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New research into german concentration camps


nomoss

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Researchers conducting the bleak work of chronicling all the forced labour sites, ghettos and detention facilities run by Hitler’s regime alongside such centres of industrialised murder as Auschwitz have now catalogued more than 42,500 institutions used for persecution and death.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/has-holocaust-history-just-been-rewritten-astonishing-new-research-shows-nazi-camp-network-targeting-jews-was-twice-as-big-as-previously-thought-8518407.html

If true, this makes it even more amazing that local populations knew nothing about it....

 

 

 

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I am not sure why you believe that no one knew what was going on.

Very clearly local people knew - and indeed many will have been indirectly invloved providing labour and services to to Exactly how much such local people knew is another question.

Further how much the general population knew is a very different question.

 

Let me put it this way. 

Where is your local prison?

What type of prisoners does it hold (male/female, risk category etc.)?  

And if anything untoward was going on there would you know?

But you do know there is a prison - or maybe not!

 

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We were watching "Winds of War" over the weekend on and off. There was a bit in there when a American diplomat was given photographic proof of what was happening. Because they couldn't get their head around the fact that somebody would actually do such a thing and in such large numbers they wrote it off as a 'plant' by the Russians. In a way you can understand part of this reason because it is so difficult to get your head round the enormity of it all and the posibility that people could actually do such a thing. I also remember an episode of "Band of Brothers" where they entered such a camp and then took the local village/town people to the camp and made them help clear up and bury the bodies. Perhaps the village/towns people thought the same that it couldn't be true because how could anyone do such an horrific thing. Unless you can talk to a surviving member of such a village I guess you will never really know what they thought.

Holocaust denial has been going on for years, anyone remember David Irving or Pierre Guillaume?

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[quote user="andyh4"]

I am not sure why you believe that no one knew what was going on. I don't. It was an attempt at sarcasm which seems to have escaped you

Very clearly local people knew - and indeed many will have been indirectly invloved providing labour and services to to Exactly how much such local people knew is another question.

Further how much the general population knew is a very different question.

 

Let me put it this way. 

Where is your local prison?  in the city centre next to the Gendarmerie

What type of prisoners does it hold (male/female, risk category etc.)?  Those awaiting trial and convicted for up to a year.

And if anything untoward was going on there would you know? Maybe not, but I've never seen signs of anything wrong, such as trains unloading hundreds of people of both sexes and all ages, being mistreated by heavily armed guards, nor barbed wire enclosures filled with thousands of ragged starving people, all in full view along the side of the roads.

But you do know there is a prison - or maybe not! I just told you. I also know where the prisons are in most places I've lived.

 

[/quote]
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I hope Germany has a big pot of money and plenty set aside to keep topping it up to pay the lawyers  as this jumped out at me from the article  :

The team behind the research, based at the United States Holocaust

Memorial Museum in Washington DC, told The Independent that they believe

the evidence could also be crucial to survivors trying to bring cases

for compensation against Germany and other countries for time spent in

camps whose existence was hitherto obscure or undocumented..

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The fact that records were kept with such clinical precision makes it more horrifying.

I was reading recently about the development of the Hollerith card system, one of the precursors of computers, by an american businessman. He sold the system to Hitler who used it to keep records of the camps and their victims.

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sweet 17 wrote the following post at 04/03/2013 21:26:

"I glanced at the headline but I couldn't bear to read the article.

I think it would be impossible for the locals not to have known."

This makes me think of the film "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas".

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First-hand glimpses of life in German occupied countries and Germany itself are rare now.

In the early days of the occupation of Brittany, my friend Eugène (91) was knocked off his bike into the ditch by a German troop truck and sustained a compound fracture. Later in the occupation an adjunct at our mairie provided the Germans with a list of the addresses of all the young men in the commune, and they were rounded up and sent to Germany as slave labour. The adjunct, who had probably been threatened by the Germans, was killed for his collaboration by a shot through the head by the resistance, on the steps of the mairie.

Eugène, who had been the head of the household following the death of his father at a young age from damage caused to his lungs by mustard gas in the first world war, was shipped off to Germany, and with the others from the commune lived and worked in terrible conditions, only alieviated by a boss who had a kind heart, and a local baker who, taking pity on them and at risk to himself, gave them extra bread. Oh yes, and the fact that bitte meant please!

Eugene wasn't placed with a famous German company but there were many who were   http://www.theawfultruth.com/salbmw/

So when you spray your greenfly, remember that Bayer made the gas for the gas chambers.

And when you turn on your gas hob remember that Siemens designed the ovens.

Eugene is the last living survivor of the group of slave workers from this commune.

Steve

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[quote user="SC"]

So when you spray your greenfly, remember that Bayer made the gas for the gas chambers.

And when you turn on your gas hob remember that Siemens designed the ovens.

[/quote]

Are you advocating the continued punishment of these companies for wrongs done two generations ago?

I do not dispute the horrors perpetrated on France (and elsewhere, including the Channel islands) by Hitler's vile regime. But ... 70 years on ... is it not time to stop blaming people for the sins of their grandparents? Eugene's experiences were terrible and you rightly remind us of the inhumanity that washed across Europe, but why don't we accept that that was not the Germany of today?

Obsessing with injustices of the past has been the main fuel of many of the problems of the modern world (consider the IRA). Hitler's rise to power was partly a response to the impositions placed on Germany following WW1.

EDIT

I'm sure, SC, that I may be misjudging your motive in posting the above. If so, I apologise.

On the wall of the railway station at Penne d'Agenais is a plaque commemorating the abduction, in May 1944, of (I think) 1200 compatriots to concentration camps. When I look at this I often wonder how much local enthusiasm there was for this horrific action. and how much assistance the occupiers received from neighbours and acquaintances. I suppose that I must be thankful that I have never had to live in such an environment as that which existed during WW2.

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I think it was last year that the UK 'lost' it's last soldier from WW1. We are getting near the end of the survivors of WW2 now. We should not forget those that were massacred in concentration camps etc. They deserve their place in history and they deserve to be remembered but not so much as individuals but as a group to remind us of what evil men can do.

Lets us also not forget some of the British (and American) atrocities like the handing over of the Cossacks by the British to the Russians (re Yalta conference) knowing full well they were going to their deaths. The shooting of German prisoners on 'D' Day because there were no facilities in which to place them (Two of the veterans of the 101st discuss this in Band of Brothers). All these people should and must be remembered.

To penalise German and Japanese companies who supplied whatever to their regimes in WW2 now is stupid. The owners and the workers from back then are in the majority dead through old age. We must remember but we must also move on.

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SC - re all young men being sent to work in Germany:

This was a new law that the german occupiers brought in, ?1943. It applied all over France.

I recently read a book written by a Gers man, now in his 90s, who was among those taken.

They were regarded as collaborators until only a few years ago.

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I get your point, nomoss.  And yet.....there are some who underwent the most unspeakable abuse and hardships and emerged to turn their experiences to good use in helping others.

Here is an outstanding example of such a person though I dare say he is one of countless others:

Stéphane Hessel died recently and I am posting an obituary from the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/28/stephane-hessel

I intend to read "Indignez-vous" though I fear it will have to be an English translation.

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Clarke Kent wrote:    "Are you advocating the continued punishment of these companies for wrongs done two generations ago?"

I was advocating what I wrote: remember. I would add, know and acknowledge. How people use that knowledge is up to them. To some (judging by her comment) such as Sweet17 the link with the gruesome past may be unbearable, Quillan, dismissing these company's wartime products as "whatever", doesn't appear to feel the same way. Its each to their own.

Me? I'm embarrassed by my lack of principals generally.

Clarke Kent wrote:   "I'm sure, SC, that I may be misjudging your motive in posting the above. If so, I apologise."

I'd be interested in knowing what you thought my motives may have been, you may be endowing me with more depth than I possess.

Steve

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[quote user="SC"]

Quillan, dismissing these company's wartime products as "whatever", doesn't appear to feel the same way.

[/quote]

I hope you understood the context in which I used that word but just to make sure none of those people back then are involved in today's companies that bear the names you mentioned, not only that but most, if not all, are now dead. One question you might ask is why were some of these company owners/directors allowed to stay on after the war until they retired?

Another question you might ask is did countries like the UK and the US benefit directly or indirectly from any knowledge gained from medical experiments carried out on those in concentration camps?

Having spent a couple of weeks years ago at the Institute or Aviation Medicine I can tell you that they (or the UK) were the beneficiaries of all the information gained by the freezing of some of these victims in water. The information helped design clothing etc for aircrew which whilst it has gone through further improvement over the years is in its design could only have been developed using the information they received. Now the question would be is should that information have been destroyed on moral grounds because of its source and the cost in human lives to gain such information or should we have used it to create something that saves peoples lives always keeping in mind the fact that many died, through no choice of their own, to gain that information and that by using it we are in a way honoring their existence and keeping their memory alive?

Putting Von Brown aside what about the centrifugal experiments also carried out on humans in concentration camps which was kept, taken to the US and used to help early astronauts in the space program after the war.

The thing is we find that how this sort of information was gained quite repugnant and vile as we do those that carried out these experiment but should we have destroyed the information, never using it or should we have used it and in doing so improved the life expectancy of others. Fortunately none of us has had to make such a decision and to be quite honest I don't know how I would have felt or what I would have chosen to do in these circumstances. One part of me would say destroy it yet another part of me would say that if I did use it then those poor people who were killed to gain this information would really have died for nothing and that by using it not only am I saving lives but in a warped way I am acknowledging their existence and that in some ways they did not die in vain.

The link below is to an experiment first carried out in a German concentration camp using inmates where they were placed in freezing water and their reactions and cognitive skills were monitored as their core temperature dropped. The actual link is the same experiment carried out at the Institute of Aviation Medicines (Farnborough) in 1960 to validate the German results.

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/raf-institute-of-aviation-medicine/query/Farnborough

 

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Like SW17 I don't want to read the original link.

But to some extent I can understand the mentality of the "average German" of the time - early 1930s they were experiencing an economic depression of massive proportions, and an apparent saviour comes along to solve all their problems So they were easily brainwashed into accepting that he could do no wrong.

They look for scapegoat, and the Jews are there in great numbers, and financially successful.

At the same time there was a movement promoting racial purity, and this fitted nicely into the german view of racial superiority. Propaganda turned Jews into a subhuman race.

I'm uneasy about the current economic success of Germany, in spite of all the odds.

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Patf, I urge you to read the link I have posted about Stéphane Hessel (a few posts ago now on this thread)  I think you will find his life totally uplifting.

I have also met the cellist Anita Wolfisch and she, too, made me rejoice (if that is the right word) at how some things are indestructible; human endurance and the ability to wrestle something good out of the unimaginably bleak.

I went as far as the door of the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem once but I just couldn't bear to step foot inside.  I think I might now but I was 2 or 3 decades younger then and I didn't have the courage to go in.

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[quote user="Patf"]But to some extent I can understand the mentality of the "average German" of the time - early 1930s they were experiencing an economic depression of massive proportions, and an apparent saviour comes along to solve all their problems So they were easily brainwashed into accepting that he could do no wrong.
They look for scapegoat, and the Jews are there in great numbers, and financially successful.
At the same time there was a movement promoting racial purity, and this fitted nicely into the german view of racial superiority. Propaganda turned Jews into a subhuman race.
I'm uneasy about the current economic success of Germany, in spite of all the odds.
[/quote]

 

Let us please be very clear about this - although the driving force was very clearly a German N a z i ethos against Jews, Gays, Communists, disabled etc..

The people who knew what was going on and in many cases supported it, were spread across the third Reich.  In fact many (perhaps most) of the camps and locations identified by the study were outside of Germany.   So when we condemn those who "knew what was going on" it has to include a large number of Austrians, Hungarians, Czechs, Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians, Italians and dare I say it French - as well as a lot of Germans.

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