Reinhard Kopps & Erich Priebke-No honor among murderers.

Reinhard Kopps (29 September 1914 Hamburg – 11 September 2001 Bariloche, Argentina) was an SS Officer for the Nazi Party during World War II. Following the defeat of Germany in World War II, he helped Nazis escape to Argentina, finally fleeing there himself. Under the assumed name of Juan Maler, Kopps was hiding in the small town of Bariloche in the Andes Mountains. Bariloche was the home of many Germans after World War II.

Nazi archives opened in 1994 caused ABC News to research Nazi war criminals. After research revealed many Nazis living in Argentina, Sam Donaldson confronted Maler on camera,getting him to admit that he was Reinhard Kopps, a former Nazi, and that he assisted Nazis to leave Germany and settle in Argentina. The Simon Wiesenthal Center accused him of having organized ethnic crimes in Albania where thousends of jewish were deported and killed. He was also reported for alleged activities as an ideologist of neo nazi groups in all over the world.

In order to deflect attention away from himself, he told Donaldson that an even worse war criminal, Erich Priebke (under the assumed name Erico Priebke)was also living there.Donaldson and his team waited for Priebke outside the school he was working and interviewed him at his car.

After initial hesitation, Priebke admitted who he was and spoke openly about his role in the massacre. He justified his actions by saying that he only followed orders from the Gestapo chief of Rome, Obersturmbannführer Herbert Kappler and that, in his view, the victim were terrorists.

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Erich Priebke (29 July 1913 – 11 October 2013) was a German mid-level SS commander in the SS police force (SiPo) of Nazi Germany.

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In 1996 he was convicted of war crimes in Italy, for participating in the Ardeatine massacre in Rome on 24 March 1944. 335 Italian civilians (among them 75 Italians of Jewish ancestry) were killed in retaliation for a partisan attack that killed 33 men of the German SS Police Regiment Bozen.

The massacre was perpetrated without prior public notice in a little-frequented rural suburb of the city, inside the tunnels of the disused quarries of pozzolana, near the Via Ardeatina.

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By mistake, a total of 335 Italian prisoners were taken, five in excess of the 330 called for. On 24 March, led by SS officers Erich Priebke and Karl Hass.

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They were transported to the Ardeatine caves in truckloads and then, in groups of five, put to death inside the caves. Because the killing squad mostly consisted of officers who had never killed before, Kappler had ordered several cases of cognac delivered to the caves to calm the officers’ nerves.

The nerves of Erich Priebke didn’t need to be calmed. To set an example for the other men he personally shot the 2 first victims himself.

The officers were ordered to lead the doomed prisoners into the caves with their hands tied behind their backs and then have them kneel down so that the soldiers could place a bullet directly into the cerebellum, ensuring that no more than one bullet would be needed per prisoner. Many were forced to kneel down over the bodies of those who had been killed before them because the cave had become filled with dead bodies. During the killings, the existence of the five extra prisoners was discovered, and it was decided to kill them anyway, in order to prevent news of the location of the place of execution from becoming known.

Priebke was one of the men held responsible for this mass execution. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, he received help from a bishop stationed in Rome and fled to Argentina on a Vatican passport, where he lived for over 50 years.

In 1991, Priebke’s participation in the Rome massacre was denounced in Esteban Buch’s book.In 1994, 50 years after the massacre, Priebke felt he could now talk about the incident and was interviewed by American ABC news reporter Sam Donaldson.This caused outrage among people who had not forgotten the incident, and led to his extradition to Italy and a trial which lasted more than four years.

Donaldson’s news report showed how openly Priebke could live in Argentina, and how little remorse he felt for his actions. Argentine authorities arrested Priebke. Because of his old age and poor health, he was at first not imprisoned, but rather held under house arrest at his home in Bariloche, where he had lived since 1949.

The extradition of Priebke had several delays – his lawyers used tactics like demanding all Italian documents be translated into Spanish, a process which could have taken two years. The Argentine court eventually denied the process, but appeals and other delays caused the extradition case to take more than a year. His lawyers argued that the case could no longer be criminally prosecuted because the crime of murder was subject to a statute of limitations of 15 years under Argentine law.

In March 1995, after nine months of delays, the president of the Jewish organization B’nai B’rith was promised by, among others, the Argentine president Carlos Menem, that the case would soon be closed, and that Priebke was to be transferred to Italy by the end of the month. In spite of these promises, the Supreme Court of Argentina decided that the case was to be transferred to the local court in Bariloche where the case was originally brought up. This opened the possibility for years of delays from future appeals, while Priebke could live at his home.

In May 1995, an Argentine federal judge accepted the Italian demand for extradition on the grounds that cases of crimes against humanity could not expire. But there were more appeals and rumors that the court might change the ruling.

In August of the same year, it was judged that Priebke was not to be extradited because the case had expired. To put pressure on the Argentine government, Germany demanded extradition the same day. The Italian military prosecutor, Antonio Intelisano, argued that FN agreements to which Argentina was signatory expressly state that cases of war criminals and crimes against humanity do not expire.

After seventeen months of delays, the Argentine supreme court decided that Priebke was to be extradited to Italy. He was put on a direct flight from Bariloche to Ciampino, a military airport close to the Ardeatine caves, where the executions had been carried out many years earlier.erich-priebke-1995-argentina

In court, Priebke declared himself not guilty. He did not deny what he had done, but he denied any moral responsibility. He blamed the massacre on those whom he branded as “the Italian terrorists” who were behind the attack in which 33 German SS men were killed. The order came directly from Hitler, and he thought it was a legitimate punishment. During the trial it became clear that Priebke had personally shot two Italians. This was also in his testimony from 1946 before he managed to escape.

 

 

Around noon on 24 March 1944, 335 men went to the Ardeatine Caves, Rome. All were tied with their hands behind their backs and their names were read out loud. In groups of five they went into the caves. Priebke went inside together with the second or third group and shot a man with an Italian machine pistol. Towards the end he shot another man with the same machine pistol. The executions ended when it got dark that night. After the shootings, explosives were used to shut the caves. Priebke was found not guilty, for the reason of acting under orders.

On 1 August 1996, orders were given for the immediate release of Priebke. The Italian minister of justice later said that Priebke might be re-arrested, depending on whether or not he would be extradited to Germany to be charged with murder. The courts were blocked by demonstrators for over seven hours after Priebke’s trial.

The judges voted two against, one for, convicting the 83-year-old Priebke for taking part of the massacres, which he had admitted, but he was acquitted, again, purportedly because he had been following orders. There were strong reactions from family members of the victims, who claimed the judges put no value on human lives. Shimon Samuels, the leader of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said that with this ruling, Italy was permitting crimes against humanity.

The case was appealed by the prosecutors. The day after, Germany asked Italy to keep Priebke imprisoned until their demand to have him extradited was processed, as they wanted him put on trial for the murders of two people that he had personally shot. Outside the courthouse there were demonstrations, but when it became known that Priebke had been rearrested, these calmed down. Many people later went to visit the Ardeatine Caves to honour the victims.

The Italian supreme court decided that the court that had freed Priebke was incompetent and the appeal went through. Among other things it was questioned why the Nuremberg trials were not taken up earlier, since it had been concluded that an individual has personal responsibility for his actions. The reason that Priebke had been released was that he followed orders. Priebke claimed that if he had not obeyed, he would have been executed himself, but the appeals would not accept this, as they felt it was a baseless excuse.

The Court of Cassation voided the decision, ordering a new trial for Priebke. He was sentenced to 15 years. These were reduced to 10 years because of his age and alleged ill health. In March 1998, the Court of Appeal condemned him to life imprisonment, together with Karl Hass, another former SS member. The decision was upheld in November of the same year by the Court of Cassation. Because of his age, Priebke was put under house arrest. In March 1997 it was decided that Priebke could not be extradited to Germany. The reason for this was that he was now going through a trial which was for the same things that Germany wanted him tried. He could not be tried for the same crime twice.

Priebke died in Rome on 11 October 2013 at the age of 100, from natural causes. His last request to have his remains returned to Argentina to be buried alongside his wife was denied by the Argentinian government. The Vatican issued an “unprecedented ban” on holding the funeral in any Catholic church in Rome. His hometown in Germany also refused to take the body, over fears that the place of burial could become a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis.

Reinhard Kopps was never prosecuted and died in Baroche in 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

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Kurt Meyer-Excusing the unforgiveable

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The case of Kurt Meyer is somewhat disturbing for it may well have been the 1st case of “Political Correctness” and it also puts question marks on how sorry the Germans really were after WWII.

Kurt Meyer (23 December 1910 – 23 December 1961) was a high-ranking member in the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany who commanded SS Division Hitlerjugend during World War II. He participated in the Battle of France, Operation Barbarossa, and the Battle of Normandy, among others, and was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.

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Meyer was convicted of war crimes for his role in the Ardenne Abbey massacre, the killing of Canadian prisoners of war in Normandy.

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In the early days of the Normandy campaign 20 Canadian soldiers, members of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and  27th Armoured Regiment (part of the Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment), were captured and executed by Waffen SS forces in a monastery, near Caen, France. The incident was a direct violation of the Geneva Convention, which was signed by Germany before the war.

The executioner was the infamous SS Standartenfuhrer, Kurt Meyer. Meyer was in charge of the 25th Panzer Grenadier Regiment and under its wing, the fanatical 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend. The Hitlerjugend Division was comprised of ex-members of the Hitler Youth, who were sent to Caen to participate in combat against the invading Allies.

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The captured Canadians were all young men, barely out of school, with no combat experience. They were outmanoeuvred and captured in June 1944. The headquarters of the 25th Panzer Grenadier Regiment was located in the Ardenne Abbey, so the soldiers were taken there.Their bodies were discovered on July 8, 1944 after the Abbey had finally been liberated by the Canadian Army. First, they found the body of Lieutenant Thomas Windsor

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Meyer was held as a prisoner of war until December 1945, when in the town of Aurich in Germany he was put on trial for war crimes, charged with the murder of unarmed Allied prisoners of war in Normandy.

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He was sentenced to death, he appealed the sentence but the appeal was denied by General Christopher Vokes.

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However, due to a technicality discovered by a prosecutor the death sentence was commuted to one of life imprisonment.Meyer was transported to Canada to begin his sentence.Meyer served five years in Dorchester Penitentiary, in New Brunswick, Canada where he worked in the library and learned English.

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Meyer petitioned for clemency in late 1950 – somewhat surprisingly including an offer to serve in a Canadian or United Nations military force if released; the government was willing to let him return to a German prison but not to release him outright. He was transferred to a British military prison in Werl, West Germany in 1951.

He was released from prison on 7 September 1954 after the German government reduced his sentence to fourteen years and for good behavior, was determined to be eligible for release. Upon his return to Germany in 1951, Meyer told a reporter that nationalism was past and that “a United Europe is now the only answer”

Upon his release from prison, Meyer became active in HIAG, the Waffen-SS lobby group, formed in 1951 by former high-ranking Waffen-SS men, including Paul Hausser, Felix Steiner and Herbert Gille.

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Meyer became the organization’s spokesperson in 1959. He was considered one of the leading Waffen-SS apologists. At a HIAG rally in 1957, he announced that while he stood behind his old commanders, Hitler had made many mistakes and it was now time to look to the future, not to the past. Speaking before some 8000 SS men at the HIAG convention in Karlsberg, Bavaria, in 1957, he proclaimed that “SS troops committed no crimes, except the massacre at Oradour, and that was the action of a single man”. He insisted that the Waffen-SS was “as much a regular army outfit as any other in the Wehrmacht.”

His memoirs, Grenadiere (1957), were published as part of this campaign and were a glorification of the SS’s part in the war as well as of his role in it. The book detailed his exploits at the front and served as an element of the Waffen-SS rehabilitation efforts. Meyer condemned the “inhuman suffering” that the Waffen-SS personnel had been subjected to “for crimes which they neither committed, nor were able to prevent”. Historian Charles W. Sydnor referred to Grenadiere as “perhaps the boldest and most truculent of the apologist works”.  The book was part of HIAG’s propaganda campaign to promote the perceptions of the Waffen-SS in popular culture as apolitical, recklessly brave fighters who were not involved in the war crimes of the Nazi regime.

These notions have since been refuted by historians.

In his later years he was afflicted with poor health, needing a stick to walk, and suffering from heart and kidney disease.After a series of mild strokes, he died of a heart attack in Hagen, Westphalia, on  his 51st Birthday 23 December 1961. Fifteen thousand people attended his funeral in Hagen, a cushion-bearer carrying his medals in the cortege.

 

 

 

Dr Ruth-Holocaust survivor, Sex Therapist and Sniper.

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Ruth Westheimer (born June 4, 1928), better known as Dr. Ruth, is an American sex therapist, media personality, and author. The New York Times described her as a “Sorbonne-trained psychologist who became a kind of cultural icon in the 1980s.… She ushered in the new age of freer, franker talk about sex on radio and television—and was endlessly parodied for her limitless enthusiasm and for having an accent only a psychologist could have.

Westheimer was born Karola Ruth Siegel in Wiesenfeld (near Karlstadt am Main), Germany, the only child of Orthodox Jews Irma (née Hanauer) and Julius Siegel. In January 1939, she was sent to Switzerland by her mother and grandmother as part of the Kindertransport after her father had been taken by the Nazis.

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https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/03/14/forgotten-history-nicholas-winton-an-unsung-hero/

Her safe haven, along with that of some 100 other German-Jewish children, was made possible by Swiss activist Franzisca Goldschmidt (see 2014 event below).In Switzerland, young Karola came of age in an orphanage, and stopped receiving her parents’ letters in September 1941. In 1945, Westheimer learned that her parents had been killed in the Holocaust, possibly at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Westheimer decided to emigrate to British-controlled Mandatory Palestine. There, at 17, she “first had sexual intercourse on a starry night, in a haystack without contraception.” She later told The New York Times that “I am not happy about that, but I know much better now and so does everyone who listens to my radio program.”Westheimer joined the Haganah in Jerusalem.

Because of her diminutive height of 4 ft 7 in (1.40 m),she was trained as a scout and sniper.

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Westheimer was seriously wounded in action by an exploding shell during the Israeli War of Independence in 1948, and it was several months before she was able to walk again.

In 1950, Westheimer moved to France, where she studied and then taught psychology at the University of Paris. In 1956, she immigrated to the United States, settling in Washington Heights, Manhattan.

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She still lives in the “cluttered three-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights where she raised her two children and became famous, in that order.” Because of the two synagogues she belongs to, the YMHA she was president of for three years, and a “still sizable community of German Jewish World War II refugees”, she remains in the neighborhood. She speaks English, German, French, and Hebrew.

Westheimer earned an M.A. degree in sociology from The New School in 1959 and an Ed.D. degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1970. She completed post-doctoral work in human sexuality at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, training with pioneer sex therapist Helen Singer Kaplan. She has written several books on human sexuality, including Dr. Ruth’s Encyclopedia of Sex and Sex for Dummies. The full version of Dr. Ruth’s Encyclopedia of Sex is currently available online.

Westheimer has given commencement speeches at the Hebrew Union College seminary, Lehman College of the City University of New York, and, in 2004, at Trinity College.

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In 2008, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Westfield State College. In 2002, she received the Leo Baeck Medal for her humanitarian work promoting tolerance and social justice.

Westheimer has been married three times. Her third marriage, to Manfred Westheimer, lasted until his death in 1997. She has two children, Miriam and Joel, and several grandchildren.

World War II-When it was over.

Depending where you live in Europe the war officially ended on the 8th or 9th of May 1945.The German instrument of surrender was signed at Reims, 7 May 1945.

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Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel signed the final surrender terms on 8 May 1945 in Berlin.

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However the Soviet Union allocated the 9th of May to be VE Day.

In the pacific the formal surrender occurred on September 2, 1945 around 9 a.m. Tokyo time, when representatives from the Empire of Japan signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in Tokyo Bay aboard USS Missouri.

However the effects of WWII were still felt years afterwards and one could argue they are still noticeable today.

Following are pictures of the period shortly after the war and the explanation behind them

German Wehrmacht General Anton Dostler is tied to a stake before his execution by a firing squad in a stockade in Aversa , Italy , on December 1, 1945. The General, Commander of the 75th Army Corps, was sentenced to death by an United States Military Commission in Rome for having ordered the shooting of 15 unarmed American prisoners of war, in La Spezia, Italy, on March 26, 1944

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Gaunt and emaciated, but happy at their release from Japanese captivity, two Allied prisoners pack their meager belongings, after being freed near Yokohama, Japan, on September 11, 1945, by men of an American mercy squadron of the U.S. Navy

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Aerial view of Hiroshima, Japan, one year after the atomic bomb blast shows some small amount of reconstruction amid much ruin on July 20, 1946. The slow pace of rebuilding is attributed to a shortage of building equipment and materials.

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The hunger-winter of 1947 in Germany, thousands protest against the disastrous food situation (31 March 1947).

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Sudeten Germans make their way to the railway station in Liberec, in former Czechoslovakia, to be transferred to Germany in this July, 1946 photo. After the end of the war, millions of German nationals and ethnic Germans were forcibly expelled from both territory Germany had annexed, and formerly German lands that were transferred to Poland and the Soviet Union . The estimated numbers of Germans involved ranges from 12 to 14 million, with a further estimate of between 500,000 and 2 million dying during the expulsion.

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General Charles de Gaulle (center) shaking hands with children, two months after the German capitulation inLorient, France , in July of 1945. Lorient was the location of a German U-boat (submarine) base during World War II. Between January 14 and February 17, 1943, as many as 500 high-explosive aerial bombs and more than 60,000 incendiary bombs were dropped on Lorient . The city was almost completely destroyed, with nearly 90% of the city flattened.

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German mothers walk their children to school through the streets of Aachen, Germany, on June 6, 1945, for registration at the first public school to be opened by the U.S. military government after the war.

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Disabled buses that have littered the streets of Tokyo are used to help relieve the acute housing shortage in the Japanese capital on October 2, 1946. Homeless Japanese who hauled the buses into a vacant lot are converting them into homes for their families.

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One of the final resting places for those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of others.

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Otto Skorzeny:Hitler’s scarfaced Henchman-Irish Farmer and Mossad Hitman

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Not an easy man to miss, Skorzeny stood 6 foot 4 inches tall and weighed 250lbs. And he was known as “Scarface” for a reason. He had a long, distinctive scar on his left cheek.

Skorzeny achieved ‘fame’ during the war for rescuing deposed Italian leader Benito Mussolini from an Italian hilltop fortress.

Born in Vienna in 1908, Skorzeny joined the Austrian Nazi party in the early 1930s. At the outbreak of the war he was involved in fighting on the Eastern Front, taking part in the German invasions of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.

By April 1943 he had been made head of German special forces, in charge of a unit of elite SS commandos.

In July 1943, he was personally selected by Hitler from among six German Air Force (Luftwaffe) and German Army (Heer) special agents to lead the operation to rescue Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who had been overthrown and imprisoned by the Italian government.

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Almost two months of cat-and-mouse followed as the Italians moved Mussolini from place to place to frustrate any rescuers. There was a failed attempt to rescue Mussolini on 27 July 1943. The Ju 52 that the crew was aboard was shot down in the area of Pratica di Mare. Otto Skorzeny and all but one of his crew bailed out safely. Mussolini was first held in a villa on La Maddalena, near Sardinia. Skorzeny was able to smuggle an Italian-speaking commando onto the island, and a few days later he confirmed Mussolini was in the villa. Skorzeny then flew over in a Heinkel He 111 to take aerial photos of the location. The bomber was shot down by Allied fighters and crash-landed at sea, but Skorzeny and the crew were rescued by an Italian destroyer. Mussolini was moved soon after. Information on Mussolini’s new location and its topographical features were finally secured by Herbert Kappler. Kappler reported Mussolini was held in the Campo Imperatore Hotel at the top of the Gran Sasso mountain, and only accessible by cable car from the valley below. Skorzeny flew again over Gran Sasso and took pictures of the location with a handheld camera. An attack plan was formulated by General Kurt Student, Harald Mors (a paratrooper battalion commander), and Skorzeny.

On 12 September, Gran Sasso raid (a.k.a. Operation Oak and Unternehmen Eiche), was carried out perfectly according to plan. Mussolini was rescued without firing a single shot. Flying out in a Storch airplane, Skorzeny escorted Mussolini to Rome and later to Berlin.

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The exploit earned Skorzeny fame, promotion to Sturmbannführer and the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. Mussolini created a new Fascist regime in northern Italy, the Italian Social Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiana).

Skorzeny’s unbelievable story is made all the more shocking because the former Nazi SS storm trooper remained unapologetic and showed no remorse for his actions following the war. He was tried for war crimes in 1947 but was acquitted.

He was a pioneer of what is now known as special operations warfare and in the early 1950s he served as an adviser to the Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser, training his army in guerrilla tactics. During this period he also trained Palestinian refugees in these tactics and was the mastermind behind the early terrorist raids into the newly re-established state of Israel. Among his trainees was Yasser Arafat, who later became the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization and for much of the 1960s and 1970s was the world’s most prominent terrorist.

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His exploits were followed by the media  and, on the back of this friendly publicity, Skorzeny traveled to Madrid, Spain, where he ran an import-export business. This was believed to be a front for shuttling escaped Nazi war criminals to Argentina.

For many years Skorzeny lived in Argentina and served as a bodyguard to Eva Peron, wife of the Argentine dictator Juan Peron. It is rumored that he had a romantic affair with her.

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In July 1957 he traveled to Dublin where he was met with a gala reception by members of Parliament and celebrities. Following his warm welcome he purchased Martinstown House, the 160-acre farm estate in The Curragh, County Kildare.

Kim Bielenberg, a Dublin-based journalist whose own grandfather, Fritz von der Schulenburg, was captured and tortured by Skorzeny due to his involvement in plot to kill Hitler, reflected on his Dublin welcome. He told the BBC, “He was feted by the Dublin social glitterati, including a young politician, Charles Haughey, who was later to become Ireland’s most controversial prime minister.

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“According to the Evening Press account, ‘the ballroom was packed with representatives of various societies, professional men and, of course, several TDs [parliamentary representatives]’.”

Bielenberg believes this warm reception prompted the Nazi war criminal to buy the Kildare estate.

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He continued, “He could be seen driving across the Curragh in a white Mercedes and would visit the local post office for groceries.

“Reggie Darling, a local historian, told me he remembered coming across Skorzeny on the Curragh.

He recalled him as a big man who stood out because of the scar across his face (which was the result of a dueling contest as a student), but that he wasn’t particularly friendly and he didn’t really mix with local people.

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Skorzeny was allowed temporary visas to stay in Ireland under the proviso that he was not travel to Britain.However, in post-World War II Europe the specter of Nazism and the fear they would once again rise to power caused concern.Although Skorzeny could not be refused entry without due cause, he was refused a residency visa by the Irish government and had to limit his stays to six weeks at a time, during which he was monitored by G2,the military intelligence branch of the Defence Forces.

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Former Irish Minister for Health Noel Browne raised concerns over Skorzeny’s “anti-Semitic activities” in the Dail (Parliament) in 1959.He rarely visited after 1963 and sold Martinstown House in 1971.Skorzeny also owned property in Spain on Majorca.

Skorzeny was recruited by the Mossad conducting operations for the agency from 1962, where he worked with Avraham Ahituv and Rafi Eitan (as has been confirmed by Eitan).

On Israel’s request, Skorzeny flew to Egypt and compiled a detailed list of German scientists and their addresses. Skorzeny also found for Mossad the names of many front companies in Europe that were procuring and shipping components for Egypt’s military projects. Skorzeny agreed to work with Israel on the condition that Simon Wiesenthal erase his name from the list of wanted Nazi war criminals and act to have an arrest warrant against him cancelled. Though Wiesenthal rejected this request, Skorzeny decided in the end to cooperate with the Mossad anyway. According to Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, Skorzeny was recruited after Mossad visited his home in Spain, where he expected he would be assassinated. After instruction in Israel, his work for the Mossad included assassinating a German rocket scientist Heinz Krug who was working with Egypt, and mailing a letter bomb which killed five Egyptians at the Egyptian military rocket site Factory 333. Skorzeny never explained his precise reasons for helping Israel. It is speculated that Skorzeny’s motives for working for the Mossad may have been his desire for adventure and intrigue, as well as to ensure he would never be assassinated by them.

In the 1960s Skorzeny set up the Paladin Group, which he envisioned as “an international directorship of strategic assault personnel [that would] straddle the watershed between paramilitary operations carried out by troops in uniform and the political warfare which is conducted by civilian agents”. Based near Alicante, Spain, the Paladin Group specialized in arming and training guerrillas, and its clients included the South African Bureau of State Security. It also carried out work for the Greek military junta of 1967–1974 and some of its operatives were recruited by the Spanish Interior Ministry to wage a clandestine war against the terrorist group ETA.

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In 1970, a cancerous tumour was discovered on Skorzeny’s spine. Two tumours were later removed while he was staying at a hospital in Hamburg, but the surgery left him paralyzed from the waist down. Vowing to walk again, Skorzeny spent long hours with a physical therapist; and, within six months, he was back on his feet. Skorzeny died of lung cancer on 5 July 1975 in Madrid. He was 67.

He was given a Roman Catholic funeral Mass in Madrid on 7 August 1975; his body was cremated afterwards, and his ashes were later brought to Vienna to be interred in the Skorzeny family plot at Döblinger Friedhof. His funeral was attended by dozens of German military veterans and wives, who did not hesitate to give the  Nazi salute,coffin was draped in the Nazi flag.

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Nazis -Nasa and Dachau.

It is a well known fact that the US government welcomed a great number of Nazi scientists to the US where they could continue their scientific research and experiments.

One of the greatest benefactors was NASA, without the knowledge of the Nazi scientists who worked on the V1 and V2 programs the NASA space program would never have been possible.

In fact the idea of the International Space Station was based on the Nazi plans for a ‘death ray’. The Nazis had secretly been working on an orbital space station based on the ideas of Herman Oberth. Their plan was to install some sort of reflective shield to harvest the sun rays and convert them in a ‘death ray’ or ‘Sun Gun’. The death ray was never developed of course, but part of the plans for the orbital space station were used.

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The Dachau connection though I very disturbing and wasn’t something I was awar of until recently.NASA did use the research of the experiments done by Sigmund Rascher to develop their space suits and to prepare their astronauts.

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Sigmund Rascher (12 February 1909 – 26 April 1945) was a German SS doctor. His deadly experiments on humans, which were carried out in the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau, were judged inhumane and criminal during the Nuremberg Trials.

In 1939 Rascher , joined the SS, and was conscripted into the Luftwaffe. A relationship and eventually marriage to former singer Karoline “Nini” Diehl gained him direct access to Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Rascher’s connection with Himmler gave him immense influence, even over his superiors. Diehl may have been a former lover of Himmler; she frequently corresponded with him and interceded with him on her husband’s behalf.

A week after first meeting Himmler, Rascher presented a paper, “Report on the Development and Solution to Some of the Reichsfuehrer’s Assigned Tasks During a Discussion Held on April 24, 1939”.Rascher became involved in testing a plant extract as a cancer treatment. Kurt Blome, deputy of the Reich Health Leader (Reichsgesundheitsführer) and Plenipotentiary for Cancer Research in the Reich Research Council, favoured testing the extract on rodents, but Rascher insisted on using human test subjects. Himmler took Rascher’s side and a Human Cancer Testing Station was established at Dachau. Blome worked on the project.

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Rascher suggested in early 1941, while a captain in the Luftwaffe’s Medical Service, that high-altitude/low-pressure experiments be carried out on human beings.While taking a course in aviation medicine at Munich, he wrote Himmler a letter in which he said that his course included research into high-altitude flight and it was regretted that no tests with humans had been possible as such experiments were highly dangerous and nobody volunteered for them. Rascher asked Himmler to place human subjects at his disposal, stating quite frankly that the experiments might prove fatal, but that previous tests made with monkeys had been unsatisfactory. The letter was answered by Rudolf Brandt, Himmler’s adjutant, who informed Rascher that prisoners would be made available.

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Rascher subsequently wrote back to Brandt, asking for permission to carry out his experiments at Dachau, and plans for the experiments were developed at a conference in early 1942 attended by Rascher and members of the Luftwaffe Medical Service. The experiments were carried out in the spring and summer of the same year, using a portable pressure chamber supplied by the Luftwaffe. The victims were locked in the chamber, the interior pressure of which was then lowered to a level corresponding to very high altitudes. The pressure could be very quickly altered, allowing Rascher to simulate the conditions which would be experienced by a pilot freefalling from altitude without oxygen.

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After viewing a report of one of the fatal experiments, Himmler remarked that if a subject should survive such treatment, he should be “pardoned” to life imprisonment. Rascher replied to Himmler that the victims had to date been merely Poles and Russians, and that he believed they should be given no amnesty of any sort.

Rascher also conducted so-called “freezing experiments” on behalf of the Luftwaffe, in which 300 test subjects were used against their will. These were also conducted at Dachau after the high-altitude experiments had concluded. The purpose was to determine the best way of warming German pilots who had been forced down in the North Sea and suffered hypothermia.

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Rascher’s victims were forced to remain outdoors naked in freezing weather for up to 14 hours, or kept in a tank of icewater for three hours, their pulse and internal temperature measured through a series of electrodes. Warming of the victims was then attempted by different methods, most usually and successfully by immersion in hot water.

General Dr. Erich Hippke, chief of the Luftwaffe medical service, was the actual source of the idea for the so-called “freezing experiments” which were undertaken on behalf of the Luftwaffe and conducted at Dachau concentration camp by Sigmund Rascher.

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Himmler attended some of the experiments, and told Rascher he should go the North Sea and find out how the ordinary people there warmed victims of extreme cold. Himmler reportedly said he thought “that a fisher woman could well take her half-frozen husband into her bed and revive him in that manner” and added that everyone believed “animal warmth” had a different effect than artificial warmth. Four Romani women were sent from Ravensbrück concentration camp and warming was attempted by placing the hypothermic victim between two naked women.

A medical conference was held in Nuremberg in October 1942, at which the results of the experiments were presented under the headings “Prevention and Treatment of Freezing”, and “Warming Up After Freezing to the Danger Point”.

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Rascher, who had by now been transferred to the Waffen-SS, was eager to obtain the academic credentials necessary for a high-level university position. A habilitation which was to be based on his research failed, however, at Munich, Marburg, and Frankfurt, due to the formal requirement that results be made available for public scrutiny. US investigators later concluded that Rascher had been merely a convenient front for Luftwaffe chief surgeon Erich Hippke, who had been the true source of the ideas for Rascher’s experiments.

Similar experiments were conducted from July to September 1944, as the Ahnenerbe (an institute in Nazi Germany purposed to research the archaeological and cultural history of the Aryan race)provided space and materials to doctors at Dachau to undertake “seawater experiments”, chiefly through Wolfram Sievers. Sievers is known to have visited Dachau on 20 July 1944, to speak with Kurt Plötner and the non-Ahnenerbe Wilhelm Beiglboeck, who ultimately carried out the experiments.

While at Dachau, Rascher developed the standard cyanide capsules, which could be easily bitten through, either deliberately or accidentally.

Rascher experimented with the effects of Polygal, a substance made from beet and apple pectin, which aided blood clotting. He predicted that the preventive use of Polygal tablets would reduce bleeding from gunshot wounds sustained during combat or during surgery. Subjects were given a Polygal tablet, and shot through the neck or chest, or their limbs amputated without anaesthesia. Rascher published an article on his experience of using Polygal, without detailing the nature of the human trials and also set up a company to manufacture the substance, staffed by prisoners.

Rascher did not go to the US after the war. He was executed on the 26th of April 1945 3 days  before Dachau was liberated. He wasn’t executed by the allies or the prisoners but by the Nazi’s and not because of his evil experiments.

In an attempt to please Himmler by demonstrating that population growth could be accelerated by extending the childbearing age, Rascher publicized the fact that his wife had given birth to three children even after becoming 48 years of age, and Himmler used a photograph of Rascher’s family as propaganda material.

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However, during her fourth “pregnancy”, Mrs. Rascher was arrested for trying to kidnap a baby and an investigation revealed that her other three children had been either bought or kidnapped. Himmler felt betrayed by this conduct, and Rascher was arrested in April 1944. As well as complicity in the kidnappings of the three infants, Rascher was also accused of financial irregularities, the murder of his former lab assistant, and scientific fraud. Both Rascher and his wife were hastily condemned without trial to the concentration camps.Rascher was imprisoned at Buchenwald following his arrest in 1944 until the camp’s evacuation in April 1945. He and other prisoners were then taken to Dachau where Rascher was executed by firing squad on 26 April 1945; just three days before the camp was liberated by American troops.

Although he had been executed before the American troops liberated Dachau, they did get hold of the notes and the research of experiments, which later became property of NASA.

Based on Rascher’s “Research” NASA developed their space suits.

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I have been following a documentary series on the History Channel called “Hunting Hitler” where they speculate that Hitler may have escaped rather then commit suicide, and that he ended up in Argentina, Although the evidence is compelling there is one big part missing and that is the Eye witness accounts of the staff who were in the bunker when Hitler killed him self,it’s nonetheless an intriguing notion.

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If Hitler did escape it would have been very likely he would have availed of the services of the organisation called ODESSA.

The ODESSA network (from the German: Organisation der Ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen, meaning: Organization of Former SS Members) was a purported international Nazi underground organization set up towards the end of World War II by a group of SS officers with the aim of facilitating secret escape routes – later known as ratlines – allegedly to allow the SS members to avoid capture and prosecution for war crimes and to escape to Argentina, Brazil or the Middle East under false names.

The name Odessa first cropped up in Western intelligence reports in the aftermath of the war, but today its status as a real group is hotly debated.

Guy Walters, in his book Hunting Evil, claimed he was unable to find any evidence of the existence of the network although numerous other organisations such as Konsul, Scharnhorst, Sechsgestirn, Leibwache and Lustige Brüder have been named,including Die Spinne (“The Spider”) run in part by Hitler’s commando chief Otto Skorzeny.Historian Daniel Stahl in his 2011 essay stated that the consensus among historians is that ODESSA did not actually exist. However, books by T.H. Tetens and Joseph Wechsberg claim to have verified the organisation’s existence and provided details of its operations. Wechsberg studied Simon Wiesenthal’s memoirs on the ODESSA and correlated them with his own experiences in the book The Murderers Among Us.

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Today, ODESSA is best known from its appearance in spy novels and fictional movies.

Top secret US intelligence documents from 1944, which were uncovered in the late 90s, lend some credence to the existence of Odessa.

The documents detail a meeting held between leading German industrialists, bankers and SS officers in August 1944 at which plans were drawn to help high-ranking Nazis evade allied justice in the event of the then inevitable German defeat.

At the meeting, secret ratlines were mapped out of the country, designed to allow influential Nazis to flee Germany and secure false identities abroad.

Provisions were also made to move great sums of money outside Germany and camouflage foreign assets to create an underground Nazi empire, to be controlled by the SS once the Reich collapsed.

And it seemed to have worked. By the end of the war, and the start of the Nuremberg trials at the end of 1945, only 24 senior Nazis remained to face justice.

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Using the financial assets smuggled out of Germany, unrepentant former Nazis, operating under false identities, were able to build mini-empires in pro-Nazi right wing countries in South America.

It is alleged that they were aided by someone who was held in high esteem globally and even musicals and movies were made about her.

In June of 1947, Eva Peron, or as she is known to many, Evita, embarked on a tour of Europe fit for a movie star.  The truth behind the tour, however, was much more sinister than the media of the time would have you believe.

According to records now emerging from Swiss archives and the investigations of Nazi hunters, an unpublicized side of Evita’s world tour was coordinating the network for helping Nazis relocate in Argentina.

This new evidence of Evita’s cozy ties with prominent Nazis corroborates the long-held suspicion that she and her husband, Gen. Juan Peron, laid the groundwork for a bloody resurgence of fascism across Latin America in the 1970s and ’80s.

 

Senior SS officer and alleged Odessa founder Otto Skorzeny was especially influential in the immediate post-war period, helping launder this financial wealth through Evita Peron’s Swiss bank accounts and via several South American dummy corporations.

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As early as 1945, Eva Peron had an estimated $800m dollars in bank deposits, and vast amounts of gold and diamonds, much of it of Nazi origin.

This money helped former Nazis purchase huge tracts of land in South America and elsewhere and establish whole colonies amenable to German life — protected by former SS officers and Nazi sympathising local thugs.

Once such colony was Colonia Dignidad in Chile, then under the control of the right-wing fascist government of General Pinochet.

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Both the CIA and Simon Wiesenthal developed evidence for the presence at Dignidad of several at large Nazi war criminals including the notorious Josef Mengele — ‘The Angel of Death’, a senior Nazi and physician at Auschwitz who committed medical atrocities on inmates.

Some have suggested that Adolf Hitler himself fled to Argentina after the war, his apparent suicide in the bunker at the Reich building in Berlin a subterfuge to fool the Allies.

Whilst there is little doubt many small ad hoc groups existed which helped Nazis escape justice after WW2, most historians now doubt the existence of a large, coordinated and distinct entity such as the Odessa.

The name alone sounds unlikely — would a clandestine underground network of ex-Nazis name themselves the Organisation of Former SS Members, a name that would at least draw attention to their existence?

Some ex-SS officers who gave interviews in the 60s maintained Odessa never existed as the single organised global organisation as envisaged by Weisenthal.

They confirmed, however, that there were several smaller disparate group who helped Nazis after WW2, in conjunction with the Catholic church, several Latin American governments and even the CIA.

Odessa, then, may have existed in some sense, but perhaps not quite in the sensational way dreamt up by novelists and Hollywood screenwriters.

In the 1976 thriller novel by Ira Levin titled The Boys from Brazil, Dr. Josef Mengele, is involved in ODESSA. According to the young man, Mengele is activating the “Kameradenwerk” for a strange assignment: he is sending out six Nazis (former SS Officers) to kill 94 men, who share a few common traits. In the book the terms “Kameradenwerk” and “ODESSA” are used interchangeably.

The Sins of the Father: Martin Adolf Bormann.

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How do you cope when you find out that your father was one of the most evil men in history, and worse your Godfather was the most evil man known to man kind?

Martin Adolf Bormann (14 April 1930 in Grünwald – 11 March 2013 (aged 82) in Herdecke) was a German theologian laicized Roman Catholic priest, the eldest of the ten children of Martin Bormann and a godson of Adolf Hitler.

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His father Martin Bormann was the personal Secretary to Hitler.

Preoccupied with military matters and spending most of his time at his military headquarters on the eastern front, Hitler came to rely more and more on Bormann to handle the domestic policies of the country. On 12 April 1943, Hitler officially appointed Bormann as Personal Secretary to the Führer. By this time Bormann had de facto control over all domestic matters, and this new appointment gave him the power to act in an official capacity in any matter.

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Bormann Jr was born as Adolf Martin Bormann in Grünwald, Bavaria, the oldest of the ten children of the head of the Nazi Party Chancellery and private secretary to Führer Adolf Hitler, Martin Bormann (1900–1945) and his wife, Gerda Buch (1909–1946). Nicknamed Krönzi, short for Kronprinz (German for crown prince), he was an ardent young Nazi, attending the Nazi Party Academy of Matrei am Brenner in the Tyrol from 1940 to 1945.

Until he was 15, he loved his father as any child should. Martin Bormann Sr was, by all accounts, a good family man, dutifully visiting his wife and nine children from wherever he was based, taking pains to ensure their schooling and home life was correct. When he was 10, young Martin was sent to the elite Nazi Party Academy in Bavaria (“to make me a good German,” he smiles), where he stayed for five years until the Third Reich started collapsing.

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On 15 April 1945, the school closed and young Martin was advised by a party functionary in Munich, named Hummel, to try to reach his mother in the still German-occupied hamlet of Val Gardena/Gröden, near Selva/Wolkenstein in Italian South Tyrol. Unable to get there, he found himself stranded in Salzburg where the Gauleiter provided him with false identity papers and he found hospitality with a Catholic farmer, Nikolaus Hohenwarter, at the Querleitnerhof, halfway up a mountain in the Salzburg Alps.

After Germany surrendered, his mother, Gerda, was subjected to relentless interrogation by officers of the CIC (Combined Intelligence Committee, the joint American-British intelligence body). She died of abdominal cancer  in the prison hospital at Merano on 23 April 1946.

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The following year, her teenage son Martin learned of his mother’s death from an article in the Salzburger Nachrichten and only then confessed his true identity to Nikolas Hohenwarter, who reported the information to his local priest at Weißbach bei Lofer. Subsequently the priest advised the rector of the Church of Maria Kirchtal, who then took the boy into his care.

Bormann converted to Catholicism. While serving as an altar boy at Maria Kirchtal, he was arrested by American intelligence officers and imprisoned at Zell am See for several days of interrogation before being returned to his parish. He stayed there until he joined the religious congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Ingolstadt. He had been able to resume contact with his brothers and sisters, all of whom, except for one sister, had also been received into the Catholic Church.

After Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945, his fugitive father Martin Bormann suddenly vanished.

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Martin A. Bormann said he did not know what happened to his father when interrogated: he was repeatedly tested for lies but was deemed truthful. Over the coming years, several organisations, including the CIA and the West German Government, attempted to locate Bormann without success.Sightings were reported at points all over the world, including Australia, Denmark, Italy, and South America.In 1971 Bormann supported the government officials’ conclusion that the disappearance of Martin Bormann Sr. was inconclusive and the search for Bormann Sr. was officially ended in November 1971. Thereafter, on 7 December 1972, construction workers uncovered human remains near Lehrter station in West Berlin. Upon autopsy, fragments of glass were found in the jaw of the skeleton, which was identified as Martin Bormann Sr. through reconstructed dental records; the glass fragments suggested he had committed suicide by biting a cyanide capsule to avoid capture. Forensic examiners determined that the size of the skeleton and shape of the skull were identical to Bormann’s. The remains were conclusively identified as Bormann’s in 1998 when German authorities ordered genetic testing on fragments of the skull.On 16 August 1999 the remains were cremated and Martin Bormann Jr. was permitted to scatter his father’s ashes in the Baltic Sea.

On 28 July 1958, he was ordained a priest. In 1961, he was sent to the newly independent Congo (formerly the Belgian Congo), where he worked as a missionary until 1964, when he had to flee the country due to the Simba rebellion. In 1966, he returned to the Congo for a year.

Following a near-fatal injury in 1969 he was nursed back to health by a nun, Sister Cordula, who then also renounced her vows. They were married in 1971.

He became a teacher of theology and retired in 1992. As recently as 2001, he toured schools in Germany and Austria, speaking about the horrors of the Third Reich, and has even visited Israel, meeting with Holocaust survivors.

In 2011, Bormann was accused by a former pupil at an Austrian Catholic boarding school of raping him as a 12-year-old when Bormann was working there as a priest and schoolmaster in the early 1960s.

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Other former pupils alleged severe physical violence had been used against them and others. Bormann denied knowledge of the events.Father Walter Licklederer of the order in Salzburg where the abuse is alleged to have taken place said he was ‘shattered’ by the claims
Bormann died in 2013 in Herdecke, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Captain John Morrison Birch

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One could argue that World War 2 actually never ended. Sure ,when Japan surrendered on the 15th of August in theory the war ended. Bur only 2 days after Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta proclaim the independence of Indonesia,

 

igniting the Indonesian National Revolution against the Dutch Empire, also involving the Australians and the British.

Then 8 days later, on August 25 1945, Captain John Morrison Birch is murdered by Chinese Communist soldiers in Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China. Which by some is seen as the first casualty of the Cold War.

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John Morrison Birch (May 28, 1918 – August 25, 1945) was an American Baptist minister, missionary, and United States Army captain who was a U.S. military intelligence officer in China during World War II. Birch was killed in a confrontation with Chinese Communist soldiers a few days after the war ended. He was posthumously awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal.

Birch grew up in a devout Southern Baptist home in rural Georgia, and while attending Mercer University in Macon he decided to become a missionary in China. After graduating at the head of his class at Mercer, he enrolled in the Bible Baptist Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas, where he finished a two-year curriculum in a single year. In the summer of 1940 he sailed for China.

Arriving in Shanghai, Birch promptly commenced intensive study of Mandarin Chinese and displayed such extraordinary aptitude for the language that he was fluent within a couple of months. He spent the following two years traveling about China, preaching, passing out tracts and Bibles, and developing an affection for the Chinese people and a broad network of friends and contacts that would serve him well in what was to follow.

During this time period, the rest of the world was being turned on its ear. Europe had descended into the chaos of another great war, and Japan’s seemingly unstoppable military had driven the British from Singapore, destroyed much of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, and routed General MacArthur from the Philippines. While John Birch, as an ordained minister, was exempt from the draft, he was deeply patriotic and wished to help defeat the Japanese, whose troops were rapidly expanding into China. Early in 1942, John Birch applied to the American Military Mission at Chungking, requesting to enlist as a chaplain. Shortly thereafter, an unexpected event completely altered his life.

On an evening in April 1942, Birch was eating in a restaurant in a riverside village in Chekiang province, when he was approached by a man who asked discreetly if he was an American. Birch was then led to a boat in which were concealed several American pilots. He was astonished to learn that the leader of the group was none other than the famous aviator Colonel James H. Doolittle, and that they had parachuted into China after bombing Tokyo. Lacking the fuel to return to base, they and the other crews who had participated in the raid had flown their planes as far inland over China as they could and then bailed out, hoping not to fall behind enemy lines.

Birch helped to lead Colonel Doolittle and his men to safety,after which he received his first military assignment: Find out as much as possible about the whereabouts of the crews of the 15 other planes from Doolittle’s raid, and ensure that they were rescued. Birch immediately set to work via his network of contacts, and was eventually able to locate or account for most of the missing men. A few had been captured or killed by the Japanese, while one plane had strayed far off course and landed in Siberia. However, most of the men were returned safely to their outfits.

Returning to Chungking to report to the American Military Mission, Birch served for a short time as an assistant chaplain, and as interpreter for Colonel Doolittle. However, Birch truly came into his own as a soldier when he began to work as an intelligence officer for General Claire Chennault, who commanded the famous “Flying Tigers” of the 14th Air Force. In this capacity Birch traveled about the Chinese countryside incognito, his small, wiry stature and mastery of the Chinese language enabling him to blend in with the local populace as he slipped back and forth across Japanese lines. Birch succeeded in setting up coastal spotting stations, manned by Chinese friends, to furnish advance warning of Japanese ship and aircraft movements. He located Japanese airfields, munitions dumps, and other strategic targets, and became proficient at calling in American air strikes and then escaping before the Japanese even suspected the presence of infiltrators. His network of contacts and friends developed into a full-fledged intelligence network, which became the “eyes and ears of the 14th Air Force.Often performing dangerous field assignments, during which he would brazenly hold Sunday church services for Chinese Christians.

As the conflict wore on, Birch was promoted to Captain and received numerous commendations, such as the Legion of Merit on July 17 1944.

He was greatly respected by all who knew him for his upright ways. He never smoked, drank, or cursed, and he repeatedly turned down offers for a furlough to return to the U.S. to visit his family, always stating that he could not accept a furlough knowing that there was always another man with a wife and children who needed one more than he.

Captain Birch never did make it home. On August 25, 1945, ten days after the war ended, he was murdered by a band of Chinese communists as he was traveling with a small group of American and Chinese military officers. He and a Chinese officer were taken by force from the group and shot by communist soldiers. The Chinese officer miraculously survived and gave a full account of the deliberate, cold-blood-ed execution. An autopsy of Birch’s body filled in the details: Captain Birch was shot in the leg, then, with his hands tied behind him, in the back of the head execution-style. Finally, his face was savagely slashed with knives, presumably in an attempt to conceal his identity.

Most shocking of all, however, was the fact that the circumstances of Captain John Birch’s death were deliberately covered up by the U.S. government. The reason for the cover-up did not become evident until some years later. On September 5, 1950, California Senator William Knowland announced on the floor of the Senate that the murder of John Birch had been deliberately covered up by communist sympathizers to conceal the true nature of Mao Tse-tung’s “agrarian reformers” who were trying to oust Chiang Kai-shek’s government.

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U.S. Senator William F. Knowland attempted unsuccessfully to obtain posthumous awards for Birch which included the Distinguished Service Cross, but these were not approved on the grounds that the United States was not at war with the Communist Chinese in 1945. Birch received the following military awards:

As well as:Medal of the Armed Forces (Republic of China) and China War Memorial Medal.

Birch is known today mainly by the society that bears his name although Jimmy Doolittle, who met Birch after Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo, said in his autobiography that he was sure that Birch “would not have approved”.

Birch’s name is on the bronze plaque of a World War II monument at the top of Coleman Hill Park overlooking downtown Macon, along with the names of other Macon men who lost their lives while serving in the military. He has a plaque on the sanctuary of the First Southern Methodist Church of Macon, which was built on land given by his family, purchased with the money he sent home monthly. A building at the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas, was named “The John Birch Hall” by Pastor J. Frank Norris. A small street in Townsend, Massachusetts, “John Birch Memorial Drive”, is also named after him.

The War Weary Farmer”

The following was written by Captain John Birch in April 1945, four months before his death.

I should like to find the existence of what my father called “Plain living and high thinking.”

I want some fields and hills, woodlands and streams I can call my own. I want to spend my strength in making fields green, and the cattle fat, so that I may give sustenance to my loved ones, and aid to those neighbors who suffer misfortune; I do not want a life of monotonous paper-shuffling or of trafficking with money-mad traders.

I only want enough of science to enable fruitful husbandry of the land with simple tools, a time for leisure, and the guarding of my family’s health. I do not care to be absorbed in the endless examining of force and space and matter, which I believe can only slowly lead to God.

I do not want a hectic hurrying from place to place on whizzing machines or busy streets. I do not want an elbowing through crowds of impatient strangers who have time neither to think their own thoughts nor to know real friendship. I want to live slowly, to relax with my family before a glowing fireplace, to welcome the visits of my neighbors, to worship God, to enjoy a book, to lie on a shaded grassy bank and watch the clouds sail across the blue.

I want to love a wife who prefers rural peace to urban excitement, one who would rather climb a hilltop to watch a sunset with me than to take a taxi to any Broadway play. I want a woman who is not afraid of bearing children, and who is able to rear them with a love for home and the soil, and the fear of God.

I want of government only protection against the violence and injustices of evil or selfish men.

I want to reach the sunset of life sound in body and mind, flanked by strong sons and grandsons, enjoying the friendship and respect of neighbors, surrounded by fertile fields and sleek cattle, and retaining my boyhood faith in Him who promised a life to come.

Where can I find this world? Would its anachronism doom it to ridicule or loneliness? Is there yet a place for such simple ways in my own America or must I seek a vale in Turkestan where peaceful flocks still graze the quiet hills?

 

Unusual WWII Facts, Part 12.

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“Last Kiss”, With the onset of World War Two, millions of young men were forced apart from their loved ones. And, as this poignant yet heartbreaking photo shows, the sacrifices made by these soldiers extended to their loved ones.

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A shell shocked reindeer looks on as World War II planes drop bombs. Many forget the impact war has on nature as well as human beings, a truth that is timely captured by this photographer when Russian planes bombed an unknown location taken by Yevgeny Khaldei.

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Two Calgary Highlanders stand by the banks of the Bow River, Calgary, before departing for the war. They are humourously depicting Canada’s equipment shortages at the beginning of the war… too many volunteers, not enough uniforms!

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The British people never lost their sense of humour during the war. Even during the worst bombardments they kept the morale high.

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This photo was taken shortly after the end of WWII and was one of the first to capture the bunkers interior, where it is believed Nazi founder Adolf Hitler spent his final weeks before committing suicide.

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This is one of the most famous mysterious incidents of all time. It technically happened a few months after the war had ended, but it involved the U.S. military and aircraft used during World War II. The basic story is quite simple: Lieutenant Charles Taylor lead a flight of five TBM Avenger planes on a training exercise from a Naval air station in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Over the radio, Taylor complained that his compasses weren’t working and that he didn’t know where he was. After flying around in confusion for several hours, the planes ran out of gas. None of them have been seen since, and all 14 men on board were presumed dead.

The Navy’s inquiry was pretty clear-cut as well. Taylor had a history of getting lost while flying, and several radio operators and even junior members of Flight 19 seemed to know where they were, but following Taylor’s faulty leadership, they flew far into the Atlantic instead of back to Florida. Much of the mystery surrounding the incident stems from the Navy’s efforts to assuage Taylor’s mother, who complained when the inquiry blamed her son without hard evidence. They changed it to, “cause unkown.”

Later writers would wrap supernatural elements around the story, creating the legend of the Bermuda Triangle and inventing details out of whole cloth, such as pilots having premonitions of tragedy that prevented them from joining the doomed flight, and mysterioso radio transmissions like, “the sky is all wrong here.”

 It’s a creepy enough story on its own – five planes lost over open sea with night falling and bad weather moving in, the encroaching certainty of their own deaths looming over them. The actual final radio transmission was a faint, garbled message. Radio operators could only make out the flight’s call sign, “FT…FT…FT…”

Since the planes have still never been recovered, the true fate of Flight 19 technically remains a mystery.

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The Baffling Battle of Los AngelesA few months after Pearl Harbor, America was pretty on-edge, especially along the west coast. Everyone was scanning sky and sea in fear of another Japanese attack. In fact, a Japanese submarine had shelled the Ellwood oilfield near Santa Barbara in February of 1942. Later that month, the mounting tension exploded into full-blown hysteria. An AWOL weather balloon triggered the initial panic. After that, flares were fired into the night sky, either to illuminate potential threats or signal danger. People saw the flares as more attackers, and a barrage of anti-aircraft fire soon filled the night.

The activity continued for several nights. In the end, the only casualties from the whole affair were three heart attack victims and three dead due to friendly fire. No Japanese aircraft were found, and the Japanese later denied having anything in the air near L.A. at the time.

That’s the official story, at least. At the time, there were claims of a coverup and a bunch of wild theories. The incident was five years prior to the Kenneth Arnold flying saucer report that sparked the U.S. UFO craze, but this is sometimes retroactively described as one of the first major UFO sightings. Newspapers at the time thought the whole thing was orchestrated to drum up support for the war effort by inducing panic. Tight-lipped military reports did little to alleviate concerns – a full public investigation wasn’t performed until 40 years later.

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Owen John Baggett (August 29, 1920 – July 27, 2006) was a second lieutenant in the United States 7th Bomb Group based at Pandaveswar, in India, during the Second World War.

On March 31, 1943, while stationed in British India, Baggett’s squadron was ordered to destroy a bridge at Pyinmana, Burma.Before reaching their target, the B-24 bombers were intercepted by Japanese fighter planes. Baggett’s plane was badly hit, and the crew were ordered to bail out. The Japanese pilots then attacked U.S. airmen as they parachuted to earth. Two of Baggett’s crew members were killed. Baggett, though wounded, played dead, hoping the Japanese would ignore him. One Zero approached within several feet of Baggett. The pilot then nosed up, almost stalling, and opened his canopy. Baggett shot at the pilot with his .45 caliber pistol. The plane stalled and plunged to the earth, and Baggett became legendary as the only person to shoot down a Japanese airplane with an M1911 pistol.

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He survived and was captured by the Japanese. This account is not consistent with Japanese records.