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1000ydstare
10-24-2005, 12:57 AM
Apperently, there are some people with questions about the holocaust.

So I invite them to post these questions so we can all see them, and discuss them in a rational manner.

Having served in Germany and visited the camps of Bergan Belsan (I lived in the army camp just down the road) and a few other sites on the long death march of the Jews from the East to the West as the Nazis retreated I hope to bring something to what I beleive will be a great debate.

So question away. All views accepted if they can be backed up, same rules as any other debate really.

Bladensburg
10-24-2005, 08:32 AM
There is the classic Richard Dimbleby newsreel documentary about Belsen, filmed just after the liberation. Anyone who has any doubts should get hold of a copy and watch it.

Dani
10-24-2005, 08:38 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/4445811.stm

Dani
10-24-2005, 08:46 AM
http://www.historytvdocumentaries.com/HW.html#taaavailabilityanchor

Check "Heroes - Programme 8
THE MEN WHO LIBERATED BELSEN"

http://www.historytvdocumentaries.com/HW.html#HW8

1000ydstare
10-24-2005, 09:29 AM
Obviously the first question to answer about the holocaust is "did it happen?"

In answer yes it did. Millions of souls were tortured, starved and gassed to death.

And that is the truth.

A small group of cretins on this world may believe that it didn't happen but it did.

Firefly
10-24-2005, 10:40 AM
Of course it did happen. Only a fool would think something this big was some kind of conspiracy.

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/wannsee.htm

This is where it was committed to paper, a conference chaired by Heydrich. Incidentally there was a rather good BBC play of it a few years ago, unfortunately I cant remember what it was called.

Topor
10-24-2005, 12:32 PM
There are also those who agree that it happened but that there were "only" a few tens of thousands who died & most of these from illness!
I have a Polish friend who was there when it happened & he reckons the official figures are more likely an understatement, as many Poles disappeared who weren't Jews, including members of his family.

mike M.
10-24-2005, 01:11 PM
YES..it did happen

Firefly
10-24-2005, 03:04 PM
There are also those who agree that it happened but that there were "only" a few tens of thousands who died & most of these from illness!
I have a Polish friend who was there when it happened & he reckons the official figures are more likely an understatement, as many Poles disappeared who weren't Jews, including members of his family.

Agreed, if anyone sufferred the Poles sure did. They got it from the germans and Russians, then the Germans then the Russians again. UK and France went to war for them and did absolutlely nothing for them in 6 years of war. You would think that they would still resent this.

Crab_to_be
10-24-2005, 03:15 PM
All the Poles I have met tend to be grateful for the help that they did get. It's a glass half full situation (more like one tenth full, I suppose). The UK and France had no binding reason to give Poland the support that they did. Compared to the Czechoslavakian solution, the Poles were well supported internationally even though they suffered more than any other nation of the time.

Edited to add: Grateful for the help they got, and realise that there is no way that Poland was going to end the war un-occupied by Germany or Russia, regardless of the activities of British, Empire and Commonwealth forces.

Sturmtruppen
10-24-2005, 05:14 PM
All the Poles I have met tend to be grateful for the help that they did get. It's a glass half full situation (more like one tenth full, I suppose). The UK and France had no binding reason to give Poland the support that they did. Compared to the Czechoslavakian solution, the Poles were well supported internationally even though they suffered more than any other nation of the time.

Edited to add: Grateful for the help they got, and realise that there is no way that Poland was going to end the war un-occupied by Germany or Russia, regardless of the activities of British, Empire and Commonwealth forces.

The poles are also great with me!,we also have our poles,britishman,and they are good aas your poles!!,they weren't jews,but they were poles!,and i want to be a pole!!.Pole is polish,right?.

Our poles are grateful because we give them money and work and a place to live.

Bladensburg
10-24-2005, 05:31 PM
Thanks for the link Dani. I watched the whole documentary in a sixth-form General Studies class some years ago, but it is the kind of thing that sticks with you.

There is also an excellent BBC "docudrama" about the Wannsee Conference featuring Kenneth Branagh amongst others. It is based on the various minutes and transcripts that have come to light and because of this it does not suffer from overly florid screenwriters but it has a terrible matter-of-factness about it that makes it utterly compelling.

FluffyBunnyGB
10-24-2005, 06:19 PM
The BBC docudrama is called "The Conspiracy", available from Amazon among others, and a very powerful film it is too.

Iron Yeoman
10-24-2005, 07:00 PM
'Conspiracy' was an excellent drama, very chilling. I have actually read the Wansee transcripts very interesting reading.

Firefly
10-25-2005, 06:46 AM
The BBC docudrama is called "The Conspiracy", available from Amazon among others, and a very powerful film it is too.

Ah yes, thanks for that. I shall keep an eye out for it.

alephh
10-25-2005, 10:40 AM
Apperently, there are some people with questions about the holocaust. So I invite them to post these questions so we can all see them, and discuss them in a rational manner.

This might be only slightly related but... I would like to hear some comments about following claims one heard from time to time...

Some say/conclude:
========

1) Allied bombing caused german food supply to collapse: camps, civilians, military... several weeks before end of the war.

2) If german civilians had trouble to survive alive, how did the people in the camps lasted several weeks basically without food if they were very weak to begin with?

3) Wouldn't the only logical reason be, that people in the camps were pretty standardly feeded, but only lack of food caused by allied bombing made them look so bad on the tapes/pictures.

4) There are lot of documents, where for example Himmler orders good food rations for contentration camps because they were badly needed labour for german military production.

========

Not my view, but decided to bring it up. :-)

Another one that comes to mind is following:

========

1010-1020 jews deported/killed from several french cities using all the technological methods possible

1182 jews expelled from france using all the technological methods possible

1220-70 jews forced to wear a patch (several cities)

1290 jews expelled/killed from England using all the technological methods possible

1290 jews expelled from s-italy using all the technological methods possible

1367 jews expelled from hungary using all the technological methods possible

1394 jews expelled from france using all the technological methods possible

1485 jews expelled from warsav/krakow using all the technological methods possible

1497 jews expelled/killed from portugal using all the technological methods possible

....

and so on...

Why is it that while germany tried years to expell jews, and only after that took action - they are baaaaaad - but not other european countries doing the same with much more rapid speed and efficient - only germans need to apologize endlessly?

========


I feel that some people are just having a sort of "backslah", because all these negative things are so germany/jews related.

One main reaso for germany to start sterilization process was because they were worried that America had too much lead on sterilization and race laws - several american states having already set such laws much earler than germany.

It almost seems like that (this is sort of tasteless to say, excuse me):
1) Germany was "late" on many things
2) They were too efficient
3) They lost the war

Firefly
10-25-2005, 12:42 PM
To my knowledge, a program of expulsion, no matter how wrong I personnaly may feel it is, or was. In no way equates to a programme of conciously determined extermination.

One may be wrong, the other is quite frankly, pure evil.

Crab_to_be
10-25-2005, 01:37 PM
The particular horror of the holocaust is the application of industrial methods to achieve the extermination of a race. I believe previous anti-jewish purges and pogroms were aimed at removing Jews from a particular place or country, be it by displacement of people or killing them. This would not yield a final solution to the jewish question. The final solution is the extermination of the jewish people. This was the aim of the holocaust, not simply displacement of population.

None of this renders the pogroms, other anti-semitic purges, genocide of any type or ethnic cleansing any less unpalatable. One of the greatest failings of the international community that has taken place within my lifetime was the Rwandan genocide. Never again?

Firefly
10-25-2005, 01:49 PM
Well, you may say never again, but Zimbabwe is doing a good job of it right now.

However, to the best of my knowledge they are not putting thousands of people in trains every day and factory killing them.

Crab_to_be
10-25-2005, 02:06 PM
After the holocaust, the world said 'never again'. I quoted it to illustrate the emptiness of the promise. During the Rwandan genocide, it was suggested the 'never again' meant 'never again will Nazi Germany be allowed to exterminate Jews in the 1940s'. If, in the course of my service, I am involved in Uncle Bob of Zimbabwe and a Storm Shadow meeting unexpectedly, I'll consider that a personal contribution to humanity. I believe we should be more active in such things, and will shortly be putting my money where my mouth, so to speak.

alephh
10-26-2005, 12:12 AM
The particular horror of the holocaust is the application of industrial methods to achieve the extermination of a race.

1) But if industrial methods would have been available centuries ago, wouldn't you think that some of the other countries would have used them? They often used whatever means were available at that time.

2) "Extermination of a race" is a bit difficult to define, since nazi germany didn't actually try to destroy jews in the areas they didn't control. Germany wanted to clear certain area from jews - wasn't this exactly the same target as England, portugal, France and other countries had earlier? Isn't this exactly the same as when America wanted to make Georgia "Cherokee-free".

Of course history is full of "what if" - situations.

What if nazi plan to move all the jews to Madagaskar or any one of their several plans would have succeeded?

What if American plan to clear Georgia of Cherokees would have failed year after year - would that eventually resulted the same desperate solution that Germany faced? Documented and planned clearing of Georgia resulted 20%-50% of a cherokee race wiped out - and that was only moving them - during quite short period of time. It took nazis several years to start to reach those percentages.

I hope I'm not offending anyone. All corrections are welcomed. I'm not trying to play down holocaust - it was inexpressible event in the history. But if you look at the nations and their history, they all have their sins. Sadly history is full of races and tribes completely wiped out like Conestoga tribe in north America. But with or without industrial development, the same "cause and effect" has existed in history. In a way, it is not germany's fault that industrial development happened during their era, had industrial development occured during the time when England was active against Jews, would that have made them pop-out from unfortunate history of anti-semitism - who knows.

pdf27
10-26-2005, 02:53 AM
2) "Extermination of a race" is a bit difficult to define, since nazi germany didn't actually try to destroy jews in the areas they didn't control. Germany wanted to clear certain area from jews - wasn't this exactly the same target as England, portugal, France and other countries had earlier? Isn't this exactly the same as when America wanted to make Georgia "Cherokee-free".
Umm... to an extent. I'm rather ambivalent as Germany did do their best to extend the area they controlled to cover as many Jews as possible (if not for that reason). Some of Hitler's rhetoric does indicate he wished to destroy all the Jews - not just those in areas he controlled - and it was military rather than ideological reasons which meant there were surviving Jewish populations outside the area Germany controlled.

Crab_to_be
10-26-2005, 04:29 AM
The particular horror of the holocaust is the application of industrial methods to achieve the extermination of a race.

1) But if industrial methods would have been available centuries ago, wouldn't you think that some of the other countries would have used them? They often used whatever means were available at that time.

2) "Extermination of a race" is a bit difficult to define, since nazi germany didn't actually try to destroy jews in the areas they didn't control. Germany wanted to clear certain area from jews - wasn't this exactly the same target as England, portugal, France and other countries had earlier? Isn't this exactly the same as when America wanted to make Georgia "Cherokee-free".

1. Previous anti jewish attacks were largely directed at the destruction of jewish culture within the country, by killing Jews, forcing them to leave or to convert. The Nazi aim was extermination. This is why Jews were not encouraged to leave german controlled territories, but actively prevented from doing so. Judenrein was a state to be attained through extermination, not population displacement.

2. I don't believe this is true. The talk of 'final solutions' and preventing Jews from leaving Nazi controlled territories indicates that extermination was the policy. As for the Nazis not trying to destroy Jews in areas they didn't control - they didn't try, becuase they didn't control those areas. It is no evidence that they didn't want to. When the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem popped into Berlin for tea and biscuits, what do you reckon he chatted to Hitler about? I can't speak for American policies towards Native Americans, but I can suggest a little about previous anti-Jewish european activities. These were motivated by strong religious doctrine used on a poorly educated and superstitious population. It was wrong, but civilisation has since progressed beyond these activities. Nazi policies towards Jews were a direct regression towards such uncivilised anti-semitism. Again, the european policies were based on convert / displace / kill, not purely kill and were directed against practising Jews. They stood out far less as examples of targeted inhumanity when viewed in the context of their time.

Firefly
10-26-2005, 05:45 AM
After the holocaust, the world said 'never again'. I quoted it to illustrate the emptiness of the promise. During the Rwandan genocide, it was suggested the 'never again' meant 'never again will Nazi Germany be allowed to exterminate Jews in the 1940s'. If, in the course of my service, I am involved in Uncle Bob of Zimbabwe and a Storm Shadow meeting unexpectedly, I'll consider that a personal contribution to humanity. I believe we should be more active in such things, and will shortly be putting my money where my mouth, so to speak.

Caution re the Shadow of Storm. We only have 4, so they will never be used again, certainly not on a country without an AF anyway!

alephh
10-26-2005, 06:14 AM
1. The Nazi aim was extermination. This is why Jews were not encouraged to leave german controlled territories, but actively prevented from doing so.

I believe you are strongly speaking only about the 42-43-44-45 situation.

1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938 one might say Germany used strongest possible means to support or "encourage" moving out.

Unfortunately not too many nation was eager to receive Jews. US quota for immigrant from Germany was filled and US did not want to relocate quota from other countries (there was a lot of space in other quotas).

"In 1924, the Immigration Act of 1924 was passed, with eugenicists for the first time playing a central role in the Congressional debate as expert advisers on the threat of "inferior stock" from Eastern and Southern Europe. This reduced the number of immigrants from abroad to fifteen percent from previous years, to control the number of "unfit" individuals entering the country. "

"Eventually, America’s eugenic movement spread to Germany as well, where it caught the fascination of the Nazi movement. In 1934 the Richmond Times-Dispatch quoted a prominent American eugenicist as saying, “The Germans are beating us at our own game.” "

Jews in germany were more or less free to move, several hundred thousand moved to Poland and Soviet Union. Germany wanted them out. Most of them wanted to leave. Western nations didn't want to take them.

1939, 1940 and 1941 situation was almost like "paused", or locked. Germany tried hard to move, ship, etc Jews out, but there were too much difficulties.

I recommended to read original documents such as:
Ministry for Foreign Affairs : 83-26 19/1 Ang. II

The Jewish Question as a factor in German Foreign Policy in the year 1938.
1. The German Jewish Policy as basis and consequence of the decisions for the foreign policy of the year 1938.
2. Aim of German Jewish Policy: Emigration.
3. Means, ways and aim of the Jewish Emigration.
4. The emigrated Jew as the best propaganda for the German Jewish Policy.

It does not matter which german ministry you study, the documents point to the task of moving Jews out of Germany.

"German documents from 1939 to 1941, the term "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" was clearly meant to be a "territorial solution", that is the entire Jewish population was to be expelled somewhere far from Germany and not allowed to come back."

"At first, the SS planned to create a gigantic "Jewish Reservation" in the Lublin. In 1940, the SS had the so-called "Madagascar Plan" to deport the entire Jewish population of Europe to a "reservation" on Madagascar. The "Madagascar Plan" was cancelled because Germany could not defeat Britain and until the British blockade was broken, the "Madagascar Plan" could not be put into effect."

Memorandum written by Himmler in May, 1940 explicitly rejecting extermination of the entire Jewish people as "un-German" and going on to recommend to Hitler the "Madagascar Plan" as the preferred "territorial solution" to the "Jewish Question".

1942 After waiting, forcing to move, trying to relocate to another continent, trying to relocate to east, etc... Germany had pretty much exhausted all the possibilities expect extermination if they wanted to continue selected policy.

How many times in history leader have changed completely his policy and by that admitted he has been wrong all the years and all his talks?

Cuts
10-26-2005, 08:56 PM
Caution re the Shadow of Storm. We only have 4, so they will never be used again, certainly not on a country without an AF anyway!

Plenty of Af's in Zim, of all hues !
:wink:

arhob1
10-27-2005, 07:49 AM
In the 30's/40's there was a lot of anti-semitism around. German brutality/efficiency meant they managed to kill in greater numbers than anyone else. The other mini-holocausts mentioned by Alephh I'm sure would have caused outrage in their time otherwise they would not be in the history books and remembered today. The German holocaust is more fresh in our memories, on a greater scale, on our (European that is) doorstep and was done by and to people whom look like us. It could have been us hence the reason why it is of much more horror to us than something that happened 100's of years ago.

It amazes me how much the ocupied territories helped to denounce Jews to teh Germans. Certainly in the East SOME of the occupied peoples were glad to see the back of teh Jews and benefitted from it. Poor Anne Frank was also denounced to teh Germans by someone never identified. I hope that person had a seriously guilty and troubled conscience for the rest of their life.

I can sympathise with "crab-to-be" about the German holocaust supposedly happening "never again". When I first learnt a lot about the holocaust in about 1995 (50 yrs after the camps were liberated), I felt so incensed by the whole thing that I resolved to do my bit to make sure it did "never happen again". The Rwanda happened and I idly watched it unravelling on my TV and did nothing at all. I felt guilty about doing nothing but just looked on - as the world did in the 1930's/40's - it taught me what sort of a person I am.

Finally a question:

When the Jews (and Russian POWs, political prisoners etc) were herded in to the gas chambers, what sort of a death did they suffer? I heard that it took 20mins for them to die after the Xyklon gas crystals were added. I also heard that when the doors to the gas chamber was opened the bodies were piled up at the end near the door as everyone scrabbled to get out - children and old people at the bottom, fitter people on top. I'm quite troubled by how terrifying these last 20 mins must have been for everyone involved. Are my facts right here or did Xyklon provide an instantaneous death?

alephh
10-27-2005, 08:24 AM
In the 30's/40's there was a lot of anti-semitism around.

True.

Industrialism caused major changes in the culture - values, spiritual life, beliefs, unemployment...

Scary thing is, is it possible that it all will happen again?

I mean: with technology, automation and so on advancing, it maybe possible to produce most of the things without too many human beings involved in the process. That would leave most of the population of the world with nothing to do, nothing to get their pride/meaning from...


The Rwanda happened and I idly watched it unravelling on my TV and did nothing at all. I felt guilty about doing nothing but just looked on - as the world did in the 1930's/40's.

I personally feel bad about the fact that if 40,000 people die in the Asia because of flood, quake, tsunami - nobody cares - except of course there are lot of westerners involved. Difference in the media-coverage and amount of help is appalling.

World is still basically very selfish/nationally oriented: "if couple of my countrymen die, that's horrible - but if one million people die in Africa..."

Dani
10-27-2005, 08:37 AM
Finally a question:
When the Jews (and Russian POWs, political prisoners etc) were herded in to the gas chambers, what sort of a death did they suffer? I heard that it took 20mins for them to die after the Xyklon gas crystals were added. I also heard that when the doors to the gas chamber was opened the bodies were piled up at the end near the door as everyone scrabbled to get out - children and old people at the bottom, fitter people on top. I'm quite troubled by how terrifying these last 20 mins must have been for everyone involved. Are my facts right here or did Xyklon provide an instantaneous death?

For Zyklon B (HCN - Hydrogen cyanide) used on Auschwitz, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_cyanide
An HCN concentration of 300 parts per million of air will kill a human within a few minutes. [...]Hydrogen cyanide (under the brand name Zyklon B) was perhaps most infamously employed by the Nazi regime in Germany as a method of mass-execution.
End quote.

On the other hand, check http://www.holocaust-history.org/questions/poison-gas.shtml
Quoted:
Chemicals, primarily hydrogen cyanide ( HCN ) and carbon monoxide ( CO) were used in the gas chambers to murder Jews and other people:

The following are the major death camps in Poland and the gases employed by the Nazis to murder innocent victims:
1. Treblinka: Carbon monoxide emanating from internal combustion engines, in purpose-built gas chambers.
2.- Belzec: Carbon monoxide emanating from internal combustion engines, in purpose-built gas chambers.
3.- Sobibor.- Carbon monoxide emanating from internal combustion engines, in purpose-built gas chambers.
4.- Auschwitz (including Birkenau) Hydrogen cyanide in the form of Zyklon-B, a commercial preparation of hydrogen cyanide, in purpose-built gas chambers.
5.- Majdanek: Hydrogen cyanide in the form of Zyklon-B, a commercial preparation, and carbon monoxide from commercial high-pressure cylinders, in purpose-built gas chambers.
Other camps and locations in Poland that occasionally used gases for murdering people were:
6.- Chelmno: Carbon monoxide emanating from internal combustion engines, in mobile vehicles known as "gas vans."
7.- Natzweiler-Struthof: Hydrogen cyanide produced on site by mixing Sodium cyanide with an acid. This took place in an adapted chamber to kill Jews for a "skeleton collection.":
End quote, my emboldment.
For emboldment, remember that Dachau is in Germany!

Bladensburg
10-27-2005, 08:57 AM
I always find it faintly amusing theat the stupid cretins that were responsible for this sort of thing were prepared to waste such a large amount of resources on such a non-essential thing in the middle of a major war.
I suppose it demonstrates that those who hate for the sake of it are some of the most fundamentaly stupid Oxygen-thieves.

On the subject of the fundamentaly stupid, the other day Sky News carried a special report into Fred(?) Phelps the self-styled "Pastor" who claims that US deaths in Iraq etc and Louisiana are be cause America tolerates homosexuals . He protests at US service funerals to this effect. Anyway his utterly charming granddaughters decided that they were going to lecture the reporter on the scriptural basis for this, stupidly failing to realise that in the same Old Testament book that rules against gays there ia another law that states that women are forbidden from teaching, particularly in matters of religion. One wonders whether Grandpa would cast the first stone?

Tsolias
10-27-2005, 09:24 AM
Finally a question:

When the Jews (and Russian POWs, political prisoners etc) were herded in to the gas chambers, what sort of a death did they suffer? I heard that it took 20mins for them to die after the Xyklon gas crystals were added. I also heard that when the doors to the gas chamber was opened the bodies were piled up at the end near the door as everyone scrabbled to get out - children and old people at the bottom, fitter people on top. I'm quite troubled by how terrifying these last 20 mins must have been for everyone involved. Are my facts right here or did Xyklon provide an instantaneous death?

I remember reading (some years ago) in the Nyremberg trials archives, a testimony of a Jewish doctor.
Im forgeting his name or the camp he was in but i remember saying that when he was assigned to carry blankets (that have gone through disinfection using Zyklon B) he passed out and later revived from other inmates.
He said that he didn't felt a thing before passing out .
Of course this was the cause of only a few (or a single) Zyklon B crystals that were still among the blancet's layers and in open air-not a gas chamber full of the gas.
I think this was the only testimony of a man that have breathed the gas and still was alive.
The bodies were indeed piled up when the doors were finally opened but this was due to the fact that every gas chamber was filled up to maximum capacity (I think it was 1000 persons/chamber in most camps) with the use of extreme force.
The last 100 of vistims were violently pushed with rifle buts and stabed with bayonets in order to squeeze the rest of the crowd.
To reach its capacity, the victims were ordered to raise their hands above their heads in order to leave more free room.
Small children and babies were simply thrown above the crowd and the safety doors were pushed by two or three guards in order to close.

So cruel,so tragic, so sad.