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Laughing at Auschwitz – in 1944

SS auxiliaries poses at a resort for Auschwitz personnel

The photos were taken between May and December 1944, and they show the officers and guards of the Auschwitz relaxing and enjoying themselves — as countless people were being murdered and cremated at the nearby death camp.

In some of the photos, SS officers can be seen singing. In others they are hunting and in another a man can be seen decorating a Christmas tree in what could only be described as a holiday in hell.

The album also contains eight photos of Josef Mengele — some of the very few existing snapshots taken of the concentration camp’s notorious doctor during the time he spent there.

 

Helferinnen, in wool skirts and cotton blouses, listen to the accordion and eat blueberries, which Karl Hoecker had served to them.
Helferinnen, in wool skirts and cotton blouses, listen to the accordion and eat blueberries, which Karl Hoecker had served to them. source
Jun 4, 2016
Laughter lines the faces of camp staff as they prepare for a sing-song
The images are significant because there are few photos available today of the “social life” of the SS officers who were responsible for the mass murder at Auschwitz.
These are the first leisure time photos of the concentration camp’s SS officers to be discovered, though similar images do exist for other camps, including Sachsenhausen, Dachau and Buchenwald.
The album belonged to Karl Höcker, the adjutant to the final camp commandant at Auschwitz, Richard Baer.
Höcker took the pictures as personal keepsakes. Prior to its liberation by the Allies, Höcker fled Auschwitz. After the war, he worked for years, unrecognized, in a bank.
But in 1963 he was forced to answer to charges for his role at Auschwitz at a trial in Frankfurt. In his closing words in the trial, Höcker claimed: “I had no possibility in any way to influence the events and I neither wanted them to happen nor took part in them. I didn’t harm anyone and no one died at Auschwitz because of me.”
In the end, though, he was convicted on charges of aiding and abetting the murders of 1,000 Jews and was sentenced to seven years in prison. He was released after serving five years. In 2000, he died at the age of 88.

The photos were made public by the United States National Holocaust Museum in Washington. The museum obtained the photos from a retired US Army intelligence officer, who came across the album in an apartment in Frankfurt and has now given them to the museum.

“These unique photographs vividly illustrate the contented world they enjoyed while overseeing a world of unimaginable suffering,” museum director Sara Bloomfield said in a statement.

“They offer an important perspective on the psychology of those perpetrating genocide.” The director of the museum’s photographic reference collection, Judith Cohen, said there are no photos depicting anything abhorrent, “and that’s precisely what makes them so horrible.”

Continued on page 2

Adolph Hitler didn’t commit suicide? Lived in Argentine till the age of 73?

Had two daughters and died in 1962?

Guy Walters PUBLISHED in the Daily Mail Online this Oct. 28,  2013

Though it was approaching midnight in Berlin, the streets were far from dark. On every street, fires raged out of control as the intense and savage Russian artillery bombardment crept closer to the centre of the Third Reich.

By that late hour on the night of April 27, 1945, there was not one person in Germany who thought that the Nazis could still win.

Deep in his bunker, even the man who had brought such destruction to his country and to the world knew that the war was over.

As Adolf Hitler gazed at a portrait of his hero, Frederick the Great, King of Prussia and a brilliant military mind, he was certain there would be no eleventh-hour reversal of fortune.

According to Grey Wolf: The Escape Of Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun (right) accompanied the Adolf Hitler when he escaped through a secret tunnel from his bunker in Berlin
According to Grey Wolf: The Escape Of Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun (right) accompanied the Adolf Hitler when he escaped through a secret tunnel from his bunker in Berlin

The so-called ‘miracle weapons’ had never arrived, and his once mighty armies existed more in memory than in flesh and steel.

The Führer had 3 options.

1. He could allow himself to be captured by the Russians; but the humiliation was unthinkable.

2. He could kill himself, but who could possibly replace him?

3. A Fourth Reich would surely rise, and he would be needed to lead it. That left one option: escape.

Everything had been prepared to the last detail by the shady head of the Gestapo, Heinrich Müller, right down to the clothes worn by the body doubles that would pass for the corpses of Hitler and his intended bride, Eva Braun.

As his office clock struck midnight, Hitler turned to his orderly and nodded.

Twenty minutes later, three figures emerged from a secret tunnel connecting the bunker to the surface.

Had any German citizen spotted them, he or she would have been astonished to see the Führer scuttling away like the cowards he so despised. Accompanying him were Eva Braun and her brother-in-law, Hermann Fegelein.

Dodging fires and explosions, the small party made its way to the vast Hohenzollerndamm that ran through the centre of Berlin. Once a fashionable boulevard, it was now a makeshift runway, and on it sat a Junkers-52 transport aircraft, its engines being gunned by Captain Peter Baumgart, an experienced Luftwaffe pilot.

Hitler and his companions climbed aboard the aircraft, and before they could even sit down, Baumgart pushed the throttle forward. Within a minute, the plane soared into the air, heading north. The Führer refused to look out of the window, unwilling to face the hell he had left behind.

He was heading to a new life — and a new world. That life, as it would be for so many other Nazis, would be in Argentina.

There are some who regard Hitler's escape story as the absolute truth
There are some who regard Hitler’s escape story as the absolute truth

Hitler’s route there was tortuous, but necessarily so for the most wanted man in the world. After landing in Denmark, he flew to Spain, where General Franco supplied him with an aircraft to take him to the Canary Islands.

From there, the Führer took a submarine to the Argentine coast, where he disembarked near the small port of Necochea, some 300 miles south of Buenos Aires.

Hitler would never again set foot outside Argentina.

And though his dreams of a new Reich would never be fulfilled, he did at least find some form of domestic happiness by marrying Eva Braun, with whom he had two daughters.

Finally, after 17 years in hiding, one of the most evil men in history died on February 13, 1962, aged 73. It was to his bitter disappointment that his old foe, Winston Churchill, had outlived him.

To most of us, such a story sounds like utter fantasy. But there are some who regard it as the absolute truth.

The notion that Hitler escaped from his Berlin bunker has held conspiracy theorists in thrall since the war ended. It has now reared its improbable head once more.

This weekend, it emerged that the story of Hitler’s supposed escape to Argentina has become the subject of a bitter plagiarism row.

In their book, Grey Wolf: The Escape Of Adolf Hitler, British authors Gerrard Williams and Simon Dunstan argued that the Führer escaped exactly in the manner described above, and did indeed see out his days in South America.

However, an Argentine journalist, Abel Basti, who comes from the Patagonian town of Bariloche, where so many Nazis ‘retired’, claims that Williams and Dunstan appropriated his research, and he is seeking compensation.

Williams and Dunstan strenuously deny Basti’s accusation.

‘Basti did in no way invent the idea of Hitler being alive in Argentina,’ says Williams. ‘Books on the subject existed as far back as 1953 and 1987. I have never plagiarised anyone’s work.’

To outsiders, the row looks like three bald men fighting over a comb. The idea that Hitler could have escaped – and kept that escape hidden – seems farcical.

And yet many continue to believe it. Tens of thousands of Nazis escaped after the war, including the notorious Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele. Is it not possible that Hitler escaped with them?

As Gerrard Williams says, there have been many versions of the Hitler escape story, and they have been spun ever since May 1945.

In the years immediately after the war, there  was no hard proof that Hitler had, in fact, died.

One of the problems that investigators encountered was the lack of any physical evidence for his  death.

The existence of skull fragments, found by  the Russians near the Fuhrer’s bunker and believed to be his, was not known to  the West until 1968.

Then, in 2009, DNA testing of the bones revealed that in fact they belonged to a woman.

There have been many versions of the Hitler escape story from his bunker (pictured) in May 1945
There have been many versions of the Hitler escape story from his bunker (pictured) in May 1945

This has given the fantasists added  ammunition to claim that Hitler didn’t die in the bunker. In  the immediate aftermath of the war, British and U.S. intelligence services received countless reports suggesting the former Nazi leader had been spotted alive and at large.

In September 1945, it was claimed that Hitler and his private secretary, Martin Bormann, had boarded a luxury yacht in Hamburg  and had sailed to a secret island off the coast of  Schleswig-Holstein.

The next month, staff at the British Legation in Copenhagen informed the Foreign Office that a Danish woman had told them that  a friend had dreamed that Hitler was disguised as a monk and living in Spain.

In December, the Americans were ‘reliably  informed’ that Hitler had boarded a submarine off the island of Majorca, where  he had been living in a hotel with a group of nuclear scientists. Then there  were claims that he was living as a hermit in a cave in Italy, or working as a  shepherd in the Swiss Alps.

There were those who stated that he’d hidden  himself in Antarctica, or even further away still — the Moon!

All these reports, no matter how ridiculous, had to be taken seriously and investigated. One after the other, they were found to be groundless.

Some were undoubtedly the products of a  Soviet disinformation campaign.

For a long time, the Russians believed that the Allies were sheltering Hitler, and they put about these fake stories in an attempt to flush out what they thought to be the truth.

In July 1945, the Russian commander Marshall  Georgi Zhukov claimed that since Hitler’s body had still not been found, he  ‘could have flown away at the very last moment’. Even General Eisenhower, the  former Allied supreme commander, appeared to be taken in.

Today, the vast majority accept that Hitler shot himself in the bunker (pictured) in Berlin on April 30, 1945
Today, the vast majority accept that Hitler shot himself  in the bunker (pictured) in Berlin on April 30, 1945

In 1952, he said: ‘We have been unable to unearth one bit of tangible evidence of Hitler’s death. Many people believe that  he escaped from Berlin.

Today, the vast majority accept that Hitler  shot himself in the bunker in Berlin on April 30, 1945.

After  the war, the historian and MI6 officer Hugh Trevor-Roper was commissioned to  investigate Hitler’s death. He spoke to many of those who were present in the bunker during those last fateful days.

They all said the same thing: Hitler had  killed himself, and his body and that of Eva Braun were cremated with  petrol.

If Hitler had hotfooted it to the Southern Hemisphere, then all these people would have had to have been lying – and to  have kept it secret until their dying days.

It is simply impossible to believe that so many people could keep such a grand scale deception so quiet.

But there are still some who cling to their conspiracy theories.

Williams and Dunstan maintain that the  ‘Hitler’ and ‘Braun’ who shot themselves in Berlin in 1945 were, in fact, lookalikes.

But would those who had known Hitler intimately for years and who were in the bunker that night really have been fooled by two doubles?

In truth, the supposed escape of Hitler should be seen as nothing more than a parlour game.

There’s not a serious historian who would  give the story any more credence than they would to Elvis Presley being alive and well and still hip-swinging in Tennessee.

Guy Walters is author of Hunting Evil: The  Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped And The Quest To Bring Them To  Justice.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2478100/Theory-Adolf-Hitler-fled-Argentina-lived-age-73.html#ixzz2j10IOns0 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


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