Another hero of the Holocaust

I had thought of including Jakub Lemberg on the list of two days ago, but decided against it since he was about to be profiled on Executed Today. When Lemberg was ordered to turn over ten Jews to be hanged, he instead produced himself, his wife and their kids. It was Hans Biebow who had them killed.

In 1947, after Biebow was himself hung for war crimes, a Jewish survivor of the Lodz Ghetto (which Biebow had been in charge of) performed the autopsy. Grinning all the while, I’m sure.

2 thoughts on “Another hero of the Holocaust

  1. Justin March 2, 2012 / 3:55 pm

    What is your opinion of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, the Polish Jew and functioned as the German Nazi-nominated head of the Ă„ltestenrat (“Council of Elders”), or Jewish authorities in the Lodz Ghetto? Was he doing the best he could to keep the people of the Ghetto alive or was he just another Kapo?

    • Meaghan March 2, 2012 / 4:06 pm

      I’ve never been able to make up my mind about him. Perhaps he was trying to do the best he could with what he had, but the power definitely got to his head. It’s worth noting that (A) Ultimately, none of the Judenrat leaders succeeded in keeping their ghettos intact and (B) the Lodz Ghetto lasted longer than all the others, though how much that had to do with Rumkowski is open to question. I think it wasn’t all him, but I also think the ghetto would not have lasted so long without him. Even the Kapos varied from sadists to people who used their position to try to help.

      A little known fact about him is that he was a pedophile. In the summer of 1939 the authorities opened up an investigation into his alleged sexual abuse of kids at an orphanage, but the war came. He continued to molest girls and women in the ghetto; I read a memoir by a woman who claims she was victimized many times, and she included accounts by others as well. But you could argue that this has nothing to do with the question of his ghetto leadership.

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