Wednesday, February 01, 2017

May 14, 1945, The North Western Courier (Narrabri, NSW) page 2, Crimes in Germany; Elaborate Torture Camps; 5,000,000 Jews Murdered,

May 14, 1945, The North Western Courier (Narrabri, NSW) page 2, Crimes in Germany; Elaborate Torture Camps; 5,000,000 Jews Murdered, [1289 words]

.. Nazis' hands cannot be exactly ascertained. It is conservatively estimated that about five million Jews ...

Crimes in Germany
5,000,000 Jews Murdered

Germany's defeat has brought to an end the series of crimes perpetrated by the Nazis, so violent that words can never do them justice.

Beginning in 1933 with concentration camps for Hitler's political enemies and for Jews within Germany itself, the murderous path led into every corner of the continent, through Warsaw, Lublin, Rotterdam, Lidice, Distomo, Majdanek, Birkenau and Remblinka. Finally it reentered Germany in prison camps where Allied soldiers were starved and allowed to live in filth in full defiance of
the Geneva Convention.

In April, 1945, Allied war correspondents were present as 1,200 German civilians were taken on a forced tour through Buchenwald, one of the largest concentration camps in Germany. Gallows, torture rooms, dissection rooms and crematoria were mute and still reeking evidences of the slaughter that had gone on for eight years. 'Parchment strips of human skin make up some of the decorations including the shades of two large table lamps.

Over 30,000 people were killed at Buchenwald between its establishment in July, 1937 and its capture by the Allies.

At one time the camp held 110,000 prisoners whose lives, even if prolonged, were days and nights of beatings and torture. Usually there were 80,000 prisoners within the barbed wire confines. Only 20,000 were still alive when the Allies came, but according to a New York Times' correspondent almost half of them were so broken they could no longer move about. Or, even worse, they could move about but had lost awareness of their surroundings— suffering had poured the balm of insanity over their minds. In camps like Belsen and Gardelgen, two of many, the scenes were repeated.

Despite such reprisals, everywhere in Europe men, women and children, did resist. In Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Greece and Yugoslavia patriots were lined against walls and shot. A German soldier would be thrown into a canal or slugged from behind. In reprisal, thirty, forty or fifty people would be pulled from their homes and murdered. In village marketplaces the bodies of men and women hanged at Nazi officers' commands were left for days to warn the population that death was the punishment for disobedience. Those who still lived had their homes confiscated and food taken away so that the Nazi masters might eat. Men and women were packed in trains and taken to Germany for slave labor. From museums and from private collections, the conquered country's art was carted to Nazi hideaways.


When war broke again in the east with the invasion of Russia, the Nazis outdid themselves. Shootings, hangings, burning to the ground of whole communities, and dragging off of the living to hard labour repeated themselves over and over. And still Europe resisted. In Czechoslovakia 'Hankman' Reinhard Heydrich, Nazi 'protector,' was fatally attacked, supposedly by patriots, May 27, 1942. During the eight months of his rule about 500 Czechoslovaks had been executed and many more perished in prison camps.

The Nazis declared the patriots responsible for Heydrich's death had been harbored by some of the citizens of Lidice, coal-mining village of over 500 inhabitants situated not far from Prague. Reprisals were ordered. On June 10, 1942, the orders were carried out. In the official language of the German communique "all male adults, of the town were shot while the women were placed in a concentration camp and the children were entrusted to appropriate educational, institutions. The town was leveled to the ground. The name of the community was extinguished."

With the Allied landings in North Africa and the rout of Rommel's armies, resistance forces on the European continent fought even more gallantly against the invaders. The invaders in turn became increasingly ruthless in reprisals. On the second anniversary of Lidice on June 10, 1944, the Greek town of Distomo met a similar end because thirty German soldiers had been killed in the vicinity. In Distomo not even women and children escaped. A cordon was thrown around the village. All the inhabitants — some mothers with babies in arms — were herded into the village square.


With machine guns and submachine-guns they were mowed down by Nazi soldiers. Those who still showed life in the fallen heap of bodies were finished off with pistol shots. The village was set afire. For four days the Red Cross was not allowed to enter the ruins.

Only a handful of children crazed by horror were found wandering about in the nearby woods.

At about the same time, 1,100 of 1,200 inhabitants of Oradour sur Glain in France were killed by Germans in reprisal. Near Rome, 360 Italians were similarly massacred.

How many millions in all suffered wanton deaths at the Nazis' hands cannot be exactly ascertained. It is conservatively estimated that about five million Jews alone were murdered between 1933 and 1945. Most of the millions put to death in the major death factories of MajdanekOswiecimBirkenau and Remblinka were Jews.


In October, 1939, soon after Poland's fall, the Nazis announced the Lublin ghetto to which Jews from all over Poland were to be sent.

Eventually Warsaw itself became a vast centre of extermination through crowding and starvation. It was near Lublin that Majdanek's death chambers were ultimately established. With the occupation of other parts of Europe by the Nazis, Jews from western and southern countries were also packed into cattle cars and shipped to their death in Poland.

Some 1,500,000 men, women and children were, according to the Polish-Soviet Atrocity Commission of August, 1944, murdered at Majdenahwhich had six concrete vaults for execution by cyanide or carbon monoxide gas. Two thousand people could thus be killed in under seven minutes. There was an outdoor crematorium presumably for dead bodies, although one witness who escaped to tell the tale saw a girl thrust alive into the oven. She had refused to strip off her clothing in preparation, for being shot. Clothing removed from victims was confiscated for use in Germany.


Ashes taken from crematory ovens were mixed with manure, and spread as fertilizer over cabbage fields.

The neighbouring pine woods were carpeted with decaying bodies. Between thirty and forty thousand victims were held at Majdanek at one time.

Between April, 1942 approximately 1,765,000 Jews were gassed in Birkenau in Upper Silesia, according to a report issued by the U.S. Government's War Refuge Board. The Jews had been shipped from their home in Poland, the Netherlands, Greece, France, Belgium, Germany , Yugoslavia, Italy, Norway, Austria, Lithuania and Czechoslovakia.

On the day the first Birgenau crematorium was inaugurated in March, 1943, the report states that prominent guests from Berlin attended the ceremonies.

"The programme consisted of the gassing and burning of 8,000 Krakow Jews. The guests, both officers and civilians, were extremely satisfied with the results and the special peep-hole fitted into the door of the gas chamber was in constant use. They were lavish in their praise of the newly-erected installation."

According to a careful estimate at Tremblinka, also in Poland, 2,764,000 Jews were reported murdered.

As the liberating Allied armies swept through lands where death chambers had been set up evidence of the horrors lay at their feet in skulls, ashes and mangled bodies.

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