ALEXANDER KIMEL - HOLOCAUST UNDERSTANDING & PREVENTION
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DECEPTION AND HOAXESWritten by Alexander Kimel - Holocaust Survivor.
Te Dehumanization Phase was conducted with military precision against the Jewish community with ample application of terror, starvation, cruelty, and degradation. The second Phase the Resettlement was also conducted with military precision, with ample application of ruses, hoaxes and deception, coupled with terror. The Germans developed a code languages, pertaining to the Jews: resettlement - sending to the gas chambers, action - pogrom, special treatment - gassing, pieces- victims, showers-camouflaged gas chambers, etc.
SECRECY Secrecy and the usage of code languages served to ease the conscience of the main perpetrators, to avoid limit awareness of the German public about the atrocities, and to mislead and confuse the victims. It gave a pretext to the thousands of the marginal collaborators: the local police, military, local German authorities, railroad dispatchers, who helped to collect and catch the victims, load and transport them to the gas chambers. The secrecy put a mantle of respectability of State interest on the horrible senseless killings. The secrecy denied also the Allies propaganda ammunition.
The Germans used many diverse methods of deception. After the first transport left the Ghetto of Warsaw, postcards started to arrive to families left behind. The postcards talked about work and resettlement in the East. The sad part of the hoax was the fact that at time the post cards arrived the senders were already dead.
Ringelblum notes in his diary:
"The most important reason for the Jews' passivity in July 1942 was the excellent German strategy, which deceived the Jewish population as to the real aim of "resettlement". The fairy tale about the "resettlement in the East", supported by the band of Gestapo agents brought in from Lublin, was so widely accepted by the Jews that thousands of people who were starving as a result of the constant cordons and the complete stoppage of smuggling presented themselves at the Umschlagplatz voluntarily, in order to be sent to work in the East."
"In order to encourage people to volunteer for resettlement, the Nazi promised the volunteers bread and marmalade: " Besides the blockading of houses and hunting in the streets, there is still a third method of expulsion-premiums. Large posters have been put up in many courtyards to say that all those who voluntarily come to the transfer point for expulsion will receive three kilos of bread and a kilo of marmalade to take with them in their wanderings."
"I don't have the figures for the volunteers who reported to the Umschlagplatz. But the minimum seems to be to have been 20,000 persons who, driven by hunger, anguish, a sense of hopelessness of their situation, had not the strength to struggle any longer, simply had no place to live, because they weren't assigned to any shop, and had no recourse but to go to their death voluntarily.The deception did not stop at the boarding of the death trains, it continued to the last moment of life.
"You may wonder why prisoners who has just gotten off the trains did not revolt, waiting as they did of hours (sometimes of days!) to enter the gas chambers... The Germans had perfected a diabolically clever and versatile system of collective death. In most cases the new arrivals did not know what awaited them. They were received with cold efficiency but without bestiality, invited to undress "for the showers". Sometimes they were handed soap and towels and were promised hot coffee after their showers. The gas chambers were, in fact, camouflaged as shower rooms, with pipes, faucets, dressing rooms, clothes hooks, benches and sort of. When, instead prisoners showed the smallest sign of knowing or suspecting their imminent fate, the S.S. and their collaborators used surprise tactics, intervening with extreme brutality, with shouts, threats, kicks, shots, losing their dogs, which were trained to tear prisoners to pieces, against people who were confused, desperate, weakened by five or ten days of traveling in sealed railroad cars."