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Thread: Laughing in KZ Auschwitz

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    Senior Member Kurtz's Avatar
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    Laughing in KZ Auschwitz

    LAUGHING AT AUSCHWITZ
    Leisure Photos of Camp Guards Shock Germans

    Newly released photos of SS officers sitting in canvas chairs, participating in sing-alongs and enjoying their free time at a recreation home near Auschwitz have shocked many in Germany this week.

    Twelve SS auxiliaries sit happily on a fence railing eating blueberries given to them by an SS officer. The photo was taken in 1944 in Solahütte, a recreation home located near Auschwitz for the SS team in charge of running the concentration camp. Another shows the auxiliaries callously feigning tears once their bowls are empty.

    These are just two of 116 images in a photo album made public by the United States National Holocaust Museum in Washington earlier this week. The museum obtained the photos at the year of the year from a retired US Army intelligence officer, who came across the album in an apartment in Frankfurt and has now given them to the museum.

    The photos were taken between May and December 1944, and they show the officers and guards relaxing and enjoying themselves -- as countless people were being murdered and cremated at the nearby death camp.

    In some of the photos, SS officers can be seen singing. In others they are hunting and in another a man can be seen decorating a Christmas tree in what could only be described as a holiday in hell.

    "These unique photographs vividly illustrate the contented world they enjoyed while overseeing a world of unimaginable suffering," museum director Sara Bloomfield said in a statement. "They offer an important perspective on the psychology of those perpetrating genocide."

    The director of the museum's photographic reference collection, Judith Cohen, said there are no photos depicting anything abhorrent, "and that's precisely what makes them so horrible."

    The images are significant because there are few photos available today of the "social life" of the SS officers who were responsible for the mass murder at Auschwitz, the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper writes. The paper claims that these are the first leisure time photos of the concentration camp's SS officers to be discovered, though similar images do exist for other camps, including Sachsenhausen, Dachau and Buchenwald.

    'Revelling next to the Gas Chambers'

    Germany's mass circulation Bild newspaper, which has more than 4 million readers, described the images as "photos that are angering the world!"

    "No other name is connected with greater horror and cruelty" than Auschwitz, an article in the Friday issue of the paper stated. "The death camp is the epitome of the Nazi murder of the Jews. ... Now photos of the perpetrators have surfaced, nightmarish documents that show how shamelessly and cynically the SS revelled next to the gas chambers."

    The album belonged to Karl Höcker, the adjutant to the final camp commandant at Auschwitz, Richard Baer. Höcker took the pictures as personal keepsakes. The album also contains eight photos of Josef Mengele -- some of the very few existing snapshots taken of the concentration camp's notorious doctor during the time he spent there.

    Prior to its liberation by the Allies, Höcker fled Auschwitz. After the war, he worked for years, unrecognized, in a bank. But in 1963 he was forced to answer to charges for his role at Auschwitz at a trial in Frankfurt. In his closing words in the trial, Höcker claimed: "I had no possibility in any way to influence the events and I neither wanted them to happen nor took part in them. I didn't harm anyone and no one died at Auschwitz because of me." In the end, though, he was convicted on charges of aiding and abetting the murders of 1,000 Jews and was sentenced to seven years in prison. He was released after serving five years. In 2000, he died at the age of 88.

    Up until now, only 320 photos taken prior to the camp's liberation by the Russians were known to the public. The images were part of the so-called "Auschwitz Album," which was opened up for the public in 1980. The photos primarily documented the arrival of Hungarian Jews at the concentration camp at the end of May 1944 and their selection by SS personnel.

    The newly discovered photos of the blithesome daily lives of Nazis at Auschwitz offer a macabre contrast to that album.
    Link to the article

    Link to the gallery (15 pictures)

    According to this article, guardians are not allowed to laugh nor eat blueberries for it would make them "too human". It reminds me of criticisms of the movie Der Untergang which attacked the director for showing Hitler in a way that makes him appear "human" and "normal.
    "The heavenly motions... are nothing but a continuous song for several voices, perceived not by the ear but by the intellect,
    a figured music which sets landmarks
    in the immeasurable flow of time."

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    Haha, the reaction is quite hilarious. Eating blueberries truly is the epitome of evil.

    It would have been better if photos emerged of SS guards with big grins standing next to a "gas chamber" with their thumbs up.

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    Senior Member Kurtz's Avatar
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    I just re-watched the pictures. This one is my favorite:


    SS officers relax together with women and a baby on a deck at Solahütte. As the SS members took time off, hundreds were being exterminated nearby at Auschwitz.

    It almost stands as an argument for the complete negation of this "Holocaust" or Shoah or whatever Hebrew biblic word. How come the soldiers would have brought their wives and even a young child close to a large camps where the air should be filled with the odor of burning bodies? The gross and ridiculously obvious comment only adds to the fakeness of the whole scheme, to me. This kind of "journalism" is for sure not more worthy than the techniques used by the Third Reich's progagandists.
    "The heavenly motions... are nothing but a continuous song for several voices, perceived not by the ear but by the intellect,
    a figured music which sets landmarks
    in the immeasurable flow of time."

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    I can't really think of any eloquent way of putting this, so here it goes

    THESE PICTURES ARE NOT A BIG DEAL, JUST GET OVER IT, MOVE ON.

    I'm not a "nazi sympathizer" by any means, but seriously, it must have been a slow news day for these people. The fact that this is news is unbelievable. I believe what Americans did to the Native American populations to be far worse, but you'll never see the media having the same sort of fetish frenzy with the Native Americans as they have with Germany and the nazis

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    Those poor blueberries

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    Senior Member SwordOfTheVistula's Avatar
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    The fuss is stupid. It reminds of the people who were upset over pics/vids of US soldiers clowning around in Iraq. It's like they expect these soldiers to be comic book caricatures instead of 20-somethings trying to make the best of a situation
    Contact Congress on immigration
    Contact Congress to reject banker bailout
    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --Ben Franklin

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    I don't know about you but I would like to enjoy myself when I'm not working.
    ... And Snow Covered the Lifeless Bodies

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    Naturbursche
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    Oh another Spiegel-Report. Nothing to take serious.

    But seriously. An old friend of my grandfather was imprisoned in Ausschwitz because he was labeled a Communist and lived in East-Prussia.
    He survived it, said it was uncomfortable work there, 10-11 hours each day of hard work. But he enjoyed the options they had as prisoners, such as doing sports, using their Concentration-Camp-Money for Prostitutes etc.

    So why shouldn't any guards of the camp enjoy their free-time, lay down and relax?


    Silly Article.




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    Boche
    "We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world; and already that godliness is it, which let us love and foster peace."
    - Otto von Bismarck, 1888

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    There come a few new photos into the world, where German soldiers an their families are showed like happy people. wtf? This guys just could be happy! They had the free-time during the war to spend with their families... While at the same time the soldiers at the front were fighting and massacrated! if I were in their position, I would be a very, very lucky guy. :-/

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post
    It reminds me of criticisms of the movie Der Untergang which attacked the director for showing Hitler in a way that makes him appear "human" and "normal.
    That was exactly what I thought as I read the Spiegel report.
    Viele Menschen sind zu gut erzogen, um mit vollen Mund zu sprechen;
    aber sie haben keine Bedenken, dies mit leeren Kopf zu tun.

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    We've been told for decades that these people were perverted sadists who loved their work, they loved beating and killing prisoners for no reason, loved making soap and lampshades out of Jews. We've been shown in movies and books that concentration camp officers and guards lived lives of luxury and drunken excess. So if they supposedly had such good times working in Auschwitz, why would they need to take these breaks having simple, inexpensive 'good clean fun' like picking blueberries, going hiking, sunning and having accordion sing-alongs complete with Onkel Mengele? The answer: they weren't sadists and perverts but normal people who worked in a prison. I'm sure it wasn't "fun" work by any stretch of the imagination (even the most perverted sadist would find it difficult to get his/her jollies surrounded by a bunch of miserable people dying of typhus) but the men were happy and grateful to be safe from the frontlines, and the women glad to have a decent-paying job to help their families (the main reason they went to work there).

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