70 years after his life was brutally cut short we finally know the fate of Frank Zachnowitz, Z”L

Finally we can start to scratch the surface of what actually happened to the Norwegian Jews who were sent to their cruel and untimely deaths by… Norwegians.

Funny how this NRK article goes to great length to uncover the horrible fate of Frank Zachnowitz, however, there is no mention of the Norwegians who betrayed their Jewish compatriots and delivered Frank and 721 other Norwegian Jews to a certain death, only 35 survived the terrible ordeal

lifted from NRK.no (bad google translate)

Norwegian Frank was killed in cruel race experiment

The 17-year -old Norwegian Jew Frank Sachnowitz from Larvik disappeared in the German extermination camps during the war. Long was his fate a mystery. Only 70 years after it was awful truth known .

In a documentary on NRK1 tonight told one of the most bizarre stories of the Second World War. Frank Sachnowitz ( 17) from Larvik and over one hundred European Jews were gassed on order by  scientists who wanted to create a Jewish skeleton collection .

The answer to the riddle remained hidden in a basement at the University of Strasbourg. Norwegian focal point is the first media been allowed to visit the macabre scene of one of the worst effects of raseideologisk research.

Ordered Jewish skeletons
This project was initiated by the young professor August Hirt at the Anatomical Institute of the University of Strasbourg in German-occupied France. He was a key researcher in the Nazified and quasi- scientific racial research institute Ahnenerbe ( Slektsarven ) , which was directly under SS Heinrich Himmler boss .

From before the Institute had skulls from a variety of nations , but no Jews.


“The war in the East now offers us the opportunity to remedy this deficiency . In the Judeo- bolsjevik Commissioners , constitute a disgusting but characteristic type of the people, we are able to provide us with a substantial scientific document , if we ensures their skulls , “wrote August Hirt of SS chief Heinrich Himmler – .

He also felt it was urgent to acquire Jewish skeletons for would soon this was an extinct race in Europe.
There were two of Ahnenerbe men who were asked to pick out the prisoners. They arrived at the concentration camp Auschwitz in early June 1943 and selected 109 Jews in just one hour, probably because they were afraid of being infected by tyfus.Sykdommen devastated at this time in the concentration camp.

The researchers also picked out six non -Jews , Slavs probably . Nobody knows today what happened to these six non – Jews.

All the female Jews in skeletal collections were selected from block 10 in Auschwitz , which was the block in which it was conducted experiments on prisoners .

Researcher Delegation picked out both sick and healthy . They were looking for people they believed had a typical Jewish appearance .

Sent to Strasbourg
Those selected were quarantined in Auschwitz because of the typhus epidemic. Concentration camp Natzweiler – Struthof was afraid to get into infection , so therefore they had to wait to go there. More probably died while quarantined . In mid-July there were only 89 who survived.

The prisoners arrived Natzweiler – Struthof , only three quarters of an hour drive from Strasbourg, the first week in August . When lived only 86 people – 29 women and 57 men.

Most of those selected were Greek . In addition to Frank Sachnowitz from Norway , two French , one Polish and seven Belgian . The other was from Poland and Germany.

The Jew from Larvik
In 1940 there were about 2100 Jews in Norway . Many managed to escape , but the 26th November left the ship ” Donau ” Oslo with a total of 532 Jews.

First arrived in December the death camp Auschwitz , west of Krakow in Poland. Among them was the family Sachnowitz from Larvik. In this and several smaller shipments totaled 772 Jews deported from Norway . Only 34 survived the war.

Sachnowitz family – mother , father, three daughters and five sons – storage business “Echoes Manufaktur and ladieswear ” in Prince Street in Wilmington. Only boys in the family survived the selection process on ramp , where SS doctors decided who was to be sent directly to the gas chambers and who should be slave laborers they plunged from exhaustion , malnutrition and disease .

Frank’s last days
Samuel Steinmann from Oslo knew the family well . He is currently the last survivor of the Jews who were sent to Auschwitz and was the last person to see Frank alive.

Samuel survived because he got a job at the infirmary who wash , and tend likbærer . He says to NRK focal point of his farewell to Frank.

Frank’s brother Herman Sachnowitz reproduces in his book ” It also relates to you,” the poignant story of how he survived by lying on a background as a trumpeter and thus be able to get a spot in the camp orchestra. In the book he describes how Frank was deteriorating by various diseases throughout late winter and spring – and how he ran a desperate hunt for everything edible that might save his younger brother’s life :

” In a way, I can say that the 14 May 1943 was the last day of my youth . Frank was so weak and so bothered by the pain that I had to get him on the Revier ( infirmary , ed. ) , Yet this place was for us as the anteroom to the crematorium . I talked to him over and over again, and pointed out that I myself had been saved on Revier , and that he too was released after dysentery . But something told us that Frank was no rescue this time .

All night the 15th May was Frank and I side by side in our bunks . Here in Buna were bunks in long rows , two by two in width. We knew that the few hours we still would have together would range to tell each other what we thought and felt , but it did not word.

In the days , weeks and months we had held back the tears . We had bitten his teeth and made ​​everything as it came , with alternating surrender and angry defiance. Now we let the tears flow , and we lay and kept quiet about each other , stroked each other over hands and hair in the last hours of life . Sometimes the inner pain flared up in despair. Sometimes blackened everything in the deepest despair . Frank saw his situation clearly . It was easy to notice. I saw it as clear , but we did not talk about it.

Frank’s fate would be my destiny, so I felt it . We were the last remaining family Sachnowitz . I still remember the warmth of Frank’s voice when he spoke of the apple trees in the garden at home. Every one in the family had their own apple tree . Father had planted them as we came into the world , and we had been immensely proud of them . ”

The next night was Herman to the infirmary to visit his brother :

“I ran along the walls of the houses , from ward to ward and shouted at Frank. No one answered . I continued to cry . Behold, there came a young man in prison uniform , thin and miserable, shaved her head like all the rest . It was my friend Samuel Steinmann . ” Looking for your brother ? ” He asked . ” Yes. ” He came slowly towards me . I knew that already. Something broke in me before he said it . ” They sent him away .”

Gassed not to damage bodies
Natzweiler – Struthof where Frank was sent , used at that time gas and barely had Jewish prisoners. But Hirt would gander bodies to prevent bone damage .

Just outside the camp , they used a cold storage for a local restaurant as a gas chamber . Food was to close, so therefore it suited him.

After gassing of the 86 Jews were also other gases in the chamber , mainly to test various types of gas and doses Nazis experimented with . The gas chamber is located opposite the restaurant , which is still in operation.

Did filming in fatal basement
The bodies were transported to the University of Strasbourg and placed in a mixture of alcohol and formalin to remain whole . Hirt had to delay the start of the skeletal collection because he lacked the proper equipment . He waited for a machine to flay the corpses with – the same type of machine you use to skin animal corpses . The machine was difficult to obtain because it was war , therefore , the bodies lying .

No one has been filming storage boxes in the basement of the Anatomical Institute , but university management opened the doors after repeated inquiries from NRK focal point .

The basement is as it was. A tight smell of formalin basement and harsh detergents beat upon the coming into . Even the boxes where the bodies were stored are intact . Especially enough they still used to store corpses, but now the bodies of people who donated their bodies to medical research.

Tried to burn the bodies
When Germany was about to lose the war and the Allies approached Strasbourg, got Hirt and his assistants panic and began to cut up and burn the bodies , probably to hide the traces of their activities. But they did not manage to get rid of all the bodies before fleeing .

They also had cut off all tattoos with catch numbers of arms to the Jews , that they would be impossible to identify. The bodies and body parts were then placed in an unmarked mass grave .

We do not know how many bodies that were burned. According to the doctor Raphael Toledano who have researched this for years , there is also much evidence that 12 cans of body parts were sent from the university to Austria.

Toledano has been trying to track down information about this, but no luck. We know not whether any or how many of the Jews who are actually buried in the common grave where they now lie .
The German journalist Hans- Joachim Lang has also dug a long time in this story . His interest awakened when he received a document from the son of one of Hirt assistants, Henri Henri Pierre, a French forced laborer .

In secret , he wrote down the numbers grab before they were removed from the bodies . These numbers did catch it eventually allowed Lang to identify the 86 Jews. In 2004 he published the book ” Die Namen der Numern ” about the case.

Found dismembered bodies
When Allied forces reached Strasbourg in 1945 , the bodies of the  murdered Jews were still lying in the basement of the institute. Some bodies were partially dissected , others were intact .

The 86 Jews who Hirt had removed all the characteristics of , was buried in a mass grave in the Jewish cemetery in the town Cronenbourg located near Strasbourg. A memorial with all the names are set up .

August Hirt was never convicted of their crimes . He hid in a farmer until 2 June 1945 . He took his own life with a gun .

Hirt had little to live for. American bombs Erased his villa and killed his wife and their twelve year old daughter in autumn 1944.

4 comments for “70 years after his life was brutally cut short we finally know the fate of Frank Zachnowitz, Z”L

  1. : )
    October 4, 2013 at 2:04 am


    On the topic.
    I disslike the ending where it says that Hirts had littel to live for and therfor comitted suicide in this NRK article. Also Hitler comitted suicide, my guess is that it was part of the plan to do so, to die on post. Can NRK provide information about that?

    Out of topic:
    New to me is that Hanne Kvammo was a NS and worked for the German Red cross
    and was in Berlin when the city fall. Next time some from SV go on about Israel, I will just say we all have our sins and sinners, some can be explained some can’t, but one should judge one self just as hard as one judge others. Hanne Kvammo a fallen mercy angel in my eyes, I had never believed she could have had this dirty past! Hope she has found peace and don’t run around in SV like a ghost. Just call the busters then! Glad SV lost the election, just a shame they made it to the Storting. Hope its the last time for this party with NS people in it!

    On topic:
    Rest in peace dear Frank, your life was to short. Thank you Samuel for all the love and care you gave to all that suffered under the war. You are a true hero. All best!

  2. Ellen
    October 6, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Our religion teacher read Herman Zachnowitz’ book to us in the 8th grade. Practically the only thing I still remember of it is how sad that chapter was when Frank disappeared. At least he wasn’t sent to Dr Mengele, as Herman feared.

    I don’t think Hanna Kvanmo was actually a member of NS. She worked as a nurse in the German Red Cross for a year, but by all accounts that sounds more like a poor and desperate kid making a bad decision. I remember she made the front page of the local newspaper, when she refused to reverse her car on a really narrow riverside road near her house. The neighbour, who didn’t like her, refused to back off either, and they both kept honking until the neighbours called the cops. X)

  3. : )
    October 7, 2013 at 7:21 am


    I had forgotten the story from 2001 about Hanne Kvanmo

    Lot of funny things to find on Hanne Kvanmo on the web, just conspiracy?

    McG how can people like this become at the top in Norway with out anyone knowing 100% about their past? Can Hanne Kvanmo be regarded as a ex NS or a ex Nazi?

  4. martin
    October 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Oh dear, Norwegian (NRK) crocodile tears on show. No doubt because facts are out and sadly for the fascists, some Jews actually survived the war.

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