A protester’s sign reads, “Xenophobia is not an alternative,” during a protest outside an election night event of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in Berlin after the general election on September 24, 2017. (AFP Photo/ John Macdougall)
Nationalist AfD party vows to ‘change country’ after winning 13% of vote, becoming first extreme right party to enter parliament since World War II
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) on Sunday, breaking a taboo, became the first hard-right, openly anti-immigration party to win dozens of seats in parliament since World War II, despite mainstream politicians’ calls to halt “the Nazis” in their tracks and sparking concern from Jewish groups and others.
Exit polls credited the AfD with around 13 percent of the vote, making it the third-largest political force in Germany — a stunning result for a party that was founded just four years ago.
“We will change this country,” vowed Alexander Gauland, one of the party’s top two candidates, pledging to “go after” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.
Members of the nationalist German AfD, ‘Alternative for Germany’, celebrate during the election party in Berlin, Germany, September 24, 2017, after the polling stations for the German parliament elections had been closed. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Having already won seats in 13 of 16 state parliaments, the AfD will now send dozens of lawmakers to the Bundestag opposition benches, giving them a platform to spread their views, including challenging Germany’s culture of atonement over World War II and the massacre of six million Jews and others in the Holocaust.
Almost immediately after the exit polls were released, several major Jewish groups expressed alarm and dismay at the anti-migrant party’s rise.
German Central Council of Jews President Josef Schuster said the AfD “tolerates far-right thoughts and agitates against minorities.”
He said he expects Germany’s other parties will “reveal the true face of the AfD and unmask their empty, populist promises.”
Charlotte Knobloch, head of Munich’s Jewish community and commissioner for Holocaust memory at the World Jewish Congress (courtesy)
Charlotte Knobloch, chairwoman of the Munich Jewish community and a former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, described the strong AfD showing as a “nightmare come true.”
“I am greatly concerned about democracy in our country,” she said. “This result is a nightmare come true, a historical change. For the first time [since the end of the Second World War], an extreme-right party will be strongly represented in parliament.”
The head of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, congratulated Merkel on securing a fourth term, calling her a “true friend of Israel and the Jewish people.”
But he denounced the AfD as “a disgraceful reactionary movement which recalls the worst of Germany’s past.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it had no immediate comment on the election results.
After the results were announced, the AfD promised that it would make it a priority to launch a parliamentary probe against Merkel over her decision to let in a million asylum seekers since 2015.
Among the AfD remarks condemned by Jewish groups was co-leader Alexander Gauland’s recent statement that no other country has faced up to past crimes the way Germany has and that the Nazi years “today don’t affect our identity anymore.”
The International Auschwitz Committee warned that the “conglomerate of anti-Semites, enemies of democracy and nationalistic agitators” will bring “an inhuman coldness” to the glass-domed chamber of the Reichstag building.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily called the election “a watershed in the federal republic’s history, comparable to the first vote of a unified Germany in 1990, although that case was a welcome event.”
“For the first time in more than 50 years, a nationalist, extreme-right, broadly racist party will sit in the Bundestag… That is sad, shameful and will change the climate in the country,” the paper’s lead editorial read.
‘Bikinis, not burkas’
The AfD began life as an anti-euro protest party but then shifted focus to capitalize on misgivings over the record one million asylum seekers who have arrived in Germany since 2015.
Its tone turned increasingly extreme in the last stretch of election campaigning, with one of its two leading candidates saying Germany should be proud of its war veterans and claiming that terror was grounded in Islam.
Provocative posters declared “Burkas? We prefer bikinis” and “New Germans? Let’s make them ourselves.”
Its supporters heckled Merkel’s rallies across the country, jeering, whistling and chanting, “Get lost” in attempts to drown her out.
A vandalized Alternative for Germany party campaign poster, in Berlin on September 21, 2017. (AFP Photo/John Macdougall)
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, a Social Democrat, has warned that “for the first time since the end of the second World War, real Nazis will sit in the German parliament.” The Greens party has used the same term.
Merkel, more cautiously, urged voters to choose “the parties that are 100% loyal to our constitution.”
The AfD will be a pariah in the Bundestag, as all mainstream parties have said they won’t work with it, but the party could still be vocally disruptive from the opposition benches.
‘Le Pen pales in comparison’
A commentator in the Spiegel weekly blamed Merkel for the rise of the AfD, saying she should be voted out simply for failing to stop “the Nazis from entering the Bundestag” on her watch.
Critics say widening social inequality, despite record employment, is also playing into the hands of AfD populists, who are most popular in the de-industrialized heartlands of the former communist east.
Head of the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany, or AfD, Frauke Petry casts her vote in the German parliament election at a polling station in Leipzig, eastern Germany, September 24, 2017. (Sebastian Willnow/dpa via AP)
Thorsten Benner, director of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, said the AfD’s rise shows that “Germany is not so different from other European countries, where there are strong right-wing populist forces.”
“Our population is no more virtuous than the French population,” he noted, saying that even France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen “pales in comparison.”
The party “will challenge key themes” in parliament, he said, pointing to Germany’s culture of wartime remembrance and debate on cultural identity.
Gauland recently called for Germans to stop atoning for the past.
He also said integration commissioner Aydan Ozoguz should be “disposed of in Anatolia,” suggesting she would never be German because of her Turkish origin.
The presence of the AfD “will very much change the tone of debate in parliament,” Benner warned.
But Manfred Guellner, who heads the opinion poll institute Forsa, predicted that the AfD will self-destruct in the Bundestag.
“The AfD will disintegrate because that’s what happens to sectarian groups from the right,” he told Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung.
In this compelling documentary, the life of SS officer Heinrich Himmler unfolds through film footage and the letters he wrote during the war.. (photo credit:PR)
The National Library has uncovered a telegram written by Heinrich Himmler and sent to Mufti al-Husseini, in which the Nazi leader expressed his support for the Arabs of Palestine.
Germany will stand firmly by the Arabs of Palestine in their fight against the “criminal” Balfour Declaration, was the main message conveyed in the telegram that was recently uncovered in the archives of Israel’s National Library. The rare document, which the library assesses dates back to 1943, was written by infamous SS commander Heinrich Himmler and sent to Haj Amin al-Husseini, who served as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem between 1921 to 1937.
The Nazi commander, who was one of the main masterminds behind the ‘Final Solution’ (the Nazi regime’s term for their plan to exterminate all of Europe’s Jews), wrote to the Muslim leader that “the joint recognition of the enemy, and the joint battle against him are what creates the firm allegiance between Germany and freedom-seeking Muslims all over the world.”
Himmler went on to tell the Mufti, who presided over the Palestinian territories during a particularly tumultuous period for the British Mandate ruling in the area, that his country was closely following the Palestinian resistance against the Balfour Declaration (the historic British document penned by Arthur James Balfour, the UK’s Foreign Secretary at the time, which openly supported “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”)
“The National-Socialist movement of the great Germany has made its fight against world Jewry a guiding principle since its very beginning,” Himmler wrote. “For that reason it [the movement] has been closely following the battle of freedom-seeking Arabs- and especially in Palestine- against the Jewish invaders,” the Nazi leader added.
He finished his warm letter to the Mufti by writing: “In this spirit, I am happy to wish you on the first anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, warm wishes for the continuation of your battle until the big victory.”
This newly revealed document sheds more light on the strong connections historians have affirmed before between the Mufti and the top hierarchy of the Nazi regime. In 1937, the British Mandate sought to arrest al-Husseini due to his involvement in the Arab uprising. The Mufti fled to Lebanon and from there to Iraq, where he joined a pro-Nazi group that rebelled against the Iraqi regime and carried out a military coup in April 1941. When the coup failed, al-Husseini escaped to Nazi Germany, arriving in Berlin in November 1941.
Upon witnessing Nazi Germany’s streak of victories at the time, the Mufti decided that he had to gain the close support of Nazi Germany’s leader Adolf Hitler. Al-Huseeini and the Fuhrer’s 90-minutes-long meeting was especially cordial, with the Mufti presenting himself to Hitler not just as leader of the national Palestinian movement but also as the leader of all Arabs and the representative of Muslims worldwide, in an attempt to convince the Nazi leader of the natural allegiance he shared with Germany.
(For the embedded video go to Source)
However, historians have stressed in the 72 years that have lapsed since the Holocaust that Mufti al-Husseini’s main objective in pushing for the meeting at the time was to ensure that European Jews would not flee in droves to Palestine as they tried to escape death at the hands of the Nazis.
Despite the firm bond that the Mufti succeeded to forge with the German leadership, many believe that he failed to achieve most of his diplomatic goals. Dr. Esther Webman, an historian from the Tel Aviv University, says that “at the end of the day, the Mufti failed in achieving the majority of his goals: Nazi Germany didn’t declare its support of Arab independence and the Nazi leadership used him to realize its own goals.”
“His attempt to incite Middle Eastern Arabs against the colonial authorities during WWII didn’t succeed either,” Dr. Webman added. “His only significant accomplishment was his success in preventing a number of cases of Jews leaving for Palestine during the war.”
As most of the Nazi leadership was quick to eliminate all evidence of its participation in the horrors executed during World War II, any new documents written by high-ranking officials in the regime serve as a welcome insight into the depths of the dark and atrocious mechanisms of a regime that has left a tragic mark on world history.
As recently as August 2016, more documents written by Himmler were revealed. The Nazi leader’s office diaries, which were believed to have been lost for 71 years, were found at the archives of the Russian military and contained gory descriptions of the Nazi leader’s first-hand experiences during his visits to the extermination camps he oversaw and in which approximately six million Jews had perished.
While Israeli officials have yet to comment on the contents of the telegram that has recently emerged, many are looking forward to hear the reaction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who sparked controversy in October 2015 when he claimed during a speech he made at the 37th World Zionist Congress that Hitler did not intend to exterminate all Jews, but rather to expel them. Netanyahu further claimed that the Fuhrer was inspired to massacre all of Europe’s Jews only after he convened with Mufti al-Husseini, who, as aforementioned, was afraid to face a wave of Jewish immigration to Palestine.
It remains to be seen how this new and significant finding will impact the historic narrative regarding Jewish history and the Palestinian-German diplomatic maneuvers in the years prior to the establishment of the Jewish state.
Hitler’s ‘final solution’ was to throw all the jews out of Europe, as happened already at least a 100 times before, and get them settled in Madagascar, where there was enough space. He didn’t want them to go to Palestine which was already crowded with people. But the jews and their stupid fairytale book ‘the bible’ forced the world to give them Palestine. No document of any ‘extermination plan’ has ever been found.
Mr.\Winston Churchill last night called for the creation of a World super-government, with Russia as one of its pillars.
“Once again the path of duty is the path alike of safety and sorrow.”
By John Wear, August 10, 2017
Successful Guilt Campaign in Germany
Upon Germany’s unconditional surrender in May 1945, the Allies initiated a highly successful campaign to brainwash Germans and make them feel guilty about their actions during World War II. The Allied perpetual campaign of negative publicity has prevented an objective analysis of Germany’s involvement in the war. The fact that the Allies forced Germany into World War II has been almost totally removed from public discussion.
Friedrich Grimm, a renowned German authority on international law, was shown samples of new leaflets printed soon after the war in German to be distributed by the Allies throughout Germany. Describing German war crimes, the leaflets were the first step in the reeducation program designed for Germany. Grimm suggested to an Allied officer that since the war was over, it was time to stop the libel. The Allied officer replied:
Why no, we’re just getting started. We’ll continue this atrocity campaign, we’ll increase it till no one will want to hear a good word about the Germans anymore, till whatever sympathy there is for you in other countries is completely destroyed, and until the Germans themselves become so mixed up they won’t know what they’re doing!
Guilt pervades Germany as a result of the Allied propaganda campaign. German guilt is so powerful that it has caused the German government to make enormous reparations and offer humble apologies to the Allies, while ignoring the atrocities committed by the Allies against the German people after the war. Millions of German expellees have paid reparations to survivors of the German concentration camps even though these German expellees had their land and personal possessions stolen from them. German schoolchildren are repeatedly taught about crimes committed by National Socialist Germany, with little or nothing ever taught about their ancestors’ tragic sufferings after the war.
German children are taught from early childhood to view the Third Reich as solely bad, wrong, criminal and despicable. In the spring of 2001, Anna Rau, the 17-year-old daughter of German president Johannes Rau, was interviewed by a German TV station. Anna Rau discussed what was taught in school about history:
As to the question what we are learning in school when history is taught, I can answer simply with the term National Socialism. Nothing else seems to matter. Everything about the Second World War really gets on my nerves. It is always the same. They start with Hitler, then we talk about Anne Frank, and on the day when we should take a walk in the forest, we have to go and see the movie Schindler’s List instead. And this continues when we go to church where in place of learning our religious confirmation instructions we are taught more about the “Holocaust.” The final result is obviously that we just don’t want to hear about that stuff anymore. It drains us emotionally, and eventually leads to callousness.
Most people have heard of the National Socialist book burning. It happened on May 10, 1933, when mostly pornographic and anti-German literature was publicly set afire. Few people realize that the Allies removed and then destroyed no fewer than 34,645 titles of books and brochures from German libraries and bookstores after they conquered Germany. This is many times more books destroyed by the Allies than were destroyed by National Socialist Germany. Even today books doubting the Holocaust story can lead to a house search and confiscation of the incriminating literature, with fines and jail time meted out to the owner of the books.
It is against the law in present-day Germany to praise the Third Reich in any form or manner. The showing of a swastika is a criminal offense in Germany. German National Socialists who acted admirably during World War II cannot be praised, and many honorable Germans have had their graves desecrated.
Rudolf Hess, for example, was not allowed to stay buried in his chosen Bavarian town of Wunsiedel. Hess, who died in Spandau prison on Aug. 17, 1987, took the risk of flying to Scotland to negotiate peace with Great Britain. The town of Wunsiedel became the scene of pilgrimages for people who wanted to honor Hess for his courageous effort. On July 20, 2011, Hess’s grave was reopened and his remains were exhumed and then cremated. His ashes were scattered at sea, and his gravestone which bore the epitaph “I took the risk” was destroyed.
Mass Murder of the German People
The Allied postwar treatment of Germany probably resulted in more German deaths than occurred during the Second World War. While the exact number of casualties will never be known, the number of German military and civilian deaths during World War II is probably at most 6.5 million. The total number of German postwar deaths from 1945 to 1950 almost certainly exceeds this figure.
The Allies were able to conceal their murderous policies toward the Germans since they controlled everything of consequence in Germany. The statistics of German deaths after the war were all under the control of the Allies. There was no independent German government to dispute the Allied figures. The U.S. Military Governor reports were designed to reflect favorably on the Allied postwar treatment of Germany, and have been widely used ever since to determine our view of Germany’s postwar history. These reports showed figures indicating no large number of Germans died either among the expellees or among the resident Germans of the three Western zones from 1945 to 1950.
German deaths after the war can be divided into three groups of people. The first group is the German POWs in both Europe and the Soviet Union. The second group is the German expellees, and the third group is the Germans already residing in Germany. While no one will ever know how many Germans died from 1945 to 1950, it is certain that the deaths far exceed most traditional estimates. The great majority of these deaths were caused by the lethal policies imposed by the Allies on Germany after the war.
A conservative estimate of German deaths in the Allied POW camps is 1.5 million. This includes over 517,000 POW deaths in the Soviet Union, 100,000 POW deaths in Yugoslavia, Poland and other countries, with the remaining POW deaths in U.S. and French camps. The Germans who died in these Allied POW camps suffered miserably from exposure, disease, and slow starvation. This well-documented Allied atrocity is still denied by most historians today.
Probably a minimum of 2.1 million German expellees died in what was supposed to be an “orderly and humane” transfer. The estimate of 2.1 million German expellee deaths is acknowledged to be valid by most traditional historians. Notable authorities have estimated a much higher number of German expellee deaths. For example, Konrad Adenauer, the first Chancellor of West Germany, estimated that 6 million German expellees died. Adenauer states:
According to American figures a total of 13.3 million Germans were expelled from the Eastern parts of Germany, from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and so on. 7.3 million [German expellees] arrived in the Eastern zone and the three Western zones, most of these in the latter. Six million Germans have vanished from the earth. They are dead, gone. Most of the 7.3 million who stayed alive are women, children, and old people.
An estimated 5.7 million Germans already residing in Germany died from the starvation policies implemented by the Allies. James Bacque details how this 5.7 million death total is calculated:
The population of all occupied Germany in October 1946 was 65 million according to the census prepared under the ACC. The returning prisoners who were added to the population in the period October 1946-September 1950 numbered 2,600,000 (rounded), according to records in the archives of the four principal Allies. Births according to the official German statistical agency, Statistisches Bundesamt, added another 4,176,430 newcomers to Germany. The expellees arriving totaled 6 million. Thus the total population in 1950 before losses would have been 77,776,430, according to the Allies themselves. Deaths officially recorded in the period 1946-50 were 3,235,539, according to the UN Yearbook and the German government. Emigration was about 600,000, according to the German government. Thus the population found should have been 73,940,891. But the census of 1950 done by the German government under Allied supervision found only 68,230,796. There was a shortage of 5,710,095 people, according to the official Allied figures (rounded to 5,700,000).
Bacque’s calculations have been confirmed by Dr. Anthony B. Miller, who is a world-famous epidemiologist and Head of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics at the University of Toronto. Miller read the whole work, including the documents, and checked the statistics, which he says “confirms the validity of [Bacque’s] calculations…” Miller states:
These deaths appear to have resulted, directly or indirectly, from the semi-starvation food rations that were all that were available to the majority of the German population during this time period.
The sum of 1.5 million German POWs, 2.1 million German expellees, and 5.7 million German residents equals the minimum estimate of 9.3 million Germans who died needlessly after the war. This is far more Germans than died during the Second World War. Millions of these Germans slowly starved to death while the Allies withheld available food. The majority of these postwar dead Germans were women, children and very old men. Their deaths have never been honestly reported by the Allies, the German government, or most historians.
The German dead do not tell the entire story of the genocide that was inflicted on Germany after World War II. Millions of German women who had been repeatedly raped had to bear the physical and psychological scars for the rest of their lives. Millions of German expellees who lost all of their real estate and most of their personal property were never compensated by the Allies. Instead, they had to live in abject poverty in Germany after the expulsion from their homes. Millions of other Germans had their property stolen or destroyed by Allied soldiers. The Allied postwar treatment of Germany is surely one of the most brutal, criminal, and unreported atrocities in world history.
The word “genocide” has been used repeatedly in the media and in history books to describe the treatment of Jews by National Socialist Germany during World War II. Raphael Lemkin’s invented word “genocide” more appropriately applies to the Allied treatment of the German people after the end of World War II.
 Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 263.
 Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 175-177.
 Schmidt, Hans, Hitler Boys in America: Re-Education Exposed, Pensacola, FL: Hans Schmidt Publications, 2003, pp. 261-262.
 Ibid., pp. 47-48.
 Ibid., p. 261.
 BBC News Europe, July 21, 2011.
 Bessel, Richard, Germany 1945: From War to Peace, London: Harper Perennial, 2010, p. 388.
 Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 107-109.
 Ibid., p. 124.
 Adenauer, Konrad, Memoirs, 1945-1953, translated by Beate Ruhm von Oppen, Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1966, p. 148.
 Bacque, James, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950, 2nd edition, Vancouver, British Columbia: Talonbooks, 2007, pp. 115-116.
 Ibid., pp. xvii-xviii.
By John Wear, August 9, 2017
Invention of the Word Genocide
The word “genocide” was first used in 1944 by the Polish Jew Raphael Lemkin in his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. Lemkin states in regard to his invented word “genocide”: “By ‘genocide’ we mean the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group. This new word, coined by the author to denote an old practice in its modern development, is made from the ancient Greek word genos (race, tribe) and the Latin cide (killing), thus corresponding in its formation to such words as tyrannicide, homocide [sic], infanticide, etc.”
Most people today use this narrow definition and define the word “genocide” as the deliberate destruction of national, racial, religious or ethnic groups. However, Lemkin intended the word “genocide” to have a much broader meaning. Lemkin states:
“Genocide has two phases: one, destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor.”
Raphael Lemkin’s invented word “genocide” received spectacular mileage at the Nuremberg trials.
Historian James J. Martin states:
Its use by both the principal British figures of the prosecution, Maxwell-Fyfe and Sir Hartley Shawcross, the Attorney General of Great Britain, to castigate the Nuremberg defendants collectively, was more than Lemkin expected.
In this article I will show that Raphael Lemkin’s new word “genocide” also appropriately applies to the Allied treatment of the German people after World War II.
Denazification of Germans
Denazification was an Allied program instigated after the war to punish National Socialist party members and to remove them from public and semi-public office. Hypocritically disregarding the horrendous crimes they committed against the Germans, the Allies determined that the National Socialist party was so criminal that it had to be extinguished.
German leaders in all walks of life had found it necessary or expedient to join the National Socialist party or one or more of its affiliated organizations once it took control of Germany. Membership in the National Socialist party expanded rapidly immediately preceding and during the war. Party and nation became so closely identified during the war that to join was to display patriotism; to refuse membership was to invite penalization for disloyalty. The Allied program of denazification set out to ruin the lives of millions of Germans simply because the Allies thought that Germans who joined the National Socialist party had made a political mistake.
The denazification decrees authorized in the Potsdam Agreement were inconsistent with the Potsdam declaration that
discrimination on the grounds of…political opinion shall be abolished.
Potsdam permanently dissolved the National Socialist party and its affiliated organizations and institutions. The Potsdam Agreement commanded that
Nazi leaders, influential Nazi supporters and high officials of Nazi organizations and institutions…shall be arrested and interned
and that all lesser Nazis
shall be removed from public and semi-public office and former positions of responsibility in private undertakings.
The chief instrument of denazification was a 12-page questionnaire consisting of 133 questions. As many as 13 million of these questionnaires were printed and handed out either to Germans with questionable pasts or to those seeking employment. While many of the Germans found the questions absurd and comical, the questionnaire still had to be properly completed and returned before a German could return to normal life. A German had to properly complete the form with its “sometimes stupid questions” in order to survive. Otherwise he was out of work and deprived of ration tickets. If he was not careful, he could also be arrested and declared a war criminal.
The Americans were hell-bent on purging National Socialist party members from German politics. The Americans led the way with denazification, trying 169,282 cases, while the Russians and French tried a total of 18,328 and 17,353 cases, respectively. The British showed less interest in denazification, trying only 2,296 cases in their zone. The Allied denazification process was flawed because there were too many cases and the witnesses were unreliable. The witnesses knew they would be under the microscope themselves, so the most important thing for them was to deny any wrongdoing on their part.
The high number of arrests and tough denazification policy created serious obstacles for the smooth running of postwar Germany. As one American major reported in July 1945,
great difficulty has been encountered in finding competent and politically clean personnel from Civil Administration.
Wholesale dismissals as a result of denazification made it difficult for cities and towns throughout Germany to carry on business in an orderly manner. The gaps left by the dismissals were particularly large in the German public school system. In the American zone 65% of all primary school teachers were removed, and most of the remaining teachers were approaching retirement.
The many problems that arose as a result of the denazification process caused Gen. George Patton, at that point Military Governor of Bavaria, to call for a less rigorous approach. He claimed that trained staff were being removed from their administrative posts and replaced with less experienced and less capable personnel. Patton asserted:
“It is no more possible for a man to be a civil servant in Germany and not to have paid lip service to Nazism than it is for a man to be a postmaster in America and not have paid at least lip service to the Democratic Party or Republican Party when it is in power.
Patton was transferred after his views surfaced in the New York Times. Gen. Eisenhower stuck to a tough denazification program.
For millions of Germans the worst part of the denazification process came after the questionnaire had been completed. After reviewing the questionnaire, Allied intelligence officers would frequently visit German homes for additional examinations and interrogations. Many of these intelligence officers were Jewish refugees who had fled Nazi persecution in the late 1930s with old scores to settle. The additional interrogations were often structured to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible, and often resulted in internment or even death.
The interrogations in the Russian zone were typically brutal and inhumane. A German physician reports his experience of the interrogations at a Russian camp:
The cellars of all the barracks are crammed with people, about four thousand men and women, many of whom are interrogated every night by the NKVD officials. The purpose of these interrogations is not to worm out of the people what they knew—which would be uninteresting anyway—but to extort from them special statements. The methods resorted to are extremely primitive: people are beaten up until they confess to having been members of the Nazi Party. But the result is almost the opposite of what most of the people probably expect, that is, that those who hadn’t been party members would come off better. The authorities simply assume that, basically, everybody has belonged to the Party. Many people die during and after these interrogations, while others, who admit at once their party membership, are treated more leniently.
Even well-known anti-Nazis such as Freddy and Lali Horstmann encountered problems in the Russian zone. Lali records that after the war Russian officers unexpectedly visited their home and searched its contents. Her husband Freddy was taken to the headquarters of the NKVD to be asked a few questions about his work in the Foreign Office. Lali was told that she could not accompany her husband to the interrogation. The officers repeatedly told Lali that she had nothing to fear. Lali states that she never saw her husband again.
Many Germans also reported abuse in the American zone. Ernst von Salomon was arrested and thrown into an internment camp north of Munich with his Jewish girl friend and other prisoners. The men were promptly beaten and the women raped by the military police while an excited audience of American GIs watched through the window. Von Salomon had his teeth knocked out during his beating. When he picked himself off the floor, his face pouring with blood, von Salomon gasped to an officer,
You are no gentleman.
The attackers roared with laughter at this remark.
No, no, no! We are Mississippi boys!
the officer proudly responded.
Von Salomon was imprisoned for 18 months in the camp without any charge against him or any interrogation being conducted. When he was finally released he was so emaciated that he looked like a skeleton. Other inmates have confirmed von Salomon’s description of the American internment camps. For example, Karl Blessing, later President of the Bundesbank, reported that he had been treated in exactly the same way.
While denazification efforts were less stringent in the British zone, the British issued directives to their soldiers to keep Germans in their place. One postwar pamphlet issued to British troops reads:
Do play your part as a representative of a conquering power and keep the Germans in their place. Give orders—don’t beg the question. Display cold, correct, dignified curtness and aloofness. Don’t try to be kind—it will be regarded as weakness. Drop heavily on any attempt to take charge or other forms of insolence. Don’t be too ready to listen to stories from attractive women—they may be acting under orders. Don’t show any aversion to another war if Germany does not learn her lesson this time.
The Jewish Brigade, which was part of the British Eighth Army, also murdered many disarmed and defenseless German officers as part of the Allied denazification program. The Jewish Brigade followed behind the British army and killed senior German officers who were typically not guilty of anything except having served in defense of their country. Morris Beckman states in his book The Jewish Brigade:
These were the first post-war executions of selected top Nazis. There were several dozen revenge squads operating; the highest estimate of executions was 1,500. The exact figure will never be known.