Lilac Girls Chapter 9 – De Camp

May 23, 2018, 10:30am.  About Me.  I must, as soon as I can, post pictures of a resident’s tattoos.  A resident here at YWCA Brooklyn.  Her name is Lisa.  I must post those pictures of Lisa’s tattoos now, right now:







LAUGH NOW
CRY LATER

Tattoos on Lisa’s body (which I am certain none of which she herself chose), resident, YWCA Brooklyn, 2018

FARMS Logo
Formation 1979
Type Research Institute (Mormon studies)
Legal status Retired and retained by Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
Headquarters Brigham Young University

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_for_Ancient_Research_and_Mormon_Studies

May 23, 2018.  About Me, continuedWhen I explained to Lisa that I am trying to become a photographer, specializing in taking pictures of t-shirts and tattoos, Lisa gave me permission to take pictures of her tattoos (I am certain none of which she herself chose to have tattooed on her body, cc all Mormon barristers!); however, she did not give me permission to post the pictures here at my website.  SOME OF THE FEDERAL AGENTS WHO’RE PRETENDING TO BE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES GAVE ME PERMISSION TO POST, HERE AT MY WEBSITE, ANY PICTURES I SO CHOOSE TO POST.    (The wrath of Jehovah God is upon you, Mormon Church of Satan.)  cc all Mormon barristers!

Lisa is a primary plaintiff in a legal case against Berkshire Hathaway, Accenture, Citi, JPMorganChase, IBM, Brown Brothers Harriman, Russell Trust Association (Yale Skull and Bones), Russell Investments, Verizon and other corporations including the Mormon Church of Satan.  cc all Mormon barristers

I must find a picture of Raven’s Wonder Woman t-shirt, as soon as I possibly can.  Raven, another resident here at YWCA Brooklyn, is also a plaintiff in a legal case against Berkshire Hathaway, Accenture, Citi, JPMorganChase, IBM, Brown Brothers Harriman, Russell Trust Association [Yale Skull and Bones], Russell Investments, Verizon and other corporations including the Mormon Church of Satan.  cc all Mormon barristers

Right now I must post excerpts from Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.


Raven, Starbucks Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn, July 2017.  This female is a plaintiff  in a legal case plaintiff against Berkshire Hathaway, Accenture, Citi, JPMorganChase, IBM, Brown Brothers Harriman, Russell Trust Association [Yale Skull and Bones], Russell Investments, Verizon and other corporations including the Mormon Church of Satan.  cc all Mormon barristers
RAVENSBRÜCK
The Ravensbrück concentration camp was the largest concentration camp for women in the German Reich. In the concentration camp system, Ravensbrück was second in size only to the women’s camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau. After the closure of the Lichtenburg camp in 1939, Ravensbrück was also the only main concentration camp, as opposed to subcamp, designated almost exclusively for women.
(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,
https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php)
Tattoos and Numbers: The System of Identifying Prisoners at Auschwitz
During the Holocaust, concentration camp prisoners received tattoos only at one location, the Auschwitz concentration camp complex. The Auschwitz camp complex consisted of Auschwitz I (Main Camp), Auschwitz II (Auschwitz-Birkenau), and Auschwitz III (Monowitz and the subcamps).
Assignment of camp serial numbers and the introduction of tattooing
Incoming prisoners were assigned a camp serial number which was sewn to their prison uniforms. Only those prisoners selected for work were issued serial numbers; those prisoners sent directly to the gas chambers were not registered and received no tattoos.
(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 
https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007056
)


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Mormon Church of Satan’s Marriott Marquis hotel, DeCamp bus
(view from curb on 46th Street in front of Mormon Church of Satan’s Hotel Edison/Bond 45 restaurant, May 22, 2018)


CHAPTER 9

Herta

1940

FRITZ WAS LATE PICKING ME UP AT FURSTENBERG STATION, a fine way for me to start my first day as a camp doctor at Ravensbruck. Would he recognize me? This was doubtful. At university, he’d always had some pretty nursing student on his arm.

The compact train station was built in the Bavarian style, and I had ample time to admire it, left standing on the platform for five minutes. Would I receive important assignments? Make good friends? It was warm for fall, and my wool dress irritated my skin. I couldn’t wait to slip into a lighter dress and a cool, smooth lab coat.

Fritz finally came along in a Kubelwagen-82, top down, a green bath tub for four, the Ravensbruck utility vehicle. He stopped, one arm slung over the passenger seatback

“You’re late,” I said. “I meet the commandant at quarter past ten.”

He came to the platform and took my bag. “No handshake, Herta? I’ve gone a whole year without seeing you.”

He remembered me.

I stole a glance at him as we drove. He still had the good looks every female at the university had noted. Tall, with well-behaved black hair and Prussian blue eyes. Refined features that reflected his aristocratic parentage. He looked tired, though, especially around the eyes. How stressful could it be to work at a women’s reeducation camp?

The wind in my short hair felt good as we set off down Fritz-Reuter-Strauss, through the small town of Furstenburg, where sod-roofed cottages flanked the street.  Very old Germany.  Like a scene from a Black Forest box.

“Sometimes Himmler stays here in Furstenberg when he’s in town, which is often.  He sold the Reich the land on which they built Ravensbruck, you know. Made a fortune.  Can you see the camp over there across Lake Schwedt?  It’s brand new—Are you crying, Herta?”

“Just the wind in my eyes,” I said, though he was perceptive.  It was hard not to become emotional driving through Furstenberg, for I’d visited a similar town with my parents as a child, for fishing. This was the essence of Germany, so beautiful and unspoiled.  What we were fighting for.

“What time is it, Fritz?”  I said, drying my eyes.  Just what I needed, the commandant pegging me as a crier. “I can’t be late.”

Fritz accelerated and raised his voice over the engine. “Koegel is not a bad sort. He owned a souvenir shop in Munich before this.”

A dust cloud followed the Kubelwagen as we raced down the road, along the lake toward camp.  As we rounded the bend, I looked back across the lake and admired the distant silhouette of the town of Furstenberg where we’d just come from, with its tall church spire.

“You’ll have your pick of the doctors here,” Fritz said. “Dr. Rosenthal loves blondes.”

“I am not blond,” I said, though I was happy he thought so.  My mood improved riding with Fritz, about to embark on a new adventure.

“Close enough.  A clean German girl is a rare thing here.  They’ve had their fill of Slavs.”

“I love my men with syphilis.”

“Just doing my part to repopulate Germany,” Fritz said with a smile.

“Is this how you woo the girls?”

He cast a glance at me and lingered a second too long, betraying his carefree tone.  How lucky I was to be one of the few female doctors under Hitler. It put me in a whole different class. Fritz Fischer would never flirt like this with a Dusseldorf Hausfrau.  Maybe I’d grow my hair long again. No doubt he would be impressed once I became the most accomplished doctor there.

We sped by a crew of gaunt women in striped dresses, in the advanced stages of muscular atrophy, leaning their full weight against the metal harness of a massive concrete roller like sick oxen.  A female guard in a gray wool uniform restrained a lunging Alsatian.  Fritz waved to the guard and she scowled as we passed.

“They love me here,” Fritz said.

“Looks like it,” I said.

We stopped in a cloud of dust at the brick administration building, the first thing one saw of the camp, East the end of GE road. I exited the Wagen, brushed the dust off my dress, and examined the surroundings.  My first impression was of quality.  The lawn grew lush and green, and red flowers rose up along the base of the building.  To the left, high on a ridge overlooking the camp, sat four leader houses built in Heimatschutzstil, homeland-preserving style, with natural stone columns and half-timbered balconies.  A mix of Nordic and German styles, pleasing to the eye. This was a place of superior value—high-class, one might even call it.

“Up on the ridge, the one overlooking the camp is the commandant’s housee,” Fritz said.

If not for the glimpse of high stone walls topped with barbed wire behind the administration building, one might have mistaken the camp for a convalescent home, not a reeducation camp for prisoners. I was determined to like Commandant Koegel. Those of superior rank can always tell if a subordinate does not like them, and this can be fatal to a career.

Just inside the camp gates, a caged aviary, which held monkeys and parrots and other exotic birds, stood off to the side of the road, the only incongruous element. Animals reduce stress, certainly, but what was the purpose of such a collection.?

“You waiting for the butler, Herta?” Fritz called to me from the doorway.

A secretary ushered me across parqueted floors, upstairs and into the commandant’s office, where Koegel sat at his desk, under a rectangular mirror, which reflected the man-sized potted plant in the corner. It was hard not to be intimidated by the grandeur of his office. The wall-to-wall carpeting, the expensive-looking draperies, and the chandelier. He even had his own porcelain sink. All at once I wished I had shined my shoes.

Koegel stood, and we exchanged the German salute.

“You’re late, Dr. Oberheuser,” he said.

The Black Forest clock on his wall chimed the half hour. Dirndled and lederhosened dancers twirled out of their arched doorways to “Der frohliche Wanderer,” celebrating my tardiness.

“Dr. Fischer—” I began.

“Do you always blame others for your mistakes?”

“I am sorry to be late, Herr Commandant.”

He folded his arms across his chest. “How was your trip?” He was a fleshy sort, something I ordinarily dislike in a person, but I forced a smile.

Koegel’s second-floor view offered a wide expanse of the camp and overlooked a vast yard where women prisoners stood at attention, five abreast. A road bisected the camp, uncovered with black slag, which glittered in the sun. Neat rows of barracks stood perpendicular to this road and extended into the distance. How nice to see immature linden trees, the hallowed “tree of lovers” in German folklore, planted at regular intervals along the road.

“It was a comfortable trip, Commandant,” I said, doing my best to lose my Rhineland accent. “Thank you for the first-class ticket.”

“Comfort is important to you?” Koegel asked.

The commandant was a stern man with stumpy legs and a sour disposition. Perhaps his unpleasant demeanor was due in part to his regulation brown shirt collar and tie, so tight they squeezed the adipose tissue up around his neck, making it look like a lardy muffler. The friction had produced a bumper crop of skin tags, which hung flaccid along the edges of his collar. He wore a cluster of medals at his chest. At least he was a patriot.

“Not really. Commandant. I—”

“I am afraid there has been a mix-up,” he said with a wave of his hand. “We cannot accommodate you here.”

“But I received a letter from Berlin—”

“You will be the only woman doctor here. That presents problems.”

“I didn’t think—”

“this is a work camp, Doctor. No fancy beauty salons, no coffee klatches. How will men feel about you eating in the officer’s canteen? One woman among so many men spells trouble.”

I felt the salary floating away as he spoke. Would Fritz take me to the next train back to Berlin? Mutti would have to work full-time again.

“I am used to living simply, Herr Commandant.”

I released my clenched fists and saw I’d dug my fingernails into my palms. They left a row of little red smiles, mocking me. I deserved this. When would I learn not to be overconfident? “I assure you I will be fine in any living situation. The Fuhrer himself says simple living is best.”

Koegel took in my short haircut. Was he weakening?

“They sent me a dermatologist? That is no use to us here.”

“And infectious diseases, Commandant.” He mulled that over, one hand on his belly.

“I see,” he said. He turned to the window and surveyed the camp. “Well, we do sensitive work here, Doctor.”

As he spoke, the sound of a whip drew my attention to the square below. A female guard lashed one of several prisoners gathered there with a horsewhip.

“We require complete confidentiality here, Doctor. Are you willing to sign a statement? You can confide in no one. Not even your mother or girlfriends.”

Nothing to worry about there. I had no girlfriends.

“Any breach of security, and you’ll face your family’s imprisonment and a possible death penalty for you.”

“I keep to myself, Herr Commandant.”

“This work is, well, not for the squeamish. Our medical setup is adequate at best—in a terrible state.”

Koegel ignored the spectacle below his window. As the prisoner fell to the ground, her hands folded across the top of her head, the guard intensified the punishment. A second guard held back a leashed Alsatian as it sprang forward, teeth bared.

“Well, it would make Berlin happy,” Koegel said.

“What will my role in reeducation be, Herr Commandant?”

The guard in the courtyard kicked the woman in the midsection with her boot, the woman’s screams hard to ignore. This was a violet form of reeducation.

“You are joining an elite group. You’ll work with some of the best doctors in Germany to accommodate the medical needs of the camp staff and their families and of the women who have been resettled here to do the Fuehrer’s work. Dr. Gebhardt has several projects as well.”

In the courtyard, the guard rewound her whip and two prisoners dragged their bloodied companion off as the rest stood at attention. “After your three-month training period, a resignation will not be accepted under any circumstance.”

“I understand, Commandant.”

Koegel walked back to his desk. “You will share a house with Dorothea Binz, our head of female security personnel. Our hair salon is not fancy but quite good. Right downstairs. The Bible girls operate it.  Jehovah’s Witnesses. They’ve dedicated themselves to making my life a living hell, but you can trust them with scissors.”

“I will keep it in mind, Herr Commandant,” I said and excused myself with a German salute.

I left Koegel’s office happy he’d relented but unsure I wanted to stay at Ravensbruck. A vague unsettled feeling came over me. What if I just got back on the train for home? I could work three jobs if I had to.


(Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly, pages 109-115)