extermination camps


Anne Frank Center calls Sean Spicer a Holocaust denier and demands his firing=

  • The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, a human rights organization named after the Jewish girl who died of typhus in Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during World War II, denounced White House press secretary Sean Spicer for engaging in “Holocaust denial” and demanded his firing after Spicer suggested even “someone as despicable as Hitler … didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons” at a press conference on Tuesday.
  • Hitler, of course, gassed millions and killed millions of others with conventional weapons during the Holocaust, when his regime rounded up scores of Jews and others for extermination in concentration camps. (Spicer did not help things by later inartfully referring to those camps as “the Holocaust centers.”) 

  • The press secretary brought up the topic of his own volition while discussing the White House’s response to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s repeated use of banned chemical weapons on civilians. Read more. (4/11/2017 5:50 PM)


Those not liberated

The image above is one of the only images of the extermination process that took place at Auschwitz-Birkenau II. It was taken by a member of the sonderkommando, Nazi victims forced to take part in the killing processes of the facility, who was later killed. He took four pictures, which were smuggled out of camp. This image, shot from inside a building and with the camera hidden, shows other members of the sonderkommando, burning bodies due to the inability of the crematoriums to deal with the number of dead. The second image shows women undressing before they are herded into a gas chamber for extermination. The shots show that the photographer was unable to view his images before capturing the image as he had to keep the camera hidden from the SS.

Few of the sonderkommando, and none of the others sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau II’s killing facility for extermination, survived the war. These images depict the reality of the Holocaust for most of the victims. None of the death camps of the Holocaust were liberated by Americans or British. None of them were located in Germany. The extermination camps of Operation Reinhard, which was responsible for the deaths of the Polish Jews in camps specifically designed for extermination process, were dismantled during 1943 and 1944 having completed their tasks of killing roughly 1.7 million Jews. Auschwitz Birkenau II’s crematorium and gas sites were dismantled before the Soviet liberation of the camp.

Hence, when the victims liberated by Americans told of gas chambers and crematorium, they were not speaking of the chambers and crematorium at Buchenwald and Dachau. Instead, they were victims who had, before the liberation of Auschwitz, been marched by the Germans into the concentration camps of Germany itself. American and British troops confused the different camps and associated the extermination process of the camps in the East with the concentration camps of Germany. While many died in the camps due to poor conditions, shooting, hunger, disease, etc., explicitly exterminatory actions in gas chambers did not take place in them. It is this chaotic situation that leads to much of the confusion regarding an American understanding of the Holocaust.


No. 281. August 1944. Wikimedia. Accessed January 22, 2017. 

No. 282: Women being taken to the gas chamber. August 1944. Wikimedia. Accessed January 22, 2017. 


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Operation Reinhard (Einsatz Reinhard).” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Accessed January 22, 2017.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Auschwitz.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Accessed January 22, 2017.

(Caption by /u/KugelFang52)


Context: I am DM'ing an Elder Scrolls conversion of 5e and this is my players’ first session. They have been tasked with exterminating a bandit camp and they sent the rogue in. He immediately gets caught by four of the bandits who follow him outside where he then attempts to deceive the Redguard leader.

Rogue: oh hey guys sorry about sneaking into your cave I just got lost.

Redguard (me in the deepest voice and most stereotypical Somalian accent): BULLSHIT.

The party: Erupts in laughter.

Redguard (Still in stereotypical accent): Tell me the truth as to why you were in our camp. Or else me and my men here will flay you alive and hang you upside down from a tree.

Rogue: Well I-I heard that there was a group of bandits in the area and I wanted to try and join them. *Fails roll.*

Redguard: BULLSHIT….

At this point the monk ran out of the woods, surprised the Redguard, removed most of his health and knocked him prone. On his turn he staggers back up and attacks the monk.

Redguard: I’ll kill you! *Rolls a nat 1*

After he missed he twirled his sword and ended up cutting his throat, as he lay on his back dying he managed to croak one last word out: Bull…shit.


Jasenovac was a WWII extermination camp located in what is now Croatia. The camp was established by the governing Ustashe regime, a fascist puppet regime installed by the Nazis after the German invasion. It has been referred to as “the Auschwitz of the Balkans”. Most victims were ethnic Serbs, Jews, Roma, and political dissidents. Around 100,000 people were murdered at Jasenovac.

There were lies you were told about WWII, Hitler being evil wasn't one of them

I remember a while back there was this immensely popular post with a gif of Hitler flattering his wife, that had tons and tons of notes from all these people gushing about how they had no idea Hitler was human too. When I criticized it, this older blogger claimed all these tumblr teens were taught in school to “dehumanize” Hitler, and now they were learning more than the simplistic narrative they were taught in school. It was, according to them, mind-broadening and important. The dehumanization of Hitler they claimed is a huge problem, and a bigger problem was young people thinking too simplistically about this complex person.

But this is the thing:

It’s true you are taught a simplistic and misleading narrative about World War II and the Nazis in school. But the problem isn’t that you’re taught to think badly of Hitler and Nazis, who committed mass murder, torture, enslavement, and other human rights abuses. The problem is you are taught that the US was the good guy and the Nazis were the antithesis to everything the US represented and now represents. You’re taught that the US came in and saved everyone in the name of freedom and democracy and crushed those Nazi fascists! And everyone lived happily ever after.

When in reality, the US invented eugenics which inspired the Nazis’ Aryan racial ideals in the first place. The Nazis modeled their treatment of Jews, Romani and other minorities after how the US treated Black people. Not only that, but the US refused the entry of many European Jews fleeing the Holocaust into this country. The US refused to help the Jews and other minorities targeted by Nazis. The US ignored pleas begging them to destroy gas chambers when they were so close within striking distance in Europe that they hit one accidentally.

What happened was after Pearl Harbor put the US at risk, they got involved and then they made up a story about why they were the good guys and why the Germans were the bad guys, about how they were now all about saving the world and the poor Jews. And the truth about antisemitism in the US (there were literal signs saying NO JEWS and shit, which you never learn about in school), about eugenics in the US, about the US’s deadly passivity for much of WWII, is actively erased, glossed over or explained away. And meanwhile, irony of ironies, the US sent thousands of Japanese Americans to internment camps–which of course were not the same as Nazi Germany’s extermination and concentration camps, but weren’t exactly the kind of thing someone who was ideologically opposed to Nazis would do. (You’re taught about the internment of Japanese Americans in school, but you aren’t encouraged to think about it as compromising the US’s alleged position as ideologically opposing Nazi Germany).

The US has used WWII to its advantage to create a particular narrative. It’s arguably a big reason antisemitism in the US changed and Jews started to achieve much greater access to whiteness. Associating Jews with whiteness dissociates Nazis from American racism and eugenics, despite how much mental gymnastics you have to do to ignore the fact white supremacy was at the core of Nazi ideology (people continually allege Jews were white in Nazi Germany despite the fact Nazis killed them, literally, to purify the white race). It takes the conversation away from the end result of white supremacy: genocide and brutality. Think about how important that would have been in the 1930s and 40s when the US was even more overtly racist than it is now. How would the US look: a nation where PoC, and Black people especially, were constantly exposed to violence and oppression? When what allowed the concentration camps in Nazi Germany to exist was a change to their constitution that allowed the deprivation of human rights in particular spaces, and all Roosevelt had to do was write an executive order depriving Japanese Americans of rights just as easily. Criticisms of white supremacy and human rights violations in Nazi Germany open up the same criticisms toward the US. I’m not the first to have that idea. Harper Lee tackles it in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Tumblr SJ who complain the Holocaust gets “too much attention” compared to other social injustices also seem to miss this point–they suggest it’s ~Jewish privilege~ or white privilege that explains why everyone cares more about the Holocaust, ignoring the fact that the mainstream narrative in the US about the Holocaust and WWII also often erases the long history of antisemitism in Europe and the history of it in the US. The narrative suggests Nazis arbitrarily decided on Jews as a scapegoat and ignores the racialization of Jews in Europe. There’s also an implication that with the end of the Holocaust came the end of antisemitism. Many aspects of the mainstream narrative around the Holocaust is hurtful to Jews. Ignoring the role of white supremacy in the Holocaust does no marginalized people any favors: as well as making it too easy to let the US off the hook for creating eugenics in the first place, it also erases Romani, who were targeted in the genocide, and are still definitely not racialized as white to this day.

The US is a racist empire (and I say empire because we currently live on colonized land and also exert worldwide control) and while I don’t like comparing Nazi Germany to anything, we’re not the opposite of Nazi Germany by any means–we certainly were not in the 1940s when we fought them. I don’t think the US is the same or even similar to Nazi Germany (as I said, I don’t like making lazy comparisons like that), but I think both the US and Nazi Germany have two terrible things in common: white supremacy and a government that has the power to deprive citizens of their basic rights at a moment’s notice.

That’s the story you’re not taught in school. That’s the mind blowing epiphany that actually matters.

Hitler being human is a fact of course. But he was a horrible, horrible human being, probably one of the worst in history. And making excuses for him being primarily responsible for wiping out one third of population of a people (Jews; edit: see here), 90% of the population of another (Romani), as well as countless other atrocities doesn’t make you interesting, edgy or counter-culture. It makes you downright despicable.

Sadly, it seems tumblr’s teens find the idea of Hitler flirting with his wife more interesting and mind-blowing than the idea that everything they were taught about the US’s role in WWII is slanted to mislead them.

Three Jewish Woman Resistors, Members of the  Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa; ŻOB (Jewish Fighting Organization) Captured by the Nazis During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.  The Only Identified Fighter in the Photo is Malka Zdrojewicz (right), Who Survived Being Deported to the Majdanek Extermination Camp    1943

Today marks the 74th anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.  The Ghetto Uprising was one of the first large scale armed uprisings against the Nazis during World War II.  In the Ghetto Uprising, some 220 people organized into the Jewish Fighting Organization (ŻOB), and a similar number in the Jewish Military Union (ZZW), armed mostly with pistols with a handful of bullets and molotov cocktails, took on over 2000 Nazi troops armed with all of the tools of then modern warfare: machine guns, flame throwers, artillery, tanks, and a surplus of ammunition.  It is not to be forgotten that the Nazis were all well fed and well taken care of, while the mainly young people who fought against them had been locked up in the ghetto for almost 3 years, starved, subjected to unsanitary conditions that resulted in rampant disease, denied medical care, and demoralized by watching their family and friends brutalized and murdered by the Nazis.  Nonetheless, the Ghetto Uprising lasted for just under a month, and inflicted possibly as many as 300 casualties on the Nazis.  


27 January, 1945 | The liberation of Auschwitz

Never shall I forget that smoke. … Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes. Never shall I forget these things, even if I were condemned to live as long as God himself.


Elie Wiesel, Night

All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes—all of them.  They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the earth into a graveyard. Into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all, their conscience, and the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance, then we become the gravediggers. Something to dwell on and remember…

Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone, “Deaths-Head Revisited”

When Soviet troops arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp on the 27th of January, 1945, they found roughly 7,500 living prisoners–most of whom were weak, ill, and starving–and hundreds of corpses. Though the camp remained largely in tact, the retreating S.S. had demolished several buildings, including the gas chambers, in an attempt to hide their crimes. Overall, an estimated 1.1 million people were murdered in Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945, making it the most deadly of all the Nazi concentration and extermination camps. The majority of the victims were Jews.

Auschwitz-Birkenau became a museum in 1947, and the UN appointed January 27th as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Seventy years after its liberation, Auschwitz remains the dominant symbol of the Holocaust

Majdanek extermination camp, Lublin, Poland, June 16, 2016

(The mound in the foreground of this image is comprised of human ash and bone. The Nazis and their collaborators killed some 360,000 innocent victims at Majdanek.)

GREECE. Thessaloniki. March 19, 2017. A woman places flowers on a train wagon at the old train station. Residents of this northern Greek city visited the train station to mark the 74th anniversary of the roundup and deportation of its Jews to Nazi extermination camps during World War II.

Photograph: Giannis Papanikos/AP

You know what the funny thing is about the new Wolfenstein games? That despite being set in some crazy alternate universe with giant robot dogs, Nazi moon bases, laser guns, and cartoon villains like Deathshead and Frau Engel, it’s actually one of the most accurate and disturbing portrayals of Nazism I’ve seen in a video game. 

I mean, think about it. There’s been a lot of WW2 shooters/games with Nazis in them. The original Wolfenstein was like the first FPS ever, so Nazis have basically been video game baddies since day one. But have you ever seen a “realistic” video game with Nazis in them tackle things like the Holocaust? Racial extermination and eugenics? How downright insane, sadistic and horrifying the Nazi ideology is? Cause that’s exactly what the new Wolfenstein games are doing. 

Wolfenstein had the balls to show the human experimentation, the extermination camps, the daily terror of being hunted by the Nazis simply for being Jewish or a person of color, the warped doctrine of racial purity that the Nazis aspired to, the Orwellian control of information and society that they practiced, their imperialism and colonialism that demanded the lands of essentially all non-”Aryan” races be pillaged and looted for them. It actually shows people of color and Jews fighting in a resistance movement specifically because the Nazis wanted them to literally not exist. It even touches upon, however briefly, the persecution of LGBT people under the Nazi regime and their demand that women submit to strict gender roles. 

Oh and all of the “cool stuff” that the Nazis have in The New Order? Yeah they stole that from a group of Jewish super-scientists. Even the “cool” things about the Nazis in Wolfenstein don’t belong to them, because they’re pathetic, evil fascists. 

I doubt that at Sony’s press conference tonight when the new Call of Duty gets shown off you’ll see any hint of the terrifying true nature of Nazism. You’ll see a bunch of good ol’ boys fighting the good fight, and the Nazis will conveniently provide bodies to shoot at as they do in every video game where they’re the bad guys, but I can honestly say I have never seen a video game that has as damning and accurate a portrayal of what Nazism was and is really about as the new Wolfenstein games, where the Nazis have robot dogs and jetpacks.


This is the year that squatters evict landlords,
gazing like admirals from the rail
of the roof deck
or levitating hands in praise
of steam in the shower;
this is the year
that shawled refugees deport judges
who stare at the floor
and their swollen feet
as files are stamped
with their destination;
this is the year that police revolvers,
stove-hot, blister the fingers
of raging cops,
and nightsticks splinter
in their palms;
this is the year
that darkskinned men
lynched a century ago
return to sip coffee quietly
with the apologizing descendants
of their executioners.

This is the year that those
who swim the border’s undertow
and shiver in boxcars
are greeted with trumpets and drums
at the first railroad crossing
on the other side;
this is the year that the hands
pulling tomatoes from the vine
uproot the deed to the earth that sprouts the vine,
the hands canning tomatoes
are named in the will
that owns the bedlam of the cannery;
this is the year that the eyes
stinging from the poison that purifies toilets
awaken at last to the sight
of a rooster-loud hillside,
pilgrimage of immigrant birth;
this is the year that cockroaches
become extinct, that no doctor
finds a roach embedded
in the ear of an infant;
this is the year that the food stamps
of adolescent mothers
are auctioned like gold doubloons,
and no coin is given to buy machetes
for the next bouquet of severed heads
in coffee plantation country.

If the abolition of slave-manacles
began as a vision of hands without manacles,
then this is the year;
if the shutdown of extermination camps
began as imagination of a land
without barbed wire or the crematorium,
then this is the year;
if every rebellion begins with the idea
that conquerors on horseback
are not many-legged gods, that they too drown
if plunged in the river,
then this is the year.

So may every humiliated mouth,
teeth like desecrated headstones,
fill with the angels of bread.

—  Martín Espada

Only two people in this photo may have survived the war, the boy in the foreground and the SS man holding the MG.

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – Photo from Jürgen Stroop Report to Heinrich Himmler from May 1943. The original German caption reads: “Forcibly pulled out of dug-outs”.
An iconic image of World War II. People identified in the picture:
Identity of the boy in the front was not confirmed, but is possibly Artur Dab Siemiatek, Levi Zelinwarger (next to his mother, Chana Zelinwarger) or Tsvi Nussbaum.
Hanka Lamet – small girl on the left
Matylda Lamet Goldfinger – Hanka’s mother next to her (second from the left)
Leo Kartuziński – teenaged boy in the background with white bag on his shoulder
Golda Stavarowski – in the background, first woman from the right, with one hand raised.

Most were transported to the extermination camp Treblinka.

Tsvi Chaim Nussbaum (August 31, 1935 – July 2, 2012) was the only Holocaust survivor in his family, and is considered by some as being the boy in this photo.

Josef Blösche (12 February 1912 – 29 July 1969) was a member of the Nazi Party who served in the SS and SD during World War II. Blösche became known to the world as a symbol of the Nazi cruelty inflicted on people within the Warsaw ghetto because of a famous photograph taken during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which portrays a surrendering little boy (possibly Tsvi C. Nussbaum) in the foreground, and Blösche as the SS man who is facing the boy with an sub-machine gun in hand.

He was finally identified (as in August 1946 he suffered a major accident at work, leaving the side of his face severely deformed) and arrested in January 1967.
Blösche was put on trial in Erfurt in April 1969. He was found guilty, including in participating in the shooting of about 1,000 Jews in 1943. He was sentenced to death, and executed in Leipzig on 29 July 1969.

(Colorised by Mikolaj Kalzmarek from Poland)

Families stroll through the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp, Oświęcim, Poland, June 19, 2016

Dealing with Holocaust Deniers

Sometimes you will run into someone who denies there was a Holocaust, or, more commonly, who says, “Well, it wasn’t as big as people say.” Though you may feel they are wrong, you might think to yourself “But how do we know what happened?”

I’m posting this quick blurb from Wikipedia for those interested in the subject of rebutting Holocaust deniers. Of course this is a very superficial list but it gives you starting point for further study. Another entry-level link you might enjoy is the Criticism of Holocaust Denial page which goes a little deeper.

Use this to start looking into the subject. It won’t take you long to see that all Holocaust deniers use the same recycled rhetoric and their “arguments” have been disproved multiple times.

You probably won’t be able to convince a Holocaust denier that he/she was wrong – because they are not actually interested in facts that don’t fit their delusion– but you will feel more confident in addressing the issue  and you will be able to remove the doubts of others.

The Holocaust deniers do not have facts, they simply seek to create doubt. By learning more about the subject you become immune to their scumminess.

The key claims which cause Holocaust denial to differ from established fact are:[4][5]

  • The Nazis had no official policy or intention of exterminating Jews.
  • Nazis did not use gas chambers to mass murder Jews.[167]
  • The figure of 5 to 6 million Jewish deaths is a gross exaggeration, and the actual number is an order of magnitude lower.

Other claims include the following:

  • Stories of the Holocaust were a myth initially created by the Allies of World War II to demonize Germans,[5] Jews having spread this myth as part of a grander plot intended to enable the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, and now to garner continuing support for the state of Israel.[168]
  • Documentary evidence of the Holocaust, from photographs to The Diary of Anne Frank, is fabricated.[5]
  • Survivor testimonies are filled with errors and inconsistencies, and are thus unreliable.[5]
  • Interrogators obtained Nazi prisoners’ confessions of war crimes through the use of torture.[5]
  • The Nazi treatment of Jews was no different from what the Allies did to their enemies in World War II.[169]

Holocaust denial is widely viewed as failing to adhere to rules for the treatment of evidence, principles that mainstream historians (as well as scholars in other fields) regard as basic to rational inquiry.[170]

The Holocaust was well documented by the bureaucracy of the Nazi government itself.[171][172] It was further witnessed by the Allied forces who entered Germany and its associated Axis states towards the end of World War II.[173][174][175]

According to researchers Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman, there is a “convergence of evidence” that proves that the Holocaust happened. This evidence includes:[176]

  1. Written documents—hundreds of thousands of letters, memos, blueprints, orders, bills, speeches, articles, memoirs, and confessions.
  2. Eyewitness testimony—accounts from survivors, Jewish Sonderkommandos (who helped load bodies from the gas chambers into the crematoria in exchange for a chance of survival), SS guards, commandants, local townspeople, and even high-ranking Nazis who spoke openly about the mass murder of the Jews.
  3. Photographs—including official military and press photographs, civilian photographs, secret photographs taken by survivors, aerial photographs, German and Allied film footage, and unofficial photographs taken by the German military.
  4. The camps themselves—concentration camps, work camps, and extermination camps that still exist in varying degrees of originality and reconstruction.
  5. Inferential evidence or argument from silence — population demographics, reconstructed from the pre–World War II era; if six million Jews were not killed, what happened to them?

Much of the controversy surrounding the claims of Holocaust deniers centers on the methods used to present arguments that the Holocaust allegedly never happened as commonly accepted. Numerous accounts have been given by Holocaust deniers (including evidence presented in court cases) of claimed facts and evidence; however, independent research has shown these claims to be based upon flawed research, biased statements, or even deliberately falsified evidence. Opponents of Holocaust denial have documented numerous instances in which such evidence was altered or manufactured (see Nizkor Project and David Irving). According to Pierre Vidal-Naquet, “in our society of image and spectacle, extermination on paper leads to extermination in reality.”[177]

-from Wikipedia

Hard to watch this today.

He dialed his rhetoric and bluster back two clicks from 1935 Nuremberg Rally levels, and now the corporate media, whom he would cheerfully march into camps and exterminate, are tripping over each other this morning to gently wrap their lips around his tiny, orange cock.

Jews Being Rounded Up in the Warsaw for Deportation to the Treblinka Extermination Camp on the Day the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was Launched     1943

Today is the 74th Anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

So for my undergrad thesis, I’ve been reading up on cyberculture, the internet and cybernetics in general, and I stumbled upon critics who somehow believe that the internet opens up a way for new communities, new democracies, etc. 

But I’ve been thinking: since when does “openness” by itself bring people together, realistically? Just like a bar, it brings people together in the sense that they share a common immiseration. That is good enough for drunks, but not for life, not for something better than this world. 

The emergence of the alt-right is evidence enough that the internet by itself has little to no impact on making us better people, or opening our minds, whatever that means anymore (I’m not sure that it ever meant anything). In fact, since when does the possibility of talking to more people make anyone more open-minded? As if close-mindedness, ignorance, bigotry and racism were the symptoms of “anti-social behavior” (using the classic stalinist terminology), of not wanting to participate in the dull ritualism of modern urban life. Or as if participation in the community, or partaking of civic behavior, or being part of any of these modern abstract collectivities made the individual into a tolerant, educated, open-minded, friendly person. We’ve seen how mass politics destroys the individual, how it subsumes him into the glass house of “community” and all its fascistic overtones, how mass participation is one of the chief carriages of all the brutalities that have followed it: the gulag, the extermination camp, secret police coming up in the quiet of the night, cracking skulls. 

This is one the chief illusions of modernity, and a cornerstone in liberal thought that reaches back to Locke’s contractualism: that closed-off, fortressed individuals could come together out of the blue and create some kind of shared life out of a mathematical, contractual combination of their desires and dreams (which is, in some mutation, the basis for stifled multicultural “tolerance”), that simple participation in the sustaining of the mass sacrifices that hold up the temples of surplus-value entails friendliness, that voting is the same thing as coming together and talking, that going on-line and writing “I’m against this!”, or critiquing this, or sharing petitions against that is somehow a viable substitute for fighting with friends and strangers against a common existence, that simply living close to one another,  materially but not spiritually, or sharing the belief in equality and rights, or living under the boot of police but never fighting back because we all belong to the same Nation, or City, or Socialist State, entailed something akin to living together, of weaving existences together to the point that the individuals enmeshed in them could not conceive of themselves as separable.