Goebbels declaration of hate

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Goebbels was more then a Nazi he was pure evil and he dedicated all his life and indeed death to Adolf Hitler.

As minister of propaganda he was probably the most powerful of Hitler’s henchmen, with the propaganda tools at his disposal he was able to brainwash and persuade the general population.

On November 16 in 1941, Joseph Goebbels published in the German magazine Das Reich that “The Jews wanted the war, and now they have it”—referring to the Nazi propaganda scheme to shift the blame for the world war onto European Jewry, thereby giving the Nazis a rationalization for the so-called Final Solution.

Das Reich

Below is the translated text of that publication.All Jews in Germany had recently been required to wear the yellow star in public. In this article, Goebbels made it clear that the
future of the Jews in Germany was over.

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“The Jews are Guilty!

by Joseph Goebbels

 

The historic responsibility of world Jewry for the outbreak and widening of this war has been proven
so clearly that it does not need to be talked about any further. The Jews wanted war, and now they have it. But the Fiihrer’s prophecy of 30 January 1939 to the German Reichstag is also being fulfilled:

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If international finance Jewry should succeed in plunging the world into war once again, the result
will be not the Bolshevization of the world and thereby the victory of the Jews, but rather the
destruction of the Jewish race in Europe.

We are seeing the fulfillment of the prophecy. The Jews are receiving a penalty that is certainly hard, but more than deserved. World Jewry erred in adding up the forces available to it for this war, and
now is gradually experiencing the destructon that it planned for us, and would have carried out
without a second thought if it had possessed the ability. It is perishing according its own law: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

Every Jew is our enemy in this historic struggle, regardless of whether he vegetates in a Polish ghetto or carries on his parasitic existence in Berlin or Hamburg or blows the trumpets of war in New York or Washington. All Jews by virtue of their birth and their race are part of an international conspiracy against National Socialist Germany.

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They want its defeat and annihilation, and do all in their power to bring it about. That they can do nothing inside the Reich is hardly a sign of their loyalty, but rather of
the appropriate measures we took against them.

One of these measures is the institution of the yellow star that each Jew must wear. We wanted to make them visible as Jews, particularly if they made even the least attempt to harm the German community. It is a remarkably humane measure on our part, a hygienic and prophylactic measure to  be sure that the Jew cannot infiltrate our ranks unseen to sow discord.

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As the Jews first appeared several weeks ago on the streets of Berlin graced with their Jewish star, the initial reaction of the citizens of the Reich capital was surprise. Only a few knew that there were still so many Jews in Berlin.

Everyone suddenly found someone in the neighborhood who seemed like a harmless fellow citizen, who perhaps complained or criticized a bit more than normal, and whom no one had thought to be a Jew. He had concealed himself, mimicked his surroundings, adopting the color of the background, adjusted to the environment, in order to wait for the proper moment.

Who among us had any idea that the enemy was beside him, that a silent or clever auditor was attending to
conversations on the street, in the subway, or in the lines outside cigarette shops? There are Jews one cannot recognize by external signs. These are the most dangerous. It always happens that when we take some measure against the Jews, English or American newspapers report it the next day.

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Even today the Jews still have secret connections to our enemies abroad and use these not only in their own cause, but in all military matters of the Reich as well. The enemy is in our midst. What makes more sense than to at least make this plainly visible to our citizens?

In the first days after the introduction of the Jewish star, newspaper sales in Berlin went through the roof. Each Jew on the street bought a newspaper to conceal his mark of Cain. As this was banned, one began to see Jews on the streets of the west side of Berlin in thec ompany of non- Jewish foreigners.
These Jewish lackeys actually should wear the Jewish star themselves. The excuse they give for their provocative conduct is always the same: the Jews are after all human beings too. We never denied that, just as we never denied the humanity of murders, child rapists, thieves and pimps, though we never felt the need to parade down the Kurfurstendamm with them!

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Every Jew is a decent Jew who has found a dumb and ignorant goy who thinks him decent! As if that were a reason to give Jews a
kind of honorable escort. What nonsense.

The Jews gradually are having to depend more and more on themselves, and have recently found a new trick. They knew the good-natured German Michael in us, always ready to shed sentimental tears
for the injustice done to them. One suddenly has the impression that the Berlin Jewish population
consists only of little babies whose childish helplessness might move us, or else fragile old ladies. The
Jews send out the pitiable. They may confuse some harmless souls for a while, but not us. We know
exactly what the situation is.

For their sake alone we must win the war. If we lose it, these harmless-looking Jewish chaps would suddenly become raging wolves. They would attack our women and children to carry out revenge.
There are enough examples in history. That is what they did in Bessarabia and the Baltic states when Bolshevism marched in, even though neither the people nor their governments had done anything to them.

There is no turning back in our battle against the Jews — even if we wanted to, which we do not. The Jews must be removed from the German community, for they endanger our national unity.

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That is an elementary principle of racial, national, and social hygiene. They will never give us rest. If they could, they would drive one nation after another into war against us. Who cares about their difficulties, they who only want to force the world to accept their bloody financial domination?

The Jews are a parasitic race that feeds like a foul fungus on the cultures of healthy but ignorant peoples. There is only one effective measure: cut them out.

How stupid and thoughtless are the arguments of the backward friends of the Jews in the face of a problem that has occupied mankind for millennia! How they would gape if they could ever see their dear Jews in power! But that would be too late.That is why it is the duty of a national leadership to take all necessary measures to keep such a thing from happening. There are differences between people just as there are differences between animals.

Some people are good, others bad. The same is true of animals. The fact that the Jew still lives among us is no proof that he belongs among us, just as a flea is not a household pet simply because it lives in a house. When Mr. Bramsig or Mrs. Knoterich
feel pity for an old woman wearing the Jewish star, they should also remember that a distant nephew of this old woman by the name of Nathan Kaufmann sits in New York and has prepared a plan by which all Germans under the age of 60 will be sterilized.

They should recall that a son of her distant uncle is a warmonger named Baruch or Morgenthau or Untermayer who stands behind Mr. Roosevelt,
driving him to war, and that if they succeed, a fine but ignorant U.S. soldier may one day shoot dead the only son of Mr. Bramsig or Mrs. Knoterich. It will all be for the benefit of Jewry, to which this old woman also belongs, no matter how fragile and pitiable she may seem.

If we Germans have a fateful flaw in our national character, it is forgetfulness. This failing speaks well of our human decency and generosity, but not always for our political wisdom or intelligence.
We think everyone else as is good natured as we are. The French threatened to dismember the Reich during the winter of 1939/40, saying that we and our families would have to stand in lines before their field kitchens to get something warm to eat. Our army defeated France in six weeks, after which we saw German soldiers giving bread and sausages to hungry French women and children, and gasoline to refugees from Paris to enable them to return home as soon as possible, there to spread at least some
of their hatred against the Reich.

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That’s how we Germans are. Our national virtue is our national weakness. We do not want to change all that much, and as long as our world-famed good nature does no great harm, why should we?
Klopstock gave us some good advice, however: don’t be too good natured, since our enemies are not noble enough to overlook our mistakes.

If this advice applies anywhere, it apples to our relations with the Jews. Carelessness here is not only a weakness, it is disregard of duty and a crime against the security of the state.

The Jews long for one thing: to reward our foolishness with bloodshed and terror. It must never come to that. One of the most effective defenses is an unforgiving, cold hardness against the destroyers of our people, against the instigators of the war, against those who would benefit if we lose, and therefore also against the victims, if we win.

Therefore, we must say again and yet again:

1 . The Jews are our destruction. They started this war and direct it. They want to destroy the German Reich and our people. This plan must be blocked.

2. There are no distinctions between Jews. Each Jew is a sworn enemy of the German people. If he does not make his hostility plain, it is only from cowardice and slyness, not because he loves us.

3. The Jews are to blame for each German soldier who falls in this war. They have him on their conscience, and must also pay for it.

4. If someone wears the Jewish star, he is an enemy of the people. Anyone who deals with him is the same as a Jew and must be treated accordingly. He earns the contempt of the entire people, for he is a craven coward who leaves them in the lurch to stand by the enemy.

5. The Jews enjoy the protection of our enemies. That is all the proof we need to show how harmful they are for our people.

6. The Jews are the enemy’s agents among us. He who stands by them aids the enemy.

7. The Jews have no right to claim equality with us. If they wish to speak on the streets, in lines outside shops or in public transportation, they should be ignored, not only because their are simply wrong, but because they are Jews who have no right to a voice in the community.

8. If the Jews appeal to your sentimentality, realize that they are hoping for your forgetfulness, and let them know that you see through them and hold them in contempt.

9. A decent enemy will deserve our generosity after we have won. The Jew however is not a decent enemy, though he tries to seem so.

10. The Jews are responsible for the war. The treatment they receive from us is hardly unjust. They have deserved it all.

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It is the job of the government to deal with them. No one has the right to act on his own, but each has the duty to support the state’s measures against the Jews, to defend them with others, and to avoid being misled by any Jewish tricks.

The security of the state requires that of us all.”

As I read this I didn’t know if I had to laugh,cry or scream. Millions killed because of the delusion of some cowards.

Lessons need to be learned, we should question our political leaders motivations.

Arbeit

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The unwanted Children

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There is a misconception that the Nazi’s only killed Jewish and Gypsy Children. In fact they killed their own Children too.

Any child with a physical or mental disability risked being subjected to the T4 or 14f13 programs, and the disabilities did not have to be severe, the slightest disability was seen as an impurity which would contaminate the Aryan race.

Heinrich Sund

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Heinrich was described of being diagnosed with microcephaly (abnormal smallness of the head associated with incomplete brain development) then sadly killed by being overdosed with a morphine drug on August 17, 1943 at age 8 years.

Rolf Haubenreisser

Rolf Haubenreisser

Had seizures and difficulty speaking. Died of starvation on May 16, 1945 at age 9

Werner Gross

Werner Gross

Werner was described as suffering from inflammation of the ear which caused him to have trouble hearing and speaking. He was unable to walk by himself. He was transferred to the “Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Eichberg” & was  killed by a medical experiment on October 6, 1943 at age 4.

Alfred Rahnhert

Alfred Rahnhert

Diagnosed with a debility, murdered in the gas chamber on November 1, 1943 at age 5.

What is even more disturbing there are several governments who are re-introducing elements of the T4 an 14f13 programs, be it with different names.

Germany re-united 3-10-1990

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I am not going too deep into the re-unification of Germany. I will leave the images do the talking.BRD-DDR

German reunification (Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) took place on October 3, 1990, when the areas of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR, in English commonly called “East Germany”) were incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, in English commonly called “West Germany”), both formed in 1949, after World War II.

Below are some images of that day and some events leading up to it

 

 

 

 

60 Jahre Bundesrepublik

The Fall fo the Berlin Wall

 

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Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate, 10 November 1989. Note the graffito Wie denn (“What now”) over the sign warning the public that they are leaving West Berlin.

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Police officers of the East German Volkspolizei wait for the official opening of the Brandenburg Gate on 22 December 1989.

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Leipzig

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Berlin Wall, October 1990, Saying “Thank You, Gorbi”Германия становится единой страной.

Many Trabants were abandoned after 1989 (this one photographed in Leipzig, 1990)

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East German Prime Minister Hans Modrow, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and mayor of West Berlin Walter Momper among other figures take part in the official opening of the Brandenburg Gate on 22 December 1989.

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Denazification-a small price to pay for a Genocide.

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After the liberation of Germany in May 1945 the Allied Powers initiated a comprehensive denazification program. Its purpose was to eradicate National Socialist thought from political, economic as well as intellectual and cultural life. As a first step the NSDAP and its subdivisions were prohibited, Nazi laws were abolished and the external signs and symbols of National Socialism removed. The main focus of the program was the systematic screening of all former members of the NSDAP – party membership was defined as the criterion for their dismissal from executive positions in industry and from public office.

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The term denazification was first coined as a legal term in 1943 in the Pentagon, intended to be applied in a narrow sense with reference to the post-war German legal system. Soon afterward, it took on the more general meaning.

The denazification program in Germany mandated the elimination of Nazi names from public squares, city streets, and other venues. US, Soviet, and British soldiers enthusiastically removed Nazi emblems and renamed public spaces.

Denazification-street

The process of denazification was carried out diversely in the various zones. The most elaborate procedures were instituted in the United States zone, where investigated individuals were required to complete highly detailed questionnaires concerning their personal histories and to appear at hearings before panels of German adjudicators. In the British and French zones, denazification was pursued with less vigor because the authorities thought it more important to reestablish a functioning bureaucracy in their sectors.

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Denazification was most rigorous in the Soviet sector. Civil servants, teachers, and legal officials with significant Nazi pasts were thoroughly purged. Denazification was also used as an instrument for seizing the resources of the so-called “class enemy”: former Nazis who owned factories or estates were denounced and their property confiscated. After participating in the social transformation, some former Nazis were pardoned and even gained high positions within the new communist ruling class.

The denazification process mandated that simpler cases involving lesser offenders be tried before more complicated cases involving officials higher up in the Nazi regime. With time, however, prosecution became less severe, and the United States came to be more concerned with the Cold War. When denazification ended in March 1948, the more serious cases had not yet been tried. As a result, numerous former Nazi functionaries escaped justice, much to the regret of many Germans.

Diese Schandtaten: Eure Schuld! (“These atrocities: your fault!”) One of the posters distributed by U.S. occupation authorities in the summer of 1945

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Very soon after the program started, due to the emergence of the Cold War, the western powers and the United States in particular began to lose interest in the program, and it was carried out in an increasingly lenient and lukewarm way until being officially abolished in 1951.

After the defeat as part of the Denazification the German and Austrian populations were forced to visit the concentration and deaths camps to be confronted with the crimes committed by their leaders.

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German prisoners of war were forced to see footage of the atrocities in movie theatres.

German soldiers react to footage of concentration camps, 1945 2

The U.S. conducted opinion surveys in occupied Germany.Tony Judt, in his book Postwar: a History of Europe since 1945, extracted and used some of them.

  • A majority in the years 1945–49 stated National Socialism to have been a good idea but badly applied.
  • In 1946, 6% of Germans said the Nuremberg trials had been unfair.
  • In 1946, 37% in the US occupation zone said about the Holocaust that “the extermination of the Jews and Poles and other non-Aryans was necessary for the security of Germans”.
  • In 1946, 1 in 3 in the US occupation zone said that Jews should not have the same rights as those belonging to the Aryan race.
  • In 1950, 1 in 3 said the Nuremberg trials had been unfair.
  • In 1952, 37% said Germany was better off without the Jews.
  • In 1952, 25% had a good opinion of Hitler.

British historian Ian Kershaw in his book The “Hitler Myth”: Image and Reality in the Third Reich writes about the various surveys carried out at the German population:

  • In 1945, 42% of young Germans and 22% of adult Germans thought that the reconstruction of Germany would be best applied by a ‘strong new Führer’.
  • In 1952, 10% of Germans thought that Hitler was the greatest statesmen and that his greatness would only be realised at a later date and 22% thought he had made ‘some mistakes’ but was still an excellent leader.
  • In 1952, roughly 33% opposed the assassination attempt of Hitler in the 20 July plot in 1944.
  • In 1953, 14% of Germans said they would vote for someone like Hitler again.

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The Buchenwald experiments

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On this day in 1944, the first of two sets of medical experiments involving castration are performed on homosexuals at the Buchenwald concentration camp, near Weimar, Germany.

Buchenwald was one of the first concentration camps established by the Nazi regime. Constructed in 1937, it was a complement to camps north (Sachsenhausen) and south (Dachau), and was built to hold slave laborers, who worked in local munitions factories 24 hours a day, in 12-hour shifts.

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Although not technically a death camp, in that it had no gas chambers, nevertheless hundreds of prisoners died monthly, from malnutrition, beatings, disease, and executions.

The camp boasted a sophisticated-sounding facility on its grounds called the Division for Typhus and Virus Research of the Hygiene Institute of the Waffen SS. In truth, it was a chamber of horrors where medical experiments of the cruelest kind were carried out on prisoners against their will. Victims were often intentionally infused with various infections to test out vaccines. Euthanasia was also performed regularly on Jews, Gypsies, and mentally ill prisoners.

Among the cruelest of Buchenwald’s overseers was the infamous Ilse Koch, wife of SS commandant Karl Koch and known as the “Witch of Buchenwald.”

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Among her fetishistic tendencies was her penchant for lampshades, gloves, and other items made from the tattooed skin of dead inmates. She also had a reputation for forcing prisoners to participate in orgies. She was ultimately sentenced to life in prison for her sadism, but she hanged herself after 16 years behind bars.

The SS left behind accounts of the number of prisoners and people coming to and leaving the camp, categorizing those leaving them by release, transfer, or death. These accounts are one of the sources of estimates for the number of deaths in Buchenwald. According to SS documents, 33,462 died. These documents were not, however, necessarily accurate: Among those executed before 1944, many were listed as “transferred to the Gestapo”. Furthermore, from 1941, Soviet POWs were executed in mass killings. Arriving prisoners selected for execution were not entered into the camp register and therefore were not among the 33,462 dead listed.

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One former Buchenwald prisoner, Armin Walter, calculated the number of executions by the number of shootings in the back of the head. His job at Buchenwald was to set up and care for a radio installation at the facility where people were executed; he counted the numbers, which arrived by telex, and hid the information. He says that 8,483 Soviet prisoners of war were shot in this manner.

According to the same source, the total number of deaths at Buchenwald is estimated at 56,545. This number is the sum of:

  • Deaths according to material left behind by the SS: 33,462[34]
  • Executions by shooting: 8,483
  • Executions by hanging (estimate): 1,100
  • Deaths during evacuation transports (estimate): 13,500

This total (56,545) corresponds to a death rate of 24 percent, assuming that the number of persons passing through the camp according to documents left by the SS, 240,000 prisoners, is accurate

Buchenwald was liberated by the Allies on April 11, 1945, one day before the death of President Franklin Roosevelt. It was later used by the Soviet Union as a concentration camp for the enemies of East Germany.

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Rüsselsheim massacre-The lynching of six American airmen.

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Not all war crimes during WWII were committed by armed forces, some of them were done by ‘regular’ citizens and factory workers.

Russelsheim, Germany, is a typical industrial town, producing Opel cars in partnership with General Motors. The town, just east of Mainz, with a population of 60,000, has a historic district, and is not unlike any of the hundreds of towns throughout Germany. This town, chartered in 1437, is the center for the assembly of autos, and is the sixth largest engine producer in the world.

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Walking through the town it seems typical with the hustle of busy townspeople and the attractive homes. Underneath this calm existence enjoyed by the citizens, one would not suspect that Russelsheim hides a dark secret better left untold.They hope someday to outlive the horrible massacre, so terrible as to defy description.

During World War II, Rüsselsheim, an industrial town that housed many key targets, including the Opel plant, was bombed several times by the Royal Air Force (RAF). The RAF followed a policy of “area bombing” of cities at night while the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) relied on “precision bombing” by day.

On the afternoon of August 24, 1944, an American B-24 bomber named Wham! Bam! Thank You Ma’am, commanded by 2nd Lt. Norman J. Rogers Jr, was shot down while taking part in an attack on Hanover and the crew parachuted down near Hutterup.

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One lookout alerted both the local fire brigade and the military detachment at the nearby airfield and patrols were dispatched to find the downed Americans. One of the nine airmen, Staff Sgt. Forrest W. Brininstool, had serious flak injuries to his abdomen. After landing on the farm, he was given first aid by an elderly couple and in return, Brininstool gave them his silk parachute, a valuable item for peasants. Within a few hours, most of the crew were captured by German personnel and taken into an interrogation room in the town hall in Greven.After that, most of the crew-members, including Rogers, were taken to an air base near the town where they slept for the night. Brininstool was taken to a medical clinic where he was operated on for shrapnel wounds then was moved to a hospital in Münster to undergo a second operation.

The next morning, Brininstool still remained behind in the hospital while the others were loaded onto a train for a trip south to the Dulag Luft in Oberursel, north of Frankfurt. At every stop along the way, after German civilians noticed the Americans on the train, crowds would form at the windows, shouting in anger at the “terror fliers” and shaking their fists, spitting on the windows.

On the night of August 25, the RAF sent 116 Avro Lancasters

683-12to Rüsselsheim in order to attack the Opel factory on a bombing mission, dropping 674 2,000-lb bombs and more than 400,000 incendiaries on the city, destroying the plant and damaging the railtracks, more by far than any previous air raid on Rüsselsheim in World War II. Towards the end of the bombing raid, a German air raid warden, Joseph Hartgens, mobilized residents in Russelsheim to put out the fires in their homes.

In the morning of August 26, most of the American bomber crewmembers were still proceeding to their original destination. However, the train line was heavily damaged by the RAF in the previous night so the airmen were taken off the train and forced to walk to Rüsselsheim to catch another train. The prisoners were escorted by two German soldiers. As the Americans marched through Rüsselsheim, the townspeople, assuming the fliers were Canadians who had taken part in the previous night’s raid, quickly formed and immediately turned into an uncontrollable angry mob.

Two women, Margarete Witzler and Käthe Reinhardt, shouted out, “There are the terror flyers. Tear them to pieces! Beat them to death! They have destroyed our houses!” One of the crew-members replied back in German, “It wasn’t us! We didn’t bomb Rüsselsheim!” Nevertheless, one woman threw a brick at the crew and that precipitated a riot during which the townspeople attacked the prisoners with rocks, hammers, sticks and shovels. Three Opel workers arrived with iron bars and starting beating the men to death to the cries of the crowd.

The mob was joined by air raid warden Josef Hartgen, who was armed with a pistol.The German soldiers who guarded the crew-members made no attempt to prevent the beatings.

After the airmen collapsed from the beatings, Hartgen lined them up in the curb and shot six in their heads but ran out of ammunition, leaving two of the airmen, William M. Adams and Sidney Eugene Brown, alive. The mob then put the airmen on a cart and took them to a cemetery. Those who moaned were further beaten.

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During the attack, an air raid siren sounded and the mob ran for cover. Adams and Brown managed to crawl from the bloody cart and fled toward the Rhine River, avoiding capture for four days. However, they were discovered by a policeman and brought to their original destination, the camp in Oberursel where they remained until after the war in Europe ended.

When the Third Army took Russelsheim in March, 1945, only seven months later, they were told that eight British airmen had been murdered by the citizens of the town. Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States established a military tribunal which would put on trial anyone involved in commiting a crime against Allied POWs. They would be classified as war criminals. The U.S. Army would investigate the beating deaths of the eight airmen in Russelsheim. Captain Luke P. Rogers was assigned to investigate any alleged crimes. He chose the Russelsheim crimes as his first investigation. It was still believed the crew members were “British”, not Americans. Rogers proceeded to Russelsheim with his assistant and a group of interpreters. He was presented with a list of twenty-one alleged conspirators. Gathering eyewitness accounts of the “Death March” Rogers was sickened by the brutality of the event. He had many of the instigators in custody, but was actively searching for Josef Hartgen, the reported leader of the mob. Rogers released four of those he arrested for lack of evidence. His next step was to dig up the bodies of the crewmen. His team was shocked to find only six bodies after expecting to find eight. They were further shocked to learn that they were Americans, not British as previously assumed.

Rogers gathered all his evidence, and turned it over to the War Crimes Branch. Lt. Col. Leon Jaworski would present the case against the Russelsheim civilians. Finally the much wanted instigator, Josef Hartgen, was captured and rushed to Wiesbaden for interrogation. While in jail he attempted suicide by slashing his wrist on the mattress springs. He was rushed to the hospital, and after recovering was returned to jail.

Part of the Geneva Convention of 1929 states that “Prisoners must at all times be treated with humanity and protected particularly against acts of violence”. Also, the Hague Convention stipulates that “In addition to the prohibitions provided by special conventions, it is expressly forbidden to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer any means of defense, has surrendered at discretion”. It was specified that “German civilians are bound to observe the laws of war”.As Loen Jaworski was the Trial Judge Advocate, the defense was led by Lt. Col. Roger E. Titus. He had the unenviable position of defending the enemy. A group of eleven of the accused, including Hartgen, were first on trial.

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All pleaded not guilty. Testimony against them was by 21 witnesses. The trial lasted six days, with eyewitness testimony to the cold-bloodied assassinations by Josef Hartgen, and chilling accounts of the bludgeoning of the airmen. They could not account for the two missing men, as everyone was certain there had been eight originally. As the trial proceeded Josef Hartgen was accused of extreme brutality, and vicious and unthinkable conduct in the execution of the defenseless airmen. Five of the group, including Hartgen, were found guilty and sentenced to death. The remainder were given varying prison terms.

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The question lingered as to what happened to the two crewmembers, Sgt. William M. Adams, and Sgt. Sidney E. Brown. The crew originally consisted of nine, with S/Sgt. Brininstool wounded and sent to a German hospital, and six executed.

Three weeks after the trial General Davidson received a letter from Sgt. William M. Adams, and Sgt. Sidney Brown. Both had been returned to the U.S. The letter fully explained their experience during the “Death March”, and their miraculous escape, only to be captured four days later. They offered to supply any information they had concerning the ordeal. They had survived the beatings. While the cart with the bodies was at the cemetery awaiting burial, Adams and Brown were able to crawl from under the bodies and escape. After their recapture they were sent to Stalag Luft IV, a POW camp for airmen. Both were liberated in May by the Ninth Army and the British Army. They Returned to the U.S. and gave the authorities what information they had. In the meantime Hartgen and four others were hung on Nov. 10. Otto Stolz was convicted of beating the airmen and helping Hartgen load the bodies in the cart, and accompanying the cart to the cemetery where he fatally beat some of the airmen who were still alive. He was sentenced to death and hanged. It must be noted that none of the women were executed even though they were the primary instigators who excited the crowd to riot and helped in the beatings. The bodies of Austin, Dumont, and Sekul were transferred to their respective hometowns, while the bodies of Rogers, Williams, and Tufenkjian are buried in France.

Tufkenjan

A leap into freedom

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Hans Conrad Schumann (March 28, 1942 – June 20, 1998) was an East German soldier who famously defected to West Germany during the construction of the Berlin Wall on 15 August 1961.

Conrad Schumann was immortalized in this photograph as he leapt across the barricade that would become the Berlin Wall. The photo was called “The Leap into Freedom”. It became an iconic image of the Cold War.

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Born in Zschochau, Saxony during the middle of World War II, he enlisted in the East German state police following his 18th birthday. Since he had always shown himself to be a loyal and hardworking young citizen of the German Democratic Republic, local military officials offered him an elite position in the paramilitary Bereitschaftspolizei or BePo (“riot police”), which was specifically conceived to suppress rebellion.

On 15 August 1961, the 19-year-old Schumann was sent to the corner of Ruppiner Strasse and Bernauer Strasse to guard the Berlin Wall on its third day of construction. At that time, the wall was only a low barbed wire fence. At the same spot, on the West Berlin, was standing the 19-year-old photographer Peter Leibing. For more than an hour, Leibing stood watching the nervous young non-commissioned officer as he paced back and forth, his PPSh-41 slung over his shoulder, smoking one cigarette after another. “Come on over, come on over!” (Komm’ rüber!) the West Berlin crowd on Bernauer Strasse chanted. “He’s going to jump!” one passerby remarked.

And at four p.m. on August 15, 1961, Leibing got lucky. Schumann tossed aside his cigarette, then turned and ran for the coil of barbed wire that marked the boundary between East and West. He jumped, flinging away his gun as he flew, and Leibing clicked the shutter.

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After the fall of the Berlin Wall he said, “Only since 9 November 1989 [the date of the fall] have I felt truly free.” Even so, he continued to feel more at home in Bavaria than in his birthplace, citing old frictions with his former colleagues, and was even hesitant to visit his parents and siblings in Saxony. On 20 June 1998, suffering from depression, he committed suicide, hanging himself in his orchard near the town of Kipfenberg in Upper Bavaria.

In May 2011, the photograph of Schumann’s “leap into freedom” was inducted into the UNESCO Memory of the World programme as part of a collection of documents on the fall of the Berlin Wall.

A sculpture called Mauerspringer (“Walljumper”) by Florian and Michael Brauer and Edward Anders could be seen close to the site of the defection,but has been moved since then to the side of a building on Brunnenstraße, several meters south of Bernauer Straße.

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Ich bin ein Berliner

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The speech is considered one of Kennedy’s best, both a notable moment of the Cold War and a high point of the New Frontier. It was a great morale boost for West Berliners, who lived in an enclave deep inside East Germany and feared a possible East German occupation. Speaking from a platform erected on the steps of Rathaus Schöneberg for an audience of 450,000, Kennedy said: Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was civis romanus sum [“I am a Roman citizen”]. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is “Ich bin ein Berliner!“… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner!”.

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Kennedy used the phrase twice in his speech, including at the end, pronouncing the sentence with his Boston accent and reading from his note “ish bin ein Bearleener”, which he had written out using English spelling habits to indicate an approximation of the German pronunciation. Another phrase in the speech was also spoken in German, “Lass’ sie nach Berlin kommen” (“Let them come to Berlin”), addressed at those who claimed “we can work with the Communists”.

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While the immediate response from the West German population was positive, the Soviet authorities were less pleased with the combative Lass sie nach Berlin kommen. Only two weeks before, Kennedy had spoken in a more conciliatory tone, speaking of “improving relations with the Soviet Union”: in response to Kennedy’s Berlin speech, Nikita Khrushchev, days later, remarked that “one would think that the speeches were made by two different Presidents”.

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Kennedy held the speech on 26 June 1963, less then 3 months later he was killed.

 

The standoff at Checkpoint Charlie

The standoff at Checkpoint Charlie Soviet tanks facing American tanks, 1961 (1)

Checkpoint Charlie  was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War (1947–1991).

East German leader Walter Ulbricht agitated and maneuvered to get the Soviet Union’s permission to construct the Berlin Wall in 1961 to stop Eastern Bloc emigration and defection westward through the Soviet border system, preventing escape across the city sector border from communist East Berlin into West Berlin.

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Checkpoint Charlie became a symbol of the Cold War, representing the separation of East and West. Soviet and American tanks briefly faced each other at the location during the Berlin Crisis of 1961.

In October 1961, border disputes led to a standoff and for 16 hours the world was at the brink of war while Soviet and American tanks faced each other just 300 feet (100 meters) apart. On August 1961 Washington and its British and French allies had failed to prevent the Soviets building the Berlin Wall. On October 27, after several days of escalating U.S. rebuffs to East German attempts to get American officials to show identification documents before entering East Berlin (thus indirectly acknowledging East German sovereignty, rather than Soviet occupation authority) ten U.S. M-48 tanks took up position at Checkpoint Charlie.

The standoff at Checkpoint Charlie Soviet tanks facing American tanks, 1961 (3)

By now, American officials were deeply alarmed by the potential consequences. General Clay of the American troops was reminded by Washington that Berlin was not so “vital” an interest to be worth risking a conflict with Moscow. President Kennedy approved the opening of a back channel with the Kremlin in order to defuse what had blown up. As a result, the Soviets pulled back one of their T55s from the eastern side of the border at Friedrichstrasse and minutes later an American M48 also left the scene. Soon the rest of the Soviet tanks withdrew, followed shortly by reciprocal withdrawal of the U.S. tanks.

Khrushchev had been equally uninterested in risking a battle over Berlin. In return for Kennedy’s assurance that the west had no designs on East Berlin, the Soviet leader tacitly recognized that allied officials and military personnel would have unimpeded access to the East German capital.

The standoff at Checkpoint Charlie Soviet tanks facing American tanks, 1961 (4)

The standoff at Checkpoint Charlie Soviet tanks facing American tanks, 1961 (5)

The Berlin crisis arose from what one may term “objective factors” – the fact that West Berlin was an anomalous Western enclave well to the east of the Iron Curtain, precipitating a clash of concrete interests of the Soviet Union and the West. The confrontations of armed tanks facing off at Checkpoint Charlie is, however, an excellent illustration of how “subjective factors” such as differing perceptions and beliefs of the two sides also contributed to tension – and could even have precipitated war.

The standoff ended peacefully on October 28 following a U.S.-Soviet understanding to withdraw tanks. Discussions between U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and KGB spy Georgi Bolshakov played a vital role in realizing this tacit agreement.

Although the wall was opened in November 1989 and the checkpoint booth removed on June 22, 1990,the checkpoint remained an official crossing for foreigners and diplomats until German reunification during October 1990 when the guard house was removed; it is now on display in the open-air museum of the Allied Museum in Berlin-Zehlendorf.

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The desperate act of Ernst Kurt Lisso,Deputy Mayor of Leipzig.

Deputy Mayor Ernst Kurt Lisso and his family after committing suicide by cyanide to avoid capture by US troops, 1945 (1)

As the Red Army and the Western Allies pressed closer and closer to Berlin suicides grew. Thousands of Germans committed suicide in the spring of 1945, rather than face occupation and the expected abuse by their victors. 3,881 people were recorded as committing suicide during April in the Battle of Berlin, although the figure is probably an underestimate. Although the motives was widely explained as the “fear of the Russian invasion”, the suicides also happened in the areas liberated by the British and American troops.

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On the 18th April 1945 a number of officials of Leizig committed suicide in the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus). The Deputy Mayor of Leipzig Ernst Lisso decided to end his life but also that of his wife and daughter as the Americans press towards the city hall. In the death tableaux his wife Renate Lisso sits across from her husband and most shockingly his daughter Regina sits on the bench. She has an armband on and presumably was part of the German Red Cross aiding German soldiers before her premature death. In another room, the mayor and his wife and daughter similarly killed themselves before the Allied forces could do their worst. In both cases they used cyanide capsules.

Deputy Mayor Ernst Kurt Lisso and his family after committing suicide by cyanide to avoid capture by US troops, 1945 (2)

Unlike in Japan–where many people also killed themselves at the end of the war–suicide is not embedded in German culture as a potential response to shame or dishonor. Yet thousands of people felt that life was no longer worth living if it wasn’t under the Nazi order. Perhaps the expected hardships and privations of defeat, coupled with family and personal losses during the war, drove many people over the edge.

Life Magazine reported that: “In the last days of the war the overwhelming realization of utter defeat was too much for many Germans. Stripped of the bayonets and bombast which had given them power, they could not face a reckoning with either their conquerors or their consciences. These found the quickest and surest escape in what Germans call selbstmord, self-murder.”

Deputy Mayor Ernst Kurt Lisso and his family after committing suicide by cyanide to avoid capture by US troops, 1945 (3)

There were several reasons why some Germans decided to end their lives in the last months of the war. First, by 1945 Nazi Propaganda had created fear among some sections of the population about the impending military invasion of their country by the Soviets or Western Allies. Information films from the Reichs Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda repeatedly chided audiences about why Germany must not surrender telling the people they faced the threat of torture, rape and death in defeat. Secondly, many Nazis – who had been indoctrinated in unquestioning loyalty to the party – also felt obliged to follow the example of Adolf Hitler when it was reported that the Führer had taken his own life. Finally others killed themselves because they did know what would happen to them following defeat.

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