Richard Rashke's "Escape from Sobibor"

Read and post various viewpoints or search our large archives.

Moderator: Moderator

Forum rules
Be sure to read the Rules/guidelines before you post!
Laurentz Dahl
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:00 am
Location: Somewhere in Europe

Postby Laurentz Dahl » 1 decade 2 years ago (Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:30 am)

Found this photo of Wagner in Brazil on the Axis Forum - where Holocaust skepticism will get you banned

Image

Some comments on this board:

Never seen this picture of this monstrous man before.


About Wagner, it's amazing how ordinary he looks, just a nice old man smiling. Or maybe it's the lesson that this fact is abolutely not amazing.......just an ordinary man.


Well, I would say he was a pretty ordinary man who got caught in a lethal international net of lies.

This photo was supposedly taken at Wagner's farm in Atibaia in the 70's, a few years before his arrest in Sao Paolo.

Also found this on the same forum:

Wagner, Gustav Franz (1911-3.10.1980) [SS-Sturmscharfűhrer] -- camp staff, Health Care Institute (HuPa - Heil- und Pflegeanstalten) Hartheim [euthanasia facility]; camp staff, concentration camp (Konzentrationslager - KL) Sobibor {emigrated to Brazil 1950; acquired a farm at Atibaia, about 50 miles from Sao Paolo; surrendered to Brazilian police 30 May 1978 (NYT 31 May 1978:10:3); extradition from Brazil requested by Israel 8 Jun 1978 (NYT 9 Jun 1978:8:4); extradition requested by Poland Jun 1978 (NYT 11 Jun 1978:3:1); attempted suicide in jail cell 12 Jun 1978 by breaking and then eating the lenses of his eyeglasses (NYT 13 Jun 1978:4:4); extradition requested by Austria and West Germany Jun 1978 (NYT 13 Jun 1978:16:6); extradition to Israel, Austria. Poland and West Germany refused by Brazil 20 Jun 1979 on the following grounds: the Austrian request was turned down because Wagner had renounced his Austrian citizenship and the alleged crimes had not occurred in that country; the German request was turned down because the statute of limitations on the war crimes had run; the Polish request was declined because, although Poland was the location of the crimes, that country had a judicial system that was unacceptable under Brazilian law; the Israeli request was turned down because Israel did not exist at the time when Wagner participated in the mass executions, and hence Israel had no right to demand extradition (NYT 22 Jun 1979:7:3; NYT 24 Jun 1979:12:3); released; suicide at Sao Paolo, Brazil 3 Oct 1980 (NYT 4 Oct 1980:5:1). (Encyclopedia of the Third Reich p. 1014; Secrets of the SS 214-5; Good Old Days 302).}


As well as this clipping from the New York Times:

Image


Some comments on the photo of the "suicided" Wagner:
Given the picture, it is very douptful that he committed suicide... Who would choose to die in the toilet? You just have to take tablets and lay down in your bed!!! Apparently, he was tortured to death... His nose is bleeding and his right hand seems to have been cut...


Looking at the photo, the "suicide" claim does look quite suspicious. Besides, he was pretty much let off the previous year, and he didn't have remorse for his doings which would cause him to commit suicide, unlike Dr. Eduard Wirths of Auschwitz. BTW, was "Schlomo" in Brazil at the time of Wagner's "suicide"? If he was, then is it possible he made it look like a self-inflicted gunshot wound?


Note that the sources claim Wagner stabbed himself to death.

Yes you're right, I'm not a medical expert of any kind. I guess I just imagined a self inflicted wound to look more "clean" but when I think about it your argument rings true. The circumstances of his death on the other hand are interesting. Like "Manstein" wrote above, he'd just been aquitted and I'm having a hard time thinking he would all of the sudden become overcome with remorse and take his own life after all those years of liberty and reminiscing. Yet the human psyche is a mystery and he did try to kill himself in jail so the thought couldn't have been new to him.


In 1979, Gustav Wagner, the deputy Commandant of Sobibor concentration camp, was discovered living in Brazil. He had been tracked down by Israeli journalists with the help of former sobibor inmate Szlomo Szmajzner.

West Germany, Austria, Poland and Israel all requested his extradition to face charges for his role at Sobibor where he personally executed prisoners.

All the requests were refused by the Brazilian Supreme Court and Wagner was released from temporary custody - free to carry on with his life.

A few months later in 1980, Gustav Wagner was found hanged at a remote farm. The death was ruled as suicide but stories have persisted that he was killed in retribution by former sobibor inmate Szlomo Szmajzner.

Shortly before Wagner's death, Szmajzner approached his former SS-commandant

"How are you, Gustl?" Szmajzner asked.

For a moment Wagner regarded him with bafflement, then he recognized him: "Yes, yes, I remember you well. Surely I picked you out of the transport and saved your life."

"That's correct" said Szmajzner, "but you didn't save the lives of my sister, my brothers, my mother and my father."

When asked later whether he was responsible for the death of Wagner, he refused to confirm or deny it - he merely smiled.

Did Wagner "commit suicide" out of remorse? Not a chance. Only a few months previously he had given a television interview to the BBC in which he said:

"I had no feelings.... It just became another job. In the evening we never discussed our work, but just drank and played cards".

I have read several books on the Sobibor escape and they have both referred to Szmajzner having a hand in Wagner's death, as does the movie "Escape From Sobibor" when describing the fate of the major characters at the end of the movie.

Not conclusive proof but I leave you to reach your own conclusions.


A photo of Wagner being interviewed in Brasilia after his arrest:

Image

User avatar
ASMarques
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 624
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:47 pm

Postby ASMarques » 1 decade 2 years ago (Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:13 am)

Laurentz Dahl wrote:Some comments on the photo of the "suicided" Wagner [from the Axis Forum]:
Given the picture, it is very douptful that he committed suicide... Who would choose to die in the toilet? You just have to take tablets and lay down in your bed!!! Apparently, he was tortured to death... His nose is bleeding and his right hand seems to have been cut...


A good view of the photo showing Wagner dead can be found in Thomas Blatt's own Sobibor site:

Image

Apparently he is bare chested and exhibits what looks like several stab wounds and cuts to the chest, wrists and forearms. Also, if this is a photo of the body as it was found, several blood stains look out of place (right leg, for instance). The ones on the legs might be appropriate for someone who had his wrists cut by someone else before being placed in the position he was found. But a sort of hysterical suicide by cutting both wrists, working up one's own forearms etc. is far-fetched, to say the least...

It's very odd that the Brazilian police would label this a suicide, but then, are there any official police reports or autopsy results in view? I don't know, but probably not. The hard data on events involving the murder of Germans by Jews always seems to vanish down the memory hole.

grenadier
Valued contributor
Valued contributor
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:07 am

Postby grenadier » 1 decade 2 years ago (Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:51 pm)

Laurentz,

an acquaintance who owns a copy of Stanislaw Szmajzner's
book is sending me copies from it.

As time allows I'll be posting to this thread the tales from
Mr.Szmajzner. We can then compare this stuff with what
you have. It should be fun.

Regards

NovyMir
Member
Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:57 am

Postby NovyMir » 1 decade 2 years ago (Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:43 am)

This is a very interesting case(and thread).
The thing that strikes me as most odd and inexplicable is the idea this guy(Wagner) would do an interview at all, and especially that he would corroborate the "exterminationist" scenario in it.
The interview was done shortly after he had spent a year at a "mental hospital", which I find to be very suspicious. Then he was murdered(obviously) by the same lying sanctimonious igs who exposed him in the 1st place.

Laurentz Dahl
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:00 am
Location: Somewhere in Europe

Postby Laurentz Dahl » 1 decade 2 years ago (Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:17 pm)

grenadier wrote:Laurentz,

an acquaintance who owns a copy of Stanislaw Szmajzner's
book is sending me copies from it.

As time allows I'll be posting to this thread the tales from
Mr.Szmajzner. We can then compare this stuff with what
you have. It should be fun.

Regards


Great!

I am looking forward to your postings.

Regarding Szmajzner, Sereny writes the following in Into that Darkness, p.119-120:

Stan Szmajner has succeeded in creating for himself a new life on a new continent, in a new language and amongst people who could not possibly be further removed from his native environment but have accepted him as one of their own. He has married a Brazilian, has a child, and his closest friends, almost his adpotive parents, are one of the best-known liberal families in Brazil. Senator Pedro Ludovico was Governor of the province of Goias until a fairly recent government change, and founded the city of Goiania. My meeting with Stan Szmajzner was at the Senator's house; the Senator referred to Szmajzner at lunch repeatedly as "my extra son", and Stan works, in a position approaching that of partner, in a paper factory owned by the Senator's son. Stan's book, with a preface by Senator Ludovico, sold 10,000 copies - a considerable achievement in a country so far removed from Europe's troubles.


So apparently Szmajzner both had money and political connections.

The Wikipedia entry on Pedro Ludovico:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedro_Ludovico

I also found some lines about Szmajzner in Brazil on a webpage about Brazilian writers:

STANISLAW SZMAJZNER, de Varsóvia, Polônia, 13.03.l927, escreveu, entre outros, "INFERNO EM SOBIBOR-DEPOIMENTOS"(1968), sem dados biográficos no livro. Filho de Josef Szmajzner e Paulina Szmajzner. Como deslocado de guerra, vinculado aos poloneses de Itaberaí, no interior de Goiás, foi amigo íntimo do Interventor Pedro Ludovico Teixeira e seu visitante constante. Escritor, Ensaísta, Pesquisador. Pensador, Ativista, Produtor Cultural. Literato, Cronista, Contista. Administrador, Educador, Ficcionista. Conferencista, Orador, Intelectual. Memorialista, Professor Universitário, Jornalista. Consignado nos livros ESTUDOS LITERÁRIOS DE AUTORES GOIANOS e ESCRITORES DE GOIÁS, de Mário Ribeiro Martins. Membro de diversas instituições sociais, culturais e de classe. Presente na ESTANTE DO ESCRITOR GOIANO, do Serviço Social do Comércio e no livro DESLOCADOS DE GUERRA EM GOIÁS- IMIGRANTES POLONESES EM ITABERAÍ, de Jan Magalinski. Biografado no DICIONÁRIO BIOBIBLIOGRÁFICO DE GOIÁS, de Mário Ribeiro Martins, MASTER, Rio de Janeiro, 1999.

http://www.usinadeletras.com.br/exibelo ... at=Ensaios

On p.130 of Into that Darkness, we read:

Throughout our long conversation Stan Szmajzner was fair and tolerant. Indeed, I felt, almost too anxious to give credit where he could, to a man whose family "who had nothing to do with all of this", was also living in his chosen country. This was in sharp contrast to his attitude on hearing from me that Gustav Wagner was still alive and was probably in Brazil, information which I had from Stangl. On hearing this, Stan cried. "It is the worst, the most terrible shock you could have given me," he said. "That man. Here in Brazil. To think that I am now breathing the same air as he - it makes me feel terribly, terribly ill... I would not know how to find words to describe to you what a terrible - a truly terrible man that is. Stangl - he is good in comparison, very good. But Wagner - he should be dead..." He begged me to find out where Wagner was, because, he kept on repeating, "I must do something." It took most of the day, off an on, to calm him and persuade him that vengeance ought not to be his.

Laurentz Dahl
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:00 am
Location: Somewhere in Europe

Postby Laurentz Dahl » 1 decade 2 years ago (Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:23 pm)

NovyMir wrote:This is a very interesting case(and thread).
The thing that strikes me as most odd and inexplicable is the idea this guy(Wagner) would do an interview at all, and especially that he would corroborate the "exterminationist" scenario in it.
The interview was done shortly after he had spent a year at a "mental hospital", which I find to be very suspicious. Then he was murdered(obviously) by the same lying sanctimonious igs who exposed him in the 1st place.


I will try to dig up up as much as possible (for me) on this interesting case. I just found two 1978 Der Spiegel articles on the Wagner arrest that has some interesting stuff in them. I will return with quotes and some scans later this week.

Laurentz Dahl
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:00 am
Location: Somewhere in Europe

Postby Laurentz Dahl » 1 decade 2 years ago (Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:25 pm)

The first of the Spiegel articles was published in no.23/1978.

On the contents page (p.4) we read:

A Functionary of the Holocaust Sought and Found

For the German people, another confrontation with their history's darkest chapter is waiting: a spectacular Holocaust trial. Gustav Wagner, former supervisor of the Sobibor extermination camp and charged with complicity in the murder of at least 152,000 people, was tracked down in Brazil as he celebrated Hitler's birthday with his likeminded. Federal German judicial authorities issued an arrest warrant for the former SS-Oberscharführer, who is said to have been one of the most brutal henchmen of the "Final Solution". According to a surviving prisoner, "he was a monster". Bonn demands the extradition of Wagner.


On the same page there is a photo of Wagner that is most likely his arrest photo:

Image

His right eye is clearly protruding due to some illness or injury. This is not clearly visible in other photos.

The 2,5 page article (on p.99, 101, 104 - Der Spiegel has a lot of advertising) is basically a paean to Simon Wiesenthal, who is lauded for having "found" Wagner. As we know from previous posts, Wiesenthal identified the wrong man. I will come back to this in the review of the second article.

On page 99, we are told how Wiesenthal, having seen a photo (taken by "Jornal do Brazil") of the Hitler birthday celebration at Hotel Tyll, "recognized" "Wagner" by his protruding ears.

But he [Wiesenthal] wanted to be absolutely sure before he sounded the alarm. Wiesenthal took out a photocopy of an identity chart issued in 1950 and a passport photo of the wanted man from 1941. Over and over again he compared the old picture with the press photo.

He then contacted a phrenologist, who analyzed the photos. The expert on faces came to the conclusion that "with a ninenty percent probability" the photos were of the same person.

From that moment on, the investigator was sure: "it's him!" Simon Wiesenthal, just celebrated by the US President Carter as "the lighthouse of hope for all those who has suffered under the terror of totalitarian persecution", had found one of the most somber figures of the horrific world of the Jewish Holocaust: Gustav Wagner, 66, former SS-Oberscharführer and supervisor [Oberaufseher] of the extermination camp Sobibor, complicit in the murder of at least 152,000 Jews.

But how could he bring this man to justice in Europe? Wiesenthal did not know Wagner's address, and he knew almost nothing about the way he lived.

Wiesenthal tried a war tactic: he incited Mario Chimanowitz, the Israel correspondent of "Jornal do Brazil" to make an interview, in which Wiesenthal told everything he knew about Wagner. However incomplete Wiesenthal's knowledge, the description of Wagner's regime of terror in Sobibor sufficed for the Brazilian police to take action.

Just shortly after the Wiesenthal interview was published two weeks ago, officers from the department of investigation of political crimes (Deops) brought in Wagner for questioning. Wagner ("I have not killed any Jews") initially claimed that his name was Günther Mendel but confronted with new documents he admitted his true identity and was arrested - a sign to Wiesenthal to start his work.

Wiesenthal next alerted the state prosecutor [Staatsanwaltschaften] and the justice department. He also contacted the Polish embassy in Vienna, the Austrian department of justice and the state justice department of Nordrhein-Westfalen. He requested the same from all of them: to send arrest warrants to the Brazilians together with data on Wagner and requests for his extradition.

The federal German authorities acted willingly. A new arrest warrant for Wagner (the old one had expired) was issued, with some delay. (...)


The rest of the article basically consists of a recounting of Wagner's alleged activities at Sobibor. Most of it is apparently based on Sereny's book on Stangl and Adalbert Rückerl's elusive NS-Vernichtungslager... .

NovyMir
Member
Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:57 am

Postby NovyMir » 1 decade 2 years ago (Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:55 pm)

I noticed he had a right "lazy-eye" in the other pictures.

Laurentz Dahl
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:00 am
Location: Somewhere in Europe

Postby Laurentz Dahl » 1 decade 2 years ago (Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:21 am)

The second article, printed in the following issue of Der Spiegel, is a lot more interesting, since it gives more correct details on the circumstances of Wagner's arrest.

On the contents page (p.5), we read:

"A trap made by this Wiesenthal"

Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal was mistaken but was lucky all the same. On a photograph depicting a meeting of the "Deutschvölkischen Gemeinschaft" he thought he had recognized the former supervisor of the Sobibor extermination camp, Wagner. It was the wrong man. Despite this, the real Wagner handed himself over to the police voluntarily two days later.


This is accompanied by a photo of Wagner sitting in a chair, talking and smoking a cigarette:

Image

The article, starting on page 128, bears the caption "We are not the last people of yesterday" How the supervisor of the Sobibor extermination camp was found. The subcaption reads:

Gustav Franz Wagner, former supervisor of the Sobibor extermination camp, discovered that he had been found out through listening to the news broadcasts of Deutsche Welle [a radio broadcasting service for German speakers living abroad]. He then turned himself over to the Brazilian police. For almost 33 years, the intelligence and police of almost all European states as well as Israel had been searching for him, in vain.


I will next quote from the article, p.128:

Two cars stops in a way contrary to traffic regulations at a street corner, two men steps out and speaks to another who has been waiting for them. After a brief conversation the freezing passenger enter one of the cars. Both vehicles take off. At the side of the man in the car sits Silvio Pereira Machado and Clide Gaia da Costa, officers of "Dops", the Brazil secret service.

The name of the man who has been waiting in the cold at the street corner for almost half an hour is Gustav Franz Wagner, 66.

A manhunt which had taken almost 33 years and involved the intelligence services and highest police departments of almost European nations, was over. Gustav Wagner, former topkick of the extermination camp Sobibor, had handed himself over to the Brazilian police.


Next we are told about the meeting at Hotel Tyll. The hotel is (was) located in Itatiaia, a town 120 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro. At the bottom page 18, we are shown a photo of Wagner and his live-in partner, Hertha, standing in front of their home.

Image

It is said in the caption to the photo that the home was located in Itaitaia, but this is probably incorrect (see below).

The meeting at Hotel Tyll was to start at April 21 1978 and last three days. The text of the letter of invitation is given, as well a list of the sixteen participants. Wagner is not among them. Listed is however, as number 9, a certain Günter Meindl from Mairipora. In the first article, it is claimed that Wagner when arrested first gave his name as "Günther Mendel". I will return to this later.

We are next told of how Alfredo and Adalgisa Winkelmann, the owners of the hotel, received the guests on April 21. At 18:00 the same day, officers from "Dops" knocked on the doors to the hotel. They had received an anonymous call claiming that a secret communist meeting was taking place at the hotel. The people who had gathered were held and the rooms of the building were searched. Instead the officers found pamphlets with order lists for national socialist literature, lyrics to Third Reich songs &c. It is recounted how Winkelmann told the police that "We are working to rebuild Germany and destroy the great lies of history." One of the participants was carrying a loaded gun in a brief case, which prompted body checks.

The Jornal do Brasil newspaper carried an article on the incident in its April 24 issue. A photograph showing Winkelmann, his wife and an unidentified man was released together with the article. A copy of this issue reached Mario Chimanovitch at the Jornal do Brazil correspondent office in Tel Aviv. Chimanovitch next showed the newspaper to Wiesenthal, who came to believe that the unidentified man was Wagner, due to the protruding ears.

The Jornal do Brazil photo was now reprinted in a number of Brazilian newspapers with the part showing the unidentified man enlarged adorned with the caption "Wanted: Gustav Franz Wagner".

From page 132:

May 21, 7 a.m. At the Farenda Sao Jorge in Sao Pedro, 15 kilometers from the small town of Atibaia, itself located some 80 kilometers from Sao Paulo, a tall man with grey hair was listening to the "Deutsche Welle": Gustav ("Gustl") Franz Wagner. The news began with the report that the Austrian war criminal Gustav Franz Wagner, who had been identified in a photograph, was hiding in Sao Paulo or its environs.

When the news broadcast was over Wagner packed a small trunk, took farewell of his still drowsy partner Hertha and left the house that his employer, Horacio Casal, and his young German wife Ulrike had provided for him. Wagner had lived there for 20 years under his own name. Next he took the bus to Sao Paulo.


Let me pause here for a brief moment. First we are told that intelligence and police had been hunting Wagner for 33 years. Next we are told that he had been living in the same place for 20 years using his own name. Who was chasing him? Austin Powers?

An hour later the press circled in on Atibaia and the surrounding Fazendas. Someone in the vicinity had recognized the man. Nonetheless: the picture supposedly showing him didn't. It showed other participants at the Nazi meeting at the Winkelmann's hotel. The name was correct, as was the man, but not the photograph.


So how exactly was he recognized? By mistake? This seems a bit odd.

Page 132-133, bolds mine:

Horacio and Ulrike Casal, for whom Wagner worked at a wage of 2500 cruzeiros (about 300 Deutsche Mark) per month, making concrete posts for fences, were at this time at their flat in Sao Paulo. At Sunday evening, the telephone on the Sao Paulo connection 247 -34 13, belonging to Mrs. Karin Milz, the mother of Ulrike Milz, married Casal, rang.

It was 9 p.m. The caller was Gustav Franz Wagner. He asked Mrs. Milz for a police office where he could report himself. He did not want to fall in the hands of "any small officer who is a Jew to boot."

Karin Milz asked Wagner for his location. Wagner: "At the corner of Barao de Jaceguai and Jesuino Maciel - in the district of Campo Belo". Mrs. Milz told him to stay where he were and then contacted a high rank "Dops" officer she knew.

A few minutes past 10 p.m. Wagner was already at the "Dops" headquarters in the Sao Paulo district of Luz.

He at once admitted that he was Gustav Franz Wagner. All his papers were in his own name. Furthermore, already during the first questioning he admitted to having been an Oberscharführer in the SS. He denied however, that he knew the man in the photo that had put Wiesenthal on the trail. He also said that he had never been to Itaitaia, and that he had never known Winkelmann or the other participants at the ominous meeting at Hotel Tyll.

Finally he was asked whether it was possible that there had been another Wagner at Sobibor, the place where Wagner was said to have commited war crimes. Wagner denied this also.

The Brazilian police would not readily believe that a man, who lived under his own name , who did not try to hide his identity for them, and who did not match the wanted man in the picture, was a searched-after war criminal.

What Sobibor was concerned, Wagner maintained that no Jews had been killed there, whether by himself or by others. At Sobibor he had only had the task of carrying out the construction of barracks. The conclusion: the police believed that they had not yet caught the real Wagner, and that the one who had been arrested possibly had the same name.

In the city of Goiania, 900 kilometers from Sao Paulo, Stanislaw Szjmazjner, 50, saw the real photo in the newspapers. He took the next flight to Sao Paulo.

Szmajzner, a Polish Jew, had spent one and a half years in Sobibor as a 14 year old. He was one of the few Sobibor inmates who had survived the war.

"How are you Gustl?" Szmajzner greeted the former camp topkick Wagner at their confrontation. Wagner would not recognize him at first, then thought things over [überlegte dann aber] and made one of his biggest mistakes: "Yes, yes, I remember you. I took you out of the transport together with your two friends who were also goldsmiths, and saved your lives."
"Then," Szmajzner said, "what about my sister, my mother and my brothers? When you say, that you saved my life, you must also have known that others were to die." Wagner did not reply.


On the top of page 134, we are shown a photo of Szmajzner together with Wagner. A reporter is seen holding up a microphone towards Wagner, who is holding a lit cigarette in his left hand, seemingly relaxed and in command of himself. The photograph is stated to have been taken at their confrontation in Sao Paulo.

Image

I will next quote the last lines on page 133 as well as the remainder of the article on the following page:

After this confrontation in front of the press the Brazilian authorities had to take Wagner into custody awaiting extradition [Auslieferungshaft]. Wagner: "I have lost, and as a good looser I accept my fate."

On the question why he had turned himself over, Wagner answered: "It would be worse to be taken by the Israelis". He still denied the charges made against him.

Also Karin Milz, the stepmother of Wagner's employer Casal, said that she could not believe the allegations about Wagner. She also commented: "He has not made any attempt to live in hiding. He speaks such a terrible Portuguese."

Karin Milz also voiced doubts about history: "How is it in the first place technically possible to kill six million Jews?"

Her daughter Ulrike Casal, born Milz: "It is unbelievable. He was a friendly, good man who always laughed. He was a prankster and friendly with children. He told them the story of Snow White and the seven dwarfs."

Meanwhile, the identity of the man whose picture for days had been identified in newspapers the world over as that of Wagner, had become known: his name is Hans-Werner Schütte, a German citizen from northern Germany.

He had been of the meeting of "the not last of yesterday, but the first of tomorrow" in Itaitaia and is now back in Germany. Schütte: "All of this was a trap laid by that baleful Wiesenthal who got to Wagner. The journalists helped him in the operation. However, our friends in Brazil have already taken measures. So it wont last. Mr. Winkelmann has told me, that he will write a letter to Colonel Rulem, the press chief of President Geisel. Winkelmann has important friends in the government."

Especially unbelievable Schütte finds the fact that he was mistaken for Wagner: "That's not just possible. I'm just 1,74 tall, while Wagner is almost 2 meters. That poor man has a clear conscience. He is innocent, I'm certainly sure of that."

Meanwhile, Wagner was transferred to the Brazilian capital Brasilia. He is sitting in a building belonging to the Superintendecia Regional de Policia Federal in the city quarter of Do Sul.

He dows not feel as well as he did the first days after his arrest. The heart specialist Dr. Geraldo Hideu Osanai has ordered bed rest for him and prescribed a daily dose 100 mg Aldomet and 50 mg Higroton against heart problems.


The above account leaves some questions:

- Why did the first article claim that the man arrested gave his name as Günther Mendel, similar/identical to the name of one of the participants at the Tyll meeting, while the second article states that the man with protruding ears in the photo was Hans-Werner Schütte, who is also on the reproduced participant list?

- Why does Rashke in his book claim that the man with protruding ears was quickly "eliminated by the Germans" in Brazil shortly after the publication of the Wiesenthal interview, while the Der Spiegel article blatantly contradicts this and in fact interviews the man in Germany weeks after he was supposedly killed.

- Who "recognized" Wagner in Atibaia? This may perhaps be explained by the anonymous caller recognizing the name of Wagner, not the man depicted in the newspapers.

- Was the press present throughout the Wagner-Szmajzner confrontation? Is it on record? What was really said? What more exactly did Wagner say about Sobibor? I guess the best chance to find out is to look for reports in Brazilian media.

- Is Wagner's behavior (not living in hiding, living under his own name, turning himself in &c) really consistent with the image of Wagner presented by "eyewitnesses" and court historians, that of a sly, psychopathic massmurderer.

grenadier
Valued contributor
Valued contributor
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:07 am

Postby grenadier » 1 decade 2 years ago (Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:24 pm)

Laurentz wrote:

"On p.130 of Into that Darkness, we read:
That man[Wagner]. Here in Brazil. To think that I am now breathing the same
air as he - it makes me feel terribly, terribly ill...
I would not know how to find words to describe to you what a terrible
- a truly terrible man that is. Stangl - he is good in comparison,
very good. But Wagner - he should be dead.."


Now that is strange. According to what Szmajzner wrote in his memoir,
Stangl was the overall Kommandant of Sobibor and therefore the one
most responsible for the alleged mass murder. Szmajzner tells us Wagner
led Lager I which was not the extermination part of Sobibor.
Also, though Szmajzner describes Wagner as a vicious giant nearly
2 meters tall and strong as an ox, he comes out more like the type
that would slap and punch. Stangl by contrast is described by Szmajzner
as a sadist who enjoyed doing target practice on Jews as they detrained
at Sobibor. As a matter of fact, this is what Szmajzner claims to
have seen when he came off the train onto the Sobibor platform:
Stangl, impeccably uniformed, shooting people for the hell of it.
How was Stangl better than Wagner?


Laurentz wrote:
"So apparently Szmajzner both had money and political connections.

The Wikipedia entry on Pedro Ludovico: ..."


I agree and this Pedro Ludovico seems to have been an
important man since the city of Goiânia is one of the largest
in the Brazilian midwest. Check it out;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goi%C3%A2nia


"Stan's book, with a preface by Senator Ludovico, sold 10,000 copies"

I have read the preface and the senator comes out as a philo-semite.
The Nazis are of course described as the worst villains ever.
He tells his readers of how the Jews were always persecuted since
antiquity and how against all odds after wwII built a country for
themselves in Palestine. He tells us how the Jews faced the hostility
of the West(??) and of the Arabs but still prevailed and built a
modern country where there was only a desert.

He claims the Jews should be left in peace to live in Palestine since
according to the senator, they are only occupying a land that anyway
belongs to them, since they were kicked out of the holy land by the
evil Romans.

He doesn't seem to know or forgets that the Arabs had been living
in the region since the 7th century AD and besides, there is little
that connects the ancient Hebrews to most modern Jews.

Great work btw Laurentz!

Laurentz Dahl
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:00 am
Location: Somewhere in Europe

Postby Laurentz Dahl » 1 decade 2 years ago (Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:26 pm)

grenadier wrote:Now that is strange. According to what Szmajzner wrote in his memoir,
Stangl was the overall Kommandant of Sobibor and therefore the one
most responsible for the alleged mass murder. Szmajzner tells us Wagner
led Lager I which was not the extermination part of Sobibor.
Also, though Szmajzner describes Wagner as a vicious giant nearly
2 meters tall and strong as an ox, he comes out more like the type
that would slap and punch. Stangl by contrast is described by Szmajzner
as a sadist who enjoyed doing target practice on Jews as they detrained
at Sobibor. As a matter of fact, this is what Szmajzner claims to
have seen when he came off the train onto the Sobibor platform:
Stangl, impeccably uniformed, shooting people for the hell of it.
How was Stangl better than Wagner?


Yes, strange indeed. I wouldn't be too surprised if Sereny put those words into Szjmazner's mouth. Or perhaps Szmajzner would put in some good words for Stangl, as he knew that the former commandant was in jail and "confessing" everything to Sereny - and that this would make himself seem noble..? Well, strange it is, anyway.

By the way, it seems that Der Spiegel never wrote anything on the Brazilian dismissal of the extradition claims in June 1979, or on Wagner's "suicide" in October 1980. But I will doublecheck.

Laurentz Dahl
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:00 am
Location: Somewhere in Europe

Postby Laurentz Dahl » 1 decade 2 years ago (Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:24 am)

A photo of Szmajzner confronting Franz Stangl (man in glasses to the right) in a Brazilian court room in 1967:

Image

The picture is from Thomas Blatt's own website yet the caption does not give the name of the survivor in question - Thomas' buddy Stanislav.

I am trying to track down the Le Monde article but it will be delayed for a while since my local library is currently transferring their 1960-1978 issues from one magazine to another.

grenadier
Valued contributor
Valued contributor
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:07 am

Postby grenadier » 1 decade 2 years ago (Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:02 pm)

As promissed I'll start summarizing the main points from Szmajzner's account of his wartime years which
according to him culminated in his beign sent to Sobibor with his family.
Szmajzner is featured a few times in Arads book who in turn refers to Rashke.
This summary is based on the first edition of Szmjzner's memoir mentioned before, written in Portuguese
and published in Brazil in 1968.

Right from start Szmajzner promisses his readers his description is completely without any literary
embelishments, that he gives just the cold facts. He goes on to say that many times he wonders if
all this really happened to him.(p.24)
So do I.

Szmajzner informs us he was born to the Jewish community of Pulawy, a small Polish town. A little
search on the Net and one finds out that the Jews of Pulawy were kept in a ghetto and later allegedly
sent to their deaths in Sobibor. Info containing the alleged number of deportees can also be found
for Pulawy in Arad's "B, S, T" appendix A.

It's not quite clear how old Szmajzner was when the war began, either 12 or 14, probably 14 which appears
more often. According to him, his parents were very religious and he was educated in a Jewish school
which could be afforded thanks to Szmajzner's father prosperous businesses which included strawberry
exporting to Germany.

Szmajzner tells us that anti-Semitism was already a fact of life in Poland BEFORE the war and that
Polish boys were always bullying and trying to pick up fights with Jewish kids.

Then came the war. Szmajzner says the people got together in front of the city hall and after hearing
official information and instructions they kneeled down and sang:

"The Germans will not spit in our faces and will not make Germans of the children."(p.25)

The war reached Pulawy soon enough and according to Szmajzner, the town was bombed by the German air
force causing the death of many. After the air attacks the population left town and Szmajzner and his
family tried to reach a town called Kazimierz, distant 14 Kms from Pulawy, where there were other relatives.
Szmajzner claims the Luftwaffe attacked the refugees, killing many. They reached Kazimierz but 3 days
later this town was also attacked and they fled again.

With the end of the campaign Szmajzner and his family decided to return to Pulawy which had been ocuppied
by the Germans. Under alleged tough conditions imposed by German ocupation, Szmajzner tells us he and
many other Jews were considering fleeing to the other side of the Bug river, into the arms of the
Soviets.[p.31]

At this point Szmajzner begins a tale of escape which is a bit confusing. He says he wanted to run away
to the Soviets but his parents who were somewhat old and had businesses at Pulawy didn't want to
leave. In the end Szmajzner, his brother in law Josef and Szmajzner's goldsmith instructor Herszl decided
to run away and that one of them would go back later for the others.

They started their journey by train passing
themselves off as Poles. However the Poles allegedly denounced them as Jews time and again causing
them to be thrown off the trains. They collected some of Herszl's relatives in Chelm and found a lad
who smuggled refugees across the German-Soviet border for a price. After crossing the Bug their group
of 6 people were busted by a Soviet patrol and arrested and taken to a Soviet captain who turned out
to be Jewish. The Soviet captain declared they would be sent to Soviet occupied Kowel but in fact deceivingly
sent the group back to the German zone. After that they met a Pole who said he could get them back across to
the Soviet side for a good price, and that he knew a route which would avoid Soviet patrols.

This time they were successful and reached Kowel, which, according to Szmajzner was overwhelmed by huge
numbers of refugees. Szmajzner claims he was able to get a job as a goldsmith and also that a Soviet military
woman helped him a lot. It was now winter of 1940. At this point Szmajzner and Herszl decide to go back to
get Szmajzner's family and H fiancee. Strange they should pick the dead of winter for such a mission.
Another Jew from Pulawy joined them but the 3 were caught by the Soviets who, this time, did not want
them to go back to the German side!! Szmajzner was thrown in jail and later even in solitary confinement
for stealing a ration of tea and bread.

Szmajzner then claims they were finally set free and nonsensically enough, that the Soviets got
them across to the German zone!! German patrols spotted the activity and all hell broke loose.
After much running, ducking bullets, etc, Szmajzner manages to lose the Germans and buys a train ticket
to Pulawy. On the way, a Pole, again a Pole, yelled "Jew, Jew" and as Szmajzner was not wearing the
Yellow star which in the meantime had become obligatory, the Nazis punished him at a train station.
He had to stay for half an hour bare footed on the snow. Szmajzner constantly speaks ill of the Poles in
his screed. For example, he writes that even though the Poles had been smashed by Germany they felt a
sadistic pleasure denouncing Jews.[p.40]

Szmajzner finally discovers that his family was no longer in Pulawy which had been made free of Jews.
He eventually managed to reunite with his parents who were at that time residing in Wolwonice.
As if forgetting what he had written several pages earlier, there is no more mention of getting his family
to the Soviet side anymore, which is what he had claimed was the reason of his return!! Now, they just
simply stayed put, a total of 7 family members including his parents.

To be continued...

ps
Valued contributor
Valued contributor
Posts: 174
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 11:29 am

Postby ps » 1 decade 2 years ago (Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:49 pm)

Der Reichsführer-SS
RF/Bn 1674/43 geh.M.
Feldkommandostelle, den 5. Juli 1943
Geheime Reichssache
10 Ausfertigungen
Anordnung 10. Ausfertigung
1.) SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt
2.) SS-Führungshauptamt
3.) Höheren SS- und Polizeiführer Ost
4.) Höheren SS- und Polizeiführer Ostland
5.) Höheren SS- und Polizeiführer Russland-Mitte
6.) Höheren SS- und Polizeiführer Ukraine
7.) Höheren SS- und Polizeiführer im Distrikt Lublin
8.) Chef der Bandenkampfverbände
9.) Ausfertigung (handschriftlich eingefügt) in Hochwald von Ostubaf. Brandt übergeben 6.7
10.) Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD durchschriftlich mit der Bitte um Kenntnisnahme übersandt.
I.A. Br SS-Obersturmbannführer.

1. Das Durchgangslager Sobibor im Distrikt Lublin ist in ein Konzentrationslager umzuwandeln. In diesem Konzentrationslager ist eine Entlaborisierungsanstalt für Beutemunition einzurichten.

2. Alle Höheren SS- und Polizeiführer sind gehalten, sämtliche Beutemunition, soweit sie nicht zur Munitionierung von in Gebrauch befindlichen Beutegeschützen benötigt wird, nach dort zu liefern.

3. Metalle und vor allem das Sprengpulver sind sorgfältig zu verwenden.

4. Zugleich ist in diesem Konzentrationslager eine Fertigungsstätte für unsere Vielfachwerfer oder auch andere Munition zu errichten.

gez. Himmler

zu finden: Bundesarchiv Koblenz: NS-19/1571
Quelle: Historische Tatsachen Nr. 49, 1991 - "Vergessene Dokumente", Seite 24

-------------------------------------------------------------------------




Wirtschaft-Verwaltungshauptamt
Berlin, 15. Juli 1943.
Licherfelde-West
Unter den Eichen 126-135
Zitatzeichen: PO/Fa.
Betr.: Durchgangslager Sobibor.
Bezug: Dort. Schreiben vom 5.7. RF/Bn 1674/43 Geh.
Rs.
An
Reichsführer-SS
Berlin


Reichsführer!
Gemäß ihrer obigen Anordnung soll das Durchgangslager Sobibor im Distrikt Lublin in ein Konzentrationslager umgewandelt werden.

Ich habe mich mit SS.Gruppenführer Globocnik darüber unterhalten. Wir beide schlagen Ihnen vor, die Umwandlung in ein Konzentrationslager aufzugeben, weil der von Ihnen erstrebte Zweck, nämlich: in Sobibor eine Entlaborisierungsanstalt für Beutemunition einzurichten, auch ohne diese Umwandlung erreicht wird.

Alles andere in obiger Anordnung kann so bleiben. Ich bitte um Ihre Zustimmung, die lediglich für Gruppenführer Globocnik und mich von Bedeutung ist.

Heil Hitler
handschriftlich gez. Pohl
SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS

zu finden: Bundesarchiv Koblenz NS 19/1571
Quelle: Historische Tatsachen Nr. 49, 1991 - "Vergessene Dokumente", Seite 25

User avatar
Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1665
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:23 am

Postby Moderator » 1 decade 2 years ago (Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:52 pm)

What's up PS, give us a translation with comments by you, please.
M1
Only lies need to be shielded from debate, truth welcomes it.


Return to “'Holocaust' Debate / Controversies / Comments / News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSN [Bot] and 3 guests