This Holocaust Author's Auschwitz Blog

This Holocaust Author's Auschwitz Blog

This blog describes my thoughts and experiences in visiting Auschwitz in September 2014, and Belzec, Majdanek and Sobibor in January 2016

I blogged my preparations for my visit, I posted daily during my visit to Poland...there are also my ongoing thoughts posted here; in the aftermath of my visit...
(Please note due to the sensitive nature of this blog, and the prevalence of trolls, comments have been blocked)

February

HolocaustPosted by P.A. Draigh Tue, February 07, 2017 16:54:52

On this day in the History of The Holocaust, February 4th. 1907 Otto Ohlendorf, who will grow up to be Professor und SS Gruppenfuhrer Commander of EGB, is born. On February 24th. 1920 the Nazi Party is born from the 'Nationalsozialistischen Deutsche Arbeiter Party' and on February 26th. 1924 Hitler's trial begins for his failed Munich Bierkeller Putsch! On February 25th. 1932 Hitler is granted German Citizenship and as the Jews of Germany and Austria will be faced with threats, both metaphorically, rhetorically and deadly real, the World takes a breath. On February 2nd. 1933, all Political demonstrations in Germany are banned and the following day, February 3rd. 1933 Hitler's clear view, his Lebensraum expansion plan is revealed. Der Sturmer is now an official organ of the Nazi party. February 12th sees Berlin’s 'Bloody Sunday' riots which lead to the death of a Communist Party Member and injuries to 100's of others. The Jews are systematically targeted.

On February 20th. Hitler wins over a group of leading German industrialists at a meeting designed for that purpose. On February 22nd. 40,000 SA and SS are sworn in as auxiliary Police and on February 27th. the German Reichstag building is set on fire and the blame falls upon the Communists. The following day, February 28th. under edict of the Weimar Constitution, President Hindenburg gives plenary powers to Hitler and the Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the Nation and State the 'Reichstagsbrandverordnung,' the Reichstag Fire Decree makes the Weimar Constitution all but annulled and leaves all 100 Communist deputies arrested. During February 1934 the 3 year old Anneliese (Anne) Frank joins Her family, from her native Germany to join them in Amsterdam.

The first group of Jewish refugees from Germany arrive at Kibbutz Ein Harod in Israel and on February 17th. Great Britain, France and Italy move to secure Austrian independence. On February 10th. 1935 there is a prohibition of gatherings which are urging Jews to remain in Germany. On February 4th. 1936 Wilhelm Gustloff, the Swiss Nazi Party Leader, is assassinated by David Frankfurter, a Jewish Student and this proves an expedient for Hitler. At this time Hitler decides not to react and not to show the indignation as will be witnessed with the aftermath of the Grynzspan affair in 1938. Meanwhile, February 10th. 1936 sees the Gestapo placed above the law. On February 29th. Cardinal August Hlond, head of the Catholic Church in Poland issues his 'pastoral letter', discriminating against the Jewish People. His statement, leading to anti-Jewish pogroms occurring in Poland on the back of what Cardinal Hlond calls the ‘usury, fraud and white slavery' of the Jewish People.

On February 16th. 1937 German and Polish relations strengthened by Goering visit and on February 4th. 1938 Hitler becomes Chief of Germany's armed forces, appoints Joachim von Ribbentrop as his Foreign Minister as the Nazis in Austria are set to take over all Jewish business. On February 3rd. 1939 the Budapest Synagogue is fire bombed and on February 7th. Alfred Rosenberg, of the Foreign Political Office, proposes a Jewish reserve for World Jewry.

Tuesday February 7th. 1939 "..What territories are ..democracies willing to provide for ..settling some 15,000,000 Jews." Alfred Rosenberg.

Two days later on February 9th. there are more anti Jewish legislation passed in Italy and on February 10th. Pope Pius XI dies. On February 21st. Jews are required to hand over gold and silver. On February 7th. 1940 the Jews of Warsaw are prevented from attending public libraries while the following day, February 8th. the Lodz Ghetto is established and more than 202,000 Jews are to be Enclosed. Lodz is One of the Nine Major Ghettos Hitler has established and more than 8,200 of Lodz’s Jews will die from Starvation in this 1st. Year. On February 12th. the first deportations of Jews from Germany, from Pomerania to Polish Lublin as Goering moves to stem the flow of Jewish expulsions to Eastern Poland, except those from Lodz. On February 18th. two Jewish Warsaw teenage girls are raped in the Jewish cemetery by two Wehrmacht so-called 'officers'. The following day, February 19th. Waffen SS training moves out of Dachau.

On February 4th. 1941 Cardinal Theodor Innitzer, Archbishop of Vienna, repeats his concerns to Pope Pius XII concerning 60,000 of Vienna's Jews who are still under threat and are facing ‘resettlement’ deportation. The following day on February 5th. Romania issues its own Law for Protection of the State. On February 12th. Reich Protectorate decree demands that all capital be declared by its Jews. The following day February 13th. First Amsterdam Jewish Council, the 'Joodse Raad,' meets and on February 15th. the Kielce Ghetto is taking in nearly 1,000 Viennese Jews per week, some Jews from Pinczow forced in Labour unit. On February 17th. Romania joins Hitler's War effort and on February 18th. the Warsaw Ghetto Jewish Council seeks a loan from German Banks. February 22nd. sees the beginning of action against the Jews of Plock.

On February 23rd. 400 of Amsterdam’s Jews are sent to the Concentration Camps at Buchenwald and Mauthausen and two days later on February 25th. there is a Dutch General Strike over these deportations of their Jewish Citizens. On February 28th. the entire Jewish population of Plock are removed to the Dzialdowo Camp and are murdered there. On February 1st. 1942 the SS Economic Administrative Main Office, 'Wirtschafts Verwaltungshauptamt' WVHA is established under SS Gruppenfuhrer Oswald Pohl, for the controlling of the Concentration Camps. On February 8th. the first major deportations to the Death Camps commence as the Belzec Death Camp’s Construction is fully completed. On February 12th. Oswald Pohl issues instructions to Concentration Camps on maximum usage of inmates for 'work' and are restricted to 10% of the Camp population. On February 13th. Hamburg Jewish leaders murdered in Minsk Ghetto.

Saturday February 14th. 1942 "..Jews have deserved ..catastrophe that has now overtaken them. Their destruction will go hand in hand with ..destruction of our enemies. We must hasten this process with cold ruthlessness." Josef Goebbels.

On February 15th. The first massed Jewish gassing at Auschwitz have begun with the realm of Auschwitz/Birkenau set to incorporate 5 purpose-built Krematorium all with their own gas chambers.

"..I have created a world power out of ..German Reich. I am boundlessly proud that I was blessed by Providence ..to lead this battle." Adolf Hitler.

On February 16th. the German Foreign Office notifies the Slovakian Government of the move toward The Final Solution of The Jewish Question in Europe. On February 24th. there are over 30,000 of Lodz’s Jews deported to Chelmno. On February 28th. Archbishop of Lvov, the recognised head of Polish Catholics, in Cardinal August Hlond's absence, Adam Stefan Sapieha, wrote to Pius XII on the persecution of Polish Catholics. He made no mention of Polish Jewry while Italian Priests, who had accompanied Italian troops into Russia, were passing back the information on the Murders of the Jews. Sapieha would have been one of the recipients of such information as would the Vatican. There was no moratorium on the movement of Italians through Poland from Russia back to Italy. On February 1st. 1943 more than 2,000 of Buczacz’s Jews are murdered at Fedor Hill as the Town of Oswiecim is being emptied of those Jews soon to enslaved and then murdered at Auschwitz.

The following day, February 2nd. with the defeat of Field Marshal Friedrich von Paulus and his German 6th. Army, sees his surrender at Stalingrad and the loss of 300,000 German and Axis forces who are dead or captured. With this defeat of Hitler's Armies here at Stalingrad, the need to destroy the very evidence of The Holocaust was conceived of and 'Sonderkommando 1005', which is to be directed by Blobel's punctilious effort, came into being. On February 3rd 1943 Dino Alfieri, the former Ambassador to the Vatican alerts Count Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister as to the fate of the Jewish People.

Wednesday February 3rd. 1943 "..fate of ..Polish ..Russian ..Dutch ..French Jews ..SS talk about mass executions. ..executions by machine guns ..nude women ..children lined up at ..mouth of ..ditch. ..an SS official ..confided ..he had hurled babies ..against a wall ..shattering them ..an example to his men." Dino Alfieri.

On February 5th. with Jewish Resistance in Bialystok crushed, 2,000 Jews are killed resisting. On February 7th. the first Armed Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto begins. On February 12th. the Week-long resettlement at Bialystok ends and 10,000 of Bialystok’s Jews are murdered at Treblinka. Elsewhere, Himmler and his entourage of 20 High Ranking Personnel in a fleet of 7 Cars, arrives at Sobibor to oversee the destructive capacity of the facility. Over 200 Female Jews from Lipowa, including 70 of Wlodawa's prettiest Jewish Females are murdered for Himmler's benefit! Later that day, Himmler and his party visited Treblinka.

"..Seven cars ..Himmler. ..entourage ..twenty people. ..went to ..extermination area ..stayed half an hour." Tanhum Greenberg.

On February 16th. Himmler orders the Warsaw Ghetto is to be 'reduced' to rubble.

Tuesday February 16th. 1943 "..In this way ..Warsaw ..will be reduced." SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler.

On February 23rd. the Stanislawow Ghetto is Liquidated with 1,000 of Stanislawow's Jews shot and 2,000 sent to the Janowska Camp. On February 25th. the first transports from Salonika to Auschwitz begins as Hitler’s Final Solution extends its reach. On February 26th. the first major Gypsy transport also arrives at Auschwitz. This is followed the following day, February 27th. with the deportation of those previously exempted Jewish armament workers from Berlin to Auschwitz. On February 28th. 2,000 of Stryj’s Jews are murdered at Sobibor while Aktion ‘1005’ begins at Treblinka to disguise Hitler’s crimes against The Jewish People of our Humanity. On February 1st. 1944 in Ledziny, the Town sees IG Farben establish the Auschwitz III Monowitz sub-Camp Gunthergrube, for Coal extraction. This sub-camp and around 300 prisoners are sent for forced labour there.

On February 3rd. there are over 980 Parisian Jews from the Drancy Camp resettled to Auschwitz. This is followed a week later, on February 10th. with a further 1,200 Parisian Jews from the Drancy Camp resettled to Auschwitz as are over 800 Dutch Jews from Westerbork to be resettled at Auschwitz. On February 14th. Himmler reduces the size of the Lodz Ghetto and on February 22nd. over 460 of Fossoli’s Jews are deported toward Auschwitz as are over 80 of Narva’s Jews. On February 25th. over 30 more of Vienna’s Jews are deported to Auschwitz and the following day, February 26th. more than 50 of Sosnowiec’s Jews to Auschwitz. During February 1945 both Anne and Margot Frank died from the effects of Typhus. Though we cannot be certain of the exact dates of their demise, we are certain that Hitler's Final Solution had imposed itself upon them both. On February 1st. the Gross-Rosen Death March of 40,000 inmates begins its harrowing progress.

On February 2nd. the Red Cross discusses with the SS for the relief of all the Camps and on February 4th. The Yalta Conference convenes and this meeting at Yalta between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin agree that a prosecution of all Axis leaders should follow the expected conclusion of World War II. On February 14th. as Russian forces liberate Buda, part of the City of Budapest, the City is surrendered with more than 90,000 Hungarian Jews reprieved by Russian forces. On February 17th. of the all too few Jews who have managed to Survive, 7 returning Sokoly Jewish Survivors are murdered by locals amongst these are 4 year old, Tovah ‘Tokele’ Olshak. All of these Jewish Survivors, who have suffered so much, endured even more are included in these shameful murders.

1) Tovah, (Tokele), (Tolkele), (Tulkale), (Tulka) was 4 years of age. I am now reliably informed by a Survivor, Yaffa Litwak, who knew Tokele, that she is Tovah Olshak, the Sister of Shaine. Both of Tokele's Parents were previously shot in the nearby Lupochowo Forest and Tokele had been cared for and Loved by a Christian woman. Sadly, and though with difficulty, Tokele was given back to her Cousin by marriage Shaine.

2) Shaine (Shaina) (Sheine) Olshak was a Cousin by marriage of Tokele, she was 22 years of age. She was the Wife of Zeev Velvel Olshak of Zeremow.

3) David Zholti (Zholty) was born in 1939 and was 35 years of age,

4) Shaikele (Sheike) (Yehoshua) (Shaikeleh) Litwak was 13 years of age and was the Brother of Yankele, Shammai and Yaffa and was the Son of Chaim,

5) Chaim 'Tuvia' Litwak was the blacksmith from Siemietitz and was the Father of Yankele, Shaikele, Shammai and Yaffa,

6) Shammai Litwak was 19 years of age the Elder Brother of Yankele, Shaikele,

7) Batya Weinstein was 20 years old who had Survived Auschwitz and had been born in Swiecinin, and though David Kostshevski (Koschevsky) (Koschavsky) who had Survived both Auschwitz and Majdanek was shot here in Sokoly, he died in a hospital in Bialystok.

On February 18th. 1946 the Russian prosecutors offer into evidence German film footage, and this is a 45 minute film of the very evidence of Hitler’s Final Solution. The atrocities captured will need to teach us what we need to learn. On February 9th. 1948 the Final Judgement in der Einsatzgruppe Case is delivered and 3 days later on February 12th. the Defence’s closing statement in der Einsatzgruppe Case is completed. The following day February 13th. the Prosecution closing statement in der Einsatzgruppe Case is delivered. On February 17th. the RuSHA Case at Nuremberg concludes and 2 days later on February 19th. The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, Case Number 7, ends. Eight defendants are found guilty of their crimes and are sentenced to varying periods of imprisonment. Two defendants are acquitted. Two other defendants committed suicide before the verdict was reached.

1) Field Marshal Siegmund Wilhelm von List, lifetime imprisonment and was released in December 1952.

2) Field Marshal Baron Maximilian von Weichs, Removed from the trial due to illness.

3) Colonel General Dr. Lothar Rendulic, 20 years' imprisonment reduced to 10 years. Released 1951.

4) General Walter Kuntze, Life in prison. Released 1953.

5) Major General Hermann Foertsch, Acquitted.

6) Lieutenant General Franz Bohme, committed suicide, May 30th. 1947 before his arraignment.

7) Lieutenant General Hellmuth Felmy, 15 years' imprisonment; reduced to 10 years in 1951.

8) General Hubert Lanz, 12 years' imprisonment; released 1951.

9) Major General Ernst Dehner, 7 years' imprisonment; released 1951.

10) Lieutenant General Ernst von Leyser, 10 years' imprisonment; released 1951.

11) Major General Wilhelm Speidel, 20 years' imprisonment; released 1951.

12) Kurt Ritter von Geitner, Acquitted.

The release, on February 15th. 1979, of Aerial photographs of the operation at Birkenau capture the procession toward Destruction of those Jews disembarking from a ‘resettlement’ Transport. Here, as a Death Camp swallows up a further convoy, the release of these photographs provides shameful evidence of what we allowed to happen. These photographs were taken back in 1944 and they are present at the height of the operation against Hungarian Jewry. Add to this, that US Bombers were fully capable of over flying the Auschwitz/Birkenau Death Camp, the continuing argument as to why the Allies did not intervene, did not Bomb the Death Camps and did not Save more Jews, will wind on relentlessly.



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