Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Names of Jewish Gassing Victims (2)

Names of Jewish Gassing Victims (1)


Since my previous blog I have added proof submissions regarding Jewish gassing victims at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bełżec and Chełmno.



These proof submissions will be quoted hereafter, converted to this blog’s format and minus the Gerdian "Opening Statement" and "Closing Statement" rubbish.

10 – Miriam Adler, gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau on 31 January or 1 February 1943

1. For proof that Auschwitz-Birkenau was (also) an extermination camp and people were killed there mostly by gassing, see the judgment at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial and the HC articles labeled Auschwitz.

2. Jewish deportees arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau between 1942 and 1944 usually underwent a selection meant to determine whether they were able to work. If considered able to work, they were taken into the camp as inmates as registered. If not considered able to work, they were immediately sent to the gas chambers. In his notes with the title Die "Endlösung der Judenfrage" im KL Auschwitz (The "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" at Auschwitz Concentration Camp), which resulted from his pre-trial interrogations by Polish judge Jan Sehn, Auschwitz-Birkenau commandant Rudolf Höß also wrote about the selection process and criteria, his description translating as follows:

Originally all the Jews transported to Auschwitz on the authority of Eichmann’s office were, in accordance with orders of the Reichsführer SS, to be destroyed without exception. This also applied to the Jews from Upper Silesia, but on the arrival of the first transports of German Jews, the order was given that all those who were able-bodied, whether men or women, were to be segregated and employed on war work. This happened before the construction of the women’s camp, since the need for a women’s camp in Auschwitz only arose as a result of this order.
[…]
The selection took place as follows. The railway cars were unloaded one after the other. After dropping their luggage the Jews had to walk one by one past an SS doctor, who decided about their ability to work as they walked past him. Those able to work were immediately taken into the camp in small detachments. The percentage of those able to work was 25-30 per cent in the total average of all transports, but it varied considerably. Thus the average percentage of Greek Jews able to work was on 15 per cent, and there were transports from Slovakia which were 100 % able to work. Jewish doctors and nurses were without exception taken into the camp.


Based on the recollections of survivors as well as documents and demographic data, German historians Christian Gerlach and Götz Aly have examined in further detail the criteria according to which arriving Jews were selected during the deportations from Hungary in the late spring and the summer of 1944. A considerable part of these deportees were selected as laborers as much labor was needed by the German war industry at the time. The following are some of the excerpts from Gerlach & Aly’s book Das letzte Kapitel that I have translated; emphases are mine:

[Pages 275-76]
From 14 May to 9 July [1944], a total of 437,402 Jews according to Veesenmayer, 434,351 according to Ferenczy, were deported in 147 trains from Hungary.[] Trains arrived at Auschwitz almost daily from 16 May to 11 July, a total of 141; no trains arrived in the periods from 19 to 26 June and from 2 to 6 July [Footnote: List of transports arrived at concentration camp Auschwitz II Birkenau in the time from 16.V. to 20.9.1944/men/, transcription made on 5.8.1945 by the Director of the Austrian Federal Lands' Insurance Institution Leo Glaser, YVA O 1 (Arolsen)/2. A break between 18.6. and 26.6. is mentioned by Czech, Kalendarium, page 807, footnote.] This corresponds, with an interval of one or two days, to 136 deportation trains recorded by railway officials in Kosice.
In June four trains from southern and western Hungary with a total of about 15,000 persons, which show up in the German and Hungarian transportation statistics, were redirected to Stasshof near Vienna, and the Jews considered able to work were used as forced laborers in the surroundings (see chapter 5c). Thus about 425,000 Jewish people reached Auschwitz until 11 July, another 4,000 in three trains from internment camps about one week later (these people were also subjected to the selection between forced laborers and murder victims) and several hundred between August and October, mostly Hungarian Jews collected or left behind in prisons or camps.


[Pages 286-87]
Contrary to other information disseminated in research, which seems to be wholly based on rumors or speculations, from every single transport with Hungarian Jews the SS-men selected forced laborers, who they did not immediately murder. The assumption that people from transports arriving by night were murdered without distinction also turns out to be clearly wrong. This is shown by numerous accounts from survivors and by a list we recently found, according to which male Hungarian Jews were selected in Birkenau from 141 deportation trains between 16 May and 11 July 1944. [Footnote: List of transports arrived at concentration camp Auschwitz II Birkenau in the time from 16.V. to 20.9.1944/men/, Lambach, 5 August 1945, Confirm correctness: signed Leo Glaser, Director of the Austrian Federal Lands' Insurance Institution, Vienna (carbon copy), YVA O. 51 Arolsen/2. The authenticity of this document, which lists the number of male Jews selected for work from 141 transports out of Hungary for each single day (Jews classified as unable to work and immediately murdered were certainly not recorded), is confirmed, despite its dubious provenance, by its coincidence with other documents, especially the matching of the daily data with the list made by Slovakian railway officials (Braham, Politics, S. 1403-1405). See also the deposition dated 1.7.1945 of Otto Robisek, who was deported on 26.6.1944 from Oradea and selected for forced labor in a group of 206 men (LI VII 123/4, Bl. 175). A train with 206 selected men is mentioned on the list under 29.6.1944. Most deportation trains traveled for three days.] At first men and women had to line up in separate groups, then they were subjected to a superficial check and those considered able to work were separated from elder people, children up to 13 years and mothers and fathers who did not want to leave their children, so that on most occasions there were four groups.


[Pages 291-92]
The selection was carried out only by SS-doctors still at the so-called ramp of Birkenau according to certain changing criteria: on the one hand the age stated by the arrivals – youths 14 or 16 years and older, women up 40 and men up to 45 or 50 years were considered able to work. As concerns youths there was obviously a certain tolerance, mathematically speaking.
Besides the stated age the physical condition influenced the decision about life or death. In a list of 857 survivors from Uzhorod and surroundings, youths born from 1928 to 1930 were about as strongly represented as the adult age groups up to 43 years. Youths of 14 to 16 years were also "selected" again and again in the camp at a later stage. Of the even younger ones from Uzhorod only a few managed to survive, probably due to coincidences: the Germans obviously wanted to systematically murder those aged up to thirteen. From the age groups 1899 and older (in the summer of 1944 those 44-45 years old and older) only 39 had survived, among them only five women, one of them, one can assume, because she was needed as a doctor. If one considers the higher mortality of somewhat older people under the conditions in the German camps, the Germans had thus obviously selected women up to 40 or 45 years, men up to 45 or 50 years as forced laborers. The elder were practically all murdered immediately.
A sample from the official file of Hungarian Jews in Mauthausen concentration camp points in the same direction. For the work in this camp complex, considered especially tough, a disproportionately high number of youths had been allocated, but only few had admitted to being younger than age group 1929. Men between 40 and 55 years (in some individual cases up to 65) were registered, but in relation to other adults they were underrepresented by a factor of three. The Hungarian Jewesses at the armament factory in Hessisch-Lichtenau were about 17 to 49 years old, those in a factory at Allendorf 14 to 52, on average 26 years old.


[Page 378]
Altogether about 200,000 Jews were transported in 1944 from Hungary to Germany or the German-occupied territories and not immediately murdered but used as forced laborers. About 110,000 of them were brought between May and July 1944 to Auschwitz, where most were distributed to other camps. About 90,000 were deported directly to Austria: 15,000 in June 1944 to the Vienna area, several thousand already in the spring of 1944 to Mauthausen concentration camp and other camps, and about 76,000 between October and December 1944, mostly in murderous foot marches (see chapters 5a, 5b, 3d and 6b). Another 320,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered by gas immediately after their arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau.


One can see that, even at a time when there was a high need for Jewish labor (out of 430,000 Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz between May and July 1944, as many as 110,000 were selected as laborers) children under the age of 13 had no and adults over the age of 55 had hardly any chance of being selected as laborers instead of being sent to the gas chambers. Older Jews up to the age of 65 were rare exceptions among those selected for labor, their selection being probably due a specialist knowledge they possessed. No one older than 65 years is known to have been selected even at this time of high labor needs. It can therefore be safely assumed that no Jew older than 65 was selected for labor at any time and every Jew beyond this age at the time of arrival was taken straight to the gas chamber.

3. The German Federal Archives’ database pertaining to the memorial book for victims of the persecution of the Jews in Germany under National Socialist rule between 1939 and 1945 (Gedenkbuch Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933-1945) contains the names of 741 persons known to have died at Auschwitz-Birkenau who, on the date of their arrival at that place, were at least 65 years old. One of the these persons, Miriam Adler, née Feith, was born on 29 May 1867 in Siegburg in the Rhine Province. She lived in Siegburg and Koblenz. On 16 May 1939 she emigrated to the Netherlands. From the Netherlands she was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943. She was legally declared dead, the stated date of her death being 1 February 1943, obviously the day following her arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau. On 31 January 1943 there arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau a transport that, according to the memorial book’s chronology of deportations from the Netherlands, had departed from Westerbork in the Netherlands on 29 January. The transport carried 659 Jews. This was one out of three transports recorded in Danuta Czech’s Kalendarium as having arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau on that day; the other two, respectively carrying 2,450 and 2,834 deportees, arrived from places in Poland. On the transport from Westerbork there were 240 men and 419 women and children. After selection 50 men, who received the numbers 96516 to 96520 and 98274 to 98318, and 19 women, who received the numbers from 33253 to 33271, were taken into the camp as inmates. The other 590 deportees were killed in the gas chambers.

Miriam Adler was 75 years old when she arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau; on 29 May 1943 she would have become 76. It is completely impossible, considering what is known about the selection criteria and procedure at Auschwitz-Birkenau, that she was one of the 19 out of 419 women and children taken into the camp. There is thus no room for reasonable doubt that Miriam Adler was gassed upon arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau, either on the date of her arrival or (as there were several transports arriving on that day) on the next day, 1 February 1943.



11. Rosa Mayer, gassed at Bełżec on 8 April 1942

1. For proof that Bełżec was an extermination camp where arriving deportees were killed mostly by gassing, see the thread Proof that "alleged Bełżec grave # 3/3" contains the remains and the HC articles labeled Bełżec, as well as the judgment LG München I vom 21.1.1965, 110 Ks 3/64.

2. The German Federal Archives’ database pertaining to the memorial book for victims of the persecution of the Jews in Germany under National Socialist rule between 1939 and 1945 (Gedenkbuch Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933-1945) contains the names of 100 Jewish German citizens known to have died at Bełżec extermination camp. People were killed at Bełżec in two ways: either by gassing with engine exhaust, which was the fate of the overwhelming majority of deportees, or by shooting, which was the fate of those deportees that were so weak that they could not by any means walk to the gas chambers. The latter method was applied rather infrequently, as is suggested by the testimony in the course of a West German criminal investigation of Robert Jührs, one of the former SS-men who ran Bełżec extermination camp. Jührs’ testimony is quoted on pp. 169-70 of Kogon, Langbein, Rückerl et al, Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas. The following is my translation of Jührs’ testimony.

At the beginning of autumn 1942 I had been detached for service at the place of unloading when a larger transport arrived. The exact time I can no longer determine. I only know that it was not very cold, for I didn’t yet wear a coat.
In this transport the cars had been strongly overfilled, and very many Jews were no longer able to walk. It may be that in the confusion several Jews were pushed to the ground and trampled to death. In any case there were Jews among them who could by no means make the way through the undressing barracks. As usual, Hering also showed up during the unloading. He gave me the order to shoot these Jews …
The Jewish working detachment brought the mentioned Jews to the gate and from there other working Jews brought them to the pit. As I remember there were seven Jews, men and women, who were laid in the pit.
At this place I with to point out that the victims were such persons who had suffered most heavily during the transport. I wish to say that they were more dead than alive. It is difficult to describe what state these people were in after the long trip in the almost imaginably overfilled railway cars. I saw the killing of these people in this manner as a mercy and deliverance.
From the edge of the pit I shot the Jews with a machine pistol. In any case I aimed at the head, so that every one was immediately dead. I can say with absolute certainty that not a single one had to suffer. It was not necessary for me to make sure that everyone was really dead. There was no doubt about this for me.


So this transport had been a very large one that had arrived from far away (presumably somewhere in the Galicia district – see the discussion of conditions on such transports in my blog Belzec Mass Graves and Archaeology: My Response to Carlo Mattogno (5,2). Due to the length of the trip and the overfilling of the cars many Jews already arrived at Bełżec in a very bad state. Nevertheless, only a few of these maltreated persons, who according to Jührs were "more dead than alive" and "could by no means make the way through the undressing barracks", were granted the comparative mercy (at least that’s how Jührs saw it, or claimed to have seen it) of being carried to the burial pit and killed there with a shot in the head, instead of being forced to crawl (as they could not walk) to the gas chambers. It stands to reason that these were elderly Jews who didn’t have much strength left in them anyway and had lost what remaining strength they had during the harrowing trip in the overfilled railway cars.

The German Jews taken to Bełżec, on the other hand, mostly came from the ghettos of Piaski (like Rosa Mayer née Lövy from Worms, born 28 January 1898, who had been taken to Piaski on 25 March 1942 and from there to on 8 April 1942 to Bełżec, where she died) or Izbica (like Margot Levy from Aach, deported to Izbica on 23 April 1942 and from there in May 1942 to Bełżec, where she died at the age of 5, together with Selma Levy, aged 51 at the time, who was obviously a relative of hers). Piaski, as can be seen on the maps in the Wikipedia pages Piaski and Belzec extermination camp, is rather close to Bełżec. So is Izbica. The trip from either to Bełżec thus can’t have lasted so long, unlike the trips from the Galicia district. This, in turn, makes it safe to assume that, when Rosa Mayer (aged 44 at the time) arrived at Bełżec from Piaski, she was well in conditions to walk to the gas chamber and didn’t have to be shot. This would apply even more for the 18-year-old Klara Dreilinger from Gelsenkirchen, who is likely to have also made her way to Bełżec through one of the aforementioned ghettos, even though this is not mentioned in the database. Rosa Mayer had moreover not been in Piaski for long before being deported to Bełżec, so she probably was not yet weakened by life in the ghetto. On the other hand, there is no evidence that Klara Dreilinger, Rosa Mayer or any other Jewish German citizen was among the few selected to help run the camp and its extermination activities due to their physical strength or their skills as craftsmen (of whom only two or three are known to have survived), and the date of Rosa Mayer’s death recorded in the database (8 April 1942) also speaks against this having been the case. It can thus be considered proven that Rosa Mayer was killed by gassing at Bełżec extermination camp.



12. Max Abraham, gassed at Chełmno on 15 May 1942

1. For proof that Chełmno was an extermination camp and people were killed there by gassing in gas vans, see the HC blogs labeled Chełmno and the THHP page "...ninety-seven thousand have been processed...", as well as the testimonies and other evidence quoted or referred to on the site Chelmno - Death Camp for Total Extermination.

2. The Jews murdered in gas vans at Chełmno included numerous German citizens who had been previously deported to the Łódź ghetto and were taken from there to Chełmno. The largest series of deportations involving German Jews took place between 4 and 15 May 1942. It is referred to in the judgment issued by the Bonn Court of Assizes on 30 March 1963 at the trial against Heinrich B. et al, which is partially quoted in Adalbert Rckerl, NS Vernichtungslager im Spiegel deutscher Strafprozesse, pages 288 ff. What follows is a part of my partial translation of the excerpts from this judgment quoted by Rückerl (emphases added):

About the number of Jewish persons brought to Chełmno from 5 December 1941 to mid-January 1942 from the closer surroundings, including Kolo, Bugaj and Dabie, there are no written documents, and neither are there data from witnesses or defendants that seem reliable.
On the other hand the population statistics of the Łódź Ghetto provide information about the scope of the transports to Chełmno that were carried out in the time from 16 January to 15 May 1942. They contain the following figures:
January 10,003
February 7,025
March 24,695
April 2,353
May 10,914 [86]
Regarding the month May these data are corroborated by a listing from the German Reichsbahn dated 19 May 1942, which records a total number of 10,993 Jews taken away.[87]
Thus for the mentioned period there results a total number of 54,990 Jews, which coincides with the number stated by the Lodz State Police office in a report dated 9 June 1942, around 55,000. In this report the following is stated:
In the course of forming the Gau ghetto it was first necessary to make room for the Jews to be moved in there. For this purpose a larger number of Jews not able to work were evacuated from the ghetto and handed over to the special detachment. From the Polish Jews a total of 44,152 were moved out since 16 January 1942. From the 19,848 Jews that had been taken to the local ghetto from the Old Reich, the Ostmark and the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia in October 1941, 10,993 were evacuated, so that now room has been made for ca. 55,000 Jews in the ghetto. [88]


The "evacuation" of the foreign Jews in May 1942 is also mentioned on pp. 73-74 of Shmuel Krakowski, Das Todeslager Chełmno/Kulmhof: Der Beginn der Endlössung, from which I translated the following excerpt:

Within the scope of the May transports 10,915 Jews from the ghetto were sent to Chełmno extermination camp, the larger part of them people from Western Europe – more than half of those who had been deported to the Łódź ghetto in the autumn of 1941. About 4,000 of them, that is a quarter, died in the ghetto itself – or hunger and epidemics. Only 6,000 of them remained in the ghetto at this time. The May transports were accompanied by a wave of suicides.


3. The German Federal Archives' database pertaining to the memorial book for victims of the persecution of the Jews in Germany under National Socialist rule between 1939 and 1945 (Gedenkbuch Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933-1945) contains the names of 1059 Jewish German citizens known to have died at Chełmno extermination camp. Many of them were victims of the above-mentioned May deportations, including a 60-year-old man by the name of Max Abraham, about whom the memorial book contains the following information:

Born on 31 August 1881 in Schlochau / West Prussia
Domiciled in München Gladbach
Deportation:
From Düsseldorf
27. October 1941, Litzmannstadt (Łódź), Ghetto
14 May 1942, Kulmhof (Chełmno), extermination camp
Date and place of death:
15 May 1942, Kulmhof (Chełmno), extermination camp

The reason why Max Abraham was deported to Chełmno on 14 May 1942 and died there only the next day, even though Chełmno is not far away from Łódź, is related to the procedure first reconstructed (on hand of testimonies by the camp’s only three survivors as well as Polish witnesses drawn from the population of the neighborhood) by the Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, whose report describes the transport and killing procedure as follows:

The railway trains which used to bring the Jews from Lodz consisted as a rule of 20-22 wagons. At Kolo the transportees, usually about 1000 at one time, were reloaded and sent by the branch line to Powiercic, the rail-head (note 2), whence their baggage was dispatched straight to Chelmno, while they themselves were taken under an escort of 6 to 8 gendarmes to the neighbouring village of Zawadki, and left for the night in a large mill building.

The next morning 3 lorries used to come for them from Chelmno, about 2 km (a mile and a quarter) away. Not more that 100-150 were taken at a time, that being the number which could be gassed in one operation. The whole process was so arranged that the next batch of victims remained till the last moment ignorant of the fate of those who had preceeded them. The whole thousand were disposed of by 1 or 2 p.m.

The loaded lorries entered the camp grounds and stopped before the house, where the newcomers were addressed by a representative of the Sonderkommando, who told them they were going to work in the East, and promised them fair treatment and good food. He also told them that first they must take a bath and deliver their clothes to be disinfected. From the courtyard they were sent inside the house, to a heated room on the first floor, where they undressed. They then came downstairs to a corridor, on the walls of which were inscriptions: "to the doctor" or "to the bath", the latter with an arrow pointing to the front door. When they had gone out they were told that they were going in a closed car to the bath-house.

Before the door of the country house stood a large lorry with a door in the rear, so placed that it could be entered directly with the help of a ladder. The time assigned for loading it was very short, gendarmes standing in the corridor and driving the wretched victims into the car as quickly as possible with shouts and blows. When the whole of one batch had been forced into the car, the door was banged and the engine started, poisoning with its exhaust fumes those who were locked inside. The process was usually complete in 4 or 5 minutes, and then the lorry was driven to Rzuchow wood about 4 km (2 1/2 miles) away, where the corpses were unloaded and burnt.


These is no evidence suggesting that Max Abraham was among the very few deportees who, due to their visible physical strength and/or their craftsman skills, were selected to work in the camp in connection with the extermination and body disposal process, and this is also highly implausible considering the man’s age at the time of his arrival.

It can therefore be considered proven that Max Abraham was killed in a gas van at Chełmno on 15 May 1942.


Meanwhile, my Challenge to Supporters of the Revisionist Transit Camp Theory continues waiting for "Revisionist" arbiter candidates and reward applicants.

3 comments:

Diogo said...

Roberto Muehlenkamp, você não gostaria de criar sozinho um blogue em língua portuguesa onde colocasse estas questões? Eu, e outros revisionistas que conheço, gostaríamos muito de debater consigo estes temas.

Tenho facilidade em ler em inglês mas mais dificuldade em escrever.

Abraço

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Caro amigo, há muita coisa que eu gostaria de fazer, mas mal tenho tempo para me dedicar a estes temas em língua inglesa.

Portanto, se quizer debater comigo vai ter que melhorar o seu inglês escrito.

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