Searching for information regarding the extent and horror of Hitler's horrendously evil "Final Solution," they find as a source a World War II infantryman who participated in the liberation of the six concentration camps ringing Landsberg, Germany, was stationed at Dachau at war's end, and a few years later viewed the camp at Mauthausen, Austria—a veteran who in his own quest for understanding has researched sources in German and English and continues to avail himself of every opportunity to counter the ridiculous claims of Holocaust naysayers.
A Non-Fiction Publication by Wendell H. Hall
with feedback primarily from Junior High School Students
Copyright © Wendell H. Hall 2006
Printed in the United States of America
Dedicated to my unforgettable comrades in the 103rd Division
and to treasured
Jewish friends and victims of the holocaust everywhere
From the frontispiece of Report After Action, The Story of the 103rd Infantry Division
A helmet atop his rifle marks the location of a fallen comrade's corpse—one of many
casualties as the division fought forward to Landsberg and liberated the horror
camps located there.
G.I.s inspect one of Dachau's infamous ovens in which victims' remains can be seen
Gaskammer at Mauthausen
The SS (Schutzstaffel) would cram 120 victims into this
seal the doors and pump in carbon monoxide
One of the six concentration camps ringing Landsberg, Germany
The caption reads: The victims of the "master race" were crowded
unspeakably filthy huts. Dead and dying prisoners can
be seen lying on the
in this picture.
The pictures on these two pages were taken by Pfc. Bertram Sanders,
103d cameraman, at one of the concentration camps in Landsberg
shortly after the city's capture by the 411th.
Both German men and women were made to help dig the mass graves
for the hundreds of dead found on the grounds of the horror camp.
German civilians were forced to carry away the shrivelled bodies of the camps victims. Dying and dead lay all over the camp as the 411th entered the camp.
Photos from Report After Action: The Story of the 103rd Infantry Division of one of the six concentration camps at Landsberg liberated by the 411th Infantry Regiment on or around April 25, 1945.
In large print: The pictures on these two pages were taken by Pfc. Bertram Sanders, 103d cameraman, at one of the concentration camps in Landsberg shortly after the city's capture by the 411th.
German civilians were forced to carry away the shriveled bodies of the camp's victims.
Dying and dead lay all over the round as the 411th entered the camp.
Both German men and women were made to help dig the mass graves for the hundreds of dead found on the grund of the horror camp.
The victims of the "master race" were crowded into these unspeakably filthy huts. Dead and dying prisoners can be seen lying on the ground in this picture.
From REPORT AFTER ACTION: The Story of the 103D
Infantry Division, pp. 131-135:
At Landsberg the men of the 103d Infantry Division discovered what they had been fighting against. They found six concentration camps where victims of the super race had died by the thousands of atrocities, starvation, and exposure. The grounds of the camp were littered with the skeletonized bodies of Jews, Poles, Russians, French, and un-Nazified Germans. Every evidence was that they were only the latest of untold thousands who had suffered and died in these six concentration camps, a few among the hundreds which dotted Grossdeutschland. German civilians who were forced by the 411th guards to pick up these wasted bodies for decent burial sniveled that they had not known such things existed. They had not known, yet they had spent their lives in this down of 30,000 which was ringed by six horror camps.
At one camp alone 300 bodies lay on the barren, filthy ground while 600 living "zombies"—weak from five and six years of starvation shuffled aimlessly.
Inside many of the huts which lie half-dug into the ground—about five feet high and 24 feet long—lay prisoners who could not walk, or move—those who would not live. Military government officers who took charge immediately cautioned the soldiers not to offer food or cigarettes to these people, who would automatically cause a riot and die attempting to get a morsel of sustenance. Military doctors prescribed a diet, and military government officers scoured the countryside for supplies—1,000 loaves of bread, 1,000 quarts of milk, 750 pounds of fresh meat a day, plus all the Wehrmacht stocks in the vicinity—in an almost futile attempt to save the lives of these 50 and 60 pound remnants of human beings.
The stink in the "hospital" when the GIs entered was not refined enough to be called an odor or smell. But two days later the americans had it scoured and spotless by German military prisoners.
Two of the six camps had been filled with Jews from every country in Europe. Men, women, and children had been shoved together, about 100 to a hut.
The prison cell where Hitler wrote Mein Kampf
Just a plain unadorned downstairs cell, with a commemorative plaque, a cot and a washstand with a water jar and a porcelain wash basin on it. A framed photo of der Führer
on one wall. A small table with a potted plant on it. One chair. All very plain. And, of course, there was a first edition copy of Mein Kampf on another stand. The exterior of the prison was far from plain:
This photo is from an internet source. Refurbished since then, the façade looks essentially the same as when we were there in 1945. Colonel Donovan P. Yuell
, commanding officer of our 411th Infantry Regiment, seized Hitler's flag—on display there—and added it to the regiment's trophies.
When my oldest grandchildren commenced their studies at junior high school, I began to receive phone calls and e-mails prompted by teachers' assignments to interview a participant in World War II. Veterans of that momentous conflict are dying at a rate of about a thousand a day so there was a certain amount of urgency attached to this.
Aware through comments of their parents that I had participated in the liberation of concentration camps, their inquiries often were centered on this. Information I provided wasn't limited to my personal experiences but supplemented by excruciatingly painful research into how the horror I witnessed could have been possible.
Two major resources in responding effectively to inquiries were my U.S. Army outfits' histories: Report After Action, The Story of the 103rd Infantry Division and From Bruyères to Brenner, The Combat Story of the Fighting 411th. Of particular value was Das vergangene Reich by Klaus Hildebrand, with its detailed account of the circumstances which made possible Hitler's rise to power as well as his heinous exercise of it.
My grandchildren were assigned to give oral reports of their conversations with me. Had they been written, this compendium would be more exact. However, their recollections, added to mine, have served to make this reportage as accurate as possible—in spirit if not, of course, word for word.
E-mail communications are given verbatim, although paragraphing and indenting—not easily employed in e-mail—have been added, plus a few clarifications... Of my comments, not theirs. Keep in mind that e-mail is such a spontaneous, rapid way to communicate that our fingers—not our brains—are prone to make spelling errors.
Our lovely, vivacious granddaughter Emma goes by the nick-name M. To observe the degree of privacy which Emma and all participants prefer, they will be identified by the initial letter of their first name—everyone but Emma, that is.
M_____, the first junior high schooler to contact me by e-mail expresses herself in a vibrant, catchy, teenage way, so hip, hot, gnarly, or whatever the proper jargon is among cyber kidz, that it's very endearing to an "older person," "freak" or "senior" like me. She was the first to write and her messages should prove to be an impactful way to commence this discussion.
To facilitate comprehension by old persons, freaks, seniors and STIKS, and w/ a W 4 dweebs, a short glossary is provided below.
STIK: (Shirt-Tie-Keyboard) Boring office type.
Dweeb: A dorky or nerdy person.
Dork: A kind of nerd or geek. High IQ but quirky.
LOL: Laughing Out Loud; also, Love On Line.
Hot: Attractive, good-looking, exciting...
c = see, u = you, ur = you are, k = O.K., w/ = with, w = wink, 2 = to, 4 = for...
In school right now we are reading about Anne Frank. That ( concentration camps) to me was one of the worst things ever done to people in history. Why, did hitler hate the Jews? Did someone Jewish pick on him in his life? Or did he just think they were worthless? Maybe you could put that answer on your web site. or write back 2 me.
Thanks for you time.
Thanks for your interest, M_____. There's an expression in Spanish, "Me cae gordo," that is more or less the equivalent of English "I don't like his looks." Hitler himself reported that he once saw a Jew on the streets of Vienna and was filled with a great feeling of revulsion.
At that time, in Vienna—and Europe in general—Jewish men were readily identified by their black garb and beards. This is a fairly common example of misanthropy, a distrust of anything unfamiliar, not like ourselves, that unfortunately is not uncommon around the world. I use the Spanish saying as an example of the fact that similar expressions and attitudes are, regrettably, very widespread.
To misanthropy must be added the virulent anti-Semitism pervading Europe (and many other places) back then (and now). This term is a misnomer, because "Semite" includes Arabs, Syrians, Lebanese, etc. as well as Jews. It always means, without exception, however, Anti-Jewish.
This is so stupidly evil and nonsensical, considering what extraordinarily great Jews achieved their fame in Vienna, the best known being Sigmund Freud but including such renowned musicians as Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg and writers Franz Kafka, Stefan Zweig, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Arthur Schnitzler, Hilde Spiel and Franz Werfel (a great favorite of mine).
Perhaps the element of envy could be one of the causes of aversion also. Oh, how we sometimes irrationally dislike and even hate those with attainments superior to ours rather than admiring and aspiring to emulate them. Though born in Ulm, Germany, on March 14, 1879 and not an Austrian, Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of all time, could be added to the list.
Hitler took over Austria with his treacherous Anschluss (union of Austria with Germany) and probably all Austrians deeply resented this, yet too many of them went along with the Nazis. Not long after the end of World War II, I visited the concentration camp at Mauthausen, not far from Vienna.
Thankfully, the Viennese now honor their Jewish notables. Vienna is one of my favorite cities. In 1952-53 I studied at the University of Vienna on a Fulbright scholarship and have returned there on two occasions since then.
Threatened as Americans are today by fanatic terrorists who hate those who have never harmed them and have given them such great things as the electric light, radio, motion pictures, TV, the internet and an infinity of other scientific, medical and cultural advances, not to mention an example of freedom and justice, and who mercilessly murder innocent babies, women and children, it is not difficult to believe in the existence of evil.
Try to explain the holocaust in terms of misanthropy, envy—whatever—and it comes down to EVIL, which we must fight with all our might and main and brains. "Holocaust" is an extraordinarily ironic and offensive anti-Jewish term because it refers to a burnt offer to Deity and many Jews were literally burnt to smoke and ashes by ungodly Nazis devoid of belief in Diety in infamous ovens like the ones at Dachau.
Hope this helps to some extent.
Thank you so very much. I am not just responding back to you for the sad facts you told me; but also because I have two other questions. My teacher would be very fascinated, if I brought this letter into school, and read it. Would you mind at all if i did so? Or would you rather keep this a secret? If you don't mind, I will most likely write back once again ( sorry if my letters are wasting your time) and tell you the response of my teacher and class mates.
My second question is also about Hitler. Someone in my class brought up the topic(s) that Nazi had blond hair and blue eyes, only. And if you had anything but blond hair and blue eyes, you were sent to the concentration camps.Was this true, false, or you don't know. I would be so pleased if you wrote back again.
Thanks a million!!!
P.S. I might have more questions later in the week.
I'm so glad you replied, because for the sake of brevity I omitted several extremely important facts. Hitler was also motivated by greed. He needed funding for his nefarious enterprises and he viewed the Jews us helpless sources. He expropriated their bank accounts, took over their businesses and held great numbers of Jews hostage until ransoms were paid to enable escape from concentration camps and from Germany, fleeing to other countries.
This tactic even gave Hitler access to secret bank accounts in Switzerland and money from Jews' friends in the U.S. and other countries, since the Jews would make every sacrifice possible to save their loved ones. In the concentration camps he extracted gold from teeth, cut off victims' hair (sold for wigs), skinned them (forcing those still alive to make gloves from the skin of their own companions in misery and death) and took violent possession of rings, other jewelry, clothes, eyeglasses, shoes—everything possible.
I mentioned envy previously. Jews—without exception in my observation—are to be much admired for their intelligence, talents, skills and industriousness. As a result of these traits and a particular brilliance in the area of finances, they are envied and despised by those who should admire and emulate them. Persecution over the centuries has helped to produce these traits.
Jews were not permitted to own land! They couldn't enter many professions! It was the law! So what could they do? They had to set up stores and other businesses. Fortunately they could become doctors, since they were unexcelled in medicine, so Gentile sick and afflicted were able to disregard a doctors' Jewishness if their lives and health were at stake.
For centuries Catholic doctrine didn't allow usuary; i.e, lending money for interest. As non-Christians the Jews weren't bound by this and ironically it was Jewish funding that helped to finance wars between Christian nations which resulted in the death and injury of many non-Jews.
Hitler was so blinded and stupified by his hate that he lost World War II before it even commenced. How so? What if the U.S. for example, wouldn't allow Blacks and Hispanics to have certain professions? What if they were held in such contempt that they couldn't join our army and other armed forces? (How deeply and sincerely I regret that at one time this was largely true. In WW II Blacks were segregated into units with white officers.)
Think now what fabulous soldiers and commanding officers Israel has had in its struggle to defend its existence against hostile neighbors that vastly outnumber them in manpower and resources. Take note also that Hitler tied up trains and other types of transportation needed for his armed forces to send Jews to concentration camps. It has been reported that troop trains actually were held up in switchyards where priority was given to those routed to concentration camps.
The many guards at the camps could have been fighting in Africa, the Southern and Western fronts and against Russia. Think also of the first-class medical care Nazi troops could have received from Jewish doctors and how Jews skilled in logistics could have improved all movement and supply of armed forces.
As you may have read on my website, I was an infantryman in World War II (ETO—European Theater of Operations, in France, Germany and Austria). Do you know that only one of every ten U.S. soldiers at war was actually in combat at the front? So even if the Jews, as "non-Aryans," were unworthy to fight by the side of ethnic Germans, imagine how helpful they could have been in support of those up front.
Please, M_____! Waste my time? Though a long-retired professor of Linguistics and Foreign Languages (I'm 83 yrs. old), I'm still an educator at heart and love to be able to teach a little whenever possible. If what I have e-mailed so far can be of interest and enlightenment to others, I'd be very pleased to share this.
With regard to blond hair and blue eyes, this is hugely ironic. That was Hitler's and his Nazis' fictional ideal. I love the German people. Both of my wife's maternal grandparents were German. I have spent all the time that good fortune and my bank account has allowed in Germany and Austria. My wife's ancestors were from Friesland (next to Holland, where the natives, yes, tend to be blue-eyed and blond to a considerable extent—as is my wife). However, I would estimate that well over half of Germany's population has dark hair, as did Hitler himself. So the idea that anyone without fair hair and blue eyes was sent to concentration camps is sheer nonsense. Who can doubt, however, that many Jews attempted to disguise their Jewishness—if it appeared to be too evident. Here is another great misconception.
Three of my best buddies in my army squad of ten were Jews. Stereotypes are often misleading. Not one of them had the supposed Hebrew nose... My father, who had what I consider a nose with character, was sometimes thought to be Jewish—though without a trace of Semitism in his DNA. I wouldn't have had the slightest inkling that Lou, Paul and Martin were Jewish if they hadn't told me so. In U.S. Army communal restrooms and showers I kept my eyes at eye-level, so I don't know to this day whether they were circumcized or not. That, as you may have read somewhere, was the Nazis' favorite way of ferreting out suspected Jewish men. "Drop your pants!"
After my concentration camp experiences in WW II at Landsberg and Dachau I have been ready and willing to defend Jews to the death—as I was then, in combat. Since I am a devout follower of whom I consider to be the Son of God, my Master and Teacher and Redeemer, it may surprise you very much that the term "Christian" deeply distresses me. Was our Savior a Greek? Did Peter say, "Thou art the Christ"? (Matthew 16:16) Of course not! No Israelite would every say such a thing. He said, "Thou art the Messiah." Where did the Messiah perform his mission? In the only non-pagan land on earth at that time, among the people who gave us the Scriptures and whose prophets foretold his coming in beautiful passages in Isaiah, the Psalms and Daniel 9:25-26.
To me this is one more perverse example of the pervasive anti-Jewishness afflicting society. Messiah is derived from Hebrew moshiach, meaning "the anointed one." Names should always be transliterated, never translated (except in a footnote or parentheses). My Hispanic friends sometimes jokingly call me "Señor Vest̀bulo" but, when serious, I am Señor Hall (pronounced more less as "Hole"). Also, because of a historic sound shift in English, his name has become Jesus. The letter J back then was pronounced like Y (as in German "Ja wohl"). Properly transliterated to English, the correct name is Yeshua. I always pray in the name of Yeshua Messiah.
We are supposed to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. And we thereby acknowledge his Jewishness and express gratitude and respect for those to whom he came in mortality and will yet come again, in power and glory. Those terrorist nations attempting to destroy Israel and murder Jews everywhere had better start quaking in their boots.
The intensity and depth of my desire to combat prejudice, discrimination and persecution of this divinely chosen people who have contributed so much to the world is such that I have composed from a grateful, devout heart some music to their Yeshua and ours in the hope that it may serve to turn more hearts to him in peace, love, and appreciation of his people. Presented in royal purple to convey as best as possible his majesty and glory. Note: "Yeshua" has been substituted for William Walsham Howe's "Jesus."
Yeshua! Name of wondrous love!
Name all other names above!
Unto which must every knee
bow in deep humility.
Yeshua! Name decreed of old,
to the maiden mother told,
kneeling in her lowly cell,
by the angel Gabriel.
Yeshua! Name of priceless worth
to the fallen sons of earth,
for the promise that it gave,
"Yeshua shall his people save."
Yeshua! Name of mercy mild,
given to the holy Child
when the cup of human woe
first he tasted here below.
Yeshua! only Name that's given,
under all the mighty heaven,
whereby man, to sin enslaved,
burst his fetters and is saved.
William Walsham Howe, 1854
M_____, this is probably much more than you expected, but is expressed with profound conviction and emotion.
Thank you, M_____!!!
For the traditional Gott Sei Dank
music, click here
THANKS WENDELL! thank you so very much!
Thanks so much! I got 5 extra credit points after my speech. everyone in the class (including me) loved it! i somehow got the nerve to really, and i mean really to go up, express my feelings, show what you informed me about, and a lot more. Well, see, everyone asked questions. There are 29 kids in my class including me. Some were dumb and stupid like," Was he hot?" and of coarse i said," in God's eyes. But not yet mine since i have not met him!" they all would laugh, and even i got a tiny snicker. But some were drop dead serious, like " Did her really see people who weighed 20 lbs. at the age of 15?" Well i didn't for sure know, but i proudly answered," I don't know. But i do know he saw treacherous his happen to people; that you and me both can't even picture, they (Nazi) did to Jewish people."
Everyone asked were i found this. well, I'll tell you the truth right now. I wanted to see pictures of everyone who was in the concentration camps. I went to google images. I then typed in "Concentration Camps", and found my worst nightmare that i wish i had the power to take back. But since i don't have that power, i can't. But i do have the power of informing, and that is what i did. but my point, i saw a picture of two men carrying a dead man; i think. well, i clicked on that and there it was. i scrolled down after reading, and saw your e-mail.so that's how my first message was sent.
your work has inspired me very much. Thank you so so so so so so much!
also, as you might now i was born much much later then you were. Have you ever heard of instant messaging? it's like an e-mail. Only two or more people are on the computer and the type something. well the other person gets that message instantly. they then respond back to you, and so on. well there are abbreviations in there. So when you saw S.N. that stands for Screen Name. So i will tell you the truth now since i know your really name. My name is M_____. I was born in America. I am 15 years old. c my name is "M_____ on this thing, but my real name is xxxxxx. thanks Wendell!
thanks, your really my hero,
Well, M_____, you've overwhelmed me! I'm just Nin (my boyhood nickname), a little country boy who started out in a four-room school with two grades per room. Finally got more education and a Ph.D. but am still just Nin. As for the hero thing, we World War II veterans just did what had to be done. No way out. We didn't want out... especially after seeing what the Nazis had done. Not that I ever felt any animosity for the German people—just poor struggling mortals like the rest of us and powerless, in effect, to do anything, since opposing Hitler could bring imprisonment, torture and death to those dear to them, as well as to themselves. Yet there were some who did oppose him and his thugs, to the death.
Two of my favorite authors are the Germans Hans Helmut Kirst, an anti-Nazi who fought on the Russian and Western fronts, and Wolfgang Borcherdt, who died at age 26 after writing so dramatically, in his abbreviated, truncated style, of the physical and mental destruction caused by war. I hope these books are available at your school or public libraries. If not, perhaps I could forward attachments of sample pages. It's important and of great interest to see things from the other side, especially from such admirable men and writers as Kirst and Borcherdt. Oh, absent-minded professor that I am, I just realized that their works are in German. Maybe I can find translations or translate some pages myself.
G (I've spent many years in Spanish America and Spain and love that name), I'm an old grandpa with five living daughters, numerous granddaughters and several greatgrandaughters. They are the whole world to me, they are so lovely and wonderful! (Well the one son, grandsons and greatgrandsons, too.) You, obviously, are just as lovely and wonderful as they and it's been a delight to exchange emails with you.
Wishing you always the best,
n.n. [nickname] Nin
Here is a sample of Borchert's writing that I said I'd send. As indicated to you, he says a lot in very few words. Also, a midi of World War II's favorite song, a German one popular among troops of all nations: Lili Marleen. My translation makes no attempt to do justice to the rime and rhythm, just the literal meaning as best expressed.
Alles Beste (All the best),
From Die Kegelbahn
[Es war ein Mann...] Er hatte eine Nase, die Parfum riechen konnte. Augen, die eine Stadt oder eine Blume sehen konnten. Er hatte einen Mund, mit dem konnte er Brot essen und Inge sagen oder Mutter....
Schiess, sagte der eine.
Da war der Kopf kaputt. Er konnte nicht mehr Parfum riechen, keine Stadt mehr sehen und nicht mehr Inge sagen. Nie mehr.
From The Bowling Alley
[There was a man...] He had a nose, which could smell perfume. Eyes, which could see a city or a flower. He had a mouth, with which he could eat bread and say Inge or Mother.
"Shoot," one of the [other] men said.
Now the head was ruined. It could no longer smell perfume, see a city again, and never again say Inge. Never again.
A reporter from our newspaper (The Provo Daily Herald, Provo, Utah) happened to see our exchange of email messages (shared with my family and some close friends) and, if it's O.K. with you, she would like to write an article about your interest in concentration camps. Her name is Anna Chang-yen and she specializes in writing articles about education and schools. She thinks your attitude and interest regarding the horrible camps would be an inspiration to young students everywhere—as well as to the public in general. She would like to know what city and state you are from. If it's all right with you and your parents, would you please give me this information to pass on to her. R U K with this? C! I'm learning a little internet talk. Naturally, as soon as it's printed, I'll send a clipping to you. You are becoming famous!
i just reread ur message ( where do you live?) well, i don't like in Utah. but i can't tell you my city. how about this. she gives me her e-mail. i will e-mail her back. but when she types this in the newspaper. use the name Gabby, and nothing that says anything 2 personal. if it is g rated, i'll do it. she has 2 send me a message though. and i will c how it is. i send her the info back. she puts the high lighted stuff in. and there you have it. i still am not sure about this quite yet. but i will defenetly tell u i am interested in it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Question time: in school a other question apeared. Swizterland was like... a refuge place 4 Jews. that was a place were hitler didn't invade, and they were safe? is that true, false, u don'y know? let me know.
Answer to your question: Switzerland has been a refuge for centuries. It prizes its independence and as one of the world's greatest financial centers, its importance in war and peace can hardly be exaggerated. Hitler didn't invade Switzerland for two good reasons: 1) Every Swiss is a soldier (no navy) and they train for several weeks nearly every year of their lives. They know how to defend their mountainous, difficult to attack country. 2) If Hitler attacked, financial markets nearly world-wide would be disastrously affected, including Germany's. Monetary and stock values would plummet and there would be a world-wide depression worse that the bad ones of the past.
One of the strangest facts of World War II is that Hitler, supposedly, wanted to avoid a two-front war at all costs. That's the reason he gave for Germany's defeat in World War I. Their armed forces had to fight on the western front against France, England and the U.S. and against Russia in the east. So how stupid can you get? He was smart enough to not attack Switzerland but he hypocritically allied himself with Russia (the U.S.S.R.) only to break the treaty with them and attack on the east.
No doubt he was over-confident because of the tremendous success of his new type of blitzkrieg (lightening war), swift attacks with tanks and aircraft overwhelming France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark and the British forces stationed in France. No doubt he figured he could do the same in Russia, but he should have learned a lesson from Napoleon. Attack Russia too late in the year and soon your soldiers are hip-deep in snow and all kinds of transport becomes very difficult. Tanks are bogged down, everyone and everything is frozen stiff.
The Germans had far more advanced weapons than we did. Their tanks were so heavily armored our anti-tank guns were ineffective against them. It was our airforce that most effectively took them out. And they had developed long and short range missiles (rockets) and jet planes. When their jet planes shot over us foot soldiers like comets toward the end of the war, we worried whether their advanced technology would enable them to win even as the war seemed to be winding down. Fortunately our U.S. economy was so superior that our factories turned out weapons, equipment, clothing, etc. far faster than they could. Some of their weapons were superior to ours but there was never a shortage of what we needed.
Hope this helps, M_____. I try to be brief but as my wife often says, "Don't get him started!"
Sincere best wishes,
I am so sorry! the reson i was not on is because i had way too much homework, and i was getting done with it around 10:00 P.M. well, i am really fine about the whole Jewish/concentration camp thing, honestly. Like i said, i was really bussy. but i am very sorry that i couldn't confirm you about the musical message you sent me. it was very beautiful, i fell asleep! it made me really relax, ( i had a stressful day that day.)
i will still keep in contact. that was just a moment that i was bussy. I am sorry about that. it was nice of you to send the music. i g2g ( that also is syber language for got to go.)
i will catch ^ with u lata ( lata means later) oh ya, nice text messaging talk on the e-mail! very impressed. oh ya catch^ mean catch up.
P.S.got that text messaging talk?
it means peace out home dog luv ya.
that is pretty much the language other adults try 2 speak 2 us kids. so pretty much, ur a prow!
My teacher wanted 2 say thanks for
answering all the questions, and increasing
her knowledge. You made her so very happy.
Thanks Wendel! By the way I so prefer the color blue. it's not girlie or boyish!**
My teachers all admire u rite now, as do I. They think ur a savior 2 our country. They think u made it a better place. I told them," That's a.k.a a Veteran!!!!" They just laughed!
Now, Since i dunno the answer, I'll ask but I'm pretty sure. u did not say u went 2 Belson [Belsen] ( I believe the name is ) or Awitxtcx [Auschwitz]. So, the means u didn't mean Anne Frank. But, Linda my enemy wanted 2 know. My best friend Vicky; wanted 2 know something else. Now, I warn u! she is a major, major, major, major flirt; and she wanted 2 know if u were hot. U don't have 2 answer that one! yes, totally gross. But, hey best friend here! Promised I would ask!
My teacher asked," Do u think there will ever be another Holocaust again?"
well, i think I know my belief, but she wants 2 know from..." The Guy!"
I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! I just decided I would rather; any day wear green.
L.O.L c ya later dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hot? It's snowing here in the high Rocky Mountains and even piling on lots of blankets I can barely make it to warm—although to the kind-hearted, my heart at times is thought to be at that temperature. Listen to this: I'm not even hot-headed. I'm just a little guy and there are too many muscular actual cowboys around here to try that.
No. I do not have a Napoleonic complex. No way! I'm an inch taller than the French hero (actually a Corsican) who with his unending wars and conquests reduced the height of the average French male by an inch or so as the best of French manhood was killed off. Smaller guys dream of doing big things and make an extra effort to achieve. But Napoleon is history. I have a Steve Nash complex. Steve is a relatively small professional basketball star who scores over all that tall timber despite being a lot shorter.
This, quite naturally, turns our thoughts to Hitler. (I'm taller than that villainous scoundrel too.) The Nazis were instant believers in Darwinism: "The survival of the fittest." In their view, the physically and mentally "inferior" shouldn't survive, and they went all out to further and hasten the process. A no-win situation for them. They could place the "subhumans" in the front ranks of battle and get them killed off, but then they'd lose the fight. Or they could sterilize them. No children. But then who would do the menial jobs the superior Nazis wouldn't stoop to do? Their answer: the Slavs (Czechs, Poles, Slovaks, Belarusians, Russians, Ukrainians, Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs and Slovenians—who occupy lands basically to the south and east of Germany.)
One of the things that makes our country great: We have among us all of the above and much more—people from just about everywhere. Generally speaking, we live together in peace and harmony (though lots of improvement is possible) and gain so much from each other. Is there rivalry at times? Sure, and it's a good thing. The Japanese and Chinese, among others, are showing us how dedication to education and hard work can move them ahead in life while less motivated individuals are left behind. Sure, they can goof off and have fun, too, but they have goals and work at achieving them.
So one of the Nazis' first goals was to take over these Slavic countries and enslave their people. Ironically, the word "slave" ("esclavo" in Spanish, "esclave" in French, "Sklave" in German, etc.) comes from Slavic "slav"—denoting "glory" to the Slavs themselves but (through Latin) coming to mean "slave," inasmuch as the Slavs had frequently been captured and sold into slavery. Slavery has been all too common throughout history and by no means limited to Blacks. In the meantime Hitler instituted slave labor of the least "desirable," meaning Slavs, Jews, gypsies and anti-Nazis, herding them like cattle into labor camps and forcing them to work long hours with brutal treatment and very little to eat.
At this point I need to clarify something. I helped to liberate concentration camps but was never a prisoner in one. Some of our soldiers became POWs (prisoners of war) and were imprisoned in German POW camps. We had our own POW camps for German soldiers who surrendered.
In civilized societies, the poor and weak are protected and helped. Their plight brings out the best in those who are "better off": kindness, sympathy, empathy, loving service. In my novel Miss Universe Alice, I've written this:
Don't ever forget Yeshua's all-important words as he performed one of the miracles through which he revealed himself as the promised Messiah and was asked why the young man to whom he gave sight was born blind—in fulfillment of prophesies in Isaiah 35 and 53, among others: "Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."
How tragic. that the Nazis failed to understand the source of true success and happiness. Failures themselves, they criminally acted to make others miserable.
What are the works of God? To have us surpass ourselves! Amazing, what the handicapped (and all of us, despite all our foibles and faults), with a God-given spark of a will to do it, manage to do! "Milton, the blind, who looked on paradise! Beethoven, the deaf, who heard vast harmonies. Byron, the lame, who climbed toward Alpine skies. Who pleads a handicap remembering these?" (From Violet Alleyn Storey)
And what is the greatest work of all of God as far as Earth is concerned? To get us to love one another, that's what. You have noticed, as have I, of course, the unparalleled love Laura has for little Devin. She loves all her children equally, I'm sure, but little, wiry, lively, bright, handicapped Devin needs her love more than the others, who are able to be—and are—much more self-sufficient. Notice how careful she is not to hurt his feelings but at the same time the care she takes not to spoil him. One of the most beautiful examples one could ever behold of the work of God being fulfilled in someone—in and through Donald as well as Laura. See disabilities.
Fortunately, they are not alone. This marvelous work of God is being fulfilled all around the world in ways we never know. If only the media would focus on "sensational" stories like this instead of on what they almost invariably interpret as such. So listen! If you ever get to be as you are speculating, you will be my little cub. To hug and worry over, fuss over, and care for to your last breath. Or mine. I expect exactly the same from you if the situation is reversed. What greater thing can happen to us than to be instruments in the hands of God to perform his works? Works of love to one another."
If, after World War I, someone suggested that in less than 30 years a nation of Europe would exterminate nearly six million Jews, everyone would immediately have assumed Russia, with its terrible pograms (riots directed against a particular group, whether ethnic, religious or other, characterized by destruction of their homes, businesses and and religious centers, with physical violence including murder and massacre) or France, where Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, a French general staff officer, was falsely accused of treason and imprisoned on Devil's Island in an atmosphere of intense anti-Jewish feelings. No one would have supposed that it would be Germany. The moral: anti-Jewish, anti-any race or people should be squelched immediately and never be allowed to gather force. How? By legal means and by public censure and condemnation of those who maltreat others solely on the basis of their birth, their DNA.
Well, here I go, acting like a professor again. I'd like to share this and then this's it:
On Veterans Day I received a number of phone calls and e-mails expressing appreciation for my participation in World War II. In response to a message from a dear grandson and his wife I wrote this:
All of us in combat wanted to survive, of course. Our lives were precious to us. The lives of the comrades at our side were precious. The lives of those we liberated (especially those at concentration camps) were precious to us. And, yes, to most of us, the lives of the enemy combatants were precious and it was with no glee or satisfaction that we had to kill or maim to stop the evil their Nazi leaders were propagating. Yet, we had no ultimate appreciation of precious until, as survivors, we had families and indescribably precious ones like you.
Loving you always with all my heart,
So, M_____, if I hadn't survived, I'd have never known so many precious people and moments—including precious you.
With sincere appreciation,
I just realized that my response to the question of whether another holocaust is possible was too indirect. My implication was that yes, it's possible! That's why we have to stop all discrimination and persecution of others immediately and not be lulled into thinking that such things can never happen again. In fact, we have to look no further than Darfur, in Africa, and other places on earth to see that people are being driven from their homes and killed just because of their ethnicity—their racial identity—right now.
Green? There's an infinite number of shades and intensities. How about a nice pea soup green? That may not sound lovely, but it actually would be.
Old pen pal,
Hello, it's M_____. I have one more question 4 u. k her it is, how did the nazis get their sign? Also, how come people were "fans" of Hitler if he did horrible things to the people?
Glad to hear from U again!
The swastika was a mystical cross with its arms at right angles suggesting a whirling motion; also, a symbol of good fortune and blessing that was supposed to signify power. It came from Asia to Europe but has been found among groups as diverse as various Native American tribes. Hitler converted the swastika into a hateful symbol denoting the supremacy of what he called the Aryan race, identified by its "pure German blood."
Aryan originally referred to speakers of Indo-European languages. The "Indo" part includes Farsi (Persian), Hindi and Gujarati (major languages of India) and Sanskrit (a Dravidian language in India), among others, and the "Euro" part includes major language families of Europe: the Romance Languages [meaning from Rome] (Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc), the Germanic Languages (English, German, Norwegian, Swedish, etc.), the Celtic Languages (Gaelic [Scots, Irish], Welsh, Breton [in France], etc.), the Slavic Languages (Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Slovenia, etc.) and Greek (no other surviving members of family).
Hitler misused Aryan to indicate pure Germanic blood, a mythical blond, blue-eyed master race. To him, "non-Aryan" referred to "inferior" races—in particular, the Jews. When Hitler first came to power, many Germans thought of his symbol as an ugly square-jointed black spider. A huge joke: Hitler himself wasn't blond and consequently an inferior non-Aryan!
A photo of Hitler in 1933 surrounded by young SS recruits
Behold the greatest pure Aryan of all! Notice his attractive blond hair and blond signature moustache. The black and white picture can't show it, but his eyes were said to be pale blue in color. So there you have it. He could easily have been mistaken for one of those sub-human Slavs, as he called them. Sorry! My apologies to all highly esteemed members of that race. Note: The incidence of truly fair hair among the Slavs is as great as in Scandinavia, so they are the super ones—in Hitler's own concept. Hitler, by his own criteria, was a low sub-human.
Most historians believe that it was Germany's defeat in World War I that made Hitler's rise to power possible. Most Germans believed the war was lost through treachery at high levels. Hitler played on their resentment, rejecting the Treaty of Versailles (forced upon Germany at war's end) which took away large areas of Europe formerly part of a greater Germany and required the payment of reparations (practically impossible, inasmuch as Germany's greatest source of wealth, production from the Saarland— mining, coal, metallurgy—was taken from them and given to France). Germans longed for a leader who could restore them to their former greatness and prosperity.
The whole world was in the depth of the Great Depression (beginning in 1922 in Germany). No people suffered more than the Germans. Inflation was unbelievable. It was hyperinflation. In January a U.S. dollar was worth 17,000 Marks. In July, 353,000. In August, 98,860,000. September, 25,260,000,000. In December, 4,200,000,000,000. A wheelbarrow full of Marks could buy a loaf of bread. Millions were unemployed. Workers went on strike for pitiful pay raises which, if granted, would amount to less than what they were paid before.
The situation was so desperate there were food riots. Money had no value—only material goods—so a huge crime wave swept the country. It is no wonder that the people were frantic for change.
Those of us in the U.S. during this time also suffered, wearing hand-me-downs from older siblings, going hungry, unable to afford adequate health care, faced with severe unemployment—but it was heaven compared with what the Germans had to endure.
Hitler came on the scene and promised justice, prosperity and an end to turmoil. He was the first politician to use modern media effectively—long before our president Franklin D. Roosevelt and his "fireside chats." If the media didn't promote Hitler as desired and threats didn't suffice, his Nazi thugs would violently take over the organizations and their operation—newspapers, magazines, radio, cinematography.
A superb propagandist himself, Hitler was assisted by Paul Joseph Goebbels, whose mantra was "Lie big and stick to it." Repeated loudly and often enough, the big lie became "true."
Hitler and Goebbels perfected the art of massive spectacles. Our Democratic and Republican conventions are grade school exercises compared with the millions (it almost seemed) assembled in Nuremberg, for example, beneath huge swastikas, loud speakers blaring, dramatic martial music playing, Hitler ranting like a maniac, everyone shouting "Sieg Heil" (Hail [to] victory) and "Heil Hitler" (Hail Hitler, Long live Hitler) as they simultaneously raised their arms in the Nazi salute.
"Heil" (noun, adjective) can also mean "heal, cure," from the verb "heilen." One of my all-time favorite German professors (a Swiss) liked to say that many Germans were silently thinking, "Heal Hitler," as they raised their arms in the Nazi salute and bellowed out the words with impassioned irony: "Heal Hitler, Heal Hitler, Heal Hitler!" Hitler preferred the greeting, "Heil, mein Führer!" (Hail, my leader!), with a pause, a comma—still slightly ambiguous inasmuch as Hitler (as everyone had to know) was exceptionally good at healing.
So, to summarize, while Hitler did horrible things, the people were desperate for change, his censureship of the media assured that no horrible things were reported, his propaganda machine projected him as a great hero, and the Versailles Treaty was in fact unjust and a valid source of resentment. Consider how different our treatment was of Germany (as well as of Italy and Japan) after World War II. Our government and our people realized that the Germans weren't to blame for Hitler's atrocities. After all, if they objected they would be jailed, tortured, killed. Many did resist, and didn't survive. Even the bravest will cave in if the threat is not to themselves but to their darling precious wives and children.
So after World War II, we had the Marshall Plan, which provided all kinds of assistance enabling the defeated nations to rise again. And it must be understood that this was in our own self-interest as well, because of Stalin's Communist threat to take over the world by every devious, evil possible way.
I believe you know, that as an infantryman in World War II (France, Germany, Austria), I bore our German opponents no ill will, but they had to be stopped—which resulted in wounding and killing, tragic as that is. Since then I have visited Germany, Austria and Italy several times and among their citizens have had many superb friends. I love being able to speak their languages! It may interest you to know, linked to LOL (Love of Lingos) and my career as a professor, that modern scientific linguistics had its origin in India.
Unlike most occupiers of other countries, William Jones, an English colonel stationed in the former British colony, was very interested in the people—their customs, attitudes, way of life and languages. As a result, he took up the study of Sanskrit and to his amazement discovered that many words in that language were similiar to Greek (and to English, German, French, Nepali, Hindi, Gujarati, and other languages which now, thanks to him, are called Indo-European).
Back in those days every educated person learned Latin and Greek. The colonel's studies led to what we now call diachronic and synchronic linguistics. Diachronic (or historical) linguistics means the study of languages over time, the reasons for and the manner and rate of change. How did Latin become Italian, French, Spanish, etc., for example. Synchronic involves the study of contemporary languages, based on analysis of dialects, etc.
One example of Indo-European similarities: English nose, German Nase, Dutch neus, French nez, Spanish nariz, Italian naso, Russian nos, Hindi nak, Nepali naak, Sanskrit nasa, Farsi (Persian) domagh, Hungarian nos, etc.
Of course, there are many branches of Linguistics. One of my favorite areas (though all of them are) is Etymology—the study of word origins. One intriguing example: English "she" comes to us through Danish, the Viking raids on England. The full story is fascinating but not a lesson for today. I'll just say that in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), "she" is written . Is't that "sh" a lovely symbol compared with gawky, blocky H as in phonetic Hi?
Bai for nau, Sali*
*An invented name. In IPA
Dear Wendel Hall,
I come 2 u w/ (once again) a concern of the concentration camps in Germany.
I don't know how u could even answer this complicated question i have. well, here it is.
How, did the German Nazis kill off the Jews and other Unfortunate people?
Like, for an example. Gas Chamber, Starvation Treatments, Poor Conditions ext.
I would like 2 know once again.
Also from literally working them to death, providing just enough food to keep them alive. At first the Nazis would line them up and shoot them, but that was too expensive (wasted ammunition). Sometimes they forced them to dig trenches, shoved them in and buried them alive under the excavated dirt shoveled back over them. The only things I saw personally were the dozens of corpses dead from starvation at Landsberg—plus the barely alive skeletal ones there—and the gas chamber and the ovens at Dachau. (Mauthausen had many subcamps and I viewed only part of the main camp.) I can hardly bear to think or write about these things, it was so horrible.
I also was looking back at my older letter i sent you, and u sent me.
u put that Jews were forced to peel off their own skin, and make gloves out of it. I might be wording it wrong, but i was wondering if you could give me more detail on that.
Sorry! Not their own skin, but the skin of victims in the same camp dead from starvation, bullets, the gas chamber, terminal diseases or whatever.
With all due respect
Gabby, your fan i guess u could call me!
Hope you are enjoying a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.
With all due appreciation for you,
How could I leave out beating them to death?! With the slightest excuse, if they were slow boarding the cattle cars on which they were shipped to the concentration camps, if the way they performed a task was considered unacceptable... whatever... they could be beaten so severely they'd die on the spot or else later, a lingering death with no medical attention or care—no human warmth, often punished by isolation (solitary confinement). No visits from loved ones and friends, no kind words, no squeeze of the hand or kiss on the brow as they left this world.
This reminds me of one of the most touching motion pictures ever filmed. In French, with the title "Les uns et les autres," which could be translated "Us and them." (Literally, "the ones and the others.") It's basically about two generations of Jews, parents from World War I and their children from World War II. The actors were top performers—Geraldine Chaplin, for example.
The film revolves around what happened in one of those cattle cars.
A Jewish man and wife are in one of them on their way to a concentration camp with their precious little boy—just a baby. The only way to save him was, when the train paused briefly at a station, to let him carefully down between the railroad tracks through the hole in the floor that served as a toilet. The mother survives, rescued from the camp at war's end. She seeks tirelessly, never giving up hope, for her little boy (a future ballet star). It turns out he was found and adopted by a loving French couple. The movie is a treasure just for the beautiful music and dancing, but unforgettable given the plot and how it tears at every fiber of your heart.
I actually saw this in Buenos Aires, way back. The characters are Americans, Germans, Russians, and French, each speaking their own language, so the movie has subtitles translating the dialog viewers may not understand. In Buenos Aires the subtitles were in Spanish, of course. I could understand the German and French, but not the Russian. It's been a long time but, yes, I think there was Russian, too.
I've had such a longing to see that film again that I ordered it from AmazonFrance and I'm still trying to find a way to convert the videocassette from SECAM, the French system, to NSCT in the U.S. I think I'll give this a try again, because it may be available now as a DVD and there's only one system, world-wide. If I succeed, I'd like to send one of the two or three ordered to your school, of which I am a great fan, thanks to you.
With a kind word and kissing the air by your ear (at a distance of who knows how many miles, so I'm presuming to be that presumptuous—influenced by mention of Buenos Aires, where I've kissed the air near ladies' ears innumerable times. I'm the father of five living daughters (dear, adorable little Alice died in infancy) and wouldn't harm a precious girl in any way—not for the world!),*
*Still, sadly, girls have to be very careful. The internet can be a dangerous place. I have a success story to relate, however. A lovely, sweet, brilliant granddaughter of ours was well on her way to becoming an old maid. One day I said to myself, "Faith without works is dead." I took off immediately to a dealership, bought a fine computer, installed it for her, connected it to the internet, suggested a good singles website, and expected that her hope and faith would come alive with action. Not much time went by when a guy looked at her photo and said "That's the one!" and they're married now with two darling little children. The granddaughter brought the fellow here for our approval. Imagine that! The moral to this is that adults, preferably the parents, have to be brought into the picture to prevent what could be a very unhappy ending.
Another granddaughter won't touch the internet, so I try to give her lessons in Flirting 101. "Just accidentally stick out your foot and trip the guy up," I tell her among other things, like seductively batting her eyelashes. She thinks I'm just kidding and that it's a joke. No way! An old man can't have too many greatgrandchildren.
Some additional comments and two letters I submitted to a local newspaper:
Unbelievably, there are still deniers who insist that there was no holocaust, even though a recent documentary on TV showed shots of the numerous filing cabinets containing records from 20,000 concentration camps with details about why the inmates were imprisoned, their behavior, etc. I couldn't resist writing this first letter to the editor (which was not published) in refutation of an incredibly obstinate, obtuse denier's statements. Attached below is a letter in response to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who claims that there was no Holocaust and threatens to wipe Israel off the planet.
Facts not difficult to access easily refute Michael Kelsey's justification of an unending Jewish Holocaust which he supports as viciously as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. For decades Jewish settlers legally purchased plots of land in their former homeland—typically at exorbitant prices. This influx of Jews alarmed Arab inhabitants of the region and Muslim religious leaders fomented hatred for the Jewish inhabitants that erupted into several wars in which the victorious Jews occupied additional lands.
"To the victors go the spoils" has a unique meaning for Muslims. In Islam, a "waqf" is any property that has been acquired by conquest, trickery or other means and thereby becomes God's (i.e., theirs) in perpetuity—not to be taken back by anyone. Accordingly, a large part of Spain and Portugal still belongs to Islam, centuries after the Christians finally pushed the invaders out of their territory for good in 1492.
What hypocrisy! The Jews must give up the relatively tiny territories that their valiant sons and daughters died for, yet huge chunks of the Iberian peninsula and the Balkans (including Greece), most Mediterranean islands, and vast lands in Africa still "belong" to Islam, and fanatic Islamic terrorists are busily blowing up innocents as one of their evil approaches to taking back all of that plus other, new lands world-wide.
Israel will not be wiped off the planet, hateful Mr. Kelsey! Have you never held a precious, adorable infant in your arms? Do you favor wiping out innocent little children whose noses you're unfit to wipe?
A reporter from our newspaper (The Provo Daily Herald, Provo, Utah) happened to see our exchange of email messages (shared with my family and some close friends) and, if it's O.K. with you, she would like to write an article about your interest in concentration camps. Her name is Anna Chang-yen and she specializes in writing articles about education and schools.
She thinks your attitude and interest regarding the horrible camps would be an inspiration to young students everywhere—as well as to the public in general. She would like to know what city and state you are from. If it's all right with you and your parents, would you please give me this information to pass on to her. R U K with this? C! I'm learning a little internet talk. Naturally, as soon as it's printed, I'll send a clipping to you. You are becoming famous!
Did you receive my email about a possible newspaper article and a request for your home city and state? Maybe all this attention is getting to be too much for you and I quite understand this, having had five 15-year-old daughters of my own. It's a fact, however, that many people think you are very, very special for your interest in the horrible treatment of Jews in concentration camps and you feelings about this. If you prefer not to provide this information, please let me know so I can inform the journalist, Anna Chang-yen.
Thanks a lot,
Hey! Happy New Year! I had a splendid time with my friends and family all around me. I did indeed read the note about me letters to you and the Internet. If u PROMISE! That's fine. But, pleas please please just keep it 2 the limit. R u going 2 mention my e-mail? If u can and it's not 2 much trouble, don't include it. C, Ur the real writer, i think! i just asked questions that weren't near my era. I was the penguin and i entered the cold freezing water, i was successful enough to get a catch ( some1 from the holocaust that sends letters out to curious people. "curious people really being me, gabby).
Remember, don't include the names xxxxxx, xxxxx xxxxxxx, or firstname.lastname@example.org if possible. Thank you for answering all the questios, and have a merry new year of 2007.
S.N. M_____ wrote:
hey, i thought that i knew u well enough, and would be brave enough ( i am pretty shy) to tell u ( go down!)
You shy? Celebrities aren't shy. That's what you are among all our family and friends. You asked exactly the right questions, giving me an opportunity I otherwise wouldn't have had to correct many errors in the thinking of lots of people who still believe there wasn't a Holocaust and that Jews should be wiped off the face of the planet.
The truth of the matter is, Mary, that you are so popular with all of those who have read any part of our interchange of emails that I'd like to link them all together and put them on the internet. Your name wouldn't be mentioned at all, unless you and your parents have changed your minds. I could just give you a different s.n. or refer to you as That Bright Jr. High School Student.
Think about it seriously, please. You could be of very special service to humanity, helping tell the truth about all these crucial things.
Very happy holidays to you and your loves ones,
P.S. I'd gladly "go down!" but there's no teenager around here to explain that to me—just us, an old married couple in our 80s.
DB_____ (more than a few years past junior high school) suggested that courageous young opponents of Hitler who risked imprisonment, torture and death in resisting the Nazis should be highlighted and submitted this information:
Helmut Huebner, a 17-year-old German lad, took it upon himself to resist Adolf Hitler. A resident of Hamburg, Germany, Huebner secretly listened to BBC broadcasts from London, which criticized Hitler. He organized a group of his friends to distribute flyers he had written which opposed Hitler. For this he was eventually caught, tried and executed. The Huebner case is attracting increasing attention in Germany and America. Several books and television documentaries have been produced about him.
SR_____ (an interested adult) sent from Poland information on a book by Lyn Smith:
In Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust, the voices of over 100 contributors tell the story of how pre-war life changed to one of persecution; of the rise in emigration, and of the creation of the ghettos. And of course, we also witness the unbelievable atrocities that were taking place in the concentration camps.
From those who managed to avoid the horror of Belsen and Auschwitz, there are evocative tales of being in hiding and active resistance to the Nazi regime. And while the horrific death marches and eventual liberation of the camps mark the end of the Nazi's attempted Final Solution, we see how the Holocaust didn't conclude there. In the wake of the genocide, millions struggled to rebuild their lives only to find the process of returning to 'normality' made all the more difficult by devastating family losses and complex feelings of guilt.
"This book will make you cry. You will learn stories that will haunt and disturb you. And yet I wholeheartedly recommend it because the very point of this book is that it should upset you..."
"These stories are so harrowing, their witness so precise and devastating!"
"Probably the most harrowing book I'll ever read...gripping."
SD_____ contributed this:
Sophie Scholl, the daughter of Robert Scholl, the mayor of Forchtenberg, was born on 9th May, 1921. The family moved to Ulm and in 1933 Sophie joined the Hitler Youth. At first she was enthusiastic but, influenced by the views of her father, she became increasingly critical of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi government.
Sophie's brother, Hans Scholl, was also growing disillusioned with Nazi Germany and in 1937 he was arrested and briefly jailed after being accused of subversive activities.
After leaving school in 1940 Sophie became a kindergarten teacher at the Frobel Institute in Ulm-Soflingen. This was followed by six months auxiliary war service as a nursery teacher in Blumberg.
In May 1942, entered the University of Munich where she became a student of biology and philosophy. Later that year her father was imprisoned for making critical comments about Adolf Hitler to one of his employees. He was found guilty of saying: "this Hitler is God's scourge on mankind, and if this war doesn't end soon the Russians will be sitting in Berlin."
Hans Scholl was also at the University of Munich and in 1942 he had formed the White Rose group. Committed to opposing to the government of Nazi Germany members included Hans Scholl, Inge Scholl, Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf and Jugen Wittenstein. Kurt Huber, a philosophy teacher at the university, was also a member of the group.
The group decided to adopt the strategy of passive resistance that was being used by students fighting against racial discrimination in the United States. This included publishing leaflets calling for the restoration of democracy and social justice. These were distributed throughout central Germany and the Gestapo soon became aware of the group's activities. Sophie also joined the group and over the next few months began distributing pamphlets attacking the Nazi regime.
The leaflets were at first sent anonymously to people all over Germany. Taking the addresses from telephone directories, they tended to concentrate on mailing university lecturers and the owners of bars.
In Passive Resistance to National Socialism, published in 1943 the group explained the reasons why they had formed the White Rose group: "We want to try and show that everyone is in a position to contribute to the overthrow of the system. It can be done only by the cooperation of many convinced, energetic people - people who are agreed as to the means they must use. We have no great number of choices as to the means. The meaning and goal of passive resistance is to topple National Socialism, and in this struggle we must not recoil from our course, any action, whatever its nature. A victory of fascist Germany in this war would have immeasurable, frightful consequences."
The White Rose group believed that the young people of Germany had the potential to overthrow Adolf Hitler and the Nazi government. In one leaflet, Fellow Fighters in the Resistance, they wrote: "The name of Germany is dishonoured for all time if German youth does not finally rise, take revenge, smash its tormentors. Students! The German people look to us."
The White Rose group also began painting anti-Nazi slogans on the sides of houses. This included "Down With Hitler", "Hitler Mass Murderer" and "Freedom". They also painted crossed-out swastikas.
Members also began leaving piles of leaflets in public places. On 18th February, Sophie Scholl and Hans Scholl began distributing the sixth leaflet produced by the White Rose group. Jakob Schmidt, a member of the Nazi Party, saw them at the University of Munich, throwing leaflets from a window of the third floor into the courtyard below. He immediately told the Gestapo and they were both arrested. They were searched and the police found a handwritten draft of another leaflet. This they matched to a letter in Scholl's flat that had been signed by Christoph Probst.
The three members of the White Rose group appeared before the People's Court judge, Roland Friesler, on 20th February. Found guilty of sedition they were executed by guillotine a few hours later. Just before he was executed Hans Scholl shouted out: "Long live freedom!"
A young teenager (C_____) submitted this report of her visit to Anne Frank's hideoout:
I have visited the house where Ann Frank hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam. I had been traveling with my family and a group of University students throughout Europe. I was awed by many wonders, including Michael Angelo's David, the Eiffel Tower, Westminster Abbey, the Cologne Cathedral and endless rows of tulips.
The contrast of entering Anne Frank's cramped hideout was darkly stark. It was unimaginable to my idealistic mind that such small-minded evil sprang up in the seat of so much enlightenment. Being there made it very real to me; I felt a cold horror to realize to what depths the Nazi's actually sank and I was dismayed to realize that the good people who were willing to risk their own safety for the sake of Anne's family were caught and punished as well.
It was frightening to recognize that such malevolence had existed in this world in which I was to live my life. I vowed never to forget and to strive to thwart the future occurrence of such inhumanity.
Dear Dr. Hall,
Yes, I know you are one of those Ph.D. doctors not one of those I go to when I'm sick and know German and about Germany. I saw your site and am wondering how the Nazis could keep their horrible crimes a secret. Didn't anybody know what was going on? Why didn't anybody try to stop them?
Happy Veterans Day,
You may have noticed when you read how our 411th Infantry Regiment liberated the concentration camps at Landsberg that we had no idea that such things existed. That was in in April, 1944, 11 years after Hitler established his first horror camp at Dachau. Yet, although we infantrymen didn't know it, others did. Pervasive rumors finally caused the International Red Cross to investigate the matter. With Hitler's full cooperation, Red Cross representatives were taken to see the Theresienstadt camp near Prague, Czechoslavia. He had nothing to fear because it was a fake camp, set up specifically to deceive the world. It had beautiful accommodations for the Jewish inmates (young orphans and their teachers), who were required to wear a badge with Jude (Jew) on it, but otherwise had fine facilities for learning, eating, sleeping and recreation. The town of Theresien had neat streets, shops and cafes.
The Jewish inmates—typically very talented—outsmarted the Nazis. They produced a one-act opera called Brundibar with appropriate staging, orchestral music and operatic-quality singing. In the opera, Aninka and Pepiček, a fatherless sister and brother whose mother is ill and needs milk to recover. They decide to sing in the marketplace to raise the needed money. The evil organ grinder Brundibar chases them away. However, with the help of a fearless sparrow, keen cat, and wise dog, and the children of the town, they chase away Brundibar and sing in the market square. Brundibar's moustache and certain lines that are sung make it quite clear that he is Hitler.
Unbelievably, the Red Cross fell for the ruse—mainly, it's maintained, because they just couldn't believe the truth. No way could concentration camps be possible! The investigators didn't even realize that the orphans were being periodically shipped in cattle cars to Auschwitz to be exterminated while other innocent little Jewish orphans were brought in to replace them—demonized and cold-bloodedly, offhandedly eliminated simply because of their "non-Aryan" ancestry.
There were a few survivors liberated, however. A number of these heroic, indomitable individuals—against all odds still alive—appeared on TV to tell their story, telecasting to the world additional irrefutable evidence of the reality of the Holocaust. And isnt' this something? Most of the orphans weren't even teenagers when they courageously and brilliantly defied their brutal enemies! Just kinder. Kids!
O I C now 2 a °, how that c^d B. But c^d U Xplain why there was ^ WW II?
TTYL, [Talk to You Later]
C, I'm learning ^ little cyberkid talk. [BAK = Back At the Keyboard, for you older seniors.]
Old senior that I am myself, I occasionally get Sinclair Lewis and Upton Sinclair mixed up, but checking my notes, I find that it was Upton who wrote Wide is the Gate.
For anyone seriously interested in understanding all the intricate maneuvering among the surprising number of wrangling entities involved in the events leading up to WW II, this book is ideal. Though a novel with fictitious main characters, it is based on carefully researched facts and all of the key players, from Hitler, Goebbels, Goering et al. to heads of state like King Alfonso of Spain and Franklin D. Roosevelt of the U.S., together with socialist labor leaders in Europe and America and the scary spectre of actual and potential Communist uprisings, are strikingly depicted.
A great book, but I wouldn't recommend it to teenage readers, although at your age we oldies weren't half as savvy about certain things as you are, thanks to a large ° (I copied this from you) to TV and the internet.
This partial paragraph will answer your question regarding why a WW II (or any war, for that matter):
[Militant imperialism] is a danger which has confronted the masses throughout history, and against which they have to be continually alert. Militarism has always been the enemy of culture and true prosperity; for wealth which is expended to make killing machinery cannot be used for constructive purposes. If a man should spend all his resources and labor to make a bicycle, he would some day be able to ride on the roads, but would not be able to sail upon the sea. In the same way, if a nation converts all its iron and steel into rifles, guns, shells, tanks, submarines, and fighting-planes, that nation will be lacking in food, clothing, and houses. Moreover, such a nation will be driven automatically to war, because it must use what it has and cannot use what it has not. The day will come when its production is at the peak, and then the nation must act or else admit the futility of all its efforts.
In other words, Hitler would have had to go to war or get removed from power. Of course, though always insisting on his peaceful intentions, Hitler intended to avenge Germany's defeat in World War I and spelled out his true intentions in his Mein Kampf (My Struggle), which he later pretended was nothing but a youthful outburst and not to be taken seriously. If neighboring countries had taken it seriously and nipped the Nazis' rearmament in the bud (easily accomplished if action had been taken when Hitler retook the Saar Basin), there would have been no resumption of WW I on a more terrible scale.
The following paragraph is well worth quoting too:
Thus it appears that a great gun, a submarine, a fighting plane is a despot as powerful as any southern slave-owner or overseer with his whip. A staff of highly trained men is required to operate such a weapon, and others to replace them when they are killed; others to transport it, and to supply it with munitions and fuel; laborers to supply replacements for damaged parts; men to build the factories, and yet others to grow the food and make the clothing and boots for all these kinds of workers. Thus for every great implement of modern war you condemn thousands of men to unproductive labor all their lives, and you condemn their children and grandchildren to that interest slavery which the National Socialist German Workingmen's party pledgted itself in its earliest days to abolish.
"Interest slavery" refers to paying the interest on debts incurred to accomplish all of the above. The unbelievably high rate of inflation which this imposed on Germany after WW I (plus the payment of reparations), in which bags of paper money couldn't buy a loaf of bread, has already been noted. Hitler was all too aware of this and his solution was to inflict payments of interest as well literal slavery on the surrounding Slavic nations.
M_____ wrote: [Yes, from the cybertalk you can tell it's our original M_____ again.]
Hey, waz ^. I am in syber mood rite now, so a lot will be shortened!!! k, i have a quick question. y did the german nazis peform sergeries on the jews???? was it 2 be cruel? was it 2 find out wut could or would happen if they did? c i think it was torture.cause they didn't use medicine 2 help relieve pain or medicine during the surgery.
P.S. Hope ur story comes our soon!!! i am sosososososososos SO gonna read it!!!
What was up was dancing. I am a klutz at it myself but two of our daughters enroll their precious little girls in ballet almost as soon as they take their first step. Our daughter Carolyn is here with us (from Tacoma, WA) because her oldest son and oldest daughter are participating in a dance festival at a nearby university. Four hours of it were amazing but after that it began to seem too repetitive for me.
Also, the brilliant, dazzling young ladies, stringing along with the role which society in general ascribes to them, came across to me as too subservient to the young men, who tossed them around and dragged and flung them very beautifully across the floor but—in my opinion—not exactly in the totally chivalrous, respectful, awed and reverent way which feminine grace, charm and loveliness should inspire.
The men were admirably strong and agile but sometimes their partners were little dollies that even I (an 83-year-old) could lift and parade around with, though not with one arm only. This did not impress me, especially in the case of one rather gigantic guy. The girls were lavishly adorned with gorgeous costumes and expensive-looking jewelry—the men too, though I didn't notice any nose rings.
Don't ask me how this could be. Maybe choreographers could have some ideas. My dear wife, thankfully, takes the lead in most of our doings and decisions, but when it comes to dancing, women (Contrary to their nature and what Nature perhaps intends?) are expected to supinely submit... to softly yield. Yes, I know... That's only on the surface. Women, with their wiles... er... uh... I mean their grace and charm... can generally get their way. Good thing, too. Otherwise the world would be in an even greater mess. I'm all for equality... but how can we men ever be the equal of women... in what matters most?
Watching all that energetic whirling and twirling wore me out... A week ago I actually gave composing lyrics to The Blue Danube Dance a whirl. Having studied at the University of Vienna, near the shore of that river, I've always had a great fondness for Austrians and the Viennese and though a number of lyrics have been written for that music, none have been catchy enough to memorize. I can't even remember my own and have to "Ta da ta da, da da da" my way through it. Have a look at my lyrics and try not to laugh at me... Well, in a good-natured way it's O.K. They're at nuspel.org/blue-danube.html. Let me know if the music—in spite of my words—start you twirling around your kitchen. I say kitchen because most homes, it seems, have carpeted floors except for there.
In response to your question, for centuries doctors have taken the Hippocratic oath (named after the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, considered to be the father of medicine) to treat their patients well—"prescribing regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone." Also, to never prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause death. So doctors have always been considered as trustworthy, caring individuals with only the best in mind for their patients. That's why the actions of Nazi doctors, from whom mercy and concern should have been expected, were so horrendous and atrocious.
One of their experiments was designed to simulate conditions met by German soldiers on the freezing cold Russian front. Victims, including Jews and Russian prisoners of war, were placed in vats of cold water or just exposed to the outdoors—the extreme winter weather of Auschwitz, for example, being ideal for this purpose. When the human guinea pigs were too close to dying, they would be warmed up enough to remain alive long enough for the experiment to continue. As everyone knows, warming up any part of your freezing body can be even more painful than the freezing itself.
Other experiments were related to "racial purity." The Nazis had already pre-determined that Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Russians and other Slavs were genetically inferior to their superior "Nordic" race. The methods employed were too horrible to mention. You may have heard of Dr. Mengele, the "Angel of Death." After victims were unloaded off the trains, stripped naked and divided into men, women, and children, he would sort through the thousands of people. Most went straight to the gas chambers and others to hard labor in the camps. Twins, dwarfs, and unique physical specimens he selected were assigned to the experimental sections. Those who where killed in the gas chambers were much better off than the survivors, who had no idea what horrors awaited them.
Josef Mengele (Yossuhf Me
So twisted and warped was the evil of this man that it defies description. Evil: so neat and nice, a kindly mask over the face of a ghoul! He serenaded arriving prisoners with waltz music played by a prisoner orchestra, while a few yards away hundreds of people were reduced to ash in the crematoria; a nightmare world where affection and comfort were lavished upon the children living in the Zoo (as he called it), only so as to keep them healthy enough for cruel, hideous, stupidly conceived, failed experimentation; a camp where Mengele himself escorted his beloved "children" to the gas chambers, referring to their walks as a game he called "on the way to the chimney."
Ah, me! In spite of this, I love the Germans, admire their high culture, their many great contributions to the arts and sciences, and have had (and have) very close friends among them. They can't be condemned because if they had resisted Hitler, they would have suffered a similar fate—along with their beloved wives and children. Nonetheless, there were collaborators among them, just as vile and guilty as the Nazis themselves. The inhumanity some humans can have toward humanity sickens and horrifies us almost more than it's humanly possible to endure. Though I witnessed only part of this, I shudder, shiver and mourn to recall even a bit of it. It's just too horrific and ghastly to contemplate.
As inhumane and inhuman as he was in life, Hitler topped it all with his death rattle. Even as the futility of fighting on was obvious to all but those interred with him in a bunker beneath the Reich Chancellery, with his "thousand year" Third Reich crumbling around him, Germany in ruins, its great cities bombed out, its infrastructure destroyed (railroads, ports, highways, communications, public utilities, etc.), he attempted to implement a "scorched earth" plan that would "create a desert devoid of civilization."
Fortunately, by then he was unable to enforce his orders or else even more of this amazing, breathtakingly beautiful, wonderful country would have been reduced to rubble. This destructive, punishing rage and hate for the land and people he supposedly wanted to make great surpasses all conveivable insane criminality.
Innate human goodness surrounds us, however, nearly everywhere we look—and without looking too hard. I will say sincerely and without hesitation, that what kept me going through the liberation of death camps and the deadly dangers of combat was my unshakeable faith in God and his Beloved Son, the Messiah, who taught the world love through his words, his actions and behavior, demonstrating for us utmost, infinite love by suffering terribly on the cross and dying for us.
A major thing that kept my courage up was the singing to myself of great hymns, like "How Great Thou Art," Jesus, Lover of my Soul," Oh, Divine Redeemer," and many others. How terrible it is, that even in the name of Religion, which should lead us to all that's beautiful and good, great evils have been committed. So it's up to each individual to be alert and fight all discrimination and evil-doing constantly—to death, if necessary, is my personal resolve.
Thanks, always, for your interest, Mary, and for your level of trust in my being able to respond to your questions adequately,
Dear Dr. Hall,
A professor at my university misses no opportunity to call our country's president a Nazi. Do you think he and others like him have any idea what they're saying? Could they possibly be so ignorant of what took place under Hitler? The Nazis were only misguided bad guys? How can they trivialize such horror through ridiculous epithets like that? Though certain of your reaction to this malignant idiocy, I'd like you to express your thoughts on it just the same.
The slightest disrespect expressed against Hitler or any Nazi would have had consequences individuals like your professor, in their ignorance or evil, prefer not to imagine. Impossible for them to be so totally uninformed, so chalk it up to hatred—for their own country and its leader.
In their warped minds, contempt places them in a higher sphere from which they look down on others in elite sophistication and satisfaction. The air is rare up there. Gives them a heady feeling.
What can we do? Be brave and resourceful like the "White Roses." Audio-video cameras are ever present in today's world. Document such behavior and share it with others on "UR Tube" (I just made that one up), your space, a blog... If you get a bad grade for speaking up, cherish it as a trophy and broadcast the villainly as best you can. Contact a conservative radio or TV talk show host. Write a letter to the editor...
With much respect and appreciation,