Archive for September, 2012

WWII Signal Corps Artifact: Story of the Central Signal Corps Replacement Training Center

September 19, 2012

The late Robert E. Schmitt trained at Camp Crowder, Missouri and was assigned to the 999th Signal Service Company.

His son James shared his father’s copy of the:

Story of the Central Signal Corps Replacement Training Center, Camp Crowder, Missouri, Company A, 29th Training Battalion Edition, (undated from late 1943).

View this document on Scribd

Robert E. Schmitt’s photo is on page 102.

It is available on my Unofficial Informal Archive of the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Northwest Europe in WWII online at Scribd or as a downloadable PDF file.

At the same time as Robert Schmitt trained, my later father Felix A. Cizewski also trained at Camp Crowder in other units


Warsaw Ghetto prisoners liberated during second Warsaw Uprising

September 17, 2012

In The Second World War, Antony Beevor reports one of the actions of the Polish Home Army during the second uprising in Warsaw in 1944:

On August 5 (1944) the (Polish) Home Army attacked the concentration camp on the site of the flattened (Warsaw Jewish) ghetto, killed the SS guards, and released the remaining 348 Jewish prisoners (page 610).

In October, the Nazis forced the surrender of the Home Army survivors.  Some were immediately executed. Others were shipped to Auschwitz for extermination. A few were imprisoned  in the same Warsaw Ghetto concentration camp that they had liberated two months earlier (page 616).

Many of those who were still alive when the Soviets drove the Nazis from Poland were executed by their “liberators”.

The Soviets and pro-Soviet Communist Parties spent 1/2 century suppressing these details. Recently published histories such as Anthony Beevor’s are now telling the complete and accurate story.

For more information:

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

Virginia Holocaust Museum

Jews of Kiev victims first of Soviet censorship

September 12, 2012

The direct role of the Soviet Union in the Holocaust has barely begun to enter public consciousness. Antony Beevor’s The Second World War is another of a growing number of post Cold War histories of WWII that are now correcting that omission.

Antony Beevor reports:

The Nazis’ murderous intentions were unexpectedly helped by a curious by-product of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (the Nazi-Soviet military, political, and economic alliance from August 1939 until June, 1941). Stalinist censorship had stifled any of Hitler’s virulent anti-semitism. As a result, when the Jews in Kiev were ordered to report for ‘resettlement’  no fewer than 33,771 turned up as instructed. (pp. 215-216)

Soviet Holocaust complicity runs much deeper.

Soon after the Nazis came  to power they reached an agreement with  the Soviets to develop and test new military technology in the Soviet Union. This was part of the Nazi’s evasion of the prohibition on German rearmament,

The Soviets were the Nazis’ major supplier of manganese with which the Nazis made the steel for their transports, armored vehicles, and munitions. Those vehicles were fueled with Soviet oil. The Nazi troops and their transport horses were fed with Soviet grain.

With that direct Soviet support, the Nazis captured most of the European Jews that the Nazis exterminated. Among the first victims were Polish Jewish soldiers captured by the Nazis. Rather than treat them as POWs, the Nazis summarily executed them.

Among the later victims were German Jewish refugees hiding in other countries such as the Frank family. With direct Soviet support, the Nazis overran Holland which eventually resulted in the deaths of most of the Frank family and over 102,000 other Jews in Holland.

The overthrow of  the Nazi government of Germany and Austria did not relieve the successor states of their responsibility for the Holocaust.

In the same way, the successor states or the Soviet Union, especially Russia and the Ukraine, h ave not been relieved of their responsibilities because of the fall of the Soviet Union.

At the very least the successor states owe the world an acknowledgment for their share of responsibility for the Holocaust.

For more information:

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

Virginia Holocaust Museum

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