On April 20th. 1889 Adolf Hitler was born and as such, the genesis of The Holocaust has also been conceived. On April 21st. 1904 Odilo Globocnik is born.
Wednesday April 12th. 1922 “..there can be no compromise ..either victory of the Aryan or annihilation of ..Aryan and ..victory of ..Jew.” Adolf Hitler
On April 12th. 1922 we begin to recognise, and if the tenor of the rhetoric does not quite suggest the tenure of his hatred, Hitler used the example of the Jews in this maiden speech to effect. With such vehemence that he spewed forth, there is a divisiveness not only latent, and was not the least bit dormant, what Hitler here urged was hugely employed in assailing, assaulting and then finally destroying the Jewish 6,000,000 Jewish People of Europe, Men, Women and Their Children in The Holocaust. Of course, once actions replaced words to such a catastrophic effect against these Jews of Europe, a term for such actions would need to be born and that became Genocide. On April 1st. 1924 Hitler is sentenced to 5 years in jail for incitement to riot.
On April 4th. 1925 ‘Schutzstaffel,’ Hitler’s personal Bodyguard, known to infamy as the SS is borne. On April 14th. 1932 both the SA and the SS are banned and the following year on April 1st. 1933 there is a one Day Boycott of all Jewish shops and businesses within Germany. This has been ordered by Hitler as he acts with foolish abandon. Subsequently, Jewish lawyers, doctor’s and Pharmacists are restricted within their practices, under terms of ‘Berufbeschrankung’, and are senselessly boycotted. Even Jewish merchants are to be boycotted and as World opinion is incensed, and the German public shows little desire to accommodate him, Hitler orders the boycott be restricted to this one day. But, and as if this was not enough for such errant intolerance’s, Hitler also forbade Jewish students to attend their classes in Schools, Colleges and University’s.
On April 4th. The Yellow Badge, Wear it with Pride, Tragt ihn mit Stolz, den Gelben Fleck by Robert Weltsch is published. Excerpts of this call to Jewish unity and common good appear in the German Jewish Review. This is meant to affirm Jewish worth amongst all People. On April 7th. Hitler decrees the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service ‘Berufsbeamtengesetz’ in which All Jews are barred from the practice of law, All Jews are barred from holding civil service jobs, All Jews barred from university positions. All Jews are barred from all other state institutions, All Jews are barred from membership in associations and All Jews are barred from membership of societies. Some exceptions are to be made for Jews who were World War I veterans and those Jews previously classed as German War Heroes.
On April 11th. the German government begins racially based employment and economic sanctions against the Jews. The non-Aryan decree describes those who descend from Jewish Parents or Grandparents as non-Aryan. One Jewish Parent or Grandparent is enough to classify a person as non-Aryan. A descendant of a practising Jew is a non-Aryan and while the Lutheran Church is the only Faith based Church to openly oppose this decree, they do not go far enough to prevent the escalation of such unchristian intolerance’s against People. It is perhaps a matter which I should point you toward the likes of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his stance was to secure all considerations for all Mankind. Today, we look to the example Lutheran retreats that the Lutheran Church makes to Dachau. It is their intention to confront their own past in terms that delivered The Holocaust to posterity.
Sometimes, my responses to what is seemingly a veiled attempt to wash over the huge humanitarian failings of our past can be rather terse affairs. They are however meant not as an overriding principle of everything that was wrong, but a sample of some things that were done right but could have been more elaborately correct! I would also remark that no Country acted like Denmark in saving its Jews from Hitler’s grasp. This does not mean that no other Country acted with similar positive assertiveness. When we consider the lack of any punitive approach we have to recognise that it was only Poland that was under direct threat of execution for assisting its Jews. But all other Country’s could be singled out for reprisal it any assistance given to The Jewish People. However, and if I took the time to relate everything that I wished to state on all inroads into The Holocaust, I would barely make time to inform!
On April 14th. The National Political Educational Institute, ‘der Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalten’ was established as the Nazi Party’s cadet training schools. On April 21st. Jewish ritual slaughter is to be banned as Rudolf Hess is created deputy Fuhrer of the NSDAP. On April 25th. The Law for the Prevention of Overcrowding in German Schools and Schools of Higher Education is established. This law fully restricts the enrolment of Jews into the Educational system. On April 26th. Hermann Goering establishes the Geheime Staatspolizei, or Gestapo as the Secret State Police. Elsewhere, the Vaad,’ the National Committee of Palestinian Jews, ‘Va’ad Le’umi, establishes a method for the absorption of Jewish immigrants from Germany into their Biblical lands.
As Hitler meets with the Bishop of Osnabruck, Wilhelm Berning and Monsignor Steinmann of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, Hitler explains that his actions against the Jews was only the continuance of what the Church’s own 1,900 year policy toward the Jewish People had been. Hitler also reminds the Church that it was they who regarded the Jews as dangerous and forced them into ghetto’s and away from Christian areas in the first place. The Church, in a somewhat misguided assessment, describes this meeting with Hitler as ‘cordial and to the point.’ On April 27th. German government finally prohibits the practice of Jewish ritual slaughter of animals for meat. During April 1934 Germany now constitutes the People’s Court, die Volksgericht, and bypasses the Laws intended for judicial jurisprudence any recognises that any such enemy of Hitler will now be tried without the right to appeal before a closed Court and without a jury being present.
April 1st. 1934 Heinrich Himmler is appointed head of the SS and on April 14th. a strong anti-Semitic group is formed in Poland called The Radical Nationalist Organization, the ‘Oboze Narodovo Radzykalny,’ or ONR. On April 20th. Himmler is now the acting Chief of the Prussian Gestapo. The following year on April 1st. 1935 anti-Jewish legislation in the Saar region is passed and The Jehovah’s Witness organisation is banned because they refuse to swear allegiance to the state. On April 30th. Jews cannot display German flag. During April 1936 French conservatives condemn the French Socialist leader Leon Blum, because of his Jewish ancestry and his strongly anti-Nazi orientation. A popular slogan at the time condemns the future French premier with the slogan ‘Better Hitler than Blum.’
On April 15th. x2 Jews are murdered during an Arab general strike. This is supposedly in protest against Jewish immigration to Palestine followed x4 days later on April 19th. Arab murderers kill 9 Jews in Jaffa, Palestine. On April 21st. The unrest in Palestine grows more acute and Arabs in the Palestine cities of Tel Aviv and Jaffa riot. This is to further their protest to any Jewish immigration to Palestine. On April 24th. 1937 Pastor Martin Niemoeller preaches that Jesus being born a Jew was God’s mistake and on April 27th. Hitler unleashes his Stukas on Guernica. On April 5th. 1938, in the wake of Poland’s threat to revoke Polish Citizens living in Germany of their Citizenship, anti-Jewish riots spread across Poland. Just x10 days later on April 15th., in Dabrowa Tarnowska, Poland, there is a pogrom which sees many Jews killed.
On April 21st. a Hitler decree eliminates Jews from national economy and allows for the seizure of all Jewish assets and x2 days later on April 23rd. Jews in Vienna, rounded up on the Sabbath and some are killed. On April 24th. German autonomy in Sudetenland is called for and registration of all Jewish property is made mandatory within Reich and on April 26th. There is the registration of all Jewish real estate. Other assets exceeding 5,000 marks, owned by Jews in Germany is also to be registered and meanwhile Jewish property is expropriated in Austria. On April 29th. Vilna, Poland a pogrom sees many Jews killed. On April 3rd. 1939 Hitler directive for seizure of Danzig, Poland and the following day April 4th. The Institute for the Study of Jewish Influence on the life of the German Church is founded as der Institut zur Erforschung des jüdischen Einflusses auf das deutsche kirchliche Leben. On April 7th. Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan enter anti-Comintern Pact as Italy occupies Albania and
Britain brings in conscription.
On April 10th. Germany approves the 1938 Anschluss with Austria in a Greater Reich referendum. On April 15th. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt presses Hitler to guarantee integrity of all national borders. On April 18th. Slovakia passes its own anti-Jewish legislation. Jews are to be defined by their Judaism religion. On April 20th. Economy and Administration Main Office, ‘Wirtschafts und Verwaltungshauptamt’, WVHA is to concern itself in all matters economic, especially financial management of Camp system. On April 27th. the Nonaggression pact with Poland is revoked by Hitler. On April 28th. The Anglo German Naval Agreement of 1935 is withdrawn by Hitler and he ridicules Roosevelt’s earlier guarantee demands over National Sovereingty’s. On April 30th. Jewish tenancy rights are no longer protected.
During April. 1940, the beginnings of the Deblin-Irena Ghetto in Poland is being established under Lazer Teichman and then Wolf Solomon, as Chairs of the Judenrate. There are to be 3,000 Jews Enclosed. The Institute for German Work in the East, die Institut fur deutsche Ostarbeit, is formed for the study of Polish Jewry. On April 1st. China admits 1,000’s of Jewish Refugees to Shanghai.
Thursday April. 4th. Thursday 1940. “..I learned ..Jews from various streets are being deported.” David Rubinowicz.
On April 8th. in the Katyn Forest (near Smolensk) the massacre of 26,000 Polish Officers by Russian soldiers begins. This will continue for a x4 day period. On April 9th. the Czestochowa Ghetto in Poland is established and 48,000 Jews will become Enclosed. Hitler orders the invasion of Denmark and Norway. Denmark capitulates after four hours which belies Denmark’s future position with regard to the saving of practically its entire Jewish Community from Hitler. On April 12th. Hans Frank demands Cracow be made Free of its Jews, ‘Judenfrei’ and by November. On April 20th. Hitler orders Armed Forces High Command, OKW, to discharge Jews of mixed blood and Husbands of Jewish women from their ranks.
SS Sturmbannfuhrer Dr. Herbert Lange became the 1st. Kommandant of the Chelmno Death Camp. Lange had already practised his bloody scourge in Poland and with the Soldau massacre of 1,550 Mental patients, with the use of ‘Gassing Vans’. On April 22nd. Odilo Globocnik, the Higher SS Police Fuhrer for Lublin plans to use more Jewish forced labor as he creates more Camps for Jewish Men and Women. On April 23rd. Jews in Stutthof Camp are murdered as they are forced to leap into the pits defining the open latrines they had built and where the weak and the frail are drowned.
Saturday April 27th. 1940 “..Jews are enemies just as ..Germans are ..but in a more insidious way ..and ..are linked together by secret and evil bonds.” H. F. Downie.
On April 27th. a Himmler directive initially establishes Auschwitz as a Concentration Camp as a British Foreign Office official, H.F. Downie argues that the Jewish People are to be treated just as the Germans should; as enemies. On April 30th. the Lodz Ghetto is sealed and with over 205,000 Jews who are now trapped inside. The first crematorium at Sachsenhausen is built. During April. 1941 over 72,000 Jews have been deported to the Warsaw Ghetto since February. Meanwhile, an annex for Men of the Ravensbrueck Concentration Camp is established at the Stara Gradiska Camp, in Croatia. More than 6,000 Jewish Children are murdered in the Stara Gradiska Camp. On April 1st. Cracow Jews are barred from Public and Private Busses and Taxi’s and the following day, April 2nd. Pal Telecki, Hungary’s Premier, commits suicide rather than collaborate with Germany.
On April 6th. the Radom Ghetto is established and will see more than 30,000 Jews Enclosed.
Elsewhere, Germany and her Axis allies invade Greece and Yugoslavia and their Jews are driven from their homes. Yugoslavia as a sovereign nation no longer exists. On April 8th. the Kielce Ghetto established and 27,000 Jews will be Enclosed. On April 9th. Hitler’s forces occupies Salonika and the following day, April 10th. Croatia declares itself an independent State. On April 12th. Hitler’s Wehrmacht Troops enter Belgrade and Jewish shops and homes are looted. On April 14th. Hungarian troops enter Yugoslavia to share in the spoils and Jews are randomly shot. Croatia is now recognised as a Fascist state by Germany and Italy. On April 15th. 15,000 of Lublin’s Jews are ‘resettled’, Murdered in the euphemistic parlance of Hitler’s Reich.
On April 16th. The main Synagogue in Sarajevo destroyed as Himmler, Heydrich, Daluege, Juttner and Wolff meet with General Wagner to lay the foundations for Wehrmacht and SS cooperation in Russia. On April 18th. Yugoslavia surrenders and on April 24th. The Lublin Ghetto is sealed and Bulgaria occupies Thrace. On April 27th. Hitler’s Wehrmacht enters Athens and on April 28th. Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch, German Army Commander in Chief, issues directive for Wehrmacht cooperation with Heydrich’s Killing units ‘East’. On April 29th. Hans Frank issues a Decree on Jewish Limitations on Residence and on April 30th. Croatia enacts its own anti-Jewish legislation seeing to the removal of all Croatian Jews from public office. Also, the Head of the Polish Government in Exile, General Sikorski issues a stark warning about the treatment of the Jewish population in Polish Ghetto’s.
Wednesday 30th. April 1941 “..Jewish population in ..Ghettos is condemned to death by starvation.” General Wladyslaw Sikorski.
During April. 1942 the Chortkov Ghetto in the Ukraine is established and will see 6,000 Jews Enclosed. The Ciezanow Ghetto and the Wloclawek Ghetto are both Liquidated. Himmler stresses to Hans Frank that the Jews of the Generalgouvernment are not being ‘resettled’ fast enough for Hitler. On April 1st. over 900 Slovakian Jews deported to Auschwitz. On April 2nd. the first deportation of Kolomyja Jews are taken from the Ghetto for Hitler’s Belzec and these 1,000 Kolomyia Jews are murdered immediately upon arrival at Hitler’s Belzec. Fritz Sauckel cuts across Auschwitz Labour Plans for its Jews. On April 3rd. 1,200 of Tlumacz’s Jews are murdered while the last Jews of Augsburg are murdered at Hitler’s Belzec. On April 4th. 1,500 of Gorodenka’s Jews are murdered and in a x2 day period more than 5,000 of Kolomyja’s Jews are Murdered in Hitler’s Belzec.
On April 8th. a sweep of the Crimea ensures it is cleared of all Jews while Izbica-Lubelska, becomes a transit Ghetto as deportation action continues. On April 10th. 950 of Kuty’s Jews are murdered and 1,200 Jews in Mauthausen are Murdered by ‘poison gas’ and this information is relayed and published in The Jewish Chronicle. On April 11th. 3,000 of Zamosc’s Jews are murdered at Hitler’s Belzec.
Saturday April 11th. 1942 “..rural population must be cut off ..separated from ..Jews ..once and for all ..weaned from ..extremely antisocial habit of assisting ..Jews.” Gazeta Lwowska.
SS Gruppenfuhrer Harald Turner, the Military Administrator for Serbia, wrote to his erstwhile colleague, SS Obergruppenfuhrer Karl Wolff, and Himmler’s Deputy and liaison officer with Hitler, of the very specific detail of The Final Solution in Serbia. Directing this insightful analysis:
Saturday April 11th. 1942 “..I had all ..available Jews shot and all Jewish Women and Children concentrated in a camp.” SS Gruppenfuhrer Harald Turner.
Clearly, and soon after the ‘resettlement’ of Belgrade’s Jews, Wolff would have informed Hitler of how expedient the entire Serbian operation had been? The opportune presence of ‘gassing vans’ in the locality would impact even more severely upon any Jewish presence that remained in the Balkan Region.
Saturday April 11th. 1942 “..with ..help of ..SD ..procured a ‘delousing truck’ that will finally clear ..camp in some 14 days to 4 weeks.” SS Gruppenfuhrer Harald Turner.
In the less than ambiguous terms employed by Nazi official euphemism, The Gassing Van had become the ‘delousing truck’ in order to camouflage the intention to slaughter the Jews of Europe. Here, such a wide ranging euphemism could not and did not fully disguise what was meant for the Jewish People. On Hitler’s say so, the total extinction of any Jewish presence in the Area of Europe had been signalled and was being carried out. What Wolff has now been equipped with, for further gestation by Hitler and Himmler, was the total removal of all those Jewish Women and Jewish Children SS Gruppenfuhrer Harald Turner had had confined to the Semlin/Sajmiste Camp.
“..On April 13th. ..1942 ..our group of 1,000 men was loaded onto railroad cars at ..assembly camp ..Sered.” The Auschwitz Protocols.
On April 13th. x2 Slovakia Jews, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler were en-route toward Auschwitz. Together, they would escape 2 years later on and acknowledge what the World had largely known, of Auschwitz’s x2 year capacity to compete in the mass Murder of the Jewish People. On April 14th. SS and Police Battalions have killed 30,000 Lublin Jews and 15,000 Lvov Jews. On April 16th. and over the past 4 weeks, Lublin Ghetto is cleared toward the Death Camp Hitler’s Belzec with some 40,000 of Lublin’s Jews having been murdered, in situ or in Hitler’s Belzec. A further 8,000 Jews from Lublin’s outlying districts are also murdered at Hitler’s Belzec and overall, some 36,000 Jews from Galicia are being murdered here, at Hitler’s Belzec.
“..pits had overflowed. ..they had too many corpses in it ..putrefaction had progressed too fast ..corpses had rolled down ..hill.” SS Obersturmfuhrer Paul Franz Stangl.
What SS Obersturmfuhrer Paul Franz Stangl, a graduate of the ‘euthanasia’ institutes Hartheim and Bernburg, describes here is what he witnessed at Hitler’s Belzec. Stangl had moved on to learn much about the killing process and that learned experience was taken on and into commanding both Sobibor and Treblinka. On April 18th. 1,000 of Theresienstadt’s Jews are despatched to Sobibor as SS Haupsturmfuhrer Paul Franz Stangl is made Kommandant there. That day saw 52 Warsaw Ghetto Jews murdered and on April 24th. all German Jews are not allowed on Public Transport. On April 26th. the Reichstag grants Hitler dictatorial powers and on April 27th. 1,000 of Theresienstadt’s Jews are deported to Izbica Lubelska. On April 28th. 1,000’s of Radom’s Jews are murdered in a 10 day Killing operation and the following day, on April 29th. 100’s of Lodz’s Jews are murdered at Chelmno and the evidence of this Lodz ‘resettlement’ at Chelmno gets back to Lodz.
Wednesday April 29th. 1942 “..Short shrift is made of ..Jews in all eastern occupied areas. Tens of thousands of them are liquidated.” Joseph Goebbels.
On April 30th. 1,200 of Diatlovo’s Jews are murdered as the Pinsk Ghetto is established with 20,000 Jews to be Enclosed. All regions are required to, and must report the whereabouts of those Killing sites of mass execution and burial under Code ‘1005’. This is to go straight to the Reich for analysis and future action. By April 1943, more than 340,000 Jews, along with 20,000 Poles, Gypsies and Czechs are murdered at the Chelmno Death Camp with Gas vans used for their destruction. Some estimates, as low as 152,000 Jews were Murdered here. But estimates though, as high as 360,000 Jews having been murdered here have also been made. Estimates however, cannot form the basis of any relevant account and the Humanity of that Jewish presence destroyed here at Chelmno, elsewhere in The Death Camp System or at The Killing Sites, cannot ever give way to what cannot be forgotten.
Any loss which might fail to identify all of those Jews, and other’s, Murdered during Hitler’s rampage through their existence cannot set a further precedent beyond the annihilation process Hitler sought. Hans Frank visits Treblinka. On April 4th. over 4,000 Jews of Mikhailishki, Oszmiany and Soly are murdered in Ponary Woods.
Sunday April 4th. 1943 “..in less than 4 hours ..2,500 people were murdered ..even more.” Kazimierz Sakowicz.
Where Kazimierz Sakowicz observed the murders of the Jews, and other people’s in the pits at Ponary Woods, his Diary has provided much of The Holocaust with a rare glimpse of witness testimony that belonged to a non-Jewish observer.
On April 5th. 5,000 of Zloczew’s Jews are murdered and astonishingly, over 10,586 of Zloczew’s Jews will eventually be murdered. There are 4,000 of Swieciany’s Jews murdered in Ponary Woods. On April 6th. over 2,000 Dutch Jews from the Westerbork Detention Camp are murdered in Sobibor and of the more than 34,000 Jews ‘resettled’ from Westerbork to Sobibor, barely 19 Survived. On April 7th. 700 of Skalat’s Jews are murdered and Chelmno Castle is blown up. Now ‘Sonderkommando 1005’ has commenced with its onerous duty here at Chelmno, to destroy the evidence of Hitler’s very Final Solution of his Jewish Question. SS Standartenfuhrer Paul Blobel’s Sonderkommando then moves on to Hitler’s Belzec, and spends three months there. However, it has to be borne in mind that all operations to obliterate all traces of the Crimes committed here, as they are within all 3 of the Aktion Reinhard Death Camps, are conducted in house. Blobel’s Sonderkommando are merely an advisory team with the specialised expertise for the task.
On April 9th. 1,700 of Rudki’s Jews are murdered as are 500 of Komarno’s Jews, also murdered. On April 10th. the Plans to resettle the remaining Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto are undertaken. On April 11th. Globocnik writes to Himmler confirming that the Aktion Reinhard detail is being resolved. On April 13th. 2,000 of Buczacz’s Jews are murdered and over 1,200 Dutch Jews expelled from Westerbork Camp and are murdered in Sobibor and the Katyn Massacre is discovered. On April 14th. 1,000 of Sambor’s Jews are murdered and the Siedlice Ghetto is finally Liquidated. On April 16th. Hitler fully briefs the Hungarian Regent, Admiral Miklos von Nagybania Horthy, on the full terms of what The Final Solution means.
“..I myself arrived in Warsaw ..April 17th. 1943 ..and took over command of ..Grossaktion at 8 o’clock.” SS Obergruppenfuhrer Jurgen Stroop.
On April 17th. The Jewish Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins with the remnants of Warsaw’s Jews, 70,000 Jews who are still alive. SS Obergruppenfuhrer Jurgen Stroop arrives in the Warsaw Ghetto and the eventual destruction of all Jewish Resistance here is underway! On April 18th. over 3,400 of Jaworow’s Jews are murdered. On April 19th. 1,400 of Brussels Jews are transported to Auschwitz. Over 900 of Berlin’s Jews are murdered at Sobibor and elsewhere, 800 of Borszczow’s Jews are murdered. The Warsaw Ghetto’s final liquidation has begun and Stroop, who replaces SS Oberfuhrer Ferdinand von Sammern-Frankenegg as HSSPF representative for the Warsaw District, will see not only the Jews of Warsaw fighting to the death for many, but will see Stroop denying the very tenacious and committed involvement of Jews, and Jews alone in the Resistance here. Odilo Globocnik is on hand to assist in crushing remnants of Jewish Warsaw supplying forces directly from his own Aktion Reinhard experts. Mark Lichtenbaum is the Chair of Warsaw Ghetto Judenrate before Final Liquidation. On April 20th. over 1,100 Dutch Jews from Westerbork are murdered at Sobibor.
Thursday 22nd. April 1943 “..considerable number of Jews emerge ..forced ..by flames and ..smoke. ..Jews try to escape even through burning buildings. ..Innumerable Jews ..perished in ..flames.” SS Obergruppenfuhrer Jurgen Stroop.
On April 22nd. Stroop sees the only resolve for the Warsaw Ghetto Resistance would be to burn them out and with that, burn the whole Ghetto down. The first Transport of Dutch Jews arrives at Theresienstadt.
Friday April 23rd. 1943 “..Great things are happening ..this action ..we have dared to take is of enormous value. ..Jewish self defense has become a fact.” Mordechai Anielewicz.
On April 23rd. Himmler issues orders for the most severe action to be committed against those Jews still resisting in the Warsaw Ghetto. Marek Lichtenbojm, Judenrat Chairman and his Deputies of the Warsaw Ghetto are executed. On April 27th. over 2,000 Dutch Jews from Westerbork are murdered at Sobibor. Any total solution for Amsterdam’s Jews is now abandoned. On April 28th. Izbica-Lubelska is made Free of its Jews, it is ‘Judenrein’ and on April 29th. The Polish Underground Newspaper ‘Polska’ reports the struggle for the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Thursday April 29th. 1943 “..strength of ..German military and police machine ..being weakened daily. This strength broke near Stalingrad ..had to retreat from Tunis now stands powerless before a group of Jews who defend themselves in ..ghetto.” Polska.
On April 30th. 1,200 of Wlodawa’s Jews are murdered at Sobibor while some in the transport attacked the SS upon arrival at Sobibor. Goebbels publishes the details of Katyn Massacre and Martin Luther is dispatched to Sachsenhausen.
Friday April 30th 1943 “..if by free choice he wishes to remain a Jew ..then he is a Jew.” Zelig Kalmanovich.
From the midst of the turmoil, in the middle of the Vilna Ghetto, as liquidation faced every Jew within the Ghetto, what Zelig Kalmanovich had decided, which no amount of legislative enactment nor Nuremberg decree could affix to a human being, here was a Jew who had decided his own fate. The designation of who was, and who did not wish to be a Jew was a free and personal choice to be made even while the Jews faced oblivion. During April 1944 the Debrecen Ghetto in Hungary is established and 9,000 Jews will be Enclosed. The Kosice Ghetto in Czechoslovakia is established and 12,000 Jews will be Enclosed. The Jews of Besserabia are now in Russian hands. The Jews of Bukovina are now in Russian hands and the Jews of Transnistria are also in Russian hands.
On April 1st. the Majdanek Death Camp is being evacuated were estimates as high as some 360,000 Jews and other people having been Murdered here. With certainty, most are Jews and the use of Zyklon ‘B’ and CO Gas are used to resolve Hitler’s Final Solution. There is a contention with the figure for barely 60,000 Jews having been gassed at Majdanek and though the suggestion still remains that ALL Jews Murdered here were done away with in a myriad of ways, we can never know how accurate our assessments might be. On April 2nd. 1,500 of Athens Jews are transported to Auschwitz and meanwhile, the Russians are on the Romanian border. On April 3rd. there is the Krummhuebel Conference of experts on Jewish Question and the following day, April 4th. 103 of the 132 of Triest’s Jews are Gassed in Auschwitz as US Reconnaissance Aircraft photograph the Auschwitz and Birkenau site and are possibly of these Jews of Triest making their way toward their Destruction.
On April 5th. over 650 Dutch Jews are deported to Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Theresienstadt and over 550 of Fossoli’s Jews are transported to Auschwitz. Today,
Siegfried Lederer escapes from Auschwitz/Birkenau and makes it safely to Czechoslovakia where he warns the Judenrate of Theresienstadt what ‘resettlement’ to Auschwitz/Birkenau means for the Jews. Joel Brand, accompanied by Rudolf Kasztner, meet with Eichmann to discuss ways of saving Hungary’s Jews and The Blood for Goods deal is sought! It is disturbing to me that any single Jew can be so accused of his part in securing the safety of any Jew, no matter their relationship or credentials, when the World which knew so much stands unaccused. Remember also, that during height of Brand’s mission, 84,000 Hungarian Jews are ‘resettled’ to Auschwitz on a weekly basis.
While there is this wide-scale controversy which surrounds this period, and will dog this particular attempt by some Jews to deal with Eichmann, the effort is cowered in suspicion. Tragically, Kasztner will eventually pay with his life for the accusation of collaborating with ‘satan’. Previously, we know that in September 1941, Joel Brands Wife’s Family had been deported to Kamanetz Podolsk and would have been murdered there except for Brand’s move to bribe a Hungarian official to bring them back. The rescue attempt, from the jaws of death formed the genesis of this newer attempt which wrongly denied Kasztner of a life worthy of having saved nearly 1,700 World entire’s. Also, and in applying the status of Survivor to those Jews who emerged from the midst of The Holocaust, it is essential we appreciate what the term means. It cannot apply to the 4,000 Jews of Ireland, though under threat, they were not forced into hiding, forced in Ghetto’s, driven toward The Killing Sites or were otherwise transported to be resettled in The Death Camps or removed to the many Concentration Camps under Hitler’s gaze. But what Reszo Kasztner managed to achieve allowed for the figures of those who can be called Survivors, to swell by 1,685 Jewish Persons.
Friday April 7th. 1944 “..Cautious estimate of ..number of ..Jews gassed ..Birkenau ..April 1942 ..April 1944 by Country of origin
..Poland ..transported by truck 300,000 Jews
..transported by train 600,000 Jews
Holland 100,000 Jews
Greece 45,000 Jews
France 150,000 Jews
Belgium 50,000 Jews
Germany 60,000 Jews
Norway } 50,000 Jews
Lithuania 50,000 Jews
Austria } 30,000 Jews
Solvakia 30,000 Jews
Camps for foreign Jews in Poland 300,000 Jews
Total 1,765,000 Jews.” The Auschwitz Protocols.
On April 7th. two Czechoslovakian Jews, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler escaped from Auschwitz and are about to inform the public of nations what governments of those nations already know. These ‘The Auschwitz Protocols,’ become a detailed overview of operations at Auschwitz, by both Vrba and Wetzler and is delivered to Jewish Leaders and subsequently, to the knowledgeable Allied Powers. What is reprehensible, but I suppose forms a somewhat uninspiring deflective shield of guilt for all those who either knew, participated in and perpetrated these crimes, Rudolf Vrba adjudged the German Army and its General Staff correctly as complicit in all crimes connected to Hitler’s Final Solution. Perhaps he should have gone further and denounced the World’s inability to acknowledge what it too knew and had known for quite some time!
“..attempts by members ..German General Staff to whitewash their complicity in these atrocities ..or by German historians to exculpate ..regular German Army ..should not be allowed to cover up ..fact of ..vital ..significant economic ..strategic advantages ..Nazi establishment together with ..German Army and its General Staff derived from this unprecedented ..unparalleled mass murder and robbery.” Rudolf Vrba.
While the figures of those Murdered in The Auschwitz Protocols themselves are somewhat altered by subsequent checks, counter balances and newer research, I fully acknowledge that both Vrba and Wetzler are better placed to state more accurately what the World seems to trip over to this day. With the fact that the annihilation process leaked out to Civilised Humanity way before now, to heap the blame upon anyone Jew is wrongly reprehensible and though History seeks to accept that 1,100,000 Jews were Murdered within the confines of the Auschwitz/Birkenau complex, we cannot ever know. For me personally, it is safer to accept the higher figure so that NO Jew can ever be denied their presence in this Catastrophe for ALL the Jews of Europe.
“..Americans ..British ..fly in these regions. ..Why did they not drop ..bombs on ..horrible tomb ..sixty kilometres from their Northern Frontier. They could have wrecked SS barracks ..ramps ..crematoriums ..roads ..rail track. Why didn’t they.” Alfred Wetzler.
While acknowledging here the events these Jewish Survivors brought to a wider audience, it is unacceptable that little and nothing was done to alleviate what was known, and not just of Auschwitz/Birkenau but of the entire infrastructure of Hitler’s Final Solution. If, and at the time it was not considered a priority how can that assuage such a massive guilt for what had commenced with strongly worded assurances of his intention to Murder the Jews and this resulting catalogue of shameful detail. Let me spell it out this way. While the continuation of the War might ensure the deaths of even more Civilians and troops, what the failure to intervene in the midst of The Holocaust could guarantee, increasing numbers of Jews would be Slaughtered.
Of course, there are those like Hoess who might have sought to exaggerate his accomplishment, or Eichmann who sought to immerse himself most accurately in the assessment, but no one can deny the potential for mass murder that existed here at Auschwitz and Birkenau. On a given average of 10,000 Jews Murdered on a Daily basis, during the period of Vrba and Wetzler’s incarceration alone, 10,000 over a 700 day period could compute to something approaching 7,000,000 of those Jews, to treated to ‘Sonderbehandlung’ with that capacity in mind.
Friday 7th. April 1944 “..millions of Jews ..captured ..who knows where they are. ..We have come ..from place where your brothers are. ..Two thousand years have we brought into this world children ..doomed to suffer.” Moshe Flinker.
On April 10th. the Russians retake Besserabia where some 148,000 Jews had been murdered and the Russians retake Bukovina where some 62,000 Jews had been murdered. The Russians also retake Odessa where over 91,678 of Odessa’s Jews had been murdered. On April 11th. some 2,500 Jews from Athens arrive in Auschwitz and 1,067 of these are immediately gassed while 320 men form part of the Sonderkommando and 328 Women are selected for work other details. Both Czeslaw Madrzyk and Grigori Orlov Maro choose today to escape from Birkenau. On April 13th. 1,500 Jews from Paris are transported to Auschwitz and the following day April 14th. the first transport of 5,200 of Athens’ Jews arrives at Auschwitz and Birkenau.
On April 15th. a Jewish revolt hampers action of ‘Sonderkommando 1005’ in Hitler’s attempt to destroy the evidence in Ponary Woods and 25 Jews are subsequently murdered. The exhumation at Ponary Woods had continued from the November of 1943. On April 16th. the Hungarian Government begins to register its Jews as the Hungarian Government seeks to confiscate all Jewish property.
Tuesday April 18th. 1944 “..heard ..all would die in Poland.” Eva Heyman.
On April 20th. the last 70 Jews assigned to the ‘Sonderkommando 1005’ detail in Ponary Woods are murdered and on April 22nd. The Russians cross the Romanian border. On April 25th. Eichmann would illicit the ‘Blood for Trucks’ deal with Joel Brand, Reszo Kasztner and the Hungarian Jewish Leadership. On April 29th. 3,000 Jews from Backa-Topola are transported to Auschwitz as over 1,000 Jews from Paris are also dispatched to Auschwitz. During April 1945 stolen Art and other Valuables are discovered by Allied Forces in Salt Mines. On April 1st. the Allied Forces encircle the Ruhr and the following day April 2nd. Hitler announces that the world will be ‘eternally grateful’ for his eradication of the Jewish People.
“…Centuries will pass ..but from ..rubble of our city ..our hatred of those who are to blame ..international Jewry and its lackeys ..I have made it clear that if they treat ..nations of Europe as tools that may be bought and sold by these international swindlers for money and material support ..then that race ..Jewish race ..which is truly responsible for this murderous struggle ..shall bear ..consequences. ..Above all ..I oblige ..national leadership and its followers to observe ..racial laws scrupulously and subject ..poisoner of all nations ..international Jewry ..to merciless resistance.” Adolf Hitler.
On April 6th. the evacuation of Buchenwald begins and on April 9th. Mauthausen is evacuated where over 38,000 Jews were murdered, some 10,000 in ‘gassing vans’ at the euthanasia Institute Hartheim, some in the Melk sub-Camp and other’s in Mauthausen’s own Gassing Chamber. On April 10th. 15,000 Jews are death marched from Buchenwald as the following day April 11th. the Americans liberate Buchenwald where some 56,500 Jews had been murdered. 15,000 Jews are subsequently freed as the Allies take Essen and American troops reach the Elbe River. On April 12th. the Camp at Belsen is liberated by the British Army and it is essential to be clear, that while all of Hitler’s Camps dealt in the Death’s and Destruction of the Jews he had assigned to them, these were not to be considered Death Camps in the way those like Auschwitz/Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka had been designated.
President Roosevelt dies and Harry S. Truman succeeds and he asks Samuel Rosenman to approach Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson and inquire about his willingness to serve as chief US prosecutor in the forthcoming War Crimes Trials. The following day April 13th. Russian forces enter Vienna and on April 15th. British estimates of the liberated Belsen shows 13,000 are dead lie as they fell amongst whom are Anne and Margot Frank. It is now believed that Anne succumbed to the appalling conditions sometime prior to the end of March alongside some 50,000 other Jews who are Murdered or left to die here. While 40,000 are freed, Jews were still dying at the rate of 4,500 per week and the toll for all who died here, is incalculable!
On April 16th. Russian forces move on Berlin and on April 20th. American troops enter Nuremberg. On April 21st. Ravensbrueck Concentration Camp is evacuated of its 15,000 inmates and on April 23rd. 33,000 Sachsenhausen inmates begin their Death March leaving more than 35,000 Jews who had been murdered there. There 3,000 Survivors after a final SS massacre. Russian forces now stand before Berlin and some Ravensbrueck inmates are force marched to Schleswig while 7,000 Ravensbrueck Women inmates are handed over to the Swedish Red Cross and Mauthausen Concentration Camp is opened to Red Cross. On April 24th. Himmler hands peace proposal to Count Folke Bernadotte, the Nephew of the King of Sweden and Vice-President Swedish Red Cross.
On April 25th. Himmler’s offer of surrender is declined as American and Russian Troops meet at Torgau on the Elbe while the United Nations hold talks in San Francisco. On April 28th. Dachau is liberated we recognise that some 35,000 Jews have been murdered here. Elsewhere, the Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini is killed and on April 29th. the Wehrmacht surrenders in Italy at Caserta as the Allies enter Milan. On April 30th. Ravensbrueck CC is liberated with 3,000 inmates still dying there. More than 132,000 Women had been interned. Hitler, rather than stand for his convictions, and his Wife, Eva Braun, commit suicide as does Goebbels and his Wife Magda, but not before they poison their own 6 Children.
“..hold a solemn requiem mass in memory of der Fuhrer.” Cardinal Adolf Bertram.
Between April 1st. and April 2nd. 1946 Joachim von Ribbentrop, the former Foreign Reich’s Minister, testifies before The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial of The Major Nazi Criminals. On April 11th. SS Gruppenfuhrer Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the former Head of Hitler’s SD, testifies before The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial of The Major Nazi Criminals. On April 5th. SS Standartenfuhrer Rudolf Hoess, the former Kommandant at the Auschwitz/Birkenau Death Camp, provides graphic testimony of mass executions at his camp as he testifies before The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial of The Major Nazi Criminals. On April 18th. Hans Frank, the former Governor General of the Generalgouvernment in Poland, testifies before The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial of The Major Nazi Criminals. On April 26th. Julius Streicher, the former Gauleiter of Franconia and former editor of the virulently antisemitic der Sturmer, testifies before The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial of The Major Nazi Criminals. On April 30th. Hjalmar Schact former President of The Reichsbank, testifies before The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial of The Major Nazi Criminals.
On April 8th. 1947 The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, Case Number 4, The Oswald Pohl or Economic and Administrative Office, the WVHA Case begins. SS Gruppenfuhrer Oswald Ludwig Pohl and seventeen other members of WVHA are charged with war crimes against POWs in concentration camps which WVHA controlled after spring of 1942.
1) SS Gruppenfuhrer Oswald Ludwig Pohl. Sentenced to Death. Hanged June 7th. 1951.
2) SS Oberfuhrer Johann Hans Baier. Sentenced to 10 years.
3) SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Hanns Bobermin. Sentenced to 20 years. Reduced to 15 years.
4) SS Standartenfuhrer Franz Eirenschmalz. Sentenced to Death. Commuted to 9 years.
5) SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Karl Enthey. Sentenced to Life in prison. Commuted to 20 years.
6) SS Brigadefuhrer Heinz Karl Fanslau. Sentenced to 20 years. Commuted to 15 years.
7) SS Gruppenfuhrer August Frank. Sentenced to life in prison. Commuted to 15 years.
8) Dr. Hans Hohberg. Sentenced to 10 years.
9) SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Max Kiefer. Sentenced to life in prison. Commuted to 20 years.
10) SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Horst Klein. Acquitted.
11) SS Gruppenfuhrer Georg Loerner. Sentenced to Death. Commuted to life, then 15 years.
12) SS Oberfurer Hans Loerner. Sentenced to 10 years.
13) SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Hermann Pook. Sentenced to 10 years.
14) SS Standartenfuhrer Rudolf Scheide. Acquitted.
15) SS Sturmbannfuhrer Karl Sommer. Sentenced to Death. Commuted to life then 20 years.
16) SS Standartenfuhrer Erwin Tschentscher. Sentenced to 10 years.
17) SS Standartenfuhrer Josef Vogt. Acquitted.
18) SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Leo Volk. Sentenced to 10 years, then 8 years.
On April 10th. Military Tribunal II-A sentences 20 convicted defendants in the Einsatzgruppen Trial. 14 of the defendants, members of the German mobile killing units, der Einsatzgruppe are sentenced to death. On April 15th. 31 Defendants of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp were arraigned before the Courts.
1) Josias Erbprinz zu Sentenced to Life. Commuted to 20 Years. Waldeck und Pyrmont.
2) Otto Barnewald. Sentenced to Death. Commuted to Life.
3) August Bender. Sentenced to 10 Years then 3 Years.
4) Anton Bergmeier. Sentenced to Death. Commuted to Life.
5) Dr Arthur Dietzsch. Sentenced to 15 Years.
6) Dr. Hans Eisele. Sentenced to Death. Pardoned 1952.
7) Werner Greunuss. Sentenced to Life. Commuted to 20 Years.
8) Phillip Grimm. Sentenced to Death. Commuted to Life.
9) Hermann Grossmann. Sentenced to Death. Hanged November 19th. 1948.
10) Hermann Hackmann. Sentenced to Death. Commuted to Life.
11) Gustav Heigel. Sentenced to Death. Commuted to Life.
12) Hermann Helbig. Sentenced to Death. Hanged November 19th. 1948
13) Dr Edwin KatzenEllenbogen. Sentenced to Life. Commuted to 12 Years.
14) Josef Kestel. Sentenced to Death. Hanged November 19th. 1948.
15) Ilse Koch. Sentenced to Life. Commuted to 4 Years.
16) Richard Kohler. Sentenced to Death. Hanged November 26th. 1948.
17) Hubart Krautwurst. Sentenced to Death. Hanged November 26th. 1948.
18) Hans Merbach. Sentenced to Death. Hanged January 14th. 1949.
19) Peter Merker. Sentenced to Death. Commuted to 20 Years.
20) Wolfgang Otto. Sentenced to 15 Years.
21) Hermann Pister. Sentenced to Death. Died September 28th. 1948.
22) Emil Pleissner. Sentenced to Death. Hanged November 26th. 1948.
23) Quido Reimer. Sentenced to Death. Commuted to Life.
24) Helmut Roscher. Sentenced to Death. Commuted to Life.
25) Hans Theodor Schmidt. Sentenced to Death. Hanged June 7th. 1951.
26) Max Schobert. Sentenced to Death. Hanged November19th. 1948.
27) Albert Schwartz. Sentenced to Death. Commuted to Life.
28) Dr. Walter Wendt. Sentenced to 15 Years. Commuted to 5 Years.
29) Friedrich Wilhelm. Sentenced to Death. Hanged November 26th. 1948.
30) Hans Wolf. Sentenced to Death. Hanged November 19th. 1948.
31) Franz Zinecker. Sentenced to Life.
On April 16th. Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Hoess Hanged in Auschwitz 1 for his crimes against the Jews of Humanity. The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, Case Number 2 ends and Erhard Milch is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for his crimes. On April 19th. The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, Case Number 5, The Friedrich Flick Case begins. Six members of the Flick Consortium, a group of industrialists whose enterprises included coal and steel are charged collectively with the use of Slave Labour including POWs. They are also charged with the deportation of people for that labour from all of the German occupied territories. They are further charged, on direction, of the plundering of privately owned property and the ‘Aryanization’ process of Jewish properties.
01) Friedrich Flick. Sentenced to 7 years.
02) Odilo Burkart. Acquitted.
03) Konrad Kaletsch. Acquitted.
04) Otto Steinbrinck. Sentenced to 5 years.
05) Hermann Terberger. Acquitted.
06) Bernhard Weiss. Sentenced to 30 months.
On April 9th. 1948 The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, Case Number 9, ends. All 24 defendants are found guilty on one or more of the charges. 14 defendants are sentenced to death. 10 defendants have these sentences commuted later to varying terms of imprisonment. On April 10th. Sentence in der Einsatzgruppe Case is presented with the confirmation of the sentences passed in the United States Zone of Occupation by its Military Governor. On April 13th. 1949 The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, Case Number 11, The Ministries Case ends with 19 defendants found guilty. On April 11th. 1961 The Trial of Adolf Eichmann begins in Jerusalem.
“..This is not a matter of revenge. ..Hebrew poet Bialik says ..Revenge for a small child ..devil has not yet devised.” Golda Meir.