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VIDEOS - NAZI CAMPS / DEATH MARCHES

10 WORST  NAZI
 CONCENTRATION CAMPS
10 List 2016 (2.51
)

10 WICKED WOMEN IN NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMPS
Top Beautiful Women
2016 (7.06)


10. Wanda Klaff

9. Dorothea Binz
(The Binz)

8. Greta Bosel

7. Alice Orlowski

6. Ilse Koch

5. Juana Bormann

4. Herta Bothe

3. Hildegard Lachert

2. Ruth Neudeck

1. Maria Mandel
(The Beast )


10. Dachau

9. Buchenwald

8. Bergen-Belsen

7. Sachsenhausen

6. Chelmno

5. Sobibor

4. Majdanek

3. Belzec

2. Treblinka

1. Auschwitz-Birkenau

Many think all concentration camp guards were men.  Sadly this is incorrect

REMEMBER THIS:
WALKING WITH
JAN KARSKI
Georgetown University
2014 (1.20.44)
Georgetown honored the late university professor and Holocaust witness
Jan Karski with a staged reading featuring an Academy Award-winning actor on April 24, which would have been Karski’s
100th birthday.

NAZI CONCENTRATION & PRISON CAMPS:
OFFICIAL DOCUMENTARY REPORT OF NAZI WAR CRIMES
BoogieFinger  2017  (1.58.26)
In November 1945, the Nuremberg trials began in Germany for major Nazi figures. This is the official documentary report of Nazi war crimes that was used as trial evidence. The film was made by the U.S. Army as a result of an order by Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower, and includes extremely graphic scenes. The program also included footage of an interview with Leslie Swift of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

ORIGINAL USA FOOTAGE OF THE NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMPS
(music Fred Vogels)  Fred Vogels  2016 (59.19)

Original footage of the Nazi Concentration Camps with original composed music of Fred Vogels, also founder and webmaster of Back to Normandy (history of WWII with WWII locations): www.backtonormandy.org

RICHARD DIMBLEBY'S 1945 NEWS REPORT FROM BELSEN WITH PHOTOGRAPHS  2014  (13.05)
Miss Noble RMPS  2014   (13.05)
I do not own any of these images or the sound recording of Richard Dimbleby's news report. This was made as an educational video  for use with pupils in secondary schools.

Richard Dimbleby's 1945 news report on his experiences at Belsen for the BBC along with a slideshow of public images of the atrocities of the Holocaust

DACHAU
CONCENTRATION CAMP (1945)
chronoshistory   
Dachau concentration camp (German: Konzentrationslager (KZ) Dachau) was the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in Germany, intended to hold political prisoners. It is located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory near the medieval town of Dachau, about 16 km northwest of Munich in the state of Bavaria, in southern Germany. Opened in 1933 by Heinrich Himmler, its purpose was enlarged to include forced labor, and eventually, the imprisonment of Jews, ordinary German and Austrian criminals, and eventually foreign nationals from countries which Germany occupied or invaded. It was finally liberated in 1945.

Prisoners lived in constant fear of brutal treatment and terror detention including standing cells, floggings, the so-called tree or pole hanging, and standing at attention for extremely long periods. There were 32,000 documented deaths at the camp, and thousands that are undocumented.

In the postwar years it served to hold SS soldiers awaiting trial, after 1948, it held ethnic Germans who had been expelled from eastern Europe and were awaiting resettlement, and also was used for a time as a United States military base during the occupation. It was finally closed for use in 1960.

There are several religious memorials within the Memorial Site, and there is no charge to visit.

After the takeover of Bavaria on 9 March 1933, Heinrich Himmler, then Chief of Police in Munich, began to speak with the administration of an unused gunpowder and munitions factory. He toured the site to see if it could be used for quartering protective-custody prisoners. The Concentration Camp at Dachau was opened 22 March 1933, with the arrival of about 200 prisoners from Stadelheim Prison in Munich and the Landsberg fortress (where Hitler had written Mein Kampf during his imprisonment). Himmler announced in the Münchner Neuesten Nachrichten newspaper that the camp could hold up to 5,000 people, and described it as "the first concentration camp for political prisoners" to be used to restore calm to Germany. It became the first regular concentration camp established by the coalition government of the National Socialist Party (Nazi Party) and the German Nationalist People's Party (dissolved on 6 July 1933).

Jehova's Witnesses, homosexuals, and emigrants are sent to KZ Dachau after the 1935 passage of the Nuremberg Laws which institutionalized racial discrimination. In early 1937, the SS, using prisoner labor, initiated construction of a large complex capable of holding 6,000 prisoners. The construction was officially completed in mid-August 1938. More political opponents, and over 11,000 German and Austrian Jews were sent to the camp after the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938. Sinti and Roma in the hundreds are sent to the camp in 1939, and over 13,000 prisoners are sent to the camp from Poland in 1940.

The gate at the Jourhaus building through which the prisoner's camp was entered contains the slogan, Arbeit macht frei, or 'Work will make you free.'

The prisoners of Dachau concentration camp originally were to serve as forced labor for a munition factory, and to expand the camp. It was used as a training center for SS guards and was a model for other concentration camps. The camp was about 990 feet wide and 1,980 feet long (300 × 600 m) in rectangular shape. The prisoner's entrance was secured by an iron gate with the motto "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will make you free"). This reflected Nazi propaganda which trivialized concentration camps as labor and re-education camps, when in fact forced labor was used as a method of torture.

As of 1938, the procedure for new arrivals occurred at the Schubraum, where prisoners were to hand over their clothing and possessions "There we were stripped of all our clothes. Everything had to be handed over: money, rings, watches. One was now stark naked."

Text Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dachau_c...

DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP (1945)
British Pathé News(4.50)

NEVER FORGET - THE LIBERATION OF DACHAU
Oklahoma National Guard

Warning - the video contains graphic images that may not be suitable for all viewers.


The video tells the story of the Soldiers of the famed 45th Infantry Division who liberated the Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich, Germany near the end of World War II. This year marked the 70th year anniversary of the liberation of the camp.

DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP (1945)
chronoshistory (37.11)

Links to Maps and Lists are shown above  
Click here for TEREZIN which was the ‘fake camp’ used by the Nazis


The Holocaust was the world’s most highly oranised
example of mass extermination

The 4 camps below show what happened.  
The Allied troops who found them had no idea what to expect
What they found has stayed with them forever.  

BERGEN-BELSEN, found by the British 11th Armoured Division  
DACHAU, found by the US 45th Infantry Division.
the biggest,
AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENU found by the Russians
and
SOBIBOR which saw the biggest escape and is now a film.
The Germans flattened it and it is now the site of an archeological survey  



THE BEASTS OF BELSEN.
chatham43


BERGEN-BELSEN FOR EXAMPLE
Bas Bakker 2014 (23.14)

BERGEN-BELSEN
Holocaust Encyclopedia

BACKGROUND

German military authorities established the Bergen-Belsen camp in 1940. It was in a location south of the small towns of Bergen and Belsen, about 11 miles north of Celle, Germany.

Until 1943, Bergen-Belsen was exclusively a prisoner-of-war (POW) camp. In April 1943 the SS Economic-Administration Main Office (SS Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt; WVHA) which administered the concentration camp system, took over a portion of Bergen-Belsen and converted it first into a civilian residence camp and, later, into a concentration camp. Thus, while the German government placed the Bergen-Belsen camp complex within the concentration camp system, the WVHA initially gave it a special designation.

THE BERGEN-BELSEN CAMP COMPLEX

The Bergen-Belsen camp complex was composed of numerous camps, established at various times during its existence. There were three main components of the camp complex: the POW camp, the "residence camp" (Aufenthaltslager), and the "prisoners' camp" (Häftlingslager).

The prisoner-of-war camp functioned as such from 1940 until January of 1945. The "residence camp" was in operation from April 1943 until April 1945, and was composed of four subcamps: the "special camp" (Sonderlager), the "neutrals camp" (Neutralenlager), the "star camp" (Sternlager), and the "Hungarian camp" (Ungarnlager).

The "prisoners' camp," also in operation from April 1943 until April 1945, consisted of the initial "prisoner's camp," the "recuperation camp" (Erholungslager), the "tent camp" (Zeltlager), the "small women's camp" (Kleines Frauenlager), and the "large women's camp" (Grosses Frauenlager).

PRISONERS IN THE CAMP

Over the course of its existence, the Bergen-Belsen camp complex held Jews, POWs, political prisoners, Roma (Gypsies), "asocials," criminals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals.

As Allied and Soviet forces advanced into Germany in late 1944 and early 1945, Bergen-Belsen became a collection camp for thousands of Jewish prisoners evacuated from camps closer to the front. The arrival of thousands of new prisoners, many of them survivors of forced evacuations on foot, overwhelmed the meager resources of the camp.

With an increasing number of transports of female prisoners, the SS dissolved the northern portion of the camp complex, which was still in use as a POW camp, and established the so-called "large women's camp" (Grosses Frauenlager) in its place in January 1945. This camp housed women evacuated from Flossenbürg, Gross-Rosen, Ravensbrück, Neuengamme, Mauthausen, and Buchenwald concentration camps, as well as various subcamps and labor camps.

At the end of July 1944 there were around 7,300 prisoners interned in the Bergen-Belsen camp complex. At the beginning of December 1944, this number had increased to around 15,000, and in February 1945 the number of prisoners was 22,000. As prisoners evacuated from the east continued to arrive, the camp population soared to over 60,000 by April 15, 1945.

CONDITIONS

From late 1944, food rations throughout Bergen-Belsen continued to shrink. By early 1945, prisoners would sometimes go without food for days; fresh water was also in short supply.

Sanitation was incredibly inadequate, with few latrines and water faucets for the tens of thousands of prisoners interned in Bergen-Belsen at this time. Overcrowding, poor sanitary conditions, and the lack of adequate food, water, and shelter led to an outbreak of diseases such as typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and dysentery, causing an ever increasing number of deaths. In the first few months of 1945, tens of thousands of prisoners died.

LIBERATION

On April 15, 1945, British forces liberated Bergen-Belsen. The British found around sixty thousand prisoners in the camp, most of them seriously ill. Thousands of corpses lay unburied on the camp grounds. Between May 1943 and April 15, 1945, between 36,400 and 37,600 prisoners died in Bergen-Belsen. More than 13,000 former prisoners, too ill to recover, died after liberation. After evacuating Bergen-Belsen, British forces burned down the whole camp to prevent the spread of typhus.

During its existence, approximately 50,000 persons died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp complex including Anne Frank and her sister Margot. Both died in the camp in March 1945. Most of the victims were Jews.

After liberation, British occupation authorities established a displaced persons camp that housed more than 12,000 survivors. It was located in a German military school barracks near the original concentration camp site, and functioned until 1951.

SS PERSONNEL

SS-Hauptsturmführer Adolf Haas became the first commandant of the Bergen-Belsen camp in the spring of 1943; SS-Hauptsturmführer Josef Kramer replaced him in December 1944. The number of SS functionaries in Bergen-Belsen varied over the course of the camp's existence. The SS succeeded in destroying many of the camp's files, including those on personnel.

POSTWAR TRIALS

In autumn of 1945 a British Military Tribunal in Lüneburg tried 48 members of the Bergen-Belsen staff, including 37 SS personnel and eleven prisoner functionaries. The tribunal sentenced eleven of the defendants to death, including camp commandant Josef Kramer. Nineteen other defendants were convicted and sentenced to prison terms; the tribunal acquitted fourteen.
On December 12, 1945, the British military authorities executed Kramer and his co-defendants.

RICHARD DIMBLEBY REPORTING FROM BERGEN-BELSEN
April 1945 Part 1
Justavaragejoe
(6.57)

RICHARD DIMBLEBY REPORTING FROM BERGEN-BELSEN
April 1945 Part 2
Justavaragejoe 2010 (6.02)

AUSCHWITZ - FACTS
BBC TWO

In all, 1.1 million people died during the four and a half years of Auschwitz's existence; one million of them were Jewish men, women and children.

Other groups of people who died included Polish political prisoners, Soviet prisoners of war, Gypsy families, homosexuals, people with disabilities and prisoners of conscience or religious faith (including several hundred Jehovah's Witnesses).

More people died in Auschwitz than the British and American losses of World War Two combined.

About 60 million Reichmarks - equivalent to £125m today - was generated for the Nazi state by slave labour at Auschwitz.

Nazis at Auschwitz offered some non-Jewish female prisoners the option of 'light work'. As the women soon discovered, 'light work' meant prostitution.

To lull new arrivals at Treblinka death camp into believing they were only in transit, plants were placed on the railway station and at the entrance to the gas chambers.

The train ramp was disguised to look like a regular railway station with signs, timetables and even a clock painted on the wall.

A Star of David was placed above the entrance to the gas chamber and a sign was painted in Hebrew on a purple curtain covering the entrance to the gas chamber that said "This is the Gateway to God. Righteous men will pass through".

A unit in Auschwitz where valuables snatched from incoming prisoners were kept was known as Canada, because Canada was thought to be a land of untold riches.

Auschwitz guards had their own athletics team. The camp was like a small town, with its own staff canteen, cinema, theatre and grocery store.

There were 170 female SS staff at Auschwitz, of whom the most infamous was Irma Grese, the 20-year-old daughter of a dairyman.

Josef Mengele's scientific experiments at Auschwitz often involved studies of twins. If one twin died, he would immediately kill the other and carry out comparative autopsies.

Denmark was the only Nazi-occupied country that managed to save 95% of its Jewish residents. Following a tip-off by a German diplomat, thousands of Jews were evacuated to neutral Sweden.

Some Jewish prisoners secretly wrote eye-witness accounts of the atrocities of the gas chambers and hid them in bottles or metal containers buried in the ground. A number of these accounts were discovered after the war.

Of a total of about 7,000 staff at Auschwitz, only 750 were ever punished. Many went on to build good careers, including one man who became head of human resources for a large German company.

There are approximately 500 survivors of Nazi death camps or ghettos living in Britain today.

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU (MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM)
Chaîne de natachakroshka
2011 (4.18)

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU
cbutchko 2016 54.24

AUSCHWITZ BIRKENAU GERMAN NAZI CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP
(1940-1945)
(UNESCO/NHK) 2010 (2.56)
The fortified walls, barbed wire, platforms, barracks, gallows, gas chambers and cremation ovens show the conditions within which the Nazi genocide took place in the former concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest in the Third Reich. According to historical investigations, 1.5 million people, among them a great number of Jews, were systematically starved, tortured and murdered in this camp, the symbol of ..

LABYRINTH OF LIES (2014)
IM LABYRINTH DES SCHWEIGENS (original title)
THE FRANKFURT AUSCHWITZ TRIALS 1963 - 1967
German 2014 2h 4min

1958. The war has been over for thirteen years and the Federal Republic of Germany is booming. But where are the Nazis? Who has ever heard of the death camps? It looks as if everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds in this land of milk and honey
http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/education/newsletter/10/auschwitz_trials.asp

WAR DEPARTMENT FILMS OF
CONCENTRATION CAMPS
IN NAZI GERMANY
historyman 183 2012 (59.16)

28:34

David Irving: The Manipulation of History Part 1

Hidden Truths

26K views


37:22

Escape From A Nazi Death Camp (2014) Full

Channel 2015

480K views


2:22:42

Escape From Sobibor 1987

J.Nicolas K.Y.

529K views


48:39

Black Propaganda in WW2

Dr Alan Brown

137K views


1:10

Herta Bothe (viewer discretion advised)

Garry Bannister

3.8M views


50:48

Horizon - Hitlers Atomic Bomb (1992) Enriched Uranium quite a bargaining chip in 1944/5

PublicEnquiry

66K views

Nazi Hunters 11/13: The Monster and the Butcher

Milentije Kindlovski

47K views

10 Wicked Women in Nazi Concentration Camps

Top Beautiful Women

1.1M views

Witness: Voices from the Holocaust (HVT-8076)

YaleUniversity

234K views

The Day Hitler Died 2016 Full Documentary

Thistle HD

1.2M views

Memory of the Camps (1985) Alfred Hitchcock 720p

French Moviegoer

103K views

Part 1/7 - Interview with a nazi ss officer - franz suchomel - Discussion of treblinka gas chambers

HistorySpeaks4Itself

524K views

David Irving - Churchill's War (complete)

JohnRobinson101

31K views

Ravensbrück Concentration Camp

chronoshistory

252K views

Katrin Himmler - Family members of Heinrich Himmler

DocsOnline

970K views

War Department Films of Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany

Eichman Trial - Interactive Video   
Yad Vashem

Ukraine
(Babi Yar & Lovov)

Terezin (Theresienstadt)


Holocaust Encyclopedia  
381 maps

Interactive maps: Nazi death camps  CNN, Richard Allen Greene and Inez Torre

Interactive Main Nazi Camps and Killing Sites  
Yad Vashem




T E X T

ONE DAY IN AUSCHWITZ
Maceonc   2015  (48.40)


UCIEKINIER-KAZIMIERZ PIECHOWSKI-AUSCHWITZ
ESCAPE STORY
paw44 2012 (42.02)

(Text from   8. Uciekinier (Escapee)
Auschwitz was a heavily guarded camp. Additionally, the shortage of food or clothes its prisoners had to suffer from did not make any large-scale rebellions or escapes possible. At the same time, some incredible stories of people who managed to free themselves from Auschwitz happened there – this is one of them. In June of 1942, 23-year-old Kazimierz Piechowski and three of his companions broke into a warehouse at the camp to steal some SS uniforms from there. They left through main gate of camp in a Steyr 220 car, speaking German to convince the staff they were real Nazi officers. This inspiring subtitled documentary shows that the will of survival is often strong enough to make the most unbelievable plans come true.

AUSCHWITZ  70
DRONE SHOWS NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMP
Long Version
BBC News (6.12)

"One minute in Auschwitz was like an entire day. A day was like a year. A month, an eternity." Roman Kent, Holocaust survivor. Survivors have been gathering at the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz, to mark the 70th anniversary of its liberation.
This aerial footage shows what it looks like today.

SOBIBOR EXTERMINATION CAMP
MuzeumWlodawa
2009 (11.27)

ESCAPE FROM SOBIBOR
1987, TV MOVIE.
 (2.23.39)

*From IMDb
During WWII, the death camp at Treblinka had an escape, causing the Commandant at a similar camp in Sobibor to vow that his camp would never experience the same thing. But those who were its captives, the Jewish laborers that had been spared from the ovens, knew that they were on borrowed time and that their only hope was to escape... the only question was how to do it. However, because the Germans would kill an equal number of others whenever a group attempted to escape, the captives knew that if ever an escape was tried, all 600 prisoners in the camp would have to be included... logistically precluding any ideas about tunnels or sneak breakouts. Indeed, to have such a mass escape could only mean that the Ukrainian guards and German officers would have to be killed, which many of the Jews felt simply reduced themselves to no better than their captors... thus making it a struggle of conscience. And therein lies the story, with the film being based on a factual account of what then happened at that Sobibor prison.

SOBIBOR
70 years after revolt, Sobibor secrets are yet to be unearthed.  This season’s scheduled excavations are the most important to date. So why is the Polish government delaying authorization?
   
The Times of Israel, Matt Lebovic October 14, 2013,

it was the most successful prisoner revolt during World War II, but the Sobibor uprising never became a primary symbol of the Holocaust. Seventy years later, archaeologists at the former death camp are rewriting what’s known about Sobibor’s design, and unearthing haunting glimpses of its Jewish victims.

Their work, however, is now in jeopardy, as bureaucratic tensions and a stymied struggle on the part of the lead Israeli archeologist Yoram Haimi to protect the site’s integrity have delayed authorization from Polish authorities to open a new excavation season at Sobibor.

According to Haimi, this would be the most sensitive and important season to date.

The Nazis built Sobibor and two similar death camps in eastern Poland – Belzec and Treblinka – during the spring of 1942. Intense secrecy ensured that victims could be murdered upon arrival, without realizing where they had been taken.

“I helped Jews out of the trains with all their baggage,” wrote Sobibor survivor Philip Bialowitz in his memoir, “A Promise at Sobibor.”

“My heart was bleeding knowing that in half an hour they would be reduced to ashes,” Bialowitz wrote. “I couldn’t tell them. I wasn’t allowed to speak. Even if I told them, they would not believe they were going to die.”

Israeli and Polish researchers excavate at the former death camp Sobibor, in eastern Poland (photo courtesy: Yad Vashem)

Israeli and Polish researchers excavate at the former death camp Sobibor, in eastern Poland (photo courtesy: Yad Vashem)

During eighteen months of operation, 250,000 Jews from all over Europe were gassed in Sobibor’s killing facilities. Bodies were dumped into huge pits and later burned on open-air “ovens” made from rail tracks. At any given time, several hundred Jewish prisoners also labored throughout the camp, serving its German SS masters and Ukrainian auxiliaries.

On October 14, 1943, a group of prisoners – fearing the camp’s rumored liquidation – executed a meticulous and daring escape plan.

After revolt leaders quietly killed eleven top SS officers, most of the 600 imprisoned Jews stormed Sobibor’s electrified fences. Almost half of them made it through minefields surrounding the camp and into the forest.

“Corpses were everywhere,” wrote Sobibor survivor Thomas “Toivi” Blatt in “The Forgotten Revolt.”

“The noise of rifles, exploding mines, grenades and the chatter of machine guns assaulted the ears,” Blatt wrote. “The Nazis shot from a distance while in our hands were only primitive knives and hatchets.”

Only 60 of the Jews who escaped from Sobibor that day lived to see the end of the war, a year and a half later

Only 60 of the Jews who escaped from Sobibor that day lived to see the end of the war, a year and a half later; most were killed during the Nazis’ initial manhunt, or as fugitives in the Polish countryside. Never before – and never again – would prisoners organize so large an escape from a Nazi facility, much less a death camp.

Though the SS had already planned to shut down Sobibor, the October revolt prompted SS chief Heinrich Himmler to immediately order the camp dismantled, and for the site to be erased from history with pine trees.

Remarkably, another Jewish prisoner revolt had occurred just two months earlier, at one of the other two “Operation Reinhardt” death camps – Treblinka, close to Warsaw.

After setting camp buildings on fire, more than 150 Jews escaped from Treblinka, with half of them surviving the ensuing dragnet. In contrast to the hasty, post-revolt closure of Sobibor, the killing operations at Treblinka went on for months.

Israeli archaeologist Yoram Haimi talks to a group of young people from the Dror School in Israel about his findings at the site of the former German Nazi death camp Sobibor, in eastern Poland. (photo credit: AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

Yoram Haimi talks to a group from the Dror School in Israel at the site of the former German Nazi death camp Sobibor. (photo credit: AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

Three weeks after the Sobibor escape, 42,000 Jewish forced laborers in the surrounding “Lublin District” were murdered. Called “Harvest Festival” by its SS organizers, the unprecedented, two-day killing spree was the Nazis’ solution to the prospect of additional revolts.

In recent years, the remote, less-eulogized Sobibor is where researchers are amassing the most new facts – and artifacts – related to the Nazis’ “Final Solution.”

In 2007, Israeli archeologist Yoram Haimi started excavations at Sobibor, just months after learning that two of his uncles were murdered there. Having quickly obtained permission from the Polish government and initial funding, Haimi’s focus shifted from excavating sites in southern Israel to digging at one of the most hellacious places imaginable.

During half a decade of excavations, Haimi and Polish archeologist Wojtek Mazurek have made numerous discoveries about Sobibor’s victims and the former death camp’s layout. To avoid excessive tampering with graves, the team has made heavy use of non-invasive tools such as ground-penetrating radar and satellite imaging.

“Our results bring new information about Sobibor every day we excavate,” Haimi told the Times of Israel on Sunday, as he prepared to fly from Israel to attend commemorations at Sobibor on the revolt’s 70th anniversary.

“We are touching the Holocaust,” Haimi said. “We are not talking about it, we are touching it, physically.  Some people say that archeologists play in the sand, but that is not fair.”

Memorial at mound of victims' ashes, Sobibor (photo: public domain)

Memorial at mound of victims’ ashes, Sobibor (photo credit: public domain)

As he prepared to depart for Poland, Haimi expressed concern about an ongoing lack of authorization from Polish authorities to open a new excavation season at Sobibor. This would be the most sensitive and important season to date, said Haimi, because excavators will work at the mass graves themselves, having obtained special permission from Poland’s chief rabbi.

“Our job is to reconstruct the camp of Sobibor,” Haimi told the Times.  “We are mapping the actual camp and trying to establish how may people were murdered there. We need this new season to have a good chance of actually completing these goals.”

According to excavation reports, tensions developed between Haimi’s team and Polish authorities last season, when researchers spoke out against the plan to build a new visitors’ center. The problem wasn’t the creation of a new facility, but its intended location on the exact spot where Jews were forced to undress and be herded toward their deaths.

In his last excavation report, Haimi proposed using three existing buildings at Sobibor for the new facilities. He and colleagues also suggested alternative locations for a new building. The debate is effectively at a standstill – one that Haimi hopes will be broken when Yad Vashem publishes a comprehensive report on the Sobibor excavations ater this month, he said.

A visitor to the site of the former World War II Nazi death camp at Sobibor in eastern Poland, examines a display case containg the ashes and bones of victims of the camp's gas chambers, Nov. 6, 1987. The mound in the background is formed by human ashes. (photo credit: AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

A visitor to the site of the former World War II Nazi death camp at Sobibor in eastern Poland, examines a display case containg the ashes and bones of victims of the camp’s gas chambers, Nov. 6, 1987. The mound in the background is formed by human ashes. (photo credit: AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Haimi’s early excavations at Sobibor hovered around retrieving victims’ personal artifacts. Among the more anomalous findings were a child’s Mickey Mouse pin and a rare, Slovakian metal version of the cloth star Jews were forced to wear in Nazi-occupied countries.

In part through excavating victims’ belongings, researchers remapped the position of former camp fences, and subsequently determined precise locations for the gas chambers and mass graves. They also found an unexpected, internal train route within Sobibor.

“Because of the lack of information about Sobibor, every little piece of information is significant,” said Haimi. “No one knew where the gas chambers were. The Germans didn’t want anyone to find out what was there. But thanks to what we have done, they didn’t succeed.”

Half a year ago, Haimi uncovered something surprising in Camp 2: a 32-foot long escape tunnel, dug from the prisoners’ barracks to a camp perimeter fence. No one ever escaped through the unfinished tunnel, and its existence had been totally forgotten – until now.

‘The Germans didn’t want anyone to find out what was there. But thanks to what we have done, they didn’t succeed’

“Now we can understand the testimonies of survivors,” Haimi told the Times about the finding. “We have survivors from ‘Camp 2’ who said the Germans came and took 100 prisoners to ‘Camp 3,’ where they were all killed. Finding this tunnel fills in the historical record.”

Failed escape attempts from Sobibor were depicted in the 1987 British made-for-TV film, “Escape from Sobibor,” culminating in the historic revolt. More recently, excavations at Sobibor inspired several American, Israeli and European documentaries, including this year’s “The Hidden Holocaust at Sobibor,” focused on unearthing the site’s past with new scientific methods.

Just a few survivors of Sobibor remain alive to bear witness. But through the work of archeologists and historians, a model has been forged for new Holocaust research, when unearthed artifacts – and not survivors – will speak for Hitler’s victims.

RAVENSBRÜCK CONCENTRATION CAMP
A women's concentration camp during World War II, in northern Germany, 90 km north of Berlin
near the village of Ravensbrück
(part of Fürstenberg/Havel).
Chronoshistory  2013 (32.24)

Construction of the camp began in November 1938 by SS leader Heinrich Himmler and was unusual in that it was a camp primarily for women and children. The camp opened in May 1939. In the spring of 1941, the SS authorities established a small men's camp adjacent to the main camp. Between 1939 and 1945, over 130,000 female prisoners passed through the Ravensbrück camp system; around 40,000 were Polish and 26,000 were Jewish. Between 15,000 and 32,000 of the total survived. Although the inmates came from every country in German-occupied Europe, the largest single national group incarcerated in the camp consisted of Polish women.

Siemens & Halske employed many of the slave labor prisoners.

The first prisoners at Ravensbrück were approximately 900 women. The SS had transferred these prisoners from the Lichtenburg women's concentration camp in Saxony in May 1939. By the end of 1942, the inmate population of Ravensbrück
had grown to about 10,000.

There were children in the camp as well. At first, they arrived with mothers who were Gypsies or Jews incarcerated in the camp or were born to imprisoned women. There were few of them at the time. There were a few Czech children from Lidice in July 1942. Later the children in the camp represented almost all nations of Europe occupied by Germany. Between April and October 1944 their number increased considerably, consisting of two groups. One group was composed of Roma children with their mothers or sisters brought into the camp after the Roma camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau was closed. The other group included mostly children who were brought with Polish mothers sent to Ravensbrück after the collapse of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. With a few exceptions all these children died of starvation. Ravensbrück had 70 sub-camps used for slave labour that were spread across
an area from the Baltic Sea to Bavaria.

Among the thousands executed by the Germans at Ravensbrück were four female members of the British World War II organization Special Operations Executive: Denise Bloch, Cecily Lefort, Lilian Rolfe and Violette Szabo. Other victims included the Roman Catholic nun Élise Rivet, Elisabeth de Rothschild (the only member of the Rothschild family to die in the Holocaust), Russian Orthodox nun St. Maria Skobtsova, the 25-year-old French Princess Anne de Bauffremont-Courtenay and Olga Benário, wife of the Brazilian Communist leader Luís Carlos Prestes. The largest group of executed women at the Ravensbrück camp was composed of
200 young Polish patriots who were members of the Home Army.

Among the survivors of the Ravensbrück camp was Christian author and speaker Corrie ten Boom. Corrie ten Boom and her family were arrested by the Nazis for harbouring Jews in their home in Haarlem, the Netherlands. The ordeal of Corrie and her sister Betsie ten Boom in the camp is documented in her book The Hiding Place which was eventually produced as a motion picture. Countess Karolina Lanckoronska, a Polish art historian and author of Michelangelo in Ravensbruck also was imprisoned in the camp from 1943--1945. Eileen Nearne, a member of the Special Operations Executive was a prisoner in 1944 before being transferred to another work camp and escaping. Additional Ravensbruck survivors include Gemma LaGuardia Gluck - who wrote a memoir about her experiences at the camp and afterward - her daughter Yolande, and Yolande's baby son.

During her imprisonment in Ravensbrück, the anthropologist and member of the French resistance Germaine Tillion secretly wrote a comic operetta about camp life titled Le Verfügbar aux Enfers.
In 1975, she published
a comprehensive study of the camp, Ravensbruck:
An eyewitness account of a women's concentration camp.

In 1945, just prior to liberation, the poet, playwright and author of The Green Goos, Konstanty Ildefons Galczynski, managed to save one of the Ravensbruck inmates from certain death. Her name was Lucyna Wolanowska. They began living together, and in January 1946 their son was born, also named Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński. Later that same year
Lucyana Wolanowska and her son emigrated to Australia.

HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR TESTIMONY: ELIAHU HYMAN RECALLS THE
DEATH MARCH FROM AUSCHWITZ
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HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR NELLY BLUMNER RECALLS THE HORRIFIC CONDITIONS
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PUBLISHED ON 14 FEB 2011

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