JPFO Founder Discusses Firearms Control With Holocaust Survivor Theodore Haas
Unlike many interviews with Holocaust survivors, this one conducted by Aaron Zelman,
founder, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (2872 S. Wentworth Ave.,
Milwaukee, WI 53207; 414-769-0760; membership $20) with Theodore Haas, a JPFO member
and a former prisoner of the infamous Dachau concentration camp, is a clear warning
to all freedom-loving peoples to keep our guard up against arrogant politicians who
are hell bent to create governments that control our lives. In pre-Nazi Germany, the
good, law-abiding citizens dozed while government passed laws (all purported to be
for the public good) that paved the way for tyranny to flourish. Haas, who survived
years of Nazi persecutors, is speaking out to Americans who are now dozing while our
government, at the strong urging of leftists in the media and others in society they
influence, passes laws (again supposedly for the public good) to ban and severely
restrict firearms ownership. Theodore Haas believes gun control is a prelude to
Q.) How did you end up at Dachau? How old were you?
A.) November 9, 1938 was Kristalnacht--The Night of Broken Glass - The night
Synagogues were ransacked and burned, Jewish owned shops destroyed; I guess you
could call it the night the fires of hell engulfed the soul of humanity. I was
arrested November 10, "for my own personal security." I was 21 years old. My
parents were arrested and ultimately died in a concentration camp in France. I
was released from Dachau in 1941, under the condition that I leave Germany
immediately. This was common procedure before the "Final Solution."
Q.) What did you think when you were sent to Dachau? What did you know about
A.) My first thoughts were those many others: "The world has gone mad."
I knew that the life expectancy at Dachau was relatively short. I knew beforehand
that inmates were abused. The horror of Dachau was known throughout Germany. People
(Germans) use to frighten their children, "If you do not behave, you will surely
end up at Dachau." A famous German comedian, Weiss Ferdl, said "Regardless how many
machine gun towers they have around K.Z. Dachau, if I want to get in, I shall get
in." The Nazis obliged him; he died at Dachau.
Q.) How did you accept the fears of Dachau?
A.) Due to the constant hunger and extreme cold weather, one becomes too numb to
even think of fear. A prisoner under these conditions becomes obsessed with
survival; nothing else matters.
Q.) What were the living conditions like in Dachau?
A.) We were issued one-quarter of a loaf of bread. That was to last three days.
In the morning, we picked up, at the kitchen, a cup of roasted barley drink. There
was no lunch. At dinnertime, sometimes we got a watery soup with bits of tripe or
some salt herring and a boiled potato. Our prison clothes were a heavy, coarse
denim. They would freeze when they got wet. We were not issued hats, gloves or
The first night, about 500 prisoners were stuffed into a room designed to hold
50 (believe me, it is possible). Later on, we were forced to sleep on straw. As
time went on, the straw disintegrated and we became louse infested. The guards
delighted in making weak and ill-clothed prisoners march or stand at attention in
rain, snow, and ice for hours. As you can imagine, death came often due to the
Q.) Do you have residual fears? How do you feel about German re-unification?
A.) I have nightmares constantly. I recently dreamed that a guard grabbed me. My
wifeís arm touched my face, and I unfortunately bit her severely.
German re-unification, in my opinion, will be the basis for another war. The
Germans, regardless of what their present leadership says, will want their lost
territories back, East Prussia, Silesia, and Danzic (Gdansk). My family history
goes back over 700 years in Germany. I understand all too well what the
politicians do not want the people to be thinking about.
Q.) You mentioned you were shot and stabbed several times.
Were these experiments, punishment or torture?
A.) They were punishment. I very often, in a fit of temper, acted "while the
brain was not in gear." The sorry results were two 9 mm bullets in my knees.
Fortunately, one of the prisoners had a fingernail file and was able to dig the
slugs out. In another situation, I was stabbed in the washroom of room #1,
Block 16. Twice in a struggle where I nearly lost my right thumb. A German
prisoner Hans Wissing, who after the war became mayor of his home town,
Leinsweiler, witnessed the whole situation. We stayed in touch until a few months
ago, when he died.
Q.) Do you remember some of the steps taken by the Nazis to de-humanize people
and to make them feel hopeless? How were people robbed of their dignity?
A.) If you had treated an animal in Germany the way we were treated, you would
have been jailed. For example, a guard or a group of them would single out a
prisoner and beat him with canes or a club. Sometimes to further terrorize a
prisoner, the guards would form a circle around a prisoner and beat him
unconscious. There were cases of a prisoner being told to report to the Revier
("Hospital") and being forced to drink a quart of castor oil. Believe me, this is
a lousy, painful, wretched way to die. You develop extreme diarrhea, vomiting,
nausea, and severe dehydration. If the Nazis wanted you to live and suffer more,
they would take measures to rehydrate to victim.
Q.) What was the routine like at Dachau?
A.) Three times a day, we were counted. We had to carry the dead to the square.
Each time, we had to stand at attention in all kinds of weather. We stood wearing
next to nothing, had weak bladders, while our tormentors had sheepskin coats and
felt boots. The bastards really enjoyed watching us suffer. I remember how the
guards had a good laugh when one of them "accidentally" let loose with a machine
gun, killing about 30 prisoners.
Q.) What did people do to try to adjust to Dachau? Keep their spirits up?
A.) There were some actors, comedians, and musicians among us. Sometimes they
would clandestinely perform. One of the musicians got hold of a violin and played
for us. To this day, it remains a mystery how he got his hands on a violin. I
still keep in touch with other prisoners. I am a member of the Dachau Prisoners
Association. Each year I go back to Germany to visit.
Q.) Did people ever successfully escape? Do you remember acts of bravery?
A.) Nobody escaped, only in the movies does the "hero" escape. Guards received
extra leave time for killing prisoners that got too close to the fence.
I do, however, think all prisoners were heroes in their own way. Especially the
German prisoners, for they would not acquiesce to the Nazis. They suffered greatly
Q.) Did the camp inmates ever bring up the topic, "If only we were armed before,
we would not be here now"?
A.) Many, many times. Before Adolph Hitler came to power, there was a black market
in firearms, but the German people had been so conditioned to be law abiding, that
they would never consider buying an unregistered gun. The German people really
believed that only hoodlums own such guns. What fools we were. It truly frightens
me to see how the government, media, and some police groups in America are pushing
for the same mindset. In my opinion, the people of America had better start asking
and demanding answers to some hard questions about firearms ownership, especially
if the government does not trust me to own firearms, why or how can the people be
expected to trust the government?
There is no doubt in my mind that millions of lives could have been saved if the
people were not "brainwashed" about gun ownership and had been well armed. Hitlerís
thugs and goons were not very brave when confronted by a gun. Gun haters always
want to forget the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which is a perfect example of how a
ragtag, half-starved group of Jews took up 10 handguns and made as**s out of the
Q.) Did you have any contacts with the White Rose Society (mostly German students
against Hitler)? Did anyone try to hide you from the Nazis?
A.) I did not, but my local friend, Richard Scholl, had two cousins or nephews
who were members. Both were executed in Munich (I believe) for standing up for
decency and freedom. Not enough people knew about the White Rose Society. There
were many non-Jews who were not anti-Semitic and were very much opposed to Hitler.
It was impossible to hide people from the Nazis in Germany - it is so densely
populated and food was rationed. Another point that many people fail to
understand is that in Germany, you had a situation where the children were
reporting to their teachers if their parents listened to the BBC on the short
wave radio, or what they were talking about at home. If a German was friendly to
a Jew, he was warned once. If he failed to heed the warning, he would disappear
and never be heard from again. This was known as "Operation Night and Fog."
Q.) Do you think American society has enough stability that Jews and other
minorities are safe from severe persecution?
A.) No. I think there is more anti-Semitism in America (some of it caused by
leftist Jewish politicians and organizations who promote gun control schemes)
than there was in Germany. This may stun some people, but not all Germans hated
My best and devoted friends in Germany were Christians. I perceive America as a
very unstable society, due to social tinkering of the Kennedy/Metzenbaum-type
politicians. When I first came to this wonderful country after World War II,
America was vibrant, dynamic and promising society. There really was an American
dream, attainable by those who wanted to work. Now, due to the curse of Liberalism,
America is in a period of moral decline. Even worse, corrupt criminals hold high
political office, and you have police officials who donít give a damn about the
Bill of Rights. They just want to control people, not protect and serve. When you
study history, you see that when a country becomes an immoral manure heap, as
America is rapidly becoming, all minorities suffer, and ultimately, all the
Q.) What words of warning would you like to give to young people who will soon
be eligible to vote?
A.) Vote only for politicians who trust the people to own all types of firearms,
and who have a strong pro-Second Amendment voting record. Anti-gunownership
politicians are very dangerous to a free society. Liberty and freedom can only
be preserved by an armed citizenry. I see creeping fascism in America, just as
in Germany, a drip at a time; a law here, a law there, all supposedly passed
to protect the public. Soon you have total enslavement. Too many Americans have
forgotten that tyranny often masquerades as doing good. This is the technique
the Liberal politicians/Liberal media alliance are using to enslave America.
Q.) What message do you have for ultra-Liberal organizations and individuals who
want America disarmed?
A.) Their ignorance is pitiful - their lives have been too easy. Had they
experienced Dachau, they would have a better idea of how precious freedom is.
These leftist should leave America. These Sarah Brady types must be educated to
under-stand that because we have an armed citizenry, that a dictatorship has not
yet happened in America. These anti-gun fools are more dangerous to Liberty than
street criminals or foreign spies.
Q.) Some concentration camp survivors are opposed to gun ownership. What message
would you like to share with them?
A.) I would like to say, "You cowards; you gun haters, you donít deserve to live
in America. Go live in the Soviet Union, if you love gun control so d*** much."
It was the stupidity of these naive fools that aided and abetted Hitlerís goons
and thugs. Anti-gunownership Holocaust survivors insult the memories of all those
that needlessly perished for lack of being able to adequately defend themselves.
Q.) It appears the Liberal left in America is tolerating, and sometimes espousing
anti-Semitism. Why do you think so many Jews still support the leftist form of
A.) It is for this very reason that I firmly believe that we harbor more stupid
and naive people in our midst, than any other group of people. It amazes me how
Liberal Jews have such short memories that today, they would be so supportive
and involved in setting up the mechanics of gun control, so that a Holocaust
can happen again. All theyíre doing is playing into the hands of the very
clever communists who are masters at conning Americans.
Q.) Why did you join JPFO?
A.) I feel every Jew should be armed to the teeth, as should every American. I
joined JPFO because as a group, we can stand up to Liberal Jewish gun haters
and also to Gestapo-minded anti-gun police who want total control of the people.
I wish JPFO was in existence years ago. I believe the Jewish involvement in gun
control would not be anywhere close to what it is today, but better now than never.
A period in the 20th century which was so ugly, so graphic and a period in recent
history where so many people died from the genocidal intentions of a charismatic
leader, that we choose to think it could never happen to us. Law for law, word
for word, history is repeating itself. Ask yourself: Is it in our best interest
to give up our arms, or is it in the best interest of "our" government that we
are disarmed? (DWH)
© 1997 JPFO