NOTE: For your information. Being distributed to campus and media nationwide
Sara Bloomfield, Director
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2126
Main telephone: 202.488.0400
24 February 20014
I have a question about how the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum addresses the issue of who is and who is not a Nazi war criminal. Any clarification you can provide would be much appreciated.
On May 12, 2011 you commented on the conviction of John Demjanjuk “for his role in the deaths of more than 28,000 Jews.” See http://www.ushmm.org/information/press/press-releases/united-states-holocaust-memorial-museum-statement-on-conviction-of-john-dem
You do not say what his “role” was.
I take it that you agree with a statement issued by Judge Ralph Alt this date: “The court is convinced that the defendant… served as a guard at Sobibor from 27 March 1943 to mid-September 1943. . . As a guard he took part in the murder of at least 28,000 people.” That is, Demjanjuk was not convicted of killing anyone, but of having been “around” as killings allegedly took place.
Accepting all of the above, I would like you to consider the voluntary testimony of a Jewish Sonderkommando who claims he worked in the gas-chamber/crematoria complex at Auschwitz
San Itzkowitz worked in and around the gas-chamber/crematoria at Auschwitz as a Sonderkommando, serving the Germans. He speaks on a brief video that the USHMM has published online. Sam knows all about gas chambers. Among other info he discloses is that:
“When they filled in the bunker with all the women they put the men in. And sometimes they had 20 or 30 extra people that they couldn’t get in, so they always held back children. And when the bunker was already so filled they couldn’t put no more people, no more…they made the kids crawl on the top of the heads, all the way in there, just kept on pushing them in, to fill them all in. When the door was slammed behind them, was a thick door, was about six inches thick. I built it myself and I know what it’s like: three bolts, three iron bars were across. . . .”
Ms. Bloomfield, please. Are we on the same page here? Sam not only worked in the gas-chamber/crematoria complex-he states clearly that he built the door for the gas chamber, six inches thick supported by three bolts and three iron bars across. “The bars were laid over and then screwed tight.” You can review Mr. Itzkowitz’s “eyewitness testimony” here: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_oi.php?ModuleId=10007864&MediaId=1217
Here is where I would like to ask you to clarify your perspective, and that of the USHMM.
You acknowledge that John Demjanjuk was convicted playing a “role in the deaths of more than 28,000 Jews.” You do not say what his role was. It appears that he was a guard at the Sobibor camp.
Sam Itzkowitz, according to his own eyewitness testimony, “played a role” in the deaths of millions in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. So — you condemn a man who ostensibly played a role in the deaths of 28,000, while you feature on your Museum Webpage, in a favorable light, a man who confesses on camera that he played a role in the deaths of millions.
Ms. Bloomfield: Why would you choose to support the prosecution of men who were perimeter guards at German camps, but choose to exhibit no interest in prosecuting men who collaborated with Germans in building secure doors for homicidal gassing chambers? I would appreciate whatever clarification for this you can provide.
Bradley R. Smith, Founder
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro, California 92143