The raid on Berck-sur-Mer

raid

You have to give it to the Brits, they don’t give up. Regardless how dire the outlook they will come up with daring stuff to overcome their struggle.

As it was the case in June 1941. They appear to be fighting the Germans on their own, Heavily outnumbered they had to come up with innovative ideas to fight the enemy. The British army send in a group of commandos assisted by French resistance on a raid on raid on Berck-sur-Mer in France.

The raid was highly successful. Media across the world reported on this daring action.

One newspaper article reported on June 18,1941 “One party of parachutists, heavily armed with Tommy guns and hand grenades, overpowered the airfield guards, rushed the control room and seized its occupants,”

New York Herald­ Tribune and New York Post, 18.6.41, repeated on WRUL.
“An amazing and daring raid by the British on a Nazi airport in the Northern
French town of Berck-­sur­-Mer. According to the Zurich correspondent of the
Herald Tribune, a detail of British parachutists landed on the airport,
overpowered forty German troops and pilots stationed there, and destroyed 30
planes. Joined by a number of Frenchmen who wanted to join the Free French
Forces of General de Gaulle, the British raiding party then made their way to
the nearby seashore, where naval motor boats were waiting to take them back
to England. The attack occurred during a heavy RAF raid on the coastal ports
of Calais and Boulogne and caught the Nazis flatfooted. Forty prisoners were
taken.”

It was believed by everyone except by the 40 prisoners, because it never happened.

The whole raid was a made up story. It was a genius bit of fake news WWII style. The man behind it was Canadian born Brit William Stephenson. Stephenson was the head of the SOE operating from New York, His job was to draw the Americans into war by propaganda. The  on Berck-sur-Mer in France was designated Sib 766.The ‘news’ wenet from London to New York, from New York to Zürich, from Zürich bakd to New York after that Stephenson’s team sent out to Dr Jan Loewenbach  the press attache at the exiled Czechoslovak government’s  consulate in New York, just to put the cherry on the cake and make it look completely genuine. The dirty news had been laundered and it was believed.

There were many more to follow. Ironically I recently saw an article in the Guardian Newspaper where they were remembering this ‘daring raid’ there was no mention that had had never actually happened.

william

The story of William Stephenson and his efforts to drag the US into war is written in a very interesting book by Henry Hemming titled “Our Man in New York: The British Plot to Bring America into the Second World War”

 

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http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/paratroop-raid-on-berck-sur-mer.59053/

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=eVyGDwAAQBAJ&rdid=book-eVyGDwAAQBAJ&rdot=1&source=gbs_vpt_read&pcampaignid=books_booksearch_viewport

 

Music Matters

music

Music is very important, it evokes emotions and stirs the soul. It can unite and divide in equal ways. It can be a very powerful tool to bring joy, but it also can become a weapons if it is used for propaganda purposes.

I will be looking at 2 songs which both had some part to play in the political situation in 1930s Germany, and to an extend the Holocaust.

Hollaender

Friedrich Hollaender was one of the great film composers in Hollywood and he wrote film songs and soundtracks to many well-known productions.he was nominated for 4 academy awards. Although he was a German Jew, he was born in London on 18 October 1896. When he was 3 his parents and Friedrich moved back to Berlin.

Hollaender was  an outspoken progressive satirist, a jazz musician  Hollaender was seen by the Nazis as  a symbol of Weimar decadence and intellectual subterfuge. In 1931 he opened his own cabaret theatre called , Tingel Tangel, where he  performed anti-Hitler revues like  Spuk in der Villa Stern (Spook in the Stern Villa), the revue included the satirical song ‘An allem sind die Juden schuld’ (It’s all the fault of the Jews), to the tune of the ‘Habanera’ from Bizet’s Carmen.

Hollaender  wrote this song as a political weapon against  the Nazis and all German anti-Semites. He used satire in the lyrics to highlight the ridiculous accusations made against the Jews. Below is the translation of the lyrics.the song premiered in September, 1931.

If it rains, if it hails,
If it snows or if it flashes,
if it dawns, if it thunders,
if it’s freezing or if you sweat,
if it is beautiful weather or it’s cloudy,
if it thaws or if it pours,
if it’s drizzling, if it trickles
if you cough or if you sneeze:
The Jews are to blame for everything!
The Jews are to blame for everything!
Why, why are they to blame?
Child that you don´t understand that, they are to blame for it!
And me too! You are to blame!
The Jews are, they are, they are definitely to blame!
And when you don´t believe it, they are to blame!
In particular, all the Jews are to blame!
Oh!
If the phone is busy,
if the bathtub leaks,
if your income is estimated incorrectly,
if the sausage tastes like soap,
if on Sunday nothing´s baked,
if the Prince of Wales is gay,
if at night the furniture makes noise,
if your hound has hard shit:
The Jews are to blame for everything!

If you´re taxed by Mr. Dietrich,
if Dietrich sings from head to toe,
if Okasa becomes more expensive,
if a virgin says: “I’ll do it”,
if there is a crisis at the Danat,
if there is an old joke on the radio,
if Garbo has a decayed tooth,
if the kiss pops in the sound-film:
The Jews are to blame for everything!
That snow is so terribly white,
and even, how to say, cold,
but that fire is hot.
And that trees stand in the forest,
that a rose has no roots,
that a beef patty is scraped,
that Heine is not bad,
and Einstein is very talented:
The Jews are to blame for everything!

The Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith protested shortly after the premiere of Hollaender’s satirical song: They  called the piece as a “school example of a misunderstanding and distortion that anti-Semitic agitation would not represent otherwise” and branded the song “disgusting and repulsive.

I can understand the objections against the song because undoubtedly there would have been people who would have seen the song as a confirmation towards the bias against the Jews. Howver those same people would have looked for any excuse to further their own twisted philosophy. I believe the best way to fight bigotry  and anti semitism is to show how ridiculous it is .

Hollaender left Nazi Germany in 1933 because and first moved to Paris. He emigrated to the United States the next year, where he wrote the music for over a hundred films, including Destry Rides Again.

wessel

The Nazis  exploited music for propaganda.in the Nazi imagination, music had a unique significance and power to seduce and sway the masses. The Party made widespread use of music in its publicity, and music featured prominently at rallies and other public events. The Horst Wessellied (Horst Wessel song) was popular and widely sung during rallies and other events.

Horst Wessel was fanatic Nazi . He was a Berlin leader of the Nazi Party’s stormtroopers. In early 1929, Wessel wrote the lyrics for a new Nazi Anthem. The song had several incarnations but was eventually known as the Horts Wessel song after the killing of Wessel.On 23 February 1930 he was murdered by members of the KPD, the German communist party.

Goebbels ceased the opportunity to turn the shooting into the possibility of a propaganda bonanza. He eulogized Wessel in his newspaper, Der Angriff, in overtly Christian tones:

A Christian Socialist! A man who calls out through his deeds: ‘Come to me, I shall redeem you!’ … A divine element works in him. making him the man he is and causing him to act in this way and no other. One man must set an example and offer himself up as a sacrifice! Well, then, I am ready.

The Horst Wessel song became  the anthem of the Nazi Party  from 1930 to 1945. From 1933 to 1945 the Nazis made it the co-national anthem of Germany,.

Below is the translated text. I will not post the actual song because firstly I think it is rubbish and I don’t want this blog to be hijacked by Neo Nazis just so they can use the song. The song is banned in Germany, you can actually get a jail sentence for it if you are caught singing it. That doesn’t stop Neo Nazis for using it though.

Raise the flag! The ranks tightly closed!
The SA marches with calm, steady step.
Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries
March in spirit within our ranks.

Clear the streets for the brown battalions,
Clear the streets for the storm division!
Millions are looking upon the swastika full of hope,
The day of freedom and of bread dawns!

For the last time, the call to arms is sounded!
For the fight, we all stand prepared!
Already Hitler’s banners fly over all streets.
The time of bondage will last but a little while now!

Raise the flag! The ranks tightly closed!
The SA march with quiet, steady step.
Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries,
March in spirit within our ranks

The irony in the song is the use of the word Comrade which is more associated with communists.

Music does matter and often in ways you would not have imagined.

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Sources

http://holocaustmusic.ort.org/resistance-and-exile/berlin-cabaret-in-exile/an-allem-sind-die-juden-schuld-words/

https://www.antiwarsongs.org/canzone.php?id=45543&lang=en

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/horst-wessel

Jews not welcome.

NTI JOODSThis is something I said before. I am Dutch and I am proud to be Dutch. One of the reasons why I am a proud Dutch man is because I was taught to face up to the mistakes my country made in the past.

Although there were many brave Dutch men and women who fought valiantly and risked their own lives to save their Jewish fellow citizens, there were also those who eagerly adhered to the wishes of their occupying Nazis masters.

Many signs were put up all across the country telling Jews they were not welcome. These signs were all in Dutch mostly made by Dutch companies. In a way this propaganda was very clever because the signs didn’t say “Forbidden for Jews” but “Jews not welcome” as if there was some kind of option, a guideline rather then a rule.

joden

It was not explicitly saying “You are not allowed here” but more” We’d rather you would not come in here” as if that really made a difference.

welkom

Other signs would say “Restriction of movement for Jews”

beweging

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Sources

NIOD

Dora Gerson-Body lost or destroyed.

Dora

Dora Gerstein was a Jewish actress and singer  born  on 23 March 1899  in Berlin. She was murdered on February 14,1943 in Auschwitz. On one of the sites I used to do the research on Dora I noticed the line ‘Body lost or destroyed’.

Not only her body was destroyed but also her talent and beauty. Her short life is a poignant illustration how in a few years time, a poltical movement with a warped ideology impacted her life and ultimately caused her death.

In 1920 she starred in 2 silent films. Die Todeskarawane aka Caravan of Death and Auf den Trümmern des Paradieses aka In the Rubble of Paradise. She played the same character in both movies. The movies were based on novels by Karl May. Many Europeans have seen the Winnetou and Old Shatterhand westerns which were penned by Karl May. He was also admired by Albert Einstein  who said about him , “My whole adolescence stood under his sign. Indeed, even today, he has been dear to me in many a desperate hour.”

Ironically another admirer was Adolf Hitler who mentioned Karl May in Mein Kampf.

Between 1922 and 1924 Dora was married to the Actor/Director Veit Harlan. In less then 16 years after their divorce Harlan would become a pivotal figure in the Nazi propaganda machine. In 1940 he directed the anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda film Jud Süß.

Jud

To escape Nazi persecution she moved to the Netherlands in 1936, where she met her 2nd Husband Max Sluizer. The couple had 2 children  Miriam Sluizer born on 19 November 1937 and Abel Juda Sluizer born on 21 May 1940,only 11 days after Germany invaded the Netherlands.

Dora and her family were all transported to Drancy internment camp and from there they were deported to Auschwitz where they were all murdered on February 14,1943.

pass

Finishing up with one of Dora’s recordings “Vorbei”  an emotional ballad, reminiscing pre-Nazi Germany.

!They’re gone beyond recall
A final glance, a last kiss
And then it’s all over
under the frame of eternity
A final word, a last farewell”

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Sources

IMDB

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/110288165/dora-gerson

http://www.musiques-regenerees.fr/GhettosCamps/Camps/GersonDora.html

YouTube

 

Sex- The hidden enemy during WWII.

+++Contains some sexual references++++++

STD

Don’t worry I haven’t suddenly gone pornographic in my blogs, but in this Political Correct era I thought it better to warn people upfront that this blog may contain some sexual references, because God forbid imagine if I offended anyone.

During World War II venereal disease(or STD’S/STI’s) was a serious problem for the US Army and Navy. In some hospitals one out of eight service men had been infected with  some form of venereal disease. Two of the worst venereal diseases known to the Medical Department during the Second World War were gonorrhea and syphilis. As a consequence  the majority of treatment and awareness programs had great emphasis on these two infections in particular.

VDHowever it wasn’t only in the awareness programs, there was also a preemptive element to this. Many American women,mainly those involved in prostitution but also other women, were detained and subjected to invasive examinations.

On June 13, 1942 a woman by the name of Billie Smith was arrested in a hotel room in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was charged with prostitution and violation of the state’s immorality laws. Smith pleaded  guilty and paid the fine of $10—equivalent to $150 toda, but her problems didn’t stop there.

Little Rock’s health officer advised Smith that he was going to have to undergo a medical examination. He suspected she had a sexually transmitted infection. The health officer took vials of Smith’s blood for a syphilis test, and  examined her vagina for signs of gonorrhea. While awaiting the results of the blood test, Smith waited behind bars, in the Pulaski County jail.

After a day, the test results were back: Smith had syphilis; what’s more, the health officer said she had gonorrhea, too. He ordered that she be quarantined in a detention hospital in Hot Springs, Ark.

Three days after her arrest, she petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus(a court order demanding that a public official (such as a warden) deliver an imprisoned individual to the court and show a valid reason for that person’s detention) arguing that the quarantine amounted to unlawful imprisonment.However Smith’s condition posed too much of a threat, the court argued, for it to do anything but let the quarantine stand. Billie Smith escaped but was captured in a Memphis hotel, a month after she fled and fined $127 for several crimes, including prostitution.

She  was sent to d an “isolation unit” for STI treatment. It wasn’t until the end of 1942 that she was returned to the Pulaski County jail, and then eventually to the detention center in Hot Springs.

But that  still wasn’t the end of her woes. After just a few days in the Hot Springs facility, Smith and another woman attempted to escape, and, after this, the Hot Springs authorities refused to take them back. Smith remained behind bars for a few more weeks, but she successfully avoided spending her sentence in Hot Springs.

AD WWI VD

But Sexual transmitted infections or VD’s weren’t the only problem. In a publication on December 11, 1944 the UK based Pathfinder Magazine it was reported :

“A new problem of the war is the fact that children are born to married women whose husbands have been long overseas… Department of Labor figures show that more than twice as many illegitimate children were born this year than in 1942.”

We may judge these women harshly now, and maybe to an extend understandably, but it is natural to have sexual urges, and it doesn’t take much to be comforted when your partner is gone for a prolonged time, additionally some of these women didn’t know in what state their husbands would return or if they would return at all.

baby's

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Sources

Time

Pathfinder

National Archives

 

 

Getting married in Nazi Germany

The Nazi regime controlled every aspects of life in Germany, even who you married. In 1935 the Reich Committee for Public Health Service issued the guidelines for getting married.

It was published as ‘die zehn Gebote für die Gattenwahl’ the 10 commandments for choosing a spouse.

  1. Always remember that you are a German.

2. Be sure to marry if you are genetically healthy.

3. Ensure that you keep your body clean.

4. Keep your soul and spirit clean.

5. As a German, you should only take a spouse of German or Nordic blood.

6. When deciding on a spouse, investigate his or her ancestry.

7. Physical health is the prerequisite for outward beauty.

8. Marry only for love.

9. In relationships, do not seek a temporary plaything, look for a partner for marriage.

10. You should want as many children as possible.

These 10 commandments were published in women’s magazines like “NS-Frauen-Warte” but also in pamphlets distributed to all students graduating from a trade school under the Nazi regime.

So many got married because their “Führer” wished so, yet he only got married a few hours before he killed himself.

10

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Sources

Süddeutscher Zeitung

Bundesarciv

 

May 10,1933- Book burning.

Book Burning

A scary thought crossed my mind this week. What some Social Media outlets are doing nowadays, is basically the digital version of book burning. Regardless how valuable a post might be, or even how inoffensive it is when the moderators don’t like it , it will get banned,or digitally burned so to speak.

On May 10,1933 German university students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of perceived “un-German” books, foreshadowing an era of state censorship and control of culture. On the evening of May 10, in the majority of German university towns, right-wing students marched in torchlight parades “against the un-German spirit.” The scripted rituals called for high Nazi officials, professors, university rectors, and university student leaders to address the participants and spectators.

may 10

The books ranged from Bebel, Bernstein, Preuss, and Rathenau through Einstein, Freud, Brecht, Brod, Döblin, Kaiser, the Mann brothers, Zweig, Plievier, Ossietzky, Remarque, Schnitzler, and Tucholsky, to Barlach, Bergengruen, Broch, Hoffmannsthal, Kästner, Kasack, Kesten, Kraus, Lasker-Schüler, Unruh, Werfel, Zuckmayer, and Hesse. The catalogue went back far enough to include literature from Heine and Marx to Kafka. But also books from H.G Wells,Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf.

What amazes me most about this, these weren’t uneducated people doing this but students and lecturers, and other academics willingly participating in the destruction of scientific research and history.

books collected

These academics had become the moderators of what could or could not be read.

It is true history does repeat itself.

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NS-Frauen-Warte- Nazi propaganda in a glossy women’s magazine.

magazine

The NS-Frauen-Warte was a fortnightly  Nazi magazine for women. At a first glance the magazine looked harmless. It would often have recipes or sewing patterns etc. But most of the articles in the magazine were pure propaganda, aimed to brainwash women and especially young mothers.

Below is an article from the January 1940 edition. The cover of the magazine shows a child making a snowball, the main article is called “Life must win”

“What the man sacrifices in fighting for his people, the woman sacrifices in fighting to maintain this people. The man shows heroism on the battlefield, the woman shows it in eternal patient devotion, in ever patient sorrow and endurance.

Each child that she brings into the world is a battle that she fights for the existence or nonexistence of her people

— Der Führer

In happy times, holidays like Christmas Eve with the family or New Year’s Eve are high lights. In graver times when the fate of an entire people hangs in the balance, they are an occasion contemplating of times past and times to come . Only weak people will fall into lame sentimentality or be tempted by hopeless self-pity. Others find occasion to catch their breath, to find clear, solid knowledge that they can use to give them new courage to go on with their labours. But we should not forget that these holidays even during war bring joy and strength. A war Christmas is not a new thing to the older ones among us . We have experienced it before, those grave but unforgettable Christmases that united the homeland and the front together in unbreakable community. Christmas, that is the feast of family community. During war, it is the festival of community for all who are of the same nature, the same blood. It is the community of Germans; particularly now as we all stand before unprecedented change, a time of renewal, of youth, of the eternity of our people.

A correct comprehension of our time must make us proud and strong, and from such knowledge we may turn our view from outside to the lives of German women. Their high mission as guardians of life is very different from that of the man, and one cannot do enough to emphasize that again and again. The man’s life is filled with struggles and battles, with tools or working the soil. But today more than ever, the outcome depends on the quiet heroism of women. The willingness of the man to die stands against the will of the woman for life. The more we learn about the world and our people, the higher is the role of the woman, and the more we must see the question of life as the most significant. War and victory stand in the service of life, in the service of maintaining and extending the life of our people. That is their meaning.

Our enemies have often stated  openly that they look for victory not in fair fighting on the battlefield, but rather in a war of annihilation against the core of our national being, against our women and children. They may have hunger written on their battle flags, but these methods they used against us before hold no terror for us, for we are ready. What is behind those threats is more serious. The implacability of our enemies in England and above all in France is best understood when one realizes that their populations are declining. They face a Germany whose population is so strong they dare not attack it with arms. They hope that by prolonging the war, by blockades and starvation, they can exert pressure on the German life will. These shrinking peoples use poisoned weapons to fight the new, healthy German growth, a Germany they believed they had dealt with in the Treaty of Versailles by senselessly taking its territory in the hopes of cutting off Germany’s life.

The success or failure of the enemy’s devilish plans depends on German women and mothers, on their will to sacrifice and on their love for their children. It may often be difficult  to be a mother, to continue  the eternal struggle for the life of the German people. That is especially the truth  for women whose husbands are in the military, but each brave deed is its own reward. And let us not forget that life keeps going, and breaks through the barriers that stand in its way. Is not the continuing expansion of German territory new proof for the eternal law that life finds its way?

No one may remove the desire of German women to bear children. Some may try to spread the idea that children born during the war will face hunger and a future wounded in body and soul, as happened during the World War. But today’s government sees in children its greatest wealth, and its highest responsibility  in caring for them. It will ensure that children born during the war will be protected, and can look forward to a happy Germany. They will harvest what today is being sown in these great days. And we may not forget that today the whole people stand behind our children; once again it takes pleasure in children and loves them, seeing its future in its children.

Life is the world of the woman. The fate of her people is determined by her attitude toward life, in her will to happiness and her desire for children. Our soldiers protect Germany and all that we have achieved. But it is our women who are the foundation of the future of  Germany, who build it stone by stone through fine German children. Here are the values , here the right to life of our people. Our children are the river that carries German feeling, German thinking, German accomplishments, and the German will throughout the centuries.

Will the courage of German women to carry on life be less than the willingness of our soldiers to die? That is the question that faces us. The only answer is this:

A military or political victory over our enemies would be only half the battle, and could not guarantee Germany’s future or the Führer’s work. The decisive factor is the victory of life. And that is in the hands of our women and mothers.”

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Source

Heidelberg University

German Wikipedia

German History Docs

 

 

Heinz Rühmann-Hero or Villain?

Heinz

Heinz Rühmann-Hero or Villain? The honest answer is I don’t know but I expect the answer is somewhere in the middle, he was neither a hero or a villain or he was a bit of both.

For anyone living in an English speaking country or who grew up outside of Europe, the name Heinz Rühmann will mean virtually nothing. But for those who grew up in Europe and especially in Germany,Austria,Switzerland,the Netherlands or other central and eastern European countries the name will be synonymous with German cinema.

He was born on March 7, 1902 in Essen in Germany and  appeared in over a 100 movies between 1926 and 1993.

During the Nazi era he starred in 37 movies and directed 4. Most of the German movies in that era were heavily themed with Nazi propaganda. Although Rühmann was apolitical because of his work he was directly associated to the Nazi regime.

director

The majority of his movies during the Third reich were lighthearted comedies, meant to keep up the morale of the German people.

However he had the ‘honor’ to make a short film on the occasion of Joseph Goebbels’s birthday, in which he portrayed the minister’s children and his wife Magda Goebbels.

Goebbels

In August 1924 he married Maria Bernheim, who was Jewish. In 1938 he divorced. Maria  married the Swedish actor Rolf von Nauckhoff shortly afterwards, as a result she  got by a departure permission to Sweden. She survived World War 2

The divorce caused Rühmann to be accused of w opportunism for wanting to secure his career. However the marriage had already been a bit shaky , and some people say that he wanted to protect his wife by divorcing her.Even after the divorce and despite his ex wife being married again, he still supported Maria financially.

Rühmann remarried on July 1 ,1939, he married the actress Hertha Feiler whose Grandfather was Jewish. Therefore she  considered to be one fourth Jewish  and was only able to work with a special permission, despite that  she and Heinz Rühmann were presented in the press as a model married couple.

Hertha

In 1944, the premiere of “Die Feuerzangenbowle” was banned by the Nazi film censor for “disrespect for authority”. Because of his good relationships with the regime, however, Rühmann was allowed to screen the film in public. He brought the film to the  Wolfsschanze for a private screening for Hermann Göring and others. Göring enjoyed the movie and was able to get the ban on the film lifted by Adolf Hitler.

One of Heinz Rühmann’s  biggest fans was Anne Frank,. She even posted a  picture of him above her bed in the Secret Annex in Amsterdam, where it can still be seen today.

In May 1945 Heinz Rühmann was  forced to witness the rape of his wife Hertha  by Russian soldiers in their Berlin villa.

After the war he had difficulties resuming his work, partially because he was confronted with a working prohibition by the Allies. However  by the mid 50s, the former comedic actor had established himself again as a star, only this time as Germany’s leading character actor. His last movie was Wim Wenders’s “Faraway, So Close!” from 1993.

He died in 1994, aged 92.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a 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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Sources

IMDB

Der Spiegel

ZDF

 

Alfred-Ingemar Berndt-Writer,Journalist and cold blooded killer.

Alfred 2

If someone told you that you could kill an innocent man and there would be no repercussions or any form of punishment, would you do it?

Any normal person would answer “no” of course.But not Alfred-Ingemar Berndt, he decided to kill a man simply for the reason that he could.

Berndt was a German journalist, writer and was very close to  Joseph Goebbels. Alfred Berndt  wrote an eyewitness account of the 1940 German invasion of the Low Countries and France,  the book he wrote was titled “Tanks Break Through!”

In 1935 Goebbels recruited Berndt as official head of the Reich Press Office in the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. In April 1936, Berndt was appointed head of the press department of the Propaganda Ministry (Division IV).

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Berndt is also believed to have been the creator of the “Desert Fox” myth attached to the German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, when he was working with Rommel.

Berndt wrote about 10 books, all propaganda material for he Nazi regime. He also published several other articles. But I don’t want to go too much into his ‘artistic and journalistic’ career.

Late in the spring of 1944, the Nazi leadership came up with  a plan to lynch captured Allied airmen. Goebbels discussed the matter with Hitler.

In May 1944 , the propaganda minister published an article ,in the Völkischer Beobachter  stating that the government would not act against anyone lynching Allied airmen who had fired on civilians, what he really was saying that lynching any captured airmen was okay.

Goebbels hoped that this article would sparkle  a massive hunt for Allied pilots and deter airmen from flying missions against Germany. It resulted in 350 lynchings of Allied pilots.

Berndt also took part in these murders. On May 24,1944, Berndt stopped his car where a captured US Flight Lieutenant James G. Dennis was being held, and shot him dead.

Below part of the text of the allied report of the murder of Lt Jame G. Dennis.

To
Head of Sipo and SD
B e r l I n

Reference: IV B 1 b – 2731/44 of 2/3/1945
Subject: Shooting of US airman Dennis

1) On 17/6/44 the following letter was addressed to you:
“We received the following report:
On Hamburger Chaussee at place Segeletzt.
On 24/5/44 at 12.30 the US-American 2nd lieutenant James G. Dennis, dog tag number O-816707, parachuted from a shot down aircraft. D. was taken prisoner by forest supervisor Meier from Nachel and handed over to Home Guard men Buenger and Schoenbeck, from Segeletzt, to be delivered to the village mayor.
When being led away, prisoner was overtaken by Brigadeführer Berndt of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, driving in automobile IA 990. B. stopped, alighted from the car and was informed about the nature of the transport. He said: “He’ll be bumped off.” The Home Guard men refused to tolerate that. Bernd went to the car in which a female was sitting, took out his pistol and said: “I am the Brigadeführer of the Security Head Office Berlin and I’m taking responsibility. He called on the Home Guard men to make room, since otherwise they’d be in danger to be shot themselves. The prisoner had both his hands raised.
Berndt brought down the prisoner with three shots, and drove away. The occurrence was observed by civilians and several prisoners of war (Frenchmen, Poles). After a considerable time Sturmbannführer Kunze, Reichssicherheitshauptamt Berlin, arrived and ordered the body to be transported to Segeletzt. At 22 hours, Kunze fetched clothes and private property from village mayor Segeletzt. After establishing the facts of the occurrence Dennis was buried at the Segeletzt cemetery on 26/5/44 by (a) Receiving Detail (from) Fl.H.Kdtr. Neuruppin.”
Since the Protective Power is likely to take measures, this office is in need of an explanation which is hereby requested ahead of time.”
2) 1st reminder sent 21/7/1944
3) 2nd reminder sent 2/9/1944
4) On 3/10/1944:
“There was no reply to the above mentioned letter(s). Early settlement is requested.
Document mentioned above is translated here by Traugott Vitz:

Dennis

Ironically Berndt was killed in air attack by Soviet dive bombers on March 28,1945. I suppose you could call that karma.

 

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