Inside the Gas Chambers

Author: Shlomo Venezia

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745683770

Category: History

Page: 232

View: 415


This is a unique, eye-witness account of everyday life right at the heart of the Nazi extermination machine. Slomo Venezia was born into a poor Jewish-Italian community living in Thessaloniki, Greece. At first, the occupying Italians protected his family; but when the Germans invaded, the Venezias were deported to Auschwitz. His mother and sisters disappeared on arrival, and he learned, at first with disbelief, that they had almost certainly been gassed. Given the chance to earn a little extra bread, he agreed to become a ‘Sonderkommando', without realising what this entailed. He soon found himself a member of the ‘special unit' responsible for removing the corpses from the gas chambers and burning their bodies. Dispassionately, he details the grim round of daily tasks, evokes the terror inspired by the man in charge of the crematoria, ‘Angel of Death' Otto Moll, and recounts the attempts made by some of the prisoners to escape, including the revolt of October 1944. It is usual to imagine that none of those who went into the gas chambers at Auschwitz ever emerged to tell their tale - but, as a member of a ‘Sonderkommando', Shlomo Venezia was given this horrific privilege. He knew that, having witnessed the unspeakable, he in turn would probably be eliminated by the SS in case he ever told his tale. He survived: this is his story. Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Eyewitness Auschwitz

Author: Filip Muller

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1538143305

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 6582


Filip Müller came to Auschwitz with one of the earliest transports from Slovakia in April 1942 and began working in the gassing installations and crematoria in May. He was still alive when the gassings ceased in November 1944. He saw millions come and disappear; by sheer luck he survived. Müller is neither a historian nor a psychologist; he is a source—one of the few prisoners who saw the Jewish people die and lived to tell about it. Eyewitness Auschwitz is one of the key documents of the Holocaust.

The Nazis Knew My Name

Author: Magda Hellinger,Maya Lee

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1982181230

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 1245


"In March 1942, at the age of 25, kindergarten teacher Magda Hellinger was deported from her hometown in Slovakia along with 998 other young women. They were some of the first Jews to be sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Very few would survive the next three years until liberation. The SS soon discovered that by putting prisoners in day-to-day charge of the accommodation blocks and even the camps at large-so called Blockalteste and Lageralteste respectively-they could both reduce the number of guards required to use these "leaders" to deflect attention away from themselves. Magda was one such Jewish prisoner selected for leadership. Like many others during the war she found herself constantly treading a fine line: how to save lives-if only a few at a time-while avoiding being too "soft" and likely sent to the gas chambers. Through her own inner strength and ingenuity, she was able to rise above the horror and cruelty of the camps and build pivotal relationships with the women under her watch, and some of Auschwitz's most notorious Nazi senior officers. Based on Magda's own personal account and completed by her daughter's extensive research, this awe-inspiring story offers us incredible insight into human nature under the pressure to survive, the power of resilience, and the goodness that can shine through even in the most horrific of conditions"--

The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Revised and Expanded Edition

Author: Yitzhak Arad

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253034477

Category: History

Page: 544

View: 7957


Under the code name Operation Reinhard, more than one and a half million Jews were murdered between 1942 and 1943 in the concentration camps of Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka, located in Nazi-occupied Poland. Unlike more well-known camps, which were used both for slave labor and extermination, these camps existed purely to murder Jews. Few victims survived to tell their stories, and the camps were largely forgotten after they were dismantled in 1943. The Operation Reinhard Death Camps bears eloquent witness to this horrific tragedy. This newly revised and expanded edition includes new material on the history of the Jews under German occupation in Poland; the execution and timing of Operation Reinhard; information about the ghettos in Lublin, Warsaw, Krakow, Radom, and Galicia; and updated numbers of the victims who were murdered during deportations. In addition to documenting the horror of the camps, Yitzhak Arad recounts the stories of those courageous enough to struggle against the Nazis and their "final solution." Arad's work retrieves the experiences of Operation Reinhard's victims and survivors from obscurity and exposes a terrible chapter in humanity’s history.

The Last Gasp

Author: Scott Christianson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520255623

Category: History

Page: 342

View: 5812


When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition

The SS of Treblinka

Author: Ian Baxter

Publisher: The History Press

ISBN: 0750979801

Category: History

Page: 176

View: 9266


In January 1942 senior officials of the Nazi regime met to discuss the ‘final solution to the Jewish question’, at a gathering that became known as the Wannsee Conference. As part of the resulting Operation Reinhard, camps were built with one aim in mind, not to imprison the Jews, but to kill them. By the time the extermination camp of Treblinka was made fully operational in July 1942, the SS had built a killing factory capable of despatching hundreds of thousands of people which could be run by only a handful of guards. But who were these men who ran Treblinka, many of whom had volunteered for the job? Were they ordinary people following terrible orders, or were they monsters? In The SS of Treblinka, Ian Baxter reveals the true natures of the men who during the camp’s short operation, murdered some 850,000 Jews. Some of them appeared outwardly to have been kind family men who then inflicted terrible cruelties on those in their power, while a few were afterwards spoken about with affection and gratitude by survivors. Using official documents, trial transcripts and private correspondence, he describes how these men lived day to day, inured to scenes of tragedy, eating and drinking the provisions their victims had brought with them under the delusion that they would be resettled, and what they thought of the thousands of people who arrived at the rail station positioned only metres from the gas chambers, whose bodies they would oversee being burned within the hour.

The Case for Auschwitz

Author: Robert Jan Van Pelt

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253028841

Category: History

Page: 592

View: 1462


From January to April 2000 historian David Irving brought a high-profile libel case against Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt in the British High Court, charging that Lipstadt’s book, Denying the Holocaust (1993), falsely labeled him a Holocaust denier. The question about the evidence for Auschwitz as a death camp played a central role in these proceedings. Irving had based his alleged denial of the Holocaust in part on a 1988 report by an American execution specialist, Fred Leuchter, which claimed that there was no evidence for homicidal gas chambers in Auschwitz. In connection with their defense, Penguin and Lipstadt engaged architectural historian Robert Jan van Pelt to present evidence for our knowledge that Auschwitz had been an extermination camp where up to one million Jews were killed, mainly in gas chambers. Employing painstaking historical scholarship, van Pelt prepared and submitted an exhaustive forensic report that he successfully defended in cross-examination in court.

Architect of Death at Auschwitz

Author: John W. Primomo

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 1476639426

Category: History

Page: 251

View: 600


Rudolf Hoss has been called the greatest mass murderer in history. As the longest-serving commandant of Auschwitz, he supervised the killing of more than 1.1 million people. Unlike many of his Nazi colleagues who denied either knowing about or participating in the Holocaust, Hoss remorselessly admitted, both at the Nuremberg war crimes trial and in his memoirs, that he sent hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths in the gas chambers, frankly describing the killing process. His "innovations" included the use of hydrogen cyanide (derived from the pesticide Zyklon B) in the camp's gas chambers. Hoss lent his name to the 1944 operation that gassed 430,000 Hungarian Jews in 56 days, exceeding the capacity of the Auschwitz's crematoria. This biography follows Hoss throughout his life, from his childhood through his Nazi command and eventual reckoning at Nuremberg. Using historical records and Hoss' autobiography, it explores the life and mind of one of history's most notorious and sadistic individuals.

Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp

Author: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 9780253208842

Category: History

Page: 660

View: 4105


An authoritative account of the operation of the Auschwitz death camp.Ò. . . a comprehensive work that is unlikely to be overtaken for many years. This learnedvolume is about as chilling as historiography gets.Ó ÑWalter Laqueur, The New RepublicÒ. . . a vital contribution to Holocaust studies and a bulwark against forgetting.Ó ÑPublishers WeeklyÒRigorously documented, brilliantly written, organized, and edited . . . the most authoritativebook about a place of unsurpassed importance in human history.Ó ÑJohn K. RothÒNever before has knowledge concerning every aspect of Auschwitz . . . been made available in such authority, depth, and comprehensiveness.Ó ÑRichard L. RubensteinLeading scholars from the United States, Israel, Poland, and other European countries provide the first comprehensive account of what took place at the Auschwitz death camp. Principal sections of the book address the institutional history of the camp, the technology and dimensions of the genocide carried out there, the profiles of the perpetrators and the lives of the inmates, underground resistance and escapes, and what the outside world knew about Auschwitz and when.Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.

Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust

Author: Beth A. Griech-Polelle

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472586948

Category: History

Page: 296

View: 5530


Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust surveys the history of the Holocaust whilst demonstrating the pivotal importance of the historical tradition of anti-Semitism and the power of discriminatory language in relation to the Nazi-led persecution of the Jews. The book examines varieties of anti-Semitism that have existed throughout history, from religious anti-Semitism in the ancient Roman Empire to the racial anti-Semitism of political anti-Semites in Germany and Austria in the late 19th century. Beth A. Griech-Polelle analyzes the tropes, imagery, legends, myths and stereotypes about Jews that have surfaced at these various points in time. Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust considers how this language helped to engender an innate distrust, dislike and even hatred of the Jews in 20th-century Europe. She explores the shattering impact of the First World War and the rise of Weimar Germany, Hitler's rhetoric and the first phase of Nazi anti-Semitism before illustrating how ghettos, SS Einsatzgruppen killing squads, death camps and death marches were used to drive this anti-Semitic feeling towards genocide. With a wealth of primary source material, a thorough engagement with significant Holocaust scholarship and numerous illustrations, reading lists and a glossary to provide further support, this is a vital book for any student of the Holocaust keen to know more about the language of hate which fuelled it.