Defendant No 9 is Irma Ida Ilse Grese,"The Hyena of Auschwitz" and the "Beast of Belsen" (1923 –1945) was a guard at Ravensbrück and Auschwitz, and was a warden of the women's section of Bergen-Belsen. Grese was convicted for crimes against humanity at the Belsen Trial and sentenced to death. Executed at 22 years, 67 days of age, Grese was the youngest woman to die judicially under English law in the 20th century.
This mass grave of murdered Jews was the handiwork of an Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei, a group of SS whose sole purpose was the extermination of Jews and other "undesirables". Overseen by Reinhardt Heydrich, the four Einsatzgruppen were comprised of units of Einsatzkommandos which traveled with the Wermacht in order to "purify" newly conquered territories. Each group contained 500 to 800 men. It is estimated that they were responsible for over one million deaths.
This picture was taken on August 29, 1945, the day of liberation at Dachau Concentration Camp. The man on the ground is an SS guard moments away from being executed by the inmates standing near him. During his time as a guard, he brutalized and murdered untold numbers of innocent men, women and children. Only at the point of death does he show remorse. He was executed with the shovel in the hand of the inmate on the left. An Allied soldier turns his back, refusing to intervene.
"Burial at sea for the officers and men of the USS Intrepid (CV-11) who lost their lives when the carrier was hit by Japanese bombs during operations in the Philippines." By Lt. Barrett Gallagher, November 26, 1944
Over ninety years ago during World War I, British and German soldiers put down their weapons, walked out into the desolation of No-Man’s Land and shook hands. This was the Christmas cease fire of 1914. In a moment unique to the First World War, troops were given a moment of respite from the horrors of the war when soldiers exchanged gifts, looked at each others’ family photographs and played friendly games of football with the enemy.
Jews who had just undergone selection at Auschwitz-Birkenau and were classified as “not fit for work” in a grove before being gassed. The undressing rooms of the crematorium were not sufficient to handle the vast numbers of Hungarian Jews arriving daily in the summer of 1944. Many had to wait in the grove beside the crematorium, exhausted and in a state of shock from the horrors of the journey and the selection process that they had just endured. Most had no idea what fate awaited them
Alegra Shami, 84, with the only photo she has of her father. She was 16 when she arrived at Auschwitz. “They ordered us to stand in a line,” she said. “A young woman grabbed me and shouted: ‘Reach out your left arm. I’m going to put a number on it. And you will remember it for the rest of your life — if you survive at all — just for as long as you manage to survive’. I’m 84 years old. My number: 76914.”
Although mothers tried desperately to hide and protect their children, few as young as this child, tattooed with the number 23141, survived Auschwitz. In the concentration camps, work provided the only hope of survival, a possibility foreclosed to the very young and the elderly. As Auschwitz moved into its final, extermination-camp phase, some children, especially twins, escaped the gas chambers upon arrival only to be subjected to cruel medical experiments. I feel grief reading this…