Testimony by Joseph Berman regarding atrocities committed by Oberscharführer-SS Rudolf Seck and others in Latvia

They say that a picture paints a thousand words, and that is true, but it never tells the full story. It is just a snap shot of time. Especially when it comes to the Holocaust, pictures are powerful but I believe the testimonies of those who survived and lived through the horrors are much more powerful.

Rudolf Joachim Seck was an SS officer during World War II during the course of which he committed a large numbers of crimes against humanity, for which he was later sentenced to serve life in prison by a West German court. Seck held the SS ranks of Unterscharführer and later Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant). He was the commander of Jungfernhof concentration camp, near Riga, Latvia. His office was at the Gestapo headquarters in Riga on Reimerstrasse. According to Joseph Berman, a Jewish man from Ventspils and a survivor of The Holocaust in Latvia, who was assigned to the work detail cleaning Seck’s automobile, Seck was closely associated with Rudolf Lange, the main SS leader in occupied Latvia.

Rudolf Lange

Seck made it a habit to meet, at the Skirotava railway station, trains of Jews deported from Germany, Austria, or Czechoslovakia. Theoretically these Jews were to be sent to the Riga Ghetto or the Jungfernhof or Salaspils concentration camps, but usually this did not occur, as Seck would instead take them to Bi ernieki or Rumbula forests, near Riga, and shoot them.

Following the war, Seck was tried in West Germany before the Landsgericht Hamburg with other Nazi personnel who planned or participated in the murder of Jews in Latvia. In 1951, Seck was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Below is the testimony of Joseph Berman against Seck

“I am the Joseph Berman mentioned in the House of Commons White Paper on Buchenwald, Advisor to the Prosecution and first Rebuttal Witness in the Buchenwald Trials held at Dachau in 1947; former Intelligence Investigator of the Office of Military Government for Bavaria.

I, Joseph Berman, born on the 25th June 1925 at Ventspils, Latvia, and now living in London, was a political prisoner during the German occupation, first at the main headquarters of all concentration camps in Latvia – Kaiserwald, Riga and later on in the extermination camp Dondangen, Kurland, Latvia. I hereby make the following declaration:-

Rudolf SECK was the man I saw almost every day, beginning from 1941, either coming from or going to the headquarters of the Gestapo for the Baltic States, which was situated at Reimerstrasse, Riga. Mostly he travelled with his car to and from Jungfernhof, Salaspils, the Headquarters, Central Prison, and sometimes also the Riga Ghetto.

He was always with “Sturmbannfuehrer” Dr. Lange’s group, which met the incoming transports of Austrian, Czech and German Jewry at Skirotawa Station. These people were supposed to be taken by him to Salaspils, Jungfernhof or the Riga Ghetto, but usually did not arrive at their destination, because he took them to the Bikernieku or Rumbuli forest to be shot. These facts are known to me because, when cleaning the car of Seck and all the other cars every day, they used to stand next to me and I could hear them brag about their shooting abilities.

I used to see Seck leaving Reimerstrasse with the various convoys that set out from Riga to other parts of the Baltic States and White Russia to quell partisan uprisings and liquidate certain camps or Ghettos or the so-called special “Himmelfahrtskommando.”

I also saw Seck at Peterholm Street, the Clothing Depot of the Gestapo, from where he took away suit-cases full of new clothing, Jewelry, etc., after the unfortunate victims had been taken care of by him.

I also saw him during the “actions” in the Riga Ghetto in 1941, and he was a visitor of Scherwitz at Auseklu Street, and later at Lenta.

Although he never asked me to come with him when he went out on these criminal expeditions, I am aware of the fact that he was one of the leaders of the N.C.O.s at Gestapo headquarters, Riga, who were in charge of Jewish affairs during the German occupation, and I know that he definitely accomplished his mission and ruthlessly liquidated European Jewry.

I was present one day in 1942, in the yard of Motor Pool in Reimerstrasse, when “Untersturmfuehrer Reese, Nickel, Seck, Tekemeyer and Mohr searched the home-going (to the Ghetto) “Reichsjuden” column, after a transport of foodstuff including delicacies had arrived from Paris (stolen by the Riga Gestapo from the Wehrmacht). It consisted of tinned fruit, best chocolates, etc. Hardly anything was found on the unfortunate victims; some had a few potatoes or a piece of bread. 15 people were brought into one of the newly finished garages (they were Jews from either Germany, Austria, or Czechoslovakia); I had to run away when I saw the above-mentioned SD-men lead these men into the garage. To our great surprise, a Jew by the name of Heppy, who, together with Otto Mohr was working in the kitchen of Gestapo headquarters and was responsible for supplies of provisions, and who was respected for his work and organising ability, initiative and personality by all who had contact with him, was also locked up with the above mentioned 15 unfortunate victims. Heppy was a Latvian Jew and had been a sailor for many years; he was an example of cool thinking and open resistance against the Nazi beasts. He must have saved thousands of people by the many favours he bestowed on them.

These 16 people were kept at Reimerstrasse for one night, and the next day the whole Gestapo in Riga turned out to watch them being taken away to Salaspils in a Renault lorry. I still remember the numberplate of the lorry, which was Pol. 91088. They were liquidated in Salaspils in front of all the inmates of that camp. The personalities of the Gestapo headquarters in Riga that day, smiling and in very high spirits, followed the procession to Salaspils; 1 saw them later return to Reimerstrasse. Whenever people were being shot or hung, the same 20 or 30 high ranking officers of the Riga Gestapo had to have their transportation ready in a matter of a few minutes.

I was often maltreated by Rudolf Seck, and whenever he came to Reimerstrasse or to any other place where I was present, he used to kick everybody around.

I saw him many times with an automatic pistol (some of theirs were the small type used by airborne troops), and I saw him carrying an extra large pistol, whenever he went out on one of his criminal expeditions.

(signed) JOSEPH BERMAN

London, 16 February 1949.

I herewith certify that the above is a true copy of the English original.

(signed) H. MICHELSON

London, 16 February 1949.

sources

https://www.testifyingtothetruth.co.uk/viewer/image/106498/2/

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/latvia

https://www.dodax.com/en-us/books-audiobooks/lexica-reference-work/betascript-publishing-rudolf-joachim-seck-dpCH6QFIS3006/

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Nazi Costumes for Halloween.

I was on Irish National radio this afternoon, discussing the sale of Nazi uniforms as Halloween costumes in Ireland.

It was on Joe Duffy’s Liveline show. I enjoyed being on it but the show was a small bit manipulated. I had received a call from one of the researchers at 10 am this morning. He asked me my opinion about the sale of Nazi costumes for Halloween. I told him that I was in principle against it, The researcher told me that the show was approached by a lady who had seen the costumes, and he sent me a link.

I replied to his email.

“Hi D,

Sorry I missed your call.
The outfits are offensive ,If you allow this then you have to allow KKK, Black and Tan, Paedophile Priest outfit and Jimmy Saville costumes etc.
To put it in context the Nazis murdered 17 million between 1933 and 1945 of which 6 million Jews ,But also people from the LGBT community and people with disabilities.
I wonder do people who wear these outfits ever considered that.
The horrors of the Nazi regime lived on in the minds of many Europeans long after the war, still today for some.
My grandfather was killed by Nazis as were some cousins of my mother.
Aside from that it has nothing to do with Halloween.”

I was then called again and was advised that when I would talk to the presenter, I should pretend I found this on social media.

When the interview started it was implied that I had contacted the show and not the other way around, I can understand why they did that, but it was a bit bizarre.

But have a listen for yourself.

https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/22023230/?fbclid=IwAR2Kc8b9HhIVIeHo4t-K4PTOEyVrulJ5yMesLkU8h-8c7cRhODlL3zRjNOw

https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/22023230/

Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring

The plan of the Nazis was to eradicate anyone who they deemed not worthy. This didn’t mean only killing but also ensuring that not one person, who the Nazis considered subhuman, would be born.

On July 14,1933 the Nazi regime fulfilled the long-held dreams of eugenics proponents by enacting the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring. Individuals who were subject to the law were those men and women who “suffered” from any of nine conditions listed in the law: hereditary feeblemindedness, schizophrenia, manic-depressive disorder, hereditary epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea (a rare and fatal degenerative disease), hereditary blindness, hereditary deafness, severe physical deformity, and chronic alcoholism.

The basic provisions of the 1933 law stated that:

§ 1.(1) Any person suffering from a hereditary disease may be rendered incapable of procreation by means of a surgical operation (sterilization), if the experience of medical science shows that it is highly probable that his descendants would suffer from some serious physical or mental hereditary defect.

(2) For the purposes of this law, any person will be considered as hereditarily diseased who is suffering from any one of the following diseases:

(1) Congenital Mental Deficiency,
(2) Schizophrenia,
(3) Manic-Depressive Insanity,
(4) Hereditary Epilepsy,
(5) Hereditary Chorea (Huntington’s),
(6) Hereditary Blindness,
(7) Hereditary Deafness,
(8) Any severe hereditary deformity.

(3) Any person suffering from severe alcoholism may be also rendered incapable of procreation.

§ 2.Applications for sterilization can be made by the individual to be sterilized. If this person is legally incompetent, has been certified on account of mental deficiency, or is not yet 18, a legal representative has the right to make an application on this person’s behalf but needs the consent of the court of guardians to do so. In other cases of limited competency, the application needs to be approved by the legal representative. [ . . . ]

§ 3.Sterilization can also be requested by the following: 1. the state physician. 2. In the case of inmates of hospitals, nursing homes, and penal institutions, by the head thereof.

§ 4. The application is to be made to the office of the Eugenics Court; it can either be made in writing or dictated to the court. The facts upon which the application is based should be supported by a medical certificate or confirmed in some other way. The office must inform the state physician of the application.

§ 5.Responsibility for the decision rests with the Eugenics Court that has jurisdiction over the district in which the person to be sterilized officially resides.

§ 6. The Eugenics Court is to be attached to a district court [Amtsgericht]. It consists of a district court judge acting as chairman, a state physician, and another physician certified by the German Reich and particularly well trained in eugenics. [ . . . ]

§12.Once the Court has decided on sterilization, the operation must be carried out even against the will of the person to be sterilized, unless that person applied for it himself. The state physician has to attend to the necessary measures with the police authorities. Where other measures are insufficient, direct force may be used.

This law comes into effect on January 1, 1934.
Berlin, July 14, 1933.

The Reich Chancellor
Adolf Hitler

The Reich Minister of the Interior
Frick

The Reich Minister of Justice
Dr. Gürtner

This law meant that a woman like Gerda D., a shop worker, one of the estimated 400,000 Germans who were forcibly sterilized. She was sterilized after a disputed diagnosis of schizophrenia. Later, Nazi authorities forbade Gerda to marry because of the sterilization. So not only was she sterilized she was also not allowed to marry. All because of a questionable diagnosis of schizophrenia.

19-year-old Gerda D. was hospitalized in the psychiatric emergency ward of a hospital in Berlin. Although the diagnosis of Gerda as schizophrenic was uncertain, she was released only after being sterilized under the Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases.

The law itself was based on the American Model Eugenical Sterilization Law developed by Harry H. Laughlin.

sources

http://www.holocaustchronicle.org/staticpages/76.html

https://ghdi.ghi-dc.org/sub_document.cfm?document_id=1521

https://www.ushmm.org/learn/timeline-of-events/1933-1938/law-for-the-prevention-of-offspring-with-hereditary-diseases

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-biological-state-nazi-racial-hygiene-1933-1939

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Being taught to hate.

Education is the key to a better world and to end ignorance and racism. However if education does not include an element of critical thinking, it is open to abuse and it can be used to indoctrinate young impressionable minds, or any impressionable mind really.

This blog will refer to the education in the Third Reich, but it also comes with a warning. Nowadays there is education on the far right and far left without any critical thinking being encouraged. There is a great danger in this.

From the 1920s onwards, the Nazi Party targeted German children as a special target audience for its propaganda messages. These messages emphasized that the Party was a movement of youth: dynamic, resilient, forward-looking, and hopeful.

Millions of German youngsters were won over to Nazism in the classroom and through extracurricular activities. In January 1933, the Hitler Youth had approximately 100,000 members, but by the end of the year this figure had increased to more than 2 million. By 1937 membership in the Hitler Youth increased to 5.4 million before it became mandatory in 1939. The German authorities then prohibited or dissolved competing youth organizations.

Soon after the Enabling Act of 1933 had been passed, Jewish teachers and professors were dismissed from German schools and universities. By April 1933, there were no Jewish teachers remaining in schools attended by ‘Aryan’ students, a racial term used by the Nazis to describe the Germanic peoples.

All teachers had to join the Nazi Teachers’ Association, which vetted them for political and racial suitability. By 1939, 97 per cent of teachers belonged to it. Teachers had to go to summer school so they could teach Nazi ideas effectively. Pupils were encouraged to inform the authorities if teachers did not teach and support Nazi ideas.

In the educational system, Jewish children regularly experienced ridicule, from both their peers and teachers. For example, Jewish children would be sent to the back of the classroom to reiterate to the non-Jewish German children the notion that they were inferior to them. Additionally, “teachers would begin to pick out Jewish students in classrooms to use as examples during biology lessons about racial impurity. Jewish children would be told to stand at the front of the class, whilst teachers pointed to their eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and hair, comparing these to characteristics on Nazi propaganda sheets”. Eventually, the Jewish children were completely segregated from the non-Jewish German children in schools.

The lines on the blackboard ,on the picture above translate to “The Jew is our greatest enemy! Beware of the Jew” While 2 Jewish students stand next to the black board.

Textbooks were rewritten, especially in history and biology, to promote Germany’s ‘greatness’, Aryan ‘supremacy’ and anti-Semitism. Children’s Stories and Textbooks were used as Propaganda tools. Young people were even encouraged to act as propagandists for the Third Reich.

Additionally, after-school activities and weekend trips were regularly sponsored by the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls. These activities often acted as recruitment meetings for the participating school children. The Hitler Youth combined sports and physical outdoor activities with Nazi ideologies. Likewise, the League of German Girls emphasized collective athletics such as rhythmic gymnastics, which “German health authorities deemed less strenuous to the female body and better geared to preparing them for motherhood”. This was also used for public display. Authorities wanted these sports and activities to encourage “young men and women to abandon their individuality in favor of the goals of the Aryan collective”.

The Nazis tried to create a global ‘brand’ for the NSDAP. For this they would also children from the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls. They would even go as far as China. The picture below was taken in China in 1935.

The Nazis started in 1933 to introduce their education curriculum. Six years before they started WWII. Six years of creating young willing followers of the Nazi ideology. All of this did not start on the battlefield but in the classrooms. Creating a feeling or sense of belonging to a cause is a powerful and seductive tool.

As I said at the start of the blog, education is key to fight ignorance and racism. But if not done in a proper way and without any critical thinking incorporated in the curriculum, it will do the opposite and create ignorance and racism.

There is a trend in education at the moment where something doesn’t suit a certain narrative it gets cancelled or ridiculed. Especially in reference to history. This is the way the Nazis got a hook into education.

So this is a warning to all educators, unless you are eager to let something like the holocaust again, allow your students to absorb all aspects of history, good and bad. Don’t cancel things that don’t suit you but look at the bigger picture.

sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z897pbk/revision/2

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/indoctrinating-youth

https://www.pnas.org/content/112/26/7931

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_propaganda_in_Nazi_Germany

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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The consequences of following a mad man.

Hitler rehearsing his public speeches in front of the mirror 1

It is often said that the German people were victims of the Nazi regime too, and to a large extend that is true. However the German people have to look at who to blame for that, and if they are honest they will come to the conclusion that the inescapable fact is the blame lies with themselves.

So many reasons are named for the start of WWII,mostly because of the mistreatment of Germany by the world after WWI, and to an extend this is also true, but it was also the Germans who in conjunction with other smaller nations started that war too.

The real reason why they should put the blame on themselves is that they elected the man and the party who put them close to the abyss. Not only did they elect him, on -August 19 1934 they gave him a Carte-blanche to basically do whatever he wanted to, in a referendum. This was the question put to the German nation.

“The office of the President of the Reich is unified with the office of the Chancellor. Consequently all former powers of the President of the Reich are demised to the Führer and Chancellor of the Reich Adolf Hitler. He himself nominates his substitute.Do you, German man and German woman, approve of this regulation provided by this Law?”

The government did use intimidation and electoral fraud to secure a yes vote but that doesn’t take away the fact that many still voted ‘Yes’ anyway.

There were so many signs before the 1933 elections and the 1934 referendum that Hitler and his cronies were nothing more then thugs fueled by hatred. The irony that is often missed that Hitler wasn’t even a German.

Hitler rehearsing his public speeches in front of the mirror 4

Germany did pay a high price for following a mad man but not quite as high as those who were butchered by the Nazi regime.

Below are some examples of the consequences of following a mad man.

A  German prisoner of war returning to his home town of Frankfurt to discover his house bombed and his family no longer there.

German Soldier returning home Tony Vaccaro

A pile of bodies awaits cremation after the firebombing of Dresden, February 1945.

A pile of bodies awaits cremation after the firebombing of Dresden, February 1945

War-torn Cologne Cathedral stands out of the devastated area on the west bank of the Rhine, in Cologne, Germany, April 24, 1945.

Last_days_of_Nazi_Germany (24)

A mother and her children killed in the bombing of Dresden

A pile of bodies awaits cremation after the bombing of Dresden, 1945 (2)

A dead Wehrmacht soldier in the ruins of Berlin 1945

Berlin in 1945 4

Don’t get me wrong I have a lot of German friends and there is a realization in the German generations born after the war of the consequences caused by the previous generations, but I do see a shift of attitude towards the war in the some of the younger generations which does give me a cause of concern.

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Taught to Hate-The Hitler youth,part 2

hitler-youth-large-group

There are 2 indisputable facts when it comes to the youngest members of society.

  1. A child is born with no state of mind, a baby does not know how to hate or how to love, he/she is taught how to do both and is conditioned to the environment he or she grows up in.
  2. He who had the youth has the future.

Hitler was aware for his ideology to work on a large scale it needed to be indoctrinated from a very young age. The Nazi regime needed to have full control of life cycle from cradle to grave.

I have heard people say “If my child was in the Hitler youth I would severely discipline my son or daughter” the fact is you wouldn’t, because firstly you would have brought your child to the meetings, secondly you would fear your own safety if you would even say anything negative about the Nazi regime even to your child. In many cases Hitker youth children would even betray their own parents.

goebells-with-boy

Being part of a group was very intoxicating for a young child, in fact it still is. The truth is at the start it was fun. They did all sorts of cool things. They went camping together, built bonfires and they were even taught how to shoot a rifle, not a toy one but a real genuine rifle. What boy wouldn’t love that.

jumping-over-fire

boy-aiming-gun

They weren’t taught to hate straight away, it was a gradual process. Although it really doesn’t take that long to brainwash a child, if the conditions are right it only takes a few days to alter their attitude completely, as the ‘3rd wave experiment@ conducted in 1967 by high school teacher Ron Jones illustrated. This experiment even had the benefit of hindsight, Where the Hitler youth had no prior knowledge of what evil some of them would eventually embark on.

standing-before-flag

inspection-line

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