Google
 
Web rhymeswithright.mu.nu

September 19, 2006

Lest We Forget – The Testimony Of A Survivor

Given that we have lately been infested with a Holocaust denying cockroach, I think that the passing of the last survivor of the Chelmno concentration camp, Shimon Srebnik is an appropriate time to present the testimony of an eyewitness to the industrialized slaughter of Jews by the Nazis.

"When we got to Chelmno the older people said, 'What a beautiful place,' 'We'll be happy here,' 'It's green, birds are singing,' 'A real health resort.'

I remained in the 'house kommando.' I was in a barrack with Waler Bonmeister. We sorted people's gold and possessions, things people left behind, suitcases. There was a big tent where Jews sorted things.

How did I know my mother arrived in Chelmno?

There were many handbags, a mountain of handbags. Once, I found a handbag with my mother's pictures and all her documents. I told Bonmeister: 'Look, this is my mother's.'

'Yes, she's in heaven,' he said.

'It's my mother's.' I was naive.

He said, 'Yes, but she's in heaven.'

I didn't know what he meant by 'heaven'."

- from the testimony of Shimon Srebnik in the Yad Vashem archives.

In a rural green forest area in central Poland, in the town of Chelmno, 47 miles west of Lodz, the Germans built their first extermination camp for mass murder by gas. Between December 1941 and January 1945, more than 300,000 Jews and 5,000 gypsies from Lodz and the vicinity were murdered in Chelmno. Only three people survived.

The last survivor of the Chelmno Extermination Camp, Shimon Srebnik, 76, of Ness Ziona, died last month at Tel Hashomer hospital after a long battle with cancer. Srebnik, who lost both his parents in the Holocaust, was a boy of 13 when he was deported to Chelmno from the nearby Lodz Ghetto, and was forced to bury the dead at the Nazi extermination camp.

Upon arrival in Chelmno, Srebnik was sent to join a small group of slave laborers at the rural extermination camp, whose pastoral settings deluded the people in the doomed transports into a false sense of hope, having come from the filth-ridden and disease-infested ghettos.

Like the rest of the prisoners, Srebnik had his legs immediately shackled - the length of the chain between them was about 40 centimeters - in order to prevent any possibility of escape from the secluded camp, which was manned by armed Germans.

The prisoners at the death camp were forced to wear their chains 24 hours a day. For the first two or three months, Srebnik put up tents and prepared the crematorium where his own mother would be gassed to death. Once the transports of Jews from Lodz began arriving regularly for extermination, Srebnik was assigned the job of extracting the gold from the teeth of the victims.
He was also involved in general sorting operations, before being assigned to bury the dead.

It was when he was sorting through the victims' personal possessions that he came across pictures belonging to his mother and realized that she too had been murdered in Chelmno.

WHEN THE victims arrived in Chelmno, they were gathered in the camp courtyard, and told they were being sent to a work camp and needed to wash up.

Groups of 50 were then escorted to the basement of the camp building, where they were told to remove their valuables and undress; men, women and children together.

During their walk to death, the victims were continuously reassured by signs reading "to the washroom" or "to the doctor" when in fact they were walking down a ramp into a parked gas van.

After the van was completely filled, the driver locked both the doors and turned on the motor. About 10 minutes later, the gas fumes had suffocated everybody inside.

In his vivid, bone-chilling testimony, Srebnik details how the prisoners were killed at the camp.

"There were three gas vans. The exhaust gas from the engine entered the van through a gridiron on the floor. Each van held 80 people. There was a bigger van that held 100 people. The distance from Chelmno to the forest was four kilometers. During the ride, gas entered the van.

When the doors opened, you could see that all the dead were injured.
Everyone wanted to survive, wanted to live, so they scratched each other. It was terrible. When the van reached the furnace, two people entered. The furnace was already lit.

What a fire! There was a railway gridiron in the furnace. They put a layer of wood on top of it and lit it and then a layer of people, and a layer of wood. This happened every two days. They pulled out gold teeth along with the flesh. I sat and removed the gold from the flesh.

It smelled awful. I collected the victim's teeth. It wasn't only my mother, I handled thousands of mothers. My heart ached for them and for my mother. But there were thousands like her...

Did I think about my mother? She was already in heaven. Nothing could be done."

As related on the Yad Vashem website, in January 1945, as the end of the war approached and the Soviet troops drew near, the Nazis began evacuating Chelmno, which they had begun to destroy four months earlier.

The Germans decided to liquidate the camp, and opened fire on the last 48 Jewish prisoners, shooting them in the back of the neck.

Srebnik was seriously wounded by Nazi gunfire during the liquidation, but, along with two others camp inmates, managed to escape during a last-minute fight that the dying and emaciated prisoners put up against their captors.

Srebnik was able to find refuge with a Polish farmer in the town who cut off his shackles and took care of the feverish boy. The following day, the Germans offered a large cash reward for turning Srebnik in.

But the Poles, who already feared the approaching Russians more than the Germans, did not betray him, and so he was able to reach the approaching Russian forces. After the war he immediately immigrated to Israel, meeting his future wife on a way station in Italy.

THREE AND a half decades later, in 1978, Srebnik received his shackles back from the Polish farmer who saved him when he went to the site of the extermination camp with Claude Lanzmann for the filming of the Holocaust documentary Shoah. After some hesitation, he would later donate the leg irons to Yad Vashem, where they are currently on display.

"It was not easy for him to part from the shackles," said Yehudit Inbar, director of the Museums Division at Yad Vashem who took down Srebnik's testimony several years ago.

Srebnik, who had earlier testified at the Eichmann trial, also assisted the Polish archeologist who excavated the Chelmno site over the last two decades.
Noting that the shackles are among the museum's most-visited exhibits, Inbar added: "He was a very special man, with a very special story."

Srebnik is survived by his wife, two daughters, five grand-children, and a great-grandchild.

Never Again.

And never forget, no matter how loudly the genocide deniers and Nazi-wannabes claim it never happened.





|| Greg, 03:17 PM || Permalink || Comments (3) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Trackback Information for Lest We Forget – The Testimony Of A Survivor

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://blog2.mu.nu/cgi/trackback.cgi/186767
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'Lest We Forget – The Testimony Of A Survivor'.

Comments on Lest We Forget – The Testimony Of A Survivor

EXCERPT FROM TIME MAGAZINE'S  EARLY ATTACK ON THE GREAT PAT BUCHANAN WHEN HE WAS FIRST RUNNING FOR PREZ. COMPARED TO  THE SITEOWNER, BUCHANAN HAS BEEN A TRUE CONSERVATIVE NATIONALIST.


 


                                                                                                                           That iconoclastic temperament has also driven Buchanan to give sympathetic attention to crackpot Holocaust revisionists. In addition, he made intemperate comments during his crusade to prove the innocence of John Demjanjuk, a retired Cleveland autoworker convicted by an Israeli court of having helped murder hundreds of thousands of Jews as a Nazi death-camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible. There is considerable evidence that Buchanan may be right that Demjanjuk could not have been the mass murderer of Treblinka. But Buchanan has also claimed that diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody, much less 850,000 people at Treblinka; that the U.S. should not have apologized to France for protecting Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie; and that Arthur Rudolph, the ex-Nazi rocket scientist forced to leave the U.S. after the Justice Department accused him of brutalizing slave laborers at a Nazi rocket factory, was "railroaded."


Those views go beyond being merely pugnacious. Four years ago, Buchanan came close to running for the presidency with the slogan LET THE BLOODBATH BEGIN. It is still his motto.


That iconoclastic temperament has also driven Buchanan to give sympathetic attention to crackpot Holocaust revisionists. In addition, he made intemperate comments during his crusade to prove the innocence of John Demjanjuk, a retired Cleveland autoworker convicted by an Israeli court of having helped murder hundreds of thousands of Jews as a Nazi death-camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible. There is considerable evidence that Buchanan may be right that Demjanjuk could not have been the mass murderer of Treblinka. But Buchanan has also claimed that diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody, much less 850,000 people at Treblinka; that the U.S. should not have apologized to France for protecting Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie; and that Arthur Rudolph, the ex-Nazi rocket scientist forced to leave the U.S. after the Justice Department accused him of brutalizing slave laborers at a Nazi rocket factory, was "railroaded."


Those views go beyond being merely pugnacious. Four years ago, Buchanan came close to running for the presidency with the slogan LET THE BLOODBATH BEGIN. It is still his motto.

|| Posted by Ken Hoop, September 20, 2006 05:49 PM ||

As pat's arteries have hardened, senile dementia has set in. Either that, or he has always been an evil scumbag and just hidden his hatred well.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, September 20, 2006 06:01 PM ||

i9y9IM iuorermfqpjg, [url=http://upusasrzxkzu.com/]upusasrzxkzu[/url], [link=http://wqjjhtqinbaj.com/]wqjjhtqinbaj[/link], http://zeobjtzegsfx.com/

|| Posted by vavqozdozbj, October 20, 2008 11:21 AM ||
Post a comment

Remember personal info?


 

 





AnotherMunublogSmall.jpg





Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards
Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2013 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2012 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2011 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2010 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2009 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Posts by Category

Announcements (posts: 13)
Blogging (posts: 187)
Border Issues & Immigration (posts: 421)
deferred (posts: 4)
Education (posts: 685)
Entertainment & Sports (posts: 483)
Guns & Gun Control (posts: 65)
History (posts: 329)
Humor (posts: 88)
Israel/Middle East (posts: 44)
Medical News (posts: 54)
Military (posts: 273)
News (posts: 1570)
Paid Advertising (posts: 234)
Personal (posts: 108)
Politics (posts: 5261)
Race & Racism (posts: 281)
Religion (posts: 819)
Terrorism (posts: 884)
Texas GOP Platform Reform Project (posts: 4)
The Courts (posts: 310)
Watcher's Council (posts: 482)
World Affairs (posts: 345)

Archives

January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
December 0000



MuNuviana



Licensing

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered By

Powered by
Movable Type 2.64
AnotherMunublogSmall.jpg

Administrative Stuff

Email Me
Syndicate this site (XML)

Advertising Disclosure

adpolicy.gif

About Me

NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
SEX: Male
MARITAL STATUS: Married
OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
DISCLAIMER: All posts reflect my views alone, and not the view of my wife, my dogs, my employer, or anyone else. All comments reflect the view of the commenter, and permitting a comment to remain on this site in no way indicates my support for the ideas expressed in the comment.

Search This Site


Support This Site



Recent Entries

Who Is Regan Theiler And Why Was She Allowed To Spend Public Funds On A Sole Source Contract For Her Part-Time Employer?
Not My Idea Of A Stimulating Evening
About Trump's Liberty University Speech
Do Not Place The Secessionist "Texas Independence" Measure On The 2016 Republican Primary Ballot
Conservatives Vs. Liberal On Those Engaged In Violent Political Activity
Tom Mechler Makes His Case Against Moving The 2016 RPT Convention
Jared Woodfill Makes His Case For Moving The 2016 RPT Convention
Questions About Moving The 2016 RPT Convention
Reject The Call To Move 2016 Republican Party Of Texas Convention
It Is Too Bad That Political Parties Cannot Reject Voters Who Seek To Join, Stop Would-Be Candidates Who Want To Run

Blogroll


Watchers Council
  • Ask Marion
  • Bookworm Room
  • The Colossus of Rhodey
  • The Glittering Eye
  • GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD
  • The Independent Sentinel
  • JoshuaPundit
  • Liberty's Spirit
  • New Zeal
  • Nice Deb
  • The Noisy Room
  • The Razor
  • Rhymes With Right
  • The Right Planet
  • Simply Jews
  • Virginia Right!
  • Watcher Of Weasels

  • Political & Religious Blogs