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Turning 2 blind eyes to the Nazi regime

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One of the reasons why the Nazi’s became so powerful as they were, was because a lot of people and companies in Germany and indeed across the world decided to look away or ignore the atrocities because it suited their own agenda and lined their own pockets.

The Associated Press

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At the height of World War II, the Associated Press made secret arrangements with an SS officer to obtain pictures taken by Nazi photographers that were distributed to American newspapers — a deal authorized by senior U.S. officials.

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(A photo of Hitler surveying Nazi troops, taken by AP News.)

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When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, many international news organizations operating in Germany began to experience pressure from the government to conform to Nazi standards.

That same year, the Nazi government’s Editor’s Law came into effect, mandating that all professional journalists be of Aryan descent and that any Jews be removed from the newsroom. The law also strictly limited what papers were allowed to publish.

Most international news organizations withdrew from Nazi Germany under these conditions, but the AP remained — and fired all their local Jewish staff.

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While the Nazis journalism laws were limited in scope, and only really affected German citizens, the pressure on the AP had already led them to alter their news habits to placate the Nazi regime.

By late 1933, the head of the German branch of the AP was already refusing to publish images that depicted the discrimination against Jews in Germany in order to stay on the good side of the Nazis.

By 1935, the AP was already one of the few international news organizations still operating in Germany. Large British-American news agencies such as Keystone and Wide World Photos had been banned from the country by the Nazi government. However, the AP remained in the nation due to their continued efforts to appease the Nazis.

At this point, the AP office in Germany came entirely under the control of the Nazi government. They placed SS members into the newsroom and began scrupulously censoring anything that portrayed the Nazis in a negative light.

In its capacity as a photo news service, the AP knowingly sold the Nazis images of Jews from inside Germany and around the world to be used in anti-semitic propaganda. They were also the leading supplier of images for a propaganda book called The Jews in the USA, and in third place among suppliers of photos for the anti-semitic book The Subhuman.

As part of their photo service, the AP also sold images from Germany to the rest of the world. These images could only leave the country after being inspected by some of the many SS members working in their offices. As a result, the AP was publishing images that showed Nazis as heroic leaders, and Jews as subhuman cowards.

This collaboration with the Nazi government was unprecedented for a foreign news press service and contributed to Nazi propaganda both within and outside Germany.

In 2017, the AP released a statement where they claim that their cooperation was justified as it allowed them to provide reporting from within Nazi Germany to the outside world. They have not apologized for their actions.

Kodak

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Like most international companies of the era, Kodak had subsidiaries in Germany and across Europe. And as Germany’s international aggression increased through the 1930s, Kodak kept its subsidiaries in Germany.

Then, in 1941, the United States joined World War II and mandated that U.S. businesses could no longer import to or export from hostile nations. As was the case with many corporations, Kodak’s branch in Germany became more autonomous at this time, coming completely under Nazi control.

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However, unlike many of those companies, Kodak started using their subsidiaries in neutral European nations, like Switzerland and Portugal, to continue doing business with Nazi Germany. They also continued to have control over their German branch thanks to their close relationship with Hitler’s personal economic adviser, Wilhelm Keppler.

These Kodak subsidiaries made substantial purchases of photographic equipment from Nazi Germany, providing funds to a foreign enemy of the United States. They also sold large amounts of photographic and electronic devices to the Nazis, much of which was used towards their war effort.

In internal documents, company leadership continued to justify their relationship with Nazi Germany on the basis of profit throughout the war. In addition to all of that, their German branch used more than 250 slave laborers from Nazi concentration camps.

And after the war, Kodak reabsorbed their German subsidiary and profited off of what they created.

Kodak paid $500,000 into a fund providing for families of those used as slave labor for Nazi corporations, but never apologized for their continued business dealings with Nazi Germany.

The Chase Manhattan Bank

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The Chase Manhattan Bank’s form of colluding with the Reich was particularly heinous. Because Carlos Niedermann, Chase’s representative in Paris, had very good personal relations with the Nazis, he agreed to their requests that the bank seize the assets of at least one hundred Parisian Jews that were considered especially worth pursuing by the Reich. This doubtless helped the Gestapo capture those people.

Chase Manhattan was hardly alone in this, though. In 1998, the company was part of a suit demanding reparations from J. P. Morgan and Citibank for the millions of dollars stolen. In the end, the payouts were $200 a month. The survivors and descendants had to fight to not have large amounts of the payments eaten up by wire transfer fees.

 

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Hate is Mankind’s worst disease

Hate is mankind’s worst disease and it seems to be incurable.

I am only limiting this to the 1933-1945 era but I could easily have dozens of pages of pictures of all era’s  going up to today.

Nazis singing to encourage a boycott of Jewish shops , 1933

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A German woman facing public humiliation because of a romantic affair with a Polish man, 1942

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The Kovno Garage Massacre – Lithuanian nationalists clubbing Jewish Lithuanians to death, 1941

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Leonard Siffleet about to be beheaded with a sword by a Japanese soldier, 1943

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The speech where Adolf Hitler declared war on the USA, 1941

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A Jewish woman who is concealing her face sits on a park bench marked “Only for Jews”, Austria, 1938

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Nazi General Anton Dostler is tied to a stake before his execution by a firing squad, 1945

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Japanese soldiers shooting blindfolded Sikh prisoners before bayonetting them

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Facing Death: the different expressions of six Polish civilians moments before death by firing squad, 1939.

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Goebbels congratulates a 16 year old recruit after receiving the Iron Cross II, 1945.

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Laughing at Auschwitz – SS auxiliaries poses at a resort for Auschwitz personnel, 1942.

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Eyes of Hate, a candid photograph of Goebbels after he finds out his photographer is Jewish, 1933

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Henry Ford receiving the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Nazi officials, 1938

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Pedestrians glance at the broken windows of a Jewish owned shop in Berlin after Kristallnacht

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Chinese prisoners being buried alive by the Japanese Army during the Nanking Massacre 1937

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Loyalty oath of Nazi SS troops, Feldherrnhalle, Munich, 1938. The SS loyalty oath was as follows: “I vow to you, Adolf Hitler, as Führer and chancellor of the German Reich, loyalty and bravery. I vow to you and to the leaders that you set for me, absolute allegiance until death. So help me God”

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19 August 1934 Referendum, Germany.

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On Aug. 19, 1934, the German public voted 90 percent in favor of Chancellor Adolf Hitler becoming Führer und Reichskanzler (“leader and chancellor”), a new title created after the death of President Paul von Hindenburg earlier in the month.

In its front-page report of the voting in The New York Times, Frederick T. Birchall wrote: “The endorsement gives Chancellor Hitler, who four years ago was not even a German citizen, dictatorial powers unequaled in any other country, and probably unequaled in history since the days of Genghis Khan. He has more power than Joseph Stalin in Russia, who has a party machine to reckon with; more power than Premier Mussolini of Italy who shares his prerogative with the titular ruler; more than any American President ever dreamed of.

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When President Hindenburg dictated his testament in May, he included as his “last wish” that the Hohenzollern monarchy would be restored by Hitler. His son, Oskar von Hindenburg, passed the testament on to Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen, who in turn gave it to Hitler on 14 August. The next day, 15 August, Hitler had it published, without any indication of Hindenburg’s “last wish”.

On 1 August, with Hindenburg’s death imminent, the Reichstag had passed the Law on the Head of State of the German Reich, merging the offices of head of state (president) and head of government (chancellor). Immediately after Hindenburg’s death on 2 August, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Werner von Blomberg, ordered all members of the Wehrmacht (armed forces) to take an oath to the Führer.

The wording of the referendum question was:

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?

Of the democratic nature of the referendum, political scientist Arnold Zurcher writes that “there undoubtedly was a great deal” of “intangible official pressure”, but “[probably very little] downright coercion and intimidation at the polls”

Support for merging the offices of president and chancellor was greatest in East Prussia, where 96% voted in favour. Support was lowest in urban districts. It was weakest of all in Hamburg, where just under 80% voted affirmatively (20.4% against). In Aachen, 18.6% voted against. In Berlin, 18.5% of votes were negative and every district reported negative vote share greater than 10%. In the former communist stronghold of Wedding it was 19.7% against. Overall support for the government was lower than in the referendum of 12 November 1933. Where the referendum of 1933 had received support from 89.9% of the total electorate, that of 1934 had only 84.3% support.The regional variation, however, was identical to that in the referendum of 1933.

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The next day, August 20, mandatory loyalty oaths were introduced throughout the Reich.

Article 1. The public officials and the soldiers of the armed forces must take an oath of loyalty on entering service.
Article 2
1.
The oath of loyalty of public officials will be:
‘I swear: I shall be loyal and obedient to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich and people, respect the laws, and fulfill my official duties conscientiously, so help me God.’
2. The oath of loyalty of the soldiers of the armed forces will be:
‘I swear by God this sacred oath: I will render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich and people, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and will be ready as a brave soldier to risk my life at any time for this oath.’
Article 3. Officials already in service must swear this oath without delay according to Article 2 number 1

These oaths were pledged to Hitler personally, not the German state or constitution. And they were taken very seriously by members of the German Officers’ Corps with their traditional minded codes of honor, which now elevated obedience to Hitler as a sacred duty and effectively placed the German armed forces in the position of being the personal instrument of Hitler.

(Years later, following the German defeat in World War Two, many German officers unsuccessfully attempted to use the oath as a defense against charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.)

In September, 1934, at the annual Nuremberg Nazi Party rallies, a euphoric Hitler proclaimed, “The German form of life is definitely determined for the next thousand years. The Age of Nerves of the nineteenth century has found its close with us. There will be no revolution in Germany for the next thousand years.

Klaus Barbie-The Butcher of Lyon

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The story of Klaus Barbie has always intrigued me. His story tells the unfortunate tale of humanity, it is proof that the lives of ordinary humans and victims really don’t matter. Regardless how evil someone is ,if he has any kind of value to any government, heaven and earth will be moved to keep him alive and out of captivity.For these animals justice quite literally is blind.

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Klaus(Nikolaus) Barbie was born in Bad Godesberg, near Bonn, on October 25, 1913. Barbie was born to a Roman Catholic family. In 1914, his father, also named Nickolaus, was conscripted to fight in the First World War. He returned an angry, bitter man. Wounded in the neck at Verdun and captured by the French, whom he hated, he never recovered his health,He became an alcoholic who abused his children.Klaus Barbie’s parents were both teachers. Until 1923 he went to the school where his father taught. Afterward, he attended a boarding school in Trier. In 1925, his whole family moved to Trier. In 1933, Barbie’s father and brother both died. The death of his abusive, alcoholic father derailed plans for young Barbie to study theology or otherwise become an academic, as his peers had expected. While unemployed, Barbie was drafted into the Nazi labor service (Reichsarbeitsdienst); membership was compulsory for all young German men and women.

On the 26 September 1935 Barbie joined the SS, membership number 272, 284 and eventually joined the SD (Sicherheitsdienst – Security Service) arm of the SS.

On 20 April 1940 he graduated and was promoted to SS –Untersturmfuhrer and five days later he married Regine Willms, a stocky twenty-three year old daughter of a postal worker from Osburg. Almost immediately after the wedding Barbie rejoined his SD detachment and was part of von Runstedt’s army invading the Low Countries and France.

Barbie was officially posted to Holland on the 29 May 1940, Barbie’s SD unit was under the direct command of Willy Lages, the SD commander in the Hague, and his unit was shortly afterwards transferred to the Zentralstelle in Amsterdam, the “Central Bureau for Jewish Emigration.” Barbie’s responsibilities included rounding up German émigrés, freemasons and Jews.On the 12 February 1941, the German authorities used the death of a Dutch Nazi, Hendrik Koot killed in a fight with Dutch dockworkers, as a pretext to seal off the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam.

Below is the NSB(Dutch National Socialist Party) weekly news paper, with he headlines the murder of Koot, describing it as a Jews Crime.

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On 19 February 1941 an SD raid in Amsterdam entered a tavern called Koco, run by Jewish refugees from Germany, Cahn and Kohn. In the tavern, a protective device which Cahn had installed, an ammonia flash went off by accident, spaying the Germans with ammonia.The SD raid was commanded by Klaus Barbie and after some violence everyone inside was arrested and three days later, as a reprisal for his act of “resistance” , the SS raided the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam, seized 425 Jews, most of them young men.

They were assembled on the Jonas Daniel –Meyer –plein subjected them to beatings and abuse and then on 27 February 1941 deported 389 of them to Buchenwald concentration camp and after two months 361 of them were deported to Mauthausen concentration camp and certain death.

The arrests were followed by a general strike, Barbie was ordered to execute Cahn and his associates, who had been condemned to death. Barbie was put in charge of the execution squad.

In 1942, he was sent to Dijon, France, in the Occupied Zone. In November of the same year, at the age of 29, he was assigned to Lyon as the head of the local Gestapo. He established his headquarters at the Hôtel Terminus in Lyon,

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where he personally tortured prisoners: men, women, and children alike,breaking extremities, using electroshock, and sexually abusing them (including with dogs), among other methods. He became known as the “Butcher of Lyon”.In Marcel Ophüls’s Oscar-winning documentary film, Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie,

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the daughter of a French Resistance leader based in Lyon recounts her father’s torture by Barbie – her father was beaten, skinned alive, and his head immersed in a bucket of ammonia; he died shortly after.

Historians estimate that Barbie was directly responsible for the deaths of up to 14,000 people. He arrested Jean Moulin, one of the highest-ranking members of the French Resistance and his most prominent enemy figure. In 1943.

Jean Moulin was mercilessly tortured by Klaus Barbie and his men. Hot needles where shoved under his fingernails. His fingers were forced through the narrow space between the hinges of a door and a wall and then the door was repeatedly slammed until the knuckles broke.

Screw-levered handcuffs were placed on Moulin and tightened until they bit through his flesh and broke through the bones of his wrists. He would not talk. He was whipped. He was beaten until his face was an unrecognizable pulp. A fellow prisoner, Christian Pineau, later described the resistance leader as“unconscious, his eyes dug in as though they had been punched through his head. An ugly blue wound scarred his temple. A mute rattle came out of his swollen lips.”

Jean Moulin remained in this coma when he was shown to other resistance leaders who were being interrogated at Gestapo headquarters. Barbie had ordered Moulin put on display in an office. His unconscious form sprawled on a chaise lounge. His face was yellow, his breathing heavy, his head swathed in bandages. It was the last time Moulin was seen alive.

On behalf of his cruel crimes and specially for the Moulin case, Barbie was awarded, by Hitler himself, the “First Class Iron Cross with Swords.

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In April 1944, Barbie ordered the deportation to Auschwitz of a group of 44 Jewish children from an orphanage at Izieu.

A Jewish home for children

After his operations in Lyon, he rejoined the SiPo-SD of Lyon in Bruyères, where he led an anti-partisan attack in Rehaupal in September 1944.

After the war, Klaus Barbie was recruited by the Western Allies and worked for the British until 1947, then he switched his allegiance to the Americans. He was protected and employed by American intelligence agents because of his “police skills” and anti-Communist zeal – he penetrated communist cells in the German Communist Party.

With the aid of the Americans, he fled from prosecution in France in 1950 and relocated to South America together with his wife and children. He may have helped the CIA capture Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara in 1967.

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The French discovered that Barbie was in U.S. hands and, having sentenced him to death in absentia for war crimes, made a plea to John J. McCloy, U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, to hand him over for execution, but McCloy allegedly refused. Instead, the CIC allegedly helped him flee to Bolivia with the help of “ratlines” organized by U.S. intelligence services, and Croatian Roman Catholic clergy, including Father Krunoslav Draganović. The CIC asserted that Barbie knew too much about the network of German spies the CIC had planted in various European Communist organizations, and were suspicious of the Communist influence within the French government, but their protection of Barbie may have been as much to avoid the embarrassment of having recruited him.

Barbie CIC memorandum

In 1965, Barbie was recruited by the West German foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), under the codename “Adler” (Eagle) and the registration number V-43118. His initial monthly salary of 500 Deutsche Mark was transferred in May 1966 to an account of the Chartered Bank of London in San Francisco. During his time with the BND, Barbie made at least 35 reports to the BND headquarters in Pullach.

Barbie emigrated to Bolivia, where he lived under the alias, Klaus Altmann. He had less embarrassment being employed there than in Europe, and enjoyed excellent relations with high-ranking Bolivian officials, including Bolivian dictators Hugo Banzer and Luis García Meza Tejada. “Altmann” was known for his nationalist and anti-communist stances.While conducting his arms trade operations in Bolivia, he was appointed to the rank of Lt. Colonel within the Bolivian Armed Forces.

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Barbie was identified as living in Bolivia in 1971 by the Serge and Beate Klarsfeld(Nazi hunters from France).

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The testimony of the Italian insurgent Stefano Delle Chiaie before the Italian Parliamentary Commission on Terrorism suggests that Barbie took part in the “Cocaine Coup” of Luis García Meza Tejada, when the regime forced its way to power in Bolivia in 1980. On 19 January 1983, the newly elected government of Hernán Siles Zuazo arrested Barbie and extradited him to France to stand trial.

In 1984, Barbie was indicted for crimes committed while he directed the Gestapo in Lyon between 1942 and 1944. The jury trial started on 11 May 1987, in Lyon, before the Rhône Cour d’assises. Unusually, the court allowed the trial to be filmed because of its historical value. A special court room with seating for an audience of about 700 was constructed.[19] The head prosecutor was Pierre Truche.At the trial Barbie received support not only from Nazi apologists like François Genoud, but also from leftist lawyer Jacques Vergès.

Klaus Barbie in his prison cell

The lead defense attorney was Jacques Vergès, who argued that Barbie’s actions were no worse than the ordinary actions of colonialists worldwide, and that his trial was selective prosecution. The head prosecutor was Pierre Truche. During his trial, Barbie famously stated that: “When I stand before the throne of God I shall be judged innocent”.

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On July 4, 1987, Barbie was sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity, Klaus Barbie died of cancer in prison on the 25 September 1991.

Hitler and Wagner

I have to be honest, the title and the 2 pictures above are a bit misleading. Yes this blog is about the relationship between Hitler and Wagner but with Winifred Wagner , the daughter in law of Richard, the wife of Siegfried Wagner,  the son of the composer.

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It is because of Hitler’s passion and enthusiasm he got to meet Winifred.

Winifred Wagner (born Winifred Marjorie Williams; 23 June 1897 – 5 March 1980) was the English-born wife of Siegfried Wagner, the son of Richard Wagner, and ran the Bayreuth Festival after her husband’s death in 1930 until the end of World War II in 1945. She was a friend and supporter of Adolf Hitler , and she and Hitler maintained a regular correspondence.

Winifred Williams was born in Hastings, England, to John Williams, a writer, and his wife, the former Emily Florence Karop. Winifred lost both her parents before the age of two and was initially raised in a number of homes. Eight years later she was adopted by a distant German relative of her mother, Henrietta Karop, and her husband Karl Klindworth, a musician and a friend of Richard Wagner.

The Bayreuth Festival was seen as a family business,

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with the leadership to be passed from Richard Wagner to his son Siegfried Wagner, but Siegfried, who was secretly bisexual, showed little interest in marriage.

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It was arranged that Winifred Klindworth, as she was called at the time, aged 17, would meet Siegfried Wagner, aged 45, at the Bayreuth Festival in 1914. A year later they were married. It was hoped that the marriage would end Siegfried’s homosexual encounters and the associated costly scandals, and provide an heir to carry on the family business.

In 1923, Winifred met Adolf Hitler, who greatly admired Wagner’s music. When Hitler was jailed for his part in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch,

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Winifred sent him food parcels and stationery on which Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf may have been written. In the late 1930s, she served as Hitler’s personal translator during treaty negotiations with Britain.

Although Winifred remained personally faithful to Hitler, she denied that she had ever supported the Nazi party. Her relationship with Hitler grew so close that by 1933 there were rumors of impending marriage. Haus Wahnfried, the Wagner home in Bayreuth, became Hitler’s favorite retreat.

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Hitler gave the festival government assistance and tax exempt status, and treated Winifred’s children solicitously.

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Extraordinarily, even when it must have been obvious how Hitler’s state-controlled eugenics programme and anti-Semitic policies were at work, Winifred somehow managed to separate in her mind the horrific policies of Adolf Hitler the dictator from the behaviour of the man she knew as Wolf, or USA – Unser Seliger Adolf (“Our beloved Adolf”)

Recent  evidence about the woman known as “Hitler’s girlfriend” has been unearthed by Brigitte Hamann, a Vienna-based historian.
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Mrs Hamann spent five years researching unpublished material held by a Wagner archivist and letters written by the Wagner family’s private schoolteacher, Liselotte Schmitt.

Most of Winifred Wagner’s correspondence and diaries, including her letters to Hitler, are still held by the Wagner family and remain unpublished.

Her biography shows that, contrary to popular belief, Winifred’s friendship with Hitler cooled dramatically during the war after she intervened on many occasions to prevent her Jewish, Communist and homosexual friends from being sent to concentration camps.

Even before the war, Winifred, who was a Nazi Party member, told Hitler that she was “disgusted” by the persecution of the Jews.

After Jewish members of the Bayreuth festival team were spat at by Nazi sympathisers, she wrote to him, saying: “It is a scandal that these honourable men should be denigrated by such rabid individuals. These Jews have earned a right to Bayreuth through their life’s work.”

In the late 1930s, a letter from her to Hitler prevented Alfred and Hedwig Pringsheim – whose daughter Katja was married to the writer Thomas Mann(Who was the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate) – from being arrested by the Gestapo.

The couple were allowed to flee to Switzerland. “My grandparents owe their escape entirely to Winifred Wagner,” According to their Grandon

Winifred is quoted as saying to a Communist friend, Lydia Beil, whom she managed to free from imprisonment by the Nazis: “I will make my passionate opposition felt if it helps to prevent an act of violence by the party.”

The Jewish singer Hans Beer was also rescued from a “punishment battalion” at Buchenwald concentration camp on Winifred’s intervention. “I was snatched from the jaws of death,”Hans Beer has said

Because of her position, Winifred was able to help dozens of Nazi victims who turned to her increasingly after war broke out. “She did so spontaneously, automatically and with a great deal of human sympathy,” writes Mrs Hamann.

In spite of her undeniable charitable acts (and there were many) towards individual sufferers under the Hitler regime, there was an ugly streak running right through the woman, and as her intellectual capacities diminished with age she became more and more intolerant, her circle of friends consisting only of people from the old Nazi network.

Her grandson Gottfried Wagner later recalled:

“My aunt Friedelind was outraged when my grandmother again slowly blossomed as the first lady of right-wing groups and received political friends such as Edda Goering, Ilse Hess, the former National Democratic Party of Germany chairman Adolf von Thadden, Gerdy Troost, the wife of the Nazi architect and friend of Hitler, Paul Ludwig Troost, the British fascist leader Oswald Mosley, the Nazi film director Karl Ritter and the racialist author and former cultural leader of the Reich Hans Severus Ziegler”.

In a 1975 interview, she said: “If Hitler were to come in the door today, I would be as happy and glad to see him and have him here as I always was.”

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William Joyce-AKA Lord Haw Haw

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Regardless what you think of the Nazi’s, one thing can’t be denied. They had an extremely effective  and well oiled propaganda machine.

Not only German Nazi members and citizens were involved it had also foreign Nazi sympathizers working for them and none so infamous and notorious as William Joyce AKA Lord Haw Haw.

William Joyce was born on Herkimer Street in Brooklyn, New York, to an Anglican mother and an Irish Catholic father, Michael, who had taken United States citizenship on 25 October 1894. A few years after his birth, the family returned to Galway, Ireland.

Joyce attended the Jesuit St Ignatius College in Galway (1915–21).

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It was here that during a fist fight with another boy that Joyce had his nose broken. He kept quiet about the injury and his nose never properly set – giving him the nasal broken drawl so familiar in his later broadcasts from Germany

Unusually for Irish Roman Catholics, both Joyce and his father were strongly Unionist. Joyce later claimed he had aided the Black and Tans during the Irish War for Independence

and had become a target of the Irish Republican Army.

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The Joyce family were in Ireland at the time of the Sinn Fein insurrections and because they were Conservative and pro-Union they were very unpopular with the rebels. Joyce’s early life was marked by violence, including an attack on his father’s business and attacks on the family home by Sinn Feiners. When the British Prime Minister Lloyd George announced the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the creation of the Irish State the Joyce family left for England. Joyce was then 15 years old.

Far from being the puny figure described by the press during World War II, William Joyce was of average height and strongly built. During his youth he excelled at boxing, swimming and fencing. This was to hold him in good stead later when he was involved in many street battles.

On 22 October 1924, while stewarding a meeting in support of Jack Lazarus (the Conservative Party candidate for Lambeth North in the general election), Joyce was attacked by Communists and received a deep razor slash that ran across his right cheek. It left a permanent scar which ran from the earlobe to the corner of the mouth.He claimed his attackers were Jews.

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In 1932, Joyce joined the British Union of Fascists (BUF) under Sir Oswald Mosley, and swiftly became a leading speaker, praised for his power of oratory.

The journalist and novelist Cecil Roberts described a speech given by Joyce:

“Thin, pale, intense, he had not been speaking many minutes before we were electrified by this man … so terrifying in its dynamic force, so vituperative, so vitriolic”

William Joyce gained the reputation of a savage fighter and was always the first to dive into a fracas with knuckle-duster at the ready. The image of “Jewish Communists” who scarred his face was always in the back of his mind and he wanted revenge. Standing on his soapbox in Blackshirt battledress – a buttoned black suit with a high-necked pullover – his left hand in his pocket and his right clutching the microphone – he fed on the tension and heckling like a drug. The June 1934 Olympia conference which turned into a bloody fight and the violent rhetoric of Joyce destroyed the image of respectability that Mosley and the BUF were striving for. But this did not prevent Joyce from being appointed Deputy Leader of the BUF.

His violent rhetoric and willingness to physically confront anti-fascist elements head-on played no small part in further marginalizing the BUF. After the bloody debacle of Olympia, Joyce spearheaded the BUF’s policy shift from campaigning for economic revival through corporatism to a focus on antisemitism. He was instrumental in changing the name of the BUF to “British Union of Fascists and National Socialists” in 1936, and stood as a party candidate in the 1937 elections to the London County Council. In 1936 Joyce lived for a year in Whitstable, where he owned a radio and electrical shop.

One particular concern for Joyce was the Government of India Bill (passed in 1935), designed to give a measure of autonomy to India, allowing freedom and the development of limited self-government. Joyce harboured a desire to become Viceroy of India should Mosley ever head a BUF government, and is recorded as describing the backers of the bill as “feeble” and “one loathsome, fetid, purulent, tumid mass of hypocrisy, hiding behind Jewish Dictators

Mosley and Joyce were completely different in character. Mosley was relaxed, humorous and charming whereas Joyce was impatient, intense and bad-tempered. Joyce’s departure from the BUF in April 1937 came as a result of Joyce being dismissed from the salaried staff of the BUF. Bad election results, falling support and lack of money led to a BUF staff reduction of 143 to approximately 30. This and Joyce’s personal differences with Mosley led Joyce to form the British National Socialist League.

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Despite Joyce having been Deputy Leader of the BUF between 1933 and 1937 and a brave fighter and powerful orator, Mosley snubbed him in his autobiography and denounced him as a traitor because of his wartime activities.

On 26 August 1939, approximately a week before the outbreak of war, Joyce and his family fled to Berlin after a tip-off that, under the soon to be introduced emergency powers, he would be interned for the duration of the war. It was an act that would lead eventually to his death and denouncement by many, including Mosley, as a traitor. Rightly or wrongly Joyce was adamant that Britain was being led into another pointless war and Neville Chamberlain’s, and subsequently Winston Churchill’s, governments were betraying their people.

In Berlin, Joyce could not find employment until a chance meeting with fellow Mosleyite Dorothy Eckersley got him an audition at the Rundfunkhaus (“broadcasting house“).Eckersley was the former wife  of the Chief Engineer of the British Broadcasting Corporation, Peter Eckersley. Despite having a heavy cold and almost losing his voice, he was recruited immediately for radio announcements and script writing at German radio’s English service. William Joyce replaced Wolf Mittler.

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The name “Lord Haw-Haw of Zeesen” was coined in 1939 by the pseudonymous Daily Express radio critic Jonah Barrington,but this referred initially to Wolf Mittler (or possibly Norman Baillie-Stewart). When Joyce became the best-known propaganda broadcaster, the nickname was transferred to him. Joyce’s broadcasts initially came from studios in Berlin, later transferring (because of heavy Allied bombing) to Luxembourg and finally to Apen near Hamburg, and were relayed over a network of German-controlled radio stations that included Hamburg, Bremen,Luxembourg, Hilversum, Calais, Oslo and Zeesen. Joyce also broadcast on, and wrote scripts for, the German Büro Concordia organisation, which ran several black propaganda stations, many of which pretended to broadcast illegally from within Britain.His role in writing the scripts increased as time passed, and the German radio capitalized on his public persona. Initially an anonymous broadcaster, Joyce eventually revealed his real name to his listeners; and he would occasionally be announced as “William Joyce, otherwise known as Lord Haw-Haw”.Urban legends soon circulated about Lord Haw-Haw, alleging that the broadcaster was well-informed about political and military events to the point of near-omniscience.

Although it was illegal to listen to his broadcasts in Britain they became very popular with British listeners. They always began with the words “Germany calling Germany calling,” which because of Joyce’s broken nose sounded like: “Jarmany calling, Jarmany calling.” During his heyday Joyce had almost as many listeners as the BBC – and he caused alarm with his tales of a Fifth Column in Britain and his talks on how to treat bombing wounds. He caused panic with his apparently accurate descriptions of Town Hall clocks that had stopped and how many steps there were in a particular church steeple.

After the Battle of Britain and the invasion of Russia, Joyce’s broadcasts lost more and more listeners in Britain – but he still remained the number one broadcaster in Berlin and his anti-semitism never faded in its virulence – continuing to blame the war on “Jewish International Finance.” For his efforts Joyce continued to live a comfortable life in Berlin and in September 1944 was awarded the Cross of War Merit 1st Class with a certificate signed by Adolf Hitler. As the war worsened he began to drink heavily and his marriage became a joke with both his wife and he having numerous affairs.

During the final stages of the war, with the Red Army approaching Berlin, Joyce moved to Hamburg. He made a final broadcast on 30 April 1945 – warning that the war would leave Britain poor and barren now that she had lost all her wealth and power in 6 years of war, leaving the Russians in control of most of Europe. He signed off with a final defiant “Heil Hitler.”

Joyce was captured while going through a wood near Flensburg after the war; he received a bullet wound to the leg in the process. Joyce’s fate at the gallows was then merely a formality and the British press whipped up all the hysteria they could – reminding people that he was a snarling traitor. The British Government passed the Treason Act 1945 the day before Joyce was flown back to Britain.

Although Joyce was born in the USA, brought up in Ireland and took German nationality on 26 September 1939, he was charged with treason from 3 September 1939 to 2 July 1940, the date his British passport ran out, and sentenced to death. Joyce was confined in a death cell at London’s Wandsworth Prison. In the cell next door was John Amery, the son of a British lord and the man who had tried to form British expatriates and sympathetic British POW’s into a Freicorp to fight on the German side. Joyce was executed five days after Amery on 3 January 1946. He was adamant and defiant to the end. He showed no emotion when confronted by news and scenes from the concentration camps, blaming the deaths on starvation and disease caused by Allied bombing of communication lines. He also scratched a swastika on the wall of his cell whilst awaiting sentence. His last public message reported by the BBC was “In death as in life, I defy the Jews who caused this last war, and I defy the powers of darkness they represent.” He was not yet 40 years old when executed. He was buried in an unmarked grave in the grounds of the prison.

 

Hitler’s Sponsors.

henryFORD_hitlersINSPIRATION

On Hitler’s 127th birthday I am not going to spend much time on him because I don’t think I will be able to add any historical value. However I will be mentioning a number of companies, some who are still household names, that supported Hitler and the Nazi regime  in any way,shape or form.

But before I go into that I will be asking a moral question and I hope you will indulge me by answering it.

This is a question which is often asked by psychologists

If you could travel in back to the time when Adolf Hitler was a baby, knowing what you know about him, would you kill him?

But now back to the sponsors of Hitler, again I try not to judge and stay factual as much as possible. However given the fact of the size of the companies and the respect they have nowadays it maybe difficult for me not to judge.

Nowadays a well respected fashion house. Not that many people know that it started off as a “Fascist” house. Hugo Boss was a member of the Nazi party and a sponsoring member of the SS. In fact he designed the uniforms.

IBM

IBM via its subsidiary Dehomag became the main provider of computing expertise and equipment in Nazi Germany. Dehomag gave the German government the means for two official censuses of the population after 1933 and for searching its data.

Dehomag leased and maintained the German government’s punched card machines. Dehomag general manager for Germany, Hermann Rottke, reported to Thomas J. Watson in New York.

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IBM established a special subsidiary, Watson Business Machines, to deal with railway traffic in the General Government during the Holocaust in Poland. The German Transport Ministry used IBM machines under the New York-controlled subsidiary in Warsaw, not the German subsidiary. It was legal for IBM to conduct business with Germany directly until America entered the war in December 1941.

AGFA.BASF,BAYER and HOECHST were all part of IG Farben, The company that used slave labourers in their plants during WWII and was the company that manufactured Zyklon B.

Zyklon_B_labels

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Henry Ford was the most famous of Hitler’s foreign backers, and he was rewarded in the 1930s for this long-lasting support with the highest Nazi decoration for foreigners. It is reported that Henry Ford sent Hitler a cheque for $50,000 on his birthday until his last today 127 years ago. The picture below is of Henry Ford receiving the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Nazi officials. 1938

Henry Ford receiving the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Nazi officials. 1938

Ferdinand Porsche, the man behind Volkswagen and Porsche, met with Hitler in 1934, to discuss the creation of a “people’s car.” (That’s the English translation of Volkswagen.)

Hitler told Porsche to make the car with a streamlined shape, “like a beetle.” And that’s the genesis of the Volkswagen Beetle… it wasn’t just designed for the Nazis, Hitler NAMED it.

During World War Two, it’s believed that as many as four out of every five workers at Volkswagen’s plants were slave laborers. Ferdinand Porsche even had a direct connection to Heinrich Himmler, one of the leaders of the SS, to directly request slaves from Auschwitz.The company VW still tends to breach laws nowadays.

Vintage-Coca-Cola-ad-on-a-card--Stock-Photo-coke

Coca-Cola, specifically Fanta. Coke played both sides during World War Two… they supported the American troops but also kept making soda for the Nazis. Then, in 1941, the German branch of Coke ran out of syrup, and couldn’t get any from America because of wartime restrictions.

fanta er

So they invented a new drink, specifically for the Nazis: A fruit-flavored soda called Fanta.It became the official Nazi drink.

siemens

Siemens took slave laborers during the Holocaust and had them help construct the gas chambers that would kill them and their families. Good people over there.

Siemens also has the single biggest post-Holocaust moment of insensitivity of any of the companies on this list. In 2001, they tried to trademark the word “Zyklon” (which means “cyclone” in German) to become the name a new line of products… including a line of gas ovens. Siemens never learned their lesson, in 2008 they received a record fine from the US authorities in relation to a bribery scandal. The total cost came to about $2.5 Billion.

I highlighted these companies because their brands still enjoy a global appeal.

There were more companies who supported the Nazi regime, some who were forced to others who only did it for commercial interests.

It is sad to see that 7 decades after the war some companies still put the commercial interests ahead of humanity.

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