“He who has saved one life, it is as though he has saved the entire world.” — The Talmud
I spent two days this week at the Holocaust Museum Central Florida 2015, on exhibit in Cocoa, Florida.
I canceled my radio program earlier tonight (Thursday) so I could attend some lectures after I sat in on Dr. Mark Cornelius’ discussion of the atrocities and heinous medical practices performed on Jews in the concentration camps by German physicians and yes, even some of our American medical professionals.
I did not want to miss the next lecture topic about the Gestapo and following that, a lecture on Economics & The Holocaust, which detailed the various companies and corporations who were involved in the building of the camps, crematoria, medical experiments, drugs, etc.
As distasteful as these topics are, I believe it is important to understand history and compare it to the similarities we’re seeing now here in our country as well as globally.
From my notes taken during the lecture on “Economics and the Holocaust” given by Samuel and Raymond Staton, Certified Public Accountants (Rutherford, NC):
German Companies that collaborated with the Nazis
— produced Zyklon B gas used in gas chambers
— used Jewish labor camp prisoners to build and run their plants which produced synthetic rubber and a significant portion of the production of synthetic fuels.
— US Government: “Without Farben, WWII would not have been possible”
Krupp (provided the steel used to build camps)
Bayer (involved in medical experiments)
VW Group (camp slave labor)
BMW (camp slave labor)
Siemens (gas chambers)
Hugo Boss (Nazi, SS & Brown Shirt uniforms)
Allianz (Insurance company that held policies on the labor/concentration camps)
USA Companies that collaborated with the Nazis
Ford Motor Co.
— Henry Ford was an anti-Semite, received the Order of the Grand Eagle from Hitler
— manufacturing plant in Cologne was staffed by forced labor from the concentration camps
— Profits from German accounts were kept in secure accounts and given to Ford.
— Manufactured a third (33%) of all Nazi trucks used to transport victims and supplies. — A 1945 US Army Report referred to Ford Motor Co. as “The Arsenal of Nazism”
— Refuses to this day to admit the company supported the Nazis
— GM president Alfred Sloan supported Hitler, was his friend
— Adam Opel was its German subsidiary – the largest GM subsidiary in Europe; Manufactured affordable cars for the Germans
— Developed Lead Tetraethyl fuel which was subversively given to Germans for use in their jet bombers
— Developed & leased the “Death Calculator”, the Hollerith machine, a type of computer punch card technology for Nazis which helped them process all the information on the Jews; IBM worked closely with Nazis, continued perfecting the machine’s capabilities to accommodate evolving Nazi requirements.
IBM Germany, using its own staff and equipment, designed, executed, and supplied the indispensable technologic assistance Hitler’s Third Reich needed to accomplish what had never been done before-the automation of human destruction. More than 2,000 such multi-machine sets were dispatched throughout Germany, and thousands more throughout German-dominated Europe. Card sorting operations were established in every major concentration camp. People were moved from place to place, systematically worked to death, and their remains cataloged with icy automation.
IBM’s subsidiary, with the knowledge of its New York headquarters, enthusiastically custom-designed the complex devices and specialized applications as an official corporate undertaking. IBM NY always understood – from the outset in 1933 – that it was courting and doing business with the upper echelon of the Nazi Party. The company leveraged its Nazi Party connections to continuously enhance its business relationship with Hitler’s Reich in Germany and throughout Nazi-dominated Europe.
— Opened subsidiaries in many of Hitler’s conquered countries as soon as he invaded them
— Hollerith machines were used to efficiently record every step in the process of exterminating Jews
— Wartime profits were routed through several banks and ultimately back to IBM HQ in US
— Also made money thru lease payments from NAZIs for use of Hollerith machines
— Provided crucial technology essential for NAZIs to efficiently carry out plans
— Example: IBM in Holland resulted in 73% efficiency (102,000 Jews out of 140,000 exterminated)
Coca Cola – used Jewish slave labor; Fanta drink product developed in NAZI Germany
Kodak – used Jewish slave labor
Chase Bank (handled financial transactions)
Standard Oil (Rockefeller was into eugenics)
The forced labor workers were sent everyday to work making chemicals, rubber, medical supplies, uniforms. They worked until they dropped. Very little food was given to them, and the NAZIs used a method called “natural wastage”. If a Jew was too sick to work or be productive, they either died of disease or starvation, or were sent to be gassed and cremated.
— Only 3% of all Jewish Life Insurance claims have been paid
— $175 Billion in stolen Jewish assets have never been returned (only 15% has been returned)
— Some countries saw reparation as a “distraction from nation rebuilding post-war” – saw it as giving Jews “preferential treatment”.
— Generation of Holocaust survivors are dying out, and many desperately needed support that those reparations could have given.
The Holocaust Museum produced by the students and teachers at Word of Faith Christian School of Spindale, NC, and accompanying lectures were beyond expectation, and well worth seeing. It is a traveling exhibit of more than 600 pieces (paintings, sculptures, clothing, personal effects, artifacts, etc).
I attended the lectures and visited the exhibit hall, and enjoyed meeting the students, future young men and women (some as young as ten years of age) of America who served as our guides, describing their particular artwork and the history it represented.
The Museum was started ten-plus years ago as a project when the Word of Faith Church was, according to their literature, subjected to hate crimes, and the pastor’s life was threatened. It reminded them of the persecutions, hatred and anti-Semitism that have been experienced by Jews for generations.
As the students at the school learned about the Holocaust, a 13-year-old girl was moved to create a project that has now grown into this Holocaust Museum that includes everything I mentioned, plus scale models of Herod’s Temple, the concentration camps at Auschwitz, the airport at Entebbe where the hostages were rescued in a daring raid led by Yoni (Jonathan) Netanyahu, and… so much more.
I was absolutely floored to see the quality of the exhibits produced by these kids and their teachers. Totally museum quality. These kids are the product of private and home schooling and it showed. Clean cut, polite, poised, knowledgeable, bright, and personable, they were impressive. And they sang! Lord, did they sing! In English and Hebrew, they performed during the course of the day, ringing out with conviction songs of heavenly praise and resolution. I couldn’t help but think these children will be the remnants…
The Museum has been exhibited in San Antonio, TX and Washington DC, where Ambassador to Israel Michael Oren and pastor John Hagee attended.
I’m told by Museum director Karel Reynolds that plans are underway to exhibit in Miami later this year. But in the meantime, tonight they (the kids and adults) will be up all night deconstructing and carefully packing the exhibits before loading them onto three 18-wheelers for the trip back to the Museum’s permanent home in NC.
If you’re in NC, take some time to visit the Museum. You’ll find them at the heart of the Spartanburg, Charlotte, Asheville triangle.
I really had no idea how little I actually knew about the Holocaust. I learned that Germany was not a fascist government in 1933 when Hitler came into power as the Chancellor (Head of the government). That he was appointed to that position by then-president Paul von Hindenburg (head of State), who didn’t like Hitler but thought that appointing him chancellor, he could keep him in check. Didn’t happen. In fact, the timeline shows a RAPID descent into the madness that was Hitler’s Final Solution:
Jan 30, 1933 – Hitler appointed Chancellor
Feb 27 — Reichstag Parliament Building (akin to our US Capitol) is burned to the ground, a fire believed to be deliberately set by Hitler, who immediately issued an emergency decree that allowed the government to suspend the civil liberties and human rights of the citizens (“for their own protection…”)
Mar 24 – “Enabling ACT” law passed, which enabled lawful targeting of Jews – comparable to passage of our PATRIOT ACT, giving US Govt “right” to investigate those who might be a threat to national security.
April 1 – Jewish businesses boycotted. Laws begin being passed to define, segregate and impoverish Jewish community.
May 10 – Book burnings at universities, effectively laying the floor plan to end freedom of expression; implement take-over of media, use of propaganda.
July 14 – All political parties abolished, except NAZI party.
Aug 2, 1934 – von Hindenburg dies. Hitler consolidates President and Chancellor positions to become the new Fuhrer. His word is now law.
Aug 19 – German “election”, citizens “approve” of Fuhrer’s power. (Fraudulent election)
1935 – Nuremberg Laws established – more than 2,000 laws severely constricting Jews. Swastika adopted as official national symbol. Red/white/black adopted as national colors. Reich Citizenship Law strips Jews of German citizenship and sets them apart even further, intending to “protect German blood” and “honor purity of German blood”.
July, 1938 – At a conference held in Evian, France, 32 nations deny entry to Jews desperate to escape Germany. Issuance of visas is prohibited (Dominican Republic was only country that would allow them in). Some Jews attempted to at least get their children out. (The US could have taken 20,000 but a North Carolina congressman killed the bill in committee.)
Aug 17 – The words “Sara” and “Israel” in bold red letters are ordered added to all Jewish legal documents.
Sept. 27 – Jewish lawyers and judges are prohibited from practicing law.
Oct 5 – Jewish passports stamped with big red letter “J”
Nov 9 & 10 – Kristallnacht – night of the broken glass. An open pogrom against Jews, a state-sponsored destruction of synagogues and Jew-owned businesses.
May, 1939 – The Voyage of St. Louis ship sails from Hamburg with 937 escaping Jews on board, headed for Cuba. Upon their arrival, Cuba refuses them, so captain sails on to Miami, where they are turned away again when the US Coast Guard fires shots over ship. Captain returns to Europe where arrangements have been made with Belgium, France, England and Holland to take the fleeing Jews. Half of them will later be trapped in concentration camps when Hitler invades and overtakes these countries.
Sept. 1 – Germany invades Poland, WWII begins as does an all-out assault on Jews in Europe.
Nazi Science of Race/Deadly Medicine/Nazi Medical Experiments by Dr. Mark Cornelius, ER physician, Western NC
German society did not include a common American value that everyone’s life is important. The first Nazi executions, begun in 1933, were of crippled, handicapped or elderly people who were perceived as “useless eaters”. Many of the horrific experiments resulted in greater knowledge of the human body and treatments, but at a terrible cost.
The Gestapo, by Frank Webster, Assistant DA, Burke County, NC
The Gestapo, an acronym for German Secret Police, eventually developed out of the SA storm troopers, an organization begun by Hitler in 1921. The Gestapo, a more secretive organization, began in 1933 and was instrumental in suspending Germans’ civil rights. Like the SA, the Gestapos’ intent was to “put people in fear, in conformity” and “have the right way of thinking” for Hitler’s policies.
Other lectures included:
– Survivors’ Family Stories
– Nazi Rise to Power
– Nazi youth
– Children’s Clothing
– The Resistance
– Tabernacle in the Wilderness
– France and the Holocaust
– Nuremberg Trials
– Buchenwald Boys
– Greek Deportation
– Menachim Begin
– Auschwitz Album
– Raoul Wallenberg
– Six Day War
– Righteous Gentiles
For more info, visit the Museum’s permanent website at:
My radio program on Tuesday, April 21st was devoted to talking to Prof. Karel Reynolds, Museum Director; Connie Davies, Coordinator and American Studies Professor; and Diana Boogaard.