Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The lost Death Factories of Ilya Ehrenburg

Ilya Ehrenburg informed us in August 1944, that there were German "death factories", which could each asphyxiate 2,000 people per day, in:
  • Bolshoy Trostyanets (Maly Trostenets, Belarus)
  • Ponari (Ponarymap), near Vilinus, Lithuania
  • Belzhetse, near Rava Russkaya (he probably meant Belzec, which is 12 miles from Rava-Ruska)
  • Novoy Dvor (probably Nowy Dwór, Mazowiecki, map, 19 miles NW of Warsaw)
  • Sabibor (meaning Sobibor)
The legends of the asphyxiation "death factories" in Belzhetse (Belzec) and Sabibor (Sobibor) endure, as do Ehrenburg's "gas wagons" at Bolshoy Trostyanets (Maly Trostenets). But Ehrenburg's asphyxiation death factory in Ponary was long ago changed to the site of mass shootings. As for Novoy Dvor (presuming he meant Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki), its Jews were deported to Auschwitz, and although there was a ghetto there, it's not now claimed to have been a site of mass execution, let alone the location of an asphyxiation death factory.

PM Daily (NY), Sunday, August 13, 1944, p.4


  1. At that time the average US citizen got his news from the local newspaper which faithfully reprinted the reports of its " Soviet correspondent" a certain Mr Ilya Ehrenburg. Joe Average would have then been full of such propaganda and the obliteration of great German cities with thousands of civilians would have been " well deserved" . GI Joe was also primed and ready for the Billy Wilder/ Alfred Hitchcock propaganda films with the shrunken heads and skin lampshades.

  2. Here looks to be a great movie from Russia , showing in UK and US cinemas in 1944. It even claims to show a mass grave with over 14,000 Jews in it ...


  3. Churning out German atrocity propaganda in the USA just as fast and furiously as Ilya Ehrenberg, Willi Muntzenburg and Arthur Koestler in Europe. Planting stories and planning marches when not carrying out Irgun operations in Palestine.

    "During and shortly after the Second World War, six young men-emissaries of the revisionist-Zionist "Irgun" military movement in Palestine - revolutionized the American - Jewish and Zionist scene. Judith Tydor Baumel provides the complete story of the role the Bergson group played in raising American public consciousness of Jewish and Zionist concerns. After founding a series of pro-Zionist and rescue organizations, they initiated a new form of fundraising that used the media to turn the spotlight on their activities, gaining adherents and supporters from both ends of the political and social spectrum. Long before the protest movements of the 1950s and 1960s, members of this group learned the art of courting the media in order to bring word of their existence to every part of the United States.

    Having energized politicians, gangsters, Hollywood moguls, and ultra- Orthodox rabbis, the handful of young men taught other Zionist and American- Jewish groups not only how the media was the message but how it could and should be used. A guiding force behind the creation of the War Refugee Board, the group served as a beacon for contemporary Zionist militancy while ultimately laying the groundwork for other organizations to utilize the media in future political campaigns."

    1. http://www.varianfry.org/not_idly_by1_en.htm

    2. Baumel, Judith Tydor. Trans. Dena Ordan. The "Bergson Boys" And the Origins of Contemporary Zionist Militancy. Syracuse University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-8156-3063-8


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