EVENING NEWS OVENS
Since I was in my early teens I studied the Holocaust. My interest came from a news story I saw in which, I’m guessing, was an anniversary and they were showing the ovens at Auschwitz. This back before social media was around. Basically, this was a real news broadcast on a television set that the basic channels. We’re talking the seventies. But I digress.
THE NUMBERS ARE PLENTY
I’ve read so many books on the Holocuast I consider myself a half expert on the subject and thus, I like to answer questions on the subject based on my knowledge and opinion.
I have always enjoyed Quora by the mere fact the people who answer questions there give their honest truth or opinion based on the question. No one, I have seen thus far, give a ridiculous answer or try to come off witty. People there seem to want to help. I’m one of those people that like to help.
QUORA ME THIS…
I’m more active on Quora this go around than ever before. I’ve had a few profiles on there in which I canceled, but this Quora ProfileI have contributed the most with.
This post, I am going to share what I’ve been sharing on Quora. As always, I welcome comments to the questions being asked or to my response to the questions. We all can learn from each other.
What are some parallel or common stories told by holocaust survivors?
The most common story told by survivors of the Holocaust is arriving at the camps at night. After reading my last Holocaust book about Ravensbruck, the arrival at night seemed to be a tactic by the Nazis and for good reasons. You can’t see at night. Although there were lights on in the camps, the cold and fog played a part in the night arrivals being common too. These people have been traveling for seven, if not more, in a cattle car, geared to hold maybe 80 people, and you have close to 200 in there. They are left with no food or water. The only way to relieve themselves is by way of a bucket in a corner. One bucket for 300 people. Not imagine, old people and babies and kids being in the same cattle car. This was a common occurrence.
The Nazis were methodical in their plans to humiliate who they deemed unworthy and this didn’t apply to just the Jews. There were so many different people in concentration camps, it’s amazing. But let me get back on track.
Another common occurrence was the medical exams done in an open room. For women, they were given full exams by not so clean doctors using DEFINITELY not sterile equipment.
Having the undress in front of others (prisoners and guards alike) and given dirty or blood-stained clothes to wear in place of your street clothes. Being lied to all the while that everything will be OK. Being told this is for their protection (being interned). Constantly being told your personal items will be given back to you later.
Other common lies told:
You’ll be with your family soon
There will be food and a warm bed waiting for you
This is only temporary
Everything will be fine
I think the reason for night drop offs was due to everyone who was in the camp being in their barracks already. Those arriving weren’t able to see or hear the truth until the next morning when they were subjected to the same brutality their counterparts had and is already experiencing.
Is there any way to verify what any particular holocaust survivor is saying?
To verify if a story is true or not do research on the person telling the story. But how I approach it is not worrying so much if the person telling the story is being truthful to it happening to them, but the story itself.
The thing with the Holocaust is just about everyone experienced the same thing, no matter which camp they were in. Some camps were worse than others, but they all had these things in common:
- Arriving at night
- Being stripped all clothing and belongings
- Separated from family
- forced into labor (no pay, no days off for 12 hours a day)
- subjected to beatings, witness to random killings
- starvation was extremely common
Focus on what you’re reading and not the person telling the story. The inhumane ways in which prisoners were treated during the Holocaust can be unbelievable at times and you question what the person is saying. In this case, do research on what they saying. See if anyone experienced the same thing. Unfortunately, there are people that will claim they survived the Holocaust only to find out they lied. Why anyone would lie about something like that is beyond me. In instances like this, I check their age to the timeline. Some who have lied would have to have been babies during the Holocaust, and thus wouldn’t have survived the camps because babies were often killed if they weren’t hidden (but death was imminent here as well) out snuck out of the camps.
There are people who like about being in the Twin Towers during the plane crashes. One person named Tania Head has become infamous of this. Read the story.
As mentioned, do research if you feel the story is far-fetched. Even with the autocracies that happened during the Holocaust, some stories have been fabricated for one’s 15 minutes of fame. I remember one couple claimed they fell in love in one of the camps. Their age at the time of their telling didn’t match the timeline of the Holocaust and they were found out to be frauds. Mind you, the people were in their 70’s, but nothing lined up.
Research the person telling the story as well. Sometimes I will do that. I’ll research the story and the person.
Were the Joseph Mengele stories invented in the 1980s?
I’m not sure which stories told about Joseph Mengele you’re referring to, but I can tell you what I know.
He was infatuated with twins kids. He had a separate barrack set up just for them in which they received chocolates and better food than the rest of the camps. He would play with them and everything. But his end goal was to experiment with them.
Mengele was a brilliant doctor and could have changed medicine, in a good way, if he wasn’t so self-serving. He was too busy trying to be somebody important that he lost his way. He focused more on being important to the Nazis that he forgot what he got into medicine for.
Mengele was also given free reign to prisoners.
The reason for links is due to two things: 1. accuracy of what he’s done and 2. documentation that can lead to more documentation.
I don’t all he’s done, but from your question, I feel it be unjust of me to provide just my thoughts/knowledge.
Read each of the articles I provided but be prepared to be horrified.
As mentioned, I consider myself an half-expert. I would not make the cut should they need an absolute expert on the witness stand, but I feel I could hold my own.
My answers above come from books and articles I’ve read and documentaries I’ve seen. To this day I continue to read books on the subject, research articles on the like and watch documentaries.