1984: A Jewish survivor of the Sobibor death camp interviews SS overseer

I just discovered this interview tonight; it’s available on Thomas “Toivi” Blatt’s website about Sobibor.

Blatt is one of between 60-70 survivors of the revolt at the Sobibor death camp in 1943. His website goes into more detail about the conditions at the camp, the revolt, the survivors, and the efforts to memorialize Sobibor.

Karl Frenzel, SS Oberscharfuehrer, was third-in-command of Sobibor. In 1962, he was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. He served 16 years before being released on appeal.

In 1984, Blatt sat down to interview the man who helped send thousands of Jews to their deaths in Sobibor, including Blatt’s family.

I can’t even imagine facing the man who sent my family and almost everyone I knew to be gassed to death. It’s also pretty sickening how Frenzel tries during the interview to get Blatt to sympathize with him.

In 1985, Frenzel was returned to prison to finish his sentence.

I highly recommend checking out the website.

One of the things I find fascinating about modern Germany/Europe is the Holocaust memorials. There’s no sense of responsibility, just sort of this amorphous, passive regret that such bad things happened to so many Jews. No one’s responsible for it, of course; but how sad that it happened. Passive voice, tinged with regret. That’s the sense I get from Frenzel’s statements, with maybe a bit of underlying anger that the Jews somehow to get claim victimhood for the Holocaust. Incomprehensible.

And how much responsibility should we Europeans, not even born at the time, feel about it in your opinion?

How much responsiblity do we each carry now for the millions in concentration camps in North Korea? Do you even think of it in your day-to-day life? Have you so much as called your congressional rep to register concern?

And what will we say to our Grandchildren when they learn about it?

Annnnnd the thread’s derailed. Nice job, folks.


None, and what happened.


For those intent on misunderstanding me, pls compare/contrast Berlin holocaust memorial w/ Budapest House of Terror, w/ particular attn to the room at the House of Terror with the photos, names and dates of those responsible for the terror. Good god, y’all.

Miss, truly sorry, and am now banning myself from this thread so if anyone feels compelled to continue in this nonsensical fashion I won’t see it, won’t respond to it, and, get this, won’t feel responsible for it. :slight_smile:

Feel? I don’t know, that’s up to every individual. But given that through whatever circumstances, the events happened on your soil, to your peoples, then you modern Europeans should take extra care not to let it happen again.

Sorry about that. I only meant to try and make it a more personal comparison. It’s very easy to see what other people “should” feel or do. But in the end we are all programmed to one level or another with filters that allow us to survive. This is as true of the ego as it is of the body. there are a very few who are without those filters, and they tend to do wonderful or horrible things; they almost never function well in society.

This should in no way be read as a defense of the ones who do horrible things.

It’s hard for me to see why, at a remove of six and a half decades, Europeans should be regarded as more susceptible to such crimes than others.

Look at what’s going on in the U.S. these days. While it doesn’t infect the whole population, we’ve got a substantial minority of wingnuts going apeshit about Muslims, regarding the opening of mosques in random locations around the country as almost a personal threat. Or going similarly apeshit about Hispanics who, by virtue of their ethnicity and nothing more, are expected in some states to be able to prove, at the drop of a hat, that they’re in this country legally.

And of course, in our history, we’ve got (a) slavery, (b) a war fought by part of the country to preserve slavery, and © a century of Jim Crow after the end of formal slavery.

I’d be delighted to settle for a monument in each Confederate state expressing amorphous, passive regret that a war was fought by those states to preserve the right to own other people and steal the fruit of their labor from them.

That’s surely not a correct statement of Arizona law. Is there another state which does that?

And I apologize for further hijacking the thread, but at the same time, why should I be the one to ignore a misstatement of fact? RTFirefly’s statement is either a hijack as well, or relevant to the point. If his statement is relevant, then surely my rebuttal is relevant. If mine is a hijack, so is his.

Don’t forget (b) Delaware and Maryland and © Indiana. (Strange Fruit)