Remembering: Holocaust Memorial Day

 

Now is the Time

Sixty eight years ago today allied troops liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the death camps operated by the Nazis.

The Arrival

Hitler was obsessed with the notion of gaining Lebensraum or living space in Europe for his chosen race.  As the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland, tens of thousands were arrested, detained and shot.

On January 20, 1942, Nazi leaders met at Wannsee, outside of Berlin to discuss the plan whereby European Jewry would be systematically detained and then exterminated. Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the security police gave the briefing and the minutes were taken by none other than Adolf Eichmann who would later be caught in Argentina.

The West, including the US, was slow to understand what was occurring.  Indeed, the US did little to intervene and even refused safe haven to fleeing Jews, most famously aboard the MS St. Louis, a German ocean liner with 937 German Jewish refugees.  The ship was forced to return to Europe where as many as 25% of the passengers died in death camps.

Jews were a primary target but millions of others were murdered, as well.  They included Gypsies, gays and lesbians, Catholics and Jehovah Witnesses.

 

 

Stacked Corpses at Ohrdruf

On April 4, 1945, the US 4th Armored Division and the 89th Infantry Division liberated the death camp at Ohrdruf.  They were the first Americans to do so.  Soldiers found piles of bodies covered in lime while others were partially burned in makeshift pyres.  The fleeing Nazis were attempting to cover their tracks by destroying evidence but their mayhem was of such a magnitude that discovery was inevitable.

 

 

 

The “Big Guns” at Ohrdruf

Word quickly spread up the chain and Generals Eisenhower, Patton and Bradley made an immediate trip to witness the slaughter and the conditions.”Tough as Nails” Patton would not view some of the atrocities as he said he would vomit were he to do so.

Eisenhower went specifically in order to be a personal witness and to give testimony on what he had seen.  To General George C. Marshall, head of the US Armed Forces Joint Chiefs, he wrote:

“I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to propaganda.”

 

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FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Comments
Mike Mohler
Schaitberger MDA Shakedown: “Unprecedented”
David, Marvin told us that the late Vinnie Bollon reported in our IAFF magazine that OUR UNION assessed MDA 1.4 million dollars to deposit into the general fund. Local 2068, my Local has raised the most money for MDA several times. The VPFF, my state council, has been one of the top states for years…
2015-09-04 14:13:39
David R. Anders
Schaitberger MDA Shakedown: “Unprecedented”
Have you heard the saying that it is like trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip. Eric, you may be squeezing a beet thinking the red juice is blood. You are looking dumber by the day. A lot more than me keep asking you where is the beef?
2015-09-04 02:20:52
Eric Lamar
Schaitberger MDA Shakedown: “Unprecedented”
Dano--Thank you for failing, completely, to address the issue of the IAFF shaking down the MDA. Quite a feat on your part. E
2015-09-04 01:35:52
Eric Lamar
Schaitberger MDA Shakedown: “Unprecedented”
Marv, Who luvs ya? But, wake up and smell the coffee. Do you have any idea how the trial board system works? The DVPs decide whether or not the charges go forward. Yes, Marv--those DVPs, the same ones he owns. The IAFF is far beyond internal reform. The calvary is now required. xoxo--Eric
2015-09-04 01:34:16
Dan
Schaitberger MDA Shakedown: “Unprecedented”
two major charity watchdogs, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and CharityWatch, say that charities shouldn’t spend more than 35 cents for every dollar they raise. Put another way, the charities should receive at least 65 percent of the take. Looks like IAFF is getting about 5% . Seems like they are doing just fine! Stop…
2015-09-04 00:53:50
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