Posts Tagged ‘ss’

Title: 48 Hours of Kristallnacht
Author: Mitchell G. Bard, Ph.D.
Genre: World War II, Politics

I have posted a couple of excerpts from this book over the past year or so & it is high time I recommended it to those of you who are interested in what transpired on Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass).

48 Hours of Kristallnacht is the first book to thoroughly chronicle this pivotal event by presenting a wide array of eyewitness testimony, much of it previously unpublished, & to set the event firmly in historical context. Drawing on his unprecedented access to key archives, Dr. Mitchell G. Bard presents a shocking story that centers on the words of those who, as children, were on the scene first-hand. Together, these accounts & Bard’s incisive analysis reveal what led up to the pogroms, how they transpired, & their aftermath – & why the Holocaust can be dated from these two harrowing nights.

Kristallnacht’s new Book of Lamentations. The power of Mitchell Bard’s 48 Hours of Kristallnacht derives from the start & vivid words of German Jewish children who, in a single day, saw their well-ordered world suddenly destroyed by the Nazis’ brutality & by the apathy & silence of their neighbors & classmates.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Mitchell G. Bard’s book, 48 Hours of Kristallnacht can be purchased online via Amazon in hardcover, paperback or for your Kindle.

Advertisements

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY Guy Walters PUBLISHED ON The Telegraph

I see that today’s papers are full of accounts of Gudrun Burwitz, the daughter of Heinrich Himmler, & her organization Stille Hilfe (Silent Help), that is reputed to help Nazis on the run. Predictably, the reports mention how Stille Hilfe co-operates with the ‘Odessa’, the clandestine Nazi escape network. I’m not qualified to discuss the activities of Stille Hilfe, but I do know a thing or two about the ‘Odessa’, & I believe the organization is more the product of fantasy than reality. I apologize that this is a longish post, but it’s a subject close to my professional heart, & nothing gets my goat more than when people talk knowledgeably about ‘Odessa’.

The most obvious problem with Odessa is the name. If you were organizing a super secret escape network for SS men, would you really label yourself with an acronym that stood for ‘Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen’ – the Organization of Former SS Members? No, I thought not.

The truth about the Nazi escape organizations, beneath the mushroom clouds of smoke, is that they were similar to an old-boy network, or perhaps even the loose web of terrorist cells & groups that are today placed under the name of al-Qaeda. After the war, there were countless organizations that assisted escaping Nazis, & some of these groups had names, such as ‘Konsul’, ‘Scharnhorst’, ‘Sechsgestirn’, ‘Leibwache’, ‘Lustige Brüder,’ & some did not. Instead of one big fire under the smoke, there were instead many small ones, the combination of their multiple & toxic emissions suggestive of a single large inferno. Assistance would also be provided on an ad hoc basis, sometimes by an individual or a handful of individuals rather than by a coordinated group. [Read More]

Title: The Nazis: A Warning From History
Type: Documentary
Category: News, Politics & World War II

How could a political party as fundamentally evil & overtly racist as the Nazis come to power? This remains one of the most enigmatic questions of the last century. Acclaimed historian Laurence Rees examines what led a cultured nation at the heart of Europe to commit the atrocities it did. In so doing, he exposes popular myths & encourages understanding of the real forces that led to one of the darkest chapters in modern history. Was it simply the hypnotic power of Hitler’s rhetoric? Did the Gestapo really impose themselves by terror on an unwilling population? Through interviews with witnesses & perpetrators, along with archive film & records, this six-part series unveils a more chilling reality.

As written on Amazon.

Title: Secrets of WW2: The Nazi Plundering of Europe
Type: Documentary
Category: News, Politics & World War II

Throughout occupied Europe the Nazis systematically plundered the continent’s museums, galleries, & private collections. At the war’s end, a massive effort was mounted by the Allies to locate the missing art treasures & return them to their rightful owners. But even today many great objects have yet to be located.

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY Tom Chesshyre PUBLISHED ON AF-E

Paderborn is a small cathedral city which is well-served by Air Berlin flights from the UK. The reason for this is that it is home to a big UK military presence. There are about 4,500 troops in local army camps & a British population of 12,000. The cathedral is stunning and it is here, in 799, that Charlemagne was made the first ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. There is a bustling market, a Tractor Museum, “Germany’s smallest river” (so says the tourist board) & – on the outskirts, near the airport – a very strange castle that has a scary past.

We arrive at Wewelsburg Castle. It is shaped like a triangle, a yellow-stone structure with two towers topped by bell-like domes & one wider fortified tower, sitting on a hill overlooking fields spreading towards the airport. There are leaded windows with curtains drawn inside, dark dirt stains spreading across the yellow-stone walls from gutters, thin sprinklings of snow on the northern faces of the bell towers, plus a definite sense of menace.

Kirsten, my guide, is a bright-eyed thirtysomething, with trendy dark-framed glasses, a multicoloured scarf, red jumper, & bright red lipstick.

We enter the guard house museum, a two-storey stone building with an aubergine tiled roof. Inside, schoolchildren are being shown round a series of displays explaining the freakish plans Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, had in mind at Wewelsburg. There’s a grainy black & white picture of Himmler taken at the castle, with his pudgy gerbil face, glasses, thin moustache & double chin.

“He wanted to make Wewelsburg the centre of the SS world,” says Kirsten, as we pause by a sturdy medieval-looking chair whose leather back is inscribed with a jagged ‘SS’. “He had a plan for a huge ring of buildings on the slopes above the castle. We don’t know exactly what he wanted to do with them. But it appears he wanted to make the north tower of the castle into an SS shrine of some sort. Where people could remember the SS dead. It would be at the centre of a new SS village. This would be where the Germanic elite group would live. Himmler wanted to create the cult of ideology here.” [Read More]

ARTICLE BY Susan Sontag PUBLISHED ON A-FE

Here is a book of 126 splendid color photographs by Leni Riefenstahl, certainly the most ravishing book of photographs published anywhere in recent years. In the intractable mountains of the southern Sudan live about eight thousand aloof, godlike Nuba, emblems of physical perfection, with large, well-shaped, partly shaven heads, expressive faces, & muscular bodies that are depilated & decorated with scars; smeared with sacred gray-white ash, the men prance, squat, brood, wrestle on the arid slopes. And here is a fascinating layout of twelve black-and-white photographs of Riefenstahl on the back cover of The Last of the Nuba, also ravishing, a chronological sequence of expressions (from sultry inwardness to the grin of a Texas matron on safari) vanquishing the intractable march of aging. The first photograph was taken in 1927 when she was twenty-five & already a movie star, the most recent are dated 1969 (she is cuddling a naked African baby) & 1972 (she is holding a camera), & each of them shows some version of an ideal presence, a kind of imperishable beauty, like Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s, that only gets gayer & more metallic & healthier-looking with old age. & here is a biographical sketch of Riefenstahl on the dust jacket, & an introduction (unsigned) entitled “How Leni Riefenstahl came to study the Mesakin Nuba of Kordofain”—full of disquieting lies. [Read More]

Second Exhibit. Here is a book to be purchased at airport magazine stands and in “adult” bookstores, a relatively cheap paperback, not an expensive coffee-table item appealing to art lovers and the bien-pensant like The Last of the Nuba. Yet both books share a certain community of moral origin, a root preoccupation: the same preoccupation at different stages of evolution-the ideas that animate The Last of the Nuba being less out of the moral closet than the cruder, more efficient idea that lies behind SS Regalia. Though SS Regalia is a respectable British-made compilation (with a three-page historical preface and notes in the back), one knows that its appeal is not scholarly but sexual. The cover already makes that clear. Across the large black swastika of an SS armband is a diagonal yellow stripe which reads “Over 100 Brilliant Four-Color Photographs Only $2.95,” exactly as a sticker with the price on it used to be affixed—part tease, part deference to censorship—on the cover of pornographic magazines, over the model’s genitalia. [Read More]

ARTICLE BY Klaus Wiegrefe PUBLISHED ON A-FE

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, is having historians look into its shadowy early years, when the organization hired former Nazi criminals. The coming revelations could prove embarrassing for Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrats & may even tarnish the legacy of former Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.

They called Johannes Clemens the “Tiger of Como.” When an SS captain bore a nickname like that, it rarely meant anything good. Clemens belonged to a squad that shot 335 civilians in the Ardeatine Caves near Rome in 1944, one of the worst massacres on Italian soil during World War II.

Former chief inspector Georg Wilimzig also had blood on his hands. His 300-member squad, known as IV/2, murdered thousands of men, women & children following the German invasion of Poland in 1939.

After 1945, Clemens & Wilimzig both found themselves working for the same employer — the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency.

It’s no secret that intelligence agencies don’t like to disclose too much information about their own histories. There is even less transparency when that history involves mass murderers among the ranks. For this reason, it is all the more remarkable that the current BND head, Ernst Uhrlau, has been pushing for years to have more light cast on the early years of his organization, as part of Germany’s ongoing efforts to come to terms with its Nazi past. Uhrlau, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), has been trying since 2006 to move the issue forward. [Read More]