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Worlds Tallest Structures

A Holocaust mystery finds some answers

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By ARTHUR MAX and MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press Writers 

BAD AROLSEN, Germany – Deep in Shari Klages’ memory is an image of herself as a girl in New Jersey, going into her parents’ bedroom, pulling a thick leather-bound album from the top shelf of a closet and sitting down on the bed to leaf through it.

What she saw was page after page of ink-and-watercolor drawings that convey, with simple lines yet telling detail, the brutality of Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp where her father spent the last weeks of World War II.

Arrival, enslavement, torture, death — the 30 pictures expose the worsening nightmare through the artist’s eye for the essential, and add graphic texture to the body of testimony by Holocaust survivors.

“I have a sense of being quite horrified, of feeling my stomach in my throat,” Klages says. Just by looking at the book, she felt she was doing something wrong and was afraid of being caught.

Now, she finally wants to make the album public. Scholars who have seen it call it historically unique and an artistic treasure.

But who drew the pictures? Only Klages’ father could know. It was he who brought the album back from Dachau when he immigrated to America on a ship with more than 60 Holocaust orphans — and he had committed suicide in 1972 in his garage in Parsippany, N.J.

The sole clue was a signature at the bottom of several drawings: Porulski.

Klages, 47, has begun a quest to discover who Porulski was, and how her family came to be the custodian of his remarkable artistic legacy. The Associated Press has helped to fill in some of the blanks.

What unfolds is a story of Holocaust survival compressed into two tragic lives, a tale with threads stretching from Warsaw to Auschwitz and Dachau, from Australia to suburban England, and finally to a bedroom in New Jersey where a fatherless girl makes a traumatic discovery.

It shows how today, as the survivors dwindle in number, their children and grandchildren struggle to comprehend the Nazi genocide that indelibly scarred their families, and in the process run into mysteries that may never be solved.

This is Shari Klages’ mystery: How did Arnold Unger, her Polish Jewish father, a 15-year-old newcomer to Dachau, end up in possession of the artwork of a Polish Catholic more than twice his age, who had been in the concentration camps through most of World War II?

None of the records Klages found confirm that the two men knew each other, though they lived in adjacent blocks in Dachau. All that is certain is that Unger overlapped with Porulski during the three weeks the boy spent among nearly 30,000 inmates of Dachau’s main camp.

“He never talked about his experiences in the war,” said Klages. “I don’t recall specifically ever being told about the album, or actually learning that I was the child of a Holocaust survivor. It was just something I always knew.”

As adults, she and her three siblings took turns keeping the album and Unger’s other wartime memorabilia.

The album begins with an image of four prisoners in winter coats carrying suitcases and marching toward Dachau’s watchtower under the rifles of SS guards. It is followed by a scene of two inmates being stripped for a humiliating examination by a kapo, a prisoner working for the Nazis.

One image portrays two prisoners pausing in their work to doff their caps to a soldier escorting a prostitute — intimated by the seam on her stocking. Another shows a leashed dog lunging at a terrified inmate.

The drawings grow more and more debasing. Three prisoners hang by their arms tied behind their backs; a captured escapee is paraded wearing a sign, “Hurray, I am back again”; an inmate is hanged from a scaffold; and, in the final image, a man lies on the ground, shot dead next to the barbed-wire fence under the looming watchtower.

The album also has 258 photographs. Some are copies of well-known, haunting images of piles of victims’ bodies taken by the U.S. army that liberated the camp. Others are photographs, apparently taken for Nazi propaganda, portraying Dachau as an idyllic summer camp. Still others are personal snapshots of Unger with Polish refugees or with American soldiers who befriended him.

Barbara Distel, the director of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, said Porulski probably drew the pictures shortly after the camp’s liberation in April 1945. He used identical sheets of paper, ink and watercolors for all 30 pictures, she said, and he “would never have dared” to draw such horrors while he was still under Nazi gaze.

“It’s amazing after so many years that these kinds of documents still turn up,” Distel told the AP. “It’s a unique artifact,” and clearly drawn by someone with an intimate knowledge of the camp’s reality, she said.

Holocaust artwork has turned up before, but Distel and Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum, who is with the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, say they are unaware of any sequential narrative of camp life comparable to Porulski’s.

“I’ve seen two or three or four, but never 30,” said Berenbaum.

In Coral Springs, Fla., where she now lives, Klages showed the book in 2005 to a neighbor, Avi Hoffman, executive director of the National Center for Jewish Cultural Arts. Hoffman immediately saw its quality and significance. The two became determined to uncover its background and find out if the artist had created an undiscovered body of work.

In August, Klages, Hoffman and Berenbaum went to Germany to begin their hunt. They hired a crew to document it, hoping a film would help finance a foundation to exhibit the book.

They began chipping away at the album’s secrets at the Dachau memorial, outside Munich, where they found an arrival record for Michal Porulski, which listed his profession as artist, in 1941.

They learned that Unger hid the fact that he was Jewish when he reached Dachau three weeks before the war ended. “That probably saved his life,” Hoffman said. They also discovered a strong likelihood that the album’s binding was fashioned from the recycled leather of an SS officer’s uniform.

Unger, an engaging youngster, became an office boy and translator for U.S. occupation authorities at Dachau, which was turned into a displaced persons camp, and obtained a U.S. visa in 1947.

Research by Klages’ group and the AP has begun to pull together the scattered threads of Porulski’s life from long forgotten records at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, a tiny museum in Warsaw, Auschwitz and Dachau, the International Tracing Service of the Red Cross, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial archives in Jerusalem, Australian immigration records and data from England.

Porulski enrolled in the Warsaw arts academy in 1934 after completing two years of army service. Attached to his neatly written application is a photograph of a good looking young man with light hair and dreamy eyes.

It says he was a farmer’s son, born June 20, 1910, in the central town of Rychwal, although in later records Porulski said he was born five years later.

Chronically poor, he left the academy after failing to secure a loan for his tuition but was later reinstated. After Germany invaded in 1939, he made some money painting watercolor postcards of Nazi-occupied Poland, two of which have survived and are now in the Warsaw Museum of Caricature.

In June 1940, he was arrested in a Nazi roundup “without any reason,” he wrote many years later in an appeal for help from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Two months later, he and 1,500 others were the first Poles to be shipped from Warsaw to Auschwitz. He spent eight months there, then was sent to the Neuengamme camp and finally to Dachau, near Munich, in May 1941.

In Dachau, according to a brief reference in a Polish book on wartime art, he painted portraits, flowers, folk dance scenes and decoration for a clandestine theater.

In 1949 he sailed to Australia and tried to work as a painter and decorator but mostly lived off friends. He returned to Europe in 1963 and lived in England and France. He visited Poland in the early 1970s for several months, and stayed with his sister, Janina Krol, in Gdynia on the Baltic coast, and another relative outside Warsaw, Wanda Wojcikowska.

He brought his sister paintings of Dachau, his niece, Danuta Ostrowska, now 75, recalls. But her mother threw them away, saying “I can’t look at them.” The family still owns 10 of his mostly prewar paintings.

He was robbed of his money and passport, and Poland‘s communist authorities wanted Porulski out of the country, Wojcikowska’s daughter, Malgorzata Stozek, recalls. “My mother even found a woman willing to marry him, to help him stay in Poland,” she said. But he already had borrowed money from his sister and left.

His letters from England said he found work maintaining bridges, Stozek said. “He wrote that the moment he finished painting a bridge over some river, he had to start again.” It could have been a metaphor for a life going nowhere.

“One day I came to see my mother and she was crying because he wrote to her that he had no money, he was hungry and was sleeping on park benches. He lived in terrible poverty,” Stozek told the AP.

He was so lonely, she said, he had considered suicide.

In 1978 he sent a request for war compensation to the International Tracing Service in the central German town of Bad Arolsen, which houses the world’s largest archive of concentration camp records and lists of Holocaust victims.

“I have no occupation of any sort. I was unable to resume my studies after all those years in the camps,” he wrote. “I am just by myself, and I live from day to day.”

The ITS replied that it had no authority to give grants, but was sending confirmation of his incarceration to the U.N. refugee agency to support his earlier reparations claim.

Unger also shows up in the Tracing Service, in a 1955 two-page letter he wrote recounting his ordeal that began when he was 9.

Unger’s father had a prosperous furniture business near Krakow. “Then the infamous horde of Nazis overran our town, disrupted our life, murdered my parents and little sister, and robbed us of all we had.” He was the only survivor of 50 members of the Unger family.

Christian friends hid him for a while, but he ended up imprisoned inside the Krakow ghetto, then was moved to a series of concentration camps.

His daughter says that after he immigrated to America, he told a cousin with whom he lived in New Jersey that his job at Dachau had been to tend the ovens. The Nazis commonly used inmates for such purposes — it was one of the few ways of surviving.

Newly arrived in America, Unger spoke to Newark newspapers of his years of torment, saying he escaped three times during marches between camps but was always recaptured.

At one point, he told the Newark Evening News, he was herded into a gas chamber at Natzweiler camp with 50 other prisoners, but they were spared at the last minute because some of them were electricians whom the Nazis needed for their war effort.

The two lives, briefly intertwined by the Holocaust and an album of photos and paintings, ended 17 years apart — Unger by hanging himself in 1972, Porulski in 1989 in St. Mary’s Hospital near Hereford, England, of pneumonia and tuberculosis.

The death certificate gives his age as 74 and his profession as “painter (retired).”

Shari Klages was 12 when her father died.

He had just been laid off from his 18-year job in the aeronautics industry, and his wife had been diagnosed with brain cancer. His suicide is given added poignancy by the image of the hanged inmate in the album, and Klages believes it was his Holocaust experience that weighed most heavily on him.

“I have no doubt it was the most significant contributor to his death,” she said.

___

Associated Press investigative researcher Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report. Arthur Max reported from Bad Arolsen, Germany, and Monika Scislowska from Warsaw.

On the Net:

National Center for Jewish Cultural Arts

Dachau

International Tracing Service


Pope speaks of Europe's tragic past

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By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer 

VIENNA, Austria – Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged Europe‘s tragic past and warned of its uncertain future Friday as he honored Jews killed in the Holocaust and urged the continent to accept its Christian heritage.

Abortion must never be considered a human right, Benedict said, and urged European political leaders to encourage young married couples to have children and the continent’s graying population “not to become old in spirit.”

“Europe cannot and must not deny her Christian roots,” the pope declared, saying that Christianity has “profoundly shaped this continent.”

Benedict opened a three-day pilgrimage to Austria, once the center of a Roman Catholic-influenced empire and now a wealthy but small nation that has seen considerable dissent against the church, as in much of Europe.

In an evening address to Austrian officials and diplomats in the former imperial Hofburg Palace, Benedict spoke of the “horrors of war” and the “traumatic experiences of totalitarianism and dictatorship” that Europe has undergone.

The pope, born in neighboring Bavaria, Germany, began his visit by paying tribute to Holocaust victims.

He stepped out of his popemobile in a driving rain and joined Vienna‘s chief rabbi, Paul Chaim Eisenberg, in prayer before an austere stone memorial honoring the 65,000 Viennese Jews who perished in Nazi death camps and others burned at the stake in the 1400s after refusing to convert.

He made no public remarks during the seven-minute stop but told reporters aboard his plane from Rome that he wanted to extend his sense of “sadness, repentance and friendship to the Jewish people.”

In 1938, the city’s vibrant Jewish community numbered 185,000 members. Today, there are fewer than 7,000.

Alluding to the nation’s past complicity with the Nazis, President Heinz Fischer conceded in a greeting to the pope that Austria had “dark hours in its history.”

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Austria’s top churchman, noted Christianity’s roots in Judaism and urged his countrymen never to forget the atrocities committed against the capital’s Jews.

“It is part of the tragedy of the city that here, of all places, this root was forgotten — even denied — to the point where godless will destroyed the people to whom God gives his first love,” he said.

Benedict, who visited and vacationed here often as a cardinal, faced a challenge: Many Austrian believers, disgusted by clergy sex scandals and deeply resentful of a government-imposed church tax, have grown cold — and tens of thousands have left the church altogether.

Benedict’s trip underscored the difficulties the Vatican confronts across Europe, where cathedrals are empty as disillusioned believers question the relevance of faith in the postmodern era.

The pope defended the vitality of Christianity today, saying Christians throughout history have been examples of “hope, love and mercy.”

In his condemnation of abortion, Benedict said he was speaking out “for those unborn children who have no voice.”

He also urged Europeans to ensure humane care of the elderly, assailing “actively assisted death,” a reference to euthanasia and assisted suicide.

In a reflection of anti-pope sentiment held by some Austrians, about 300 young demonstrators marched through central Vienna on Friday to protest the pontiff’s conservative stance on homosexuality, gay marriage and other issues.

“I think the pope represents a system that has repressed people and other religions for hundreds of years. It’s simply antiquated,” said Ludwig List, 19, holding a banner that read: “Papa Don’t Preach.”

Security was heavy for Benedict’s visit, with more than 3,500 police officers and soldiers and 50 aircraft deployed to protect him. The Interior Ministry said the measures were taken even before this week’s thwarted terrorist plot in Germany.

On Saturday, the pope holds an open-air Mass to commemorate the 850th anniversary of the founding of Mariazell, a famous shrine to the Virgin Mary about 60 miles southwest of Vienna.

The Vienna Archdiocese said 33,000 pilgrims had received tickets for the event and that 70 bishops, mostly from Eastern Europe, would join in. Benedict called the anniversary “the reason for my coming” and said he would go as a simple pilgrim.

Benedict’s visit concludes Sunday with a Mass at Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral and a visit to the Heiligenkreuz abbey outside the capital.

___

Associated Press Writers William J. Kole and Veronika Oleksyn contributed to this report.


Pope speaks of Europe’s tragic past

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By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer 

VIENNA, Austria – Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged Europe‘s tragic past and warned of its uncertain future Friday as he honored Jews killed in the Holocaust and urged the continent to accept its Christian heritage.

Abortion must never be considered a human right, Benedict said, and urged European political leaders to encourage young married couples to have children and the continent’s graying population “not to become old in spirit.”

“Europe cannot and must not deny her Christian roots,” the pope declared, saying that Christianity has “profoundly shaped this continent.”

Benedict opened a three-day pilgrimage to Austria, once the center of a Roman Catholic-influenced empire and now a wealthy but small nation that has seen considerable dissent against the church, as in much of Europe.

In an evening address to Austrian officials and diplomats in the former imperial Hofburg Palace, Benedict spoke of the “horrors of war” and the “traumatic experiences of totalitarianism and dictatorship” that Europe has undergone.

The pope, born in neighboring Bavaria, Germany, began his visit by paying tribute to Holocaust victims.

He stepped out of his popemobile in a driving rain and joined Vienna‘s chief rabbi, Paul Chaim Eisenberg, in prayer before an austere stone memorial honoring the 65,000 Viennese Jews who perished in Nazi death camps and others burned at the stake in the 1400s after refusing to convert.

He made no public remarks during the seven-minute stop but told reporters aboard his plane from Rome that he wanted to extend his sense of “sadness, repentance and friendship to the Jewish people.”

In 1938, the city’s vibrant Jewish community numbered 185,000 members. Today, there are fewer than 7,000.

Alluding to the nation’s past complicity with the Nazis, President Heinz Fischer conceded in a greeting to the pope that Austria had “dark hours in its history.”

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Austria’s top churchman, noted Christianity’s roots in Judaism and urged his countrymen never to forget the atrocities committed against the capital’s Jews.

“It is part of the tragedy of the city that here, of all places, this root was forgotten — even denied — to the point where godless will destroyed the people to whom God gives his first love,” he said.

Benedict, who visited and vacationed here often as a cardinal, faced a challenge: Many Austrian believers, disgusted by clergy sex scandals and deeply resentful of a government-imposed church tax, have grown cold — and tens of thousands have left the church altogether.

Benedict’s trip underscored the difficulties the Vatican confronts across Europe, where cathedrals are empty as disillusioned believers question the relevance of faith in the postmodern era.

The pope defended the vitality of Christianity today, saying Christians throughout history have been examples of “hope, love and mercy.”

In his condemnation of abortion, Benedict said he was speaking out “for those unborn children who have no voice.”

He also urged Europeans to ensure humane care of the elderly, assailing “actively assisted death,” a reference to euthanasia and assisted suicide.

In a reflection of anti-pope sentiment held by some Austrians, about 300 young demonstrators marched through central Vienna on Friday to protest the pontiff’s conservative stance on homosexuality, gay marriage and other issues.

“I think the pope represents a system that has repressed people and other religions for hundreds of years. It’s simply antiquated,” said Ludwig List, 19, holding a banner that read: “Papa Don’t Preach.”

Security was heavy for Benedict’s visit, with more than 3,500 police officers and soldiers and 50 aircraft deployed to protect him. The Interior Ministry said the measures were taken even before this week’s thwarted terrorist plot in Germany.

On Saturday, the pope holds an open-air Mass to commemorate the 850th anniversary of the founding of Mariazell, a famous shrine to the Virgin Mary about 60 miles southwest of Vienna.

The Vienna Archdiocese said 33,000 pilgrims had received tickets for the event and that 70 bishops, mostly from Eastern Europe, would join in. Benedict called the anniversary “the reason for my coming” and said he would go as a simple pilgrim.

Benedict’s visit concludes Sunday with a Mass at Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral and a visit to the Heiligenkreuz abbey outside the capital.

___

Associated Press Writers William J. Kole and Veronika Oleksyn contributed to this report.


Labels … Let us Reflect on them …

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Krystalnacht – The Night of the Broken Glass…
The Beginning of The Holocaust

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Work Makes You Free …

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A Survivor from Buchenwald

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Yad Vashem – Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial

 

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Auschwitz – Concentration Camp

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Red Ribbon

The Red Ribbon – Synonymous for AIDS

Pride Flag

The Pride Flag – Proud Symbol for all things Gay

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The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt – For all those who died from AIDS
My friends,My family, My brothers and sisters…

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The JEW – The Star of David used during the Holocaust …
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You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter

Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,

Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz

 

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The Homosexual – Also Used during the Holocaust …

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A Young Man – Hungarian Jewish Boy –
From Fateless, the Motion Picture

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The Label Chart Used By the Nazi Party within
the Death Camps and Concentration Camps to
Identify people…
Location, Ethnicity, Area, Orientation, Religious Affiliation

 

There weren’t only Jews in the Camps…

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The ACT UP slogan for Gay and AIDS circa 1980

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What Would Jesus Do???

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This is my Label – I earned every hour of it, with Pride…

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We Should Be Proud, but we should remember what labels have done to millions world wide over the Decades. I think it is time to move past them, to stop labeling and Outing people. I think we need to learn to live together PEACEFULLY in order to stop the killing of ALL people around the world…

THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER – SO THAT WE NEVER FORGET!!


In pictures: Germany's biggest synagogue

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Germany’s biggest synagogue, on Rykestrasse in Berlin, has reopened after a lavish restoration.

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Rabbi Chaim Roswaski, who presided at the ceremony, described the reconstruction as “a miracle”.

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Friday’s inauguration saw rabbis bringing the Torah to the synagogue, in a ceremony witnessed by political leaders and Holocaust survivors from around the world.

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The synagogue was set ablaze on Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, in 1938.

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The synagogue, with a 1,200-person capacity, has been described as one of the jewels of Germany’s Jewish community.


In pictures: Germany’s biggest synagogue

_44089732_interiorstar_afp220.jpg

Germany’s biggest synagogue, on Rykestrasse in Berlin, has reopened after a lavish restoration.

_44089736_rabbis_ap416.jpg

Rabbi Chaim Roswaski, who presided at the ceremony, described the reconstruction as “a miracle”.

_44089737_torah_carry_afp416.jpg

Friday’s inauguration saw rabbis bringing the Torah to the synagogue, in a ceremony witnessed by political leaders and Holocaust survivors from around the world.

_44089858_interior_crowd_ap416.jpg

The synagogue was set ablaze on Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, in 1938.

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The synagogue, with a 1,200-person capacity, has been described as one of the jewels of Germany’s Jewish community.


We Have Failed to Remember …

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Writing along the lines starting at my last post, “Custodians of a Living Earth,” we take a more serious look at the past for guidance for the future. With all the wars in the world and all the conflict in many areas of the world like the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Iraq and Afghanistan:

“We have Failed to Remember and We have Failed in Never letting this Happen Again.” 

I have updated my header with images from that period of time. I happen to have spent an entire semester last Fall 2006 studying the Holocaust. We watched film after film, looking at raw data and Nazi history. I read “Night” by Elie Wiesel and “Survival in Auschwitz” by Primo Levi and I visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum here in Montreal and these numbers come from research notes from our class. My goal here is to remind you that we may not call it Holocaust today, Some use the term “Genocide” and millions of people are dying all over the world by war, conflict, division, famine, disasters and so forth and so on…

It Falls to Us to make a Difference, I Wonder if We are Able???
And do We care to even Try? We Must DO there is no Try !!!

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Auschwitz-Birkenau

The largest Nazi extermination camp.

  • Location: Oswiecim, Poland
  • Established: May 26th1940
  • Liberation: January 27th, 1945, by the Soviet Army.
  • Estimated number of victims: 2,1 to 2,5 million (This estimated number of death is considered by historians as a strict minimum. The real number of death is unknown but probably much higher, maybe 4 millions)

Belzec
From march 1942 until early 1943, it is estimated that about 600,000 Jews were murdered in Belzec extermination camp.

Chelmno:
C
helmno, also known as Kulmhof, was a small town roughly 50 miles from the city of Lodz, Poland. It was here that the first mass killings of Jews by gas took place as part of the ‘Final Solution’.

Majdanek
The killing operations began in Majdanek in April 1942 and ended in July 1944. Majdanek also provided slave labor for munitions works and Steyr-Daimler- Puch weapons factory. The estimated number of deaths is 360,000, including Jews, Soviet POWs and Poles.

Sobibor
Sobibor was the second extermination camp to come into operation in the Aktion Reinhard program. Estimated number of deaths: 250,000, the majority being Jews.

Treblinka
Opening for “business” on July 23, 1942, with the beginning of the evacuation of the Warsaw ghetto, some 245,000 Warsaw Jews and 112,000 Jews from other places in the Warsaw district were murdered in Treblinka by September 21. 337,000 Jews from the Radom district, 35,000 from the Lublin district and 107,000 from the Bialystok district also met their death in Treblinka with 738,000 Jews who had been residents of the General Gouvernement. From outside Poland many thousands of Jews were transported to and killed in Treblinka: 7.000 from Slovakia, 8,000 from Theresienstadt concentration camp, 4,000 Jews from Greece, and 7,000 Jews from the Macedonia portion of Bulgaria. In addition to the Jews, some 2,000 gypsies were killed in Treblinka.

 


Custodians of a Living Earth …

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I’m reading again, “I Heard the Owl Call My Name” and I am in the mindset to write about the custodianship of the living earth. The earth is in a shift, I think we can all agree on that – and attention is now on prevention and maintenance of the earth as it exists today. I have written recently about the fact that many people in my own community are not “Being Maintained” by anyone, they are lost among the crowd, banished to sidewalks, doorways and shelters. What can I do to change that? Write…

What if the governments of the world decided to stop warring and fighting amongst themselves? How much money would we have to spend on other things like food, shelter and water? I heard a comment on late night radio last night that

“There will be wars fought over drinking water!”

I am sure that there are some who think about the Order who seek to bring down the number of earths inhabitants by the millions. There is a surplus in population in certain areas of the world, and for some that is too much, and they would rather see them eradicated than to house and feed them.

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The earth is sputtering on its axis. Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Hurricane, Oceanic changes to salinity and food source and the cooling of warm water fisheries all over the globe are causing catastrophic changes to major areas of the worlds oceans. How many more signs do we need from Mother Earth to tell us that something is wrong? And if we don’t stop with our preoccupation with war, division, killing and ignorance, that when “IT” happens we will not survive whatever IT will unleash.

I know better than to sit in my what if’s and coulda, woulda, shoulda! I can look out my windows from here and see trees and grass and the mountain off to the North. We can look out at our world and know that there are forests and people and animals who live amongst that forest. Forests are burning – trees are dying – infestations of beetles are killing swaths of forest across Canada, borne on the winds moving West to East. But I wonder what haven’t we done as custodians of the earth to try and mitigate these things from happening.

What if, The Almighty came down from heaven and told warring factions to lay down their arms, and those in power were removed and power was granted to the masses to govern themselves and the wars stopped all over the earth, not just in certain areas. All the warring areas on the globe. What if we heard from on high that “they” believe that wars fought over ideologies and factions needed to end today, right now, for us to stop killing each other and become custodians to one another. How would that change the face of the earth?

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Is there a way for the world to get up and state unanimously that the wars should end? Can we impeach presidents around the world, in countries that are sponsoring, funding and are waging wars on other peoples? Do you see what I am asking here?

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We truly need to depose several key world leaders, and the American President AND his entire cabinet need to be removed from office, sooner than later. Because America has been hijacked and “Nazi Control” is becoming an adjective to explain George W. Bush.

Mr. Bush, we are not With you –
And We Stand Against You!! It is time to leave Office…

 

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DO WE want to maintain another Hitler in office? Do we want this man making law and imposing unconstitutional amendments upon his people and the world? Because if he does it – the world is watching and you know, the only reason Hitler was so successful at what he did in the Holocaust, was because the people listened to him, and if the American President can do what he is doing, that gives free reign to other leaders to do the same!!! Bush still has the ears of many world leaders, who are not MAN or WOMAN enough to say NO! We will not follow you. So what do we do?

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There are some in power who would see people determined to be locked down and subjugated. That is already happening all over the globe, in many countries. Darfur, Sudan and in other areas of Africa, people are corralled into camps, with no water, electricity or better yet SHELTER. People are being slaughtered by militia men. We need to stop them and the killing needs to end. Genocide is happening in OUR time once again, and on many fronts, we must stop the genocide because:

 

 

 

“We Have Failed to Remember
and We Have Failed to Never
Let It Happen Again”

In the Middle East, the most contentious area of the globe, not to mention Iraq and the Fertile Crescent area of the world including Afghanistan, the militias and the Taliban are trying to eradicate (on a mass scale) entire peoples akin to the likes of Adolf Hitler. If we prayed for the savior to come again and save us, this would be the time and the place.

We must now act, decisively and verbally. We need to lobby those who are in power to do the right thing. We need to Impeach the President. We need to stop the killing in Darfur, we need to stop the wars in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. We need people on the ground who can be trusted to help reconcile the factions that are fighting with each other and those factions who have fighting going on within themselves. We need ambassadors to get in the game and negotiations must be made to end the worlds strife and wars. If we don’t start this now, WHO is going to take our place later to hold those in office accountable for

“Crimes Against Humanity”

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It’s not about who – but What is in this photo, read on…

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There are too many people around the globe, being ignored. There are entire continents and nations of people that need to be cared for, not to forget those people in warring countries who need to be fed, re-housed and repatriated back to where they came from, those who had to flee to save their own lives. Rich countries sit back and say “we are doing all we can for those inside our borders.”

Yet on the European continent we know for a fact that there are disenfranchised peoples, in the millions, who are not being cared for properly because of the arrogance of status, ethnic superiority and ignorance to accept everyone for who they are not what form of dress or religious affiliation they identify with.

It comes down to the people to start the tide of Anarchy and Dissension. It is time to take back our land and our government from those who have taken it from us. They have been poor stewards of the land, the environment and of peoples. We must stop this – there is too much conflict in the world, so much that any “other” needs are being ignored at the expense of the whole, for a chosen few.

It Is Time to:

Bring the Soldiers Home – Stop the Wars. You either follow certain prescriptions here: (1) You bring ALL warring leaders to Justice, (2) Let them kill each other and save us the headache, or (3) You bring ‘Just’ Diplomatic Solutions to Warring Factions and Areas – and Sit Down and HAMMER out Peace Agreements and Co-Existence Clauses.

Isn’t it time to sit down and think and come to the realization that what war has done for the last 4 years has NOT worked, so let’s allow the Diplomats to work on Peace.

The Mission is NOT Accomplished.

Peace and Democracy has not been attained and WON’T be attained with the present course of action. WAR does not create Democracy – it Breeds Contempt, Rancor, Hatred and brings Division instead of creating Unity.

In Stopping Wars, Governments Agree to Equal care to all Soldiers repatriated home and for their families. And Agree to Rebuild war torn areas with the funds used to carry out war, and Care for those most affected by the war in their Respective regions.

This applies to Canada and the United States and All Countries involved in wars worldwide. It is NOT Unpatriotic to stand against WAR!! It is NOT Unpatriotic to stand against a President or a sitting Prime Minister.

 

 

Democracy is built on the premise of government for the people by the people !! Well People need to start speaking out for Change…

 

 

The ‘People’ are being AND have been hugely ignored, save those who support the puppet in office and his cronies he protects. The Ship is Sinking – and is Going down. Who is going to save us? It comes down to us, those of us who are writing around the world, to speak up and ask each and every one of our readers to join this movement. To call your leaders and rulers to task, to make them accountable not only to you the citizens of the country that you reside in, but also to the immigrants who have resettled there as well. Leaders need to be accountable to the earth as well.

Or We Shall Pay when Catastrophe Occurs

 

We cannot remain self absorbed and self centered. We must step beyond the borders of nationalism and ethnic superiority. We all must be made equal, in that we must begin to love and take care of each other and to become custodians of the world at large, and it begins with me. It begins with you. It continues with US. We must, with a resounding voice say “we have had enough of this…” It is time to end this.

Before We Kill Each Other Trying to create Peace !!!

 

 

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We must become better custodians to the earth. If we stop the raping and pillaging of the land, we must stop the wars, we must stop the killing of innocents. We must stop the tide of suicide bombers. West and East must come together. The West and The East must agree NEVER to wage war again, however possible that is… We must find peaceful and RIGHT means to the future sustaining of the worlds populations. We MUST find an earthly solution, if we must, a heavenly solution.

“We Have Failed to Remember
and We Have Failed to Never
Let It Happen Again”

 

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You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter

Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,

Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz


Builder: Dubai high-rise world’s tallest

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 Photo courtesy of: The Dubai Chronicles

By BARBARA SURK, Associated Press Writer 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Developers of a 1,680-foot skyscraper still under construction in oil-rich Dubai claimed Saturday that it has become the world’s tallest building, surpassing Taiwan’s Taipei 101 which has dominated the global skyline at 1,667 feet since 2004.

The Burj Dubai is expected to be finished by the end of 2008 and its planned final height has been kept secret. The state-owned development company Emaar Properties, one of the main builders in rapidly developing Dubai, said only that the tower would stop somewhere above 2,275 feet.

When completed, the skyscraper will feature more than 160 floors, 56 elevators, luxury apartments, boutiques, swimming pools, spas, exclusive corporate suites, Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani‘s first hotel, and a 124th floor observation platform.

After North American and Asian cities marked their 20th century economic booms with skyscrapers, the Gulf grew eager to show off its success with ever taller buildings. In Dubai, long an oil-rich Gulf symbol of rapid economic growth, the building reflects the city’s hunger for global prestige.

“It’s a symbol of Dubai as a city of the world,” said Greg Sang, the project director for Emaar Properties.

Mohammed Ali Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, said it will be an architectural and engineering masterpiece of concrete, steel and glass. Dubai has “resisted the usual and has inspired to build a global icon,” he said.

“It’s a human achievement without equal.”

The $1 billion skyscraper is in the heart of downtown Dubai, a 500-acre development area worth $20 billion. Construction, which began just 1,276 days ago, has been frenzied — at times, one storey rises every three days.

The tip of the Burj’s spire will be seen for 60 miles, developers say. But Sang knows it will not dominate the world’s skyline forever.

“It’s a fact of life that, at some point, someone else will build a taller building,” he said. “There’s a lot of talk of other tall buildings, but five years into Burj Dubai’s construction, no one’s started building them yet,” he said.

Previous skyscraper record-holders include New York’s Empire State Building at 1,250 feet; Shanghai’s Jin Mao Building at 1,381 feet; Chicago’s Sears Tower at 1,451 feet; and Malaysia’s Petronas Towers at 1,483 feet.

The Burj will let the Middle East reclaim the world’s tallest structure. Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, built around 2500 B.C., held the title with its 481 feet until the Eiffel Tower in Paris was built in 1889 at a height of 985 feet, or 1,023 feet including the flag pole.

The company says the Burj will fulfill the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s four criteria for the tallest building: the height of the structural top, the highest occupied floor, the roof’s top, and the spire’s tip, pinnacle, antenna, mast or flag pole.

For now, the unattractive brownish concrete skeleton jutting into Dubai’s humid skies lacks any aura of a masterpiece. Rising 141 floors with a mass of surrounding cranes and girders, it has no windows, glass or steel yet.

The architects and engineers are American and the main building contractor is South Korean.

Most of the 4,000 laborers are Indian. They toil around the clock in Dubai’s sizzling summer with no set minimum wage. Human rights groups regularly protest against labor abuse in Dubai, but local media rarely report such complaints.


Builder: Dubai high-rise world's tallest

070907_burj01.jpg

 Photo courtesy of: The Dubai Chronicles

By BARBARA SURK, Associated Press Writer 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Developers of a 1,680-foot skyscraper still under construction in oil-rich Dubai claimed Saturday that it has become the world’s tallest building, surpassing Taiwan’s Taipei 101 which has dominated the global skyline at 1,667 feet since 2004.

The Burj Dubai is expected to be finished by the end of 2008 and its planned final height has been kept secret. The state-owned development company Emaar Properties, one of the main builders in rapidly developing Dubai, said only that the tower would stop somewhere above 2,275 feet.

When completed, the skyscraper will feature more than 160 floors, 56 elevators, luxury apartments, boutiques, swimming pools, spas, exclusive corporate suites, Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani‘s first hotel, and a 124th floor observation platform.

After North American and Asian cities marked their 20th century economic booms with skyscrapers, the Gulf grew eager to show off its success with ever taller buildings. In Dubai, long an oil-rich Gulf symbol of rapid economic growth, the building reflects the city’s hunger for global prestige.

“It’s a symbol of Dubai as a city of the world,” said Greg Sang, the project director for Emaar Properties.

Mohammed Ali Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, said it will be an architectural and engineering masterpiece of concrete, steel and glass. Dubai has “resisted the usual and has inspired to build a global icon,” he said.

“It’s a human achievement without equal.”

The $1 billion skyscraper is in the heart of downtown Dubai, a 500-acre development area worth $20 billion. Construction, which began just 1,276 days ago, has been frenzied — at times, one storey rises every three days.

The tip of the Burj’s spire will be seen for 60 miles, developers say. But Sang knows it will not dominate the world’s skyline forever.

“It’s a fact of life that, at some point, someone else will build a taller building,” he said. “There’s a lot of talk of other tall buildings, but five years into Burj Dubai’s construction, no one’s started building them yet,” he said.

Previous skyscraper record-holders include New York’s Empire State Building at 1,250 feet; Shanghai’s Jin Mao Building at 1,381 feet; Chicago’s Sears Tower at 1,451 feet; and Malaysia’s Petronas Towers at 1,483 feet.

The Burj will let the Middle East reclaim the world’s tallest structure. Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, built around 2500 B.C., held the title with its 481 feet until the Eiffel Tower in Paris was built in 1889 at a height of 985 feet, or 1,023 feet including the flag pole.

The company says the Burj will fulfill the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s four criteria for the tallest building: the height of the structural top, the highest occupied floor, the roof’s top, and the spire’s tip, pinnacle, antenna, mast or flag pole.

For now, the unattractive brownish concrete skeleton jutting into Dubai’s humid skies lacks any aura of a masterpiece. Rising 141 floors with a mass of surrounding cranes and girders, it has no windows, glass or steel yet.

The architects and engineers are American and the main building contractor is South Korean.

Most of the 4,000 laborers are Indian. They toil around the clock in Dubai’s sizzling summer with no set minimum wage. Human rights groups regularly protest against labor abuse in Dubai, but local media rarely report such complaints.


Buchenwald marks 70th anniversary

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WEIMAR, Germany – Holocaust survivors on Sunday marked the 70th anniversary of the Buchenwald concentration camp’s founding by honoring more than 38,000 victims whose identities had previously been unknown.

Buchenwald researchers spent the past decade scouring archives from the United States to Israel and across Germany in an attempt to identify tens of thousands of the estimated 56,000 prisoners who lost their lives at Buchenwald between 1937 and 1945, but had been known only by their camp-assigned numbers.

Archivists at the camp, perched on a hillside overlooking the eastern city of Weimer, were able to identify 38,049 victims and enter their names into a memorial book.

“The Nazis tried to reduce humans to numbers, to rob them of their identity,” said Jens Goebel, culture minister for the state of Thuringia, upon handing copies of the book to representatives of survivor groups. “That should not be the last word.”

About 8,000 Soviet prisoners of war, as well as some 9,000 who died in death marches as the Nazis tried to evacuate the camp late in World War II, remain unknown.

Most of the early inmates at Buchenwald were political prisoners. But following Kristallnacht — Night of the Broken Glass — in 1938, some 10,000 Jews were sent to the camp. Over the course of World War II, criminals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman and German military deserters were also interned at the main camp and its many sub and labor camps.


UNESCO committee renames Auschwitz

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By RAY LILLEY, Associated Press Writer 21 minutes ago

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – UNESCO officially renamed the Auschwitz death camp in Poland Thursday to reflect the German Nazi role, and added seven new sites to its world heritage registry, including ancient ruins in Iraq.

The U.N. agency’s World Heritage Committee did not mention the war in Iraq but said it had listed ruins in the city of Samarra as “in danger.” Considered a holy city by Shiite Muslims, Samarra has been the target of attacks. Earlier this month insurgents blew up the minarets of its Askariya shrine.

Auschwitz now will be known as “Auschwitz-Birkenau. German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945),” said Roni Amelan, a spokesman for the committee. Previously the camp was listed on UNESCO’s world heritage registry as the “Auschwitz Concentration Camp.”

Poland requested the change to ensure that future generations understand it had no role in the camp established by Adolf Hitler‘s forces during their brutal occupation of the country.

Polish officials have complained that Auschwitz is sometimes referred to as a “Polish concentration camp,” a phrase they fear may be misleading to younger generations who may not associate the camp with Nazi Germany.

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The Nazis killed more than 1 million people at the camp outside the city of Oswiecim and nearby Birkenau, the site of the main gas chambers and crematoriums.

Most of those killed were European Jews, although Poles, Gypsies and others also were gassed or died from starvation, disease and forced labor during its roughly five years of operation.

The camp was made a World Heritage site by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1979.

The ruins in Samarra stretch along the eastern bank of the Tigris river and include the 9th century Great Mosque with its 170-foot-tall spiral minaret.

Measuring about 26 miles long and 5 miles wide, the huge site “testifies to the architectural and artistic innovations that developed there and spread to the other regions of the Islamic world and beyond,” the committee said.

The other sites include the Lope-Okanda landscape of Gabon, the Richtersveld mountainous desert of South Africa, the rock carvings of Namibia’s Twyfelfontein region and 1,800 fortified tower houses in China’s Guangdong province.

Three natural sites — the Teide National Park on the island of Tenerife, ancient beech forests in central Europe and Switzerland’s high Alps site of Jungfrau-Aletsch Bietschhorn — also were named.

The committee, meeting this week in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, was considering dozens of other applications for additions to its list of natural and cultural treasures.

___

On the Net:

http://www.unesco.org

http://www.auschwitz.org


Anne Frank’s cousin donates family files

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By ARTHUR MAX, Associated Press Writer 

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Anne Frank’s cousin on Monday donated thousands of letters, photographs and documents that archivists say will reveal details about the background of the teenage diarist who became a symbol of the Holocaust.

Bernhard “Buddy” Elias, 82, had kept the materials for decades in his Swiss attic before permanently loaning them to the Anne Frank House — the museum incorporating the tiny apartment where the family hid during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands — to mark Monday’s 60th anniversary of the first publication of The Diary of Anne Frank.

The donation includes Otto Frank’s 1945 letter informing his mother in Switzerland that his daughters Anne and Margo and his wife Edith died in Nazi concentration camps, the letter his mother wrote responding to diary excerpts that Otto sent her, and photographs from the late 1890s of the Frank family in their native Frankfurt, Germany.

With Elias’ collection, the Amsterdam museum now holds nearly all known historical material about the family, including the postwar years when Otto Frank — the only survivor — compiled and promoted the diary.

“This is a very moving moment for me,” Elias said, handing a thick inventory of the archive to the director of the Anne Frank House, Hans Westra.

The 25,000 documents include material Otto gave to the foundation he started in Basel, Switzerland, in his daughter’s memory, and letters from Elias’ home in that city, long stored in cupboards and the attic. Otto died in 1980.

The archive has little new information about the 25 months the Frank family and four other Jews hid in the annex of the warehouse where Otto Frank had operated a spice business.

It includes a 1942 business letter to the family in Switzerland from Johannes Kleiman, who was helping to hide the Franks, obliquely hinting they were still alive, archivist Peter Toebak said.

But the collection’s value is in understanding the family’s cultured background in Germany and the background for the teenager’s talent in writing.

“They spoke four languages. They were interested in art, in theater. When they went to a concert or a play, they wrote about it. That’s all in these letters,” Elias told The Associated Press. “My grandmother wrote deep, wonderful poems.”

Otto Frank came from a wealthy Frankfurt family. The archive contains an invitation to his father, Michael, a banker who died in 1909, to attend a function for the Kaiser. Otto and his brother served in the German army during World War I, but after the Nazis began persecuting Jews the family scattered to England, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Elias is the son of Otto’s younger sister Leni, who lived in Basel with the family matriarch Alice.

“There’s a literary tradition in this family,” said Toebak, who spent two years putting the papers in order. “They were very close to each other,” and remained in close contact.

Toebak said the collection may contain some surprises that historians could discover when they begin to delve into the files.

Anne Frank, her parents and sister were arrested in August 1944. Her writings in notebooks and loose sheets of paper were scooped up hours after the arrest by Miep Gies, an employee of Otto Frank’s business, who gave them to Otto when he returned after the war.

Anne died of typhus in March 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at age 15, two weeks before the camp was liberated.

Otto edited the papers and published 3,000 copies of the diary in Dutch on June 25, 1947, as “Het Achterhuis,” or “The Annex.” It was translated into German, French and then English in 1952 as “The Diary of a Young Girl,” which later became “The Diary of Anne Frank” and was translated into 65 languages.


Anne Frank's cousin donates family files

 ann-frank.jpg

By ARTHUR MAX, Associated Press Writer 

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Anne Frank’s cousin on Monday donated thousands of letters, photographs and documents that archivists say will reveal details about the background of the teenage diarist who became a symbol of the Holocaust.

Bernhard “Buddy” Elias, 82, had kept the materials for decades in his Swiss attic before permanently loaning them to the Anne Frank House — the museum incorporating the tiny apartment where the family hid during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands — to mark Monday’s 60th anniversary of the first publication of The Diary of Anne Frank.

The donation includes Otto Frank’s 1945 letter informing his mother in Switzerland that his daughters Anne and Margo and his wife Edith died in Nazi concentration camps, the letter his mother wrote responding to diary excerpts that Otto sent her, and photographs from the late 1890s of the Frank family in their native Frankfurt, Germany.

With Elias’ collection, the Amsterdam museum now holds nearly all known historical material about the family, including the postwar years when Otto Frank — the only survivor — compiled and promoted the diary.

“This is a very moving moment for me,” Elias said, handing a thick inventory of the archive to the director of the Anne Frank House, Hans Westra.

The 25,000 documents include material Otto gave to the foundation he started in Basel, Switzerland, in his daughter’s memory, and letters from Elias’ home in that city, long stored in cupboards and the attic. Otto died in 1980.

The archive has little new information about the 25 months the Frank family and four other Jews hid in the annex of the warehouse where Otto Frank had operated a spice business.

It includes a 1942 business letter to the family in Switzerland from Johannes Kleiman, who was helping to hide the Franks, obliquely hinting they were still alive, archivist Peter Toebak said.

But the collection’s value is in understanding the family’s cultured background in Germany and the background for the teenager’s talent in writing.

“They spoke four languages. They were interested in art, in theater. When they went to a concert or a play, they wrote about it. That’s all in these letters,” Elias told The Associated Press. “My grandmother wrote deep, wonderful poems.”

Otto Frank came from a wealthy Frankfurt family. The archive contains an invitation to his father, Michael, a banker who died in 1909, to attend a function for the Kaiser. Otto and his brother served in the German army during World War I, but after the Nazis began persecuting Jews the family scattered to England, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Elias is the son of Otto’s younger sister Leni, who lived in Basel with the family matriarch Alice.

“There’s a literary tradition in this family,” said Toebak, who spent two years putting the papers in order. “They were very close to each other,” and remained in close contact.

Toebak said the collection may contain some surprises that historians could discover when they begin to delve into the files.

Anne Frank, her parents and sister were arrested in August 1944. Her writings in notebooks and loose sheets of paper were scooped up hours after the arrest by Miep Gies, an employee of Otto Frank’s business, who gave them to Otto when he returned after the war.

Anne died of typhus in March 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at age 15, two weeks before the camp was liberated.

Otto edited the papers and published 3,000 copies of the diary in Dutch on June 25, 1947, as “Het Achterhuis,” or “The Annex.” It was translated into German, French and then English in 1952 as “The Diary of a Young Girl,” which later became “The Diary of Anne Frank” and was translated into 65 languages.


Nazi archive reveals panorama of misery

By ARTHUR MAX, Associated Press Writer

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BAD AROLSEN, Germany – Looking back at the first weeks after World War II, a French

lieutenant named Henri Francois-Poncet despaired at ever fulfilling his mission to establish the fate of French inmates of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

For the living skeletons who survived the Nazi terror, the Displaced Persons camp set up two miles away offered little relief from misery.

A bleak picture springs with stark immediacy from typewritten reports by the Allied officers, found in the massive archive of the International Tracing Service in the central German town of Bad Arolsen. The Associated Press has been given extensive access to the archive on condition that identities of victims and refugees are protected.

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People still died at the rate of 1,000 to 1,500 a day. Corpses were stacked in front of barracks, to be carted away by captured SS guards. “Bodies frequently remained for several days in the huts, the other inmates being too weak to carry them out,” Francois-Poncet wrote in a report for the Allied Military Government.

“As most of the survivors could not even give their own names, it was useless trying to obtain information as to the identity of the dead,” he wrote. He reported a meager 25 percent success rate.

When the Third Reich surrendered in May 1945, 8 million people were left uprooted around Europe. Millions drifted through the 2,500 hastily arranged DP camps before they were repatriated.

Far from scenes of joyful liberation that should have greeted the end of Nazi oppression, the files reveal desperation, loss and confusion, and overwhelmed and often insensitive military authorities.

Many had nowhere to go, their families among the 6 million Jews consumed in the Holocaust, their homes destroyed or handed out to new occupants. Those who wanted to get to Palestine were shut out by a British ban on Jewish immigration to the Israeli state-in-waiting.

“Owing to ill treatment by the Germans, most DPs have a distrust and fear of the Allied authorities,” said a September 1945 report signed by British Lt. Col. C.C. Allan. “Many DPs have sunk into complete apathy regarding their future.”

Liberated concentration camps were transformed into DP camps. Food was still scarce — often just coffee and wet black bread — and medical care was insufficient, said a report written for President Harry Truman.

Inmates were kept under armed guard to maintain order. They still wore their old striped, pajama-like concentration-camp-issue uniforms and slept in the same drafty barracks through a bitter winter.

Compounding their misery, they could watch through barbed wire fences and see German villagers living normal lives. In some places, those villagers were forced to tour the camps and help with the burials or at least face up to what their Fuehrer had wrought. But it was scant comfort to the victims.

“As things stand now, we appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them, except that we do not exterminate them,” wrote presidential envoy Earl G. Harrison in his famously quoted report to Truman after visiting that summer.

Known for its unparalleled collection of original concentration camp papers, the ITS, a branch of the International Committee of the Red Cross, also safeguards the world’s largest documentation on postwar DP camps. It has nearly 3.4 million names on its card index of those who sought designation as refugees eligible for aid.

Until now, the documents have been used only to trace missing people and verify restitution claims. But now the full breadth of the archive, filling 16 miles of shelf space, is to be opened to historians for the first time. At a meeting last week in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the archive’s 11-nation supervisory commission agreed to begin transferring electronic copies this autumn to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Within weeks after the war, U.N. agencies and volunteer charities took over the DP camps, processing applications for relief and emigration. By 1947, a quarter million Jews — a piteous remnant of European Jewry — shared space with displaced Eastern Europeans fearful of return to what was now the Soviet bloc.

Also among the DPs were ex-Nazis.

Adam Friedrich’s 1949 application to the International Refugee Organization to join relatives in St. Louis, acknowledges that for three years he belonged to the Waffen SS, the combat arm of Hitler’s dreaded paramilitary organization. He also noted he had been imprisoned for 20 months after the war.

An IRO official scribbled on his form, “The applicant was forced to report to the SS in Jan. ’42. Served in the infantry and took part in fighting.”

Friedrich was rejected.

But U.S. authorities did not have that information four years later when he applied again through the U.S. Refugee Relief Act. Then, Friedrich reported he had been in the German army but said nothing about his SS service.

Decades after he obtained citizenship, the Justice Department uncovered Friedrich’s past. He was stripped of his citizenship in 2004, lost a Supreme Court appeal, and was due to be deported when he died last July.

At Bad Arolsen, questionnaires and affidavits are stuffed into 400,000 envelopes which, including families, refer to 850,000 displaced people, and fill binders spreading over several rooms of floor-to-ceiling shelves.

The last DP camps were closed in 1953, so “when you feel the paper tug as you try to pull it out, that means no one has opened it for 40 or 50 years,” said Rudolf Michalke, head of the archive’s postwar section.

Some files contain detailed histories of survivors and the tortures they endured. Refugees relate their futile struggle to resettle after the war, and their hopes of rebuilding their lives far from Europe.

An Austrian pastry chef recounts the hostility he found when he returned to Vienna. “Given the large and increasingly negative climate against Jews, I have not been able to get a job and am forced to emigrate,” he testified, seeking passage to Australia.

Others describe their tormentors, hoping they will be prosecuted.

A Polish Jew writes about “Workmaster Batenszlajer,” one of about a dozen guards he named as particularly cruel.

“He made selections. Those who lost their strength because they were exhausted and looked bad were picked out and shot down,” he wrote. Batenszlajer would pick four girls at a time and hold them for several days. “He raped them and afterward he took them into a wood and shot them down.”

In a world where racism was rampant, finding a new home was not easy, as one Yugoslav-born man with Asian features learned. “Being a Kalmyk of Mongolian race, (he) is ineligible for most Anglo-Saxon countries,” authorities scrawled on his form.

“The doors are closed to unmarried mothers,” said a note from strongly Catholic Ireland.

Lining up employment in a new country was critical for obtaining a visa. Yugoslav-born Nikolai Davidovic, a mathematics professor who spoke seven languages and authored two textbooks, left for America in 1950 with his wife Larissa — but only after she had been promised a job as a maid.

Friedrich was not the only war criminal to slip through the screening process. Dieter Pohl, of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, estimates that up to 250,000 Germans and Austrians had participated in the Holocaust, but only 5 to 10 percent were ever punished — most of them in the Soviet zone. Altogether, an estimated 500,000 to 1 million people committed crimes against humanity, he said.

But no one knew who the perpetrators were. “More than 90 percent of files on Nazi war crimes were destroyed,” Pohl said in a telephone interview.

The U.S. zeal in pursuing former Nazis came late. In the war’s aftermath, the Americans were more concerned about the looming threat from Stalin’s Soviet Union.

In 1979, the Justice Department created the Office of Special Investigations to pursue ex-Nazis who committed visa fraud by lying about their past. Since then, it has won 104 prosecutions and denied entry at the U.S. border to 175 people from its watch list of 70,000 suspected persecutors.

“We are still very busy with World War II cases,” said OSI director Eli Rosenbaum. “We have always routinely checked Arolsen’s DP holdings when we’ve been investigating someone,” he told the AP.

But the ITS files are far from complete, and unlike Friedrich, most former SS members concealed their crimes with lies or half-truths.

John Demjanjuk, a Ukranian-born camp guard who became an auto worker in Cleveland, reported in his refugee papers, seen in Bad Arolsen, that he had been a “worker” in Sobibor. Although Sobibor later became infamous as a death camp in occupied Poland, few people had heard of it after the war because it had been dismantled in 1943. Demjanjuk was awarded DP status.

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In 1977, the U.S. government moved to revoke his citizenship, misidentifying him as “Ivan the Terrible,” a notorious guard at Treblinka extermination camp. He was extradited to Israel tried and sentenced to death in 1988. The sentence was overturned on appeal and Demjanjuk returned to the U.S., where his citizenship was restored — only to be taken from him again for concealing his work for the Nazis. He is now fighting deportation.

The file on Valerian Trifa, who became the U.S. archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox church and who once gave the opening prayer for the U.S. Senate, sheds light on the deceptions he deployed to win a ticket to the U.S.

Trifa, a leader of Romania’s fascist Iron Guard, told refugee officials he had been interned in Dachau and Buchenwald, but he said nothing about the privileges or protection he received from the Germans, according to Paul Shapiro, who investigated the Trifa case in the late 1970s for the Justice Department. Shapiro is now director of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Shapiro saw Trifa’s file at ITS for the first time when he visited Bad Arolsen last year with an AP reporter. “I knew the facts that are in here, except for the manner in which he was treated in terms of his Displaced Persons status,” he said, flipping through aging pages in the manila folder. “It’s quite shocking when you actually see it.”

Trifa relinquished his citizenship in 1980 after it was discovered he gave a speech in 1941 in Bucharest that unleashed a pogrom in which more than 150 Romanian Jews were killed. He left the United States in 1984 for Portugal, where he died three years later.

“To see someone receiving citizenship based on lies is not a great thing,” Shapiro said. “If this stuff had been available then (in the 1970s), his case would have been resolved earlier. He would have lived fewer years in the United States.”

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AP correspondent Melissa Eddy in Bad Arolsen and AP investigative researcher Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.

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