A concentration camp victim identifies a SS guard, 1945

((Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum / Harold Royall).)

(THIS ARTICLE IS A COPY PASTE OF THEIR ARTICLE)

Russian survivor liberated U.S. Army in Buchenwald camp in Germany identified a former guard who were brutally beating prisoners. April 14, 1945. Colorized version. The original photograph.

Russian survivor liberated by the U.S. Army in Buchenwald camp in Germany identified a former guard who were brutally beating prisoners. April 14, 1945. Colorized version. The original photograph.

The picture depicts a liberated Russian inmate pointing an identifying and accusing finger at a Nazi guard who was especially cruel towards the prisoners in Buchenwald camp (original picture). There’s something really fascinating about this picture. We can only see so much of the prisoner’s expression here, but that finger means so much. Days, maybe even hours earlier, that prisoner might have been afraid to cross paths with or even make eye contact with this man. Now he’s casting an accusatory finger that’s as well as pointing a gun at the back of the man’s head, and the defeated look on his face seems horribly aware of that.

That medal on the guard’s chest looks like a World War One imperial wound badge, meaning this guard fought for the German Imperial Army during the Great War. The badge is the black variant (3rd class, representing Iron) and was given to those wounded once or twice by hostile action (including air raids), or frostbitten in the line of duty.

After the outbreak of World War II, Buchenwald continued to house political prisoners and, later, Poles and Russians. Most inmates worked as slave labourers at nearby work sites in 12-hour shifts around the clock. There were some 18,000 prisoners after Kristallnacht, 11,000 on the eve of the war, 63,000 by the end of 1944, and 86,000 in February 1945, when Buchenwald became the destination for some of the inmates forcibly evacuated from Auschwitz.

Although there were no gas chambers, hundreds perished each month from disease, malnutrition, exhaustion, beatings, and executions. Camp records indicate that throughout its existence some 240,000 prisoners from at least 30 countries were confined at Buchenwald. At least 10,000 were shipped to extermination camps, and some 43,000 people died at the camp.

(Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum / Harold Royall).

Anne Frank may have been discovered by chance, new study says

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

Anne Frank may have been discovered by chance, new study says

  • 17 December 2016
  • From the sectionEurope
A picture of Anne Frank taken on January 1, 1942 and released by the Anne Frank Fonds.Image copyrightAFP PHOTO /ANNE FRANK FONDS
Image captionAnne Frank’s diary has provided new hints about how and why her hiding place was uncovered

World-famous wartime diarist Anne Frank may have been discovered by chance and not because her hiding place was betrayed, a new theory suggests.

The Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam believes the address could have been raided over ration fraud.

Researchers say the police who found the secret annexe may not have been looking for the eight Jews there.

The raid on Prinsengracht 263 saw all of those in hiding transported to the Auschwitz death camps.

Summarising its findings, the Anne Frank House said: “The question has always been: Who betrayed Anne Frank and the others in hiding? This explicit focus on betrayal, however, limits the perspective on the arrest.”

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Shortly before the raid, an anonymous caller supposedly revealed details of the secret annexe to the Sicherheitsdienst or SD (German Security Service) – but the study’s authors have questioned this account.

Using Anne’s diary entries from March 1944, researchers found that ration coupon fraud and illegal working activities may have triggered the fateful raid.

‘We have no coupons’

From 10 March 1944, Anne repeatedly wrote about the arrest of two men who dealt in illegal ration cards. She called the pair “B” and “D” – which stood for Martin Brouwer and Pieter Daatzelaar.

The pair were salesmen for a firm based at Prinsengracht 263, where Anne’s father Otto Frank also had his business – and where the family went into hiding.

Anne writes on March 14: “B and D have been caught, so we have no coupons…”

This shows that the Frank family got at least some of their food coupons clandestinely from these salesmen.

A plaque outside the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam
Image captionThe Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam is located in the house where Anne and her family hid from the Nazis

Analysing police reports and judicial documents, the researchers also found that the police who discovered Anne and her companions were not generally employed to hunt down Jews in hiding.

Instead, they had worked on cases involving cash, securities and jewellery.

The study also notes that the police spent over two hours at the property – longer than it should have taken to arrest those cornered in the annexe.

Other evidence shows that people linked to Prinsengracht 263 had been punished by the Netherlands’ Nazi occupiers for evading work.

“A company where people were working illegally and two sales representatives were arrested for dealing in ration coupons obviously ran the risk of attracting the attention of the authorities,” the researchers wrote.

No firm conclusions have ever been drawn about who betrayed Anne Frank and her family to the Nazis.

The young writer ultimately died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, aged 15, just weeks before its liberation. Her father Otto was the only one of the annexe’s eight occupants to survive World War Two.

A symbolic tombstone commemorates Anne Frank and her sister Margot on the site of the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on March 17, 2015 in Lohheide, GermanyImage copyrightSEAN GALLUP/GETTY IMAGES
Image captionA symbolic tombstone commemorates Anne Frank and her sister Margot on the site of the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
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