Rudolf Vrba

Rudolf Vrba


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Rudolf Vrba (Walter Rosenberg), søn af en savværksejer, blev født i Slovakiet den 11. september 1924. I en alder af femten blev han bortvist fra sit gymnasium i Bratislava under den slovakiske marionetstats version af nazisterne i Nürnberg Love.

Efter udbruddet af Anden Verdenskrig blev Vrba, ligesom andre jøder i lande besat i Nazityskland, rundet sammen og sendt til koncentrationslejre. I 1942 ankom Vrba til Auschwitz. Den 9. april 1944 lykkedes det Vrba og hans ven, Alfred Wetzler, at flygte. De to mænd brugte elleve dage på at gå og skjule, før de kom tilbage til Slovakiet.

Vrba og Wetzler tog kontakt til det lokale jødiske råd. De gav detaljer om Holocaust, der fandt sted i Østeuropa. De gav også et skøn over antallet af dræbte jøder i Auschwitz mellem juni 1942 og april 1944: omkring 1,75 mio. I juni 1944 blev den 32 sider lange Vrba-Wetzler-rapport blev offentliggjort. Det var den første information om udryddelseslejrene, der nåede den frie verden og blev accepteret som troværdig.

I september 1944 sluttede Vrba sig til de tjekkoslovakiske partisaner og blev senere dekoreret for tapperhed. Efter krigen læste han biologi og kemi ved Charles University, Prag, tog en doktorgrad og flygtede derefter mod vest. Han arbejdede i Israel fra 1958 til 1960 på det biologiske forskningsinstitut i Beit Dagan. Han flyttede derefter til Storbritannien og arbejdede for Medical Research Council.

Vrba's erindringer, Jeg kan ikke tilgive, dukkede op i 1963. De blev senere genudgivet som Jeg flygtede fra Auschwitz. I 1967 blev Vrba professor i biokemi i farmakologisk afdeling ved medicinske skolen ved University of British Columbia (UBC) i Canada.

Rudolf Vrba døde af kræft den 26. marts 2006.

Krematoriet indeholder en stor hal, et gaskammer og en ovn. Folk er samlet i hallen, der rummer 2.000. De skal klæde sig af og får et stykke sæbe og et håndklæde, som om de skulle i bad. Derefter trænges de ind i gaskammeret, som er hermetisk forseglet. Flere SS-mænd i gasmasker hælder derefter i gaskammeret gennem tre åbninger i loftet et præparat af giftgassen maga-cyclon. Efter tre minutter er alle personer døde. De døde kroppe føres derefter i vogne til ovnen for at blive brændt.

Vi marcherede ind i det kommercielle hjerte i Auschwitz, lagre til kropssneglerne, hvor hundredvis af fanger arbejdede hektisk med at sortere, adskille og klassificere tøjet og maden og værdigenstande til dem, hvis lig stadig brændte, hvis aske snart ville blive brugt som en gødning.

Det var et utroligt syn, en enorm rektangulær gård med et vagttårn i hvert hjørne og omgivet af pigtråd. Der var flere store opbevaringsrum og en blok af, hvad der lignede kontorer med en firkantet, åben altan i det ene hjørne. Men det, der først slog mig, var et bjerg af kufferter, kufferter, rygsække, kufferter og pakker, der var stablet midt på gården.

I nærheden var et andet bjerg med tæpper denne gang, halvtreds tusinde af dem, måske hundrede tusinde. Jeg blev så forskrækket ved synet af disse to toppe af personlige ejendele, at jeg på det tidspunkt aldrig troede, hvor deres ejere kunne være. Faktisk havde jeg ikke meget tid til at tænke, for hvert trin bragte noget nyt chok.

Heinrich Himmler besøgte Auschwitz -lejren igen i januar 1943. Denne gang var jeg glad for at se ham ankomme, dog ikke fordi jeg stadig nærede et svagt håb om, at han ville forbedre vores lod gennem velvillighed eller nogen form for retfærdighed. Hans tilstedeværelse var velkommen til os alle, blot fordi det betød, at der for en dag ikke ville være uplanlagte slag eller drab.

Han skulle se verdens første transportbåndsdrab, indvielsen af ​​kommandant Hoess helt nye legetøj, hans krematorium. Det var virkelig en pragtfuld affære, 100 yards lang og 50 yards bred, indeholdende 15 ovne, der kunne brænde tre kroppe hver samtidigt på 20 minutter, et monument i beton, faktisk for sin bygherre, Herr Walter Dejaco.

Himmler oplevede bestemt en imponerende demonstration, kun ødelagt af en tidsplan, der ville have forårsaget bekymring hos mange en lille tysk jernbanestation. Kommandant Hoess, der var ivrig efter at vise sit nye legetøj på sin mest effektive måde, havde sørget for en særlig transport af 3.000 polske jøder til at være til stede til slagtning på den moderne, tyske måde.

Himmler ankom klokken otte den morgen, og showet skulle starte en time senere. 8.45 blev de nye gaskamre med deres smarte dummy -brusere og deres opslag - "Hold ren", "Hold stille" og så videre - pakket til kapacitet. SS -vagterne havde faktisk sørget for, at ikke en centimeter plads ville blive spildt ved at affyre et par skud ved indgangen. En SS -mand, iført en tung gasmaske, stod på taget af kammeret og ventede på at slippe Zyklon B -pillerne i, som frigav en hydrogencyanidgas. Hans var en hæderspost den dag, for sjældent ville han have haft et så fornem publikum, og han følte sig sandsynligvis lige så anspændt som starten på Derbyet. 8.55 var spændingen næsten uudholdelig. Manden i gasmasken flittede med sine æsker med piller. Et sted ringede en telefon. Hvert hoved vendte sig mod det. En yngre underofficerer klatrede over til betjenten, der var ansvarlig for operationen, hilste hastigt og stønnede en besked. Betjentens ansigt stivnede, men han sagde ikke et ord. Beskeden var: "Rigsführeren er ikke færdig med sin morgenmad endnu." Endelig var alt imidlertid klar til handling. En skarp kommando blev givet til SS -manden på taget. Han åbnede et cirkulært låg og faldt pillerne hurtigt ned på hovederne under ham. Han vidste, alle vidste, at varmen fra de pakkede kroppe ville få disse pellets til at frigive deres gasser på få minutter; og så lukkede han låget hurtigt. Gasningen var begyndt. Efter at have ventet et stykke tid, så giften ville have cirkuleret ordentligt, inviterede Hoess høfligt sin gæst til at få et andet kig gennem observationsvinduet. I nogle minutter kiggede Himmler ind i dødskammeret, tydeligvis imponeret og vendte sig derefter med ny interesse til sin kommandant med et nyt parti spørgsmål. Særlige elevatorer tog ligene med til krematoriet, men afbrændingen fulgte ikke med det samme. Guldtænder måtte fjernes. Hår, der blev brugt til at gøre torpedos sprænghoveder vandtætte, måtte klippes af kvindernes hoveder. De velhavende jøders lig, der blev kendt tidligt for deres potentiale, måtte afsættes til dissektion, hvis nogen af ​​dem havde været snedige nok til at skjule smykker - måske diamanter - om deres person.

Himmler ventede, indtil røgen begyndte at tykne over skorstene og kiggede på sit ur. Klokken var et. Frokost, faktisk. Han gav hånden til de øverste betjente, returnerede hilsenerne fra de lavere rækker tilfældigt og muntert og klatrede tilbage i bilen med Hoess. Auschwitz var i forretning.

Tidligt i marts 1942, i oprør mod deportationslovene, rev Vrba den gule Davidsstjerne af tøjet og forlod sit tjekkoslovakiske hjem i en taxa, på vej mod Storbritannien via Ungarn. Senere, efter at have været opsnappet af grænsevagter, blev han først sendt til overgangslejren Novaky i Slovakiet, hvor han forsøgte at flygte, men igen blev fanget og slået. Den 14. juni 1942 blev han deporteret til koncentrationslejren Majdanek i Polen og to uger senere, den 30. juni, til Auschwitz. Efter seks måneder i Auschwitz blev han overført til Birkenau (Auschwitz II) og fik tatoveret nummeret 44070 på armen.

Fra august 1942 til juni 1943 blev Vrba tildelt - både i Auschwitz og i Birkenau - at arbejde i den særlige slavearbejdsenhed, der håndterede ejendommen til dem, der var blevet gasformet. I lejrslang var enheden kendt som "Canada" på grund af maden og guldet og andre dyrebare materialer, som tyskerne konfiskerede fra bagagen fra de indkommende "genbosætnings" deporterede. Auschwitz -skatte fra "Canada" blev pakket til Tyskland, og guldet blev hurtigt smeltet til barrer og deponeret i Reichsbanken.

Et vigtigt aspekt af Vrba's opgaver i 1942 og 1943 var at være til stede ved ankomsten af ​​de fleste transporter af deporterede og at sortere ejendommene til de gassede ofre. Fra dette udsigtspunkt kunne han vurdere, hvor lidt de deporterede vidste om Auschwitz, da de kom ind i lejren. Deres bagage indeholdt tøj til alle årstider og basale redskaber, et klart tegn på deres naive forberedelse til et nyt liv i området "genbosætning" i øst.

I sommeren 1943 forbedrede Vrba sin position til indsamling af oplysninger, da han blev udnævnt til registrator i karantænelejren for mænd. I begyndelsen af ​​1944 bemærkede han, at der var forberedelser på en yderligere jernbanelinje til en forventet transport af jøder, der på SS -lejersproget blev kaldt "ungarsk salami". Transport fra forskellige lande, ville Vrba senere forklare, var præget af visse langvarige proviant, der var pakket i fangernes bagage til den sidste rejse ind i det ukendte.

Som han efterfølgende skrev: "Da en række transporter af jøder fra Nederlandene ankom, berigede oste krigets rationer. Det var sardiner, da der ankom en række transporter af franske jøder, halva og oliven, når transporter af jøder fra Grækenland nåede lejren, og nu talte SS om 'ungarsk salami', en velkendt ungarsk bestemmelse, der er velegnet til at tage med på en lang rejse. "

I næsten to år havde han tænkt på at flygte, først egoistisk, fordi han blot havde ønsket sin frihed, men nu, "jeg havde en tvingende grund. Det var ikke længere et spørgsmål om at anmelde en forbrydelse, men om at forhindre en." Han begyndte sin første videnskabelige undersøgelse: at vurdere hvert mislykket flugtforsøg, at analysere dets fejl og rette dem.

Fredag ​​den 7. april 1944 (før påsken) sneg Vrba og Wetzler ind i et tidligere brugt gemmestue, der var drysset med benzinvåd tobak for at forhindre hundene i at snuse dem ud. De blev der i tre nætter, indtil lejrmyndighederne antog, at de to mænd allerede var kommet ud over den ydre omkreds. Da kardonen af ​​SS -vagter, der havde omgivet denne omkreds, blev trukket tilbage, var Vrba og Wetzler klar til at snige sig ud.

De vidste én ting med sikkerhed: som barberede hovedfanger, klædt i stribede pyjamas og med tal tatoveret på armene, var det ingen mening at stole på nogen hjælp i verden uden for Auschwitz. "I øjeblikket for vores flugt," forklarede Vrba, "blev alle forbindelser til alle venner og sociale kontakter, vi havde i Auschwitz, afbrudt, og vi havde absolut ingen forbindelse, der ventede på os uden for dødslejren, hvor vi havde tilbragt de sidste to år. " Som han senere formulerede det: "Vi blev de facto afskrevet af verden, fra vi blev lastet ind i et deportationstog i foråret 1942. Til at begynde med måtte vi træde ind i et fuldstændigt 'socialt vakuum' uden for Auschwitz. Det eneste administrative bevis på vores eksistens var en international kendelse om os, der blev udsendt telegrafisk og distribueret til alle stationer i Gestapo. "

Vrba-Wetzler-rapporten fortsætter med at generere historisk debat den dag i dag. Mange, herunder Vrba selv, har sat spørgsmålstegn ved, om rapporten blev formidlet og handlet så hurtigt og så kraftigt, som den burde have været. I et ubesvaret "hvad nu hvis", fortsatte Vrba til sin sidste dag med at stille spørgsmålstegn ved, om flere ofre kunne være blevet reddet, hvis datidens allierede og datidens jødiske ledelse havde fulgt en mere kraftfuld handling i lyset af hans rapport. Denne tankegang har til tider gjort hans ideer noget uoverensstemmende med den fremherskende israelske historiske fortælling om datidens begivenheder. Mens de to flugter nøjagtigt forudsagde de ungarske jøders skæbne, var det, de ikke kunne have forudset, at deres efterkrigstidens erindringer og dokumenterede rapport ville blive holdt fra den israelske hebraisk læsende offentlighed.


Rudolf Vrba - en af ​​de første til at rapportere om rædslerne i Auschwitz

Rudolf Vrba var en af ​​de første mennesker til at flygte fra Auschwitz koncentrationslejr og rapporter, hvad der skete der, til myndighederne.

Rudolf blev født i Tjekkoslovakiet i 1924. Han forlod hjemmet og ville slutte sig til hæren som 17 -årig, da Anden Verdenskrig var i gang. Han fjernede Davidsstjernen fra ærmet, der identificerede ham som en jøde, og gik over grænsen til Ungarn, men han blev hurtigt anholdt og blev ført til en koncentrationslejr nær Lublin. Rudolf påtog sig landbrugsarbejde og blev overført til Auschwitz i 1942.

Han ville se, hvordan nyankomne blev opdelt i dem, der kunne arbejde, og dem, der blev sendt direkte til gaskamrene. Da det blev opdaget, at han kunne tale tysk, fik Rudolf et job i butikkerne med at sortere de dødes ejendele og fængslede. Butikkerne var et godt sted at arbejde, da han havde adgang til mad, sæbe og vand. Til sidst blev han en lejrregistrator.

Rudolf huskede de fire ovne i Birkenau, hvor gasdrabene skete. Han sagde, at kamrene ville rumme 2.000 mennesker. Han sagde, at de ville øge temperaturen i kammeret og derefter tabe det giftige pulver gennem skud i taget, som blev til gas. Han sagde, at det ville tage tre minutter, og alle i kammeret ville være døde. Efter et stykke tid og kammerets gasser havde lagt sig, ville de sende slavearbejdere ind for at fjerne ligene og tage dem med til ovnen.

Rudolf formåede at flygte med sin ven Wetzel i 1944. De gemte sig under en bunke tømmerstokke og krøb ud om natten. De tog mod Slovakiet og gemte sig med polske bønder undervejs, rapporterer The Telegraph.

De nåede Zilina og begyndte at skrive det, de havde set, hørt og oplevet i Auschwitz. De tegnede byggeplanerne og skrev deres oplevelser op. Det tjente som et solidt bevis på, hvad der var sket der. Dette var en af ​​de første rapporter, der beviste, at nazisterne systematisk dræbte jøder. Den blev dannet i Wetzler-Vrba-rapporten og blev udsendt til alle de allierede og jødiske myndigheder samt international presse.

Da rapporten skabte overskrifter i nyhederne i juli 1944, blev deportationen af ​​50.000 ungarske jøder stoppet i Auschwitz.

Efter krigen fortsatte Rudolf med at tage en karriere i den akademiske verden, studerede kemi og biologi og fortsatte med at arbejde for University of British Columbia og Harvard Medical School. Han skrev amemoir om sine krigsoplevelser med titlen: I Can not Forgive.

Rudolf døde i 2006, og anerkender stadig den dag i dag at fortælle verden om grusomhederne i Auschwitz.


Rudolf Vrba - Historie

Dato: Lør, 2. nov 1996 00:40:01 CST
Fra: rudolf vrba
Emne: BBC & vidnesbyrd
Til Stephen Feinstein
Professor i historie
University of Wisconsin

Jeg læste i H-Holocaust af 31. oktober din korte besked, som indeholder nogle unøjagtigheder, der er relevante for min person. Jeg var ikke og har aldrig været praktiserende læge i Vancouver, men jeg bor i Vancouver siden 1967 som lektor, Institut for Farmakologi og Terapeutik, Medicinsk Fakultet, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1X4.

Hvad angår tilblivelsen af ​​Vrba-Wetzler-rapporten, har jeg for nylig offentliggjort en undersøgelse om emnet, jf. Rudolf Vrba, "Die missachtete Warnung, Betrachtungen ueber den Auschwitz Bericht 1944" Vierteljahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte, Heft 1/1996, s.1-25.

I den forbindelse vil jeg minde dig om de tidligere undersøgelser om dette emne af JSConway ("Fruehe Augenzeugenberichte aus Auschwitz.Glaubwuerdigkeit und Wirkungsgeschichte") udgivet i Vierteljahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte, Heft 2 /1979, s. 263-284 en engelsk version af denne artikel kan findes i Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual, bind 1, s 133-151 ("Den første rapport om Auschwitz").

Enhver, der ønsker at lære mere om Dora, Nordhausen -lejren og de virkelige aktiviteter i forbrydelser mod menneskeheden begået af de tyske eksperter inden for raketudvikling (von Braun et al), bør læse den virkelig mesterlige beskrivelse af det tyske system, som det praktiseredes på det tidspunkt i Dora. og overladt til viden om den fremtidige generation af professor Charles Sadron.

Charles Sadron blev født den 12. maj 1902 og blev professor i fysik (Faculte de Science de Strassbourg). Han blev anholdt af Gestapo den 25. november 1943 i Clermont-Ferrand. På det tidspunkt var han en internationalt kendt ekspert inden for raket. Han blev deporteret til Buchenwald i januar 1944 (som medlem af den franske modstand, ikke af religiøse eller "racemæssige" årsager), og da han nægtede at deltage i teamet af von Braun som forskningsekspert, tilbragte han tiden fra februar 1944 til April 1945 som fange i Dora iført Buchenwald -matrikel nr. 42013.

Efter evakuering af Dora blev han befriet den 3. maj 1945 i regionen Mecklembourg og blev igen professor i fysik ved universitetet i Strasbourg.

Han forfattede sine erindringer om Dora under titlen "A L'USINE DE DORA", der for nylig blev offentliggjort i "De l'Universite aux Camps de Concen- tration. Temoignages Strasbourgeois", Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 3e edition, Strasbourg 1989.pp 177 -231.

I samme bind findes også erindringerne om Dora af en tidligere medicinstuderende i Strasbourg, senere Dr. P.-Andre Lobstein, født i 1923. Han var i Dora fra september 1944 til 5. april 1945 og arbejdede som en lægelig ordnet der, Buchenwald nr. 31307.Hans erindringer om Dora: "Le BLOCK 39A DU REVIER DE DORA", ibid, s. 233-236.

Også Greff Eugene, født i 1920, tidligere etudiant a l'Ecole superieure d'electricite (Strasbourg) udgav sine erindringer fra Dora, hvor han var fange nr. 40811 fra 10. februar 1944 og blev befriet af briterne den 16. april 1945 ( "A ELLRICH, PRES DORA", ibid, s. 237-245).

Efter min mening har professor Charles Sadrons erindringer en stor fortjeneste, ikke kun som et historisk dokument af enorm værdi, men også som et stykke kunst og litteratur. Det er på høje tid at oversætte dette værk til andre sprog for dem, der ikke kan læse fransk, især en engelsk og tysk oversættelse er meget ønskværdig og for længst forsinket, især da det blev skrevet af et såkaldt "ikke-jødisk" vidne, overlevende og en fremragende videnskabsmand.


Rudolf Vrba, 81, Auschwitz Witness, Dies

Rudolf Vrba, der som ung flygtede fra Auschwitz og fremlagde det første øjenvidne, der ikke kun beviser omfanget af den tragedie, der udspiller sig i dødslejren, men også om den nøjagtige mekanisme ved nazistisk masseudryddelse, døde den 27. marts på et hospital i Vancouver , Britisk Columbia. Han var 81.

Hans kone, Robin, sagde, at han døde af kræft.

Dr. Vrba blev en fremtrædende medicinsk forsker i Israel, England, USA og Canada og skrev snesevis af papirer.

Men hans største betydning er som forfatter til et meget anderledes papir - et med diagrammer over gaskamre og krematorier. Med bemærkelsesværdig specificitet opnået fra lejrjob, der gav ham usædvanlig adgang til forskellige hjørner af Auschwitz, herunder gaskamrene, fortalte Dr. Vrba den ukendte sandhed om det.

Rapporten blev kendt som Auschwitz -protokollen. Da en del af det blev frigivet i sommeren 1944, godkendte den amerikanske regering det som sandt. Hverken Dr. Vrba's navn - han blev født Walter Rosenberg - eller hans medflygtning, Alfred Wetzler, blev givet for at beskytte deres sikkerhed.

Navnene på to andre flugter og en polsk hærmajor, hvis oplysninger blev tilføjet til den endelige protokol, gik også uidentificerede. Mange historiebøger udelader stadig navnene, selvom selve dokumentet er centralt i mange diskussioner om Holocaust. Det blev brugt som bevis ved Nürnberg -retssagerne.

Dr. Vrba 's kone sagde, at hans navn, stort set uudtaleligt på engelsk, generelt er forkert udtalt som VER-ba. Men han gjorde det kendt ved at fortælle sin historie, især i hans selvbiografi fra 1963, & quotEscape from Auschwitz: I Cannot Forgive. & Quot Hans indflydelse voksede endnu mere, efter at han optrådte i Claude Lanzmanns dokumentar fra 1985, & quotShoah. & Quot

& quot Styrken i den endelige løsning var dens hemmeligholdelse, dens umulighed, & quot sagde han i et interview i 2005 med The Ottawa Citizen. & quot Jeg slap for at bryde den tro på, at det ikke var muligt. Og for at stoppe flere drab. & Quot

Da Holocaust indhyllede europæiske jøder og andre grupper, der blev fordærvet af nazisterne, sivede nyhederne om forargelsen kun gradvist til omverdenen. I begyndelsen af ​​1941 havde briterne imidlertid lært om massakrer, og senere samme år informerede Jan Karski, en leder af den polske undergrund, præsident Franklin D. Roosevelt om den gysende skræk.

Den 17. december 1942 udsendte de allierede en erklæring om, at jøder blev taget til lejren og dræbt.

Men detaljerne om, hvad der skete i Birkenau, den del af Auschwitz, der var dedikeret til udryddelse, begyndte at komme til almindelig opmærksomhed først i januar 1944, da en rapport udarbejdet af undergrunden der blev smuglet ud og nåede embedsmænd i Washington og London. Der blev dog ikke taget handling.

Den 4. april fotograferede et allieret spionfly over Polen tilfældigvis Auschwitz, mens han dokumenterede opførelsen af ​​et anlæg til syntetisk brændsel. Dagen efter flygtede Siegfried Lederer for at advare tjekkiske jøder.

Den 7. april slap hr. Vrba og hr. Wetzler, der døde i 1988,. Den 24. april nåede de Zilina, i det nordlige Slovakiet, hvor de arbejdede sammen med jødiske ledere om deres rapport. De to mænd gav hver detaljer detaljer med den anden ikke til stede. Faktiske påstande blev kontrolleret mod optegnelser, når det var muligt.

Den 32 sider lange rapport blev sendt til den britiske og amerikanske regering, Vatikanet og Det Internationale Røde Kors. Vigtigst af alt gik det til ledelsen af ​​Ungarns jøder, næste på Hitler 's liste.

Det havde været konstruktionen af ​​en ny jernbanespor til gaskamrene, der fik hr. Vrba og hr. Wetzler til at risikere deres liv for at forsøge at advare ungarske jøder, det sidste store intakte jødiske samfund i Europa. De havde hørt nazister tale om at & quotungarsk pølse & quot kommer.

Men ungarske jødiske ledere udsendte ikke en advarsel, en fiasko, der længe har været diskuteret. Det er blevet antydet, at lederne frygtede at bringe en i sidste ende mislykket aftale i fare, som de derefter forhandlede med Adolph Eichmann for at redde i det mindste nogle jøder. Der var også bekymring for, at der var for lidt tid til effektive handlinger.

Snart var det for sent på nogen måde. Den 6. juni ankom yderligere to Auschwitz -fanger, Arnost Rosin og Czeslaw Mordowicz, til Zilina. De rapporterede, at toglast af ungarske jøder blev massakreret.

"Allerede 200.000 af disse havde jeg forsøgt at redde, dem, som jeg troede, at jeg faktisk havde reddet, var allerede døde," skrev Dr. Vrba. Det samlede beløb ville mere end fordoble.

Alligevel reddede de undslupne alarmer nogle jøder, mindst 100.000 efter de fleste skøn. Allieret pres, især trusler om at holde Ungarns ledelse ansvarlig, fik admiral Miklos Horthy, Ungarns regent, til at stoppe deportationer den 9. juli 1944.

Mr. Vrba blev født Walter Rosenberg i Topolcany, Tjekkoslovakiet, den 11. september 1924. Rudolf Vrba var nom de guerre, han adopterede efter at have tilsluttet sig den tjekkoslovakiske modstand. Senere gjorde han ændringen lovlig.

Den unge Walter Rosenberg blev spærret fra skolen som 15 -årig, fordi han var jøde. Han arbejdede som arbejder indtil 1942, da han blev anholdt og deporteret, først til koncentrationslejren Maidanek og derefter til Auschwitz. Hans flugt var rystende: han gemte sig under en træbunke, mens vagthunde snusede kun få centimeter væk.

Efter Anden Verdenskrig fik han sin doktorgrad og udførte postdoktorarbejde i Prag. Efter hans forskellige stillinger som medicinsk forsker blev han professor i farmakologi ved University of British Columbia fra 1976 til begyndelsen af ​​1990'erne.

Ud over sin kone overlever han sin datter, Zuza Vrbova Jackson fra Cambridge, England, og to børnebørn.

Dr. Vrba sagde, at han havde afsat 95 procent af sin tid til videnskab og 5 procent til Holocaust. I begge skubbede han ud over fakta mod større fortolkninger.

Han fortalte f.eks. The Jerusalem Post i 1998, at han kunne forstå, hvorfor nogle mennesker tvivlede på de sande dimensioner af Holocaust. Der var intet i deres erfaring, der var fjernt sammenlignelige, sagde han.

Rettelse: 6. maj 2006, lørdag En nekrolog den 7. april om Rudolf Vrba, der flygtede fra Auschwitz for at fortælle verden om dens rædsler i 1944, fejlede det år, den polske forbindelsesofficer Jan Karski mødtes med præsident Franklin D. Roosevelt for at levere en beretning om Holocaust. Det var 1943, ikke 1941.


Rudolf Vrba - Historie

Administrativ/biografisk historie Rudolf Vrba (emne) (fødselsnavn Walter Rosenberg, f. 11. september 1924 i Topoľčany, Slovakiet) var en slovakisk jødisk overlevende, en af ​​de få fanger, der flygtede fra Auschwitz, og lektor i farmakologi ved University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Han blev født til Elias Rosenberg og Helena Rosenberg (n & eacutee Gruenfeldov & aacute). I marts 1939 vedtog den nyoprettede Slovakiske Republik, en klientstat i Tyskland, restriktioner og foranstaltninger mod jøder, hvilket begrænsede deres beskæftigelse i militære og regeringsstillinger. I 1941 blev der vedtaget en ny jødisk kodeks, der tvang slovakiske jøder til at bære gule armbånd, udelukke dem fra mange job og begrænse deres uddannelse. På grund af disse begrænsninger kunne Vrba ikke gå på gymnasiet og arbejdede som arbejder.

I 1942 satte Vrba sig for at slutte sig til den tjekkoslovakiske eksilregeringshær i England, men blev anholdt af ungarske vagter og blev sendt tilbage til Slovakiet. Efter kort tid i en overgangskoncentrationslejr for jøder blev Vrba den 15. juni 1942 deporteret til koncentrationslejren Majdanek i Polen. Femten dage senere blev han sendt til Auschwitz I -lejren. Han blev tildelt arbejde i Aufr & aumlumungskommando (ordre kommandoer) i Auschwitz II & ndashBirkenau, hvor han katalogiserede aktiver konfiskeret fra fanger. Vrba arbejdede fra 18. august 1942 til 7. juni 1943 og ompakker ejendomme stjålet fra fanger for at blive sendt til Tyskland.

I kort tid blev han flyttet til Auschwitz II & ndashBirkenau lejren. I juni 1943 fik han jobbet som registrator i karantænesektionen i Birkenau sektor B II. Da han arbejdede på Birkenau -sektor B II, mødte han Alfr og opdagede Wetzler, en anden slovakisk jødisk fange og sammen planlagde de to mænd at flygte fra koncentrationslejren. Den 7. april 1944, hjulpet af to andre fanger, gemte Vrba og Wetzler sig inde i en bunke træ i lejren og dryssede området med tobak gennemblødt i benzin for at skjule deres lugt fra vagthunde.

Den 10. april forlod Vrba og Wetzler deres skjulested og satte kursen mod syd og krydsede den polske og ndashslovakiske grænse de nåede til sidst byen Bratislava, hvor de blev skjult af det lokale jødiske råd. Her skrev de på slovakisk rapporten & ldquoVrba & ndashWetzler & rdquo et dokument, der beskrev organisationen og strukturen i Auschwitz, som også blev oversat til tysk og ungarsk og distribueret hemmeligt.

I april 1944, efter at han var undsluppet Auschwitz, ændrede Walter Rosenberg sit navn til Rudolf Vrba, han beholdt dette navn til sin død. I september 1944 sluttede Vrba sig til de tjekkoslovakiske partisaner & rsquo -kamp mod den nazistiske hær på dette tidspunkt giftede han sig med sin første kone, Gerta.

Efter krigen flyttede parret til Prag, hvor Vrba tog en uddannelse i medicin. I 1949 modtog han en uddannelse i kemi og to år senere en doktorgrad. Vrba arbejdede som forsker ved det tjekkoslovakiske videnskabsakademi og opnåede en Kandidat Nauk (det første af to niveauer af videnskabelige doktorgrader i tidligere lande i Sovjet- og Østblokken).

Fra 1953 til 1958 arbejdede han på Charles University Medical School i Prag. I 1958 rejste Vrba til en international konference til Israel og hoppede over. Han boede i Israel i to år og arbejdede på Weizmann Institute of Science i Rehovot. I 1960 flyttede han til England, hvor han arbejdede i to år på Neuropsychiatric Research Unit i Carshalton, Surrey og i syv år ved Medical Research Council (britisk afdeling).

I 1960'erne, efter erobringen og retssagen mod Adolf Eichmann i Israel, fortalte Vrba sin overlevelseshistorie til den britiske journalist Alan Bestic, der i 1964 var medforfatter af Vrba & rsquos biografi Jeg kan ikke tilgive (udgivet af Grove Press i New York). Samme år vidnede Vrba ved Frankfurt Auschwitz -forsøgene i Tyskland.

I 1967 flyttede han til Canada og blev canadisk statsborger i 1972. Fra 1967 til 1973 arbejdede Vrba for Medical Research Council of Canada. I to år var han forsker ved Harvard Medical School i Boston, Massachusetts, hvor han mødte sin anden kone, Robin (n & eacutee Lipson). I 1975 flyttede parret til Vancouver, hvor Vrba arbejdede som lektor i farmakologi ved University of British Columbia indtil begyndelsen af ​​1990'erne.
Vrba dedikerede sig til at bekæmpe den nynazistiske bevægelse i Canada.

Rudolf Vrba døde den 27. marts 2006 i Vancouver.

John S. Conway (samler) (f. 31. december 1929 i London, England) var professor emeritus i historie ved University of British Columbia i Vancouver, BC, Canada. Han afsluttede sin BA, MA og ph.d. -grader i historie ved St. John 's College i Cambridge. I 1955 flyttede han til Canada, hvor han underviste i historie og internationale forbindelser ved University of Manitoba i to år. I 1957 sluttede han sig til Department of History på UBC og underviste i moderne europæisk historie og internationale forbindelser indtil 1995. I 1957 giftede han sig med Ann, som han mødte på skibet til Canada i 1955, parret havde tre børn: David, Jane og Alison.

Conway & rsquos forskning fokuserede på de tyske kirkers og Vatikanets rolle i det tredje rige og på kristne-jødiske forhold i det tyvende århundrede. I 1968 skrev han Den nazistiske forfølgelse af kirkerne 1933 & ndash1945, først udgivet i Storbritannien, derefter oversat til tysk, fransk og spansk og genudgivet i 1997. I 1970'erne var Conway et stiftende medlem af Scholars & rsquo -konferencen om den tyske kirke og Holocaust.

John Conway besøgte Israel tre gange, hvor han holdt foredrag ved Yad Vashem Memorial Foundation i Jerusalem i 1993. I 1995 blev han direktør for Association of Contemporary Church Historians og redigerede dets månedlige nyhedsbrev. Han var medlem af redaktionerne i det tyske tidsskrift Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte og Journal of Holocaust and Genocide Studies. I 1998 blev han udnævnt til Smallman Distinguished Visiting Professor ved Institut for Historie ved University of Western Ontario. I midten af ​​2000'erne arbejdede Conway med at oprette en legatfond og mindeforelæsning opkaldt efter Rudolf Vrba på UBC.

John S. Conway døde 23. juni 2017.

Indsamlingen er arrangeret i følgende serier: Vierteljahrshefre f & uumlr Zeitgelchichte korrespondanceserie (1997 & ndash2010) Vrba mindeforelæsningsserier (2006 & ndash2014) Biografiske materialeserier (1987 & ndash2010) Vrba korrespondanceserier (2004 & ndash2007) og Artikler og foredragsserier (1992 & ndash2013).


Rudolf Vrba - Historie

Toronto, 25. januar, 1985

Holocaustoffer anklaget for at lyve af Z & uumlndel advokat

Af KIRK MAKIN

A concentration-camp survivor at the Ernst Zündel trial approached true rage for the first time in his testimony yesterday as Mr. Zündel's lawyer accused him of lying about his experiences to bolster the "hoax" of the Holocaust.

"I am saying to you that to consider a person who fought the Nazis is a liar is a misuse of the free courts of Canada," Professor Rudolf Vrba furiously told lawyer Douglas Christie (left), who had just suggested that the witness must employ complex memory techniques to keep his lies straight.

"Should I bring you six million bodies here that are the proof?" Prof. Vrba asked.

"I'd be content with just one autopsy report," Mr. Christie replied, setting off a ripple of scornful laughter from observers which drew a stern warning from County Court Judge Hugh Locke .

"You, as counsel, must know that it is not the habit of murderers to make reports of the murder", Prof. Vrba said. "Your request, therefore, is nonsensical."

Asked if he had ever actually seen people being gassed, Prof. Vrba said he saw them being taken to the buildings, at which point SS officers tossed gas canisters in and no one ever emerged.

"Therefore, I concluded it was not a kitchen or a bakery, but it was a gas chamber. . It is possible they are still there or that there is a tunnel and they are now in China. Otherwise, they were gassed."

To suggest that six million Jews were not annihilated makes as much sense as arguing the earth is flat or that photographs of astronauts walking on the moon were from a Star Trek movie, said Prof. Vrba, who spent two years at Auschwitz.

Prof. Vrba was equally contemptuous of the lawyer's suggestion that every prisoner who arrived at Auschwitz was given a camp number. Most didn't, he said, meaning they were marked for the gas chambers within a few hours.

If there was a big line-up in the forested area by the crematorium, soothing Gypsy music would be played while the victims-to-be milled around, unaware that their hours were numbered, he said.

The exchanges brought an end to several hours of acerbic sparring over technicalities and focussed Dr. Vrba's testimony on the broad aspect of the Zündel trial: Did six million Jews die during the Second World War?

According to a pamphlet published by the 46-year-old defendant, the Holocaust was greatly inflated. A second pamphlet says there is an international conspiracy of Zionists, bankers, secret societies and Communists. Mr. Zündel has pleaded not guilty to knowingly publishing false news which caused or was likely to cause harm to racial or social tolerance.

Judge Locke had his hands full during the cross-examination separating the verbal combatants. At one point yesterday, the lawyer from Victoria was scathing about Prof. Vrba's account of escaping Auschwitz by night without instruments or food.

"Perhaps in Girl Guides or Boy Scouts in Victoria they didn't teach you how this can be done, but it can," Prof. Vrba said.

Prof. Vrba has testified he kept a remarkably accurate account of the rail cars and the truckloads of Jews he saw transported to the gas chambers during his time at Auschwitz. He has even broken them down into nationalities.

Mr. Christie appeared to draw some blood yesterday when he quoted a figure from a book indicating that 75,721 Jews were deported from France during the war. Prof. Vrba had just testified that almost double that number -- about 150,000 French Jews -- were gassed at Auschwitz while he was there.

"Where do you have that figure -- from a Nazi newspaper?" Prof. Vrba asked.

No, Mr. Christie replied: It was from a French Nazi-hunter.

Prof. Vrba explained that he was able to calculate the nationalities of victims accurately by various means, such as the language they spoke when they were uploaded at the train station, or the kind of possessions they brought.

Pictures courtesy of Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)

Related stories: Toronto Star version of this story testimonies of Raul Hilberg (1985) A Friedman (1985)

IT IS WORTH COMMENTING that Rudolf Vrba , alias Walter Rosenberg , is not just any survivor: he and a certain Wetzler claimed to have escaped the camp in the spring of 1944, and it was their horrific eye-witness account, edited by the Slovakian Jewish community leaders, which was released in November 1944 by the War Refugee Board in Washington (in fact by Henry Morgenthau acting behind the back of, and against the wishes of, the two other Board members Henry Stimson and Cordell Hull ).


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Rudolf Vrba (originally Walter Rosenberg, 1924-2006) and Alfred Wetzler (1918-1988) were both Slovak Jews who had been arrested in 1942 and ended up in the Auschwitz II camp, also known as Birkenau. They recognized one another from home, and decided to escape together.

In the memoirs that Vrba wrote after the war, he explained how he had attempted to commit to memory the numbers of transports arriving in Auschwitz, and their places of origin, how he had discussed the way in which Jews were killed with Sonderkommandos who worked in the camp, and how, in early 1944, a Polish kapo told him that the camp was expecting the imminent arrival of one million Hungarian Jews, for whom a new rail line, heading directly to the gas chambers, was being constructed. He also heard German SS troops saying how they looked forward to receiving Hungarian salami from the anticipated arrivals, who would be told they were coming to work at a labor camp, could be expected to arrive with provisions.

On April 7, the two men snuck into the area between the two fences marking off the camp’s inner and outer perimeters. They knew from others' earlier escape attempts that guards would continue to search for an escaped prisoner for three days after his reported disappearance. For that reason, Vrba and Wetzler hid for the next two days under a woodpile, emerging only on April 10.

Rudolf Vrba. Wikimedia Commons

They then headed by foot toward the Polish-Slovakian border, 130 kms away. Crossing into Slovakia on April 21, they got in touch with the local Judenrat (Jewish council), whose head, Dr. Oscar Neumann, interviewed them separately over three days, extracting every detail they could recall about Auschwitz. By April 27, they had prepared an extensive and carefully edited document in German and Hungarian. It included sketches of the layout of the various camps that made up Auschwitz-Birkenau, lists detailing the arrival of transports they had witnessed, and the operation of the gas chambers and crematoria. Most of what they reported was later corroborated by Holocaust historians.

On November 26, 1944, the Vrba-Wetzler Report, together with two other eyewitness accounts from Auschwitz – that of Arnost Rosin and Czeslaw Mordowicz and the “Polish Major’s report” of Jerzy Tabeau – were published by the U.S. War Refugee Board, in a document that became known as the “Auschwitz Protocols.” The same day, it received detailed coverage in the New York Times. Long before then, however, the Hungarian government had begun deporting the country’s Jews, 100,000 of whom were sent to Auschwitz between May 15 and May 27, most of whom were killed on arrival.

There is disagreement about exactly who within the Hungarian Jewish community received early notice of the Vrba-Wetzler Report, but it seems clear that Rudolf Kastner, of the Budapest Rescue and Aid Committee, had a copy of it in hand by early May. At the time, Kastner was negotiating with Adolf Eichmann for the ransoming of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis – the country’s Jewish community was 800,000-strong. Neither Kastner nor other members of the Hungarian Jewish Council made the Vrba-Wetzler Report public, presumably because they didn’t want to jeopardize negotiations with the Germans. In the end, Kastner and Eichmann arranged for the release of 1,684 Jews, and their safe passage to Switzerland.

Only after Rosin and Mordowicz, also Slovakian prisoners, escaped from Auschwitz, on May 27, and the full Auschwitz Protocols were smuggled into Switzerland, did pressure begin to mount on the pro-Nazi Hungarian head of state Miklos Horthy not to cooperate with the German demands for the Jews’ deportation. Requests from Washington and the Vatican apparently led to Horthy’s decision on July 7 to halt the deportations of the Jews of Budapest (by then Jews from the rest of the country had already been murdered). The halt was only temporary, however, since Horthy’s government was overthrown by the Arrow Cross Party in October, which established a Nazi puppet government.

Alfred Wetzler. Wikimedia Commons

After the war, Vrba received a doctorate in chemistry and biochemistry, and eventually made his way to Vancouver, Canada, where he died in 2006. He published journalistic accounts of his experiences in 1961, but when he offered to testify at the trial of Adolf Eichmann that same year, the Israeli government declined, saying it could not pay his travel expenses. Instead, he submitted written testimony.

Wetzler returned to Bratislava, Slovakia, after the war, where he worked as an editor and later on a farm. He also wrote up his memoirs, under the pen name of Jozef Lanik. Han døde i 1988.


European History, Backwards

Born Walter Rosenberg in Slovakia, 1924, Rudolf Vrba was taken into custody by Nazi soldiers when he was only 18 years old, for trying to flee to England in 1942. For the next two years, he suffered imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps. First, he was incarcerated at Majdanek camp, but then soon transferred to Auschwitz. At Auschwitz, he worked as a registrar and sorted through the confiscated from arriving prisoners. This position gave him ample opportunity to talk to many different people and to watch the incoming transports and gain information about them. Vrba determined that he would memorize as much specific information about the workings of Auschwitz, so he could escape and inform other eastern European Jews.

After earlier, abandoned escape plans, Vrba and his companion Alfred Wetzler decided that they must escape or die trying. On April 7, 1944, they hid in a wood pile near the outer fences, in an area where the newest section of Auschwitz, Birkenau was being constructed for the anticipated arrival of Jews from Hungary. A few inmate accomplices helped to hide them by sprinkling "petrol soaks and tobacco" around the woodpile, to throw off the dogs that the Germans used to try and track down prisoners. After four days, when the search within the camp was called off, the two slipped out and headed south, eventually making it to Slovakia. Once there, they contact the remaining Jewish officials, reporting to them all the horrific facts about Auschwitz. While the place was formerly known as a labor camp for unemployed Jews, Vrba and Wetzler revealed its true purpose, as a Nazi death camp.

The Vrba-Wetzler Report is still a matter of controversy. Though the Hungarian government possessed the report in Apri land May of 1944, they did not release the information to the public, and thousands of Jews went to Auschwitz with little resistance, thinking they were only being placed in labor camps, and would later be allowed to return home. Vrba stance on this has always been that the government purposely ignored a huge opportunity to save lives and undermine the workings of Nazi Germany by allowing this to happen.

After this harrowing ordeal, Vrba went on to become educated in chemistry and biochemistry at Prague Technical University in 1951 and the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in 1956. He moved to Britain and became a citizen there, earning membership on the British Medical Research Council from 1960-1967. He also published his personal memoir I Cannot Forgive in 1963. Later he move to Canada, and is currently working at the University of British Columbia as associate professor of pharmecology.


The Holocaust: The Vrba-Wetzler Report (Auschwitz Protocols)

The Vrba-Wetzler report, also known as the Auschwitz Protocols, the Auschwitz Report, and the Auschwitz notebook, is a 40-page document about the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland during the Holocaust. It was written by hand or dictated in Slovak between April 25-27, 1944, by Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, two Slovak Jews who had escaped from Auschwitz on April 10, then typed up by Oscar Krasniansky of the Slovak Jewish Council, who simultaneously translated it into German. The report represents one of the first attempts to estimate the numbers being killed in the camp, and one of the earliest and most detailed description of the gas chambers. The first full English-language publication of the report was in November 1944 by the United States War Refugee Board. The original is kept in the War Refugee Board archives of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in New York.[1]

AUSCHWITZ PROTOCOL

The report is often referred to as the Auschwitz Protocols, although in fact the Protocols incorporated information from three reports, including the Vrba-Wetzler report. The text of the report, under the title "German Extermination Camps-Auschwitz and Birkenau," was first published in full in English on 25 November 1944 by the Executive Office of the United States War Refugee Board.[2] The document combined the material from Vrba and Wetzler with two other reports, which came to be known jointly as the Auschwitz Protocols. They were submitted together in evidence at the Nuremberg Trials as document number 022-L.[1] The Protocols included the seven-page report from Arnost Rosin and Czeslaw Mordowicz, who escaped from Auschwitz on 27 May 1944, and an earlier report, known as the "Polish Major's report," written by Jerzy Tabeau, who escaped on 19 November 1943 and compiled his report between December 1943 and January 1944.[3] This was presented in the Protocols as the 19-page "Transport (The Polish Major's Report)".[2] The full text of the English translation of the Protocols is in the archives of the War Refugee Board at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in New York.[4]

HOW IT WAS WRITTEN

The report was first written in Slovak by Vrba and Wetzler, beginning on 25 April 1944, and simultaneously translated into German by Oscar Krasniansky of the Slovakian Jewish Council in Zilina. It was written and re-written several times. Wetzler wrote the first part, Vrba the third, and the two wrote the second part together. They then worked on the whole thing together.[5] Oscar Krasniansky, an engineer and stenographer, translated it from Slovak into German with the help of Gisela Steiner.[5] They produced a 40-page report in German, which was completed by Thursday, 27 April. Vrba wrote that the report was also translated into Hungarian.[6] The original Slovak version of the report was not preserved.[5] The report contained a detailed description of the geography and management of the camps, and of how the prisoners lived and died. It listed the transports that had arrived at Auschwitz since 1942, their place of origin, and the numbers "selected" for work or the gas chambers.[7] Karny writes that the report is an invaluable historical document because it provides details that were known only to prisoners, most of whom died, including, for example, that discharge forms were filled out for prisoners who were gassed, indicating that death rates in the camp were actively falsified.[8]

CREMATORIA

It also contained sketches and information about the layout of the gas chambers. In a deposition for the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961, and in his book I Cannot Forgive (1964), Vrba said that he and Wetzler obtained the information about the gas chambers and crematoria from the Sonderkommando Filip Muller and his colleagues, who worked there. Muller confirmed Vrba's story in his Eyewitness Auschwitz (1979).[9] The report offered the following description:

At present there are four crematoria in operation at BIRKENAU, two large ones, I and II, and two smaller ones, III and IV. Those of type I and II consist of 3 parts, i.e. (A) the furnace room (B) the large halls and (C) the gas chamber. A huge chimney rises from the furnace room around which are grouped nine furnaces, each having four openings. Each opening can take three normal corpses at once and after an hour and a half the bodies are completely burned. This corresponds to a daily capacity of about 2,000 bodies. Next to this is a large "reception hall" which is arranged so as to give the impression of the antechamber of a bathing establishment. It holds 2,000 people and apparently there is a similar waiting room of the floor below. From there a door and a few steps lead down into the very long and narrow gas chamber. The walls of this chamber are also camouflaged with simulated entries to shower rooms in order to mislead the victims. This roof is fitted with three traps which can be hermetically closed from the outside. A track leads from the gas chamber to the furnace room.

The gassing takes place as follows: the unfortunate victims are brought into hall (B) where they are told to undress. To complete the fiction that they are going to bathe, each person receives a towel and a small piece of soap issued by two men clad in white coats. They are then crowded into the gas chamber (C) in such numbers there is, of course, only standing room. To compress this crowd into the narrow space, shots are often fired to induce those already at the far end to huddle still closer together.

When everybody is inside, the heavy doors are closed. Then there is a short pause, presumably to allow the room temperature to rise to a certain level, after which SS men with gas masks climb on the roof, open the traps, and shake down a preparation in powder form out of tin cans labeled "CYKLON" "For use against vermin," which is manufactured by a Hamburg concern. It is presumed that this is a "CYANIDE" mixture of some sort which turns into gas at a certain temperature. After three minutes everyone in the chamber is dead. No one is known to have survived this ordeal, although it was not uncommon to discover signs of life after the primitive measures employed in the Birch Wood. The chamber is then opened, aired, and the "special squad" carts the bodies on flat trucks to the furnace rooms where the burning takes place. Crematoria III and IV work on nearly the same principle, but their capacity is only half as large. Thus the total capacity of the four cremating and gassing plants at BIRKENAU amounts to about 6,000 daily.[10]

Jean-Claude Pressac, a French specialist on the gas chambers, concluded in 1989 that, while the report was wrong about certain issues, it "has the merit of describing exactly the gassing process in type II/III Krematorien as from mid-March 1943. It made the mistake of generalizing internal and external descriptions and the operating method to Krematorien IV and V. Far from invalidating it, the discrepancies confirm its authenticity, as the descriptions are clearly based on what the witnesses could actually have seen and heard."[11] Auschwitz scholar Robert Jan van Pelt agreed, writing in 2002: "The description of the crematoria in the War Refugee Board report contains errors, but given the conditions under which information was obtained, the lack of architectural training of Vrba and Wetzlar [sic], and the situation in which the report was compiled, one would become suspicious if it did not contain errors. . Given the circumstances, the composite "crematorium" reconstructed by two escapees without any architectural training is as good as one could expect."[12]

DISTRIBUTION

The dates on which the report was passed to certain individuals has become a matter of importance within Holocaust historiography. This is partly because of the issue of whether the Hungarian government was aware of the gas chambers in Auschwitz before it facilitated the mass deportations, which began on 15 May, and partly because Vrba alleged that the report was not distributed quickly enough by Jewish leaders, particularly Rudolf Kastner of the Budapest Aid and Rescue Committee, and that lives were lost as a result.[13]

Although from 1943, the BBC Polish Service was broadcasting about the exterminations, the BBC Hungarian Service had not mentioned Jews at all. After the German invasion in March 1944, the Hungarian Service did then broadcast warnings, But by then it was too late. However, according to Professor Cesarani and to Gotz Aly, although Jews who survived the deportations claimed that they had not been informed by their leaders, that no one had told them, "there's plenty of evidence that [the Hungarian Jews] could have known."[14][15]

Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer writes that Oscar Krasniansky of the Jewish Council, who translated it into German from Slovak as Vrba and Wetzler were writing and dictating it, made conflicting statements about the report after the war. In the first, he said he handed the report to Kastner on 26 April during the latter's visit to Bratislava, but Bauer writes that the report was not finished until 27 April. In another statement, he said he gave it to Kastner on 28 April in Bratislava, but Hansi Brand, Kastner's lover and the wife of Joel Brand, said that Kastner was not in Bratislava until August. Bauer writes that it is nevertheless clear from Kastner's post-war statements that he had early access to the report, though perhaps not in April.[16] Randolph L. Braham writes that Kastner had a copy by 3 May when he paid a visit to Kolozsvar (Cluj), his home town.[17]

Kastner's reasons for not making the document public are unknown, but Vrba believed until the end of his life that Kastner withheld it in order not to jeopardize negotiations between the Aid and Rescue Committee and Adolf Eichmann, the SS officer in charge of the transport of Jews out of Hungary. Shortly after Vrba arrived in Slovakia from Auschwitz in April 1944, Eichmann proposed a deal to Kastner and others in Budapest that the Nazis would trade up to one million Hungarian Jews in exchange for 10,000 trucks and other goods from the Western Allies (see Joel Brand). The proposal came to nothing, but Kastner did obtain safe passage to Switzerland for 1,684 Jews on what became known as the Kastner train. Vrba believed that his report was suppressed in order not to damage these negotiations.[18]

Bauer writes that Kastner seems to have given a copy of the report in German to Geza Soos, a Hungarian Foreign Ministry official who ran a resistance group. Soos gave it to Jozsef Elias, head of the Good Shepherd Mission, and Elias's secretary, Maria Szekely, translated it into Hungarian and prepared six copies. These copies made their way to various Hungarian and particularly Christian church officials, including Miklos Horthy's daughter-in-law.[19] Braham writes that this distribution occurred before 15 May.[20] According to Bauer, Erno Peto, a member of the Budapest Jewish Council, said he gave copies to Horthy's son, the papal nuntius Angelo Rotta, and the finance minister Lajos Remenyi-Schneller.[19]

The Jewish Council in Budapest did hand the report out to individuals, but told at least one person not to discuss it widely. The Hungarian biologist, George Klein, as a teenager in Budapest, was working for the Jewish Council as a junior secretary at the time. One day in late May or early June, his boss, Dr. Zoltan Kohn, gave him a carbon copy of the report, and told him that he should tell only his closest family and friends about it. He wrote that he told his uncle, a well-known physician, who "became so angry that he nearly hit me," and asked how he could believe such nonsense. It was the same with other relatives and friends. The older ones refused to believe it, while the younger ones believed it and wanted to act. When it came time for Klein to get on the train, he chose to run instead, and that saved his life.[21]

DEPORTATIONS TO AUSCHWITZ CONTINUE

On 6 June 1944, the day of the Normandy landings, Arnost Rosin and Czelaw Mordowicz arrived in Slovakia, having escaped from Auschwitz on 27 May. Hearing about the Battle of Normandy and believing the war was over, they got drunk using dollars they had smuggled out of Auschwitz. As a result they were arrested for violating the currency laws, and spent time in jail before the Jewish Council paid their fines.[23] On 15 June, the men were interviewed by Oscar Krasniansky. They told him that, between 15 and 27 May, 100,000 Hungarian Jews had arrived at Birkenau, and that most were killed on arrival, apparently with no knowledge of what was about to happen to them. John Conway writes that Vrba and Wetzler concluded that their report had been suppressed.[22]

REPORT'S ARRIVAL IN SWITZERLAND, PRESS COVERAGE

Braham writes that the report was taken to Switzerland by Florian Manoliu of the Romanian Legation in Bern, and given to George Mantello, a Jewish businessman from Transylvania who was working as the first secretary of the El Salvador consulate in Geneva. Mantello sent his friend, a diplomat from Romania, Florian Manoliu, to Hungary, in order to find out what happens there. Manoliu went to Budapest, obtained reports from the Jewish leader Mosher Krausz at the 19 June 1944, and immediately returned with the reports to Geneva[24] One of the reports was probably Rabbi Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl's 5 page abridged version of the 33 pages full Auschwitz Protocols: both the Vrba-Wetzler report and Rosin- Mordowicz report. The reports described in detail the operations of the Auschwitz-Birkenau murdering factory.[25]

The second one was a 6 page Hungarian report, that detailed the ghettoization and deportation of the 435,000 already deported Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz, updated to 19 June 1944, town by town.[24] Braham writes that it was thanks to Mantello that the report received, in the Swiss press, its first wide coverage.[26] According to David Kranzler, Mantello asked for the help of the Swiss-Hungarian Students' League to make around 50 mimeographed copies of the Vrba-Wetzler and other Auschwitz reports (the Auschwitz Protocols), which by 23 June he had distributed to the Swiss government and Jewish groups. The students went on to make thousands of other copies, which were passed to other students and MPs.[27]

On 19 June, Richard Lichtheim of the Jewish Agency in Geneva, who had received a copy of the report from Mantello, wrote to the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem to say that they knew "what has happened and where it has happened," and reported the Vrba-Wetzler figure that 90 per cent of Jews arriving at Birkenau were being killed.[28] Vrba and Oscar Krasniasnky met Vatican Swiss legate Monsignor Mario Martilotti at the Svalty Jur monastery in Bratislava on 20 June. Martilotti had seen the report and questioned Vrba about it for six hours.[29] According to Bauer, Martilotti said he was travelling to Switzerland the next day, and on 25 June the Pope appealed to Horthy to stop further suffering. Bauer writes that, as of 2002, the Vatican had not made its archives for the period available, and so the connection, if any, between the Vrba-Wetzler report and the appeal to Horthy remains unclear.[30]

As a result of the coverage given to the report in the Swiss press, details began to appear elsewhere, including in The New York Times on 4 June, the BBC World Service on 15 June, and The New York Times on 20 June, which carried a 22-line story that 7,000 Jews had been "dragged to gas chambers in the notorious German concentration camps at Birkenau and Oswiecim [Auschwitz]." Daniel Brigham, the New York Times correspondent in Geneva, published a longer story on 3 July, "Inquiry Confirms Nazi Death Camps," and on 6 July a second, "Two Death Camps Places of Horror German Establishments for Mass Killings of Jews Described by Swiss."[31]

DEPORTATIONS HALTED

Braham writes that, shortly after the Swiss coverage, several appeals were made to Horthy, including by the Swiss government, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Gustaf V of Sweden and, on 25 June, Pope Pius XII, possibly after Martilotti passed on the report.[32] On 26 June, Richard Lichtheim of the Jewish Agency in Geneva sent a telegram to England calling on the Allies to hold members of the Hungarian government personally responsible for the killings. The cable was intercepted by the Hungarian government and shown to Prime Minister Dome Sztojay, who passed it to Horthy. Horthy ordered an end to the deportations on 7 July, and they stopped two days later.[33]

Hitler was infuriated by Horthy's decision and instructed the Nazi representative to Hungary, Edmund Veesenmayer, to relay an angry message to the Admiral.[34] Hitler's ultimatum to Horthy read: "The Fuhrer expects that the Hungarian Government will take measures against the Budapest Jewry without any further delay. [and would not tolerate anything] that could or would weaken their fighting spirit or that could possibly stab the fighting soldiers in the back."[35]

Horthy resisted Hitler's threats and Budapest's 200,000-260,000 Jews were temporarily spared from being deported to Auschwitz until the pro-Nazi Arrow Cross Party seized power in Hungary in a coup on 15 October 1944.[36] Henceforth, the deportations of some of Budapest's Jews to German death and labour camps resumed but, by this time, the heavy diplomatic involvement of the Swedish, Swiss, Spanish and Portuguese embassies at Budapest, as well as that of the Vatican's papal nuncio, Angelo Rotta, saved tens of thousands of the city's Jews from being expelled and/or murdered.[37] The Swedish delegation under Raoul Wallenberg saved 70,000 Jews until the arrival of the Red Army in Budapest in January 1945.[38]

BEMÆRKNINGER

  1. Conway (2002), Appendix I, p. 292-293, footnote 3.
  2. Gilbert (1989), p. 305
  3. Karny writes that the full report was published on 25 November 1944, the same day the last 13 prisoners, all women, were gassed or shot in crematorium II in Auschwitz-Birkenau (Karny (1998), p. 564).
  4. Szabo (2011), pp. 90-91
  5. vanden Heuvel (2011), p. v
  6. This description of how the report was written was recorded in the first post-war Slovak edition, Oswiecim, hrobka styroch milionov ludi ("Auschwitz, the tomb of four million"), Bratislava, 1946, p. 74. Wetzler also confirmed it in a letter to Miroslav Karny, dated April 14, 1982. See Karny (1998), p. 564, footnote 5.
  7. Vrba (2002), pp. 402-403
  8. Karny (1998), p. 554 van Pelt (2011), p. 123.
  9. Karny (1998), p. 555
  10. van Pelt (2002), p. 149
  11. Swiebocki (1997), pp. 218, 220, 224 also see "The Vrba-Wetzler Report", part 2.
  12. Note: Swiebocki (1997), in his reproduction of the Vrba-Wetzler report, presents this material without paragraph breaks. For ease of reading, two paragraph breaks have been inserted into the text above.
  13. Pressac (1989), p. 464
  14. van Pelt (2002), p. 151
  15. For Vrba's allegations, see Braham (2000), p. 276, footnote 50
  16. Mike Thomson (13 November 2012). "Could the BBC have done more to help Hungarian Jews?". BBC (British broadcasting service). the BBC broadcast every day, giving updates on the war, general news and opinion pieces on Hungarian politics. But among all these broadcasts, there were crucial things that were not being said, things that might have warned thousands of Hungarian Jews of the horrors to come in the event of a German occupation. A memo setting out policy for the BBC Hungarian Service in 1942 states: "We shouldn't mention the Jews at all." By 1943, the BBC Polish Service was broadcasting about the exterminations And yet his policy of silence on the Jews was followed right up until the German invasion in March 1944. After the tanks rolled in, the Hungarian Service did then broadcast warnings. But by then it was too late "Many Hungarian Jews who survived the deportations claimed that they had not been informed by their leaders, that no one had told them. But there's plenty of evidence that they could have known," said David Cesarani, Professor of History at Royal Holloway, University of London.
  17. Kathryn Berman and Asaf Tal. ""The Uneasy Closeness to Ourselves" Interview with Dr. Gotz Aly, German Historian and Journalist". Yad Vashem, The International School for Holocaust Studies. the Hungarian Jews in 1944 knew all about it. They had a lot of information because there were Jewish refugees coming to Hungary, in 1942 and 1943, giving reports about what was happening in Poland, and what was the reaction from the Jews? "This is Hungary. This might be happening in Galicia to Polish Jews, but this can't happen in our very cultivated Hungarian state. It is impossible that even early in 1944, the Jewish leadership there didn't have some information about what was happening. There were people escaping from the extermination camps just 80 km from the Hungarian border and there were letters and reports and of course the BBC. I think part of the problem of the Holocaust was that potential victims couldn't believe the information. The idea that something so atrocious would come from Germany and from European civilized environment was so unimaginable that they didn't take it for real, even when they received overwhelming reports from the death camps.
  18. Bauer (2002), p. 231
  19. Braham (2000), p. 95
  20. Vrba (2002), pp. 419-420
  21. Bauer (1994), p. 157 Braham (2000), p. 95
  22. Braham (2000), p. 97
  23. Klein (2011), pp. 258-263.
  24. Vrba (2002), p. 406
  25. David Kranzler (2000). The Man Who Stopped the Trains to Auschwitz: George Mantello, El Salvador, and Switzerland's Finest Hour. Syracuse University Press. s. s. 87. ISBN978-0-8156-2873-6. The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
  26. Braham (2000) pp. 95, 214
  27. Kranzler (2000), pp. 98-99
  28. van Pelt (2002), p. 152
  29. That Lichtheim received the report from Mantello, see Kranzler (2000), p. 104. Kranzler places the cable to Jerusalem on 26 June, and writes that Lichtheim referred in the cable to 12,000 Jews being deported daily from Budapest.
  30. Karny (1998), pp. 556-557
  31. Bauer (2002), p. 230
  32. van Pelt (2002), pp. 153-154 Brigham (6 July 1944).
  33. Braham (2000), pp. 95, 214 Bauer (2002), p. 230
  34. Rees (2006), pp. 242-243
  35. Dwork and van Pelt (2002), p. 314
  36. German ultimatum to Horthy, 17 July 1944, see Levai (1987), p. 125
  37. Dwork and van Pelt (2002), p. 314, say the figure was 260,000 Jews in Budapest.
  38. Dwork & van Pelt, p. 317
  39. Dwork & van Pelt, p. 318

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