Johannes Heesters-Hitler’s & Goebbel’s buddy

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Johannes Heesters  a very controversial Dutch Tenor and actor, and although I try no to judge people I think it is save to call this man a traitor whose only passions were fame and wealth.

Remembered for his roles in such mid 20th-century German-language films as Viktor und Viktoria and Die Jungfrau auf dem Dach, this Dutch-born actor also performed in numerous stage productions and released two vocal music albums.

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Heesters was born in Amersfoort, Netherlands, the youngest of four sons. His father Jacobus Heesters (1865–1946) was a salesman and his mother Geertruida Jacoba van den Heuvel (1866–1951), a homemaker.

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Heesters was fluent in German from a very early age having lived for several years in the household of a German great uncle from Bavaria. Heesters decided to become an actor and a singer at the age of sixteen and began vocal training. Heesters specialized in Viennese operetta very early in his career, and made his Viennese stage debut in 1934 in Carl Millöcker’s Der Bettelstudent (The Beggar Student).

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Aged 31, Heesters permanently moved to Germany with his wife and daughters in 1935. His signature role was Count Danilo Danilovitch in Franz Lehár’s Die Lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow). His version of Count Danilo’s entrance song, “Da geh’ ich ins Maxim“, was well known. During his time in Germany, he performed for Adolf Hitler and visited the Dachau concentration camp, which made him a controversial figure for many Dutch. Joseph Goebbels placed Heesters on the Gottbegnadeten (God gifted) list as an artist considered crucial to Nazi culture.

Heesters, a charmer like Maurice Chevalier, was the most honored non-German entertainer in Nazi Germany. With such prominent endorsement, he went on to a career in film, stage and television after the war, and went on to win many awards. But only in German-speaking countries did people excuse his opportunistic wartime behavior. In the 1960s he tried to do a show in the Netherlands, as the anti-Nazi Captain Georg van Trapp in “The Sound of Music” and was hooted off the stage.

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Heesters funded the German war machine by donating money to the weapons industry.This helped to make Heesters a very controversial figure in the late 1970s. Heesters always denied these accusations despite reliable evidence.

Heesters befriended several high-ranking Nazi-officials and SS-officers.Hitler is known to have been an avid admirer of his acting skills.

At the same time, he was idolized by the Swingboy subculture, who admired his pale face and combed long black hair and tried to copy his attire. His style contrasted that promoted by the Hitlerjugend.

Heesters met Hitler several times.especially in the role of Count Danilo. Throughout the war Heesters continued to perform for German soldiers in camps and barracks. According to German author Volker Kühn, Heesters did perform for the SS at the Dachau concentration camp.

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Kühn cites as evidence the testimony of a Dachau inmate, Viktor Matejka, who worked for the SS and told Kühn he pulled the curtain when Heesters performed in 1941.According to German writer Jürgen Trimborn  however, the interview with Matejka may not be reliable as it occurred some fifty years after the performance was said to have taken place.

In December 2009, Heesters lost his libel suit against Kühn. While acknowledging having visited the camp, he denied having performed as entertainment for the SS troops.

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In its ruling, the German court did not find that Kühn’s allegations were not true, but rather that too much time had passed for an accurate determination of fact to be made.

Heesters, who died in 2011 at the age of 108, said he was “gullible, credulous and naive”, and had no idea what was going on inside German concentration camps. Then again, he also said Hitler was “a good guy”

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He worked until he was 105  and lived to be 108 years old , at the time of his death, was worth an estimated 65,000,000 dollars, sometimes associating with evil does pay.

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Paying the price for sleeping with the enemy.

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Freedom! Suddenly Dutch flags were hanging all over the place and people were singing and dancing arm-in-arm in the streets. But pent-up emotions were also unleashed: ‘Kraut whores’, girls and women who had consorted with the Germans during the war, were targeted. They were dragged from their homes, marched through the streets, jeered and spit at in the days following the Liberation.

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This happened all over the Netherlands. Under the watchful eye of overjoyed spectators, their hair was cut off, their heads shaved and at times even smeared with tar. This was done with a hair clipper like this one, which was most likely used in Amstelveen on the outskirts of Amsterdam.

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An eyewitness from the city of Haarlem described what happened: ‘The girl’s head was shaven unevenly. She was clenching her teeth in anger. Then she had to hold a bouquet of flowers and some guy thrust her arm into the air and forced her to keep time while people in the crowd sang the traditional Dutch rallying cry Oranje Boven (Lit. Orange on top). An older woman was then pulled out of the line. She tried to defend herself; was incredibly angry. The people around me were laughing hysterically.’

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Anton Mussert-Dutch Fascist

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Anton Adriaan Mussert ( 11 May 1894 – 7 May 1946) was one of the founders of the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB) and its formal leader. As such, he was the most prominent Dutch fascist before and during World War II. During the war, he was able to keep this position, due to the support he received from the Germans. After the war, he was convicted and executed for high treason.

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Anton Adriaan Mussert was born in Werkendam, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. In the 1920s, he became involved in right-wing political movements that advocated a Greater Netherlands by annexing Dutch-speaking neighboring regions. On 14 Dec 1931, he abandoned his profession as a civil engineer and founded the National Socialist Movement political party (Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging), or NSB, along with other like-minded activists such as Cornelis van Geelkerken.

 

A fan of Benito Mussolini, Mussert ruled NSB along a similar model Mussolini had successfully used in Italy. As Italy grew closer to Germany, Mussert grew close to her as well, especially that Adolf Hitler’s vision to annex all German-speaking regions under German rule matched exactly his vision for the Netherlands. In Nov 1936, he met Hitler for the first time, and he remained in communications with Berlin from that point on until 1945.

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His political agenda matched many of Germany’s, though Mussert was careful in not allowing the racism to taint Dutch politics.

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A state of siege was declared by the Dutch government in April 1940 after the foreign correspondent for the New York Times, Vladimir Poliakov, spread the false news that Mussert’s followers were preparing to kidnap Queen Wilhelmina as part of a coup.

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On 10 May, German troops invaded the Netherlands and Mussert was permitted to suppress all political parties other than the NSB.

Mussert was not appointed prime minister of the occupied nation. Instead, Austrian Nazi Artur Seyss-Inquart was appointed as the Reichskommissar, while Berlin summoned Mussert to control his uncooperative countrymen.

Mussert responded by working with the Gestapo in stopping resistance to the German occupation. On 21 June 1940 Mussert agreed to have NSB members train with the SS-Standarte ‘Westland’.

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On 11 September, Mussert instructed Henk Feldmeijer, to organise the Nederlandsche SS (Dutch SS) as a division of the NSB. Mussert had nothing to do with the raising of an all-Dutch volunteer SS unit, the SS-Freiwilligen-Legion Niederlande. Regardless, thousands of Dutch citizens were arrested.

During the subsequent occupation, over 100,000 Dutch Jews were rounded up and transported to concentration camps in Germany, German-occupied Poland and German-occupied Czechoslovakia. By the time these camps were liberated, few Dutch Jews survived.

 

In February 1941, Mussert agreed and oversaw the formation of the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland, which trained in Hamburg. In November 1941, the legion was ordered to the Eastern front near Leningrad, under the overall command of Army Group North. The division acquitted itself well alongside its German allies, but suffered large losses.

On 8 December 1941, the independent Dutch administration in the Dutch East Indies declared war on Japan, the ally of Nazi Germany. After the Japanese invasion and occupation and the subsequent internment of 100,000 Dutch civilians and 50,000 military personnel, Mussert requested a meeting with Hitler. On 13 December 1942, Hitler declared Mussert to be “Leider van het Nederlandse Volk” (Leader of the Dutch People).

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Having lost control of the Dutch SS and the military units that were serving in the Wehrmacht to his Nazi masters, Mussert had his last meeting with Hitler in May 1943, where he was told that he would never have political control. Following the unsuccessful Operation Market Garden in September 1944, that included a supporting strike by Dutch railway workers, the German authorities forbade food transport by rail, resulting in the Hongerwinter of 1944/45, during which 20,000 died.

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https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/05/25/hunger-winter-the-dutch-famine/

By the end of the war, 205,901 Dutch men and women had died. The Netherlands had the highest per capita death rate of all German-occupied countries in Western Europe, 2.36%.Another 30,000 died in the Dutch East Indies, either while fighting the Japanese or in camps as Japanese POWs. Dutch civilians were held in those camps as well.

Upon the surrender of Germany, Mussert was arrested at the NSB office in The Hague on 7 May 1945. He was convicted of high treason on 28 November after a two-day trial, and was sentenced to death on 12 December. He appealed to Queen Wilhelmina for clemency. She refused. On 7 May 1946, exactly one year after his arrest and four days before his 52nd birthday, Mussert was executed by a firing squad on the Waalsdorpervlakte, a site near The Hague, where hundreds of Dutch citizens had been killed by the Nazi regime.

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Ans van Dijk-Jewish Nazi collaborator

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One thing I find hard to comprehend is the collaboration of Jews with the Nazis. On one hand I can understand that they did this because of self preservation, it is a human instinct to survive at any cost, but on the other hand they must have seen the fate of their friends and families. They must have figured out at some stage that Hitler was only interested in the complete annihilation of every Jew on the planet.

The victims that became traitors.

Anna (Ans) van Dijk (Amsterdam, December 24, 1905 – Weesperkarspel, January 14, 1948) was a Dutch-Jewish collaborator who betrayed Jews to Nazi Germany during World War II. She was the only Dutch woman to be executed over her wartime activities.

She was the daughter of Jewish parents, Aron van Dijk and Kaatje Bin. She married Bram Querido in 1927, and opened a millinery shop called Maison Evany in Amsterdam.Her Father died in 1939 in the Psychiatric hospital ,Het Apeldoornse Bos.

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He had suffered from paranoia.Shortly afterwards Ans divorced her husband.After the marriage ended, she began a lesbian relationship with a Jewish woman named Miep Stodel, who had worked for her in the shop.

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The shop was closed by the Nazis in 1941 as part of their seizure of Jewish property (Jews were forbidden to own businesses or work in retail shops).After that she died her hair blonde and acquired false identity papers and changed her name to Alphonsia Maria (Annie) de Jong  Stodel fled to Switzerland in 1942.

Ans started selling goods from Jewish real estate and helped Jews to find hiding places.In January 1943 she had to go in hiding herself.

Van Dijk was arrested on Easter Sunday 1943 by the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and detective Peter Schaap of the Office of Jewish Affairs of the Amsterdam police.

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After promising to work for the SD, van Dijk was released. Pretending to be a member of the resistance, she offered to help Jews find hiding places and obtain false papers. In this way, she trapped at least 145 people (including her own brother and his family). Some 85 of her victims later died in concentration camps.She may have been responsible for the deaths of as many as 700 people.

After the war, she moved to The Hague, where she was arrested at a friend’s home on June 20, 1945, and charged with 23 counts of treason. On February 24, 1947, she was brought to the Special Court in Amsterdam.

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She confessed on all counts, explaining that she only acted out of self-preservation, and was sentenced to death.

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She appealed the conviction, but in September 1947 the Special Court of Appeals confirmed her punishment. Her request for a royal pardon was also rejected by Queen Wilhelmina.

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On 14 January 1948 she was executed by firing squad at Fort Bijlmer in the then municipality Weesperkarspel (now the Bijlmermeer municipality of Amsterdam). The night before her execution she was baptized and joined the Roman Catholic Church.

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She had written several goodbye letters the one below was sent to the Nun who had visited her in jail, after she had asked for roman catholic rehabilitation work. In the letter she tells the nun that she had been baptized and she would be receiving her 1st holy communion.

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