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September 13, 2013

British soldiers executed under Hitler’s Commando order — legal or illegal?

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

This quote, from Wikipedia, gives the full text of Hitler’s Commando Order:

On October 18 after much deliberation by High Command lawyers, officers and staff, Hitler issued his Commando Order or Kommandobefehl in secret, with only 12 copies. The following day Army Chief of Staff Alfred Jodl distributed copies with an appendix stating that the order was “intended for commanders only and must not under any circumstances fall into enemy hands.” The order itself stated that

1. For a long time now our opponents have been employing in their conduct of the war, methods which contravene the International Convention of Geneva. The members of the so-called Commandos behave in a particularly brutal and underhand manner; and it has been established that those units recruit criminals not only from their own country but even former convicts set free in enemy territories. From captured orders it emerges that they are instructed not only to tie up prisoners, but also to kill out-of-hand unarmed captives who they think might prove an encumbrance to them, or hinder them in successfully carrying out their aims. Orders have indeed been found in which the killing of prisoners has positively been demanded of them.

2. In this connection it has already been notified in an Appendix to Army Orders of 7.10.1942. that in future, Germany will adopt the same methods against these Sabotage units of the British and their Allies; i.e. that, whenever they appear, they shall be ruthlessly destroyed by the German troops.

3. I order, therefore:— From now on all men operating against German troops in so-called Commando raids in Europe or in Africa, are to be annihilated to the last man. This is to be carried out whether they be soldiers in uniform, or saboteurs, with or without arms; and whether fighting or seeking to escape; and it is equally immaterial whether they come into action from Ships and Aircraft, or whether they land by parachute. Even if these individuals on discovery make obvious their intention of giving themselves up as prisoners, no pardon is on any account to be given. On this matter a report is to be made on each case to Headquarters for the information of Higher Command.

4. Should individual members of these Commandos, such as agents, saboteurs etc., fall into the hands of the Armed Forces through any means – as, for example, through the Police in one of the Occupied Territories – they are to be instantly handed over to the SD

To hold them in military custody – for example in P.O.W. Camps, etc., – even if only as a temporary measure, is strictly forbidden.

5. This order does not apply to the treatment of those enemy soldiers who are taken prisoner or give themselves up in open battle, in the course of normal operations, large scale attacks; or in major assault landings or airborne operations. Neither does it apply to those who fall into our hands after a sea fight, nor to those enemy soldiers who, after air battle, seek to save their lives by parachute.

6. I will hold all Commanders and Officers responsible under Military Law for any omission to carry out this order, whether by failure in their duty to instruct their units accordingly, or if they themselves act contrary to it.[8]

In other words, Hitler became enraged by the actions of the British Commandos and decided to fight fire with fire.  The British were affronted by this.  The British thought they should have been allowed to fight illegally.  In fact, the SOE agents WERE allowed to fight illegally and most of them were not executed after they were caught. Still, they groused about being sent to a concentration camp, instead of a POW camp.

In 2002, I visited the Sachsenhausen Memorial Site for the 2nd time.  The layout of the Memorial Site has changed since then, but in 2002 there was a path, up to the Museum, which was lined with memorial stones.

Entrance road at Sachsenhausen Memorial Site in 2002

Entrance road at Sachsenhausen Memorial Site in 2002

I photographed some of the memorials along the entrance road, shown in the photo above, but not the flat stone, which was put on the ground, beside the path, in remembrance of some British commandos who were executed at Sachsenhausen, under Hitler’s Commando order.

Memorial stone in honor of British soldiers who were executed at Sachsenhausen

Memorial stone in honor of British soldiers who were executed at Sachsenhausen

In 2002, I wrote, on my scrapbookpages.com website, regarding the memorial stone above:

[There] is another small memorial stone to the British spies who were captured and executed at Sachsenhausen.

This morning, I received an e-mail from a man who objected to my use of the word “spies.”  He pointed out that these were British soldiers, all of whom had a military rank beside their names.  This indicates that they were soldiers, not spies. He wrote that these men were Commandos who had been illegally executed under Hitler’s famous Commando Order.

Plaque at Mauthausen Memorial Site in honor of British commandos

Plaque at Mauthausen Memorial Site in honor of British commandos who were executed

List of British agents who were executed at Mauthausen

List of British agents who were executed at Mauthausen

The memorial plaque, shown in the photo above, is located on the wall in the narrow space behind the building where the gas chamber is located at the Mauthausen Memorial Site. The plaque is in honor of 47 British and Dutch “special agents” who had parachuted into German occupied territory and had been caught behind enemy lines, dressed in civilian clothes.

Was it legal to execute these “special agents”?  Not according to the British.

Both sides used Commandos during World War II.  The photo below shows Otto Skorzany, the famous German Commando.  Skorzeny and his men were brought before the American Military Tribunal at Dachau and prosecuted as war criminals. So wouldn’t the British commandos also have been “war criminals” who could have been legally executed?   No, only the Germans were “war criminals” in World War II.  After the war, the Allies made up ex-post-facto laws that made virtually every German guilty of a war crime.

Otto Skorzany, famous German Commando

Otto Skorzany, famous German Commando

Otto Skorzeny, shown in the photo above, was acquitted after the presiding judge at his AMT trial allowed testimony that the American military had committed the same crime of wearing enemy uniforms during the Battle of the Bulge. Although he was acquitted, Skorzeny was still held in prison after the verdict; he finally escaped and fled to South America.

This quote, regarding Hitler’s Commando Order is from Wikipedia:

The Commando Order was invoked to order the death of an unknown number of Allied special operations forces and behind-the-lines operators of the OSS, SOE, and other special forces elements.[citation needed] “Commandos” of these types captured were turned over to German security and police forces and transported to concentration camps for execution. The Gazette citation reporting the awarding of the G.C. to Yeo-Thomas describes this process in detail.

The first victims were seven officers of Operation Musketoon, who were shot in Sachsenhausen on the morning of 23 October 1942.

In November 1942, British survivors of Operation Freshman were executed.

[...]

In 1945, Jack Taylor and the Dupont mission were captured by the men of Gestapo agent Johann Sanitzer. Sanitzer asked the RSHA for instructions on a possible deal that Taylor proposed, but Kaltenbrunner’s staff reminded him “of Hitler’s edict that all captured officers attached to foreign missions were to be executed”.[14] Taylor was convicted of espionage, though he claimed to be an ordinary soldier. He was sent to Mauthausen. He survived, barely, but gathered evidence and was eventually a witness at the war crimes trials.[a]

Jack Taylor was sent to Mauthausen under the Commando Order, but he was not executed

Jack Taylor was sent to Mauthausen under the Commando Order, but he was not executed

War Crimes

The laws of war as accepted by all civilized countries in 1942 were unequivocal on this point: “….it is especially forbidden….to declare that no quarter will be given”. This was established under Article 23 (d) of the 1907 Hague Convention IV – The Laws and Customs of War on Land.[16] The Geneva Convention of 1929, that Germany had ratified, defined who should be considered a prisoner of war on capture — that included enemy soldiers in uniforms — and how they should be treated. While at the time under both the Hague and Geneva Conventions, it was legal to execute “spies and saboteurs” disguised in civilian clothes[17][18] or uniforms of the enemy,[19][20] insofar as the Commando Order applied to soldiers in proper uniforms,[21] it was in direct and deliberate violation of both the customary laws of war and Germany’s treaty obligations.[b] The execution of Allied commandos without trial was also a violation of Article 30 of the 1907 Hague Convention IV – The Laws and Customs of War on Land, provided that: “A spy taken in the act shall not be punished without previous trial.”[16] This provision only includes soldiers caught behind enemy lines in disguises, and not those wearing proper uniforms. Soldiers in proper uniforms cannot be punished for being lawful combatants and must be treated as prisoners of war upon capture, except those disguised in civilian clothes or uniforms of the enemy behind enemy lines.[19][23][24]

The fact that Hitler’s staff took special measures to keep the Order secret, including the limitation of its printing to only twelve copies, strongly suggests that they knew it to be illegal.[25]

[..]

After the war, German officers who carried out executions under the Commando Order were found guilty at war crimes trials, including the Nuremberg Trials.

General Anton Dostler, who had ordered the execution of 15 American soldiers of the Ginny II operation in Italy, was sentenced to death and executed in December 1945. His defense, that he had only relayed superior orders, was rejected at trial.

The Commando Order was one of the specifications in the charge against Generaloberst Jodl, who was convicted and hanged. Another officer charged with enforcing the Commando Order at Nuremberg was the Commander of the Navy Erich Raeder. Under cross-examination, Raeder admitted to passing on the Commando Order to the Kriegsmarine and to enforcing the Commando Order by ordering the summary execution of two captured British Royal Marines after the Operation Frankton raid at Bordeaux in December 1942.[28]

When American soldiers arrived at Mauthausen to liberated the camp in May 1945, they were greeted by 37-year-old Lt. Jack H. Taylor, a Commando in the United States Navy, who had been captured after leading a sabotage mission behind enemy lines. Lt. Taylor had been a prisoner at Mauthausen for only 35 days; he had arrived in the camp on April 1, 1945, after being transferred from a Gestapo prison in Vienna because Soviet troops were 50 kilometers from the city and advancing rapidly.

Lt. Taylor was not executed by the Germans, even though his sabotage mission behind enemy lines came under Hitler’s Commando order.  If the war had lasted longer, could he have been legally executed?

This quote is from Wikipedia:

The Commando Order was issued by Adolf Hitler on 18 October 1942 stating that all Allied commandos encountered by German forces in Europe and Africa should be killed immediately without trial, even in proper uniforms or if they attempted to surrender. Any commando or small group of commandos or a similar unit, agents, and saboteurs not in uniforms, who fell into the hands of the German military forces by some means other than direct combat (through the police in occupied territories, for instance) were to be handed over immediately to the Sicherheitsdienst (SD, Security Service). The order, which was issued in secret, made it clear that failure to carry out these orders by any commander or officer would be considered to be an act of negligence punishable under German military law.[1] This was in fact the second “Commando Order”,[2] the first being issued by Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt on 21 July 1942, stipulating that parachutists should be handed over to the Gestapo.[3] Shortly after World War II, at the Nuremberg Trials, the Commando Order was found to be a direct breach of the laws of war, and German officers who carried out illegal executions under the Commando Order were found guilty of war crimes.

[...]
The Commando Order mentioned violations of the Geneva Conventions by Allied commando troops and cites these violations as justification for the order. It is widely believed that occurrences at Dieppe and on a small raid on the Channel Island of Sark by the Small Scale Raiding Force (with some men of No. 12 Commando) brought Hitler’s rage to a head.

September 12, 2013

Dachau Liberated: a dark-complexioned American Pole, pistol in hand, was the first soldier to enter the camp

Filed under: Dachau, Germany — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 3:37 pm

The first official book about Dachau, written by Americans, was entitled Dachau; it was published in May 1945. On the cover of the book were the letters SS, written with the alphabet called runes; the title is sometimes given as SS Dachau.  Another book entitled Dachau Liberated, The Official Report by the U.S. Seventh Army was published in July 2000.  It contains all the text in the original book, that was published in 1945, plus additional information about the Dachau camp.

The following quote is from the book entitled Dachau Liberated, The Official Report by the U.S. Seventh Army:

LIBERATION

The Americans came Sunday, 29th of April. The arrival of the Americans was preceded by several days of frenzy. Wednesday was the last day of work and there was no more going out of the compound.  Scattered labor details living outside of camp returned suddenly. Radios were taken away and there was no more communication with the outside.

On Thursday, orders to evacuate the entire camp were given. Transports began to be organized on large scales, but the organization was poor and uncoordinated. The prisoners having jobs in the administrative department mislaid orders, suddenly did not understand commands, and generally seemed quite indifferent to the mounting nervousness of the few camp officials that were left.  Only one transport got under way.  It consisted of about 4,000 men, and they hiked with heavy guard in the direction of the Tyrol (the transport led by Dachau Commandant Eduard Weiter).

Then began the time of tense waiting.  Rumors swept through the barracks of regiments and tanks just over the hill, of plans of mass annihilation of the prisoners by the remaining SS men, of parachutists, and of an armistice.  The prisoners organized a secret police force to keep order after the liberation they knew was coming.  They built barricades to keep their own comrades from getting in the way of the jumpy guards. And all time was at a standstill for three days while the prisoners waited and the guards paced nervously, furtively, in their towers.

Sunday, just after the noon meal, the air was unusually still.  The big field outside the compound was deserted. Suddenly someone began running toward the gate at the other side of the field. Others followed. The word was shouted through the mass of gray, tired prisoners.  Americans!  That word repeated, yelled over the shoulders in throaty Polish, in Italian, in Russian and Dutch and in the familiar ring of French.  The first internee was shot down as he rushed toward the gate by the guard. Yet they kept running and shouting through eager lips and unbelieving eyes. Americans!  And at the gate in front of the hysterical mob were not the regiments or the tanks they had expected, but one dark-complexioned, calm American soldier, an American Pole, pistol in hand, looking casually about him; up at the towers were the SS guards watched apparently frozen; behind him two or three other American boys about a hundred yards away; and into the flushed wet faces of those thousand surging about in front of him.

A few shots were fired from behind the wall, the guards in the first tower came down, hands above their heads. A white blanket was hung out from another tower (tower B), but one of them had a pistol in his hand which he had held behind his back, and the dark-complexioned soldier shot him down.  At the far side of the compound, the guards were taken care of from the outside.

Then a jeep arrived. Where were the regiments and tanks?  The first American (probably 1st Lt. William Cowling) was hoisted into the air and two others, a 19-year-old farmer from the West, and a 19-year-old university student (possibly T/5 Guido Oddi and Pfc. C. E. Tinkham), were dragged out of the jeep and carried around the grounds on the internee’s shoulders.  A blond journalist (Margaret Higgins) in uniform was also in the jeep, and she climbed the tower by the gate with a young officer.

Suddenly the prisoners produced flags and colors which had been buried under barracks or hidden in rafters. These flags and colors were improvised from sheets and scraps of colored cloth.  It was a mardi-gras.  Over the loud speaker system the blond journalist said “We are just as glad to see you as you are to see us.” And then a chaplain (probably Captain Leland L. Loy) in broken German asked them to join him in the Lord’s Prayer. And for a few minutes in powerful earnest unison with bowed reverent heads and clasped hands, they prayed. The words echoed through the compound and through the hearts of the thousands still incredulous at the dark-complexioned American Pole, the 19-year-old farm boy from the West, and the student, and at the regiments and tanks that never came.

So who were the “dark-complexioned American Pole,” the 19-year-old farm boy and the student?

The “dark-complexioned American Pole” may have been 1st Lt. William J. Cowling, who is believed to be the first American soldier to have entered the camp.  Cowling was an aide to Brig. Gen. Henning Linden, who was the deputy commander of the 42nd Division, one of the divisions which liberated Dachau.

On the day of the liberation, 1st Lt. William J. Cowling, wrote a long letter to his family in which he claimed that he was the first soldier to enter the Dachau concentration camp, along with some “newspaper people.”

The next day Marguerite Higgins, a reporter with the New York Herald Tribune, filed a news report in which she claimed that she and Sgt. Peter Furst were the first two people to go inside the Dachau concentration camp. Furst was a reporter for the US Army Newspaper called the Stars and Stripes.

According to a book entitled Surrender of the Dachau Concentration Camp 29 Apr 45, The True Account, written by John H. Linden, there were two guards who accompanied 1st Lt. Cowling when he entered the prison enclosure: T/5 Guido Oddi and Pfc. C. E. Tinkham.

But who was really the “dark-complexioned soldier” who shot one of the guards?

One of the men with the 222nd Regiment of the 42nd Rainbow Division was Ignacio Inclan Perez, a 17-year-old Mexican-American soldier from Cotulla, Texas. Gabriel Perez recalls that his father, Inclan Perez, talked about seeing the train at Dachau just before entering the camp. In an e-mail to me, Gabriel wrote, “I also remember my father telling me about a German soldier that he shot and killed as he was trying to get away. He also mentioned that he saw German guards in a mess area that had been gunned down by American soldiers. He stated that he was glad he never did that because it would have been difficult to live with later in life.”

Lt. Col. Walter J. Fellenz, an officer in the 222nd Regiment, gave the following information in his account of the liberation of Dachau:

Amid the deafening roar of cheers, several inmates warned us of danger by pointing to one of the eight towers which surrounded the electrically charged fence. The tower was still manned by SS guards! Half crazed at what we had just seen, we rushed the tower with rifles blazing. The SS tried to train their machine guns on us, but we quickly killed them each time a new man attempted to fire the guns. We killed at least 17 SS, then in mad fury our soldiers dragged the dead bodies from the towers and emptied their rifles into the dead SS chests.

Lt. Col. Felix Sparks of the 45th Thunderbird Division disputed this account; he said that his men had shot the guards in the towers with rifles from the cover of the many buildings surrounding the confinement area.

In his book entitled The Day of the Americans, Nerin E. Gun, a journalist who was a prisoner at Dachau, wrote:

Miss Higgins and a fellow journalist, Robert Fust (sic), on the highway leading to the camp, had picked up an SS man and ordered him to show them the quickest way to the Lager. The SS man had remained seated on the back seat of the jeep and, in the pandemonium that followed the arrival of the detachment, the prisoners, who had never seen an American uniform before and who at this point really had no reason to be choosy, thought the SS man was another one of their liberators. He too was showered with embraces, kisses, handshakes, and shouts of triumph. The SS man must have thought that either they had all lost their minds or else the hour of universal reconciliation had rung. It was only fifteen minutes later that O’Leary, head of the International Committee, ordered him arrested. That same evening, he faced a firing squad.

The shooting of disarmed German soldiers during the Dachau liberation was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General of the Seventh Army. Their report was finished on June 8, 1945 but was marked Secret. The report has since been made public and a copy of it was reproduced in Col. John H. Linden’s book entitled Surrender of the Dachau Concentration Camp 29 April 1945. One of the soldiers mentioned in the report was Tec 3 Henry J. Wells, a Jewish soldier who may have been the “dark-complexioned” soldier at the liberation of Dachau.

Here are four paragraphs from the IG report which pertain to the shooting of the guards at Tower B:

11. After entry into the camp, personnel of the 42nd Division discovered the presence of guards, presumed to be SS men, in a tower to the left of the main gate of the inmate stockade. This tower was attacked by Tec 3 Henry J. Wells 39271327, Headquarters Military Intelligence Service, ETO, covered and aided by a party under Lt. Col. Walter J. Fellenz, 0-23055, 222 Infantry. No fire was delivered against them by the guards in the tower. A number of Germans were taken prisoner; after they were taken, and within a few feet of the tower, from which they were taken, they were shot and killed.

12. Considerable confusion exists in the testimony as to the particulars of this shooting; however Wells, German interrogator for the 222 Infantry, states that he had lined these Germans up in double rank, preparatory to moving them out; that he saw no threatening gesture; but that he shot into them after some other American soldiers, whose identities are unknown, started shooting them.

13. Lt. Colonel Fellenz was entering the door of the tower at the time of this shooting, took no part in it and testified that he could not have stopped it.

18. It is obvious that the Americans present when the guards were shot at the tower labored under much excitement. However Wells could speak German fluently, he knew no shots had been fired at him in his attack on the tower, he had these prisoners lined up, he saw no threatening gesture or act. It is felt that his shooting into them was entirely unwarranted; the whole incident smacks of execution similar to the other incidents described in this report.

Captain Leland L. Loy, the Chaplain of the 3rd Battalion of the 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Thunderbird Division, may have been the American who led a prayer at the liberation of Dachau.

The original book about Dachau, written by the  American liberators and published in May 1945, described the Dachau gas chambers (plural) on page 52:

Then they entered the gas chamber. Over the entrance, in large black letters, was written “Brause Bad” (showers). There were about 15 shower heads suspended from the ceiling from which gas was then released.  There was one large gas chamber, capacity of which was 200, and five smaller gas chambers, capacity of each being 50. It took approximately 10 minutes for the execution. (There were actually only 4 “smaller gas chambers at Dachau.)

In the gas chamber with the sign “Brausebad,” as seen today, the shower heads are NOT suspended from the ceiling.  All of the shower heads have been stolen by tourists over the years and there are now 15 empty holes in the ceiling with NO PIPES.  However, tour guides at Dachau tell gullible tourists that the Dachau gas chamber was used.

September 10, 2013

Jewish genetic diseases — where is Dr. Mengele when you need him.

Filed under: Germany, Health — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:11 am

Dr. Joseph Mengele was a German SS doctor, who did selections at Auschwitz-Birkeanau, because he wanted to find subjects for his research on Jewish genetic diseases.  His findings have never been released; his research papers are kept in a vault at Yad Vashem in Israel.

Genetic diseases are still a fact of life, and a big problem, for Jewish couples.  Read this news article about an American Jewish couple who went through a screening test before getting married, but still had a child with a Jewish genetic disease.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/10/health/jewish-genetic-diseases-screening/?hpt=he_c1

This quote is from the article:

Eden has a progressive neurological disorder called Mucolipidosis Type IV, also known as ML4. It’s a rare genetic disease that is more common among Ashkenazi Jews, or people of Eastern and Central European Jewish descent. There is no treatment or cure. Eden’s mental development was halted at 18 months old. She is expected to go blind by age 12.

When Hitler came to power in Germany, he made new laws for the protection of the German people, including a law which banned marriage between Germans and other races.  This quote from Wikipedia explains it:

The Nuremberg laws were based on a belief in Scientific racism and derived from a primitive understanding of genetics. Although the Nazis took these ideas to violent extremes, they were based on thinking that already existed across Europe and America. Nazi laws banning “inter-marriage” and according to Nazi racial ideology the Germanic-Nordic-Aryans were a master race and in accordance with ideas expressed in Eugenics and Social Darwinism;[38] they therefore sought to preserve their supposed racial superiority by banning inter-marriage with people they regarded as inferior or as a threat, in particular Jews, Gypsies and blacks who were classified as untermenschen (subhumans) that were seen as racially distinctive minorities of “alien blood”.[4][39]

The Wikipedia quote is a biased explanation of the German law, which was really a law to prevent Germans from mixing with Jews because Jews had many kinds of genetic diseases.  For generations, the Jews had married close relatives to keep the money in the family. Sometimes, even brothers and sisters married. The result was genetic diseases.

This quote from this website mentions inbreeding among the Jews as a cause of genetic diseases:

Genetic diseases with a high prevalence in Jews are mostly recessive. In general, over 1,000 recessive diseases have been discovered. Most are rare but the prevalence of some of these diseases is increased 100-fold or more in Jewish as in other isolated ethnic groups with predominant inbreeding. This increased prevalence is usually but not invariably confined to individual Jewish ethnic groups (“edot Israel”) and not found in Jews in general. Most are severe and often lead to early death. In some diseases genetic analysis has identified the first appearance of an abnormal “founder” gene originating in a small number of individuals within a Jewish group. This creates a genetic bottleneck whereby the prevalence of a recessive genetic disease is maintained at a high level by subsequent inbreeding.

September 9, 2013

The daughter of Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Höss says he “did it because he had to”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:08 pm
Rudolf Hoess at the Nuremberg IMT

Rudolf Hoess at his trial

The caption on the photo above, which is included in a New York Daily News article, reads: “Rudolf Höss on the first day of his trial for war crimes committed at Auschwitz.”  Höss was put on trial in Poland, but not at Nuremberg.  He was a defense witness for Ernst Kaltenbrunner at Nuremberg. You can read the confession of Rudolf Höss at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/the-confession-of-rudolf-hoess-the-commandant-of-auschwitz/

I previously blogged about Rudolf Hoess and the reason that he confessed here: http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/why-did-the-commandant-of-auschwitz-confess-to-the-gassing-of-millions-of-jews/

Rudolf Hoess, photographed at the Auschwitz camp

Rudolf Hoess, photographed at Auschwitz

Rudolf Höss was a handsome man before he was tortured, to within an inch of his life, in order to force him to confess to the gassing of Jews at Auschwitz. In the photo above, he looks like a nice man, who wouldn’t hurt anyone.

Update, Sept. 13, 2013:

An alert reader of my blog wrote this in a comment:

[Brigitte Höss] did not give an interview to the New York Daily News. [The story] was just picked up by them from her interview with a nephew of the man who captured her father, who has written a book about it. Thomas Harding [the nephew] found [Brigitte] and so she agreed to talk to him. [The interview] was published in the Washington Post Magazine.

Continue reading my original post:

This quote is from a news article in the online New York Daily News about 80-year-old Brigitte Höss, the daughter of Rudolf Höss, the Commandant of Auschwitz, who is shown in the photo above:

Höss is convinced her father was a good man, despite the atrocities he committed.

“He had to do it,” she said. “His family was threatened. We were threatened if he didn’t. And he was one of many in the SS. There were others as well who would do it if he didn’t.”

Very clever.  David Boroff, who wrote this article which was published on Sept. 9, 2013, has implied that the father of Brigitte Höss “had to [ gas the Jews]” and that she admits that he did it.

Did Rudolf Höss have to gas prisoners to death at Auschwitz because his family was threatened if he didn’t?  Or did he have to give a fake confession because his family was threatened if he didn’t?

There were “others as well who would do it if he didn’t”?  DO WHAT?  Confess to the gassing of prisoners at Auschwitz?

This quote is also from the article, written by David Boroff in the online New York Daily News:

A Nazi monster who admitted killing one million Jews “was the nicest man in the world,” his daughter said in a revealing interview published this weekend.

Brigitte Höss, who lived in comfort at three different concentration camps while innocents were getting slaughtered just yards away, still hides her real identity from the public while living in northern Virginia with her son.

Affidavit signed by Rudolf Hoess on May 14, 1946

Affidavit signed by Rudolf Hoess on May 14, 1946

On May 14, 1946, the former Commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Rudolf Höß, also known as Rudolf Hoess, signed a sworn affidavit in which he stated that two million Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau between 1941 and 1943 while he was the Commandant. This did not include the period, during which Hoess was not the Commandant, when over 300,000 Hungarian Jews were gassed during a period of 10 weeks in the Summer of 1944, according to the Auschwitz Museum.

The English translation of the German text in the affidavit, shown above, reads:

“I declare herewith under oath that in the years 1941 to 1943 during my tenure in office as commandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp 2 million Jews were put to death by gassing and a 1/2 million by other means. Rudolf Hoess. May 14, 1946.”

The confession was signed by Hoess and by Josef Maier of the US Chief of Counsel’s office.

The Confession of Rudolf Hoess is displayed at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC

The Confession of Rudolf Hoess is displayed at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC

The original affidavit, signed by Rudolf Hoess, is displayed in a glass case in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. The photo that is displayed, along with the affidavit, shows Hungarian Jewish women and children walking to one of the four gas chambers in the Birkenau death camp on May 26, 1944, carrying their hand baggage in sacks. Brigitte Höss objects to having a Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.  The Holocaust didn’t happen in America and was not perpetrated by Americans, so why should there be a Holocaust Museum in the capital of the United States of America?

The caption underneath the photo above, which hangs in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, reads:

On May 14, 1946, Rudolf Hoess, the former commandant of Auschwitz, signed a declaration stating that during his tenure in office, 2 million Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz and another 500,000 killed in other ways. Hoess overestimated the number of Jews gassed by about 1 million.

There have been allegations that this confession was obtained from Rudolf Hoess by means of torture. Rupert Butler wrote in his book entitled Legions of Death, published by Arrow Books in London in 1983, that Hoess had been beaten for three days by a British team of torturers under the command of Jewish interrogator Bernard Clarke.

Rudolf Höss  gave several confessions in which he admitted to “killing Jews.”  The first confession signed by Höss was labeled by the Allies as Nuremberg Document No-1210. It was an 8-page typewritten document written in German. Höss wrote the date 14.3.1946 2:30 (March 14, 1946 2:30 a.m.) next to his signature. This date was three days after his capture on March 11, 1946. Höss had been beaten half to death; alcohol had been poured down his throat, and he had been kept awake for three days and nights before he finally signed this confession at 2:30 in the morning.

A second affidavit signed by Rudolf Höss on April 5, 1946 was labeled by the Allies at the Nuremberg IMT as document PS-3868. It was a typewritten document, about 2 and a quarter pages long, written in English. A second document, also labeled PS-3868, was purported to be the English translation of the original deposition given by Höss in German. The second document was the one that was entered into the proceedings of the Nuremberg IMT.

During his cross-examination of Rudolf Höss at the Nuremberg IMT, American prosecutor Col. Harlan Amen quoted from the second affidavit which was alleged to be the English translation of a deposition given by Höss in German. After reading each statement made by Höss in his affidavit, Col Amen asked Höss if this was what he had said and Höss answered “Jawohl.”

In 1946, Rudolf Höss was put on trial in Poland; he was charged with the murder of “around 300,000 people held at the camp as prisoners and entered into the camp’s records and around 4,000,000 people, mainly Jews, who were brought to the camp in transports from other European countries for immediate extermination and thus not listed in the camp’s records.” During his trial, Höss changed the figure in his confession to a total of 1,130,000 Jews that were gassed but declared “During my tenure at Auschwitz, millions of people died, whose exact number I cannot determine.”

Rudolf Höss wrote in his autobiography that Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann and his deputy were the only ones who knew the total number of Jews that were gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau because Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had ordered the records to be burned after every special action. The Nazis always used code words when talking about the genocide of the Jews: a mass gassing was called a “special action.”

In the last days of World War II, shortly before Berlin was surrounded by Soviet troops, Eichmann told Höss that 2.5 million Jews had been murdered at Auschwitz Birkenau. Eichmann was an SS Lt. Col. who was the head of Department IV, B-4, the section of the Reich Central Security Office (RSHA) in Berlin, which was responsible for deporting the Jews. It was Adolf Eichmann who was in charge of deporting the Jews on the trains to the death camps.

According to the Auschwitz Museum, no records of the number of prisoners who died at Auschwitz-Birkenau have ever been found. In an article on the official Auschwitz website, Franciszek Piper wrote the following:

When the Soviet army entered the camp on January 27, 1945, they did not find any German documents there giving the number of victims, or any that could be used as a basis for calculating this number. Such documents (transport lists, notifications of the arrival of transports, reports about the outcome of selection) had been destroyed before liberation. For this reason, the Soviet commission investigating the crimes committed in Auschwitz Concentration Camp had to make estimates. [...]

The absence of the most important of the statistical sources that the Germans kept in Auschwitz made it practically impossible for historians to research the issue of the number of victims. The reluctance to research this issue also resulted from a conviction of the impossibility of drawing up a full list of transports reflecting the total number of deportees, and above all of the people who were consumed by the gas chambers and crematoria with no registration or records.

In his book entitled IBM and the Holocaust, Edwin Black wrote that the Nazis tracked the prisoners by using IBM Hollerith machines which sorted punch cards that were coded with information about each prisoner. The numbers on the tattoos that were put on the arms of the Auschwitz prisoners, starting in 1943, were originally the prisoner’s code number on his Hollerith card.

The following is a quote from the book IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black:

It was not just people who were counted and marshaled for deportation. Box cars, locomotives and intricate train time tables were scheduled across battle-scared borders – all while a war was being fought on two fronts. The technology had enabled Nazi Germany to orchestrate the death of millions without skipping a note.

According to Edwin Black, the prisoners were not tracked with an IBM punch card until they were registered in a camp, so there are no records of those who arrived at Auschwitz, but were not registered. Of the millions of Hollerith punch cards used by the Nazis, only around 100,000 survived the war, according to Edwin Black.

The generally accepted figure of 1.3 million who were deported to Auschwitz is not based on the train records kept by the Germans, but rather an estimate made by Franciszek Piper, the former head of the Auschwitz Memorial Site, who wrote the following in his article on the official Auschwitz web site:

After an overall analysis of the original sources and findings on deportation to Auschwitz, I concluded that a total of at least 1,300,000 people were deported there, and that 1,100,000 of them perished. Approximately 200,000 people were deported from Auschwitz to other camps as part of the redistribution of labor resources and the final liquidation of the camp.

One of the most distinguished Holocaust researchers, Raul Hilberg, published a separate work (Auschwitz and the Final Solution) on the number of Auschwitz victims. His findings reaffirmed both the figure of 1,000,000 Jewish Auschwitz victims that he had arrived at as long ago as 1961, as well as my own conclusions.

The IBM Hollerith punch cards kept by the Germans for the  Jews, Russians and Gypsies, who were registered in the camp and later killed in the gas chambers, were coded as F-6 for “special treatment” or as “evacuations” according to Edwin Black, the author of IBM and the Holocaust. The code for “execution” was D-4.

In 2002, Edwin Black wrote the following in an article regarding the IBM Hollerith punch card machines in Krakow which were used by the Nazis to keep track of the Auschwitz prisoners:

The machines almost certainly did not maintain extermination totals, which were calculated as “evacuations” by the Hollerith Gruppe in Krakow.

On April 12, 1947, just before his execution, Rudolf Höss signed the following Final Statement, in which he admitted his shame for committing Crimes Against Humanity and for participating in the genocide perpetrated by the Third Reich:

My conscience is forcing me to make also the following assertion: In the isolation prison I have reached the bitter understanding of the terrible crimes I have committed against humanity. As a Kommandant of the extermination camp at Auschwitz, I have realized my part in the monstrous genocide plans of the Third Reich. By this means I caused humanity and mankind the greatest harm, and brought unspeakable suffering, particularly to the Polish nation. For my responsibility, I am now paying with my life. Oh, that God would forgive me my deeds! People of Poland, I beg you to forgive me! Just now in the Polish prisons have I recognized what humanity really is. In spite of everything that happened I have been treated humanely, which I had never expected, and this has made me feel deeply ashamed. Would to God…that the fact of disclosing and confirming those monstrous crimes against mankind and humanity may prevent for all future ages even the premises leading to such horrible events.

Was Rudolf Höss also forced to write the above quote?  Did he write the above quote because he was tortured again?

I previously blogged about the son of another child of Rudolf Höss at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/the-grandson-of-rudolf-hoess-is-still-bothered-by-the-shame-associated-with-his-family-name/

September 7, 2013

Giovanni Palatucci was named a Righteous Gentile, and is now a candidate for beatification, the first step towards sainthood

A few days ago, I received a lengthy essay, on the topic of Giovanni Palatucci, from Dr. Wolf Murmelstein, the son of Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein, who was the last Jewish Elder of the Theresienstadt Ghetto during World War II.  In the past, I have published several of the essays, written by Dr. Wolf Murmelsein, on my web site here.  I previously blogged here about an essay written by Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein in defense of his father.

Dr. Murmelstein has written a defense of Giovanni Palatucci, who is called “the Italian Schindler.”   There are others who claim that the story of Giovanni Palatucci is a myth, and that he was a Nazi collaborator. For example, this article in the New York Times.

Giovanni Palatucci

Giovanni Palatucci

According to Wikipedia, Giovanni Palatucci was arrested [by the Nazis] on September 13, 1944. He was condemned to death, but the sentence was later commuted to deportation to the Dachau concentration camp, where he died on February 10, 1945, before the camp was liberated by the Allies on April 29, 1945. Some say that he died of malnutrition and others declared that he was shot.[2]

The fact that Giovanni Palatucci was sent to Dachau indicates that he was arrested for helping Jews to escape deportation, and that he was not a Nazi collaborator.

Postage stamps in honor of Giovanni Palatucci

Postage stamps in honor of Giovanni Palatucci

Currently, Giovanni Palatucci is the subject of an ongoing debate because he is a candidate for beautification, the first step towards being canonized as a Saint in the Catholic Church.  Scroll way down to the bottom of this blog post to read the requirements for canonization.

In 1990, Palatucci was named a Righteous Gentile by Yad Vashem in Israel because he saved a Jewish woman from being killed during the Holocaust. However, there are also claims that Giovanni Palatucci sent Jews to the Auschwitz extermination camp. You can read about the “unfounded claims of heroism” here.

According to Wikipedia: Giovanni Palatucci (May 31, 1909 – February 10, 1945) was an Italian police official who between 1940 and 1944 may have saved thousands of Jews in Fiume (current Rijeka in Croatia) from being deported to Nazi extermination camps. In 2013 a research panel of historians led by the Centro Primo Levi reviewed almost 700 documents and concluded that Palatucci had actually been a willing Nazi collaborator and that of the 500 Jews living in Fiume, 412 were deported to Auschwitz, a higher percentage than in any Italian city.[1] The matter is currently the topic of scholarly debate.

I am publishing Dr. Wolf Murmelstein’s essay, which defends Giovanni Palatucci, and gives new information about what actually happened.

BEGIN READING THE WORDS WRITTEN BY DR. WOLF MURMELSTEIN:

Giovanni Palatucci – 1909/1945 – was the son of a Lawyer in the South Italian Province of Avellino; three uncles were priests.

In 1930 he had to enroll in the Italian Army for the compulsory Military Service at Moncallieri, near Turin where he, in 1932, obtained his degree in Law at the age of 23; a four year Legal Practice followed.

We may suppose that Giovanni Palatucci, at Turin, had  contacts with Jewish colleagues and clients. Noteworthy, in 1934 at Turin, members of a Jewish Group had been put on arrest for antifascist behavior.

Giovanni Palatucci, feeling unhappy about the difficulties of the legal profession, looked for a position in the governmental sector. So, in 1936, he became a Police Officer and started at the Police Headquarters in Genoa, a town where many German Jews stood coping with their emigration procedures.

It is not known whether Giovanni Palatucci had had the opportunity to meet those Jewish emigrants, learning about the first persecution in Nazi Germany; at any rate he had been blamed for “non proper contacts” and, at the end of 1937, sent to Fiume.

Fiume, now Rijeka, until 1918 had been the sole sea port of the Kingdom of Hungary. This was a matter of heavy disputes, and following  the Versailles Peace Treaty, Fiume became a Free Sea Port Town. But, from 1924 on, in force of the Italian-Yugoslavian Agreement, Fiume was one of the many Italian sea port towns. Clearly, it’s economic and social conditions worsened. Nevertheless, the Jewish Community held good positions, thanks to the lasting contacts with the communities of the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire.

In the nearby Istria and Friuli, there was an increasing fascist harassment of the Slovenian and Croatian ethnic communities, a source of bitterness and hate.  Fiume, just at the border with Yugoslavia, was the crucial point of Italian Fascist aims on the Balkan.

At Fiume Police Headquarters, Giovanni Palatucci joined the Section for Control of Foreigners; he could not know that  his historical role was starting.

In March 1938, the notorious anti-Semite Temistocle Testa, a former fascist militia colonel, had been named as Prefect of the Fiume Province and the hardliner Vincenzo Genovesi became the Police Superintendent.

These two hard fascists were supervising Giovanni Palatucci, from 1938 to 1943. So, first of all, we ought to consider which level of actual authority Giovanni Palatucci had been holding in each of these years: his official rank and advancements, the sort of authorizations he had been entitled to grant  and how he could submit proposals.

Just in March 1938, Austria had been annexed to Nazi Germany and there had been the first Jewish refugees reaching Fiume.

In October/November 1938, under the Racist Law of 1938, almost all members of Fiume Jewish Community lost the Italian citizenship that they gotten in 1924. As stateless persons, they were put under the control of the Police Section for Control of Foreigners.

In the following years, an increasing number of refugees, mainly Jews, reached Fiume, trying to escape the Nazi persecutions. So, from 1938 to 1943, Giovanni Palatucci had to deal mainly with Jews.

There were, at one site, the members of Fiume Jewish Community and on other site, the mass of Jewish refugees whose number can only be conjectured.

Therefore, the claim that there were only about 500 Jews in the Fiume zone, so that he could not have saved 5,000, turns out to be baseless; this claim is due to ignorance about the real conditions.

In 1940, Mussolini issued a decree for the expulsion of all these Jewish refugees. This decree actually meant that the Jewish refugees were taken to the border and handed over to the Nazis. Under these conditions, Giovanni Palatucci submitted the proposal to send (for “security reasons”) all these Jewish refugees to Southern Italy.

He could have managed to send them mainly to the area around Campagna – in Salerno province – where his uncle, Giuseppe Maria Palatucci, was a Bishop. His uncle could have called on his connections in the Italian Ministry of Interior to arrange for many Jews to be sent to the villages around there, which would have been obliged to take them in, as residents.

So it turns out that thousands of Jewish refugees – whose exact number can only be conjectured – were sent, from 1940 to 1943, to the Campagna Internment Camp; most of them survived.

Another uncle of Palatucci, was Alfonso, who was the Father Superior of the South Italy Franciscan Province; he advised the Priors of convents which could help.

So the further objection, based on the limited capacity of the Campagna Internment Camp, alleged to be able to handle only a few 100 refugees, turns out to be as baseless as the other claims.

In 1942, the Yugoslavian Jews, living in regions under the Italian Military Occupation, were scheduled to be handed over to the Germans for Deportation. Mussolini had signed the papers with “no objection”.

Italian Military Commanders, knowing enough about the meaning of the terms  “deportation” or “resettlement”, refused to carry out that inhuman order to bring those Jews to Fiume, where Palatucci could have granted further help.

So, Giovanni Palatucci was able to help, mainly because his two uncles were ready to help. Thanks to the actions of Palatucci, the Italian Military Commanders in Yugoslavia could have helped to avoid involvement in Nazi crimes. There were chains of helpful actions.

Leaders of the Italian Jewish Assistance Organization “Delasem” had been able to persuade other Police Officials – often of Southern Italian origin, like Palatucci  – to avoid expulsions of Jewish refugees, sending them, instead, to internment camps or to obliged residence in villages.

Besides that, Dante Almansi (a former Prefect and Chairman of Italian Jewish Communities Union) tried to call on his still remaining connections in order to ease Jewish conditions. However, Dante Almansi learned in 1940 that all Jews were supposed to leave Italy within a certain time. Indeed, it seems that there had been a project to “resettle” all Italian Jews in Ethiopian Highland.

In June 1943, when the possibility of an Allied landing in Italy had to be considered, the hardening of Jewish conditions was already being discussed in the Ministry of Interior.

In July 1943, as the result of an inspection, Palatucci had been blamed for disorder in handling the documents; he had relied on insufficient staff in his section. Had he, advancing in rank, already reached the title of section head?

Things changed in September 1943 when, after the Italian surrender to the Allied Forces, the German forces occupied most of Italy. The Friuli-Istria region had been put under direct German rule and renamed   “Adriatisches Kuestenland,” in view of becoming part of Greater Germany, according to the German Vital Space theory.

Indeed, the Governor of the Austrian region of Carintia had been placed in charge of the civil administration of the area. The local “Italian authorities” (especially the police) lost any power, and in part, were even ousted. The deportation of Jews, who were still in Fiume, was planned and carried out by the German Police.

As to Giovanni Palatucci, he had to adhere to the laws of the so-called “Italian Social Republic,” which had been set up by Mussolini in October 1943.

At the same time, Palatucci joined the Fiume Resistance Board which had the non-realistic goal of establishing Fiume again as a Free Sea Port Town.

In November 1943, Giovanni Palatucci had been the only qualified Police Official still at Fiume. Because of this, the Interior Ministry of the Italian Social Republic, a pathetic movement which was meant to assert Italian presence, named Palatucci the “Temporary Head” of Police Headquarters,  without giving him any real power.

The same Fascist Interior Ministry issued an order stating that actions against the Jews were the matter of German Authorities.  Therefore, the accusations that have arisen against Giovanni Palatucci, in which he has been accused of having been involved in the rounding up and deportation of Fiume Jews, have turned out to be baseless. These accusations are due to deep ignorance about the real power conditions.

It seems that, even in those conditions, Giovanni Palatucci had still been able to help, since survivors have released evidence considered to be trustworthy by Yad Vashem.

At any rate, Palatucci had been put under arrest in September 1944 by the German Police. He was sentenced to death and sent to Dachau where he died in February 1945.

The Fascist Interior Ministry had been informed only about “his ties with the enemy” – with British spies, Jewish refugees, others? – without stating any further detail.

After the War, many refugees remembered the help granted to them by Giovanni Palatucci, and already in 1953, he had been considered a hero. After a year-long investigation, Yad Vashem found sufficient evidence to consider him a Righteous Gentile.

In past years, a new sort of revisionism started and records of help granted in That Darkness are being demolished in a very slanderous manner.

There had been the attempt to “review” the Perlasca Myth, concerning help granted at Budapest in November December 1944 but the son, Franco Perlasca, was able to defend his father’s reputation.

Now there is a debate about the “Palatucci Myth” because no close relative is able to oppose the slander. Against the late Bishop Giuseppe Maria Palatucci, an accusation has arisen that the story was made up with the aim of obtaining financial benefit: a pension for the parents. Whoever launched this tale does not even know that the mother passed away in 1947 while the father, Felice, owned a well established legal firm.

It may be guessed that he too, like his colleagues, had to deal with claims for war pension benefits. The father, Felice, and  the uncle, Bishop Giuseppe Maria, had  certainly been aware that, according to strong Italian law, no one had been entitled to financial benefits due to the death of Giovanni Palatucci who was not married. This accusation turns out to be baseless.

As to the mass of documents “found” more than sixty years after the events, questions of authenticity arise as Fiume Police Headquarters offices had been seized by the Nazis in autumn 1943 and by the Yugoslavians in May 1945.

Furthermore, it had been said on Italian Television in September 1943 that Palatucci had destroyed many documents in his office, upon the  arrival of the German police forces. So, documents found by Croatian authorities in those archives, about seventy years after the events, are raising many questions about their authenticity, questions which ought to be carefully answered.  Besides, Croatia is not happy with the Catholic Church procedure of beatification of Giovanni Palatucci, being rather interested in the deeds of Croatian monks, who took part in Ustascia actions against the Serbs.

How many Jews were helped by Giovanni Palatucci? Their number can be only roughly conjectured. The Talmud states that who saves one life is considered as saving the entire world.

After the Holocaust we should ask:

“When that Righteous person saved the entire world, which other Righteous person helped?”.

END OF ESSAY BY WOLF MURMELSTEIN

Giovanni Palatucci, who died in February 1945 at Dachau, is most likely buried in the cemetery at Leitenberg, located a few miles from the Dachau Memorial Site.  The photo below shows the Italian Memorial chapel at Leitenberg.

Italian Memorial Chapel at Leitenberg cemetery

Italian Memorial Chapel at Leitenberg cemetery

There were 3,388 Italians counted at the Dachau concentration camp at the last roll call on April 26, 1945, three days before the camp was liberated.

The number of Italian prisoners who died at Dachau is unknown. Most of the prisoners, who died at Dachau, died in the last months of the war when there was a typhus epidemic in the camp.  They are buried in unmarked graves on the hill called Leitenberg because the camp had run out of coal to burn the bodies of prisoners dying in the typhus epidemic.

The Italian Memorial Chapel at Leitenberg, called Regina Pacis, was designed by Dr. Enea Ronca from Verona. The name means Queen of Peace. The Memorial Chapel was consecrated on July 31, 1973. It is dedicated to the memory of all the Italians who died in all of the Nazi concentration camps.

There are four steps to sainthood:  A candidate for sainthood must perform a miracle, or be declared a martyr.  In the case of Giovanni Palatucci, he has been declared a martyr.  Because of his actions in saving Italian Jews from deportation to concentration camps, Palatucci was arrested and sent to Dachau where he died, possibly by being executed.

Before a person can be considered a candidate for sainthood, he or she must have been dead for at least 5 years. (Giovanni Palatucci has been dead for more than 5 years.) Then the potential candidate must complete the four steps to becoming a saint.

Step One: When the subject arises, that a person should be considered for Sainthood, a Bishop is placed in charge of the initial investigation of the person’s life. If it is determined that the candidate is deemed worthy of further consideration, the Vatican grants a “Nihil Obstat.” This is a Latin phrase that means “nothing hinders.” Henceforth, the candidate is called a “Servant of God.”

Step Two: The Church Official, a Postulator, who coordinates the process and serves as an advocate, must prove that the candidate lived heroic virtues. This is achieved through the collection of documents and testimonies that are collected and presented to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. When a candidate is approved, he or she earns the title of “Venerable.”

Step Three: To be beatified and recognized as a “Blessed,” one miracle acquired through the candidate’s intercession is required in addition to recognition of heroic virtue (or martyrdom in the case of a martyr).

Step Four: Canonization requires a second miracle after beatification, though a Pope may waive these requirements. (A miracle is not required prior to a martyr’s beatification, but one is required before his or her canonization.) Once this second miracle has been received through the candidate’s intercession, the Pope declares the person a “Saint.”

September 6, 2013

Hitler’s body guard, dead at 96, said that Hitler never talked about the “Final Solution”

Filed under: Germany — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 1:18 pm
Rochus Misch, one of Hitler's body guards

Rochus Misch, Hitler’s body guard

You can read in the news today about the death of Rochus Misch, one of Hitler’s body guards, who has died at the age of 96.  Misch spent 9 years in a Soviet prison camp, after he was captured in Berlin in the last days of the war. Misch had stayed in the bunker until the end.  He saw the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun after they had killed themselves.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/09/06/hitler-bodyguard/2775459/

This quote is from the news article, cited above:

In his interview with the AP, [Rochus Misch] stayed away from the central questions of guilt and responsibility, saying he knew nothing of the murder of 6 million Jews and that Hitler never brought up the Final Solution in his presence.

“That was never a topic,” he said emphatically. “Never.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23989454

This quote is from the second news article, cited directly above:

Together [Misch and his wife] had one daughter, Brigitta Jacob-Engelken, who told the BBC in 2009 that her maternal grandmother had told her that her mother was Jewish, something Misch refused to accept.

When she was younger Ms Jacob-Engelken learnt Hebrew and spent time on a kibbutz in Israel.

As an architect she has worked on a project to restoration of local synagogues in Germany.

“I don’t blame my father for the work he did because it was harmless work,” she said in 2009.

But she added she could not understand why her father, who remained loyal to Hitler to the end, was not more critical in his reflections of Nazi history.

September 4, 2013

The inefficient way the Final Solution was conducted — Dutch girl gassed at Sobibor

Today, I read this headline on an article in the online newspaper, The Jewish Daily Forward:

Dutch City Unveils Memorial to Helga Deen, Jewish Holocaust Victim
Teen Diarist Was 18 When She Died at Sobibor

Photo of Arbeit Macht Frie gate

Photo of Arbeit Macht Frie gate appears to have been taken at Theresienstadt

Sign over the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt

Sign over the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt

The  first photo above accompanied the article in The Jewish Daily Forward.  The second photo was taken at the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt.  The “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign was on an interior gate at Theresienstadt.  The full picture below shows that this sign was over an interior gate into a prison, where the prisoners had a chance to be released.

The Small Fortress at Theresienstadt

The Small Fortress at Theresienstadt

The slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” has become an icon of the Holocaust, although this sign was only used at places where prisoners had a chance to be released, never on the gate into a death camp.

Now that we have established that the photo, which accompanied the story, has nothing whatsoever to do with Sobibor, the death camp where Helga Deen was allegedly gassed, here is the story that was published by The Jewish Daily Forward:

The Jewish community of Tilburg in the Netherlands unveiled a statue commemorating Helga Deen, a teenage Jewish diarist who died in a concentration camp 70 years ago.

The Liberal Jewish Community of Tilburg unveiled the monument in memory of Deen on Monday in partnership with a neighborhood association, the Dutch daily Brabants Dagblad reported Monday.

The city of Tilburg also has named the square where the statue was erected for Deen, who was killed at 18 in a gas chamber at the Sobibor death camp in 1943. Her German mother, Dutch father and 15-year-old brother, Klaus, also were killed there.

Unlike the teen Dutch-Jewish diarist Anne Frank, who wrote about her life in hiding in Amsterdam, Deen’s diary was about her monthlong stay as a prisoner in the Vught camp. From there she was shipped to Westerbork, another Dutch concentration camp, and then to Sobibor in Poland.

Frank also was incarcerated at Westerbork; she died at 15 in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
[Wrong:  Anne Frank died at Bergen-Belsen. Anne Frank was a German Jew.]

Approximately 75 percent of Holland’s Jewish population of 140,000 died in the Holocaust, according to the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem.

During her stay in Vught, Deen also wrote to her fiance, Kees van den Berg. Her letters to him were found after van den Berg’s death by his son, who gave them to a local archive along with the diary that Deen sent to van den Berg from the camp. Deen’s writings appeared in a book published in 2007.

Note that Helga Deen sent her diary to her fiance “from the camp.”  Which camp?  From Westerbork?  I can’t imagine the Germans saying to the victims at Sobibor: “If any of you have a diary that you want to send back to Holland, please hand it to one of the Sonderkommando Jews, so that we can wrap it up and put the proper postage on it.”

Why would Helga Deen have been sent all the way from Holland to Sobibor, which was a death camp in what is now Poland?  Helga, as well as everyone else in her family, was capable of working.  Why wasn’t Helga put to work digging anti-tank ditches for the German army?  Why did she have to be sent miles away to be killed, when she could have just been shot at the Westerbork camp?

The 34,000 Dutch Jews, who were sent to Sobibor, arrived in 19 passenger trains, according to Toivi Blatt, a survivor of Sobibor.  Meanwhile, German citizens were riding around in cattle cars, because there were not enough passenger trains available during the war.

As we can see, the Final Solution, which was the genocide of the Jews, was handled in a way that was the height of inefficiency — so unlike the German people, who are obsessed with doing everything the RIGHT WAY.

I am going to send a package to the Jews in Siberia this year at Hanukkah, in case Helga Deen is still alive.

September 2, 2013

Has documentation of one person who was gassed at Auschwitz finally been found?

For many years, Bradley Smith has been asking for the name of one person, with documentation, who was gassed at Auschwitz, or any other Nazi concentration camp.  Today, I got an e-mail from Bradley, which got my hopes up, that the name of one person had finally been found.

It seems that a letter was sent, by CODOH historian David Merlin, to Peter Black, a senior historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, asking for one name of a person (with proof) who was gassed by the Nazis. A reply was received in which the name Else Ury was given by the USHMM.

The reply, sent by the USHMM, is quoted below:

“We know that Else Ury went to Auschwitz-Birkenau, because her name appears on a transport list with more than 1100 others deported from Berlin to Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 12, 1943. We know that she did not survive selection upon arrival because her name does not appear in the prisoner registry.” [..]

Else Ury was one of 1,196 German Jews deported from Berlin to Auschwitz on January 13, 1943.”

Note that the name Else Ury was on TWO DIFFERENT transport lists: January 12 and January 13, 1943.  Her name was obviously taken off the January 12th list and put on the January 13th list.  Who’s to say that her name was not removed from the January 13th list and put on yet another list.  Is there any proof that she survived the trip to Auschwitz on the train that left on January 13th?  It was in the dead of winter, and the trains were not heated.

According to an article on Bradley Smith’s CODOH website, Else Ury’s name was put into the Yad Vashem database several times.  Else was born in 1877 and she lived in Berlin.

Wait a minute! This woman was 66 years old and she lived in Berlin.  She was a “prominent and talented writer.”  Would a 66-year-old woman, who was a famous writer, have been sent to Auschwitz to be gassed?  Old women and prominent Jews were sent to Theresienstadt.

It would have been a waste of time and money to send a 66-year-old woman to Auschwitz to be gassed.  This woman was virtually on her death bed.  There were millions of Jews to be gassed.  Why waste time on an old woman who probably would not survive the train ride, in a cattle car, to Auschwitz?

The most important thing about the story of Else Ury is that she was not registered in the Auschwitz camp, which is allegedly the proof that she was gassed.  Many prisoners were sent to Auschwitz, where they stayed for several months before being sent elsewhere; they were not registered because they were not selected to work in the camp.  They stayed for a few months at Auschwitz, which was a TRANSIT CAMP, as well as a death camp.  Then they were sent on to another camp.

I previously wrote a blog post about the man who allegedly kept records of the Jews who were gassed: http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/deaths-in-gas-chambers-at-auschwitz-recorded-by-ernest-michel/

I previously wrote about Auschwitz on a blog post which you can read here: http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/train-tracks-to-auschwit-birkeanau/

This quote is from my website:

The town of Auschwitz was a major railroad hub, with many train tracks coming into it; there was a large marshaling yard near the Auschwitz station. Standing on the railroad overpass in 1941, Himmler realized that Birkenau was an ideal location for transporting people by rail from all over Europe, although the plans for exterminating the Jews were not finalized until the Nazis were confident that they would win their war against the Soviet Union.

My guess is that Else Ury, a prominent old woman, was sent to Theresienstadt, where there was a barracks, that was specifically for older women.  The photo below shows a hospital for old people at Theresienstadt.

Hohenelbe Barracks at Theresienstadt contained a hospital

Hohenelbe Barracks at Theresienstadt contained a hospital

Between Parkstrasse and Wallstrasse on the east side of the Theresienstadt ghetto is where the Hohenelbe barracks were located. This was the central hospital for the Jewish inmates in the ghetto. There were public baths, showers and a swimming pool located here. The building included a kitchen which prepared food for the hospital patients.

Behind this building is a large bastion jutting out from the town walls which you can get a glimpse of on the extreme left of the photo above. Located between the walls of the bastion was the Kavalir barracks.  The Kavalir barracks was used to house the very old prisoners and also prisoners brought to Theresienstadt from the Jewish insane asylums in the Greater German Reich.  This could be the place where Else Ury was a prisoner.

As I read further in the letter from David Merlin, CODOH to the USHMM, I found that Mr. Merlin also thinks that Else Ury was most likely sent to Theresienstadt. This quote is from his letter:

First, we note a conflict between your statement that “1196 German Jews (were) deported from Berlin to Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 12, 1943″ and the report of Danuta Czech in Auschwitz Chronicle that a transport from Berlin arrived at Auschwitz on January 13, 1943 with one thousand (1,000) men, women and children on it. This suggests that 196 persons may have been taken off of the Auschwitz transport.

We also note that there were numerous transports of Jewish deportees from Berlin to Theresienstadt in 1943. These transports carried thousands of people and oftentimes included prominent older German Jews, like Else Ury. One such transport from Berlin went to Theresienstadt on January 12, 1943, the day that Else Ury was deported. It was transport I/80 and carried 105 people.

So, has the name of one person who was gassed been found?  Nope.  Close, but no cigar.

August 27, 2013

The Nuremberg “show trials,” aka the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal

The Palace of Justice (Justizgebäude) at Fürtherstrasse 22, where the trial took place

Palace of Justice (Justizgebäude) at Fürtherstrasse 22 in Nuremberg, where the trial took place

Today I am expanding on a blog post written by The Black Rabbit of Inlé, one of my regular readers:  http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/goerings-execution-was-foregone.html?zx=649975c9486c2a32

This quote is from the blog post, cited above:

November 20, 1945 was the opening day of the Trial of the Major war Criminals at Nuremberg, but a letter written by [Sir Hartley] Shawcross on November 4, 1945 reveals that he knew Goering was going to be executed at the end of it.

The Nuremberg trials, which started on November 20, 1945, are called “show trials” because the outcome was known before the trials began.

German war criminals on trial at the Nuremberg IMT

German war criminals on trial at the Nuremberg IMT

The first and best known of the show trials was the “Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal.” This was the show trial of the 24 most important captured leaders of Germany. It was held from November 20, 1945 to October 1, 1946.  The photo above shows Hermann Goering on the far left, with Rudolf Hess sitting next to him. On the far right is Ernst Kaltenbrunner.

 View of the bomb damage of Nürnberg from the castle hill Photo Credit: Charles J. Sheridan


View of the bomb damage of Nürnberg from the castle hill
Photo Credit: Charles J. Sheridan

Bombing Germany back to the stone age was not enough revenge for the Allies; they had to put on show trials.

The first trial, before the International Military Tribunal, had prosecutors and judges from the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. A second set of trials, known as the Nuremberg Military Tribunals, was conducted by the United States only. The most famous of these trials were the Doctors’ Trial and the Judges’ Trial.

The Trial of the Major War Criminals began on November 20, 1945 when British judge Sir Goeffrey Lawrence called the court to order, saying “This trial, which is now about to begin, is unique in the annals of jurisprudence.” The trial ended nine months later on October 1, 1946.

The trial was unprecedented because the prosecutors who conducted the trial and the judges who made up the jury were both from the victorious Allies only. The International Tribunal and the charges against the Germans had been created under the terms of an agreement among the Allies, known as the London Charter, signed on August 8, 1945.

At the main trial, there were 100,000 documents accepted into evidence and the transcript of the trial filled 42 volumes with more than 5 million words. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Allied prosecutors submitted some 3,000 tons of records at the Nuremberg IMT. The defense was not allowed access to any documents except the ones that were actually used by the prosecution.

Nürnberg [Nuremberg] was famous for producing toys and gingerbread cookies, not war materials; it was the ideological center of Nazi Germany and Hitler’s favorite city. Nürnberg was regarded as the “most German” of all the cities in Germany, which made it a target for vindictive Allied bombing.

On the night of January 2, 1945, 514 British Lancaster bombers and 7 other British planes destroyed or damaged most of the old city, including the medieval walls, the historic castle and two centuries-old Gothic churches. At that point in the war, it was the most devastating air-raid attack on a civilian population and only the Allied bombing of Dresden, six weeks later, caused more damage and civilian deaths in Germany.

One wing of the Palace of Justice had to be restored by the forced labor of German prisoners, so that the show trials could be held in Room 600.

Room 600 is the room which has the windows covered

Room 600 is the room which has the windows covered

You can read about why the Nuremberg IMT is called a “show trial” at http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_show_trials

I previously blogged about the start of World War II, as presented at the Nuremberg IMT at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/alfred-naujocks-and-the-start-of-world-war-ii/

The entire Nuremberg International Military Tribunal trial was captured on film and shown to the world on TV. Newsreel films showed the city of Nürnberg as a pile of rubble, which had not yet been cleared when the trial started; the bodies of 20,000 German civilians were still buried under the destroyed buildings as the German war criminals were brought into the courtroom of the Palace of Justice. The Palace of Justice had suffered some damage in the Allied bombing of Nürnberg, but it had been restored by the forced labor of the conquered Germans before the trial began.

It was at the Nuremberg trials that the whole world learned for the first time about the German atrocities, including all the gory details of the shrunken heads, the soap made from human fat, the leather goods made from the skin of concentration camp prisoners, and the gas chambers which accounted for the majority of the deaths at Auschwitz and Majdanek, where the Russians testified that not less than 4 million people had died in the Auschwitz complex and another 1.5 million had died at the Majdanek camp. Today, the figures given for these camps is 1.1 million deaths at Auschwitz and 78,000 at Majdanek, including 59,000 Jews.

The horror films of the Allied liberation of the Nazi concentration camps at Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald and Dachau were shown at the trial, to the defendants and to the public. An American-made documentary film, which showed all the graphic details of the gas pipes and control wheels which regulated the flow of poison gas through the shower heads of the Dachau gas chamber was shown in the courtroom on November 29, 1945.  I blogged about the Dachau gas chamber film at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/proof-of-the-nazi-gas-chambers-given-at-the-nuremberg-imt-on-nov-29-1945/

The Nuremberg IMT was more than just a trial. It was a graphic presentation to the entire world that the Allies had fought “the Good War” against the evil Nazis.

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

The goals of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) transcended verdict and punishment. The creators of the court were deliberately assembling a public record of the horrific crimes committed by Germans during World War II, including those of the Holocaust. American chief prosecutor Robert Jackson worried that “unless record was made future generations would not believe how horrible the truth was.”

In order to avoid any accusation of exclusive reliance on personal testimony, which later generations might perceive to be biased, prosecutors decided to base their case primarily on thousands of documents written by the Germans themselves. These masses of documents were translated into the court’s four official languages, analyzed for their significance, and reproduced for distribution to defense attorneys and other trial participants. The prosecution presented other evidence through artifacts, diagrams, and photographs taken by Nazi photographers in concentration camps.

On the third day of his cross examination of Hermann Goering, American prosecutor Robert Jackson questioned him about the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany, including the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws on Citizenship which Goering had signed in September 1935.

Robert H. Jackson, chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg, during his closing address to the Tribunal.

Robert H. Jackson, chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg, during his closing address to the Tribunal

Then Jackson confronted Goering with the most incriminating piece of evidence in the entire trial: a letter dated July 31, 1941, in which Goering had ordered Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), to prepare a plan for the “Final solution of the Jewish question.” Goering testified that the German term “Die Endlösung” in the letter should have been translated as the “total solution,” and that it referred only to “the emigration of the Jews,” not the extermination of Jews.

The Protocols of the Wannsee Conference, at which the “Final Solution” was planned, were not found until 1947, so this important document was not included in the mountain of evidence introduced at the International Military Tribunal at which the German war criminals were tried for Crimes against Humanity.

Some people today claim that the Wannsee Conference never took place. Since the minutes of the meeting were not found until 1947, this is entirely possible.  Adolf Eichmann was the man who allegedly wrote the minutes that were not found until 1947.  He was put on trial in Israel so that he could elaborate on the plan to genocide the Jews, now known as “the Final Solution.”

Room where the Wannsee Conference was held

Room where the Wannsee Conference was held

The photograph above shows the large dining room of a villa on the Grossen Wannsee, a lake in the Wannsee suburb of Berlin, where the Conference on “The Final Solution of the Jewish Question” was held on January 20, 1942. This is the room where the plans for the genocide of the Jews were discussed. The villa is now a Holocaust Museum.

For the most part, the International Military Tribunal charged the defendants, not with individual responsibility for specific crimes, but with a “Common Plan” to commit crimes.

According to the book Justice at Nuremberg by Robert E. Conot, the idea for the Common Plan charges against the Germans came from Lieutenant Colonel Murray C. Bernays, a Lithuanian Jew who had emigrated to American in 1900 at the age of six.

Before the trial, according to Conot’s book, Churchill and Roosevelt’s adviser Henry Morgenthau, Jr. had advocated that “the principal Nazi leaders should be charged with their crimes, then summarily shot.” Bernays argued for a trial as “the educational and therapeutic opportunity of our generation.” Regarding the Nazi crimes, Bernays wrote “The crimes and atrocities were not single or unconnected, but the inevitable outcome of the basic criminal conspiracy of the Nazi party.”

There was nothing in international law which allowed a charge of participating in a “Common Plan.”  The Nuremberg trials were conducted on the basis of new laws that were made up by the Allies AFTER  the war, specifically for the German war criminals.

Any atrocities committed by the Allies were not considered war crimes. After the war, France passed a law that no French citizen could be charged with a war crime.

The Nuremberg trial had far-reaching consequences — for America and the world. In 1948 President Harry Truman desegregated the American armed forces, and in 1954 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional, Justice Robert Jackson, who participated in the decision, said that the Nuremberg experience and the “awful consequences of racial prejudice revealed by … the Nazi regime” had influenced his decision.

According to Conot’s book, before the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal proceedings began, there was no international criminal code; the barbaric practices of the Nazis became war crimes under international law, only after the IMT proceedings, when the United Nations passed the Genocide Convention and a Declaration of Human Rights.

After World War II, the rules of warfare changed: reprisals can no longer be taken against hostages or Prisoners of War; forced labor is now outlawed; captured partisans are given equal status with POWs. The Germans had been convicted of all these crimes before they were crimes. The verdicts at the Nuremberg IMT established international law and the actions of the Germans in World War II are now war crimes.

Regulations of all the major World War II armies now state that orders which would constitute the commission of a crime need not be obeyed. All the crimes that were revealed at the Nuremberg trial have now been incorporated into international law and the defense used at the Nuremberg trial by the German generals and admirals that they were just obeying orders is no longer valid.

August 26, 2013

The famous speech, allegedly made in March 1984 by Sir Hartley Shawcross, at Stourbridge, England

Filed under: World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 11:10 am

A regular reader of my blog wrote a comment in which he quoted the following, from a speech allegedly made at Stourbridge in March 1984, by Sir Hartley Shawcross, one of the prosecutors at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal:

“Hitler and the German people didn’t want this war. We didn’t answer Hitler’s various petitions for peace. Now we have to admit that he was right. Instead of a cooperation with Germany, which he had offered us, now stands the gigantic, imperialistic might of the Soviets. I feel ashamed to see how the same intentions which we accused Hitler of now are pursued under a different name.” – Sir Hartley Shawcross

This speech was supposedly made by Sir Hartley Shawcross at Stourbridge, England on March 16, 1984. It has been a source of controversy ever since.

Sir Hartley Shawcross had actually made a speech at Stourbridge on March 12, 1948, which was reported in the The Times (London) on March 13, 1948:

“SINISTER AIMS OF COMMUNISM SIR H. SHAWCROSS ON WESTERN UNION Sir Hartley Shawcross, the Attorney-General, speaking at Stourbridge last night [March 12th], said that recent tragic events in Czechoslovakia [communist putsch followed by suicide of Masaryk] had brought a new sense of urgency to the movement for western union. [...] SAME NAZI TECHNIQUE [...] Step by step I have been forced more and more to the conclusion that the aims of Communism in Europe are sinister and deadly aims. I prosecuted the Nazis in Nuremberg. With my Russian colleagues I condemned Nazi aggression and Nazi terror. I feel shame and humiliation now to see under a different name the same aims pursued, the same technique followed, without check. [...]“

The speech that was allegedly made by Shawcross on March 16, 1984, is believed to be a forgery.  The forgery is sometimes quoted as follows:

“I believe now that Hitler and the German People did not want war. But we declared war on Germany, intent on destroying her. In this we were encouraged by the Jews around Roosevelt. This was said to be in accordance with our principle of the ‘Balance of Power’. We ignored Hitler’s pleading not to enter into war. Now we are forced to realize that Hitler was right. He offered us the co-operation of Germany. Instead, since 1945, we have been facing the immense power of the Soviet Empire.”

Hey, Sir Hartley, tell us what you really think.

Compare the alleged March 16, 1984 speech, to the following quote from the two-day opening statement by Lord Shawcross on the 12th day of the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal on Tuesday, December 4, 1945:

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS (Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom):

May it please the Tribunal, on an occasion to which reference has and will be made, Hitler, the leader of the Nazi conspirators who are now on trial before you, is reported as having said, in reference to their warlike plans:

“I shall give a propagandist cause for starting the war, never mind whether it be true or not. The victor shall not be asked later on whether he told the truth or not. In starting and making a war, not the right is what matters, but victory the strongest has the right.”

The British Empire with its Allies has twice, within the space of 25 years, been victorious in wars which have been forced upon it, but it is precisely because we realize that victory is not enough, that might is not necessarily right, that lasting peace and the rule of international law is not to be secured by the strong arm alone, that the British nation is taking part in this Trial. There are those who would perhaps say that these wretched men should have been dealt with summarily without trial by “executive action”; that their power for evil broken, they should have been swept aside into oblivion without this elaborate and careful investigation into the part which they played in bringing this war about: Vae Victis! Let them pay the penalty of defeat. But that was not the view of the British Government. Not so would the rule of law be raised and strengthened on the international as well as upon the municipal plane; not so would future generations realize that right is not always on the side of the big battalions; not so would the world be made aware that the waging of aggressive war is not only a dangerous venture but a criminal one.

Lord Shawcross made it quite clear in his opening statement at Nuremberg that Hitler was responsible for starting World War II and that the Germans had forced not one, but two wars, upon the British empire in the previous 25 years.

In the alleged Stourbridge speech, Shawcross allegedly said just the opposite.

The speech, allegedly made by Sir Hartley Shawcross at Stourbridge, England on March 16, 1984, and allegedly reported by the Associated Press, is quoted on numerous web sites and in books such as The Triumph Of Reason: The Thinking Man’s Guide To Adolf Hitler by British author Michael Walsh, published on December 8, 2002.

The reason that the alleged Stourbridge speech is so controversial is because Sir Hartley Shawcross supposedly had a complete change of heart in 1984 at the age of 82. In the speech that he allegedly made on March 16, 1984 at Stourbridge, Shawcross exonerated Hitler and blamed the British for starting World War II.

What happened to cause Shawcross to change his mind?  Was he becoming senile at the age of 82?

Which country really DID start World War II?  Check out my previous blog post at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/youtube-video-proves-that-hitler-did-not-start-wwii/

I became interested in this controversy in 1999 when the alleged Stourbridge speech was being discussed on an Internet newsgroup. According to some of the comments on the newsgroup, a search of the Associated Press Archives showed that no such speech had been reported. The speech had not been reported in the London Times, nor in the New York Times.

When Shawcross died in 2003, many newspapers reported allegations of forgery. British author David Irving claims that the alleged Shawcross speech at Stourbridge was indeed a forgery.  The memoirs of Sir Hartley Shawcross, published in 1995, did not mention the speech. Nor was his alleged speech at Stourbridge mentioned in his obituary, when he died at the age of 101.

In 2008, I contacted the webmaster of the web site for the town of Stourbridge. He told me that he has no knowledge of a speech made there by Shawcross on March 16, 1984.

In 2008, Stourbridge was a college town of 54,000 people. If Shawcross had made such a controversial speech there in 1984, the whole town would still remember it. You can be sure that everyone in Missouri knows that Churchill made his famous “Iron Curtain” speech on March 5, 1946 at Westminster College in the equally small town of Fulton.

I think that we can safely say that Sir Hartley Shawcross did not have a change of heart, and that he believed to his dying day that Hitler and Germany were solely at fault in World War II, never the British.

The closing argument, given by Sir Hartley Shawcross, at the Nuremberg IMT, was a summation of the crimes which he believed had been proved by the Allies during the trial.

The following excerpt, from the closing argument, shows that Shawcross was emphatic about the Nazis being solely responsible for all the war crimes committed during World War II:

That these defendants participated in and are morally guilty of crimes so frightful that the imagination staggers and reels back at their very contemplation is not in doubt. Let the words of the defendant Frank, which were repeated to you this morning, be well remembered: “Thousands of years will pass and this guilt of Germany will not be erased”. Total and totalitarian war, waged in defiance of solemn undertakings and in breach of treaties; great cities, from Coventry to Stalingrad, reduced to rubble, the countryside laid waste, and now the inevitable aftermath of war so fought – hunger and disease stalking through the world; millions of people homeless, maimed, bereaved. And in their graves, crying out, not for vengeance but that this shall not happen again, ten million who might be living in peace and happiness at this hour, soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians killed in battles that ought never to have been.

Nor was that the only or the greatest crime. In all our countries when, perhaps in the heat of passion or for other motives which impair restraint, some individual is killed, the murder becomes a sensation, our compassion is aroused, nor do we rest until the criminal is punished and the rule of law is vindicated. Shall we do less when not one but on the lowest computation twelve million men, women and children are done to death. Not in battle, not in passion, but in the cold, calculated, deliberate attempt to destroy nations and races, to disintegrate the traditions, the institutions and the very existence of free and ancient States. Twelve million murders. Two-thirds of the Jews in Europe exterminated, more than six million of them on the killers’ own figures. Murder conducted like some mass- production industry in the gas chambers and the ovens of Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Maidanek and Oranienburg.

Maidanek was the German name for the Majdanek death camp in Poland and Oranienburg is the location of the Sachsenhausen camp.

What about the gas chambers at Belzec, Sobibor, Stutthof, Theresienstadt, Natzweiler, and Hartheim?

The gas chamber at Buchenwald has fallen by the wayside, but the others are still part of what you must believe to stay out of prison in 17 countries.  You can read about the gas chambers, that are still in existence, on my blog at http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/how-many-of-the-nazi-gas-chambers-are-still-in-existence/


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