Holocaust Survivors & their Triumphant Legacy of Endurance
By Anthony S. Pitch
(Author of Our Crime Was Being Jewish)
A special remembrance for
International Holocaust Remembrance Day 27 January 2018
The concentration camps were utilized to dispose of literally millions of Jews, who died by mass shooting, gas, poison, starvation, and other means. The part which the concentration camps played in the annihilation of the Jewish people is indicated in an official Polish report on Auschwitz Concentration Camp. In Auschwitz, during July 1944, Jews were killed at the rate of 12,000 daily. As the crematory could not deal with such numbers, many bodies were thrown into large pits and covered with quick lime.
The official Polish Government Commissioner Report on the Investigation of German crimes in Poland describes the concentration camp at Treblinka in these terms: “All victims had to strip off their clothes and shoes, which were collected afterwards, whereupon all victims, women and children first, were driven into the death chambers. Those too slow or too weak to move quickly were driven on by rifle butts, by whipping and kicking. Many slipped and fell, the next victims pressed forward and stumbled over them. Small children were simply thrown inside.
After being filled up to capacity, the chambers were hermetically closed and steam was let in. In a few minutes all was over. The Jewish menial workers had to remove the bodies from the platform and bury them in mass graves. As new transports arrived, the cemetery grew.
It is known, however, that four million Jews died in concentration camps, and that two million Jews were killed by the state police in the East, making a total of six million murdered Jews. The source of these figures is Adolph Eichmann, Chief of the Jewish section of the Gestapo. The figures are contained in an affidavit made by Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, Deputy Group Leader of the Foreign Section of the Security Section, AMT VI, of the RSHA.
Hoettl, in his affidavit, states as follows: “Approximately four million Jews had been killed in the various concentration camps, while an additional two million met death in other ways, the major part of which were shot by operational squads of the security police during the campaign against Russia.”
Major William Walsh, assistant trial counsel for the U.S., Nuremberg trials, vol. 1, chapter XII, The Avalon Project, Yale University