Auschwitz And After ((LINK))
Delbo, who had returned to occupied France to work in the French resistance alongside her husband, was sent to Auschwitz for her activities. Her memoir uses unconventional, almost experimental, narrative techniques to not only convey the experience of Auschwitz but how she and her fellow survivors coped in the years afterwards.
Auschwitz and After
The first and last volumes deal with Auschwitz as lived and remembered, respectively, and do not entirely follow linear time. The middle volume concerns the surviving Frenchwomen's slow journey back to freedom after they were moved from Auschwitz to Ravensbrück and ultimately turned over to the Swedish Red Cross, and is somewhat more linear.
After the war, Renee returned to Czechoslovakia. There, she was reunited with her brother and together they found their father, who passed away soon after. She was married in Prague in 1948, had one child and came to America the same year where she worked as a fashion designer until 1992. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art currently has Renee Firestone-designed clothing on display in their mid century fashion gallery. In1978, Renee became one of the first survivors to speak in public about her experiences for the Simon Wiesenthal Center. She continues to travel the world today as a speaker for Holocaust education, including a recent journey to Rwanda. In addition to one daughter, she has one grandchild and three great grandchildren.
I beg you do something learn a dance step something to justify your existence something that gives you the right to be dressed in your skin in your body hair learn to walk and to laugh because it would be too senseless after all for so many to have died while you live doing nothing with your life.
Auschwitz survivor Alina Dabrowska, 96, shows her Auschwitz prisoner number tattoo at her home in Warsaw. She was sent to Auschwitz after she was caught by the Nazis helping the Allied forces in German-occupied Poland during World War II. Rob Schmitz/NPR hide caption
Janina Iwanska, 89, is photographed in her Warsaw apartment. She was sent to Auschwitz after she was separated from her parents at the age of 14 during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 when the Nazis laid siege to the city. She arrived at the death camp at the height of its exterminations, when the SS guards killed 330,000 people in a span of eight weeks. Rob Schmitz/NPR hide caption
Today, Auschwitz is a museum recalling the evil that humans are capable of inflicting on each other. Tour groups quietly shuffle from an exhibit holding 2 tons of hair shaved from the victims of the gas chambers to the gallows where the former commandant of Auschwitz was hanged after he was tried by a military tribunal in 1947.
Massacres of prisoners took place in some of the localities along the evacuation routes. At the Leszczyny/Rzędówka train station near Rybnik on the night of January 21/22, 1945, a train carrying about 2.5 thousand prisoners from Gliwice halted. On the afternoon of January 22, the prisoners were ordered to disembark. Some of them were too exhausted to do so. SS men from the escort and local Nazi police fired machine guns through the open doors of the train cars. The Germans then herded the remaining prisoners westward. After they had marched away, more than 300 corpses, of prisoners who had been shot or who had died of exhaustion or exposure, were gathered from the grounds of the station and its surroundings.
Many Polish and Czech residents of localities along or near the evacuation route came forward to help the evacuees. For the most part, they gave them water and food, and also sheltered escapees. People in various localities were honored after the war with the Israel Righteous among the Nations of the World medal for helping escapees survive until liberation.
SS men never released anyone for extraordinary work efficiency. We know of only a few cases of release of prisoners - specialists of rare and useful trade skills, who, however, were immediately afterwards forcibly employed in camp institutions or SS enterprises. In contrast to opinions sometimes expressed, informants were never released - as a reward for submitting denunciations. Although the Political Department had "spies" operating in the camp, it is unknown of any case of release of them; such a person could only enjoy certain privileges, be assigned to a good work group or sleep in a block for German functionaries. The camp Gestapo officers acted pragmatically in this regard, as they wanted to keep such people in the camp as useful, proven agents.
Prisoners were often not informed in advance of their release. When, in April 1941, Władysław Bartoszewski was called out of the crowd of prisoners during the morning roll-call, he thought they were going to shoot him. Instead of going to work - they were led to quarantine block, where they usually spent up to four weeks. Contraindications for release was a poor state of health. The prisoners were after sometime brought before the health committee - and if they showed any signs of serious illness, malnutrition or visible signs of beating, they had to stay in the camp until their appearance improved.
Marta Nycz came from a region of Silesia that was mixed German and Polish. During the war she was forced to join a Nazi organisation for girls, for which she was arrested, beaten and tortured by the security police after the war.
On October 7, 1944, several hundred prisoners assigned to Crematorium IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau rebelled after learning that they were going to be killed. During the uprising, the prisoners killed three guards and blew up the crematorium and adjacent gas chamber. The prisoners used explosives smuggled into the camp by Jewish women who had been assigned to forced labor in a nearby armaments factory.
In general, subcamps that produced or processed agricultural goods were administratively subordinate to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Subcamps whose prisoners were deployed at industrial and armaments production or in extractive industries (e.g., coal mining, quarry work) were administratively subordinate to Auschwitz-Monowitz. This division of administrative responsibility was formalized after November 1943.
Brigitte had an extraordinary childhood, moving from the farm to one concentration camp after another as her father scaled the ranks of the SS: Dachau from ages 1 through 5; Sachsenhausen from 5 to 7; and from 7 to 11, in perhaps the most notorious death camp, Auschwitz.
Cultural criticism finds itself today faced with the final state of the dialectic of culture and barbarism. To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric. And this corrodes even the knowledge of why it has become impossible to write poetry today. Absolute reification, which presupposed intellectual progress as one of its elements, is now preparing to absorb the mind entirely. Critical intelligence cannot be equal to this challenge as long as it confines itself to self-satisfied contemplation.
Personal effects taken from the prisoners at Auschwitz before they were taken to the gas chamber. These belongings were found after liberation, in warehouses at the camp. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Philip Vock
The bodies of prisoners who perished during the evacuation of Auschwitz-Birkenau lie covered in snow on the main street of the camp immediately after the liberation. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Mark Chrzanowski
This was not the first time someone has faced legal consequences for posing in front of the gate at the former camp, which is now a museum. Polish News reported that in 2013, two students from Turkey were fined and sentenced to six months in prison after making a Nazi salute for a similar photo.
Law after Auschwitz studies law and lawyers under Nazi rule, the jurisprudence of Nazi law, and the reception of Nazi law by contemporary legal scholarship. It offers detailed analyses of the ways in which the Holocaust has been constructed in post-war trials. This book raises fundamental questions about legality and ethics in the 21st century. If the Holocaust took place in a "legal" framework, and if the legal system today operates in part in a continuous fashion with Nazi legality, then law must be understood as still operating in the shadow of Auschwitz. Throughout the book, the consequences of a legal system which operates in a state of willful amnesia about its own implication in the Shoah, is the central focus.
The largest death camp established in occupied Poland, and named after the nearby town of Oswiecim, Auschwitz was a sprawling complex of about 50 different lagers that served different purposes. In 1940, one year into their occupation of Poland, the Germans began to use former Polish army barracks at Oswiecim as a concentration camp for Polish political prisoners. As many as 140,000 non-Jewish Polish citizens were eventually imprisoned at Auschwitz, many of whom died of starvation, sickness, neglect, exhaustion, or execution.
A few days later, in the dispatches of September 9 addressed to von dem Bach, Himmler wrote in turn that, "only men who fought actively, or suspected to have done so should be referred to the concentration camps. Those who surrendered voluntarily, including women and children should be referred to work in Germany "(source: J. Kirchmayer, Warsaw Uprising, Warsaw 1984, page 532 [Appendix 25]).However, despite these directives, after the fall of the Old Town on 2 September a significant proportion of injured and sick persons were murdered there (including insurgents approximately 25 thousand people). Similarly as in other districts: in Czerniaków or after the capitulation of Mokotów on September 27, the Germans killed off the wounded. These changing orders and directives of the German authorities, besides the random elements induced by the needs of the war economy, were the reasons for diverting certain transports with Warsaw civilians from the transitional camp in Pruszków to concentration camps, others to labour camps, yet others to designated cities of the General Government. The first groups of Warsaw inhabitants dispatched to the specially commissioned transit camp in pruszków were residents of Wola and Ochota.The transit camp in pruszków, called Durchgangslager 121 (abbreviated Dulag 121) operated from August to October 1944. It was located on the site of the old rolling stock repair workshop on the north-eastern edge of Pruszków and suburb of Żbikowo (18 km from Warsaw). The average capacity of the camp was about 50 thousand persons. The process of displacement of the civilian population of the Warsaw uprising lasted without interruption from 4 August until the first weeks of October 1944.