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Saturday, 14 December 2013

The Dachau "Museum of Wax Figures" of murdered prisoners




"A worker in the storeroom at Louis Tussaud's Waxworks,
which plans to open an outlet next month in Pattaya."


British politician Thelma Cazalet-Keir wrote a foreword for a 32 page pamphlet published in London by Keliher Hudson & Kearns, Ltd. during 1944, titled In Hell: A Document Published in Underground Poland, in which she states:
"It was originally written and published not for us but for readers in underground Poland, whose minds and bodies have become almost hardened to such cruelty in the course of more than four terrible years. We in our blessed seclusion want to turn away and deny it.
The original Polish text was clearly written by a devout Catholic; references to God, Christ, the Virgin Mary, Satan, the Devil, the Lord of Darkness, the Antichrist, a whole host of saints, plus the Nazis supposed avowed Satanism are peppered throughout the pamphlet—one example: "Here (Auschwitz) you are allowed to pray only to the devil"! The pamphlet purportedly summarises the inhuman treatment handed out to prisoners in German concentrations camps; there's segments devoted to Auschwitz (pp. 4-18), Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg (pp. 18-22), Mauthausen-Gusen (pp. 23-26), Dachau (pp.26-29), and Fort Eight (pp. 29-30). Conspicuous by their absence are any mention of gas chambers, even when Treblinka is mentioned (p.30) the pamphlet just states that its prisoners were also mistreated—although it's likely it refers to the Treblinka I labour camp, opposed to Treblinka II. The date of the original Polish text is not mentioned but I get the impression from its section on Auschwitz that its discussing purely the main camp, and was therefore possibly written before the Birkenau camp was properly established. Indicating that the original Polish text dates to 1941, which would explain the absence of references to gassings.

The pamphlet concentrates on Polish victims, claiming the Germans have a "planned intention to exterminate an entire nation" (p.20). Specific mentions of Jews are rare. On page 4 it states that the town of Oświęcim (Auschwitz) was mostly populated by Jews prior to Germany's invasion. On page 28 whilst discussing Dachau it states that "during the last year the Jews have either been murdered off, or carried away to separate camps," on the proceeding page there's a mention of "a fantastic treasure of jewels stolen from Jews ... worth several million marks" found in the home of the commandant of Lodz prison, SS man Kurt, who use to sit "comfortably in an armchair" whilst he "shot at the Jewish children led before him."

Seeing as it's an atrocity propaganda pamphlet, it's no surprise that it contains nothing but atrocity propaganda. A couple of the more memorable stories include "the famous 'Christmas party' organized by the camp commandant for the prisoners in Oranienburg at Christmas 1940" with a "Christmas tree smothered with lights" and beneath it "forty naked bodies laid in a ring" (p. 21); SS man Schubert forced a Viennese prisoner at Gusen to climb a 130 foot tall pine tree by firing his pistol to just miss him. Once at the top the man was forced to sing a Nazi song, again motivated by the Schubert's bullets whizzing just past him. Two other prisoners were forced to cut down the tree whilst the Viennese was singing at the top of it, the resulting fall killed him. But the clear winner of the atrocity tales contained within it, is one about Dachau. The section about the camp is titled "A Museum of Wax Figures" (p. 26), and on page 28 is found the following:
"Yet the greatest distinction of Dachau is not the canteen, but the museum containing the wax likenesses of prominent people who have been murdered in this camp. The face of Schussnigg [sic] opens this amazing German exhibition of their own brutality. The impression which the museum makes on the visitor recalls the feelings with which one would look over a collection of mummified heads owned by a headhunter chieftain. under each mask is a detailed description of the titles and degrees, etc., which the victim held. This satisfies the Germans' rapacity and perverted snobbery. The wax heads of priests, bishops, and pastors are crowned with their own mitres or caps. In addition to the wax figures this horrible museum possess a rich collection of photographs."
Former Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg was held prisoner at Dachau, but he died in 1977, 32 years after Dachau was liberated by U.S. Army.


In Hell: A Document: Published in Underground Poland. Foreword by Thelma Cazalet-Kier, M.P., London: Keliher Hudson & Kearns, Ltd, 1944.


3 comments:

  1. Kurt Schuschnigg who died 18 November 1977 at the age of 79? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Schuschnigg

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    Replies
    1. Yep, that's him. He must have died originally in 1941-ish.

      Claiming former leaders of European countries had been murdered by the Germans in their death camp whilst they were actually still alive and well, was standard fare in Holocaust tales:

      "Radio Moscow reports the death in Majdanek of former President of the Council Léon Blum, a 70-year-old man who like so many of his brethren fell victim to racist barbarism."
      http://vho.org/GB/Books/ccm/8.html

      Léon Blum, died 30 March 1950 in Paris
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9on_Blum

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    2. And we are not allowed to deny what is told to believe. It is truly a burlesque.



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