Tuesday, January 17, 2012

BUCHENWALD KZ 1937-1945 Part 11


The Dachau Buchenwald process 1947
Immediately after the liberation of the camp, the U.S. Army began to investigate past crimes. After a number of investigations in the liberated camps  Egon W. Fleck (Civ. and 1st Lt..) and Edward A. Tenenbaum (Dept. of Psychological Warfare of the 12th U.S. Army Group) presented their first report on April 24th 1945. When the American troops in July 1945 left Thuringia after the Potsdam Agreement, they took almost all the evidence (it should have been three tons of files) with them. Even the leadership of the SS command staff had fallen into American captivity. By the end of 1946, over 6,000 suspects were interrogated and recorded hundreds of testimonies of former prisoners. 793 suspects had been arrested during these preliminary investigations and were kept in the internment camp at Dachau.
On the 11th April 1947, two years after the liberation of the camp, began in Dachau the Buchenwald trial of former SS and Police Leaders of the Upper Section of Fulda-Werra,  SS-Obergruppenführer Josias Erbprinz of Waldeck und Pyrmont and thirty other defendants. Of the leaders of the SS command staff, the only missing were the head of the Political Department and the SS garrison physician Dr. Schiedlausky, who had to stand trial before a British military court and was sentenced to death. The others sitting on the accused bench with Dr. Werner Greunuß was the SS medical orderly Friedrich Wilhelm and others for the medical emergency and the hospital murder charges. The only woman among the accused was Ilse Koch. In addition to the SS men stood before the court four prisoners who were indicted for crimes against other prisoners. All the accused pleaded "not guilty".(Under German Law you do not plead, which was confusing to the accused.sic)
The trial ended on 14 August 1947 with the announcement of the sentence: death by hanging 22 times, five to life sentences and four imprisonment between ten and twenty years. After this main trial took place by the U.S. military tribunal at Dachau 25 additional processes for crimes at Buchenwald commenced, it was for the mistreatment of prisoners, the mass murder of Soviet prisoners of war, crimes committed  in satellite camps and during the evacuation marches which were subject of the indictment.
All rulings by the Buchwald process were then checked again on the basis of extensive documentary material presented . On June 8th, 1948  the Commander of the Armed Forces, General Lucius D. Clay, confirmed fifteen death sentences, and changed seven to life imprisonment . Until 1951, nine former members of the SS-Administration were executed. Camp Commandant Pister died in prison, the rest of the judgments after  a second amnesty their sentences came down to minor punishments(Bagatellstrafen). The defendants, with the exception of Ilse Koch, who was tried again by the district court in 1951 Augsburg had been sentenced to life imprisonment (she committed suicide later on sic) by  the mid-fifties almost of the defendants were all at liberty.

Buchenwald-Process of the Military Tribunal in Dachau 16.4.1947. The eight Military Judges were: From left,Morris,Robertson,Ackermann,Keil,Dwinell,Pierce,Dunning and Walker

The petition initiated for the SS perpetrators from all strata of the German people was unprecedented and found unlimited support for clemency-in one case an entire village signed up.  Outside the village they knew the perpetrators of the crimes only as good neighbors and fathers. No one could imagine them as initiators or commit mass murder, nor of any other misdemeanor. Their appearance seemed much more credible than the testimony of survivors.
From 1949 to 1965 the Federal Republic of Germany undertook further13 prosecutions for crimes concerning Buchenwald, two of them against former Häftlingskapos. Particularly in the public consciousness came the trial of Ilse Koch and Martin Sommer (1958 before the District Court of Bayreuth). In the GDR,(East Germany) especially the one in 1961 against the former SS Master Sergeant Wilhelm Schäfer raised large public interest. Schäfer was tried by the Supreme Court for his involvement in the shooting of Soviet prisoners, sentenced to death and executed.

After liberation, between 1945 and 10 February 1950, the camp was administered by the Soviet Union and served as a Special Camp No. 2 of the NKVD. It was part of a "special camps" network operating since 1945, formally integrated into the Gulag in 1948. Another infamous "special camp" in Soviet occupied Germany was the former Nazi concentration camp Sachsenhausen (special camp No. 7).
Between August 1945 and the dissolution on 1 March 1950, 28,455 prisoners, including 1,000 women, were held by the Soviet Union at Buchenwald. A total of 7,113 people died in Special Camp Number 2, according to the Soviet records.They were buried in mass graves in the woods surrounding the camp. Their relatives did not receive any notification of their deaths. Prisoners comprised alleged opponents of Stalinism, and alleged members of the Nazi party or Nazi organization, others were imprisoned due to identity confusion and arbitrary arrests. The NKVD would not allow any contacts of prisoners to the outside world and did not attempt to determine the guilt of any individual prisoner.
On 6 January 1950, Soviet Minister of Internal Affairs Kruglov ordered all special camps, including Buchenwald, to be handed over to the East German Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The Remains of Buchenwald. This image taken in winter, displays the area where prisoner huts were. To the right is the crematorium and in the background centre the "Hospital Block", where the main museum exhibits are housed today. 

Most of the camp was demolished in 1950.
In October 1950, it was decreed that the camp would be demolished. The main gate, the crematorium, the hospital block, and two guard towers escaped demolition. All prisoner barracks and other buildings were razed. Foundations of some still exist and many others have been rebuilt. According to the Buchenwald Memorial website, "the combination of obliteration and preservation was dictated by a specific concept for interpreting the history of Buchenwald Concentration Camp."

The first monument to victims was erected days after the initial liberation. Intended to be completely temporary, it was built by prisoners and was made of wood. A second monument to commemorate the dead was erected in 1958 by the GDR near the mass graves. Inside the camp, there is a living monument in the place of the first monument that is kept at skin temperature year round.sic]

Finally, I have endeavoured to be as objectively as possible in my narrative,without promoting one side or the other, events that took place and are now part of history, that some individuals will not or can not accept reality nor facts and I am willing to read their insults more with amazement of their latent Aryan Dogma than annoyance in  their criticism of me, which in the main misses the whole point that a "Völkermord" took place! See website post :http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/ and look at the reply comments, any readers can judge for themselves.

to read the full blog posts please click the links bellow


Herbert Stolpmann January 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

BUCHENWALD KZ 1937-1945 Part 10



To the Allies!
To the Army of General Patton!
We ask (beg) for help. They want to evacuate us. The SS want to destroy us.

[The above was a Radio-Transmitter Message(Funk) sent by inmates on the 8th April 1945 to the US Army. Although the message was sent several times, I could find no records or evidence that the request was heard or received by the advancing American Troops.sic]

Disintegration in the concentration camp system dominated since the beginning of 1945 almost all areas of everyday life of the prisoners in Buchenwald and found its expression in the uncontrolled arrival of evacuees from other camps. Regardless of this the SS built especially in these months and reached its peak, a system of satellite camps. Even the approach of the Allies, they did not think of a resolution of the camp by partially or completely releasing the prisoners. With the evacuation of camps in Western and Eastern Europe, whose fittest occupants survived after sorting them according to their work potential and were sent into different camps. This was also the general direction taken by the administration which to the very end was decisive for Buchenwald. There are indications that a handover to the advancing Allies during the first days of April 1945 was taken into consideration by the SS leadership and played a role briefly, but just as quickly was rejected. During March, which started the repatriation of prisoners from sub-camp near the approaching fronts this sudden increase in the occupancy of the main camp in Buchenwald reached about 48,000 people.
On the evening of April 3rd Hermann Pister had a discussion with prisoners of the "rescue squads"  which was put together in case of air raids, a group that consisted mainly from German and Austrian prisoners in the cinema hall and declared that he would surrender the camp. In a letter to Pister from four prisoners, the French politician Andre Marie, the Dutch officer Pieter Cool, the Belgian officer Eugene Soudan and the British Officer Christopher Burney, they proposed to him and offered to intercede on his behalf later as long as he  kept his promise. Already on the 4th of April, the first prisoners from the satellite camp evacuated from Ohrdorf arrived. The SS had driven them to exhaustion on the highways(Landstrße), and had many shot on the way.
Since the 5th of April,  the SS made preparation for the evacuation of the main camp. At the same time the Gestapo made up a list of 46 prisoners who were considered to be the head of obvious resistance of the illegal committee and ordered them to appear at the camp gate on April 6th. The fugitives went into hiding within the camp.

List of 46 prisoners who were ordered to assemble at the Main Gate. From memory of Euge Kogon, the French Air Plane Engineer Marcel Bloch (Dassault), besides others was on this List. He was the only one that showed up at the gate on the 6.4.1945, but the SS sent him back.PS.If you study the list Marcel Bloch does not appear on it. Although  Kogon is mentioned, sic.
On April 6th Himmler gave the order to evacuate the camp. At this point, the SS had already rounded up more than 6,000 Jewish prisoners in the German armament factory. Others could hide within non-Jewish  barracks or in the Kleines Lager(Little Camp).
On behalf of the underground resistance organization who had two electricians, one  Pole, Gwidon Damaszyn  and a German Social Democrat Armin Walther, who had built a transmitter and  installed it  in the cinema barracks. In the late morning of the 8 April1945  twelve times the above message was sent from this hiding place via the transmitter. Subsequently, the transmitter was destroyed
The Austrian Eugen Kogon succeeded to smuggle out of the camp,(concealed in a box sic) fled on the same day to Weimar from where he sent a fictitious letter to Commandant Pister. [Knowing the SS mentality from my own experience, I am quoting Kogon's letter which sounds rather childish and naive here in the German language, which he signed as Major Mc Leod . I do not think it had any effect what-so-ever to what followed after.sic]                                                                   

Transporte verlassen Buchenwald. Es sind Todestransporte-wie der von Ohrdorf!
Die grauenhafte Tragödie von Ohrdorf darf sich nicht wiederholen.
Aus der Luft zu Spezialaufträgen abgesetzt haben wir auf weiten Strecken die Opfer
der Begleitmannschaft und einer aufgehetzten Bevölkerung mit eignen Augen festgestellt.
Wehe Thüringen und wehe den Verantwortlichen in Buchenwald, wenn sich das wiederholt!
Es würde die Zeit des Greuelkommandanten Koch, der den Namen dieses Lagers zum
Abscheu der ganzen zivilierten Welt gemacht hat, erneuern.
Vieles hat sich unter Ihrem Regime gebessert. Wir wissen das.
Sie mögen heute -wie das ganze Land- in Schwierigkeiten sein,
aus denen Sie keinen anderen Ausweg sehen, als Tausende auf den Weg
zu schicken. Schluß damit! Sofortigen Schluß!
Unsere Panzerkommandanten kommen jetzt, um ihre Rechnung aufzumachen.
Sie haben noch eine Chance.
          James Mc Leod
          War Office, London

Pister the camp commander of Buchenwald-who had been temporarily appointed by Himmler, "Inspector  Concentration Camps South"- would be to the end and beyond vigorously obey orders by the SS-Leadership, began on April 7th with the evacuation of the main camp. Evacuation targets were the urban ghetto of Theresianstadt, the concentration camp at Dachau and Flossenbürg. On that same day the Inspector of Concentration Camps Glücks made an  ​​announcement that the remaining camps in southern Germany can take even by force if necessary 20.000 additional prisoners, and he had until the 10th of April almost precisely that number of prisoners leaving for southern Germany and most of the Jewish prisoner marched towards Theresienstadt.
Survivors of the camp took the assumption that the whole camp would have to be cleared, but the occupants refused and used any means available to stay. Conduct of disobedience and boycott saved thousands of prisoners from the death marches.

Statement of surviving prisoners that they buried (they used the word "verscharrt" meaning shallow grave. sic) 16 of their dead comrades near Lehnstadt-Weimar, in a field (Acker), who had been shot or beaten to death according to the population during the march by the SS on the 7th of April. Only five could be correctly identified from records held. Three had only their numbers available
.There were about  60 march routes as from April 1945 with 28,000 inmates form the main camp and at least 10,000 from satellite camps, partly by rail, mostly on foot, insufficiently clothed and hardly supplied with any food, which were rightly called death marches. Probably about one third of them died en route and immediately after the arrival of exhaustion or were shot by SS escorts.

Railway wagon with evacuees after liberation 1945, information by R.J.Büchler, Israel, these are inmates from Buchenwald. Note, a prisoner seems to be offering food.

During the beginning of April the U.S. Army troops reached the outer fringes of camp Ohrdorf , whose last occupants had been murdered by the SS during their withdrawal. On the 11th of April, U.S. armored forces moved against the SS garrison Buchenwald and American troops ended the SS rule on the Ettersberg. As the prisoners on the evening of the 11th April 1945 report in their log, by 1300 hours two American tanks approached coming from the northerly direction of the quarry. An hour later, 12 tanks reached the stables of the camp in the northern area and engaged the SS in heavy fighting. Approximately at 14.30 hours they overran the SS area. A short time later, about14.45 the prisoners began to disarm the remaining SS-men and to take over the camp.

Satellite Camp Ohrdorf. A previous Dutch inmate explains to General Eisenhower and his General Staff,(Gen. Bradley,Gen. Patton, as well as others, the portable Gallows.Although there is some controversial opinion, why it was necessary for Eisenhower's entire staff to attend the exhibition, as the original gallows had been destroyed, some contend that German scientists had partially developed three Atom Bombs near Ohrdorf, four months from completion. America had three bombs, one was used during testing, two were dropped on Japan, there was nothing else in the pipe line.(Oppenheimer's first expression after the test was:"Oh, my God what have I done!") The German delivery vehicle would have been the V2 Rocket, which fell into Russian hands and they launched, based on this, the first Sputnik, which a spokesman during the Eisenhower Administration called a piece of "junk". Others in the US with more brains, saw Russia's "men's first step of space exploration" as of militarily significance and quickly caught up![Food for thought, sic]    

.The inmates rounded up over the next  hours about 76 scattered and  trapped members of the SS. On the same afternoon Lieutenant Emmanuel Desard from the U.S. Army, together with Sergeant Paul Bodot walked as one of the first allied military personnel into the camp, and appointed the camp elder, Hans Eiden, responsibility for 21.000 remaining  survivors. Around the same time there was also a reconnaissance squad of the 6th Armored Division of the US.3rd Army that arrived in the camp.
In the following days until the takeover of the camp on April 13 into American administration took effect a significant number of regularity and supply structures remained in force which were vital for the majority of the inmates. In the first few days, hundreds of them still died. On April 16, 1945, of the approximately 21.000 that were liberated, only 20,000 of various nations were alive (as of April 11th 1945.)

Sergeant Paul Bodot in the Jeep which he and Lieutenant Emmanuel Desard drove to Buchenwald April 11th 1945

The confrontation the American soldiers faced of prevailing  conditions and poor facilities in Buchenwald was a shock to them. They had liberated a camp where there were 21.000 persons, of whom many were still languishing, and a place that was full of corpses. Hundreds of prisoners still died of starvation, and still affected from  the consequences of poor hygienic conditions and the state of emergency that was imposed..
After the liberation the gates remained still closed initially for the small camp (Kleines Lager). The U.S. Army had ordered the control of self-management of prisoners. The weapons the prisoners had were turned in by orders of American commanders.
On the 12th of April, the French physician Dr. Joseph Anselme Brau became head physician for the liberated camp. During the first days the 120th Evacuation Hospital of the U.S. Army took  4.700 sick inmates from the barracks of the camp into the former SS garrison. At least one in four of them died in the following weeks. Hospitals, too, from the surrounding areas took patients in. Despite all efforts to save lives the daily piles of corpses in the courtyard of the crematorium increased, the funeral of the dead had to continue at  first into earth craters(Erdtrichtern)on the southern slope of the Ettersberg. In late April, the dead were buried beneath the Bismarck Tower which was located there.

After April 11th the gates to the Kleine Lager(Small Camp) were still closed.

Over the period from July 1937 to March 1945 a total of 238.980 male prisoners had been sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp. By the end of March the camp records officially registered 33.462 deaths, in addition to this 913 inmates died between 1st and 10th of April 1945, so that the total number of victims that can be determined and  documented is 34.375. At an average occupancy of `22.654 camp inmates, this means that during the nearly eight years of existence one and a half  years of intakes have died. Of the 28 womens camps with approximately 27.000  prisoners, 335  have died.  Moreover, the SS shot approximately 8.000 Soviet prisoners of war and hanged in the crematorium about 1.100 people, whose names were unknown. With the anonymous death transports from camps in the East and the evacuation marches in April 1945, which left an estimated 12,000 people dead, resulting in a total death toll of the Buchenwald concentration camp of about 56.000.

Inmates during a funeral, after liberation, in the vicinity of the southern slope of Ettersberg, end of April 1945

For further reading see: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauTrials/HermannPister.html

Source:Die Deutsche Bibliothek-CIP-Einheitsaufnahme: Author Harry Stein, Wallstein-Verlag, 1999 Göttingen
ISBN 3-89244-222-3
Translated from German by;
Herbert Stolpmann

Friday, January 13, 2012

BUCHENWALD KZ 1937-1945 Part 9


"Mehr als die beachtlichen materiellen Schäden und Menschenverluste hatte dieses Ereignis unbestreitbar Auswirkungen auf das Lagerleben. Danach war es ganz verändert. Die SS, die sich an jenem Tage in völliger Verwirrung befand, war danach in ihren zu gut geregelten früheren Gewohnheiten gestört. Sie hatte den Boden unter den Füßen verloren, sie schien dem nicht gewachsen zu sein."
  Quoted by:ROGER ARNOLD
"More significant than the material damage and human losses it had an undeniable impact on the events of the camp life. After this it was quite changed. The SS, who was on that day in complete confusion, disrupted after their old habits of well-regulated habits. They had lost the ground under their feet, they seemed not able to cope."

The Buchenwald Gustloff-Werk-Plant II  had to temporarily employ and operate with up to 3,500 inmates. An operation under the code name "Mibau" a group of companies operating here since the spring of 1944 was present in the production of control components (Meilerwagen) a guidance system for the V-2 rocket. The commencement of weapons production in the spring of 1943 was technically modern and proficient, but the results did not meet expectations, however. Jurisdictional disputes between the SS and the plant management did not help. Above all, the contradiction between the modern character of production and the forced  regime of the camp remained unresolved. As the Polish Jew Leon Weissmann testified at the Dachau Buchenwald-Process in 1947, the detachment of commanders resorted to brutal means.
Clearly the inconsistency was known by camp commander Pister and at the end of November 1943 he  issued lengthly guidelines regarding prisoners and their work performance and behavior at the Gustloff Werke. Pister of course knew very well that many of the factory working prisoners from the Soviet Union, Poland and France had at the end of 1943 no chance of release from the camp.[Although "good" behavior and work performance was always promised, it was a carrot and stick method.sic]
Detailed report as to the acceptance of additional prisoners into the camp as of 15.8.1944, nine days prior to the Air Raid. It states clearly that the acceptance of another 4011 inmates, that some of them has to live in the open, as no tents are available, others have to double up and share a bunk, sharing is practiced during Day-and-Nightshifts.
The attack of the 1st Bomber Division of the 8th U.S. Air Force at Buchenwald on August 24, 1944 was prepared in detail and was aimed at the Gustloff-Werk II, the German armament works and facilities of the SS. With this began the last phase of the history in the existence of the concentration camp Buchenwald. Accommodation in the area of the prisoners was not damaged. Only within the zones adjacent to the German Equipment Works as part of the camp there were devastations. What was hit were the crematorium, laundry, disinfection and supply buildings , in which winter clothing had been burned.
At the time of the attack  the camp had about 31.000 prisoners  the limit of its capacity. A large part of the prisoners had to remain during the attack near the plant. There were 2,000 that had been injured and many deaths among them. Nicolas Spielmann from Luxenburg describes the situation during the attack:
"The camp area had only one air raid shelter, which was for the use of the SS. The prisoners were allowed to move away from any danger at the factory, but had to remain inside the armed cordon, so that they were standing around outside the buildings and were unprotected. In the beautiful clear sky, we could watch our friends just  fly past us . Today, some of them centered their attention especially on the inner part of the camp and one gray column of smoke could be seen, that was a sure sign of attack. But very few prisoners understood the intention of a targeted air raid. Their admonitions, to go into the nearby forest, were not taken seriously. But only for a short time.
A deafening buzz in the air and then twice a terrible crash. That must have been near, they had clearly felt the air pressure. In wild jumps all fled into the woods, about twenty yards away from the garage. Here recently, trenches had been prepared. In there they huddled. Deeper into the woods they could not go, for close by them stood the sentries with rifles cocked. As soon as the crowd was gone into the ditch, off went again a hissing, howling and crashing sound.
The heads  firmly pressed into the loamy earth, eyes closed, we heard how the large barracks buildings collapsed. Dust, rocks and debris rained down on us now. The trench had collapsed halfway. Some of us were buried alive.
The whole area was black with dust and smoke. Where once still stood a few seconds ago a building, only piles of rubble were visible. Many of us had found their graves there. The whole Garage Complex  was gone. Heavy bomb craters everywhere. The heavy trucks were like toy cars all mixed up. "

Destroyed and damaged factory buildings of Gustloff-Werke II after the air raid on 24.8.1944
Inmates clearing an entrance to an SS-Shelter after the air raid
Damaged house within the SS-Leader Complex after the air raid

Total loss to November 1944 due to the consequences of the raid were the lives of 388 prisoners. Also killed were over one hundred SS men and their families. After the attack, the SS tried to resume production in the Gustloff-Werk II. Given the immense destruction in the plant they reached only a fraction of the already previously low level of capacity.

Since the removal of the sick, the disabled and Jewish prisoners during 1941/42 into "euthanasia" killing centers, which had been labeled by camp inmates on the concept of "Ascension Transportation,"(Himmelfahrtstransporte) it was usual for the SS to get rid of the sick and weak prisoners by deporting them to other camps or kill them by injections of Phenol, Evipan or Air. "The SS even used the expression "scrapping"(Verschrottung) The goal of destination initially was the concentration camp at Majdanek, near Lublin, where the SS moved from the satellite camp "Dora" on the 15 January 1944 and 6 Februar1944 a  total of 1.888 ill and weak prisoners. Similar transports arrived between December 1943 and April 1944 from the concentration camp Dachau, Flossenbürg, Mauthausen, Neuengamme, Auschwitz, Ravensbrück and Sachsenhausen in Majdanek. Since March 1944 to March 1945,  thousands of sick and weak were pushed from these places into the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen.

Inside view of the Cinema Barrack during 1943, this was where since October 1944 the "Selection"of sick and weak Jewish Inmates from Satellite Camps Magdeburg and Rehmsdorf took place.
On 24 August 1944 ordered Richard Glücks, Chief of Office Group D in the Economic and Administrative Main Office, that all the Jewish prisoners, who could no longer work, to be sent  to Auschwitz. On the 28 August, the first transport left with 72 pregnant women and mothers with children from the satellite camp of the Hugo Schneider AG in Leipzig. When they arrived there only 25 of them that had been given prisoner numbers, the other, the SS took immediately to the gas chambers. On September 26, another transport followed with  200 Sinti and Roma, almost exclusively children and adolescents. By the end of September the cinema barrack was used for the "selection" process of who would have to leave

End of 1944, the Red Army approached the concentration camps in occupied Poland and those in the east of Germany. The inmates of these camps had been set by the SS on foot or by train to the West during March. In January 1945, began the evacuation of Auschwitz, a few weeks later the concentration camp Gross-Rosen (Silesia). More than ten thousand people, totally exhausted and debilitating, for the most part Jews, arrived in Buchenwald. The SS had it in parts driven them on foot through the icy winter or herded them into open freight cars. Many starved or froze to death on the road, others were shot by the SS. The cars were full of dead on arrival, their names remain unknown for ever.
The survivors were crammed into the Small Camp(Kleines Lager), which had previously become a slum. The SS hardly begrudged them any breaks, but took them upon arrival into satellite camps, which were still partly re-established during the last weeks of the war.
Name Shield, found in the Kleines Lager. Inscription reads: Jozef Szternberg, KL 20253,born 6.IV.1925 in Bensburg. Jozef Szternberg came with an evacuation transport beginning March 1945 from Groß-Rosen. His fate is unknown.

The SS had the Small Camp (das Kleine Lager) during December 1944 extended to seventeen barracks and demolished the tents. After the arrival and occupancy of the evacuees by trains, the horse stable barracks (Pferdestallbarracken) never  dropped under a thousand people.In a 500 square Meter barrack 1.800 to 1.900 prisoners were not uncommon. By early January 1945 there were 6.000 prisoners in the Small Camp, so this figure rose until the eve of the evacuation to 17.000. Hunger, dirt, fights and desperate struggles for survival and infectious diseases dominated the slums of the Buchenwald shantytow(Barackenstadt). Fred Wander, who had arrived with the transports from Auschwitz, writes in his book "The Seventh Well".(Der siebente Brunnen) about these conditions.
Mass starvation was the result, which had in less than a hundred days, about 5.200 people dead The bodies of the dead were thrown out by the inmates during the night from the barracks to make room for the living. Included in this figure are also the dead of Barrack 61, which belonged since early 1945 as a disease block for prisoners. There, the SS began after the arrival of the mass transports from Auschwitz, murdering people who had contagious diseases and the so-called "Muslims"(Muselmann) who stumbled into the camp as skeletons, by injections. "The liquidation of prisoners by injections was moved from the infirmary to block 61 in the Small Camp which was set up as a sick block"
Jaroslav Bartl, then a male nurse in the hospital, recalls.

Even inmates of the hospital were involved in this murder campaign. The Little Camp was number one as a death-camp in early 1945 and securing the first place of dead inmates at the Buchenwald complex, followed by the construction of tunnels at the SS Ohrdorf (S III), then Berga / Elster and Long-Zwieberge. From early January until 11 April 1945 in Buchenwald and its satellite camps 13,969 people were killed.
By March 1945 all the dead were cremated. Only the remains of deceased of the "German Reich" and a few foreign prisoners (Norwegians and Danes) the ashes were returned in Urns up to 1943. Most of the ashes of the dead since 1943 the SS treated this as waste and was disposed off accordingly. In the spring of 1945, the fuel supplies for the crematorium failed to arrive, where the corpses piled up and the rats increased. Himmler gave permission from March for  "Notbeerdigungen" (Emergency Burials) in mass graves on the south slope of the Ettersberg.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

BUCHENWALD KZ 1937-1945 Part 8

BUCHENWALD KZ 1937-1945 Part 8


During the War, the Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt) could  without formal court hearing perform the death sentence or withhold an execution of the detained person to their discretion without  police or court judgments. This process was called "special treatment"(Sonderbehandlung). The victims were normally taken prisoners on the run or forced laborers who had stolen clothing and food during their flight of ever having a chance of survival. Poles were also often brought in, due to forbidden relationships with German women for "special treatment".
Most of the executions did not take place before the eyes of other  prisoners, but at the shooting range of the German Armaments Works (Deutsche Ausrüstungswerke), at times next to the dog kennels of the commandant's office and usually in the yard or in the morgue of the crematorium. In the basement of the crematorium, there was the same arrangement as in any slaughterhouse, 48 hooks on the wall for the purpose of hanging carcases. During the course of executions, SS commando leader Hermann Helbig said the following later:
"There were two German inmates present. The loop of the rope was put around the neck of the condemned, both of them lifted him up, the rope was was attached to the hook on the wall and then the prisoner was dropped."
Only after 35 to 40 minutes did the doctor arrive to confirm the victim as "Dead". Upon questioning, whether the next in line to be executed would have seen the dead of others hanging before it was their turn, Helbig answered the following: "They were led singly downstairs. They most likely did see others hanging there."   
Execution Basement of the Crematorium, April 1945. Note: This is a reconstruction and a dummy hanging on the hook. (Most likely provided by the Russian NKDV Service, sic) Normally the victim would not not touch the floor. Before their evacuation, the SS had most of the hooks for this type of strangulation (Erdrosselung) removed.

Upon questioning  Helbig stated to have hanged by himself with his own hands about 250 people. Eugen Kogen talks about 1.100 men and women who were murdered in the basement of the crematorium. Only once, in September 1944, the SS hanged a Pole on the parade ground in front of the assembled prisoners. Public executions are mainly known to have occurred at satellite camps such camps as "Dora," Langenstein-Zwieberge and Wernigerode. Hermann Pister said in that regard.:
"Most of the prisoners were led past a hanged man. This was meant to be as an deterrent. For external commands the hanging was done by the appropriate Gestapo office, or a commando from Buchwald went with a portable gallow to the satellite camp to perform the execution".
In autumn 1944, the SS hanged 34 French, Belgian, British and Canadians, they had been part of the Allied intelligence services. One of them was the French engineer and racing driver Robert Benoist. He drove for the automobile brand Bugatti he drove in the mid-thirties and won many races among others the Grand Prix de Picardie and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1936 and established six world records. After the war began he was kept as a  French Air Force officer by the Germans, and later escaped from a  POW camp, when he had joined the Resistance. On 10 September 1944, he was strangled in the basement of the crematorium on a wall hook.
There are also witness reports of the execution of Polish officers during 1943. They arrived in two Police Vehicles from the Weimar Train Station and were driven directly to the courtyard of the crematorium. Here they had to line up in one row, they had been wearing uniforms. The Camp Adjutant read out some kind of judgmental writing to them. The hangings took place in his presence. One of the well known victims of execution in Buchenwald was that of the member of parliament and chairman of the KPD, Ernst Thälmann, who on the night of 17th to the 18th August was shot at the entrance of the crematorium ovens (am Zugang zum Ofenraum)

Public hanging of 20 Polish prisoners near Poppenhausen on 11.5.1942. The SS performed these hanging on portable gallows.

Isolated  from the actual detainee camp at Buchenwald existed other, smaller areas, which were used for the internment of people. This included the special camp(Sonderlager) at "Fichtenhain" right in the middle of the range within SS settlements, which was built at the turn of 1942/43. The SS registered them, but did not treat the inmates as prisoners of the camp. The first prisoners were Romanians who had fled to Germany of the Legion's "Archangel Michael" (Iron Guard), at  the end of 1942, who lived in the wooden barracks and remained there until to late summer of 1944 as internees. In early January 1943 there were 130 and by March 225 so called "Legionnaires".
In addition to the special camp "Fichtenhain" was also an Isolation-Barrack that was surrounded by a wall. In it was held the former chairman of the SPD of the parliamentary group Dr. Rudolf Breitscheid, and his wife Tony, together with Mafalda of Hesse wife of the Chief Minister of Hesse-Nassau, a daughter of the Italian king.(Pincess Mafalda did in fact have certain privileges, she had a maid Jehovahs Witness, Maria Ruhnau,sic.)  Special camp "Fichtenhain" was located between the SS barracks and the Arms Factory and was completely destroyed during the air raid on Buchenwald on 24 August 1944. Breitscheid  was killed, Princess Mafalda of Hesse died as a result of the inadequate treatment of her injuries, she incurred a high loss of blood prior to the amputation of her left arm.
After reconstruction of the isolation barrack it detained there in late February 1945 as "Sippenhäftlinge"(kin liability) family members involved in the assassination attempt on Hitler's life. Officers, politicians and other relatives and prominent persons unpopular to the regime. The number of these inmates increased to 57 by the end of March 1945. On the 3rd of April they were taken by Bus in a southern direction, as the approaching Allied Forces were as close as 40 km.

I solation Barrack of the "Sonderlager Fichtenhain"

Princess Mafalda of Hessen
Princess Mafalda of Hessen memorial
 Princess Mafalda
After Mafalda's father(King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy) on 25 July 1943 with Benito Mussolini was removed from his office, Hitler sent eight divisions to Italy in order to seize the government. King Victor Emmanuel III. could go with his family in the protection of the Allies. In revenge, Princess Mafalda was in Rome on 22 October 1943  lured under a pretext into the German Embassy and deported from there without further explanation directly to the concentration camp to Buchenwald. She was housed there in a special barrack along with the couple Breitscheid. During a bombing attack by the USAAF on 24 August 1944 she was buried. She survived with severe injuries and burns. Her arm was amputated too late, and she died three days later. On the evening of 27 August, she was buried in grave 262 in Weimar, she was registered in the cemetery register as a"unknown woman"she was ultimately re-buried in Kronberg-Taunus.sic

Already in the early years of the camp, SS doctors treated prisoners as experimental material for personal and professional advantages. They tried surgical interventions, tested various methods of treatment and let  people suffer, to drive the progression of their studies of diseases to the final stages. The first pharmaceutical company that showed interest in test results in Buchenwald as far back as 1939, were the Behringwerke Marburg/Lahn part of the IG Farben AG conglomerate. 
There were at this stage only sporadic contacts, however at the end of 1941, there had been regular collaboration with the SS given the high number of typhus epidemics in the POW camps, the SS offered to test different vaccines on prisoners, after a joint agreement between the SS, IG Farben AG, Army and Government Agencies preparations for it  were made ​​in Buchenwald at the end of 1941/42.
Even after completion of the first attempts in early 1942, the SS established in block 46, a permanent research station, where experiments  until the war ended and almost all epidemic diseases were carried out. The fenced-off  massive barrack with it's frosted glass windows was throughout the camp soon to be known as a place of death. Prisoners, which left alive were usually very sick, lost hair and teeth, or were murdered later to find medical reference material after autopsies for further evaluation of their clients. From 1943, at Buchenwald, the "Department of Typhus Fever and Viral Research," the Hygiene Institute of the Waffen-SS was enlarged in Block 50 into the "Serum Institute".
The house had and provided laboratory test facilities for "guest" physicians of the Wehrmacht, the Waffen-SS and the Robert Koch Institute of Berlin, who took part in the human experiments in block 46. During a typhus therapy trial with drugs like Acridine-Granulant and Rutenol, provided by the Firma Hoechst, out of 39 prisoners 21 of them died. About their condition, the SS-Doctor Erwin Ding took a precise Protocol.[I did not list the lengthy detailed Records that are available if requested sic]

Letter of domiciled (Standortarzt) SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr.Schiedlausky, to the Chief of Department D III reporting on Medical Trials conducted 8.1.1944

Jacques Rancy with a Shrunken Head that was found in one of the houses used by an SS-Doctor. These were foremost handed out during the period of Camp Commandant Koch, most likely prepared by a dermatologist from murdered inmates and handed out as presents within the SS fraternity in the camp.(This shrunken head was identified as one of a Russian POW) PS.: There is some controversy as to the actual identity of the shrunken head.

Schiedlausky, Gerhard.

[Born 14.1.1906 in Berlin. Physician. Medical Doctorate, SS Captain, on-site physician at Ravensbriick Concentration Camp. Swore affidavits for the prosecution as well as the defense of Karl Gebhardt, Waldemar Hoven und Helmut Poppendick. Schiedlausky received his medical license on 15.3.1932 and settled down as a general practitioner in August 1934. Before entering the SS, he also had worked part time in the Reich Labor Service. Schiedlausky joined the NSDAP on 1.9.1941 (No. 617,194) and then the SS (No. 213,323). By 1943, he had achieved the rank of SS captain. From 18.12. 1941 until the beginning of August 1943, he was the on-site doctor at Ravensbruück Concentration Camp. Schiedlausky was tried by the British Military Government in the framework of the Ravensbruck Trial, condemned to death, and executed.sic]

A number of prisoners, so called  passages (Passagen) abused by the SS exclusively as living breeding ground for germs. Their blood was used for artificial infection of others. None of them survived. According to the diary section for "Typhus and Virus Research", it was during August 1942 to October 1944 that 35 trials were conducted.Most of the  experiment was performed with typhus, and right to the very end of the camp, experiments with gas gangrene, typhus and typhoid therapeutics and tolerability studies of vaccines against typhoid fever, smallpox, paratyphoid A and B, cholera, diphtheria and yellow fever had been carried out. In addition, SS doctors experimented  with various poisons, tested the durability of canned blood serum and brought  prisoners in with burns to test treatments. With the support of Himmler  Dr.Carl Vaernet during1944 undertook experiments and operations on glands of five imprisoned homosexuals. More than thousand prisoners of the SS were used as guinea pigs, an unknown number of them died of the consequences, the exact figure will never be known.

Vaccine for the Waffen-SS derived from the production of the "Serum-Institut" in Block 50 during 1944


Saturday, January 7, 2012

BUCHENWALD KZ 1937-1945 Part 7

BUCHENWALD KZ 1937-1945 Part 7


From a prison to the east of the town of Sulmona the SS brought after the Armistice, which Italy signed in September 1943 with the Allies, the first Italian political prisoners to Buchenwald. During1944 followed transports of political prisoners, particularly from the infamous detention camp in La Risiera San Sabba near Trieste. This camp was opened in the first half of 1944 in an abandoned  rice mill near Trieste and was under the command of the security police coded "Operation Zone Adriatic Coast."(Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland) Members of the Resistance from all over northern Italy were imprisoned there. From June to November 1944, the SS brought from these camps a total of 1290 prisoners  to Buchenwald. Other Italians, including fighters of the International Brigades who had participated during the Spanish Civil War came from Compiegne.
An exceptional case were the 1000 Italian Military Internees which the Wehrmacht  transferred to the SS during  October / November 1943 and brought them from the prison camps into KZ  satellite camps "Dora" and "Laura," they were separately housed  from the other concentration camp prisoners and not considered to be protective custody prisoners, although they shared the heavy forced labor and the fate the same as other inmates.
Like many from Southern France, Italians suffered greatly under the harsh environment, climate wise, that existed on the Ettersberg  which frequently caused pneumonia under the new arrivals. Of the approximately 3,500 Italians which were deported between autumn 1943 and early 1945 by the SS into the concentration camp at Buchenwald, nearly one in three died.

In the camp statistics the SS differentiated between Yugoslavs and Croats (due to the aspect of formal political independence of Croatia which Germany had granted). The Yugoslavs were first admitted in the summer of 1941 into the camp. There were initially some 15 Yugoslavs, and 3 Croats by mid August 1942. Due to a transport from Flossenbürg in October 1943, the number of Yugoslavs at the end of 1943 reached 759. By  Mid-July 1944 there were 575 Yugoslavs  and 327 Croats in Buchenwald.

After the transfer and removal of most Jewish prisoners in October 1942, the number of imprisoned Jews in Buchenwald over a period of 19 months remained nearly constant. Although the demand for trained construction workers prevented that the last were taken to Auschwitz, but basically the SS kept to an implementation of a complete deportation of all Jews. Even the internment of Jews living in Germany(Reichsjuden) who had been due to their nationality, like citizen of allied or neutral countries excluded from the 1941/42 deportation to the extermination camps(Vernichtungslager) was initially intended as a temporary measure. This meant an increase from October to December 1943, that the number of Jewish prisoners grew to nearly 400, which was about one percent of the total of prisoners in the camp.
 Adolf Eichmann, planned in early 1944, who headed the "Jewish Affairs" in the Reich Security Main Office, the destruction of the last remaining Jewish communities in occupied Europe, and ordered the transportation of 400 000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz during May to July 1944 he had two-thirds of them murdered with gas. The urgent manpower requirements of the "Fighter Staff", which at the same time requested  the relocation of the aircraft industry into bombproof underground factories resulted in the withdrawal and preparation of transportation from May 1944, of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from Auschwitz-Birkenau and the immediate transfer into concentration camps back of the so called Old Reich (Altreich), where they entered into conditions that had to inevitably lead to debilitation and death itself, as the SS rushed them into the hardest work places. With the first shipment, which arrived with 1,000 Hungarian Jews on 24/05/1944 at Buchenwald, there were about thirty children out of their total, and about  one third under twenty years of age. The SS permitted the transport hardly any rest and used them immediately in the tunnels of "Dora."
Those arrivals at Ettersberg of Jews from Auschwitz  remained there usually only a short time. Already in June 1944 in Bochom, Magdeburg and Rehmsdorf the first satellite camps for Jewish prisoners were built. Up to December 1944, the number of 12 satellite camps with mostly or exclusively Jewish camp inmates were for about 15,000 Jewish men and 14 young women's camps, with 11.500 Jewish women. Badly dressed, weakened by hunger and disease, the allocation to work, the constant torment was meant eventual death, while their only chance to live, was the will to carry on.  the SS, had sent from Buchenwald, as long as the gas chambers at Auschwitz were still working at that time, over 2,000 sick and weak Jewish prisoners back for immediate extermination. Due to the forced evacuation of Jewish camps in occupied Poland and the closure of the concentration camps Auschwitz and Gross-Rosen, Jewish prisoners in early 1945 became the largest group of inmates at Buchenwald.

Copy of Radio-Transmitter Message(Funkspruch) from Auschwitz dated 5.6.44 to the Commandant of Buchenwald. It states that  at 15.25 hours, 2000 male Jewish Prisoners have left.  Index Cards have to be provided at your end.  Please [acknowledge sic] (beg) Arrival

The deportation of Sinti and Roma from Germany to ghettos or concentration camps in occupied Poland began soon after the war began. About 5,000 predominantly Austrian Roma and Sinti were taken in late 1941 in the ghetto of Lodz (Litzmannstadt at that time) and soon deported them to Chelmno (Kulmdorf) where they were suffocated in gas vans. Thousands of Roma have perished since 1941 in the USSR, Poland and Serbia by  shootings from the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the Armed Forces(Wehrmacht) or were victims killed by gas.
   Following a command from Himmler December 16, 1942, the SS apprehended  approximately 23.000 Gypsies from several European countries, among them 13.000 from Germany and Austria, put them into their own miserable barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau. There, many succumbed to the inhumane living conditions. Before the dissolution of the "Gypsy camp",(Zigeunerlager) the SS murdered most of the inmates. Until the beginning of September 1944 there were approximately 1.800 Sinti and Roma, including many young juveniles transported from Auschwitz to the men's-camp of Buchenwald and 800 women into the women-camp. Many did not survive the heavy work load and terror in the tunnels of the underground installations. Particularly in the sub-camp of "Dora", and later at Mittelbau, where hundreds were worked to death.

[In 1944 the network of concentration camps reached its zenith. Parts of the armaments industry were moved below ground. Flossenbürg prisoners produced aircraft for Messerschmitt underground, and Neuengamme prisoners set up gigantic factory complexes in the caves of Porta Westfalica. In October 1944 the Dora-Mittelbau camp near Nordhausen in the Harz mountains, until then a satellite command of Buchenwald, was converted into an independent camp. Here, components for the V-weapons were produced under unimaginable conditions.
Assembly Line for the A-4 Rocket inside Tunnel "B" of KZ  Dora-Mittelbau 1945
Dora – Mittelbau also known Dora-Nordhausen was a concentration camp in the Harz Mountains, three miles from Nordhausen, Saxony, in Germany.
The Dora-Mittelbau camp was first mentioned on 27 August 1943 as an external unit of the Buchenwald concentration camp. On 28 October 1944 it became a major concentration camp in its own right, with twenty-three branches, most of them in the vicinity, inside a restricted military area.
Following Hitler's August 22 1943 order for SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler to use concentration camp workers for A-4 production, 107 inmates arrived at Nordhausen from Buchenwald on August 28, 1943, followed by 1,223 on September 2. Workers from Peenemünde departed on October 13, 1943.
Originally called Block 17/3 Buchenwald, the SS administration ordered Dora to be politically separated from Buchenwald at the end of September 1944 and to become the center of Konzentrationslager Mittelbau (Concentration Camp Central Construction). In effect, the camp became operational on November 1, 1944 with 32,471 Mittelbau prisoners of many nationalities.The SS used the Boelcke Kaserne, a former barracks in Nordhausen city, as a dumping ground for hopeless prisoner cases. Thousands of prisoners were transferred to Dora-Mittelbau, mostly from Buchenwald and they were put to work excavating underground tunnels that were to serve as the site of a huge plant for the manufacture of V-2 missiles and other arms.The original plan of excavation and tunnelling provided for two long tunnels that would go parallel through the mountain from north to south and be connected by forty-six smaller tunnels. By 1943 the government research firm WIFO had completed Tunnel B and had partially finished the Tunnel A opening on the northern side of the hill.
The project yielded an excellent site for underground rocket production in the two main tunnels – each 1,800 meters long and 12 and a half meters wide – and twenty-three connecting tunnels. The Germans used the main tunnels for rocket testing. Railroad tracks ran the length of the tunnel, with sufficient space remaining at the side for huge pieces of machinery. The Junkers company used the small northern section to manufacture airplane engines.
Until the plant was put into operation, in the late spring of 1944, the ten thousand prisoners working on the site had no living quarters and were housed inside the tunnels, under unbearable conditions, deprived of daylight and fresh air for weeks at a time. They had to work at a murderous pace, in twelve-hour shifts, in very unsanitary conditions and lack of security precautions led to a mortality rate much higher than that in any other concentration camp in Germany.
Only after production began was a camp of wooden barracks constructed in Dora – Mittelbau, to which the prisoners were transferred in the summer of 1944. That autumn, when maximum production was attained in the camp, Dora-Mittelbau had a permanent prison population in the main camp of over twelve thousand, with another twenty thousand in the satellite camps.
When construction was completed and the plant went into operation, thousands of Jewish prisoners from various countries were brought to Dora-Mittelbau. They were treated with great brutality and were assigned the most physically exacting jobs, their mortality rate was higher than that of any other group of prisoners.Section of V2 rocket being constructed at Dora-Mittelbau.
Jewish prisoners who were exhausted and could not keep pace with the work were sent to Auschwitz and Mauthausen, in special transports, to be killed there.
Although most of the prisoners were men, a few women were held in the Dora Mittelbau camp and in the Groß Werther subcamp. Only one woman guard is now known to have served in Dora, Lagerführerin Erna Petermann. Regardless of gender, all prisoners were treated with extreme cruelty, which caused illness, injuries and deaths.
Examples of the cruelty routinely inflicted on prisoners include: severe beatings that could permanently disable and/or disfigure the victims, deliberate and life-threatening starvation, physical and mental torture as well as summary execution under the smallest pretext.
Large numbers of prisoners were jailed on charges of sabotage; many were killed during their interrogations or were subsequently executed. More than two hundred prisoners, including several of the underground resistance leaders were hanged in public.
Approximately 60,000 prisoners from 21 nations (mostly Russians, Poles, and French) passed through Dora. An estimated 20,000 inmates died; 9000 died from exhaustion and collapse, 350 hanged (including 200 for sabotage), the remainder died mainly from disease and starvation. PS:Wernher von Braum denied that he has ever visited Dora-Mittelbau, he took the truth with him into his grave.

Many today believe that von Braun should not have been celebrated as a hero. They feel he turned a blind eye toward what was happening to slave laborers in Germany. There is not much evidence in official records to indicate that he was even somewhat troubled by the use of slave labor.
Official visits included a 10 December 1943 visit to Dora by Albert Speer, and Wernher von Braun visited the Nordhausen plant on 25 January 1944. Von Braun returned for a 6 May 1944 meeting with Walter Dornberger and Rudolph where Albin Sawatzki discussed the need to enslave 1,800 more skilled French workers.sic] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8gSg56oopg&feature=related

Resistance within Germany was suppressed by the NS-regime, usually with an act of violence and force. The attempts of the student group "White Rose", to arouse the Germans were, as brutally suppressed as the communist resistance groups, the anti-authoritarian youth opposition of Cologne "Edelweiss Pirates" and others. Even earlier on the guillotine fell on ex-Buchenwald prisoners like Walter Husemann, Theodor Neubauer and Arthur Hoffman, because they had continued the resistance after their release from the camp.
 Even as Hitlers war intentions were clear, an initially small group of officers, made preparations to accomplish his removal or fall. After the beginning of the war this group undertook to connect with other opponents of Hitler. In which, after their meeting place in Silesia named "Kreisau Circle," senior officials and military officers, politicians of the Weimar republic and union leaders as well as Protestant and Catholic clergy came together in a Christian-influenced social and programmatic vision for a future Germany. The number of members of these groups grew with the looming military defeat. The assassination attempt on Hitler on July 20, 1944 failed. The regime took bloody revenge on the conspiracy.
Completely surprised by the attack,  the Gestapo struck back, who believed until then that they had the majority of potentially  political opponents in concentration camps, prisons or under its observation. In August 1944 in all of Germany,  they hastily tried to forestall any attempt of resistance by the preventive arrests of the alleged activists. As part of a campaign of arrests under the code named "Iron Bars"(Gitter) and "Thunderstorm"(Gewitter) the Gestapo offices during the 22 to 24 August 1944, took a total 742 former elected officials and prominent members of parties of the Weimar Republic, including many former members of the Reichstag into protective custody.
The air raid on Buchenwald on 24 August 1944 delayed further detention admissions into the camp. Until September, detainees still came from individual holding facilities or jails, for example, from the Cologne "Messelager", among them the Centre Party member of parliament Otto Gerig, who died in the camp. The "Aktion" caused anxiety and confusion among the population  from lack of understanding, since many of those arrested were at an advanced age and besides, it was more than a decade ago that they had held past offices, and nothing existed against them. It thus became obvious during  their interrogation by the Gestapo of Weimar very little could be proven and released them. Although some have died during their incarceration by the end of the camps liberation.
[PS.: I would like to relate here a personal experience during those days: At that time we lived  on an Estate of Briesnitz, Kreis Crossen an der Oder, which had a few empty small villa-type houses, in which one of them, a Lady by the name of Frau Junghaus and daughter was living,(from bombed-out Berlin)she was the first wife of General von Seydlitz, who was a POW in Russia and an anti-Hitler activist. After the assassination attempt on Hitlers life, while in Germany his family (He had four daughters by his second marriage) and relations was taken into Sippenhaft, detention for the crimes of a family member, and the Gestapo was searching for his daughter from his first marriage,(she was now of tainted blood) a reward was posted. I never saw her fully, (they both took walks always after dark) only part of her through the window when she handed me her letters to be posted. She made only once a mistake by indicating the senders name: "von Seydlitz-Kurzbach"! Later that day after school I told my mother: "I know who she is , I know how she is!"  (Excited of the award I would receive)  My mother was fully aware who she was, shocked as she was took me aside, and said:"Herbertchen, she is carrying a baby the Gestapo will hang her ,baby and all, do you really wish this to happen?" My answer>No mother, I do not wish that to happen< So as a 'good' young German I failed in my "DUTY"!

SIPPENHAFT OR SIPPENHAFTUNG  (English: "kin liability") was a form of collective punishment practised in Nazi Germany towards the end of the Second World War. It was a legalized practice in which relatives of persons accused of crimes against the state were held to share the responsibility for those crimes and subject to arrest and sometimes execution. Many people who had committed no crimes were arrested and punished under Sippenhaft laws introduced after the failed July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler in July 1944. A law of February 1945 also threatened death to the relatives of military commanders who showed what Hitler regarded as cowardice or defeatism in the face of the enemy.After the failure of the July 20 plot, the SS chief Heinrich Himmler told a meeting of Gauleiters in Posen that he would "introduce absolute responsibility of kin ... a very old custom practiced among our forefathers." According to Himmler, this practice had existed among the ancient Teutons. "When they placed a family under the ban and declared it outlawed or when there was a blood feud in the family, they were utterly consistent ... This man has committed treason; his blood is bad; there is traitor's blood in him; that must be wiped out. And in the blood feud the entire clan was wiped out down to the last member.sic]

Letter of the Gestapo to the Oberschulbehörde (High School) in Hamburg that Dr. Kurt Adams, who had been taken into Protective Custody has died on 2.11.1944 in Buchenwald. It states further, that any activities as an enemy of the State could not be proven, thus the next of kin can not claim any social service assistance, implying that he died of natural causes.
During a consultation in Himmler's field headquarters on 18 September 1942 between Justice Department  and SS it was agreed that prisoners from jails and penitentiaries should be delivered to Konzentrationslager(Concentration Camps) "for extermination through work".
 It should be entirely applied to the security detainees, like Jews, Gypsies, Russians and Ukrainians, and Poles who had an over three-year sentence, Czechs or Germans an 8-year sentence, the duration of the detention in a camp was at the discretion of the Reichsjustizministers (Minister of Justice). As the minutes taken by Otto Thierak indicate there existed also other agreements.
Preventive detention was (and still is today) imposed under paragraph 42e of the Criminal Code in addition to the sentence the court orders against so-called habitual criminals, and  lasts as long as necessary for that purpose as the justice system sees fit. The Court examined and reviewed individual cases every three years. For Security Reasons(Sicherheitsverwahrung) there were actually relevant departments within prisons and mental hospitals. In late 1942 began the transfer of the "security detainees" to the SS, from February 1943, these were also shown in the category of inventory statistics of the camp. Security detainees(Sicherheitsverwahrten) from about 2.300 (SV), which were up to the end of 1944 brought to Buchenwald and used by the SS in the heaviest work details, only half of them survived during this period.The Justice Department also would send Political Prisoners, who had barely escaped the Death Penalty and were serving long term prison sentences to Buchenwald, some had been prominent members of the Reichstag prior to 1933

During August 1944 the Commander of the German Security Police and SD in France ordered the evacuation of the Detention Camp at Compiengne as well as all jailed Inmates within Paris in face of advancing Allied Troops. Most of the inmates were transported on August 20th 1944 to Buchenwald, which included 167 Allied Pilots which had been shot down over France and included:
82 US-Americans(USA Air Force)
48 Britons (Royal Air Force)
26 Canadians (Royal Canadian Air Force)
 9 Australians(Royal Australian Air Force)
 2 New Zealander(Royal NZ Air Force)
 1 Jamaican(Royal Air Force)
As the above had been declared by the NS-Propaganda Ministerium as "Terror Fliers" and not as POW's their fate remained undecided for some time. On October 19th 1944 most of them were sent into the Prisoner of War Camp of the Luftwaffe Stalag III Luft at Sagan. Pilot LEVITT C. BECK of the US Air Force who was shot down over France during June 1944 and was betrayed to the Gestapo remained seriously ill in the camp. He died November 29th 1944 while in hospital.
Under the so called Gestapo-Detainees were about 37 Allied SOE Agents who had been operating in France and had been apprehended. For them the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (The Reich Security Headquarters) had provided a "Sonderbehandlung" (Special Treatment). Beginning of September to the middle of October, 34 of the were garroted(gedrosselt) in the basement of the Crematorium. Only three of them could be saved. [I had the German word "gedrosselt" translated as "garroted" and is disputed, it can also mean "strangeled" sic]

Main article: Phil Lamason
Although it was highly unusual for German authorities to send Western Allied prisoners of war (POWs) to concentration camps, Buchenwald held a group of 168 aviators for two months. These POWs were from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They all arrived at Buchenwald on August 20, 1944
All these airmen were in planes which had crashed in occupied France. Two explanations are given for them being sent to a concentration camp: first, that they had managed to make contact with the French Resistance, some were disguised as civilians, and they were carrying false papers when caught; they were therefore categorized by the Germans as spies, which meant their rights under the Geneva Convention were not respected. The second explanation is that they had been categorised as Terrorflieger ("terror aviators"). The aviators were initially held in Gestapo prisons and headquarters in France. In April or August 1944, they and other Gestapo prisoners were packed into covered goods wagons (US: boxcars) and sent to Buchenwald. The journey took five days, during which they received very little food or water. One aviator recalled their arrival at Buchenwald:
“As we got close to the camp and saw what was inside... a terrible, terrible fear and horror entered our hearts. We thought, what is this? Where are we going? Why are we here? And as you got closer to the camp and started to enter the camp and saw these human skeletons walking around—old men, young men, boys, just skin and bone, we thought, what are we getting into?   
—A Canadian airman's recollection of his arrival at Buchenwald.
They were subjected to the same treatment and abuse as other Buchenwald prisoners until October 1944, when a change in policy saw the aviators dispatched to Stalag Luft III, a regular prisoner-of-war camp (POW) camp; nevertheless, two airmen died at Buchenwald. Those classed as terrorflieger had been scheduled for execution after October 24; their rescue was effected by Luftwaffe officers who visited Buchenwald and, on their return to Berlin, demanded the airmen's release.

  [Regarding the SOE agents who were executed: Executions in Buchenwald came in shifts. In the case of the SOE agents, they were executed in two separate groups. The first group was hung by wires or ropes strung to those hooks in the crematorium basement. The second group, who were executed later, requested that they be shot rather than hung, and the SS accepted that request. Supposedly the SOE group was taken into Weimar and put on trial before the executions were carried out. Three of them, including their leader Edward Yeo-Thomas, managed to avoid executions by posing as typhus patients in a section of the camp where a typhus vaccine was being developed. The scientist leading that work was named Balachowsky. He was also a prisoner and had been arrested in Paris for aiding the SOE’s Prosper Network that was operating there. He was a prominent figure in the Buchenwald underground and it’s no surprise that he attempted to help some of the SOE men there, considering his history with their organization in France. I= (the film maker of this statement)believe that in addition to the three who escaped via the typhus group, four more SOE men avoided execution by luck – for whatever reason their executions were delayed long enough that the camp was liberated before they could be carried out. This is all detailed in the book The White Rabbit, about Yeo-Thomas. SOURCE:http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/lost-airmen-of-buchenwald-a-new-documentary/#comments.]

Index File, Personal Details at POW Camp Stalag Luft III for Stanley Booker 1944. After their detention in Buchenwald these Allied Fliers among them Stanley Booker had been brought into this POW Camp (Sagan). Source:Stanley Booker

Levitt C. Beck (1920-1944) during the year of 1943