UK university ‘censors’ Holocaust survivor’s talk over Israel-Nazi comparison

Manchester University reportedly censored the title of a talk given by a Holocaust survivor on campus for Israel Apartheid Week this year, after Israeli diplomats intervened and argued that the title of the address, “You’re doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to me,” amounted to anti-Semitic hate speech.

According to a report in The Guardian this weekend, a survivor of the Budapest ghetto, Marika Sherwood, was expected to address students at the university in March on Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians, as a guest speaker for the week-long event, backed by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Israel Apartheid Week is held on university campuses around the world.

The paper reported that prior to the talk, Israel’s ambassador to the UK Mark Regev and civil affairs attaché Michael Freeman paid a visit to the university, after which organizers placed a ban on the “unduly provocative” title of the address and imposed a number of conditions before the talk could proceed.

Freeman wrote to Westlake following their meeting, thanking him for the sit-down and asserting that the title of Sherwood’s talk breached the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, which the UK adopted late last year.The February 22 meeting between the Israeli diplomats and the university’s head of student experience, Tim Westlake, yielded an email exchange since made public by the Information Commissioner’s Office which demanded that “all correspondence between the University of Manchester and the Israeli lobby” between February 1 and March 3 be disclosed.

Freeman said that Sherwood’s address and expected talks by two other speakers for a separate event “cause Jewish students to feel uncomfortable on campus and that they are being targeted and harassed for their identity as a people and connection to the Jewish state of Israel.”

“I would be grateful if you could look into these events and take the appropriate action,” Freeman told Westlake.

“We welcome debate and discussion and see it as an essential part of a healthy democracy and open society. In the case of these two particular events, we feel that this is not legitimate criticism but has rather crossed the line into hate speech,” Freeman went on.

The day after the email, according to the report, an organizer for Israel Apartheid Week, Huda Ammori, received an email from a university official saying that Sherwood’s title for the talk “is not to be permitted, because of its unduly provocative nature.”

The talk went ahead under a revised title.

Ammori said told the Guardian that “in educational institutions there shouldn’t be any sort of lobbying from foreign governments. You couldn’t imagine them sitting down with the Saudi embassy for an event about what’s going on in Yemen.”

A spokesman for the Israeli embassy denied that the meeting between embassy officials and the university amounted to lobbying and said of Sherwood’s talk that “comparing Israel to the Nazi regime could reasonably be considered anti-Semitic, given the context, according to IHRA’s working definition of anti-Semitism, which is accepted by the British government, the Labour party, the NUS [National Union of Students] and most British universities.”

Sherwood told the paper that she rejected the assertion that the title amounted to hate speech.

“I was just speaking of my experience of what the Nazis were doing to me as a Jewish child,” she said. “I had to move away from where I was living, because Jews couldn’t live there. I couldn’t go to school. I would have died were it not for the Christians who baptised us and shared papers with us to save us.”

“I can’t say I’m a Palestinian, but my experiences as a child are not dissimilar to what Palestinian children are experiencing now,” she said.


Jewish Trump ally hounded online as ‘Nazi’ after Charlottesville

Billionaire investor Steve Schwarzman, who served on a business council for President Donald Trump, said he received hundreds of emails calling him a Nazi following the march by white supremacists in Charlottesville.

Schwarzman, co-founder and CEO of the Blackstone Group, said in a speech Tuesday in New York that Trump’s business councils, including the Strategic and Policy Forum he chaired, folded after members came under pressure in the wake of the Virginia demonstration in support of Confederate statues.

“People were under legitimate astonishing pressure,” he said Tuesday at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha conference. “It was pretty clear that the country itself felt like it was going out of control. We decided there was too much pressure for too many people all running public companies.”

Schwarzman said that shareholders and employees pressured the CEOs to cut their ties with Trump.

“You should’ve seen some of the mail I got,” Schwarzman said. “I was accused by people of being a Nazi. I mean I’m Jewish. It was absurd.”

Schwarzman is one of Trump’s closest allies on Wall Street, according to the Washington Post. Asked at the conference how often he speaks with the president, he would not say.

Scottish Jews say Nazi pug video stoked anti-Semitism

A Scottish Jewish leader told a court this week that a clip of a Scottish man training a dog to perform a Nazi salute stirred up online anti-Semitic sentiment against the local Jewish community.

Ephraim Borowski, head of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, testified to the Airdrie Sheriff Court that the video posted by Mark Meechan was “grossly offensive.”

“It stuns me that anyone should think it is a joke,” the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

In the clip, which received over 3 million views on YouTube, Meechan said he had decided to train his girlfriend’s pug Buddha to be a Nazi as a practical joke.

“My girlfriend is always ranting and raving about how cute and adorable her wee dog is, and so I thought I would turn him into the least cute thing that I could think of, which is a Nazi,” he told his viewers.

He then filmed multiple instances in which his dog perks up to the sound of the phrase “gas the Jews” as well as simply the word “Jews.” In the second part of the video the dog is seen watching a Hitler speech and raising its right paw in response to the phrase “Sieg heil.”

Borowski told the court this was clearly more than a practical joke.

“My immediate reaction is that there is a clear distinction to be made between an off-hand remark and the amount of effort that is required to train a dog like that,” he said. “I actually feel sorry for the dog.”

Borowski, who was shown the video in court, argued it was meant to offend.

“The other thing that struck me was the explicit statement that this was intended to give offense and intended to be the most offensive thing he could think of,” Borowski said. “I’m no historian but it is the marching signal of the Nazi storm troopers who contributed and supported the murder of six million Jews including members of my own family and I take this all slightly personally.”

He added that the Scottish Jewish community felt threatened by the anti-Semitic sentiment stirred up by the video.

“The threat is against the Jewish community and there is an echo chamber effect with people trying to be more offensive,” he told the court. “160 pages of messages about this were collected by us in a day, they supported it and it was extremely anti-Semitic.”

In a subsequent clip Meechan apologized for the posting the video, saying he had never intended to offend anyone and simply wanted “to annoy my girlfriend.” He said he never imagined the video would go viral and had thought it would only be viewed his close friends “who know me and know my sense of humor and know my comedy, which is quite dark.”

He stressed that he hated “racism in any way shape or form…I don’t have any ill will towards the Jewish community or anything like that at all.”

His girlfriend Suzanne Kelly defended him as well, telling The Mirror “that’s just Markus’s sense of humor. He would never set out to insult anybody or cause offense.”

Both the original clip and the apology were deleted from YouTube.



In the spring of 1945, Harald Quandt, a 23-year-old officer in the German Luftwaffe, was being held as a prisoner of war by Allied forces in the Libyan port city of Benghazi when he received a farewell letter from his mother, Magda Goebbels – the wife of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
The hand-written note confirmed the devastating news he had heard weeks earlier: his mother had committed suicide with her husband on May 1, after slipping their six children cyanide capsules in Adolf Hitler’s underground bunker in Berlin.

“My dear son! By now we’ve been in the Fuehrerbunker for six days already, Daddy, your six little siblings and I, to give our national socialistic lives the only possible, honorable ending,” she wrote. “Harald, dear son, I want to give you what I learned in life: Be loyal! Loyal to yourself, loyal to the people and loyal to your country!”

Quandt was released from captivity in 1947. Seven years later, he and his half-brother Herbert – Harald was the only remaining child from Magda Goebbels‚ first marriage – would inherit the industrial empire built by their father, Guenther Quandt.

The brothers took the business, which had produced Mauser firearms and anti-aircraft missiles for the Third Reich’s war machine. Their most valuable assets became stakes in car manufacturers Bayerische Motoren Werke AG ( BMW) and Daimler AG.

Lower profile

While the half-brothers passed away decades ago, their legacy has endured. Herbert’s widow, Johanna Quandt, 86, and their children Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt, have remained in the public eye as BMW’s dominant shareholders. The billionaire daughters of Harald Quandt – Katarina Geller-Herr, 61, Gabriele Quandt, 60, Anette-Angelika May-Thies, 58, and 51-year-old Colleen-Bettina Rosenblat-Mo – have kept a lower profile.

The four sisters inherited about 1.5 billion deutsche marks ($760 million) after the death of their mother, Inge, in 1978, according to the family’s sanctioned biography, Die Quandts. They manage their wealth through the Harald Quandt Holding GmbH, a Bad Homburg, Germany-based family investment company and trust named after their father. Dr. Fritz Becker, the CEO of the family entities, said the siblings realized average annual returns above 7 percent from its founding in 1981 through 1996. Since then, the returns have averaged 7.6%.

“The family wants to stay private and that is an acceptable situation for me,” said Becker in an interview at his Bad Homburg office. “We invest our money globally and if it’s $1b., $500m. or $3b., who cares?”

Wartime profits

Together, the four sisters – and the two children of a deceased sibling – share a fortune worth at least $6b., giving each of them a net worth of $1.2b., according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. They have never appeared individually as billionaires on an international wealth ranking.

Becker declined to provide the exact figure the holding manages for the four sisters. The siblings declined to comment for this account, said Ralf-Dieter Brunowsky, a spokesman for the family investment company, in an e-mail. He said the net worth calculation was “too high,” declining to be more specific.

The rise of the Quandt family fortune shares the same trajectory as Germany’s quest for global domination in the 20th century. It began in 1883, when Emil Quandt acquired a textile company owned by his late father-in-law. At the turn of the century, Emil passed the business to his eldest son, Guenther.

The younger Quandt saw an opportunity with the onset of war in 1914. His factories, already one of the biggest clothing manufacturers for the German state, quadrupled their weekly uniform production for the army, according to Die Quandts.

Weapons production

After Germany’s surrender four years later, Quandt put the company’s wartime profits to use. In 1922, he bought a majority stake in Accumulatoren-Fabrik AG, a Hagen-based battery manufacturer. Six years later, he took over Berlin-Karlsruher Industriewerken AG, a Berlin-based manufacturer that made sewing machines and silverware. The factory, once one of Germany’s largest weapon producers, had been forced to retool as part of the country’s disarmament agreement.

“The Quandt’s business grew in the Kaiserreich, it grew during the Weimar Republic, it grew during the Second World War and it grew strongly after the war,” Rudiger Jungbluth, author of Die Quandts, said in an interview at a Bavarian restaurant in Hamburg last November.

Nazi connections

In 1918, Guenther Quandt’s first wife died of the Spanish flu, leaving him a widower with two young sons, Hellmut and Herbert. He remarried Magda Ritschel in 1921, and the couple’s only son, Harald, was born later that year. Hellmut died in 1927, from complications related to appendicitis.

Quandt and Magda divorced in 1929. Two years later, she married Joseph Goebbels, a member of the German parliament who also held a doctorate degree in drama and served as head of propaganda for Germany’s growing Nazi party. After the Nazis took power in 1933, their leader, Adolf Hitler, appointed Goebbels as the Third Reich’s propaganda minister.

Guenther Quandt joined the party that same year. His factories became key suppliers to the German war effort, even though his relationship with Goebbels had become increasingly strained.

“There was constant rivalry,” said Bonn-based history professor Joachim Scholtyseck, author of a family-commissioned study about their involvement with the Third Reich, in a telephone interview. “It didn’t matter that Goebbels didn’t like him. It didn’t have any influence on Quandt’s ability to make money.”

Forced labor

In 1937, he earned the title of Wehrwirtschaftsfuehrer, the name given to members of an elite group of businessmen who were deemed beneficial to the production of war materials for the Third Reich. During the war, Quandt’s AFA manufactured batteries for U-Boat submarines and V-2 rocket launchers. His BKIW – which had been renamed Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionsfabriken AG in 1936 – produced Mauser firearms, ammunition and anti-aircraft missiles.

“He was one of the leading industrialists in the Third Reich and the Second World War,” Scholtyseck said. “He always kept a very low profile.” From 1940 to 1945, the Quandt family factories were staffed with more than 50,000 forced civilian laborers, prisoners of war and concentration camp workers, according to Scholtyseck’s 1,183-page study. The report was commissioned by the family in 2007 after German television aired the documentary The Silence of the Quandts, a critical look at their wartime activities.

Released in September 2011, the study also found that Quandt appropriated assets from Jewish company owners and that his son Herbert had planned building an AFA factory in which slave laborers would be deployed.

Army volunteer

“Guenther Quandt didn’t have a Nazi kind of thinking,” said Jungbluth, the family biographer. “He was looking for any opportunity to expand his personal empire.” Quandt’s youngest son, Harald, lived with his mother, Goebbels and six half-siblings. In 1939, he joined the German army after the country’s invasion of Poland, volunteering for the army’s paratrooper unit one year later.

During the war, Harald was deployed in Greece, France and Russia, before being shot and captured in Italy in 1944, and taken to the British Army-run POW camp in Benghazi where he received his mother’s farewell letter.

His stepfather also sent him a goodbye note.

“It’s likely that you’ll be the only one to remain who can continue the tradition of our family,” wrote Goebbels, who served as Chancellor of Germany for one day following Hitler’s suicide on April 30, 1945.

After the war, Guenther Quandt served in an internment camp in Moosburg an der Isar for more than a year, before being judged a “Mitlaeufer” – a Nazi follower who wasn’t formally involved in the regime’s crimes – in denazification hearings in 1948. No repercussions followed.

“He was lucky that he wasn’t as prominent as someone like Flick or Krupp,” said Scholtyseck, referring to the German industrialists Friedrich Flick and Alfried Krupp, who were sentenced to prison terms at the Nuremberg war crimes trials.

Guenther died in 1954 while vacationing in Cairo, leaving his business empire equally in the hands of his two surviving sons, Harald and Herbert. Most notably, the assets included ownership of AFA and Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionsfabriken – renamed Industrie-Werke Karlsruhe AG after the war – and stakes in Daimler-Benz and potash miner Wintershall AG.

Sovereign wealth

Herbert managed the stakes in the battery, car and potash firm, while Harald oversaw the interests in the industrial companies, according to Jungbluth’s biography.

Over the next decade, the brothers increased their stake in Daimler; Herbert saved BMW from collapse in the 1960s after becoming its largest shareholder and backing the development of new models.

Harald died in 1967, at age 45, in an airplane crash outside Turin, Italy. The relationship between his widow, Inge, and Herbert deteriorated after his death. Negotiations to settle the estate by separating assets commenced in 1970.

The most valuable asset that the Harald Quandt heirs received was four-fifths of a 14% stake in Daimler, according to the biography. In 1974, the entire stake was sold to the Kuwait Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, for about 1b. deutsche marks, according to a DaimlerBenz publication from 1986 celebrating its centennial.

Inge Quandt, who suffered from depression, died of a heart attack on Christmas Eve 1978. Her new husband, Dr. Hans-Hilman von Halem, shot himself in the head on Boxing Day. The five orphaned daughters, two of them teenagers, were left to split the family fortune.

Family meetings

The estate’s trustees had started overseeing the daughters’ money in 1974. An active investment approach commenced with the founding of the family investment company in 1981.

“It’s different if you work for a family than a corporation,” said Becker. “You can really invest instead of fulfilling regulation requirements.” According to Die Quandts, the siblings try to get together a few times a year to discuss their investments. Gabriele Quandt lives in Munich. After earning a master’s degree in business administration at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, she married German publishing heir Florian Langenscheidt, with whom she had two sons. The couple divorced in 2008.

Katarina Geller-Herr owns Gestuet Waeldershausen, an equestrian center in Homberg (Ohm), Germany. She sponsored Lars Nieberg, a twotime Olympic gold medalist in show jumping.

Jewish conversion

Colleen-Bettina Rosenblat-Mo is a jewelry designer who runs a studio and showroom in Hamburg. She converted to Judaism in New York at age 24. Her first marriage was to Michael Rosenblat, a German-Jewish businessman, whose father survived a concentration camp. The couple divorced in 1997. She remarried Frode Mo, a Norwegian journalist.

Anette-Angelika May-Thies lives in Hamburg, according to the Harald Quandt Holding shareholders list filed with the German federal trade registry. Her first marriage was to Axel May, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. international adviser for private banking, who managed the family’s investments for about 25 years.

The siblings are also majority owners and investors in five financial services companies, all of which pay dividends, according to Becker. The firms were founded to manage the sisters’ wealth and subsequently opened up to third parties.

Private equity

The six companies combined manage $18b. in assets, according to the family investment company’s website. Becker said the majority of the money controlled by these firms is invested for third parties. One-fifth of the family fortune is managed by trustees for the two children of the youngest Quandt sibling, Patricia Halterman, who died in July 2005, four days before turning 38. Her Upper East Side townhouse sold for $37.5m. in 2008.

Auda International LP serves as the sisters’ New York-based privateequity unit. It manages almost $5b. and was founded as their US office in 1989, said Becker. Real Estate Capital Partners LP started the same year and has invested about $9b. in real estate, according to its website. Both companies are owned through HQFS LP, an offshore entity based in the Cayman Islands.

In Bad Homburg, HQ Trust GmbH serves as a investment management company for about 30 families with fortunes ranging from 50m. euros to 500m. euros. Equita Management GmbH invests in small and mid-cap companies in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. HQ Advisor GmbH provides accounting and controlling services.

Only one sister, Gabriele, carries the family name, and none are active in the day-to-day business of the family office, said Becker.

“Sad truth”

Their uncle, Herbert Quandt, died in 1982. His fortune was divided between six children from three different marriages. BMW, his most valuable asset, was inherited by his third wife Johanna Quandt and their children, Stefan Quandt, 46, and Susanne Klatten, 50. The three billionaires hold 46.7% of the Munichbased car producer, according to the company’s 2011 annual report.

After Scholtyseck’s study was published in 2011, cousins Gabriele and Stefan Quandt acknowledged their family’s ties and involvement with the Third Reich in an interview with Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper.

“Magda killed her six children in the Fuehrerbunker. Our father loved his half-siblings very much. And when, like me, you have something like this in your family history, you think: It can’t be any worse,” Gabriele Quandt said in the interview. “It’s a sad truth that forced laborers died in Quandt companies,” said Stefan.

The acknowledgment didn’t prompt a public distancing from the men that made their family Germany’s richest. The families’ offices in Bad Homburg are named after Guenther and Harald Quandt, and the Herbert Quandt media prize of 50,000 euros is awarded annually to German journalists.

“They have to live with the name. It’s part of the history,” said Scholtyseck. “It will be a constant reminder of dictatorship and the challenges that families have to face.”

Colorado Man Stabbed for Having a “Nazi” Haircut

This is the haircut that got Joshua Witt stabbed because it represented hardcore Neo-Nazism and White supremacy.

So now we have this report of a crazy anti-fascist terrorist stabbing someone for having a Nazi haircut. He was just trying to get a milkshake!

NY Post:

This Colorado man is avowedly not a neo-Nazi.

But he believes his long-on-top, buzzed-on-the-sides haircut got him mistaken for one — and nearly stabbed to death by a confused anti-fascist.

Joshua Witt, 26, escaped his brush with hairdo-doom with a defensive slice to the hand and three stitches.
“Apparently, my haircut is considered a neo-Nazi statement,” he told The Post Saturday, as his account on Facebook garnered 20,000 shares.

Witt says he’d just pulled in to the parking lot of the Steak ’n Shake in Sheridan, Colo., and was opening his car door.

“All I hear is, ‘Are you one of them neo-Nazis?’ as this dude is swinging a knife up over my car door at me,” he said.

“I threw my hands up and once the knife kind of hit, I dived back into my car and shut the door and watched him run off west, behind my car.

“The dude was actually aiming for my head,” he added.

“I was more in shock because I was just getting a milkshake.”

WTF is a Nazi haircut any way? I would like a precise definition because I’m not exactly sure how you can define such a thing.

I’m going to take a guess, but apparently a Nazi haircut is broadly defined as a White male who has hair on his head.

Did a Nazi Submarine Attack a Chemical Plant in North Carolina?

It’s a sizzling July day at Kure Beach. Kids in bathing suits walk barefoot along Fort Fisher Boulevard; moms and dads lug lawn chairs to the sand…


Motels with names like “The Hang Ten Grill” and “The Salty Hammock” bespeak a chilled-out lifestyle in this summer community, located 15 miles south of Wilmington, North Carolina.

But just down Atlantic Avenue, a narrow four-block-long road from Kure (pronounced “Cure-ee”) Beach Fishing Pier, an old seaside cottage bears witness to a time when things weren’t all sunshine and Cheerwine along the Carolina coast. It was here on a July night in 1943 that a German U-Boat supposedly surfaced and fired shots at a factory complex located a half-mile off shore. If the incident actually occurred—and many believe it didn’t—it would have been the only time the East Coast of the United States was attacked during the Second World War.

“It’s a tradition among the old timers on Kure Beach that this happened,” says John Gregory III, who along with his sister, now owns a shorefront cottage built by his grandparents in the late 1930s. “It wasn’t just because my grandparents saw it, but lots of other people at the time, too.”

The now infamous story that Gregory’s grandmother told him goes like this: On the night of July 24, John E. Gregory Sr. and his wife, Lorena, both of whom would have been in their mid-50s at the time, were sitting on the porch in their rocking chairs (one of the chairs is still on the porch. It’s John’s favorite place to sit and admire the view.) Everything was swathed in a darkness accentuated by the blackout curtains that houses had hung to make the coastline less visible. (Civil authorities had imposed blackouts to hide the profiles of merchant marine ships from lurking U-Boats.)

The waters off the Carolinas had been swarming with U-Boats since the United States entered the war in December, 1941. The enemy fleet had collectively inflicted enormous damage to merchant shipping along the East Coast and elsewhere in the first six months of the war. By the summer of 1942, however, a combination of improved Allied intelligence, stronger coastal defenses, including anti-submarine technologies and air reconnaissance, and the all-important implementation of the convoy system, had weakened the U-Boat force.

This is the U-85, the first U-boat sunk by the U.S. in WWII. It was sunk of Nags Head, NC on April 14, 1942 in action with the USS Roper with the loss of all hands. (NC Maritime Museums)

Off the North Carolina coast alone, four U-Boats had been sunk in the summer of 1942. In his 2014 history The Burning Shore, military historian Ed Offley wrote that the U-Boats had concentrated their efforts along the Carolina coast for its relative safety; the U.S. had not yet organized a coastal defense system. “In July 1942,” he wrote, “that was longer the case.”

But those advances against the Germans weren’t readily apparent to the Gregorys or any other civilians along the coast. Military patrols “along the beach were still a common sight and a nighttime curfew was in effect. Suddenly, as the couple gazed out on the water, a spotlight just off shore bathed their porch in blinding light. It moved to the left, then to the right, scanning the beach. Then they heard what Lorena would describe as “artillery fire,” before poof! The light went dark.

“The whole thing happened in a minute or two,” says John Gregory, recounting the story his grandmother told him. “They just sat there petrified. There was nothing they could do. There was no phone in the house back then, so they couldn’t call anybody.”

The next morning, a number of neighbors said they’d also seen the light, or heard the firing. John Sr. sought out a military officer at the nearest command post to tell them what they’d witnessed. “The response was, `Nothing happened. You didn’t see anything,’” says John Jr. “But my grandparents and their neighbors knew what they saw…it was a German submarine.”

When Wilbur Jones, a local historian with a special interest in World War II-era Wilmington, came to see John Jr. about the matter in 2015, Gregory was happy to share the tale with him. Jones, a retired U.S. Navy captain, grew up in Wilmington and was a child during the war. Now 83, he is the author of two memoirs about life in the city during the war years, including A Sentimental Journey: Memoirs of a Wartime Boomtown (2002).

A boomtown it was: During the Second World War, Wilmington was one of the great “Arsenals of Democracy.” The North Carolina Shipbuilding Company employed about 21,000 people during the war years. In their massive Wilmington shipyards, they produced the so-called Liberty Ships, cargo vessels that hauled all kinds of freight (and later, troops) and became a symbol of American industrial might. According to Jones, by mid-1943, construction time at NCSC for a single, 441-foot long, 10,800-ton Liberty Ship—from keel-laying to delivery—was about 30 days. A wartime commission headed by then-Senator Harry Truman had found the Wilmington operation one of the most efficient in the entire country.

There were other important military installations in and around the city, including the Ethyl-Dow plant, which extracted bromine, a component of aviation fuel, from seawater. The facility—a partnership between Dow Chemical and the Ethyl corporation—employed 1,500 people.

“That plant was one of just a couple in the U.S. that was producing the compound for aviation gasoline,” Jones said. “It was an important part of the defense industry in Wilmington at that time.” And, he adds, it would have been a high value target to the enemy, and its where many locals, the Gregorys included, thought the artillery fire was directed.

In the mid-1990s, when Jones began researching his memoir, he interviewed another man who had worked at the plant and claimed to have heard the whistling of the shells that night (which, the man pointed out, not only missed the factory but exploded harmlessly over the nearby Cape Fear River).

“We think [the shells] are still there, along the bank,” says Jones. He also read accounts and interviewed witnesses who said that the lights of the NCSC shipyard were turned off that night from roughly midnight to 5:30 a.m.—a drastic move at an around-the-clock operation, and probably the only time the plant shut down during the entire war.

After consulting other records and historians, including a 1946 report in the Raleigh News and Observer quoting eyewitness accounts from a chemist at the plant that night and the commander of the local Coast Guard Auxiliary, he reached his conclusion: “I think it’s very possible that a lone sub was operating here for intelligence,” Jones says. “They realized they had an opportunity to do something, so they did.” He hastens to add, “I’m not going to swear on a stack of Bibles, but all common sense and circumstantial evidence points to this.”

Jones gave considerable space in his book to the views of those who believe the attack never took place, foremost among them another retired Navy officer and Wilmington resident named David Carnell, now deceased. In a letter to Jones, Carnell—who had done his own research—dismissed the attack as “mythology.”

Jerry Mason, a retired U.S. Navy pilot whose website is widely recognized as a definitive source of information on the German submarines, agrees. “It’s highly unlikely,” he says. He bases his naysaying on his work with both the National Archives and WWII scholars in Germany, as well as his extensive set of U-Boat logs. Mason says that according to these records, by July 1943, there was only one submarine operating off the coast of the Carolinas—U-190—and its commander, Max Wintermeyer, was known for being cautious; a sensible posture for a U-Boat skipper at this point in the war.

Additionally, Mason says, the U-190 logs suggest the ship was far from Kure Beach that night and mention nothing about shelling the coast on that night in July, 1943. “Doing so on his own initiative would have been highly unusual,” he says, “because shore bombardment was a special task normally approved at the highest level of command.” Indeed, he points out, using deck guns to fire upon land was used rarely after a failed attack upon an oil refinery in Dutch-held Aruba resulted in missed targets and the gun exploding in the face of its operators.

Other experts—while stopping short of saying they believe the attack took place—argue that an attack by a lone wolf sub on a random, but symbolic, target is not something that should be completely ruled out. (It should also be noted that, Mason’s records show two other U-Boats entered North Carolina waters that same week).

Among the personal pictures found among the belongings of the ill-fated submarine crew is this image of U-85 taken sometime before her fourth and final war patrol (War Record of the Fifth Naval District, 1942),  To the right is a photograph by Brett Seymour of the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center, taken from a similar viewpoint in 2009, which shows a possible penetration of the pressure hull from USS Roper’s gunfire. The wreck of U-85 is considered a war grave by both the United States and Germany. (Courtesy the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA))  

“Is it possible that a U-Boat commander would sneak up as close as he could, take a couple of pot shots and hope he gets lucky?” asks Joseph Schwarzer, director of the North Carolina Maritime Museum System. “Yes, it’s possible.”

A maritime archaeologist, Schwarzer has done extensive research on the U-Boat war along the Outer Banks, about 300 miles up the coast from Wilmington. There, enemy activity was most intense. “The German U-Boat commanders were pretty brazen in a lot of cases,” he says.

Richard MacMichael a historian with the Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia, concurs. “U-Boats sank ships just outside Halifax and New York Harbors,” he said. “So it’s not outside the realm of possibility that a submarine might be looking at targeting places along the East Coast, even later in the war.” And the fact that the story of the Kure Beach incident didn’t emerge until after the war isn’t all that surprising, he says. “If that submarine did pop up to say `Hi’ off Wilmington in July, 1943, well I’m not surprised if someone said ‘We don’t want this released,’” says McMichael. “You can imagine the panic. It would have been something they would have wanted hushed up.”

If what the Gregorys—and apparently many others—saw off the coast of Kure Beach wasn’t an enemy submarine, what else could it have been? And why did the NCSC go dark that same night?

Carnell believed it was a false sonar reading that caused the shutdown. But unless some hitherto-unknown documents turn up or fragments of German ordnance are someday fished out of the Cape Fear River, the argument may never be settled to everyone’s satisfaction. Regardless, John Gregory—who maintains that what his grandparents saw was an enemy vessel—believes the history here should be well-known to Kure Beach visitors. He has put up a historic sign about the incident in front of his cottage to educate the public about the alleged U-Boat sighting, as well as the realities of wartime life in this now-idyllic seaside retreat.

“Hundreds of people walk by here, all summer long,” a resident said. “And they have no idea that this was once a war zone.”

French Nazi collaborator Petain’s tomb vandalized

LES HERBIERS, France — The tomb of Marshal Philippe Petain, who led France’s collaborationist Vichy regime under Nazi occupation, was vandalized on Saturday, the eve of the 66th anniversary of his death, police said.

Police and firefighters were called to the site of the tomb on Ile d’Yeu in western France at 4 a.m. on reports of a dumpster fire at the Port-Joinville cemetery.

The fire was quickly extinguished, but police then discovered that the cross on Petain’s tomb had been broken.

Some letters were also written on the tombstone but police were unsure of their significance.

In 2007, Petain’s tomb was also vandalized with the white cross broken and trash dumped on the site.

Petain, a French military leader hailed as a hero of World War I, was the head of the government that capitulated to the Nazis and subsequently collaborated with their occupation of France, including the deportation of tens of thousands of Jews to death camps.

“It happens from time to time that the tomb is targeted and some people throw things on top of it,” local official Sylvie Groc told AFP.

“We avoid disclosing it so people don’t get bad ideas,” she said, adding that now “we have to lock the cemetery at night.”

The incident comes the day before the anniversary of Petain’s death on July 23, 1951, at the age of 95.

While the Nazis occupied the north of France, Petain led so-called Vichy France in the centre and the south of the country, with its headquarters in the eponymous spa city.

Despite having autonomy from German policies, Petain passed legislation that saw Jews — around 150,000 of whom had fled to southern France believing it to be safer — subjected to severe discrimination similar to that in the Nazi-occupied north.

Under Petain, the Vichy regime put to death up to 15,000 people and helped deport nearly 80,000.

After the war Petain was convicted of treason and condemned to death but General Charles de Gaulle commuted his sentence to life in prison.

World’s “Most Wanted Nazi” Died in Syria Some Years Ago, Investigator Reveals

Efraim Zuroff, the leading Jerusalem-based jewish supremacist “Nazi hunter” revealed, Alois Brunner, the “world’s most wanted Nazi war criminal” is now certain to have died at least some years ago in Syria aged 98. 


Zuroff said he had obtained firm evidence of his death from a German intelligence official with extensive experience of Syria and the Middle East, who confirmed that Brunner had died of natural causes.

Brunner fled to Syria in the mid-1950s and was reported to have worked as a special adviser on torture to the government of Hafez al-Assad, current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s father. But by the late 1980s pro-Soviet Assad senior was negotiating with the friendly regime of communist East Germany for the possible extradition of Brunner to East Berlin.

East Germany might have put him on trial. It is not impossible that then ailing communist regime would have agreed to send him to a West Germany with close links to Israel to face jewish revenge. But the whole process was halted by the wholly unexpected fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Communism’s collapse allowed Brunner to live out the rest of his days in impunity.

Born in Austria, Brunner joined the NS party in 1931. By 1938 he was a senior member of the SS responsible for cleansing Austria of its Jewish population.

Brunner eventually became the right-hand man of Adolf Eichmann who was executed in Israel in 1962. Brunner deported thousands of Jews from Austria, Greece and Slovakia and subsequently oversaw the stepping up of deportations from Paris to the Auschwitz camp. Yet after Germany’s defeat in the spring of 1945, Brunner managed to escape arrest. In a 1985 interview with Germany’s Bunte magazine he claimed he was mixed up with another SS man called Anton Brunner who was executed for “war crimes” in his place. Alois Brunner said the Allies failed to identify him because, unlike most SS members his arm had not been marked indelibly with an SS blood-type tattoo.

He claimed he worked undetected as a driver for the US Army after the war, before fleeing West Germany in 1954 He went first to Rome, then to Egypt – where he worked as a weapons dealer – and then to the Syrian capital, Damascus, where he adopted the pseudonym of Dr Georg Fischer. In the same year he was sentenced to death in absentia for “crimes against humanity” by a French court. The Cold War helped Brunner to conceal his whereabouts. The pro-Soviet, anti-Israel governments of Hafez al-Assad – and subsequently that of his son – flatly refused to acknowledge that he lived in the country. But in 1961 and in 1980, Brunner lost, respectively, an eye and the fingers of his left hand as a result of letter bombs sent to him by the Israeli secret service, Mossad. Through it all, Brunner stuck to his National Socailist beliefs. In 1987 he told the Chicago Sun Times: “All of the Jews deserved to die because they were the devil’s agents and garbage. I have no regrets. If I had the chance I would do it again.”

German journalists reported last seeing him at a Damascus hotel in 2001.

There were unconfirmed reports that Brunner also worked as the Damascus agent for West German intelligence (BND). In 2011 suspicions that he worked for the BND were raised again when Der Spiegel magazine revealed that the intelligence agency had mysteriously destroyed a 500 page file it had on Brunner. It is perhaps no surprise that a German intelligence official confirmed Brunner’s death.



For the second time in three weeks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be spending Shabbat this week in Europe, traveling to Paris on Friday afternoon for a Sunday morning ceremony marking 75 years since a massive Nazi roundup in Paris of Jews, and a meeting with new French President Emmanuel Macron.

He will spend three nights in Paris before going to Budapest for another three nights to attend a summit of the Visegrad group, made up of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.


Netanyahu flew to Strasbourg on Friday, June 1, to take part in an interment ceremony for former German chancellor Helmut Kohl the next day. He briefly met Macron there.

Anticipating likely public criticism regarding why Netanyahu needs to fly out Friday for a Sunday morning event, an official in the Prime Minister’s Office said that Macron invited the premier to take part in the Paris ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup of more than 13,000 Jews in the city.

The event is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., and Netanyahu will also be meeting Macron in the afternoon.

Explaining the necessity of leaving on Friday, something that will cost the taxpayers much more than if he was to leave on Saturday night, the official explained that Netanyahu is prevented from flying on Shabbat, which on Saturday night will not end until 8:30.

“Manning the positions at the airport by the staff cannot take place, in the best situation, before 9:30, and the staff, the security personnel and the journalists are asked to get to the airport at least two hours before the flight, which means that takeoff would be around midnight,” the official said. “Arrival at the hotel would only be at 5:00, and then there’s the need to wait for luggage. The ceremony is at 9:30.”

According to the official, it is fitting that the prime minister, his staff and even the journalists arrive “refreshed and ready for an important day.”

From Paris, Netanyahu is scheduled to travel on Monday to Budapest for a meeting with the heads of the Visegrad group.

Netanyahu’s visit to Budapest will be the first visit there of an Israeli prime minister since the country emerged from Communist rule in 1989. He is expected to hold both bilateral talks with the leaders of each of the four countries, as well as a joint meeting as well.

Netanyahu is scheduled to fly back to Israel on Thursday, July 20.

Nazi Time Capsule Unearthed in Poland

The legacy of the Third Reich still hovers over Zlocieniec, Poland, in the form of two brick towers from a former NS training center that loom over the town.


A time capsule buried by the National Socialists in the shadows of the towers 82 years ago was unearthed and found to contain perfectly preserved NS relics including two copies of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

On April 22, 1934, NSDAP officials in their crisp military uniforms and local dignitaries wearing black top hats gathered near the German town of Falkenburg for a ceremony marking the groundbreaking of the new Ordensburg Krossinsee center, one of three massive new educational complexes that would be used to indoctrinate future leaders of the National Socialist Party.

As the crowd watched from behind a rope encircling a deep dirt pit carved out of the ground for a tower foundation, NS leaders carefully descended into the enormous rounded hole as their finely polished black boots gingerly stepped down the rungs of a rickety wooden ladder. More than 20 feet below the surface, one of them unrolled a scroll and bellowed the words of a proclamation marking the groundbreaking—punctuated at the end with big red letters emblazoned on the parchment that declared “Heil Hitler!” After the crowd professed its allegiance to the Fuhrer, the scroll was rolled up, tied with red string, sealed with wax and slid into a black copper cylinder along with other contemporary documents before its top was soldered shut.

The time capsule was placed in the tower’s foundation as construction of the vast campus began. It took only two years for the Ordensburg Krossinsee center to be completed, and Hitler himself came to Falkenburg on April 24, 1936, for its official dedication. Admission to the training center was limited to men of German citizenship between the ages of 23 and 26 who were at least 63 inches tall and did not wear glasses. Students took classes in philosophy, politics and world history in the morning and participated in military drills and sports in the afternoon. The training center featured more than 20 living quarters, sporting fields, drilling grounds and a riding arena with horse barns. Students could row and sail on the nearby lake or participate in the noted equestrian program. In 1937, members of the Hitler Youth began to join the young NS cadres at the Ordensburg Krossinsee center.

Following World War II, the town changed hands—and names. The region of Germany around Falkenburg was ceded to Poland, and the town became known as Zlocieniec.

The former Ordensburg Krossinsee training center is now home to a Polish army barracks, and more than eight decades after its dedication, a team of excavators has recovered the time capsule buried in 1934. Work began at the end of August, and the excavation crew dug carefully as it encountered thick concrete, groundwater and even old German anti-vehicle mines. After more than a week of digging aided by archaeologist Marcin Peterleitner, the crew unearthed the same pit stood in by NS officials in 1934. This time, though, those descending into the hole wore muddy work boots and hard hats as they climbed down two metal ladders. Using photographs from the original dedication ceremony as a guide, they worked into the night on September 6, before finally locating the black copper cylinder buried 82 years earlier.

A week later, Zlocieniec officials transported the time capsule 75 miles west to the National Museum in Szczecin, Poland. After conducting a visual inspection of the cylinder, museum staff cut open its top with precision tools. For the first time in 82 years, the items folded inside saw the light of day. The items were all “perfectly preserved” and looked as if they “had been deposited yesterday,” Dr. Peterleitner told Polish news service RMF 24.

Among the items found inside the time capsule were an envelope filled with silver and bronze Reichsmark coins, photographs of NSDAP leaders, black-and-white pictures of Falkenburg, a tourist map of the area, a program from the town’s 600th anniversary celebration held in 1933 and German newspapers from April 21 and 22, 1934. Also inside were two copies of Mein Kampf with a steely photograph of its author, Adolf Hitler, staring from the cover and the wax-sealed parchment that was read at the groundbreaking ceremony more than eight decades earlier. The National Museum plans to inventory, translate and preserve the contents of the time capsule before making them available to town residents.