To Arthur Abrahamsohn (1888 – 1942), Else Abrahamsohn, geb. Gottschalk (1890 – 1944)

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He had 3 brothers.Ludwig Abrahamsohn (1921 – 1924), Hans Abrahamsohn (1922 – 1942), Norbert Abrahamsohn (1933 – 1940).

Ludwig was born before Rolf, he died in an accident aged 3.Below is a picture of Rolf and his other 2 brothers.

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Although they were Jewish the boys attended the evangelische Goetheschule in Marl.However due to increased antisemitism they left the school in 1934.

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Arthur was beaten half to death during the Kristallnacht in November 1938. The shop had been damaged by fire,after that the family moved into a so called “Jew House” in Reckinghause. Shortly afterwards the Father and the older son Hans were arrested. When they were released again Arthur and Hans fled to Belgium.

Aged 14 Rolf was forced to do slave labour for companies in the Ruhr region one of the companies was Ruhrgas AG(Currently E-ON Ruhrgas)

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In 1940 his youngest brother Norbert died of Diphtheria aged 7. In  January 1942 Rolf and his Mother were deported to Riga where he survived the ghetto.

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Later they were sent to the Kaiserwald concentration camp in Riga. Unfortunately his Mother did not survive due to the appalling living conditions.

Rolf then was deported to the Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig.

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Subsequently he was then send to a sub-camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp where he was put to work in the armament production and clearing of bombs. The last few weeks of the war he spent in Theresienstadt where he eventually was liberated by Soviet troops.

Hoping to be re-united with some of his relatives he found out that his Father and Brother had both been killed after they had been deported from Belgium.

After the war he decided to re-open his Parents’ shop.

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He has since become a successful business man and since the 80’s he has been involved in re-establishing a Jewish community in the Recklingshausen-Bochum area together with other survivors.

 

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Gustav Wagner-Sadistic Murderer

It is just unfathomable how many of the most evil and vile war criminals escaped justice. It is something the German government and other European and American governments should be deeply,deeply ashamed off because they escaped under their watch.

Gustav Franz Wagner (18 July 1911 – 3 October 1980) was am Austrian member of the SS with the rank of Staff sergeant (Oberscharführer). Wagner was a deputy commander of the Sobibór extermination camp in German-occupied Poland, where more than 200,000 Jews were gassed during Operation Reinhard. Due to his brutality, he was known as “The Beast” and “Wolf

Born in Vienna, Wagner joined the Nazi Party in 1931 as member number 443,217. After being arrested for proscribed National Socialist agitation, he fled to Germany, where he joined the SA and later the SS in the late 1930s.

In May 1940, Wagner was part of the Action T4 euthanasia program at Hartheim with administrative functions .

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/04/08/forgotten-history-the-t-4-holocaust-victimsthe-killing-of-the-disabled/

Due to his experience in T4, Wagner was assigned to help establish the Sobibór extermination camp in March 1942.

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Once the gassing installations were completed, Wagner became deputy commandant of the camp under Commandant Franz Stangl. His official title was quartermaster-sergeant of the camp.

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Wagner was in charge of selecting which prisoners from the newly arrived transports would be used as slave laborers in and outside the camp, and which would be sent to their deaths in the gas chambers. When Wagner was on vacation or attending to duties elsewhere, Karl Frenzel assumed his role within the camp.

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Together with Frenzel he selected the prisoners who had to work in or outside the camp from the incoming transports. Although absent during the uprising, he did help dismantle the camp, among other things by executing the Arbeitsjuden from Treblinka who tore down the barracks.

 

More than any other officer at Sobibór, Wagner was responsible for the daily interactions with prisoners. Wagner supervised the routine and daily life at Sobibór, and he was one of the most brutal SS officers. Survivors of the camp described him as a cold-blooded sadist.Wagner was known to beat and thrash camp inmates on a regular basis, and to kill Jews without reason or restraint. Inmate Moshe Bahir described him:

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“He was a handsome man, tall and blond — a pure Aryan. In civilian life he was, no doubt, a well-mannered man; at Sobibor he was a wild beast. His lust to kill knew no bounds… He would snatch babies from their mothers’ arms and tear them to pieces in his hands. I saw him beat two men to death with a rifle, because they did not carry out his instructions properly, since they did not understand German. I remember that one night a group of youths aged fifteen or sixteen arrived in the camp. The head of this group was one Abraham. After a long and arduous work day, this young man collapsed on his pallet and fell asleep. Suddenly Wagner came into our barrack, and Abraham did not hear him call to stand up at once before him. Furious, he pulled Abraham naked off his bed and began to beat him all over his body. When Wagner grew weary of the blows, he took out his revolver and killed him on the spot. This atrocious spectacle was carried out before all of us, including Abraham’s younger brother.”

Inmate Eda Lichtman wrote that on the Jewish fast day of Yom Kippur, downloadWagner appeared at roll call, selected some prisoners, gave them bread and forced them to eat it. As the prisoners ate the bread, Wagner laughed loudly, enjoying his joke because he knew that these Jews were pious.

One of the Sobibór prisoners improvised a song which ironically described camp life (original text with English translation):

  • Wie lustig ist da unser Leben
  • Man tut uns zu essen geben
  • Wie lustig ist im grünen Wald
  • Wo ich mir aufhalt
  • How fun is our life there,
  • They give us food to eat that’s fair,
  • What fun it is in the green wood,
  • Where I am stood.

Wagner enjoyed this song and he forced the prisoners to sing it frequently.

After two Jews escaped from Sobibór in the spring of 1943, Wagner was put in charge of a squad of soldiers from the Wehrmacht, who laid minefields around the camp so as to prevent further escapes. However, these efforts did not prevent another escape, which took form in the Sobibór revolt. Wagner was not present at the camp on the day of the Sobibór revolt (14 October 1943). The inmates knew of Wagner’s absence and believed that it would improve their chances of success.

Heinrich Himmler considered Wagner to be “one of the most deserving men of Operation Reinhard”

After Sobibór, Wagner was transferred to Italy, where he participated in the deportation of Jews

Gustav Wagner was sentenced to death in absentia, but escaped with Franz Stangl to Brazil. Clergy at the Collegio Teutonico di Santa Maria dell’Anima in Rome assisted Wagner in his flight from justice.

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Wagner was admitted as a permanent resident on 12 April 1950 and on 4 December 1950 a Brazilian passport was issued in the name of “Günther Mendel”, his new identity. He lived in Brazil undisturbed until he was exposed by Simon Wiesenthal and arrested on 30 May 1978.

It was only because Franz Stangl had mentioned ,that Wagner lived in Brazil, during an interview with Gitta Sereny for a study of him published as Into that Darkness.

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Stangl died of heart failure nineteen hours after the conclusion of that interview, in Düsseldorf prison on 28 June 1971.

Simon Wiesenthal investigated the whereabouts of Wagner after that interview.

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The trail went dead for years but it was only when an article appeared in a Brazilian Newspaper which was also picked up by the New York times, the article was about Nazi’s in Sao Paulo ,Brazil celebrating Hitler’s Birthday.

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The invite to the  secret celebration in was coded.It was out of pure luck that the reporters had found the location of the party.

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Because they had become hungry and thirsty they stopped at a hotel.When they arrived reporter/photographer,Cynthia Brito noticed Nazi porcelain in a display unit in the lobby. They then looked around in the  and noticed the. party going on in a function room at the back of the hotel.She then secretly took pictures of the guests.

None of the pictures showed Wagner but Wiesenthal asked Cynthia Brito, if she could publish a picture of one of the men and say that this was Gustav Wagner,SS Officer and War Criminal, he sent her Wagner’s SS rank number.Just to lure Wagner out of hiding.

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Brito agreed and published the picture. A day after publishing the ‘mock’ Wagner was killed and afraid that he would be indicted for the murder the real Wagner reported to the police.

Wagner was arrested after Wiesenthal contacted the police.Also a Sobibor survivot who also lived in Brazil gave evidence to Wagner’s crimes.

Extradition requests from Israel, Austria and Poland were rejected by Brazil’s Attorney General. On 22 June 1979 the Brazilian Supreme Court also rejected a West German extradition request.

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Wagner, in a 1979 BBC interview, showed no remorse for his activities in running the camp, remarking:

I had no feelings. … It just became another job. In the evening we never discussed our work, but just drank and played cards.

In October 1980, Wagner was found with a knife in his chest in São Paulo. According to his attorney, Wagner committed suicide. His date of death was determined to be 3 October 1980. However it is widely believed that is more likely he was killed rather then suicide.

 

 

World War II-When it was over.

Depending where you live in Europe the war officially ended on the 8th or 9th of May 1945.The German instrument of surrender was signed at Reims, 7 May 1945.

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Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel signed the final surrender terms on 8 May 1945 in Berlin.

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However the Soviet Union allocated the 9th of May to be VE Day.

In the pacific the formal surrender occurred on September 2, 1945 around 9 a.m. Tokyo time, when representatives from the Empire of Japan signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in Tokyo Bay aboard USS Missouri.

However the effects of WWII were still felt years afterwards and one could argue they are still noticeable today.

Following are pictures of the period shortly after the war and the explanation behind them

German Wehrmacht General Anton Dostler is tied to a stake before his execution by a firing squad in a stockade in Aversa , Italy , on December 1, 1945. The General, Commander of the 75th Army Corps, was sentenced to death by an United States Military Commission in Rome for having ordered the shooting of 15 unarmed American prisoners of war, in La Spezia, Italy, on March 26, 1944

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Gaunt and emaciated, but happy at their release from Japanese captivity, two Allied prisoners pack their meager belongings, after being freed near Yokohama, Japan, on September 11, 1945, by men of an American mercy squadron of the U.S. Navy

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Aerial view of Hiroshima, Japan, one year after the atomic bomb blast shows some small amount of reconstruction amid much ruin on July 20, 1946. The slow pace of rebuilding is attributed to a shortage of building equipment and materials.

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The hunger-winter of 1947 in Germany, thousands protest against the disastrous food situation (31 March 1947).

Krefeld, Hungerwinter, Demonstration

Sudeten Germans make their way to the railway station in Liberec, in former Czechoslovakia, to be transferred to Germany in this July, 1946 photo. After the end of the war, millions of German nationals and ethnic Germans were forcibly expelled from both territory Germany had annexed, and formerly German lands that were transferred to Poland and the Soviet Union . The estimated numbers of Germans involved ranges from 12 to 14 million, with a further estimate of between 500,000 and 2 million dying during the expulsion.

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General Charles de Gaulle (center) shaking hands with children, two months after the German capitulation inLorient, France , in July of 1945. Lorient was the location of a German U-boat (submarine) base during World War II. Between January 14 and February 17, 1943, as many as 500 high-explosive aerial bombs and more than 60,000 incendiary bombs were dropped on Lorient . The city was almost completely destroyed, with nearly 90% of the city flattened.

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German mothers walk their children to school through the streets of Aachen, Germany, on June 6, 1945, for registration at the first public school to be opened by the U.S. military government after the war.

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Disabled buses that have littered the streets of Tokyo are used to help relieve the acute housing shortage in the Japanese capital on October 2, 1946. Homeless Japanese who hauled the buses into a vacant lot are converting them into homes for their families.

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One of the final resting places for those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of others.

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