“Doin’ it for the kids”: The Starlight Children’s Foundation, The Birmy, Boneheads & Boycotts

So, it appears that — judging by the comments left by a handful of upset punters — the Starlight Children’s Foundation eventually decided not to accept the funds generated by the benefit gig at The Birmingham Hotel on February 9. Or then again, maybe it will.

Who knows?

On the one hand, the material advertising the event (see above) — as well as a banner linking the site to the Starlight Foundation homepage — has disappeared from the Bulldog Spirit myspace page; on the other hand, it remains on that of The Beefeaters, and the Foundation itself has not, as far as I’m aware, made any kind of public statement regarding the event. Certainly, it was well-publicised that a gig raising funds for the Starlight Foundation was to take place, and there’s been no hint that it wasn’t properly authorised. The circumstances surrounding the gig are slightly unusual, however, as normally those seeking to raise funds for charitable institutions such as Starlight obtain authorisation for such activities; thus, either permission was not given, or it was later withdrawn. The unauthorised use of charitable logos to raise funds is unlawful under the Fundraising Appeals Act, and it’s difficult — in fact, virtually impossible — to believe that the Foundation would place itself in such a position merely in order to help rehabilitate the image of a pub that for the last ten years has hosted neo-Nazi events. Certainly, the disgusting pigs whom the proprietor has in the past allowed use of the venue to raise funds and to promote neo-Nazi ideology would much rather see children who in their opinion have the wrong skin colour either deported or, in the manner of their political ancestors, exterminated.

Which fact brings me to the point: what’s all the fuss about anyways? At the risk of being accused of wearing a black armband, perhaps an historical detour would be appropriate at this juncture. (Please note that sensitive young conservatives who happen to be fans of punk and ska music may like to exit the room at this point.)

Children were especially vulnerable in the era of the Holocaust. The Nazis advocated killing children of “unwanted” or “dangerous” groups in accordance with their ideological views, either as part of the “racial struggle” or as a measure of preventative security. The Germans and their collaborators killed children both for these ideological reasons and in retaliation for real or alleged partisan attacks.

The Germans and their collaborators killed as many as 1.5 million children, including over a million Jewish children and tens of thousands of Romani (Gypsy) children, German children with physical and mental disabilities living in institutions, Polish children, and children residing in the occupied Soviet Union. The chances for survival for Jewish and some non-Jewish adolescents (13-18 years old) were greater, as they could be deployed at forced labor.

The fate of Jewish and non-Jewish children can be categorized in the following way: 1) children killed when they arrived in killing centers; 2) children killed immediately after birth or in institutions; 3) children born in ghettos and camps who survived because prisoners hid them; 4) children, usually over age 12, who were used as laborers and as subjects of medical experiments; and 5) those children killed during reprisal operations or so-called anti-partisan operations.

In the ghettos, Jewish children died from starvation and exposure as well as lack of adequate clothing and shelter. The German authorities were indifferent to this mass death because they considered most of the younger ghetto children to be unproductive and hence “useless eaters.” Because children were generally too young to be deployed at forced labor, German authorities generally selected them, along with the elderly, ill, and disabled, for the first deportations to killing centers, or as the first victims led to mass graves to be shot.

Upon arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau and other killing centers, the camp authorities sent the majority of children directly to the gas chambers. SS and police forces in German-occupied Poland and the occupied Soviet Union shot thousands of children at the edge of mass graves. Sometimes the selection of children to fill the first transports to the killing centers or to provide the first victims of shooting operations resulted from the agonizing and controversial decisions of Jewish council (Judenrat) chairmen. The decision by the Judenrat in Lodz in September 1942 to deport children to the Chelmno killing center was an example of the tragic choices made by adults when faced with German demands. Janusz Korczak, director of an orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto, however, refused to abandon the children under his care when they were selected for deportation. He accompanied them on the transport to the Treblinka killing center and into the gas chambers, sharing their fate.

Non-Jewish children from certain targeted groups were not spared. Examples include Romani (Gypsy) children killed in Auschwitz concentration camp; 5,000 to 7,000 children killed as victims of the “euthanasia” program; children murdered in reprisals, including most of the children of Lidice; and children in villages in the occupied Soviet Union who were killed with their parents.

The German authorities also incarcerated a number of children in concentration camps and transit camps. SS physicians and medical researchers used a number of children, including twins, in concentration camps for medical experiments that often resulted in the deaths of the children. Concentration camp authorities deployed adolescents, particularly Jewish adolescents, at forced labor in the concentration camps, where many died because of conditions. The German authorities held other children under appalling conditions in transit camps, such as the case of Anne Frank and her sister in Bergen-Belsen, and non-Jewish orphaned children whose parents the German military and police units had killed in so-called anti-partisan operations. Some of these orphans were held temporarily in the Lublin/Majdanek concentration camp and other detention camps.

In their “search to retrieve ‘Aryan blood,'” SS race experts ordered hundreds of children in occupied Poland and the occupied Soviet Union to be kidnapped and transferred to the Reich to be adopted by racially suitable German families. Although the basis for these decisions was “race-scientific,” often blond hair, blue eyes, or fair skin was sufficient to merit the “opportunity” to be “Germanized.” On the other hand, female Poles and Soviet civilians who had been deported to Germany for forced labor and who had had sexual relations with a German man — often under duress — resulting in pregnancy were forced to have abortions or to bear their children under conditions that would ensure the infant’s death, if the “race experts” determined that the child would have insufficient German blood.

In spite of their acute vulnerability, many children discovered ways to survive. Children smuggled food and medicines into the ghettos, after smuggling personal possessions to trade for them out of the ghettos. Children in youth movements later participated in underground resistance activities. Many children escaped with parents or other relatives — and sometimes on their own — to family camps run by Jewish partisans.

Between 1938 and 1940, the Kindertransport (Children’s Transport) was the informal name of a rescue effort which brought thousands of refugee Jewish children (without their parents) to safety in Great Britain from Nazi Germany and German-occupied territories. Some non-Jews hid Jewish children and sometimes, as in the case of Anne Frank, hid other family members as well. In France, almost the entire Protestant population of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, as well as many Catholic priests, nuns, and lay Catholics, hid Jewish children in the town from 1942 to 1944. In Italy and Belgium, many children survived in hiding.

After the surrender of Nazi Germany, ending World War II, refugees and displaced persons searched throughout Europe for missing children. Thousands of orphaned children were in displaced persons camps. Many surviving Jewish children fled eastern Europe as part of the mass exodus (Brihah) to the western zones of occupied Germany, en route to the Yishuv (the Jewish settlement in Palestine). Through Youth Aliyah (Youth Immigration), thousands migrated to the Yishuv, and then to the state of Israel after its establishment in 1948.

The photo below is of some of the Nazi concentration camp guards at Auschwitz, one of several such photos unearthed only last year:

In which context, it may be worth recalling the reaction of a local teenage fascist (and self-proclaimed ‘national anarchist’) at the time of their discovery, as recorded (and since deleted) on the white supremacist website Stormfront:

Today, 05:35 AM
NoCrusties
Australian Nationalist

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 460

Re: New photos of Nazis having fun in the sun

They are celebrating the girls graduation from Jewish strangulation school?

Haha, jokes, haha!

Regards
NoCrusties.

This is the reaction of a local Melbourne teenager to genocide; a teenager belonging to a Sydney-based political formation run by a German-born neo-Nazi militant named Welf Herfurth, a man on record as denying the Holocaust, and a man also present — alongside other luminaries from the local neo-Nazi and ‘skinhead’ milieus — at the 2006 ISD memorial gig…

Of course, on the other hand, according to Jack of The Beefeaters, The Birmy — until recently the venue for both the ISD memorial gigs and numerous other gatherings and fund-raising initiatives by local neo-Nazis — is “the only venue in Melbourne that truly supports local bands, offer[s] free practice space and refuses to take any percentage of the door charge from gigs”. (By the same token, it should also be remembered that, by all accounts, Hitler was quite fond of Blondi, a German Shepherd — a breed renowned for their loyalty and obedience.) Common sense suggests that a boycott of The Birmy, and any attempt to promote it, is therefore equivalent to the activities of the Nazi regime itself. In fact, if one compares the activities of contemporary neo-Nazis such as the Hammerskins with the publication of material relaying to a boycott of a pub which has hosted their activities for the better part of a decade, the similarity between the two becomes even clearer.

Well, that’s apparently the argument of apologists for The Birmy anyway. The Hammerskins, on the other hand, aren’t noted for their sensitivity to criticism.

Doin’ It For The Kids : Hammerskins Style!

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

Named for the stirring use of hammers as fascist symbols in the film The Wall (1982), it remains unknown if the bright spark who thought of the name Hammerskins was a fan of Pink Floyd’s earlier, psychedelic rock; certainly, Bob Geldof’s role as “A troubled rock star [who] descends into madness in the midst of his physical and social isolation from everyone” appears to be reflected in his eventual belief that charity solves poverty. In any case, established in 1987, it wasn’t very long before the Hammerskins came to national prominence in their natural home, the United States, when, a year later, five members of the original ‘Confederate’ Hammerskins in Dallas — Christopher Greer, 23, John Jordan, 17, Michael Lawrence, 20, Sean Tarrant, 18 and Daniel Wood, 18 — “chased and attacked minorities who attempted to enter Robert E. Lee Park in downtown Dallas. The five were apparently inspired by a racist rally they attended in Tulsa that June where Tom Metzger, leader of White Aryan Resistance (WAR) spoke. When they were arrested, the defendants had baseball bats and broken pieces of concrete, which they apparently intended to use to recreate the Kristallnacht to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the attacks on Jewish stores and homes that took place on November 9, 1938 in Nazi Germany”. The five were sentenced for the crime in April, 1990.

Since that time, Hammerskins have engaged in many violent assaults, up to and including murder. Thus according to the ADL:

…The Confederate Hammerskins of Dallas were both the first Hammerskin group and the first to come to public attention… During [the] summer [of 1988] and into the fall, the Hammerskins vandalized a synagogue and a Jewish community center by shooting out windows, smashing doors and spray painting anti-Semitic slogans and swastikas. Michael Lawrence also committed violent crimes with skinheads Christopher Jones, Daniel Roush and Forrest Hyde in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the following year. The Tulsa group firebombed a minority-owned nightclub and assaulted its nonwhite patrons.

In June 1991, Arlington, Texas, was the site of further violence by Hammerskins. Three 16-year-old members of the Confederate Hammerskins murdered an African American, Donald Thomas, while he sat on the back of a truck with two white friends. Joshua Hendry claimed that after he, William Roberts and Christopher Brosky drank about two cases of beer, Roberts said that he wanted to “do a drive-by” and “shoot a black person.” According to Hendry, after he and Brosky agreed, Roberts readied a sawed-off shotgun. Hendry later testified that when the three passed Thomas, Brosky yelled “shoot him!” and Roberts pulled the trigger.

Also in 1991, Jimmy “Soda Pop” Miller, an Arizona Hammerskin, firebombed a residence he mistakenly thought was occupied by rival skinheads. Miller also defaced a synagogue. Though he was sentenced to more than five years for these crimes, he was released after serving only two years in prison. That same year, in Birmingham, Alabama, Hammerskin Louis Oddo and his colleague Adam Galleon murdered a 50-year-old black homeless man on Christmas Eve. Oddo and Galleon killed the man, Douglas Garrett, by hitting him with a baseball bat and kicking him with their heavy boots. Oddo and Galleon were subsequently convicted of murder.

Less than two years later, in the summer and fall of 1993, members of the New Dawn Hammerskins defaced two synagogues, harassed black patrons of a local bookstore and assaulted two black girls in Brockton and Randolph, Massachusetts. In July 1994, these Hammerskins were charged with conspiring to intimidate and interfere with the rights of black and Jewish citizens. The leader of the group, Brian Joseph Clayton, was also the only adult among the defendants. He pled guilty to the charges and received 46 months in prison.

The next major incident of Hammerskin-related violence took place on March 17, 1999, in an open field near Temecula, California. Six Western Hammerskins (Travis Miskam, Daniel Butler, Alan Yantis, Gregory McDaniel, Jesse Douglas and Jason McCully) allegedly attacked a 23-year-old African American, Randy Bowen. They apparently chose to attack him simply because he was black, approaching him without provocation at an unplanned youth gathering. Miskam reportedly hit Bowen over the head with a beer bottle, and when Bowen asked him why, Miskam allegedly replied, “We don’t like niggers here; I don’t like niggers.” According to legal documents, as Bowen tried to flee, the Hammerskins chased him, shouting “Die, nigger,” “Get that nigger,” “Kill that nigger,” and “We’re going to get you, nigger.” Between them, the Hammerskins carried a bottle, a screwdriver, a folding knife and a razor knife. They cut and stabbed Bowen on his head and back before he escaped to a stranger’s home. Witnesses indicated that after attacking Bowen, the Hammerskins started goose-stepping, giving Nazi salutes and singing German songs.

On August 16, 1999, a grand jury indicted the four adult Hammerskins involved in the attack (Miskam, Butler, Yantis and McDaniel) on charges of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder with enhancements for gang affiliation and commission of a hate crime. In March 2001, as Miskam, Yantis and Douglas awaited trial, Butler, McDaniel and McCully pled guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and committing a hate crime. In addition, lawyers representing Bowen filed a civil suit that aims to force all six Hammerskins involved in the attack, their families, and the Hammerskin Nation to pay Bowen general and punitive damages. The suit alleges that the Hammerskins are a “street gang,” as defined by the California Penal Code, and describes the group as encouraging its members, including the defendants, “to commit acts of violence and intimidation against African-Americans to promote their white supremacist goals.”

Pride! Strength! Honour!

But the fun doesn’t stop there. No, the Hammerskins are a persistent bunch, and when they’re not organising gigs at The Birmy, or, like Douglas Schott and his band Blood Red Eagle (or Damian Ovchynik and his band Bail Up!) travelling interstate and overseas to perform at other Hammerskins’ gigs, they remain busy trying to kill kikes, niggers and race traitors.

Anarchy is a fag!

SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL — Three days before Hammerfest 2007 kicks off, three members of the Confederate Hammerskins (CHS) will be standing before a judge for their role in the botched home invasion of a local antifa on Sep. 1.

Coby Wayne Stonecypher, 35, of Christmas, [Florida], Gary Allen Armstrong, 28, of Casselbery, FL and Johnathan Wayne Singleton, 26, of Ocoee, FL will be at the Criminal Justice Center on Oct. 2 at 1:30PM in Sanford, FL before Judge Debra S. Nelson. The three have either posted bail or were released pending trial. They have all been ordered not to go near the house where they attempted to stage an early evening attack on a well-known antifascist activist that Stonecypher [has] had a grudge against for years. The three ended up getting soundly beaten by that antifa and two others, and they were arrested as they tried to flee.

CHS has a long history in the state of Florida and over the years have engaged in a number of violent acts in the state. They were reportedly responsible for shooting out the window of the Jacksonville, FL club ‘Thee Imperial’ to prevent them from having a anti-racist show on Dec. 16, and earlier this year, CHS members Tom Martin, 23, and John Rock, 35, were arrested by the FBI after an informant wore a wire to a meeting and agreed to help them rob a drug dealer in Casselberry, FL. They [?] have also [been] made… into virtual punching bags for antifa and underground music scenesters alike in the state. The most notable incident [occurred] when Forrest Fog[a]rty, the lead singer of the white power band Attack and current Army active duty who has done tours in Iraq, was beaten and cut badly by attendees of a show by the Buffalo, NY band Snapcase, which is known for being decidedly anti-racist. Coby Stonecypher has been noted by those familiar with him as the right-hand man of CHS’s leader Ritchie Myers, and has served time in jail on a hate crime charge in 1999 stemming from an assault charge for allegedly threatening a black man in connection with a neo-Nazi gathering at a hotel in Plant City, FL.

Ironically, the Hammerskin court date is also the same day that National Vanguard founder Kevin Alfred Strom will be in court in Virginia facing child porn charges.

Strom eventually eventually plead guilty to one charge of possessing child pornography.

That story comes courtesy of DLJ / One People’s Project. See also Hate-crime case award will be hard to collect, experts say, Sean Nelson, The Press-Enterprise, August 24, 2007:

A man described as a recruiter for a white supremacist group and the parents and sisters of two men convicted of beating and slashing Randy Wordell Bowen, who is black, were ordered to pay damages…

Some men charged and sentenced in the Bowen case were admitted members of Western Hammerskins, a regional branch of an international white-supremacy group. Roth said he filed the suit to stop Western Hammerskins from operating in the Murrieta area.

Tim Hales, commander of the Murrieta-Temecula Regional Gang Task Force, said the prosecution and civil lawsuits against members and their families likely contributed to the declining visibility of Hammerskins.

Riverside County prosecutors called the attack on Bowen one of the worst racially motivated crimes in county history.

Bowen was struck in the head with a bottle and chased by a group of people — many of whom shouted racial slurs and Nazi slogans — during a 1999 bonfire party in the Temecula Valley Wine Country, prosecutors said at the time. He was then beaten and slashed across the back with a straight razor, prosecutors said.

In 2001 and 2002, six men charged in the beating were sentenced to prison terms ranging from four to 20 years.

The convicted men and three others involved in the attack but not criminally charged were subsequently sued in civil court and ordered by a judge to pay Bowen about $4.8 million in damages, Roth said.

Ring Dang Doo!

I don’t think it takes a genius to work out that maybe the Hammerskins are a bunch of psychotic racists. Further, that they’re probably not a group of people worth supporting. But Gary Birmy doesn’t think so, and the same could be said of Blood & Honour, the other neo-Nazi organisation his pub has played host to.

Response

As noted, there has been no official response by Starlight to the gig, or the use by its organisers of the Starlight logo. There have been a small number of other responses however. Darrin Hodges (aka the Anglo-Australian National Community Council — described by MediaWatch as a “White supremacist” organisation) is among a small number of local racists and other critics who’ve attempted, perhaps inevitably, to distort the very plain message of the FDB! press release (issued on Monday February 4) in relation to the gig. (More recently, Hodges gained some small degree of notoriety by campaigning against the construction of an Islamic school in Camden to service members of what he describes as that “despicable religion of filth”.) Thus according to Darrin:

Thursday, February 07, 2008
“Anti-racist” group FightDemBack! smear Starlight Foundation children’s charity as “nazis”

The fightdemback! group – a self-proclaimed “anti-racist” group – have taken to smearing the Starlight Foundation (a charity organisation to help very ill children and their families) by claiming the charity endorses Nazism. FDB! is an extremist leftwing organisation who spend their time persecuting anyone they see as their political enemies[.] [T]o attack a children’s charity in this manner is disgusting and vile…

They are fully prepared to destroy a charity dedicated to helping children with cancer simply to further their own political goals. Andrew (owner of the “slackbastard” blog), Cam Smith and associate [Mathew Henderson-Hau] are clearly sick and twisted individuals if they think they can use seriously ill children as a political football – their condemnation is deserved.

On the other hand, according to the Reverend Jack Petty:

Reverend Jack Petty Says:
February 9, 2008 at 5:44 am

Good on you mate!

It[’]s great to see someone put in so much effort to keep money from dying kids. Presenting false info[r]mation and slander is one thing but this really is a new low, even for a sad cunt like you.

Chunga of The Worst:

You really sunk to an all time low haven’t you Andy? Going out of your way to stop people who are trying to do a good thing… is not cool.
It seems your beliefs are that anyone who doesn’t conform to your same beliefs is apparently a nazi or nazi sympathiser or a wanker. You wouldn’t know a thing about anarchy if the definition was tattooed on your fucking face. And you deserve a bat to the head for changing that Starlight flyer you pathetic cunt!

andysadeadmanwalking:

you’re going to die you fuckwit! you must have a boring life that you sit here all day writing bullshit that isnt true… good life fuckhead! die already…

The standard response on the part of local racists and apologists for The Birmy, in other words, has been engendered. Lies, threats of violence, and slander. As for The Birmy itself, word on the street is that it may be sold. Let’s hope that the new proprietors, unlike its current owners, understand that neo-Nazis really aren’t welcome in Marvellous Melbourne.

    :::::: APPENDIX ::::::

    FROM THE MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
    DATE: Friday, January 14, 2005
    FUNDRAISERS MUST KNOW THEIR LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES

    The Acting Minister for Consumer Affairs, Andre Haermeyer, today reminded Victorian individuals, businesses and community groups fundraising for victims of Asia’s tsunami tragedy about their legal requirements.

    “The community response to this disaster has been overwhelming, and I commend all those who have organised events and other activities to raise money for the relief effort,” Mr Haermeyer said.

    “However, all organisations or individuals who raise money in Victoria must abide by fundraising laws…

    Mr Haermeyer said the Fundraising Appeal Act required all people raising funds for appeals, including businesses, to be registered, meet account and record keeping requirements and comply with proper collections methods, such as wearing identification and using secure collection containers.

    The penalty for unregistered fundraising in Victoria is a $24,000 fine for a corporation and a $12,000 fine, or one-year jail term, or both, for an individual…

    Also, collectors raising money for registered fundraisers must be authorised by the registered fundraiser to raise money on their behalf…

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2018 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in Anti-fascism, Collingwood, Music, State / Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to “Doin’ it for the kids”: The Starlight Children’s Foundation, The Birmy, Boneheads & Boycotts

  1. Tom Metzger says:

    Interesting. I especially liked the cartoon version of the White Power music by E. Stuart

    YES We are BAD TO THE BONE! Racism the wave of the future along with tribalism and WAR LORDS!

    The Insurgent
    Tom Metzger

  2. TOXIC SHOCK says:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]N04/842525224/

    Word is $701 raised. But who will they give it to? Hopefully the money goes to a good cause. I’d hate to see it not make it to someone deserving of it due to politics.

    Maybe it could go to Shave For a Cure.

  3. Lease says:

    Just to let you know about your false assumptions. On the weekend, $720 was raised, and has been donated to another Children’s Charity. I’d say the only losers that night were the poor children at Starlight who were unable to receive these funds in order to protect their image from false advertising and misleading information by you. The gig was also properly registered, and you in fact used their logo without permission.

    I think it’s safe to say, that you owe these children $720.

    (I don’t need a reply, was just clearing that up.)

  4. Lumpen says:

    I’m sure it had nothing to do with you lot supporting white supremacists.

  5. @ndy says:

    Lease,

    You don’t need a reply and I don’t need to comment. Nevertheless, as Mike Brady put it, wherever you go, there you are.

    With regards false assumptions, to the best of my knowledge, Starlight, to this point, hasn’t even acknowledged, publicly, that a benefit gig took place, let alone refused to accept the $720 raised by it. However, I’ll assume that this is indeed the case — why? According to you, “[I]in order to protect their image from false advertising and misleading information by you”.

    Precisely what false advertising and misleading information?

    You don’t question any of the facts contained either in the press release or anywhere else.

    The facts are:

    The Birmingham Hotel is the subject of a community boycott. The reason for this is the pub’s role in providing a venue for neo-Nazi groups Blood & Honour and the Southern Cross Hammerskins, over a period of approximately 10 years. The most recent event organised by these groups was the Ian Stuart Donaldson memorial gig, in September, 2006, at which approximately 50 boneheads were entertained by the bands Bail Up!, Blood Red Eagle and Ultraviolence. On the night of the gig, a number of patrons abused a local black woman walking to her car. The gig received media coverage in The Melbourne Times, as did the racist abuse, and a protest held outside the pub approximately one month later which attracted something in the order of 100-150 people.

    You organised the gig and the bands played it in full knowledge of these facts.

    I think it’s safe to say that you should spend a little more time at 13-15 Selwyn Street, Elsternwick.

  6. @ndy says:

    Nazis Frolicked While Ovens Worked Overtime
    Andrew Hollinger
    Jewish Holocaust Centre News, Vol.29, No.3, December 2007 [PDF]

    Many people worldwide were shocked recently by published photos showing Nazis enjoying themselves, wining, dining, shaking paws with their dogs, singing and frolicking, while nearby Jews and others were being murdered, sent up chimneys.

    Centre News has obtained some of these photos and a special article by Andrew Hollinger is published here. It indicates, there is no accounting for the human mind and the ‘eat, drink and be merry’ attitude of the officials and others of the various camps.

    ======

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum recently unveiled an important new addition to its collection – a personal photo album containing 116 pictures taken between May and December 1944, chronicling the life of SS officers and other officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The rare images capture SS guards and Nazi officials relaxing and enjoying time off – hunting, singing, trimming Christmas trees, and more – all while Jews were being murdered at rates as fast as anytime during the Holocaust. The album was created and owned by Karl Höcker, an adjunct to camp Kommandant Richard Baer.

    “It’s hard to fathom the kind of people who ran these camps and one always struggles to understand who they were and how they saw themselves,” says Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “These unique photographs vividly illustrate the contented world they enjoyed while overseeing a world of unimaginable suffering. They offer an important perspective on the psychology of those perpetrating genocide.”

    The 116 new images represent a significant increase in the number of known pre-liberation images of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Previously, only about 320 images existed of the camp before it was liberated by the Soviet army on January 27, 1945. (This figure does not include photographs of prisoners as they were processed into the camp for forced labor.) The album complements the only other known collection of photographs taken at Auschwitz, published as the “Auschwitz Album” in 1980. Those images specifically depict the arrival of Hungarian Jews at the camp in late May 1944, and the selection process that the SS imposed on them. Some of the images contained in the new album were taken just days later. In contrast to documenting mass murder, they focus on the daily lives and recreational pursuits of Nazi officials, and no prisoner appears in any of the images.

    Images in the new album include:

      Photographs of Dr. Josef Mengele in uniform on the camp grounds; some of the only known photographs of his tenure at Auschwitz-Birkenau

      A funeral for Nazi officers most likely killed in the accidental December 26, 1944, American bombing of the camp

      A sing-along featuring an accordion player and approximately 70 SS men, including Höcker, Dr. Josef Mengele, Birkenau Kommandant Josef Kramer, former Auschwitz Kommandant Rudolf Höss, who was brought back to oversee the murder of Hungarian Jews, and Otto Moll, the gas chamber supervisor at Auschwitz-Birkenau

      Höcker trimming Christmas trees in December 1944, weeks before the Red Army would overrun the camp

      Female SS auxiliaries eating blueberries and then mockingly crying and posing with empty bowls turned upside down when they are gone

      Numerous hunting trips and portraits of Höcker’s favorite hunting dog

    Remarkably, many of the album’s pictures were taken when the camp’s gas chambers and crematoria were operating at and above capacity, as Hungarian Jews were arriving and being murdered.

    “The Holocaust is recent history, and much more remains to be learned,” says Teresa Świebocka of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Oświęcim, Poland. “We know there are many more hidden collections like this. They need to be found and preserved to help transmit the memory of the Holocaust to future generations. Some of these new, unique images will enhance our new permanent exhibition.”

    Columnist’s View

    Renowned American Op Ed columnist Roger Cohen wrote that we now know where Eva from Mannheim and Angela from Dortmund and Irmgard from Dresden ended up during the war years in the shadow of the Auschwitz-Birkenau crematoriums.

    He added, “Inevitably, they pose the question: What would you have done? Filled your mouth with blueberries or balked and paid the mortal price? Perhaps no single question is more important. The voyeur has the luxury of posing it, whereas those living then had to answer it. The overwhelming majority acquiesced to the unspeakable.”

    He added that it has become banal to quote Hanna Arendt. But she encapsulated these photos’ conundrum when she wrote: “Under conditions of terror most people will comply but some people will not,” adding that “Humanly speaking, no more is required and no more can reasonably be asked, for this planet to remain a place fit for human habitation.”

    ======

  7. Bobthebuilder says:

    Mate you approached the Starlight Foundation and made them aware of said circumstances. Why couldn’t you shut your big mouth and let us do something for the cancer kids? Take a step back just for a second and think about what has been done.

    Not everything has to involve a political agenda, people can do things out of the goodness of their hearts. Good on ya Lease for putting the gig on, good on those who attended, and @ndy, I hope you get beaten up by a leukemia patient.

  8. @ndy says:

    The facts are:

    The Birmingham Hotel is the subject of a community boycott. The reason for this is the pub’s role in providing a venue for neo-Nazi groups Blood & Honour and the Southern Cross Hammerskins, over a period of approximately 10 years. The most recent event organised by these groups was the Ian Stuart Donaldson memorial gig, in September, 2006, at which approximately 50 boneheads were entertained by the bands Bail Up!, Blood Red Eagle and Ultraviolence. On the night of the gig, a number of patrons abused a local black woman walking to her car. The gig received media coverage in The Melbourne Times, as did the racist abuse, and a protest held outside the pub approximately one month later which attracted something in the order of 100-150 people.

    Lease organised the gig and the bands played it in full knowledge of these facts.

    I think it’s safe to say that you should spend a little more time at 13-15 Selwyn Street, Elsternwick.

  9. Bobthebuilder says:

    Excuse my ignorance, but what’s at Selwyn Street, Elsternwick?

  10. Mate you don’t understand. Andy puts the interests of wealthy, anti-working class Jews above the needs of poor, ill children.

  11. @ndy says:

    With friends like these… it’s no wonder Drew Gates, the Victorian Roller Derby League and Napalm Hearts heart The Birmy.

    Like a monkey in the zoo
    You’re half gorilla too
    When you pound it with your fist
    And make it real stiff
    Big dick
    Gotta cover your mistake
    Your bloody outtakes
    So you dip it in the wine
    And make a holy sign
    Big dick

    Big dick! Come quick
    Big dick! Come quick

    Well you’re running up a tree
    You’re trying not to scream
    But you’re pounding on your chest
    Like you whipped the best
    Big dick
    The rivers of blood
    You’ve spilled have turned to mud
    Now the flies are buzzin’ round
    Don’t it make a loud sound
    Big dick

    Big dick! Come quick
    Big dick! Come quick

    It won’t be long
    Till those bad bits are gone
    It won’t be long
    Till those bad bits are gone

    Now we’re sitting by the fire
    But daddy’s getting tired
    ’cause hes drunk the whole crock
    Now he’s got a limp cock
    Big dick

    Big dick! Come quick
    Big dick! Come quick

  12. herman says:

    Hey Andy, that song above suits you perfectly. good choice. your dumb slut of an ex isn’t coming back to you. she thinks you are a fuckin[‘] loser. so continue with your psuedo [sic] intellectual bullshit, i guess it makes you feel like a powerful man and not a loser who can’t get it up. ha ha.

  13. @ndy says:

    G’day herman,

    Are you at all upset? Agitated? Flustered? Perturbed? In a state of inner tumult or turmoil, a lather or a stew?

    (And are you indeed a German?)

    Cheers and beers,

    @ndy.

    PS. It’s ‘pseudo’ not ‘psuedo’.

  14. jimm jackson says:

    yay… computer commandos talk trash about Nazis… online, of course. If you really meant the shit you say then instead of whining about the pubs that host Nazi gigs, you’d GO THERE and face them. You wannabe anarchists make the real street activists ashamed… grow some nuts.

  15. @ndy says:

    G’day jimm,

    I wrote this post well over four-and-a-half years ago.

    Why are you commenting now? Which pubs in Melbourne host Nazi gigs?

    I’m only aware of one in recent years: The Birmy. After an 18-month long campaign, the nazi-sympathising manager left, and the venue obtained new management unsympathetic to nazis.

    Who are the wannabe anarchists?

    Who are the real street activists?

    Curious,

    Andy.

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