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"The Good old days" : the Holocaust as seen by its perpetrators and bystanders

Author: Ernst Klee; Willi Dressen; Volker Riess
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 1991.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st American edView all editions and formats
Summary:
Gathers selections from the diaries, letters, and confidential reports of those who participated in the Holocaust.
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Genre/Form: Biographical sources
Diaries
Personal narratives
Sources
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
"Schöne Zeiten." English.
Good old days".
New York : Free Press, 1991
(OCoLC)555791119
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ernst Klee; Willi Dressen; Volker Riess
ISBN: 0029174252 9780029174258 0241128420 9780241128428 1568521332 9781568521336
OCLC Number: 24010418
Notes: Translation of: "Schöne Zeiten."
Description: xxi, 314 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: PART ONE: "ACTS OF VIOLENCE, CARRIED OUT QUITE OPENLY" : the murder of Jews in the daily life of the Einsatzgruppen --
"The brutalization of precious German manpower" : the occupation of Poland. Notes of eastern territories commander Johannes Blaskowitz ; Bloody Wednesday in Olkusz/Ilkenau ; "Foreign Service" --
"Each time a victim was beaten to death they started to clap" : pogroms in Kaunas and elsewhere in Lithuania. "Initially difficult to set a pogrom in motion" ; "Cheers and laughter" ; "If they get their revenge, we're in for a hard time" ; "Total 137,346" --
"Pushed to their psychological limits" : members of the Einsatzgruppen on the stresses and strains of killing. "If the victims didn't do as they were told" : problems during mass shootings ; "It took nerves of steel" : the murder of 33,771 Jews in the Babi Yar ravine (29/30 September 1941) ; "A new and better method of killing had to be found" : the gas-vans --
"Quite happy to take part in shooting" : forced to obey orders : the myth --
"Once again I've got to play general to the Jews" --
"Execution as popular entertainment" : the murder of Jews as a public spectacle. "Soldiers sitting on rooftops and platforms watching the show" ; "Scores of soldiers, some in bathing trunks, watching the proceedings" ; "When the Jews saw how easy it was to be executed" ; "Present at the execution with heads of other authorities" ; "The Twelve Toppers and a little hat" ; "The execution area was visited by scores of German spectators"--
"In the interest of maintaining military discipline" : the massacre of children in Byelaya Tserkov, military chaplains and the Wehrmacht. An officer cadet on the killing of the adults ; Report by the military chaplain, Dr. Reuss, to Lieutenant-Colonel Groscurth ; Report by Wehrmachtoberpfarrer Kornmann ; Lieutenant-Colonel Groscurth's report to C.-in-C. Sixth Army, Field Marshall von Reichenau ; Report by military chaplains Tewes and Wilczek ; Statement by C.-in-C. Sixth army, Field Marshall von Reichenau ; SS-Obersturmführer August Häfner on the killing of the children --
"Practical work for our Führer". Letters by Gendarmerie chief Fritz Jacob ; A Gendarmerie Oberwachtmeister's photographs ; Letters of SS-Obersturmführer Karl Kretschmer --
"His attitude toward the Jews is quite impossible". "The bodies piled up in the streets" ; "The action rid me of unnecessary mouths to feed" ; "Eliminate the Jews once and for all" ; A "quite literally slavish" attitude to the Jews ; "None of the Jews that were killed is any great loss" --
PART TWO: "DELIVERED AND KILLED" : the extermination centres. "Their soldierly conduct is exemplary". Photographs ; Theodor Malzmuller on the "plague boils of humanity" ; Gas-van driver Walter Burmeister on whether he ever thought about what he was doing ; Kurt Mobius on the guilt of the Jews and his own lack of blame ; Interrogation of Adolf Eichmann ; Gauleiter Greiser to Himmler, 19 March 1943 --
"The Wannsee Conference decisions implemented". SS-Untersturmführer Josef Oberhauser on the early days at Belzec ; Erich Fuchs on his duties at Sobibor ; The train journey to Belzec ; "The camp had clean sanitary facilities" ; The first day at Treblinka ; "It was my job to shoot these people" ; Kurt Franz on the end of Treblinka --
"Food in the officers' mess excellent". "I only took part in the murder of some three million people out of consideration of my family" ; "Grabner ordered me to put Zyklon B into the opening" ; "There was Bulgarian red wine and Croatian plum brandy" ; "The highest number of gassings in a day was 10,000" ; "So that in the future it would be impossible to establish how many people had been burnt" : Rudolf Höss of the elimination of the mass graves.
Other Titles: "Schöne Zeiten."
Responsibility: edited by Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen, Volker Riess ; foreword by Hugh Trevor-Roper ; translated by Deborah Burnstone.

Abstract:

"The Good Old Days" is the title of a photo album kept by the Camp Commandant of Treblinka, Kurt Franz. This volume contains letters, diaries, reports and photographs kept by the executioners and  Read more...

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    schema:description "PART ONE: "ACTS OF VIOLENCE, CARRIED OUT QUITE OPENLY" : the murder of Jews in the daily life of the Einsatzgruppen -- "The brutalization of precious German manpower" : the occupation of Poland. Notes of eastern territories commander Johannes Blaskowitz ; Bloody Wednesday in Olkusz/Ilkenau ; "Foreign Service" -- "Each time a victim was beaten to death they started to clap" : pogroms in Kaunas and elsewhere in Lithuania. "Initially difficult to set a pogrom in motion" ; "Cheers and laughter" ; "If they get their revenge, we're in for a hard time" ; "Total 137,346" -- "Pushed to their psychological limits" : members of the Einsatzgruppen on the stresses and strains of killing. "If the victims didn't do as they were told" : problems during mass shootings ; "It took nerves of steel" : the murder of 33,771 Jews in the Babi Yar ravine (29/30 September 1941) ; "A new and better method of killing had to be found" : the gas-vans -- "Quite happy to take part in shooting" : forced to obey orders : the myth -- "Once again I've got to play general to the Jews" -- "Execution as popular entertainment" : the murder of Jews as a public spectacle. "Soldiers sitting on rooftops and platforms watching the show" ; "Scores of soldiers, some in bathing trunks, watching the proceedings" ; "When the Jews saw how easy it was to be executed" ; "Present at the execution with heads of other authorities" ; "The Twelve Toppers and a little hat" ; "The execution area was visited by scores of German spectators"-- "In the interest of maintaining military discipline" : the massacre of children in Byelaya Tserkov, military chaplains and the Wehrmacht. An officer cadet on the killing of the adults ; Report by the military chaplain, Dr. Reuss, to Lieutenant-Colonel Groscurth ; Report by Wehrmachtoberpfarrer Kornmann ; Lieutenant-Colonel Groscurth's report to C.-in-C. Sixth Army, Field Marshall von Reichenau ; Report by military chaplains Tewes and Wilczek ; Statement by C.-in-C. Sixth army, Field Marshall von Reichenau ; SS-Obersturmführer August Häfner on the killing of the children -- "Practical work for our Führer". Letters by Gendarmerie chief Fritz Jacob ; A Gendarmerie Oberwachtmeister's photographs ; Letters of SS-Obersturmführer Karl Kretschmer -- "His attitude toward the Jews is quite impossible". "The bodies piled up in the streets" ; "The action rid me of unnecessary mouths to feed" ; "Eliminate the Jews once and for all" ; A "quite literally slavish" attitude to the Jews ; "None of the Jews that were killed is any great loss" -- PART TWO: "DELIVERED AND KILLED" : the extermination centres. "Their soldierly conduct is exemplary". Photographs ; Theodor Malzmuller on the "plague boils of humanity" ; Gas-van driver Walter Burmeister on whether he ever thought about what he was doing ; Kurt Mobius on the guilt of the Jews and his own lack of blame ; Interrogation of Adolf Eichmann ; Gauleiter Greiser to Himmler, 19 March 1943 -- "The Wannsee Conference decisions implemented". SS-Untersturmführer Josef Oberhauser on the early days at Belzec ; Erich Fuchs on his duties at Sobibor ; The train journey to Belzec ; "The camp had clean sanitary facilities" ; The first day at Treblinka ; "It was my job to shoot these people" ; Kurt Franz on the end of Treblinka -- "Food in the officers' mess excellent". "I only took part in the murder of some three million people out of consideration of my family" ; "Grabner ordered me to put Zyklon B into the opening" ; "There was Bulgarian red wine and Croatian plum brandy" ; "The highest number of gassings in a day was 10,000" ; "So that in the future it would be impossible to establish how many people had been burnt" : Rudolf Höss of the elimination of the mass graves."@en ;
    schema:description "The title comes from the cover of a private photo album kept by concentration camp commandant Kurt Franz of Treblinka. This gruesomely sentimental and unmistakably authentic title introduces an equally disturbing collection of diaries, letters home, and confidential reports written by the executioners and sympathetic observers of the Holocaust, illustrated with numerous photographs they themselves took as "souvenirs" of their "achievements." The most arresting images document the early massacres in the Baltic states, where executions were a public entertainment. In Lithuania, Jews were clubbed to death with crowbars before cheering crowds, while mothers held up their children to see the spectacle and German soldiers clustered like fans at a sporting event. At the moment these and similar murders took place, German witnesses, either in the course of duty or out of curiosity or by chance, made a photographic record. The alternation of their sentimental words with these horrific images documents a chilling incapacity for human feeling. These functionaries of death never seriously questioned the task they were assigned. "I only took part in the murder of three million people out of consideration for my family" wrote the director of Auschwitz 's political department. Indeed, in their personal letters and journals the camp guards are far more disturbed by delayed vacation leave or by shortages of small luxuries than by the executions they carried out daily, which they also noted, briefly and without comment. Top secret reports filed by SS officers recount the pressure exerted by the Reich to devise ever more effective methods of killing. As their work achieved a depraved efficiency, the camp guards enjoyed more time for social activities. Scrapbook snapshots show musical soirees and other informal gatherings where they drank and laughed together after a day 's work. "The Good Old Days" reveals startling evidence of the inhumanity of twentieth century history and is published as yet another irrefutable response to the revisionist historians who claim to doubt the historic truth of the Holocaust.--Adapted from dust jacket."@en ;
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