Auschwitz

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Holocaust Hero's Will Found in a Box

Jane Haining is called 'Scotland’s Schindler'

(Newser) - She was prisoner 79467 at Auschwitz, where she died in 1944. She was also "Scotland’s Schindler," and the sole Scot listed as "righteous among the nations" at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Israel. Now, a new window into the life of Jane Haining by way... More »

Pope Prays in Saint's Former Cell at Auschwitz

He entered on foot, made a silent visit

(Newser) - Pope Francis paid a somber visit to the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau Friday, becoming the third consecutive pontiff to make the pilgrimage to the place where Adolf Hitler's forces killed more than 1 million people, most of them Jews. Francis entered the camp on foot, walking slowly beneath... More »

Man Admits to Lying About Escaping Auschwitz

Joseph Hirt even got an actual prisoner's number tattooed on his arm

(Newser) - A 91-year-old Pennsylvania man has admitted to lying for years about being an Auschwitz survivor, even going so far as to have an actual prisoner's number tattooed on his arm, the AP reports. Joseph Hirt has lectured to numerous school groups and organizations about his experience escaping from Auschwitz.... More »

'Ashamed' Auschwitz Guard Gets 5 Years

Reinhold Hanning, 94, apologized in court

(Newser) - A 94-year-old former SS sergeant who served as a guard at Auschwitz has been found guilty of more than 170,000 counts of accessory to murder for helping kill 1.1 million Jews and others at the Nazi death camp. The state court in Detmold, Germany, sentenced Reinhold Hanning to... More »

16K Items That Vanished From Auschwitz Are Found

They were sitting in boxes at the Polish Academy of Sciences

(Newser) - Jewelry, tobacco pipes, buttons, keys. Archaeologists uncovered more than 16,000 such items in the remains of Auschwitz's Crematorium III and gas chamber in 1967—"the last personal belongings of the Jews" led to their deaths. But while watching an old documentary about the excavation, Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum officials... More »

Ring Was Hidden at Auschwitz for More Than 70 Years

Once, it was somebody's 'ray of hope'

(Newser) - The owner of a gold ring and necklace found at Auschwitz was almost certainly murdered by the Nazis, but she hid her valuables so well that they weren't found by her killers—or by anybody else for another 70 years. The Auschwitz Museum says curators discovered the items in... More »

Auschwitz Survivor Denied Testimony in Nazi Guard's Trial

Joshua Kaufman traveled all the way from California to Germany to testify

(Newser) - An 88-year-old Auschwitz survivor who traveled all the way from his home in Los Angeles to Germany to testify in the trial of a former Nazi SS guard will not be allowed to do so, a judge ruled Friday. "I lost my whole family, I survived five concentration camps,... More »

Auschwitz Guard: 'I Could Smell the Burning Bodies'

In court, Reinhold Hanning talks of experience for first time

(Newser) - Reinhold Hanning knew what was happening at Auschwitz when he served as a guard there more than seven decades ago. "I could smell the burning bodies," he wrote in a 22-page statement read aloud by his lawyer Friday in a German courtroom. "I knew corpses were being... More »

World's Oldest Man Survived Auschwitz

112-year-old has outlived Nazi regime by 71 years

(Newser) - Yisrael Kristal came very close to dying in the Holocaust along with millions of others—including his wife and their two children. Instead, the 112-year-old survived Auschwitz and has now been confirmed as the world's oldest man, having outlived Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime by more than 70... More »

Auschwitz Guard, 94, to Stand Trial on 170K Counts

Reinhold Hanning's lawyer argues he worked in less-deadly section

(Newser) - A 94-year-old former SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp is going on trial this week on 170,000 counts of accessory to murder, the first of up to four cases being brought to court this year in an 11th-hour push by German prosecutors to punish Nazi war crimes. Reinhold... More »

Holocaust Victims Return to Auschwitz 71 Years Later

Some wore sashes that recalled the striped clothing prisoners were forced to wear

(Newser) - Dozens of elderly Holocaust survivors lit candles at Auschwitz on Wednesday, exactly 71 years after the Soviet army liberated the death camp that has become the most powerful symbol of the human suffering inflicted by Nazi Germany during World War II. The commemoration at the former death camp in southern... More »

Auschwitz Medic, 95, Will Stand Trial

Hubert Zafke was there when train carrying Anne Frank arrived

(Newser) - A 95-year-old German man accused of serving as a medical orderly in a place where more than a million people were murdered will go on trial next month, a court has announced. According to an indictment, former SS sergeant Hubert Zafke was a paramedic at the Auschwitz extermination camp from... More »

'Nazi Grandma' Sent to Prison for Denying Holocaust

87-year-old German woman insists Auschwitz wasn't proven to be death camp

(Newser) - Ursula Haverbeck-Wetzel says there's no proof that Auschwitz was a death camp and that that's "only a belief." Those thoughts spoken in a Hamburg court Thursday—and others, such as the "Holocaust is the biggest and most sustainable lie in history" comment she made on... More »

Doc, Court: Ex-Auschwitz Guard, 93, Fit to Stand Trial

He's charged with 170K counts of accessory to murder

(Newser) - A German court says a 93-year-old former SS sergeant charged with 170,000 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he served as an Auschwitz death camp guard has been declared fit for trial. The Detmold state court said Monday a doctor determined that Reinhold H., whose last name wasn'... More »

Ex-Auschwitz Guard Will Stand Trial If Doctor Gives OK

'Reinhold H.' faces 170K counts of accessory to murder

(Newser) - A German court is waiting for a doctor's take to see if it can haul a 93-year-old man into court to stand trial on 170,000 counts of accessory to murder. Officially referred to as "Reinhold H." (though the British press has IDed him as Reinhold Hanning),... More »

Auschwitz Visitors Outraged by Heat-Wave Showers

Management says it's just trying to keep people cool

(Newser) - Some Jewish tourists are none too pleased with a new addition at the historical Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland: sprinkler showers. This at a place where more than a million Jews, Soviet war prisoners, and Gypsies were murdered, often in poison-gas chambers that they believed were shower facilities, the New ... More »

'Accountant of Auschwitz' Guilty on 300K Counts

94-year-old former SS guard gets 4 years

(Newser) - A 94-year-old former SS sergeant who served at the Auschwitz death camp has been convicted on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder and given a four-year sentence. Oskar Groening testified during his trial at the state court in Lueneburg, in northern Germany, that he guarded prisoners' baggage after they... More »

Cops: Teens Stole Artifacts From Auschwitz

They were on a class field trip

(Newser) - School field trips regularly roll through Auschwitz, but two high school students visiting the site yesterday learned their lesson about honoring the victims in a much different way. Police in Poland say the 17-year-old British students were caught trying to steal prisoner artifacts including a comb, buttons, pieces of glass,... More »

Auschwitz Guard 'Couldn't Imagine' Jews Leaving Alive

93-year-old Oskar Groening's trial continues

(Newser) - A former Auschwitz guard being tried on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder has testified that it was clear to him Jews were not expected to leave the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland alive. "I couldn't imagine that" happening, former SS Sgt. Oskar Groening told the Lueneburg state... More »

Unlikely Hot Spot for Tourists? Auschwitz

Officials say you might want to pre-book your tickets as visits spike

(Newser) - Authorities at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum are warning that the number of visitors to the former German death camp is growing so high that they might have to start turning people away. The memorial site today urged potential visitors to book their visits online ahead of time to prevent that... More »

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