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Thu Jun 5, 2014, 02:13 AM

D-Day: A German Jew survives the Holocaust to fight the Nazis



His is a different war story, one of survival long before he got into World War II.

Henry Hirschmann was born a Jew in Grossauheim, Germany, in 1920, shortly after the end of World War I. Germany’s economy was in shambles and Hitler used his country’s vulnerabilities to rise to power in 1933.

“For the first few years, I didn’t feel the impact of his dictatorship,” said Hirschmann, now 93. “Then on Nov. 9 in 1938, I experienced one of the worst events of my life.”

It was called Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass – the night of Nazi violence that signaled the beginning of the Holocaust. The Nazis torched 200 synagogues, ransacked 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses and murdered scores of German and Austrian Jews. They rounded up 70,000 more Jews – mostly men – for the concentration camps.

They sent Hirschmann to Buchenwald, one of Germany’s first and largest concentration camps. But with sponsorship from an aunt and uncle in New York, they released him after six months.

He arrived in the Bronx in May 1939, four months before Hitler’s army invaded Poland, starting World War II. After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, drawing America into the war, he ached to join the U.S. Army so he could return to Europe and fight the Germans. He got his chance in 1943, and a month after D-Day landed at Normandy, France, with an Army field artillery battalion loaded down with howitzers.

more: http://www.lakewyliepilot.com/2014/06/03/2452912/d-day-a-german-jew-survives-the.html

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Reply D-Day: A German Jew survives the Holocaust to fight the Nazis (Original post)
Behind the Aegis Jun 2014 OP
imthevicar Jun 2014 #1
Behind the Aegis Jun 2014 #2
imthevicar Jun 2014 #3
Behind the Aegis Jun 2014 #5
Metro135 Jun 2014 #4
struggle4progress Jun 2014 #6
LeftishBrit Jun 2014 #7

Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 01:26 PM

1. They sent Hirschmann to Buchenwald, one of Germany’s first and largest concentration camps.

 

But with sponsorship from an aunt and uncle in New York, they released him after six months.

Not That I'm not happy this man survived but, Why would they release Him!? were these places not Death Camps?

This leaves a hole in the Common Narrative.

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Response to imthevicar (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 01:56 PM

2. They released him because his aunt and uncle paid to get him out.

A few Jews and a few political prisoners escaped in the days prior to the war in such a way. Note, in the included excerpt above the war hadn't even started; he was released and out of Germany prior to Hitler's invasion of Poland. So, lucky for you, there is no hole in the "common narrative."

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 08:50 PM

3. If you say so.

 

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Response to imthevicar (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 10:19 PM

5. I do.

Last edited Fri Jun 6, 2014, 02:09 AM - Edit history (1)



Not all camps started out as death camps.

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Response to imthevicar (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 5, 2014, 09:00 PM

4. Not all of the concentration camps were death camps

Of course, thousands died in them as the war progressed since the prisoners were worked to death and often starved. The camps that were literally factories of death, like Auschwitz, with gas chambers and crematoria, didn't become fully operational until around 1942.

I'm not sure if Buchenwald installed gas chambers at some point, but I doubt they were operating in 1938 - 1939.

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Response to imthevicar (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 9, 2014, 12:21 AM

6. The Nazis, from the beginning, were willing to murder people

for political and propaganda purposes; and from 1933 on, when they had control of the government, numerous persons died in custody or in alleged security actions, as was, for example, the case with the purge of Rohm and his supporters in 1934

The rule of law essentially ended with grant of dictatorial powers by the Enabling Act after the Reichstag fire in 1933, and the first concentration camps were established almost immediately. Prisoners were at risk, when detained, since there were no guarantees of transparency or of any judicial intervention

But the doctrine that the state could exterminate certain people for "inferiority" seems to appear first in the murders of disabled people (including seriously injured WWI veterans) between 1939 and 1941, a policy not widely publicized. The first deliberate construction of facilities to exterminate the Jewish population and other "inferiors" dates to about 1941

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Response to imthevicar (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 9, 2014, 07:29 AM

7. The concentration camps only gradually became true death camps

They started out as labour/imprisonment camps, where people often died from the harsh conditions; but the real killing apparatus was introduced a bit later. And it was occasionally possible for someone to be bought out in the early days, as this man was, but not later on.

I am glad that he survived; I wish many more had.

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