Sunday, 22 October 2017

The cruelty of the Germans always surprises

The ignorance of what the Germans did is very great and since they are the first interested  that is not known, was tried to hide for several decades since the end of WWII, it helped the USA and the United Kingdom complicity in to use Nazi assassins for their spying tasks against the Russians and on space missions, as well as to help them escape from Europe, so that these countries were not interested in letting the world know what the Germans really did.Anyone who studies this subject is more and more surprised by the many crimes that the Germans made about the most defenseless beings, civilians, women, children, war prisoners, and so on.Below are two stories that appear from a horror movie but are real, very real and still live some of those who saw it.The first case is the kidnapping, and later murder of Jewish children of a Guetto in Lithuania.The second is the murder of 9,000 young Jews while being pushed to a cliff in Oriental Prussia, now Kaliningrad province.Both cases are hard to believe, but they are as real as life itself.

The first case happened in the Guetto of Kovno in 1944 :

 In Kovno, on March 27, all remaining children up to the age of thirteen were seized by the SS, thrown into trucks, and driven off to their deaths. Thirty-seven Jewish policemen, among them the commander of the Jewish police and his two deputies, refused to take part in this round-up of children. They were shot on the spot. 15 The ‘children’s action’ in Kovno took two days to complete. Several thousand children were rounded up, driven off in trucks, and shot. Only a tiny fragment survived, among them the five-year-old Zahar Kaplanas. This young boy was saved by a non-Jew, a Lithuanian, who smuggled him out of the ghetto in a sack. Later Kaplanas’s parents were both killed in the ghetto. Zahar survived the war. 

 In a desperate act, as the search intensified, some parents poisoned their children, and then committed suicide. Dr Aharon Peretz, who witnessed the events of March 27, later recalled: 

I saw shattering scenes. It was near the hospital. I saw automobiles which from time to time would approach mothers with children, or children who were on their own. In the back of them, two Germans with rifles would be going as if they were escorting criminals. They would toss the children into the automobile. I saw mothers screaming. 

Kovno Guetto

 A mother whose three children had been taken away— she went up to this automobile and shouted at the German, ‘Give me the children,’ and he said, ‘How many?’ and the German said, ‘You may have one.’ And he went up into that automobile, and all three children looked at her and stretched out their hands. Of course, all of them wanted to go with the mother, and the mother didn’t know which child to select, and she went down alone, and she left the car. 
Monument of Kovno Guetto ( very small, don´t you thing it ? )
And a second mother just hung on to the car and didn’t want to let go. And a dog bit her; they set a dog against her. Another mother with two children, a girl and a boy— I saw that from my window— went and pleaded, and begged that the Germans should return one child, so he took the girl by her shoulders and threw the girl down to her. ‘Such scenes’, Dr Peretz recalled, ‘repeated themselves all day.’

The second case is related by a survivor Celina Manielewicz in the book of Gilbert, Martin. The Holocaust (pp. 781-782).
 This case is interesting not only by the cruelty of German soldiers but also by the civilian Germans cruelty..

 In East Prussia, where Soviet forces were driving toward the sea, the many labour camps in the Danzig and Königsberg regions were evacuated, many by sea. More than six thousand women and one thousand men, all of them Jews, were driven from these camps towards Palmnicken, a small fishing village beyond Königsberg, on the shore of the Baltic Sea. During the march to the sea, more than seven hundred were shot. Most of the marchers were women. ‘Every time somebody bent down to scoop up a little snow to drink water,’ Celina Manielewicz later recalled, ‘the guard simply shot him dead.’ In Palmnicken the Jews were lodged in a deserted factory. The manager of the village, hearing of their arrival, ordered each of the marchers to be given a daily ration of three potatoes. ‘We heard that he was a humane man who had objected to us prisoners remaining in his town under inhuman conditions. A few hours later a rumour circulated that the Nazis had shot him.’ 

One evening the Jews were ordered out of the factory building and lined up in rows of five. They were then marched in the direction of the Baltic Sea. During the march, some three hundred men hurled themselves at the SS guards with bare hands. They were all machine-gunned. The surviving marchers continued towards the sea. Celina Manielewicz later recalled the sequel, as she marched with her three friends, Pela Lewkowicz, Genia Weinberg and Mania Gleimann: 

In addition to rumours of our embarkation for Hamburg and of the approach of the Russians, other rumours also reached us: people marching ahead of us in the front ranks were murdered along the shore and thrown into the sea. We were so starved, weak and demoralised that death seemed to us a merciful relief— and yet we lacked the courage to stoop down on the way, because of a glimmer of hope that at the last moment our life would be saved by a miracle. Yet in view of the approaching end we four friends said goodbye to each other. 
Finally, late at night we came to the coast. We found ourselves on high ground beyond which cliffs descended steeply to the shore. A fearful vista presented itself. Machine-gunners posted on both sides fired blindly into the advancing columns. Those who had been hit lost their balance and hurtled down the cliffside. When we realized what was happening, we and people in front of us instinctively pushed to the back. The commanding SS man, Quartermaster Sergeant Stock, picked up his rifle and came cursing towards us, shouting, ‘Why don’t you want to go any further? You’re going to be shot like dogs anyway!’ He forced us forward to the precipice saying, ‘A waste of ammunition,’ and fetched each of us a terrible blow round the head with his rifle butt, so that we lost consciousness.

I don’t know what happened to me; suddenly I felt something cold on my back and when I opened my eyes I beheld a mountain slope down which ever more blood-streaked bodies were rolling. I found myself in the foaming, roaring sea in a small, partly frozen bay on a pile of dead or injured, and therefore still living, people. The whole coast, as far as I could see, was covered with corpses, and I, too, was lying on such a mountain of corpses which slowly sank deeper and deeper. Close beside me lay Genia Weinberg and Mania Gleimann and at my feet Pela Lewkowicz. Badly injured, she suddenly stood up and shouted to a sentry standing a few metres away from us on the shore, ‘Herr Sentry, I’m still alive!’ The sentry aimed and shot her in the head— a few centimetres away from my feet— so that she collapsed. Suddenly my friend Genia, who had also recovered consciousness in the ice-cold water, pinched me and whispered, ‘Don’t move.’

So we lay for some time, I don’t know how long, almost completely frozen. Suddenly SS men appeared and shouted, ‘Raise your heads!’ Some of the injured who were still alive and capable of obeying this order were shot immediately. Then the SS men left. Thereupon Genia said, ‘It is so quiet!’, got up carefully and waded to the shore. She tore some clothes and blankets from the corpses that were lying around and tied them into a rope, with the aid of which she pulled us on shore. 

We tried to move our limbs and began climbing the mountain slope with great difficulty. Genia was the one who hadn’t lost courage yet. Half-way up she told us to wait, she wanted to go down again and see if there were any survivors. But after some time she came back alone. We felt very sick because we had swallowed a lot of sea water; in spite of this Genia kept driving us forward. At last we came to the top of the cliff which had been entirely deserted by the Germans. 

It was twenty-five degrees below zero. We were covered with a layer of ice and unable to go any further. Genia told us over and over again, ‘We’ve got to go on!’ Then, after an hour’s staggering about in the snow, we suddenly saw smoke. The three women found refuge with a farmer called Voss. Later, when Voss tried to turn them over to the Germans, they were saved by two other villagers, Albert Harder and his wife, who fed and clothed them, and pretended that they were three Polish girls. One day a German officer asked Frau Harder for permission to take them out. It would have roused too many suspicions to refuse. Celina, now known as Cecilia, later recalled her evening with the officer: 
He led me to the spot along the seashore where I had endured the worst night of my life and said: ‘In this place our people murdered ten thousand Jews. It is terrible that Germans were capable of such a thing.

I can only tell you that if the Russians march in, which is only a question of days or weeks now, they will do the same to us as we have done to the Jews. A German will dangle from every tree. The forest will be full of German corpses!’
 I felt faint and lost consciousness. When I had recovered we walked back to the Harders’ in silence. On the way back the officer also told me that two hundred Jews had survived the night massacre, but had been handed over to the Gestapo by the population of the surrounding villages among whom they had sought asylum. They had all been killed. 

He continued to pay court to me, assured me that I looked like his sister, and made a few attempts to go out with me. The night before the entry of the Russians, I remember him coming to Frau Harder with a suitcase at 11 p.m. in a state of great excitement. He had to speak to me at all costs— it could not wait till next morning. When I stood before him in my nightdress and dressing gown he opened the case and produced a mass of tinned preserves he had procured for family Harder from the officers’ mess. 

Memorial statue of Frank Mayslerato the victims

The German officer tried to persuade Celina to leave with him, ‘for woe betide you if the barbaric Russians get hold of you here’, but she persuaded him that she had to stay. Celina, for her part, urged the German to desert, and to throw away his uniform. ‘I cannot do that,’ he said. ‘I’ve got to play out this bad game to the bitter end.’ 
The German left. The Russians arrived. Celina and her two friends were saved. But none of the Russians, even a Yiddish-speaking Red Army officer, a Jew, could believe that they were Jews. ‘The Jews have all perished over there,’ they said, pointing to the sea. Only the emergence from hiding of ten other survivors of the massacre gave credence to the story of their survival. 

Of nine thousand and more marchers brought to the sea at Palmnicken, only thirteen had survived.
When you see a German, you think he's the son or grandson of murderers.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Look at Donbass eyes

Look at Donbass eyes

Original Article: Antifahist

 In the RPD has recently started a project entitled "Look into the Donbass eyes “. Its initiator and author is Odessa journalist Irina Lashkevich, winner of the Oles Buzina prize in the category of "journalism of war" in 2016. Lashkevich, who participated in the investigation of the tragedy of the House of Trade Unions, was forced to to leave the Ukrainian territory. Now he lives and works in Donetsk. In his arsenal of thousands of images and reports on the Ukrainian punitive bombings against the localities of Donbass shows that, despite the war, life does not stop.

According to the published information, the idea of this project was born long ago, since the journalistic work is developed in the zone of conflict: "I have seen children and old people living under the bombings. I was always surprised by his eyes. Children in the front line can only speak as equals as adults. It would be strange if they spoke as children, it is not possible because they live in a solitary environment. I wanted to create a project that would reach adults from both sides. With the images of the front zone I want to show the most tragic side of the war. This war has ended the fate of hundreds of thousands of people whose lives changed irremediably with the first shot. "

"Before taking pictures I talk to the children. Each has its own history. The story of life on the front. Sometimes I have tears, I can not help it. How can you bear seeing a four-year-old girl who sings by inventing a letter that says "children of war, children of war"? When I asked who shot him, his mother, who was there with her, whispered, "It's better not to say anything or you'll start yelling." I have asked other children: "Will you speak to your children about this war?" "Do not. It is better that the children know nothing. May they live without war. "

Children can talk about soldiers for hours. The journalist is convinced: they are different. They love school and try to do everything they can to help their parents. They know what hunger is.

"An 8-year-old girl from Zaitsevo told me:" We were hungry. My mother would go and say she would bring something to eat. But he did not always come back with food. We did not get angry, it hurt to see that Mom was crying. I was happy when I brought a bundle of grain. " An 11-year-old boy in Alexandrovka said: "At night a mine struck the house, we ran in the snow to the neighbors' house. They have a good basement. The house burned completely .... When they bombed the school, the teacher told us to run to the shelter. Once, we were at home playing and, suddenly, began a bombing in broad daylight. My parents were not home, a neighbor took care of me. They destroyed the windows and shot me in the leg. " I will never forget the children of the town of Severniy, broken in pieces, when rains projectiles from Pesky. It should not be forgotten. My memory is marked, I dream of the war constantly, "continues Irina.

A couple of pictures represent what happens in the front area all day. The journalist explains that this is only the tip of the iceberg, but the story is a chronicle of pain. His pain had accumulated and led to the project "Look into the eyes of Donbass." Let us look at Donbass's eyes. The comments of the photographs are from the author, Irina Lashkevich.

"In 2015 the Grads worked." This girl from Zaitsevo, who was born in times of war, is called Katyusha. "The Grads of World War II were called Katyusha and that's why we call our daughter," says the girl's mother sadly. Now, during the bombing, Katya covers her ears. In the photo he showed me how he does it. He showed it and burst into tears. Katya's house has been bombed. "

"Yaroslav, from Alexandrovka, a village on the front line. One night a shell struck the house. The boy was injured in the leg. He falls asleep every night between the sound of shots. Yaroslav will never tell his children about the war. "Children should not know," are his words. Someone has decided that it is a separ, someone has decided that you can shoot Yaroslav. "

Polinka, 3 years, Oktyabrsky (front zone), Donetsk. I remember arriving at the street of Paulina's house in 2015: it was completely shattered. His parents had to leave. The girl did not speak, but listened attentively. I do not doubt that he will speak to his children of war, who will never forget it. While there, the bombing began. Paulina continued eating some goodies. For her, bombing is the norm. They can send a portrait to some "hero of ATO," that his wife and children know something about their father's work.

"Bogdan, 4, Zaitsevo. Bogdan's house has been bombed. He remembers no other life than war. Reports of dead soldiers can always be added a phrase: destruction, broken destinies of hundreds of thousands of people. Someone has decided that Bogdan is a separ, someone has decided that Bogdan can be shot. "

"The brothers Daniel and Nikita, aged 7 and 11, Zaitsevo, Gorlovka. A bombed out district. They sound like adults. For the Ukrainian "patriots": from the bombings you have raised soldiers. Daniel and Nikita have learned to live in war, they know how to hide from the bombings. They have matured soon and do not see the Ukrainian news: the television is on the other side of their window, from where they see how the projectiles of Bajmutka and Artyomovsk fly. Maybe in a couple of years take the guns. The "television" on the other side of the window has been preparing them for that for three years. Someone decided that these brothers were separating and decided that they could be bombed.

"Olya, 8, Severniy, Donetsk. Olga studied in the school, the same one in which two children died in 2014. The bombing from Pesky began at four in the afternoon. The children were playing football when the shells fell. Their bodies were destroyed. Olya remembers that day, she will never forget it. Someone has decided that Olga is separ and can be shot.

Trudovsky is one of the most bombed areas. This is Sasha. I saw him with his grandmother at a local store. In the first photo he listens attentively to his grandmother, who talks about the bombing of the previous night. The second: the reaction to coming soldiers. "

"Valya, 11, Okyabrsky (Donetsk). Front line. Valya remembers the first day of the war, when the helicopters fired at the town. To the question of how children live the war replies: "time has stopped. I think I have not grown, as if I was still 9 years old. " Someone has decided that Valya is a separ, someone has decided that Valya can be shot.

"Do you know how old this girl is? Two years and a half. Nastya lives on the front line, Oktyabrsky, Donetsk. In his language he describes that he hides in the bathroom during the bombing. He was born when the war had already begun. War has always been a part of his life. They are children of war, who will relax when peace comes, but through whose eyes we see how our grandfathers survived the war. I think so. And I want to show who they shoot. Someone decided that Nastya is separ, someone decided that they could shoot him. "

"People usually ask me: why black and white images? The photos are what life is like. No smiles? It is not a coincidence and is not prepared. Before taking pictures, I ask the children to look into the eyes of those who are shooting them. The children take this request very seriously, they really look, as if they are facing the bad guys and understand what they are doing. They believe that these photos can bring peace. They are adult-veteran children, "Lashkevich wrote.

In the collection, consisting of several dozen photographs, there are older people. After all, the elders and children tell the truth. And they are equally defenseless. "I have recently been able to speak with the elderly of Oktyabrsky. They complain about the low pensions, of the bombings every night, they are tired of the war. But to the question of: what if Ukraine returns when the war is over ?, everyone responds with the same reaction: immediately they lose the smile and appear in their face the surprise and a resounding: no! We do not want them here. War is war, but Donetsk without Ukraine, "says Lashkevich.

"In this image, the couple Grigory and Olga Kolosova. They've been together half a century. The husband has 35 years of experience working in the mine. Every day, for 35 years in a row, his wife prayed and waited for him to return. Grigory has two medals at Work. In his hands, the medal of the Trade Unions and the record of production of coal. He does not understand why Ukraine has fallen so low that it buys coal in the United States. In Pesky they bombed and sacked his house. The couple lives in the front line, on a floor that falls apart. Grigory had a heart attack when they started bombing his house. Someone decided that these defenseless elders are separ, someone decided that for Ukraine they can be shot. "

"Grandma Zina is 86 years old. He lives in the Donetsk airport district. His house was hit by a bomb, which destroyed the doors and windows. Grandma Zina participated in the Great Patriotic War. She is a lonely person, who has been left alone with this war. He is afraid of not being able to reach the basement when the bombing begins, so he lies down and prays. Someone decided that Grandma Zina is separ, someone decided that they could shoot "

"I asked the best Donbass photographers, Dan Levy, to participate in the project. He is from Kramatorsk and usually works at the front line with the press service of the RPD army. He responded immediately and now we are working on a new project. Together we will go to the front area. Dan Levy is my teacher: in three months, with infinite patience, he has taught me the tricks of photography. It's easy to work with. I hope to capture the mood of the children, their character. I hope that attention is paid to Donbass. That Donbass that has begun to forget. But the population continues to live there. And they want peace, "concludes Irina.