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> British ww2 POW odd testimony
21 inf
Posted: April 01, 2011 04:48 am
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New Connaught Ranger
Posted: April 01, 2011 06:05 pm
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Whats odd about it?

Kevin in Deva.
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21 inf
Posted: April 02, 2011 12:28 am
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I he indeed wanted to document nazi crimes, as he declsred why he risked his life, why doesnt he speak how he used what he saw, to put some nazis in jail. Moreover, I personally never heard about such story before, for me this is strangelly unique and out of pattern.
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Dénes
Posted: April 02, 2011 06:32 am
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It sounds strange to me, too.
Reportedly then, you could walk in and out of the extermination camp, if you had 25 cigarettes. <_<

Gen. Dénes

This post has been edited by Dénes on April 02, 2011 06:39 am
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Posted: April 02, 2011 02:01 pm
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If I recall correctly there is evidence of a Polish man who voluntarily smuggled himself into Auschwitz Concentration Camp, not once, but twice, to take notes pictures of what was happening there, which then were presented in the U.S.A. to members of the American Government about the Final Solution the Nazis had adopted, they were rejected out of hand, as nobody could conceive that a highly intelligent and respected race of people like the Germans could ever contemplate such barbaric inhumane actions against their fellow man.

With regards Mr. Avery:-

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/03/wo...witz3-2010apr03

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Now 91, Avey is finally being recognized for his long-ago bravery, especially his role in saving the life of a Jewish internee at Auschwitz. The British government recently awarded him a medal, and Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial center in Israel, is considering whether to add Avey to its honor roll of "The Righteous Among the Nations," non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during World War II.

It's all a bit overwhelming for a nonagenarian who stuffed his wartime experiences behind a wall of silence for decades, after his first attempt to tell his story met with shocking indifference from his superiors.

"I don't feel like a hero. I'm embarrassed," he said at his home here in the peaceful northern English countryside. "I was that type of person. I had certain ideals that I grew up with."

Avey landed in Auschwitz toward the end of 1943, thrown together with hundreds of other POWs from Britain, Australia and other nations in a facility known as the E715 work camp. Although part of the Auschwitz complex, it was some distance from the hellhole known as Auschwitz-Birkenau, which held the most notorious of the gas chambers and crematoria of Hitler's Final Solution. . . . . . . .

"I . . . asked them lots of questions -- names of [guards] who had murdered people," he said. "I wanted to know names of SS officers as well." . . . . ..

. . . . . . .He reported back to his regiment in Winchester, and sought out a lieutenant to explain what, at great personal risk, he had seen and learned inside Auschwitz.

The lieutenant's eyes, Avey said, glazed over. Stung by the indifference, Avey decided not to speak of it again.

He left the army and took up a civilian job as an engineer. Suffering from what would probably be diagnosed today as post-traumatic stress disorder, . . . . . . .


The dam of silence finally broke about seven years ago, when Avey was invited to appear on the BBC to talk about war pensions. The memories suddenly started tumbling out, and the TV hosts could scarcely believe the extraordinary tale they were hearing. . . . . . . . ..

The BBC set to work on a documentary and was able to discover the full name of the young Jewish prisoner Avey had befriended in Auschwitz, Ernst Lobethal, and to track down his sister, still alive in central England. . . . . . . . .

Avey had no inkling that Ernst had survived the war, or that he had wound up in the United States, where, like Avey, he became an engineer. Before his death in 2001, Lobethal, who had changed his name to Ernest Lobet, videotaped his story for Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation, which now belongs to USC. . . . . . . .

In an emotional reunion late last year, the BBC brought together Avey and Lobet's sister, Susanne Timms. Wiping away tears, the two sat on Avey's sofa, their hands clasped, as they watched Lobet's video.

In it, he describes how the British POW he knew only as "Ginger" gave him 10 packs of cigarettes. ("It's like being given Rockefeller Center.") He traded some of the precious hoard for favors, including one that ultimately enabled him to make it through the death marches.

"The soles of my shoes had started to wear very thin, and of course there are also shoemakers in the camp," Lobet recalled. "I had new heavy soles put on my boots for two packs of English Player's cigarettes. And that later on came . . . to save my life on the death marches."

Timms, 87, never expected to meet the man who saved her brother.

"He's a wonderful man. He's got a very strong personality," Timms said in a telephone interview. "I only wish my brother knew before he died."



Kevin in Deva.
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Posted: April 02, 2011 04:08 pm
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In the case of the polish man, at least he took some pics as evidence. The british guy had no proof, just what he saw, so it was only his word. His atitude seems to me odd, why to risk his life in such a manner, it is like a kind of Zorro atitude in a time when probably the crimes in nazi KZ were already known. I didnt see in the interview if he used the info he collected with so great risks.
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Dénes
Posted: April 02, 2011 06:11 pm
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QUOTE (New Connaught Ranger @ April 02, 2011 08:01 pm)
...a highly intelligent and respected race of people like the Germans...

The Germans are not a separate race, they are part of the Caucasian race (the Jews are also parts of). The Germans are rather a nation, irrespective of citizenship.

Gen. Dénes
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Posted: April 02, 2011 06:39 pm
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In one book I read in the past, a former ww2 soldier (posibly a fictious character), fighting in Vietnam, donated a sum of money to a confesional school from South America. When the priest in charge with the school asked the donor what to do with the money, the soldier said: Why do you ask me if it be good to spent my donated money to the children's education? Buy candies with my money and give the candies to the children, buy them toys and let them play, buy them a ball and let them play football everyday. In ww2 I saw action in Europe and all the weapons they used against me were made by educated people. All the V2 rockets were invented by educated engineers. All the medical experiments and horrors I saw in german concentration camps were conducted by educated doctors. So, let the children play, this is the education I want to give to them.

;)
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dragos
Posted: April 03, 2011 10:04 am
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QUOTE (21 inf @ April 02, 2011 08:39 pm)
In one book I read in the past, a former ww2 soldier (posibly a fictious character), fighting in Vietnam, donated a sum of money to a confesional school from South America. When the priest in charge with the school asked the donor what to do with the money, the soldier said: Why do you ask me if it be good to spent my donated money to the children's education? Buy candies with my money and give the candies to the children, buy them toys and let them play, buy them a ball and let them play football everyday. In ww2 I saw action in Europe and all the weapons they used against me were made by educated people. All the V2 rockets were invented by educated engineers. All the medical experiments and horrors I saw in german concentration camps were conducted by educated doctors. So, let the children play, this is the education I want to give to them.

;)

Now that's smart ! :blink:
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21 inf
Posted: April 03, 2011 10:18 am
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I didnt expected everybody to understand. :D The character I described above looks quite similar to the anti-heroes from Joseph Heller's "Catch 22". B)
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Agarici
Posted: April 03, 2011 10:32 am
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There was an explanation in the article about why he did not want to talk about that for years - which I find, at the psichological level, plausible. I think, 21 inf, that we’d better refrain from making judgments about “what he should had done” in order to make possible for the culprits to be apprehended, etc. Apparently the story was corroborated with that of a survivor, whose life was indeed bought (and saved) by several packs of cigarettes by Avey. It seems that it was possible to get “in-and-out” an extermination camp with 50 cigarettes, but only in this order and in a complete in-and-out combination. Should we expect (too) much logic from an environment like that (and in that particular respect I’m surprised by some of the posts from here)?

Perhaps it’s only me who think this way, but I do believe that the people with such a life story deserve some good degree of decency and deference when we are referring to them, and not the “why didn’t they talk, take pictures, made a petition, did something else?” type of approach - especially if they are still alive. Don’t want to sound like a elementary school moralizer, one could believe their story or not, but questioning their actions would be to much, in my oppinion. What if the story is, nevertheless, true? Shouldn’t we all owe them some respect, since they, in their way, observed the laws of humanity widely neglected by the rest?

This post has been edited by Agarici on April 03, 2011 10:48 am
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21 inf
Posted: April 03, 2011 11:09 am
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I didnt intented to emit any judgment. I just expressed my opinion that the story is odd from my personal point of view. Any other opinions are welcome and they are 100% ok. I just stumbled upon this interview and made it known on this forum.

From my part, no comment on the interview is ok, as are any type of comments. :D That's why this forum exists.
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Posted: April 03, 2011 03:10 pm
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QUOTE (Dénes @ April 02, 2011 06:11 pm)
QUOTE (New Connaught Ranger @ April 02, 2011 08:01 pm)
...a highly intelligent and respected race of people like the Germans...

The Germans are not a separate race, they are part of the Caucasian race (the Jews are also parts of). The Germans are rather a nation, irrespective of citizenship.

Gen. Dénes

Where did I claim they were a separate anything in my post?

perhaps if I wrote . . . a highly intelligent and respected tribe of people like the Germans . . . :P

The point being that people did go into the camps at great risk other than the victims be they Russian POW's, Jewish, Communists, Gypsy, Homosexual, Non-conformist, captured members of the S.O.E. etc . . etc . .

@ 21 inf

At end of WW2 and immediately afterward many lists of those guilty of committing war-crimes and genocide were being compiled, Mr. Avery as a serving soldier did as proforma dictated he reported what he saw to a superior officer in the British military,
getting no response, he then proceeded to do what many other survivors were busy doing, getting back to meeting family and friends and trying to start their life anew.

There were no British organisations in place for him to continue his efforts to report the matter such as the Simon Wiesenthal organisation, and as can be seen under the lust for hunting down people officially faded very quickly.

QUOTE
In February 1947, Weisenthal and 30 other volunteers founded the Jewish Historical Documentation Center in Linz to gather information for future trials. However, as the U.S. and the Soviet Union lost interest in further war crimes trials, the group drifted apart after compiling 3,289 reports. Wiesenthal continued to gather information in his spare time while working full time to help those affected by World War II.


So a lone British military WW2 veteran was not going to get to far in a one man campaign.

Kevin in Deva.
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Florin
Posted: April 04, 2011 02:10 am
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QUOTE (New Connaught Ranger @ April 02, 2011 09:01 am)
........ notes pictures of what was happening there, which then were presented in the U.S.A. to members of the American Government about the Final Solution the Nazis had adopted, they were rejected out of hand, as nobody could conceive that a highly intelligent and respected race of people like the Germans could ever contemplate  such barbaric inhumane actions against their fellow man.................

Kevin, I think the problem is more complex than the way you have presented it.

1. The U.S.A. of 1944 was not the U.S.A. as it is today. By summer of 1944, the American government knew quite well about what was happening in Auschwitz. An air raid targeting the railroads converging to the entrance to Auschwitz could stop for many weeks the flow of trains with Jews sent there for extermination. However, the persons to approve this air raid decided the goal does not worth the raid.

2. In the spring of 1944, the leaders of the SS sent Jewish envoys to present to the British a "trade off" plan. The ratio of the bargain: 100 Jews in exchange for one transport truck. They expected to obtain 10,000 transport trucks in exchange for the 1,000,000 Jews living in what was then Hungary (i.e. Hungary as it is today, plus the WWII territorial gains).
The British did not accept the trade, for several reasons. Unfortunately, one of the reasons was that they would have to take care of and settle into the British Empire 1,000,000 undesired people.

Waiting the British answer, Himmler and Eichmann delayed the "final solution" for about two months. After the deal was clearly rejected by the British officials, the 1,000,000 Jews living in what was then Hungary got their fate as we know it today.

This post has been edited by Florin on April 04, 2011 02:21 am
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Florin
Posted: April 04, 2011 02:51 am
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QUOTE (dragos @ April 03, 2011 05:04 am)
QUOTE (21 inf @ April 02, 2011 08:39 pm)
In one book I read in the past, a former ww2 soldier (posibly a fictious character), fighting in Vietnam, donated a sum of money to a confesional school from South America. When the priest in charge with the school asked the donor what to do with the money, the soldier said: Why do you ask me if it be good to spent my donated money to the children's education? Buy candies with my money and give the candies to the children, buy them toys and let them play, buy them a ball and let them play football everyday. In ww2 I saw action in Europe and all the weapons they used against me were made by educated people. All the V2 rockets were invented by educated engineers. All the medical experiments and horrors I saw in german concentration camps were conducted by educated doctors. So, let the children play, this is the education I want to give to them.

;)

Now that's smart ! :blink:

My gut feeling tells me that this soldier have some problems with education himself.
I wanted to add something in regard to "...let the children play, this is the education I want to give to them", but it would be sarcastic and it may sound biased.
However, this story also reminded me that in the countries with really poor people, before thinking how to educate a poor child you have to think how to feed him/her to live for another day.

This post has been edited by Florin on April 04, 2011 03:00 am
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