Aktion Arbeitsscheu Reich -work-shy Reich

So many people think that the Holocaust only lasted as along as WWII. But they could not be further away from the truth. It could be argued that the foundation of the Holocaust goes back to 1879, when Wilhelm Marr becomes the first proponent of racial anti-Semitism, blaming Jews for the failure of the German revolutions of 1848–49. I started to watch a series on Netflix called ‘Knightfall’ which is set in the 13th century, it is inspired by events of the time although with fictional characters. In the show there already is a portrayal of hate against the Jews and there is a scene where they are forced to leave Paris, and the order is given to kill all of them once they have left the outskirts of Paris. In the show they are saved by the templars, but I know there have been pogroms going back as far as that.

In 1933 the first concentration camp became operational,Dachau. Between 13–18 June 1938, the first mass arrests of Jews begin through Aktion Arbeitsscheu Reich.

In the course of the “work-shy Reich” campaign carried out by the German police between June 13 and 18, 1938 against people classified as “asocial”, more than 10,000 people were arrested and deported to concentration camps. Around 6,000 prisoners were taken to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp alone and marked as “asocial” with a brown, later black triangle.

During the Nazi regime, the accusation of work shyness served to characterize the so-called asocial. According to an implementing regulation from 1938, anyone who “shows through behavior contrary to the community, even if it is not criminal, that he does not want to fit into the community” was considered antisocial.

According to the ordinance, anti-social persons were those who “through minor but recurring violations of the law do not want to submit to the order that is taken for granted in a National Socialist state”. Tramps, beggars, prostitutes, gypsies, drunkards and people suffering from contagious diseases, especially venereal diseases, were listed by name.

The wave of arrests was primarily intended to discipline the so-called sub-proletarian groups. During the “June Action” there were also targeted mass arrests of Jews. In Berlin, the police arrested between 1,000 and 2,000 Jews under the flimsiest of pretexts, crossing a street crossing incorrectly was enough. An anti-Semitic speech by Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels acted as the initial impetus. At a meeting in the Ministry of Propaganda on June 10, 1938, he stirred up the atmosphere. In his diary, Goebbels noted: “Spoke in front of 300 police officers in Berlin. I really got excited. Against all sentimentality. The slogan isn’t the law, it’s harassment. The Jews have to get out of Berlin. The police will help me with that.” Encouraged by the actions of the police, pogrom-like anti-Semitic riots broke out in Berlin and other large cities in the German Reich. Jewish shops were smeared and Jewish shopkeepers forced to close their shops; several synagogues were demolished.

Dr Christian Dirks, curator of the exhibition of diplomatic dispatches on the 1938 pogrom, suggests a connection with anti-Semitic attacks in Berlin, which, starting in May, escalated from June 13–16, 1938 with boycotts of Jewish shops, marking shops, raids on cafes and arrests.

In 2013 Dr Dirks also called an Irish report on Kristallnacht ,which was issued by Ambassador Charles Bewley in 1938, disgraceful.

Bewley, who described the events as “obviously organised,” began his report in the tone of a dispassionate diplomatic observer and identified with Germany’s claims that Jews dominated in areas of finance and entertainment and used their influence to promote “anti-Christian, anti-patriotic and communistic” thinking.

Charles Bewley

He went on to say their corrupting moral influence helped explain the “elimination of the Jewish element from public life.”

Bewley condemned the Irish media for following the “British press, itself in Jewish hands”, and “Anglo-Jewish telegraph agencies” by prominently displaying news of oppression against Jews but suppressing news of crimes perpetrated by Jews and anti-fascists.

He refrained from advising Dublin on how to correct what he believed was Ireland’s one-sided view of what he called the “Jewish problem”, but left no doubt that he viewed Jews themselves as the key issue.

sources

https://www.irishcentral.com/news/pro-nazi-irish-ambassador-report-on-kristallnacht-to-go-on-display-in-berlin-231342571-237786911

https://www.nd-aktuell.de/artikel/1091388.aktion-arbeitsscheu-reich-das-bezeichnete-bleibt-beiseite.html

https://www.dhm.de/lemo/kapitel/ns-regime/ausgrenzung-und-verfolgung/aktion-arbeitsscheu-reich-1938.html

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Ignorance is never the answer.++contains graphic images++

I have often argued that it would be unfair to brush all Germans with the same brush, There were Germans who did resist the Nazi regime. However there is no denying that many were ignorant about the fact what was happening to their neighboits who were either Jewish, Gay, Jehovah Witness, Disabled or Roma/Sinti, or who just had a different political view..

The definition of ignorance is: lack of knowledge, education, or awareness. I recently read an interesting definition of ignorance in an article on a website called Farnham street, it has all sorts of pieces on food for thoughts. They defined it as “Empty Suits and Fragilistas” :[The Empty Suit/Fragilista] defaults to thinking that what he doesn’t see is not there, or what he does not understand does not exist. At the core, he tends to mistake the unknown for the nonexistent.’ I think this was partially the problem in Nazi Germany and that is how the Nazis got away with mass murder and genocide. Because this ignorance turned into collaboration and complicity

But before we judge the German citizens.

The oppressive nature of the Nazi state meant that it was difficult not to be complicit in Nazi activities at some level – although some people played a much more active role in helping the Nazis to achieve their aims than others. Different examples of collaboration in Nazi Germany included: informing on Jewish neighbours, adhering anti-semitic laws,or taking part in boycotting Jewish shops and businesses.

Public notice, issued by the Central Committee for the Defense against Jewish Atrocities and the Boycott, instructing Germans to protect themselves against the Jews by boycotting Jewish businesses and Jewish professionals on April 1, 1933. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Hans Levi

While the Nazi leadership led the way in creating their racist ideology, the anti-Jewish laws and propaganda were implemented and bound into law by those working for the Civil Service . Those who continued to work in the Civil Service following the Nazi rise to power therefore directly contributed to the Nazis’ persecution of Jews.

Following the Nazi rise to power, new textbooks were introduced to make sure that all content taught by teachers was in line with the Nazis’ beliefs. This page is taken from a Nazi racial science textbook published in 1934. In the bottom right corner, someone has added another side profile with stereotypical Jewish features and written ‘Jüden’, meaning Jews, next to it.

The Germans weren’t the only ones being complicit. There were many citizens in the occupied countries who were eager to help the Nazi regime. Collaboration took many forms. In some countries the government actively cooperated with the Nazis. In others, individuals or groups acted on their own initiative to offer their help to the Nazis. Smaller forms of collaboration also took place on an individual basis, such as informing on Jewish neighbours (sometimes out of antisemitism, sometimes out of a desire to take over their property, jobs or valuables once they had been arrested or deported)

That doesn’t take away the fact though that this all started in Germany. If the German citizenry would have paid more attention to what was happening, and if they would have asked collectively what was happening to their neighbours, then perhaps the Holocaust would not have taken place, and they would not have to be forced to bury those who their political leaders had massacred, in their names.

sources

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn1004598

https://www.ushmm.org/learn/timeline-of-events/1933-1938/anti-jewish-boycott

Funding the Holocaust.

The picture above is of an Opel Bliz troops transporter, Opel is one of the companies that provided the Nazi regime with equipment but also with funding.

But Opel was not the only company. Funding the Nazis already started early 1930s.

Nineteen representatives of industry, finance, and agriculture signed a petition on November 19, 1932 where they requested for German President Paul von Hindenburg to make Adolf Hitler the German Chancellor.

On February 20 a secret meeting held by Adolf Hitler and 20 to 25 industrialists at the official residence of the President of the Reichstag Hermann Göring in Berlin. Its purpose was to raise funds for the election campaign of the Nazi Party.

The German elections were to be held on 5 March 1933. The Nazi Party wanted to achieve two-thirds majority to pass the Enabling Act and desired to raise three million Reichsmark to fund the campaign. According to records, 2,071,000 Reichsmarks (equivalent to about €9,000,000 in 2022) were contributed at the meeting. Together with the Industrial petition, it is used as evidence to support the idea that big business played a central role in the rise of the Nazi Party.

These are just some of the men and companies that supported the Nazi regime, financially and often also in equipment and services.

Ernst Brandi, chairman of Bergbauverein
Karl Büren, director general of Braunkohlen- und Brikettindustrie AG, board member of Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände
August Diehn , board member of Wintershall AG
Ludwig Grauert
Guenther Heubel , director general of C. TH. Heye Braunkohlenwerke AG, board member of Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände
Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach
Hans von und zu Loewenstein, executive member of Bergbauverein
Fritz von Opel, board member of Adam Opel AG
Günther Quandt, major industrialist, later appointed Leader of the Armament Economy (Wehrwirtschaftsführer)
Wolfgang Reuter , director general of Demag, chairman of Vereins Deutscher Maschinenbau-Anstalten, presidential member of Reichsverbands der Deutschen Industrie
August Rosterg, director general of Wintershall AG
Hjalmar Schacht
Georg von Schnitzler, board member of IG Farben
Eduard Schulte, director general of Giesches Erben, Zink und Bergbaubetrieb
Fritz Springorum , Hoesch AG
Hugo Stinnes Jr. , board member of Reichsverband der Deutschen Industrie, member of the Supervisory board of Rhenish-Westphalian Coal Syndicate
Ernst Tengelmann, CEO of Gelsenkirchener Bergwerks AG
Albert Vögler, CEO of Vereinigte Stahlwerke AG
Ludwig von Winterfeld , board member of Siemens & Halske AG and Siemens-Schuckertwerke AG
Wolf-Dietrich von Witzleben , head of the office of Carl Friedrich von Siemens

Some other companies and how they contributed

AEG -Germany Forced labour from concentration camps.
Allianz -Berlin, Germany Provided insurance for facilities and workers at concentration camps.
Associated Press – New York, United States Censorship and cooperation with Nazi Germany.
Audi- Zwickau, Germany Forced labour from concentration camps.
-Bahlsen- Hannover, Germany Employed about 200 forced labourers between 1943 and 1945 – most of whom were women from Nazi-occupied Ukraine.
BASF -Ludwigshafen, Germany Collaborated with Degussa AG – now Evonik Industries – and IG Farben – to produce sodas used in Zyklon B – utilized in Concentration Camps to commit mass murder. The BASF built the chemical factory IG Auschwitz.
Bayer- Barmen, Germany Forced labour and medical experimentation in concentration camps,production of the chemicals and pharmaceuticals supplies of Nazi Germany.
BMW-Munich, Germany Forced labour from concentration camps, produced fighting sidecar motorcycles BMW R75 and aircraft engines.
Carl Walther GmbH-Germany Produced Gewehr military carabines and Walther handguns.
Chase National Bank-Manhattan, New York State, USA Assisted in the sale of Nazi war bonds (Rueckwanderer Marks) to German Americans.
Degussa AG (now Evonik Industries)-Frankfurt, Germany Zyklon B pesticide production used for executions in gas chambers.
Dehomag (a subsidiary of IBM)-Germany Provided data computers for the Gestapo state police notably for arrests.
Deutsche Bank-Germany Provided construction loans for Auschwitz.
Deutsche Bergwerks- und Hüttenbau- Germany Mine and quarries.
Dresdner Bank- Dresden, Germany Major stakeholder in the construction company for Auschwitz.
Eisenwerke Oberdonau- Germany Steel production. Part of Reichswerke Hermann Göring.
Flugmotorenwerke Ostmark-Lower Austria Engine production mainly for aircraft.
Focke-Wulf- Germany Produced Focke-Wulf military planes.
Franz Eher Nachfolger- Germany Produced books and the famous Mein Kampf under the control of the Nazi party.
General Motors- United States Automotive industry, provided passenger vehicles for the SS, Wehrmacht and the Nazi party.
Hoesch AG-Dortmund, Germany Mines and steel productions.
Hugo Boss- Metzingen, Germany Produced propaganda items, uniforms for Nazi State and Vichy Collaborating State.
IBM-New York, USA Produced early computers utilized in the pursuit of the Holocaust by Nazi Germany.
IG Farben-Frankfurt am Main, Germany Zyklon B main manufacturer.
Krupp (now part of ThyssenKrupp) – Essen, Germany Zyklon B was produced by the company along with other ones. Some more of the productions were Panzer Tank Series, U-boats, military ships, artillery guns.
Maggi (now owned by Nestlé) – Switzerland Benefited from slave labour.
Mercedes-Benz -Stuttgart, Germany Forced labour from concentration camps, produced turret for tanks. Also were the limos of choice of Nazi leaders such as Hitler, Göring, Himmler, and Heydrich.
Porsche- Stuttgart, Germany Forced labour,created design for the first version of the outgunning heavy Tiger tank series: the Tiger I despite the trials it was not retained for further production.
Puma -Herzogenaurach, Germany As Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory, with Adidas. Shoe supplier to Hitler Youth.
Reichswerke Hermann Göring- Berlin, Germany State-owned steelworks.
Siemens-Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany Forced labour, Trucks possibly other productions as trains.
Standard Oil- Cleveland, Ohio Provided fuel for U-boats.
Steyr Arms-Steyr, Austria Forced labour in the Steyr-Münichholz subcamp, production of weapons.
Steyr-Daimler-Puch- Steyr, Austria Constructed military facilities and military vehicles as the light RSO Raupenschlepper Ost (with cargo, self propelled antitank and traction versions).
Stoewer- Stettin, Germany Used forced labour in its factory. manufacturer leichter geländegängiger Einheits-PKW, a versatile four-wheel drive car, for Wehrmacht.
Swarovski-Wattens, Austria Members of the executive board were members of the Nazi Party.
Thyssen AG (now part of ThyssenKrupp)- Hamborn, Germany Produced steel, machines, weapons and steelworks.
Topf and Sons- Erfurt, Germany Designed, manufactured and installed crematoria for concentration and extermination camps.
Volkswagen Group- Berlin, Germany Forced labour from concentration camps. Produced V-1 flying bomb and Kübelwagen military vehicles.

These were not the only companies, Coca Cola created the Fanta brand for the German Army, due to some sanctions not all ingredients to manufacture Coca Cola were available in Germany

Henry Ford was a great admired of Hitler and also funded the Nazi party, it is alleged that Henry Ford sent Hitler a cheque of $50,000 on Hitler’s birthdays.

Not only did these companies fund the Nazi regime and therefore by association the Holocaust, they also profited from the death and destruction caused by the Nazis. Many of them went on to become global marker leaders in their fields and some are now known as manufactures of luxury goods.

sources

https://www.jstor.org/stable/1841917

https://dbpedia.org/page/Secret_Meeting_of_20_February_1933

https://www.ns-archiv.de/nsdap/foerderung/eingabe-hindenburg.php

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Where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people as well .

The title of this blog is a quote from Heinrich Heine’s play “Almansor” which he had written in 1821. Heine was a Jewish German poet, writer and literary critic. Hos words would ring true just over a century after he wrote them.

The Holocaust didn’t start with the mass murder of Jews and other so called “undesirables”. It was a gradual process. It was not just the destruction of life but also the destruction of art and culture that did not suit the Nazis philosophy.

In a symbolic act of ominous significance, on May 10, 1933, university students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of so called “un-German” books, heralding a period of state censorship and control of culture. The disturbing part of this ,it was university students doing this, Supposedly well educated people. In an effort to synchronize the literary community, Goebbels had a strong ally in the National Socialist German Students’ Association (Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund, or NSDStB).

On the evening of May 10, in most university towns, right-wing students marched in torchlight parades “against the un-German spirit.” The scripted rituals required for high Nazi officials, professors, university rectors, and university student leaders to address the participants and onlookers.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment. There are 3 definitions for enlightenment:

1.the act or means of enlightening : the state of being enlightened
2capitalized : a philosophical movement of the 18th century marked by a rejection of traditional social, religious, and political ideas and an emphasis on rationalism —used with the
3. Buddhism : a final blessed state marked by the absence of desire or suffering.

None of the definitions applied here.

Below are just some of the books which were deemed harmful to the German people, according to the Nazis .

Bambi, a Life in the Woods; Time Machine; War of the Worlds; The condition of the working class in England; All Quiet on the Western Front; The Lord of the Rings; Ivanhoe.

As you can see from those titles there was absolutely no justification, nor will there ever be, for banning and burning books.

In Berlin, some 40,000 people heard Joseph Goebbels deliver a fiery address: “No to decadence and moral corruption!” Goebbels enjoined the crowd. “Yes to decency and morality in family and state! I consign to the flames the writings of Heinrich Mann, Ernst Glaeser, Erich Kästner.”

“The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism is now at an end. The breakthrough of the German revolution has again cleared the way on the German path…The future German man will not just be a man of books, but a man of character. It is to this end that we want to educate you. As a young person, to already have the courage to face the pitiless glare, to overcome the fear of death, and to regain respect for death – this is the task of this young generation. And thus you do well in this midnight hour to commit to the flames the evil spirit of the past. This is a strong, great and symbolic deed – a deed which should document the following for the world to know – Here the intellectual foundation of the November Republic is sinking to the ground, but from this wreckage the phoenix of a new spirit will triumphantly rise.”

— Joseph Goebbels, Speech to the students in Berlin.

Not all book burnings took place on May 10, as the German Student Association had planned. Some were postponed a few days because of rain. Others, based on local chapter preference, took place on June 21, the summer solstice, a traditional date for bonfire celebrations in Germany.

The really scary things is this is happening again, the burning has been replaced by cancelling, and the banning of books is happening more and more.

sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/book-burning

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/goebbels-burnings/

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/101688.Books_Banned_by_Nazis

http://www.artandpopularculture.com/Bambi%2C_A_Life_in_the_Woods

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Rolf Wenkhaus; Child actor and Luftwaffe crew member

I was reminiscing on TV shows I watched as a kid in the Netherlands. One of my favourite shows was a series called “Q&Q”. It was about 2 teenage detectives. The boys named Aristides Quarles and Wilbur Quant accidentally snap a photo of a dead body in the woods. After finding the place where the body was, they find it to be gone. Nobody believes them except Grandpa. They decide to investigate themselves. I will spare you the theme song because once you hear it, it will be in your head for days.

Then I also remembered a German movie I watched about some German teenage detectives, nowadays with Google and IMDB, it was relatively easy to find the title. The movie is called “Emil and the Detectives” .Turns out it is the birthday of the young main actor today. Rolf Wenkhaus was born on September 9,1917. The movie I was referring to earlier was made in 1931.

Rolf only made tow more movies, the last one was a Nazi propaganda movie titled “S.A.-Mann Brand”

Ironically the screenplay for Rolf Wenkhaus’s 1st movie, “Emil and the Detectives” was written by Billy Wilder, a Jewish Austrian screenwriter who lived in Berlin. After the rise of the Nazi Party, he moved to Paris, due to rampant antisemitism and discrimination against the Jewish people. He moved to Hollywood in 1933. That movie was also based on a novel by Erich Kästner, a pacifist and an opponent of the Nazi regime. The Gestapo interrogated Kästner several times, the national writers’ guild expelled him, and the Nazis burned his books as “contrary to the German spirit” during the book burnings of 10 May 1933, instigated by Joseph Goebbels.

After the outbreak of World War II, Rolf Wenkhaus enlisted in the military. At the time of his death, aged 24, he was in the aircrew of a Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor, a four-engine bomber that specialized in attacks on shipping. Wenkhaus’s plane, with identification code F8 MH 0093, was shot down on 31 January 1942, off the coast of Bloody Foreland in County Donegal, Ireland by HMS Genista, a British Flower-class corvette being utilized as a convoy escort vessel.

The entire aircrew of six was killed. The body of the pilot, Werner Bornefeld, washed up at Bunbeg two weeks later, and was eventually reburied at a German War Cemetery at Glencree, Ireland.

Because Rolf Wenkhaus’s corpse has never been found they officially pronounced his dead only in 1948.

sources

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0921020/?ref_=tt_ov_st

https://prabook.com/web/rolf.wenkhaus/1928015

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_K%C3%A4stner#Berlin_1933%E2%80%931945

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T4

September 1,1939 is well known for the German invasion of Poland, triggering World War 2. However it is less known as the date that the official killing of disabled people was made law, albeit it under the guise of euthanasia.

It was only 5 lines which determined the fate of hundreds of thousands.

“Reichsleiter Bouhler and Dr. med. Brandt are hereby instructed and authorized to broaden the powers of designated physicians to the extent that persons who are suffering from diseases which may be deemed incurable according to standards of human judgment based on a careful examination of their condition shall be guaranteed a mercy death.”

— Adolf Hitler, Memorandum Authorizing Involuntary Euthanasia, Berlin, 1 September 1939.”

It is of course easy to put all the blame on the Nazi regime, however something which is often overlooked is that the 1st victim was on request by the parents of the child. He was actually killed prior to the law being enacted.

Gerhard Kretschmar was born in Pomssen, a village south-east of Leipzig. His parents were Richard Kretschmar, a farm labourer, and his wife Lina Kretschmar. Schmidt describes them as “ardent Nazis.” Gerhard was born blind, with either no legs or one leg, and with one arm. (The original medical records are lost, and second-hand accounts vary.) He was also subject to convulsions. Brandt later testified that the child was also “an idiot”, although how this was determined is not stated.

Richard Kretschmar took the newborn Gerhard to Dr Werner Catel, a pediatrician at the University Children’s Clinic in Leipzig, and asked that his son be “put to sleep.” Catel told him that this would be illegal. Kretschmar then wrote directly to Hitler, asking that he investigate the case and overrule the law that prevented “This Monster” (as he described his child) from being killed. As was usual with such petitions, it was referred to Hitler’s private secretariat (the Kanzlei des Führers), headed by Philipp Bouhler. There it was seen by Hans Hefelman, head of Department IIb, which dealt with petitions. Hefelman and Bouhler showed the petition to Hitler, aware of his frequently expressed support for the “mercy killing” of people with severe disabilities.

Hitler summoned Karl Brandt, one of his personal physicians, and sent him to Leipzig to investigate the Kretschmar case. Hitler told Brandt that if Gerhard Kretschmar’s condition was indeed as described in Richard Kretschmar’s petition, then he, Hitler, authorised Brandt to have Gerhard killed, in consultation with the local doctors, and if any legal action were taken, it would be thrown out of court. In Leipzig, Brandt examined the child and consulted with Catel and another physician, Dr. Helmut Kohl.He also went to Pomssen and saw the Kretschmars. When Brandt informed the Leipzig doctors of Hitler’s instructions, they agreed that Gerhard Kretschmar should be killed, although they knew this was illegal.

The Pomssen church register says that Gerhard Kretschmar died at Pomssen of “heart weakness” on 25 July. He was buried in the Lutheran churchyard three days later. Although no medical records exist, and although the testimony of Brandt and Catel after the war was contradictory and evasive, Schmidt believes that Gerhard was killed in the Leipzig clinic with an injection of a common drug such as luminal, and that the church register was falsified to conceal this fact.

In Dr. Ewald Melzer’s 1923 survey of the parents of the disabled children in his care, they were asked: “Would you agree definitely to a painless shortcut of your child’s life, after it is determined by experts that it is incurably stupid?” The results, which surprised Melzer, were published in 1925: 73 percent responded they were willing to have their children killed if they weren’t told about it.

Of course the T4 program allowed the Nazis to get rid of anyone they deemed unfit for life. In reality that could be anyone, Political opponents, Jews, Roma even people with the slightest disability. I would probably have been a victim, being half blind and having Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The scary part though is that we have not learned from the mistakes of the past. In several countries eugenic laws, not unlike-although not as extreme- are currently quite common.

sources

https://www.jstor.org/stable/41345169

https://eugenicsarchive.ca/discover/tree/517305eaeed5c60000000029

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerhard_Kretschmar

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/12/the-last-children-of-down-syndrome/616928/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/down-syndrome-iceland/

https://apnews.com/article/e1731db26be41810f79e7e148d087a04

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Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring

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

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

The basic provisions of the 1933 law stated that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Reich Chancellor
Adolf Hitler

The Reich Minister of the Interior
Frick

The Reich Minister of Justice
Dr. Gürtner

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

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

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

sources

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

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

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

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

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Being taught to hate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sources

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

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

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

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

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The good fortune of Joseph Meister but yet a tragic end.

I hear a lot of fear mongering in relation to vaccines. One argument given by some people for not taking a vaccine is that one of the side effect is death. Usually these arguments are given with the back up of a meme, but never with actual facts.

It is true that one of the side effects could be death, but this can be said for every medical procedure. If the adhesive used on a plaster can cause an allergic reaction in people causing death.

When it comes to vaccines it is less then 1 percent of a risk. Not taking it will give a much higher risk in death.

On July 4th,1885, a rabid dog attacked a 9-year-old boy from Alsace, France. His name was Joseph Meister. The vicious and crazed dog proceeded to throw the boy to the ground and bite him in 14 places, including the hand, legs and thighs. Some of the wounds were so deep that he could hardly walk. Twelve hours later, at 8:00 in the evening, a local doctor named Weber treated Joseph’s most serious wounds by cauterizing, or sealing them, with searing doses of carbolic acid, in and of itself a horribly painful process.

This procedure did not help on July 6,1885, the boy’s mother brought her son to Paris, she suspected the boy had contracted rabies. She had heard rumours of a scientist who could prevent rabies. This scientist turned out to be Louis Pasteur.

Pasteur was so taken by the boy’s plight that he consulted two physicians, Alfred Vulpain and Jacques Grancher at a weekly meeting of the French Academy of Sciences. They, too, were struck by the need to do something, and to do it fast. Pasteur later reported, “Since the death of the child appeared inevitable, I resolved, though not without great anxiety, to try the method which had proved consistently successful on the dogs.”

Bacteriologist Louis Pasteur, who kept kennels of mad dogs in a crowded little laboratory and was hounded by medical criticism, had never tried his rabies vaccine on a human being before.

Pasteur escaped the medical license dilemma by having his medical colleagues present when the vaccine was first administered on July 6, 1885, some 60 hours after the initial dog attack. Mrs. Meister expressed little concern over the potential dangers of the experimental vaccine because she was so fearful that her son would die and she readily gave Pasteur her consent. The first injection was made in a fold of skin covering the boy’s right upper abdomen. Over a period of three weeks, Joseph was given 13 such inoculations.

For three weeks Pasteur watched anxiously at the boy’s bedside. To his overwhelming joy, the boy recovered.

Joseph Meister did not only recover but also went to work for Louis Pateur in later life. For decades he worked as a concierge at the Institut Pasteur, Louis Pasteur’s laboratory where some of the most important discoveries elucidating infectious diseases were made.

On June 14, 1940, the Nazis invaded Paris from Germany. Fearing for their safety, Meister, then 64 years old, sent his family away and stayed behind to protect the Pasteur Institute from the German soldiers. Ten days later, on June 24, 1940, Joseph Meister was overcome with guilt because he was certain that his family had been captured by the Nazis. He committed suicide by a gas furnace. In an ironic and sad twist of fate, his family was safe. They returned to the Institute just a few hours after Meister committed suicide.

Although his life was cut short by suicide. If he hadn’t received the vaccine against rabies he would have died aged 9.

I can understand why some people are reluctant to take any of the Covid 19 vaccines today. The misinformation that goes around on social media is phenomenal. But do not base your decision on anecdotal evidence(which is often made up) but base it on medical scientific facts. Inform yourself.

If I was to believe some of these antivaxers , this blog would not have been possible because I should be dead, given the fact I had a double does of the Moderna vaccine. Several members of my family received different vaccines and I am glad to report they are all alive and well.

sources

https://artsandculture.google.com/entity/joseph-meister/m051w1w?hl=en

https://time.com/3925192/rabies-vaccine-history/

https://historydaily.org/the-life-and-death-of-joseph-meister

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/louis-pasteurs-risky-move-to-save-a-boy-from-almost-certain-death

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The Billy Joel connections

Today is Billy Joel’s birthday and I was going to do a blog on his musical history, going back to the times when he joined a band called “Echoes”, aged 16, to the times when he joined the bands “the Hassles” and “Atilla”. But that I came across a story which connects Billy Joel with WWII , the Holocaust and a large German retail and travel company, and indirectly to 4 Olympic games and I thought that would make a much more interesting story.

Billy Joel was born William Martin Joel on may 9,1949 in the Bronx, New York, and grew up in Long Island. Billy’s father, Howard (born Helmut) Joel , a classical pianist and businessman, was born in Nuremberg, Germany, to a Jewish family, the son of merchant and manufacturer Karl Amson Joel.

Karl Amson Joel, started a business in household linens in 1927. The business was so profitable that he, his wife and their young son, Helmut, were able to move into an affluent area of Nuremberg. As Karl Joel’s business rose in prominence and the Nazis rose in power, the Nazis put their sights on eliminating the Joel’s and all other Jewish businesses.

After the rise to power of Nazism in 1933, Karl Amson Joel was increasingly discriminated against by the regional Nazi Party leaders, especially Julius Streicher, the founder and publisher of the virulently antisemitic newspaper Der Stürmer.

In May 1933, Der Stürmer ran a front-page article calling Karl a “Yid” and accusing him of underpaying and sexually harassing his workers. Billy Joel’s dad Helmut aka Howard was one of four Jews in his Nuremberg classroom; they were directed to sit apart from their classmates.

Karl Amson Joel moved his company to Berlin in 1934, where he rented a factory site in Wedding and installed new packing machines. The stitching department, however, had to remain in Nuremberg. As persecution increased (e.g. deliveries had to be marked with a “J” for Jude, or Jew), and Jewish firms became Aryanized (the forced expulsion of Jews from business life in Nazi Germany, Axis-aligned states, and their occupied territories. It entailed the transfer of Jewish property into “Aryan”hands), Joel was forced to sell his company in 1938 to Josef Neckermann.

For fear of further persecutions Karl Amson Joel moved to Switzerland in July 1938 and later to the USA, via Cuba.

Neckermann made his fortune as the owner of one of Europe’s largest department stores. His business made him director of a very successful mail-order company under the slogan Neckermann macht’s möglich (Neckermann makes it possible) and also a travel company.

Shortly after World War II, Neckermann was sentenced to one year in a military prison.

In 1949, Karl Amson Joel successfully sued Neckermann for compensation in a Nuremberg court. After eight years, the parties settled and the files were closed.

In 1957,Karl Amson Joel got a compensation of 2 million West German marks for his former company from Neckermann who at that time ran the most successful German mail order selling company.

As I said earlier on in this blog there is also a connection to 4 Olympic games, albeit indirect . Josef Neckermann was also a German equestrian and Olympic champion . He was one of the richest private citizens to have ever competed at the Olympic Games, and he did quite well, winning six medals in the dressage. Neckermann’s Olympics medals were as follows: 1960 – individual bronze, 1964 – team gold (both for the mixed German team), 1968 – team gold and individual silver, 1972 – team silver and individual bronze, all for West Germany.

Other members of Billy Joel’s family were killed during the Holocaust.

I could not finish this blog without at least including one of his many songs. This is my favourite Billy Joel song.

sources

https://www.sarahlawrence.edu/magazine/then-now/campus/outback.html

https://jewishweek.timesofisrael.com/stranger-no-more/

https://www.olympedia.org/athletes/12487

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

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