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Secret Nazi “Treasure Hunter” Base in Arctic Found by Russian Scientists

A top secret National Socialist base in the depths of the Arctic has been found by Russian scientists after more than 70 years.

The mysterious site is located on a remote island in Russian territory — more than 960km from the North Pole, reports The Sun.

Set up in 1942, a year after Adolf Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, the military outpost on Alexandra land was christened “Schatzgraber” or “Treasure Hunter”. The island was strategically vital to both sides during World War II because of its value in producing weather reports

The information that it produced was crucial for the movement of troops and equipment in the frozen north of the USSR. This was especially true as the brutal Russian winter set in that year, causing the relentless German advance to grind to a halt in the snow.

 

And the island was all the more important because most of the other potential sites capable of producing polar weather reports in the region were held by the Allies.

But the name given to the base suggests the Nazis may have had another, more secret, mission — possibly searching for a mythical treasure trove or ancient artefacts.

A detachment of soldiers was dropped off on the island that year, establishing a base on the barren, rocky isle. The men were resupplied by air drops until the base was suddenly evacuated in 1944. All of the outpost’s inhabitants were poisoned that year after eating polar bear meat contaminated with roundworms. The survivors were rescued by a German U-boat and the base abandoned.

Since then, there was no fixed presence on the island until 1990, after the fall of the Soviet Union. And now, more than 70 years later, the location of the Nazi base has finally been discovered by Russian scientists.

Images showed rusted bullets, shells, and patrol cans scattered across the rocky, frozen ground. The team also found the remnants of bunkers and even 70-year-old papers, all remarkably well preserved by the intense cold.

In total, more than 500 objects were recovered from the site. Russia is now establishing its own military base on Alexandra Land.

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Trump Advisers Call for National Muslim Registry, Echoing Nazis’ Early Steps in Targeting Jews (VERY VERY GOOD!!!)

Fears the incoming Trump administration will deploy race-based tools used by Nazi Germany to target Muslims were validated this week when a top immigration adviser said a national registry of immigrants might be created after taking office.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who drafted tough immigration laws in Arizona and elsewhere, said Trump’s policy advisers had “discussed drafting a proposal for his consideration to reinstate a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries,” Reuters reported. Trump surrogates went further on Fox News, saying Japanese internment camps in World War II had created a precedent for a natuional registry.

Civil rights advocates quickly criticized the comments, focusing on the American internment camps from 75 years ago.

“A registry of Muslims is unconstitutional and un-American,” People for the American Way president Michael Keegan said, calling on Republicans to condemn it. “Any elected official or public leader who purports to care about religious liberty has an obligation to speak out against this repugnant attack on the First Amendment. Politicians who brush these threats aside are complicit in the worst kind of bigotry.”

But a more accurate historical analogy is not the Japanese internment camps, which came at the end of the roundup, imprisonment and deportation system, but Nazi Germany’s imposition of compulsory registration of Jews in the countries Germany occupied soon after invading in 1939 and 1940.

In Holland, the European country that deported the highest percentage of its Jewish population, the registry was the first step in a process of identifying, isolating, incarcerating, and deporting Jews, wrote European World War II historian Robert Moore. The registries were the front end of a methodical system that stripped Jews of their civil liberties, access to courts, property rights, and financial assets before being rounded up for imprisonment and deportation.

Compulsory registration led to requiring Jews to carry identity cards and sanctioned an atmosphere that encouraged bullying and race-based attacks. Pro-Nazi paramilitary groups were given wide leeway by the authorities to harass Jews in the streets, parks and restaurants and to pressure businesses into refusing to serve them, Moore wrote, describing how civil society slowly broke down under Nazi rule.

That’s the Pandora’s Box the Trump administration is flirting with, with white supremacists like Kobach influencing new federal immigration policy. Kobach not only wrote some of the most vehemently anti-immigrant legislation pushed by the GOP recently, in Arizona, he also imposed a proof-of-citizenship requirements on all Kansas voters, partly in response to non-whites moving into the state’s urban areas.

Alleged killer of UK MP searched for Nazi, KKK material day before murder

British lawmaker Jo Cox, who was killed in the street shortly before the June 23 referendum on EU membership, was allegedly murdered by a man who searched the internet for information about US-based white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan and  Adolf Hitler’s notorious Wafen-SS, jurors were told on Monday according to the Financial Times.

As the prosecution opened its case against Thomas Mair, 53, who is charged with Cox’s murder, the jury at London’s Old Bailey court were told witnesses had heard Mair repeatedly say “Britain First” during the attack.

Cox, a 41-year-old mother of two young children, was shot and repeatedly stabbed as she arrived for an advice session with constituents in the town of Birstall, part of her electoral district in northern England.

The murder of Cox, a former aid worker who had been an ardent supporter of staying in the EU, shocked Britain and led to the suspension for several days of referendum campaigning which had been growing increasingly bitter.

Mair is also charged with possession of a firearm and a dagger and causing grievous bodily harm to 77-year-old Bernard Carter-Kenny, who tried to help Cox during the attack.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam told the jury Cox was shot three times and suffered multiple stab wounds. “During the course of the murder, Thomas Mair was heard by a number of witnesses to say repeatedly, ‘Britain First’,” Whittam said.

“Thomas Mair’s intention was to kill her in what was a planned and premeditated murder for a political and or ideological cause.”

Carter-Kenny risked his own life and was stabbed with the same knife Mair used on Cox, Whittam added.

Earlier on Monday, with Cox’s mother, father and sister in court watching, eight men and four women were sworn in as jurors to hear the case, which the judge Alan Wilkie said had attracted and would continue to attract considerable attention.

Mair, balding with a gray goatee beard and wearing a dark blue suit and black tie, sat silently in the dock flanked by three security guards.

At a hearing in October, he declined to respond when asked if he was guilty, so the judge recorded not guilty pleas.

At the first court hearing following his arrest, Mair had said his name was “death to traitors, freedom for Britain” and the case, due to last two weeks, is being treated as a terrorism matter.

His lawyer has also previously told London’s Old Bailey central criminal court, where the trial is being held, that medical issues would not feature in the defense argument.

Cox’s murder briefly united politicians divided over the EU question and also led to questions about the security of lawmakers in their constituencies.

“As the trial starts I’d encourage everyone to remember Jo’s life and what she stood for, not the manner of her death,” her husband Brendan wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

The last British Member of Parliament to have been killed before Cox was Ian Gow, who died after an Irish Republican Army bomb exploded under his car at his home in 1990.

Proposal to “Ensure Continuation of the German People” Rejected as “Racist and Nazi” in Parliament

 

Renegade Editor’s Note: This proposal was put forth back in 2011, when the situation still looked dire, but nowhere near as apocalyptic as it does now, after endless waves of invaders.

By Face of a Dying Nation

In 2011, the Nationalist Party of Germany (NPD) made a proposal in the State Parliament of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania that was intended to “ensure the biological continuation of the German people”. It contained measures such as providing a salary for women who choose to be mothers, increases in child support, provide interest-free loans as well as pension raises for parents.

Stefan Köster, state chairman of the party and speaker for family affairs, explained the desperate need to increase birth rates among Germans as high immigration rates, low fertility and emigration of natives who lost hope in their country imply the eventual extinction of the German people. He stressed that healthy families are the very foundation of a society and all of Europe’s wealth stems from the diversity of different peoples in their respective nations. No amount of consumption and materialism can ever replace a child’s laugh, which has sadly become a rarity as Germany now has the lowest birth rate in the world.

He explains that if current trends continue, native Germans will be minority in their own major cities within decades, as it is already the case in other European capitals like London. Liberal politicians, like Stefanie von Berg, openly celebrate this.

Throughout the speech he is mocked, heckled and interrupted with insults like “Nazi” or “racist”.

By 2030, 30% of the native German population will be older than 65. 1 in 2 Children born in Germany is born to a migrant family. The Nationalist party called out the grave importance of reversing this trend to avoid Germans losing their homeland and future.

The proposal to ensure the continuation of the German people met unanimous rejection by all parties.

A speaker for the Social Democrats explicitly states in a rebuttal that all democratic parties show nothing but utter contempt for the proposal and will unite to make sure nothing like this will ever get passed. According to the Social Democrats, the German people has caused nothing but death and destruction by causing two world wars and the mere concept of securing a future for German children in Germany is inherently racist, inhuman and a Nazi ideology.

According to the ruling parties, rather than funding German families, “all” families must receive financial support to avoid being racist. The lack of children among Germans has to be equalized through mass immigration from Africa and the Middle East.

Obama hosts families of black athletes snubbed at Nazis’ 1936 Olympics (VERY VERY GOOD!!!)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Relatives of Jesse Owens and America’s 17 other black athletes from the 1936 Olympics held the Nazis in Berlin were welcomed to the White House on Thursday by President Barack Obama, for the acknowledgement they didn’t receive along with their white counterparts 80 years ago.

Along with the relatives of the 1936 African-American Olympians, gloved-fist protesters Tommie Smith and John Carlos and members of the 2016 US Olympic and Paralympic teams met the president and first lady Michelle Obama. Obama congratulated the Rio athletes, thanked Smith and Carlos for waking up Americans in 1968 and praised 1936 Olympians who made a statement in front of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany.
After running down a list of accomplishments of US athletes in Rio, Obama singled out some people who “paved the way” for the current diverse Olympic team, including Owens, Smith and Carlos.

Owens winning four gold medals and being snubbed by Hitler is a piece of American history, but Obama made sure to note that the accomplishments at the 1936 Berlin Olympics weren’t just about him.

“It was other African-American athletes in the middle of Nazi Germany under the gaze of Adolf Hitler that put a lie to notions of racial superiority — whooped ’em and taught them a thing or two about democracy and taught them a thing or two about the American character,” Obama said. “We’re honored to have many of their families here today.”

Eighteen family members were in attendance, representing nine 1936 Olympians. Owens, Ralph Metcalfe, Jack Wilson, John Brooks, Tidye Pickett, Louise Stokes, James LuValle, Fritz Pollard Jr., John Woodruff, Mack Robinson, Dave Albritton, Archie Williams, Cornelius Johnson, James Clark, Howell King, Art Oliver, Willis Johnson and John Terry combined for 14 of America’s 56 medals in Berlin.

Sprinter Allyson Felix, who won gold in Rio in the 400 and 1,600-meter relays and silver in the 400 and has nine Olympic medals, said afterward she was glad to meet some of the relatives of 1936 Olympians and hear their stories.

“It’s been just so moving, so inspiring,” Felix said. “We’re just honored to be able to share this moment with them.”

They also shared it with Smith and Carlos, who made their own American history 48 years ago when they raised their gloved fists on the medals stand at the Mexico City Olympics after the 200 in what they called “a human rights salute.”

“We’re proud of them,” Obama said. “Their powerful silent protest in the 1968 Games was controversial, but it woke folks up and created greater opportunity for those that followed.”

United States Olympic CEO Scott Blackmun said Wednesday night that the historic White House visits were meant in part to “pay tribute to all the progress that has come since.” That progress was on full display as part of the president’s remarks.

Obama pointed out that the diversity of the 2016 US Olympic team was part of what made it successful. He singled out swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky and others, but the first four medalists he mentioned were gymnast Simone Biles, shot putter Michelle Carter, swimmer Simone Manuel and boxer Claressa Shields, all of whom are black.

He also recognized Ibtihaj Muhammad, the fencer who became the first US female athlete to compete in the Olympics in a hijab.

“Imagine what it means for a young girl or a young boy who sees somebody who looks like them doing something and being the best at what they do,” Obama said. “There’s no kid in American who can’t look at our Olympic team and see themselves somewhere.”

Owens said in interviews over the years that in 1936 President Franklin Roosevelt never sent him any words of congratulations or an invitation to the White House.

Marlene Owens Rankin and Beverly Owens Prather represented their father Thursday. Granddaughter Marlene Dortch said Tuesday night that her family members and others going to the White House to see Obama would have made her grandfather “so happy.”

Obama expressed satisfaction that the final US Olympic team he hosted at the White House not only dominated the medal count, but did so with so many different kinds of athletes.

“One of the wonderful things we love when we see our Olympians is everybody’s from all kinds of different backgrounds and shapes and sizes,” Obama said. “There’s something special about that.”

Report: Evidence of hidden Nazi nuclear bombs said found in Germany

An amateur historian in Germany believes he has found evidence of Nazi nuclear bombs hidden underground near Chemnitz, located in Eastern Germany south of Berlin.

The pensioner, 70-year-old Peter Lohr claimed he found the mysterious objects originally in 2012, using 3D technology, in an abandoned tunnel network.

Only now was Lohr, who is trained in Mechanical Engineering, able to analyze his findings, German newspaper Bild cited him as saying in a report published last week.

“At least two of the objects are the Nazi atomic bombs,” he explained to Bild.

The Nazi nuclear weapons program was officially stopped in 1942, however it was rumored to have continued in secret. It is widely believed by most historians that the Nazis never succeeded to create an atomic weapon.

Lohr has stated that he is concerned about the consequences of his findings; plutonium found in nuclear weapons can pollute the water for years to come.

Lohr also voiced concern over the material decaying.

“The metal’s been lying there for 71 years. At some point it will decay and then we will have a second Chernobyl on our hands,” he told Bild.

However, the authorities aren’t taking Lohr’s warning seriously, “They just told me that I’m not allowed to continue my research anymore,” he told the German paper.

For years amateur historians have hunted for World War Two artifacts, just last year Polish authorities claimed to have found a tunnel containing a Nazi train filled with gold. It was later reported that though the tunnel existed, the train report was fabricated.

The Ukraine Conflict’s Nazi Heritage

Few Westerners, particularly Americans, understand the ugly history behind the Nazi-affiliated movements that have gained substantial power in today’s U.S.-backed Ukrainian regime. Western propaganda has made these right-wing extremists the “good guys” versus the Russian “bad guys” in the Ukraine Conflict, as Jonathan Marshall explains.

Lviv, a city in Western Ukraine, has for nearly a century been a breeding ground of extreme Ukrainian nationalism, spawning terrorist movements, rabid anti-Semitism, and outright pro-Nazi political organizations that continue to pollute the country’s politics.

On the lovely cobblestone streets admired today by tourists flowed the blood of some 4,000 Jews who were massacred by locals in 1941, during the German occupation. They were egged on by the radical Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), whose founder and wartime leader is today a national hero to many of his countrymen.

On April 28, 2011, the 68th anniversary of the formation of a Ukrainian Waffen-SS division, hundreds of people marched through Lviv, with support from city council members, chanting slogans like “One race, one nation, one Fatherland!”

Two months later, residents celebrated the 70th anniversary of the German invasion “as a popular festival, where parents with small children waived flags to re-enactors in SS uniforms,” according to the noted Swedish-American historian Per Anders Rudling.

Later that year, extreme right-wing deputies at a nearby town in the Lviv district “renamed a street from the Soviet-era name Peace Street to instead carry the name of the Nachtigall [Nightingale] Battalion, a Ukrainian nationalist formation involved in the mass murder of Jews in 1941, arguing that ‘Peace’ is a holdover from Soviet stereotypes.’”

Unreported in the Western media, these uncomfortable facts are paramount to understanding the recent violent, anti-democratic upheavals that have made Ukraine the battleground of a dangerous new cold war between NATO and Russia. These facts should also inspire Americans to reflect on their country’s contribution to recent political extremism in the Ukraine, going back to the early post-World War II era, when the CIA funded former Nazi collaborators to help destabilize the Soviet Union.

The revolutionary, ultra-nationalist OUN was founded in 1929 to throw off Polish rule and establish Ukraine as an independent state. It burned the property of Polish landowners, raided government properties for funds, and assassinated dozens of intellectuals and officials, including the Polish interior minister in 1934.

A particularly radical faction, known as OUN-B, split off in 1940 under the leadership of the young firebrand Stepan Bandera, who studied in Lviv. It enjoyed support during World War II from a Gestapo-supported secret police official, Mykola Lebed. Lebed had earlier been convicted with Bandera by Polish authorities for the 1934 murder of their interior minister, and would become notorious for his involvement in the wartime torture and murder of Jews.

Bandera’s OUN-B collaborated closely with the German foreign intelligence service, the Abwehr, to form a German-led Ukrainian Legion. On June 30, 1941, just days after Hitler’s invasion of the USSR, OUN-B declared an independent Ukrainian state with Lviv as its capital. Lebed served as police minister of the collaborationist government.

In the days that followed, OUN-B’s Nachtigall Battalion and its civilian sympathizers apparently slaughtered several thousand Jews and Polish intellectuals before moving on to join German forces on the Eastern Front. Another 3,000 Jews in Lviv were soon murdered by an SS death squad outside the city. OUN publications called these “exhilarating days.”

Although the OUN, in a letter to Adolf Hitler, officially welcomed the “consolidation of the new ethnic order in Eastern Europe” and the “destruction of the seditious Jewish-Bolshevik influence,” the Nazi leader rejected their nationalist ambitions and eventually banned the OUN.

Bandar’s organization went underground after being imprisoned by the Germans. His organization went underground, forming the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which engaged in “ethnic cleansing” of thousands of Poles and Jews. (sometimes, OUN members saved local Jews.)

They also killed tens of thousands of fellow Ukrainians in a bid to dictate the region’s political future. Many OUN members also directly joined police and militia groups sponsored by the Waffen-SS. Bandera himself was released by the Germans in 1944 and provided with arms to resist the advancing Red Army.

After the war, the OUN continued its losing battle for independence. Soviet forces killed, arrested, or deported several hundred thousand members, relatives or supporters of the UPA and OUN. Bandera was assassinated by the KGB in Munich in 1959. But right-wing nationalism enjoyed a resurgence after Ukraine won its independence in 1990-91, stoked by emigrés in the West who were loyal to OUN-B and to Bandera’s memory.

Finally, in 2010, Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yushchenko (who came to power in the U.S.-backed Orange Revolution), named Bandera a Hero of Ukraine for “defending national ideas and battling for an independent Ukrainian state.”

Part of Bandera’s legacy was the creation of the ultra-nationalist Social National Party in Lviv in 1991, later rebranded as Svoboda in 2004.

Svoboda became the largest party in Lviv in 2010 and enjoys strong influence at the national level. It has also extended its influence by allying itself with other far-right and fascist parties in Europe.

Nasty alliance between the United States & Nazis

Svoboda’s cause was championed during the Maidan protests by Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who egged on the crowds while standing under banners celebrating Stepan Bandera. McCain’s appearance was no accident. Since World War II, the Republican Party has been closely allied with pro-Nazi exile leaders from Eastern Europe. Many of them were recruited and paid by the CIA, and given secret legal exemptions to emigrate to the United States despite their history of war crimes.

In the 1988 book Blowback, “In hindsight, it is clear that the Ukrainian guerrilla option became the prototype for hundreds of CIA operations worldwide that have attempted to exploit indigenous discontent in order to make political gains for the United States.

“Instead of rallying to the new ‘democratic’ movement, there is every indication that many of the ordinary people of the Ukraine gave increased credence to the Soviet government’s message that the United States, too, was really Nazi at heart and capable of using any sort of deceit and violence to achieve its ends.”

Blowback also observes that CIA assistance to pro-Nazi Ukrainian and other Eastern European ethnic leaders created powerful political lobbies in the United States that backed hard-line “liberationist” policies toward the Soviet Union and its “captive nations.” One such political group was the Ukrainian-dominated, neo-Nazi Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations, which enjoyed support from Sen. Joseph McCarthy, among many other U.S. politicians.

“Before the decade of the 1950s was out,” Blowback states, “the activities of extremist European emigre organizations combined with indigenous American anticommunism to produce seriously negative effects on U.S. foreign policy and domestic affairs under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

“U.S. clandestine operations employing Nazis never did produce the results that were desired when they were initiated, but they did contribute to the influence of some of the most reactionary trends in American political life. Working together with corporate-financed lobbies such as the pro-armament American Security Council, Captive Nations leaders have acted as influential spoilers capable of obstructing important East-West peace initiatives undertaken by both Republican and Democratic administrations.”

Even today, the American political impulse to support anti-Russian agitation in the extreme rightist neo-Nazi Ukraine reflects Cold War-era policies that forged a nasty alliance between the United States and Nazi mass murderers.

Grandson of infamous Nazi spends lifetime making amends for namesake’s atrocities

I had to re-read the email I received from Masaryk University in Brno, the Czech Republic, to make sure I understood it correctly:

“In commemoration of International Students’ Day, which falls on November 17 – the day the Nazis closed down all the universities in the Czech Republic in 1939, and the day students in Prague protested against the Communist regime in 1989 – we are holding a major event and we would like to invite you to be one of two keynote speakers on a panel titled ‘Humanity and Barbarism in the Holocaust and in Europe today.’” I was okay with everything up until the next point in the email. “The other keynote speaker will be Mr. Rainer Höss, the grandson of Nazi war criminal Rudolf Höss, who, like you, also has a family connection with Auschwitz.”

Rudolf Höss? As in the commandant of Auschwitz – the chief commanding position within the SS service of a Nazi concentration camp? His grandson? No way. I was freaked out and closed the email, the instinctual reaction to that name by a child of Holocaust survivors.

The next thing I did was call my 92-year-old mother, who survived Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. “I don’t see what the problem is,” my mother told me in her matter-of-fact Czech. “Rainer is his grandson. He hadn’t even been born yet when all of this took place.”

That’s true, I responded.

In the days leading up to my trip, I obsessively read everything I could find on radicalization and racism in Europe, about Höss the grandfather, who was responsible for killing at least 500,000 Jews, and about Höss the grandson, who is active in Holocaust education and preaches tolerance. There is nothing like a dialogue between the descendants of the victims with those of the perpetrators, so long as the latter want to make amends.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16. The Old Town Square in Brno is full of candles for the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks.

Someone has hung up Lebanese and Turkish flags – there were victims there, too, a passerby mentions.

Brno, the capital of Moravia, is a three-hour drive from Prague. It used to be ethnically German, and tens of thousands of Germans who lived there before World War II were deported en masse in 1945. In short, this is an appropriate place for my first meeting with Höss the grandson. We meet at a local café and drink Czech beer.

The organizers of the event are walking around us on eggshells, a little nervous about how the program will turn out. Rainer Höss is tall, athletic and has a chiseled face (“I’ve been told a number of times that I look like my grandfather. It’s not pleasant to hear, but there’s not much I can do about it.”). He’s used to meeting with survivors, as well as children of survivors, and he speaks freely with me.

I, for one, am still keeping my distance.



RAINER HÖSS. He has made it his life mission to promote Holocaust education and tolerance.
(Courtesy Rainer Höss)

To me, he’s first and foremost the grandson of the man who commanded Auschwitz-Birkenau, the hell my mother was sent into in September 1943. Every once in a while I remind myself that Rainer was born in 1964, and that he isn’t responsible for his family’s horrific past.

The first question I ask him is why didn’t he change his name? “Before he was hanged, my grandfather wrote to my grandmother that she should change her name,” Rainer explains.

“Both my grandmother and my father were in complete denial of his crimes, and so they adamantly refused to change their names. ‘Höss will remain Höss,’ my grandmother would say. I decided that if I kept the name, this would enable me to do my part in repenting in my grandfather’s name. It’s not so simple, of course – you need to always be careful about everything you say, because people are judging you. Sometimes people curse me on the Internet and neo-Nazis are always trying to contact me. Ultimately, the name Höss is connected with Auschwitz, where millions of people were murdered.”

For years, Rainer engaged obsessively in rehabilitating his family name. He researched his grandfather’s and others’ crimes, spent hours in archives, has had talks with groups of teenagers about tolerance and fighting racism, and he gives (self-financed) guided tours of Auschwitz.

He’s active in an organization called Footsteps, which was founded so that people can not only learn about what happened in history, but also so that history doesn’t repeat itself. Rainer also works with Khubaib Ali Mohammed, a German- Muslim attorney, to bring to justice other Nazi war criminals who are still alive. “We work together – Christians, Muslims and Jews – and I’m very proud of that.”

RAINER, 51, lives in Munich, is divorced and is the father of three children. He is a chef by profession. At the age of 15, when he found out who his paternal grandfather was, he ran away from home. By 18, he was already married with a baby. Today, his eldest granddaughter is 15 years old. One of his daughters is married to a Bosnian Muslim, “and I’m so happy for her – I’m in favor of pluralism,” he says.

At the age of 21, Rainer cut off all contact with his family – his father, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. His mother, who divorced his father in 1983, is the only person he’s still in contact with.

Rainer’s father, Hans-Jurgen Höss, who was born in 1937, one of Rudolf and Hedwig Höss’s five children, grew up in a large villa near Auschwitz. There are color photographs that were taken during the war (with the new camera that Rudolf was given as a present by Heinrich Himmler), which show the Höss children frolicking in the garden and swimming in the pool at the villa, with the death camp and crematoria in the background.

“The villa is still there today – it’s owned by a Polish couple that I’m in touch with. Many people don’t know much about this house, such as the secret escape tunnel built by my grandfather that reaches from the crematoria to the house. A prisoner who worked for my grandfather told me that he would make the whole family practice using the escape tunnel at least once a week. The management of the concentration camp doesn’t like to publicize this, because they’re worried that neo-Nazis might turn this complex into a pilgrimage site.”

Years after the war ended, Rudolf’s children – and even his wife – claimed that they did not know what was taking place at the camp. “This is ludicrous, of course, because all of the servants at the house were prisoners from the camp,” Rainer explains. “All the gardening, landscaping, construction and renovations were carried out by prisoners. Even my grandfather’s barber was from the camp. My uncle used to use his slingshot to shoot rocks over the wall at the prisoners. There are prisoners who remember all of my aunts and uncles.” Rudolf’s wife, Hedwig, would later recall to friends how much she had loved living in Auschwitz, a time in her life she recalls as being “heavenly, happy times.”

“She was cold and tyrannical. When she would enter a room, it would all of a sudden feel like we were in a freezer,” Rainer says.


THE EXECUTION of Rudolf Höss in Auschwitz, April 1947. Höss was caught hiding in a farm in the British zone in north Germany, using a false name.
(Courtesy Rainer Höss)

LIVING 150 meters from the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp certainly had an effect on the Höss children, they all stayed supporters of Hitler and hated Jews. Rainer’s father, Hans-Jurgen, who worked as an engineer for Volvo, was, according to Rainer, a cold and cruel man. “The home I grew up in was hell on earth. My father would beat me and my mother all the time. He ruled the home with an iron fist. We were not allowed to speak without permission. We were forbidden to cry or show any feeling whatsoever. If we ever disobeyed him, he would beat us to a pulp. My mother tried to commit suicide a number of times.”

Rainer’s first encounter with the “Jewish issue” was incredibly traumatic. “I was maybe five or six years old, when a boy from school invited me over to his house for ‘Pesach-fest.’ I had no idea what this was. So I approached my father and stood still until he gave me permission to speak just like I always did. In a hesitant voice, I asked for permission to go to Chris’s house for Pesach-fest. My father leapt from his chair and hit me so hard that he broke my nose, and then he locked me in my room. ‘You will have no contact with those dirty Jews’ he screamed. The next day, I saw that there was a new sign hanging on our front door that read: ‘No Jews allowed.’”

Until the age of 12, Rainer didn’t know anything about his grandfather’s exploits. “My family would talk about how he was such a brave soldier, and that he was killed defending the homeland. Leopold Heger, my grandfather’s driver in Auschwitz, would come to our home and take long walks with me, while he told me about my grandfather’s heroism. He would call me ‘prince,’ because ‘your grandfather was like a king.’”

When he was 12, Rainer went on a school trip to the Dachau concentration camp. “My grandfather commanded this camp before being transferred to Auschwitz – I saw his name written on a plaque with my own eyes: Rudolf Höss. I ran home at the end of the day and asked my father if it was true, and he told me, ‘That’s a complete lie.’ And I believed him, since at that age you still believe everything your parents tell you.”

When he turned 15, Rainer came across a book at home titled Men of Auschwitz.

“When my father saw me take that book off the shelf, he bolted towards me, slapped my cheek and told me never to touch that book again. Of course, the next day, after my father left for work in Sweden, I read the whole book. This was the first time that I read about what my grandfather did at Auschwitz. I was overcome with an intense mixture of shame, anger and sadness.”

He never suspected anything before then? “I knew they were hiding something from me, and I saw how my father reacted when I asked him questions, but to discover that your grandfather was the commandant of Auschwitz, that your father grew up breathing in the smoke from the crematoria, I never expected anything like that. The very next day, I packed a few things and left home. I went to live at a boarding school where I studied culinary arts. But I was just a kid with no framework and no family, so of course I soon got into drugs and alcohol.” When Rainer was just 16, he got his girlfriend pregnant, but when he turned 18 he married her and managed to create a normative and warm family with her. “I wanted so badly to form a new family, to disconnect from my family’s gene pool,” Rainer says.

Did your children ever ask about your grandfather, about their aunts and uncles? “I told them the truth from a pretty young age. I also told them they were welcome to contact my relatives whenever they wanted, but they didn’t. ‘We’re with you,’ they told me.”

“IT’S INTERESTING that concealment was very common among the second and third generation on both sides,” says Don Sperling, the moderator of the panel we were on.

“In my house, no one hid the truth, they just downplayed the horrors,” I responded, kind of shocked by the comparison of the two sides. But then again, the truth is that on both sides there were black holes of silence and secrecy.

After his parents divorced, Rainer began investigating his grandfather’s exploits.

“My mother went through a pretty difficult time herself. I would sit with her for hours and make recordings of her talking about her life. She would also cry a lot, and say over and over again how sorry she was. She herself didn’t know anything about my grandfather until 1963, when the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials began [which the movie Labyrinth of Lies was based on – T.B.] Following the trial, an article titled “The Gas Man from Auschwitz” was published, alongside a picture of the entire Höss family. My mother ran home and asked my father if that was really them. ‘Yes,’ he told her.

‘Do you have a problem with that?’” Rainer began digging through all of his family’s documents, and then afterwards in archives in Germany and Russia.

He even located Holocaust survivors who worked in the Höss villa at Auschwitz, including his grandfather’s barber: Josef Paczynski, who wasn’t even a barber by profession, but a metal worker.

“One day, they got rid of my grandfather’s regular barber, an SS officer, and were looking for someone to volunteer to replace him, and so Paczynski volunteered out of a desire for self-preservation.

Every day for two years, he would come to the villa and give my grandfather a shave and a trim. For two years, Höss didn’t exchange even one word with Paczynski, but when he would leave, he would be given another helping of food, which helped Paczynski and his friends survive.”

Rainer spent hours and hours looking through archival information, and this is how he found out about his grandfather’s mistress, Eleanore Hodys, who was probably not Jewish, and was impregnated twice by the commandant.

Dr. Glauberg, a Nazi doctor who experimented on Jewish women in the camps, carried out the first abortion. “When my grandmother found out about the affair, she called Himmler and told him to deal with it straight away. At the time, my grandfather had been in the hospital, having just been in an accident.

They put Hodys in solitary confinement, preparatory to being taken to the gas chambers, but then my grandfather suddenly came back and ordered her brought back.” When Hodys once again got pregnant, she was sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. “Somehow she managed to escape to Vienna.

I managed to locate a man who was her neighbor in Vienna who corroborated that she did indeed arrive pregnant. After she gave birth, Hodys disappeared overnight, so it’s possible that somewhere out there is another one of Rudolf Höss’s children. Hodys died in 1964.”

With help from the Institute of Contemporary History (IFZ), Rainer succeeded in finding Hodys’s estate, which was located in a storage room of the executor of her will in Vienna. “Inside a box, we found gloves with my grandfather’s initials on them, uniforms and a ring with his initials on it that was made of gold taken from the teeth of Jewish prisoners. My daughter, who’s a dentist, helped me investigate this.

It turns out there were 153 grams of gold in the ring. If you consider that the average person had between one and five grams worth of gold fillings in their mouth, quite a lot of Jews died to make that ring.”

Over the years, Rainer become more and more obsessed with his family’s personal connection to the Holocaust, and his marriage suffered as a result.


RAINER HÖSS and Tal Bashan visit a candlelight vigil in Brno.
(Photo credit Tal Bashan)

“We used to go to Bavaria every year for vacation. I would tell my family that I was going out for a bike ride, but really I would take a taxi to the central archive and spend hours there,” Rainer says with a smile. “One time, my oldest daughter followed me, since she suspected I was meeting a lover. I love researching and figuring out how all the puzzle pieces fit together to form a big picture. Over time, I discovered that my grandfather did not operate in a vacuum.

He had many contacts in a number of different camps, like Mauthausen and Buchenwald. Auschwitz was actually much more complex than most people know. There was one main camp, but there was also IG Farben, a chemical factory, and a sub-camp called Buna.”

At one point, Rainer received the rights to his grandfather’s archive, which consisted mostly of documents and photographs.

In Israel, rumors began circulating that he was interested in selling items in the archive. “But that’s just not true. I handed everything over to the IFZ, on condition that they be used for research purposes only. The IFZ is currently preparing a traveling exhibition with these documents called ‘The documents of the Auschwitz commandant.’”

GRADUALLY, HÖSS abandoned all other activities. He sold his catering business and now devotes all of his time and money to Holocaust and tolerance education.

“The current situation in Europe highlights the lessons of the Holocaust. In Germany alone, there are 360,000 active Nazis. In all of Europe, there are more than 2.6 million Nazis,” Rainer says. He works alone (“I can’t trust anyone”) and is careful not to take personal donations, “since that would just generate gossip. All donations go directly toward projects.”

About a year ago, Rainer joined Ben Lesser, an American businessman who survived the Holocaust and founded an organization called Zachor. Together they are working on a project called Six Million Screams. “People ask me how I can be friends with someone whose grandfather murdered my family,” Lesser writes. “The answer is simple – you can’t control the reality you were born into, but you can choose which reality you want to live in.

I see before me a strong, courageous and caring man who is trying to make amends for what his grandfather did.”

Rainer wears a Star of David necklace around his neck that he received from a Holocaust survivor. He does not hide how proud he is to have relationships with Auschwitz survivors. “Somehow, I manage to connect with them well. They carry with them such wisdom. I have found that the children of survivors are more belligerent towards me. You yourself told me that your mother is the one who persuaded you to meet me,” Rainer says to me.

I did begin to wonder how the entire time we’d been talking, I was the one asking questions, whereas Rainer had never asked me anything about what had happened to my mother.

“Over the years, I’ve learned that some people view my questioning as an invasion of their privacy. Some people have responded by telling me, ‘Why would you be interested in what happened to my parents at Auschwitz? Your grandfather didn’t seem to care.’ So now, I let people tell me their story if and when they feel comfortable doing so.”

OH, YES, and one more thing. The panel was a huge success. One thousand, two hundred people filled the auditorium and many more tuned in to listen to the broadcast live on the Internet. Apparently, the discussion taking place between the daughter of a Czech woman who survived Auschwitz and the grandson of the notorious Rudolf Höss interested many people, although it was quite clear to me that Höss was the main attraction.

After all, there are many, many children of Holocaust survivors, but not so many grandchildren of senior Nazi officials who want to atone for the atrocities performed by their grandfathers.

“Have you two known each other for a long time?” the reporter from the Czech radio station who interviewed us after the event asked me. “You look like old friends.” We looked at each other, and couldn’t help but burst out laughing. “So I guess there’s a place for humor in all of this,” the reporter continued. “Of course there is,” we replied. “Black humor. We’re just getting ready for our joint tour.” ■

Translated by Hannah Hochner.

Report: Koch Brothers’ (Freemasons) Father Helped Nazis Build Oil Refinery

A new book by New Yorker writer Jane Mayer about the history of far-right financing of elections has quite a revelation: the Koch Brothers father, and patriarch of their fortune, Fred Koch, built an oil refinery for Nazi Germany that was overseen by Hitler himself. The New York Times, which had received an advance copy of the book, “Dark Money,” reported:

But the book is largely focused on the Koch family, stretching back to its involvement in the far-right John Birch Society and the political and business activities of the father, Fred C. Koch, who found some of his earliest business success overseas in the years leading up to World War II. One venture was a partnership with the American Nazi sympathizer William Rhodes Davis, who, according to Ms. Mayer, hired Mr. Koch to help build the third-largest oil refinery in the Third Reich, a critical industrial cog in Hitler’s war machine.

Koch Industries spokesman Ken Spain told the Times, “If the content of the book is reflective of Ms. Mayer’s previous reporting of the Koch family, Koch Industries or Charles’s and David’s political involvement, then we expect to have deep disagreements and strong objections to her interpretation of the facts and their sourcing,”

The Koch brothers are major players in U.S. politics, having donated to a number of far-right causes including deregulationclimate change denialanti-tax groups and, most famously, the nominally grassroots right-wing movement generally known as the Tea Party. The Kochs’ father founded Tea Party predecessor the John Birch Society that dealt in similar themes of anti-government paranoia that dovetailed nicely with the Kochs’ financial interests in pro-corporate deregulation efforts.

In 1934, Mayer details for the first time, Fred Koch’s firm provided engineering plans and began construction on an oil refinery near Hamburg which help fuel the war machine including the Nazis infamous Luftwaffe air fleet. The Washington Post reports that the Kochs links to Nazi Germany went beyond mere business:

For example, Mayer writes that the family patriarch, Fred Koch, admired German discipline so much in the 1930s that he hired a fervent Nazi as a governess for his eldest boys. “Dark Money”  suggests that the experience of being toilet trained by a Nazi may have contributed to Charles Koch’s antipathy toward government today.

Mayer’s book also deals generally with the relationship between right-wing oligarchs and U.S. policies. It includes accounts of the Bradleys, DeVoses, the Scaifes, and other families who have used their great wealth to influence the Republican party and conservative and libertarian media. The hardcover of “Dark Money” is out January 19th.

Buried Nazi tunnels? Polish province drills down to learn

WARSAW, Poland — Workers hired by local authorities are drilling in southwestern Poland in search of hidden Nazi tunnels that an explorer claims are in the area.

The provincial governor in Walbrzych, Jacek Cichura, said Saturday that small cameras will be inserted in the holes to get a better look. The findings are to be announced on Thursday.

An explorer, Krzysztof Szpakowski, claimed last month that he has located a system of underground Nazi tunnels and shelters near the city of Walbrzych.

He believes they can hide technical appliances or armaments, but not the legendary gold train.

Local lore has it that in 1945, the Nazis hid an armored gold train from Soviet troops near Walbrzych. Military experts have checked the alleged site for safety ahead of possible search work.

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