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1935: World’s First Female Rabbi Is Ordained, in Germany

1935: World’s First Female Rabbi Is Ordained, in Germany

Regina Jonas remained outside the Orthodox establishment, but provided spiritual services in the concentration camps where she wound up and died.

Regina Jonas was ordained as a rabbi in Offenbach am Main, Germany. With an ordination certificate signed by the head of Germany’s Liberal Rabbis’ Association, Jonas is thought to be the first woman ever to receive ordination – though the country’s Orthodox rabbinate did not recognize her status. Less than a decade later, she was dead, having been murdered at Auschwitz.

Source: 1935: World’s First Female Rabbi Is Ordained, in Germany – This Day in Jewish History – Haaretz

December 27, 2015 Posted by | News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pope Francis expected to visit Auschwitz/Birkenau

Although no date has been set, church leaders in Poland hope Pope Francis will visit the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz during a July 2016 visit to Poland for World Youth Day.

Pope to visit Auschwitz

“We hope Pope Francis will come to Auschwitz and deliver a warning to the world by again demonstrating the horrors of war and the camps, so they’ll never recur,” Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow told the Polish Catholic news agency KAI.

An administration official at the Auschwitz Museum, Jolanta Kozuch, told Catholic News Service May 28 a date had not yet been agreed upon for a stopover by Pope Francis at the camp, 20 miles west of Krakow, where 1.2 million mostly Jewish prisoners died at German hands in 1940-45.

Retired Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, a former bishops’ conference general secretary who now lives in Krakow, told CNS he hoped more details would be available shortly.

“Any visit by the head of the Catholic Church to Auschwitz, in the footsteps of John Paul II in 1979 and Benedict XVI in 2006, would always have huge significance,” Bishop Pieronek told CNS May 28. “This is a place of great importance for the whole of humanity, so it would be received very well if the pope came here to pray and commemorate.”

Cardinal Dziwisz spoke to KAI about preparations for July 26-31, 2016, World Youth Day in his diocese. He said bishops and youth groups from abroad were arriving in Krakow daily to check on preparations.

He will also certainly visit a hospital or home for the poor, in addition to other points in his program. But many other groups, such as the students of Europe, are also getting in touch and hoping to have a moment for themselves with him,” he said.

During his visit for World Youth Day, Pope Francis is scheduled to lead a Way of the Cross procession from the Krakow’s Divine Mercy Sanctuary, a prayer vigil on youth issues near the Wieliczka Salt Mine and a final Mass in the city’s Blonia Park.

The cardinal said the program had been largely based on the success of World Youth Day at Poland’s Jasna Gora national sanctuary in 1991, but had also taken account of Pope Francis’ personal devotion to the Divine Mercy cult centered in Krakow’s Lagiewniki suburb.

He also said he had asked Poland’s foreign minister to reduce visa charges for the 300,000 youngsters expected from Russia, Ukraine and other countries to the east.

In a May 27 report, KAI said World Youth Day organizers were seeking 20,000 volunteers from Poland and abroad to help with the event, which was expected to attract up to 2.5 million people, including 35,000 from the United States.

The agency added that the pope had been asked to visit other locations in Poland to mark the 1050th anniversary of the country’s Christian conversion, including Jasna Gora and the capital, Warsaw, and its oldest Catholic see at Gniezno.

In a Jan. 27 Twitter message to mark the 70th anniversary of the camp’s liberation, the pope said Auschwitz “cries out with the pain of immense suffering and pleads for a future of respect, peace and encounter among peoples.”

May 29, 2015 Posted by | Auschwitz, Events, Krakow Travel Advice, News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Europe’s forgotten city back in premier league

KRAKOW TOURS – Tomorrow, southern Poland’s most glorious city joins the premier league of destinations served from Heathrow Terminal 5 by British Airways. BA uses its precious slots only on routes that it believes will be attractive to business travellers so the new link, which offers connections from around the globe, testifies to the rising business profile of Krakow, (too) often described as the “new Prague”.

Krakow - Main Square

Neil Taylor, who pioneered tourism to Poland and other Eastern Bloc nations, says: “This could be part of a BA resurgence to prove that some towns can justify a higher level of service than that offered on budget airlines. Citybreak operators will certainly be pleased that another serious destination for them has become available and conference organisers will be equally pleased as neither work happily with budget airlines.”

Krakow has a long, distinguished history as one of the great cities of Europe. Stand in its magnificent medieval Market Square, where coronations took place when it was Poland’s capital, and on every side you can see architectural master- pieces from centuries past. Most dominant is the Gothic basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary or Kosciol Mariacki, with its celebrated tower from where the hejnal or bugle call is performed on the hour, every hour – breaking off sharply in mid note in memory of the fatal Tatar arrow that pierced the throat of the bugler, who was raising the alarm with his call in 1241 as Mongols besieged the city.

One reason the centre of Krakow has been so beautifully preserved is the four lost decades following the Second World War. Until 1989, Poland was effectively under the stifling control of Moscow: the Warsaw Pact, embracing nations from East Germany to Bulgaria, was a union of unwilling participants who were prevented from access to the free market of the West. That, at least, was the idea – though Poles proved more adept than most at gaining access to the West, and the trading skills of some was the stuff of legends.

Today, the notion that ambitious young Polish people tend to seek their fortunes elsewhere in Europe has been overturned. The city is styling itself as Poland’s Silicon Valley, and is attracting highly skilled IT and R&D professionals – with other businesses locking into the city’s growth strategy.

UBS set up an office in Krakow in 2007. “We have attracted many talented individuals who have contributed to the success of our firm,” says Michal Stepien, the general manager. “Our operation is constantly expanding.”

Just as tourists find prices in Krakow gratifyingly low, the city is an inexpensive place to do business. Thanks partly to the wealth of hotels, Krakow is becoming a noted trade fair and convention city. The EXPO Krakow complex, a short distance east of the city centre, this year hosts Infrasnow, dealing with equipment for winter-sports resorts, in September; Krakow’s International Book Fair in the following month; and Horeca, for hotel, retail and catering establishments, in November.

The city’s harmonious jumble of architectural styles – CORBIS Off-duty, the attractions are endless. Lining the Market Square are palaces, cafes and restaurants built in a harmonious jumble of Mannerist, Rococo, Baroque, Renaissance and even Neo-classical styles. Since Krakow served as European capital of culture in the Millennium year, 2000, it has lured avant-garde artists seeking freedom and inspiration.

A leading gallery, ICC (mck.krakow. pl), is currently exhibiting until June an artistic dialogue between Brazilian photographer Cristiano Mascaro and Polish artist Slawomir Rumiak, and culture abounds on all sides. And even beneath you lies just one of a plethora of museums which opened in 2010. Spread over 4,000 square metres underneath the Market Square, this multi media museum (mhk.pl) displays treasures which relate the turbulent history of Krakow.

Back at the airport – which is named after the city’s most celebrated son, Pope John-Paul II – the trajectory of Krakow is clear from the latest figures. It is the biggest regional airport in Poland, and last year saw its best ever year. This was helped by a 7 per cent increase in traffic to and from its biggest market: London, with a record-breaking 402,000 passengers on the route. The new British Airways link means 2015 stands to be even more successful.

via Europe’s forgotten city back in premier league – Business – News – The Independent.

May 1, 2015 Posted by | Events, Krakow Travel Advice, News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz’ trial begins in Germany – BBC News

A 93-year-old former Nazi SS guard, known as the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz”, has admitted he is “morally guilty”.

Oskar Groening

Oskar Groening spoke at the beginning of his trial for being an accessory to the murder of at least 300,000 Jews at the concentration camp.

He described his role of counting money confiscated from new arrivals and said he witnessed mass killings, but denied any direct role in the genocide.

If found guilty he could face three to 15 years in prison.

via ‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz’ trial begins in Germany – BBC News.

April 21, 2015 Posted by | Auschwitz, News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Auschwitz draws record number of visitors

The former Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz attracted 1 million 534 thousand visitors in 2014.

The figure is an all-time record not only for Auschwitz, but for all European sites of remembrance.

The director of the Auschwitz Museum, Piotr Cywinski, has said that Auschwitz-Birkenau has become a symbol of the Holocaust and of the World War Two crime of genocide, a place which for present generations is a key to understanding the realities of today and the challenges facing the contemporary world.

According to Pawel Sawicki of the Auschwitz Museum Press Office, Poles constitute the most numerous national group among the visitors.

Yet, the number of Polish visitors fell from 610, 000 in 2011 to just under 400, 000 last year. The falling trend is attributed to recent changes in the school curriculum and the lack of a government programme of financing youth visits to remembrance sites.

There were 199, 000 visitors from Britain, 92, 000 from the United States, 84, 000 from Italy and 75, 000 from Germany.

Israelis, Spaniards, French, Czechs and South Koreans were next on the list of the most sizeable national groups.

Around 10, 000 people from around the world took part in various educational projects in Auschwitz. The site was also visited by several hundred journalists and 180 film crews from over 30 countries.

On 27 January, ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp by the Soviet Army will bring together up to 300 of its former prisoners. The most sizeable group – numbering about 100 persons – will be of Polish inmates of the camp. Roughly the same number of people will come from around the world thanks to financial support from the World Jewish Congress. Former Auschwitz prisoners will also come as members of official state delegations.

And on Wednesday, 7 January, a group of Polish inmates of Auschwitz will take part in an audience with Pope Francis. They will present the Pontiff with the ‘Gift of Remembrance’ Statuette of the International Auschwitz Committee. Members of the Polish group will include the writer Zofia Posmysz, author of the novel The Passenger, which was made into a film and an opera.

The concentration camp of Auschwitz was founded in 1940. Some 1.1 million people, mostly European Jews, but also Poles, Soviet POWs, Roma and Sinti, as well as people of other nationalities perished in the camp. It was liberated by the Soviet Army on 27 January 1945.

January 5, 2015 Posted by | Auschwitz | , , , , , | Leave a comment

David Cameron visits Auschwitz / Birkenau

David Cameron at Birkenau

David Cameron visiting Auschwitz and Birkenau today 10th December 2014

December 10, 2014 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dignity at Auschwitz

Care to spare a dime to save Auschwitz?

That was the question posed to us last week when the government-appointed leader of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland visited our offices. For the last six years, museum director Piotr M.A. Cywinski and his team have been on a mission to raise $165 million to preserve the cursed concentration camp, where nearly 1.1 million Jews were exterminated.

Turns out, the Nazi penchant for fine art did not extend to architecture. Auschwitz was actually shabbily built, bricks-and-mortar style, designed to be a temporary slaughterhouse and then disappear. It wasn’t built to last — or matter.

It should surprise no one that the Nazis were better at destroying than building, but in fact, it is alarming that in the decades since World War II, the site that proves Hitler’s horrors existed has been slowly crumbling away.

via Dignity at Auschwitz | Hollywood Jew | Jewish Journal.

March 20, 2014 Posted by | Auschwitz | , | Leave a comment

Sting headlines Life festival near Auschwitz

UK pop legend Sting headlined the 4th Life Festival Oswiecim over the weekend near the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

 

 

 

Sting with Krakow Tours at Auschwitz

The British star rocked the crowd with classics from his time with group The Police as well as later solo hits.

Fans sang along to radio favourites such as “Roxanne”, “Every little thing she does is magic” and of course “Every breath you take.”

The festival was first staged at Oswiecim’s MOSiR Stadium in 2010, thanks to Darek Maciborek, a journalist who had grown up in the town.

His aim was “to break the spell” over the area, by providing a positive event aimed at cultivating tolerance in a place synonymous with Nazi German racism.

Previous guests have included Peter Gabriel and James Blunt.

July 1, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boy Scouts’ Escape From Auschwitz

June 20: A Polish Boy Scout led the most audacious escape from the Auschwitz death camp on this day in 1942 – after stealing SS uniforms, guns and a top-ranking Nazi’s car.

Kazimierz Piechowski and three other inmates dressed as a transport crew to leave the inner high-security zone marked by the notorious ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ gate – German for ‘work makes you free’.

After walking beneath the sinister, wrought iron message the non-Jewish group of four ditched the cart they had stolen and split up.

Piechowski and two fellow Poles – priest Jozef Lempart and army officer Stanislaw Jaster – went to the warehouse where uniforms and weapons were stored.

They entered via a coal bunker that Piechowski, then aged 22, had ensured would open by unscrewing the latch during a forced labour assignment days earlier.

Inside, they dressed as SS-Totenkopfverbände – or ‘Death’s-Head Unit’ – guards and armed themselves with four machine-guns and eight grenades.

Meanwhile, fellow ecapee Eugeniusz Bendera, a Ukrainain mechanic, went to the motorpool and stole SS Hauptsturmführer Paul Kreuzmann’s Steyr 220 saloon car.

Piechowski – who wore the uniform of an SS Untersturmführer, or second lieutenant – sat in the front passenger seat as Bendera drove to the main exit.

The group of political prisoners, who had forged papers, panicked when the guards manning the gate didn’t instantly raise the barrier.

But Piechowski, the only member who spoke good German, calmly leant out the window and screamed: “Wake up, you buggers! Open up or I’ll open you up!”

The terrified guards scrambled to raise the barrier, allowing the prisoners to escape and prompting all future inmates to have a number tattooed on their arms.

The four men all survived the war, except Jaster, who is thought to have been killed by the Gestapo after helping to free 49 prisoners on a train to Auschwitz in May 1943.

He was one of 4.9million Poles – of whom 3million were Jewish – killed during the occupation of Poland, where Auschwitz and five other deaths camps were located.

Piechowski, whose membership of the banned Boy Scout movement and bid to join the Free Polish forces led to his 1939 arrest, became a resistance fighter after fleeing.

In response to his escape, Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss ordered future inmates to have their prisoner number tattooed on their arms.

Ironically, his Home Army membership led to him being imprisoned for seven years after the war by Poland’s new communist rulers, who feared an insurgency.

Yet Piechowski, who today lives in Gdasnk, refused a bravery award following the end of communism in 1989 by humbly saying: “I do not feel this honour is owed me.”

June 20, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz, This Day In History | , , , , | Leave a comment

Netanyahu to Inaugurate New Auschwitz Exhibition

KRAKOW TOURS: Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will visit Poland on June 13 for the opening of a new exhibition at the museum of the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, organizers said Monday.

In the works for four years, the exhibition will present “the murder at Auschwitz in the larger context of the Nazis systematic attempt to exterminate the Jewish people,” said curators at Yad Vashem Holocaust institute.

The “Shoah” display will be located in Block 27, the oldest part of the camp set up by Nazi Germany in the southern town of Oswiecim in occupied Poland.

The unveiling was originally due on May 9 but had to be pushed back because of Netanyahus schedule.

Around 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed between 1940 and 1945 at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most notorious of the death camps run by Nazi Germany.

June 5, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz, Events, News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Surviving Auschwitz

KRAKOW TOURS: Seventy years ago today a Nazi train was stopped by resisters as it travelled from Flanders to Auschwitz.

Althea Williams tells the story of a survivor.

Kazerne Dossin, a former infantry barracks, during its use as a detention centre in 1942.

Kazerne Dossin, a former infantry barracks, during its use as a detention centre in 1942.On the night of April 19th, 1943 a train pulled out of Mechelen, a small town in Belgium. It carried 1,631 men, women and children and was the 20th convoy to leave the infamous Kazerne Dossin assembly camp for Auschwitz-Birkenau. Up to that point, of the 18,000 people who had already made the journey only a handful had escaped.

This time three young men, Youra Livschitz, Robert Maistriau and Jean Frankelmon, students at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, lay in wait for the train. Ten miles down the line, they flagged down the convoy using a lamp covered with red silk to resemble a warning light. Armed with just two pairs of pliers and a single pistol, they cut through the barbed wire that secured the heavy bolts on the outside of each cattle car.  Two hundred and thirty-seven Jewish deportees took their chance, pushing themselves through tiny windows, or wrenching the doors aside, falling or leaping into the dark. The Germans fired upon the fleeing shadows and at the easier targets of those who waited for their loved ones to follow.

In one of the carriages were Channa Gronowski and her 11-year-old son, Simon. As the train accelerated again, escape seemed impossible. But the mood in the carriage had changed and men broke open the lock on the door. Channa lowered Simon by his shoulders onto the footrail. He remembers his mother hesitating, saying: ‘No, the train’s going too fast!’ But Simon had jumped, rolling down the embankment. He leapt to his feet unhurt and waited for his mother to follow. The train halted and shots rang out. Three people fell. After 20 minutes of shooting and searching, the train departed and with it Simon’s mother.

Simon ran all night, through woods and over fields. He intended to reach Brussels and find his father, Leon, absent when the Germans had raided their home. He knew he risked capture but he needed help so he knocked on a door. His clothes torn and covered in mud, he said he had been playing with friends and had got lost. He was taken to the local police officer; Simon was sure he would be arrested. Jan Aerts had indeed guessed Simon came from the train but he had no intention of betraying him. He took him home and his wife fed him and washed and mended his clothes. The policeman helped Simon catch a train back to Brussels and he was finally reunited with his father, although they spent the remaining years of the war hidden in separate locations. Channa Gronowski was sent to the gas chambers on arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Simon’s sister Ita, 18, was sent on a later convoy and was also killed at Auschwitz.

At the Liberation, Leon Gronowski wrote: ‘People flood the streets, wild with joy; crying, laughing, singing, embracing each other. But I am miserable … My loved ones are still in the camps … I wander through the streets aimlessly; my heart is bleeding’. Ignorant of his wife and daughter’s fate he died of pulmonary disease in June 1945.

A total of 25,833 Jews and over 352 Roma were deported from Kazerne Dossin. Of the 233 people who attempted escape from the 20th convoy, 26 were shot that night. One hundred and eighteen got away of whom 89 were recaptured, 79 of these were deported on later convoys and 153 survived Auschwitz-Birkenau.

As for the three who stopped the train, Youra Livschitz was captured and executed in February 1944 and Jean Frankelmon was arrested soon after and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he was liberated in May 1945. He died in 1977. Robert Maistriau was arrested in March 1944. He was liberated from Bergen-Belsen in 1945 and lived until 2008.

Today Simon Gronowski lives in Brussels and practises as a lawyer. He has two children and four grand-children. For over 50 years he hardly talked about his past but, following a chance meeting between his daughter and Robert Maistriau’s son, he was persuaded to overcome his reluctance to speak publicly about his experience. He has now written a book and speaks regularly in schools.

In the context of the Belgian occupation, when the number of active resisters is thought to have amounted to only about six per cent of the population and helping escapees was punishable, Jan Aerts and his wife were unusual people. Simon Gronowski was fortunate to have encountered them.

Gronowski’s story and those of many others are related in the new Kazerne Dossin Museum and Documentation Centre of the Holocaust and Human Rights, one of the most ambitious in Europe. The Kazerne Dossin replaces a smaller museum about deportation and the Resistance; the Flemish government agreed to finance the 25 million euros necessary to renovate the previous museum on the condition that its scope and aims were completely revised. It cited the dwindling number of survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and its wish to show that Flanders not only recognises its part in the Nazi period but intends to contribute to the study of the mechanisms of exclusion, intolerance and racism in today’s society. The new museum owes its growing reputation to its efforts to render the Holocaust relevant to a younger public, drawing attention to the underlying conditions that can lead to human rights’ violations.

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz, This Day In History | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Justin Bieber: the best thing to happen to Holocaust awareness since Schindler’s List

It’s been a busy few weeks for Justin Bieber.

His pet monkey was quarantined in Germany, he attacked a photographer, got kicked out of a Paris hotel and rolled up two hours late for his opening night at the London O2, leaving thousands of “Beliebers” to stagger home at midnight on a school night.

All in all, that’s pretty standard stuff for a pop star coping with adulation and adolescence. Teen idols, after all, occupy an entirely different universe. Shenanigans are in the script and colossal egos make them the entertainers they are. Stay tuned to see Justin shave his head, smoke a tropical cigarette and book into rehab.

But in the eyes of many, this once wholesome starlet has transformed from Cliff Richard to Keith Richards in under a year. Now, it seems, he can’t do good for doing bad.

The 19-year-old’s latest blunder took place in the unlikely setting of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam last Friday. After touring the museum for an hour, he wrote in the guestbook that he hoped the Jewish teenager (who died in 1945 at Bergen-Belsen, aged 15, from typhus and malnutrition after hiding from the Nazis with her family for two years) “would have been a Belieber” – a fan of his.

Cue the collective Twitter cringe.

Yes, it was a crass, silly, self-obsessed thing to write. Using Anne Frank’s memorial book to self-promote requires a rare brand of teenage arrogance. And yes, Justin probably deserves much of the stick he’s getting on Twitter (“‏Justin Bieber also believes Primo Levi would have really enjoyed ‘One Less Lonely Girl’… thanks @Jeffrey Goldberg).

Justin’s words may not have been particularly inspiring or sympathetic, but they certainly weren’t malicious. They were simply the clumsy thoughts of a young man lacking the eloquence to write or sing anything more profound than, “Baby, baby, baby, oh, like baby, baby, baby.”

Thanks to his 37 million devoted Twitter followers (he recently overtook Lady Gaga as the site’s most popular user), Justin has unintentionally become the best thing to happen to Holocaust awareness since Schindler’s List. Thanks to a self-centered teenager’s inane comment, 37,569,749 young people around the world are learning a little about the life of Anne Frank – a true teen idol if there ever was one. (Bieber’s Twitter following has increased by more than 10,000 in the hour I’ve been writing this).

Had she been born at the turn of this century, Anne may well have been a Belieber. She was certainly a pop culture fan, (“I long to ride a bike, dance, whistle, look at the world, feel young and know that I am free”). Last month, aged 84, she may have been seen hurrying with her grandchildren to catch the last Jubilee Line train from the 02, thanks to Justin’s rock ‘n’ roll tardiness.

Sadly, all we are left with is her diary, which stands as a testament to what youthful spirit can overcome.

Perhaps, thanks to their hero’s silly words, a handful of Beliebers will download her diary and begin to appreciate how only time and good fortune separates them from Anne’s fate.

We’ll never know what Anne Frank would have thought of Justin Bieber. But today, 68 years after her death, young people are clearly still profoundly touched by her story – however ineloquently they express it.

April 17, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz, News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Germany ‘tracks down 50 suspected Auschwitz guards’

KRAKOW TOURS: Fifty alleged former Auschwitz guards may face prison terms in Germany, sixty-eight years after the end of World War II, local media have reported.

The former Auschwitz guards, who’ve never faced prosecution for their posts, were tracked down by the Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes in Ludwigsburg.

The suspects may be charged with accessory to murder. The investigators possess the names and location details of the suspects, men in their 90s, who originate from all over Germany, the chief prosecutor Kurt Schrimm confirmed on Friday.

He did not specify where the suspects are, but said some possibly moved to South America with the help of the Catholic Church. The federal law enforcement body is set to launch a preliminary investigation into the issue in the coming weeks.

The sentencing in 2011 of John Demjanjuk, a former guard at Sobibor concentration camp, set a precedent that allows authorities to bring proceedings against former concentration camp guards, even if the investigators cannot prove their direct involvement in the crime due to lack of witnesses.

“From now on, any activity in a concentration camp is enough to stand trial for complicity in murder,” the chief prosecutor said.

Demjanjuk, a native of Ukraine, lived in the United States after the war, but was stripped of citizenship and deported to Germany, where he was convicted of accessory to murder of about 28,000 people who died at Sobibor concentration camp based in occupied Poland. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison in May 2011.

The Munich Court then held that, although Demjanjuk cannot be imputed to any specific criminal acts, he “was part of the machine of destruction,” according to the verdict. He died in March last year in before the ruling came into effect.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp operated by the Third Reich in occupied Poland was the largest Nazi concentration camp during WWII. It was established by Third Reich’s Minister of the Interior Heinrich Himmler as the place of the “final solution” in the policy to annihilate the Jewish people in Europe.

There the Nazis killed about 1.3 million people of diverse nationalities, around 90 percent of whom were Jewish, according to data given by the Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau. Those not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions, and medical experiments.

The center for solving crimes of National Socialism in Ludwigsburg was founded in 1958. Since then it has tracked down a total of 7,485 Nazi criminals, according to Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung.

April 6, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz | , , , | Leave a comment

Amon Goeth

KRAKOW TOURS: Revelations about the execution of a notorious Nazi war criminal, immortalised in Schindler’s List, have raised questions about how the mass murderer died and whether he was even hanged at all.

For decades Amon Goeth, who was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews and Poles during World War Two, was believed to have been filmed being executed in 1946.

A black and white video shows executioners twice botching a hanging before he was eventually killed.

But historians claim in a new National Geographic documentary called Bloody Tales that the video was from 1947 and shows Dr Ludwig Fischer being hanged.

Worryingly, there is almost no detail about the sadistic mass murderer’s death in official records and no one knows what happened to his body.

Historian Dr Suzannah Lipscomb and presenter Joe Crowley do not believe he escaped Europe like other high profile Nazis such as Adolf Eichmann and Joseph Mengele, and say he was killed.

However the revelations surrounding Goeth, who was known to carry out his own killings rather than order them, mean his death is now a complete mystery with records containing just two words: ‘He died.’

via Amon Goeth: Did ‘executed’ Nazi murderer in Schindler’s List escape justice? | Mail Online.

March 22, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz, News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Preserving Auschwitz?

For many, the everlasting power of Auschwitz is understood only by visiting the infamous death camp and walking the grounds where more than 1 million people were killed during the Holocaust.

Krakow Tours and Transfers

The problem, according to two local architects, is in assuming the camp itself will be everlasting. As survivors continue to die and the camp’s structures continue to decay, there remains the question of how and what to preserve of Auschwitz, and how visitors — currently more than 1 million annually — will interact with the site in the years and centuries to come.

via Preserving Auschwitz? | Los Angeles | Jewish Journal.

February 13, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz | , , , | Leave a comment

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