Unbanned Bible Publications
Defending God’s Truth in Church Doctrine and Political History – Renette Vermeulen
When I finally succeeded in pulling the boy through the hole, he was already dying. His little backbone was crushed.”
Schoenberner continued, “The Jews who work in the Aryan sectors are given passes in order to get to their place of work. They have to pass the guard, hat in hand. Sometimes the sentries stop a group and order them to undress and grovel in the dirt. Sometimes they have to dance or do ‘knee-bends’. The sentries stand by and almost kill themselves laughing. ‘Resettlement’ was a constantly recurring procedure. As the latest ghetto was established, the first ones were already being broken up and combined in the next, larger town of the district, until finally the last journey began.”
The last journey; the journey to the death camps, the ‘Umschlagplatz’ or the slaughterhouses. According to estimates of a Jewish Medical Commission in the Warsaw Ghetto, the original plan to starve the Jewish nation to death would have taken five years. In the summer of 1942, when the techniques of mass murder had been sufficiently developed, the great transportations to the extermination camps began in earnest.
[Acknowledgement to those who compiled these images]
Many pages in this book show the photos of children. Children, pulling corpses off the ghetto streets. Children, dragging sleighs through the snow, stacked with tattered belongings. Children with sad, old-man faces and bare feet, begging on filthy, ice-covered pavements. Children, using dirty rags as bandages, huddled together under sackcloth and scrappy coats. Children with huge, deep-seated eyes, eagerly waiting for a bowl of thin soup. Children, clutching the hands of their little old grandmothers, battling against the icy wind on their way to the gas chambers.
Then there are the photographs of women. Women, hurriedly dragging their children away from advancing soldiers. A very old woman, tormented by a German officer, who forces her to look at him by prodding the handle of a whip under her chin. Violently raped and assaulted women, photographed during the manhunt in Lvov and Lijepaja: naked, crying, fleeing, pleading; some still attempting to cover their bare breasts with their skinny hands. Naked women - always naked – squatting on the floor, knees pressed tightly together, clenching one another in their arms, raw fear on their faces. Women, photographed during their last moments in this life; naked again, their raped and tortured bodies starved to death. Some are hopelessly perched on the slope of a mass grave, its deep insides already strewn with thousands of corpses – a bulldozer waiting in the background, ready to bury them under tons of dirt.
Photographs of men abound as well. Men clothed in filthy rags, starving in forced labor camps, their heads being shaven by mocking overseers. Men forced at gunpoint to build walls around the ghettos. Men being tormented, flogged, and executed by firing squad. A man, hanging on a barbwire fence, cut down in the prime of his life by a spray of machinegun bullets. Half-naked men dying of exhaustion over their picks and shovels. Hordes of undead men, naked skeletons, their flesh eaten away by starvation and disease. Broken men struggling along in the snow, so surrendered to their dreadful fate that they do not even attempt to cover their naked bodies.
Thousands of men and women, young and old, gaze at the camera without a glimpse of hatred on their faces - or a glimmer of hope in their eyes. They portray a people who have lost everything, maybe even their faith. They were pushed beyond the realm of the living; tortured beyond physical death. They own nothing anymore, not even their lives or their humanity. Strangely, some still face the scrutinizing lens of the camera with a flicker of dignity in their stance.
Holocaust survivor Giza Landau testified, “We traveled in locked wagons, closely packed together and half-suffocated. We all said goodbye to each other, for we knew that the ovens and gas chambers were waiting for us. When we were still a long way away from Auschwitz in the evening, we could see the sky glowing red as if there was a fire…
“At the camps the people were ‘graded.’ The dead in the wagons were carted away. Children, the elderly, and the sick were shoved into the concentration camps. Healthy youngsters were marched off to the camps for forced labor. Men as well as women had to do the heaviest kind of work. They carried heavy loads, built factories and roads, felled trees and drained swamps. They lived in primitive wooden huts under intolerably unhygienic conditions, without sufficient food and without medicine, in constant fear of their SS overseers. Their health ruined by starvation and over-exertion, within a few months they were picked out for the gas chambers at one of the regular ‘selections.’”
Ella Lingens-Reiner said, “The chimney began to belch thick clouds of a black, sweetish smelling smoke, which bellied across the camp. A bright, sharp flame shot up, six feet high. Soon the stench of burnt flesh grew unbearable. And still the lorries drove past, on the same route. We counted sixty batches that night… Soon after the last car had disappeared, the first lorries came back laden with the luggage and clothes of the dead, which they took to the depot… In the summer of 1944, when up to six trains were arriving in Auschwitz-Birkenau every day, the condemned frequently waited a whole day outside the gas chambers before their turn came. The ‘special detachment,’ consisting of 800 men, had to clear out the chambers and take the dead to the crematoria. The enormous installations of the extermination camps were all destroyed by the SS before the end of the war. Only in Maidanek can gas chambers and crematoria still be seen today. Of the others only a few photographs have been preserved.”
The condemned prisoners had to give up all valuables, undress completely, take off artificial limbs and spectacles, and tie their shoes together carefully for “textile salvage.” Then everyone had to queue for the barber where all hair was shaved and stuffed into potato sacks.
SS-Obersturmfeuhrer Kurt Gerstein wrote in 1945, “The hair was put so some special use in U-boats – for caulking or something like that. Then the procession started to move to four chambers at a time. All were naked - men, women and children. Those who did not want to enter the chambers were driven by the whips of the S.S. Most of them never said a word. Many people were praying. Some, eyes blazing, called down upon the heads of the murderers the blood being spilt here… The execution of ‘undesirables’ demanded different methods. In experiments, mental patients were at first suffocated by gas in airtight chambers. At the concentration camps, the gas chambers were mostly filled with diesel exhaust fumes.
“It took up to 2 hours 49 minutes, and some of the people were still alive! We heard them weeping and sobbing. Another 25 minutes went by. Men of the work squad opened the wooden doors from the other side. The stench was unbearable. There was not enough room to fall down or even to bend over. The dead were standing upright like basalt pillars, pressed together in the chambers. One could tell the families, even in death. They were still holding hands, stiffened in death, so that it was difficult to tear them apart. The corpses were thrown out – wet with sweat and urine, soiled with excrement; menstrual blood on the legs. Children’s bodies flew through the air. There was no time to lose. Two dozen dentists opened the mouths with hooks and looked for gold. The naked corpses were carried in wooden barrows just a few meters away…”
Then there are the revolting, heart-wrenching photographs of the dead. Valleys filled with naked corpses. Heaps and heaps of broken bones piled on top of one another. Mostly, they were starved to such an extent that only wrinkled, leather-like skin covers the skeletons. Their mouths are gaping in death, as if they are still gasping for air, or crying in anguish. It seems as if their stark, staring eyes are still pleading for mercy. They lay sprawled, their heads and limbs tilted in awkward, unnatural positions.
Some photographs depict mechanical scrapers, pushing thousands upon thousands of battered, bony bodies into mass graves. Others show corpses strewn in the streets, perforated with machinegun bullets; and rows of men and women, hanging by their necks, hands still tied behind their backs.
As if the carnage goes on forever, there are the accounts and photographs of some of Hitler’s ‘scientific’ experiments.
SS ‘scientists’ subjected their victims to extreme cold in low-pressure chambers and then dissected them to find out the effects of death by hyperthermia. Their most common experiment, however, was starvation. They starved their victims till they looked like the 30-year-old Margit Schwarz from Budapest - a human skeleton, unable to stand by herself, too weak to lift her head, yet still alive somehow.
Page after crumbly page reveals the mayhem. A photograph of a man, still alive and not even sedated, his skull removed to bare his brain. Dying prisoners, injected by SS doctors with malaria, typhus, and cancer. Prisoners, tortured by phosphorous burns, their bodies mutilated by medical scalpels. Countless German ‘undesirables’ or ‘lesser’ Germans; the insane, retarded, disabled, and other ‘incompetent,’ whom ‘scientists’ tortured to death, and then discarded as trash!
Then there are the thousands of suffering, weeping little children, barely two or three years old, the byproducts of Hitler’s Lebensborn Stud Farms, on their way to the slaughterhouses because they did not fit the ‘scientific’ criteria of super-intelligent, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, ‘god-children’ – the ‘scientific proof’ that man was evolving into god! And let us not forget the other six million ‘undesirables’ whom the Nazis slaughtered! Some victims of these unspeakable crimes against humanity were guilty of homosexuality, freemasonry, and ‘treason.’ Millions more were merely of so-called ‘impure blood,’ such as Gypsies. Mostly, however, these victims were the ‘failed’ experiments of ‘brilliant’ Jewish and German ‘scientists.’
After all, Hitler was merely practicing the ‘science’ of National Socialism!
I saw determination on some of those tortured faces, frozen in time by the photographs in this book. Fear. Utter despair. Hunger. Pain. Sorrow. Surrender. Acceptance. Rarely, however, did I see hatred. And I thought, ‘How could they not fiercely hate their cruel oppressors, whose hearts were firmly set on murdering an entire nation by starvation, dispossession, humiliation, torture, experimentation, and disease?’
I believe God, in His infinite grace, gave those who died with such dignity, the strength to bear the carnage of the Nazis without becoming hysterical. Many of the dying did not even cry out for Divine vengeance. Totally surrendered to their terrible fate, a great number did not even plead for their lives.
As Schoenberner wrote, “The Biblical prophesies of Judgment Day became reality... The monsters of Hieronymus Bosch rose up in human form, but they did not have tusks or hooves or the faces of toads.” No, according to their own photographs, these male German monsters were clothed in neat uniforms. Their implacable faces were mostly young, clean-shaven, and handsome. They wore their hair neatly combed and parted. Some looked at the camera with a secret little smile, others were proudly serious; none really seemed indignant. Their eyes were neither cold nor distant. They did not resemble brutal rapists, violent killers, merciless torturers, or the mutilators of little children. Undoubtedly, after a busy day at the slaughterhouses, they went home and cuddled their own children in their arms, smiled lovingly at their spouses, even brought their sweethearts flowers and chocolates.
The faces of the female overseers, however, tell a different story. On the opposite page is a photograph of their victims: a huge heap of female corpses, young and old, always naked, starved and tortured, strewn upon another pile of decomposing skeletons, discarded as rotting trash. These overseers, too, were neatly dressed in uniforms; hair stiffly curled away from their faces, set in the familiar style of the time. But their gazes are piercing; their lips pressed bitterly together. Their features are fierce, their eyes cold, their expressions merciless and angry.
Unlike their male colleagues, hatred, maybe even remorse, revealed itself more readily on their mother, mother-to-be, and grandmother-to-be faces.
Schoenberner also wrote about the resistance that the Germans encountered, “The passive acceptance by the Jewish people of their fate as they went to their death has often been admired. But many overlook their long heroic struggle, year after year, every day wrested from death, every crust of bread for their children represented a victory over the murderers who had already decreed their death. On 19 April, the SS storm troopers broke into the ghetto. They encountered bitter resistance. The youth heroically defended the lives of their mothers, brothers, and sisters. Almost without weapons, they fought the SS for every street, every house, every cellar. The fighting lasted for 28 days and nights. For most of them it ended in death. The resistance offered by the Jews could be broken only by energetic and tireless action by the shock patrols. The longer the resistance lasted, the tougher became the Waffen-SS, the police and the Wehrmacht. Mostly the engagement lasted from early morning until late into the night.”
Eventually, the Jews were brought up from the bunkers and the defenders of the ghetto were led to their execution. Some photographs depicting the resistance do show angry defiance. Add the bombing of portions of the ghettos, the photographs of the ruined buildings and the executed ghetto fighters, and one begins to grasp the brave, life-and-death struggle in which some Jews were engaged.
After the bombing of a ghetto, P. Elster wrote, “In another corner lay a year-old baby. It was not crying or moaning. It probably no longer had the strength. Its little arms and legs were burned. I shall never forget the look of intense pain reflected in its little face… The mother’s face and arms were completely burned. She could not hold the baby…”
The encyclopedia ‘Węreldspektrum’ states the following – “More than a million Jews were executed during the raids of the German mobile killing units, the ‘Einsatzgruppen,’ especially in East Poland and in Russia. The Einsatzgruppen followed the German armies to execute Jews, Gypsy and other ‘undesirables’ wherever they found them… [They used mobile gassing vans as well as bullets.] Another aspect of the German terror was the economic abuse of the besieged territories. Germany viewed the Eastern region as a reservoir of labor and began a policy of “Arbeitseinsatz” or forced labor, with the result that in September 1944 there were more than 7 million foreign laborers in Germany, about 20% of the total labor force. The “Arbeitseinsatz” meant virtual starvation for the prisoners. The conditions under which they worked were not much better than those in the concentration camps of the SS.”
Hitler’s “Final Solution,” the extermination of the Jews and other ‘undesirables’, reached into the heart of the following countries: Poland, the Baltic countries, Germany, Austria, Protectorate, Slovakia, Greece, The Netherlands, Hungary, SSR White Russia, SSR Ukraine, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Romania, Norway, France, Bulgaria, Italy, Luxembourg, Russia (RSFSR), Denmark, and Finland. The Einsatzgruppen, following the German armies, completely wiped out communities and killed 45,000 people in Vilna, 9,000 in Slonim, 5,000 in Vileika, 4,000 in Molodechno, 1,800 in Volozhim, and so on. From September 1941 to April 1942 (a period of 8 months) the German Einsatzgruppe-divisions A, B, C, and D, killed 461,519 Jews. – [The Anatomy of the SS State, 1973, p. 81.]
In Bosnia Herzegovina the Muslim Catholic and Nazi leaders joined forces to commit genocide. They “set apart 3 million bullets for Jews, Serbs, Gypsies, and other undesirables.” In Yugoslavia, Croatia and parts of Serbia they killed 800,000 Yugoslav citizens, 750,000 Serbs, 60,000 Jews, 26,000 Roma.
The estimated Pre-Final Solution Jewish Population: 8,861,800.
The estimated Jewish population annihilated: 5,933,900.
In the end, 67% of the Jewish population was exterminated.
As stated, these figures do not include the other 6 million ‘undesirables’ whom the Nazis and their allies also allegedly murdered!
Sadly, I had to conclude that these unthinkable crimes were not exaggerated.
Although the actual statistics are hotly debated, as far as I could determine, these statistics were not inflated. If only I could say that they were exaggerated - for the sake of those who were tortured, maimed, and murdered, and for the sake of those who were left behind.
My heart bled while I reported these facts, as every one of these numbers represents a human being. Everyone in those torturous photographs was once a living person. A living soul. And I cried, How could something like this happen? It did not occur during Medieval Times, it happened barely 70 years ago! Where were the voices that were supposed to cry out against this murder and mayhem? Where were the journalists, the pastors, the preachers, the Christians – the God-fearing custodians of planet earth?