The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/l/lanzmann.claude/shoah-transcript

From Sat Sep 21 10:18:39 PDT 1996
Article: 67267 of alt.revisionism
From: (Chris Carpenter)
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Prior Warnings
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 13:39:49 GMT
Organization: Zippo
Lines: 177
Message-ID: <51u7tt$>
X-Newsreader: Forte Free Agent 1.0.82

I am trying to get an understanding of when the POW's discovered
their fate was death.  The source for  this post is the book
SHOAH An Oral History Of The Holocaust - The Complete Text Of
The Film By Claude Lanzmann.  The questions are by Lanzmann and 
the responses are by the indicated witnesses.

 	Then, on the second day, I saw a sign for Malkinia.
	We went on a little farther. Then, very slowly, the train turned off 
	of the main track and rolled at a walking pace through a wood.
	While he looked out - we'd been able to open a window - the old
	man in our compartment saw a boy . . . . cows were grazing . . . .and
	he asked the boy in signs, "Where are we?"  And the kid made a funny 
	gesture. This: (draws finger across his throat). 
 And one of you questioned him?

	 Not in words, but in signs, we asked: "What's going on here?"
	 And he made that gesture. Like this. We didn't really pay much 
	 attention to him.  We couldn't figure what he meant.
	Spoken by Richard Glazer about Terblinka on p34. 

	 Once there were foreign Jews - they were this fat - riding in 
	 passenger cars.  There was a dining car, they could drink, and walk 
	 around too.  They said they were going to a factory. On arrival they
	 saw what kind of factory it was.
	 We'd gesture that they'd be killed.

These people made that sign?
	 He says the Jews didn't believe it.
	 But what does that gesture mean?
	 That death awaited them.
	 Spoken by villagers about Treblinka on p35. 

	 The people who had a chance to get near the Jews did that to
	 warn them that they'd be hanged, killed, slain. Even foreign Jews
	 from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, from France too, surely, and from
	 Holland and elsewhere. These didn't know, but the Polish Jews
	 knew.  In the small cities in the area, it was talked about.  So the
	 Polish Jews knew, but the others didn't.

Who'd they warn, Polish Jews or the others?

	 All the Jews.  He says the foreign Jews came in passenger cars,
	 they were well dressed, in white shirts, there were flowers in the 
	 cars, and they played cards.
	 Spoken by Czeslaw Borowi about Treblinka on p 35. 

>From  what I know, that was very rare,  Jews shipped in passenger cars.
Most arrived in cattle cars

	 It's not true.

It's not true? What did Mrs Gawkowska say?

	 She said he may not have seen everything.  He says he did.
	 Once, at the Malkinia station, for example, a foreign Jew left the
	 train to buy something at the bar.  The train pulled out and he
	 ran after it, to catch up to it.
	 Spoken by Henrik Gawkowski about Treblinka on p36.

So he went past these "Pullmans," as he calls them, containing those
Jews who were calm, unsuspecting, and he made that gesture to them.

	 To all the Jews, in principle.

He just went along the platform! Ask him!

	Yes the road was as it is now.  When the guard wasn't looking,
	 he made that gesture.
	 Spoken by Czeslaw Borowi  about Treblinka on p36. 

What'd they think when Wlodawa's Jews were all deported to

	 What could we think? That it was the end of them, but they 
	 foresaw their doom, he doesn't know how.  Even before the war
	 they had a premonition.
	 Spoken by Mr. Filipowicz about Sobibor on p 21. 

	Claude Lanzmann reads a letter in front of a building that was
	formerly the Grabow synagogue.  On January 19, 1942, the rabbi of
	Grabow, Jacob Schulmann, wrote the following letter to his friends in
	Lodz:  "My very dear friends, I wanted to write to confirm what I'd 
	heard.  Alas, to our great grief, we now know all. I spoke to an eye-
	witness who escaped.  He told me everything. They're exterminated
	in Chelmo, near Dombie, and they're all buried in Rzuszow forest.
	The Jews are killed in two ways: by shooting or gas.  It's just
	happened to thousands of Lodz Jews.  Do not think that this is being
	written by a madman. Alas, it is the tragic, horrible truth. . . 
	p 83. 

Did the Poles know the Jews would be killed at Chelmno?

	 Yes, they knew.  The Jews knew it too.
	 Spoken by a man on p 87. 

	 . . . . Gets on your nerves, seeing that every day.
	 You can't force a whole village to watch such distress!
	 When the Jews arrived, when they were pushed into the
	 church or castles . . . .  And the Screams!  It was frightful!  
	 Depressing.  Day after day, the same spectacle!  It was terrible.  A

	 sad sight.
	 They screamed.  They knew what was happening.  At first the
	 Jews thought they were going to be deloused.  But they soon
	 understood.  Their screams grew wilder and wilder.  Horrifying
	 screams.  Screams of terror!  Because they knew what was happening
	 to them.

Do you know how many Jews were exterminated there?

	 Four something. Four hundred thousand, forty thousand.

Four hundred thousand.

	 Four hundred thousand, yes.  I knew it had a four in it. Sad, sad, 
               Spoken by Mrs. Michelsohn about Chelmno p93. 

Do they miss the Jews?

	 Of course.  We wept too, Madam says. And Mr. Kantarowski
	 gave them bread and cucumbers.

Why do they think all this happened to the Jews?

	 Because they were the richest! Many Poles were also exterminated.
	 Even priests.
	 Mr. Kantarowski will tell us what a friend told him.  It happened in

	 Myndjewyce, near Warsaw.
Go on.
	 The Jews were gathered in a square.  The rabbi asked an SS man:
	 "Can I talk to them?"  The SS man said yes. So the rabbi said that 
	 around two thousand years ago the Jews condemned the innocent Christ
	 to death.  And when they did that, they cried out: "Let his blood 
	 fall on our heads and on our sons' heads." Then the rabbi told them:
	 "Perhaps the time has come for that, so let us do nothing, let us 
	 go, let us do as we're asked."

He thinks the Jews expiated the death of Christ?

	 He doesn't think so, or even that Christ sought revenge. He didn't 
	 say that.  The rabbi said it.  It was God's will, that's all!

What'd he say?

	 So Pilate washed his hands and said: "Christ is innocent," and
	 he sent Barrabas. But the Jews cried out: "Let his blood fall on our
	 That's all; now you know!
	 Spoken by villagers around Simon Srebnik about Chelmno. p99.

There are other instances in this book that  indicate the people had
prior knowledge of impending death.  
Until I have more information -  I think they did know, for the most
part,  the fate that awaited them. No secrets here. Other books I've
read also indicate that the POW's had prior warnings,  these will be
covered in another post.


[1]  	Lanzmann, Claude, SHOAH An Oral History of the Holocaust.
	New York: Pantheon Books, 1985.


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