Adolf Eichmann

Today marks the 60th anniversary of Adolf Eichmann’s death sentence. I am not going too much in the history of Eichmann, there is not that much I can add to the narrative.

On December 11–12, 1961, Eichmann was convicted of crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and membership in a criminal organization. He was sentenced to death on December 15.

His defense was basically that he had only been following orders.

During World War I, Eichmann’s family moved from Germany to Linz, Austria. His pre-Nazi life was rather ordinary. He worked as a traveling salesman in Oberösterreich (Upper Austria) for an oil company but lost his job during the Great Depression. He had actually attended Kaiser Franz Joseph Staatsoberrealschule (state secondary school) in Linz. A certain Adolf Hitler had been a student in that same school 17 years prior.

Eichmann joined the Nazi Party in April 1932 in Linz, Austria and rose quickly through the party hierarchy. In November 1932 he became a member of Heinrich Himmler’s SS, When in 1939 Himmler formed the Reich Security Central Office, Eichmann was transferred to its section on Jewish affairs in Berlin. Up to then that section was headed by Leopold von Mildenstein. It was that same Leopold von Mildenstein who had invited Eichmann to join him.

In 1933 von Mildenstein visited British Mandatory Palestine and met with local Jews. His signature was recently discovered in a Jerusalem guestbook.

Mildenstein had been a supporter and an advocate for the relocation of Jews to the British Mandate up to 1936. He was replaced by Adolf Eichmann, who eventually helped orchestrate the mass-murder of Jews as the “final solution.”

While at the Jewish affairs Department, Eichmann was assigned to study and prepare reports on the Zionist movement and various Jewish organisations. He even learned some Hebrew and Yiddish, gaining a reputation as a specialist in Zionist and Jewish matters.

So much has already been written about the crimes of Eichmann, I couldn’t possibly add anything to that story.

On May 23, 1960, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announced to the world that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann had been captured and would stand trial in Israel. He was seized by Israeli agents in Argentina on May 11 and smuggled to Israel nine days later.

Eichmann had escaped to Argentina using the alias Ricardo Klement.

Juan Perón’s government had provided refuge for thousands of German and Croat war criminals. U.S. military intelligence reports indicated that Argentina and Germany began making arrangements to transport Nazis to Argentina as early as 1944. That year, reports accused Argentina of selling fake passports to Germans through their embassy in Lisbon and the Spanish government of providing stopover points for planes flying from Germany to Argentina. Air traffic between the two countries continued even after U.S. pressure forced Perón to declare war on the Axis in March 1945.

The one thing what amazes me though is that until the very end Eichmann could not see, or could not admit that he had anything wrong. He had written a latter in which he wrote “I was not a responsible leader, and as such do not feel myself guilty.”

Eichmann was hanged at a prison in Ramla hours later. The hanging, had been scheduled for midnight at the end of 31 May, but was slightly delayed and therefore took place a few minutes past midnight on 1 June 1962. The execution was attended by a small group of officials, four journalists and the Canadian clergyman William Lovell Hull, who had been Eichmann’s spiritual counselor while in prison. His last words were reported to be

“Long live Germany. Long live Argentina. Long live Austria. These are the three countries with which I have been most connected and which I will not forget. I greet my wife, my family and my friends. I am ready. We’ll meet again soon, as is the fate of all men. I die believing in God.”

Within hours after the execution he was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Mediterranean Sea, outside Israeli territorial waters, by an Israeli Navy patrol boat.

sources

https://www.timesofisrael.com/when-a-nazi-toured-the-holy-land-to-find-a-solution-for-the-jewish-problem/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/28/adolf-eichmann-final-message-architects-holocaust-evil

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Adolf-Eichmann

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/eichmann-trial?parent=en%2F10832

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Eichmann#Early_life_and_education

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/144-peron-and-the-nazi-war-criminals

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The 1943 German law that denies justice to be done.

Justice

In 1943 a law was passed in Germany which gave all foreign Waffen SS members the German nationality by default.

This law still prevents extradition of WWII War criminals to be extradited to their native countries, because these men have the German nationality , and Germany does not extradite it’s own citizens.

These are just 2 examples of Dutch war criminals who received no or very little punishment for the crimes they committed during WWII.

Herbertus Bikker AKA The Butcher of Ommen

bIKKER

Herbertus Bikker was a Dutch war criminal. He was a member of the Waffen-SS. He served as a guard at the concentration  Erika near Ommen, in the Netherlands. His brutal treatment of the prisoners earned him his nickname ‘the Butcher of Ommen’

Bikker is the alleged murderer of Dutch resistance fighter Jan Houtman [nl] who was killed, twenty-seven years old, on 17 November 1944.

Following the end of World War II, he was sentenced to death by a Dutch court.  he managed to escape from prison in Breda on 26 December 1952 and fled to Germany, crossing the border at Ubbergen near Cleves. He settledd down in the city of Hagen, where he livedundetected until 1995. Following the law from 1943, foreign members of the Waffen-SS automatically received German nationality. Germany does not extradite its own nationals.

Although he was not extradited he was taken to court in Germany, . Bikker’s managed  to evade any jail time  to claim diminished responsibility due to illness.Following a breakdown and fainting in court,  neurologists advised against Bikker standing trial tHE Court was adjourned on 2 February 2004.

Bikker lived in Hagen as a pensioner until his death on 1 November 2008  which was only announced in 2009.

Siert Bruns AKA the Beast of Appingedam.

Siert

Siert Bruins was a a member of the Dutch Nazi party NSB. During the war he and his brother both joined the Waffen SS and fought at the eastern front.

Siert got wounded  at the front and  returned to the Netherlands where he  became a member of the SD. He was active around Delfzijl hunting members of the resistance.

He was sentenced to death in absentia by a Dutch court in 1949 for the murder of Dutch farmer and resistance member Aldert Klaas Dijkema. The German government refused to extradite him to the Netherlands. The death sentence was later revised to a life sentence.

In 1978, Bruins was tracked  down by Simon Wiesenthal in the German town Altenbreckerfeld. He was arrested and put on trial in Germany, in 1980, where he was found guilty for the murder of two Jewish brothers, Meijer en Lazarus Sleutelberg.He spent 5 years in jail for those murders.

In 2003, the Dutch minister Donner tried to convince the German authorities to send Bruins to the Netherlands, but without success

He went on trial again, in the western city of Hagen in September 2013 for the murder of Aldert Klaas Dijkema, in September 1944 in Appingedam near the German-Dutch border.However, the case was dropped when judges said there was insufficient evidence to proceed, partly because there were no witnesses left alive.

Bruins died on September 28,2015 aged 94.

 

These were only 2 examples but there are still dozens of so called German citizens who are walking around as free men.

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Sources

BBC

Dutch News.nl

Dutch Wikipedia

Trial International

 

 

 

The Milgram experiment

milgram

One question that puzzles many people around the world is how was it possible that a sophisticated nation like Germany could be responsible for something is horrific as the Holocaust?

The scary and the brutal reality is that is was extremely easy. Another reality is that this could have happened anywhere else.

Someone once told me that it must have taken decades to turn people from law abiding citizens to either monsters or bystanders. I told her that it doesn’t take decades to condition people to commit evil, it only takes a few days.

Prime examples are the third wave experiment ,conducted by California high school history teacher Ron Jones to explain Nazi Germany. Another example is the Stanford prison experiment, conducted by a psychology study group led by Dr.Philip Zimbardo, at Stanford University. The  experiment attempted to investigate the psychological effects of perceived power, focusing on the struggle between prisoners and prison officers.

Both experiments had to be abandoned after less then a week because they basically had become to successful. The key was the aforementioned law abiding citizens, fact is that people follow authority do what they are told and when this happens without any critical thinking or asking questions it is extremely easy to create a genocide.

The 2 experiments mentioned above both had students mistreating other students and even though it created  groups that perceived themselves superior to their fellow students which led to some skirmishes , there was relatively little violence.

The Milgram experiment however went a step further.

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Inspired by defense testimonies during the Nuremberg trials and especially the Adolf Eichmann trial, where it was claimed that ‘they were merely following orders” Stanley Milgram wanted to see how far people would go in obeying an instruction if it involved harming another person, and he was was interested to see how easily ordinary people could be influenced into committing atrocities.

eichmann

 

Three men took part in each session of the experiment:

  • The “experimenter”
  • The “teacher”
  • The “learner”,

 

At the start of the experiment, they were introduced to another participant, who was a confederate of the experimenter (Milgram).

They drew straws to determine their roles – learner or teacher – however this was fixed and the confederate was always the learner. There was also an “experimenter” dressed in a gray lab coat, played by an actor (not Milgram).

In total there  were 40 male participants , aged between 20 and 50, whose jobs ranged from unskilled to professional, from the New Haven area.They would all be paid $4 an hour + 50 cents car fare.

Two participants (one actor) were separated in two rooms where they could only hear each other.

The test subject then read a series of questions to the actor. Each time the actor would answer a question incorrectly, the test subject would push a button that administered an electric shock to the actor(In reality, there were no shocks)with shock levels starting at 30 volts and increasing in 15-volt increments all the way up to 450 volts.

shock

Although many of the test subjects expressed a desire to stop the experiment at the first signs of screams, nearly every single one continued to push the button when they were told they would not personally be held responsible for any consequences.

65%  of the participants (i.e., teachers) continued to the highest level of 450 volts. All the participants continued to 300 volts.

The experiment did show that tend to obey orders from other people if they recognize their authority as morally right and/or as legally based.

Killing human beings though has a complete different mindset, however these experiments do show how easy it is for people to become complacent and even complicit in unspeakable crimes if it is ordered by an authoritative body whose morals  motives aren’t questioned but just assumed to be right.

milgranm 2

 

The inconvenient truth is that despite all historical evidence,genocides still happen, not to the same scale as the Holocaust, but genocides are still a reality in the 21st century.

genocide

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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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Sources

Simplypsychology.org

verywellmind.com

 

 

Planet Auschwitz

auschwitz-tour-krakow-tours-travelme-tailor-made-tours1

I was listening to some of  the testimonies of the Eichmann trials yesterday, and I think they actually had a physical effect on me.

I woke up this morning feeling a bit sick and for some reason the little toe on my right foot was paralyzed, this has never happened to me before. It is one thing seeing the evidence but listening to victims who lived through it has a much bigger impact.

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I cannot listen to or read all the testimonies again because I don’t know how it will impact me, but I will post an excerpt of one statement which stuck with me because although it tells something horrible it has a poetic feel to it.

It was the testimony of Yehiel Dinur. who referred to Auschwitz as Planet Auschwitz.Below is an excerpt of his testimony, after the prosecutor showed him a garb from Auschwitz.

jacket

This is the garb of the planet called Auschwitz. And I believe with perfect faith that I have to continue to bear this name so long as the world has not been aroused after this crucifixion of a nation, to wipe out this evil, in the same way as humanity was aroused after the crucifixion of one man. I believe with perfect faith that, just as in astrology the stars influence our destiny, so does this planet of the ashes, Auschwitz, stand in opposition to our planet earth, and influences it.

If I am able to stand before you today and relate the events within that planet, if I, a fall-out of that planet, am able to be here at this time, then I believe with perfect faith that this is due to the oath I sworn to them there. They gave me this strength. This oath was the armour with which I acquired the supernatural power, so that I should be able, after time – the time of Auschwitz – the two years when I was a Musselman, to overcome it. For they left me, they always left me, they were parted from me, and this oath always appeared in the look of their eyes.

For close on two years they kept on taking leave of me and they always left me behind. I see them, they are staring at me, I see them, I saw them standing in the queue…

auschwitz

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