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Saturday, 20 September 2014

'ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER' Mauthausen.








I AM THE WAY INTO THE CITY OF WOE
I AM THE WAY TO A FORSAKEN PEOPLE
I AM THE WAY INTO ETERNAL SORROW

SACRED JUSTICE MOVED MY ARCHITECT.
I WAS RAISED HERE BY DIVINE OMNIPOTENCE,
PRIMORDIAL LOVE AND ULTIMATE INTELLECT.

ONLY THOSE ELEMENTS TIME CANNOT WEAR
WERE MADE BEFORE ME, AND BEYOND TIME I STAND.
ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE.


Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Canto III, lines 1-9, John Ciardi's translation; 
William Blake's c.1824 The Inscription over Hell-Gate; Gustav Doré's c.1860 Gate of Hell




The renown revisionist and former inmate of Buchenwald concentration camp Paul Rassinier wrote in his book Le Mensonge d'Ulysse (The Lies of Ulysses) about how his fellow French prisoners were convinced the infamous sign 'Jedem das Seine' (To Each His Own) on the gate to the prisoner section of the camp meant 'Abandon all hope ye who enter here', and that shortly after liberation, he heard one of them announce as much on the radio. Rassinier  noted: 'Ainsi naissent les bobards' (This is how tall stories are born).
Recently a friend brought to my attention a similar claim in the Romanian book Am Scăpat de la Auschwitz (I Escaped from Auschwitz; Bucharest: Editura Hasefer, 2000) by former inmate Alexandru Marton, who claims that on the gates to Mauthausen, the Germans had installed a metal plaque on to which they had inscribed the final sentence of the warning on Dante's Gates of Hell.

Ihr, die Eintretenden,
legt jede Hoffnung nieder.
"Lăsaţi orice speranţă, voi care intraţi!" 
Celebrul citat din "Infernul" lui Dante era folosit cu cinism de nazişti sub forma unei inscripţii din metal strălucitor, fixată pe partea interioară a porţii de intrare în lagărul de la Mauthausen. Pentru ei era important nu numai să ne distrugă fizic şi psihic, ci şi să ucidă în sufletele noastre singurul lucru care ne mai ţinea în viaţă: speranţa.

Ihr, die Eintretenden (You, the entrants),
legt jede Hoffnung nieder (abandon any hope)"
"Leave any hope, you who enter!"
The famous quotation from Dante's "Inferno" was cynically used by the Nazis under the form of a shiny metal inscription, fixed on the interior side of the entry gate in Matuhausen camp. For them it was important to not only destroy us physically and psychologically, but to also kill in our souls the only thing that was keeping us alive: hope. (p.4)



The claim is repeated on page 80:
Pe poarta de intrare în lagăr, sus, pe o arcadă mare, se afla stema partidului naţional-socialist german: vulturul cu aripile desfăcute şi cu zvastica în mijloc. In interior, sub vultur, scria cu litere mari din metal strălucitor: "Ihr, die Eintretenden, legt jede Hoffnung nieder" (Lăsaţi orice speranţă, voi care intraţi).

On the camp entry gate, up on a big arch was the emblem of the German National Socialist party: the eagle with wings spread and with the swastika in the middle. In the interior, under the eagle, was written with big letters of shiny metal: "Ihr, die Eintretenden, legt jede Hoffnung nieder" (Leave any hope, you who enter).

There's problems with this claim though, not least being the fact that the picture on page 4 of the book is not even of Mauthausen, but of a gate at Dachau SS Training Camp





A model of Dachau in the Permanent Exhibition at Dachau memorial (2014) which I annotated with details of  the
gate pictured above and the far more famous Arbeit Macht Frei gate on the entrance to the prisoner compound.
massive version


There was a similar looking gate at Mauthausen; it wasn't the main entrance to camp, but the gate to the SS garage yard:






A simple google or google books search for "Arbeit Macht Frei" and "Mauthausen" will find you numerous claims (examples: 1, 23, 4, 5), from former prisoners, retired German soldiers or SS men, and respected magazines about there having been an 'Arbeit Macht Frei' sign on the gate at Mauthausen, but in reality there was no slogan inscribed on the gates to this camp.
The following is from the subliminally Holocaust revisionist website scrapbookpages:

The slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei" was allegedly coined by Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels in an effort to convince the public that the Nazi concentration camps were merely work camps designed to politically rehabilitate Communists, Social Democrats and anarchists. This slogan was first used over the gate of a "wild camp" in the city of Oranienburg which was set up in an abandoned brewery in March 1933 during the time that the first political prisoners were being held for an indefinite period without charges in a number of places in Germany. In 1936, the Oranienburg camp was rebuilt as the Sachsenhausen camp. The Dachau camp was also rebuilt, starting in 1936. The gatehouse at Sachsenhausen also bears this inscription, but the third major German concentration camp, Buchenwald, has a sign on the gate that reads "Jedem das Seine," which means To Each his Own.
Buchenwald was a Class II camp, while Dachau and Sachsenhausen were Class I camps for offenders who were considered capable of being rehabilitated and who were eligible for possible release. Rudolf Höss, who trained at Dachau and then served as an adjutant at Sachsenhausen before becoming the first Commandant at Auschwitz, used this motto over the gate into the main camp, Auschwitz I, which was classified as a Class I camp for political prisoners. (Auschwitz II, also known as Birkenau, was not a Class I camp. Birkenau did not have this slogan over the gatehouse.)
Mauthausen and Gusen in Austria were the only Class III camps, where prisoners, who were considered beyond rehabilitation, were treated very harshly. These classifications went into effect on January 1, 1941. Two other Nazi concentration camps which used the slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei" on their gate houses were Flossenbürg and Gross-Rosen. This slogan also appeared on a gate inside the Gestapo prison in the Small Fortress at Terezin, formerly known as Theresienstadt.



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