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84

Men crucified - early and detailed testimony by a prisoner from the Dachau and Buchenwald camps. London, 1942

Opening price: $300

Commission: 22%

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12.05.2022 07:00pm

Men crucified, by an inmate of Dachau and Buchenwald, the pro-Jewish journalist BRUNO HEILING, published by THE RIGHT BOOK CLUB, London, 1942. English.

The Austrian-born author who worked as a journalist and published pro-Jewish articles in several Jewish weekly newspapers (see below) in the 1930s was wanted by the Nazis for several months, until he was arrested by the Gestapo after the "Anschluss" (annexation of Austria to the territories of the German Reich) in 1938. Was taken to the Dachau concentration camp in the "celebrity transport" in early April 1938, from there to the Buchenwald concentration camp in September, and was released in April 1939 on the basis of an alleged departure visa to Shanghai. In total, he stayed in both camps for a period of 13 months.
After a short investigation, he was accused of anti-Nazi propaganda as a journalist, and was sent along with thirty other detainees to the Dachau camp. When he arrived at the camp, was selected in which 88 Aryan were sorted into one side and 63 Jews into the other. As soon as he arrived at the camp, he was beaten by SS men who tried to extract from him details about Jews he worked with during the time he served as a reporter for the Zionist weekly "Die Stimme", which was the main mouthpiece of the Zionists in Austria. He was warned that any attempt to escape from the camp was punished by being shot on the spot, and a violation of the camp's rules, even the slightest, was punished by flogging and hanging on a tree. At the end of the interrogation, he was taken out into the yard, and immediately noticed the terrible appearance of the old prisoners, and within a few seconds realized where he had come. Bruno writes that he now realized that all the reports he wrote while he was a journalist in "Die Stimme" about the Dachau camp, according to testimonies he heard from people, were not at all close to the harsh reality that he was exposed to in a moment when he arrived at the camp. From here he details the severe torture methods that seemed to him to have actually reached hell itself (the Nazis used to bring the prisoners to a state of "almost death" through various tortures which he details, for the purpose of scaring the prisoner himself and the other prisoners looking at this horror), he tells in detail About the forced labor, the abuse that the Kapo police officers perpetrated on the prisoners every day in the 'work area' - the shouting, the beatings, the cursing, and the humiliations, and how in a short time he lost the sense of time, and describes in detail how the Nazis' treatment of the Jews was harsh compared to the other "political prisoners" who were in Dachau.

In his testimony published shortly after his release, and considered to this day to be one of the earliest testimonies ever published about what happened in the death camps in Germany, Bruno describes the agenda in the camp. All the prisoners were divided into 34 barracks. It was forbidden to talk at all during working hours. As soon as they arrived at the camp they noticed a canteen, but nothing could be bought there as all their money was taken immediately. A prisoner caught eating while working was shot on the spot. Smoking was also prohibited during working hours. Getting up for work was early in the morning, and in the evening the prisoners were forced to listen to lectures about the superiority of Germany, so that there were hardly any hours of sleep left in the day. Jews and "Dangerous" political prisoners were sentenced to solitary confinement and removed from the rest of the prisoners or placed in block 4. A daily census was held, half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening, which meant that the prisoners were on their feet for 14 hours, which made the prisoners' walking in a strange walk. The horse blankets that were given to the prisoners had to be arranged on the bed in a stretched manner, a prisoner who found a slight wrinkle on his blanket was punished with torture. Every Sunday there was a cabaret show in the camp, and all the prisoners came to watch it.

At a certain point, when the number of Jews transferred to the camp increased, the Nazis started transferring the political prisoners and also Bruno to the Buchenwald camp. In the second part of the book, Bruno describes the months he spent in Buchenwald beginning in September 1938. In Buchenwald he recognized some people he knew from his time as a journalist but could hardly recognize them due to their difficult situation. It was also forbidden to write letters, and on Sundays the prisoners were not given food at all. The good news for him was that every day several prisoners were released, so he knew and believed that his release was only a matter of time, because for the Nazis he was no longer a danger. Bruno points out that the situation of the Jews in Buchenwald was the most difficult of all, yet thanks to their steadfast spirit they persevered amazingly. One day Bruno was called to the release department, and was asked to sign a document in which he swore that if he told anything about what was done in Buchenwald throughout the territories of the German Reich, he would be caught and returned to the camp without the possibility of ever being released. On Thursday, April 27, 1939, he was released from Buchenwald, and traveled to England via Italy. On his way he met a man he knew from Dachau who told him about some of his friends who had been killed.

The name of the book "Crucified Men" was given by the author following a difficult event that occurred in front of him in Dachau, where one day the Nazis put prisoners on the gallows as punishment, a sight that reminded him of the crucifixion methods of the ancient Romans.

The author Bruno Helling [1888-1968] worked in his youth for the daily newspaper "Die Zeit", went to Budapest as a journalist, where he worked for the Hungarian news agency Magyar Távirati Iroda. In the First World War he served in the telegraph regiment. At the end of October 1928, he was expelled from Hungary as a punishment for a report he published on nationalist student demonstrations. He moved to Berlin, where he worked as a reporter for Ullstein-Verlag until the beginning of 1931. Following critical reports he brought as a reporter against the Nazis and the threat of his arrest, he began to publish anonymous articles, and when the threat of arrest was too close, he left Berlin and moved to Vienna, where he reported on events in Germany until 1934. For about a year he edited the Zionist weekly "Die Stimme", in which he dealt particularly intensively with Jewish questions and the persecution of the Jews in Germany. In 1936 he published as a book a selection of his journalistic articles published since 1933/34 In "Morgan", "Shatima" and "Noi Volt" on Jewish issues, under the title "It's not only against the Jews". All of these were grounds for his arrest by the Gestapo and sent to the camps. After he was released, he fled to Britain, and in 1944 he continued his subversive activity against the Nazis without any fear, and issued propaganda leaflets on behalf of the Allies against Nazi Germany. At the end of the war, he also assisted in the preparation of documents for the Nuremberg Trials until April 1947. From 1948, he was the editor-in-chief of the "Voice of Germany", and later became a member of the Socialist Unity Party in Germany.

302 p. 22 cm. Good condition.

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84. Men crucified - early and detailed testimony by a prisoner from the Dachau and Buchenwald camps. London, 1942