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Images from Westerbork

Westerbork Transit Camp Images

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A garden between camp barracks at Westerbork
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A Jewish woman sits at the assembly point for transport to Westerbork
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A transport from Westerbork
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A wedding in the camp at Westerbork 1941
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Amsterdam, Holland, 1943, Deportation to Westerbork camp.
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Arrival of Jews at the Westerbork transit camp. The Netherlands, 1942
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Barracks at Westerbork
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Bunks in the punishment barracks at Westerbork
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Hans Frank on the record in 1945

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Hans Frank

Conversation with an American Officer 4 and 5 August 1945

 

*The following conversations took place between Hans Frank and an American Army Officer on 4 and 5 August 1945

 

 

Hans Frank in captivity Nov. 24th, 1945

Frank; I was so stupid all these years. You know we are so guilty. Look here I saw the moving-pictures of those concentration camps and I saw how these people had been treated.

 

American Army Officer; Who organised all those concentration camps?

 

Frank; Always the same gang, Himmler, Heydrich and the whole rotten clique. No opposition was possible. For me it was a real torture all these years. And the Fuhrer degraded me and threw me out. In 1942 he simply chased me away.

 

I was then stripped of all my offices in the Party, because I always protested against these procedures. We could do nothing…. I was thrown into a cellar and beaten up. My papers were taken away from me in Augsburg. Well, we did it too, it’s bad everywhere. What bothers me most – (Weeps)

 

It’s a catastrophe such as the world has never yet seen…. In the beginning all was so different. You mustn’t judge National Socialism by those concentration camps. You have to go back to the Party program of 1920 ….. if Hitler had stepped before the entire German people and had announced: When I assume the power I will set up concentration camps and rule by sheer force. But he said; When I assume the power justice will prevail. I will set up new courts and install new judges.

 

At the time in my capacity as his legal advisor in Leipzig I induced him to take the oath of legality; “I shall strive to come to power by legal means and after the assumption of power I shall rule by legal means. So help me God.”

 

I have recalled that to his mind. But you know all that so much better than I…..

 

And then always those speeches of Churchill preaching hatred, the Fuhrer always spoke of peace, but Churchill’s everlasting hate-speeches against National Socialism, in turn, induced Hitler to make other speeches…..

 

The worst thing for me was the rise of Himmler…. If it hadn’t been for the outbreak of war and for the fact that I was sitting in Warsaw as Governor General, trying to straighten out the situation there, I wouldn’t be here at all today.

 

As a lawyer I understand very well that it is quite difficult to bring all these men to trial. I understand that world opinion clamours for it and I assume that many hundreds of trials are in the process of preparation. What you have here in Mondorf is from the judicial viewpoint the last supreme selection.

 

You might well call it that and yet the original perpetrators who are connected with those atrocities are not amongst them. They are Globocnik and Kaltenbrunner and the SS leaders.

 

We all are worried about being extradited to Moscow, and then it would be all over. Should such an extradition be contemplated, I would ask as a favour to be questioned just once more by an American judge.

 

You see there are three viewpoints: The viewpoint of the enemy which sees quite understandably in Hitler and National Socialism the arch criminal who disturbed world peace etc. That is the viewpoint not only of the enemy, the Russians and Americans, but also of a majority of the German people.

 

That’s what many colleagues and ministers over in ASHCAN constantly forget. They are actually of the opinion that if they were released and returned to Germany, many people would say, “Thank God, you are back” I am convinced that the reverse would be the case. If today men like Streicher or Ley or any of those notorious fanatics were released they would be slain, the reason being, I think that it is too well known that they enriched themselves personally

 

American Army Officer; Where is your wife? Where were you arrested?

 

Frank; In Fischhausen on the Schliersee (Chiemsee) …. You know, I and my whole family are Catholics. I am a very devout Catholic. To me it’s a spiritual matter. I was brought up as a Catholic. I am very much upset.

 

Look here, I sat for five years at my reduced post over in Krakow, which was unbelievably difficult, what with the SS being granted special powers and carrying out all those dreadful atrocities. I had to put up a constant fight against those people to avert the worst. The fight against the resistance movement and the Jews. (Weeps).

 

Dr. Ludwig Fischer

I took care of the legal matters of the Party and defended Hitler and the Party members. Politically I was never active. I confined myself to the purely legal end.

 

American Army Officer; Who else was with you?

 

Frank; Dr Fischer and several others

 

American Army Officer; Is Dr Fischer still alive?

 

Frank; I believe so. Then there was Schwarz in charge of the Party administration centres. At the time he (?) issued a report against all the parties which did not stand on the grounds of the Constitution and which desired something different. So Schaub declared, “We renounce this Weimar Constitution, we desire a different regime,” and then there was the so-called “Law for the Protection of the Republic.”

Any speaker who made any statement against the Republic or against Weimar or against anyone was brought before the judge.

 

American Army Officer; But did you always win your trials?

 

Frank; We won most of the trials …. The Party was prohibited then and was dissolved, and the SA was dissolved; then there were different incidents during the elections for the diet. In short, this was this judicial activity.

 

American Army Officer; And that is why you never became a professor?

 

Frank; Otherwise I should be a full professor today. My conscience is quite clear even though I couldn’t put it through, when I say to myself that my aim was the constitutional state. I wanted the Fuhrer to do it properly. At least I prevented a good deal.

 

It would have been much worse if I hadn’t continually struggled at the time when I was still “Reichsleiter.” I was able to help so many persons. I was in the Party and I had a high position. I could make my influence felt and for this reason Himmler strove to throw me out of this position.

 

And that it only succeeded in 1940 is significant. And then I was bruskly thrown out. One day the Fuhrer let it be known through Lammers. I held four important speeches publically before the students and professors at my universities, Heidleberg, Munich, Vienna and Berlin. I got up and said that Adolf Hitler hadn’t kept his word. Just imagine, I gave the four speeches in one week, otherwise they would have arrested me already. I was briefly being investigated.

 

American Army Officer; When was that?

 

Frank; That was in 1942 after the speech in Munich. I was investigated by the Gestapo and then the Fuhrer wrote me quite an indignant letter – how could I do such a thing? You are hereby degraded with prejudice as “Reichsleiter of the Party,” and since that time I have been quite an ordinary Party member.

 

In 1933 I became Minister of Justice in Bavaria. Then, because I spoke out against Roehm as Minister of Justice during the Roehm trial – that was the first time that Adolf Hitler had men shot without trial, and I protested against it.

 

I put myself in prison, in Stadelheim, just imagine the Bavarian Minister of Justice sitting in prison and I kept 200 persons from being shot. I sat in the prison and told my associates, “No one is to leave the prison.” I saved 200 SA leaders and the Fuhrer never forgave that.

 

The Fuhrer wanted to have 240 SA leaders shot at once, the SS platoons were there and I declared, “No I am still Minister of Justice, the prison is under my control.” And then they said, “We are fools and idiots. Why did we lock up the prisoners in a prison?”

 

Read more here: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/trials/HansFrankTestimony.html

 

The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team

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Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2011

The IMT Series (H.E.A.R.T Exclusive) "The beginning of the end"

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International Military Tribunal Series

Nuremberg War Crimes Trials

What follows are a number of documents translated into English for the International Military Tribunal which tried the leading members of the Nazi Third Reich after the German surrender.

We have selected a cross section of documents and affidavits in relation to the Holocaust but this is only a fraction of the documents produced for the trial, but it hopefully gives the reader a clear insight into one of the worst chapters of human history.

The beginning of the end

 

PS 3363

Letter From Heydrich To The Chiefs Of All Einsatzgruppen Concerning The “Jewish Question In The Occupied Territories” 21 September 1939

The Chief of the Security Police

Reinhard Heydrich
Reinhard Heydrich

PP(II) -288/39 Secret

Berlin 21 September 1939

Express Letter

To the Chiefs of All Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police

Re: The Jewish Question in the Occupied Territory

With reference to the conference which took place today in Berlin, I would like to point out once more that the total measures planned (i.e. the final aim) are to be kept strictly secret.

A distinction is to be made between,

1. The final aim (which will take some time), and

2. Sections of the carrying out of this aim (which can be carried out within a short space of time.)

The measures planned require the most thorough preparation both from the technical and the economic point of view.

It goes without saying that the tasks in this connection cannot be laid down in detail. The following instructions and directives simultaneously serve the purpose of urging the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen to practical considerations.

I

The first necessity for the attaining of the final aim is the concentration of the country Jews in the big towns. This is to be carried out immediately.

A distinction is to be made (1) between the territories of Danzig and West Prussia, Posen, Eastern Upper Silesia and (2) the remaining occupied territories. As far as possible the territories enumerated under (1) are to be cleared of Jews, but the very least to be aimed at is the formation of very few “concentration” towns.

In the territories mentioned under (2) as few “concentration” points as possible are to be established in order to facilitate later measures. Care must be taken that only such towns be chosen as concentration points as are either railroad junctions or at least lie on a railway.

It is laid down on principle that Jewish communities of less than 500 persons are to be dissolved and to be sent to the nearest “concentration” town.

This decree does not concern the territory of Einsatzgruppe 1 which, lying east of Krakow, is bordered by Polanico, Jaroslav, the new demarcation line and the former Slovak- Polish frontier. Within this territory only a temporary census of Jews need be taken. The rest is to be done by the Jewish Council of Elders dealt with below.

II

Jewish Council of Elders

1. In every Jewish community a Jewish Council of Elders is to be set up which, as far as possible, is to be formed from persons in authority and rabbis who have remained behind. Up to 24 male Jews (according to the size of the Jewish community) are to form the Council of Elders.

It is to be made fully responsible, within the meaning of the word, for the exact and punctual carrying out of all instructions issued or to be issued.

Lodz Judenrat
The Judenrat (counsel of Elders) in the Lodz Ghetto

2.In the event of the sabotaging of such instructions, the strictest measures are to be announced to the Council.

3.The Jewish Councils are to undertake a temporary census of the Jews – if possible arranged according to sex (ages (a) up to 16 years, (b) from 16 to 20 years, and (c) over) and according to the principal professions – in their localities, and to report thereon within the shortest possible period.

4.The Council of Elders are to be advised of the days fixed and the appointed times of the evacuation, the possibilities of evacuation, and finally the evacuation routes. They are then to be made personally responsible for evacuation of the Jews from the country. The reason for the concentrating of Jews in the towns is to be that Jews have to a very great extent participated in franc-tireur attacks and pillage.

5.The Councils of Elders in the “concentration” towns are to be made responsible for the suitable accommodation of the Jews from the country. The concentration of the Jews in the towns will probably, in the interests of general security, call for certain regulations in these towns, e.g. that certain quarters of the town be altogether forbidden to the Jews; that in the interests of economic necessity, they be forbidden to leave the Ghetto, forbidden to go out after a certain hour in the evening etc.

6.The Council of Elders is to be made responsible for the suitable feeding of the Jews during their transportation to the towns. No objections are to be made if the departing Jews take their movable possessions with them, as far as this is technically possible.

7.Jews who do not comply with the order to move to the towns are, in certain cases to be given a short respite. They are to be advised of the most strict punishment if they do not comply with this time limit.

III

All necessary measures are, on principle, always to be taken in the closest agreement and co-operation with the German civil administration and the competent local military authorities.

When carrying out this action care is to be taken that the economic security of the occupied territories suffers no damage.

The needs of the army are to be the first consideration, e.g. it will hardly be possible, to begin with, to avoid leaving behind Jewish traders here and there who, for lack of other possibilities, must definitely remain behind for the provisioning of the troops. In such cases, however, the speedy Aryanisation of these industries is to be aimed at, in agreement with the competent local German administrative authorities, and the migration of the Jews completed.

It goes without saying that Jewish branches of industry and trade which are vital to the life of the community, the war effort, or the Four Year Plan must be maintained in order to safeguard economic interest in the occupied territories. In such cases, also, the quickest possible Aryanisation is to be aimed at and the migration of the Jews completed.

Finally, the food question in the occupied territories is to be taken into consideration. For example, if possible, land belonging to Jewish settlers is to be farmed with their own by the neighbouring German or Polish peasants, in an official capacity, so that the gathering in of the harvest still in the fields or the continued cultivation can be safeguarded. With regard to this important question, contact is to be made with agricultural expert consultants of the chief of civil administration.

In all cases where the interests of the security police on one hand and the German civil administration on the other are not in agreement, the individual measures in question are to be reported to me as quickly as possible before their execution and my decision awaited.

IV

The chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen will report to me continually regarding the following circumstances:

1.Census of Jews in their districts (if possible in the above –mentioned groups). The numbers are to be divided into Jews who will be migrating from the country and those who are already in the towns.

Einsatzgruppen forcing Jews to dig their own graves
Einsatzgruppen forcing Jews to dig their own graves

2.Names of towns selected as “concentration” points.

3.The time limits set for the migration of the Jews to the towns.

4. Summary of all Jewish branches of industry and trade which are vital to the life of the community, the war effort, or the Four Year Plan.

If possible the following facts are to be established:

a. The type of undertaking (together with estimate of the possibility of the adaptation of the undertaking to one vital to the life of the community, the war effort, or the Four Year Plan)

b. Which of these undertakings it is most urgent to Aryanise (to avoid damage of any kind)? How is it proposed to effect the Aryanisation? Germans or Poles (this decision is dependent on the importance of the industry).

 

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Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2011

The Eichmann Trial - Eichmann in Budapest

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Adolf Eichmann in Budapest

Avraham Gordon Testimony

Eichmann Trial - Session 54

Jerusalem 26 May 1961

State Attorney Bach: Your Honours, our next witness is Avraham Gordon.

Eichmann on Trial in Jerusalem
Eichmann listens to testimony at his trial in 1961

Presiding Judge: Do you speak Hebrew?

Witness Gordon: Yes, I speak Hebrew.

[The witness is sworn.]

Presiding Judge: What is your full name?

Witness: Avraham Gordon.

Presiding Judge: Please reply to Mr. Bach's questions.

State Attorney Bach: Mr. Gordon, were you born in Hungary?

Witness Gordon: Yes.

Q. In Budapest?

A. Yes.

Q. In what year?

A. In 1927.

Q. Where were you in 1944?

A. I was in Budapest. I was at school in the sixth grade of the Gymnasium ( Secondary School) - this corresponds to the tenth grade in Israeli terms.

Q. Do you remember 19 March 1944?

A. It was a Sunday, the day on which the German army occupied Hungary and also entered Budapest.

Q. How did this affect your studies?

A. In the following two weeks our studies went on, and thereafter, a general closure of all the schools in Hungary was declared. We finished the school year and after that classes were stopped and also the air-raids began. This was the reason given for ceasing all teaching in Hungary that year.

Q. Did the studies of all pupils cease?

A. Of all.

Q. Not only of the Jewish pupils?

A. No - all of them.

Q. Were you living with your family?

German troops march through Budapest
German troops occupy the city of Budapest

A. Yes. I was staying in the district of Buda, Quarter No. 1.

Q. Who were the members of your family?

A. My father, my mother, my brother, my grandfather and grandmother.

Q. When were the Jews ordered to wear the yellow Shield of David?

A. As far as I remember, it was on 5 April. This is the date I recall.

Q. Do you remember receiving, on one of those days, a certain order from the German authorities?

A. That was about a week before Hitler's birthday, on 12 or 13 April. I think that this order came from the Jewish Council, with the approval, and by order, of the German security services.

Q. What was the order?

A. It was stated in the order that we were to report on the Schwabenberg in the morning for labour service.

Q. What was the Schwabenberg?

A. Before the War Schwabenberg served as a resort place, and it had many private villas. When I arrived, I found most of the headquarters of the German army there.

Q. You say there were private villas there?

A. There were private villas, and hotels.

Q. Were there also Germans in the occupying army?

A. Yes. There were many German soldiers.

Q. And did you report for labour service?

A. I reported, and I was referred to a Jewish engineer named Kolbach.

Q. Only you, or were there other Jews as well?

A. When I came to the Schwabenberg, I found between one hundred and one hundred and fifty other Jews.

Q. Were they all about your age, or were there also people of other ages?

A. Most of them were young people under the age of 18, but there were approximately 20-30 older persons, about the age of 50.

Q. Please tell the Court what happened after you reported to Mr. Kolbach?

A. They detailed us to various types of work. They were drilling two tunnels there, one in the direction of the Eden Hotel which was opposite the Majestic Hotel and the other leading to the Majestic Hotel. We did not know exactly the uses to which these tunnels were to be put. We thought they would serve as shelters and as arms depots.

Q. Arms depots and shelters for whom?

A. For the German army.

Q. You say that you reported to Kolbach. Was he in charge of this work?

Pre war photo of villas in the Schwabenberg
(pre-war) photos of villas at Schwabenberg

Q. How long were you engaged in this work?

A. I was engaged in this work for approximately one month.

Q. When was this, roughly? From when to when?

A. It was in 1944, from the middle of April to the middle of May 1944.

Q. And throughout this time, you worked at the same place?

A. They also sent us to so-called outside jobs. We worked both at the Eden Hotel and also at the sanatorium, and once or twice I was also sent to work in the building of the Hungarian Political Police. The building of the Hungarian Political Police was near the Majestic Hotel.

Read more here: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/trials/eichmann-in-budapest.html

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Vienna Image Gallery

Images of the Holocaust in Vienna

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A bus transporting German soldiers on a street in Vienna
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A directive from the Jewish community in Vienna requiring the recipient to report to the community's offices on October 17, 1941 to receive instructions prior to reporting to an assembly camp (for deportation)
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A German letter notifying of 570 deported Hungarian Jews in Vienna, rounded up for deportation.
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A German officer overseeing Jews from Vienna who hold their belongings as they board a railroad freight car
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A Jewish man forced to paint anti-Jewish graffiti on a shuttered storefront. Vienna, Austria, March 1938.
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A parade of German soldiers marching past St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, upon the annexation of Austria to the Reich
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Adolf Hitler and entourage view a military parade following the annexation of Austria (the Anschluss). Vienna, Austria, March 1938
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An SS officer conducting a search of an office in the Jewish community building in Vienna
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A Jewish Prisoner of War

Selected Extracts from the Memoirs of Samuel Jarniewski

 

A Jewish Prisoner of War

 Biala Podlaska & Konska – Wola & Budzyn  

 

Part 1

 

 


Samuel Jarniewski (right) a Jew  who served in the Polish Army

Samuel Jarniewski a Jew served in the Polish Army, and on the 11 September 1939, he was captured near Lomsha, eastern Poland. After long periods in a number of prisoner of war camps, Stalag 1 A near Konigsberg, Lablaken in Libau and Stalag 2b at Hammerstein, West Prussia.

 

In late October 1940 Samuel and his fellow prisoners were sent to a Jewish camp at Biala- Podlaska and this is where we join this account.

 

Jewish Camp Biala- Podlaska

 

We arrived at Biala – Podlaska at the end of October 1940 late in the evening. With great fear we waited for the reception and what would come. When we saw the SS men dressed in black watching us after taking over the transport, we were very sad.

 

After a half an hour march we arrived at the camp. When we saw the sign at the camp, “Jewish Camp in Biala- Podlaska,” we realised the big lie that we had been told at Stalag 1A. We were put behind a fence again, but this time on the other side were SS men and their paid Ukrainian murderers.

 

When we entered the living blocks that had been chosen for us, we met there the old inhabitants of the camp who were civilian Jews from Poland. We found these people in an indescribable state; barefoot, badly clothed and starving.

 

Immediately I saw the picture of what was waiting for us in the future. Millions of flies prevented us from resting after the long journey. We also got to know the cruel reality of what had happened here in the gouvernment and with the Jewish people during the one year of my absence. I also learned that we were to replace the old people of the camp who had no strength anymore for the hard work of constructing an airfield in Biala- Podlaska.

 

In the early morning of the following day we were ordered to work. When the building managers of the airfield saw us, they were very happy to receive new workers.    

 


Samuel Jarniewski

Most of the building managers were soldiers of the Air Force and cannot say that they treated us badly. After their intervention, the living blocks were disinfected, and after one case of very bad treatment on the march from work, we were fetched and brought back in from the camp under the guard of the Air Force.

 

Many of our comrades escaped to the River Bug in order to reach their homes but several of my comrades and I received warnings in letters from our families not to come home in this illegal way. There was also the possibility of leaving the camp in order to become a member of the Jewish civilian government (Judenrat), but I advised my fiends not to and made the decision never to leave the camp. It was better to be a prisoner of war in the camp than to bear the fate of the civilian Jewish people.

 

And so I went daily to my work on the airfield and did my best not to go hungry. I waited patiently for what was to come. Every day we grew fewer and fewer in numbers, partly by leaving and partly by escape. I received letters from home and from countrymen that were in the Judenrat.

 

One day at the end of December some of us became ill from typhus and by order of the military doctor, the camp was sealed off. The illness became an epidemic and soon many of us were ill and went into the sick room. Conditions in the sick room were unbearable and we were two, sometimes three to a bed.

 

The nursing was good but we had nothing with which to recover, no tea, or other beverages that were necessary for this dangerous illness. Before my illness I received some money from my friends and with this money I bought some bottles of red wine that were the only refreshments I had during my illness.

 

I also separated myself from my comrades who had been lying in the bed with me. Although the cases of death were small in comparison to those from the treatment and conditions after the illness, the sickness was a hard one. It was months until I was healthy again. Five hundred people got sick in the course of the winter.

 

In February of 1941, when we were closed off in the camp because of the epidemic, we saw large military movements on the road to the River Bug. Day by day, transports were driven to the river. We had a lot of time to observe this accurately. The Jewish civilian workers had to work with a feverish speed in order to repair the road that led to Moscow – Warsaw.

 

Several of us already saw the beginnings of a war against the Soviets and with frightened hearts we feared for the fate of our families who had been safe until then. Our weak state of health however, did not allow us to think so much. Our futures were already grey and we had to concentrate on regaining our health.

 


Post war exhumation of corpses at Biala- Podlaska

Slowly we recovered everyone to his opportunities; some from home packages and some from the camp kitchen. Some of us thought that the winter would soon be over and as surviving typhus in wartime is good we consoled ourselves in this terrible time.

 

In March 1941, around the twelfth, or thirteenth, S.D. men were placed around the camp and everyone was given the order to enter except for the people from the sick room.

 

Some of us were quite weak and not completely healthy but there was nothing to do, an order is an order. We al took our packages and other possessions and were counted off; we were more than three hundred.

 

We were marched to the station under very strong guard, loaded into trains and travelled in a direction that was unknown to us. Our chief worry was not to be sent to the big prisoner camp in Lublin where we heard that our comrades were being treated even worse than in Biala- Podlaska. We had no possibility to change our course though; only an escape would change it and most of us were too weak to escape.

Read more here: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/survivor/jarniewski.html

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Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2011

Latest Holocaust Publications

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Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team

Publications Listing

 

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 Oskar Schindler Stepping Stone To Life
by Dr Robin O'Neil

Published by Joyce Field and Susan E King

schindlerbook@susaneking.com

“A fascinating and well researched book. A must read for all serious students of the holocaust”

– Chris Webb  H.E.A.R.T Director UK

 

 

Belzec: Stepping Stone to Genocide >>

by Dr Robin O'Neil

This is a follow-up to Dr Robin O’Neil’s book published in July 2008 on the Belzec Death Camp

Published by JewishGen.Inc

 

 

The Rabka Four  A Warning from History >>

by Dr Robin O'Neil

A Brand New Book by Robin O’Neil published by Spiderwise 2011 with contributions by H.E.A.R.T. >>

 

 

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Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto 2011 H.E.A.R.T

Poland Captured! Images under the Nazi Occupation by Chris Webb

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Publications Listing

 

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Poland Captured

Images of Poland under the Nazi Occupation

A H.E.A.R.T Publication

This is a limited edition available July, 2011
ISBN 978 -0- 9556544-5-9 

Copyright H.E.A.R.T 2011

 

The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team

See our full list of Publications here: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/publications.html

 

Copyright 2011 H.E.A.R.T

Polish Fort-Nightly Review issue #115

New Page 1

POLISH FORT-NIGHTLY REVIEW

London, Tuesday, May 1 1945 Issue No. 115

Polish Women in German Concentration Camps

 

Foreword

 

A wave of indignation is passing over the world today as the result of the revelation of the conditions in which the prisoners in German concentration camps have lived and died.

 

Red Cross nurse administers to an ethnic Pole at the Hannover-Ahlem concentration camp in Germany

Unfortunately, not even the most horrible of these revelations is new to Poles, for they know the German concentration camp methods only too well, the deaths of thousands of people from “heart attacks” in one day as the result of an injection of phenol, and the unfailing ingenuity of German everyday brutality.

 

The Press has already given horrible details of the concentration camp at Buchenwald. In this camp, as in all German camps, there were also Polish prisoners. Out of some 50,000 Polish prisoners held there until recently, the Allied troops have managed to release only 3,500 altogether; the others have either been carried off from the camp by the Germans, or have died.

 

And yet as Florian Sokolow, a correspondent of the Polish Telegraph Agency, reports in his message from Buchenwald on April 21st, the conditions of existence in this camp were comparatively much better than those in the great camps in Poland: in Oswiecim or Majdanek.

 

This is what he writes:

 

“For that matter, Buchenwald is not among the worst of the concentration camps. It was a camp of slow death by exhaustion, sickness and hunger. The number of those put to death there by various kinds of torture is 51,000, a comparatively small proportion of the total number of Buchenwald’s victims.

 

A former prisoner in Oswiecim (Auschwitz in German nomenclature), Sokolow, goes on, “whom I met there, told me that by comparison with Oswiecim, Buchenwald was a paradise.”

 

This view is confirmed in the Parliamentary Deputation Report on Buchenwald as quoted in “The Times” on April 28th:

 

“One of the statements made to us most frequently by prisoners was that conditions in other camps, particularly those in Eastern Europe, were far worse than at Buchenwald.

 

The worst camp of all was said by many to be at Auschwitz; these men all insisted on showing us their Auschwitz camp numbers, tattooed in blue on their left forearms.”

 

In this number of the POLISH FORTNIGHTLY REVIEW we give two extensive reports on the conditions of existence in the women’s concentration camp at Brzezinka (Birkenau in German nomenclature) as well as a shorter note on the medical experiments made on women in the same camp.

 

This camp was close to the notorious camp at Oswiecim, in south –eastern Poland, and was in fact part of it. All the stories are from eyewitnesses, women and girls who were imprisoned in Brzezinka, and they have reached Polish official circles in London by devious routes.

 

They relate to the second half of 1943 and the beginning of 1944.

 

The camp at Brzezinka was one of the three main concentration camps for Polish women. The others were that at Majdanek, near Lublin, and at Ravensbruck. At the moment of writing this second camp is still in German – held territory.

 

AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE WOMEN’S CAMP AT OSWIECIM – BRZEZINKA (Birkenau)

 

Autumn 1943, to Spring 1944

 

At the outset I want to say that the details given below are strictly true and authentic. They are not dictated by any desire for propaganda, by hatred, or love of exaggeration.

 

On the contrary, instead of making the picture more glaring, I shall try to tone it down, to make it more credible. For the reality I have to write about is so horrible that it is difficult to expect that anyone who hasn’t seen it should believe it. Yet it is the reality. Please believe this short account of that reality, and believe my words as you would believe someone returned from the dead.

 

The women’s concentration camp at Oswiecim has officially no connection whatever with the men’s camp. They are two separate worlds. The data concerning either of them do not apply to the other.

 

Founded a year or more after the men’s camp had been started, the women’s camp is at present passing through that same process of successive horrors which the men’s camp has already experienced. The results are still more terrible, for women have less powers of resistance and are more helpless than men.

 

Some Figures

 

The serial number of the women at present in the camp runs into the eighty thousands. Of this number, 65,000 women of various nationalities have died during the past two years.

 

The majority of the deaths have been Jewesses, but several other nations have contributed large quotas. The total number of Polish women who have passed through the camp is reckoned at fifteen to sixteen thousand. Of these 5,500 are still alive, the others are dead. The number of released women are insignificant, and do not amount to one percent of the total.

 

Female prisoners sit shivering in the cold at Birkenau

The women’s camp is an abyss of misery, a horrible slaughter house for thousands upon thousands of women. Their ages range from ten to seventy. The crimes for which they are incarcerated are equally varied: in addition to serious political cases, and women soldiers captured with arms in hand, there is a Poznan woman who refused to sell her favourite cat to a German woman.

 

Her hard bed is shared by a twelve- year old girl who, while collecting her father’s geese, happened unknowingly to cross the frontier, so-called near Czestochowa. She has been here for two years as a serious political criminal.

 

The nationalities are just as varied: Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Yugoslavian, German, French and Jewish. The Jewesses are the most numerous and most unfortunate of all. At first the conditions at Brzezinka were so horrible that very few of those who came to the camp in the early days are still alive. A great transport of a thousand women brought from the Fordon prison two years ago, is recalled by only four women still alive.

 

Read more here:  http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/nazioccupation/polishwomen.html

 

 

    The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team

                www.HolocaustResearchProject.org

 

Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto  H.E.A.R.T 2011

Nazi war criminals - Roberto Lorent interrogation

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Record of Interrogation In Cologne - Robert Lorent

 April 5th, 1961

  

 [photos added to enhance the text]

 

LORENT, Friedrich Robert

SS-Untersturmführer
Born March 22, 1905 (Bremen, Germany)

BACKGROUND:
Chief of T4 economics since 1942. Responsible for supply of gas cylinders. Served at the euthanasia centre in Hartheim.

SERVICE AT BELZEC:
Only for a short time at the beginning of camp activities.

FATE:
Survived the war. In 1945, on his escape from Berlin, Lorent carried money and checks worth 1.2 million Reichsmark with him. After the war people were struck by the unusual amount of money in his possession. Trial in Frankfurt in 1969 / 1970.

 

 

The Criminal Police in Cologne who informed the subject matter of the hearing and warned of the need to speak the truth, states the following:

 

In February 1942 I reported to the Community Charity Foundation in Berlin, which was then in the process of dissolution. The personnel was largely passed to the office of Globocnik. I need to amend this statement and say that about 20% of the personnel were thus transferred and of these a large part continued to be paid by the Foundation.

 

These payments were made by a Loans Office of which I was in charge. My knowledge of the camp Belzec and its staff stem from this arrangement.

 

Erwin Fichnter outside the administration office  at Belzec

I went to Belzec twice. I no longer remember the exact dates. There was an interval of about 6 weeks to 2 months between these visits. The second visit in 1942 must have taken place before the weather turned cold as I clearly recall that I spent the night in a PKW, near the railway station Rawa-Ruska, there was a guarded market-place – which I could not have done had it been really cold.

 

The purpose of my visit was to deliver supplies to the camps in the Lublin region. I seem to remember that the goods train was shunted into sidings at the camp (Belzec) and that I spent the night in a sturdily constructed brick building, on a road about 500 m distant from the camp.

 

Close to this was the billet of Wirth. The staff which accompanied the goods train became the responsibility of the admin staff member Fichtner. I already knew him from a previous meeting. I am of the opinion he must also have been employed in another Foundation and that I must have got to know him when this was dissolved.

 

 

Read more here: www.holocaustresearchproject.org/trials/lorent.html

 

The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team

www.HolocaustResearchProject.org

 

Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 20100