Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

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Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:56 am

I'm having a rather interesting conversation with the BROI about Jan Karski and his visit to either Belzec or a transit camp at Izbica.

My understanding is that Karski originally thought he visited Belzec but he wound up being mistaken. He actually visited a transit camp near or for Izbica.
The Rabbit maintains that Karski visited Belzec.

BROI wrote:The *Karski confused Izbica for Belzec* theory is a short and tidy explanation for those who want to believe it, but it’s thoroughly unconvincing. Karski always maintained—from his first report to his final interview—that he had visited Belzec. It was an area the Pole knew, unlike the legion of Americans and West Europeans who claim he was confused about where he went.

Karski knew the area well. He had attended the University of Lvov, just 45 miles from Belzec. In December 1939, he had seen an earlier camp for Jews located near Belzec. He had described this camp in a 1940 report, and mentioned the town of Belzec by name, correctly locating it “on the boundary of the territories occupied by the Bolsheviks.” The supposition that he confused Belzec with Izbica is far-fetched.


My response was that what Karski described doesn't sound like any description of Belzec I've ever heard.

The following description is from HEART:

It was on a large, flat plain and occupied about a square mile. It was surrounded on all sides by a formidable barbed-wire fence, nearly two yards in height and in good repair. Inside the fence, at intervals of about fifteen yards, guards were standing holding rifles with fixed bayonets ready for use. Around the outside of the fence militia men circulated on constant patrol.

The camp itself contained a few small sheds or barracks. The rest of the area was completely covered by a dense, pulsating, throbbing, noisy human mass. Starved, stinking, gesticulating, insane human beings in constant, agitated motion.

http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org ... zbica.html

This is what Belzec looked like:

The entire camp occupied a relatively small, almost square area. Three sides measured 275 m; the fourth, south side measured 265 m. The outer fence was camouflaged with tree branches. During the later reorganisation of the camp, the space between the two fences was filled with rolls of barbed wire. On the east side, another barrier was erected on a steep slope by the fixing of tree trunks to wooden planks. During the second phase of the camp's existence, a wooden fence was built along the side of the road at the foot of the steep eastern slope.

Four watchtowers were constructed: on the northeast and northwest sides, at the southwest corner and at the most westerly point of the camp. A fifth tower in the centre of the camp overlooked the entire length of "the Sluice" (also known as "the Tube"), the camouflaged barbed wire pathway to the gas chambers.

Belzec was divided into two sections:
Camp I, in the northern and western section, was the reception area and included the railway ramp, which could initially accommodate 10-15 wagons.

Camp II, the extermination area, included the gas chambers and large rectangular burial pits. The pits had an average size of 20 m x 30 m x 6 m deep. These mass graves were located at the northeast, east and southerly sections of the camp.

I've removed text to comply with forum rules, for a more detailed description see deathcamps.org:

http://www.deathcamps.org/belzec/belzec.html


The first camp sounds to me like the "camps" the Wehrmacht set up for Soviet POWs, enclosed areas with barbed wire with very few structures. Also, it was flat. The SS constructed Belzec with Camp II up a hill.

I wanted to see if anyone else has any more information. I thought Karski later agreed that he was mistaken about the camp but the Rabbit doesn't think so.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:36 am

I will poke around tomorrow on this (my recollection is like yours), but, for tonight, on Izbica, you have to read Mark Roseman, A Past in Hiding, which reproduces a long letter from the fiancé of Marianne Strauss, Ernst Krombach, a young man who had been deported to Izbica and wrote her a long description of Izbica. I've not looked at this issue from that point of view, but comparing Karski's description of "Bełzec" to Ernst Krombach's description of Izbica might be useful. Shoot, there was a thread about this on Rodoh years and years ago, but I barely recall it. (Where's the discussion taking place?)
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Denying-History » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:49 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:(Where's the discussion taking place?)

Scrapbookpages blog. I will try and find it, Jeff would know what post its under, but I'll try and grab it.

Edit: found it

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/treblinka-memorial-site-is-in-todays-news/#comments
« Oral history is a complex field. After all, memory can be a distorting mirror, as anyone who has ever worked with memoir literature knows very well...They may be imperfect, and, at times, inaccurate as the narrator tries to cast himself in the most favorable light, but all sources are imperfect. Even an archival document reflects how the person who drafted it understood something and remains something less than the unvarnished truth. »
- James Mace

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:22 am

Thanks, D-H. I've been looking for things on Karski.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:46 am

This is a description he gave during a lecture in 1985:

"Wearing a Ukrainian guard’s uniform, Karski later gathered information at Izbica—a “sorting point,” as he called it, for the Belzec extermination camp, where the Nazis murdered 600,000 Jews and other individuals."

http://www.hoover.org/research/jan-kars ... om-fighter

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:54 am

Thanks!

Some links:

from Roseman - Krombach's letter from Izbica starting p 182

AHF thread, with Mills in it, on an article by David Silberklang in which Silberklang wrote (in 1994) "Since Karski was very familiar with Polish geography, it is difficult to see how he could have erred." (I have Silberklang's recent book and will look to see what he says there.)

aha - the thread I recalled was not from Rodoh but an AHF thread featuring bunny and Mills from 2011, p 3 for color photos

pamphlet on Izbica by Kuwalek and Litwin

Jansson article on Karski's visit - Incoherent History from 2014

2006 AHF discussion, again with Mills

"Jan Karski: Visiting the Izbica camp" - interview from 1996

(disclaimer: once upon a time I collected a bunch of links etc with the aim of looking into this topic; instead I followed up on Izbica itself and the role of Izbica, Piaski, and other Lublin towns in the evolving Final Solution)
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:08 pm

Thanks, SM. I'm gonna delve into the links you provided.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:17 pm

Curious to see what you come up with . . . let us know!
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:19 pm

Will do.

I'm pretty certain at this point Karski never saw Belzec the extermination camp.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeff_36 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:12 pm

It is an established fact that Karski never saw Belzec at all. I am convinced that The Gimp is aware of this and is merely going down this road to obfuscate. Karski himself acknowledged that this was the case. The fact that Karski attended University 45 miles away from the village of Belzec means nothing and if anything strengthens our position on this matter - 45 miles is a hell of a distance. I can't recall the last time I drove 45 miles anywhere, let alone into the sticks, which is what the village of Belzec was in relation to Lwow. Karski was also not native to the area, having been born and raised in Lodz, and would have had as much familiarity with it as you or I , if not less.

His description of those who share this very true view as "western legions" is also dishonest. Dr. Josef Marszalek, a professor at the University of Lublin in Poland, and a historian of the Nazi camp system ion that country during the war, has stated unequivocally that the camp Karski visited was Izbica.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:31 pm

Silberklang in his recent book on Lublin, and Winstone in his on the G-G, do not mention this topic.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeff_36 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:35 pm

read the second AHF link - Mills is full of hot air and lies blatantly at least once but he does not share The Gimp's thesis, he thinks that Karski never went to any camp at all and that he made the story up.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:01 pm

IIRC that's been Mills' consistent claim, that Karski fictionalized the visit, basing the details on a report made in '43 by Zygielboim and Schwarzbart for the government in exile I believe; no wonder he attracted LGR who loves gnomic pronouncements on fictions and fictional duplications and other such mysteries of life
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeff_36 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:37 pm

He claimed, absurdly, that the Polish underground movement had no interest in the fate of the Jews in 1942. Clearly he has never heard of the efforts of F. Zabecki in Malkinia, the AK report on Belzec from April of 1942, and numerous other reports from the summer and early fall of that year.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:43 pm

Typical Millsian pseudo intellectual garbage . . .
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:31 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Thanks!

Some links:

from Roseman - Krombach's letter from Izbica starting p 182

AHF thread, with Mills in it, on an article by David Silberklang in which Silberklang wrote (in 1994) "Since Karski was very familiar with Polish geography, it is difficult to see how he could have erred." (I have Silberklang's recent book and will look to see what he says there.)

aha - the thread I recalled was not from Rodoh but an AHF thread featuring bunny and Mills from 2011, p 3 for color photos

pamphlet on Izbica by Kuwalek and Litwin

Jansson article on Karski's visit - Incoherent History from 2014

2006 AHF discussion, again with Mills

"Jan Karski: Visiting the Izbica camp" - interview from 1996

(disclaimer: once upon a time I collected a bunch of links etc with the aim of looking into this topic; instead I followed up on Izbica itself and the role of Izbica, Piaski, and other Lublin towns in the evolving Final Solution)


I read through the links you provided. I've read some of those previously, including the Inconvenient History link.

What Jansson glosses over is the condition of the prisoners described by Karski, even if they were transported elsewhere not many would have lived long.

I still base my disbelief on what Karski described as the camp:

"SS-Untersturmf�hrer Oberhauser on the death camp at Belzec.
Quoted in 'The Good Old Days' - E. Klee, W. Dressen, V. Riess, The Free Press, NY, 1988., p. 228-230:

The camp of Belzec was situated north-east of the Tomaszo'w to Lemberg [Lvov] road beyond the village of Belzec. As the camp needed a siding for the arriving transports the camp was built about 400 meters from Belzec station. The camp itself was divided into two sections: section 1 and section 2. The siding led directly from Belzec station into section 2 of the camp, in which the undressing barracks as well as the gas installations and the burial field were situated..."

https://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/resource ... ocBelz.htm

None of the descriptions I've read from Karski describe anything close to this. The fact that the town lay outside of the town is indisputable.

Also, why send Karski to Belzec and not Treblinka? Treblinka was the death camp that Warsaw Jews were sent to, not Belzec. Karski did visit the camps at Belzec during the Nisko period.

I'll keep digging around this weekend but much of what I'm seeing leads me to believe Karski was mistaken and realized it later.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:52 pm

Thanks, that was the impression I had - I always meant to look at Karski's observations against Ernst Krombach's letter to see if the Izbica I.D. can be pinned down . . . maybe on a rainy day sometime . . .
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:52 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:This is a description he gave during a lecture in 1985:

"Wearing a Ukrainian guard’s uniform, Karski later gathered information at Izbica—a “sorting point,” as he called it, for the Belzec extermination camp, where the Nazis murdered 600,000 Jews and other individuals."

http://www.hoover.org/research/jan-kars ... om-fighter


I will say, I do have an issue with the fact the author wrote the above 15 years after Karski spoke.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:01 pm

BROI wrote:
I struggle to believe that Murdock could recall the name of an obscure Polish town he’d heard once 15 years earlier. Nor do I think Karski even mentioned Izbica in front of Murdock, because in 1985 Karski definitely still believed he went to Belzec. So, Murdock’s full of it.

But this paper certainly backs up the Izbica theory:

“In his oral reports during the war, in his memoirs, published in 1944 (Jan Karski, Story of a Secret State, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1944) and in the statements to Lanzmann and, later, to Walter Laqueur (The Terrible Secret, New York: Henry Holt, 1998, p. 231), Karski says he visited the Belzec extermination camp. In Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe (New York: Harper, 1993), Raul Hilberg has shown that his testimony does not fit with Belzec (see also R. Hilberg, Sources of Holocaust Research: An Analysis, Lanham [Maryland]: Ivan R Dee, 2001). In 1990, David Engel postulated that Karski had not been to Belzec, but to the camp at Belzyce (‘The Western Allies and the Holocaust’ [note 2], 374). It may be, however, that Karski went to the Belzec secondary camp at Izbica Lubelska, see E. Thomas Wood and Stanislaw M. Jankowski, Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust (New York: Wiley, 1994), which draws on research by Polish historian Józef Marszalek. As Jean-Louis Panné points out, ‘When [Karski] was able to visit Poland in 1993, he visited both camps and formally identified Izbica, between Lublin and Belzec, not far from Zamosc: Jean-Louis Panné, Jan Karski, le roman et l’histoire (Paris: Pascal Galodé, 2010), 20. In an interview filmed in 1995, Karski explained that he had certainly been to Izbica and not – as he had long believed – to Belzec: Diane Glazer Show (Los Angeles: Jewish Television Network, 1995), video consultable in the Jan Karski Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, box 31, file 11. In the Polish version of his memoirs, published in 1999, Karski has had Belzec replaced by Izbica, as Céline Gervais-Francelle points out in the preface to Jan Karski, mon témoignage devant le monde, Histoire d’un état clandestin [the French translation of Karski’s Story of a Secret State] (Paris: Robert Laffont, 2010), xx and 389, note 4.”

Rémy Besson, The Karski Report: A Voice with the Ring of Truth
http://etudesphotographiques.revues.org/3467


This is addition information the Rabbit just sent me.

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2016 ... days-news/

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:10 pm

And Jim just said something stupid.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:10 pm

TLB exposing himself as a total BS. "Karski always maintained—from his first report to his final interview—that he had visited Belzec." Ha. It was the fault of some book or other.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:10 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:And Jim just said something stupid.

This is news? LOL.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Denying-History » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:35 pm

I am honestly confused by Rabbits claims here... His testimony doesn't fit any other witnesses testimonies... :?

Hilberg talks about this issue in the following book and the hard cover is going pretty cheap.

https://www.amazon.com/Perpetrators-Vic ... 0060995076

Here is another thread which talks about the matter, which we get the opinion of the crematorium denier little gray.

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=175505
« Oral history is a complex field. After all, memory can be a distorting mirror, as anyone who has ever worked with memoir literature knows very well...They may be imperfect, and, at times, inaccurate as the narrator tries to cast himself in the most favorable light, but all sources are imperfect. Even an archival document reflects how the person who drafted it understood something and remains something less than the unvarnished truth. »
- James Mace

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:56 pm

Denying-History wrote:I am honestly confused by Rabbits claims here... His testimony doesn't fit any other witnesses testimonies... :?

Hilberg talks about this issue in the following book and the hard cover is going pretty cheap.

https://www.amazon.com/Perpetrators-Vic ... 0060995076

Here is another thread which talks about the matter, which we get the opinion of the crematorium denier little gray.

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=175505

What page in Hilberg? I have the book.

The AHF link looks like one I posted upthread.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:00 pm

Denying-History wrote:I am honestly confused by Rabbits claims here... His testimony doesn't fit any other witnesses testimonies... :?

Hilberg talks about this issue in the following book and the hard cover is going pretty cheap.

https://www.amazon.com/Perpetrators-Vic ... 0060995076

Here is another thread which talks about the matter, which we get the opinion of the crematorium denier little gray.

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=175505


Looks like "The Destruction of the European Jews" has come down in price.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Denying-History » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:03 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Denying-History wrote:I am honestly confused by Rabbits claims here... His testimony doesn't fit any other witnesses testimonies... :?

Hilberg talks about this issue in the following book and the hard cover is going pretty cheap.

https://www.amazon.com/Perpetrators-Vic ... 0060995076

Here is another thread which talks about the matter, which we get the opinion of the crematorium denier little gray.

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=175505

What page in Hilberg? I have the book.

The AHF link looks like one I posted upthread.


Not sure what page... I just noticed it in Jeffs quote. I will see if google books allow be to search through the book.

Karski says he visited the Belzec extermination camp. In Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe (New York: Harper, 1993), Raul Hilberg has shown that his testimony does not fit with Belzec (see also R. Hilberg, Sources of Holocaust Research: An Analysis, Lanham [Maryland]: Ivan R Dee, 2001).


Also the Axis history post is not one that you listed.
Last edited by Denying-History on Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
« Oral history is a complex field. After all, memory can be a distorting mirror, as anyone who has ever worked with memoir literature knows very well...They may be imperfect, and, at times, inaccurate as the narrator tries to cast himself in the most favorable light, but all sources are imperfect. Even an archival document reflects how the person who drafted it understood something and remains something less than the unvarnished truth. »
- James Mace

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Denying-History » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:07 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Denying-History wrote:I am honestly confused by Rabbits claims here... His testimony doesn't fit any other witnesses testimonies... :?

Hilberg talks about this issue in the following book and the hard cover is going pretty cheap.

https://www.amazon.com/Perpetrators-Vic ... 0060995076

Here is another thread which talks about the matter, which we get the opinion of the crematorium denier little gray.

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=175505


Looks like "The Destruction of the European Jews" has come down in price.



https://books.google.com/books/content?id=jxhnAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA183&img=1&pgis=1&dq=Karski&sig=ACfU3U2xqYh4SER1rvdUzGW1g4RZU85UGA&edge=0
« Oral history is a complex field. After all, memory can be a distorting mirror, as anyone who has ever worked with memoir literature knows very well...They may be imperfect, and, at times, inaccurate as the narrator tries to cast himself in the most favorable light, but all sources are imperfect. Even an archival document reflects how the person who drafted it understood something and remains something less than the unvarnished truth. »
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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:14 pm

Hilberg, Sources of Holocaust Research, 2001, pp 182-183

Hilberg notes that Bełzec had no contingent of Estonians in the camp guard. That no trains went there from Warsaw. The details of the description, Hilberg says, "fit Ibiza and several other towns in the Lublin district, where Jews began arriving from Germany in March 1942 and from where Polish Jews were deported to the Bełżec camp." Hilberg cites the biography of Karski by Wood and Jankowski concluding that Karski was in Izbica and may have heard about Bełżec there. Finally, Hilberg says that "It would have been difficult for any man in any uniform to enter Bełżec without authorization." (Karski had said he wore an Estonian uniform on his visit.)

Hilberg, Perpetrators Victims Bystanders, 1992, pp 221-224

More detailed discussion making similar points. On Warsaw transport, Hilberg says that "Jewish transports from Warsaw were routed to Treblinka, not Belzec. No transport let Warsaw in October." He says that Belzec guards "were mainly Ukrainian" but there may have been a few from the Baltics.

On balance, Hilberg seems to be of the opinion that Karski could not have been at Belzec and may have been at Izbica (or another Lublin ghetto) instead.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:16 pm

Denying-History wrote:Also the Axis history post is not one that you listed.

LOL it sure looks like the LGR/Mills link? Oh well . . .
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Denying-History » Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:51 pm

It looks like Alan Heath wrote a short letter on this subject. It is archived at Irvings old website. Its EXTREMELY short but a good read.

http://www.fpp.co.uk/Letters/History/Heath160700.html
« Oral history is a complex field. After all, memory can be a distorting mirror, as anyone who has ever worked with memoir literature knows very well...They may be imperfect, and, at times, inaccurate as the narrator tries to cast himself in the most favorable light, but all sources are imperfect. Even an archival document reflects how the person who drafted it understood something and remains something less than the unvarnished truth. »
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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby BRoI » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:37 pm

[1] As Jean-Louis Panné points out, ‘When [Karski] was able to visit Poland in 1993, he visited both camps and formally identified Izbica, between Lublin and Belzec, not far from Zamosc: Jean-Louis Panné, Jan Karski, le roman et l’histoire (Paris: Pascal Galodé, 2010), 20.

[2] In an interview filmed in 1995, Karski explained that he had certainly been to Izbica and not – as he had long believed – to Belzec: Diane Glazer Show (Los Angeles: Jewish Television Network, 1995), video consultable in the Jan Karski Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, box 31, file 11.

[3] In the Polish version of his memoirs, published in 1999, Karski has had Belzec replaced by Izbica, as Céline Gervais-Francelle points out in the preface to Jan Karski, mon témoignage devant le monde, Histoire d’un état clandestin [the French translation of Karski’s Story of a Secret State] (Paris: Robert Laffont, 2010), xx and 389, note 4.”

- Rémy Besson, The Karski Report: A Voice with the Ring of Truth
http://etudesphotographiques.revues.org/3467


1. Panné does say that, but he cites no source for it.

2. So why didn't Besson quote what Karski said? It's not like it's an easy source to check.

3. I will check Tajne państwo: opowieść o polskim podziemiu [1999] this week, but I just brought the French version cited by Besson on Google Books; here's what Gervais-Francelle wrote in her introduction:

Évoquant dans le livre son infiltration dans le camp d’Izbica Lubelska (qu’il avait alors pris pour Belżec), Jan Karski se dit guidé par un gardien letton et déguisé en gardien letton, ce qui était plausible, mais en l’occurrence inexact. Ces gardiens étaient ici de nationalité ukrainienne, et Karski a procédé à leur « camouflage » sur consigne du gouvernement polonais de Londres qui espérait encore possible de conserver Lwów (aujourd’hui Lviv) à la Pologne (comme le lui avait promis Anthony Eden) et voulait ainsi ménager l’importante émigration ukrainienne. Notre édition rétablit sur ce point la vérité, comme le fit Karski en 1999 dans la première édition polonaise de son œuvre.


What's she appears to be saying—I didn't learn much in 3 years of French language classes—is that Karski mistook Izbica for Belzec. And that's it; that's all she says on the Belzec vs. Izbica controversy. Her intro is not footnoted, so the "389, note 4" cited by Besson actually refer to Karski's own text ["note 4" is note "154" quoted below].

Gervais-Francelle does ACTUALLY SAY that Karski originally said his Ukrainian guide was a "Latvian" [he's Estonian in my 1944 edition] and that Karski wore a "Latvian" uniform [an Estonian one in my copy] because the Polish government then hoped Lviv—with its mostly ethnically Ukrainian citizens—would remain part of Poland. In the 1999 Polish edition, Gervais-Francelle claims, the guide and the uniform are now described as Ukrainian so this French edition follows suit, which it does:

Nous avions choisi unjour où il devait y avoir des exécutions. Le renseignement avait été facile à obtenir, car un grand nombre d’Estoniens, de Lituaniens et d’Ukrainiens qui étaient employés comme gardiens de ce camp sous le contrôle de la Gestapo travaillaient aussi pour le compte des organisations juives, non pour des considérations humaines ou politiques mais pour gagner de l’argent. Je devais porter l’uniforme d’un de ces gardiens ukrainiens [154] le jour où il était de repos, et je me servirais de ses papiers. On m’assura que le désordre et la corruption régnaient à ce point dans ce camp qu’il y avait toutes les chances pour que mon déguisement passât inaperçu. De plus, l’expédition avait été minutieusement préparée. Je devais pénétrer dans le camp par une porte gardée uniquement par des Allemands car un Ukrainien aurait pu déceler plus facilement que je n’en étais pas un. L’uniforme ukrainien constituait un laissez-­passer en lui­même et l’on ne me demanderait probablement rien. Pour plus de sécurité encore, je devais être accompagné par un autre Ukrainien à notre solde. Je parlais allemand et pouvais donc, si cela devenait nécessaire, discuter avec les gardiens allemands et les acheter eux aussi.

[154. Nous rétablissons ici la vérité historique, comme l’a fait Jan Karski pour la première édition traduite en polonais de son livre en 1999 (cf. Tajne Państwo , op. cit .). En effet, il s’agit d’un gardien ukrainien (et non estonien), comme l’étaient tous ceux de Belżec et des camps annexes.]


Gervais-Francelle goofed in her intro replacing estonien with letton. Stupid, but no biggie.

In this French edition, supposedly based on the corrected 1999 Polish edition, Karski still claims to have visited Belzec in the main body of the text. Only the editorial footnotes and annotations claim he was actually at Izbica:

Chapitre XXX
Dernière étape

Quelques jours après ma seconde visite au ghetto de Varsovie, le chef du Bund devait me fournir l’occasion de voir un camp d’extermination des Juifs.

Ce camp se trouvait près de la ville de Belzec [152] , à cent soixante kilomètres environ à l’est de Varsovie, et il était connu de la Pologne entière par les histoires terrifiantes qui circulaient à son sujet. On racontait communément que tout Juif qui allait dans ce camp était pratiquement condamné à mort. Il n’y allait que pour cela.
[...]
Au jour choisi, tôt dans la matinée, je quittai Varsovie par la gare centrale en compagnie du Juif qui travaillait hors du ghetto pour le mouvement clandestin. Nous sommes allés en train jusqu’à Lublin. Là, une carriole de paysan nous attendait. Nous sommes passés par des chemins de terre car le paysan qui nous transportait évitait la chaussée fréquentée de Zamość. Nous arrivâmes à Belzec [i.e. Izbica Lubelska] un peu après midi et nous nous rendîmes directement à l’endroit où l’Ukrainien devait nous attendre pour me prêter son uniforme [155].

[152. Belżec a été le premier des trois camps d’extermination de masse implantés à l’automne 1941 le long de la ligne du Bug, dans le cadre de l’« Action Reinhardt » programmée pour exterminer les Juifs du Generalgouvernement, après ceux du district « expérimental » de Lublin. Sa construction commença en novembre 1941, suivie par celle de Sobibor en mars 1942 et de Treblinka en mai 1942. L’ensemble était dirigé par l’état-major spécial implanté à Lublin, du SS-Brigadeführer, général major Odilo Globocnik, commandant des SS et de la police du district de Lublin. Cf. Bogdan Musial (dir.), Aktion Reinhardt, op. cit.

155. Le camp où fut amené Jan Karski était Izbica Lubelska et non Belżec. Ce camp, situé à mi-chemin entre Lublin et Belżec, a été définitivement identifié par l’historien Józef Marszałek, d’après la topographie et la description, comme étant celui où Karski fut infiltré. Moins connu que Belżec, Izbica Lubelska a tenu néanmoins une place importante dans le programme d’extermination de milliers de Juifs, appelé « Action Reinhardt », en jouant le rôle d’annexe de Belżec. D’abord concentrés à Izbica Lubelska, dépouillés, les Juifs étaient ensuite exécutés sur place ou, pour la majorité, transportés vers Belżec, dans la violence et l’horreur décrites par Karski. L’historien anglais Michael Tregenz a retrouvé dans les archives polonaises la déposition effectuée à Lublin le 1 er mars 1946 par l’ouvrier Andrzej Pawlik, de Krasnystaw, habitué au trajet Lublin-Krasnystaw via Izbica en 1940-1943 et témoin involontaire d’horreurs identiques à celles décrites par Karski. Cf. L’extrait de cette déposition d’A. Pawlik cité in E. Thomas Wood et Stanisław M. Jankowski, Karski, How One Man… , op. cit. , p. 153, repris par Stanislaw M. Jankowski en 2009 in Karski, Raporty… , op. cit. p. 222-223.


So, Besson's claim:

In the Polish version of his memoirs, published in 1999, Karski has had Belzec replaced by Izbica, as Céline Gervais-Francelle points out ...


Is complete BS. She said no such thing about Karski *having had* Belzec replaced by Izbica in the 1999 Polish edition.

I'll find out this week whether it really did, but as this French edition is based on the 1999 Polish one, the only thing likely to have changed are the nationality of the guide and the uniform Karski wore.
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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeff_36 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:59 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
On balance, Hilberg seems to be of the opinion that Karski could not have been at Belzec and may have been at Izbica (or another Lublin ghetto) instead.


I am willing to include the possibility that Karski was perhaps making it up, although I am 80% sure he was at Izbica. I find it hilarious that The Gimp seems to have gotten the Belzec labor camp and the Belzec death camp confused.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:01 am

I haven't read enough about this to have a strong opinion. Which is one reason it's nice that Jeffk opened this thread.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby BRoI » Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:15 am

I find it hilarious that The Gimp seems to have gotten the Belzec labor camp and the Belzec death camp confused.


You still have a thing for me. I am flattered, although I'm not that way inclined.

But please explain why you think I'm confused about "the Belzec labor camp" [singular!?] and "the Belzec death camp".
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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:16 am

Oh, this should get interesting.....:lol:

At an amusement park with the children, join in later.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeff_36 » Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:21 am

BRoI wrote:
I find it hilarious that The Gimp seems to have gotten the Belzec labor camp and the Belzec death camp confused.


You still have a thing for me. I am flattered, although I'm not that way inclined.

But please explain why you think I'm confused about "the Belzec labor camp" [singular!?] and "the Belzec death camp".


The Belzec labor camp was located between the village of Belzec and the village of Stary Dzików, which was a considerable distance to the east, and in the village itself (two locations to be specific - the Mill, and the Manor). The extermination camp was located half a kilometer south of the village railway station. You made a big deal about Karski getting the location of the former correct, when it had little or no bearing on whether he would correctly identify the location of the latter as they were two very different camps in different locations.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby BRoI » Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:30 am

Jeff_36 wrote:The Belzec labor camp was located between the village of Belzec and the village of Stary Dzików, which was a considerable distance to the east, and in the village itself (two locations to be specific - the Mill, and the Manor). The extermination camp was located half a kilometer south of the village railway station. You made a big deal about Karski getting the location of the former correct, when it had little or no bearing on whether he would correctly identify the location of the latter.


FYI, one of the labour camps was just a few dozen feet from the eventual extermination camp:

As for his December 1939 visit to the “The Jewish Camp Near Belzec”; these photos taken from the site linked below show that what appears to be the main camp in Belzec was only feet from where the extermination camp was later situated. So, JK had literally been to this place before, which makes the claim he confused it for Izbica even more absurd

Image
http://holocaust-history-archive.com/wp/arbeitslager-belzec-photos/
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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeff_36 » Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:39 am

BRoI wrote:As for his December 1939 visit to the “The Jewish Camp Near Belzec”; these photos taken from the site linked below show that what appears to be the main camp in Belzec was only feet from where the extermination camp was later situated. So, JK had literally been to this place before, which makes the claim he confused it for Izbica even more absurd


Not really. Karski was not aware that the death camp had been constructed in this particular place and had not been there in some time. By 1942 he was working for the information section of the AK headquarters in Warsaw, which was outside the Lublin district, which means that he would have been basically shooting in the dark upon his return there, three and a half years after his last trip. Common sense.

Additionally, you get things backwards with your claim that "he confused [the Belzec Death Camp] with Izbica". That's not the way it worked. He had heard (correctly) that the Jews of the Lublin ghetto were being murdered at a camp near Belzec, he visited what he thought was the camp, and reported back on it. You make it seem like he knew the location of the death camp in advance, a laughable assertion, but then again, you are the Daft Rabbit of Unicornville....

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby BRoI » Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:54 am

You avoided addressing how the image completely refuted your original points about [A] me allegedly being confused about the camps and [B] the "work camp" being nowhere near the "death camp". Instead you waffle aimlessly about where he worked in 1942 and propose this would mean he wouldn't remember a place he visited a few years earlier. WTF!

He saw "The Jewish Camp Near Belzec” in December 1939 and "Belzec ... death camp" in c.September 1942. A different of 2.9 months not "three and a half years". Basic maths.

[edit]

And now you've added an extra paragraph.

Additionally, you get things backwards with your claim that "he confused [the Belzec Death Camp] with Izbica". That's not the way it worked. He had heard (correctly) that the Jews of the Lublin ghetto were being murdered at a camp near Belzec, he visited what he thought was the camp, and reported back on it. You make it seem like he knew the location of the death camp in advance, a laughable assertion, but then again, you are the Daft Rabbit of Unicornville....


Complete stawman.
Last edited by BRoI on Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:58 am

What about this:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
It may be, however, that Karski went to the Belzec secondary camp at Izbica Lubelska, see E. Thomas Wood and Stanislaw M. Jankowski, Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust (New York: Wiley, 1994), which draws on research by Polish historian Józef Marszalek.

If he heard whatever he visited called "Belzec" in any context at that time, why would it be a surprise he'd remember that name?


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