Scrapbookpages Blog

April 16, 2014

The little known fate of the Sudeten Germans

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 4:21 pm

I am expanding on a comment written on my blog by one of my regular readers.  This quote is from the comment:  “The Sudeten Germans were robbed, persecuted and occasionally murdered by the Prague regime before the Munich Agreement. After the war, the Sudeten Germans were raped, murdered and hideously tortured in large numbers. Then all the survivors were expelled from the country.”

You don’t hear much about the suffering of the Sudeten Germans, although the Munich Agreement is frequently mentioned on comedy shows on TV, as jokes are made about Hitler taking all of Czechoslovakia after he was given the Sudentenland, following World War II.  (The word Sudeten will not go through the wordpress spell checker. This goes to show you how little is known about the Sudeten Germans.)

Fortress at Terezin with Sudeten mountains in the backgroun

Fortress at Terezin with Sudeten mountains in the background

Before I went to the Czech Republic several years ago, I did a lot of research on the subject and wrote about it on my website.  The following information is from my website scrapbookpages.com.

Theresienstadt (now called Terezin) was right on the dividing line between the Sudetenland and the remaining part of Czechoslovakia, with the demarcation line being immediately alongside the town’s fortifications, shown in the photo above. When the Sudetenland was given to the Germans in the Munich agreement, there were 25,000 Jews living there, who fled across the border into the town of Theresienstadt; some of them took temporary refuge in the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt.

Eduard Benes, who replaced Masaryk as president of Czechoslovakia in 1935, had been opposed to the Germans in World War I. During the period between wars, Benes was a strong supporter of the League of Nations and was active in trying to prevent Germany from regaining military power. As an opponent of Fascism, Benes had complained to the League of Nations many times when Hitler began to violate the terms of the Versailles Treaty by rearming and placing troops in the Rhineland on the border between France and Germany.

The Munich “appeasement” of Hitler was intended to prevent another world war, but soon afterwards, Hitler demanded the resignation of Benes, his unrelenting opponent, who was agitating against the German takeover of the Sudetenland. In an effort to maintain peace, Benes resigned and went to England where he set up a Czech government in exile.

On March 14, 1939, following the resignation of Benes, Slovakia declared itself an independent state under the rule of Father Jozef Tiso, a Catholic priest and a Nazi supporter. On the following day, the Nazis marched into Czechoslovakia and took over the rest of the country without a fight. The states of Bohemia and Moravia, which had been dominated by the Germans for centuries under the Holy Roman Empire, became a German Protectorate. The Czech town of Terezin became once again a German town, and the name was changed back to the original name of Theresienstadt.ek were Slovaks who had already been put into labor camps in their own country.

Great Britain, France and Italy assumed responsibility for the conflict in Czechoslovakia since they had signed the Treaty of Versailles which ended the war and stripped the Germans and Austrians of a big chunk of their former territories. Czechoslovakia had become a country as a result of that treaty. America also fought on the side of the Allies in World War I, but did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles because it included the League of Nations, which the American Congress voted not to join.

Austria-Hungary and Germany both signed an Armistice based on the Fourteen Points proposed by Woodrow Wilson, the American President during the war years. One of the key points was self-determination which meant that all ethnic groups had the right to determine the country in which they would live. This point of Wilson’s Fourteen Points was violated by the Treaty of Versailles when half a million Poles and a million Hungarians, along with three and a half million ethnic Germans became citizens of the new country of Czechoslovakia, which was dominated by the Czechs.

In answer to Hitler’s complaints, the British formed a commission to study the problem. This resulted in the Munich agreement, signed on Sept. 30, 1938 between Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain, in which the borderland known as the Sudetenland, with its predominantly German population, was given to Germany. There were also 45,000 Jews living in the Sudetenland who were handed over to Hitler as a result of the Munich appeasement.

The Sudetenland had formerly been part of the Austrian Empire but by 1938, Austria was part of the new Greater German Reich created by Hitler in the Anschluss with Austria. The unification of Germany and Austria had been expressly forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles, but the Allies did not protest this violation of the treaty. The Czech government did not have a say in the Munich agreement, since the country of Czechoslovakia was not in existence before the Treaty of Versailles was signed.

The Czechs fought as partisans against the Fascists in World War II, even sending men from England into Czechoslovakia by parachute to assassinate a top Nazi, SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. According to Ben G. Frank in his book entitled “A Travel Guide to Jewish Europe,” over 50% of the Czech partisans were Jews.

After Slovakia split off into an independent country, it became an ally of the German Fascists. The rest of the small states in Czechoslovakia were taken over by Poland and Hungary to bring their former citizens back into their respective countries in accordance with Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Hungary became a Fascist ally of Germany, but there was still an ongoing dispute between Germany and Poland over the territory which Germany had lost to Poland after World War I. Germany had been divided into two parts, separated by the Polish Corridor which was created to give the Poles access to the port of Danzig.

Once again, Hitler used the excuse that ethnic Germans were being mistreated and discriminated against when he invaded Poland on September 1, 1939 after efforts to resolve the problem peacefully had failed. Allegedly, 58,000 ethic Germans had been killed since April 1939 when the Germans first started trying to negotiate for a right-of-way across the Polish Corridor. Without a highway or railroad through the Corridor, the Germans could only access the eastern part of Germany by boat.

At the heart of the dispute between Germany and Poland was the free city of Gdansk, formerly the German city of Danzig, with its 100% German population, which was taken from the Germans in the Treaty of Versailles. Another bone of contention was the industrial section of Silesia which was given to Poland after World War I. In a self-determination vote, the people of Silesia had voted to become part of Germany, but this was ignored by the League of Nations, even though this was one of Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Although war had been avoided in the conflict between the Germans and the Czechs, this time there was no “appeasement” of Hitler. Great Britain and France, after signing an agreement to protect Poland in case of an attack by Germany, were forced to declare war on Germany and World War II began two days after the first shots were fired on September 1, 1939.

With the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, Czechoslovakia again became an independent country and all the ethnic Germans, except for the few who could prove that they were anti-Fascist during the war, were expelled from their homes and sent into war-torn Germany, many of them dying along the way from hunger and exhaustion. The Czechs and the Jews exacted their revenge by attacking these refugees as they fled to Germany. Many of the refugees had to live for as long as 18 years in the former Nazi concentration camps, such as Dachau, until they could find new jobs and homes, as Germany was slowly rebuilt.

As soon as a typhus epidemic at Theresienstadt was brought under control, the prisoners were released and the Small Fortress became a prison for German Nazis from 1945 to 1948.

 

 

 

April 8, 2014

Russia will become the next country to make Holoaust denial illegal

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 10:53 am

According to a news article, in The Jerusalem Post, Russian lawmakers have approved a new law that will make denying the Holocaust illegal. You can read the news article in full at

http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-Features/Russian-lawmakers-approve-bill-making-Holocaust-denial-illegal-347848

This quote is from the news article in The Jerusalem Post:

Russian lawmakers approved a bill that would make Holocaust denial illegal.

The lower house of the Russian Parliament, or Duma, passed the measure Friday on its first reading, the Voice of Russia reported Monday, making it illegal to deny the verdict of the Nuremberg Tribunal and punishing the “rehabilitation of Nazism.”

Those found guilty of the crime could be fined up to $8,300 or imprisoned up to three years. Public officials or media personalities would be fined nearly double or face up to five years in prison.

Does anyone, besides me, see a problem with this new law?  The verdict at the Nuremberg IMT included the “proof” that 4 million people had been killed at Auschwitz, and 1.5 million people had been killed at Majdanek, according to the testimony of the Russians.  Now these numbers have been lowered to 1.1 million at Auschwitz and 78,000 at Majdanek.  Not only that, the verdict at the Nuremberg IMT included the “fact” that the Germans had killed prisoners at Katnyn Forest, according to the false testimony of the Russians.

I previously blogged about the Nuremberg IMT at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/the-nuremberg-show-trials-aka-the-nuremberg-international-military-tribunal/

I also blogged about the Nuremberg IMT at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/nov-29-1945-fake-evidence-day-at-the-nuremberg-imt/

The news article in The Jerusalem Post continues with this quote:

Those found guilty of the crime could be fined up to $8,300 or imprisoned up to three years. Public officials or media personalities would be fined nearly double or face up to five years in prison.

The bill also needs the approval of the Federation Council, or upper house. It was authored five years ago and resubmitted in February.

“Rehabilitation of Nazism is not only a shot fired at the past and mocking millions of victims,” the head of the Lower House Committee for Security, Irina Yarovaya, a main sponsor of the bill, said in parliament. “It is also a shot fired at the future, an instigation for new crimes against peace and security.”

This YouTube video tells about Katnyn Forest and the Nuremberg IMT.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DafupY7zozQ

March 23, 2014

What was it really like at Buchenwald?

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:29 am

In my blog post today, I am responding to a comment made by a reader of my blog, who wrote:

“What reason would have had Buchenwald inmates to lie about that Concentration Camp conditions? Do you know the work of Eugen Kogon, an austrian right wing catholic nationalist-?”

Yes, I know all about Eugen Kogon. You can read the story of Eugen Kogon on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugen_Kogon#Works_as_co-editor

Eugen Kogon testified for the prosecution at the Buchenwald trial in 1947

Eugen Kogon testified for the prosecution at the Buchenwald trial on April 16, 1947

One thing that Wikipedia does not mention is that Eugen Kogon’s famous book was based on The Buchenwald Report written by the Americans who liberated the camp on April 11, 1945.

Dr. Eugen Kogon was an Austrian Social Democrat and political activist, who was a prisoner at Buchenwald from September 1939 to April 1945. You can read more about Eugen Kogon at this revisionist website:

http://www.whale.to/b/eugen_kogon.html

Kogon was the main contributor to The Buchenwald Report, a 400-page book about the Buchenwald camp which was put together in only four weeks by the US Army, after conducting interviews with over 100 former prisoners at the camp.

Kogon later wrote a book called The Theory and Practice of Hell, which was a rewrite of The Buchenwald Report and one of the first books about the Nazi atrocities in the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Kogon testified during the Dachau proceedings, at the American Military Tribunal, about the harsh treatment suffered by the prisoners at Buchenwald, although he himself was one of the privileged political prisoners, who actually ran the camp.

During the AMT proceedings, Kogon’s testimony was contradicted by Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen, who was the main witness for the defense in the Buchenwald case.

Dr. Morgen had also testified at the Nuremberg IMT in August 1946, before the Buchenwald case came to trial at the American Military Tribunal at Dachau.

At Nuremberg, Morgen testified on 7 August 1946 regarding the conditions at Buchenwald. In response to a question from the prosecutor at Nuremberg, Morgen had answered as follows:

Q. Did you gain the impression, and at what time, that the concentration camps were places for the extermination of human beings?

A. I did not gain this impression. A concentration camp is not a place for the extermination of human beings. I must say that my first visit to a concentration camp, namely Weimar-Buchenwald, was a great surprise to me. The camp was on wooded heights, with a wonderful view. The installations were clean and freshly painted. There were grass and flowers. The prisoners were healthy, normally fed, sun-tanned, working…

THE PRESIDENT of the Tribunal: When are you speaking of? When are you speaking of?

A. I am speaking of the beginning of my investigations in July, 1943.

Q. What crimes – you may continue – please, be more brief.

A. The installations of the camp were in good order, especially the hospital. The camp authorities, under the Commandant Pister, aimed at providing the prisoners with an existence worthy of human beings. They had regular mail service. They had a large camp library, even with foreign books. They had variety shows, motion pictures, sporting events. They even had a brothel. Nearly all the other concentration camps were similar to Buchenwald.

THE PRESIDENT: What was it they even had?

A. A brothel.

To get back to the question of why the inmates of the Buchenwald camp would lie about the conditions in the camp:

The first camp, that was ever seen by the American military, was Ohrdruf, which was a sub-camp of Buchenwald. On April 12, 1945, General George Patton visited the Ohrdruf camp, along with General Omar Bradley and General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

General Patton was the only one of the 3 generals, who then visited the main Buchenwald camp. On April 15, 1945, the day that General George S. Patton visited Buchenwald, he wrote the following in a letter to General Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“I told the press to go up there and see it, and then write as much about it as they could. I also called General Bradley last night and suggested that you send selected individuals from the upper strata of the press to look at it, so that you can build another page of the necessary evidence as to the brutality of the Germans.”

So to answer the reader’s question: the American military wanted to “build another page of the necessary evidence as to the brutality of the Germans.”

In other words, General Patton wanted to start a propaganda campaign to demonize the German people for time and all eternity.

Patton later changed his mind about the Germans and turned against the Jews, which some people think was the reason for his untimely death.

Truck loads of Americans soldiers were brought to the Buchenwald camp after it was liberated

Truck loads of Americans soldiers were brought to the Buchenwald camp several days after it was liberated on April 11, 1945

After the Buchenwald camp was liberated, truck loads of American  soldiers were brought to the camp, as shown in the photo above.

These American soldiers were astounded when the Communist prisoners in the Buchenwald camp took them to see a display table, which showed pieces of tattooed human skin, two shrunken heads, preserved human body parts, an ash tray made from a human bone, and a table lamp with a lampshade allegedly made from human skin. The shrunken heads resembled those made by primitive tribes in South America.

Display table put up at Buchenwald for the benefit of American soldiers who were brought to see the camp

Display table put up at Buchenwald for the benefit of American soldiers who were brought to see the camp several days after the camp was liberated

A movie about the Buchenwald camp, directed by famed Hollywood director Billy Wilder, was made by a film crew of the Signal Corps of the US Army, shortly after the liberation of the camp; it included some footage of the display table, shown in the photo above.

In 1947, the American Military Tribunal held proceedings against 31 people associated with the Buchenwald camp. The so-called “Buchenwald trial” began with the showing of the film that had been made by Billy Wilder. The defense objected to the showing of this film, pointing out that the film had been made three or four days after the camp came under the control of the American Army, and that it did not show anything that had occurred prior to that time.

The objection was overruled and the film was shown. The defense also objected to the display of the two shrunken heads, but this objection was also overruled.

Dr. Kurte Sitte shows a shrunken head during the Buchenwald proceedings of the AMT

Dr. Kurte Sitte shows a shrunken head during the Buchenwald proceedings of the AMT

At the Buchenwald trial, Dr. Kurte Sitte, a 36-year-old doctor of Physics at Manchester University, who had been a political prisoner at Buchenwald since September 1939, testified that a shrunken head, which he identified in the courtroom, was the head of a Polish prisoner who had been decapitated on the order of SS Doctor Mueller at Buchenwald. Although the prisoners in all the Nazi camps had their heads shaved, this Polish prisoner had long black hair at the time he was decapitated.

American defense attorney Capt. Emmanuel Lewis objected to the admission of the shrunken head into evidence because Dr. Mueller was not on trial, but his objection was overruled. Under the rules of the American Military Tribunal, any and all evidence was admissible, whether or not it pertained to the case, because the charges against all of the accused was participating in a “common plan” to commit war crimes. There was no defense to the “common plan” charge.

In all of the Nazi concentration camps, all punishments and executions had to be cleared with the main office in Oranienburg.  An SS officer, named Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen, was in charge of investigating cruelty and black market activities in all of the camps. Col. Karl Otto Koch, the Commandant of Buchenwald, had been engaging in both of these crimes, and he was eventually arrested in August 1943 for inciting the murder of two prisoners and for embezzlement.

According to The Buchenwald Report, the murder charge against Col. Koch was based on the accusation that he had ordered the execution of hospital orderly Walter Krämer and his assistant, both of whom had treated Koch for syphilis; Koch wanted them killed so that they could not reveal his secret. According to the charges against him, Koch had falsely claimed that these two men were executed for political reasons.

Ilse Koch, the wife of the Commandant, and Dr. Waldemar Hoven were also arrested by Morgen in August 1943 for mistreatment and murder of the prisoners.

After a six-month investigation, Karl Otto Koch was condemned to death on both counts of murder and embezzlement, but his wife, Ilse Koch, was acquitted of these charges. The charge of making lampshades from human skin was withdrawn by Morgen for lack of evidence.

According to The Buchenwald Report, one week before the American liberators arrived, Col. Koch was executed by the Nazis at the German Armament Works near the camp, thus saving the Americans the trouble of putting him on trial. However, in a footnote in the book, Death Dealer, editor Steven Paskuly wrote that Koch “was shot in Buchenwald in September 1944.”

Ilse Koch’s lover, SS officer Hermann Florstedt, was later transferred to the Majdanek camp, where he became the Commandant. Florstedt was also executed by the Nazis after he was convicted in an SS Court by Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen.

After the war, Dr. Morgen was imprisoned in War Crimes Enclosure No. 1 at the former Dachau concentration camp to await his own trial as a war criminal. As a member of the SS, Dr. Morgen was automatically a war criminal because the SS had been declared a criminal organization by the Allies after the war.

Dr. Morgen was asked to sign an affidavit that his investigation had determined that Ilse Koch ordered lamp shades made from human skin, but he refused even after several beatings by the American interrogators, according to historian John Toland in his book entitled Adolf Hitler.

The Nazi concentration camps had been declared to be a criminal enterprise by the Allies. Under the ex-post-facto law of co-responsibility which was used in all the World War II war crimes trials, anyone who had worked in one of the camps in any capacity was a war criminal. The 31 accused persons in the Buchenwald trial included at least one person who represented each job title in the camp.

The relatively low number of Buchenwald war criminals might have been due to the fact that 76 of the SS staff members had been hunted down and killed by the inmates with the help of the American liberators.

It was not a war crime for American soldiers to kill German POWs because General Dwight D. Eisenhower had had the foresight in March 1945 to designate all future German POWs as Disarmed Enemy Forces in order to get around the rules of the Geneva Convention of 1929, which America had signed.

The charges against the 31 accused war criminals in the Buchenwald trial was that they had participated in a “common design” or a “common plan” to violate the Laws and Usages of War under the Hague Convention of 1907 and the Geneva Convention of 1929. These two conventions stated the rules of warfare pertaining to Enemy Prisoners of War.

Buchenwald was not a prisoner of war camp, but in the proceedings of the American Military Tribunal at Dachau, the prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps were designated as detainees, who were entitled to the same treatment as POWs under the Geneva Convention of 1929. It was not until 1949, after all the Military Tribunals, conducted by the Allies, had been concluded, that a new Geneva Convention gave all detainees the same rights as POWs.

March 18, 2014

World War II reprisals against partisan attacks are now considered war crimes

Filed under: World War II — furtherglory @ 10:15 am

There were two famous reprisals, perpetrated by the Germans during World War II: the reprisal at Oradour-sur-Glane in France, and the reprisal against Italian partisans at the Ardeatine Caves in Italy.

Reprisals were legal during World War II, although a reprisal is no longer legal in today’s world.  Partisans were illegal combatants during World War II.  The Germans used legal reprisals, during World War II, as an effective way to stop the illegal fighting by partisans.

Now all that has changed; the legal reprisals, which were done by the Germans in World War II, are now called “war crimes.”  Anyone who was present during a legal reprisal can now be put on trial in a German court, as a war criminal. One of these war criminals was Erich Priebke, who was present during the legal reprisal at the Ardeatine Caves.

This quote is from the website of Pamela L. Fiedler, which you can read at http://pamelafiedler.wordpress.com/

Does society allow the lunacy of yesterday to become today’s exception and tomorrow’s routine? In my previous blog “The Eyes of Truth” I shared a link to an article written by Klaus Wiegrefe titled: “How Postwar Germany Let War Criminals Go Free.”   It outlines the spring of 1944 and the Ardeatine Caves near Rome, Italy. Taken five at a time, 335 men were herded into these caves by Nazi troops. An SS Officer by the name of Erich Priebke was the man who crossed the names off the list, before the innocent victims were forced to kneel prior to being shot. As the bodies piled up, the next group had to climb over. When the act of genocide was complete, the SS blew up the caves.

What a difference 70 years makes!  A reprisal is now called an “act of genocide.”

Here is how Wikipedia describes this same reprisal:

On 23 March 1944, a column of the German 11th Company, 3rd Battalion, S.S. Police Regiment ‘Bozen’, was attacked by an ambush of Partisans while marching and singing. The attack was carried out by 16 partisans of the Communist-dominated resistance organisation Gruppo d’Azione Patriottica (“Patriotic Action Group”) or GAP. An improvised explosive device was prepared consisting of 12 kilograms of TNT packed in a steel case. This was inserted into a bag containing an additional six kilograms of TNT and TNT filled iron tubing. Although reported as having been thrown from a building, the bomb had actually been hidden in a rubbish cart, pushed into position by a Partisan disguised as a street cleaner, while others acted as lookouts. The fuse was lit when the police were forty seconds from the bomb. The blast caused the immediate deaths of 28 SS policemen and at least two civilian bystanders, one of whom, Piero Zuccheretti, was an eleven-year old boy. More would die over the next few days.

All sixteen Partisans — some of whom fired on the German column — succeeded in melting away into the crowd unscathed.[5].

In today’s world, the Partisans who fought illegally, blowing up German soldiers who were marching, are heroes. The Germans, who fought legally, on the battlefield, are the bad guys.

March 15, 2014

General Patton’s policy regarding the treatment of German POWs

Filed under: World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:00 am

A reader of my blog recently made a comment in which he stated that General Patton told his men: “Any man who brings me an SS prisoner will be court Marshalled!”?

I interpret this to mean that General Patton wanted his men to take no prisoners when fighting in battle against Waffen-SS soldiers. Even more explicit, General Patton ordered his men to kill all Waffen-SS soldiers who surrendered.

I have been searching for some verification of this order, but have found nothing.  What I did find in my searching was an article about General Eisenhower and his treatment of German POWs at http://www.rense.com/general46/germ.htm

This quote is from the website cited above:

One month before the end of World War 11, General Eisenhower issued special orders concerning the treatment of German Prisoners and specific in the language of those orders was this statement,

“Prison enclosures are to provide no shelter or other comforts.”

Eisenhower biographer Stephen Ambrose, who was given access to the Eisenhower personal letters, states that he proposed to exterminate the entire German General Staff, thousands of people, after the war.

Eisenhower, in his personal letters, did not merely hate the Nazi Regime, and the few who imposed its will down from the top, but that HE HATED THE GERMAN PEOPLE AS A RACE. It was his personal intent to destroy as many of them as he could, and one way was to wipe out as many prisoners of war as possible.

Of course, that was illegal under International law, so he issued an order on March 10, 1945 and verified by his initials on a cable of that date, that German Prisoners of War be predesignated as “Disarmed Enemy Forces” called in these reports as DEF. He ordered that these Germans did not fall under the Geneva Rules, and were not to be fed or given any water or medical attention. The Swiss Red Cross was not to inspect the camps, for under the DEF classification, they had no such authority or jurisdiction.

This quote from the website cited above is the most important:

Months after the war was officially over, Eisenhower’s special German DEF camps were still in operation forcing the men into confinement, but denying that they were prisoners. As soon as the war was over, General George Patton simply turned his prisoners loose to fend for themselves and find their way home as best they could. Eisenhower was furious, and issued a specific order to Patton, to turn these men over to the DEF camps. Knowing Patton as we do from history, we know that these orders were largely ignored, and it may well be that Patton’s untimely and curious death may have been a result of what he knew about these wretched Eisenhower DEF camps.  [...]

General Patton’s Third Army was the only command in the European Theater to release significant numbers of Germans.

Others, such as Omar Bradley and General J.C.H. Lee, Commander of Com Z, tried, and ordered the release of prisoners within a week of the war’s end. However, a SHAEF Order, signed by Eisenhower, countermanded them on May 15th.

I wrote about Eisenhower’s DEF camps on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/EasternGermany/Gotha/

March 5, 2014

Charles Krauthammer mentions the Sudetenland on Fox News show

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:29 am

Update, March 7, 2014

Hillary Clinton is the latest person to compare Putin to Hitler, according to a news report which you can read in full at  http://www.presstelegram.com/general-news/20140304/hillary-clinton-compares-vladimir-putins-actions-in-ukraine-to-adolf-hitlers-in-nazi-germany

This quote is from the news article, cited above:

LONG BEACH >> Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday compared recent actions by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine to those implemented by Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s.

Putin’s desire to protect minority Russians in Ukraine is reminiscent of Hitler’s actions to protect ethnic Germans outside Germany, she said.  [...]

Clinton made her comments at a private event benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach.

“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 30s,” she said. “All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”

Hillary Clinton is exactly right.  But she made a mistake in saying something good about Hitler.  You can’t do that, when you are thinking about running for president of the United States.

Continue reading my original post:

The following quote is the words of Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer, on the Fox News show Special Report with  Bret Baier, on March 4, 2014.

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“That’s not a blink. That’s a KGB agent lying through his teeth, which is what they train to do for all of their lives. I mean, when Hitler went into the Sudetenland, he claimed it was in response to a desire on the part of the population. This is what all dictators do. The idea that somehow it’s a blink, because he’s waiting to see if he wants to take the rest of Ukraine, and that’s a sign of weakness? I think it’s delusional.” – Charles Krauthammer, on “Special Report with Bret Baier”

You can read the full text of the “Special Report” show at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/05/from-reset-button-to-nazi-talk-hillary-hawk-returns/

Charles Krauthammer has a vast knowledge of history (and everything else). His remarks on The O’Reilly Factor are normally 100% correct.  But the official history of World War II is so ingrained that this chapter of history is usually told from the standpoint of the Jews and the Holocaust.

Did the 3.5 million ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland really like the way that they were being treated by the Czechs after their homeland was given to the new country of Czechoslovakia after World War I? Did the Germans really want to be ruled by the Czechs, after centuries of being ruled by their fellow Germans?

Years ago, when I visited Prague, I took a guided tour, which I arranged through my hotel.  The tour guide was an elderly Jewish man.  Before we began the tour of Prague, the tour bus drove to a park on the outskirts of the city.  Everyone had to get out of the bus.  Then the tour guide pointed to a hill that we were supposed to look at.

There was nothing there.  It was like Gertrude Stein’s description of Oakland, CA.  “When you get there, there is no there, there.”

Then the tour guide told us that the hill, at which were were looking, was the spot where the Germans, who came to this land many years ago, first built a castle when they claimed this land for the German people.   The Czechs did not arrive until many years later.  The original inhabitants were the Celts, who were driven out by the Germans.

The whole point of a trip to this hill was that the tour guide was trying to impress upon us that this land had first belonged to the Celts, and then to the Germans.  The Czechs came much later, and they were ruled by the Germans for centuries.

But, according to Charles Krauthammer, the Germans in the Sudetenland were happy to be ruled by the Czechs, after living under German rule for hundreds of years, and they had no desire for their land to be part of Germany.

Sudeten Germans being expelled from the Sudetenland after World War II

Sudeten Germans being expelled from the Sudetenland after World War II

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the Sudetenland and World War II:

German Bohemians, later known as the Sudeten Germans, were ethnic Germans living in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which later became an integral part of the state of Czechoslovakia. Before 1945, Czechoslovakia was inhabited by over three million such German Bohemians, comprising about 23 percent of the population of the whole republic and about 29 and a half percent of the population of Bohemia and Moravia.[4] Ethnic Germans had lived in Bohemia, a part of the Holy Roman Empire, since the 14th century (and in some areas from the 12th century or earlier), mostly in the border regions of the so-called Sudetenland. They became known as the Sudeten Germans after the fall of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which was a consequence of the First World War. After 1945, most ethnic Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia, and sent to Germany and Austria.

You can read about the expulsion of the ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudeten_Germans#Expulsion_and_transfer

In the aftermath of WWII, when the Czechoslovak state was restored, the government expelled the majority of ethnic Germans (about 3 million altogether), in the belief that their behavior had been a major cause of the war and subsequent destruction. In the months directly following the end of the war, “wild” expulsions happened from May till August 1945. Several Czechoslovak statesmen encouraged such expulsions with polemical speeches. Generally local authorities ordered the expulsions, which armed volunteers carried out. In some cases the regular army initiated or assisted such expulsions.[39] Several thousand Germans were murdered during the expulsion, and many more died from hunger and illness as a consequence of becoming refugees.

Krauthammer’s comment that “when Hitler went into the Sudetenland, he claimed it was in response to a desire on the part of the population” is completely and totally wrong.  Hitler didn’t [erroneously] CLAIM that it was “in response to a desire on the part of the population.”

It was, IN FACT, a desire on the part of the population in the Sudetenland to be part of Germany.  The ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland were being treated badly by the Czechs.

The border between the Sudetenland and Germany was the Sudeten mountains.  During the occupation of Germany, after World War II, by American soldiers and Russian soldiers, the Sudeten mountains were the only protection that the Americans had from the Russians.  The families of American soldiers, stationed in Bavaria, were told to keep the gas tank of their car full at all times, and a packed suitcase in the car, ready to escape if the Russians should ever come over the Sudeten mountains to attack, during the “Cold war.”

March 4, 2014

Putin is “taking a page out of the Hitler playbook” according to Bill O’Reilly

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:55 am

You can read what Bill O’Reilly said on his Fox news show last night at http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/oreilly/2014/03/04/bill-oreilly-how-handle-putin

This quote is from O’Reilly’s “Talking Points” at the beginning of his show, The O’Reilly Factor, last night:

Taking a page out of the Hitler playbook, Russian President Putin has invaded Ukraine saying that Russian nationals are in danger in that country. You may remember back in 1938 the Nazi leader did the exact same thing in Czechoslovakia sending in forces to, quote, “protect Germans” who[m] the Fuhrer said were at risk it was a reuse (sic).

Did Hitler send forces into Czechoslovakia in 1938?

O’Reilly has said on his show that he is currently writing a book about World War II, so he should know.

I have forgotten much of the history of World War II, so I had to look it up myself.  I did a google search and found the following quote on a website at http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nazis-take-czechoslovakia

On this day [March 15, 1939], Hitler’s forces invade and occupy Czechoslovakia–a nation sacrificed on the altar of the Munich Pact, which was a vain attempt to prevent Germany’s imperial aims.

On September 30, 1938, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, which sealed the fate of Czechoslovakia, virtually handing it over to Germany in the name of peace. Although the agreement was to give into Hitler’s hands only the Sudentenland, that part of Czechoslovakia where 3 million ethnic Germans lived, it also handed over to the Nazi war machine 66 percent of Czechoslovakia’s coal, 70 percent of its iron and steel, and 70 percent of its electrical power. Without those resources, the Czech nation was left vulnerable to complete German domination.

No matter what concessions the Czech government attempted to make to appease Hitler, whether dissolving the Communist Party or suspending all Jewish teachers in ethnic-German majority schools, rumors continued to circulate about “the incorporation of Czechoslovakia into the Reich.” In fact, as early as October 1938, Hitler made it clear that he intended to force the central Czechoslovakian government to give Slovakia its independence, which would make the “rump” Czech state “even more completely at our mercy,” remarked Hermann Goering. Slovakia indeed declared its “independence” (in fact, complete dependence on Germany) on March 14, 1939, with the threat of invasion squelching all debate within the Czech province.

Then, on March 15, 1939, during a meeting with Czech President Emil Hacha–a man considered weak, and possibly even senile–Hitler threatened a bombing raid against Prague, the Czech capital, unless he obtained from Hacha free passage for German troops into Czech borders. He got it. That same day, German troops poured into Bohemia and Moravia. The two provinces offered no resistance, and they were quickly made a protectorate of Germany. By evening, Hitler made a triumphant entry into Prague.

The Munich Pact, which according to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had purchased “peace in our time,” was actually a mere negotiating ploy by the Hitler, only temporarily delaying the Fuhrer’s blood and land lust.

Several years ago, I visited the Czech Republic and before I went, I did a lot of research on the subject.

Bastion on southeast side of the old fortress, Sudeten mountains in background

Bastion on southeast side of the old Theresienstadt fortress with the Sudeten mountains in background

I am quoting below what I wrote on my website scrapbookpages.com after my visit to the Czech Republic.

The Czechoslovak Republic was founded on October 28, 1918, before the end of World War I, by Tomas G. Masaryk, who strongly supported Zionism and opposed anti-Semitism. Masaryk had an American wife and during the war, he had frequent talks with President Woodrow Wilson to gain support for Czech independence. As a strong supporter of the Jews, Masaryk had made a name for himself when he publicly sided with the Jews in the blood libel case in the town of Polna in 1899. (There is an exhibit about this case in the Maisel Synagogue in Prague.)

Thomas G. Masaryk became the first president of the new country of Czechoslovakia which was set up in accordance with Wilson’s Fourteen Points, on which the Armistice was signed to end World War I on November 11, 1918.

After he had united Germany and Austria in March 1938 [Der Anschluss], Hitler began complaining that the Czechs were mistreating and discriminating against the 3.5 million ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia, who had been citizens of Austria-Hungary before World War I. Political parties, which were pro-Nazi, had been banned in Czechoslovakia and ethnic Germans who supported Hitler were being jailed. The Czechs hated the ethnic Germans because they had been under the rule of the Germans in the Austrian Hapsburg Empire for over 600 years before they gained their independence. On the other hand, the Slovaks tended to be anti-Semitic and they supported the Nazis. The very first Jews to be sent to Auschwitz and Majdanek were Slovaks who had already been put into labor camps in their own country.

Great Britain, France and Italy assumed responsibility for the conflict in Czechoslovakia since they had signed the Treaty of Versailles which ended the war and stripped the Germans and Austrians of a big chunk of their former territories. Czechoslovakia had become a country as a result of that treaty. America also fought on the side of the Allies in World War I, but did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles because it included the League of Nations, which the American Congress voted not to join.

Austria-Hungary and Germany both signed an Armistice based on the Fourteen Points proposed by Woodrow Wilson, the American President during the war years. One of the key points was self-determination which meant that all ethnic groups had the right to determine the country in which they would live. This point of Wilson’s Fourteen Points was violated by the Treaty of Versailles when half a million Poles and a million Hungarians, along with three and a half million ethnic Germans became citizens of the new country of Czechoslovakia, which was dominated by the Czechs.

In answer to Hitler’s complaints, the British formed a commission to study the problem. This resulted in the Munich agreement, signed on Sept. 30, 1938 between Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain, in which the borderland known as the Sudetenland, with its predominantly German population, was given to Germany. There were also 45,000 Jews living in the Sudetenland who were handed over to Hitler as a result of the Munich appeasement.

The Sudetenland had formerly been part of the Austrian Empire but by 1938, Austria was part of the new Greater German Reich created by Hitler in the Anschluss with Austria. The unification of Germany and Austria had been expressly forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles, but the Allies did not protest this violation of the treaty. The Czech government did not have a say in the Munich agreement, since the country of Czechoslovakia was not in existence before the Treaty of Versailles was signed.

Theresienstadt was right on the dividing line between the Sudetenland and the remaining part of Czechoslovakia with the demarcation line being immediately alongside the town’s fortifications. As soon as the Germans arrived to take over the Sudetenland, 25,000 of the Jews living there fled across the border into Theresienstadt and some of them took temporary refuge in the Small Fortress.

Eduard Benes, who replaced Masaryk as president of Czechoslovakia in 1935, had been opposed to the Germans in World War I. During the period between wars, Benes was a strong supporter of the League of Nations and was active in trying to prevent Germany from regaining military power.

As an opponent of Fascism, Benes had complained to the League of Nations many times when Hitler began to violate the terms of the Versailles Treaty by rearming and placing troops in the Rhineland on the border between France and Germany.

The Munich “appeasement” of Hitler was intended to prevent another world war, but soon afterwards, Hitler demanded the resignation of Benes, his unrelenting opponent, who was agitating against the German takeover of the Sudetenland. In an effort to maintain peace, Benes resigned and went to England where he set up a Czech government in exile.

On March 14, 1939, following the resignation of Benes, Slovakia declared itself an independent state under the rule of Father Jozef Tiso, a Catholic priest and a Nazi supporter. On the following day, the Nazis marched into Czechoslovakia and took over the rest of the country without a fight. The states of Bohemia and Moravia, which had been dominated by the Germans for centuries under the Holy Roman Empire, became a German Protectorate. The Czech town of Terezin became once again a German town, and the name was changed back to the original name of Theresienstadt.

The Czechs fought as partisans against the Fascists in World War II, even sending men from England into Czechoslovakia by parachute to assassinate a top Nazi, SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. According to Ben G. Frank in his book entitled “A Travel Guide to Jewish Europe,” over 50% of the Czech partisans were Jews.

After Slovakia split off into an independent country, it became an ally of the German Fascists. The rest of the small states in Czechoslovakia were taken over by Poland and Hungary to bring their former citizens back into their respective countries in accordance with Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Hungary became a Fascist ally of Germany, but there was still an ongoing dispute between Germany and Poland over the territory which Germany had lost to Poland after World War I. Germany had been divided into two parts, separated by the Polish Corridor which was created to give the Poles access to the port of Danzig.

February 28, 2014

93-year-old Hans Lipschis, a former guard at Auschwitz, will be put on trial in Germany

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:39 am

There is no rest for the wicked!

According  to a news article, which you can read in full here, “Hans Lipschis, a 93-year-old thought to have been a guard at Auschwitz, was arrested in Germany on Monday. The Lithuanian-born man, who was added to the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s most wanted list last month, says he was only a cook. But prosecutors believe he supported the killing in his role as a guard.”

Death's Head emblem worn by German SS soldiers in World War II.

Death’s Head emblem worn by German SS soldiers

The photo above shows the emblem worn by the Death’s Head SS soldiers. The motto on the emblem reads in English: “My Honor’s name is Loyalty.”

The most important part of the article about the arrest of Hans Lipschis is this quote:

According to information obtained by the German news agency DPA, Lipschis was a member of the SS “Death’s Head” unit that ran the [Auschwitz] camp. He later worked as a cook for the SS adminstration (sic).

Oh no! Lipschis was a member of the dreaded “Death’s Head” unit.  Why hasn’t he been put on trial, by the Germans themselves, long before this?

Under the ex-post-facto laws created by the Allies after World War II, members of the Nazi party and members of the SS are all “war criminals.”  The German people have been remiss in their duty to bring all former Nazis, and former SS men, to justice.  This man should not expect pity, just because he is 93-years old.

So why was the “Death’s Head” unit worse than other units of the SS?

The following information is from a book written by Christopher Ailsby, entitled Hell on the Eastern Front, the Waffen-SS War in Russia 1941 – 1945:

Theodor Eicke, the first Commandant of the Dachau concentration camp, viewed the SS-Totenkopfverbände (Death’s Head unit) as an elite, within the elite structure of the SS. This concept grew from the fact that the most dangerous political enemies of the state were incarcerated in the concentration camps.

Hitler had given the sole responsibility for guarding and running the concentration camps to the SS- Totenkopfverbände.

Theodor Eicke had repeatedly pressed home his principles in orders, circulars and memorandums. The training of the SS-Totenkopfverbände was based on elitism, toughness and comradeship, together with a regime of ruthless discipline.

The SS-Übungslager at Dachau was a training center where members of the SS-Totenkopfverbände were taught to be concentration camp administrators. Voluntary SS fighting units, called the Waffen-SS, were also quartered in the garrison at Dachau, along with the SS camp guards.

The Waffen-SS and the SS camp guards were two distinct organizations which grew out of the original private army which was recruited to protect Hitler and other members of the Nazi party from the Social Democrats and the Communist Red Army during political campaigns.

At the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, SS General Ernst Kaltenbrunner testified that there were 13 Stammlager (central concentration camps). One of these camps was Matzgau, located near Danzig; it was a camp where SS guards were imprisoned for offenses such as physical mistreatment of concentration camp prisoners, embezzlement, or theft.

If Lipschis had committed any crimes, while he was a guard at Auschwitz, he would have been sent to the Matzgau camp as punishment.  He was a cook at Auschwitz, but apparently, he didn’t try  to poison any of the prisoners.  If he had, he would have been arrested.

The Dachau concentration camp had a section, in the camp prison, for the SS men who had mistreated the prisoners.  When the camp was liberated, there were 128 SS men in this prison.

Selections were made as soon as the Jews got off the trains to Auschwitz

Selections were made as soon as the Jews got off the trains to Auschwitz

The photo above was shown, along with the news story about Hans Lipschis. However, the  bottom half of the photo, which shows a woman and her baby being directed to the right, was cut off. I copied the photo below from the news article.

Photo taken at Auschwitz was cut in half in the news article

Photo taken at Auschwitz was cut in half in the news article

Why was this photo cut in half for the news article?  Because mothers and babies were directed to the left to the gas chamber.  This photo shows a mother and her baby being sent to the right.

February 27, 2014

The law under which Franz Suchomel was convicted of a “war crime” committed at Treblinka

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:50 pm

A couple of days ago, I blogged about Franz Suchomlel at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/proof-of-the-treblinka-gas-chambers-found-in-the-trial-testimony-of-franz-suchomel-a-junior-ss-guard-at-the-camp/

Today, I am going to expand upon the ex-post-facto law under which Suchomel was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison by a German District Court in Düsseldorf in 1965.

Ex-post-facto means “after the fact.” The law, under which Suchomel and many others were convicted, was not in existence during the time that Franz Suchomel allegedly committed a war crime.

The photo below shows Friedrich Weitzel (#40), a low level SS man who was a supply clerk at Dachau.  He was convicted under the same ex-post-facto law as Franz Suchomel, whose job at Treblinka was about as important as the work done by Weitzel at Dachau.

Friedrich Weitzel is sentenced to prison after his conviction, based on the  new law of "common design.

Friedrich Weitzel is sentenced to prison after his conviction by the American Military Tribunal, under the new law of “common design.”

This quote, regarding the trial of Franz Suchomel, is from Wikipedia:

Twenty years after the end of [World War II], in the framework of first official investigations into war crimes at the Treblinka extermination camp, German authorities collected evidence of Suchomel’s participation in the Holocaust. He was arrested on 11 July 1963.[5] The Treblinka trials took place from 12 October 1964 until 3 September 1965 against ten defendants before the 3rd District Court of Düsseldorf. The charges consisted of the murder of at least 700,000 mainly Jewish people in the gas chambers, as well as deadly assault, shootings, and hangings of individual prisoners. Suchomel was convicted of accessory to murder and sentenced to six years in jail.[4] Suchomel was released from prison on 20 December 1967.[1]

The law, under which Suchomel was convicted, was called “common design” or “common plan.”

According to Robert E. Conot, who wrote a book entitled Justice at Nuremberg, the idea of a law called “common design” was originated by Lt. Col. Murray C. Bernays, a Lithuanian Jew who had emigrated with his family to America in 1900 at the age of six.

Henry Morgenthau, Jr., a Jew who was the Secretary of the Treasury and one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s top advisers, had proposed that the German war criminals should be charged and then executed without a trial. But Bernays said, “Not to try these beasts would be to miss the educational and therapeutic opportunity of our generation. They must be tried not alone for their specific aims, but for the bestiality from which these crimes sprang.”

According to Robert E. Conot’s book, the idea of bringing the German war criminals to justice was first voiced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on October 7, 1942, when he declared: “It is our intention that just and sure punishment shall be meted out to the ringleaders responsible for the organized murder of thousands of innocent persons in the commission of atrocities which have violated every tenet of the Christian faith.”

Roosevelt was referring to atrocities allegedly committed in the concentration camps, beginning with Dachau in 1933. Most of the war crimes, that were prosecuted in 1945 at the Nuremberg IMT, and at the American Military Tribunal at Dachau, had not yet been committed.

The British also conducted trials, based on ex-post-facto laws.

The Declaration of St. James, on January 13, 1942, announced British plans for war crimes trials even before the British BBC first broadcast the news of the gassing of the Jews in June 1942.

On December 17, 1942, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told the House of Commons: “The German authorities are now carrying into effect Hitler’s oft repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people of Europe.”

On October 26, 1943, the United Nations War Crimes Commission, composed of 15 Allied nations, met in London to discuss the trials of the German war criminals which were already being planned. That same year, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin issued a joint statement, called the Moscow Declaration, in which they agreed to bring the German war criminals to justice.

Even before the start of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and the American Military Tribunal at Dachau, the first trial of German war criminals in the U.S. zone of Germany was held between October 8 and October 15, 1945 when staff members of Hadamar, a clinic near Limberg, Germany, were put on trial.

The following quote is from the web site of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

The 1945 Hadamar Trial (October 8-15, 1945) was the first mass atrocity trial in the U.S. zone of Germany following World War II.

On August 8, 1945, the Allies signed the London Charter which gave each of the four great powers (Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the USA) jurisdiction over the camp personnel in the concentration camps located in their respective zones of occupation. The London Charter was also the basis for the International Military Tribunal to try the major German war criminals at Nuremberg.

Even before the war was over, the first Allied war crimes trial had taken place in Poland when the camp personnel of the Majdanek concentration camp were tried by the Soviet Union.  The defendants in this trial were charged with the murder of 1.5 million prisoners at Majdanek.  Now the number of deaths at Majdanek has been reduced to 78,000, including 59,000 Jews.

The British, who had liberated Bergen-Belsen after Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler voluntarily turned the camp over to them on April 15, 1945, held the first post-war military tribunal for concentration camp personnel in September 1945 at Lüneberg, Germany.

Immediately following the liberation of Majdanek on July 23, 1944, the former concentration camp, for political prisoners and Jews, was turned into a camp for captured German soldiers and a few of the former guards and administrative personnel, who were then quickly tried and convicted as war criminals.  America followed this same plan. After the typhus epidemic in the Dachau concentration camp was brought under control in June 1945, the former camp was turned into a prison for German war criminals who were awaiting trial by the American Military Tribunal.

The war crimes office at Dachau

The war crimes office at Dachau

The German defendants at the American Military Tribunal were not allowed access to the records, which were confiscated by the Americans as evidence in the Dachau trials.

Altogether, there were 5 proceedings against groups of concentration camp staff members at the American Military Tribunal at Dachau. In the first four of those cases, 177 staff members of Dachau, Buchenwald, Mauthausen and Flossenbürg were charged, and all of the accused, without exception, were convicted by a panel of American military officers.

The 100% conviction rate, at the American Military Tribunal, was due to the fact that it was the concentration camp system that was on trial; there was literally no defense for the accused because it could not be denied that the concentration camp system was inherently evil and that everyone in a position of authority in any of the camps was part of that system.

The man who is standing is a former inmate of Dachau who is pointing out xxx, who was the supply clerk for the camp

The man, who is standing, is a former inmate of Dachau who is pointing out Friedrich Weitzel (#40), who was the supply clerk for the Dachau concentration camp

Friedrich Weitzel, who is shown in the photo above, was convicted of participating in the “common design” at the Dachau concentration camp because he was the “supply clerk” for the camp.  There was no defense against the “common design” ex-post-facto law

In 1945, there was no German law, nor any international law, that covered any atrocities, that might have been committed in the camps, nor the genocide of the Jews. New laws had been made after these crimes had been allegedly committed.

Col. Robert Jackson, the chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg IMT, said in his opening address: “Hence I am not disturbed by the lack of precedent for the inquiry we propose to conduct.”

Under the new concept of “common design,” organizations, as well as individuals, could be charged with war crimes and membership in an organization was enough to convict an individual of a war crime, whether or not that person committed any acts himself.

At the American Military Tribunal proceedings, the “common design” theory meant that individuals were guilty of crimes committed by others on the staff of a concentration camp even if they didn’t serve at the same time. It didn’t matter whether or not the crimes allegedly committed by others in a particular concentration camp had ever been proved in a court of law or by a military tribunal; staff members of that camp were presumed to be guilty of these crimes, and they had no defense.

Crimes against Humanity was another new concept which did not exist before the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal began. This new law, which was one of the four categories of crimes described by Allied Control Council Law No. 10, was enacted after the end of World War II. It covered brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities and other inhumane acts, including the murder of six million Jews in the Nazi camps. Some of the top-level war criminals at the Nuremberg IMT were charged with Crimes against Humanity, but this charge was not used in the proceedings against the concentration camp personnel who were tried by the American Military Tribunal at Dachau.

It was not until 1948 that the newly-created United Nations announced a law against genocide. With no existing laws in place, the Allies had created new international laws in order to convict and punish those who were presumed to be guilty.

During the trials conducted by the Nuremberg IMT and the American Military Tribunal, the prosecution had only to prove that the accused had participated in a common plan by virtue of his position on the staff of a concentration camp, whether or not he had personally committed any atrocities. The accused in these trials were not charged with committing any specific crime, but rather with aiding and abetting the commission of crimes in the concentration camp system which was designated by the Allies to be a criminal enterprise.

The basis for the “common plan” theory of guilt was Article II, paragraph 2 of Law Order No. 10 which stated as follows:

2. Any person without regard to nationality or the capacity in which he acted, is deemed to have committed a crime as defined in paragraph 1 of this Article, if he was (a) a principal or (b) was an accessory to the commission of any such crime or ordered or abetted the same or (c) took a consenting part therein or (d) was connected with plans or enterprises involving its commission or (e) was a member of any organization or group connected with the commission of any such crime or (f) with reference to paragraph 1 (a), if he held a high political, civil or military (including General Staff) position in Germany or in one of its Allies, co-belligerents or satellites or held high position in the financial, industrial or economic life of any such country.

February 1, 2014

“to the victor belongs the spoils” even if you have to steal gold from an ally that helped to win the war

Filed under: Germany, movies, World War II — Tags: , , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:58 am

In doing some research about “The Monuments Men,” in preparation for seeing a new movie by the same name, I learned that the art treasures and the gold bullion, stored in the Merkers salt mine in Germany, was supposed to go to the Soviet Union, because it was located in the occupation zone that had been promised to the Russians.

German  gold was hidden in the  Merkers salt mine

German gold and art treasures were hidden in the Merkers salt mine

When General Patton heard about the gold in the Merkers mine, he claimed it for the USA and then notified General (“God, I hate the Germans”) Eisenhower.

The following quote, about the gold, is from this website: http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1999/spring/nazi-gold-merkers-mine-treasure.html

Nazi Gold: The Merkers Mine Treasure

By Greg Bradsher

Late on the evening of March 22, 1945, elements of Lt. Gen. George Patton’s Third Army crossed the Rhine, and soon thereafter his whole army crossed the river and drove into the heart of Germany. Advancing northeast from Frankfurt, elements of the Third Army cut into the future Soviet Zone and advanced on Gotha. Just before noon on April 4, the village of Merkers fell to the Third Battalion of the 358th Infantry Regiment, Ninetieth Infantry Division, Third Army. During that day and the next the Ninetieth Infantry Division, with its command post at Keiselbach, consolidated its holdings in the Merkers area.(1)

During April 4 and 5 [1945], displaced persons in the vicinity interrogated by the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) personnel of the Ninetieth Infantry Division mentioned a recent movement of German Reichsbank gold from Berlin to the Wintershal AG’s Kaiseroda potassium mine at Merkers. In all of these instances they quoted rumors, but none stated their own knowledge that gold was present in the mine. But just before noon on April 5, a member of Military Intelligence Team 404-G, attached to the 358th Infantry Regiment, who was in Bad Salzungen, about six miles from Merkers, interviewed French displaced persons who had worked in the mine at Merkers. They told him they had heard that gold had been stored in the mine. The information was passed on to the G-2 (intelligence section) of the Ninetieth Infantry Division, and orders were issued prohibiting all civilians from circulating in the area of the mine.(2)

You can read about Gotha on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/EasternGermany/Gotha/

Note the date [April 4, 1945] that the Merkers mine was discovered by the Americans, after “displaced persons” told them about the gold.

"displaced persons" who have come back to the Ohrdruf camp

“displaced persons” who came back to the Ohrdruf camp after the Americans arrived

What is a “displaced person”?  This term refers to a former prisoner in a concentration camp, or a Nazi labor camp, who must find his way home because the Nazis have abandoned the camp where he was a prisoner.  The Nazis had abandoned the Ohrdruf  sub-camp of Buchenwald on April 4, 1945, and had marched most the prisoners to the Buchenwald camp, except for a few who were too sick to walk, or a few who had escaped from the march.

How does one justify stealing “the spoils of war” from an ally [the Soviet Union], who has helped to defeat your enemy?  I know — let’s go to visit Ohrdruf, and make a big deal out of the bodies of prisoners who had died of typhus. Let’s “build another page of the necessary evidence as to the brutality of the Germans” as General Patton wrote to General Eisenhower. Let’s take a photo of the dead bodies that were burned at Ohrdruf, and claim that the Germans had burned prisoners alive. Let’s build a museum in Washington, DC  and hang a photo of the burned bodies in front of the museum door.

Eisenhower views burned bodies at Ohrdruf

Eisenhower views burned bodies at Ohrdruf

This quote is also from the article written by Greg Bradsher:

[Col. Bernard D.] Bernstein, that evening, drove to Patton’s headquarters. Patton told Bernstein that he was very glad Eisenhower was taking responsibility for the gold. Bernstein told him that he wanted to move the Merkers treasure to Frankfurt as quickly as possible and that under the Big Three arrangements at Yalta, the Merkers part of Germany would be taken over by the Russians after the war and that they certainly needed to get the treasure out of the area before the Russians got there. Astounded at what Bernstein told him, not knowing about the postwar arrangements, Patton said he would do everything possible to facilitate Bernstein’s mission.(39)

On April 11 Bernstein returned to Merkers, and that morning, after arranging with Mason for setting up a command post at the mine building for the G-5 officers, he and Rave made an inspection of the art treasures. Later that day Lt. George Stout [one of the Monuments Men], USNR, MFAA Officer, G-5, Twelfth Army Group, and the SHAEF MFAA chief, British Lt. Col. Geoffrey Webb, reported for duty, with the expectation that they would handle the art matters. After Posey’s earlier visit to Merkers, he had notified Webb of the treasure and recommended Stout, former chief of conservation at Harvard’s Fogg Museum and considered America’s greatest expert on the techniques of packing and transporting, be sent to the mine to provide technical guidance. Webb and Stout arrived at Merkers only to find that they needed Bernstein’s permission to see the art. Bernstein showed them his letter from Gay authorizing him to decide who went into the mine and the need for Eddy’s permission for Allied personnel to inspect the mine. Bernstein agreed to let Stout view the works of art, but he denied Webb access.(40)  [George Stout is played by George Clooney in the movie The Monuments Men.]

[...]
Bernstein and Bartlett arrived at the 357th Infantry Regiment Command Post in Merkers at 5 p.m. on April 10. Accompanied by Mason, they went on a tour of the mine to see the vault containing the gold, currency, and art treasure. That evening Bernstein interviewed Veick and Reimer about the gold, currency, and other valuables, as well as any records relating to the gold. Veick provided detailed information about the transportation of the Reichsbank treasure to Merkers and the currency transactions during March and the first days of April. He said he did not know that much about the gold, but Thoms did; “He knows all,” Veick said. Reimer told Bernstein that “the records of the sale of the gold are with Thoms.”(38)

Bernstein, that evening, drove to Patton’s headquarters. Patton told Bernstein that he was very glad Eisenhower was taking responsibility for the gold. Bernstein told him that he wanted to move the Merkers treasure to Frankfurt as quickly as possible and that under the Big Three arrangements at Yalta, the Merkers part of Germany would be taken over by the Russians after the war and that they certainly needed to get the treasure out of the area before the Russians got there. Astounded at what Bernstein told him, not knowing about the postwar arrangements, Patton said he would do everything possible to facilitate Bernstein’s mission.(39)

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