Historical Revisionism

Faces of Holocaust victims projected on Prague synagogue

PRAGUE — Prague’s Jewish Museum has launched a new project to honor the victims of the Holocaust.

Starting on Monday, the faces of some Czech Jews who were killed by the Nazis during World War II are being projected on the outer wall of a Jewish bath at the Pinkas Synagogue after it gets dark.

The synagogue’s inside walls bear the names of almost 80,000 victims.

Jana Splichalova from the museum’s department of Shoah history says that “our goal was to give a name a face.”

Monday’s projection included the faces of 52 people screened repeatedly in a five-minute loop.

The museum has received thousands of photos and other personal belongings from the relatives and contemporaries and will gradually add more photo loops.

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Mark Weber: The Legacy of Rudolf Hess

On the evening of May 10, 1941, the Deputy Führer of the Third Reich set out on a secret mission that was to be his last and most important.

Under cover of darkness, Rudolf Hess took off in an unarmed Messerschmidt 110 fighter-bomber from an Augsburg airfield and headed across the North Sea toward Britain.

His plan was to negotiate peace between Germany and Britain. Four hours later, after successfully evading British anti-aircraft fire and a pursuing Spitfire, Hess parachuted, for the first time in his life, and sprained his ankle landing in a Scottish farm field. An astonished farmer found the injured pilot and turned him over to the local Home Guard unit. [1]

Winston Churchill promptly rejected Hess’ peace offer and jailed him as a prisoner of war, even though he had arrived unarmed and of his own free will. Rudolf Hess, ambassador of peace, was to remain a prisoner until his death in August 1987 at the age of 93.

For many, the passing of the one-time Deputy Führer and last surviving member of Hitler’s inner circle simply marked the welcome end of a terrible era. But his true legacy is something far different. He spent 46 years — half his life — behind bars, a victim of a cruel victor’s justice. More than any other man, Rudolf Hess symbolizes the vindictiveness and hypocrisy of the Nuremberg Tribunal.

The Mission

Hess was deeply shaken by Britain’s declaration of war against Germany in September 1939. With Hitler’s approval, he began a secret effort a few months later to negotiate a peace agreement between the two “fraternal Germanic nations” through British officials in neutral Portugal and Switzerland. [2] When the endeavor failed, Hess began preparations for his flight to Britain, an unquestionably sincere if perhaps naive effort to end war between his beloved homeland and a nation he greatly admired.

“My coming to England in this way is, as I realize, so unusual that nobody will easily understand it,” Hess told a British official a few weeks after the flight. “I was confronted by a very hard decision. I do not think I could have arrived at my final choice [to fly to Britain] unless I had continually kept before my eyes the vision of an endless line of children’s coffins with weeping mothers behind them, both English and German, and another line of coffins of mothers with mourning children.” [3]

Though there was little chance that Hess’ mission could have succeeded, some aspects of his flight and its aftermath remain unclear. The British government took the extraordinary step of sealing dozens of Hess documents for release only in the year 2017. Sefton Delmer, the wartime head of Britain’s propaganda broadcasts to Germany, has speculated that the British government might have had good reasons for the secrecy: [4]

At the time, Churchill published nothing about the Hess case; he was passed over in silence. There was a large peace party in Britain, and Churchill probably feared that this party would throw him from his Ministerial seat because he had not agreed to Hess’ peace proposals.

Victor’s Justice

At the end of the war, Hess was taken to Nuremberg to be tried, along with other German leaders, by the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and France as one of the “major war criminals.”

Although Hess was perhaps treated more unjustly than any other man on trial at Nuremberg, the Tribunal itself was of doubtful legal and moral standing. Many prominent men in America and Europe pointed out that the process violated two cardinal principles.

First, it was a trial of the victors against the vanquished. The former were their own law maker, prosecutor, judge, alleged victim and, in part, accomplice (in the case of the Soviets, in the division of Poland).

Second, the charges were invented for the occasion and defined after the fact (“ex post facto”).

US Supreme Court Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone called the trials a fraud. “[Chief US prosecutor] Jackson is away conducting his high-grade lynching party in Nuremberg,” he wrote. “I don’t mind what he does to the Nazis, but I hate to see the pretense that he is running a court and proceeding according to common law. This is a little too sanctimonious a fraud to meet my old-fashioned ideas.” [5]

Associate Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas charged that the Allies were guilty of “substituting power for principle” at Nuremberg. [6] He later also wrote: “I thought at the time and still think that the Nuremberg trials were unprincipled. Law was created ex post facto to suit the passion and clamor of the time.” [7]

Soviet participation in the “International Military Tribunal” lent it the aura of a political show trial. Judge I. T. Nikitchenko, who presided at the solemn opening session, had been a judge at the infamous Moscow show trial of Zinoviev and Kamenev in 1936. Before the Tribunal convened, Nikitchenko explained the Soviet view of the enterprise: [8]

We are dealing here with the chief war criminals who have already been convicted and whose conviction has been already announced by both the Moscow and Crimea [Yalta] declarations by the heads of the [Allied] governments … The whole idea is to secure quick and just punishment for the crime.

Besides the Tribunal’s dubious legal standing, it held Hess and the other German leaders to a standard to which the Allies were never held. In sharp contrast to his public utterances, the chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg, Robert Jackson, privately acknowledged in a letter to President Truman that the Allies [9]

have done or are doing some of the very things we are prosecuting the Germans for. The French are so violating the Geneva Convention in the treatment of [German] prisoners of war that our command is taking back prisoners sent to them [for forced labor in France]. We are prosecuting plunder and our Allies are practicing it. We say aggressive war is a crime and one of our allies asserts sovereignty over the Baltic States based on no title except conquest.

Nothing better points up the essential injustice of the Nuremberg process than the court’s treatment of Rudolf Hess.

He was in the dock primarily because of his important-sounding but somewhat hollow title of Deputy Führer. His duties as Hitler’s stand-in were almost entirely ceremonial: He delivered the annual Christmas address to the nation, welcomed delegations of ethnic Germans from abroad, appeared at charitable functions, and presented the Führer at the annual Nuremberg party congress. It is this image of the wide-eyed and ecstatic Hess that much of the world remembers best, most of all from a brief clip of him from the Leni Riefenstahl film of the 1934 Congress, “Triumph of the Will.”

Known as the “conscience of the party,” he often used what power and influence he had to intervene on behalf of victims of persecution by extremists in the National Socialist party. In his detailed study, Justice at Nuremberg, which is generally very critical of the German defendants, historian Robert E. Conot called Hess a “decent and honest” man and “a pacifist at heart.” [10]

In their Nuremberg indictment of the Deputy Führer, the four Allied powers predictably portrayed him in the most sinister way possible. [11] “Hess began his conspiratorial activities immediately upon termination of World War I by joining militaristic and nationalistic organizations,” it charged. It went on to absurdly claim that “Hess was one of the members of the [Nazi] conspiracy who professed as early as 1933 the aim of complete world domination.” The joint Allied indictment concluded with the almost ludicrous words:

All through the years from 1920 to 1941 Hess remained the most faithful and relentless executor of Hitler’s aims and designs. This complete devotion to the success of the conspiracy was climaxed by his flight in Scotland in an attempt to end the war with England [!] and to receive English support for Germany’s demands against Russia, which he had helped to prepare.

The share of Hess’ participation in the Nazi conspiracy is as great as that of the Party which he directed. The Party’s crimes are his.

In fact, the Allied case against Hess was weak. The Führer had kept his deputy in the dark about his foreign policy and military decisions. It was clearly established at Nuremberg that Hess had not been present at any of the meetings at which Hitler discussed his military plans. [12] And, of course, he could not be held responsible for German actions that took place after his flight to Britain, including those carried out during the campaign against the Soviet Union.

Nevertheless, the Tribunal declared Hess guilty of “crimes against peace” (“planning and preparation of aggressive war”) and of “conspiracy” with other German leaders to commit the alleged crimes, but innocent of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity.”

No reputable historian today believes the Nuremberg charge that Hess was guilty of “crimes against peace.” Almost all of the criticism of Hess in recent years has focused instead on his signature on the 1935 Nuremberg laws that stripped German Jews of their rights as full citizens and banned marriage and sexual relations between Jews and non-Jews. These laws allegedly “paved the way” for the extermination of the Jews several years later. [13] Whatever the merits of this argument, Hess had nothing to do with the drafting or promulgation of these laws, and his signature on them was completely pro forma. And even so, the laws were domestic statutes that have had counterparts in numerous other countries, including the United States.

Unlike fellow defendant Albert Speer, the wartime armaments minister who did far more than the Deputy Führer to keep Germany’s war machine going but who received only a 20 year sentence, Hess refused to ingratiate himself with the Tribunal. He expressed no remorse for his loyal support of Hitler and the National Socialist regime.

In his final statement to the court on August 31, 1946, he declared:

I had the privilege of working for many years of my life under the greatest son my nation has brought forth in its thousand-year history. Even if I could, I would not wish to expunge this time from my life.

I am happy to know that I have done my duty toward my people, my duty as a German, as a National Socialist, as a loyal follower of my Führer. I regret nothing.

No matter what people may do, one day I shall stand before the judgment seat of God Eternal. I will answer to Him, and I know that He will absolve me.

When it came time to decide his sentence, the judges were not inclined to deal leniently with such an unrepentant defendant. The Soviet judge and his alternate thought he should be executed. The British and American judges and the American and French alternates voted for life imprisonment, while the French judge suggested a sentence of twenty years. The British alternate abstained. They settled on life imprisonment. [14]

The eminent British historian Professor A. J. P. Taylor summed up the injustice of the Hess case in a 1969 statement: [15]

Hess came to this country in 1941 as an ambassador of peace. He came with the … intention of restoring peace between Great Britain and Germany.

He acted in good faith. He fell into our hands and was quite unjustly treated as a prisoner of war. After the war, we could have released him.

No crime has ever been proven against Hess … As far as the records show, he was never at even one of the secret discussions at which Hitler explained his war plans.

He was of course a leading member of the Nazi Party. But he was no more guilty than any other Nazi or, if you wish, any other German. All the Nazis, all the Germans, were carrying on the war. But they were not all condemned because of this.

That Rudolf Hess — the only one at Nuremberg who had risked his life for peace — was found guilty of “crimes against peace” was certainly the Tribunal’s most ironic perversion of justice.

Spandau

From 1947 until his death, Hess was held in West Berlin’s Spandau prison, which was run by the four Allied powers. Regulations stipulated that “imprisonment will be in the form of solitary confinement” and forbad prison officials to ever call Hess by name. He was addressed only as “prisoner No. 7.”

Conditions were so bad that French chaplain Pastor Casalis protested to the prison Directorate in 1950: “It can safely be said that Spandau has become a place of mental torture to an extent that does not permit the Christian conscience to remain silent …” [16]

For 20 years, Hess at least had the limited company of a few other Nuremberg defendants, but from October 1966 until his death 21 years later, he was the only inmate in the fortress-like prison originally built for 600. He was, in the words of Spandau’s American Director, Lt. Col. Eugene Bird, “the loneliest man in the world.”

Keeping this one man in Spandau cost the West German government about 850,000 marks a year. In addition, each of the four Allied powers had to provide an officer and 37 soldiers during their respective shifts, as well as a director and team of warders throughout the entire year. The permanent maintenance staff of 22 included cooks, waitresses and cleaners.

In the final years of his life, Hess was a weak and frail old man, blind in one eye, who walked stooped forward with a cane. He lived in virtually total isolation according to a strictly regulated daily routine. During his rare meetings with his wife and son, he was not allowed to embrace or even touch them. [17]

Long before his death, Hess’ imprisonment had become a grotesque and absurd spectacle.

Even Winston Churchill expressed regret over his treatment. In 1950 he wrote: [18]

Reflecting upon the whole of the story, I am glad not to be responsible for the way in which Hess has been and is being treated. Whatever may be the moral guilt of a German who stood near to Hitler, Hess had, in my view, atoned for this by his completely devoted and frantic deed of lunatic benevolence. He came to us of his own free will, and, though without authority, had something of the quality of an envoy. He was a medical and not a criminal case, and should be so regarded.

In a 1977 interview, Sir Hartley Shawcross, who was Britain’s chief prosecutor at Nuremberg, called the continued imprisonment of Hess a “scandal.” [19]

The injustice against Hess was not something that happened once and was quickly over. It was, rather, a wrong that went on, day after day, for 46 years. Rudolf Hess was a prisoner of peace and a victim of a vindictive age.

Hitler’s Scientists May Have Tested the First Atomic Weapon

Most people are familiar with the famous mushroom-shaped cloud picture which shows the famous atomic bomb dropping on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945. But what if Germany also had produced its own smaller-scale mushroom cloud a year earlier in the fall of 1944?

The Germans may have lost the neck-and-neck race to build a successful nuclear bomb during WWII, but it’s clear that they were able to test a pretty impressive warhead in 1944.

“A cloud shaped like a mushroom with turbulent, billowing sections (at about 7000 meters) stood, without any seeming connections over the spot where the explosion took place. Strong electrical disturbances and the impossibility to continue radio communication as by lightning turned up.”

This was a statement made by German test pilot Hans Zinsser, in Allan Hall’s DailyMail.com article, who was doing test flights over Ludwigslust at the time. He was not the only witness to the spectacular sight that day.

The Dawn of Nuclear Weapons

In December 1938, German chemist Otto Hahn discovered nuclear fission, the building block of nuclear chain reactions and disastrously dangerous atomic weapons. Shortly after this discovery, Germany’s nuclear weapons project was born.

For over four years, groups of German scientists explored the possibilities of nuclear weapons production under Adolf Hitler’s watchful eye. The Third Reich achieved success in building “uranium machines” otherwise known as nuclear reactors. However, after repeated alterations to the design, they lacked enough of a heavily-ionized water source known as “heavy water.”

Once their supply of heavy water from Norway was cut off, Hitler’s team only had enough resources for a few more large-scale experiments. This resulted in the sensational production of the first nuclear warhead testing cloud ever seen.

The First Ever Nuclear Test

Mark Walker’s article “Nazis and the Bomb,” published by PBS’s Nova states: “During the last months of the war, a small group of scientists working in secret under Diebner and with the strong support of the physicist Walther Gerlach, who was by that time head of the uranium project, built and tested a nuclear device.”

The multi-colored cloud that was several miles wide was definitely not the imagination of those few eyewitnesses who came forward to describe it. Two German pilots, as well as an Italian observer sent by famed dictator Benito Mussolini, described the sight in similar detail to each other.

Germany was not able to produce the atomic weapons it had hoped for in order to gain the upper hand in WWII. In 1942, Hitler ordered the Reich Research Council to be reorganized as a separate division from the military. With Reich Minister for Armament and Ammunition, Albert Speer, heading the council, the project morphed into a study for alternative energy production, Mail Online reported.

This change did not prevent the germans from being able to demonstrate at least one impressive large-scale test of nuclear power. No one can be sure of the exact nature of the warhead that Germany tested, but what remains undisputed is that it was accomplished and reported by several different sources.

Uruguayan Holocaust memorial vandalized with anti-Semitic slurs

A Uruguayan Holocaust memorial rededicated last year was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti minimizing the Holocaust.

“They have vandalized us again. What’s going on?” Montevideo Mayor Carlos Varela tweeted along with photos of the vandalized memorial. “We call for sanity, tolerance and peace.”

Unveiled in 1994, the site in the country’s capital Montevideo has been hit several times in recent years by anti-Semitic vandalism, but this time has been the most severe with the graffiti taking up a larger area of the memorial, reported El Pais newspaper.

Vandals used black paint to write slurs including “The Holocaust of the Jewish people is the biggest lie in history,” “Only 300,000 Jews died from typhus” and “Gas chambers were a fraud.”

In 2016, the Israelite Central Committee, the country’s umbrella Jewish organization, funded the latest restoration, which included lights and staircases.

“We repudiate the anti-Semitic graffiti with concepts that deny the Holocaust of the Jewish people. The monument is a memory exercise to never forget the criminal regime that pursued and systematically murdered six million Jews for the only fact of their existence,” read a statement released by the committee.

“Today our pain is large and we are ashamed before the survivors of the massacre that are still among us, their children, grandchildren and all the Jewish people. Our country, which is democratic and pluralistic, the melting pot of cultures, does not deserve such atrocities.”

Last month, an evangelical Christian pastor from Uruguay fulfilled his promise to plant 1,000 trees in the Jewish state.

In March, Uruguayan Jews paid tribute to the memory of David Fremd, a 55-year-old businessman who was stabbed to death by a Muslim convert a year earlier in the small town of Paysandu. The killer reportedly yelled “God is great” in Arabic and later declared that he “followed Allah’s order.”

Uruguay is home to some 12,000 Jews, according to the Latin American Jewish Congress. It was the first country in South America to officially recognize Israel.

Statue of nationalist blamed for pogroms against Jews is unveiled in Ukraine

A new statue of a Ukrainian nationalist who is blamed for the murder of tens of thousands of Jews during the Russian Revolution, was unveiled Saturday in Vinnitsa, in an area of the city once known as Yerusalimka (Jerusalem), just some 200 meters (600 feet) from a small, functioning synagogue.

The city, located 260 kilometers (160 miles) southwest of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, already has a street named for Symon Petliura.

Soldiers of Petliura’s Ukrainian People’s Republic were responsible for 493 out of the recorded 1,236 pogroms and other violent incidents against Jews in 524 Ukrainian towns during the Russian Revolution, from 1918 to 1921, although Petliura’s actual role remains unclear.

Erection of the statue is part of an ongoing move by Ukrainian authorities to replace Russian street names and monuments with Ukrainian ones as a reaction to the ongoing war against Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Ukrainian areas of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Last year, Ukraine observed a minute of silence for Petliura on the 90th anniversary of his assassination in Paris.

A French court acquitted Sholom Schwartzbard, a Russia-born Jew, of the murder, even though he admitted to it after the court found that Petliura had been involved in or knew of pogroms by members of his militia. Fifteen of Schwartzbard’s relatives perished in the pogroms.

In the city of Uman — a major pilgrimage site for Breslov Hasidic Jews, a new monument recently appeared to commemorate Ivan Gonta, an 18th century Cossack involved in a massacre of Jews, Poles and Eastern Catholics.

Vinnitsa’s pre-war Jewish population estimated at 28,000 was murdered by the Nazis and was immortalized in the iconic photograph The Last Jew of Vinnitsa. The photograph, found in an album belonging to a German soldier, shows a member of Einsatzgruppe D about to execute a Jewish man who kneels before a mass grave.

Ukraine’s prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman, is Jewish on his father’s side.

In Nazi-occupied Britain, graves at Alderney’s ‘Little Auschwitz’ may be defiled

LONDON — To the French Jews who toiled and died there it was “le rocher maudit” – the accursed rock. To others, it became known as “Devil’s Island,” “the Buchenwald of the West,” or “Little Auschwitz.”

Alderney is one of the small cluster of islands — an archipelago which includes Jersey, Guernsey, and Sark — which lie in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. Semi-independent, they were nonetheless the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the Nazis.

The British mainland may have escaped the horrors of Nazism, but British soil nonetheless witnessed the brutal machinery of death — of slave labor, mass killings, and starvation — which accompanied German rule throughout Europe.

Three miles long and one-and-a-half miles wide, almost all of Alderney’s tiny civilian population was evacuated after the fall of France in June 1940. In their place, the Germans would later ship onto the remote, wind-swept and sea-beaten island a slave labor force of thousands, effectively turning it to one giant concentration camp. Its primary purpose was to fortify Alderney, transforming it into one of the most heavily defended, impregnable outposts of the Reich.

The scale of the horror perpetrated on Alderney is hotly contested. Official accounts after the war suggested that less than 400 of the 3,000 forced laborers — and among them, only a handful of Jews — died on the island. Seventy years on, though, historians and military experts suggest the workforce and the death-toll may have been many times higher — with perhaps as many as 40,000 people losing their lives. Moreover, the number of Jews on Alderney may not have been in the hundreds but instead close to 10,000, few of whom survived the deadly experience.

The Nazis’ plans were personally directed by Adolf Hitler. As the journalist Madeline Bunting recounts in “The Model Occupation: The Channel Islands Under German Rule” the Fuhrer was “immensely proud of his British conquests,” constantly fretting that Winston Churchill might win a propaganda coup by retaking them, and viewing them as a “laboratory for future Anglo-German relations.”

Thus from early 1942, Alderney became the scene of massive construction — of tunnels and bunkers, gun emplacements and artillery batteries, roads and a railway line — which would leave it the most fortified of the Channel Islands. With this massive construction came the need for a massive workforce. Labor camps — named after German islands in the North Sea — were hastily erected: Helgoland, Borkum, Norderney and, most notoriously, Sylt.Less whimsically, Hitler also calculated that Alderney held an important strategic value: As part of the Atlantic Wall fortifications, it would help protect the sea channels around Cherbourg, provide the Luftwaffe with anti-aircraft cover and deny the Allies a potentially useful staging post for the opening of the feared Western Front.

A small minority of the workers deployed by the Organization Todt, the Reich’s multi-tentacled civil and military engineering group, were genuine volunteers, often hailing from Germany, the Netherlands, France and Belgium.

The vast majority, however, were slave laborers, mostly from Russia, Poland and the Ukraine — although North Africans and Indo-Chinese (rounded up by the French to fill their labor quotas), German political prisoners and Spanish Republicans who had fled Franco only to fall into the hands of the Germans after the occupation of France — also found themselves as chattels of the Reich.

Jews, of course, did not escape this grim enterprise. Jewish inmates were sent to Norderney and Sylt, which came under the control of the SS in 1943 as a satellite of the Neuengamme concentration camp. At both camps, the Jews were kept in separate “pens.” Even among the untermenschen, or inferior people, a hierarchy was to be maintained.

Although these were not explicitly extermination camps, most slave laborers did not leave Alderney alive. The dangerous, exhausting work to which they were subjected for 10 to12 hours a day, starvation rations (sometimes further diminished by widespread SS corruption and theft), rampant dysentery and unforgiving Atlantic storms which lashed the island saw to that.

So, too, did the Germans’ utter disregard for the lives of those they regarded as subhuman: survivors later recalled summary executions, vicious beatings and savage punishments meted on those caught stealing food or cigarettes.

There was little or no respite from this living hell: it was near-impossible to escape the island, while, unlike on Jersey or Guernsey, there was no local population from whom occasional acts of pity — warmer clothing, a morsel of food — might be forthcoming.

As one Russian slave laborer, Georgi Kondakov, recounted decades later: “Many times when I was on Alderney I thought death was close. Most of my worst memories come to me now as nightmares; in the daytime I can suppress those thoughts in my subconscious, but against the nightmares I am powerless.”For those who did survive to tell the tale, their recollections of the heavy mists which frequently hang over Alderney stand as a metaphor for the cloak of secrecy about what occurred here which is only now slowly beginning to lift.

Perhaps it is appropriate that it is the fate of a burial ground, where it is feared the bodies of many of these victims of Nazism may still lay, which is helping to expose Alderney’s dark secrets.

The France-Alderney-Britain link (FAB)

Next year, work is due to begin on a major energy project — the France-Alderney-Britain link (FAB) — which will link the two countries’ energy grids via the Channel Islands. The 137-mile (220 kilometer) cable will cross Longis Common, the main site used by the Germans to dispose of the bodies of those whom they had murdered and worked to death.

The consortium behind the FAB, which includes the French energy giant EDF, has promised that the subsea and underground cable will avoid known burial grounds and contain an additional protection zone. It also maintains that the graves of many of the victims were exhumed in the early 1960s and reburied in France, and strongly disputes recent reports in the British media that preliminary investigations have caused damage to the main burial ground.

However, opponents of the project remain deeply concerned. A new study prepared for campaigners brings together publicly available maps and diagrams with an as yet unpublished high-definition aerial photograph of the area taken in 1944.

Seen by The Times of Israel, it argues that the exhumation of 316 bodies from the so-called Russian cemetery in the 1960s “led to the myth that all the bodies were removed from the common.” In fact, it suggests, the Longis Common burial area is “far more extensive and complicated” than has been assumed and may contain at least five large mass graves and a cremation pit.

Marcus Roberts, director of the National Anglo-Jewish Heritage Trail, shares the campaigners’ concerns. Burials “almost certainly” extend beyond the “official” cemetery boundaries which FAB have said they will avoid, he says. His own recent investigations indicate the bodies of nearly 2,000 prisoners — and potentially many more — may remain at Longis Common.“Due to the possibly larger size of the burial area than that originally considered the proposed FAB link might very well impact dramatically on it,” the study cautions.

Roberts, who has carried out extensive research into wartime Alderney and has been asked to report to the Chief Rabbi’s office on the project, also believes there may be multiple burial sites nearby, on the beach and close to the infamous anti-tank wall, where the cable will make landfall before it crosses Longis Common.

A concrete installation 15 feet high and extending for half a mile, the anti-tank wall was probably the largest built by the Nazis and was christened “the wall of certain death” by the Russian prisoners who built it. Its construction cost the lives of the many Jews who also labored on it.

The bodies of some of those prisoners are thought to lie under the wall in the foundations, while the back of the wall contains the bullet holes in front of which prisoners were shot. Atop it are the still-visible names and prisoner numbers of those who lived, and died, constructing a fortification that would never see action.

On the beach in front of the wall there are believed to be burial pits in the sand where an unknown number of bodies were dumped. One of the survivors interviewed by Bunting vividly recalled trucks tipping corpses at low tide into the pits, which were 50-100 meters (165-330 feet) off shore. Each, he believed, contained about 12 bodies. This account was not unique and there is no evidence that these possible burial sites were ever investigated or cleared.

Roberts is also worried about the preliminary work carried out by FAB.But, argues Roberts, the path of the cable has no room for deviation should burials be found, and the contractors have so far failed to provide a promised plan for how the works will be supervised and human remains protected.

“FAB Link have previously carried out intrusive drilling and prospecting, without warning, close to the known Jewish burial and Russian burial sites and have also dug under the anti-tank wall, very close to an execution site at the wall and carried out some geophysical archaeological investigations,” he says.

On a visit to the site shortly afterwards, he found bone fragments, although he says he cannot be certain they are human ones.

Historical record soon to be destroyed

“The Longis area is quite simply unique and there is nowhere else in Europe that contains so much historical evidence of the extermination by labor program in one single area,” argues Colonel Richard Kemp, Britain’s former commander in Afghanistan who has carried out detailed research into the Nazis’ reign of terror on the island.

“The power of Longis Common and its historical importance is immense. Any one of the millions of missing slave workers could have been buried there and may still be there today. The whole area is therefore sacred to them all. It belongs to them, to their relatives and to the communities across Europe and beyond from which they came. It is their ‘corner of a foreign field.’ It should be preserved and protected forever as an international memorial site,” Kemp says.

Central to the fears of those who oppose the FAB Link running across Longis Common is the belief that both the number of prisoners on the island and the death toll have long been grossly underestimated.

The British military intelligence interrogator who investigated after the war, Captain Theodore “Bunny” Pantcheff, suggested that a mere 389 forced laborers and prisoners — out of a total workforce of 3,000 — died during the occupation.

His conclusions were based on the number of individual burials of slave workers at Longis Common and the churchyard at St. Anne’s in Alderney’s main town. Pantcheff, who went on to live on the island and write an account of the occupation in 1981, proved crucial in shaping an official narrative which has proved hard to shake.

However, Pantcheff’s figures take no account of the multiple eyewitnesses who recalled the Germans throwing bodies into the sea off cliffs or the breakwater, or burying them in the beaches and allowing the tides to take them away. Witnesses also reported bodies being tipped into mass burial sites, such as trenches. Later in the war, the Germans attempted to cover up the extent of the deaths on Alderney by tearing up crosses and leveling the ground at Longis Common.

Evidence seen by The Times of Israel suggests that Pantcheff himself later privately admitted that there had been many more deaths than the official records showed. Indeed, British intelligence reports in 1944 indicated that more than twice as many Russians — 843 — had died over a 12-month period than Pantcheff later recorded had perished on the island during the entirety of the occupation.

Nonetheless, even histories of the occupation published within the last decade maintain that the number of slave laborers of Alderney was probably only slightly higher than Pantcheff’s later estimate of 4,350, and that the death toll was around 1,250.  Together with fellow former army officer John Weigold, Kemp suggested this summer that, “The sheer volume of fortifications, walls and tunnels outstrips anything else in Hitler’s Third Reich. This huge amount of work could not possibly have been done with just 4,000 workers.”But it is the scale of the Nazis’ construction efforts which now lead some to conclude that the size of the workforce on Alderney was far in excess of these figures.

Weigold and Kemp believe that Pantcheff had been “hoodwinked” by the Germans when he carried out his interrogations after the island’s liberation.

“We know about interrogation, and how prisoners will lie to save their skins,” they wrote. “The Germans he quizzed gave him a highly sanitized and rehearsed version of what had actually taken place.”

‘Up to 40,000 slave laborers died on Alderney’

Kemp and Weigold argue at least 40,000 slave laborers died on Alderney during the war. Their estimate is based on evidence of the actual size of the slave labor workforce, the amount of work done in fortifying the island and the probable attrition rate based on witness reports and accounts of similar construction work elsewhere in Europe.

The Nazi effort on Alderney, in particular the highly secretive work carried out by the SS, is explained, Kemp and Weigold believe, by the fact that the Germans were planning to site V1 rockets, tipped with chemical weapons, on the island. Launched at the south coast of England, the weapons were intended to disrupt the Allied invasion of mainland Europe.

Roberts agrees that “common sense alone shows that 3,000 men could not have constructed the hundreds of concrete structures across the island.”

He believes that the prisoner workforce probably exceeded 30,000 and that the number of camps on the island was not four, but may have reached 13 (although some of these were temporary). He also dismisses Pantcheff’s “improbably low” death rate of 13 percent. Official French records show that the death rate at camps in the Nord Pas de Calais, which were linked to those in Alderney, were 85%.

Historically, the presence of Jews on the island during the occupation has also been downplayed, with their numbers counted in the hundreds. Roberts, however, believes that 9,000 may be a more realistic figure. At least at some points in the island’s penal history, British military intelligence reports suggested, Jews may actually have constituted a majority of the prisoner population.

Many were French Jews who had escaped immediate deportation to the East because they were either married to “Aryans” or considered “mischling,” or “mixed-blood,” by the Nazis. Others were highly educated members of the French Jewish elite, and included a parliamentary deputy, senior civil servants, lawyers, writers and doctors. They were, a 1943 report for the French police noted, “particularly bullied by their guardians.”

Only eight marked Jewish graves were found on Longis Common when the war ended, leading many to conclude, in the words of Bunting, that “only a handful of French Jews perished.”

However, this, too, appears far from the mark. At least 150 Jews, for instance, are thought to have been murdered by the Nazis in two separate revenge killings for Allied bombing raids on German cities. Their remains have never been accounted for.

It is probable that most of the 9,000 Jewish slave laborers on Alderney did not survive their ordeal

Thus, argues Roberts, it is probable that most of the 9,000 Jewish slave laborers on Alderney seem likely not to have survived their ordeal. As he points out, we know of only two convoys transferring Jews back to France: one in May 1944, contained 650 prisoners, some of whom were liberated several months later in Belgium by the resistance.

No justice for Alderney victims

For the victims of Alderney there was to be little or nothing by the way of justice. Pantcheff’s investigation in 1945 concluded that “wicked and merciless crimes” had been carried out on the island.

He named 15 Germans suspected of war crimes who were in British custody, and a further 31 who were in the French, US or British zones of occupied Germany.

Only four men — a Russian kapo and three Germans — were later tried in the Soviet Union, France and East Germany for crimes committed on Alderney. Thus the SS commandant of Sylt, Maximilian List; his deputy, Kurt Klebeck; and Alderney commandant Carl Hoffman, were never held to account for their heinous crimes on the island.

None of Germany’s Alderney war criminals faced justice at the hands of the British. Instead, Britain long maintained that, given that many of the victims were Russian, it had handed over the evidence it had gathered to the Soviets for them to take action, while flatly denying that any of the suspects were ever in its custody.

Seventy-five years after the first slave laborers arrived on Alderney, these lies cannot obscure a simple truth. As one of those who suffered at the Nazis’ hands on the island later suggested: “The British did not want to know that there had been a concentration camp on British soil.”

When a Jewish laborer took on 20,000 US Nazis in Madison Square Garden

A new short documentary compiles archived footage to recall an event held in New York on the eve of World War II in which tens of thousands of people gathered at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden venue to cheer on US Nazis at what was billed as a “pro-American rally.”

Documentary filmmaker Marshall Curry’s latest work includes the moments when a Jewish man was beaten to the floor as he tried to rush past dozens of uniformed Nazis on the stage in a failed attempt to disrupt the main speaker.

The seven-minute “A Night at the Garden” is made up of various clips showing the drama on the night of February 20, 1939, when 20,000 people packed into Madison Square Garden for a rally organized by the German American Bund, a Nazi movement led by German-American Fritz Julius Kuhn.

The film was recently screened at 22 US cinemas in the Alamo theater chain.

Curry made the film for the documentary unit Field of Vision after learning about the history of the rally a year ago.

In an interview published last week on the Field of Vision website, the director talked about the film and its significance to modern society.

“Events like this should remind us not to be complacent — that the things we care about have to be nurtured and defended regularly — because even seemingly good people have the potential to do hideous things,” he said.

American neo-Nazis and US white supremacists made headlines recently after an August nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, dissolved into clashes and deadly violence when an alleged white supremacist drove his car into counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

In the black and white footage from 1939 rally, uniformed American Nazis carrying swastika flags are seen parading up to the stage, where a 30-foot-high poster of George Washington is surrounded by US flags and swastika banners. During the proceedings the crowd also sings “The Star Spangled Banner.”

At the time the rally was held, Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler was already operating several concentration camps as part of the persecution of Jews and political opponents that led to the murder of six million Jewish people across Europe. On September 1, 1939, German invaded Poland, launching World War II, which the US joined in 1941 after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7 of that year.

Kuhn, who was born 1896 in Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany, moved to the US in 1928 and became a naturalized citizen in 1934, took to the stage wearing a Bund military-styled uniform. In German-accented English he mocked the “Jewish media” and then, to wild applause, called for a “white, gentile-ruled United States… gentile-controlled labor unions, free from Jewish Moscow-directed domination.”

“It really illustrated that the tactics of demagogues have been the same throughout the ages,” filmmaker Curry explained. “They attack the press, using sarcasm and humor. They tell their followers that they are the true Americans. And they encourage their followers to ‘take their country back’ from whatever minority group has ruined it.”

A group of protesters was permitted to stand at the side of the stage during the Bund event and tens of thousands more gathered outside. As Kuhn addressed the audience, Isadore Greenbaum, 26-year-old Jewish plumber’s helper from Brooklyn, jumped onto the stage and tried to rush the podium. He was set upon by Bund members, was beaten and had his pants pulled off. Police waded into the melee and pulled him from the room. He was fined $25 for disorderly conduct, equivalent to about $430 in today’s currency.

“The magistrate asked him, ‘Don’t you realize that innocent people might have been killed?’ And Greenbaum replied, ‘Do you realize that plenty of Jewish people might be killed with their persecution up there?’”“There was a debate at the time over whether the Bund should be allowed to have a rally, which – like so many things about the event — seems eerily contemporary,” Curry said, citing a New York Times article from the time. “Greenbaum explained to the judge the day after the rally, ‘I went down to the Garden without any intention of interrupting. But being that they talked so much against my religion and there was so much persecution I lost my head, and I felt it was my duty to talk.’

Despite the opposition to the rally, the American Jewish Committee was in favor of letting the Bund event go ahead, Curry said. At the time, the AJC told the New York Times that while the Bund was “completely anti-American and anti-Democratic… because we believe that the basic rights of free speech and free assembly must never be tampered with in the United States, we are opposed to any action to prevent the Bund from airing its views.”

“New York Mayor [Fiorello Henry] LaGuardia, for his part, ridiculed the event as an ‘exhibition of international cooties,’ and said he believed in exposing cooties to the sunlight,” Curry noted.

According to Curry, the German American Bund “had a significant presence in the 1930s, with training camps in New Jersey, upstate New York, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and a huge march down East 86th Street in Manhattan. But their mainstream appeal was reduced by their leaders’ German accents and culture.”

In December 1939, Kuhn was imprisoned for embezzling Bund funds. He was stripped of his US citizenship and after the war sent to West Germany. He died in 1951.

“The Bund disappeared soon after the start of World War II,” Curry said.

“To me, the most striking and upsetting part of the film is not the anti-Semitism of the main speaker or even the violence of his storm-troopers,” said Curry. “What bothers me more is the reaction of the crowd. Twenty-thousand New Yorkers who loved their kids and were probably nice to their neighbors, came home from work that day, dressed up in suits and skirts, and went out to cheer and laugh and sing as a speaker dehumanized people who would be murdered by the millions in the next few years.”

“This point is less an indictment of bad things that Americans have done in the past, than it is a cautionary tale about the bad things that we might do in the future,” Curry warned, and then quoted prominent American Methodist minister Halford E. Luccock as saying, “When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled ‘made in Germany’; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, ‘Americanism.’”

Failed Integration: In Next 10-20 Years, France will be New Lebanon

In just a few years, Islamic suburbs of Paris will obey their own set of rules, they will have their own laws, their own principles, maybe even their own police.

(RT)

It is already the case, Alexandre Mendel, author of the book ‘Partition’ told RT.

Europe has been facing a large number of migrants coming from the war-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East. Today many are concerned about the Islamization of Europe and the failure of Muslims assimilating into their new countries.

RT met with a writer Alexandre Mendel, whose new book “Partition” is devoted to the Muslims’ failure to integrate in France, and discussed the current situation in that country.

RT: Please start by describing for our readers your book.

Alexandre Mendel: My last book, ‘Jihadist France,’ was only about the French terrorists. ‘Partition’ is mainly about Islamization of France, about what’s going on in France, in schools, hospitals, at work, in sports clubs, etc. I am not talking this time about terrorism itself, but about the way France decided whether the French government – like it or not – collaborated and accepted some kind of arrangements with Islam. This is the main topic of the book.

There are at least two things that are important about the Islamization. The first one is that you cannot be always blind with this problem. For 20-30 years we let down our rules, our principals, our republican ideals; we negotiated with Islamists. We are totally blind to this kind of small signals that some parts of France were becoming Islamized. That can explain the terrorism today in France. If we didn’t accept these little arrangements with radical Islam, we probably wouldn’t have had so many attacks in France. That is why it is so important today not to be blind anymore in France and to tell the truth.

My book is made of many, many reports in France. It is not a theoretical book – it is a book written by a reporter. We went there, we went to the schools, to the hospitals, to the cities where people and police never set foot to see the reality and just to talk about the reality. A lot of French people, especially a lot of French journalists and French politicians never go there. It is very important today to be a reporter in these areas where nobody sets foot anymore. This is a testimony of our modern time.

RT: What should be done to integrate people into society? Is it only a Muslim thing, or other groups, as well?

AM: In my book, I say that there is no solution, because it is too late; there won’t be any solution. You can’t send them back to their country – they are French – the French cannot send them back. What France will become in the next 10 or 20 years will be a kind of new Lebanon in some places in France.

For example, take some suburbs in Paris: they will have their own set of rules, they will have their own laws, their own principals, maybe even their own police. It is already the case. The fact that in France right now in many places France has no control in these areas. We accepted it already and we won’t fight back to get these suburbs back to France. It is already done – we already lost the war against them.

So the rich people in France will be in the fancy neighborhoods of Paris, far from the problems, and then the poor people will have to deal with Islamism on a daily base. This is the way we accepted that already.

RT: Why did integration fail in France, do you think?

AM: Integration has failed in France, but not only France – in many other countries, because we buried our republican principal to actually mimic what exists in Great Britain, in Canada, or in the US; accept that you could be French, get French citizenship without even speaking French, without even going to the Republican French School, get French citizenship, without living like the French. France is not a new country of immigration – it has a very long story of immigration. People in the 1920s came to France from all over Europe – from Poland, from Russia, from Armenia, Italy, and there was no problem to integrate them, not problem at all…

Ursula Haverbeck, 88, on Trial again for Questioning the Holocaust

Serial thought criminal Ursula Haverbeck is standing another trial in Berlin for sceptic views on the extermination of 6 million Jews. Haverbeck insists the Holocaust is “the biggest and most sustained lie in history.”

(DW)

The 88-year-old Ursula Haverbeck, who has several previous convictions all related to “Holocaust denial”, is accused of once again denying the mass murder of millions of Jews by germans, this time during an event in Berlin on January 30, 2016.

Haverbeck will also stand trial in the western town of Detmold again on November 23. She had appealed two verdicts by a Detmold court, handed down for “incitement to hatred” after she sent a letter to Detmold’s mayor and various media, in which she refutes the genocide of Jews between 1941 and 1945.

Defiant pamphlets

At the Detmold trial earlier this year, she defiantly handed out a pamphlet titled “Only the truth will set you free” to journalists as well as the judge and the prosecutor. In it, she again denies the gassing of 6 million jews.

Haverbeck and her late husband Werner Georg Haverbeck, who was an active NSDAP member in the run-up to and during World War II, founded a patriotic education center called Collegium Humanum, which has been banned since 2008.

She has written for the politically incorrect magazine Stimme des Reiches (Voice of the Empire), in which she also denied the existence of the Holocaust.

Haverbeck: ‘Auschwitz lie’

In August, she was sentenced to two years in prison as a consequence. At the trial, she spoke of an “Auschwitz lie,” claiming it was not an extermination camp, but a labor camp.

She has also filed charges against Germany’s Central Council of Jews for prosecuting innocent people.

Under German law, incitement to hatred is a criminal offense often applied to individuals who deny or trivialize the official version of the history.

It carries a sentence of between three months to five years in prison. Haverbeck has not served her sentences as she has appealed all of the verdicts, with hearings ongoing.

Ireland’s Jewish population rose by nearly 29 percent in five years

(JTA) — Ireland’s Jewish population rose by nearly 29 percent since the state’s last census.

The Jewish population rose by 573 people to 2,557 since 2011, according to the 2016 census, the Irish Times reported on Friday.

Some 56 percent of the Jews of Ireland, or 1,439, live in Dublin.

The population of Jews in Ireland had been steadily falling since the 1940s, according to the newspaper. There was a high of 3,907 Jews in Ireland in 1946.

According to the newspaper, Irish-born Jews are an aging population. The increased numbers of Jews are believed to be part of a new influx of employees of hi-tech U.S. multinational companies. Most are thought to be secular and non-practicing, the newspaper reported.

There could actually be more Jews in the country, according to the Irish Independent, which reported that the census questionnaire did not include “Jewish” as an option, meaning that respondents had to select “other” and write in Jewish as their religious affiliation.