World War II

The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1945 - part 8

Published by carolyn on Mon, 2015-08-10 12:38
 
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August 10, 2015

Carolyn reads chapters 14 and 15.

Chapter 14 is titled "The Western Theater of War" which covers:

  • Crimes by English soldiers against civilians, mainly in Belgium;
  • Crimes against German soldiers in France;
  • The French Resistance.

Chapter 15 is titled "Crete":

  • Violations of International Law  by British Armed Forces and Cretan civilians;
  • Mutilation of German corpses was widespread, which brought on reprisals against civilians;
  • Eyewitness reports by Wehrmacht survivors of British killings of wounded Germans. 1hr10min

Above: Remains of the crew of a Heinkel 111 that landed in Doullens, near Vimy, France in June 1940, amd were lynched by French civilians (and badly beaten too, it appears), but try to find something about it on the Internet. You won't. These photographs are from the Bundesarchiv, published in De Zayas' book. Fortunately, a court-martial was held on June 6, with three perpetrators being sentenced to death. The sentence was carried out on June 29. (Read something about it in chapter 9.) Enlarge

Russia extends its anti-Nazi ban to British-authored history books

Published by carolyn on Thu, 2015-08-06 14:18

From AFP :

Moscow (AFP) - Russian officials have ordered libraries to remove books by well-known British historians John Keegan and Antony Beevor, saying they promote Nazi-era stereotypes, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The move is part of a broader official push in Russia that is seeing school curricula and textbooks reshaped to cut out alleged foreign influences and provide a Kremlin-backed narrative of history.

The regional education ministry in Sverdlovsk, near the Ural Mountains, issued a decree telling school and university libraries to "check the availability of books" by the historians and "take measures to remove them from access by students and teaching staff".

Both Keegan, who died in 2012, and Beevor are reputed military historians with a focus on World War II.

Category 

Russia, World War II

The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1945 - part 7

Published by carolyn on Mon, 2015-08-03 20:49
 
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August 3, 2015

Carolyn reads Chapter 13, titled "Poland." The German War Crimes Bureau was set up on Sept. 4, 1939 in response to the huge increase of reports of attacks against ethnic Germans, mainly from the former German provinces of Posen and West Prussia.

The first judges arrived as early as Sept. 9 and began taking depositions at Bromberg and Hohelsalza. By the end of October, they had six volumes of documents and commentary, each about 500 pages, organized as follows:

  • 1) Polish atrocities in Bromberg, Pless, and Stopnica;
  • 2) Polish atrocities against ethnic Germans and POW's in Poznan;
  • 3-4) Violations of laws of war by the Polish Army; 
  • 5) Massacre of ethnic Germans in Lodz;
  • 6) Polish murders of ethnic Germans (an addendum).

The Bureau's investigations found no evidence of franc tireur or “fifth column” activities among the ethnic Germans, which is what Polish soldiers and civilians were claiming as excuses to rob and kill them. The chapter ends with de Zayas asserting that German SS and SD were committing what he considered to be war crimes against Polish irregular fighters. 51m

Below: Journalists of the major Western press on May 4, 1939 "convince themselves" of the reality of Polish crimes against minority Germans. Standing over the bodies is a German Catholic priest. Enlarge

The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1945 - part 6

Published by carolyn on Mon, 2015-07-27 20:06
 
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July 27, 2015

Carolyn reads chapters 11 and 12. Chapter 11 is titled “Investigations of German War Crimes” which discusses Adolf Hitler's “Order Number 1” (which was not a war crime but allows de Zayas to bring up the concentration camps and alleged “extermination of Jews”); alleged war crimes in North Africa; the status of medical personnel; alleged crimes during the Allied invasion of Europe and at Malmedy.

Chapter 12, titled “Wehrmacht Conceptions of Postwar International Law,” covers ideas that were being developed for a more German-friendly Convention of international laws of war. The current laws, they thought, represented British interests. 1h12m

Below: Unidentified prisoners of war (POW's) whom are supposed to be protected by the Geneva Convention.

The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1945 - part 5

Published by carolyn on Mon, 2015-07-20 13:00
 
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July 20, 2015

Carolyn reads chapters 9 and 10. Chapter 9, "The Bureau and War Crimes Trials," describes what went into the decisions to hold trials against prisoners of war in German custody. It's divided into sections for Polish, French, British & American, and Russian POW's.

Chapter 10 discusses reprisal actions by the Wehrmacht troops, many of which were threatened but never carried out. De Zayas continues to show his moderate bias for the Allied side and against Adolf Hitler's N-S regime. 1h3m

Rudolf Lehmann was a respectable German jurist who was Judge Advocate General of the Wehrmacht in WWII. He joined the NSDAP in 1935, was arrested by the Americans in 1945, found guilty of war crimes at the Nuremberg High Command trial in 1947. Sentenced to 7 years imprisonment, he was released in 1950, as was typical.

The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1945 - part 4

Published by carolyn on Mon, 2015-07-06 19:58
 
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July 6, 2015

Carolyn reads chapters 7 and 8, having to do with how Bureau investigations were used by the German government and by the Wehrmacht.

Chapt. 7 talks about White Books and White Papers which were put out by the German Foreign Office. One unexpected and disappointing development was that when photographs of the atrocities committed on Germans in Poland were published in the White Books, there was such an outcry over the "horror pictures" that Germany stopped adding those images. Naturally, since the Germans didn't commit mutilations on their enemies, the other side didn't have such pictures to print.

Chapt. 8 is about the use of Bureau investigations for "Diplomatic Protection" for prisoners of war, the wounded, medical personnel, etc. A number of examples of protests are given, on both the West and East Fronts (South too). Something I did not know: "thousands of German POW's had already been liquidated by Soviet forces in the first weeks of fighting." 47m28s

Image: A German White book from the First World War, 1914. I could not find a single image of a WWII White Book. Are they outlawed? Enlarge

The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1945 - part 3

Published by carolyn on Mon, 2015-06-29 19:41
 
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June 29, 2015

Carolyn reads chapters 5 and 6. Chapter 5, "The Testimony of Witnesses," looks into how credible witness testimony was obtained by the judges. All witnesses took a "real" oath, and the judges sought verification for all testimony, sometimes going to great length to do so.

Chapter 6, "Expert Medical Opinion" explains how medical officers distinguish the nature of wounds, whether from battle or deliberate mutilation, whether inflicted before or after death. The most common mutilations (which occurred daily on the Eastern Front) were the gouging out of eyes and the cutting off of genitals. Severing feet and hands was also carried out by the savage Soviet troops and Jewish partisans. 1hr12m

Left: Corporal Hans Muth, victim of mutilation: medical examination determined that his eyes had been deliberately put out while he was unconscious.

 

What will be the fate of Kevin Wheatcroft's incredible "Nazi" collection?

Published by carolyn on Sat, 2015-06-27 16:40

Kevin Wheatcroft stands in his private home in England in 2015, next to what he says was Adolf Hitler's favorite war portrait of himself. Enlarge

What will happen to Kevin Wheatcroft's' amazing collection of World War II German military vehicles and National-Socialist memorabilia now that he is publicizing it to the world?

The hefty Mr. Wheatcroft is 55 years old, and looks to me like a pretty good candidate for a heart attack in the next 10 years. How will he preserve what he has spent his life collecting? -with more heartfelt feelings than financial ones, it appears. The son of a WWII British "war hero" and his German war bride, he told a Guardian newspaper reporter that "Adolf and Hermann" are "my real love." If that is true, we can expect Mr. Wheatcroft to have a care about what happens to his collection.

Will he build and endow a museum (or two) to permanently house it all? But what can stop the Jewish-British government from confiscating the whole she-bang and destroying it? Or turning any museum he creates into a "documentation center" which tells the whole story as a criminal enterprise by "Adolf and Hermann" (and company).

The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1945 - part 2

Published by carolyn on Fri, 2015-06-26 20:23
 
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June 26, 2015

Carolyn reads chapters 3 and 4. Chapter three is titled "Related German Agencies" and describes the numerous other official agencies with whom the War Crimes Bureau collaborated, and how cooperation was carried out.

Chapter four, "Methods of Obtaining Evidence" tells us how cases were built and gives some vivid examples of mutilations and other outrages committed against German soldiers on the East, West and South Fronts. The bulk of the testimony (approx. 85%) came from ten's of thousands of sworn witnesses giving depositions to military judges or local courts. 1hr11m

The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1945 - 1st Installment

Published by carolyn on Mon, 2015-06-22 19:32
 
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June 22, 2015

In this first installment, Carolyn reads selections from the Introduction by Alfred de Zayas and the full content of chapters one and two. Some highlights:

  • Some history of war crimes investigations from WWI;
  • Learning from that war, the German govt. established a new war crimes bureau on Sept. 4, 1939;
  • Name, history and statements from some of the Wehrmacht judges;
  • The author's negative attitude toward the Third Reich and praise for members of the resistance brings up some issues;
  • Hitler's "Barbarossa Decree" of 13 Sept. 1941 is read in full and discussed. 1h33m

An idealist and United Nations advisor, Alfred de Zayas today still has hope for Democracy and the sovereignty of nations.

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